From: Secret Santa
Troy Bolton gently rolled over in bed, each of his movements slow to prevent his exhausted girlfriend from being awoken from her peaceful sleep.
Once his feet were pressed firmly onto the floor, he bent down and placed a loving kiss on the sleeping girl's forehead.
"Merry Christmas, beautiful." He whispered quietly before making his way towards the bedroom door.
He walked down the stairs, avoiding all of the spots that he knew would send loud creeks throughout the whole house and made his way into the kitchen.
"It can't be that hard, right?" Troy said to himself as he pulled out the old family recipe for 'Aunt Ida's cranberry stuffing' that was slipped into the cookbook that had been passed through generations of his family. Since Jack and Lucille Bolton's only child was Troy, they passed the book onto Troy's now wife, Gabriella Bolton.
"Right, pork sausage meat, check. Seasoned stuffing mix, check. Fresh cranberries, check. Cranberry sauce, check. 1 cooking apple, check. Melted butter, check. Right come on Troy, stuffing is the least of your worries this morning." He mumbled to himself as he read over the recipe before mashing all the ingredients together into the bowl.
As he placed the large bowl of stuffing into the oven, he wondered how long it would be before Gabriella woke up to the smell of Christmas food.
He wondered what she would say when she walked into the kitchen wearing an oversized t-shirt, that no doubt would have once belonged to him, and realizing that he had got up extra early to make Christmas enjoyable and relaxing for her.
He bent down and reached into the deep freeze located in the garage, he grasped tightly onto his next hurdle.
The gigantic turkey that would feed their whole family. He really couldn't mess this up.
"Right Troy, cooking a turkey? Any ideas?" He spoke to himself as he pulled off the plastic wrapping and placed the huge bird in the centre of a baking tray.
He waited a few seconds for his mind to reply to his question, when nothing came he scratched his head and shrugged his shoulders.
"Guess we'll just have to improvise then wont we." Troy said as he picked up some garlic butter and rubbed it all over the frozen turkey before putting it in the very hot oven.
Gabriella's eyes began to flutter open, the smell of food filling her nostrils.
She frowned, she knew it was Christmas day and she knew she was the only one that could cook in the house.
She wriggled around under the warm sheet, trying to sit herself up and into a comfortable position.
The exhaustion that she was feeling was becoming clearly evident.
"What on earth is he doing?" Gabriella asked herself as she heard what she assumed was Troy rattling pots and pans in the kitchen.
Her soft feet padded across the carpeted floor of the hallway towards a tiny bedroom.
"What is you daddy up to?" She spoke softly when she saw 5-month-old baby Grace Bolton wide-awake in her crib.
She picked up the warm baby and began to make her way down the stairs and towards the kitchen.
As she lent herself against the doorframe leading to the kitchen she laughed to herself. He was frantically searching under the water for something that he had dropped into the plugged sink.
Gabriella was trying desperately to be quiet and surprise Troy when he least expected it but when she felt a sneeze building inside her nose and knew it wouldn't be long before her presence was known.
Baby Grace giggled hysterically as she watched her father jump a mile into the air, startled by the sound of his wife's unexpected sneeze.
"How long have you been stood here?" Troy asked, feeling slightly embarrassed when he noticed the smirk on Gabriella face.
"Long enough to know your crazy." Troy laughed slightly and shook his head. He took a few steps forwards and embraced both girls tightly in his arms.
"I hope my two favorite girls are having a good Christmas so far." He placed a gentle kiss against Gabriella's lips and another against the soft head of the baby in her arms.
"Watching daddy make a fool of himself, I think we've had an excellent day so far. What do you think Gracie?" Gabriella asked as she lifted the tiny girl up slightly so that she was at eye level with Troy.
Her approval was made known by her very infectious giggle.
Gabriella watched lovingly from the doorway of the living room as Troy played happily with Grace and a new toy she had received from Gabriella's aunt in Mexico.
"She loves that donkey, I had one when I was small but I took it in the bathtub one day and it fell to pieces." Troy looked up smiling as he heard Gabriella's voice from the door.
"It's the simplest thing, yet she loves it. She can't stop touching it and looking at it." Troy picked up the small traditional piñata style Mexican donkey and held it in front of his face smiling.
"What time are you parents getting here?" Gabriella asked, glancing at the clock that hung on the wall, making a mental note that there was still so much food to cook and so little time to do it in.
"In about an hour. Relax, I put the turkey in, the stuffing is in, all you need to do is the vegetables. Come and cuddle with us" Troy opened his up arms to Gabriella and smiled cheekily.
"5 minutes only. I don't have enough time to snuggle with you two all day." Gabriella walked towards the couch and allowed herself to fall gently into Troy's arms.
"I love you, baby." Troy whispered softly into Gabriella's ears, allowing his lips to linger on the skin just below her earlobe, letting his teeth pull gently at her skin as he pulled away.
"Troy, not in front of Gracie." Gabriella giggled happily as Troy nuzzled deeper into her neck, at the same time making sure that tiny baby Grace wasn't squashed between the two of them.
It wasn't long before Troy's luxurious lips began to create amazing memories of the past.
The curtains opened revealing the graduating students to the hundreds of parents, teachers and fellow students.
Emotions were most definitely running high and as Miss Darbus began to speak the emotions that the wildcats were feeling quickly began to overspill creating a sea of tears.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our seniors!" Her loud voice boomed throughout the theatre as the graduating students moved to the front of the stage.
"Kelsi Neilson, the Julliard School Scholarship recipient, music." The first announcement was made, it came as no surprise to her fellow students but to Kelsi, the scholarship to the school she had always wanted to attend felt like a dream.
"Jason Cross…You did it, you graduated." The crowd went wild as Jason took a few steps forwards, his sloppy cap and victory dance simply increasing the volume of cheers and laughter from the audience.
"Taylor McKessie, Yale University with honors, Political Science." Taylor stepped forwards, made her very own 'girl power' sign and stepped backwards, returning to the line of her dearest friends.
"And I am pleased to announce, due to the excellent displays here this evening, Julliard School has made an extraordinary decision. Another student is to be awarded a Julliard Scholarship. Congratulations, Mr. Ryan Evens, choreography." Everyone smiled widely; Ryan had finally received the recognition he deserved away from the shadow that Sharpay had always cast over him.
"Miss Sharpay Evens, University of Albuquerque, performing arts. Miss Evens has kindly agreed to return to East High next fall to assist me in running the drama department." She stepped forward in a rather extravagant manner, tipping her head forwards allowing everyone to get full view of her personalized cap.
"And now I believe we have a student who has a decision to make. Mr. Troy Bolton." Troy stepped forwards, clasping his hands together nervously and looking around the audience. He nervously made eye contact with his father, running through the words he was about to speak in his mind.
"I've chosen basketball." The crowd went wild; everyone clearly excited to know that they would be able to see Troy playing for a big college team in the coming fall. Gabriella smiled proudly; she knew he'd made a decision that he would never regret.
"But I've also chosen theatre. The University of California, Berkeley, offers me both, that's where I'll be attending next fall." Gabriella's mouth hung open, Troy had moved his plans thousands of miles so that their relationship could stay as strong as it was at that very moment.
She couldn't believe it.
"But most of all, I chose the person who inspires my heart. Which is why I picked a school, which is exactly 32.7 miles from you…" Troy turned around to face Gabriella, assessing her reaction to his massive announcement.
She couldn't believe her ears; he had given up all of his U of A dreams to be close to her.
"Miss Gabriella Montez, Stanford University, Pre-law." He took hold of her hand and spun her around in a small circle, stepping backwards back into the line and wiping the tears from her eyes.
"I love you Gabriella, I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Troy's beautiful words began to become too much for Gabriella's self control. Her tears began to fall faster as she lent against his body for support.
"Thank you so much. This has been the greatest day of my life." Troy shook his head and placed a gentle kiss against her cheek.
"Just you wait." He whispered softly.
She giggled at the memory of graduation; she and Troy had moved to California and quickly moved in together.
Many beautiful hours had been spent in the tiny apartment in a small suburb of San Francisco.
"What are you thinking about, mommy?" Troy asked quietly, pulling Gabriella from her deep thoughts of the past.
"Just about how amazing the past has been. How happy I am right now. I love you so much." Troy smiled, it wasn't very often they managed to get a few minutes of peace together to share their still prevalent feelings.
"I love you to, so much and you know that will never ever change" Troy put Grace down in her bouncy seat, freeing up his arms to hold Gabriella tightly.
"I know, I've always known. I don't know what I'd ever do without you." Tears began to build up in Gabriella's eyes, she had know idea why she was about to cry but the happiness, need and love that she felt towards Troy all seemed to be coming together in one huge emotion.
"You'll never have to find out. It will always be you. You, me, Gracie and all of the other little Bolton's we'll have running around the place. All of us, together forever." Troy wiped the tears flowing down Gabriella's cheeks, just like he had done some many times in the past.
"Your parents will be here in a while, I have to go freshen up and get changed." Gabriella began to move away from Troy, but her movements were quickly restricted by Troy's arms wrapping tightly around her waist.
"Your not going anywhere, come one snuggle up. You've just had a baby, I'm sure mom can manage to cook a few vegetables." Gabriella giggled, 'I've just had a baby' was an excuse she had use so many times in the past.
"Gracie is five months old, I really don't think that excuse will stick now. But I really do just wan to lay with you, I haven't had time to feel close to you recently, I miss this." Gabriella allowed her head to lie on Troy's chest carefully, listening closely for the sound of his comforting heartbeat.
"From now on, we'll make time for this. Just lying together and being close to each other. Half an hour, everyday, starting from today." Gabriella smiled at the thought; thinking about spending time alone together brought many happy feelings within her.
Their happy bubble was momentarily broken by the sound of the doorbell ringing through the house.
"Your parents are here." Gabriella whispered quietly, not wanting to interrupt on their moment too much.
"They have a key." Troy whispered back, placing his lips against Gabriella's and leading her into a soft, smooth kiss.
As Lucille and Jack Bolton stuck their heads around the living room door, they spotted the beautiful kiss the couple were sharing. They smiled at each other; too afraid that if they spoke they would break the precious moment the couple were currently in.
From that moment on, it would remain a moment uninterrupted.