A/N: I wrote this after I watched HS Musicale for about the fifth time. It's my first HS musicale fanfic and it's definitely not Disney style. It's lot darker and it's T-rated for mature themes. Gabriella's not so nice in here—but then again, I don't think any of the characters here are. I was just irritated that everyone is so perfect (especially Gabriella) in Disney. I'd like to explore a mean side to them—or at least a more natural mean side to Troy. As for Sharpay—she remains Sharpay. I don't know why, but I like her the way she is. So if you can find the time to read and review, please do so. I'd like to know your take on this one.
Troy Bolton wanted to punch something, desperately. He wanted something else to feel pain that could probably ease the ache in his own heart. He settled on the wall of this deserted dressing room.
The impact hurt his hand terribly and there was a bit of loose paint on the wall but he didn't care. He punched again. And again. He was about to punch for a fifth time but his hand was too weak. It was already quite red and he sank on the floor wishing it would just eat him alive and bring him to a place where no emotions could take hold of him again.
It was a Friday. The twentieth of April. A lovely day with good weather conditions and for once there wasn't much homework to be done. Normally, he would be out of the school by now—having a latte at the local coffee shop or perhaps getting ready for a romantic date at the movies with his girlfriend. Except today was not a normal day. Today was the day his Gabriella decided to dump him. Yes dump him! Troy Bolton—popular basketball man, number one school champion and all-time good guy was just dumped.
It wasn't as if he had no warning. The signs were all there if cared to read them. It had appeared directly after the success of their spring musicale. Without the rehearsals that usually brought them together after school, Gabriella sank back into her academic routine. She joined one competition after another, forcing herself to spend much of her time studying and less time hanging out with him. Of course at that time, he was happy for her. She was making a name for herself in the academe. And the scholarship letters from the Ivy League universities were pouring in one after the other for her.
And then came Easter break. She went away on holiday with her father in California. When she came back, he knew something had changed. She avoided him. She declined to kiss him—as if each time she was having a guilty thought over her head. She refused to let him see her cell phone. But he didn't ask. He didn't spy. He wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Then came the bomb. It was just after their last period. He knew she didn't have anything scheduled today and he though he would take her out tonight. But she pulled him into a nearby classroom and told him: she found someone else. He was a professor at the UCLA—a brilliant mathematician, child genius who had been winning math prizes since he was six and finished college by the time he was 14. At 18, he was now working on his Ph.D. What surprised Troy was that she had known him before. He had been a judge at most of the inter-school mathematics competitions she had been in. Troy sensed she carried a torch for this math guy for years, and now he finally noticed her.
It hurt to realize that and he wanted to accuse her so much of giving him false hope. But he didn't say anything. His pride wouldn't let him. So he took it like a man. He said it was okay, that he was happy for her. And even though she was crying and telling him she was truly sorry, he refused to join her in tears. "I'll be fine. It was wonderful being together, but then it's not meant to be," he told her. "I'll move on," he assured her. "Good luck."
Then he made up some lame excuse and walked away, head held high and calm. He greeted his fellow students like he did normally and made a beeline for the auditorium. He slipped into one of the dark dressing rooms and it was there that he finally let himself cry.
And so here was where he found himself with his knuckles aching and his heart swelling. He thought of her and the rage within him rose again. He was seeing red and it intensified when he saw himself in the mirror. Impulsively he put his hand to it with as much force as he can muster, shattering the glass into a dozen fragments. His hand bled badly but he didn't care.
"Is someone in there? What's going on?" a sharp female voice called out. The door suddenly opened and there was a sound of scraping against the wall as someone fumbled for the light switch. Suddenly, the room was illuminated and there stood Sharpay in her perfectly pink blouse and matching white skirt.
"Troy… what in the world…" He tried to hide his hand but it was too late. She saw his hand was bleeding and the evidence from the mirror lay scattered around him. He could not deny what he had done, so he thought of only one recourse so she would not question him further.
"Leave me alone!" he shouted fiercely. He surprised even himself. He had never shouted to anyone that way.
She jumped back, her eyes wide in shock. For a moment, he thought she looked like a frightened animal who would like nothing more than to scamper away at the threat of a predator. But then she regained her composure and approached him.
"Your hand's bleeding," she said.
"And so? Just go away, Sharpay!" he said even more menacingly.
She didn't seem fazed at all. She went through her bag and found a packet of tissues. She pulled out a few pieces and handed it to him. "Here."
He ignored her—which he realized a second later—was a mistake. For in the next instant, she was grabbing his bleeding hand and wiping the blood away herself.
"Oww!" he cried as her fingers touched a tiny fragment of glass still lodged in his hand.
"This is no good. I should get you to the clinic immediately."
"No!" She tugged at him but he pulled back. The force of his letting go caused his hand to hit the wall and the fragments still in his hand made him wince with new pain. She took advantage of that to grab his hand—his bleeding hand. She squeezed it hard and made him cry out.
"AAAaahhhh! Let me go!"
"Only if you let me take you to the clinic!" she shouted back.
"Stop it! You're hurting me!"
"Well, you wanted pain, didn't you?"
He was suddenly frightened by her. She was heartless! She would torture him until she got what she wanted.
"Alright! Alright! I'll go!" he cried desperately.
She let go of his hand but grabbed his other hand in a firm grip and pulled him out of the room and out of the auditorium. The corridors were already deserted and he was grateful no one would see him in this state. He glanced at the clock that read a quarter to six.
"The clinic's already closed. The nurse leaves at five."
She suddenly changed direction, tugging him with her.
"Where are we going?" he asked. He noticed that they were headed towards the building exit.
"To my car. I'm driving you to the hospital!"
He was about to protest, but she held out her other hand to him, the one that was still smeared with his blood. "Do you want me to crunch your hand again?" she said fiercely.
He shook his head. What a harpy she was!
He made no further resistance and got into her car as docile as a trained puppy. She was quick to start up and back away. When she was on the road she floored the gas pedal. Frightened, he put on his seatbelt.
"Slow down!" he cried. "You're passing the speed limit."
"I have an excuse. You need a doctor."
He rolled her eyes at her with disbelief and for a long time just silently gazed at the road.
"So tell me, Bolton, what made you want to commit suicide in the dressing room?" she suddenly asked.
"I wasn't committing suicide!"
"Alright then, what made you want to punch the mirror? It's not an aversion to your reflection, I suppose. You're not that bad-looking."
Troy didn't reply.
"Fine, you don't need to tell me. But you know what? You shouldn't think much about it. You're well off without little Miss perfect Gabriella anyway."
Troy's jaw dropped open. "What… how did you…"
"How do I know?" she scoffed. "Oh please, it's not like I'm blind. The girl's been acting like ice cream around you for weeks now. Ice cream that isn't so eager to melt in your mouth. It's pretty obvious someone else is melting her and it's not you."
"Shut up! You don't know anything! You—" He was so angry he wanted to say more, but at that moment, Sharpay slammed on the brakes, making him jolt violently. It was only with the providence of his seatbelt that prevented him from hitting the dashboard and adding damage to his body aside from his hand.
"You can argue with me later, right now, we're in the hospital and you need medical treatment."
She quickly got out of her car and made her way to the other side. Before he could do anything, she had opened his car door and unlatched his seatbelt. He realized he was in danger of being mauled out of the car so he got out himself. He wordlessly followed her into the emergency room. Sharpay opened the door for him and for a moment he was afraid she was going to shove him in. But she didn't. She closed the door gently behind him.
He was a little embarrassed when the nurse asked him questions on how he got his wounds. He muttered a lame excuse about accidentally hitting a mirror. But the elderly nurse just shook her head at him.
"Next time you want to vent your anger on your girlfriend dear, try a punching bag. It creates less damage."
Troy groaned. Was he that transparent?
The nurse took about fifteen minutes to get all the glass shards out and bandage his hand. When he walked out of the emergency room he found, to his surprise, Sharpay waiting for him.
"All clean?" she asked.
"Leave me alone," he said as he strode pass her.
"And what are you going to do? Walk home? It's two kilometers away!"
"Yes!" he said without looking back. He strode outside. It was already dark and he didn't like the prospect of walking that far in the dark. But he didn't want to get back into the car with Sharpay either. It didn't occur to him that he could always call home and have his dad pick him up.
He ran quickly into the road. It was deserted and he liked it that way. It allowed him to think, clear his head. And now that he could think clearly, he was angry. He was angry at Gabriella for leaving him just like that when all along he thought she loved him.
She's not worth it. She's not worth me. I deserve better. She can go to hell with her math genius and I won't care. I'll find someone else. If she thinks I'm going to mope around and cry over her, she thought wrong. I can have every single cheerleader in school and I'll show it in her face.
A car horn interrupted his thoughts. He realized he was in the middle of the road so he jogged to the side.
"I'm already on the side!"He protested. He jogged faster, keeping to the side as much as possible so the car could over take him. It didn't.
"Beep! Beep!" the car horn insisted.
He turned around and was met with headlights.
"Damn it! It's a big road! Use it for heaven's sake!" he shouted.
The car stopped and in the dim light of the headlights, he recognized it as Sharpay's car.
She poked her head out the window. "Get in!" she ordered.
"No!" And he turned around and ran. He heard her rev her car again and seconds later she was driving beside him.
"Get in!" she commanded.
"Not in your damn life!" he answered back.
"Get in or I'll run you over!" she threatened.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "You wouldn't run me over."
"Wanna bet?" She revved her engine and suddenly swerved her car to the right, forcing him to jump away to the edge of the road. She stopped her car again and glared at him.
"You could have killed me!" he cried. "Or at least injure me!"
"It's okay, the hospital is five minutes away." She opened the passenger car door for him. He decided being inside the car with her was safer than being run over so he got in. He made sure to buckle his seatbelt.
"You're horrid!" he told her.
"And I'm hungry. I'll buy you dinner. My penance for trying to run you over."
He stared at her in surprise. She was so eerily calm about this considering she tried to kill him. "Why are you doing this to me? Are you trying to torture me? Is this payback because Gabriella and I beat you out of the spring musicale? I thought you were okay with that by now."
"Yes, I am. I've forgiven you for that. But I do like you as a friend and so I'm trying to cheer you up. You could at least appreciate the effort."
His face wrinkled with confusion. "Your idea of cheering me up is to try to run me over with your car? How sick is that?"
"Think of it this way—when you're worried about your life, you won't have time to brood over your little heart problem."
"I won't have to. You just gave me a new heart problem. You're going to give me a coronary."
"My point exactly."
The logic in that was lost to Troy.
They rode in silence for a long time until Sharpay stopped at a drive-in restaurant. She ordered a huge amount of food.
"You must be really hungry to eat all that," he said.
"No, that's not for me. That's for you. I'm just getting a salad and a diet soda."
"But I don't want all that!"
"Trust me, you will," she said as she drove off to the next window.
The staff was just handing out their food when Troy suddenly saw something beyond the window. Inside he could catch a glimpse of a familiar head at a table inside. It was Gabriella and she was holding hands with some other guy whose back was to them wearing a plaid shirt and ill-matching colored pants. The guy leaned over and kissed her.
He shut his eyes, unable to watch anymore.
"She doesn't waste time, doesn't she?" said Sharpay.
"What are you talking about?" he said lamely.
"I know you saw it the same as I did," she said. "She probably decided to break-up with you today because her new squeeze is coming to town tonight and she wants to be free to finally be with him."
"Oh shut up!" he said. Though he knew, Sharpay was right. Gabriella told him she had been talking to her math genius since Easter. Easter! That was three weeks ago! Why then did she wait to break up with him? Why only now? He caught another glimpse of the couple in the restaurant and the answer was staring at him right in the face. His anger this afternoon was nothing compared to now. If he owned this car, he would break all the windows.
Sharpay didn't say anything. He was grateful when she quickly pulled out of the driveway and went back to the road. She resumed her neck-breaking driving speed but this time he didn't say anything to reprimand her. The speed was comforting him somehow. He opened his window and let the air gush in, blowing his hair, blowing his mind. The only thing that could comfort him more is if they could collide into something so he could die. He smiled at the prospect and almost told Sharpay to just hit a tree or a house. Or perhaps she could turn back and hit that restaurant they've been too. She could make sure he hit the guy Gabriella was with, maybe hit Gabriella herself. Yes, that would be a spectacular way to die!
But when Sharpay began to slow down, he stopped himself from thinking these dark thoughts. It was wrong and he shouldn't be having them. It amazed him that he could think such things.
Sharpay finally slowed to a cruise. She grabbed a sandwich and tossed it to him.
"I don't want to. I just want to go home. Just drop me off near my house."
"And have you moaning and breaking things again. I don't think so." She turned into the side of the road next to an empty field and came to a full stop. She shut off the engine and took the keys out.
"What are you doing?" he asked. He wanted to blow up, find some way to release his rage, but he couldn't do it properly when Sharpay kept acting bizarre around him.
She unbuckled her seatbelt and opened her glove compartment and rummaged through it. She got out a wrench, a screwdriver and what looked to be a pocket knife. She stashed them into her bag. She removed the cigarette lighter from the dashboard and dropped it in her bag as well. Then she grabbed her salad and coke, opened the door and got out.
"What are you doing?" he repeated.
"I'm giving you time to mourn. But I just want to make sure there's nothing in there that can make you hurt yourself. I'll wait outside. When you're ready, just call me."
He scratched his head at her, but she simply walked away. She sat behind the rear bumper of her car, her back to him and started eating her salad. He was at a lost. Sharpay was driving him nuts. He thought of getting out and running for home but he was afraid she would chase him and try to run him over again. There was nothing for him to do but follow her advice. He grabbed the sandwich and ate it. He was surprised how hungry he was. He gulped down a second before he started attacking the fudge brownies. Who knew brownies could be so comforting?
When he finished, he started thinking again. The sight of Gabriella kissing another guy wanted to make him puke. His anger was returning into full force and he smashed the empty coke cup in his good hand. He ended up with sticky fingers but it made him feel better. His thoughts again returned to revenge. And suddenly he was planning like mad. He had to start dating. But it couldn't be just anyone. It had to be someone so unlike Gabriella, it would drive her off the edge. Someone who isn't brainy, or sweet, or docile. Someone who looked completely opposite her. No dark hair—definitely. It would be better if she was blonde. He ran a list of blonde cheerleaders in his head, but he couldn't think of anyone aggressive enough.
He felt the car shake as Sharpay got off the back of the car and headed back into the driver's seat. He watched her walk towards him and suddenly he had the craziest idea in his life. But at that moment, he didn't think it was crazy—it was perfect.
"Are you done brooding?"
"Good. I'll drive you home then." She got in and inserted the key in the car. Troy stopped her.
"I need your help."
"In what way?"
"Go out with me."
"Not for real, just pretend to."
She frowned. "Ah, so you can lay it on her face that you're not grieving. How typically male."
"Look, I'll do anything you want, just go pretend to be my girlfriend."
She eyed him with something like disgust. "Wow, so this is a new side to Troy Bolton I haven't seen. I didn't think Mr. Perfect could sink so low."
"You can stop with the insults. Just tell me, will you help me or not?"
"You're demanding, I don't think I like this side of you that much."
He didn't have time for her games. "Name your price," he snarled with such ferocity that for a while Sharpay seemed to be almost taken aback. But then her face took on that wily little pout again and she seemed to consider what he said.
"Fortunately for you, I don't want much and your needs complement my own. I admit my social status could use a little boost by dating the school's most popular guy. And I wouldn't mind seeing your perfect little 'ex' dropping her jaws when she sees you with me. I may have forgiven you for beating my brother out in the musicale, but I sure as hell haven't forgiven her. So here's what I want. I want you to be in the summer musicale with me. The last production before we graduate."
"That's it?" he asked.
"Yes, that's it mainly. We audition together and we take the lead roles, I'm sure Ryan won't mind. He's been falling behind on academics so he can't take anymore extra-curricular activities if he wants to finish high school in time. And there's the subject of taking me to every major social event in school, including the senior prom until graduation day."
"And you don't want anything else?" he eyed her sharply. He knew Sharpay never did anything out of charity. She would take advantage of anything. She loved herself that much.
"No. That would be enough for me."
He couldn't believe how easy it was, but at the back of his mind, there was a nagging feeling he was getting something he wasn't expecting out of this. And he wasn't sure if it was something he would like. Still, his anger and jealousy stopped him from pondering about it too much. And he finally blurted out: "It's a deal then," he said.
She shook his uninjured hand. "Pleasure doing business with you." She turned the key in the ignition and got them back on the road. It was a short trip, but along the way, Sharpay talked about how they would put this relationship on.
They would start to be chummy at first, she explained. It would not be good to just suddenly be making out in the hallways in front of everyone. It would be too obvious that their relationship was planned. They would spend lunch together, talking about the upcoming musicale or just discussing casual things like schoolwork. Then of course when auditions come next week, they would audition together, spend time with each other at rehearsals. Then finally, after a decent interval they could start kissing in public and show up to Ms. Montez.
Troy was rather astonished at how she can plan it so quickly. Gabriella could never work something out like that. It was something novel to him. Sharpay really had such a devious mind. It was twisted, he knew it. Yet somehow he found her creativity—dark as it was—to be quite appealing.
Sharpay finally stopped in front of his house. "Well, I'll see you on Monday… lover," she said in her usual honey-dripping tone. Something about her voice made him shiver, but it wasn't at all unpleasant.
"Yeah, I will." He managed to choke out. He unbuckled his seatbelt and suddenly remembered something. "Drat! I left my entire bag at the school! I completely forgot!"
"Well it's too late now to go back for it, the school's closed," she said.
"I've got an essay due on Monday and the equations I need to work on. I haven't got a single book with me." He thought maybe he could just go borrow Gabriella's like he usually did but suddenly remembered they just broke up. He frowned.
"Come over to my house tomorrow. I'll lend you mine and we can work on it together."
He smiled at her. "Thanks."
She smiled back. It was odd seeing that smile. He had seen it before and his mind flashed back to the time when he first saw it. It was on a five-year old girl that looked like a porcelain doll—fragile and frightened, yet willing to conquer that fear in an effort to make a new friend. But the memory was hazy and he could no longer remember the details.
"Well…" she began, indicating he should go.
"Goodnight then," he said. And he didn't know why, but he suddenly moved towards her and kissed her cheek. He then turned away and didn't even look at her expression. He strode towards his house and just gave a back-hand wave without looking at her. He didn't want to look back and see the usual fake smile that Sharpay always wore. He was trying to picture the memory of the sincere one he remembered she had on so many years ago. Yet as she pulled away, he managed to glimpse at her. The same sincere smile was on her face and he thought how fragile she looked.
A/N: Too OoC? Too mean? Sharpay too scary? Hate me for turning Gabriella into a meanie?Tell me what you think so far.