Category: High School Musical
Rating: T (for now)
Summary: He was the blonde boy known as Sharpay Evans' devoted step-brother who followed her around far too much and starred right alongside with her in every single school play since they were in kindergarten. He wasn't as stupid as they thought he was, and his jealousy for one person brought out the manipulative side in him that Sharpay had always said was lost on him and had been granted to her instead. But, he supposed as he sat back and reflected, he had to be really stupid to land a tutor in Chemistry, who, he found out later, was none other than the genius Gabriella Montez, girlfriend to the one and only Troy Bolton. According to schedule, they would spend a long, two hour period every day after school for the next four weeks in a secluded study area. Him, and Gabriella Montez, all alone for two hours every, single day. He had an idea. One so big and devious that even Sharpay would've been proud. And just like that, he was looking smarter already.
As Ryan stepped into the house, he was absolutely blown away by the decor, and he wasn't the sort who'd be easily blown away, considering the fact that he'd attended his fair share of beautiful, extravagent parties. But yet, none of them could compare to the interior of Zeke's living room, which was elagantly decked out in shimery white silk, drapped artfully across the balcony that overlooked the middle of the living room, and gold velvet trimmings that hung over the ends of the food tables, the lovely seating, and the edges of the elevated platform that was the dance floor. Simplistic and tasteful, just the way Ryan liked it.
The music, thankfully, wasn't too horrific either. Ryan always pegged Zeke as the sort who'd like awful, blasting techno music and rap that tended to give Ryan headaches, but he was wrong. Zeke (or rather, somebody) had chosen a sweet, soft subtle melody that whirled around the room like a breeze. Under heavy lights that spilled over dancing bodies, over hushed, quiet liasons in the darkened corners of the rooms, and over the beautiful girl who'd chosen to walk in with him, hand in hand, Ryan decided that there would never be another party quite as stunning as this one, right here.
He squeezed her hand, causing her to look at him. He smiled, and she squeezed his hand back. Turning back to survey the room, he uttered, "Beautiful, isn't it?" The words were so softly delivered that she was hard-pressed with wondering if he'd even spoken in the first place.
She didn't answer, but merely tore her eyes away from the dashing sight of Ryan Evans in his emaculate suit and his gorgeous eyes. He did something to her, she'd admit, something irreversible that made her insides flutter with a certain something... God, but she was lost for words.
And then he asked her to dance, holding out his hand to her in a gentle plea, and her insides gave that little jump again.
Dizzy, she accepted, and as he led her to the floor (a gaudy little elevated platform that shimmered underneath spotlights and silk), she realised that she'd just agreed to dance with one of the most experienced dancers in East High. She remembered all the little sways he expertly executed on stage, the way his hips seemed to take on a life of their own when moving to music, and his cute little jazz square pattern. She was going to look absolutely moronic beside him, and that wasn't the worst part. She had to get her head together and not act like some crazy ditz who positively melted every time he so much as touched her.
Ryan, who had not a clue as to what was going on in her head, simply twirled her and then caught her back into his arms, all the while giving her an encouraging and gentle smile. Gabriella, on the other hand, was feeling woozy beyond belief. And she suspected it wasn't from the twirl.
They danced to something foreign, she assumed, since she couldn't quite make out the lyrics. Ryan, she was sure, was holding back on his more-than-stylish dance moves, since he hadn't executed something overly complicated that she couldn't respond to, and to that, she felt semi-grateful.
But what she didn't know was that Ryan wasn't holding back or anything- he was just dancing the way dance between two people came naturally. He fell into a gentle, almost subtly seductive sway with Gabriella that he couldn't help but savour. It was a change from dance in Theatre, where moves had to be complex and learned and overly glamourized. This natural swaying, feeling light on his feet- it felt good.
She felt good.
He pressed her closer to himself as the music dwindled to a slower beat. She was so soft in his arms, so sweet, so absolutely innocent that he felt as if he couldn't take it. But he wanted it- he wanted this so much.
Gabriella let him. She let him take her into his arms, closer and closer, until she was touching his chest and resting her cheek on his shoulder. He was the perfect height, and the most perfect smell and feel and everything. Her arms slid around his waist, holding his suit jacket, and never wishing to let go.
There were people staring at them, Ryan realised. Curious, they may be, but not too scandalized. He wondered, with a little humour laced in his thoughts, if it was simply because Troy and Gabriella had just about the best relationship that not even he could tear apart; or if they were all just so absolutely certain their resident Theatre Boy was downright gay and didn't have any ill intentions with their Golden Girl.
Ill intentions, indeed. He smirked into her hair, delighting in a scent that he couldn't quite place. Though if he did, he suspected it would be somewhere between divine and heavenly.
While he was quitely musing about that into her curls, he spotted the tanned blonde that could only be his darling sister speed past the dance floor. A blue plastic cup was in her hand, and her hair was a mess, and- dear God!- were those... bunny slippers, she was wearing?
He flinched, wondering what major life-turning event had got his sister running around in such ghastly things.
But then Gabriella was smoothening her palms across his back, pressing herself even more deliciously into his chest, and he was helpless to fight it.
Dear God, but it was a blessed day: He'd finally found a female who had the power to stop him from marching over to right Sharpay's fashion disaster of the century.
A female, he decided, who probably didn't even know the extent of her power over him.
Chad Danforth was between going over to deck Ryan Evans for having his hands all over Gabriella and having another two shots of vodka. Preferably with coke and a splash of dangerous and powerful. He couldn't decide which would be undoubtedly sweeter.
It was right then that he caught sight of the other Evans sibling, with her hair in some wild tumble over her shoulders and her heels gone. In place, he was surprised to find, were two of the most unsightly pink rabbit ears sprouting out from the sides unevenly, as well as a red, squashed nose and two pairs of pitiful black circles supposedly for the eyes. Chad wondered what national disaster had Sharpay Evans headed for the top spot on People's Top Ten Worst Dressed.
She stopped by him, crossing her arms over her chest and looking at him in the snotty way she often regarded basketball players (goons, she called them). "Chad," She uttered his name in her strained, practiced manner, "Golly, if it isn't a great pleasure to be seeing you here." Her voice was tart, dry, and Chad didn't miss the way her eyes swept critically over his oversized jeans, slightly stained basketball jersey and wild mess of an afro.
He grinned in response, just to irk her. "The pleasure is certainly all mine." He made a great show of glancing down at her horrific bunny slippers. "Nice shoes. I was almost certain I was going to buy Taylor the same pair for Christmas, but then I remembered both she and I weren't crazy psychopaths who badly needed therapy."
Her brown eyes narrowed in a display of open disgust. "That was sad, Chad- even for you."
He chuckled. "I got you good, Sharpay. It's not very often one finds a fashion icon desperately in need of some shoe-make over." Then he glanced over her shoulder, catching a glimpse of the sight of Ryan and Gabriella that he was certain was just disgustingly sweet enough to make him hurl. "I assume you're looking for your slightly-better-but-still-pompous-gay-shit-assed half?"
Sharpay smiled. "As opposed to your trashy never-puts-out ghetto girlfriend? I'd definitely enjoy Ryan's company more." She turned around in the direction Chad was looking, and her eyes widened ever so slightly. There was her brother, locked in some kind of embrace with... (she nearly choked) Gabriella Montez, of all damned people.
Chad chuckled yet again, irritating her further. She turned back, unwilling to witness the vile sight any more, and slapped a false smile on her face. "Aren't they just the sweetest? I wonder what will Troy say."
Chad's smile vanished, and in its place was an emotion Sharpay couldn't quite place. She snorted, then said, "Oh Chad, forget your stupid Troy for the night. You look like you need a drink anyway.." She tilted her head in the direction of the bar, giving him the open invitation to drink himself stupid- an invitation that he'd been waiting for since training that afternoon when Coach had grilled him on his bad patterns.
He grunted, seating himself down hard on the seat, while listening to Sharpay ordering shots.
He downed the first without even waiting up for her, and she watched him with a mixture of pity and humour.
The great Chad Danforth, drinking like a desperate man.
She wondered what on earth had set him like this, and she dedicated her first shot (of many more to come) to him. Gracefully tipping it down her throat, she came back up, immediately feeling refreshed, and ordered a second round.
She wasn't sure, but she might've seen Chad give her a ghost of a smile as she demanded the next round in that overtly dramatic, bossy way of hers.
Gabriella was a little sad the song had ended, but still she followed Ryan as he lead her off the platform. They'd danced through a few songs, and even though all the dancing made her thirsty, she didn't want to end the precious moments she had with Ryan yet.
He brought her into the kitchen that was empty. There, out on the kitchen island, laid a couple of slices of Zeke's famous strawberry cheesecake as well as a chocolate truffle cake. Gabriella let out a squeal of surprise and delight- she was absolutely famished, and she took two slices, one for herself, and another for Ryan, and turned to find him opening the Baylor's wine cooler. He took out a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, and looped his arm around her, steering her in the direction of the pantry. She giggled, poked him in the side. "You're stealing wine!"
He shook his head, "I'm not stealing. This is the wine Sharpay brought over two parties ago." He noted the two indents that had carved the Evan's family crest below the bottle. "See, every bottle that is purchased by our family is branded with this little crest." He shrugged. "I don't know why, but I think my father likes to note that he buys only the very expensive wine, and he wants to show that off when the wine's given away as gifts or something."
She nodded, laughing. "Impressive."
He down with her on the pantry, setting the two glasses down before popping open the wine. Gabriella smelt the lovely rich grape sweetness that emanated as he poured the wine into the glasses, and accepted the glass with as much poise as she could muster.
"We must have a toast, then." Ryan declared, taking some time to let the smell of the wine engulf his senses.
"To what?" Gabriella laughed. It was silly talk, but she loved playing along.
Ryan pretended to contemplate this. "Why, I don't know exactly." He turned to her. "What would you like to toast to?"
She didn't have to think much. "To a beautiful evening," She held up the cake. "And the wonderful cheesecake."
He laughed, then nodded. "Alright then." He held up his glass, "To a beautiful evening, with a beautiful girl." She snorted at his absurd delcaration, though inside she tingled with delight.
"And beautiful cheesecake!" He added lastly, before raising his glass to clink it with hers.
They sipped to their toast, never once taking their eyes off each other.
Troy had managed to escaped to his bedroom with the excuse of a gastronomic stomach ache that he hadn't been able to shake off. He was proud of himself, and rather impressed, he would say, of his performance. He never knew grabbing his abdoment with suddenly crashing to the floor would work to have his mom let him off watching into another hour of the damnest movie in the world- but hey, wasn't he just such a genius?
He trouped off to his bedroom, made sure he flushed the toilet a couple of times just to quell a little of his mom's suspicions, and quickly pulled on some decent clothing. He checked his bedside clock- 11:26. He could still make it- he was sure Gabriella would understand if he just explained.
He still didn't have his handphone, so he couldn't call in advance, so he simply slipped out of his bedroom window and landed a little ungracefully onto his front lawn. He couldn't take the car in case his mother found out, and so he had to walk (or run) the two blocks that seperated his and Zeke's house. He hoped to God his hair stayed in place, and that his shirt didn't rumple, and that he mother didn't find the urge to suddenly venture into his room to kiss him goodnight.
He shuddered. She still sometimes acted like he was seven instead of seventeen.
It didn't take him too long to reach Zeke's place, but as he entered, he noticed that most everybody already had someone to settle down with, and they were either slow dancing, eating cake, or having drinking contests or making out on Zeke's couch.
Zeke was the first to spot him. He trooped over, smacked Troy in the back and handed him a beer. "Hey man, you finally made it!"
Troy stared at the beer can and turned back to Zeke with a small smile. "Have you uhm, seen Gabriella?"
Zeke shrugged, and took another sip of his beer. "Not on my life. I think I saw her out with Ryan, but I couldn't be sure."
Ryan? Troy wondered what that was all about.
Zeke suddenly burped, then gave a big laugh about it, and Troy patted his friend's arm and moved over to the bar where, God bless his soul- Sharpay and Chad had seem to be rather along some sort of shot-game and were enjoying every minute of getting wasted.
Sharpay drunkenly giggled just as Troy was within ear shot. "Noooo Chaddd, you go first!"
Chad swung his arm around her chair, tipped back another shot. "GAAAHHH. WOOSH! That felt niceeeeeee..." He smiled at Sharpay, and she winked back.
Troy tapped Chad on the shoulder, causing Chad to turn around and, upon seeing Troy, grin. "Trrroyy! My man!" He threw Troy into some form of man-hug, only it wasn't done to much effect since Chad was pretty much wasted beyond anything. Troy offered him a smile and asked, "Have you seen Gabriella? I've been meaning to explain why I got here so late and-"
Chad scoffed loudly, to which Sharpay giggled and sprawled all over the counter, showing much more clevage than he'd wanted to see. "Gawwd, Troy Bolton-" She murmured unsteadily, "She-She'sss wiithhh Ry-Ry."
"Ry-Ry?" He asked, curious. Sharpay nodded, then poked him with one finger in the chest. "She's outside having... having a life of fun!" Sharpay held up her hands above her head and twirled them in circular motions. "WHHHEEEEE. Like this!"
Troy was confused, but patted their backs anyway and left them to their own little states of drunken happiness. He was sure soon, one of them would be getting up there, plugging in some awful karaoke and singing their guts out.
But he had to find Gabriella.
He pushed he way through to the pantry door, his first guess, and he slid open the door to reveal an empty grass patch. Nothing. She wasn't outside.
It was then that he heard muffled moans coming from the dark corner of the pantry, and he stepped out to check.
It wasn't Gabriella- it couldn't be.
She wasn't the sort who'd cheat on him like that- right?
But he stumbled across the couple, and his surprise grew never-the-less.
"Kelsi?" He gasped, startled. The brunette froze, and so did her partner, who then disentangled himself from the girl and-
Troy blinked. "Jason?"
Jason looked between Kelsi and Troy sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Hey, Troy. Nice of you to drop by..."
Troy gave a nervous chuckle. "Yeah."
There was an awkward silence, to which Troy coughed and said, "I uh, better get back. I'm kind of looking for Gabriella and-"
Kelsi smiled at him. "I think I saw her somewhere in the back of the living room with Ryan."
Ryan? Troy nodded and thanked them, before disappearing through the pantry sliding door, glad to be gone. It wasn't everyday he was there to witness unorthodox couples get together, but when he did, it sure got weird. He supressed a shudder, then entered the living room.
His eyes took in the scene, especially the dance platform, where the tempo was up a little bit and the dancers were more lively than before when he'd first entered. He then noticed Sharpay whisper to the DJ, who took off his headset and handed it to her. He watched as the DJ shook his head and wandered down from his podium to grab a beer and chug it down like a famished man. Troy wondered what that was all about.
Suddenly, Sharpay's voice rang shrilly and loudly into the mike. "ATTENTION! ATTENTION ALL! Would you please... (giggle) clear the dancer floor. We've got a special surprise for you. Now, they didn't sign up for anything and they certainly don't know what we're doing, but could Gabriella and Ry-Ry please come up to the dance floor now?"
Troy was startled, and noticed the mass of dancers clearing the stage before he saw Ryan Evans whisper something to his sister, looking absolutely livid.
"What're you doing, Sharpay?! Are you crazy?"
She giggled then patted him on the head, saying into the mike, "Ry-ry, don't you know? You're the absolute primo-dancer at East High, and well, we were all absolutely enthralled by your stellar performance on the dance floor earlier with Gabriella-darling." She smiled at him, and he felt his gut twist. "Come on, Ry-ry. We just want some good entertainment!"
It was then he noticed that Sharpay was directly smiling at someone beyond him, and he turned to see Troy Bolton staring at him, at a complete loss.
He had one of two options. He could walk away, pretend like nothing ever happened. He'd leave Gabriella with her precious Troy, and let their sickening relationship go on as usual.
Or, he could spice things up a bit, and invite Gabriella on stage and make her dance like she was born to.
It may not get him the girl, but it would certainly worth the look on Troy's face as he dangled his darling girl just beyond his reach, all the while letting her have just a taste of tantalizing freedom with Ryan instead of plain, boring Troy Bolton.
But then Gabriella came up to him and giggled, shaking her head, and he knew just what she was implying.
Moments later, she was the one leading him up to the platform, while the opening notes of something Sigur Ros-ish began to play.
I did pick it up again, thank God. I shall re-write this in its entirety someday! Thank you for alert-ing this(:
A c t i n g-Is-A-P a s s i o n
Here's chapter 10(:
You flatter me. (: Hope you love this chapter!
Thanks everyone else who reviewed. Sorry I didn't get through all the names, but you know you are terribly loved(: