|The King and The Clown
Author: lemon31 PM
The Drama King and the Class Clown find themselves thrust together during rehearsals for 'Twinkle Towne' and an unlikely friendship develops. Chyan. Slash.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Chad D. & Ryan E. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,778 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-27-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4747439
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This was written for velja in the Secret Santa challenge over at Livejournal. It had to include: inexperienced Ryan, Chad not knowing he was gay, seasonal theme. Prompts included: the boys exchange gifts and the line: "Okay, now that you've done that, you can't get any gay-er!"
I've split it into three parts because it's so long, but they aren't meant to be separate chapters.
Hope you enjoy it!
It was no secret that in Chad's opinion Twinkle Towne was a complete and utter waste of time.
He would have ignored it, as he had every other previous school production, but Troy's insane
idea to sign up had forced it into his consciousness; so much so that at the last team practice he had missed an easy shot at the hoop because the disturbing image of his best mate prancing around in a tutu was stuck in his head.
Coach, needless to say, was not too pleased.
Chad wasn't averse to a bit of singing and dancing (if Wildcat chants and cheer leading routines counted),
but theatre was in general a bit too........gay for his liking.
It was also no secret that in Chad's opinion the Evans twins were the natural enemies of all jocks and therefore it was fitting that he showed an open hatred of the pair of them.
So, when he found himself seated in the almost deserted theatre next to a certain Ryan Evans it was unsurprising that an insult sprung instantly from his lips by way of a greeting.
"What the hell is that awful stink – your Mom's perfume?"
"It's not perfume; it's cologne. You should try some, Danforth, maybe it'll cure you of the perpetual jock-reek, which, by the way, is not 'manly', it's disgusting."
"Quiet in the stalls! How do you expect a masterpiece to be created if you gossip throughout rehearsals," Ms. Darbus shouted from the stage where she was directing Troy and Sharpay.
Ryan and Chad glared in opposite directions, arms folded and legs crossed.
"What would you know about being 'manly', Evans? Put a wig on and you'd look just like your sister."
"Well, in case you hadn't noticed, we're twins – so obviously we look similar........"
"Detention! I expect to see the both of you painting the set for an hour after school. As a fellow thespian I am disappointed in you, Mr Evans. You should know better than to disturb actors at work and respect the delicate process which they must go through to fully immerse themselves in their roles."
"I would respect 'the process' a whole lot more if I was up on stage," Ryan muttered under his breath.
Chad allowed himself a small grin; perhaps Sharpay's poodle actually had a backbone and resented being used, then discarded for a basketball player who had no acting skills in the slightest.
"Dude! I can't believe you got detention, we have practice tonight!"
"You think I don't know that? I've only got it because of you and your stupid rehearsals."
"That's harsh, man. Can't you accept the fact that I may be enjoying theatre, something which you will never understand? Basketball is everything to you but you've got to think outside the box sometimes, try something new."
"Excuse me? Who helped you make the callbacks and the Wildcat game on the same day? Who has put up with you rambling on and on about a song which Darbus says suits your voice 'just perfectly'? And who, may I add, was sitting there, in the stalls, waiting for you to finish rehearsing so we could go play some one-on-one? I was. I know I hated this whole theatre obsession of yours at first, but I'm trying to accept it because you're my best mate, always have been. So I would appreciate it if you would cut me some slack once in a while."
The bell went, signaling the end of the day and leaving Troy no chance to reply. Chad grabbed all his possessions as quickly as possible (since when did he own so many pens?) and rushed out. He knew all too well what the penalty was for being late to a Darbus detention and much as he would have liked to have it out with Troy there and then, he really did not fancy spending every free period cleaning out the prop cupboard.
Despite his best efforts (okay, so he did stop and chat with Taylor for a minute or so) he still arrived at the theatre later than he should have been. Ryan was already sorting out various paint pots and didn't look up when Chad approached.
"Well, find a brush and help finish the moon."
Chad opened his mouth to ask where they were kept but Ryan had turned away. Shrugging, he reached for one resting in a pot of blue paint but Ryan's hand shot out and grabbed his wrist. His touch was surprisingly warm; clearly he wasn't the 'Ice King' to his sister's 'Ice Queen.'
"Take this one and paint some white near the top."
Ryan still hadn't looked Chad in the eye, which was unusual because, like the jock, he never missed an opportunity to mock his 'nemesis' in any way possible.
In silence they both occupied themselves with painting the large moon which was to feature in Twinkle Towne (its relevance was unknown to Chad), each ignoring the other until it soon became impossible not to speak because they were practically treading on the other's toes.
"Dude, shift along a bit. You're cramping me."
"I'm trying to correct that mess you made up there."
"What's wrong with it? You said 'paint some white' and that's what I've done."
"I meant artistically, not splattered on any old how. It looks more like blueish-white bird crap than a moon."
Chad, thankful that the silence had been broken and they were back on familiar ground, threw his brush down and turned to face Ryan.
"I never claimed to be artistic, I'm a basketball player, not a drama kid."
"Troy's both," Ryan answered quietly.
"Yes......well......that's Troy. He can do both things, but I can't."
"I wasn't.......criticizing you. I'm still trying to take in the idea of a jock up on stage......"
".....in your place?"
"Well......yeah, I guess he is, and Sharpay loves having him there."
"She's got no chance with him. I've seen the looks he exchanges with Gabriella – everything about them is so 'sweet' it's giving me cavities to watch."
Ryan nodded in agreement.
"I know, I have told her but she never listens to anyone, but herself. She was so ridiculously happy when Ms Darbus told her that Gabriella couldn't make that rehearsal. Incidentally, why wasn't she there? I would have thought she'd keep Troy close to prevent Shar from getting at him."
"Oh, she had some science thing with Taylor. I don't know what exactly but I'd already arranged to shoot some hoops with Troy, and then I had to hang around waiting for him to finish dancing."
"Don't knock it until you've tried it – maybe you've got a hidden talent. I doubt it, but there's always the possibility."
"Shut up, Evans, " Chad retorted, rather more affectionately than his usual dismissive tone.
Wait............affectionately?............Hadn't he always loathed Ryan? Actually, if he really thought hard about it, it was Sharpay who drove him mad, and Troy too with his new found love of musicals. Ryan was always there in the background, the 'Drama King' of East High, but in all honesty he'd never had a proper conversation with him.
"Hey, Danforth! Watch what you're doing!"
Ryan was waving a paintbrush in his face, causing Chad to snap out of his reverie sharpish.
"Dude! Don't be getting paint in the 'fro!"
"Well don't put hand prints on the props."
Chad guiltily unstuck his hand from where it was resting on the wet paint and, with a sigh, Ryan added a new coat of blue.
"I don't think I've ever seen you so deep in thought before. You're usually wide awake, making some unfathomable jock joke and hi-fiving anyone who comes within a foot of you."
"I am the class clown, don't forget, and I always have been."
"Yeah, I remember you being like that way back in junior high."
"You were in junior high with me?"
"And you never noticed me, at all?"
"Were you in my class, with Troy, Jason.....I'm pretty sure Zeke was there too?"
"Of course I was! I sat behind you everyday because, you see, in the alphabet 'E' comes after 'D'."
"Alright, alright. So I forgot, I do remember Sharpay though."
Ryan exhaled loudly and went to sit on the edge of the stage with his back to Chad.
"That's always the way, though, and it's never bothered me, but now..........I might as well not exist for Shar, she's got a new toy in the form of your basketball champion to play with."
This was not the way in which Chad had imagined detention to turn out. He'd hoped for a quick hour splashing some paint about and ignoring the other boy, not a heart to heart session.
"Er.......well, you can't not notice the Ice.........I mean, your sister," Chad replied awkwardly.
Ryan stared moodily at his patent leather shoes and drummed his heels against the stage.
Opening his mouth several times but unable to find the right way in which to express himself – he wasn't even sure what he was trying to say anyway – Chad gave up and went to sit next to Ryan, thumping his own heels against the stage in time with the other boys'.
It was calming to sit there, in silence but comfortably so, staring out into the rows of empty seats. Chad had always craved the company of others, particularly those he could joke around with, so just enjoying companionship without the need to talk was an entirely new experience. Hell, enjoying Ryan Evans' company was a mind-boggling concept in itself!
"You feel that way too, I know it."
"Displaced.........like I do. Troy's found Gabriella and Theatre, leaving you out on a limb, just like Sharpay's too wrapped up in plotting for her own gain to bother with me anymore."
"That's not true! Troy's my closest mate, we've known each other since forever. He hasn't.......abandoned me."
"Oh, really? When was the last time you two hung out, as 'mates'? Not since Gabriella arrived, I'm sure. I've seen the way you look when he ignores you in favour of sitting with his girlfriend. You're hurt, and understandably so. You don't have to put on the whole 'macho' act with me, I won't judge you for showing emotion."
Besides the fact that Chad had never heard Ryan say so much in one go, he was taken aback by the extent of the other boy's perception.
"I'm not hurt........okay, so I'm kinda upset by it all, and more than a bit annoyed, but.........how the hell do you notice all of this? It's creepy."
"You forget that while you and your jock buddies are being obnoxiously loud and Sharpay's busy trying to show off her latest purchase, I can sit unnoticed and watch everyone. It's honestly fascinating, you should try it. I've noticed so much about the other students from just their actions and expressions."
"Alright, Mr Psychoanalyst, give me some details."
"Your relationship with Taylor is not going go any further. I think she's your closest friend, even if you don't realise it, because she's always there for you and you never seem to avoid her presence. With Troy, on the other hand, you may give him a 'manly' slap on the back but you never really talk about much other than Wildcat games and such, and – "
" – okay, okay, you've made your point. You're more observant than I thought but it's freaking me out a little."
"So I was right?"
"Yes, much as it pains me to say so, you were."
Ryan couldn't help smiling smugly to himself.
"Wipe that smirk off your face. It's so typically 'Evans' to gloat if you win something."
"Watch it, Danforth," Ryan warned as he jumped to his feet. "If you're insulting the family name I'm going to have to hire someone to shoot you."
Chad accepted the hand offered to him and pulled himself up.
As they returned to their painting Ryan could have sworn he heard Chad mutter, "Damn rich kids," but didn't fail to catch the grin plastered on to the jock's face. The atmosphere was noticeably lighter for the remainder of their detention and they parted ways after the hour was upon far more amicable terms than either of them could have ever expected.
It actually happened rather slowly (the occasional nod in the corridor, the shared smiles in class, the time spent waiting for Troy and Sharpay, the private jokes between them, the long conversations …) but it hit Chad with the force of a speeding basketball when he sat himself at the Theatre Table one lunchtime to continue a discussion with Ryan, that he (the Class Clown) and the Drama King of East High had become friends. Not only that, he could safely say that he'd spent more time that semester with this particular Evans twin than he had with the entire Wildcat team.
" – so I said to Shar that blue nail varnish looked awful on her toes and she – "
" – Dude!" Chad shook Ryan's arm forcefully to gain his full attention. "Can you believe I'm sitting at your table? I didn't even notice where I was going!"
"There are a great many things you don't notice, Chad. Your odd socks, for example."
"How did you.........Never mind that! Aren't you finding this even a little bit weird.? I mean, people aren't even staring!"
"If the science clique can suddenly become 'cool' overnight purely because one of them is dating the Wildcat Golden Boy, I don't think you sitting at the Theatre Table will cause too much of a stir, everyone is far more accepting now."
Chad had always liked the status quo of East High before Gabriella arrived; everyone kept to their own groups and there was no mixing or dating between different cliques. The dramatic change on the arrival of one student had completely thrown him, he'd felt as if his own status as second-in-command-jock had been challenged and resented Troy and his girlfriend for it. But, if the breaking down of such strictly regimented groups meant he could spend time with Ryan without being judged, then it ceased to bother him. Ryan couldn't be called his 'mate' – it just didn't seem an appropriate definition for the Drama Co-president – or a 'buddy,' but he had soon become, as girly as it sounded, Chad's 'best friend.'
"Anyway," Ryan launched back into his account of the previous evening in the Evans' household, "Shar got all pissed off because she said it matched her new bikini perfectly and she was going to buy new towels in that exact shade for the summer at Lava Springs."
"Ryan, man, is this going to get interesting because you know I find shopping discussions hard to follow?"
"You mean you drift off when I start talking about co-ordinating hats with shirts?"
"No, not exactly......."
"You didn't let me get to the 'interesting' part. I was going to invite you to spend the summer at Lava Springs with me, it's a country club my parents own and I could probably have you put down as a guest for the entire vacation."
"A country club? Aren't those full of rich snobs who lie around in the sun all day until they look like dried up prunes?"
"Well, that is one aspect of it, but we do have sporting facilities. There's a baseball diamond complete with spectator seating, a huge golf course and at least two basketball courts."
Chad's face light up at the description.
"Wow, sounds awesome! Maybe I could teach you to shoot hoops and stuff."
"I've always wanted to learn, but I think Coach Bolton would physically eject me from the gym if I showed up at try outs."
Chad laughed and grabbed Ryan's pudding before running off for Wildcat practice.
Summer passed in a haze of sun drenched afternoons playing (or attempting to play) golf and quiet evenings watching the pool water ripple in a slight breeze. Thanks to Ryan's influence, Chad was able to escape many of his tasks but still earn his wages, and, as he had promised, spent all his free time with Ryan, just 'hanging out'. Troy and Gabriella's breakup and reunion hardly affected either of them – Ryan only heard about it through Sharpay's loud complaints that her 'well thought out' plan had gone so completely wrong and Chad had barely seen Troy all summer – but the arrival
of senior year could not be ignored for long.
As they lay on the golf course on the last day of the holiday the silence between them was one of companionship, rather than awkwardness, and, Chad realised as he nibbled a blade of grass, of all the people he had known at high school, Ryan was the one he would miss the most when he finally (hopefully) graduated.