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Six days ago...

"Brendon, we need to talk."

Brendon looked at Ryan worriedly, pausing the game they were playing and setting the controller on the floor. "What's up, Ry?"

Ryan sighed, swallowing hard before turning to face his best friend. "I haven't been paying attention to the hours lately," he whispered. "We've been so caught up with finishing high school, and making sure that we started the summer off right, and it hadn't crossed my mind to look at the hours."

Brendon nodded, trying to understand where Ryan was taking the conversation. "I haven't really been paying attention either, but I mean, it doesn't really matter. We have our whole lives ahead of us! We're going to Florida State in just a few months, we're gonna be the hottest thing to happen to music on the East Coast! Why do we need to worry about the numbers?"

Ryan's eyes were gathering tears at this point, and he closed them, shaking his head to try to make them go away. When he opened his eyes back up, he just happened to see an hour drop from Brendon's number. The tears fell from his eyes and Brendon immediately looked concerned. "Ryan, what's going on?"

Ryan took in a breath, gazing into Brendon's eyes with the most pained look he's ever mustered before he spoke. "You have 168 hours left."

Brendon froze. He looked.. confused almost, before the realization set in and he breathed out shakily. "Oh," he whispered, hands folded in his lap as he stared into space. "Are you sure?"

Ryan nodded, more tears falling from his eyes as he reached for Brendon's hands. He linked his fingers with Brendon's, pulling him close until they were wrapping each other up in a bone crushing hug. Ryan continued to cry, but Brendon stayed somewhat stoic. He didn't cry, but you could tell he was distressed. He held onto Ryan like he was going fade away right at that very moment, and it shattered Ryan's heart.

There was no way he could lose Brendon; not now, not ever.

When Brendon pulled away, he looked at Ryan with a cautious smile. "168 hours, huh?" He laughed shortly, running his fingers through his hair. "I thought I'd live to be older than eighteen, honestly."

Ryan looked at Brendon in confusion. "Why aren't you more upset about this?"

Brendon shrugged, standing off the ground and walking around the den. "What is there to be upset about," he asked, voice eerily calm. "I mean, yeah, now I won't be alive to see them make a Friends movie, but there's worse thing in the world."

Ryan stood up quickly, glaring at Brendon with furrowed brows. "You're dying, Bren!" His voice was loud and broken, the obvious pain he was feeling sleeping through his words. "You can't sit there and tell me that you're not terrified, or you're not disappointed that you don't have more time!"

"What's the point in being pissed off about it," Brendon shot back, voice close to having that same edge that Ryan's had. "Seriously, Ryan, it's not like I can do anything to make it stop or give myself more hours! It doesn't work that way and you know it!"

Ryan started tearing up again, shaking his head as he dragged his fingers through his mess of brown curls. "I can't lose you, Bren," Ryan says desperately, Brendon's face softening with his words. "I can't lose my best friend."

Brendon walked over to Ryan, wrapping him in a hug again. "We don't have a choice, Ry," he choked out, tears brimming and falling from his eyes as well. "We'll get through this," he says sincerely. "We get through everything together no stopping that now."

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