Summary: In response to ZA Angels write-off challenge---she leaned against his shoulder and closed her eyes. "Thank you for bringing me back," she whispered quietly. He looked at her. "I wasn't going to let you leave me one more time."

Disclaimer: I don't own any high school musical characters, and I don't own Disney either. I don't think I really own anything, I'm just writing this for my own consent!

Author's Note: Never in my life did I think I was going to do something like this. I kept on seeing 'In response to ZA Angels write-off challenge," and I thought, I want to try this. It'll be fun. The scene takes place at night after the ending of HSM3 at Gabriella's house. Spoilers! And umm...yeah. Please enjoy. Always, schoolgirl 101

He turned off the engine to his barely functioning pickup truck and ran to the side to let her out. A soft giggle filled the quiet atmosphere and she stared up into his bright blue eyes. "I'm still in shock on how you got this beat-up---"

He coughed loudly.

A smile graced her lips, and she allowed him to pull her up and out of his truck.

"You were saying?" he asked and ran his hand gently down her shoulder, while closing the passenger door.

"This glorious truck from above traveled all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Stanford, California. And my question to you Troy Bolton, is how?" she laughed.

"Well, first," he grinned. "If you're mentioning the city of Albuquerque, you can't say I traveled to Stanford. I traveled from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Palo Alto, California. I thought the valedictorian would have known that," he teased and wrapped his arm around her waist as he pulled her towards her backyard.

She gasped and bit her lip, her coffee-colored eyes glaring playfully at him. "I knew that," she exclaimed. "I just figured you didn't know."

He nodded slowly before glancing at her. "Whatever you say valedictorian."

"Hey! I know where Stanford is! Why wouldn't I know the city to where my home will be for the next four years? I figured that your intellect," she paused. "Your intellect---may have been absent at the moment..."

He chuckled and pulled her through the white fence gate. "I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear that comment."

She shook her head and brushed the hair away from her flushed cheek. "Your intelligence continues to amaze me," she whispered and hauled him towards the large hammock and took a seat. He followed closely behind her, and the two rocked in a slow motion, their feet hoisted in the air as if they're soaring. As if they're flying.

Troy looked at her and smirked. "And besides, I also wanted to point out about my 'glorious truck from above.' I hope by above, you mean the heavens and the stars above."

"There's not a star in heaven that we can't---" she sang softly and he leaned over to place a soft kiss on her cheek.

"When I brought you back here, I didn't think you would go all Twinkle Town on me," he smiled and intertwined her fingers into his. She leaned against his shoulder and closed her eyes.

"Thank you for bringing me back," she whispered quietly.

He looked down at her and stared at her tan skin against the moonlight. She seemed to be glowing and bursting with happiness. His eyes glanced upon her lightly glossed lips, and in an instant, he wanted to kiss her, so badly. He allowed his chaste values to kick in and instead, leaned his head against her own and placed their interlaced hands on the top of his chest. "I wasn't going to let you leave me one more time," he said and rubbed her hand lightly with the pad of his thumb.

"Do you remember when we were at the ski lodge on New Year's Eve?" he questioned his eyes still closed, their movements slow and steady in the hammock.

"Do you expect me to forget?" she laughed. "I had this stalker trying to make a move on me and get me to sing with him. He pulled off his jacket and threw it at the crowd in his attempt to act all suave and cool."

Troy blushed at the wholesome comment. "Did it work?" he asked as he opened his eyes.

He listened to her soft breathing and watched when her eyes fluttered open to stare at him. "Maybe," she admitted.

"That day---" he hesitated. "I wanted to tell you that I had a great time. I wanted to ask you where you lived, and I turned around and you were gone; you left me right in front of my own eyes."

"Well, you know where I live now," she stated and placed her cold hand upon his cheek.

"I think everyone knows where you live," he chuckled. "Your hometown was posted on Stanford's website. The college board welcomed East High's valedictorian with open arms."

"And speaking of valedictorian," she said and sat up. He questioned the sudden movement and stared at her intently.

"Why didn't I get to say our graduation speech?" Gabriella inquired.

He looked at her and laughed. "Goodness Gabriella. I thought something important happened."

She inhaled sharply and thumped his shoulder lightly. "That graduation speech was important! I'm surprised the school let you say it. Instead of me! Come on Troy, I had the medal and everything!" she protested.

"So?" he interrogated. "I could have gotten a medal."

"Yeah," she snorted. "If you were valedictorian."

He pulled his hands away from her and moved towards her waist to tickle her. When his fingers came in contact with her skin, she burst uncontrollably into a fit of giggles. "Troy, stop!"

"I'll only stop on one condition," he replied.

"What's your claim?" she laughed.

"I get that shiny medal of yours. You know Troy loves shiny things."

She bit her lip when his hands pulled away, and she opened her mouth to catch her breath. "You do know you're never getting the medal, right?"

He laughed and nodded. "After stealing your speech, you can have the medal," he said graciously. "I have a lot of shiny things."

"Like your truck?" she teased.

"You leave her out of this," he warned.

"Her? As in a woman? As in your truck?"

"The Titanic was a she. Everyone said that 'she' sunk. My truck can't be a woman also?"

She buried her head into his shoulder and stifled her laughter into his shirt. He was too funny in her eyes. He was too perfect. "I love you Wildcat," she said while laughing into his shirt.

And then the words clicked.

He froze and pulled away.

Her eyes widened at the statement she had formed and accidently said aloud. She trembled at his notion and hung her head low. She was afraid of going to fast, but impulse had overtaken her, and she just blurted out the words. She wished she could have hung up on him, but in this situation, that was not a solution.

Gabriella looked at him and watched him scratch the back of his neck. He always did that when he was nervous.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't want to take this too fast. And I know that you can't say the words back to me," she ceased. "But I'm not going to tell you I didn't mean it, because I did. I love you Wildcat, with all my heart."

He blinked and looked away, up at the moonlight. It was a full moon. That was not a good sign. Troy knew what the full moon represented. The end of a chapter. He couldn't face to look at her. She must have been shattered.

"Gabriella---" he whispered and reluctantly turned to face her.

She blinked and slowly met his gaze. Cobalt blue crashed into caramel brown, in a way that the ocean would crash into the soft sand on a dark night.

"On New Year's that day, you left me without a single goodbye. And I was sad," he responded softly.

She looked at him and nodded slowly. "I'm sorry."

"When you left me at Lava Springs, I wasn't sad. I was crushed."

He buried his hands into his face and the memory flooded into his mind. How she dropped the necklace into his hand. The red shiny ruby sat softly against the shimmering T. She had not wanted to where it. She had not wanted to see it.

He looked back at her and saw the item graced so perfectly against her silky skin. The item was meant to be there on her neck. Forever and always.

"Troy, I'm sorry," she whispered.

"But when you left me to Stanford and you called to say you weren't coming back, I was miserable. You were the best thing that had ever come to me. And when you left, my heart broke. I was traumatized. No amount---"

"Troy," she shivered and she wrapped her arms around her body in an attempt to warm herself. "I'm so sor---"

He cut her off and placed a finger over her lips. "No amount of sorry's could ever change the way I felt."

The quiet atmosphere filled the air once again. Gabriella blinked. She wanted to grab a knife and slash the air. It was killing her. He was killing her. Her words were killing her.

"They say third time's the charm," Troy claimed and peered to look at Gabriella's distraught face. "When you left me for the third time, I knew I was lucky," he commented.

She looked down and rubbed her fingers closely together.

"Gabriella, I knew that I wasn't going to let you leave me one more time," he whispered.

He grabbed her hands and pulled them towards his chest. "I came back for you because I need you. I would never let go of the most important thing in my life."

She pursed her lips together and her brown eyes started to water.

"I came back for you because I love you. I love you Gabriella Montez."

She allowed the tears to flow freely from her face and he wiped them away in a matter of seconds. Just the way he always did. "I love you," he whispered.

Their gazes represented a small portion of their desperate need for each other, and Gabriella could feel herself being pulled closer to Troy. Their lips met in a compelling kiss, and he wrapped his arms around her waist to balance their forceful motions.

She ran his fingers thorough his hair before wrapping her arms and settling them around the nape of his neck. He continued to kiss her, softly and slowly than before. The need for air was evident and the two pulled away from each other.

They smiled at each other brightly, the delight on their faces obvious to the other.

"I love you," he grinned.

"I love you," she smiled.

He placed a finger under her chin and directed her to look up at the sky.

"The full moon is beautiful tonight, isn't it?" she asked.

"A full moon symbolizes the end of a chapter," he professed.

She looked at him and smiled sadly. It was sad how something so beautiful---could be so depressing.

He noticed her reaction to his words. "I don't want you to think like that," he replied. "I mean---I want you to think of it as the end of a chapter---"

She looked down sadly.

"And the start of a new one."

He placed his lips against hers one more time before pulling away.

She looked back up at moon and thanked whoever was watching over her. She would have to thank him/her one day. Gabriella looked back at Troy who seemed to be watching her. She knew he could tell she was giddy, but she didn't care.

She once again settled herself into his chest. "So---here's to the future?" she giggled.

"So now you want to go all Lava Springs on me, right?" he smirked.

She nodded. "This time you're willing to agree, right?"

He nodded. "Here's to the future. Here's to right now."

She allowed him to wrap her arms around her.

She bit her lip and wondered if her next words would end up changing her life as she knew it.

"Do you want to come inside?" she whispered softly.

Troy looked at her, clearly surprised, before nodding softly. "If you want me too."

"I do," she said strongly.

He smiled at her softly. "Okay. But I will only come inside on one condition."

"State your claim," she laughed.

"Climb up the tree with me?"

"What is up with you and trees Bolton?"

Right here,

Right now,

I'm looking at you and my heart loves the view,

'Cause you mean everything