There's a bit of experimentation going on, with my fic lengths. So here is a short chaptered fic for Rane!

All characters belong to the lovely CP Coulter, not me. I'm merely a humble fanfic-of-a-fanfiction writer~


Reed sat there, sobbing into his arms quietly, hidden away in his studio. He wasn't sure exactly how much time had passed, but when someone cleared their throat, his head shot up, his watery eyes wide. The artist blinked back some of the tears in order to clear his vision and saw... "S-Shane?"

The younger Anderson boy leaned against the doorframe watching him. "Reed...I really need to talk to you. I'm sorry I haven't been around much- hang on, are you...crying?" Shane immediately pushed off from where he was and crossed the room in a few giant strides, kneeling down next to Reed.

The artist tried to hide his face again, but was unsuccessful as Shane caught his chin in his large hand and tilted it up to meet his gaze. "What happened? What's wrong?"

"N-nothing," Reed whispered, a fresh wave of tears beginning to leak out over his cheeks as he stared at the boy he knew he would never have. His eyes fluttered shut as the other boy reached up his thumb to wipe at his tears.

"Don't lie to me, Reed. I know you better than you think..."

He yanked himself away from the dancer's grip, pushing himself to his feet, scrubbing at his own face angrily. "You don't know anything, Shane. If you knew me at all, you would have just talked to me straight away, right after you saw Micah. You wouldn't have led me on."

"Led you on?" Shane asked in confusion, slowly standing up himself. "I never meant to do that..."

"You knew I was confused about my feelings for you! And then Micah magically returned to you, so you're happy - and I'm happy for you - but you could have at least told me, talked to me, just once, before you decided to run off into the sunset together!" Reed burst out, afraid of his own emotional outbreak.

The Anderson boy stared at him. "Reed, I-"

"No," the artist shook his head. "I get it. You c-chose him. Okay. Fine. End of story. You two get the happily-ever-after. Do I at least get an invitation to the wedding?" he asked scathingly, completely out of character. Reed didn't wait for answer, turning away from Shane to cross the room and pick up his mangled painting. "Now if you'll excuse me," he said icily. "I have some work to get done before my show."

Shane's mouth was open in shock. He opened and closed it wordlessly for a few moments, as Reed savagely began attacking his canvas again, bold streaks of the brightest red running in rivers down the work. Sure, he'd been missing for the past few days. But what else was he going to do, when one of his best friends, the love of his life turned up again, after having been missing for so long? They needed time to catch up, to get reacquainted...surely he had the right to do that?

Then again, Reed was right. Unintentionally, Shane had been leading him on. After all their fun at the fair, going through the Hall of Mirrors together, in perfect harmony...he'd turned and run in the other direction with Micah, as if it had meant nothing.

But it meant everything to him. Reed meant everything to him.

"...I'm sorry," he said quietly.

The artist didn't look away from his canvas. "There's no need to say anything else. Please...just go," he whispered tearfully, wiping a layer of the lightest blue on the painting.

"No. You need to listen," Shane moved towards him, reaching to touch his shoulder, to force Reed to look up at him.

He flinched away from the other boy's touch, dropping his paint brush, and glancing up at the Anderson with the hint of a glare still in his heartbroken eyes. "You love Micah, I understand that. Just go...be with him, and leave me alone."

"Loved."

"W-what?"

"I loved Micah," Shane admitted quietly, meeting Reed's gaze steadily. "But that was in the past. He'll always be special to me, he's one of my best friends. But when he and I talked over these past few days...and we both realized that we'd had our shot together. And it was great while it lasted." The tiny artist blinked, unable to form any words as Shane continued. "But he's not you. You...Reed, there's always been something different about you. Since I first saw you, I was completely smitten. Getting to know you has been like a dream come true."

"I-I don't understand," Reed whispered, his eyes wide.

"I care about you. You should know that by now...but it's more than that," the dancer swallowed hard against the lump in his throat. "...I really think I'm falling in love with you, Reed. And I know I really screwed things up between us, since Micah came back, but I want another shot. A real shot, with you..."

The small boy gazed at him wordlessly again.

He reached out to hold the other boy's paint-stained hands. "Reed Van Kamp, would you please be my boyfriend?" Shane asked softly, squeezing his fingers slightly, his eyes filled with hope.

"Shane..." Reed murmured shyly. "...I-I think I'm in love with you too."

"So...I'll take that as a yes?" the Anderson boy grinned widely, tugging the artist a bit closer to him.

"...Yes," the smaller boy answered quietly, smiling back at him. "Yes, Shane Anderson. I will be your boyfriend."

"Well, then," Shane said happily. "As your boyfriend, do I have permission to kiss you now?" Reed's face turned scarlet as he nodded his head slowly, stepping in closer to the dancer.

The taller boy leaned down, tilting the artist's chin up again, as he had earlier, but even more gently, if that were possible. Reed's eyes closed slowly, and he nearly stopped breathing in anticipation. Shane pressed their lips together softly, his hand moving from his boyfriend's chin, to cup his cheek, his thumb caressing his skin.

Reed sighed slightly into the the other boy's mouth. This was exactly the first kiss he'd always been dreaming of. With Shane.