STORY TITLE: Younger Now Than We Were Before
WARNING/DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters. I also don't own Boy Meets World. This show belongs to creators Michael Jacobs & April Kelly. No disrespect is meant. Mentions of past HET.
PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Cory/Shawn; mentions of other characters
SUMMARY: Shawn is finally realizing that he really wants to go to Pennbrook. With Cory.
AUTHOR NOTES: This fic was written for holly_blackmoor who's been going through some not so fun family stuff. I hope you enjoy this, sweetie! I knew I wanted to help distract her by writing fic and this just kind of happened. Written all in 1 day! :) And no, this is not a continuation of my BMW 'verse which is still in progress.
Younger Now Than We Were Before
Shawn had been lying to Cory when he told him that he wanted to keep doing photography and not go to Pennbrook. He wanted to go to college desperately. He wanted the chance to prove to himself that he could do this. Not only survive in college, but perhaps even discover where he belonged. And what scared him the most was not being with Cory.
He’d never been away from his best friend for more than three months. The idea of an entire year escaping them and him not being at the center of Cory’s world like he’d been since he was eleven absolutely terrified him. And the reasoning behind his fear should’ve had him running, but instead he felt stronger because he was finally prepared to face the truth.
Shawn was in love with Cory. He was a walking, talking cliché. Every writer’s worst nightmare (unless you counted writer’s block of course). And as hard as he tried he hadn’t been able to face up to Cory about his feelings.
He stood in the Matthews’ backyard, facing down the backdoor. A door that he’d easily entered for the past eight years. He couldn’t understand why he was having such a problem with it now. It was just a stupid door. As ready as he was to face his own feelings for Cory, it didn’t mean that Shawn was in any way prepared for Cory’s reaction.
He looked up in surprise when the backdoor opened and Cory stood there in the doorway, a confused look cutting across his features.
“Were you ever going to come in or were you planning on staying outside my house forever, Shawnie?”
“We need to talk, Cor,” Shawn said, sitting on the green and brown patio bench, running his hands through his hair out of habit more than nervousness. Closing the backdoor behind him, Cory walked over to Shawn, sitting next to his best friend.
“All right, you’ve got my attention. What’s up?” Cory asked.
“I haven’t been honest with you, Cory,” Shawn admitted softly.
“How much I want to go to Pennbrook. With you.”
“And Angela?” Cory prompted.
“No, um, you see we, uh, we broke up. And before you go off the deep end and start insisting that nothing has to change for any of us let me explain. We just…we ultimately ended up wanting different things.”
“Really? That’s…interesting,” Cory replied slowly.
Shawn raised an eyebrow. “Interesting? That’s your big comeback? You sure you’re feeling okay?” he asked, bemused at Cory’s out of character response.
“Yeah, so? It’s perfectly acceptable for people to change as they grow. I mean, Topanga’s done it enough times, hasn’t she?” Cory demanded.
Shawn shook his head in an attempt to clear it. “Who are you, and what have you done with my best friend Cory Matthews?” But he felt himself finding his footing once again after hearing Cory bring up Topanga. If they were going to talk about Topanga, Shawn felt like he could breathe a little easier. This was familiar territory he and Cory had charted numerous times before. Maybe he wouldn’t have to face who he really was and what it meant in dealing with his changing relationship with Cory.
Cory sighed softly, a brief smile lighting up his face. “Relax, Shawn. I haven’t changed that much. At least not any more than you have.”
“Okay. So where are you going with this?” Shawn asked, unsure how their conversation had managed to steer itself into murky waters so quickly.
“Topanga broke up with me. She’s decided to go to Yale after all. She told me that she loves me, but that sometimes love isn’t enough. Especially considering I’ve been in love with someone else for a long time.”
Shawn swallowed thickly, feeling as if he’d been blindsided by the news of Cory being in love with yet another person who wasn’t him. He struggled to focus on what Cory had told him about Topanga.
“Topanga left you? She-she’s going to Yale after…after everything you’ve been through together? Why?” he choked out, tears welling in his eyes as he felt the safety net he’d put over his heart to guard it from an onslaught of painful emotions involving Cory slipping away, despite his best efforts to keep it in place. If Topanga was out of the picture Shawn truly had nothing to hide behind any longer. He finally had to face his feelings for Cory head-on knowing that his best friend would never reciprocate those feelings.
It was a cruel knowledge Shawn had to come to terms with in discovering that Cory had feelings for another person, someone who wasn’t him.
“I don’t think I’ve told you yet, Shawnie, but I’m so proud of you for getting into Pennbrook. Topanga and I managed to convince several guys that Pennbrook wasn’t in their immediate futures, so I’m sure you’ll be getting off that wait list and getting an official acceptance letter in the mail any day now. I’m glad we’ll be going to the same school in the fall. The future’s a little less scary knowing that my boyfriend will be with me,” Cory said, taking a hold of Shawn’s hand in his own, bringing it to his lips and kissing it softly before lacing their fingers together.
Shawn’s head began to swim as he struggled to grasp what Cory was saying, what he’d just done or that they were holding hands. It was everything that he’d ever wanted, but now that it was finally happening he was a bit overwhelmed.
“Cory, how-how’d you know…?” he whispered, his voice trembling.
“How’d I know that you didn’t just come over here to tell me that you wanted to go to Pennbrook?”
Shawn nodded numbly, watching Cory warily.
“You’re my best friend, Shawn. And I know you better than anyone. Once Topanga helped open my eyes to my true feelings for you it was pretty damn obvious you felt the same way about me too. Watching you stand out here for over ten minutes in indecision helped me realize how right I was. You’ve loved me for a long time, haven’t you?” Cory asked gently.
“Yeah, I have, Cor. I don’t know how long I’ve had these feelings. I just know that it feels right. Loving you,” Shawn admitted, putting his free hand on the back of Cory’s head.
Cory leaned forward carefully until his lips brushed Shawn’s. “I love you too, Shawn,” he murmured against Shawn’s open mouth. And Shawn felt himself grinning into the next kiss they shared.
Cory was right. College really wouldn’t be so bad if they were facing it together.