Title: Pretty Girls Die First

Rating: PG-13

Summary: "The only good thing that Brooke can think of about this whole cancer deal is that it's the perfect way to make everyone who ever screwed her over nice and sorry." This story takes place within the universe in which the show is currently taking place. It is based on some possible foilers I read about a new storyline in the works for Brooke. That's all I'm saying.

Brooke picks up the phone, and then quickly slams it back down.

She looks up, and seeing her reflection in the glass of the vanity across her room, picks up the phone and hurls it into the mirror.

A million little fragments reflect the small, satisfied smile on her face.

She decides to try something else.

She folds her fingers into the standard signal for "call me", and holds them up to her ear.

"Yeah, Mom?" The words sound so loud in the absolute silence of Rachel's huge, empty house. "I just wanted to let you know that I'm probably not going to need allowance any more in about three to eight months. What? No, I haven't got a job. Are you crazy? I'm dying. Okay, well, sorry to disappoint. Talk to you next month, kay? Okay, much love. Bye!"

She taps her fingers together as a little frown puckers her brow.

"Let's see, let's see" she whispers to herself. "Who to punish next? Lucas? Mmmm… no, let's save the best for last. Oh, I know!"

The only good thing that Brooke can think of about this whole cancer deal is that it's the perfect way to make everyone who ever screwed her over nice and sorry.

She holds the imaginary phone up to her ear once again.

"Hi bitch!" she crows cheerfully. "Just wanted to let you know that I'm dying. Yep, you heard right. I'm dying; checking out; on the last leg of my journey; heading towards the great unknown. Yeah, you better believe that I'll be mentioning your name to God, or Jesus, or whoever. And trust me, it won't be nice. You're going straight to hell, Peyton Sawyer! Maybe I'll see you later, if that whole haunting you and making your remaining years as horrible as possible thing that I'm planning works out."

She smiles a little as she pretends to click the phone closed.

Walking over to the destruction that used to be her vanity, she picks up a large chunk of glass and looks at her reflection. She lifts a long piece of hair and tugs on it a little. It stays firmly planted.

"Not for long" she crows to herself, throwing the piece of glass back down on the floor.

Brooke has always loved her hair, but today, something's different. Looking at it, just knowing that it's going to all be gone soon, makes her so angry she could scream.

Instead of screaming, she cuts.

No, not herself. She's not a freaky screamo loser. That's Peyton.

She cuts her hair. Picking up the jagged chunk of glass, she draws it recklessly through her long locks. When she's finished, her hair is a mess of layers that lay haphazardly just an inch or so above her shoulders.

"So there" she says. "I don't even care. You can take my hair. You can take my hair, and my body, and anything else you want. Nothing matters anymore anyway."

Only, it's a little sad, since Haley said that she could be the Godmother of Baby Naley... and a little sad, because her clothing line is getting better every day... and also a little sad, because she really never meant to stay broken up with Peyton forever. She just wanted to make her feel the way she had made Brooke feel so many times... like she didn't matter.

But it's too late to forgive her now, and too close to the end of things. It wouldn't be doing Peyton a kindness to forgive her at this point. It would just make her sad when she found out that Brooke would be dying soon. It would just go to show that her stupid freaking motto "people always leave" is actually true after all.

"Oh, cheer up, blondie" Brooke huffs to her imaginary friend. "My boyfriend sure never left you, even while he was dating me!"

That brings Brooke to an even more interesting topic. Lucas.

She almost feels a little guilty when she thinks of how he's going to react to her news, but quickly stiffens her resolve not to care. After all, he's the jerk that kissed Peyton... and no, not just once, he went for twice!

She thinks that she might be awed by his balls in doing that, if only she didn't want to cut them off so badly.

Oh well... seeing his face when he finds out that she's a goner will probably have the same effect. But will he find out? To tell him or not to tell him? That is the question. Whether it is more... nice? No, that's not it. Knightly? Anyway, whatever… she just doesn't know whether to tell him or not.

"I mean..." She's really getting into this talking to herself thing lately. "If I don't tell him, and I just stop showing up at places one day, it will seem kind of cheap and like I was too afraid. But if I do tell him, then I'll have to spend my remaining days trying to ignore his ridiculous attempts at heroics. I can't really ask that of myself, now can I?"

"He's not ridiculous. You are."

Another voice is added to the mix.

"Hey Hales" sighs Brooke, looking up at her frowning friend.

Haley surveys the room from her place in the doorway, her eyes taking in the shattered glass, the blood on Brooke's bare knees, her new "haircut".

"Brooke" she says, walking over to her and pulling her up into a hug. "Look at what you're doing to yourself. You're ridiculous."

"No, I'm dying" she says.

"But maybe not!" Haley insists. "I mean, it's not like a done deal. I was there too. We both heard the doctor say that the treatment could work."

"He said there was a twenty percent chance that the treatment could prolong my life, and a five percent chance that I could go into full remission. Now, I don't know about you, but those odds just don't give me a ton of hope. He might as well have said that there's a ninety-five percent chance I'm dead meat."

"Just... God, Brooke, would you just stop saying things like that? And also, about the Lucas situation..."

"I know what you're going to say. I need to tell him."

"Well, way to steal my thunder, but yes, that's what I was going to say." Haley's face is drooping in a way that makes Brooke so uncomfortable.

"Yes, fine, but how? That's the real question. I mean, there are so many ways. There's email, for one, that's a good option. Or maybe telegram? A little outdated, but you know how Lucas loves old stuff. I myself will never understand it, but you know what I always say. To each his own..."

"Okay, first of all" Haley cuts in. "You never say that. You're more of a "my way or the highway" type of lady. Second, you have to tell him face to face. Any other way would be insensitive."

"Insensitive?" Brooke shrieks, finally losing it. "Insensitive? How about when Lucas kissed my best friend? How about when Keith died and Lucas refused to talk to me about it like I was just some stranger off the street? How about two years ago when I told him I was pregnant and he said "it's not like I'm the only guy you ever slept with"? That's insensitive, Haley. This is not insensitive. This is my life. Or rather, my lack thereof."

"Brooke, I understand that Lucas has hurt you, and I hate him for it. What I want you to understand, however, is that the way you treat Lucas is your choice; nobody else's. And it has nothing to do with what he's done to you, or what Peyton's done to you, or what your parents have failed to do for you."

Brooke allows Haley to lead her over to her bed and tuck her in under the covers.

"Haley, you're so good to me" Brooke yawns, burrowing under the blankets.

"Someone's got to be" replies Haley as she starts to slowly and carefully pick up the pieces of Brooke's earlier outburst.

"That's what I'm saying" Brooke responds with a smile. "I love you, Haley."

"I love you too, Brooke. Now go to sleep. You've got a big day ahead of you."

"Thanks, Mother Goose. Aren't you going to sing me a bedtime story?"

"You always have to ruin a moment, don't you?"


"That's what I thought. Now shut up."

"But really… thanks."