The cheerleaders were going crazy on the sidelines. Troy Bolton was running the length of the court, dribbling the basketball in one hand and running a hand through his hair at the same time. He dodged several of the opposing team and shot a perfect three pointer. The crowd were on their feet, stomping, clapping, yelling with delight. The final whistle was blown, and the loudness of the cheer doubled, if that was possible. People hugged each other, the East High Wildcat's ruffled each others hair and slapped each other on the back, and Coach Bolton raised the winner's trophy into the air. The playmaker was surrounded by faces, cheerleaders with their almost non existent ra-ra skirts and his team mates, sweaty but victorious. His eyes searched in vain for one particular face, but he knew deep down it was pointless to think that she might be in the crowd encasing him, all trying to get a piece of his sweaty exterior. He pulled a strained smile onto his face, and nodded at the congratulations he received, now scanning the audience for that petite form, her ebony curls ... and there she was. Three rows forwards from the back, alone, because Taylor had run off to find Chad, and looking miserable. He caught her eye and she smiled feebly, before beginning to attempt to push her way through the crowds to the end of the row. She eventually reached it, but instead of coming towards the court, went up the steps and left through a door up at the top.

"Troy!" his father called. His disengaged himself with difficulty from four girls that were hanging onto him and went over to the coach, his dad. "What's up, son?"

Troy shook his head and showed off a perfect set of white teeth. "Everything's great dad! We just won the championship; all my friends are around me and I'm the playmaker!"

"All your friends?" Coach Bolton cocked and eyebrow. Troy nodded, lying easily, because he had spent the past two months doing it. He told them everyday, pretending he was happy, enjoying spending time with shallow, self absorbed girls who just wanted to get him into bed (and some who didn't even want to make it to the bedroom) and boys who constantly compared girls they had penetrated and their jump shots. He pretended to lap up the attention he was receiving, basking in the limelight he had suddenly been thrown into. All he had done was try out for the team. She had encouraged him, told him that he was brilliant and he needed a hobby. He even remembered her choice of words "who knows, you might even take us from being the school's biggest nerds to people who get invited to parties on Saturday nights!" Well, he had been getting lots of party invites, and he guess that he was popular now. It just that she wasn't. And he couldn't work out why it bugged him so much.

"Shower up!" he heard a team mate yell, and Troy followed the rest of the basketball players into the locker room. Instead of jumping into a cubical and washing away the sweat and strain from the game, he sat on a bench and rested his head on his hands. He ran his hands over his face in frustration, before standing up and grabbing his gym bag. He left the locker room and headed to the bleachers. The gym was empty now, the sounds of cheering and congratulations still echoing down the corridors. He grabbed a ball and began to shoot, missing every time.

"What's up Wildcat?"

He span around, instantly knowing that voice. It sounded slightly amused, but mostly cautious. He didn't say anything; he just stared at her for a while. She sighed." I'm sorry, don't you talk to nobody's anymore?" She gave him a cold look of disappointment and turned around to leave the gym.

"Wait!" Troy called frantically. She didn't stop, so he dropped the ball and followed her at a sprint as she went into the cold corridor. He leapt in front of her, and grabbed her by the shoulders. "Brie" he said gently "I've hated the way we've been lately. We're best friends –"

Gabriella snorted. "Used to be" she said, folding her arms. "Until you joined the basketball team and forgot I exist."

"That's stupid". He shook his head and his arms dropped to his sides. "I never forgot you exist, it's just been a little hectic lately –"

"What, for two months?!" Gabriella exclaimed angrily "Things weren't hectic when it was just me an you. Hanging out together all the time, telling each other secrets and thinking that we were cool. Yeah, we were geeks. I know, big deal! But then, after everything you said about the status quo, you become ... part of it?!"

He shook his head and folded his arms. "I didn't Gabriella."

She snorted again and turned to leave. He sighed and let her walk away. "I know that being popular is important to you Troy. Hec" Gabriella said, turning round as she reached the corner of the corridor and throwing her arms in the air "It's important to the whole damn school. But I thought our friendship was strong enough to resist skirts that barely reach thighs, and getting drunk every weekend. But I guess "best friends" doesn't mean much to pissed out of their head jocks." With that she turned and left an ashamed Troy standing by the double doors that had changed his life, and more importantly, lost him his best friend and true love.

&HSM& &HSM& &HSM&

"Sweetheart" Ms Montez called up the stairs "There's someone here to see you"

Gabriella peeked out of the curtains of her mother's bedroom and looked down to see the head of Troy Bolton. She rolled her eyes and yelled back "I'm getting in the shower mama."

She heard her mother inform Troy, who sighed and nodded, thanking Gabriella's mother for her time. He turned and left the garden and Gabriella returned to her bedroom, annoyed that he had come to see her at home, because her mother did not approve of boys and now she would have to face an interrogation. She silently cursed Troy Bolton as she went into her bathroom and decided to have a shower after all. She turned on the water and stripped off, dropping her clothes on the floor and throwing a towel over the sink to grab after. She turned on her in shower radio and let the hot water run over her as the first chords of one of her favourite songs of the moment began to play. Maybe it was because it just seemed to be written for her.

I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house,

That don't bother meI can take a few tears now and then

And just let them out

I'm not afraid to cryEvery once in a while

Even though goin on with you gone

Still upsets me

She hummed along as she dragged a handful of shampoo through her curls and thought about the lyrics. It hurt to think that he had just dumped her like that, for some cheerleaders. Didn't she mean anything to him? Because he had meant the world to her. She was her best friend, and although she had Taylor, what she had was Troy was different. He made her heart beat faster, her palms get sweaty and yet he could still make her laugh and just chuckled when she snorted. He had been there for her when she had been bullied by Sharpay and she couldn't believe that they hadn't properly talked in two months.

There are daysEvery now and again

I pretend I'm okay but that's not what gets me

She hadn't had an outburst about it, like she had today about how she felt. She didn't do stuff like that and she supposed that Troy had been shocked into action. She wanted her best friend back. She cursed him again under her breath as she squirted conditioner in her eye. "Stupid Mr. Exclusive" she growled loudly "only available to his current fancy."

What hurts the most, was being so closeAnd having so much to sayAnd watchin you walk awayNever knowing, what could have beenAnd not seein that lovin youIs what I was tryin to do

She washed out the conditioner and sighed, climbing out the shower and tying the towel around her. She left her hair down and ran her fingers through it as she opened the door, remembering she had left the radio on , that was still playing the same song. She sang along as she walked over and turned it off ... "It's hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go, but I'm doin it ... It's hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I'm alone ..." She switched it off and want through the door, back into her bedroom, dancing to the music filling her head and locking eyes with a brown haired, blue eyed hottie.

"Troooooooooyyyyy!" she screamed, jumping a foot in the air. He grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck as she grabbed the top of her towel and yanked upwards, then down, undecided of which part of her body most needed to be hidden. He grinned at her sheepishly while rubbing the back of his neck. "Hey Brie."

Gabriella gaped at him for a few seconds before sighing and running a hand through her wet hair. "Troy, what the hell are you doing here?"

"I came to see my best friend" he shrugged. Gabriella shook her head and pulled out a hair dryer. She turned it on and began to dry her hair, while Troy watched. She could see his eyes on her in the mirror, and feel them on her back. She felt extremely exposed, and as she knocked her brush off the table and onto the floor, she shivered as she bent down to pick it up, but Troy beat her to it, their bodies rubbing against each other. "I don't really have anything to say to you" she said, focusing on her hairdryer. The bottom had fallen out again.

"Well I have something to say to you" Troy responded, taking the hairdryer off her and pushing the bottom in securely. She rolled her eyes and snatched it off him. He held his hands up and retreated to the bed. She turned on the dryer again and tipped her head upside down, throwing her hair over her head. "Well?" she said, over the noise.

He approached her and sat under her, on the side of her hair that hid her face, centimetres from her lips. "Brie" he said with a sigh "I don't want to loose you because of a game of basketball."

"It was your decision to 'loose me' when you pushed me out" she said, fiddling with her hair and trying to avoid moving forward, far too aware that she would end up brushing his lips. "I'm not going to wait around while you decide what's more important to you." She cursed as her towel slipped slightly. She couldn't actually believe that Troy was in her room, she was almost naked and he was so close to her lips that she could smell his breath. Hmm, minty.

I wonder if he realises how close we are. What if he kisses me ...?

She shook the thoughts from her head and threw her head back, exposing Troy. He grinned and ran a hand through his brown locks. "I didn't know you sing in the shower."

Gabriella blushed and pulled her hair up in a ponytail. "That's because you don't often visit me when I'm in it."

"True" he chuckled "maybe I should." He added a wink on the end and Gabriella grabbed the desk for support.

"My mom is already going to have a fit at just the fact you knocked on the door" Gabriella said rolling her eyes. "I don't even want to imagine how she'd be if she knew there was a boy in my room, let alone when I'm in the shower. How did you get up anyway?" she asked, peering around the room. Troy shrugged and lay back on the bed. "Climbed up the balcony."

"I can't believe my mom has never actually met you though" Gabriella mumbled thoughtfully "well, she is hardly ever in." She crossed the room and pulled her phone from her draw into her hand. "It's 7:30 already?" She grabbed some clothes and headed into the bathroom. "We'll talk" she said at the doorway "But for God's sake, let me put some clothes on"

As she closed the door she heard him call "I like you without them on." She blushed ferociously and bit her lip. She pulled on some underwear, skinny jeans and an extremely large top (that she assumed wasn't hers) and tossed the towel into the laundry basket. She opened the door and went back into the room to find Troy lying on his back, hands behind his head and looking at the ceiling thoughtfully. She watched his chest rise as the tight top he was wearing strained and went to sit next to him on her bed. "So speak."

He sat up, cleared his throat and looked around nervously. He stood up, took her hands and led her onto her balcony, where the sun was setting over the houses that surrounded them. It filtered onto them, drenching them in an orange light, the sky filled with purples, oranges, gold's, and reds. It was truly beautiful as the sun set around them and Troy looked at the girl in front of him, his best friend and the girl he loved. He loved the ay her brown eyes could always tell what was up, her ebony curls ran past his fingers so easily, the way she laughed like a hyena at his stupid little stories ... the way she was just herself. And he couldn't blame her for freaking out about them growing apart. He had been too. She waited, expectant and attentive, like she always was when he had something to ay to her. Because she was just amazing like that.

He leant forwards and closed the gap between them with his lips, smiling as he saw the look of shock on her face, but knew by the way that she kissed him back, the way one of her hands found the tape of his neck, the other finding its way into his back pocket, then left to join the other. He pulled her closer by the hips, and they swayed slightly, both struggling to balance with the realisation that they were finally joined together, as one. It was a sensation like no other, because two people had managed to cement together a part of themselves that they didn't even realise they had. Gabriella drew away with Troy's hands either side of her face and said "don't think you can just kiss me every time you –" but she was cut off by Troy's lips crashing onto her again and she smiled into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck again and letting him pushed her body against the balcony railing. He pulled away and placed a hand on either side of her waist while she put her hands behind her the railing. He leaned forwards and placed their foreheads together and chuckled. "Mr Exclusive has found a new fancy."

She closed her eyes and blushed, before laughing and placing a hand on the side of his neck and kissing him gently on the mouth.