A/N: Okay, so this is my first Gabpay EVER! This isn't one of my usual pairings, but I've been reading a lot about them lately, and I just... I just think the pieces fit.
Of course, if you don't like this pairing (because its a femslash or if you think its wrong) I invite you to click the back button on your browser right now, no one is going to make you read this. So please don't flame, this is a free site, and I'm free to choose to write about this pairing. If you have a problem with this... make a forum or something. Don't bring it here.
A special thank you to Live2rite in advance... she doesn't really like this pairing (she definitely prefers Liley) but she's stuck with me when I've been writing this, and was nice enough to read over it for me, and give me a few pointers.
I know not a lot happens in this chapter but please, bear with me. It will get better. :)
Oh and this is Sharpay's point of view
My hand's always sweat when I'm nervous. It's usually one of the only outer signs that someone's gotten to me. And right now, I'm nervous. A Doctor sits in front of me, making thoughtful sounds as he looks over my medical files. Surely the diagnosis is already written down somewhere. It can't possibly be that difficult to tell me what's wrong.
I want to scream, but that would be pretty pointless. And painful. My throats been in agony for almost two weeks, and my voice barely exists. I tried resting it for a while, but nothing seems to be working. This is where my love of musicals gets me? A sore throat and a croaky voice? Wow, what further motivation do I need for the next one?
"I'm afraid this is an issue we can only fix with minor surgery."
It doesn't register that the Doctor said 'minor', or even that he sounded apologetic. The word 'surgery' makes my heart race. I wipe my palms against my jeans, biting my lip. "It would be very safe- of course there's risks to all surgery," He continued. "But this would be a keyhole operation, and simple get in, get out job."
I think he's trying to make me feel better somehow, he's offering me some kind of pathetic half smile. Needless to say I'm not very impressed. My mother doesn't seem to be either.
"Surgery?" Wow, she sounds shocked. Concerned even."Will it scar?" Oh, right. Of course, that was the most important issue on my mind too. Glad you asked that mom, phew!
"Unlikely, but if it does it will be barely a centimetre long. Very small, very discreet."
And now that that's all cleared up...
"And this will fix her voice? She'll be able to perform in this end of term musical. It's in five weeks..."
"Probably not this term, but if all goes to plan then next years, maybe next terms, I'm quite sure of it." He turns to me, finally addressing me directly. "But after the surgery you won't be able to talk for four weeks, and even in an emergency I want it to be no more than a whisper. And when I mean emergency I do mean emergency. The vocal cords will be very tender and extremely susceptible to damage for the first month after-"
"And if she doesn't?" My mother asks, possibly the first sensible question yet.
"Then she'll probably never talk, let alone sing, again."
I'm used to all eyes turned to me as I walk down this hall way, but I've never hated it before. I've never wanted them to all look away, turn back to their friends and their lockers, to pretend I'm not there. But now I do. Their eyes burn, and I can feel them even when I look at the floor. Some of the looks are pitying, like they don't know how I'm going to cope a month (well, it's down to three weeks now) without talking (something I've been wondering myself actually). Other's are... less pitying. More gloating. Like 'finally, the bitch can't talk any more'.
I don't want either of these stares. Pity is for losers and I refuse to let this hold me back. And the gloating... maybe on some level I deserve that. But it's a level I'd rather not get familiar with yet.
I almost throw open my locker, and the door crashes noisily into the one next to it. Now I know everyone's staring. I really wish I could vocalize all of my inner anger, but... I can't. So I just throw all of my heavy books into my locker, as hard as I can manage. I notice the cover come off of my biology book, but can't be bothered to care. I haven't got that till fifth period anyway.
I close my eyes as I place my books for next period in my bag, zipping it up as slowly as I can manage. I really don't want to do this. People will be shooting rumours at me, and I can't imagine they'll be helped by the ugly looking wound upon my neck. I sigh as I stare at the mirror on the inside of my locker, finally subjecting myself to wearing my mother's 'out of hospital' gift, after I spent all of last week in there, waiting for some of the swelling to go down. A pink, shimmery scarf. I loop it around my neck, giving myself one last glance in the mirror before slamming my locker shut.
Only three weeks left of this crap. Three weeks of no talking. But can I even manage that? I guess I haven't got a choice... I'll have to.
Wow. Have you guys really got nothing better to look at? It's English. You're meant to be reading the texts in front of you, occasionally writing notes at interesting points in the poem. It's what I'm trying to do... but this is so distracting. I try not to look up, knowing all I'll see is a few people staring at me over their shoulders, but I feel their eyes on me, looking at my neck, my heavily exposed neck...
I touch the scarf there delicately, not wanting to damage the stitches- the last thing I need is an open neck wound in the middle of school- and feel my body relax a bit, relieved that the scarf is still there. I try and focus on my work, but to no avail. I look up to see who's staring at me now. Troy. Troy Bolton. Man, he's the last person I want to see me this way. Especially after the way I embarrassed myself trying to attract his attention last year.
"Troy!" I hear a whispered voice scold, and my eyes swivel left, and I see Gabriella giving him a stern look. Sorry, I meant the second to last person I wanted to see me this way...
Oh, this is too much. Too precious. Gabriella Montez protecting me? I almost let myself slip into a smile when she smacks his arm, having not looked away after her scolding.
I don't want her pity, or her protection. The only person looking out for me is me. And I plan to keep it that way.
Music. I always sing in music. Mrs Riley always works her way around the class, and you have to present whatever you've been working on over the last few days. I'd been so distracted that I hadn't thought to prepare anything... and I'd never done anything but sing in this class. In fact I'm not sure Mrs Riley knew I could do anything but sing...
I sigh, sitting in my assigned seat, noticing but not acknowledging that Gabriella has sat next to me, as per usual.
"Hey!" Her voice sounds smiley, like she's showing off all of her teeth, but I don't turn to check. I stare ahead of me, silent. "So, what are you doing today?" I finally turn to frown at her, a look of confusion on my face that translates to 'Why are you even talking to me?'. She smiles back, shrugging. "I know you usually sing, but can you play any instruments?"
I don't answer. I can't verbally, but I don't try and mime it out or draw her a picture. After a while I feel a little bad for ignoring her, but it's not until everybody's settled that I start pretending to play the piano underneath my desk.
I can tell she's smiling out of the corner of my eye.
"Now then class, who would like to start?" Mrs Riley usually wouldn't even ask. Usually she'd pick me and that would be the start of the lesson. I frown. Why is everybody treating me so differently?
Gabriella puts her hand up. I should have known she would use this as an opportunity to suck up...
"I think Sharpay wants to go first."
I turn to her, surprised to say the least. She gives me an encouraging look as Mrs Riley dawns upon us, looking sympathetic, her eyes as patronising as her voice.
"Miss Montez, I don't know if you've heard but Miss Evans is...she can't sing today."
Gabriella looks angry, and I'm scared she's about to try and argue my case for me so I place my hand on her knee. I don't want to create a fuss today, it's bad enough just being back in school.
When it's her turn she refuses to do anything but stare at her desk, not even flinching when Mrs Riley starts shouting at her to go to the Principal's office.
Gabriella Montez... in the Principal's office. I've never heard anything of the sort. She's always such a goody two shoes.
At lunch I sit with Ryan, who's sitting with Kelsi. Kelsi isn't someone I would usually talk to anyway unless we're doing a production, so it's not too different when I don't greet her. I offer a smile and a small wave to Ryan, and he pats the seat next to him, kissing my forehead as I sit down.
Kelsi makes small talk, and every now and then I nod or smile, usually off of Ryan's 'please try and be nice' look. I think he likes this Kelsi girl. Or at least wants to be really good friends with her. Beats me. I always thought he was gay. And Kelsi I get this... kind of strange vibe from.
"So, did you guys hear about Gabbi being sent to the Principal's office?" Kelsi pipes up, and I bite my lip. Of course I heard, I was there.
"Oh my God!" Ryan exclaims. "What for?"
"For refusing to show her assignment in Music Class."
"That's really not like Gabriella. Wow."
I push my mashed potatoes around my plate, a small smile creeping onto my face. It disappears as the seemingly mushy food catches on my slightly swollen throat.
"Are you okay?" I look up, meeting dark eyes, and I realise I'm staring for a moment before I realise who it is.
I nod, my face contorted in quite a bit of pain as I force more mash potatoes down my throat. Gabriella frowns, sitting down next to Kelsi.
"Gabbi, hey. How was the Principal's office?" Kelsi asks.
"Oh, tonnes of fun." Her voice drips with sarcasm. "I have to work on a private assessment to perform at the school talent show."
"Oh, when's that?"
"Three weeks. It's set up to be a week before the end of term musical."
"At least you've got some time."
Gabriella just nods, looking at her lunch tray in disgust before walking off. The rest of us look around confused as the bell rings, and Kelsi and Ryan stand up, heading out of the cafeteria. I bide my time, not wanting to be there before the teacher. Way too much hassle.
Someone reaches over my shoulder, placing a cup on the table in front of me. I turn around, and see Gabriella heading off to class, no one else. I pick up the cup and smile, picking up an ice cube and sucking on it gently. She looks back, winking and signalling for me to hurry up. I know she's in my Biology class next.
To be honest I'm a bit confused. No one's been this nice to me in a long time. I pick up the cup of ice and my bag and head towards my next lesson.
I take my usual seat next to Ryan, who's deep in discussion with Gabriella when I walked in. They move apart, sitting in their separate seats as I sit down. I frown at theirs speediness to move apart, but a reassuring smile from Gabriella makes me feel comforted that maybe it wasn't something I did. I sigh, holding my head in my hands, wondering what is going on with me today. This isn't the normal Sharpay... this isn't me. Is it?
It's hard to tell, but I find it so hard to keep my thoughts as... focused as they usually are without being able to answer back to people with some form of comment, without being able to shoo people away with a simple slip of the tongue. Running a hand through my hair I pop another piece of ice into my mouth. The cold water slides down my throat, instantly cooling the agonising pain residing there.
"...if you could all find a pair for your project then..." My head shoots up. Pair? Project? What project? How long was I zoned out for? I turn to Ryan, but he's disappeared, and in his place is Gabriella.
"Wanna be partners?"
I look around, I don't think I have much choice. Ryan seems paired with Troy, Kelsi with Taylor... but at least I know Gabriella's smart. She might not be a bad partner at all. I roll my eyes, submitting myself, and she bursts like an overflowing dam, ideas for the project coming in all directons and in all shapes and sizes. I can't help but tune this out, staring straight ahead of me at the cup of ice on my desk.
This is gonna be a long three weeks.