An: Hello, so I'm back after a very unmotivated past few months. I was trying to write a different story but I had this idea and it wouldn't go away until I wrote it. Please tell me what you think and for once, I actually wrote a few chapters so I won't take ten years to update.
"Mm, I have to shower and get ready for work," Lucas mumbled in between kisses, desperately trying to break free from the hold Brooke had on his body. "Brooke, come on, I'm gonna be late…"
"But who works on a Saturday?" Brooke pouted, tugging at his bottom lip with her teeth. He grunted in response and she continued to kiss down his neck, letting her hands trail down his bare chest. "Don't you want to stay home with your hot wife all day? We don't even have to get out of bed!"
"As enticing as that sounds," Lucas began, moving her hand away as it reached the top of his boxers. "I told John I'd cover for him today. He has a perfectly good excuse and I couldn't say no."
Brooke's eyes narrowed and she crossed her arms in a huff. "It better be good."
"His wife went into labor last night."
"Fine," Brooke sighed dramatically, flopping back on the queen size bed. The cool air from the open window hit her naked body and she quickly reached for Lucas' oversized shirt on the floor, buttoning every other button. "How long are you gonna be?"
"Hopefully not late," Lucas shrugged vaguely, stealing a quick glance at the time. "I think we have a few new cases coming in and it all depends on how severe they are. Must I remind you how horrible child abuse is?"
"I'm sorry," Brooke whispered shamefully, intertwining their fingers together. Lucas smiled and kissed her forehead, rubbing her back gently when she remained quiet. "We haven't really spent much time together and school starts on Monday so it's the last weekend we have before I have to go into the scary world of adulthood."
"We'll celebrate tonight," Lucas promised, flinging the sheets back over his half-naked body as somebody rapped loudly on their bedroom door. "Who, who the hell is that?"
"Who else would it be on a Saturday morning?" Brooke rolled her eyes, quickly buttoning up the rest of the shirt as the door handle jiggled. "Haley, go away!"
"I told you not to give her a key to the house," Lucas hissed, deciding he wouldn't have any time to make a dash to the bathroom before Haley got the door open. "Brooke's naked in here, go away!"
Haley rolled her eyes and hit the door one more time. "No offense, Luke, but I'm pretty sure I've seen Brooke naked more times than you have."
"What?" Brooke shrugged innocently, patting Lucas' head when he looked at her in shock. This was clearly news to him. "I was drunk half the time anyway. Why else do you think she was so happy when we moved in together?"
After they said it was okay to come in, Haley carefully opened the door a crack, sheepishly peering in to see if they were covered. "Is it safe?"
"Hold on, Lucas has morning wood," Brooke giggled, burying her head into the pillow when both blonde's looked at her in disgust. "Wait, you also live with a boy so you know what that's like. Never mind, you're safe to come in!"
"Is, is the bed clean?" Haley asked cautiously, placing her hand on the edge of the bed until she got a straight answer.
"Not under a black light."
"Brooke!" Haley's nose scrunched in disgust, taking a chance and crawling in between her two friends. She ignored both of their attire and gazed up at the ceiling, letting out sigh after sigh until it annoyed them to the fullest. "Aren't you going to ask me what's wrong?"
"As much as I would love to hear about your problems," Lucas started with a smirk, grabbing his pants off the floor and quickly slipping them on. Haley was like his little sister and the last thing they both wanted to see was him clad in nothing but boxers. "I have to go get ready for work, Hales. I'm sure your cramps will go away soon."
"That's not what I was going to say," Haley pointed out matter-of-factly, snuggling closer to Brooke incase she felt the urge to smack him again. "It's about your brother being a stupid jerk and not coming home last night."
"Shower's calling," Lucas ignored her, leaning over to give Brooke a quick kiss. "See, if this thing keeps up, we won't need to have any kids when we have Haley. She'll just move in with us and this can be like a Saturday morning ritual."
"Ignore him," Brooke told Haley softly when Lucas left the room, turning over on her side to get a better look at the smaller blonde. Her eyes were all bloodshot and she didn't look like she got any sleep. "Maybe he had to work late, Hales…"
"I doubt it," Haley whispered, tugging absently at the sheets covering her legs. Brooke gave her a sympathetic pat on the head and gently ran her fingers through Haley's gorgeous blonde locks. "How come you got the nice, generous Scott brother and I got the bad ass, 'I'm working late' one?"
"Nathan and I are too much alike, we'd definitely clash," Brooke told her lightly, her pretty features softening when Haley didn't make a sound. "Aw, Hales, it'll be okay," she promised, leaning her head against Haley's. "Should I kick his ass?"
Haley let a small smile slip and patted Brooke's knee. "If you can find him then be my guest." Brooke laughed to herself as the two lay in silence, Haley trying to keep her mind off of her distant husband. "My little Brookie's growing up so fast. Are you nervous for Monday? Parent's are actually going to leave you, of all people, in charge of their kids."
"Shut up!" Brooke yelled in mock-offense, a scowl forming on her face when Haley didn't take back her comment. She had a point. "My lesson plan is all ready and I'm going to be the hit of the pre-school class!"
"Better watch out for all those single dads," Haley winked, raising a suggestive eyebrow when Brooke merely scoffed. "God, you're like an old married woman now. If I ever said that to you years ago you'd be jumping for joy."
"Marriage changed me for the better," Brooke told her with a goofy smile, making a face when she heard Lucas jiggling the handle on the toilet. "I can't say the same for Lucas but I like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say it changed him too."
Haley giggled in disbelief and sat up, tossing Brooke's clothes at her. "Since you're up you might as well come downstairs and make me some breakfast."
"You really are like my child, Hales," Brooke playfully rolled her eyes, quickly changing her clothes as Haley turned around out of habit. "Come on my little baby, mommy will make you a nice breakfast and then you can get the hell out of my house."
"Mommy's mean," Haley mumbled under her breath, gently kicking the back of Brooke's leg so her knee would buckle. "Don't make me call DSS and tell them that you're abusing me."
"Ha," Brooke laughed loudly, pushing Haley into the wall. "Too bad for you my husband works for them so he can vouch for me that I don't kick your little behind. Besides, they'd probably think you're crazy and send you to a mental ward."
"Whatever," Haley sang, plopping down in the kitchen chair. "Brooke? Things will get better, right?"
Brooke let out an inaudible sigh and threw two bagels in the toaster, spinning around to see the expectant look on her friend's face. She had two options; lie and tell her best friend since birth that everything was going to be okay or tell her that her husband was an ass and she warned her about him from the beginning.
"Look, Hales," Brooke's voice dropped to a whisper, afraid if she spoke too loud it would upset Haley and send her into a fit of hysterics. She didn't need that, especially at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. "I don't want to lie to you, okay? I, I don't think things will get better with Nathan. How long has this been going on?"
"But," Haley tried to protest, the words suddenly escaping her brain. She had to stop making excuses for her husband and stop denying the fact they were drifting apart. "If I try talking to him he just says he's tired from work and that's it, he walks all over me."
"Don't let him do that to you," Brooke said forcefully, biting her bottom lip when Haley looked taken aback with her tone. "I will not let him mistreat you, alright? Nathan's, Nathan's just in his own little basketball scouting world or whatever and you're the only person who can bring him out of it."
Haley fiddled with her hands and couldn't help but feel jealous when Lucas strolled in. She watched him greet Brooke with another kiss and didn't even care that he stole her bagel. They were so in love and sometimes it made her sick. Nathan wasn't anything like his brother and Haley hated him for that.
"How's she doing?" Lucas whispered when Brooke met him by the sink, pouring himself a glass of orange juice while Brooke spread cream cheese on the bagel. "I think after work I'm gonna go have a talk with Nathan. This can't go on any longer, Brooke."
"Not if I beat you to it," Brooke hissed, her voice low enough just for Lucas to hear. They both watched Haley flip through the paper aimlessly and Lucas felt his heart drop that Haley's unhappiness was due to his brother. "But you have a nice day at work and I'll take care of her for now. Peyton's taking Jenny shopping for school and I promise I'd tag along to make sure she doesn't give the kid an emo backpack or anything."
Lucas chuckled and pushed the half-eaten bagel to Brooke, giving her a small kiss as he got his briefcase ready for work. "Luke, wait," she pulled him back, glancing up into his blue eyes. "If you find him beaten to a bloody pulp I'm going to need an alibi."
"I got you covered," Lucas promised, brushing the hair out of her face before turning on his heel. He ruffled Haley's hair when he past her and hoped the best for her. "I'll see you later Hales and make sure Brooke doesn't spend too much money at the mall."
"We're going to the mall?" Haley asked as Lucas shut the back door behind him, thanking Brooke when she placed the bagel in front of her.
"I told Jenny I'd help her pick out a backpack for Monday."
"Jenny going to school makes me feel so old," Haley made a face. "It seems like yesterday Peyton was walking around yelling at everyone who got in her way."
"That was yesterday," Brooke giggled, getting up when the coffee pot was ready. "After this I'll go shower and then we can drag your pouty ass around the mall with us. It'll be fun and if you're a good girl, I'll buy you something nice."
Jenny excitedly tugged on Peyton's hand as they browsed the school supply aisle in Target, jumping up and down when they came to the backpacks.
"I want this one!" the little blonde girl shrieked, letting go of Peyton's hand to grab the very last pink Barbie backpack on the shelf. "Mommy, isn't it perfect?"
"Oh, yes," Peyton made a face, a fake smile forming on her face when Jenny looked up at her in disbelief. "It's very pretty, Jen."
"Aw, remember when Peyton was so anti-Barbie?" Brooke teased, laughing harder when Jenny gasped and her eyes widened into saucers. "The Barbie hatred must've skipped a generation, thank god."
"I was never anti-Barbie," Peyton pointed out matter-of-factly, grabbing hold of Jenny's hand once they started walking again. "I was more of anti-let's make Barbie, Ken and Skipper have a threesome!"
Jenny stopped walking, pulling on her mother's hand again. "What's a threesome?"
"Something you should never have," Brooke cut Peyton off, ruffling the little girl's hair affectionately. Haley snorted from behind Brooke and winced when the brunette stomped on her foot. "Shush you. Don't listen to your silly mommy, we never did that."
"Oh, we so did," Haley corrected, laughing along with Peyton. "I remember one time you put them all on top of each other and then you took Barbie's clothes off and-"
"Moving on," Peyton hissed, removing her hands from Jenny's little ears. "Wait, wait! If I remember it correctly we actually learned it from your sisters, Hales. For once in Brooke's life she didn't make us do something dirty."
"Ha!" Brooke grinned in triumphant, throwing shampoo and conditioner into the cart. "I can't remember who suggested we try that but remember we were so confused? How is a 6 year old supposed to know what a blow job is?"
"And you guys wonder why I'm so emotionally scarred," Haley muttered, tossing a huge bag of chips into the shopping cart. "What? I'm having a bad day."
"Story of your life," Brooke and Peyton smiled in unison, patting the smaller blonde's head when she pouted. "Aw, you know we love you Baby Haley."
"Me too!" Jenny squealed, pushing at Haley's leg incase she didn't hear her. "I bet I love you so much more than they do! I don't make fun of you either!"
"That's why you're my favorite," Haley giggled, bending down to Jenny's level. She nearly fell over when the little blonde gave her a tight hug and clung to her neck when she stood back up. "And you going to school makes me feel so old."
"Speak for yourself," Peyton grumbled, taking Jenny from Haley's arms. "I can't believe my little baby's growing up." Brooke rolled her eyes at the hallmark moment and gave Peyton a gentle push forward. "You're already 4 and pretty soon your Auntie Haley's gonna be 24."
"That's old," Jenny wrinkled her nose, giggling when Peyton looked surprised. "How old are you and Auntie Brooke, mommy? 40?"
"I am not 40!" Brooke practically screamed in disbelief, grunting when Haley laughed from behind her. Jenny continued to howl with laughter and she squirmed in Peyton's arms as she tickled her sides. "Sweetheart, if we're 40, you'd be…"
"An adult," Peyton told her in horror before setting her down to the ground. "Auntie Brooke and I are already 24. Haley was always slower than us." Haley laughed sarcastically and proceeded to throw more junk food in the cart. "I don't know what kind of problem you're having, but when you eat yourself obese I'll kick myself for not stopping you. Give me the chips."
Brooke shook her head and pulled Peyton back when Haley pushed the cart forward with Jenny right on her heels. "She's having a Nathan problem." Peyton's mouth formed an 'o' shape and she didn't know what to say. "Yeah, she showed up this morning at 8 saying he never came home last night. Lucas is gonna try talking to him but it won't help."
"Yeah," Peyton whispered empathetically, also feeling bad for having a wonderful marriage to Jake. Sure they had problems but they always worked them out for the sake of Jenny. "I bet he had to work late. Isn't basketball season coming up?"
"Don't defend him," Brooke snapped, turning her frown into a smile when Haley turned around at her little outburst. "Look at what he's doing to her, Peyton. He's hurting our best friend, no, he's hurting our sister. How can you stand here and make excuses for him?"
"Just drop it Brooke," Peyton pleaded, smiling thankfully when Brooke finally relented and gave up with a sigh. "Let's just get out of here, okay?"
"Mommy," Jenny tugged on Peyton's sleeve, eyes traveling to the little girl all alone near the shoe aisle. "How come that girl is alone? Doesn't she have a mommy?"
"Do you think she's lost?" Brooke asked quietly, making her way over to the small brunette before either Peyton or Haley could answer. "Hey, sweetie," she began slowly, her heart breaking when she was met with the small girl's fearful eyes. "Are you lost?"
She didn't expect an answer and wasn't surprised when the girl let out a tiny whimper and cowered back in fear, knocking into a few shoes that came crashing down. "It's okay, it's okay, I'm not gonna hurt you," Brooke whispered, trying to remain calm when tears streamed down the child's face. "Who are you here with?"
"My mommy," the girl sniffled, her voice barely above a whisper. "She told me I was being a bad girl so she was gonna leave me in the store." Brooke swallowed past the lump in her throat and reached out to rub the girl's arm, pulling back when she whimpered again. "Don't hurt me."
"I'm not going to hurt you," Brooke's voice cracked, bending down to one knee. "How old are you?" Her heart dropped to her feet when the girl held up four fingers shyly and peered down at the ground. "What's your name, honey?"
"There you are!" a woman yelled from behind Brooke, startling the two brunettes completely. Brooke stood up to her feet and got out of the woman's way just in time as she violently grabbed the child's arm. "I told you not to wander off! Do you not listen to anything I say?"
"Hey, calm down," Brooke tried to intervene, balling her hand into a fist when the older woman scoffed loudly. She reeked of cigarette smoke and if Brooke didn't know any better she was definitely on something. "Kids wander off all the time…"
"I didn't ask for your opinion," the woman hissed, pulling her daughter's arm again when she tried to break free. Her hair was in a ratty bun and the lipstick she thought made herself look attractive was smeared all over her face along with the blue eye shadow. "This is clearly none of your business so I'd appreciate it if you kept your mouth shut."
"Yelling is not going to help," Brooke tried to reason with her, putting her arm out to say something as the woman began to yank the adorable girl by her arm. "You're, you're going to hurt her if you keep doing that."
"Mind your business," the older woman snapped, grabbing a fist full of her daughter's long hair.
"Mommy, I'm sorry!"
"I've had it up to here with you," the mother continued to yell, sending glares to everyone in the store that looked at her in shock. "You've caused enough trouble for today so when we get home you're going straight to bed. Don't even ask about dinner because you've lost that privilege."
Jenny let out a tiny cry and held up her arms, burying her head into the crook of Peyton's neck when she picked her up instantly. "Why was that mommy so mean?"
"I don't know, baby," Peyton soothed her trembling body, rocking her back and forth as Haley carefully went to check on Brooke.
"It's okay," she whispered, trying to pry Brooke away from the now vanished mother and daughter. "Brooke, come on," she tried, pulling on the brunette's arm a bit before giving her a comforting hug around the middle.
"How could any just mistreat their child like that?"
"I don't know," Haley shrugged, her face falling when Brooke looked visibly upset. "If it makes you feel any better I retract my previous statement about you being a mean mother…"
"Whatever," Brooke scoffed, bumping Haley's shoulder a bit as she stormed out of the aisle and out of sight.
"Hi, this is Nathan. I'm either not here or I'm just ignoring your call because I hate you. Leave me a message and if I like you, I'll get back to you."
Lucas cursed loudly and banged his fist against the table as he proceeded to leave his brother a fifth voice mail that day. "Dude, answer your god damn phone. I don't know how many times I have to say this to you man. Either you start treating your wife better or I'll be forced to sic Brooke on you. And trust me; you do not want to go there."
He threw the phone down on the counter in frustration, picking at the carton of Chinese food he had picked up for him and Brooke on the way home. A smile came to his face when he heard the front door open but it soon faded away when his usually perky wife came rushing into the kitchen with tears streaming all down her face.
"Brooke? What happened?"
"It was horrible," Brooke choked back her sob, burying her face into Lucas' shoulder as he ran a comforting hand up and down her back. "We were in Target and there was this little girl…she was lost, Luke, and her mother, her mother was so mean to her when she found her."
"Oh," Lucas sighed, knowing how sensitive Brooke got when it came to children. They'd been trying for a few months to have kids and no matter how many doctors' orders they followed; they couldn't seem to get pregnant. He could never talk about work with her, knowing all too well she'd get teary eyed when she heard about another child being removed from a broken home. "I'm sure she was having a bad day."
"But you should have seen her," Brooke sniffled, leaning back a bit to look her husband clear in the eye. She was still shaking violently and snuggled into Lucas' embrace when he led her to the couch. "She had this, she had this rage in her eyes and she was pulling at her arm so hard. She was 4, Lucas, the little girl was 4!"
"Ssh, ssh," he tried comforting her, rubbing her stomach gently as she desperately tried to get herself to calm down and remove the memory from her brain. "I know it's a sad thing to see but there are people like that in this world."
"They shouldn't be allowed to have children," Brooke hissed, absently playing with Lucas' tie as it hung in front of her face. "They should be locked up forever and never get to see the light of living day again."
Lucas nodded his head in agreement and let his hand slip up her shirt a little, rubbing it against the bare flesh in hopes of calming her down. Brooke welcomed the contact and rested her head against his chest, inhaling the comforting scent of his cologne.
"How was your day?"
"I think it's best we don't talk about it," Lucas laughed slightly, pressing a kiss against her head. Brooke closed her misty hazel eyes and sighed when Lucas' hand moved down to her thigh. "Where's Haley?"
"She went home," Brooke mumbled, intertwining their fingers together. "Did you get to talk to Nathan at all today? I tried calling him but he never answered; asshole."
"Same here," Lucas said, shaking his head at his brother's antics. He had a long talk with him when he and Haley got married a year ago, warning him that if he ever did anything to hurt Haley on purpose, he'd beat the living crap out of him. "They'll work things out, they always do, Brooke. Nathan's just stubborn and once he realizes he's being an ass, it'll all be okay."
Brooke was too tired agree and snuggled further into Lucas' arms, trying to get her mind off the horrific scene in the store today. No matter how many times she tried thinking of other things, it always came back to the scared little girl.
"When, when I went to rub her arm, she said don't hurt me."
"Brooke," Lucas bit back his groan, running his hands through her hair. "She was probably just scared. She's obviously going to say that to a complete stranger."
After a pause, Brooke finally decided he was right. "Yeah…I guess so."
"I bought us some Chinese," Lucas smiled, hooking his arm underneath her legs to carry her into the kitchen. "I believe the Peking ravioli's are calling your name."
"My favorite, good boy," Brooke smiled, tugging at his tie a bit before he set her down in the kitchen chair. She anxiously began to pile the food on her plate and looked up at Lucas smugly when he poured her a glass of wine. "Are you trying to get me drunk?"
"We'll see how the night goes," Lucas winked, taking whatever was left from the carton. Brooke's appetite was bigger than her stomach and he knew was probably going to be finishing what was left on her plate. "So, are you nervous for Monday?"
"A bit," Brooke said in between bites, taking a large gulp of wine. "But how hard is it to teach 4-year olds? We'll have nap time and I can sneak off and do my own thing."
Lucas laughed and shook his head at how convinced Brooke sounded. "You can't just leave them all alone while they nap, Brooke. You have trouble taking care of Jenny for the day, how are you going to handle 15 kids?"
"I'll manage somehow," Brooke smiled confidently, polishing off the rest of her drink. "And in my defense, Jenny is a hyperactive child, her own parents can barely take care of her for the day," she giggled, shrugging when Lucas looked a bit surprised. "I'll be fine, I promise. I can't wait for the first show and tell so you can come in and I can show off my hot husband."
"Should I bring a body guard to fend off all the love struck 4-year olds?" Lucas joked, moving over a bit to dodge Brooke's wild hand. "I'm sure you'll make a great teacher. Who knows, they might never want to leave the classroom."
"Hey, if they're not out by 5, I'm gone," Brooke flashed her infamous dimples, carefully placing her plate in the dishwasher when she as finished. "I'm gonna go relax for a bit, okay?"
Lucas nodded and pulled her back once she walked past, gently sitting her in his lap when she looked down expectantly. "You'll be okay, right? There's no reason to get upset again about the little girl, I'm sure she's fine. I don't want you losing sleep over it."
"Yeah, I'll, I'll be fine," Brooke forced a smile, silently cursing him for bringing the subject up again. It was out of her head all throughout dinner and even though Lucas was probably right, she couldn't get the scared little girl's face out of her mind. "You should know better than I do about this. I mean it is your job after all."
"Like I said, I'm sure she's fine," Lucas repeated again, pressing a kiss against her temple. He allowed her to pick off his plate and rubbed a comforting hand up and down her trembling arm. "Brooke, it's okay."
"Do you think we'll ever have a baby?" Brooke asked quietly, her voice so broken that Lucas made an effort to hold her tighter. "We've been trying for almost a year and nothing's worked. Do you think there's something wrong?"
"No," Lucas assured her with a kiss, smoothing out the creases in his pants when Brooke got up from his lap. "It's hard to get pregnant these days, you know…"
Brooke lifted her head a bit, a small smile on her face. "I'm gonna go call Haley and see if Nathan came home." Lucas stayed in place, knowing if he went after she'd tell him to go away and they'd get into a fight.
Brooke climbed the stairs two at a time, collapsing on the oversized bed once she reached the nicely decorated room. The tears fell down her cheeks and no matter how hard she tried, she could not get the picture of the frightened girl out of her mind.
"Mommy, I'm sorry!"
"You've caused enough trouble for today so when we get home you're going straight to bed. Don't even ask about dinner because you've lost that privilege."
"God, stop," she cried, burying her head into her pillow as the scene from earlier played over and over again in her head.
Her frequently absent parents weren't the greatest either but they never once raised their voice at her, they never once told her she couldn't have dinner and they certainly never grabbed her arm so tight that it would leave a few marks. This little girl was about to change Brooke's life and if only she knew what she was getting into from the beginning.