A/N: This fic jumps back and forth between scenes with all of there friends to scenes with Troy & Gabby interacting. This isn't set at any certain time, but I'm assuming that Troy & Gabby have been dating for a while and in the beginning everything seemed perfect, but then they started to fight. I don't personally see Gabriella as being the jealous type (though she might seem like it a little at the beginning), but I think if she was put in a situation where all they do is fight she/he/both of them will find anything to fight about...And Sharpay is very, very negative in this story. I guess you'll see that. So here it is. I hope you enjoy! R&R--especially the second, but only if you do the first, well first. Thanks! -Mac
Disclaimer: I don't own High School Musical...but wouldn't it be wonderful if I did? Hmm...
What Happened To Us?
"They're fighting again." Taylor replied as she took her seat once again at the table she shared with the rest of her friends--minus Troy and Gabriella.
"I guess that means they're not going to show up." Chad responded, putting an arm around his girlfriend 's shoulders as she sat back down beside him.
"No." Taylor nodded. "Gabriella says there's a slim chance that either of them will be joining us."
"Which means if either tries to come the other will stop them." Kelsi added, shaking her head. "They're impossible."
"Why do we even make plans with them anymore? They never show up." Sharpay scowled.
"They never stop fighting." Ryan replied. "It's all they ever do anymore."
"And they're still our friends." Zeke said. "That hasn't changed."
"Whatever. I say if they can't be around each other we find a way to see them separately." Sharpay rolled her eyes.
Jason shook his head. "And give them something else to be pissed at each other for?"
"We invite Gabriella to a girls' day at the mall, Troy blows up." Taylor said.
"We invite Troy for some two on tow." Chad added, making a gesture like he was shooting a basketball. "Gabby throws a tantrum."
"Never ending cycle." Ryan shrugged. "There has to be something we can do."
"They have to work it out themselves." Taylor corrected.
"They used to be so good together." Kelsi replied. "What happened to them?"
"We were just talking Gabby." Troy exclaimed. "We have a class together. She asked what the homework was."
"Right, and she had her hand on your arm, why?" Gabriella had her arms crossed and she looked expectant.
"I don't know!" Troy threw his hands up in the air and groaned in frustration. "It was nothing. We were talking about homework for the hundreth time."
"You were flirting! She had her sluttly little hands all over you." Gabriella yelled.
Troy shook his head. "You're being ridiculous, Gabby."
"Am I really?"
"Yes, you are. Really."
"Do you want to know what's really ridiculous Troy? Hmm, do you? What's ridiculous is that you can lie right to my face. That I have seen you talk to the same girl at least three times in the last day. Tell me, is she so very dumb that she can't remember the homework for longer than two seconds?" Gabriella interrogated. "is she mentally challenged or something? Tell me Troy."
"You're going a little far, Gabby." Troy replied, looking away from her.
"Oh, sorry. Insulting your other girlfriend?"
"Gabriella, seriously. I would never cheat on you!" Troy rounded on her. "How can you even think that?"
"You make it real easy for me, Troy." Gabriella responded. "Hanging around blonde sluts who throw themselves at you for no apparent reason, what should I think?"
"You should think 'He's my boyfriend and I trust him.'" Troy said. "I trust you."
"You want to back up a second. Remember when I had to do that English project with Scott Hunter?" Gabriella started. "You called to check in on me, how many times?"
"That's what I thought."
"You've got to be kidding me, Gabby. I wouldn't lie to you about this girl, just like I know you didn't lie to me aobut what happened with Scott." Troy replied firmly and Gabriella faltered. "You didn't lie to me, did you?"
"Of course not, nothing happened." Gabriella responded, but her voice had doubt in it.
"Did you want something to happen?" Troy face fell as it dawned on him. "You wanted something to happen."
"I don't know, Troy! I want you to want to be with me, like you used to. Maybe I wanted you to fight for me, just to see that you would." Gabriella exclaimed, letting her face fall into her hands.
"That's ridiculous, Gabby. I love you." Troy stepped forward and held her by the shoulders.
"But you never show it. You used to show me how much you loved me everyday, just by the way you looked at me. You don't show it anymore." Gabriella murmured. "I can't see it in your eyes anymore."
"Gabby, I love you."
"Keep saying it Troy. It doesn't make everything magically all better." Gabriella pulled away, out of his reach. "I don't want you to say it if you don't mean it."
"But I do mean it." Troy spoke quietly.
"When did it change? When did the way we treat each other change? What happened?" Gabriella asked, looking Troy right in the eyes. "We went so well together. We just fit. When did everything go all wrong?"
"Gabby..." Troy started.
"No. Something happened. We've fallen apart, there's no doubt in that." Gabriella cut him short. "What happened to us, Troy?"
Troy shook his head, running a hand through his hair. "I don't know."
The next week came and went with Troy and Gabriella seeing very little of each other. They didn't talk. They barely glanced at each other when they passed each other in the halls. Both could sense the end drawing near, but neither wanted to accept it.
"They're going to break up, aren't they?" Sharpay replied harshly as she and her friends sat together at a cafeteria table. Troy and Gabriella had claimed they each had other things to do, but they were avoiding each other--that was clear.
"A little blunt, don't you think?" Kelsi responded.
"But true." Sharpay shrugged.
"They love each other, they really do, it's just not..." Taylor trailed off unable to find the words.
"...working right now." Chad finished for her and Taylor nodded in agreement.
"I think they could work it out if they would just talk to each other. Instead of fighting all the time." Ryan put in. "It makes them blind to anything but their anger."
"Well they haven't been fighting this last week." Jason replied.
"They haven't even spoken to each other this last week!" Taylor exclaimed. "They don't stay in the same room together any longer than two seconds."
"It's better than fighting." Zeke shrugged.
"Maybe." Chad said.
"I think they know the end is inevitable, but neither wants to be the one who says it, because then they'll feel like it's their fault." Kelsi explained.
"Psycho-babble." Sharpay mumbled.
"It doesn't have to be anyone's fault. It happens. It's not like anyone expected them to be it for each other." Ryan replied.
"That's just it...I think they did." Taylor responded.
"They're allowed to break up." Sharpay said sharply.
"I don't think either of them want to, but they feel like they have to." Jason stated. "I think they feel as if that's the only way to solve their problems."
"It's not, though." Taylor added. "If they would just try to work things out rationally, they could get through this."
"Slim chance that would actually happen though." Chad shook his head. "They never let up on each other."
Taylor nodded. "If they could just get past all the anger toward one another they could see what a good thing they have."
"I don't know." Kelsi began. "I just always saw them as the ones that would last. What does that say for the rest of us, if they're about to go down in flames?"
Gabriella was sitting alone on a bench in the park, when Troy found her. She was staring up at the stars that had appeared in the sky not long before. Troy had his hands in his pockets as he walked over to sit with her. As he sat down next to her, she didn't acknowledge him for the longest time. So they sat quietly together, not saying a word--for the first time in a long time.
"Gabby, do you love me?" Troy finally asked, not looking at her--he focused on his hands now clasped in his lap.
Gabriella finally looked at him, "What kind of question is that?"
"An easy one." Troy responded softly. "A yes or no would do. Do you love me?"
"Of course I do, Troy." Gabriella said. "I love you so much."
"Well, I think if we love each other we should be able to find a way to make all this hurt go away." Troy replied.
"Are we breaking up?" Gabriella asked her voice cracking in the middle.
"Maybe." Troy answered honestly. "If you think that's the only way to fix things, then yes."
"Do you see it as the only way to fix things?" Gabriella questioned, looking up at his face, that was still turned away from hers.
"No." Troy flipped around to look at her. "I think we could work this out, but it would take a lot of effort. And I'm willing to do that, but you have to be willing too."
"I've been trying Troy."
"No, you haven't." Troy shook his head. "And I haven't been either. We've been skating through our relationship recently, confident in the fact that the other wasn't going to leave. But now we're suddenly faced with the harsh truth that one of us might and we're searching for the easiest way out."
"It's hard Troy." Gabriella replied. "I hate not knowing what you're thinking all the time. I used to and then I started to lose you."
"You never lost me Gabby." Troy frowned.
"I did little by little. And I know I pulled away from you just as much because it hurt to not fully have you." Gabriella correted. "I haven't had you for a long time."
"Gabby, you'll always have me." Troy shook his head. "My heart belongs to you. No question...I belong wholly to you. No one else."
Gabriella smiled. "I wish it felt that way."
"What are you trying to say Gabby?" Troy asked, turning his body so he was facing her completely.
"I'm saying that if we were to make this work, we would have to start completely over...And I don't know if I have enough strength left to do that."
Troy nodded, then looked down. "I see."
"Troy look at me. I love you and I wish it was different..." Gabby started.
"Maybe we should just think about this, sleep on it a bit. And then we'll talk about it again. Figure everything out." Troy interrupted her.
Gabriella nodded. "Okay."
"Okay." Troy responded as he stood.
Troy headed away from where they had been sitting without another word. He started for home without looking back. He wasn't ready yet. He wasn't ready to let go of Gabriella even as she gave up on him. So he left. He would stall as long as he could. He wasn't ready.
Gabriella stood staring after Troy's back. After a moment she sunk back into her seat on the bench. She wrapped her arms around herself. She was far from cold, but she had chills. She didn't know that losing hope in something could make her hurt so bad. But she didn't know how to fix it.
"So?" Kelsi asked as Taylor joined the group once again. Taylor had been talking to Gabriella--Chad was still off talking to Troy.
"They're thinking!" Taylor huffed as she plopped down in her seat.
"What does that even mean?" Sharpay questioned, her nose scrunched up in distaste.
"They're trying to decide whether it would be better to break up or stay together." Taylor answered, then shook her head. "They really are impossible to deal with."
"I don't get them." Sharpay replied. "Why drag it out? She should put the poor boy out of his misery."
Ryan rolled his eyes. "Could you be any more insensitive?"
"Yes." Sharpay said simply.
"They're confused." Jason responded. "They don't know what to do."
"I think they know exactly what to do. They're stalling!" Sharpay exclaimed.
"You couldn't be further from being a romantic." Zeke commented. "They love each other, I doubt they want to lose each other, no so soon at least."
"So what if I'm not a romantic? At least I'm being realistic." Sharpay responded with a frown. "They have problems. It's as simple as that."
"It's actually not that simple," Kelsi corrected. "Their relationship is very complicated. They have a real kind of love--not just puppy love or high school love. It's real. It would be hard to give up on that kind of love."
"Give them time, they might pull through." Ryan added. "They're both really strong. I believe they can do it."
It was then that Chad made his way back to the group. "They're thinking!"
"We've established that." Taylor nodded.
"Troy says Gabriella's about to give up on him." Chad replied grimly. "We might actually have to say goodbye to East High's It-Couple."
"You really think they're going to break up?" Jason asked.
"Troy's trying his hardest but if Gabriella doesn't pitch in, it won't work." Chad shrugged. "I don't know. I guess it's all up in the air."
"I just don't understand what happened. One day everything was perfect, the next they're at each other's throats." Kelsi said.
"I guess nothing last forever." Taylor sighed.
"The honeymoon is over, guys." Chad replied softly.
"Hmph. It ended a long time ago." Sharpay scoffed. "A really, really long time ago."
"Will you shut up, Sharpay!" Taylor exclaimed suddenly. "These are our friends and they might actually break up. This is serious. I don't want them to break up. They want to be together, I just know it. There's just some things standing in their way."
Sharpay rolled her eyes, but remained silent. The rest of the group fell quiet as they contemplated the worst case scenario. If Troy and Gabriella really broke up, what would that mean for everyone? They didn't even want to think about it.
Taylor leaned back into Chad and he wrapped his arms around her. Jason took Kelsi's hand and gave it a squeeze. They had never really thought about what the consequences would be if one of them broke up. But it was slowly becoming a reality. The era of Troy and Gabriella might actually be coming to an end.
Troy pulled open his front door a moment or so after the doorbell sounded. Gabriella stood there in his doorway looking oddly emotionless. Troy frowned, but gestured her inside. Gabriella shook her head in response.
"I'd rather talk outside, if that's alright with you." Gabriella spoke soft but her tone was even.
"Okay." Troy nodded and stepped outside, closing the door behind him. "What's going on?"
"I've thought about it." Gabriella began. "And I think we've done everything we could do."
"Gabby, come on..."
"I think it's over." Gabriella finished, emphasizing her point with a curt nod.
Troy sighed. "Want to get back to me when you're past 'thinking it's over.'"
"Don't do that Troy." Gabriella shook her head. "We're breaking up, Troy."
"No. You see Gabby, you have to be sure. One-hundred-and-ten percent certain. Because this isn't some waste of time high school relationship. This means something--you and me." Troy replied. "You don't want to work to make it work, that's fine...But you're sure as hell are going to have to put up a fight to get out of it. I'm not going to make it easy on you."
"I want you Gabby. Now and as far into the future as I've dared to look. I know we fight and I know it's hard, but I believe in us. And I'll believe in us to the very end." Troy took a deep breath. "I love you. And that simple fact will be enough to make me want to fight to the death to keep you for as long as I can."
Gabriella fought back tears. "Where was this Troy when all the fighting started? Hmm? Because this is who I wanted you to be when we first started having problems. Why weren't you here when I needed you?"
"Gabby, I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere." Troy murmured. "I'm begging you...don't let us end here. If we can survive this, we can get past anything. This is a test, Gabby. That's what this is."
"Troy, I just...My heat hurts. It needs to heal, and I don't know if it can if I don't..."
"Don't say it Gabby." Troy cut her off. "What do I have to do to convince you I am in this? I am. No more fighting, I promise. We can fix this."
"It's not about where you're in this. It's that I don't know if my heart is in it." Gabriella replied.
"Oh." Troy swallowed. "Okay. If that's what it is..."
"Troy, God. I don't know what to do!" Gabriella exclaimed. "I feel like we're repeating ourselves. And I can't stand that we have the same fight over and over--but we never get past it."
"Fine. Then we'll stop fighting. Right now." Troy stated.
"It doesn't work that way, Troy."
"You're right, Gabby, that doesn't solve anything. So let's figure this out and change what needs to be changed." Troy suggested.
"I don't know." Gabriella sighed, running her hands through her hair. "This is giving me a headache."
"You're not the only one." Troy said, reaching up to scratch the back of his neck. "What do we do Gabriella? It's up to you. Make your choice: end us for good or work to change things."
"Troy, I..." Gabriella trailed off.
"Look it's simple. We try or we don't. But once the choice is made that's it. I won't do the whole on-off thing. Once we're broken up, I will move on." Troy replied.
"Is that some kind of threat?" Gabriella rounded on him.
"No, it's just a fact. You have to make up your mind and you have to be certain it's what you really want. I'm not going to wait around for you to want me." Troy responded. "You know what I want. If you want some time..."
"No." Gabriella had only paused for a second. "I know what I want..."
Taylor closed her cellphone as she arrived back at their table at the restaurant. Everyone looked up at her for an answer they seemed to be expecting. Taylor shot them all a questioning look as she sat down.
"Let me guess. They're not coming?" Sharpay replied, casually skimming her menu and not even looking up.
"They're on their way in, actually. They had trouble finding parking." Taylor smiled, picking up her menu. She didn't even have to look at Sharpay to know the look of surprise was accompanied by a wide open mouth.
"Hey guys." Troy and Gabriella chorused as they came up to the table.
Troy pulled out Gabriella's chair for her and she smiled her thanks. He sad down next to her before looking up at everyone. "What's everyone having?"
And suddenly things were back to normal. No fighting, no upset feelings, no more avoiding each other, no more missed plans. They had figured something out, made changes, and survived. Together.