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Fanfiction by Elucreh
Coping Mechanisms 
5th-Sep-2008 07:56 am
Gen Default Lily Me
Title: Coping Mechanisms
Author: elucreh
Pairing: Ryan/Spencer
Rated: PG
Summary: When Ryan and Spencer freak out, they rely on each other to make the world make sense again.
Disclaimer: I do not actually know whether Jon Walker dresses to the left, much less make any other claims as to this fic being a representation of fact.
A/N: For liketheroad, a little late for her birthday (sorry about that!): may you, too, always have the people who ground you; I know you're one of mine. The fluffy bunny for this came eons ago, but I wrote it out properly just because I know Ryan/Spencer makes you smile as much as it does me. Many thanks to ignipes for coping with my mdash splices; the kittens are for her.

"—and I couldn't stop myself, I seriously could not stop, I had to do it, I did it, I just—I don't know what I'm gonna do." Ryan heaves out a breath and waits for the breathe, Ry that always comes after pouring his heart out to Spencer, the it's not that big a deal.

"OH. MY. GOD," Brendon says delightedly. "Oh my god, this, this is huge. This is the best thing since that time we put two bags of marshmallows into the microwave and even more explosive."

Ryan groans and tilts his head over the back of the sofa, not feeling even a little bit less overwhelmed. He reminds himself that he didn't go to Spencer for a reason, and he tries to recreate Spencer in his head, breathe, Ry, and it's almost working until--

"Nothing in the whole wide world will be the same ever again!" Brendon beams idiotically. "This is the most monumental news in the history of ever."

"Oh, god," Ryan whimpers, and slumps forward to put his head between his knees. He distantly remembers Ginger telling him to do that in case of hyperventilation, that one time she'd seen how much Red Bull Brendon could put away in half an hour.

Brendon leans over and pats him on the back. "Cheer up, Ryan. This is the kind of thing they're going to ask us about on Behind the Music."

Ryan whimpers again and tries to hear the breathe, Ry in his head, since it's becoming clear nobody's going to say it out loud.


When Jon walks in, the second thing he notices is the ironing board.

The first thing he notices is that Spencer is holding Jon's lucky boxers with the kittens up in the light, frowning critically at the fly.

"Um," he says, intelligently.

Spencer looks over at him, still frowning. "You dress to the left, right?"


Spencer raises an eyebrow at him—like Jon is being weird, the hypocrite—and shrugs. "Okay, then." He puts the boxers down on the ironing board and picks up the iron, which is puffing out a small, cranky cloud of steam.


Spencer doesn't look up from the hemlines he's ironing perfectly straight. "Hm?"

"Where did you get an ironing board?"

"Housekeeping," he says, nonchalantly poking at the pleats with the nose of the iron. "Like room service, but for ironing boards."

"Oh." Jon can't think of anything to say to that, really. He casts about helplessly for a topic of conversation and spots his duffle bag lying flat and deflated on the floor of the closet, below the rows of clean, neatly pressed slacks and shirts.

Oh. Oh. Of course. Spencer's freaking out.

They've all seen it—on one memorable occasion, they came back to the bus to find everything they ate off or out of stacked on the couch cushions while Spencer laid shelf paper. The standard Spencer response to any kind of setback is to set out to improve something. Little things, breaking his last drumstick or losing a shoe, mean he'll try to style Brendon's hair or show Zack he's appreciated by buying him an extra soda at a rest stop. Spencer fixes other people's problems when he can't fix his own.

The bigger the problem, the bigger the task Spencer'll set himself; when Jackie crashed the car, Ryan caught him just before he tried to clean out between the lounge cushions, not normally a place human beings dare to put their hands.

Usually Ryan does catch him before he starts on the bigger stuff. Ryan's good like that: he'll distract Spencer by giving him busy work, something smaller scale, but time-consuming, brain-consuming, that Spencer can focus on while he processes. (This is how rose vests are born.) It's Ryan's job to stop laundry sprees before they start.

Jon watches Spencer iron underwear and wonders despairingly where, exactly, Ryan is now.


Ryan's trying to escape from Brendon ("I need coffee." "I'll come with you. This deserves an extremely large caffeinated beverage!" "I'm going to walk." "I need the exercise!") by walking very fast, with his very long legs, down a sidewalk in very bad condition.

He's trying to escape public recognition by wearing very, very dark sunglasses.

The two things don't combine well, the emergency room tech tells him sympathetically. Ryan just knows Brendon's suppressing an inappropriate snigger.


Spencer bursts into the hospital like a force of nature, Jon trailing behind. In ninety seconds he has one nurse scurrying for water and painkillers, and another for the appropriate paperwork. He's just beginning to demand a doctor in his very best Rock Star hissy voice when Ryan, sitting up on his elbows, says, low, "Spence."

Spencer whirls around and goes to stand by Ryan's head. "What, Ryan, what can I do?"

"I think I might have a fever," Ryan says, his voice tight with pain. "I'm hot. Fever's one of the broken bone things, right?"

"Breathe, Ry," Spencer says, laying a hand on Ryan's forehead consideringly. "I don't think you have a fever."

"Help me out of my jacket?"

"Of course." Spencer tugs at the sleeve until it pops off a bony elbow, then eases his arm underneath Ryan's back to help support him as he wriggles out of the stiff, checkered wool. Ryan flings the coat to the chair beside the bed with a sigh of relief and leans back into Spencer's arm, abruptly aware—again--of how close Spencer's face is, how blue his eyes are, how--

Spencer kisses him first this time, though.
4th-Sep-2008 02:47 pm (UTC)

IRONING!!!! SHELF PAPER!!! BREATHE, RY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you baby, this was made in the universe of my HEART. So lovely.
4th-Sep-2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it; yours was actually the first Ryan/Spencer that I ever read. *hugs you*
4th-Sep-2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is awesome. ♥
4th-Sep-2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
4th-Sep-2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Hehehehee. Most delightful.
4th-Sep-2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
4th-Sep-2008 10:14 pm (UTC)

Okay, that is totally Spencer canon for me now. ♥ ♥
4th-Sep-2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
For me, it was like, well, when Ryan is upset, he goes to Spencer and Spencer talks him through it. What does Spencer do when he's upset? He FIXES RYAN. And, you know, now that he is grown up, sometimes he fixes the other people who are a part of his world. But I think he totally tries to reassert that he can fix SOMETHING when things go wrong, and it makes sense that it would be for other people, because he is Spencer.

...that was just long and rambly, wasn't it.

I meant to say, thanks!
4th-Sep-2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
I was totally grinning the whole way through. Adorable!
4th-Sep-2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
5th-Sep-2008 12:42 am (UTC)
\o/ Total WIN! SO funny and sweet! Oh boys! ♥
5th-Sep-2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Thank you!
5th-Sep-2008 01:40 am (UTC)
So spot on I can't even get over it...
5th-Sep-2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Lol, thanks!
5th-Sep-2008 10:00 am (UTC)
Spencer IRONING. Oh, my heart. Seriously, this is gorgeous. And I love Brendon's reaction to Ryan's freakout, and Ryan telling himself to breathe because no one else is going to, and this is how rose vests are born and just heeeeee. Beauuuuuuuutiful. *grins hugely*
5th-Sep-2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Can't you just see it?

"Spencer, I need you to help me make lots of fabric flowers."


"Er...I'll think of something, just...help me make them."
5th-Sep-2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
*flaps hands*
Dude. I loved this so much. Spencer lays shelf paper when he's upset. Just... that makes so much sense in my head that it's not even funny. When I'm upset, I deal by doing excessive cleaning, so. Yeah.

Also, Ryan landing in hospital because of his scarily long legs and dark shades and the fact that he's trying to escape from Brendon makes me giggle like you would not believe.

And also, Jon has kitten boxers!

Okay, I'll stop now. *draws hearts all around this*
5th-Sep-2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
The kitten boxers are wholly ignipes, but I'm glad you liked the bits I'm responsible for!
5th-Sep-2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
I love how you started this in the middle. It works very well!

Brendon isn't at all helpful, is he? :)

Poor Spencer and his methodical freakouts.

Ryan's dark sunglasses and poorly maintained sidewalk! Ow.

Very nice, Lu!
5th-Sep-2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Not in these circumstances--Brendon doesn't understand why anybody thinks this could be bad, he just wants to pour champagne and start addressing the wedding invitations. He knows the happy ending is coming, whyfor the angst?
6th-Sep-2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Oh, this is adorable. I love the thought of Spencer going all ocd when he's worried, and Ryan being the one to find him something to do.
6th-Sep-2008 01:28 am (UTC)
Thank you!
6th-Sep-2008 03:05 am (UTC)
hahahahahaha, Spencer ironing Jon's underwear! Brendon failing at being comforting!

great story!
6th-Sep-2008 05:58 am (UTC)
Thank you!
6th-Sep-2008 03:34 am (UTC)
Aw! I love your stressed out Spencer, and I'd kind of like him to come clean my house :D
6th-Sep-2008 05:58 am (UTC)
I'm sure it would help him feel better, at least provided he could bring Ryan with him. ^_^
6th-Sep-2008 05:26 am (UTC)
This! Just, short and sweet and faintly ridiculous, but in a good way! *beams*
6th-Sep-2008 05:59 am (UTC)
LOL, I figured...if it wasn't at all ridiculous, it would be about another band! ^_^

6th-Sep-2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
So this just put the most ridiculous smile on my face. I mean, shelf paper and underwear(with kittens!-ironing and totally unhelpful!Brendon and This is how rose vests are born. LOVE.

6th-Sep-2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
7th-Sep-2008 09:23 am (UTC)
i finally got to this in my 'MUST READ NOW' folder.

so glad i did! i adore it. i adore them. i adore you. (i know. none of that is news)

spencer as a force of nature: YES! and needing to iron/clean/organise stuff and brendon completely FAILING at keeping ryan calm.

(maybe i have sat and pondered re: spencer coping with stressful news from home...)

really, really love this.
7th-Sep-2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, luv!
7th-Sep-2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
No, there's more of this, right? Baby, don't TEASE.
7th-Sep-2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Where should I take it?
8th-Sep-2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
I love you, for serious!

"This is the most monumental news in the history of ever." --- I don't know how Ryan didn't punch him in his stupidly adorable face. Well, there was that whole not breathing thing, but whatever.

And mother hen Spencer ftw~!
8th-Sep-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Ryan has no instinctive responses to Brendon--Brendon's doing it all wrong, it's Pavlovian! He never learned what to do when people made it worse!
4th-Oct-2008 05:13 am (UTC)
Oh, this was adorable.
4th-Oct-2008 05:18 am (UTC)
Thank you!
9th-Feb-2009 03:54 am (UTC)
oh, geez. I love how ridiculously fluffy this is. it's what everyone needs on a bad day. :D
9th-Feb-2009 04:26 am (UTC)
They're in loooooooooove! (Thanks. *G*)
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