Never Grow Up

Author's Note: Hey everyone! I haven't written an HSM story for a really long time and I miss it! Also, I have a survey…should I make a sequel to my story, Stalker? Vote or tell me in a review!

Summary: "Sooner or later, you're going to have to let her go." Later, always seemed like the best option. But sooner, sometimes, was inevitable. Based on Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up".

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger

And it's so quiet in the world tonight

Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming

So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night-light

To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret

I'd give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart

And no one will desert you

Just try to never grow up, never grow up

- Taylor Swift "Never Grow Up"

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" For Troy Bolton, that moment occurred various times throughout his twenty-nine years of living. Well, four times to be exact. The first was when he first met Gabriella Montez. The second was when he stood at the altar staring intently into Gabriella's eyes, knowing that he had been right about this day the moment he met her. The third was when she told him that he would become a father.

The fourth was right now.

In his arms, his three-month-old daughter was cradled in his arms. Fiona Grace Bolton. Gabriella's daughter. His daughter. He never imagined that he would have a daughter. Sure, he had talked about with Gabriella before and after they got married, but he didn't think that he would get so lucky. Fiona was the perfect baby. She was content, always wanting to be cuddled by her parents and she fell asleep without any problems.

Babies always fascinated Troy. He couldn't even explain, but they did. Maybe he was fascinated by the fact that they came into the world with a clean slate. Maybe it was the fact that they would find everything funny, they didn't have to worry about saying the right thing to please other people. Troy didn't have to worry about any boys playing any minds games. Everything would just be simple. Because that's all a baby needs; simplicity.

"Troy." A soft whisper came from behind him. It was Gabriella. Troy broke contact with Fiona so he could have a better view of his wife.

Gabriella had insisted on working out throughout her pregnancy to avoid the hassle of losing the baby weight after Fiona's birth. Gabriella looked like she wasn't even pregnant at all. But now that Fiona was in their lives, Gabriella couldn't even consider vanity as any kind of a priority. Having a daughter was a dream come true for Gabriella. She treated Fiona like a princess, dressing her up in the cutest dresses, carrying her around and having Troy by her side to play with Fiona. Gabriella smiled at her husband as she entered the nursery and she stood behind the rocking chair.

"She almost asleep?" Gabriella asked just above a whisper, running a hand through Troy's hair. He smiled at his wife before he looked down at Fiona. Her eyelids were fluttering. She was growing tired. Troy began to rhythmically rock her, as he knew it would lull her to sleep. Finally, Fiona's little eyelids fluttered for good.

"Time to put her in the crib." Troy whispered in reply as he got up from the rocking chair and placed Fiona into her crib. He ran a hand over her downy cheeks, before he bent down and kissed her cheek. Gabriella was at his side and she did the same thing.

Instead of walking out of her nursery and into their bedroom, Troy walked to the wall across from Fiona's crib and he sat down, watching Fiona sleep. Gabriella raised her eyebrows. What was he doing? She walked over to him and she sat beside him. She stared at him with inquisitive eyes, hoping that he would explain himself. Troy bit his lip and shrugged his shoulders.

"I like watching her sleep." Troy said simply. Gabriella's eyebrows remained raised. She was like every other mother who loved watching her newborn child sleep, but she never knew a father who wanted to do such a thing.

"I never took you for the type, Troy." Gabriella said with a weak smile. Troy stifled a laugh and he nodded his head in full agreement.

"Yeah, I didn't either if I'm going to tell the truth. But lately I've been thinking…" His voice trailed, hesitant to tell Gabriella the rest. She saw the hesitation before she felt it. She reached out and took Troy's hand into hers. She gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Darling, you can tell me. What have you been thinking about?" Gabriella asked, trying to be the supportive wife. Troy shook his head.

"No, really its nothing."

"Troy. Tell me now." She wasn't a fighter, but she knew how to get her own way. Especially when she wanted something from her husband. And Troy could never say no to Gabriella. Regardless of what it was.

Troy sighed loudly as he ran his free hand through his hair. God, he needed a shower didn't he? Being a new dad had taken its toll on his appearance. Maybe a shave would be needed in the near future. He chewed his lip, thankful that at least he remembered to brush his teeth. At least he thought so.

"I don't want to miss anything."

"Miss what?"


"Troy, she's our daughter. She's always going to be our daughter. You're never going to miss anything. We're never going to miss anything." Gabriella promised, her voice the sound of an angel. Troy's smile dropped as quick as it grew. He placed a hand on Gabriella's knee.

"I know that she'll always be ours. That doesn't scare me."

"Then what does?"

"Nothing about having a child scares me. Fatherhood doesn't scare me. Poopy diapers don't scare me. Even Barney doesn't scare me. But I feel this panic about Fiona growing up too fast, turning into a teenager and finding me to be not cool, dating and breaking up with boys, going to college, moving away and forgetting about the nights I would give up sleep just to watch her dream. I'm scared that every bond I make with her will someday be gone." Troy revealed, his voice sad. Or maybe it was tired. But the expression on his face made Gabriella want to burst into tears. But she bit them back and only nodded her head.

"I know Troy. I've had the same fears. But we need to accept that she will grow up. And she will learn to go on in life without us to guide her." Gabriella reasoned. Troy sighed, running a hand through his hair. He definitely needed a shower.

"Its to be expected, she's going to grow up. I know that. If I had it my way, she would never grow up. If I can't have that, I wish that she wouldn't grow up so quickly. I would have her be a baby for a little while longer." Troy said, looking deeply into Gabriella's eyes. Gabriella sighed. There were too many nights where she would just hold Fiona close to her chest, and would just wish that Fiona would never grow out of her arms. And Gabriella knew that her own mother thought the same thing about her when she was a baby. Gabriella lifted a frail hand and she ran it down Troy's face. He stared at her intently as she stroked his face with the back of her hand.

"I know, Troy. Believe me, I know. But think of all the experiences we'll have with her when she's older. Like chasing her around the house when she walks and having conversations with her when she starts talking. And then we'll be taking her to school, teaching her how to drive, give her advice on the string of boyfriends that she's going to have and then you'll be walking her down the aisle one day when she meets The One. She'll always be ours and we're always going to have beautiful experiences with her. But sooner or later, you're going to have to let her go." Gabriella told Troy, holding her hand against his cheek and resting her forehead against his. Troy closed his eyes and swallowed hard.

Later, always seemed like the best option. But sooner, sometimes, was inevitable.

"I guess we shouldn't worry about that yet. For now, I love that she's a baby and she's dependant on us. And I love you. And we can depend on each other." Troy whispered, his hands holding her close to him. Gabriella smiled. They were both tired, in need of a shower and desperately clutching onto their daughter's youth. But they both knew that they'd ever have to clutch onto one another. It was just a natural habit.

"I love you too, Troy. Always." Gabriella whispered back, her face a breath away from Troy's.

So close, but yet so far. Troy lifted his broad hand and cupped Gabriella's cheek into it and he brought her lips onto his. They matched each other, stroke for stroke and they both smiled as they kissed one another. They had been together for so long that they memorized the little details about the other's kisses and the caress of one another. Regretfully, they each pulled back from one another. Troy caressed Gabriella's cheek and Gabriella's smile continued to grow. She ran a hand through his hair.

"Come on Wildcat…let's get us both into that shower, right now." Gabriella suggested, knowing that they both needed a proper shower. And intimate time together as a couple. Troy smiled at the idea of both.

"A shower with you sounds great." Troy insisted with a wink. Gabriella smirked as she rose from the ground, pulling Troy up with her. She placed a sultry kiss on Troy's lips, pulling back just as he wanted to deepen the kiss.

"I'll go start the shower." Gabriella seductively told her husband as she strutted out of Fiona's nursery, fully aware that Troy was checking her out. Troy grinned to himself. How he ended up with such a sexy wife, he would never understand. But why question something that worked out for you, right?

Troy was about to walk out of the room and join Gabriella in the shower, he caught a glimpse of his sleeping daughter. Fiona looked so content and tranquil as she slept in her crib, her blankets acting as the clouds of heaven and her plush toys her guardians throughout the night. Troy sighed and then eased into a smile. He walked over to the crib, being as quiet as he could. There was no reason why Fiona should've been woken up. Troy stared at the baby girl, absolutely certain that she was the most beautiful little girl in the whole world. He extended a hand and began to stroke her cheeks.

"I love you, Fiona." Troy whispered, leaning down and kissing the little girl's plump cheeks. She stirred, but did not wake up. Troy smiled down at his little pride and joy.

Until he and Gabriella gave her a sibling, Troy promised that tomorrow morning, he would take Fiona to the park. They still had time.

The End

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Acting-Singing-Bella Xo.