The thing no one told Shane when he moved in with Brendon was how impossible Brendon would get when he was working on something. He'd heard stories, once the guys had gotten comfortable with him as a friend instead of that guy with a camera trained on them; stories about how their first album came together, how intense both Brendon and Ryan had gotten about what they were creating. Mostly the stories were from Spencer, who always looked tired and tried to hide it when he talked about the studio. Some of them were from Jon, who talked around his stories as if he wasn't sure where the line between what he knew and what he'd been told should be.
Shane understood that kind of work. He'd had one particularly epic assignment for his video editing class that kept him in the editing bay for 72 hours once, without ever coming out of the building until it was finished. But Brendon was different. Brendon didn't just get involved. He disappeared to somewhere inside himself, working through instruments and lyrics and melodies as if they were all interchangeable parts of some larger thing, a thing Shane didn't quite see the edges of.
It wouldn't have been a big deal, except they'd converted the front room into a practice space, and there wasn't any soundproofing. There didn't need to be, at first. But Shane found himself spending more and more time listening to Brendon work, when Brendon didn't even realise he was there, and it was distracting Shane from his own jobs.
Shane leaned against the doorframe, watching Brendon play the piano, shirtless and half-lit in the light from the street coming through the big front window. The melody Brendon was working on was a lazy one, two repeated phrases that wound back in on themselves again and again like a double helix, combining in new ways. Brendon's eyes were nearly shut and there was a thin sheen of sweat on his shoulders that showed just how long he'd been working on the piece. It felt like the notes had been going in and out of Shane's mind for so long that he couldn't remember what it was like not to hear them.
More than anything he wanted to go over there, place a hand on the swell of Brendon's neck, watch Brendon slowly come back to him as his head turned towards Shane. But he couldn't do that; he'd hate it if someone took him away from where he went when he worked, and he loved Brendon too much to bring him home.
: This story has been remixed! A Slow Pan