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Annual
southernkaren

Author: southernkaren
Pairing: Ryan/Brendon - Rydon
Rating: R (?)
Summary: Ryan hates leaving, but he always comes back.
Author's Note: Another short one. Comments and feedback please!!!


Brendon doesn’t let his hopes get too high. The doorbell rang. Just a doorbell. If its nothing, its nothing. Probably nothing. Not nothing. When he opens the door, they see each other. The breaths they’ve been holding for the past year are released. They fall together, relief just as present as the disbelief.

“You came back.”

“I always come back for you.”

* * *

There are certain moments that you just wish could last forever. Right now, Ryan is wishing that this one could. Its cold outside, wind tearing through the city, howling. But inside its warm. Its the one night a year that Ryan is allowed to come home, and its not enough time, its never enough time. They're sleeping in Brendon's twin bed because Ryan’s queen isn’t here anymore. Brendon had mumbled the reason when he'd asked, but the reason doesn’t really matter to Ryan anyways. He's never minded being close.

This is Brendon's room. Its changed over the years, changed so much that Ryan barely recognizes it anymore. But it is his. It smells like him, has their pictures in it. Brendon's room, Brendon's house. Their house. Tonight its their house again.

Ryan loves this. This feeling of being completely clean, warm, safe, right. Both he and Brendon's hair is still wet from the shower they took earlier. Their skin is soft, warm. Inviting. He places small kisses on Brendon's left forearm that he has rested over the covers. So perfect, so warm, so nice. Not quite perfect. Ryan wishes he could forget. If he could forget, then it would be perfect. Because even as he lays here listening to Brendon's deep breathing, caressing his skin, holding him close, he knows that in the morning he will have to leave again. He will have to leave for another year, and that makes him scared. So, its perfect. So perfect if he can ignore that nagging, petrifying fear. Its okay, its okay. He kisses Brendon's hair some more.

“Ry,” Brendon shifts, so warm, so warm. He opens his chocolate eyes sleepily, smiling. “Hey.”

“Hey.”

* * *

Ryan loves it when they make love. He loves falling apart for Brendon, Brendon falling apart for him. Brendon pushes into him more sloppily now, and he can tell that he's close to coming. They’re both so close. But they wont let go. Not yet. Its what he lives for, this, Brendon. The way that their lips never seem to disconnect, greedy, so greedy, but only for each other.

* * *

“I love you, Ry.” Its just four words, but it means everything.

* * *

Brendon shifts and Ryan panics. He pushes Ryan off him and Ryan panics more. He gets up. “Where are you going?” Brendon stops.

“Shhh, sleep. You were just so beautiful. I was going to go get the camera. I'll be right back, okay?”

“Promise?”

Brendon leans down and kisses Ryan gently. “I promise. I'll always come back to you.” Brendon will keep his promise. Ryan feels sick because he knows that he is the one who always leaves. Its the hardest thing he ever does, and it gets harder every time.

* * *

“You don’t have to. No, no we'll figure it out, we can, we can – you have to stay you cant go, please...” Brendon is crying. Ryan doesn’t think he can do this. Not again. “Please.”

Ryan's heart breaks as he forces himself to shake his head, and tears turn to sobs.

“Hey, hey, shhh.” Ryan grabs onto Brendon, hugging him tight for the last time he knows for sure he can. “Shhhh, shhh, next year, okay baby? Next -” he chokes, “Next year I'll be back alright, I promise I will, I promise. Shhh, see, I'll be back, I will I promise.” Brendon sobs harder, fingernails digging into Ryan's back where he's holding onto him tight. This isn’t okay, this isn’t -

“What if you don’t?” His voice is so small, but it still chills Ryan to the bone.

“I'm not abandoning you, I cant stay, you know I cant. I'll come back I promise I will. I always do. I can't live without you, Bren, I need, I – I love you. I'll come back the moment I can. I'll think about you every minute, I...”

“Its not fair. I love you so much.”

“I know.”

“Its not enough time...”

Ryan holds Brendon even tighter. Then he slips back, insides being ripped to shreds, and he's never felt worse, never hated this more.

“I have to. I'm so sorry, Bren, I'm so sorry.”

One last kiss. That's all he takes. He savors it, the taste of Brendon, the shape of his lips, the color of his eyes. He memorizes his features one more time. Then he's out the door. Then he's gone.

* * *

Brendon pulls out the shoe boxes with the polaroids. He takes the picture frames down from the dresser. He spreads all of the pictures, all of the years since he was 15, and the ones from when they were kids, out all over the floor. He picks his favorites. His six favorites. They go in the frames. The rest are memorized, stacked and put back in the box. 365 more days. He cries himself to sleep, hoping that he can wait that long.


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