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22 September 2009 @ 09:08 pm
Spin It How You'd Like  
Title: Spin It How You'd Like
Rating: R (for language and discussion of attempted suicide)
Pairing: General
POV: Third person
Summary: It's like when the foundation of a house begins to break apart. It usually doesn't happen quickly, all at once; parts crumble a bit at a time, losing delicate pieces a few a year, over the course of a lifetime.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This is fiction, nothing less, nothing more.
Original Post: Here (friend-locked)

Spencer Smith is not an idiot.

It's been suggested to him that he is. People tend to ignore him, as far as fame goes. After all, he can't play guitar very well, his voice is too unsteady for singing, and the metaphors he comes up with only make sense to him. "What good is he?" the fans silently seem to scream. "It's not like he's valuable to the team."

But Spencer is valuable, in his own way. Like the way he's intelligent enough to stand in the corner of a full room and quietly observe the world around him. Spencer's not stupid, far from it. He's even, perhaps surprisingly to some, intelligent enough to decipher his best friend Ryan.

And it's this special brand of intelligence that makes Spencer feel something undeniable in the pit of his stomach when Ryan calls him up completely out of the blue.

"We need to talk," Ryan says, in that cold, perfectly practiced monotone Ryan only uses on people he dislikes, and Spencer feels that odd dropping sensation in his stomach again.

"Fine," he replies, his voice only slightly nervous. "Bren and I can meet you at a restaurant in half an hour."

"Don't bring Brendon."

Spencer pauses outside Brendon's door, clenching the phone in one hand while his insides clench of their own accord. "Fine," he repeats after a moment, and when Ryan hangs up Spencer just slides down against the door and sits for a minute.

When he thinks about it, he can come up with an analogy for the feeling - it's like when the foundation of a house begins to break apart. It usually doesn't happen quickly, all at once; parts crumble a bit at a time, losing delicate pieces a few a year, over the course of a lifetime.

Spencer feels like he just lost a pretty big chunk of his foundation.


Spencer shouldn't have gone. He shouldn't have.

More aptly, he should have seen this coming.

"We're starting our own band."

"Fuck, no, fuck, Ryan Ryan Ryan, please," and it's all a huge fucking waste of time because Spencer knows. He knows.

"I'm sorry," Ryan mutters, words directed at the table and not Spencer, never Spencer, because Ryan fucking Ross does not apologize. "I'm sorry, Spencer, this is just... Something we need to do."

Spencer can feel a burn at the word "we", because "we" is him and Ryan, best friends forever, since the day they met and Ryan was smiling and holding out his hand, but now all the sudden "we" is him and Jon, RyanandJon not RyanandSpencer and what the fuck is Spencer supposed to do with that?

"I don't care," Spencer snaps, and the tone of it is sharp and dark as he pushes back his chair from the table. "I don't fucking care, man, do whatever the hell you want. But I'm not fucking telling Brendon, do you hear me? He fucking thinks you're a genius. You go ahead and tell him that it's your fault that -"

"I can't tell him."

"And I can?" Spencer yells, and he's making a scene, oh shit, in the middle of a crowded restaurant and he's going to lose his mind. Because this is just so fucked up. "You think it's easier for me to let him know that you and Jon are going to play fucking Beatles covers for the rest of your goddamn lives? You fucking tell him, Ryan, because I'm so fucking done with you."

"Don't do this," Ryan says as he stands up after Spencer, hands out and pleading towards him. "Please, Spin, this isn't what I want."

"Of course not," Spencer mutters, and then he's turning around, stalking out of the restaurant with his fists pressed tight together and his entire body shaking and fuck fuck fuck this is not happening.


Spencer actually makes it almost all the way home in his truck before he breaks down, pulling over haphazardly and burying his face in his arms, just absolutely sobbing with everything he's got. His shoulder are heaving and he's gripping the wheel with knuckles turning to white and fuck, fuck. Fuck, no. This isn't happening.

Spencer only straightens up when he finds his phone is vibrating on the seat next to him. He wipes his streaming face with the heel of one hand before he flips the phone open and -

I'm sorry,


Fuck right you are! Spencer thinks, throwing the phone violently next to him on the seat, before he screams out loud and reduces back to something along the lines of a sobbing disaster.

"Please no, oh, no pleasepleaseplease, this is all I have, nonono."

It's an hour before he can drive with any accuracy, and then he's got a crying-hangover like none other and he can barely focus on the road, yelling out loud in frustration every few blocks or so just so he doesn't do something stupid.

Like driving off a fucking cliff.

"Ryan'd like that. He'd find fucking irony in there somewhere. Write me a goddamn song."

It's an hour before Spencer gets back to the apartment he shares with Brendon, and his thoughts then are solely centered around how the fuck he's going to tell one of his best friends that his best friend and his new best friend are ditching them. How do you bring that up, anyways? "Good news, Brendon, no more having to deal with Ryan - goddammit motherfucker -'s bitchiness?"

Spencer just gets out of the car, walks up the stairs to their apartment, and doesn't even bother to wipe the still-streaming tears from his face.

I was your home when your dad beat you and I was your back-up plan when we didn't think we would make it and I was your best. Goddamn. Friend. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Spencer opens and closes the door with a bang, figuring that he may as well start off pissed and work himself up from there, begin at his next-to worst and see just how fucking unstable he can get. Maybe if he's lucky he'll find something of Ryan's in this shitty apartment for him to throw against the wall.

But everything Spencer feels, every inch of bubblinghotdarksofuckingstrong anger is worn away when Spence sees Brendon. He's just sitting there, on the floor facing the tv with his back to the couch, the phone next to him with his hand curled towards it like he'd just let go, eyes blank and unmoving and. Staring.

"B-b... Brendon?"

He doesn't move, doesn't turn around or get up or smile or acknowledge Spencer's presence. He just stares immovably at the tv, or, rather, the picture of the four of them in Africa that they have hanging above the tv.

Spencer can feel the rage bubbling back as he watches the broken shell of his friend look at that photograph, that tiny piece of legitimate proof of whatoncewas, and it's not long before he's over in the line of Brendon's sight, reaching up to rip that fucking photograph off the wall.

Spencer turns around once, just once, and finds that Brendon has retreated soundlessly to his bedroom.

Spencer turns back, throws the picture as hard as he can at the wall, and watches as his life literally shatters on the floor.


"Do you think it was a bad choice?"

Ryan looks up at Jon, eyes bleary and streaky in color, before he mumbles through a thick tongue, "I dunno, man. Fuckin' Brendon... I dunno."

Jon just takes another sip of his fourth drink of the night and prays to whoever the hell is up there that he's drunk enough the next day to pretend waking up next to the inevitable stranger he'll bring home is nothing out of the ordinary and how he's lived his entire life.

Don't let me remember that once upon a time we screamed love from the rooftops and clicked camera shutters to remember our joy and lived so large that drugs and alcohol and women didn't matter, because we were it. We were it, we were everything, we had the world in the palm of our hand, and I'm trading it away for... For what?

But, no. Please, don't let me remember.


Brendon doesn't talk for a week straight. The only noise Spencer gets out of him is on day three, when Spence calls Pete and sobs something to the effect of, "It's all over man, oh, fuck, man it's done, we're history, I'msorrysorrysorry." and Brendon overhears, allowing a tiny piece of his calm facade to slip as he whimpers, once, before putting back up stony walls and staring at the counter top with eyes as dead and cold as the granite itself.


Spencer cries, every fucking night, huge, heaving sobs, heavy in his chest and weighing down the air around him with their cadence. He cries and cries and cries and at some point he loses track of who he's crying for (he thought it was himself, but he's not so sure it's not Brendon, or Jon, or even - fuck, it's so impossible, but - Ryan).

Still, he cries all through days seven and eight and is making a head start on nine long before the salt has dried from his eyes.


"Fuck, Ryan, I cannot believe you would -"

"I didn't!" Ryan insists, pressing his knuckles into the sofa until they leave marks on both his hands and the leather, "I didn't, Jon, Jesus. I don't do fucking coke, alright? Wrong place, wrong time."

"You're fucking right it was!" Jon snaps, throwing the picture he's holding onto the floor so he doesn't have to look at it again. "Jesus fuckin' Christ this is gonna hurt us, Ryan. Chat rooms are a-fucking-blaze already and... What? It's been like six goddamn hours, man. Shit, we're so fucked."

"It's fine," Ryan presses. "It's okay, seriously, just chill out man. I'll get it fixed, I'll send a message to Pete and we'll fix..."

As Ryan trails off, realizing what he just said, Jon shakes his head, standing up a little unsteadily to cross to the table in front of the couch. "Send a message to Pete, Ryan? That boat left a while ago, asshole. So, now, fix your own problem for once. God knows Spin and I have fixed you enough fucking times for you to at least have a handy template of how to do it for yourself."

"You fucking miss him, Jesus," is Ryan's reply, and Jon turns around slowly, one hand on the table to steady himself.

"Like you don't miss fucking Brendon. Jesus, Ryan, you're a hypocrite. Goddammit."

"I don't," Ryan answers testily, and when Jon just shakes his head and closes his eyes Ryan quickly changes direction. "It's three in the afternoon, man, isn't it a little early to be totally shit-faced drunk?"

"The hour didn't stop you from doing fucking cocaine, Ryan. Work on the hypocrisy, won't you?"

"Fuck off!" Ryan yells, and Jon simply flips him the finger.

"Likewise, buddy."


Brendon doesn't know what to do, he doesn't.

Because he's seen the pictures. He saw them a couple days ago - someone sent them to him in an email. An email. Like the shattering of Brendon's world can be justified by the subject title "Wondered If You'd Seen". Jesus.

But that's the thing - everyone's acting like they expected this. Like they figured he was doing cocaine the whole goddamn time. Brendon knows for a fact he wasn't, actually, and he thinks to himself that the fucking chat room members can go to hell because the photo is doctored. It has to be. Brendon's Ryan doesn't do cocaine. He doesn't.

Except that, oops, maybe he does. And also, maybe he's not Brendon's Ryan anymore.

They're no longer best friends, and Brendon doesn't get it. He said that on the phone, "I don't get it." Chased it with, "But we can still be friends, right?" and Ryan hadn't answered, and those were officially the last words Brendon Boyd Urie had spoken. "We can still be friends, right?" Well, no, looks like they couldn't. Looks like the last words Brendon said should have had a little more punch to them, a little less desperate and a little more "fuck you".

Because Brendon, well, here's the thing about him:

He's not going to talk again.



Jon gets drunk, brings home a girl, sends her on her way an hour later. Lies on his back and stares at the ceiling and forgets her name, his name, everythingeverythingeverything, feels what it's like to not give a damn.

It's awfully nice, Jon concludes.

Too bad he actually does (care, he means).


Spencer hears about the studio time on the same day he learns that "The Young Veins" (God, fuckin' lord, that's what they're calling themselves?) have a studio time. Different studio, different state, actually, but a studio time none the less.

He doesn't think about it, just says yes. Doesn't bother reasoning with himself about the fact that Brendon's not talking and Spencer kinda hates his life and who even knows if they can do this alone? They're not replacing Ryan and Jon, Spencer knows that. They couldn't, even for all the relief in the world. The holes around his edges ache, but at least they remind Spencer that he's alive.

So Spencer says, "Yeah, alright, pencil us in." and doesn't think about anything until he's done crying after the fact.

He slips a piece of paper under Brendon's door. The message is simple: "We have a studio time in two weeks."

Brendon writes back: "Why should I care?" and Spencer tries hard to come up with an answer he doesn't have.

There isn't a reason Brendon should care. That ship has sailed.


Ryan and Jon work on music. Ryan's voice isn't great. Jon's bass playing is rusty. But Jon stays sober for a whole ten hours and Ryan lays off the sarcasm for a good two and it's the best day they've had so far.

Until -

Pete sends Ryan a text message. It's reason enough for worry.

Add it to the subject and you've got yourself a breakdown.

B tried to kill himself. Convince me this isn't your fault, Ross.

Ryan bawls, for the first time since his dad's funeral, and Jon holds him all the while, presses together two shaking bodies in the hope that they can just fix something.

Jon maybe cries a little, too.


It's pretty dark out. Spencer is under strict instructions to watch Brendon at all times, because he's highly unstable and they're very worried about him. They don't want this to be the next Best Buy incident, only successful this time. Brendon can't be allowed to become Pete, Version 2.0.

So Spencer cooks him food and sits with him on the couch all day and sits outside his door all night, hoping and praying that that shifting noise is just Brendon getting comfortable and not Brendon reaching for another bottle of pills.

He still hasn't spoken.

Spencer, well, Spence has been alright so far. He still cries every night, propped up against the entrance to Brendon's room. He still stumbles across pictures of them and finds himself unable to really look away. He still throbs around the edges, aches in the general area of his heart.

He's walking Brendon to the park and back, because the doctor said the outdoors were good for him, right now, and it's silent because Spencer has learned not to try to fill the quiet. He used to talk a lot, so much, but eventually he stopped when he realized that Brendon wasn't even really listening.

So it's quiet, and they're walking, and it's only when Brendon heaves out a sigh that Spencer looks over at the guy he's known since he was sixteen. Brendon looks exhausted, with dark, eager smudges under eyes that seem to have lost that spark they're infamous for. He walks with his hands buried deep in his pockets, his shoulders hunched protectively, body hidden by loose jeans and a loose hoody. His hair falls in his eyes in a way that screams, "Tortured!" and whispers, "heartbroken."

After a while of staring Spencer's eyes finally meet Brendon's when he turns his head, lips twitching just a bit into the semblance of a broken smile. Spencer smiles back, as real as he can make it, before Brendon turns his attention back to the front.

They walk for a few more blocks before Brendon stops abruptly, shoves his hand further in his pocket, and pulls out a piece of folded paper, handing it to Spencer without a word.

Spencer unfolds it carefully, lovingly, before he smooths it out and reads...


The song is called "New Perspective" and Spencer knows for a fact it's the first thing Brendon's written since... Well. Their studio time has been useless so far, but this -

This is good.

"God Bren," Spencer mumbles as he reads the lyrics, still deathly still in the center of the path. "God, dude, these are amazing."

Spencer looks up to find Brendon staring at the paper with vague interest, simply shrugging when Spencer's jaw drops at some of the lines.

"I mean, it's just, these are... These are great, Brendon. They're so you."

Brendon shrugs again, kicking at the dust on the ground with one Converse-d sole, before he does something incredible.

"There's always good in bad. You just have to look a little harder for it."

Spencer looks up with wide eyes, jaw really dropping now, to find that Brendon is smiling softly, a little sheepishly, still staring at the ground. The only thing Spencer can think to do is fold up the lyrics, put them in his coat pocket, and wrap an arm around Brendon as they begin to saunter forward towards the park again.

Brendon's smile comes back gradually. His eyes light up a little more each day. Eventually, he cracks a "that's what she said" joke when Spencer complains that his microphone won't fit in its stand.

It's baby steps, but they're steps, alright, and that's what counts.

And somewhere in Spencer, perhaps right near the surface, perhaps deep in his heart, Spencer can feel the cracks begin to heal, little bit by little bit.