Written 5/16/09-5/21/09, 559 words.
This was originally just going to be Ryan/Greta skinnydipping Summer Tour fic, and then it wanted to be longer and spanning years. Unfortunately, I never really got that far. Some scenes stop abruptly and there are holes, just to warn you. Also to warn you, the last scene is all about cheating.
The night air was warm on the beach, and Greta took off her sandals to run down to the water. “Last one in’s a rotten egg!” she shouted, and half of her band paid no attention. Bob was following not far behind, as were Ryan and Brendon. When they got to the edge, though, Ryan pointed out, “We don’t have anything to swim in.”
Greta just looked at him, like, Are you kidding me right now? and said, “So don’t swim in anything.”
Greta doesn’t hate Keltie. She doesn’t really know her. Ryan had introduced them once, at some party or other, and Keltie had seemed nice enough. But the problem was that Keltie wasn’t, well, her. Not that Greta wanted to be in a serious relationship with Ryan – far from it. But she did miss some things, things that were no longer an option with Keltie in the picture. She missed the sex, and she missed the late-night somewhat pretentious conversations about nothing. She missed having Ryan to herself.
So she did what she did best: she fictionalized the whole thing. When she sang, “I could love you much better,” she saw Ryan and Keltie in her head, but the words were far exaggerated. It was cathartic, or something.
“That’s Okay” was just straight-up about Ryan.
Most of the time, when she thinks about him, it isn’t with longing or regret. She remembers conversations and particularly good sex, nights squeezed into one of their bunks, cramped and uncomfortable and sweet. The memories make her smile. They don’t make her wish things were different. She dates. She sleeps with guys she never sees again. She even has a boyfriend for a little while, and it’s nice, it’s good. It doesn’t make her think of Ryan except when she’s so tired she’s not in her right mind, and then she thinks, I wish…, but she never lets the thought get any further than that.
They went back on tour together that spring, on the Honda Civic Tour with Phantom Planet and Motion City Soundtrack. It was fun; it was a fun tour and a fun group of people, and mostly it was just fun getting to tour with Panic again, getting to be around them every day.
They never really meant for it to happen. It just did. She was there and Ryan was there and there was a bed (well, okay, a tiny, cramped bunk, but close enough) and it just… happened. The next day, all Ryan said was, “She can’t know about this,” and Greta agreed despite herself. She didn’t like knowing that Ryan was the kind of guy who’d cheat on his long-term girlfriend. She knew it was a mistake, knew that he knew it was a mistake and that she’d never seen him with any other girl on this tour, so it was highly likely it hadn’t happened much before, if at all. But that didn’t change the fact that he had cheated. It didn’t change the fact that her view of him was forever altered, now.
She was just glad the tour was almost over and that Keltie wasn’t coming to any of the rest of the dates. She didn’t think she’d be able to look her in the eye, and there was no easy way to explain that away.