Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue. I also don't own West Side Story. Or Vault. Or 7-11. Or Coke. Or "Keep the Faith" by Bon Jovi.

A/N: Well, this is my third High School Musical fic. Tons of thanks to everyone who read This is How a Heart Breaks and Only Hope, especially those who stuck with me through Only Hope until the end. This one is plenty depressing, so if that's not your thing I'd probably tread carefully.

This takes place during senior year, during auditions for the winter musical. Gabi and Troy have been dating for a year. Oh, and we're watching West Side Story in drama class, so that's the play I used. And duh, Ryan and Sharpay don't exactly fit the roles of Bernardo and Anita, but deal with it. There are a few instances of bad language throughout the story, but not many.

Random Moment of the Chapter: This story was posted in honor of HSM being released on DVD today. YAY!


"Everybody needs somebody to love
Everybody needs somebody to hate
Everybody's bitching
'cause they can't get enough
And it's hard to hold on
When there's no one to lean on

Faith: you know you're gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don't let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Lord we got to keep the faith"

"Keep the Faith" by Bon Jovi

"Auditions for this year's winter musical, "West Side Story," will begin during free period tomorrow. All who wish to audition should be there at noon. Further auditions will take place after school," Ms. Darbus said as the bell rang and the class stood to leave. "Sign-ups are in the main lobby."

Chatter immediately greeted the end of this last announcement as the class stood up to leave. Troy Bolton gathered his books and stood waiting for his girlfriend, Gabriella Montez to meet him in the front of the room. She slung her bag over her shoulder and walked up, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and kissing his neck.

"Hey, babe," he whispered, turning around and wrapping his arms around her, leaning in to kiss.

"Hey guys, get a room!" Chad Danforth laughed, walking past the couple on his way to the door. Jason Cross and Zeke Baylor high-fived their friend, laughing along with Chad as they walked past Troy. The one in question broke apart from Gabriella, smiling at her before turning to face his friends.

"Yeah, you're just jealous 'cuz Taylor's afraid to kiss you in public," Troy replied, slapping Chad on the back as the four friends walked from the classroom.

Gabriella, Jason and Zeke all laughed while Chad held a hand over his heart in mock pain.

"That hurts, man," he said, pretending to be hurt. Troy laughed and wrapped his arm around Gabriella's shoulders as they walked down the hall.

"Hey! Are you guys auditioning?" Sharpay Evans asked loudly, running to catch up to Troy and Gabriella, her brother Ryan close behind.

"Yeah, what about you?" Gabriella answered, turning to face her friend.

"You guys go ahead," Troy told his friends, turning as well to talk to the twins.

"Who are you guys auditioning for?" Sharpay asked, adjusting the bag draped over her shoulder as they stood in the hallway. "I think you'd make the perfect Maria, Gabriella."

Gabriella blushed and leaned closer to Troy.

"Well, we are trying out for Tony and Maria," she said bashfully, smiling at Sharpay. "What about you?"

"Not sure yet. We might be auditioning separately," Ryan said, drawing a mildly surprised reaction from Troy and Gabriella.

"Really? That's-"

The warning bell rang, reminding them where they were.

"Shit," Troy said, wheeling around. "I've already been late three times, one more and I'll have to make the time up after graduation," he complained, saying goodbye to the other three and practically sprinting off down the hall.

"Welcome, welcome everyone!" Ms. Darbus said loudly, grabbing the attention of everyone in the theater. "Please, take a seat and we'll get started. Time is of the essence. We'll begin with solo auditions, Kelsi will accompany on the piano. You'll each sing a bar or two, and I'll tell you whether or not this is for you." She paused, looking out at the students seated before her. "Tomorrow afternoon, those who make it through the musical auditions will be called back to read scenes. Everyone got it? Good. First person up!"

Forty-five minutes later, they were almost done with solo auditions. Troy sighed as yet another person got up on stage, letting his head fall back onto the chair.

"How many are there?" he whispered to Gabriella as she lay her head on his shoulder.

"It's your fault, you know," she whispered, poking him in the ribs. "You made the musical cool."

Troy stuck his tongue out at her, resting a hand on her head.

"Alright, that's the end of the solo auditions. I'd like to call our first pair, Ryan and Sharpay Evans, auditioning for the roles of Bernardo and Anita."

Sharpay and Ryan stood up, clearly ready to go. They high-fived Troy and Gabriella as they walked past, Sharpay practically skipping onto the stage. Five minutes later, they finished their near-perfect rendition of "America," the other students clapping.

"Bravo! Brava!" Ms. Darbus applauded, standing again. "Next we have Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez!"

Troy and Gabriella walked to the stage hand in hand, ready to perform. The music started, and they started singing, everything around them forgotten. A few minutes later they finished, and stood gazing into each other's eyes, breathing heavily but exhilarated.

"Alright, team, championship game is in two weeks!" Coach Bolton said later that afternoon, standing in the middle of the huddle of basketball players, looking around at each one. "Now, most of you are seniors, and this is your last year. Up to now we've had a perfect season, so let's make sure we end it that way. I want to start today's practice with basic drills. Line up!"

He grabbed a ball and tossed it to Troy, who started the drill by quickly passing it to Jason. The drill continued with Coach shouting at the players every so often, giving them pointers.

"Alright, let's run some plays! I want the starters on offense, twos on defense. Let's go!"

An hour and a half later, basketball practice ended, the team dragging themselves into the locker room, exhausted and sweaty.

"Practice is at six tomorrow!" Coach called after them as they left the gym.

Troy grabbed a towel as he walked into the locker room, wiping his face as he went over to his locker.

"So, how'd auditions go?" Chad asked, pulling open his locker and pulling out his clothes.

"Pretty good. Gabi and I got callbacks for Tony and Maria."

"So, wait, what is 'West Side Story,' anyway?" Jason asked, tossing his towel in the laundry basket and pulling a shirt over his head.

"A musical," Troy said, laughing at the look on Jason's face.

"Haha. No really, what is it?"

"How about you wait and find out?" Troy replied, pulling on his jeans and shutting his locker. "I'm meeting Gabi for dinner, see you guys later."

He walked out, leaving his friends in the changing, Jason with a confused expression on his face.

The next afternoon, Troy and Gabriella were on stage with Sharpay and Ryan, reading a scene from the play. They were just finishing up as Ms. Darbus stood, walking to the front of the theater and addressing all who were gathered.

"Congratulations to all who auditioned, cast list will be posted tomorrow." Ms. Darbus closed her notebook, gathering her belongings and turning to leave the theater. Noise immediately filled the small theater as dozens of students stood up, talking to their friends and gathering up backpacks, books, and purses.

"You guys were great," Sharpay said, turning to Troy and Gabriella and smiling.

"You were, too," Gabriella replied cheerfully, returning her smile.

"Hey, we're gonna run over to the 7-11, you guys want to come?" Ryan broke in, walking up to his sister.

"Uh, sure, basketball doesn't start for a couple hours," Troy said, wrapping an arm around Gabriella's shoulders as they left the theater. The four friends walked from the school building, laughing as they started across the campus. The 7-11 was across the street, a short walk from East High.

"So, do you think you guys are going to get the parts?" Sharpay asked, slinging her bag over her shoulder as they walked.

"I don't know, what about you?" Gabriella answered, pulling Troy closer to her and kissing him gently.

"Well, I know you guys were amazing," Ryan said, pulling his hat over his eyes.

"So were you," Gabriella said, reaching over to hit him gently on the shoulder.

They reached the store, and Ryan held the door open for them to walk in. Troy walked directly to the drink case, pulling out two bottles of Vault.

"Ew, Troy, that stuff is sick," Gabriella whined, reaching for her own bottle of Coke.

"Hey, I like it," Troy said, tossing one to Ryan who was standing a few feet away. "It gives me a rush."

"More like an extreme dose of sugar and caffeine," Sharpay countered, opting for Diet Coke. Laughing, the four moved to the snack aisle, Troy and Ryan loading their arms with junk food.

"Typical men," Sharpay whispered to Gabriella as they watched Troy and Ryan walk up to the cash register. Gabriella laughed and the two girls walked up behind the others, both digging in their purses for money. Just as Troy set his food on the counter, the door flew open, revealing two masked men wielding guns. Sharpay screamed and the four dropped to the floor, covering their heads with their arms.

A/N: Cliffhanger! Hehe…you know you guys love it…

Reviews greatly appreciated. That was just a taste of the story, much more to come.

Coming in Chapter 2: What do the gunmen want? Who will be injured? Will they all make it out okay? Will Troy and Ryan go on a caffeine binge? LOL