"Broken" copyright © hollybaggins; April 29th 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.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This fan fiction contains a very senstive subject-matter with graphic scenes that may upset readers. For any reader who has been exposed to complications with pregnancy, birth or anything else connected may want to leave this fan fiction and not read on. Reading on is doing so at your own risk.
A/N: Hey, guys. Here's another story my muse wanted me to spit out. This will be a three-shot, or perhaps longer if I feel the need to make it longer.
I own absolutely zilch. My 'HSM' and 'Zefron' domination has not yet gone according to plan.
Please read/review – this is another new writing attempt for me.
Peace, love, and Zefron on a cracker,
Chapter One: Broken
There weren't many things in life that scared Chad Danforth.
The first time he saw girlfriend Taylor McKessie angry was an exception.
The first time his high school homeroom teacher, Ms Darbus, actually uttered a friendly comment towards him was an exception.
When best friend Troy Bolton jumped out of his closet wearing the "Scream" mask and holding his mom's best butcher knife aloft, he screamed like a girl. That, also, was an exception.
The day he graduated alongside Troy from the University of Albuquerque was an exception. He was heading out into the big wide world and it freaked him out.
But at this particular moment in his life; at twenty-four years of age, he figured those times were just insignificant. He was engaged to his high school sweetheart; was living in Los Angeles and playing for the L.A Lakers basketball team. Best friend and proclaimed brother, Troy, was by his side all through this – and lived only a couple of blocks away from Chad and Taylor with wife and high school sweetheart, Gabriella Montez.
"Troy called earlier." Taylor announced as Chad walked into their kitchen one bright Thursday morning. "Said the team just isn't the same without you there." Chad rolled his eyes as his fiancé grinned. During their last game, Chad had fallen and sprained his ankle, leading their coach to bench him until he made a full recovery. Thus, this meant Chad was unable to accompany Troy to Texas where the Lakers were set to play against the San Antonio Spurs.
"Meh. I'm just glad of the time off." He ran his hand tiredly through his afro, yawning as Taylor placed him a plate of pancakes soaked in maple syrup on the table. "Oh, babe!" He exclaimed with a wide grin. "You know where it's at!"
"Hmm, I know I'm fantastic," Taylor replied nonchalantly, kissing his cheek as he sat himself down at the table and tucked in. "I'm gonna head off to work; remember to pick up the groceries, will you? Just because you've done your ankle in it doesn't mean you're incapable of household chores."
"I mean it, Chad." Taylor shot him a stern look as he stuffed more pancakes into his mouth. "I'll be at the surgery 'til late so I won't have time to do it when I finish. I have enough on without the housework adding to it."
"Oh, get to work, woman!" He joked with a wink. "Get your ass to work and I'll get your damn groceries."
Satisfied with his answer, Taylor slipped on her shoes and grasped her car keys. "Oh, before I forget, Troy also asked if one of us could check on Gabriella at some point during the day." Chad rolled his eyes predictably. "Yes, I know," she sighed in response. "He said he tried calling her this morning and there was no answer and now he's stuck in training for the rest of the day before the game."
"Yeah, well, just imagine how he's gonna be when the baby actually arrives. Only five weeks to go until her due date as well...freaky."
"And an increasingly more obsessive Troy will also be delivered."
"Can you?" She asked softly. "Just call in and see how she's doing?"
Chad's eyes widened. "Okay, Tay? You know I love Gabs. Hell, she's like my baby sister – but I've been on the brink of her pregnancy hormones and they're hella scary. Troy's even been wary of her and he's married to her! If I find her hella scary when I'm with you guys, how do you think I'm gonna be when I'm alone with her and her hella scariness?"
Taylor put a hand to her hip. "You try carrying a damn baby for nine months and see if you fancy being nice to people asking dumb questions!"
"They weren't dumb questions!"
"Right, so asking her if you can peek in her belly button to see if you can see the baby isn't a dumb question?"
"Hey, no-one's ever tried it. Who's to say it wouldn't have worked?"
"Ugh. Look, not getting into this conversation with you again." Taylor stomped towards him and placed a chaste kiss on his cheek. "Just knock on the door and check she's okay. You don't have to be there long. I'll call her on my lunch break to double put Troy's mind at rest and you remember to get the groceries!"
"I'll get the damn groceries!" Chad called after his fiancé's retreating back.
"I'll see her, woman! But if she kills me through those hormones of hers, I'm coming back to haunt you!"
Chad walked up to the front door of the Bolton residence and took a deep breath. He looked to the heavens and prayed to whatever was sat on those clouds up there to protect his soul from the wrath of a pregnant Gabriella Montez.
She and Troy had married the previous year after an eighteen month long engagement and mere months later, announced they were expecting a baby. Then the sweet, giggly Gabriella they all knew and loved changed into a she-devil who they were certain was expecting the spawn of Satan. Even Troy had admitted on numerous occasions that he was scared for his health; but his pride and happiness about becoming a father had outweighed those feelings everytime Gabriella had another random outburst.
She craved cheese constantly. And because of this fact, Chad had vowed never to look at the dairy product again as the memories it retracted were just plain scary. His mind often wondered how Taylor would be in a pregnant state but he always reassured himself that she was as scary as she could get – so pregnancy may even calm her. He hoped as much.
Taking out the spare key that Troy had handed him in case of emergencies, Chad put it into the lock and slowly opened the door and made his way into the obsessively neat house. Gabriella had been very house proud; a side of her personality the gang had expected since she was over-organised during her high school and college years. Assignments were always completed weeks in advance and she had so much time on her hands after, she'd taken to help Troy complete his though they went to completely different colleges in completely different states.
The house was quiet as Chad shut the door behind him. He was greeted instantly by various framed photo's chronicling the couple's relationship over the past eight years. There were various ones of the gang together at various parties and events; pictures of Troy and Gabriella at both their high school and college graduations; wedding photos, random pictures of them kissing when one of their friends and family had happened to catch the moments on camera...
"Gabs?" Chad called out into the seemingly empty house. He stopped and listened intently for a reply.
"Chad?" Came the small voice from the bedroom.
"Ah." Chad smiled to himself, sensing in her tone that she was in a non-She-Devil mood today. He may just survive. "Sorry to bug ya but that dorky husband of yours called Tay this morning from Texas." He stood at the closed bedroom door, not opening it in case she wasn't decent. The last time that had happened, his eyes felt as though they were burning and Troy and Gabriella had angrily thrown heavy objects at his head; ignoring his remarks that they should invest in door locks. "Taylor's at the surgery all day but she said she'd call you on her lunch break to see how you're doing. Apparently Troy's freaking out because he's left you alone for a couple of days. I swear, he's becoming more of a woman every day. But being the wonderful and charming chap I am – as you well know – I thought I'd pop in and see how you're doing." He chuckled to himself, expecting a sarcastic comment and a scoff from the other side of the door. He heard nothing. His smile faded when a couple of minutes passed with no noise emitting from inside the bedroom. "Gabs?" He called again, tapping softly on the door. "You haven't fallen asleep on me, have ya? I've gotta report back to Taylor, you know, and she'll kill me if I've only done half a freaking job." He listened again and his heart leapt when he heard a small sob. "Gabriella?"
"Chad?" Her shaky voice finally called. "Would you...? Will you come in?"
Chad frowned, his heartbeat increasing rapidly. "Uh, sure? You decent?"
"Yes," came the weak reply. "Just come in."
Chad opened the door and opened his mouth to speak but found no words came when he saw Gabriella sitting on the edge of the bed, her eyes red and puffy from constant crying and her hands gripping her swollen stomach desperately. Fuck, is she in labour? His heart raced and his palms felt sweaty. He almost didn't dare ask what was wrong but as he plucked up the hidden courage to do so, she spoke.
"Where's Troy?" She sniffed, not looking up as Chad sat down beside her on the bed.
"Training." He swallowed heavily. "He called us this morning and told Tay he would be training all day before the game."
"W-when did he ring?"
"Uh, I don't know? Early this morning? Tay said he rung you and couldn't get through and that's why he was freaking."
Gabriella wiped her eye furiously as another tear escaped and trickled slowly down her cheek. "I was sleeping..." she trailed off. "...When he called, I was sleeping. I've been trying to ring him back..."
"He won't have his phone with him, Gabs." Chad explained softly. "Coach blows a gasket if he catches us with one. Kinda like Darbus but ten times worse."
Gabriella just nodded and sniffled sobs as she continued to wipe at her eyes. Her fingers continued to grasp her stomach, nails digging in and looking painful. Chad cracked his knuckles nervously, still not knowing what was going on or how he'd handle the situation. Surely if she were in labour, she would be screaming and threatening to kill him and castrate Troy by now?
"I, um," she broke the silence with a soft and shaky tone. "I don't know what to do, Chad. I'm scared."
"Scared?" Chad choked out, trying to remain calm for her sake. "What do you mean? Are you... in labour?"
Gabriella shook her head and Chad couldn't help the sigh of relief that involuntarily escaped his lips. "It's the baby."
"What about him?" They knew it was a boy since Gabriella had wanted to find out the sex of the baby and Troy had not. She had let the cat out of the bag to all their friends who wished to know and when he started to feel left out and frustrated with the lack of knowledge, he had forced Chad to tell him. Chad still remembered the look of bliss that appeared on Troy's face when he realised he was having a son. It was only mere minutes before Troy dragged Chad to the mall to purchase a Lakers jersey with 'Bolton' printed on the back – newborn sized – totally cute and adorable. They couldn't wait for the birth...when they could bring him home and Troy would dress him in his basketball jersey and when he was older, Troy and Chad had planned on teaching him everything they knew about their beloved sport. In fact, Troy had his son's life planned for the next forty years much to all their amusement.
"I..." Gabriella bit her lip intensely. "I haven't felt him. He hasn't kicked me or nudged his elbow into my ribs or anything."
"When did it start?"
Gabriella shrugged as another tear fell down her cheek. "Um, two days ago? I thought it was nothing and that he was actually giving me a break for once. You know how active he's been and how crazy he's driven me." Chad nodded slowly, putting an arm around her shoulder as a sign of comfort. "And then when I feel a thing the other day, I thought it was nothing. But then all through the night and yesterday I didn't feel anything either."
"Did you tell Troy?"
Gabriella shook her head again. "He was so psyched about the game and I know how worried he gets and I didn't want to worry him over something trivial like that. After he left, I thought I felt something but I didn't and then all yesterday and afternoon I still couldn't feel him." She finally lifted her head and Chad's heart broke upon seeing the look on her face. "Chad, what if something's wrong?"
"Here, now," Chad pulled her into a hug. "I'm sure everything's okay. Maybe he just got tired of beating your insides out."
"But what if—?" Tears were now cascading down her face at a great rate of knots. "I want Troy." She sobbed, falling back onto Chad's shoulder.
Chad immediately reached into his jeans pocket; trying desperately to keep calm to prevent her getting more hysterical but his mind and heart were spiralling out of control with the worry. He didn't know one single thing about babies – or even if what Gabriella was saying was even a big deal. All he knew was that she was crying and worrying over her unborn child and to him that was reason enough to be scared.
"Okay, okay... shh, listen. I'll try him again, alright?"
"But you said—"
He ignored her and dialled; part of his mind telling him Troy wouldn't answer; that coach had a stick up his ass when it came to cell phones during training sessions and meetings. And even if Troy did answer, he was in Texas. He would need to fly back. Chad knew he needed to think straight, to work something out... and when Troy's voice mail message rang in his ear, he closed his cell back up and stood up, holding his hands out for Gabriella to take. "Just calm down, Gabs, okay? I'm sure everything's okay and that miniature basketball player in there is just taking a long rest and giving you a well-deserved break. But I'll drive you to the hospital and let the midwife tell you the same thing seen as though no fucker listens to me ever." He grinned, hoping one would mirror back; but Gabriella just continued to cry as she nodded her head in reply.
Troy Bolton was psyched. The adrenaline burst through his veins at a thousand miles an hour; the cheers from the crowd emitting from the arena filling him with excitement and the need to just get out there and play. But that happened at just about every game with the Lakers. They had been, so far in the season, unbeatable and Troy's status as their star player as Point Guard had been boosted by spectators, press and fans.
But all of that was really a bonus for him. His home life was everything he had ever wanted and right now, he wouldn't want anything any different.
Coach Hastings had given his pre-game speech and the team were sitting in their changing rooms staring at posters for the San Antonio Spurs and feeling the need to beat them increase.
"Yo." Joe Walker punched Troy's shoulder in a friendly gesture and sat beside him. Troy smiled back to his team mate as a return of the gesture. "Ready? Willing? All set to kick butt?"
"As ready as I can be, Walker," Troy replied with a playful grin. "We get this shit and we're headed to play the Knicks on our own turf for the finals."
"Dude, don't jinx it. We don't even know if we'll have Danforth back for the finals if we make it anyway; and that'll majorly suck if we don't. Need both you guys up there for maximum effect."
"Ah, he'll be back; he wouldn't miss the finals." Troy paused. "You know, if we make it."
"And Gabriella will be in the first row, right?"
A grin plastered itself on Troy's face. "And our baby boy."
"Oh, no shit! He'll be born by then?
"She's due in about five weeks, so she'll either be there looking ready to pop or she'll be there with our boy. I can't wait, man. If we win the finals on top of me and Gabriella having our baby just beforehand...jeez, I dunno how I'm gonna cope."
Joe smirked. "You do know your kid won't have any idea of what's going on..."
"You want me to be at my best for that final?"
"Good point. Yeah, your kid will know exactly what's going on during the entire game. My bad!"
Coach Hastings entered the dressing room again and clapped his hands sharply. "Come on, you morons, get up and get your asses out there. No pressure but if you lose, I'm placing all of your balls in a vice – and I don't mean fucking basketball's either."
There weren't many things in life that scared Chad Danforth.
Hospitals were an exception.
Last year, when he had his appendix taken out, he laid in his hospital bed wide awake in the middle of the night freaking out that someone would have died previously in the same bed he was sleeping in.
When he was fifteen and decided to be charitable and give blood, he didn't realise the very act of an injection would cause him to faint.
All in all, he found hospitals to be hella scary. But he'd never admit that out loud – having a fiancé who was in the midst of training to be a surgeon meant he had to hold some sort of manly status in his household. But now throw in a hospital with a frightened and pregnant and hormonal Gabriella plus other pregnant and hormonal women and Chad was officially in his worst nightmare.
They say in silence in the waiting room, barely speaking. He knew she was scared and even if it wasn't a big deal he knew that carrying a baby couldn't have been a walk in the park. So he kept as calm as possible; desperately trying to think up words of encouragement.
Gabriella reached for his hand almost subconsciously and Chad allowed her to take it and place it on her stomach. "Can you not feel him?" She asked weakly, moving Chad's palm around her belly. "Is it just me losing all sense of feeling? Is he moving?"
Chad gulped and let her move his hand around. He couldn't feel anything. He'd felt that baby kicking and moving around many times before, so for him to place his hand on her stomach and feel nothing was alien to him. "Uh, let's just see what the doctor says, Gabs. I'm sure he's okay."
Gabriella let go of his hand and put her own against her stomach, pressing hard and desperately trying to create some sort of movement from inside. She nodded in response but her breath hitched when the door opened and a young looking nurse peeked out.
Chad took a deep breath and forced a confident-looking smile on his face. "That's you, Gabs," he said, standing up and helping his friend to her feet. "Let's go, shall we?"
The two shuffled slowly towards the room and greeted the nurse with a small smile. She closed the door behind them and Gabriella's midwife, Rosa Harper, smiled at them cheerfully. "Gabriella, how are you?" She gestured towards the bed and Gabriella made her way on top of it gingerly. "And you are...?" She looked to Chad. "Standing in for Troy while he's at the game, am I right?"
"Uh, yeah." Chad rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "That's what I am."
"Well, take a seat there," Rosa pointed to a chair situated by the bed as the younger nurse set up the monitor on the other side of Gabriella. "So," Rosa lifted Gabriella's shirt up and exposed her stomach gently. "How are we doing, huh? How's Baby Bolton?"
Gabriella bit her lip and Chad noticed the unshed tears glazed in her eyes. "He's... been quiet. I'm worried that something's wrong."
"Hmm..." Rosa squeezed a large portion of cold lubricant on her lower stomach. "Any bleeding, Gabriella? Spotting? Stomach pains?" Chad winced.
"N-no," she stuttered. "Nothing. He's just been so quiet."
"When did you last feel any movement?"
"Um...about three days ago? Troy was talking to my belly and he kept kicking. I think he was trying to tell Troy to shut up." Chad let out a chuckle and Rosa smiled softly, but Gabriella looked deadly serious.
Chad watched intently as the midwife placed a device over her stomach, moving it around the lubricant and staring at the monitor beside her. The nurse also watched in silence and Gabriella reached over for his hand. He had no idea what they were looking for or what they could even see. He couldn't see the screen and couldn't decipher the looks on both medical staff's faces. Gabriella sank her top teeth into her bottom lip – the force of it almost causing it to bleed. She squeezed Chad's hand and he winced but tried to look as normal as possible. If there was one time in his life to gain some maturity and think for himself, this was the time.
The room was deathly silent and the midwife continued to do her job.
"...is he okay?" Gabriella spoke up timidly, watching Rosa's hand as she moved around her stomach. She knew the room should not have been deathly silent. Chad looked up at the midwife expectantly, who just took her hand away from Gabriella and offered her a small sympathetic smile. "What is it? Is he okay? Is he--?"
"Gabriella, I'm sorry," Rosa gripped her hand solemnly and Chad's heart fell into the dark pits of his stomach. "I can't detect a heartbeat."
"Are you...? What are you...?" she hiccupped and shook her head in disbelief.
"What do you mean you can't find a heartbeat?" Chad asked a little harshly than intended. "Isn't you job supposed to include you finding heartbeats? Just step up and keep looking... it's got to be in there somewhere."
Rosa shook her head slowly and Gabriella struggled for breath, her eyes blinking rapidly and a tear falling from her eyes. "No, no," she breathed sharply. "No, you're wrong and Chad... Chad's right. It's in there somewhere so just keep looking!"
"I'm sorry, Gabriella," Rosa repeated as Gabriella chanted 'no' like a mantra. "I'm so sorry." She squeezed her hand. "But your baby has died..."
"No." Gabriella choked on her own sobs as Chad sat frozen, heartbroken, despaired. He thought about Troy quickly and his heart only seemed to shatter more. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!"
Keeping a calm and professional mask on her face – something Chad knew she had done a thousand times – Rosa stood and gazed at them both sadly. "I'll leave you both alone for a couple of minutes I'll be back." Chad just nodded slowly as she and the nurse left the room and Gabriella broke down in a fit of uncontrollable sobs.
"Oh, Gabs." Chad choked, feeling his own heartbreak form into salty tears. He got up and sat on the bed and pulled her into his arms, rocking her gently as the tears cascaded down her face and her body shattered into his embrace. "I'm so sorry," he breathed pathetically, knowing his words would never cure her pain. "I'm so, so sorry, Gabs."
Gabriella clutched onto her stomach, her cries getting louder by the second and her body shook erratically. She kept on shaking her head, uttering 'no' in-between cries and trying to break away from Chad; but he held her head forcefully against his chest, keeping her there and silently telling her to grieve. She was in shock; in absolute pain and torment that no person should ever have to feel in their lifetime. Her baby was dead. Troy and Gabriella's baby was dead. And thinking about how they were going to move forward was something Chad didn't even want to comprehend.
The door opened softly again and Rosa Harper returned alongside a middle-aged, sweet-looking man who, with a small smile on his face, came over and sat down in Chad's previous seat.
"Gabriella?" He said slowly. "Gabriella, I know you're in shock, but you need to listen very carefully."
The brunette lifted her wary head away from Chad. "Is it my baby? Was there some mistake?"
"I'm Doctor John Dalziel, I'm a specialist. I'm afraid there has been no mistake and I'm so very sorry for your loss." He watched as Gabriella fell back limply against her friend. "Gabriella, we need to talk about how we're going to deliver your baby."
"Wait." Chad spoke up. "You're going to make her deliver it? Like...an actual birth?"
"In a sense," John replied. "To deliver the baby by C-section would be very dangerous for Gabriella and of course, with the circumstances, we would need to deliver the baby as soon as possible to ensure her safety. I'm going to suggest that you take Gabriella home and call relevant friends; family...I would want this procedure to take place tomorrow morning at the latest. We'll induce the birth and deliver the baby naturally. It's the only way to do this without putting you in any danger."
Gabriella just continued to cry and Chad just could not speak. When he heard her utter, "Troy" weakly, he pulled back and let out a shaky breath.
"I know," he rubbed her back soothingly. "I'll call him, okay? Tell him to come home."
"It wouldn't be best to tell him over the phone," Rosa put in.
Chad nodded. "Yeah, trust me. I've known this guy since I was five – I know what to say to him..." He pried himself off Gabriella and allowed John and Rosa to comfort her as he slowly made him way out of the room; his legs feeling like jelly. "...I think," he muttered as he left. Nearly twenty years of being Troy Bolton's best friend and Chad knew he'd never be able to tell him something like this.
In the waiting room, the wide-screen television was showing the Lakers/Spurs game and the Lakers were winning with seconds to spare until final whistle. Chad watched and his heart sank as he saw Troy on the court, heading towards the net and placing a perfect slam dunk through it just as the referee blew the whistle. He couldn't bear to watch as his teammates crowded around Troy and whooped and hollered their victory – the fans and commentators going wild beyond belief. He knew this happiness wouldn't last.
Taking out his cell, he dialled Troy's speed dial and waited for his voicemail to sound.
"Hey," he choked after hearing the familiar beep. "I caught the end of the game; nice shooting, dude. Listen, as soon as you get this... just call me, okay?" He stopped, realising that would do no good. "Actually, no, don't call me. Just get on the first plane back here. Don't ask; just do it. You calling me would only waste time. Gabriella's asking for you." With another sigh, he closed his cell before opening it again and dialling the number to Taylor's office.
"Hello? Taylor McKessie, speaking."
"Tay?" This time, Chad allowed himself to cry. "Baby, get down here. I need you. Gabriella and I need you..."