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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 25. Following Footsteps

---Oliver---

As I sat behind my kit I couldn’t help but anxiously look at the guy across from me. Is this what dating is supposed to feel like? Am I supposed to be this nervous? Am I sure I’m ready for this? I can barely even take care of myself, am I really going to try and date someone else?

“What are you thinking about?” Mark suddenly interrupted, snapping me back to reality.

“Nothing.” I shrugged and forced a smile.

“Everyone was saying it was bullshit that you got disqualified last night.” He suddenly explained. “We’ve all heard the word fuck before. Couldn’t they have just given you a detention or something?”

“Maybe if I wasn’t me.” I shrugged, trying to keep the smile on my face. “But no one from that school is going to give Oliver Haner a break.”

“I would’ve.” Mark supported. “I-I think you did amazing.” I had to turn to hide the blush that was growing on my face. “So what’s your plan now?”

“Me and Ryder are starting a band.” I swayed my head. “But I think he’s just having fun for now. He’s probably going to realize it won’t work and restart Messiah.”

“No way.” Mark shook his head. “Do you think he’d do that?”

“I think so. He brings up Messiah every time someone asks him about music, he just seems like he’s not done with it yet.” I analyzed, thinking of the big man. “We can go ask him on the double date if you want?”

“I, yeah but like then you’d have to tell him we’re dating.” Mark nervously said.

“He probably knows already. He and Teddy told me you had a crush.” I giggled as my blush spread to his face.

“They knew?” Mark gulped.

“Yup.” I confidently nodded. “They said it was kind of obvious.”

“Oh.” Mark exhaled.

“Don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing.” I shrugged, jumping to my feet and grabbing an acoustic guitar before leading him upstairs. “Ryder!” I shouted pushing the basement door open.

“Yeah!” He excitedly sat up from the couch.

“Do you and Teddy want to grab dinner with me and Mark this weekend?” I asked, trying my hardest to be as casual as possible.

He made a face but quickly hid it as he saw Mark enter the room. “Yeah.” He nodded his head. “Teddy would probably like that too.”

I nodded my head before extending the guitar. “Mark said you lip sync, he wants proof you don’t.”

“I never said that.” Mark quickly interjected. “I, Oli!” I couldn’t help but giggle at how flustered he was growing.

“You take Ryder too seriously.” I teased. “He doesn’t care.”

“He takes me too seriously? You almost fainted when you first met me, then you couldn’t even say anything.” Ryder laughed. “And don’t worry kid, I can tell when Oli is lying, and Oli knows I’m not playing music right now.”

“You know you want to.” I tempted, realizing how tightly he was clutching the guitar. “What’s one acoustic song?”

“You both have to sing part of it then.” Ryder shrugged.

“Mark doesn’t listen to rock music.” I excused, giving him an out. “He’s a house fan.”

Ryder made a face but once more disguised it. “How in the world do you put up with Oliver then?”

“I don’t know.” Mark bashfully smiled. “He’s just interesting I guess.”

A smirk crossed Ryder’s face as he pulled a pick out of his pocket. “What do you want to hear Oli?”

“Dissonance!” I shouted, trying to finally get him to play an original.

“I don’t play my own music, you know that.” He shook his head, lightly strumming the old guitar. “Let’s play something punk.”

“You always want to play something punk.” I protested in a groan.

“I play music that you like.” He shrugged. “If I always play punk music it’s because I know you like it.” I felt a blush cover my face at his words.

“You like it to.” I defended, trying to hide how close to Ryder I had grown. “On your last album the bonus song was Gone Away.” I remarked before the significance of the song finally clicked in my head. “Wait!” I yelped. “You had Six Feet Deep flow perfectly into it!”

“Stop.” He warned, shooting me a serious look.

“They, they were both for Teddy!” I shouted, amazed I had never connected the dots before. Ryder grew quiet, but as I looked to Mark I only saw confusion. “They’re really emotional songs.” I tried to explain. “He really loves my brother, and neither of them wanted to break up but they did. It’s just a really long story.”

“It’s a really stupid story.” Ryder finally spoke. “If you two remember anything I’ll ever say, it’s to always put love first. Even if it feels like you’re being selfish.”

“Wait!” I exclaimed. “Does Teddy know those two songs are for him?”

“Some of the best messages are the ones people never receive.” He exhaled, done with the conversation. “Now what do you want to play?”

“Gone away.” I shrugged, taking a seat next to him. “Now you’ve got it all stuck in my head.”

“Not happening.” Ryder shook his head.

With a wicked smile I began to sing the start of the song, knowing exactly how to push his buttons and get away with it.

“You suck at singing.” He bit, trying to throw me off anyway he could. “Stop singing from your stomach.”

“I’m a drummer, I’ll sing from wherever I want.” I protested with crossed arms.

“How do you deal with him?” Ryder sighed turning towards Mark.

Mark shrugged as another sheepish smile overtook his face. “I think he’s being funny.”

“That makes one of us.” Ryder sighed, pushing the guitar onto me. “Go ahead, now you’re stuck playing.”

“I, but you, you know I don’t know how.” I blushed, trying to hide from Mark’s stare.

“That’s what I thought.” Ryder teased, finally getting even. “I still can’t believe you don’t know any,”

“I know one.” I finally sighed. “But it’s a stupid song Teddy made me learn. I’d play it for him every now and then when he’d come home from college.”

“What’s the name of it?” Ryder pressured as Mark slowly walked closer.

“I don’t know.” I shook my head. “I think it’s by the Beatles or something.”

“Play it.” Mark encouraged. “I-I like when you play things.”

I looked to Ryder for approval and received a quick nod. Slowly but surely I began to play the introduction. I messed up a little bit here and there, but as I finally grew comfortable started to play it better and better. The second the song became understandable I saw Ryder freeze up, as though he had heard it before.

I started to hum as I forgot the lyrics, but Ryder took right over. I could tell that somewhere along the way he had lost where he was, like he had fallen deep into the music. Just like he did that day he almost gave himself a heart attack. Is this what he looks like when he loves music? Does he get this lost into it all?

Mark and I looked on in awe as the power of his voice overwhelmed us. I know I’m a giant fan boy, but there’s a reason it’s universally accepted that Ryder is the best singer of our generation. He just has this way of capturing a room. It doesn’t matter if you love rock or hate it, when Ryder opens his mouth you listen. It just draws you in with such power and sincerity that you can’t turn away.

I proudly let go of the guitar as I successfully finished the only song I knew. It wasn’t perfect, but I found a way to skid through it. I had to hide the feverish blush on my face as Mark watched with a smile

“I, Teddy wanted you to learn that?” Ryder breathlessly exhaled, coming back down to earth.

“Yeah.” I quickly nodded my head. “I don’t know why. It’s not even a good song.”

“That’s the best song ever written.” Ryder shook his head. “It’s not by the Beatles either, it’s Pink Floyd.”

“They suck.” I rolled my eyes. “They’re barely even music. They’re just like sound effects with music kind of in it.”

Ryder exhaled a deep breath and sat back on the couch. “Teddy really wanted to hear that song?”

“Yeah.” I let out, shooting him a cautious look. “Why are you being so weird right now?”

“I-I’m not being weird right now.” He denied. “I just, I need to go lie down.”

I made a face to Mark drawing some laughter as Ryder slowly stood up and headed towards the stairs. “This isn’t your heart right?”

“No, no.” He shook his head. “Just have to think about some stuff.”

I made another face as he finally disappeared out of sight. “He’s kind of obsessed with your brother.” Mark offered taking a seat next to me.

“Kind of?” I repeated. “They’re completely obsessed with one another. You should see them, it’s kind of gross.”

“Could you imagine that?” Mark asked in a giggle.

“Nope.” I shook my head. “I like my space.”

“Me too.” He proudly nodded. “We’re not going to get weird like them, right?”

“Nope.” I laughed. Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, but I don’t know if I could handle the constant commitment. They’re always together. It’s like they just can’t get enough of one another!

Don’t get me wrong, I really like hanging out with Mark. He’s so fucking cool! But I need some time alone to just be me and play my drums. Ryder is always with Teddy. They just sit around one another even if they’re not doing anything together. Maybe I’m just young but it’s weird to me!

************************************************************************************

That night Teddy and Ryder acted especially weird with one another. Constantly whispering and laughing to one another, but never actually being loud. It was like a calm mellow day for them. Except they were constantly touching one another! Even if it was a light tap or push, they’re hands never seemed to break from the other!

It’s no wonder Teddy said no touring! I don’t think they could handle being even ten minutes away from one another!

“So spill,” Teddy teased as we all got ready for bed. “What happened between you and Mark today? And is this a double date or us just all hanging out.”

“It’s just us hanging out.” I lied, knowing he saw right through it.

“Bull shit.” Ryder giggled. “I saw the way he was looking at you when you were playing guitar. He likes you.”

“That’s none of your business you old perv.” I rolled my eyes.

“Come on.” Teddy insisted in a whine. “Just a few details.”

“I don’t know.” I sighed. “We just spoke about everything, and he said I make him happy, and he makes me happy. So we’re just going to go on a date or two.”

Teddy excitedly pushed Ryder before trying to take it down a notch. “Why with me and Ryder?” I shrugged but stayed quiet. “He looks up to us.” Teddy squealed, knowing it would get under my skin.

“Do not!” I lied once more. “I just, I don’t want to be alone for the first time.”

“Awww!” Teddy let out, too excited to contain himself. “Oliver is human after all.”

“You’re so obnoxious.” I groaned, getting up and starting to push him out of the room.

“I’m proud of you!” He teased one last time before I could shut and lock the door on them both. I couldn’t help but smile at his words. They’re annoying and embarrassing, but they’re not all that bad.

*************************************************************************************

The next day seemed to go on obnoxiously long as I tried my hardest to keep my nerves in order for our date tonight. I’ve hung out with Mark a million times before. So why is it so scary this time? We’re just getting pizza!

“Ow oww!” Teddy mocked as he watched Ryder fix my hair in the mirror.

“Leave him alone.” Ryder defended. “He’s nervous enough as it is.”

“I am not nervous.” I pouted, as he tried desperately to give me a look similar to his.

“Then stop moving your head.” He sighed, looking to Teddy for help.

“That’s all you man.” Teddy shrugged. “I dress completely different from you two.”

“You dress a lot gayer.” I muttered, trying to take a shot at him.

“Very mature of you Oli.” Teddy sighed.

I felt Ryder lightly slap me along the head but laughed it off. “You know it’s true.”

“That doesn’t mean you say it.” Ryder shook his head as Teddy rolled his eyes and wandered away.

“Only time I’d dress like him is for a concert.” I mumbled. “To put on a show.”

“Drop it.” Ryder warned. “Before we both get stuck with a moody Teddy all night.”

“I heard that!” Teddy called out.

“I love you dear.” Ryder offered back causing me to laugh.

“You’re so whipped dude.” I teased, feeling him pull my hair a little tighter.

“One day you’ll understand.” He muttered, trying his hardest to get my hair to go anywhere else but down.

“Understand that Teddy wears the pants.” I mocked, starting to push his buttons.

“That’s fine.” He shrugged, seemingly unaffected. “I’ve always wanted Teddy to wear the pants. He’s a natural leader.”

“Good recovery.” Teddy shouted from their bedroom.

“Dude, you’ve gotta come help.” Ryder sighed, finally realizing he was listening. “I, how the hell do you get your hair to stay, his keeps falling.”

“It’s all about how it’s cut.” Teddy explained, leaning into the hallway. “He gets it cut like two-thousands Justin Bieber, so it’s going to stay that way. When he finally decides to go with a style, then he’ll look ten times better.”

“You should get a faux hawk.” Ryder suggested, beginning to play with my hair more than fix it.

“No.” I immediately shot down.

“Come on man, it’d look awesome.” He encouraged. “Most drummers get them.”

“It’d look stupid.” I pouted, refusing to even look at myself in the mirror.

“No it wouldn’t.” Teddy said, taking a step into the bathroom. “I used to have one.”

“You did?” Ryder asked, thinking back on it. “You did! Damn, you looked good back then.”

“EW!” I cried out, finally shrugging free of his contact. “I’m never getting a haircut!”

“Long hair won’t look good on you.” Teddy sighed as I pushed my way out of the bathroom. “You’re going to get it cut eventually!”

“Whatever, I look fine this way.” I groaned, looking down at the outfit I had made Ryder pick out. “Right?”

“Yeah.” Ryder quickly shouted back. “If that look works on Teddy it will work on anyone.”

“I don’t want Teddy!” I cried back as self-consciousness filled my mind.

“I was just teasing.” He sighed, taking a step out of the bathroom. “You look great. You look like a rock star.”

“You think so?” I meekly asked, as he lightly picked up my head with his hand.

“Yup.” He nodded with a wink. “Trust me, you’ve got this in the bag. You’ve got Teddy’s looks and an even better personality.”

“But Teddy’s not good looking!” I protested in another sigh.

“Girls used to throw themselves at his feet, even after he came out.” Ryder smiled. “The only reason you think he’s bad looking is because you look like him.”

“That’s dumb.” I pouted as he hit the nail on the head.

“No it’s not.” Ryder said, realizing he was right. “You’re self-conscious and that’s totally okay, I used to worry about how I looked all the time. I died my hair green once to try and help! Think about it, you’re always getting in trouble and you still have a boy and a girl who are into you. That Haner charm is living on.”

“It’s strong too.” Teddy nodded joining us in the hallway. “How do you think I landed a rock star?”

“To be fair you helped build the rock star.” Ryder confessed, shifting his attention to him. “Without you I’d be a nobody playing empty bars.”

“No way, you’re way too talented to,”

“Guys!” I interrupted. “Can you two stop celebrating each other for like five hours please? Just until dinner gets over!”

“Fine.” Teddy muttered, leading us downstairs. “You don’t have to be so rude about it.”

“Ohhh.” Our mother let out as we entered the living room. “Where are all my good looking men going tonight?”

“Pizza.” Teddy shrugged, trying not to give her too much information.

She nodded her head but took a closer look at me. “And why are you all dressed up?”

“I’m not.” I quickly shook my head. “I just asked Ryder how to dress better.”

“It shows.” She giggled. “You look like Teddy when he would try to go to his shows.”

“I’m sure that was so often.” I rolled my eyes, and quickly pushed them towards the door.

“It was.” Teddy nodded. “I’ve seen Messiah more times than you can dream about. I saw them in Atlanta, New Jersey, New Jersey again, an old bar that used to be around here and a cemetery once.”

“Cemetery?” I couldn’t help but repeat as he piqued my interest.

“Oh yeah.” Ryder smirked. “I forgot we did that. Do you remember walking around and getting lost in the cemetery after?”

“How could I forget?” Teddy blushed. “That was the first time you said you’d never stop loving me.”

“Uhhh.” I groaned. “You’re ruining Ryder for me, you know that right?”

“I’m ruining him for you?” Teddy laughed as we all climbed into his car. “You realize I had him first right?”

“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes and threw my headphones in. Every now and then one of them would look back and see how I was doing, but for the most part they just let me be. Okay, maybe I am nervous. Maybe I am taking it out on them. But they’re being super annoying lately. They’ve been flirting nonstop for what feels like an eternity! I know it’s cute for the first twenty minutes, but oh my god! Spend a day with it and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

*************************************************************************************

I quickly jumped out of the car before either of them could start offering me advice. I don’t need them getting in my head. I don’t need them making me overthink this any more than I already have!

It took everything in me to start knocking on the front door of the huge house. I nervously stood there as I heard some shuffling before Mark quickly popped out of the front door. “Ready to go?” I forced a smile.

“Yeah.” He quickly nodded his head. “My parents were just being annoying is all.”

“Annoying how?” I asked as we slowly started walking towards the car.

“Just normal parent things.” He shrugged. “Who are you going out with? Who’s picking you up? How are you getting home? When are you getting home? All that fun stuff.”

“At least they’re worried.” I tried to comfort. “At this point my parents just let Teddy and Ryder handle me.”

“Lucky.” He sighed as I opened the car door for him.

“It’s not as fun as you’d think.” I groaned, climbing in and slamming the door behind us.

“What’s not as fun?” Teddy asked, as he slowly began to back out.

“Having to put up with Ryder.” I quickly teased, giving his seat a shove.

“You’re not all sunshine either.” Ryder shook his head. “You can never just relax. It’s always go, go, go.”

Mark let out a stifled laugh and nodded his head. “That is you.”

“So.” I shrugged as a blush entered my face.

“I like it.” Mark offered. “It keeps things fun.”

“You don’t get sick of it?” Teddy tempted, seeing what he could learn.

“No.” Mark shook his head, looking over to me then away. “I could spend days and days with Oli and not get sick of it.”

“Like we do over the summers.” I nodded, thinking of the weeks where we would basically live at one another’s houses.

“Mhm.” He happily nodded. “I just, it’d be really boring not having him around.”

Teddy glanced over to Ryder with a wide smile before trying to hide it once again. “So then you must want to kill him when he gets suspended.” Ryder baited.

“Kind of.” Mark swayed his head. “It sucks, but I get why he does it.”

“I think you’re the only one.” Ryder laughed. I could feel my face burning up as I heard those words. I think he is the only one. Everyone else lectures and yells at me, but Mark, he gets it. He gets why I always fight with Tommy Anderson, or why I call out in class.

Mark looked over to me but quickly back down, feeling the exact same thing I was. As Ryder watched from the front seat he slowly raised the music so there would be no awkward silence or tension. Every now and again he would lightly sing along to a song on the radio, or start drumming his fingers against the dashboard. I could tell Mark was amazed by everything he did. He may not like that style of music but Ryder Sullivan is still, well, Ryder Sullivan. Everyone knows his face and name. They all know how successful and acclaimed he is. I just hope he doesn’t have a crush on him! I’d never be able to compete with that!

As we finally pulled up and got out of the car I noticed Ryder and Teddy hanging back slightly to give us some space. “He’s pretty cool.” Mark suddenly let out, trying to fill the silence.

“Yeah.” I quickly nodded.

“Come on Oli.” He smiled. “You love Messiah, a month ago you would cry if I said you would be close with Ryder Sullivan.”

“I know.” I quickly nodded. “But now he’s like a brother to me, and I, we’re in a band and I just can’t let him down.”

“You won’t.” Mark comforted, smile growing. “Everything you’ve ever written has left me speechless, and I don’t even like rock music! Now you’re working with one of the best singers of all time! You’re gonna crush it!”

“Think so?” I forced out through nerves.

“Of course.” He quickly nodded his head. Another awkward silence filled the air as we both searched for things to say. “Are you nervous too?” He suddenly asked.

“I, yeah.” I confessed. “I’m really nervous.”

“Why?” He asked, finally looking over to me. “We’ve hung out a million times before.”

“I just don’t want to ruin anything.” I shrugged, looking down. “You’re the only friend I have left.”

“I feel that way too.” He softly nodded his head. “But what could happen that stops us from being friends? We already know all the good and bad stuff about each other? And we usually spend all day together anyway. Now we’re just dating. It’s like we’re extra best friends.”

I softly nodded my head and glanced back to Teddy and Ryder. I wonder if they were scared on their first date. I wonder what went through Teddy’s head. I-it’s easy to forget there was a time when Teddy didn’t know Ryder. When Teddy took a gamble on him. I wonder if Mark is taking a gamble on me. I wonder if he’s scared of what people will say when they find out? They already make fun of me, will they make fun of him too?

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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Loving this....Oliver and mark definitely Remind me of Ryder and Teddy with the emotion written on their faces but a fear of making it known. They're so cute. Cheers 😁

Edited by mally
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More than two dozen chapters in, we are still finding out about the little things Ryder was saying to Teddy in his music when they weren’t speaking to each other!  ;-)

 

Could dating Mark center and calm Oli down? Maybe dating Mark will allow Oli to do better in school. Maybe it will help him relieve the stress and tension Oli feels!  ;-)

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Another great chapter.  I love the banter between the boys (young and old) as it shows how they feel and what they think of each other. I love Oli's observation that Teddy and Ryder are always touching (who could watch them together and not see the love?).  My fear is that the group is going to be discovered at the pizza parlor and that a picture or two (or three or four) may be leaked to the press or that the paparazzi will mob them outright. Ryder and company may soon be in the spotlight whether they want to be or not.

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So cute! I know everyone is different, but hope Mark is a stabilizing influence as Teddy and Ryder are to each other.

With all the banter between them, I think Oliver actually likes some of Teddy's preppy stuff :gikkle:

Edited by Sweetlion
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I appreciate the larger drama of the overall story but the small intimacies between the characters and their deepening relationships are truly amazing.

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Such a cute chapter. I remember those songs that Ryder wrote and made out to Teddy. They were filled with love and devotion.

 

Oliver just doesn't understand yet how two people can fall helplessly in love. He will though, I can see it with Mark.

 

That one song by Pink Floyd. Man that song gets me everytime. I used to listen to it all time. 

 

Keep'em coming hugs ❤

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Great chapter. You can see that Mark is a calming influence on Oliver. Music and love will center Oliver.

There are a lot of similarities between these two couples. Just in reverse. Mark is like Teddy. While Oliver is like Ryder.

Now that we have a path for Oliver... Get all those useless people fired at the school!

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With the parents abdicating , seems Oliver gets s chance to be mature , ask the right questions and find himself .  Mark is good for him! Teddy and Ryder are too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Pink Floyd and Oliver should have that drummed into him . Over and over! 

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