Title: Fairytale Endings

Author: Chash

Fandom: Boy Meets World

Pairing: Cory/Shawn

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: Cory had it all figured out for him in advance.

Cory has been in love with Topanga since before he knew what the word meant, and really, that's the problem. Their parents have been writing wedding plans since they were born, swapping ideas, deciding who will pay what. They've been teased about it for as long as he can remember. So once he started noticing girls, he wasn't surprised that he noticed Topanga, because she'd always been there on the periphery, being crazy and weird, and he always knew that eventually, they'd fall in love.

He thinks it's much easier if love is already decided, if he doesn't have to worry about it or think about it, or date a girl and wonder, "So, is this it, is this love?" because he can always think, "No, this isn't how I feel about Topanga, and I've always loved her."

Falling in love with Topanga is the easiest thing Cory has ever done, because it doesn't involve doing anything. All the work is done for him. It's like one of those drawings you do when you're little, connecting the dots. He goes from one to two to three to four, and eventually he'll finish the picture of the perfect family, him and a dog and Topanga and some kids and Shawn.

He's never been able to get Shawn out of the picture, and that's what tips him off. When he thinks about it, being in love with Shawn would be even easier than being in love with Topanga, except Shawn is a boy. People have never made wedding plans for them, and the other kids didn't make fun of them when they were little, and he's never had to think about whether or not he loves a given girl more or less than Shawn because it's too stupid to even think about. Of course he loves Shawn more. Girls come and go, but Shawn is above that.

Topanga and Shawn both have their own special categories, and it never really occurred to Cory to compare the two, because Shawn isn't a girl.

When Shawn and Cory are fifteen, they get drunk together because they think they should try it out once. After a few shots of... something, Cory doesn't know what, Cory is tipsy and Shawn looks surprisingly sober and contemplative. And when Shawn leans over and kisses him, the kind of incredible kiss Cory has watched Shawn give to girls for years, he suddenly understands that Shawn and Topanga can be the same thing, and that if he's asking himself which one he loves more, Shawn wins every time. Shawn's always won. He's just never thought about it that way before.

When he wakes up the next morning, he doesn't mention it, and Shawn doesn't either, but Cory can't stop thinking about it. He's never realized he's in love with someone before, because it was always given with Topanga, and also he's pretty sure he wasn't even in love with her. He's bouncy. He can't sit still. He wants to touch Shawn and kiss Shawn and get married and have babies, except they can't, but he wants to try. Being in love with Shawn comes with the same desires as being in love with Topanga, but with no instruction manual. Because he learned all about what he might one day do with Topanga in sex ed, but he has no idea how this correlates to what he'd do with Shawn. But he'd kind of like to find out, if he could.

The idea that Shawn wouldn't love him back is completely inconceivable. Of course, for one thing, Shawn had kissed him, which makes Cory think his chances aren't too bad. Mainly, though, it's that it's Shawn, and he and Shawn have been together forever, and are like the two musketeers or Batman and Robin or those all those Greek guys Cory read about in History class, and everyone thought they were sleeping together, because going around together like that is so gay. And he's really amazed more people haven't noticed how gay he and Shawn are, because he's pretty sure they are because, come on.

Cory just doesn't know how to bring it up. With Topanga it would have been easy, because they're Cory and Topanga and are expected to be in love, but Cory and Shawn are supposed to be the best buddies, the two musketeers, and all that, and while it makes him pretty confident Shawn won't shoot him down, it also makes him completely unsure how to proceed. It's not like he can ask Shawn out, go up to him and say, "Hey, you wanna go to Chubbie's later and catch a bite and a movie?" Even if he could, it's not what he wants. This isn't some girl he's using to kill time while he and Topanga are on a snag, this is Shawn, who's in a category all on his own, and they go to Chubbie's and movies all the time, and he wants it to be special, and he doesn't know how, and the only people he could ask are Shawn and Topanga, and that wouldn't work at all.

"Shawn," he says finally, "I got a problem. I'm totally love with this amazing..." he considers, and finally settles on lying. "Girl. I mean, she's like nothing else. And I want to tell her I love her and take her out and get married and all that. But I got nothing. Where do I start? What do I do? You're the love guru. Teach me. I'm willing to learn."

"I don't know anything about true love, Cor," he says. "You have to get Topanga on your own."

"Yes, you do! You know everything about true love! You're Shawn Hunter, and you know just as much about true love as I do. And it's not Topanga," he adds finally.

"I'm not the true love type, Cory. You are. You're going to marry Topanga and live happily ever after because that's where you come from, and I'll have divorces and illegitimate children and end up living in a trailer park like my old man, knowing I let the closest thing to love get away for stupid reasons."

"It's not Topanga," says Cory after a minute. "And that's never going to happen to you. I won't let it happen to you."

Shawn sighs, because Shawn does that. He always sounds so old when he talks about the future. "It's not the kind of thing you can stop, Cor, so don't worry about it. You can't mess up with Topanga, so you don't have to worry about it."

"I told you, it's not Topanga! I don't love Topanga! I never loved Topanga! Everyone spent my whole life telling me I loved Topanga and it's not true, I just thought it was because I was too stupid to actually think about it and realize that she's never going to be as important to me as you are."

"Cor, you don't know what you're saying."

"Yes, I do. I'm saying that I've spent my whole life being told I'm in love with Topanga and not noticing that the person I really love is you, because you're the one I can't do without, not her. And if I can do without her, it means I don't love her, but if you left, I'd follow, because we're Shawn and Cory and we'll always be Shawn and Cory and that's what's important."

"Cor..."

"And I don't know why you're arguing with this, because you're the one who kissed me and made me realize that I could have my cake and eat it too, and that I didn't have to have a best friend and a girl friend, when I just needed one, that being you, even though you're a boy, and I'm rambling and I know you love me too, because you're Shawn and I'm Cory and that's how it is."

"Cory, it doesn't work like that. You can't just decide we're meant to be together. There are... I mean, you and Topanga have been engaged, like, since birth, and I'm just some kid from a trailer and your parents don't want me around like that, and my dad doesn't want me to be going around with some boy..."

"Shawn. This is us. It's not like it's a change."

Shawn looks at him. "Yes, Cory, it is. This is like the definition of change."

"No, see, because it's us, Shawn, and we've always been like this, I've just been too stupid to notice. Well, except for kissing, but no one has to know, and when Topanga asks me out, I'll turn her down, and no one will get it, and eventually, we'll move to Reno."

"Why Reno?"

"I have no idea."

"Cory."

"Shawn."

"Go back to Topanga. Forget I ever kissed you, forget this conversation, and get back to your perfect future with your perfect wife. It's what you deserve."

Cory kisses Shawn, which isn't like kissing girls, because Shawn's a tiny bit taller than he is, and he has to angle his head strangely but it doesn't matter, because he's kissing Shawn, and it's worth it because Shawn is kissing him back.

"I don't care what you think I deserve," he says, his breath ragged. "That's... it's dumb, Shawn. I don't want Topanga, and you telling me to isn't going to change that. We don't have to go to Reno, we don't have to go anywhere, we can stay here and screw everyone, except not literally, because I really only want to screw you."

Shawn laughs, and Cory can hear the nervousness. "I'm not supposed to get what I want. You and Topanga were going to go off and leave me, and I could be bitter about how my best friend abandoned me for some girl. I was going to get drunk and bitch about it to strangers. I had plans, Cor."

"Yeah," says Cory, grinning, "so did I."