Title: you gotta have two and they've gotta match
Pairings: Brendon/Ryan
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2637
Summary: AU with no bands, just people. Brendon goes shopping for new socks.
Disclaimer: I admit it! I made it up! Also: Don't google yourself.
Notes: For bloodbelieve's birthday. ♥


Brendon stares at the racks in front of him, contemplating his options. He could go with the pink, but the material feels coarse, and he doubts it would slide well. He could always go with wool, but the colors are hideous, not to mention the price tags.

"You are taking your sock purchase far too seriously," a voice calls from his right. Brendon turns to find the source and sees a lanky guy with eyeliner regarding him with a soft smile. "If you don't mind me saying," the guy adds.

Brendon likes him. "Hi!" he says brightly. "Yeah, I just... need to find the perfect pair, you know? You ever get that feeling?"

The guy smirks at him. "You might say that," he says, stepping toward him. "I'm Ryan."

Brendon offers his hand, which Ryan takes. "Brendon."

"You do know you're looking at girls' socks, right Brendon?"

Brendon rolls his eyes. "You have to broaden your horizons, Ryan..." he pauses, raising his eyebrows at Ryan.

"Ross," Ryan completes for him. He shrugs and says, "Hey, I'm here too, you know?"

Yeah, Brendon really likes him. "Awesome. Well what would you suggest?" he prompts, spreading his arms wide to indicate the racks of socks in front of them.

Ryan's mouth twists like he's trying not to smile. Brendon wants to make him smile. "What about these?" Ryan asks, pulling down a pair and handing them to Brendon.

Brendon makes a face. "These are paisley, Ryan Ross. Do I really look like the type of guy that would wear paisley socks?" Ryan quirks an eyebrow and looks him up and down. Brendon tugs at his light purple hoodie and tries not to blush. "Don't answer that."

"I think it's you who needs to broaden his horizons," Ryan suggests. Brendon sticks his tongue out at him and begins to dig behind rows of socks. He's pleased to discover some better options hiding in the back.

"What exactly are you looking for, anyway?" Ryan asks. He sounds bored, but Brendon figures if he's bored he can wander off. It's not like he has any reason to stay.

"Something that slides," Brendon answers.


Brendon hears Jon Walker's chuckle behind him. "He watched Risky Business for the first time last night. He wants to find socks so he can slide across our kitchen floor," he explains.

Brendon turns just in time to catch Ryan's slight frown when Jon says "our kitchen." He beams at Jon and tells Ryan, "This is my roommate, Jon Walker." He waits a few seconds to see if Ryan's expression changes, but he maintains a blasé look. "Jon, this is my new paisley-loving friend, Ryan Ross." The side of Ryan's mouth quirks up in a small smile.

Jon gives Ryan a friendly nod, then turns his attention to Brendon. "Brown or black?" he asks, holding up two belts for comparison.

"Brown," Brendon and Ryan say together.

"Brown it is, then," Jon says, giving Brendon a knowing look and walking away.

"I like you," Brendon tells Ryan, in case there was any doubt.

Ryan gives him a skeptical look. "Why, because I have good taste in belts?" Brendon is beginning to think that bored tone is just Ryan's normal voice.

"Yeah, this one's very nice," Brendon says, reaching out and tugging on Ryan's belt. Ryan's eyes go wide and he stumbles forward.

Ryan laughs, low and easy, and he doesn't move back when Brendon moves his hand instead to rest on Ryan's hip. "You're unbelievable," Ryan says.

"You have no idea," Brendon says, waggling his eyebrows. Ryan tilts his head back as he laughs, and Brendon wonders if it's rude to kiss someone you just met. "Hey, give me your phone."

"How do I know you're not going to run off with it?" Ryan asks, but he digs into his pocket anyway.

"If I ran off with it, you wouldn't have my number or a way to call me, would you?" Brendon sighs and shakes his head as he stores his number in Ryan's contact list.

"Bden?" Ryan asks when Brendon returns the phone. "What is that, like, your stripper name?"

Brendon's not so sure Ryan has seen many strippers in his time. "It's just a nickname."

"Like a nickname your friends gave you or one that you ask everyone to use?"

Brendon narrows his eyes and doesn't favor that question with a response.

"Alright then," Ryan says, smiling. "Nice to meet you, Bden."

Brendon watches him walk away, paisley socks in hand, and waits approximately 10 seconds before making an excited noise and going to tell Jon the whole story.


"Did a tornado come through here while I was gone?" Jon asks when he walks through the door.

"I can't find my fucking phone charger," Brendon yells from his position on the floor. Seriously, if it isn't under the couch he has to start all over again. He's checked everywhere else. His phone beeps from the coffee table as if to mock him. "Shit."

"You took it with you to Chicago, didn't you?" Jon calls from the kitchen. "Did you leave it there?"

Brendon curses under his breath, already planning a trip to Best Buy, if they aren't closed for the night yet. "Wait, no, I definitely packed it. I definitely unpacked it, I remember!"

Jon walks back into the living room, beer in hand, looking contemplative. "I don't know, man. Want me to help you look?"

"Thank you, Jon Walker, thank you," he intones, walking over to give him a big hug. Jon hugs back, much to Brendon's glee. Jon gives the best hugs in the world.

They go into Brendon's room, and Brendon immediately gets on the floor to check under the bed again. There's nothing there but a bunched up T-shirt, and he picks it up to check underneath, but the charger's not there any more than it was 10 minutes ago.

"Did you check the closet?" Jon asks, setting his beer on the nightstand.

"I don't even use that closet anymore," he says, trying to wriggle out from under the bed. He bashes his head on the way up, then curses everyone involved with making this godforsaken bed.

"Found it!" Jon says, triumphant.

Brendon sighs and lets his body fall to the floor. "Oh thank god... I'm just gonna lie here for a few hours. You can answer if he calls."

Jon laughs and before Brendon knows what's going on, Jon wraps his arms around Brendon's stomach and hauls him out from under the bed.

Brendon blinks at the sudden change of light. "Thanks." He takes Jon's hand and gets back on his feet, rubbing the back of his head. "Where was it, anyway?"

"Right inside the closet door," Jon says, holding it up. "I guess it got shoved under there or something." Brendon tries to laugh at himself, but pain shoots through his head and all he manages is a weak almost-whimper. "Come on," Jon says, "I'll get you some Advil and we can watch The Breakfast Club."

"You take such good care of me, Jon Walker."

Brendon hurries out to the living room to plug in his phone, which has graciously not turned off. He stares at the animated picture of the battery and wonders what time of day Ryan is likely to call. He waits for Jon to join him on the couch, and then sets his phone aside. He snuggles up beside him and asks, "What if he doesn't call?"

Jon frowns at him. "Why are you so hung up on this guy?"

"We bonded! Over socks, Jon. If you can connect with someone over socks then you can connect with them on anything."

Jon smiles at him. "He'll call."


Ryan doesn't call. Brendon checks every hour the first day, then every few hours the next, and by the third day his battery is dying again, so he lets it. He's not moping, no matter what Jon says, he's just tired and bored and sick of his job. On top of all that, the one guy that he could actually get to flirt with him obviously wasn't all that interested, so yeah, he's in a bad mood. He doesn't see what the big deal is.

"Come on," Jon tells him on Friday night. Brendon's been watching TV ever since he got home from work, but he's been contemplating going to bed early. Who cares if it's 8 PM? "Up," Jon demands.

"Why?" Brendon asks, turning the volume down, but making it clear that he doesn't want to move.

Jon plops down next to him on the couch. "I'm tired of seeing a frown on this face," he says, crooking a finger under Brendon's chin to tilt his face toward him. "I'm going to take you out to cheer you up."

Jon's smile is contagious, which isn't really Brendon's fault. It doesn't mean he feels any better. "Do I have to change?"

Jon looks him over, then shakes his head. "Nah, you'll fit right in."

"You're not gonna take me to a club or something, are you?" Brendon says miserably, standing up and stretching.

"No, better. Cold Stone."

Brendon cheers up a little at that. "This is why you're my favorite," he tells Jon as they head out the door.


"And I told him that if he doesn't fire Nathan for that..." Brendon looks up to see Jon staring out the window with a small smile. "Jon, are you even listening to me?"

"Yeah, sorry. Saw a hot guy walk by, but I guess he's not coming in. What about Nathan?"

Brendon stabs his ice cream with his little plastic spoon. "I dunno... I threatened to quit."

"Normally, you know I would ask you to elaborate on your feelings and doubts and innermost thoughts," Jon begins, confusing Brendon, "but fortunately or unfortunately you're about to be distracted."

"What are you--?"

"So," a voice calls from behind Brendon, "you didn't tell me you were one of those people who never answers his phone." Brendon knows that bored voice.

He twists in his seat to face Ryan, whose eyeliner is done up even heavier today, complete with a small spiral under his right eye. Brendon doesn't know whether to roll his eyes or admit that it's adorable. "What are you talking about? You never called!"

"See?" says Ryan's friend, who Brendon's only just noticed. He elbows Ryan in the side and adds, "He had to go buy a new phone charger, because he let the dog chew up the old one."

"Shut up," Ryan responds, elbowing him back. "She's only a puppy, she doesn't know any better."

Ryan's friend opens his mouth to argue, but Jon cuts in with, "I'm Jon, by the way."

The guy freezes and turns to him. He blinks for a few seconds before a big smile stretches across his face. "Spencer."

Brendon doesn't know who he wants to look at (yes he does, but he's almost afraid to), with so much going on. "Well, Spencer," Jon begins, "you know, I heard there were some excellent new Frappuccino's across the street at Starbucks." He stands and throws away his empty ice cream cup. "What d'you say?"

Spencer laughs a bit and says, "Sure."

"Smooth," Brendon calls after Jon as the door chimes to announce their exit.

Ryan laughs and slides into Jon's seat. Brendon stirs his ice cream and tries to think of something to say.

Ryan breaks the silence for him, saying, "So, if I called you right now, would you actually have your phone on?"

Brendon stills. "No... I let the battery die on Tuesday night. I figured you weren't gonna call."

Ryan laughs mirthlessly. "Well I bought a new charger on Tuesday night - called you during my lunch break on Wednesday." Brendon jerks his head up to see Ryan's smirk. "Ironic, isn't it?"

Brendon can think of few words better suited to the situation, but he doesn't use them. He gives Ryan a sheepish grin. "Sorry, I guess I should've had more faith in you."

Ryan shrugs. "I guess I might've done the same thing if I was in your shoes. I just thought you were avoiding my calls. Does no one else ever call you on that phone?"

"Jon does sometimes, but he's got my work number. Other than that, not really. My parents, but I actually avoid their calls."

Ryan reaches over to take Brendon's melting ice cream. Brendon doesn't put up a fight. "Well now you have someone to run up your phone bill. You, uh... might have a few voicemails to delete."

Brendon's not so sure he'll be deleting them. "How many times did you call?"

Ryan blushes, and it's adorable. Brendon is so keeping him. "A few..." he answers noncommittally. Brendon raises his eyebrows and he continues, "I'm sorry, I like to talk about stuff sometimes, and I thought maybe you'd want to hear it." He looks up and notices Brendon's huge smile. "What?"

"You love me," Brendon says, struggling to keep the duh out of his response.

Ryan rolls his eyes. "Oh please, I just met you a week ago."

"Yeah, which makes it even weirder that you love me."

"You are ridiculous," Ryan says as Brendon sits up on his knees to stretch across the table.

"If you don't love me, don't you like me just a little bit?" Brendon asks with a pout, leaning almost completely over the little table.

Ryan sighs. "Whatever," he says, then leans in to bring their lips together.

Brendon hums against Ryan's mouth and reaches one hand up to Ryan's face. He strokes his thumb across the lines of eyeliner under Ryan's right eye and barely pulls back to ask, "Is this hard to do?"

"What, kissing?"

"Shut up. The eyeliner."

"I dunno, not really. Was I boring you? You seem awfully quick to change the subject."

Brendon bites his lip. "Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but... I mean, it was pretty weak."

Ryan narrows his eyebrows. "I'll show you weak." He fists Brendon's shirt in his hand and hauls him forward, kissing him heatedly and sliding his tongue forward until Brendon opens for him. Brendon hums in satisfaction whenever Ryan does something he likes, then nips at Ryan's lip when he starts to pull back.

"Better," Brendon says, breathing heavily. Ryan looks slightly irritated, so Brendon leans in and says, "I'll make it up to you later."

Ryan lets go of Brendon's shirt, and Brendon shifts back to sit normally. He reaches to take his (now completely melted) ice cream back, then sucks on the spoon mildly for a few seconds before telling Ryan, "I maybe should've told you this before, but Jon has a camera. And he's standing right on the other side of that window."

Ryan whips his head around to look at Jon, who at least pretends to look sorry. Spencer is cracking up behind him.

"Sorry. He probably just wants to have blackmail on me or something. He'll delete them if you're uncomfortable or whatever."

Ryan keeps staring out the window. "Just... let me know if any of them turn out," he says.

Brendon smiles at Jon, then at Ryan. Ryan stands up slightly to lean over and give Brendon one more kiss before Jon and Spencer walk back in. "Don't forget, you owe me," Ryan reminds him in a whisper.

"So," Spencer says with a smile, "what did we miss?"

"Not much, apparently," Ryan tells him with an accusing look.

Jon slings an arm around Spencer's shoulders. "Don't blame the hostage, it was completely my idea."

Brendon sits up straighter and stares at Jon, then at Jon's hand on Spencer's shoulder. Jon smiles back at him.

"So," Brendon says, clapping his hands together, "who wants to buy me more ice cream?"


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