DISCLAIMER: I do not own High School Musical, the songs, the lyrics, the characters etc. It I did, I would drop out of uni and instead be out rolling in my cash, and in the process of producing many M rated sequels starring a scantily clothed Zac Efron.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Welcome to my first HSM fan fic. Don't expect anything spectacular. Basically, I have jillions of post HSM2 ideas floating around in my head, but thought that first I would use this fic as a training exercise to see how I go with characterisation etc. Essentially it is yet another – fill in the gaps between HSM1 and 2 fic.



Chapter 1 – The Start of Something New

I know that something has changed

Never felt this way

And right here tonight

This could be the start of something new

It feels so right to be here with you

And now looking in your eyes

I feel in my heart

The start of something new

- 'The Start of Something New' by Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Drew Seeley and Zac Efron


East High was united in celebration. Performers, cheerleaders, brainiacs, jocks – as well as teachers and parents – had come together. The East High gymnasium had been transformed into an impromptu celebratory party. The school was one which in the past had placed emphasis upon its sporting excellence program. Principle Matsui's office featured basketball themed décor and he actively supported the endeavours of the schools sporting teams, providing resources to Coach Bolton and the rest of the physical education faculty – although if asked, the principal would of course profusely deny any favouritism.

The collaboration between the Wildcats and scholastic decathlon team in the lead up to the Twinkle Towne call backs were largely responsible for the evolution in school spirit. A Wildcat pride which acknowledged all of the afternoons achievements. And at the centre of the celebration were the two young shining stars, Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton.

Troy was fielding questions left, right and centre, with people wanting to know all about the winning play of the match, when the singing all began – as well as girls generally vying for his attention. Troy's father and basketball coach had taken the liberty to introduce Troy to several college scouts mingling at the party. Not to mention the conversation topic of the hour…

"You've gotten yourself into a wild ride with that musical!" A random parent he was chatting to informed him.

"With all the rehearsals, how are you going to have time to keep your shape up for next season?" His English teacher asked.

This was supposed to be an after party, a celebration, a chance to unwind and relax after all of the stress of the past weeks. Instead it had become yet another set of obligations in the life of Troy Bolton.

Gabriella was also in the limelight, people wanting to meet the new girl at East High who had so quickly made such a significant impact. Several boys seemed to have had an epiphany – realising that smart chicks can be hot. So many people had come up and introduced themselves to her that she doubted she would recall a single name. Not to mention that some of the members of the drama club who were pleased to see Sharpay be bested, were flocking around Gabriella.

"This is going to be so awesome! We're going to have so much fun!" one of the girls exclaimed.

"There will be plenty of time to get to know each other, you'll feel like you live in that auditorium soon," another one informed Gabriella with a giggle.

Several of the teachers from the senior mathematics and science departments had Gabriella, wanting to get into long winded conversations about college prep classes. She was beginning to feel rather overwhelmed.

The Wildcats were right into the swing of the celebrations. A few of the boys on the team had brought in some 'cooler' CDs than the school had provided, and cranked up the music. The gymnasium passed for a pretty good dance floor. The cheerleaders of course got right into the dancing, encouraging other students to join in and celebrate. Martha, one of the girls from the scholastic decathlon team, was very excited with the change in the music and abandoned her teammates to join in.

Kelsi had at first felt rather out of place. However she was excited about the upcoming musical and honoured that Gabriella and Troy had given her composition the spirit and life it deserved. So she allowed herself to be dragged to the after party, all the while wishing she was alone with her imagination, a piano, a pencil and som blank sheet music.. However the Wildcat boys had taken her under their wing – in particular, Jason had taken it upon himself to introduce her to the other boys in the team. She had been working so hard for the drama club since joining, and was really excited about her composition.

Ryan Evans had been standing off to the side of the party. He was dealing with the aftermath of the auditions a lot better than his sister, although for her benefit he had pretended to be utterly devastated. The truth was that there was a silver lining to the situation – not playing the lead in the musical would provide him with some spare time to take an extra class at his dance academy, which would officially certify him to teach dance classes. Ryan saw Martha grooving away with her hip hop dancing and was fascinated. He spontaneously ran out to join her.

"Hey, can you teach me some of that?" Ryan asked, raising his voice to be heard over the music.

Martha grinned and responded enthusiastically, "Sure!" and proceeded to go through some steps.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the school, Sharpay Evans sat backstage in the auditorium. She was curled up in the pink fluffy armchair she had already had brought into her dressing room – that's right, her dressing room. She had made nice, gone to the after party for a bit, pretended to be happy. The truth was, that Sharpay was feeling rather lost. Her life centred around school productions – specifically, being the lead in school productions. If she wasn't a musical theatre actress – what was she? A tear glistened on her cheek. Sharpay mindlessly took a bite from one of the cookies the tall basketball guy… what was his name again? Zac?... had given her. She gasped.

"I think this is the best thing I've ever had in my mouth," Sharpay exclaimed.

Troy finally escaped yet another polite chit chat with one of his teachers who wanted to congratulate him on his multiple talents. He scanned his eyes across the room. The one person he wanted to be celebrating with, and amidst the chaos he had been so caught up in his own world that he'd hardly seen her. He spotted Chad and Taylor were sitting on the bleachers, talking to one another. Or rather, bickering.

"You are so infuriating Chad Danforth!" Taylor said, sounding impatient.

"Are you going to spend the rest of tonight criticising me?" Chad asked.

"If I think that you've done something that needs criticising than most probably," Taylor responded.

"Then maybe I'll keep saying dumb things because you look really hot when you're yelling at me," Chad replied smoothly.

"I... What?" Taylor softened. "I look what?"

"Hot. Yes that's right Taylor, I just admitted that you are hot. I think you should take advantage of this while you can."

Taylor's eyes widened as Chad leaned towards her. She, president of the Chemistry Club, driving force behind the scholastic decathlon team, academic whiz Taylor McKessie was about to be kissed by Chad Danforth.

"Hey dude," Troy said with a cheery smirk, interrupting the moment. "Payback yeah?"

"Touché," Chad said, with a groan.

"Hello Troy," Taylor said in a strained tone, clearly sounding annoyed.

"Would you happen to have seen Gabriella about?" Troy asked.

"Isn't that her over there?" Taylor asked, pointing over the opposite end of the gymnasium.

Surely enough, there she was. She was talking to the heads of department of both the science and math faculty at one time. He winced. Great way to celebrate – with more equations and chemicals! He moved over closer to her, not taking his eyes off her. No way was he going to give up talking to her this time.

Gabriella felt like she was being watched. She glanced around and saw Troy. He was standing by the punch bowl, grinning at her. She rolled her eyes at him. She was trying to communicate to him subliminally – please save me from this boredom.

He approached the group casually and greeted with equal nonchalance, "Hello all."

"Mr Davis, Mrs Jenkins, you both know Troy Bolton don't you?" Gabriella said politely.

Mr David held his hand out to Troy. "Hadn't met personally but of course we all know you. I caught the end of the game – nice shot you made there."

"Thank you sir. Would the two of you mind if I stole Gabriella from you? Miss Darbus wanted to speak to us about something."


Troy took Gabriella's hand and led her away. "Not more teachers Troy, I can't handle it, especially not Miss Darbus."

"It was an excuse silly. Let's go hide now before someone else stops to chit chat."

Troy held her hand the whole way. She knew where he was leading her. His heart was pounding as they headed through the corridors. During all of Troy's last small talk conversation, he'd been playing a different scene in his head, a scene he had been playing since New Years Eve. A scene that had almost come to fruition, if it hadn't been for Chad's infuriating disturbance. Well it was going to happen. There was no way that Troy could spend another moment with Gabriella Montez without it happening.

Finally they had arrived at the secret rooftop garden. Well apparently it wasn't such a secret, seeing as his mates had found him here. Nevertheless, it was Troy's place of sanctuary, where he came to escape from chaos.

"It's so beautiful up here," Gabriella sighed.

Troy cleared his throat. She turned to him, realising he was going to say something, and waited expectantly.

Troy was very infrequently lost for words. One of the reasons why he enjoyed being around Gabriella was that they were so comfortable around one another, despite having known each other for such a short time. So each time Troy had played the scene over in his mind, there was a speech that came attached. Where he told Gabriella how much he liked her and all the things that were so brilliant and charming and dazzling about her. But in the moment, his mind was completely blank, all of the preparation lost.

He cleared his throat. "Uh… right… so there's something that I… that I have to… something I've wanted to do since…" Troy gave up trying to form the words, and decided that the better course of action was exactly that – action. "Oh fuck it."

Troy stepped toward Gabriella, took her hands in his, and very sweetly and softly pressed his lips to hers.

Gabriella couldn't speak. She wanted to tell him how she'd been waiting for so long for that moment because she liked him so much… but then again words weren't necessary. Eyes meeting in an unmistakable gaze. A gaze which communicated everything that needed to be said in silence.

Troy was the first to break the moment. "Uh… so… this musical. Seems like it's pretty big. Lots of work so I hear."

Gabriella took a seat on the bench. "So everyone keeps telling me… hours and hours of rehearsals. Just for one high school show."

"Well after what we've gone through to get these parts, the rest should be a breeze." Troy was trying to sound confident but the mask was transparent to Gabriella.

"You don't have to be the tough guy with me Troy, you know just as well as I do that this is going to be really hard."

"Yeah. But I guess I like to keep positive."

"True. It is meant to be fun… that's why we're doing it right. Because we love it?"

"Well… if you're going to be there through it all then yeah, I think I'll be loving it," Troy said with a shy smile, to which Gabriella blushed.

The comfort level between the two returned in full force. Secluded in their private haven, Troy and Gabriella sat and talked for a long time. It was mainly small talk – school, the musical, swapping stories from the decathlon and basketball game, the budding romance between Taylor and Chad. Troy finally dared to glance at his watch.

"Wow… it's getting late," he said in amazement. They'd been talking for almost an hour, but it had felt like barely minutes.

Gabriella looked at the time. "I can't believe my mom hasn't called yet. I should probably find her…"

"And I should find my parents. The party will die down soon anyway. It's no fun without pink jelly."

Gabriella was confused. "Huh?"

"Oh… you weren't there for that. It's weird, I forget sometimes that you haven't been here that long," Troy admitted.

"Feels like we've known each other longer, doesn't it?" Gabriella commented. "So uh… what's this pink jelly I'm missing out on knowing about?"

Troy coughed. "Uh… there are many embarrassing stories which require much more time than we have to explain. Maybe another time."

"Embarrassing Troy stories? This I have to hear. I'll hold you to that," Gabriella teased.

They headed back down the stairs and in the direction of the gymnasium.

"So… I guess I'll see you on Monday then," Troy said as they reached the door.

He was right, the party had died down significantly, with just a few people scattered about. He took a deep breath as he contemplated the moment. Troy so badly wanted to kiss her again.

"Gabriella, there you are sweetheart," Gabriella's mom said, coming over to them.

Gabriella was disappointed to have her goodbye to Troy interrupted, but kept it to herself.

"Sorry mom, I didn't realise how late it was."

"That's fine, you have lots of celebrate." Miss Montez smiled at Troy. "Hello Troy.

"Hi Miss Montez."

"We should get going home."

Gabriella nodded. "Okay. Uh…" she turned to Troy. "I guess I'll see you Monday, then."

"Bet on it."

Miss Montez led Gabriella in the direction of the general car park. She glanced behind her. Troy was watching as she walked away. She bit her lip and flashed him one last smile. Troy turned to head into the gym, feeling rather dazed. He had done it. He had kissed her. He'd kissed girls before but… somehow, this was different. It was special. Troy couldn't help but hope that it was just the first of many kisses to come.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: So there you have it, chapter one of the first fan fic I've posted since I was like 14 and fangirling 'The Practice.' I just wanted to reiterate and acknowledge that I'm not aiming to write a particularly original piece, rather it's just another exploration of how Troy, Gabriella and co get from HSM1 to HSM2. I wouldn't be surprised if most of my plot ideas have been written and rewritten but since I'm new to this fandom, I haven't actually gone through all the stories out there. So umm yes… if anyone actually read this, I hope it wasn't completely abysmal!