|“||People say I am the literal embodiment of God. Loyal, selfless, a hero, a force for good. But I'm none of those things. I'm not the hero of any story.||”|
We get the impression Troy Bolton is perfect at the start — the King of East High — he is expected to come across as the typical, popular "jerk jock", but he's one of the most kind-hearted and open-minded people in all of Albuquerque from the very second we meet him. Captain of the Wildcats and voted MVP both sophomore and junior year. He is the boyfriend of Gabriella Montez. Troy grew up with the perfect parents, Jack and Lucille. Although we can tell he is perfect, he is also extremely insecure about his future.
The school considers Troy their King and the most popular guy for three reasons: 1) He is incredibly hot, 2) He is the best basketball player the school has ever seen, and 3) The most important is that he is incredibly selfless. He doesn’t think he deserves the recognition he gets, and he is always looking out for others. He never tolerates any type of bullying and always calls bullies out on it when he knows it is happening, even if the entire student body is watching. He wouldn't change his life for anything; his values mean a lot to him, and the school as a whole made him popular. It's just that over the past years he had gotten the reputation of being the basketball guy — the jock — the one everyone respected and adored. Troy is sick of being that guy but there is nothing he could do about it, everyone expects him to be a certain way and it's too late to do anything to change it.
To the students of East High, Troy is the definition of goodness and heroism, and in turn, they constantly praise Troy and treat him with the utmost admiration and respect. Troy and his relationship with social outcasts transcends the school. He has nothing to gain from helping people with their social and love life. Troy is aware he's popular at East High but he never abuses his status to manipulate it to his advantage; definitely not in the same way that his basketball team, does. Troy is the type of popular jock who respects and talks to everyone, making others around him feel better about themselves. He loves to enjoy life, spend time with his family when he had the time away from school, and enjoys surfing and playing the guitar. He graduated high school at the age of 18, along with his childhood friends, and also graduated college, albeit a little early at the age of 20. Troy was easygoing and was always there for his friends who shared that camaraderie with him in return.
Overall, his diligence is Troy's greatest virtue, enabling him to learn new skills quickly simply because he won’t give up until he masters them. He manages to teach himself how to be a better role-model for others, and learns how child psychology works. Even though Troy is the most popular and the cutest boy in school, he's also the nicest and kindest guy you’ll ever meet. He is the boldest and the most outspoken of the characters, often not afraid to say what he really thinks of a person. Troy is the envy of the student body, with guys wanting to be him, and girls wanting to be with him. There may have even been GUYS who wanted to be with him as well, who have found him attractive (Ryan Evans, Brett Shimura, and Jimmie Zara).
Troy is able to sing from his heart in a naïve yet convincing manner. Being the all-around lovable and charming jock, woe to anyone who trifles with him, he cares about people's lives and wants to help them. His independence nevertheless makes him a beloved and respected figure to others. Troy's popular because he is also part of a program that prevents bullying and keeps students at East High safe from all physical and mental bullying. You can bet that they have pulled a lot of pranks like the one they pulled on Jimmie and Donny Dion. Troy is always involved in the middle of all the drama and he's most certainly not afraid to take action either.
As his experience grows throughout Season 2 he becomes a much better fighter to the point that he’s presently one of the best in all of Albuquerque. Troy is angst-ridden and bogged down with constant insecurities. In addition to his insecurities, he's also surrounded by constant drama and the toll of bad things happening to him, his friends and family. Despite the fact that Troy is a Big Man on Campus who is also a Chick Magnet, he can also be very awkward but endearing, especially when it comes to his interactions with Gabriella.
Troy was wealthy sure, but he wanted to be more than just a rich kid who had a famous family. He strived for his own version of greatness, which was very impressive and endearing.
Described as the ultimate looker with the features of a God, Troy Bolton has the “classic 'good-looks' look”; dreamy in appearance and he has a strong, compelling aura. His facial features are described as so fine that they seem to have been sculpted: high cheekbones, a straight classical nose, and sensual lips. Troy has silky-soft, light chestnut-colored hair, with hints of a sandy-brown hidden within its depths that fall over the fronts of his brows. His eyes are the colour of cerulean (a shade of blue ranging between azure and a darker sky blue). His skin is golden with a tan complexion. His physique is lithe, lean, and flat-muscled, with broad shoulders and long legs. He has a very athletic body and the height to match. Weighing in around a 140-pounds of pure body muscle. he is described as being of average height, about 5'8".
Troy doesn’t have any preferred type of clothing. Basically he’ll wear anything that is in style and considered to be cool and the hottest fashion. He is mostly seen in the latest fashion of wearing a shirt that seems too small so when he stretches, a nice view of his abs are shown. Of course the pants that hangs loosely around his waist revealing the tops of either his boxers or briefs. He doesn’t mind wearing clothing that is tight on him either, he does enjoy showing off his hard earned muscles. He does wear occasional slightly baggy shirts as well.
However, throughout Season 2 and beyond, his body is more defined and becomes more muscular as he develops. Troy seems to be obsessed with physical fitness and shape, even avoiding carbohydrates. He carved out a chiseled physique at 5% body fat, leaving everyone in awe with his transformation. He created a three-day workout split, where he trained legs on one day, back and biceps on another, and arms, shoulders, and chest on the third day. Troy also trained his abs every day to keep them conditioned. The principal feature of Troy’s workouts were supersets. This means Troy would do two exercises back-to-back without any rest. By doing this, Troy not only saved his time, he also burned more calories and improved his pump – enabling fast muscle growth.
Troy doesn’t have any preferred type of clothing. Basically he’ll wear anything that is in style and considered to be cool and the hottest fashion. He is mostly seen in the latest fashion of wearing a shirt that seems too small so when he stretches, a nice view of his abs are shown. Of course the pants that hangs loosely around his waist revealing the tops of either his boxers or briefs. He doesn’t mind wearing clothing that is tight on him either, he does enjoy showing off his hard earned muscles. He does wear occasional slightly baggy shirts as well.
Personality and Traits
|“||It's hard to believe how much being a friend really means to someone. Most people take it for granted, like they do a lot of things. To a person who doesn't have any though, one friend can mean the world. Even a simple smile or hello can change a person's day.||”|
Despite being the captain of East High's basketball team, The Wildcats, Troy Bolton is not what you expect him to be on first glance. He is seemingly expected to come across as the "jerk jock" stereotype: aggressive, arrogant, cruel, egotistical, short-tempered, and superficial. However, in actuality, Troy is the friendliest and most easygoing character in the series. He truly cares about maintaining East High, knowing that there's more to being king than just power and glory, and takes the responsibilities that come with the job very seriously. With a warm, welcoming aura, Troy rules the school with a genuine smile, and spends most of his spare time using his abilities for the pleasure of himself, Gabriella Montez, his friends, and the entire student body. It's also mentioned that none of the student body have anything bad to say about him, which, suggests that he is the opposite of the "jerk jock" stereotype. Troy always pushed the people around him to do better and be better. He never settled and therefore didn’t want his friends to settle either. Troy will do anything for anyone, even a stranger who has difficulties. He is a person who sticks up for the little guy and people who don't have a voice of their own. He has a passion for the arts, reading, and studying drama whilst playing basketball. He forgives people with ease, even when they do not deserve it. Sweet-tempered and even a bit naïve, Troy is perfectly willing to over-look obvious personality flaws. He also is curious about the unknown, such as his life after East High.
Troy is a very selfless person, who always puts his family and friends before himself in his life. Throughout the series Troy shows this in many ways, and sometimes it may just be a small gesture, but they all can add up to prove how benevolent he can be. After all, the truth about Troy is that his main priority in life is focusing on satisfying the people he loves more than himself. This is one of the many reasons why the student body of East High worships him. He feels the constant need to save others and if he doesn't end up saving people, he'll burden guilt. The Wildcat leader practically never turns anyone away; Troy is, despite his popularity and fortunate life, a very compassionate person. He is always looking out for others and never demanding any glory for it. When he finds Brett Shimura crying, he empathizes with Brett despite having no context for what’s going on. Troy gravely underestimates that being nice to Weston Miller (who was scheming right behind his back), isn't going to change his heart. Overall, the only foolish thing Troy actually did was trusting Weston a little too much.
|“||I'm a very outgoing person so I like people who are not afraid to be themselves. I'm not a shy person. I like conversations and I'm a really big sucker for personality.||”|
With no negativity within him, Troy is the physical embodiment of positivity and innocence. He's not one to talk behind someone's back or insult someone. He is completely honest and trustworthy, and he never breaks his promises. He is most interested in people — and not necessarily the kind of people you would normally expect. We wouldn't say Troy is some wide-eyed, naïve optimist — he just seems able to see the good and the beauty in unlikely places. In short, he definitely likes to watch and analyze people. Another way we know Troy loves people (and is good with them): he does his best to help them, even when it screws up his own life. Troy cares about other people and how they should be treated. He always thinks there's some good in people, no matter how bad they are.
Going along with the topic of Troy’s true personality, he proves himself to be the true loving boy you hope he really is. Troy has his purpose, but he knows that life isn’t merely about accomplishments, but about leaving a legacy. That legacy is how he made others feel, and how he helps others accomplish their dreams. All in all, you can see that this is just another perfect example of his factual character. Troy is obsessed with the idea of true love. He also has a strong belief that using the power of love for everything will bring happiness and peace. Troy's strong ability to love is both a strength and a weakness. It's a strength because it helps him to try and always see the good in people; helped to save Brett from eternal isolation. But it's also a weakness because he can fall prey to people playing on his emotions by using love and using the concept of love to use him and manipulate him, such as what Weston did to Troy. He's naturally a people-person who loves being on stage and the thrills and chills of others, which gravitates him. Troy has a large heart, and although he tends to keep his emotions under control — and even under wraps — a majority of the time, he is capable of expressing his true feelings in a genuine, powerful light. He is filled to the brim with love and affection, sweet to nearly everyone he comes across. Everyone he meets, he will always greet them with a warm smile and a friendly hello. It is awfully easy for Troy to make new friends everywhere he goes. This proves his kindness and pleasant aura that makes him a beloved figure.
|“||Don’t judge a book by its cover. I think it’s so easy to assume someone’s story or why they, that they are the mean girl or the jock, but there’s so much behind each person. I hope people will really remind themselves of that and remember that and therefore create a lot of real connections and friendships in the end.||”|
Troy passes no judgment on anyone, ever, and that’s saying something considering the amount of seemingly bizarre things people do. He keeps the most open of minds and genuinely accepts everyone for who they are. This is what makes Troy diverse from any other guy.
Since childhood, he has harbored a dream to become an optimist, solely for the opportunity to help those in need and make the world a better place. He often remains relatively calm in perilous situations, or gives words of encouragement during the darkest hours. He is well-known for his kindness and optimism — both of which act as his greatest strengths, as they've guided him safely through the various hardships faced throughout the series.
Troy has an awkward kind of charm. But as you keep watching, you realize there is more to him than just the enchanting side of him. He has the confidence, good-looks, and quick wit to back it all up, too. He clearly wins at boyish charm, a somewhat elusive quality best marked by impish smiles and genuine sweetness. He exudes this swoon-worthy trait, and sometimes it’s almost too much for people to handle. Troy wins at the innocent charm thing because he just wears his feelings on his sleeve. He can’t hide looks like this — they’re perfectly genuine and perfectly adorable. When he wants to show his charisma, he shows it. When we first meet Troy, there is a more humane side of him that comes out to charm Gabriella, with his legitimate personality. This shows how Troy is the down-to-earth, loving boy, who cares about making other people better than himself. Troy's charm has a touch of boyish innocence and purity.
|“||My advice to teens is to try and do something that scares you every day because it’s the only way you can test how far you can really go. Whether it’s going out and auditioning for the play or trying out for the basketball team, you have to explore your boundaries and see where you really want to go and the only way you can do that is to break out of your shell.||”|
Leaving behind a profound legacy after his days at East High, Troy Bolton made himself be seen as a positive role-model to many individuals around the world. He possesses the ability to inspire people to join him in his quest, even when they are incapable of seeing what he sees. Troy has a "love of humanity" concept of helping one's community whenever possible. He goes out of his way to help the poor, downtrodden, sick or elderly. This is most often achieved through his financial philanthropy, giving money to worthy causes, but may be done through volunteer work as well. Troy is the one who wants to look out for others safety from dangers he doesn't even know about. His most prominent characteristic is his sense of teamwork and "togetherness". Troy also has a fascination for the aquatic life and loves nothing better than just being able to sit in an aquarium, watching as all of the sea's creatures swam and scurried around in the tanks. It gives him a sense of solitude and being just one of millions of God's creatures, a sense of peace when the outside noise became too much.
|“||My mood was terrible. In retrospect I can look back now and say that. People weren't telling me I was mean or anything, but I could feel that lack of carbohydrate.||”|
Although Troy boasts a successful career, his way to the top wasn't easy. Throughout everything, Troy had moments where he struggled with alcohol and substance addiction. He decided to seek help to beat his addictions once and for all. After numerous ups and downs, he was eventually able to overcome this dark period in his life.
Therefore, those around Troy need his continual guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. Troy is a good judge of character, which serves him well in attracting the right people that he can prod them then into action and direct them along the lines of his vision. He is full of energy, always on the go, fidgety, and quite hyperactive. Life is in a constant motion for him and he devours it powerfully. He has great ability to put thoughts into action, and there is no wait once he sets his mind on something. Where others tend to think or dream, Troy already takes action while radiating energy, enthusiasm, and livelihood around. His physical stamina is strong, and he loves mental and physical exercise. Troy keep himself physically or mentally busy at all times, and he feels better spending time outdoors and eating natural foods. Limited space is a major challenge for Troy, while exercise, proper diet, and rest are critical for his health. A good walk in the fresh air serves as an intellectual vehicle for him.
|“||I’m enjoying where I’m at in my life and I feel like I’m learning a lot on a daily basis.||”|
Troy is not only an inspiration for people who watch him on TV. He’s also a HUGE influence for fitness enthusiasts who want to build a physique as great as his. Troy’s awe-worthy body transformation, which showcases how much effort it’s needed to build a great physique, is one of many contributors to his immense popularity amongst generations of people. Looking through Troy’s career and his accomplishments, there’s one thing that makes him as successful as he is today – a constant thirst and desire to achieve greatness. From acting in blockbuster movies, writing and singing songs, to achieving jaw-dropping fitness transformations. All of this was a result of Troy’s incredible drive to push forward and see how far he could go in life. Ultimately, if there’s only one thing that we can learn from Troy, it would be; the influence we have on others matters more than glamour and riches.
Role in Series
The true blue and yellow high school basketball team stepped between the spaces between the Wildcat enemies. The boy with the number fourteen plastered on his back narrowed his dark brow at the rivals. The stands that held the ecstatic red superfans were divided, straight down the middle. The sea of crimson was separated by a single row of chairs, not even the excitement of the most important game of the year able to bring them together. Not the last game of the season. The glowing scoreboard read 63 to 57, Wildcats. They were on their way to victory. The teenager closed his eyes again, still only aware of his flaming heartbeat and the trickles of sweat that grazed down his smooth face. He took a strong inhale of oxygen, just before he heard it. The soft voice that seemed to cut through the rest made his blood rush fluidly through his veins. The honey-sweet tone that canceled every other screeching fan away whispered in his tender ear. The only one that mattered. The Wildcats Varsity's captain turned his head slowly, sparkling blue lasers in search for the one. His ocean-blue eyes locked on a petite, long dark black-colored haired beauty standing on the second-to-last row of the stands that were jam packed. He could see her olive skin radiating off the golden lights from above, like a heavenly figure in a mass of hell. Like a spotlight shone down upon her in perfection, making her eyes glitter with nervousness. "Give me strength." Troy whispered in his velvet voice before turning away from his love. The arena's eyes were on him, judging as he turned the rigid ball in his hands. Adrenaline was surging through his throbbing veins as he pounded the basketball to the ground twice, feeling the earth rubble with each bounce. His stomach was twisting nervously as he gazed up on the basket once again. Ripping his ceruleans open, Troy finally felt his ribcage vibrate as he took one deep breath of air and bent his powerful knees. The world suddenly shook as Troy pushed upward, large muscles constricting as the orange sphere left his fingertips. It suspended in the air momentarily, before suddenly swooshing through the white net and the entire gym erupted into screeches of triumph. Noise rushed through his ear drums as he was no longer deaf to the insane atmosphere of the gym. Cheerleaders chanting, the crowd roaring, his father screaming directions on the sideline all smashed upon his muscular body. The rest of his teammates were leaping up and down in joy, while continuing to scurry into position. Troy felt the defining heat on his back while glancing sideways towards the student section, watching the midnight waves of Gabriella bouncing with delight. She flashed him a proud smile. Red and white confetti came showering down from above. Troy was quickly lifted into the air by his teammates as teenagers and adults alike jumped up and down in the stands with excitement. Troy threw his head back and threw his arms in the air, letting out a scream of excitement. When the large trophy was passed to him he raised that above his head. The screams of excitement increased as East High celebrated. Finally his teammates let him down and Troy passed the trophy to his light brown-skinned, big-haired afro, best friend, so he could relish in the moment as well. Making his way through the swarm of people was harder than it appeared. Every person he came across was cheering and congratulating him. Troy came across a small and petite girl with brunette hair with glasses, who was gingerly trying to get through the crowd. "Troy! Congratulations! You did a fantastic job!" She threw her arms around him. "Thanks, Kelsi." Troy gushed. Kelsi smiled. "Listen, have you seen Brie? I can't find her." He asked. Kelsi shook her head. "Last I saw her she was with Taylor in the stands. She probably had the right idea staying back there for a bit. It's impossible to get through here." Kelsi said. "You know it's okay to push, right?" Troy chuckled. "Yeah, but sometimes I can't. I mean, I'm half the height of some of these people." Kelsi reminded him. Troy smiled. "If you duck you might able to go under their arms." He suggested. Kelsi grinned. "I'll try." She answered sheepishly. "Good luck." Troy said. The jock continued past the remaining people until he came to the edge of the bleachers. He furrowed his eyebrows. Gabriella was nowhere to be seen. He jumped up onto the bleachers so he could get a bird's eye view of the mob of people surrounding the trophy. Scanning it quickly, he couldn't see Gabriella anywhere even though he was able to pick out everyone else in their gang. It wouldn't make sense anyway that Gabriella would go in the mob. Frowning, he looked around the rest of the gym. Quickly, Troy scrambled down from the bleachers and ran out of the gymnasium. He looked around frantically, praying that each brunette he laid eyes on would be Gabriella. None of them were. "Gabriella?!" he exclaimed. Suddenly, a girl threw her arms around Troy, who breathed a sigh of relief as he hugged her tightly. "Congratulations! You were amazing, Wildcat! I was so nervous for you, but you were fantastic! I knew you would be able to do it! And when James Fletcher knocked you over that time I thought I was going to faint! Oh my goodness, I still don't know how you did it. I mean you had the entire pressure of the game on you and you managed to shoot those free-throws effortlessly!" Gabriella rambled excitedly. Troy smiled lovingly, cupping Gabriella's cheek with his hand and gazing into her eyes. "You were the one person I wanted to see after the game and I couldn't find you. I was so worried." Troy confessed. Gabriella smiled softly. "I'm sorry about that. I think some boy ate something bad; he was complaining his stomach hurt and he said he felt like he was going to barf just after the game finished." Gabriella explained. Troy chuckled. Outside the school gymnasium, Troy and two of his basketball teammates were hanging out. "Hoops! We won, man!" Chad yelped with excitement. "Hells yeah!" Troy laughed. REST IS TBA
Sun, warmth and haze greeted Troy as he opened his eyes the next morning. At first he didn't even attempt to lift his eyelids as his eyes were sore and heavy with sleep. He was sure they must be made of lead at the way they weighed themselves closed no matter how hard he tried to lift them. Softly he groaned to himself as he rolled onto his back on his mattress. Gradually he could feel himself waking from his ambiguous dozing state. However, the more conscious he became, the more aware he was of a rapidly increasing 'problem' that was brewing in his white Calvin Klein Boxer briefs. His usual 'morning wood' was turning into something a little more serious and as he lay there staring at the ceiling he realized why. Quickly rising from his position — he made a dash — in nothing but boxer briefs — to the bathroom. His body was tight with unreleased tension as he rounded the corner to the bathroom — only to be stopped by the sound of his mother's voice as it travelled up the stairs from the kitchen. He looked down and sighed. "Troy? Troy Alexander Bolton, are you up?" Lucille called out. He stopped and rubbed his hand over his face tiredly. "Yeah, Ma! I'm up." Troy replied. He looked at his 'problem' again and laughed in spite of himself. "I'm up all right..." he murmured humorously to himself, quickly proceeding to the bathroom before he had a chance of being caught in his current predicament. He closed the door behind him, before quickly stripping of his underwear and stepping into the big, open shower and running it cold. He jumped at the shock of the sudden temperature and only just stopped himself from letting out a yelp. He calmed his heart as he slightly increased the temperature, letting the water run down his body as he tried desperately to rid the arousal from his body. He gripped his Lynx shower gel bottle and squeezed the liquid into his palm, rubbing into contents into his skin. He stepped out the shower, stretching his muscular body out reaching for the ceiling, releasing its tension, before pulling a towel off the rack and rubbing himself dry. He wrapped the towel low at his waist before standing at the sink. Looking at the reflection of himself in the mirror, he couldn't help himself. He stopped as he met his eyes in the mirror and he shook his head. He looked at himself in the mirror; his blue eyes scanning him from top to bottom. He opened the water tap and cupped some water between his hands, splashing it on his face a couple of times, afterwards. He dried his face with a towel and then combed his hair with his fingers, pushing it backwards and letting it settle in its messy and natural way. "Troy!" Lucille yelled. He groaned at the sound of his mother’s voice at the bottom of the stairs. He then proceeded to stick his head out the door to reply. "Yeah?" Troy said. "When you get down here, I need help unpacking groceries." Lucille called out. Troy moved toward his room. "And don't forget — you've got school in 10 minutes." she yelled out. "Okay. Be down in a minute!" Troy called before walking back to his room. He quickly closed the door behind him before his gaze fell on his body. He pulled on a tight white t-shirt and a pair of baggy blue jeans over a clean pair of Calvin Klein's. With one spray of cologne he made his way down the stairs. "There you are..." an attractive redhead woman said as he emerged in the kitchen. He smiled and leaned over to kiss her cheek. "Mornin' Mama." He looked over at the many brown bags on the countertop as he reached for an apple. "More groceries?" he asked in an amused manner. "Well, you obviously don't realize how much you eat. You and your father, that is..." she smirked as she patted her son's strong arm. "Now — make sure you eat breakfast, then—" she pointed to the bags. "—groceries." she finished. "Yes ma'am." Troy agreed in a begrudged tone. "And maybe, when you finally earn enough to properly fix that deathtrap truck of yours, you can start buying the groceries for me, and then I'll unpack them instead." Lucille said. His mother rounded the fridge and came back into view as Troy rolled his eyes playfully at her comment. "Hey — My truck is not a deathtrap!" Troy whined. Lucille's eyebrows rose at him skeptically. "It's not!" he conceded, before tipping his head to the side a little and licking his bottom lip. "It's a work-in-progress." Troy said innocently. His mother laughed as she winked at her son. "Okay then." she chuckled. Troy chomped at his apple before beginning to unpack the groceries as he hummed to himself. When he was about half-way through, his mother reappeared. She leant her shoulder against the fridge and just watched him. Troy slowly jogged to the kitchen to see a brunette man dressed in a matching tie and dress pants reading the white newspaper. His careful fingers drummed against the table gently, before his caramel eyes glanced up, at the same time as his bright teeth glinting in the light. "Morning, Troy." Jack greeted warmly. "Hey, Dad." Troy smiled happily. He walked over to the fridge and opened it, taking out the only carton of orange juice left and a sandwich. "Someone's in a good mood." Troy mother's voice carried from in front of the stove, the smell of eggs and bacon entering Troy's nose. "Mom, come on, it's Monday — beginning of a new week. Who wouldn't be happy?" He practically sung at her as he reached for the glass of orange juice she had set out for him. She eyed him before answering. "You still have a whole day to get through, Troy, don't overlook a quality education for the 'new weekend, new possibilities' fad." she accused, pointing at him with the spatula. He choked on his orange juice before smiling at her. "I can't believe you just said fad, and don't worry Mom, I take my education very seriously.” Troy smiled dramatically. "Yeah... it's a shocker, isn't it?" Jack teased, flipping the newspaper over before standing slowly, towering over Troy by a good three inches. "I gotta head to the school... just make sure your skin doesn't burn in the sunlight, all right?" Jack teased before pressing his tender lips to his wife's forehead, who was standing in front of the stove. "You're the biggest liar I've ever seen, Troy Bolton. Bacon and eggs?" she whined smiling at him. He eyed the eggs. "Just bacon. I'm leaving and I can't drive while eating eggs, Mom, too messy." Troy chuckled. He lunged for the bacon before she could argue and sprinted for the front door. He grabbed his thick red and white varsity jacket. Troy gently leaned over the light wooded table to kiss his mother's cheek. His shoes was the last thing to go on before he exited his house. He hopped into the driver's seat of his 1962 Ford F-250 Flareside truck and backed out of the driveway.
The school drive was very busy. Troy pulled into his lucky number 14 parking place at East High School. Slowly, Troy unbuckled his seatbelt and hopped out of the car. Troy pushed open the glass double doors to be greeted with what felt like a million faces. As he walked down the hall people greeted Troy non-stop, mostly girls, fluttering their eyelashes. As soon as he arrived at East High, it seemed like the heavens had opened up to see Jesus himself. But they hadn't. It was Troy. Troy's life had always been like that. Ever since he was a kid, as soon as he would enter a room, people would stare and smile at him. Completely halting what they were doing so they could turn to see him perfectly. And today was no different. When he walked through the halls people greeted him with cheerful smiles plastered on their faces, always saying 'good morning' or simply offering him a good old handshake or pat on the back. And he returned it graciously. You see, Troy had always been the popular guy in school. The one who everyone likes and gets along with. The one that girls are madly in love with and would die to have. The one who guys envied like mad and wanted to hate him terribly. But they couldn't. He was just too likable. From his irresistible 'Bolton' charm, his contagious laugh and smart yet child-like wit. Everything about Troy was enchanting. Troy just walked casually down the hallway nodding at the many people politely. Flutter eyelashes. Smile widely. High-five. Knuckle-punch. Handshake. Turning around the first corner on his way to his locker, Troy heard a loud voice coming from behind him. He immediately recognized it. Resounding so loud, it made heads turn. "That can't be Troy Bolton, the Wildcat superstar and captain of the, if I may say so, fabulous championship team right in front of me can it?" Chad said as he came up behind Troy. "Nope, just some cheap look-a-like." Troy joked turning around. "Pay no attention to him. I'm just a distraction." he said, aiming his words to the people who were currently listening in. "Well you got that right! I mean, as far as Gabriella is concerned." Chad replied looking back at his best friend. He grinned knowing that his comment would probably make Troy blush. Exactly as he thought, Troy's face had taken on an appearance that was slightly more red than before which he knew he was also embarrassed about. "Come on, man!" Troy said, pulling his friend along. "20 minutes until Homeroom starts, man. If we are late for Darbus, she will definitely make sure there is a distraction, in order to get rid of us completely." he continued, hurrying to get away from anyone who might have noticed his embarrassment. "True, very true!" Chad replied, hurrying along with his friend to class. "What’s up, man?" Troy asked. Chad smiled and spun the basketball that he was holding close to his chest on his fingertips like it was the easiest trick in the book. "What's up? I'll tell you what's up! My algebra score, that's what!" He announced proudly, throwing the ball up in the air in triumph. Troy laughed. "Glad to here it, dude. I knew you could if you just applied yourself." He said. "Apply myself? You sound like— Man, you'd think you were Shaquille O'Neal or something." Chad whined, as he nodded toward the group that was just staked out in front of Troy. Troy laughed and shook his head. "You know, it feels more like Hell instead of school to me." Chad joked and looked around the entrance. Troy laughed again and nodded in agreement. They headed down the hall. They reflexively started heading off to their lockers. Chad started rambling about how they need to start practicing if they want back to back championships. But Troy wasn't listening. They stopped early to see a blonde boy wearing a white polo shirt, black pants and a black fedora to match standing in front of his locker. Troy took in the sight as he saw the flamboyant-styled boy walking towards them. "Hey, Evans!" Chad greeted their friend and smiled. "Hey Chad, hi Troy." Ryan responded and reached back to grab a book from his locker. "It took forever for me to get up this morning." Ryan chuckled. "Yeah, I think I hit the snooze about four times wishing it was just a dream. Where's your sister?" Chad said. Ryan rolled his eyes teasingly. "Now that was a dumb question. She's with Zeke, as usual. You know she never shuts up about him! It drives me crazy! But I guess it's better than how she was before." Ryan said in defense. Troy nodded in agreement. "So Troy..." Ryan said, turning to him, snapping Troy out of his trance. "The fall musical tryouts are next week. Are you going to follow up a great performance in the winter musical?" he asked. Troy's stomach dropped again. He had, indeed, thought about it. But not because he was an inspiring actor or singer. It was for another more important reason. "I'm not sure..." Troy said while rubbing the back of his neck – a habit he did when he was nervous. "Maybe I'll just watch you and Sharpay." he continued. "Oh come on now." Ryan said and shook his head. "Well, it's your choice I guess. But we'll be looking for you." Ryan chuckled. Troy nodded his head and looked at the clock. "Chad, we need to get going. We can't miss Homeroom." Troy said nervously. The two waved to Ryan, got their books from their lockers and headed off down the crowded hallway. "Where's your girlfriend anyways?" Troy asked Chad. "You know girls, they have to look so damn perfect." Chad responded with an eye-roll. "Well, we only do it for you boys." A milk chocolate brown-skinned girl with jet black bob-styled hair, wearing a purple Brooks Brothers tie, with matching sweater vest over business blouse said as she popped up next to Chad. Troy watched as his best friend smiled and kissed his girlfriend on the lips. "Hey, Troy." She said and he nodded at her. Suddenly, Troy slowly turned around to face the door and felt his jaw drop about five feet. Standing with Taylor could only be a dream — Gabriella. Troy watched as his gorgeous girlfriend walked towards him and smiled. "Hey Troy." She greeted him with a shy, but smooth voice. For one of the rare times in his life, he was a loss for words. Finally, Troy shook his head slightly to clear his mind and smiled back. "Uh, hey Gabriella." He finally managed to get out. She continued to smile at him and giggled a little. Walking closer to him, he could smell the faint scent of her perfume, making him want her even more. "You have one of those smiles that makes the rest of the world smile too." Troy said. Gabriella shyly smiled again and blushed deeply. "Thank you, Wildcat. You don't look bad yourself." she said flirtatiously. His bright blue eyes met her deep brown. "It’s lucky this day is not long enough for my fragile heart to shatter completely when you leave me." Troy whispered seductively. Gabriella blushed. The four walked through the hall. Troy grinned when he saw the masses of students running from place to place and chattering about their championship. Troy and Chad bumped fists and pulled each other into a hug, slapping each other on the back and pulled away. Suddenly, a brown-skinned, muscular guy appeared next to the two. Troy stood looking over professionally with his arms crossed over his chest, leaning against the edge. "We kicked some serious West High butt during that game!" Troy chuckled. They bumped fists again. The three boys went over to admire their MVP trophy case. A skinny, beach-blonde girl with her hair let down in her natural curls as her long bangs covered her forehead approached the boys, popping her chest out flirtatiously. "Hey, Troy!" Sharpay exclaimed, causing Troy to turn around and look at her. "So, when's the big game?" she asked delightfully. Her cell-phone rang, causing her to look down. "Uh, yesterday." Troy said, kind of confused. Sharpay looked up, totally unaware of what Troy had just told her. "Oh well. Good luck." Sharpay said, blowing a kiss to Troy with a wink before sauntering down the hall. Troy caught the fake-blown kiss with his fist. Troy, Chad and Zeke all watched Sharpay as she walked away and then Troy saw Zeke dreaming. "She's so sweet!" Zeke said and held his hand up to his chest. Chad shook his head. Troy looked at Zeke and playfully slapped him across the cheek. Troy then looked back at Sharpay. "Oh sorry." Zeke said snapping back to reality. They all continued to walk down the hall and Troy broke the silence. "Anyway, are you guys looking forward to Prom?" Troy asked. "Yeah, but dude, you really need to give me some advice on how to even talk to a girl." Chad complained. "Just talk to her about her favorite things." Troy suggested. "Taylor only likes talking about girl stuff." Chad replied. "Well if that's what she wants to talk about then just go along with it." Troy asked back. "It's so easy for you to say because you know what Gabriella would say." Chad said, already knowing the answer. "Well not every time and it's actually not that easy." Troy said trying to cheer Chad up. "Riiiight... Well, are you going to ask her to the Prom?" Chad asked curiously. "Me ask Gabriella, I don't know dude. I mean, I don't have a problem asking my girlfriend. It's just... well... to tell you the truth, I've never been to a dance." Troy confessed. "Seriously, haven't you ever heard of 'Homecoming?'" Chad asked. "Yeah, but I didn't go because number one, I didn't have a date and number two, I didn't want to go." Troy said. "So what's the problem with asking her?" Chad asked. "I've never asked a girl to a dance!" Troy said. "Well I'm sure Gabriella really wants you to ask her!" Chad said. "I'm sure she wants me to ask... her... too..." Troy trailed off and time suddenly stopped as he didn't realize where he was going. Troy completely walked into an open locker and lost balance of himself and fell to the ground. "Troy, are you okay?" a male voice asked in desperate concern. Troy sat up and felt the bump on his head. "Ouch!" Troy yelled. "Hello Superstar, are you okay!?" the boy said again, a little louder. "Yeah, wait, who are you?" Troy asked, his eyebrows furrowed. "It's Rocket Man." the skinny, lanky boy wearing a beanie answered with delight. "Yeah right, no, sorry. Hey, Jimmie." Troy replied with a respectful nod. As he got up to his feet, he brushed his jeans, and noticed Jimmie staring at him. "That looked like it really hurt." Jimmie added as he touched Troy's forehead where the bump was. "Oh yeah, it's all cool. It didn't hurt at all." Troy said and smiled politely at the lanky kid. "Wow, you're really strong, but try to daydream about your girl when you're not walking by things you're about to bump into." Jimmie teased. "Hey, I wasn't daydreaming." Troy exclaimed, smiling. Suddenly, Jimmie wrapped his arm around Troy's shoulder. "Troy, my brotha... Can I have your gym locker?" Jimmie asked. His arm draped off of Troy. "What?" Troy said with shock and confusion in his tone. Jimmie looked at him anxiously. "Like, starting next week. You know, I was thinking about joining the team next season and, uh, I think I'd be helping out with the guys." Jimmie said, nearly blushing. Troy crossed his arms across his chest. "Oh, yeah. Yeah, why didn't I think of that?" Troy asked with a flashing smile. Jimmie scoffed. Apparently Jimmie didn't seem to notice the sarcasm. "I don't know." he responded, shrugging his shoulders. In response, Troy smiled warmly. "Well, can't be tardy again. See ya later, bro!" Jimmie said as he rushed down the hall. Troy looked back as he saw Jimmie run. His face tensed and shut his eyes as he muttered underneath his breath. "Well, well, well. That was a sight. Rocket Man talking to Golden Boy? Boy, was that game awesome!" Zeke said gleefully as he snuck up behind Troy. "Yeah, without our team captain here we wouldn't of got that three-pointer to end the game." Chad said, giving Troy a quick look. "Okay. Chad, just F.Y.I., that was Rocket Man." Troy stated, correcting his best friend. "There’s a rumor about a party pretty soon, celebrating the back-to-back championship game at Chad's house." Zeke informed the clueless blue-eyed boy. "Oh yeah? If this rumor is true, guys, East High deserves it! And it's our senior year, Wildcats!" Troy said confidently. "Hell yeah!" Zeke told the guys, winking delightfully. "A party would be awesome, but, I have to focus on finishing high school, deciding which college to go to, and Gabriella." Troy said, glaring at Zeke. Laughing, Chad and Zeke went their separate ways. The shrill sound of the school bell rang through the halls of East High, as crowds of students spilled out into the corridors, eager to get to break. Troy closed his locker door with a bang and turned, leaning against it casually as his eyes scanned the crowded hallway for a certain familiar face. Suddenly he spotted the head of long, curly black hair moving towards him from amidst the sea of teenagers and smiled to himself. "Hey beautiful!" Troy greeted his girlfriend with a kiss on the forehead as she finally reached him. Gabriella sighed as she leaned into his chest. "Hey..." she murmured, closing her eyes. "Man, it's gonna be a looong day." she groaned. "Come on..." Troy said into Gabriella's hair, placing a kiss there. "Let's get out of here." he finished. With that, he took her books off her and grabbed her hand, leading her through the slowly clearing corridor and out onto the street. Swinging their hands between them, Troy looked down at Gabriella. "So, Brie — what's the plan for this afternoon?" he asked. Gabriella shrugged. "Homework, homework and – for something a little different... more homework." she groaned. Troy raised an eyebrow. "Sounds like... fun!" he exclaimed. Gabriella rolled her eyes. "Tonnes..." she yawned. "Heeey – cheer up, Gabriella!" Troy joked, breaking the link between their hands and wrapping his arm around her shoulders instead, squeezing her slightly. "Only a couple more days till the weekend, and then we can just relax together – maybe catch a movie? Go out for dinner?" Troy suggested. Gabriella flashed him a half-hearted smile. "I'll try and pencil you in around my chemistry report, calculus assignment and rehearsing for that presentation ceremony – honestly, I don't know why I said yes to Miss Darbus – she has me wrapped around her little finger!" Gabriella let out her breath and pushed her stubborn hair out of her eyes. Troy knew she was frustrated, and not only because she had so much on her plate. Troy chuckled at his exasperated girlfriend. "Come on Brie – it's not all doom and gloom! We both know you're the best person for the job and that you'll do brilliantly. It's not the end of the world. You'll get the work done – you always do!" he smiled down at her. "I have faith in you!" he added. Gabriella nodded quietly as they continued to walk in a comfortable silence. Troy laughed to himself as he suddenly remembered the party Chad had said earlier in the day that he had been meaning to tell Gabriella. "Hey – you'll never guess what... Brie?" Troy trailed off as he realized his girlfriend was no longer by his side. He turned on his heel. "You all right, Brie?" he asked as he realized she was a few paces behind him. "Yeah. But can you slow down a little?" she huffed. "Yeah... okay..." Troy replied, frowning a little as he took her hand and continued walking. "You'll never guess what Chad said..." Troy started again but was interrupted by Gabriella. "Troy, can you please slow down? I can't keep up!" she said in a small voice. Troy's brow creased as he came to a halt. "Babe, are you sure you're okay?" Troy asked in a genuine concern tone. Gabriella gave a tiny nod. "I'm just tired." she yawned again, as if proving her point. "I didn't get much sleep last night between studying for the history test and stressing about the song for the presentation." she said. Troy cast his eyes over Gabriella and took in her appearance – dark circles under her glazed over eyes. Troy extended a hand and rested it against her forehead. "Hey, at least you're not having a fever." he informed her. "Troy, I'm just tired! It is a Monday after all!" Gabriella insisted. Troy shook his head. "Come on, let's get you to the gang." he said. "Bu..." Gabriella whined. Troy pressed a finger to her lips. "No arguments." he stated. They continued slowly walking down the hallway. "You know I'm always there to protect you, right, Gabriella?" Troy said sincerely. "And you do a great job, Wildcat." Gabriella smiled charmingly. "Anything you say, babe. I'll follow you anywhere." Troy smiled and laughed. "Yeah, but you still love me." Gabriella said. His clear, blue eyes bored into her chocolate brown ones, twinkling. "Yeah, I do. And you love me too." Troy sighed delightfully. Gabriella sighed contentedly. She gently pressed her lips against his neck. Troy let out a small groan, and wrapped his arms around her slim waist. He kissed her hair. Troy gazed into her deep brown orbs. She smiled at him, brushing his hair out of the way. Gabriella affectionately nuzzled his nose. Troy sighed. He wished he could savor this moment forever. "What are you thinking about, Wildcat?" Gabriella asked, breaking the peaceful silence. Troy grinned, wrapping his arms around Gabriella even tighter. His lips trailed from the corner of her mouth to the tip of her earlobe, where he gave a playful nibble. Gabriella moaned, tangling her fingers into Troy's hair. "Hm, what am I thinking? I'll give you three guesses..." Troy nipped the base of Gabriella's neck. Gabriella moaned a little louder. "Um, basketball?" Gabriella let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. "No, try again." Troy said playfully. His hand gently caressed her thigh. Gabriella drew a deep breath. "Um, school?" she asked dumbly. Troy gave her an unreadable expression. Then, out of nowhere, he burst out laughing. Talk about a mood killer. Troy finally stopped laughing, but there was still an amused smile on his lips. Gabriella narrowed her eyes, slapping him playfully on the chest. Troy grinned, and swung her arms around his neck. Then he pressed his body up to her. Gabriella gasped at the contact. Troy's grin grew wider. "Oh Brie, Brie, Brie. And you're supposed to be the genius here." he teased. Gabriella stuck her tongue out at him. "What's that supposed to mean, my lunkhead basketball boy?" Gabriella couldn't resist the on-going crack that Taylor had started. Troy scrunched up his nose adorably at her. "It means it should have been obvious what I was thinking about." he stated confidently. Gabriella rolled her eyes. Troy dramatically sighed. "Oh, woe me! My Lord, what have you done to my beautiful Gabriella? She was supposed to be smart one...eth." Troy said, pretending to faint. Gabriella giggled at Troy's antics. Troy grinned. He loved to make Gabriella laugh. It was the prettiest laugh he had ever heard. Troy circled his arms around her waist, resting his forehead against hers. "If you really wanted to know, I was thinking about how lucky I am to have you." Gabriella said sincerely. Her eyes flickered towards Troy's. They were so clear, so blue. And they were sincere. "Brie, you're one in a million. No, you're my one in a million. I love you." Troy said in a genuine tone. Gabriella beamed. She sighed, pressing her lips against his cheek. "I love you too." Gabriella stated. Troy grinned brightly. "Come on." he said, smirking. The couple rounded the corner and saw Taylor and Chad holding hands and kissing passionately on the lips. Troy cleared his throat, trying his best not to be rude. Upon hearing this, Chad gently pulled Taylor away from him and looked up with his eyes wide. "Yo, Hoops! Hey, Gabster." Chad exclaimed, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. Taylor licked her plush lips embarrassingly and chuckled. "We're sorry for interrupting, guys..." Troy apologized sincerely. "Hoops. Man, it’s all good. Right Tay?" Chad assured politely whilst looking at his girlfriend. In response, Taylor nodded. "Um, I'm gonna get something from my locker. I'll be quick as lightning, I promise." Troy said reassuringly. "I'll be here, Wildcat." Gabriella responded with a charming smile. Troy's lips slammed onto Gabriella’s cheek. He then jogged down the corridor. Troy walked down the hallway as students come and go around him, chattering and laughing. His blue eyes flickered over every student that filed through the hallway, lingering on the people passing by. Soon Troy found himself by his locker. Getting his books out, he slammed his locker door shut. He was about to turn the corner to leave when his body jerked. "Whoa!" he gasped; he instinctively tried to stop, preventing himself from bumping into the person in front of him. His cerulean eyes locked on a small olive-skinned Asian boy with large brown eyes and combed black hair, who wore glasses and a gray Disney shirt. The smaller boy was caught in shock too. "Oh sorry!" The boy apologized quickly, rubbing the back of his neck. He slowly looked away from Troy's gaze, looking around; then his eyes lock back at Troy's for a second, before he looked back down. The jock smiled warmly. He studied the shy boy for a few moments as if he was trying to read his mind. "No problem." Troy said once again. The boy pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. He chuckled awkwardly and started to walk away. Troy came to the realization that he had never seen this person before. "Wait, I don't recognize you. Are you new here?" Troy asked out of curiosity. The Asian boy nodded awkwardly. Immediately, Troy sensed the nervousness in the boy's features. "Well then, I should introduce myself, shouldn't I? My name is Troy Bolton. May I have your name?" Troy asked politely, holding his hand out to shake Brett's hand, who shook it back. "Brett." the boy replied nervously. "No, what's your full name?" Troy asked. "Brett... Brett Shimura..." The Asian boy sheepishly replied, confused. "Well, Brett-Brett Shimura, it's a pleasure to meet you. I know it's hard to make friends on the first day, so I thought maybe I could help you out." Troy chuckled softly. "Oh, um, okay..." Brett murmured. "Here, pull your schedule out so we can see if we have any classes together." Troy instructed calmly. Brett pulled out his class schedule and handed it to the jock. Troy, in return, took it and studied it. "Sadly, we don't have any classes together. You have Walters for Homeroom. But don't worry, he's super nice, I promise." Troy chuckled with a wink. Brett smiled sheepishly whilst looking around. "So, um... Where you from?" Troy asked out of curiosity. "Um, I just moved here from Hawaii, like, two months ago." Brett chuckled nervously. "Golly! Hawaii is a beautiful place! What part of Hawaii?" Troy asked, intrigued. "Honolulu." Brett stated simply. "Cool! Well in that case, let me be the first to welcome you to not only Albuquerque, but to East High! Want a tour?" Troy asked voluntarily. Brett nodded hesitantly but smiled gently. "Let’s go then! So, how do you like East High so far, Brett?" Troy asked curiously. They walked down the crowded hallway. "Actually, I, um... I— I don't really know. Um, I just came out of the front office..." Brett said nervously, trailing off. "Oh. Well, that's okay. Someone needs to show you the ropes. I wouldn't mind helping you out. Even if I haven't bumped into you." Troy said, giving a warm smile. Brett looked up at him helplessly, but smiled. "So the grand tour of East High School!" Troy grinned proudly, stretching his arms out with pride. Brett smiled weakly and then followed Troy. "First impressions are the best way to leave lasting impressions. As long as they're good of course." Troy said brightly. "Oh, yeah." Brett chuckled sheepishly. Troy smiled down at him. "Well, I'm glad I could help you out, Brett. Anytime you need a friend, I'll be happy to help you out." Troy said proudly. Brett chuckled softly. Troy grinned to a group of people, at least four. "I want to introduce you to some more Wildcats so you'll feel more comfortable. Is that okay?" Troy offered warmly. Brett smiled meekly. "I know you're nervous, Brett. But there's no need to be. I promise." Troy assured. "I just... It's... I'm not good in social situations, and I..." Brett trailed off as Troy pulled back enough to look down at the shy new kid's face. Brett peered at him from under his eyelashes, taking in his expression. "Talking to a group of strangers, just... makes me feel like a nervous wreck because I have no idea how to make small talk and..." Brett rambled on nervously. Troy huffed a sympathetic sigh. He didn't want to appear like he was pitying Brett, as he knew many people with any kind of disposition didn't like that, yet he wasn't sure what else he could do. He'd never had trouble with people, or meeting new people, as he generally saw himself as laid-back and easy-going. However, as he looked on at the shy, innocent boy beside him who was struggling to even think of walking towards his friends, Troy was beginning to realize how lucky he was to be this way. "Of course they will like you, Brett." he confirmed easily. Brett scoffed, and Troy watched Brett scrunch up his nose in disbelief. "Listen to me." he husked in his usual soft voice. He crouched slightly to be at Brett’s eye-level. "They will like you. There's no need to be scared, buddy. I'll stay with you." Troy said gently. Brett smiled wanly. "Guys, I want to introduce you to someone. Everyone this is Brett Shimura, he transferred here from Honolulu, Hawaii." Troy said before turning his head to look at Brett. The group all turned around when they saw Brett. "Brett, these are my friends. This is my childhood best friend-slash-wingman, Chad Danforth." Troy said, pointing to Chad. Chad offered a friendly grin to him which Brett smiled shyly. "Well, nice to meet you, Brett. This is my girlfriend, Taylor." Chad announced proudly. "Hello, I'm Taylor McKessie. It's so nice to meet you, Brett. And my, my you are adorable, if I must say so!" Taylor squealed with delight. Brett blushed, letting out a small laugh. The group laughed as well. "Ryan Evans — A.K.A. Drama King — and it's nice to meet you, Brett." Ryan said, smiling kindly. "Hi, nice to meet you." Brett responded nervously. "And this beautiful and intelligent young woman is the love of my life, Miss Gabriella Montez!" Troy announced proudly, causing Gabriella to hold back a laugh. "Troy, stop it! It's a pleasure to meet you, Brett. I hope you have a fantastic first day at East High! You're going to love it here, I promise." Gabriella said sweetly. She held her hand out to shake Brett's hand, who shook it back. Troy lovingly wrapped his arm around Gabriella's waist. "So Brett, tell us about yourself?" Taylor said nicely. Brett just bit his lip and shrugged. "Well, he moved here from Hawaii — it's why he was transferred here. The work at his old school was probably too easy for him, so they allowed him to come here and join us." Troy explained, assumingly. "Brett is really shy, and it takes him some time to warm up to you, but just give him time and soon you'll be best friends." He finished proudly, giving Brett a wink. He saw Brett smile at that. "How did you and Troy meet?" Ryan asked. Again Brett bit his lip nervously and looked to Troy. He smiled gently at him. "Well, we bumped to each other — by accident of course — and so I thought I could teach Brett the ropes and all about East High. At least it's how it started. But now Brett and I have formed a friendship as well." Troy stated. "That’s good! We're all around good people. If anyone can help you though, Brett... It's Troy." Gabriella beamed. The warning bell for Homeroom rang through out East High and the few people that were still left in the hallways quickly disappeared into various classes. "Oh, shoot! Darbus will be furious, guys. Nice to meet you, Brett." Chad said as the gang rushed past Troy and Brett. "Yo, Hoops! Come on, man!" Chad hollered. "I'm terribly sorry, Brett. Don't worry, besides, lunch is afterwards." Troy said assuringly. "Thank you, Troy." Brett whispered in a sincere tone. "Hey, it's my pleasure. Well, this is where we depart. If we do remember seeing each other somewhere, it will come to us sooner or later. I'm glad I could help, even in the slightest. I'll see you around, Brett." Troy said. Upon meeting Brett’s gaze, Troy smiled kindly at him. Brett responded with a shy smile. With that, he turned around and casually walked out of the room. He calmly strolled through the corridor. A few students that were still left in the hallways quickly disappeared into various classes. Troy sighed as he saw a petite blonde girl pacing anxiously back and forth in front of Homeroom. He walked over to the girl and tapped her on her shoulder. The girl was startled. "Excuse me, are you lost?" Troy asked. "Oh, no. I'm just waiting for Sharpay Evans. I'm her personal assistant – Tiara Gold. I just transferred here from London and I'm in Miss Darbus's Homeroom!" The girl announced proudly with a British accent. She held out her hand. In return, Troy shook it. "Well, then. I'm Troy Bolton. Pleasure to meet you, Tiara. Welcome to East High! You'll love it here." Troy replied brightly, flashing a smile. The girl giggled sheepishly. "You see that mannequin right there?" Troy said, pointing over to a Tarzan-dressed mannequin. The girl turned her head and nodded. "Yes. I notice that it's missing a hand...?" Tiara chuckled. The girl whipped her head back to turn to Troy. "I don't know, I was just playing with the mannequin and the hand fell off. And there's so many things you can do with a hand." Troy began with a chuckle. The girl nodded, with a snort. An idea came to mind. Troy clutched onto his stomach, moaning in fake pain. "Argh! Ugh! This really hurts." He moaned. A bulge popped out from his stomach as Troy bellowed softly. Tiara covered her mouth from laughing loudly. Troy chuckled as well. Tiara stopped laughing and narrowed her eyes playfully. The jock began hearing a woman's voice lecturing the class 10 feet away from the door; her voice would get louder once she saw him. "Well, nice to meet you, Troy. See ya in there!" Tiara chuckled. She turned and walked inside the classroom. Troy took a deep breath and leaned against the doorway. He waited till the blonde-haired, hippie-dressed woman with bottle-bottom glasses noticed him. "And then—" she turned to the door, glaring the handsome teenage boy once she noticed his presence. "Mister Bolton! Late again, are we? It's the third time this year and it's barely graduation." she scolded, placing her hands over her hips. "I'm so sorry, Miss Darbus. I was helping out a fellow Wildcat." Troy mumbled apologetically. "You say that each time and you continue being late! Care to explain as to why you are late again, Mister Bolton?" she asked, as she narrowed her eyes at him, causing small wrinkles at the sides of her eyes. "I was just talking to a new student. Plus, I was just admiring how great you are, Miss Darbus. I mean your beauty just bounces off the walls." Troy smiled with innocent charm. He crossed his arms across his chest. As the whole class roared with laughter, Miss Darbus gave Troy a pointed look. "Mhm, nice save Mister Bolton. Now back to Shakespeare..." she announced. Troy rolled his blue orbs, chuckling to himself. His seat was in the front row, in front of Chad's desk. Troy casually walked to his seat and sat down. Troy quickly averted the situation by cracking a joke, causing the whole class to laugh. He shook his head in disbelief, while looking around the room in boredom. In the front of the room, Miss Darbus was sitting in a gold throne-like chair, holding a book. "All right, everyone. Settle down! I know we’re all still excited about our Wildcats top-to-back championship!" she exclaimed cheerfully. Troy’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked at a note on his desk. He opened up the folded piece of paper, and blushed immediately. He caught Gabriella’s gaze and smirked at her expression. Troy watched Gabriella giggle silently and turned his attention back to Miss Darbus. "That would be back-to-back, Miss D." Chad corrected with a grin. Everyone in the classroom laughed lightly. "Whatever the case, it was a grand-slam. Well done!" Miss Darbus said cheerfully, while Troy gave a big smile. REST IS TBA. "Don't let it get to you Gabriella. There is nothing you can do, anyone should know that." Troy said trying to make her feel better. "I guess you're right." Gabriella replied. "Troy we're gonna be late!" Gabriella said quickly looking at her watch. "Shit, you're right!" Taylor said as she ran off, with everyone following. "Brie, I'll wait for you." Troy said. "No, no it's fine. I don't want you to be late. Go!" she replied, laughing. Just 10 minutes after the bell rang, Gabriella entered the classroom. She looked over at Troy who looked at her sympathetically, but was laughing at the same time. Gabriella just held up her forefinger and pinky, making a punk sign. "All right ladies and gentlemen, I think you can go now." the teacher said when the bell went off. "And don't forget, you're assignment is due next Wednesday!" Miss Darbus said yelling amongst the commotion. "What you have now, Brie?" Troy asked jokingly as they were walking down the corridor together. "Free period, Wildcat." she replied. "Well then..." Troy said, quickly stepping in front of her, wrapping his hands around her waist. "Would you like some free-time with Troy?" he said sneakily. "I have to finish this assignment. But you can walk with me to my locker!" She said sweetly which made Troy laugh. He almost buckled at the knees because of Gabriella's sweetness – it always made him melt. "Well all right then." he said. The hallways were somewhat crowded, and Troy and Gabriella walked along the corridors. Once again, Troy stepped in front of Gabriella, stopping her in her tracks. "Your locker is too far away." he said. "Troy, it's just around that corner." she replied. "Precisely. Wayyyy too far away!" he said, as he began to slowly back her against the locker. Gabriella smiled and dropped her books, wrapping her arms around his neck as she felt herself being pushed up against the locker. "Mmm, Trrohhyyyy..." Gabriella said against his lips trying to move away. "We can't..." she said, pulling her head away only to feel Troy's lips gently kiss down her neck. But Troy only shut her up by kissing her over and over again. "I'm so, so sorry Brie. Wouldn't wanna be late for class, now would I?" Troy grinned playfully. "It's okay, Wildcat." Gabriella said, picking up her books from inside her locker. "All right, I'm gonna go to class and we’ll get that second kiss afterwards. I love you, babe." Troy said giving Gabriella a quick peck on the lips. "I love you too, Wildcat!" Gabriella replied as they went their separate ways.
REST IS TBA
In the busy cafeteria, Troy and his friends sat around the round table that sat under the balcony in the middle of the cafeteria. Troy had the red cafeteria tray filled with fries, a cup of pudding and a drink. "Where were you after class?" Chad asked, his traditional basketball tucked under his arm. Sharpay and Kelsi both rolled their eyes at the bushy-haired teen. "Really Chad, you won't die without your basketball?" Sharpay said, shaking her blonde head. Kelsi laughed, nodding in agreement. "You'd be surprised what he can't do without it." Troy joked, making the table laugh. Chad glared angrily at his group of friends. "Correction, can he even do anything with it?" Ryan added, causing uproar in the group. Chad, being the person he was, promptly turned his head on his friends, ignoring their taunting. Even through the slight giggles and badly hidden laughs, Kelsi managed to softly hit her boyfriend, glaring at him softly even though she had a smile on her face. "You guys are like the worse friends in the history of friends." Chad finally grumbled once the table had settled down a bit. "So what were you doing after class?" he brought back the question that was left unanswered. "You're really persistent. Talked with my dad, he switched the schedule around so I can work on my project and then go to practice at 4." Troy said. "Speaking of which, has anyone even started the project Darbus gave us?" Zeke asked. The group shook their head. "Heck no, Romeo and Juliet, are you kidding me? How in the world will Troy and I act out a love play? I'm sorry dude, you may be my captain and all, but I've got to draw the line somewhere." Chad said. Troy looked at him as if he had grown an extra head. "My thoughts exactly. I am NOT homophobic but Chad is like my brother." Troy said. "I remember we did that play when we were little. I played Juliet." Sharpay said to her brother. Everyone at the table mumbled a 'naturally'. "And Ryan played Romeo — oh we didn't kiss, ew no, we were in grade 4 for god sakes!" Sharpay hastily corrected herself. "Anyways, what I meant was, it depends on what act she gives us, for all we know, Chad could be the nurse and Troy can play Romeo." She finished. "Sure give me the nurse role why don't you?" Chad mumbled again. The group laughed. "I think it's a very romantic play, it's one of my favourites," Kelsi said softly. "Sure, and being paired with Ryan would have nothing to do with your opinion." Zeke added teasingly, both mentioned teenagers blushed softly. "I swear Darbus hates our guts, I mean she paired everyone with their girlfriends or boyfriends: Kelsi and Ryan, Sharpay and Zeke. Maybe she's got a radar and she's really spying on our personal lives." Chad grumbled like a little kid. "So find yourself a girlfriend." Jason joked, and like the person Chad was, he actually stood up and scanned the cafeteria. "Nope, no luck, looks like you and I are going to stay bachelors for the rest of our senior year Troy." Chad said, nudging his buddy on the arm. "I wouldn't think so, practically the whole school has a crush on Troy, and Troy's just being picky, as usual." Sharpay said. Troy rolled his eyes at her. The gang slowly drifted away from the topic, each of them picking up their own topics to talk about. Troy stood up, going to empty out his tray. When he began to head back to the table, his eyes grazed past the front door to see Gabriella and a boy enter the cafeteria. The boy — the one Troy had accidentally bumped into and talked to. "Hey, Troy, you all right?" Zeke asked, knocking him out of his daydream as he passed by to dump his tray as well. Troy shook his head, shooting a grin at his teammate. As they made their way back to their table, he looked up again and for a split second, they each caught each other's eyes. He roughly placed his bag on the floor next to his chair. The sound of laughter echoed up to his ears as he sat down. With the new kid's eyes landing on Troy, Troy gave a little wave. The boy waved back but his smile faltered. Still grinning, Troy cocked his head to the side, gesturing to the empty seat beside him. "Yo, Brett!" Chad hollered, waving his hand in the air, motioning for him to come sit. Troy held a smile on his face, but it was slowly slipping, as if trying to determine the new kid's reaction. His eyes still remained on the boy, but his brow was slightly furrowed as if confused. The nervous Asian boy took a seat on the outskirts of the cafeteria. "I'm going to take a seat up next to Brett, guys." Troy said to the group. With that, he kissed Gabriella on the cheek and rose up from his seat. "Make him feel awesome, Troy. It’s now or never." He muttered to himself, his knuckles turning white from the pressure of him gripping the tray. He casually pulled away, turning on his heel. Troy casually walked over to the table where the lonely new kid was sitting. The boy didn't seem to notice Troy's presence at first. "You're welcome to join us, Wildcat." Troy said a little loud so Brett could hear him through the chattering and laughing of everyone else. Brett looked up a little alarmed and then sighed in relief. "You don't need to be alone." Troy said with sympathy. "I... I want to be on my own." Brett mumbled. "Well too bad." Troy smiled warmly. He put his tray down on the table and roughly placed his bag on the floor next to his chair as he sat down. "So, are we really going to sit here and play the 'I-See-You-But-I'm-Pretending-I-Don't' game?" Troy joked, chuckling. Brett didn't say anything. His eyes darted over Troy. "Um... So, how did you like your first-period class?" Troy asked. "Okay." Brett simply said, shrugging his shoulders lightly. "You've made any new friends yet?" Troy asked, nudging his shoulder gently to Brett's bony body. "No..." Brett replied softly. "I think you could sit with a friend, and you've got a group of people waiting to be your friend at this place. But if you don't want to go, you've got a friend here wanting to sit with you." Troy stated kindly. Brett didn't say anything, just started to chew his lip nervously. Troy smiled. "You do?" Brett asked with a shocked expression. "Of course! Want to tell me why you blew off my offer to sit with the gang and I, Brett Shimura?" Troy asked teasingly. He crossed his arms across his chest, patiently waiting for a response. Brett stiffened. "I wasn't blowing you off." he replied. "Yeah, you were. But it's okay. I know you probably still see me as one of those jock types." Troy chuckled. "What do you mean?" Brett asked, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Heaving out a sigh, Troy ran a hand through his hand. "You know, in high school. I am the jock type, the basketball guy. Never bothered with anything else or anyone else. It's okay if you see me like that, I understand. Lots of new Wildcats do." Troy said, biting his lip and looked down. "Troy, you're not." Brett said. Troy stared at him and then smiled. "Then why don't you want to sit with me and the gang, Brett? It was an open invitation. Why would you just want to proceed to sit by yourself? I really want to get to know you better." he said, his eyes pleading. "I don't know. I... I'm new here and it's just... a lot of... pressure, for me, to sit with a group of people I hardly know..." Brett responded sadly. Troy broke out into a grin. His gaze darted down to Brett's fingers gripping a flashy silver ring on his middle finger. "Sorry." Brett apologized. Troy shook his head. "No need to be. It's no big deal, I promise. So, tell me more about yourself." he said, resting his arms on the table. "Like... Like what?" Brett asked as if no one had ever asked him that before. "What's your story?" Troy asked casually. "I already told you. I moved here from Hawaii..." Brett smirked awkwardly. "No, no, no. Not your moving story. Your real story. Your interests, your hobbies, your passions, your weird self." Troy said as confusion spilled on Brett’s face. He noticed Brett composing himself. "I don't know..." Brett vaguely said in confusion. "Come on, just think of something. The first thing that pops into your head. Something you love." Troy said whilst pointing to his temple. Brett's lips broke into a tremble. "Are— Are you okay, Brett?" Troy asked. Brett nodded his head nervously. They sat in comfortable silence and Troy couldn't help but enjoy it. "You didn't have to do any of this today." Brett said, blushing slightly. "Any of what?" Troy asked, his eyebrows furrowing. "Being nice to me." Brett sighed. "It's no big deal, you're my friend. And, I can't promise it's going to get easier but you know it won’t get harder 'cause like I've said a dozen times now you've got me as a friend." Troy replied. There was an awkward silence. There were so many questions he wanted to ask Brett. That's when he noticed Brett wasn't eating. "Not hungry?" he asked cocking an eyebrow. Brett shrugged dully. "Oh, well, here. Have some!" Troy offered kindly, pulling a sandwich out from his brown paper bag, offering it to Brett. "I don't want your food!" Brett exclaimed, pushing Troy's hand away before sighing. Troy sat there, completely shocked. He was only helping, but Brett didn't want that. "You have to eat, even if I have to force-feed you, mister!" Troy chuckled. Brett slowly shook his head, letting out a sigh. "Brett, you need to eat. Just a little, please?" Troy begged, looking at him. Brett nodded slowly and then took a small piece of meat, and then he slowly started eating. "So, do you like it?" Troy asked while putting food on his own plate. "Yeah, it's good, but..." Brett murmured, trailing off. Troy looked worryingly at him. "But..?" Troy said, waiting for Brett to expand on his explanation. "I'm not that hungry." Brett replied, looking down, trying not to look at Troy. "It's okay, Brett. I'm not going to be mad. Just eat the food on your plate, and then I'll be glad, okay?" Troy said, smiling warmly. Brett nodded. "Good, so eat and then you'll put the rest in your lunchbox, and then we can hang out after school, okay?" Troy smiled at him, hoping that Brett would be able to eat, but he knew it would be hard to fight him through this. "Yeah, that sounds good." Brett smiled and started to eat the sandwich. "Okay, okay, but I don’t want to hear any complaining." Troy joked at Brett again. They sat in a comfortable silence. Deep down, Troy had a feeling Brett really wasn't even happy. Something had happened to change Brett, something bad and when Troy found out what or who it was they were going to pay. He needed more information, he needed to know so he could help Brett, but he also knew if he pushed too hard he'd lose Brett and all the trust he had worked so hard to gain. He opened his eyes and nodded. Deep down, Troy knew once Brett left school the smile would once again be gone. "I have a learning disability — processing issues — ever since I was born, and nothing has changed." Brett replied dejectedly, his eyes still on the table. "Ah, but I'm sure I'll see improvement." Troy answered optimistically. It was then Brett looked up to see his bright blue eyes and dazzling smile once more. "The thing about us humans is, when we begin something, we expect to be good at it straight away. After a couple of sessions, we expect to be pros when really it may take many months for any real improvement to be made. Look, trust me, it may take a while but once we have some practice where I only have to concentrate on you and you alone then we can make sure that you have some progress and good progress. It really isn't about being good. It helps, sure but it's the improvement that gets the grades and confidence." Troy finished. "I don't have a lot of that when it comes to school." Brett muttered. "Brett, you have to know that when you say that you can't do this or you can't do that then you won't do it." Troy told him carefully. "But if you tell yourself that you can achieve it and that you can do it then you will do it. You just need to give yourself some credit that you can be better than you think. You will be better. Just get some confidence." Troy said softly. "It sounds so simple when you say that." Brett replied quietly. "I know that it's easier said than done but I really see something in you Brett, I think you have lots of potential. In fact, I believe you've had this potential locked up for so long that you now can't find it and are determined to put yourself down. So, would you like some help?" Troy asked, his blue eyes burning into his brown ones. The pause was long yet comfortable enough and Brett sighed before replying. "I guess, I guess I could try it." Brett replied hesitantly. "Great! You can do it, Brett." Troy exclaimed. "I really can't play anything." Brett warned him. "It's not all about playing it, Brett. You've got to start on the little things, in your case, how to be optimistic." He chuckled and Brett couldn't help but giggle along side him. "Your high school life just started. Who knows what your future holds? You are different. Different is good! The responsibility for being different is sharing it with the world. You will make yourself better, pushing you to raise expectations of yourself, believing that you will become great. Start believing that." Troy stated warmly. His face suddenly creased with humor as he chuckled throatily, shaking his head a little. "Being blind to the truth is what makes you you, Brett. You shouldn't wish it away." He said, nearing Brett with clear intentions, however lost himself for a moment and didn't speak again straight away. "There are ways to help with that, you know." Troy said. Brett rolled his eyes. "Uh-huh. Yeah." he chided, sarcastically. Troy almost scoffed at Brett's definitiveness as his tongue slid across his teeth. "It's true!" he husked, forcefully. "How?" Brett questioned, cynically. Troy leant forward. "By listening! By really... listening... and believing." he said. Brett shook his head and let out a breath, looking down at his lap, shy and dismissive. "You're... kidding, right?" Brett joked softly. "Listen. You are you, Brett. You may be reserved, shy, quiet, and overly self-conscious..." Troy began. Brett scoffed at this, slightly offended, staring down at his lap. "But, you're also kind-hearted, and strong-willed, and genuine, intelligent, and awesome. There's nothing wrong with being you." Troy said genuinely. Brett sighed as he carried on hiding his face. "You wanna know something?" Troy asked, his tone equally as soft as he could. "What?" Brett asked, tears slightly evident in his voice. "I feel that way too sometimes." Troy said truthfully. "You?" Brett said, looking his way before he could stop himself. "You don't have to act so surprised." Troy chuckled softly. "Sorry, it's just... I'm intrigued now." Brett said, sniffing and wiping his eyes. Troy smiled a little. "Well, it's simple really... All my parents friends are like, 'Your son's the basketball guy. You must be so... proud.' But they forget, that's not all I am. In fact, I don't think that's what I want at all anymore... It's hard to know anything when people have been telling you what you want since you were born..." Troy said sadly. "Yeah. I get that." Brett stated sympathetically. "It’s okay." Troy said. He looked perplexed for a moment. "Brett?" he enquired, instantly concerned when observing him lack of a reply and his glazed expression. Troy reached out to touch Brett's shoulder. Brett looked taken aback. "Nothing is going to help me." Brett sighed defeatedly. "Trust me, you will improve. Like I said before, it may not be straight away, it may take some time, possibly all year but I promise you Brett, that it will work." Troy told him, almost in a stern tone, his blue eyes boring in to his, trying to make Brett see that he could do it. "Although first things first; you need some self-confidence. There is no point going into a game of basketball without it. You'll only end up with one thing." Troy said. "What's that?" Brett asked. "Failure. Now, you've got to believe that you can do it. You've got to make yourself want it enough to make you believe you can do it. You with me?" He asked and Brett nodded quickly. "Look, Brett. You know you can come to me for anything. You do know that, right?" Troy assured gently. Brett took a few moments to clear his throat out and backed away while drawing in long, shuddering breaths. Troy could tell that there was something going on with Brett that he didn't want anyone to know about, and maybe Troy wasn't going to push straight away but it didn't mean that he wasn't going to be there to help him. "You okay, Brett? You seem in deep thought... anything I can help with?" Troy asked with concern. "No. It's nothing." Brett replied with a soft smile. "You sure?" Troy asked cautiously. The shy new kid nodded softly. "Okay, well, if you want to talk about anything, I'm here you know. Just say the word and I will let you talk my ear off. I could help you... with anything you’re going through, I mean. Just... let me help you." Troy said. Brett shook his head back and forth. He began to mouth something. "I know, I know. You don't know me that well. Especially someone you just met an hour ago. I know." He cut Brett off and then chuckled, but the hurt was clearly in his eyes. Brett gazed at him as he twirled his thumbs. "Okay, then. Off the subject of talking, I want to get to know you better, Brett. Have you ever had a dream, or a past time that you loved. You know something that you do just for yourself?" Troy asked. The smaller boy nodded his head slowly. "What's your past time then?" Troy asked. Brett looked at Troy. The jock's eyebrows pulled together in confusion. The Asian boy's lower lip trembled. Troy froze at the tiniest sound of Brett's sobs. "Brett? I'm sorry... Did I say something wrong?" Troy asked with full sorrow and concern. Brett avoided his gaze and Troy tried catching it. He studied Brett as if he was thinking back on a pain-filled memory. Two tears leaked from his eyes. He inhaled. "I... it’s nothing." Brett assured. He looked up at the jock. Troy grabbed his phone out of his pants pocket. "Um, here's my number." He said as he put his phone into Brett's hands. Brett took it and punched his number into it, and then handed Troy his phone, who did the same. "I'll text you later or call or whatever and see if you want to talk. Okay, Brett?" Troy said, smiling sympathetically.
REST IS TBA
As Troy walked down the hallway, he sighed, heading towards his locker. He felt someone poke him on the shoulder. Troy turned around to face an elated Ryan Evans, his eyelashes batting at Troy. "Hi, Troy." he said bashfully. Troy gave him a polite, friendly smile. "Hey, Ryan." Troy said, rubbing his neck nervously. Ryan smiled as he addresses the brunette boy standing before him. Troy swallowed. "I'm really sorry for not making up my mind about the musical earlier today. I wasn't in a good head space, then, and I shouldn't have taken my tiredness out on you." Troy forged. "It's no big deal, really." Ryan said, giving him a reassuring smile. All of the sudden, Troy's chest is relieved of a massive guilt that had been constricting it all day. He can't help but break into a smile, himself. While Ryan lets out an awkward laugh, Troy sheepishly rubbed at the back of his neck, then slid his hands into his pants pockets. "Um... I know that my sister hasn't exactly taken to it, but... She knows you love Gabriella, Troy. And... so do I..." Ryan finished. Swinging his arms in a way that Troy considered both slightly and immensely awkward, and ducking his head shyly, Ryan shifted in just a tiny bit closer to Troy. A flattering feeling dominated Troy's heart, and while the origin of that feeling was entirely positive, the ensuing violent churning of his stomach really wasn't. Troy staggered and blindly reached out to brace himself against the nearest wall. He inhaled. "I'm sorry. I just... I know you don’t like me like THAT. That’s— That’s pretty stupid, huh?" Ryan chuckled derisively at himself. Perhaps Troy was imagining the audible quaver in the blonde boy's light voice, and the desperation in his eyes. "It's not stupid, Ryan." Troy murmured leniently but firmly. Ryan accompanied by an admonishing smirk. He flashed Ryan an encouraging grin, and he possibly employed his patented “puppy dog eyes”, for good measure. "I've seen how well you can be yourself, Ryan. If you can do all that, then nothing can stop you for being in love. You will have someone who will love you back, I promise." Troy assured. "I know. Hey, is everything okay?" Ryan asked. The concern in Ryan's features and in his voice was so sincere, that Troy didn't hesitate. His cerulean-colored eyes suddenly locked on a small figure. At the end of the hallway, Troy saw Brett Shimura, who seemed to be struggling with something, or someone. With further inspection, Troy realized that someone was bothering him. He snapped his attention back to a patient Ryan. "Actually, no. Everything's not exactly. Um... Would you excuse me, Ryan? I'm sorry. I'll see ya tomorrow, okay?" Troy said. Ryan blinked, the corners of his mouth downturned. The corner of Ryan's mouth twitched. Sympathy clouded Troy’s gaze. Ryan nodded in confirmation, giving Troy a proud sort-of smile. "Thanks, man." Troy said. He walked past Ryan and made his way down the hall when he saw two boys arguing indistinctly. He witnessed a lanky kid with black hair with Brett slung over his shoulder. "Leave me alone." Brett stammered as he tried to walk away from the boy. But the boy grabbed Brett’s arm and he forced Brett to turn to look at him, his eyes had nothing but pure anger in them. "Oh c'mon, nerd. I don't understand why you're getting so pissed off about all of this! Maybe if you didn't like boys, you wouldn't get in so much trouble, now would you?" The boy hissed as an attempt to belittle the new kid. Brett ripped his arm from the boy's hold. "I'm... I'm late for class!" Brett cried as he made an attempt to walk away from the boy completely. But then the boy grabbed Brett by both his shoulders and he pulled Brett into him. "Come on, kid. You like boys, right? I’m a boy." the boy taunted as he forced Brett into a kiss, refusing to let him go as Brett tried to squirm away from him. After a few failed attempts, Brett managed to get his hand free and he smacked the bully right in the face, and he soon got off Brett as he cringed and swore in pain. "Get off me!" Brett yelled as he pushed the lanky kid away. The boy held his jaw in his hand and he shot Brett a dark and evil glare. It was in this fearful and frightening stare that Troy realized Brett may have made a big mistake, and he would have to suffer. "You little bitch!" the bully screamed as his hand flew up. As soon as Troy saw the boy about to punch Brett, he ran towards them. He had to get the bully away from Brett. "Hey!" Troy called out as he approached the boy, which took his attention off Brett. The bully turned to look at Troy. "Pssh... he's all yours, Bolton." The boy snarled. He then shot Troy a glance. He carelessly threw Brett to the jock, who quickly jumped forward and caught the boy in his arms. "You all right there, Brett?" Troy asked with genuine concern in his voice. A shaken Brett nodded his head. "It's okay, I got you. Get behind me." Troy whispered. Brett did as he was told and stood behind him. "You wanna stop doing that?" Troy asked the lanky kid firmly, putting his hands on his hips. "Well, well, well, look who it is. Troy Bolton. Are you really here to fight me over this anorexic faggot?" The boy provoked, as he pointed to an injured and weak Brett. "Don't talk about Brett like that, Weston." Troy warned. "Or you'll do what? Beat me up? Ha! I'd like to see you try." Weston daunted. "I'm not a violent person, Weston. Now, I'm telling you this once, and once only... I suggest you not try and meddle with me or Brett again, because then I won't be so nice. As you know, I have power at the Anti-Bullying Program here. Usually I would never use it against anyone, but in your case, I will. So just please, I'm asking you nicely: treat everyone with respect and love. Let's have a little discussion. About bullying. A little birdy told me that you were bothering a fellow Wildcat just now." Troy said. "And who would this 'little birdy' be?" Weston asked, standing and matching his tone. He was the only one that wasn't afraid to completely cross Troy. "That is irrelevant. What is relevant is who you are torturing." Troy said. "Look Bolton, if I did, it was because he deserved it." Weston retorted. "No one deserves to be picked on, and I heard that this person never does anything to you. So what's the excuse now?" Troy asked, glancing at the lanky boy. "Look, Bolton..." Weston began, wrapping his arm around Troy's shoulder. "Everyone else is below you anyhow, so why does it matter?" he asked. Troy threw the boy's arms off of him. "See, that's where you're wrong, Miller. No one in this school is above or below anyone else. We are ALL equal." he growled. "Well in the real world..." Weston started but was cut off. "No. In the real world, cliques don't exist. So that is a really bad answer." Troy finished. He locked his eyes on Brett and nodded. He turned his attention back to the bully. "Leave people alone, no one deserves to be picked on." Troy said. "Fine. Why don't you go ahead and take your little boyfriend with you, huh, Bolton? He didn't want to do anything with me anyway!" Weston growled as he walked past Troy and down the hall. Troy was about to run after him, but then he heard a sniffle come from behind him, which was from Brett. Troy turned and he observed Brett's fragile body. Troy kneeled down in front of Brett, catching his downward gaze. "Brett? What did he do to you? Physically, are you hurt?" Troy asked, his cobalt eyes pleading. Brett shook his head and looked up at him. "No. I'm just a little shaken up." Brett choked out. "But he didn't hit you or anything like that?" Troy asked. Brett shook his head, then nodded, and shook his head again. "Brett, you need to answer me with a yes or no." Troy said with a light chuckle. "No." Brett said, his voice trembling. The words should have brought Troy comfort but it only made him worry more. "Shh. It's okay, Brett. Now for the harder questions. Are you okay mentally?" the jock asked. Brett shrugged his shoulders. "He scared me. I'm still scared." Brett replied softly. "It's okay. You're allowed to be. I need you to communicate openly with me and that means you need to talk to me about this." Troy said. "Nobody likes me." Brett choked out. "I know for a fact that is not true. I like you, Gabriella likes you, Chad and Taylor like you. Your family loves you." Troy replied. "No, you don't understand." Brett sobbed. "What? What happened? Brett, did something else happen?" Troy asked; his eyebrows furrowed. Brett didn't say anything. "I'm sorry, Brett. You don't have to tell me if you don't feel comfortable. We're gonna put a stop to all these bad thoughts right now, okay? Everyone is so excited for you to be in this school – they aren't concerned about anything except making sure that you have the best first day possible, which will turn into a great year, which will lead to a great life! And yeah – I know you've changed. But not how you think. You're stronger. You're stronger for what you are dealing with and how you're dealing with it. So I don't wanna hear you putting yourself down again, all right? Brett, you have so many people that love you. That is who is important. Anyone who says anything to hurt you is not worth your time. Plus, if they do, they'll have me to deal with. Now, if we don't get going, you'll be late for class – you don't want to have to deal with your next period teacher, now do you?" Troy said. A tiny smile which Brett returned. "Don't let Weston get under your skin — that's what he wants. The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Oftentimes, bullying begins in a relatively mild form — name-calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to tell an adult and stand up for his rights, the aggression worsens." Troy began. He saw a few silent tears stream down Brett's face. "Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself. This is exactly what bullies do: marking themselves with a big red flag. We may live in a world fully inundated with social media, but all truly professional organizations, and people, understand that this is not the mature way of acting at all. So just ignore it. If Weston keeps it up, you won’t be worrying about him for long." Troy explained. Brett nodded his head hesitantly. "Now, go to class, Brett. There is something important I need to take care of." Troy said. As he turned on his heels, he felt Brett's arm on his hand. Troy turned around, seeing a sad look on Brett's face. "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere near Weston. I'm not gonna touch Weston. The Principal will do that for me." Troy said with a smirk. "Wouldn't he get into trouble?" Brett asked. "Brett, I didn't help all those people, and change this school by sitting back and keeping quiet about bullying. I'm not about to start now." Troy stated. "But..." Brett protested. "No. No buts. You'll be fine. Something has to be done about Weston. I know you don't feel comfortable talking about it so I'm doing it for you. Just stay in class, okay? I'll be back before class ends." Troy said assuringly.
The heavy doors flung open to the outside of the entrance of East High. Troy and Chad walked towards the fountain. "Dude, I can't wait for the party tonight at my house!" said Chad as he took his backpack off and threw it in his lap as he sat down. "You invited New Kid yet, Hoops?" Chad asked. "His name is Brett, Chad. Remember? And yeah, I have. He's been having a hard time earlier." Troy muttered, sitting down at the edge of the fountain and ran his hands through his hair. "I think I over-did it, you know? I think I was trying too hard to not get frustrated about what Weston had done, but... I mean, Brett looked so broken. He told me something about his brother but I interrupted him. I thought he didn't want to talk about it..." Troy said, shaking his head and he stood up, taking his own backpack off and starting to pace back and forth. Troy and Chad spotted their girlfriends sitting on the grass area near them, helping each other with homework. The two boys grabbed their backpacks and casually walked over. The two girls both were scribbling down notes out of a book until Taylor turned quickly to look up and see them both. "Oh, hey guys!" she said excitedly standing up and pulling Gabriella up with her. "Hey, babe. You coming to pick me up for the party tonight?" Gabriella asked sweetly. "Gabster, you know Troy will." Chad said faintly. "Of course, Brie. I wouldn't miss it for the world." Troy responded with a dazzling smile. "So, how was Brett's first day?" Gabriella asked. "Um... He was doing good until I caught Weston bothering him." Troy said, trailing off. "Baby, did you report him?" Gabriella asked. Troy glanced at Chad. He then turned his attention towards the two girls. "Not yet. I was but I bumped into Chad and got distracted. I talked to Brett just a few minutes ago in the hallway. I saw sadness in his eyes. Like, filled with depression when he mentioned his brother." Troy said with a sigh of defeat. "What about his brother?" Taylor asked, trying to understand. "I... I don't know, Tay. But, after his outburst, Brett said he was fine." Troy said. He had wished that there was a spark a glimmer of hope in this situation. "I feel ya, Troy. I do. I just... I just hope we see Brett tomorrow, and make his day even better than today." Taylor suggested, smiling with hope. "Yeah, Tay. Us too." Troy said, smiling faintly. The four of them began walking through the crowd of students left to the parking lot. "Why were you guys waiting for us anyways?" Troy asked curiously as they walked down to their cars, ready to separate. "Eh, we had finished our Academic meeting and knew it wouldn't be long until you guys were done, so we decided to wait." Gabriella replied. The four started their way down to the parking lot. Gabriella gave Troy a kiss on the cheek. Taylor and Chad walked away, holding hands. Troy opened the passenger side door as Gabriella jumped in. Troy closed her door for her and watched as she put on her seatbelt.
REST IS TBA
Troy pulled his car into his driveway, and pulled they key out of its ignition, slipping it into his jean pocket as he went, grabbing his backpack from the backseat and closed the car door. Sauntering up to his front door, he leaned sideways, sneaking a glance in the tinted garage windows, straining his neck to see whether both garage were filled. A relieved sigh left his lips as he only saw the red Benz of his mother. House keys jingling in his hand, he opened the front door and was bombarded by his mother. "Troy!" His mother exclaimed. She rushed over to him and caught him in a choking hug. "Mom-air-none-let-go-Ma-suffocating!" Troy coughed out. Finally Lucille let go. Troy took huge and deep breaths. "If I didn't know any better I thought you were going to kill me, Ma!" Troy gasped. He took his sneakers off and dropped his bag on the couch, then himself following the same action. Lucille frowned, hands on her hips. "I would too, if you had came in a minute later." She said in a stern voice. Troy looked down, feeling guilty. "You're almost late for dinner, Troy, and you have to go to Chad's party in a little while. You have to eat something before you leave!" Lucille said. "All right, Ma." Troy sighed out. He got up from the couch and ran up the stairs. "Troy, dinner is ready! Come down here." Lucille called out. "I'll be right down, Mom." Troy yelled back. He pulled on a red flannel shirt and a pair of baggy black jeans. With one spray of cologne he made his way down the stairs. "I made macaroni and cheese tonight." Lucille smiled gracefully. Troy sat down in his chair, letting out a sigh. A large plate was placed in front of him filled with macaroni and cheese. "Eat up, Troy. Gabriella will be waiting for you." Jack said. The family started on their dinner. They talked and laughed through the entire meal. "So how was school today, Troy?" Lucille asked casually. "It was good. There's a new Wildcat." Troy said, after swallowing. "What about this new kid?" Jack asked. "Well, he moved to Albuquerque and transferred to East High from Hawaii. He's shy and quiet though. He sat alone at lunch but I sat with him to make him comfortable." Troy admitted. "Well, we raised you right, Troy. If you don't mind me asking, who's the kid?" asked Jack. "His name is Brett Shimura. He's really shy, but once you get to know him, he's friendly and cool." Troy said, leaving out Brett's heart-breaking story. "Well, that's good, Troy. As long as you're being nice to him." Jack responded warningly. "Of course I am. I really want him to be comfortable around the gang, Gabriella and I. I just feel like he's pushing us away because he doesn't know how to act around people, because he never had anyone surrounding him. So I invited Brett to go to Chad's. I already finished all of my homework." Troy said softly. Lucille was silent for a minute, taking in her son's words. "Well, as long as you did your homework, I think you deserve a break. Just have fun at Chad's, but no drugs or alcohol." she ordered firmly, pointing a finger at him. "Mom, you know I would never do that." Troy responded, giving a small smile.
The engine of Troy's beat-up truck came to a stop, as he and Gabriella pulled up to the Danforths' household. Opening the car door, Troy stepped out and headed towards the passenger side and opened the door for Gabriella. "Milady." Troy said, grabbing onto Gabriella's hand and pulled her towards the ground safely. He closed the door behind her as he wrapped his arm lovingly around her body. Troy's shoes clicked against the pavement on the way toward the Danforths' front door. His eyes scanned the white marble. "This place looks crowded!" Troy said rising his voice. Gabriella shook her head and scanned the room for their friends. Troy grinned and waved his hands when he spotted Chad and Taylor talking indistinctly. "Chad! Taylor! Hey!" Troy called out. Chad and Taylor turned sharply and their faces broke into a smile. "Yo, Hoops! Gabster! You finally made it! What took you too so long?" Chad bellowed. "Gabs took so long getting dressed. I think I almost died." Troy sighed. Gabriella glared at Troy, which made Taylor roll her eyes. "I needed to find the right thing to wear tonight. Troy here does not understand that." Gabriella defended. Chad looked at Gabriella and gave her a sympathetic smile. Gabriella smiled. "Finally someone here understands the art of fashion." Taylor said. Troy snorted with a laugh. "That's right. But is that truly the reason why you two were late? No other reasons? Like, a hard time finding parking?" Chad asked with a seductive wink. "Eww!" Troy and Gabriella said in unison. Gabriella cringed at Chad's innuendo and shut their eyes tightly. "You know Troy and I would never do that." Gabriella protested. "If you say so!" Taylor said with a wink. "So where is everyone else?" Troy asked, switching the subject. "Out by the pool. But everyone knows the party doesn't start until the 'golden couple' walks into the room." Taylor said, shrugged. "You have to stop everyone from calling us that." Troy rebuked, crinkling his nose. "They know what our relationship is." Gabriella defended lovingly as she kissed Troy on the lips. "But no one can help it. You guys are always together, not to mention your popularity status. You two are top of the food chain. Your presence affects if this party will be good or not. Although our presence is also meaningful." Chad said as he looked at Taylor with heart-eyes. "Well then... the 'golden couple' has arrived." Troy smirked. He wrapped his arm around Gabriella's hips and pulled her closer to him. Gabriella laughed and swatted him playfully. The couple walked further into the house as the music was loud and upbeat. Everyone is crowded in the Danforths' living room, dancing, and celebrating — well everything. Troy slings his arms around Gabriella's shoulders. "So, enjoying yourself?" he asked loudly into his ear. Gabriella turned to face him, and Troy wasted no time grabbing her hand and pulled her into the midst of the dance floor. They emerge in the center of the circle — Troy leading Gabriella through the hoards of people. He spun her around, a smile on her face. "Hey, babe. I'm gonna go get some water, okay?" Gabriella yelled through the noise. Troy nodded and kissed her on the cheek. He watched her politely push her way through the crowd. Troy noticed Sharpay and Zeke chatting in the kitchen, getting to know each other. Ryan and Kelsi cuddled up on the couch, talking quietly. Chad and Taylor kissing lovingly on the lips. Troy is on the dance floor, surrounded by friends and noise, watching Chad and Taylor dance. He began to wonder why he hasn't seen Gabriella since she left. Troy made his way to the outskirts of the circle, his eyes darting around the room, seeking her out. He moved into the front foyer, and headed out to the backyard. Partygoers were whooping and laughing all around. REST IS TBA. Music was blaring through the living room while Troy could see teenagers grinding up against each other. He caught a glimpse of Sharpay, leading Zeke back towards where the four of them were standing. "It's so sweaty out there!" Sharpay exclaimed while wiping her forehead. Sharpay, who wasn't shy about drinking, seemed to be completely wasted as she tripped on her heels. Zeke caught her as she giggled and turned to Taylor. REST IS TBA. After a fun conversation with a few fellow partygoers, Troy walked inside the crowded house. He sat down at the kitchen bar stool. From his seat at one end of the bar, Troy had a clear view of Gabriella and his friends who were dancing. Troy contained himself with a chuckle. He took a sip of the water he had been drinking. His eyes shifted from the crowd, scanning the room, seeing who was around. His eyes locked on a skinny, olive-skinned boy who was standing at the buffet table. Brett's eyes locked on Troy's. In response, Troy waved and smiled. Being the outgoing and friendly person that he was, Troy decided to trust his gut. He walked over confidently towards Brett. "Everything looks so good. Which kind do you think you’re going to pick?" Troy asked, smiling. "Um... I don't know." Brett answered shyly, with a chuckle. "That's okay. I'll ask a better question. How long have you been here?" He asked. "About five minutes." Brett replied, looking around anxiously. Troy nodded in response. "Um, I don’t know anyone here. I've never been to a party before either." Brett stated shyly. "That reminds me of something that happened to me one time..." Troy admitted. This caused Brett to chuckle. "Come on, I'll lead you to the gang." Troy said, putting his hand on Brett's shoulder. He led the shy Asian boy through the crowd of people, having to push through unsteady bodies to get to the gang. "Guys! Look who showed up!" Troy announced. The group turned around and smiled kindly. "Brett, hey! What's up, little dude?" Chad hollered. He made a fist and Brett fist-bumped him. "Did we miss anything?" Troy asked. "Argh, dude! Sharpay and Zeke were going to a bedroom to... if you know what I mean?" Chad said, winking. "Ha-ha! You're hilarious, man." Troy replied with humor. REST IS TBA. Troy noticed an attractive strawberry blonde-haired girl wearing a salmon-colored dress with golden earrings, who was having a hard time walking. Being a gentleman that he was, Troy got up and walked over towards her. "Pardon me, are you okay, Nina?" Troy asked in genuine concern. The drunk girl's brown eyes widened as she looked up. "Oh, my God! I've been waiting for you all night." Nina whispered with excitement. A little taken aback, Troy could smell the scent of alcohol on her breath. "So I figure you're either single and shy or you've got a girlfriend that couldn't join you tonight. I thought either way there would be no harm in buying you a drink." Nina purred, her words slightly slurring. Troy glanced slightly at the girl who had situated herself next to him. He turned back to Gabriella. "Sorry, not drinking tonight, Nina." Troy responded with a polite smile. Troy never drank, mainly because everyone did. And someone had to make sure everyone got home safely. "Oh, come on, one won't hurt. Have a drink with me." Nina whined dramatically. "No, thank you, Nina." Troy said politely. "You sure? A hot guy like you, not drinking on this beautiful night?" Nina asked seductively, tilting her head in persuasion. "Someone has to get everyone home in one piece." Troy stated, offering her a smile before turning back to Gabriella, again. "You love it, admit it. And, if you want to continue, come with me." Nina purred seductively. She flipped her hair over her shoulder, revealing her slender neck and let her fingers drag down her bare skin to her cleavage, running along the edge of her dress teasingly. "Sorry, Nina. But I already have my eye on someone else." Troy stated. The pretty blonde looked appalled but recovered quickly. "Are you gay or what, Troy? I mean, only a gay guy wouldn't want this." Nina retorted, running her hands down her body for emphasis. "Then I guess I must be gay." Troy replied, looking away from her. Before Nina could try to stop him, Troy spotted Gabriella near the swimming pool. The girl took a few calculated steps towards the jock until she was towering above Troy like a lioness gazing down at her prey. Without a moment of hesitation, Nina raised her free hand and swung it towards Troy, her palm colliding with the Troy's cheek so loudly it actually made a smacking noise. Pain shot through the side of his face. Troy's head jerked to the left violently as he stood in shock. He stared at the ground, in complete shock, as he held a hand to his face and winced when it touched the skin. "Argh!" Troy groaned. "Damn. That's gotta hurt." Nina said snidely. "You better think twice before trying to fuck with me again." She warned, just before she turned on her four-inch heels, stomping away from Troy. He walked back inside the house and entered the kitchen, grabbing a clean glass and filling it with freshly brewed iced tea in the pitcher he saw in the fridge. Putting the pitcher back in the fridge and shutting the door, Troy leaned his left lower arm against the counter where the sink was, sipping on the iced tea. When Troy walked across the room, he paused as he heard the screams of partygoers splashing in the swimming pool, grinning as he heard Chad's distinct laugh among all the noise. He walked closer and stopped again as he spied Gabriella with Taylor, sitting on the edge of the pool, their legs dangling in the clear chlorine pool water. Hearing some excited laughter and giggles, Troy inwardly rolled his eyes as he dragged his attention from his girlfriend, who was watching Chad and five other boys swimming in the pool, to the friends of Gabriella's who were all now sitting up on the towels laid out on the grass, talking to each other while they openly stared at him. Troy dutifully walked over to where Gabriella and her friends were sprawled out, giving his girlfriend's friends a trademark grin. "Afternoon girls, Brie. Enjoying the beautiful night and bright stars while you can, huh?" Troy asked. "It is the lovely night weather of Albuquerque that has brought us out, yes. Troy, what time is it?" Gabriella said. Troy glanced down at his watch, noting the time. "About 9:40, why?" He asked. "We're catching a movie with some of our other friends at 10:30 down at the mall. Guess we better get going girls if we're going to make it on time," said Taylor. "Troy, do you, um, want to come with us?" ventured a plump-sized brunette girl. "As flattered as I am to be invited to accompany such lovely ladies, I do believe I'd be invading my girlfriend's space and that would be in direct violation of our peace treaty, right Brie?" returned Troy, giving Gabriella a discreet-pleading look. Gabriella nodded her head. "Sorry girls, Troy has plans anyway with our little date and there's no way we're going to see the horror flick. My parents would kill me." She said. "Yup, Brie is susceptible to nightmares rather easily." agreed Troy, relief filling him as the other girls seemed to look disappointed but accepting of his decision not to go. "I'm sure you'll all have a great time without me." Troy said. "Please Troy?" asked another girl, this time an Asian girl. "Girls! He's my boyfriend and you are all drooling over him when I'm right here. Come on, let's get your stuff and go or I'll tell your parents exactly why you are all late for bed." Gabriella said teasingly. "All right, fine. It was nice seeing you Troy. Will you be around much longer?" Martha pouted. Troy hesitated but nodded his head. "Should be here for a little while longer but it all depends on if something comes up at school tomorrow." He replied. "Great! We'll see you tomorrow then!" stated Martha. Troy found himself hugged by the girls before they left to go back inside. "Hey." he greeted, stopping his walk when he was a few feet away from his brunette girlfriend. "Surprised you aren't swimming with them." He said. Gabriella looked up at Troy, who was looming over her. "Easier to watch them from outside the pool in case something happens. Surprised you got away from Martha's little flirty fan-club so easily." Gabriella joked. Troy chuckled as he kicked off his shoes, taking a seat at the edge of the pool next to Gabriella, feeling the cool water begin to lower his body's temperature slowly. "Martha is harmless. Maybe she and her friend are big time flirts for the most part but they aren't that bad. I've had my share of extremes over the years with flirty encounters. They've been friends with us for at least a few years and I usually just have to say I have you, and then they go back to leaving me alone if I move on from wherever they are." Troy said. "Sounds like skilled practice to me, Troy." observed Gabriella, her eyes drifting from Troy's grin to the boys who were starting to play Marco Polo. "How is eyeing everyone’s behavior tonight?" Gabriella asked. "Good — excellent actually. Everything is going smoothly, except I got slapped the bejesus out of me by Nina Patterson who had a little too much to drink. Other than that, I think we'll be ready for school tomorrow. It's a nice feeling to know that alcohol is nowhere to be found and I'm free to relax for a night with my beautiful girlfriend until I have to go back to school but I have nothing in the immediate future." replied Troy. Finding himself feeling unusually nervous, Troy licked his lips as he rubbed the back of his neck. REST IS TBA. He was halfway inside the crowded house when his eyes locked upwards at the staircase. "Excuse me." Troy said to a few wild partygoers as he tried to squeeze through the crowd. REST IS TBA. Suddenly, Troy felt himself knocked into a body. Troy placed his hand on the person's shoulder, trying to steady them. When the person jerked, Troy quickly took his hand off their shoulder. "Are you okay?" Troy asked with concern. The person — Brett — whirled around, who had a red plastic cup in his hand. Brett staggered a little bit. Troy grabbed the smaller boy's shoulders to keep him from tumbling over. "Oh, shoot! I'm sorry, Brett. Are you all right?" Troy asked with concern and sorrow. Brett mumbled incoherently. The chuckling Asian seemed to be pushing his body closer to Troy, if that was even possible. The boy wrapped his arms around Troy's neck. A little taken aback by Brett's sudden move, Troy gently broke the smaller boy's hold around the collars of his shirt and backed up, staring at Brett, confused. "What's wrong?" Brett asked. "What are you drinking right now, Brett?" Troy asked looking over his friend's cup. Brett pulled his drink to his chest. "Nothing, it's water." He said. Troy looked at Brett in ‘do you think I'm stupid face?’ and chuckled a bit. "Last time I checked, water was clear." He said. Brett looked down, and rolled his eyes. "Well last time I-I checked, you-u were t-tall." Brett rebuked. Troy looked at Brett in confusion, and shrugged his shoulders. "I am tall?" He chuckled. Brett looked up at Troy and was about to take a sip from his plastic cup when Troy intervened. "Oh no, you don't." Troy said, grabbing the plastic cup out of Brett's grip. He placed it on the kitchen counter behind him. "Troy, I just wanted–" Brett protested. Troy turned his attention back to his friend. "To be cool? Brett, it doesn't mean you have to drink alcohol – you're underage and I'm underage, which means it's illegal. Bottom line is you shouldn't drink." Troy said, keeping his voice calm and smooth. He dug his hands in his pockets. "Why not?" Brett asked as confusion spilled over his face. "Because, you... You might regret it later in life; it's just not healthy." Troy sighed out. In response, Brett huffed. "Troy, don't be such a square. Everybody who's anybody drinks." He rebuked, his words slightly slurring. With that, the stubborn Brett snatched the plastic cup from the counter, which prompted him to take a gulp. In shock, Troy quickly took the cup from Brett's hand again. "Brett! Brett, what did I just say?" Troy exclaimed. Brett just stared at him dumbly. Troy studied his friend's face, making sure Brett was looking at him. Brett's eyes were really dilated. He moaned, pouting his lips. He started pulling Troy's arm to stop him from leaving even though Troy didn't move yet. But then the childish look completely disappeared from Brett's face as he leaned up towards Troy's ear and placed a hand on his upper arm flirtatiously. Shock waves were radiating from Troy's body as Brett was pulling his towards him. "Troy, have a drink with me!" Brett whined desperately. "Why— Why would you want me drunk, Brett?" Troy asked as he looked down into Brett's brown eyes that seemed to be radiating passion. Brett bit his lower lip slightly. "Because then we don't have to be... r-responsible." He staggered out, whispering seductively. He turned his innocent look into one of a more playful and seductive nature. The drunk Brett simply grinned and with a wicked gleam in his eyes. Troy's eyes grew wide for a moment. He didn't know how to respond to those types of comments because no GUY has ever tried to SEDUCE him before. Sure, Ryan Evans and even Rocket Man have flirted with him from time-to-time, but not seduced. Troy noted the way Brett's eyes were glazed over at his firm chest. "I am very flattered, and I feel incredibly grateful that you like me the way you do, Brett. I love how awesome and open-minded you are, and how I get to be that way with you as an escape; but you know that I'm someone who functions best with structure and consistency, and that's what I need, and I'm with Gabriella. But, you would only hate yourself in the morning because you won't remember this. I really would love to remain friends, but I know you may need some time. I'll be happy to talk to you about it again whenever you feel ready." Troy stated as nicely as possible. Brett blinked — confused, dazed. Immediately, Troy kneeled down next to the confused boy. He handed Brett a cup filled with cold water. Brett shook his head, refusing it. "Brett, I know you don't want it. But you have to drink it. Otherwise you'll get dehydrated. Drink it nice and slow." Troy said calmly. "T— Thank you." Brett replied softly. The drunk boy forced down a few sips before handing the glass back to Troy and falling against his chest in exhaustion. "On the plus side, we're making progress. Let's see if we can get some more fluid in you, and if that stays down, I can give you some crackers to help with the nausea." Troy stated. Brett nodded. Troy chuckled a bit, rising to pull Brett into a standing position. "You need to be hydrated and eat some crackers." Troy ordered. "An... and if I don't?" Brett sternly said, crossing his arms stubbornly, like an immature child. "If you don't? Hmm, let's see... If you don't, I will drag you to my car and kidnap you." Troy answered teasingly. Before Brett could retaliate, his eyelids began to feel droopy. Troy knew there was no way Brett was going to make it home on his own. "C'mon. Let's get you those crackers, huh?" Troy suggested. REST IS TBA. Troy sighed and with Zeke's help collected the empty bottles from the floor and put on top of the garden table. "I'm so getting you, New Kid!" Chad said and ran after the smaller boy. Brett screamed and tried to hide behind Taylor, but it was impossible. Chad easily caught Brett and threw him in the swimming pool, laughing his ass off at the scene. The bottles fell from Troy's hands as he ran to Brett. The weather was really cold and windy during the night. Chad pulled him by his shirt. "Dude, we're having fun." He laughed. Troy pushed him away. "He's gonna freeze, man!" Troy exclaimed. The jock stepped out of his shoes and pulled his shirt over his head before jumping in the swimming pool. As soon as his body hit the cold water, he could feel like a sharp knife was slicing through his muscles inside his body. Troy swam as fast as he could to his friend. "Brett!" Troy cried out in panic. He brushed his wet hair out of his eyes and looked at Brett, who was trying to stay afloat. "You okay?" Troy asked. Brett shook his head in negation. Troy brought him closer to his body and rubbed his back. "It's all right." Troy said. "I wanna get out Troy, it's too cold!" Brett cried out. "Okay, okay." Troy said, trying to keep a freezing Brett calm. Brett continued shaking and his teeth began chattering madly. "Z dude, get us a towel!" Troy barked. Zeke nodded and ran into the house while Chad, Gabriella, Sharpay and Taylor were standing in shock. "Oi! Troy! The towels!" Zeke called out. Troy whipped his head around to see Gabriella stiffen a small gasp, blushing lightly. Troy laughed at how cute she looked embarrassed. He looked back and pulled away from Brett, nodding at Zeke and got out of the pool. "I'll tell you everything later, guys." Troy said, ignoring Chad and Zeke's smiles and grabbed the towels from their hands. "Of course you will. We need to understand why Brett was like that in the pool." Chad replied. "Yeah..." Troy said and turned back to look at Brett. "Come here, Brett." Troy said. "Mm...?" Chad laughed. "Shut up, dude!" He said as he helped Brett out of the pool and wrapped a towel around his shaking body. "You need to sleep." Troy instructed. Brett shook his head. "I wanna drink more!" He whined. Troy rolled his eyes. "No more drinking for you tonight, mister." He said firmly. Troy stared at his friends again. "Guys, can you help me with Brett? Make sure we put him near a bathroom, he drank way too much." Troy ordered. "Yup!" Zeke assured him. Troy and Zeke helped everybody inside the house. "Troy?" Brett called him with a weak voice. "Yeah?" Troy said. "I don't feel so well." Brett mumbled. He covered his mouth with his hand. He quickly jerked back. "What are you feeling?" Troy asked in alarm. Brett took the hand off his mouth, but before he could reply vomit sprayed on Troy. Troy covered his mouth and closed his eyes, to re-open it a second later and look at his shirt all covered with vomit. "Oh shit." Troy muttered. Brett looked down and then at him and started crying. "I'm sorry." He sobbed. Troy shook his head. "Come here, buddy. I'm not mad. It's okay." He promised. "I... I'm sorry. I didn't want to." Brett said in between sobs. "Don't worry." Troy assured. After helping Zeke with Chad, Taylor and Sharpay, Troy walked downstairs and into the living room, but Gabriella was already sleeping on the couch. He gently grabbed her in his arms and took her upstairs to a bedroom. "Brie..." He cooed. He stroked her hair trying to wake her up. "Come on baby, you're gonna get sick if you sleep like this." Troy whispered. Gabriella didn't respond, so Troy made his way to Gabriella's room again to pick up a PJ for her. He certified himself that Chad and Taylor were breathing and got back to his parents room to find Gabriella sitting on the bed. "I thought you were sleeping?" Troy stated. "I woke up." She said in a baby voice. Troy shook his head. "Sit down Brie, you need to change." He laughed. "I don't wanna to." She pouted. "Please baby, come here." Troy asked her and she crawled towards him. "I have your PJs, can you change yourself?" Troy asked. Gabriella shook her head. "Brie, please?" Troy pleaded. She didn't say a word, just raised both arms up indicating she wanted to be changed. "You're such a baby." He joked before pulling her shirt over her head and reached behind her to unclasp her wet bra. Gabriella giggled as his hand accidentally brushed one of her breasts. She grabbed the PJ shirt from his hand, trying to dress it, but taking too long to find the right way to put it on. "Wait up." Troy said and helped her, trying not to focus on her breasts. "Ready?" He asked. Gabriella stood up and he took of her skirt and panties, giving her new panties and the shorts of her PJs. "Dress it up or I won't be able to keep my hands away from you." Troy said. She giggled again, dressing the rest of her clothes. "I'm ready, Wildcat." She whispered hungrily. He smiled at her. He started undressing too. "Hurry up, I wanna hug you. Brett already got his seven minutes in Heaven." Gabriella teased as she watched him take off his wet clothes and put his PJs pants too. "Just a sec beautiful." Troy said as he finished getting ready and walked to the bathroom to brush his teeth. "Come here, Brie." He said. She ran to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Guess who it is" She giggled. "You're so weird, Brie." Troy laughed. He turned around and grabbed her by the waist, sitting her on the bathroom counter. "Show me your teeth." Troy instructed. Gabriella gave him a huge smile and Troy smirked. "You're so cute." He said lovingly. "You're so cute." She mocked him and let him brush her teeth, looking up and humming while he did it, "Tongue, out." He ordered gently and she did what he asked. "All right, spit." He said. Gabriella swung her legs back and forth as she watched him brushing his teeth, amazed by the color of his eyes, "Your eyes are so blue." She said. Troy gave her an amused look, "Uhm... thanks." He said. When he finished, Gabriella was already yawning. Troy smiled and walked to her, letting her wrap her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. He easily lifted her from the counter and started walking with her to the bedroom again. Gabriella buried her face on his neck and stroked his shoulder all the way back to the bed. Troy sat her on the bed and lay down, tapping his side on the bed. "Come here, beautiful." Troy cooed. REST IS TBA
It was Tuesday morning, and everything seemed to be all right. "Dude... can't we just skip Darbus?" Chad asked. Troy shrugged. "Our girlfriends would be pissed." He said. He was thinking about Gabriella. "Yeah, you're right. Especially since you're whipped." Chad said. The brunette jock rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I'm not whipped." He denied, even though it was more than true. "Yeah, whatever." Chad said while rolling his own. REST IS TBA. But suddenly, Troy heard someone that makes his ears perk up a little. "Yeah, that kid definitely wins." Troy heard someone say as he placed a finger up to his mouth as Chad looked around as though he would see the source of the noise. His eyebrows raised a little. Wins what? "I don't know. That kid's pretty wild though. I mean, he literally shit in his pants!" Troy heard someone else say, but he could barely register that they were talking about. "Pretty sure that kid's had plenty of opportunities and he hasn't taken them." A voice whispered. Him? Opportunities? What did that mean? "What do you mean?" Troy heard another voice echo again as he tried to strain hear better. They were talking about someone, and Troy wanted to know what the hell the guy meant by this. "Well, you know. Bolton and him were connected at the party before that hilarious video came along." He said while Troy's breath stopped. Were connected? Before a video? The shock made Troy take a step backwards while he could hear the faint sound of the other guys leaving. Troy looked up to see that Chad was shaking his head while crossing his arms. "Dude, not worth it." Chad said. Troy raised his eyebrows and threw out his arms to add to the dramatic effect. "Did you even hear them, Chad? Those guys were gossiping about someone, and there's a video going around!" Troy exclaimed while cringing. "Yeah, I heard, Hoops. Dude, you need to chill." Chad said while still shaking his head at him. Troy's eyes shot up to Chad's and glare. "I'm not going to chill, Chad." Troy lied, knowing that he was more then jealous. "Yeah, and Taylor's the dumbest person in the class." Chad replied sarcastically. "Dude, don't listen to rumors. Maybe, we'll get a new headline." Chad finished, shrugging his shoulders. Troy tried to laugh sarcastically, but could hear the truth in Chad's voice. This wasn't good. Troy leaned down and put his head into his hands while running his hands through his hair. He lets out a sigh as he walked past Chad and then felt him at his feet. Troy gritted his teeth in frustration, trying to ignore the odd gnawing sensation that he seemed to have at the pit of his stomach, along with the paranoid thoughts that threatened to invade his mind — the same thoughts that always managed to drive his brain to the worst possible conclusions. Running his hands through his hair, Troy let out a sigh. Somewhere in the hallway a phone pinged, then another. Suddenly, a commotion behind the two jocks gets the them to look in the direction of two boys. The brunette, blue-eyed jock frowned when he heard two boys start whispering to each other. Then Troy saw one of the guys handing his phone to the kid next to him and they tried to cover up their shared laugh over something on the screen. A few more pinged and vibratory buzzed before students start to silence their phones — and checked the screens. Troy's own phone buzzed in his jean pocket. As other students snicker and gasp at their own, finally, he pulled his out, and looked at it and saw an alert on his home-screen from the school website. An "ALICE IN WONDERLAND"-style-in-a-bottle icon labeled “WATCH ME” popped up. A link. Troy slid his thumb to the right. Blue eyes widened; the moment would be burned into his mind for all of eternity. He had lost track of time before Chad's questioning voice brought him back to reality. "Troy? What's wrong?" Chad asked with full concern. Troy tore his eyes away from the tiny screen to stare at his friend. His mind hadn't registered that he had noticed horror starting to fill his eyes. Chad's eyes were full of concern as he lowered himself to his friend’s level. Troy reached out and gave Chad the phone as he sent his hands through his hair. It was a handheld video shot from the back gate area outside of Chad's house. A pullback revealed a person's body lying on the pathway. The person was revealed to be Brett Shimura, who had excreted and menstruated in his pants and underwear — clearly visible in the lighting. Along the bottom of the video, superimposed with the blinking red caption: “WINNER OF EAST HIGH'S BEST LEAKER 2018.” Troy just looked at it for a minute. He felt his stomach flip. He had so many emotions floating around inside of him right now. Then, the camera was right behind Brett's unconscious body at that point, leaning over to his feces. And that didn't even compare to the number of thoughts running marathons through Troy's head. Things like, did Brett know about this yet? Had anyone said anything to him yet? Who did this? Why had they done this? What was Brett going to do? The butterflies were disintegrated as he heard Chad's strong curses. Troy's chest tightened as he sent a hand over his heart. His breath caught in his throat as he leaned his back against the row of lockers. His hands ran over his face, trying to calm himself. He had left Brett. He hadn't called when he felt something was wrong; he had shrugged it off. He brought his head back hard against the cold metal of the locker. His fear, desperation, helplessness and blame were all eradicated from his being as a new, stronger feeling emerged. Fury. He had decided then and there, in that moment, that these people were not going to get away with this. Chad's hand on his shoulder made him look up; the black cell-phone was shoved into his hands. "It’s Brett!" Chad managed to say in shock; his eyes wide with horror. He held his phone out to compare their screens. Troy tried to absorb and understand what was just said and what he had just witnessed. He wanted to believe that it was a hallucination but a nagging part of him kept wondering if the rest of the day, would bleed out chaos. Troy clicked on the comments and 'likes' icon in the bottom corner of the video and he felt his jaw drop at the sight of the 148 people who had 'liked' the video and the — he paused to count — 40 comments — all saying the likes of “#BowelMovementGoals 😂,” “What’s a weird smell you like? PERIOD BLOOD & FECES — Let the hate comments begin 😈,” “A star is born. Thanks for the LEGENDARY video,” “I never realized this turned into a viral video! AWESOME,” and countless others alike. After shaking his head, Troy hesitated, unsure of whether he should find Brett, confront the person who was responsible for their cruel behavior or tell Principal Matsui. Tucking his phone back into his pocket, Troy turned and walked away. He was beyond furious. Whoever did this to his new friend was going to get suspended immediately. "I get it. You're pissed and even if you go to Principal Matsui, this shit is—" Chad began but was cut off. "No, you don't get it, Chad. That video will never go away, don't you get that? For every copy that's taken down, ten more are out there ready to take it's place. The stuff people put on the Internet is forever and until you've have some video of you go viral — you have no idea what that would feel like." Troy lectured, barely taking a breath before going on. "You can't escape it and you can't un-see the cruel comments other people make. It's always there and every time you think the situation is behind you — you turn the corner and get slapped in the face with it all over again..." Troy lectured, before trailing off. He stopped walking, causing Chad to stop too. "This isn't about me and you or anyone else. It's about Brett. You've got no clue what he's gone through the past year. He finally has a chance to make some friends and we failed him and... I can't even... I just really screwed it up and hurt Brett. It's my fault for what happened to him at the party. That's what it all boils down to. Brett is hurt and it's my fault." Troy sighed out dejectedly. Suddenly, his eyes roamed down the hallway. "What?" Chad asked of his hesitation. "It's a long story, Chad. But I'm not gonna tell you about it unless I can straighten this out with him. I'll just say that right now, Brett needs friends. He doesn't need idiots like me playing stupid mind-games with him." Troy said. He looked around them, noticing a group of boys standing near them, laughing, snidely. Troy's blue eyes then narrowed with anger as a lanky boy with greasy black hair approached them. "Miller, I'm hurt that you would do this to a person." Troy confronted, keeping his voice calm. He crossed his arms across his chest. "Do what, may I ask? Ohhhh, wait! Don't tell me. You have to see something hysterical. Hold on. Watch this." Weston said, leaning in close to Troy. His finger tapped on his phone screen. The humiliating video of Brett starts playing. "This part's hilarious." Weston snickered. The camera in the video zoomed in, standing over Brett's unconscious body. "Miller, that's ENOUGH!" Chad spoke as he watched Troy's face become darker and darker as Chad turned to face the speaker and snickered. "Yeah it is, Danforth, but I figured, why not find out if this new kid is any good?" Weston chuckled, his icy blue eyes flickering over the boys before settling on Troy. "You're worried about us, Miller?" Troy asked quietly, his voice laced with menace that had even had his team stepping back. "Why would I be worried about a some boy who wanted to fuck you last night?" Weston scoffed, shooting a grin to the boys. "Why would you be here if you didn't?" Troy replied just as quietly, stepping closer to the lanky kid, his eyes gleaming with the menace that had laced his voice before. "I'm not here to check you guys out, Bolton. The new kid knows it." Weston retorted, watching in satisfaction. Troy's eyes became even darker as Weston smiled devilishly. Chad moved to stand a little closer to Troy whose face was as completely unemotional. "You're gonna be sent to Principal Matsui immediately." Troy said slowly, almost growling as he looked at the lanky boy, who had missed the way his muscle in his jaw twitched. "Would you, please? I've been a bad boy. But you see, I remember this kid, his name was... Brent? Or was it...?" Weston said. Troy ignored the quick glance Chad sent him as his blood slowly began to boil at the mention of Brett. "Brett." Troy answered quietly. The lanky kid nodded in satisfaction as his little friend snickered behind him. "Right..." Weston said, drawing out the word. "Well, I remember him and I seem to remember having a really good time with him. Care to tell me what happened after that?" the bully said cunningly. His smirk faded slightly when he saw the look on Troy's face. Troy stepped towards him. "Since Cock-Slut is a leaker, I'm sure something happened to him." Weston said, his tone light and casual. As soon as the words left his mouth, everyone standing in the hall knew he'd taken it too far. Before anyone could move or even think, Chad had Weston by the collar as he stumbled from the blow that no one had seen coming. Almost immediately, Troy stepped in as Weston went to yank out of Chad's grip. "Chad, violence is never the answer. That will only make it worse." Troy rebuked calmly. Lifting Weston up off the ground, Troy's face was cold and dangerous. The lanky boy struggled to escape his grasp. "We're done here, Miller. I have no more to say to you." Troy growled softly. "Right." Weston managed and Troy worked his jaw in a circle before looking him dead in the eye. "I'm going to add something else: You have NO right to come by and harass Brett. I should've known you and Bobby were the ones who uploaded that shameful video. You may not have physically damaged Brett, but you mentally destroyed everything that was in him." Troy retorted, slightly shaking his head in disgust. "We didn't do anything to him, Bolton. In fact, he was like that before he transferred here. Oh, yeah. You didn't know? I mean, Brett was already mentally unstable." Weston snarled darkly. "What are you talking about?" Troy asked. Weston's eyes narrowed. "I'm sure you'll figure it out, Bolton. You're a smart guy." Weston replied. "Oh, I'll be sure to pass the message along to my brain. But that still doesn't excuse your unforgivable behavior, Miller. You and Bobby made it worse than it was for Brett. You could have helped him — been his friend — tried to help him come out of his shell — helped him out last night." Troy argued. "Nah, it was way to easy too make his life a living Hell and watch him get publicly harassed on the Internet." Weston said with a shrug. "You're disgusting." Troy growled. "You're one to talk, Bolton. Last time I checked, you weren't aware about what really happened last night." Weston retorted. Troy blinked as shock filled his face. "You're all talk. That was different." Troy responded. "Oh, really? Then tell me this, Bolton. Aren't you supposed to be the guy who usually knows what's up? I guess you're not as smart as I thought you were." Weston laughed. "I want you to leave him alone. I don't want you to approach Brett again. Am I clear?" Troy growled. Weston narrowed his eyes and slowly nodded. "Fine. Okay. You're clear." Weston managed the sentence weakly and Chad dropped him to the ground. Weston straightened up. Curtly, the bully growled. "Let's go, Bobby." He said and barely maintained his balance when Chad shoved him away. Troy watched the two culprits leave the hallway. "Go to Homeroom, Chad. Someone will have told on us." Troy said. As Chad left, Troy apprehensively glanced around the hallway in search of any authority that could get them into trouble. Troy ran a hand through his hair, before leaving the hall after his friend. The temper that had spun out of control as soon as Weston was mentioned, fighting him as he tried to control it. He hadn't even realized it until now, as soon as Brett was mention there had been an instant need to protect, an instant need to ensure Brett’s safety from Weston than anything else that had went through his mind. Running a hand through his hair, Troy thought back to the minute he met Brett. His mind continued to try and figure out the confusing mess it had concocted.
Walking through the hallway of East High, Troy reached his locker. Standing next to his locker was Chad. "What's up, man?" Troy said as they bumped fists and pulled each other into a hug, slapping each other on the back and pulled away. "Dude, I'm glad you're a good guy, you know. Standing up for Brett like that." Chad stated. "I know, me too." Troy chuckled. They bumped fists again. After Chad left, Troy noticed a piece of paper lying on top of his books. It was a note. Troy didn't recognize the hand-writing, but he knew who had wrote it nonetheless. “Defending that FAG was not such a bright idea. It kind of makes me wonder what team YOU'RE playing for. You make me SICK, and I make it a promise that I will RUIN you Troy Bolton.” Troy let the note fall numbly from it's lose grip in his fingertips. His stomach churned and he suppressed a gag that formed in his throat in order to keep down his lunch. He knew that Weston Miller was not joking when he said that he would ruin him, and he knew that he could do it. How had this happened? How had it gotten this bad? Before he knew it, Troy was running. He was about fifty feet off of school property when he saw them. Troy wasn't sure if they had actually been waiting for him, but as they saw Troy, he knew that they weren't going to pass up this opportunity. "Well, if it isn't the queer-lover himself." Weston snarled, throwing down the cigarette that he had been smoking and crushed it under his foot. "You know that wasn't a very smart thing to do, Bolton." He said in an eerily calm voice as he approached Troy. Troy began to back up slowly but to his surprise two other guys were standing behind him, blocking his escape. They rounded on either side of him and latched onto his arms, holding him in place. "Now this look familiar. If I'm not mistaken I think that this is the same position your little drunk, homo friend was in not too long ago, since I practically destroyed his walls. Now can you tell me what happens next?" Weston hissed. "Look Miller, I don't want any trouble. Please." Troy begged. "In all your life has that line ever actually worked? Now answer the question. What comes next?" Weston sneered. Troy didn't say anything he just held his ground as best he could. "Not talking are we? Well let me fill in the blanks." Weston chortled. The blow to his stomach came fast. The next punch came to his face and Troy could feel the blood splatter from his nose, and he saw specks of it on Weston's curled fist. "A punch for a punch." Weston said coldly, spitting in Troy's face. "But somehow, it's just not enough." Weston spat. The bully brought his knee swiftly upward and it collided into Troy's groin. Troy cried out in pain and his knees buckled. If the other two boys hadn't been holding him up he would have crashed to the ground. "Drop this fool!" Weston barked. Troy fell to the ground and by this time, he was too weak to defend himself. Weston crouched down on his knees beside Troy and grabbed Troy's face roughly in his hand, turning Troy to face him. "Don't you fuck with me, boy. Don't you EVER fuck with me." Weston hissed sharply. It was a warning, a promise, a threat, and Troy knew that every word of it was true. The three boys walked off leaving Troy lying on the hard concrete. Troy just laid there in bruises as blood lingered from his nostrils.
A little while later, Troy sat in his truck for a while, parked outside of his house. Troy moved to unbuckle his seatbelt, and opened the door. He shut the door behind him. He made his way up the steps that led to his front door and fumbled in his pocket for the keys. Opening the door to his home he stepped into the brightly lit front hallway and quickly toyed with the idea of running to his bedroom and refusing to come out until morning. "Troy? Is that you?" A female voice called out. Of course, no such luck. "Yeah Mom, I'm home." Troy replied. He stood there as she came rushing from out of the kitchen, a stern expression plastered on her pretty features. He could tell that she was ready for the intense questioning of "Where have you been?" but she stopped short when she saw the condition that he was in. Apparently word hadn't gotten around of what had happened after all. "My God, Troy, what happened?" Lucille asked in utter shock. She was by his side in a mere matter of seconds. She reached out to lightly run her fingertips over an ugly bruise that was forming along his cheek bone, and the fact that she was being so gentle, the fact that she seemed to care so much, was almost enough to send him into tears all over again. "I'm fine, Mom. Really I am." He tried to sound reassuring in his statement. He tried to convince her that he was not this broken boy standing in front of her, when really in all truth he was. He tried to do that one little thing for her. Just tell her that he was okay, because she needed to hear it and he certainly did as well, but he would never be that good of an actor. He saw the tears forming in her eyes and his voice cracked in his reassurance. "Please Mom, don't cry." He was desperate in his request, because he couldn't handle this, not now. Not now. Suddenly, a new emotion came over her face. One that he hardly ever saw on his mothers delicate features, but one that he recognized nonetheless, fury. "Who did this to you?" She asked. "Mom, I—" Troy began but she cut him off by grasping onto his shoulders. Shaking him slightly, because he needed to tell her, because she needed to know. "Tell me WHO did this to you." Lucille demanded firmly. He let out a small groan as the pain shot up his arms from where her hands held onto him. She saw the grimace on his face and immediately let go of him. Her look of rage being replaced by concern. "I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry." Lucille apologized. "I can't tell you, Mom." Troy whispered. "You have to. As soon as your father and I find out, that little bastard is getting what he deserves." Her voice was strong and malicious but the tears were now falling from her eyes. With each word of anger a new tear slid down her cheeks, and with each promise of payback, her voice cracked a little more. Troy reached out with one scathed hand and began to wipe the tears from her eyes. "I can't tell you. I'm sorry. It would just make things so much worse. Don't you see that?" Troy said. He was desperate to make her understand, and he thanked God, Jesus, Buddha, and anybody else who was listening to the gratefulness of one teenager, when she nodded her head slowly. "Where's Dad?" Troy asked. "He called and said he had to stay late to work on something up at the school." His mother responded softly. Relief washed over Troy at the prospect of not having to deal with that situation. "Come on, if you're not going to tell me who did this to you, then you're at least going to let me clean up some of those cuts." Lucille said. He smiled slowly at her and she leaned in and kissed his forehead. Troy was sitting up on the counter as she finished up applying all the necessary antibiotics to make sure he didn't get an infection. "There, everything is all patched up." She said as she padded down one of the bandages on his elbow, probably from where he had fallen to the ground. With some help from her, he got off the counter. "Thank you, Mom. Hey, I'm going to just go to bed now. I'm really tired." Troy said. He turned to walk away from her but she touched him lightly on the arm, halting him. He turned to face her and she pulled him into a hug that was gentle and firm all at once. "You don't know how much I love you, kid." She whispered in his ear as she ran her fingers through his hair. "And you don't know how much I needed to hear that." He replied lovingly. Troy pulled away from her and kissed her on the cheek. "Night, Mom." He left her standing in the kitchen and headed up to his room, shutting the door behind him. Ignoring the ache in his body he pulled his shirt over his head. Not even attempting to remove his pants he laid down on his mattress, burying his face in the covers.
REST IS TBA
REST IS TBA
"That was the new kid you were helping at school, wasn't it?" she asked. Troy looked up and cocked his chin in surprise. "You mean Brett? Yeah. He's a shy kid, Mom." Troy said. "And he goes to East High too, doesn't he?" she asked, trying to remember. Troy creased up his eyes as he frowned in confusion. "Yeah." he said, trying to keep his voice complacent. She smoothed her apron as she came to stand opposite him on the other side of the kitchen island. "I hope you're being nice to him." she said, searching through a grocery bag. He couldn't contain the scoff that built up in his throat. "Of course I am, Mom. I talked to him when he was alone during lunch on his first day, remember?" Troy said, chuckling lightly. "You know that's not what I meant." she conceded. He sighed. "He's a strong person, Ma. I mean, god, he must have to be... But honestly?" Troy muttered towards the end. "Honestly...?" Lucille smiled. "Honestly... I worry about Brett, and I don't always know why. There are so many jerks who are practically waiting for the opportunity to bully him — make fun of him... I just... Can't stand the idea of it." Troy said truthfully. His mother could read him like a book and he'd always been a mommy's boy. Lucille rounded the island and pulled her son into a hug, her arms around him tightly. "You're a good person, Troy." she said, his mouth at his shoulder. "You're a beautiful person. You care for those who need caring for — and most of all, you do it because you want to." She pulled back enough to look into his eyes, pushing his bangs back and kissing his forehead. He squirmed playfully but didn't protest to her comfort. "But you're not just that—" She smoothed his hair back. "—You're also a man. A strong, brave, kind man." Lucille finished. "Mom—" Troy smiled, touched. "Now — I know, I'm your mom, I'm inclined to say that — but... it's true." She smiled as she stepped back and went to pick up a magazine. She turned back to him as he busied himself with groceries to stop the emotion he felt from spilling onto his features. "Troy?" she said. Troy looked up but said nothing. "If you really do care about Brett — don't spend the rest of your senior year in silence! From what I know, this boy is lonely — and undeserving of it. He has a disposition that makes him different... Please don't be the one to treat him like he is..." Lucille said but stopped. Troy paused but gave her look that said he was listening — interested. "If you don't want all those jerks to get to Brett, especially Weston Miller..." she paused as he smoothed his arm. "Then... don't let them." she finished. He smiled. "I've met Brett's parents a few times and from what I could tell from his mom, Brett's a lot more fragile than you think. What with his past and all, he has literally zero self-esteem... Which means..." Lucille said. Troy folded his arms over his chest, intrigued. "Which means?" he asked. "Which means every little thing you've done in the past to effect a new kid will most likely affect Brett a completely different way... From the experience I've had at the hospital with people in similar situations, I can guarantee he'll be worried to death about how people see him — his past, his reputation — every single second that he's with you... And, sadly.. that may never go away..." Lucille said sympathetically. Troy felt her words hit him deep, deep with his chest, making him ache helplessly. "Never? But Mom, if that's the case, then how do I...? What do I do? How is that possible?" Troy asked desperately. "This is not just self-consciousness for him, honey. I should think this trauma has haunted Brett just about every moment since he was old enough to think..." She paused for a moment, taking in her son's deeply concentrated and interested look. "Just..." she sighed. "—every person is special, and all every person wants is to be made feel exactly that by the people they love — and I imagine that can only be exceedingly true for Brett..." Lucille sighed. He agreed and understood what she was saying, and could feel her trying to imprint it into his brain. He felt his conscience soaking up her words like a sponge. Before he could stop himself though, curiosity got the better of him. "What is it that's wrong with Brett, exactly? I mean, he acts happy... with him being jovial when he's around me... shy too – from what I've noticed anyway — and that's why he feels lonely... right? ...I've never seen anything like it..." Troy said. "I couldn't tell you what trauma he has been through if I wanted to, honey. It's a deep and dark part of him and only he can tell you... Trust me." Lucille calmly stated. He looked like he was planning something. "Just..." she started. Troy looked up. "Be careful with him, Troy." Lucille said calmly. He nodded and she walked into the garden.
Troy decided to stop by the bathroom. As soon as Troy set one foot into the restroom, it took him a split second to hear the muffled sobbing. He could hear someone sobbing. These weren't just little tears of sadness. What he could hear – and see as he stood in the doorway of the bathroom – were body-shaking, energy-draining, heart-breaking sobs. Sobs filled with grief, loss and despair. Another split second to hear a small gasp and the sniffing that comes when you try to stop crying, and yet another second to decide that he was not going to walk right back out the door. With a strong obligation taking hold of him, Troy walked over to one of the stalls and lightly pushed it open without even knocking first. There, sitting, Brett was curled up in a ball leaning against the wall and hiding his head in his knees. Troy stared at Brett taken aback by the strength of Brett’s reaction, confused. Brett looked devastated, broken, no light in his eyes. Brett quickly looked up, holding his breath, the tears still running down his face. Tears ran unceasingly from his eyes, spreading down his cheeks. His eyes were reddened and raw and bloodshot and caught somewhere between sad and horror. Brett weeps softly but desperately gasps for breath. "Brett? Brett, what is it? What happened?" Troy asked, his voice full of concern. The brunette male carefully walked over and lowered himself onto the floor beside the broken boy. The saddened Asian boy sniffled and looked up, seeing Troy's deep cerulean eyes and shook his head. "Brett? Hey, come here..." Troy whispered as he slid down next to him on the floor, pulling the struggling boy into his arms. "What's wrong?" Troy asked gently. "Nothing..." Brett gasped between sobs, fighting to get away from the worried jock. Troy ignored his stubbornness, pulling his head to his chest, letting Brett grab his shirt. He soon stopped fighting. Troy studied Brett as his sobs began to subside. "Brett? What happened?" Troy whispered calmly. He would be lying if he said that he wasn't feeling the awkwardness of the situation, he barely knew Brett Shimura and here he was being Brett’s personal shoulder to cry on. In spite of all this, he couldn't deny Brett his help, the moment he saw Brett crying he knew if he didn't assist Brett, he would be all alone and if Troy was taught one thing as a child, it was that no one deserves to be alone. "I can't." Brett whispered into his chest. "Can't what? Brett, I can't help you if you don't tell me what is going on." Troy said soothingly. "Leave me alone! Just leave me alone, Troy. You should just go." Brett spat coldly. "Is that what you want?" Troy asked carefully. Something made him think that it was so much more than that. "Yes!" Brett explained, pushing Troy off of him. A shocked Troy studied Brett’s broken expression. "Brett, tell me what is going on. Please." Troy begged. The tears were still flowing down Brett’s cheeks, leaving behind wet trails of tears. He shook his head so fast it was almost violent, quickly backing away from him. Troy didn't know what it was, but the second Brett Shimura looked him dead in the eye he knew he wouldn't be able to deny Brett. There was something about those big brown eyes that left him heart-broken. Something horrible. He obviously wasn't getting through to Brett well enough, he tried another strategy. "What kind of friend would I be if I just let you stay here all by yourself, crying? That would mean I don't care about you, right? But I'm not that person; never have been and never will be. I don't know how you could think you could be fine after looking like this..." Troy replied, holding up his index finger to signal one second to Brett before he switched their position so he was leaning against the toilet and his back was pressed against the cold wall. "Brett, please tell me what is going on. Did something happened? Are you hurt?" he told Brett. The broken Asian turned quick and took a deep breath. He looked down at the ground, feeling his tears coming on again. Troy knew Brett was hoping he would buy the fact that there was nothing wrong. He knew Brett didn't want to talk about the real reason. "Brett, I know something is making you bottle up. Please tell me." Troy begged desperately. Brett said nothing. "Whatever happens, happens and it's for the best. And before you even say what you are thinking, it's going to be okay because I will listen to you a million and one times if I have to, as long as you're okay. It's my job to make people happy and smile. You know what the best part is, Brett? You get to share this experience with your new best friend in the world, no matter what the outcome." Troy said, looking down at Brett as he finished his monologue. Brett sighed when Troy nudged him softly, and he looked back at him. When Brett was showing no signs of moving after a couple of minutes, Troy began to think. He knew Brett was depressed. There was something else and he knew it. Troy examined the broken Asian boy. When Brett didn't stop crying, Troy then crouched down in front of him so he could catch Brett’s eye. "Shh, just relax. Take a breath, Brett. Please." Troy instructed gently. Brett wiped his eyes so he could clearly see his friend’s face. They took a deep breath together, Brett's breath breaking in the middle. "Okay, good. Another." Troy instructed. They breathed again, Brett successfully completing the deep breath that time. "One more. Good. Okay." Troy said. This attempt to make Brett feel better, to keep him calm, and Troy hoped it would work, at least for the moment. Tears still streamed from Brett's eyes. Troy took hold of his wrist and guided it down to reveal the poorly-hidden expression. Brett flinched a bit at Troy's touch. Brett looked so utterly broken and it immediately crumbled Troy's resolve. Troy tried to capture his friend's attention. "Brett, you got to stop bottling up your feelings. You have to listen to your heart. The person inside you is screaming and you're trying to press him back." Troy said in a careful tone. Brett proceeded to cry. Troy felt a sharp, unwelcome pain in his heart and as he had known all along, it hurt when he realized how sad Brett really was. "Please, Brett." was all Troy said in response as he studied Brett. Without hearing an answer, Troy shook his head in defiance — his face softening. "You're not fine, Brett. You won't be for a long time if you don't tell me. And even though I don't know you as well as I would like, I know some things. You're going to hold this in, maybe because you want to protect your image, or maybe because you are scared to death of facing the truth. But it is going to eat away at you until you can't take it anymore. You will continue to alienate everyone around you, thinking that you are doing what you need to do in order to protect them." Troy said. Brett looked at him through his teary eyes, wishing he would stop. "In reality, all you will really be doing is hurting yourself even more. You will break one day into unfixable pieces and you won't be able to stop it." Troy said. Brett looked down at the floor, not saying a word. "He drank that morning. My brother, Jason." Brett choked out. Tears were free-falling from his eyes now. Troy sat silently, patiently wanting Brett to continue. "My dad... He... um... He wishes..." Brett stammered. Troy's eyes hurt with pain and sorrow. "I know he wishes it was me instead of Jason. And... sometimes I do, too." Brett croaked out. Troy had just processed that Brett's brother had passed away and he knew Brett didn't like to talk about him. And now that Brett was, Troy wasn't going to let him down. Troy sat there, utterly speechless. He opened his mouth to talk but nothing came out. The catch in his voice caught Troy's attention but it were the tears that suddenly appeared and rolled down his cheeks unchecked that told Troy that Brett still hurt from losing his brother, as he already knew, but also from the pain of losing the only person who willingly loved and admired him. "Don't... Don't say that. He's you dad." Troy stuttered, trying to think go what to say to comfort his distraught friend. "Brett, I know your brother was important to you. I know I can't take away your pain, but I am truly, very, VERY sorry for your loss." Troy said, showing remorse in his tone. He felt remorse for Brett because he had been put through hell at such a young age and the pain clearly ate away at him. And Troy felt remorse for him because he didn't want this to dominate his life. "But one thing is for sure: you are never, ever alone. No matter where we go in life, no matter what happens, you will always have people who love you to lean on, to call, anything. You will never be alone." Troy said vehemently as he studied the vulnerable Brett. "And second of all, you know what?" Troy said, looking down at Brett and Brett shrugged his shoulders. The distraught Asian boy gently wiped away some of his tears with his hands. "He's there. Jason will always be there with you." That was all Troy said for a moment, letting it sink in. And he meant every word he said. "Jason will be there, he has the best brother ever... You. He'll be there, cheering you on, Wildcat. He'll be watching right in front of you while you live your life of awesomeness. He'll watch while you get your diploma and he will watch with pride by your parents when the class is announced and you throw your graduation cap in the air. He is always here, that is something I know, and I can promise you 100% everywhere else after that for the rest of your life. He's been with you the whole time. In fact..." Troy stopped for a second as Brett wiped more tears away from his tear-stained face. "I bet he's next to us right now, threatening me not to hurt you in his head and wishing you wouldn't cry. He is telling me that everything will be okay." Troy said proudly when Brett shifted. "You are far too young to experience this traumatic thing. I might not have known you for as long as I wish I had, but it seems to me that in your short life, you taught so many people so much – about strength, hope, friendship, bravery... you are the epitome of a warrior. You're fighting a long, hard battle with the loss of your brother and you, Brett – you have so much living left to do. You're strong, you're brave... you're stubborn! You have many years ahead of you, filled with dream after dream I have no doubt you will achieve. I also have no doubt that what you are going through will allow you to help others in the future. You're destined for big things, Brett, and I hope you know that Jason is right there in your heart through every goal that you reach, cheering you on and making sure he knows that that brave guy right there... he's with you." Troy said in a optimistic tone. Brett smiled amusingly. "Tell you what..." Troy began, placing his hand over his as Brett looked at him. "After this conversation, think about your brother and imagine it's him protecting you, not me. And you'll be able to feel how proud he is. Trust me." Troy finished. Brett smiled a little, slowly nodding his head; his dark chocolate brown eyes glistening slightly. "Whoa, stop right there, Wildcat." Troy placed his hand on Brett's face to make him look at him and took one of his hands. "Remember: it's not your fault and don't blame yourself because, it isn't your fault about what happened to Jason. I just don't want you to hurt yourself because... it hurts me that you're in pain and it also hurts me to know that I wasn't there for you when your brother died. I want you to know that, like I said before, no matter what happens, people will be there right by your side because that's where they want to be and they want you to know that you can always come to them even when you're trying to be strong. My arms are always opened for you if you just need to let out a cry because Brett, breaking points are not very healthy and it hurts me watching you have that breaking point. And please don't ever think that you don't deserve anyone because you do." Troy stated. Brett had tears in his eyes as he looked in Troy's eyes who also had tears in them because he hated that Troy thought he wasn't good enough for him so Brett wiped away the tears away from his face with the pad of his thumbs. Troy slowly pulled away but rested his hand on Brett’s shoulder. Brett nodded his head before opening his eyes to look in his. Troy gave Brett a genuine smile before pulling away from him. Brett nodded his head with a small smile on his face before looking at him. "Having me as your friend, it's my job to make sure that you're feeling safe and respected. So that will be my mission. What do you say that we go finish a school day of being optimistic?" Troy offered proudly. Brett smiled, nodding his head. Troy, finally giving Brett the acceptance he's craved and needed for so long, then exchange glances — it's a poignant moment that most definitely hints at a beautiful friendship. "You won't be sad forever, Brett." Troy said sincerely, still noticing deep sadness in Brett's eyes.
REST IS TBA
Troy walked down the hallway. "Hey what's up, Captain – are you okay? You look a little out of it... is it Brett? Is he okay?" Chad asked. Troy closed his eyes for a moment, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger before turning to face his friends. "Yeah, it's Brett... He told me about his brother. He passed away before he moved here. Brett's taken it pretty hard... he's a bit of a mess." Troy replied. "Oh man, that sucks. I'm sorry, dude." Chad said solemnly. "Poor Brett. Jason must've been the best brother to him." Taylor sighed sadly. "Do you think Brett would be up for Tay and I to hang out him this afternoon? Or would we be better off leaving him to have some space for a few days?" Gabriella asked sympathetically. Troy shook his head. "To be honest, I think Brett could use all the support we can give him right now. He's going through a bit of a down patch and letting him know we are here for him can only help." Troy responded. Chad and Taylor nodded their agreement. "My Mom is heading over here later. She said something about taking some chick-flick DVD's over to donate for the Children’s Hosital fundraiser, so hopefully she and I can talk and keep Brett's mind off things. I might give my Mom a call before-hand at lunch time and see how Brett is." Troy said. "You know, man..." Chad commented, placing a hand on his best friend's upper back. "You are one pretty awesome guy. We can all see how Brett has been so strong through everything but you man... you've been just as strong for him." Chad finished. "He's right, Troy." Taylor added. "No one could ever question your commitment to that boy. It must be so hard to sit by and watch Brett suffer but I would be willing to bet that the thought of walking away from it all has never even once crossed your mind." Taylor finished. "Brett Shimura is a lucky Wildcat, Troy." Gabriella said. Troy looked at his friends and his girlfriend, chills running down both of their spines at the sincerity in his eyes and emotion in his voice. In a response, Troy blushed. His eyes locked on Ryan Evans, who was hanging up campaign posters. Troy casually walked down the hallway, approaching the blonde boy. "Hi, Ryan. Do you need help hanging these posters up?" Troy asked. "No, I got it. Thanks though." Ryan responded with a warm smile. Troy heard Ryan sigh. "What's wrong?" Troy asked. "It's the posters. I don't like them. Do they look a little too... gay?" Ryan asked, his eyes pleaded in desperation. "No, man. Absolutely not. This looks great. Scout's honor!" Troy exclaimed. "Really?" Ryan said sadly. "Look, this campaign of yours is brilliant. If people don't get it, then they don't deserve to have a campaign manager who's awesome. There's no one like you. You're a genius, Ryan." Troy added optimistically. Ryan replied with a gentle smile.
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Troy gave in, letting Brett go and pick up the remote of the flat screen before they both sat down on the edge of the bed, Troy noticing a scrapbook at the head of the bed behind them. "I'm sure you can use all the comfort you can get. Do you want to talk about it? You were brave all day but right now, you don't have to be if you don't want to be." Troy assured. The sincerity in his voice almost undid Brett right there. "You'd think it would get easier by now for me since Jason but it hasn't. I have an album." Brett said. "Album? Did you bring it?" Troy asked. Brett nodded, not hesitating for a second before he got up to retrieve the scrapbook from where it was laying on the dresser. "Don't make fun though, okay?" Brett warned. "Scout's honor and yes, I was a boy scout even if it was only for one year." Troy assured. Troy's blue eyes focused on the scrapbook that now laid out across both their laps, Brett turning the pages. Troy absorbed it all, from the very first picture of Brett as a baby in his crib, to Jason holding him at a theme park when they both were fairly young, to the last picture of Jason and Brett posing together at a wedding. It was all the pictures of Jason, Brett, and their parents though that stood out the most, even just pictures of Brett and his brother. "Even from these pictures, I can tell exactly how much love exists between you guys. Your brother seemed like a very protective and loving sibling." Troy stated proudly. "The best. He would've liked you." Brett said softly. The tears finally came then, pouring out as Brett’s brown eyes were continually filled with the pain and misery he had managed to keep hidden behind lock and key most of the time. Not long after, Troy moved the album off their laps and wrapped his arms around Brett's shaking body, letting the distraught boy tuck his face into the crook of his neck. "Shh. It's all right, Brett." he started rubbing Brett's back in circles. Brett looked up at him with tears in his eyes. "How would you know?" He cried. "From what I know about you, I think you are a fighter." Troy said, looking down at him. Brett sat up from him wiping his tears with curiosity in his eyes. "You need someone else in your life that will be there for you when the other people in your life aren't around and I will be that someone. So what do you say?" Troy asked warmly. Brett smiled half-heartedly. "You're wrong, you know." Troy smiled. "About what?" Brett asked in confusion. "You're fearing that no one will be there for you. That's not true, Brett. The people who love you will be here when nobody else will, okay? That is a promise." Troy assured. Brett gave Troy a shy smile, and the two looked down in silence. "Just remember, you don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with. Trust your heart first and head second." Troy said in a calm tone. "Okay." Brett muttered simply. Troy sighed. "You okay though, Brett?" he asked in a genuinely worried tone. Brett nodded. Troy half-smiled. "Can you look at me, please?" Troy asked in a calm tone. Brett looked at him hesitantly. Troy crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue. Almost instantly, Brett snorted at Troy's silly face. Troy used his thumbs to pull his lips out and then his pointer fingers to pull down his eyelids. Again Brett snorted. Troy squeezed his eyes shut and scrunched up his nose. To top it off, he lifted the tip of his nose and started to snort like a pig. Brett just chuckled. He looked up at Brett with a soft giggle. "Whenever you're ready to talk about something that's bothering you, just let me know. I'll listen, Wildcat." Troy responded with a charming smile. "I'm super proud of the way you opened up to me about your brother. You trusted me enough to tell me about yourself, and what you are going through. From what you’ve told me so far Brett, you took a huge step. I'm so proud of you. I know it doesn't seem like much, but you're doing amazing. You're slowly but surely healing." Troy replied, smiling proudly. Brett nodded slightly. "I just want everyone to know that I'm... I'm sorry, and that Jason deserved a... a better family than what he got." Brett croaked out. "I'm sorry, Brett. I know it's hard to fathom sometimes, but you have to believe that there is always something positive that changes someone's bad day, always." Troy said in a cheerful tone. Brett smiled faintly. All he wanted was to help Brett. He wanted Brett to be happy all the time, not just when leaving school. But there was something going on at home that was stopping that, something was going on to prevent Brett from being happy all the time. "Thank you for everything." Brett said sincerely. Troy felt the weight on his chest disappear. He looked down to see Brett looking back at him, his eyes puffy and red but still looking strong to him as Brett gave him a small smile. "None needed but you are very welcome. Just glad I was able to be here for you and even more so in person." Troy assured.
REST IS TBA
Being a good-hearted person seemed to excite Troy more than most. He loved meeting and greeting, filling days where he would normally only have boredom with something he could accomplish, and most importantly, he loved helping people.. His thoughts were interrupted by the approaching voice of his mother as she made her way into the kitchen where he dithered. "Troy, why are you doing all your homework at the kitchen and you're just standing here? You lazy butt!" she exclaimed before hitting him hard on the bicep. Troy let out a lazy laugh and rubbed his arm excessively, pretending to be hurt. "Actually Ma, I'm on a three minute break. And considering you love me so much, I'm sure you won't mind granting me that." Troy said with a charming smile. Lucille rolled her eyes as she turned to place empty and dirty plates on the side to be cleaned. "So, to what do I owe this pleasure, Ma?" he asked, feeding her a crooked grin. "Have you talked to Brett?" she asked casually, leaning against the free kitchen counter. He turned and leant against the wall opposite her, sipping water from his glass. "Yeah. Why?" Troy asked, worried. Lucille squinted playfully at him. "I was going to ask you the same question." She looked down and smoothed her apron. "I mean, I know I only met Brett yesterday, but seriously. The way I described him though, he seemed fine, better than fine actually. You know, it sounds like he seemed perfectly... himself. And he stayed that way all the way though 'till today in the bathroom... He suddenly looked really upset and he hasn't been the same happy person since..." Troy faded at what he was saying and stood in silence. Lucille looked at him. "I haven't known him that long, Mom. I mean, I've seen him 'round school for two days now, but I've never really hung out with him until today, and after the thing with—" he sighed and rubbed his hands down his face. "What thing with who-now?" she exclaimed. "Let's just say — When I happened to walk in on the scene I heard crying and a very broken person..." he said, gravely. "Oh, Troy..." Lucille said as she put a hand down on the counter. She began pacing toward the exit. "So what was it that happened after this thing with whatever happened?" Lucille asked. "Guess." Troy said. She stood still, turning back towards him, deliberately saying nothing. Troy sighed. "Brett basically broke down — more than a little bit... I feel so... awful about it all, Ma. Really, I do. He does so well to be so composed and happy from what I've seen in the past day." He ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. "He doesn't deserve any of this shit!" he quietly exclaimed. Suddenly he slammed a palm onto the countertop, hard, startling her. "I mean god — he cried, Ma!" he paused, looking at her, forlorn, grabbing his fringe, hard. "Brett cried!" he said, his voice cracking at the word. "Brett sobbed on me." he paused, looking down at the floor. "On ME for christ sake! — Someone he only really met a day ago — it was like... like he didn't have anyone else. I mean... ME? Really...?" He sighed, hoping for some womanly incite from his mother. When he received none, he placed a palm to his forehead, exasperated, as he carried on explaining. "He was shaking, and he tried to tell me that— He tried to speak about... But he was so upset and broken that I could tell he tried to get the freakin' words out!" Troy sighed deeply. Lucille shook her head and cast him a sympathetic look as he dropped his head gravely, closing his eyes. "That's awful Troy." she said, before suddenly switching to anger again at the sight of a distressed Troy and the thought of a broken Brett. "That boy — It sounds like he's been through something traumatic—" Troy stopped her, and shook his head. "Tell me about it." he said. He rubbed his face and groaned before chuckling, patting her on the shoulder in agreement. "Oh, Troy. Brett's going to be so happy when he realizes he practically has you there." Lucille said. Troy squinted at her, looking sideways at her. "Pff! Please! He does not—" Troy sighed. "Oh stop already! We both know he is depressed — has depression — and honestly I'm not too sure how I feel about tha—" Lucille chuckled lightly. He shook his head and waved her off quickly, rolling his eyes. "I'm not talking anymore about this with you, Ma." Troy replied stubbornly. "Troy, Yo—" Lucille called out. "Nope." he interrupted as he began to pick up his tray and walk through the kitchen towards the staircase.
REST IS TBA
In his bedroom, Troy lays on his bed, thinking. He gets up and walks to the bathroom. Out on the basketball court in his backyard, Troy sighed as another ball missed the hoop. That had been the eighth one in a row that didn't go through the net. He heard the porch door open and looked up to see his mom come out. He sat up as she approached him. Lucille slowly took a seat next to her son. "I was watching you from the kitchen window. I haven't seen you miss that many shots in a long time. What's up?" Lucille asked. "It's nothing, just bad luck I guess." Troy replied, faking a smile. "I'm your mom; I think I know you better than that." Lucille said. Troy paused. "It's... it's about Brett." Troy stammered. "What about Brett, honey?" Lucille asked. Troy gave up and collapsed onto the grass. "Well, I really care about him... but he didn't tell me why he’s felt hurt... He lost his brother recently and I pity him. I was friendly with him, but he kept bawling his eyes out over his brother, and I want to be there for him. I failed him. Mom, you should've seen the look on his face yesterday." Troy admitted, but didn't tell her what Brett had told him that morning. "Troy... What happened to Brett is not your fault. Okay? Everyone handles things differently." said Lucille. "Yeah, I guess..." Troy said smirking lightly. "Why was Brett crying in the boys' bathroom yesterday?" Lucille asked. "Mom, it's about his brother... His brother died, and Brett feels like he has no one. I have a feeling something bad happened. Brett just told me that he felt so lonely, because of what happened to his brother. I don't even know why he would even say that, Mom. He never mentions his parents..." Troy said fearfully. Lucille was silent for a minute, taking in her son's words. "Just give Brett some time, Troy, I bet he'll come around." she said. "I hope so." Troy sighed.
The next day, Troy is at his locker, picking out a notebook for his class. He slammed his locker door shut and looked up. Troy sighed deeply, shutting his eyes. "Hi, Troy!" Sharpay squealed with delight. Troy forced out a small chuckle, and smiled politely. "I realized I haven't offered my congratulations!" she said happily. "Oh, thank you. Um, I'm glad the season's over, so..." Troy answered timidly. "Pfft! I didn't mean basketball, silly! I meant Gabriella." Sharpay simply said. "What?" Troy said in a confused tone. He sighed and squeezed his eyes shut. He opened his eyes and nodded. "Her missing the show is a little disappointing but being selected for Stanford's Freshmen Honors Program? That is amazing for her, and for East High." Sharpay said. Troy smiled. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I don't know what you're talking about." Troy said truthfully. "Everyone else does. The whole school is buzzing." Sharpay said whipping out a piece of paper, handing it to Troy. He gently grabbed it from her. "The top honorees get to spend some time with Stanford's top professors starting next week." She said. Troy looked up. "Next week?" He asked in a stern voice. "Mm-hm. Look right there!" Sharpay exclaimed while pointing to the paper. Troy looked down, his eyes searching. "You really didn't know?" Sharpay asked, her brows furrowed. Troy quickly looked up but then locked his back down on the paper. "Okay. This is a little awkward." Sharpay sighed out. She glared at Troy. "I guess her not telling you means that she's on the fence about it. But, who better than Troy Bolton to encourage her to accept the honor... Since the only thing possibly holding her back would be..." Sharpay began. Her brow arched up with attitude and pouted her lips. "...You." She finished. Troy opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out. "Well, I'll see you at rehearsal. Toodles!" Sharpay said as she sauntered away. As Troy sighed, he walked in the opposite direction and his cerulean eyes lingered onto people walking by. Suddenly, someone grabbed him by the forearm. "Troy, something is wrong with Brett. I know bits and pieces from last night, but I know for a fact that something happened to Brett, stopping him from opening up. When we were comforting him last night, he mentioned someone named Jason, and I remember you talking about a Jason." Gabriella whispered. "Yes, it's true, Brie. Brett had a brother named Jason before moving here." Troy whispered without hesitation. Gabriella was dumbfounded. "Quite frankly, I feel like something else is going on. I don't know, maybe, there are no signs pointing to what I'm assuming but I could be wrong." Gabriella said hesitantly. They both look at each other. Troy often found himself wondering what was truly going on in Brett's mind. He would ask himself this question until he thought his head was going to explode but that didn't matter because Troy would never get to know the answer. So once Troy realized that this task was unsuccessful he would move on to trying to convince himself that he had actually done the right thing. "Oh! Gabriella, look, there's something I need to talk to you about..." He said. Gabriella furrowed her eyebrows before the school bell rang. He pecked a kiss Gabriella on the cheek, before winking at her. Gabriella looked up and instantly smiled. Troy's eyes was full of pity and guilt. "Brie, I have a plan. I'm gonna talk to Brett after school today." Troy said with the seriousness of the situation clearly distinguishable. Gabriella chewed at her lip, trying her best not to falter under Troy's gaze. "Troy... Be careful. Brett is dealing with a lot." Gabriella said a little shaky. Troy looked at her, knowing she was 100% right. "You know, I keep finding myself wondering what is going on in Brett's mind; what he's thinking. What is REALLY going on. I just need an answer." Troy said with such emotion in his voice. Looking around, Troy made sure no one heard what he said. Looking back at Gabriella, Troy saw she had a look of shock on her face. "Make him happy again, Troy. He needs it." Gabriella said sincerely. Troy winked at her.
REST IS TBA
Troy walked Gabriella home as he did every day. When they got to her house, Gabriella decided to do something abnormal. Taking him by the hand, she led Troy upstairs to her bedroom, certain that he wouldn't push the boundaries once they were there. "I figured my bed would be more comfortable than the couch. I trust you, which is why you're up here." Gabriella explained before he could ask any questions. "We're definitely not up here to—" Gabriella explained. Troy started laughing. "Gabriella, I know! Chill out a little bit. I was getting tired of the couch, too." Troy stated. Suddenly, Gabriella playfully tackled him onto the bed, but he held her waist, pulling her down on top of him. Playfully smirking, Troy rolled her off of him and turned to face her, their faces centimeters apart. Examining her face, Troy was relieved to see her dark brown orbs. Silently, Gabriella wrapped her arms around his back, unable to fight the urge to touch him. Smiling, Troy returned the embrace, holding her as close to him as he possibly could. A thought struck Gabriella, causing her to go into a fit of giggles. "You know what you are?" she said. "I know, I'm your boyfriend. What else?" he asked her curiously. "You're like a life-size teddy bear! You're not stuffed, but every time I see you I just want to hold you tightly. You're good for comfort, and you have a soft, warm heart when it comes to others, especially ME." she gushed. "That better not be—" Troy groaned. "That'll be your new nickname!" Gabriella smiled flirtatiously. Troy groaned again. "Brie, why must you do this to me? I look nothing like a stuffed bear!" he complained. "You might have a well-toned body..." she replied, running her finger down his chest through his shirt for emphasis. "But, on the inside, you're soft, cute, kind-hearted, sweet and cuddly, just like a teddy bear." Gabriella gushed. Looking into her eyes, Troy knew he would surrender the argument. He could never argue with her, for he always caved. He sighed. "Fine, but you can only call me that when we're alone, but not at school whether we're alone or not." Troy stated. "Aw, but why not? I let you call me sweetheart, baby and angel everywhere we go, alone or not." she pointed out. "That's because none of them are going to embarrass you." he replied, placing his hand on her shoulder, but she pouted. "You're no fun!" she complained, though she loosened up when Troy kissed her nose. "But, you still love me!" he told her, a teasing smile plastered on his face. "And, I love you no matter how many times you tell me I'm no fun." Troy smiled charmingly. Gabriella poked her tongue out at him, but as she did, Troy's soft lips came crashing down on hers and soon both were involved in a heated lip-lock. Her hands found their way to his hair, ruffling it while their lips moved together. Smiling, Troy watched as a slight blush emerged on her face, something that he only had the power to do. Once Gabriella removed his shirt, with his help, the couple laid back down. Nestling into his chest as he held her tightly, Gabriella let out a pleased sigh. Although his hugs always gave her comfort, this one seemed different. She felt calmed more than any other time, she guessed because it was almost skin-on-skin, the closest they had ever been to each other. After a few seconds, Troy nuzzled his head into her hair, loving the feel of her body pressed against his bare chest. Like Gabriella, he too sensed a difference between their normal time together and what was going on right now. He felt the bond between them growing everyday, but, in that moment, he felt as though the connection was as strong as it possibly could be without having sexual relations. "Think we'll stay like this?" Gabriella asked him quietly, snapping him out of his thoughts. "I hope." he answered, rubbing her back. "So, you'll always be my teddy bear?" she asked him, smiling innocently. "I will as long as you don't call me that in public." Troy chuckled. Gabriella pouted but finally nodded. "Fine, as long as you still act like my teddy bear in public." she stated. "Do teddy bears look as hot as moi?" Troy asked, smirking. Gabriella laughed and playfully smacked his shoulder. "Way to ruin the moment!" she giggled. "Fine, then! Don't speak to me! You should've known that question was coming! But, I still want an answer." Troy defended. Gabriella rolled her eyes. "Yes, Troy, you're hotter than a teddy bear." Gabriella smirked. "Thought so." Troy grinned selfishly.
The soft expression on his face changed instantly as she started talking about Gabriella again. "Nina... she's my girlfriend. Maybe keep those remarks to yourself?" Troy asked respectfully. Of course he was going to be protective of her; it would be the same for literally 97% of East High. "And Weston's not a not-so-nice person. It wouldn't surprise me if he completely manipulated her and made her believe a ton of stuff." Troy knew the redhead already knew he was going to get beyond frustrated. "She's happy with me... that's that." Troy said firmly.
"Maybe you can go find Ryan or someone else?" Troy respectfully asked. He was just going to deny all of Brett's offers as much as he could. Whilst he may have been sweet to everyone and may have gave everyone a chance, he wasn't willing going to associate with someone who just spoke horribly of his friends. He was far too loyal for that. "As much as I am flattered every time you ask me out, Brett, I have no free time so no other days work. I'm either with my friends or helping doing my homework and studies, so like I said... you can ask to invite another guy out." Troy suggested.
REST IS TBA
"Brett, you haven't slept in days." Troy shot back, regretting the tone of his voice but knowing of no other way to get through to him. "You haven't slept, you've barely eaten, you're behaving erratically, and you won't talk about it or accept that Jason is gone... Brett, you're losing touch with reality." He forced himself to lower his voice as he saw tears forming in Brett's eyes. "I'm really worried about you, Brett. Everything that's happened in the past few days, it's too much... You're falling apart, and I don't know how to help you. I'm afraid for you, afraid of what's happening to you." Troy paused. "My mom took the morning off and made an appointment with a psychiatrist that specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder... You can talk to her yourself, or we can do it together — whatever you want. I just... need you to be okay again." Troy said. He'd expected Brett to argue or try to explain away his actions, but he didn't. His eyes locked with Troy's. Brett nodded mutely, seeming finally to accept what was happening to him. Troy could only hope that that was the case, because he couldn't bear to consider the alternative. REST IS TBA "Troy, your friend is suffering from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." Dr. Sheldon told Troy as she closed the door of her office. "I, of course, can't reveal specific details of the conversation that I had with Brett when you weren't in the room, but I trust that this diagnosis does not come as a surprise to you." she went on. Troy shook his head. "There are three categories of symptoms for this disorder." Dr. Sheldon explained. "The first is intrusive memories — mainly flashbacks and nightmares. The second is avoidance and emotional numbing — refusing to talk about the traumatic events, avoiding events that were previously enjoyed, trouble concentrating, and hopelessness about the future. And the third category is anxiety and increased emotional arousal. That includes irritability, anger, self-destructive behavior, trouble sleeping, being easily frightened, and hearing or seeing things that aren't there." Dr. Sheldon said. "So Brett is exhibiting symptoms from all three categories." Troy concluded quietly. "Under normal circumstances, I'd consider admitting him for further psychiatric testing, but tomorrow is a holiday, and our office will be closed on Friday, so I don't think that's the right option at the moment. But I would strongly advise against leaving Brett alone for the next few days. And don't try to force him to talk about what he's feeling. Acknowledge his fears, let him know you're there for him, but don't push. Keep things as light and normal as possible around him." Dr. Sheldon continued. Troy nodded. "Brett is afraid to sleep, because the nightmares are terrifying him. The lack of sleep is exacerbating his other symptoms, making him extremely unstable and paranoid. I'm prescribing a strong sedative for you to give him tonight. Hopefully it will offer Brett some relief and help both of you get some sleep." Dr. Sheldon said. "What about this notion he has that Jason is... alive?" Troy asked. Dr. Sheldon shook her head. "It's a shame that he did this in such a manner. Brett desperately needs closure, and the fact that the body wasn't recovered makes it very difficult for him to accept his brother's death." "So if he can't accept it, this is never really going to be over." Troy realized. The lump in his gut hardened. "He'll be able to move on, but it's going to take time and therapy to help him learn to deal with everything that's happened and not let him fear consume his life." Dr. Sheldon clarified. Troy's head dropped into his hands. REST IS TBA "Brett..." he began, waiting for Brett's eyes to meet his. "I know this is scary for you. You don't understand what's happening, and everything seems really uncertain. Buddy, I am here with you, and so are Gabriella, Chad, Taylor, and my parents. We are all going to get through this together, okay? I'm not going anywhere. You are the most important person to us, and we will do anything — anything — to help you feel better. If you need to talk, we'll listen. If you need to cry, we'll hold you. If you need a distraction, we'll make you laugh. If you need to feel safe and loved, we'll do everything we can to make that happen. You just need to talk to me, let me know how you're feeling, and let me help you. Can you do that?" Troy asked in desperation. Brett's eyes glistened. "...I'll try." he finally told him. "That's my boy!" Troy replied with a smile. "Now, I know you have things to do to get ready for tomorrow, but I want you to try to get some sleep first. Dr. Lentz will be here with you until my mom's flight arrives, and she can help you with your grocery shopping. How does that sound?" Troy asked. Brett looked at him again, and his eyes betrayed the torture of his emotions. "I'm... I'm scared, Troy." he admitted quietly. "Brett, I know you are." he replied gently, moving to sit next to Brett on the couch. "But the medicine Dr. Sheldon gave you will help you sleep without having to worry about nightmares. You can take some now so you can rest, and then you'll wake up and feel better by the time my mom gets here. Then when my parents get here later tonight, you three can stuff and chop and mince and whatever else you do to make food, and my dad and I can sit on the couch with our guts hanging out and watch football." Troy said, winking at Brett. A small laugh forced it way out of Brett's chest, and Troy's heart soared to see the beginnings of a smile on his face. "So what do you say?" he told Brett, his voice tinged with huskiness. "You don't have a gut, Troy. Neither does your dad. You're just as fit as hell. Probably more so." Brett said. Troy smiled. "Thanks for noticing, but don't try to change the subject. How about that nap?" he asked. "Okay." Brett answered softly. "Good job, buddy. Come on, I will stay with you, fit physique and all, until you fall asleep." Troy encouraged. Brett snorted.
REST IS TBA
Troy gripped the railing of the rooftop so tightly that his knuckles turned white. Through gritted teeth he turned to his teammates. He worked hard not to scream. Reprimanding them was the farthest thing from his mind, but the only thing he could do at the moment.
The episode gives us a little insight as to what happened in the moments we weren’t privy to in the Pilot.
REST IS TBA
- It is typical in most high school settings to have the jock as the bad guy but Troy Bolton is a jock in a positive light. He grows up to be an archetypal "sweet-natured, innocent, friend to all living things, romantic" jock.
- Troy is a bright light in the show. Yes, he's part of the society that oppresses people of social status, but he seems to subscribe to a very different value system.
- He is expected to behave typically – that is, to treat social outcasts without respect and to love basketball and fits in with the social hierarchy. As it turns out, Troy values everyone for who they are and will do all he can to shield them from ugliness and discomfort.
- In the Pilot, we see that Troy despises who people think he is — being seen as the “stereotypical jock” that gets anything and everything without doing a thing to deserve it.
- It shows that he is not at all oblivious to his status in school but it doesn’t mean he is particularly happy with it.
- This obviously hits a raw nerve for Troy and also reveals to us that there is much more to him (as well as the other characters) than the stereotype he has been labeled with.
- In a series that highlights the ruthlessness of some students in high school, Troy serves as a beacon of light. After all, Troy is a popular jock. But, he is more than just a popular kid — he is the exception.
- Troy is the most popular guy at East High. He is handsome, charming, a superb athlete and a grade-A student. Despite being a jock, Troy never became hateful, bitter, or resentful because of his upbringing. He never let bitterness or anger consume him. Instead, Troy remained kind, caring, compassionate, loving and empathetic.
- To the students of East High, Troy is the definition of goodness and heroism, and in turn, they constantly praise him and treat him with the utmost admiration and respect.
- Troy brings hope to the world and its inhabitants in its darkest hour. He represents being the determinator in many events as he brings hope to the world and not look into the despair of his current dillema.
- He cares about his subjects no matter how seemingly unimportant they are and puts their well-being above his own.
- He serves as a "sign of hope" to Brett Shimura, as he struggles through being alone.
- He is the first person who reaches out to Brett — the first person to ask for his name.
- He is the one who inspires Brett to learn how to love himself. Without Troy, Brett would be isolated and would let his damaged psyche get completely out of control.
- He is the one who is instrumental in pulling Brett out of his fear, anxiety, and depression. Troy was always the one to believe that Brett was a good person despite the mistakes that he made.
- Troy reminds Brett that no matter what he did, such as abandoning/shutting him out emotionally, or lashing out at him in anger, he would always be there for Brett no matter what.
- He understands Brett has been through some sort of trauma, and he tries to get Brett the proper help. Troy also attempts to understand Brett by studying Child Psychology.
- He is put in a situation that results in him gaining insight into Brett’s personal life, and what Brett has to put up with from his parents.
- Usually very honest and expressive with his emotions, Troy always attempting to open the door for healthy communication, while Brett is expressly shown bottling things up and slapping on forced smiles. Troy teaches Brett to open up and stop repressing his negative emotions.
- He has no issue bolstering Brett's self-esteem.
- Despite Brett growing up in grim situations and having a rather dysfunctional and troubled home-life, Troy never stopped believing that one day, it would get better. He extends the same attitude and outlook regarding Brett and their relationship. Troy believes that despite Brett shutting him out at times, that he is worthy of saving and helping. His optimistic personality won't allow Brett to not believe that everything will get better with time and that fighting for it is how it can happen.
- He is fiercely loyal to everyone and quick to come to their defense at the first sign of a threat. When Troy gets angry, he's still rather calm and stoic.
- Troy is implied to come from a wealthy family.
- He is childlike, far from a deep intellectual, innocent, and a hint too naive for his own good at times.
- Considered the most attractive boy at East High (in Season 1).
- Troy is so good-looking and unintentionally charming that he becomes a babe AND stud magnet; he fits this perfectly.
- Even though he is shown to be the King of East High, and makes no effort to hide it (not in a narcissistic way), every student genuinely loves him and don't follow him out of fear. After all, he is the "Golden Boy" in the school.
- All the guys seem to envy him but can't due to his excessively benevolent, optimistic, outgoing, and "welcoming to all of whom he meets" personality.
- Ryan Evans has clearly come to consider Troy his muse.
- Troy is so atttactive that even the new kid of East High, Brett, is immediately infatuated with him.
- Troy has two tattoos.
- He recently has been seen sporting “YOLO” on his hand; it stands for “You Only Live Once”.
- He has a double feather image along the inside of his right bicep.
- After getting deeper inside of Weston Miller's thoughts, Troy experiences Weston in a different way. He's learned that Weston is more than just a bully; Weston is a guy lost and in need of help and seeking attention, but in the only way he knows how.
- It is revealed that when Troy was a freshman at East High, he was bullied and taunted because he had a gap in between his two front teeth.
- He felt "weird" while starting high school and wanted to help kids who felt different to accept themselves — he can be sometimes awkward and goofy and klutzy and hyperactive, who talks a lot and to himself and who often puts his foot in his mouth, yet was still a good person who is loving and determined.
- Troy rubs the back of his neck when he's nervous, and often bites his bottom lip when thinking.
- He is completely flattered when males flirt with him (3 boys in the first episode of Season 1).
- In All For One, Troy actually got Weston, a racist sociopath, to leave him alone by shaming Weston into backing down. Troy shattered his self-image by calling him out on how vile and two-faced he was.