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FIC: Life Lessons - Hotitudinosity
fiction by jalabert
FIC: Life Lessons
Title: Life Lessons
Author: Jalabert
Rating: Everyone
Summary: Mr. Danforth offers fatherly advice--to his son's boyfriend.

A late model BMW pulled up in front of a modest colonial and a man emerged from the passenger side. He shut the car door and bent to wave at the driver.

"Thanks again, Earl," he said. "I'll see you Monday."

"Have a good weekend," Mr. Danforth replied, returning the wave. He drove down the block and made a left turn, headed for his own house two miles east. He fiddled with the CD player as he made his way out of the subdivision, smiling when he found the track he wanted. He began to hum along to the melody as he made another turn. Up ahead he saw a familiar figure standing beside a car. Mr. Danforth drew to a stop and frowned.


"Hey, Mr. D," he replied as he lifted the hood of his convertible and peered at the engine.

"What's the problem?"

"I haven't the vaguest idea. It won't start."

Mr. Danforth pulled his car up and parked in front of Ryan's convertible.

"Let me take a look."

"Oh, that's all right. I can call my mechanic."

"There may be no need," Mr. Danforth replied, bending to look at the engine. Ryan shrugged and followed suit.

"See anything?" he asked as Chad's father began to check the connections.

"Not yet," he said absently. "Get in and try to start her up again. Sometimes it's just a matter of a loose connection."


As Ryan got into the car, Mr. Danforth took a moment to glance around at his surroundings. It wasn't a neighborhood he was familiar with and it certainly wasn't one in which he expected to find Ryan Evans. Ryan turned the ignition key, bringing his attention back to the matter at hand. After a few tries, Mr. Danforth told him to stop.

"I think it's the battery," he declared after checking a bit more, turning to go back to his car.

"I'll call my garage," Ryan said, reaching for his phone.

"No need; I've got battery cables in the trunk."

"Okay…" Ryan said blankly. Mr. Danforth couldn't suppress a smile.

"You don't know the first thing about cars, do you?"

"I know how to choose one that is so sex on wheels it'll make every kid in East High drool with envy," he said brightly. Mr. Danforth gave him a look that Ryan knew for certain had been passed genetically from father to son. "All right, no," Ryan replied petulantly. " I'm not very mechanically inclined."

"There's a shock," Mr. Danforth said as he fetched the cables. "Get in the car and start it when I tell you."

"Yes, sir," Ryan said circumspectly. In a matter of moments, Ryan's engine was alive and purring. As Mr. Danforth removed the cables, a pretty blonde teenager came out of the house on the other side of the road and walked over.

"I thought you were gone," she said, folding her arms and looking at the engine.

"My car wouldn't start," Ryan said sheepishly, reaching up to close the hood.

"Oh. Why didn't you tell me? I could have gotten my dad's cables and given you a boost."

"Thanks, but my friend's dad came along and helped me out," he replied. The girl looked over at Mr. Danforth, who glanced up and nodded curtly as he stowed the cables.

"Cool," she said. "I'll see you Monday, then." She threw her arms around Ryan's shoulders and kissed his cheek. "Have a good one."

"Bye, Mandy," Ryan said with a sigh. He waited until she was out of earshot before he let loose with a little groan. Mr. Danforth pulled out a wet wipe and cleaned his hands, gazing at Ryan suspiciously.

"Do I want to know who that was and why you were at her house?" he asked. Ryan cringed slightly and turned around to face him. Mr. Danforth shook his head. "Never mind," he said. "It's none of my business. Get home safe, Ryan."

Ryan watched him get into his car and drive off, confused by his behavior. By the time realization dawned, the BMW was at the corner. Ryan leapt into his car and followed Mr. Danforth home. He arrived only a few seconds behind him, but Chad's father had already disappeared into the house. Ryan knocked once before letting himself in. Mr. Danforth had just set down his briefcase on the table and he looked up as Ryan entered.

"Hey," Chad said, from his place the sink where he was washing tomatoes for a salad. He turned off the water and reached for a towel as he made his way over to greet Ryan with a kiss. "What are you doing here, dude? I thought you were going to Mandy's to rehearse tonight."

"I did," Ryan replied, his eyes on Chad's father. "I got done early."

"Oh, well, you're just in time for dinner. Want to stay?"

Earl Danforth nodded and Ryan gave Chad a half smile that was read as an acceptance. Ryan went into the guest bath to wash his hands while Chad finished the salad. When he emerged he went to Mr. Danforth's study and knocked on the open door.

"Mr. D," he began.

"Ryan," Mr. Danforth replied, rising to his feet. "I owe you an apology. I had no right to cast aspersions--."

"No, no," Ryan interrupted. "I suppose things did look somewhat fishy."

"It was still none of my business."

"You were thinking of Chad. I can't blame you for wanting to protect your son."

"My son is fully capable of looking out for himself. He's also capable of making a simple assessment of a dead battery. If you're going to be driving a car that's 'so sex on wheels it'll make every kid in East High drool with envy,' you ought to know how to take care of it."

"Yes, sir," Ryan said, averting his eyes. He looked up again. "I don't suppose you could…maybe… show me a thing or two? My dad isn't mechanically inclined, either."

"You could ask Chad," Mr. Danforth suggested. But he thought better of it and smiled. Ryan had asked for his help, not his son's. "Of course, if you two start messing around in my garage I'll--. Tell you what: why don't you come over Saturday and I'll give you a little primer on car care."

"That'd be really cool," Ryan said enthusiastically.

"Now that we've settled that, let's go eat." Mr. Danforth headed for the door, but Ryan didn't move. "Was there something else?"

"I love your son, Mr. D," Ryan said bluntly. He saw Mr. Danforth's almost imperceptible wince, but Ryan didn't mince words to spare him discomfort. "I love Chad very much and I wouldn't cheat on him."

"I--. Thank you for telling me," Chad's father said awkwardly.

"And if I were going to cheat on him it wouldn't be with a girl, anyway," Ryan continued. "I'll be honest with you. Mandy has been coming onto to me lately. I've made it very clear that I wasn't interested, but she's been persistent. That's why I left early."

"Did you tell her you already had a boyfriend?"

"Yeah, but she thinks it's just a phase that I'll get over. As if!"

"Does Chad know about this?" Mr. Danforth asked, inexplicably amused.

"Are you kidding? I can't tell Chad," Ryan cried. "He'd tear her heart out and eat it raw while she bled out."

"Right," Mr. Danforth said hastily, clapping Ryan on the shoulder. "As I said, he's quite capable of protecting his own interests. Let's go eat." Ryan smiled and allowed himself to be led to the dining room where the other Danforths were already waiting.

"What time on Saturday?" Ryan asked as he toyed with the last of his ice cream. "Never mind; I think it's my turn to stay over." Mr. Danforth shut his mouth and averted his eyes momentarily. "Any time you're ready works for me."

"Just remember to bring your owner's manual," he said.

"Owner's manual?" Ryan repeated, frowning.

"It's that book in your glove compartment behind your sunblock," Chad said teasingly as he rose to help his mother clear the table. "Why do you need it?" he asked, looking from Ryan to his father.

"I'm going to learn how to take care of my car," Ryan declared smugly.

Chad laughed heartily for the next two minutes. But over the next four Saturdays he watched with pride as Ryan and his father learned the fundamentals of caring for a complicated and persnickety "sex on wheels" luxury sports car together.

The End<
On to Life Lesons II

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32 comments or leave a comment
totally_loca From: totally_loca Date: November 6th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cute and shiny. :) Well done.
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 6th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! :)
la_pina_colada From: la_pina_colada Date: November 6th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was coming to comment on your last fic, and then I saw there was a new one and got overly excited. :) It's nice seeing Chad and Ryan interact with Chad's family, and you've created such a likeable family that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

So what kind of BMW is Mr. Danforth driving?

jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm happy to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

I imagine that Mr. D is driving a nice 500-class Beemer. He's an engineer and he must live in a rather nice nabe if his son goes to a public high school with millionaires' kids.
From: sagiegurl Date: November 6th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh this is cute!
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
joyful From: joyful Date: November 6th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
So cute. *huggles*
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
applepiecrust From: applepiecrust Date: November 6th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is adorable!

Aww, Ryan! I don't get cars either. And yay for father-son's boyfriend bonding time!
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I like to think that Mr. D got the most out of it. ;)
mulder200 From: mulder200 Date: November 6th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
These HSM fics are so sweet they could give me cavities! Nice job again.
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm losing all my teeth writing them!

erikssiren From: erikssiren Date: November 6th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
So cute! I really love your fics. :D
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I have a lot of fun writing them.
cleverboot From: cleverboot Date: November 6th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how adorable this is. More, more! =)
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! If I find another idea I'll be back with more.
laocoons From: laocoons Date: November 7th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Giant aww. You just write the cutest fics with Ryan interacting with the Ds. They're just fantastic! Infinite hearts to you.

Also, Ryan is basically me in this fic. This one time my Volvo wouldn't start and I was like "I got no idea what's going on. I'll just take my other car. Whatev." And so then I took my brother's car (he's away at college so it's basically like I just have two), but when I got home my mom's handy man and really good friend was like "Your battery's dead." And I was like "But the clock goes on!" And he was like *facepalm*. He helped me change the battery and put in break fluid and all sorts of stuff. I think I lost most of what I gained, but this fic had all sorts of real life application for me.

All sorts. x.x;
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
See, Ryan would totally do that. There have to be a few unused cars lying around in the Evans garage. He'd just take the Range Rover to school the next day. ;)

Thank you very much for your sweet comment.
lil_1337 From: lil_1337 Date: November 7th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
*grins* I totally agree with Chad's father. If you are going to drive you should know at least the basics of car care. It's good to see Ryan bonding with the Danforths. Will we maybe see the Chad and the Evans as well? *looks hopeful*
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 7th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor little rich boy...

I do think Chad will be bonding with the Evanses, but you just know that will be more surreal than anything Ryan experienced at the Danforths'.
elvensorceress From: elvensorceress Date: November 7th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, first? I cannot stop staring at your icon. SO CUTE. How is he so cute? I don't even know.

Anyway. \o/ I SO love that you're writing these boys and that you're writing such wonderful things about Chad's family. I wish I had a Mr. Danforth to teach me those things. I am sadly very Ryan about cars and I was taught to pretty much do what he did - call someone else. *sigh* So. I love that there is a slight awkwardness about Ryan and Daddy Danforth's interaction but it's very clear that they care about each other and very much care about Chad. Their conversation about cheating was spot on.


Feel free to keep writing more lovely things like this. All the time. Forever. ;)

jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 8th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Corbin was, is, and I suspect will always be absurdly adorable.

I said months ago that I wasn't likely to write more Chyan because I'd run out of stories. Over the last few weeks I've found myself unable to stop writing them (and I must--I have other things to do) and all of the stories (two yesterday!), little glimpses into their relationships with each other and with those around them. This is such a departure for me--I am much better known for writing stories ranging from 20 to 200 pages in length. These stories never exceed seven pages and the ones that reach that length do so only after numerous edits. Odd for me, yes, but I'm enjoying them and it thrills me to hear that you do as well.

(Deleted comment)
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 8th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I wish I had folks like that.
silver_fic From: silver_fic Date: November 7th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee!! So cute!! ^__^
jalabert From: jalabert Date: November 8th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
nonemohead From: nonemohead Date: December 29th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh this fic is too cute! *gushes*

"Are you kidding? I can't tell Chad," Ryan cried. "He'd tear her heart out and eat it raw while she bled out."

Oh Chad, you're so protective. lol. And Ryan working on cars with Chad's dad? That is just too precious.

Lovely, lovely fic. :)
jalabert From: jalabert Date: December 29th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Chad has shown a possessive streak ever since they began dating, which Ryan picked up at some point. But I love the way Ryan says that so matter-of-factly.

And Ryan would never dirty his hands with his father. He's got a whole separate relationship with his father-in-law. ;)
legal_prose From: legal_prose Date: January 2nd, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't believe I didn't comment on this one. I love the relationship you developed between Ryan and Mr. D. I can see how it's hard for Earl to handle Ryan and Chad but you're so awesome at writing all of them that it makes me think that's how's it's supposed to be.

This = love.
jalabert From: jalabert Date: January 3rd, 2009 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
We've established that the Danforths would walk through fire for their son. The fact that his father is still grappling with Chad's sexuality doesn't alter that fact. So even as he squirms at Ryan's candid declaration, he accepts that he's a part of Chad's life and hence a part of his own life as well. That IS love!

Thank you!
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