Title: On This Merry-Go-Round
Summary: I started from scratch won't attack if he walks my way, hear what he has to say. I didn't think it would've been possible to be with anyone again, until he walked my way.
Pairing: Tryan, Troy/Ryan
Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with HSM except for the plot.
“I made a choice
Try and make myself invisible
Make sure I can fit it
Cause I’m sick of feeling miserable”
I stood in my private bathroom, staring at the fresh bruises on my face. They were an ugly shade of purple that stood out with sickly contrast against my pale skin.
All because of Tyler.
“I saw you looking at that guy at dinner.” Tyler said shortly after we left the restaurant and got into his car. I looked at him like he was crazy.
“What are you talking about? I wasn’t looking at anyone.” I told him, getting scared. He was getting angry and it wasn’t pretty when he was angry. “Just calm down, ok?”
He then grabbed me tightly by my wrist. I could feel his finger tips grinding into my skin. “Yes you did! He smiled at you and you smiled back.”
“Tyler, it was just a smile, it didn’t mean anything I swear! So please let go of my arm!” I yelled and I immediately regretted it. He let go of my arm and slapped me hard in my eye. My hand quickly shot up to nurse the injured eye. Tyler didn’t say anything else until we arrived at my house.
“I’m sorry Ryan. You know that I love you right?” He whispered to me. I nodded and he gave me a kiss goodnight before I went into the house.
We started dating in our sophomore year of high school and now it’s almost the end of our junior year. He didn’t lay a hand on me before 11th grade, something inside him snapped and it just happened. He had noticed that other guys had wanted me too, so when another guy had hit on me, Tyler accused me of flirting back and slapped me, I hadn’t been flirting back, but I guess he was just being protective. He of course apologized the next day for his actions and promised that he would never do it again, but he did do it again, he lied. I would try not to do anything to piss him off, but everything I did made him angry and it resulted in another bruise, black eye or bloody lip. Sharpay has, numerous of times, tried to get me to break up with him and tell someone, but I refuse, afraid as to what he’d do to me.
“Ryan?” A voice said from the other side of the door. It was Sharpay.
“Yeah.” I said back.
“It’s time to leave; we’re going to be late for school.” She said. I looked down at my watch and it read 7:15. Only fifteen minutes to get to school. I didn’t even have time to try and hide my bruises. Sighing in defeat, I opened the bathroom door to face my sister.
“Oh, Ryan.” She gasped. She cringed when she looked at the bruise forming on the side of my eye. “Come here, let me cover it up for you.”
She sat me down on my bed and went through her purse. She pulled out some cover-up and dabbed the white sponge in the tan substance.
“Ryan, why do you let him do this to you?” Sharpay asked.
“Sharpay please don’t worry about it. Just do what you have to do so we can go to school.” I told her. I didn’t mean to sound harsh but she says the same thing over and over again. I do not need to hear it again.
“Whatever.” She sighed, wiping the makeup as gently as possible on my face. It hurt so much that I couldn’t help but to hiss in pain.
“Sorry!” She shrieked, quickly bringing the sponge back a safe distance.
“It’s alright.” I reassured her and she continued. After she was done we left for school. We pulled into the student parking lot; Sharpay turned off the car and looked at me.
“It’s not that noticeable. Just don’t draw attention to yourself and you’ll be ok.” I nodded and got out of the car. We took our separate ways to class, I had Science and she had English.
When I reached the classroom, there were a few people already in class just chatting away, enjoying the remaining five minutes until class started. I made my way over to my desk, which was, thank God, in the back. I was about to put my head down when I felt someone tap me. I looked up to see Troy Bolton standing there, looking down at me with a half smile.
“Hey Ryan, what’s up with you today?” He asked sitting in the chair in front of me.
“Nothing, I’m just tired and I’m ready to go back home.” I said, trying to keep our conversation short. I didn’t need for Tyler to walk in and see us.
“Oh. Well, everyone’s allowed to be like that on Monday’s. It’s like the law or something.” He laughed. I couldn’t help but smile. Troy always seems to make me feel better on days like these. Even though he doesn’t know it. When, I had first come out and everyone was treating me like I had a disease or something, he hung out with me during lunch and offered to be my partner for school projects. He’s a really great guy, but hanging out with him has been a bit scarce since Tyler and I have started dating.
“Hey what’s up with your eye? Did Sharpay get vicious on you or something?” Troy asked and I didn’t know what to say. Sharpay said that it wasn’t noticeable. I must have wiped some of the makeup off without knowing it. Not knowing to say I just played along to what Troy said.
“Yeah, I made a mistake and said that she looked a bit curvy in some jeans and she took it as me calling her fat. You get the picture.” I lied. Troy nodded believing me. I then felt someone staring at me. I turned to the classroom entrance and saw Tyler standing over there with a very angry look on his face but before he could come over to me the bell rung for class to start. I knew that I was in for it later.
During class the girl sitting next to me, passed over a note that was from Tyler. I opened the note and read what it said.
Meet me in the technology hallway during lunch. Do not back out on me.
I looked over to him and nodded.
Lunch came sooner than expected. I couldn’t concentrate in any of my classes and have been threatened with detention for not paying attention. I told Sharpay that I would meet her at lunch in a few so she wouldn’t get suspicious. I walked slowly to my destination. I was in no hurry to see him, but he will probably yell at me for being too late. So I quickened my pace a bit and reached the tech hallway. It was empty which was the perfect opportunity for him to hurt me. Tyler was leaning against the lockers and when he felt my presence he motioned for me to come closer to him.
“Why were you talking to Troy this morning?” He asked.
“It was innocent Tyler. So you have nothing to worry about.” I explained quickly.
“How can I believe you? Everyday, he’s talking to you. Trying to get closer to you and I will not allow it! Do you understand?” He snapped and I fiercely shook my head. He was about to walk away when he grabbed me by the arm and slammed me against the lockers. My back went into the combination knob and I took everything not to cry out in pain.
“Why didn’t you cover that up?” He questioned, pointing to the visible bruise on my face.
“I did, the makeup came off.” I told him, flinching at his voice.
“Bull! You wanted someone to see it, didn’t you? You wanted an easy way out.” He said in a whispered yell before punching me in the stomach.
“Please, stop!” I cried. He put his hand over my mouth to shut me up before punching me again and again.
“What the hell are you doing to him?!” A voice yelled. I looked up to see the horrified face of Troy.
“Go away Bolton! This is between me and Ryan!” Tyler yelled taking his hand off of my mouth.
“No! Just let him go!”
“I said go away!” Tyler yelled again.
“He’s the one who’s been hurting you Ryan. Not Sharpay, he left those bruises on you, didn’t he?” Troy whispered.
My breath got caught in my throat when he asked that question. What’s the point of hiding it any longer? He’s seeing the abuse with his own eyes, so why lie?
“Yes.” I whispered and that caused Tyler to slap me hard across my face. Troy immediately came over to us and pulled Tyler off of me. Troy punched him in his face and Tyler tried to get a hit Troy punched him again and he fell to the floor. I was amazed at the scene before me, to see Tyler so defenseless. I’m always use to seeing him being superior over me and now he’s the one getting beat up.
The fight was broken up when a teacher came and dragged them both to the principal’s office. I was ordered to go to the nurse’s office to get fixed up. She wiped some blood that was on my lip and gave me an icepack for my face. She then looked at me carefully before asking me what happened and I didn’t hesitate in telling her. I cried afterwards. It felt so good to not have to hide it anymore. She then asked me if I wanted to go home and I said yes. I didn’t feel like staying at school. I was in too much pain. I just needed rest and some serious time to think about everything.
After gathering my things to go home, I went to the main office to wait for my mom. When I walked in I saw Troy sitting down on one of the wooden chairs, looking down at his feet. Tyler must have been with the principal and he was waiting his turn. I’m guessing that he felt my presence and looked up from the floor and his face had a look of sadness on it. I could tell it was from my bruises and blood-shot eyes. He on the other hand looked like he wasn’t even in a fight; he only had a tiny little scratch on his cheek, probably when Tyler tried to fight him off. I was about to say something to him but Principal Matsui had ordered him to come into his office. Before following orders he looked back over to me.
“I’ll call you tonight.” He whispered to me. I nodded and he left. Sharpay then burst into the doors looking distressed. She walked up to me and threw her arms around my neck and cried.
“I’m so glad that you’re alright!” She shrieked. I shushed her a bit so we wouldn’t get thrown out of the office for being too noisy.
“I’m going home. Mom will be here shortly.” I told her.
“So you’re not going to tell me what happened?” She asked.
“I will. Just not here. Um…can you wait with me outside? I don’t want to be here when…you know…Tyler comes out.” I whispered and she nodded understanding.
She stood outside with me for a good ten minutes before our mom pulled up into the bus loop. Sharpay didn’t come with us because she had to take the car home. She made me promise her to tell her everything when she arrived home in a few hours and I did. Half of the school will probably know what happened by tomorrow. News travels fast at East High.
When we got into the house, I was about to go upstairs to my room, but my mom turned me around and gave me hug. Not a hug where she squeezed the life out of me, but just a nice motherly hug- one that I haven’t felt in a long time. When she pulled away she had tears in her eyes. She then took a good long look at me, her eyes boring holes into my face, before fully crying. My mom has always been a very emotional person.
“Ryan, baby, why didn’t you tell me?” She asked, making me look at her.
“I couldn’t. I mean, Tyler…he…what he would do…” I muttered not making any sense.
“I’m so sorry…” She whispered before hugging me again.
“Mom, you didn’t know. So there’s nothing to be sorry for.”
“But what if he did something worse to harm you? I couldn’t live with myself if he-” But she couldn’t continue what she was saying because she had broke down on my shoulder.
“Mom, I’m still here. It’s going to be ok.”
“Ryan. Ryan, wake up.” A voice whispered. I groaned, waving whoever the person was away.
“Ryan, it’s me Sharpay. Wake up.” She whispered. I reluctantly lifted myself into a seated position on my bed. I looked over to my alarm clock and it read 8 am.
“Gosh, why didn’t you wake me when you got home?” I asked rubbing my eyes. I’ve never slept that long before.
“You just looked so peaceful when I got home. I didn’t want to disturb you. I knew that you had a hard day.” She said smiling.
“Thanks.” I really did need the sleep. My body was a little sore from yesterday and I had a little headache, but that’s all.
“You know, the principal and the guidance counselor want to talk to you and I think that it might be helpful.”
“Why would it be?” I asked.
“So we can take the appropriate actions. Tyler has been abusing you for months! He needs to be punished in someway!” Sharpay said.
“No Sharpay. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that other people know, it’s just what if he tries to do something worse to hurt me? He knows that people know.” I argued.
“Ryan, I just think that you should think about it. There’s evidence. You don’t have to worry about-” She started but I cut her off.
“I said no and that’s it, ok?”
“Ok.” She whispered sadly. She slowly made her way to the door but turned around once more to see if I would change my mind. When I didn’t make any such movement, she sighed in defeat and left.
Yawning, I climbed back under my covers. I don’t understand, I just slept my longest and I’m still tired. It must be the stress. Turning on my side, I closed my eyes and soon fell back to sleep.
“Mmm.” I lift my head off the pillow to see that it was 5 pm. Gosh, I’m sleeping too much. I sat up and looked at the caller ID as it rings again and a familiar number popped up.
“Hi.” I greeted answering the phone.
“Hey Ryan, it’s me Troy.” Came his timid voice on the other line.
“Yeah, I know.” I replied. There was silence after that. Neither of us not knowing what to say.
“Look, I never really got the chance to thank you for…what you did. It’s just everything was just happening so fast.” I explained.
“Ryan there is no need to thank me. I’m just upset that you couldn’t tell me what was going on. You know that I would have helped you in a heartbeat.” He said to me.
“Troy I’m sorry. I know that you would have been there. It was just so hard and I was scared to death of him. Gosh, I wish that there was some way to pay you back.”
“Ryan…I don’t want you to do anything. Just knowing that you’re no longer near that bastard is thanks enough.” He said.
“Fine, but could you…tell me what happened to Tyler?” I asked softly.
“I knew that you were going to ask, eventually. Meet me in the park in five and then we can talk.” He said.
“Alright.” I agreed and he hung up.
I reached the park about ten minutes later. I didn’t mean to, I just lost track of time. So when I saw Troy sitting on the park bench, I ran over to him.
“I’m so sorry Troy! I was thinking and walking too slowly, I know you said five minutes but-” I tried to apologize but he cut me off.
“Ryan, calm down. It’s alright. I don’t care if you’re late.” He reassured me. “Let’s go sit by that big tree so we’ll have more privacy.” I nodded in agreement, confused. There was no one at the park, so I didn’t see the need for more privacy. But I didn’t argue.
We sat on the grass and relaxed against the huge tree.
“I’m sorry for freaking out back there.” I said breaking the silence.
“Would you stop apologizing?”
“There you go again. Ryan, you don’t have to be sorry for every little thing.” I looked at him shocked. I thought people liked hearing apologies. But maybe I do say ‘I’m sorry” too much.
“You’re right. I don’t have to be sorry for every little thing. I was just afraid that you would be angry with me for being late. I guess because Tyler always made me feel bad for disobeying him or whatever, that I feel the need to say sorry.” I admitted.
“Troy, I would always be so scared if I did anything to piss him off. At first saying sorry was it. He would forgive and move on. But then it started to turn abusive. If I disagreed with something he said, if I was late, or back talked then I would be awarded with his fist against my face. I wanted to leave him when he hurt me, but then he would come and apologize and tell me how much he loved me and promised that he would never do it again. I believed him. I believe that every bruise would be the last and that he was only doing it because he loved me.” I was crying by then. It was hard not to. I just poured my soul out to someone who was truly listening besides Sharpay. Troy quickly wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace, rubbing his hands up and down my back to soothe me.
“Well, you won’t have to worry about him anymore.” He said, his voice cracking a bit.
I slowly pulled away from him. “What?”
“Yesterday, he was expelled from school and I was only suspended for protecting you. But I heard my dad talking to my mom and he said that Tyler is being sent to live with his grandparents in New Jersey and is going to be put in anger management and will be in therapy. His parents thought that being as far away as possible from you would be the best and I think so too. He doesn’t need to be near you so you can be his punching bag.” Troy explained.
I stared blankly, sinking the information, I just received, in. I can’t believe he’s gone. It’s crazy to think, but a little part of me is going to miss him but the rest is glad that he’s not going to be out of my life. He’s done too much damage.
“Look at you, Ryan.” He murmured. “How can anyone hurt someone as beautiful as you?” He ran his hand across my face and gently touched my bruises. I shivered at the sudden contact but didn’t complain. “You didn’t deserve any of it.” He whispered.
“Do they still hurt?” He asked.
“What, the bruises?” I questioned.
“A little, but I’m so used to them by now, that hardly even notice them until I look at myself in the mirror.” I answered, looking at the ground. Troy was so caring and it felt great to be cared about. I know Sharpay cares about me, but this is different.
He lifted up my head so I could look at him and his eyes looked sad, like they did when I saw him in the office the other day. He slowly leaned in and I was too shocked to back away. I then feel his lips, softly brush over my face. I then get all my senses back and move away.
“What was that, Troy?” I ask.
“Ryan please?” He begged.
“Please, what?” I asked confused.
“Please let me show you how much I care about you. I like you Ryan, I really do, more than a friend.” He was now crying and I grabbed his hand to comfort him.
“When did this happen? How can you like me? You’re not gay.”
“Yes, I am. Ryan, that’s part of the reason why I started to hang around you more when you first came out. I felt that I had someone to talk to that was like me, but I never had the courage to come out. I hoped that one day, I could tell you my secret and then maybe we could be together but then you and Tyler started to date and I just gave up. And I know that this is all happening so fast, but I’m just doing this now before I lose the courage.” He cried. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes again.
“Troy, I didn’t know. You could’ve told me if Tyler didn’t always try to keep me away from you. He was always paranoid that you thought of me as more than a friend and he felt threatened. But after all that’s happened with Tyler and the abuse, I’m just afraid…”
“I would never hurt you. I feel so guilty now for not telling you earlier in our friendship about my feelings and then you wouldn’t have hurt for so long.” He pulled me into another embrace and kissed my softly on my cheek.
“Just…please…let…me…love you.” He pleaded between kisses on my face.
“This is all happening too fast.” I whispered.
“I know, but it gives me more time to prove to you how you much you mean to me and show you that someone can love you without hurting you.” His voice vibrated against my ear.
I leaned my head back a little so I could see his eyes again. They were full of nothing but truth. I felt him move closer so his lips were nothing but an inch away from mine.
“Do you promise? I don’t think that I can take another bad relationship. I don’t know what I’ll do if you did something to hurt me.”
“I promise. I swear on my life that I will never hurt you. I will die if I ever hurt you Ryan. I love you.” He answered. He smiled slightly and he kissed me. It only lasted a few seconds and we broke away. He moved his lips to my ear and kept repeating how much he loved me. I didn’t say it back.
But I guess he knew that deep down inside I did.