Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I in any way associated with, HSM.

Timeframe: during HSM3, after Gabriella leaves, eighty minutes into the film for those of you who want to go look at the scene (and yes, I am obsessive enough to have checked that)

Take Five

"Dude!" Jason snapped. "Will you knock it off?"

Zeke looked up sharply. The two of them were supposed to be moving part of the set into the wings but Zeke's attention had been elsewhere.

Jason rolled his eyes and hissed, "You need to stop watching them and start paying attention to the work."

Zeke winced but hid it by looking up at the façade's supports and reaching out to take hold of his side. "I can't help it," he said. "It's just like last summer when --" He noticed the loose nail just as it gave way. His feet started moving to the front of the stage and he yelled, "Heads up, heads up!"

He didn't realize he'd been running for Sharpay until he saw her jump into Troy's arms. By then the façade had hit the ground and he and Jason exchanged a "that could have gone worse" look.

"All right, everyone," Darbus said long-sufferingly, "let's just take five. All right? Take five. You two," she said to Zeke and Jason. "House. Up."

She walked away, presumably in search of some aspirin, and Zeke hurried over to Sharpay.

"Are you all right?" he asked, putting a hand to her back.

She turned slightly, into his arm, and he pulled away. "Fine," she said shortly, eying the fallen scenery. "What happened?"

"Someone's really bad with a hammer."

"Probably Troy's freakish understudy," she offered.


He glanced over her shoulder and saw Ms. Darbus coming back.

"I'm glad you're okay," he said.

She smiled teasingly. "Yeah, it's a little late to find a new date for Prom."

"No," he said quickly. "I'm glad because I want you to be okay. Always." He looked around quickly, to make sure no one was looking their way, and, before he could think better of it, kissed her quickly.

Sharpay froze as he hurried away. A small smile graced her face as she joined Troy. For the rest of the day the others marveled that she was actually bearable.

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