"Star Crossed" hollybaggins; April 12th 2008

This is a derivate piece of fiction featuring characters copyrighted and trademarked by Disney Enterprises Inc. It is based upon High School Musical, copyright 2006 by Walt Disney Enterprises Inc., all rights reserved; and High School Musical 2, copyright 2007 by Walt Disney Enterprises Inc., all rights reserved. The author is not connected with nor is this work authorised by Walt Disney Enterprises Inc., or any other motion picture studios. This work is solely intended for posting on Fanfiction, for the benefit and enjoyment of its intended audience. No commercial or financial benefit accrues or is intended to accrue to the author as a result of said posting. Any unauthorised copying or redistribution of this work might subject the party responsible for such unauthorized copying or redistribution to legal action by the owners of the aforementioned copyrights and trademarks.

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A/N: Hey, y'all. 'Tis me again – back with a brand new, spankin', spiffin', side splittin' new story!

As the vast majority of you know, my muse is really bossy and demanding lately – there're so many one-shots I have in the works; plus my story with Kylie and my other fics. But I had this really bad itch yesterday to start my very own alternate universe HSM fiction… and here lies the result of that itch.

You may read the first chapter and think 'oh hell no! Loads of people use this concept!' – a fact, yes, is true; but bear with me, people. If you know me and love me, you'll know I like to put my own spin on things and take it that little bit further. Yes, there's a hyooge chance it may suck but you gotta tell me through those reviews!

Okay, disclaimer. Unfortunately my 'High School Musical' domination hasn't gone according to plan thus far. I do not have Zac Efron sitting in my lap whispering sweet nothings into my ear. I do not have Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale bowing faithfully at my feet. I do not have Corbin Bleu and Lucas Grabeel doing songs and dances at my every command. I do not have Monique Coleman and Kenny Ortega serving me cocktails and unhealthy snacks every hour on the hour.

This world thus sucks.

I own nothing but the original characters – in other words, characters you do not recognise from HSM. The wonderful people who brought us those fantabulous films and characters are not paying me money for this – it's all for fun and relevant muse satisfying! (Take my work and you die brutally!)

Okay, my first solo A/U fic – guys, I need to know how I'm doing here! Please review!

A note to my fellow angels – just pay close attention… you never know when some of you could just… pop up…

Holly xxx

One: Sheer Mumbo-Jumbo

Troy Bolton tapped his pen against his notebook in complete boredom. He blinked slowly; his mouth opening to allow a long drawn-out yawn escape. He tried with every last piece of strength he had in him not to look at the ticking clock that hung on the wall over Ms. Darbus' head but his brain was rebelling. Behind him, he could hear his best friend, Chad Danforth, snore quietly and Troy smirked weakly at the noise.

Ms. Darbus was walking idly up and down the aisles between the students desks; her face buried in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and her eyes shining brightly as she read out quote after quote; completely oblivious to the meek moans of protest and yawns that continued to erupt from her pupils.

"Words just can not describe the sheer beauty in Shakespeare's language!" The fifty-year-old drama enthusiast declared brightly; extending her arm out high as she spoke. "My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me that I must love a loathed enemy."

Troy blinked owlishly and glared at the clock. He hated drama class – hated it with a passion. Upon starting his senior year at East High school, the basketball captain had become confident that there was no God; no guardian angel watching over him during his time at school – if there was, he had decided that this so-called angel was a complete and utter bitch; forcing him to endure Darbus not only during homeroom but for drama class too. In all, he wasn't sure he'd survive his last year in High School.

"This story is just beautiful." Darbus rambled as she walked back to the front of the class, holding the book aloft. "Its passion just radiates from each page; each single word golden and spectacular. You can feel the love; feel their frustrations and aches and needs."

Troy felt his eye lids become heavy as he sighed softly, allowing sleep to overtake his body. As he felt his whole body relax, Darbus clapped her hands together sharply; forcing the entire class to groan loudly and sit up straight.

"Volunteers!" She announced with a large smile. "I need two volunteers. One boy and one girl. Chop, chop! Let's go!"

Troy watched as his girlfriend of four months leaped out of her seat beside him and took a copy of the book from the teacher. "I'd like to play Juliet please, Ms. Darbus." The blonde head-cheerleader looked over to her boyfriend expectantly but Troy just sank lower into his seat, mouthing 'not a chance' to her.

Heather Douglas frowned, annoyed at him for leaving her up there. Ms. Darbus ignored the quiet exchange between the two and let her eyes cast over the class, picking out her next victim.

"Chad Danforth!" She cried out. Troy tried to hide a smirk as Chad quickly picked his head up off the table and darted his head from side to side, remembering his position.

"Who? Wha?" He grumbled tiredly, causing Darbus to place a hand on her hip impatiently and glare at him.

"Welcome to the Land of the Living, Mr. Danforth. We do not have time for your childish games so would you please pick yourself up and get over here."

"Aww, man." Chad groaned as Darbus handed him a book and pointed at the relevant passage. "I can't read this shit."

"Language, young man!" Darbus scolded with a high squawk. "I won't tolerate any student abusing the fine works of Shakespeare, do you understand?"

"Yes, ma'am." Chad mumbled, holding the book up high against his face.

Heather stood up straight behind him, offering Troy dagger glares every now and then to which he gave her a weak smile in apologies. There was no force on that planet that could get him up there quoting Shakespeare. Not a chance in hell.

"Read, young lovers. Feel your emotions rise as you speak every syllable; venture into the depths of your hearts and soar into your wildest dreams. Because that's what William Shakespeare wanted his audience to feel. He wanted his audience to capture every emotion; every single moment of true love and the pain of losing that one person who makes you feel whole." To this, Chad scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Mr. Danforth; begin!"

Chad cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes at his best friend as Troy bit on his fist to keep back from laughing. "Uh…yeah. Right. Whatever. If I pro…" His eyebrows scrunched. "Pro… fane? Pro—"

"Profane!" Darbus squeaked, causing him to jump.

"Yeah… profane." He cleared is throat and Heather rolled her eyes in annoyance. "If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this. My lips, to blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." A pause. "What?"

"Good pilgrim," Heather recited perfectly. "You do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmer's kiss."

"Say what?" Chad breathed again; his eyes widening at the scripture.

"Mr. Danforth." Ms. Darbus warned.

"Have not saint's lips and holy palmers too?"

Upon seeing his bewildered frown and lack in passion, Ms. Darbus stormed to the front of the class and tugged the book from Chad's hands in frustration. "Where is your passion, Mr. Danforth? Where is your sheer joy for the art of Shakespeare?"

"Uh…I have none?"

"Don't talk pish-posh; these types of feelings lie in every single human being. Although in some cases, I suppose I'd let you off the hook in that matter. These feelings exist in us all and Shakespeare wanted to highlight that fact. This play allows you to come to terms with your inner self; get yourself connected to your heart and soul and feel in a way you've never felt before. This is love at first sight. Romeo is captivated by Juliet's beauty, her soul. Everything that she is mesmerises him. Why, he would climb up her balcony; risk death just to see her one more time!"

Chad raised his hand. "Ms. Darbus? Sorry, Your Highness, ma'am, but this story here just doesn't make sense."

Ms. Darbus raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"No. I mean, if I went up to some chick at a party and spat out mumbo-jumbo, I'm pretty certain she'd make sure it would be very difficult for me to procreate later on in life."

"A consequence I wouldn't really consider to be a bad thing."

Chad pulled a face and Troy could contain his laughter no more. Ms. Darbus looked ready to commit murder upon realising that her preferred message about her love for Shakespeare just wasn't happening. With a sharp huff of defeat, the drama teacher told Chad and Heather to return to their seats abruptly.

As Chad sank back into his chair, Troy turned around in his seat and smirked widely at his best friend. "Shut up." Chad shot at him. "You should have been up there reading that pile of shit. She is your girlfriend, you know."

"Hey, no way, dude. I'd never put myself in that kind of situation and embarrass myself like you jut did!"

"Funny." Chad scoffed as the bell rang and everyone stampeded from the classroom before Darbus could dismiss them. "Hey." Chad caught up to Troy and Heather in the hallway. "Are you guys going to that party tonight?"

Heather pulled a face and tugged on Troy's arm. "That's a West High party, Chad. Do you want to be killed?"

"Nah, it's all cool." Chad waved the blonde off nonchalantly. "Those damn Montez twins are heading off to Santa Fe tonight – apparently Daddy Montez has organised some meeting with these famous national basketball coaches and they're going to 'show off their stuff'."

"Seriously?" Troy raised an eyebrow as the three of them stopped by his locker. "How come my dad never let me in on that?"

Chad rolled his eyes and watched as his best friend opened his locker and shoved his gym bag inside. "Dude, I would absolutely love to see you, coach, Mattie, Jake and Joe Montez on a minibus together for a formal meeting; I really would. Sadly I think your dad wants you guys to live. Sadly I won't be able to get front row seats to Albuquerque's very own Springer show. Sadly there is to be no drama between you guys this evening."

Heather let her body fall against the lockers, her heavy sigh bringing the boys back to attention. "All this fighting over stupid basketball." She muttered, ignoring Troy and Chad's looks of protest and bewilderment. "It's not like I'm fighting with West High's head cheerleader, is it? Do you boys actually get off over fighting over a damn sport?"

"Not really." Troy shrugged.

"Hell yeah!" Chad interjected, pulling a face in Troy's direction. "It's about honour, Heather; your status as a man! Now, we've kicked West High's butts every year doing what we do best; and if that gets them pissed off in the process then that's just one delightful bonus."

"To which you guys get in the same room and end up kicking the shit out of each other. Oh, exciting!" Heather's sarcasm made Chad pull a face.

"You don't understand, cheerleader. You're just… a cheerleader."

"A cheerleader with brains." She looked at her watch. "Anyway, didn't this whole feud start between your dad and Coach Montez?" Heather looked at Troy, who just shrugged and slammed shut his locker door.

"Guess those boys just want to pass it down through the generations. I couldn't give a fuck."

"Well, you should." She leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Those fights are just ridiculous and I'm fed up of walking around school with a boyfriend who's scored yet another black eye."

"They've come off worse!"

Heather ignored Chad's comment. "I've got to run. See you guys later." She blew a kiss over her shoulder and Troy watched as she disappeared from view.

"So, dude." Chad poked his shoulder with a grin. "Party tonight?"

--

"Santa Fe, baby!" Jake Montez whooped and hollered at the top of his voice, much to the chagrin of younger sister (by only three minutes) Gabriella. Scrunching her nose up tightly, she tried to brush the endless cheers away and lifted her chemistry textbook up higher, putting all her focus on the periodic table.

Joseph Montez walked up behind her and patted her head gently as he walked past. "Is your brother ready?" He asked as Jake finally stopped his cheering to take a breath. "We need to get moving if we want to miss evening traffic."

"He's upstairs with Sharpay." Jake replied, picking up his basketball from the hallway and dribbling it on the laminate flooring. Gabriella groaned inwardly at the incessant noise; her concentration on her homework slipping away at a vast rate though she tried desperately to hold onto it. As the youngest of triplets, she felt it was a natural thing for every person in her position to feel left out of things. Being the only girl in her household also added to that scenario and didn't help in the slightest. Furthermore, the fact that her father coached her school's basketball team and her two brothers were its leading stars plus the fact she held no interest in the sport only made her feel more like the black sheep of the Montez family.

"He needs to get his ass moving," Joe frowned, glancing at the clock on the mantle before turning his attention to his only daughter sitting at the dining table. "Gabi, baby?" She looked up at him slowly. "We'll be home by tomorrow evening; you sure you're okay here by yourself?"

"Dad," she scoffed, smiling softly. "I'm seventeen, not five. Besides, I can look after you guys better than you can yourselves."

"I know, I know." Joe rolled his eyes and kissed the top of her head gently. "Just humouring you, girl. Maybe Sharpay will spend the night with you if you ask."

Gabriella crinkled her forehead and let out a huff. "Dad, seriously, I'm not desperate."

Joe let out a chuckle before moving away from her and picking up his West High Knights jacket. "You going to say good luck to your brothers?"

"Good luck." Gabriella called out, not tearing her eyes away from her chemistry book.

"Love you too, baby sister." Jake rolled his eyes dramatically. "Just 'cause you've had your future mapped out since you were, like, two years old."

"Have not." She finally looked up to her elder brother, her eyes shining amusingly. "Just 'cause you and Mattie are just mindless jocks who need to speak to some fancy basketball jock-guy to get you into college."

"Touché." Jake nodded his head approvingly. "You're getting there with the insults, Gabs. We've taught you well."

Gabriella nodded her head proudly as her father walked back into the room dragging two suitcases behind him. "You," he said, looking to Jake, "take that to the car and make yourself useful. Gabi, when Matt comes down just tell him to get his skinny butt outside to the car A.S.A.P before we leave without him."

"Sure, dad." Gabriella smiled as Joe hugged her quickly before ushering Jake out of the house. As soon as the front door closed, Gabriella looked back at her homework and sighed; thankful that she could finally have one evening in peace and quiet – no annoying brothers lurking around, no talks of basketball and scholarships and no interruptions with her homework.

That thought was momentarily pushed away as Gabriella heard her eldest brother and his girlfriend stomping down the stairs in midst of another argument.

"Seriously, just marry your damn basketball!" Sharpay Evans spat as she followed Matthew Montez into the dining room. Gabriella shot her brother a brief sympathetic look; never fathoming what her brother saw in West High's prima queen. She often supposed it was all to do with status – being captain of West High's basketball squad did put him under pressure to keep up the popular image.

"Shar, it was a last minute thing." Matt rolled his eyes jokingly to his sister who tried to hide her smile. "Dad got us this meeting tomorrow and he really worked hard for it. Jay and I can't let him down."

"Oh!" Sharpay wafted her arms about in the air. "But you'll happily stand me up tonight! It's Audrey's party for god's sake! Her parents are away for an entire weekend and we've got a mansion to ourselves. And you're seriously standing me up for some basketball mumbo-jumbo?"

"Shar," Matt sighed tiredly. "It's late. I'm tired. I'm fucking exhausted. Dad and Jake are waiting for me and I need to be ready for this meeting tomorrow. My future depends on it. And don't act like I'm the evil boyfriend here. I've been to every one of those plays you and Ryan starred in and I fought for front row seats. If you're so worried about showing up alone then why don't you take Gabriella?"

"Huh?" Gabriella snapped her head up quickly.

"Wha?" Sharpay's eyes widened and she shook her head. "Oh, Mattie, no way."

Matt looked at his girlfriend with a full dose of disapproval but Gabriella cut him off before he could speak. "I don't do parties, Mattie. Especially ones of that kind."

"Yeah." Sharpay interjected. "And I know she's your sister and all but I can't show up to Audrey's party with a… geek."

Matt opened his mouth to retort in his sister's defence but Gabriella beat him to it. "No, really, Mattie; she's right. I'm a geek – darn proud of it. I can't be seen at a high school party… it's so lame. No offence."

"Look," Matt sighed again, his frustrations mounting. "I'm really not liking the fact that my two favourite girls are going to be alone tonight. Really, you guys can get along, right?"

Gabriella crinkled her nose again and forced herself to soften her face when Sharpay looked at her. "Uh…sure?"

"And Shar, she's my sister. It's important to me you guys become friends. Look at the effort I've put in to get along with your weird brother."

"True." Sharpay sniffed abruptly. "Ryan is pretty tough to take… but at least he dresses well for occasions – not just throwing on any old thing that's lying around."

Gabriella looked down at herself, noting her baggy jeans and West High hoodie that looked about two sizes too big for her. Her hair was scrunched up in a loose ponytail and her make-up was subtle – almost looking non-existent. Light pink ballet flats sat comfortably on her feet and Sharpay made a face at the sight before her.

"She looks like she's walked through a hedge backwards."

Matt slapped his forehead. "Please, please, please, Shar; I'm begging you now. Please take Gabs to the party."

"What?" Gabriella interrupted, irritated. "I have homework, Mattie!"

"Homework schmowork." Sharpay tutted. "There is more to life than books, Gabriella!"

"Exactly." Matt forced a smile and snaked one arm around Sharpay's shoulder, the other around a reluctant Gabriella's. "Show her, Shar. Please."

"I don't want to be shown, Mattie!" Gabriella exclaimed, exasperated. "I don't want to go!"

"You need to get out there, Gabs; for your own good! You can't keep living a sheltered life like this where you feel you've gotta be mom and do nothing but schoolwork and scholastic decathlon meets with Nathalie. It's all… backward!"

"Backward?" Gabriella folded her arms tightly. "You wanna talk backward? All you, dad and Jake talk about is freaking basketball! There's more to life than basketball!"

"She's got a point there." Sharpay inspected her nails.

"Yeah, well at least I get myself out there socially." Matt shot back. "And at least I do more stuff than basketball! Just because I want a future in it doesn't mean I revolve my whole life around it!" Hearing him, Gabriella stubbornly looked up at the ceiling, her lips pursed tightly and anger boiling inside of her. As Joe honked the car horn outside, Matt sighed pathetically. "Girls, please. Just… go tonight. And Gabs, if you don't like it just call a cab to bring you home. I'll pay for it."

"You'll pay for mine too?" Sharpay asked hopefully.

"Yeah. Whatever." Matt pulled a fifty dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to his girlfriend before kissing her cheek softly. "Look, I gotta run before they leave without me. Just… try and enjoy yourself, Gabs. Okay?"

"Yeah. Whatever." The brunette mumbled as Matt headed to the front door and let himself out.

A sense of tension and awkwardness sliced its way through the atmosphere and Sharpay turned to speak. "Okay, we'll go together but as soon as we get there just try and act like everyone else, Comprende? No-one wants to hear about science and math and shit – just say as little as possible and we'll both be fine."

"Sure." Gabriella shrugged as the trudged her way up towards the stairs.

"Where the hell are you going?" Sharpay called after her.

"To get my book." Gabriella called back defiantly.

Sharpay slapped her forehead and groaned.