Chapter 11 - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana ; 1991)

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"Literally, your apartment is so you," Spencer says with a soft laugh as he lounges back on my couch. "When I called your house and asked how to get here, Momma Ross said it would be really hard to find it if I wasn't exactly paying attention. Glad to see that things haven't changed for you, Ry."

I chuckled and rolled my eyes as I brought him a glass of Kentucky bourbon on ice. He took the glass from me with a small thanks as I sat down in my lounge chair next to him. "W-What are you even d-doing here," I asked softly, my brows furrowed slightly. "I kn-know you're still in c-classes, and there aren't any h-holidays."

Spencer shrugged his shoulders slgihtly as he sat the glass on top of the table. "I just missed everyone," he said softly as he shook his head. "I haven't been back since I left over a year ago because I've been so busy, and that was absolutely eating away at me; especially since you don't have a phone installed in here and the only way I can check on you is to call your parents."

I blushed slightly as I took a drink out of my own glass of Jim Beam. "Spence," I said with a snall chuckle, "you know I'm b-barely good at talking, let alone t-talking on the phone. Besides, I wanted to f-focus on my work."

"Don't worry, Ry," he said softly. "I'm not giving you shit for it. I just worry about my best friend."

I nodded and he smiled softly, lifting his glass in the air and motioning to mine. I gave a soft, sideways smile as we clinked glasses and took a small drink. After setting our glasses down, Spencer was the first to speak.

"So," he said with a smug grin, "any boy toys in your life yet, Mr. Ross?"

I blushed heavily, trying to keep the grin from etching it's way onto my face but failing miserably. At my lack of composure, Spencer gasped and I rolled my eyes softly.

"You totally do," he exclaimed, scooting closer up the couch towards me. "Tell me everything. Name, position, age, what does he do for a living, what's his maj--"

"S-Spencer!" I cut him off with a laugh, practically shoving my hand against his mouth. "S-Shut up and maybe I'll t-tell you."

I felt him pout against my hand before he pushed it away and motioned for me to continue.

"H-His name is Brendon," I said softly, feeling my cheeks heat up again. "He's a m-music major, and he has the most b-beautiful voice I've ever heard, Spence. He's e-eightteen, a f-few inches shorter than m-me and he's.." I felt myself trail off as I smiled and shook my head a bit. "I can't even explain to you how a-absolutely gorgeous he is."

Spencer smiled fondly at how I spoke of Brendon and he nodded his head before taking another drink of his bourbon. "Well," he started, setting his drink down, "do you have any pictures of him?"

I perked up instantly and stood up from the chair. "I-I have skeetches of him," I said exceitedly. "They aren't h-here, though. Grab your c-coat, I'll t-ake you to go see s-some of them."

He nodded, standing up and grabbing his coat as I grabbed mine. I grabbed my apartment keys, which also had a copy of Mr. Way's studio key on them and locked my apartment door as we left. We walked the slightly lengthy distance to the studio, sharing small bits of what's been happening in our lives lately along the way. When we reached the studio, I unlocked the door and led Spencer inside.

He looked around with slight appreciation and spoke softly. "This is a nice little setup," he commented. "Is it yours?"

I shook my head as I walked over to the supply cupboard. "N-No," I said softly. "It b-belongs to my art professor. H-He lets me use it to w-work when I don't want to g-go to my apartment."

Spencer nodded as I grabbed the small, neat file of sketches from the top shelf and carried them over to him. We sat on the leather couch as I spread the sketches out in front of him and his eyes landed on them, suddenly filling with awe.

"Dude," he said in a soft voice, "these sketches are amazing. They're probably better than anything you've ever done."

I smiled, thanking him silently as he continued to inspect the works. He picked up the one I had drawn of Brendon lying with his head in my lap and smiled fondly before turning to me. "You really like this kid, don't you?"

I blushed softly, nodding as I kept my eyes on the sketch. A knock resonated on the door and I rose from the couch as Spencer kept looking over the sketches. I unlocked the door and opened it to reveal a rosy-cheeked Brendon, wearing all black and a soft smile spread across his face.

"B-Brendon," I said softly, a smile matching his appearing on my face.

"Hi," he said softly, walking closer to me and lightly pressing his lips agianst mine. I smiled against his lips, taking his shoudlers in my hands and kissing him back gently as his arms went around my waist.

"Ahem," Spencer cleared his throat ffrom behind us and I blushed softly, pulling away from Brendon with a sheepish smile.

"S-Sorry, Spence," I said as I took Brendon's hand and pulled him inside, closing the door behind him. Brendon removed his coat and I hung it up for him before motionoing towards Spencer, who stood up from the couch. "S-Spencer, this is Brendon," I said softly. "Brendon, this is S-Spencer. He's been my b-best friend since we started h-high school."

Brendon smiled politely, reaching his hand out to shake Spencer's. They said their 'hellos', introducing themselves before Brendon turned to me. "Oh," he said excitedly, "I heard that Frank Iero came to your class yesterday!"

I nodded softly, the excitement from that encounter coming back to me as Spencer looked at us in confusion.

"Who's Frank Iero?"

I looked at him with a soft smile. "He's the c-curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art i-in Chicago. He and my professor, Mr. Way, a-are apparently b-best friends. He's a very w-well reknowned artist."

Spencer nodded as Brendon smiled excitedly. "Well," he said in an anxious tone, "what did he think about your work?"

I smiled down at Brendon, feeling a sense of fondness flow through me as I noticed his excitement for me. "H-He loved them," I said softly. "He especially l-loved my sketches of y-you."

Brendon blushed as he hugged me tightly, and Spencer looked just as proud of me in that moment.

"So what happens now," Spencer asked, his excitement now matching Brendon's.

I felt a large smile spread across my face as I cleared my throat. "Mr. Iero wants to p-put some of my sketches of B-Brendon up in his museum in Chicago."

Both of them gasped so loud that the sound almost hurt to hear, and Brendon started jumping up and down excitedly. "Ryan," he said brightly, "I'm so proud of you!"

He and Spencer then gushed over me for a few moments before suddenly, Brendon stopped being excited and immediately looked concerned. "Wait a minute."

Spencer and I looked at him in confusion and I took his hands in mine. "W-What is it?"

Brendon looked thoughtful for a moment before looking up at me with slightly saddened eyes. "Does that mean you'll have to go to Chicago?"

I froze.

I hadn't even thought about that.

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