Disclaimer: I own nothing! Except for maybe the plotline.
A/N: Dancerles1 I'm really really sorry (times 100) if it seems like I'm copying you. But I did have this idea for quite a while now, just didn't get the time to write it. Besides, your story is great. :)
Chapter 1: Come With Me!
Gabriella stepped into the living room and eyed her mother sighing and flipping through a tattered photo album on the couch.
"Are you thinking about dad?"
Ms. Montez nodded. "We should have made it work. Then he wouldn't have left. You wouldn't be fatherless for ten years," she said as tears made their way down her cheek.
Gabriella came over and hugged her mom. "It's okay. You've been the greatest mom in the entire world. But you know, about dad...what if I went to visit him this summer?"
"By yourself?" Ms. Montez questioned, looking at her daughter, "All the way there?"
"Mom, I'll be fine. I'm a big girl now."
"But why honey?"
"I kinda have to do this...for myself...I haven't seen him for the longest time," Gabriella paused, "Okay, how about I ask Taylor to come?"
Her mom was silent for a while. She stared at the ceiling and back at the closed album. "Alright," she said in a near whisper. "If you really need to do this."
A small smile crept at the corners of Gabriella's lips. "I love you."
"I love you, too," her mom replied as she drew Gabriella into her arms and kissed the top of her head.
"She said yes!" Gabriella yelled into her phone. "Oh my gosh Taylor! You have to come with me—I mean if you don't have any plans, that is."
There was silence on the other side of the line. Aww shoot. She probably won't wanna go. Gabriella thought.
"Well...of course I'd like to come! Are you kidding me? Why would you even dream of going without me," came through the phone. "When are we leaving? Are we taking a plane? Where are we going? What should I bring? What about Chad?" Taylor bombarded Gabriella with questions.
"Two days after school's out. No. South Carolina. Clothes, money, personal hygiene products. And I guess you could take Chad. Why?"
"He's pretty helpless without me. You know guys. He probably couldn't go one week."
Gabriella laughed, "How very true."
"So we're not taking a plane? How come? Didn't you have to take a one to Albuquerque?"
"Yeah, my mom practically had to drag me onto it. I've had some bad experiences. One time I lost my Barbie at the terminal and my Cabbage Patch Kid on the plane."
"I was six!"
"Oh. This sounds like so much fun!"
"Yeah but when you ask Chad, don't tell him why we're really going. Keep it between you and me, okay?"
"Sure. I'll just tell him we're gonna spend some quality boyfriend-girlfriend-and-girlfriend's best friend-time out on the open road."
"Great," said Gabriella, grinning widely.
"Chad! You have to come!" Taylor pleaded him the next day at school.
"It'll be fantastic! Spend some quality time with your oh-so beautiful, intelligent girlfriend who won't help you with your math homework if you don't go thereby earning you an F and getting you off the basketball team thus ruining your chances of getting into a nice college," she added as she batted her eyelashes.
"That's more like it! Now go phone your parents right now," she said handing him her cell phone.
"But could I at least take Troy?" he asked taking the phone.
"I'm pretty sure Gabi won't mind. The more the merrier as I always say," Taylor told him as he dialed and put the phone to his ear.
"No you don't," said Chad to her. "You didn't say it yesterday."
"Guys," Taylor said, rolling her eyes.
At basketball practice...
"Troy! You have to come!" Chad begged. "I mean it'll be just me and two girls. And not just two regular girls! Nooo. Taylor and Gabi. Alone. The three of us. On a road trip. Across the country. I'll probably die of gossip if not makeup fumes before we get there. You have to come!" Chad was now on his knees.
"Wait so Gabi's coming?" Troy asked while tying his shoes.
"Did you not hear everything else I said? I need you!"
"Yeah, but is Gabi going?"
"YES! GABI IS GOING!"
"Then count me in!"
Chad engulfed Troy in a tight hug and cried, "Troy you are the greatest! I love you man!"
"Chad," Troy gasped, trying to breathe.
"Yeah bestest buddy in the world?"
"People are staring."
"Oh yeah," Chad released Troy. "I knew that. I'm cool," he said smoothing out his shirt.
"Hey Chad," Troy said, "You think it'd be alright if Jason and Zeke come too? We have to this extra credit project for Video Production. We kinda failed the last final."
"Sure why not? The more the merrier as I always say."
"No you don't."
"So guys," Troy started, stepping between Jason and Zeke as they walked down the hallway to their next class. He hung one arm around each of their necks, "How 'bout going on a road trip this summer? We could film it for our project thing."
"Works for me!" Jason replied. "My parents wanted to get rid of me this summer anyway."
"Sounds absolutely wonderful!" Zeke exclaimed as Troy and Jason stared at him. "I mean—yeah, it's fine with me."
Sharpay's cell phone rang as she stood in line for lunch. "Hello? Oh hi Zekey-poo...A road trip! How exciting!"
"Yeah, so this summer I guess our plans—"
"Oh don't worry Zeke I'll come too!" she said picking up an apple and placing it on her tray.
"I'll call Gabi for the details! Ooh! I just can't wait. Only two more weeks until school's out. Bye Zekey!" Sharpay hung up.
"Sure hope Gabi won't mind," Zeke said to himself.
Sharpay slid into the seat behind Kelsi before class started. "Hey, guess what?"
"You're not fooling me. Every time you say 'Guess what?' and then I say 'What?' you say 'Nothing.' It's really starting to annoy me," Kelsi replied.
"No I'm serious this time," Sharpay said. "Guess what?"
Kelsi answered tiredly, "What?"
"We're gonna go on a road trip this summer!"
"But we can't."
"Don't you remember your prior commitment?"
A look of realization dawned on Sharpay's face. "Oh yeah."
"Now you know why we can't go."
"Oh that's okay!" Sharpay exclaimed. "I only forgot to pick up my dry cleaning. I'll do this afternoon."
Kelsi slapped her forehead. "Remember how Ryan, you, and I were going to write a new musical for next year over the summer? Gosh. I swear, sometimes you can be so kind, sweet, and almost even nice." Sharpay nodded, smiling. "But then there are times when you are just so out of it!" Kelsi continued, nearly shouting.
Sharpay frowned. "I am not out of it!" Then she returned to her cheery self. "Kels, we can do it on the trip! Duh!"
"But nothing. We can draw inspiration from the various wonders of the amazing United States."
"Wow. That sounded so eloquent."
"Really?" Sharpay asked. "I got from a TV commercial."
Kelsi slapped her forehead again. "Yeah, okay. We'll go."
"How awesome!" Sharpay exclaimed as the teacher walked into the room.
You have 1 new voice message. The screen read on Ryan's cell phone.
"Hey Ryan it's Sharpay! Guess what? (pause) Okay, so you can't guess right now cuz I'm leaving a message but we're going on a road trip when school's out and don't worry about the musical that we're writing cuz we can just do it on the trip and it'll be so much fun and since I won't be home till later cuz I'm at the mall right now getting some new clothes, could you ask mom and dad if we can go though I'm pretty sure they'll let us since they're gonna be gone for their seventh, or was it eighth, honeymoon to Europe and I wanted to come with them but they wouldn't let me but going on the road trip should be loads of fun anyway and now I gotta go cuz I spotted a 50 percent off sale at the shoe store so bye!"
"She seems excited," Ryan said as he trudged to the living room. "Mom, Dad, can Sharpay and I—wait—" he brought out his cell phone, pressed speakerphone, and played Sharpay's message.
"Sure, honey. You can go," Mrs. Evans replied. "But don't forget to bring your sunblock. You know how easily you burn Ryan, dear."
"Hello?" Gabriella asked, picking up the phone after she finished her last math problem.
"Hey Gabi! It's Sharpay! So I was wondering when exactly the road trip was and how long it's gonna take because I have to know how much makeup to bring and clothes to pack and..."
"Wait. How did you know I was going on a road trip?"
"Oh I heard it from Zeke. I think he said Troy invited him and Jason and Troy told me that Chad had asked him to come and I'm guessing he was going because Taylor was going and Kelsi and Ryan are gonna go too and this going to be totally fantabulous!" Sharpay let out in one breath. "Sorry, Gabi, I have to go. Talk to ya later!"
Gabriella's mouth hung open. Oh well. The more the merrier?