Pairing: S/B
Rating: G

Summary: After Brooke's accident at the end of season 1, Sam takes care of her and the girls grow closer.
Disclaimers: I don't own any of these characters, they're the property of Ryan Murphy and company (sorry, but I don't know companies name); I'm just borrowing them for a short period of time. The Story

I could feel the cold from the floor against my skin, but it didn't
matter because I was already chilled. I sat with my back up against
the wall, curved, hunched over. My head hung limply. My eyes were
open, I know this because I remember seeing white, it must have been
the floor, blurry and wet with my tears. The room hummed, the gentle
buzz of electronic devices filling the air.

I must have been sitting there for hours, I know that's what it felt
like as my bones ached and cracked, my muscles cramping as I stood up
later. People were there too, I remember people coming into the room
at various times, doctors and nurses. I knew when they came in
because they changed the sound, disturbed the hum, the rumblings of
their voices disturbing our solitude. They were talking to
me, let's go for a walk', can I bring you something to eat', would
you like a pillow', is there someone I can call', blah, blah, blah.
They all left eventually, finally realizing that stretching my legs,
or filling my stomach would do nothing to lessen my despair, that I
was inconsolable and that was the way I wanted it. That or they got
tired of talking to themselves.

It was at Saturday, they were weekend staff so I forgive them. They
couldn't have known any better. To the others, the ones who were
there everyday, I had become like a ghost, haunting the room,
haunting the hallways. And they knew, maybe they had seen it before
so they knew that I was in a place beyond words. They would walk
into the room and carry out their tasks wordless, preserving the
silence and in return earning my gratitude, and then they would exit,
casting upon me tender sad looks. Poor child, poor withering child
with her greasy hair and her bloodshot eyes.

I had to share the room on occasion, but I felt no offense when it
was them, only closeness and understanding. They knew because they
felt it too. Even the little one was silent in that room, her tiny
breaths seeming even smaller, respectful of her older sister. Every
time they visited mother would ask me if I was coming home and every
time I would say maybe later'. She would nod with those slightly
glazed eyes of her looking at me keenly, understanding and not
understanding at the same time. I wouldn't leave until she woke up
and told me to, or until the flashing red light on her bedside
monitor ceased to glow. They would stand then, preparing to leave
and as he walked by he would place a hand on my shoulder and squeeze
encouraging, giving strength to the sentinel watching over his

One day the sounds changed. I sat in some corner of the room, her
brooding babysitter, when I felt my heart stop. Something was wrong,
the sounds had changed. Immediately I looked towards her, to the
side of her bed. It was still glowing. I leaned forward, creaking
into an upright position slowly slouching over to where she lay. My
body felt strange as it moved, like a rusted out bike brought out on
a summer's day.

She exhaled. It was barely audible and I knew at once I couldn't
possibly have heard it from where I was sitting before, and that it
was this tiny emission that woke me from my slumber and brought me to
her side.

I stood there looking down at her watching as the sounds became
steadier, stronger. Her eyelids began to flutter and my mouth parted
in anticipation. Could it be, Snow White about to awaken? And then
in a moment, without further warning, without the slightest mores
hesitation her eyes opened, and she was staring directly into my
stupefied face.

"Sam?" she asked. Her voice cracked as she spoke and was barely more
than a whisper.

"I think so," was my response. I managed to keep my voice from
cracking, but it was just as soft as hers.

"So it was real?" she asked as her body shook, rattled by coughs.

"A real live nightmare," I responded taking her hand in mine. "Don't…
you shouldn't talk, you've been asleep for a while."

"That's all the more reason to talk." She coughed again, her hand
clutching mine more tightly.

"Please," I said lightly stroking the back of her hand with my
thumb. "I'll go get someone. A doctor."

"Don't leave me," she responded holding onto my hand more
determinedly. I could have easily broken the hold she had upon me,
her grasp was week I could barely feel her fingers. "Not now," she
added. Or I think she added. I've never been certain if that was a
figment of my own overtired mind, or if she had actually said it, and
I've never really wanted to ask.

"I won't," I responded. And she smiled at me; pale and brittle like
an injured bird. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever
seen. "I'm glad you're awake." I was sitting on the bed by the time
I said this and she turned to look up at me, her eyes big and
surprisingly bright.

"I'm glad I got to wake up to you."

This time it was me who smiled.


Part Two

They made me go back to school after she woke up. Something about my
having to go on with my life, not to forget what happened but to heal
from it. I didn't really want to leave, that room had become like my
home, but I wasn't going to argue. It went completely against my
nature, but standing there in the hospital hallway, Brooke lightly
slumbering in the room beside us I just couldn't fight with them. I
couldn't do it to them or to myself.

School, however was a serious mistake. I really think that they
should have suggested a nice stroll along the beach or an iced
cappuccino from Starbucks for those certainly would have been far
more therapeutic activities. Instead they threw me into the lion's

The moment I walked into the school there was a collective gasp and
then silence, as the students suddenly parted in front of me like the
Pastel Sea. I think that I laughed in my head. As I made my way
through the halls the passage behind me would close up and I could
hear whispers. I think that they were loud enough that I could have
understood them if I had cared, but I had become quite adept at
shutting out unwanted noises and I definitely didn't want them.

Lily was the first to spot me, don't ask me how because really I
don't know. All I remember is feeling something wrap around my mid-
section and looking down to see her enveloping me in a bear hug.
Then moments after that I felt a warmth behind me, and suddenly I had
grown two new arms. Carmen was comforting me from behind. They were
talking to me but I don't couldn't hear what they were saying, and
this time it wasn't my fault, mumbling as they were into my clothes
and cutting off my oxygen supply with surprisingly strong embraces.

"Hi," I said as they pulled away.

After I spoke they both looked at me keenly for a few seconds then
launched themselves back at me. I think that maybe my clothes didn't
match and they realized what truly horrendous shape I was in.
Needless to say, the hugging went on for quite some time.

"We heard she woke up." It was Josh who said this after Carmen and
Lily had decided that I would be able to breathe without them manually
pumping me, and we stood in an awkward silence.

"Saturday night," I said nodding and turning to face him.

"Why didn't you call?" I recognized the sulky, slightly accusing
voice as Harrison's without having to turn around. He was standing
on the other side of me, leaning against a locker.

"I did, I called our parents and then we were all kind of occupied
with the getting our hearts to beat again because she was actually
going to be okay," I responded tiredly. I saw the others shoot him a
look. It was obviously a question that they had discussed beforehand
and decided not to ask out of tactfulness or whatever.

"How is she?" Carmen asked moments later neatly diffusing the tension
that had begun to begin moments before.

"She says it doesn't hurt, but she was also convinced for an hour or
two that her IV pole was alive and kept calling it Mrs. Norris, so
really we've mostly been talking to Morphine McQueen," I said rubbing
at my eyes trying to get them to focus.

When I looked around at them, they all stood there eyeing me
uncertainly. Didn't they know that dark humor was one of the best
ways to relieve post - traumatic stress? Looking at their faces I
was sure that if they had heard the jokes Brooke and I were making
late Saturday night/early Sunday morning they would have fainted.
They were in far worst taste, and cheered us up even more than the
Jell-O pudding snacks we had been given earlier.

"The cuts and bruises are healing okay," I said choosing to ignore
their looks and continue. "She's still got a concussion but the
swellings gone down."

"And…" Carmen started then stopped, no doubt wondering if her
question would distress me reducing me to tearful, mucusy sobs. But
I knew what she was going to ask, she was going to say and her leg'
because those who were there saw the terrible angle it had settled
at, and those who weren't no doubt had been told by those who were.
There was nothing like a near fatality to bring people together.

"That's going to take some work," was all I said, was all I could
say. I didn't like to think about her leg. "We should…you know,
class," I continued immediately. They knew what this meant, no more
talking about Brooke, at least for the moment, so the nodded and we
head off.

Throughout the rest of the day I got similar questions thrown at me
from everyone, but mostly from the people who knew her so intimately
because they had seen her picture in the yearbook, or they stood
behind her in the lunchroom that one time. Fakers, posers with their
quivering lips and stuttering voices. I don't remember what I said
to them if anything, just that they irritated me to no end.

I suppose, when something tragic and horrific and dramatic like this
happens, it happens to every one. Everyone seems to realize how
precious life is, how unpredictable, that at anytime anything could
happen to anyone of them. It makes everyone melancholy and
introspective, and they want to connect with it, somehow to be apart
of it, maybe to learn or to assure themselves that they are still
alive. So people like me are questioned and badgered and have to
share our grief, our terror with the masses, like good little
soldiers. "She'll be alright", but what if she hadn't been. "We're
all just trying to put things back together", but things will always
be different; nothing will be the same again. "She thanks you for
your support"; she doesn't know you, just like you don't know her.
It was suffocating, and I couldn't wait for the day to end.

Part Three

They came to the hospital with me after school. Josh, and Lily,
Carmen and Harrison. They stopped outside the door looking in,
hesitating. They said that maybe they should come back later, that
she was sleeping. But I knew she wasn't sleeping, I could tell from
the way her chest rose and fall and I walked into the room without
them. She turned as soon as she heard my feet with her eyes were
still closed. She could tell it was me the same way I knew she was
awake. I told her had visitors and she looked past me to the door.

"Are they coming in, or should I yell to them over there?" she asked
returning her attention to me.

As they threaded into the room all shuffling feet and wondering eyes,
I backed away, retreated to my corner to watch the proceedings.

I wasn't surprised to see Brooke charm away their worry with an easy
smile and careless grace. I knew that she had been handling
everything that happened far better than anyone else in the family.
Oh, I knew she was scared, and that she worried about her leg and
what could have happened, but there was a calm to her that the rest
of us didn't possess. Now that I think about it, maybe calm wasn't
the right, the thing is I just don't know what is, maybe acceptance,
maybe not, but either way she had managed to pull herself together
much better than I had, and I was grateful for that because it made
me feel better every time I looked at her.

Harrison was the quietest of the bunch, and more than once I caught
him looking at me in my corner as I smiled softly at the others.
Sometimes I would meet his eyes, and together our guilty hearts would
commiserate together. Like me, he couldn't help but blame himself
for what had happened, for the ménage trios of misery we had been
living in before the accident. We were silly, silly children
suddenly forced to grow up. After a while I stopped returning his
gaze, he was depressing me and I'd had quite enough of that in
previous days.

"Mom and Dad came by earlier," Brooke said to me after they had left
and I was returning to her after closing the door. She had started
to refer to my mom as mom; it was kind of sweet although I had only
recently decided that. I was still calling Mike just that, but it
wasn't out of resentment anymore or a desire for him to vanish from
my universe like it had been before, it was just that while I had
accepted him as my mothers husband, my sisters father, and a good,
kind man, I already had a father. "I wondered where you were but…"

"They made me go back to school," I responded rather grumpily
slumping into the chair beside her bed. "By the way everyone and
their brother wish you the best of luck."

"Bad day?" she asked.

"Just wasn't in the mood for it I guess. Even Bio looked at me all
weepy eyed. It was creepy," I responded shuddering slightly. "It
looked like saline, like she had prepared the tears before class."

"I wouldn't put that past her," Brooke responded chucking slightly.

"And everybody was so polite, it was like being at an English
funeral. I can't tell you how many times someone called me dear',"
I went on feeling more sorry for myself as I continued. "I hope it's
okay that I brought them by," I said suddenly changing the
subject. "I didn't really bring them, they just kind of followed me
here, but they were worr…"

"It's fine," she said cutting me off. "By the way, what was up with
Lily's fluorescent FTG pin?"

"Free the Gecko," I responded shaking my head. "Don't ask me, I
don't know."

"Josh has two, she must not like them. I know I didn't," she told me
with a smirk.

"Marriage is all about compromise," I responded looking over at her.
We held each other's gaze for a moment, and then broke out laughing.

"Do you have school tomorrow?" she asked once we had settled back
down. "I don't even know what day it is."

"Tuesday, and yeah," I responded. "Why?"

"No reason," she said immediately shifting around on the bed. "I've
been thinking about setting up a nap time schedule, just wanted to
know when to pencil you in."

A few moments after that I got up, telling her that I had left
something at the nurses' station and was going to get it. I hadn't
left anything at the nurses station, I just didn't believe her and
was worried that something was going on I didn't know about. I had
become a little obsessive about keeping Brooke well, it was very
important to me that she stay okay. I found out that she was
scheduled for her first physical therapy session the next day and
that the doctors recommended family or friends be present.

"Where is it?" she asked when I walked back into the room.

"Wh…in my bag," I responded quickly covering. I reaching into the
small bag I had thrown across my shoulders I dug around trying to
find something I could pass off as actually having left at the
nurses' station. I settled on a deck of playing cards Emory had
given me.

"You don't match."

"What?" I asked looking at her perplexed.

"Your clothes, they don't match," she clarified waving her hand
around indicating my body.

"I knew it," I responded actually looking down for the first time,
making a face when I finally saw what I was wearing. "I…" I started
trying and unable to find a suitable excuse for my attire. "I
brought cards."

"What do you want to play?" As she asked this she started poking at
random buttons on the controller attached to her muttering to herself
when it wouldn't move the way she wanted. I watched this for a
second smiling before walking over and offering to help. Taking the
controller from her a pressed a blue button, which caused the bed to
start vibrating, and Brooke to grab the controller back before
pointing at me and saying no more help'.

"How about strip poker?" I asked winking at her as I retook my seat.

"You'll have an unfair advantage, I'm only wearing one article of
clothing and it's already open at the back," she responded.

"Really?" I asked my eyes lightening up. "Let's see," I continued
standing up and placing my hands on her side like I was going to turn
her over.

"Sam, I swear to god that if you try and violate my helpless ass,
when I get my cane I will gleefully use it beat you about the head."
This was said with her finger waving in my face menacingly.

"Who said anything about violating, I just wanted to look," I
responded smiling down at her before she ordered me to reseat myself.

"Aces are wild," I said a moment later pulling out a card and holding
it up for her to see. She grabbed my hand and yanked it down so that
it came to rest on her stomach as she looked around the room

"Oh my god," she breathed out softly. "You asked a nurse to hold

"What's wrong with them," I inquired innocently. "It's just the

"They did that in the cartoons," she responded pointing to Fred and
Wilma who were in a rather compromising position, as she tilted her
head to the side curiously. "Is that even humanly possible?" she
continued squinting at the card in question.

"You tell me," I responded. I still don't know why I said, I had
been trying to get the image of her and Josh out of my head for over
a year, and finally when I had managed to forget I had to go and
asked that.

She looked at me questioningly for a moment, probably having just as
much trouble believing I had said it as I had. "Not the way he did
it," she responded softly. "I think you have to be pretty limber."

"You're a cheerleader," I pointed out.

"True, but he's not," she countered. "You and I would probably have
more luck," she continued eyeing me momentarily before moving on
with, "Are you going to finish dealing or what?"

Part Four

Note Brooke's POV

I think the best thing about the hospital was the bendy straws. I'd
always had this weird love the bendy straw and it's many positions.
Dad used to say that could play with one for ten or fifteen minutes,
which was like a lifetime for me, or so I'm told.

I had been aware of Sam's head on my shoulder for quite some time,
but I hadn't realized she was asleep until I finished my Ginger Ale
and put the bendy straw away. Turning my head to the side I looked
down and saw her hair splayed out over my shoulder, her breath steady
and slow. Her lips were curled slightly and her eyes darted around
behind her eyelids. I imagined that she was dreaming about ending
world hunger, or one day being the reporter to break the new
Watergate. It brought a smile to my face, and I sighed happily.

Actually, I was quite satisfied to see that she had fallen asleep.
Ever since I had woken up she had looked exhausted, even after mom
and dad started forcing her to go home at night. She had earned the
nap, and I at least hoped that my shoulder was more comfortable than
the floor, although I somehow doubted it looking at the angle she was
resting at and how her back bent over.

The nurses and doctors had told me about Sam during the day while she
was away at school. Commenting with something close to awe on her
dedication to me, on her stoic vigil over me. The way they described
it she sounded like a war hero, awake twenty-four hours, on constant
guard, no food, no light. My guardian angel, keeper of my heart.

I remember waking up feeling safe, feeling loved. After getting run
over by ones former best friend, safe and loved isn't exactly what I
would have expected to wake up feeling, but I did, and I know it was
because of her. Because somehow, someway I knew she was here all
that time, protecting me from unknown dangers.

I reached over brushing a strand of hair out of her face and she made
a small sound and nestled further into my shoulder. Her lips were
pressed against my neck and I could feel her soft breaths on my
skin. I felt so close to her and so far away at the same time. I
wanted her beside me, and quite selfishly I contemplated waking her
up. If I had asked her to join me in the bed, to leave her trusty
chair behind I know that she would have, but I didn't. Instead I
turned my head so that I could just make out the outline of her face
and I studied her as she slept.

I had noticed it before, but only came to really appreciate the
flawlessness of Sam's skin in that room. Her skin was soft and
inviting, as beautiful to the touch as to the eye. I know because on
more than one occasion I found myself absently stroking her cheek.
Sometimes she would mumble something leaning into me, other times she
would move her head into my hand, and sometimes (my personal
favorite) her lips would just curl up into an exquisite little smile.

"What the…!"

She mumbled this after she suddenly jerked awake, her head flying off
of my shoulder like someone had set fire to her hair. She was
looking around anxiously as if trying to figure out where she was and
how she got there.

"You fell asleep," I said watching as she stretched her neck from
side to side grimacing slightly as her muscles pulled. "You looked
like you needed it."

"You were my pillow?" she asked as she rotated her shoulders.


"Were you comfortable?" she asked smiling impishly.

"I'd like to think so," I responded holding out my hand. She reached
out and grasped it. "Let me help."

"With what?" she asked rather distractedly. She seemed to be
studying my hand though I have no idea what could have held her
attention so raptly.

"Your shoulders. I give good massages," I responded rubbing her
finger with mine to draw her attention back towards me.

"You're in the hospital," was her response. She said it with such
authority and finality that I paused for a moment to see if I had
missed something, I don't think that I did.

"So?" was my artful response. "I'm feeling better, I want to do
something. I want to give you a massage."

"You'll have to sit up? What about that opened back robe of yours?"
she asked, although as she continued to rotate her neck painfully, I
could see the idea growing on her.

"First of all, it's not a robe, it's a dressing gown," I replied
shifting myself into a sitting position. "And secondly, you'll be
sitting in front of me so it doesn't really matter," I continued.

She stood up placing her hands on my shoulders pushing me back down.

"You shouldn't sit up." She was looking at my leg, which didn't hurt
but looked like it should.

"I want…"

"I know, I know," she interjected looking a little annoyed. I found
it charming. "You're a real pain once you've got an idea in your
head, you know?" she asked stepping back a look of concentration
coming over her face.

"I want…"

"I said I know," she interrupted again. "How about I just lie on the
bed?" she asked surveying the situation with an architect's eye. "I
should be able to fit in between your legs."

"Works for me," was all I said, slightly distracted in a rather
pleasant way by Sam talking about getting between my legs.

"Okay, but you have to promise to drop this whole thing if I try and
it hurts you." I nodded and she stepped forward, carefully
maneuvering herself in between my legs.

"You're nap would have been a lot more comfortable like this," I said
as I brought my hands up to her shoulders.

"Probably," was her non-committal response. I smiled.

"Next time you get tired," I continued starting to press down on her
muscles, releasing a moan from deep within her throat. "Let me know
will you. There's plenty of room up here…as you now see," I went on
as I rubbed her shoulders.

"Brooke," she said very slowly, her voice rumbling. I could tell she
was smiling. "Are you telling me that I can sleep with you?"

"If you want to," I responded. "Do you have anything on under this?"
I asked fingering the material of her shirt.

"Tank top," was all she said.

"Take it off," was my equally short reply.


"It'll be easier for me to give you a massage if I'm touching your
skin," I told her as my hands came to rest on her hips.

"This is beginning to feel like a bad porn movie," she said as she
turned around shooting me a dubious look. It was funny because I had
been telling her the truth. The massage would be far more effective
if I had better access to her.

"There are bad ones?" I asked raising my eyebrow in surprise. She
turned around at that one looking at me keenly before reaching for
the bottom of her shirt and pulling it over her head.

"Better?" she asked settling back against me.

"Most definitely. Prepare to fly with the birds," I said placing my
hands on her shoulders once more beginning to rub them. "Really, I
know what I'm doing," I told her trying to get her to relax. "Dad
took me to Sweden once, and I had this au par who used to be
a masseuse'. She was supposed to be teaching me about the formation of
the American constitution, but she didn't seem to know a lot about
that. Strange that the Swedish school system didn't spend more time
on it really. Anyway, she ended up teaching me different massage
techniques, I guess hoping that if I didn't make it as a historian, I
could at least make a little money on the streets. So you, really
you're in good hands." I felt her shoulders shake as she laughed
silently and I smiled to myself.

"Do you really expect me to believe that you learned how to give
massages from an old Swedish streetwalker who wanted a protégé?" she
asked turning around.

"Yes," was all I said in response. "Now turn around and let me earn
my paycheck."

As I manipulated her muscles I felt her body begin to relax, and her
head dropped forward. Every once in a while she would release a tiny
sound, or her body would move sensuously delighting in it's new
slackness. We didn't talk as I massaged her shoulders and she made
no comment when I stopped digging into her muscles and started to
gently trail my hands over her skin.

"Brooke," she said reaching up and capturing my hands, snapping me
out of whatever haze I had gone into. "This is the best I've felt it

"Good," I said leaning forward wrapping my arms around her in a
momentary hug. She turned around and smiled at me once I leaned back
against my pillows releasing her. Then she carefully got off of the
bed so that she was standing beside me once more.

"Are you hungry?" she asked. The moment she said it her stomach
rumbled and my eyes focused on her slightly exposed abdomen.

"I could eat," I responded.

"I'll be right back."

Sam's POV

Part Five

Three Weeks Later…

Brooke and I had always been at war: a war of the wits, war of the
worlds, and a war of the wills. Now she had battle wounds. She had
only been back home for a few days, and I had made it my job to take
care of her, to make sure that all of her needs and wants were met.
We were in her room, she was lying on her back on the bed and I was
kneeling on the floor. My hand was on her leg gently trailing along

"It really doesn't hurt?" I asked looking at the long, nasty gash on
her leg. The stitches were still in it and looking at it I could
tell that it was going to scar.

"It itches sometimes," she said shifting so that she could see what I
was doing, "but it doesn't really hurt anymore."

I dipped my finger into the jar of ointment that sat by my knee,
bringing it up and spreading it along the wound.

"You don't have to do that anymore," she said softly. "I can reach."

"Do…do you not want my help?" I asked looking up at her blinking. I
knew that she didn't really need my help anymore that she could
function without me doing these little things now. The thing was
that even if she didn't need it I did. I had to feel like I was
helping, like I was doing something. I wanted to help her.

"Of course," she responded quickly looking a little surprised. "I
just thought that maybe you didn't want…that you know you thought
that I still, but…I mean, it's nice, knowing you're there. I mean…"
She stopped talking as I smiled up at her and shook her head
ruefully. "I can't even blame it on the drugs anymore," she muttered
to herself as I finished up.

"I like you just fine sober," I said standing up. "And the
stuttering is cute."

My last comment didn't get the sweet little smile I had come to
anticipate from comments like that. Instead she looked at me rather
seriously, her eyes capturing mine as she studied me silently. I
wondered what she was thinking, if my comment had upset her.

"Sam," she asked softly. "Why are you doing this?"

"Doing what?" I asked.

"Everything," was her response. "Why?"

"Why not?" I replied more hopeful that she would let it drop than
convinced that she actually would.

"That's not an answer," she said softly. "I wasn't…I'm not
complaining. I just was curious I guess," she went on. Her eyes
dropped from mine as she spoke, taking up an intense study of her
sheet. I could tell that she was thinking more than she had told me.

"Why?" I repeated. "Why?" I said again shaking my head. "You
couldn't have asked me something easy, like the meaning of life?" I
went on beginning to pace.

The truth was I hadn't really given much thought to why. Certainly I
had asked myself but the answer I came up with had always been
because I needed to. That I did it because it was something I felt I
should do, I had to do. And I never questioned myself further than
that. So the question became, how was I suppose to explain why I was
doing what I was doing to Brooke when I couldn't even explain it

"I'm going to be honest," I said stopping the cycle of pacing I had
begun moments before. "I don't know why, just that I…just that
everything I've done felt like…I felt it inside, that…" I stopped
talking when I realized that I wasn't even making any sense to
myself. "Ah hell Brooke, I don't know why. Does it really matter?"

"No," she said looking over at with twinkling eyes. "I guess not,"
she continued.

"You know I love you right?" I asked, surprising myself with the
sudden declaration. Surprising Brooke too from the way she opened
and closed her mouth with no sound coming through. "I know that
we've fought with each other like bitchy fags for pretty much all of
our lives, but that doesn't matter. I mean, it's like part of our
dynamic, we piss each other off, we help each other out, but most
important of all we care about each other," I continued returning my
gaze to hers. "You know that, right?"

"I know," she said holding me eyes. "How could I not? And just for
the record, I kinda love you too," she said turning a funny colour
red as the words came out of her mouth.

I smiled at the reaction and walked over to her sitting beside her on
the bed.

"I should probably get to bed," was what I said as I looked at my lap.

"Yeah," she agreed sounding a bit disappointed.

"Tomorrow's banana pancake day," I said looking over at her. "The
sooner the sooner."


"Goodnight then," I said standing up.

"Night," she replied looking up at me.

Then before I knew it, before I could even think about it I found
myself leaning down towards her, and then into her. Before I had
time to process what it was I was doing I had brushed my lips against
hers lightly. Then my brain caught up to my lips and I stepped back.

"I'll see you in the morning," I told her acting as if nothing had
just happened.

"Yeah," she responded. "Sweet dreams," she added on at the end
almost as an afterthought.

As I made my through her door into the bathroom, making certain to
keep it open so that I could hear if she was in any distress during
the night, I thought that it was very unlikely that I would have any
dreams that could be described as sweet. I hadn't had any sweet
dreams in quite sometime. In fact, the only times I could remember
having decent nights sleeps were those days in the hospital when I
took Brooke up on her offer and we fell asleep in each others arms.

Part Six

NOTE Brooke's POV

I blinked into the darkness of the room drowsy and disoriented, but
that only lasted for a moment. Even though I hadn't heard the sound
again since waking up I knew wake it had been, it had been a nightly
ritual from the day I had come home. Then, as I reached for the edge
of my blanket to pull it off I heard it, a small whimper being
carried through the open doors of our bathroom. Sam. I sighed
softly standing up, placing my weight on my good leg as I felt around
for my cane. Once I felt it's cool surface against my hand I ran my
free hand through my hair and headed for the door.

I didn't even need to turn on a light because the route from my room
to Sam's had by then become instinctual. I had made the trip in the
dark depths of the night so many times I no longer needed to think

The sounds grew louder as I entered the bathroom, and they sounded to
me as if they were coming more frequently. I would have quickened my
steps at the sound of this, but I was going as fast as I safely
could. It was just that hearing her like that killed me a little
every whimper; it was like being stabbed with tiny little knives.

As I entered her room, the plush softness of her carpet contrasting
distractingly with the coolness of the bathrooms tile, I saw her
tangled up in her sheets tossing and turning. As I got closer I
could see a thin sheen of sweat covering her face and that her hair
was damp and matted. I looked down at her, my heart contracting
painfully as I considered what to do. Normally I wouldn't want to
wake her, but considering the fact that the demons she was fighting
seemed to be in her dreams, waking her seemed to be the most human
thing to do.

I reached down placing my hand on her shoulder squeezing it gently.

"Sam," I said, my voice a whisper even though I was supposed to be
waking her up. "Sam," I repeated, but she was still asleep now
struggling in my grasp.

Carefully I placed one of my knees on the bed so that I could lean
over Sam and I placed my hands on both sides of her face, trying to
steady her. "Sam," I said more firmly. "Sam wake up."

This time she stopped struggling and I felt her body relax, her
breath steadying. Slowly her eyes fluttered open. "Oh Sam," I said
quietly brushing her hair out of her face. "This isn't good."

"What?" she asked taking her eyes away from mine and letting them
roam around the darkness. I sighed, and then shifted settling
myself so that I was steady.

"I'm the one that got run over and you're the one that looks like
shit. Something in this equation doesn't add up," I said cupping her
chin and bringing her eyes back to mine.

"Right," she said struggling into an upright position. "And then you
went unconscious. You didn't have to see the blood, or the angle
your leg was bent at, or see the seizures and hear the little wheezes
you were making as you struggled to breathe," she said staring me in
the eye. "I did Brooke, I did," she said shaking her head and
lowering her gaze, her voice sounding hollow and broken.

I didn't know how to respond to that so I too merely dropped my gaze
leaving the room in silence. She was right of course, I didn't see
the aftermath of the crash, I barely had time to process anything
before the car hit me, and after I woke up everything was neat and
clean, and bandaged, and I was being legally drugged up. I had
gotten the clinical side of the accident and Sam got the bloody
mess. I probably would have been having nightmares too.

"I keep on seeing it, reliving it. I thought you were dead.
Everyone was yelling, saying you were dead," she said finally, her
head still turned away from mine.

"But you didn't let go," I responded a small smile coming over my
face as I turned to look at her.

"What do you mean?" Sam asked turning around sharply to face me.

"You were holding my hand," I said softly. "All the way to the
hospital until the doctors dragged you away," I continued peeking
over at her. At first I had thought that it was a dream, a figment
of my imagination. But later, after I had woken up I learned that it
was true. That Sam had been there the whole time.

"You were conscious!" Sam gasped sounding absolutely horrified.

"No, I don't think so," I responded. "It was more like a dream, like
floating in water. I didn't hurt and I couldn't see but I could feel
this presence, you," I went on snorting as I shook my head
ruefully. "I know it sounds cheesy, Joanna Kerns movie of the week
cheesy, but it's true."

"Why didn't you say anything?" she asked in a rather confused voice
as soon as I finished. I couldn't blame her really; we had become so
close after the accident, almost existing within our own little
world. It just didn't make sense that I wouldn't have told her and
now she wanted to know why.

"I don't know, it's just not something that easily lends itself to
conversation," I responded. "What was I suppose to say, gee thanks
for the cupcake, and by the way I could feel you while I was dying'?"

"I see your point," was her response accompanied by a brief little

"Look," I said focusing on her fully. "Do you want me to stay?"

"I…" she started to say then stopped.

I could see that she was struggling with something; I had learned to
read her rather well over the past few weeks, the subtle changes to
her face and body language. I knew that she had to be feeling rather
horrible after weeks of restless sleep. I knew that I was the
catalyst of all of the nightmares, and that in the hospital when we
slept together that she slept fitfully, and for no other reason that
her own well being I hoped that she took me up on the answer.

"Would you?" she asked finally.

"Yeah," I said simply.

Her response to that was to simply slide over to the left making room
for me on the bed.

"Do you need help?" she asked watching as I rested my cane up against
her bedside table.

"Nah," I said turning around to face her. "Really, I'm coming along
quite well," I continued as I slipped under the covers, dropping my
head onto Sam's pillow. It smelled of her shampoo and I breathed in
deeply as I turned to face her. "The doctors say it's probably due
to a high calcium diet and an overprotective step-sister," I
continued smiling.

"Very funny," she muttered staring up at the ceiling.

"I was only half joking," I said nudging her with my shoulder
playfully. "Dr. Alvery says recovery is like half mental, and that
the patients with strong family support tend to get better faster," I
went on. "And you've helped most of all."

"Me?" Sam asked blinking in genuine surprise. "Really?"

"Yes really," I responded. "Mom and Dad have been great, but you…I
don't have a word for what you've been. All I can say is I don't
know what I would have done if you hadn't been around. You've been
like this angel."

She stared at me for a long time after that, her eyes darting around
my face, studying me before she looked away and tugged at her ear
nervously. I had always found that particular gesture to be
scandalously cute, but I found it even more adorable up close.

"Thanks for staying with me," I heard her say softly a few moments
after she looked away.

"It's alright," I replied. "I kind of missed our sleepovers," I
continued truthfully.

"Yeah?" she responded smiling somewhat impishly, "me too."

Part Seven

I don't remember exactly when it was that we stopped making excuses
to touch each other, both to each other and ourselves, only that
somewhere along the way a silent accord had been reached. If I was
passing Brooke in the kitchen in the narrow space between the counter
and the island I would place my hand lightly on her hips as I greeted
her before brushing by, and while we watched TV I would sit on the
floor in-between her legs as she absently played with my hair,
stroking my shoulder to get my attention and point something out.
And almost every night one of us would sneak into the others bedroom
and stay for at least a few hours if not the whole night.

About a week after Brooke joined me in my bed for the first time my
nightmares stopped. There was still the odd moment where I would
become momentarily seized by terror at the thought of what could have
happened, what did happen, but for the most part I was once again
living in a very happy present.

A giggle broke me out of my revere and drew my attention to the other
side of the room. Brooke was holding McKenzie in the air flying her
around like a chubby little airplane much to the child's delight.
Every once a while Brooke would make McKenzie swoop down so that she
came to rest on her knee where she would tickle her stomach before
picking her up again so that they could continue with their aerial

"Brooke dear," I heard my mother say from her spot on the couch next
to Mike. "You're going to make her air sick."

"Nah uh," Brooke responded nonetheless stopping her motions. "She
likes it. Don't you like it little Mac?" she went on in a baby
voice. "It's a bird, it's a plane it's Captain Little Mac," she went
on as McKenzie started to squirm and gurgle happily.

"As long as you're willing to be her airsick bag," was my mom's
somewhat amused response. Brooke stuck out her tongue momentarily
then returned to McKenzie.

I turned away and stood up leaving the room a few moments later. I
was sure that had I been exposed to a few more moments of the
unbearably precious display taking place in front of me that I would
lose what ever solid material was left in my body to the mush Brooke
was producing.

In fact, the effects Brooke had been producing in me had been
weighing on my mind heavy for the past little while. The fact that I
was attracted to Brooke, strongly attracted and not just in a
physical way, hadn't been in question for quite sometime, it was just
that with our increasing closeness it was getting harder and harder
for me to ignore the feelings Brooke was producing in me, it was
getting harder and harder for me to want to ignore the feelings, and
it was starting to seep through into my every day life. I would
sometimes find myself just staring at her lips wondering what they
tasted like, or running my fingers along the soft skin of her hand,
or her arm, in wonder at the sheer beauty of it. And those nights
where my bed was I my own I would find Brooke with me in my dreams
doing terribly wonderful things to body only to wake up finding that
I had done it to myself and really enjoyed it immensely.

I could hear Brooke coming down the hallway before I actually saw her
appear at my doorframe. Smiling at me she gave a little rap at the
door and I made a big production about thinking about letting her in
before I solemnly nodded giving her permission to enter.

"Mac was starting to look a little green around the gills so I gave
her back to the parentals," she said as she walked into the room
closing the door behind her.

I was lying on the bed with my legs hanging over its edge starring up
at the ceiling, and when I didn't verbally respond to her Brooke came
over and settled herself beside me, making the bed shake lightly. I
remained quiet as she maneuvered herself so that she was flat on her
back almost mimicking my position except for a slight allowance made
for her leg.

What's wrong?" she asked turning her head so that she was staring at
the side of my face.

"Nothing," I responded keeping my eyes on my ceiling.

"I don't believe you," she said lifting her head up and tilting it to
the side so that it came to rest on my shoulder. "I think
something's been bothering you for a while, and you're going to tell
me what it is."

"It's not that simple," I responded refusing to turn around and face
Brooke. I still hadn't decided what I was going to go about the
situation, and I didn't want to face Brooke with indecision in my
eyes. When I turned to face her, one way or the other I had to be
certain about what I was going to do.

"The important stuff usually isn't," Brooke responded softly. "I
want to help Sam, whatever it is," she went on lifting her head off
of my shoulder and bracing it on her hand so that so that she was
looking down at me. "I care about you, I don't want to see you in
pain," she continued stretching her free hand out as if she was going
to stroke my face but pulling it back before she actually made

"Brooke, believe me when I say that you really don't want to know
what's bothering me," I said, my voice coming out a half sigh.

"Sam, believe me when I say I really, really do want to know," was
her counter. "And that I'm not going to stop bothering you until you
tell me or push me down a flight of stairs."

"That's not funny," I said not at all amused by the idea of more
bodily harm coming to her.

"It wasn't meant to be, it was suppose to show my dedication to
helping you even at high personal cost," she responded calmly.

I stayed in the position I was in for a moment more, and then I
flipped onto my side so that I was mirroring Brooke's position. I
watched her carefully, allowing my eyes to wander all around her
face, the down the elegant lines of her throat, down to the swell of
her breasts, and further still to the graceful curves of her hips,
down her long tapered legs before settling on her cute little toes,
finally drawing my eyes back up to her face.

"I…Brooke," I said shaking my head. "Look, just know that…that I
never meant any harm."

"Harm by what?" she asked her eyes searching mine.

"By anything," I said and then I moved forward without any further
hesitation and brought my lips to hers, brushing them lightly along
hers before pulling back.

"Is that all?" Brooke asked her lips curling slightly. "That's what
was bothering you?"

"I don't think you understand…" I started to say, but she reached out
and placed a finger over my lips gently sssshhhhing' me.

"I think I do," she whispered taking her finger away from my
lips. "Perfectly." And with that she leaned forward and pressed her
lips to mine, the contact firmer and far more delicious than with the
almost educational kiss I had just given her. I leaned into her
increasing the contact between us and as I did I felt her hand snake
around to the back of my neck holding my head in place as she
attacked my lips. Feeling her tongue gently running along my lower
lip I parted my lips allowing her further access to my mouth.

Her hand came to rest on my hips as we continued to explore each
others mouths fiercely, her hand trailing up my side, softly brushing
across the side of my breast on its way back up to my neck, causing
me to gasp into her mouth arching towards her.

"Okay," I exhaled pulling my lips away from hers, "maybe you do
understand," I continued, my lips curving up into a full-fledged
smile which she returned.

"If it's okay with you," she said reaching out and this time actually
stroking my cheek. "I'd like to understand a little more."

I dipped my head and scooted closer to her so that we were now
practically lying breast to breast then looked up at her
playfully. "Let's learn about each other, baby," I said bringing our
lips together once more. "Yeah."

Part Eight

Babies are funny little things, so needy, so cute. And they're great
to play with as long as they're not your own. That's why having a
wee tiny little sister was perfect for me, all the perks and none of
the hassles. I got to dress her up in cute little outfits that would
humiliate her later in life, and play peek-a-boo with her impressing
myself with my ability to outsmart her, and when her diapers got
messy I suddenly had something to do and Jane or dad got to take of

We were having a family gathering of sorts, sitting in the family
room watching some lameo movie from like the eighteen hundreds that
the parentals liked when they were our age. I didn't mind though,
even though the movie blew it was nice to be in a family setting and
actually feel like a family. For the first time in as long as I
could remember I felt like I was part of a real family, sure it was a
real nuclear family, but that didn't matter, it was all peaches to me.

"Brooke dear, you're going to make her air sick," I heard Jane say as
Little Mac just completed a super duper loop de loop compliments of
yours truly.

"Nah uh," I responded nonetheless resting the baby on my knees. "She
like's it. Don't you like it Little Mac?" I asked her in a baby
voice as she giggled at me and tried to suck on my thumb. "It's a
bird, it's a plane," I continued picking her up again and flying her
like a miniature, bald version of Superman, "it's Captain Little
Mac," I concluded as Little Mac gave me a flying ovation, clapping
her hands together and giggling.

Turning my head to the side I could Sam looking between me and her
mother with a soft little grin on her face, it made my smile grow.

"As long as you're willing to be her airsick bag," Jane responded
giving me an impish little smile. Now I knew where Sam got it from.
I was sure that I was as powerless against the charm of the McPherson
grin as my dad was. That was alright by me, it's nice when parents
and children have something in common.

I stuck my tongue at Jane playful smirking as she pretended to pinch
it before turning back to McKenzie who was starting to look rather
board. The child had a shorter attention span than Mary Cherry.

Thinking about Mary Cherry usually brought my mind careening towards
the subject of Nicole, a subject that I was usually against
discussing with myself let alone other people. I sometimes wondered
why she did, how things could have gone so horribly wrong, how my
best friend could try and kill me. At first I used to wonder about
things I could have done, if I missed anything in the days before the
accident, what I could have possibly done to turn her. But
eventually, with more than a little help my brown haired guardian, my
sentinel, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't me, it was Nicole.
Mostly when I thought of her after that I felt pity and sadness, and
even a little anger, anger at the world that turned the sweet girl
she had once been, the girl I admit I saw vestiges of long after it
had vanished in most peoples eyes, into an attempted murderer.

I may have continued with thoughts like that as I sat there with
McKenzie on my lap, but I saw Sam move out the corner of my eye, and
helplessly – it was always helplessly – I turned my full attention to
her. Our eyes met for a brief moment, and I could see something in
them, turmoil I guess. She turned away from a second later though
and mumbled something about having seen this one before then headed
up the stairs. I stayed, and played with Little Mac for a more
minutes, didn't want to make anyone suspicious after all, then I too
got up telling them that I just thought it was boring, and headed up
the stairs.

Sam was lying on her bed staring up at the ceiling as I knocked
lightly at her door. She made a big, dramatic, and utterly cute
presentation of pondering whether or not to let me in, and then
nodded solemnly granting me permission.

"Mac was beginning to look a little green around the gills so I gave
her back to the parentals," I said stepping into the room and closing
the door behind me.

I waited a few moments for a response, but it soon become clear to me
that I wasn't going to get one so I walked over to her bed and after
tossing my cane onto the ground I settled myself in an almost
identical position. Once I was settled I turned to my so that I was
looking at her, and spent precious moments just watching her
profile. She was the most beautiful person I had ever laid eyes on.

"What's wrong?" I asked still unable to look away.

"Nothing," she responded refusing to turn in my direction.
Truthfully I had expected that answer, of the many things Sam was
stubborn was high on the list.

"I don't believe you," I told her shifting my position once again
until I was able to rest my head on her shoulder. "I think
something's been bothering you for a while, and you're going to tell
me what it is."

I felt her body raise as I said this, she had just taken a
tremendously big breath. I think I was frustrating her, but that was
just too bad for her, because quite frankly sometimes people need
other people to tell them what's best for them, and at that moment
Sam was one of those people in need. I would provide for her, just
like she provided for me, that's how it was, I called it love.

"It's not that simple," she finally breathed out sounding rather
irritated at my lack of understanding. Or maybe she was just
distracted; sometimes with Sam it was hard to tell, almost as if
being distracted irritated her or something.

"The important stuff usually isn't," I told her softly. "I want to
help Sam, whatever it is," I went on lifting my head off of her
shoulder and placing it in the palm of my hand so that I could see
her better. "I care about you, I don't want to see you in pain." As
I spoke, my hand snaked out was reaching out towards her face, I knew
what I wanted to do, what I longed to do. To stoke that soft skin
soothingly, to place a kiss on her cheek and hug her until whatever
was haunting her went away. But I drew my hand back. That was my
dream, my demon, my secret, and this was about Sam.

"Brooke," she said saying my name in a sigh, "believe me when I say
that you really don't want to know what's bothering me."

"Sam," I said, my voice not wavering even the teeniest bit. "Believe
me when I say that I really, really do want to know. And, that I'm
not going to stop bothering you until you tell me or push me down a
flight of stairs," I went on.

"That's not funny," she said sharply as she turned to face me.

"It wasn't meant to be," I told her honestly. "It was suppose to
show my dedication to helping you, even at high personal risk," I
went on. It was suppose to show her my love.

She was quite for a moment, then she shifted so that it was now she
who was doing the mirroring. Head in hand she looked at me. First
at my face, then her eyes started to trail lower and lower lingering
for a moment here and there before continued down until she finally
raised her head to look into my eyes once more. I was careful, as
she looked at me, careful not to squirm not to let on the effect that
it was having on me, not to show her how much I enjoyed it.

"I…Brooke," she said shaking her head dejectedly. "Look, just know
that…that I never meant any harm."

"Harm by what?" I asked searching her eyes. I'll admit that kind of
caught me off guard.

"By anything," was her response, then before I could even process
what was happening I felt her lips brush against mine gently before
she pulled back. It seemed to last forever and for no time at all.

"Is that all?" I asked barely able to contain my excitement. "That's
what was bothering you?"

"I don't think you understand…" she started to same, but I reached
out a hand placing a finger over her lips gently ssshhhhing' her.

"I think I do," I whispered taking my finger away from her
lips. "Perfectly." And with that I leaned forward and pressed my
lips against her, the contact firmer and much longer than the rather
chaste kiss Sam had given me moments before. Sam leaned into me
increasing the contact between us and as she did I lifted my hand
bringing it around to the back of her neck, holding her head in place
as I continued to ravage her lips. I gently ran my tongue along her
bottom lip, tasting her when she parted her lips allowing me more
access to her mouth.

I rested my hand on her hip as we continued to explore each others
mouths fiercely, my hand trailing up her side, softly brushing across
the side of her breast on its way back up to her neck. As I did she
this, she gasped and arched her body against mine, crushing her lips
against mine much to our mutual delight.

"Okay," I heard her whisper as she separated, "maybe you do
understand," she continued her lips curving up into a sexy smile that
I couldn't help but return.

"If it's okay with you," I said reaching out and this time actually
stroking her cheek. "I'd like to understand a little more."

She dipped her head down and scooted closer to me so that we were now
practically lying breast to breast, then she looked up at me
playfully. "Let's learn about each other, baby," she said
lecherously before leaning in once more and pressing our lips
together. "Yeah."

The End

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