Three Days in Memphis
The Morning After
"Savannah," she said sternly, "It's seven in the morning, we still have a routine to practice and the team needs you." Sharpay raised an eyebrow and that's when she noticed the blue and gold cheerleading uniform.
"Oh no…" she mumbled falling back onto the bed as the memories came back…
Marti Perkins stared at her captain, her green eyes wide in shock. Savannah Alison Monroe never groaned and fell back on the bed at the mention of the word 'practice'. In fact, it was usually the other way around – with Savannah scolding Marti and Marti falling back on the bed at seven in the morning.
Is she drunk? Don't think so… Marti thought to herself as she briskly walked to the side of the bed to help her friend.
It had been a strange night. The Hellcats were having dinner and all of a sudden reporters came in looking for someone and then a brawl started and everything became a blur. All Marti remembered was helping Dan Patch who was carrying Savannah to his truck. She seemed to have fainted and had been unconscious the whole night. Now as she helped the unresponsive blond, Marti couldn't help but wonder if anything else was wrong. Savannah was moving at a sluggish pace and she looked lost inside their dorm room.
"Savannah what - Alice." Marti was interrupted by a sharp rap on the door. The knob turned and Alice Verdura, Savannah's second-in-command, stood at the doorway looking impatient.
"Why so slow all of a sudden… captain?" Alice asked acerbically raising an eyebrow, her hands on her hips. Sharpay looked at the dark-skinned girl and also raised her eyebrow. Nobody outshines the Ice Queen!
"Excuse me?" Sharpay snapped in a very sharp, very Sharpay-ish tone. The two girls were taken aback. Apparently, the other girl whom they called Savannah never talked to either of them that way. Marti was first to recover, she went to Savannah's closet to grab her uniform while Alice stood at the doorway staring intently at Savannah, or rather, Sharpay.
"I don't know why you're being this catty but if you don't wear this now and grab your things, Vanessa will personally come down here to bite our heads off." Marti said shoving the outfit in Sharpay's unmoving hands. Alice finally stopped staring and she looked more alert, looking importantly at Marti.
"Marti and I will go ahead, we'll just tell Vanessa you're on your way… captain." Sharpay was very irritated by the time Alice closed the door.
"Who is Savannah anyway?" she mumbled to herself and remembered the cheerleading uniform she was holding and held it up to her eyes, scrutinizing it.
"And I'm supposed to wear this!" she gasped. She wasn't Savannah and the idea of wearing someone else's clothes – or uniform – was irrevocably disgusting for her. But she had no choice; Vanessa didn't sound like the name of a fellow classmate.
So Sharpay didn't have a choice but to dress-up as a Hellcat. When she finished, she checked herself out in the mirror and smiled. The uniform fit her well and for a moment, Sharpay imagined herself as a cheerleader in East High. Maybe things would have been different, maybe Troy would have looked at her in another way. Speaking of Troy, Sharpay remembered the suggestive text he sent her last night. Her reverie was broken by Marti rushing into their room. She looked impatiently at Sharpay, throwing a duffel bag at her and dragging her out of the dorm room. Left with no choice, Sharpay let her be dragged to the gym – which, she realized, she wouldn't be able to find on her own anyway.
The two arrived and Sharpay was unceremoniously thrust in front of the college kids she saw at the restaurant last night. She studied them quietly and they did the same, but they seemed to be expecting more. Sharpay noticed Alice rolling her eyes and going over to a stationary bike. Marti looked at her worriedly. In the midst of the awkward silence, Sharpay heard a door being opened and instinctively looked at the sound of the noise. She saw a slender African-American walking towards them looking pointedly at her. This must be Vanessa, Sharpay thought and she was right in thinking that the person was no classmate. She was the coach.
"Savannah, you're forty-five minutes late and you're staring at your team like a lost puppy. Semi-finals is coming up in two days and we could not afford a breakdown of any sort." Vanessa told her captain sternly. Sharpay gulped and took a deep breath. It's now or never: time to put her acting skills to the test.
"I'm sorry, erm, Vanessa." Sharpay told her 'coach', looked at the Hellcats and plastered a big smile.
"Let's go Hellcats!" she cheered clapping her hands together. Everyone started getting into position looking mightily relieved that their captain was once again, in positive control.
"Now that's the attitude." Vanessa nodded approvingly at Sharpay. Then it occurred to her, how the hell will I be able to pull off the routine?
Without knowing what else to do, Sharpay let her knees give away and she fell to the floor – a perfect feint of a faint. She smiled inwardly as she heard the worried voices and felt a pair of strong arms carrying her back to the dorm room. Sharpay felt that it was the best she could do in her situation until she could find a cellphone and get back to the Peabody Hotel.
Tom McKay had everything arranged. When Sharpay wakes up, she would freshen up, eat lunch and have a press conference explaining the ordeal she went through. The press conference would incite animosity towards Lizzie Van Buren and her dirty antics, hopefully. Tom isn't so fond of the woman himself but in order for the tactic to work, his client should be well-prepped. There was a knock on the door and Tom opened it to find Ryan Evans looking at him, a relieved smile on his face.
"Sharpay's awake. She's starting to get up now." Ryan told Tom and the two of them hurried back to Sharpay's suite. Kelsi opened the door and ushered them inside hurriedly closing it. Her expression didn't match the one on her boyfriend's face and she paced anxiously around the room.
"Is there a problem?" Tom asked, sitting down on a settee.
"Yes – a very big problem." Kelsi's voice sounded hoarse with panic and she looked helplessly at Ryan.
"Please calm down and tell us all about it," the calmness in Tom's voice was soothing and unnerving at the same time. Kelsi ran a hand through her hair looking flustered.
"Well, see… last night, we went to eat ribs and, and we saw this girl. She looked so much like Sharpay and then when…when the paparazzi came we grabbed Sharpay – or who we thought was her – and rushed back to the hotel. But today, today she woke up and she didn't recognize me when you left!" Kelsi explained looking at Ryan.
"When I left?" he asked incredulously.
"Yeah, when she was just starting to move…then when she saw me she just freaked out! She locked herself in the bathroom and she won't come out. I think…she doesn't remember us or something…" Kelsi was now wringing her hands tearfully. Ryan ran to comfort her and Tom went straight to the bathroom door. It was indeed locked but he knocked on it gently, pressing his ear against the wood.
Savannah Monroe heard the knocking but she didn't want to open the door. This was by far, the worst thing that has ever happened to her. She woke up in a strange hotel room, realized that she has been watched over by a complete stranger and now there were around three people talking about her outside – one of them now trying to coax her out of her hiding place.
"Sharpay, darling, you have to come out of there." Savannah heard the most soothing baritone coming from the other side and she was seriously tempted to open the door.
"We're all worried for you. Come out now darling…" the voice was hypnotic and Savannah got up to turn the doorknob when it dawned on her: he called her 'Sharpay'. Who is Sharpay? Savannah yanked open the door and stared at the three people inside the suite.
"Sharpay! Oh thank God you're alright! I didn't want to call Mom and Dad with the news that you lost your memory…they'll be so worried!" the handsome blond teenager went over and wrapped Savannah in a warm hug. The problem was, she wasn't who they all claimed that she was.
"You're not Sharpay?" the brunette with glasses asked her looking confused. She was, Savannah remembered, the one who watched over her as she slept. Savannah also realized that she must've said her thoughts aloud – based from the very stunned looks she received.
"Well, if you are not Sharpay, then who are you?" Ryan questioned her, looking angry as he stepped back from her the way you'd step back from walking into an angry, hissing cobra, that the look-alike he and Kelsi saw last night was now the one standing in his twin sister's place.
"I'm Savannah Monroe, a student and cheerleading captain at Lancer University." Savannah told him with as much dignity as she could muster. She became upset at his sudden change of attitude and felt the tears prickling in the corner of her eyes but she held them back.
"Oh wait – so we actually grabbed the wrong person!" Kelsi looked uncharacteristically happy and relieved at the news she hugged Savannah tightly.
"That's wonderful news but I'm afraid it still presents a problem." Tom explained to the three teenagers. Ryan and Kelsi both grimaced at this news while Savannah looked utterly confused.
"Problem? What problem? Am I a problem?" she stuttered taking a step back towards the safety of the bathroom.
"Yes, and no." Tom answered, "Yes, because you are not the real Sharpay – who, by the way is supposed to have a press conference this afternoon – and no, because since you look like the real Sharpay then perhaps we can pull this off."
"I'm starting to have negative thoughts about this whole 'Sharpay' situation thing and I should really think positive…because that is who I am!" Savannah started fanning herself frantically, panic evident in her voice and pose.
"Yep, I think we can pull this off." Ryan nodded smugly, crossing his arms over his chest, "Just keep piling in the 'negative' stuff and pretty soon Ms. Positive can pass for Sharpay because now…" Ryan, Kelsi and Tom all glanced back at the somewhat hyperventilating, panicking Savannah, "She is becoming Sharpay."
Back in Cheertown, in the safety of the dorm room, Sharpay pretended to sleep until she felt that everyone had left her alone. Then she sat up. This has got to be a dream, she thought willing herself to believe that the scene in front of her would change and she would once again see the beloved faces of her brother, her friend and her agent. But she was still in Cheertown, still in the cheerleading uniform, still in the middle of this huge messy situation she had no way of solving unless…
"How could I have been so stupid? I have my iPhone." Sharpay mumbled looking around but finding no touchscreen phone nearby. She checked every bag in the room – including her roommate's (Marti forgive her) – but there was no sign of her phone anywhere. Sharpay was looking through Marti's backpack when a small cough caused her to turn around in haste and slip. Down she went on the wooden floor as Alice casually walked towards her, a look of contemptuous curiosity and amusement on her face. She raised an eyebrow along with her smirk – a trademark expression – and placed both hands on her hips. If Sharpay hadn't been caught rummaging through another person's stuff she could have done a thing or two to Alice, whom she now considers a nemesis.
"Tut…tut…tut…I don't think daring the captain to change her hair color meant that the captain should also change her goody-two-shoes, I can't do no wrong, think positive attitude too." Alice purred in a sarcastic and mocking sing-song voice. Sharpay wanted to puke on Alice's shoes and at the same time slap her but she had a problem doing both simultaneously; so she settled with a comeback.
"Well tut my ass bitch because I'm no saint and my hair is certainly not dyed." Sharpay purred with equal venom eliciting a response in the form of Alice's eyes widening in pure shock.
"Now, if you're done filtering the air I breathe from your agape mouth – which I don't really need – then maybe you can lead me to the nearest phone booth so I can get out of this place." Sharpay snapped, pleased with the fact that she can still be the Ice Queen when she pleases to be.
"First of all, I am nobody's humidifier and secondly, I am not your lap dog." Alice snarled at Sharpay once she recovered and met the other girl's fierce gaze. Maybe, Alice thought, she could be my best friend…in another life. "But what's this fuss about a phone booth?"
"Can you still not tell that I am not this 'Savannah' person everyone thinks I am?" Sharpay nearly shrieked, her fingers making quotation marks at her supposed identity but she knew she had to calm down. Blowing her anonymity by impersonating another person might create more unwanted problems.
"Geez, between perky Savannah and you – I'd pick Savannah." Alice remarked looking at the door to see if their conversation, if you call it that, had aroused suspicion. Seeing that nobody was curious enough to check up on them, she turned back to Sharpay.
"Isn't that the name of a dog?" at this, Sharpay's eyes burned with a ferocity that put everyone in East High in their place; everyone except those who chose to stand up to her – which included Troy – whom, until their graduation, had not been siding with her.
"Okay, I recant my previous statement." Alice said after seeing The Gaze, "Look I'm going to help you, but you need to help me too."
"What's in it for me?" Sharpay asked.
"You go back to…wherever and the real Savannah gets back here. I don't think another fainting scene would convince the other Hellcats of your credibility both as captain and as Savannah." Alice explained.
"Sounds like a good plan, and a simple one at that. I know which hotel I'm supposed to be staying at and if I am not mistaken, your captain is now in my place. I'm not even going to be staying here for another day or so. It will be a simple switch." Sharpay smiled.
Little did Sharpay Evans know that those six words she last uttered before following Alice Verdura out the door would be something she would come to regret during the duration of her stay in Memphis. For she didn't know, and had no way of knowing, that during her whole conversation with Alice, paparazzi raided the Peabody Hotel looking for Sharpay Evans. Tom McKay, efficient as usual, whisked them away through the hotel's kitchen backdoors to the Carmichael Hotel. The real Savannah Monroe had no choice but to stay with them and postpone the initial plan of going back to Lancer and looking for the actress whose identity she had assumed.
"How am I going to go back to Cheertown now? Semi-finals is in two days and I have to be the one who boards that bus with the team." Savannah was becoming very distressed by the minute. First, she couldn't make any calls; second, from what she had observed, this Sharpay Evans lived a life of freedom and luxury that had never been within Savannah's grasp; and third, she was supposed to assume that kind of identity.
"Cheertown?" Ryan raised a skeptical eyebrow.
"Yes, I am a cheerleader. I have a cheerleading scholarship in Lancer University." Savannah explained.
"You're kidding…right?" Ryan snorted, "I can't imagine my sister cheering for anyone but herself, let alone take a scholarship for it!"
"Isn't that a bit mean? Even if the person isn't here, it's not nice to talk about them in that way." Savannah rebuked Ryan who immediately stopped laughing.
"Aw, I'm sorry. I'm used to talking this way to my sister. She won't really be offended if I told her that…she's vain that way." Ryan explained with a small smile.
Savannah found another problem, "What do you mean vain? I mean, if worse comes to worse, I wouldn't know how to impersonate her."
"Look, you don't have to. I know we'll have the…"
At that moment, Tom chose to step in and announce that Sharpay could not be found in Cheertown. She wasn't in the dorm, the bar, the gym nor was she in any other place at Lancer University.
"They don't know where she is." Tom said looking stoic. Ryan glanced at Savannah and grabbed her hand. Savannah turned to him with pleading eyes.
"Hey, remember when you told me that you have a 'think positive' attitude?" he asked. Savannah merely nodded.
"I guess you need to do that now."
"Because you have a press conference in three hours and you have to learn how to impersonate Sharpay by then." Tom answered for Ryan before calmly walking away.
A/N: I know, I know - I haven't updated this fic in a long time. Bad me. But I hope this chapter makes up for all of it. It's actually a very short fic and I planned on ending it sooner but days and months passed before I found the inspiration to write again - thank you, ceruleanblues, for the inspiration - and now I'm starting on the chapter after this one so I could update at once.