Another season, another match between East High Wildcats and West High Knights. Everyone knew the winner before the game even got announced, but that didn't mean the Cats tried any less harder or that coach let them lay back a little - they trained as hard as ever, with no excuses. If they're gonna win, they're gonna do it in style.
15 minutes before the game. Ryan is sitting in the 'girlfriend row', as Troy calls it. He's wearing Chad's hoodie, and its owner is sitting next to him, bouncing his leg up and down nervously.
"I'm scared I'll mess up," Chad said, looking at the court and at his teammates. He'll join them and warm up eventually, when he calms down maybe. "I can't be the reason we lose our streak."
"Jeez," Ryan couldn't help but laugh a bit at the way Chad dramatized. He put his hand on the jock's knee comfortingly, finally getting him to look him in the eye. "You're talking about an impossible scenario. Sure, you may make a mistake here and there, that's just inevitable, but that doesn't mean you'll ruin the entire game."
"That means exactly that. I can't let everyone down!"
"You won't let anyone down. Look, sometimes I mess up too - I forget my lines, or mess up my choreography, but I just improvise and don't let anyone know something wasn't planned. How's that sound?" He explained patiently, trying to calm his boyfriend down as he took Chad's hand, caressing the back of it with his thumb.
Chad looked at him and nodded, shifting his gaze to the ground and sighing, seemingly calmer. "I guess," he muttered. "But what if the Knights are better than us this time? What if I'm too nervous to even do anything useful on the court?" He carried on, listing things running through his head.
"Danforth, don't be silly," Ryan snapped him out of it before he'd get too far. "First, really? Knights better than Cats? Do you hear yourself?" Chad couldn't help but giggle. "Second, Chad, even if you do lose, god forbid, what does it change? The score doesn't determine how good of a player you are, you're great no matter if you win or lose."
The jock looked at his boyfriend again, feeling better but still unsure, but Ryan just smiled at him patiently.
"Trust me, you'll do just fine. Now go kick some ass."
"Yeah, you're right," Chad finally agreed, returning the smile and squeezing Ryan's hand gently. "Thanks."
"And, if it helps," Ryan added as Chad was getting up to join his team. "I'll always be proud of you, too," he admitted, smiling at the way his words made the brunet blush and smile even wider. He leaned down, after making sure no one's paying attention to them, and kissed him gently, but, sadly, pulled away quickly.
"We're gonna win," he assured, mostly himself, as he ran off, leaving the blond boy alone.
When Chad joined the others, they saw that he was strangely excited and eager to play, which was different to his usual doubting and worrying. He was beaming. When Troy looked at the bleachers and saw Evans, it all clicked. Of course it was because of Evans.
5 minutes until the end of the game, and East High was winning with a big advantage against the Knights, who have kind of given up by now. Troy just passed the ball to Chad, who had decided that he wants to show off, feeling confident enough.
"This one's for you, Ry!" He yelled in the direction of Ryan, catching his attention (not that his eyes weren't on Chad the entire game). He bent his knees and aimed, focusing as hard as he could. Then, he jumped, throwing the ball, and... Missing completely.
He would never hear the end of it, and Troy was here to make sure. Thankfully, the Wildcats' laughters were drowned out by a loud beep, signalling the end of the game. Well... At least they won.