A/N Thanks for reviewing everyone. I truly appreciate it. I'm warning you that this chapter has a lot of Troyella fluff. ;

Thanks Anna, Nicola & everybody that has reviewed. (:


Their fingers were still intertwined as they arrived at Gabriella's door. Troy's emotions in his mind at that particular moment in time were all over the place. He wanted to get his feelings for the girl in front of him out in the open. He just wasn't sure how to do that.

"Goodnight," Gabriella whispered quietly.

"Night," Troy replied, slowly releasing her hand that was intertwined with his.

"Thanks...for...walking..me home." She was nervous. - Nervous, anxious and scared.

He replied with a soft smile.

Troy's eyes lingered down towards her lips. He very slowly leaned down towards her. Just as his lips were about to touch hers, he felt Gabriella tense up and pull out of his grasp.

He didn't want her to feel uncomfortable. That was the last thing he wanted to do. Troy lightly picked up her right hand, and grazed his thumb over it. He then pulled it up to his mouth and placed a soft kiss on to it.

"Goodnight, gorgeous," he breathed on her hand gazing into her eyes. He turned around and left. What he didn't notice was Gabriella's glowing face that he had left behind.

About half an hour later Sharpay's pink convertible rolled up Gabriella's driveway. Sharpay pulled out the pile of clothes Gabriella left at her house and locked the door to her car. With the clothes in hand, she walked to the front door and pushed the doorbell, her perfectly manicured hand shimmering in the light of the front door. Gabriella's mother greeted her."She's up in her bedroom... reading I think. Feel free to go on up there." Mrs Montez smiled.

"Thanks." Sharpay gratefully returned the smile.

Sharpay lightly knocked on her bedroom door. "Gabi? It's me...Sharpay. Can I come in?"

Gabriella panicked. When did Sharpay turn up? She was doodling all over her note book about front cover was covered with at least 200 hearts. She tried to hide them and cover them all up, but she was unsuccessful as Sharpay entered the room without even waiting for Gabriella to reply.

Sharpay placed the clothes on Gabriella's bed and walked towards her.

"Have a crush on Bolton...Do we?""N-n-no" She stuttered.

"Oh come on, Gabi. I can clearly see Troywritten in hearts there."

"Exactly. What if I'm writing about another Troy? Not Troy Bolton."

Sharpay stared at her. After about two minutes, Gabriella finally cracked under pressure.

"Okay, fine. It's Troy. Troy Bolton."

"Gabi... That's great! You've finally got a crush." Sharpay beamed.

Gabriella just shrugged in response and looked down.

"Do you think he's going to ask you to the school dance?" Sharpay wondered.

"I highly doubt it; especially after he saw me in an awful looking state earlier today."

"Come on Gabs. Tell me why you're acting all strange. What happened?" Sharpay asked.

Gabriella looked at her before looking at her feet again.

Sharpay rolled her eyes and sat down Gabriella bed next to her. When she sat down she looked at Gabriella.

"Please... Just tell me what happened with Troy earlier?"

"He walked me home. That's all."

"Some thing else must of happened. I've never seen you smile like this!" Sharpay said. Gabriella giggled in response.

"You're going to tell me all about it later, alright? I better go... It's getting late."

"Hey, what's up man?" Chad asked.

Troy was to busy daydreaming he didn't notice Chad trying to speak out.

"Uh, hello. HELLO... hoops?" He tried again.

"Oh...um, what did you say?" Troy asked, still not fully out of his daydream.

"What's gotten in to you, man? All day you haven't been acting yourself."

"I've gotta go. Talk to you...later." Troy lamely replied, noticing Gabriella walking past them to her locker.

As Troy walked away, Chad was left to gather up his thoughts. 'What has gotten into him?'

Gabriella approached her locker, stacking up all of her books from her previous classes. She was so preoccupied that she didn't notice Troy creep up behind her.

"Hey." Troy said, with a huge smile written on his face.

"Aaargh!" She screamed, and dropped all of her work books.

"I'm sorry; it's just that you scared me." She said, still recovering from the shock.

Troy bent down and picked up all of her books.

"I'm really sorry; I didn't mean to scare you." Troy weakly smiled.

"It's alright. Ever since I started school, I've been afraid of well, everything." She blushed.

"You shouldn't be afraid of them, you know." They were caught in a gaze, neither one could pull themselves away from.

"They're just jealous of how amazing you are."

Gabriella looked down, before continuing to get her books. She was trying really hardly to hide the blush that had appeared on her face once again. Troy stood up, carrying some of her books before offering her his hand.

"Uh...Thanks." Gabriella forced a smile.

"No problem."

"I, um, should...go." Gabriella paused.

"Why are you even over here with me? Shouldn't you be with your basket ball buddies?"

"I'm sure they can wait. I wanted to give you this back." He replied, handing her novel and song lyrics that she wrote.

Gabriella's eyes smiled, before slowly grabbing her novel with the lyrics slipped inside.

"Thanks, again...Troy."

"Oh, and by the way, you're a really good song writer."

"Well, I, uh better be off now." Gabriella spoke, eager to get out of there and fast!

Gabriella sat at a bench in the park near her house. She was writing more songs. Usually she would write sad and depressing songs, releasing all of her emotions due to the trauma that bullying had done to her emotionally. Except this time she was writing love songs... sounding completely love sick. She couldn't believe all that had happened the last couple days.

She was woken from her daydreaming when she felt an arm on her back. She quickly gathered up her loose sheets and hid them in her bag, praying that Troy didn't see his name scribbled down in hearts.

Troy smiled seeing her rush around. He saw the hearts with his name in it and he couldn't be happier.

"Can I ask you something...Gabriella?" Troy asked, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Yeah...um, sure." She replied, turning around on the bench.

"Would you... like to go... to the dance... with me?" He asked nervously.

Gabriella stared at him. She was completely and utterly shocked. She was screaming in her mind 'YES!'

'Pull yourself together. Calmly nod.' She firmly nodded...feeling like a complete idiot. She instantly wished that she had the confidence, self esteem and will power to pull her along.

He grinned. He couldn't believe that she had said yes.

Troy offered her his hand, silently asking her to take it so he could pull her up. She hesitantly took up his offer, not wanting to waste time when she could be spending time with Troy walked her over to the edge of the lake, leading her the way by her hand. They sat, with their knees down on the edge of the lake in the park. Looking into her brown eyes, once more, he softly cupped her cheek. He lightly caressed it, before slowly leaning towards her soft lips.

"I'm really sorry, Troy."

Troy was speechless. He was dying to touch her soft, damp lips.

"Are you...alright?"

"I'm really sorry... I just haven't kissed anyone before. I'm nervous." She looked to the ground, feeling completely embarrassed over the fact that she had told him that.

Please just give me a chance to change that." He smiled, brushing his fingers over her cheek again.

She smiled weakly, the embarrassment, partially leaving.

He leaned towards her and their lips met in a soft, romantic kiss.

Gabriella entered the library, looking for her friends. After several minutes of searching, she found them sitting and talking in a secluded area at the back of the library. Gabriella had a bright smile written across her face.

"Gabi, I haven't seen you this happy in so long." Sharpay smiled.

"What are you so happy about?" Taylor asked; feeling utterly confused.

"It's her new boyfriend." Sharpay quickly answered.

"It was amazing, girls. Last night...Troy and I, we kissed! I've finally had my first kiss!" Gabriella squealed; earning a scolding by the librarian in the process.

A grin appeared on all of the girls faces.

"Really, Gabi? I'm so happy for you. Where did all this happen?"

"Yeah, come on. Give us all the details!" Sharpay grinned.

Gabriella explained to them every little detail, from Troy seeing her scribbling down hearts with his name, to him asking her to go to the dance with him, to them kissing on the edge of the lake.

The three of them mustered all of their might not to squeal again as they could be thrown out by the librarian for making too much noise.

"That's amazing, Gabi."

"See... We told you if you just opened up and smiled guys would fall in love with you in a second."

"Yeah, Sharpay's right. God, we're so happy for you. I can't believe you're going to the dance with Troy, Gabs. Troy Bolton!"

"We're going to be more successful for bringing out your beauty this time. I'm going to try even harder, knowing that Troy is going to be your date for the school dance."

"Thanks girls, but I don't have anything to wear." Gabriella sighed, dejectedly.

"What's up, Hoops?" Chad asked, slapping him on the back.

"I'm cool man, you?"

"Pretty good." He paused.

"Dude, have you asked anyone to the dance, yet? I heard Mandy is free..." Chad surreptitiously hinted.

"Yes, actually I have," Troy said with a smile on his face. Chad spat a small mouthful, hearing this.

"Who? ...Is it Mandy's friend?"

"No, of course not! Please get over your obsession with those two." Troy sent Chad a look before continuing.

"I'm actually taking Gabriella." Troy said, proudly. Chad spat out a huge mouthful of water, hearing this.

"Why on earth, would you take Montez? Ugh. I can't believe, you, Troy."

"Shut up, Chad. You don't know anything about her. And I suggest that you stop right now, before I give you a black eye." Troy spoke powerfully, defending Gabriella.

"She's hell ugly, Troy. How can you not see that? She's so not cool. If you go with her, you'll kill your reputation, I mean come on. Honestly. She's not the type of girl that makes boys fall all over her. Look at the rags she wears, for starters!" Chad rambled on, making ghastly and dreadful comments about Gabriella.

Gabriella overheard this coming back from the library, and blew up into tears, running away, down the corridors.

Troy was infuriating with anger right now. How dare Chad say that about his Gabriella? Troy brought his fist towards Chad in one hell of a quick movement, punching Chad directly in the nose.

"Don't you DARE talk about her that way, again. If you do... It'll be more than just a punch you'll get." Troy spat, glaring at Chad before running off in the direction of Gabriella.

After several minutes of searching, Troy finally found Gabriella just out side the front doors of East High. She was shivering, her thin, long-sleeved top not giving her enough warmth. Tears were still cascading down her pale, snow white face. Troy took his white jacket off, and wrapped it around Gabriella's body, zipping up the front slowly. He placed soft kisses on her fore-head, trying to soothe and calm her down.

"Tr-r-oy, what...he...sa-aid is true," she managed to hiccup. "I'm repulsive. You should be going with somebody way better than... me."

"Gabriella, there's no way that that's true. You're beautiful, sweet and a whole lot more. Nobody should ever over look your beauty, over look you, in fact." Troy said softly, caressing the back of her hand.

Gabriella looked down, towards their clasped hands before looking up at his crystal blue eyes. She looked down, feeling slightly self-conscious. Troy lifted her chin towards him and they kissed. Softly, slowly, magically.

They were just finishing up their second kiss. Mandy stopped dead in her tracks. She could not believe it. Mandy and her follower - with no life - stared at the pair.

"Is that bookworm, kissing Troy Bolton? THE Troy Bolton? MY Troy Bolton?" She screamed.

"Deep breath, Mandy. There must be some miss-understanding."

"ARGHHHHHHHHHH" She screamed, again, flinging her hair down her back.

It was the night if the dance. Everybody at East High was excited that the dance was taking place. Everyone one was talking about Troy taking 'geek' Montez to the dance.

"Taylor, Sharpay, I don't think I can take it any more. These rumours that are going around the school about Troy and I... It's getting too much."

"Just forget about them." Sharpay spoke.

"Yeah, Gabs. I mean, the important thing is Troy's taking you to the dance," "We're going to make you even more beautiful than you already are... and I heard Troy fighting with Chad about you! This is very good; wouldn't that be just super amazing, if he asked you to be his girlfriend, tonight, Gabi?"

The girls spent time, getting their expensive dresses courtesy of Sharpay - on. It came to Gabriella's turn to put her dress on. She panicked.

"Girls... I can't do it. My legs...my a-rms... I can't wear a dress."

"Gabi, you have beautiful legs, and arms... everything about you is beautiful."

"They aren't girls. I'm..." Gabriella trailed off, tears starting to roll down her face.

Taylor noticed the tension in the room. She walked over to Gabriella and put a comforting arm around her back.

"No, Gabi. You're beautiful. Please don't cry." She said, pulling her in a hug.

"What time is Troy picking you up?" Sharpay questioned.

"He's-probably-on-his...way now." Gabriella shrieked. "And I'm a complete mess... Maybe... Maybe... I shouldn't go... tonight."

"Of course not, Gabi! Are you crazy? Come on... it's your first ever date! You have to go." Sharpay pulled Gabriella towards her chair and began re-applying her make-up.

Half an hour later, Troy was pressing the doorbell at Sharpay's front door; ready to pick up Gabriella for the dance.

Gabriella was hyperventilating in Sharpay's bedroom, petrified. Sharpay softly told her to calm down and then walked quickly down a large flight of stairs, where Troy was, at the front door.

Sharpay opened the front door. There stood Troy, looking very handsome in his black tuxedo and hair brushed quite neatly to the side.

"Is Gabriella, here? She told me to come pick her up at your place." Troy was feeling quite nervous himself, this was all a new feeling to him; being scared taking a girl on a date.

It took longer than expected, but Taylor finally managed to pull Gabriella down the flight of stairs towards her date.

"Gabriella... you...um...l-l..."

"Oh my gosh... I look ugly. Who was I kidding? This dress was made for pretty girls, not... me." Gabriella started to sob again.

"You're right. You're not pretty." He continued. "You're beautiful. You look so beautiful that I'm speechless right now and so... nervous." Troy said, lifting her head from not looking at the floor. She nodded slightly, if you could call it that. She felt pressured to agree, when really she felt anything but beautiful at that moment.

"Well we better get going... the limo is out side waiting! Are you ready to go?" Troy asked with a smile on his face.

"Of course she is. Gabs, we'll meet you there in about ten minutes, we're waiting for our dates to come pick us up."

Gabriella never thought of the fact that her friends wouldn't be going with her inside the limo. She never even thought about that! Suddenly, a wave of nausea filled her body and she felt dizzy, as if she would faint right there and then on Sharpay's front porch. She was going to the dance with Troy, by herself!

Gabriella was extremely nervous, so nervous in fact that she was now shaking.

"Stop, shaking... I'm here. I won't let anybody say anything about us. I'll be by your side all night, I promise, Ella."

"Thanks, but I can't help it." She replied, blushing that he called her 'Ella.'

"Well maybe I can help." Troy laughed nervously, leaning forward towards her and kissed her slowly and softly on the lips.

Troy was planning on asking Gabriella to be his girl friend in the limo, right before the dance; truth-be-told he was feeling quite confident about asking her - until he saw her in that dress. Never Not once; had anyone seen his beautiful Gabriella in a dress. And he couldn't be happier to have his arm wrapped around her... Even if they weren't officially boyfriend and girlfriend... Yet.