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They met when they were young. Brendon was five and Ryan was six and the only reason Ryan even met Brendon was because of Spencer - they were the same age and in the same class - and he was a peculiar child. Ryan didn't really mind him, he was just odd company. They often all hung out at the park, Ginger Smith in charge of Spencer and Ryan, and Mrs. Urie and Brendon's older siblings in charge of Brendon. Brendon was seldom allowed to meet them at Spencer's. His parents always had to be present.

Brendon was tragically smaller than most kids his age and he was frail and clumsy and hyper and it was hard to follow his thought process or play his games, but he had a lot of them. Boy, did he have a lot of them.

In fact, while playing one where you had to rapidly make your way across the jungle gym, Brendon bumped his head against one of the bars that held the odd contraption together and fell off from the third peg that he'd been standing on. He'd been in between the two other boys: Spencer was ways above the other two with Ryan just below Brendon, but out of the fall range, trying to take it easy on the small boy. Ryan's limbs were considerably longer and he was a year older, after all.

"Ow, ow, ah-ow," Brendon chanted before a sob escaped his lips. He shook and trembled and wailed and big fat tears were rolling down his cheeks. There was an angry red mark on his forehead. Ryan didn't know what to do. The Uries were all the way on the other side of the park, Mrs. Urie finally conversing with Ginger Smith. "Spencer, get his mom- or your mom-"

"But-"

"Just get help!" He jumped down from his peg on the jungle gym and stumbled over to Brendon's shaking form that lay helplessly on the wood chips and dirt. Ryan knelt down and helped Brendon sit up straight before brushing his dark brown locks of hair that had fell from their proper place off his forehead to observe the wound closely. He had to establish if this would kill his friend or not because that could happen. He'd heard about it.

Spencer was still slowly coming down from the jungle gym, making sure he didn't fall and hurt himself on the death-trap. Brendon's fall had scared the crap out of him to say the least.

Ryan's left arm was braced around Brendon's back while his hand on the opposite arm encased Brendon's shoulder that was farthest from him while the tiny boy's other shoulder poked into his chest. He gently rocked him back and forth while Brendon sniffled and wailed. "Ry-hi-an," he whined.

"It'll be okay, Brendon," Ryan attempted to soothe. It only made Brendon sob louder, wracking his whole body. Ryan could tell it was the kind of sobbing that left your throat scratchy and raw.

"It hurts," he informs Ryan, hiccuping as he tries to catch his breath.

Ryan gingerly sets his hand on the angry red mark on the smaller boy's forehead, Brendon winces. Ryan searches his brain for something that would make this better; that would make Brendon stop crying because he's in pain and he shouldn't be because he doesn't deserve it and Ryan knows it.

But Brendon is in pain.

"What can I do?"

"I want my mom!" And his sob stretches out the word in this heartbreaking way and Ryan almost wants to cry because how could this have happened to Brendon- little, tiny Brendon?

"Spencer went to go get her," he promises the tiny toddler. Brendon's right hand grips the arm that is braced over his chest tightly. Really, Brendon is so unbelievably tiny for his age. He's smaller than Spencer and way smaller than Ryan.

"Ry-hi-an!" Brendon's cries are broken and he's gasping for breath and Ryan has no idea how to make it stop, but obviously Brendon wants him to help and Ryan definitely wants Brendon to just stop hurting- to stop crying-

So he kisses Brendon.

It's close-mouthed and innocent and the contact is barely there, Ryan just barely pecking his bottom lip, but it happened and Ryan's blood is running to his cheeks out of embarrassment. It was just common sense- the younger boy's sobs were coming out of his mouth and- sure, Ryan could have used his hand to cover Brendon's mouth, but those were preoccupied with holding the tiny boy. Brendon hiccups and looks up at Ryan with wide, teary, chocolate brown eyes that never fail to remind Ryan of a puppy or a dog- just something cute and fluffy and little. "Is it better?"

Brendon nods his head, a little awestruck, and he sniffles. Ryan ruffles his hair and Brendon smiles a soft, shy smile that Ryan's never seen him wear before.

"Brendon!" It's Mrs. Urie that interrupts. She kneels down on the opposite side of Brendon and grips his face with both hands and turns it toward her and he beams.

"Are you okay, honey?" Ginger Smith asks.

"I'm fine," Brendon assures. "Ryan helped me!"

And from that point on, Ryan and Brendon become closer. Ryan cared about the small boy a lot. More than anyone, he'd like to believe. He didn't give in to Brendon's pout as often as Spencer did, but he cared. And Brendon was still weird and odd company, but he was also optimistic and quirky and polite and fun. He liked to bring over Disney movies and watch them with Ryan when Ryan's dad was out for the weekend. That started when Ryan was ten and Brendon was nine. Spencer wasn't allowed to go many places due to chores and helping with his younger sisters.

Brendon and Ryan were fine to hang out with each other by themselves. They would curl up on the couch in the living room with a bowl of popcorn in between them and watch Aladdin or Aristocats or 101 Dalmatians. Ryan hadn't grown up watching these movies- he barely liked television, but it wasn't so boring with Brendon around.

As they grew up, Ryan learned why Brendon had seemed so odd. He'd learned why the whole family seemed a bit strange. Brendon's reason for it was because he was a Mormon. He had to explain it to Ryan several times- and jeez, what a switch off was that, but Ryan finally got the gist of it. It just sounded like a lot of restrictions and pointless rules. It was sort of dumb in Ryan's eyes. But anyway.

It was in the middle of the school year, seventh grade for Ryan and sixth for Brendon. They were seated on the couch in Ryan's living room with Toy Story playing, but Ryan wasn't paying attention. He was over-obviously staring at Brendon, wondering when he began to spend this much time with him and when did his face change like that? Brendon was still incredibly tiny for his age, but he definitely wasn't the five year old Ryan had met however many years ago- well, physically. Mentally, he's not so sure.

And then, Ryan remembers that time at the park when Brendon bumped his head and Ryan . . . Oh.

"Ryan, you gotta watch this part, 'cause you know how Woody totally had a crush on Little Bo Peep in the beginning? Well, this is the end and so- look! See? They kiss! It's behind Woody's hat, but I mean, obviously they kiss 'cause they were really into each other," Brendon explains, his mouth running a mile a minute. Ryan never really paid any mind to Brendon's ramblings, just went with them.

"Yeah, I saw," he lies, but switches his vision to the glowing box just as Brendon turns his head to look at Ryan and examine his face to see if he can tell how Ryan felt about the movie. He did that a lot.

"So, did you like that one?"

Ryan turns to Brendon and nods his head. "Yeah, I guess so."

"I really like it because the theme's friendship, and I mean, friendship is kind of important, you know?"

Ryan agrees and the room falls silent. A question is on Ryan's mind and he feels like he has to ask it, even if he doesn't want to. This question will ask itself; word vomit.

"Brendon?"

"Yeah," Brendon responds.

"Bren- uh, have you had your first kiss, yet?" The smaller boy kind of brought the topic upon himself, anyway.

Brendon gives him an incredulous expression, scrutinizing Ryan with his eyes, and it makes Ryan feel uncomfortable and judged and most of all, like Brendon thinks he has three heads. "Uh, yeah," Brendon finally answers. "You were kind of there."

And Ryan smiles. He wasn't sure if Brendon remembered. He'd hit his head pretty hard that day. "I guess I was."

Brendon sighs and closes his eyes. "Wooh," he says. "For a second there, I thought you forgot."

"I thought you didn't remember." And Ryan's eyes linger on Brendon as the smaller boy laughs fondly at the memory. He remembers and it's sweet that he considers it his first kiss. Ryan really prefers that memory over his recent kisses with some of the girls in his classes. He's never really liked any of them all too much. They all said, "I love you," way too fast for his liking. He felt like a giant liar for saying it back.

And suddenly, Brendon turns toward Ryan, that smile still on his face, but it's softer somehow and Ryan likes it. He likes it a lot- he always liked it when Brendon would smile at him like that. It made his chest feel that much warmer and he'd get this weird almost nauseated feeling in his stomach, but he wasn't going to puke- or maybe he was . . .

Ryan found himself leaning in toward Brendon over the popcorn bowl and Brendon was doing the same, he knows he was. His almond eyes flicker from Brendon's eyes to his puffy lips and then back to his eyes. Brendon's smile has faded into an expression of confusion, but he's still leaning in toward Ryan. Their lips connect and linger and something in Ryan's chest explodes and the feel of the younger boy's lips pressed up against his makes him feel happy and it's just a simple touch of their lips, but it means- wow, just . . . A lot.

And they break apart and Brendon's shaking his head. "This is against- crap. Uh, Ryan, I should- well, I think I should go." He stumbles off the couch and jogs to the front door, slipping on his sneakers half assed and grips the handle. "I'll see you later," he tells Ryan before opening and closing the door.

They don't hang out alone with each other until Ryan's sixteen and Brendon gets kicked out of his house. That's a huge time gap, but it's not as if they hadn't communicated or gotten together to spend time together, it's just that there was always someone else there with them. It almost felt like their friendship was unraveling at some points and that was hard on Ryan.

It's as though every time Ryan saw Brendon, he got this feeling in his stomach and his mind jumped to wanting to somehow just feel Brendon's skin against his own. It wasn't exactly wrong, but it was weird because he had this urge to kiss him; to touch him; to push him into a wall and-

They'd been pretty preoccupied by this band that they'd decided to form and that's Ryan's excuse for not hanging out with Brendon, just the two of them.

Not that Brendon would really want to hang out alone with Ryan.

It's on a Friday and Ryan's dad is out for the weekend. Ryan's busied himself in making a sort of midnight snack. It's just a bag of popcorn, but he tends to hover around the microwave until it's done, so he's in his kitchen. It's not raining and there's no thunder, but there should be. There's a knock on Ryan's front door and he jogs from his kitchen to answer it. It's kind of 10 o'clock at night and so he vaguely wonders who could be at his door, but he doesn't really bother checking, just unlocks the door and opens it to a mess on his front porch.

No, he'd not been ding-dong ditched and there were no broken eggs anywhere in sight, but it was still a mess, but a Brendon Urie sort of mess. One that makes Ryan's heart swell and throb, because he kind of wishes it was raining so that he didn't know those were his tears. "Bren?" he asks, testing the waters, seeing if just saying his name might break him.

"Hey Ryan," he says, trying to be casual, but there's a waver in his voice and his bottom lip is trembling.

"Come in." Ryan steps aside and Brendon stumbles inside and only then does Ryan notice the small suitcase that's in Brendon's hand. He puts it down next to the door that Ryan had closed by that point. His hands rest at the base of Brendon's neck in a soothing gesture, Brendon's hand coming up automatically to grip Ryan's forearm as he sniffles. It never gets any easier to watch Brendon cry. "What's going on?"

"They-uh," Brendon pauses, trying to inhale deeply, but failing miserably. "My parents kicked me out," he explains, his voice rising a pitch and his eyes cast downward. Ryan had already had to bend his head to keep eye contact with the still so small boy and now he'd lost it all together. "I don't-" his words break off into a silent sob that wracks his entire body for only a few seconds until he fights it and tries to complete his sentence. "I don't have anywhere t-to go and . . . I'm so fucking scared, Ryan."

"That's terrible," Ryan soothes. Brendon's tiny frame is just shaking and he's sobbing and he's not looking at Ryan and there's nothing Ryan can do except to promise the whole entire fucking world this boy. "We'll get out of here, okay, Bren? We will. The band? It'll make it, okay? We don't have to be here one second longer than we have to if- when- when we get signed, okay?" And by this point, he's smoothing hair off Brendon's forehead and Brendon has looked up at Ryan, eyes swimming in tears and they're red and it's terrible to look at, but beautiful at the same time because it's Brendon and anything- everything this boy does is beautiful to Ryan. Everything. "And you can stay here."

Brendon's eyes widen and he speaks through a stuffy nose. "Really?"

Ryan smiles slightly at the sound of his voice sounding almost normal. "Yeah. My dad doesn't-"

Brendon pulls Ryan into him, their lips connect and Ryan stops thinking about anything that isn't Brendon. Not like he wasn't already thinking just about Brendon, but now it's more intense. Brendon's soft, slick lips on his and the taste of his tears and how they're salty and how Brendon's arms are encircled around his neck and Brendon's on his tip-toes. Ryan loops his arms around his waist, resting them right above Brendon's lovely ass - don't think Ryan hasn't noticed his butt - and pushes him back against the door and only then do they break apart for air.

"Thank youthank youthank you," Brendon says, his voice a whisper and his eyes slowly fluttering open as he chants the words of gratitude. Ryan just kisses the words away, rather forcefully, but Brendon doesn't seem to mind. The smaller boy whimpers helplessly into the kiss as Ryan pushes his way into Brendon's mouth, exploring the new area. Brendon's mouth and tongue are like velvet around his own tongue and it's wonderful to finally be able to do this, because, let's not lie here, Brendon was his first crush and his first kiss and they continued to grow together - though Ryan's done most of the growing - and now Brendon's finally accepting this.

Finally.

He breaks apart from the kiss and searches Brendon's eyes, looking for any sign that would say, "STOP!" He doesn't detect one and so his hands climb up Brendon's back, under his t-shirt. Brendon shivers and lays his head on Ryan's shoulder- kind of. Brendon's right here, so close and Ryan can touch him in this intimate way and kiss him and it's good to know that. It's beyond good to be able to do that. He leans his head down and sucks Brendon's earlobe into his mouth, eliciting a moan from the younger boy. A rather loud one.

"Is this okay, Bren?"

"Yeah," Brendon says breathlessly. Ryan bites a spot just behind Brendon's ear. "God yes."

"Do you want to go to my room?"

"Please?" And that word is let out breathy and laced with a small moan and Ryan just wants BrendonBrendonBrendon. And he can have Brendon. It's exciting and nerve wrecking, but it's right. It's so fucking right. He tugs Brendon away from the door and slides behind him and guides him through the house, his hand slipping up the front of Brendon's shirt from behind and tracing patterns on Brendon's lower abdomen. Brendon's head falls back on Ryan's shoulder and he lets out quiet, appreciative sounds before he latches his mouth to Ryan's neck and sucks and licks and sucks again. They're stumbling through the house blindly.

They can't make it to the bedroom quick enough. By the time they get there, Ryan's already got Brendon's shirt tucked in his armpits and his belt unbuckled and his jeans unbuttoned and unzipped. Brendon's got a large bruise forming on Ryan's neck and when he finally pulls off, he licks it once more and asks, quietly, "Mine?" Things seem to slow down and speed up all at once and it's hard to grasp, but Ryan shudders and nods his head.

Once they get into the bedroom, Ryan spins Brendon around and kisses him quickly on the corner of his mouth and pulls away so that he can mark Brendon as he pushes him onto the bed. He only breaks away from Brendon's skin when Brendon fidgets restlessly. He arcs his torso up into Ryan when the older boy blows in his ear before Ryan tugs his shirt off Brendon. Brendon bites his lip in what seems to be habit, but he's fucking teasing and he doesn't even know it and Ryan can't help himself as he clamps his teeth down softly on the other side of the puffy, plump lip, getting Brendon to open his mouth to let out a moan and he delves his tongue into the shorter boy's mouth, muffling the sound.

Brendon's fingers play restlessly with the hem of Ryan's shirt until Ryan decides to pull the fabric off and then he pulls the pajama pants he had been lounging in before Brendon arrived down half way and this is all happening so fast and Ryan's brain is fogged up with Brendon Boyd Urie. Brendon's hips rock upwards into Ryan's and Ryan gasps because the friction is so right and he just can't help it. He gets way too caught up in the moment. He pushes his hips downwards onto Brendon's and the smaller boy grinds up into him in response, a moan escaping from his lips. And they pick up a steady rhythm, Brendon's hips pushing up into Ryan's and Ryan's pushing down on Brendon's. The younger boy's arms instinctively wrap around Ryan's lower back as Ryan grips his clothed erection.

Brendon's making these noises that Ryan's not even sure the younger boy knows he's making. It's beyond mind blowing and it just makes him even more aroused. Every once in awhile, Brendon will open his big brown eyes and stare right up at Ryan, pupils blown and eyes shimmering, and he'll whisper, "RyanRyan, oh fuck, Ryan." And Ryan's kind of rocking against his hand now, but Brendon's pushing up into his hand desperately and it's really just . . . Great and so he doesn't exactly care. His other hand is supporting his whole body and is positioned on the mattress next to Brendon's head.

And Brendon tips over the edge before Ryan does, but that's good because Ryan kind of wanted to watch Brendon while he came without being either too caught up in his own climax or in a post-orgasmic haze. And Brendon scrunches up his nose in this really cute way and gasps and lets out a quiet, "Oh, oh, oh," until it is just one sound made of pure pleasure and seduction and Ryan comes shortly after Brendon after watching him and, dammit, in his jeans, too.

Oh fucking well.

Brendon's eyes are lightly shut, there's some sweat on his forehead, but there's some on Ryan's, too. His arms fell to his sides and his mouth is gaping, so Ryan settles for kissing his forehead.

That's when things get interesting. Brendon and Ryan become an item; a couple; a pair; lovers. Not publicly, of course. But Spencer and their other band member Brent know. Ryan notices that Brendon is often faced with extreme guilt due to the way his parents raised him and is living for their band to get signed. Ryan couldn't be happier to have such a dedicated best friend, vocalist, and boyfriend, but he often fears he promised Brendon the wrong thing. How could he possibly know that they were going to get signed?

They were good, don't get him wrong. He just feels like he made an empty promise to a person that really mattered and it lays on his conscience and he feels terrible, but he really figured for a long time that their band would get picked out somehow.

Ryan's graduation comes closer than anticipated, though. There's not nearly enough time to do anything. His father really wants him to go to college; make him proud and get an education and a real job. First he scoffs and jokes and rants with Brendon about his father's silly hopes, but then reality strikes and Ryan did get that scholarship- free ride to Arizona State University. He's starting to think that he should start finding a new career path because this one isn't working and Spencer is looking at colleges, too. Brendon announces that he wants to become a beautician after high school.

Ryan doesn't have time. His future is starting now where as Brendon still has a year. That's the big issue- time. Choices, life decisions, and time. He desperately wants to make Brendon a part of his life still- he's not going to be that far away, but Brendon cannot believe he's giving up on his dream- their dream.

Ryan can't believe it either.

He's going to college. Brendon's found an apartment and a job and he's going to hold off just fine, but he won't even so much as look at Ryan. He wasn't even there to bid the older boy goodbye.

Ryan pulls out of the driveway, blinking back tears that he can't for the life of him get to retreat back to where ever they came from. He wracks his brain for a plan. Maybe he should stop and just sit and think of a way that he can bring Brendon with because this is not fair. Brendon has to live in a dubbed - by Spencer, of course, because Ryan hasn't seen it - shitty apartment and work at a smoothie shop and he has no support from his parents and how is he ever going to make a life for himself? Brendon doesn't deserve to be stuck in this town and Ryan knows it.

But Brendon is stuck in that town.

Ryan was his one ticket out and he took the car; hoarded the ticket for later use if he ever gets stuck anywhere else because he's selfish. And maybe he'll come back for Brendon. He still has his dreams of being successful in the music business. He'll come back for Brendon once he's successful and the world knows his name and the world will chant his name, but the only time his name tumbling off someone's lips will ever matter is if they slip off Brendon's.

And Brendon has to know that. It's common sense. It has to be.