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During the car ride to the hotel, which had felt unnaturally and insanely long, Ryan had been just as much as a handful as when they had to, between them, half-lead, half-carry him up to Brendon’s room (yes, Brendon’s, because a) Brendon was apparently now responsible for getting his drunken lover to bed safely, and b) Ryan had insisted. Repeatedly). Brendon had the difficult job of trying to convince his wasted boyfriend that talking about the sounds Brendon let slip while they made love wasn’t appropriate and that in the back of a chauffeured car on a highway was not the best place for a quickie, as desirable as it seemed to Ryan at that particular moment. You’d think, after so long together, that Brendon wouldn’t be surprised by Ryan at this point- but he’d never seen him like this, or more specifically, heard him talk so passionately and shamelessly about the things he could usually barely even think about while he was sober without flushing a startling scarlet.

The first emotion Brendon felt when Ryan firmly rejected his advances was utter confusion and even a little upset before he realised that his boyfriend was just simply too far gone to even recognise him. Some lover, huh- Brendon then coaxed some interesting words out of him, enjoying making Zack very uncomfortable and playing along up until the point that he was being out as a dismally submissive bottom and that’s when he decided to draw the line. Embarrassed by Ryan’s newfound transparency all of a sudden, he desperately tried to catch his attention, holding onto him tightly and forcing him to make direct eye contact until that flicker of recognition flashed in his eyes and a second later, Ryan was unfastening his seatbelt and climbing over with haphazard joy. Suddenly, after a frigidly cold few minutes with his intoxicated lover who thought he was a stranger, they were Brendon and Ryan again, although Ryan being perched in Brendon’s lap was an unusual sight.

Thus from that Ryan tried to convince Brendon to go down on him right there and Brendon still wasn’t sure if he meant it- he pondered and turned it over in his mind as he lay on his back amongst heaps of pillows and sheets that he’d been too tired to toss aside after he finally got Ryan to bed. It was cloudy out, so the room was still dim despite it being rather late into the morning- 10:30, near enough; luckily, they didn’t have anywhere to be today. Luckily, specifically, for Ryan. Brendon turned onto his side and, with his cheek pressed into the pillow, stared at Ryan, who was fast asleep on his stomach, the sheets pushed down to his lower back. He’d been a fucking nightmare to get to bed, but- god, he was so perfect. Brendon took the time before he woke up and undoubtedly started complaining to admire him; but this came with the disadvantage of it being much harder not to touch him. It was too tempting- his skin looked so warm and smooth and Brendon was surprisingly cold.

As was likely, Brendon soon gave in and lifted his head from the pillow before shifting closer to his sleeping lover, pressing his face into the crook between his neck and shoulder, snaking his arms around his waist and pulling himself closer, anchoring himself to Ryan comfortably. He inhaled- he smelled good, which Brendon did not expect. He didn’t even know how much Ryan had had to drink last night, just that it was enough for him to be loose-lipped enough to talk about exactly what Brendon’s mouth was good for. Just at the thought, he smiled fondly against his skin, but then- it hit him that he was kind of annoyed at Ryan for saying so much that was personal and intimate to Zack (who he really didn’t want to see this morning) and some random driver, the poor guy. Then again, he didn’t pride himself in being a hypocrite and recalled plenty of times he’d talked about Ryan’s dick and otherwise, sober and drunk alike. So he let it go, deciding on a more efficient revenge than some form of silent treatment.

If he knew Ryan, he’d be mortified to find out and/or remember what exactly he’d said while under the influence in that car the night previous. Gentle, but now with a more cunning grin, he snuggled further against Ryan’s warm body and started pressing light, soft kisses against his skin. ”Baby?”
Of course Ryan didn’t just care about sex. In fact, out of every major benefit of being in a romantic and committed relationship, that was the least important thing to Ryan- which, to someone like Brendon, very in tune with his own sexuality, was frustrating sometimes. But, hey, it wasn’t like he was some celibate. Brendon’s energy and passion tended to rub off on people, and- he and Ryan were head over heels in love and hopelessly attracted to one another. As different as they were, things worked- though admittedly they’d had to try hard, because nothing was ever simple, and love alone doesn’t necessarily make a relationship healthy and functioning. But being as in love with one another as they were, it made it so much easier to try and Brendon had so much to lose now, a wonderful man who loved him unconditionally and held him at night and wrote him dumb messages in the fogged-up mirror and made him feel irreplaceable. Yet here he was, accusing him of only caring about fucking, for no reason other than that he was too proud and defiant to accept that some of his behaviour wasn’t healthy or appropriate.

And Brendon had compared to Ryan to Shane- just because he knew it would get to him, even if he didn’t show it, and just because it was the worst insult he could think of because Shane had really been that bad. Not just an asshole ex, he’d been abusive; Ryan, his loving and sweet and astounding boyfriend was nothing like him and he didn’t deserve such a low blow, especially when it was so ridiculously far from being accurate. Everything Ryan had said so far was right and Brendon was too trapped in his own fantasy world where nobody cared enough about his health to tell him that maybe drinking that much, or maybe that getting off his head right before a family dinner wasn’t a good idea. All his life he’d just been enabled and now here his man was, perfectly acceptably expressing concern and carefully criticising the way Brendon actively chose to spend his spare time. He didn’t have an addiction of any kind. He just didn’t know what ‘excess’ meant and he didn’t care enough about himself to do anything potentially harmful in moderation.

So, really, Ryan was well within reason, deciding not to compromise and instead just making the move to leave, because Brendon was being a dickhead and negotiating with him thus far, trying to get through to his proud little mind, was proving difficult. So it was understandable- but Brendon, right now, worked up and sensitive and dramatic, saw it as some kind of drastic draw of the line, panicked when he saw that Ryan was serious and hoped desperately that this wasn’t a breakup, it was just a fight, all couples had those, right, it wasn’t a big deal. But Ryan was collecting his belongings that were strewn casually around Brendon’s apartment and it was a big deal and Brendon’s eyes had widened, he shrank in on himself, drawing his hands further back into the sleeves of the hoodie he was wearing, his mouth pursing into a small pout as he watched Ryan clear out evidence of their relationship. Now terrified, he asked if Ryan was for real, but kept his voice relatively steady.

There was no answer- just an eyebrow raise, and Brendon’s eyes darted across his face urgently, trying to figure out what that meant when Ryan had turned again to pick up another jacket. You told me to leave. Brendon scowled. ”You brought it up first,” He mumbled. I don’t wanna come back ‘til you’re ready to suck up your pride. It seemed that Ryan was going to be gone for a while because Brendon almost retched at the thought of swallowing his pride. I’m sick of being the one to compromise. Now trying to push away the increasingly powerful feeling of heartbreak, which sort of felt like someone was hacking at his heartstrings with a cleaver, Brendon stiffened and drew his eyebrows in and figured that being meaner was the only way to keep his walls up about this. Ryan was breaking up with him, this was the worst thing ever. So he demanded Ryan’s key.

They stared at eachother for a long moment, both of them clearly miserable and angry and hating this but Brendon stubbornly not apologising and Ryan (rightfully so) not compromising- but then Ryan’s keys were flashing in his hands and Brendon had closed his fingers around the cold metal pressed against his palm. He didn’t look at it, just shoved it into his pocket hastily. There was a beat but then Ryan was shoving the stack of work and papers into his arms and Brendon was too stunned to refuse taking them- he just stared at the stack, then back up at Ryan, and swallowed. What an abrupt, horrible end to their relationship, if- Is that all? Brendon could tell he wanted him to move so he stepped aside, steadying himself against a wall, trying not to shake with frustration and upset. ”Is that it, then? Are you- we’re breaking up?” Just this morning they’d been curled up in bed together, Brendon pressing lazy kisses along Ryan’s collarbone and Ryan tracing patterns into his hips. This fucking sucked. ”I- get out.”
Then let me be clear. It was always difficult for Brendon to stay truly angry and vindictive during an argument with Ryan, even if he said some pretty harsh shit- and a lot of it was because, when Ryan was really pissed, he was kind of hot. He couldn’t provoke that kind of fiery behaviour from Ryan just by telling him that, coaxing him to play at angry- Ryan couldn’t pretend to be mad at Brendon if the world depended on it- the only way to get this kind of reaction was for it to be, well. Organic, for lack of a better word. This time, though, instead of irritating the life out of Ryan by displaying how instantly horny he could become from the stupidest of things, he was just. Pissed. Defensive. There was nothing sexy about being criticised in such a disappointed way. You’re not an alcoholic, and I’m not stupid enough to think so. Then why is this such a big deal, Brendon wanted to demand, meeting Ryan’s critical and steely gaze and hating that he could stay more composed than he could. So he threw out baseless accusations. Explain to me how. Brendon opened his mouth instantly, but- Ryan wasn’t a big drinker. He barely touched coke at all. The only thing that was a relatively common ‘vice’ was weed, so- he had nothing.

Do I chainsmoke, binge drink, do a line every night? No, you’re too boring, he said dryly in his head, raising his eyebrows but then firmly knitting them into a frown; but that was juvenile, Ryan was just. Normal. Apparently. Brendon didn’t have much experience with normal. His bottom lip was stuck out slightly almost into a pout, like a child being scolded. Tell me what I don’t do in moderation. ”I dunno, that stick in your ass never seems to fucking come out,” Brendon snapped, sick to death of this idiot deciding that just because they were dating or whatever that he could dictate how Brendon spent his own money (well) and his own time. He was well aware he was behaving like a rich brat, he knew he was a goddamn princess and he was sick of Ryan behaving like he should have these great morals and spend his time nursing sick squirrels back to health or something. The abnormal amount of wealth and privilege was starting to shine through properly, it seemed, and later Brendon would retch at how fucking superior he behaved for someone who accused Ryan of being too stuck-up.

Then suddenly Ryan was all baby, a term of endearment that usually made him melt, and Brendon decided he was sick of his annoying assistant’s voice, so he spat out an insult, which caused Ryan to immediately quieten. Brendon looked smug and angry, some drowsy cocktail of the two, but then he saw that Ryan was smirking dangerously and that was usually the kind of thing that would have him willing, but now- he was sort of frightened, but even then he didn’t consider that maybe he’d stepped over some kind of line and he should definitely apologise. Manipulative. ”Just like everyone else who gets this fucking close to me. You told me I should be more trusting and here you are, trying to change me- but you don’t care really, do you, as long as you get to fuck me, like Shane.” This had no grounds or even roots in truth whatsoever and Brendon was just saying stuff mindlessly that he thought would hit a nerve and gain him an advantage. He didn’t realise he was just being pathetic and embarrassing.

I’m allowed to show concern for you without it being entitlement. Recognise the difference. Brendon was still bristling and he watched Ryan, who looked kind of defeated at this point, give his ultimatum. Both of them were so riled up that even in this white-hot angry stage Brendon knew the best thing to do was just to separate and cool off. But he couldn’t even do that amicably- he spitefully permitted, no, encouraged, demanded, Ryan to leave his fucking home. Ryan was staring at him and Brendon puffed up his chest like he’d never lost a war- but then Ryan was up and he lost his metaphorical footing when his much taller boyfriend circled the counter island and penned him in against the kitchen surface. There was a spark of heat, sure, but not enough to melt the iciness between them right now. Just let me get my things so I don’t have to come back. Oh. Honestly, Brendon hadn’t meant it. Ryan was usually the one who waved the white flag between them. This was- different. Brendon didn’t like it, wavered uncertainly, unsure, meeting Ryan’s eyes and then following him with his gaze as he turned and walked away.

He was expecting some sort of compromise but clearly that- wasn’t where this was going. He could be bluffing, but- Brendon was scared now, springing into action and following him into his own bedroom, watching uncertainly. There were an assortment of hoodies strewn about and Brendon felt his heart twist when Ryan picked them up- wrapping his arms around himself tightly, he hoped Ryan wouldn’t notice that he was wearing one right now and watched sullenly, eyes wide. ”Wh-” He didn’t mean to sound so desperate. ”What, are you breaking up with me? Am I not- good enough for you?” He looked very small, suddenly, Ryan’s hoodie sleeves longer than his arms, which were wrapped around himself as he stood in the doorway. But. He couldn’t let himself look that vulnerable. ”Alright, then. Fine. Give me your key.”
I didn’t say that. Brendon scowled. In his eyes- and those eyes belonged to a person who had rarely been told no for the entirety of his life, childhood to adolescence and beyond, due to his background and privilege- any criticism, even supposedly coming from a good, well-intentioned place, was a malicious and personal attack on his very existence. As far as Brendon was concerned, the way he was living his life was fine. He didn’t take into account the fact that his life was much better off with Ryan in it, and better yet Ryan in it as his lover- though he was creative and fluid and energised, Brendon surprisingly saw many things in plain black and white. He was stubborn, and dignified, and too proud for his own good. Plus, he had never really cared about his health. He was reckless and impulsive and- also self-destructive, though he’d never admit to actually want to cause himself harm. The way he lived in itself was actively destroying him but he’d been like that so long he just thought it was normal, or, if not normal, doing no harm. It was fun, and Brendon thrives on fleeting pleasures and white-hot shocks of adrenaline. Dramatic, but. As an emotionally neglected child who was shown affection through money only, he subconsciously started acting out because he was desperate for some, any kind of attention.

And here it was, that toxic and dangerous trait, a taste for the dangerous, snapping at his heels and following him closely into adulthood, like a dog breathing heavily down his neck. He just didn’t see it like that. This was just how he was, how he wanted to be. After all, he didn’t have a drinking problem, or any type of substance abuse issue- Ryan had said that himself. So what was the big fuckin’ deal? ”You sure as hell implied it,” He said drily, eyebrows arched, already done with this conversation before it even properly got a chance to start. He still wasn’t too hot with the whole trust and communication thing. Brendon was a romantic work in progress to say the least. Okay, either way, it’s not good for you, and you know it. Fucking hell, who did he think he was? His goddamn dad? A doctor? Ryan himself smoked cigarettes, weed, he drank- he’d dabbled in drugs, Brendon knew for definite- and here he was, preaching about health. ”You’re a hypocrite, dude.”

You haven’t seen you when you’re fucked up- you haven’t had to take care of you. Oh, Ryan was a complaining about having to look after him, huh? Isn’t that what a boyfriend was supposed to do? He was under the impression that being in a relationship meant caring for eachother. Brendon was getting increasingly, irrationally angry and defensive with every word that came out of Ryan’s poor, genuinely concerned mouth. It’s bad, baby. ”Don’t fucking baby me, you manipulative freak.” ...He didn’t mean any of this, but years of not being taught how to properly express and handle his emotions lead to him simply lashing out and not thinking about the consequences. Ryan wasn’t manipulative, and if he thought about it for a moment, actually agreed to talk about this, he’d have got that. But no, Brendon jumped in, full swing, hackles up. This is what lead to him saying probably the most stupid thing he’d ever said to Ryan- he compared him to Shane, spitting out his ex’s name like it was poison, which to them, it was, hoping it would sting because he was that unable to recognise when people were just looking out for him. He’s spent his whole life surrounded by enablers. This was the outcome.

I think you wanna try that again. ”I’m good,” He replied instantly, coldly, fixing him with his fiery gaze. But something in Ryan’s voice that he only recognised after he’d responded- he was mad, real mad, just from that. Being entirely inaccurately and idiotically compared to an abusive ex could do that to someone. I’m not sure what’s worse, Bren. Brendon dragged his hands down his face then tangled them in his own hair, nails digging into his scalp to relieve some angry tension. That you don’t give a fuck about your health, or that you believe me showing genuine concern about it for you could even vaguely be compared to anything that asshole did. Brendon knew hat if he actually soaked in what Ryan had just said, it would make sense, he’d apologise profusely, be mortified by his own actions- but in the moment, defiant and pissed and having a tantrum like a scolded toddler, he refused to pay attention, just scowled at him. ”My health is my fucking business. Not yours. You’re so entitled to me.”

Brendon watched and there was a silence as Ryan turned his head and took a resigned, careful sip from his mug. Something about the control of his aspect and approach to Brendon’s raging fire was unnerving and his eyes flickered around Ryan’s profile, noticed how his jaw was clenched in place. Maybe he’s crossed a line, but... So should I leave now, or do you want to correct that mistake? Of course he didn’t mean it. Of course it wasn’t true. But Brendon was too proud and defensive to even think about admitting that and begging forgiveness for being such a vindictive, childish asshole. I don’t want anyone just like Shane to be near you, so if I do leave, I may as well not come back for a while. Perfect. Wonderful. He didn’t have to listen to his nagging assistant complain about how much fun Brendon was having. Sounded ideal. ”Get the fuck out, then. You know where the door is.”
It was petty, but it was also true that Brendon woke up every day and without fail spent a considerable amount of time figuring out how to annoy the shit out of Ryan on that particular day. The thing was, it was so easy- he liked to be inventive, but often the most reliable and effective one was also the easiest and Brendon’s favourite- being both seductive and untouchable, trying to turn the bastard on at times where he could do fuck all about it except stare angrily, anywhere but at Brendon because if he did it would be obvious in more ways than one that Ryan had a thing for him. Well, it was more than just having a thing- they hooked up regularly, provoked by fights or not, only when it was the product of tension caused by an argument it tended to be a little more aggressive. The friction that was caused by their mutual hatred generated heat and the only way to work that off was through an extremely direct approach. So, even though they would probably still be fucking if Brendon wasn’t an irritating asshole every damn day, the fact that he was an irritating asshole every damn day just made things that little bit more exciting.

There were different ways to seduce someone as easy and pathetic as Ryan Rowe, luckily, so he had the leverage to have some fun when he was trying to drive him up the wall. Today, he was going to pretend that he wasn’t even trying to do anything- usually he made eye contact with him, taunting, but this time, he’d be completely nonchalant. That, more than anything, was sure to drive Ryan crazy. So, he strode down through the very tight space between their bunks, and started stripping off his clothes, as deliberately as possible without looking too damn obvious that he was just trying to get on his nerves. First, the shirt- folded easily over his head, no big deal. He noticed Ryan looking, he wasn’t stupid. Ryan, who was pretending to be so damn unaffected, and probably had many colourful thoughts going through his head already.

Manoeuvring around in this small space wasn’t fun, but Brendon was used to it, so it was relatively easy and his movements while he derobed were fluid and assured. Ryan was sure to recognise them. If he weren’t such a convincing and committed actor, he’d be grinning wildly by now, easily blowing his nonchalant cover. After he’d carelessly discarded his shirt, Brendon started working on his jeans, popping open the button and sliding down the zipper, pausing before he took them off the stretch deliberately, pretending that he didn’t at all notice Ryan’s obvious staring. That kid really thought he was slick. Brendon dropped his arms back down to his sides and finally shimmied our of them, the denim catching on the way, and he heard Ryan drop his book (some pretentious bullshit, probably) against his chest. That thirsty fucker. Brendon turned around so he could smile at the wall, folding his jeans clumsily and dumping them onto his bunk. When he turned around again, he caught Ryan’s eye, but made sure his gaze was glassy and blank. Almost immediately Ryan stood up and slipped away towards the lounge. Brendon smirked. Idiot.

After a moment of waiting he meandered down the short hallway to the lounge, standing there casually and watching two of his three bandmates unnecessarily intently. There was some discussion about going out and Brendon made some absent comments, again hiding a smirk when Ryan tried to speak in a very strangled voice. Half a second after he piped up with his little quip about drunken bandmates climbing into bed with him, and neither Spence nor Jon seemed particularly impressed by the idea. Gross. ”That’s rude, man.” Are you hinting at something? Brendon bagged his eyelashes innocently. I’m not interested. ”Yeah, well, you should be.” The two of them were shrugging on jackets and standing up and Brendon watched them, all good-natured smile and... lack of clothes. Alright, we’ll start early, then. Jeez, bit of an early one. Bad for their livers, but... good for Brendon. He and Ryan would be here alone, how exciting. Anticipation was burning in his gut. See ya. ”Bye, dude.” He watched as Jon went to shut the door behind him and laughed to punctuate his last comment- Don’t kill eachother!

”No promises,” Brendon called back, laughing, and then he shook his head, smiling to himself. There was always a comment like that whenever the two of them, famous for their mutual hatred, were left to their own devices. It would be a valid piece of advice back when they didn’t have sex as a means of burning off steam, but. Now it was just funny. I’m killing you first, you little fucker. Oh, Okay. Brendon expected him to be pissed but was still startled by the suddenness of his attack. ”Shit, chill. What’ve I done now?” What the fuck are you up to? Looking for attention tonight? Brendon grinned, looked him up and down, shrugged his shoulders. ”I don’t look for your attention, dumbass,” He corrected, his voice almost a purr. ”I just kinda attract it.”
It was true that Brendon had been the one to lean in for a kiss first, but that was a) because he hadn’t seen him in a good while, several long hours, and b) because Ryan didn’t even recognise him as his boyfriend, so naturally wasn’t just going to kiss some apparent stranger. Ryan had therefore denied him permission and they’d barely touched- until now, when Ryan, in his endearing but simultaneously alarming reaction to realising Brendon had been right beside him this whole time, climbed uncharacteristically onto his lap, a knee bracing either side of his thighs, and dragged him into a very inappropriate and disarming kiss. He tasted strongly of alcohol, no surprise there, but other than that the only thing Brendon took away from the unexpected one-sided makeout in the back seat of the car was that Ryan had clearly missed him. It would be charming, but Ryan sticking his tongue down his throat with two uncomfortable onlookers after having talked in detail about how good the head that Brendon gave was was the last thing Brendon would consider a romantic gesture.

Flattering, maybe. Key word, ‘maybe’. When Ryan finally pulled back and allowed him to breathe, Brendon shifted uncomfortably, not used to this- it was usually the other way around, Brendon straddling Ryan, but he just did what Ryan usually resorted to and held onto his waist to try and steady him, thumb stroking over his side gently, praying that he didn’t throw up. It was great that Ryan finally recognised him, sure, and he’d have a lot to tease him about tomorrow, but right now, Brendon just wanted to go home and go to sleep- he was exhausted from the show alone, where he always went overboard with the energy he put into his performance, and this whole charade with Ryan’s wasted ass was not helping things. It made him feel a little sympathy for everyone who had to deal with him when he was this drunk, actually. Suddenly, Ryan’s hands were on his shoulders and Brendon tilted his chin to meet his eyes, eyebrows raised. A little. Perhaps. Ryan’s words played through his head- he is undoubtedly the best at sucking dick, he’s submissive, he’ll fall apart- and Brendon scoffed. ”Define a ‘little’, man. If you keep talking about how good I am at giving head, Zack might get jealous.” He grinned, always managing to find the funny side. Zack barely even reacted, used to this kind of torment.

Oh, but he was so pretty. Even pissed as all hell. Brendon tenderly reached up to drag his fingers through his hair, had to suppress a smile, keep his mouth in a straight, dry, unimpressed line.I speak verrrry highly of you. Only the truth. His mind wandered as he considered all of the ‘truths’ that Ryan wouldn’t want shared about him or them as couple to the world, but decided against pointing out that just because something was ‘personal’, it didn’t mean it was ‘the truth’ that needed to be told- it wouldn’t get through to Ryan while he was in this state, anyway. Brendon opened his mouth after a pause to ask Zack how far away from the hotel they were but Ryan’s sudden, unexplained laughter interrupted him, startling him so much that he physically jumped, eyebrows shooting up and eyes widening. ”Jesus, what’s so fuckin’ funny? Crackhead.”

Ryan then suggested that Brendon go down on him in this very car at this very moment. Brendon absolutely did not want to, even if they were just back atthe hotel, he was tired and he was pretty sure Ryan would fall asleep during it anyway, and that would be something his ego wouldn’t be able to let go. But, he didn’t want to extend this conversation so he just used Zack and the driver as an excuse. Zack voiced his distaste openly and Brendon didn’t blame him- he’d already seen much more of what Brendon and Ryan got up to in their free time, Brendon didn’t imagine he wanted to see any more. It did not come in the job description, that’s for sure. That’s true. Zack grumbled. Unfortunately. Ryan was suddenly lifting himself off his lap and Brendon followed his movements with his eyes, watching as he settled back onto the car seat. He hoped that he’d fall asleep but- three seconds later he was resting his head on Brendon’s shoulder, an arm around him. At least this was more PG-13. Zack. Yes, Zack. Though, again, even if they were alone- Brendon didn’t feel like getting on his knees right now, his legs were killing him.

Okay. Oh, fuck, just when he thought he was finally settling down. So what are we gonna do when the king of cockblocks’s gone? Brendon looked to the ceiling of the car like he was asking a God for help, and on the way down he caught Zack’s eye, who raised his eyebrows at him. He shrugged helplessly and tried to stay still, desperately trying not to encourage Ryan to do anything more than rest on his shoulder. ”I dunno, Ry,” He murmured absently, not really thinking about it, ”What d’ya wanna do?” Sleep, that’s what Brendon wanted to do. Put Ryan to bed and then sleep.
After a show, there always tended to be the same familiar routine that the band rhythmically went through; they hung around backstage for a bit, thanking the staff and making sure everything went okay, and then they all filed out in a loose formation towards the tour bus at different speeds. Usually, the last one aboard was Brendon. This time, thus taking a step towards proving this generalisation, it was Brendon, which gave Ryan a chance to chastise him after what had otherwise been a relatively incident-free night- sure, Brendon had taunted him onstage, but that was routine at this point; Ryan had learned, much to Brendon’s disappointment, to tune out when he launched into his dramatic performance, his over-the-top speech about ‘sweaty, angry, frenzied fucking’ which involved Ryan much more than the guitarist probably would have liked. But that’s why it was so fun- watching Ryan trying to control his temper and concentrate on playing.

Anyway, from the tour bus, there could be a deviation from the usual path. If they had a hotel, the driver would take them there, but that was a luxury- usually, they slept in their bunks in the tour bus. The same was true that night. When Brendon walked on, Jon and Spencer were lingering in the cramped lounge area, nursing drinks already, but there was no sign of Ryan- Brendon looked around the corner towards the bunks and he saw Ryan’s legs sticking out from his. He blinked and turned to Jon, who, along with Spencer, hadn’t gotten changed, so he came to the natural conclusion that they were going for some after-show celebration, even though that hadn’t even been their best show, it wasn’t even the end of the leg or the last show in the state or anything. Brendon figured it was just an excuse to go out, and he respected that. Still, he grinned, raised his eyebrows, and Jon spoke before he could. “We’re gonna check the night scene around here, you down?”

”I’m getting too old for going out after shows, man,” Brendon laughed, reaching up to comb his fingers through his disheveled hair. Jon was older than him, but whatever. Besides, it wasn’t even true- he just felt like getting on a certain someone’s nerves tonight, because winding Ryan up was- well, not a new favourite pastime. But a consistent one. Spencer looked a little disappointed. ”You’re not even a year older than me, fucker. What do you mean, old?” Another laugh. ”The stress of fame.... Has aged me rapidly. I found a fucking grey hair, honestly, dude- and I’m in my twenties., but, like, physically, I’m fifty.” This was a lie. He was eighteen at heart and head and 24 only technically.

Spencer and Jon seemed to catch on that he just wasn’t that keen, though, and gave up at exactly the same time, Jon just lifting his drink and then taking a sip and Spencer just shrugging disinterestedly, bored of Brendon’s ‘charming’ bullshitting. Brendon clicked his tongue and weaves his way inbetween the bunks, stopping at his, which was a bottom bunk and directly across from Ryan’s. Ryan folded his legs up to let him pass, not even looking at him as he did so- he was reading something, what, Brendon didn’t know. Probably something pretentious. He desperately wanted to goad him about it, but- if his plan was going to work, he’d have to be more nonchalant. So, he ignored him completely, to what he imagined was a mixture of Ryan’s disappointment and surprise- and sat down on his bunk, pulling his shirt over his head before he’d even settled onto the sheets.

He tossed it onto the mattress and then searched around amongst his things for deodorant, which he generously used- then he tossed that aside, undid the buttons and unzipped the zipper of his jeans, before standing up to start inching them down his hips. But, he just- left them like that, the waistband of his underwear visible, and stretched his arms above his head, muscles contracting as he clung onto the top bunk in order to extend his body, which was still running chiefly on adrenaline from the show. It was embarrassingly obvious, shameless, but only Ryan would know that. Jon and Spencer would just think ‘hey, it’s a Brendon thing. He does that’.

Blatant showcasing of his shirtless form aside, he then turned around, facing away from Ryan, and finally pushed them down his hips- the denim caught but then slid down and he stepped out of them, letting them crumple into a pile with his shirt. It would be obvious at this point to those who didn’t know him that he didn’t have any, uh. Self esteem issues.

When he turned back around, he caught Ryan’s eye, his hips kind of propped up at an angle, his arms again outstretched above his head because this bus was extremely fucking cramped, even for somebody so little. Though there was nothing teasing about his gaze- in fact, he just let his eyes pass over Ryan, like he was barely even there.

He hadn’t been paying much attention to Ryan but when the guitarist stood up and weaved past him stiffly, Brendon knew he’d gotten somewhere already. You coming with us, Ry? He heard Spencer ask. There was a pause. I guess it’s just us then, Spence.

Interesting. Ryan wasn’t going. Maybe he was too invested in his book... Ha, yeah. Brendon was grinning so hard that he had to force himself to stop before he appeared in front of his three band members, still wearing very little. Spencer and Jon were completely unfazed. Ryan, who had sat down, shifted- Brendon could see it from out of his peripheral. Yeah, I’m, uh. Tired. Mhm. ”Don’t be back too late, I gotta get my beauty sleep and don’t need you, like, accidentally getting into my bunk with me at 2am.”
As much as this was beginning to become mortifying, with Ryan outing him as the ‘submissive’ one (he wasn’t embarrassed because of a masculinity thing, he had just upheld a ‘fuckboy’ type personality that suggested otherwise and his ego was way too big to handle Zack of all people knowing that he- it was difficult to explain), Brendon really couldn’t be that mad. When he got close to it just for a second, he forced himself to think about times that Ryan had relayed to him where he’d been filthy when he was drunk. For example, talking about Ryan’s dick size, loudly, in a bar full of strangers, or the time he had launched into a very explicit monologue about exactly what Ryan’s hands were good for. He supposed they were now even. It was very eye-opening being in the shoes that Ryan was usually in- looking after his wasted boyfriend and trying to make sure he didn’t throw up all over himself and keep things PG while in public. God, if Ryan was like this in a car with two other people- Brendon was simultaneously terrified and excited to find out what the hell he’d do when a) he identified Brendon as his his god-given ‘bottom’ and b) they were alone.

In a desperate attempt to save himself from torture and physical harm from Zack the next day, Brendon started pleading with Ryan in a strained voice, but clearly he was having none of it, cutting right through his protests. And you saw his mouth, right? Brendon paled. He already knew where this was going but knew he was powerless to stop whatever horrendously graphic shit that was about to come out (admittedly very slurred) of Ryan’s mouth. I can’t describe it, like, he’s an experience. Brendon raised his eyebrows- even if Ryan had said he couldn’t describe it, in this loose-tongued state, he knew almost for certain that he’d try his damnedest to get his point across. Still. Mortification aside, this was all very flattering. At least now Brendon had a vivid insight into what the hell was going on inside Ryan’s head whenever he looked at Brendon while he was undressing. Evidently it was a fucking lot. Enlightening. When I kiss him, I just... I can sink into him, I get so lost in it.

Despite himself, Brendon betrayed how touching that was with a soft smile, because he knew exactly what Ryan was talking about- when they kissed, it felt like the first time every time, as cliche and corny as that sounded, be it a kiss on the forehead in the morning, an affectionate peck on the cheek, a brief ‘hello’ ‘goodbye’ ‘good morning’ or ‘goodnight’ kiss, a romantic kiss on the back of a hand; a deep, slow, passionate kiss in the dark, intimate neck kisses and lips tracing skin and bone. Every one was electrifying in its own way. I could kiss him forever. Mhm. This was dangerous, Brendon was becoming too endeared with the man who was painting an intricate picture of his sex life to two people who definitely didn’t want to know. He was finding it difficult not to lean in and attempt to steal a kiss again, drawn in by some magnetic force. It was sweet, Ryan was sweet. Maybe this wasn’t all bad. And he is, undoubtedly, the best at sucking dick, like, of anyone, ever.

Maybe he spoke too soon. Ryan-“ He tried to interrupt explosively, his voice increasing pitch desperately. Holy fucking shit, that did not need to be public knowledge, as cocky as Ryan instantly was about Ryan’s confession there. He’d be holding that over his head for a long time. ”Ryan, fucking hell, man.” There was no point trying to stop this anymore, he supposed, it’d be better to wait it out, let him get out every dirty thought he had stored in his stupid little brain. Brendon slumped shamefully against the window and made eye contact with Zack in the rear view mirror, pleading, while Zack looked a mixture of threatening and amused. Sometimes it’s hard to not look at him and think about how perfect his mouth is for- Zack was clearly not giving up yet, clearing his throat loudly. For blowing me. That was it. That was enough. If Ryan said any more he’d be giving an audio description of their non-existent sex tape. Brendon pushed his hair back and turned to face Ryan, trying to convince him that he was, in fact, next to his smoking hot lover.

He watched as Ryan tried to orientate himself, tried to get a good look at Brendon’s face- he even didn’t raise his eyebrows when Ryan was placing his hands on the sides of his face as if trying to hold it still when he wasn’t even moving, though he did crack the barest smile because his boyfriend was so ridiculous and cute when he was this drunk. He couldn’t wait to witness him nurse that hell of a hangover the next morning. There was a long pause and Brendon was scared Ryan had gotten sudden amnesia of him entirely- but then recognition lit up in his honey eyes and Brendon grinned just as he saw Ryan’s entire body become animated with excitement. Oh my god, Brendon, baby. Relief flooded through Brendon and he opened his mouth to speak but was stopped before he could forms words by his very affectionate boyfriend literally undoing his seatbelt and straddling his lap in a space that definitely wasn’t big enough. Though it wasn’t like he could voice that opinion when Ryan’s tongue was down his throat- plus he didn’t want to encourage anything by kissing back so he pressed back against the seat insistently.

I missed you so much, I was just talking about you. Brendon tried to catch his breath once Ryan had finally pulled away from his mouth, started pressing kisses elsewhere that skin was exposed. ”Were you really, that’s fuckin’ wild,”” He said dryly, ”Nothin’ too personal, yeah, babe?” Honestly, Brendon wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to have sex with Ryan again without thinking about how Zack and some driver know way too much about what happens during. Bren, hey, you should totally blow me. See, usually, it was extremely rare that Brendon turned down this request, but a number of things made it seem very unappealing to him right then. First of all, Zack didn’t seem enthusiastic- If you even touch it, I’m quitting. ”It’s not like you haven’t seen it before, dude.” He mumbled just for the sake of arguing. But anyway. Apart from that, there wasn’t much room. And Brendon was tired. And Ryan would probably fall asleep in the middle of it. And they were in a fucking car with two other people. Ryan chose the worst times. ”As much as I’d love to, darlin’. Zack wouldn’t be happy.”
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