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Friend, Please.

Chapter Text

I feel for you, but when did you believe you were alone?

 

"That's not fair, Brendon." Josh whined as his tall best friend took a second hit from the joint. It was almost gone and that made Brendon's move even more shitty. "If you're that upset about it, I can shotgun the hit." Brendon said, his voice a little restricted as he kept the smoke in his throat. Josh's rolled his eyes and shook his head, "No, just pass it." He held his hand out expectantly and Brendon laughed the smoke out as he leaned over to pass the joint to Josh.

"You two sure you don't wanna partake? Probably gonna roll another one." Josh asked, looking at the two boys on the other couch. They looked like polar opposites. Patrick was short and chubby with wispy, long, blonde hair and sideburns, a hat atop his head and glasses being pushed against the bridge of his nose when they slipped. Tyler was tall and almost stick-thin with short brown hair that looked as fluffy and thick as a bunny tail. Where straight pale skin adorned Patrick with only freckles to break it, black ink broke Tyler's down his arms.

Patrick wore a black Joy Division shirt with a thin denim jacket over it and loose jeans, scuffed up Converses on his feet while he talked excitedly to his best friend, blue eyes sparkling with passion. Tyler, however, had on a black muscle tank and skinny jeans that were ripped around the knees, clean red Converses being pushed gently against the floor as he listened with a shy smile on his plump red lips. His brown eyes looked caramel in the light whenever Josh found him looking up from his wrist where a rubber band snapped against his skin.

The sound of the rubber band slapping skin was what pulled Josh away from his thoughts, finally. Well- the lack of it. "We're good. Tyler's not big on smoking and it messes with my throat too much, ruins my voice." Patrick answered before going back to talking animatedly to Tyler again about his friends and bands. Josh pulled the joint up to his lips, inhaling the smoke and smiling at the familiar sensation.

He held the smoke until a hazy feeling took over him and he thought he might pass out, then letting it out through his nose. He caught Tyler looking at him and he shot the taller boy a smile, watching peculiarly as pale skin was riddled with pink and Tyler turned his head away to look back at Patrick. "Hey, pretty boy, it's 'puff, puff, pass' not 'puff, puff, stare at the tall guy that is way out of your league for ten minutes, then pass'" Brendon griped, pulling Josh out of his thoughts.

"Oh ha ha, Brendon." Josh said with a roll of his eyes, though he didn't deny it as he handed the joint over. "Sorry, Brendon. He just looked like a dragon." Tyler said, his voice a little raspy. Josh looked at him in surprise. The boy had only said three words the whole time he had been there- 'hi' 'sure' and 'no.' Other than that, Patrick had answered for him and Tyler looked comfortable with that. Tyler caught his eye and looked down at his wrist, the snapping of the rubber band getting a bit more intense as his feet scuffed against the ground.

"He did." Patrick mused in agreement, leaning up and whispering something to Tyler that made the taller blush. Josh watched as the taller took his hand away from his wrist to smack Patrick's arm, the shorter laughing heartily at his friend's reaction. Josh shook his head slightly and turned to look at Brendon, who had his eyes closed and his head against the back of the couch. He watched Brendon's eyebrows raise as he exhaled and spoke, "I'm pretty but quit looking at me, Dun."

Josh rolled his eyes again, "Shut up, Urie." He turned his eyes to look around the familiar room. Ramones, Green Day, and Misfits posters covered the walls, little drawings and reminders here and there. A large watercolour painting of Brendon was up on the far wall in a steampunk style with clocks and gears in the background. Only Brendon would have a painting up of himself on the wall. He turned to look at the bed that was to his right, the queen sized mattress adorned in dark blue sheets to contrast the black headboard.

There were blue and white fairy lights over the bed, holding Polaroid pictures that Brendon had taken- mostly of people, though a few were nature based. Josh had picked on Brendon for the lights, but Brendon had simply said that he liked the feminine feel of the lights and then threatened to take down the picture he had of he and Josh on the beach. It was one of his favourite pictures, and Brendon knew that, so he didn't dare press and keep teasing.

A shuffling made him turn his eyes to the other two boys across from he and his best friend. "Hey, we're heading out, B." Patrick said, walking over to hug his friend. Josh watched the interaction, watched as Patrick gave him a friendly kiss to the side of Brendon's face. "Alright, Trick. You two be careful, alright?" "Always!" Patrick shouted as he followed Tyler to the door, throwing his hand out behind him before the wooden door closed behind him.

He turned to look at Brendon, who was grinning widely at him. "I have Tyler's number if you want it." Josh wasn't ashamed to nod excitedly, handing Brendon his phone immediately.

Chapter Text

You say that spiders crawled inside
And made themselves a home where light once was

"It's like your ass is on fire. Calm down, Ty." Patrick said, but Tyler shook his head. "No, c'mon, I wanna go home. Are you staying over?" Tyler was snapping the rubber band on his wrist rhythmically, keeping it in tune with his heartbeat that was thudding erratically against his chest as they made their way down the stairs. "What's wrong, Ty? Yeah, I'll stay." Patrick sounded out of breath, and Tyler forced himself to slow down.

His legs were longer and he constantly forgot that when it came to walking with Patrick. The shorter caught up quick enough, a smile on his face as he tilted his head up to look at Tyler. "I just.. I dunno. I think being there with Josh there was just messing with my head. The weed probably didn't help." Patrick laughed and placed a hand over Tyler's shoulder, "Calm down, Ty. It's okay. You did good, I'm glad you were down to stay for so long. Pretty surprised too."

Tyler shrugged but relaxed at Patrick's touch, "I guess. Did you see his arms though? He's totally a drummer." Patrick laughed again, his hand turning into a half hug as he wrapped his arm around the taller's waist and pushed their bodies closer, Tyler putting a hand over his shoulders out of habit as the shorter used his left to open the door to the outside world. "Totally, Ty. Means he'd keep a good beat if he was fucki--" "Patrick!" Tyler said, his face reddening as he feigned disgust with his best friend.

Cold night air hit his skin and made the heat seem that much more intense. "Oh, what, don't want me talking about Joshie banging you into the mattress?" Patrick teased, and Tyler heard the smile that was definitely in his tone. "Oh shut up. It wouldn't even happen in a million years, no point in talking about it." Patrick laughed but quit, humming softly as he tugged Tyler a little closer and they made their way to Tyler's house just two houses down. "It's fine if you stay, right, Trick?" Tyler asked as Patrick let go of him to open the gate for the front yard.

"Of course, Ty. My mom doesn't care, you know this. I told her I was staying at yours this weekend anyways." Patrick said with a laugh in his voice, stepping to the side for Tyler to walk in before closing the gate behind them. They walked in silence the rest of the way to the door, Patrick humming softly while Tyler steadily snapped his rubber band. "Ty?" Zack's voice echoed through the somewhat quiet house.

"And Trick." Patrick supplied and a familiar laugh followed the words. "Hey, Trick. How are you guys?" Zack asked as he came in the room. He was wearing one of Tyler's shirts- not that that really made a difference to him, they commonly shared clothes -and a pair of gym shorts, his hair damp. "Pretty good, pretty good. Is anyone home?" Tyler answered, walking towards the kitchen with both boys on his heels.

"Nope. They left for the weekend, remember?" Zack supplied and Tyler nodded, "That's right. I completely forgot about that. Do you want anything to eat, Trick? He's staying the weekend." Tyler asked the words as he opened the fridge. Patrick's hand snaked around him and grabbed the pizza box that was in there, pulling it out while Tyler moved out of the way of it. "That's fine. Y'know that thing you were telling me to do with my arm? Well, I was doing it earlier and I think I figured it out. I think coach is gonna be pretty happy. Do you think we can practice tomorrow?" Zack asked as they made their way to the living room.

"That'll be fine, Zack. It'll be nice to practice some. Patrick, you can go to Brendon's if you want tomorrow while we do that, I could text you and tell you when we're done?" Tyler said to the shorter, who was making himself at home on the couch with the pizza box on his outstretched legs, ankles crossed and feet on the coffee table. "Or I can invite him over and he can help me with my singing or something."

Tyler shrugged, looking at his brother as he sat down on the couch beside Patrick. "That's all cool, man. Isn't he Josh's best friend? Oh, heaven forbid he bring Josh. Wouldn't be able to keep Tyler's attention at all." Zack said with a laugh, trailing behind the couch to sit on Patrick's other side. "Have I ever said how much I absolutely hate you?" Tyler asked, leaning up and grabbing the television remote and flicking through channels.

He stopped when Patrick patted his arm and put the remote on his lap. Tyler stole a piece of the cold pizza from the box, humming softly at the taste of cheese and sauce hitting his taste buds. He was interrupted by his phone vibrating in his back pocket, almost causing him to drop his pizza. Patrick laughed around a mouthful of pizza, probably at the way Tyler jumped. He cut his eyes at the shorter and leaned, pulling his phone out of his pocket.

> Unknown Number: hey, tyler

> Tyler: Uhh.. hi? Do I know you?

> Unknown Number: yes and no

> Tyler: I don't think I can get any more confused.

> Unknown Number: don't worry about it.

> Tyler: Nevermind. I'm going to put my phone down now because I'm trying to hang out with my best friend and my brother. Uh.. See you.. later I guess?

Tyler put his phone on silent and dropped it face down on his lap beside the remote, going back to eating the pizza. He and Patrick made jokes, Zack piping in at times to point out something neither of them would have realized otherwise. "I'm going to bed. Don't stay up too late, yeah?" Zack finally announced around a yawn. "If I do, I'll sleep down here so I don't wake you up." Tyler said, giving his younger brother a slight smile as he nodded and walked off to the stairs.

Patrick had put the pizza box down on the coffee table, laying out on the couch with his head on Tyler's lap. The taller was petting the wispy hair that was no longer hidden under Patrick's normal hat because the hat was sitting on the coffee table beside Tyler's crossed feet. Patrick moved and grabbed Tyler's phone from his thigh, unlocking it at a pace that matched Tyler's normal one.

"This guy said that he misses you and to text him back, he sent it like ten minutes ago." Patrick said and Tyler frowned. "Tell him I'm busy with you." Patrick nodded against his lap slightly and typed away. Somehow, between the feeling of Patrick's hair against his hand and his relaxed state, he managed to vanish into the depths of his subconscious and sleep enveloped him with a warm wrapping hug that consisted of red hair, brown eyes, and a dazzlingly crooked smile

Chapter Text

Petrified of who you are and who you have become

 

Tyler was startled awake to a prodding to his shoulder and someone groaning in his lap. "Tyler." Zack's voice cut through to his ears and he blinked his eyes open, brows furrowed and lips set into a frown. "Zack, shut up, I'm trying to sleep." Patrick groaned and Tyler looked down to see their looks mirrored each other, but Patrick's hand was twisted in the taller's shirt and his nose was pressed against Tyler's waist. "Let me up, Trick." Tyler said, patting the boy's head gently.

He was met with a fierce glare from narrowed sea-blue eyes and that just made him laugh. "Let me up." he repeated, and Patrick moved so that Tyler could stand up, his neck hating him for the way he had fallen asleep and his back not much happier. "It's, like, noon. Basketball?" Zack asked and Tyler turned around to see he was wearing a different pair of gym shorts and a white worn shirt. "Oh, jeez. Yeah, I'm gonna go and change real quick." Tyler said, not waiting to go to the stairs and jog up them.

Pushing the door open to he and Zack's shared room, he made his way to the closet and took off his shirt. He pulled one at random from the mass of clothing and put it on as he walked to the dresser on his side of the room. He noted dully that his side was kind of empty- he had his small drawings here and there but otherwise it was bare while his brother had his side filled with posters, drawings, little mementos and everything else.

He ignored it, though, and opened the third drawer to pick out a pair of gym shorts to put on. When he was as clean as he could be without taking a shower, he jogged his way down the stairs. He was greeted with a red-haired boy laughing and joking with three brown-haired boys. Zack looked over the red hair and shot his brother a wide smile, brown eyes alight and seeping happiness.

"Ty, you ready?" Tyler nodded mutely, snapping the band on his wrist and glad that the red-head stayed looking forward. Zack got up and tossed the basketball to his brother, who caught it and held it between his wrist and hip. The younger Joseph walked toward the back door and the older followed behind him, laughing softly when Zack told him a pun.

 

"He's outside now." Patrick said with a quiet laugh, nudging Josh's shoulder. Josh nodded, allowing himself to let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "Jesus, you're like head over heels for him. Last time I saw you this crazy was Debby." Brendon laughed out, a hand on Josh's shoulder. Josh rolled his eyes, shrugging off Brendon's hand and standing up. "You're not gonna say anything to him?" The question was directed towards Patrick, who shook his head. "I'm not doing it for you. B, can you help me with trying to hit a few notes? I can't judge if it's good because everything I do is shit."

Just like that, Josh was forgotten while Brendon and Patrick retreated to a different room. He heard Patrick singing and figured he would be there for a while, so he got off of the couch to look around. It was probably rude, but Tyler lived here so it had to be a great place. He decided to start from the top and go down, so he quietly made his way up the stairs, careful not to be loud for fear that someone might fuss at him- he had no idea why someone would yell at him because he could use the excuse of trying to find the bathroom, but the paranoia about it was still there.

At the top of the steps, he was met with a hallway that had three doors down it and one at the very end. Two on the left, one on the right. It went left, right, left, end- so he decided to go the same way. He opened the first door on the left to find a little room that looked like it belonged to a little boy on one side and a little girl on the other. A few posters were on the walls but they were for more kiddy stuff, and a few drawings littered between them.

There was one big drawing that looked like it was done with acrylics on the boyish side of the room. It was of a little boy grinning, missing one of his front teeth. His cheeks were dusted pink and short brown hair was floofed on his head. He looked absolutely ecstatic, his hands behind his back and his brown eyes were bright. He was like the embodiment of a happy little boy, with his too-large black Green Day shirt that looked like it belonged to Tyler or Zack and his faded blue jeans. The background was a splash of blues and greens around the boy, but not going to the borders of the canvas.

Josh smiled at it and looked at the girl's side of the room. There was a matching painting of a little girl with brown hair and a white dress. She was holding a dandelion, the flower stem clasped between two small hands. Her brown eyes were trained on the flower, just as bright as the little boy's. She had a look of wonder on her face, as if she were highly interested in the makings of the flower, or like it was the first time she had ever seen one. A gentle breeze seemed to be moving her hair because a few strands were blowing ever so slightly, a few pieces in her face but not too bad- stopping around her cheek. The background was made of purples and yellows and seemed to match the way the little boy's was.

He closed the door, hoping he hadn't been looking for too long. He heard Patrick singing and a bit of shouting outside, so he didn't worry about it too much. He instead moved down the hall. The door on the right was a bathroom, big enough to probably comfortably fit all of Josh's family and still have room. He closed the door back, making a note to remember that bathroom was there. The next door on the left looked like a master bedroom, so he didn't look for long and simply figured it belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph.

He closed the door, listened to hear Patrick singing and laughing from outside, though it sounded louder. Josh kept his steps light as he opened the last door and was met with two contrasting sides. On the left, it was somewhat bare except for a few drawings. The bed was fitted with black sheets and red painted the pillowcases. It was all so... Neat. The dresser at the end of the bed held three pictures, one of Tyler and Zack while another was of a little girl and a little boy that seemed familiar. The last was Tyler and Patrick, the taller looked like he was laughing and the shorter was grinning.

Over the side of the bed, between the wall and the dresser, was a large bay window. The little nook in it had a pillow propped against the glass, red and black to match the bed. He walked closer to it and saw that it showed the backyard where Tyler and Zack were playing basketball. Tyler's back was to him, but Zack was facing him. They both looked terribly sweaty but neither looked tired. Zack's hair was sticking to his forehead, a grin on his face as he passed the basketball to his brother.

He stayed watching them for a while and Zack finally looked up to the window and saw Josh- there was no way he hadn't. The younger didn't look angry, he even grinned at Josh, but his eyes fluttered back down as quickly as they had shifted up. Tyler was turning around, so Josh instantly moved out of the way and ducked his head, scurrying out of the room without a look back. He closed the door behind him, anxiety coursing through him like a river, and hurried down the stairs.

Patrick and Brendon were laughing on the couch in the living room when Josh hit the last step and they both turned to look at him. "Where have you been off to, Dun?" Brendon asked with a grin, wiggling his eyebrows slightly. Josh felt his cheeks heat up, rolling his eyes as he force himself to calm down and sat down on the couch, "Nowhere." The back door opened and laughing sounded out to Josh's ears. He felt the red of his cheeks coursing to the back of his neck and forced himself to fall into a normal mood. "So, did you two have fun?" Patrick asked, looking behind them.

"Yeah. You're getting good, Zack. Keep on and you'll be beating me. What about you guys? Got the singing part down, Tricky?" Tyler's voice made Josh turn a little redder. "Yeah! Brendon was a great help, honestly. I'm not sure what Josh did while we were doing that, but." Patrick answered. Josh sunk into the cushions, trying to curl in on himself. "Oh? Well, did you have fun, Josh?" Zack asked, and Brendon snickered. Josh settled for nodding instead of answering verbally and was glad when the other four boys began talking and being happy, leaving him to being invisible to any jokes, left to be lost in thought.

Maybe leaving him to think wasn't the best thing to do.

Chapter Text

You will hide from everyone denying you need someone to exterminate your bones.

The weeks continued throughout, the mysterious person that had texted him texting him every day for most of the day. He had a feeling of trust that evolved around the stranger, and the stranger must have felt the same with him because more than once he would be in his room texting and talking the stranger out of dark thoughts and convincing him that he was worth everything. The stranger would normally send something along the lines of "lol, you don't even know me" and Tyler was quick to remind him of how much he did know about him.

It had become a part of his nightly routine to talk to Brightside, as his brother had recommended him so sleepily to call him. He hadn't had anything else to call him, so the nickname stuck, and they didn't have a problem with it. Since he knew his name, he simply called him Ty or Tyler like everyone else. His nightly routine had shifted to taking a shower, brushing his teeth, then laying out in the little nook of his bay window. He would text Brightside and he would point out little constellations that Brightside said they looked at afterwards.

Normally during this time on the weekends, he would be on the phone with Patrick if the boy wasn't in his room. It was just like any other night, he was lazily smiling up at the sky and his phone vibrated on his stomach underneath his right hand and he picked his phone up to text Brightside and tell him where Scorpio was. Patrick was sitting cross-legged on Tyler's bed the soft sounds of Mark Hoppus's voice cutting through the room. Zack was gone to his friend's house, so the two teens only had to worry about making sure they didn't wake Tyler's younger siblings and parents.

"Why do you text him constellations, Ty?" Patrick asked, glancing over at the boy. "Because why not, I guess? I don't really have a reason for doing it. He told me that he liked space and stuff, so it's just pretty neat to have something to relate with him besides music, y'know?" Tyler answered with a shrug, momentarily looking over his phone at his best friend before looking back down. "Have you talked to him, y'know, like, at least on the phone?" Patrick asked, and Tyler shook his head.

"Why not? You could probably figure out who it is that way." Patrick had moved so his head was against Tyler's calf comfortably. "I guess, but wouldn't he have told me--" he stopped in the middle of his sentence to type, laughing softly before putting his phone down and looking back at Patrick again, "-- who he was if he wanted me to know? There's no reason he could possibly have for wanting to keep himself a secret like that." Patrick was silent for a few seconds before nodding, "I guess you're right." he finally whispered out, then he changed and starting singing to I Miss You with Mark Hoppus.

Tyler was drifting off when he felt his phone vibrate again. Patrick was snoring, his head leaning against the taller boy's calf still. Tyler moved to not disturb him, stopping when Patrick grumbled in his sleep before his face relaxed again.

> Brightside: Hey, Tyler?

> Tyler: Yeah, Brightside?

> Brightside: Why don't people like different people?

> Tyler: What do you mean?

> Brightside: You go out in the woods and hang out and stuff, right? And it's not exactly that people don't like you, because you're on the basketball team and the people at your church like you and stuff.
> Brightside: Actually, no, that's a bad argument. Take me for example. I hang out with like two people, I do everything I can to keep my mind wandering and from focusing on one thing. I can't go to sleep most nights without something to help me. I've got shitty depression and I'm always so anxious even if I force myself to seem rather cocky. I cry myself to sleep half of the time and I drown the voices in my head out at one of my friend's house while he sings.
> Brightside: I'm a straight fuck up and people don't like me. They avoid me most of the time. Yeah, there's one or two that will come up because I'm slightly attractive but people don't stick around. They don't like me. They don't want to deal with the baggage that comes with dating someone with depression, or even being friends with that person. The only reason I have my two friends is that I made a pact with one when I was like 3 and the other is his boyfriend.

 

Tyler felt tears threatening to spill over his eyes, he knew that Brightside had issues but he hadn't realized they were this bad. He took too long to respond so his screen turned black and his phone vibrated in his hand again, the screen lighting up once again.

 

> Brightside: Yeah, same. Goodnight, Tyler.

 

Tyler yanked his foot up away from Patrick, the shorter whining as his head smacked against the wall. Tyler didn't respond, blinking as he stared at the black screen of his phone. He finally unlocked it again to text the boy back.

 

> Tyler: I'm sorry, I just.
> Tyler: I'm so sorry. You've always got me as a friend. Even if I have no idea who you are, I'm not going anywhere and you know who I am. You could even be someone I see every day. You could be a friend of mine or a friend of Patrick's and I wouldn't even know. But I'm still here, you can still talk to me any time you want to, any time you need to.

 

It was radio silence for a while. Patrick had settled himself back onto Tyler's bed and Tyler knew this would be a thinking night- one where he would be up to gaze at the stars fade, the night to gray, and the sun to rise while his thoughts raced through his head. Then his phone vibrated more urgently than before and Tyler realized someone was calling him. No, Brightside was calling him. He pressed accept as quick as he possibly could, putting his phone on speaker and resting it on the wood of the bay window's nook next to him.

He wasn't prepared for the voice he heard, nor for the choked sob that broke through scattered words. "Tyler, it's so hard." Tyler couldn't immediately point out who the voice belonged to, sobs too hard and words too muffled for him to determine it. But that didn't matter because this person was on the phone with him and he was crying. "I know, I know. It's okay. It'll be alright. Talk to me." There was another sob and Patrick let out a grumbled snore. Tyler placed his hand down to rest gently on Patrick's head, and the boy quieted.

"Shit, I didn't mean to wake anyone up." Brightside said, and Tyler shook his head. "Tricky is a heavy sleeper, most of the time. He won't be mad at me for long anyways." A laugh interrupted the sob, "B would murder me if I woke him up being on the phone." Tyler laughed softly, "Patrick is really just used to me not sleeping, so he's pretty cool with all of it. Zack isn't much better, honestly, but he sleeps like a log and it would take twenty bombs to wake him up." Brightside laughed a little louder at that.

"That's great, Ty. That's beautiful." Brightside said through laughs, and Tyler could practically hear the smile in his voice. "You have a really nice voice." Tyler commented, and another laugh escaped to his ears. "You do!" Tyler defended. "Thanks, Tyler." Brightside cooed through a laugh, making Tyler roll his eyes but a smile crept over his face nonetheless. "You're an ass." "You love me." Brightside commented just as quickly, and Tyler rolled his eyes again.

"I can't love someone I don't know." A whine elicited in response and Tyler laughed. "How do you still not know me, Tyler?" Brightside asked. "I don't know. I can't figure out your voice." Tyler said with a shrug that he wished Brightside could see. "Seriously? Wow, should have done this sooner then." Tyler rolled his eyes but laughed. The conversation crept into the early morning hours and eventually Tyler fell asleep. He awoke to the sun illuminating his face, the sound of steady snores to his left and a soft breathing to the right.

He groaned, picking himself up and stretching out as much as he could in the confined space. He ended up with his legs stretching out over Patrick's body, his arms high above his head until the fabric of his shirt crept up his abdomen. "Good morning." The voice was soft and couldn't have belonged to Patrick, the shorter was still snoring. Then Tyler remembered he had been on the phone with Brightside. He was so glad that the nook had an outlet just underneath it and that he had thought to charge his phone. "G'morning." Tyler hummed.

"How'd you sleep?" Brightside asked. The voice sounded familiar, calm and comforting like an old song you can't remember the name to. "Pretty good considering where I fell asleep." Tyler laughed and Brightside did the same, his a little softer than Tyler's. "Did you sleep any?" Tyler asked, and Brightside told him that he hadn't. Then the door opened and in bounced Jay, his lips spread in a wide grin with his missing front tooth being the center of attention. "Mom said that you and Trick had to get up because breakfast." Jay said, smiling at his brother.

"Tell her I'll be down in a few, J-man." Jay nodded and bounced out of the room as quick as he had shown up. "I'll let you guys go then, Tyler." Brightside said, and Tyler nodded before he remembered the boy couldn't see him. "Yeah, I'll talk to you later. Text me if you need me, Bright. Patrick, get up. Food." Tyler said, listening as a laugh escaped the phone before it notified him that the call had been ended. Tyler shook Patrick's shoulder, the shorter whining. The promise of food made the blonde get up nonetheless, soon enough.

Chapter Text

Friend, please remove your hands from over your eyes for me

Tyler spent the days trying to figure out the voice, but Brightside hadn't called him again since the first call. He would lay in bed and let that sweet laugh slide over his thoughts like silk sheets, painted a red that could suffocate his very being with an undertone of soft blue that pushed and pulled at him like a confused riptide. Well well well. What are you thinking about now, Tyler? Blurry's voice cut through his thoughts and the silk shifted to sandpaper, scratching over his skin and marking him until blood escaped the paleness.

"Brightside." Tyler said coolly, not letting the red eyed being get to him. He heard a scoff and saw the red flickering eyes staring down at him. And why exactly are you thinking about him, Ty? You know you don't even know him. He could be using you. Blurry had moved so he was sitting in the nook of Tyler's window, one leg pulled up while the other dangled on the other boy's bed, black hands holding his bent knee. He had his red eyes hooded, the fire lazy in them as he looked down at Tyler.

"His voice sounded so familiar." Tyler said with a shrug, shifting his eyes from the ceiling to glance at Blurry before looking back up. A cold hand was pressed to his cheek and despite the goosebumps it raised on his arms, he tilted towards it, letting his eyes slide close. Ty, you need to be careful. You know that. Blurry's normally rough voice was a soft coo, comforting Tyler in black satin and holding him close. Tyler nodded and soon the bed was dipping slightly and he opened his eyes to see Blurry had moved so that he was behind the boy.

Tyler grabbed his pillow, cuddling close to it while a cold arm slung itself over the dip in his hip. He managed to fall asleep with the being against him, gravelly voice softly whispering sweet nothings into his ear. When he woke up, it was to birds chirping and a familiarly cold room, light shining over the side of his face and into his eye. He frowned, blinking, brows furrowed. "Good morning, Ty." Zack said, and he hummed softly in response, throwing his feet over the side of the bed and stretching his body out.

"You missed a phone call while you were sleeping, by the way." Zack commented, and Tyler nodded before the door was opening and closing and he was left alone again. He drowsily moved to grab his phone from the nook, leaning over his bed. Then his phone rang again and he dropped the device onto his face, flinching and tilting his head so it would smack at his cheek instead. He picked it back up and groaned as he answered the phone blindly. "'Ello?" he asked, rubbing his cheek gently.

"Tyler? Shit, I didn't wake you up, did I?" The sweet voice from his dreams filled his ears and he blinked. "Bright?" "Yeah, it's me. I didn't wake you up, did I?" Brightside asked again, and Tyler shook his head before he remembered the boy couldn't see him. "No sir, you're fine. What's on your mind?" Tyler laid on the bed, letting the cord follow him and glad that he had such a long one. He put his head against the pillows and let the phone rest between the pillow and his ear. "I just wanted to talk to you. If you're not busy." "No, sir. I'm not busy at all." A humming moan escaped him as he stretched out slightly, sighing happily at the feeling.

"I missed your voice if I'm honest, Tyler." Brightside said softly, and Tyler laughed. "I missed yours too, Bright Boy. How are you this morning?" Brightside laughed, "Tyler, honey, it's two in the afternoon. But I'm alright. Better than I was." "Is that Tyyyyyyler?" a voice asked behind Brightside's voice, and Tyler heard him laugh. "Yes, B. It's Tyler." "Hey, Tyler! Fuckin' cutie. Where is my hat?" The voice drifted off as Brightside answered him with a laugh. Tyler smiled softly, listening to Brightside talk to his friend.

Tyler cuddled up into his covers, blinking with heavy eyes. “Sorry about that, Tyler. How did you sleep?” “You're fine, Bright. Restfully after, like, 3 am.” Tyler hummed, his eyes closed as he laid talking to the boy. “I'm sorry, Ty. That explains why you slept for so long then.” There was a pause before, “D’you have any plans today?” “Not that I know of. Why?” Another pause, “Nothing with Trick?” “Not unless he texts me. That or if Brendon texts me and calls me over. He's been doing that more lately,it's weird.”

“Ah. Well, I'd enjoy if we just talked. Least for a while, your voice is sweet. B is going out with Ry so I don't think he'll care of I stay here.” Tyler nodded. “Do you have Skype, Ty?” Brightside asked. “Yeah. Why?” The thought that he would get to finally know who Brightside was made anxiety flutter in his chest like a thousand butterflies. “Send it to me, we can video chat.” Brightside said. Tyler agreed and the line went dead as he texted Brightside his Skype.

He had his phone propped up against his pillows, his head buried against covers and eyes hooded within five minutes. The being on the screen was fairly dark, just light enough for Tyler to see his teeth when he smiled. He also noticed there was purple hair, which he complimented the other boy on. “Hey, Ty, I'm going to Jordan’s with Jay and Madds.” Zack said, and Tyler sat up, “Joshie’s little brother Jordan?” Zack nodded. Tyler smiled, “If you see Josh, tell him I said hey?”

“Yes, I'll tell your lost lover that you said hey. Have fun with him, though.” Zack mused and Tyler whined softly, his face heating up as he stuck out his tongue at the younger. “Love you, nuisance!” he shouted when Zack vanished from the room again, the words being repeated to him and making him smile softly. He dropped back onto his side to look at Brightside, “Sorry about that, Zack was telling me he’s taking my brother and sister to their friend’s place. Probably because of Jay, he’s, like, joined at the hip with Jordan.”

Brightside laughed softly in response, “That’s cute.” He turned his head to look to the side, and Tyler admired the slight crook in his nose and his plump lips as he spoke. “Yeah, B. Yeah, you look great. Ry is gonna love it. Wear the black snapback, it looks better on you!” Brightside shouted to his friend, a laugh in his words. “Thanks, Dun! Have fun with your little lover! I’ll be back later tonight, or I’ll text you, alright?” “Love you, B! Be careful!” “Always!” The interaction shouldn’t have been as cute as it was, but it was.

Maybe it was Brightside that was cute. “Where were we?” “You were telling me that my brother’s interaction with his best friend was cute.” “Ah. Yeah, that’s cute.” Tyler laughed softly, “So why are you so far in the dark there, Bright Boy?” Brightside seemed to tense up at that, but Tyler saw him shake his head, the purple little curls bouncing slightly. “Come on, why?” Tyler asked, a little whine in his voice. “Because I’m shy?” Brightside tried to defend. Tyler narrowed his eyes, “I know everything about you at this point. Come on, just a little bit of your face? Pleeaaaase?” Tyler stuck his lower lip out, a pout taking over his features fully.

When Brightside didn’t say anything, he frowned and turned over on his other side with his back to the purple-haired boy. “Ty?” Tyler didn’t respond, nuzzling against his blankets. His eyelids felt heavy, and he felt a cold hand snaking around his body. He knew what the hand was as it rested gently against his stomach, felt the chills it ran through his body. “Tyler?” Brightside asked, but then it turned gravelly and Don’t listen to him, Tyler. I’m here now, you don’t have to talk to him now. Just go to sleep, Ty. Go to sleep. Blurry cooed out to him. “I’m not tired.” he murmured to the being, nuzzling against the covers nonetheless.

Sleep, Ty. Sleep. Blurry cooed, and Tyler nodded finally. “Tyler, are you awake still?” Brightside asked, and Tyler nodded again. “Look at me, please?” Brightside requested. The cold hand vanished from his side and Tyler turned over. He was not prepared whatsoever with what he saw, and his face instantly turned beet-red. The purple haired, plump lipped, crook-nosed being he had been admiring so shamelessly was none other than Joshua William Dun, the guy he had been crushing on for years.

“Hey, Tyler.” Josh said, and Tyler simply blinked in response. “Tyler?” Josh asked, making Tyler shake his head and blink again. “What? Sorry. Hey, Josh.” He forced the anxiety and worry evaporate from his tone. It was Josh’s turn to blink, and Tyler smiled slightly. “I like your hair.” Josh’s hand moved up to his hair, brown eyes blinking a few times before the words seemed to register, “Thanks, Tyler.” Tyler nodded, getting close to his covers and the warmth of them. “Are you busy now?” Josh asked, so Tyler shook his head in response.

“Want to come to Brendon’s?” Tyler blinked for a second before shrugging and nodding. Josh hung up and he got dressed before walking his way to his friend’s house, nerves wry yet bubbling for so many reasons that it was almost making him sick.

Chapter Text

I know you want to leave but friend please don’t take your life away from me.

Laid out over Brendon’s bed and on the edge of consciousness, Tyler was calm and rather happy. Josh was sitting on the side of the bed, where Tyler’s hips were pulled back towards the wall in his curved position, playing something that Tyler couldn’t actually register as anything past a game. He had been laying here for an hour, listening as Josh went from chatty to silent apart from the occasional laugh or curse. “Tyler, you still awake?” Josh’s voice was very soft, like he was edging on the air of caution in case he was, in fact, sleeping.

“Yeah. What’s up?” Tyler asked, blinking sleep-heavy lids up to look at Josh. Josh was looking at him, his mahogany brown eyes blinking in return, tracing an invisible map of Tyler’s face. It took a second for him to reply, “Nothing. Just wondering. You can sleep, if you want. I highly doubt that Brendon will argue.” Tyler nodded, letting his head move so his chin and jaw was against the bed, his eyes drifting back shut. He felt a lot like a dog, lower body half compact with his upper stretched.

He managed to fall asleep without really meaning to. He awoke to hands on his side, “Ty.” Soft words were a coo, but they made him simply wiggle closer to the sound. “Tyler.” There was a bit more urgency in the word this time, but he ignored it, humming questionably. “Tyler, get up, dude.” Tyler blinked his eyes opened, brows furrowing when he saw dark brown hair, “What?” Brendon laughed, “Dude, I’ve been trying to wake you up for ten minutes. Patrick is downstairs.” Tyler frowned but managed to push himself into a sitting position, rubbing at his eye with the heel of one hand while he leaned on the other.

He didn’t say anything, just stood and walked out of the room, yawning as he walked down the stairs and to the living room where he could hear Patrick talking. “Trickydoll? What is it?” He blinked the last crisps of sleep from dark eyes and walked into the room- almost into the wall. Patrick was sitting, talking with a soft smile on his precious features to a purple-haired boy that sat across from him.

They both turned at the sound of Tyler’s voice, but his eyes were solely on the blonde, who switched to talking to him, “I need you to come home with me. Like, now.” His smile switched to something serious that ached at Tyler’s skin and made him want to tear his claw-like nails into his wrists. “Yeah. Everything okay?” Patrick nodded, “It was nice talking to you, Josh. We’re leaving B, love you!” He shouted the second part out so it would reach the upstairs. WIth a final glance at Josh, Tyler followed his short best friend, who was walking to the door.

 

He was curled in Patrick’s blankets, the shorter boy hugging up to him, hours later. Patrick was snuffling, whimpering, and just sounded completely broken, his hands clawing into Tyler’s skin while the taller simply quieted him and rubbed his back, holding him close. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do.” Patrick whimpered, and Tyler shushed him once again. “It’s okay, Trick. You can stay at the house. It’s okay.” Patrick nodded slightly, “But, Ty, I don’t.. What about.. Oh God.” He fell into sobs once again, while Tyler steadily petted him.

“When do you have to pack?” Patrick sighed, “By Tuesday.” Tyler nodded, holding him a little closer. The shorter was as close as he could possibly be. “Do you think Bren would be able to help?” Patrick instantly yanked his head back, red-rimmed aquamarine eyes wide, brows high. He looked at Tyler for a moment before smiling and hugging the taller, “You’re a genius!” Tyler smiled, “Of course I am. Come on, we can pack and ask him.”

So, they went to work. They packed all of the boy’s room, from his hats (“Be careful with those, Ty!”) to his clothes to the posters that littered the walls. They dared not be too loud, listening for Patrick’s mother to come home. It was alien to Tyler, being this quiet and this secluded in the house that he had always been so loud and rambunctious in. “I think that’s all of it.” Tyler said, patting a hand on the box in front of him. Patrick was scuffling about, looking under the bed, around every corner, to make sure it was all packed.

“Yeah, that’s it.” Patrick said, his words broken by a yawn. Tyler smiled, walking over to his best friend and patting blonde hair, “I’m sorry about this happening, dude.” Patrick shrugged, “It’s not my fault if she can’t accept it. I’m just tired of walking on eggshells around her. It pisses me off. Do you think that you could get Zack and B and them over to help us? The wagon is outside, it can carry a few boxes.” Tyler nodded, “Of course, dude.”

Patrick made his way out of the room, probably to go get the wagon and put it under the window, and Tyler sat down on the corner of the naked bed. He admired the shorter’s strength with this. The text was sent out as a group message, easier than calling them all- not to mention quicker. The trio ended up showing within five minutes, not questioning a thing as they started getting the boxes from the open window of Patrick’s room to the wagon that was settled beneath it.

Brendon had been perfectly fine with the boy staying at his, and his mom didn’t argue with the idea of having the boy in the house- Patrick was a “respectable young man that wouldn’t make a mess,” according to her. So they made the way to Brendon’s house when the wagon was full, laughing to each other. Josh and Zack had stayed at Patrick’s to move around boxes, getting them prepared for loading it up again. “Take ‘em up to the guest room, dude.” Brendon instructed.

They each carried a box up, following Patrick like ducks, to the large guest bedroom. Boxes were put on the floor and Patrick set about unpacking them, Tyler helping him as Brendon walked back to the other house. That was how it was set. Patrick and Tyler unpacked boxes, helped Brendon carry them up when he came back, then Brendon left to get more boxes from the other two boys. Only when all of the boxes were in the room, did Brendon set about helping with the unpacking.

It took a good two hours before everything was out, placed in random spaces that Patrick deemed appropriate and Tyler approved of. Posters lined the walls and simple sheets were laid out on the bed. It looked as though Patrick had always lived here. His shoes were lined up neatly in the bottom of the closet, his clothing on hangers and in drawers that he decided were right. His OCD had kicked through when it came to getting everything perfect in the room. His hats were even hung up on a wall, where Brendon had found little hooks that they could rest on.

Patrick sighed, “B? Can you take this key and lock the front door of my-- mom’s house and leave it under the mat? She told me to do it before I left completely but I forgot.” Brendon was happy to listen, taking the key and bouncing off. Tyler sat on the edge of the bed, knowing Patrick wouldn’t scold him for messing up the perfect creases in the sheets right now. Patrick sat beside him, blinking up at him. It was like he was having to determine that everything was really real.

Josh was sitting on the floor. Zack had gone back home with instruction to tell Tyler’s mom that he was going to be at Brendon’s for the night. “So what now?” Josh broke the silence that pulled the best friends from their gazes. Patrick ended up shrugging, “Now we wait, I guess? I don’t know.” Tyler dropped his upper body so he would fall back onto the sheets, his arms above his head. He felt Patrick do the same thing, a sigh leaving him. Tyler smiled weakly, “Home sweet home.”

Chapter Text

Living like a ghost, you walk by everyone you know

He woke up on the floor. The room was clean. Too clean to be Brendon’s. Not his own. Eerily similar to his best friend’s. Then he remembered that’s because it was his best friends. The soft snoring of Patrick reminded him further. He picked his torso up, leaning on the heel of his hand and rubbing his eye with his other. He stretched in the middle, but pushed himself off the floor fully so he was sitting up- so as to stretch better.

He saw Patrick on the bed. Brendon was beside him, an arm thrown over the other’s side. Looking to the ground at the end of the bed showed a aubergine-purple haired boy staring down at his phone. His spine was curved around, one elbow rested on his knee with his head resting on his hand. He was scrolling on his phone. Tyler didn’t know what he was scrolling on. Tyler’s existence was unnoticed for the time being.

He fell to an undignified heap to the ground, letting his arms curl around and pillow his head. His legs remained stretching only slightly at his side. He said nothing and watched Josh, who glanced over for just a heartbeat before turning back to his phone. It was simple, just watching the other. Simple to the point that it was almost stupid, just how simple it was. Josh scrolled onto a video- or maybe he had gone to YouTube -because music filtered into the room. It was soft and quiet, just enough to filter through.

It didn’t disturb the morning’s silence. It amplified it. Yet made it more bearable. That silence let unallowed beings come around, even with the music there. You’re staring. Blurry’s voice was calm, amused almost. A black hand was rested on Tyler’s arm. It was chilly. It raised goosebumps. He didn’t care. Tyler turned his head up to look at the lazy smile on chapped lips. His eyes were a soft crimson. There was barely even a fire in them. This was a rare moment from Blurry.

One of the rare times where he was bearable and even entertaining. Most of the time- it was bad. Why? Tyler shook his head, smiling slightly at Blurry before dropping his head back down onto his arms. The hand on his arm was tracing impossible runes over the scars in his skin. He let it happen, letting it lull him into a false comfort. He knew it was a false comfort. He didn’t care. He let his eyes drift closed. He let Blurry remain where he was- as long as they weren’t at war, it was okay for him.

 

When he opened his eyes again, he was alone in the room. He wasn’t sure what time it was. The light was cutting in and bright in his eyes. He blinked, brows furrowed, and looked around. Josh was gone. Brendon was gone. Patrick was gone. Patrick’s fedora was gone. He sighed and picked himself up off the floor fully, stretching momentarily before walking over to the closet. He pulled out a sweater that was most likely his and took off his shirt to put it on. The sweater was a dark gray with black on the sleeves, had thumb holes to help develop out the sweater paws, and was his.

He dipped his head down to ruffle his hair a bit, fixing it to not look absolutely terrible. His jeans stayed- he couldn’t remember if he ever left a pair of his at the house. He had fallen asleep in his shoes, couldn’t remember why he hadn’t taken them off, so he walked out of the room and hopped down the stairs. There was talking in the kitchen. He headed towards it.

“I’m just saying, he doesn’t sleep a lot. He deserves it when he gets it. It doesn’t help he has.. Look, he just needs the sleep. Don’t go bothering him.” Patrick’s voice scolded. Tyler felt a little happy in the fact that Patrick hadn’t mentioned Blurry. He was not happy in the fact that Patrick wa talking about him and his dodgy sleep schedule. Tyler said nothing, made his presence known via an exaggerated yawn just outside the doorway.

“Good morning.” Patrick chirped, smile reaching bright blue eyes. “Hey.” Tyler’s voice was quiet compared to Patrick’s. “Redbull? Coffee?” Brendon offered, holding up his own drink. Tyler politely declined. Josh was silent. “Brendon, do you think that Ryan would do makeup for me?” Tyler asked to break the slight silence, turning to look at the brunette. Chocolate eyes blinked at him before there was a reply. “Probably.” Tyler nodded, “Can I have his number?” Brendon glanced at Patrick.

“He’s coming over today, actually. Should be here in about-” There was a knock at the door. Brendon smiled. “Now.” He finished his sentence before standing and walking to the front door, sipping his drink. “Good morning, beautiful!” Brendon chirped in an eerily similar way as Patrick, though it was dulled from the distance between Tyler and the entrance. “G’morning. Hey, I was trying to figure out colours. So I didn’t do my makeup. You’re going to help me, yeah?”

Brendon’s laugh echoed through the home. It made Tyler smile. “Yeah, of course, babe. Actually, Trick, Josh, and Tyler are here. Ty wanted to know if you’d do his makeup? No idea why, but. Whatever he wants.” Something that Tyler could only describe as a squeal came out in response, “Of course I’ll do his makeup! What colour are his eyes?” “Come on, you dork.” Tyler couldn’t stop the small laugh that escaped him as he heard the front door close and footsteps leading to the kitchen.

A boy an inch or two taller than Brendon with brown hair and beautiful whiskey eyes came in in front of Brendon, grinning. “Morning, Trick. Morning, Joshie.” His voice was as gorgeous as his eyes, like honey. “Morning, Ry.” Patrick offered with a smile, turning to look at the taller. “Hey.” Josh mumbled, not looking up from where he was staring down at his cup. “You must be Tyler. I’m Ryan. Ryan Ross.” Ryan said, smiling at Tyler and holding out a hand.

Tyler shook it, felt odd like he was shaking his dad’s hand, and smiled in return, “Tyler Joseph. Nice to meet you.” The look Brendon gave Tyler from behind Ryan told him that Ryan was going to try and become his new best friend. Tyler thought he might. Ryan was inspecting him, “The shoes are very cute. Sweater too. Might wanna take it off so I don’t get makeup on it.” Tyler nodded, not enjoying the idea a ton but not willing to argue directly.

He pulled it over his head and stood self consciously, waiting, the sweater still on his arms but off of his chest. “Oh he’s cute, I might keep him. Follow me please.” Ryan commented, grinning back at Brendon before leading the way out of the kitchen. Tyler did not wait to follow, trying to keep as close to the other as he could.

He was lead to a room beneath the stairs that he had never known really existed. He hadn’t explored the place much, to be fair. He normally was in Brendon’s room. This room was obviously Ryan’s makeup room, though. “Sit.” Ryan instructed. Tyler didn’t hesitate to sit down in the chair, back straight, posture perfect, head up towards where Ryan was, eyes focused on him as he walked around the room.

“Your posture is like Brendon’s, holy shit. Chill out, dude. Be more like Josh. Let loose. Shake out your muscles and calm down. Breathe in, breathe out. Alright? Watch me.” Ryan made a whole production of breathing in deeply through his nose, out through his mouth. Tyler copied him. He forced his spine to curve, so he was leaning back with his ass a few inches from the back of the seat instead of being stick-straight.

“Why the makeup?” Ryan questioned as he walked over to Tyler. His smile was bright like the sun, but it was comforting and welcoming and made Tyler want to spill out all of his secrets for some reason. “Isn’t it supposed to make you feel pretty?” Tyler asked. His voice felt stupid, too raspy, too raw. Ryan’s was like perfection.Ryan laughed softly. Tyler wished his laugh was that beautiful. He caught a glint of red in the shadow.

“Makeup makes me personally feel more confident. And it gives me a chance to show off how great my skills are.” Tyler smiled weakly. He knew it looked stupid. Everything about him felt stupid and much too flawed compared to Ryan. “Any colour you specifically want?” Ryan asked, pulling Tyler out of his thoughts. “Um. Anything. Your choice. I’m.. fond of purple.” Ryan smiled brightly, like Tyler had just told him the meaning of life or how to unlock immortality. “Great.”

Tyler smiled back and waited. Ryan made small talk. By the time Tyler was told that he could turn around and look in the mirror, Ryan had gotten most of his life story that Tyler was willing to tell. Ryan did not pry, simply smiled at him and told him he understood. His chair was turned around, and his breath was gone. A soft purple, almost lilac, was on his lid. He leaned forward to look closer. A dark purple was in the crease and made up a partial wing. An even darker purple- almost black -was smoked out around the edges. Black eyeliner was around his eyes, but didn’t go out into a wing. Simply surrounded them.

The specks in his brown eyes were highlighted by the brightness. “Aubergine dreams. It matches Josh’s hair a bit. Do you just want the eyes done or do you want highlight and stuff?” Tyler brought his hand up and touched the corner of his eye, up near the crease. Ryan smacked his hand away, “Hey, none of that. I think you’re done. You don’t need anything else. Hell, you didn’t need that much. I got a little carried away. Do you think you can help me out really quickly?”

And that’s how he ended up staying in the room for another half-hour, watching Ryan layer reds and golds on his eyes until he looked ten times better, if that were even possible. “Thank you.” Ryan chirped out. His bright demeanor hadn’t diminished- hell, it had gotten brighter if anything. “You’re so gorgeous.” Tyler’s breath was gone. Absolutely gone.

“You are, too, y’know? Even without the makeup.” Ryan gave him a reassuring smile from the vanity mirror. Tyler couldn’t return it. Red sparked in the corner of his eye. He knew it wasn’t a figment of his imagination this time. He popped the rubber band on his wrist. Ryan glanced at him before standing and smiling, leading the way out of the room. Tyler put his sweater back on and followed him. He was glad to.

Ryan lead the way with the air of someone that was obviously gorgeous and happy about it all. Like he had no flaws or imperfections. Tyler wasn’t sure if that was a lie. “You look gorgeous.” Brendon complimented his boyfriend as soon as the other brunette walked in. Tyler stayed behind Ryan, head down, arm hooked to his neck. “Gorgeous is the night. And the guy behind me.” Ryan sidestepped and placed a comforting had on Tyler’s back. A kiss was planted to Tyler’s head.

It made him pick his head up, looking over at Ryan with widened eyes. Wonder of why he had been given the praise. “Shit, you look drop-dead gorgeous.” Patrick said. A very audible gasp escaped one of the three. Ryan smiled smugly and inclined his head, a symbol for Tyler to look over at the others. Tyler did so, blinking. He was slightly confused. Josh was watching him. Patrick was grinning. He let it be known how hot he thought his best friend was.

“You should be glad that I’m not romantically interested in you or I’d let you be as far in my ass as fucking possible.” Patrick whistled and made his way over to Tyler quicker than Tyler had ever witnessed. Patrick didn’t move that fast for food half the time. Tyler’s jaw was grabbed with a surprisingly strong grip, forcing him to look down into eyes that reminded him slightly of crystallized aquamarine.

Tyler smiled weakly. Patrick thumped his forehead. It made him grin fully. “Fine. Thank you.” Patrick kissed his chin. He kissed Patrick’s forehead. Patrick flashed him that thousand dollar smile. “Quit doubting yourself.” Tyler nodded to the shorter. “You look amazing.” Josh mumbled softly. Tyler smiled up at him. Otherwise, the words were left unnoticed. A kiss was placed to Tyler’s head. He felt Ryan’s hand on the small of his back.

“What do you wanna do now?” Ryan asked, the words whispered into Tyler’s ear. He turned and looked at the other. Red and gold brought out every bit of his eyes, making the whiskey seem impossibly brighter. Like an aged rum. It was stunning. Though, Tyler had come to find every bit of Ryan was stunning- and he hadn’t even seen him shirtless. Well, not fully. He had taken off his outer shirt. “I don’t care.” Tyler mumbled, snapping his rubber band. Ryan smiled at him anyways.

“He’s a big music person, Ry.” Patrick tipped, nudging Tyler’s side gently. Ryan grinned wider, pearly whites almost blinding.

That’s how he ended up playing the piano with Ryan at his side. He would play part of a song in a higher set of keys. Ryan would play it lower. It was entertaining. Somehow, they got on the topic of personal pieces. “Have you written anything?” Ryan asked. Tyler nodded. “Hey, me too! Would you mind critiquing mine? I’m not super confident on it.” Tyler felt himself nodding again. How could Ryan not be confident on anything?

The notes filtered into the room. Tyler sat patiently beside Ryan. It was beautiful. He felt a sudden urge to rip up all the sheet music he had written over the past five years of his life. “Um. So.. How was that?” Tyler blinked at Ryan. His eyes were wide. “That.. Holy.. Wow.” Ryan laughed softly, his cheeks a soft scarlet, “It wasn’t that good.” Tyler blinked, “I’d cry if I heard what you deemed as good then.”

“Play me something you wrote.” Ryan urged softly. Tyler started to shake his head, but Ryan smiled at him softly, “Go ahead. I’m not going to judge it.” Tyler nodded slightly and started off a bit. It took him a moment to get into the groove, but when he did, he lost himself in the song that had lyrics he refused to sing. It was much too sad and love-sick for the god sitting beside him. He finally stopped himself and looked at his lap, popping his rubber band. “Holy shit.” Ryan’s voice was a whisper. Tyler looked up at him. His whiskey eyes were wide, “Holy shit, Tyler.” Tyler raised a brow.

“That was fucking awesome.” Tyler shrugged, “It was subpar at best.” Ryan looked like he was about to argue. Tyler’s phone stopped him as the ringer danced in the air between them. Tyler shot him an apologetic smile and pulled it out of his pocket. It was Zack- he knew that without looking. “Where are you?” Zack sounded a little worried. Tyler’s heart lurched at the idea of someone being hurt. “I’m at Brendon’s. Do you need me? Are Madds and Jay okay?”

“Get to the house, please.” Tyler nodded without remembering Zack couldn’t see him. “I’ll be there in ten max.” He turned his attention to Ryan. “I need your masterpiece to get off my face please.” Tyler requested in the sweetest voice he could manage. Ryan smiled half-heartedly at him, “Alright. Downstairs in my makeup room I’ve got face cleansers. Go.” Tyler scurried off, out of the room and down the stairs.

Once the makeup was off (which he mentally apologized for taking two wipes for that,) he bolted out of the front door and hurried off towards his house. It didn’t take him as long as he expected for him to get in his front door. “Zack!?” “Tyler!” Zack shouted in response. His voice sounded urgent. It scared Tyler. He ran as fast as a bullet up the stairs, down to his room. His youngest brother lay injured on the floor. There was a nasty cut on his head and a few bruises here and there. His lip was busted. It took a heartbeat for Tyler to notice that his side was bloody.

“What happened?” Tyler asked, forcing himself to calm down as he went to get the first aid kit he kept on his side of the room. “Some kid on the way back from Jordan’s like five minutes ago. He.. Honestly would have probably killed Jay if I weren’t there.” Zack sounded panicky. “Where is Madds? Where is mom and dad?” Zack shook his head, “They’re at the park. Come on, focus, Ty. Jay needs you. He’s lost a bit of blood.” Tyler let out a shaky breath and crouched beside Jay.

He lifted the shirt that was being pressed to his side by Zack’s hand. Tyler could have almost thrown up from the sight of the blood. He was too infatuated to do that, though. “Tyler.” Zack’s voice was calming and kept him grounded. Tyler nodded. Jay needed him. He opened the box and blinked to calm himself. Alcohol wipes. “Stay awake, Jay, c’mon.” Zack urged. Their mom always told them not to let an injured person fall asleep if they could- though, neither of them were ever told why. They just listened.

Tyler placed the alcohol pad on Jay’s side, wiping away blood that slowly came back. Jay sucked in air from clenched teeth, trying to wiggle away from Tyler. “It’s okay, Jay. It’s okay. I know. It stings. You’ll be okay.” Tyler wasn’t sure if he was comforting himself or Jay. It seemed to hurt regardless. When the wound was fully cleaned and he could see it wasn’t a huge issue (three inches across his side, up above the pudge of his waist, max,) he pulled out a sterile wound dressing.

He placed it on the boy’s side over the wound, making sure it would stay. Tape was applied to the outer edges. He grabbed one of the multiple rolled up bandages and wrapped it around Jay’s torso- it was loose enough it wouldn’t stop his breathing movements but tight enough it could control the bleeding. When it was done up, Tyler smiled. “There. How do you feel?” He looked up to see Jay was blinking. His eyes were glazed over. He was fading in and out of consciousness, most likely.

“Let me see his head, Zack.” Tyler instructed, scooting over. Zack was cradling their brother’s head with his arm, supporting his neck. Tyler pulled out another alcohol wipe and cleaned the cut on the boy’s head. It wasn’t terrible. “I put pressure on the cut on his lip.” Zack piped up helpfully. Tyler smiled up at him for a split second before turning his attention back to the cut. He was happy to see it wasn’t bleeding anymore, and simply put a small bandage over it. “He’ll be fine.” Tyler hummed.

Zack let out a breath, “I’m so glad you actually answered the call.” Tyler looked up at him fully, smiling, “Of course I did. You don’t call often. Normally you text me.” Zack laughed, “Yeah. Will you help me pick him up?” Tyler blinked and nodded. He didn’t need Zack’s help. He let his brother hold up Jay’s head and legs up so that Tyler could pick Jay up. He turned and put him down on his own bed, his head resting gently on the pillow. He sat on the floor beside his bed, stroking soft brown hair.

“Text dad and tell him what happened. He won’t freak out as bad as mom will.” Tyler commanded gently. Zack obeyed.

Tyler stayed at his brother’s side until he woke up, coaxing him into sleeping again after making him drink some water and be easy with his moving. Tyler had been in the hospital before. He knew there wasn’t enough blood loss for Jay to need any. There hadn’t been enough blood on the shirt. The wounds weren’t big enough to get enough out in that short of time.

When his parents got home, they checked on Jay. Tyler’s mother said that he was right to do what he had. Tyler’s dad had affirmed that Jay hadn’t lost enough blood. They left Tyler to watching his brother- there wasn’t much more that could be done anyways that he wasn’t already doing or he would let anyone else do.

Tyler didn’t sleep that night, watching his brother like a hawk. Zack slept on his bed after Tyler almost forcing him to. The eldest Joseph boy stayed comforting the youngest without an issue, without a single complaint.

For the first time in his life, he was glad he had insomnia.

Chapter Text

You say that you’re fine, but you have lost your sway and glow

“Tyler, he’s fine.” Tyler blinked, looking up at Zack. He had sat beside his bed and waited for the past two weeks. Jay’s side healed up, the cut on his head was okay. Tyler had taken power naps when Zack was awake, so that Tyler knew someone was watching over Jay. He only left when he absolutely had to. Patrick had made it a habit of showing up and sitting at the side of the bed with Tyler to keep the taller mentally sane.

Blurry haunted the times that Patrick wasn’t there, or that his younger brother was gone to leave him looking over Jay- even if it were just for a few minutes. Josh texted him, but he didn’t text back. Brendon texted. Ryan texted. He didn’t text back. He couldn’t. Any moment that his focus wasn’t on his brother was a moment that something could happen.

“Tyler. Dude. He’s fine.” Zack shook his shoulder gently. Tyler blinked again and nodded, looking over at his brother. He was fine. He hadn’t gotten an infection. He was laughing. He was okay. Tyler pushed himself off the floor and stretched. His back was killing him. He needed food.

Half an hour later when he had satiated both his hunger and his thirst, he sighed and crashed onto the couch. His phone was in his room, on the charger. He didn’t bother with going up and getting it- he had no actual want to right now. He did, however, fall asleep on the couch. No one woke him up, and when he did awaken, the sun had vanished and the moon had replaced it.

He stretched out and yawned, making his way to his room. Jay was in his own bed- Tyler checked as he walked past. Madison was laid on her own bed, sleeping soundly. He stopped from walking farther when Jay looked up at him. “Are you feeling better, J-man?” Tyler’s voice was a whisper when he walked into the room. He crouched down beside Jay’s bed and paced a hand over the younger’s chest, over the blue duvet.

Jay smiled at him. It was an odd smile, with his lip busted and the cut on his head. Jay didn’t deserve battle wounds like this. Not this young, not at all. “I’m fine, Ty.” Tyler sighed softly, “Alright. I just. Do you want me to sleep in here?” Jay shook his head. Tyler leaned and kissed his brother’s head, smiling down at him before leaving the room. He almost drifted to his own room, glancing over at his brother for a split second before climbing onto his bed.

He made his way up and onto the cushions of his bay window, relaxing his body out over it and looking up at the stars. He wondered if Josh was looking at the stars, too. That reminded him that Josh had texted him at some point. He reached over and grabbed his phone from the charger.

 

> Brightside: Dude
> Brightside: Are you dead?
> Brightside: Please text me when you get these
> Brightside: Patrick told me that something happened to Jay
> Brightside: Is he okay?
> Brightside: Are YOU okay?
> Brightside: Please text me back
> Brightside: Tyler
> Brightside: Tyler please.

 

The texts had been sent gradually over a week and a half. The last one had been from yesterday. Tyler saw that Josh was typing.

 

> Brightside: Tyler Joseph I’m seriously about to walk to your house and climb in your window. Don’t doubt me, I remember where you live.

> Tyler: Chill out. I’m fine. Jay is fine. We’re all fine. I’ve been watching Jay for like two weeks straight. I didn’t want to check my phone in case he needed me or something, y’know? I’m sorry I didn’t text you back before.

> Brightside: Jesus Christ, Ty. You can’t fucking do that to me. If I hadn’t been getting updates that you weren’t fucking dead from Patrick, I probably would have walked there and smacked you. Fuck. I’m glad he’s okay.

> Tyler: Why don’t you just call me

 

It was a simple question that could easily be seen as an offer. Josh took that offer and called Tyler. Tyler smiled at his phone and accepted the call, moving around to rest on his bed, the phone against his ear. “Hey.” Tyler’s voice was soft, trying to keep from waking Zack. “Tyler.” Josh said it with a sigh, like he was relieved to hear Tyler’s voice, to know he was really okay. At least, that’s what Tyler was telling himself Josh felt. “How are you?” Tyler asked, smiling softly at his wall as he focused on the sounds of Josh.

Of his breathing, his little chuckle before he answered. “I’m so glad you’re okay. That’s how I am. How are you? How is Jay?” Tyler didn’t stop the widening of his smile, “He’s good. I’m better, knowing he’s okay. His wounds are pretty much healed.” There was a bit of silence before Josh spoke again. “Do you want to sneak in my house and play video games with me?” Tyler blinked, sitting up. He’d never been asked to do that. He’d never been asked to even go to Josh’s house. He looked out of the window, just as a shooting star streaked it’s fiery tail across the dark sky.

He wasn’t sure he’d ever get the opportunity again. “Yeah. I’ll write a note and tell Zack where I am. Text me your address.” “I’ll see you soon, Ty.” Tyler smiled at the stars outside before pulling his phone from his ear and ending the call, a simple “Yeah” his only response. The device vibrated as Josh texted him his address. Tyler silently wrote Zack out a note, leaving it on his pillow after neatly making up his bed and making sure his key was in his pocket.

Just to be a little safer, he stepped over to his brother and shook him. “Wha? Is Jay okay?” Zack asked sleepily, rolling over to look at Tyler. Tyler smiled down at his brother, “Jay is fine. I wanted to tell you I’m going to Josh’s. I don’t know when I’ll be back. There’s a note on my bed because you’ll probably forget that in the morning. If Jay needs you--” “I’ll take care if he needs me, Ty. Thank you for telling me.” Tyler smiled a little wider and nodded, letting nimble fingers run through dark hair before he headed towards the front door.

His footsteps were as quiet as he could get them (which was pretty much nonexistent) as he walked through the house, peeking in to make sure his siblings were okay (they were) before continuing on down the stairs. And where do you think you’re going at this time of night, Tyler? A raspy voice questioned right before he put his hand on the front door. He turned to see flaming red eyes staring at him, Blurry leaning against the bannister of the stairs with crossed arms as he waited for an answer.

“I’m going to Josh’s.” Tyler said it as quietly as he could, hating how easily he broke the silence with the answer. Says who? Tyler frowned, “Says me.” A guttural laugh escaped into the room. Sounds like an adventure. Tyler’s frown deepened, brows furrowing, “You’re not invited.” The words sounded cold even to himself. He expected Blurry to be angry. Instead, he was rewarded a feral grin, fire welling in red irides. Funny. I’m part of you, Tyler. You don’t get a vote.

Tyler’s lip rose on its own accord in a snarl, “I do get a say. And I say no.” He turned around before getting an answer, opening up the door and slipping out, sure to lock it back before closing it. He was stupid for thinking that would stop Blurry. You don’t get a say in it, Tyler. Come on, we’ve been over this. Five years with me and you still don’t realize. Blurry’s words were said in a sing-song voice. A tsking noise followed them.

Tyler frowned, glancing back at him to see Blurry leisurely walking behind him as he headed to the road. It was pretty quiet at this time of night. “I know that I do have a say, regardless of what you tell me.” Blurry laughed again, Wow, you seriously believed them at that hospital, huh? Just because you didn’t see me for a month doesn’t mean you won. I get busy at times. Tyler clenched his jaw and looked down at his phone to make sure he was going the right way.

You can’t just ignore me. Blurry said. A cold hand rested on Tyler’s shoulder as a chilled breeze ruffled his hair and made him duck his head slightly. Iciness cut to his bones. He was not a fan of it. He hurried a little faster to get to Josh’s house. His phone vibrated.

 

> Brightside: I see you outside. Come to my window, my light’s on. There’s metal lattice for you to climb up. B does it all the time.

 

Tyler looked up and saw Josh in his window, smiling faintly. Tyler smiled in response, his cheeks heating up a bit. The cold hand from his shoulder vanished. A glance back showed he was alone again. He hurried over to the boy’s window. Sure enough, a metal lattice was lined up the side of the house, reaching up to Josh’s window and riddled with vines until just beneath the windowsill. A few roses were around the sides of the lattice. It was honestly kind of pretty. It reminded Tyler of something Ryan might admire.

“Are you coming up or are you going to stare at my mom’s roses all day?” Josh asked in a stage whisper, amusement riddling his voice. Tyler looked up and felt his cheeks heating up farther, “Shut up.” His complaint was quiet and missed any malice. He put his arms up on the lattice between the diamonds, cursing softly at the cool of the metal. He tested it for just a moment before putting his foot up in one of the niches. He forced himself to breathe, mentally reminding himself of one foot over the other.

He hadn’t went out climbing in weeks. He hadn’t lost his skill. A cold hand on his ankle reminded him that he hadn’t lost his climbing “buddy” either. Not that one. One over. Trust me. There were many times where if Blurry said “trust me” that Tyler would know to do the exact opposite of what he said do. Climbing had never been one of them- Blurry had kept him from falling to an untimely death multiple times out in the woods. Tyler wasn’t sure if that was because Blurry would be lost with him, or because Blurry cared. He assumed the former.

“How did you know about that one?” Josh asked as he helped Tyler into the room. Tyler laughed softly, pulling a hand up to his neck, “Uh. Intuition.. I guess?” He couldn’t just tell him that some being that was just a personified demon formed from Tyler’s bad thoughts and struggles had told him where to put his foot. That sounded crazy even to Tyler- and he actually knew what the fuck he was talking about and meant.

“Huh. Cool. Yeah, watch out on that one, it’s got a screw loose from the side of the house.” Tyler nodded and looked around the room. It was simple. Soft blues mingled with pale grays, both in fabrics and in paint. It was calming. “Um. So, you wanna play um. Mario Kart?” Tyler smiled widely at the now green-haired boy and nodded.

 

They ended up playing until it was almost dawn. Then, "Do you wanna go to sleep?" Josh asked the questions simply. Any normal person wouldn't have heard what was hidden in them. Tyler was not a normal person- not if Blurry was any proof. He heard the hesitance in the soft invitation, the quiet plead. "I guess it'd be good to try." Tyler replied around a yawn.

Josh smiled at him. Ten minutes passed before everything was ready and Tyler was commanded to either lay out on the bed or the floor, “Whichever you’re more comfortable with. I can get you a pillow and a blanket if you want the floor.” Tyler smiled, lifting up the duvet and crawling under it. Josh blinked and climbed in beside him. He held his body rigidly for a few moments. “Are you okay?” Tyler asked, his voice soft, like he was talking to an injured animal.

Pretty eyes turned to look at him and bright green hair bounced as Josh nodded. Tyler, used to sleeping in the same bed as other people, pulled his arm around and laid it over Josh’s torso, letting his head fall to against the shorter’s shoulder. Josh tensed for only a moment before relaxing underneath Tyler, his hand resting on Tyler’s side and arm curling around his back.

Chapter Text

So I stopped by to let you know

“What?” Someone asked, voice groggy and thick with sleep. Tyler frowned, squeezing a bit at the torso his arm was around, wiggling his way closer to whoever it was he was laying beside. “Yeah, I’m at the house. Why?” Tyler couldn’t hear exactly the other half of the conversation he was listening to, not past knowing someone was talking to whoever he was laid on. “Yeah, uh. Up like normal. Want me to open the window for you?” Who he could finally identify as Josh laughed, his body buzzing with it.

“Yeah, I’ll open it. Give me a minute.” A thump sounded that Tyler assumed was the phone being put down on something wooden. “Ty?” Josh’s voice was quiet, questioning. Tyler hummed. “Can you let me up?” Tyler obeyed, albeit reluctantly. His arm detached from around Josh, his head fell to the bed. He still didn’t open his eyes, no need to do so, listening as Josh got off the bed and moved around the room, eventually opening the window.

When Josh returned to the bed, Tyler clutched up against him once again and drifted into sleep.

 

Josh had a steady hand petting dark brown hair when Brendon climbed in his window. “So like, there was this--” “Shh!” Josh scolded his best friend, motioning to the sleeping boy, whose head was in his lap. Brendon’s eyes widened slightly before he grinned devilishly, “Finally got him to come around, huh?” Josh rolled his eyes, “We didn’t do anything, you fucking moron. I called him. He came over. We played Mario Kart. He kicked my ass.”

Brendon’s smile flicked to genuine, “I’m just glad you’ve finally gotten farther than sitting in my house with him.” Josh rolled his eyes again. They were going to fall out of his head if he kept on. “How is Ry?” He was quick to grasp on another subject. “Ry is fine. Upset because he thinks I forgot our anniversary but that’s stupid because I’d never forget.” Brendon said the words with a tinge of hurt.

“Isn’t it tomorrow?” Josh questioned, raising a brow. “Yeah. I’m taking him to the fair and I wanted to see if I could get someone to make a flower crown for him but Ryan is the only person I know that can.” “I can do it.” Tyler’s voice was sleepy as he shifted on Josh. Josh glanced down at Tyler for a split second before looking back up at Brendon, who had a brow raised. “You can?” Tyler’s body shook a bit as he laughed, “Of course I can. I make them for my little sister all the time.”

“You play basketball, yet you can make flower crowns?” Tyler picked his head up and (Josh assumed) glared at Brendon. “I play basketball and I can make flower crowns. In case my outfits didn’t give it away, I like flowers. And I’d do anything to make sure my little bumblebee is happy.” Brendon held up his hands in surrender. “Brendon is the baby of his family, he doesn’t quite get that.” Josh explained with an amused smile. Brendon glared over at him.

“And I’m the oldest of mine.” Tyler said around a yawn, his head dropping back down to Josh’s lap. Josh glanced down to make sure his hand was resting on Tyler’s head before looking back up at Brendon. “Now, what were you saying when you came in? There was this..?” Brendon’s eyes lit up, “Yeah! There was this lizard chilling out on the lattice and he jumped on my shoulder and I named him Pepper.” Josh laughed softly, rolling his eyes.

Brendon clambered onto the bed without any warning, coming and getting his face really close to Tyler’s. Maybe an inch was between their noses. “I’m either going to kiss you or punch you, your choice.” Tyler warned. Josh was nearly certain that the taller’s eyes were closed. Brendon laughed, Josh watching as Tyler’s hair twitched at the movement.

They laid there for a while, Josh getting lost in his thoughts while Tyler and Brendon talked. It was simple. It was awesome. Josh was positive it was one of his favourite things ever. It’d just be better if he could get out of his thoughts.

Chapter Text

Friend, please remove your hands from over your eyes for me

“Tyler.” Ryan groaned as Tyler held onto the other’s hand, pulling him along. “Ryan.” Tyler mused. They were just a few minutes worth of a walk from the field, where Tyler had promised to keep Ryan until Brendon texted to say it was fine (definitely at least an hour, he had been told.) “Where are you even taking me?” Ryan complained.

“It’s a surprise! You’ll like it, I swear!” Ryan sighed but didn’t whine otherwise, keeping up with Tyler easily. When they broke through the intricate treeline to the large field, Ryan audibly gasped. “Holy shit.” There was a multitude of flowers, reds and purples kissing blues and whites. “Holy. Fuck. This is gorgeous. How did you find this?” Tyler smiled as Ryan moved ahead of him, “When I was, like, seven, me and Zack would go out in the woods a lot. When we stumbled on this, I asked my mom about it. She brought me here for years and taught me how to make flower crowns and stuff, and she’d teach me about everything.”

Ryan turned to look at him and blinked, “Wow.” Tyler laughed softly, “Yeah. A little birdie told me that you know how to make flower crowns, too.” He walked past Ryan and to the flowers. He heard Ryan behind him. He finally settled down in a little bed of clovers and patted the spot beside him, smiling up at Ryan until the other sat down. They set off to working on making little flower crowns. It was super simple, honestly.

They would speak a bit as they worked, picking each other’s flowers for this and that, here and there. When the first ones were done, Ryan placed his on Tyler’s head and Tyler put his on Ryan’s head, smiling brightly at the other. “You look absolutely adorable.” Ryan cooed, smiling softly. “And you are even more breathtaking than usual.” Tyler replied with pink cheeks.

They kept making crowns of various flowers until Tyler’s phone vibrated. He looked at it long enough to see that Brendon had told him it was time before shoving it back into his pocket. “C’mon, let’s head back, hm?” Ryan nodded, finishing up the crown he had as Tyler stood and stretched. He took the bag off his back that he had been carrying, putting the crowns in it and allowing Ryan to do the same.

The walk back was filled with Ryan complimenting Tyler and fussing about Brendon forgetting their anniversary. Tyler didn’t have too hard of a time laughing and continuing on as normal, even though he knew that Brendon had not forgotten. “He almost forgot last year. I swear Josh reminded him.” Ryan sighed. Tyler laughed softly, “Maybe he did.” “On the topic of Josh, when are you gonna get you a piece of him?” Ryan bumped Tyler’s shoulder. Tyler laughed awkwardly, pulling a hand up to the back of his neck.

“Before you ask, you are absolutely that obvious. He thinks you’re cute, y’know? Though, anyone with eyes that work would think that.” Tyler rolled his eyes and lead the way out towards Brendon’s house, not bothering to reply very openly and instead opting for little hums and laughs. When they broke the treeline behind Brendon’s home, Tyler smiled widely. They had started from Brendon’s house- it was easier for the long run because Ryan wouldn’t question it.

“I mean, honestly, how hard is it to remember our anniversary? It’s literally June 4th. It’s a month before the fourth of July. You would think he’d be better with the dates.” Tyler laughed gently, “Maybe he didn’t forget? The day’s not over. It’s only, like, eight.” Tyler lead the way through the back door and into the house, Ryan following behind him.

When they left through the laundry room, Tyler smiled a little wider. Ryan couldn’t see him. Tyler knew what was in Brendon’s room. “You coming?” Tyler asked as he started up the stairs, pausing fast enough to look back at his friend. Ryan nodded, the crown bobbing slightly on his hair, “In a minute.” Tyler beamed at his friend and headed up the stairs, not stopping until he got to Brendon’s door. He knocked before opening the door.

The lights of the room were off, but the fairy lights were on. The blackout curtains were drawn. Candlelight illuminated the rest of the room. Brendon was sitting on the bed in a white button-up and skinny jeans, thin black tie around the collar. He stood when Tyler entered the room. “Josh is in the kitchen.” Tyler smiled and leaned over, kissing his friend’s cheek, “Good luck.” “Thanks, Ty.” The taller nodded, putting down his bag to pick out a crown and resting it on slightly gelled hair.

Then, Tyler left the room, the bag thrown over his shoulder. He kissed Ryan’s cheek when he almost ran into him at the stairs, then walked around him to get to the kitchen. Josh was sitting at the island. “Wanna go with me to Patrick’s room real quick?” Josh glanced over at him and smiled before nodding slightly with a shrug.

They made the way back up the stairs and to Patrick’s room. The boy was currently at Tyler’s house, hanging out with Zack and Madison. Tyler took the bag off his shoulder and sat it on the bed. He took one of the crowns out of it and placed it atop Josh’s head. The rest, they spread around the room- on the pillows of the bed, on a few hats, on the desk. The last one that Tyler placed was on Patrick’s favourite electric guitar.

Happy with the work and overall exhausted, he made himself out a bed on the floor next to the actual bed. Josh ruffled his hair and left the room, as the front door opened and closed- signaling to Tyler that Brendon was taking Ryan to the fairgrounds. Tyler fell asleep before Patrick returned to the house.

Chapter Text

I know you want to leave

Stopping by Josh’s house became as much of a habit for Tyler as stopping at Brendon’s to see Patrick after only a month. Tyler found he didn’t have a problem with it. He would go home from school, check on his siblings and make sure they were all okay, then head off to Josh’s or Brendon’s- sometimes both. Sometimes Zack would be with him, sometimes Patrick.

 

Sometimes all of his siblings went with him to Josh’s house, where Jay would play with Jordan and Abigail and Ashley would hang out with Madison and (sometimes) Zack while Tyler and Josh hung out. It was currently one of the days all of his siblings were there, and he was laid out over the couch downstairs. Josh’s mom had work until late, so the kids had the house to themselves.

Ashley was sitting on the couch under Tyler’s feet, beating Zack’s ass at Modern Warfare. Josh was sitting on the ground with Abigail and Madison, half watching what was happening on the television and half colouring. Jay and Jordan had been in Jordan’s room, but Tyler heard them bounding down the stairs. “Ty, can we go outside to the woods with you?” Jay asked, looking over past Ashley and at his big brother.

Tyler was quick to pull his feet off of Ashley’s lap, standing and stretching beside the couch. “Course you can, J-man.” “Can we go?” Madison asked from the floor. “No! No girls allowed.” Jordan pouted out. “Jordan. Be nice. Of course you can go, Maddy.” Josh scolded his brother lightly. Tyler clicked his tongue, “What if you show Josh and Abby the treehouse, bumblebee? That way Jay and Jordan get to do whatever they’re wanting to do, too.”

“Yeah! Maddy, you wouldn’t like this anyways.” Jay piped up. Tyler smiled at Madison, “I promise when we get back, I’ll take you two out to the flower field and make you both crowns. Okay, bumble?” Madison seemed to be thinking for a moment before nodding, deeming the answer good enough. Tyler smiled wider and walked over to her, leaning down and kissing her head before kissing Abigail’s head, then leading the way to the door with both of the youngest boys behind him.

“Why did you two want to go to the woods?” Tyler asked as they walked the way over to the woodline, humming. “Because we wanted to go see if we could find that place that you and me found one time? With the thingy? The creek?” Jay offered out. Tyler nodded, “The clearing?” “Yeah!” Jay seemed pretty proud that Tyler had figured it out so easily. The journey to the clearing (really, it was more of a glade, with enough trees hiding out to keep it dark and covered but otherwise just full of grasses that Tyler commonly kept cut with a sling blade) was a simple one filled with Jay and Jordan asking Tyler about various things from bugs to snakes to birds.

“Tyler, what’s that snake?” Jay asked finally, pointing ahead of them. A green snake was on the ground, maybe a foot and a half long. Tyler blinked and stepped forward, careful. Garden snake. Won’t hurt you. You can pick it up, use a stick behind it’s head so it won’t bite you. Remember how you used to do it? Blurry asked from a few feet away. Tyler knew how to pick the snake up, and knew it was a garden snake. He didn’t need Blurry telling him. He glanced up and over at him anyways before turning his gaze back to the snake. “Go get me a stick, little man.”

The snake didn’t move much, simply slithered around a bit. Jay came back and pushed a stick into Tyler’s hand. Tyler moved with gentle steps, a hand behind him telling the two others to stay put where they were. When he got close enough, he pushed the stick against the back of the snake’s head, pinning it to the ground with a skilled swiftness. He was glad Jay had found him a forked stick, because it helped a lot. He moved forward and put his hand underneath the snake’s stomach close to it’s head, a thumb replacing the stick in a quick motion. His pointer finger went underneath the snake’s head, and he used his other hand to pull up the long tail and hold it with his pinkie and ring fingers.

He turned to his little brother and Jordan, smiling. The snake didn’t seem very stressed, not as stressed as it could have been. Tyler was glad for that. “It’s a garden snake. Wanna touch it? It won’t bite you.” Jay did not have to be asked twice, quickly walking over and petting the snake on his back. “Jordan, what about you?” Tyler asked softly. Jordan was more hesitant, walking over. When it didn’t bite Jay, he seemed a bit more comfortable and put his own hand on its back. “Woah! It’s not slimy!”

Tyler smiled, “No, they’re not slimy. We should put him back, so he doesn’t get too stressed out, yeah?” Jay nodded, Jordan was a bit sadder on hearing of its necessary departure. Tyler picked up the stick and walked a few feet away from the two children, kneeling down and putting the snake flatter on the ground. He did the opposite of what he had earlier, quickly replacing his thumb with the stick as he pulled his hand from beneath the snake. He stood and stepped back, leaning over and keeping the stick on the snake before finally letting it go. The snake did not waste time slithering in the opposite direction when it was let go.

They continued on the last little bit, following the creek through the trees. When they got to the spot, Tyler climbed up one of the large trees, sitting on the forked branches. It was a sturdy dogwood, one he rested in on an almost daily basis these past few weeks. Jay and Jordan ended up finding a frog, and they played with it. “Don’t hurt him.” Tyler reminded his brother when the boy grabbed the creature by its leg. Jay nodded sheepishly.

They were only there for maybe half an hour when he got a text.

 

> Brightside: Abby asked when you’re coming back

> Tyler: Twenty more minutes, please. Jay’s helping Jordan climb up the tall oak.

> Brightside: Alright..

The twenty minutes flew by. “Hey, let’s head back. Okay?” Tyler asked softly as Jay helped Jordan down from the tree. “Alright.” Jay chirped. Jordan started to whine, but Jay bumped his shoulder, “We can come back sometime later. Right, Ty?” “Right.” Tyler hummed with a wide smile. He ruffled Jordan’s hair before they started back.

He was attacked by Abigail on one leg and Madison on the other when they returned to the house. “Flowers?” The girls asked in unison, looking up at Tyler with bright eyes. Tyler smiled, “Yes. Flowers. Give me three minutes, okay? I’m gonna get some water to take with us.” Abigail was a bit more reluctant to let go than Madison was. Tyler was starting to learn that there was a lot of reluctance with the Dun kids- if Tyler was leaving, all of them seemed to get a little upset. It was a weird thing that Tyler wasn’t fully used to.

The only thing he could do was be quick on getting the waters, though. “I’m using your bag, Josh.” Tyler informed as he jogged up the stairs. He grabbed the black bag and went down the stairs twice as fast as he had gone up, hurrying to the kitchen to drop enough waters to last probably the whole of both Josh and Tyler’s families.

He slung it onto his back and headed back to the front door, “Ready?” Abigail nodded to the point that Tyler feared her neck would break. Madison simply smiled up at her brother. “Come on, then.” Tyler opened the door for Abigail and Madison to exit the house, and he started to follow them before Ashley’s voice stopped him. “Tyler?” He turned his head back and looked at the eldest Dun girl, “Yes?” It took a heartbeat before she asked, fidgeting.

“Can I join?” Tyler smiled at her, “Of course. Come on.” He turned back to follow the two youngest, lead by Madison who knew where to go already. Ashley followed behind Tyler. The walk to the flower field was a lot more peaceful. They had to go through a little strip of trees and across the creek to get to the field, where a large multitude of flowers grew, from forget-me-nots to alyssum to lavender. Madison always loved the forget-me-nots and the white and red flowers that littered the clovers, so it was no surprise to Tyler when she hurried to them.

Though Tyler couldn’t yet see them, he knew that there were tulips as well, a little ways down. “Ty-ty, look!” Madison held up her hand, which was gripping a daffodil. A bee was buzzing around the daffodil, and ended up landing on Madison’s finger. Tyler smiled at his little sister as she spoke softly to the creature. “Good afternoon, missus bee. I think you’ll have better luck getting pollen with the flowers, ma’am.” The bee flew off of the little girl’s hand and off to the field, as if she had heard what Madison had told her and was taking it into consideration.

Tyler looked down to see Abigail awestruck at her friend, while Ashley stepped around carefully in the flowers. “Ty-ty, can you make me a crown?” Madison asked finally. Tyler smiled up at his sister, “Absolutely. Pick out some good flowers, hm? Abby, you want me to make you one, too?” Abigail nodded, and Tyler found a little spot of clovers to settle down on. Madison brought him a good bit of flowers, and he set to work on making sure the crown was perfect for his little sister.

Ashley watched him working, Madison helped Abigail get good flowers. It was very peaceful. By the time he had finished Abigail’s crown, there was enough flowers for both Madison’s and Ashley if she wanted one. “How do you make those?” Ashley asked. Tyler looked at her, “Uh. Weaving, I guess. A lot of braiding.” He fiddled with the last bits of the crown then beckoned his sister over. He fitted the crown on Madison’s head, smiling at her, “There you go, bumble. You wanna get me some alyssum and we can make mom one?”

Madison rushed off to get to work. Tyler turned to looking at Abigail, and smiled before grabbing a few flowers. “Watch me, Ash.” Three flowers were lined together so that each of the flower heads showed while the stems were clustered. He plucked a long, sturdy grass stalk and wrapped it around, tucking the end in a way that it wouldn’t come loose. He braided the thick flower stems slightly, then put in another flower and placed the flower head against the others.

He would wrap a thick stalk around the flower cluster when he introduced a new flower, then braid the stems again. When he got to the end, he placed it around Abigail’s head to make sure it was the right size, then used multiple grass stalks to make sure it stayed in place. He handed it to Abigail and smiled as she put it on her head. “Want me to make you one, Ash?” She nodded, and he got to work with whatever flowers she handed him.

When Madison came back, he made the other flower crown for his mother. Then, after only a little convincing, he made himself one. Madison told him to make Zack one. He did. He decided to make his dad one. Abigail told him to make Josh, Jay, and Jordan one. So, they headed back with flower crowns in their hands and on their heads. When they returned to the house, Zack and Josh were playing Modern Warfare. Tyler placed a crown on Josh’s head, then turned and put the other that Ashley was holding on Zack’s head.

“Bumblebee and Sunflower decided you guys needed crowns, too.” Tyler said when Josh questioned it. “Sunflower?” Josh asked with a brow raised. Tyler rolled his eyes, “Abby.” “Ah. Thanks, I think.” “Did you make mom and dad one?” Zack asked. He hadn’t been phased by the crown- hell, any time Madison and Tyler went to make flower crowns they made one for him. A few moments later, Jay and Jordan came bouncing down the stairs. “Did you make me one, Ty?” Jay asked, looking hopeful.

Tyler smiled, taking one of the crowns from off of his own head, “Of course I did, J-man. I’d never leave you out.” He walked over to him and placed the crown on his head. Jay beamed up at him. It was honestly really cute. “I made one for you, too. Abby has it.” He said the words to Jordan, who nodded before hesitantly walking over to his sister. Tyler didn’t miss the smile on his face when the crown was put on his head.

He put the other two in water, to keep the flowers healthy. He would have to remember to grab them before going home. The friends and siblings stayed relaxed for a good while longer, until the sun was going down and Zack mentioned heading home. With Madison on Tyler’s right and Jay on his left, Zack in front of them, they made the way back home with the flower crowns for their parents.

Their mother was, to say the least, pleased. Their father took the other crown with a smile and placed it atop his head before picking up Madison and kissing her cheek, hugging her close before putting her back down. Tyler smiled fondly and retreated to his room, laying out on his bed and putting his own crown on his dresser (after he took a picture to send Patrick.) He texted Josh, asking him about possibly playing Mario Kart or something the next day.

He didn’t get a text back before midnight.

> Brightside: Sure. I love you.

He was asleep before he saw the text.