annikamalfoy (annikamalfoy) wrote in ryangabriella,
annikamalfoy
annikamalfoy
ryangabriella

The Musical's The Thing

This is the third and probably longest of my three incomplete Ryella's.


WARNINGS: AU and that’s about it. OOC - but with AU you can’t avoid it.
SPOILERS: Just a bit - but only if you haven’t seen High School Musical and High School Musical 2.
PAIRINGS: Ryella, Troyella, Chaylor, Jelsi, Troypay, Zartha
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is my first High School Musical FanFic. The idea came to me when I was watching West Side Story. As I was watching the movie I was recasting it with the High School Musical people - particularly Vanessa Hudgens as Maria - because she’s a big Natalie Wood fan. I ended up not caring for the movie, but it gave me a fic idea and that’s a good. I don’t have anything against Troyella/Zanessa - I just really, really like Ryella/Lunessa. Not High School Musical 3 compliant.
First person Kelsi *emphasis* ‘thoughts’ chatting
DISCLAIMER: I do not own High School Musical or West Side Story or their ‘verses. I never claimed to in the first place. I’m just borrowing and promise to return everything and everyone in the same condition I found them. I’m making no money off of this and have nothing so suing me would be pointless not to mention a waste of time.

THE MUSICAL’S THE THING
By: Annika Evans

CHAPTER ONE:
I sat in Miss Darbus’ classroom waiting for her. I knew I was at least twenty minutes early, but I wanted to talk to her before my classmates started showing up. I wanted to talk about the first production of the school year. I was thinking instead of doing a play we could do a musical. Or musicale as Miss Darbus called it - why couldn’t she just say musical like a normal person?
“Kelsi?” asked Miss Darbus. It was evident in her voice that she was surprised to see me there. Whenever I showed up to school early I could be found in the auditorium or the music room - not classrooms.
“Good morning. I wanted to talk to you about the first production of the year. I thought we could do a musical . . .”
“Musicale,” she interrupted. I inwardly groaned I really hated musicale, it sounded so stupid.
“I was thinking we could do West Side Story. I’ve been working on modernizing it all the summer - well the songs mostly. I even know who I think should play Anton and Maria.”
“I’ll have to talk to Sharpay and Ryan. They are co-presidents of the drama club.” I knew that what Miss Darbus wasn’t saying was that she needed to run the idea by Sharpay - Sharpay had to approve of any and all changes. The only reason she mentioned Ryan was because he was always with Sharpay, but he definitely didn’t share her power. Sharpay had far too much clout with everyone, even Miss Darbus was under her perfectly manicured thumb.
“I think Ryan and Gabriella should play Anton and Maria.” I had a feeling they’d be perfect, especially since Gabriella was a big fan of Natalie Wood.
“They’ll have to audition.” That translated to ‘Do you believe Sharpay would let Gabriella snag another lead role? You saw what happened with Twinkle Towne.’

Before I could mount a reply the other students started filing in. Troy walked in first with his arm slung over Gabriella’s shoulders, and I noted she didn’t look pleased with the overly possessive gesture. Of course whenever Troy would look at her, she’d feign a smile and he never noticed how fake it was.
Next came in Ryan with a look of disgust marring his features. He had a huge crush on Gabriella. I was the only one to know that particular secret and he hadn’t intended to tell me. Of course that wasn’t the only reason I wanted Gabriella to play Maria to his Anton. I was confident Ryan would get the part of Anton, even if Troy auditioned. Ryan had a stronger voice and more experience. I thought Troy could play Bernardo, the one trying to keep Anton and Maria apart - like Tybalt would in Romeo and Juliet if he had known about their relationship. It was fitting considering that Troy wasn’t happy with how close Ryan and Gabriella were. He had even tried ordering Gabriella to stop socializing with Ryan. That was a grave error on his part. The argument that followed had exploded into the biggest and loudest ever seen at East High. After that he never tried to order Gabriella to do anything.

I really hoped Sharpay would agree to do West Side Story. I didn’t think it would be a problem because Sharpay liked doing musicals a lot more than plays. Not only would she be singing but she’d be dancing as well. I knew Miss Darbus wouldn’t tell Sharpay that I wanted Ryan and Gabriella to play that lead - Sharpay would never agree to someone other than her having the lead. She had despised being Gabriella’s understudy in Twinkle Towne. I thought Sharpay would be a good Anita to Troy’s Bernardo - Anita was older and more experienced than Maria - and that was Sharpay. She had been in all the school productions since junior high.
I was hoping that if Ryan and Gabriella played the lovers they might get together. Now I have nothing against Troy as a person - I just wasn’t sure he was “right” for Gabriella. Troy would be better suited for Sharpay - they both enjoyed the spotlight - in different arenas sure, but still. Besides I knew how their voices blended based on the version of You Are The Music In Me I wrote for Sharpay. It was supposed to be exclusively for Troy and Gabriella, but I could never tell Sharpay “no.” That woman frightened me, though I wasn’t sure why. I guess she just had an intimidating presence.
Then there was Everyday. I wrote that for Troy and Gabi too, but that was per Ryan’s suggestion. It was designed to get Troy and Gabriella back together and it worked. I wonder if Ryan regretted the hand he had in that.

CHAPTER TWO:
When I got home I practised my West Side Story songs. I was quite pleased with how they had turned out. Once I was done practising I did what little homework I had before logging onto my computer. I hoped that Martha and Taylor were online - I wondered if they’d help me break-up Troy and Gabriella. They were probably going to think I was crazy for even thinking of breaking up East High’s ‘Golden Couple.’ I thought Martha might be amenable, but I wasn’t sure about Taylor. Taylor was Gabi’s best friend and wanted her to be happy. I wondered if I could convince Taylor that Gabi would be happier with Ryan than she was with Troy. If I managed that I knew she’d help me out. Though I wondered if I’d be able to sway her at all, because her boyfriend, Chad, was Troy’s best friend. With Taylor however I was never sure.

JustDancing is online.
T_McKessie is online.

Good. They’re both online. This will make things easier.

ComposerKelsi logged in.
JustDancing wants to chat.
ComposerKelsi accepts JustDancing’s invitation to chat.

JustDancing: Hey, Kels.
ComposerKelsi: Hey, Martha.

T_McKessie wants to chat.

ComposerKelsi: Taylor wants to chat do you mind if I invite her to join us?
JustDancing: No. I don’t mind. Go for it.

ComposerKelsi invites T_McKessie to join chat.
T_McKessie accepts ComposerKelsi’s invitation to join chat.

T_McKessie: Hey, Kels. Hey, Martha.
JustDancing: Hey, Taylor.
ComposerKelsi: Hey, Tay. I’m glad you’re both here I wanted to talk to you about the first production of the year.
JustDancing: Why? Neither of us are in the drama club.
ComposerKelsi: I’d like you both to participate in this one. It’s a modernized version of West Side Story. Or rather it will be if Sharpay okay’s it. I’m confident she will, you know how much she loves to sing and dance. I think Ryan and Gabriella should play Anton and Maria.
T_McKessie: Why not Troy and Gabriella?
ComposerKelsi: Ry and Gabi have stronger voices. Plus, you know how much Gabi likes Natalie Wood - she even kind of looks like her . . .
Besides, do you really want to see Ryan and Sharpay to play lovers again? Does anyone?
JustDancing: I know I don’t. Probably not. Who do you want Sharpay to play?
ComposerKelsi: Anita to Troy’s Bernardo. I’ve written Bernardo to be like an over-protective best friend or something like that, instead of Maria’s brother. I want Chad to play Riff and I think that you, Tay, should play Graziella. It’s a small part, Chad’s will be bigger . . . and Martha I was thinking you could play Anybodys. When I was re-writing it I thought of who I’d want to play each part and Anybodys got a bigger part, because of that.
T_McKessie: I don’t think you’ll get Chad to audition. And do you really want to stick Troy and Sharpay together considering what happened over the summer?
ComposerKelsi: I think you and Troy could get Chad to audition. And yes to your question.
JustDancing: Your Anybodys dances right?
ComposerKelsi: Of course she does. I was thinking of you for the part and I know how much you love to dance. :D
T_McKessie: I can’t believe you plan to stick Troy and Sharpay together!
ComposerKelsi: Tay, after what I saw this summer I think there might be something going on between Troy and Sharpay. I don’t want Gabi to hurt, her happiness is important to me . . . Besides, I think there’s a possibility of something happening between her and Ry anyway. . .
T_McKessie: What do you mean?
ComposerKelsi: I mean I don’t think that Troyella will last.
JustDancing: Are you saying you want to break-up Troyella for Ryella? ::confused::
ComposerKelsi: I didn’t say that . . . but if something sparks between Gabi and Ry I won’t object. I may even stoke the fire . . .
T_McKessie: Kels, you’re insane and I don’t mean that in the fun-loving way.
JustDancing: What do you have against Troy?
ComposerKelsi: I don’t have anything against Troy or Troyella . . . My sole concern is for Gabi, especially because of the Troypay-ness of the summer. I worry for her.
You do know that Troy and Gabi only got back together because of Ry. If Ry wasn’t so concerned about Gabi’s happiness I don’t think Troy and Gabi would’ve gotten back together.
JustDancing: Does Ryan have a thing for Gabi? Kels, do you have a thing for Ryan?
ComposerKelsi: Why do you ask?
JustDancing: It’s just the vibe I’m getting.
T_McKessie: I’m with Martha on this one.
ComposerKelsi: I admit I do have a bit of a crush on Ryan. I always have however I’m very happy with Jason. Besides I doubt Ryan and I would last. Scratch that I know we wouldn’t last.
JustDancing: You didn’t answer the other question.
ComposerKelsi: Other question?
T_McKessie: About whether or not Ryan has a thing for Gabi.
ComposerKelsi: I don’t know.
JustDancing: I think that’s a “yes.” ::smirks::
T_McKessie: Sounds like a “yes” to me. ::smirks::
ComposerKelsi: Whether or not Ry has a thing for Gabi isn’t the issue here . . .
JustDancing: Now that’s a qualified “yes!”
T_McKessie: Definitely!
ComposerKelsi: Shut-up! ::pouts::
T_McKessie: Do you really think there’s something going on between Troy and Sharpay?
ComposerKelsi: I wouldn’t put money on it, but you didn’t see the way they were inside the club.
T_McKessie: But I saw them on the golf course - in view of everyone. And Chad and Jason saw them in the dining room when Shar was hanging all over Troy.
JustDancing: But that’s just a Sharpay thing . . .
ComposerKelsi: You saw the signs with your own eyes. What do you think? Troypay or no?
T_McKessie: I see what you’re saying but . . . I don’t know. We don’t really know Troy all that well . . .
JustDancing: No we don’t. It wasn’t ‘til Gabi came to East High that we even associated with the jocks.
ComposerKelsi: She certainly flipped East High on its ear. ::grin::
T_McKessie: Kels, I’m not sure if what you’re doing is a good idea. Granted, I see your point, but still . . . Breaking up Troyella for a possible Ryella, is treading on thin ice. Besides Ryella might not even work . . .
ComposerKelsi: I know that Tay. Besides do you really think I’ll get what I want? We are talking about Sharpay here!
T_McKessie: I’ll help you *if* you find proof of Troypay.
JustDancing: I will too.
ComposerKelsi: Then I guess I have some sleuthing to do . . .
So are you going to audition for Kelsi’s West Side Story?
JustDancing: I will.
T_McKessie: So will I, it could be fun. I’m just not sure we’ll be able to talk Chad into auditioning.
ComposerKelsi: I have a feeling that you and Troy will succeed. Besides don’t you think he’d want to keep on eye on Troy after this summer? He’d want to make sure Troy didn’t turn into an ass again - you know I’m right . . .
T_McKessie: Point. Maybe Chad won’t be so difficult after-all.
ComposerKelsi: Now that’s what I’m talking about! ::grin::
T_McKessie: You’re totally nuts.
JustDancing: I concur . . .
ComposerKelsi: Ah, but that’s why you love me. ::smirk::
T_McKessie: I’ve got to go it’s dinnertime. Talk to you tomorrow.

T_McKessie has logged off.

JustDancing: I better go too.
ComposerKelsi: Later.

JustDancing has logged off.

CHAPTER THREE:
Singing_Genius had logged in.
ComposerKelsi invites Singing_Genius to chat.
Singing_Genius accepts ComposerKelsi’s invitation to chat.

ComposerKelsi: Hey, Gabs.
Singing_Genius: Hey, Kels. How you doing?
ComposerKelsi: I’m good. You?
Singing_Genius: I’ve been better.
ComposerKelsi: What’s that matter Gabs?
Singing_Genius: Troy . . . Do I ever have a problem that doesn’t involve Troy?
ComposerKelsi: Not for as long as I’ve known you, but you’ve been with Troy the entire time I’ve known you.
Singing_Genius: I think Troy is cheating on me with Sharpay.
ComposerKelsi: What makes you think that?

I thought it was eerie that Gabs was telling me that considering that I had just been telling Taylor and Martha that I thought Troy might be cheating with Sharpay.

Singing_Genius: Things have been weird, awkward since Lava Springs. I’m not sure if he’s cheating now, but I think he was then. We did break-up after-all.
We just got in another argument. It was about Ry again. Troy is so jealous of him.
ComposerKelsi: I think he might’ve cheated too.

I had never planned to tell Gabi that, at least not until it was confirmed. Since she was worried about it, I didn’t want her to think she was alone.

Singing_Genius: How long have you thought that?
ComposerKelsi: Since they went golfing. I think Sharpay had been planning on sinking her claws into him since the end of the school year.
Singing_Genius: Why would she do that?
ComposerKelsi: She thinks she’s the primo-girl at East High and since Troy is the primo-boy she thinks they belong together. Apparently Troy doesn’t agree . . .
Singing_Genius: I’m not so sure about that . . .
ComposerKelsi: What was the fight about?
Singing_Genius: Like I said Ry.
ComposerKelsi: Is he trying to order you to stop talking to Ry again?
Singing_Genius: No, he’s just being a jackass. Ry and I have a project to do in our English Lit class and Troy doesn’t want me to study with Ry alone. He thinks that Ry is after me.
ComposerKelsi: That’s not the case.
Singing_Genius: I know that. Troy is sure that Ry was after me all summer and he hates how close Ry and I are.
ComposerKelsi: Ry wasn’t after you all summer. He was just trying to keep your mind off Troy.
Singing_Genius: Exactly, Ry was just being a good friend.
ComposerKelsi: What about the closeness?
Singing_Genius: I’m closer to Ryan than I am Troy, but that’s because Ryan and I have more in common. The only person I’m closer to is you. Troy isn’t angry that I’m friends with you.
ComposerKelsi: That’s because I’m a girl.
Singing_Genius: I know, I know. I think that it’s time for Troy and I to go our separate ways.

This couldn’t have gone better had I planned it.

ComposerKelsi: If you think that’s the right choice, then you should. I’ll support you no matter what you choose.

Okay, that was vague and supporting.

Singing_Genius: I think you’re supposed to tell me that I’m overreacting and everything will be fine.
ComposerKelsi: Gabs, you know I can’t lie for anything. Besides even if I could lie I wouldn’t.
Singing_Genius: You’re typing, I wouldn’t know the difference. ::grin::
ComposerKelsi: I don’t lie. You know that.
Singing_Genius: Right. Do you really think I should break-up with Troy?
ComposerKelsi: I think that if you’re unsure about your relationship with him you should end it, before he proposes or something. You deserve better than to be in a loveless marriage with a possibly cheating husband.
Singing_Genius: Have you been watching Dr. Phil?
ComposerKelsi: No. I’m just trying to help.
Singing_Genius: You sound like a psychologist.
ComposerKelsi: Sorry.
Singing_Genius: No, I think I need to hear that Troy’s no good for me. Maybe I should talk to Ry about it - get a guy’s perspective.
ComposerKelsi: I don’t think Ry will be of much help when it comes to Troy, they have less in common than you and Troy do.
Singing_Genius: They both sing.
ComposerKelsi: And that’s were the similarities end. I think you have more in common with Shar than Ry does with Troy. No offence.
Singing_Genius: You’re probably right. None taken.
ComposerKelsi: I’m working on a remake of West Side Story.

Radically changing the subject is a good idea. I don’t want to reveal Ryan’s secret to Gabi. He needs to tell her himself.

Singing_Genius: Trying to distract me?
ComposerKelsi: Only if it’s working . . .
Singing_Genius: It’s working.
ComposerKelsi: Than yes. Promise me you’ll audition.
Singing_Genius: I’ll audition, though I probably won’t get the part I want.
ComposerKelsi: Maria.
Singing_Genius: Yeah.
ComposerKelsi: If it’s any consolation I think you’d make a great Maria.
Singing_Genius: Really? Thanks. If I was playing Maria would Troy be Anton?
ComposerKelsi: I think Ry would be better as Anton. He has a stronger voice than Troy. I think Troy would be a good Bernardo.
Singing_Genius: I don’t think Troy and I look enough alike to play Maria and Bernardo. ::laughs::
ComposerKelsi: In my rewrite Bernardo isn’t Maria’s brother he’s like an over-protective best friend that she treats like a brother. His name wouldn’t be Bernardo either.
Singing_Genius: What name did you give him?
ComposerKelsi: I was thinking Benjamin.
Singing_Genius: Benjamin works it close enough to Bernardo without being obvious.
ComposerKelsi: I want Taylor, Chad and Martha in it too. Taylor and Martha have already agreed. I don’t think Chad will be too difficult, once Taylor gets hold of him he’ll be powerless to resist.
Singing_Genius: Who do you want them to play?
ComposerKelsi: Chad as Riff. Taylor as Graziella. Martha as a dancing Anybodys with a bigger part than she had in West Side Story.
Singing_Genius: So, you’re going to have Chad get killed by Troy and then have Troy killed by Ryan?
ComposerKelsi: Pretty much.

I noted how Gabi put Ryan in the part of Anton (aka Romeo). I guess she figured that he’d get the part of Anton regardless. I wondered if she was seeing herself as Maria (aka Juliet.) If she was than maybe hooking up Gabi and Ry wouldn’t be as difficult as I originally thought.

Singing_Genius: Do you really think I could get the part of Maria?
ComposerKelsi: I think you’d be perfect. If I could cast Kelsi’s West Side Story the way I wanted it cast you’d be Maria hands down.
Singing_Genius: Do you have a role for Shar?
ComposerKelsi: Anita. She’s been in so many productions and she’s more experienced than you. Just like Anita is to Maria.
Plus, I don’t have her singing a lot, which will piss her off, but she always gets overshadowed when she does a duet and she isn‘t a strong enough singer on her own. She has to change everything and the meaning and lyrics get lost in translation. Did you ever hear her version of You Are The Music In Me?
Singing_Genius: No. Why did you write a version of You Are The Music In Me for Sharpay? Wasn’t the song for me and Troy?
Composer_Kelsi: You know I can never say no to Shar. She heard the song and she decided she had to have it. She wanted to sing it with Troy at the talent show. The original version I wrote is much better than the Sharpay Version - as I call it. Since you never heard it just think of what she did to What I’ve Been Looking For. I’d bet dollars to donuts that she was the reason why What I’ve Been Looking For was remixed all pop-rocky.
Singing_Genius: Probably. I liked both versions or rather I liked Ryan’s part. He’s got a great voice - that was the first time I’d heard either of them sing.
ComposerKelsi: He always does well. Remember what I was saying about Shar being overshadowed? That’s why she added the tapping part - she wanted to make sure everyone knew she was there. Not to mention how many times she was dancing in front of Ryan.
Singing_Genius: I never thought about it, but now that I look back I see what you’re saying.
I’ve got to go, my mom’s calling me for dinner. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye Kels.
ComposerKelsi: Later Gabs.

Singing_Genius has logged off.
ComposerKelsi has logged off.

CHAPTER FOUR:
I went to bed around ten even though I wasn’t tired. I was mulling over everything that I had discussed. I wondered how I was going to prove Troypay. ‘Course if Gabi broke up with Troy it’d be one less problem I’d have to deal with. I wondered if Taylor and Martha would still help with Gabi and Ryan if Gabi broke-up with Troy. I wouldn’t have to get any evidence, I could just let nature take its course. I mean if nature needed a little nudge . . . well I’d certainly help the dear lady.
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. I guess going to bed early had been good for me. I got up and decided what I was going to wear before taking my shower. My hair had grown longer over the summer and I had taken to wearing it down without a hat. I almost never wore a hat now. I on a pair a pair of well-worn blue-jeans and a Wildcat jersey. The jersey was one of Jason’s from Sophomore year and had become one of my favourite articles of clothing. I pulled my hair into a ponytail chose a pair of glasses - I have three different ones - and made my way downstairs for breakfast.
I had just gotten downstairs when I heard a horn honk. That meant Jason was here.
“Mom. Dad. I’ll see you later!” I slipped on a pair of trainers, grabbed my bag and was out the front door without waiting for a reply. I didn’t even know if my parents were home.
“Good morning Jason,” I smiled broadly. Jason was standing next to the passenger side door. He always opened the door for me, he had been chivalrous since the beginning.
“Morning,” said Jason and he gave me a kiss. His kisses were always nice and polite, he was a gentleman. He opened the door for me and I climbed in tossing my bag in the back.
“Jason?” I asked.
“Yeah?”
“I was wondering if you’d help me out with Kelsi’s West Side Story.”
“What is Kelsi’s West Side Story?”
“Exactly what it sounds like. It’s a remake of West Side Story by yours truly and as long as Sharpay agrees to it I have a production to put together. “
“You’re already asking for help and you haven’t been okay’d by Sharpay.”
“Sharpay’s going to say yes. It’s a musical, she loves musicals”
“Especially if she’s starring in them,” quipped Jason.
“Well, those are her favourites,” I laughed.
“If you get okay’d I’ll help with whatever I can, but I’m not going to be in it.”
“Oh, all right,” I pouted half-heartedly. I didn’t really think Jason would have auditioned no matter how hard I pushed. Not to mention I didn’t really have a part in mind for him.

When we got to school there was a whole crowd of people surrounding the statue in the courtyard. Jason parked and we weaved our way through the crowd to see what all the bustle was about.
“It’s over!” It was Gabriella’s voice. I saw her and Troy having a heated argument. They had acquired a crowd - however neither of them seemed to have noticed.
“It’s not,” countered Troy.
“Yes it is. I’ve broken up with you. It’s the end!” After yelling that Gabriella’s stormed off. I bet she was going to the auditorium. Only three people knew she want to the auditorium to calm down - Me, Ryan and Gabi herself.

“Jason, I’m going after Gabi. I’ll see you in homeroom.” I gave him a quick kiss and was off. No one noticed that Ryan followed me.

“Morning Kels.”
“Good morning Ryan,” I replied. “I’m going to check on Gabi. Want to come?”
“What happened between her and Troy?”
“They broke-up,” I replied. “That’s all I know - Gabi mentioned that she might break up with him when we chatted.”
“Why?”
“She suspected him of cheating.”
“With who?” I gave Ryan a look and he said, “Sharpay.”
“Did Sharpay say okay to my idea?”
“What idea?”
“Didn’t Darbus talk to you guys? I have an idea for a remake and modernized version on West Side Story. I told Darbus and she said she had to talk to you and Sharpay.”
“I remember now. Sharpay okay’d it.”
“She did? That’s great!” I exclaimed.
“I think she gave Darbus some stipulations.”
“Some Anti-Gabi ones I’ll bet,” I grumbled. “How can Shar hate Gabi so much? She’s so nice.”
“Shar doesn’t like being upstaged.”
“Gabs isn’t trying to upstage Sharpay, she’s just doing what she wants to do. One of those things is singing.”
“Try telling Shar that.”
“Uh, no. I think I’ll let someone else fall on that grenade.” I looked at him and added, “I just hope it’s not you. I wouldn’t like to see you all blown up.”
“I have no intention of falling on that grenade, though I can’t say for certain that Sharpay won’t push me onto it.”
“Why is Sharpay such a bitch to you?”
“She’s older by a few minutes. When we were younger we played queen and servant and over the years it just became natural.”
“I don’t think Sharpay deserves you.”
“I can’t say anything in regards to that. I love her even if she is bitchy, high-strung and overly-dramatic,” Ryan smiled and I laughed at his remark.
“I know. You’ve always been to good to her.” Just then we reached the auditorium. “Ready?”

“Yeah,” agreed Ryan and we walked in. Gabi was playing the piano and singing, I didn’t even know she played. I didn’t recognise the song, but I thought it was beautiful. I wondered if she had written it.

. . . Now I know you’re not a fairytale
And dreams are meant for sleeping
And wishes on a star
Just don't come true
And now even I can tell
That I confused my feelings with the truth
because I liked the view
When there was me and you . . .

I could easily tell that wasn’t the full song, but I didn’t say anything. Ryan and I both walked up to the stage hoping that we wouldn‘t startle Gabi. “Hi,” I said softly.
“Oh, Kels! You startled me. I didn’t know anyone else was here.”
“No one was. What was that you were singing?”
“Nothing. It’s just a song I wrote when Taylor and Chad had conspired to keep Troy and I from the callbacks, before Sharpay got in the way.”
“What’s it called?”
“When There Was Me and You.”
“It’s pretty,” said Ryan,
“Oh, Ry. I didn’t know you were here.” A small smile lit Gabriella’s face as she looked at Ryan. Noticing the way she lit up when seeing Ryan, I had a feeling that the sparks were already there. Maybe something had started over the summer and the only reason it had never come to fruition was because of Everyday, me and Ryan.
“Do you want me to go?” asked Ryan.
“No. Considering the blow-out I just had with Troy there’s no where I’d rather be than with my two best friends.”
“I didn’t know you played piano,” I said changing the subject, I didn’t want Gabi to start thinking about Troy, it would only make her cry. Her eyes were already red and puffy from crying.
“Since I was seven. One day I just asked my mom for lessons, she said okay but only if I was serious. I told her I was and I stuck to it. It’s my secret that now you two know. Don’t tell anyone. I’m not ashamed or anything I just kind of like having something that’s just mine.”
“Since we know about it it’s not really yours anymore.”
“I would’ve told you two eventually - after you swore secrecy, which I’d like you to do now,” smiled Gabriella.
“I swear that I won’t tell anyone that Gabs plays a mean piano,” I smirked. I was serious, but I wanted to keep some levity injected.
“I swear that I won’t reveal Gabi’s magical piano fingers,” said Ryan. His swear was as silly as mine.
“At least I know you’re serious if you’re being silly,” smiled Gabi.
“Do you want to talk about what happened?” I wasn’t sure that talking about Troy was a good idea, but it might make her feel better.
“I just ended it. I think I needed to end it. It hasn’t been the same since Lava Springs. I think something happened with Sharpay so Troy’s being overly possessive and clingy. Honestly I’m not sure if something did happen if it’s over. Have you seen them together? She’s always touching him and leaning near him. I’ve even seen her playing with his hair. He hated it when I played with his hair, why can Sharpay get away with it?” Gabriella was angry her voice rising with each accusation.
“Gabs?” When she heard her name she snapped out of whatever she was feeling.
“Oh, Ry. I’m sorry,” said Gabriella apologetic. “ I shouldn’t be bad-mouthing Sharpay . . .”
“I understand Gabi. It’s okay. You need to let it out.” Ryan climbed up on the stage and Gabriella went and sat by him. He put his arm around her and she laid her head on his shoulder, it was a comforting gesture. Seeing them like that made me rethink my Ryella-plan, I didn’t think I needed a plan anymore, Nature was taking her course and her course was leading Gabriella to Ryan. I would have to tell Taylor and Martha about this scene.
I was snapped out of my thoughts, by the sound of sobbing. Gabriella was crying again. Ryan had wrapped his arms around her in a hug and just let her cry. He had two expressions on his face, one of happiness because he was holding Gabi and one of sadness because of how much he Gabi was hurting. He was happy to have her in his arms, but was sad about the circumstances.
“I’m going to end up ruining your shirt,” sniffled Gabriella.
“It’s okay. I don’t really like this shirt anyway,” laughed Ryan. Gabriella gave him a half-hearted smile and I watched him wipe her tears away. I wonder if they had forgotten I was there. Just then the bell rang.
“We better get to Darbus’, we don’t want detention,” I said.
“You ready Gabi?” asked Ryan gently.
“I’ll be all right. Can I sit with you two in class?”
“Always and anytime,” I answered.

CHAPTER FIVE:
We walked into class and had taken our seats just as the final bell rang. Gabriella was behind me and to the right of Ryan. Troy was seated as far left as he could and Chad was right behind him - as always. Mrs. Darbus didn’t comment on the new seating arrangement, but she had to have noticed it.

“Kelsi can you stay for a minute?” asked Mrs. Darbus once class was over.
She was talking to me like I had a choice, which even if I did I still would have stayed behind. “Sure,” I answered.
Once everyone had left the classroom she turned to me. “Sharpay gave you a go.”
“That’s great,” I said acting excited, I already knew that Sharpay had ‘okay’d’ my idea, but Mrs. Darbus didn’t need to know that.
“I’ve decide that since it was your idea you have executive control over it.”
My mouth gaped open, I wasn’t expecting that. “What exactly does that mean?”
“You will hold auditions and chose the best from those that show up,” answered Mrs. Darbus. “After which we will hold call-backs and I will do the casting.”
“I can do the auditions anyway I want to?”
“As long as they’re real auditions. You can have them act a scene or sing or dance. I suggest you do all three.”
“Okay. I think we should hold auditions after school on Friday and we can do the callbacks during free period two weeks later.” I thought that was reasonable. It gave me the weekend to make my final decision and gave each of those who would get a callback two weeks to prepare.
“Set it up.” Mrs. Darbus handed me a pink slip of paper and practically pushed me out of her classroom. The slip of paper was a pass and apologised to my next period teacher for my being late.

I walked into the science classroom and gave the teacher my pass. He barely looked at it and told me to take my seat. My seat was right next to Gabriella’s. No sooner than I sat down when I got a note from Gabriella.

What did Darbus want? -G

I knew by those four words that she had spent far too much time with Troy and his basketball buddies.

She wanted to tell me that Sharpay okay’d my idea. There’s a lot more. . . -K
Well, don’t keep me in the dark. What did she say? -G
She gave me executive control over the auditions. -K
What does that mean exactly? -G
It means I get to hold auditions however I want to. Then I chose the best of the best and give my list to Darbus. After which we will hold call-backs and she’ll make the final decisions. -K
Wow! Do you think she’ll listen to your decisions? -G
She will but she’ll probably make adjustments to appease Sharpay. -K
Does Sharpay always get what she wants? -G
Most of the time, but not always as you‘ve seen. You got the lead in Twinkle Towne after-all. -K
I did but I know Sharpay was super-pissed about it! I’m still surprised Darbus gave me the role. -G
You were better than Sharpay even Darbus saw that. Anyways I’ll push to make sure Darbus casts you as Maria. -K
Thanks but I don’t want you to do me any favours. Darbus would see it as favouritism and I know Sharpay would as well. I’ll just audition like everyone else, but I’ll be damned if I won’t be bringing my ‘A-game.’ -G

Another comment that told me that Gabi had spent far too much time with Troy and the team.

I look forward to seeing that. -K
When are auditions? -G
I’m thinking Friday after school, after all the other practices are over. -K
Count me in. -G

After that Mr. Green announced that it was time to start the experiments effectively ending the conversation between Gabriella and myself. I looked over and noticed that Gabriella had been keeping notes while we were talking. I idly wondered how she did that. ‘She must be quite the multi-tasker . . .’ I’d ask her if I could borrow her notes after class.
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