Rating: Teen, preslash
Spoiler: minor spoiler for HSM 3, although, alas, there's no real Chyan to spoil *sigh*
Summary: Ryan's the director, right? He could so pull it off.
There were probably better ways to get Chad Danforth's attention. Being Taylor McKessie was one of them, but frankly, even Ryan didn't think he could pull off whatever it was that made Chad slavishly devoted to the brainy teen. Ryan knew that devotion was temporary; Taylor and Chad's relationship had an expiration date stamped on it. She was off to a summer program in Europe after graduation and headed for Yale in the fall. The couple had already agreed to part company and morphed into being just friends before the semester was halfway over. Ryan knew that his path was finally clear. All the reasons Chad and Ryan's interest in each other had amounted to little more than occasional heated looks and mild flirtation since the previous summer were rapidly disappearing.
So it wasn't that Ryan had to work too hard to get Chad's notice. The clown suit would do the trick. It was subtle--in a Ryan Evans sort of way. And it was genius--there was no way that Chad could ignore it, or the man who'd put it in his dressing area. After all, Ryan Evans was the director of the senior show, so it wasn't as though Chad could really ignore him, anyway. All Ryan wanted was a bit more of his attention. He had no idea what Chad's reaction to the clown suit might be or what he'd do once he had Chad's attention. But Ryan was never one to sweat the small stuff. He'd cross that bridge when he came to it.
The last thing Ryan ever expected was that Chad would actually put it on. That was too perfect a moment to lose. He'd be eternally grateful to Martha, who pulled out her camera and snapped a picture the moment Chad appeared on stage. Ryan would never forget that image or the one word that came from Chad's lips.
It was enough to indicate a mild threat and Ryan recoiled before he remembered that he was the director, the man in charge. He summarily ordered Chad off the stage and the petulant teen stalked over to sit at the vanity set located stage right. Ryan conceded major points to Chad for that. For the next ten minutes Ryan was found it virtually impossible to concentrate. Every time he caught a glimpse of Chad pouting at him he lost his focus. Ryan was grateful when Gabriella asked for a break. He looked across the set and nodded to Chad. He led the way to the dressing room and shut the door behind him, nearly trapping the voluminous clown suit in the door.
"Ryan, what part of this relates to my life at East High?" Chad asked bluntly.
"Where did you find that?" Ryan asked in perfect innocence. "You're playing an East High Wildcat, not Pagliacci."
"Pagliacci," Ryan repeated patiently. "He's a--. Never mind. Where'd you get the suit and why are you wearing it?"
"I--. It was--." Chad's mouth snapped shut and he blinked at Ryan in total confusion.
"It looks great on you, by the way; works perfectly with the hair," Ryan said casually, averting his eyes because he was sure Chad's glare would have melted steel at that moment.
"You put it--."
"No," Ryan insisted, hazarding a glance. He was caught in Chad's eyes in spite of himself. Only they weren't so much angry as confused. Ryan could handle confusion, especially when it was enveloped in 5'10" of hot. "You really do make that look good."
"Bullshit," Chad spat as he began to pull at the suit. The Velcro came apart under his hands and he stepped out of it, letting it drop to the floor. Ryan gulped at the sight of Chad wearing only a pair of charcoal grey boxer briefs and socks. Chad tossed the suit at Ryan and calmly turned to pick up a pair of jeans. Ryan found his voice and proclaimed that the clown suit must have been someone's idea of a joke.
"There isn't a clown in the entire show. You'll be wearing your basketball uniform in the opening and the tux in the prom scene. The rest of the time you'll be wearing street clothes," Ryan explained. But his eyes were still on Chad's body. They trailed over broad shoulders and down to the jeans that fit Chad like a second skin. Ryan could only stare as he looked down and frowned.
"These aren't mine," he declared, pulling them off again and tossing them aside. He bent to pick up another pair of jeans off the floor. They fit nicely, too, in Ryan's estimation, but not as nicely as the first pair. He finally forced himself to turn away and busied himself with hanging up the clown suit as Chad pulled on a tee and located his shoes. "I guess I'll need a fitting for the tux," Chad suggested, standing to unzip his fly and tuck his tee into his pants. Ryan nodded dully. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine he'd see Chad's underwear twice in five minutes. Of course, he'd never envisioned watching him strip out of a clown suit, either. Ryan cleared his throat and dug a little notebook out of his pocket to pencil in Chad for a fitting with the wardrobe crew.
"All set," he said.
"Cool. If we're done here…"
"All done," Ryan said crisply, refusing to let his distraction show. Chad gifted him with one of his disarmingly beautiful smiles and patted him on the shoulder. "Later, dude."
As soon as the door closed, Ryan exhaled deeply and collapsed into a chair fanning himself. He had enough fantasy material to last for months and if he developed a clown fetish after conjuring up images of Chad wearing that suit, so be it.
Outside the dressing room, Chad smiled. There were probably better ways to get Ryan Evan's attention, but playing along with the clown suit gag was a good one. Stripping down to his briefs was undoubtedly better. He grinned to himself and made a mental note to pick up the jeans he'd stolen from Troy's locker before the end of the day.