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Doing Jello Shots At Your Sister's Conformation And Regretting In The Morning - (7 Parts)


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This story was a collaboration between Symphonyflute (That's me) and DaylightStarr. It's about Panic! At The Disco, a punk rock (I think) band from Las Vegas, Nevada.

A little background:

There are 4 members.

# Spencer Smith - Drums

# Ryan Ross - Guitar, Vocals

# Brendon Urie - Vocals, Guitar, Piano

# Jon Walker - Bass, Vocals

Ryan and Spencer started playing together at age 12, and recruited Brent Wilson on bass and Brendon Urie on vocals and guitar. Ryan was supposed to sing, but they were so impressed by Brendon'd back up vocals they made him lead singer. Brent left the mand may 2006, and was replaced by Jon. Yes, I know you loved my random paragraph of information. You're welcome.

And can I just say, for the record, I hate the name Brendon? I feel like it wants to be Brandon, but is just too whimpy.

Yes, chapter one is obnoxiously long. Yes, chapter one contains realitively few sneezes. Yes, chapter one is awesome.

Click on that little blue reply button and you'll magically recieve a cookie....


The bus rolled into a rest stop and the members of Panic! at the Disco got out to stretch their legs and have a look around. It wasn't as if they'd never seen a rest stop before, quite the opposite, actually, but they needed a break before setting in for the night.

Normally Brendon would be the first out, talking excitedly all the while about the next concert and how well it was going to go, but he lagged behind, allowing the others to go on. Ryan frowned, looking back at him. "You alright, man?"

The singer shrugged carelessly. "Eh, once you've seen one of these places, you've pretty much seen them all. I think I'll go back to the bus and catch up on some reading, on second though." He eyed Jon and Spencer, who were running off quite a bit of pent up energy. "Besides, we have a long day tomorrow. We don't want to show up less than our best, you know."

Jon heard him and glanced up. "Is that some sort of hint?"

Brendon shrugged. "Perhaps."

"If I want to run, I'll run." Jon proved his point by doing a cartwheel and almost knocking Spencer down.

"That's more gymnastics then running," the drummer informed him, chuckling.

Brendon rolled his eyes. "Do whatever you want. Just make sure you're not too run down to rock tomorrow."

Ryan stared after the singer curiously as he stormed back on to the bus and slammed the door. "What crawled up his ass?"

Jon shrugged uncaringly. "He's our front man, it's in the job description to be a moody bastard sometimes. Moody and unpredictable."

Spencer gave Jon a wary look. "If you want to talk about unpredictable, here, let's talk about trying out for the men's gymnastics team right here and now." He rolled his eyes, laughing.

Ryan laughed too, then shook his head. "He does have a point, though. We'll not gonna be good for anything tomorrow if we don't get some sleep."

"As if you're good for anything anyway, Ryan." Spencer was still laughing. "Go in if you want, I'm gonna stay out here."

"Ditto," Jon agreed. "I'll suck tomorrow if I have ants in my pants and a bad mood from sitting still too long."

"That's a good point," Ryan admitted. "You two stay out here and act like clowns. I'm gonna go chillax."

"Chillax?" Spencer asked.

"It's a combination of chill and relax. Cause doing one just isn't enough sometimes, you know?"

Spencer and Jon gave him blank stares, and Ryan just shook his head and decided to grab his acoustic guitar and see if Brendon wanted to have an impromptu practice.

Good to his word, Brendon was lounging on a sofa in the living area, reading a book. His feet were up on the seat and crossed at the ankles, he looked very comfortable, but rather tired as well. Ryan raised an eyebrow. "Hey, Bren... I was wondering if you wanted to practice? You know, sort of warm up for tomorrow night?"

Brendon looked up and smiled at him with a sort of smile that didn't reach his eyes. "Nah, I'm good. I'm saving my voice. You know how it can sound if I do too much with it." He swiped at his nose with his wrist once, then turned back to his book.

"Then you want to just work on some guitar stuff, no need to even open your mouth?" Ryan suggested. He'd come in here basically on Brendon's advice, and he really didn't want to spend another boring hour sitting on a chair staring at the miniscule TV. But Brendon shook his head and turned the page, presumably too absorbed to pay attention to his friend.

"Dude, what happened to bros before books?" Ryan asked indignantly.

"I believe the phrase is 'bros before hoes'," Brendon corrected him, looking up. "Look, I'm sorry but I'd really rather read. It's a good book."

"What book?" Brendon held it up, allowing Ryan to see the cover. "Dracula? You'd rather read Dracula than practice with your favorite guitarist?"

"Is that so wierd?"

"Considering that you hate anything and everything written by Bram Stoker, yeah it's pretty weird."

Brendon shrugged. "Maybe Spence finally convinced me to give the book one more chance." The look on his face told Ryan that Spencer had not told him any such a thing, but it wasn't a great idea to push it. When Brendon was in what the others call "drama mode" it was best not to push anything, honestly.

"Fine, but if you change your mind, let me know, will you? I ran out of books yesterday and I don't plan on giving myself another headache trying to watch that TV of ours." He sneaked into Spencer's bunk to see if he had any books worth stealing.

Apparently, he had been missing out on a key place to find good literature before. There was a box open on Spencer’s bed filled with classics. He looked through them quickly and pulled out an old looking copy of Gulliver’s Travels. After reading the blurb on the back and deciding it would be good to occupy him for an hour or so, he joined Brendon back in the living room area of the tour bus.

Brendon gave him an unhappy look. “What are you doing?” he demanded.

“Reading. Hope you don’t mind?”

A deep sigh from his band mate told him that he did mind, although he was polite enough to shake his head. "Not at all," was the untruthful and unenthusiastic response. Brendon cleared his throat and got to his feet for a bottle of water. "You thirsty? I'm parched." As if needing to prove this fact, he downed half the bottle at once.

Ryan nodded. "Yeah, grab me one too, will you." He looked at his book, hoping that he might feel about Swift the same way Brendon felt about Stoker. The story seemed a bit on the slow side, but he hoped it would pick up.

"Hey." A water bottle was shoved unceremoniously in Ryan's face and Brendon sat down, clearing his throat again.

Ryan thanked him and chugged some water, raising his eyebrows as Brendon cleared his throat a third time. “You alright?”

“Fine,” Brendon assured him, “There’s just this annoying popcorn kernel stuck in my throat.” He gestured to the nearly full bowl of popcorn on the tiny table. “Hence my not eating anymore popcorn.”

“”Ugh, I hate when that happens,” Ryan sympathized. He heard a loud peal of laughter from outside and checked his watch. “When do we have to get going? It’s getting pretty late.”

“Neal said 7:30,” Brendon replied, relaying what the bus driver had told them five minutes ago. “What time is it now?”


Brendon nodded and turned back to his book, smothering a yawn. "Great, and with those two in this weird, hyper mood we'll never get any sleep. It's hard enough to sleep anyway, with the bus hitting every pothole out there and rumbling the way it does."

Ryan sighed and rolled his eyes skyward. *Bitch, bitch, bitch* he thought to himself. Then out loud added, "anything else you have a problem with? Let it out now because Jon and Spencer won't want to hear it so much."

Brendon frowned and casually flipped Ryan the bird. "If there is, I'll let you know."

Ryan flipped through the pages for a few more minutes, before throwing in the towel and deciding Gulliver’s Travels wasn’t the book for him. He closed it with a sigh and stood up to go replace it in Spencer’s box.

“Leaving so soon?” Brendon quipped.

“I’m sure you’ll miss me dearly.” All the band members knew clear as day that Brendon was a very sarcastic person, but once in a while it really started to get annoying. Like right now, for instance.

“Yeah yeah,” Brendon waved him off, eyes still on Dracula.

Ryan noticed then that his eyes weren’t moving, and he hadn’t turned the page in several minutes. “Are you actually reading that or do you think it makes you look smart?” he asked.

“Bite me.”

Ryan smiled at the comment, which was rather ironic, given the book Brendon was supposed to be reading, and shook his head. "I'd rather not. I think we're going to get dinner as soon as those two jokers come in. I'd just as soon not spoil it."

Brendon rolled his eyes and shook his head, snapping the book shut and getting to his feet. "You guys eat, I'm going to go read in my bunk, and maybe have some quiet."

Ryan sighed and glanced at the door as Spencer and Jon came back in the bus. "It's time to go, so we were told. Besides, it's starting to rain and God only knows how much fun a soggy bus ride would be."

Ryan laughed and shook his head. "Yeah. Oh, I think we'll be one short for dinner. His majesty wishes to be alone this evening."

“What a diva,” Jon grumbled. His stomach growled loudly and everyone laughed, causing the bassist to cover his stomach in embarrassment. “Speaking of dinner, when will this be occurring?”

“As soon as we pick a restaurant,” Ryan told him.

“One with food,” Jon suggested.

“One with food? That narrows it down. Spence, what about you?”

“How about some Chinese? We haven’t had that in awhile.”

“We had it four nights ago,” Jon reminded him.

“But I love Chinese,” Spencer admitted. “Please?”

“Fine,” Ryan said. “Chinese again. I’m just going to make sure Brendon doesn’t want anything.”

Jon and Spencer nodded and watched as Ryan stuck his head into Brendon's bunk. "Hey, you want food? The rest of us are going to go eat."

Brendon shook his head, which Ryan could barely see from the angle he was lying. "I'm good, thanks." He just wanted to be left alone, really.

Ryan shrugged and went back to the rest of the band. "He's not hungry right now. So, did either of you see a good Chinese place anywhere?"

Jon nodded. "I saw one that way." He pointed down the street. "We'd better go before it closes or something."

“It’s 7:30,” Spencer said. “Nothing closes at 7:30, especially restaurants.”

“But I’m hungry,” Jon whined. “I want food now.”

“There’s popcorn on the table,” Ryan pointed out.

“I want real food.” Jon, realizing that if he wanted something done, he’d have to do it himself, ran up to the front of the bus to let Neil know where to go.

“How far back was the restaurant?” Jon asked as he came back.

“Only a few minutes,” Spencer supplied. “Why?”

“Because we could have had a rest stop there instead and gotten dinner twenty minutes earlier.”

Ryan nodded. "Yeah, well, we weren't hungry then. Besides, Neil will have to park the bus far up the street or drive it around, more than likely. I'm not sure it'll fit in a parking lot."

Spencer shrugged. "We'll figure it out when we get there."

The bus came to a restaurant and pulled into the lot without much trouble. "There, you worried for nothing. Let's go eat, I'm starving." Jon was already heading out of the bus.

“Hopefully no one will recognize us,” Spencer worried. “I really don’t feel like a mob of girls running over to us and stuff.”

“You don’t?” Ryan asked? “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Well, It’s not the mob of girls I don’t want so much as the having my clothes and hair ripped off.”

“Then it’s a good thing we’ve traveled so incognito,” Ryan joked, gesturing to the giant tour bus as the two band mates followed Jon into the restaurant.

“What you gentlemen like to drink?” asked the pretty Asian waitress, whose nametag said Mindy, who seated them and supplied three fancy menus.

“Three waters?” Spencer asked, looking around the table. Ryan and Jon both nodded, so Spencer repeated it back to the waitress. “Three waters.”

Spencer nodded, his eyes trained on the waitress, but he shook himself back to reality. "Water's good." He frowned at Ryan. "And it's not as if we planned to go traveling into a parking lot with our bus, but what were we supposed to do, walk there? It's pouring outside."

Ryan grinned, shaking his head. "A little water never hurt anyone. It might have been fun."

Spencer smacked his head lightly. "Did you not here me talking about how very annoying walking in the rain and the soggy bus ride afterward would be?"

"We have hairdryers, freak."

“We gave hairdryers freak.” Spencer repeated in a mocking voice, and Ryan snorted in laughter.

“I’m getting Mu Shu Pork,” Jon decided. “What about you guys? Hurry up and decide, I’m hungry.”

“I’ll get the chicken fried rice.” Ryan didn’t even crack open his menu. He didn’t like exotic food and chicken fried rice was pretty safe. He got it every time they went to a Chinese restaurant.

Spencer studied his menu intently as Jon and Ryan decided, and when he was silent too long, Jon prodded him. “I guess I’ll get the sweet and sour chicken.”

Mindy came back with their waters and the boys placed their orders, which she wrote in dainty Chinese on her notepad.

Spencer looked at Ryan, a small smile playing on his lips. "You know, you've gotten the same thing every time since we were kids. Aren't you sick of it by now?"

Ryan shook his head. "Nope, I don't like to try new things so much. I like well tested favorites."

Jon frowned. "Everything had to be new at one point, Dude. You weren't just born knowing that you liked to eat chicken fried rice."

"Don't try to tell him anything, Ryan knows all." Spencer laughed and sipped his water. "So, what do you guys make of Brendon's sudden drama?" His forehead puckered in a worried way.

“PMS?” Jon suggested. Ryan and Spencer snickered, and Jon took a bow. “Yes, I am hilarious. It’s true. Feel free to bow down to my humor greatness at any time.”

“And you killed it,” Ryan announced. “Way to go.”

Jon, in a show of extreme maturity, stuck his tongue out at the younger man. “At least I can order beer.”

“In a Chinese restaurant? What are you going to do, spike the green tea?”

“Guys,” Spencer interrupted. “I’m serious. I think something’s wrong with Brendon.”

“You mean now is different then every time he goes into drama queen mode?” Jon asked.

Spencer thought about it for a minute, then grinned as he realized Jon was right. Brendon was a drama queen as a second profession.

Ryan patted Spencer's arm and smiled. "There's always something wrong with Brendon when he gets this way. Mostly though, it's something that'll go away, like he's having a bad day, or he's just antsy and wants something to do. I'm betting on the latter, and he'll be himself tomorrow, when he's too busy to have drama."

Spencer pursed his lips, and nodded. "I'm sure you're right."

Jon perked up. "Food's here." He dug into his food happily, the thought of something being wrong with his friend forgotten.

Spencer smiled charmingly at Mindy and thanked her before turning to his own food.

“She’s not your type,” Jon said around a mouth full of Mu Shu Pork.”

“Why not?”

“She’s too pretty.”

Spencer threw a piece of chicken at him, and Jon just popped it in his mouth. “Fine, let’s just say she wasn’t too pretty for you, she’s way too tiny. You’re what, 6’1? She’s got to be 5’3 maximum.”

“So we’d be cute together. Think she’s ever heard of Panic!?”

“You’re going to use our band to pick up chicks?” Ryan asked.

“Hell yeah.”

Jon slapped him on the back. “You are officially a man,” he declared.

Ryan rolled his eyes and nodded toward her discreetly. "Before you start planning kids and a mini van, take a look at her left hand. She's married."

Spencer frowned. "Some women wear those to keep creepy men away. She might not be."

"Creepy men like you, Spence. Eat your food, leave her a good tip and get on with your life." Jon laughed and gave Spencer a "he told you" look, which Spencer ignored.

They all scarfed down their food as politely as any teenage males could without much more talk, because they got to talk a lot more often then they got to eat. Finally satisfied and full, Jon leaned back in his chair and put his arms folded behind his head. “That was a good dinner.”

“MmmHmm,” Spencer agreed happily. “I love Chinese.”

“We’re not having any more for at least two weeks,” Ryan told him.


“Because we’ve had it seven times in two and a half weeks. Tomorrow, we’re eating at burger king”

“But the concert won’t be over until at least eleven thirty,” Jon reminded him.

“Then we’ll have it for lunch. I’m serious, American food now.”

“You’re no fun.” Spencer pouted for a minute, before stuffing his last piece of chicken in his mouth. “You done yet?”

“Yeah, I’m done.”

“Then let’s go.” Spencer signaled for the bill and they all divvied up the money and tip.

Ryan stood up and tossed his napkin on his plate. "Great. I was sick of watching you stalk our waitress with your eyes, and I bet she was too. Her husband's gonna come to the concert tomorrow just to beat your scrawny ass up."

"You have to gall to call me scrawny." Spencer raised an eyebrow at Ryan, who blushed. "Shut up, you know what I mean." He opened the door to the bus and stopped short, listening. "Guys, Brendon's snoring."

Jon shrugged. "So what, everyone does."

Spencer bit his lip. "Yeah, but Brendon only does when he's way tired, or when he's sick. And God knows he hasn't done anything to wear himself out."

“Only one way to find out.” Jon banged on the door as hard as he could, and it only took seconds for a pissed off looking Brendon to stick his head out of the bunk room.

“What the hell do you want?”

“Are you sick?” Jon asked tactlessly.

“What? No!”

“Are you sure?” Jon asked. “You were snoring. And your nose is kind of red, right there.” He made to poke Brendon in the face, but he slapped his hand away irritatedly.

“I’m fine. I know I’ve been a little bitchy lately and it’s bugging you, but I was just really tired, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“But why were you so tired?” Spencer asked, put off a bit by Brendon’s sudden 180 degree change in personality.

“I didn’t get any sleep last night.”

“Makes sense to me,” Jon announced.

Brendon sighed and shook his head. "Now, if you don't need me any more, I'm going back to bed." He gave Jon an evil stare before ducking back into his bunk.

Spencer looked unconvinced, but didn't say anything else about it. "So, who's up for some gaming?"

"On that tiny thing? No thanks, I'd rather keep my eyes healthy." Ryan sat back on the sofa and watched as Spencer and Jon duked it out at a game of Street Fighter for PS2. "Spence, can I borrow a book? A book that's not Gulliver?"

"Be my guest, you don't have to ask." He sounded distracted.

Ryan let himself into the tiny bunk room just in time to hear a muffled sneeze. “Bless you,” he offered kindly, hoisting the book box out from under Spencer’s bunk.


“Can you recommend any good books?”


Ryan bit back a groan. Just minutes ago Brendon had been nice and apologetic, and now he was back to being bitchy. “The faster I get a book the faster I go away and let you sleep in peace.”


“Oh, the two pages you read were good then?”

“Do you want a book or not?” Brendon sounded annoyed.

“Fine, Dracula it is.”

The book appeared from Brendon's bunk as if by magic. "Enjoy. Maybe you'll like it better than I did."

Ryan sighed heavily. "Maybe next time you should pick a book you'll enjoy more. Try Little Golden Books or the like."

"Shut up." Was the very un-snappy and un-Brendon-like reply.

Ryan sat down and opened the book, trying not to figure Brendon out too much. It was just too hard when he was in one of these moods.

“I thought you were going to read outside,” Brendon called as Ryan settled into a top bunk.

“Whatever gave you that idea?”

“You said you’d go away and let me sleep in peace.”

“I lied.”

Brendon stuck his head out from the bunk and glared up at him. “I’m not going to be able to sleep if I have to listen to pages turning.”

“My God, you’re like the princess and the pea. Look, Neil always finds a hotel by eleven, so eventually everyone has to shut up and go to sleep. We’ll be quiet then.”

“I’d really rather you were quiet now.”

“I am quiet,” Ryan argued. “I’m reading, Dracula to be precise. Someone told me it was all about sex once, that ought to be interesting.”

Brendon ran out of comebacks and tried to go back to sleep, and Ryan started getting into Dracula. It really was an intriguing read.

He was just getting to the part where Harker meets the three vampire vixens when another muffled sneeze shattered his concentration.

“I’d really rather you were quiet now,” he snidely told Brendon. “I’m trying to read.”

Brendon stuck his head out from his bunk again. "I can't help it that you're moving around up there and making dust fall on me. If I bother you so much, get the hell away from me." He went back in his bunk and swore softly. If he didn't stop sneezing the guys would never leave him alone.

Ryan sighed. "I'm not moving around that much, Princess." He knew his protest would fall on deaf ears, however.

"Stop talking, I'm trying to sleep." Okay, not so much deaf as selective.

Ryan was sorely tempted to keep talking just to piss the guy off, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He was simply to nice for that. In fact, he felt bad for pressing his buttons as much as he had and was considering going out and reading with Spencer and Jon.

“Shit,” he heard Brendon whisper, and leaned over to see what the matter was. The singer was sitting up in bed, pinching his nose. “He’xxt!

“Was that a sneeze?” Ryan asked. “Because if so, someone really needs to teach you how to sneeze. That was weird.”

“Or you can go away so I stop sneezing at all,” Brendon suggested.

“Fine,” Ryan agreed. “But only because you’re beginning to bug me.”

Brendon shook his head and buried his face in his pillow. If this kept up he wasn't going to be able to hide it for very much longer. He sniffled softly and wished he had something to wipe his nose on. It was really starting to bug him.

Ryan sighed and sat back down on the sofa, reading his book half-heartedly. He wasn't going to tell Spencer or Jon about the sneeze, because right now it wasn't very important and Brendon did have allergies, after all. But if he was getting sick, it wouldn't be good for the concert. He tried to shrug it off and even started to laugh when Jon hit Spencer with a pillow for wiping out his video-game guy for the tenth time, but the doubt was there now. Was Brendon sick and what could be done if he was?

“What time does Starbucks close?” he asked as Jon and Spencer started their eleventh game.

“Midnight,” Jon answered distractedly, beating Spencer’s video game man with a stick.

Ryan checked his watch, which only read 10:30. “Can we stop at Starbucks?” he asked Neil.

“I suppose so,” the stern old man agreed, changing lanes to get to Starbucks, as he seemingly could find anything anywhere even if he’d never been there before.

The arrived at Starbucks quickly and Ryan bought four hot chocolates, figuring a late night sugar rush was never good but a hot drink was always good.

Spencer and Jon stayed in the bus, too caught up in their game to follow. "What time are we going to be in the hotel?"

Neil shrugged. "When we get there. It won't be too long, as long as we don't keep stopping."

He turned and gave them a Look. One that said, "So stop asking to go places if you don't want to sleep on the bus." "Check in is at midnight. After that, they don't allow any more guests."

Ryan came back, his hot chocolate in hand. "I'm ready, let's go."

"Yeah, let's go. We don't want to be stuck here."

“Stuck here?”

“Don’t ask, just don’t make any more stops,” Spencer advised.

“Fair enough.” Ryan set a cup with smoke coming off the top in front of each of them, put his on a table, and carried the fourth into the bunk room.

Brendon was sitting up, Gulliver’s Travels in hand. He looked up quickly when he heard the door open, and gratefully took the drink offered to him.

“I don’t see why you thought this book was dull, I think it’s really good.”

“And I like Dracula. Obviously, we shouldn’t join a book club together. I guess all the dust hasn’t affected your eyes?”

“Considering you stopped making it fly around, it stopped affecting me period.”

“You’re done sneezing then?”

“Yes mom. Man, you sneeze two times and it’s like you have the plague.”

“Three times,” Ryan corrected him.

Brendon gave him an odd look. "Don't count how many times I sneeze, it's weird." He turned back to the book and tried to ignore Ryan, who was not allowing himself to be ignored. "What?"

"Nothing, just wondering if you're going to get ready to go to the hotel or not. We're going to be there soon so you might want to gather up your stuff."

Brendon sighed and closed his book, wishing they were there already. "Fine," he stood up, walked to his dressing case, and snapped the locks closed. "I'm ready. If you don't take out anything you don't need, you're always ready to go."

"Yes Preacher Urie." Ryan sighed, having had this talk several times before.

He shoved everything he thought had any potential of being his into his duffel bag and zipped it shut. “I take everything out and still manage to be ready in under five minutes,” he announced proudly.

“Yes, but you have Spencer’s Gameboy,” Brendon pointed out.

“I’m bringing it in for him so he doesn’t forget,” Ryan lied defensively.

Jon and Spencer came in to pack up, and Ryan informed his friend that he had kindly found his gameboy and was bringing it in for him.

“Thanks Ryan,” he said, not getting that it was a lie. The drummer and bassist had just gotten their bags zipped up when the bus came to a sudden stop.

Edited by Bongo
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Oh, this is so cute! I love the interplay, and I could totally get into the whole "Who, me? I'm not sick" thing. And all the guys are so cute together. one thing though: I know nothing about this band. Could someone tell me where I could find good pictures of them, and who's who? TIA.



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Oh, this is so cute! I love the interplay, and I could totally get into the whole "Who, me? I'm not sick" thing. And all the guys are so cute together. one thing though: I know nothing about this band. Could someone tell me where I could find good pictures of them, and who's who? TIA.



OK, before I show you pictures, please take note that none of them photograph well. I have pictures from their concert, which they all look fine in (although covered in make-up to make them look like dolls). However, my camera cord has mysteriously disappeared. So to tide you over until I can find the cord and post the pictures, here are some from the web.


Ryan again

Brendon and Ryan

Brendon in a music video

Brendon and Ryan



I don't know if you can tell, but I was really bored and posted a bunch of pictures. Muchos dibujos.

And if you want to hear their music, some songs are available on their myspace, and I'm sure other places.

Edited to say: Ha, the pictures make a triangle.

Edited by symphonyflute
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Ooooh, I love this! I certainly hope there's more! I loved the line about sneezing two times and having the plague! Just, awesome!!!

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I'll be honest. I've never been a huge Panic! fan. All of a sudden I really want to be! Amazing job. I love it and hope there is more!

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Very nice. I'm trying to think if I know their music. I am absolutely Horrid with band names.

Great job though. :D

They do "I write sins, not tragedies" but you might know it as the song with "I'd chime in with a haven't you people ever heard of closing a god-damned-door?"

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  • 8 months later...

Chapter 2

Neil turned around. "Alright, everyone out."

The band climbed out of the bus and stepped onto the rain washed side walk. Brendon swore under his breath and shivered

then turned away from the rest of the group. "Heh-nxx!" He stifled a sneeze in his elbow, receiving an odd look from Ryan., which he pretended to not notice.

Spencer heard it too, but really hoped it was nothing. His worries were interrupted by Neil handing them their room keys. "Go to bed you guys. You have a long day tomorrow."

Spencer and Ryan headed to room 201, and Brendon and Jon to 203.

As soon as Jon switched on the light, he groaned at the scene that lay in front of him. The two queen-sized beds had

comforters that were lavender with floral designs, and there were flowers on the walls.

"This is a chick room," he declared, dropping his suitcase on one of the beds.

"It’s not a chick room," Brendon argued. "It’s just got an effeminate touch."

"No, it’s definitely a chick room." Jon looked ready to argue his point for hours, so Brendon hastily agreed. He could already

sense that the hot chocolate sugar boost Jon had wasn’t going to be good for either of them.

Brendon sighed and flopped down on his "chick" bed. "Well, the beds are soft, no matter what gender they were made for, so

it works." He never argued about who got what bed or anything like that. Whatever bed he happened to fall into first he’d

sleep in. Brendon buried his face deeply into his pillow and muffled a sneeze.

Jon frowned. "Dude, you’re not going to sleep on that now, are you?"

Brendon frowned. "What, I sneezed on it. it’s not like I let some random homeless person blow their nose on the pillow case."

Jon shivered at the thought. "Still, it’s weird. It doesn’t bug you? I’d be flipping it over."

Brendon shrugged and rested his head on it, grinning evilly, to see him cringe. "Then be glad you’re not me."

"At least flip it over or something," Jon ordered

Brendon flipped the pillow over and gave him a pointed stare. "Better?"

"Kind of." Jon plopped down on the other bed and grabbed the remote. "Do you mind if I turn the TV on?"


He did it anyway. "I wonder if there’re any good shows on at midnight here."

"Jon," Brendon groaned with his head buried in his pillow again. "We have to get up in seven hours. Go to sleep."

"Hey! Seinfeld is on!"

Brendon pulled himself out of bed, snatched the remote out of his friends hands and shut of the TV and lights before snuggling

up under the covers. "Good night Jon," he said forcefully.

Jon glared at him. "Freak, good night, your highness." He closed his eyes and started to hum under his breath, then play air

bass lying on his back.

"Jon, I swear to God I’m going to come over there and kiss your ass if you don’t…" his voice hitched in the middle of his

threat. "Heh-Nxx! Heh-chhoo!" He sniffled and swore under his breath. "Don’t shut the hell up." He finished his sentence, trying

to ignore his sneeze.

"Yeah, whatever man. Go to sleep." Jon sounded bored and disinterested in Brendon’s afflictions.

Brendon glared at him, then yawned and decided any angry retaliation was better left for a different time, preferably one that

wouldn’t cost him sleep.

He was just starting to fall asleep when an annoying itch sprang up in the back of his nose. He sniffed hard in an attempt to

quell it, and it went away. A minute later though, it was back with a vengeance. Brendon realized he wasn’t just going to

sneeze, he was going to have a whole fit. And Jon was oblivious by nature, but he wasn’t blind and deaf.

Throwing back the blankets and shivering at the cold air, Brendon made a beeline for the bathroom. He slammed the door

shut behind him, turned the sink on full blast, and buried his face in a towel

Brendon sat down on the edge of the sink and waited for the itch to either go away or sneeze itself out. It seemed to not want

to do either and he wiped at his eyes, which were starting to burn. "Heh-heh-ehshoo! Eh-shhoo! Heh-ich-muuff!" He groaned

and lifted his face from the towel before blowing his nose softly on some toilet paper.

After he’d tossed to make-shift tissue in the waste-basket, Brendon took himself back too bed and got situated, hating the

temperatures in hotels. They were always too warm or too cold. He’d no sooner gotten situated, when the tickle came back.

He swore under his breath. It was going to be a long night.


It turned out the Brendon was wrong. His fatigue overcame his desire to sneeze, and he fell asleep as soon as he closed his

eyes, not waking up until the phone rang.

"This is a scheduled wake up call for room 203 at seven AM."

"Jon, wake up." The bassist made no move to indicate he was awake, let alone alive, and Brendon threw a pillow at his

face. "It’s seven," he explained to the cross look thrown his way. "We have to be out of here in an hour."

"Shotgun shower," Jon announced, jumping out of bed and running to the bathroom before his roommate had a chance to

even get out of bed.

Brendon sighed and looked over the clothes he was planning to wear that day. Not that it really mattered until that night, but

still, it was better than just sitting around doing nothing.

Thankfully Jon took quick showers, so he was out as soon as Brendon had his outfit put together. He sighed and turned the

water on as hot as he could stand it and stayed in there until Jon was banging on the door. "Bren... you get sucked in there?

We gotta get out of here pretty quick."

Brendon rolled his eyes and finished buttoning his shirt. "Alright, I'm out. Let's go."

He gave himself a quick look in the foggy mirror, noticing happily that he didn’t look sick. He was feeling better too, thanks in

part to a solid seven hours of sleep. With any luck, he had just had a 24 hour bug or he really hadn’t been sick, it was just the

dust on the bus or the pollen in the air.

He ran his fingers through his damp hair and went back into his bedroom, shivering at the drastic change in temperature from

the steamy bathroom to the chilly bedroom.

"So where are we today anyway?" Jon asked.

Brendon shrugged, plugging in his hairdryer. "Somewhere cold, I know that much." He laughed. " Washington , out side of

Seattle ." He turned it on and to comb his hair.

Jon frowned. "Why didn't you do that in there?"

"What?" Brendon yelled over his drier.

"Why didn't you do that in the bathroom?" Jon yelled.

Brendon snapped it off "BEC... sorry, because the outlets don't work. Maybe we can get a refund." He laughed again and

wrapped the cord around the handle of the drier and put it neatly back in its place.

Jon looked at the dressing case and shook his head. "You know, there is such a thing as too organized."

""Sure there is. You live with my mom, then tell me that."

"Do you remember that Mormon family freak who joined the band his senior year of high school?"

"By freak, do you mean me?"

"No. You’re the freak who failed all his classes and almost didn’t graduate because of Panic, and refused to go to college. And

then your family abandoned you."

"Thank you for that happy reminder. And you do know that they support us now?"

Jon shook his hand dismissively. "Not the point. The point is, you’re no longer that kid who lives with his mommy and follows

all her rules."

Brendon shook his head, smiling. "Not rules so much as habits. When you grow up your whole life with the idea of a place for

everything being drilled into your head, it's a little hard to forget. Besides, her rules as you call them came in handy when I

was living in that little shoe box I called an apartment, and it's great when the rest of you guys' stuff fills the whole bus." In

spite of the way the comeback sounded, Brendon's voice was little and playful. "If you want, I can teach you. Or you can just

go join the Mormon house yourself and learn..."

"No, I'm good on that, thanks. I like being messy. Let's go now." He grabbed his own duffle and headed out the door, not even

looking to see if he'd forgotten anything.

"Are we coming back here?" Brendon asked.

Jon shrugged. "Who knows anymore. We're late. Organized or not, you always manage to be the late one."

"I needed to put on my face," he replied without cracking a smile. Jon studied his face to see if he was joking or not,

considering they did have a tendency to wear make-up. They just didn’t do it for no reason.

"Do you really?"

"No." Brendon rolled his eyes. Jon, though he enjoyed constantly reminding them he was the oldest, was not necessarily the


Brendon grabbed his hoodie from it’s folded position on the dresser and slipped it over his head, while Jon shifted from one

foot to the other impatiently.

Brendon walked out the door and shivered again, looking out the window. "They say it always rains here, but I guess I never

thought to take them seriously." He eyed the sheets of water falling warily.

"It’ll mess up your hair, that’s for sure." Jon teased, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "Are we gonna eat first? I’m


"You’re always hungry, Dork." Brendon laughed and joined the rest of the band, who were outside, watching for Neil to bring

the bus around. "Damn it, couldn’t we wait inside?" Spencer shook his head. "Nope, we were told to wait here for him and not

let you go back in, because you’d get comfortable and not want to move."

"I feel loved," Brendon said. "What do you mean I’d get comfortable?" Does that mean I’m like some little girl who’ll throw a

temper tantrum when she doesn’t want to leave?"

The other three looked at each other, trying not to laugh and barely succeeding. Yeah, that’s exactly how he was viewed.

"I’m with you Bren." Spencer recovered first and humored his friend, not wanting to cause another drama scene, especially

with the concert that night. "Watch us all get sick and not be able to play."

"Or even just one of us," Ryan agreed.

Brendon shook his head. "No one actually gets sick from standing in the rain morons. You just get wet."

Ryan laughed. "So Sesame Street lied to us all these years? I feel so used! Don’t tell me Big Bird and Snuffy weren’t real too,

or I just might cry." The rest of the band laughed at this, but were very glad to see the bus, in danger of getting sick or not.

Being young men who grew up in a very warm place, none of them enjoyed the cold very much. Except Jon of course. Being

from Illinois , he was used to the cold and took this time to mock his friends.

Jon tossed his bag in the bus and followed it, flopping down on the sofa. Ryan went right to the bathroom, glad that he hadn’t

bothered with his makeup until they got to the venue. He was going to change his clothes, though. He wasn’t a big fan of being


Spencer joined Jon on the sofa and laughed as Brendon pealed off his hoodie and hung it neatly on a hanger, brushing out

any wrinkles the shirt might have gotten from its short trip.

"Can you say OCD much?" Spencer joked.

"Can you say ‘I don’t want to have to iron this later’?"

"I don’t want to have to iron this later," Spencer repeated, causing Jon to crack up.

"Very good. Now can you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time?"

Spencer attempted this feat, causing Jon to crack up even harder, and Brendon wandered away, bored of their antics.

Jon finally stopped laughing and grinned at Spencer. "So, you ready for tonight?"

He shrugged, grabbing a bottle of water. "As ready as I ever am. They say it's gonna be a big crowd. Sell out, actually. Who'd

have thought?"

"Hey, we're great, don't sell us short like that."

"That's not what I meant. I meant we're big now. I mean, not huge, but we're big. People know us." He sounded very pleased

at that.

Meanwhile, Brendon closed the door to the small bathroom and leaned against the sink in a tired way. His head was starting to

ache from what he hoped was only pre-show stress. "No way in hell I'm getting sick." He glared at his reflection, trying to

convince it of that as well.

"You don’t get sick from the rain, you get wet."

Brendon looked behind his shoulder in the mirror. "You’re listening to my conversations?"

Ryan sniggered. "Considering you’re having this conversation with yourself, I’d think you’d be glad for the human


"Well I’m not. Me and my reflection were having a dandy old time before you interrupted. And by the way, I know that. I said

it earlier."

Ryan perched himself on the closed toilet, deciding now was as good a time as any to push Brendon into admitting what was

wrong. "But you never get sick, right? Rain or no rain, you’re Mr. Health."

Brendon narrowed his eyes suspiciously, sure Ryan was up to something. But Ryan just looked back at him innocently. "I’ve

been sick. You’ve seen me sick," he reminded him.

"Yeah, but it was the chicken pox. Little kid diseases don’t count, even if you did wait until you were 18 to get it."

Brendon sighed and started to comb his hair, mostly as a way to look busy, not because he particularly needed it. "Yeah well,

you'd think differently if you'd had the little kid disease at 18. I seem to remember canceling every show we had for two

weeks because of it and I was miserable." He sounded annoyed, but not overly pissed off.

Ryan laughed. "We cancelled the shows because you wouldn't go out with spots all over you, remember."

"I also remember being very itchy and running a pretty high fever. The say that the worst time in your life to get the chicken

pox is when you’re a teenager, especially if you’re male."

"Alright, point well taken." Ryan grinned evilly, reaching up and ruffling Brendon’s hair.

"There, now I gave you a legit reason to stay in here talking to yourself."

Ryan hopped off his makeshift chair and left the tiny room, slamming the door shut behind him. He wasn’t sure if that had

gone well. Brendon didn’t admit to anything, which could be a good thing and mean he was fine. Or it could be a bad thing and

mean he was stubborn.

As Ryan contemplated, Brendon attempted to smooth down his hair for the third time that day. Eventually, he got it perfect

but decided the messy look was better and ruffled it up again. Hair finally as he wanted it, he turned his attention to Ryan. The

guitarist was beginning to get a little too close for comfort. Why would he bring up his health? Why was he stupid enough to

talk about it out loud, even if the door was shut?

Ryan dug around in the cupboards looking for something to snack on, but stopped as the bus pulled to a stop at the venue

where the concert was going to take place. They always had some food in the dressing room and it was always better and

fresher than whatever they kept in the bus. He banged on the door to the bathroom. "Bren, come on, we’re here." Then

started to go inside.

Brendon joined the other three in the lobby, where they were ushered into the dressing room. Brendon found a comfortable

seat and sat down. "So, now what?"

"Now we play the hurry up and wait game." Jon said, making himself a sandwich.

Spencer sighed. "Yay, I love that game, except it’s boring."

"I know how to make it interesting," Jon promised.


"Play Ultimate hurry up and wait." Jon looked pretty proud of himself.

"How do you play that?" Ryan asked.

Jon shrugged. "Beats me. But doesn’t the time seem to be flying already."

"No," the other three replied in unison.

Jon put his hands up in surrender. "Just trying to help. Jeez, you could be a little more appreciative, considering I’m actually

doing something to make the wait go by faster."

Spencer gave him a look. "That was lame. How did that make the time go by any faster at all?" He bit into his sandwich and

looked around for a magazine to read.

Brendon took an orange and sat down in the corner pealing it and trying to ignore his headache. It was very hard to do so,

however. He kept feeling a tickle in the very back of his nose, too. *Damn it* he thought to himself, *I though you were over

this by now.* Still, nothing he could do but pretend he was until such a time was convenient.

Ryan joined Spencer with a sandwich of his own and looked at him. "So, you have any big plans to pass the time here?"

"Not a one. We could always go find someone to bug. That’s good clean fun."

"Until you bug the wrong person and get your teeth kicked in."

"Then obviously the solution is to bug someone smaller then me," Spencer replied.

"Good plan."

Spencer thought for a minute, then grinned wickedly. "Hey Bren?"

"You know I could hear you, right? Go bug Jon"

"If you insist. Hey Jon?"

"Yeah man?"

Ryan took a bite of his sandwich and prepared to watch what would invariably be an amusing conversation between a very

bored drummer and unobservant bassist.

Spencer sat across from Jon and stared at him. "Whacha doing?"

Jon rolled his eyes, a smile playing on his face. He knew why Spencer was doing this, and, being bored himself, was more

than willing to play along. "Nothing, what are you doing?"

"Nothing too. We need to do something."

"Something as in turn cartwheels in here the way you did at the rest stop?"

Spencer’s eyes lit up. "That’s a great idea. Let’s do that."

Ryan was just about to intervene, saying that that most certainly was not a good idea, when Neil came in to tell them that it

was time for sound check.

"Thank you God." Brendon muttered under his breath, ready to get moving again. Maybe he was allergic to sitting still. He

always felt better when he was doing something.

Brendon, the first on the stage, picked up his guitar and pulled on the strap, stepping in front of the mic. The others followed

suit. They played the first couple measures of Camisado, stopped to allow the techies to make adjustments, and played them

again. Then he sang a few lines, and the techies adjusted more. Same went on with the piano, playing some of Intermission

and cringing at how loud it was.

As soon as soundcheck was over, the 4 band members exited the stage to meet with the make-up and costume people.

Brendon pulled on the dress shirt and suit jacket he was planning on wearing that night and checked to make sure his seams were straight and everything was in order. Then he sat down to have his makeup done. He sniffled absently, hoping that his

nose was bothering him because the young woman doing his makeup was wearing a perfume he wasn’t familiar with. When she came closer to her, he turned his head from her just in time. "Heh-nxx" he pinched his nose before he sneezed out

loud. "’Scuse me…" he muttered quietly, wiping his nose on a tissue that all artists seemed to have an abundance of, "allergies."

She smiled and nodded cheerfully. "That’ll happen sometimes." She did his eyes, noticing that they were slightly pink around

the edges. "Do you want me to change the brand of shadow?"

He shook his head, willing back another sneeze. "No, why."

The woman shrugged. "Never mind. You’re all done now, anyway. What do you think?" He nodded. "Looks good to me,


"Next," she called into the waiting room, done dealing with Brendon now that he was all made up.

"My don’t you look pretty," joked Jon snidely as they crossed paths, Jon to the makeup chair and Brendon to the waiting


"You’re just jealous," Brendon replied. "You know you’ll never be as pretty as me and it kills you."

"We should write a song about that," Jon added.

"Next!" Jon hurried over to the chair as to not piss off the already impatient and irritable makeup lady, known affectionately

by the group as the irritable makeup lady, and Brendon joined Spencer and Ryan.

"Hey Ryan, what do you think you can do with the concept of Jon being jealous of my beauty, song wise?"

"Huh?" The songwriter had no idea what he was talking about, and Brendon decided the joke was pretty much dead the

second Jon walked away anyway.

"Never mind."

Ryan shook his head and sighed quietly. "I'd like to write a song about you needing to know what you're saying before you

say it." He hummed to himself and flipped through another magazine. "Hey Spence, what do you think about this one for my

eyes?" he held up a picture of a moonrise.

"I think that would be over the top, even for you. It would look weird." He frowned as he glanced over and saw Brendon

dabbing at his nose with his tissue. "Bren, you alright?"

"Hmm, yeah, fine. Allergies, you know. Makeup lady was wearing some funky perfume."

"You’d think irritable makeup lady would know that it’s important to smell bad," Spencer agreed.

"Are you mocking me?" Brendon asked, balling up his tissue and trying to toss it into the garbage can. He missed.

"It’s quite possible."

"What’s quite possible?" Jon asked, returning and gesturing at Ryan to hurry into the Makeup lady’s lair.

"That I’m mocking Brendon."

"Ah." Jon threw himself into Ryan’s vacated seat, not giving a damn if his clothes got wrinkled, and rubbed his hands

together. "One of my favorite activities. What are our mocking choices?"

Spencer smiled to himself. "Well, we could mock the fact that he can't throw worth a damn. Or we could mock the fact that he

looks like a girl now, but I was mocking the fact that he doesn't like the irritable makeup lady's perfume. For his sake, she

should just stink."

Brendon rolled his eyes and picked up the magazine Ryan had dropped. "You guys suck, you know that."

Jon shrugged. "Heard it before, but I never could bring myself to believe it. I'm adorable."

"How have you heard it with your head so far up your ass?" Brendon asked, trying to stay in good humor despite the growing

pressure behind his eyes. He thought about asking the guys for an aspirin or something, but didn’t really want them to know

he had a headache.

"I have unnaturally good hearing," Jon informed him.

"Caused by unnaturally large ears," Spencer added.

Jon gaped at him. "I thought you were on my side. We were mocking Brendon, remember? Not mocking Jon."

Spencer laughed. "It's open season on mocking. Everyone is a target."

Jon threw a pillow at his head. "Well, at least I don't have an abnormally large head. It makes for a good target."

Spencer glared playfully and threw it back. "Shut up."

Brendon feared an all out pillow war and didn't want to get into the middle of it. His head couldn't stand that. "Guys, we're

gonna mess up our makeup and have to get it done all over again if we don't settle down. I, for one, don't want that."

Jon nodded and stopped, sitting on the pillow.

Spencer sighed. "Why do I always go last when they know Ryan is the pickiest about what goes on his face?"

"Because it doesn’t matter what goes on it, so long as they cover it up, and can use whatever is left over?" Jon suggested.

"Are you calling me ugly?"

"You said I have big ears."

"But you said I have a big head. We were even, and then you had to go insult me again. Brendon, tell him he’s a meanie."

"Jon, you’re a meanie."

"Thank you." Spencer looked satisfied.

"And Spencer, you always go last because we all follow irritable Makeup lady’s directions to a dot."

"She’s pretty nice to you though," Jon grumbled.

"She's nice to me because I have a way with women, even mean women who work makeup for nasty little brat bands."

Brendon smiled at Jon smugly.

Spencer shook his head. "You mean you kiss her ass."

"I don't. I just know how to handle her and don't tell her not to go easy on the eye shadow. You just don't know what not to


Ryan came out of the room, looking as though he were painted within an inch of his life. "Your turn, Spence."

"Pray for me, guys. I don't think I'll come out alive."

Jon put his hands together in front of his face, pretending to pray. "Hey," Ryan said, "while you’re at it can you ask God to

send me a pony?"

Brendon, not exactly religious after being bitter about his ultra conservative childhood for so long, found himself silently

praying that he wasn’t sick, especially since their concert was only a few hours away.

"I hear Plain White T’s." Ryan’s voice broke into Brendon’s thoughts, and he looked up over at his friend.

"How may songs do they sing? I don’t remember."

"Neither do I, but between them and Jack’s Mannequin, we have a while to wait."

"Crowd seems to like them," Jon noted, listening to the sound of thousands of screaming girls.

Brendon grinned, watching Jon raise from his knees. "Good. But if they like them too much, we're screwed. They won't want

to listen to us."

Ryan laughed. "You're a dork, Bren. They can like all of us."

"As long as they like us more." He was very obviously teasing, as they weren't exactly a competitive band.

Jon shrugged. "Hey, I don't hear any blood-curdling screams yet. Maybe Spencer's learned to behave his little self."

"Or maybe she used rope and duct tape to shut him up." Came the uncharitable remark from Spencer's life long best friend.

"Or that." Jon looked around restlessly for a moment, before standing up and walking in circles. "I’m bored."

"Then read a magazine," Brendon suggested.


"listen to your ipod."


"Play a game on Spencer’s gameboy."


"Jump of a cliff."

"Jump off a cliff?" Jon glared at him. "What kind of suggestion is that?"

Brendon shrugged. "I ran out of ideas and you’re annoying me, sorry."

"You’ve been really nice today after being really mean yesterday, and if that changes now I will shove your head in a toilet,"

Jon promised.

"You try to get him to be nice by threatening him with a swirly?" Ryan asked. "In what world would that possibly work?"

Jon shrugged. "It might not make him nice, but it would shut him the hell up."

Another feud was avoided by Spencer coming out of the room, looking as made-up as he ever allowed himself to be. It was

never a good time for him. "Alright, I was a good little boy and did as I was told. Be proud of me."

Ryan laughed. "I'll call your mom and tell her to give you a cookie for being good when you go home."

Jon and Brendon laughed, but Spencer glared at Ryan, who looked innocently back at him. "Yeah, you guys only think he's


"You guys have been friends way too long," declared Jon, shaking his finger at them. "If you want to run around in your

diapers, don’t do it in front of me."

"Or me," Brendon piped up in a slightly hoarse voice. He cleared it quietly as Spencer and Ryan laughed at Jon’s comment, drowning out the noise. Hoarse voice, he decided, totally not a big deal. If anything, it would only make him sound sexier. At

least that’s how it worked for Phoebe on Friends.

Jon's comment broke the ice and they all laughed. "You guys only wish you knew each other as long as we have." Ryan told

them, cuffing Spencer playfully on the arm. If they'd noticed anything off about Brendon's voice, they chose not to say

anything about it at this time.

"When do you suppose we're supposed to go up there?" Jon asked, growing bored again.

Brendon shrugged. "No clue at all." He swore in his head as his nose itched, but nothing came of it. Damn itch wouldn't die

down, though.

"This sounds like Hey There Delilah," Jon observed, listening to the music coming from the stage.

"That’s because it is Hey There Delilah," Spencer told him.

"Isn’t that the last song the first band plays?"

"I believe it is," Ryan agreed. "So there’s only an hour or so left."

"You’d really think we’d know the schedule better by now," Brendon said, clearing his throat.

"You would," Ryan agreed.

Jon moaned. "So we still have a whole hour to wait?"

"Stop bitching and do something useful." Spencer turned around and smiled at him. "Count backwards from 100."

"How would that be useful?"

"It would make you stop whining. Or do something else."

Brendon cleared his throat again. "Or we could go watch, since we're ready now."

"Yeah, let’s go hang out with the teenage girls who’ll mob us and have to have security break it up, which is just

embarrassing." Ryan was not a big fan of Brendon’s idea.

"Then we could go stand on the side of the stage where no one would see us."

"That we could do," Ryan agreed, and Panic! gathered on the sides of the stage. Spencer and Ryan decided to go to the side

they were closest to, but Brendon and Jon took a walk along the backstage area and hung out on the other side.

Brendon was starting to get into the music when an overwhelming need to sneeze seized him, coming so swiftly he didn’t have

a chance to stifle like he usually did.

"Hatchoo!" It was louder then he would have liked, and the guitarist from Jack’s Mannequin, standing near Brendon, gave him

an odd look.

Jon glanced at him. "Bless..." he gave Brendon an odd look too, but didn't press the issue.

Brendon nodded his thanks, but inside was wincing. *Damn it, good job. Just don't do that on stage and you'll live.* He

watched the band more closely than was normal, fighting off another sneeze. This time, he thought he was more successful.

Unfortunately for him, he was completely mistaken. Luckily though, he felt it coming early enough to completely stifle what turned out to be three consecutive sneezes against his sleeve. Jon, completely absorbed in their opening act, didn’t even notice.

All this sneezing was starting to make his nose run and he sniffed wetly, wishing desperately for a box of Kleenex.

He glanced at his watch and listened to what song they were on before deciding he had time to go find a Kleenex, or some

toilet paper, or something before they went on.

After much searching, Brendon ducked into the bathroom and wiped his nose on a few squares of toilet paper, and sneezed

again. He stood up and looked at his face hard. "Damn, I'm starting to look puffy." Yes, his habit of talking to himself was

going to get him in trouble one of these days, but he didn't care. It was almost time to head back, and he still needed to

sneeze. "Heh-etchoo! Eh-shoo! Heh-eh-chhuu!" He relaxed, figuring if he allowed himself to sneeze out loud, it might make the

urge back off.

He blew his nose loudly after making sure there was no one around to hear him and, content and significantly less sniffly,

made his way back to Jon.

"Where were you?" the bassist asked.

"Had to piss," Brendon lied smoothly. Jon bought it easily enough, and the last three songs went off without another problem.

"We’d better go," Jon mouthed to Brendon as the crowd cheered for Jack’s Mannequin one last time.

Brendon nodded and joined up with the others to get ready to play.

They took their places behind the drawn curtain, the screams of the crowd fueling them up with a performance high. Brendon

was comforted by the fact that he was pretty sure that even if he wanted to sneeze, he was too adrenaline pumped to.

The curtains drew back, and they immediately started playing, loud enough that they were sure to be heard over every

scream in the building. Hopefully the screaming wouldn’t end, because that would mean they weren’t pleasing the crowd


They knew every word, every riff, every movement of the dancers as well as they knew their own names, so they started to

get into it more and worry less as the concert went off perfectly

As they relaxed and let the music carry everyone away, Brendon felt another bothersome itch flare up in his nose again. *Not

now* he groaned silently, still singing and playing guitar like nothing was happening out of the ordinary. He tried to breathe as

normally as possible and hoped the itch would go away on it’s own, but the closest he could come was keeping it bay.

He was going absolutely nuts. At first, he’d thought the idea to be made up to look like dolls was clever. The white face paint,

black lines down his jaw, pink spots on his cheeks, he thought it looked pretty cool. But now that he was under the bright

lights of the stage, sweating like crazy, the makeup was running in lines, some of which were running along the side of his

nose exacerbating the tickle. He didn’t think it was clever or cool at all anymore

The big problem came when they were playing I Write Sins Not Tragedies, and the woman and man on stilts, the bride and

groom of course, came out. The groom’s stilts scraped some dust up off the stage and Brendon, barely riding the tailwind of

his adrenaline rush now, could no longer hold it in. He didn’t even have time to turn away from the mic before the first sneeze

escaped. "HeEtchoo!"

The audience laughed, thinking it was a joke, but Brendon was still more humiliated than he could ever remember being in his

life. He managed to back away from the mic before he sneezed three more times, and his fingers never left the strings. When

he was done, he went right back to singing, and only twenty or so seconds of the concert were affected.

When he put his guitar on the ground beside the piano and started to play Intermission, his big piano piece, he could tell no one even remembered the incident. The rest of the concert went off without a hitch.

Brendon went off the stage, sniffling into his hand and wishing the floor would swallow him whole. He was so embarrassed,

although he managed to not show it. He went to the abandoned makeup station and started to use some of the makeup

remover, not even bothering to let someone else go first. As he was taking off the stuff, the others were talking in an excited


"Ryan, you were amazing, that rift actually threw me."

"Yeah, it threw me too." Was Brendon's rather nasty reply. "I wasn't sure where to jump in."

"You did just fine, Man. If you did screw up, no one would have noticed. I didn't hear you do anything weird." Was Jon's rather

kind comment. "Besides, if you're doing something live, no one expects it to be completely perfect."

"I expect it to be completely perfect." Brendon practically bit Jon's head off.

Jon was taken aback. "Dude, remember the swirlie I promised?"

"Remember the cliff I told you to jump off?"

Jon looked ticked as hell, so when he made a move to approach the younger musician, Spencer and Ryan assumed the worst

and held him back.

"We’re all tired," Spencer told them. "There’s no need to jump down each other’s throats. We’ll just change and head back to

the bus, no big deal."

"I don’t think that bus is big enough for his giant head," Jon spat.

Brendon wiped the last of the foundation off his face and threw the sponge he was using on the table. "Go to hell," he

remarked, walking past them out the back door.

Jon glared back at him and turned to remove his own makeup. "Damn it, Brendon." He called after him, "did you leave any

remover for the rest of us."

Brendon stopped in his tracks and turned around to face him again. "There wasn't that much left. There's a bathroom with soap and wash clothes, use that." He snapped and left the room quickly before he started to sneeze again. His nose was burning non-stop and he'd never felt the urge to sneeze so badly in his life. He wiped his watery eyes and sat down on the floor in the hallway, far from the door, before letting loose. "Heh-atchoo! Heh-eh-chuuu! Heh-Chhooo!" He sniffled and closed his eyes, knowing that he was, indeed, getting sick.

Spencer sighed, shaking his head. "We have more on the bus, let's just go there, alright."

"There’s a bathroom with soap and wash cloths," Jon repeated in a whiny, nasal voice as they waited in the hall for Neil to signal for them to meet him outside, not even noticing Brendon was there. "What an ass. The least he could do is pretend to be sorry he used the last of the remover."

"Lying to make us happy isn’t really Brendon," Ryan said. "He’s more about make the Brendon happy then make the friends happy."

"I still say he’s an ass," Jon repeated, "and I don’t notice you guys disagreeing."

"He’s not an ass," Spencer said immediately. "He’s just…not a very nice person. Selfish, I guess. Being the youngest of 5 can do that to you."

Ryan’s cell phone went off, and he flipped it open. It was Neil, telling them to get their asses to the bus before the crowd noticed the bus.

Brendon had gotten on the bus and was sitting on the sofa, reading his book. He didn't even look up when they came in.

It suited Jon just fine, and he went to get himself some water. Ryan followed him, in full peacemaker mode, while Spencer sat down to talk to Brendon, provided he would talk.

He kept his voice very low, so that Brendon wouldn't hear them talk about him. "Don't mind Brendon, Jon. He's really not a bad person at all, he's just sort of..."

"Selfish, like Spencer said. You don't have to defend him. I'm not sure why you aren't pissed at him, honestly. He insulted you

more than he did me."

Ryan shrugged. "I guess when you've known someone for as long as we've known him, you understand their moods and act accordingly."

"You've known him for a year and a half."

"But we've lived really close in that time, so it feels like more."

"If you say so, Ryan."

"I do say so. I’ve known you for what, seven months? And I still consider you a pretty close friend, like I’ve known you for years."

"So what?" Jon wasn’t convinced. "I’ve known Miranda Ferguson since second grade and I still hate her guts. Every detention I got for pulling her pigtails was totally worth it."

"But now that you’ve gotten older and more mature, don’t you wish you’d played nice?"

"Nope. I’d still pull her pigtails if I got the chance."

Ryan sighed. "You’re a rock, you know that?"

Jon nodded proudly. "Yes. yes I am."

Ryan sighed. "I can't say that I meant that in a good way, but you can take it however you want to."

"Look, Spencer, do you really want to waste your time talking to someone who only cares about himself?" An angry voice interrupted the other two's quiet conversation. "Just leave me alone, will you?" Brendon stood up and went into his bunk, wishing he had something heavier than curtains to slam.

Ryan looked in the room at Spencer. "What did you say?" He mouthed. Spencer simply shrugged his shoulders.

"I may not be the best peacekeeper, but when trying to make someone be less of a bitch, you don’t usually tell them their worst qualities," Jon told him.

"I didn’t." Spencer was really confused. "All I said was the concert went well, and he has no reason to feel it wasn’t good enough."

"And he got ‘Jerk, you only care about yourself’ from that?"

"No," Ryan put the pieces together in his head quickly. "Where was he when we were talking about him in the hallway?"

"I don’t know," Jon said honestly. "Where?"

"I’ll give you one guess."

Spencer got it too. "He was in the hallway," he realized. "He must have heard us."

"Should we apologize?" Jon asked. "Because if so, I totally call ‘Not It’."

Ryan sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose in a pained way. "He wouldn't listen to us right now if we did. We need to let him

cool down, then just treat him normally. That's the best way to handle Brendon."

Spencer nodded and sighed. "If I knew he was listening I wouldn't have..."

"You would have been worse if you hadn't said anything just because he was there." Jon reasoned. "If you feel that way, you

feel that way."

Ryan frowned. "But there's such a thing as tact, I think."

"Tact? Like having the decency not to insult your amazing rift?"

Spencer shook his head. "That’s different. It’s one thing to be mean, and another to be cruel."

"So what? We let him stew for a few hours and then say sorry for insulting his entire personality?"

Ryan shrugged. "Something like that."

"He’ll bite Spence’s head off, you do know that?"

Spencer gave him a confused look. "Why mine?"

"You called him a selfish mean person."

"But you called him an ass."

"He is an ass." Jon shrugged. "But hell, I’m an ass too. He expects it from me."

Ryan sighed. "We're all asses. Let's just leave it at that. Let's let him sleep if off and we'll all be friends again."

A handful of muffled sneezes came from Brendon's bunk, causing the three of them to look at it warily. "You know... didn't he

do that earlier tonight?" Spencer asked, frowning a bit.

"He was sneezing some yesterday, when he was in his bunk, but he told me his allergies were acting up. And tonight, the

irritable makeup lady’s perfume was strong. Hell, it even bothered my nose somewhat." Ryan tried to shrug it off, but was

finding it harder than usual.

"Think we should give him some antihistamines or something?" Spencer asked, looking hesitant to go anywhere near their

angry band mate.

"We’ll get right on that, as soon as we have your funeral arranged," Jon promised.

"I’m serious."

"So am I."

"Jon," Ryan began, "there are times for jokes and time for seriousness."

"You want serious? I say let him sneeze. He deserves to suffer for a few hours for how he’s been treating us. When he gets to

fed up with it, he’ll take the pills himself."

"I can go with that plan," Spencer agreed.

Ryan winced to himself, thinking how borderline cruel that was. "Guys, come on, he's still our friend, even if he is being sort of an ass right now."

Jon sighed. "I know he is, but really, he does not need to treat us like that. He's acting sort of spoiled."

"I told you, he is spoiled, but you would be too, being the baby of the family." Spencer added.

Ryan sighed. "If he was so spoiled, explain they way his folks acted toward him. Come on guys, let's just be nice to him for now, even if he's not nice back."

Jon smiled, shaking his head. "You're too nice sometimes, Ryan, you know that?"

"There’s no such thing as too nice, just masochistic," Ryan joked. He grabbed a bottle of Benadryl from the bathroom’s medicine cabinet, the perfect size to hold 2 things of medicine and a tube of toothpaste. Of course, they had a whole bunch more crap shoved in there, and he had to wrestle for a minute to shut the door.

"Brendon?" He stood outside the bunk room for a minute, but Brendon refused to acknowledge his presence. "I have some medicine for you. Do you want it?"

"My God Ryan, he isn’t a little kid." Jon took the bottle and threw it in the room. The rattling sound of pills stopped as it made a thunking sound.

"Did you really have to aim for his head?" Ryan asked.

"Yes. Did it bother you that much?"

"I guess not," Ryan admitted.

Brendon picked up the bottle of pills, rubbing his head. He debated on says thank you, then shrugged it off. Whatever thanks they'd earned had been nulled by the fact that the meds has hit him in the temple. *God I hope these work.* He downed two of them and leaned back on his pillow, his head starting to throb.

Ryan sat down and picked up his book, hoping that Dracula would make him forget about Brendon for awhile. Besides, it wasn't as if he was obligated to worry about him, he wasn't Brendon's mother.

Spencer sat down next to him and leaned against his shoulder playfully. He looked hurt when Ryan made an annoyed noise an pulled away. "What, do I bug you?"

"Yes." Ryan put out his tongue at him and smiled. "Very much."

"Which is why you're grinning like that?"

"Yeah, I always grin when I'm pissed."

"If you say so."

"I do. It’s how I grin that tells people if I’m happy or angry."

Spencer gave him a weird look. "You’re weird."

"You just figured that out?"

"Good point. Here, look what I found." He lifted the group’s laptop from the table and put it on Ryan’s lap.

"Not another one of those weird biographies by people we don’t know," he groaned.

"You’ll like this one, it’s really funny. It says you’re shy."

"That’s true."

"Brendon’s cocky."

"Also true."

"And Jon’s the nicest one out of all of us."

"What?" He tilted the screen to get better light. "Why would someone say that?"

"Because he said hi to someone’s friend when she handed him her phone."

"I remember that. Jon?"


"Remember that girl’s friend on the cell? Why’d you say hi to her?"

"To get in her pants," he joked.

Spencer raised an eyebrow. "I bet Cassie was happy about that."

Jon blushed. "That wasn't really why, you know. If you guys tell her I did I'll hurt you."

Ryan laughed. "Your secret's safe with us, don't worry."

Jon blushed harder. "I never did anything to make you keep a secret!"

Spencer and Ryan exchanged evil looks. "Fine, we'll believe you."

"Is this going to be one of those things that we don’t talk about for years, and then one of you needs a favor and it

mysteriously comes up again?" Jon asked nervously.

"Is what going to be one of those things?"

"Me talking to that girl’s friend."

"What girl?" Spencer was having a really fun time teasing Jon.

"That’s not funny."

"I’m serious. What girl are you talking about? I mean, you don’t need a girl. You have Cassie."

"Yeah man," Ryan jumped in. "Does she know you’re talking about some girl?"

Jon gave them both a mean stare. "I hate you both."

Ryan sighed and put a friendly arm around Jon's shoulders. "Okay, we'll leave you alone now."

Spencer snorted. "Who's we?"

Ryan gave him a Look, then winked at him. Spencer nodded in understanding and sat down. "Yeah Man, we'll leave you


Ryan looked at the ceiling of the bus then asked innocently, "so, did she have a sexy voice?"

"I guess... WHAT!? Ryan, you said you'd leave me alone!" Jon sounded put out.

"So I did and so I will, after you answer my question. Oh, wait, you just did." He laughed and picked up his book

again. "Okay, I'll really drop it now. You guys do whatever you want."

"Another game, Jon?"

Jon shrugged, trying to stay mad, but failing. "Sure. I pick this time." He chose a racing game and the band was blissfully

quiet for quite a while.

Ryan thumbed through the last chapter of Dracula, excited to see how it would end but not looking forward to being bored

again. Finally, he finished the horror novel, a little gypped at what he considered a corny ending.

"If either of you die saving my wife," he told his friends, "I’m not naming my firstborn after you."

They just stared at him, and he opened his mouth to explain the epilogue of Dracula. "Yeah, we don’t really care," Spencer

told him, and he shut his mouth again and watched them lap each other with their virtual cars.

Jon shrugged. "There are too many Jon's or other variations of that name out there anyway." He sounded distracted as well.

Ryan sighed and went back to Spencer's bunk, where he'd spotted Frankenstein, and figured he'd try that book as well. He'd

read the abridged copy as a kid, and enjoyed it, but then other things caught his interest more as he grew up, and he sort of

forgot about reading the real version.

And was leafing through it when he heard a muffled sneeze, followed by a rustling noise. "Bren... you alright?"

"Fine. Trying to sleep." The tone of Brendon's voice clearly told Ryan that he didn't want to be bothered.

Ryan, Frankenstein in hand, exited the small room. Brendon waited until he was gone before continuing the search for tissues

he’d given up when he realized Ryan was in the room. Finally finding some, he blew his nose as softly as he could and tossed

the balled up used tissues in the little trashcan. "Two points," he whispered, mock-cheering.

He checked his watch, noting with disdain that it was only 12:30. The concert had been over for an hour and a half, but it felt

like a day and a half. The knowledge that the rest of the band would be hyper for the rest of the night, like they always were

after a concert, only made it seem longer.

He coughed dryly and winced at the pain in his throat, deciding that a water bottle would really come in handy. Too bad Jon

didn’t chuck one of those at his head too.

After swallowing a few times and not moistening his throat any, Brendon pushed his blankets aside and stood up, wishing he

had a bathrobe or something, because the room felt damn cold after being in his little bunk. He shivered and went into the

living area for a water bottle, glancing at his band mates, who were on the sofa and having a wonderful, if loud, time. He

shrugged it off and reached for the bottle, his nose tickling madly as he did so. *Not here* He told himself, but the protest

came too late. "Heh-mumph!" He caught and muffled the sneeze in his elbow, but not before Spencer looked up from the

game, slightly concerned. "Mumph! Heh-nxx!" Pinching his nose on the last one to make it stop, Brendon left the room, not

noticing Spencer's watchful eye. He sighed and crawled back into his bunk, placing the water on his forehead. It was scary,

how good that felt. *God, I hope I don't have a fever.* He opened the water and drank the whole bottle without stopping for


Spencer sighed, not knowing if he should press the issue or not. He looked at Ryan, but he was absorbed in his book, and not

even aware that the bus, or anyone on it was alive.

Spencer focused his attention back to the game, just in time to see Jon passing his little car. "I win!" He shouted, dropping the

controller and throwing his hands up in victory. "I finally beat Spencer!"

"Mozel Tov," Ryan mumbled, not taking his eyes off the page. If he had, he would have noticed Jon doing a victory dance

around the bus.

"I hate to burst your bubble, but you won one game. I’m still the reigning champ," Spencer reminded him. "And you’re still the

reigning loser."

"No, because now the seed has been planted. It’s time for the video game rebellion!"

Ryan put his book on his lap and chuckled. "Think you guys have enough pent up energy?"

Spencer nodded. "To kick his ass? I could go all night if I had to."

"So bring it, then, why don't you?" Jon gave him a mock-challenging glare.

"I will, as soon as I get a soda. You guys want anything?" Spencer said, getting up.

Ryan yawned. "Nothing for me thanks. I might go to bed soon."

"We got any Red Bull?" Jon looked up at him and grinned. "If we're going all night, I want to be ready."

"Two Red Bulls, coming up." Spencer brought the two cans and handed one off to Jon.

"Okay, if you guys are going to go all night, try to keep it down. I'll want to sleep, and God save you if you wake Brendon up."

"He's awake, he was up getting water not five minutes ago." Spencer told him carelessly, not mentioning the sneezing.

"He could have at least said something." Ryan muttered, beginning to worry that Brendon really was pissed off at them.

He read a few more pages of Frankenstein before deciding he was way to tired to still be awake. How Jon and Spencer, and

usually Brendon, always had insane amounts of energy after concerts, he had never understood.

"Good night," he said in a loud voice, trying to be heard over the game console.

"Don’t let the bed bugs bite," Spencer said. "Save those for Jon, after he loses!"

"I’m not going to lose freak, you are!"

Ryan shook his head in amusement. What in the world were they going to do with those two? Sure, everyone joked about he

and Spencer being so close, but you could never get in the way of those two and their games.

Ryan went to the bunk area and got into his bunk, not even bothering to change into sleeping clothes. He closed his eyes and

tried to mellow himself out, but found that now that he was lying down, he wasn't sleepy anymore. His body felt tired, sure,

but he didn't want to sleep. He was still hoping that his want of sleep would come back, but had no luck. He turned on his

overhead light and started to read again, but first dug out his ipod and turned it up full blast so that he wouldn't have to listen

to the gaming going on in the next room.

When Brendon found that he could hear Ryan's music almost as well as if he'd been listening himself, he allowed himself to be

a bit more noisy in his sniffling and to not stifle his sneezes so completely. After all, he doubted Ryan would be able to hear

him if he fully let a sneeze escape, much less if he simply stopped holding them in all together. That hurt his ears and didn't

do his sinuses any favors.

Still though, he really wanted Ryan to leave. If not for the unselfish reason of not wanting Ryan exposed to his germs, his

presence was bring back his anger from earlier that night. He was definitely going to try to cajole Neil into letting him get his

own room at the next hotel.

Who was Neil anyway, he wondered. He drove the bus, but he always seemed to make all the arrangements too. And

everyone listened to his orders. So who the hell was he? As Brendon lie there pondering, the absurdity of it caught him. Yeah,

he realized, he was definitely running a fever.

The realization caught him slightly off guard, even though he thought it earlier. If he was running a fever, that would make

him actually sick, and not simply under the weather or not feeling well. He swore under his breath and turned on his side,

telling himself to not think about it anymore. The more he thought about it, the worse it felt. It always worked that way.

Sniffling miserably, he found out, much to his surprise, that he not only wanted to forgive the guys for what they had said, he

wanted to tell them that he was sick, and he was sorry for being an ass. But it wasn't as if they had the time or energy to take

care of a sick man. Not with their heavy work load.

Brendon sighed and tuned over, facing the wall and resolved firmly to be nicer and not let anyone suspect that he was less

than his best. With those thoughts he fell asleep listening to the first chorus of "But it's Better if You Do" off Ryan's ipod.

Edited by symphonyflute
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dont even know the band, but I will go listen to their stuff now.

guys in bands, that whole brotherly thing...colds...angst...I LOVE IT. keep going!

You know what would be hot is if the Ryan guy caught the cold from the cranky Brendon guy, and that sort of "outs" Brendon as the originator of the cold.. you know?

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Wow, a second part. :drool: Yea! I almost forgot about this story. I sure hope you continue.

Symphony flute has alot more of this story written and posted on her website! ;) I had almost forgotten about it too, but once I found it on her page I couldn't stop reading it.

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hey, ive never posted b4 (kinda new and all) but i had to post on this coz i LOVE your story!!! i read wat u had on ur website, please please please update soon!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...


"Oh I’m of consenting age, to be forgetting you in a cabaret…"

Ryan awoke the next morning to the horrible sound of Spencer singing. His watch said 6:15 AM, so apparently he had managed to fall asleep at some point.

He stood up and stretched, noticing with amusement that Jon was dead to the world on the other top bunk. He poked him in the head and, receiving no indication that the bassist was awake, decided this was the perfect chance to play a prank on him.

He went out to get Spencer’s help, checking as he walked to see if Brendon was still asleep. He was, but while Jon would probably laugh at a prank pulled on himself, Brendon might actually kill him.

Ryan grabbed Spencer's arm. "Do you have a feather, or something?"

"Yeah Ryan, I carry my lucky feather around with me everywhere I go." Spencer looked at him oddly. "Of course not, why?"

Ryan pulled a think of whipped cream out of the fridge. "I thought we could have some fun."

Spencer grinned and snagged a tissue from a box and pulled it into strips. "Good thought. Which one though?"

"Jon, I want to live to see 21."

Spencer nodded at the wisdom of that and waited for Ryan to fill Jon's hand with the cream before tickling his face with it.

Ryan was right when he called Jon a rock the other day. The man simply would not move. Spencer kept trying, tickling every square centimeter of his face, from every angle humanly possible.

"You try," he whispered to Ryan. Ryan nodded and grabbed the shredded tissue, trying everything Spencer had done. When that didn’t work, he resorted to lightly poking Jon in the face.

"I give up," he whispered. He was about to move away when out of nowhere, Jon’s whipped cream covered hand slapped him right in the face.

"And the Jonmiester wins again!" Jon started doing the sitting down version of his victory dance. "This is a very good few days for my ego."

Ryan sputtered and pulled away, laughing. "Jon you freak!" He wiped his face on his sleeve and tossed some of the cream at Jon.

"If we are going to be loud can we take into the other room? Some people are trying to sleep here." Okay, so maybe Brendon was a bit hasty telling himself that he was going to be nicer to the band, but hell, he wasn't a morning person, much less a sick morning person. Every bone in his body ached and he was feverish, but hoped he didn't look it. All he wanted was to go back to sleep and stay asleep.

Spencer sighed. "Top of the morning to you too, Mr. Urie. I trust you slept well."

"You trust wrong."

"You were out light a light when I got in here," Ryan pointed out. "You’ve really got to learn to run on less than the doctor recommended eight hours of sleep."

"I got four," Spencer offered.

"Five," Jon added, licking excess whipped cream off his fingers. "And now I get sugar for breakfast."

"I wasn’t asleep when you came in," Brendon retorted. "I listened to your ipod for awhile. Do you always have it that loud? You’ll go deaf."

"Isn’t it a little early for lectures?" Jon groaned.

"Isn’t it a little early to be awake?"

Jon shrugged. "Ryan woke me up.

"Spencer woke me up."

"Sorry to pull this full circle on you, but your snoring woke me up."

"I don’t snore," Brendon lied.

"Liar. You sounded like my Uncle Norbert."

Brendon looked at him. "You have an Uncle Norbert? Poor guy." He sat up. "I'm not going to get anymore sleep today, am I?"

Ryan shook his head. "Nope, time to get up and get the blood moving."

"Now you sound like those weird work-out ladies my mother exercises to." Brendon made a face but got to his feet, willing the room to stop spinning.

"Bren... you alright?"

"Yeah, stood up too fast. What do we have here that's edible?"

Jon tossed him a pack of cookies and a soda.

"You're joking, right?"

Jon gave him a hurt look. "I never joke about cookies."

Brendon ripped open the bag of cookies took a bite of one, fighting not to wince as it scraped his still sore throat. He really wasn’t hungry, but knew in order to keep up appearances he’d have to pretend to maintain his trademark appetite. Especially after skipping some meals with the guys. Opting for a less painful breakfast, he tossed the bag to Jon. "I’m getting some real food, you can have the rest."

He was sore and stiff from sleeping in some weird form of the fetal position for warmth, and collapsed on a chair as soon as he had a banana, his breakfast of choice, in hand.

Jon gave him an odd look. "You traded sugary goodness for healthy crap? What sort of an American are you?"

"Um the rare kind who doesn't want to die at a tragically young age from heart disease."

Jon smiled and shook his head. "So, what do we have planned for today."

Spencer looked up. "Not much, believe it or not. We're still driving and will be for a good part of the day. We had to pull over for awhile last night."

"Why’d we pull over?" Ryan asked.

"So Neil doesn’t fall asleep in the middle of the road and kill us all."

"You know, I never really thought of Neil as needling sleep. It’s so human."

Brendon swallowed a tiny chunk of banana thickly. "You realize that he’s human, right?"

Ryan would usually follow this kind of remark with a slap to the back of Brendon’s head, but even if he was in decent spirits this morning Ryan didn’t want to push his luck.

"I know he’s human. But he’s like superman. He does everything. Seriously, what the hell is his job? Haven’t you wondered?"

Brendon shook his head. "Nah. What a weird thing to think about."

"So what are we doing after not much today?" Jon brought back the old subject.

"Autograph signing at seven. Sleep at some hotel. We have some video shoot tomorrow. Then the next day another concert, and then, who knows what else?" Spencer finished for them.

Brendon sighed. "Damn, I'm tired already..."

"You're tired, Mr. Eight Hours of Sleep or I'm Useless? You just woke up."

Ryan sighed. "So, what do we do now? We can't do nothing all day."

"There's nothing to do." Spencer told him.

"Unless…" Jon began.

"We’re not playing ultimate hurry up and wait," Ryan told him.


"Why don’t we do what we’ve been doing the past two days?" Brendon suggested. "Spencer can whoop Jon’s ass at some violent video game or another. And Ryan and I can read.

"I’m all for that," Ryan piped up immediately. If Brendon was willingly putting himself in a quiet room with Ryan, who was he to complain? It was about time all this drama with his friend was resolved.

Jon shrugged and eyed Spencer. "You ready to get ass whipped?"

"Nope, ready to do some whipping, though."

Ryan looked at Brendon, a shy smile on his lips. "Some characters, aren't they?"

"Yeah, pretty damn much." He bit his lip, wanting to say more, not wanting to at the same time.

"You still pissed, Bren?" Ryan's voice was quiet.

"Nah, who can stay mad at you morons for too long. Just... don't mind me when I get bitchy, alright." It was the closest he was going to come to an apology.

"I get it. It’s just that time of the month."

Brendon rolled his eyes. "How many times are you going to insinuate that I’m a woman?"

"As many as I possibly can," Ryan replied. He followed Brendon into the bunk room and hoped up to his bunk, pulling Frankenstein out of his back pocket. Brendon dug around his bag and pulled out Gulliver’s Travels, complete with cardboard

bookmark, and left the room.

Ryan had already started reading, so he had to finish the page before following Brendon. He was curled up on the couch with

book in hand and headphones on. Apparently he wasn’t as up for talking as Ryan had hoped.

Ryan sighed and sat down next to him, putting on his own headphones. He didn't want to hear Spencer and Jon, but for some

odd reason, he didn't want to be left alone either.

Brendon, however, did want to be left alone. He got up and left again, hoping Ryan wouldn't follow him this time. He was

starting to feel stuffy and his nose was starting to run. He blew it softly and wiped it several times, cursing the whole business

or being sick. Sighing, he got up and went to the bathroom for the thermometer. He knew he had a fever, but wasn't sure

what it was. He swore loudly as all the stuff that was jammed into the medicine cabinet fell on the head and on the sink.

"I am so sick of getting hit on the head," he grumbled, attempting to shove everything back in place and failing miserably.

Curse Ryan for leaving it so unorganized. Brendon stuck the thermometer in his pocket, and started putting everything back

in a more organized way. Sure, it was still crammed beyond capacity, but the next person who opened it wouldn't have crap

fall on their head.

Job complete, he locked the door and stuck the thermometer in his mouth, hoping it wouldn't bear too bad of news.

Brendon leaned against the sink, waiting the time out. When the instrument beeped, he took it at and looked at it. "101.2, not

too bad." It was higher than he'd like, but still manageable. With a feel of dread in his heart, as his adjustments to the cabinet

may or may not hold, he opened the cabinet again and very carefully removed some of Ryan's cold medicine that he bought

last time he was sick. It had a fever reducer, which was what he was looking for, at this point.

Spencer had looked up from the game quickly when he heard Brendon yell, but as there were no cries for help or pained

sobbing, he didn't pay it much mind. He turned back to his game before Jon could kick his ass. "I win again. You finally ready

to admit that I am your better?"

"Look man, just because you were at home practicing video games while I was out partying with the ladies does not mean

you’re my better, it means you’re a nerd." Jon hit the restart button on the game console. "Rematch. Me. You. It’s on."

Spencer gave the shut bathroom door one more look, debating between playing with Jon and checking on Brendon. Having

fun, getting his head chopped off. It really shouldn’t have been a hard choice. But he was a good guy, and he felt bad about

what he’d said the day before, so head chopped off was the best choice for his conscience.

"I’ll be right back," he promised, setting his controller on the chair. "Start without me and I’ll stick an ice cube down your


Jon turned back to his game, and started a practice match. Surely that wouldn't get him into trouble with Spencer, right? He

shrugged it off, not caring if it did. He obviously needed more practice than Spencer did.

Spencer knocked on the door to the bathroom. "Bren, everything alright in there?"

Brendon swallowed his cold syrup quickly. "Huh, yeah, everything's good. Why?"

"I heard you yell."

Brendon opened the door and looked at Spencer in what he hoped was an annoyed way. "I was looking for something, if

that's alright with you. The cabinet is so crammed full of crap it's facing your own death to open it."

Spencer frowned, tilting his head to the side. "You alright man? You look a little flushed."

"I'm fine, it's warm in here."

"Then come out, maybe?"

"This is the only place you guys haven't taken over. I needed a place to think."

"In the bathroom? Alright, Bren, you keep hiding from us on the bathroom, we won't know where to find you at all."

"Shut up," he snapped, pushing past the drummer and grabbed his book off the couch before setting up camp on his bunk.

He’d been chilly before, but now the bus was beginning to feel like a sauna, small, hot, and claustrophobic. He cracked open a

window, hoping the air blowing in would cool him off some.

Ryan watched Brendon out of the corner of his eye, and considered joining him in the bunk room. Then he thought better of it.

Brendon wanted to be alone, and seeing as he was being a decent human being again, it was probably better to respect his


Still though, he could still leave him alone while not technically leaving him alone. If there’s one thing he learned living with an

alcoholic father, your biggest demons were the ones you hid. And the best way to discover someone’s demons? Spying, of


Ryan waited for Brendon to shut his curtain before he went quietly into the room and stretched out in Spencer's bunk, directly

across from Brendon's, trying to figure out what was going on with the guy and why he was so easily pissed off. He'd be

normal one minute, then the next he'd be an ass.

Brendon was enjoying the soft breeze on his feverish skin, and didn't hear Ryan come in to listen in on him. He sneezed twice

then put his head on his pillow, figuring that a quick nap might be just the thing his body was asking for.

The logic behind Ryan’s idea to spy was Brendon’s weird habit of talking to himself. He was like his own little diary, and he

kept voicing all his problems. But now he wasn’t talking, and Ryan wasn’t getting any closer to figuring out his friend by lying

on Spencer’s bed.

He was getting pretty cold though, and figured Brendon had a window open. That was pretty stupid considering his allergies

had been acting up lately, but he was hesitant to ask Brendon to close it because it meant giving up his hiding place.

Ryan sighed, not really wanting to leave Spencer's bed, now that he was comfortable. Besides, he never be sure when

Brendon would start talking to himself, so he figured it was better to keep an ear out for it.

Brendon sniffled a few times, then swore as he sat up to look for his tissues, which kept getting lost in the covers on his

bed. "The hell did you put them this time? Ah ha!" he hand closed over the small plastic package, which was dangerously close

to being empty. "Great... what're you gonna do now, Urie?" He blew his nose and sighed, balling the tissue up in his hand and

draped his arm over his eyes. The cold meds had sort of worked on his fever, but he was feeling drugged up and not himself

at all.

Well, Brendon was talking himself, that part Ryan had been right on. The only problem was he did it he did it for his own

benefit, not Ryan’s. Coincidentally, Ryan had no idea what he was talking about.

Getting nowhere fast, he started brainstorming. How was he supposed to get the cranky musician to open up? If Brendon was

a songwriter, he could ask him to start writing something heartfelt. The problem was, Brendon wasn’t a songwriter. He was.

There was always the age-old classic of getting him drunk, but no way in hell was Ryan going down that road. Especially since

they had an autograph thing that night.

Brendon sighed and closed the window slightly, feeling chilly. He muffled a cough and sniffled again, wishing this cold would

simply go away.

Ryan stood up, bored of listening in on Brendon's conversations that made little to no sense to him. If the man really wanted to open up, he would do it on his own. All Ryan knew what that he tried, but it didn't work out as well as he had hoped. A

shout of victory from the other room told Ryan that Spencer had gotten back his title as reining video-gamer on the bus. A

title that Brendon would have happily stripped from him, if he were so inclined to do so.

Ryan turned around and acted as though he were just coming into the bunk room, rather than just leaving. "Bren... you know,

Spencer's getting all together too full of himself with this game thing. You should go take him down a peg or two."

"Nah, let him enjoy it. I'm good here." He sounded sleepy.

Ryan frowned. Either his ears were playing tricks on him, or Brendon was starting to sound stuffed up. He shrugged it off,

chalking it up to the bad, if unseasonal allergies he'd been suffering from.

"Are you sure? I bet Jon’d be eternally grateful." Brendon made some murmuring sound of the mmmhmmm variety, and Ryan

had no choice but to leave him be.

Brendon listened to his footsteps, not allowing himself to make a noise until he was sure Ryan was gone. When he was alone

again, he blew his nose and swore under his breath. His head hurt, his throat hurt, his muscles hurt, and now his nose hurt. He

didn’t know that was even possible.

Feeling like complete crap, he covered his head with his pillow and tried to block out all the noise from his friends’ fun and get

some sleep. He couldn’t even remember having fun. Sure, he’d only been sick for a couple days, but it felt like way too long.

He wondered if they even noticed he wasn’t hanging out with them anymore.

Ryan joined his friends on the living area and stretched out on the sofa. He was chewing on his lip and thinking he should have

done more to bring Brendon out with him. "Guys, do you think Brendon's still pissed? He seemed sort of alright, but he still

wants to have nothing to do with us."

Spencer paused the game and looked at Ryan. "What else can we do? We asked him to join, he said no. He went and hid and

he doesn't seem unhappy."

"Doesn't seem happy, either." Ryan muttered under his breath.

Spencer started the game up again. "Don't worry so much. You'll give yourself grey hair and ulcers."

"I will not." Ryan stuck his tongue out at his friend and tried to act normal, but the little seed of worry over Brendon was still in

the back of his head.

Ryan watched Spencer and Jon play for a few minutes, and then remembered something and started cracking up.

Spencer paused the game and he and Jon looked at Ryan curiously. "Something you’d like to share with the rest of us?"

"I was just thinking, and I had a really good idea. Remember that time in seventh grade when I hit you in the head with that

basketball and you got mad at me?"

"Vaguely." Spencer gave him a weird look. "Didn’t find it that funny though."

"No, the funny part happened after. You wouldn’t talk to me for a week, but then I got hit with that football and broke my


"Your idea is that we had the most dangerous gym class ever?"

"No, but we totally did. Mr. Starjminik and that stupid whistle…Not the point. The point is, you forgave me after I got hurt.

"Oh. So you think if we goad Brendon into insulting us, he’ll get over being mad?"

"Bad plan," Jon argued. "He’ll feel better, but we’ll all be pissed."

Ryan shrugged. "I guess. So do you have a good plan, Jon?"

Jon shrugged. "Let the man be pissed for awhile, then let him get over it, like I've been saying all along."

Ryan nodded, but wasn't sure if he'd be able to do that, really. He hated seeing Brendon so pissed off and he hated feeling

like they were to blame. They were, but he didn't like the feeling at any rate.

A muffled sneeze told them Brendon was up and about, but they figured he'd want to be left alone, so they ignored him.

Brendon had gotten up for another bottle of water and maybe something for a headache, if he could find anything. He found

the water, but wasn't sure where the aspirin was, seeing how a peek in the medicine cabinet had turned up empty. "Ryan, do

you have anything to kill a headache?"

"Hmm? No, sorry, I took the last of it."

"Alright, thanks anyway."

Brendon made to return to his bunk, but Ryan caught his arm. "Wait up man. Why do you want to know?"

"Because I have a headache?" Brendon had known it was a bad idea to ask Ryan for painkillers because of his worrier status

in the group, but he had really wanted some. Now all he wanted was to get away before Ryan started prying again.

"We should be stopping for lunch soon. Maybe we can get something then."

Brendon nodded half heartedly. "Sure, it's not too horrible anyway," he lied quickly, hoping that it would keep Ryan from

poking around more. "I just thought I'd take some before it gets to be too bad."

Ryan nodded, though didn't quite believe it. "Sure man, it's cool. Just take it easy, alright."

"Yeah, will do." Brendon ducked back into his bunk and crawled under his covers, feeling chilly again.

"Guys," Ryan sounded worried. "Brendon doesn't look to good."

"He never does when his allergies are acting up. Don't freak out, Man. " Spencer didn't even bother to turn away from his

game that time.

Spencer had a point, and Ryan had no other choice but to drop it. Obviously, he was overreacting. He’d been assuming the

worst for days, and not only was he the only one to do so, it was completely unwarranted. Brendon was avoiding them. Yeah,

because he was pissed. He was sneezing and looked sick. Allergies. Everything made sense and Ryan kept trying to throw a

fork in the balance where it didn’t belong. The guys were right, Brendon was fine.

"Where are we eating?" Jon asked, turning off the game. Ryan had mentioned food, and now he had lost all focus on beating


"Burger King," Ryan reminded him. "Just like I promised Spencer. Or McDonalds, KFC, anything American."

"Burger King it is then. Those other two don't sound too good," Spencer tossed in quickly.

Ryan nodded. "BK it is then." He yawned and watched out the window for one. "There we go, right there. And we're dragging

Brendon in by the hair if we have to."

"You sure that's a good idea, Dude? He seems to just want to hang out by himself."

Ryan sighed heavily. "Fine, but we'll bring him back something, anyway. A chocolate shake or something. Oh, and some

headache stuff."

They arrived at a nearby Burger King quickly, due in part to Neil’s impeccable sense of direction and in part to the

overabundance of Burger Kings. Ryan, Spencer, and Jon hopped off the bus, happy to finally be able to stretch their legs, and

Neil went to park down the street.

"We’re going to get recognized," Ryan fretted. "We should have gone through the drive through."

"Yeah, let’s take the bus through the drive through," Jon agreed sarcastically. They placed their orders to a counter girl who

looked at them very suspiciously. Ryan was glad they’d all thought to grab sunglasses and hats before leaving the bus.

Back on the bus, Neil was eating a granola bar. He’d made them promise to bring him back a whopper, but he couldn’t leave

the bus unsupervised, especially with someone still sleeping inside.

Brendon woke up from his short nap confused, expecting to feel the bus moving. He got up and walked to the front, seeing no

one but Neil. "Where is everyone?" he asked.

"You’re up! Everyone went to lunch, figuring you were out for the count."

Brendon sighed. They’d gone to lunch without even trying to convince him? "Where?"

"Burger King. Right down that way. I can drive you if you like."

"I’m good. Thanks anyway." Brendon grabbed a scarf to cover his face and keep any Panic! fans from recognizing him and

walked down the road in the direction Neil had pointed him.

Brendon shivered as a cold wind came up and attacked him. He wished he'd grabbed a jacket or something, but wasn't about

to go back inside. Neil probably thought he was crazy enough as is. He sniffled and rubbed his eyes, trying not to sneeze as a

cloud of dust blew up around him.

He opened the door to the Burger King and went inside just as the others were about to leave. "Bren? When the hell are you

doing here?" Spencer sounded surprised.

"Yeah," Jon piped up. "We thought you'd be asleep. We didn't want to wake you up. You seemed too dead set on sleeping."

He looked at them, wondering if they'd cut him out on purpose. "No, I wasn't sleeping. I'm starved," lying through his

teeth, "you mind if I order, or are you going back?"

"We can hang out." Ryan gave Spencer and Jon a look that told them not to protest that the food was getting cold.

Brendon caught the look and rolled his eyes. Saint Ryan always had to try and patch things up, didn’t he? "On second thought,

I wouldn’t want your food getting cold. Go on, I’ll meet you there."

"You sure?" Jon asked, looking longingly at the foil wrapper in his hands.

"Totally. Neil deserves his food sometime today."

Brendon waved good-bye over his shoulder as he walked up to the counter to order. He walked purposely slow, waiting to see

if anyone would stay with him. They didn’t, so he thought it was safe to skip a meal he really didn’t want to eat and just

bought a small vanilla milkshake.

He walked the sidewalks for a few minutes, giving himself enough time to eat his imaginary burger so they wouldn’t be

suspicious. He bought some aspirin in a small drug store and sipped his shake, enjoying the cool liquid sliding down his hot


Brendon turned back into the drug store he'd just left and bought two three-packs of the pocket sized Kleenex packs and

stuffed them in his pocket. He had a feeling he was going to need them more and more as the day wore on. Opening a pack

right then and there, he blew his nose loudly, not caring who heard him, for once. Then he sneezed.

Ryan handed Neil his burger and sat down, rubbing his head lightly. "I swear, I don't get that guy."

"He's still pissed and thinks your just being nice and don't mean it." Spencer reasoned, taking a huge bite out of his burger.

"And we all know my opinion," Jon added, also taking a bite. "And yum, this burger is delicious. I know irritable makeup lady

said to avoid greasy foods or she’d put hot pink lipstick on us for ruining our pores or whatever that girl mumbo jumbo is, but

man, it hit’s the spot. And I don’t care what she says to that."

"But we’re still going to tell her we had salad, right?" Ryan checked.

"Oh, definitely."

Ryan swallowed his last chicken nugget, and checked his watch. "I think I’ll run out and buy Brendon some medicine really

quick before he gets back."

"Yes Mother." Spencer laughed. "You know, you are too good to the guy."

"Yeah, yeah, he doesn't deserve me." Ryan laughed and went back outside, toward the drug store.

"Ryan?" Brendon stopped, giving him an odd look. "Why are you out here?" He tried to sound mildly annoyed and put out that

Ryan wasn't back in the bus, and was doing a good job of it.

"I... I was going to go grab a few things from the store."

"You should have said you wanted something, I could have gotten it on my way back."

"You wanted headache stuff, I thought I’d grab it."

Brendon forced a friendly smile as he lied. "My headache’s gone. I think I just needed some air." Ryan looked like he was

going to argue, and Brendon was quick to continue. "Come on, let’s head back. Neil’ll want to get back on the road as soon as

we can. It might look bad to show up late to our own autograph signing." Ryan looked slightly appeased, and Brendon made a

mental note that being nice when he lied as apposed to annoyed was the way to get Ryan to buy it.

Edited by symphonyflute
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hi, symphonyflute:

i love the story and read the rest on your site. I was wondering if there is an actual video of Brendon sneezing from a cold...because it seemed like the story was inspired by an actual event. if there is such a video out there, please let us know, or link us... thank you so much! - fae

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mmmmm, darling. What an amazing amount of FUN this story is. I love those guys bantering on endlessly among themselves and I LOOOVE the very proper job you made of characterising them... it feels like I'm really getting to know them and I loike them a lot. Especially Ryan, he's a dear. And they're all just hilarious. :)

I really REALLY like this story. And the wrongness is a much-appreciated bonus. :whistle::shy:

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...


This in mind, he made small talk on the three minute walk back to the bus. He could feel congestion trying to creep into his voice, but forced himself to talk normally. Ryan didn’t seem to notice his carefully calculated speech.

Ryan went back into the bus and flopped down on the sofa. "I can't wait to get to the signings. Believe it or not, I missed our fans." He got up and snagged a candy bar from the cupboard.

"You still hungry, Dude?" Spencer raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah. Well, not so much hungry as I want something sweet."

"You had a shake, that was sweet."

"Not sweet enough.' Ryan took another bite of his candy.

"How sweet do you want things?" Spencer mumbled under his breath.

Ryan heard him. "Tooth-rotteningly sweet."

"Is that why you had so many cavities as a kid?" Spencer asked. He turned to Jon and Brendon. "Seriously, every time he went to the dentist he had to have his teeth drilled. And yours truly? None, thank you very much."

"How can you even get cavities now?" Brendon asked, digging around the mini fridge for some juice. "There’s fluoride in the water."

Ryan shrugged "What can I say? I was just exceptionally skilled."

"Don’t you mean unskilled?" Jon chuckled.

Ryan thought about it for a minute. "That too."

Brendon found his juice and sipped it slowly. He wasn't so much thirsty as his throat felt scratchy, and he wanted it to go away. He placed the bottle against his forehead, making sure the others weren't watching him.

Ryan was looking through the movies on the bus and Jon and Spencer had started to talk about other things. "You guys wanna watch anything?" Ryan asked, not turning around.

"Sure, whatever you want." Spencer shrugged.

"Nothing too stupid though, alright." Jon amended.

"What do you think is too stupid?" Came a muffled question, as Ryan dug deeper, actually sticking his head in the cabinet.

"I don't know... no cartoons."

"We don't have any, so no fear of that."

"And no chick flicks," Brendon added.

Ryan pulled his head out and raised his eyebrows in amusement. "Do I really have to remind you that this is the movie collection of four men? No cartoons, no chick flicks, none of that stuff." He held his choice out. "Star Wars?"

They all agreed that it was a suitable choice, and Ryan popped the dvd in and they gathered around the tiny TV and watched. "Look, my pinky is bigger than Luke’s light saber!" Jon held his hand in front of the screen for comparison.

Spencer swatted it away. "And your hand is as big as the screen. Please don’t block it."

Jon obediently put his hand down, and peace was restored. This quiet only lasted a few minutes before it was interrupted by the sound of snoring.

Ryan frowned and looked over at Brendon, who'd fallen asleep. "Damn, I thought he liked Star Wars."

Jon snorted. "Well, how many times has he seen it before?"

Ryan shrugged, frowning as Brendon snored louder. He reached over and tried to make him stop snoring by closing his mouth and turning his head to the side. Brendon simply made an odd noise and started to snore again. "Crap... Well, we get to hear him snore through the movie, then."

Spencer shrugged. "He sounds a little like Darth Vader, actually."

Jon laughed. "Yeah, he does."

Done laughing at Brendon, the other three tried to ignore him and enjoy Star Wars. This was way easier said then done, and it only took a few minutes for them to get really annoyed.

Jon reached over and shook his shoulder roughly. "Brendon? Brendon? Brendon!"

Brendon woke up and sat up quickly. "What? Who’s calling me?"

"You were snoring like an electric saw you idiot," Jon informed him. "Believe me, if we want to hear Darth Vader double, we’ll turn up the volume."


Jon remembered that Brendon had been asleep when they made that joke. "Never mind. Point is no sleeping in the movie room. If you want to sleep, go to bed."

Brendon frowned. "You woke me up to tell me to stop snoring? Asshole." He got up and stretched. "Fine, I'll go to bed."

Ryan shook his head, a smile playing on his lips, but not a friendly one. "I think you pissed him off."

"Then what else is new? He's always pissed off anymore."

Ryan shrugged. "I know, but still, I'd rather not do a signing with a pissed off Brendon. It's no fun, knowing that one of us

isn't enjoying himself."

"He'd find something to bitch about, he always does."

Back in his room, Brendon found himself staring listlessly out the window. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, and he was

mentally kicking himself for it. Way to seem healthy, falling asleep randomly in the middle of the day. It’s not his fault that

he was so tired he felt like he was going to collapse. There was no way he was going to make it through the signing that

night, even if he did sleep until then. And that was easier said then done, considering every time he fell asleep at night he

woke up sneezing or coughing. He was just lucky Jon woke him up before he did that in front of the guys.

He could take some cold medicine to sleep better, but it wasn’t nondrowsy and if he took it now he’d be loopy later. After

giving it much thought, he decided to sleep as much as he could now and drink as much coffee as he could stand when

they got there.

Brendon curled into his bunk and coughed, curling around himself. Then he pulled out his tissues and placed all but one

pack under his pillow. Sniffling miserably, Brendon blew his nose and rubbed at his aching sinuses, making himself sneeze.

He closed his eyes and tried to doze off. His fever was coming back, full force, but he didn't want to go check it. He just

wanted to go back to sleep.

If he did sneeze himself awake, he didn’t remember it when he woke up nearly five hours later. But something must have

disturbed him, because he didn’t feel any more rested then when he went to sleep. Being so tired, he couldn’t imagine what

had woken him up, because he certainly hadn’t done it of his own accord.


Starting to really resent the sound of his own name, Brendon crawled out of bed to come face to face with Spencer. "What

do you want?" he rasped, having to clear his throat several times afterward.

Spencer narrowed his eyes. "What’s wrong with your voice?"

"I must have slept with my mouth open." That was true, as he was so stuffed up he couldn’t breathe through his nose at al

lying down.

"Okay." Spencer bought his reason easily enough. "We’re about to pull into to the hotel, so get your stuff. Then we’ve got

like an hour and a half to get down to the mall for the signing."

Brendon forced himself up, wanting to cough up the phlegm in his chest, but wasn't going to with Spencer hanging around.

Instead he sniffled softly, and sneezed. "'Scuse me. Alright, I'm up now. You can leave."

"No can do, Man."

"Why not?"

"All my stuff’s in here and I need to gather it up. Not being OCD, like you, I don't have it all neatly packed away. The other

guys are going to come in here pretty quick too, so if you want to be left alone you should go out into the living room


Brendon sighed and got up, the movement making him cough in spite of himself.

Spencer pulled a face. "Ugh, that sounded less then healthy."

Brendon shrugged, keeping his face free of emotion and breathing shallowly to avoid coughing more. "When does coughing

ever sound healthy?" he asked in a joking tone, hoping he could make Spencer laugh and not ask the question sure to

follow next in this conversation

"Why did you cough?" Okay, no such luck. Brendon was silent as Spencer continued packing, considering his answer. He

was starting to feel so sick it might be easier just to tell them and get it over with, then he wouldn’t have to sneak around

and lie anymore.

In his silence, Spencer forgot the question. "We’re so swamped now. Concert tomorrow and then that music video. That’ll

take all day. You know, I still haven’t decided if I like the hectic schedule. Isn’t that something?"

Brendon nodded. "That’s something all right." Spencer was right, they were way worked right now. No way could he bring

everyone down by being sick. Luckily, Spencer had totally forgotten.

Brendon went out into the living area and sat down on the sofa, waiting for the others to finish up in there. He sniffled and

wished he had something hot to drink. That was the first thing he was going to do at the mall, provided he had time.

Ryan started to cram things into his duffle and zipped it up. "So, are we having the same room mates?"

Jon raised an eyebrow. "Do you want me to be murdered? Brendon's pissed off at me still."

"I think he's pissed off at you again, actually. You did tell him he sounded like Darth Vader."

"He had no clue what I was talking about. He was half asleep."

"Then why is he pissed at you?"

Jon shrugged. "Hell if I know? I don’t keep track anymore."

Ryan grabbed his duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder as he saw the hotel out of the window. "Hey Bren, you mad at


Brendon had to think about that one. Chances are he was pissed at Jon, but he was way too tired to think of it now. "No.

Should I be?"

"Course not." Ryan patted Jon on the back. "See? Nothing to worry about. So…same roommates?"

"I guess," Jon begrudgingly agreed.

Brendon heard him. Apparently he was a really crappy roommate. He was too tired to get angry too, so he gave Jon a

weak smile. "I love you too."

Jon patted Brendon's cheek, grinning. "I didn't say anything. You were the one that was mad."

"I never said..."

Ryan stepped in smoothly. "Guys, Neil's giving us The Look. We'd better go before he changes his mind and we're stuck on

the bus because he's gonna drive away with us still here."

Spencer got off the bus quickly, followed by Ryan and Jon. Brendon was slower, trying not to set off his head by moving

too fast. It didn't work, and his head throbbed in protest at a movement at all.

He dropped his bag on the bed closest to the door as soon as Jon slid the key card in the lock, dug his painkillers out, and

stuck them in his pocket. All this was accomplished without Jon noticing, as he was surveying the room. "I take it you like

stripes better than flowers?" Brendon deduced, when Jon made no negative comment.

Jon nodded. "Yeah. This is a man’s room."

"Have fun in your man room, I’m going to go look around the hotel."

"Stop." Brendon stopped walking and waited for Jon to talk. "We’ve got to leave in like fifteen minutes."

Ah, he was worried princess Brendon wouldn’t be ready to go. "I just want some coffee," he assured the bassist. "I’ll be

back in five. Want anything?" Jon said no, and Brendon left the room in search of the restaurant area of the hotel. He dry

swallowed some two pills on his way, and since there was no line at 4:30 managed to get his coffee in record time.

Brendon came back to the lobby where the others were waiting for him. Ryan nudged Spencer lightly. "You owe me five


Brendon raised an eyebrow. "Why does he owe you five dollars?"

"They bet that you'd be late. Well, Spence bet that you'd be late, Ryan said you wouldn't."

Brendon closed his eyes and chose not to get offended. "I'm glad I'm a source of monetary gain to you two." He teased


Ryan simply smiled. "Yup, you are."

Spencer scowled. "No, you’re not. I don’t have the kind of money where I can just give $5 away." They all gaped at him,

as their record had earned them a lot more than one Lincoln apiece. "Fine," Spencer relented, "I don’t have the kind of

pride where I can just give $5 away."

"And yet you always had to give me cash," Ryan reminded him with a grin.

"You cheat at poker. I don’t know how, but one day I will prove it."

As they engaged on their usual friendly banter and Brendon sipped his large coffee hoping to wake up, Jon walked around

in circles bored. "I’m very excited that after sitting on a bus for hours we get to sit at a table for hours," he said.

"Maybe we can shop after?" Ryan suggested. "Then it won’t be so bad."

Brendon nodded. "If we can shop it'll all be worth it. Damn, do you know how teenage girl that sounded?" He laughed then

cleared his throat.

Ryan smiled. "It did sound rather girlish, I have to admit, but hell, I like to shop."

"We'll get attacked, you know that." Spencer told them, shaking his head.

"Hey, I'm willing to sign more shit if they want to ask me. I just want to do something normal for once." Brendon sounded

surprisingly animated, considering how horrible he'd been feeling lately.

Spencer nodded, still having some misgivings about shopping afterward.

Jon smiled. "Don't worry about it. Brendon'll get trampled the most, not the rest of us."

"That is true." Spencer stuck his tongue out. "How do you like being the face of Panic now?"

Really, he would give anything to be some regular guy then a famous singer at the moment, if it meant he could curl up in

bed with some soup and a box of tissues. But he couldn’t tell them that, so he just made some corny joke. "I love it.

Obviously means I’m the best looking."

"Right. It has nothing do with the fact that you can sing?" Jon laughed. "If Ryan wasn’t too shy to sing on stage, we all know

he’d be the star and you’d be a second string guitarist, back up singer, and pianist."

"But all the girls love the piano," Ryan joked. "So really, unless I could learn to play the instrument my granddad can play,

it’s a hopeless cause."

Brendon was about to defend his piano skills with a story of how his teacher was a hot twenty four year old blond, but

started coughing instead, and couldn’t stop for a few minutes.

Ryan gave him a worried look. "Are you alright?"

Brendon nodded, forcing himself not to wince. "I just burnt my throat." He held up his coffee as proof. "No big, I’ll just let it

cool down some."

Ryan looked unconvinced, but didn't have time to argue about it. They needed to get to the mall, as the cab Neil had hired

had just pulled up. "Alright, time to go now."

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