Scarred (Polished version, 2013)
Fandom: High School Musical
Pairing: Chad/Ryan (slash)
Rating: Most parts PG-13, but I'm determined to put some NC-17 in as well
Disclaimer: HSM and all the characters belong to Disney and sadly not to me (I'd love to own Ryan though) and I'm just borrowing them for fun.
Setting: This is kind of my take on a Ryan-centric HSM 3, so this story is set after the summer at Lava Springs.
Summary: A new school year begins and Ryan Evans is determined to hold onto the friendships he built with the Wildcats over the summer. But old habits die hard and old scars often hurt the most. Are the Wildcats able to accept Ryan the way he is? And what happens when Ryan starts falling for Chad Danforth? Is their fragile new friendship going to last? And what about Chad? Is he as straight as he thinks?
Author's note: When I first published this story, it was my first attempt at writing HSM-fiction. I was very new to this fandom, having seen HSM for the first time a week before I started writing. Now, more than a few years later, I've suddenly decided to polish this story (there were a lot of mistakes, believe me). I'll go through it chapter by chapter, correcting things here and there, making them sound more smoothly, and maybe, if I', very very lucky, I'll manage to get this thing to a halfway happy ending that I can live with. It's been bothering me for years that I left it unfinished. I hope to change that.
The shout from his sister Sharpay, drama queen extraordinaire and self-announced High school goddess, was reverberating through the halls of the spacious Evans mansion, pushing the most annoying sound back into Ryan's ears.
A sound the nearly 18-year-old hadn't heard for several days now, the commanding 'I-am-Sharpay-Evans-and-you-are-better-to-be-following-me' call.
Ever since their summer at Lava Springs, when Ryan had finally stepped out of his sister's shadow by aligning himself with the Wildcats to win the Star Dazzle Award, the twins' relationship had gradually changed from 'the drama queen and her poodle' to 'the drama queen and her…' well, not quite equal, but something much closer to that than the former position as her personal lapdog. For no matter how much Ryan loved the spotlight and bathing in it, he would never match his sister in her talent for dramatic outbursts and temper tantrums. He was far too sensible for that.
So after a short time spent pouting and trying to win 'her poodle' back, Sharpay had eventually come to accept her brother's own personality and had let him be, both going their own ways but still being close for the remaining week of the Summer Holidays.
It had been a good week for both of them.
But now the Holidays were over and the first day of school had arrived.
And that's what had Sharpay standing in the bright entrance hall of her home at seven o'clock in the morning, tapping one latest-Manolo-Blanic's-clad foot impatiently on the marble stone floor and shouting for her brother on top of her lungs.
"Ryan, come on, hurry up!" Sharpay tried again.
"Relax, Shar. Just a second," came the reply from the top of the stairs.
The blond girl didn't watch Ryan come down but threw an impatient look at her watch instead.
It wouldn't do to be late on the first day of Senior year. Late meaning having less than fifteen minutes for her special entrance. She'd planned it all out in her head, walking up the steps to East High with most of the students forming a natural lane for their queen, a vision in turquoise from head to toe, with her brother two steps behind in a matching outfit, only less stunning of course.
"Finally!" Sharpay sighed and started walking to the front door with a short look over her shoulder.
What she saw made her stop mid-stride.
"Ryan, what's this?" she cried shocked.
"What? Not good?" Ryan answered and stroked a hand over the dark red button-down shirt he was wearing. The satin felt cool under his fingers and the fabric glimmered in all the right places to emphasize his well-defined chest and stomach. A pair of stylish dark-blue denim jeans hung low on his slim hips, held by a matching belt, and black designer shoes and a black hat sitting slightly crooked on his blond head completed the outfit.
It had taken Ryan three days to decide on this particular outfit and he was quite satisfied with the outcome. He knew he looked good, and he said so self-assured.
Though, based on the displeased look Sharpay shot him, it seemed like his sister didn't share his opinion.
"I thought we had decided on the white shirt with the turquoise fedora? What happened to that?" Sharpay inquired.
"You mean you decided on that, dear sis!" Ryan replied with a smirk on his lips.
"Yeah, whatever. You agreed, didn't you?"
"Well, I changed my mind." Ryan crossed his arms over his chest defiantly.
"Why would you do that?" Sharpay wondered. "I had the whole entrance scene planned out for us and now you look like you don't want to have anything to do with me!"
Ryan quirked a single eyebrow. "Am I hearing real disappointment there?" Could it be that his sister had truly depended on him?
"Of course I'm disappointed, Ry! I mean, we've always done this together, making an entrance for…," Sharpay gestured wildly with her well-manicured hands, "you know, everyone. You've always been behind me when I was outshining the others and now you look like you're trying to blend in with them!"
"Maybe I am," Ryan answered softly.
Ryan closed his eyes and breathed deeply in and out to hold on to his inner peace. Then he smiled calmly and said:
"Sharpay, first of all: You know perfectly well that you don't need me to outshine all the others. It comes natural to you, you're an Evans."
"Of course I know that," Sharpay dismissed the compliment with a small wave of her hand. But then she looked at her brother with something akin to genuine concern. "But in case you've forgotten, you're an Evans, too, Ryan. And so you should look like one."
"Hey, these clothes cost mom and dad more than the Wildcats got working as kitchen aids all summer," Ryan argued, "and I know I'm looking good!"
He twirled around with lasciviously moving hips and came to a stop with his chin held high and one hand tapping cockily on his hat.
Sharpay couldn't help but smile proudly at that. From defensive brother to cocky star on stage in a blink of an eye, that was Ryan. An Evans through and through.
And she couldn't really disagree with him, Ryan did look stunning in red and dark. So Sharpay made no effort to deny it but let the argument drop and walked out of the front door to get into her car.
Ryan followed his sister bewildered.
"What, no argument, no tantrums at all? What's the matter with you, Shar? Not feeling ill, are you?" he asked when he'd gotten into the passenger seat.
"Well," Sharpay flashed him a bright smile, "It's no big deal, is it? I simply have to make my entrance without you matching me. I can do that, I'm an actor! And now I don't have to worry about clumsy you tripping over your bookcase or something else embarrassing. So, everything's gonna be fine!"
Ryan's smile equaled his sister's but it didn't quite reach his eyes. Sharpay noticed and when she'd steered her car out of the driveway onto the road she asked cautiously:
"Ryan, what's the matter?"
"Nothing," the blond boy answered a bit too quickly. His sister gave him a look that spoke volumes and soon Ryan sighed and gave in.
"It's just… I don't know what to expect, meeting the Wildcats for the first time after what happened at the club. I don't know what they think of me now, and…" he paused frustrated, "and I hate that. I hate being insecure."
"Then don't be!" Sharpay said determined. "Why would you care what a bunch of uncultivated sweating jocks thinks about you anyway? You're better than them, you're an Evans!"
"I don't want to be better then them!" Ryan burst out suddenly. "I just want to be…"
"What, like them? Is that what you mean?"
Ryan shrugged and turned his head to look out of the window.
"Brother, you really had a change of heart over the summer," Sharpay exclaimed but she didn't sound upset.
And she really wasn't. It had taken a few days but eventually Sharpay had understood that her brother had really liked being part of something other than the fabulous Evans' twins. For her it had always been enough, but of course that was because she'd always been the one in control.
Maybe now Ryan needed to be in control of something, too.
Well, as long as he wouldn't stop being her partner on stage she couldn't care less. The auditions for the drama club's winter musical would start soon and she counted on her brother to team up with her. After all, they had to beat that basketball freak and his brainy for the leading roles.
Then another thought occurred to Sharpay and she asked panicked:
"You're not going to try out for the baseball team, are you?"
Ryan didn't reply but a small smile crept onto his face at the thought of his sister worrying about him ruining their reputation by being on the baseball team.
Well, maybe he would go for the try out's after all. He was sure that he stood a good chance to make it onto the team. Ryan had been playing baseball for nearly ten years, since being a four-year-old, before he'd given it up to concentrate completely on his performance career. But now… the thought of being on a team, with others… it sounded good.
Maybe Ryan had indeed had a change of heart over the summer. Ever since he'd become a teenager he'd preferred his solitude over doing stuff with other kids (apart from his twin sister of course). Sports, dancing, singing, studying, spending free-time… no matter what he'd done, he'd always done it alone or with Sharpay. But this last summer had suddenly given him a taste of what he'd been missing out on all these years.
Working for the talent show with Gabriella and the Wildcats had been really fun. He'd enjoyed arranging the songs with Kelsi and coming up with the right moves for the music. Teaching a bunch of inexperienced but talented people how to dance and having them actually listen to him had been a great experience.
And Ryan had to smile each time he remembered the Baseball game and the 'I-don't-dance-I-show-you-how-to-swing' Contest he'd had with Chad Danforth. That had been one hell of a game, but he'd loved every minute of it. And after the game they'd all been sitting together, winners and losers, sharing snacks and Coke and ice-cream, talking and laughing like friends, and Chad had suggested swapping outfits like you do after every real game, and Ryan had never felt more comfortable in his whole life, sitting there in Chad's ordinary baseball shirt and cap, sharing jokes and food and baseball tales and…
…simply being part of something.
So, yes, he'd really had a change of heart then.
That time at Lava Springs had been one of the best times of his life (apart from being on stage, because, no matter what, Ryan Evans was born to perform and that was what he loved most).
But now Ryan was determined to take the chance that had presented itself. A chance to be something other than the drama kid, or Sharpay's poodle, or whatever people called him. Being a part of something, finally having friends and a normal life, that was what Ryan Evans was determined to hold on to.
And if that meant having to step away from his sister more often, then, well, he would do just that. He was an Evans after all, he could do it!
With that in mind Ryan finally relaxed in the passenger seat and let his sister drive her fabulous pink convertible to school.
Sharpay would have her entrance and Ryan…
…well, he'd see.
Please review and tell me if you like it. Thanks!