Just a little one-shot for you!

I apologise if this sucks but I didn't spend that long writing it.

Need Your Love

Ignoring the way the fierce wind whipped against her shaking body and the way the pelting rain stabbed her tear stained cheeks, Gabriella increased her frantic pace as she raced through the sleeping streets of her neighbourhood. Her mind was spinning as she desperately craved oxygen, but she couldn't stop running; she wouldn't stop. Not until she got to him.

Turning sharply to her left, Gabriella continued to run forwards, her breath coming out in short puffs of air. The cold air froze her body as she pushed on, but she didn't care. She didn't feel anything now; she would never feel again, not until she was with him. Ignoring the searing stitch in her side, Gabriella turned into another street, pushing a little further as she saw her haven in the distance.

He had gone. After three years of battling the incurable disease, Gabriella's father's life was ripped away mercilessly, leaving her shattered one behind. After spending three hours by his hospital bed sobbing uncontrollably, Gabriella had needed to escape from her hell. So, after saying a choked final goodbye to her father, she had sprinted from the room, and hadn't stopped running since. She couldn't stop because if she did, she'd have to face the reality that her one remaining parent was now gone, and she was left with nothing. No other family members to turn to; no-one.

Except him.

Was it wise for Gabriella to be running through the streets of Albuquerque at 12:30 at night? Probably not. Was it a good idea for her to be relying on the one person she hadn't spoken to in almost a year? No, it wasn't. But she had nobody else. She needed him.

As the house became closer and closer, Gabriella finally slowed her pace, her breathing heavy and desperate. The lights in house were off; a clear sign that everyone was sleeping. But she didn't care. Biting her lip, Gabriella slipped through the gate and into the dark back garden, her stinging eyes squinting as best they could so she could navigate her way to the house. As she approached the patio doors to his bedroom, Gabriella suddenly hesitated. The brutal maelstrom in her mind had lessened enough for her to come to terms with what she was doing, and she quickly realised that what she was about to do was ridiculous.

How could she have been so stupid? He made it perfectly clear how he felt about her all those months ago, and so, Gabriella was pretty sure that waking him up in the middle of the night was only going to add to his hatred of her.

A light suddenly flicked on in the room behind the patio doors, and her eyes widened as she saw his body shifting in his bed before sitting up right. Holding her breath, Gabriella waited for him to see her, her bloodshot eyes remaining focused on him as he sluggishly rose from the bed. She watched him, frozen, as he shuffled towards the en-suite bathroom. As he turned around to close the door, his tired eyes suddenly snapped up, and Gabriella knew she was no longer invisible. Cerulean blue clashed with mocha brown, and for a few seconds, neither of them moved.

In the next ten seconds or so, Gabriella didn't breathe; she couldn't. Her knees were beginning to shake, struggling to hold up her shivering body. She was drenched to bone, her thin top clinging to her frail body and her once perfected curls hung in dripping tendrils as they clung to her pale cheeks. But none of that mattered. Although she was shivering, Gabriella took no notice of the unrelenting rain or the blistering cold wind as it swiped viciously at her delicate body.

He was the only thing that mattered.

Holding his firm gaze as he crossed the room, Gabriella stood frozen to her spot, unable to move; she didn't dare to. The fain click of the lock on the door and the slight creak as it opened had Gabriella's breath return, coming out in desperate spasms.

He looked the same. He looked just as she remembered. His chestnut hair was ruffled from sleep but the same and his cerulean eyes were sleepy but looked just the way she always dreamt about. He stood silent in the doorway, confusion visible on his weary features, but frustration was noticeable in his eyes that were now deep navy in colour.

What was she doing here at 12:45? What could possibly be so important that she felt the need to come to him? Why–

"Troy."

Gabriella's choked plea had him freezing, his harsh words of greeting dying on his lips. He took this brief moment to take in her sudden appearance. Her face was pale and tear stained; her hair was sopping wet and her eyes…her eyes were glistening with unshed tears, hurt shining from the depths of her russet orbs.

"Gabriel–"

"He's gone," she gasped out and before Troy could react, Gabriella's knees buckled from beneath her, her tired body falling to the ground as unstoppable tears overwhelmed her body. Troy stood in shock as he stared at her breaking body on the floor, surprised by the way his heart clenched in pain as Gabriella's shoulders convulsed with her tears.

She wanted it to end. She wanted the hurt she was feeling, the pain that was coursing through her body to stop. As her chokes and sobs lessened momentarily, Gabriella felt two warm arms wrap around her body, lifting her up off of the wet ground. Her tiny fingers clung to his neck as he carried her into the warmth of his bedroom, her head buried deeply in the crook of his neck. Unable to suppress the tiny whimper as Troy placed her on the bed, Gabriella reluctantly unwound her heavy arms from his neck, allowing him to step back.

"Gabriella?"

"He's g-gone," she whispered faintly. "This evening…one minute he w-was with me but the next he was gone…" Gabriella choked on the last word, more tears breaking their way through and her shoulders shook with the force of them. Realisation hit Troy with the force of a speeding train…

Her father was dead.

"Shit…" Troy closed his eyes, feeling his throat close up. "Let me go and get my mom…she'll want to be with you…" As he stood up, he felt two tiny hands grip his wrists and he looked down, feeling his heart break ever so slightly as his eyes met Gabriella's desperate ones.

"Don't l-leave me," She whispered, her small fingers tightening around his wrists. "Please, Troy." Her glossy eyes searched his frantically and Troy could only nod his head, swallowing heavily as he sat besides her, uncertain what to do.

Minutes passed in silence before Troy stood from the bed, bringing Gabriella with him.

"C'mon, we need to get you into something warmer," he murmured, referring to Gabriella's wet wrinkled t-shirt and the stiff jeans that were sticking to her legs. Gabriella could only nod in response, but that was enough for Troy. He crossed the room to his dresser, pulling out a t-shirt and some sweat pants before handing them to Gabriella who just looked at them, her expression lost.

"There are some towels in the bathroom for you," Troy said softly, motioning to the en-suite behind him. Gabriella nodded slowly before shuffling towards to open bathroom door, her arms hanging limply by her side.

As Gabriella disappeared behind the bathroom door, Troy sighed deeply, running his hands through his hair. Now what? The sudden ringing of the telephone echoed through the house, and Troy could hear a faint movement coming from his parents' room as one of them answered the phone. Two minutes after the phone had rang, the door to Troy's bedroom was flung open, and his mother came running in, closely followed by his father. Before either one of them could tell him what he already knew, Troy pointed towards the closed door of his bathroom.

"Gabriella's in there," he whispered. Turning his head to face his mother's tear stained one; he swallowed heavily before speaking again. "She…just turned up. She was crying and I didn't know why but then she…told me that it had happened…"

"Oh god," Lucille sighed, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall. She crossed the room to the bathroom, knocking softly on the door. "Gabriella?" She called softly, knocking once again as she received no reply. "Sweetie, it's Lucy. You need to open the door." Sighing at the lack of response for the second time, Lucille tried to door handle, and it clicked open, the door swinging back to reveal Gabriella hunched on the floor, still dressed in her saturated clothes.

"Go away," she whispered, her glossy eyes not lifting as she gazed distantly at the floor.

"Sweetie, you need to get changed. You'll get sick if you don't," Lucille demanded softly, picking up a towel before holding it out towards Gabriella.

"I don't care." Gabriella sniffed before burying her head into her knees, wrapping her arms around them tightly. Sighing, Lucille glanced up, catching Jack's attention, and she shrugged helplessly, more tears threatening to fall as Jack looked back just as unsure.

"Gabriella, honey, we promised your father that we'd look after you once he was gone…" Lucille paused as Gabriella gasped through her tears. "And so, you need to get changed and into bed," Lucile ordered softly, and Gabriella finally nodded her head, picking up the towel that was lying by her side. Smiling tenderly, Lucille closed the door to the bathroom, and began to help Gabriella out of her soggy clothes and detangle her curls.

Standing on the other side of the door, Troy and his dad waited in silence. Sinking the bed, Troy sighed deeply, running a hand through his dishevelled hair before staring intently at the floor, listening to the soft murmurs of his mother talking to Gabriella in the bathroom.

"She'll be okay, Troy." His father's sudden words had Troy blinking, and he lifted his gaze from the floor to meet the perceptive one of his father.

"Yeah, I know," he replied. "It's just…after not speaking to her for almost a year…why do I feel like I should've been there with her when it happened?" He dropped his gaze again, fiddling with the championship ring settled in his finger. "And seeing her like that…was just…I don't even know. I mean – why did she come here? She could've gone to Taylor's or Sharpay's but she came here instead…"

"You're seriously asking yourself that, Troy?" Jack's expression turned slighted sceptical. "Of course she would've come here. The two of you were best friends – and you were with her when Maria died, so I guess she knows that she'll be okay here," he said, and Troy could see the logic in his father's words.

"Yeah I guess you're right, but–" Troy stopped abruptly when the door to the en-suite opened, and Lucille emerged with Gabriella clinging onto her arm, her face looking just as blank and expressionless as it had before.

"Okay, I think it's time for bed," Lucille murmured softly, and Jack nodded in agreement. "Gabriella, honey, will you be alright in the spare room?" She asked, and Gabriella's empty gaze focused on Troy's face, watching intently as she replied.

"Yeah – I'll be fine," she whispered, attempting a weak smile.

"Good," Lucille smiled. "If you need anything at all, we're just next door," she assured softly.

"Okay, thanks, Lucy." Gabriella detached herself from Lucille's arms.

"You're welcome, sweetie." Lucille bent down to kiss her cheek. "Goodnight."

"Night," Gabriella responded, her usually soft voice hoarse from her tears. Shuffling out of the door, she glanced back briefly, her gaze locking on Troy's heartbreaking one. Holding his intense stare for a second longer, Gabriella disappeared through the doorway, and made her way to the spare bedroom; the fatigue of the day finally catching up with her.

Troy stared blankly at the spot in the doorway Gabriella had just vacated; the last twenty minutes playing repeatedly in his mind. He was acutely aware of his parents bidding him goodnight, their quiet murmurs of disbelief resonating off of the walls of the quiet house as tiptoed back to their room. Unable to process what had happened that night, Troy flung himself backwards onto his pillows, slamming his eyes shut in an attempt to block the mental image of Gabriella's broken expression.

"Fuck," he sighed, shifting his body so that he was beneath the comforter before flicking off his lamp, leaving the room softly lit by the moonlight streaming in through the patio doors. Finally admitting defeat, Troy rolled onto his side, allowing exhaustion to overwhelm his body as he slowly drifted off into a light sleep; his mind plagued by the thoughts of the broken girl who was sleeping two doors down from him.

--

Her body begged for sleep. Her eyes refused to remain open as she blinked sleepily, lying in silence, surrounded by the warmth of the thick comforter. But no matter how hard she tried to sleep, Gabriella knew it was impossible to do so.

Her mind was filled with an amalgamation of thoughts; different memories of her father and of Troy – of how things were before; when the two of them had been inseparable…when the two of them had been in love. Everyone had known that Gabriella and Troy were joined at the hip – where there was one, the other would be close by. Gabriella would always have been on the front row of the bleachers, cheering on Troy as he frequently led the Wildcats to victory and Troy in turn, would have been at every one of Gabriella's scholastic decathlons – endlessly baffled by her knowledge and logic of subjects he had never even heard of. They had been the 'Golden Couple' of East High – even though they weren't a couple. They had both been oblivious to each other's feelings, but to the rest of East High – it couldn't have been more obvious. And that's exactly why everyone was so downright shocked when the two of them argued that fateful afternoon. In the middle of the corridor, surrounded by the hawk-like stare of their peers, Troy and Gabriella's friendship had been shattered.

And now, after almost an entire year of glaring at one another, picking fights with one another, unable to stand being in the same room as one another, Gabriella was lying in the bed, two doors down from Troy's. As she tried her hardest to fall asleep, Gabriella knew she didn't want to be alone. She didn't want to spend the first night of her horror by herself. She had come to the Bolton's house, wanting to be with Troy – and now that she was here, she needed to be with him. She had missed him achingly over the past year – but had been too stubborn to admit it to anyone, except her father. And now, seeing him again after what had happened that night, made Gabriella realise that he was the only one who would be able to make her feel less alone; that he was the only one who would be able to give her love that she so desperately wanted, needed from him. Sighing to herself as she made her decision, Gabriella threw back the comforter, and pulled herself out of the bed. Tiptoeing across the room, she quietly opened the bedroom door, peering out into the darkness of the corridor, before softly padding down the hallway.

--

Troy's light sleep was disturbed when he suddenly heard the soft creak of his bedroom door opening. Blearily opening his eyes, he looked over and blinked in surprise when he saw Gabriella's silhouette standing in his doorway. He must've been dreaming. He was certain that this wasn't real, but as Gabriella gently shut the door and shuffled towards his bed, Troy felt his breath catch in his throat. If it was a dream, it felt insanely real. And the moment his azure orbs locked with Gabriella's hesitant mocha ones, he immediately knew that it was real. Troy forgot to breathe as Gabriella carefully lifted his comforter and crawled into the bed next to him, her lower lip caught gently between her teeth.

Feeling the mattress shift under her weight, Gabriella let out a shaky breath. Troy hadn't said anything yet. He hadn't even moved. He was just watching her with shocked eyes that were filled with apprehension and confusion. Inching towards him, Gabriella cautiously placed a hand on his stomach, resting her head on his shoulder. She didn't know what to stay yet, and so she lay there in silence, waiting for Troy to finally speak.

Troy didn't know what to do. Despite being shocked, he quickly realised how much he had missed the feeling of her body so close to his; the feeling of her light breathing tickling the bare skin of his neck. As Gabriella remained in that position, Troy uncertainly placed his hand on her back, his fingers sneaking beneath the hem of t-shirt she was wearing, and tentatively stroking her silky skin. After Gabriella made no protest, he slowly brought up his hand to capture the small one that was resting on his chest, gripping it before pulling it upwards to curl around his neck. Troy then began to rub his hand up and down her smooth arm, his motions soothing and assuring.

The two of them remained in that position for a while, their hearts beating erratically. Then finally, Gabriella shifted her body away from Troy's so that she was propped up one arm, the hand that was curled around his neck sliding down his chest until it lay directly over his heart. She gazed down at him; the guy she had been best friends with since the young age of seven – the guy she had fallen madly in love with at the tender age of fourteen. Her heart ached for him, for his love and as she gazed into his questioning eyes, Gabriella knew without a doubt that she was in love with him and had been even when she had told everyone that she hated him.

"Gabriella?" Troy's questioning plea brought Gabriella away from her thoughts and her eyes flicked back to his, her heart melting at the intensity of them.

"I need you," she whispered at last, her eyes filling with the tears that she had been trying to keep at bay.

"What?" Troy's confused question had Gabriella smiling shakily, her eyes releasing one single tear. Pulling away from him completely, she sat up, her back hunched as she wrapped her arms around her legs.

"I don't know what I am going to do," she snivelled. "My dad was the only one I had left who loved me, Troy-" she paused to sniff slightly, "-but now that he's gone, I've got no-one left." Gabriella was forced to stop as her sobs became too aggressive. Troy remained silent behind her, processing her words.

How could he tell her? Tell her that there is someone who loves her, but is too scared to admit it?

Leaning forward, Troy placed his hand on Gabriella's shoulders which only aided in escalating her sobs. Tugging gently, he pulled her body backwards so that she was lying down again, her cheeks tear-stricken, and her eyes red raw.

"Despite everything that's happened between us," Gabriella whispered, her voice trembling, "-you're the only one I could think of." Her glossy eyes twisted deeply into his, her gaze searching for what she so desperately wanted. "D-do you love me, Troy?" Her voice trembled viciously and she fell silent, waiting in shaky silence for Troy to answer. He didn't respond straight away. Instead, he shifted his body so that he was leaning over hers, his weight pinning her fragile form to the bed.

"Gabriella…" he breathed, his azure orbs sweeping over her delicate face, running his thumb gently over her bottom lip. "I thought that what happened between us would change the way I felt about you –"

"Troy-" Gabriella began, but hushed when Troy shook his head.

"Let me talk." He sighed deeply before continuing. "It's a been a year since…that day, and I was certain that my feelings for you had gone – but seeing you outside in the rain, crying, made me realise that they hadn't gone – they'd just been hidden." He paused so catch the solitary tear that rolled down Gabriella's cheek. "And now that they've resurfaced, I now know that I never stopped loving you and that I am still in love with you." Troy fell silent, allowing Gabriella to take in his sincere words. He watched as she closed her eyes, the corners of her mouth tilting upwards slightly to form her first real smile of the evening.

"Kiss me."

Troy's head jerked slightly in surprise as he stared down at Gabriella's serene face. Her eyes slowly opened and locked with Troy's, the sparkling depths of coffee orbs intertwining with the deep pools of blue.

"What?" Troy blinked heavily before cocking his head to the side, his expression confused.

"Kiss me, Troy," Gabriella whispered again, tugging his head down to hers, stopping when their lips were just a breath width apart.

"…You sure?" Troy asked, worried that he would be taking advantage of her.

"Please, Troy…" Gabriella's voice was soft and adoring, and it was enough for Troy. Slowly, he closed the gap between them, and pressed a small hesitant kiss to her soft lips. Pulling back after a few seconds, Troy searched for any discomfort in her eyes, but found none. Her eyes were shining with sincerity and confidence, and it was all the conformation he needed. Leaning in again, Troy kissed Gabriella gently, lowering himself so that he was resting on his forearms, their legs entwining together, seeking comfort and reassurance.

Gabriella was on cloud nine; floating in blissful happiness. She had fantasized kissing Troy so many times, and at last, it was finally happening. The heartache and loneliness she had felt previously finally dissolved, leaving a warm glow within her. She felt the tip of Troy's tongue run across her bottom lip in a whisper like caress, and almost at once, Gabriella parted her lips and allowed their tongues to tangle in a consoling dance. She slid her hands backwards, tangling her slender fingers in his unruly locks, and Troy rolled onto his side, taking Gabriella with him, never once breaking their kiss. With Gabriella now hovering over his body, Troy was able to lift his hands, one cradling the back of her neck, the other playing with a silky strand of her hair. Reluctantly, Gabriella broke the kiss moments later, her breathing ragged and frantic. Unable to resist, Troy leant up to brush his lips against hers in a chaste kiss before flopping back down to the bed, taking in the sleepy fluttering of her eyes.

"You tired?" He asked, his voice husky and his breathing ragged. Gabriella smiled placidly before a large yawn broke through.

"Mhmmm," she murmured before yawning again. Troy grinned softly as he tugged her downwards, allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder.

"Then let's sleep," he whispered, and Gabriella hummed in approval, nuzzling his throat gently. Troy lay there in silence for a few minutes, stroking his hand up and down Gabriella's arm. As he continued his tender caress, he couldn't fight the words that were forcing themselves to be heard.

"I'm sorry, Gabriella," he uttered, his mind flashing back to the times he'd been harsh towards her, ignored her – the times he wished he could take back. Gabriella shifted next to him, the hand resting on his abdomen sliding around his waist so that she was hugging him.

"Why are you apologising for?" She asked, her voice husky as she fought off the sleep that was becoming more and more appealing.

"For the way I've treated you this past yea-" Troy was cut off as Gabriella turned his head towards hers.

"Troy – I don't need your apology." She whispered, smiling as Troy's brow furrowed in confusion. "I know that you didn't mean any of it – I've had your apology the entire time. So you don't need to say that you're sorry – because I already know you are." She leant forward to press a gentle kiss to his lips, her lips tilting in a peaceful smile.

"I love you," Troy murmured after a few moments, turning Gabriella's body so that her back was pressed tightly against his muscular chest. Gabriella sighed in bliss, tilting her head back to accept another kiss that Troy dropped onto her lips.

"I love you too, Troy, so much…" She replied softly, and Troy grinned, leaning down to nuzzle her silky cheek with his nose. As Gabriella made a soft moan of acknowledgement, Troy continued to nuzzle her cheek, pressing affectionate kisses to the soft skin; causing Gabriella's breathing to hitch before it slowed, falling quickly into the familiar rhythm of sleep as the exhaustion overwhelmed her body.

This is where they were meant to be; together, at last. After everything they had been through, the tears, the fighting, the suffering, everything, Troy couldn't help but feel that this moment made up for it all – every thing was perfect. Gabriella was finally his, and he was hers. There would be tears, and there would be heartaches – but as long as they were together, Troy was certain that they would able to conquer any pain that may face them.

--

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