A/N: All right, my loves. I wish I could write this forever and tell you more about this universe in my head, but I think it's time Boy Disease came to end. I'm sure I'll get asked, so I'll say it now. I always have more ideas, and maybe, someday, I'll do a sequel or more in this universe. But right now, I'm feeling the need to move on and write something new.
I treasure all the words and love and support you have given me. And thank you for sticking with me through this whole thing. It is by FAR the longest and most involved thing I've ever written, and it's also my favorite. This whole story has a lot of my heart and soul and I've loved sharing it with all of you.
Thank you to everyone who helped me, everyone who let me babble so I could figure out what to do, everyone who waited for that resolution, and everyone who took a chance and ventured into the world of Boy Disease. Thank you all for everything!
All my love.
Boy Disease 24 - The Finale
Chad's arms immediately tightened around Ryan, squeezing him so close both of them could hardly breathe. Warmth flooded through Chad, made his head swim, made him feel like his heart had burst and overflowed with warmth and elation and all because Ryan was kissing him.
Ryan was kissing him.
And Chad most definitely kissed him back.
When Ryan finally broke away, he let out a trembly breath and slid his hands down Chad's shoulders. He rested his forehead against Chad's, slowly regaining composure before he asked gently, "Was that okay?"
Chad grinned brightly. "No. It was awesome."
Ryan blushed. "I meant that I did that."
Chad tipped his head and kissed Ryan's jaw. "Am I complaining?" he laughed, holding Ryan tightly to him.
Slowly, Ryan smiled and shook his head.
Shifting to look at him, Chad searched Ryan's eyes then leaned forward and kissed him slowly. When he pulled away, he stared as Ryan kept his eyes closed and only opened them after a good several seconds. Then rewarded Chad with a woozy smile.
Chad's heart fluttered. And he had to kiss Ryan again, quickly this time, but hard so he could still feel it seconds later.
Catching his breath, Ryan sighed. "You make me dizzy."
Chad stroked his hands over Ryan's back and let them settle on slender hips. "You make me always want to kiss you."
Ryan bit his lip to stifle a smile then sighed. He toyed with the sweatshirt strings dangling over Chad's chest before he lightly rested his palm over Chad's heart. After only a second, Ryan self-consciously pulled away.
Chad caught Ryan's wrist and returned Ryan's hand to where it had been, holding it in place.
Ryan stared at their hands before meeting Chad's eyes.
Chad squeezed the hand beneath his. "I mean it."
"I believe you," Ryan promised quietly.
Chad raised an eyebrow.
"I do! It's just..." Ryan trailed off and couldn't think of a way to finish his thought.
With a deep breath, Chad cupped Ryan's face in his hands. "I love you," he whispered thickly. "I'm so in love with you. And I've probably said it to everyone else. I don't know why I shouldn't say it to you."
Ryan stared for a moment, slowly blinking. "I keep waiting to wake up and for you to not be here. But you keep being here."
Chad laughed and promised, "I'm not going anywhere." He slid his hand down and lightly pinched Ryan's arm for emphasis.
Grinning, Ryan twisted away, his smile easier this time as he rested both hands on Chad's chest, curling a finger in the collar of Chad's sweatshirt. "When did you...?"
"The night you stayed with me," Chad answered simply.
Impishly, Ryan tipped his head. "Because you got me in your bed?"
Chad snickered giddily because that was his Ryan. "Because you were asleep when I came back. And you were wearing my clothes." Chad clenched his fingers in Ryan's shirt and confessed, "And I wanted that. You with me. You always there with me."
He swallowed hard, remembering that night, that feeling. "When you said no one had loved you, all I wanted to do was tell you that you were wrong. Because it's so much it hurts. And it's heavy and overflowing and warm and strong. And a grand slam first time out of the box."
Blushing, Ryan gave him a sheepish smile. "In my defense, I was really tired when I said that."
"Nah, it was pretty accurate," Chad laughed and then added sincerely, "That was why I kissed you. Because I figured it out and I couldn't not kiss you."
Ryan bent his head, leaning closer for a second before he abruptly looked up. "I meant you," he announced quickly. "When I said those things. I was talking about you."
Chad almost laughed, but squeezed Ryan to him instead. "Good. I'd get really jealous otherwise."
Ryan snickered and gave him a bright, glowy smile that made Chad's heart leap. "No reason to be."
Chad couldn't help grinning a little smugly. "Then I can kiss you again?"
Deviously, Ryan shook his head but then pulled Chad into a deep, wet kiss.
Chad felt an overflowing rush of heat and practically swooned, savoring the taste of Ryan's mouth, the feel of him pressed close.
After a moment, Ryan slowed his frantic pace, drawing out his kisses and letting his lips linger instead. When he finally brought him self to stop, he bent his forehead to Chad's and stroked the sides of Chad's face. "What now?"
With a smirk, Chad pulled away, toed off his shoes, and flopped onto the bed in a seductive pose.
Ryan's eyes widened and then trailed slowly over Chad before purposely and quickly looking away.
Chad laughed. "I'm kidding! A little. Anyway. C'mere," he said and thumped the space beside him.
Ryan chewed on his lower lip and gave Chad a slightly uncertain look, but crawled up his bed against any better judgment he might have had and lay down on his side, tucking one hand under his head.
Chad inched toward him a little and nudged a socked foot between Ryan's bare ones.
Ryan reached out and lightly rested a hand low on Chad's side. For a long moment, he stared thoughtfully at a space somewhere in the center of Chad's chest.
Chad watched him and wondered what he was thinking. Figuring he should say something, he stated, "Your sister's worried you won't sing anymore."
Blue eyes gazed at him curiously. "Why?"
"Because you haven't been singing."
Ryan shrugged, glancing back down. "Haven't felt like it."
Chad bit his lip, wanting to make Ryan feel like it. He slid his leg a little higher, a little further between Ryan's, but stopped, suddenly worried. "I really was kidding," Chad said impulsively.
Ryan instantly looked up.
"I mean about the bed," he clarified. "I wasn't. I just wanted..."
Ryan raised an eyebrow, clearly trying not to smirk.
"Shut up. I wasn't being presumptuous. I wanted to be close to you. We don't have to do anything."
With a leisurely grin, Ryan slid his hand out from under his head and slipped it under Chad's, weaving his fingers into Chad's hair.
Chad breathed slowly, longing curling low in his stomach as those fingers tightened possessively. "So, have you forgotten everything about singing and dancing and heinous musicals?" he teased.
Softly, Ryan gazed at him. "Were you asking me to sing?"
"Sure," Chad said and swallowed hard, trying not to drown in those eyes.
Ryan thought distantly, twisting one hand in Chad's sweatshirt.
Of course Ryan had to pick now to forget every song in his head. Attempting to wait patiently, Chad nudged his leg further and pulled himself closer. A few of Ryan's fingers slipped past the hem of the sweatshirt and brushed against warm skin.
Chad inhaled sharply.
Ryan looked at him, slightly surprised. "Sorry. It's been a long time."
"You don't have to sing," Chad said, knowing his voice sounded breathy and lower than normal.
Ryan grinned and deliberately rubbed his fingers beneath Chad's sweatshirt.
Chad glared but arched into Ryan's touch then ran a finger down Ryan's throat.
For a second, Ryan's eyes fluttered closed.
"Well?" Chad goaded eagerly.
Ryan stared at him with dark eyes and Chad could feel the rushed heartbeat under his fingertips. Slowly, Ryan licked his lips and took a breath, "Don't go wasting your emotion. Lay all your love on me."
Ryan gave him a familiar, challenging smile and Chad's heart skipped. He'd never argue with that.
Wednesday morning, Chad sauntered into homeroom with a cocky, syrupy grin.
After setting a sweatshirt on the desk next to his, he adjusted his jacket collar and took his seat, stretching out and twining his fingers behind his head.
Zeke snorted. "You look like you got laid."
Smirking, Chad turned and took in Zeke's hazy, dreamy smile. "So do you."
Blush crept over Zeke's face as he grinned. "Well, I did."
Chad rolled his eyes and smoothed the sleeve of his newly acquired jacket, then motioned toward the door with a nod.
Zeke immediately sat up straight as Sharpay flounced into the room. In one graceful movement, she crossed her legs as she hopped onto Zeke's desk, took his face in her hands, and kissed him soundly.
As Zeke practically melted out of his seat and onto the floor, Chad shook his head. Hopeless. His poor friend was hopeless. But then Ryan appeared in the doorway, a few steps behind his sister, and Chad forgot all about Zeke and Sharpay and the rest of the world.
Ryan smiled at him, slow and sweet and brighter than anything, and then quietly walked to his desk. Chad tipped his head and watched as Ryan stood beside it for a moment.
Other students filed into class, Zeke and Sharpay kept kissing, but Chad held his breath and barely noticed.
Tenderly, Ryan picked up the zippered blue hoodie. His fingers curled in the material as he looked over at Chad.
Chad held Ryan's gaze, until Ryan's eyes flitted over to his sister then back down to the sweatshirt. He looked pointedly at Chad as he slid the sweatshirt on, pulling it tightly around him.
Chad smiled and folded his arms so his hands were resting on the jacket he was wearing.
Just before the bell, Sharpay detangled herself and settled at her desk, examining her makeup in a hand mirror before she stopped abruptly. With a hard nudge, she claimed Ryan's attention. "Isn't that yours?" she said, pointing.
Ryan glanced at Chad and then smirked. "The man or the jacket?"
Sharpay rolled her eyes. "What are you wearing?"
"Why? It doesn't match! That's why! And it clashes horribly."
"I don't care," Ryan said simply, beaming so vibrantly that Chad couldn't help giddily staring at him.
Sharpay blinked and then turned around in her seat, nose up in the air. "I don't know you."
Chad laughed when Ryan rolled his eyes. Grinning, Ryan leaned forward in his seat. "If I go get you lunch today, will you know me again?"
Sharpay turned around and eyed her brother suspiciously. "Maybe."
With a winning smile, Ryan tipped his head toward Chad, "You wanna have lunch?"
"Would that mean skipping history?" Chad asked, leaning over in his chair.
Ryan opened his mouth, but stopped as Gabriella walked past. "No, I would never do that."
Chad rolled his eyes. "Sure, Evans. Whatever you say."
"I love when you say that."
Sharpay raised an unamused eyebrow at them. "I'm sure and ewww."
Chad might have responded, but Ryan laughed and all Chad could do was give him a ridiculous grin.
"So," Ryan asked coyly. "Lunch?"
Chad felt warmth pouring from his chest and smiled. "You don't have to ask twice."