Author's Note: Urgh. I kind of hate it. Oh well. Let's see what you think. I may take it down for editing. I don't own High School Musical. Yeah.

Warning: Homosexual relationships.

Thanks: Thank you to OCP, TillThatTime, Disney-Kid, and Mondler4Ever who all helped me a tad on this.

1

Troy Bolton opened his eyes groggily, leaning back in his bed with a yawn. He arched his back in morning fatigue, groping with his fingers for his pillow which had moved away from under his head during the night. With a meow of exhaustion, he groaned softly, entwining his tan body inside the thin bed sheets, and rolled over on his side, glancing to the right of him. The sun was shining in through a window, making shadows in the rumpled sheets where a shadow of the most important person in his life had been. Troy turned again, with a small smile, smiling rather stupidly at the way the shadows changed when he moved his head. With a final moan, he pushed up the bed sheets and stepped down onto the ground.

He made an unintelligible noise as he cursed at how cold the wooden floor was in the morning, but decided to overcome his petty fears and continued out into the hallway, walking down the wooden stairs, wincing with each step at the continued coldness. A fragrant aroma crept up close to him, and he smiled knowingly. Ryan.

He crept into the kitchen, and couldn't help a lopsided grin at the scene in front of him. Ryan's back was facing him, but Troy knew that on his face was a determined look as he took a batch of—chocolate chip cookies?—out of the oven and started to put them onto a plate with a spatula. Ryan turned and saw Troy who was grinning easily at him, his eyes sparkling.

Troy walked over to Ryan and hugged him from behind, his fingers crawling up the blonde's chest. Planting a kiss on Ryan's neck, he whispered, "I love you, you know that, right?" Ryan nodded, his face flaming, making Troy's heart beat maddeningly hard. He loved how even though they'd been together for the last two years, Ryan always still blushed when Troy told him how much he loved him.

"So why are you making cookies?" Troy wanted to know.

Ryan grinned sheepishly. "Well they're your favorite so I decided, 'Hey, it's his birthday, he can have what he wants.'"

"Why isn't that nice," crooned Troy, nuzzling his face in Ryan's neck. Ryan flushed even harder.

"Love you too, Troy."

Troy smiled as he drove down the narrow alleyways of San Francisco, breathing in the air that floated in from the open window of his car. Sure, it wasn't the cleanest air in the world with all the fog, but somehow it made him refreshed, the smell near the sea, and he realized there was no other place he'd rather be. He'd finished work early today to go home. He thought absentmindedly, with a lopsided grin on his face, imagining what Ryan had planned for today.

Today was his 20th birthday; it was a big deal for the both of them. Troy glanced up the street and wondered if he should wait longer; Ryan was probably working on setting something special up for him right now. His eyes grew passive as he dreamed of holding the younger boy close to him, smelling his hair and kissing his face. He thought about that morning when Ryan had woken up early to make of all things, chocolate-chip cookies for breakfast and replayed how startled he looked when the aroma woke up the other boy. Ryan had looked so beautiful and nervous standing there in his white apron with flour all over his face as Troy took a bite of a rather large cookie and made a disappointed face. Ryan's eyes were shocked, and Troy couldn't stand to hurt his lover so he smiled, showing the blonde he was fooling around again. Ryan had smiled and approached, taking a bite of the cookie still hanging in Troy's mouth as their lips pressed together and Ryan had whispered, "I love you."

As he parked the car, he thought of how their relationship had come to this. One secretive kiss in their junior year of high school, a rather hidden relationship in their senior year, and now, after graduation, they'd moved into an apartment in San Francisco where only their closest friends knew about their relationship. Troy thought it over; only two people actually knew that Troy and Ryan were more than friends—Chad and Sharpay. Troy couldn't hide anything from his best friend, and Sharpay had this rather unnerving twin telepathy thing with Ryan. But besides that, nobody knew; they just saw that Troy and Ryan were extremely close friends and had rented out a place together, Ryan working there to manage his father's hotel in San Francisco and Troy coaching a basketball team in the same area. Some people were definitely suspicious about the location, but overall Troy and Ryan had managed to avoid that accusation that they may have been more than friends.

Troy exited his car and closed the door, walking up to his rather small house—God, San Francisco was expensive—and walked inside, closing the door lightly behind him. He walked up the stairs, a bit surprised when he didn't see Ryan in the kitchen, where he'd expected the other boy to be—probably working on more cooking; Ryan was surprisingly an excellent cook. He wondered if perhaps his lover was in the shower, and grinned as he thought how maybe he could surprise the other boy. He started to enter their bedroom door when he heard a deep groan—definitely not Ryan's voice; Ryan's was much lighter and angelic, and this voice was low and gravelly. His heart racing, he pushed the door open as hard as he could and stood, staring blankly, his mind not yet registering what was in front of him.

Some other person—another guy—was thrusting roughly into Ryan, moaning in pleasure. Troy didn't see either one of their faces, but as the scene in front of him started to make sense, he knew that Ryan was probably glancing up now, his face a mask of guilt. "What the-" Troy stood frozen in shock as he realized what was going on.

"Troy…" Ryan's pathetic voice came and broke off as he turned to look at Troy. Troy ignored him, not wanting to hear Ryan's worthless excuses, as he ran through the opened door of their once shared bedroom.

Troy ran as fast as he could out of their house, his head pounding in disbelief. What was going on? What had just happened? He expected Ryan to come running out after him, screaming and sobbing in apology, but was even more horrified when the door to his house didn't even open. How could Ryan cheat on him? How many times had he done this? Why was it today? Why did he have to cheat on Troy when it was his birthday?

Troy tried to focus on the road ahead, but his vision was blurred from the torrent of tears cascading down his cheeks. What had he done wrong? Was he not good enough for Ryan? He loved Ryan, but maybe Ryan didn't love him back the same way that he'd always thought. Well why would Ryan love someone like him? He was worthless; he hated himself for not being good enough for Ryan.

He was so deep in thought that it seemed as if no time had passed since he had left his own house and was now in front of Chad's house. He slammed the door as he ran out, and saw Chad open his front door in shock. "Troy-wha-?"

"He cheated…" Troy murmured, the shock finally sinking in. Now that the fact collided with him, he couldn't cry any more, and he sniffed, feeling his knees crumple from under him. "Why… why did he…" he looked helplessly at his best friend.

Chad understood right away and ran to his Troy's side, catching him before he fell. Troy reached up to him and grabbed him, sobbing into Chad's t-shirt. Chad grasped Troy's shaking shoulders and could only whisper. "God, Troy, I don't know. I don't know."

-

Author's Note: Oh me? Ryan cheated? How could he? Review.

-Falling With Grace