Note: This is the end. Love it, hate it, feel completely indifferent. Personally, being my own worst critic, I think it could have been a lot better. I wasn't sure how to wrap up this story, but I want to thank evey one of you for your feedback and support. I appreciated it very much, so to eveyone who read this, I woudl like to thank you.

"Okay, now, we have successfully ditched school, on a Wednesday of course. But still, ditching is ditching, so what do you want to do?"

"I don't care."

The flat affect of the statement drew Brooke's attention. After all, Peyton was the one who had been so adamant about skipping, so why was she suddenly disinterested?

"Hey, Peyt, you okay? You seem out of it, and how come you wanted to skip so badly? I mean I'm all for it, but one, it's a Wednesday, not a widely known day to just skip last period for, in the middle of the week. But what do I know, right? And two, you have this whole look going on, and just staring out the window like that, totally betrays your former enthusiasm."

"Well, I'm just a little off I guess. I really didn't want to be at school, okay? It wasn't entirely Lucas' fault, but with the more questions and then just a whole bunch of junk going on in my head and a load of other things, I guess I just got pushed over the edge. I had to get out of there. I'm not even sure I'm going to bother to show up tomorrow. I just, I don't know Brooke, I just don't feel right somehow."

"At the moment I'm not sure how to respond to that, so give me some time and I promise I'll get back to it. And I'm sorry for whatever it is, and I'm here for you, you know, so don't hold it all in."

"Yeah."

That was all the response she could get out of her. Now Brooke was really worried. What was going on to make her girlfriend so upset? It was times like these she wished she could read minds, or at least have the ability to persuade whatever it was out of another person even if they didn't quite know what it was they were trying to say.

As Thursday came and went, neither girl going to school, they were slightly more relaxed. Still, one brunette was perplexed by a blonde who still seemed to be struggling with something, but the day was spent lounging and watching TV, essential to anyone who was in mope mode.

By the time school was over Friday, Peyton was still very in her own world, barely paying attention at school, but keeping up appearances so no one would get overly suspicious. So what does one feisty brunette do to get out of her girlfriend whatever the hell that seemed to be bugging her more now too? Why you go back to her place, snuggle on her bed, and bring up the subject, refusing to let it go until answers are out.

"You didn't seem too into school today."

"When have you ever known me to be pro school, Brooke?"

"Good point. But you know what, you're starting to worry me a little bit, you're shutting down. And don't tell me nothing's wrong because I know something is, you just won't tell me."

"You know me too well."

"Exactly, so spill."

"Alright already, I'll try and explain. It's like, I like being you're girlfriend, I mean really, really like. But then I don't like having to hide it, to hide how I feel, to hide who I am. And I can totally get if you're not ready, because at the same time as I want to be open about it, having people know completely terrifies me. So I'm having this little internal struggle trying to figure out what to do, and also respect how you feel, but I have no idea what to do, so that why I'm all broody as of late I guess. Does that make sense?"

"Yes."

"Yes, that's all you have to say? Yes?"

"Yes. I figured this might be a part of the problem, and I have kind of been thinking about it too. And yes I am uneasy about it. But I think it would be for the best if we just tell our friends, and if it gets out, it gets out. We don't owe it to anyone besides our friends to tell, and even if they don't accept or understand it, they will deal with it, and I think we both will be happier for it."

"When the hell did you get so understanding and calm about things?"

"Right about the moment I realized we both felt the same way towards each other."

"Well, it suits you. But don't go overboard, I liked you just fine the way you were, if I didn't I wouldn't have fallen in love with you."

"I'll ignore that tone in which you are mocking me for the moment. Okay, I think I know a good way to tell our friends, but for now, let's just enjoy the rest of the evening, and I'll take care of setting it up tomorrow, okay?"

"Fine by me oh wise one."

That comment was returned with a pillow to the face as some of the tension looming over both Brooke and Peyton dissipated. The girls continued to take it easy for the rest of the night, watching old movies while huddled together on Peyton's bed. Despite the day to follow, both drifted into a peaceful sleep in each other's arms.

Early Saturday found a group of friends in an apartment, slightly curious as to why they were all summoned for some sort of meeting.

"Do you know why Brooke wanted us all here, and why our place?"

"No Hales, I have no clue. Maybe it has something to do with cheerleading, or maybe something's wrong with Peyton that we don't know about, they have been spending like all of their time together, or maybe it's nothing to worry about at all."

"Well thank you for that commentary Nathan but you're not the one that talked to Brooke when she called, so you didn't notice the tone in her voice."

"Whoa, guys, no need to get into a little argument over this, it's probably nothing."

"See Haley, even Lucas thinks it's nothing, so why don't we just chill out until everybody gets here."

"Alright, well she told me that she wanted everyone here around one, so you, me and Lucas are here, that just leaves Mouth, Skillz, Bevin, and Rachel for some reason. I swear that girl is nuts."

"Do you know if Peyton is coming too, I mean if she has something important to tell us, don't you think she would be included in this thing?"

"I got the impression she was coming with Brooke, but you never Luke, maybe it is about here, maybe not, guess we'll just have to wait."

"Yeah, hey Nate, are there any games on?"

"Saturday afternoon, I bet we could find something."

Soon all the friends or not so much friends – Rachel – were assembled at Nathan and Haley's apartment awaiting the arrival of the one who called this impromptu get together.

"Are you sure about this, I mean are you really sure, because we don't have to do this if you don't want to."

"Peyton, baby, calm down. I'm okay with this. But if you're getting so worked up about it, maybe I should just call it off."

"No, no. We should do this. We might as well, I love you, and I know you love me, and this isn't going to go away, so I guess the sooner they find out the better."

"Okay then, but just so you know, I really don't want to be asked a whole bunch of questions right away, so I was thinking we go over there, tell them, and then leave and let it sink in."

"Ambush and ditch, I like the way you think B. Davis."

"Why thank you P. Sawyer, now let's get going, we're already late."

"If we must."

The short drive to the Scott apartment was mostly in silence. Brooke help Peyton's free hand as she drove, giving her a calming reassurance that what they were about to do wouldn't be the end of the world. Though she knew this was a big deal, Brooke felt that it was better to just get it out there so they weren't lying to everyone, backlash be damned. Peyton felt this way too, though her nerves were far more present than rational thoughts. Pulling into a parking space, the girls got out of the classic convertible, prepared to face the uncertainty that lay ahead.

"Let's get this over with. Oh, and Brooke, by the way…"

She leaned closer to the brunette and whispered something in her ear. We suspect by the wide eyed reaction and smirk placing across her face that this something may have been something sexual, but that's just speculation.

"Peyton, you tease! Don't say stuff like that to me if you don't mean it."

Suspicion confirmed. Peyton stopped on their way to the door and looked Brooke in the eyes one last time before opening the door.

"I meant it Brooke. I want you. So providing we don't get killed or maimed before we can make our escape, I think the perfect end to this somewhat stressful day would be exactly what I just said. Maybe we should spend the rest of the weekend at your beach house, in bed."

"You don't have to ask me twice, we'll head there right after this. Too bad this is totally killing my mood right now, but I'm sure you can do something about that later."

"Why Brooke, I just don't know what you are insinuating, but I get the distinct impression it is something very naughty."

"Oh trust me, it is. Ugh, why did you have to say that to me now? Come on Blondie, let's face the music."

Brooke held out her hand for Peyton to take a hold of. The silent sing of comfort, support, and love, was all too welcome to help contain each other's fears.

They opened the door to the apartment to find all who they had asked to join them already patiently, some impatiently, waiting. The slightly confused expression crossed their faces when they took in the sight that they were holding hands. It wasn't that they had never done that before, but the fact that after they entered, they never let go of one another that caught some slightly more perceptive peoples attention.

"Hey guys."

"Hey."

"Hi Brooke, Peyton."

"Okay, so you're all here, how is everyone?"

A chorus of 'fine' sounded. Well, except for a certain someone who made a smart ass remark, any guesses?

"So are you going to tell us why we're all here? Not that we don't enjoy your company, but what's this all about Brooke?"

"Right to the point, as always Lucas. Okay well, I think you guys might want to sit down for this."

"Is there something wrong, Peyton you like kind of pail. Is that what this is about, are you sick? Oh my God, are you? Brooke, what's wrong?"

"Haley, chill out. Peyton's not sick. Okay, now that you're all sitting we have something to tell you. Peyton you want to take the lead?"

"Huh? No, no, you're doing fine Brooke, please, proceed."

"You're a big help."

Peyton flashed her an apologetic smile, but Brooke pretty much knew that she was going to be the one to break the news to everybody, Peyton was just too damn nervous.

"Right, so, we called you all here for a reason, because you are our friends, well Rachel doesn't exactly count, but still, you kind of are our friend. So anyway, before I say anything there is something I want to make clear."

"Okay…get on with it already."

"Shut up Nathan, let her speak."

"You didn't have to hit me Haley, I'm shutting up."

"Back on topic, let me say this first, we are going to tell you something, and after we do, we are going to leave. We aren't in the mood or prepared for any questions, we just want you to let this information sink in, and then on Monday if you have anything you want to say to us, then fine. But I repeat, whatever you have to say, we don't want to here it, so you can talk amongst yourselves after we leave, got it?"

This was then followed by everyone shaking their heads in the affirmative, save for a small roll of the eyes and sigh from Rachel, as to be expected.

"So, Peyton and I, we um… you see, we're…"

"We're gay, and in love, with each other, we're dating."

"Wow, Peyton, I didn't think you were going to say anything. Okay, well, yeah, what she said, so bye, we're leaving, enjoy the weekend."

And just as quickly as the words left her mouth, they were out the door and back at Peyton's car. Back in the apartment, they left a group of mostly stunned friends behind to contemplate what they had just heard.

"I so knew it! Well, okay, not in the actual knowing it sense, but I knew there was something going on with them."

"Rachel, just shut up, I need to process this."

"Whatever Nathan, just deal with it, it's not like its some huge news. I mean, yes it kind of is, but come on, so what, so they're gay, who gives a shit. Oh, maybe I can take over the cheer squad with this information? Eh, maybe not, as big a bitch as I am, there are some things I just won't do. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm no homophobe, so just get over it. This so wasn't worth wasting my time, I'm leaving."

"Huh. Of all people to react in that way I never would have expected Rachel to be so open to it. That's just weird."

"Okay, so Peyton and Brooke are together, I can deal with that. Lucas? Luke are you okay, you haven't said a word?"

"Oh, yeah Haley, I'm fine, I just need to um, I'll see you guys later."

"Bye."

"Considering that we didn't stick around for the fallout I think that went pretty well."

"I can't believe I just blurted it out like that."

"I know, you were so nervous, and then I got really nervous, and then you just spilled the beans and it was like, 'Oh thank God, I don't have to say it.' But I'm glad it's out there, I feel so much better."

"Yeah, I kind of do too, but now I'm worried about their reaction."

"Well, babe, let's just not worry about that this weekend. After all, you did promise me something and I fully intend to collect."

"I'm ready Brooke, I love you, and I want to be with you. Now, to the beach, all bad thoughts be damned, I'm getting laid!"

"You perv, and here I thought I was the sex crazed one. I have so much to learn."

With the mood lifted, both girls relaxed in the car as they made their way to their weekend retreat. No matter how their friends were to react, they both knew that it ultimately didn't matter. Yes, if someone reacted bad or wanted nothing more to do with them, it would hurt, but as much as they didn't want that, they could deal with it. All that mattered was that they had each other, and nothing could tear that apart. Open arms or distant conclusions, they were together, and very blissfully happy.

---END---