Disclaimer: All characters and situations from One Tree Hill are properties of Mark Schwahn, and CBS Warner Television. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note. Please Read: I understand that the first scene is almost the same as the scene in season 4's "Ashes of Dreams You Let Die" The scene was just what I needed for the first part of the chapter, and remember from my disclaimer that I do not own anything. Thanks, Broody.
Where To Turn
Say You'll Stay Forever and A Day
Dan tossed and turned in his bed, a layer of sweat coating his body and making his clothes stick to him. He was stuck in a restless sleep, with a terrible scene playing out in his mind.
"What are you doing Lucas?"
The scene that played in Dan's mind took place in his home, in his own room actually. He and Lucas were standing on opposite side of the room, facing each other. Lucas seemed to be standing in a fighting stance with his legs planted widely and his shoulders squared on his father.
"Getting my justice."
Dan was shocked at the absolute chill that Lucas's voice sent down his spine. The normal emotionally high wired voice held none of it's previous feelings. Instead they were replaced with an unemotional, frigid cruelty that nearly sent Dan reeling.
The expression in his son's eyes rivaled the cold tenor pitch of his voice. Cobalt eyes held their same color, except they lacked their swirling whirlpool of emotions. Lucas's eyes seemed to be taken over by a never ending drive for revenge toward his father.
"Calm down Lucas."
Lucas's father was well aware that his son looked to be the epitome of calm and collected. He didn't look unsure of himself and his stature was intimidating. This was the most confidence that Dan had ever seen in his son.
"I am calm Dan. In fact, I don't think that I have ever felt this calm. Because tonight, you are finally going to get what you deserve."
Dan was silenced by Lucas's words. He had almost no idea what Lucas meant by giving him what he deserved, but whatever he meant, it left a terrible feeling in Dan's gut. Hoping for a reprieve, or at least an explanation from his son, he cautiously stepped forward.
"Don't move Dan."
A ray of light reflecting off a metal object in his son's right hand caught Dan's eye. Tearing his sight away from the cold stare, he focused on the object. The silver metallic object was a weapon. A deadly weapon. A gun.
"Why the hell do you have a gun Lucas?"
While Dan wanted his comment to come across as intimidating and forceful, he sounded more intimidated and afraid; a way that he had never sounded around his son.
"Like I told you. I'm getting my justice." With that revealing statement, Lucas raised his right arm with the gun and had it aimed at his father.
Dan was too stunned to move. His son, his first born son, possessed a gun and had it aimed at his father's head. Was this how Lucas was going to get his final justice? By killing his father?
"This is for abandoning me and my mother. You left us and it pushed her to the point of suicide. This is for giving me Zoloft instead of being a father. This is for wanting me aborted and telling me about it. This is for hitting me when you thought that I was out of control when all I really wanted was your attention!" Finally, some enotion broke through in Lucas's words. This was a good sign, he could still appeal to Lucas.
"But I am finally going to make sure that you can never hurt me again. Ever."
Dan's chest constricted when he saw the muscles in his son's hand begin to contract, and his index finger tightened around the trigger of the gun. His thoughts raced with questions about what was soon to be a horrible tragedy.
Was this really how things were going to end between him and Lucas? The son killing the father for revenge? He was briefly reminded of the Camelot story of Mordred, the bastard son of King Arthur that betrayed his father by killing him with a sword. Was this his destiny too?
The sound of a shot reverberated through the room. Dan's eyes were squeezed shut as he expected to be hit with the pain of a bullet invading his body. A few seconds later, when the echo of the shot died down, and Dan wasn't hunched on the floor nursing his bullet wound, he opened his eyes.
Standing in front of him was Lucas, still with the gun wielded and aimed at his father, this time with a small spark of the Lucas that he knew in his eyes.
"Fix it Dan." Lucas spoke, emotion now flooding his voice. His comment wasn't a request, it was a detrimental demand. Too shocked to muster any words, Dan stayed silent.
"I missed you on purpose, but I promise you that I will not miss again. Fix it. You haven't completely lost me yet. If you don't fix it, you will pay."
Shooting up right in his bed, Dan was gulping to try and get oxygen into his lungs. He was chilled from the sweat that held a thin coat arond his body, making his clothes feel like a sticky second skin. He was completely panicked as the sound of the gun shot and his son's command to fix things echoed in his ears.
Not wanting to wake his wife and worry her about his nightmare, Dan carefully tip-toed out of the room that he shared with his wife, and the room that shared the now terrifying scenery of where his son shot him for the terrible things that he had done.
On the other side of the hallway, he saw the closed oak door of Lucas's room. Temptation and curiosity overwhelmed him as he began walking toward Lucas's room. He had to see his son, just to check if he was the emotionally damaged teenager that he knew best, or the cold murderous boy that wanted justice. Cracking open the door as quietly as he could, Dan peeked inside.
In his bed, tangled in his blankets, was his son. Lucas didn't possess the cold and cruel expression as he did in Dan's nightmare. Instead, he looked almost peaceful, despite the disturbance of the coughing. His son's hands were both visible, and to Dan's relief, weren't wrapped around a gun.
"If you really want me to fix this, then I will. I will try my hardest to fix this for you, I promise."
Dan whispered as silent as he could to Lucas. Creeping away from the door and shutting it, Dan walked down to his office. He didn't want to disturb Deb, and he was just too haunted to sleep.
Was his epiphany real? Would Lucas turn into that monster and be lost to his father forever if Dan didn't fix things? Or was the scene just a dream, a figment of his imagination that would never come true? Somehow, Lucas's words hit too close to home for him to ignore.
His nightmare was no coincidence. It was a wake up call.
Dan's heart knew the decision that he had to make for his son. This was it. No more mixed signals to Lucas, he wanted his son to stay and that was final. There would be no more hitting Lucas when the kid showed attitude. No more saying hurtful things when Lucas attacked him with a barrage of questions that he just didn't want to answer.
Things would be different now. He promised himself, and he promised Lucas. Now in order to fix things with Lucas, he had to figure out how to apologize to the boy.
Dan knew that he had probably caused his son to want to California now. Last night, he had yelled at his son and he wouldn't blame his son if he would not want to stay anyore.
Tomorrow...tomorrow his son would be leaving on a flight to California to be forever lost to his father. If he wanted to fix things, he had some work to do.
Lucas woke up that morning, feeling slightly better than he had the day before. The burning pain in his chest had gone down, and coughing no longer hurt so bad that his eyes watered. He was surprised that he had slept through the night, due to his Pneumonia and his imdending departure to California, he thought he would be up all night.
Walking to his bathroom, Lucas flipped the light on and began running the water in his faucet. He was trying to put off going downstairs to get some breakfast. Even though he was hungry for some eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice, he wasn't sure that his appetite would survive seeing his father.
All hopes that he had fostered of getting to stay in Tree Hill had been yanked away from him yesterday. His father showed him that he didn't want to fix things between them yesterday, and finally, Lucas was accepting that.
He had told his father everything that he wanted and needed, and that was all he could do. If his father couldn't be his Dad, there was nothing that he could do to change that.
Finally, he felt his stomach give a cry that could not be denied. His hunger returning with a vengence, Lucas finally grasped the courage to walk down to the kitchen.
"Good morning Lucas. Are you hungry this morning?"
Lucas was immediately greeted by Deb, who stood at the stove cooking breakfast. Dan sat at the table, the sports page open in front of him, sipping coffee.
Briefly, he wondered if this was what it was like to wake up in a normal family. Mumbling a quick agreement to the offer of breakfast, Lucas sat as far away from his father as possible. If he was going to be sent away, he wanted it to be as quick, silent, and painless as possible.
Dan sorely noticed hos son's intentions of sitting as far away as he could from him. He didn't expect anything less. He knew that if he was going to fix things with his son, that Lucas was going to make it as difficult as possible.
A plate was sat down at Lucas's spot at the table, and Lucas began eating with the hunger only a teenage boy could have. Dan caught himself gawking at the ravenous display, and wondering how he could approach the subject of fixing things with his son.
The last time he attempted something close to this, he layed on his fathering techniques too thick, enough to overwhelm his son and creep him out. He either did that, or he neglected to father his son so much that the boy suffered.
How could he find an acceptable balance in one day?
Boxes were stacked along the walls in his room as he went through all the items in his closet. Lucas was feeling a strange pang of nostalgia as he sorted through all his possessions that he kept in the top of his closet. He hated to admit it, but he had come to know this room as his home in the past two and a half years that he had lived here.
The farther back in his closet that he got as he packed all of the clothes, the cheaper the clothes got. All of the clothes in the back of the closet were the ones that he had taken from his previous life with his mother.
All of the articles of clothing didn't fit him even more and the fabric was aged and scratchy, and cheap compared to his current wardrobe. Absently, he fingered the soft material of the shirt he was wearing and compared it to what he wore when he was fourteen.
Injustice and anger at his father rose once again in his throat when he thought about the financial struggles that him and Karen struggled with. They could have lived a little bit better if Dan had paid a bit of child support.
As he was wondering why he had even kept the clothing in the first place with Deb stocking him with a new wardrobe every year, he came across one article that choked his throat in horror.
A simple gray t-shirt was the piece of clothing the was the last in his closet. This wouldn't have meant anything to him except for the rust color stains that covered the majority of it.
The rust stain was blood...His mother's blood.
This had been the shirt that he had been wearing the night that he had discovered his mother's bloody and lifeless body. He realized that he had never washed it, and never thrown it away, and now here it was, the memories of hugging the cold and lifeless corpse of his mother assaulted him violently.
"Mom" He whispered agonizingly, and his eyes involuntarily stinging with unwanted tears. Taking the shirt off of the hanger, he squeezed it in his hands, feeling the stiffness of the blood stained parts contrast with the softness of the unstained gray cotton.
Dan knew that Lucas was packing up his room by hearing the racket of him taking things off of his walls and out of his closet. Instantly he regretted putting all of the empty cardboard boxes into his son's room a few days before.
With all the signals that he had been sending Lucas lately, why didn't he just push him out the door? Unable to stand by without trying to fix things any longer, Dan scaled the stair case to Lucas's room.
Looking into Lucas's open door, he saw the boy hugging a piece of fabric close and his distressed voice saying something that he couldn't understand. Though he didn't want to interrupt what looked to be an extremely personal moment, he wasn't sure how much more time that he could waste in the goal to get to know Lucas.
"Lucas..." He knocked on the door lightly. Even though the sound wasn't very loud or intrusive, Lucas seemed to jump out of his skin. An overly emotional 'What!?!' was the response that he earned.
"What? You come to help me pack? I guess that you want me out of the house as fast as possible. I can understand that." After a few moments of getting himself together, Lucas finally spoke. He tried to hide the horrifying shirt from his father, knowing that it would only bring out reprimand.
Dan gathered his choice of words in his head, making sure that they held the right amount of fatherly caring. Not perfect, nor neglecting.
"No Lucas. Come here and sit down for a second." Dan gestured to Lucas's bed, the only place that wasn't covered in Lucas's personal items that waited to be packed.
Lucas was a little bit hesitant about listening to his father. The last time that Dan had told him to sit down, the conversation ended up with Dan yelling at him. Still he sat down though. Parents had holds over their children in ways that they never knew.
"Are you sure that you wanted to go live with Keith?"
Lucas was surprised at the question. This was the first time that Dan had actually asked him his opinion about going to California. After all the fights that the pair had gone through, not once had Dan asked him if he actually wanted to go live across the country.
"You haven't given me much of a choice in the matter. You don't want things to get better between us, then my only option is to live with Keith." Lucas said sadly, at the same time his pitch still held a bit of attitude. He had already made the mistake of letting himself be vulnerable around Dan. And since that resulted in hurt feelings and severed hopes, he wasn't about ready to go through that again.
Dan noted that his son had said that his father didn't want things to get better between them. This was just the opening that he needed to get through to Lucas.
"Lucas, what would you say if I told you that I did want to fix things between us, and that I wanted everything to be better?" Dan knew that his son's answer would be something along the lines of calling him a liar or a hypocrite.
"I would call you a liar or a hypocrite. The last times that I we talked you told me that you couldn't handle being my father and that you couldn't fix me. So forgive me for not believing a damn word that you say."
Deep inside, Lucas was hoping that his father was trying to get him to stay. He really didn't want to go, not at all. But his experiences with being hurt by Dan crushing that notion made him keep his childish hopes all to himself.
Dan felt that he had won a small victory inside. He knew his son more than he thought!
But that victory was overshadowned by Lucas calling him a liar. If Lucas thought that everything he said was false, then how could he convince the boy that he really wanted him to stay?
"Lucas, I know that in the past few days I have been sending you so many mixed signals about whether I wanted you to go or not. That was unfair of me to do that to you and it's my fault that you feel like you have no other choice than to leave.And I know that you don't want to hear anything else that I have to say, but please, listen to what I have to say."
Gazing at his son's hunched figure that sat next to him on his bed, he took Lucas's silence and lack of movement as agreement.
"I don't want you to go live in California Lucas. When I said that I couldn't fix you last night, I realized that I had never even tried. Somehow I was going to send you to live across the country without ever trying to really get know you or how to fix you. I don't want that to happen, I want you to stay here in Tree Hill,so we can fix things between us, and so I can get to know you and be that father for you."
Only a few seconds into Dan's speech, he saw Lucas's head shaking, almost as if he didn't want to believe what Dan was saying. He abruptly stood up and faced his father.
"No! How the hell am I supposed to believe you? Huh? Just the other day, I was begging you to let me stay! And you said no! You said that you wanted me to live with Keith. Now you say that you want me to stay home? How am supposed to think that is true when obviously everything else you said was a lie?"
Lucas wasn't sure he was comfortable with the emotion that poured out of his mouth, but he couldn't stop it. Dan was right, he wasn't being fair at all.
"Lucas, I know that you don't have much of a reason to believe me, but if you are going to ever believe one thing that I say, believe this; I want you to stay and I want things to get better with us."
Dan sighed, aware that Lucas was completely correct. How should the boy think that anything that his father said was true when all he had done was send him contradictions every time they talked. The fact that his son couldn't trust anything that he said made him slightly sad though.
Shaking his head and still not believing a word that Dan said, Lucas continued.
"What do you expect from me Dad? Do you want me to run into your open arms and say 'Yes Dad, I'll stay!' Because it doesn't work like that. You can't jerk me around every time that you change your mind about something!"
Lucas's words were more like a plea for mercy. He was sick of having to be yanked around at Dan's whim when the man decided whether he wanted his son or not. He just wanted peace, and just when he thought that he was going to get what he wanted, Dan ripped it away. Again.
Dan was speechless. There was no way to defend himself in that statement. He was sure of one thing though, this wasn't how he expected this conversation to go. Lucas usually never won these types of things.
"I just want some peace without you jerking me around all the time. I thought that I could have that here, but you proved me wrong. So can't you please just give me this one thing?"
His voice had calmed down and dropped a few decibels from his previous tone. His energy was still not at full strength from having Pneumonia, and his vigor slowed down at a moments notice.
Dan could literally see Lucas's strength drain from his eyes and his now slumped shoulders. He had to end this conversation quickly so that Lucas would be able to think with reason, not exhaustion. One last appeal should do the trick.
"I can give you that peace that you want Lucas. No more jerking you around anymore, I promise. I want you as my son."
When he stood up from Lucas's bed and rubbed his son's shoulders, he could feel them shake with fatigue. With that, he left his son's room, hoping that Lucas would want to stay on his own accord instead of Dan having to push even harder.
Lucas collapsed under his blankets and marveled at how the bed felt more comfortable than it usually did. His exhaustion coupled with his father's words swimming in his head pacified him to the point of sleep.
It was almost an out of body experience, as if someone else was experiencing this dream and he was only a watching bystander.
Lucas was standing in his father's room, unnoticed by the two other figures in the room that stood in stand-off formation.
The first figure wasn't surprising; his father. Except the only unusual thing was that his stature wasn't as imtimidating as it usually was, he almost seemed intimidated. What shocked Lucas though was the second figure in the room.
The second person was himself, only that this Lucas was not very familiar. This Lucas had a gun and was ready to shoot his father. As he stood on the sidelines and watched the scene unfold before him, he wanted to stop the cold version of himself.
"Like I told you. I'm getting my justice." With that revealing statement, Lucas raised his right arm with the gun and had it aimed at his father.
Knowing that no one could see or sense him, and that there was no way that he could stop himself from shooting Dan were the most difficult truths that he had to face. Why was he forced to watch this with no way out? And why was this other part of himself so set on killing his father? Sure Dan had done many thing that wronged him, but did that really warrant murder?
"This is for abandoning me and my mother. You left us and it pushed her to the point of suicide. This is for giving me Zoloft instead of being a father. This is for wanting me aborted and telling me about it. This is for hitting me when you thought that I was out of control when all I really wanted was your attention!"
The heart wrenching emission from what he supposed was another part of himself began to make sense to Lucas. This Lucas wasn't someone that he had never known before, he knew this boy.
This was the boy that was deep inside of him. The voice that spoke to him and said that Dan had hurt him enough and that he needed to fight back. And this was the Lucas that would inevitably end up ruling him if he was indeed sent off to live in California.
"But I am finally going to make sure that you can never hurt me again. Ever."
That sent the unseen Lucas into a frenzy. He didn't want to be ruled by this monster that lived inside him. He didn't think that his father deserved to know this side of him, the one that wanted Dan to hurt much more than he had hurt his son.
Seeing his alter-ego's hand flex and tighten around the trigger to brace himself for the force of the gun shot, Lucas dove forward to try and stop himself.
Startled, Lucas shot up in his bed, holding his aching head with his hand. Looking around his room, he didn't see his vengeful self and his father. The only things were the boxes that either waited to be packed, or waited to be shipped across the country.
The nightmare had shaken him to the core, and he almost felt like it was a message or a warning. He would turn out like that other Lucas, bitter, unforgiving, and detatched if he left for California. The thought made him want to stay home forever.
What scared him though, was that that Lucas was somewhere inside of him at this very moment, waiting to be set free and have full reign. How could he even function when he knew that he had it in him to raise a gun and fire a bullet at his father.
But if he had any way to control that and stop it, he would. And if that meant giving in to his father's request, then would do that. He had one request to give his father though.
Dan sat in his office with his laptop open in front of him, displaying plane ticket information that Keith had sent him. The flight was for tomorrow, and it left from gate G36.
He could feel himself already beginning to give up on convincing the boy to stay. How could he have Lucas believe anything if all he had done in the past week was change his mind?
A heavy sigh deflated his chest as he thought again about his nightmare. He guessed that things with him and Lucas were going to turn out ugly, with Lucas unable to forgive. He didn't want that. He didn't want Lucas to change because he wasn't ready to let go of his son yet. Or ever.
Heavy breathing, almost panting from the doorway caught his attention. Averting his eye sight away from the screen that showed all the flight information, he looked up and saw Lucas.
Lucas stood at his father's doorway, ready to give his one restriction on staying. If Dan broke this contract, then Lucas was sure that things would never get fixed.
"Lucas..." Dan began, only to be cut off by Lucas putting his hand up. His son seemed determined to say something without any interruptions.
"Please don't change your mind."
Those words sparked a new future within Dan and his son. For Dan it was a fresh start with his son, one that he vowed not to screw up. And for Lucas, it was a tentative step toward a funtional relationship with his father.
"I promise Lucas, things will be different."
With a lump in his throat, Lucas nodded and turned to leave the room. This time he left a piece of himself with his father. What he didn't know what that he held a piece of his father with him too.
I must ask the Brucas fans to bear with me, I wanted Lucas's decision to stay to be completely based on his father, not because of his brother, or his best friend. But I totally promise that Brooke will be back in the next chapter, and we will see a lot of her. We just reached a major milestone in this story and I have to thank everyone that has either read or reivewed so far. It means a lot for me.
The mood of this story is going to change in the next few chapters. While Lucas and Dan will be rebuilding their relationship, there will still be some slight issues, but the whole story won't be completely centered around them anymore.
I hope that you enjoyed this chapter, please review. Love Broody.