Author's Note: This idea came to me, sort of, out of nowhere. I was just chillin', watching an old Friends re-run, when it hit me. So, uh, yes. This is a one-shot, and I enjoyed writing it, so I hope you enjoy reading it.

Notes: Don't worry about spoilers at all. This is alternate universe. Please also note that this is a Brooke/Lucas one-shot.

For: readers of my other stories, the only reason I'm not updating those is because a) my computer that has all the storyboards and chapters of those stories is not working, and b) because this computer isn't working too well, and I'm afraid to like, overload it. I will be updating once I get my new computer for my 8th grade graduation.

Summary: "It's just," She began to sob once more, "I lost my favorite strawberry chapstick. I've checked all my bags, and I can't find it anywhere!" Now, he thought this was a particularly odd reason to be crying. Even for a girl that looked to be as, well, shallow as she did. Brooke-Lucas, one-shot.

Strawberry Chapstick

Lucas Scott shuddered involuntarily as he looked around the large shopping center. He hated shopping. And the only reason he was here was to get his mother a birthday gift. This idea produced two conflicts; one, he had no idea what to get her, and two, he hated malls.

Where was he supposed to shop? And even if he did find some place to shop, what was he supposed to get? Groaning inwardly, Lucas awkwardly shuffled around the mall. He watched middle-aged women shop, realizing he must have looked like something close to a stalker.

Two hours had passed, and he'd gotten nowhere. Deciding to take a break, Lucas began walking towards the food court.

It was at this moment that he saw her. How could he not have? She wasn't exactly hard to miss. She sat at a bench almost exactly in the center of the mall. Her dark hair was loose and straight around her shoulders, and she wore an outfit that looked like it would have been appropriately stylish for people at their general age. She was surrounded by numerous amounts of shopping bags, taking up most of the bench, and she had a large purse on her lap. But the thing he noticed most about her was that she was… crying. Sobbing. Her hazel eyes were moist and sad, and her shoulders shook with every breath she took.

Lucas, being the guy he was, couldn't help but approach her. "Uh, hello? Miss..?"

She looked up, wiping at her eyes furiously. "What?"

"Sorry to bother you, but uh, why are you crying?" He nervously shoved his hands into his pockets- a habit he'd picked up over the years.

"It's just," She began to sob once more, "I lost my favorite strawberry chapstick. I've checked all my bags, and I can't find it anywhere!"

Now, he thought this was a particularly odd reason to be crying. Even for a girl that looked to be as, well, shallow as she did. Not entirely sure she was being honest, and strangely intrigued, he managed to find a spot on the bench.

She'd once more began to dig through her purse incessantly, tears falling, and small gasps echoing from her lips.

"Look, why don't you just go buy a new chapstick?"

"You don't understand." She threw her bag down furiously.

"I don't?"

"No! That was like, a one of a kind chapstick. Even if I got the same brand, it'll never work as good. It'll be one of those cheap ones that I'll have to re-apply every two seconds, and that will either moisturize my lips or give them a little sparkle - not both." She concluded, looking both depressed and annoyed.

"Oh, I see," Lucas made a face, "I'm Lucas."

"Brooke Davis." She reached blindly for his hand, shaking it hastily.

"So, you're sure that the only reason you're crying is because of your chapstick?"

"Yes," She snapped, turning towards him, "Is there a problem with that?"

Damn. This girl was strange. She could go from devastatingly sad to completely annoyed in mere seconds.

He stuttered, "No, I'm just - well - you said that - and-"

She smiled through her tears. "You're cute when you stutter. And sorry for snapping at you, I just really loved that chapstick."

"It's fine." Lucas shrugged.

"I just," A fresh batch of tears began to form, "I can't believe I lost it. It was perfect in every way. So good to me."

Somehow, he'd begun to get the feeling she was no longer talking about her chapstick. "I'm sure you'll find another one someday, just as good. Or better."

"No, no. This one was one of a kind. Trust me."

"Well, I'm sorry, Brooke. I don't know what to tell you."

They stayed silent for moments, watching the crowded mall. Every so often, she'd sniffle, and he'd look over at her. But other then that, they didn't speak much.

"Do you have a tissue or something? My mascara's probably a mess." She looked at him. In truth, her mascara was a mess. Granted, not a bad one, but there was definitely some unwanted black beneath her eyes.

"Uh, sorry. I don't really carry tissues around."

She shrugged, looking through her purse, and pulling out a compact. She made a face at her appearance, chuckling slightly. "God, look at me. If only my mother could see me now."

At the mention of her mother, she spoke bitterly. Interested, he piped up. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, just that she'd probably rip me apart," She changed the tone of her voice, "'Brooke, just look at you! Such a mess in a public place. Haven't I taught you better?'"

"Oh."

"And the thing is, she's like - the worst mother ever. I seriously grew up with nannies my entire life. And when I was wasn't with the nannies, she'd be there only to tear me apart. So really, she didn't teach me anything."

"I'm sorry-"

"And you know what? It's like, my entire family is like that. And I'm so nice to them all! I agree with their decisions, and I listen to their problems. All for what? Nothing! When my mom decided to rent an overpriced place in Manhattan for six months, I told her if she wanted to, it'd be a good idea! And when my sister decided to marry that horrid, race-car driving guy, I told her if that's what she wanted, it was a good idea, and you know, they've never told me anything I was doing was a good idea, even if it was! Ever!"

He nodded, looking down. Well, she certainly had a lot of feelings. "That sucks. I'm really sorry."

She shrugged. "You know I'm the only girl in my family that hasn't gotten a nose job? Yeah. And my mom's always taunting me about it. Saying that I'll change my mind soon and stuff. She's always telling me I have an ugly nose."

"What? If anything, you have a pretty nose!"

She threw her arms up in the air. "I know! God, it's like she just wants to make herself feel better about being a total bitch. She always acts like she says what she does to help me, but I know it's not true," She looked away for a moment, and then her eyes traveled back to him. "Thanks for saying I have a pretty nose."

"Well, you do."

"I know. But you don't know how much of a difference it makes to hear it from someone else."

He smiled warmly, and she smiled faintly, facing forwards once more.

"I don't understand. Why couldn't they just accept that I didn't want to marry Walter? He was seriously not the guy for me. Too stuck up and serious. I tried telling him like, a million jokes, and he never once cracked a smile! Making love to him was like having sex with a fish. He just flopped around having no idea what he was doing. It was actually really repulsive."

He couldn't help but cringe, and then smile afterwards. Brooke Davis was certainly and interesting woman. She didn't exactly hide her intimate details, and she didn't even really seem to care that she'd told him either.

"I would never have married him. I didn't want to, you know? God, it was so typical of them to just - Ugh. They planned out the entire wedding themselves too. I mean, how could they not have known I was upset? I can't tell you how many times someone walked in on me in the bathroom crying, and just told me that I was being stupid."

"I'm sorry." Lucas wasn't quite sure what else to say. What else could he say?

"And all I really wanted was to be with Ryan." She dabbed at her eyes.

"Ryan?"

"Walter's brother. We had like, a secret affair for months, and I fell in love with him, and I tried to tell my mother, but she just got pissed off, and did everything she could to ruin my life."

"God, I'd hate to be you." He spoke before he could stop himself, and looked over at her guiltily.

"Say that again."

"What?"

"No one's ever been so honest to me," She laughed, even though there was no humor in the situation, "Repeat what you said."

"God, I'd hate to be you." Lucas said unsurely.

"Thank you." She leaned over all the shopping bags, placing a kiss on his cheek. The exact spot in which she'd kissed would tingle for hours.

"You're welcome?" He was almost entirely confused by now.

She sagged her shoulders heavily. "I just can't believe I lost it. It was like, the best strawberry chapstick ever. Seriously. I can't even believe it's gone."

"I'm really sorry." He rolled his eyes at his own lameness.

Brooke turned towards him. "Thank you. For listening."

He shrugged. "No problem. I guess I'm a listener."

She chuckled. "I guess so."

Lucas stood, preparing to wave good-bye. His mother's birthday was in mere days, and he seriously had to have a present for her by then. Suddenly, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was on the ground, and it looked to be in the shape of a tiny cylinder. Holding up one finger to Brooke, he quickly made his way towards it. A grin lit up his handsome features as he returned to her, hand outstretched.

"Oh my God!" She squealed, standing up.

"Don't ask me how I found it." Lucas shrugged, gesturing towards the small tube of strawberry chapstick.

"I guess you're also my hero." She wrapped her arms around him tightly. He hugged her back, taking in the unfamiliar scent of her hair.

"Well, I better get going," Lucas pulled away, "I have to get my mom a birthday present, and I have absolutely no idea what, so, I guess I'll see you around."

Brooke nodded - in some what disappointment - and sat back down, clutching the chapstick in one of her hands, and waving with the other.

As Lucas began to walk away, he heard heels clicking after him.

"Wait, Lucas!"

Lucas stopped, as Brooke caught up with him.

"Um, well see, you said you didn't know what to get your mom, and well, I'm kind of an expert at shopping. So, I thought maybe I could help you pick something out."

"Thanks," He grinned, "That'd be really nice."

Like the gentlemen he was, Lucas grabbed all her bags from her. She smiled in appreciation, beginning on the path of their long journey. Now, you could interpret long journey in many ways. One could be, maybe their long journey in life together. The other was well, anyone knew a shopping trip with Brooke Davis was a long journey all in itself.

"So," Brooke nudged him, "You still haven't told me your story."

"Oh, well, it's quite a tangled web. Sure you're up for it?"

"Positive."

"Okay, well, it all starts with my father. He's like, this big, bad, evil guy, who used to date my mom in high school. Well, she got pregnant with me-"

"In high school?"

"Yeah. And well, he decided to go off to college without her-"

"What an ass!"

"Yeah, basically. This is where he met Deb. They started dating, and pretty soon, she was pregnant too-"

"Damn. It's like right out of a soap opera."

"Uh-huh. So, Dan - my father - had to pick between Karen and Deb-"

"Oh my God! Who'd he pick?"

"Brooke. I was just about to tell you. Okay, so he picked Deb. And so, they got married, and my mom raised me all by myself. Oh, well, not all by herself. There was uncle Keith-"

"Aw! There's an uncle Keith? Tell me more about him!"

"I was just about to until you interrupted."

"Sorry, this is just an exciting tale. Won't happen again."

"So, Keith is Dan's brother-"

"Oh my God! That's so sweet! He took Dan's place as your father..?"

And so it began.