Summary: Ryan gets an unexpected bonus. (Part four(?) of the Only in New York Trilogy…uh, series.)
"So what are your plans for the weekend?" Kelsi asked as she stepped through the door Ryan held for her, being careful not to spill her latte.
"No plans," Ryan replied, before taking a sip from his cup. "I was thinking of seeing a movie tonight but I might just stay in. TCM's devoting the entire day to Fred Astaire and--."
"And you have all the DVD's already," Kelsi reminded him.
"They're back home."
"So what? You can watch them when you visit. You need to get out and have some fun, Ryan."
"I did--last weekend when Chad was here," he replied with a sigh.
"Really? I would have thought you two stayed in and had fun," she teased. Ryan's smile didn't alter her opinion. They sat down in the plaza in front of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.
"What are your plans?" Ryan asked, turning the tables on Kelsi. "Date night?"
"Yep; we're going to the movies tonight. Why don't you join us?"
"Thanks, but I don't want to horn in on your date."
"You wouldn't be horning in. I'm inviting you!" Kelsi replied. "I really want you to meet Maya. Besides, you're better than anyone I know at making a perfectly timed exit. You'd never be a third wheel."
"Flattery will get you anywhere," Ryan said, smiling. "What are you going to see?"
Kelsi opened her copy of the Village Voice and scanned the movie listings. Ryan peered at the list and they discussed options. After a few minutes, Kelsi pulled out her phone to consult her girlfriend. Ryan sat back and enjoyed his coffee, pretending not to listen to their flirtatious banter, until his own phone began to ring. He looked at the name on the screen and answered it excitedly.
"Mom! You're in town?"
"How did you know?" she replied, pouting. "I wanted to surprise you."
"You're calling from the Plaza phone."
"Oh. I hadn't thought of that," she said. "How are you, honey?"
"I'm great," Ryan declared, beaming. "What are you doing in New York?"
"Well, your father had to go out to L.A. this weekend to look at a piece of property and Sharpay offered to join him--."
"Translation: she cajoled dad into taking her shopping on Rodeo Drive--I spoke with her last night."
"Well," Ms. Evans continued, diplomatically ignoring the remark, "I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to come to New York to visit you. Are you free for dinner?"
"Of course, I'm free for dinner," Ryan answered, looking at Kelsi, who was frowning at him. He covered the phone. "Mom's in town," he whispered.
"Very well; you may blow me off with a clear conscience, then," she said generously. Ryan started to say something but paused when he realized his mother was speaking.
"…So I called ahead and asked the concierge to book a reservation somewhere near the school. We'll either be at Jean Georges or Bar Boulud."
"In other words, dress for dinner," Ryan surmised. "Got it."
"I'll call back when I know where and when."
"Looking forward to it, mom." Ryan said goodbye and ended the call.
"Looks like you've got plans for the weekend, after all," Kelsi said, smiling.
"Yeah; not as much fun as last week, but it'll do," he said, rising to his feet. "I've got to go find something appropriate to wear to dinner." Ryan bent and kissed her cheek. "You have fun tonight. Tell Maya I'll meet her next time."
"Bye!" Kelsi called as Ryan shouldered his bag and practically skipped his way across the street to the dorm. His mother called back a few minutes later with the reservation time and location. Ryan spent the next hour picking out an outfit and getting ready.
"Big date?" Yuri asked.
"Hardly," Ryan replied, as he checked his appearance in the mirror. "I'm just having dinner with my mom. She's in town for the weekend."
"Oh. I thought your boyfriend was back."
"I wish," Ryan confided, reaching for his jacket. He pulled it on and turned to Yuri. "What do you think? Should I wear a tie or go casual?"
"For your mother you dress up? You didn't dress up for your hot, geeky boyfriend."
"My 'hot, geeky boyfriend' didn't take me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant," Ryan replied. He decided against wearing a tie and checked his reflection one last time. "I've got to go. I'll probably stay at mom's tonight, so I'll catch you later."
Ryan left the dorm and walked the short distance to the restaurant. He gave the hostess his name and she led him to his mother's table. Ms. Evans looked up as she approached, but when the hostess turned to present the new arrival Ryan wasn't with her. He'd come to a stop in the middle of the restaurant to gape at the sight before him. Ms. Evans smiled and nudged her companion.
"I think he's spotted my little surprise," she said archly.
"I think so, too," Chad agreed. His radiant smile broke through Ryan's daze and, like moth to flame, he was drawn to his lover's side. Chad's surreptitious gesture at the last moment assured that Ryan greeted his mother first. "Surprise!" he said, rising to his feet to hug Ryan when his turn came.
"How?" Ryan whispered in his ear. Chad shook his head and sat down again. Ryan got the message and smiled as his mother eagerly revealed the machinations that brought Chad to New York as her little surprise.
"And here I am," Chad concluded impishly.
"This is great!" Ryan said, brimming with mirth.
"Your father sends his love, honey," Ms. Evans continued, oblivious to the source of Ryan's grin. "I wish he was here to see your face," she said, caressing his cheek. "We knew having Chad come to visit would lift your spirits. You've been so lonely here all alone in New York."
"Have you?" Chad asked innocently.
"A bit," Ryan admitted, even as he kicked Chad under the table. The waiter came and Ryan turned his attention to the menu.
"Chad's already asked me to order for him," Ms. Evans said. "Do you know what you want?"
"You go ahead and order; give me a minute," Ryan replied. "Coward," he whispered to Chad as soon as her attention was diverted.
"Sue me for studying Spanish instead of French! I can't even identify half the stuff on the menu, much less pronounce it," Chad said defensively.
"I hope she ordered snails for you," Ryan teased.
"There are snails on the menu?"
"Yes, and they're quite good here, actually."
"You eat snails," Chad said doubtfully, doing his best not to make a face.
"Yes and with the same mouth you love to kiss," Ryan replied smugly.
"Ryan?" his mother prompted.
"Oh," he said, looking up. "I'll start with the salade verte and follow that with the steak frites."
"Very good, sir," the waiter said, retreating.
"So what did you order? I got the 'salad' part and the 'steak' part," Chad said.
"He's having the same thing you are," Ms. Evans answered for her son. "Green salad and steak with shoestring fries."
"Oh." Chad smiled and sat back.
"Nice scarf," Ryan volunteered, reaching out to touch it. "Goes really nice with your suit. Where'd you get it?"
"It's a recent gift," Chad said evenly.
"Don't you love the way he wears a suit?" Ms. Evans asked, turning to smile at Chad. "You should dress up more often, Chad. You look very handsome. Don't you agree, Ryan?"
"Nope," he answered as the waiter returned with her wine. "I prefer him butt naked." He winked at Chad unrepentantly and his mother shot him a reproachful look. The waiter suppressed a smile but as soon as he was gone, Ms. Evans censured her son.
"You made Chad blush," she said, patting his hand comfortingly.
"He's used to it," Ryan replied insouciantly.
"That's no excuse," his mother said.
"You want me to shake hands with him and promise to never do it again?"
"You're in a mood," Chad said, frowning at Ryan. He shrugged again.
"I'm happy," he admitted with a smile.
"Good," Ms. Evans said, reaching for his hand. "That's exactly what I wanted to hear."
"I know you two will want to spend all your time together," Ms. Evans said as the trio strolled along Central Park South on their way back to the Plaza. "All I ask is that you give me a few hours with you, Ryan."
"Take all the time you want with him," Chad said. Ryan shot him a look. "Hey, she's got the prior claim!" Ms. Evans smiled warmly at Chad and turned to look at the two young men.
"Why don't you two go and have some fun. You know I always go to bed early when I get into town but there's no reason you two have to. I'll see you in the morning for breakfast, all right?"
"Are you sure?" Ryan and Chad asked in unison.
"I'm sure," she assured the couple. "You two have a good time. Chad, you have your key, right?"
"Yes, ma'am," Chad said. Ms. Evans kissed Ryan's cheek and took her leave. "I don't suppose we could rightfully tell her that we could have more fun going to bed early, too?" Ryan grinned and gestured with his head. Chad turned with him and they headed south on Seventh Avenue toward Times Square.
"We may as well walk off the meal. I hate sex on a full stomach."
"Since when?" Chad asked incredulously. Ryan smiled.
"All right," he conceded. "We may as well walk off the meal, anyway. If we give her half an hour it'll be like having the place to ourselves."
"That sounds more like it," Chad replied with a grin.
"I take it she doesn't know you were here last week," Ryan said as they wandered down the street elbow to elbow. Chad shook his head.
"When she called and invited me she was so excited about her idea I didn't have the heart to tell her the truth. I thought it would spoil her fun if she knew."
"You're so sweet," Ryan said, wrapping an arm around one of Chad's. "She looked so happy springing her little surprise."
"Yeah, she did."
"What was it like traveling with her?"
"She's cool; you know that," Chad said diffidently. "We raised a few eyebrows at the airport, though. Your mom ran into someone she knew and introduced me as her 'son's friend.' On the plane I heard two women who'd been on line behind us debating whether she'd said I was her son or her boyfriend," he said, distastefully emphasizing the last word.
"You called her 'mom,' didn't you?" Ryan said knowingly.
"Yup. First chance I got."
"You're such a good boy," Ryan said, "protecting her reputation."
"I am, aren't I?" Chad said smugly.
"She adores you, too, you know. She probably beamed when you called her that."
"I didn't look," Chad confessed.
"So, two more days… Bonus!" Ryan said, leaning into Chad's warmth a bit more.
"More like one and a half, really, but yeah--bonus."
Ryan stopped and looked at his watch. Chad frowned at him.
"Counting the minutes?"
"We don't have a lot and I have no intention of wasting any of them," Ryan vowed, glancing at the time once again. He turned back and started walking north, pulling Chad with him.
"I'm not going to the dorm," Chad warned.
"Oh, no--trust me, the guys will never know you're in town," Ryan assured him. "We're going to the Plaza."
"I thought you wanted to give her a little time."
"She's had a little time," Ryan reasoned with an impish smile. "Besides, it's begun to rain and I know she'd be unhappy if you got your nice suit wet."
"So we're rushing back to the hotel for the sake of your mom's happiness."
"And ours," Ryan agreed. "Can I help it if I want to kiss you so bad my teeth hurt? We've been together for nearly three hours and I haven't even--."
"I know, I know," Chad said, picking up the pace slightly. They reached the hotel in a few minutes and entered the elevator, which was distressingly full of young female tourists. They smiled flirtatiously at the pair, who exchanged a glance. Chad took hold of Ryan's hand and squeezed it painfully hard when Ryan opened his mouth. As soon as the doors opened on their floor he dragged Ryan out of the elevator before he could get himself into trouble.
"I wasn't going to say anything!" Ryan insisted as they walked down the corridor.
"Right," Chad sighed.
"I wasn't! I was just--."
"Save it," Chad said, reaching for his key.
"But I--." Ryan's mouth fell open when he heard voices inside the apartment. "No."
"Surprise!" Sharpay cried as the pair came into view and found not only Sharpay but her father as well. "Danforth? What are you doing here?" she demanded.
"That was my surprise, Kitten," Ms. Evans explained. "Ryan, Chad: it seems as though Sharpay and her father decided to spring a little surprise of their own."
"So I see," Ryan said.
"Daddy finished his business early and I decided that we could shop in New York as easily as Los Angeles," his sister explained.
"Cool," Ryan said unconvincingly. But his hug was sincere and warm. "Don't tell mom Chad was here last week, all right?" he whispered in her ear.
"Just don't." Ryan pulled away and turned to greet his father as Chad fell into a chair. Sharpay went over to join him.
"I thought you were studying this weekend," she said, pushing his hand off the armrest to sit down.
"I studied on the plane," Chad replied as Ryan spoke with his parents. "What about you? You had delusions of buying out Rodeo Drive."
"I never said that."
"I didn't say you did," he shot back. She gave him a withering look.
"Well, I decided to visit my brother instead. And I'm going to spend some time with him," she declared. "We're going shopping first thing tomorrow morning."
"Good luck with that. By the way, his roomies really want to meet you," Chad quipped.
"I can only imagine why," she replied with a roll of her eyes. "But life is short so I'm going to have to postpone that undoubtedly life-altering experience."
"That's one way to describe it," Chad said, smiling.
"And don't keep him up late tonight. Stores open at ten o'clock, Danforth," Sharpay warned. "I plan to be in Bergdorf's before 10:01."
"Princess, you know better than I do that Ryan doesn't wake up voluntarily on Saturdays--well, except at my house. And for the record, we had every intention of going to bed nice and early."
"I just bet you--. At your house? Why?"
"He likes to make breakfast with my folks," Chad replied with a shrug. "I have no idea why, but at my house, he's usually the one to get me out of bed."
"Huh." Sharpay said, eyeing her brother curiously. Ryan chose that moment to turn and look at the conspiring pair.
"Well, if I have to go shopping at dawn, I'd better go to bed right now," Ryan announced, reaching for Chad's hand. "Chad will tell you I'm not easy to get up on a weekend morning."
"According to Chad, it's easy to get you up any time he wants," Sharpay quipped, rising to head for her own room. Chad's mouth fell open.
"I never said that!"
"I didn't say you did," she replied, throwing his own words back at him.
"I never said that," he insisted as Ryan drew him down the hall.
"Does it matter?" Ryan asked, shutting the door and pressing Chad against it. "Look, we've got barely a day and a half, I'm going to have to share you with my family and--."
"They can have the days. I just want the nights."
"Is that what you and Sharpay agreed to?"
"She wasn't in a negotiating mood," Chad replied, pushing Ryan's jacket off his shoulders. "And neither am I." He covered Ryan's mouth with his own before Ryan could form an answer. But that was fine with Ryan. It was time to collect his bonus.