Status: This is a completed seven-part fic, I'll update once a day.

Apparitions and Other Everyday Abnormalities

Part Two

“So, when’s your mom getting home?” Brendon asks. It’s a Friday night during the summer, and I’m at home with no plans. Oh yeah, that’s probably because I no longer have any friends. Awesome. At least I’m not alone.

“Next week. It was a weeklong trip,” I reply sulkily.

“You know, it’s Friday night; you should be out having fun. You aren’t obligated to stay here with me,” Brendon says. I look up at him to see him with a sort of sad look on his perfect features.

“But I like hanging out with you…even though I’ve only known you for three days. Plus, I don’t know anyone here. Not like it matters; I’ve never exactly been a social butterfly,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“Really? Huh,” he replies. He looks surprised.


“It’s just, you look like the type who’s like, the most popular kid at school and has eight billion friends.”

I scoff at that. “Yeah, right. I mean, I’m never unpopular, but I’m just quiet, so I don’t talk to many people. I had a few good friends in New York.”

“Hm. Do you want to have a movie night?” he asks randomly. I give him a funny look. He is such an odd boy, really. But there’s something about him that I just like. I want to be friends with him, I really do, but then when I think about it, I just get sad. He’s dead. We could never be friends the way I wish we could be. He’s really nice, and funny, and it’s just not fair.

“You are really, really weird, Brendon.”

He scrunches his eyebrows. “Well I’d rather be weird than plain and boring. Keeps things interesting,” he smiles.

“Well, I definitely can’t say that you aren’t interesting,” I smile back.

“So, movies then?”

“Only if we can watch Moulin Rouge.”

What? You’ve got to be kidding me. If you didn’t already tell me you were gay, I definitely would’ve figured it out by now,” he says playfully.

“Well, that’s just plain rude,” I pout.

“I’m only kidding, don’t ruin my fun.”

“You’re mean,” I pout childishly some more.

“It’s not my fault you’re flamboyant,” he says matter-of-factly with a shrug.

Flamboyant?” I gape. “Is it possible at all for you to go five minutes without insulting me? And—why are you laughing? This is a serious matter!”

“Yes, of course,” he giggles, “very serious, indeed.”

“Oh, fuck you,” I glare at him. He just smirks and rolls his eyes.

“It’s okay to be a little obvious about your sexuality, Ryan,” Brendon says, smiling. “It’s kind of cute, actually.” I immediately feel blood rush to my face at his words. Did he just call me cute?

“Um…yeah, so let me just go find that movie…” My words tumble out awkwardly. Brendon smirks and nods. Was he flirting? Or am I just imagining things? This is all entirely too fucked up.


“Ryan!” I hear my mom call. I guess she’s back. I hop off my futon and jog downstairs to the kitchen to be greeted with my mother’s worn-out looking face.

“Long trip?” I ask.

“You could say that. Even though it was only a week, it seemed like absolutely forever.”

I give her a hum of acknowledgment and go to the fridge to get a soda.

“Anything interesting happen while I was gone?” she questions. Oh yeah, I met the ghost who’s been living in our house for five years.


“Did you even leave the house?” she sighs, long and drawn-out. “I told you that you could go do whatever you wanted. You have a car, Ryan, and you never even use it. What kind of teenager are you?”

“I just…I like being home.” There’s no point in trying to explain it to her; she never gets it. She never understands. “Plus, I kind of don’t have any friends here, you know that.”

“Well, what about Spencer? You two used to be friends when you were little, and his street is five minutes away.”

“Mom, I haven’t talked to that kid since we moved away.”

“Well, so? Go to his house, let him know you’re back,” she argues. The thing I hate the most about my mom is the pushiness.

“Mom, I can’t just waltz up to his house and strike up a conversation. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember me. I barely remember him.” It’s true. I don’t really remember much of my time being friends with Spencer, even though we were friends for five years. We weren’t really that close, but we lived next to each other, and we played together a lot. Okay, so maybe we were sort of inseparable, whatever.

“Please, Ryan? Just try. You act like doing this one thing is going to kill you. You can’t spend your whole summer alone. Plus, you’ll be going to school with Spencer this fall anyway, so you might as well get reacquainted with him now.” Damn, she does make a good argument. That’s the downside of having a lawyer as a mother, I suppose. Although, I can’t help thinking…but I’m not alone.

I sigh dramatically. “Fine, Mom, God. I’ll go see him tomorrow, okay?” She rolls her eyes at my exasperation and nods, satisfied.

As I’m trying to tear open a bag of chips, someone grabs my shoulder behind me, causing me to shriek and rip the bag of chips open all over the floor. I spin around, seeing Brendon wide-eyed and grinning apologetically.

“Eh…sorry?” he says, inclining the last syllable a tiny bit.

“Ryan, are you okay?” my mom asks warily. I laugh a little nervously.

“Um, yeah, sorry, I just couldn’t get them open…and, yeah. Sorry.” Brendon laughs. I glare, causing me to receive another strange look from my mother. I quickly clean up the mess. “I’m going upstairs now,” I mutter.

Once I’m upstairs, I close my door and turn around, knowing that Brendon will be there. And he is; sitting on my bed staring up at me innocently. “You are such a jerk,” I say in a bitchy tone. “My mother probably thinks I’ve gone crazy.”

“Not my problem,” he shrugs, grinning cheekily. My eyes narrow, and I stare him down until he relents. “Fine, I’m sorry.”


“So like, what do you do for fun?” Brendon asks.

“Um…stuff,” I reply vaguely. Brendon gives me a look, and I sigh dramatically.

“I told you, I’m boring, okay? I’m uninteresting and useless, and I sit here and play guitar and do pointless shit all day.”

Brendon just kind of looks at me strangely, cocking his head to the side. He does that a lot, I’ve noticed. “Do you really think of yourself that way?” His light, playful tone is gone, now transformed into a more serious one.

“Well…yeah,” I say in a small voice.

He sadly shakes his head. “You shouldn’t.” I raise my head to meet his eyes, and he’s looking intently at me. “I know I’ve only known you for a week, but you’re definitely not boring. You’re funny, and really fucking smart, and you always have good stories to tell. You may act like a bitch, but really, underneath that façade you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met. You’re awesome on guitar, and nothing you ever do is pointless. I like you,” he finishes with a nod. And just like that, the heaviness in my chest that always seems to reside there is lifted, replaced with something lighter, more pure; accompanied by another new feeling, much like a tingling sensation. I know Brendon is only being friendly, but I also know that it’s genuine, and his eyes are so open and honest that I have no choice but to believe him.

“That’s…that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me,” I mumble, meeting his eyes again.

“That’s crazy. You should hear things like that every day, honestly.” A smile makes its way across his face. A real smile.

I really don’t have any control over the answering smile that etches across my own face.


I’ve always loved summertime. I don’t know; just, something about the feeling you get when you walk outside and see the little kids splashing around in pools, and the cars driving by with the tops down and the stereos blasting. It’s all so invigorating; it makes you feel weightless.

I decided to go for a swim today. Did I mention our house has a pool in the gigantic backyard? I really love this place now that I’ve gotten used to it, but I’ll never tell my mom that. She will never have the satisfaction of knowing that I actually kind of missed living here. Only a little.

I don’t know where Brendon is; he wasn’t around when I woke up. It’s a gorgeous day, but the heat is blistering, and the humidity is making me feel sticky. I grab a towel and my sunglasses and head out the sliding glass back doors. My mom is at work, of course. As much as I hate her being at work all the time, it’s also kind of nice having this place to myself. I know she told me yesterday that I was supposed to go see Spencer today, but I really want to swim. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I drape my towel over the back of one of the chairs and set my sunglasses down. I don’t think about it before I run and jump right in the pool, the freezing cold water sending chills up my spine. I come up for air, shaking water out of my face and relishing in the cool glide of it against my skin. I haven’t been swimming in years; I’d forgotten how much I’ve missed it. I duck back under the water, closing my eyes, and diving down deeper. I swim around for a bit, doing laps around the pool. I think this qualifies as the most exercise I’ve had in…well, since I was born.

I open my eyes under the water, and let out a little squeak, bubbles coming from the air rushing out of my nose. Brendon is right in front of me, just sitting on the floor in the bottom of the pool, watching me. He smiles and gives a little wave. I resurface, spitting water everywhere and trying to get my racing heart to calm down. I take a few deep breaths, and then Brendon appears in front of me, sitting on the pool ladder.

“What the hell, Brendon?” I shriek. “You scared me to death, I could have drowned!”

Brendon laughs, “You didn’t though.” I look at him incredulously.

“Why exactly were you sitting in the bottom of my pool?” I ask dubiously.

“Because I just got back and I noticed you were swimming, so I came to say hi,” he says cheerfully. “Plus, it’s fascinating watching you swim,” he adds, putting his elbow on his knee and resting his chin in his hand.

“That’s creepy. You need better social skills,” I reply, my heartbeat finally slowing down.

“I don’t need social skills, I’m dead,” he says matter-of-factly.

“Whatever, move so I can get out.” He moves off of the ladder and I climb out, water droplets falling from my shorts to make dark spots on the cement surrounding the pool.

“Where were you anyway?” I ask Brendon as I head for my towel.

“Oh, I was just in the woods,” he shrugs. I scrunch my eyebrows and turn slowly to face him while I towel-dry my hair.

“And why were you in the woods?”

“Because I like the animals. They can sense me, and they aren’t scared of me. The squirrels let me hold them and everything,” he smiles. Okay, that’s kind of incredibly cute.

“Well, that’s pretty cool,” I half-smile. He beams.

“I was a vegetarian you know, before, when I could actually eat.”

“Oh yeah?” I ask, drying off the rest of my body. Brendon nods, still with a smile on his face.

“So, what was it like living in New York?” Brendon asks, sitting down in one of the chairs. I sit in the one across from him and think about his question.

“Well, I loved it. There wasn’t much scenery. It was mostly dirty alleyways and dingy little apartments with graffiti everywhere, but where I lived was pretty nice. You had to take a cab or the subway everywhere and the traffic was always awful. I had a few good friends, oh and the family that lived across the hall from us was really nice. My mom was always gone, so sometimes the lady, Mrs. Urie, she would invite me over and I would help her cook. Her husband wasn’t around much, though.” Brendon freezes all of a sudden, his eyes going wide. “What is it?” I ask.

“Um, you said your neighbor’s name was Mrs. Urie?” he asks quietly. I nod slowly. “Oh,” he whispers.

“What?” I ask, confused.

“Um, remember how I said my parents moved to New York after I died?” he asks, again in that quiet tone. I nod dumbly. “Well I never told you my last name, did I?” I shake my head, afraid of where this is going. “My last name is Urie,” he says.

“That was your mom?” I breathe.

“Did you know her first name?” he asks, even though I’m sure ‘Urie’ isn’t a common last name.

“Linda,” I answer, and Brendon closes his eyes.

“Yeah, uh. Yeah, that’s her.”

“Oh, wow. Um. Well, she was doing great, if that helps,” I say pathetically. “She was always so nice to me.” Suddenly something clicks. “She always talked about her son; said that she didn’t get to see him anymore. I never knew she meant—” I stop, biting my lip. Brendon smiles a little.

“She talked about me?”

“All the time,” I nod. “She told me that me helping her cook reminded her of when her son used to do the same thing. She just—she really loved you, Brendon,” I say softly.

“Thanks,” he smiles. “At least I know they’re okay.”

I nod enthusiastically, giving him a small smile. I couldn’t imagine not having my mom. I know I complain about her, but I do love her.

“Oh, I love this song!” Brendon says suddenly. He jumps up and goes to turn the stereo up.

“You like this band?” I ask, surprised.

“Duh,” he answers. “They’re one of my favorites.”

“Me, too,” I smile, pleasantly intrigued that my ghost has similar music taste as me. Wow, that’s something I definitely never thought I’d say.

“What other bands do you like?” I ask him.

“Um, you know, The Smiths, The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Blink-182, some Beatles, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Joan Jett, Fall Out Boy; all kinds of stuff really.” I blink. It’s like he’s reading through my CD collection.

“Oh my god, we’re like, music soul mates,” I say in awe. He laughs and sits back down.
“You know, I think we just became best friends,” he grins, squinting his eyes from the sun.



“What’s your favorite color?” Brendon asks. He’s sitting upside down on my futon, his head dangling over the edge. I’m on my window-seat—I’ve always wanted one of those—absently strumming my guitar.

“Blue,” I answer.

“Ah, convenient,” he grins, pointing at the blue walls. “My favorite color is red.”

“Red looks good on you,” I blurt, noticing that he’s wearing a red shirt. I immediately blush and duck my head. Brendon just smiles.

“Do you like school?” he asks. I grimace just at the thought of it.

“No,” I frown. “All the fake people, man.”

“And the sluts,” he adds in. “With their fake tans and gross lip-gloss,” he shudders. I laugh.

“And there’s always the homophobes,” I sigh. Brendon sits upward and crosses his legs Indian-style.

“Do you get picked on because of it?” he asks, cocking his head to the side like he always does. It kind of reminds me of a dog; a cute, fluffy brown-eyed dog.

“Not really, because I don’t let them run all over me, so they tend to leave me alone,” I shrug.

“Have you ever dated a girl?” he asks. I laugh at his erratic questions.

“How do you go from asking my favorite color, to asking if I like school, to asking if I’ve ever dated a girl?” I ask, slightly amused.

“I have ADHD,” Brendon mutters shyly, his cheeks a little pink.

“A ghost with ADHD,” I deadpan. “I’ve seen it all,” I shake my head. “Anyway, what part of ‘gay’ didn’t you get?”

“Well, I just. I didn’t know if you were the type that’s always known, or if you dated a few girls before you figured it out, or—”

“I’ve always known,” I smile amusedly, stopping his rambling. “So, no. I haven’t even dated that many guys, honestly.”

“How many?”

“Like three,” I reply. “None of them were really serious though.”

“So you’ve never been in love?” he asks, biting his lip. I laugh a little.

“No, definitely not.”

“What, don’t tell me you’re one of those people who ‘doesn’t believe in love,’” he air-quotes.

“It’s not that. I just don’t even remotely know what it’s like,” I reply honestly.

“Neither do I,” he sighs wistfully. I look up from my guitar to study his face. He’s staring at the floor, and he looks sad. I know why; because he thinks that since he’s dead, he’ll never find anybody.

“You won’t end up alone, Brendon,” I say softly. He jerks out of his daze and looks at me.


“You won’t,” I repeat with confidence, smiling slightly.

“I never even had a boyfriend,” he says quietly, turning his gaze back to the floor. “I never got to do any of the things I wanted to.”

“You shouldn’t think about all the things you could have done. You should think about all the things you can still do,” I say simply before starting to play a song. I don’t sing; my voice isn’t that great. Brendon is silent for a few moments before he looks at me again.

“I don’t recognize that song,” he frowns.

“It’s mine,” I say without stopping. “Just something I’ve been working on.”

“It’s good,” Brendon nods. “Simple, but sweet.”

“That’s kind of exactly what I was going for,” I say, kind of astounded that he picked up on that.

“You’re one of the good ones, Ross,” Brendon half-smiles.

“What?” I ask, but Brendon disappears. I stop playing, frowning. “Brendon?” I call. No answer. Well, that was rude.