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Nov. 1st, 2009

"everything is borrowed"


title; everything is borrowed
pairing; pete/patrick
word count;~1,500
disclaimer; don't own 'em, unfortunately.

title from the streets.

i came to this world with nothing, and i leave with nothing but loveCollapse )Thank you so much!

May. 24th, 2009

dear gravity [2/2]


 Title: dear gravity, you held me down in this starless city. [2/2]
Author: can't do links yet, sorreh.
Rating: PG-13 at the moment.
Pairing: ryan/spencer, eventual ryan/brendon.
POV: ryaan.
Summary: Ryan’s not crazy. He knows it, William knows it, and he’s pretty sure that this psychiatrist, she knows it, too. 
Disclaimer: don't own 'em.
Author Notes: i have NO idea how this livejournal thing works. none whatsoever, so the chances are this'll be screwed.



One Thursday evening, a nurse came in and handed Ryan a thin pink slip.

Turns out in the morning he was getting a visitor.

It’s his mother.

“Hello, George.” She starts, hands in her lap, shoulders thrust backwards.

“The name’s Ryan.” He says.

“I came to see you…,” it’s weird, how people think that because he’s crazy they don’t have to listen to him. “…I can’t believe you did that.”

“I didn’t.”

She sighs, puffs out her chest, her lungs, expands her ribcage in an act of annoyance. Ryan’s mother is a 5’6, round little thing, with more attitude than intelligence, more pent up anger than comfort, maybe the after effect of three failed marriages and a failed son. “I don’t want to hear about this, this William.

His eyes flick upwards. He shrugs. “What do you want to hear?”

“Are you getting better?”

“Sure.” Ryan says, eyes closed.

“They’re good to you here, are they?”

He shrugs again. He’s not going to bore her with his tales of injustice and woe.

“Well. I’ll see you soon.”

Finally.

 

***

 

He remembers a time, back when he was small enough to hold his mother’s hand, and she used to always take him to the park on weekends, since they didn’t have enough money to do much else.

He’d sit on the swings for hours, back and forth and back and forth, and maybe, maybe he felt he could fly away, you know, if he tried hard enough. Maybe he’d go over the handlebars, launch off the rubber seat, and fly as hard and as far away as possible, live a life on the moon or on the stars, somewhere away from his mother and his father and school and just, and life.

 

***

 

He begins to see William again, more frequently. Ryan’s less trusting, this time – he remembers what the psychiatrist said, about him not needing William anymore – but, well, William’s always been persuasive. Although this time Ryan feels empowered – maybe William’s word is not the law.

            Around the same time Brendon’s told that exercising will lift his depression – it’ll distract his thoughts. Ryan counts the press ups for him.

 

            Brendon jumps to his feet. “I’m starving.”

            “You just ate!” Brendon just blinks at him, as if that were any kind of excuse. Ryan sighs. “You can go and ask for a snack, but ten more press ups first.”

            Brendon turns towards Ryan, eyes pleading. “C’mon, I’ll die!”

            Ryan tries to bite back a sarcastic comment from William. “Brendon-,”

            “I know. Just two more.”

            “Five” Without waiting for agreement – Brendon would concede, and they both knew it – Brendon drops to the floor. Ryan cracks open his novel, the words registering like the view from a car window – a stream without any individual characteristics.

            When he looks up, Brendon’s gone.

 

            The next day, he and Brendon are talking. Its about nothing, stupid little trivial comments and mundane jokes, when Brendon holds out his forearm, pushing away the sleeve of his sweater, where a web of scars net the flesh. “Sometimes I have to cut myself,” he confesses, “because I’m so sure I won’t bleed.”

            Ryan swallows and hesitantly reaches out, gently brushing over the scars with a fingertip, and then just as slowly wraps his hand around Brendon’s wrist, covering the old wounds. He’s too nervous to look up. “I’m scared,” Ryan says, his voice swollen and unfamiliar. “of losing William.”

            Brendon curls his fingers around Ryan’s sweaty palm.

 

            Things change between them after that.

            Ryan isn’t so scared to not crawl into Brendon’s bed after a particularly bad day, and Brendon is always willing to be near him. It’s tough, it really is, to get up in the morning when he has someone so fucking special next to him.

            Thing is, however infatuated Ryan may be with the boy, things had never really progressed beyond a platonic level. And even Ryan, doped up on pills as he is, can see that a relationship could never work. C’mon – they’re living in a mental hospital. They’re crazy.

            But as hard as he tries, Ryan just can’t push Brendon away.

 

            And then-

            “Ryan. I need to talk to you.” Brendon’s voice had gone all deep and rough, like he was having difficulty speaking. Ryan’s writing in his journal (to keep track of his feelings, and William), but drops the pen and looks up, gaze curious.

            “Hmm?” Trying to sound aloof, but his heart rate quickens.

            Brendon takes in a huge gulp of air as he bounds across the room to sit by Ryan’s feet. “I really like you.” He says bluntly, holding his gaze. “And I’m meant to be trying to be open and like, honest, so I wanted to say that.”

            Ryan can’t stop a toothy grin from leaking onto his face. Sure, he has no protocol for what to do when someone drops a bombshell like that on him, but now he just trusts his instincts instead of William. Ryan swallows, leaning forwards so he’s barely centimetres from Brendon’s face. And then Brendon’s hand is behind Ryan’s neck and he’s pulling Ryan to him. Brendon kisses him, and fuck, he’s wanted this for so long. The kiss ends with both of them breathing hard. Ryan cups Brendon’s cheek in his hand. “Me too, Bren, me too.”

            Brendon turns his head and kisses Ryan’s palm.

            And hell, how can Ryan let go of him now?

 

***

 

            Normally, seeing his therapist puts him in a bad mood. But today – today it feels as if nothing can go wrong. As he settles in his chair – these sessions are two hours long – he casts a bright grin at her.

            She quickly hides her startled expression and speaks. “So, how’re you doing?”

            “Good.”

            “Have you seen William lately?” It’s a question she asks each time, and normally he drops his gaze to the floor and says “Yes.”

            But today, Ryan’s proud to actually have some progress to report. “Not for three days.”

            She looks almost as happy as Ryan. “That’s great.”

            Chewing on his lip, Ryan finally stutters out a sentence he’s been planning for weeks. “I-I want to come off the Valium.”

            It’s a long while before she answers. “I’m not sure.”

            And fucking hell, it’s not fair. She can see the rebellion in his eyes and adds, “I’ll think about it, okay?”

            Ryan bites his lip and tries not to fade.

 

***

 

            The week after that, Ryan finds Brendon’s journal. It’s a collection of short, snatched pieces of poetry or lyrics, childhood memories, and stories. With his curiosity aroused, Ryan flicks through and settles on one.

 

            I spun down the worn, grey planks of the boardwalk. The air was heavy and stank of drying mussels and the curst of salt on the jetties. Waves tossed themselves against the shore, dragging grit and sand between the nails as they were slowly pulled back out to sea. The moon was high and pale in the sky, but the sun was just going down.

            It was so good to be able to breathe, I thought. I loved the brutality of the ocean, loved the power I felt with each breath of wet, briny air.

            “Come on,” Spencer called. He stepped over the overflowing, leaf choked gutter along the street parallel to the boardwalk. “You’re going to fall.”

            We’d been here, by the sea, for a week now, and even though Spencer kept saying we’d have to leave soon, I knew he didn’t want to. I was glad. I liked the sea being so close and the air not stinging my throat.

            “Let’s run!” I said, giddy with the night air.

            Spencer rolled his eyes.

            “You know what the sun looks like?” I asked. There was only a little more than a slice of red where the sea met the sky.

            “No, what?” Spencer said, sighing.

            “Like he slit his wrists in a bathtub and the blood is all over the water.”

            “That’s gross, Bren.”

            “And the moon is just watching. She’s just watching him die. She must have driven him to it.”

            “Brendon…”

            I spun again, laughing.

            “Why are you always making shit up? That’s what I mean by weird, Brendon Urie.” Spencer was speaking loudly, but I could barely hear him over the wind.

            I stopped and stared at him, wide eyed. “Spencer Smith, you’d better-,”

 

            Ryan slams the book shut.

            Breathing hard with face as white as a ghost’s, Ryan tries to gather his thoughts. One, two deep breaths. “This is who Spencer left you for.” A hushed whisper next to his ear. He knows who it is without looking. William. “He left you.” The innate fury in William’s voice burns Ryan’s eardrums.

            He clamps his hands over his ears, shaking his head as the tears begin to stream down his face.

            Everything had been going so fucking well, and now Spencer’s ruined everything. For the second fucking time.

            Ryan slips back into William’s shell – almost gratefully.

 

***

 

Screaming. Deafening cries. Ryan’s fucking hurting. Eventually he focuses on making the screams stop and they slowly die away to a whimpering in the back of his throat. He swallows. Looks around. He’s in solitary. Ryan’s been in here a couple of times, once after the time he lost control with Brendon, and another time when William got too fucking loud.

            Ryan stumbles to the door and stares out the transparent panel set in the upper half. He’s terrified. He has no recollection of anything since he found Spencer’s name. What did Spencer do?

            As if Ryan had called him, William appeared.

            “Stop being such a fucking pussy!” He says, inspecting his nails. “I didn’t do anything.”

            Ryan pauses, chokes on a sob. “Really?”

            A wicked smirk crawls onto William’s face. “No. They know you’re crazy now.”

 

            They put him on a much higher dosage of pills. His therapist doesn’t talk about anything else for a month.

            Apparently William had gone crazy; trashed his and Brendon’s room, screaming incomprehensively. He’d knocked out one of the nurses and it had taken four of them and a tranquiliser to get him under control. He has to write letters of apology to the nurse, and to Brendon, for what he’s done. Ryan’s fuming – they don’t understand that he didn’t do it. When he tries to make his point, the two nurses assigned to watch him (big, burly men employed for their strength rather than medical knowledge) shuffle closer and pull him a safe distance away.

            When he finally gets back to his <s> cell </s> room, after a fortnight in solitary, he’s horrified to find that Brendon is no longer there. The other half of his room is empty, blank, fucking white.

            There’s a pit of something akin to horror in his stomach, because, what if he got better? What if they let him out of here and let him home?

            He cries himself to sleep that night (while William sits on the other side of the room, laughing), but in the morning at breakfast he sees Brendon on the opposite of the room, eating burnt toast with a sour expression on his face. He meets Ryan’s eyes for a split second before scowling and turning away.

            Ryan doesn’t make a scene. He doesn’t scream or shout or cry. He just – he just sits there, eyes dull, staring at Brendon. He feels terrible for what William did, but then he remembers Spencer’s name in Brendon’s diary. He wants – needs – an explanation for what Spencer did.

 

            “What do you want?” Brendon’s had enough of being gawped at.

            Ryan says and shrugs his shoulders a bit, not sure what to tell him. “You knew Spencer?”

            “Of course I know Spencer, he’s one of my best friends.”

            Brendon still speaks of people on the outside in the present tense. Ryan’s glad for him, but he prefers to think of them as characters, dead and gone. There’s no point for him to entertain the notion he’ll see them again. Ryan knows he’s going to be in here for at least his lifetime again.

            Brendon’s cough drags him back to reality.

            “He was… we were best friends for a decade.” Ryan pauses. How to phrase this so he sounds sane? “His name in your diary just… threw me off.”

            Brendon’s arms, hanging by his sides, tense and his knuckles clench white with fury. “Bastard. You read it?”

            “Only that part.” William’s trying to get his attention – Ryan shakes his head abruptly. He’s not gong to let William in.

            And then Brendon’s hands reach down and grab him by the collar. Its only a few seconds before a couple of the big nurses break them up, but its long enough for Ryan to see the real anger in Brendon’s eyes.

            He wonders what else was in that diary.

 

***

 

            His therapist wants to try something new.          

            I’d like to talk to William, Ryan.” She sounds so fucking sincere, this middle aged woman with a terraced house, perfect husband and 2 kids (there’s a grinning picture of the dream family on her desk).

            Ryan’s scared. She shouldn’t talk to William. He doesn’t know what he might say, and Ryan’s always blamed for William’s mistakes. He shakes his head mutely.

            “Please, Ryan. I think it’ll help you make progress.”

            He scowls. “He doesn’t come on demand, you know.”

            Except William’s sitting right there, begging to be in control. His therapist nods, trying to understand. And waits.

            Ryan takes a deep breath, and shuts his eyes. Ever so slowly, he opens himself to William – always hovering on the edges, eager to embrace him – and loses himself to the real world.

 

***

 

            The first time he realises William isn’t real;

            It was not long after he had first met him, in the park with Spencer, a month at most and he was arguing with his dad.

            “You’re smart, boy.” Ryan’s father sneered, “Too smart. You think you’re better than me, better than this?” He gestured widely around the messy living room.

            Ryan didn’t answer – William had appeared over his father’s shoulder. Ryan blanched. If there was a time for the pair to meet, it was not now. But Ryan’s dad either didn’t notice or didn’t care about William’s presence.

            His father was still shouting, but Ryan could only listen to William, who ever so slowly whispered, “Hit him. Do it, Ryan.”

            Ryan swallowed, glanced towards his father’s beetroot red face and back again. “I can’t.”

            His father paused, incredulous. Turned round towards William and back again. “Who’re you talkin’ to, boy?”

            And that’s when he realised.

            In a sweet, cruel, beautiful moment of clarity, Ryan glanced up at his father’s face and then let his gaze sink to the floor. Because William wasn’t real. When people walked past the pair of them and looked back, eyes wide, at Ryan chatting away, it’s because there was nobody else there.

            Ryan cried and cried for days on end and this time his father just let him. He can tell these are heartbroken sobs. It was end-of-the-world crying. Even his dad knew better than to interrupt that with his pitiful bickering.

            And William’s there, to look after him. So what if at first Ryan just can’t accept it, won’t talk to him for days? Ryan understands, eventually, that William is something of his guardian angel.

 

***

 

            It is three days later before Brendon consents to speak to him again.

            “Why’d you read it?”

            Ryan shrugs, turns his head away. Sure, he’d missed Brendon, but he didn’t want an argument.

            “Look at me!” Ryan does as he’s told – he’s used to giving in, now he’s spent so much time with William. Brendon smirks and he’s still fucking furious with him, Ryan can tell. “Y’know, Spencer was much happier after he switched schools.”

            Ryan goes white as a ghost and leaves the room.

 

            “Don’t worry, sugar. You have me, now.” William whispers late into the night. Ryan stifles his tears in his pillow.

 

            Next time he slumps into the therapist’s chair, he gives in and asks for help.

            “It’s Brendon.” He whispers. “You know, I-I read his diary and trashed our r-room.” He swallows. “He won’t forgive me.”

            She seems to understand. “Give him time, Ryan. I know you two were close. He needs you.”

            Ryan feels comforted until he passes by Brendon in the corridor and offers him a nervous smile – only for his hopes to be dashed as Brendon scowls at him before heading onwards.

 

***

 

            Ryan’s pretty sure he’s crazy, now.

            There have been rumours, recently, of what the other patients think he’d done. Serial killer? Rapist? Ryan takes all of the gossip in his stride. He still goes to meals with his head held high, eating his breakfast cereal methodically and trying to ignore the glances thrown his way.

            It’s a Saturday, once, when he surveys the hall properly for the first time.

            Ryan feels like he’s back in high school again – everyone’s settled into petty little cliques, even though they’re all fucking crazy.

            There’s the skinnies, the ones with parents who are too poor to pay for a proper rehabilitation centre, the ones with anorexia or bulimia who toy with their food without swallowing anything down. On the other side sit the people who are almost sane – these ones are usually only here for a couple of weeks, with depression and anxiety disorders and the like. Brendon’s the exception. He sits in the middle of this group as the one with authority, because he’s been here the longest. Ryan tries not to stare.

Then there’s the group of people who hang around the almost sane, begging to fit into their clique, but they’re just too fucking crazy. Their mouths spit out words and insults they don’t understand, and they have backs turned on them.

The rest here are people like Ryan; people with problems, real ones which will keep them here for decades. A couple have nurses permanently attached to their arm as they gaze at the ceiling and drool, or stare, or cry, or laugh.

But still, Ryan’s pretty sure he’s the only murderer here.

The rest see him and bite their lips and shuffle away from him, and in the last week even Brendon – Brendon, who he thought he could count on – turns away when he passes.

It hurts, but Ryan keeps his head held high and says to himself that he doesn’t need friends – he’s got William to look out for him.

            But even William isn’t around much anymore; Ryan’s therapist’s plan had worked, somehow. Nowadays he’d spend each therapy session opening up to William and letting his words spill out from his lips.

            Progress.

            That’s what his therapist calls it. Secretly Ryan calls it loneliness.

 

***

 

            Turns out it wasn’t enough. Next time he sees Brendon, all hell breaks loose.

            He passes Brendon in the corridor and starts muttering insults. It hasn’t been a good day. But Brendon hears, turned around and started spewing foul mouthed insults right back at him. Soon Ryan gives in and they’re both screaming at each other. Something spins out of Ryan’s mouth about Brendon being insane, and Brendon stops abruptly, shaking his head before Ryan can even finish the sentence.

            “No. No, I’m not crazy. I’m suicidal. There is a difference, Christ. But you…” He trails off.

            “Me what?” Ryan hisses. He can feel himself starting to fade into darkness. He’s losing control.

            “You’re crazy.” He loses his fight against William and it all fades to black.

 

            He sees Brendon the next morning, face covered with bruises and scratches, and he’s so shocked he can barely breathe. Ryan stops, flat out in the middle of the corridor, as Brendon passes, eyes down and surrounded with his ‘friends’, who glare at Ryan for several long seconds as they disappear into the games room. As punishment, he ignores William for three days.

 

***

 

            Life gets lonelier after that. As of yet, they have not given Ryan another roommate. He is reduced to actually keeping his diary – meant to record the times and dates of whenever William rears his head, but Ryan uses it to put down fractured thoughts and dreams.

            He misses Brendon.

            One Sunday evening, everyone has just returned back to the television room after visitor’s evening (Ryan wishes someone actually came to visit him, too, and that he hadn’t alienated his mother so immediately).

            The cushion of the sofa he’s sitting on sinks as Brendon slumps down into it. Ryan’s heart leaps into his throat. “Tell me what you think about Spencer.” Brendon’s tone is bitter.

            The world slows. Ryan swallows. “I don’t think about him.” He whispers.

            “What?”

            “I said, I don’t think about him.” He releases the hands that have been clasped together in his lap. There are red marks where her fingers had gripped each other. “At least I try not to.”

            Brendon’s eyes narrow, just a glint of brown showing through the lashes. “Why not?”

            “Why do you think?” Ryan’s words are almost soundless, barely a whisper.

            “Then why?” His voice shakes. “Why all this with me, why keep toying with me and hurting me-,”

            “I miss him!” Ryan says, and the last word comes out as a sort of wail, despite his efforts at control. “And I get it, I understand why he got rid of me.” He pauses, takes a deep breath. “I’m trying to forget him.”

            “Sure.” Brendon’s voice is as sharp and pointed as an icicle. “By playing me.”

            “No!” his voice comes out like a rush of air, louder than he expected. “I like you, I really do.”

            An exasperated sigh escapes Brendon’s lips. “I don’t get you.”

            They sit in silence. Brendon’s fuming and Ryan’s panicking. “William.” He blurts out. “I don’t mean to do those things to you, I swear, I-,”

            “I know.” Ryan catches his breath at the sight of Brendon’s face. “And I know I shouldn’t blame you for what he’s done.”

            “I don’t want him anymore.” Ryan hears his own voice as if a stranger were speaking; remote, miserable. “I don’t need him.”

            Brendon moves closer to him. His hands come up to cup Ryan’s face, he can feel the warmth of his fingers millimetres from his skin; knows he ought to pull away, but stands frozen, staring up at Brendon. “I believe in you. You can get rid of him, I know you can.”

            A hesitant smile creeps onto Ryan’s face. He reaches up and covers Brendon’s hand with his, folding Brendon’s fingers into his own. “Thank you.”

            Brendon’s hand drops away, but their fingers are still interlocked. Ryan’s heart does a slow, purposeless somersault as Brendon rests his head against Ryan’s shoulder.

            Finally, he thinks, and shuts his eyes.

Apr. 7th, 2009

dear gravity

Title: dear gravity, you held me down in this starless city. [1/?]
Author: can't do links yet, sorreh.
Rating: PG-13 at the moment.
Pairing: ryan/spencer, eventual ryan/brendon.
POV: ryaan.
Summary: Ryan’s not crazy. He knows it, William knows it, and he’s pretty sure that this psychiatrist, she knows it, too. 
Disclaimer: don't own 'em.
Author Notes: i have NO idea how this livejournal thing works. none whatsoever, so the chances are this'll be screwed.



Ryan’s not crazy. He knows it, William knows it, and he’s pretty sure that this psychiatrist, she knows it, too.       

“There’s no need to yell, Ryan.” She’s a bitch.

He glares. “I’m not yelling.”

She raises a perfectly plucked, dark eyebrow. “Then what would you call this?”

He hates this so, so much. He’d die just to be back in his 10 by 8 foot cell with William. “I’m emphasising.”

She doesn’t look impressed. Bitch. “We just think it’d be better for you, here, where you can get some treatment-,”

“I don’t need any treatment!” He’s yelling, screaming at her now, and the terror expands her eyes as she stands, stumbles away from him. He’s gaining on her, each step taking him further into the darkness, when four thick, strong arms grip hold of his wrists and pull him away.

One, two, and a needle is forced into his arm. Three, four, five, and his vision blurs. Six, and he’s limp in his gaoler’s arms.

 

***

 

He remembers how all this started.

He was walking home from school one night, late, when someone grabbed him and pulled him into an alleyway not three blocks from his home. He tried to scream, but there’s a hand over his mouth, silencing any noise he might have made.

“You shut up. Shut up.” His attacker hissed, and the waistband of his jeans cut into his hips. Ryan tried to punch him, tried to scream for help, but there was no use.

It all faded to black.

 

***

 

 

And now he’s here, in Riversmeet Mental Institute. It’s sparkling clean, everything is white and everybody’s the same, everybody’s a robot.

 

***

 

 

Three days afterwards he was talking to William about it.

“I-I can’t remember what happened, Will.” He whispered, rubbing a shaking hand against his forehead.

William patted him on the shoulder, smiling a secret smile. “Don’t worry about it, Ry. It’s sorted.”

Ryan looked up at that, and is about to speak – what did he mean? – when the front door opened and a swarm of policemen flooded in.

“Down on the ground! Now, get down!”

The orders were coming from all directions. Ryan, eyes wide and horror flooding through his veins, drops to his knees and from there to the floor, cheek pressed against the carpet. One cop knelt hard on his back as he wrenched Ryan’s arms back behind him to slap handcuffs on his wrists.

Dimly, Ryan can hear words (“arrested… suspected murder… right to remain…evidence…”) but his brain was just searching for williamwilliamwilliam, who he couldn’t see anywhere. Ryan groaned as he was pulled to his feet. Even the certainty that he’s innocent didn’t help, and within a second of being dragged from his own house, he passed out.

 

***

 

 

William laughs as they’re dragged into a room with two beds, two chairs, and white, white walls. “Don’t worry, Ry. This is going to be fun!” He claims, clapping his hands together. Ryan tries to believe him.

 

***

 

 

They convict him for murdering the man in the alley. His name had been David, David Reeve. They told him that Ryan had beaten him to death with the lid of a big, silver, metal dustbin. Ryan whispers that he didn’t do it, but they have forensics and a bloody t-shirt – his bloody t-shirt - found under his bed, which prove him wrong.

He’s in a cell for six months before they noticed him talking to William.

 

***

 

 

He meets the other patients. Some of them seem pretty normal. He wonders what’s wrong with them. William’s whispering in his ear, trying to get him to scream, but Ryan just bites his lip and shakes each hand presented to him.

 

***

 

“So.” Pete’s leering, his teeth sharp and white and dangerous in the fluorescent light of the hallways. “They say you’re kinda smart.”

Ryan shrugs noncommittally.

“Well, ain’t you?” Pete demands.

“They say I’m crazy, too.”

Pete giggles at that. “Well, ain’t you?”

 

***

 

Late that night in the white, white room, William’s talking to Ryan. “They’re all mad. You’d better keep away from them.”

“Really?” Ryan whispers, careful not to wake Brendon, his roommate. Brendon’s not Ryan’s kind of crazy – he’s as sane as they come. But Ryan’s seen the scars on Brendon’s wrist, he knows the reason why he’s here.

William’s staring at Brendon’s sleeping form, too. “Maybe I should kill him as well.”

Ryan jerks upright, dropping the book he’s reading. “What?”

“I’m collecting quite a list. David Reeve, Josh Harper, Lucy Yeung…” Ryan’s whimpering, pressing his hands over his ears. He doesn’t want to hear the names of the other three people who were in that car. “They said – they said it swerved.”

William’s sitting on the chest of drawers, watching him impassively. “They hurt you, Ryan, all the way through high school. So I took care of it.”

“Christ, goddammit.” He swears. “Don’t say things like that, jerk.” Ryan snaps.

“Ryan?” He whips around to see Brendon sitting up in bed, looking frightened. “Who’re you talking to?” He asks timidly.

Ryan turns, only to see that William’s disappeared.

He scowls. “Nobody.”

 

***

 

Ryan can remember his sophomore year.

Him and Spencer, his ex best friend, had skipped a lesson – Physics, English? – to sit in the middle of the empty sports field. Spencer took Ryan’s right hand, pulling hard as he gets to his feet. He ended up toppling on Ryan, and they stared into each other’s eyes in slight shock. There was only a small gap between their faces, and Ryan could feel Spencer’s breath on his mouth. Ryan’s eyes flickered from Spencer’s to his lips and back to his eyes. And Spencer got it, just like that, and he closed the space between them, pressing his lips to Ryan’s. Ryan really couldn’t ignore the fact that his best friend is making him feel so good, so nice, and he just leaned into Spencer’s touch, fingers trailing down his face.

They eventually pull away.

“Wow.” Ryan murmurs.

 

***

 

Ryan, he hates it when people call him crazy.

His second evening there, the patients ask him what it’s like in the outside world. William’s sitting to his left, glaring at them. Ryan can’t stop glancing towards him every couple of seconds. He looks murderous. He shrugs, smiling slightly. They persist.

And then, when he curls up into a tiny ball, digging the heels of his hands into his eyes, they exchange knowing glances. They mutter a few sentences – Ryan can’t hear the precise wording, but he can guess what they’re saying – and move away.

He hates it here.

 

***

 

Him and Spencer, they don’t last long. Ryan’s dad found out and locked him in the closet for kissing a boy, after beating him long enough that he’d remember his lesson, of course. Ryan was always scared after that, prone to blacking out, and he often didn’t see Spencer for weeks on end.

Turns out Spencer had started a band, with a couple of guys from a nearby school. Ryan felt betrayed – they’d been playing together since middle school, for Chris’sakes.

When he hadn’t spoken to Spencer for three months he gave up.

 

***

 

One of the nurses comes in to his and Brendon’s room about a week since he arrived and asks him to look after Brendon. Apparently he hasn’t been all that happy recently. Ryan stares at him, mouth wide open. ‘Cause Brendon’s right there. Plus – why should he do anything?

“Why should I?” He forces out.

The nurse looks taken aback. “He’s your roommate.”

A harsh giggle escapes his lips. William’s right by his ear, whispering words, to scream and shout. They spill through Ryan’s lips. “Why should I stop any whiney emo kid from offing himself?”

There’s a gasp from the other side of the room. Brendon’s wide eyes are piercing right through him. Even the nurse looks shocked. “I’m not fucking nice. And I really don’t want to help you. Or him.”

Everything’s getting darker. He’s losing control and William’s gaining it. “We’re murderers. We’ve killed people. We don’t – we won’t-,”

Ryan disappears into the black.

 

***

 

After that his psychiatrist gives him a prescription and makes sure he takes it, once every morning and once every evening, so he doesn’t see William for a little while. He’s given Valium, as well, so he’s considered safe enough to wander the hospital grounds, dull eyed. His thoughts come so much slower now that he’s lost count of how many days – weeks? – he’s been here.

The others in the hospital are wary of him now. They know he was in prison, and in prison for murder at that. Sure, these people are crazy – but when one of their own (Brendon) is hurt, they get protective.

Ryan was tired of listening to Brendon cry himself to sleep each night.

Especially since he now no longer had William for company.

 

***

 

Ryan last saw Spencer a couple of months before his arrest. He’d been walking through the park when he’d seen Spencer on a bench to his left, crying. It didn’t matter to Ryan that he’d been abandoned – he was at Spencer’s side in seconds.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m-,” Spencer looked up and froze. “Oh. Ryan.”

Ryan smiled slightly. “Hey.”

“I-its nothing, really.”

It’s then Ryan first saw William. A tall, thin-as-a-stick teenage boy leaning against a tree arms folded and wearing a smirk. Ryan ignored him and turned back to Spencer. “Really?”

He sighed. “No. My friend – our singer – tried to kill himself.”

“I’m sorry.” And he was, but not to the point that he could forget what Spencer’s done to him. He turned away, towards William. Who speaks. The words echo in Ryan’s head, even though this boy is yards away. Ryan shivers. Something feels… not quite right. He turned back around, towards Spencer.

“So, how are things? Since you transferred?” There was a steely note in his voice he didn’t recognise.

Spencer – who was still fucking crying, God – looked up, startled. “Good – I guess.” He paused. “You?”

“Shitty.” Its true. The bullying had escalated now he no longer had a protector.

“Oh.”

The world had gone blurry. Ryan blinked once, twice, but it didn’t help. He tried to stand up. A strangled noise escaped his throat as he surrendered to the darkness.

He’d thought he was ill until he got to know William.

 

***

 

Ryan really hates the thunder, always has and always will.

Outside the wind was whipping the trees around and lightning was flashing across the midnight black sky as thunder echoed across the road and rooftops of Vegas.

Inside Ryan is lying in bed, shaking and crying silently. With every loud crash of thunder Ryan shakes and curls himself tighter into the soft blanket covering his quivering body.

Ryan isn’t the brave one, isn’t supposed to be the brave one, never was.

Another roll of thunder and another gasp of surprise and fright. William’s returned. Ryan isn’t sure whether he’s terrified or ecstatic. Thing is – he’s not quite here. It’s like he’s hovering round the outskirts of Ryan’s awareness.

“Ryan?” Ryan’s eyes snap open. Brendon’s standing in the doorway. “You okay?”

As if transfixed, Ryan’s head moves slowly from left to right.

Brendon moves forwards, kneels on the edge of the bed. “What’s the matter?”

Ryan’s gaze flickers towards the window and back.

“William…” The word takes everything out of Ryan. It physically hurts him and he begins to curl in on himself. Brendon stares at him for a moment, shuffling forwards so his knees are gently touching Ryan’s side.

Eventually he speaks. “It’ll be okay, Ryan. It’s only noise.”

“I’m scared.” Two words whispered, covered by yet another loud bang of thunder and followed by a broken sob. Brendon lies down instantly beside him and wraps an arm around Ryan’s waist. Ryan tenses, but doesn’t move.

“I promise, it’ll be over soon.”

Ryan has learnt not to trust any promises, but Brendon wasn’t lying. It is over, within minutes, but Ryan and Brendon still don’t move.

Oct. 13th, 2008

hammers and strings


hammers and strings (a lullaby) is by jack's mannequin. i really love the song so i threw the title onto this.
i like it.
by the way, i'm ill. this came out of three days lying in bed coughing.

We stare at each other across the room. You’ve said goodbye so many times that I find it hard to believe that this time you mean it. Night after night, I find you crawling into bed beside me, your feet blocks of ice against mine, when only hours before you’ve sworn that my face disgusts you. After weeks, even months, of speculation, I have come to the conclusion that I am your obsession. You wouldn’t be able to leave this house if you knew there was no return – you’re infatuated with me. You can’t say a final goodbye any more than I can. And there it is, the slight difference in our addictions. I’ve succumbed; I welcome those frozen toes against my shins in the middle of the night, and in my dreams I smile that I’ve owned your heart for twenty four hours more.

And now all that’s left for me is to wait.

Eventually, you will follow me to bed willingly. And maybe, one day, I will tire of you. And then I will be the one with bloodless feet, crawling into bed too late.