Brooke and Lucas were cuddled on the couch in Brooke's apartment. They hadn't had many moments of peace since the shooting, and it had taken a great deal of effort to convince Luke to leave his mom that day, but Brooke felt like she really had to get through to him, and if she didn't soon, she may never.
"We need to talk baby," she informed him after a long silence.
"Sure, what is it?" he asked, muting the T.V..
"It's about your mom," Brooke began, but was cut off by a sharp intake of breath by her boyfriend. He hated talking about Karen. He knew his mother was depressed, but she would get over it. Lucas could take care of her himself. After all, she had just lost her fiance, she was bound to be depressed.
"Look, Brooke, I love you, but can we not talk about this now?" Luke begged.
"Then when will we talk about it?" Brooke said, her voice rising as her emotions got the best of her. "Your mom is not doing well and you refuse to believe it! I know you love her, but you have to let her get help! She hasn't left her bed since the funeral, all she does is drink and cry!"
"Shut up Brooke! You don't know what goes on in my house, and I would appreciate it if you stopped pretending that you did! I know my mother best, not you, not anyone! She'll be fine, she just needs some time!"
Truth was, Lucas had tried to talk his mother into getting out of bed, because deep down, he knew something wasn't right, and the empty vodka bottles in their recycling bin were only reinforcing that fact in his mind, but all he had gotten was his mothers blame for everything that had happened to Keith. That happened everytime he spoke to his mother, and it had become easier just to put on the show that everything was fine, because it hurt too much to talk about anything.
"Time? Time? Luke it's been 3 weeks! And I, not to mention Nathan, Haley and Peyton, all think it's time you went to a professional for this!"
Brooke was flat-out sobbing now. She had known this conversation was going to be hard, but she hadn't imagined it to feel this awful.
Lucas stood up angirly and grabbed his coat. "I don't need this. I thought you getting me out today was to get me away from my problems, not ambush me with them. Bye Brooke," he said angirly and slammed the door shut as hard as he could, but could still hear Brooke's muffled sobs.
He leaned against the door and fell slowly to the floor, burying his head in his hands. Why couldn't he help his mother? He was 17, he should be able to take care of his mother for a while! But no matter how hard he tried he couldn't make her pain go away, and every time he saw her, the pain in his own heart seemed to multiply. He needed to go home and check on her, Luke reasoned with himself, and dragged himself slowly to his feet, trying to wipe the tears from his cheeks.
Brooke listened desperately at the door, hoping Lucas would come back in, hug her, and they would make up and he would agree to get his mother help. God she wished it, but she couldn't make it happen. This just make her cry harder. She was so scared for Karen, and even more so for Lucas.
It wasn't fair! He was 17, he shouldn't be responsible for his mother! But Karen needed someone taking care of her all the time, because if Lucas wasn't there she always managed to get herself into some kind of trouble.
Like the week before when Lucas had been at a basketball game.
"Bye Luke, call me!" Brooke called from the car where her and Nathan and Haley were watching their friend go inside.
Lucas had opened the door to find a complete mess. Broken liqour bottles were scattered around the floor of the kitchen and his mother was holding a 3/4 empty one in her hands sitting on the ground under the cabinet, crying silently. Lucas stared at the sight for a moment, trying to process what he was seeing.
Finally, he walked slowly towards his mothers and said, in voice full of feigned calmness, "Mom, give me the bottle." "No!" she shreieked yanking it away from his grasp. "It's mine!"
"Come on mom," Lucas whispered, "you're better than this. You can get through this."
"No, I can't! Keith was better than this! Keith could've gotten me through this! But he isn' t here, is he! And it's you're fault! I hate you for taking him away."
Lucas' eyes filled with hurt, but his hand reached yet again for thebottle trying to pry it from his mothers grip. "No!" Karen scremed yet again, and backhanded him across the jaw with her free hand. Lucas staggered backwards from his spot on the floor, in shock. Karen tried to stand up, but dizzyness engulfed her, and she knew no more as Lucas caught her carefully before her head hit the floor.
Slowly, Lucas lifted his mother in his arms and carried her silently to her bedroom, lying her in her bed, as small tears escaped his eyes. He watched her for a few hours before going to clean up the mess in the kithcen. Brooke, Nathan and Haley stood in the doorway for several long minutes after Lucas had exited it, unaware of their prescence. Their faces showed shock and revulsion at what the woman they thought they had known had just done.
In silence they exited, blinking back tears, unsure of what to do to help their friend. Brooke dropped his bag, which he had forgotten in the car, on the chair as she left, and took one last look and the kitchen before closing her eyes and regaining her composure.
Brooke had always had nothing but respect for Karen, but that all changed that night. She understood the woman was grieving, but that was just cruel to do to her only son. Often, Brooke wished she had something that night, not having been shocked into silence. But it seemed there was nothing to say. If it had been possible to comfort him that night, Brooke did
Instead, the next day, Nathan, Haley, and Brooke filled Peyton is as best they could and tried to think of what to do next. This had been the first plan, and it was obvious to Brooke that Plan A had not worked.