Flexible--Rydon--20Ryan is stretched before the mirror in his bedroom, honeyed eyes glinting in the dark as the back of his knee brushes the top of his head. You're so goddamn pretty, Trevor growls in his head. You're so goddamn ugly. You little, twisted freak-show.
As Ryan contorts into the most complex pretzel he's ever tried, Brendon is sitting at the dinner table with his family. "You're strangely quiet today, Brendon," Grace, his mother, says, lips pursed in a tight line. "What do you want?"
"What?" Brendon looks up in surprise. "No, I " He sighs. "Yeah," he admits, hanging his head in shame. "I do have a favor to ask."
Kara, his older sister, and Danielle, his younger sister, exchange smug looks, as if to say, See? See? The only time he's ever quiet is when he wants something! Boys.
"Well?" Grace prompts, giving her youngest son a meaningful stare. "What do you want?"
"You know that band my friend Brent asked me join?" Brendon begins slowly, uncomfortably, unsure. Grace
Flexible--Rydon--19"How?" is the first incredulous word out of Spencer's mouth.
Ryan's mouth is set in a stubborn line that the drummer knows too well, Brent's always been oblivious too, and Brendon's just beginning to meet. "We're going to rent a cheap room from that small recording studio on Roosevelt and 5th," he says coolly. "It shouldn't be too hard if we pool our savings together."
Brendon thinks about his family's spacious home with its three floors and delicate chinaware and he knows that he's better off than these boys he's come to call his friends and that his parents money could mean a lot to them if only he could convince them to do it. "Yeah," he finds himself saying. "We could do it, you guys. We could record our best songs" A week ago he would've said Ryan's best songs. "and if we sent them to a minor label, we might even get signed."
A stunned silence greets his words. Brendon swallows nervously and then Ryan grabs his wrist and pulls him into the hall.
"Are you serious
Flexible--Rydon--18Ryan has always been a huge believer in dreams and how sleep affects real life, so when he wakes up with Brendon snuggled into his arms, the first thought that pops into his brain is
If I don't fall in love with this boy, someone else will, and then I'll regret it.
Then he silently laughs at himself for his foolishness and somehow manages to stifle a yawn and snuggle back into Brendon's arms. Silly, he tells himself. You have Trevor.
When he wakes for the second time, an hour later and still wrapped up in Brendon, he finds Spencer standing over him. "Smile for the camera," the blue-eyed boy says.
"Oh, no you di-dn't!" Ryan spits, scrawling to his feet and tackling Spencer. "What the fuck, Spencer? Seriously!"
Spencer laughs and shoves the camera under the couch where Ryan can't reach it. "Just wanted to immortalize that moment, since you were all convinced the boy would be worthless," he says, voice all serious.
"You bastard," Ryan
Flexible--Rydon--17"Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?" Spencer demands, holding Ryan's shoulder in a vice-like grip.
"Ow. Get off!" Ryan grumbles, but Spencer doesn't let go. "What are you on about anyways?"
Spencer narrows his eyes at him. "You've been weird and smiley all practice," he says. "Acting all chummy with Brendon. What happened over the weekend?"
Ryan shrugs. "We made our peace," he says shortly and shakes himself out of Spencer's grasp. "What's it to you anyways? Or does it bother you when I'm 'smiley'?" he asks with a twisted grin.
"Loser," Spencer says, laughs, and heads back to his drums. "Go back to your guitar or whatever it is you're working on right now."
Brendon, Ryan thinks, reaching for his guitar. I guess I'm sort of working on Brendon right now. I mean he has to be a damn perfect singer if we're gonna get anywhere. But a part of him knows that's not really all he's about.
He spends the rest of practice pushing Brendon extra hard,