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The Sitting Inside
Ryan/Brendon
729 words




Brendon is sitting, folded up on the floor near his couch, watching Spinal Tap again (he doesn't know how long he's been phrasing it as 'again', it's been roughly seven years since he stopped counting) when Ryan shows up in his doorway. Ryan has a bag under his arm, a warm smile on his face, and the first thing that Brendon can clearly see are his laugh lines, crinkled skin around his eyes, dimples permanent at the cusp of his lip. Brendon isn't sure how long it's been, but the kid is still kind of beautiful.

It's strange, Brendon thinks, that if he were alone, curled up in front of the television set with his old, patchwork quilt, drinking coffee out of some cracked mug, tossing the lines of his favorite movies back like an echo, he might have laughed. He might have drawn himself a card, might have even tried baking himself a single cupcake with a single candle, like his mother used to do, but he isn’t. He isn’t alone, and it isn’t like he doesn’t see the guys anymore, but it’s in between tours and lately they’ve been retreating, alone at home in the warm sun. Spencer shows up sometimes, helps him rearrange his living room when he gets the urge, and he usually talks to Jon on the phone a few times a week, but, honestly, it’s been a while since he’s seen Ryan.

Sometimes, that feels a bit weird.

But Ryan’s here now, here in Brendon’s living room, easy and long and just how Brendon remembers him, except not. Ryan’s here, and he reaches up to adjust his braided headband, rub the calloused tips of his fingers against the wave of his bangs. Brendon smiles; he kind of missed Ryan’s hair.

“Do you feel any older?” Ryan asks, conversationally, like maybe he was just here yesterday, the day before.

“No.” Brendon answers, because it’s the truth, really, but thinks god, I’m thrity-five, thirty-five. The number feels so much more alien in his head, real and tangible, like the carpet under his bare feet, the quilt in his hands, the yellowed sway of his own head, back and forth. thirty-five

Ryan sets his bag down, neatly folded against the arch frame like he used to, the spot still slightly less dusty than the rest, from the numerous things set there, meticulous and careful with Ryan’s nimble fingers. He walks over and sits down next to Brendon, back against the hard frame of the couch, and grips one corner of the quilt in his own fist, tugging it through the catch of Brendon’s fingers with practiced ease, a silent understanding. Ryan is somewhat of a mystery, per say, even after twenty odd years, and Brendon still isn’t sure when he’s talking or listening. Ryan talks with notebooks, with handshakes and moonlight and teapots and actions. Even after all this time Brendon still understands, even if he has to grasp it all by the spine and pull sometimes.

“You haven’t—” Ryan starts, just as Brendon says ‘I feel—’ and they stop to laugh at the overlap. It feels easy, open, the melodious climb of notes on a staff, and even their smiles are still in synch, the result of innumerable years spent breathing in each other’s lungs, bus windows open, Brendon shouting obscenities at the sun, Ryan curling up in a curve at his ankles. It’s always the little things.

“Ryan Ross,” Brendon says, tucking the blanket around their feet, their thighs meeting somewhere in the middle. “Even though I am old now, I still miss it when you don’t pick up your phone.” He pauses to push his cool fingers against Ryan’s knuckles. “You were never not my favorite.” Ryan feels the chill against his skin, a papery, smooth graze of his own worn palms, and he intertwines their fingers against the joint of his knees, squeezing lightly.

Ryan smiles softly against the yellow-gold of the sun-spotting. “Sometimes it’s a burden to always know the right words.” he says, cool and quiet, almost as if he’s been speaking only to himself for the past twelve months; Brendon throws his head back.

It’s been near a year, but Brendon still laughs the same, faithless and uninhibited, diving head first into uncharted territory, body poised and ready, but never feeling like it has hit the ground.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spottedcricket.livejournal.com
oh, geez<3 that was so pretty. so descriptive and capturing. i'm in love with the line, "shouting obscenities at the sun". i don't even know why. that's a mighty handsome piece of writing you've got going on there. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 09:08 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ivesia19.livejournal.com
Oh
So quiet
Almost like an interruption
Almost like an invasion, but one that's more like a ripple than a full attack
Simply beautiful.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tip-painter.livejournal.com
Ugh, your writing is absolutely beautiful. And this piece has such a quiet, calm air around it, like all things are meant to fall into place one day, but not into routine. I don't know, I really liked this. The characters, the way they interact, the bitter taste of Brendon wondering about thirty-fucking-five. "You were never not my favorite" is one way to kill me. "even after twenty odd years, and Brendon still isn’t sure when he’s talking or listening" is another.

That scene, that little mention of them in their bus in there, with the windows open and Brendon yelling shit at the sun. HOLY FUCK. That gave me the most beautiful, I swear, most fucking beautiful picture in my mind and I wish I could take a photograph of it to show you.

And then there's that last line, and I'm fucking sitting here, staring at it. diving head first into uncharted territory, body poised and ready, but never feeling like it has hit the ground. Fuck you and thank you for writing that line. Honestly, it's inspiring on so many levels, you don't even know. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dear-fake.livejournal.com
GFKJNEWGPIUEGPOIUGBRFungerjkwhrewkhr4z3lk43. Fucking hell, seriously Roux. How the hell did you do this? It's amazing and I can't find words for this golden-light-living-room-moment except for it's not just a moment but a whole story between the lines. This is so heavy and light at the same time and it makes me smile and for a second I'm not terrified anymore that I'm turning 19 soon but nostalgic for a life that I missed except for I haven't. And maybe this doesn't make much sense to you and for this I apologize, it's just that I'm running out of words and I haven't been good using them anyway lately. Just - be proud of this. It's more than beautiful.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlesscities.livejournal.com
This was enchanting and amazing and heart wrenching.

<3

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rock-my-town.livejournal.com
this was beautifully descriptive and i loved the line It’s always the little things. That sums up so much in such a short phrase. Great work♥

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-10 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xbe-reasonablex.livejournal.com
Wow.
That's absolutely beautiful...your writing is amazing. The descriptions and the imagery is just...breathtaking.
<333

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-11 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitchedtoastar.livejournal.com
that was absolutely gorgeous. your imagery is incredible. the fact that it's shorter means nothing when you capture that much beauty in under 800 words. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-11 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitchedtoastar.livejournal.com
the result of innumerable years spent breathing in each other’s lungs, bus windows open, Brendon shouting obscenities at the sun, Ryan curling up in a curve at his ankles.

i think this part was my favorite. that stole my breath, for a second or two.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-11 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] novalinedy.livejournal.com
i liked this a lot!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-12 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rememberthedays.livejournal.com
“Sometimes it’s a burden to always know the right words.”
God.
This was...just right.