It was painfully tense as everyone stood in our apartment, Geoff still pinning me down with a gun pressed to my head. Ryan stood there, glaring at him.
“So what? You were dressed up as James Haywood?” Geoff scoffed, “Doesn’t change the fact that you and Gavin were sneaking around behind our backs.”
“You’re incredibly dense, Geoff,” Ryan rolled his eyes, Michael roared in rage when he said that, launching himself at Ryan. Despite just starting to recover from being shot, Ryan was still able to catch Michael mid swing and knock him to the floor, gun now aimed at the curly haired lad. I looked at Michael and he just glared at Ryan, glaring at me when he looked in my direction.
“Everyone needs to calm the fuck down!” Jack shouted, coming towards us. He pulled Geoff up and off of me; I stood up and stumbled over to the kitchen table, sitting in a chair and taking a deep breath. Ryan backed up from Michael, lowering his gun as my friend also stood up, he came over and sat next to me, taking heavy breaths from taking Michael down, grabbing his shoulder. Geoff fumed for a moment or so while Jack held him up until he also calmed down.
“Now,” Jack said, “They do have some explaining to do, but killing them isn’t gonna help in the fucking slightest.”
“Fine,” Geoff grumbled, straightening his clothes, putting away his gun before looking back to us, “What did you mean by I was dense, Ryan?”
“I wasn’t fucking dressed up as James Haywood, Geoff,” he sighed, “I AM James Haywood. Ryan Vagabond is my cover name.”
“Why on earth would James fucking Haywood be a fucking hitman in the Fake AH Crew?” Geoff glared, Ryan shrugged.
“I wanted something to do,” he smirked, Geoff narrowing his eyes, “I just was sick of being a fucking rich kid, okay? I wanted to earn my place somewhere. So I made up a new name and decided to make a new life for myself. I have to do things for my family, but I’ve spent most of my time here with you guys. I didn’t want who I was give you any impression on if you wanted me in the crew just for the money or didn’t because of who I was.”
“When did Gavin find out about this?” Lindsay asked.
“After we started dating, he heard some girls calling me by my real name so I told him, so he kept it a secret.”
“Wait,” Geoff said with wide eyes, looking to me, “so when Burnie had you..”
“Yep, I knew who he was,” I said, “I just never admitted it. Burnie’s hunch was right, he does have a secret identity.”
“You told me you would explain yourself to me during all that,” he said, turning back to Ryan, “Why did you lie to me!?”
“Oh, I had every intention of telling you. But when Gavin went into a coma, I didn’t want to tell you. I wanted to have something stay the same in my life when I thought I was never going to see him again!”
“Does anyone else know?” Geoff finally asked, I glanced to Ray, he just looked indifferent.
“No one else knew,” Ryan said, meeting Geoff’s stare.
“That’s not true…” Ray spoke up finally, everyone turning to him as he walked to our side, “I knew. Ryan told while Gavin was kidnapped. Telling you would just cause problems during the time, Geoff. So I just never told you, since Ryan got him back, I trusted him.”
“All three of you lied to me about this! I should kill all of you!” Geoff growled, fists clenched.
“Geoff,” Ryan spoke, “it was my choice to tell them about me. I purposely took Gavin to a place where he’d find out. I didn’t know how else to tell him. And I told Ray because you all were losing faith in me when Washington and I couldn’t find Gavin, I needed his help so I had to tell him. If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at me. But don’t drag them into this.”
“They’ve known for almost ten years, Ryan. They were dragged into it a long time ago.”
Ryan glared at Geoff, sighing and got up, clutching his shoulder. I also got up, helping him steady himself.
“You’re right, Geoff, they were dragged in. But what are you going to do about this? About us?”
Geoff was still tense, I looked at him pleadingly, when he looked at me he relaxed a bit.
“In all honesty….I don’t know what to do. I’m absolutely pissed at all three of you for lying to me! Though…you’ve all done so much despite this. But how do I know that you haven’t lied to us all about anything else?”
“To be perfectly honest, any other lies we have told you are remaining as such since they aren’t any of your concern,” Ryan hissed, not backing down. Geoff returned his glare, they others getting tense about this whole situation, Kdin stepping up.
“Guys, look,” he started, “We’re all super worn out and Ryan’s exhausted. Maybe we should talk about this after we’ve all gotten some rest. Maybe in a few days while Ryan’s shoulder heals up a but?”
“I agree with Kdin,” Jack said.
Michael stood with Lindsay, not saying a word. Lindsay seemed to want to help Ryan with his injury though by the way she was looking at him, she glanced to me.
“I patched Ryan up when we got back home, he’s fine in that sense,” I told her as she nodded.
Geoff eventually sighed in defeat, “Alright, fine. We’ll meet up next week like we usually do. But Ryan? You, Gavin, and Ray better not be late. I swear if you are even a minute late, I might just blow your brains out.”
“Geoff…we’ll be there,” I said, Ryan grumbling about something, “Ry, go back to the bedroom and get some rest…I’ll be there shortly…”
He nodded and after a fairly bitter farewell to the others, he walked back to our room. I faced the others, Ray still standing near me while everyone was just sort of standing around me.
“Geoff, I want you to know that I am sorry…none of this was supposed to happen,” I frowned. Geoff smiled softly, ruffling my hair.
“I know, Buddy. I know. We should get going, take care Gavin…Oh, and tell Ryan that I’m sorry about shooting him. And if things don’t go well at the meet up, I’ll take that apology back,” he said as he turned and waved as he walked out, the others soon following.
Ray was the last to leave, he turned and smiled at me before shutting the door.
I hope everything goes well…I’m not sure what else we have to talk about but we’ll find out soon enough. I locked up the doors again and was finishing up my cleaning. I was about to walk to the bedroom, I noticed the mail I had forgotten about earlier today since we had our heist. I decided just took quickly look through them. Most of it was all junk mail since Ryan paid all the bills. I was about to just toss all of it but then I saw a plain looking envelope addressed to me and was shocked and surprised to find that it was from the Los Santos Prison. I gulped and opened the letter, knowing that it was from Burnie. So I just took a few breaths and started reading the letter.
If you’re reading this, you must have completed your task in rescuing “Mr. James Haywood.” Anyway, to keep this brief, I wish to make a deal with you. If you come to the prison with Vagabond in the next few days, and you listen to my terms and agree to them, I will confess to Dan’s murder. Can’t wait to see you again.
I clutched the paper, reading the words over and over. Was he really serious about this? Confessing to Dan’s murder all those years ago? I had talked to Ryan about testifying against Burnie when he would be sent to England for his trial once he was done serving his sentence here. I did have my doubts though, he did say I have to agree to his conditions, but I have no idea what they could even be. I folded up the paper and stuck it in my wallet. I threw the envelop and junk mail into the trash and went to the bedroom, seeing Ryan sleeping on my side of the bed. Probably so he wouldn’t bump into me with his shoulder while he was sleeping.
I quietly changed into something more comfortable to sleep in and made my way to the bed, slowly laying down and turning to look out the window, my back to Ryan. I watched the city as it was all lit up beautifully, closing my eyes to fall asleep but was suddenly rolled onto my back. I looked to see Ryan was actually still awake, an eyebrow raised.
“You wanna talk about something?” he asked.
“I-I…uh…?” I mumbled, Ryan smirking.
“You aren’t curled up against me, your back is to me, and you didn’t kiss me goodnight. So that means that something’s on your mind. Do you wanna talk about it now? Since we’re both still awake?”
I sat up and sighed, looking at Ryan, smirking sheepishly.
“Is it about Geoff and the others?” Ryan asked, I shook my head, frowning. Groaning a bit, he managed to sit up with me on the bed.
“Okay then…what is it about?”
“It’s about….Burnie..” I said, glancing down at my hands, my fingers lacing together in nervousness.
“Burns? What about him? You haven’t spoken to me about him in…over a year now? Why suddenly are you thinking about him?”
He didn’t sound angry or annoyed, just curious. I looked up at him and shrugged a bit, but Ryan knew me much better than that. He just stared at me until I gave in.
“Well….I recently went to visit him at the prison,” I said, “he um….he helped me.”
Ryan’s curiosity slowly went to confusion and a bit of anger.
“Helped you? Why would you need his help? Why on Earth would he actually help you for?”
“He helped me to figure out how to save you,” I sighed, “He told me what I needed to do to make sure I got to you to tell you about the heist. It was his idea to sneak into the event so I could talk to you.”
“Wait. So you’re telling me that not only have you been talking to Burns again, but you actually took his advice to crash the charity event and trusted that his plan would work!? What the fuck Gavin!! Why!? You know what he did to you!!” he shouted at me.
“Of course I know what he did, damn it!” I shouted back, “You think going to him was my first choice!? I needed help. I called everyone I could. They either wouldn’t help me because I wouldn’t tell them the full reasons or because they didn’t want to go up against betraying the Fake AH Crew. Burnie was my absolute last chance at getting help. I wouldn’t have gone to him if there was any other possibility that someone else would help. There were no other options! Your life was in danger and I couldn’t let anything happen to you!”
“So what happened then?” He asked, still angry about this.
“I went to the prison, told him my situation, asked for his help and he agreed. Simple as that.”
“That can’t be all to it, Gavin…” he frowned.
“W-well it is…” I tried.
“Gavin please, just talk to me. I know I’m mad but I’m just so confused about why you would go to him.”
“I told him…I told him about who you are and he genuinely seemed surprised about it. I told him about you hiding it from the others and about the charity and how I needed his help. He agreed to help me and we…chatted for a little bit,” I admitted to him, it was so hard to lie to Ryan so I just stopped trying to.
He was pretty angry when I said I told Burnie about his true identity but before he said anything, my last comment caught him off guard.
“’Chatted’? What did you guys chat about?”
“At first it was why he should help…I made a bit of a joke of it. And he…actually laughed. Not one of those ‘I’m better than everyone’ laughs, but an actual laugh. I also asked about how he was doing, just mainly to clear the tension in the room I was feeling at the time and he opened up to be about it. He told me that it was very enlightening and that even though he doesn’t regret a lot of what he did, he saw how corrupted he was by power. He, umm, also said that he saw guys beating up others like how he would be with me and he could only see himself and me in them. He told me he regrets what he did…”
“You don’t really believe that, do you?” Ryan asked, “After all those years, a few years in jail and suddenly he’s a saint because he regrets what he did!?”
“I honestly don’t know. I didn’t really question it at the time because I just needed his help. He seemed genuine about it to me.”
“Look, either way it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that he told me that we both have to go see him. He said in the next few days after I made sure you were safe. We can go after we talk to the others. And he told me…that he’ll confess to Dan’s murder. But only if I agree to his terms, which he’ll tell me about when we go.”
“Burns will confess?” he asked, his curiosity returning, “Why would he do that? He seems too prideful to admit guilt to a murder.”
He sat in thought for a moment, thinking over what I told him. I glanced up at him, frowning.
“You…you’re not mad, are you?”
He grimaced a bit, “I wouldn’t say ‘mad.’ More shocked and maybe a little annoyed that you would go to him for anything.”
“I’m sorry…” I whispered, he wrapped his good arm around me and held me close, kissing the top of my head.
“Don’t apologize…you would go speak to the man who nearly ended your life just so you could save me. I can’t say I agree with it, but I see how far you would be willing to go just to make sure I survive. I love you Gavin, you never have to doubt that.”
I curled into his side once we laid back down in bed, my arms wrapped around his middle as we both fell asleep. Oh how I missed holding onto him while I slept. These past three months were the worst without him here.