Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, please don't sue me.
A/N: I love High School Musical, I've watched it somewhere around five times now, and I listen to the soundtrack all the time. Anyway, this story involves a lot of pain for Troy, and a lot of mental anguish for Chad. It takes place at the end of the school year. Enjoy!
Troy Bolton walked down the hallway of East High, his arm casually draped across the shoulders of his girlfriend, Gabriella Montez. As they walked, several people called out to Troy, waving and saying hello. He waved back, smiling broadly as Gabriella beamed at him.
"You're so popular, Troy," she joked, laughing as he punched her in the shoulder.
"Invent any space shuttles lately?" Troy joked back, ducking as she swatted at his head. She darted toward him, but he easily sidestepped her, wrapping his arms around her and picking her up.
"Put me down!" Gabriella shrieked, kicking her feet as Troy spun her around.
"Say please," he teased, tickling her stomach.
"Please!" she cried, gasping for air as she tried to twist away.
"Okay, okay," Troy said, putting her back on her feet and kissing her.
"I love you," Gabriella whispered, looking into Troy's eyes.
"I love you, too," he replied, kissing her again.
They started to walk down the hall again, hands interlocked, smiling happily. Suddenly, Chad jumped out from behind a door, jumping on Troy's back.
Gabriella shrieked in surprise, breaking Troy's grip as she jumped back. Chad was laughing as Troy grunted with the added weight.
"Get off me, Chad," Troy said, laughing.
Chad laughed, jumping from Troy's back. "Can't take a joke?"
"It wasn't funny," Gabriella whined, punching Chad in the shoulder.
"Alright, alright, I'm sorry," Chad said, putting his hands up in mock fear.
Gabriella hit him again, before wrapping her arm back around Troy's shoulders.
Troy, Chad, Gabriella, and Taylor walked out of school later that day, blinking under the bright sun.
"So, what are we doing this weekend?" Chad asked, wrapping an arm around Taylor.
"We should go out tonight," Gabriella said, leaning into Troy's arm.
"You want to meet at the mall?"
"Seven?" Taylor asked, looking at Troy.
"Sure," he replied, shifting his backpack from one shoulder to the other.
They approached the stairs outside school, and started to walk down, talking and laughing. Suddenly, Troy's foot caught on a string tied across the stairs, and he tripped. Chad laughed, high-fiving the basketball players who jumped out from behind the stairs, roaring with laughter.
Troy, however, was not laughing. Gabriella screamed as Troy lost his balance, tumbling down the stairs. Chad stopped laughing, trying to grab Troy's flailing arm as he fell, but in vain. Troy rolled down the stairs, finally coming to a stop at the bottom, his head bouncing off the concrete with a sickening crack.
"Troy!" Gabriella cried, running down the stairs after him. Taylor and Chad followed her, along with several other people. Gabriella threw herself to her knees at Troy's head, her hands shaking as she put her hand under his head. She gasped, quickly drawing her hand out.
Tears springing into her eyes, she looked at the others, holding up her fingers. "He's bleeding."
Chad continued to pace the waiting room in the ER, while Taylor held Gabriella in her arms, comforting her.
"Chad, please sit down, you're not helping anybody," Taylor pleaded, handing Gabriella a tissue as she continued to sob.
"I can't," Chad said angrily, his fists clenching at his side. "I can't believe this happened, it was only supposed to be a prank. He was supposed to trip, not fall down the stairs."
"Accidents happen, Chad," Taylor whispered, following him with her eyes. "I'm sure Troy is going to be fine."
"Fine? He's unconscious, Taylor. He's bleeding, and he's unconscious. How is that fine?"
Taylor's reply was cut off when Troy's parents ran into the waiting room. Spotting Chad, Coach Bolton led his wife over.
"What happened? Where's Troy?"
Chad looked up at the coach, his hands shaking. "Coach, it was an accident. Me and the guys wanted to pull a prank on him, we never expected-"
"What happened?" Coach Bolton said loudly, his voice relaying anger.
"Troy fell. Down the stairs outside school. He hit his head on the concrete," Chad whispered, looking at the floor.
Mrs. Bolton gasped, putting a hand to her mouth. Coach Bolton ran a hand through his hair, turning away.
"Where is he?" he asked, turning back to Chad.
"They took him in, they haven't told us anything yet," Taylor said, gently rubbing Gabriella's shoulder.
Coach Bolton's reply was cut off when a doctor walked in.
Troy's parents turned, and the doctor walked over.
"Are you Troy's parents?"
They nodded, and the doctor motioned for them to sit.
"Are you three the ones who came with him?"
Chad and Taylor nodded, while Gabriella continued to sob.
"My name is Dr. Whitman, I treated Troy."
"How is he?" Mrs. Bolton whispered, gripping her husband's hand.
Dr. Whitman sighed. "Stable, for now. To start off, his left arm is fractured in three places and he suffered several broken or cracked ribs. He also suffered various cuts and bruises, nothing too serious."
Coach Bolton nodded, but swallowed hard. "What else?"
"Troy suffered a major head injury. We're not sure exactly how serious the injury is, but it is definitely bad. He's still unconscious"
"Is he going to be okay?" Chad asked, looking at the doctor.
Dr. Whitman sighed again. "It's too soon to tell. We're going to admit him to the ICU to keep him under observation."
"Can we see him?" Mrs. Bolton asked, her voice shaking.
Dr. Whitman nodded. "I'll take you to the Trauma Room before we take him upstairs. Once he's in the ICU, he can only have one visitor at a time."
They nodded, and stood, following the doctor out into the hallway.
"Before I take you in, there are a few things you need to know," Dr. Whitman said, stopping them just outside the door. "We put Troy on a ventilator to preserve his breathing, so there is a tube in his throat, which will be a little bit scary. Also, his left arm his immobilized in a cast, which runs from his fingertips up past his elbow. There is a bandage wrapped around his head, which looks intimidating. All of this is completely normal for someone in Troy's condition."
Troy's parents nodded, and Dr. Whitman opened the door, letting them in. Gabriella, Taylor, and Chad stood outside, watching as the door snapped shut behind the doctor.
Troy's parents walked out of the room, Mrs. Bolton sobbing into her husband's shoulder. Gabriella stood up, walking over to them.
"Can I see him?" she asked quietly, her voice shaking.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea," Coach Bolton said, looking sadly at her.
Chad and Taylor stood also, coming to stand behind Gabriella.
"Please, I need to see him," she whispered, her voice quiet.
"Okay," Coach Bolton relented. "But only Gabriella."
"Chad, go home."
"Chad, go home. We'll call you if anything changes."
"Fine," Chad said angrily, taking Taylor's hand. They both hugged Gabriella, before walking away.
"Thank you," she whispered to the coach and his wife, hugging the other woman.
"We know how much you love Troy," Mrs. Bolton said, her voice breaking.
Gabriella nodded, then gently opened the door to the room, walking over to the bed. Everything the doctor had said was true. Troy lay on the bed, pale and unconscious, a white bandage wrapped around his head. His left arm lay across his stomach, the white plaster almost blending into the white hospital gown he wore. The tube in his throat was taped down at the sides of his mouth, leading to a machine that was forcing air into his lungs. Two IVs ran from his right hand, supplying Troy with fluids and medications.
"You can talk to him," Dr. Whitman told her, putting the chart into the holder on the wall. "He can hear you."
Gabriella nodded, taking Troy's hand in hers. "Hey, Troy," she whispered. "It's me, Gabriella. I just wanted to tell you that I love you." She broke off, her voice choked. "Get better, Troy," she whispered, stroking his hand with her thumb.
That was the first chapter. Reviews greatly apprecitated!