A/N: This story is mainly for our humor. We can imagine how people would react if thrown together in an awkward situation. Nothing in this is meant to offend, but if we do, we're sorry.
Disclaimer: We own neither the television show Bones nor the High School Musical trilogy.
Chad dribbled his basketball a little onstage as he crossed over to where Taylor stood, tapping her foot. He spun, caught the ball behind his back, then popped it over his head for a mock grand finish. He held the ball over his head, threw his head back, and struck a dramatic pose.
"Quit playin' and get over here," Tay said, not amused in the slightest. She pointed to the largest metal trunk. "We need your manly muscles to move that one."
"No problemo," Chad said, tossing her the basketball. Taylor caught it with a flinch, then let it roll out of her hands. He jogged over to the trunk and began sliding it towards center stage. "Man, what's in here? It's really heavy, and it smells like an entire basketball team worth of lucky socks is in here."
"Your manly muscles aren't enough?" she teased. "Troy! Get over here and help your poor little teammate. He can't move these props."
"Hey! I'm doing just fine on my own," Chad said through grunts as he struggled with the box. Troy jogged over from where he had been setting the stage with Gabriella. Gabriella drifted over to stand by Taylor and sniffed the air.
"What smells?" Gabriella asked, wrinkling her nose.
"I don't know, but it didn't start smelling until the basketball guys got here."
Gabriella paused, then said, "I think it smells like paint thinner, maybe acetone, but something smells rotten."
"Something's rotten in the state of Denmark?" Troy joked, pulling the container as Chad pushed. Together, they slid the box to center stage, then sat on it, acting totally exhausted.
"Good morning, duckies!" Ms. Darbus sang as she entered the theatre with a stooped man holding a clipboard. She was wearing a flowing green dress, with glasses with green rims to match. Though she tried to bustle like usual, she looked tired and preoccupied. "Who is here on this glorious morning in our nation's capital?"
"Good morning, Ms. Darbus," Taylor began, "We are here, of course, and I think Ryan and Kelsi are in the sound booth, and I saw Zeke come in earlier, but I haven't seen him since. Everyone else is scheduled to arrive in DC sometime tonight on the East High buses."
"This thing really stinks," Chad commented softly. Troy nodded and stood up, moving to the edge of the stage and letting his feet hang down as he sat. Chad sat next to him, the girls joining them soon after.
Ms. Darbus continued organizing, "All right, my children, practice makes perfect, and I want our last little show together to be perfect…" she paused to wipe a tear from her eye with a flowerdy handkerchief, then announced, "So why don't we practice some of the main numbers while we set up. I'll be talking to Louis about the arrangement here at the theatre."
"It's just Lou, ma'm," the man with the clipboard interjected.
"Of course, Louis," she said, sweeping away, poor Lou following behind dejectedly.
"I suppose we need Ryan and Kelsi to begin," Gabriella said. No one moved for several moments as they kicked their heels against the stage.
"We've done this so many times, I think we have it down by now," Troy complained. Everyone murmured their agreement and watched Ryan and Kelsi flirt in the sound booth across the auditorium from them.
"I like touring, but it just makes me so tired," Taylor whined, "I mean, we were just in New York three weeks ago, and in Orlando the week before that, and before that…"
"Yeah, and I'm starting college soon and I haven't prepared for my classes. I still need to get some books!" Gabriella said, sitting up a little straighter in distress.
"Just order online. That's what I did," Troy said, tugging on the ends of her hair. She gave him a sweet smile, then turned as Chad started speaking.
"I thought New York was weird. Did anyone else think it was weird?" he said, scratching his head.
"I agree. It should have been a rush, you know? Instead it turned out to be very awkward. I'm glad DC's our last stop before we're home for good." They all agreed and sat on the stage, shoulders slumped.
"I don't hear any singing!" Ms. Darbus said in a sing-song cadence from the side of the stage. The four sighed and stood up. Chad grinned at the group, then shouted at the sound booth.
"Yo, lovebirds, we need you down here, pronto!"
Ryan and Kelsi broke apart guiltily, then made their way to the stage, Ryan hopping onto the stage to direct choreography and Kelsi making her way to the piano in the orchestra pit. She began warming up, playing a few random pieces before segueing into High School Musical. They began singing halfheartedly as Ryan tried to get them into a semblance of their positions for the finale piece. They sang,
"High School Musical
Who says we aren't cool enough
We smile even when it's rough
We live on our laughter."
As they sang, Chad ran after his basketball that had been kicked to the middle of the stage and stopped against the box full of props. He picked up the ball and promptly jumped away from it, holding it at arms length as some liquid dripped off the ball onto the floor.
"Oh, gross, guys! What is the stuff? This is nasty. I think your prop box is leaking," he shouted. Kelsi stopped playing and everyone else stopped singing and turned towards Chad. "What's in here?" he asked in dismay.
"There's nothing in there that should leak," Ryan said, "We packed all the paints and solvents in the red containers. Those should just be props."
"I'll open it. Check it out," Troy said. He and Chad crept closer, avoiding the wet puddles on the floor that were really letting off a putrid smell, and finally getting to the clasps that kept the lid closed. There was no lock, so they flipped the catches and threw open the box. Immediately they stepped back, overwhelmed by the smell.
"What is it?" Troy asked, coughing as he covered his nose with his sleeve. Chad pulled his jersey up to his nose, squinching his eyes as they started watering. Chad chose to be the brave one, looking into the prop box. All he saw was plastic sheeting and drop cloths. He pulled at a corner of the plastic that was sticking up, jerking it out of the box. He jumped back with a scream as a hand that looked half eaten away fell out of the box. A hand that was attached to an arm, attached to a body inside the trunk.
A/N: Reviews bolster our courage. We would love to hear what you think. The characters from Bones arrive in the next chapter.