Somebody That I Used To Know

Author's notes: Disclaimed 100, I don't own High School Musical. It's funny how I actually really don't like Troy and Gabriella together, but want to write this.

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i. Whirlwind

Since graduation, Gabriella Montez has lived a whirlwind life, from graduate school at NYU to her engagement to one of New York's most promising young lawyers. She laughs and tells her friends that she could not be happier, and it's the truth. Her life is almost picture perfect.

ii. Fate

She walks through the streets of Manhattan on a busy afternoon, on her way to meet Jeremy for lunch, when she bumps into someone, spilling her frappucinno all over her white blouse.

"OH! I'm so--" And she stops dead in her tracks, as though she were a deer in headlights.

The face she finds staring blankly back at her is not the face of a stranger that she was expecting, but the face of a friend, the face of an ex-lover.

"TROY!" She squeals, throwing her arms around his neck, forgetting the spilt coffee product on the ground.

"Gabriella?" He asks, holding her by the shoulders and pulling her in for another hug, "It's been years!"

"I know!" she says, a little guiltily, "I should have emailed or something I just never found the time, you know with grad school and New York-"

"It's okay, you don't have to apologize." He smiles.

She adjusts her bag on her back and shrugs, "What are you doing here, in New York? I thought you were back in Albuquerque."

"Oh, I'm just here with Chad. He's visiting a cousin in Brooklyn, and when I told him I'd never been to New York, he insisted I come and see the sights. Of course, I didn't know he'd abandon me to just roam around the city... somehow I got.. here." He laughs a little nervously, "Wherever here is."

She laughs at this small joke, and then offers, "Hey, I'm going to meet someone for lunch, but I can cancel.. do you want to do something? I could show you around town afterwards... we could catch up."

Before he even gets out his reply, Gabriella has popped her cell phone out and started dialing, "Hey, Jeremy! How are you, hon? I'm good too. Hey listen - I've just run into an old friend of mine from high school, and I was thinking we could maybe take a rain check on that lunch - You're the greatest! But I've got to go. Thanks. Love you too. Bye."

As she replaces the phone to her bag, Troy gestures his head towards her left ring finger, "Your husband..? I don't want to get in the way of-"

"Oh no, fiancée. He won't mind really," She smiles, "He'll actually probably be happier, because he can work his way through lunch."

"Ahh."

"He's a lawyer. Very up-and-coming."

"Ohhh."

She punches his arm lightly, "So what about you, champ? Still with the basketball? Or how about singing? When I left you STILL hadn't made up your mind."

He chuckles and stuffs his hands in his pockets, "I own a sports bar, actually."

"A bar?"

"Don't laugh - Chad and I bought it a few years back. A couple of taps, a few big screen TVs, a pool table, and we're set. But what about you? Grad school, huh?"

"Yep. Biochemistry."

"Impressive."

"I know."

They both pause for a moment and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

"I mean," He says, "What are the chances of me running into you in the middle of New York City? Of all the people in the world, Gabriella Montez. My high school sweetheart, just pops out of nowhere."

"It's just fate. We're meant to be friends. This is God's little way of tapping us on the shoulder and saying, 'Hey! Why haven't you stayed in touch?'" She smiles as they walk into a restaurant.

iii. Just One Night

The rest of the afternoon is spent in some of the most underground places in New York City that only a New Yorker can find, and also in some of the most obvious places to go. She laughs at his cheesy jokes and ignores the ring that rests on his left hand, and he nods politely whenever she speaks of Jeremy's up-and-coming career, pretending to be interested in anything but the way her hair still falls perfectly around her face.

And in the evening, he offers to take her back to her apartment, rather than her take him to his hotel. "It's the gentlemanly thing to do." He insists.

She hugs him before turning to unlock the gate, but then stops.

"Whatever happened to me and you, Troy?"

He frowns a bit, "I knew that would come up."

"No really. What happened?"

He turns around, frustrated and stuffing his hands into his pockets, "You left for New York. I stayed in New Mexico. It was just over, and we both knew it. What was I supposed to do? Follow you to New York City when my whole life was in Albuquerque?" She's starting to cry, and he stops to grab her in his arms, the way he would have done in years gone by, "Trust me, I wanted to - I wanted to so badly."

"Why didn't you?" She asks, as he wipes a tear off her cheek.

"I didn't think you wanted to be followed."

"Oh, but I did, Troy." And she pauses before she adds, "So badly."

And it's not long before their lips smash together.

He pulls away, "Gabriella."

"Troy?"

"I'm married."

She kisses him again, this time with more passion than before, "I know," she says, breaking it, "Just one night."

And he slips the ring off his finger, and pulls her into his embrace again, "One night."

iv. Somebody That I Used to Know

In the morning when Gabriella wakes, her bed is empty. On the pillow next to her, where Troy lay the night before rests a small tape recorder.

She presses play.

"Hey. It's Troy. I didn't want to wake you. I just want to tell you.. Maybe it's not fate that we're friends, Gabriella. I think that.. This was all we're supposed to have. I have a life back in Albuquerque. I have a wife, and I love her more than anything. I'm going to have a son soon, too. Her name is Allison, Gabi. You'd like her. She reminds me of you sometimes. But this can't happen again. There are too many old feelings that were unresolved when you left, but I'm not in love with you anymore. You're just somebody that I used to know from high school. Go back to Jeremy, and have a beautiful wedding. Maybe one day we can be friends, but not now, Gabi. Not now. But hey, if you're ever in Albuquerque again, stop by the bar. Your beer's on me. See you later, Gabi."

She hits stop, covers her hand with her mouth, and chokes back a sob.

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fin. review s'il vous plait.