Going For The Gold

Chapter 14

Gabriella sat high in the stands trying to avoid the cameras that surrounded the arena. She didn't want them to catch her puffy eyes as she was pretty emotional that day. Today was the day that Sharpay was skating for the first time since her mother's passing. Gabriella admired her strength, if Gabriella was in that situation, she wouldn't be handling it as well as Sharpay was. Sure, Sharpay was sad, but she came for a reason and she was determined to fulfill that goal for her mom.

Gabriella pulled the sleeves of her team jacket over her hands and she placed them by her chin. She breathed as she watched Sharpay take the ice. The crowd went wild as she skated to the center of the ice. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a tight bun at the base of her neck. Her dress was black with sparkly silver accents on the front. It flowed into a halter and on the back it turned into flesh coloured fabric. On the fabric was a rose design made from rhinestones that covered the expanse of her back. Gabriella swallowed as the crowd fell silent as Sharpay took her place.

Dramatic music flowed through the speakers filling the large centre. She watched as Sharpay flowed across the ice. The crowd clapped along to the music as Sharpay skated. Sharpay came out of her sit spin and placed her hands on her hip. As soon as the music stopped, the crowd roared to their feet. Gabriella let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding in.

Sharpay sobbed and spun around waving to the audience. She quickly skated over to the sidelines where her coach was waiting. As soon as she reached there, her coach pulled her into a hug as Sharpay cried. Gabriella wiped the tears that were spilling over, rolling down her cheeks. At this moment she couldn't be more proud of the girl below.

Gabriella hung up the two dresses she had brought for the Free Dance on the closet door. She stepped back and tried to decide which to wear for the next day. The two were pretty much identical except for the colour. One was a pale pink and the other was a pure white.

Gabriella chewed her lip as she tried to make her decision. She heard the door open and she looked over to see Sharpay come through. She dropped her bag on her bed and made her way to the bathroom to have a shower. Gabriella looked back at the dresses when she heard Sharpay's soft voice.

"You should wear the one the left, you'll look like you're floating across the ice," Sharpay explained. She turned to head to the bathroom.

"Thanks Shar…and you looked amazing today," Gabriella paused, "You're mom would be proud of you,"

Sharpay placed her hand on the doorframe and looked back at Gabriella, "Thank you."

Gabriella nodded and Sharpay went into the bathroom shutting the door behind her. Gabriella sighed and reached for the chiffon dress to put with her skate bag.

Gabriella coated her lashes in dark black mascara. Her eyes were done up in a dark smoky purple. She placed a bobby pin in her dark locks. Her brunette hair was placed into a chignon near the middle of her head. She checked over her appearance once more in the mirror before she left the dressing room. Walking down the hallway she spotted Troy.

Troy smiled as he saw her walking towards him. "You look amazing," he said as he brought her into a hug. The pair just stood in the hall for what seemed like forever just wrapped in each other's arms.

"You nervous," he whispered in her hair. Gabriella laid her head against his chest. "Terrified, but in a good way…if that makes any sense," she laughed.

Troy nodded, "yeah, it makes sense, at least to me it does," he chuckled. Gabriella pulled away from his arms and he immediately wanted to pull her back close. "I guess we should head down to the madness," she smiled.

The two started to walk towards the ice; Troy grabbed Gabriella's hand and laced it with his fingers. Gabriella glanced down at the action that Troy had done subconsciously. Gabriella went to bite her lip and realized she had lip gloss coated on them.

Entering the arena, the pair could feel the energy rise. The crowd roared and cheered. Various banners and signs were scattered throughout. Skating officials ran around in a frenzy trying to keep everything organized and on schedule. Gabriella stretched up to see if she could see their coach; Troy found her first and tugged on Gabriella's hand to follow him.

"Oh, my goodness, Gabriella. You look amazing, very beautiful," she complimented. Troy let go of Gabriella's hand as Elena grabbed both of hers instead. She lifted Gabriella's arms and took a good look at her.

"Thank you," Gabriella replied graciously. Gabriella glanced over her shoulder and spotted her family sitting with Troy's family in the stands near the front. She pressed her hand over her lips and blew them a kiss.

Elena reached in her bag and pulled out two safety pins. She first pinned one to Troy's collar of his crisp white shirt and then pinned the other to the hem of Gabriella's dress. Troy took Gabriella's hand and the two took the ice with the rest of their practice group.

Gabriella looked all around her as she skated the perimeter of the ice. She was no longer little girl in the big mitts and constant cold hands. She blinked a few times to make sure that this was all real and she wasn't dreaming. After they had run through the basics a few times the two stepped off the ice and began to stretch more in preparation. An official came and told them they were to get ready to take the ice. Gabriella stood up straight and walked over to Troy. He instantly lifted his arms and pulled her into a hug.

Gabriella ran her hands over his back. Gone were the gawky teenage years and were replaced by muscles built up over the years. He had shaved this morning but already there was a shadow cast across his chin. His eyes, however, were something that hadn't changed over time. They still shone a brilliant bright blue.

The two pulled away from one another and began to get ready to skate. Gabriella smoothed the chiffon skirt of her dress, making sure nothing was ripped or tucked into her tights. They were called over and then they stepped out onto the ice. Gabriella took her skate guards and arranged them on the boards. She shook out her leg to get the blood pumping through leg. She ignored the pain that started to course through her shin. She touched her ears and made sure her earrings were still there. Troy took her hand and the two started to take a lap before starting. The announcer read their names and as they skated by the crowd went wild. People started cheering and clapping, noise makers and cowbells rang out and flags waved patriotically in the stands.

They lifted their arms up to greet the crowd and one of Gabriella's arms slowly lowered onto Troy's shoulder. Troy pulled her closer and quickly rested his forehead on hers. Troy looked at her and then let her hand go as they took their place.

The crowd fell silent and the music began to play.

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