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01 August 2009 @ 11:45 pm
The Bittersweet Lullabies (Are The Next Best Things After All The Lies)  
Title: The Bittersweet Lullabies (Are The Next Best Things After All The Lies)
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Pairing: Ryan Ross/OC
POV: First person (OC centric)
Summary: (So, you tell me. What comes next?)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This is fiction, nothing less, nothing more.
Original Post: Here (friend-locked)

There's probably pictures spread before you like they belong there, as if they should have gathered dust and left marks as permanent as we were.

(So, not so permanent.)

But the pictures, I bet they're sharp - I bet you look lovely in them, dear. You always did look good in photographs. The camera always did seek you out.

You're a natural exhibitionist. Natural. Tilt your head and grin so wide, flash those lovely dark brown eyes. Smile wide for the paparazzi. They're all watching (now more than ever).

I've seen enough pictures to know you must look good - you smile like nothing matters, but how is your smile now? Still in place? Still picture-ready, camera-friendly? How do you feel, love? Tell me. I care oh-so much.

(See? I can lie just as well as you.)

Have you traced those white lines right out of the picture yet? You've traced them, I know that. Probably with wide-eyed confusion and sharply painted indifference. Are they familiar to you, yet? Does it feel odd, looking at the picture, knowing they know what comes next?

(So, you tell me. What comes next?)

I'll bet you enjoy this more than you'll let on. The bitter of the betrayal, the sweet of the revenge. Bitter. Sweet.

Ah, bittersweet. Your favorite flavor. You (always) said it perfectly: "Oh, darling, don't you know bittersweet is so much stronger than all the rest?"

(Darling, fill in the blanks. The blanks are what you know best.)

I, I'd prefer if you held the bitter. But add a dash of sour, please. Things are just so much better with a bite. You'd know that as well as anyone.

So maybe while you're tracing out those white lines, you should trace yourself out too. Go ahead and blur your edges. It worked so well when we were together.

(In the photograph of our lives, I'm just off center, not the focus at all. And you, you are shiny center-stage, sparkling so bright and pretty for the whole damn world to see. Are they looking, though? Or, like me, do they simply notice your arm, tight around my neck, keeping me in my place?)

Do you know what you've done to them? Your "best friends". Well, Ryan, darling, you can suck your so-called pity down. They don't need you. They're just fine - better, actually, away from your spotlight-heavy face and your attention-seeking acts. Does it hurt, my Ryan? Do you wish you never left (either of us)?

Suck it up, princess. We're fine. And if you'd care to agree, then it's a lie we can both keep.

(Do you see me clearly now, love? I'm falling apart to songs about hips (yours) and hearts (mine). It's not pretty. But it's all been done before.)

I'm not your toy, Ryan, and you never quite understood that. Everyone around you was always just a part of the plan, a figure in the game. You're playing with fire, Ryan. You will get burnt (in the end, perhaps. For now, I'm the one on fire).

Trace those lines, sweetheart. You're still so young, still so desperate for-

(Did you think I'd quote you?)

I can make the lines myself. You're so desperate for pretension, Ryan. How's that? Can you dissect that line, those words? They're just markings on a page, darling. Don't look so worried.

I bet they'll stand for you anyways - you're the great Ryan Ross. You're a train-wreck in slow-motion, but gosh, isn't it just so fun to watch? You trip slowly, backslide at a painstaking pace - get it over with. Darling, you should move along.

(Move along. That's how we make it through.)

You'll find another me - I know you will. Perhaps soon, perhaps not. Maybe you'll miss-quote them in the dark: "Faster. Go down on me.". Oh, baby, they're fine. He can write clever contradictions too. He doesn't need your heavy words weighing down his pretty mouth.

(I never intended to know him better than you. If I told you that now, would you believe it's the truth?)

Contradiction, Ryan. Darling, I almost forgot the most important part - the part where you leave. "I'll love you forever" said backwards doesn't mean the same. "I miss you" doesn't either.

You used to be my drug, my drink. I used to be love drunk. But you know (better than anyone) what comes after being drunk.

(The hangover. The takeover, the break's over.)

Did you want to be him? I wonder. And if you wonder who "he" is, take your pick. There's plenty of stars in your sky. Plenty to be jealous of and pine for.

Some brighter than others (and was I always so dim?).

I'm nearing the end, Ryan. I'm tiring of the fast times - I want my Barrington High memories back. Re-wind to childhood lives, when days lasted longer than...

(We did.)

Tear your eyes away from the pictures, Ryan. No worries, an interview or two should cover this one nicely. Buried way beneath the sheets where you (and I never) used to lay. For now, Ryan, pick your poison. Pour yourself a glass.

(I don't feel the same. You are to blame.)

Champagne's for celebrating, Ryan dearest, so I think I'll have a martini. Here's to you, living your low-road fast-track life (every second counts). Here's to me, stumbling on words you put in my mouth.

Here's to love, or lack thereof. I hope you choke and crash your car. I'm not your tear-catcher anymore. You can deal.

(We deal, indeed. We certainly do.)

Here's to us, Ryan darling. To the grandiose illusion our lives have become. "He just got in too young.". I'll believe it when I see it.

Until then, darling, enjoy your disaster. I'll be watching from the side-lines, safe up in the crowd, praying for your demise and hoping you fall all the faster.

Goodbye Ryan, dear. Send my love to that ever-elusive dance-floor out there somewhere.

(I'll see you in hell.)