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26 May 2009 @ 08:16 pm
Bandom fic: Are you there, God? It's me, Brendon (1/3)  
Bandom fic: Are you there, God? It's me, Brendon
Ryan/Brendon, 28000 words, NC-17
a/n: This is the boarding-school!AU I wrote nearly a year ago, and which I am damn sick of opening, looking at, and closing again. Please imagine it was posted a year ago, back when Ryan&Keltie were hot stuff, and you just found it now? (If you plan to read, that is.) I fear if I don't get off my ass now, Ryan will soon develop a coke habit and marry a poodle and Joss my fic into infinity.

murklins and oddishly, I bet you never thought you'd see this day! Thank you, bbs. And I'd also like to thank the Academy, and my parents, and my gym instructor Bob...

When Brendon came home with a bloody nose for the third time that week, his mother didn't even ask. She just sighed and said, "Oh, dear." The not again was implied.

Brendon steeled himself against apologising. He'd done that at the beginning, too often. 'Yeah, I just walked into a branch. Mrs Wilkes really needs to trim her hedges. Sorry my shirt got dirty.' Every phone-booth - every lamp-post, bush, and tree in the neighbourhood was unfairly implicated in his injuries. Once, when his t-shirt was more red than white, he even stopped at the 7-Eleven on the corner to buy some washing powder. He'd handed it over to his mother with jam-like blood sliding over his lip. Thinking back, that was probably when she stopped believing inanimate objects had it in for him.

Lately he'd only bought black shirts, so the stains wouldn't show. That brought on a different slew of questions. Was he turning into a 'goth', was he hanging out with different people? - with the usual implication that 'different' meant 'wrong'. Brendon longed to say he didn't hang out with any people - they wouldn't hang out with him - but on balance,that would only make him look more like a loser. He let them think he might be turning away from Jesus. Jesus didn't care about the colour of his shirts - or if he was getting beaten to a pulp for no particular reason, apparently.

"Do you need some ice?" asked Mrs Urie.

Brendon didn't answer for a minute. He was busy prodding his nose, deciding if it was just swollen or if they'd actually broken it this time. He'd read somewhere that if you broke a bone, you'd know it. All he knew right now was that it hurt like hell.

"Yeah," he said, then, belatedly, "thanks, Mom."

Mrs Urie sighed again. She was a champion sigher. Her personal interpretation of God's ordained method of raising children included never raising her voice towards them. Brendon often wished she would just scream.

Brendon sniffed. A drop of blood fell on the place setting with its ugly decorative roses. Brendon rubbed his hand under his nose and got a smear of red for his troubles. He didn't dare mop it up with a dish-cloth, icy-white and pristine as they were. He settled for wiping the blot with his finger and sucking it clean. It tasted sharp and sour. Familiar.

"Tip your head forward," Mrs Urie ordered. Brendon hissed as the ice-pack chilled the back of his neck. "Are you pinching your nose?"

"Yeth," said Brendon.

"Good," said Mrs Urie. As blasé as if they'd done this a hundred times (close enough); as concerned as if it were the first (not by a long shot). "I just finished making soup; do you want some?"

"Won't it ruin my dinner?"

"No," said Mrs Urie. "I'll put it back an hour."

Although Brendon's brothers and sisters often dropped in, meals were no longer the tactical manoeuvre they once had been. Mrs Urie could afford to play fast and loose with schedules these days, now there was only Brendon to worry about - Brendon who never had friends to visit or after-school activities to attend.

By the time the soup was hot and the toast ready, Brendon's nose had stopped bleeding. The sickly taste of blood coated his tongue, and he hastily gulped down half a glass of milk to wash it away. His mother sat down opposite him with a soup-bowl of her own. That was never a good sign; Mrs Urie believed food smoothed over any rough patches she felt herself required to create. There'd been cupcakes, trays and trays of them, on the day she told his sister she couldn't marry a Roman Catholic.

Mrs Urie didn't go straight for the kill. She made small talk about the meal - "Hot enough?" "Do you want more toast?" - and the weather, which was sunny. It rarely wasn't. She waited until Brendon's soup was half-drunk before she said, off-hand, "So, what happened this time?"

Brendon's fingers tightened reflexively as he fought down a lie. He'd told so many lies already, he was probably going to hell with all the Buddhists.

"I got beat up by the guys from the football team." Every world felt carved from his throat with knives. "Same ones as usual."

"Didn't you ignore them, like I said?"

Brendon nodded, trying not to feel angry. His mother's advice was as good as anyone's, and just as useless. "I kept my head down and didn't say anything. They called me some names." He took a deep breath, editing the content of their taunts for a strictly R for Religious audience. That he was called a cocksucker when he'd never so much as kissed anyone, girl or boy, seemed monstrously unfair. He'd tried to point that out in the beginning, but the gibes were merely a formality - a gateway to the real business they had with Brendon, a losing bargain between his face and their fists. "I walked on, they grabbed me, a little while later I came home and had soup."

"Are you finished?" Mrs Urie eyed his bowl. Brendon slurped up the last spoonful and nodded. Mrs Urie's eyes strayed to his neck. She made no move to collect the dishes. "You have bruises," she cleared her throat, "under your chin."

"Oh, yeah," said Brendon, "I tried to get away, which they didn't appreciate. It's easier to punch someone who can't breathe, did you know that?"

"Brendon," said Mrs Urie, her voice clotted. It took Brendon a minute to realise it was with tears.

"It's okay," said Brendon. He reached across the table and tucked his fingers under hers. She squeezed his hand, rubbing her thumb across the torn skin of his knuckles.

"I just don't understand," she said. "We all come in for some - ignorance, from those who don't know our ways. But this blind, endless hatred - and you keep saying you didn't do anything to provoke it."

"But I did," said Brendon. "I was born."

"That can't be the reason. It makes no sense."

"I forgot how that's a requirement for life," snapped Brendon. His mother tensed with hurt. "I'm different, that's all. Not just being Mormon - it's everything. My hair, my glasses, the way I talk. And if it wasn't me, it'd be someone else. That's how the world works."

"God's mercy is infinite," said Mrs Urie quietly.

"Yeah, but Chuck Lawrence's isn't," said Brendon.

Mrs Urie did something to his hand then, a gesture in between a caress and a shake. Then she released it and stood up. Brendon could see the way she peeled the incident from the surface of her mind. "Do you have homework?"

"Yup," said Brendon. Every day before lunch, he requested extra credit assignments from the teacher. Even on Thursdays, when it was geometry that period. It kept him out of sight for a vital few minutes and also meant he could get a library pass. Brendon hadn't eaten in the cafeteria for months. He survived on carrot sticks he snuck between the pages of an encyclopaedia, while the pinch-mouthed librarian glared at him. But Brendon could ignore her easily; nothing ever came of Miss Schuler's glares.

As he went upstairs, he heard his mother get on the phone. She greeted his brother as he closed his bedroom door, shutting out the world.


In fact, dinner was delayed for three hours. Brendon only peripherally noted the time passing. He wrote a draft for his required essay on World War Two - he was doing the Battle of Arnhem, if only because everyone else would pick Pearl Harbour. It wasn't due till next week. Mr Kusak's face had a dusting of impatience when he said Brendon wasn't going to skip a grade, no matter how many extra book reports he turned in. There was nothing else to do - even Brendon wasn't desperate enough to work ahead in geometry.

His father's booming voice, calling him to dinner, startled him badly. When Brendon arrived in the kitchen, it was to see his brother Jacob already there. The bruises were just starting to curdle Brendon's muscles. He absently rubbed his side as he took his place beside Jacob, who cast him a sideways look.

"You okay?" he asked. This was new. Jacob believed real men only discussed their feelings on the Superbowl or when they'd accidentally sawn off an arm.

Jacob was Brendon's oldest brother and sometimes, despite all God had to say on the subject, Brendon hated him.

"Sure," said Brendon, all sprightly. "I just got kicked in the kidneys a few times, but it's nothing I won't piss out in a few days."

"Language!" sing-songed his mother. Her denial was complete in its perfection, Brendon reflected, snatching a bread roll and cramming it into his mouth.

"Yeah," said Jacob, "about that."

"My kidneys?" said Brendon. He made sure to roll the crumbs into it. Jacob wasn't fazed by a little open-mouth chewing, though.

"Yes, your kidneys," said Jacob. "I feel a deep and pressing concern for their welfare. The bullying, idiot. It's got to stop."

"I totally agree," said Brendon. "Let's get up a petition and leave it in church. God will smite Chuck's gang with red-hot smite, I just know it."

"Don't be flippant." Mrs Urie moved the bread basket out of Brendon's reach. "I can understand your bitterness, but don't blame it on God. He that giveth also taketh away."

"I'm all for the taketh away," said Brendon. "Were there any dates provided in that allegory?"

Mr Urie emerged through the back door, dog bowl in hand. "I can't find Moses anywhere," he announced. "Did the damn animal slip his collar again?"

"Stephen," said Mrs Urie. Mr Urie affected an innocent demeanour.

"Sorry, sorry," said Mr Urie. "Tongue got away with me again. Did the darn animal slip his collar again?"

"He's probably in the dog house. Did you look?"

"I called," said Mr Urie.

"That is not - oh, never mind," huffed Mrs Urie. She took the dog bowl from Mr Urie's unresisting grip and opened the back door. Crickets chirped in the dusk.

With an expression of singularly unholy satisfaction, Mr Urie slid into his seat and took advantage of the bread basket that was propped against his water glass. "How's work?" he asked Jacob.

"Good," said Jacob. "Paul said I can start working full-time soon, once Nell moves to San Francisco."

"Excellent!" said Mr Urie. He frowned a little at the mention of Nell, who daily committed the twin crimes of being a female mechanic and a lesbian. Brendon would have loved to be a fly on the wall to watch Jacob's interactions with her. He was never anything but polite when he mentioned her name, and the news of her orientation hadn't come from him. However, these things had a tendency to get around.

Mr Urie and Jacob chatted on about their respective jobs. Brendon picked at the plastic surface of his place setting. The roses were huge and there were tiny accusing eyes hidden amongst the petals. Mr Urie didn't address one word to him.

Mrs Urie returned, brimming with the success of her mission accomplished. She began serving the meal without interrupting Mr Urie's conversation, although she did cluck her tongue and mutter, "May Jesus show her the light" when Jacob mentioned Nell. Brendon mumbled along as his father said grace, not missing the sharp reproof in his mother's eyes.

"So -" Jacob took the distraction provided by his father's gargantuan mouthful of beef to turn to Brendon "- we - Mom and Dad and I - have been discussing your situation."

"Oh yeah?" said Brendon.

"Dad suggested going to the principal, but I don't think that's the best idea." Brendon shook his head frantically. He wasn't stupid enough to imagine that would stop Chuck, although Chuck still felt obliged to point out why that was every third time or so. "I also don't think waiting around hoping for the best is going to be very good for you, either." Jacob laced his hands together. His wedding ring glinted in the yellow light. Brendon wondered if Jacob's newly minted fatherhood was the reason his parents had consulted him on the issue, or if Jacob just assumed he knew best anyway.

"So we were wondering what you thought of this idea," said Jacob. "How would you feel about ... changing schools?"

"Changing schools?" repeated Brendon.

"Yeah," said Jacob. His gaze hopped across to Mrs Urie, over to Mr Urie, and back to Brendon. "We've all talked this out, and we agreed to chip in and send you to St Jude's Academy in Winchester. It's a good Christian place and they welcome Mormons."

"And Muslims," said Mr Urie, sounding rather aggrieved by the fact.

"It's all right, honey," said Mrs Urie. "I'm sure none of them actually want to go there."

"St Jude's?" Brendon was bewildered. "Isn't that a boarding school?"

Jacob nodded. "Of course, there's other options around Summerlin, but we thought you maybe needed a fresh start. Somewhere new." Where no one knows you, he didn't say.

"A fresh start," murmured Brendon. Jacob smiled, the same smile he wore when people witnessed in front of him. It was a superior, 'welcome back to the fold' expression, and it rubbed Brendon the wrong way. But still - a fresh start. Away from the bullies. Away from his family, too, and their confused disappointment when he mentioned applying to colleges other than BYU or played Bowie loud enough for them to hear.

"It's not cheap," said Jacob, "but we figured you could apply for one of their scholarships." He pulled a crumpled bill out of his pocket and passed it to Brendon. With a leap of his heart, Brendon saw the intricate school motto emblazoned on the front. "Plus, we've got something to put towards it - the girls and Noah, too."

"You'd all do that for me?" Brendon's eyes glazed, so he kept them firmly on the prospectus. Crying was simply Not Done in front of his father.

"Of course." Jacob sounded almost offended. "You're our brother." For the first time, Brendon heard that as simply 'my brother' and not 'my brother in Christ.' It felt different. Better.

"Thank you," he said. "May I be excused? I want to go look over this and see about the scholarships."

"So you'll consider it?" said his mother anxiously.

"Absolutely." Brendon broke out into a grin. Jacob and Mrs Urie smiled - smugly, in the case of the former, but Brendon didn't care.

Mr Urie scratched his nose. "Be back in a quarter-hour to wash the dishes," he said.


Brendon was just finishing raking up the yard when Melanie's acid-green VW Beetle tore around the corner, narrowly missing a fatal collision with Mrs Zuckerman's letterbox. Brendon dropped the rake and leapt towards the relative safety of the porch, but he was grinning.

Melanie was talking - well, yelling - into a cellphone as she slid out of the car, her skirt just a little too short and too tight, her heels just a little too high. But her Ray-Bans matched her car, because no matter what else happened Melanie was still Melanie.

"- because I'm busy," said Melanie, with a tone of finality that Brendon knew well from a hundred bedtimes and failed pleas for candy. "No. No, I don't have to, actually. The only person I report to is my boss, and last I checked you weren't him." Melanie breathed heavily through her nose. "Fine."

Brendon came down the porch steps hesitantly. Melanie's temper was legendary, and her nostrils were flaring in a way that suggested danger ahead. But her expression cleared like summer lightning when she saw him. "Beebee!" she said, holding out her arms. Brendon hugged her tight. She was the only one of his siblings who didn't ever mind being hugged.

"Hey, Mellon," he said, scratching his chin on her oversized pearl necklace. "Mom never said you were coming."

"That's 'cause Mom didn't know I was coming," said Melanie. "Hel - heck, I didn't know I was coming. I wanted to have a chat with you about this school thing, then Greg got on my case about something, and next thing we know I'm back in the hood."

Brendon tried not to feel hurt. At twenty-three, Melanie was plenty old to be still unmarried. He should be happy for her and Greg. They'd been going to couples group for months; their engagement was all but official. Mrs Urie was over the moon.

"Are you free now? Because I'm having an idea." Melanie pushed her sunglasses into her hair, revealing eyes sparkling with mischief.

"Let me just check my really busy schedule."

Melanie poked him in the forehead. Brendon shied away, his glasses slipping down his nose.

"When's the last time you got new frames, Beebee?" asked Melanie. "I swear Mom wore ones like those in 1988."

Brendon shrugged. He had better things to spend his allowance on; guitars didn't just string themselves. "They're fine."

"No, they're ugly," said Melanie, "but I see how you could get those two confused. C'mon, get in."

"But -" Brendon gestured at his grass-stained tennis shoes and faded sweats.

"Yeah," said Melanie, with a jingle of car-keys. "That's the second item on our agenda."


Brendon prayed that he'd get a scholarship. It was an odd feeling - praying and meaning it. It reeked of his childhood and how he'd wished really hard for a BMX for his birthday. He'd got it, too, which bolstered up his faith for years to come.

"Please God," he said in bed, clasped hands tucked between his curled-up knees, "do this for me, and I'll start believing in you again. Really believing. I swear."

When the - thick, bulky - acceptance letter came, he was almost disappointed.


Brendon had expected something more military.

He ran his hand along the oak panelling, stared open-mouthed at the plaster angels on the ceiling. He ended up trailing behind his parents and the principal, Miss Finch, and had to jog to catch up. There was a chandelier, just hanging there twinkling as if it were nothing out of the ordinary. The whole place couldn't be like this.

It wasn't. "Most of the main wing is a historical landmark," said Miss Finch, sounding almost apologetic, "so it's mainly used as a reception hall, and for assemblies and plays. The drama club has colonised most of the common rooms." Mr Urie's mouth went flat the mention of 'drama club.' Brendon was careful not to betray any enthusiasm. "The classrooms are all in the East Wing, the dormitories in the West. As a sophomore, you'll be on the third floor this semester, but in September you'll be moving up to the fourth floor." She smiled. "Everyone likes the fourth floor; it has turrets."

Compared to the grandeur of the main hall, the dormitories were pretty basic. The carpets were clean but grey. The walls there looked like they'd taken more of a battering than those elsewhere. The doors were loaded down with - everything; from whiteboards to dirty drawings pinned up with thumbtacks. Mrs Finch laughed. Brendon could detect a quaver of embarrassment in the note.

"We usually have the kids clean up before potential students come to visit," she said. "But you're rather a special case - and also short notice."

Brendon smiled at her: his biggest, widest smile. He didn't dare to actually say anything, not with his father's horrified eyes drifting over one ode to 'Jenny's hotass bod', complete with illustrations.

"We don't usually let people start mid-term," she continued, "but one of our students got the opportunity to go to France with his father for the semester, freeing up a space. So you'll be sharing with Bert McCracken." She gestured at a door that was heavily emblazoned with stickers and pin-scratched scrawls. Either Bert or his Europe-bound roommate was clearly a big fan of Nirvana and Metallica. If Mr Urie's eyes didn't pop right out at the sight, it was only because he thought nirvana was just another word for 'the eternal peace of Christ.'

"I'll leave you for a few minutes to get settled in." Miss Finch had a sweet face, but it was strengthened by the girders of wrinkles that folded up when she smiled. "Your parents and I will take some refreshments in my office while we wait. Do you remember how to get back there?" After Brendon's nod, she added, "I'll assign one of our older students to show you around later."

"Thank you," Brendon remembered to say, but so softly he wasn't sure she heard. He slung his book bag over his shoulder and picked up his two suitcases, ignoring the frantic fluttering of his heart against the bars of his ribs. He tried not to take it as bad sign that Chuck Lawrence was also a fan of Metallica.

After the seconds of heady anticipation, finding the room empty was almost a let-down. Brendon shuffled forward, kicking the heavier suitcase ahead of him. The room contained two narrow beds, two even narrower desks, two practically anorexic closets, and a window to separate the room into halves. The curtains were a sickly shade of yellow and boasted some odd stains. Bert's bed had, apparently, recently taken a thrashing from a herd of elephants. Half the duvet was twisted up on to the desk, which in turn spilled papers, books and crumpled-up soda cans back on to the mattress.

The walls were almost completely obscured by posters. Brendon just about recognised Kurt Cobain's parody of an anguished saint, and he was pretty sure the guy leering at him from the ceiling was Marilyn Manson. For a minute he grasped the edge of why church elders found these musicians so threatening. But he dismissed his reservations and set about investigating his bed and the sliver of floor visible around it.

It was while Brendon was wrestling his pillows into their covers that a knock came at the door. He hesitated for a second, wondering if it were one of Bert's friends and what he would do if it were. Then again, it might be Miss Finch (or, heaven forbid, his dad), so he called, "Come in." It came out sounding like a question.

The door opened slowly, and Brendon realised his second suitcase was blocking the way. He dropped the pillow and leaped to the rescue, hauling the case aside. He straightened, red-faced and panting, to see a boy on the doorstep.

Brendon's scholarship included a stipend for uniforms. Half of his first suitcase was crammed with starched white shirts, prickly navy sweaters and grey pants with creases down the front. Ties and black lace-ups were also heavily implicated. However, it was five o'clock - well past time for classes to let out - and this boy had taken 'student's choice' on a little stroll that encompassed the turn of the century, the Wild West, and vintage Charlie Chaplin. Brendon was pretty sure the lacy orange thing around his neck was actually a poncho.

The fact that preceded all others, though - and the one Brendon's mind was carefully shying around every time he ventured too close - was that the boy was pretty. Like, insanely pretty. He had long, delicate fingers that were fidgeting amongst his poncho's stranglehold, and an angular, fine-boned face. He was still absurdly male, as the hobblingly-tight jeans made abundantly clear.

"Hi," said the boy, looking a little unnerved by Brendon's scrutiny. Brendon didn't blame him; he hurriedly dropped his eyes to his own feet. His battered loafers seemed very plain next to the boy's gold-tooled cowboy boots. "I'm Ryan Ross the Third." There was a slightly sardonic twist to the way he said it, but Brendon didn't realise that until much later, when he was better able to plumb the depths of Ryan's eternal monotone. At that moment all he heard was 'the third,' with all it implied in terms of bloodlines and privilege and money.

Ryan put his head on one side; a sheaf of soft-brown hair slipped from the confines of his violet bowler hat. "Sorry, can you talk? We had a deaf guy last year, it's fine, it's just I'll need to get someone from the sign-language club -"

"Sign-language club?" blurted Brendon, and blushed as Ryan smiled. (It was a very small smile, a mere twitch of the lips, but Brendon easily recognised it for what it was.)

"Greta's doing," said Ryan. "She decided if we could have a club for every language spoken on the greater European continent, plus a few that aren't, there could be one for sign-language. Finch doesn't even argue anymore." Ryan took an exaggeratedly high step over Brendon's book bag. "Do you have any strong opinions against learning to sign? Because unless you do, Greta will rope you in. She can smell fresh blood from a mile off. She is in many ways like a shark."

"Um." Brendon blushed harder as Ryan poked curiously at the half-dressed bed. "I wouldn't mind learning. Sign language, I mean."

"Tell Greta I sent you, I'll be in cookies for a month." Ryan plumped down on Brendon's bed without so much as a by-your-leave and stretched out his long legs, crossing them at the ankles. "I like your sheets," he said, smoothing his hand down the duvet cover.

They were a burnt cream colour with large brown and aqua circles. Melanie had insisted, after nearly having a heart attack when Brendon said he was bringing some of Mrs Urie's linen. 'Turn up to a posh school like that with rose-embroidered sheets? Oh no, you're too young to die.'

The memory made Brendon a little sniffly. He crouched down to empty his book bag and hide his feelings.

He could feel Ryan watching him as he dumped his collection on the empty desk. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling, but his skin grew squirmy. Damp darts broke out on the back of his neck.

"Your bed is very comfortable," said Ryan. "Why is everyone's bed but mine always comfortable? Anyway, I think you should tell me your name. It's kind of tacky to roll all over someone's mattress without finding that out first."

Brendon gasped a laugh and stuck out his free hand, although he was afraid it might be sticky with sweat. Ryan took it in a dry clasp, arching his eyebrows. "Brendon. My name is Brendon."


If anyone else had said, 'Forget unpacking, come with me,' Brendon would have returned an emphatic no. He'd been brought up in the ways of neatness (next to Godliness) and besides, he didn't want to leave out half the contents of his underwear drawer for Bert to inspect. And yet when Ryan rolled off the bed into a standing position and held out his hand, Brendon said, 'Okay, sure' without a second thought.

"Do you usually show new kids around?" asked Brendon, thundering down stairs Ryan had taken in a single, flying leap. Ryan looked up at him as he waited.

"No," he said, and gave the little flickering smile again. Brendon felt ridiculously flattered. And he'd been here an hour without getting punched. Things were looking up.

They looked down again pretty quick, when the first student they ran across turned out to be Brendon's roommate Bert. He was lounging in a doorway with a number of cronies. They were all dressed in dusty black with long, lank hair that would have had Mr Urie reaching for a pair of scissors and Mrs Urie for a vat of shampoo. Brendon didn't hang around with people like them at his old school, for fear of it getting back to his parents. He'd always felt a little sorry about that; it wasn't like the mainstream kids welcomed him with open arms.

These boys - although one of them could have been a girl; Brendon couldn't tell - didn't look hostile, but they didn't sure didn't look welcoming. One of them smirked at Ryan as he approached. Brendon didn't think it was a 'howdy partner' kind of smirk, either. He snuck a look at Ryan's face, which had gone slightly congealed.

"Where's your fairy court, Ice Queen?" asked the smirker. He wasn't much taller than Brendon, but he was of stockier build. The screenprint of Nirvana splashed across his t-shirt gave Brendon the first clue to his identity.

"Go pierce your vagina," said Ryan sweetly. Brendon stifled a gasp. The smirker's eyes slid over him.

"This one's new." He hoisted himself off the doorjamb. "Oh Jesus, don't tell me you're Brendon Urie."

"Okay, I won't," said Brendon, and pre-emptively winced. It was those sort of remarks that gained him such an intimate acquaintance with Chuck's knuckles. Bert - it had to be - didn't hit him, though; he just snorted and exchanged eye-rolls with the possibly-girl.

"Listen, kid," said Bert, "before Quinn fucked off to Frogland he was happy to let me use some of his wallspace. I hope we're not gonna have troubles on that score."

Brendon frowned. "Oh! No, it's cool. I don't have any posters."

"For real?" said Bert. "Okay. Can I use your wall, then?"

"No," said Brendon firmly. "I still need somewhere to hang my embroidery."

The maybe-female gave a throaty cackle. Bert scrunched up his eyes, but Brendon saw his lips quiver first. Ryan's mouth dropped a little, before he snapped his lips back into a straight line. But the echo of a smile still lingered there, and a warm tickle thrummed Brendon's bones.

He followed Ryan through the door, where his attention was distracted by a sour-faced boy perched on a sofa arm. Brendon took the chance to observe his surroundings. The plush, worn sofas and decorative but empty fireplace suggested that it was one of the common rooms.

"Spencer," said Ryan, "Spencer Smith the fifth, I want to introduce you to someone."

Spencer's hair was shiny and his eyes were narrowed. Brendon had seen more open expressions on a sphinx. "Hi," he said, holding out a hand. "I'm Brendon Urie the twenty-seventh."

Spencer's face split into a smile. He didn't smile like Ryan, in careful measurements, but widely, twinklingly, blindingly. However, the expression lasted even fewer nanoseconds than Ryan's, if that were possible. "The twenty-seventh, huh?" he said, shaking Brendon's hand.

"Do you shake everyone's hand?" asked Ryan. "Huh. Quaint."

"It's polite," Spencer corrected him.

Brendon shrugged. "I'm with him. My mom says politeness never goes out of fashion."

"She hasn't been to Paris lately, has she?" asked Ryan doubtfully.

"She's never been out of America," said Brendon.

"Me neither." Spencer eyed Brendon. "Really the twenty-seventh?"

"No," admitted Brendon. "I just felt left out."

"Trust me, in this place, not being the fifth or twenty-seventh something is more unique." Spencer appeared to telegraph something to Ryan with his eyebrows. Brendon switched his gaze to Ryan's face, which was helpfully blank. "So, Brendon Urie the first, have you picked any club activities yet?"

"Dude, I haven't even finished unpacking," said Brendon. "Also, I think I have to go meet my parents now."

"I'll take you down the short cut," said Spencer. He smiled at Brendon again, a brief shock of teeth and lips, but didn't move. He seemed to be waiting for Ryan.

"Application slips," Ryan said, possibly to himself. He was staring up, though Brendon wasn't sure at what - there were no plaster angels here.

"Brendon just said he hasn't picked any clubs yet," Spencer pointed out.

Ryan looked over at Brendon. Something about the shadows from his hat and the sweep of his eyelashes gave a weird depth to his stare. He hummed, and said, "Sure, whatever."

Spencer sighed and grabbed Brendon's elbow. When Spencer leaned in to whisper, Brendon didn't feel shaky and warm. He decided not to analyse why that was, though.

"If you're very lucky," said Spencer, "he won't put you down for scrapbooking. But don't hold your breath."


Brendon didn't realise how much time had passed until he saw his parents' faces. They were both fidgety, in the way that meant Miss Finch had probably offered them tea and coffee and the resulting refusals had stemmed the petite flow of conversation. Mr Urie actually looked relieved when he saw Brendon.

"I was afraid you'd got lost," said Miss Finch, whose wrinkles had tightened in the interval.

"Sorry," said Brendon. "I met Ryan Ross the third and we got talking."

"Ryan Ross? The ... third?" repeated Miss Finch. Her expression suggested she was trying to hold back a sneeze. "Well. It's good to see you settling in. I'll leave you to say your goodbyes."

Mrs Urie hugged Brendon tightly and pressed a pocket-sized Bible into his hand. Brendon - embarrassed despite being alone with them in the hallway - stuffed it deep into his cargo pants.

"Thanks, Mom," he said. "I brought my own one, though."

If anything, his mother looked more worried at that. "Promise me you'll read a little every day," she said. "And go to church. They have ... non-denominational services every Sunday. And don't forget to call!"

"I will," said Brendon.

"Miss Finch said they have payphones." Mrs Urie fussed with Brendon's collar. "We'll see about getting you a cell phone next term, maybe. You can let us know if you need more quarters, or something..."

"I'm going to be fine, Mom," said Brendon. He would have said this even if he hadn't met Ryan Ross, the third, an hour ago. On the other hand, it meant Ryan Ross, the third, had saved him from the sin of lying. Ryan Ross was pretty cool.

"I know," said his mother, her eyes big and wet. Mr Urie grunted and gripped Brendon's shoulder. Brendon could feel the bones grinding under his fingers.

"Remember who you are," he said. "This is a place where it'd be easy to forget."

Brendon looked down, at his sensible brown shoes, and nodded. He thought about the new sneakers that lay in his suitcase. And the ten-year-old Book of Mormon that lay next to them.

Mrs Urie hugged him one last time. Brendon let her smooth down his hair, even though he knew it made him look five years old. Then they were gone.

Mrs Finch materialised from the shadows. "Feeling a bit sad," she said. It wasn't a question, so Brendon didn't have to answer. He might feel sad later; now, he only felt impatient to see his new friends again. He followed her into her office. "Your parents were quite keen for you to meet our chaplain, Mr Waterstone."

She looked at him expectantly. Brendon realised this was a question. "Right," he said. "That sounds ... yeah. Fine."

"Unfortunately Mr Waterstone was on a retreat this weekend," she said. "He's expected back sometime tonight. Here is his card." She handed over a flat white square, on which were printed Mr Waterstone's name, credentials (he had a Ph.D in Comparative Religion), a symbol of clasped hands and 'Room 19, East Wing'. "I was going to assign Gabe Saporta to show you around, but -"

"Ryan said he'd do it," Brendon jumped in. "If that's okay?"

"I don't see why not," said Miss Finch. "He's never volunteered before - ever - but that's no reason why he wouldn't be just as good at it as any other student here. You can ask him, then, to help you find room 19. Also - if there are any problems, or you want any more help, please let me know."

Brendon saw the implied insult to Ryan in that, but he also saw a teacher who seemed genuinely concerned. "Thanks."

"And now, dinner," said Miss Finch. "If I've learned anything about teenage boys in my career, it's that they're always hungry. If you follow the hall down to the right, you'll come to a large set of double doors. That's the dining hall. Now, seating is by class for breakfast and lunch, but you may sit wherever you choose at dinner."

"Great!" Brendon smiled and confided, "I am kind of starving. It was a long drive."

"Go on, then. And hopefully I won't see you here again soon, because you won't be in any kind of trouble."

Brendon's hand brushed the Bible in his pocket. "No, mam." He bounced out the door, ignoring Miss Finch's indulgent smile and, also, her sigh.


It didn't take long to spot Ryan, mainly because as soon as he saw Brendon hovering in the doorway he leapt out of his seat and waved. A few strides of his long legs brought him to the door.

"Brendon, hey," said Ryan. "So." He looked slightly at a loss, fiddling with a tassel on his poncho.

"I'm so hungry," moaned Brendon. He clutched his stomach. Miss Finch's directions gave the impression that the dining hall was close by, when in fact Brendon had walked shorter distances across football pitches.

Ryan's mouth twitched. "The serving line's over there. C'mon, I'll show you."

Brendon shook his head. "Too far. Hey, there's a table. That looks tasty. I can lie down, gnaw on it, something."

"I've tried that," said Ryan. "They're not as appetising as they look, trust me." He touched Brendon's elbow, guiding him around the clutter of long oak tables and benches. Brendon couldn't decide if he wanted to shake Ryan off or have something more - more what, he didn't know. He felt his insides jangle sweetly, so he did the only thing he could think of to distract himself: he talked.

"Wow, this place is seriously impressive. Those are some big paintings." He angled his head for a better look and nearly tripped over a bench. Ryan's grip became tighter and his steering more obvious; Brendon tried not to notice. "I mean, clearly someone said: I must have the biggest, ugliest paintings of women in corsets ever created. They can't just be medium-sized or plain. This room alone must have funded twenty painters."

"The school was initially set up by a group of women," said Ryan. "Patronesses. It was a charity thing. I'm pretty sure most of those paintings were done by past students."

"Students of what?" asked Brendon. "Cubism?"

Ryan did that thing where he didn't laugh, but Brendon could tell he wanted to. His lips went all flat and kind of dug into each other. Brendon barked his knee off a rack of trays.

"You'll need one of these." Ryan passed him a tray with a handful of cutlery. The cutlery slid all over the place and Brendon bent his knee to balance it all. Ryan was giving him an 'are you for real?' look, so Brendon grabbed the cutlery and stuffed it in his pocket. That, at least, solved one problem.

"And now." Ryan spread his hands. "Food. Mostly inedible, of course. Are you a vegetarian?"

"Er," said Brendon. Ryan's expression could be described as 'thunderous'; only it was Ryan, who seemed to minimalise his emotions, so it came out as 'heavy showers.' "Not as such. No."

"Most people here are," said Ryan. "Or if they're not, they end up as one. You'll see what I mean after the eight days of chicken."

"I like chicken," said Brendon.

"You say that now," said Ryan.

He guided Brendon to the salad bar, the hot meals, the cold meals, the cereal bar ('some people like cereal,' was Ryan's shrugging reply, and Brendon resolved to have Froot Loops for dinner as soon as possible) and the juice bar, which contained more varieties of soda, juice and bottled water than Brendon saw in most markets. It was at the dessert rack that things got interesting.

"So -" Brendon twirled the rack. "- much. Sugar."

"Oh, great," said Ryan. "You're a sugar junkie."

"How could you say no? Look at that éclair. It's begging to be eaten. But so is the ice-cream. Decisions, they're so hard. Hey, stop laughing at me."

"I'm not laughing," protested Ryan. It was true; he wasn't. But Brendon could tell he wanted to. "Did you bring your meal plan with you? It's okay if you didn't, I can cover you for one night -"

"No, I did. Hold this." Brendon jostled the tray into Ryan's hands. He dug into his back pockets, going up on his heels. After some rummaging, and a lot of eye-rolling on Ryan's part, Brendon managed to locate his meal plan. This was a pink laminated ticket with his name and student ID. Ryan's eyes flashed.

"You're a pinkie?" he said. At Brendon's 'huh?' he added, "A scholarship student?"

For an instant, the light was sucked out of the room. Brendon snatched his tray back. "Yeah," he said shortly. Ryan's face was screwed up in an unflattering expression of shock. Brendon turned on his heel, scanning the room for a pay-station. He knew this was too good to be true, he knew it -

"Hey." Ryan's touch on his shoulder made him flinch. Ryan quickly withdrew his hand, but he stepped around in front of Brendon. "I was just surprised, that's all. Pinkies usually get a big-deal orientation and stuff, a guided tour of the school - you kind of see them coming."

"I was supposed to have a tour with Gabe Saporta." Ryan choked. "But -" Brendon bit his lip and grew confused by how Ryan's eyes flickered over it. "Well. I told Miss Finch you'd do it. I didn't realise you were anti-scholarships or whatever."

"Jesus, here." Ryan grabbed the end of the tray before half Brendon's dinner slid off it. "That meal plan only gets you four desserts a week. I usually let Spence have a couple of mine - whenever he's not on some crazy-ass diet, anyway. If you want I'll get yours tonight, so you'll have an extra day. I don't know, you look like someone who needs dessert in their life."

"This is true," said Brendon. "But I'll get my own dessert, thanks."

"Shut up," said Ryan. "I'll get your stupid ice-cream." He took the bowl off the tray and fished out his own meal ticket - it was green. "It's the least I can do," he added, "as your own official tour guide and everything."

Brendon's grin made Ryan blink rapidly and turn away.


Brendon remembered to ask about Ryan's own dinner only when he got to Ryan's table, where a group of people were in varying stages of eating.

"Did you eat already?" he asked in an undertone. Spencer Smith the fifth, however, had very sharp ears.

"Ryan? Eat? That's a good one," he said. "Ooh, is that ice-cream?"

"South Beach Diet, remember?" said Ryan. "And I get my two thousands calories a day. Don't give me that look."

"Twizzlers don't count as food," said Spencer.

"Oh, but they're really good with corn chips!" said Brendon. Ryan did his lip-digging thing again.

"I saved you a seat," he said, pointing across the table. "Beside Keltie. Keltie, Vicky, Gabe, Jon, Ryland, Patrick - this is Brendon. Brendon - everyone."

"So this is your newest collectable item," said the taller boy, the one with hooded eyes and a neon pink windcheater. Gabe, prompted Brendon's brain. He wasn't great with names, but it had never been a problem before. When people didn't talk to you, you didn't need to remember what they were called.

"Here, sweetie," said the blonde girl, as Brendon slipped around the table. He wished he could have sat beside Ryan and Spencer, but there was no room. He ended up across from Ryan, so that was something. "I'm Keltie, in case you missed that speed-of-light intro."

"Hi." Brendon squeezed in beside her and smiled shyly. He'd never sat this close to a girl before, and the table was pretty jammed. Brendon got the feeling there weren't supposed to be this many people sitting at it. Keltie was picking at a salad, which made Brendon feel all the more self-conscious as he took his knife to cut his chicken. He tuned into Ryan's conversation with Gabe.

"- when do you do tours?" asked Ryan. "Surely even you can find easier ways of picking up chicks."

"Easy for you to say," drawled Gabe.

"Call a girl a 'chick' again and I'll put this fork through your eye," said the other girl, who had to be Vicky. Her voice was low and husky and almost bored-sounding. Mrs Urie would have taken a washcloth to her eye makeup.

"Down, girl," said Gabe. "Look, I wanted some extra credit. It counts as tutoring."

"Again," said Ryan, playing with his water glass - his fingers were really long, thought Brendon, and for some reason nearly choked on a tomato. "What skills do you have to pass on that anyone could put on a transcript?"

"It probably comes under 'leadership qualities,'" said Gabe. "Fuck it, Finch was riding my ass on this. I really need some extra-curriculars."

"Don't look at me," said Ryan. "I hear Greta has an opening in the German club."

"I don't even take German." Gabe's voice had a distinctly whiny quality now. "Ryland, kick him."

"I will not," said Ryland serenely. He didn't even look up from the book he was reading. Brendon spotted the words 'theoretical physics' in the title. "You want someone kicked, you kick them yourself. We've discussed this."

"You're fired from being my bitch," said Gabe.

"Thank god." Ryland flipped a page. Gabe sighed and put his head on the shoulder of the guy beside him. He had scruffy stubble and sleepy eyes, and was huddled into his hoodie like an Eskimo. "You wanna be my bitch?" Gabe asked him.

"Would I have to like, spank you?" Brendon choked again, and this time Ryan cut him a look. "'Cause I wouldn't be down with that."

"I could spank you." Gabe hooked a spider-monkey arm around - Jon, it was either Jon or Patrick, and Brendon was pretty sure Patrick was Hat Guy. "It would be awesome. People would pay me money to watch."

"Yeah, you have a sick mind," said Jon. "I quit already. Pervert."

"Don't even say it," warned the Hat Guy.

"Like I would." Gabe made a kissy-face at Hat Guy. His gaze rounded the table and - bypassing the girls entirely - landed on Brendon. Brendon became very interested in his salad.

"Now there's a thought," said Gabe. Brendon could feel the slow burn of a blush starting. He hastily took a sip of water, looking through the bottom to see not only Gabe, but Ryan and Spencer staring at him. "Hey, mini-Ross, what are your qualifications? Do you have what it takes to be my bitch?"

"Uh, no," said Brendon. "You could be mine, though? I have pretty low standards."

Ryan's face flared into an honest-to-god grin for a second. It faded quickly, but the warmth in Brendon's cheeks suddenly had nothing to do with Gabe.

"This is all your fault, you know." Gabe flicked a lettuce leaf into Ryland's book. "I ask you to do one tiny thing for me -"

Ryland reached across and grabbed Ryan's hand. "Please," he said urgently. "Let Gabe into the drama club. Otherwise he'll drive me insane. You won't like me when I'm insane."

"Whatever." Ryan dipped his little finger in his water and sucked it off delicately. "You're either going to be cross-dressing or painting sets. Your pick."

"Are you in charge of the drama club, then?" asked Brendon. He was proud that, in this group of loud, boisterous, intimidating people, his voice only shook a little.

"President in good standing, two years running," said Ryan. "And Vice-President of the Music Appreciation Society."

"Not to be confused with the actual Music Society," said Vicky. "Which is only for people who can play instruments."

"The ukulele is an instrument," said Ryan.

"Some people say that about your face," said Vicky.

"I notice you've never missed a meeting of the Appreciation Society," said Ryan.

Vicky shrugged and returned to massacring a quiche. "I only do it for Greta's cookies."

"I've heard great things about these cookies," said Brendon to Keltie. "I hope they live up to my hugely inflated expectations."

"I bet they will," said Keltie. She was filing her nails: they were a pearly shade of pink. "I don't eat anything with that much whole butter in it, but even Ryan's had some." She raised her voice. "Isn't that right, honey?"


"Say 'pardon,'" Keltie admonished, waving her nail file. "Greta's cookies. You liked them, right?"

"It was like eating an orgasm," said Ryan promptly. Keltie giggled. Brendon flailed for his water glass. He couldn't help it. He'd never heard sex talked about like this before - like it was no big deal. He was aware other teenagers thought that way, but his main influences were forty-year-old Mormons. "Oh man, Bren, you'll love them. She's promised to make some for drama club tomorrow. You'll get to try them then."

Brendon felt a trickle of happiness at Ryan's casual use of his nickname. "It sounds like fun," he said. "If you have any use for people who can't act, that is."

"Totally." Ryan waved a hand. "We have about fifty invisible members - you know, people who only put it on their transcript and never show up for rehearsals and shit? And then people like Gabe, whose use in life hasn't yet been ascertained -"

"Your mom said that last night!" yelled Gabe. He was tickling - molesting? - Patrick now, trying to get hold of his hat. Patrick apparently had no tickle spots, because his hands remained clamped over his trucker hat despite Gabe's best efforts.

"Like, there's way more to drama club than acting." Ryan warmed to his theme. "Directing, and set design, and writing -"

"Ryan's written about thirty plays," interjected Spencer. He looked forlornly at Brendon's ice-cream. "They're really good."

"It's more like ten, and they're crap," said Ryan. "But there's a tonne of opportunities. You'll join, right?"

"Sure," said Brendon. Ryan let out a puff of what looked like relief. The idea of someone recruiting Brendon was so foreign that Brendon had to take another gulp of water. At that moment, Patrick kneed Gabe in the groin. Gabe yowled and rolled sideways, knocking Ryland's book into Vicky's quiche. Vicky thumped Gabe on the ear with it, then stomped off.

"My book," said Ryland, making grabby-hands at Vicky's retreating back. He was trapped on the bench by Gabe's prostrate form.

"She loves me really," moaned Gabe. "Ouch. Deep, deep down."

"I told you not to touch my hat, fucker," said Patrick.

"Yeah, I'm really glad you're joining the drama club, Brendon," said Ryan pointedly.

"Whatever, you just want another cute boy to crush on," said Gabe. "Considering you can't have my fine ass."

"I wouldn't touch your fine ass," said Ryan. "I don't want herpes, thanks."

"Ha, you said my ass was fine!" crowed Gabe.

"Both of you, quit it," said Keltie. "You're embarrassing Brendon." She pulled him close and kissed his temple. "It's okay, sweetie. They don't mean it."

"I know," mumbled Brendon, his face fiery. He wasn't dumb. Also. Keltie's boobs were right there. Her low-cut sweater wasn't disguising that fact at all.

"Are you trying to put the moves on my girlfriend?" asked Ryan. He was wearing a little smirk.

"What? No!" exclaimed Brendon. Keltie let him go with a hair-ruffle. What was she, his mom? "You two are - I didn't -"

"Chill, dude," said Gabe. "Ryan's totally easy. You know it's not gay if you don't - ow!"

"Seriously," said Patrick, extracting his fork from Gabe's thigh. "Shut up for ten whole minutes and I'll give you a dollar."

"Make it two," said Gabe. Patrick sighed and nodded. Gabe mimed zipping his mouth shut, although not before sending Brendon a lewd wink.

All of a sudden, Brendon felt sick. He'd probably eaten too much. "You want this?" he asked Spencer, pushing over his ice-cream.

"I shouldn't," said Spencer reluctantly. Gabe grabbed a spoon. "Oh, what the hell." Spencer yanked the bowl out of Gabe's reach and tucked in.

Brendon looked around the crowded dining hall: full of happy, laughing people he didn't know, every one of them just waiting to find out how much of a loser Brendon Urie truly was. He longed for his bedroom at home, shut away from a world that was too confusing for him to handle.

"You look tired," said Ryan softly. Brendon almost didn't catch it, what with Spencer's exaggerated moans of ecstasy for Gabe's benefit and Keltie's giggles at the performance. "You want some company back to your room?"

Brendon just nodded, not trusting himself to speak just then.

"I'll catch you losers later," said Ryan, louder. "I'm showing Brendon back to his room." Gabe's mouth opened.

"Two dollars," warned Patrick. Gabe visibly wavered, but said nothing. Patrick turned to Brendon. "Hey, I guess I'll see you in class tomorrow. You're a sophomore too, right?"

"Yeah," said Brendon. "I have music first."

"I'll save you a seat," said Patrick. Brendon smiled; it had a bit of a tremble in it. There was a chorus of 'Night, Brendon's from the table.

Ryan bumped shoulders with Brendon on the way out. "Homesickness. Happens to the best of us."

They climbed the stairs in silence and were almost back to Brendon's room before he found the courage to ask, "How long have you been going out?"

"Who - me and Keltie? Uh ... since October, maybe. You'd have to ask her if you want exact dates. Or Spencer. He has this list on his phone of the birthdays of everyone he's ever met. It's awesome - one of my girlfriends would have killed me by now if it wasn't for that stupid thing."

"It's not stupid if it, like, prevents death," said Brendon, more sharply than he'd intended.

"I guess. Listen, class starts at nine and breakfast runs from seven. I was thinking: put your alarm on for seven and I can show you around some of the essential places before class."

"Thank you."

"Don't mention it." Ryan shoved his hands into his pockets. "Hey, don't - don't think about things too much, okay? Just try to go to sleep."

"Yeah," said Brendon. He waited until Ryan had jogged back down the corridor before he went into his room.


By the time Bert came back, Brendon was curled up in bed with his battered Bible while an intercom screeched, "Five minutes to lights-out! Five minutes to lights-out!"

"Shut the fuck up!" Bert roared at the speaker above the door. Brendon jumped. "Oh - forgot you were there."

"Okay," said Brendon politely. He returned his gaze to the parable of the talents, which he'd read three times without taking in a word. Bert shucked off his clothes and kicked them into a corner. He crawled into bed wearing only his boxers.

When the intercom finally wailed, "Final warning - lights-out!", Brendon shut his Bible and leaned down to shove it into a drawer.

"You religious or something?" asked Bert. Brendon looked across. Bert was propped up on one elbow, displaying three tattoos, a pierced nipple and a quantity of naked, hairy chest.

"Mormon," said Brendon, dropping his eyes.

"Cute," said Bert. "Allah Akbar and all that."

"Mormon," repeated Brendon. "Not Muslim."

"Oh, well." Bert traced a lazy circle in the air. "They start with the same letter."

"They sure do," agreed Brendon. He reached up to turn off his lamp. "Um. Goodnight."

Bert's laugh rolled over the darkness. "What do Mormons say about jerking off?"

"Nothing, if they can help it," said Brendon.

"So will you go to hell if I - you know?"


"I suppose I could schedule, like, a timetable," said Bert, reluctance dripping from each word. "Me and Quinn used to have competitions ... good times."

"I'm going to sleep now," said Brendon. "Right now. This minute."

"Ah. Gotcha."

Brendon faked a snore and pulled the pillow over his ears. His insides were roiling with embarrassment.

As a muffler, the pillow was absolutely useless. He could hear the rustle of sheets, the slick sounds, and above all Bert's heavy gasps, as if he were right there in the bed with him, and whoa, Brendon did not want to go there.

Finally, when Brendon had said every prayer he knew and was on to freestyle begging, Bert bit out a harsh 'Fuck.' The mattress creaked, Bert sighed and - so Brendon devoutly hoped - it was all over. A few minutes later whuffling snores informed Brendon that Bert was asleep. He let go of the pillow.

Brendon wondered who Ryan shared a room with. Did they listen when Ryan did that? Did Ryan listen when they -

Brendon bit his hand and thought of his Aunt Patrice naked. Still, when he rolled on to his stomach it was with a wince, and it was a long time before he fell asleep.

Part Two
Current Mood: guiltyguilty
Current Music: cath // death cab for cutie
the claw-foot Lady: [jw] it's what you have to dosoftlyforgotten on May 26th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Fashion: lift your hems from the grassscoradh on May 27th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
Because the Flying Spaghetti Monster hates you. *nods* It is a Fact.
bitchplzscenesalsa on May 28th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
I love your Bert! That bit with him at the end had me irl lol.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: halowrites: awesome tightsscoradh on May 28th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! Dear Bert. I really can't write anyone as a real asshole (except by accident).
k----whoyouinvent on June 2nd, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
"So you'll be sharing with Bert McCracken" = me cackling madly. oh, bden, you don't know what you're in for.
this place sounds pretty much like *my* old school, too.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: tattooscoradh on June 2nd, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
I was imagining a cross between Malory Towers and, like, Magdalen College. If your school was anything like that pretty, I HAVE ENVY. :DDD
k----whoyouinvent on June 2nd, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
best in the autumn:
the old library
and the boys' dorms

it's quite pretty. it looks completely different than when i was there, in places, though.
i wish we'd had such a great ridiculous group of kids though - we were pretty good, but high school is too much the land of trying to be 'normal', no matter where it is, to be the kind of silly fun i appreciate now.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Disney: Twilightscoradh on June 2nd, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Red brick FOR MY HEART.

but high school is too much the land of trying to be 'normal', no matter where it is, to be the kind of silly fun i appreciate now.

I hear you on that, oh my GOD.
k----whoyouinvent on June 2nd, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
there are so many things i would go back and tell my 16 year old self. SO MANY. do you suppose that is why people have kids? too bad that when you're 16, the last person you're going to let give you advice is a parent.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: halowrites: pink heart biscuitsscoradh on June 2nd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
God, there are so many reasons why people have kids; the most common reason I come across is 'because everyone else does'.

Actually, I'd let my 16 year old self get on with it. Somethings you can't understand until you've been through them, because they sound too simple to be real.
k----whoyouinvent on June 2nd, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
that is true. you learn a lot of lessons through some pretty crappy times. i still think i'd like to just drop in and say 'try not to take yourself, or anyone else, too seriously.'
i wasn't really a 'my world is ending' teenager, but it did feel like every decision i ever had to make was going to be make it or break it. very stressful.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: b&w kissesscoradh on June 2nd, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
That's what I meant! I find I can only now take people less seriously because I spent so long taking them too seriously. You can listen and listen to that piece of advice, but till you live it...

haha, my teenagerhood was more 'the world has ended, and it sucks.'
(Anonymous) on June 3rd, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
:) gosh i love this story so much!
i was wondering if i could please have your permision to post this story and maybe some of your others onto mibba so others can read them
of course, it would say that you are the author, and if you like i could even send a link to the story so you can check it :)
please let me know

rhiana x
reenie91 on June 3rd, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
ok i didnt realise i wasnt signed in when i asked that ha ha
anyways it was me asking if i can post the story lol

rhiana x
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Attention bunnyscoradh on June 3rd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: lol
Hi! Thanks for the offer. Can you maybe tell me a little more about mibba first?
rechargedxrobotrechargedxrobot on June 12th, 2009 08:09 am (UTC)
I don't think I ever commented on this to tell you how much I loved this story. I lost the link and where I found it before I was finished reading and spent a full 48 hours freaking out and scrolling through my internet history (a freakin' task in itself!) till I found it.

It's perfect in every way and the characters introduced are fantastic and vivid.

<3 I could go on and on but I deff mem'd it.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Pretty facescoradh on June 12th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Oh man, that is some task! I would not like to have to rely on my internet history for finding anything, I do way too much random browsing. Props to you.

Thank you!
✖stupidrhapsody on July 26th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)

dude, I saw the 'Allah Akbar' there and practically beamed. I'm Muslim ftw. anyway I'm so reading this rn, wait for my comment
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: socksscoradh on July 26th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying the show!
Megan [APPARATUS]sweetrevenge418 on July 28th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Just stumbled upon this and said "WAIT! That's the same person who wrote the Big Bang with the ~little~ people!"
And so I jumped right on the bandwagon and started reading.
This is proving to be excellent : D
I am SO waiting for Brendon's mad seduction skills to lure Ryan away from Keltie, Lol.
Not that I don't adore Keltie, but it's Ryan and Brendon.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: blue bustierscoradh on July 30th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
I think most things in the world can be trumped by Ryan and Brendon. *not biased at all, no really!*

I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for your lovely comment.