I know it's been a while, but writing hasn't been my priority recently.
This chapter is dedicated to my friend Sam :)
I Like You
Tuesday, a day that didn't really mean much to Troy, it was the day after Monday and the day before Wednesday, which was the middle of the week which meant it was almost the end of the week, which meant it was almost the weekend, well that was his logic anyway.
It was that time of day again when Troy found himself standing in the school playground, well leaning against the wall, waiting for the end of day bell to ring. One thing Troy had found out, while waiting for the end of day bell to ring, was that the time passed a lot quicker if games on his phone were involved, today's game involved him collecting as many gold coins as possible, whilst avoiding the various obstacles, apparently though this game had just been put on pause by an incoming call, from Sharpay.
"I need a favour."
"I had to send Gabi home after a while this morning Troy, she was barely functioning, anyway I told her I'd pick Toby up and take him home to her, but there's a sudden rush on here and I can't get away, is there anyway you can do it? He knows you, he'll go with you and Amelia and you know where they live,"
"Shar its fine I'll do it, I'll make sure Gabi's alright while I'm there as well."
"Really? Thank you so much Troy, Toby doesn't know that Gabi isn't coming so he wouldn't be expecting me let alone you, are you alright explaining to him?"
"I have a daughter of the same age remember? I know how to look after children, I'll pick them both up, explain what's going on while on the way to the Montez's, make sure Gabi's alright once we get there and then I'll phone you tonight and explain, okay?"
"Sounds great, thanks Troy."
"No problem, speak to you later."
"Okay, bye." Shaking his head at his perky friend, Troy hung up from the call and put his phone back in his pocket, the end of day bell had just rung, he was so close to getting his best score too.
Conveniently, Amelia and Toby came out of the school together, animatedly talking about something Troy probably wouldn't understand even if he tried. They both stopped and searched the playground for their respective parent, Amelia spotted Troy and happily started waving, but then stopped when she realised Toby hadn't found Gabriella; it was time for Troy to step in.
"Hi Daddy, have you seen Gabriella?" Troy shook his head as he finished approaching them and knelt down to their height.
"She's not coming to get you today Toby because she didn't look very well at work so Auntie Sharpay had to send her home and Auntie Sharpay was going to come and get you but it got busy at the shop so she's asked me to take you back to yours and see if your Mummy is okay, are you alright with that?" The little boy nodded slowly and reached out to hold Troy's hand.
"Is Mummy okay?"
"I hope so buddy, I think she's just been working too hard don't you?" Toby nodded and so Troy stood up keeping hold of Toby's hand and then offering his other one to Amelia. "Let's get you two strapped in and then we'll see what music we can find, alright?" Toby and Amelia both nodded cheekily and Troy knew he'd never get his choice of music.
As Troy pulled the car to a stop in front of the Montez household and he walked round the car to help the children out, the front door opened to reveal a shocked looking Gabriella; clearly she was expecting Sharpay and Toby, not Toby, Troy and Amelia.
"Before you start with the twenty questions, Shar couldn't get away from work there was a sudden rush on, so she phoned me knowing I was already at the school and that Toby would come with me, that okay?" Gabriella nodded as Toby ran up the path to hug her before he and Amelia ran inside to play.
"I'll ring her and thank her later," Gabriella said as Troy gestured for her to go inside. "Normally I'd argue with her to stay at work but today I actually had no energy left to argue with, I just came home, changed into something more comfy and crashed in bed, I haven't been up long, I do feel better though."
"Well that's good to hear, I've gotta report back to Shar by the way, let her know I actually got Toby here alright and that you're okay."
"Well if I tell her that too she might believe us, thanks for bringing him home though Troy, you've really helped."
"No problem, I'm glad you feel better, but if you need help at all then give me a call, you've got my number."
"Thanks I'll bare it in mind, you might as well come through, sounds like they've been playing for hours already," Troy chuckled and followed Gabriella through to the lounge to find Amelia and Toby playing with his cars and car mat.
"You have to take your shoes off Daddy, Toby says it's the rules like at home."
"Better take my shoes off then," Troy replied, as he bent down to take his shoes off and placed them neatly with the children's before joining Gabriella on the sofa.
"So you thinking about going into work tomorrow? Because you know if you aren't back to yourself, Shar will just send you right back here to bed and you don't have to worry about getting Toby to and from school because you know I'll do that for you."
"I know you will Troy and I'm grateful for that and I promise you that if I don't feel up to work tomorrow, I'll phone you and then Shar and then as soon as soon as you've picked Toby up I'll go straight back to bed."
"That is a promise I will hold you to, believe me I will. Now are you going to be okay for the evening, getting Toby his dinner and everything, we can stay and give you a hand if you need it?"
"Thanks for the offer Troy, but we'll be okay, I honestly don't feel as bad as I did and Toby will help me out, we'll be okay."
"Alright I can accept that, Amelia put yours shoes on please honey, it's time for us to go." Amelia sighed, but still did as she was told and put her shoes on before passing Troy his to slip on as well.
"Toby say goodbye and thank you to Troy and Amelia and then you can help me with dinner," Goodbyes were exchanged with Troy reminding Gabriella of her promise, before he and Amelia headed for home.
And it was a promise Gabriella kept when Troy received a phone call from her on Wednesday morning, a phone call which resulted in him and Amelia making a detour to the Montez's on the way to school and was also the reason why he was once again about to pick up two children instead of one.
Gabriella had told both Troy and Sharpay that she didn't feel badly ill, just knew that going into work would make her close to feeling that way and so having no need to leave the house gave her the day to truly relax and get better.
Troy had just won today's game on his phone, when the school bell rang and the students started pouring out, 'perfect timing' he thought, as he slipped his phone into his pocket and moved away from the wall to brace himself for the impact of his daughter and her fast becoming best friend.
"Daddy!" Troy knelt down to take the impact of Amelia and couldn't help but smile when Toby stopped just short of them and watched, clearly wanting a hug himself.
"You too Toby, group hug," the little boy smiled and joined in the hug, laughing as Troy tickled him and Amelia.
"Alright you two, let's get buckled into the car and go and see how your Mummy's doing Toby."
"I hope she's okay," Toby said quietly, as Troy led them across the playground towards his car.
"Well there's only one way to find out isn't there little guy?"
The one way Troy was thinking of was seeing Gabriella herself, only they couldn't see Gabriella because no matter how hard he knocked on the door or rang the doorbell, she wasn't answering and he was beginning to worry.
Realising it was time to try a different tactic, Troy moved to kneel in front of Toby, as he and Amelia sat and chatted on the porch steps.
"Does Mummy keep a spare key anywhere at all Toby?" The little boy looked thoughtful for a moment before a smile lit up his face.
"There's one in a special place on the back deck, but I can't get there 'cause there's a high lock on the gate."
"But will I be able to reach the high lock?" Toby laughed as he picked up his bag and ran to the garden gate.
"You can reach it 'cause you're a grown up Troy, I'm not." Troy laughed at this analysis, but easily reached over the gate and slid across the bolt before reaching further down and managing to undo that latch and push open the gate.
Toby ran through the open gate and up onto the decking, before dropping his things and crawling under the garden table and coming out with a smile on his face and a key in his hand.
"Well found Toby, is it for the front door or the back door?"
"The back door."
"Alright well while I open the door and see what Mummy's up to, why don't you and Amelia play in the garden?" The little boy nodded and ran off to chase his friend around the garden.
Troy wasn't the type of person to straight away jump to conclusions; he didn't want to be thinking about the not so good reasons as to why Gabriella wasn't answering the door, but he was beginning to worry and if he did happen to find Gabriella in an unfit state, it wasn't something her son needed to see.
"Gabriella? Gabriella, it's Troy, can you hear me?" Receiving no response he moved further into the house and followed the noise of the television coming from the lounge.
And that's where he found her, curled up on the couch, under a pile of blankets, clearly fast asleep, well at least he hoped she was. He moved closer and could see that she was breathing, albeit very loudly, but he wanted to make sure she was alright, maybe even sit her up a bit to help with her breathing.
Gently placing a hand on her shoulder he began to shake her and call her name, hating himself for doing this when she began to respond by groaning and then as more consciousness came, coughing, coughing really badly.
"Gabriella, it's alright, just let me get you sitting up, it'll help." Troy watched as Gabriella seemed to register him being there and what he'd said before nodding and breaking into another round of coughing.
Acting quickly, Troy hocked his hands under Gabriella's armpits and lifted her into a sitting position, settling onto the couch behind her to give her somewhere to rest. It took a while, but soon Gabriella's coughing stopped and she started taking deep breaths, trying to even out her breathing.
"That's right honey, keep taking deep breaths, you're okay," Gabriella seemed to relax further against Troy as her breathing began to regulate.
"Toby?" She whispered, her throat clearly feeling rough.
"He's in the back garden playing with Amelia, they're fine, he helped me get in here though."
"Makes me glad we put that spare key out there now, it's never come into use before today, reinforces my reasons for it being there though."
"Makes me think maybe I need one…anyway you rest here while I get you some water and send in your son." Gabriella moved allowing Troy to get up and leave the room while she situated herself more comfortably against the couch.
She heard Troy shout Toby and shortly after his footsteps as he ran up the decking steps and into the house.
"Mummy, are you okay?" Toby slowed down on his approach and stood nicely in front of Gabriella, rather than belly flopping onto the couch like he usually would.
"I'm fine sweetheart; I just fell asleep and didn't hear you guys outside that's all," Toby seemed placated by this and so ran off back to the garden to continuing playing with Amelia, passing Troy as he did.
"Okay so I did some rooting round in your cupboard, you can moan at me for it later, and found a box of those things you add to boiling water to make colds better, so I made you one of them instead," Gabriella laughed at Troy's analysis, but still thanked him as he handed her the steaming mug.
"You weren't sure how you'd find me were you?" Gabriella asked after a couple of sips of her drink. "That's why you made them stay outside." Troy nodded as he ran a hand through his hair.
"I knew you weren't feeling too well, but I expected you to be up and about and answering the door, even if you did take your time about it, so when I got no reply at all, I'll admit I did begin to worry, so yes that is why I made them stay outside, I didn't want him to find you collapsed on the floor or something."
"No me either, so thank you." The pair was silent again as Gabriella finished her drink and Troy replied to some texts on his phone.
"So what's really happening Gabriella? You told both me and Sharpay that you weren't really feeling badly ill, just needed a day to rest and recuperate, next thing I know you're asleep under a pile of blankets with a full blown cold, how did that happen?" Sighing Gabriella put her empty cup on the coffee table and settled herself back against the sofa under her blankets, she was tired, but knew that laying down really wasn't a great option.
"I really didn't feel that bad this morning, like I was coughing and a bit chesty but I really didn't feel that bad. Once I'd tidied up the breakfast things and put a load of washing on I went back to bed for a bit and actually got some decent sleep seeing as I woke up feeling better. I came down here and put the washing into the dryer and was thinking about getting something to eat when I started shivering and feeling really bad, so I grabbed some blankets, turned the telly on and curled up on the couch, I clearly must've fallen asleep."
"Well I'm glad you're okay, but if you ask me you should take the rest of the week off from work Gabi, Shar can handle anything major that happens and she's loud enough to boss the other staff about, you really do need to get better before you go back, or you're just going to get worse."
"But what can I do Troy? Toby's a little star helping me out, but he still needs me to help him out with most things."
"I know, just let me make a call."
"Hey Mum, just phoning to thank you for last night again…No, I know you said not to worry, but if you hadn't of come I don't know what I would've done…I guess, I didn't want to leave them, but it also wasn't fair on Amelia…No, Shar picked Toby up for school this morning and she hasn't phoned me yet, they usually have more bookings in the morning so she probably won't phone me until lunch…Yea I'll let you know once I do…Yea alright then, speak to you later…Bye."
Hanging up the phone and sliding it back in his pocket, Troy picked up his spray and cloth to clean the glass of the display cases. His called yesterday had been to Lucille, who had happily come and collected Amelia and taken her home for the night, allowing Troy to take care of Gabriella and Toby.
His only phone call this morning had been from Sharpay, not long after he'd woken up, telling him she'd take Toby to school while popping into check on Gabi, she felt bad for not checking in on her friend and updating her on the business. Troy had said he was fine with this and would of course pick Toby up from school with Amelia, but did ask Sharpay to call him with how Gabriella was doing, if she wasn't doing great he'd pop over there on his lunch break, Zeke would be able to handle things here.
As it turned out, Troy would be popping over to the Montez's in his lunch break, only he'd hoped he wouldn't be as worried as he was right now.
Sharpay had phoned him at the beginning of lunch, telling him that although Gabriella had slept on the sofa because it eased her coughing and the obvious cold, she really wasn't doing all that badly. So then why is Troy making his way over there? Because when Sharpay tried to phone Gabi not long ago, knowing that both her mobile and house phone were in reaching distance, she didn't answer. Sharpay knew that their friend was probably just asleep, but none the less was still worried and so Troy agreed to go and check on her, putting everyone's mind at rest.
Pulling his car to a stop on the driveway, he cut off the engine, got out of and locked the car before jogging to knock on the door and ring the bell, loudly. After trying to make himself heard for a good five minutes, Troy realised he was going to have to use the spare key, he could only hope Gabi was in a deep sleep like before.
Once again he made himself known, shouting out into the quiet house, knowing that wherever Gabriella was she would've been able to hear him.
Once again he found her on the sofa, only she wasn't just asleep. Her eyes were closed, but she was no where near sleep as her body seemed to be shaking from cold and yet sweat was dripping off her head; this cold had just turned a whole lot worse.
Once again Troy made a call, only this time it wasn't to his Mum, this time it was to a doctor, Gabriella need some medical attention, your everyday cold remedies wouldn't get rid of this.
After prodding Gabriella a couple of times and talking to Troy about her symptoms, the doctor had come to a conclusion, flu and a serious case of it. He'd prescribed a strong case of antibiotics and told Troy not leave her alone. This was what Troy was currently trying to work out, looked like he'd be making another call and this time it was to Lucille.
Twenty minutes later and the first part of Troy's plan was in place, Lucille was here and was going to help Gabriella have a bath before helping her settle into a freshly made bed, while Troy went to collect the prescription, pop back to his and collect Toby and Amelia from school, hopefully to them, this impromptu sleep over would be fun.
"I'll try and be as quick as I can Mum, but I might as well get everything done at once and it gives you time to help Gabi, I'm not sure she's really awake, but she'll appreciate you're help eventually."
"I'm sure she will honey, I've looked after both you and your Dad when you've had flu, I know what I'm doing." Troy nodded knowing his Mum was right, she had looked after him with flu, it was the exact reason he'd called her to come and take care of Gabriella, all he had to do was take care of the rest.
Shutting the door on Troy, Lucille turned to the crumpled Gabriella on the couch and slowly started to rouse her.
"Come on honey, let's get you freshened up."
Toby Montez wanted to see his Mummy…now.
He didn't care that she wasn't very well or that she was asleep or even that Amelia was here to play with him, he cared about the fact that his knees hurt and she was the only person who could make it better.
Troy had been greeted by Amelia, Toby and Taylor to tell him that the little boy had fallen in the playground today and grazed both of his knees, leaving him very upset and wanting his Mummy. Taylor knew that Gabi wasn't very well, but trusted Troy to take the appropriate action.
He hadn't had the chance to do this though because while Amelia had gone straight outside to play with Lucille, Toby had run through into the lounge to hide, all he wanted was a hug from his Mum was that too much to ask?
"Toby? Where are you buddy?" The little boy curled into a smaller ball as Troy entered the room, but his constant sobs gave his hiding place, next to his toy boxes, under the stereo, away.
Sighing, Troy walked over and knelt down in front of the little boy realising he was going to have to take a softer approach. "I know I'm not your Mummy, but would you like a hug?" Toby nodded and so Troy wasted no time in gathering him up into his arms, standing and swaying slowly from side to side as he slowly shushed Toby's tears.
As the tears turned to sniffles, Troy moved to the sofa, settling Toby into his lap and allowing him to curl up there. "Now listen little fella, I didn't mean to make you cry, I'm very sorry for that, but your Mummy really is very sick and if we go and wake her she probably won't be able to stay awake for very long anyway."
"The doctor came and saw her when you were at school buddy; he gave her some medicine to help make her better."
"Sleep will make it better to?"
"Yes that's right it will, but later she's going to need some more medicine, so after I give it to her, I'll see if she's up for a little visit from her favourite boy for a few minutes, does that sound good?" Toby nodded and wrapped his arms round Troy in a hug. "So, how about we go and play in the garden with my Mum and Amelia?" Toby nodded and jumped off of Troy's lap to run out of the room, stopping and turning to Troy momentarily when he reached the door.
"I like you Troy and so does Mummy."
There it is, hopefully, if there are still some readers out there, you liked it.
My friend I dedicated this chapter to left for Uni about two weeks ago and the last time I saw her before she left she told me something very special. She told me that she's read some of my stories on fanfiction and considering she really has nothing else to do with fanfiction, that meant the world to me.
So Sam, this one was for you, I'm missing you girl!
Anyway people, it's been a while but:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE REVIEW! THANK YOU!