C H O S E N

Summary:

A spell used in Sunnydale to change the destiny of girls throughout the globe intersected with the path of a senior at East High School. All Gabriella wanted was to be normal. Her life would never be normal again. Cross over with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Story Disclaimer:

The author has no affiliation with Disney, Peter Barsocchini, Kenny Ortega or any other member of the High School Musical team. Furthermore the author has no affiliation with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel: The Series, the Dark Horse comics… etcetera, etcetera. The requisite recognisable characters and themes are credited to their respective creators. I write purely for entertainment purposes with no funds being made in the process of the production of this work and I do not intend any sort of legal infringement with the production of my fiction. This disclaimer is applicable to this chapter and every subsequent chapter within this story.


AUTHOR'S NOTE:

This is a High School Musical fiction which crosses over with the characters and universe of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Scared yet? You should be. Am I insane? You betcha. It's my turn to just follow my muse, to not analyse or be pedantic or try to write perfectly, to just write what has been niggling at me. In Nel's words – 'This is your Chillax story. Don't be so uptight with it and let it flow.' Thanks Nel, for encouraging me to post this dribble.

High School Musical Context:

This story is set in the middle of senior year-ish time period. Assume HSM1 and 2 canon is real, from there… it's a Buffy cross over. Canon? What canon?!?!

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Context:

This is set Post BtVS S7; it is set during A:tS S5; with the Angel canon being toyed with. Creative liberties will be taken with a lot. Disregard that in 'Buffy Time' this would be in like 2004. Senior year at East High intersects with the year following S7 of Buffy.

If you enjoy supernatural TV series/movies/books but have not ever gotten super into Buffy:

The key thing to note is that the 'folklore' and 'tradition' I use is Buffy based. So if you've only ever read Twilight and you're thinking vampires don't do that then there is probably difference between the depictions in different universes.

If you are new to supernatural phenomena/Buffy:

Good on you for checking this out! Thank you for being so awesomely open minded. Ultimately I write this as a High School Musical story. I've read supernatural world/non supernatural world cross-overs before and what you will find is that in blending the two, a lot of the explanation will come within my narrative. Give it a chance. Let me know if you are intrigued but would like more info i.e. in author's notes, to understand context.

Feedback:

Is sooooo needed. This idea is MENTAL and I really really need to know if people are going to respond. If you give this a go and at some point feel that it's just too crazy, I'd really appreciate it if you could drop me a line and let me know. If you are enjoying it but you feel like you don't understand enough to be fully getting it, also let me know. I can elaborate in my exposition, I can provide more detailed author's notes, I can point you in the direction of some articles that might bolster your understanding.

Without further ado…

I present…


C H O S E N

The Insane Works of Dani aka Pandora147

1. It's The End Of The World As We Know It

Chapter Disclaimer: Lyrics quoted from the Jonas Brothers. The author has no affiliation with the band or record company.


Gabriella Montez had her iTunes blasting in her bedroom as she buzzed about, getting ready for the day. Lots of kids hated mornings; their alarm clock would go off and they would groan and press snooze, trying to put off the inevitable day at school. Gabriella loved school. Not only because she enjoyed learning. although that was a part of it. More so, Gabriella loved school because she loved seeing her friends, she loved being able to go to school and feel as though she belonged. Just one of the regular kids. She'd been at East High for just over a year and it had been the best year of her life.

She'd showered and dressed before bounding downstairs cheerily to consume her breakfast – granola, yoghurt and banana – and then returned to her room. She was singing along with her music as she packed her school bag and did the final touches of the tiny hint of make up she wore – lip gloss, a hint of mascara, the tiniest swipe of subtle eyeshadow. Her cell phone vibrated and chirped on the desk and she picked it up to glance at the screen. A smile toyed on her lips. She'd been awake for less than an hour and received no less than eight text messages from her doting boyfriend.

Leaving home now, c u soon. –Troy xo

Gabriella smiled and locked her cell phone before turning to take one last glance at herself in the mirror, still singing along to her music.

"When you look me in the eyes, and tell me that you love me, everything's all right, when you're right here by my side, when you look me in the eyes, I catch a glimpse of…"

Her singing paused mid sentence, a forlorn gasp escaping from her lips. She leaned forward further and tipped up her chin, staring in the mirror.

A zit.

"Noooo!" Gabriella exclaimed, in a slightly panic. "No, no, no, no, no!"

Gabriella was one of those lucky teenagers who had gone through adolescence without experiencing acne at its full throttle. The result however was that whenever a spot did appear on her face, it was a tragic affair.

"Gabi? Are you okay?" her mother's voice called through from her own room where she was preparing for her day at work.

"That depends on your definition of okay," Gabriella called back, her tone bitter.

She rushed into the bathroom, quickly examining her make up collection. She detested popping zits and so a cover up was going to have to be the approach taken. Maria Montez appeared in the bathroom door just as Gabriella was hunting through her make up kit for the appropriate concealer.

"What happened?"

"I have a zit," Gabriella informed her mother despondently.

"Oh, is that all?" Maria said, her hand covering her heart in relief that it wasn't anything serious.

"Is that all? IS THAT ALL? You know, we have yearbook photos on Friday."

"Honey, you can barely see it."

"Barely. Barely see it indicates that you can nevertheless see it."

The doorbell rang, and Gabriella let out a slight yelp. "And that's Troy and I cannot go out without covering this up."

"I'm heading out now anyway so I'll go answer the door on my way out. I'm sure you'll have time, he's a little earlier than normal isn't he?"

Gabriella smiled tightly. "Thanks. See you tonight."

She frantically began to slap the make up onto her skin. She didn't even hear Troy's footsteps in the corridor outside.

"Your mom tells me there has been a morning preparation set back," Troy's voice came from behind.

"Oh God Troy, don't look at me," Gabriella moaned, glancing up at his reflection in the mirror. "I look dreadful. LOOK at it! Just LOOK!"

Troy had a brief moment of panic where he wasn't sure whether she really wanted him to look or not look. He settled upon looking – and stared at her blankly. "Umm… what am I looking at?"

She pointed at where the concealer had merely discoloured the bump.

"Been eating too much chocolate babe?" Troy asked teasingly.

Gabriella elbowed him harshly, merely causing Troy to laugh.

"Gabi babe, you look fine. Don't stress about it. Have you seen that Nigel kid in sophomore year? He looks like the before ad in a Proactive commercial."

"The before ads in Proactive commercials look flawless," Gabriella grumbled, as she struggled to blend the foundation into her skin. This was why she hardly ever wore a lot of make up, because she had very little application ability.

"Are you now going to be in a crappy mood for the rest of the day?"

"Probably," Gabriella replied shortly.

"Don't you think you are being a little melodramatic?" Troy said, attempting to comfort her. "It's not exactly the end of the world."

"That is precisely what it is Troy, it is the end of the world," Gabriella said. She threw the make up sponge rather violently on the sink, conceding that she wouldn't be able to do her make up any better.

"Do you have your… umm… you know?" Troy asked tentatively.

Gabriella rolled her eyes. "No. That's next week. Trust you to assume that. A girl can't just feel upset about something."

"Right. So now it's the 'pre.' Hey that works out well, with me being in California checking out USC next weekend."

Gabriella raised her eyebrows. "That's a rather presumptuous statement, Mr Bolton."

"Well you name a weekend when we've both been in the same geographic vicinity and you haven't had your you know what, and we haven't had sex since we first did it?"

He was right. She couldn't argue. No such weekend existed. In fact they hadn't gone more than a few days. The hunt for privacy in the world of adolescents with watchful parents had merely exacerbated the thrill of the challenge. "But you say it like it's a given. What if… I just… didn't feel like it?" Gabriella said feebly.

"That would never happen," Troy said cockily. "You're just as horny as me."

Gabriella scoffed. "Please. As if. You wank like twice a day."

"Exactly. I wank and so my pent up tension is released."

As if in the goal of proving his point, from his place standing behind her, Troy swept her ebony locks aside, planting a line of kisses along her neck, suckling just beneath her ear. Gabriella involuntarily moaned slightly. His hands wrapped around her waist from behind, rising up from her taught abdomen beneath her t-shirt.

"We have to… go… to school…" Gabriella panted.

"But I haven't even had my good morning kiss yet," Troy murmured.

"Good morning… kiss then we go," Gabriella said, turning around within his arms.

She smiled slyly as her hands came to grip upon the back of his neck. She liked to act put out but the truth was that a part of Gabriella's ideal morning routine was indeed her good morning kiss with Troy. However often it was on her front door step with her mother lurking around just inside. Not upstairs just down the corridor from her bedroom with her mother already having left for work. Not while Troy seemed to have as a goal 'prove to Gabriella that she is horny.' His kiss was soft and tantalising, his tongue stroking languorously, only toying with Gabriella's imagination. He pulled away mid kiss, leaving her hanging mid air, desperate for more.

"So… after school my mom is working and my dad has a staff meeting… were you planning to study with Taylor?" Troy murmured.

"Hell no."

Suddenly, skin imperfections were long forgotten.


From afar, it was like any other East High morning scene. The building was the same. The lawn and front pathway were littered with students. Cars filled the parking lot. Buses were pulled up at the bus bay. However as Troy and Gabriella stepped out of Troy's truck, there was a sombre feeling which infiltrated the air. People were quieter. Groups were huddled together in private conversations. Gabriella gestured across the parking lot where Chad and Taylor were stepping out of Chad's car, also staring around in bewildered observance of how different everything seemed. Troy held up his hand in greeting, the foursome meeting midway and walking toward the morning meeting spot.

"Jeez, who died?" Chad remarked.

A petite, red haired girl ran past them, pushing into Taylor as she ran past. Taylor almost went to yelp something after her, along the lines of, 'Hey, watch where you're going!' however realised in time that the girl was sobbing.

"Something weird is going on," Troy said, glancing around at the scene.

They approached their group of friends, spotting Kelsi and Ryan in a long hug, the rest of the group looking equally sombre as the rest of the class.

"What's going on?" Taylor asked, gesturing around.

"Haven't you guys heard?" Ryan asked, pulling back from his girlfriend.

"Evidently not," Chad replied.

"You know Dave Chadwick?" Zeke asked.

"Sophomore. JV Quarterback," Troy answered promptly, before adding thoughtfully. "Good guy."

"His younger brother was killed," Zeke said quietly.

Gabriella gasped, her eyes widening. "What?!"

"They think he was murdered," Martha said tearfully. "His… he was found at the middle school. On school grounds. One of my brothers is… was… friends with him."

"What happened?!" Chad exclaimed.

"No one knows for sure, it's being kept quiet. But I heard from someone who heard from someone that his blood was drained," Zeke said, finding it difficult to speak the words aloud.

"Isn't that… isn't that what happened to that girl from West High a couple of weeks ago…" Taylor said slowly.

Kelsi nodded miserably. "And that young nurse about a week before that. And there were some similar things happening up in Santa Fe not long ago. All with severe blood loss. Suspicious circumstances."

"What, you're saying that… that one of our… that there's some serial killer out there?" Troy asked, his eyes wide.

"Well… let's not jump to conclusions," Taylor said practically – her fearful eyes giving away that she had made the same conclusion herself.


Albuquerque was by no means a small city – it was the largest in New Mexico. But the community was small. Condolences were flooding to the Chadwick family. Even those who did not personally know members of the family were feeling the blow to the community. With three seemingly linked deaths in the space of less than a month, rumours and speculations were flying wildly about, people trying to draw the link between those who had been targeted. There was no apparent pattern, something which was inconsistent with the typical working of a serial killer.

But then again, how can one define the way in which a serial killer conforms to something typical?.


"Yo Evans, chuck us a can of soda, would you?" Chad called out.

Ryan, who was in the kitchen complied, reaching into the open fridge he was standing in front of to retrieve a can of cola. He went and stood at the doorway between the kitchen and living area and tossed the can across the room. For a former pitcher, Ryan's aim was off and the can of soda went flying into the wall and exploded.

"Ryan!" Sharpay shrieked. "Daddy is going to kill us! He said we can only have people here if we don't make a mess!"

"Oh calm down, we're not in a room with carpet it's only floorboards, it'll wipe right up," Troy said, rolling his eyes.

Gabriella jumped up from her place at the table to rush into the kitchen to retrieve a cloth. Troy immediately reached forward to Gabriella's place directly in front of him, trying to decide which slice of pizza to snare.

"Troy, leave my food alone!" Gabriella called back.

Zeke laughed. "Since when did you get X ray vision Gabriella?"

She reappeared, seeing a sheepish Troy. "I don't, I just know Troy very well."

"I'm a growing young man, Ella. You want me to keep my energy up, don't you?"

Now that official basketball season was over, Friday night had become group hang out night. It was a habit which had been forged over the years. In freshman and sophomore year it had been the guys with various other female accessories hanging off them. In junior year, the regular female accessories were ditched for the permanent fixtures of Gabriella and Taylor, and the semi regular fixtures of Kelsi and Martha. Since summer, group dynamics had shifted somewhat.

The first change was that Kelsi and Martha's semi regular fixtures as a part of the core group were promoted. The second was that after summer, Ryan had started spending more and more time around his new group of friends – in particular with the young musical composer. Kelsi and Ryan had collaborated quite closely in the lead up to the fall musical. On closing night, Ryan asked Kelsi out. She said no. A week later he asked again. She said no. A week later he asked for the third time. She said yes. Three months later and they were very happily established in the beginnings of their relationship.

Jason was left heartbroken – well not really. His crush on Kelsi had only ever been minor, and it was more him crushing on her than the other way around. She'd always emphasised how much she 'valued his friendship.' And so Jason bounced back, dating a few of the cheerleaders and even branching out and going out with the captain of the girls' basketball team a few times.

At the end of summer, Chad finally had asked Taylor out. She had said yes, of course, and the two had spent three weeks kissing and cuddling and canoodling. They had a fight about what movie to see one night and broke up for a week before getting back together again. A month after that, a fight about Taylor's intent to purchase a car and not wanting Chad's assistance led to another break up, this time for two weeks. They lasted a whole two months the next time before breaking up when Chad was 'flirting' with the waitress at a restaurant. It took two days before Chad wooed his way back and things were once again right with the world.

Martha's kitchen role over summer at Lava Springs had cemented her own friendships with the boys, real friendships as opposed to simply having mutual friends. Additionally her close friendships with the girls served to solidify her place within the Wildcat crew.

As wary as Sharpay was of her brother's increased time being spent with his new friends, she was secretly in firm support of his relationship with Kelsi. It was a change, seeing him looking genuinely happy. She'd found herself hanging out with the group more and more, at first begrudgingly but then enjoying herself more and more. Zeke was persistent, she would give him that. She admired his determination. Finally she had agreed to go to the Christmas dance with him. They weren't exactly dating but they weren't exactly just friends. It was enough to provide Zeke with the hope that he should continue with his persistent behaviour – and enough to continue to make Sharpay feel special at being fawned over.

And of course, there was the heart and soul of group dynamics, Gabriella and Troy. Dating for a year – with the slight glitch of summer at Lava Springs which they had since moved past – the relationship was thriving and stronger than ever before. They seemed to exist within their own world, an extended honeymoon period which most couples moved on from after a few months. A couple of months into senior year, the pair had consummated their relationship for the first time. Since then, they consummated the relationship on a frequent basis. And it was far from a one sided horny boyfriend coercing his girlfriend into going along with his desires, with the instigation often coming from her side.

Gabriella slipped back into her seat at the long table after wiping up the mess on the floor.

"So, who else has decided that school officially blows and that they are going on homework boycott this weekend?" Zeke asked.

"That's like, every weekend man," Jason pointed out.

"This week was harsh though. First… you know. And then the teachers lay it on thick? What's up with that?"

"If I could have my blood drained soon, I would rather enjoy every minute of the day than sit around worrying about quadratic equations," Chad chimed in.

Kelsi dropped her slice of pizza back onto her plate. "Well, there goes my appetite," she remarked quietly.

Ryan's hand fell onto her thigh beneath the table, squeezing comfortingly.

"Did I tell you guys that I heard there were weird marks," Chad said.

"Marks?" Jason repeated, somewhat urgently. "What… what kind of marks?"

"Umm… I didn't hear that part. Just heard marks," Chad replied.

"Are you sure?" Jason prodded.

"Stop gossipping about it. We don't know what is real and what isn't and it's not right to be talking about it like it's some entertainment news item," Taylor admonished. "We agreed we were going to hang out like normal and stop speculating about it like we have been all week."

"I was just saying what I heard," Chad said defensively. "I know it's sad and everything but the fact is that we should be talking about it, because in the last month, three people between the ages of 13 and 23 have been killed and for all we know there have been more that they just don't know about yet. This puts us right into that target demographic. It could be anyone next. It could be you. It could be me!"

"Yes and we could also get into a car crash or a plane crash or be hit by lightening or have an asteroid plummet into the earth or be attacked by a dragon. But you don't run around freaking out about any of those things," Taylor countered.

"Tay, dragons aren't real," Chad said witheringly.

As the couple entered into a daily ritual over an argument pertaining to nothing that had anything to do with them, Jason was up the far end of the table, scouring through his cell phone. There was one who had observed the blind panic in his eyes when he had asked his seemingly innocent question.

"Jase, are you okay?" Martha asked quietly.

Jason looked up. "Umm yeah just… thinking about it all. My mom works with Mrs Chadwick and so it's… it's weird. I was hearing all about how they're all coping… or not coping," Jason explained.

Martha seemed satisfied with Jason's response – and Jason internally breathed a sigh of relief.


"Please please please please please can I go with you?!" Jason begged. "We've been coming here to visit you guys my whole life, and since you were my age now you started ditching me to go off and hang out at this… Gold… place."

"It's called The Bronze," Jason's older cousin explained patiently.

"Right, whatever. Well you know what, I turn fifteen soon. And all our parents are going to do is get into an argument about your dad's drinking and I'll be left here bored while you go off and hang with your friends."

"You seem to forget that I don't even live here anymore. I have my own place," the older boy said.

"Even better, can I come crash at yours?"

The cousin's eyes widened. "Uh… my girlfriend might not like that. She uh… she…"

Jason smirked. "A bit of a bunny in the sack?"

"Well, she wouldn't like to be associated with a bunny, but… yeah. Hang on! You're fourteen! You shouldn't be talking about my girlfriend like that! You haven't even met her!"

"Even more the reason why you should be letting me come hang with you and your friends."


After dinner – and Taylor won the argument convincing Chad to stop talking about the recent deaths in the area – the Wildcat crew decided to settle down in the Evans' lounge room to watch a film.

"How about Scream?" Chad suggested.

"Chad Anthony Danforth! Do you WANT me to stop… doing… that thing?!" Taylor exploded.

Chad's expression filled with panic. "I'll be good. I swear. Let's watch whatever film Taylor wants to watch."

Zeke had settled down up one end of a sofa. To his astonishment, Sharpay had boldly walked in and sat down right beside him. He flashed her a toothy grin, to which she returned a small smile.

"Let's watch Superbad," Jason suggested.

A collective groan emitted from Kelsi, Martha and Taylor.

"Again?" Kelsi said aghast. "Didn't we watch that last week?"

"I vote yes," Zeke agreed.

"Me too," Chad chimed in.

"What happened to whatever film Taylor wants to watch?" Taylor muttered.

"Aww baby but… it's Superbad!"

"Shar?" Zeke asked.

"Whatever," Sharpay said, waving her hand away, not really caring what film they put on.

"Ryan?" Jason said.

"Uh…" Kelsi was glaring at Ryan, as though mentally threatening him to not agree. Meanwhile Chad, Zeke and Jason all had arms folded across their chests. "I'm happy to go with the consensus," he finally said meekly.

Chad rolled his eyes. "So we have four in agreement, three opposed, one fence sitter… Bolton? Gab?"

However Troy and Gabriella had not been participating or even listening to the conversation. They were still standing in the doorway between the hallway and the living room, engaged in a silent conversation. A conversation that went along the lines of a tantalising kiss, a squeeze of the ass and a pleading look from Troy in the direction of the front door.

"Sure," Gabriella replied distractedly, having no idea what they were talking about.

"Gabriella!" Martha exclaimed. "At least think before you respond to these questions."

"Hmm?"

"You just agreed to Superbad again," Taylor said, her tone indicating semi annoyance with her best friend.

"I bet you want to take off even more now," Troy said lowly.

"I did? Shit," Gabriella cursed, before turning back to Troy. As she spoke, she had her hands place on Troy's chest, ready to push him away playfully. "This is your fault mister, if you hadn't been distracting me with your…"

Gabriella pushed him playfully – well, the intent was to push him playfully.

It was like one of those moments in life that take place in slow motion. As she used her muscles to push him, she felt a surge of power, a surge of power that she never knew she had within. The surge of power translated into petite Gabriella Montez, who struggles to open jars of peanut butter, pushing her muscular, strong boyfriend so hard that he flew across the room. It was as though he was attached to a harness and a bungee cord had suddenly pulled him backwards. He landed with a crash in the hallway, slamming into a wall and nearly knocking over a sculpture likely worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Gabriella stood frozen, watching the dazed Troy as he registered what had just happened.

"Dude!" Chad exclaimed.

The Wildcats jumped up from their seats, now all watching Troy as he scrambled to his feet. Gabriella rushed over to his side.

"Oh my God are you okay?" she exclaimed.

Troy winced as he bent over, stretching out.

"No permanent damage but oh my God what the hell was that? What did I ever do to you and when the hell did you start taking steroids?" Troy exclaimed, rubbing his back. His tone was jovial but the genuine hint of demand was there.

"What happened?" Ryan asked.

"She just pushed me playfully but it was like I was hit with like one of those wrecking balls on a demolition site."

"Don't exaggerate, you just lost your balance is all," Gabriella said uneasily.

"Babe, we were standing there. I am over here. You do not lose your balance and get propelled ten feet away!" Troy exclaimed.

"Have you been like, working out or something?" Zeke asked Gabriella.

"No," she said, feeling rather uncomfortable at the sets of eyes staring at her, her arms folding across her chest.

"Bolton's just a pussy girl," Chad joked.

Troy turned to glare at Chad momentarily.

"Have you been studying martial arts perhaps?" Zeke persisted with his theorising.

"No!" Gabriella exclaimed. "I'm just me. Stop looking at me like that!"

"Oh come on Gabriella, he was just playing with you," Chad said. He reached out to touch Gabriella's shoulder comfortingly.

"Well it feels like you're all looking at me like I'm some…" she reached up to push Chad's arm away, no intent other than to remove his hand from her shoulder. Her gentle push caused Chad to stumble backwards and topple into Zeke, the pair falling to the floor.

"-freak…" she finished quietly, eyes staring at the pair on the floor.

"I just umm….. totally…. Lost my balance then," Chad said feebly, staring up at Gabriella with wide eyes. Chad scrambled to his feet. He shared a momentary look of understanding with Troy. Neither of them had stumbled. They'd both been pushed, pushed with a strength that no regular teenage girl should have.

"No you didn't, you like crashed into me violently!" Zeke exclaimed. "Gabriella, seriously, do you realise that is not normal?"

She did realise. She'd literally tapped Chad, his arm should have barely moved. And as for Troy – he was right. You don't just propel ten feet away through someone casually pushing you. She realised something was abnormal and it scared her to the point of not being able to cope.

"I have to… to… get… go…. I'm going…" Gabriella stammered, backing away.

"Babe, what are you talking about?" Troy prodded. "You don't have to…"

"I feel… I can't be here. I feel sick," Gabriella murmured. She was staring down at her hands, her own eyes wide. "I'm… I'm going… sorry guys… see you later…"

"I'm driving you," Troy insisted, moving toward the door with her.

"No I would rather be…"

"I'm driving you," he said once again, his tone firm. "There is some psycho out there and all jokes aside, you should not be walking out alone at night under regular circumstances."

Gabriella sensed the finality in Troy's tone and ultimately knew that he was right.

"Okay," she agreed softly.

Troy grabbed their jackets from the coat stand and handed Gabriella's over.

"Talk to you guys later," Troy called back, trying to make his tone as cheerful as possible as he followed Gabriella out the front door. She was walking strides ahead of him toward his beat up truck, her arms folded across her abdomen.

"Ella…" Troy said, as he hurried to catch up with her.

"Troy, I don't want to talk about it. Please just drive me home."

"I think you're being silly about nothing. I have been feeling tired lately so maybe you really did just throw me off balance and as for Chad, he's always been a klutz and…"

"I said I don't want to talk about it."

Gabriella stepped into the passenger side of the truck and rolled down the window. Troy sighed as he hopped up into the drivers seat. Just as Gabriella had sensed his resolve to drive her home, he sensed her resolve. If she didn't want to talk, she wasn't going to talk.


Meanwhile back inside the Evans' mansion, the Wildcats had silently taken their requisite seats in the living room. The jovial mood of earlier was drained. Instead, it was a mood of complete mystification.

"I have to go," Jason said abruptly.

"Not you too! What happened to movie night!" Ryan exclaimed, aghast. "We should just watch the movie and pretend like…"

"I have to do something," Jason said vaguely.

"What?" Kelsi prompted.

"I have to make a phone call. See you's later."


The entire car ride to Gabriella's was completely void of conversation, the radio playing at full blast to cover the silence. It was only when Troy pulled up and cut the engine that Gabriella finally turned and spoke to him.

"Troy?" Gabriella finally spoke, her voice tiny.

"Ella?"

"Can we… can we arm wrestle?"

Troy coughed. "Umm… do you really think that…"

"Please."

Troy nodded. They got out of the truck and went and took places on the front left corner of the vehicle.

"Wait, the bonnet will be hot," Troy said, and pulled off his jacket to lay over the metal. They placed elbows down and joined hands. "Ready?"

Gabriella nodded. "Ready," she said softly.

"1, 2, 3, go…"

It took precisely two seconds for Gabriella to win the match, to have Troy's hand pinned back. It left Troy's manly ego feeling a little dented – but more importantly, it left him completely flabbergasted.

"I knew I would win. I can't explain how I knew. But I knew."

"Gabriella, this is…"

"Fucking weird," she finished for him. "I um… I'm gonna go to bed. I feel really tired. I'll talk to you later. Thanks for the ride. Good night."

And with that, Troy watched as his girlfriend walked up the drive to her front door.

"Good night," his voice echoed.


Later that night, Jason was back at home shuffling about in his bedroom. He tossed his phone from his left hand, to his right hand, to his left hand and then back to his right hand again. Finally, he flipped through his address book, searching for the England based phone number of his cousin. His cousin being the one person who he knew that might be able to make some sense of everything that was going on.

"Xander? It's Jason."


Author's Note: Go on. Hit me with it. Keep in mind this is my random 'chillax story' (Nel that word has stuck...) and that I am obviously suffering from some sort of insanity.

-Dani xo