Broken

A Raven Cycle AU. The rating is for the occasional swear and abuse. This is an alternate universe in which Ronan and Adam get together in the first Raven Cycle book.

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6. Tension

Adam

Why wouldn't he pick up? I wondered as I worked in the trailer factory. I could chalk it up to Ronan's aversion to phones, but a part of me knew it must be because of what happened this morning.

He only wanted to help you! I growled mentally. I remembered his light, almost gentle touch and his closeness. Was that all he wanted? To help? Of course it was! Ronan wasn't gay, and neither was I...

I glared at my gloved hands. Of course I wasn't! I was just...not used to Ronan being so close to me. That was all.

But his touch did feel nice...and it was very obvious how savagely handsome he was...and the rare times he did genuinely smile with no maliciousness behind it...

But after pushing him away like that, I doubted I'd ever see one of those smiles again.

"You're slowing down, Parrish! It's almost time for you to clock out, so don't fall behind now!" the floor manager called. I nodded and shook all thoughts that weren't work related from my mind. I couldn't afford to have my pay docked because my mind was stuck on Ronan.

Work passed by quickly after that, and I decided to go home and grab a quick shower before I- what? Called Ronan again? He wouldn't answer. That was apparent. And I couldn't just go over there. Gansey was smart, and he would see the tension between us.

But of course, Fate likes to bitch slap me from time to time.

The Pig was parked outside my trailer. Gansey was sitting in the driver's seat, his feet out the door. He was in his Old Gansey skin as he flipped through his journal. Ronan was sitting in the passenger seat, appearing to be asleep. I knew better. A neighbor's dog barked as I came closer, riding on my rusty bike, getting Gansey's attention. He looked at me and gave me a sheepish smile. Instant fear ran down my spine.

"So...how was work?" he asked carefully. I wasn't sure if there was another question under that one, and I was too tired to really read into anything other than the apprehensive look Gansey was giving me.

"Fine. What's wrong?"

Gansey quickly looked behind me, as if he were looking for something. He must have been watching for my father.

"Um...Can you stay at Monmouth?"

I opened my mouth to argue, but Gansey quickly cut me off.

"Just for the weekend! Just until things cool off."

"What? What things?"

"Get in the car, Parrish," Ronan suddenly spoke, his voice void of emotion. He got out of the Pig and flipped the seat so I could get in. Such a gentleman.

"I can't just go. I'll get in trouble, and I really don't need that right now." I was still sore from last time, though now I had acquired a brace for my wrist. Mom kept stuff like that in her closet.

"You're already in trouble, Parrish. Now, you have a choice. You can watch the shit hit the fan and you might survive it, or you can come to Monmouth and wait out the aftermath," Ronan grinned falsely. I looked to Gansey, who had a guilty look on his face.

What did you do? I wondered. I looked at my "home." My father would be home any minute. He would never consent to let me spend the night anywhere- especially with Aglionby boys- and whatever they had done had obviously involved him. My mother suddenly appeared at the door, her face a strict mask of nothingness.

"Adam. Don't you think it's time to come in?"

"Mom, can...can I spend the weekend with my friends?" I asked shakily. Her eyes narrowed slightly.

"I don't think Robert would like that. Maybe you should wait until he gets home and ask."

Another wave of fear mixed with nausea rushed through me, but I bit it back.

Ronan had begun to tell my mother exactly what my father could go and do when Gansey quickly spoke over him.

"I could pay you for your son's time! We really need his help with somethings, and it'll take a long while."

I suddenly knew how Blue felt about the prostitute thing, but if it worked, I would hold my peace. My mother seemed to consider it. After what felt like an eternity, she spoke.

"Two hundred dollars," she stated. I blinked at her, not sure if I should be relieved or offended. All I was worth was two hundred dollars? Gansey simply opened his wallet, walked up, and gave it to her. She counted it in front of him, and then moved so I could go pack. I didn't look at Gansey or Ronan as I did so.

*

Ronan

"S. R. F.," I smirked at Gansey as Adam packed. Gansey rolled his eyes.

"What else was I suppose to do?" Gansey sighed heavily. It was my turn to roll my eyes.

"Kidnap him."

Gansey shook his head, a half-smile on his face.

"Do we really need more trouble with the police?"

Silence.

I spotted a truck at the end of the road where we normally picked up Adam. Someone got out and began walking down the long road toward the trailer. It was his father.

"I'm going to go help Adam pack," I said before the thought had even solidified in my mind. Gansey noticed Robert Parrish, who must have noticed the Pig, because his pace sped up. Gansey nodded and I headed into the trailer.

Adam's mom glared daggers at me but stayed silent as I entered Adam's room for the second time that day.

If Adam could have jumped any further, it would have been comical. It was obvious he wasn't expecting me. I wanted to laugh but knew it might make him angry.

"You need to speed this up. Your father is coming down the driveway."

Adam visibly paled, and I just wanted to hug him and keep him safe from the world, but I knew he wouldn't let me. I knew I shouldn't want to.

"Maybe...Maybe I should stay here...He'll be angry if he sees me leave..."

I glared.

"Adam, he's angry now. If you stay here, he'll just beat the shit out of you again."

Adam looked at the ground, as if contemplating his options. As if there was something to fucking contemplate! I grabbed his good arm and the bag he had packed and began pulling him out of the room. He stopped me.

"Adam-"

"I know, I just..."

He reached under his bed and grabbed a cereal box and an action figure that looked like it had seen some mileage. He shoved them into his bag and we left the trailer.

Robert Parrish was close enough that we could see the anger clearly on his face, but we still had enough time to shove Adam in the back with his bag, and for me to slide into the seat. I slammed the door, and the Pig conceded and stayed closed. Robert ran up to the Pig and immediately began yelling.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" he yelled, and I saw Adam shrink back in the seat, clutching the little robotic figure like it was a protector.

"Drive," I stated, letting my anger build in my fists. If Gansey didn't drive off soon, I would get out of this car and beat that worthless piece of shit into nothing- and, like Gansey had said, we didn't need anymore trouble with the cops. Gansey must have been sensing my thoughts, because he put the Pig in reverse and we were gone.

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