[personal profile] untappedbeauty
So last month [livejournal.com profile] disarm_d posted these really awesome pornothon prompts, and I saw the very first one (Pairing: any Panic!, Scenario: listening to each other jerk off in bunks) and had a flash of brilliance! Wouldn't it be awesome, I thought, if Brendon decided they should have a designated jerking-off time once they got a bus? And then they would hear each other making all these hot sounds, and they would get all turned on EVEN MORE and sex would happen! It would be great!

Then Ryan Ross got ahold of my POV and fucked that idea all to hell. He decided that instead of awesomeness and greatness, there would be angst and misunderstandings. But eventually sex! So that's good at least. But if you're reading and start out thinking it's going to be lighthearted and fun until it suddenly takes a turn for the not-so-much, blame Ryan Ross. God knows I do.

Many, many thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] sparklewitch, who listened to me whine more than any human being deserves and read and re-read and re-read while this took shape. Without her, this fic would possibly never have been finished, and I certainly wouldn't be as happy with it. Niki, thank you so much for helping me find where this fic needed to go. Thanks also to [livejournal.com profile] girlintheband and [livejournal.com profile] darksylvia for gamely taking on the task of beta'ing when I said, "Hey, you know that 8,000-9,000 word fic you said you'd take a look at? Um...It sort of grew." You guys made this a better fic, and I'm so grateful for it! ♥

We Started From
Panic! at the Disco GSF -- Ryan/Jon/Brendon/Spencer, with various leadup permutations
~20,000 words

Notes: Takes place during the Truckstops and Statelines tour on an alternate timeline. That is to say, this doesn't precisely follow canon, and I'm aware of that. Also, if pretending the girlfriends never existed isn't cool with you, I'm sorry. They're not here.
Warning: Um, spoiler for The Usual Suspects? If that matters to you.

It's Brendon who starts it.

Of course it's Brendon.

"Oh, shit, guys. A bus! You know what a bus means, right?" It isn't quite a question, Ryan figures, because Brendon barrels right on. "Bunks! And you know what bunks mean!"

"You are not having sex on our bus, Brendon," Spencer says irritably, because Brendon didn't time this well. Spence just stepped in gum, and Ryan knows from experience that when Spencer's unhappy, he's not particularly accommodating. And he's not even all that accommodating when he's happy.

"Tcha, that's not even what I was going to say." Brendon rolls his eyes like Spencer didn't just say what Ryan would have if Spencer hadn't beaten him to it. "I meant that bunks mean privacy, which means no more waiting until we get to a hotel or a bathroom or a shower or whatever to jerk off!"

Brent puts on his headphones with a grimace, and Ryan says, "Oh, my God," and wishes he had his iPod, too.

Ryan thinks he should probably be used to Brendon's complete lack of tact or subtlety by now, but Brendon always manages to surprise him. "Brendon, you have seen a bunk, right? It has this thing called a curtain, not a door. And I don't want to hear you jerking off. I don't even want to think about you jerking off. Which you're making me do. So stop it." Ryan makes a face.

Brendon makes one back, then says, "That's what you say now." The accompanying eyebrow wiggle is probably supposed to be suggestive.

"Yeah, no. I don't want to hear you, either," Spencer says.

Brendon adopts his sullen pose, which is basically just crossed arms and a pout. "Oh, like you guys aren't going to do it."

"Yes, well, we're far more subtle than you are," Spencer says.

"Please. No one's quiet when sex of some kind is involved," Brendon says.

"Because you have such a wide range of partners to judge by," Ryan says. "Oh, ye of little experience."

Spencer says, "Ryan's quiet."

Brendon's eyebrows go up. Way up. Ryan feigns indifference.

"Oh, yeah?" Brendon asks. "You know from personal experience?"

Spencer lifts an eyebrow, but he doesn't say yes or no. Brendon looks at Ryan, then back at Spencer.

"Fuckers," Brendon says, but there's a note of uncertainty there.

Ryan smirks. He doesn't even have to look at Spencer to know he's doing the same.

* * *

Ryan almost forgets about it, honestly. Brendon makes it easy because he doesn't harp on it incessantly until Ryan wants to gag him. His silence on the subject might be because of the time Spencer actually did gag him for talking too much. (It only happened the once, but Spencer used one of Brendon's dirty socks, and Ryan laughed, and Brendon didn't talk to either of them for hours, which was a record, and also? Mission accomplished.)

The point is, Brendon doesn't say anything else, and Ryan is lulled into a false sense of security. Which is reasonable since it's, like, two weeks later, and it's not until he hears a quiet gasp from Brendon's bunk late one night that Ryan realizes his error. Because he's usually asleep by now, but Brendon lives on less sleep than anyone Ryan's ever met except for Pete, so maybe he does this all the time, and Ryan just didn't know until now.

Whatever the case may be, Ryan's awake, frozen, staring at the ceiling of his bunk. And Brendon -- he's trying to be quiet, Ryan can tell. Maybe he's biting the heel of his hand or pressing his mouth into the crook of his elbow, because the sounds he's making aren't coming out clear, they're coming out soft and muffled, but hot. God, so hot.

Ryan listens, feeling overheated even just under a sheet, feeling jittery and restless, feeling like moving, or like he should cover his ears, but then Brendon would hear him and stop. Or maybe he wouldn't stop, and Ryan doesn't know what that would do, doesn't know what he would do, so he stays still. His ears are straining without his permission, trying to catch all of Brendon's sounds and tune out the noise of the bus and Brent's ever-present headphones from across the aisle.

There's the rustling of cloth, probably Brendon's sheets, or, fuck, his hand inside his boxers? There's the slide of Brendon's cock through his fist, wet and obscene, and the breathy sounds Brendon's trying to swallow or silence into his own skin. Louder than all of it is the sound of Ryan's heart pounding, pounding in his own ears.

Brendon's breath catches on a ragged inhale, and Ryan realizes that is what Brendon sounds like when he comes. Ryan was so, so wrong when he told Brendon he didn't want to hear him jerking off.

"God, Brendon," Spencer says, voice rough and low, and Ryan's whole body jerks in surprise as Brendon gasps again, different this time.

Shit, Spencer heard, too, and his voice -- Ryan can't tell if it sounds like that because he was asleep before or if hearing Brendon did that to him, and Ryan thinks he should know this, he should be able to tell. But all he can do is lie there, holding his breath, hoping he hasn't given himself away.

"You wanna give us some warning next time?" Spencer asks, and Ryan knows that Spencer knows he's awake, even if Brendon doesn't.

"Mmmm," Brendon hums, tone sinking into satisfaction. "Why? You enjoy the show and wanna make sure you don't miss the next one?"

"Yes, that's exactly what I want," Spencer says, once again dry as you please. "Shut the fuck up and go to sleep."

"Yes, sir," Brendon says, voice stretched and smug and sleepy.

Ryan listens to them shifting, getting comfortable again, and eventually the sound subsides until all that's left is the burn of the road under the bus wheels and the barely audible tinny beats sneaking out from Brent's bunk. Ryan listens a long time, cock hard and untouched, before he finally falls asleep.

* * *

Ryan pads into the kitchen area of the bus the next morning to see Brendon leaning across the table into Spencer's space, purring, "Come on, you totally thought it was hot. You wanted to do it, too."

Ryan stumbles to a stop, somehow managing to stub his toe on the floor, and Brendon's eyes flicker up, go from dark to innocent so fast Ryan almost doubts what he just heard.

But then Spencer says, "Brendon wants us to have a designated jerking off time," in a lazy drawl, so no.

"I already vetoed that," Brent says around a cabinet door. He comes out holding Pop Tarts and eyeing the table like it might not be safe to sit there. Ryan can kind of see why.

He hikes his thumb in Brent's direction. "What he said."

"But why?" Brendon whines. "If we're all doing it at the same time, we don't have to worry about trying to be quiet or bothering anyone. It's perfect!"

Spencer rolls his eyes in Ryan's direction, and it's enough to get Ryan moving again, leaning against the cabinet next to Brent and breaking off part of his Pop Tart. Brent swats at his hand absently.

"Yeah, except for those of us who like our 'private time' to be private," Spencer says.

"But then you guys are going to say that if you don't do it, then I can't do it. That's not fair."

"But it's fair making us listen to you jerking off?" Ryan says. Brent's guarding his Pop Tarts with both hands now.

Brendon laughs. "Didn't know you'd had that privilege yet, Ross."

Ooops. Ryan scowls. "Don't remind me." Because getting hard right now would be really inconvenient.

"Why are you guys such prudes, anyway?" Brendon asks around a mouthful of Lucky Charms. Ryan stares at the bowl, where Brendon has carefully weeded out all the little crunchy pieces so only marshmallows are left. Ryan loves the marshmallows. He moves closer to the table, sitting down next to Spencer, and Brendon continues. "I thought I was the sheltered one who was supposed to have all the sexual hang-ups."

"How is it a sexual hang-up not to want to jerk off at the same time as all your friends?" Spencer asks.

Brendon's spoon clinks against the bottom of the bowl as he throws both hands up. "Don't ask me! I don't have that problem!"

Ryan takes the opportunity to steal Brendon's bowl and scoop a spoonful of marshmallows into his mouth, then drink the sugary milk. Perfection.

"Hey!" Brendon says. "You stole the best part of my breakfast!"

Ryan sets the bowl down with an empty thunk and smacks his lips at Brendon. "And it was delicious," he says with a smile.

"I hate you all," Brendon says.

"I'm going to go cry in my bunk about that," Brent says, and that's that.

* * *

Except for the part where it's not.

Maybe Brendon plans for it to happen again, or maybe he doesn't. Ryan's annoyed by how much he wants to know, and he's especially bothered by the way he can't sleep (stays up) wondering (waiting to maybe hear) for the next few frustrating nights.

But it does happen.

Brendon's not being quiet this time, either. He's making those same breathy noises, unmuffled this time, and then he moans. Loudly.

"Wha?" Brent says sleepily. "Did someone say something?"

"Brendon's jerking off," Ryan says flatly. He pushes one hand flat against his stomach and clenches the other in his sheets.

"Fucking hell," Brent grumbles. His headphones get louder. Ryan can clearly hear Shakira.

"Brendon," Spencer says. "Go to the bathroom if you have to do this now."

"No." Brendon says. "I don't want to. This is my bunk, and I get to do what I want in it." He moans again, but it doesn't sound like before. It doesn't sound real now that he knows they're listening. It sounds like he's trying to prove a point, though Ryan can't imagine what that could be.

"I swear to God," Spencer says. He trails off when Brendon starts sounding more like a porn star. "You're such a dick."

"Mmm, you love it," Brendon says breathlessly.

Ryan can almost hear Spencer roll his eyes. He wouldn't have predicted it when Spencer says, low and dirty, "Fuck yeah, I do."

"What?" Brendon's shock overrides the fake sounds he'd been making before.

"Oh, Brendon, yeah. Touch yourself," Spencer says in that same voice. Ryan tries to stifle a laugh, but he snorts instead, and Spencer laughs once, quietly, before moaning, "Mmmmm, right there. Yeah...oh! Oh, God! Yes! Yes! Yes!"

"Oh, my God." Ryan laughs. "Meg Ryan?"

"Shut up," Spencer growls, and it slams into Ryan's stomach, the low timbre of his voice. Ryan's heard it before. Not many times, and not recently, but enough to recognize it.

Spencer moans louder, showy, and Brendon moans back, until it's escalated to something worthy of the worst porn that's ever been made, but Ryan. Shit. He's not laughing anymore. Because Spencer's faking those sounds, yeah, but Ryan knows what he sounds like when he's turned on, and in that one moment. That was it.

It gets quieter then, quiet enough for Ryan to hear one long, ragged gasp from Brendon's bunk --- a sound he's heard just once before -- and it's like another punch to Ryan's gut. He barely keeps from gasping, too.

Spencer stops his own breathy noises abruptly. "Holy shit. Did you just?"

"No," Brendon says. (Brendon lies.)

"You're fucking dirty," Spencer says, all gravel and grated out. "Shit."

"Don't fucking judge me," Brendon says, and the anger sounds wrong when he's still breathless.

"God," Spencer says, and that's a real growl this time. "Don't judge me either, then."

And Ryan can hear Spencer, breathing hard and jacking himself in short, fast jerks. He sounds nothing like before. He isn't showy about it, just a quiet grunt and a shaky sigh at the end.

"Fuck. Spencer," Brendon breathes. There's no trace of anger left in his voice.

Ryan feels like he's hyperventilating, like there isn't enough air in his bunk. He struggles out from his sheets and tumbles onto the floor. He barely makes it to the bathroom before his hand is in his shorts, curling around his cock. He only makes it a few tight strokes before he's coming, sagging back against the door.

He cleans himself up and washes his hands twice. Then he waits, shaking, ears echoing with the memory of Brendon's gasps and Spencer's soft grunt, until he thinks they'll be asleep. He slips back into his bunk as quietly as possible.

* * *

Even Brendon doesn't say anything about it the next morning.

* * *

Life moves on. Ryan, not so much.

Because it's not just that he can't stop thinking about it. About them. It's also that Brendon and Spencer have started...circling each other. Brendon's looking up through his eyelashes at Spencer over breakfast or sucking on his bottom lip and watching Spencer watch it. Spencer's sprawling in the back lounge, everything about the way he's sitting serving to draw attention to his crotch. Or he's sliding out of his bunk and pulling on just a hoodie, no T-shirt underneath, and zipping it up just enough so that his collarbones stand out even more while Brendon tracks the movement with dark eyes.

This isn't the sort of thing that should be happening. Because usually, Brendon is a bouncy bastard who Spencer puts up with -- even humors sometimes -- until Brendon pisses him off, or Spencer is a sarcastic bitch until Brendon says something ridiculous that makes Spencer genuinely laugh. Now they're that, but with this new dimension. Fucking sexual tension, and Ryan watches and envies Brent being blissfully oblivious whenever he's around. Which is getting to be less and less, and it's not like Ryan needs something else to worry about.

Jon Walker is a welcome distraction. He just kind of sneaks in under the radar, going from that Academy tech Ryan recognizes enough to say hi to in passing, to that guy Ryan talks to when he's hanging around backstage, to the friend who hangs out on the bus more than Brent.

It's sort of a blessing, because Brendon is Jon's biggest fan, or, as Brendon says, "JWalk owns my heart. He sang Aladdin with me. Aladdin!"

And when Jon's around, Brendon's distracted enough to stop fucking Spencer with his eyes.

They're watching a movie in the lounge, because Jon hasn't broken down Spence or Ryan enough to give The O.C. a shot. And while Jon has an oddly calming effect on just about everyone, as far as Ryan can see, it's especially pronounced with Brendon.

Brendon starts jiggling his leg about five minutes into The Usual Suspects, and Ryan stops him with a firm hand on his knee. Or, okay, it stops Brendon for about two minutes, until he lapses again. Ryan sighs and starts to reach out, but Jon just opens up one arm, and Brendon's there, sliding up against Jon's chest, under the weight of his arm, and sitting still. His fingers against Jon's arm are the only part of him moving.

It's kind of sweet. Not that Ryan would admit that.

He tries to catch Spencer's eye, but Spencer's watching Jon and Brendon with this soft smile that makes Ryan look away quickly.

Brendon falls asleep almost half on top of Jon, and at the end of the movie, Jon smoothes a hand over the top of Brendon's head affectionately. Brendon snuffles and cuddles into Jon's chest, and Ryan's distracted enough that he jumps almost as much as Brendon when Spencer hollers melodramatically, "Oh, my GOD! Verbal is Keyser Soze!"

But at least Ryan doesn't tumble onto the floor with a squawk.

Spencer laughs. Jon looks down at Brendon and says, "I would help you up, but you made my arm fall asleep." Ryan lifts an eyebrow and pretends like his heart isn't beating a little faster.

"You're fucking mean, Smith," Brendon grumbles. He rubs at his eyes sleepily, and Jon actually says, "Awwwwww."

Jon looks at Ryan, eyes sparkling, and says, "He's like a little kid!"

"This is what I'm saying," Ryan says faux-mournfully. It's conversational filler, carefully meaningless, because sometimes Brendon can be so unbelievably endearing Ryan almost forgets about his many other facets, among which "annoying" ranks high.

"And just as easily lured away with candy," Spencer says, nudging Brendon's side with his foot. He drops his voice a little and says, "You want some candy, little boy?"

"Ewwwww," Brendon says. "You sound like Pete!" He grabs Spencer's ankle, though, and tries to tickle his foot. It's playful, regular, safe.

Jon laughs and Ryan smiles, and it's a good moment. Really good.

* * *

So of course Brendon has to run off with Jon and The Academy guys and get fucking drunk.

Of course he comes back to the bus, minus Brent again, and almost falls into Ryan's bunk before he says, "Ooops, sorry!" and makes it into his own.

Of fucking course he can't even be properly drunk enough to soften his dick so that he doesn't start in with the little gasps, even louder this time around.

Ryan clenches his jaw and his fists and it's not even hot, until it is. Until Spencer says, "Brendon, you fucking prick," and his voice breaks, and they're both jerking off, this time without any fake porn-soundtrack noises, and Ryan fucking knows they're listening to each other, getting off on each other, and he hates them for it.

He pushes his face into his pillow and his hips into the mattress. He listens. He doesn't make any other noise, but Spencer says, "Ryan?" His voice is ragged, and Brendon says, "Is he?"

"Yeah," Spencer says.

Ryan's face burns, but he still doesn't say anything. It doesn't matter if they know. It doesn't matter. He rubs against his mattress a few more times before a sweet little moan, nothing like the ones from the time before, breaks loose from Brendon.

Spencer says, "Oh," and Ryan comes.

* * *

The problem with none of them acknowledging this thing is that Ryan can't say anything about Brendon coming back drunk. He can't get upset at Brendon and have him know where it came from.

He can't, so he tries not to. It doesn't work, though, when Brendon goes and does it again, then again. It doesn't work when Jon brings him back to the bus, Brendon's arm slung over Jon's shoulders and his face flushed and eyes bright when they latch on to Ryan, then slide to Spencer.

"Gonna go to sleep," he says sloppily, syllables blurring together, and points to the bunks. Jon helps him over, keeps a hand on Brendon's back to steady him while he climbs clumsily up to collapse into his bunk. His arm hangs out until Jon folds it back in and closes Brendon's curtain, then the door to the bunks, quietly.

"Kid doesn't know his limits yet," Jon says when he comes back. He looks loose and happy, and Ryan looks away, at Spencer.

"Yeah, wonder why that is," Spencer says, voice cold, harsh. "He's eighteen. Next time you see him doing that, you send him back to us."

Jon's eyebrows lift in surprise. "Whoa. Look, you may not like it, but I don't think that's really my place."

Spencer's eyes narrow, and Ryan forestalls him by asking quietly, "Would you come get one of us, then?"

Jon's gaze is heavy, measuring. "Yeah. I can do that."

"Thanks," Ryan says. He opens the door for Jon, and after it's closed, Spencer won't quite meet his eyes.

"I'm going to talk to him, tomorrow," Spencer says to his own lap.

Ryan nods tightly. He feels stupid, because it's Brendon's life and he can do what he wants, but Ryan hates it, he hates being around it, and the hell of it is, he can't help but worry and feel like he's Brendon's goddamn mother or something.

He has no idea what Spencer says to him, but Brendon comes to him the next day with bruised eyes and a small frown and says, "I'm sorry, Ryan." He hugs Ryan carefully, like Ryan might not let him. Ryan puts his arms around Brendon's back and draws him closer until he feels Brendon sigh and relax.

Jon doesn't end up having to come get Spencer or Ryan after that.

* * *

Brendon may have stopped going out and coming back sloppy and uninhibited, but he doesn't stop their new nighttime ritual. He's always the one to start, and Spencer has to be waiting up, or just waiting, because he always joins in. Ryan wonders how long Spencer lies in his bunk, hard and ready.

Honestly, Ryan doesn't know what Brent thinks. He doesn't even know if Brent hears them when it happens. Logic tells him headphones, even noise-canceling ones, can only block out so much. But he also knows people can block out pretty much anything they don't want to face.

Brent's not even around enough for Ryan to figure it out.

Maybe there's a reason for that, and maybe it's because of this. Ryan doesn't want to know if it is, because he needs this. He's greedy for it, and he's not going to give it up.

It's become Pavlovian. He gets in his bunk at night, and if he hears Brendon, hears Spencer, he's immediately hard.

Ryan's quiet, every time, like if he's silent it's not really happening, he's not really part of it.

Spencer says Ryan's name. Every time. Brendon never does.

"Ryan, please," Spencer says, voice tight and strained, and Ryan's trembling with it all. He wants. He wants to give it back to Spencer, whisper, "Spencer," but he can't. He can't, because Brendon's saying it, and Spencer's making those soft sounds that get just that much more desperate every time before he comes, and it's over before Ryan can say anything at all.

* * *

It's not okay. It's fine enough, though, until the day Brent just isn't there anymore. They've been on the road, and it's not like Brent could've gotten lost; he has to have left them.

Then there's Jon's onstage with them instead, and Ryan feels like he's breaking apart, like his skin can't hold him together, because it was never supposed to be like this. They all wanted this until Brent apparently didn't anymore.

Jon does a fine job. He does a great job, even. Ryan can't look him in the eye afterward, though, like that will make it too real. He touches Jon's arm instead, and says, "Thank you," watching his hand on Jon's skin. He can feel Jon's eyes on him, intent, curious. Ryan lets go quickly.

When he and Spencer and Brendon get back to the bus, it's different. Some of Brent's stuff is still there, but that's all. He won't be coming back. It's not his bus anymore.
And it's not like this had come out of nowhere, because they all knew. They knew something was wrong and didn't do anything -- Ryan for his part too scared to think about it, hoping it would go away if he ignored it.

"So I guess that's that," Brendon says flatly. He looks mad, maybe as mad as Ryan's ever seen him, and Ryan wonders where he can muster the energy to be angry. Ryan just feels tired. "How the fuck could he do that? Why would he?" He's breathing hard, and Ryan closes his eyes when he realizes Brendon's about to cry.

Ryan closes his eyes, so he just hears it when Spencer pulls Brendon close and hugs him. Ryan sits and listens and feels every millimeter of space filling the distance from him to Brendon and Spencer while Brendon's breathing evens out against Spencer's shoulder.

Ryan takes his iPod into his bunk that night and the next night and the night after. The next time Spencer and Brendon start up, he turns the volume up, enough that they can hear it.

Spencer says his name that time, and Ryan aches to touch himself, aches like he always does to say something back. He doesn't do either.

The next time, Spencer doesn't say his name. Ryan knows because he listens, headphones clutched tightly in one hand.

* * *

Jon's around more now. It makes sense that just because he's onstage with them now he wouldn't stop coming around when they're offstage. But it still feels awkward to Ryan, like they've really replaced Brent when they haven't. They haven't even talked about it.

Ryan abandons his attempts at writing something, anything, in the back lounge, and Jon's there again in the front, tossing his game controller at Spencer.

"I suck at this game," Jon tells Ryan.

"Damn right you do," Spencer says, sprawled across the couch. "Get out of my way," he tells Brendon, kicking at his shoulders. "I can't see the screen around your huge head."

Brendon laughs. "Oh, dude, my huge head! Why would you want to look at anything else?"

"You're a fucking jerk," Spencer says, but he slides down off the couch and settles on his knees next to Brendon, elbowing him in the side to move over.

Jon sinks down onto the couch and beckons Ryan over. "Come on, let's watch Brendon get his ass handed to him."

Ryan barely pauses before he climbs next to Jon. Carefully, he lets his weight rest against Jon's arm, slung across the back of the couch. It curls around him, welcoming, and Ryan relaxes.

"You are comfortable," he murmurs. He settles closer to Jon's chest and feels Jon's warm laugh buzz along his side.

Ryan knows he's angular and bony and that he can't be comfortable for Jon, but Jon doesn't seem to mind. His hand slips down to Ryan's side, resting against his ribcage, and his fingers spread out, dragging carefully down Ryan's side.

"What are you doing?" Ryan asks -- whispers, really, because they're close enough.

"Counting your ribs," Jon says, just as quietly. "They feeding you?"

"I eat very well, thanks." Then Ryan think about his breakfast of Pop Tarts and lunch of chips and corn dogs, and amends, "I eat very often, anyway."

Jon's hand stays at Ryan's side, curved over his ribs, stroking lightly. Ryan's skin tingles under Jon's touch, and he sighs and drops his head to rest on Jon's shoulder.

It feels intimate and quiet, despite Brendon and Spencer just a couple of feet away, pushing each other with their elbows and squabbling. "Brendon, you're cheating," "No, you just suck that much."

Jon hums a little, then says, "Watch The O.C. with me, Ryan."

"Okay," Ryan says agreeably. "If you can get Brendon and Spence off the TV." Like that's going to happen.

"No, me and you," Jon says, and something warm curls in Ryan's chest where Jon's hand presses against it. "We can watch in the back."

"Oh," Ryan says. Then, "Yeah, okay."

"I'll go get my DVDs. You set up," Jon says into Ryan's ear, his mouth so close to brushing skin. Ryan barely resists arching his neck enough to feel Jon's lips against the curve of his ear, and he definitely shivers, but he's not sure if Jon feels it as he eases them both forward and up from the couch.

"Hey, where are you going?" Ryan hears Brendon ask Jon as Ryan heads for the back. Spencer crows in triumph, and whatever Jon replies is lost.

Ryan leaves the door partway open and waits.

* * *

"Summer's kind of a bitch," Ryan says around a mouthful of popcorn. "Why does Seth like her?"

"Because she's hot and also awesome."

Ryan gives Jon a look. "Hot, yeah."

"Don't worry, we'll get to the awesome later. You're going to love her."

"Hmmmm." Ryan's skeptical.

"Trust me," Jon says. "Would this face lie to you?"

Ryan pretends to scrutinize it, eyeing the curve of Jon's smile, the openness of his eyes. "I don't know. Would it?" he asks after a too-long pause.

"Are you kidding? You can always trust me. I will never steer you wrong."

"Hmmmm," Ryan hums again. Jon smiles and looks back at the screen, and Ryan watches him for a bit longer before he turns back, too.

* * *

Things are going well, considering, and Ryan guesses he should have known better than to think it would last.

When it goes bad, it has a lot to do with Jon. He doesn't do anything wrong, and he doesn't pry or hint about joining the band or any of the things that could be a genuine reason for Ryan to be getting this annoyed at him.

It's just that he's always watching so closely.

Ryan can feel it when Jon watches him, the weight almost enough to smother at times. He doesn't like it any better when Jon's looking at Brendon or Spencer, though, because Ryan doesn't know what he'll see. He doesn't know how well Jon can read any of them yet, and he doesn't know if Jon can see what's happening between them.

"Hey," Ryan says to get Jon to look away from where Brendon's watching Golden Girls sprawled across Spencer's legs while Spencer texts on his Sidekick. Between messages, Spencer's fingers keep wandering into Brendon's hair. It's before a show, and there's nothing to do for a while, and why did Brendon tell Jon to come hang out if he was just going to ignore him?

But then Jon looks at him, and Ryan doesn't have anything planned to say, so they just stare at each other for a minute before Ryan says lamely, "Have you ever worn eyeliner?"

Jon's smile comes lazily. "I have before."

Jon doesn't elaborate, so Ryan prompts, "What for?"

"A play. I was just in the chorus, but everyone had to wear stage makeup."

"You didn't like it?" Ryan asks.

"It wasn't a matter of liking it or not," Jon says with a shrug. "I just don't have a reason to."

Jon looks so laid-back, so likable and affable, and Ryan wonders recklessly what it would be like to dirty him up a little, to make him look less boy-next-door.

"Let me try something," Ryan hears himself say before he even knows he's made a decision.

Jon's eyes search his for a second before he nods. "Okay," he says without question.

"I'll be right back," Ryan says, holding up one finger to tell Jon to stay put, even though it's not like Jon will run away as soon as his back is turned.

Jon's still there when he gets back, but he's watching Spencer and Brendon again.

Ryan says, "Look at me," harsher than he meant to, but it makes Jon look. Ryan rolls the eyeliner pencil between his palms, then sits down next to Jon, closer than before. Their thighs brush lightly when Ryan shifts, lifting up onto his knees to face Jon.

"Look up," Ryan orders, softer this time. Jon stares at him levelly for a moment before he obeys.

Ryan's careful, more gentle with Jon than when he puts on his own eyeliner. He cups Jon's chin, holding his face steady as he draws two careful lines around his right eye. When he turns Jon's face to do the other, his fingers splay across Jon's cheek, stubble scratching lightly against his palm.

Ryan smudges the liner just a little, fingers cradling Jon's head, thumbs pressing softly below Jon's lashline. Jon's breath is hot against Ryan's wrists.

"There," Ryan says softly, almost a whisper. Jon's eyelids flutter closed and lift back up slowly, and Ryan feels pinned, because yes, he was right. Jon does look different now. Ryan's just not sure how much of it is the eyeliner.

Jon looks over Ryan's shoulder, and Ryan twists to see. Brendon and Spencer are watching them now.

Ryan thinks wildly that, yes, he could do something worth watching. He could touch Jon again, press his fingers back to Jon's face and his mouth to Jon's, give them something to watch. But he turns back to Jon, who looks so curious again, and no, Ryan won't do anything.

"Come on," he says instead. "Let's go find some food." He pulls Jon to his feet and holds on to Jon's hand, pulling him along behind, out past Brendon and Spencer without a word, off the bus and into a space where Ryan can breathe better.

Jon lets him. He follows, hand pliant in Ryan's, until they get outside. He pulls Ryan up short then, and asks Ryan's back, "So Spencer and Brendon, they're?" He trails off, intent clear without finishing the question.

Everything in Ryan tightens painfully. Jon hisses and pulls his hand away before Ryan even realizes his hands are trying to ball into fists.

"It's just," Jon starts to say, but Ryan whirls on him, doesn't let him finish.

"It's just none of your fucking business," Ryan snarls.

And suddenly Jon doesn't look easygoing and affable. His mouth is a flat, tight line when Ryan's gaze drops to it without his permission. "Fine. You want to keep me out of the loop, that's your prerogative." Jon's voice is flat, too.

"Fucking right it is. You're not in this band, you're a temp. You're expendable. If we had another Brendon, we wouldn't even need you." Ryan feels ugly and horrible even as he says it, but it pours out anyway.

Jon stares back, jaw clenched, and it's the first time Ryan could describe his expression as cold. "If there were two Brendons, maybe they wouldn't need you," he says.

Ryan's face burns. He can feel the splotches of red high on his cheeks, and he doesn't think.

He punches Jon. He punches him in the stomach and walks away and doesn't look back to see the damage.

* * *

Ryan doesn't see any of them again until in the dressing room before the show, but he knows Jon didn't tell anyone. He can't have, because there's no way Brendon and Spencer would be like this with Ryan now if they knew what he'd done and what he'd said.

"Are you okay?" Spencer asks quiety, and Ryan nods and keeps fiddling with his hair so he has something to do. He's actually glad when Brendon keeps Spencer from asking again by hooking his chin over Ryan's shoulder and saying, "Ryan do my eyeliner," fluttering his eyelashes.

Ryan ignores him, watching Jon in the mirror, but Jon hasn't looked at him once yet.

"Ryan," Brendon says again.

"I'm not going to do your eyeliner," Ryan says. "You can do it just fine."

"You did Jon's, though," Brendon complains. Then, switching tacts, he says, "Ryan, please."

Ryan freezes. The tone, the emphasis, everything about what Brendon's said reflects the way Spencer sounds those nights, and it's like Brendon has cut him open for everyone to see. Ryan can't help it; he gasps. And that's when Jon looks at him, sees him when everything he has is on the table, and Ryan shudders, but he can't look away.

"Shut up, Brendon," Spencer says sharply.

Brendon murmurs, "Ryan," into Ryan's neck, presses his lips there, and Ryan lets his eyes slide closed. Spencer touches Ryan's wrist, and Jon says, "Oh."

Ryan wonders what kind of conclusion Jon's come to, because Ryan has no idea, no idea what he's supposed to be feeling right now.

Outside, Zack says, "Five minutes, guys."

* * *

The show passes in a blur. When it's over, Ryan doesn't remember anything about it.

Part 2

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-27 07:34 pm (UTC)
ext_30531: (P!ATD // Ryan/Brendon/Jon)
From: [identity profile] iamsupernova.livejournal.com
Guh. Oh my god. This is, wow. Part two, here I come!
Why have I not read anything of yours yet? This is a problem for me. :P

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
Ahaha, you probably haven't read anything of mine because I don't write much. I get tons of ideas, but I write like a snail and am super-lazy to boot! But if you want to read the few little bandslash fics I've written, they're all here (http://untappedbeauty.livejournal.com/tag/fic).

P.S. Bwahahaha! Your icon!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 04:57 pm (UTC)
ext_30531: (FOB // Patrick - What porn?)
From: [identity profile] iamsupernova.livejournal.com
Yeah, I looked through your tagged fics after I read this one and the lack of more bandslash made me very sad. :D I usually get so many ideas for fics, too, and as of yet I've never written a fic. I suppose I shoud, well, get on that.

[livejournal.com profile] alsointohats. She's HILARIOUS and also BRILLIANT when it comes to making band icons. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
I have a list of at least six more bandslash fic bunnies to write, so there will be more. I swear, I haven't been this consumed by a fandom since 2003, so I sort of love bandom even MORE just for bringing my writing creativity back. *draws hearts around bandom*

Oooh, and thanks for the link. She's got some AWESOME icons!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 07:23 pm (UTC)
ext_30531: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iamsupernova.livejournal.com
Awesome! I will definitely keep an eye out for your fics. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shutyourface.livejournal.com
Holy shit! This is freaking FANTASTIC.

This part:
Spencer says, "Ryan's quiet."

Brendon's eyebrows go up. Way up. Ryan feigns indifference.

"Oh, yeah?" Brendon asks. "You know from personal experience?"

Spencer lifts an eyebrow, but he doesn't say yes or no. Brendon looks at Ryan, then back at Spencer.

"Fuckers," Brendon says, but there's a note of uncertainty there.

Ryan smirks. He doesn't even have to look at Spencer to know he's doing the same.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
:D I love it when people are ambiguous with Brendon and tease him and make him wonder. He's too adorable!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-29 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shutyourface.livejournal.com
Exactly! I feel like Brendon's a fairly straightforward guy and it confuses him when people tease like that.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stealstheashes.livejournal.com
This starts off amazingly hot but around here ("It's just none of your fucking business," Ryan snarls.) you've got me all sniffly.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
*belatedly hands you a tissue* Oh, RYAN. He makes it so easy to make him angsty.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-28 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stealstheashes.livejournal.com
*wipes eyes* He totally does.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-09-30 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fixme-in-45.livejournal.com
Wow...i mean... yeah.....incoherent over here..... maybe i need to read part two...who else fancies being a fly on the wall on the Panic! bus ...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-01 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
I don't think it would matter WHAT they were doing on the Panic! bus. They could be hanging out, talking about HAIR PRODUCT and I'd want to be a fly on the wall. Hee! Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed this and hope you liked the rest, too!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-01 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fixme-in-45.livejournal.com
Yeah so i read the second part...guh....totally lived up to expectation...i need more of your fanfic...especially if is this hot. Im adding you so i dont have to search to find it when i need to re-read. Oh and the panic bus!...i agree..You kinda inspired me...i think i may even try and write some fic.

In my last comment i also forgot to tell you my total favourite bit.

Spencer says, "Ryan's quiet."

Brendon's eyebrows go up. Way up. Ryan feigns indifference.

"Oh, yeah?" Brendon asks. "You know from personal experience?"

Spencer lifts an eyebrow, but he doesn't say yes or no. Brendon looks at Ryan, then back at Spencer.

"Fuckers," Brendon says, but there's a note of uncertainty there.

AHA....i could so imagine that =) ...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-02 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
Well, I haven't actually written much in bandom, and the only two bits with sex are here (http://untappedbeauty.livejournal.com/150205.html) and here (http://untappedbeauty.livejournal.com/146023.html#cutid1). I guess you can judge for yourself if they're hot. :)

You kinda inspired me...i think i may even try and write some fic.

Man, that's awesome! The guys in these bands have been a huge inspiration for my writing, and it's great if you took something inspirational out of this. If you should decide to write something, good luck with it!

And ahahaha, I'm so mean to Brendon sometimes! I love having people fuck with his head a little bit. But not too much. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-31 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellophne-chst.livejournal.com
okay so im off to read part 2.
but it almost broke me down.
just it was just...yeah.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-12 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xxniandyxx.livejournal.com
okay, i'm going to ask a superlame question and everyones going to raise their eyebrow at me,
where does gsf stand for?
okayz *hides because of the shame* byez.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-13 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] untappedbeauty.livejournal.com
No, that's a perfectly valid question! It's just easy to forget that fandom acronyms can be super-confusing if you haven't heard them before or had them explained to you.

GSF stands for Group Slut Fic or, I've heard some people say, Group Sex Fic. Basically, it's the whole band having sex together!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-21 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kisswithatear.livejournal.com
Before reading this I figured it would go well with mint vienetta...
And it did, infact it went so marvellously well I'm gonna go get the rest of the box before reading the rest :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-30 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drunknballerina.livejournal.com
what the hell is this?
i don't know what kind of gift you have or anything, or maybe it's the mood i'm in [god knows which that is] but i'm desperately hoping it isn't. I kind of know it isn't. It's this.
Reading this actually hurt, but in this good way until it was too much and i had to stop reading. I walked around a little and drank a sip of water and when i came back it was barely any better but instead of feeling hot, i was shivering. shivering. wth?
I've read a pretty massive amount of fic and slash, but i've never felt this way. something about this just feels so real to me. It's doing all these things to my body, like, it's actually painful, in this gut-wrenching way where it makes my fingers tingle and my stomach hurt and turn over and i'm a little bit afraid i might actually throw up.
i think i'm in love with you.
tomorrow part two.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-05 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] submissionadict.livejournal.com
havent even read this fic yet but:
blame Ryan Ross. God knows I do.
you already make me laugh.

oh WOW the tension could be cut my a motherfucking feather, it's so thrumming, alive


(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-16 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] memi2.livejournal.com
Near the end of this part is when I started to go, out loud, "Why? Why is this happening?" Then I felt embarrassed because people looked at me weirdly. But seriously. The angst is giving me such a sad face. The sexual tension, however, is just GUH. I am SO reading part two PRONTO. I love the dynamics you have between the characters. It's so perfect.