By Jeune Ecrivain

Rating: T

Summary: Former one-shot extended due to good reviews. On the cusp of a relationship, Troy and Gabriela find something unexpected that they have in common and use it to further their fledgling singing careers. (This chapter is probably the shortest one yet, but there's a nice twist in it that I think you'll like. I didn't even plan it. It just occurred to me as I was writing.)

A/N: I just recently found out that a Spanish-dubbed version of HSM was released in Latin America on August 6, but all the songs remained in English. A few days later, I discovered a Spanish-language adaptation of "What I've Been Looking For" that was included on the Latin American edition of the HSM soundtrack but not in the movie. So far, that's the only HSM song I know of that's been translated by the Disney pros. I'm hoping (probably quite naively) that I can somehow contact Disney and get them to at least look at my translations of "Breaking Free," "Start of Something New," and "We're All In This Together" (the last of which I just recently finished) and possibly accept them as the "official" translations. I signed up for MySpace because a friend revealed to me that several HSM stars can be accessed there. I'm hoping to find a back-door entrance through Zac or Ashley or Vanessa, since I don't think any letter I send directly to Disney has much chance of standing out amongst all the other fan mail they probably get.

"Well, for starters, I simply must applaud your creativity," Mrs. Darbus began. "You've more then demonstrated your proficiency at performing, which is the key element we look for in Drama Club members." She paused. "Also, as you may or may not know, we now require applicants to have had at least one diction classes or demonstrate equivalent ability to sing in a foreign language." At this point, Troy and Gabriela were holding their breaths, but Darbus continued. "Seeing as you've done the latter quite adequately, with our officers' approval, I have no hesitation in welcoming you to the East High Drama Club."

Darbus glanced around the table. The Secretary was the first to speak up. "Indeed, they shall nourish the garden of our theatre so that it may bloom even more," she stated as if reciting Shakespeare.

The Treasurer was next. "I do believe that enlisting these two rich vessels of hitherto undiscovered talent will enrich our organization in ways both financial and artistic."

Troy leaned into Gabriela and whispered in her ear, "I like to perform, but if I ever start talking like I stepped out of an old-fashioned novel, please just shoot me right then and there." Gabriela giggled.

The Vice-President then spoke his mind. "I see no reason to turn them away. Their talent is undeniable."

"At least the VP seems to speak plain English," Gabriela observed quietly. She then grew anxious, as did Troy. It was now time for the two Co-Presidents to give their verdict. For once, Ryan and Sharpay wore markedly different expressions. Ryan looked thoughtful. Sharpay looked aloof…that is until Ryan opened his mouth. Almost as if on a whim, he smiled and said quite simply, "Welcome to the club. We'll be lucky to have you."

Sharpay's head turned with lightning speed to face her brother. "Ryan!" she said, looking shocked and betrayed.

Ryan's response was a gentle smile. "It's time to share the spotlight, sis," he said softly.

Sharpay let out two helpless huffs and one scoff before she stiffly excused herself and walked briskly out of the auditorium. Despite everything she'd done, Gabriela couldn't help but wonder if she'd truly hurt Sharpay. Strangely enough, Ryan was smiling to himself much like a little boy who'd succeeded at riding a bike for the first time.

"Well, it seems unanimity remains unprocured," observed Darbus, "but consensus is all we need. The Drama Club welcomes Troy Bolton and Gabriela Montez!"

Troy and Gabriela expressed sincere thanks before stepping off the stage. They were surprised to find Ryan rising from his seat and walking up to meet them. "Wow, that was liberating!" he said, looking bewildered.

Troy and Gabriela looked at him in puzzlement. "What are you talking about?" asked Troy.

"First off, I just want to thank you for completely disrupting the social hierarchy!" Ryan exclaimed.

"You're welcome,…I guess," replied a still-confused Gabriela.

"It's just that…I've gotten way too used to being in my sister's shadow. You know? I've been practically her puppet for years now. Don't get me wrong. I love performing and all, but she takes it way too seriously sometimes," the not-so-icy Evans twin explained. "But you two inspired me. You two were brave enough to try something new and follow your gut. The only thing I've followed for a long time has been Sharpay's orders. I love my sister, but I'm my own person, and it's time I started acting like it!"

Troy was simultaneously pleased to have been such a big help and quite amused at Ryan's outburst, and Gabriela was beaming. Before either could respond, however, Ryan pushed past them with a quick "Excuse me" and walked up on stage. Kelsi, who had frozen in the midst of gathering up her sheet music in order to listen to Ryan's speech, stared at him as he approached her at a brisk gate. "Kelsi," he almost shouted, "I should've told you a long time ago that I think what you do is really amazing. Acting and singing what other people have written is one thing, but to actually come up with this stuff from scratch, now that's talent!"

"Um…thanks," replied Kelsi as she began to blush.

"Troy and Gabriela decided to kill two birds with one stone with their audition today," Ryan continued. "Well, it's my turn to do that." With each word, he stepped closer and closer to the shy musician. "I'm going to do something I've wanted to do for a long time, and as an added bonus, I'm going to set the record straight about my…orientation." With that, he silenced any response Kelsi might have had on the tip of her tongue with his lips, kissing her firmly on the mouth for all too see.

"Whoah!" said Troy as Gabriela gasped.

"Did he really just do that?" rang out Taylor's voice from her seat towards the back of the auditorium, her eyes as big as saucers.

"Awww," cooed the Secretary and Treasurer of the Drama Club.

"Ryan likes Kelsi?" Troy marveled.

"Evans likes GIRLS?" Chad marveled more loudly.

After a moment, Ryan and Kelsi separated, both looking dazed. Kelsi proceeded to turn virtually every shade of red imaginable as she fumbled furiously. "Ryan…I…uh…wow…I…er…" She finally managed to utter a coherent but very shaky, "I need to get ready for the next audition." She gathered up the last of her sheet music, let out a heavy sigh, and disappeared backstage.

Ryan was blushing profusely himself. The spell of his epiphany had apparently been broken, and his normal self-consciousness returned. Yet he regretted nothing as he turned and walked off the stage, a contented smile playing at his lips.