Title: Take My Hand
Fandom: High School Musical
Warnings: pre-story: non-con/rape, endless angsting
Spoilers/Rating: HSM 2/ PG-13
Diclaimer: Nope, I don't own HSM or Disney. Rub it in.
Characters: Ryan Evans, Chad Danforth, Sharpay Evans
A/N: Sharpay's different, Chad's honest. Ryan's quiet. And okay, okay, I'm sorry. There's kind of a cliffhanger at the ending. I TRY.
ETA: This story can be read by itself, or as part of the Horrible!verse. This is part 6.
Take My Hand
Ryan was lying in the hospital bed, looking at the ceiling. There was a knock on the door.
"Hi, can I come in?" Chad peeked in. Ryan nodded, and Chad sat down beside the bed, in a small, uncomfortable wooden chair.
"I, uh, I brought flowers." He gave them to Ryan, who eyed them with minimal interest before turning back to the ceiling. Chad held them for a moment longer, then put them on the night table. They sat in silence for a while.
"I am so sorry," Chad whispered. Ryan didn't move, just kept staring on the ceiling like it was a magnificent painting of some kind. Chad put a hand on top of Ryan's, and the boy flinched as if he'd been burned.
"Sorry, sorry!" Chad said and removed his hand quickly. Ryan stared at him, eyes wide open in fear.
"I'm not gonna touch you again, Ryan. I'm sorry. I won't do it without your permission. Okay? Sorry."
Ryan breathed hard through his nose, his mouth still shut. He eventually laid down again, this time keeping his gaze focused on Chad. Like a scared animal that wanted to keep an eye on its enemy.
Chad wanted to cry. "Please, Ryan, it's me. Chad. Remember?" He smiled a nervous smile, one that Ryan didn't return. "Come on, man. Say something. Anything. Please."
Ryan's gaze turned cold. Then he turned around to stare at the ceiling again.
"He hasn't talked to anyone," a voice said behind Chad, and he turned to find Sharpay leaning in the doorway. This wasn't the Fabulous Sharpay he knew, this was the Scared Twin Sister Sharpay. She came over to him and gave him a hug. Which proved, as much as anything else, that there was something very wrong. Because Sharpay just didn't do hugs, Especially when those included Chad Danforth.
"How are you holding up," Chad murmured softly as she joined him an another chair.
"Not so good," she confessed, smiling sadly. Then she turned to Ryan. "Ryan? I'm gonna grab your hand now, okay? I'll do it slowly. It's just me. Shake your head if you don't want me to, okay?"
Ryan didn't let them know if he'd heard them or not, but it was enough for Sharpay. She slowly grabbed his hand, caressing his calluses softly.
"It works better when we let him know first," she explained.
Chad nodded. "Why hasn't he said anything?"
"The doctors says it's the shock," Sharpay sighed. "There's no... physical reason for him to be mute. They figure he'll start talking again when he feels like it. I hope it's soon. I miss my baby brother bitching at me," she smiled, gently placing a chaste kiss on Ryan's hand. Ryan flinched, and she mirrored the movement with a hint of hurt in her eyes.
"It's okay, Sharpay," Chad told her. "He doesn't mean anything by it."
"I know that," she snapped at him, before shooting him an apologizing look. "It's just- we used to hug and do stupid stuff all the time, and now I can barely hold his hand without him freaking out on me."
Chad placed a hand on her shoulder, and she smiled. A single tear ran down her cheek. "And shut up, Danforth. I am not crying."
"I wasn't saying anything," he murmured softly.
"Ryan? I'm gonna grab your hand now. Okay?" Chad gently took a hold on Ryan's pale hand.
Ryan kept staring at the ceiling. Just like he had done for the past week.
"Three days left," Chad murmured. "Four days, and you're outta here. That's nice, right?" Chad felt like he was talking to a baby, and felt a little ashamed on Ryan's behalf.
"What are you thinking about?" Chad asked, in a feeble hope that Ryan might actually open his mouth and tell him, goddammit. He didn't. Chad sighed and caressed Ryan's hand. "You know," Chad said, almost to himself. "You were right. When you kissed me that day. There was something there, I know it, and I knew it then, too. I was just too much of a coward to admit it."
Ryan turned his head towards him, looking surprised. Not afraid, though, which was a rare treat these days.
"Yeah, I really mean it," Chad smiled sadly. "Just- Just wished I'd have plucked up the courage sooner, you know? Got over the whole teenage-angst thing."
Ryan smiled back, and Chad's heart jumped. It was the first time he'd seen Ryan smile since- just since.
"You're smiling," Chad murmured, and stretched a hand slowly towards Ryan's face. Carefully, eying Ryan's reaction. Is this okay?
Ryan held his gaze on Chad's hand, but didn't pull away or stop smiling. Yeah, it's okay.
Chad let his thumb trail slowly over Ryan's cheek, chin, nose, mouth. Ryan closed his eyes.
"You have a really pretty mouth, you know that?" Chad mumbled, lost in the moment.
And that's where everything went wrong.
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