Haha! New oneshot! Just a short little thing that I thought about in school. I'm not too fond of the ending, though.

Oh, and the High School Musical FanFiction Awards (Take Two) dates have been changed. Check my profile (under all of the update info stuff) for information. And thanks to everyone who nominated "Because I Loved Him."I really appreciate it! The nomination period has been shortened, so make sure to nominate your favorite stories!


Title: A Bolton Christmas

Summary: It's Christmas time at the Bolton household, and it's filled with cookies, caroling, and presents.

"Mommy, why does Santa like to eat cookies and milk when he stops by our house?"

Gabriella smiled at her little girl as she placed warm chocolate-chip cookies onto a plate. "Well, sweetie, Santa has to visit every house in the world in one night. It takes a lot of work to do that. So he gets hungry, and then he eats the cookies that we leave out for him." She handed the plate to her daughter. "Don't drop that now, Juliana."

Juliana grinned, her little baby teeth showing. "I won't!"

"But what do his reindeers eat? And what about Rudolph?"

Turning to her other daughter, Gabriella said, "Well, you can leave some carrots on the plate if you want, Lily."

"Yay!" she cheered. Gabriella watched with amusement as her two five year old twin daughters fussed over the plate, making sure that there were an equal amount of cookies and carrots.

"Okay, Mommy, we're ready!" they said simultaneously.

Grabbing the glass of milk from the table, she guided the little girls to the living room where they carefully placed the small meal in the center of the table. A fire was roaring in the fireplace, casting a shadow over the room, while a lit Christmas tree twinkled in the corner.

Gabriella looked at Juliana and Lily. "Do you girls have your lists?"

They produced sheets of paper with words scrawled all over it in their handwriting. The girls laid the papers next to the plate and glass, making sure that the writing was visible. Gabriella settled herself on the couch, oofing when they plopped down next to her. Juliana sat on her right, and Lily sat on the other side of her sister. "Leave some room for Daddy," she said to them.

"No need, I'm already here," a voice said from behind them.

Lily and Juliana looked up. "Daddy!" they squealed.

"Hey, my little angels. Did you help Mommy with the cookies?" The girls nodded. "Good." He leaned down and kissed them on their foreheads, then turned to Gabriella. "Hey there, darling." He captured her lips for a few seconds, and Gabriella smiled as her daughters turned away, making gagging noises.

"Did you get everything, Troy?" she whispered.

"Yep." He walked around the couch and sat next to Lily. The girls were already starting to fall asleep. Over their heads, Troy and Gabriella held each other's gazes. Troy rested his arm on the top of the couch, and Gabriella's hand reached out to intertwine with his.

"Daddy," a sleepy Juliana said.

"Yes?" Troy turned his attention over to his daughter.

"Could you and Mommy sing something? Please?" Her blue eyes begged him to sing. Out of the corner of his eye, Troy saw a smile come to Gabriella's lips. Without hesitation, his mouth opened, and his warm baritone floated around the room.

Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright.

All of a sudden, Gabriella's soft voice joined him. As she sang, she looked down lovingly at Lily and Juliana, whose eyelids were beginning to droop.

Round yon Virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild.

Troy and Gabriella stared at each other as their voices blended. She continued to sing the melody, while his voice dropped a few notes in order to accompany her.

Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Juliana and Lily were gently rocking to the soft, melodic song. Their eyelids drooped even further, and it was amusing to see them struggle to stay awake. Gabriella and Troy continued to sing, their arms wrapping around the little girls. Troy gestured for Gabriella to start the next verse.

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight

Troy joined in, his eyes twinkling as he did so. Gabriella's breath hitched slightly, and she blushed. Noticing this, Troy grinned, falling even more in love with her.

Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing "Alleluia!"

Once again, their voices combined, but this time, Troy kept the melody, and Gabriella's voice sang higher and higher.

Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

The girls were soundly asleep by now. But their parents continued to sing, loving the sound of each other's voice. It brought back memories of the first time they had sang together, their audition for the school play, and their callback. Both Gabriella and Troy were especially glad that they had stayed together, as their history went all the way back to their high school days.

They both sang the next verse, with no harmony, no accompaniment. Just the sound of Gabriella's pure, sweet soprano with Troy's warm, comforting baritone. Their voices mixed and intertwined, singing softly so that Juliana and Lily wouldn't wake up.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

At the last note, Gabriella's voice rose, and she hit the highest note in her life. Troy stared at her with love and pride in his ocean blue eyes. He stroked her hand gently, chuckling as she shivered.

They sat there for a few minutes, in front of the crackling fire and the winking Christmas tree. Gabriella snuggled against Juliana's tiny shoulder as her eyes began to close as well. Through half-shut eyelids, Gabriella faintly saw Troy stand up and stretch, taking care not to awaken the girls. He grabbed a blanket from the other couch and draped it over his wife and his daughters.

Bending down, he pressed his lips to Gabriella's forehead. "I love you," he whispered, before walking off into the house.

Gabriella smiled, still feeling the warmth of his lips on her skin. And with that, she fell into a deep sleep.


"Eeeeekkkkk!" Gabriella jumped, awakened by two high-pitched squeals. Lily and Juliana were already awake, with enough energy to send them bouncing around the living room like two rubber balls. She sat up, massaging the twinge in her neck that comes with spending a night on a couch.

"Mommy! Santa came! And he ate all the cookies and the carrots and he drank the milk too!" Lily exclaimed.

"Yeah! And he wrotes us some letters!" Juliana held up two papers in her hands. Gabriella chuckled at Juliana's remark.

Looking to her right, Gabriella saw Troy sleeping next to her, snoring gently. Looking closely, she thought she saw a smudge of chocolate on his cheek, and a dried milk mustache on his upper lip. She reached out and poked him in the side, grinning as he shot up like a cannonball.

"Whatever it is, Chad made me do it!" he said loudly. Then he opened his eyes and saw Gabriella covering her mouth with her hand, trying to stifle her laughter.

Lily's small brow furrowed. "Daddy, what did Uncle Chad make you do?"

Flushing, Troy stuttered, "Uh..n-nothing." He saw Gabriella's eyebrow go up, and Lily and Juliana's went up as well. It was a trick they had picked up from their mother.

Turning back to Gabriella, he stared at her with narrowed eyes. "Did you just poke me, Mrs. Bolton?"

She giggled at the sound of her name. "I believe I just did, Mr. Bolton."

Troy fingered his chin, pretending to stroke an invisible goatee. "Well, Mrs. Bolton, there is only one thing that I can do about this poking business."

"Pray tell, Mr. Bolton," she said, playing his game.

"This!" he lunged at her, his fingers immediately finding her stomach. He started tickling her mercilessly, laughing as she squealed and squeaked.

"Troy! Heheā€¦stop!" Gabriella laughed.

"Ooohh!! Look what I got!" Juliana's shriek of excitement ended their flirting. They turned their attention to the elder twin, who was beaming as she lifted a doll out of the Santa bag. "Mommy! Daddy! Santa got me a dollie!"

"Me too!" Lily held up a similar doll to Juliana's. "But mine has brown eyes, like me!"

"And mine has blue eyes!" The twins looked so alike that at first, most people thought they were identical. But Juliana had blue eyes and curly hair, while Lily had brown eyes and straight locks. They both had a little of each parent in them.

Troy and Gabriella watched their girls rummage through the rest of Santa's presents. When both bags were empty, Troy stood up, clapped his hands, and said, "Alright! Time for the presents under the tree!" He bent down and grabbed three presents from under the evergreen tree. "This one's for Lily." Troy held out a small green box, which Lily eagerly accepted. "This is for Juliana." With wide eyes, she took the small blue box. "And this," he paused for dramatic effect, "is for you, Gabriella."

Lily opened her box first, squealing when she held up a pair of emerald earrings. "Thank you, Daddy!" Troy beamed.

Juliana opened her box as well. Her face broke into a large grin as she pulled out a pair of sapphire earrings. "They're beautiful," she breathed. Troy's smile grew even wider as he turned to Gabriella. He sat down right next to her on the couch again.

She held the tiny package in her lap and began to pull at the simple bow. With one gentle tug, the knot was undone, and she slowly lifted the top. Her breath caught when the object it held came into view.

Inside was a solid gold bracelet.

"Oh my gosh, Troy," she whispered. Juliana and Lily watched silently, knowing that this was not a time to butt in and ask questions.

Gabriella gingerly lifted the bracelet out of its protective wrapping. As she turned it over, it flashed in the light, illuminating the engraved words, "We're separate hearts, beating as one." Something on the inside of the bracelet grabbed her attention, and she brought it closer to her eyes, gasping when she saw the simple message engraved there: Troy and Gabriella.

She looked up into his sparkling eyes, her own gleaming with tears. "Troy, thank you," she said, a tear falling down her cheek.

Juliana leaned to the side and whispered to her sister, "I've never seen Mommy cry before."

Lily glared at her, hissing, "Shh!"

Troy moved closer to Gabriella and their lips met, her tears mixing with the kiss. Her arm snaked up and around his neck, while his hand cupped her cheek gently, pulling her closer.

They pulled away, flushed and breathing hard. The twins watched them tentatively, not knowing what to do. But Troy and Gabriella turned to them with big smiles on their faces, their arms held out wide. With exclamations of joy, Lily jumped into Troy's arms, while Juliana leaped onto Gabriella's lap.

Troy reached over to give Gabriella one last kiss, which she eagerly returned. Then, they looked down at the twins and smiled.

"Merry Christmas, everybody."

And happy holidays to everyone out there!