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

Apparitions and Other Everyday Abnormalities

Part Four

The next day, we get an unexpected visit from Spencer, who says he wants to hang out. I invite him in, nervously shutting the door behind him.

“Is Brendon around?” he asks casually, but I can tell he’s interested.

“Yeah. He’s in my room,” I reply just as casually.

“And, uh,” Spencer smirks, “what were you guys doing up in your room… all alone?” he raises an eyebrow. I heave a sigh and shoot Spencer an irritated look.

“Shut up, it’s not even like that,” I mutter with maybe a tiny bit of bitterness.

“Sure,” he snorts.

“He’s a ghost,” I say slowly, enunciating every word. “Do you even realize how ridiculous that would be?”

“What? You getting it on with a ghost?” he muses, looking thoughtful.

“If you don’t stop I’m making you leave,” I threaten. He rolls his eyes and puts his hands up in defense. I turn around and lead the way to my room. When we go in, Brendon immediately starts talking.

“Oh, you’re back. Okay, so like I was saying, I’ve always—” he abruptly stops when he notices Spencer. “Oh. Hello,” he says carefully, casting a calculating look toward Spencer.

“Hi,” Spencer replies brightly. He always did love all things paranormal, so it’s no surprise that Brendon fascinates him.

“Spence came over to hang out,” I shrug in explanation. Brendon’s face changes, and now I don’t exactly know what to call the look he’s shooting Spencer, but it’s an odd one. Spencer seems amused.

“Oh,” Brendon frowns. “I can go if you want. Yeah, I’ll just—I’ll just leave so you guys can, um, hang out,” he rushes out, standing up. I grab Brendon’s arm, afraid that he’ll vanish and I won’t be able to find him, even though grabbing his arm won’t stop him.

“Brendon, that’s not what I meant,” I look at him strangely. “He wants to hang out with both of us.” I glance at Spencer with a questioning look and he shrugs.

“Oh,” Brendon mutters again. He abruptly sits back down on the bed and places his hands neatly in his lap, staring down at them. I can feel the confusion on my face. Brendon never acts like this.

“So, Brendon,” Spencer starts, sitting down in my desk chair. I take my place on the bed opposite Brendon. “Can you talk to other dead people?” he asks bluntly.

“Spencer!” I hiss. He gives me an innocent look.

“Yes,” Brendon answers anyway.

“I still can’t believe all this is real,” Spencer says in awe. He suddenly frowns. “I want a ghost.”

“Why, so he can pop up at inconvenient times and nearly cause you to drown or, I dunno, crash the car,” I say pointedly in Brendon’s direction.

“Oh, stop being dramatic, Ryan, you didn’t die,” Brendon waves me off. That small, secretive smile that he always has is back now.

“I should invite Haley,” Spencer grins.

“You can’t, she’ll think we’re crazy when she sees us talking to the air,” I point out.

“Well she might be able to see him too,” he argues.

“Doubt it,” I say.

“Who’s Haley?” Brendon asks with his head to the side.

“My girlfriend,” Spencer says proudly. Brendon’s face relaxes, and that weird vibe he had a minute ago is gone now.

“Oh,” he smiles. “Do you guys want to see something cool?” he grins suddenly. I feel my lips twitch a little, just because looking at Brendon makes me happy. I nod and Spencer jumps up excitedly to hop on the bed with us.

“Okay,” Brendon says quietly. He crosses his legs, closes his eyes and then slowly, his body starts to lift off of the bed, floating upward. My eyes widen. It’s not like I’m totally shocked, because I’ve seen him vanish and walk through walls. But it’s still so strange. Spencer is gaping at Brendon, who has now come to a stop in the air and is hovering with his legs still crossed. His eyes open, and he smiles at me.

“You are so awesome,” Spencer says dreamily. Brendon falls back down on the bed with a ‘thud,’ still smiling.

“That’s not all,” he says matter-of-factly. He grins devilishly before twitching his hand just the tiniest bit, and then all of the lights start flickering. He closes his fist, and the lights go off completely. It’s silent and dark, and then the three candles I have in my room flick on and I can barely make out the soft smile on Brendon’s face, the gentle yellow glow of the candles illuminating his features.

“This should be creepy, but it’s just really cool,” Spencer whispers. Brendon’s laughter breaks the silence, and then I join in.

“I think Spencer might try to kidnap you,” I tell Brendon.

“I think I might,” Spencer muses.

“Get your own ghost. He’s mine,” I murmur, smiling at Brendon. Brendon bites his lip, his cheeks turning a pale pink color.

He gazes at me with playful eyes, and he laughs before saying, “Yeah, I’m his.”


Days pass by slowly and lazily, turning into weeks, and I spend them all with Brendon. The more time I spend with him, the more attached I become. Not only am I getting to know him, but I’m starting to really care about him. I’ve learned more about his home life and his life at school, and now I kind of understand why he says that being dead isn’t really so bad. His parents loved him, but they didn’t accept him. The kids at school bullied him and he didn’t have any friends. He was alone.

He’s changed since the first day I met him. He seems happier now. I like to think it’s because of me. Brendon is slowly becoming somebody that I need.


Spencer and I end up going to the paranormal place—The Otherworld, as it’s named—a few weeks after we had originally planned. Brendon decided to tag along, so now we’re walking in, a small bell chiming when the door swings open. I take in my surroundings. The place is old. There are dusty books sitting on wooden tables and candles in antique-looking candelabras all over the place.

“Can I help you?” a voice asks, and I turn my gaze to the guy behind the counter. He’s got soft features and red hair—no, blonde—wait. Reddish-blondish? And he looks friendly. I slowly approach the desk, wondering if this guy actually knows anything about ghosts.

“Hi. Um,” I start awkwardly. Spencer rolls his eyes and pushes past me.

“So, do you believe in ghosts?” Spencer cuts right to the chase. The guy blinks at him before smiling slightly.

“Um. This is my shop. What do you think?” he raises an eyebrow.

“Right, well,” I say, taking control of the conversation again. “What do you know about them?” The guy takes a deep breath, closing his book and giving us his full attention.

“Ghosts can be different depending on what kind of person they were before they died. They tend to be angry, vengeful entities, but not all of them. See, most people that die move on directly after they die, therefore never remaining in the world, human or ghost. There are some, however, that remain. These are the ghosts. The reason they don’t move on is because the most important thing that was supposed to happen in their life didn’t happen. In order to move on, the ghost must figure out what that is and accomplish it,” the guy pauses, probably wondering if we believe him. I remember what Brendon said about having ‘unfinished business,’ and I guess he was right.

“The ghost can, however, choose to remain on the earth instead, but if they do they’ll be stuck like that forever,” he finishes. “Is there a reason you wanted to know?”

“Well, um,” I mumble, scratching at my ear.

“You have a ghost,” he supplies.

“Yeah, actually. How did you know?”

“Because he’s standing right beside you,” he raises his eyebrows. I splutter a little.

“But. How did you—can you? You can see—”

“No, but I can sense him. I’m Patrick, by the way,” he informs. Brendon is just watching the scene unfold quietly. “So tell me about him,” Patrick requests. “It is a boy, correct? It feels like one,” he muses quietly. I nod.

“His name is Brendon. He’s sixteen. Um, I don’t know why, but Spencer and I can see him.”

“Interesting,” Patrick taps his chin. “Who did he appear to first?” he asks, looking between us.

“Oh, Ryan,” Spencer answers. “He lives in his house. I’m just Ryan’s friend.”

“Also, Spencer can’t touch him. He just goes right through him,” I add, remembering how we discovered that a few days ago when Spencer tried to high five Brendon and he went right through him and fell on the floor.

“Wait. Are you saying that you can touch him?” Patrick asks me incredulously.

“Well, yeah,” I shrug.

“Throughout all my years of study and experience, I have never ever heard of a ghost being able to make physical contact with a human,” Patrick says excitedly with wide eyes. “You must have an extremely important connection to him. And I’m betting your friend can see him because he has a gift,” Patrick smiles at Spencer.

“Gift?” Spencer repeats.

“Like me,” he explains. “You have a connection to the paranormal.”

“Oh, sweet,” Spencer grins. “I knew I always liked that stuff way too much.”

“Wait, so how does Brendon figure out what his ‘unfinished business’ is?” I ask nervously. I don’t really want him to figure it out because that means that he’ll leave me forever.

“He’ll know it when it happens, trust me. There’s no sure way of searching for it. It has to come to him. It kind of feels like he may be close though,” he offers.

“But. But that means he’ll leave me,” I say, but it barely comes out as a whisper. Patrick looks sympathetic.

“You’ve grown close to him,” he says. It’s not a question, but a statement. I glance over at Brendon to see him staring at the ground.

“Yeah. Yeah, I have.”

“How did he die, if he doesn’t mind me asking,” Patrick asks. Brendon nods for me to tell him.

“He was murdered by a burglar,” I answer quickly. Patrick’s whole faces changes.

“Well that changes everything,” his eyes widen. “People that are murdered have a whole different set of rules than the other people in the afterlife. For others, it was just their time to go. But for ones who are murdered, their lives were taken unjustly. Unfairly,” he stresses.

“So what are you saying?” I ask.

“I’m saying that sometimes, not with every person, but sometimes, the life that was taken can be given back. Sometimes, the person that died can have a second chance to live the life that they should still be living.”

I stare, unblinking. If what Patrick just said is true then Brendon could have another chance to be alive again. “How?” is the only word I can come up with.

“It has to be the right person, first of all. A ghost that really deserves it. Someone who truly belongs back in our world.”

“Brendon deserves it,” I say immediately. I look over at Brendon, and he smiles softly before walking over and pecking me on the cheek. I stare wide-eyed as he mouths ‘home’ and disappears.

“He left,” Patrick comments.

“Tell me how,” I plead, ignoring him.

“I can’t guarantee anything. But Brendon has to really want it. He has to be a good person, or it won’t work. Before it can happen, however, he has to find what he’s missing. He has to be ready to move on, or this can’t be done,” he says, his voice strong. My heart sinks. Brendon may never figure out what he has to do to move on.

“If he did do whatever it is he has to do to move on, then what would happen?” Spencer asks.

“Well, when he does it, a door will appear for him. I know that sounds silly and cliché, but that’s what happens. The door will lead him to the Otherworld, where he will finally be at peace. But if he wants to try and get his life back, he must choose to stay instead of moving on. One drawback is that if he isn’t successful in getting his life back, he will be stuck here forever. Ghosts only have one chance; one door.”

“And how would he get his life back?” I ask, kind of scared of the answer.

“It’s a sort of ceremony. The person who is trying to give life back to the dead—which would be you, Ryan—has to do it. But I’m warning you, if Brendon isn’t pure-hearted it won’t work, and you will probably die,” he tells me seriously. A chill runs up my spine and my heart beats faster. “You have to do it in a spiritual place. No, not like a church. Like here, in my shop,” he shrugs. “Look, if Brendon finds what he’s looking for, it’s up to him whether or not he wants to move on. If he chooses to stay and you want to try to bring him back, come here. I’ll help you, okay?” Patrick smiles, patting my shoulder. I stay unmoving, taking all this in. All of these things I never even knew existed, and now I’m being sucked into it all.

“Thank you,” I say quietly. Patrick nods and I turn around and head for the door. Spencer follows me out and walks along beside me.

“Whoa,” Spencer breathes. I silently agree.


When I get back home and into my room, Brendon is lying on my bed, crying. No, sobbing. I immediately run over to the bed and sit in front of him, laying a hand on his arm.

“What’s wrong, Bren?” I ask. He opens his eyes and looks embarrassed.

“Fuck, I didn’t know you’d be back so soon. I should have sensed it,” he mumbles, wiping his eyes.

“Why are you crying?”

“I didn’t want you to see me like this,” he whispers. Something hurts inside me to see him like this. It’s unbelievably torturous.


“Because!” he exasperates. “Because it’s not fair,” he says, barely audible. “I just. I want. I hate this. I’m dead, Ryan. And you’re alive. I thought it would be nice to have a friend, but this. This is fucking torture. I can never be your real friend…or anything else. I’ll never be solid,” he finishes weakly.

I bring my hand up to his arm and squeeze. “You’re solid, Brendon. Maybe not in the way you mean, but. It could be a lot worse, you know? What if I couldn’t see you at all? And we are real friends. I really—you mean a lot to me. Even only after a month and a half, you mean a lot to me.” I move until I’m lying beside him, and he lets loose a choked sob, his eyes pleading. But I don’t know what they’re pleading for.

“Do you know what falling feels like? Because I’m pretty sure I do,” he murmurs and he grabs my hand. The way he said it—it sounds like a confession. My eyes widen. “Ryan. You mean too much to me. I can’t fucking do this. I can’t. I never should’ve even—I never thought I’d end up feeling this way…about you.”

“What?” I whisper.

“I like you, okay. I like you, and I’m dead.” I just stare at him. As sad as the situation is, I can’t help but feel the little flutter in my stomach at this new revelation.

“Every time I look at you, there’s a fucking herd of butterflies and maybe even a couple rhinos that set up camp in my stomach,” I confess. He laughs a little before his expression softens again.

“That’s really adorable,” he mumbles, touching my cheek. I suddenly notice how close we are. I swallow and burn holes into the sheets with my gaze.

“The guy at the store told us something incredible, Bren. I could help you. If you ever find what’s keeping you here, then I might be able to help you get your life back.” Brendon’s eyes widen, and his mouth opens to release a shocked breath.

“Yeah, I heard. Do you really think I could be alive again?” he whispers.

“Yeah. He said it didn’t always work, but we could try, and—and I would do it for you,” I whisper back.

“Ryan,” he says softly. “Thank you.” I smile, but it immediately leaves my face as Brendon starts to lean in. I don’t know what to do. Of course I’ve thought about this, numerous times. My mind is racing. Either I let this happen, and I get my heart broken, or I let this happen, and this turns out okay. It doesn’t matter anymore, because my body’s made up my mind for me as I notice I’m leaning in too.

When our lips press together, it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s not like that little peck a few days ago. I get shivers all through my body, and they feel… good. Really good. So good that I moan a little. And fuck, that’s embarrassing. It’s got to have something to do with Brendon, because this is not a normal, human kiss. This is fucking amazing. His lips are soft and pliant against mine, and we’re a perfect match. He’s got a hand in my hair and a hand on my waist. I don’t know where the fuck my hands are because I’m too focused on the feeling of holy fuck, kisses aren’t supposed to feel this good. I can’t even focus on anything but Brendon Brendon Brendon right now, like a mantra running through my head. When we finally break apart, Brendon is staring at me wildly.

“Holy shit, that was not normal,” I breathe out.

“No, definitely not,” he agrees. “But it was amazing.” Fuck yeah, it was.

“I-I don’t. What just happened?” I ask.

“I don’t know, but can we do it again?” he asks with hope in his wide eyes. I let a breathy laugh loose and nod, already leaning in again.


“Um, Brendon. Brendon, Spencer is gonna be here any minute,” I mumble faintly. “You should probably, um, stop.” Brendon makes a noise of acknowledgement from where he’s placing kisses along my neck, but doesn’t make a move to stop. I’m about to push him off but then he starts sucking on my throat, and that promptly erases every previous thought from my mind and replaces it with a whole bunch of yes.

Ever since we kissed last night, I’ve been hyperaware of every move he makes. Everything is intensified with him. The kisses aren’t just kisses; his hand grazing my skin isn’t just a touch. Everything is electrified and powerful. I don’t even know what we’re doing. We both know this is stupid. We’re both going to get hurt in the end.

I can’t deny my feelings anymore, though.

“Seriously, we should stop,” I mutter, not meaning a word of it. Brendon licks over the spot he sucked on, and his tongue is burning hot against my skin. I’d expect it to be cold like the rest of him, but it leaves my skin blazing. “You know, for not having ever done any of this, you’re really good at it.”

“Am I?” he mumbles, pulling back and biting on his lip. Okay, I really honestly can’t take it anymore. I surge forward and catch his lips with mine, flipping us over so I’m on top of him on the couch. My hands are roaming everywhere, touching as much of his skin as I possibly can. His lips send shocks throughout me just like last night, making every nerve in my body tremble. I can feel it everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. I moan helplessly. Jesus, this is just kissing. I can’t imagine what anything else with him would feel like. Who knew that ghosts had magical sex powers?

I hear a knock on the door, and I’m so wrapped up in Brendon that I almost ignore it, but then I remember that it’s Spencer so I reluctantly pull back. Brendon smiles at me, his whole face lighting up, and I smile back before getting up and walking to the door. When I open it, Spencer smiles.

“Hi,” he grins. He narrows his eyes, taking in my flushed cheeks and swollen lips. “Oh, yeah okay, you don’t like him at all,” he starts laughing. I avert my eyes guiltily and Spencer peeks his head inside to see Brendon lying on the couch looking very much the same with his ruffled hair and scrunched up clothing. “Hello, Brendon,” Spencer smirks.

“Hi,” Brendon does a little wave.

“Um, I’ll be back later, Bren,” I say softly. He smiles at me, biting his lip again. “Bye,” I say. He waves at me, and I head out the door and into Spencer’s car. We’re going over to Haley’s so I can finally see her again after all this time.

“You guys totally made out,” he says smugly.

“Shut up.”


“Ryan!” Haley yells, surging toward me and engulfing me with a suffocating hug. “I missed you,” she grins when she pulls back.

“Yeah, I missed you too,” I ruffle her hair affectionately.

“Don’t worry, I already told her you were gay,” Spencer waves a hand in the air. I scoff, crossing my arms and glaring at him.

“Can’t believe I never noticed,” Haley rolls her eyes. Spencer laughs, sitting beside Haley on the couch.

“That’s what I said,” he agrees.

“Fuck you guys,” I mumble, sitting in the nearest chair.

“So, got a boyfriend?” Haley asks.

“God, you guys are like the same person,” I shake my head disbelievingly.

“Yeah, he does have a little boyfriend,” Spencer tells her, beaming. I widen my eyes at him. He is so stupid sometimes.

“I do not,” I hiss.

“Aw, I bet you’d be the cutest little boyfriend ever, Ryan,” Haley says sweetly. “You’re probably the type to buy him whatever he wants and take him out to movies and cuddle with him,” she lists. I roll my eyes, ignoring the fact that I would totally do all that for Brendon.