By Jeune Ecrivain
Summary: (another first-kiss fic) When Mrs. Montez invites Troy over for dinner after the triple-victory, Gabriela finds out something about Troy that he neglected to mention before. Major Troyela!
A/N: The title is a Spanish verb meaning "to kiss."
"Thanks for having me over, Mrs. Montez," said Troy Bolton as he took a seat at the dining room table to which his close friend Gabriela and her mother had led him after a few minutes of casual conversation. "The after-party was great, but sometimes it's nice to celebrate in a less…noisy…way."
Consuela Montez chuckled. "Gabriela's like that too. Even in parties that are s'posed to be more active, she usually ends up sitting by herself with her nose in a book," she remarked, throwing a teasing glance at her daughter. "Even at that New Years Party, I had to pull a book away from her to get her to go to the teen bash they were having."
"Well, I'm awful glad you did," Troy replied, grinning. "I never would've met her if you hadn't, and all the exciting stuff that we've done over the past couple of weeks, especially what we just pulled off today, never would've happened."
"I know," Gabriela said, dishing herself some of her mother's famous grilled chicken. "I still can't believe that you guys won the basketball championship, my team won the scholastic decathlon, and then, to top it all off, we got the lead parts in the school musical!"
"Let's not forget Chad and Taylor hooking up!" Troy reminded her, taking a helping of his own and passing the chicken on to Mrs. Montez with a grateful nod. "I don't think any of us saw that coming."
Gabriela giggled. "Think about it. It took them both not wanting us to get involved in singing for them to form some sort of clique-alliance long enough for them to really notice each other. It's kind of cute…in a twisted sort of way."
Troy chuckled, and Gabriela's mother smiled fondly. "I'm just glad Gabriela's making friends here. She just moved here, after all, and she tends to be a little shy." Her gaze turned specifically on Troy for a moment. "And you, Troy! I don't know what you did, but Gabriela never had the courage to do what she did onstage tonight until she met you!"
Troy blushed slightly. "I really didn't do anything, Mrs. Montez."
The older woman responded with a knowing smile. "Well, at any rate, you've made Gabriela's first few weeks in Alburquerque happy ones. I'm glad she has you as a friend." She took a brief sip of water. "…O tal vez un novio," she added, glancing at her daughter pointedly.
Gabriela's jaw dropped slightly at her mother's words, and she smiled despite herself as she felt a small blush creep into her cheeks. "Mamí," she protested, "¡no es así! Somos sólo amigos."
"¡Oh, por favor, m'hija! -¿A quién tratas de engañar?" scoffed Mrs. Montez. "Vi como lo mirabas cuando Ustedes cantaban juntos. Eso era la mirada del amor."
Gabriela's blush deepened, but she couldn't stop her sheepish smile from spreading as she came to realize her mother was right. She had never really stopped to think about her feelings for Troy. But now that her mother had brought it up, she new she couldn't deny that there was something there that didn't quite fit under the "friendship" heading. In fact, she was suddenly reminded of something that had been in the back of her mind since the end of the championship game. "Creo que casi besamos una vez," she admitted with a somewhat bashful grin, her cheeks reddening even further.
"¡Lo sabía!" her mother declared triumphantly.
"Pero su amigo Chad nos interrumpió," added Gabriela quickly, not wanting her mother to get too excited. "Si sólo hubiera venido un momentito más tarde…" she amended wistfully.
"¡Ay, deberías haberle torcido el cuello!"
Gabriela laughed and instinctively turned to Troy to share in her enjoyment. He grinned back at her, and she suddenly realized that Troy had been left out of the conversation for a few moments. "Oops!" she said. "I'm sorry, Troy. You probably didn't understand a word we were saying. I promise: from this moment on, English only," she said, chuckling nervously.
Troy opened his mouth to respond, but decided to just chuckle back and say, "That's okay. It's kinda cool that you can talk Spanish with your mom. It's fun to listen to."
Gabriela giggled softly, inwardly marveling at how sweet Troy was.
Mrs. Montez: …Or maybe a boyfriend.
Gabriela: Mom, it's not like that! We're just friends.
Mrs. Montez: Oh, please, m'hija! Who're you trying to fool? I saw the way you were looking at him when you were singing together. That was the look of love.
Gabriela: I think we almost kissed one time.
Mrs. Montez: I knew it!
Gabriela: But his friend Chad interrupted us. If only he'd come just a moment later…
Mrs. Montez: Ay, you should've wrung his neck!
Later that night, Troy and Gabriela were reveling in the day's events and sharing their contentedness with each other as they looked out at the twilight sky from her balcony. Troy, however, seemed a little distracted, even slightly dreamy at times. He fiddled with his hands as they rested on the railing. When Gabriela had finally noticed this, she looked at him with curiosity and concern in her eyes. "Something on your mind, Troy?" she asked softly.
A trace if nervousness accented Troy's smile as he decided that now was as good a time as any. "Both my parents work at East High, not just my dad. Did you know that?"
"No," Gabriela said. "That must be interesting."
Troy gave her a crooked grin. "Yeah, well, you know how being the coach's son kind of makes me inclined to do really well at basketball?"
"Yeah…" replied Gabriela, hoping the pressure wasn't worse than she thought and too much for Troy to handle.
"Well, my mom's a lot gentler about it, but she still makes sure I do especially well in the area that she teaches at school. It's actually kind of fun sometimes. Gives us something to bond over. Like with my dad and basketball, although she at least seems to be aware that I have other classes."
She giggled at his last remark. "That's nice, Troy. It's really cool that you have something like that with your mom."
"Yeah," Troy nodded, stepping closer to her.
"So, what does she teach?" asked Gabriela.
He didn't answer, but instead stepped still closer to her and touched her cheek with his hand. Her eyes displayed a mix of curiosity and pleasure. Troy smiled warmly at her and, taking his mind off the slight nervousness he felt, softly brought his lips to hers. She stiffened in surprise for a moment, but she was soon at ease again as she returned the kiss. They proceeded cautiously, testing the proverbial waters, before they broke apart.
"She's a Spanish teacher," Troy almost whispered as he pulled away slowly.
It took a split second for her to process what he'd said. Her eyes widened, and Troy stifled a laugh at her expression. "You mean you…" she trailed off.
Troy smirked at her good-naturedly as he nodded. "You're mom's right," he said. "I don't know about you, but I wanted to wring Chad's neck when he gave me the game ball!"
Her shocked stare quickly turned into a glare. "You could've told me that before!" she said indignantly, emphasizing the point with a playful shove.
"It never came up!" he said defensively.
She closed what little distance there was between them. "You're bad, Troy Bolton!" she said.
"Maybe," he shrugged, grabbing her waist and pulling her even closer. "But apparently, I'm also one heck of a singer."
She looked up at his self-satisfied smile, and she couldn't help but smile back. She could never stay mad at him even in jest. She then grew serious, and she swallowed before asking the question that was on her mind. "So you did want to kiss me at the game?"
He looked at her with sincerity in his eyes. "I did," he said. "I really did. You mean a lot to me, Gabriela. At that moment, I was just really glad to have met you. I still am."
Gabriela blushed profusely. "I'm really glad I met you too," she replied, looking into his eyes and hardly noticing that her arms had instinctively wound up around his neck, just as his were encircled around her slim waist.
Troy leaned in to kiss her again, and Gabriela happily obliged. This time, she parted her lips to deepen the kiss, and Troy followed suit. They parted only a millimeter before immediately initiating another kiss. As it grew more passionate, their last coherent thoughts were of the now-ironic circumstances of their first meeting. They didn't know it then, but it truly was the start of something new.