AN: Total and utter schmoop, in honor of the 12,000th hit on True Drama. Ella and Troy learning a dance for Twinkle Towne and being their adorably cute selves. Fluff galore.


you and i,
you take my hand,
leaving me breathless.
feel the beat of my racing heart
so you'll understand and know
why we whisper in hallways
i'll be with you always.
running together,
forever you and i.
-- bare: a pop opera,
you and i (peter&jason)


"One and two, three and four," Gabriella murmured under her breath as she attempted the dance step - for the eleven hundredth time. There was a complicated twist at the end and trying to learn the complex dance by herself was not making the steps any easier. She growled under her breath and stomped a foot as she glared holes in the floor. No music, no partner - and Darbus wanted her to have this down pat by tomorrow? Impossible.

"Need a little help there?" The voice came from the back of the auditorium and Gabriella started, glancing up to find her boyfriend leaning casually against the last rows of the hall.

"Troy!" She called, half with joy, half in surprise - the reason she was here by herself was because Troy hadn't been able to make it, several teachers and his father calling him away for separate errands. He'd apologized a hundred times over - although she hadn't even been mad - but Gabriella was still stuck learning the steps on her own. "What are you doing here?" She asked curiously, crossing to the front of the stage and perching on the edge.

Troy made his way down the long aisle, pausing only when he reached her, settling his arms atop her legs and glancing up at her through long bangs. He flashed his infamous bright grin before speaking, "Well, I managed to do most of the list in half the time expected and then practice got cancelled - someone flooded the gym and it's too wet on the outdoor court, otherwise I can guarantee we'd be out there. So now I'm all yours." He beamed up at her, proud like a child who had done well on their math test. Gabi laughed and ruffled his hair with poorly hidden amusement.

"Alright then, hop on up Wildcat and see if you can keep up." With that, Gabi folded her legs beneath her and stood in one fluid movement. Cocking one hip to the side, she held out a hand to her smirking boyfriend. Troy planted one hand firmly on the stage's edge and jumped up easily, taking Gabi's hand a moment later.

"Don't worry about me El," he said, sliding closer, his fingers lacing with hers as his free hand settled at her waist. "I'm sure I'll manage just fine," he finished with a teasing grin.

"We'll just see about that," Gabi said, flipping her hair in a mockingly condescending manner - and then they were off.

"Step, step, turn, right, back, step, dip, pause," was followed by, "Twirl, up, down, back, hand, hand, slide, stand." In a flurry of directions and quick steps, the pair followed each others' movements, sliding around the stage in perfect sync - only occasionally stomping on each others' toes. Only on a particularly bad count, where Troy managed to be on step two while Gabi was already moving to twirl, did they manage to crash into each other, sending each other to floor.

Laughter broke the moment of stunned silence and Gabi collapsed atop Troy, giggling breathlessly into his chest as he played with a bit of her hair, chuckling tiredly. "That didn't work out as well as I'd hoped," Troy said aloud a moment later, sending Gabi now into another fit of laughter. Every muscle ached - they'd been at this for awhile now, and silently both decided that this would be the perfect time for a break.

"Well, I hope not - because if that was supposed to be the result, then I think your dancing leaves much to be desired Troy Bolton." Troy gave her a mock affronted look and Gabi stretched to press a kiss to his cheek.

"I was behind the count on that one," Troy admitted, gazing down at her, and Gabi gazed at him curiously, her chin settled comfortably atop his chest.

"Where'd you get off beat?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at Troy's flushed face which only deepened in color at the question.

"The step before," he answered delicately, purposely not meeting her eyes. Gabriella drummed impatient fingers over his ribs as she gave him a 'yeah, and?' look. "The step, where I take your hand and," he gestured elaborately with his hand, mimicking the slide, dip and pause that occurred before the twirl.

"What happened?" Gabriella asked with genuine curiosity, "I didn't knock you off, did I?"

"Weeell…" Troy hesitated, and Gabi's eyes widened in horror.

"Oh no, I did! Oh shoot, I thought I had it down, you should've told me sooner I was screwing you up! I need to-" Troy was quick to silence her, drawing her mouth to his.

"It's not your fault," he assured her with a smile when he pulled away, his breath playing against her lips. "It was mine. I got…distracted, to say the least." When Gabi's befuddled face didn't fade away, he sighed deeply. He'd been hoping he wouldn't have to explain. "Ella," he began gravely, sitting up, and Gabriella settled into listen. "Sometimes, when you look at me…" Gabi blinked, "I just get lost," he said helplessly. "I get distracted by your eyes, your smile, the way you hold my hand."

Gabi gaped at him for a moment and Troy plowed on, undeterred.

"Sometimes," he continued seriously, "you take my breath away."

"…Oh," was all Gabriella could say to that. There was a moment of silence, verging on awkward before Gabi threw herself into Troy's arms, kissing him fiercely. When she pulled away from him, oxygen deprivation forcing her to surface, he was gazing at her wordlessly, the look in his eyes sending thrills down her spine. She wished she had the perfect words to tell Troy just what he meant to her and just what his smile did to her, but she was all numbers and calculations and science. She didn't have the right words at her disposal so she simply acted.

Tugging at his hand, she placed his palm over her heart and smiled. Troy's mouth curved into his perfect crooked smile, flawless in its imperfections, and she smiled helplessly back. They sat like that for a moment, enjoying simply being near each other an-

"BOLTON. MONTEZ." Gabi tumbled off Troy's lap in surprise and tipped over in his hurry to stand at Darbus' call. He tugged Gabi up with him and she clung to his sleeve for balance as she stared at Darbus, stalking her way down the aisle. "The dance," she said simply and Gabi glanced up at Troy, who smirked down at her.

"Think you can keep up?" she murmured, already moving to their starting position.

"As long as it's you I'm following babe," he replied simply, taking her hand in his and tugging her close. "That's all I need."


AN2: So yeah, this is the first of a few outtakes I'll probably be writing - the others will probably be angstier (which is not hard, considering the complete and utter cotton candy-esque sugar schmoop this is) and hopefully provide some amusement. This goes out to my best friend, who was one of the three or four people to review TD's last chapter. She poked me hard when I was moping about it and she pretty much owns my heart.

The song is from an off-broadway show called 'bare: a pop opera'. I recommend youtubing it if cute gay boys falling in love is your thing; it's the cutest and saddest and best thing ever.

See you same bat time, same bat channel,