A/N: Look! A Chyan! My first finished High School Musical fic. :D I should be posting more, mainly one shots for right now. Chyan is my new love. And Troypay is up there too. :D But I'll babble on later. :D

Notes: This is Chad-centric, and based on my wanting to see Chad crying and Ryan comforting him. :D So here it is. :D Truthfully, it's only a little bit of slash. Ryan and Chad are not as of yet in a relationship in this fic, but it would be okay to say Chad is in the middle of a sexual identity crisis.

I won't tell you much more than that. This is fairly self explanatory, and if not - review and ask. I will get back to you. Promise. :D

Chad was staring out of the window of his senior English class, effectively tuning out the one thing that could help his grade. His teacher was letting everyone ask questions about the Shakespeare play they had just read in an attempt at better test scores, but Chad didn't care.

He knew he shouldn't have come to school today, but when he had woken up at 7:43 his general instinct to try and make it to school on time took over. Once he was seated safely in Ms. Darbus's class, a cold began seeping through him. Chad quickly turned off everything, willing himself through the day. It had worked for two and a half hours so far.

So Chad sat, watching the trees sway in a slow, steady breeze, the sounds of his classmates and teacher washing over him, and against his will – began to think, to remember.

"Cherish the good days Chad, baby. They only come around once in a while." She smiled down at him, tousling his shaved hair.

Chad smiled a little despite himself.

"Baby, I don't care what anyone else says; you go out there and kick some butt. You know you can do it – even if they don't. Show 'em the truth. Didn't I tell you to always be truthful?" He grinned at her attitude, the sparkle in her eye as she sent him off onto the field, watching from the bleachers. Those boys wouldn't know what hit them.

His smile hitched a little, starting to drop. He tried to fix his breathing with the trees sway. Back and forth, back and forth; breathe in, breathe out, in, out.

Her gaze was fixed on the maple in the middle of the field. Her voice sounded far off, a little too far, "Don't you just love trees? Aren't they the best, Chad?"

The grip she had on his hand was still so strong; he tried to keep his voice from cracking, "Yeah, Grandma – they are."

Relax, Chad, relax. Just keep breathing, relax.

They were sitting at her kitchen table, laughing so hard they cried, supposedly playing cards, but she was telling a story. "Then he tells me to just leave because he can't handle me right then!" They both laughed for about another minute before she had caught enough breath to say, "So baby, when are you gonna get me some great-grandbabies?"

"What?!" he choked out through his laughter. She just smiled at him, a teasing twinkle in her eye.

Chad smiled again – he couldn't help it. Then he wished he hadn't; another wave hit him. His hands started to shake and his vision went a little blurry.

He looked at his hands out in front of him, unable to look her in the eye. She was sitting next to him, and put a hand over his own. "Chaddy, baby. Look at me." He didn't, so she lifted his chin up, "You don't need to listen to what anyone else says. If you want to do something, do it. You can do anything you set your mind to, so ignore what people say. Heck, if you decide you like boys more than girls – you can be okay with that."

His head shot up, and he saw her teasing smile. He snorted, "Yeah – right." But she had made him feel better.

He gulped, willing himself to not close his eyes. She couldn't have known – no… but he wished he could just talk to her – No. No, don't think like that.

He saw a black Labrador pup jumping around excitedly in her foyer as he pulled on his Spiderman tennis shoes. "Are you coming out too?"

"You bet, baby. Days like these are made for living, I'm gonna make the most of this one."

He rode down the road on his new bicycle, her puppy running out in front of him. She smiled behind them, proud, "You're doing great Chad – keep going."

No, no, no, no. He tried to block everything again – focus on the trees.

Thwap! There weren't any trees to look at anymore; his English teacher had noticed his inattentiveness, and gone to close the blinds. Chad blinked, and couldn't look at his teacher, so he tried to stare at the beige covering the window.

"Cherish the good days Chad, baby."

NO. He bolted from the room faster than anyone could react, and ran almost half the length of the hallway. Tears had started to fall, and Chad felt like he couldn't breathe anymore. Memories flashed through his mind; the hospital visits, his crisp and clean black suit, the white rose he set on top of deep mahogany. Chad was choking on his tears, and they kept coming; he tried to breathe, to hold his head, to stay upright, but he couldn't handle it. His knees were going to give out beneath him so he could crumple on the floor and cry.

Just as he began to fall, he didn't. His face was suddenly buried in someone's shoulder, and strong arms were around him, keeping him upright. Somewhere within him he was grateful someone out there loved him, but it couldn't register. Her stiff smile instead of the cheerful smirk he was accustomed to, the message on his answering machine, "Chad, baby…" and knowing he would never hear that again. He lost track of time as he sobbed, wanting it to stop, to not feel anymore. All the while being soothed by soft words and fingers tracing gently up and down his back.

Ryan had turned the corner onto what should have been a deserted hallway when he heard sounds of someone crying, and was astonished to see Chad bent almost in half, choking back tears that wouldn't cease. Instinctively, he went over to him, pulling him into an embrace and holding him tight. Chad practically collapsed on top of him, sobs racking his body. Ryan placed his head on his shoulder, whispering quietly to him. One hand traced figures on his back of its own accord, in a soothing rhythm.

Ryan slowly rocked them both back and forth, and Chad's sobbing slowly got quieter, as his body gradually relaxed against the blonde. All Ryan was concerned about though, was making sure Chad felt better, and wishing every tear away.

A/N: Poor Chad. :( But isn't the image of him crying into Ryan's shoulder adorable:D Hope you enjoyed... please review! Please, please! This is my first HSM fic, and I actually really need feedback. Please? Pretty please, just click the purplish blue button. :D