When Troy first met her, it was by complete chance. If he wasn’t there at the right time at the right place, she probably would’ve never found him, would’ve never talked to him.
Thinking back on it now, the prospect is terrifying. So much of his life in the city would have been completely altered. Life in Los Santos would probably be much more boring without her. Troy doesn’t know how to begin thinking about his life without her in it.
She could have kept walking on that day. She didn’t have to come back to him for critique on her small talk, and that could have been the end of it. Her life would have continued, unhindered and on the same track, and his would have been changed forever.
He looks over at her, as free as a bird with memory that sometimes just gets carried off by the wind. He can see himself reflected in orange whenever she looks at him, really looks at him. It reflects himself in the sunny color and it warms him from the inside out. She’s out of reach, just out of reach, like always, but he tries to reach out anyways. “Grognak,” He breathes.
The edges of her lips turn up, and Troy feels a little like he’s been revived just by that. “Troy! Look everyone,” she calls to no one in particular, “Troy the hero is here!”
Troy gives a nervous, exhilarated little laugh that ends up rolling into the ‘h’ of his, “Hi Grognak.” He gives her a smile. She beams at him in response and he soaks it up like a cat lounging lazily in the sunlight. “Glad to see you’re okay after, uh, after Sherry tried to take you out with that shoe.”
She shrugs, turning away from him. “Ah, well, it takes more than that to take out Grognak the Destroyer Attorney at Law.”
“I think you’re right, Grog. Steven says you stomp villages.”
Troy didn’t really fall in love with her immediately. All he knows is one moment, he’s drinking coffee with her in Rooster’s Rest and the next moment he’s watching Anto try his hardest to serenade her and he feels. He feels, and he feels and he feels and he feels and he’s not able to describe a single emotion, he still isn’t. It just bubbles up in his chest wordlessly and he's completely helpless to his heart and her wants.
With Grognak, colors feel more vibrant. Life comes barreling into focus for him, during the most chaotic times of his life, he feels clearheaded and bright eyed all because of her, because of this bald probably-Irish woman who just decided on a whim to take him under her wing for the day. He would do so much for her, even if that meant sabotaging a man that called him his ‘best friend’.
The same best friend who is currently cowering away in the employee bathroom of the Burgershot, because the last time he saw Grognak he was dragged to the top of the crane and only spared from being dropped from her kindness (and confusion, but Troy believes it was kindness above all else). He was going to help him, honestly, but the situation de-escalated as quickly as it escalated and then they were all waiting around for an ambulance that didn’t end up coming. Despite his intentions involving Steven not always being… the most pure and kind-hearted in nature, mostly due to jealousy, he still did value the strained relationship he had with the other man.
But Grognak does weird things to people. She sweeps into their lives, woos them, and moves on. She reminds him of a tide, and Troy stands out at the edge of the water waiting for her wake to roll in again and hoping one day he might be swept away with it, too.
He abandons his shift at Burgershot to follow after her. “You know, Grognak, Los Santos is more fun with you around.” He makes his way out from the back, trying to grab her attention before she gets swept away in whatever other wacky hijinks she’ll find herself in next.
Grognak gently slaps him on the shoulder, and silently Troy marvels at the fact that she towers over him. “Aw, Troy,” She gushes, voice dripping with fondness, “you are so sweet!”
She leaves Burgershot, going outside to run around in the sunlight and cause general havoc. When she steps into the sun, the light reflects off of her head and she glitters like a star and it takes his breath away, a little. She’s beautiful and her personality is so vibrant and wonderful.
Troy never would have guessed, would have never realized. His life changed directions so suddenly when he met her, like it suddenly completely stopped making any logical sense. But it’s so much fun, she’s so much fun. Just hearing Grognak’s voice, how her accent carries and how oddly polite she is, makes him smile almost completely unwillingly.
He would do anything for her, he decides. He would become the hero, the villain, anything she wanted or needed him to be. He’s already kidnapped Steven and taken him to the top of a crane. He’s made a plot to rip the Burgershot away from his friend because he tries to get between himself and Grognak. The betrayal hurt, especially because Grognak does care about him, she still wants to be … Well, Troy isn’t sure. Sometimes messages from her are mixed, but he wants and wants and wants.
He gathers his bearings when he realizes she’s talking to someone. He walks out of the Burgershot behind her, silently marvelling at how bright she is all the time to everyone.
“-But he usually wears blue,” She finishes. After a tiny gasp, she twists around and points right at Troy. “There he is!”
And Troy smiles and follows her and follows her and follows her.