Title: Elucidations to the Heart
Word Count: 1,136
Summary: She really should just stop leading them on…
Genre(s): Romance, Angst
Setting: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Period: Post-Lava Springs
Warnings/Thoughts: Foolish child, the end you have seen deceived you into a lapse of beginnings. I honestly and truly thank all those who not only faved and reviewed, but those who merely took the time to read Elucidations to the Heart. Standing as my first finished fanfiction, I honestly contemplated ditching the story midway, but you constantly reminding me really help push me to complete it. Thank you all for such an amazing adventure!
"Troy… I, I c- I can't do this."
Ryan jolted from his bed, wiping the beads of sweat that gathered at his temples. A quick glance at his surrounds reminded the young man that he wasn't at the fields of Lava Springs, but the comfort of his luxurious room in Albuquerque. He groaned and placed one of his many residing pillows on his face. That dream again. Ryan Evans would be lying if he said that it had no meaning. He would be lying if he said it was the result of eating after eight. And he would be lying if he said he felt sympathetic toward Troy for Gabriella Montez choosing to betray that relationship for him.
It felt great.
And that was a problem all on its own. The nagging urge to leap from the bed that he rested on began to hurt his head.
Ryan hated those words more than anything right now. What if he had listened to that damned dream? He found out over five weeks ago. It led him (and those around him) to pain. Gossip had spun around the actor and his friends. The end result being far from the initial result. Gabriella had further distanced herself from Ryan to avoid social separation. Ryan knew he did the right thing by backing away. Well, the noble thing, that was for sure. His sense of right and wrong wasn't exactly right anymore.
Ugh, he needed fresh air.
Ryan Evans smiled as he walked towards one of the city's many parks. If there was one thing that could give his mind clarity, it was the smell of trees during a cool, summer's night air. The park entrance greeted Ryan with the soft chirps of crickets and the flickering lights of his town's lampposts, as if telling him all of his troubles would be whisked away. He was so soothed by the atmosphere that he almost missed the oddity in his tranquil park. Ryan's ears perked up ever so slightly.
Who? Who could possibly feel as heartrending as their cry implied in such a beautiful place? The curious teenager trailed off of the pavement and pushed past the stray branches or bushes that occasionally made their way into his view. Please don't be poison ivy, please don't be poison ivy… He chanted in his mind as much as, this person better be worth it, I better hear the most heart wrenching story ever…The ill-fated sound grew louder, a sign that Ryan was extremely close to finding his rabbit hole. Another branch was swatted away and showed to be the last one in his way. Ryan felt the transition of dirt to pavement beneath the soles of his feet. Dusting the invisible lint off his clothes, wealthy eyes scanned the normally deserted park basked in a cloak of darkness.
To his far right, Ryan could see a figure whose body just missed the lighting of a nearby lamppost. His eyebrows rose up slightly and suddenly his steps grew softer as his heartbeat drummed louder. Only too late did Ryan realize his careless footing snapped a small twig. The figure noticed the sound as fast as Ryan had and tensed as if to contemplate dashing off. He stepped in to the illumination of the lamppost hoping to serene the shadowy figure.
Oddly enough, the mysterious person was far from alleviated. Moments after Ryan walked into the spotlight, the other sped away.
"Hey, wait!" Ryan shouted lamely. His feet mocked his plead and sprinted to the fading outline. If they reach the park's foyer, I'll lose them! And I'll be damned if all of this was for naught.
Wow, they're fast. Wind prevented a full smirk from gracing the actor's features. But they aren't faster than me! Sooner than later, Ryan was in reach of the saddened souls arm. He mentally grinned as he grabbed its arm and spun the body. He was relieved to catch the mystifying person and anticipated what story hid their smile.
He wasn't, however anticipating this.
Of all the people he could have caught, Ryan wasn't relieve to catch this one.
In all honesty, he would have rather caught Chad in an angry frenzy.
The person cleared their throat. Ryan had yet to release his grip – still obviously reeling in shock. The captured one laid their half-lidded eyes downward, in shame almost.
Ryan took a gulp.
It wasn't the first time Ryan had wished for Gabriella to hear his comforting words; it probably wouldn't be the last.
He actually wished for Gabriella to be the one crying in his arms.
Too bad it wasn't.
Wow, this was awkward.
It might even be a bit more awkward than that.
Getting Troy – the basketball legend of Eastside, to sit with him on a park bench at 12:15 in the morning, was possibly one of the most uncomfortable feats Ryan had ever accomplished. The fact that the damned bench forced their knees to bump together at the slightest shift didn't help either.
Though, he'd be more than happy if this pregnant tension would end.
"Troy, I'd like to help you, but I can't do anything until I know what's wrong."
More silence. Just as Ryan was going to sigh irritably and leave, he heard the thinest of mumbles. He strained his ears to its fullest extent to pick up the words.
"I broke up with Gabriella."
Now, on this next part, please try not to blame Ryan for his actions. He is but a young man, who just found out the one to hold his object of affection had broken her heart.
That, would explain the enraged words relentlessly flying from the blond haired teenager.
"What in gods name is wrong with you?"
However, it would not have explained the clearly sharp sound of a slap echoing from his hand. Really, even I think that was a bit too far.
For a still moment, they just stood there. Frozen in the moment with an atmosphere similar to a Polaroid moment gone wrong. Ryan held such a sense of angered disbelief, that the hand he used to strike was still firmly placed on Troy's face.
A sharp hiss of pain from the young Bolton brought scathing clarity to the situation. Just as Ryan was going to endlessly apologize, Troy opened his eyes in a painfully slow manner.
"You don't have to hit me, I already know how big of an idiot I am. Letting her go was painful enough."
"Troy, I- I'm..." His eyes were wide in shame. "I don't know what," he took a deep gulp for composure, "what came over me, I-"
"I know." Troy slowly rose his hand to remove Ryan's from his face. "You like Gabriella."
"Let me finish," Silenced the opposing boy. "I don't wanna know how much, or little, you like her. I just know that you like her." Troy gnawed on his lower lip intently, thinking of how to say whatever he was going to say. "I know how much I like her. Hell, I can probably go as far as to say that I might love her. And I know that all of this shouldn't even be said, I mean, I broke up with her right?" Ryan's unconscious frown had deepened and he nodded to show proof of his attention. Troy just twisted his fingers together. "But, even though I was with her... I saw it. I saw her unhappiness. I didn't know what to think. I was lost until I saw her smile. She has such a beautiful smile, don'tcha think?"
Ryan felt his throat getting dry. "Umm...yeah, I guess."
Troy scoffed. "You guess? Ryan, I was sitting two benches away, and I saw her glow." He slowly unraveled his hands from each other to look at Ryan. "But you, you saw it from mere inches away. I haven't been able to do it in months." Troy's eyes observed Ryan, assessing the situation. "I guess us sitting here is fate trying to tell me I'm not just doing this from 'spur of the moment' feelings. Bumping in to you was no accident, Ryan Evans."
Troy got up from the bench and laughed humorlessly.
"I'm really embarrassed, could we act like none of this happened?"
"Yeah, yeah. Of course, Troy." Said teenager had started to walk away.
Ryan's eyebrows furrowed. "Where are you going?" He shouted out to the distancing figure.
"Home," he said, looking up at the sky. "I'm tired."
Without looking back, Troy Bolton began walking home.
After a moment of reflecting in the starlit park, Ryan Evans went off in the other direction, hoping to do the same.
It was at his doorstep, mere inches away from his doorknob that the gravity of the matter had settled in.
Troy broke up with Gabriella.
Ahaha, well, there you have it! I had started a new segment, but finally decided that it would be best for the story to end here: with as much possibility to gauge the reader's imagination as the first chapter did. Like I said, before I can't even begin to string together words that properly emote how I feel about actually finishing a fanfic! It's surreal and I'm so glad you stick through it all. Thanks everyone!