Chapter 10: Andrew

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Andrew picked up a blue marker and decided he could color the sky parts in, at least, without ruining anything. The shock of the whole thing had thrown him off. Why would Ryan tell him something like that? A hot ball burned inside his chest. Ryan liked him. It would explain a lot. 

Beside him, Ryan bent over his penciled drawings and started going over the lines with a Sharpie.

After all that, they worked in silence for a while. They had a lot to think about.

Andrew couldn't help but get a little bit sucked into the movie, and he noticed Ryan doing the same. He also noticed Ryan's intense focus when he was drawing. So intense, the big guy probably didn't even notice how his tongue was poking out of his mouth. It was adorable.

When he had finished two full pages of coloring, he got up. That was a process, because one of his legs had fallen asleep, and he leaned back on the couch so he didn't bump the table and mess Ryan up – which didn't end up mattering, because Ryan noticed and stopped drawing and reached out a hand to push Andrew upright. "Heh, thanks," Andrew said. He sounded about as awkward as his mom did earlier. He shook his leg so that pins and needles crawled up it. "Uh, you want a snack?"

"Sure," Ryan said.

"Popcorn good?"

"Yeah, that sounds great." Ryan smiled at him, and Andrew found himself blushing. Oh god. He hurried into the kitchen just to get away.

Waiting for the bag to pop gave him a chance to calm down. What was he doing? Ryan couldn't like him. Not that way. It was impossible. Here Andrew could barely look at himself in a mirror; he didn't know how Ryan could look at him and like what he saw. Yet somehow it felt obvious, both in the way his body was reacting and the way Ryan was sneaking glances at him exactly like Andrew was sneaking glances at Ryan, how Ryan knew he was gay and had just come out to him, how both of them noticed every small time their bodies touched...

He rubbed his face, and got out two glasses. His mother had sworn off soda a long time ago, so all they had was water and some green juice that actually tasted pretty good, but Andrew wasn't going to serve Ryan some weird green juice. Water with lemon. He brought out a glass for Ryan and set it down away from the papers.

"Thanks," Ryan said with a big smile. Andrew smiled back a little; he couldn't help it. But then he ducked his head and went back to the kitchen for his own glass and the popcorn, which he dumped into a bowl and carried in the crook of his elbow so he could carry his glass at the same time.

"Do you need help?" Ryan asked, jumping up. "I'm sorry, I should have thought--"

"I'm fine." Andrew carefully squatted a little to put down the bowl before standing up and setting his glass down.

He was going to make a move, he decided, watching Ryan sit back down. He'd find out if Ryan was interested in him. Probably he'd scare Ryan off, but it was better to know. To have a definitive answer.

So when he sat down, he sat so close to Ryan they were touching. The length of their thighs, and their upper arms. Ryan started a little, but he just blushed and gave Andrew a nervous smile as Andrew took the bowl of popcorn and settled back into the couch. Looked at Ryan. Ryan looked at him. Still smiling.

Then Ryan pushed back, and now they were both sitting side by side on the couch, and Ryan's hand was reaching into the popcorn bowl that was on Andrew's lap, and Andrew realized it was a good thing he had the bowl in his lap because damn.

Ryan liked him that way.

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