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ain't no devil, just a demon

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Shane was acting weird, and not normal levels of weird. ‘Cause Shane is a pretty weird dude, and Ryan will be the first to agree with you. But Shane wasn’t being his usual levels of weird, and at this point, Ryan was getting concerned. Ryan is normally a professional at reading his best friend, and he’s noticed that Shane is only acting funky with Ryan. Sure, every now and then Shane will shoot a weird look at Steven or TJ when he doesn’t think anyone is looking, but Ryan sure as fuck is.

And Ryan has racked his brain trying to think of a reason why Shane would act this way. They haven’t argued, because they have nothing to argue about. Sure, Ryan’s breakup with Marielle was pretty sudden, but it still didn’t warrant this reaction. And Shane didn’t seem too shocked when Ryan told him in the first place.

Ryan was so desperate that he went to Steven to ask for advice.

“I don’t know dude, it started pretty suddenly like a week ago? He doesn’t seem mad or anything, just off. Have I changed since the breakup or something?” Ryan fretted as Steven locked up the office at the end of the workday.

Steven finished locking up and turned around, thought for a second, and spoke. “You have only changed for the better in these past few weeks, Ryan.” Steven soothed him. “I definitely don’t think he’s mad at you, or upset over your breakup. He hasn’t confided in me concerning you, or anything else. Truthfully, I think it would be better to talk to him about it. It’s clearly nothing negative, so nothing bad can come of it. Your relationship will likely only benefit from it.”

As profound as usual, Steven. But Ryan felt comforted nonetheless. Steven was right, as he always was. Shane isn’t mad at me. “Thanks Steven, I’ll try to talk to him about it, but maybe I won’t have to, ya know?”

Steven shot him a look that said he didn’t believe him, but was too polite to say something. Steven clapped Ryan on the back as they parted ways. “I’ll dial up a few prayers, okay bud?”

Ryan laughed and headed to his car. Heading home, he thought about Steven’s advice. If Shane is still acting weird after the weekend, I’ll say something. Feeling better after making a decision, Ryan ordered UberEats and spent the weekend working and watching movies.


Come Monday morning Ryan couldn’t help but feel nervous. What if Shane was actually mad at him? So he was frazzled to say the least when he arrived at Watcher’s headquarters. As usual, only Steven had arrived before him, so Ryan had time to make a pot of coffee and relax. Ryan started feeling a bit better thanks to Steven’s help, but then Shane showed up.

Shane looked like shit. There were bags under his eyes, and his hair wasn’t brushed. He was wearing a pair of sweatpants and a shirt that looked like it hadn’t been washed all weekend. Instantly, all of Ryan’s nerves disappeared, replaced with concern for his friend.

“Oh my god dude, are you okay?” Ryan asked, about one second away from sending Shane home and possibly going with him.

Shane looked at him for a while, long enough that Ryan wondered if Shane was even sober. There was a strange look in his friend’s eye, and Ryan couldn’t figure out what it was. Confusion was suddenly replaced with shock as Shane leapt forward and hugged him.

Ryan knew that Shane didn’t hug people a lot, didn’t even hug his family when they visited him. Physical touch and words of endearment weren’t a part of life in the Madej household. Ryan knew that actions spoke louder than words for Shane, even though Ryan was almost the exact opposite, it worked for them. Hence why Ryan was so confused.

The hug lasted longer than probably any other Shane had ever given them, and when Shane finally pulled away Ryan was practically in a daze. “Hey, you okay dude?” Ryan tried to be gentle, even though he knew that Shane didn’t appreciate pity.

So it spoke volumes that Shane simply smiled and nodded, “Yeah, I’m fine. I just had a scary car ride, shook me up a little, sorry.”

Damn, it wasn’t what Ryan was expecting, and he pressed a little bit more. “Are you sure? You’ve been acting kinda off for a while now, and it’s starting to worry me.” Ryan confessed, hoping that Shane wouldn’t mock him for worrying.

Shane tilted his head and waited a moment before talking. “I’m sorry Ryan, I didn’t think you would notice-”

“Of course I would notice you moping around and looking at me funny.” He chided. “I’m not blind, Shane.”

“I know that,” Shane rushed. “I do, and I’m sorry about that too. I just-” Paused, thought, sighed. “I just, I read some stupid tweet a few weeks ago and it messed me up a little. I know it’s dumb, but - fuck. It just fucking theorized what I would do with the show if you died and who the fuck tweets something like that? It threw me for a loop and I couldn’t get it out of my head.”

Shane looked uncomfortable, and no doubt he was, with his midwestern repressed ass never learning to be open with his feelings. All Ryan wanted to do was comfort him, thank him for being honest when he could have just shrugged it off.

“Shane, I’m not dying any time soon, there’s no need to worry. Fuck whoever thought it would be a good idea to tweet that shit.”

Shane smiled. “I know that little guy. I’m over it, I promise. I spent the weekend watching Lord of the Rings again, s’why I’m tired as shit right now. Did you make coffee?”

Ryan didn’t think too hard about why he wished they could have had a more serious conversation, he just teased Shane for not knowing how to sleep as he poured him a cup of coffee.

Shane still seemed somewhat off, but they both said it was a lack of sleep and left it at that.