Title: Pieces of the Puzzle (Notebooks and Smoothies)
Fandom: High School Musical
Warnings: angst, light slash, cliffhanger:P
Diclaimer: Nope, I don't own HSM or Disney. Rub it in.
Characters: Ryan Evans, Chad Danforth, Sharpay Evans, OFC
A/N: Where things are positive, and Chad gets an epiphany from chicken soup.
Piece of the Puzzle
(Notebooks and Smoothies)
Chad came over to the Evans twins. He'd been the only one talking to the police this time, as neither Sharpay nor Ryan wanted to know the details on what was discussed. They'd get the important stuff from Chad later, anyway.
"How did it go?" Sharpay asked, peering at him from behind pink sunglasses.
"Positive," Chad said, and sat down heavily on Ryan's sun chair. This was all taking its toll on him. He was tired of knowing everything about everything; it made more people depend on him than he felt comfortable about. Chad wasn't used to this, and to be frank, he didn't want to know any more than Sharpay and Ryan. He didn't say any of this out loud, of course. Someone had to do it; might as well be him.
"Positive?" Sharpay inquired.
"Yeah. They tested the whole team; even the backups. Five matches." He leaned against Ryan. Is it over? Ryan wrote.
"Not yet," Chad sighed, "the case is coming up in court in two weeks. You may have to testify."
"Ryan, we talked about this."
I told the police, they already have my testimony. Ryan was writing in his third notebook now, he'd already written the others full. A written one, even.
"Haha, very funny," Chad muttered. "It's gonna make your case a lot better. I mean, they already have the DNA, so it's pretty much a done deal. If you testify, though, you may give them a few years extra. Now, I'd take that deal."
Ryan pursed his lips, but didn't write anything else.
"But how can he?" Sharpay asked out of the blue.
"How can who what?" Chad asked, confused.
"Excellently put, Danforth," Sharpay snorted. "But how can Ryan testify? He doesn't talk!" And she glared at her brother in annoyance. They all knew Ryan's muteness was psychological, and something he himself chose to some extent. Ryan hadn't uttered a single word since that day in the alley, and neither Chad nor Sharpay could understand exactly why.
"Ryan!" Sharpay gasped, and Ryan smirked.
"You know I'll keep pushing you until you open your mouth," Chad murmured.
I know. Ryan leaned forward and gave Chad a chaste kiss.
"Ew," Sharpay said from behind a magazine. Ryan underlined the two words he'd wrote earlier and showed her the notebook again. Bite. Me.
"Rather that than Danforth," she muttered. Ryan snorted a laugh.
Ryan's nicknames hadn't gotten out to the masses, so luckily no one was calling him 'Faggie' or worse. That was the good part. The less good part was that he was now only known as 'that poor Evans kid'. Even the teacher called him that. Especially the teachers, in fact.
"The theatre is suffering without you!" Miss Darbus cried when she saw him in the hallway. Ryan startled, but managed to hide it behind a nervous smile. Sharpay was right beside him, and she noticed Darbus hadn't mentioned the theatre suffering without her.
"Miss Darbus, if you will excuse us," she'd said, ice dripping from her words.
"But Sharpay! Ryan!" Darbus leaned forward to touch Ryan's shoulder, and he jumped back, hyperventilating.
"You will back off from my brother!" Sharpay snarled, and dragged Ryan away from a perplex Darbus, into the nearest bathroom. "Breathe, Ryan. You're hyperventilating. It doesn't go with your complexion, you know you get all blotchy."
Ryan smiled shakily at the attempt of humour, and tried to take deep breaths like he did when doing yoga. Thanks. Never knew you'd snap at Darbus for me.
"Anyone for you, darling," she said and touched her lips briefly with her thumb. That meant she was gonna kiss him on the forehead. She did so, and Ryan didn't flinch. His breath had gotten under control, and a few minutes later, they could stroll out of the bathroom like nothing had ever happened.
They couldn't fool Chad when they met up with him later, though.
"What happened here?" he said, eying them.
"Seriously, how do you know this?" Sharpay huffed.
"His bottom lip is trembling slightly" Chad said.
Sharpay sighed. "And the Stalker Award goes to."
Sharpay shrugged. "Miss Darbus made with the grabby hands. Ryan freaked. I saved the day. As usual."
Ryan nodded, one eyebrow raised to say well, yeah. Kind of. You know Sharpay.
"You okay?" Chad asked. Ryan nodded.
"Of course he's okay, Danforth, he's with me," Sharpay snapped. "When did you become all motherly and overprotective anyway? That's my job. You do the yucky kissing parts."
Chad rolled his eyes.
Ryan smirked and wrote. Would you two just make out and be done with it?
"Ew! Ew, ew, ew!" Sharpay flailed, stepping away from them. "You might be slumming, Ry, but that doesn't make it less gross for me!" And then she strode out of the empty classroom.
Chad laughed. "Good one. That was priceless. And also a little gross."
Do I get a reward?
"Yeah, I'd imagine so," Chad murmured softly, and leaned forward to cover Ryan's mouth with his own.
They were having dinner in the main wing's dining room; Chad had practically moved in with the Evans family now. He used to come in early every morning and leave late at night, until Mrs. Evans had put her foot down a week ago.
"Chad, I have made up the guest bed for you on the second floor of the west wing." That was the same floor, and wing, as the twins. "I trust you won't betray my hospitality." Her voice was strict, but her eyes were kind.
Chad had smiled and accepted. His parents had been fine with it, too, as long as Chad would have a different room than Sharpay. Apparently, his parents had gotten the Evans twin wrong in their 'Chad is obviously infatuated with that Evans'- conversation. Which was totally fine by him. He didn't have any troubles with keeping them in the dark about his crush. Too much awkwardness.
Ryan's parents were out of town this week, so it was only Chad and the twins eating. Sharpay were having some kind of sushi, Chad was having spaghetti carbonara. Hell no if he was gonna eat raw fish. Ryan had chicken soup. Ryan ate a lot of soup these days. With a straw. Which was kinda weird, Chad thought, because then he didn't-
And it was as if his brain had been waiting for him to push some button. Everything just went click.
Ryan hadn't talked. He ate slushies, proteinshakes, smoothies, and soup. He snickered, but never laughed out loud. When he and Chad kissed, it was always chaste. And last, Ryan used the notebook all the time. The pieces come together, and Chad dropped his fork. Sharpay and Ryan looked at him, startled by the sharp sound.
"It's not about the talking," Chad whispered, his mouth open. Ryan frowned at him and reached for his notebook. What are you talking about?
"It was never about the talking, because you talk all the time through the book," Chad continued, ignoring Ryan's question. He talked fast, his words stumbling out of his mouth. "You only eat stuff you can drink through a straw. You don't laugh. You kiss with your mouth shut." He had been staring at his hands, now he looked up to meet Ryan's eyes. Ryan looked terrified.
"You want to talk," Chad said, and knew he was right about this even before he saw Ryan's reaction. "You just don't want to open your mouth."
Feedback's better than chocolate ice cream! :D
(I just haaaad to try a little cliffhanger. Just had to.)