To Speak for the Dead

A High School Musical Fanfiction

Disclaimer:The Mouse owns High School Musical and the characters within. I'm just borrowing them for awhile. I promise I'll put them back when I'm finished.

Summary: Sharpay gains a strange new gift that she doesn't want.

Pairing: TroyPay, of course.

Time frame: Starts immediately after HSM2, still in the summer.

Chapter 1: A Gift You Can't Return

What's that word? ... Oh yeah, surreal. Yep, that's it ... surreal --- sur...real. Even saying the word feels sort of surreal. Well... that's not quite right. She's not actually feeling anything. She's just floating. This is nice and serene --- that's another good word --- serene.

"Sharpay! Oh my God, Sharpay! You've got to do something. Save her!"

Now she's just pissed. She had this whole surreal, serene thing going and her stupid brother just goes and blows it all.

She looks down --- down? Yeah, that's right, down. How'd she get up in order for her to be looking down in the first place? And floating ... yep, she's up and she's floating and looking down at ... ewwww! She's watching two girls making out at the poolside of Lava Springs Country Club. She'd recognize Lava Springs anywhere. And she'd definitely have a talk with Fulton as soon as she can to put a stop to this kind of unacceptable behavior.

Anyway, she's looking down at these two girls making out. Enough with the eww's. She notices that the one on the bottom, the blonde, is pretty hot (in a completely heterosexual, admiring sort of way, of course). She can't see her face very well, but she's wearing a chic, stylish, XOXO designer bikini and even though she's sopping wet she still looks great.

But God... the brunette chick on top (did she say, ew, yet?), she's wearing a red one piece utilitarian swimsuit which really does nothing for her figure. Didn't anyone tell her to keep red off her butt? That color makes everyone look huge, but this dark girl with her big ass up in the air --- double ewww!

Suddenly, Troy Bolton runs up with a medium sized white briefcase in his hands. She'd recognize him anywhere, too. But what's he doing here? And why's he talking to Big Ass?

Ohhh... she's starting to float up higher away from all the excitement. Now, Big Ass is moving off of Hotty Blonde --- thank God. And she gets a good look at the stylish blonde. She recognizes her as ... herself. She's me! She's Sharpay Evans --- star of stage, singer of songs, dancer of dances and so on.

That doesn't make any sense. How can she be in two places at the same time? And she keeps getting further and further away. This is just getting interesting and now she can barely see what Troy's doing. He opens the white briefcase and Big Ass, whom she now recognizes as Gabirella Montez (oops!), is reading some sort of instructions to him. Note to self: Give Gabriella some much needed fashion advise --- like how to properly disguise her huge rear-end.

Whoa --- baby! Troy's touching her chest. Damn it! Why can't I feel that? Gabriella is instructing him on where to place these little round disks on various locations on her chest. First Montez is kissing her and now she's telling Troy where to touch her. Life is so unfair. And still with the floating away thing... Man, she wants to see what's going on.

Now she can barely see Gabriella and Troy, but she can tell they've stepped away from her and Gabriella is fiddling with the briefcase.

Pain! Holy shit! That hurts! Suddenly, she's not floating anymore. Instead, she's being ripped out of the sky and shoved back into her body with all the finesse and gentleness of Simon Cowell in the first round of American Idol.

:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:

Beep ... beep ... beep.

Sharpay slowly opens her eyes and cautiously looks around the room, quickly realizing that she's in a small, but pleasant enough hospital room. Everything is very sketchy in her memory. Gasping for breath when she falls in the pool, her lungs filling with water, blackness, floating, pain in her chest, and then, people yelling and cheering and a siren and then ... waking up here. Something is tickling her nose and she reaches up and feels the rubberized prongs of the oxygen tube inserted into her nostrils.

"What happened?", she asks aloud to the empty room.

"I think I've lost my ring. Can you help me find it?", replies a male voice.

"Aaah! Who the heck are you?", Sharpay demands, startled. Had he been standing there the whole time? "And what are you doing in my room?"

A thin, elderly man is standing at the foot of her bed. He's wearing a navy blue warm-up suit and tennis shoes and looks like he just got off the retirement home courtesy bus.

"I didn't mean to scare you, but I was in this room before you, my dear. Let me introduce myself; I'm Calvin Moore. And I've been asking around all day, but you're the only one who's taken any notice of me."

"Lucky me", Sharpay says sarcastically. "What do you want me to do?", she snaps.

"Please, would you just look around? It's my wedding ring and it's very special to me."

"Okaaaay", she huffs.

She haphazardly looks around the room without moving from the bed. She doesn't see any ring, but she does see a sea of roses, pink roses. Those are her favorites and there must be at least six dozen bouquets sitting around the room. Aaah, how sweet. They must be from my adoring fans.

"Miss? Please, could you look a little harder? I'm not sure how much time I have", the old man insists.

"Pushy, much!", she snaps, but she does reluctantly get out of the bed after pulling the annoying oxygen tube out of her nose. "Now, don't even think about trying to look at my backside in this skimpy hospital gown", she warns.

She starts to rummage around on the small night stand. It's also covered in roses and Sharpay loses focus for a minute.

"Try in the drawer", he suggests from the other side of the room.

She jerks open the drawer and there, under The Bible is a small gold band.

"Hey, what about that!", she exclaims, "I found it."

With the ring held between her thumb and forefinger, Sharpay whirls around to show the old man, but he's gone.

"Hey, old man!", she calls, "I found it."

Weird! He couldn't have just disappeared. Sharpay stomps over to the door and flings it open with the intention of storming into the hallway to find the old man when she runs smack into Troy Bolton. He reaches out to balance her by holding onto her shoulders. She feels oddly comforted by the gesture, but she's on a mission.

"Troy! Where did he go?", she demands as she looks up and down the hall. She shakes off his grip, but moves her own hand to his arm; she likes to be the one in control.

"Where did who go?"

"That old man. You must have seen him. He went out only a few seconds ago."

"We didn't see anyone, Sharpay", Gabriella answers and Sharpay looks over and notices her for the first time with an annoyed frown.

"That's impossible."

Just then, a small, weasel-looking man wearing green hospital scrubs walks up.

"Excuse me. I work in the ... basement and I'm looking for something ... a piece of jewelry. It might have been left here by the previous ... resident. Do you mind if I take a look?"

"You mean Mr. Moore's ring?", Sharpay asks as she holds up the ring.

"Yes, how did you know about that?", Weasel asks in surprise.

"Mr. Moore came in my room and insisted that I look for it and then, he didn't even have the decency to wait. He just rushed out."

Weasel goes suddenly pale. "But ... but that's impossible."

"Look, do you want the ring or not?" She's getting really annoyed.

"Of course", he says nervously as she drops the ring into his now sweaty palm. "I'll make sure he gets this back."

"What..ever. Just tell him to hang on it better in the future."

Weasel just looks at her strangely and then, scurries away.

Sharpay looks after the odd little man and only then, does she realize that she still has her hand on Troy's arm. She looks over to see Gabriella's disapproving gaze and drops her hand. She instantly feels a chill run down her spine. The hallway is filled with people, but they're ... well, odd looking. And they seem to be lost in their own little world. None of them seems to be aware of the others.

"Creepy", Sharpay mutters.

"Yeah, he was", Troy agrees.

She looks up at him in surprise, having forgotten for a minute that he was there.

"What? No, not the weasel", Troy snickers in agreement and Gabriella takes on a disapproving look. "All these other people." Sharpay indicates up and down the hallway. "They're weird."

"What people, Sharpay?", Gabriella asks, "They're no one here except that nurse way down at the other end ... and us, of course."

"What are you talking about? There must be, at least, 30 people milling about out here."

"Maybe we should get you back in your room", Troy suggests. "You probably shouldn't even be out of bed yet."

"Sure", Sharpay agrees vaguely. She doesn't understand what's wrong with them, but this hallway is creeping her out, so she's all for going back inside. Then, maybe she can figure out what's going on.

:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:

Six hours later and we wishes she had never figured what what was going on. Troy and Gabriella stayed for about half an hour and though she was oddly comforted by Troy's presence, she found Gabriella very irritating --- even more so than usual. She kept going on and on about CT scans and possible brain damage.

Now she's got it all figured out and she doesn't like it at all. Sharpay's sitting slumped down in the bed, pretending to read her latest issue of Cosmo with Ryan's iPod blaring in her ears. It's the only way she can stay sane. Her parents are supposed to be completing the paperwork to check her out of this loony bin and Ryan has disappeared, which is okay. He just keeps looking at her with this strange bit of sympathy in his eyes. Sharpay thinks he's been listening to Gabriella's talk about brain damage. Her CT scan came back fine, by the way. Which is no surprise, Sharpay knows she's isn't crazy. She peeks up from behind the magazine just to check. Damn! They're still there.

She continues to try and concentrate on the article she's been reading about 7 Kinds of Sex All Couples Need. Great, that will be really useful. She hadn't had any good sex since that hunky Spanish lifeguard from last summer.

She's right in the middle of the description of Show-Off Sex: How to Masturbate in Front of Your Guy when a cold hand grips her arm.

She screams, drops the magazine, flings the iPod away, fully expecting to see Mrs. Masters from her third grade C.C.D. class to be standing in front of her with a disappoving frown on her face.

Instead, she sees a tall, elegantly dressed older man in a three-piece Brooks Brothers suit, like the kind her father prefers.

"I'm so sorry, Miss Evans, but I've been calling you for several minutes. I guess you couldn't hear me because of the music", he chuckles as he bends down to pick up Ryan's iPod off the floor. The music can be heard clearly coming from the earbuds.

He hands it out to Sharpay and she takes it from him, turning it off, before giving him a suspicious once-over.

"Please forgive my rudeness. I'm Montague Forester", he announces with a flourish as he produces a small white business card which he presents to her.

She looks at it skeptically. "PSY Investigations?", she mumbles.

"Yes, you might have seen our infommercials on cable access."

"No."

"Be that as it may, I think we may be of some help to you. Oh, I should explain... we received a call on our toll free tip line from a Mr. Malcolm Reynolds. He reported a Class 3 interaction involving you which happened this morning."

"Malcolm Reynolds? I don't know any Malcolm Reynolds. Wait... does he look like a weasel?", Sharpay asks as she guesses who this Malcolm guy is.

"I don't know; we communicated telephonically. He works in the morgue, here at the hospital and he reported the Class 3 interaction between you and a recently deceased gentleman by the name of...", he pauses to check his small notebook.

"Mr. Moore?", Sharpay provides cautiously.

"Yes! That's it! So you did attempt contact with Calvin Moore of the Restview Retirement Village."

"I don't know where he lived. He just wanted me to help him find his wedding ring. He seemed like a nice enough old man, so I helped him. And now this...", she dramatically indicates out to the empty room.

"What?", asks a puzzled Mr. Reynolds.

"You can't see them either? I thought since you're from this PSY place that you'd be able..."

"No. Unfortunately, I don't have the gift", he says with a sign.

"Gift? You call this a gift? They won't leave me alone."

"How ... how many are here?", Mr. Reynolds asks cautiously.

"Hmmm, four, no three. The fat guy left. There's a little kid playing solitaire at the end of my bed; an old lady primping in the bathroom mirror; and a sad man looking out the window, like he's waiting for someone to pick him up", Sharpay explains as calmly as she can.

"This is incredible! Have they tried to contact you?"

"The little kid asked me if I wanted to play Crazy-8's, but I ignored him."

"Oh, outstanding! You simply must come with me, Miss Evans. Your gift is truly remarkable. We need to study you more carefully, teach you how to control it better...

"Whoa, whoa, and whoa! I don't want to be studied and I don't want to learn anything about this gift, unless it's how to return it."

"Return it? You don't understand how rare this is. It's remarkable. Well, I haven't found a Level Six Medium in over 25 years."

"Yeah? Well, you haven't found me either. My family's going to be taking me home soon and I'm going to forget all about this gift. And I'd like to start by forgetting about you."

The older man sighs deeply with resignation. "Please, Miss Evans, at least keep my card ... in case you need me."

"Right ... like that'd happen", she scoffs, but she tucks the card into her jean's pocket anyway.

She reaches for the iPod, turns it on, closes her eyes, and hopes they all just go away. She does not want to become some little kid in a Bruce Willis movie. Ooooo, I see dead people. That's never going to happen!

TBC

Looky at me with a new story already. And don't worry, Hardy's Girl, I'm working on our prologue too.

Let me know what you think. Please R&R.

I hope everyone understood what was going on in the beginning with the whole out of body experience.

The white briefcase was an AED or an Automated External Defibrillator. That's what will really save your life if your heart stops from a heart attack or drowning or something like that. It's like an idiot proof version of when in hospital shows they bing out the paddles and yell, Clear! To shock someone's heart back. I learned about them during my CPR class. In the US, you see them everywhere, if you look: libraries, malls, schools, etc.