Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: High School Musical
Character/Pairing: Chad/Ryan, Sharpay
Challenge/Prompt: comment_fic: High School Musical, Chad Danforth/Ryan Evans, coming out - requested by reeby10
Word Count: 650
Date Written: 20 February 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Never had anything in his life been so hard, and that was saying a lot for a black kid who had grown up going to a pretty privileged school. People expected him to be hip. He had blown all their expectations out of the water when he’d acted, danced, and sang along with his friends in the school musical. Black boys didn’t listen to music like that. They played sports. They didn’t sing, and they especially didn’t sing in front of an audience!
Chad sweated as he gripped Ryan’s hand. He relinquished of his grip yet again, not wanting to break his boyfriend’s hand. He wasn’t supposed to be sweet, romantic, caring, giving. He was supposed to be a hardass. He’d never live this down, but it was what Ryan wanted. It was the only thing he’d asked for for Valentine’s Day or his birthday.
“There now,” Ryan whispered as they reached the auditorium’s closed doors. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Chad turned to face him, but from the corner of his eye, he could see the whole school watching them. There were the bullies, just waiting to poke fun at them and drive them both up the school’s flagpole. There were other black kids, too, the shyer ones, the quieter ones, the ones who had dreamed like himself that they felt they could never make true. The other boys he and Ryan had discussed in their school were also there, staring through wide eyes, some with makeup, some with not, all with twin looks of horror. They were scared for them.
But it was over. He had done it. They had just walked through the school hallway holding hands. They were out of the closet. “We did it,” he whispered, tears brimming in his dark eyes.
“Yeah,” Ryan agreed, squeezing his hand and bringing it to his lips. “We did it. I told you: we can do anything together.” Ryan kissed his hand, but Chad kissed his lips when he lowered his hand. He kissed him there in front of the whole school.
He heard movement and looked up just in time to see a basketball whizzing toward them. He grabbed it instinctively, having played ball for years before he finally moved on to what he’d always wanted to do with his life. He could play ball and do other things too. He could love who he chose to love and who chose to love him in return.
He threw the ball back in the direction from whence it had come and cringed inwardly when he saw the biggest bully in school. But then a voice rang out. A beautiful voice full of strength and pride and . . . joy? Chad gulped and looked in surprise as Sharpay demanded, “Touch my brother or his boyfriend and your parents are out of their jobs!”
It was a threat which everyone in school knew she could back up as her father employed most of their parents either directly or indirectly and she had Mister Danforth wrapped around her little finger. She didn’t slow as she approached the couple. Instead she flashed a bright, pink smile at their audience, grabbed their shoulders, and pushed them through the doors. “That was sweet, boys, stupid and brave but sweet.”
Ryan smiled at Chad, shy now that his sister was present. “That’s my boyfriend,” he whispered.
“Yeah, it is,” she agreed. “Now let’s get to work. We have less than a week to the next show.”
Chad just beamed. He and Ryan were out, and although most of the school didn’t accept them, or perhaps were still simply stunned speechless, they were accepted by those who mattered most. Along with Sharpay, Troy, Kelsi, and even Gabriella smiled at them. “I’m sorry I missed it, dude,” his best friend told him, and Chad felt himself beaming. He’d never felt so lucky or loved in his whole life!