"Troy, do you really think joining a fraternity is the wisest thing to do?" Ryan asked. He was still having problems understanding why his boyfriend of a year and a half would want to do such a crazy thing.
"I mean, they're not really known for being the most gay-friendly environments.…" Ryan trailed off as Troy turned around to finally face his disgruntled boyfriend.
"Ryan, I know all of the stereotypes," Troy said as he grasped both of Ryan's hands, keeping them from flailing around anymore than they already were. "But don't you ever think that's all they are? Just stereotypes?"
"Well, I …" Ryan began.
"It's just like when we started dating," Troy started, cutting Ryan off. "Everyone thought it was just based on sex, that it would never last — all stereotypes."
Troy pulled Ryan closer to him as they were standing. "It's been over a year and a half." Ryan lowered his head onto Troy's shoulder. "We continually defy what other people think of us, and I just want to make sure that I at least give other people the chance to prove themselves to me."
Ryan breathed deeply. He couldn't really argue with what Troy was saying. He was right … as usual.
"Come on, Ry. Let's see what this campus is all about." Troy said as he took a hold of Ryan's hand and started dragging him up the sidewalk. "This place is so beautiful. I want to see all of it."
Ryan had to admit, the campus was unlike any of the universities in New Mexico. It had the feel of a park to it. All of the buildings lined the small service streets and sidewalks, leaving large expanses of open areas to create different "quads" throughout the main campus.
As the two walked passed a larger-than-average building, which Ryan could only assume was the library, Ryan let out a low whistle at the group guys that were walking around without their shirts on while playing a game of Frisbee.
"Dang. I thought scenes like this only happened in California," Ryan said, as if in awe.
"Huh?" Troy asked as he whipped his head around to see what his boyfriend was gawking at.
"If I knew I could walk around parks and see big groups of guys like this, I would have been begging my parents to move to Oregon a long time ago," Ryan chuckled.
Troy turned to his boyfriend with a mock-affronted look on his face, arched one eyebrow and put his hands on his hips and saying: "What do they got that I don't got?"
Ryan laughed and hugged Troy around his middle, burying his face in Troy's chest. "Well, they don't have me. That's one thing."
"Yeah, I am pretty lucky with that one, huh?" Troy said as he rested his cheek against the top of Ryan's head.
"Yeah, you are." Ryan laughed. "Besides, I wouldn't be able to survive the non-summer months around here when all it does is rain without you … who would I have to keep me warm and dry?"
"Yep," Troy said with an exasperated sigh. "That's what I am. An oversized electric blanket and walking/talking umbrella."
Ryan punched Troy softly in the shoulder and laughed. "Yeah, but you're my walking/talking umbrella."
"That, I am." Troy said with a smile.
"Troy, I'm sorry to say this, but your room is a dump." Ryan said as he walked through the doorway and into his boyfriend's cramped living space.
Troy walked around the small room, cringing as he wiped his finger across one of the decrepit desks revealing a huge layer of dust. "Well, they're not going to give me a really nice room if I'm only going to live in it until after Rush Week."
"But still …" Ryan began as he gave the room another frightened look. "I think they could have at least put you somewhere where you wouldn't be afraid to turn off the lights."
Troy smirked and walked over to his boyfriend, pulling him from the doorway and into the room proper. He wrapped his arms around Ryan's slender waist and pressed his forehead against the blond scruff of his boyfriends head.
"Don't you think I'd be able to protect you from all the creepy-crawlies that might come out when I turn off the light?" Troy asked in a soft growl.
"It's not that, babe. It's just … Troy, it's dirty in here," Ryan whined. "It reminds me of some sleazy hotel where you take your mistress to screw before you go home to your wife."
"Lucky for you, I don't have a wife, huh?" Troy asked.
Ryan grinned and gently shoved away from Troy, but was held in place and then dragged over to the double bed on which Troy had just set his things.
Troy then moved to sit down on the bed and dragged Ryan down on his lap. Ryan tried to squirm out of his grip, but Troy being the athlete he is, was easily able to keep Ryan in place.
"Come on now, baby," Troy started. "We're just going to have a little fun before I have to go home to my wife."
Ryan laughed as he finally got the joke and then began to tickle Troy. "You think you're so funny, don't you?" Ryan asked as he pushed Troy back against the bed and continued to administer tickle-torture.
"You think every time you want something you can just flash that grin and the whole world will do your bidding, don't you?"
Troy was finally able to grip Ryan's wrists and pull them away from his body. With Ryan's balance thrown off, he fell forward until his face was just an inch away from Troy's.
"It works with you every time," Troy grinned as he lifted his head up and pressed his lips to Ryan's.
Ryan was immediately lost in the kiss. When he pulled away he muttered, "You ass," then went right back to devouring Troy's mouth.
Troy had just begin running his hands under Ryan's shirt, pulling him closer to his heated body, when he heard a not-so-discreet cough come from the doorway. Both he and Ryan jumped apart and spun toward the door. In all the commotion, Ryan once again lost his balance and fell from Troy's lap and onto the cold, linoleum floor.
"Um … hi," Troy said as he quickly stood from his bed and walked over to the guy who had just appeared in the doorway. He stopped a few feet from the guy and raised his arm until he was nervously rubbing the back of his neck.
"My name is Troy," he began awkwardly. Then turning around and pointing to Ryan who was now getting up off the floor and dusting himself off, "And this is Ryan, my boyfriend."
Ryan looked up from the imaginary lint he was dusting off and moved forward to where Troy was standing. "It's nice to meet you …" Ryan trailed off, leaving the perfect opportunity for the guy in the door to introduce himself.
"Oh, I'm sorry, my name is Jeff," the guy said as he extended his hand to Ryan. "It's nice to meet you as well."
Ryan looked over at Troy, who was still blushing and rubbing the back of his neck nervously, and decided that it was going to be up to him to get to know Troy's temporary roommate.
"So, are you planning on joining a fraternity, too?" Ryan asked.
"Uh, yeah." Jeff began. "My dad was a member of Chi Delta, so I'm pretty much obliged to join that house."
"Oh, well that's nice." Ryan said, then turned to Troy and gently elbowed his side. "Isn't it, Troy?"
"Oh … yeah … that's cool," Troy stuttered. "I don't really know what house I'm going to join."
Jeff nodded his head, then bent over to set down the bags he was carrying. "Well, I think I'm going to go get more stuff out of my car." With that, Jeff turned on his heels and walked back out of the room.
As soon as Ryan thought Jeff was out of earshot, he turned to Troy and lightly smacked him on the arm. "What the heck, Troy? Why didn't you say anything," Ryan asked hotly. "Why did you just leave it up to me to make small talk with your new roommate? Are you embarrassed of me?"
"What?" Troy gave his boyfriend an incredulous look. "Why would you ever think that?"
"Well, he did find us in the middle of a full-blown make out session, and then you dump me off your lap and hardly say two words to him the whole time he's here." Ryan explained, his hands moving wildly around. "Do you even remember what his name is?"
Troy looked down at his shoes and blushed and mumbled something could barely make out. Then he looked up into Ryan's eyes, "Look, I'm not ashamed of you. I just … it's …this was different from when Sharpay walked in on us in your bedroom. I don't even know this guy, and I have to live with him."
During the little speech, Ryan grabbed a hold of Troy's hand and held it tightly as his boyfriend continued.
"It's just that this isn't high school, and I don't know what to make of everything yet … and I just want to make a good impression, Ry. That's all," Troy finished, leaning his forehead against his boyfriend's.
"Oh, Troy," Ryan sighed. "I know what you mean. How about we start all over with Jeff when he comes back up here with more of his stuff?"
Troy chuckled, "I knew his name started with a J."
"Yeah, well, this time you can actually say something to him," Ryan said as he let go of Troy's hand and began making his way for the bed. "I'm going to sit here and read a magazine while you set your stuff up and get to know your roommate."
Troy laughed and went over to grab a box of his belongings that were sitting on a chair by his desk. Ryan gave him a swat on the butt as he walked past the bed. When Troy turned around to mock-glare at him, Ryan shot Troy a look that clearly said "you want to make something of it?"
He just laughed and started pulling clothes out of the box and putting them in his wardrobe unit.
When Jeff came back into the room, Troy was able to actually introduce himself and carry on a conversation. Ryan just smiled behind his magazine.
About an hour later, Troy and Jeff were still putting things away, while Ryan sat on Troy's bed drinking a bottle of water and reading through "Entertainment Weekly," while what he had once described as a dump was beginning to look like an actual room — even though he would never admit it.
Troy and Ryan had helped Jeff get the rest of his belongings out of his car and up into the room, then Ryan had gone back to his magazine as Troy and Jeff had arranged and decorated their room — if you could call it that. Ryan thought there was more to decorating than throwing up a poster and hanging a calendar, but this wasn't his room. Troy would just have to prepare himself for when he actually moved in with Ryan — after college of course. At least that's what Ryan had told his parents.
Putting one last package of pens in his desk drawer, Jeff looked up and announced, "Well, it's about 5 p.m. I'm supposed to meet some of my high school friends for dinner. You're more than welcome to come if you want."
Troy was about to say something when Ryan interrupted him. "No, that's okay. We already have plans."
Jeff looked back at Troy and shrugged his shoulders. "Okay, I'll see you later, Troy." Then looking over at Ryan, "and it was nice to meet you, too, Ryan."
"Nice to meet you, too." Ryan said. "I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other. At least until you two join your own fraternities."
Jeff smiled and then walked out of the room.
"Why did you say that?" Troy asked. "It would have been cool to meet some new people."
"Well," Ryan began. "We could still go with Jeff if you want … or we could go back to my room," Ryan finished as he got off Troy's bed, that was now made with a deep blue bed spread. He gave Troy a coy look and continued.
"My roommate isn't supposed to be in until tomorrow evening, and when I went to get that bottle of water a little while ago, I ordered a pizza that should be delivered in about 20 minutes."
Ryan continued over to Troy until he was standing directly in front of him with a pouty look across his face. He sighed and began running his index finger over Troy's chest.
"So, we could go have dinner with Jeff and his friends, or we could go to my room, watch a movie and eat pizza, then … well, I'll let your imagination come up with the rest."
With that, Ryan turned around, bent over to grab his magazine and began walking out of the room in a way Troy was sure Ryan had perfected just to get him to look at his boyfriend's beautiful behind.
Really, the decision for Troy was a no-brainer. He grabbed a jacket out of his wardrobe and sped off after Ryan.