(c) Gear Shifter (PG-13)

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(c) Gear Shifter (PG-13)

Post by ChemicallyImbalanced on Wed 10 Sep 2008, 3:52 pm

Title: Gear Shifter
Author: ChemicallyImbalanced [Me.]
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Ryan Ross/Brendon Urie
Type: One Shot
Summary:Brendon has Bipolar, and Ryan’s the one that watches him shift gears.

Ryan hated it. He never said anything, but Brendon knew he did. Brendon was convinced that Ryan hated putting up with him.

Brendon Boyd Urie. His name, but not his complete identity, because there was so much more to him than just a name. He told himself that Ryan hadn’t realised that when he agreed to love him.


Brendon despised the word. Hated it with a passion. Cringes when the doctors or nurses mention it, and made Ryan to promise not to call him that. It was only one night that Ryan had described his moods as “shifting gears”, and Brendon hadn’t mentioned that again, but in his mind the words stuck. To everyone else he was Bipolar, but he called himself a gear shifter.

His mother was one. She went undiagnosed for years. His Dad had not only married a gear shifter, but fathered one too. At first, when Brendon started shifting gears three or four times a day in a twenty four hour period, he blamed hormones, because he knew that his mother’s highs and lows lasted for days.

Ryan was the one to take him to the doctors after he sliced up his arm one night. One week later he was diagnosed, and the next day pills were sliding past his lips.
Two a day. One in the morning, one in the night. Ryan always made sure he took them.

* * *

“I’m tired Ry,” Brendon whispered as he leaned his head on the table. Ryan rolled his eyes at this as a small smile crept across his face.

“Of course you are Brenny, you haven’t slept in three days.” Brendon shrugged and took the glass of water that Ryan held out for him, swallowing a mouthful with the light blue pill. It seemed he was on a seesaw and the medication kept him level. White to black, and back again, constantly up and down. It kept him on the grey line, the in-between, what other’s liked to call normal.

The two boys lay in bed together talking, just like they always did when Brendon decided it was time to sleep. Ryan’s arms around Brendon’s waist, his stomach pressed against the younger boy’s back, whispering just loud enough so that the other could hear. It was moments like these that Ryan wished he could capture, when Brendon didn’t seem too happy or too sad to talk.



“Why is mania bad, if it makes you feel like you’re on top of the world where everything is white?”

Ryan blinked at the question that caught him off guard. This was the first time that Brendon had mentioned anything about his illness. He doesn’t like to talk about it, not at any time nor with any one, and quite honestly Ryan didn’t know how to answer the question. Brendon shifted to turn and look at him, confused by his silence. Ryan ran a hand through Brendon’s hair.

“I don’t know Bren. I’m no doctor.”

Ryan waited to see if he would reply, but Brendon’s breathing was even and deep now, and Ryan knew that he was already asleep. He watched his boyfriends face for a little longer, before he too let his eyelids close.

* * *

Brendon wasn’t there when Ryan woke up. He was already up and dressed. When Ryan finally stumbled groggily out of the bedroom, he saw where Brendon was. He was in the kitchen, cleaning the entire room. He scrubbed furiously at the bench, trying to get rid of a stain that Ryan knew wouldn’t come out, but that didn’t stop him from frowning in concentration, tongue sticking out, moving the cloth back and forth over the mark, hoping for the best.


There wasn’t a reply; there wasn’t any acknowledgement, so Ryan tried again.

“Brenny, are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he snapped, turning away to spray the multipurpose cleaner in another place, scrubbing relentlessly at a place he’d already visibly cleaned.

Ryan left him there, not wanting Brendon to snap at him again, remembering the last time that he’d kept pestering his boyfriend when he wouldn’t stop cleaning the car.

It was dinnertime before Ryan went back into the kitchen. Brendon was watching TV in the other room now, but Ryan had checked in on him throughout the day, just peering through the doorframe to check he wasn’t getting too frustrated or angry. The room smelled of artificial oranges and lemons, every surface as shiny as the next, and certain areas of paint on the cupboards were wearing off where Brendon had scrubbed it too hard.

Ryan sighed quietly, knowing that Brendon was trying to work off extra energy, knowing that this week he’d be in a high mood, knowing that he’d have to make sure Brendon didn’t get out of control.

* * *

Brendon walked back up to the apartment, hands shaking with excitement as the heavy bags dragged marks into his wrists. By the time Ryan had come home, Brendon had already pulled everything out of the bags and laid them out on the bed so he could see.

Ryan stood at the doorway, jaw dropped and staring at the clothes that were scattered across the bed. He knew that he shouldn’t have left Brendon by himself. The labels were still on, and the bedroom smelled of a mixture of different clothing stores.

“Bren...” Ryan whispered.

“Do you like them? I wanted to buy you a new wardrobe. I got you some new jeans, blue denim and black denim, I tried them on myself cause I figured we are roughly the same size, and then I bought a lot of floral shirts for you, just cause you seem to be going through a floral phase at the moment and I figured you’d want some in red since that colour suits you the most, “ Brendon giggled, rushing through the words.

“Bren...” Ryan repeated.

"You don't like them?" Brendon frowned, adjusting his position on the bed.

"I thought I took away your credit card."

Brendon bit his lip softly, before a guilty look crossed his face and he held out something to Ryan.

Small, rectangular, plastic. Ryan took it and knew what it was without looking. It was his credit card.

* * *

They sat eating dinner, no, Ryan sat eating dinner. Brendon had a plate of food in front of him, but he hadn’t touched it. He was talking to Ryan, too distracted to eat the food. Words flew out of his mouth at a rapid pace, and Ryan’s ears struggled to untangle them. He wasn’t sure exactly what Brendon was talking about, but he listened anyway, trying to pick up words and form a sentence out of them.

Ryan tried to get a word in, but the only time he stopped was to take a breath. He didn’t want to upset Brendon by leaving, so he stayed there long after he finished eating just listening to Brendon talk. He didn’t stay on one subject for long. They went from microphones to xylophones to ice cream cones, Brendon constantly getting more happy and energetic the longer they talked.

He slowed down after awhile, not letting the grin slide off his face, and Ryan was finally able to stand up and take their dishes to the sink.

“…so I’ll have to show you tomorrow yeah? You’re the lyricist so I figured that you’d be able to give me advice.”

“Sure Bren,” Ryan agreed absentmindedly as he turned off the tap and left the dishes to soak in the sink. “I’m think I’m gonna go to bed now, I’m really tired.”

He kissed the top of Brendon’s head as he walked past, and Brendon sat there, watching as he walked away. There was no longer a grin adorning his face. He was saddened that Ryan didn’t want to talk more, and he needed someone to talk to, because his thoughts were racing and he needed to sort them out before they collided into each other. He mumbled to himself, taking out a pad of paper from the top kitchen drawer and scribbling words on it as he thought them, the ink turning the white page blue in a matter of minutes, his thoughts free from his mind.

There were four pages of thoughts and words before Brendon starting becoming restless. Something stirring inside him and soon he was on his feet, making his way towards the bedroom. His sudden desire leading him. He climbed on the bed, slinking towards Ryan who had now looked up from reading his book. He could see the look in Brendon’s eyes, and he knew what Brendon wanted. He’d half expected it actually.

Saying no wouldn’t do any help, because Ryan knew all too well how fast Brendon’s moods could change, and anything that even implied he didn’t want to have sex could have Brendon in tears and locked in the bathroom with a razor in a matter of seconds, and he'd never want to see Brendon hurt, so he went along with it. Giving Brendon what he wanted, all too used to his hypersexuality and what it involved.

Sweat, moans, lips on lips, skin against skin.

Brendon was soon lying next to Ryan, his exhaustion making him slip in and out of sleep, struggling to keep his eyes open. Ryan sometimes wondered how he could be so cheerful and lively one moment, and then so calm and sleepy the next. It was hard for Ryan sometimes, not that he hated the illness, but that sometimes he couldn’t keep up with it, and that, in turn, frustrated him because he couldn't help his boyfriend.

* * *

Brendon awoke in the morning, the lustful bliss from last night completely stripped away, and instead replaced by annoyance, irritation, misery, all emotions directed at himself. His head was buzzing, too many thoughts, too many words, racing around.

He pulled on some sweatpants and went to sit in the bathroom, the cool tiles cold against his bare skin. Sitting next to the sink with his knees to his chest, rocking forwards and backwards, trying to sift through thoughts, trying to sort them out and think straight and clear. The realisation hit Brendon suddenly, the knowing that he was going to go back and forth, black and white, for the rest of his life.

And that thought was what made him want to open a vein, experience as much pain as he could, just so he could distinguish what was real and what was not, just so he could be sure he was alive, despite what was going on around him.

It was two hours later, and 15 minutes of Ryan banging at the door, crying out strangled pleas that make him unlock the bathroom. He didn’t come out though. Brendon didn’t want to get red on the white carpet. So he let it drip from his arm to the blue tiles, not saying anything and just letting Ryan run it under the water and wrap it in bandages, the softness of his hands soothing his mood. He kept silent when Ryan muttered his name over and over again.

“Brendon, Brendon, Brendon.”

He didn’t mean to hurt others. It was just him, only him that was meant to feel the pain. He never wanted to upset Ryan. Ever.

* * *

Ryan came out from the bathroom moments later, tears on his face.
Brendon was already sitting at the table, cross-legged on the chair and folding square pieces of paper into little boxes. It was a habit to do it after an episode. It calmed Brendon down, when he focused on something that included structure and concentration. That and the fact that it distracted him from the faces that Ryan was pulling.

“We’ll have to ask the doctor to change your meds.”

“I know.”

“Promise me you’ll take them, baby. I know you hate it when I have to make you.”

Brendon looked away. Could he promise something that he’d try his hardest to do, but not necessarily succeed in?

“Promise,” Brendon whispered, looking up to meet Ryan’s gaze.

Ryan held open his arms and Brendon dived into them, making Ryan stumble backwards. Sorry slipped out in a million different ways from Brendon’s mouth, but the fact that he was there in Ryan’s arms was enough for Ryan to know that he meant it.

“You’ve got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow,” Ryan stated quietly.

Brendon didn’t reply, instead he just nuzzled into Ryan’s neck. He knew it was only a matter of time before he slipped from the grey line and the seesaw would send him up and down to the black and white worlds that only he knew existed.

At that second though, he just wanted to savour the moment.

checked. t.b.
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