DISCLAIMER: I do not own 'High School Musical' or any related characters.
A/N: Okay, so I've had this idea in my head for a little while and figured that I'd forget it when I went back to school, it hasn't which means that I've genuinely had an idea. Which, by the way, has completely stunned me! Oh, this may be similar to some other stories floating around and I have to apologize for that, I haven't read any of them so this idea really is my own! Anyway, enjoy!
Just One Night
Troy Bolton stepped into his Los Angeles home and was immediately greeted with a rich, Italian aroma and the sound of a soft voice singing along to the stereo he knew was rarely ever off. Smiling tiredly as the voice grew slightly louder, he dropped his gym bag by the door and kicked off his shoes, shutting the door quietly before heading immediately for the kitchen where he knew who was waiting for him. Stepping into the kitchen he'd always thought was much too large, the tired smile on his face grew as he took in the woman in the kitchen. She was standing by the stove, stirring what he could only guess was dinner, her ebony curls caught up in a messy bun he could only guess had been the rather perfect one he'd seen when he'd left, glancing down he noted that she'd had a shirt change since he'd last seen her, early in the afternoon, instead of the worn red shirt she'd been wearing, she was now wearing one of his old ones and he knew he'd be lying if he didn't like how it looked on her. From the back anyway. Stepping into the kitchen further, he cast his eyes around the room and then sighed in quiet relief when he heard the sound of laughter come from the living room that was situated just off from the kitchen. Glancing back at the woman at the stove, he ran a hand through his already mussed hair and wondered whether he should stand there and watch her for a while longer or announce his presence by scaring the living daylights out of her. Because the first appealed so much more than the second, Troy allowed himself one more solitary moment of watching her before he stepped towards the stereo and quietly turned it off, laughing to himself when she kept on singing to the music that was no longer on. As quietly as he could, he slipped over to her and, after making sure there was no way she could burn herself, grabbed her sides in a quick movement that had her jumping in the air and screaming loudly.
Before she could react in anyway, Troy was back behind the bench and watching her in a thorough amusement as she spun around to face him, breathing heavily. Just seeing her face, caused his smile to turn into a grin as a twenty-one year old Gabriella Montez raised the wooden spoon she'd been stirring the sauce with and pointed it at him accusingly.
"Hey Brie. How's it going?" Troy asked, sitting down in one of the stools and propping his chin onto his fist as she glared at him.
"Damn it Troy! Why do you have to scare me like that?" She half-yelled at him and Troy shrugged, noting how mad she looked and feeling even more pleased with himself.
"My day was good too. Coach absolutely drilled us in training and I was hoping you'd cook dinner. I didn't really feel like calling up the pizza place." He said, still grinning and watched as Gabriella tried to keep glaring at him and was beginning to fail miserably. She folded her arms as Troy continued to grin at her, finding absolute pleasure in watching as her resolve to at least try and stay mad at him crumbled and her eyes softened to the quiet brown that he'd let himself fall into so many times before.
"Tired and sore, huh?" She asked sympathetically, leaning on the bench after turning to burner down to low.
"Yep. Tired and sore. I can't believe how hard they worked us today. I swear to God, it was like we'd lost a game not won one." Troy replied, making no objection when she reached out and rubbed his forearm gently.
"I'm sure it wasn't that bad," she said, leaving her hand on his arm as he narrowed his eyes at her.
"Trust me on this. It was." He stated and she laughed at his condemnation of his training session. Before she could reply, a cry was heard from the living room and Troy found himself snapping back to reality as Gabriella pulled her hand away and he stood up.
He had to stop doing that! He had to stop coming home and walking into the kitchen and falling into that false mindset that Gabriella was more to him, so much more than nearly anything in his life. That she was standing there waiting for him to come home so that he could tell her about his day, before helping her with the rest of dinner and then greeting her properly when the only thing to do was to wait for the dinner to cook. He always did it, he'd been doing it ever since he'd realized that somewhere between getting to know her and knowing her a little too well, he'd fallen in love with her. He didn't know when, where, or why he'd fallen in love with the twenty-one year old student from UCLA but he did know he had and he'd known as soon as he'd realize he had, that he couldn't act on it. The reasons were plenty; there was the six year age difference between them, something he constantly told himself to remember every time he was around her, then there was the fact that he was a national basketballer who, for someone reason that completely mystified him, had paparazzi following him around every time he left the house, he didn't want Gabriella dealing with something like that. Troy knew how lame all those reasons were, Gabriella herself on many occasions had actually contradicted those reasons herself and any of the other reasons he'd either made up or exaggerated to stop himself acting on his feelings for her. Because there was only one reason he didn't allow himself to act on his feelings for her, one singly, huge reason that had stopped him dating nearly altogether, one reason that complicated his feelings for Gabriella more than a little bit. Stepping into the living room, Troy smiled slightly as he saw the one reason he was never going to act on his feelings for Gabriella Montez.
Eighteen-month old Grace Bolton caught sight of her father and immediately the tears that had started dried up as she clapped her hands and giggled loudly. Troy laughed at his daughters' reaction to his presence and leaned down to pick her up from the play area Gabriella had set up right in front of the television. She'd only been part of his life for a year and a half, but Troy had never regretted having Grace at all, no matter what he'd thought when his one-night stand had rung him and informed him that because he'd gotten her pregnant, he was the one that was going to raise the child. She hadn't wanted anything to do with having the kid and, as she'd informed a shell-shocked Troy, because abortion was not one of her beliefs, she was going to have the baby and then hand it straight off to him. Troy had been nearly twenty-five and the thought of having a kid had scared him to death. For the nine months after the phone call, he'd sweated, played the worst basketball in the history of the game, got drunk weekly and slowly became excited at the idea of a child. And by slowly, he meant a sloth would have moved faster than his excitement for a child. He'd managed to get there though, after he'd gotten over the anger he'd felt at the fact that his perfect future had been marred with one mistake he couldn't even remember making, after the paparazzi had had their fun with the story that Grace's mother had sold them, mocking him, amusing themselves with the idea that Troy Bolton, legend in the making, was going to be a father and possibly lose the multi-million dollar contract he'd only just signed when he'd found out. At the height of the slander, Troy had seriously considered becoming a hermit and living out his days inside the house he'd bought to accommodate him and the coming baby.
To put it simply, it had been nine months of pure hell. Nine months were he'd had to deal with lectures from him parents, cynicism from everyone but his friends and as little support as someone could go on. But then Grace had been born and as soon as he'd seen her, he'd fallen head over heels in love with the tiny little girl that was all his. He'd received the phone call at two-thirty in the morning from the hospital, informing him that his daughter had been born only five minutes before and he needed to come down to the ward immediately because the mother was refusing to name her and was already making noises about getting out of the hospital. He'd rushed and, within half an hour, had named her and was allowed to take her home. He'd been so amazed at the fact that he had a child that for the hours after he'd placed her in the crib he'd bought, he'd simply sat and watched her, completely in awe of the tiny thing he knew was relying solely on him. Well, he'd been in awe of her up until she'd woken up and started wailing because she was hungry.
"Hey Dreamy," Troy started when he heard Gabriella's soft voice at the same time Grace smacked him in the cheek. Shaking his head slightly, he shifted Grace higher and turned to face Gabriella.
"Yeah, sorry Brie, zoned out there for a moment." He apologized reaching up and successfully grabbing Grace's hand before it could slam into his cheek one again. Grace laughed loudly and let go of his shirt to clap her hands together excitedly.
"That's okay. I just wanted to say that dinners ready if you're hungry." She said reaching out to run a hand over Grace's head as the little girl found something interesting about Troy's shirt.
"If I'm hungry? Brie, you've known me for a year and you still only say if I'm hungry?" Troy asked in disbelief and Gabriella blushed slightly at his words, running a hand over Grace's head again as Troy looked down at her.
"Sorry. Troy, you're hungry, so go have dinner and I'll bath Grace. Deal?" Gabriella asked and Troy narrowed his eyes at her tone. She only ever used that ploy if she was hungry, she knew that Troy nearly always bathed Grace when he was home in time to do it.
"No deal. You have dinner and I'll bath Grace. But you can feed her, while I eat. Deal?" Troy asked, smirking slightly as he watched Gabriella's eyes light up at the suggestion.
"I like that deal. I'll go eat." Troy raised his eyebrows as Gabriella pressed a kiss to Grace's back, who was currently leaning her head against Troy's shoulder and sucking on her fist, before practically running into the kitchen.
"So, baby-girl, is it time for your bath?" Troy said softly into Grace's ear as he heard Gabriella clutter around the kitchen. Grace giggled as his breath tickled her ear and Troy chuckled softly before heading back into the kitchen to take her into the bathroom. He walked past Gabriella, who was sitting at the bench, her Chem textbook open, reading intently as she ate.
"Nerd." He said as he walked past her and Gabriella glared at him as he bounced Grace slightly on his hip.
"Jock." She shot back and Troy laughed as he entered the bathroom and turned on the taps for the bath.
God, she was perfect. He couldn't even call her Grace's nanny anymore, she'd just become so much more and it wasn't because he'd fallen in love with her. It was simply because she was just Gabriella. She was always just Gabriella whether they were out in public together or whether she'd been looking after Grace for a few hours and he'd only just gotten back. She was absolutely perfect and willing to do nearly anything for Grace and that was what was important. Troy had needed a nanny for his daughter after the first six months of Grace's life when his Coach had become not-so-accommodating with him and his training schedule. He'd gone through two before Gabriella had applied for the job and both of those nannies not only had a hidden agenda which Troy was almost certain involved him and his money, but one had 'accidentally' left Grace in the house alone one day because she'd gotten an emergency call from her friend. Troy had flipped when he'd found out and no sooner had he fired her then Gabriella walked through the door. It had been a funny interview, now that he thought about. He could recall, as he lowered Grace into the tub and knelt by it, that he'd snapped at her, told her his experience with the past two nannies and then said that if she was after his money, she could get out. Gabriella had bitten the bait he'd tossed at her, informing him in a haughty tone he'd found a little too attractive for his liking, that if he seriously thought she was there for his money he could go and screw himself, she was a student at UCLA, needed the money and that the other two nannies went to her school and were well known for their exploits with the male population. Needless to say, Gabriella had started the next day.
For the first few months, as he'd gotten to know her, Troy had toyed with idea of making a move on her and then he'd walked in on her playing with Grace. He could still remember it, Grace clapping her hands in delight and giggling as Gabriella played peek-a-boo with her before Grace had reached for her and Gabriella had settled the tiny child on her lap as Grace snuggled into her, falling asleep as Gabriella had flicked on the TV. It had been at that particular moment that Troy had known, he'd actually known, that Grace thought of Gabriella as her mother. He'd never really thought about Grace having a mother and the moment he'd realized Gabriella was literally turning into Grace's mother, all thoughts of making a move on her had been shut down and Troy had worked on creating a strong friendship between them to ensure that Gabriella would want to stay as Grace's nanny and not leave for something better. That's why, unfortunately, a relationship with Gabriella was so out of the question. He couldn't risk losing her and if he became involved and then they broke up, what then? Grace would lose the only mother she'd ever known and he couldn't do that to his baby girl, it would kill him to know that the reason Grace had lost Gabriella was because of him.
Feeling something splash onto his shirt, Troy looked down at his daughter and narrowed his eyes at her as she laughed her blue eyes, so similar to his own, sparkling as she kicked her feet again and water once again splashed up over the side of the tub and onto his shirt.
"Okay, that's it, time to get out." Troy said, picking her up and lifting her in the air. Grace clapped her hands as Troy balanced her one-handed, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around her before taking her into her room and placing her down onto the change table. Gently, Troy began to dry Grace and chuckled slightly when she yawned as he set her down onto her back again.
"Are you tired baby-girl?" He asked softly as he did up her diaper and reached for her yellow footie-pajamas.
"She didn't take her nap today, that's why she's tired." Troy didn't jump when Gabriella spoke, instead he glanced over at her and raised his eyebrows as he watched her spoon chocolate covered ice-cream into her mouth.
"And why didn't she take a nap today?" He asked as he pulled Grace up into a sitting position, leaving her there as he turned to face Gabriella.
"Cause someone must have fed her sugar today." Gabriella sang pointing her spoon at him accusingly and Troy's eyes widened innocently and he held up his hands in defense.
"I didn't. I swear, just cause you don't have the magic touch with her doesn't mean you can blame me for her not going to sleep when she was meant too!" Troy said and Gabriella rolled her eyes at his words, stepping further into the room and digging her spoon back into her ice-cream.
"Whatever Troy. Try some of this, its really nice." Gabriella brushed off the looming argument and held the spoon up to Troy's mouth. Troy eyed it suspiciously and then opened his mouth allowing her to feed it to him.
"It is really nice." He agreed and then jumped when he felt something heavy land on the arm that had been leaning on Grace's change table. Looking down, he found his daughter slobbering on his arm.
"Grace," he sighed, picking her up and settling her against his side. "You know you're not meant to slobber on my arm. That's just gross." Troy scolded her, kissing her head gently as she yawned again.
"Yeah Grace! Listen to you daddy." Gabriella agreed with a grin and Troy glared at her as she set the bowl of half-finished ice-cream down and reached over to take her from him. Grace looked at Gabriella and then back at Troy as Gabriella settled her on her hip.
"Ma!" She squealed loudly and Troy froze as Gabriella nearly banged her head against Grace's when she whipped it around to stare at the little girl on her hip.
"W-what was that Grace?" Troy asked, clearing his throat nervously as Grace continued to look back and forth between Troy and Gabriella, with a very pleased look on her face.
"Ma!" Grace repeated, looking at Gabriella with a smile. Gabriella smiled back weakly, unsure how to handle what Grace was saying and the way Troy was looking at her.
Troy rubbed the back of his neck as Grace once again repeated the sound, this time confirming that she definitely knew what she was saying and that Grace was definitely referring to Gabriella as her mother. It was the first word she'd spoken a coherent word and Troy couldn't help but feel a little hurt that his name hadn't been the first to come out of her mouth but as he looked at Grace and avoided looking at Gabriella, he could tell his daughter was very pleased with herself and knew that if one of them didn't say something soon, tears would start and Troy never really liked to see his daughter in tears.
"Yes, baby-girl, Ma." He said quietly and didn't look at Gabriella as Grace smiled brightly at his gentle tone before snuggling into the crook of Gabriella's neck.
"I-uh-I-" Troy cut Gabriella stuttering off before she could launch into something he didn't want to hear.
"Can you put her down? I'll go and have some dinner." He said, picking up the bowl of melting ice-cream and heading out of the room before Gabriella could reply or contradict his words.
Troy reached the kitchen and dumped the bowl of ice-cream into the sink. Leaning against it, he swore silently. What the hell had he been thinking? He couldn't say something like that, not when Gabriella was present at least and not when he knew that he would have to explain to Gabriella what was going on and why he'd said that. God, what was he meant to say? She'd looked freaked out enough when Grace had said it and then he'd gone and done that. How stupid could you get? Why the hell had he said it? What on earth had possessed him to agree with his daughter? Letting out a frustrated breath, Troy's shoulders slumped and he turned around and froze. Gabriella was staring at him from the kitchen doorway and he offered her a weak smile.
"She went to sleep almost immediately." She stated, stepping into the kitchen hesitantly and looking over Troy's shoulder.
"That's probably because she didn't have her nap." Troy said as Gabriella stepped around and pulled herself up onto the bench opposite him.
"Yeah. Uh, Troy, upstairs when you…when you agreed with Grace-" Troy cut her off again when he saw the pained expression on her face.
"I'm sorry Gabriella. It's just that Grace really does think of you as her mother and I…just said that." Troy said quickly, wincing slightly at how lame his explanation sounded and the way Gabriella just stared at him like he was insane.
"B-but you can't say something like that to her Troy! What if I'm not around for much longer? What if I get a job on the other side of the country after I finish college?" Gabriella exclaimed and Troy rubbed a hand over his face as he stepped towards her.
"Gabriella, listen to me, please, I don't care about what you're going to do in a couple of years time. I care about right now and right now, I'd prefer Grace thinking of you as her mother than the woman that abandoned her because she was too selfish to want a child." Troy said quietly, looking Gabriella directly in the eye and praying that she didn't protest with his reasoning. Instead, she stared back almost as if trying to decide something.
"Troy if she thinks that now, what are you going to do when she begins to ask questions about why you and me aren't married? Or even together?" Gabriella asked and Troy shrugged his shoulders.
"I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there." He said and then his eyes widened as Gabriella leant forward slightly.
"Or you could just tell her that we are." Gabriella barely whispered before Troy felt her press her lips up against his own. Without much of second thought, Troy kissed back, forgetting all about the reason why he shouldn't be doing this and finally, finally, giving into the desire to kiss her the way he'd wanted to for months. Wrapping an arm around her waist Troy pulled her closer, reaching up and tangling a hand in her hair as her arms wound their way around his neck and she held on tightly. Lifting her up off the bench, Troy felt her legs wrap around his waist as he stumbled into the living room and landed on the couch. Breaking the kiss slightly as Gabriella adjusted herself beneath him slightly before capturing them again. Troy's hand slipped from her hair and found the hem of her shirt, pushing it up and reveling slightly in the feel of the soft skin of her stomach. God, he'd wanted this for so long and even though something in the back of his mind was warning him he shouldn't be doing this, warning him that it was just going to screw it all up and Grace was going to be left without a mother, Troy continued to kiss her, wanting to take something without having to think about the consequences of the day after, without having to think about the ramifications of their actions with his daughter.
As Gabriella moaned softly beneath him, Troy's grip on her waist tightened impossibly and he shifted her higher on the couch to kiss down her neck. Why shouldn't he take something he'd wanted so badly, for so long, for just one night?
A/N: Okay, I'm turning this into a two-shot simply because if I kept going it'd probably end up as one hell of a one-shot and I can't be bothered to write something so long and make it boring. I hope that first part was okay; I personally thought it got a bit boring as it went on but that's just me! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!