Chapter 5 - Disarm (The Smashing Pumpkins ; 1993)

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Brendon and I walked back to Mr. Way's classroom in a not-so-awkward silence, both of our hands shoved in our pockets as we entered the room. Mr. Way shot me an apologetic smile and I shrugged softly, trying to show him that it didn't bother me too much. He nodded softly before facing the class again, clapping his hands together softly. "Alright, class, now that we're removed of all," he paused, sighing softly, "distractions, and now that our model has returned, you can start on today's assignment. If you don't finish today, because of our small setback, you'll have time to finish next session. Begin."

Everyone else began their sketches as I sat at my easel, staring at a blank canvas. I had a feeling coursing through me as I looked at the paper, and I realized I had never felt this emotion before. I felt ... empty; lost. I frowned at the canvas that seemed to be staring back at me before getting out of my seat and walking over to Mr. Way's desk. "M-May I be excused?"

He smiled sadly, nodding his head as he motioned to the door. I thanked him quietly before collecting my things and exiting the classroom, feeling Brendon's eyes burning into my back as I left. I went back to the courtyard where Brendon had found me earlier and sat on the cement wall encasing the small garden. I pulled a sketchpad from my bag, setting in my lap as I grabbed a singular graphite pencil. I gazed upon the different array of flowers as I sketched them onto the paper, making sure to get the dimensions and angles of the petals right.

I guess I had been sketching longer than I anticipated, because, before long, I felt a hand on my shoulder, causing me to almost fall off the wall until I felt a pair of arms wrap around my frame and pull me back upright. I looked up into the same pair of brown eyes that had been haunting me, causing me to blush at our close proximity, before he released me from his grasp. "Y-You gotta stop d-doing that," I said with a nervous chuckle, earning a blush from him.

"Sorry," he mumbled, kicking the dirt under his foot. "Your flowers look really good," he stated, pointing toward my sketchpad. I looked down at the sketch, loving the way the light reflected off the paper and glossed over the pencil marks on the page. I smiled.

"Thank you," I said softly. I flipped sketchpad closed before stuffing it back into my bag and looking up at him.

"Maybe we should properly introduce ourselves," he said with a nervous laugh before sticking his hand out in front of me. "Hi, I'm Brendon."

He flashed me a smile that would've made my knees go weak had I been standing. I extended my arm out and took his hand in mine, electricity immediately flowing through my veins at the direct contact. "I'm Ryan," I said softy, smiling back at him.

He squeezed my hand softly before releasing it and shoving his hands back in his pockets. "You know," he said with a small laugh, "I really want to tell you how amazing of an artist you are. I mean, if I put a pencil to paper, the only thing you're getting out of me is words. But you," he emphasized softly, "you're incredible."

I blushed at his compliment and smiled down at the cement wall, picking pieces of dead leaves and sticks off of it. "Th-Thank you," I said in an almost whisper as I looked back up at him. "I think you're an amazing vocalist. If I tried to sing, I don't think people would like it. I'm not that good at singing."

He smiled at me as he let out a soft laugh, causing me to smile as well. An idea popped into my head and I slowly slid off of the wall, turning to face him. Are you busy at all, or do you have anything you need to be doing?"

He pondered for a second before pursing his lips and shaking his head. "No, I don't have any assignments to work on and my classes are done for the day. Why?"

I smiled at him as I brushed my hair from my face softly. "I w-wanna show you something," I said as I smiled at him.

He nodded, fixing his bag strap on his shoulder as he smiled back at me. "Lead the way."

We walked a path I had memorized in silence, sharing small glances and smiles as we did so. Soon, we made it to the abundance of trees I'm so accustomed to seeing, and I spotted the small cabin building before turning back to Brendon. "This is Mr. Way's private s-studio," I said as I saw him staring fondly at it. "He l-lets me come here to draw in peace, especially w-when I'm focused on a p-project."

He nodded as he looked at the small building. "Why'd you bring me here, then?"

I smiled softly at him as I unlocked the door. "S-So I can focus on my project, of course."

He smiled at my words, rolling his eyes as I pushed the door open and stepped aside so he could enter before me and I closed the door behind me as he looked around the small room. "This place," he said, voice laced with astonishment, "is incredible. It's so.. subtle and vague. It's very pleasing."

I smiled as I grabbed my easel from the supply closet and placed it in the middle of the floor before walking over to the couch and setting my bag down. "H-Hey, Brendon?" He turned to me with a small hum, and I held up a few pencils that were in my hands as I pointed to the easel. "C-Can I sketch you?"

He smiled at me as he removed his bag and his jacket. "I'd be honored."

"B-Believe me," I said, setting my stool in front of the easel and climbing on, "the pleasure's all mine."

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