Bite Your Tongue
High School Romance and Desire in Ten Parts.
By Song Birdy
author's notes. It's been awhile, hasn't it? I wonder if anyone remembers me. This is crackheadish. I wasn't sure where it was going when I started, and to be honest, I'm not sure how it got there. Slash AND Het, a little Troy/Gabriella, a little Sharpay/Zeke, and a LOT of Troy/Ryan. I kind of like the realism of it. I hate when people make Ryan all innocent and sweet when it is obvious from the movie that he's a little bit evil, I mean, "I am proud to call you my sister"? Definitely, he is just as evil as Sharpay. Okay, I'm done explaining. Don't flame, it's rude. I don't own High School Musical. Corrupting Disney is fun.
oh, ps. this is my first attempt at a "normal" story, where more than like, six lines of dialogue at a time is used. It's interesting. I like the bantering. Onto the story!
Kissing Gabriella should have been easier for Troy.
He should have been able to pull her in for a single moment of passion as easy as the swish-swish of scoring a basketball goal. He should have been able to spend hours finding the crevices in her mouth, exploring the curvature of her waist, and memorizing the way her chest moved against his as they explored each other endlessly.
But it was not, and he was not.
His hands always got sweaty when he was near her, and he could never bring himself to feel anything as she slipped her lips onto his. He often found himself thinking that the thought of kissing Gabriella was much more pleasant than the actuality of it. When she had slipped away each time he tried, he'd wanted her so bad. The thrill of the chase. But when he caught her, he thought, she was not as thrilling he had expected.
To Troy, the world of the theatre and the rest of his world were separated by many facets of priorities and moral codes. The words "Good Luck" really meant "Bad Luck", Lemon Juice and Tea were a way of life, it was alright- even required - for guys to wear makeup, and sexuality was no longer a taboo subject among men.
Troy could never find a balance between fascination and embarrassment when Ryan would kiss his boyfriends in the leads dressing room. Ryan cycled through the entire male chorus of Twinkle Towne, sometimes even two in one day. The freshmen boys would enter the theatre completely open to new experiences, but by the end of show, they would leave the theatre knowing what's what. Others seemed to already know the rules of Ryan Evans's game; they were older, more aggressive, but Ryan always seemed to win in the end, and there would be a new boy "helping Ryan with his makeup" by the very next day. All Troy could do was awkwardly look away, or stare.
Gabriella Montez's favorite way to spend a Friday night was at home with a rented movie and her most prized possession: her boyfriend. She was the prettiest, smartest girl in school, and he was the king of the hill. They were the perfect couple. He even let her watch movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Wedding Date, giving her a little tug on the shoulder when the sappy parts made her well up with tears. He was so sweet.
Then, they would spend ten minutes expressing their affections for each other, followed by a nibble in the kitchen and a quick kiss, then the date was over, and Troy would leave. The making out (such a horrendous term, she thought), had never been the real attraction she had to Troy, it had always been his kind personality, the way that he was beautiful, but he didn't seem to know it, and the way that he made her feel comfortable onstage when she wasn't so sure of herself.
Some nights when she lay in bed, she realized that all the things he had said were almost exactly what she had said too, but then, she wondered if she really cared that they were.
It was easier to be the perfect couple than it was to be in love.
The dark-haired boy from the dance corps, Michael, had just left their dressing room. Troy was washing off his makeup from the first dress rehearsal while Ryan was shifting his clothes back into position and calculating the damage to his hair.
"I hate it when they do that.." He was muttering under his breath as he searched for a comb in his messenger bag.
"What?" Troy questioned.
Ryan frowned, apparently unable to locate the comb, "The hair thing, clawing away at the back of my head and messing up something that takes hours to perfect. You don't happen to have a comb, do you?"
Troy stared blankly for a moment, up until this point, Ryan's conquests had been a taboo subject between the two, and usually Troy just talked about the show or basketball as soon as the other boy had finished. Ryan shot him a confused look, "Hello? A comb?"
"Oh! Yeah, here-" Troy grabbed one out of his back pocket and handed it to the blonde boy, who immediately began the attack on his mussed up hair.
Ryan smiled dryly, "We wouldn't want Sharpay to know anything iffy was going on, would we?" He let out a sort of half-laugh, almost bitterly.
"I'm sure she does, actually," Ryan stated, as if he'd never thought of it before, "She's been with some of those guys too. Probably even more than I have."
"Really?" Troy was incredulous, he never thought that The Ice Queen would be putting out, and with that thought, he shuddered.
Ryan smiled wickedly, "Yeah, you wouldn't believe how many times she's gotten a ride home from rehearsal and come out of the back of a car with her skirts pushed up and messy hair. It's almost funny to think of the way that half of the rest of the male population of the school would die to get in her pants when all they really have to do is join the chorus."
Troy laughed at that, wondering if he should mention it to Zeke, who had yet to get further than second base with the Ice Queen.
"Do you have any gel?" Ryan asked, "I don't like to use the stuff we have here, it's too obviously cheap and Shar would know-"
"Yeah," Troy answered, tossing it to him, "But you know, for someone who has as many conquests as she does, you don't really brag. Which is weird, 'cause most guys-"
"You really have integrated into the theatre, haven't you, Bolton?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, it's just that everyone else in the school wouldn't exactly consider what I do to be... what was it you called it? Conquests." Ryan snorted, running a gelled-up hand through his hair, "But what about you? You're never one to boast either, Captain Every-Girl-Swoons-Over-Me."
"What?" Troy was affronted, "I've been with plenty of girls!"
"Dish!" Ryan swatted Troy on the arm playfully.
"I don't kiss and tell." Troy's falcetto voice cracked and Ryan giggled.
"So that's all it is?" The blonde asked, "Just kissing?"
"What? You've done more? I thought Sharpay was the only slut in the family-"
"Bite your tongue!"
"You wish you could-"
The look on Ryan's face was absolutely priceless as he turned from the mirror to face his fellow actor, "Cheek!" He exclaimed, "Welcome to the theatre." He tossed Troy his gel and comb back.
Troy didn't know why he did it, maybe out of habit, but as Ryan threw his messenger bag over his shoulder and passed him towards the door, Troy smacked his butt and laughed.
Ryan gave him an approving look then snorted, "Maybe I should join the basketball team if that's what goes on in the locker rooms! See you!"
Sometimes there were bruises on her brother's hips, but Sharpay never questioned Ryan's choices. They were his to make, and if he wanted a rough love life, then it was none of her business. He had never mentioned the hickeys that he'd caught her attempting to cover up with concealer, so she would never mention the bruises. They didn't have to, it was twin telepathy, she thought to herself sardonically.
Chris, a chorus boy with the long blonde hair and body of a male model, had just left when Troy walked in. Ryan was changing his clothes out of his costume, and he nodded at Troy.
"You know, out of all the guys on this cast, you're the only one who's actually been in the dressing room when my pants are off. A lot of guys would kill to be you."
Troy smirked, "Well, we have a - special relationship."
Ryan chuckled to himself and continued to dress, "That was a good rehearsal," he said after a few moments of pause.
"Yeah." Troy agreed. "You were good."
"Thanks," And Troy actually thought he caught Ryan blushing, "You're getting better too, you know. Not so much of a pop singer and more of an actor. Though I always thought the chemistry between you and Gabriella would be.."
"Better? I guess." Troy felt that the conversation had turned towards and awkward ending.
Ryan quirked his head to one side, "Well you know, the golden couple -" He paused tentatively, but Troy was silent, "I always thought you'd be the golden couple onstage too I guess."
"I guess I thought so too." Troy took in a deep breath, "Can I tell you something?"
"If I said no would that stop you?"
Troy hesitated, "I don't really know, but things between us have been weird ever since we started dating. Nice, comfortable, but.. weird. I just, I don't think I want to be comfortable." He paused, "Why am I telling you this?" He demanded, suddenly angry.
There was a silence that seemed to last a century, "Sorry." Troy muttered.
"No, it's okay," Ryan forced. "I know what you mean. You want to have an adventure, for things to be fast and hot and unheeding. Being comfortable is one thing, snuggling on the couch on Friday nights, but the rush of not wanting to get caught is another." He cocked an eyebrow.
"Yeah.." Troy muttered, suddenly uncomfortable. "I mean, it's just that the thought of Gabriella was more exciting than the actuality of.. Gabriella."
"Well," Ryan said, "If you really want to know. When I felt that way-" He paused and looked into the mirror, and as flippantly as he could, finished the sentence, "that's when I started to think that I might be gay."
The silence in the room was deafening as Troy tried to gather his thoughts. No silly comments could fix this conversation; no smack of the butt could make them go back to their usual banter. So Troy did all he could think to do. Painfully, he laughed.
"You think I'm gay?" He could not control the squeak of his voice on the last word.
Troy was reeling, unable to answer the question, "Of course not! I'm Troy Bolton! I could get any girl I wanted-"
"But do you want to?"
"Do I want to what?"
"To have any girl you want. You really don't seem to be going anywhere with Gabriella, and I swear if one more girl tries to flash you over your desk with a low-cut shirt, I'll scream."
"Oh don't kid yourself, Bolton," Ryan cut him off, "You don't notice because you're not interested. And don't think that no one else has seen the way you look at your best friend Chad," He paused and added, maybe just for spite, "The way you look at me."
A lump was building up in Troy's throat, "That's disgusting." He growled, and threw is bag over his shoulder.
But Troy would not make it out of the dressing room, because Ryan grabbed his lapels, and slammed him against the door, staring him straight in the eye, "Do you think I'm disgusting, Troy?" he snarled, and his left hand slid down Troy's chest and following the cut of his hips. Troy's breath shook as he breathed in deeply, never breaking eye contact with the other boy.
But Troy's eyes closed as Ryan let his hand venture even further, and his breath shook even more before he threw the other boy off of him.
"Disgusting," He growled, opening the door.
Ryan merely smirked, "It's funny that you think it's disgusting, because you sure do look happy to see me."
Sharpay slipped into her leopard print flats and tossed her hair a little bit as she turned to Gabriella, "You really are lucky, Gabi. You guys are like, the perfect couple."
Gabriella smiled, "Yeah. Troy is great. He's sweet, and he really respects me a lot. He totally understands me too. It's nice."
"Do you love him?" Sharpay asked.
Gabriella seemed shocked at the question, "Well of course I do! He's Troy! We're perfect together."
Sharpay shrugged exaggeratedly, "So are Zeke and I, but I don't know if I love him."
"No, you MAKE love to him," Gabriella giggled.
Sharpay huffed, quietly thinking that Zeke was the only boy she hadn't made love to, "I was just wondering, maybe you could tell me what it felt like. Must be nice."
Gabriella hesitated, "Yeah. It's nice."
Troy didn't seem to want to watch the movie that night. Gabriella didn't argue. At first, it was nice, but then Troy seemed to be getting more and more demanding.
He'd never been anything but a gentleman, and the way that his teeth were almost clashing with her own was making Gabriella nervous. His hand was gripping the back of her hair possessively and she had to fight to control anything that was going on.
His hand was slipping further down her hip, dangerously playing with the edge of her jeans, pushing himself against her.
She pushed him away.
He pushed on, connecting his mouth to her neck and flirting dangerously with the buttons of her shirt. She wriggled, "Troy, stop."
He pulled back.
"Is something wrong?" He asked, leaning back onto the couch.
Gabriella fidgeted, "Yes - No.. Sort of?"
Troy laughed, "Well. That's concise."
"Don't joke Troy." She frowned. "Do you love me?"
"What?" Troy stroked the side of her face, "Of course I do. Why wouldn't I? You're perfect. You're smart, and beautiful.." He trailed off and lightly kissed her lips.
"Yeah, but-" She looked down, and then hesitated, "I love you too."
In the back corner of the movie theatre, Sharpay and Zeke were quietly not watching the movie. Their lips brushed carefully, tentatively, and sweetly. She smiled at him, looking in his eyes during each lull, and when they would sneak a few scenes in between, she rested her head comfortably in the crook of his shoulder.
She could not help but think that this was nice. It wasn't the smelly back of some guy's used car, and it wasn't in the dressing room after all the other girls had left. It their own quiet little corner away from the world, not in any sort of hurry to get to anywhere in particular, wasting hours at a time with no real goal at all.
It was during one of the few moments when they had taken a break to watch the film, just after they'd almost been escorted out by the usher, when she turned to him.
"I think I kind of love you, Zeke." She whispered in his ear, and he turned his head to look at her, "No, I know I do."
He laughed a little and pecked her lips.
"Aren't you going to say it back?" She pouted.
"I loved you, Sharpay, when you didn't even know my name."
She smiled and settled herself back into her seat, promising herself that there would be no more chorus boys.
The situation was tense in Ryan and Troy's dressing room. Troy was not even speaking to Ryan, and Ryan merely went about his business as if nothing had changed. Alan, from the chorus, was moving faster than most of Ryan's boys and Troy was making his best attempt to ignore the hand that was sliding down the back of his dressing roommate's trousers.
Ryan let out a soft grunt while Alan explored his neck, and Troy pointedly cleared his throat.
Alan jumped back and Ryan smirked, "Oh sorry Troy! I didn't see you there." Troy huffed and then shook his shoulders, "Hey Alan," Ryan added switching into a lower huskier voice that Troy had only heard once before, "Why don't you wait for me outside, we can go somewhere more private."
The chorus boy nodded, and began to leave, but not without a lingering kiss on Ryan's mouth.
When the door shut, Troy spoke up, "In the future, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your sexuality to yourself. I don't want any more inclusion on it."
"Oh, excuse me?" Ryan seemed angry for once, "Because I thought I was in charge here? Oh wait, I am the president of the drama club, and it's MY name on seventeen gold stars, and after next week, that little star with your name on it will just be a memento, right? You tried to be a drama boy, but you just. couldn't. hack it. So please, excuse me if I don't change my ways just to suit your homophobia."
Troy reeled, unaware of how to answer that, "You seem to have forgotten that I BEAT you for the lead this time Ryan. That YOU'RE the supporting actor, and really isn't that all that matters? Who gets the most applause?"
"Funny how I thought that was based on talent. The entire audience won't be made up of your basketball friends, you know that right?" Ryan was standing dangerously close to Troy as he said these words.
Troy took a step forward so that they were chest to chest.
"Oh, and you never answered my question." Ryan smirked.
Their noses were almost touching.
"Do you think.. that you… are gay?" Ryan let his arm slip to the small of Troy's back and he raised his eyebrows suggestively.
"I.. don't know."
Ryan quickly shoved Troy up against the wall again, but this time, he also shoved his mouth against the other boy's, grasping the back of Troy's hair and the front of his button down shirt, for a few moments, they held their own battle for dominance of the awkward kiss, gnashing teeth and pulling hair, pushing each other to a new limit for Troy.
Like the kiss, the break apart was violent, rough, and heated, "So are you?"
After a short, tension-filled pause, Troy smirked, "Bite your tongue."
Ryan seemed surprised for a moment, then laughed adding gruffly, "I'd rather you do it."