Brendon/Ryan/Spencer/Jon, PG-13/R (language), prompt #70: jealous, thanks to e.e. cummings for the title.
Brendon isn't that guy.
"This is Ryan," Brent says, "and that's Spencer, over at the drum kit."
Brendon nods at both of them, not quite clutching at his guitar; he's not sure he can trust his voice yet, and that would be a really awful first impression. He relaxes after a week or two, though, figures out that that's just the way they are.
Whenever Ryan speaks, his body's almost always angled toward Spencer, at least slightly, and Spencer's eyes never completely leave Ryan. He wonders if they know, yet, if they'll ever know.
(He'd feel bad about jumping to conclusions, but growing up the youngest means he's gotten good at picking up subconscious clues like that, if only to make his siblings' lives miserable.)
Three weeks before Brendon graduates, Spencer and Ryan show up to rehearsal separately, don't exchange words once, and leave separately.
Brendon figures they probably found out.
Three days later, Ryan shows up to rehearsal with a badly-hidden hickey on his neck, and Spencer can't stop smiling.
They figured out and stopped being idiots.
When Spencer smiles at him, Brendon grins back, and hopes the unspoken I'm happy for you comes through. He likes to think it does.
Brendon starts drinking about the same time he realizes that the faces in the dreams he's been having lately are always either Ryan or Spencer. Sometimes both. If he gets drunk enough, though, he doesn't dream at all, and that almost makes up for the headache he inevitably has when he wakes.
Ryan asks him to stop, eventually, and he does. Brent looks at him askance, and Brendon wonders if he can tell.
Fuck him, if he can. It doesn't matter; it's never going to matter. Brendon's not that guy.
Brent leaves, and Jon becomes their knight in shining armor. People say he's a replacement, but they don't know, they don't know that Jon has something that Brent never had, that Brent tried even less to pretend he did have toward the end.
Ryan and Spencer aren't any different toward each other than they were when Brent was around; Jon doesn't say a word, just smiles and smiles.
Brendon knew he liked Jon.
Three and a half weeks after Jon officially joins, Brendon walks in on him giving Spencer a neck massage. Spencer's eyes are closed, and the expression on his face is one of utter peace; Brendon walks out quietly, making sure the door doesn't slam, and tries to smile.
Six days later, he calls Ryan's Sidekick and Jon's voice, sleep-slow, answers him. He hangs up before he can stop himself.
At least, he thinks bitterly, at least when Brent was here there had been someone else on the outside.
Brendon wakes up in the middle of the night to Spencer climbing into his bunk, curling around his body and laying his head on Brendon's chest. "What about Ryan?" he asks, is all he can think to ask.
"I wanted to sleep with you," Spencer says softly, and a moment later his breathing evens out. Brendon blinks, not awake to remember his stance on not being that guy, and follows suit.
He only remembers it two days later, when Ryan's head ends up on his shoulder during the movie, and Jon's fingers end up tangled with his. Maybe Ryan's just more tactile now, he thinks, he hopes, and doesn't move except to snuggle down into both of them a little more.
When Ryan kisses him, three days after that, he lets himself kiss back for seven and a half seconds, and then does the dignified, gentlemanly thing and runs away. Sure, all that means is that he retreats to his bunk, but it's the principle, really, that matters.
Jon pushes the curtains apart a few hours later, and Brendon makes a face at him. "Ryan says you ran away," Jon says, hint of a frown on his face.
"-- I'm not," Brendon starts, and Jon's frown turns into a small smile, and he puts a finger gently on Brendon's lips before he gets any further.
"What if we want you to be?"
Oh, Brendon thinks, and lets Jon coax him out of his bunk.
When he wakes up the next morning in the back lounge, there's a body nearly on top of him and a body to either side, and he is perfectly content.