What I've Been Looking For

Summary: Just a little one-shot about how Ryan and Sharpay's relationship really relates to the song, and how they've always been there for each other.

Rating: K

Genre: General

It's hard to believe

That I couldn't see

You were always there

Beside me

Sharpay looked up determinedly through the leaves of the tree she was climbing. So those boys thought she was too girly to climb a tree. Well, she'd show them. She could do anything they could!

On the third branch up, Sharpay looked down at the sneering neighborhood boys below and Ryan, who quietly watched her. It suddenly occurred to her eight-year-old self how far up it seemed like she was. Sharpay began to feel dizzy. The world seemed to spin in a brown-bark and green-leaves blur. The next thing she felt was a sharp pain in her knee and tears in her eyes. The boys were laughing.

Ryan rushed over to where she had fallen.

"Sharpay! Are you okay?" Concern was in his eyes as he helped her up. "That must've hurt! I can get you a band-aid…"

"I'm fine," Sharpay snapped, shooting a final glare at the boys and limping off to the house, not seeing the hurt look on Ryan's face.

Thought I was alone

With no one to hold

But you were always

Right beside me

Ryan sat crying on his bed. Rocking back in forth, he shook, and heaved, and sobbed. He didn't notice his twin Sharpay stick her head around the door. She quietly came in and sat beside him.

"Ryan?" He jerked his head up, startled. Quickly wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, he looked away from her, towards the window.

"What do you want?" His tone was harsh.

"Nothing. I just wanted to know what was wrong…it's our birthday! We're nine! Be happy!" Ryan shook his head rapidly, as though shaking away that absurd thought.

"I…I didn't make it," he said lamely.

"Make what?"

"The…the basketball team."

"Oh." Sharpay sat with her arm around her brother, looking at the wall thoughtfully. "Well, basketball isn't everything, you know. There's other things to do. Like…"

"Like what?"

Suddenly it came to her. "Like dancing. And singing. And acting. Hey, Ryan!" She punched him in the arm, ignoring his yelp of pain. "I bet we could do that! Mom and Dad would let us take lessons, I know it! I mean, sure, we've done a lot before, but not seriously, and not with lessons…" She got up and ran out of the room happily, slamming the door behind her. Ryan was left massaging his arm and wondering just what he had done to deserve a sister like this.

This feeling's like no other

I want you to know

Sharpay sat chewing on her pencil. Just who was the first woman in space? Stupid history test! Why was fourth grade so much harder than third?

Psst! Sharpay turned. Ryan was trying to get her attention, holding a note in his hand. He quickly passed it to her, so the teacher wouldn't see. Under her desk, Sharpay opened it and smiled at what she saw.

It was a cartoon drawing of a woman "riding" a rocket into space. The woman's nametag read, "Sally". Ryan knew that Sharpay never could remember Sally Ride.

Sharpay hastily scribbled a note and passed it back. Thanks, it said. For everything.

I've never had someone

That knows me like you do

The way you do

Ryan walked in the door to the kitchen humming.

"Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hey, Sharpay! What's for dinner?" A giant grin was plastered over his face. Sharpay looked at him.

"Something's wrong," she said immediately. "What happened, Ryan?"

"Nothing! Does it look like I'm sad about anything, or lonely, or like my friend's about to move to Virginia and my other friend's not speaking to me…" What had started out as a defensive statement had turned into an outpouring of emotion. Sharpay always seemed to know when something was wrong, even when he was acting like nothing was.

I've never had someone

As good for me as you

No one like you

Sharpay was mad. Anger, red flames, hot daggers…fury and rage danced in her eyes. She stomped across the playground, mumbling words she shouldn't have known at ten. Ryan jogged to catch up to her. She glanced at him.

"Go away, Ryan." Her voice was icy cold.

"Is it Hannah?"

"I said leave me alone!" She paused. "…Yes."

"Ohhhh…" He looked at her through slanted eyes. "What's she done now?"

"Nothing." They reached the fence of the playground. Sharpay stopped, crossed her arms, and pouted.

"Reeeally…" Though Sharpay was trying her hardest to keep her bad attitude, she had to kind of giggle at the way Ryan was dragging every word out.

"Are you suuuuuure?" He asked, hoping to cheer her up with his foolishness. It was too much for Sharpay. She burst out laughing.

"Why can't you ever let me stay mad in peace?" she choked out, then collapsed into his arms, laughing.

So lonely before

I finally found

What I've been looking for

Ryan bit his lip. He looked across the park, seeing groups of friends laughing, playing, talking. He was sitting dejectedly all alone on a swing, not even making an effort to swing his legs back and forth. Even Sharpay was with a friend. Noticing him, she left Nicole and came over.

"Ryan? Why don't you come hang out with us?" He shook his head.

"Nah. I don't want to ruin your fun." His voice was bitter.

"Ryan!" Sharpay stamped her foot in frustration. "Ever since Levi moved and Ian joined the basketball team, you haven't even tried to make new friends. It wouldn't hurt!"

Ryan gulped. "I had no friends. I doubt they ever even liked me. Nobody does. I have no friends, and I never will."

Sharpay put a hand on his leg. "That's not true," she said quietly. "You have me. You always have, still do, and always will." He looked up at her, smiling, gratefully. She smiled softly back and enveloped him in a hug.

So good to be seen

So good to be heard

Don't have to say a word

Sharpay had to work to keep from scowling. Miming really wasn't her thing. Yet here she was, in the sixth grade talent show, on stage pretending to be in a box. Nobody was even watching, they were all talking amongst themselves. Sharpay wanted to yell out. Her eyes filled with tears. She might as well stop; her classmates wouldn't notice.

Just as she was about to emerge from her box she looked into the sea of shining faces and saw one that was looking straight at her. It was Ryan. He was watching and smiling and giving her thumbs-up. She grinned and continued her routine. When she finished with a flourished curtsy, Ryan stood and began to applaud. Encouraged by his ovation, and feeling as though they must have missed something great, the audience slowly began to clap too, until the whole auditorium was filled with booming praise.

For so long I was lost

So good to be found

I'm lovin' havin' you around

"HEELLLPP! Someone help me!" Ryan yelled out into the night, but his voice got carried away from would-be rescuers by the treacherous wind. Ryan had never wanted to go camping in the first place, and now he was lost in the forest.

Ryan heard the cracking of a twig behind him. Whipping around, his heart jumped up in his throat, and he thought he might faint. What he saw made his blood run cold.

A shadow crept across the ground, cast there from the setting sun. It seemed big and huge and—

"Ryan? Oh, thank Goodness!" What he had thought to be a bear—or worse, turned out only to be Sharpay. She stumbled towards him, nearly twisting her ankle on a tree root in her heels, and hugged him. Sharpay had hated camping most of all, yet she was the one who went to look for and found him.

"I'm glad you're here," he murmured.

This feeling's like no other

I want you to know

That I've never had someone

That knows me like you do

The way you do

And I've never had someone

As good for me as you

No one like you

So lonely before

I finally found

What I've been looking for

The door opened to Sharpay's room, letting in a little light from the hallway. She sat up in bed as the door closed and Ryan slipped in.

"What are you doing?" she whispered.

"I couldn't sleep." Sharpay nodded. For some reason she couldn't sleep either. She patted her bed and Ryan sat down. She laid her head on his shoulder.

"Ryan?" she murmured.


"I'm glad you're my brother." He turned his head and looked at her.

"Right back atcha, Sis," he said softly.