Troy sauntered down the hall with the kind of swagger that you might expect of Bruce Willis in an alpha male type role in a movie.

He knew he looked hot, he knew it and his posing just accentuated that fact. He didn't even need to open his mouth to have girls flocking to him. All it took was one movement. A quick flick of his lopsided grin towards the cheerleaders who were gathered by his locker was all he needed to have them giggling and begging for attention.

He loved the feel of those pliant bodies as they pressed into him, most of them with cleavage on show, desperate for him to see.

He smiled like the cat that got the cream, a smug smile to himself. Bolton, you got it all he mused. The Captain of the basketball team, a choice of any girl he wanted. He'd already been out with a few of the cheerleaders but found he got bored very quickly. There was only so much 'free sex 'he could take. Even that sounded weird. How could troy Bolton turn down free sex?

He didn't want to ponder on the reason why he was struggling with that idea, he just wanted to find a new girl and fast. None of the babes in front of him tickled his fancy.

There was one thing he didn't have, he thought suddenly as he remembered he had a meeting with his Math teacher about his grades. He didn't have a chance of passing Math this year. That was kind of depressing.

"Sorry ladies, gotta go…" he smiled at the girls and swaggered a little more as they sighed and giggled excitedly at his grin.

The classroom door was closed as Troy approached nervously. He wasn't used to feeling nervous and he didn't like it.

"Hey man!" Chad, his best friend, called down the hallway, scaring the living bejeesus out of Troy. "What you doing skulking round here?" Chad beamed; his afro hair bouncing as he bounded down the hallway.

"Oh, uh, I forgot to pick up my homework, I gotta collect it" Troy lied.

If Chad knew he was flunking Math he'd get a whole shed load of ribbing from him and the guys. Not to mention his Dad; who happened to be the team coach.

"Homework? Dude, since when did you care about homework? I hope you're not going nerdy on me!" he joked

"Naw man, I never said I was gonna do it, just gotta pick it up or they'll fail me" he said awkwardly. Would Chad just go already? He silently prayed.

"Ok well you better get your ass in the gym after you finish here- the guys are having extra practice in our free period."

Troy closed his eyes, silently cursing 'the guys'. How in the hell was he gonna explain to his teacher that he had to go play basketball instead of doing his Math homework?

As it turned out, his teacher wanted him to do extra Math lessons in his free periods.

Troy explained the best he could that it was just not possible.

And then Mr. Ludlow took on a thoughtful expression and looked at Troy like he was a guinea pig about to undergo an experiment.

"Very well, Bolton!" he said slowly. Troy hated it when people called him by his surname. "You have a choice. You make 3 extra lessons by the end of the week or I've got an alternative solution. You have been warned." He said ominously.

Troy lifted his eyebrows, not quite believing he had got off this lightly.

"Ok" he agreed, knowing full well he wasn't going to go to any of the extra lessons.

Troy Bolton could not be seen to be ditching basketball for boring old Math. He'd just have to take whatever punishment Mr. Ludlow was going to dish out.

He headed into the gym, boundless energy as he dunked hoops with the guys. He noticed a couple of students sat on the bleachers making notes and taking photos.

"Hey Toby!" he called to his team-mate "Who are they?" he pointed his chin to the bleachers where a nerdy looking girl sat with a notebook and a tall guy was snapping away with his camera.

"They're from the school paper. That's my geeky little sister, Gabriella and her friend Joe" Toby explained.

"She's your sister?" Troy choked, blowing air through his lips which made a raspberry kind of sound.

Toby was almost as popular as Troy and Chad. He had a Spanish kind of complexion, black hair that was spiked and he dressed well. The girl on the stands was…well frumpy to say the least. Baggy jeans, big Doc Marten boots and a baggy black long sleeve top that engulfed her.

"Yeah I know she's a nerd" he sighed "I tried to make her cool but she wasn't having any of it so I gave up and pretend we're not related" he grinned

Troy laughed "Yeah man, I can see why" he agreed maliciously.

Gabriella watched as her brother poked fun at her with the one and only Troy Bolton. She had cringed when the Editor of the paper had told her that she and Joe would be covering the basketball games this season. As if it was the be-all and end-all if they won or lost a game. She could think of many, many more important issues to write about than bloody Troy Bolton and his gang of apes. Her brother included.

Joe smiled at her from his stance at the bottom of the bleachers "Hey Gabi, come down here, you can talk to the coach!" he called

Oh joy, Gabi thought drily as she carefully picked her way down the stand. On the last but one step, her big boots caught on the bench and she went flying, causing Troy and Toby to burst out laughing, along with the rest of the team, as she landed awkwardly on the gym floor, ankle twisting painfully.

Joe eyed them angrily and ran over to Gabi, helping her up gently. "You ok Gabi?" he asked

"Yeah, I'm fine" she blushed.

"You know, your brother really shouldn't treat you like that…" he commented, throwing a look toward Toby.

Gabi looked up at Joe. He really was very sweet. He had brown hair and brown eyes that were soft like a puppy's. He'd asked her out twice and she'd turned him down twice. She wondered if maybe she should say yes next time. She'd never had a proper date with a guy and she wondered what it would be like to have a guy touch her and kiss her. The thought of Joe kissing her didn't exactly fill her with excitement but he wasn't completely awful either.

She sighed "My brother is an asshole. Same as the rest of those guys" she said as she got up, rolling her ankle gently. She couldn't hide her sadness from Joe, though.

As she went over to speak to coach Bolton, Joe headed over to Toby. "Hey, that wasn't cool, laughing at Gabriella like that" he said, frowning.

Toby looked to Troy and Troy smirked "What's it to you, nerd?" Troy asked.

"I'm talking to him" Joe said tersely, looking at Toby "She's your sister, don't you care about that?" he asked instead.

Toby shrugged. Troy stepped up to Joe "Look nerd-boy. It's not his fault his sister is a freak." He grinned cockily commending himself on his comeback.

"And it's not your fault you were born with one brain cell" Gabi said from behind Joe, aimed at Troy "But we all have our little struggles in life" she commented, grabbing Joe by the arm and marching out of the gym, leaving Troy staring after her, his eyes narrowed in fury at her attempt to humiliate him.