The Someday Trilogy
Part II: This Moment
Relationships and friendships both flourish and falter amidst the pressures of senior year and life in general. A hopefully original take of senior year at East High. All characters; TxG. M for coarse language, sexual references/depictions.
The author has no affiliation with Disney, Peter Barsocchini, Kenny Ortega or any other member of the High School Musical team. The requisite recognisable characters, settings 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.
Welcome to The Someday Trilogy – Part II: This Moment.
Or, as it colloquially known to most of you, 'Someday'. This is PART TWO of a Trilogy. Part I is listed in my profile as The Someday Trilogy – Once Upon A Time. I would highly, highly, highly recommend that you tackle the first part prior to reading this. And if you enjoy it, (hint hint) review. Since I slaved away on the damn thing. :-) Having said that, you can choose to tackle this story without having read the first part, and just not understand all of the context. Or, you could read this and gradually catch up with Part I, since it is rather giant, mammoth, colossal, enormous… etcetera.
This is a story which tells the tale of Senior Year at East High. It was conceptualised before the filming of HSM3. Hence, the plot of HSM3 is irrelevant to this series. There may be some similarities - after all, I am writing with the same characters who exist with the same history. But as this story progresses, various elements of the plot will stray further and further away from the HSM3 canon. The 'canon' of this story is High School Musical 1, my previous stories Here With You and Play It My Way, High School Musical 2 and now, The Someday Trilogy.
This is an M rated story written by an author who, when she feels like it, enjoys specific details. So you are warned, read ahead with caution if you aren't particularly fond of the occasional depiction of M rated one on one interpersonal interactions.
I also warn you that this is NOT just a story about Troy and Gabriella. Yes they are the focal characters, but this is a story about the entire gang at East High. It's a story which explores how events in the life of one character can snowball and affect the lives of other characters. You can review saying 'Good, but more Troyella' and I will secretly think you are an idiot and thank you for making my review count go up.
Anyway. Enough talking. Enjoy.
The Someday Trilogy - Part II: This Moment Chapter 1
The Someday Trilogy - Part II: This Moment
"Because this moment's really all we have..."
'Everyday' by Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron
Troy and Gabriella had exchanged dozens of kisses throughout the nine month history of their relationship. Soft kisses, intense kisses, lustful kisses, teasing kisses, probing kisses, gentle kisses. A kiss wasn't just a kiss; a kiss said something more. A kiss could say I missed you; a kiss could say I love you; a kiss could say I want you.
In the parking area at the front of the Evans' property, Troy's truck was stationed between Chad's car and Taylor's jeep. And in the front seat of the truck, the kiss being exchanged between Troy and Gabriella was representing all of the above – and more.
At first, it was simply a belated good morning kiss. He had picked up his girlfriend that morning, ready to head to Ryan's. The Evans' home had been volunteered as the movie set for the first day of the filming of Jason's project. However, Gabriella's mother and Aunt Eva were in the front yard at the time, examining something in the garden. And Troy being the gentlemen he was – and also being somewhat terrified of Gabriella's mother placing restrictions upon their relationship – had settled for a quick, chaste kiss in greeting.
The minute Troy had safely parked the car and cut the engine at Ryan's, Gabriella grabbed onto his hoodie and pulled him in close, initiating a steamy kiss.
"What was that for?" Troy had asked, his surprise evident.
"A proper good morning," Gabriella had responded softly, before kissing him once again.
Troy was more than willing to reciprocate the kiss zealously; more than willing to allow her to crawl over and straddle him, her skirt flaring out; more than willing to experience the intoxicating friction of her grinding against him, teasing him and filling his mind with illicit thoughts.
He pulled apart from her suddenly, gasping for air. "We're not really needed here today are we?" Troy asked breathily. Gabriella proceeded to trail a sweet line of kisses from his lips, across his jaw line, to the smooth skin of his neck.
"I think we are," Gabriella murmured into his neck. Her despondent tone suggested that she was just as disappointed with their required presence as he was. "I do have a part in the film after all." Her actions indicated that she was currently attempting to pretend that they didn't need to go inside. She was perfectly content to remain in the sanctuary of his truck. She nibbled slightly at his skin, her hands fell to the hem of his t-shirt and slipped beneath the cotton material to feel the warmth of his hard chest.
"The last four days have been absolute…" Troy's sentence was interrupted to let out a groan as Gabriella rocked against his burgeoning erection. "… hell. It feels like Sunday was a million years ago."
"I know," Gabriella responded breathily.
"We've had two whole days off school so far this week, why do our stupid families insist upon hovering around? The pumpkin pie and turkey and yams yesterday came nowhere near making up for hardly seeing you."
His hands fell to gently clasp Gabriella by the shoulders and pull her back from his neck, allowing him to initiate a hard kiss, tongues entwining and duelling playfully. Troy's hands had worked their way beneath her sweater, kneading and caressing her breasts. His brain was going to a place that he was certain Gabriella wouldn't approve of. He could so easily undo his fly, so easily shove his boxers down far enough to facilitate the very union that he was envisaging within his brain at that moment.
An ear splitting, high pitched static emanated across the front of the Evans' property.
"Would the couple humping in the white truck please stop, and get their asses inside."
Troy's hands froze in place on Gabriella's breasts, as the two glanced around in bewilderment at what they had heard.
"That's right. This is Chad. The Evans' have a PA. And security cameras. With excellent zoom. So desist your grinding before we have not only a horror film being shot, but also a low budget porn…"
"Chad, get off the PA!" Ryan's voice could be heard in the background. "I told you to let people in the security gate, and that is all! Not to mess around with…"
Another high pitched screech emitted over the PA and the transmission ended.
"Chad Danforth is a fucking dead man," Troy said, groaning loudly in exasperation.
Gabriella carefully clambered off Troy's lap and back over to her side of the truck. "It's probably for the best we were interrupted," she said, smoothing down her sweater.
"How is that?"
"We weren't gonna get to do much more in here anyway. And continuing with that was just going to make today… harder…" Gabriella said. She had chosen her words carefully as she glanced coyly at the bulge beneath Troy's blue jeans.
"It's not just me though is it; thinking that we desperately need to find privacy some time soon?" Troy questioned. "I mean, we had this absolutely fucking incredible weekend… at least, I thought it was incredible. Unless you didn't think it was incredible…" The insecurity seeped through Troy's tone.
"Troy, I've already told you more than once that it really was amazing," Gabriella said, her tone softening. She leaned over, allowing their lips to connect for a few moments in a soft kiss. "Now come on. Let's go in, get Jason's movie filmed, and then we can get out of here."
"You saying things like 'we can get out of here' is not going to help my situation," Troy said teasingly, glancing down. He took a moment, breathing deeply and then readjusted himself until he was presentable.
Gabriella rolled her eyes and picked up her tote bag. The pair made their way across from the parking bay to the front door, Gabriella's right arm naturally curling around Troy's waist and his left arm draping across her shoulders. They'd been instructed that after being buzzed in they could come straight in, with the front door being left unlocked during the half hour when Jason's cast and crew would be arriving.
About half of the scenes were being shot that day, the other half designated for shooting the following day, on Saturday. It was only a 30 minute long short film, but Jason was nevertheless being very pedantic about the whole process. Gabriella was playing a small part in the film – she was the token first girl to be killed by the slasher demon. Luckily for Troy, he had managed to avoid actually having to act in it, since the cast predominantly featured the supernatural killer man and a bunch of helpless girls.
Ryan had volunteered his house for the first day of shooting, since it had several locations which worked well with the script – and the Cross house was overrun with relatives who were in town for Thanksgiving.
The small security room with the camera, PA and an access point to the gate buzzer was off from the entrance hall. Standing around just outside the room was Ryan, Taylor and Chad.
"That's not the point, Chad. I could have gotten into trouble for that!" Ryan exclaimed
"Oh please. Your parents aren't even here," Chad scoffed.
"Oh there they are!" Taylor said, spotting the arrival of the couple. "Hey guys, Happy Thanksgiving!"
Gabriella dropped her arm from Troy to step forward and exchange a hug with her best friend.
"Happy Thanksgiving to you too. How was your day yesterday?" Gabriella asked.
"I still feel full," Taylor said with a smile. "How about you, how was your day?"
"It was tiring," Gabriella said. "But nevertheless awesome. It was good to take a break from the SAT study for a day. I brought notes to go through when we're not filming stuff today."
Taylor nodded. "Me too."
"You two are disgusting," Chad jibed, looking back and forth from Troy to Gabriella. "Do you just like, go at it anywhere?"
"Shut the fuck up," Troy shot back.
"I thought your cousin was coming along with you today?" Ryan asked Gabriella.
"He wasn't ready so we left without him. My mom might bring him around later on," Gabriella said, rolling her eyes. "I hope not."
"Oh good, you're here!" Jason exclaimed, rushing into the room. "I thought I heard your voice! Now everyone is here."
"Yeah sorry we got held up," Troy said apologetically.
Chad snorted. Jason had been so busy running around in the backyard that he hadn't heard the PA announcement out the front of the house, and he'd also missed Ryan's subsequent intervention.
"That's fine. Okay, I guess I should get everyone together now."
"I'll just stay here and look after the gate then," Chad said, moving back towards the security room.
"Like hell you will. You heard Jason, everyone is here. I just didn't want to run back and forth from the buzzer," Ryan said.
"Where do you think I should talk to everyone?" Jason asked.
"How about outside on the deck?" Ryan suggested. "We'll go gather everyone, you go get ready."
Jason nodded and disappeared. Ryan headed into the kitchen to round up people, leaving Taylor, Troy, Chad and Gabriella in the foyer.
"Are you guys going to be forced to do stuff with your relatives tomorrow night?" Chad asked.
"I happen to enjoy seeing my relatives so I don't see it as being 'forced' to do stuff with them," Gabriella said in amusement. "But I'm not sure as yet. Why?"
"We were gonna do like a mini wrap party thing, maybe pizza and a movie," Taylor suggested. "Maybe out, or maybe just at Jason's."
"Spend two days filming a movie and then watch a movie? Sure," Troy said, smirking.
"Sounds fun," Gabriella said agreeably. "I'll check what is happening with my family and everything."
"What's the bet that Coach is going to extend training by at least a half hour every day this week to get ready for playoffs?" Chad asked Troy.
"Hmm, is the Pope a Catholic?"
"Last I heard."
"Great timing, putting your first Playoff the night before the SATs," Taylor remarked.
"Not much we can do," Troy said with a shrug. "One of the other games is even later than ours; they have an 8pm start time. But I think both of those schools did an earlier exam, I heard there's just one guy from those teams of them who is resitting it on Saturday."
"It's East High's fault, preparing us for the December exam. We should have taken it in November, or even earlier," Taylor said critically. "I was going to register for the November exam, but then I would have missed out on the prep days we had this week."
"Guys! Come on!" Ryan's agitated voice sounded from across the foyer.
"Shouldn't it be Jason yelling at us, isn't this his movie?" Chad pointed out, jibing Ryan.
"No one should have to be yelling at you. You agreed to help out, now be useful and come and help," Ryan urged, before disappearing once again.
Gabriella promptly linked arms with Taylor and the girls followed Ryan down the corridor. Gabriella was attempting to make it appear as though she just wanted to be diligent and rush to help. The truth was that she had a fairly urgent need to discuss something with Taylor.
"Taylor, do I look okay?" Gabriella said softly.
Taylor glanced over at her friend. "You look fine. Why? Thinking you might have sex hair?"
Gabriella glared at her witheringly. "We were only making out."
"Bet you wish it was more," Taylor said knowingly.
Gabriella couldn't deny the suggestion, and all she could do was blush. "I think it's gross that you guys were watching."
"That was our designated job, to sit in that room, look on the camera at the people arriving, and buzz them in," Taylor pointed out. "Is it our fault that there are three screens, one of which has a view into the parking bays, and that Troy reversed into the spot?"
Gabriella rolled her eyes. "Didn't mean Chad had to interrupt."
"Maybe it's good he did."
"Can you blame us? We had this incredible weekend and since then, a whole lot of kissing and that is all. And since I'm not walking around like I've been horseback riding and not feeling sore any more…"
"You really want to try it again?" Taylor filled in.
Gabriella nodded. "I've been talking about it too much, haven't I? Tell me to shut up if you want, I won't be offended."
"Not too much at all! I like feeling in the loop," Taylor confessed. "As long as you don't go into too much detail, talk about it all you want."
"You and Chad seem to be getting along really well again. Is there sparkage again?"
Taylor shrugged. "Umm… yes and no. It's rather complicated. If you can tear yourself away from your boyfriend for longer than five minutes sometime when we're not in a class or helping Jason film a movie, you and I so need to have some girl talk."
Gabriella nodded enthusiastically. "Definitely."
Meanwhile back in the foyer, Troy had moved to follow the girls in the direction of the cast and crew meeting on the deck – but Chad had grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back.
"So, did you guys have a morning quickie before coming today?" Chad asked in a low, teasing voice.
"Dude!" Troy hissed, glancing around to make sure that Gabriella and Taylor hadn't heard.
"Oh come on. You told me and the boys that you did it on the weekend."
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean we talk about it here! I don't want Gabriella to know that I told you!"
"Oh please, she knows that we know. It's high school man, everyone knows everything that goes on with everyone. I bet she's told the girls. And you're avoiding answering my question."
Troy sighed. "No we didn't. We haven't… since the weekend."
"Why not?" Chad asked. "Don't you want to? I thought you said it was…"
"Of course I fucking want to and yeah, it was. It more than was! But between both of us studying for SATs and doing other assignments, and basketball training and all of her meetings for student council stuff, and then family being here, it's been logistically difficult."
"Just go to the drive in and park in the back corner," Chad suggested helpfully.
"Have you, like, met Gabriella?" Troy said incredulously.
"Hey, you told me she got you to park in a random side street so she could satisfy your goodies once," Chad pointed out.
"Yeah that's not a frequently occurring thing. Besides, this is… it's different," Troy said.
"What, now that you're 'making love'," Chad said, making the term sound repugnant and indicating the quotation marks with his fingers.
"Why do you make that sound like that?" Troy pondered.
"Because you're being a complete girl about the whole thing. Being all secretive and not telling us details."
"I told you it happened! What do you want, a detailed blow by blow account?"
"There were blows involved were there?"
"Ha! I got a detail out! And seriously, what kind of a girlfriend is she, if there were no blows involved?"
"Shut up! I've been telling you all week I'm not going to elaborate about it!" Troy exclaimed.
"I'll get it out of you. I know I will," Chad said confidently.
"Come on, or Jason's going to snap his cap," Troy said, rolling his eyes and dragging Chad out to the deck.
Between Ryan and Kelsi they'd managed to gather all the helpers out onto the deck. After the stragglers – Chad and Troy – joined the group and slotted in, Jason glanced around, mentally willing everyone to be quiet so he could talk. Troy spotted Jason's look of desperation and took matters into his own hands; he put his index fingers into his mouth and let rip with a group silencing whistle. Jason grinned at Troy gratefully, who merely nodded in return. Everyone settled down; all eyes falling upon Jason.
Jason was normally very easy going. 'Follower' would perhaps be a term synonymous with a description of his personality. Standing in front of a group of his friends, his peers, with all eyes looking to him for direction – it wasn't exactly a place within his comfort zone. But that was exactly where he was. Somehow, he'd written a script. He'd organised to borrow the necessary equipment from school. He'd managed to convince twenty of his peers, his friends, people from his film course – to give up two days of their precious free time to help him. And here he was, finally the day had come, where he was about to embark upon making his first short film.
He cleared his throat. "Umm yeah so… thanks for coming to help today guys. Umm… so…"
And then Jason went somewhat blank.
"Do you want to go through the job descriptions and shooting schedule?" Kelsi suggested quietly, from her place standing beside Gabriella at the front of the group gathered.
Jason shot her a grateful smile. "Good idea, yes, I'll just run through the jobs I've outlined for the helper people… crew," he corrected himself, trying to sound more official. "And then I'll go through the shooting schedule. If you're in the cast then you'll already know when I've estimated your scene is being shot. So yeah, I'll go through all that."
"Scene 1, Take 1… aaaaannnnnnnnnndddddd Action!"
Stage Directions: Onelys, a gorgeous Hispanic beauty, is standing in her bathroom putting make up on. Her stereo is blasting and she is humming along to the song. In the mirror, we see a shadowy figure lurking outside through the window. She pulls out her hair dryer, the noise of the hair dryer drowns out the sound of the lurking figure which is approaching her from behind. We only see the shadow of the figure, we never see the figure itself. The camera focuses on the bathroom mirror. We see Onelys turn around to reach out for a towel from the towel rack, her image goes out of shot from the mirror. There is a close up of her look of horror and we hear a blood curling scream.
"EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!" Gabriella screeched.
Jason rolled his eyes. "And cut."
"Was my scream not very good?" Gabriella asked.
Jason coughed. "You kinda sounded like you saw a mouse or something."
"Scene 1, Take 4…. aaaaannnnnnnnnndddddd Action!"
We see Onelys turn around to reach out for a towel from the towel rack, her image goes out of shot from the mirror. There is a close up of her look of horror and we hear a blood curling scream.
"What this time?"
"That sounded like you were at the doctor and you were sticking out your tongue while he puts the stick on your mouth."
"Scene 1, Take 9…. aaaaannnnnnnnnndddddd Action!"
We see Onelys turn around to reach out for a towel from the towel rack, her image goes out of shot from the mirror. There is a close up of her look of horror and we hear a blood curling scream.
"And cut!" Jason practically snapped.
A collective group moan from everyone involved in the filming of the scene sounded. There was Chad – who was playing the shadow of the killer; Jason with the camera; Troy – who was standing in the hallway with the stereo and preparing the background music at the correct part of the song for Gabriella to hum along to; Joseph – a fellow film and television student, who was assisting.
"What now?" Gabriella exclaimed, feeling even more exasperated.
"You just sounded angry, not scared! Chad is about to kill you! Look! He's got a scary hook thing!" Jason exclaimed.
"Wouldn't you be angry if someone was going to kill you?" Gabriella asked.
"I would," Troy piped up, feeling slightly sorry for the position Gabriella was in.
"Look, Jason, I told you I wouldn't be good at doing this!" Gabriella exclaimed. "I'm just not a screaming type of person."
"I hear otherwise," Chad said under his breath, but loud enough for the people around to hear.
Troy's eyes widened and he glared at Chad.
"Excuse me?" Gabriella demanded, glaring at Chad for a moment before turning to glare at Troy.
"What the fuck, dude?!" Troy yelped. "I never said…"
"I'm kidding Gab relax," Chad said quickly.
"Guys?" Jason said impatiently.
"Sorry man," Troy said quickly.
Gabriella took a breath, her glare shifting away from Troy and softening back to look at Jason. "I don't think I'm going to be able to do this any better. Why don't you just get someone else who can scream to do it?"
"I don't have time for that! Then I have to reshoot all of this!" Jason sighed in exasperation. "Maybe I could just dub the scream. Get someone else to scream for me some other time. I think take 3's facial expression was spot on."
He fiddled with the camera, rewinding to check the footage.
"Maybe Onelys just faints?" Gabriella suggested. "And after she faints she is stabbed?"
"No! It's the rule of horror. A blood curling scream within the first couple of minutes."
Jason found the correct part of the footage and checked it over. "This is good. Without sound. I think I can dub it."
"Tell you what, if you can't dub it, I will come back and refilm this part whenever you like," Gabriella suggested. "There's no point in getting behind schedule on the first scene of the day."
Jason nodded. "Okay. That works. Right then! To the next scene."
Gabriella had remained behind in the bathroom, to change from her 'costume' (a dressing gown and slippers) back into her regular clothing. The next scene being filmed was one outside of the house, with Sharpay and one of the drama club volunteer actors, Katie. Gabriella bound downstairs to head out and see how she could make herself useful. Everything appeared under control. Gabriella spotted Kelsi standing back from the group, just observing what was going on. She went to stand beside her friend.
"It's really cool, isn't it?" Gabriella said softly between takes.
Kelsi nodded. "I've been hearing about this project in detail since last semester when Jase and I started talking regularly. I think we bonded over it because he was developing the script and he knew that I'd been working on my composition. We're similar in that we both had troubles with the actual script part. I just wanted to write and play my music. Jason just wanted to be at this place, making the movie, but I don't think he ever really believed that it could happen. But here we are… I mean it's not going to be a masterpiece, but it's a start. Everyone has to start somewhere."
"I love hearing you talk about him," Gabriella said, her mouth forming in a small smile.
Kelsi blushed. "I must sound stupid."
"No, not at all. You don't talk about him a lot. Which is fine, I know you're private about it, which is fair enough. It's just… nice to hear. I can just hear how much you like him without you saying it."
Kelsi blushed. "I do really like him. It's strange though, he's so different to anyone I would have ever thought that I'd be dating."
"You think I ever would have imagined in a thousand years I'd be dating someone like Troy?" Gabriella pointed out.
"And yet you guys are like, made for each other," Kelsi said.
"That's a bit drastic," Gabriella said, ducking her head slightly.
"No it's not, you know it's true. I mean, you guys are really serious now, aren't you? Like, really serious."
Gabriella paused, knowing precisely what Kelsi was referring to. Gabriella wasn't naïve, she hadn't anticipated that she and Troy could actually keep it a secret from their friends what they were doing with their personal lives. Especially not when they'd disappeared all night at the fall musical after party. But she had only officially told Taylor about it. Her eyes drifted over to where Troy was standing near the filming holding onto a couple of garbage can lids – providing a sound effect. Between takes he would stop to talk to the people around him, his eyes twinkling as he laughed. She glanced at Kelsi, flashing a small knowing smile.
"Yes, we are."
"This whole acting thing is really tiring," Chad complained, collapsing into a deck chair while Jason was setting up the next shot.
"You don't have any lines, it's just your shadow being filmed," Taylor pointed out in amusement.
"Don't forget my arm with the hook thing," Chad reminded her.
"Oh sorry. The hook thing also."
"It's really early in the morning, given that it's a day off school," Chad pouted.
"It's midday," Taylor said in amusement. "And we've only been filming for an hour."
"Well I'm hot. This trench coat is really warm. And this tail thing is weird and keeps getting in the way." Chad was at the point of just complaining for the sake of complaining.
"Would you like something to eat perhaps? I can bring you some of Zeke's cookies," Taylor suggested patiently.
"Could you also bring me a glass of milk?" Chad asked.
"What's the magic word?" Taylor teased.
"Umm… now?" Chad joked.
Taylor thwacked him on the arm. "No! Here I am trying to do a nice thing and all you can do is be a smart ass about it," she jibed, moving to turn away from him.
"Aww come on Tay, I was just kidding," Chad said, and reached out to grab onto her arm and pull her back. "Now how about those cookies?"
Taylor rolled her eyes. "I was heading into the kitchen anyway so I suppose I can grab you something too." Once again she turned to walk away.
"Hey Taylor?" Chad ventured, his tone softening.
She turned back. "Yeah?"
"Seriously? Thanks. I just felt like whinging for the sake of whinging. I think my brain is fried from all the studying and SAT prep I've been doing. So… thanks for listening."
Taylor smiled. "You're welcome."
Zeke couldn't help but reflect upon the irony that less than a year ago, he had been afraid of his friends discovering his penchant for baking. Now, they were practically using him for his skills 24/7. Jason had acquired the relevant ingredients from his mother's pantry and told Zeke that his job for the day was to provide snacks. It was enough that Ryan had provided the filming location; Jason didn't expect his cast and crew to be fed by the Evans' family. Consequently Zeke was darting about in the kitchen, retrieving batches of cookies from the oven and placing new trays in to take their place immediately. Jason had also gotten his mother to donate a few loaves of bread, some cheese slices and lunch meat; meaning that Zeke had lowered to the level of sandwich making.
He didn't mind really, it was actually interesting watching the filming take place – and he would be lying if he said that Sharpay's presence wasn't a bonus. He went out into the backyard to collect the now empty tray he'd taken out with snacks, and spotted Sharpay out by the pool. They were currently in the midst of filming a scene that didn't involve her; and she was lounging by the pool during her break time. She was primly lying back on a lawn chair wearing a pair of pink short shorts, with an umbrella blocking the sun from her face but allowing the rays to shine on her legs.
Zeke returned to the kitchen and decisively began to pile cookies onto a plate. He returned back to the backyard, following the path to the pool gate. He slipped into the area, not wanting to startle her but not wanting to disturb her either. He stood over her, consequently blocking the sun a little. Sharpay pushed her sunglasses down a little, glancing up at him.
"Yes?" she said primly.
Zeke held out the plate of cookies. "Just bringing you these," he said, and placed them onto the table beside her. "I was watching the scene you filmed with you and Katie in the car before. You were really great."
Sharpay smiled knowingly. "I thought so."
"Anyway, I'll leave you be. You know to… mentally prepare for the next scene or whatever it is you do."
"Zeke?" Sharpay said.
"Yes?" He said, almost a little too quickly.
Sharpay paused. "Normally when a person brings someone cookies, they also bring a glass of milk."
Zeke raised his eyebrows. "Normally when people are brought cookies they thank the provider and then politely request other items."
A cloud of confusion fell across Sharpay's face. "Huh? I just want milk, that's all."
"Please?" Zeke prompted cheekily, as though coddling a child.
"Please," she repeated condescendingly, rolling her eyes.
Meanwhile, standing back just feet away from where Zeke and Sharpay were conversing on the other side of the pool fence; Troy and Gabriella were standing back awaiting instruction from Jason, and overheard the exchange. Zeke was smiling to himself as he left the pool area.
Troy rolled his eyes at the scene, and pulled Gabriella out of Sharpay's ear shot to ask quietly, "Do you think Zeke is officially insane?"
"Oh I don't know, some would argue I'm insane for taking you on," Gabriella said cheekily.
Troy mocked being offended, and gasped. "That burns, babe."
She giggled slightly. "Poor Troy, have your feelings been hurt?"
"You might have been a little insane in the beginning, but now you can surely admit that it was totally worth it and you completely adore me," Troy said cockily.
Gabriella pretended to pause to contemplate, her index finger tapping at her chin thoughtfully. "Maybe you'll have to remind me of exactly why I adore you, because right now, those reasons are just so far away from me."
Troy glanced up, watching as Jason was setting up the next scene. Neither he nor Gabriella had presently been given a task to perform. He swiftly grabbed her by the hand and pulled her along, back inside of the oversized house. They almost stumbled into Zeke who was coming back out with Sharpay's glass of milk – which Gabriella observed he had put a little umbrella in.
"Where are we going?" Gabriella asked.
"Anywhere but out there."
"Because I have to remind you of why you adore me."
Troy pulled Gabriella into the downstairs bathroom and slammed the door shut behind them. Immediately he pressed her up against the back of the door, pressing his lips to hers in a soft, probing, languorous kiss.
Chad's third victim was Martha. Well, in the context of the film, anyway. And it wasn't really Chad – it was the shadow of Chad, being the never actually named, never actually seen supernatural serial killer. And it wasn't Martha, it was Jacinta. But the principle was that Martha was lying on the grass in the backyard, with a fake blood substance oozing from her abdomen.
"And cut," Jason called. "That was awesome! Your scream just then was dynamite!"
Martha opened her eyes. "Why thank you."
Ryan carefully handed her a towel and offered his hand to help her stand up. "That was really spot on. I mean Chad in a trench coat isn't that scary, so you did an awesome job to actually seem genuinely terrified."
Martha ducked her head graciously. "I've been practicing since Jason asked me to be in the project."
"Yo Ryan, your buzzer thing just went off, do you want me to get it?" Chad shouted from just inside the house.
"Yes, but leave the PA alone!" Ryan called back.
"Okay that's my daylight death done. Now we move to the upstairs footage. I still need a brother! I can't believe Xavier bailed on me," Jason complained.
"It's only the brother's voice through a door, isn't it?" Ryan enquired. "I know I already play another small part but I can do that. I can put on an accent and with the muffling, it won't be like me."
"I'd rather just use someone else. Hey Joseph?" Jason called out to where his fellow film class friend was fiddling with some props nearby.
"Sure you don't want a part?"
"Absolutely positive. I agreed to behind the scenes only."
Jason sighed. "Where is Troy?"
"Actually, that's a good question," Ryan said. "Gabriella and Troy both disappeared. I don't like that they think they can just use my house for their little trysts whenever they want."
"I can look for them."
Jason and Ryan's heads whipped up, hearing an unfamiliar voice. Chad had returned with a teenage boy by his side.
"Guys, this is Felix, Gab's cousin," Chad said. "Ms. Montez just dropped him off."
"Oh awesome, Gabriella said you might come by today to help out," Ryan said, welcoming the boy. "I'm Ryan. And this is Jason, the director/writer/producer."
"Here to help I am. I don't think Gabriella really cared for me to come along but I really wanted to and Auntie El seemed to think it was a good idea. So you are looking for Gabriella and Troy?"
Ryan and Chad exchanged glances. "Umm yeah but why don't you get Jason to set you up with something a bit more exciting to do?" Ryan suggested. "It is my house so I might as well go poke around looking for them."
"It's okay, I'll look for them. It's like hide and seek," Felix said with a naïve smile. "Gabriella and I used to play that when we were younger."
"Not sure if she wants to be found," Chad said under his breath.
Gabriella's back was pressed up against the back of the downstairs bathroom door, her lips fused to Troy's as their tongues danced playfully.
"Are you recalling just why you adore me?" Troy gasped, before pressing his lips to hers once again.
Gabriella broke away from him, responding throatily, "Maybe I'll take some more reminding."
He smirked, his casually caressing hands beginning to trace a path down Gabriella's thigh. He grasped onto the material and began to bunch the skirt up until he could easily slip his hand beneath to feel her silky smooth skin beneath his fingertips. Gabriella trembled slightly in anticipation, and moaned slightly into his kiss as she felt his fingers begin to deftly stroke at her through the cotton barrier.
"Feels to me like someone is very well aware that they more than adore me," Troy said throatily into her ear.
"Gabri-ell-a," Felix's sing song voice sounded just outside of the bathroom.
Gabriella froze, her hands clutched onto Troy's hips. He brought his index finger to his mouth, indicating they should just be quiet.
Unfortunately, Gabriella's cell phone began to ring from within the pocket of her jacket. It began to ring loudly. Someone knocked at the door to the bathroom.
"Gabriella, are you in there?" Felix called.
Gabriella's eyes widened, and she opened her mouth and then closed it again, unsure of exactly what to do.
"I will handle this," Troy murmured softly just by her ear.
He opened the door to the bathroom, a slightly confused Felix standing there.
"Felix," Troy greeted the boy with a nod; having been introduced to Gabriella's extended family on Wednesday when they'd first arrived.
"Hey Troy, what's up?" Felix said suspiciously. He glanced behind Troy where he could see Gabriella also standing there.
Troy closed his eyes, the obvious lewd – and true – answer being rather inappropriate. "Not much. Just uh… was helping your cousin to tidy the bathroom. There was a scene filmed in here earlier and it was a bit messy."
"Oh okay," Felix said, naively believing what he was being told. "Well, I think Jason wants your help with something, guys."
Gabriella forced a smile. "Okay. Thanks Felix."
The day continued to progress along, with the schedule running a little behind but nothing overly concerning. There was an hour break designated just after sunset – which in November in Albuquerque was just after 5pm. There was one scene designated to be filmed during sunset, then two scenes required to be shot at night. They were in the midst of filming the sunset scene. Sharpay went to look over the footage which had been shot already, peering over Jason's shoulder.
"This isn't right," she said bluntly.
"What do you mean, this isn't right?" Jason said, closing his eyes wearily. He began to rub his temples feeling the onset of a headache.
"Look at me. Look at my face," Sharpay said, gesturing to the screen. "Make up!" Sharpay's shrill voice rang out. "I need a touch up."
"Sharpay, your character is kinda… well… she's meant to be kinda ragged. You know, she's running from a serial killer here. I don't think that perfect make up is really necessary," Jason said awkwardly.
"I can be ragged. I would just like to be ragged but not washed out. MAKE UP!"
"Uh, there is no make up person," Jason said, looking confused.
"Well there should be because that is clearly why I am washing out on camera."
Ryan leapt to the rescue, overhearing the conversion. "Shar, what do you need? Just the kit from your bathroom?"
"Okay we're going to take a ten minute break while Sharpay… un-washes out," Jason called. "Ten minute break! Back in ten!"
Jason collapsed into the director's chair and began to scour over his notes. A petite figure kneeled down in front of him, her delicate hands resting on his knees.
"You're doing so, so well," Kelsi said earnestly.
Jason shrugged. "I don't know. It's going okay, it's getting done, but I don't know if the footage I'm getting is any good."
"You told me that you didn't care if this was the worst movie ever, that you just wanted to actually be able to say that you've made your first film," Kelsi reminded him.
"Yeah but, now that all these people are helping and stuff, I can't help but want it to turn out good."
"You need to have more faith in yourself," Kelsi said seriously.
Jason smiled. "Have I um… have I thanked you yet?"
"Thanked me for what? I'm hardly doing anything. You do know you can give me more to do right?" Kelsi added worriedly.
"You're doing all the music for me, so you don't need to be working today. Anyway, that's not why."
"I um… I don't think this would have happened if you hadn't encouraged me and stuff. So… thanks. For everything." Jason's eyes were avoiding meeting hers, feeling suddenly bashful about making such a comment. Kelsi however was smiling a broad smile. She impulsively stood up and bent over to quickly press her lips to his in a soft kiss.
Meanwhile, Gabriella, Zeke, Taylor and Troy were sitting around in the dining room, just randomly chatting.
"Can you believe SATs are next Saturday?" Zeke said incredulously. "Those two prep days this week scared the crap out of me. And I've been studying like crazy for weeks and weeks."
"You don't really need to stress a lot about them though, do you?" Troy asked. "The courses you're applying for aren't really based on mega grades."
"That's true but I like, break up the year in my brain with certain events symbolising where we are in the year," Zeke explained. "SATs mean we're in the middle of playoffs. After playoffs we have our senior class trip and the winter ball, then it's Christmas and New Years, then we come back and it's hopefully fingers crossed the championships and all of our college applications will be finished with. Then we've got mid terms and then I have this exhibition thing for hospitality class, and before you know it, graduation will be here."
"You kinda skipped a few months there, but I get what you mean," Taylor said. "One day the future seems so far away and slowly but surely, we keep hitting these events which were also really far away. Meaning that the future is just around the corner."
"Then just take it as it comes," Gabriella said quietly. "All that matters is this moment; right here, right now."
"But that's not all that matters, is it?" Troy said. "We can pretend that, but we can't stop the future from coming."
Troy and Gabriella exchanged a momentary glance before breaking eye contact purposefully, the foursome falling into a somewhat uncomfortable silence. Taylor was sneaking glances between the couple. Gabriella's cell phone began to vibrate in her pocket and she fished it out.
"It's my mom, excuse me," she said, and exited the room to answer in private – feeling somewhat grateful for the escape.
"Have you guys still not talked about your plans for college?" Taylor asked incredulously.
Troy didn't respond – his silence equating to agreement.
"Un-freaking believable. You can have sex but you can't have a simple conversation."
"Taylor!" Troy exclaimed, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"Oh please. I know you told the guys. And you know that she told me. Seriously Troy – you can't keep putting this off."
"She's right, dude," Zeke piped up.
Troy stood up abruptly. "I don't feel like talking about this."
"That's the problem Troy, neither of you want to talk about it, and that's fine. But that doesn't change that you need to talk about it," Taylor called bluntly.
Troy stalked after where Gabriella had disappeared on the phone, and stood behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. She relaxed into his embrace, even as she spoke with her mother.
Gabriella sighed. "I'm assuming you're going to claim this is a part of my extended punishment?"
She fell silent as her mother responded. Troy sensed that she was somewhat tense and pressed a soft kiss to her shoulder
"Okay," Gabriella said sullenly. "Bye."
"What was that about?" Troy asked, letting go of her to stand and face her.
"Mom and my aunt and uncle went to the Route 66 casino and are staying for dinner so I'm stuck entertaining Felix, possibly for the rest of the night until late," Gabriella said darkly.
Troy's eyes danced. "Are you telling me that your mom and aunt and uncle and the twins have left your house for a definitely large period of time?"
"Yes…" Gabriella said. "I just said that. There's a child minding place or something for the twins but they figured I could just keep Felix."
"Gabriella. Your house is empty. Your mom thinks you're here filming and entertaining your cousin."
She was staring at Troy blankly for a moment, taking a moment to understand the implication, and then rolling her eyes. "Yes but that's the problem. We're here filming and Felix is here."
"That can be worked around," Troy said, taking a step toward her. His arms snaked around her waist and pulled her in close to him, her body flush against his. "We're not really needed here. Felix is doing the work of like, four of us."
"What are you insinuating?" Gabriella enquired coyly.
"Well, Felix seems a bit naïve. All we have to do is say we're running an errand and get someone to make sure he's okay and doing stuff. He seems to be enjoying it."
"You're rather determined to orchestrate this, aren't you? You must be really horny," Gabriella said cheekily.
"I haven't wanked this often since I first started puberty and was getting random stiffies all the time," Troy said frankly.
"Troy!" Gabriella exclaimed. She felt her face become slighter warmer in embarrassed disbelief at the blatancy of his remark.
"Sorry. But it's true."
Gabriella giggled slightly. "I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or…"
"I'm telling you that I've desperately wanted you all week. I think you could take it as a compliment," Troy said. He leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to her lips, a soft kiss which was eagerly reciprocated and became a deep, probing kiss. "It worries me that I have to be talking you into this," he murmured, his lips lingering just shy of hers, his breath tickling against her mouth. "This morning I was being led to believe that you wanted a chance for privacy as much as me."
Gabriella's eyes hazed over slightly. "Well, I do want privacy. I just don't publicise it quite as much as you," she teased. "Okay, umm…. What errand needs to be run? It needs to actually be something for the movie in case Felix says something about it to my mom."
"I thought you said you told your mom about us?"
"I did, however she doesn't need to know about us running off in the middle of the afternoon to do it in her house."
"Okay true, fair enough." Troy paused for a moment. "You go grab our stuff. I will deal with this."
When Troy went back out, he found Zeke and Chad in the kitchen.
"Hey Zeke man umm… do you… do you think you're going to need more flour, or something like that tomorrow?" Troy asked.
"Yeah, but Jason was bringing it," Zeke said.
"What if me and Gabriella went and got it for you now?" Troy suggested.
Zeke looked puzzled. "But that's not necessary. Besides we are starting the filming his place tomorrow anyway, so I can just use whatever Mrs. Cross has."
Troy exhaled noisily. He was beyond bothering with being discrete. He glanced around and lowered his voice. "Gabriella's mom and her family have gone to the casino for dinner. Her mom just called to let Gabriella know and that she was to keep entertaining Felix. So, while her mom and her family are out and there is a big empty house, we're going to go and get you some flour. And if Felix asks, we're running an errand. Do you understand?"
Zeke and Chad exchanged an understanding smirk.
"Got it," Zeke said, nodding.
"Say Zeke, is it self raising flour that you need?" Chad asked lewdly, laughing at his own joke.
"Believe me, the flour has been on the verge of rising all fucking day. Hell, all fucking week," Troy responded.
Troy and Gabriella escaped, already a hot mess of desperately probing kisses before even reaching his truck. For at least one more day, they were content to allow the moment to take precedence. Content to stay wrapped in the present and push aside contemplations of the future.
The future is inevitable. Tomorrow would come.
This moment couldn't last forever.
AN - The author would appreciate your feedback as she wants to know who is still on board for this series. The review button is your friend. -Dani xo