Disclaimer: Sadly, High School Musical still isn't mine. But hey, I'll keep dreaming.

Author's Note: I'm actually really excited to post this one! First thing in a while that I'm genuinely happy about! Hurray! So read on, and let me know what you think!

Oh, and for all those who have been waiting months and months for an update of Accepting the Inevitable, the wait is finally over! There should be an update of that story in the next few days or so.

Blindly moving her hand around her bedside table, she tried to turn off the incessant noise that was coming from her alarm clock. Smiling when she finally succeeded she rolled over and reached her arm out to the other side of the bed, looking for someone. Opening her eyes quickly when she realized she was alone, she suddenly began to worry. But only for a moment before reality kicked in and she realized the mistakes of her actions.

Mentally she scolded herself for not remembering. She hated when that happened; and it had been happening much more often in the last few weeks. She should have been used to it by now. After all, it had been months since she had last woken up to him sleeping beside her.


Stalking into their bedroom, she hastily slammed the door, pacing angrily a few times before he came in too, looking just as mad.

"God, what is it this time Gabriella?" he said fuming as he violently tugged at his tie, and threw his suit jacket onto the bed.

She turned to glare at him. "Oh don't you dare give me that crap, you know exactly what is wrong."

He groaned. "Seriously? I didn't do anything! It was all her!"

She threw her arms up into the air. "That's exactly my point Troy! You never do anything about it! There's always some blonde bimbo throwing herself at you, and you never do anything!" she yelled angrily. "God, I was standing right there for crying out loud, you could have at least tried to pry her off you!"

"What do you want me to do, Gabriella? She's my bosses sister! What, did you want me to throw her off me, just so she could go running off and get me fired? Is that what you want?" he responded hotly.

"You know what? Maybe I do," she answered back. "Maybe then you'd be home once in a while," she added bitterly.

"Oh that's right; it always comes back to this," he said irritably. "You knew when I got this promotion that I would have to work longer hours, and that I'd have to take business trips every month," he warned. "And I distinctly recall you saying that it wouldn't matter, that you and the kids would be fine, and that I should take it anyway."

"Yeah, Troy, I did," she said holding up her hands, not denying what she had said. "I was prepared for every month, not every freaking week!"

He shook his head and clenched his fist, as his anger grew. "I'm doing the best I can, Gabi," he responded slowly.

"Maybe that's not good enough Troy! I work too, you know Troy, and I can still manage to come home every night, cook and clean, and spend time with the kids. But with you," she accused, pointing at him angrily, "you're always gone. There's always something else that comes before us. You're away, or you're too busy at work, or you're too tired. Hell, I'm sure hanging out with Chad and playing ball would even come before us now!"

"Nothing," he said, his voice dangerously low, "nothing comes before you and the kids! The whole reason why I keep pushing myself at work is for you three!"

"Yeah?" she questioned, "well if that's so, then what good is it doing if we never get to spend time with you, like we used to?!" she yelled pointedly.

He didn't answer, so she continued. "When was the last time you tucked Alex and Izzy into bed at night? Or read them a bedtime story? Or the last time you had time to just sit down and watch some TV with us after dinner?"

"I don't know, okay!" he yelled as he marched over to the bed, plopped himself down and started to rub his temples. "I'm trying, Gabi, I really am," he said quietly after a few moments.

Gabriella sighed. "I know you are Troy, but maybe that's not enough anymore," she said remorsefully, gone was the anger that her voice held moments ago.

He looked up at her slowly. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying, that maybe," she began, still considering what she had said herself, "maybe this is it for us."

He stood up and shook his head, moving towards her. "Gabi, come on, you can't be serious," he said trying to take her hands into his, but she pulled them away.

Se moved to the other side of the room, quickly trying to make up her mind. "No, Troy, I'm perfectly serious," she said as evenly as she could, trying to stand her ground.

He looked at her, his eyes intensely staring into hers, trying to plead with her to stay. "Gabi, please," he spoke desperately. "I love you Gabi, and if that means things have to change around here, then I'll do it. First thing Monday morning I'll tell John I can't go on anymore business trips, and I'll work less hours. I swear."

She closed her eyes painfully, and turned away from him, unable to look at him at that very moment. "I love you too Troy, but it's not as easy as that."

"Yes it is, Gabi! We can still do this!"

"It's not just the work Troy. I'm tired of it; of everything," she said weakly, the distress in her voice obvious. "We're always fighting. Big things, little things, anything! The other day we fought over who turned on the dish washer when it was only half full, for Christ's sake! It's getting ridiculous. The kids always hear us arguing, Troy, it's not right."

"Gabi, we're just stressed out that's all! It'll pass," he exclaimed, desperately.

She took in a deep breath, now trying to stop the tears that had begun to form from falling. "It's not just the stress, Troy. This has been going on for months," she responded dismally. "Do you remember the last time you kissed me for no reason, other than because you wanted to? Or when we last spent a night alone together, no work, no kids, and no worries?" She closed her eyes as a few tears leaked down her cheeks. "I can't even remember the last time we slept together, Troy."

He just looked at her, wordlessly. His shoulders were slumped, and his eyes were dark. "This can't be the end for us, Gabi, it can't."

She opened her eyes and took in his appearance. "I'm sorry Troy," she sobbed out. She silently gathered up a few things around the room, whilst he just stood there motionless.

Once she was done she cleared her throat carefully. "I'll stay with the kids at my mom's tonight and I'll bring them back here tomorrow morning, and we can tell them," she said quietly. She paused just as she was about to walk out the door. "I'm really sorry."


Rolling out of bed she walked into her bathroom and took a good look at herself in the mirror. Her hair was matted to her face, and looked all tousled and tangled, her face looked sullen and devoid of any emotion, and her eyes looked just as blank. She groaned. This wasn't exactly how she wanted to look when she was going to be seeing him.

She came out of her bedroom an hour later, looking much more refreshed and lively; she made her way to the kids' rooms, picking up odd toys that had been laying about the house as she went. Taking out the outfits the kids had chosen to wear for the day, she smiled. They had only been gone for two days, but already she missed them like crazy. The house felt too big and empty without the young children running around, tearing up the place.

Sitting down at a stool at the kitchen bench she ate her bagel and drank her coffee quietly before she began to set things up for this afternoon. She had been so caught up in setting things up that she hadn't noticed the time, and was confused when Taylor was at her door.

"Tay?" she said questioningly and she hugged her hello. "What are you doing here so early?"

Walking in Taylor went straight to the fridge to put away the cake she had picked up on the way. "Gabi, it's one already," she said simply. "We saw Jase and Ryan on the way in, they said Kels was coming a bit later, by the way, but I sent them to work with Chad out the back. I give them ten minutes 'til Chad and Michael are on the court," she said, rolling her eyes.

"Thanks," Gabriella replied, taking a seat, as she placed her head in her hands. "It happened again this morning."

Taylor looked over at her friend with worry. "Again? Are you sure you're going to be okay with him here today?"

Gabriella glanced up. "No," she said shortly, "but it's Izzy's sixth birthday party and she wants both of us to be here. I couldn't exactly say no."

The other girl just nodded sympathetically, and went to rub Gabriella's back comfortingly.

"I miss him, Tay," she said quietly as she leant her head against Taylor's shoulder.

"I know you do, sweetie. Bar a few months here and there in college, you two have been together since high school, it's expected that you'd miss him."

Gabriella gave a sad sigh. "Part of me wants him to come back. Screw all the yelling and the fights, as long as he's back, everything will work out somehow, you know? But another part of me knows that that isn't good for the kids either, but then again, neither is them having to move between the two of us," she reasoned. "It's a lose, lose situation."

"Well, whatever you decide, I'm there for you, okay?" Taylor said reassuringly, as she gave the brunette a tight squeeze. Suddenly a continuous stream of ringing rang through the house, causing the pair to break away. "Ah, and I think your little rugrats are back," she smiling at her easily, as she picked up a few things and went out the back door to give Gabriella some privacy.

She smiled as she walked to the front door, checking herself in the mirror on the way. Pulling the front door open she was confronted with a mass of brunette locks running at her. "Mommy, mommy, mommy!" Isabelle said excitedly, running at her mothers legs.

Gabriella leaned down and took the young girl into her arms tightly. "Hey sweetie! Mommy missed you," she said happily.

"I missed you too, Mommy," Izzy responded sweetly. "Guess what day it is today?"

The mother pretended to think for a moment. "Hm… I think it might be your birthday party today, am I right?"

Izzy nodded enthusiastically. "Yep! And I get to be Princess Jasmine!"

Gabriella couldn't help but grin back at her daughter. "Yes you do! I've got your costume on your bed already, and your tiger is there too. Why don't you go upstairs and get changed, then go outside and say hello to your aunts and uncles, okay?"

"Okay Mommy," Izzy said, already running up the stairs. Gabriella watched her go as a pair of arms silently grabbed onto her legs.

"Hey big boy!" she said as she picked up Alex, and ruffled his dirty blonde hair.

The little boy simply snuggled into his mothers arms and muffled something which sounded vaguely like, 'Missed you."

Pulling back a little, she placed a kiss onto his forehead. "Missed you too. How was Daddy's?"

A wide grin formed on the boy's face, and it instantly lit up. "Really good! We went to breakfast, and Dad let us have ice cream on our pancakes!"

"Did he now?"

Alex nodded back quickly. "Yep! But 'sonly because it's a special day, and not everyday, he said."

Gabriella gave a small smile. "That's right."

Hearing footsteps coming up the porch she turned her head towards the door as Troy came into view, carrying the kids' bags. "Gabriella," he said, giving her a short smile, as he stopped at the door.

"Troy," she responded civilly, motioning for him to come in.

They both stood there silently, as the air around them became tense and awkward. Even Alex noticed it, as he shifted around in his mothers' arms, begging to be put down, and then quickly ran up the stairs.

They both watched him go, before Troy coughed awkwardly. "Um, I'll just go put these in their rooms, and I'll go out back to help the others."

She gave him a small smile. "Thanks," she said quietly, letting out a deep breath once he was out of the room.

Leaning against the wall she closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing. Seeing him was so much harder than she was ready for; that short moment was probably the most amount of time they'd spent in each others' presence since that fateful night five months ago. Usually they'd exchange long, drawn out telephone calls when they needed to arrange details about the kids, or give the kids notes to pass along. They'd even send the kids off with their school bags full of clothes and other necessities, all set for that afternoon when the other parent would pick them up.

So having to spend an afternoon with him around was definitely going to be a challenge. She sighed, mumbling to herself as she walked back into the kitchen with a fake smile on her face. "This is going to be a fun afternoon."


Hours later Gabriella found herself at the kitchen window, fondly watching all the kids playing happily in the backyard. Isabelle had insisted on a costume party, so there were flocks of girls dressed as pink little fairies, and little boys running around pretending to be Superman, or a scary villain. She laughed softly as she watched Alex running around in his Batman costume, apparently trying to save Izzy and her toy tiger from the evil clutches of Michael, who was dressed a cowboy.

She was too busy laughing that she hadn't noticed anyone come in. "They look like they're having fun, don't they?" Troy's voice came from behind, startling her.

She gasped in surprise, and glanced behind her. "Yeah they do," she said simply, looking back out the window.

"Sorry, didn't mean to sneak up on you." Gabriella just smiled politely in response.

"So, how have you been?" Troy asked to break the silence, as he walked around the kitchen nervously.

"Yeah, I'm good. You?" she questioned courteously.

Inwardly, Troy winced at what their conversations had been reduced to. But he was not deterred. "Miserable, actually," he replied honestly.

Gabriella closed her eyes and frowned. "Troy," she said sounding tired.

He ignored her protest. "I asked Izzy what she hoped her birthday present was from me today. Do you know what she said?" he paused. "'For you and Mommy to be happy again.'"

"Don't, Troy," she tried once again.

"And I told her I wanted that too," he filled in.

She let out a deep sigh, but still didn't turn around to face him. "Please Troy."

"I miss you Gabriella. I miss us," he said, his voice strong and determined. "I wake up every morning, and just for a moment, I forget what's happened these last few months, and smile knowing you're sleeping right next to me. But you never are," he said sadly.

"And everyday, just as I'm about to go home, I smile at the thought of finally being able to see you and the kids. Then it hits me that you're not going to be there, and I'm not coming home. I miss getting to watch you as you make dinner, and hearing Alex and Izzy laughing loudly as they watch TV." He stopped and waited, hoping that she'd chime in any second and tell him that she missed him too.

He sighed when moments later she still hadn't spoke up, so he continued. "I talked to John a few months ago," he spoke hopefully. "I told him straight out that you guys were too important to me, and that I couldn't keep going on all those business trips, or working those insane hours. I said that if he wanted me to stay, it was that, or I left." He watched her carefully, hoping to get a reaction out of her. "He said he was glad I spoke up, and that work should never be more important than your family. So I've only been on one business trip since, and I don't bring home any work. Work is strictly for nine to five, only."

"I'm trying Gabi," he said softly.

"I know," she mumbled out, speaking up for the first time.

Troy smiled a little, at least that was something. "These past five months have been hell for me, Gabi. But I'm trying, I really am. And I'm really trying to make us work again; I want what we had back," he said firmly.

"Troy, it's not that simple," she answered faintly. She heard him moving around behind her, and suddenly one of his hands was on the small of her back, and the other was resting on her arm.

"Yes, it is, Gabi. Things are different now," he said, so close that she could feel his breath on her neck. Involuntarily she shivered.

She turned to really look at him for the first time, her eyes immediately seeking his own. The sheer intensity of his cobalt eyes shocked her. They were so determined, yet at the same time looked as if they were pleading with her. Despite herself she couldn't help but be drawn to them.

Keeping their eyes locked, Troy noticed the air around them start to shift. The awkward and tense feeling between them began to fade, only to be replaced with an powerful longing. Taking his chances his inched closer towards her, giving her enough time to pull away if she wanted to, but when she didn't, Troy moved in, pulling her into a desperate, needy kiss. He felt her hesitation, but kissed her even more until he felt her slowly start to give in.

He pulled away from her slightly, but was still inches away. "Tell me you don't miss me, and I'll leave."

She allowed herself to open her eyes slightly, as she unconsciously ran her tongue along her lips, still very much feeling the effects of the kiss. "I can't," she managed to whisper out feebly before Troy's mouth crashed onto hers once more. Her hands went straight to his hair, trying to bring him closer, whilst his gripped to her waist, and her hand cheek.

Gabriella bit back a moan of pleasure as he deepened the kiss, his tongue now dueling with hers passionately. She leaned into his body further, the feeling of his toned chest beneath his shirt driving her crazy as it sent tingles throughout her body. It had been way too long since she had last felt like this, and even little movement felt much more intense than the last.

They moved blindly around the kitchen, bumping and knocking a few things onto the ground as Troy backed her into the kitchen bench, making her groan with the contact. She could faintly hear things falling, but didn't have the will to open her eyes and see what it was, as she found herself very quickly forgetting everything else around her, but the feeling of Troy's warm mouth and his defined body pressed up against her own. Her hands traveled down his back, and to his shoulders, gripping them tightly, as his lips left hers and started to travel so slowly, it was painful, down her neck.

"God, I missed you," he mumbled out, placing hot kisses down her neck. His hand moving down her thigh as he did so.

Unable to speak she let out a, "Mmm," which ended up sounding much more sexual than she had intended it to. Feeling his hand moving up her skirt and towards her center her breath hitched.

A ball loudly hitting one of the windows in the house, followed by Taylor's voice screaming, brought her mind back to reality. "Troy," she gasped out, as he sucked on her neck. "Kids… outside… bedroom," she managed to get out with much difficultly.

Wordlessly nodding, he brought his lips back to hers and lifted her up. Immediately her legs found them around his waist, as he quickly tried to carry her up the stairs.


With their hair all messy, and their faces flushed they silently dressed themselves, neither looking at the other. Gabriella was the first to break the silence.

"Troy, look this was," she began before she was interrupted.

"It wasn't a mistake, Gabi," he said quietly, but firmly, as he finished redressing himself. "I love you, I miss you, and I want it everything back to what it used to be."

She didn't say anything. She just stood there with her mouth slightly agape. She didn't know what to do. She hadn't planned for them to end up sleeping together, though; she couldn't deny that it hadn't been amazing. But it only make things that much more difficult. Her mind had already been swimming with confusion and the sex had only made her realize exactly how much she had missed him. It wasn't just the feeling of his body against hers that she missed, it was his entire presence. Everything seemed to feel different when he was around. Better. She cleared her throat, about to speak up when a few loud knocks to the door came.

"Mommy! Are you in there?" came Isabelle's eager voice.

"Um, yeah sweetie, what is it?"

"Aunt Taylor says it's cake time, and I can't find Daddy!" she said through the door.

Gabriella nervously glanced over at Troy. "Okay baby, I'll go find your Dad, and I'll be out in a tick."

"Okay, but hurry!" she said before the two adults heard her footsteps running down the stairs.

Troy sighed and picked up her discarded cardigan, and handed it to her. "Look, you know how I feel about it all, so the ball is in your court. Just let me know whenever you've decided," he said as he made his way out of the bedroom.

She watched him go for a moment before speaking up. "Troy, wait!" He turned to her, his eyes hopeful.

She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "I miss you too," she said softly. "I wake up every morning, and roll over to your side of the bed, but you're never there. And I can't smell you on the pillow anymore. Or steal your shirts from your side of the closest, when you're not home," she went on, her eyes becoming wet. "And on your birthday, I hated not being able to be the first one to wish you a great day, and kiss you as you woke up. And I hated not being able to shop with you for Izzy present, or plan the party with you, and I don't want to have to do it again in a few months for Alex."

"I miss all those little things that you did. Like leaving your ties all over the place, and leaving the bathroom a mess when you used it, and I want those little things back. I want everything that we used to have back."

He walked over to her, softly bringing his hand to her cheek, and wiped away the tears that had fallen. "I miss the little things too. Like the sound of you breathing, as you slept at night and the sound of your laugh as you watched the kids. I miss them too."

"But Troy," she said as she pulled away, "what about all the fighting?"

He pulled her back in closely. "Hey, hey, we'll work that all out okay? Because right now, all that matters is that I love you, and as long as that's the case, somehow we'll figure it out, right?" he said comfortingly.

"Do you promise?" she said in a small voice.

"Gabi, nothing is more important to me than you, Alex and Iz. I swear," he said firmly, making her look into his eyes. "You gotta believe me."

She bit her lip, and nodded slightly. "Okay," she said simply.


"Okay," she echoed as he brought her into a tight hug, never wanting to let her go.

She relaxed into his body, and breathed in his scent, the smile on her face growing. "I missed you so much," she whispered.

He smiled, placing a kiss on her head. "I missed you too." They stayed that way for a few minutes before remembering the party downstairs.

They were about to walk down the stairs before Gabriella told him to go ahead, wanting to check herself in the mirror first. "Sure," he said, pressing a quick kiss to her lips. "Love you."

"I love you, too," she answered with a smile as she turned to the bathroom. Making sure her appearance wasn't too disheveled, she couldn't help but notice her reflection in the mirror looked happier than it had in months.


With the cake cut, and the presents open, all the kids ran wild, as Gabriella sat at a nearby table, watching everything.

"Hey," Taylor's voice came from behind.

"Hey," she responded as she glanced over to where Troy was having a tickle war with Alex and Izzy. She smiled, as she watched them play together for the first time in months. Catching her eye, Troy sent her a meaningful grin.

"So, you look happier," she said, jumping straight into it. "You and Troy were inside for a while, everything okay?" she said, eyeing their interaction skeptically.

Gabriella grinned back at Troy. "You know, for the first time in months, everything is great." She knew that things probably wouldn't be easy in the next few weeks, and that she and Troy had a lot to work out. But as she looked over to Alex and Izzy, saw their faces beaming with happiness, as they hung off Troy's back, she couldn't help but muse to herself that maybe the little things made all the hard times worth it.

Author's Note: I actually really like this oneshot, if I do say so myself. It's probably because it has angry and angsty Gabriella in it, and I do love to write both. There's just something so fun and exciting about seeing Gabriella that way.

And I've noticed that between this oneshot, and Accepting the Inevitable, I don't make marriage sound all that appealing. LOL. Anyway, hang in there and an update of that will be up soon.

So, as usual, I love to hear your thoughts. So hit that little review button!