"Hey Tay!" Chad called after her.
She rolled her eyes and walked towards her locker only slightly slower. He jogged up to her side and grabbed the handle of her bag. Their hands brushed and they shared a little smile. True they were not going out anymore but that didn't mean that they weren't still friends who enjoyed the occasional flirt. Not that it went any further than flirting; Taylor made sure of that when they broke up.
"Hey afro," Taylor smiled. "What's up?"
"Why does something have to be up?" he asked, a mock hurt look on his face. "Why can't I just enjoy a chat with a good friend?"
Taylor only raised an eyebrow at him in response. It was now lunch, lunch for Chad meant hanging out with his jock buddies, eating and working on his jump shot. Possibly all three at once if he could manage it.
Knowing that he had been caught out, Chad bowed to the power of Taylor's eyebrow. "Ok, ok," he started. He draped his arm over Taylor's shoulders and leant towards her, letting her know that this was a matter than only she was privy to, a subject that was too complicated or had something to do with the other jocks. "Well... You know how Troy and Gabriella broke up...?"
Taylor nodded as she processed the information Chad had just given her, piecing it together until she could guess at the nature of the problem. But it was true that Troy and Gabriella broke up. No one knew why though, not even Taylor or Chad. They just knew that one day they were going out, the next day they weren't and they had stopped talking to each other too. This had caused a huge rift in their little group, whenever Troy was around, Gabriella would disappear and whenever Gabriella was around Troy would disappear. It made no sense and everyone hated it.
She let Chad continue with his mindless babble for a moment linger as the last piece slotted into place in her mind and she saw the bigger picture he was getting at. She took a deep breath, not really wanting to believe what she thought was the bigger picture.
"Please," she started, begging it not to be true. "Please tell me you don't want me to ask Gabriella out for you."
She stared at Chad with hard penetrating eyes. He tried to hold her gaze but found after a millisecond it was to intense for him, so he lowered his eyes to the floor and grinned sheepishly. That gave Taylor her answer.
She cuffed him round the back of the head. "Chad!" she admonished him. "How could you do that to your best friend?!"
Chad squealed in pain. He hated it when Taylor did that.
"It's not as if he still loves her!" Chad cried out drawing the attention of the rest of the students in the hallway. "He's off boning..." he looked around, realising that everyone's attention was now on him and promptly lowered his voice to a whisper. "He's hooked up with Ryan now."
"I knew it!" Taylor yelled above the din of the rest of the hallway. Suddenly the feeling of a hundred eyes on her made her shrink. Deciding that this hallway was definitely not the best place for this conversation to take place, she forcefully linked her arm with Chad's and before he could so much as whine about it making him look like a girl, she dragged him off down the next hall.
"Why are we taking the long way to your locker?" Chad asked with a completely baffled look on his face.
His only reply was a roll of her dark eyes before she continued to talk. "So," she started her run down. "You want Gabriella to go out with you which is kind of stabbing Troy in the back but you don't care because he's with Ryan now?"
Chad stopped and stared at her blankly before his mouth twisted in confusion in a way that she just found utterly adorable. He looked like a little child and she couldn't help but smile at him. She didn't bother repeating herself, knowing somehow that she had got it right. She simply walked up to him where he stood with her bag and fluffed his hair with her free hand while the other held her books. She snaked one arm around his waist and started to lead him towards the cafeteria. "Come on," she started, casting a sideways glance at Chad. "Let's get you some food."
She tried and failed to suppress a giggle when she saw his face light up at the mention of food.
"Meatloaf Monday!!!!" he yelled for no apparent reason before detangling himself from Taylor and rushing off towards the cafeteria, still rolling her bag behind him.
She sat there and stared at him with equal parts amazement and disgust. She stared down at her own plate and poked experimentally at her slop. She swore she saw it move away from her fork and let her nose wrinkle in revulsion.
She heard a rather loud belch and was grateful for the distraction even if it was a rather vulgar one.
"Are you guna eat that?" Chad asked, already reaching for her plate.
She didn't even bother answering him; she knew it would make no difference wither way. Instead she just sighed and watched him devour her 'meatloaf'. She really would be doing Gabriella a favour if she didn't do anything about his little crush. But she knew she had to at least try for him. He had done so much for her and she just had to repay him.
She sighed and shook her head at the sight of him as he tried to talk through a mouth full of food. She cut him off with a wave of the hand when a fleck of chewed meatloaf landed dangerously close to where her arm was resting in front of her. "Ok," she started, slowing her tone as if she were talking to a child. "First you chew, then you swallow, and then you talk!" she finished off by clapping her hands together madly, to mock Chad's child-like demeanour even more.
He shot her a look that she was sure was meant to be accompanied with various sharp pointy objects such as daggers and knives which would cause her great harm. She simply smirked the glare off and waited patiently for him to finish chewing and swallow.
She managed to suppress a giggle as he feverishly chewed the 'meatloaf' that was in his mouth. She knew he wanted to finish soon but also wanted to savour the flavour that only his taste buds of steel could ever experience, so she decided to have a little fun by teasing him.
Turning her smirk into a frown she looked down at her watch-less wrist and started tapping her foot against the linoleum floor of the cafeteria. She didn't even have to look up; she had done this enough to know the exact look he would have on his face right now. His eyes would be squinted and his brow would be furrowed. His lips would be slightly pouted like a petulant child and all movement would have stopped. She chanced a glance upwards and found she could not hold out any longer and her serious frown collapsed into a giggle.
Sure enough, Chad was sat there in silence staring hard at her. It had worked for the first few times and he had reacted exactly the way that she wanted him to. Those had been the times when they were going out and he had been like putty in her hands. Not that he wasn't like putty in her hands anymore; he just had more resistance to her. But she still knew what buttons to press and what faces to pull to get what she wanted from him, though he was more begrudging to give it to her nowadays.
"You're not funny," he growled, eyes still scrunched up in a frown.
"I happen to think I'm a riot," Taylor said, nonchalantly inspecting her nails for dirt. Not that there was any dirt to be found; she kept her nails too short out of habit for that.
"And I happen to think you talk out of you're ass," he retorted with surprisingly speed. Taylor was taken aback for a moment, not only at the quickness of his somewhat sharp response, but also at the venom contained in his voice as he said that last comment. Her eyes widened partially in shock as she quickly realised that Chad had come up with a half-way decent comeback, but she never gave him the satisfaction of letting him know she thought it was good.
She quickly recovered, her eyes still on her nails and her face calm, to snap back at him with; "And this from someone who thinks the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are real."
Only once the last syllable of her snide comment had left her mouth did she look up at him with a smirk. His face had totally transformed from one of complete and utter annoyance to one of a shocked bunny rabbit. She watched still, her smirk slowly disappearing, as his face again underwent a transformation to that of a child or small baby whose father had just dunked them under the water. His face was frozen in a look that was half crying, half confused beyond belief. It was as if time seemed to freeze as Taylor realised that she might have possibly gone a little bit too far...
Before time started to return to normal, Taylor silently prayed to what ever maybe listening that Chad didn't cry. She remembered back to when she had first suggested they break up but hadn't given him a reason. That had been the first time she had seen him cry. It was not a sight she wished to witness ever again.
As time started to go back to what Taylor considered to be normal speed, Chad's face contorted more and more into that little baby who everybody knew was going to cry from the shock of being dunked, it was just a question of when. It was just a shame for Taylor that that when happened to be now.
"They are real!" Chad cried out, his somewhat loud voice not raising enough for it to be noticed by anyone other than her in the crowded cafeteria.
Taylor felt her heart sink as Chad lowered his face into his hands. A wave of guilt crashed over her soul and her face immediately fell. The guilt washed over her, smothering her in its cold embrace. Immediately she was on her feet and crossing over to stand by Chad's side to try to comfort him by laying her hand on his heaving shoulder. She didn't understand why he was reacting like this; they did this sort of thing all the time. They were each angry, if only a little bit, and they knew they couldn't take it out on the person responsible then they took it out on each other. In a strange way it had only made their relationship stronger when they had been going out because they both riled each other so much... well lets just say Taylor had missed a couple of monthly things and that had lead to more anger and then the circle just all started again.
Even now they weren't going out they still did it, only they were careful not to irritate the other as much anymore because then that would lead back to the whole angry passion thing and that just wouldn't work for Taylor. It might have worked for Chad but then Chad was a hormonal teenage boy whereas Taylor liked to think of herself as more sophisticated and more in control of herself, she liked to think she could resist the urge to jump the first girl she saw when her vision was clouded by hormones.
She stood there, looking like a complete muppet for at least a couple of seconds before Chad raised his head and looked at her with shining eyes. Taylor looked into those eyes and realised that there was something wrong at once. People who had been crying didn't have laughter lines around their eyes...
She looked down at his mouth which was twisted into a smile and all her guilt was gone before he could even blink. She drew back her fist and struck his arm hard in a place that she knew would give him a dead arm.
"Got'cha," he said through his tears of laughter.
"I hate you," she spat back at him whilst returning to her seat.
"You're face!" Chad gasped through his giggles.
"Says the giggling man..." Taylor shot back, eyebrows raised.
That comment stopped him and his giggles. He sat up straight instantly and straightened his clothes, smoothing over invisible wrinkles. He looked around him to make sure no-one had seen his giggly outburst. No-one had, he was lucky today. Everyone was too busy talking to all the other people at their table. That was when Taylor first noticed that they all seemed to be very concentrated on a certain table on the upper level.
"They were manly giggles..." Chad said, attempting to save face but for whom she didn't know.
Before she could further investigate what everyone was looking at on the Drama table she was distracted by Chad.
"Hey! Tay!" Chad semi-shouted. He was kind of peeved that the girl sat across the table had seemingly missed his comment excusing his giggles.
"Yes?" she asked, turning back to face him, registering the mildly pissed look he wore. "Sorry. What did you say again?"
"No, don't worry about it now," Chad replied. "You missed it. Now just go and talk to her for me!"
Taylor let out a little groan at the thought of approaching her now estranged best friend. Then she caught Chad's eye and knew that there was no way she was getting out of this.
She sighed a little bit too heavily and got to her feet, taking her time over every little movement. She knew Chad would be glaring at her back and she could feel his eyes burning into her back but she just didn't care. Ever since Gabriella had caught Taylor embracing her new found sexuality, the freaky math girl had had very little to do with her, an act which had only further alienated her from the little group they had formed from the Wildcats. It was evident that the girl was uncomfortable around Taylor but no-one had ever figured Gabriella for a homophobe. In fact she had seemed perfectly comfortable around Ryan when he came out of the closet not that long ago. When Kelsi had first brought this fact to her attention she had just shrugged it off, dismissing it due to the different circumstances of the way in which she had found out about them.
She found it slightly ironic that the guys had yet to notice Gabriella's cooler attitude towards her yet they all acted exactly the same way towards Ryan. Troy was always the one out of the boys to reach out to the now openly gay Ryan, always the one to invite him to things and be nice to him...
She smirked as she thought back on all the times that Troy had been kind and friendly towards Ryan. At the time, those events had just seemed like a friend reaching out to another in an attempt to make him feel welcome but it was funny how the ability of hindsight twisted things.
She was brought back into the present by a shrill giggle from the table which she was now approaching. She looked at its source to see the sun reflect briefly off a flash of bright peroxide hair being flicked over a shoulder. With a shock she realised that she had already made her way up the stairs and was now standing in front of her intended destination.
She stared in disbelief for a moment, unwilling to believe that her body had betrayed her like this whilst she was lost it her memories. Then another shrill giggle awoke her from her stupor and she looked upon the table of the drama club. In a second she surveyed them all, taking in their positions and expressions. Kelsi welcomed her with a smile and next to her sat Ryan, who wore very much the same smile only more... well more. She looked into his beaming face and couldn't help the smile that pulled at the corner of her mouth. She barely had time to register the two freshman's sat next to them nearest her before her attention was drawn by a cough.
Taylor turned her head to acknowledge the cougher who she knew to be Sharpay Evans with a nod but as soon as her eyes landed on the blonde haired girl and the raven haired girl next to her she froze. She couldn't help it; her body just willed itself into a daze. It was almost as if she were wearing blinkers. Everything she had seen a moment ago vanished and her eyes just focused on the two girls before her.
She was not so shocked by the fact that the two girls were together; it was common knowledge that Gabriella was one of the drama crew now after leaving the Wildcats behind. It was more what the two girls were doing.
Everything else faded into the background, time seemed again to slow and noise faded to a whisper in her ears. She couldn't believe what she was seeing before her.
Gabriella Montez and Sharpay Evans were holding each other, their mouths only inches apart...
This is the beginning of a two, possible three shot I've been thinking of for a while now. Please leave me a review and tell me what you think of it and if there's any mistakes or improvements I can make. Thanks.
And to those who read my other stories, don't worry I am still writing them it's just I have writers block with them all. Sorry. I will update them as soon as I can though, especially Still There For Me.