This is a tag to With Tired Minds, Tired Eyes, Tired Souls... What if more went down at One Tree High than what did?
Lucas hesitantly exited the double doors of the school. He didn't like leaving Keith back there to face a deranged Jimmy waving a gun around but could feel the life of one of his best friend's slipping away in his arms. Peyton had lost consciousness over an hour ago in the library and her skin was cold up against his chest. He could feel his black under shirt sticking to his chest from the precious blood that was pumping from her body. So much blood.
"God this is my fault," his mind screamed at him. "If only I would have talked to Jimmy more. Why couldn't I see he was going to snap like this? I could have stopped him. I could have talked him out of this."
"My baby," Karen gasped as her son exited the building. She stood there with Brooke in her arms, both sobbing in relief as the one they both most cared about stepped from the school alive and breathing. Brooke's relief was short lived when she seen her pale friend being carried in his arms.
"Peyton? Oh God no, is she okay? What's wrong with her?" Brooke screamed with tears in her eyes.
Lucas heard them but never looked up. Men with huge guns were shouting at him to put the girl down and step away. He softly kissed Peyton on the forehead and whispered into her ear. "See, I told you everything was going to be okay, didn't I? You are going to be just fine. I always keep my promises Peyton Sawyer."
As if she heard him she moaned to his soft warm kiss but never opened her eyes.
Just as he was gently easing her limp body down on the asphalt, a gun went off behind him and echoed in his ears.
Everything went into slow motion as he stood back up. Men yelling at him and pointing their guns. Women screaming in the gathering crowd. The only sound he could hear was his heavy heart pounding in his chest so hard he felt it was going to explode out of his ear drums. He looked up briefly and locked eyes with his frantic mother. He took one step back and instantly turned, racing with speed back into the school. He felt a hand grab at the back of his shirt, probably a member of the squad team, but he shrugged it off and kept running.
He hit the glass door hard and it flung open with such force, it slammed up against the wall, glass shattering into a million pieces. He almost slipped in the blood trail left behind from Peyton as he rounded the corner fast but caught his balance with one hand against the wall before rounding the other corner to where he had left Keith in a stand off with Jimmy.
There stood Dan Scott, pointing a gun at his own brother's chest.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Lucas screamed as the trigger was squeezed.
Keith's body slammed down hard directly next to Jimmy's corpse, flat on his back. Much like Jimmy, his eyes stared blankly up at the ceiling.
Lucas stopped in his tracks, his face pale with shock, looking down at Keith. All his dreams of them becoming a family, of him marrying his mother, of him adopting him, all draining the life force from his own body as his heart skipped a few beats in his chest.
"I love you, Luke." Keith's four last words repeated in his mind over and over. His eyes filled profusely with tears just waiting to burst from their surface and run down his flawless cheeks.
He slowly looked up to Dan, his blood father, who just looked at him with equal shock. The gun now rest at Dan's side. His loose fingers almost releasing the weapon. Smoke still lingered in the air from the deadly shot.
Lucas tipped his head to the side, the tears making trails down his face freely and mixing into his blood soaked shirt. "Whhhhyyy?" He managed to choke out the one word. His own voice trembling with pain.
For a brief moment, Dan looked as though maybe there was some remorse there. That facial expression easily flickered away back to Dan's true form.
With a cocky laugh, Dan smirked, his eyes cold as ice. "Why? Why did you have to come back in here Lucas? Big mistake you little bastard." The grip on the piece in his hand instantly tightened.
Lucas' lip quivered with sadness. "He... he was your brother," he accused, swallowing the hard lump that had formed in his throat.
Dan let out another sadistic chuckle. "Yeah, key word, was." Dan lifted the gun up and pointed it directly at Lucas' chest. Lucas tensed. He held his arms up and began to slide one foot after the other away from the madman before him. He now stood in the middle of the hallway, defenseless. He looked down the hallway to his right and instantly turned his head back, not wanting to give away the fact his brother, Nate was huddled up against the wall listening to their every word.
"What are you going to do, Dan," he almost gagged on his words as he tried to keep his focus off the two bodies at his feet. He could see Dan's hand shaking and cleared his throat once again. "Haven't you caused my family enough pain? You took Keith from us. You win. You want to take my mom's only son away from her too? What did she ever do to you?"
"Your bitch of a mom has nothing to do with this, Lucas." Dan spat. "This was between Keith and I. He always wanted what I had but in the end he didn't win did he? He slept with my wife and when he realized he couldn't have her, he settled for my sloppy seconds, your slut of a mom. It never stopped with him, can't you see?" Dan waved the gun around with his wild hand gestures. "Oh I knew all about the adoption too, Lucas. He showed up at my office waving around adoption papers just to brag you were going to become his son. Ha, not that I cared. I never wanted a loser of a son like you anyway. But I knew then Keith wouldn't stop there. What would be next? Would he try to adopt Nathan too? The only son I care about?"
Lucas' jawbones tensed with anger. "That's bullshit, Dan and you know it!"
"Is it? Is it really, Lucas? Like I said, there is a reason I never wanted you as my son. You were never very bright." He pointed the weapon and Lucas' heart for emphasis. "You're damaged goods, Luke." He spit the name Keith called him by, "Luke" with much venom. "Maybe all those years hanging out with good ole Keith here rubbed off on you! Did you really think you could become Captain of the Ravens and steal my son's chances of a scholarship? Both of you," he looked down at Keith's body then back up to Lucas, "both of you are a disgrace to the Scott name and deserve to die!"
Lucas took one more step, this time forward. Anger was taking control now. He always feared his real father and his threats. But not this time. This time Dan had gone over the edge. It was Lucas' turn to let a chuckle escape his lips.
"What's so damn funny?" Dan yelled outraged at the defiance in Lucas' eyes.
"You think you won? You'll never win." Lucas put his raised arms down to his sides and took another step forward. "You see, Dan, you are the disgrace to the Scott name, not Keith, not myself. Even Nate can't stand you. Oh and your wife, hmmmmmm, want to know what your wife thinks about you, huh Dan?"
Dan held the gun steady at Lucas' heart, his temper now flaring. "You shut your fucking mouth. Leave Deb and Nathan out of this!"
"I don't think so," Lucas laughed. "Remember the fire, Dan? You were so convinced Keith tried to kill you. Or me? You thought it was me, didn't you?"
"Oh I know it was one of you. Maybe the both of you! Is this your dying confession? Did you try to kill me, boy?" Dan was just waiting for Lucas to confess, his finger already putting pressure down on the trigger. He knew the only way out of this mess now anyway was to kill Lucas then cover it up. Hell, he'd be Mayor of the year after this was all said and done. Him taking down the shooter single handedly. Of course, losing his own brother and son in the process would just add to his heroism. Perfect.
"You are going to kill me anyway, so I mise well confess and get this off of my chest," Lucas smiled.
Dan's eyes narrowed. "I guess you are not as dumb as I took you for," he growled. "It was you, wasn't it you little fucking prick?"
The Tutor Room
"Nate, please? We are supposed to stay put! Any minute now the police will come in, please?" Haley pleaded with her husband, her arms outstretched over the door that Jimmy had left open when he left them there.
Just then another gun shot blast filled the air. Everyone in the room tensed and gasped. Mouth cuddled into Rachel's arms and continued sobbing. "Oh God," he cried. "He's dead, I know it. Why? This isn't happening, this isn't happening... I'm so sorry Jimmy."
"Shhhhh... it's okay", Rachel cooed to him, tears spilling from her eyes.
Fear was evident in Nate's eyes.
"What is it?" Haley could sense something terribly wrong from the look he was giving her.
"Haley, please, just get out of the way. I have to go."
"Nathan, no, we are supposed to stay put. Please, I love you. I can't lose you. Not again."
Nate grabbed his wife by the shoulders and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in for a hug. She returned the gesture and wrapped her arms around his waist, letting her head rest into his chest she began to weep.
"Just stay with me," she whispered between sobs.
"I love you Haley James, I have always loved you and I always will, but I have to go. It's..." Nate hesitated telling her.
"What?" She whispered.
He pulled away from the embrace and looked her in the eyes. "It wasn't just me who entered the school after we heard what was going on. He tried to stop me... but he's in here somewhere too looking for Peyton. He's... " he stopped himself, struggling with his own words.
The hair stood on the back of her neck at her husband's words. No, it couldn't be! Not...
"Lucas is out there," Nate finally spit it out.
Haley would have collapsed if Nate wasn't there to firmly grab her by the shoulders. He ushered her over to Skills who was standing close by. With a head nod Skills took Haley from his friend. He knew there was no stopping what Nate was going to do.
"Take care of my wife," he instructed his friend.
"You got it dog, be careful, for real," Skills replied easing Haley down into the chair he was sitting in moments ago.
With no more time to waste, Nate picked up the baseball bat from the ground and took off in a sprint out of the Tutor Room and took the direction Jimmy had taken only minutes ago. He followed the sounds of familiar voices down the main hallway, pausing only once to look through the open doors of the cafeteria making sure it was clear.
His hands clenching the bat so tight his knuckles were white, he leaned against the wall and was about to round the corner when Lucas suddenly popped into view. His arms were raised over his head and he looked shaken. Their eyes briefly met before Lucas abruptly turned his head away and continued speaking to his captor.
"What are you going to do, Dan," he paused. "Haven't you caused my family enough pain? You took Keith from us. You win. You want to take my mom's only son away from her too? What did she ever do to you?"
Nate's eyes widened with the realization that the man he couldn't see at the other end of the hallway that was most likely pointing a weapon at his brother, his sweet, kind hearted brother that went out of his way to do anything for anyone, was not that of Jimmy Edwards. It was his father! His own fucking flesh and blood. "What the hell?" He mouthed. Disbelief and anger both washed over him as he continued to listen to their conversation. From his position in the hallway all he could see was a limp hand outstretched over a body and he could only presume it was his Uncle Keith's hand.
"That fucking bastard! I'm going to kill him!"
"I guess you are not as dumb as I took you for," Dan growled. "It was you, wasn't it you little fucking prick?"
Nate couldn't take it anymore. No way in hell his brother was taking the fall for something he damn well knew he didn't do. His mother tried to kill Dan, not Lucas. And though he briefly hated his mom for doing so when she confessed to him in that sleazy motel room outside of town it was her, he had forgiven her. At this very moment he now wished she had killed this son of a bitch he was forced to call his father.
"I drugged you, Dan," Lucas spat.
"Don't do this Lucas." Nate begged mentally.
Dan's eyes narrowed even more at the words.
"I torched your car dealership," Lucas laughed. "I tried to kill you."
"Damn it, Lucas! No!"
"I guess I am a failure. I should have waited and watched your body burn. But it's okay. One day, when you die, you will burn in hell, Dan." Lucas held his arms out accepting his fate.
"You little shit," Dan seethed, making sure his aim was still on Lucas' heart he squeezed the trigger for the second time that day.
"LUCAS...NOOOOOO!" Nate screamed lunging out from his hiding spot. He leaped out, his much taller and muscular form shielding the bullet as he wrapped his arms around his brother, bat still fisted in one hand, sending them both crashing into a set of lockers against the wall.
Lucas felt the side of his head collide with a padlock or something very sharp before he sunk down under the weight of Nate. Nate's body pinned his arm at an awkward angle and he cried out as he heard the crack and felt the pain rushing up his arm.
"Lucasssss?" Nate slurred before losing consciousness. The aluminum bat in his hand was released clanging obnoxiously as it rolled away from them, seizing as it rolled into Keith's still form.
"Fuucccckkkkk!" Lucas screamed at the top of his lungs, gently rolling Nate's body off his onto his side. He looked down at his brother's still form. The sickening crimson color was saturating his shirt and spreading at a rapid pace from the bullet wound in his upper back.
TBC Later Today... or Tomorrow...