AN: Hello! My computer broke down so I had to rewrite the whole chapter! Augh. Sorry for the delay. Enjoy!

Oh, and I just wanted to say that I dont know anything about the whole custody thing and how its done, so everything's made up!

Warning: This chapter is very T/slight M rated.


Chapter 22:

It was a little after 7pm when Troy, Gabriella, and Alex finished dinner. The empty boxes were cleared, dirty dishes were washed and wiped and placed back in the cupboard, and now Gabriella was trying, but failing, to change Alex into his pajamas while Troy watched TV downstairs.

"Alex get back here!"

"Nooo! I don wanna go s'eep!" He ran out the room in his shirt and diapers and trotted down the stairs as fast as he could. Gabriella of course was much quicker and grabbed him before he could reach the second step.

"Okay, you dont have to go to sleep. Just change into your pajamas!"

"NO!" Alex kicked and squirmed in his mother's arms, tears threatening to fall. Heading back to her room, Gabriella placed him on his bed and tried to get his foot in but failing as he continued screaming and kicking.

"Alex stop that! Dont you want to wear your new Ninja Turtles pajamas?" Sniffling, Alex shook his head.

"No. I don wanna ware my pa-jamas," he mumbled and folded his arms.

"Okay then. How about you pick what you want to wear to bed?" Suggested Gabriella calmly. Pursing his lips, Alex thought for a minute before nodding.

"O-kay." He jumped off the bed and walked to the open drawer, looking over his clothes. He picked a neon green pajamas with a picture of an alien and a spaceship, a gift from Chad for his birthday, and pulled it out of the dresser.

"Dis!"

Giggling, Gabriella kissed his forehead and took the pajamas from him. "Okay."

10 minutes later, Gabriella and Alex returned downstairs to join Troy in the living room. Troy widened his eyes and gasped dramatically.

"An alien! Gabriella there's an alien in your living room! Aah!" Gabriella laughed and squealed as Troy pulled her onto his lap, pretending to protect her.

Giggling, Alex climbed over the sofa and jumped on them, squealing in laughter. "It's me Twoy!

"He knows my name too! Oh no! The alien got us!" Yelled Troy, one arm tightly wrapped a giggling Gabriella while the other lightly lay on Alex's back to prevent him from falling.

"Noo! It me Twoy! Alex!" Giggling, Alex threw his arms tightly around Troy's neck.

"Oh look Troy! It's Alex! Phew," Gabriella dramatically wipped her forehead.

"It is? It is!" Smiling brightly, Troy wrapped his arm tightly around Alex who jumped on his left thigh, while Gabriella sat on his right knee, grinning widely, feeling her heart melt at the sight of her boyfriend interacting with her son, making her fall more in love with him.

Gabriella froze. In love? Isnt it a little too soon? Can I truly be falling in love with Troy? But right then, as she saw Alex lean his head on Troy's shoulder while he gently rubbed his back, Gabriella suddenly realized that she is falling for Troy, and she's falling hard.

"Ella? You okay babe?"

Before Gabriella could reply, the doorbell rang. Looking curiously at Troy, who shrugged in return, Gabriella stood up and headed to the door wondering who would come by at this time. As soon as her guest appeared, Gabriella gasped.

"Hello Gabriella. We meet again."

Horrified, Gabriella quickly tried to shut the door but a black leather shoe stopped her from doing so. "Running away wont do you any good Gabi."

"Its Gabriella," she hissed, "and what the hell are you doing here?!"

"Gabi? Who's at the door?" Troy's concered voice filled the house. Upon hearing her angry tone, Troy placed Alex on the couch, who continued watching TV oblivious of what's going on around him, and walked behind Gabriella.

"Ah, Bolton. Thought you'd be here. Pleasure to see you again," smirked Robert.

Troy's eyes darkened, and he placed a protective hand on Gabriella's back. "Afraid the feeling's not mutual. What do you want?"

"Goodness Gabriella. I recall you having better manners than this. Aren't you going to invite me in?"

"Nope." Came Gabriella's deadpan reply. "Now, what the hell do you want?!"

Robert's smirk fell from his face. "My son."

Gabriella burst out laughing. "That's a good one Robert. Not happening. Now is there anything else you wanted cause you're wasting my time."

Robert had a mock-apologetic look on his face. "Oh I'm sorry. Have I interrupted some family time? Oh wait. There is no -"

"Cut the crap Cooke and get to your point," growled Troy. "Otherwise get the hell out of here."

Feeling his tense hand on her back, Gabriella reached behind her and rubbed his arm, trying to calm him down.

Ignoring the affectionte gesture, Robert took out his folder and raised it in the air. "This is my point." He handed it to Gabriella, who looked at him suspiciously. She was about to flip it open when a tiny voice called behind her.

"Mommy?" Robert's eyes shot down to the dark-chocolate ones and grinned brightly.

"My my my, what a beautiful child he is. Just like his father." He was about to reach down to him but Gabriella quickly pulled Alex behind her.

"Get away from him! Dont you even think about laying a finger on him," she hissed angrily. Alex looked confused between his angry mother, who was being soothed by Troy, and the stranger at the door.

"Mommy who's that man?" Alex asked.

"Honey why dont you go upstairs and play in your room? He's just a very old friend of Mommy's," Gabriella smiled sweetly at her son. Alex glanced at the stranger one more time before following his mother's orders.

"You cant keep him away from me Gabriella. Not for long anyway," he grinned after Alex left.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she spat. Robert gestured towards the folder. While Gabriella opened the folder, Robert made a move to walk in but was stopped by Troy.

"Where do you think you're going?"

Robert laughed. "Bolton, I dont think you have the right to say who or who doesnt walk into this household."

Troy took a step closer. "I swear to God if it wasnt for the fact that a child is present at this house I wouldve beat the shit out of you," he hissed angrily.

Robert was about to reply but was cut of by Gabriella's gasp.

"You bastard!" She cried. Troy's head whipped around to her, surprised. "Is this some kind of a joke?! Seriously Robert, custody?! You have no right whatsoever to demand custody!"

Troy's jaw dropped and was instantly by Gabriella's side, his arm wrapped around her shoulder gently rubbing her arm as he scanned the sheet in her hands.

"I have every right Gabriella. I'm his father!"

"Excuse me?! His father? His father?! Well then tell me dear father, where have you been for the past two years? Where have you fucking been when your son was brought into this world?!" Gabriella was now close to tears. "This is bullshit Robert and you know it! You may be his biological parent, but you are not his father and would never be! So dont you dare, dont you fucking dare come to my house and demand custody of the child you never even bothered to ask about!" Gabriella breathed heavily and Troy was doing everything he could to calm her down, although deep-down he was everything but calm. All he wanted to was was unleash the roaring monster inside of him and beat the man infront of him to pulp.

Robert however seemed unfazed by her speech. "Gabriella you can't keep holding on to the past. What's done is done, and I'm here now asking for my child," he replied calmly.

Gabriella stared at him like he had two heads. "I'm sorry Robert but you are two years late! And you can forget about this whole thing cuz it's not happening!" She threw the folder at him to which he instinctively caught.

Robert placed the folder on the small table by the front door. "Gabriella you can say whatever you want but to the court I'm still his father and I have every right to ask for my child."

Gabriella clenched her fist, her face red from anger. She could feel her heart beating wildly and her body shaking, wanting nothing more than to slap his face off. Just as she was about to kick him out, a voice called from behind.

"Mommy?"

The three adults turned their attention to the young child at the bottom of the staircase, his favourite dinosaure tightly clutched in his hands. Gabriella felt her anger wash away as she gazed at her young son.

"Alex what are you doing here? I told you to stay upstairs," she hurried over to him. Robert made a move to follow her but Troy grabbed his arm and sent him a dark look. Robert rolled his eyes but held back.

"Mommy why are you scweeming? Are you cwying?" He reached his hand out and brushed Gabriella angry tears.

Gabriella quickly wiped her eyes and kissed his forehead. "No sweetie, I'm fine. I'm sorry if I woke you up. Why dont you try to go back to sleep? I'll be upstairs soon."

"Or you could stay and meet daddy," Robert suddenly called, his grin stretching from ear to ear. Gabriella shot him a dark look while Troy akwardly stood in between, feeling hopeless knowing that he had no right to step in. After all, Robert is technically Alex's father.

"Daddy?" Alex's face scrunched in confusion. Robert stepped into the house, this time Troy let him, and knelt infront of Alex.

"Stay away from him!" Gabriella hissed and pulled Alex back towards her.

Robert ignored her and smiled at Alex. "Hey there kiddo. I am your daddy."

"No." Alex muttered.

Robert frowned. "Whats that son? I cant hear you. Anyways, why dont you give daddy a big hug?" Robert opened his arm with a wide grin.

"NO!" Alex let go of his mother and ran towards Troy, wrapping his arms tightly around his leg. "Twoy is my daddy!"

Ever since Gabriella and Alex moved in with Maria, it has never been as silent as it is now. The three adults stared wide-eyed at Alex. Gabriella had pure fear across her face; fear of losing her son, fear of losing Troy, and fear of Troy rejecting them after this. Robert looked utterly disgusted. Troy, however, looked as though someone just slapped him. He stared emotionless at the toddler around his leg. Alex didnt understand why everyone was suddenly so silent and tightened his hold on Troy, his lips quivering as he glanced up at him.

"Daddy?"

"I...I-what?!" Troy stuttered. Gabriella had her hand over her mouth, preventing a sob from escaping. "Troy I-I'm sorry, I..Oh God!"

Robert sighed deeply. "Well it looks like we've got a little mix-up. No worries, it can all be fixed."

Narrowing her eyes at him, Gabriella spoke lowly, "get out. Get out of my house or I'll call the cops!"

"All right, all right. I'm leaving. But dont think it's over Gabriella. It's far from over." He stood and headed towards the door, stopping only to glance back at Troy who still stood emotionless before silently leaving the house, slamming the door shut on his way out.

Silence washed over them. Gabriella couldnt remember a time when it was this awkward between them. Biting her lips nervously, she took a step towards him.

"Troy?" She called softly.

Troy glanced up at her, a blank look on his face. Alex looked back and forth between his mother and Troy, confused.

"He called me daddy," stated Troy bluntly.

Gabriella could feel tears gathering in her eyes. "Troy I'm so so sorry. I know how weird and awkward this might be to you and would completely understand if you-"

"He called me daddy," repeated Troy softly, his lips twitching upward as he gazed at Alex then back at Gabriella.

Rolling her eyes, Gabriella started to get annoyed. "Yes Troy, we already covered that. But, like I said, I would totally understand if-"

Once again, Gabriella was interrupted as Troy suddenly swooped down and gathered Alex in his arms, beaming. Alex squealed with laughter and wrapped his arms tightly around Troy's neck.

"He called me daddy Gabi! Oh God this is so-" Troy stopped and his smile dropped as he saw Gabriella's tears, a sob escaping from her. He then realized the situation they're in. His girlfriend's son just called him daddy, infront of his own father. Shit! What if Gabriella doesn't want that? What if I just put her in an awkward position? Shit shit shit!

Slowly, he lowered Alex onto the floor whose smile dropped as he too noticed Gabriella's tears.

"Mommy? Why are yew cwying?"

"Gabi? Baby I'm sorry. I didn't mean to put you in an awkward situation. We can totally forget about this if you want. It fine, really!" He lied.

A choked giggle escaped from Gabriella as she attempted to wipe her tears. "Are you kidding me Troy? You're the best father Alex could ever have. He's been calling you that for a while but I tried covering it up cuz I thought you'd feel awkward or upset and I just couldn't bear the thought of losing you and- oh God! You don't know how happy you just made me," she sniffled and grabbed a tissue to wipe her eyes. Troy felt his heart burst with love towards the woman standing in front of him and was instantly by her side, pulling her tightly into his warm embrace.

"Thank you," Gabriella whispered as she clung to him.

"No thank you," he murmured into her hair, pressing soft kisses above her ear. He pulled back slightly and cupped her face, wiping the remaining tears with his thumb. "Gabriella, you and Alex mean the world to me. And I'm flattered and honored that Alex considers me his father. When we started dating, I prayed to high heavens that Alex would accept me because I knew how much he means to you and I couldn't handle the thought of losing you."

"Oh Troy," murmured Gabriella and pulled him to her.

"God Ella, I-" Troy stopped mid sentence. I love you. No. It's too soon. Ever since the whole Robert issue started, Troy has realized that his feelings towards Gabriella ran deeper than he realized. He admired her, cared so much about her, and was truly and deeply in love with her. He was just waiting for the right moment to tell her.

"You what Troy?" Asked Gabriella, brushing his hair out of his eyes. Before Troy could answer, he felt a small tug at his pants.

"We wanna hug too!" Called Alex, referring to him and his pet dinosaur. Giggling, Gabriella wiped her remaining tears and scooped up her son. And right there, wrapped in her boyfriend's warm embrace with her son safely tucked in her arms, Gabriella knew that whatever they're about to face, together they can get through it all.


"Mm...Mark, baby, s-stop. Robert might come any second," moaned Andrea as she glanced out from the backseat window. Mark groaned and took his hand from under her top and pulled his lips away from her neck.

"Fuck, we're not having any alone time with his stupid shit." He growled as he fixed his pants to his excitement.

"Dont worry baby. We'll continue this at my place," purred Andrea as she stroked his ear.

Mark licked his lips. "But what if he finds out?"

Stilling her hand, Andrea snaked her arms around his neck and pulled his face closer to her. "He wont," she whispered before crashing her lips against his.

Mark closed his eyes and moaned as he let his hands roam her body. Pulling away from her zealous kiss, he reattached his lips to her neck.

"He still think I'm crushing on that Montez bitch," he mumbled against her skin.

"Do you?" Murmured Andrea against his ear as she placed soft kisses on his jaw.

"Hell no. I've got you baby."

Satisfied, she grinned and let her hands drop to the top of his jeans as she slowly unbuttoned it. Caught in the moment, the two failed to hear the front seat door open.

"What the fuck is going on in here?!"