Love Song Requiem
A/N: this story's over! I can't believe it's over. I had fun writing this. It's been a whirlwind of emotions with this story. Thank you to all of you, reader and reviewer.
Eight Years Later
"It's Christmas! It's Christmas!"
Gabriella's eyes fluttered open at the sound of her only daughter screaming her lungs out. From behind her she heard a low chuckle and she turned around, staring into the cyan eyes of her husband.
"What's so funny?" she asked.
"If I remember correctly, she's our daughter. It takes two to tango, Mr. Bolton."
"Yes, but it only takes one to give birth, Mrs. Bolton." He pulled her closer to him and placed a kiss on her exposed shoulder.
"Mommy! Daddy! Wake up! It's Christmas!" the seven year old screamed as she jumped onto her parents' bed.
"We see that, Penny, but what have we told you about yelling this early in the morning," Gabriella said and Penny covered her mouth.
"It's alright, baby."
"Can I go open my presents now?"
"Such an impatient child," Troy said with a chuckle. "Of course you can go open your presents."
"Yay!" She ran downstairs and left her parents alone.
Gabriella laid back against her pillow and turned on her side to look into Troy's loving eyes. "Merry Christmas," she said softly.
Her eyes lit up. "You didn't forget."
"How could I forget something like that? Eight years ago today, you became Mrs. Troy Bolton. That was the best day of my life aside from the birth of Penelope."
She smiled and moved closer to him. "It was the best day of my life, too, though it came four years too late."
He laced his fingers with hers and kissed her knuckles. "A big mistake on my part."
She sighed. "We should get up and make sure Penny doesn't make a mess out of the living room." He nodded and they got up. "So what's in store for tonight?"
"Well, first of all, I'm taking Penny to my parents house so that way we can have the house all to ourselves."
"And then I'm taking you out to dinner."
"Ooo. Where?" she asked as they walked down the stairs.
"It's a surprise."
"Can't you just tell me?"
"Nope. You'll have to wait and find out."
"Troy," she whined.
"It's not called a surprise for nothing, babe." He kissed her lips before they walked into the living room to spend Christmas morning with their daughter.
Gabriella stood in front of the full length mirror, staring at her nude figure. Her hands smoothed over the skin of her stomach and she smiled softly. Gabriella had a secret. She had found out a few days ago that she was with child. She was ecstatic at the revelation. She had always wanted to have another child. They had tried for three years after Penny was born, but to no avail. It seemed as if they weren't destined to have another, but now, after all this time, Gabriella was finally pregnant. Knowing it wouldn't take long before Troy would enter the room to find out what was taking her so long, she began to put on her clothes.
"Ella, you ready?"
"Yeah, I'll be right out."
It had been hours since breakfast and they had dropped Penny off at his parent's house so they could have the evening to themselves.
She stepped out of the room minutes later, fully clothed in a midnight blue strapless dress that rested mid-thigh. Her hair fell in curls around her face, framing it perfectly. She had only put on light make up, knowing that she didn't really need it. Troy loved her with and without the make-up. She made her way downstairs and was met by the approving gaze of her husband.
"You look beautiful," he said and kissed the back of her hand.
He led her out of the house and to their car. Troy took her to a small restaurant at the edge of town that overlooked the river and had a clear view of the sunset. Gabriella had never seen a more romantic setting in her life.
"Have I ever told you how much I love you?" she asked as they sat with their hands laced on the table.
"I think you might have."
"Well, I love you more than anything else in the world. This place…this place is amazing."
He smiled. "I knew you'd like it."
"Like it? I love it. You never cease to amaze me, Troy Bolton."
She smiled softly and he lifted her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles. Troy had always been a romantic when it came to her. Why? He wasn't sure. She just seemed to bring out the best in him. She made him want to be better, something no other girl could do. After ordering their food, they made small talk, settling into a comfortable ambiance, something she always wanted with Daniel, but never got.
After dinner, they took a walk by the riverside, hands locked, a comfortable silence around them. It had felt like so long ago that they just had time to themselves without having to worry about Penelope. They felt like teenagers again.
In the back of her mind, Gabriella knew she had to tell Troy that they were going to have another mouth to feed in another few months, but she couldn't bear to interrupt the feeling of the moment they had. Too lost in her thoughts, she didn't notice he had stopped walking until she felt a pull on her arm. She looked at him, confusion marring her delicate face.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I should be asking you that question. You seem troubled." He pulled her towards him and put his free hand on her waist. "What's bothering you?"
She smiled softly and shook her head. "Nothing."
"Ella, I know when something's wrong."
"Can we talk about it later? I don't want to ruin the nice walk we're having."
He nodded and kissed her forehead. "As long as you're alright."
"I'm fine. I promise."
"Good. You ready to head home?"
She nodded and he led her back to the car. Upon entering the house, his lips found hers and clothes began to be discarded as they made their way up to their bedroom.
"I can't believe it's been eight years," she said as they lay naked under the sheets in a spooning position an hour later. Her fingers lazily ran over his forearm, making his arm hairs stand on edge.
"Neither can I. It feels like yesterday that we were married."
She smiled and sighed as the memory of the greatest day of her life came rushing back to her.
December 25th, 2016
They always say the third time's a charm. Well, this was Gabriella's third time getting married, second time to the same guy, and she hoped this time she would actually say those two important words; I do. She was glad Troy suggested they marry only five days prior to her previous failed wedding ceremony. She didn't know if she could wait any longer to become his wife. She loved him with all of her heart and she wanted to be his for the rest of her life. Though he had broken her heart once before in the past, she had forgiven him. She decided the past was the past and he was, and always had been, her future.
"Gabriella, are you ready?" her mother asked as she peered through the door.
She turned around and nodded. "I'm ready."
With a smile, she followed her mother out of the room and into the hallway. The ceremony was small, only consisting of close friends and family. Chad and Taylor were there, along with little Devon. Amber was able to make it down, hiding her whereabouts from her brother. April had followed Amber, helping her cover her tracks. Troy's parents were there as were hers…both of hers. Gabriella had been thrilled when her father said that he would walk her down the aisle. She loved Jack Bolton like a second father, but it felt more special, more…real to have her own father escorting her down the aisle. She met her father's content gaze as she walked up to him, lacing her arm through his.
"You look beautiful, Gabi."
She smiled and looked at him. "Thank you, daddy." He ushered her down the stairs and towards the back of the house.
Not wanting anything big, they decided to hold the wedding at her house and get a Justice of the Peace to perform the nuptials. After going through the stress of planning her marriage to Daniel, this was all Gabriella wanted; a simple ceremony with just her, her family, her friends and the love of her life. Catching her best friend's gaze, she nodded her head and Taylor told everyone that she was ready. The music started up as a piano ballad began to play and Gabriella gasped, recognizing the song as their song.
You're in my arms
And all the world is calm
The music playing for only two
So close together
And when I'm with you
So close to feeling alive
Tears threatened to fall as she walked towards her future, her one true love. Troy smiled softly at her, knowing she approved of the song he had picked. He thought she'd never looked more beautiful than she did as she made her way to him. He couldn't believe he had skipped out on this the first time around. If he knew he would feel the way he did, he would have never left. As she came to stand before him, he took her hand in his and looked into her mocha eyes.
"You remember," she whispered.
"How could I forget?" She gave him a watery smile before the Justice began the ceremony.
She had never been more happier in her life than she had been that day, even with the birth of her daughter coming only a few months later. She had waited for eight years for the day that she would be married to the man who held her in his arms at the moment. She had almost given up hope that it would ever happen and was close to marrying another, but he showed her the right path, showed her that she still wanted to be with him.
"Did you know all that time that you were pregnant with Penny?"
She shook her head. "With all the stress surrounding the planning of my non-existent wedding to Daniel, I didn't give my missed period a second thought. I thought I was just stressed out and that was the reason why it was late, but after everything settled down, I knew something was wrong when I missed it again the next month."
He fell silent and kissed her bare back. She sighed and continued to run her fingers along his arm. She had to tell him. She needed to tell him. He had already brought up pregnancy by talking about when she first figured out she was expecting. This wouldn't be unexpected.
"Babe, what's wrong?" he asked, sensing the internal war going on within her mind.
"There's something I need to tell you."
He buried his chin in the crook of her neck. "Then tell me," he said, kissing her shoulder blade.
She took a deep breath. "I'm pregnant."
He sat up and looked down at her. "What?"
She moved so she was on her back and looked into his ocean blue eyes. She reached up, taking his ear between her fingers and massaging it gently. "I'm pregnant."
His initial shock wore off and his lips uplifted into a bright smile. "Ella…that's great."
She smiled and he pushed back the sheets revealing her bare breasts and her bare stomach. He placed his large hand on her abdomen and his eyes softened, imagining the tiny life that was growing inside of his wife's womb. She placed her hand on top of his and he looked into her eyes, the mocha color shining brightly in the dimly lit room.
"I can't believe, after all this time, we're finally going to have another baby."
"I know. I nearly fainted when I found out."
He lowered his head to her flat stomach and kissed her belly button. She watched him with tired eyes, happy that he was happy. He kissed his way up her abdomen, through the valley between her breasts until he reached his destination; her soft lips. He pulled back slightly to look upon the face of his wife and his lover. Never in his life had he wanted to be any place else but where he was at that moment in time.
"Troy, what's wrong?"
He shook his head, smiling softly. "Nothing."
"No. Seriously, what?"
He chuckled. "I'm glad I'm here with you…" he leaned in close, his mouth lingering close to hers, "because there's no place else I'd rather be." She smiled and he touched his lips to hers. He pulled back seconds later, knowing she was exhausted. "You should get some rest."
She nodded and yawned slightly. "G'night, Troy."
"Night, Ella," he whispered as she closed her eyes. "Sweet dreams, my love." He kissed her forehead before collapsing in the space beside her and watched her sleep. There was definitely no other place he would rather be than with her…for the rest of his life.