She Don't Dream for Me
I do not own One Tree Hill or anything related to it.
Episode Guide/Spoilers: This picks up right after "How Can You Be Sure?" and begins in Brooke's point of view at the start of "What Is And What Should Never Be." It loosely bases itself around that episode's plot and then spins off entirely into a completely different plotline.
Author's Update: If you've read this story before, and things seem different to you in this chapter, that's because they are. I'm at a point in my life where I finally have time to write again, and whenever I'm stuck on Blueprint, I open up this old fic and start revising. Up until now, it's all been little minor revisions, but starting with chapter 1, I'm now doing some major re-writes. That's not to say I intend to make the whole thing unrecognizable from its former version. The plot's the same, as well as the ending, no worries there, but overall I'm just trying to make the writing tighter and the characterizations stronger. Some individual scenes will be cut, some will be added. It's been a long time since I first started writing fanfic for OTH (and this was my first story!), and I like to think I've gotten a better grip on the Tree Hill universe – and my own writing – since then. Clearly, this story is very old, so I mostly doing this for my own personal satisfaction, but if anybody out there happens to stumble across this, I hope you like (or, at least, don't mind) the changes.
When Brooke Davis fell in love with Lucas Scott, she never imagined he'd be the kind of boy who'd make her regret it.
"I give a rat's ass about you," he had told her as they sat side-by-side on his porch. And even though it was a chilly evening in mid-October, and she had been sitting outside waiting for him for almost an hour before that, under his gaze she felt warm. So Brooke, for the first time, had decided to let her guard down and trust him.
Two weeks later, a few grainy images on a webcam showed her how stupid she was. Lucas Scott didn't care about her any more than the dozens of boys who had come before him.
That was exactly why she decided to feed him some lie about there never really being a baby. She didn't want to live with, nor have her baby raised by, some asshole who had cheated on her with her best friend.
She wished she had never even shared her suspicions about the pregnancy with him in the first place. She wasn't really sure why she even did it. It must have been an odd, blind reaction to the panic she had felt after seeing the little pink positive sign in the home pregnancy test she had bought at the drugstore.
Brooke laid a hand on her flat stomach. Long ago, when she was small, she used to stuff pillows under her shirt and pretend she was pregnant. Five minutes later, the pillow would be abandoned and replaced with a doll in her arms, and just like that, Brooke had a family.
"I'll love you forever and ever," she'd whisper in the doll's ear as she combed its hair, changed its clothes, and set a place next to hers for it at the otherwise empty dinner table.
But Brooke was older now, and she knew there was no happily ever after this time around. Her parents still popped up about as often as they did when she was young (which was to say, not very), but she was still fairly certain they'd notice a new, wailing baby in the house. How would she explain that one away?
Well, you see, Mom, it's kind of funny. There was me and this guy. I loved him, you know. We used protection and everything, but did you know that two percent of the time it doesn't work? I guess I was in that two percent. That sure is some rotten luck, isn't it? Just wait, it gets even worse. The guy that I was with, well, I guess he didn't love me as much as I loved him. He's dating my ex-best friend Peyton now, I think. You haven't met Peyton, have you? I'll have to introduce you guys sometime…
They'd kick her ass out onto the streets in under an hour. The Davis family didn't have a lot of love to spare – or pity, for that matter. In this town, they were the royal family of Image, and letting anything tarnish that was out of the question. A pregnant 16 year-old was unforgiveable.
There was really only one option, much as Brooke had tried to avoid thinking about when she first found out she carrying Lucas Scott's child. She couldn't raise a kid without the financial support of her family. She didn't know the first thing about getting a job. Even if she did, no measly part-time, minimum-wage thing was going to be enough to put a roof over their heads and support the two of them.
And, remembering little pillow-pregnant Brooke, the one who'd lovingly wake up in the middle of the night to rock a doll, she wouldn't be able to give the baby up for adoption either. Deep down, wrapped up in a knot in her chest she wouldn't let herself touch, she still had that same fierce desire for a family. If she actually went through the pregnancy, held the baby in her arms, she knew she'd do something rash – like decide to keep it.
"Abortion," Brooke murmured, rolling the word around in her mouth. She bit her lip. Was it something she could actually go through with?
Brooke had done a lot of things in her life that she wasn't proud of, things that other people would call cold-hearted or even cruel, and she couldn't even begin to fathom how this would stack up in comparison to everything else. But once she finally acknowledged the idea, it lingered, unwilling to be thrown out. She knew, instinctively, just like she knew how to roll her hips or when to paste a bright smile on her face, that this was the most viable option.
"Sorry, baby," she said, staring down at her stomach with a bitter smile on her face. "But Momma's got no choice right now. It's for the best, I promise. You don't want to have to deal with any bullshit here. You really don't."
She brushed away the tears that welled in her eyes, refusing to consider what it might mean if she was already crying this early in the game. "I'm really sorry," she whispered again. Then she flicked off her light and dragged herself to bed, burrowing herself deep in her covers as she fell into a fitful sleep.
"Miss Davis? Miss Davis? It's over. You did a great job."
Brooke lay on the bed, panting and pale, face pinched with pain.
"Congratulations, Miss Davis. It's a boy."
The doctor placed the newborn child in Brooke's waiting arms, and Brooke cooed at him lovingly, her earlier pain already forgotten. "Hey, baby," she said as she smiled through a thick wave of tears. "I love you."
Brooke looked up to see the doctor to thank her for delivering her baby in such perfect condition and was surprised to see, "Karen?"
Karen simply smiled and before Brooke had a chance to question her more, she heard a tap. Shocked, she saw that there was a large window taking up the majority of the front wall, making her room easily seen to people in the hall. What surprised her even more were the people tapping. It was Peyton and Lucas, hand in hand.
Brooke's face contorted in anger. Of all the nerve…She ought to go out there and pound their scrawny asses right now.
But her thoughts were interrupted when suddenly, a loud, earsplitting alarm went off. Yellow and red warning lights flashed all around her, and Karen rushed back in, followed by an army of doctors.
"What's going on?" Brooke demanded. "What's happening?"
Karen ignored her and snatched the baby out of her hands. She carried the baby over to a portable stretcher and began doing chest compressions. The baby started screaming.
"Stop it!" Brooke cried. "You're hurting him!"
Suddenly, the baby's wails cut short, and Karen's shoulders slumped. "We lost him," she said, defeated.
"No!" Brooke shrieked. "No! No!"
Lucas and Peyton shot her dark glares from their vantage point. Brooke could hear Peyton mutter "murdering bitch" through the thin glass of the window. Brooke gasped. Did she really do something to kill her baby?
Karen wouldn't meet her eyes, and Peyton and Lucas wouldn't stop staring. Over in the corner, a nurse was wrapping her baby up in blankets. It suddenly seemed uncomfortably hot in the room. Brooke realized that she was gasping for air. Vaguely, she thought she might be hyperventilating. "Calm down, Brooke," somebody said, sounding far away. "Calm down. Everything's going to be okay." She tried to hold onto that voice, wanting desperately to believe it.
But she couldn't breathe.
With a gasp, Brooke wrenched her covers off her face. Her breathing was ragged and fast, like in her dream, and as she looked down at the knotted bedsheets around her, Brooke wondered if she had really almost smothered herself in her sleep.
After a few minutes of unsuccessfully trying to calm down and reassure herself that everything was okay, Brooke forced herself out of bed and stumbled over to the bathroom. "I look awful," she moaned, examining the dark bags under her eyes in the mirror. The dream soon flew out of her head entirely as she busied herself with washing her face and applying mounds of concealer on. But no matter how artfully she did her make-up, nothing seemed to cover up how tired she really was. Eventually, she had to abandon the bathroom mirror to hurry up and get around to everything else she had to do to that morning. Already, she was running a good five minutes late.
Fifteen minutes later, Brooke rushed out of her house in her standard outfit – jeans and a low-cut top, digging through her purse for her keys. She cursed herself mentally while climbing into her car. "I did not need this today," she said, exasperated. "I really did not need this."
She was so lost in her own thoughts for the next few minutes, driving down the road, that she almost didn't notice the car in front of her slow down to let a squirrel pass by. She screamed and jammed her heel on the brakes, narrowly screeching to a stop only inches behind the other car. Brooke slammed her palm down on the horn and yanked her steering wheel into the left lane as her shock faded into anger.
"Learn how to drive, jackass," she yelled as she passed by the car, furious. The other driver, obviously agitated as well, honked his own horn and flipped her off.
"Fuck you too," Brooke scoffed.
Finally, Brooke pulled into the parking lot, tires screeching as she wrenched her car into its usual spot. She checked her reflection in the rear-view mirror and winced, but otherwise did nothing. There wasn't any time to fix her make-up again. The bell was going to ring in a few…
The bell rang.
"Shit!" Brooke yelled. A few burnouts still left hanging out around the parking lot sent amused glances in her direction. "What are you staring at?" she demanded, slamming her car door shut and stalking off towards her first period class.
"You're late, Miss Davis," her English teacher, Mr. Baker reprimanded when she swept into the room.
"I know," she said as she sat down, careful to keep her voice cool and flippant in front of the rest of her classmates. "Car trouble. It won't happen again."
Mr. Baker studied her appraisingly for a few seconds before he shook his head and moved on. Brooke slumped her shoulders in relief and pulled out her notebook. She turned to the person behind her to ask for a copy of what she had missed in the first few minutes and was surprised to see Nathan.
"You don't sit here," she hissed at him. "Bevin does."
Nathan shrugged. "Mr. Baker got fed up dealing with me and Haley. This is my new seat."
She rolled her eyes. Sure, Nathan's notes were bound to be better than Bevin's, who had this strange habit of drawing animals in the margins and couldn't spell worth shit, but she doubted he was as good a gossip as her fellow cheerleader for when the class got boring.
"Whatever lover-boy," she said. "I need to borrow your notes."
"Aren't you little miss sunshine today," Nathan said dryly. "Whatever happened to please?"
"Listen, Scott," Brooke said, her patience wearing thin. "I'm not in the mood to deal with your bullshit. Just give them to me."
"Okay, okay." Nathan held up his hands in a sign of peace. "Calm down. There you go," he said, handing her his notebook.
"Thank you," she spat, spinning back around her seat.
Nathan shook his head. He was used to Brooke's moods after dating Peyton for so long, but she had never been quite this awful. For what may have been the first time in her life, Brooke Davis was losing her cool. These past few weeks she had been especially snippy, even withdrawn.
He briefly wondered what was up with her before he pushed the thought from his mind. Whatever it was, it was Brooke's problem. It probably had to do with that whole mess between her, Peyton and Lucas, and that thankfully didn't involve him anymore.
"Thanks," Brooke mumbled, more sincere this time, as she handed him back his notes over her shoulder.
"You're welcome," Nathan said. Before he could stop himself, he continued, "It's a lot nicer when somebody shows a little gratitude instead of acting like a total bitch."
Brooke stiffened. "It's also nice when somebody cuts you a little slack when you're having a bad day," she said, her voice tight.
She seemed to be speaking to herself after that. "God, I need to get out of here. I don't even know why I came in the first place." She raised her hand and waved at the teacher to catch his attention. "I have to go to the bathroom," she said, not bothering to wait for an answer as she gathered up her things and walked out. It was obvious she wasn't coming back.
Nathan felt a twinge of guilt as he watched Brooke disappear down the hall. What was that about?
Once out of the classroom, Brooke didn't know what to do with herself. She wandered around the school for a while, skillfully avoiding any other teachers or staff that might bust her for skipping. Eventually, she ended up standing in front of the library, a place she hadn't been inside in, well, ever.
Well, she thought after a moment of contemplation, it wasn't like she had anything better to do. So she walked in. Once inside, however, her eyes narrowed in on the computers in the corner, and suddenly, she knew exactly what she was going to do: a little bit of research.
Brooke slunk past the librarian, unnoticed, and then hurried over to claim a free computer to herself – though, she noted, it wasn't as if she had a lot of competition. The library was pretty much empty. She glanced around anyway to make sure nobody was in the immediate vicinity before she pulled up the search bar and typed in "abortion."
Four million hits.
"What a mess," she sighed, dismayed. "How am I supposed to sort through all this stuff?"
"Sort through what stuff?" a voice asked quietly behind her.
Ice ran through Brooke's veins as the voice registered. Lucas. Quickly, she minimized the screen and tried her best to look both innocent and pissed off. The pissed off part wasn't hard.
"Stuff that ex-boyfriends who cheat don't need to know about," she said coolly.
Lucas raked a hand through his hair, clearly uncomfortable. The tight expression on his face belied his feelings of guilt. Good, Brooke thought viciously, hoping it was tearing him up inside the same way he had torn her up.
"Come on, Brooke," he pleaded. "Can't we just put everything behind us once and for all?"
"I don't think so, ex-boyfriend," Brooke snapped. "I don't play nice with liars."
"Liars?" Lucas cried incredulously. "What about that whopper of a lie you had going on last week?"
Brooke kept her face carefully blank. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said.
"Oh, real mature, Brooke," Lucas said. "You had me up for three nights straight thinking you were pregnant."
As tempting as it was to say I never lied and watch Lucas have a total mental breakdown – the boy was such an open book, something she used to find charming – Brooke managed to keep herself from voicing those particular words out loud.
"Are you looking for sympathy?" she asked instead.
Lucas stared at her, the frustration evident in his eyes. He looked down and took a few deep breaths before looking back up at her. "No," he said finally. "I'm asking for forgiveness."
Somehow, Brooke kept down the laughter that was suddenly bubbling up inside her. "Sorry," she said. "You're not going to get it here."
"Damn it, Brooke," Lucas finally snapped. "Why do you have to be so stubborn?"
Brooke stood up in front of him and stared him straight in the eye, only inches away. She swallowed. It was tough, being this close to him. They hadn't gone near each other after the break-up. But she couldn't let him see that he affected her that much.
"Listen, Lucas," she said, barely able to conceal the tremor in her voice. "I'm going to give you some advice—and I'm only gonna give it once so listen good." She paused and swallowed again before speaking. Her voice was steady, stronger now. Good. "Stay away from me. Don't talk to me. Don't even look at me. Go be with Peyton and live out your perfect lives together, and forget about me. Trust me, I'll be doing the same."
"Brooke…" Lucas began in protest.
"You're not getting my point, Lucas," Brooke interjected. "I don't want anything to do with you."
Lucas paused, his eyes searching Brooke's for any sort of sign. Anything that would tell him that she didn't mean what she said. He obviously didn't find it. "Fine," he said, his voice soft and defeated. "If that's what you want." He turned and walked out of the library. The door shut behind him with a bang that echoed in the silence.
Brooke kept her eyes trained on the spot where she had last seen him. Tears sprung to her eyes. Suddenly, she didn't feel like laughing anymore.
"Brooke?" a voice said hesitantly behind her.
Brooke spun around, hurriedly brushing the tears away. To her chagrin, she found Nathan. "Great," she scoffed. "I get rid of one Scott only to have him replaced by another."
"Haha, very funny," Nathan deadpanned. Then his expression twisted into one of concern. "Are you okay?"
"Of course I am," Brooke said, waving her hand flippantly. "Shouldn't you be in class or something?"
"Shouldn't you?" he countered.
Brooke shrugged. She began to examine her nails in a way of conveying her waning interest with the conversation, hoping Nathan would get the hint and take off.
But he wasn't buying it.
"So are you okay?" Nathan asked again. "I saw what happened with Lucas."
"How long have you been here?" she demanded.
"Long enough," he answered.
"Yeah, well, I'm fine," she said. "Could be better, you know, if Tree Hill's newest golden couple dropped off the face of the earth, but whatever. I'm fine."
"Bullshit," Nathan said, surprising her. "You've been different lately."
"You've been paying attention to me?" Brooke said with a lifted brow.
Nathan rolled his eyes. "Don't flatter yourself. I mean, we have had almost every class together since the first grade. And it's not exactly like you're very quiet when you're pissed off about something."
Despite her terrible mood, a small smile twisted up the corners of Brooke's lips. "So maybe I'm blowing off some steam," she said. "That's all there is to it."
"Uh huh," Nathan said, clearly not believing her. But Brooke didn't challenge him on his tone – which left the two of them in an awkward silence as they stood there in front of each other.
For his part, Nathan had completely run out of things to say. It wasn't like he and Brooke were great friends, after all. He wasn't even sure why he had come up to her in the first place. He had just seen her there, hurt (despite her claims to the contrary), and felt some kind of tug. He knew what it was like being caught in the middle of the complicated relationship between Lucas and Peyton.
Brooke was also growing uncomfortable in the silence. She was used to happily gossiping on and on about whatever happened to cross her mind, no matter who she was with. But she couldn't shake the feeling that Nathan was seeing right through her and knew that she was more upset than she had wanted to let on. She was wondering how to extract herself from the conversation in the least obvious manner when Nathan finally spoke up again.
"Lucas is an ass," he offered.
A bark of laughter escaped her, short but genuine. "You've got that right," she said. Her smile faded. "He sure didn't seem like it at first."
"Are you kidding?" Nathan scoffed. "I could see through his act from day one."
"Well, he had me fooled pretty good," Brooke said, more bitter than she had intended.
"He had lots of people fooled," Nathan reminded her gently. "He still has lots of people fooled."
"I guess I had to be one of the unlucky few that got to find out the hard way, huh?" Brooke said, rolling her eyes. "God, I wish I had never met him."
"So do I," Nathan agreed, "but then again, who knows? If he hadn't come along when he did, I might still be with Peyton instead of Haley."
Brooke bristled at Peyton's name, but quickly brushed it off. "You really love her, don't you?" she said shrewdly. "Haley, I mean. Not Peyton."
Nathan turned beet-red. Brooke couldn't help but marvel a bit. It was the first time she had seen him look embarrassed about something other than his father.
"Well, I don't know, I guess," he stammered. "I mean this thing with Haley, it's so different from what I've had with everyone else, you know? Like, when I was with Peyton, that was seriously messed up. We were always tense and on edge, and everything I did was wrong. It was like I was seconds away from stepping on a bombshell all the time."
"And with Haley?" Brooke prompted.
"And with Haley," Nathan shrugged, "I don't know. She's amazing. She expects a lot out of me too, but for once, I don't care. It's like…"
"She makes you want to be a better person," she finished flatly.
"Yeah," Nathan said, brightening up before he saw the expression on Brooke's face. "Hey, listen, Brooke," he said, serious again. "What Lucas did was wrong. You don't have to be better for him. He doesn't deserve it."
"Thanks, Nathan," she mumbled half-heartedly before forcing a teasing grin in order to make light of what was fast becoming an uncomfortably deep conversation. "Who'd of guessed you and me would be capable of a real heart-to-heart?"
"We're not exactly known for that kind of thing," he agreed.
"Especially not with each other," she pointed out.
"I guess we've never really talked that much, huh?" he said thoughtfully, then he grinned. "I guess I just always thought of you as Peyton's drama queen best friend."
"And you were her jackass boyfriend," Brooke went along gamely.
"Gee, thanks," Nathan laughed.
"Well, you were," Brooke shrugged. She was smiling, but both of them knew she was telling the truth.
"And I feel pretty bad about it now," he admitted. "But me and Peyton never clicked. Not really, anyway. Especially when Lucas started popping up more often. I never felt like I could trust her, and that really pissed me off."
"I know the feeling," Brooke said, her smile dampening despite her best efforts.
Damn, Nathan thought. He had meant to steer away from the heavy stuff but somehow they managed to circle back around to it again. "There has got to be better stuff to talk about than this."
"Gotta be," Brooke agreed quickly. Her mind had been in a Lucas-induced rut for days. It was time to stop the madness. "So, how are things going in that new apartment of yours?" she asked after a brief pause. "It must be a blast having your own place."
"I wouldn't know," Nathan said humorlessly. "It's being stolen away for parties practically every night. Mostly I just sleep over at Haley's."
"Ooh," Brooke smirked suggestively, "Gettin' some action, huh Scott?"
To Nathan's embarrassment and Brooke's amusement, he blushed again and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Not exactly."
"Ouch," Brooke mock-winced. "Tutor-girl's not putting out. What a drag."
An image of Haley's open, trusting face entered Nathan's mind, and he shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. She's still a virgin. She wants her first time to be…special."
She raised an inquisitive brow. "So what's that supposed to mean? You're not special enough for her?"
"No, that's not it," Nathan said quickly, but she noted that he looked uncertain. "I guess she just wants to be sure."
"Uh huh," Brooke said slowly. She pasted on a peppy smile. "Well, I'm sure she'll come around eventually. I mean, I did."
Nathan snickered. "Well, no offense or anything, Brooke, but you're not exactly a prude."
"None taken," Brooke said with a smile. "Boys are kind of my specialty."
"Yeah?" he said. "How many?"
She wagged a finger at him. "A lady never kisses and tells."
Nathan chuckled. "Yeah, but the guys do. In the locker room."
Brooke just barely kept herself from blanching at his words. Luckily, she was spared any sort of answer by the bell ringing to signal class change.
"Wonderful," she groaned. "Calculus. Think I'll just skip that one too."
"Hey," Nathan said, "Calc isn't that bad. I'm actually doing pretty good in it."
"Lucky for you," she grumbled.
"I could tutor you if you wanted," Nathan said, serious.
She shook her head, scrunching up her nose. "Thanks but no. Math in school is enough for me. I don't want to even think about it at home."
"Have you ever even opened your book?" he asked.
Brooke appeared to be thinking hard on this. Her face contorted in indecision before her eyes finally lit up. "Once," she said. "There was this really hot guy in a picture working out a problem."
Nathan sighed. "Yeah, that's not a lot to go on. Anyway, I should head out. My next class is across the building.
"Yeah, okay," Brooke said. Suddenly, things had gotten awkward again.
"So, um, the offer for tutoring still stands if you want some help."
"Thanks, I appreciate that," she smiled.
Nathan scratched the back of his head uncomfortably. "Well, I could use some extra cash now so…you know, no big deal."
Brooke's face fell. Of course, he had been expecting to be paid. What was she thinking? That he would offer just to be nice? Why? Nathan had a knack for catching her at her bitchiest moments. He probably didn't have the highest opinion of her, just like most of the other people at this school who saw her as a brainless slut. All the locker room talk he was apparently privy to clearly didn't help her case.
"Right, of course," she said. "I'll get back to you on that."
"Okay," Nathan nodded. "See you around."
"Yeah, see you."
Brooke slumped back down in front her computer as soon as he left. She restored the webpage on the screen and began scanning the search results again. But somehow, her head just wasn't in it anymore. She sat in silence for a moment, thinking. She was awfully bored. Maybe she'd go to her next class after all.
Or maybe not.