the laughing tale of the fool (laughingtale) wrote,
the laughing tale of the fool
laughingtale

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the shape of absence (Panic! at the Disco)

Title: the shape of absence
Author: wordsaremyfaith
Fandom: Panic! at the Disco
Pairing: Brendon/Jon, but not happy Brendon/Jon. Breakup fic.
Warnings: None.
Word Count: ~1350
Summary: They all have to deal with the aftermath.
Disclaimer: I do not know these people, this never happened, I am making no money off of anything.
A/N: Betaed by insunshine. For we_are_cities' dec 19 prompt.


The sun felt different in the west than it did on the east coast. The sun felt different everywhere, really, but at home it was warmer, oranger, it seeped into your body more noticeably. Which made sunset that much more painful; you could feel its warmth leaving your entire being.

Brendon stood over the bed, staring at it, unable to move. Jon’s nightshirt was still sprawled across the pillow where he’d tossed it when he got up that morning. Brendon couldn’t bring himself to pick it up, but neither could he sit on the bed and ignore it. So he just stood there, staring like he was watching a train wreck.

It didn’t have to be a train wreck, though. The band could survive this. Hell, he could survive this, given time. Not that it would be easy, especially in the cabin.

“Brendon?” Ryan poked his head in. “Jon’s making burgers – do you want one?”

“I guess,” Brendon said numbly, not looking at Ryan.

Ryan bit his lip, stepping into the room. “What’s wrong?”

Brendon couldn’t tell if he was asking to be polite or actually being sincere, but he didn’t really care. “We broke up.”

“Oh. Um.” Ryan stood there awkwardly. “I’m sorry.”

“I mean, it’s, whatever, I’m fine. Go back to what you were doing. A burger sounds good.”

“Well, if you need anything…”

“Yeah, I know. Thanks.” Brendon finally looked up. His eyes were a little teary, but whether it was from crying or just from staring at the sunset out the window for too long was impossible to tell.

“Okay. Um.” Ryan shuffled uselessly for a minute and left.

Brendon sighed. Food was the last thing he wanted right now, but if Jon was barbequing at least it would be good. He was never letting Spencer near a stove again, after the disaster that was last week’s mac-and-cheese attempt.

The sound of laughter drifted in, along with the smell of meat, and Brendon reluctantly tore his eyes away from the rumpled sheets and the sunset out the window to join the others.

***

“Is this… I mean, we’re okay, right?” Jon asked anxiously after all the dishes had been stacked in the sink and Brendon had claimed to be exhausted and retired to his room.

“Of course,” Ryan said immediately. “Just because Brendon's hurt and hard to deal with right now doesn’t mean we’re not okay." He gestured to the three of them. "He'll come around, just give him some space.”

Spencer looked away.

“Spence?” Jon said. He sounded so worried it broke Spencer’s heart.

“We will be,” he said. “The band will be fine.” He met Jon’s eyes, nodding reassuringly. Jon looked kind of pitiful, and Spencer couldn’t blame him – it had been the tensest meal they’d ever had together.

“And, I mean, you’re not going to go find a new bass player now.” It was a statement, but his voice shook a little. Spencer sat up, startled, his eyes flashing.

“What? Don’t be ridiculous. You’re ours now. This doesn’t change that one bit.”

“Of course not,” Ryan said at the same time.

Jon exhaled heavily. “Okay, good.”

Spencer couldn’t resist adding, “This is why I told you it was a bad idea in the first place, you know.” He lay back down as he spoke.

“I know,” Jon said softly. “And I’m sorry. Not about dating him, but for how things are now.”

No one said anything for a while after that. They lay on the sofa, crowded in each other’s space, and listened to themselves breathe. Finally, Spencer said, “Ryan, go check on Brendon.”

“What? Why me?”

“Because I don’t feel like dealing with him, and you don’t really want me to send Jon in there, do you?”

Ryan sighed. “All right, fine.” He got up, dislodging Jon’s feet (which had been resting on his shoulders) and Spencer’s head (which had been laying on his stomach) in the process. Once he was out of the room, Spencer said quietly, “For the record? I’m sorry, too.”

Jon smiled, just a little bit. “Thanks.”

***

The hardest part wasn’t Jon not being with him; it was having him there at all. How do you get over someone when they’re always hanging out in the next room? Alone in his room, Brendon could feel Jon’s absence, physically, but that wasn’t anything like leaving his room and having him there, being Jon, just not his.

Brendon didn’t cry. He didn’t scream, and he didn’t punch things. He sat on his bed dejectedly and stared at the wall. The sun had gone down by now, so he could barely see, but trying to make out objects in the dark was kind of a fun game. Or at least a good distraction.

Ryan opened the door without knocking. “Brendon? Why are you sitting alone in the dark?"

“What do you want?” Brendon asked, but there was no anger or obstinateness in it.

“I’m turning on a light,” Ryan said, ignoring the question. He flicked the switch and came to sit beside Brendon on the bed.

“Ryan,” Brendon said, “Not that you’re not welcome or anything, but what are you doing in my room?”

“Spencer thinks you need comforting,” Ryan told him, as though that explained everything.

“So why isn’t Spencer here?”

“He’s irritated with you.”

“He’s irritated with me?” Brendon raised his eyebrows. “Why?”

“He didn’t say.” Ryan gave Brendon a long look. “You seem okay to me, though. Except for the whole sitting-in-the-dark-by-yourself thing. I thought you were going to bed.”

“Yeah, well, not so much.”

“Okay then.” Ryan stood up. As he started walking to the door, Brendon said quietly, “Wait.”

Ryan whirled around. “Yeah?”

“I could maybe use a hug,” Brendon whispered. Ryan came back to the bed and knelt in front of him solemnly.

“I can sleep here tonight if you need me to,” he said, in the most gentle voice Brendon had ever heard him use. He nodded silently. Ryan said, “Let me go get pajamas and brush my teeth. I’ll be right back, okay?” Without waiting for an answer, he got up and left. Brendon curled up into a ball on the bed, hugging his knees. He just lay there, not even moving to fidget, until Ryan got back.

“You should change, too,” Ryan informed him, and oh, right, people didn’t generally sleep in the clothes they’d worn all day. Slowly, he forced himself up and to his closet. “Why is there a shirt on your pillow?”

“It’s Jon’s.”

“Okay, then you won’t mind if I toss it into the hallway,” Ryan said. Brendon laughed.

“Not at all.”

Jon’s shirt went flying past his head to land a few feet outside the door, which Brendon closed after it. He threw pajamas on sloppily and turned the light out. “Whoa, it is dark in here. Where’s the bed?”

“How do you usually find it?” Ryan asked.

“Usually Jon turns off the light.”

“Oh. Well, it’s straight in front of you. Try not to hit your knee.”

“You’re so helpful,” Brendon groused, but he got to the bed without hurting himself. “’Night.”

“’Night.”

After a minute, Brendon asked, “Ryan?”

“Yeah?”

“Why are you being so nice to me?”

“I told you, Spencer sent me in here.”

“Yeah, but…” Brendon thought for a minute. “I think it’s because you’re secretly a really sweet person.”

“Sure, Brendon,” Ryan mumbled. “Just don’t tell anyone. Wouldn’t want the secret to get out, and all that.” He yawned.

Brendon yawned, too, falling asleep within minutes.

***

When Ryan woke up the next morning, Brendon was curled into him, his arm wrapped around him like a teddy bear. Ryan brushed a few stray hairs off of Brendon’s face and gently lifted Brendon’s arm so he could get out of bed.

“’S it morning now?” Brendon mumbled not very coherently. Ryan smiled at him, even though his eyes were still closed.

“Yeah,” he said. Brendon slowly opened his eyes, blinking all the while, and sat up. He stretched his arms up and shook his head a few times as though shaking the dream particles out.

“I’m up,” he declared.

“Good,” Ryan said, pulling his pants on, “because we need to get back to work as soon as possible.”

Brendon paused.

“It’ll be okay,” Ryan said. “If you want, we can split up into teams. You and I can write together, unless you’d rather work with Spence.”

“It’s fine. Everything’s normal,” Brendon insisted. Ryan gave him a look. “Really. I’m fine.”

“If you say so,” Ryan said.

***

But the thing was, he wasn’t fine. It hurt to eat breakfast with Jon at the other end of the table. It hurt to sit around the couch, talking about music and throwing around song ideas like nothing had changed. He couldn’t focus.

Finally, after it had become apparent that Brendon was useless today, Spencer pulled him aside. “This is why I said all along that you shouldn’t date him,” he told Brendon sternly.

“Yeah, I know,” Brendon said glumly, staring at his feet. “For the good of the band and all that.”

Spencer put his hands on his hips. "Brendon," he said, "look at me." Brendon looked up. "I know this really sucks. It sucks for all of us, and I'm sorry you're hurting. But the thing is," he said, frustrated, "I don't want it to affect our music or our dynamic as a band, and I know you don't want that either. So you need to stop letting it."

That was when Brendon knew they’d be okay. Because Spencer wouldn’t let them not be. He’d take Ryan up on the working-in-teams idea, and after a week or two, maybe being around Jon wouldn’t hurt so much. If they got off track, Spencer would force them back on, because that was what he did.

“I can do that,” he said.

“Good,” said Spencer.

They went back to the couch.
Tags: [character] brendon urie, [character] jon walker, [character] ryan ross, [character] spencer smith, [fandom] bandslash, [pairing] brendon/jon, [prompt] we_are_cities, gen, slash (m/m)
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