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19 March 2011 @ 04:16 am
Not the Same [standalone]  
Title: Not the Same
Author: my_obsession_xx
Rating: PG
Pairing: Slight Ryan/Brendon
POV: Third / Spencer-centric
Summary: Spencer Smith lost his best friend, his band, and one of his closest friends he could ask for. And it’s about damn time he lets everyone know.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, this probably didn't happen, the end.
Author Notes: This is the first thing I've written in months. Literal word vomit for a half hour. Boom.


Things have been tense, and they’ve been tense for a while now. Ryan gets annoyed when people, mainly Brendon, get too close to him, Jon gets aggravated even with his morning coffee, Brendon sulks in the back lounge of the tour bus writing lyrics that may never see the light of day, and Spencer is just sort of… existing. The sad part is, even Zack is noticing.

They’re not the same band that they used to be.

Spencer is sitting in the lounge, bag of chips next to him on the couch as he flips mindlessly through the mindless channels and debates watching a mindless movie. Because that’s what he is. What they all are. Mindless.

They have a concert the next day and he really should be sleeping, but he can’t. So he watches the glow of the T.V screen as the bus drives to the next state where they’ll perform the same old set list, then come back to the bus and avoid each other.

They’re not going to last.

He takes another chip and puts it in his mouth and listens to the crunching through his ears. He feels like that’s what the band sounds like right now. Breaking into tiny pieces where no one can see; the last the fans saw of them they were full, whole, complete… now they’re just being broken with the tiniest bit of force.

He tries not to think about it but he can’t stop. What’s on his mind is what is on everyone else’s, even if no one will voice it aloud.

The door to the lounge creaks open and Spencer’s pale eyes meet deep chocolate ones and he sighs of relief.

“Hey, Brendon.” He moves over on the couch and Brendon comes in, closes the door behind him, and sits next to Spencer on the couch. Looking over, Spencer thinks Brendon looks like a sad puppy. He doesn’t look like this in public, but when they’re on the bus, Brendon curls in on himself.

Spencer is jealous of his acting skills.

“What do you think is gonna happen, Spence?” Brendon asks quietly, staring blankly up at the T.V screen, the blue light reflecting eerily against his eyes. Spencer watches him, how lifeless he looks; he almost wishes that Brendon would act in front of him.

“I don’t know.”

Brendon sighs and breaks his staring contest with the T.V before getting up and heading to open the door. He pauses in the doorway before he turns to Spencer and looks at him with the saddest eyes Spencer has ever seen. Worse than when Brendon’s parent’s kicked him out of his house. The bags under Brendon’s eyes seem to scream at him, his sunken expression defeating everything they’ve worked for as a band.

“I figured you’d say that.”

--

They’re arguing again. Ryan and Brendon. It’s the first time they’ve seen or spoken to each other since they stepped off stage the night before and they’re yelling. Again. They’ll fight about anything nowadays. From what shoes Ryan is wearing to what guitar Brendon uses for a song or who ate the last of the Poptarts on the bus. Sometimes they’ll even fight about whether or not the other one looked at them the wrong way.

Spencer is losing his best friend.

Him and Ryan will fight like this sometimes, too. And Ryan gets deep when he fights, using all of the personal information he’s acquired to jab back. Spencer understands; it’s happened before as kids. He figured it was Ryan’s way of getting back from everything he went through before. He thought Ryan would outgrow it. But, unfortunately, for all of their sakes, it only got worse.

Spencer avoids Ryan at all costs most of the time because he doesn’t know how much more abuse he can take.

Zack tries to get Ryan and Brendon to stop fighting, seeing as they only have about ten minutes before their set, but this doesn’t seem like this is going to be resolved in that amount of time. But then again, none of their fights ever are, or do get resolved.

Spencer feels Jon stand next to him. Through his peripheral vision Spencer sees Jon’s mug of coffee pressed to the bassist’s lips before he sighs and says,

“I’m not sure how much longer I can take this.” before walking off to go to tune his bass before their set.

It’s sad that Jon just took the words right out of his mouth.

“Fine, then I will!” Ryan yells and Spencer catches the look on Brendon’s face. It looks as though he’s been punched in the stomach, or a deer in the headlights. Or both.

Zack’s face is almost the same.

Spencer knows it’s finally happened.

--

“So that’s it, then?” Spencer practically spits the second they get off stage and Ryan doesn’t even look at him.

“Yeah, Spence, that’s it.” Ryan says as he takes his guitar off kneels down to put it in its case. Spencer kicks it closed, almost slamming Ryan’s stupid, spindly little fingers inside.

Part of him wishes they did.

“I’m not talking about the band.” Spencer’s face is red, and it’s not from his drumming. His fists are clenched and he can see everyone watching them backstage. He’s glad there are curtains and none of the fans can hear any of it. He doesn’t know what would happen if they did.

“I know.” Is all Ryan says before he stands up. All the while he doesn’t make eye contact and Spencer’s stomach plummets before he chucks one of his drum sticks at Ryan with all the force he can muster.

It hits Ryan square in the arm and he yells.

“What the fuck, Spencer?!”

Spencer doesn’t answer as he storms out the back door of the venue. Zack doesn’t even go after him.
No one knows what to say. And Spencer doesn’t know what he’d want them to say. His best friend in his entire life just left. And now they’re not even a band anymore. Not after that. Now they don’t even have the band.

Spencer’s beginning to wonder how they let this happen. How he let this happen to all of them. But they’ll all past fixing.

He’s past fixing. He’s broken.

--

Spencer reads the note posted on their official Myspace over and over until his eyes want to bleed. He sees the number of comments go up. He knows that all of their fans are reading this. He knows that numb, worthless feeling that they’re feeling right now. He knows that feeling of wanting to cry. He wishes he could cry. But he can’t anymore.

After a while he sighs and closes his laptop. He rubs his eyes and runs his fingers through his hair. He still doesn’t know what happened to them. And he’s not sure if any of them ever will.

They all know time off from each other is the best thing. But Spencer isn’t convinced.

What if they had stayed together? What if they had worked things out, what if…

The doorbell rings.

Sluggishly, he goes to the door to be greeted by Brendon who looks just as shitty as he feels. He opens the door without a word and Brendon walks in and immediately goes to Spencer’s living room with Spencer in tow.

“We need to figure out what we’re gonna do.” Brendon says and it sounds like he’s fighting back tears with a lump in his throat. Spencer clears his and nods, putting his hands on his hips.

“Want some coffee?” he asks, and Brendon nods.

A while later they’re hunched over Brendon’s laptop.

“What do you think?” Brendon asks and Spencer reads the lyrics on the screen again. They’re not Ryan’s, he thinks, but they’ll never be Ryan’s. Not again.

“They’re good,” he manages a small smile, because, really, they are pretty good. They’re definitely something they can work with.

“You really think so?” Brendon asks and there’s a glimmer in the singer’s eyes that gives Spencer hope.
“Yeah, man. I think so.”

It’s then that Spencer’s phone rings. He looks at the caller I.D. It’s Pete.

He asks how Spencer is doing, how Brendon is doing, how they’re holding up. Spencer tells him of the stuff Brendon’s written.

Pete tells them to follow their bliss.

Brendon tells Pete, with an actual smile, that he needs to stop reading Joseph Campbell and Spencer can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s faint, but he can see it.

--

All of the interviews are the same. They were the same with the release of “New Perspective” and they’re the same now with “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and their new album “Vices and Virtues.” He doesn’t know how many more times they can answer the same questions and give any different of an answer.

Brendon’s back at faking his smile, but it’s less than it was before. Sarah makes him happy, and Spencer is glad for that. Haley has been there for him and he can not owe her enough for putting up with his shit. Sometimes, when all four of them are together, it seems like things aren’t as bad as they actually are.

But as they keep doing these interviews, as Spencer thinks about the songs they wrote for this album, how they weren’t with Ryan but about him, he’s been sinking back. Farther back than he ever intended to.

He tried to stay strong for the fans, too. Especially during meet and greets. But there would always be one person who would ask how they’ve been since the split, and he could fake a smile… but his eyes always said too much.

The only time he’s truly happy is when he’s playing their old Fever songs in front of a crowd. Because from back there, at his drum set if he closes his eyes and gets lost in his drumming and Brendon’s singing, it almost feels like Ryan and Jon are there. Almost.

He’s visibly becoming more and more depressed, even in interviews and on camera. But he doesn’t care at this point. He wants Ryan to see. He wants Ryan and Jon to see. He wants them to see what they’ve done to him, done to Brendon even if the singer won’t show it.

He wants the world to know it and he’s not hiding it anymore.

Spencer Smith lost his best friend, his band, and one of his closest friends he could ask for. And it’s about damn time he lets everyone know.

 
 
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