What We Keep Hidden

A High School Musical Fanfiction

by GimmeABeat

Okay, this is the story idea that won the vote. It's got a brand new title and everything. I'd love to credit the person who suggested it, but she's shy and didn't sign-in with her review. So I'll just have to issue an anonymous thank you very much. This title is prefect and really fits in with what the story is about.

Oh and even if you've already read it, please read again (I've added a little) and leave a lovely little review --- they're like oxygen to me.

Disclaimer:The Mouse owns High School Musical and the characters within. I'm just borrowing them for awhile. I promise I'll put them back when I'm finished.

Summary: Troy and Sharpay were close before Gabriella showed up ... very, very close. Actually, there was another story with this same plot, but I can't remember the author or the name and she stopped updating over a year ago. You'll understand when you get to the end of this chapter, but I don't want to give it away yet. If anyone remembers that story, I would really like to get her permission to do my own version since she did it first.

Pairing: TroyPay, of course.

Time frame: Starts the first day back after Winter Vacation in the 1st movie and proceeds from there with lots of flashbacks.

Chapter 1: First Day Back

It's the first day back from Winter Break and Sharpay and Ryan Evans strutted down the hall while she checked her text messages.

"Everything okay?", Ryan asked his twin.

"I don't know. I can't get a signal inside the building. I'll try outside. I was a little worried this morning. He was a little cranky and I thought he felt warm, so I want to check with the center."

Ryan nodded quickly, but before he could reply, he split away from her when they came to a large group of students. Sharpay, however, never yielded to anyone. Instead, she raised up her arms and her fellow students parted before her like Moses at the Red Sea.

One of the affected groups was part of the basketball team walking together to class. Zeke Baylor was momentarily pulled away from his friends, but they quickly came back together and he came a mock shiver as if a chill had just ran down his spine.

"Ooooo, the ice princess has returned from the North Pole", Zeke said to his friends, particularly proud of himself at his witty remark.

Chad, who was walking next to his best friend, Troy, added to the insults. "You know she probably spent the holidays doin' what she always does..."

"What's that?", asked Jason, the fourth basketball player in the group, and the prefect straight man due to his marginal intelligence.

"...shopping for mirrors." Chad finished.

The four teens cackled wildly at Chad's joke and continued down the hall, but Troy trailed behind the others. Finally, he stopped to look back at the small blonde who was now through the front glass doors and outside the building. His brow wrinkled in reflection. It wasn't always like this, but he was afraid things could never go back to how they had been.

:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:

Fifteen minutes later, Troy was engrossed in an intense conversation with Jason, of all people, when a girl brushed by him to take her seat in the back of Ms. Darbus' homeroom. He thought he recognized her and was trying to get a better look when Sharpay leaned in close to him, blocking his line-of-sight.

She smiled sweetly for all the world to see, but her tone was anything but sweet. "Hi, Troy. I need to talk to you", she hissed lowly.

"Uh? Oh hi, Sharpay", he mumbled distractedly while trying to get a look at the new girl who was sitting down on the back row. She couldn't really be who he thought she was, could she?

"I hope you all had splendid holidays", Ms. Darbus roared from her upholstered chair on the small stage at the front of the room as everyone scurried to their assigned seats. "Check the sign-up sheets in the lobby for new activities ... Mr. Bolton", addressing Troy directly since he was still standing stupidly in the middle of the room. "... especially our Winter Musicale. We will have singles auditions for our supporting roles and pairs auditions for our two leads." Chad made a rude gesture with regards to the drama announcement and Darbus marched up to his desk. "Mr. Danforth, this is a place of learning and not a hockey arena." Chad stilled the basketball on his desk; Ms. Darbus, obviously, wasn't a sports fan. Referring back to her paper, she continued with the announcements. "There is also a final sign-up for next week's scholastic decathlon competition..."

Darbus had moved to the back of the classroom and Troy took this opportunity to pull out his phone to double check his address book. She couldn't possibly be the same girl. He accidentally hit the wrong button on his phone which caused half the class to pull out their own phones.

"Ah, the cell phone menace has returned to our crucible of learning." Darbus retrieved a brightly colored paint can and walked through the rows collecting phones. "Sharpay and Ryan, cell phones and I will see you in detention."

Sharpay dropped her bejeweled pink Sidekick into the pail, but protested the detention. "Ms. Darbus, I can't possibly serve detention today. I have...", she dropped her voice to keep from being overheard, "obligations."

"We have zero tolerance for cell phones in class. I believe you know that, Miss Evans." She stopped in front of the new student whom Troy was trying to see. "Welcome to East High, Miss Montez." Gabriella reluctantly dropped in her phone with the others.

"Mr. Bolton, I see your phone is involved." She swept over to Troy and he dropped his phone into the bucket with raised eyebrows. "...so we will see you in detention as well."

"B-but, but, that's not even a possibility, Ms. Darbus, your honor", Chad protested. "You see, because we have basketball practice and Troy is ..."

"Ah, that will be 15 minutes for you, too, Mr. Danforth. Count 'em."

Taylor smarted off to the students sitting near her about Chad's inability to count to 15 and Ms. Danforth snapped out at her. "Taylor McKessie, 15 minutes. Shall the carnage continue?" The paint can hit Troy's desk with a loud bang. "Holidays are over, people, way over! Soooo, anymore comments? Questions?

A tall dark haired young man in the back row raised his hand.

"Jason?", Darbus acknowledged him.

"H-how were your holidays, Ms. Darbus?"

The entire class groaned in unison just as the bell rang.

:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:

Troy waited for Gabriella as she came out of the classroom and they quickly became reacquainted. He started taking her on a short tour of the school and soon, they arrived at the drama club sign-up board.

"And now that you've met Ms. Darbus, you'll probably want to sign up for that."

He pointed to the sign which read, "Audition for the School Musical! Sign up Here!"

Gabriella guffawed, "I'm not going to be signing up for anything for a while. I just want to get to know the school; but if you want to sign up, I'd consider going to the show."

"Yeah, yeah... that's completely impossible."

"What's impossible, Troy? I wouldn't even think impossible was in your vocabulary", Sharpay said as she came slinking around the drama club kiosk. She looked Gabriella up and down quickly, but addressed Troy, "So nice of you to show our new classmate around." Gabriella gave Troy an unreadable look while Sharpay wrote her name in bold script using her signature bright pink ink pen. Then, she turned around, seemingly in surprise, and looked at the quiet pair. "Oh! Were you guys going to sign up too?" She was addressing Gabriella directly now since Troy was well-aware of her history. "My brother and I have starred in all the school's productions and we really welcome newcomers. There are always lots of supporting roles in the show." Her voice was dripping in condescension. "I'm sure we could find something for you."

"Oh no, no", Gabriella begged off. "I was just looking at all the bulletin boards ... just to see what was going on in the school." She looked curiously at the board and turned back to Sharpay and commented as she was walking away, "Nice penmanship."

Left standing alone with Sharpay, Troy hugged his arm to his side and looked awkwardly at the floor. He started to walk away, but Sharpay stepped closer to him.

"So, Troy. I missed you during vacation. What did you do?" Her tone was friendly, but serious.

"Oh, you know ... played basketball ... snow boarding ... more basketball. Dad surprised us with an after-Christmas ski trip."

"Ski trip." Her friendly attitude and tone changed instantly and she pushed him over to a side wall to move them out of the middle of the hall. "That must be why you weren't home for New Year's Eve."

"Well, noooo. I already said we were skiing."

"That's nice. Except...", she bit out through clenched teeth. "you promised to take Brandon on New Year's Eve. He was looking forward to it, Troy."

He ran his hand through his hair nervously. "Oh, shit. I-I'm sorry, Sharpay. I forgot all about it. Dad came up with this trip on Christmas morning and we just packed up and left. I'm really sorry."

"Look, Troy." She propped her hands on her hips as she continued to chastise him. "You're the one who said you wanted a place in his life, so you can't just disappear when he's expecting you. He was in tears when you weren't there. Remember, Troy ... Brandon's your son too." Whether through anger or some other emotion, Sharpay's voice started to choke up.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. He thought he could almost see her ice princess mask slide seamlessly into place. Putting on her very best fake smile, she stepped away from him, waggled her fingers in the air and said brightly, "Toodles", before flouncing off down the hallway.

Troy stood alone in the crowded hallway with a bewildered look on his face. "Damn."

TBC