Disclaimer: I don't own HSM or any related characters.
A/N: What can I say? I was in the mood to write a Troyella one-shot. Hope you like it!
When Gabriella Elizabeth Montez was seven years old, she alphabetized, categorized, and cross-referenced her book collection for the first time.
When she was ten years old, she began arranging her sock drawer, and later her entire wardrobe, according to type, color and frequency of use.
By age twelve, her mother knew not to let any of the food groups touch on the plate when she was serving her daughter's dinner.
While others may have found all this absurd, a little over the top even, to Gabriella…it simply made sense.
It made sense to keep Douglas Adams next door to Jane Austen on her bookshelf as opposed to say…E.B White.
It seemed perfectly logical to have her white socks next to her light pink socks and to work her way along the drawer from there, in accordance to color, length and thread count.
And to Gabriella, there was nothing weird at all about not wanting her peas socializing with her chicken at the dinner table.
Structure. Her entire life revolved around that word.
But now, aged 16 and three quarters, Gabriella, who had just re-read Pride and Prejudice for the fourteenth time, whilst wearing midnight blue ankle socks and had just finished a meal of baked potatoes and salmon that didn't cross paths once over the course of the evening…had a dilemma.
And she didn't like it one bit.
Even if the reason for the dilemma was a fantastic kisser.
Gabriella stared at the piece of paper in front of her and sighed deeply.
She should have known that today couldn't end well. They had run out of milk that morning and she was forced to have yoghurt for breakfast instead of Cheerios.
From the outside looking in, this may have seemed like an extremely trivial thing, not a big deal at all, but Gabriella had been having a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast every Tuesday morning for as long as she could remember.
Things had gone downhill from there.
She had received an A- on what she had truly believed was an A+ paper.
She had accidentally, left her cake in the oven for too long in Home Economics and by the time she got to it, it no longer resembled anything remotely close to cake…It was more like a charred black…frisbee.
And to top it all off, the piece of paper in front of her was telling her what she had known deep down all along…
She had to break up with him.
She took a deep breath and scanned the page again, checking for the fourth time that she hadn't made a mistake.
Practically all of the most crucial decisions in her life had come down to a Pro/Con list.
Like deciding her first pet.
Intensive internet research showed that cat owners were 23 more likely to get struck by lighting.
Further research proved that 1 in 10 goldfish owners develop a rash on their hands from the fish food.
The system worked. She ended up getting a puppy.
She frowned, a feeling of dread welling in the back of her mind.
The Pro/Con list had never steered her wrong before. It was a tried and trusted method. Surely he'd see that if she explained it the way she had practiced to herself in the mirror 33 times.
She frowned, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear, glancing at the clock on her wall. 6:24. He'd be here soon.
She turned to her mirror again, taking a deep breath.
"Troy, I…this isn't easy…"
"What's not easy? Have you got Algebra homework? Man…I hate Algebra"
Gabriella jumped and almost fell out of her chair. Her head whipped around to find Troy, leaning on the doorframe of her room, with a grin plastered on his face.
Gabriella took a deep breath, her heart racing from the shock.
"Troy! Don't do that!"
"What? Show up on time and find you talking to yourself?" He said with a chuckle, walking toward her.
Gabriella rolled her eyes and blushed. "For your information I was NOT…"
Troy laughed and silenced her with a kiss, wrapping his arms around her waist.
He knew this was her weakness, and without so much as a hint of protest, she closed her eyes, succumbing to his kiss, making a mental note to add the fact that he could make her weak at the knees with something as simple as a kiss, to the Pro side of the list.
Oh no, the list.
Gabriella abruptly pulled away, stepping backwards a little, folding her arms across her chest, causing Troy to raise an eyebrow, confusion written across his face.
Gabriella bit her lip, and sighed deeply. "Troy…this isn't easy…but umm…"
She paused, motioning for him to sit down on the edge of her bed, which he did with a frown, not taking his eyes off hers.
"Ok, here's the thing Troy, I had YOGHURT for breakfast this morning"
Troy raised his eyebrows, letting out a confused laugh, wondering where on earth she was going with this. "Uhh…ok"
Gabriella ignored him and continued. "It's Tuesday, Tuesday, is CHEERIOS day, and it has been since before I can remember"
Troy shuffled, his feet, staring at her blankly. "So you missed out on Cheerios, it's not the end of the world right?"
Gabriella sighed deeply, looking away, unable to meet his eyes anymore. "Troy, it's not just the Cheerios, it's…I've built my life on structure…I like…I like things to fit…and be…organized…and for everything to make sense"
Troy frowned, waiting for her to continue.
"But lately…something's been out of whack, and it's throwing EVERYTHING into disarray…and..."
"Is it school?" Troy cut in, standing up, a concerned look on his face. "Are you worried about finals?"
Gabriella shook her head her lower lip quivering, saying softly. "No…it's not school"
Troy took another step towards her, placing a comforting hand on her arm. "Then what Gabriella? C'mon, talk to me"
Gabriella stared at the carpet beneath her feet for a second before looking up and finally meeting his piercing blue gaze.
"WE don't make sense Troy"
"What?!" Troy exclaimed, taking a step back, pulling a face.
"I…Troy…you KNOW I'm right…we have next to NOTHING in common…I read Sylvia Plath…and you read Mad magazine...I'm…a neat freak and…"
Troy's brow furrowed. "What are you saying?"
With trembling hands, Gabriella turned and picked the piece of paper up from her desk.
"I…uhhh…I made a list"
Troy, was silent, looking down at his feet, unable to contemplate what was happening.
"I…when I have to make a major decision in my life…I like to weight my options…I list the pro's…and the cons…and…then I analyze it to work out the most rational outcome"
Troy groaned quietly, exasperated. "Gabriella…" he began.
"No..Troy…I was very thorough, I examined our relationship from every aspect, from the day we met to now, I didn't miss a thing. I even listened to different genres of music every time I re-analyzed the list, to make sure I wasn't being influenced by the mood of the song…and then I did it again in complete silence, just for good measure"
"And the outcome?" Troy asked quietly, gazing at the piece of paper in her hand, not wanting to admit to himself that he already knew the answer.
Gabriella, shuffled uncomfortably, biting her lip.
"We…I'm sorry Troy…but…we just don't make sense as a couple"
Troy shook his head in disbelief. "And so the last two months were just…a glitch in your otherwise perfect universe?"
"No!" Gabriella exclaimed, shooting him a pleading look. "I…Troy hear me out…please"
Troy sighed, sitting back down on her bed, running his fingers through his hair, visibly upset.
Gabriella tentatively walked over and sat beside him, biting her lip. She looked down at the list and began reading, her voice trembling slightly.
"Con, we come from two entirely different worlds that were never meant to mix, if it wasn't for the musical, you never would have noticed me"
"Pro" Troy cut in. "You don't know that, I fell for you, not for the world you came from, or who your friends, and what your interests are"
"Con" Gabriella argued. "Basketball is your life and I know nothing about it, I couldn't tell you the difference between a player and the ball"
Troy couldn't hold in a chuckle and she shot him a glare. He rolled his eyes. "Pro, basketball is a PART of my life, yes, but so are you…and err…the player is the one with arms…and err…legs"
Gabriella frowned. "Con…we have NO common interests"
Troy shook his head. "Pro, not true…we both like…ice cream…. And…vacation…and…" he paused and added softly, reaching slowly for her hand, entwining her fingers with his. "Each other"
Gabriella looked down at their entwined hands and couldn't help but smile softly, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.
"Con…Troy, I am obsessively neat, and strange, and neurotic…and you're so easy going and…"
"Pro" He interjected, "You've got your quirks…and I'll never understand the sock drawer thing…but they're what make you Gabriella" he lifted up their entwined hands and kissed the back of hers lightly.
Gabriella hesitated for a minute, flustered, but then looked down at the list, determined. "Con...The whole school is still in an uproar about this relationship…people talk…"
Troy shook his head, giving her hand a squeeze. "Pro, there are only two people who matter when it comes to this relationship, and let me give you a clue, it's not Sharpay and Ryan"
Gabriella's lip trembled, on the brink of tears. "Con, you…you've had tons of girlfriends…I have absolutely NO experience with guys and…"
Troy, groaned, letting go of her hand and brought his hand up to her face, stroking her soft cheek gently with his thumb.
"Pro…that's not important, the only thing that's important is that you're comfortable with where the relationship is going…if you ever feel uncomfortable…or that we're taking a step too fast…all you need to do is talk to me"
Gabriella turned her face roughly, standing up, a tear rolling down her cheek, turning away, dropping the list on the bed and folding her arms, unable to handle just how well…perfectly he was handling the situation, how perfectly he was handling her insecurity.
Troy stood up, pausing for a second before asking quietly. "Gabriella…what's this really about?"
Gabriella bit her lip, letting another tear roll down her cheek before turning back to face him, her brown eyes piercing his blue.
"I…Troy…you're the basketball captain…and I'm…I'm the anal-retentive, neurotic freak that has a panic attack if her Mozart CD goes anywhere near her Bach…I just….I…and as much as I try to let myself believe that you FIT into my life…one question is always nagging me in the back of my mind"
She took a deep breath, her eyes never leaving his, whispering barely audibly. "I don't understand why you like me"
Troy's eyes widened and he couldn't help but smile softly.
"Gabri…Gabriella, I…" He paused, not knowing where to start. He took a deep breath, reaching out and taking her hand in his again.
"I like you because you brush each side of your hair exactly 20 times each morning…I like you because you freak out of your sweaters touch your skirts…I like you because you don't compromise who you are for anyone"
Gabriella's lip quivered, her eyes brimming with tears, and Troy reached out with his other hand and took her spare hand, giving both of them a squeeze.
"I like you because I like the person I become when I'm with you, because you bring out a better side of me…I like you because of your stupid lists and paranoia and…I think you're beautiful"
Gabriella squeezed his hands in return, allowing a small smile to spread across her lips.
"Troy I…I'm so sorry…I just…the list…and I was so confused…I've always trusted the list"
Troy smiled softly, letting go of her hands, and reaching up and wiping the last of her tears gently from her cheeks before grabbing the list from the bed and ripping it in half.
"Pro" he said with a laugh at her scandalized look. "Now there IS no list"
"Con!" she exclaimed, a smile twitching at the corners of her mouth. "You destroyed my list!"
"Pro, you're cute when you're mad" Troy grinned, looking her up and down. "Maybe I should go mess up your book collection too"
Gabriella mock glared at him for a moment, before biting her lip and whispering softly. "Con…kiss me"
Troy was happy to oblige, his lips crashing into hers, claiming her mouth, pouring the afternoons frustration, and feelings into the kiss, desperate to show her how much he needed her.
Gabriella smiled against his lips for a split second, before returning the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck, closing the gap between their bodies.
"Gabriella, is Troy staying for dinner?" The couple broke apart at the sound of her mothers' voice floating up from downstairs.
Gabriella leaned in and gave him a quick kiss. "Con, we're having spinach, you HATE spinach"
Troy laughed and kissed her forehead affectionately. "Pro…Gabriella, for the chance to spend an extra hour with you…I LOVE spinach"
A/n: I love feedback, pretty please review!