You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do get some say in who hurts you.

Upon first glance, as the jock who seems to have it all, Troy Bolton is the captain of the Wildcats, as well as the most popular boy to ever walk the halls of East High School. From the first scene, however, Troy is one of the friendliest and selfless guys in all of Albuquerque from the very second we meet him. He is undoubtedly idolized by all. In this department, he is a responsible, intelligent, motivational, and charismatic leader. He is the boyfriend of Gabriella Montez. Troy is the son of Jack and Lucille. Although we can tell he is perfect, he is also fearful 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 is easygoing and is always there for his friends who shares 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 males 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.

Troy is a guy like any other — he wants to live — but his greatest fear is said to be oblivion. He wants to make a mark on the world and hates the idea of not leaving a mark at all.

Physical Appearance

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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 The Wildcats, Troy Bolton is not what you expect him to be on first glance. 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 is the sweetest, most caring guy you'll ever meet. If it came down to it, he would throw his kindness out to the world. If he could make someone happier than they were and make them feel a little better, that was the highlight of it all. 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 his family, himself, Gabriella, his best friends, and the entire East High student body. He knows what he is capable of and is always worried for everyone. He's always trying to help people when he feels it's needed. He's always cool and collected no matter the situation, and goes out of his way to help pretty much anyone he can. Even the popular yet snobbish Brett Shimura, who assumed he would be a primadonna at first, was won over by his charm. Pilot shows that he does have his limits. When Troy meets up with Chad and discovered he was mocking and bullying Brett about his popularity and stuck-up attitude, the jock is understandably angry since his patience had already been worn thin by Chad monopolizing his time all day. Despite this, Troy trusts people a lot, enough to give them responsibilities, knowing they are going to do them. He never gives up and he always does his job. All his life, Troy has been filled with stories of hopes and dreams as well as being surrounded.

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Troy always pushed the people around him to do better and be better. He never settles and therefore doesn't want his friends to settle either. He accepts prominent roles that profoundly impact the lives of those under his care. A wise and compassionate guide, he does his best to steer others in the right direction. People believe in him, and he is grateful for the opportunities that come your way. His creativity helps you meet the demands of your job. Troy will do anything for anyone, even a stranger who has difficulties. He is described as a leader and peacemaker who discourages criticism and disrespecting others. 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. Troy 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.

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 many strengths, one of these is his constant positivity. His constant positivity helps him pull through the toughest of times. Another one of Troy's strengths is his sense of humour; he's very fond of cracking a joke to ease the tension. Confidence is one of Troy's main strengths, he is very confident in many social situations and isn't afraid to speak his mind. He is not afraid of what other people think of him and whether they might judge him or not. All though Troy has many strengths, he also has a few weaknesses, especially stubbornness. If he wants to do something we will make sure he ends up doing it, no matter what. Another weakness of Troy is his ignorance. It's his deliberate ignorance that is his downfall. All in all Troy is a pretty fine guy.

Selflessness and loyalty are of his strongest and most important traits. His refusal to rat out anyone close to him makes him incredibly trustworthy. He 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 someone crying, he empathizes with them despite having no context for what's going on. He has a passion for helping people, whether listening to them and trying to help them solve their problems or by helping them think about their issues in a different way. Troy doesn't treat Brett as badly as he does to other bullies, and even seems to be sympathetic towards Brett. He's usually a nice guy, but don't mess with his friends or... well. If there's anything that makes him angry, it's bullies. Bullies can bring out the beast from inside him. However, Troy never resorts to physical violence. He can't stand people being cruel to those less unfortunate. He will protect those that come to him in need.

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.

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.

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Troy being fond of, or having a soft spot for, children.

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.

If you were to ask anyone what they remembered most about the dedicated Troy Bolton there would be one common answer: his non-judgmental attitude. 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.

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.

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Troy's love for Mother Nature.

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 cocaine 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's funny side.

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


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Troy Bolton's palms were sweaty, along with the rest of his golden body that was drenched in that same salty liquid. The bronze skin glistened like rain had fallen contracted around his huge muscles. Bulging biceps, defined six-pack abdominals, protruding pectorals, everything seemed to be pulsating as his head lifted from the shining hardwood. Drowning azure orbs flashed beneath the holy lights from above. His rapidly beating heart slammed against his stone chest with force. It was the only sound in the enormous gym besides his ragged breathing that rattled his ribcage. His hands were shaking as he felt the bumpy surface of the orange sphere turn beneath his fingertips. The illuminated neon clock on the wall paused its ticking. The soundless crowd leapt up and down in their comfortable seats. The gorgeous senior dressed in a scarlet and white uniform, stepped to the black line free throw slowly, still deaf to every screaming fans. His normally light-chestnut hair that had been separated into midnight sweat-drenched threads, tossing his shag away from his sticky forehead. He couldn't see the other players in the matching uniforms surround him, an ally to the basket. The West High Knights stepped between the spaces between the Wildcat enemies. The boy with the number 14 plastered on his back narrowed his dark brow at the rivals. The stands that held the ecstatic red super-fans 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. The glowing scoreboard read 63 to 57, Wildcats. 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 honey-sweet tone that canceled every other screeching fan away whispered in his tender ear. The only one that mattered. The Wildcats 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. "Give me strength." Troy whispered in his velvet voice before turning away from his love.
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Troy during the game.

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.

Troy kissing the championship trophy.

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 petite bespectacled girl with brunette hair, 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. "Will I see you outside?" He asked. "If I can get there without mishap. You should go." Gabriella said. She looked around, blushing as she realized they'd drawn a crowd. "In a second." His agreement was easy. "How many people do you figure are watching us?" Troy asked. "Half of those still in the bleachers — and your team, not to mention the media." Gabriella responded. "Good." Troy smirked. Swooping down, he caught her lips in a searing, blinding kiss that drew cheers and more cat calls from spectators. Everyone simply knew she belonged to Troy. He'd picked his moment, one where there was no doubt people from both schools would be watching and know. Stanford fans were undoubtedly watching the coverage — for research purposes — and with the cameras on them, someone was bound to recognize Gabriella eventually. When Troy pulled back, the hand on her face changed its position, stroking her hot cheeks with the backs of his fingers. He wanted to touch her, needed the contact after such a long separation. "Meet you at my truck?" Troy asked. Nodding mutely, she didn't bother questioning the suggestion; she wanted to spend tonight with him. His eyes spoke in tandem with that kiss, telling her he wanted - needed - to see her alone. It had been three long weeks of hell, followed by the unknown of tonight; unknowns that had left them both anticipating the reunion without knowing what quite to expect. Their gazes remained locked as he moved away, using his hands and feet to trace the railings back down.
Troy hugs Opponent

Troy congratulates opponent.

Understanding and awareness shimmered between them along the feeling anything could happen tonight. Over the last three years they'd found a pattern where they could be together and still meet their school and financial obligations. It was liberating adult, despite the fact Gabriella still technically lived with her mother, and the awareness of that fact charged the atmosphere with possibility. Finding her voice as he climbed back down, Gabriella leaned back over the railing again. Troy looked up at her questioningly as his feet hit the ground, ignoring an elbow from Chad. "I'll be waiting." Gabriella said, smiling. She disappeared then, melting into the sea of red and white that were East High colors, and Troy increased his pace towards the dressing room. Darting between teammates, he listened with half an ear to the obligatory speech from their coach - before Jack Bolton pulled Chad into his office - and then ducked into the alcove where his locker was located; and found himself with two of his teammates. Troy was unwrapping tape from one ankle. "Man, shouldn't you tell her we're the Wildcats?" Jimmie teased. Troy shrugged as he reached his locker, swinging it open and pulling his shirt over his head. "She knows, Jimmie." He replied. "Good game, guys!" Troy yelled out at his teammates. "You too, Bolton. For a captain, you ain't bad." A short milk chocolate-skinned boy stated. "I'm just lucky coach let me play. I'm glad I could contribute." Troy said. "Lucky. Hey, Donny, you hear Bolton?" Jimmie said. "Yeah. Luck doesn't have anything to do with it, Troy. Coach was gonna play you after the way you've been stepping up in practice." Donny said.
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"Just doing my part — it was a team effort out there. A team with a smart thinking Shooting Guard." Troy said, looking at Jimmie. "I hope I didn't step on anyone's toes." Jimmie said awkwardly. "Nah — like I said; it was a team effort." Troy said, waved away the topic. "So, who's the girl?" Jimmie asked. Troy feigned ignorance as he organized what he was going to need after his shower. "What girl?" He asked dumbly. "The dark-haired temptress you kissed back there. You know, the girl." Jimmie asked. "Gabriella." Troy stated simply. "So are you two serious or what? 'Cause I wouldn't mind a piece of—" Jimmie began but was cut off. "Hey!" Troy sent his teammate a warning look. "Watch your mouth and don't get any ideas." He warned. "Ideas, me? Right." Jimmie said, slapping him on the shoulder. "Sounds like you two have a history. You nailing her, nailed her or what?" Donny asked intriguingly. Shrugging noncommittally, Troy checked to ensure he had everything as he placed his sneakers in the bottom of his locker. It was none of their business what his relationship with Gabriella was like. Not that he minded talking about her, but she was his and he was unwilling to add her as fodder for locker room gossip. Despite that, he knew their kiss had already roused some interest - but he couldn't be sorry. "Worried, Rocket Man?" Troy asked Jimmie. "Hardly." Jimmie said. "You should be, Hoops. Rocket Man there has yet to fail with the women." Chad teased. A smirk crossed Troy's lips before he could stop it as he gathered his clothes to hit the shower - easier to depart immediately thereafter. "You could try — but she won't be interested. She's not into jocks." Troy stated. "Then how'd you get her?" Donny asked. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you." Troy said.

Troy in the showers.

Leaving his teammates behind, he made his way to the showers, quickly losing the last of his clothes as he stepped under the spray. Keeping his back to his team mates, he dialed the water down to cold. A quick shower and towel off that left his hair slightly damp found Troy dressed and ready to go less than ten minutes later. "Hot date tonight, Bolton?" Jimmie asked. "Hot date, my ass — I bet she looks as good without those paint on jeans as with 'em." Donny stated. "A looker like that probably gives a mean job — she's got the right lips for it!" Jimmie replied. Leaving the somewhat ribald comments of his team behind him - and doing his best to ignore them - Troy headed for his truck. Fortunately, none of his teammates seemed inclined to follow him and the discussion behind him could be heard to change to their win as the locker room door shut him on the outside. Inhaling a breath of fresh air, he made his way to the parking lot. 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.
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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. "Morning, 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 his father 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 the living room. She entered the kitchen. "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. "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 a spatula. Troy 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. Troy yawned once more and laid his head down on the table, trying to mentally prepare himself for eating breakfast. He really wasn't a morning person. Actually, he definitely wasn't a morning person and being awake this early makes it hard for him to eat. He sighed and slowly sat up. He stood up and finally got himself a turkey sandwich. "You have to keep the team focused. If you ever repeat this, I'll deny it, but without you, the team will fall apart!" Jack said a little too loudly. He has always been excited about winning championships. Troy smiled at his dad and chuckled a little. "Yeah, I'll keep 'em focused. And way to make me feel pressured." Troy said jokingly. A glimpse of annoyance could have been seen from Jack before comprehension dawned on him and he smiled back at his son. "Sorry, son." Jack apologized. Troy just smiled at his dad and shook his head. He turned to his mom, his mind already on dinner. It's very weird how Troy had no desire to eat breakfast or lunch, but when it came to dinner, he was too enthused. "What's for dinner, mom?" Troy asked.
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Troy eating a sandwich for breakfast.

His mind already wandering to chicken, beef, turkey, and everything else that his mother has ever made. Lucille smiled back at her son, glad that he so enjoyed her cooking. "I don't know yet, honey. What are you in the mood for?" She asked. Troy sighed heavily, already deep in thought. "Hmm... well I dunno, anything's good with me. I eat pretty much anything." Troy said with a grin. Lucille smiled a half-smile. Troy finished eating his sandwich and got up to put his plate in the sink while looking at the clock. "Aw, shoot..." He mumbled to himself before looking at his parents. "I gotta go, or I'm gonna be late!" He grabbed his school bag and headed for the front door. He grabbed his thick red and white varsity jacket. His shoes was the last thing to go on. "See you tonight, Ma. See you at practice, Dad!" Troy called out 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. A roaring engine of a 1974 Dodge Tradesman came to a stop, as two teenagers pulled up to the school. Opening the car door, a youthful, skinny, dark-haired Japanese-American boy jumped out with a big smile on his face. He walked away, his nose in the air, running a hand through his hair. One thing was clear from the very beginning. Troy and his friends all knew it; but no one was coming right out and saying it: Brett Shimura was a not-so-nice person. Despite his need for glasses he was not a nerd at all. He most definitely wasn't a loner, or a physically tough-looking, masculine guy. Unfortunately, Brett Shimura cared so much about being popular and thought he was better than anyone. He had a "I'm-popular-because-I'm-attractive-and-have-rich-parents" status. 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. "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. Just as Troy opened his mouth to respond, Gabriella walked up. Troy smiled mischievously at his girlfriend and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Hey, Brie! How was your night?" Troy asked lovingly. He closed his eyes and buried his nose in her hair, taking in her amazing scent. "Ahh... you smell... awesome." he said, taking in another deep lung-full of his girlfriend before she gently pushed him away, laughing. "Thanks... I think. I'm just so relieved to know that my boyfriend loves me for my smell." She smiled up at him and grabbed his hand. "I had a great night. I finished my final paper for English already!" she said excitedly, before realizing how nerdy that sounded and calmed down almost immediately. "Umm, anyway, how was your night?" She asked. Troy was still trying to quiet his laughter from Gabriella's outburst. "It was good, too." Troy answered with a chuckle. He happened to look over and noticed Chad leaning up against his locker, patiently waiting for them to finish their conversation with a smirk on his face. "Oh, Chad, yeah... sorry." Troy said, smiling sheepishly at Chad and rolled his eyes and stood up straight. "Don't worry about it, Hoops. Let's just get to Evans before Homeroom starts, and Darbus roasts us over a fire." Chad said. Troy grinned at his best friend and girlfriend before they all walked together. "Where's Taylor at, 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 said as she popped up next to Chad. Troy watched as his best friend smiled and kissed his girlfriend on the lips. "Hey, Troy." Taylor said cheerfully and he nodded at her. 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 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. Thanks, man." Troy said sincerely. "It's all right." Rocket Man answered with delight. Troy responded 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, man. It didn't hurt at all." Troy said and smiled politely at the lanky kid.
Troy and Rocket Man

Troy talking to Jimmie Zara.

"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 that he had been meaning to tell Gabriella. "Hey – you'll never guess what Chad is holding tonight..." Troy trailed off as he realized his girlfriend was tilting her head. He turned on his heel. "A party at 9 PM!" He exclaimed. asked as he realized she was a few paces behind him. "Wow. Sounds like fun!" She said. Troy shook his head teasingly. "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 said. "Anything you say, Brie. 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. 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. Troy scrunched up his nose adorably at her. Gabriella giggled at Troy's antics. The basketball all-star grinned. He circled his arms around her waist, resting his forehead against hers. "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. His eyebrows furrowed. "Um, I have to get something from my locker. I'll meet you in Homeroom, babe." Troy said reassuringly. "I'll be there, Wildcat." Gabriella responded with a charming smile. Troy's lips slammed onto Gabriella's cheek. After moving away from her, he sauntered down the corridor.
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Troy walking to his locker.

Troy walked casually as students come and go around him, chattering and laughing. He saw only a few students milling around either talking to friends or standing at their lockers, getting their stuff ready to get to class. He started walking in the direction of his locker, smiling at a few of the people that he knew from his various classes. He nodded at some of them; greeted him as if they were best friends, while he had no idea who they were. As Troy made his way through the now almost entirely deserted hallways, he soon found himself at his locker. He turned the lock-combination to the right three times, then stopped at the first digit, and then left one full turn passing first number and stopped at second digit. Troy turned right and stopped at third digit. Finally, Troy pulled the shackle, opening the locker door. Getting his books out, he slammed his locker door shut. He was about to turn the corner to leave when his eyes locked on group of three Asian boys. With the warning bell ringing, a few students that were still left in the hallways quickly disappeared into various classes. 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.

Troy in Homeroom.

"Mhm, nice save Mister Bolton. Now back to Shakespeare..." she announced. Troy rolled his eyes, 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. Troy immediately dropped his eyes to the ground and tried to ignore the smirk on Chad's face. Troy immediately provided Chad with a light punch on the arm, who responded by evolving his snicker into a full, obnoxious laugh. Troy's face reddened. He brightened up and grinned back to Gabriella. "Ahem." Miss Darbus hollered loudly. This not-even-a-word pierced through everything that had just occurred and quieted everyone immediately. Troy turned around in his seat to face front, and Chad stopped laughing immediately. "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. "Thank you. This is not recess, you know! And that... noise distracts those who prefer to see the world through silence. A silence that can often be found in the audiences of theatre performances! Ahh, which reminds me: Practice for our fall musicale will start at free period today." Miss Darbus said. She always knew how to connect everything to the theater. Every time. She also was obsessed with the school musicals, her life and classes revolving around it. Even though Troy was a part of the musicals and did enjoy participating in them very much, he, and everyone else in the room, eventually got tired of hearing the word “musicale.” Miss Darbus smiled joyously at the class and handed out scripts to Troy. Gabriella, Sharpay, and Ryan, who were all playing the leads in the show, This And That. It was written by Kelsi Nielson, and was about the true ups and downs of high school. Troy especially liked the show because he could relate so well to it. It wasn't some fairy tale story that was so full of magic and perfect people that no one would believe it. He felt that it would truly touch people in the ways that would bring them back to their high school days, or further solidify the fact that high school will always be the same. The bell rang just as Miss Darbus opened her mouth to continue on her rant about the wonders of music and how it speaks to the soul. Gratefully, everyone jumped out of their seats and ran out of the door, silently thanking the bell. "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. Troy walked out of the classroom. "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.
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"No, no it's fine. I don't want you to be late. Go!" she replied, laughing. "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.


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?" Ryan asked. The group shook their head. "Hell nah, 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. "Yeah... so, what's new, man?" Chad inquired in a humdrum tone. Troy furrowed his brows. "Nothing really... same old stuff, really." he answered. "Yeah, I feel ya." Chad droned, colorlessly. "He's kidding, Shar." Troy informed. They were soon interrupted by Zeke. He approached them; a wide grin on his face. "What up, bruhs?" Zeke hollered. "What did I tell you about talking like a Jamaican?" Chad sighed. "Man, it's whatever. So, what's up? I hear there's no practice. What's crawling up your dad's ass? And don't tell me a cockroach this time; you remember how I freaked out before." Zeke asked, glancing towards Troy. "I never said that, I dunno what you're talking about. But, yeah, there's no practice today." Troy answered, giving him a whimsical frown. "Oh, maybe that was Chad..." Zeke's eyes flickered over towards Chad, who just shook his head. "Meh, it doesn't matter. So, what were you guys talking about? Chicks, maybe?" Zeke laughed. "You are such a toy, dude. I was talking about that new kid. I've been hearing rumors all day." Chad responded, casually. Zeke's eyes lit up. "Oh, my brother — he's gay—" Zeke said. "Dude, please, just stop." Troy muttered. "I know, I know. ‛You're homophobic, cough, wheeze, blah, blah.'" Zeke folded his arms. "No, that's just wrong, man — gay people are human beings, too. They have feelings just like you and I. I don't see what the big deal is about guys liking other guys. Seriously, homophobia shouldn't even exist. That's kinda freaking me out." Troy muttered. "Hey don't you go all Clay Aiken on me, dawg. You know I'm no homo." Zeke reminded Troy, humorlessly. "I wasn't going all Clay Aiken. Everyone is just obsessing over someone, who happens to like guys instead of girls, and that's just kinda cruel. I mean, remember, I'm the one who doesn't judge anyone. Never have and never will. That's just real shitty." Troy said. "No, but seriously, like, that freaks me out too. That whole thing you do, like, gays do that, Troy." Zeke said, giving Chad a wigged out expression. "That whole flirting thing. It almost beats out when Ryan took me to that tanning place that one day..." Chad chuckled. "Man, will you just forget about that already? It was one time." Zeke mumbled. "Dude, it's kinda hard, when you take a guy who's already dark to a tanning bed. My ass was burning for about three weeks. You don't understand that I have a sensitive ass." Chad joked. "Well, you didn't have to go all commando on the tanning bed, man." Troy grumbled, quietly. "Well, sorry, Troy, I'll remember to be like you and go tanning in my boxers." Chad said. Troy rolled his eyes to the loudness of his comment. "And what about that time Troy — when you took me to get my hair done? That was gross, man. How those women acted like you were the hair king or something. 'Oh my God, Troy, your hair is so cute, and so pretty. I just love it. I have to put this stuff in it, and that stuff, and, oh my God, do you want highlights, Troy?'" Zeke mimicked in a high-pitch girly voice. Troy began walking away from him. "Shut up, Zeke." he responded. Zeke and Chad walked after him. "Or that time that you kept like messing with Chad's hair. And you were like talking about how soft it was." Zeke stated. "It is soft. Even you said that once." Troy murmured. "Man, that wasn't the point — and the fact that you haven't noticed Ryan flirting with you." Chad added. "I'm about to turn around and stick my foot up your—" Troy said. "—And the fact that that one day that Sharpay came in, half-naked, and you were all like... ew. Like, sometimes I seriously question your sexuality, Troy." Zeke joked. "Zeke!" Troy shouted, turning around to face him, fed up with his comments. "You have got to be kidding me. I'm a guy, what do you expect? I just don't sit there and talk about it in public. Honestly, I think it's rude when you talk perverted things about Ryan and Sharpay like that. They have feelings, dude! There, are you happy?" Troy asked. "Whoa — hot damn. So you like guys?" Zeke asked as Troy began to walk away from him again. "And this is why I don't talk to you about things." Troy continued walking, agitated. "Dude, you need to like, tap Gabriella soon. She will be all over your ass." Zeke added. "What about you? I thought you were going to with Sharpay." Troy said, and didn't glance over to him. "Hell, if I can. She kept ignoring me, dawg. She is all into you though, all flirting and shit. Do you even understand how sexy that woman is?" Zeke whispered. "This subject is so irrelevant. I have three things on my mind this year: basketball, school and Gabriella. My dad will pummel me if I slack off." Troy argued. "Okay, okay, whatever. You're crazy as hell, man. But, can I have Sharpay?" He asked, ganging up alongside of me, anxiously. "Dude, I really don't care. I don't know why it even matters what I say, considering the fact that I know Sharpay is not my type. Plus, she doesn't seem like my type ever." Troy said bluntly. "Your type — man, what the hell is your type — men?" Zeke asked, furrowing his eyebrows. "Why are you like, obsessing over my love-life, man? I mean, you guys are always on me. It gets kinda old, ya know? Why can't you just let me be?" Troy asked. Troy never understood why kids were so cruel to each other. "Because, you're missing out on a lot — I mean, haven't you ever thought about doing stupid shit just once?" Zeke asked. "I have practice, and so do you." Chad said. "Yeah, well, I'm sure your dad can handle the sick excuse. Just tell him you had to take care of a school test or something." He persuaded, stopping in front of me. "Zeke, man, I can't. This is absurd. I don't need this kind of stuff in my life just to have a good time. Plus, my dad wouldn't believe any of that." Troy spoke up.

Troy seeing Brett Shimura.

Letting out a sigh of despair, Troy stood up, going to empty out his tray. His eyes grazed past a group of three Asian boys walking by. At the front of the group was Brett Shimura. To Brett's right was a slightly muscular boy with combed hair. To the middle boy's left was a tall and athletically-built boy. Troy watched as the boy in the middle made eye-contact with him but quickly broke the connection, before striding off down past the gang. The jock sat back in his seat. "Well, now that the snobs are here, can we go eat, or wait for Brett?" Chad asked, scoffing. "I hate to break it to you, man, but it's never a good sign to judge someone before you get to know them." Troy stated with a nonchalant shrug. He picked up his hamburger and took a bite. "Besides, I'm hungry enough to eat a whole horse." Troy added quickly after noticing the look on his best friend's face. "What? You know damn well that Brett Shimura and his pristine friends are standoffish." Chad exclaimed. "Man, don't say that about them, all right? Just because those boys are well-liked, doesn't mean you can bad-mouth about them! They have just as many feelings as you do." Troy shot back, without raising his voice. Chad held his hands up in defense. "All right. I'm wrong? You wanna take a shot? Be my guest. Don't say I didn't warn ya, Hoops." Chad spoke up, patting Troy's shoulder.
Troy had been watching all of this with great shock. He continued watching Chad as he went back to his burger and picked up his small milk carton. But before he can take a sip, he looked up to see Chad roll his eyes with discomfort. "Look." Chad said in annoyance. Troy and the group turn to see a tall and rebellious-looking, curly black-haired teen leaning over the popular Asian table nearby. Troy could see Brett pull an even smaller brown bag out of his already-pretty-small shopping bag. He watched as Brett pulled his lunch out, and set it on the table. After a few moments, Brett narrowed his eyes and stuck his middle finger up at the rebellious teen. The rebel tossed his hair back and slouched off, looking utterly unperturbed. He tossed — in Troy’s mind — a remark over his shoulder that made Brett put on a haughty expression. His lips quirked upward slightly, at the sight of the three Asians, but he couldn't prevent himself from furrowing his eyebrows in confusion, not sure if he should go out of his way to talk to these boys, seeing as they hardly even knew each other. The blue-eyed boy tucked a tendril of hair behind his ear, clearing his throat awkwardly. Suddenly, Brett's eyes glanced over to Troy's. He gave Troy a disappointing look before turning his head back to his friends. The bell rang.


By the time Troy got to the theatre, Brett Shimura was the only one already there. Troy hesitated as he made his way to where Brett was sitting. They weren't exactly friends, but Troy knew Brett well enough to sit next to him in detention for just one day. He motioned to the chair at the end of the row of three, asking permission to sit there without actually speaking. Brett shrugged in response, which is good enough for him, so he took a seat. As Weston Miller strutted in, he purposefully knocked the phone on the librarian's desk over, and steals a random pad of paper lying next to it. He noticed the others staring at him, so he took off his sunglasses, eyeing the rest of them with sharp brown eyes. He walked over to the precise spot where Kelsi Nielson was sitting, and pointed for her to move to the table on the opposite side of the library. As Weston grabbed Kelsi's old spot, he pulled up an extra chair for him to put his feet up on. Ryan Evans was the last one to come in, keeping his head down and heading automatically to the seat in the very back, behind Kelsi.
Troy looked over to Brett, who was snickering to himself quietly. Troy just looked confused. The principal of East High then walked in: Dave Matsui. He eyed the kids with a hint of resentment. Evidently, he's not happy to be there on a Saturday. "Well, well. Here we are!" he greeted them, but it wasn't a very happy greeting. "I want to congratulate you for being on time." he said. Brett hesitated before putting his hand up. "Excuse me, sir?" he asked. "I think there's been a mistake. I know we're in detention but, um, I don't think I belong here." he said snobbishly. Matsui looked at him for a second, but ultimately ignored him, raising his arm up so he could read the time on his watch. "It is now 7:06." he told them, and Troy rushed to double-check his math on his own watch – they weren't allowed bringing their cellphones to detention. "You have exactly eight hours and fifty-four minutes to think about why you're here," he tells them, as if they didn't already know why they were in detention. "To ponder the error of your ways. You may not talk. No eating, making funny noises, drinking, doing inappropriate things, bothering other people, doing work for school, chatting, texting, calling, chewing, communicating, sleeping, moving, or anything else that has nothing to do with sitting and staring at the ground. Understood?" Matsui told them, gesturing to the two in the room who actually knew each other well enough to converse. "You will not move from these seats." He said. He walked over to Weston now, looking him in the eyes. "And you..." He said, pulling the chair from under Weston's feet. "Will not sleep." The principal finished. He addressed all five of them then. "My office..." Matsui continued, pointing to the door of the library. " right across that hall. Any monkey business is ill-advised. Any questions?" He asked. "Yeah. I got a question." Weston spoke up. Matsui looked at him suspiciously, but didn't say anything. "Does Taco Bell know you're the one eating all of their grilled chicken burritos?" Weston teased. "I'll give you the answer to that question, Mister Miller, next Saturday. Don't mess with the bull young man, you'll get the horns." he warned him before leaving. With Matsui gone, the five of them try to get comfortable. Troy took his letterman jacket off and laid back in his chair. It isn't very long before they all get bored with detention. Troy played around with his pen, sticking on his bottom lip and trying to click it with the top of his open mouth. "I am a walrus." he joked. He wondered if he'd get another detention if he wrote something stupid like that. Brett shot him a look, and Troy laughed out of embarrassment. He takes the pen out of his mouth, and turned to face the front. Suddenly, a crumpled-up piece of paper was thrown forward, as it narrowly missed Brett's head in front. Brett pretended not to notice. Weston then burst out humming loudly.
"I can't believe this is really happening to me..." Brett groaned to Troy, who didn't know what to say back. "Hey, homeboy." he called to Evans. "Why don't you go close that door. We'll get the little boy to knock ya up." Weston said. Brett turned to glare at him. "Hey!" Troy said at Weston, who ignored him. "Hey!" he tried again. "What?" Weston snapped, annoyed. "Leave them alone, man." he warned him, but Weston didn't seem to care. "Why don't you just shut up. Nobody here is interested." Brett interjected. "Well, hey, Sporto! What'd you do to get in here? Forget to wash your jock?" Weston asked Troy. "Weston, Brett. I think we should just not talk..." Troy suggested, trying to mediate the situation, but he was ignored by the others. "Look, just because you live in here doesn't give you the right to be a pain in the ass, so knock it off!" Chad spat back at Weston. Weston shrugged. "It's a free country." he stated. "He's just doing it to get a rise out of you. Just ignore him." Brett told Troy. "Sweets..." Weston told him, looking at Brett as if he were a dessert. "You couldn't ignore me if you tried." he said, licking his lips hungrily. Brett rolled his eyes again, and went back to facing the front of the library. REST IS TBA. "Are we still friends, you mean?" Brett asked, masking the hurt with an innocent front. "Yeah." Troy simply said, nodding. Brett's face was unreadable. "Do you want the truth?" Brett asked quietly. "Yeah, I want the truth." Troy responded. "...I don't think so." Brett admitted. His words cut Troy deep; he didn't want to hear something as awful and untrue as that from Brett. He couldn't let Brett think like that. It hurt him. Troy wanted Brett to be wrong so much. He wanted his friend's anxiety to change. "With all of us, or just Troy and Chad?" Kelsi asked carefully. Troy was trying to understand why Brett couldn't see that East High was the non-stereotypical high school. "With all of you." Brett replied, trying to sound as frank as he could. "You are a bastard!" Chad's raging voice boomed, directly towards Brett. Brett looked at Chad, startled. "Why? 'Cause I'm telling the truth, that makes me a bastard?" Brett asked, speaking up for himself. "No. 'Cause you know how shitty that is to do to someone! And if you don't got the balls to stand up to your friends and tell 'em you're gonna like who you wanna like." Chad snarled. "Okay, what about you, you hypocrite?" Brett spat back, his eyes raking Chad. "Oh, I'm a hypocrite, am I?" Chad asked flatly.
"Why don't you just go and shit on me?! It's not like you give a fuck about me anyways! You're probably just using me so your friends would forgive you for being seen with me." Brett half-screamed as his face began to turn red. Chad held up a finger at him. "Don't you ever talk about my friends! You don't know any of my friends, you don't look at any of my friends and you certainly wouldn't condescend to speak to any of my friends! So you just stick to the things you know: shopping, taking selfies, your father's Chevy and your poor, rich, drunk mother in the Caribbean!" Chad yelled. "Shut up!" Brett screamed, kicking him. "And as far as being concerned about what's gonna happen when you and I walk down the hallways at school, you can forget it! 'Cause it's never gonna happen! Just bury your head in the sand, and wait for your fucking prom!" Chad spat out venomously. Troy was not a violent or hot-tempered person by any stretch of the imagination but he couldn't control it. He was never one to yell or scream. He was trying to find a strain to not resort to extreme verbal fighting. The basketball God didn't want to argue; he really didn't. He couldn't handle witnessing his childhood best friend being a bully to a vulnerable Brett. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath. He flickered his eyes back open. "Enough! Look, let's all just take a deep breath. Okay? Can we please talk about this in a civilized manner? This is not healthy." Troy requested, huffing out a heavy sigh. The look Brett gave him was probably the worst look he's ever received: a look of pitying boredom. Troy actually took a step back from shock. He returned to his spot and shook his head. He 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. "Brett, I just want to tell you..." Troy addressed to Brett. "...that we wouldn't do that. We wouldn't, and we will not. 'Cause I think that's downright unacceptable." Troy stated confidently. "People like Kelsi wouldn't mind because she looks up to us." Brett said. Troy looked at Kelsi and studied her facial expression. "It's not like I'm a defective or anything..." Brett snobbishly spoke up, throwing his hands up for a dramatic effect. Chad laughed at him bitterly.
"You're so conceited, Brett. You're so conceited. You're, so, like, full of yourself. Why are you like that?" Chad said. "I'm not saying that to be conceited. I hate it. I hate having to go along with everything my friends say." Brett said, his voice cracking. "Well then, why do you do it?" Zeke asked with confusion in his voice. Brett shook his head, wiping his tears with his hand. "I don't know, I don't..." Brett choked out, wiping a tear from his chin. "You don't understand, you don't... You know, you just don't understand the pressure that they can put on you!" Brett cried. The look of pain on Brett's distressed face made Troy guilt a hundred times worse. He knew what Brett was trying to say, but he didn't want to give Brett up, not yet, at least. It was killing him. In all honesty, Troy thought Brett was better than this. He thought Brett was someone who was kind-hearted, shy and likable. He thought Brett would always be his friend. "God, you're so pathetic." Chad exclaimed. "Don't you ever — ever — compare yourself to us, all right? You think you got everything, and the rest of us got shit? You thinks you're the 'Golden Boy', huh? You think school would have probably fucking shut down if you didn't show up? Queenie isn't here." Chad mocked. "Chad, that's enough!" Troy growled angrily. Being stubborn and ignorant, Chad gestured to the silver chain necklace Brett's wearing around his neck. "I like that necklace, Brett." Chad commented. "Shut up." Brett told him through his tears. "Is that yours, Brett?" Chad pressed on. "Shut up!" Brett said, raising his voice. "Did you work for the money to buy that necklace?" Chad asked. Brett looked away. "Or did your daddy buy that for you?" Chad smirked. "Shut up!" Brett screamed. "You know what? Go on home and cry to your mommy, all right? Don't cry here." Chad spat. "I hate you!" Brett told him through tears. "Stop! Stop! Please, stop!" Troy yelled, his voice loud and strong. Both boys immediately looked at the jock. "This argument is getting out of hand. We need to discuss this in a civilized manner with no shouting, name-calling, or whatever else we're doing." Troy said with sigh. Chad let out a deep sigh. Troy looked at his friend with disappointment. He callously took a step towards Chad. He squeezed his eyes shut and inhaled and exhaled a deep breath. He tried to keep himself together. "You're being a bully. You're saying hurtful things that you know will upset Brett. So stop it. I can't believe you just said all that foul stuff, man. You may be my best friend, Chad, but if you become a bully and are mean to Brett, I'll report you just like I do to everyone else!" Troy growled softly, glaring at him.
He turned his attention to Brett. "Brett, we decided that we liked being your friend a lot better than your enemy. Now, why don't you tell us how you feel about this?" Troy asked carefully. 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 do your homework. You have to eat something!" Lucille scolded. "All right, Ma." Troy sighed out. He got up from the couch and ran up the stairs. REST IS TBA. "Troy, dinner is ready! Come down here." Lucille called out. "I'll be right down, Mom." Troy yelled back. He made his way down the stairs. "I made macaroni and cheese tonight." Lucille smiled gracefully.

Troy at the dinner table.

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. "Oh, mom, this tastes great!" Troy said excitedly. She smiled at Troy, but looked a little tired. Troy noticed this. "How was your day, mom? You look really tired." Troy said sympathetically. She nodded as she sat down and served herself some food. "Yeah... it was a long day. We had a very pugnacious patient today and I had to keep him happy all day." She sighed and started eating. "Aww, mom, that sucks. But at least you're making good money nursing, right?" Troy said with a laugh. Jack smiled a little at his son's comment. He looked up from his plate and smiled at his wife. "Hey, Lucy, you're home with a family that loves you. You get to take a breather tonight before you have to go back to work tomorrow and do it all over again. But remember, you can do anything for eight hours. Hey! You can even look forward to coming home to see Troy and me." He finished and looked at the love of his life. Troy just smiled at how in love his parents were, just so long as they didn't start having sex in front of him. It's bad enough he knew they had to create him at one point. "So how was school today, Troy?" Lucille asked casually. "It was good. There was an incident involved today with Chad and another student." Troy said, after swallowing. "What about Chad and this... kid?" Jack asked. "Well, the kid's name is Brett Shimura. Long story short, I really want him to be himself around the gang, Gabriella and I, you know? I just feel like he's putting up this icy exterior because he doesn't know how to act around others, because he never had anyone surrounding him. So, I invited Brett to go to Chad's." Troy said. He glanced up at the clock and, after asking to be excused, put his plate in the dishwasher and went upstairs. On his way up, he yelled back to his parents that he had homework to do and disappeared into his bedroom. Troy sat down on his bed and pulled his math notebook from his schoolbag. He tried to understand what he had written earlier during class, but couldn't remember any of it. Troy groaned and closed his book. He just didn't understand why he couldn't understand things the way Gabriella could. Later that night, Troy laid on his bed, thinking. He tossed and turned and couldn't sleep. Troy finally sighed and sat up, leaning against the edge of his bed. Deciding he didn't want to keep trying he got up and heard clanking from the garage. Sighing softly to himself, Troy opened the door leading into the garage and saw his father working on the beat-up truck.

Troy helping his dad out.

"Troy, what are you doing up so late?" Jack asked, looking up. Troy looked up to see his father jumping gout of his skin. "Sorry, Dad, couldn't sleep." Troy sighed out. "Help me out for a sec here, Troy?" Jack said. Troy headed towards the opposite side of the truck, bending over, across from his father. "So, any problems?" Jack asked once more. Troy nodded dejectedly. "What's eating away at you?" Jack asked, his voice filled with concern. Troy sighed heavily. He just hoped he could help Brett. By the way Troy was about to describe his friend, he was worried he'd never be able to help this boy out of his shell. "It's Brett. Chad and him got into an argument today at school. Chad started going off at Brett. Basically, at Brett's old school, he was popular and was a little hostile towards Chad. I didn't know what to do, so I told Chad to apologize." Troy said, sighing. His father looked at him, not knowing what to say. "Dad, since Chad and I are jocks, Brett thinks we're taking advantage of him. I don't know why he would say such things." Troy said, letting out a deep sigh. "Well... I don't know why either, Troy. But, prove him wrong." Jack replied. "How did you get Mom to open up and trust you?" Troy asked. "It took time. Your mother had a rough time as a kid and had a lot of trust issues. I knew that, so I never pushed her into opening up. I pushed enough so she knew I was there when she needed me or if she ever wanted to talk but not enough to scare her away." Jack said. "Did she ever open up to you?" Troy asked. He didn't blame Brett for not being totally fine, he was still new to East High and these things took time, especially with how torn up he was when they had last spoke. No one should have had to go through such anxiety and fear. "Of course she did, but it took years." Jack said. "Years?" Troy asked, taken by surprise.
"Yes, Troy. I met your mother my first year in high school. She finally opened up to me our last year in college." Jack chuckled. "Wow." Troy muttered in shock. "Troy, if you care about Brett the way you say you do, you cannot make him think you're bad. Pushing him will only make it worse." Jack replied. All he wanted was to help Brett. Troy wanted Brett to be happy all the time, not just when leaving school. But there was something else going on that was stopping that; something was going on to prevent Brett from being happy all the time. There were no signs of physical abuse and from what he knew, there were clear signs of mental abuse. "But, it's so hard, Dad. I just don't know what it is about Brett, but I know he's having and anxiety and fear about hanging out with Chad and I." Troy sighed. "I know you do, but it takes time for guys like that to open up. Just be yourself, bud. If you do that, Brett will trust you." Jack smiled. "Thanks, Dad. Good night." Troy grinned. "Good night, son." Jack responded. Troy went back into his bedroom and fell into a deep sleep.


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.
Troy sees Brett
"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.
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"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 Brett, 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. He hoped this wasn't Brett's way of roping him into something because Brett had to know well that he had the biggest heart and wouldn't be able to say no. It was always in the forefront of his mind; Brett Shimura was still grieving over something horrible, he missed the one person who meant the WORLD to him and even though Troy couldn't relate to his situation at all, he was sympathetic. More so than others were. "I've been here for a while." Troy said to Brett. And that was the truth. Troy loved hanging out with his friends, building and growing relationships outside of school considering he was always busy with basketball. "But yeah. I've been having fun, and I am sure you will too... go have fun, Brett." Troy cheerfully said. Even Troy knew Brett needed it. Hopefully something he knew hadn't been messed with. At the heart of everything, Troy was still his sweet self. And that would never change with him. There was too much evil in the world that everyone needed someone to be smiling and happy the majority of the time. For Albuquerque, that was often times Troy Bolton. REST IS TBA. Troy noticed a tall, attractive brunette 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, Chelsea?" Troy asked in genuine concern. The drunk girl's icy blue eyes widened as she looked up. "Oh, my God! I've been waiting for you all night." Chelsea 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." Chelsea 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, Chelsea." 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, Chelsea." Troy said with a small nod. "You sure? A hot guy like you, not drinking on this beautiful night?" Chelsea whispered 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." Chelsea purred. 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, Chelsea. 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." Chelsea retorted, running her hands down her body for emphasis. "Then I guess I must be gay." Troy replied, looking away from her.
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Troy slapped by Chelsea Carpenter.

Before Chelsea could try to stop him, Troy spotted Gabriella near the swimming pool. The brunette took a few calculated steps towards the jock until she was inches away from Troy's face like a lioness gazing down at her prey. Without a moment of hesitation, Chelsea 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." Chelsea 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.
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"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. He felt 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 Chelsea Carpenter 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. Pardon me." Troy said to a few wild partygoers as he tried to squeeze through the crowd. Since the bathroom was locked, Troy went inside an empty bedroom and used the restroom. 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. 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. The person — Brett — had a red plastic cup in his hand. He staggered a little bit. Troy grabbed the smaller boy's shoulders to keep him from tumbling over. "Oh, shoot! I'm so sorry, Brett. Are you all right?" Troy asked with concern. Brett mumbled incoherently. The chuckling Asian seemed to be pushing his body closer to Troy, if that was even possible. "Hiiiiii!" Brett giggled. "Hi!" Troy exclaimed. 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, his brows furrowed. "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. "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." 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, look at me." 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. "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." Brett staggered out. He kept staring at Troy. He turned his innocent look into one of a more playful and seductive nature.

Troy seeing a drunk Brett.

The drunk Brett simply grinned and with a wicked gleam in his eyes. Troy backed away against the wall. "I love you." Brett said. Holding his gaze while offering a small close-mouthed sly smile, the drunk boy shoved his body closer into Troy's pelvis. The jock, at first, was shocked and surprised at the same time and just stared at Brett in silence. He didn't know how to respond to those types of comments because no guy has ever tried to seduce him before. It took a moment for Troy to comprehend what Brett was doing, but then it dawned on him that he probably thought that Brett was confused. Sure, Ryan Evans and even Rocket Man have flirted with him from time-to-time, but not seduced. Troy suddenly realized he better step in before someone walked in. "What are you doing, buddy?" Troy asked nervously. He watched as Brett staggered a few steps toward him, his smile still resting on his face. Troy didn't know what to expect from Brett. Brett rested a hand on Troy's shoulder whilst the other hand rested against the side of his neck. He could feel Brett's fingers slightly playing with a few strands of his hair. Troy eyed him nervously. Troy swallowed, hard, and tried to think of some sort of answer that didn't involve inappropriate words. The hand that had been playing with strands of Troy's hair, was now full of a fistful of the brunette locks, pulling Troy's head to the side. And the hand that had been resting on Troy's shoulder was now trailing down Troy's arm and across his stomach until eventually resting against Troy's hip, pulling him in towards the Asian boy's body. "I like you, Troy." Brett admitted. The kind-hearted jock blinked in shock. "Y-y-you like me?" Troy stuttered. Brett nodded his head slowly. He sat on the bed, staring at the ground as if he was shocked. He sniffled. Troy sat next to him, slightly shifting the bed with his weight to hug him. "I'm sorry." Brett whispered. Troy nodded. "It's okay. It's not your fault." He said calmly. The jock saw lust in Brett's eyes. Troy felt sad for Brett, because he knew that was how Brett felt. Brett was his friend, and when his friends were hurting, Troy was beginning to hurt for them too, wishing and hoping that he could take away at least some of Brett's pain. Still sitting there, watching Brett, Troy slowly reached his hand over to Brett's hand, and when his hand rested upon his, Brett quickly flashed his eyes up to Troy's. Troy tried to smile hoping to convey comfort, but at that moment and as soon as their eyes met, Brett shifted his body to face Troy. It upset Troy to stare into the dark abyss of Brett's eyes and only find sorrow. There was something about Brett's sorrow that made him want to desperately find an answer. Brett stared at the jock in return. His face was blunt and emotionless, except for his eyes. Slowly, Brett's face grew closer to Troy's as the smell of alcohol became stronger in his breath. Suddenly Brett's lips landed upon Troy's. Unsure of what to do, Troy let it happen; his eyes open the whole time. But Troy didn't get mad, because he understood that it was just a symptom of Brett needing some type of love. Troy's face turned deep red. Then Brett pulled back from Troy's lips. He stepped back, putting some distance between them in order to think clearly. "I'm sorry." Brett croaked out. "It's all right. It's okay." Troy soothed. He watched as Brett gazed at him with glazed-over eyes, still obviously a little ruffled from the situation. Brett had a somewhat hurt look on his face. Troy's eyes flashed back up to Brett's face, finding a look of child-like innocence. "Oh... Oh, Brett. I'm sorry. But, I am incredibly flattered, and I feel incredibly grateful that you love me the way you do. I promise you, someone will come along who will love you for who you are. He will. He's out there, I know it. And I bet he's just dying to meet you." Troy said, trying to bring hope in his voice. Brett peered up at the jock. "Why can't you love me the way you love Gabriella?" Brett asked. His broken voice jolted Troy. He felt stumped. "I... Um... I love Gabriella; you know I've always loved Gabriella." Troy stuttered. "I know but... Can't you show me how much you love her?" Brett asked timidly. "W-what do you mean?" Troy questioned, swallowing thickly. Brett sat up straightener. "I want you to show me how you would love Gabriella." Brett said, staring into the jock's blue eyes. "Please?" Brett whispered, trying to urge Troy a little more. Troy didn't know what to say. Brett really needed to feel like he was someone special to anyone at that moment but Troy didn't think he could do that. He couldn't do that to Gabriella and he couldn't that to his new friend. "Brett, I can't. I don't want to cheat on Gabriella and that's what I plan to do. You know that." Troy stated, blinking in shock. Brett sighed and turned his head away before he looked back at Troy. His eyes brimming with tears. "Please, Troy? I can be your first time with a guy." Brett whispered seductively. "Shouldn't another guy be the first one to experience it?" Troy asked. "Yeah, I just want to... to feel like..." Brett trailed off and choked on his words. "Loved?" Troy supplied. Brett nodded his head mutely. "You are loved, Brett. If I was into guys, you would be the guy I would want to be with." Troy said truthfully. "So why not just one night with me?" Brett asked. "I can't do it, Brett. I can't do that to Gabriella. She's my girlfriend." Troy stated roughly. He needed to distract Brett. "You accept the love you think you deserve. You deserve more than you think you do, Brett. You're a kind, smart, funny, wonderful guy and someone out there is going to be very lucky to have you love him. 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 gently as possible. He tried to calm his nerves down. "Oh, okay." Brett said dejectedly, looking down. Troy licked his lips awkwardly. "C'mon, Brett. Please don't cry." Troy begged. "Troy?" Brett called him with a weak voice. "Yeah?" Troy said. "I don't feel so good." 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. "Aw shoot!" Troy exclaimed. 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 mean to." Brett said in between sobs. "Don't apologize. But no more drinking for you tonight, mister." He instructed firmly.
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Troy stared at his friends who were nearby. "Guys, can you help me with Brett? Make sure we put him near a bathroom, he drank way too much." Troy said. "Yup!" Zeke assured him. 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. Troy and Zeke helped everybody inside the house. 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 teased. 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.


The Start of Something New

As Troy walked down the exterior of East High, he sighed, heading down the steps. 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.
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"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 steps, Troy saw Brett Shimura looking down. He snapped his attention back to a patient Ryan. "Actually, yes. Everything's okay, Ryan. Um... Would you excuse me? I'm sorry. I'll, uh, 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 steps. REST IS TBA. Brett blinked, trying to keep the ever-present set of tears away. "I..." He muttered out. He stood up, nodding. But then he stopped. "Troy..." His voice was barely a whisper. Troy tilted his head. "Why are you nice to me?" Brett asked. The silence that lingered for a few seconds was comfortable if anything though it was easy to see the confusion spread over his face once Brett stopped, his question catching him off-guard. "Because I think you're nice, Brett." Troy said. He was going to be the person to let Brett know he was 100% there for him. "Look. I don't know what you're going through. But I'm right here... if you ever need to talk to someone. Always." The jock stated strongly. Troy had a sweet, sad smile on his lips but Brett looked down. Troy already knew that Brett wasn't in the right headspace and he certainly wasn't all right. Troy was different. He wanted to be there for everyone and help as much as he could. Brett was no different. He considered him a friend even if Brett wasn't the nicest to Ryan. "Talk to me." the basketball player said, standing up, tossing his backpack onto his shoulder. "Or you don't have to... but we're going on a walk. We'll go out in the hallway or something... C'mon." Troy said. He looked down at Brett. "I am fine." Brett spoke up bitterly. Troy didn't want to intrude or feel like he was trying to hop into Brett's life. He was just being the guy he always was. "But you aren't." the jock responded. Sure Brett wasn't really good friends of his, but he knew Brett. The few conversations they had together were somewhat awkward. Even though Brett was a conceited person, Troy knew deep down Brett was a good-hearted person.
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"Whatever you're going through... don't worry about it. It'll all work itself out." Troy stated. Brett snapped his head up as Troy looked at him cautiously. "It's just – it feels like things weren't supposed to be like this. But they didn't... if that makes sense." Brett said. It should have made sense, but Troy had no idea what Brett was referring to. He didn't pay attention to the lingering stares, to the gossip that floated around the school and so he was probably the only person who wasn't self-aware and didn’t pay attention to anything other than himself and his friends. "I dunno what you're going through... if it's personal or whatever..." Troy started, licking his lips. "Everything happens for a reason. Maybe you just want things to work out differently. Maybe this is how it's supposed to be... I'm not sure. But you're a good person, Brett. A good friend. You just need to start seeing that in yourself before doubting everything." Troy finished. "I guess I'm just having one of those days, ya know?" Brett said softly. "One of those days." Troy repeated, slowly nodding as he closed the book he was writing in. "You wanna talk about it?" Troy offered. Of course he was offering to hear Brett out and let him rant away to him; Troy was just that guy with everyone. Suddenly, Brett wrapped his arms around Troy's neck, hugging him tightly. "Do you wanna hear something funny?" Brett mumbled. "What's that?" Troy asked. "You're the only friend I have." Brett said sadly.


Troy walked down the hallway. "Hey what's up, Captain – are you okay? You look a little out of it... is it New Kid? Is he all right?" 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 one 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. You're a genius, Ryan." Troy added. Ryan replied with a gentle smile.


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. "I won't judge. Scout's honor and yes, I was a boy scout even if it was only for one year." Troy assured with a laugh. His 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. His face softened and his lips began to tremble. 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 his lap and wrapped his arms around Brett's broken body, letting the sad dark-haired boy tuck his face into the crook of his neck. "Shh. It's all right, Brett." Troy whispered, starting to rub Brett's back in circles. Brett looked up at him with tears in his eyes. "What is it?" Troy asked. Brett sat up from him wiping his tears with curiosity in his eyes. He glanced at Troy's direction. He composed himself by taking a deep breath. "It makes me sad." Brett whispered dejectedly. Troy searched for an answer in Brett's watery eyes. "Why?" Troy asked, wanting an answer. "Because... Because you remind me so much of Jason." Brett choked out. Troy sighed sympathetically. "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 with a smile. Brett smiled half-heartedly. "You're wrong, you know." Troy said. "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. Brett nodded. "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. 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 very 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.


"I'm just so sick of seeing her acting like nothing can touch her. There's people here who have been through so much, and now with Chelsea. As nasty as it sounds, I wouldn't of minded if Chelsea died, to be honest. At least Tiara was okay underneath the ego she put across." Sharpay replied, biting her lip. "Everything happens for a reason." Troy answered. He shrugged, passing the pen between both of his hands. He knew she wasn't the only person who felt that way. A lot of people were sick of Chelsea Carpenter already. Troy just kept to himself, deciding not to get into any of it unless he had to. "If Chelsea is meant to have a downfall... I'm sure it'll happen. I wouldn't worry about it. Just don't give her attention, Sharpay." Troy said. "It's just a matter of time. She seems to forget, as much as I am horrible - I taught myself well." she replied, darkly. Chelsea Carpenter was tricky; she was manipulative and downright malicious, with blackmail and using people's weaknesses against them. "People just need to see past her threats, actually stand up to her. She made my life Hell for the past few weeks. It took me smacking her down to realize just how much Chelsea isn't as special as she thinks she is. I was a personal favourite target of hers - I don't forget things easily." Sharpay stated. It sucked knowing that Chelsea basically dictated people's lives and was just plain HELL to a lot of people. Sharpay was always cool to Troy, it didn't matter what she looked like in the past, it wasn't something he noticed anyway. It was still the blonde girl he knew since Freshmen Year. "Then don't forget it." He smiled, toying with the pen in his hand. "You're someone who could rule the world, Sharpay. And not in a Chelsea Carpenter way. You're a special girl... keep sticking up for yourself." Troy stated strongly. He admired it if anything.
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"And don't let her annoy you anymore than she does in your last year of high school. No one deserves to feel restricted or held down by someone." Troy said. "I thought I was bad, but she puts a new meaning to the word evil bitch." the blonde muttered. She cast a look down at the English textbook in front of her, not being able to focus on her work. "Someone needs to knock her on her bony ass." she added, in an afterthought, completely forgetting the company she was with. Raising a brow at Sharpay's words, Troy's eyes travelled towards the girl who was being mentioned. He definitely understood why people didn't like Chelsea, but he wasn't on her hate list just yet. Fingers drumming against his own textbook, he tilted his head towards the blonde. "And someone will.. eventually. I'm sure." Troy said. He glanced between the two, eyes flickering everywhere but Sharpay's. "Not many people seem to like her. And if they do... it's in complete fear the majority of the time. Did something happen between you two?" Troy asked. He couldn't help but think about Sharpay and how she felt through all of this though. It was one of his weaknesses really; he cared way too much for every single person in his life and tried to see the good in everything. He would have believed it was her if there were any other signs of her backstabbing Gabriella, but he really doubted it. Hell, he would have even defended Ryan if the situation was the same, it just wasn't them. He was almost positive that Chelsea had probably spread some nasty rumours about people. However, he wasn't making any assumptions. Not yet anyway. "You have been through so much already. Gabriella has been there for you, you've been there for her. You really think she would throw it down the drain for something stupid like this? She helped you take down Weston... clearly she doesn't like anyone being labelled as a slut." Troy said. The last word made him shutter slightly, scrunching his nose up in disgust. Nina seemed more likely in this case. The girl wasn't overly nasty to Troy so he hadn't experience the full wrath of the devil that walked around East High. "You don’t deserve it... that's the thing." Troy said. Right now, he fully believed it was Nina.

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, Ma. 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 saw 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 almost a week 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. "Pfft! 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.



Troy in class.

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. Troy couldn't walk away, not when he knew his new friend was upset. He was far from okay. Moving so he could stand in front of Brett, one hand moved to his shoulder, hoping he'd at least look at him. Troy didn't want to throw a typical ‘are you alright?’ line at him, especially when he knew it was the opposite. Anyone could sense that. "I can leave if you want me to, Brett... or you can talk to me and let it out.. or cry, whatever you need?" Troy said, his voice full of concern. The saddened Asian boy sniffled and looked up, seeing Troy's deep cerulean eyes and shook his head. He slid down next to him on the floor, pulling the struggling boy into his arms. "What's wrong?" Troy asked. Brett didn't say anything. 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's the matter?" Troy questioned. 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. "Just leave me alone." Brett hissed. "Brett, is that what you want?" Troy asked carefully. Something made him think that it was so much more than that. "Yes!" Brett yelled, 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?" 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. Just talk to 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 with a distraught Brett.

Troy examined the shattered new kid. When Brett didn't stop crying, Troy then crouched down in front of him so he could catch Brett's eye. "Shhh, it's okay now, I'm here. Just relax. Take a breath, Brett. Please." Troy instructed calmly. 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. The distressed boy paused for a moment, biting his lip as he tried to word his next sentence correctly. "He drank that morning. My brother. He missed his shift." Brett spoke softly, playing with the ring on his middle finger. Troy patiently waited for Brett to continue. "He took it for his friend the day of the accident." Brett mumbled, his lips trembling. "My parents... They... They wish..." Brett stammered. Troy was heartbroken. "I know they wish it was me instead of Jason. And... sometimes I do, too." Brett croaked out, letting out a soft sigh of despair. 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. His words cut Troy deep; he didn't want to hear something as awful and untrue as that from Brett. He couldn't let Brett think like that. "Don't... Don't say that. He's your dad." Troy stammered, trying to think go what to say to comfort his distraught friend. It was a horrible thing and he would never wish death on anyone — especially with how his friend's brother was supposedly killed. It was the worst possible thing he could imagine. "Brett, I know your brother was important to you. I know I can't take away your pain, and 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. "It's fine, believe me. If I cared that much about you crying on me, I wouldn't have hugged you." He admitted, a small smile on his face in hopes that Brett would mirror one back. "You're allowed to be upset about this, you know. Don't hide it. I think... I think you should reach out to someone... someone you're comfortable with and just talk to them. It'll help. I promise." Troy stated. Brett looked at him. "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 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 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 will survive this because you were built for it. It seems rough right now, but just wait, better days do come. 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 an 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. 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 hesitantly smiled, before nodding his head. Troy, finally giving Brett the acceptance he's craved and needed for so long, then exchange glancesit'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. Troy cautiously wrapped his arms around Brett's skinny body. Once he realized that she wasn't going to push him away he tightened his hold slightly and ran his hand rubbing circles on his back. Brett looked up, teary-eyed. "You're a good guy, Troy." Brett chuckled lightly. "We do exist. There's a ton of us out there... you might just be blind to it." Troy replied. Maybe Brett wasn't friends with such people, or had horrible experiences with them... but he knew there were a ton of good guys out there; guys Brett knew. The brunette jock nodded with reassurance. His heart swelled and got the best of him. Troy couldn't help but open his heart to those around him. It just happened that the people closest to him got the whole blast of Troy's kindness. Brett's head slowly dropped in sorrow. "Brett..." Troy began. Brett's head slowly looked up, staring at his friend. "You've had a great couple of months. It doesn't need to end. You're gonna be okay. I promise." Troy whispered with reassurance. Once he was pulled into a hug, Troy's arms slowly moved around him in response. It was weird to get affection like this from the other boy at this point. It was pretty obvious as Brett's grip around him got tighter and tighter. Troy was afraid of losing him again, afraid that if he let go, his friend would run and deny his assistance. But Troy had faith in him, knew that the dark-haired boy wouldn't split. Troy's hand gently patted the boy's back, rubbing it a few times before pulling back. Taking a deep breath, he looked at Brett with a small smile before throwing his arm around his shoulders. He knew that had to be hard, that it took a lot for him to do it and he was beyond grateful that Brett got that. "You are worthy of so much more, I promise you, Brett. It is not fair to you to have to carry all this guilt and pain around with you." Troy said with conviction. Brett nodded slowly. "Now I think that's enough tears, don't you?" Troy said, trying to lighten the mood. Brett smiled half-heartedly as he nodded, sniffling and wiping his tears off his face. "Thank you." The boy whispered. In response, Troy smiled warmly. Clearly Troy was one of the only ones who were there to offer himself for such a service. "Hey, what are friends for, huh? I gotta run, I told my dad I'd pick up something to eat for him and bring it over for dinner." Troy said. He forced his hand into his jeans, slowly taking a few steps back. "Just remember I'm always here, Brett. I'm here if you need me." The jock stated warmly.


"That was the 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.


The next day, Troy was 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 looking up at Sharpay.

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.
Troy kisses Gabriella

Troy kisses Gabriella on the cheek.

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.


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.

Troy at Gabriella's house.

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.

Get'cha Head in the Game

The soft expression on his face changed instantly as she started talking about Gabriella again. "Chelsea... 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. Troy knew the brunette mean girl already knew he was going to get beyond frustrated. "Gabriella is happy with me... that's that. I'm asking you to respect that. Maybe you can go find someone else?" He asked. He was just going to deny all of Nina'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. "Look, Chelsea. As much as I am flattered every time you ask me out, I have no free time so no other days work. I'm either hanging out with my friends, or doing my homework or studying for tests, or playing basketball, so like I said... you can ask to invite another guy out." Troy suggested. Chelsea's brows furrowed with anger. He just knew to keep his mouth shut about the vixen girl, knowing that Chelsea could go on and on to get under his skin. There was no point in giving her attention when he knew his friend. Troy completely ignored her first question regarding his happiness, tilting his head to look at her. "It's complicated. Like I said... she's happy. Are we done here?" Troy asked as nicely as possible. "We're done when I say we're done." Chelsea spat out. That was the general rule with Nina. What she said goes and anyone without a death wish would know better than disrespecting that very simple rule. "You know, I can't help but wonder how your good girlfriend Gabriella would feel about those feelings you're so clearly harboring for Ryan Evans. I imagine she'd be crushed to find out that you'd choose guys over her in a heartbeat." Chelsea chuckled. And, of course, Chelsea intended on making it very clear the first chance she got. "What's there to like, Troy?" Chelsea asked, her nose practically turning up in the air. "She's boring, ordinary, and such a fucking drab. At least this time around you've managed to find a girl who knows how to have some fun. Looks like you learned a couple of things from our time together, handsome." Chelsea commented. A wink followed shortly after. "Nina, has it ever occurred to you in your whole life that people have feelings and when you hurt them, it's bad?" Troy asked, cocking a brow, face hard. Chelsea blinked a few times but said nothing. After a few moments with her mouth wide open the redhead finally spoke. "I know that people have feelings but sometimes they are just too touchy." Chelsea said, rolling her eyes. A pout rested on her pink glossed lips as she stared at the jock like a defiant child. Chelsea turned on her heels and sauntered away.


He was observing Brett carefully, not knowing what to do or say. "You thought..." He trailed off, curling his lips as he slowly nodded. "You thought I was him." Troy said. Brett continued crying. "It's all right. It's me. Not... Jason." The jock said, still giving the smaller boy a small smile. He didn't want Brett to think he was crazy. Because he wasn't. "Don’t... panic. We're all going to get through this." Troy stated calmly. Brett nodded, still sniffling. He wasn't like many of the stereotypical basketball players, he was one of the great ones. "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.

Troy at the psychologist office.

"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... me?" 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. "Thatta 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 basketball." 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'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 with a laugh.


What I've Been Looking For

Brett smiled at the brunette jock, a slightly sad look in his eyes. "You remind me so much of Jason. He would've liked you, Troy." Brett said. "Thank you, Brett." Troy said, smiling. Though as soon as Jason was mentioned, he curled his lips and continued to walk, pretending to be unaffected by Brett's stroking hand. It was just giving him flashbacks of her mother doing the same thing in the corridors of the school. he had multiple encounters with Phyllis Shimura but being the sweet guy he was, he never opened his mouth and let Principal Matsui do as she like. it must have been hard to lose a kid. "Jason seemed like a great guy, but most importantly... He is proud of you." Troy stated truthfully.


Chelsea's eyebrows pushed together as she approached her usual lunch spot, placing her palm down against the table when she reached it. "It's cute that you think you can sit here." Chelsea commented, glaring down at the unwelcome intruder. "Now move, before I make you move." she snarled. Troy had been mindlessly picking at his food, his spoon practically stabbing his pot of jelly as he glanced around at others at tables. He was more pissed that he couldn't find any of his friends, honestly. Flinching as he heard Chelsea's booming voice, the brunette rolled his eyes subtly before nodding. "Yeah, yeah, I'm going." He mumbled, standing up. "Wasn't even hungry anyway." Troy mumbled.


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? 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 boyfriend was in not too long ago. Now can you tell me what happens next?" The bully hissed.

Troy getting beat up.

"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 ordered. 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 venomously. 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.


He knew Brett was grieving over the loss of his brother, but he also knew he wanted to understand it. If Troy pushed too hard, he'd lose Brett and all the trust he had worked so hard to gain. He had promised himself he'd tell someone about Brett's past once he found out all of what it was, but that would break any and all trust Brett had in him. He was loyal to a fault. He opened his eyes and nodded. "Okay, just tell me, Sharpay, please." Troy said. "Well, Troy, I don't really know where to start. But you've got to open your eyes. Brett Shimura is a manipulative, attention-seeking, and mentally unstable kid who fabricated his entire life. His brother's death? Suffering from 'PTSD'? Hell, he's a better actor than I am." Sharpay answered, almost shocked at what she said herself. Immediately Troy furrowed his brows, looking completely oblivious and confused. "I don't know what you're talking about." Troy replied. "Everyone else does. The whole school is buzzing. Apparently he's very good at acting, Troy. I'm shocked he got everyone, including YOU, to believe in every word he says. The affection for his brother, who supposedly died? For him, I'll admit, he's good at creating stories like that. I will have to tell Principal Matsui, not just for his true nature, but for everyone's safety." Sharpay said. "Sharpay, enough! I didn't want to have to do this but you left me no choice." Troy growled. "What are you talking about?" she asked.

Troy arguing with Sharpay.

"Don't make me say it, Sharpay. I don't want to, but, if you don't stop, I'll have to." Troy said as anger built in the tone of his voice. "Say what?" Sharpay asked again. "You know what I'm talking about. Making up lies about Brett; trying to manipulate me. You have no right to that, Sharpay. You have no idea what anyone is going through, especially Brett. But, I can't say. I'm been sworn to secrecy. Sharpay, you know what I'm talking about — that's all that matters." Troy growled. Sharpay shrugged. "I'm not doing anything wrong, Troy. I'm just stating facts." she said, putting her hands up in defense. "No, you're being a bully. You're saying hurtful things and making up stories that you know will upset Brett, and how it will affect him. After what he's been through, you don't have the right to turn it into something worse. So stop it, please." Troy begged. "I don't care if you have a girlfriend, Troy. I really don't anymore. I am just stating facts about Brett Shimura." Sharply defended herself. Troy glared at her but shook his head. He was loyal to a fault and no matter how mad he was, he wasn't going to reveal her secret to everyone. It didn't feel right. "No." Troy said simply. He knew he made the right choice. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find Gabriella." Troy said. "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 orbs lingered onto people walking by.

Stick to the Status Quo


When There Was Me and You


Bop to the Top


Breaking Free


We’re All In This Together


What Time Is It?




Work This Out


You Are The Music In Me


I Don't Dance


Gotta Go My Own Way


Bet On It



The episode gives us a little insight as to what happened in the moments we weren’t privy to in the Pilot.

Troy was wearing a purple basketball uniform to practice. He bounced the basketball and turned his back on his father, ready to make the dodge and shot when needed. Mr. Bolton, who stood behind his son, gave him a couple of pointers.
"Keep working left, Troy!" He ordered, giving him advice. "Got to guard the championship we're expectin'. You'll torch them!" He said. "By going left?" Troy asked, in more of a statement as he already knew what to do. "Yeah. He looks in the middle, you take it downtown." Mr. Bolton said. Troy nodded, already forming a plan in his head. "Okay, like this?" Troy said. He jolted his body to his left, pretending like he was going to shoot that way until he twisted to the other direction, going around his father and shooting a perfect score where the ball went in. Mr. Bolton whooped, catching the ball as it fell through the basket net. He smiled proudly at his son. "That's it, man. Sweet, lets see that in the game." Mr. Bolton exclaimed, going closer to Troy. "Excuse me?" a woman called out to them, looking impatient and annoyed. Troy placed his hand on the ball, ready to take it again for another shot.
"Oh, don't worry about me. You'll see that in the game." He confirmed, but then turned his head over to the woman like his father had done. A middle-age Japanese-American woman walked forward into the gym. "Can one of you gentlemen direct my son and I to the principal's office, please?" The woman asked. Troy and his father's eyes connected for a moment, before turning back to the woman and nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I can walk you down there if you'd like?" Troy suggested. "No, thank you. I'm perfectly capable." The woman stated with a small smile. Troy smiled in response.

All For One



  • 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 often the one given the task of boosting town morale in the face of evil, and he is always intent on doing the right thing. He is more realistic than his true love, Gabriella Montez, but he still believes in the power of true love and that good will triumph over evil.
    • 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.
    • The only jock at East High School who is not a bully or sexual predator. On top of being a good-natured and well-liked guy, he also shows signs of being fairly responsible compared to his fellow jocks. He verbally declines to drink alcohol at Chad's house party (as seen in Pilot), he has mostly kind things to say about standoffish Brett Shimura (although he does jokingly refer to Brett as "Claire Standish" for his personality).
    • 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.
  • The non-judgmental and patient Troy befriends Brett Shimura, who is selfish and entitled. However, Brett undergoes significant character development and gets better.
    • 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.
    • He is the one who is instrumental in pulling Brett out of his narcissistic and self-absorbed nature.
    • 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 peer-pressure, and he tries to get Brett the proper help.
    • 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.
    • In contrast to the soft and innocent nature of Brett, Troy is brazen, fearless, and outgoing. Throughout Season 1, however, Troy's primary goal is to make Brett happy and help him, showing a sympathetic quality.
    • Troy acts as the much needed protector in Brett's life, standing up for the saddened new kid when others attack him on account of his sexuality. He cares for Brett, and truly wants him to succeed in life, and prove to the world that Brett is not some abomination. Not only does he act as Brett's motivator, but as his closest friend, and for a while, his only friend.
    • It should be noted that all of Troy's actions in Season 1 are clearly driven by his sympathy for Brett. After seeing the poor kid emotionally abused and shunned by the other students of East High, Troy does not only stand up for him, but takes the new kid under his wing and sticks by his side throughout the entire Season 1, determined to make him happy again and not once giving up hope.
    • Because of their relationship and the absence of a paternal figure in Brett's life, Troy has been cited as one of Brett's surrogate father figures.
    • 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.
    • As after learning that Weston Miller was willing to trade Brett's life for his own (and pin the blame on Troy himself), Troy became angry and threatened to report Weston to Principal Matsui for doing that to Brett.
  • 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. Numerous people have reacted to his good-looks, ranging from come-ons and compliments to sarcastic put-downs — even the cheerful yet petty Becky Jackson refers to him as "Lady Boy".
    • 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.
  • 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's a nice guy through and through, but you do not want to make him angry, usually by trying anything funny on him or anyone he cares about; Troy will wipe the grass with anyone who dares. He throws himself into potentially dangerous situations to protect the people that he cares about, or even strangers.
    • Only three things make Troy mad: when someone messes with his family and friends, when he sees people bullying other people, and when there is homophobia/transphobia involved.
    • 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.
  • Troy has absolutely no problem with gay people. He is bewildered, at first, but extremely flattered at the same time whenever males flirt with him.
    • He's constantly bewildered by Jimmie's advances.
    • Doesn't realize Ryan is star-struck just talking to him.
    • Stemming out of their friendship, he actually wasn't disgusted or offended at all by Brett's romantic feelings for him, since he'd first noticed the way the new kid acted around him ever since they met.
  • At Chad's house party (in Pilot), Troy was taking care of a very drunk Brett.