Summary: Troy and Gabriella knew each other in high school however Troy was a jerk and a bully for reasons of his own and they never hit it off as friends let alone get involved romantically. Now ten years down the line a tragic situation not only brings them back together but brings a certain number of skeletons from the closet making certain things clear. Will sparks fly this time around?

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters just borrowing them for my own amusement. If they had something to say about it I am sure that Troy would not be happy with me for putting him though hell once again.

Warning: This story is rated 'T' and will have situations that would have abuse of a minor and minor cursing. You have been warned!

Chapter 1: Gabriella

It was Gabriella's first day at her fourth school since she started high school. Her mother never stayed in the same location more than six months and they had to move because of her job. Her mother at least promised that she had asked her company not to transfer her until her daughter's graduation and Gabriella was hoping that would be the case.

She never had time to make friends, get asked to dances and stuff because she was never in one place long enough.

She was starting East High, a public school that had surprising good results in the academic department. They of course excelled in the athletics department and Gabriella could see this from all the red and white colours the school was draped in and the posters of the basketball team that was around. She could tell from the first look that this school was into basketball more so then football.

She found her homeroom and she was determined to keep her head down for the time being as she didn't know who was who. Most importantly she didn't know who she should ignore. In her previous schools the student body never had good things to say about those that were good at academia and she didn't think this school would be any different.

During the second period change she was trying to find her way in the big coward that was busily moving about trying to get to her next class when she collided with an unmovable object and she fell back with everything in her hands scatting about. Great just what she need!

"WHAT THE F--K!" came the angry response from above her and she saw and heard the quiet fall on the student population that were around them as they turned to watch was happening.

She looked up from her position on the floor to look into the most beautiful cobalt eyes she had ever seen. They however seem to be made of pure anger and frustration and as he looked down at his t-shirt it was covered in something wet. 'Oh my god!' thought Gabriella, he must have had a bottle of juice in his hands and she had crashed into him.

"I am sorry," she squeaked "I didn't see you, it was an accident."

"Sorry? Accident?" his voice seemed to get lower as he got angrier. She hastily got to her feet wanting to be at least on the same eye level with him.

"You need to look up when you walk! That way you can watch where you are going and you won't idiotically kill someone!" he snarled at her. She would have loved to stand up for herself however she was not the type. She looked down at her feet and mumbled another apology. She then continued to stand there as the guy proceeded to rip her self esteem to bits by piling on a truck load of insults.

From the reaction of the crowd she guessed that this was the resident bully as no one tried to intervene and while no one laughed at her predicament, except a few cheerleaders who were overcome with mirth, no one seemed too distressed about it. She had met a ton of bullies in her previous schools, every school had them, she even ran into a few in her previous schools but she had never been the target of one so viscously.

She was saved by the arrival of some sort of sports team. If she had to venture a guess she would have to say it was the basketball team because the guy with an afro hair do was supporting a basketball under one arm. It looked like her tormentor was one of them as they referred to him as 'captain'. Great not only was he a bully he was also a jock! They however distracted the pissed of jock enough for her to make an escape.

When she thought about it that night, while getting ready for bed, she wasn't sure but she could have sworn that one of the players had gotten right in front of her breaking her view of the bully on purpose.

Perhaps East High was not such a bad place, if the jocks were willing to protect a one body like her from one of their own nevertheless.

XXXXXXXXX

The next day in math class Gabriella had noticed that she was slightly behind the curriculum for this school. She frowned, it wasn't like she didn't know the stuff but she liked being on top of things and catch up had never been one of her favourite things to do. What the teacher was talking about suddenly got her attention.

"Now class for this particular project you are going to be working with partners and I will free some of your classes so you can meet up with your partners to work on the project."

Work with partners? But she had just started yesterday, she didn't know anyone, how was she going to find herself a partner to work with?

"And before any of you get any ideas about partnering up I will partner you up after the fiasco of last times pairings." With that he started calling people's names and who they would be working with. There were groans and various forms of "but Mr. Jones…." along with an occasional "YES!"

"Miss Montez," called the teacher and when she looked up he gave her a slight smile and continued, "You will be working with Mr. Bolton," he indicated to the back of the classroom. Gabriella turned around to see her partner and saw the guy she had run into in the corridors yesterday. He wasn't even looking up, he was wearing a sweat shirt with a hood and his hood was pulled low and he was staring at his notebook like he didn't want to be there.

Gabriella inwardly groaned she was partnered with a jock of all people. He probably thought he was too good to be in class and had better things to do then sit though a class. She would probably have to do all the work while he went off to play with his friends.

"You can use the seventh period math class today to meet up with your partners to discuss the work load. You are welcome to use this classroom as well as any other part of the school."

At that moment the bell for the class rang and everybody started to shuffle out of the class. Gabriella made her way to her locker and started to get her books out for her next class. When she turned around she almost ran into someone they were standing so close.

She fell back against the lockers with a surprised "Oh…"

When she looked up she could see under the hood and she saw blue eyes that flashed. The boy took a step closer to her and whispered "You are to meet me in the library for the seventh period," and with that he turned around and walked off.

She looked after him and saw how other students quickly got out of his way to let him pass. If they did not move he made them move, she noticed that he was not physical but his mouth seemed to work for him in getting people out of his way. He wasn't even loud as she could not hear him however as she saw one of the girls he spoke to turn and come her way, she saw that the poor girl had tears in her eyes and was on the verge of breaking down.

During lunch she had collected enough information to know that his name was Troy Bolton otherwise known as the 'The Bolt'. How original for the jock to have a nick name to be shouted during the games. He apparently was not only the greatest jerk the school had he was also the greatest basketball player slash golfer.

She observed him sitting at lunch although he did not say anything you could tell from his shoulders and the way he held himself that he was angry. While he did not do anything outwardly degrading to the school population he was also not nice. When someone came up to their table it looked like they got a taste of his poisonous tongue.

He ate his lunch quickly and then stood up to leave. Gabriella held in her mirth as she saw that many people stood up when he did, they however sat back down after he made a comment and left. He was like royalty; people stood up when he stood up and sat when he did.

He probably hadn't done a single piece of homework in his entire life and had more muscle in his brain then he had firing neurons thought Gabriella.

XXXXXXX

Gabriella made her way to the library at seventh period. She still could not believe she had come, the jerk of a jock was probably messing with her and this was just to make fun of her. She went around the library looking for him knowing it was a lost cause he probably didn't know the way to the library.

She was surprised when she found him upstairs in the corner of the library sitting at a table which was pleasant and light. It was next to the ceiling to floor windows so it had a nice view of the back of the school. Looking around she thought that it was probably the best table in the library; of course the jerk would command the best table in the library when he considered it important enough to come.

"Well what are you waiting for? Sit down!" came the rude comment and she found herself once again gazing into those angry aquamarine eyes. For a moment she couldn't help but think that they were unearthly beautiful.

She quickly sat down at the available seat. She was nervous and shy she had not really expected to find him. He started speaking without looking at her which Gabriella found uncomfortable and within moments she realized that somehow her new partner, between the second period and now, had not only began to research the paper they were to write he already had an outline for it.

She was stuck dumb, even she did not work that fast. There was no possible way that he could work that fast! He must have nicked someone else's paper and she Gabriella Montez did not rip off work!

"Now wait a minute, whoever you got this paper off of you better give it back and we will start again..." she would have continued to talk if he had not snarled slammed his fist down on the table. She jumped a little frighten of his anger, what was his problem?

"You think I got this from someone? I do not get my school work from others and just for your information I also do not get others to do my work for me. I do however expect you pull your weight on this paper."

Academic achievement was something she could stand up for, "I will of course pull my weight, however I will pull my weight on a work that would be ours. And that means a paper that is yours and mine. There is absolutely no way you could have done this much work on a paper that you learned about just this morning. So my conclusion is fair." With that said she folded her arms and glared at him, he might be the bully and the God of this school but she would stand her ground in terms of her work.

He mirrored her as he leaned back and folded his arms as well and cocked his head to the side he seemed to be regarding her trying to work her out. After a minute he seemed to have come to a conclusion as the side of his mount went up in slight amusement.

"Mr. Jones is a very predictable teacher, he was either going to assign this project or a geometry related something. So when I had the time in the last two weeks I did the primary research for both papers making sure the work load was lighter. He will very likely assign the geometry paper next."

He had done the primary for two papers before they were assigned? No brainiac she knew would do that? Who was this guy?

"Who are you?" she asked surprised enough that she didn't think before speaking.

At this her partner's mirth seemed to double. He held out his hand, "Troy Bolton."

"I know who you are," she said still dazzled with what he had told her, "I just thought that you were a ...." it seemed that her brain had finally caught up with her mount as she stopped talking and blushed when she realised what she was going to say.

His eyes seemed to frost over at her comments and his easy manner from just a moment ago disappeared, he pulled his hand back, "A jock?" he asked and went on without waiting for a reply. "As a matter of fact I am a jock, however I would like to get the best out of my high school education so in fact I do study."

With that his eyes narrowed, "I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt, as I didn't even know you. You however seemed to think you already know me. Let me tell you something Miss Montez, you don't know me at all! Now go take your prejudgments somewhere else!" with that he turned back to whatever he was doing and ignored her.

Gabriella was shocked, she always considered herself a fair and kind person, and she was put into her place by a jock, a bully no less. She had made assumptions on the fact that this boy was a jock. She found herself apologizing to him for a second time in a matter of two days "I am sorry," she could see that he was listening by the way his shoulders tensed up, "I did assume you would not be interested in grades as you seemed to be interested in sports but I should not have after all this is my third day and as you pointed out I do not know you." She took a deep breath, "so if you still wish to work on the project with me here I am, if not I can talk to Mr. Jones about getting us new partners."

He raised his eyes and for a moment she saw that he was deeply hurt by her reaction and then any trace of vulnerability disappeared as his eyes became hard and unreadable and he started to talk about the project once again. She found him to be insightful and thoughtful and they had a very productive and in her books an enjoyable seventh period.

They agreed to meet next free math period as well before breaking away to work on their own. Gabriella realised as she was making her way home that she had never introduced herself to her partner.