A/N: I don't even really ship Chilarie...but I figured why not through it out there. The idea has been in my head for awhile. Enjoy! And if you don't like cast fics, eh...I don't give a damn.

Disclaimer; SHOCKER! I don't own One Tree Hill.

He was just a man.

It's a hard fact to tell yourself after all these years. Just a man. A friend, no maybe an acquaintance. A co-worker. Yes, that was it. He was a co-worker. The person you talked with at the water cooler about how boring your day is and the funniest commercial you saw yesterday. Only there weren't any water coolers. They talked in between takes on set when people brought them their water.

Remember the days when you got that water yourself? When you and him used to bitch about how late they worked you. About how Mark made your lines so cheesy. About how no one listened to you. You both had such great ideas for the show. They were all in jest but they kept you both amused during breaks. That and those pranks you pulled on James and Sophia. You were so immature, but you loved it back then. Back before innocence was lost.

He started dating Sophia. And you remember thinking for the briefest of moments it should have been you, but then again, just like your character on the show, you don't have the best timing when it comes to love. Never have. Now looking back, you're almost glad that he didn't choose you. The way he treated her. Cheated on her. Left her home alone while he went out partying. Then divorced her and moved on to the next little blonde…thing…he could find. Yeah, you're almost glad you never pursued that relationship…Almost glad…Almost.

You can't help but wonder if maybe things would have been different if it was you. Maybe he wouldn't have felt the urge to cheat. Maybe he would have liked to stay home with you. He always did enjoy your house. How many countless times had he crashed their during their short marriage, afraid to go home to Sophia? He had confided in you how much he wished Sophia was different. How he felt trapped. And you listened but you didn't believe. Because deep down you felt for Sophia. She was your friend first and foremost. And he was a guy. And you knew what guys were like. Had dealt with cheating ways before. So you knew that Chad was in the wrong.

After all, you had chosen Team Sophia, hadn't you? When the ink was dry, you let her sob on your shoulder. You held her hand. You took her out and made sure it was known that she was going to move on. You turned your back on him. Maybe he expected it. Maybe he didn't. You'll never know. It's not his way to confront people about that.

All you do know is that those pictures of him and his new "girl" make you want to hurl. She's fake. You know it. She doesn't hold a candle to Sophia. And it's at this point you realize that this quote unquote new and improved Chad is not the guy you want. You want the guy Sophia fell for. The guy you fell for. The sweet little boy from the south who read a lot and loved the quiet life. You don't want the drinking, chain-smoking, caffeine addicted man whore that has replaced him.

There are times when his old self emerges and you find yourself wishing, hoping and praying it'll stick. Occasionally, you'll catch him reading Catcher in the Rye or chatting with the extras, the people he usually sees as beneath him. You'll watch him break out the genuine smile, not the charming, sly one everyone gets to see. And you'll see him laugh a hearty laugh. He'll catch your eye and after a moment, you'll look away. That's your Chad. Too bad he's not always there.

You're technically still a married woman. But the term "happily" has been missing for quite some time. You filed for divorce in fact. Word hasn't gotten out though. You've done a good job at keeping your business under wraps. However, there are rumors and inklings. You neither confirm nor deny. Sophia knows and she's been there for you like you were there for her. She's a great friend. One of the best you've ever known. That's why you know you and him would never work. You love her too much.

You swear sometimes Mark stole your thoughts when he wrote the show. Or maybe more like it, he looked into the future and saw this. BLP was SCH. But you weren't like Peyton. You weren't going to act on your feelings. No motel scene for you. No library kiss of death. Nope. You'd bury it. Because real life wasn't like that. You can't just follow your heart and expect everyone to come around in a couple of weeks. Life just didn't work like that. You'd lose a friend in Sophia. And if by some chance Chad saw you the same way you saw him, he'd just break your heart down the road anyway. You'd wind up with divorce number two on your belt and you don't need that.

He's approaching you now. It's in between scenes. You two have a Leyton scene coming up. It's the first intimate scene for the couple. You'd be lying if you said you weren't nervous. The thought of his lips on yours, being nearly naked in the same bed. It's something you must admit you've thought about before, but never thought would happen. You've done a love scene with Bryan before so it's not about that. It's about you and him and the buried feelings you have.

"Hey there, Hil," he says happily, as he places a hand on your shoulder. You smile at him, but there's worry and your eyes. You doubt he picks up on it. He's not the Lucas to your Peyton. He can't read you.

"Hey."

"So are you excited about this scene?" he says wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. He wraps his arm around you. You place your hand on his chest and push him away while chuckling.

"About as excited as a dentist appointment," you shoot right back. He laughs even harder.

"That hurts, Hil."

"I'm sure it does," you say dryly. You catch Sophia looking at the both of you and you grow uncomfortable, taking a step away from him. This man is evil. He has no conscience. Why can you just believe that?

"So…" he drawls as the laughter subsides, "I'm hearing rumors…" You raise an eyebrow.

"It is Hollywood. Rumors happen."

"You and Ian are on the rocks?" It's a question. It's a statement. It's both.

"Yeah," you nod, sipping your water, finishing the cup. "Ugh they make these cups too small." You're trying to change the subject smoothly and failing miserably. He smirks and looks away.

"It's okay. I get it. You don't want to talk about it."

"Sorry," you say, "It's just complicated."

"All marriages are."

"You should know," you mumble with a small smirk you think you've hidden. He hears and sees you.

"Yeah I do," he says, "But then again, so do you, right?" Your eyebrow raises again. What does that mean? He glances at you and sees the confusion. He elaborates. "You know how young marriages are. You after all had to deal with all of the crap from Sophia and my marriage."

"Yeah."

"And yet you still married Ian." You look up at him wondering what the hell he means by all of this.

"Some of us have hope. Some of us think you can grow together not apart." It's all you can think of.

"Apparently some of us are wrong," he says simply as he walks away. You watch his retreating back and all you can think is what a smug bastard. Did you expect anything else though?

-------

Your scene is starting. The lights are set. The cameras in place. You zone out. This is where you shine. The words run through your head and over your lips. Your talking to Joy and you two play off each other like pros. Well, that's because you are, right? Then Chad enters and you feel your heart skip a beat knowing what's coming.

Maybe it's just lust you think as your eyes comb over him. He's so damn beautiful. You ask yourself if that's maybe all you ever cared about. Maybe it's those eyes, that smile, those lips that make you go crazy. Maybe it's the hair. Or the body. Damn it! Everything about him is perfect.

But if it was just lust then the fact that he was a total ass wouldn't bug you. It also would keep you from wanting more from him. But it doesn't. You don't just want to screw him. You want to be with him. And it scares you all the more.

The lines between you two flow so smoothly. The chemistry was always undeniable. Finally, you get to that part. The part where everything goes down. He steps forward and captures your lips and you feel yourself falling fast. God, this is so much more passionate then you imagined.

Something isn't right though. In the script, this scene is supposed to be much lighter. Romantic and fluffy that turns passionate. This was just raw passion. Nothing holding him back. His hands are in your hair pulling your head back so he could deepen the kiss.

"Cut!" the director calls. You pull away first, looking away. Your face is red with embarrassment. "What the hell was that guys?"

"What?" Chad asks innocently. You have no idea what the hell that was. So, you keep quiet.

"I said soft and gentle, not hot and steamy. Leave that for Sophia and Rey." You can tell the director is just trying to piss him off by reminding him of Sophia.

"Sorry John," he says simply, "It won't happen again."

"Let's try it again. From Lucas's entrance." You take your place, run through the talking scene. Just saying the lines like their nothing. He smiles at you that genuine smile as he approaches this time. You have a goofiest smile on your face too and while some would think that's you being in character. It's not. It's you utterly pleased with that smile.

His lips are soft and barely there as they skim over your lips. He doesn't push forward. He makes it so timid and unlike the last kiss, you feel yourself having time to think in this one. This is how it should be. God! You wish you would have known this before! You never felt this way before when someone kissed you. A part of you knows you'll never feel this way again.

He backs you up to the bed, just like the script says, and kisses you again. His fingers are lingering at the hem of your shirt. You think in your head that he skipped a step. Part of you wants to glance at the director to know. The other part is distracted by the sudden coldness that washes over you when your shirt is stripped off.

You feel your back hit the soft mattress. Your eyes look up at him as he pulls back from your kiss. His lips are on your neck now, starting from just below your earlobe dragging down to your shoulder. It tickles, and you find yourself giggling despite your attempt not to break character. But the cameras are still rolling.

Your hands linger at the bottom of his shirt. You pull it over his head slowly. God, it feels so good to feel his bare chest underneath your hands. The muscles on his back contracting as you pull him closer. He plants small kisses on your chest and stomach and then you remember what you're supposed to do next. You sit up locking your lips together, trying to savor the feeling forever and reach for his belt. His hand reaches up and tilts your chin up so you can look him in the eye.

"Peyton, are you sure?" he delivers his line so easily and you envy him for it. Your heart is falling out of your chest and you have to keep reminding yourself that his name is Lucas here not Chad.

"More than anything, Luke." He smiles and kisses you again, laying you back down.

"And cut!" the director yells, "That's a wrap for today. We may do it again tomorrow." Before you can sit up, Chad collapses on top of you.

"I'm spent," he says wrapping an arm around your bare waist and a leg over yours. You're trapped there, with his face buried in your curls and his breath wandering down your neck.

"Chad..." you whine, "Off!"

"I'm not a dog, Hil," he says simply as he nuzzles closer to your neck. "Besides, it's comfortable here."

"Cut it out," you say trying to push him away to get some personal space. He doesn't budge. His thumb traces a small circle on your side.

"This is how it should be," he whispers. You turn to look at him and for a single moment, you both are on the same page. At that moment, you both realize it. The connection. What was possible. What was buried in the dark. A sad smile slowly spreads across your face, and you slip out of his embrace.

"See you tomorrow Chad," you say pulling on your shirt.

"Night, Hil," he says with a small smile. It's his genuine one, but it's got traces of sadness. You sigh as you walk out off the set.

"How was it?" Sophia asks a bright smile on her face. You interlock your arms with hers.

"Good," you say simply as the two of you head out to dinner. There you'll talk about her new boy and your old boy and how icky Chad's new girl is. You both never get tired of that. But you won't talk about Chad. Because you love him. Because she knows that. Because your friendship comes first.

After all, he was just a man.