Thank you a million to Jessica Dunn! My air and my water and all that stuff you need to survive. She took this piece of crap into the editing room and she came out with... wow. Thank you! Even tho you totally switched Ruby with Veronica. I still love you. To everyone else, thanks for reading! ;)

-

Oil & Water

A Brathan oneshot.

By Typokween.

You and I are like oil and water
And we've been trying, trying trying
Ohhhh, to mix it up.

-Oil & Water, Incubus

He stares at her because his eyes can focus on nothing else.

He thinks it may be the enticing curves of her body, or the way her hair falls down her back like cool rain on a warm day. He sits back at the bar, hypnotized by her, his finger lightly circling his glass as his eyes leer across the club and lock on the movements of her body. She grinds her into her partner, and he grimaces momentarily.

He enjoys the way her skin glistens with perspiration and the way the front of her dress hangs low, exposing just enough cleavage to leave almost nothing to the imagination. Her eyes are lidded and red from the amount of alcohol she's consumed since setting foot inside the lush nightclub. She's swallowed enough inhabitants to knock down a horse, but she still dances like a trained professional. Her sole mission?

To drive Nathan Scott completely insane.

Only when the fast paced song ends and a much more softer tune begins to pour out of the speakers around the dance floor does Brooke Davis make her way through the crowds towards the bar. He tosses back the remaining contents of his drink and takes great pleasure in the way it burns down his throat like liquid fire. She settles herself down into the stool beside him, ignoring the way his cobalt irises drink her in and his pupils dilate with desire.

She orders a glass of dry Grey Goose and drains it like a shot before finally turning to give him her full and undivided attention. He licks his lips and groans inwardly as she twists around in her seat to slide her leg up and over his knee, her dress riding up to show him the creamy skin on her thigh. She giggles then, because she knows how much he wants her. He grinds his teeth and tightens his jaw because he wants to dig his fingers into her hips and fuck her up on top of the bar in front of all these innocent and unsuspecting people.

"Tell me something Scott," she breathes across his lips and grins as her hand glides down the front of his shirt to rest just shy of his increasingly enticed lower half. He gives her a somewhat bored expression because although he's about to spontaneously combust from within, he doesn't allow her the satisfaction of knowing the effect she has on him. So she bites the corner of her lip and slumps back into her stool, the loss of her warmth in his lap making him curse his pride.

"Just what is it about you Davis, that has me doing back flips?" he questions aloud, his voice barely carrying over the booming bass that surrounds them. His hand darts out to jerk her chin around so that her face is inches away from his.

"I could have any girl I want in this place," he growls, his eyes traveling over her body again, unable to resist, he lets her chin go to slide his hand down her cheek then her neck until it slinks down her back.

She shivers lustfully and closes her eyes to hold back a moan when his fingers began to trickle down to the bottom of her dress in order to slither upward towards the spot he wants to claim most. Her eyes meet his and the look she gives him stops his hand from wandering further north.

"And yet here you are, feeling me up in front of complete strangers," she scowls and slaps his hand away.

He chuckles and settles back in his seat, "So we're gonna play like that tonight then?" he chuckles again and nods his head at the bar tender to refill his glass. "Alright," he looks at her challengingly, "we'll play it like that then."

She rolls her eyes and gulps a large portion of his drink once its served. "I'm sick of playing games Nathan," she growls and stands up to straighten her dress.

"I meant it when I said to stay the hell away from me," her eyes narrow, her mouth forming a thin straight line.

When he doesn't make a move to apologize or seduce her further, she shakes her head with a bitter laugh and brushes past him towards the exit. She throws her ticket down at the coat check and shoves her arm into her long black pea coat, shrugging into it and snatching her purse from the woman behind the counter without so much as a thank you.

Her face is flushed, her cheeks burning with shame. It happens like this every time she runs into him. Ever since leaving for college at the end of her Senior year to fly to southern California, she swore that she had ended all ties with Tree Hill for good. She had been so sure that she had finally succeeded at one thing in her entire life. She had new friends, new hobbies and great grades.

Then he came stumbling into her life, turning her world upside down and shattering any and all illusions she had of ditching her old life for a new one. Having abandoned his scholarship with Duke University after a failed marriage with Haley, he took the next best option—a scholarship with UCLA where he inadvertently ran into Ms. Davis at a frat party.

The sparks flew, but not in the sexual sense. She was pissed that he had left Haley after the loss of their baby in the accident he caused in Tree Hill. He blew up at her for apparently breaking his brothers heart. Brooke had brought forth the evidence that she broke no ones heart and in fact was the one left broken when the two people she loved most conspired behind her back and were once again a couple. The argument caught fire like a match to gasoline and soon the two were engaged in a heated conflict over who was the bigger coward for leaving Tree Hill behind to run from the person they supposedly loved the most.

Having disrupted the party vibe in the Pi Kappa Phi house, Brooke's friend and dorm mate, Veronica, had pulled her distraught roomie outside for some air. She and her boyfriend Logan spent a few hectic minutes trying to soother Brooke's shot nerves before Nathan had dared to step foot out into the patio, and was once again engaged in an intense argument with Brooke. Each participant ranted and raved about the other as if to point out every flaw and fault known to man when Nathan had gone as far as to call her a heartless bitch. The slap that soon followed along with the gut wrenching sob that escaped past her lips would be forever burned inside Nathan's memory. She had then stormed off and refused to accept any of his apologies for weeks afterwards.

It wasn't until the night she turned 19 that she finally broke down and allowed him to come within ten feet of her. No one had called her all day. Not her parents and not even Rachel or Haley. It had been Lucas who had called to wish her a happy birthday, Lucas who murmured in her ear that he still loved her and Lucas who drunkenly confessed that he had made such a huge mistake by letting her go. But then Brooke heard Peyton's voice in the background just before Lucas hurriedly ended the call.

He found her slumped down on her knees with her cell phone open in her shaking hands, tears rolling down her cheeks and self hatred in her eyes. When he tried to touch her she lashed out at him, screaming obscenities and trying her hardest to shove him out the door. But Nathan fought back, knowing what the pain she had in her heart felt like and suddenly feeling protective of her. He forced her into his arms, yelled at her to calm down, demanded that she chill out and let him be there for her. When all was said and done it was that night that had set the ball rolling. From then on they were almost inseparable.

He walked her to class every chance he had, sometimes getting to class late because he was unable to pull himself away. With each day that passed he felt himself falling deeper and deeper into the unknown. To Brooke he was just a familiar face to lean on, a comforting body to latch onto when she was at her weakest. Their relationship was strictly platonic until Nathan realized towards the end of their second semester that he was completely infatuated with her.

But Brooke had refused his advances, she shot him down every time he tried to take things out of their comfort zone and soon began to pull away. Desperate to keep her in his life, Nathan backed off.

But the damage was done.

She knew how he felt, and he knew that she did not feel the same.

Then one night, the day before he was to fly back home to stay with his mother for summer break, she had waltzed into his room and shed every inch of clothing she had on. He had sat dumbstruck and confused when she slowly made her way towards his bed. He hid the hard on her naked state had caused with a pillow and with a tremor in his voice asked what she was doing in his room. She said nothing as she flung the pillow aside and pulled his shirt up over his head. She said nothing when he begged her stop so he could look into her eyes and ask if she was sure.

Her eyes watered with tears, and he gently kissed away the ones that had escaped past her stone walls. He asked her if she was sure again and with a small nod of her approval he let go of the dwindling control he had left. He dove for her mouth, tasting her and drinking her in as if she were the last drop of water on earth and he was a starved man in the desert. His hands roamed her body, touching, groping and squeezing every inch of her to insure that he was not dreaming. He shoved his pants down and entered her the moment her head hit his pillow, she arched into him and tangled her fingers in his hair to pull him closer.

"I need you, Nathan," she wept, her voice soft and pained. "Please," she panted, her head falling back as a moan flew past her lips, "Oh god," she cried and kissed his mouth passionately. When she dug her nails into his back, he plowed into her harder. When she tightened her legs around his waist, he dove deeper, and when she whispered that she loved him…

He came.

---x---

Their room is small but cozy, the walls a dull white but vibrant with pictures and posters of random events and hot guys. It's late and Veronica wants nothing more than to shut out the light and snuggle under her covers until she falls asleep. But she knows that she won't rest easy until her roommate comes home. So, she continues to force her eyes open and reads disinterestedly in a paperback novel she had borrowed from Logan. She tries not to look at the clock and fails miserably.

When three o'clock rolls around, she starts to stress out, but instead of calling Brooke's cell she takes a deep breath to calm herself. She takes several more to no avail and growls in frustration. She knows how Brooke works and she knows that no amount of alcohol or random body will erase Nathan from her mind. She knows this and yet she does or says nothing.

She's seen the tears and heard the arguments, she knows how hard it is for Brooke to open up after going through Hell and back with Lucas. She also knows how her roommate and close friend feels about Nathan Scott. She knows about their night together because the next morning Brooke awoke in a panic and called Veronica to come get her before Nathan woke up.

She stayed in LA that entire summer with Brooke, and was there for every tear and every breakdown. Veronica was the one to politely tell Nathan that now was not a good time every time he called. She was the one who gently shut the door in his face when he came back a week early to try and persuade Brooke to speak to him. She was the one who called Logan to remove a drunken, shouting Nathan from their doorway when he refused to leave. For that entire summer, she had been Brookes rock.

So imagine her shock when three weeks into their second year at UCLA. Veronica walked into their shared dorm to see a passed out Nathan Scott in Brookes bed. Brooke had expertly dodged all questions days later and convinced herself that she knew exactly what she was doing. No one seemed to see how utterly stupid the two small town raised brunettes were being. Everyone knew the whole friends with benefit act was bullshit. Brooke should have known first hand the hurt it caused.

When she woke up that morning to the sound of Brooke crying she knew it was because of Nathan. Veronica went through her usual routine like she always did when Brooke was having a 'Nathan moment'. She slipped out from under her covers, went to Brookes side and crawled in beside her. She held her friend while she cried, waited until she knew it was okay to get up and get ready for class, then promised to come back later with ice cream.

Standing at the door with a pint of Cookie Dough and two spoons, Veronica stared down at the unconscious form in her roommates bed. The room was dark but for the small light that peeked through the blinds at the window. She blinked and slowly walked into the room, shutting the door silently behind her and setting the ice cream on the nearest hard surface. She flinched when he stirred, groaning and rolling over underneath Brookes covers and snuggling into her pillows.

Veronica backed up in complete shock upon viewing the face of the beds occupant. Nathan. She shook her head and tried to make sense of what she was witnessing. The sound of movement behind her sent Veronica spinning around, followed by a scream that died out before it had a chance to escape past her lips.

"Brooke, you scared the shit out of me," she scolded, "What the hell is this?" she pointed towards Nathan's snoozing body. "Talk to me Brooke," she whispered.

Brooke sat in the corner of the room wrapped tightly in a thin silk robe, she hugged her knees to her chest and said nothing. She shivered slightly, her face blank and her eyes staring at her bed.

Frightened by her friends almost comatose state, Veronica dropped her book bag to the floor and moved to kneel before Brooke. "Brooke? Honey did…" she paused to lick her lips nervously, "did he hurt you?" she whispered, afraid of the answer.

"No," she answered softly, tears spilling down her cheeks. She held back a sob and looked up into Veronica's eyes with shame. "I called him," she cried, "I called him…"

When four o'clock rolls around, Veronica is seconds from a full out panic. She knows by now that Brooke must have run into Nathan, and though she swore to Veronica that she was done with their complicated and toxic relationship, Veronica knows that every word out Brooke Davis' mouth is a lie. She still feels exactly the same way she did the night she walked into Nathan's room and changed everything.

The sudden jiggling of keys in the doorknob breaks past Veronica's discombobulated thoughts and she quickly pretends to be deeply enthralled by the book in her lap.

"Well, well, long night?" Veronica teases when she witnesses her best friend enter their dorm looking like hell.

She snorts and drops her purse onto her bed before she kicks off her heels and falls face first beside Veronica. "Nathan," she grunts and curls into Veronica's side.

"Oh," Veronica frowns and sets her book down onto the nightstand, "I'm sorry," she says softy, her fingers brushing the hair from Brooke's forehead and combing through its dark smooth length. She pretends not to notice the way Brookes shoulders begin to shake or how the bottom of her shirt is now damp from her tears.

"I'm…just…" Brooke whispers in sullen defeat, "I'm really tired Veronica."

Veronica runs her hand through Brookes hair like a mother and nods, "I know you are honey." She nods again, "I know you are."

---x---

She walks across the quad quickly because she only has fifteen minutes to get to class and she's wearing her favorite pair of black Manolo Blahnik heels. Moving downhill she paces herself as to not lay her ass flat out in front of everyone. She scurries past a cluster of students and towards Kaufman Hall when suddenly from the corner of her eye she sees him.

He's leaning up against the wall a few feet away, looking casual and sexy and is staring at her intensely, she shivers as if she can literally feel his eyes on her. Her heels clack noisily against the concrete as she makes her way over and pretends she doesn't see him.

"Brooke!" He calls out and goes as far as to reach out to grab onto her wrist.

"Don't touch me!" She hisses back and jerks her hand free of his, "God Nathan, can't you just leave me alone?" she shouts at him and proceeds on her way to class.

When she walks inside, her professor has barely started writing the days agenda on the white board, so she hurries towards the back and takes a seat next to her friend. "I'm totally gonna flunk his midterm this semester," she mumbles to the petite blonde beside her.

"And you became a psychic when?" Veronica taps her chin curiously and grins back at Brooke in good humor. "Chill out my friend, momma has it covered." She pulls forth a bright yellow flyer.

Brookes face brightens for a moment with hope before immediately falling into a complete look of horror. "Where did you get this?" she demands of her colleague, her fingers clutching the paper so tight it crunches under the pressure.

"I saw it out in the hall, geez," Veronica frowns and gently pries it from Brooke's clenched fist. "Dude, it was just an idea. I'm not saying you're a dumb ass by suggesting you get a tutor. I mean, I was gonna call her too you know, I just—"

"No," Brooke shakes her head vigorously, "N-no that's not it." She stutters over her words and shoves her things back into her bag. "Can I borrow this?" she says, snatching the flyer from out the blondes hand before she can react.

"Brooke? Where the hell are you going?" Veronica asks worriedly, "Are you alright? Do you need me to call—"

"I'm fine," she plasters on a fake smile, "I just gotta go do something right now. Take notes for me will ya? Thanks girl," she pats her friends shoulder lightly as she squeezes past into the walkway.

She's seconds out the door when she pulls the flyer out to stare down at the large block letters printed across the paper. Blinking away tears she's unaware that Nathan has made his way over and is standing over her shoulder. "I was going to tell you—"

"When?" Brooke whirls around angrily. "Seems to me that she's already settled herself into campus." She waves the flyer in front of his face before she opens it up to read aloud, "Need a Tutor? Call Haley James, 872-1603!"

"Would you stop shouting? You're making a scene here Brooke," he scolds her and shoves the flyer from out his face.

"Have you seen her?" she blurts out, her stomach clenching in anticipation of the answer.

He blinks in hesitation and moves to chase her when she turns to run, "It doesn't mean anything! When Haley called me and said she was in town, I didn't know she meant for good!" he shouts as he follows her fast paced getaway down the quad. "Brooke, I swear to you on all that is holy that I'm over her. This doesn't change anything!"

"It changes everything Nathan!" she stops to scream in his face, "This is why I want you to stay away from me!" she cries in despair. "Don't you get it? It's not because I don't love you, it's because she does!" she holds up the incriminating yellow handout.

He gently presses her hand down to her side and places his hands on either side of her face, "But I don't want Haley, I want you," he whispers, looking straight into her eyes as if he's about to lean down and kiss her.

She chuckles at this, her raspy voice doing things to Nathan's body that he knew they shouldn't given the circumstances. "You know what I find so damn funny?" she shakes her head slowly and pulls his hands from her face, "that's the exact same speech Lucas gave me about Peyton."

She purses her lips and looks toward the sky.

"Now, if only it would rain," she says spitefully before turning to give him her back as she walks away.

---x---

Drip. Drip. Drip.

She watches the dark liquid leak from the coffee machine in the lounge area of her dormitory and sighs. Beside her sits the flyer that she just cant seem to throw away or place out of sight. She shifts her head from her left to her right arm so that she can stare down at it from a better angle.

872-1603.

The number glares up at her like an accusing face, Haley's accusing face. She groans and slides the paper away to the other side of the table. It was easier to be with Nathan when she could pretend Haley never existed. After all, hadn't Haley erased Brooke from her life? She never once returned any of the multitude of calls Brooke made to Haley. She sent presents for Christmas and birthdays and never got a thank you card or a voice message.

When Nathan brought it to Brookes attention that Haley was attending Duke University with Luke and Peyton, the three hanging out like a happy little group, Brooke could barely keep her lunch down. It felt like a punch to her gut finding out Haley had deliberately shut Brooke out after the months Brooke spent beside Haley after the accident. She drove her to every physical therapy appointment, made sure Haley was well taken care of and wiped away every angry tear.

The hurt that Haley's abandonment had caused was easy ammo for Brooke to use if ever the subject of Nathan was brought up. Only Brooke knew she would never in her life use Haley's negligence against her. What Brooke did was beyond betrayal of a friend-- she was Peyton. She was worse. Wasn't she?

To make matters even more unbearable, Brooke couldn't help but feel a little sense of satisfaction at the thought of taking Nathan as her own. Haley had chosen her side, and it wasn't Brookes.

To clear her mind, she continues to stare at the coffee grinds intermixing with the tap water she'd poured into the maker minutes before. Her fingernails lightly tap a rhythmic tattoo along the hand-me-down wooden table.

"You know, they say a watched coffee pot never... uh, oh whatever. Snap out of it Brooke," Veronica huffs and enters the lounge, "don't make me bitch slap you. Get up." She sighs and holds a hand out, wiggling her fingers for emphasis when Brooke fails to accept her help.

"I hate you," Brooke grumbles and takes the olive branch, "and for your information, the coffee was cooking just fine."

Veronica grunts at this, "Yeah, see that's how I know you're a rich girl. Coffee doesn't cook you dumb ass." She chuckles and wraps an arm around the frail girls shoulders.

"Close enough," Brooke mutters grumpily.

---x---

"You still not talking to me?" He says as he slides up next to her in line at the snack shack. "Come on Brooke, you know this is ridiculous," he scoffs and throws down a twenty to pay for both their trays.

"I can pay for my own food," she growls but doesn't go for her wallet, instead she rolls her eyes and carries her things to a nearby table. "I'm meeting someone here," she objects weakly when he sets his things down beside her and straddles the bench.

"So?" he says and grabs one of her fries, "Since when do I care?" he replies through a mouth full of food.

She struggles not to laugh at the childish look upon his face or the smudge of ketchup on the side of his cheek. But she finds that she's unable to hold back the smile that spreads across her face, or stop her instincts from lifting her hand up to rub a napkin over the stain.

She giggles when he scrunches his face up and pretends to pout as she cleans his face and like a child. Then he gives up and sits there perfectly still until she's wiped him clean. "Stop that," she teases and leans into kiss his lips.

"And I do mean this is the most sincerest of ways," Veronica interrupts their moment, "but awwwww!" she adds with spite. Her feelings for Nathan have never been sugar coated.

She hates him.

"I could say the same about you and Logan," Nathan replies snarkily, his hands spanning Brookes waist. "You didn't tell me you had a meeting with the devil," he quips and narrows his gaze at the tiny blonde whirlwind.

Brooke smirks and shrugs her shoulders carelessly, "You didn't tell me Haley was coming back, so I guess we're even." Her smile turns into a scowl as she shoves his hands from her waist and turns to Veronica.

He shakes his head and leans his elbow on the table, "What do you want from me?" he snaps, his anger growing by the second. "Just tell me and I'll do it."

Veronica rolls her eyes and opens her psychology book, she pretends to be preoccupied so that Brooke can feel she has some sort of privacy.

"What I want from you?" Brooke asks incredulously, "What I want is for you to stop trailing my ass everywhere I go. I already have a shadow thank you very much, I don't need a second one!" She growls and darts up from the table, "Ronnie, I'm sorry but can we pick this up another time maybe? I really—"

"Oh hell no!" Veronica jumps up to her feet in a tiff, "You are not about to cancel out on me now. Not because of him," she scoffs furiously.

Nathan only rolls his eyes at Veronica's reaction and stands up ready to follow Brooke wherever she goes. "Honestly Veronica," he snorts down at the fuming blonde, "I didn't know you thought so affectionately of me."

"Nathan," Brooke gives a frustrated sigh and wraps her fingers around his bicep, "shut up," she growls through gritted teeth and pulls him along with her, her eyes casting Veronica an apologetic look before mouthing talk to you later.

"You could at least try to be nice," she chastises him as they walk back towards her dorm room.

"So could Ronnie," Nathan snaps back. "Look, I'm sorry okay?" He stops suddenly to haul her around and up to his chest, his arms wrapping around her small waist to keep her still. "Hey, Brooke, look at me. Hey," he nudges her chin up with a hand, "I want us to be good. I don't want to play games anymore. I want to be together. No one-nighters, no push and pull, no games Brooke. Just us." He squeezes her waist with his arms.

Her head shakes side to side sadly, her eyes welling with tears. "You know we can't do that," she whispers painfully.

His jaw tightens in anger and his shoulders stiffen with tension, "Do you still love him?" He asks softly, "Lucas. Just tell me Brooke, I swear I will not get mad. Just tell me the truth," his eyes plead for the truth, but his heart prays for a lie.

She touches his cheek gently, her eyes boring into his so deep he feels she can see right through him. "Lucas means nothing to me," she whispers softly, "not when I'm with you." She shrugs slightly and withdraws her hand to walk away from him.

"Brooke," he catches her hand and swings her back around to pull her lips to his in a deep passionate kiss that steals the breath from right out her lungs. She places her hands on his chest, fully prepared to shove him off but soon finds that her fingers are curling into his collar, pulling him closer.

A gist of wind picks up, blowing her hair into their kiss, it momentarily wakes her up from the trance Nathan Scotts lips have placed over her. Ready to push him away he grabs onto her waist, holding on for dear life. "Don't," he begs, "this feels right, don't say it doesn't because I know you feel it. I know you do," his grip on her waist tightens, "I know it because you tremble when I touch you," he passes a hand down the side of her face. "You close your eyes when I kiss you," he leans in as if to kiss her but pauses, "and I know it because if you didn't feel the way I feel? You wouldn't still be standing here with me right now."

The knot in her stomach tightens, it shifts and slides up into her throat choking her. Her eyes squeeze shut in an attempt to push past the tears but her resolves crumbles when he presses his forehead to hers, willing her to open her eyes. "Why me?" she asks him, agony written in her voice.

"Because you get me," he glides a finger down the bridge of her nose affectionately, "and I get you." He smiles and kisses her lips tenderly.

---x---

Veronica understands all too well why Brooke refuses to let Nathan inside her head.

God knows she and Logan have been through enough trust and intimacy issues of their own. It's because of these personal experiences that Veronica wants Brooke to know that it's okay to embrace happiness with a man who was in love with her. To let her know that walking around like an empty shell masquerading as a person was plain crazy when you had what Brooke had staring her right in the nose. But Veronica has never told Brooke this, because she also knows that this is not something a person can teach. She doesn't want to alienate her best friend by flaunting something in her face that Brooke does not yet feel worthy of.

"Took you long enough," she sighs at the sight of Brooke's arrival. "I was beginning to wonder if you got lost again," she smirks, shutting her Spanish book loudly.

"Ha, ha," Brooke sticks her tongue out and snatches the waiting silver spoon Veronica holds out for her. "Oh, someone wants to get on my good side. Cookie Dough ice cream, huh?" She winks and digs in eagerly, "So what? You want to borrow my black Prada dress again?"

Veronica rolls her eyes.

"You want my Jimmy Choos, don't you," Brooke grins, enjoying the way she's irritating her roommate immensely. "Fine! You win," Brooke drops her spoon into the bucket dramatically. "You can have my Louis Vuitton hang bag. Just stop looking at me like that," she finishes with a thump to her friend's forehead with her spoon.

"Lucas called," Veronica blurts out, ashamed of herself for telling Brooke after promising herself to take it to her grave. She watches as Brooke slumps back into her seat at their table and looks away.

"He just wanted to know if you ran into Haley yet," she says purposely, deliberately leaving out the part where Lucas said to give Brooke his love, and for her to please call him back because he missed her.

Lucas Scott made Veronica's skin crawl.

"Lucas called?" Brooke whispers as if she cannot comprehend what her roommate is saying, "I can't…" she shakes her head, signaling for Veronica to stop trying to explain. "I can't do this right now," she presses a hand to her stomach and grimaces as if she's about to be sick.

"Do you still love him?" Veronica asks, not quite knowing why she's asked but finding that she's interested to know the answer.

Brooke shakes her head, "No."

But her words sound forced.

"Brooke," Veronica warns, raising an eyebrow.

"I don't!" she screams, offended that Veronica would dare to challenge her answer. "I miss what we had, yes, okay I'll admit that. But I don't love him, not anymore," she shakes her head, subdued by harsh realizations.

"I'm in love with…" she bites her bottom lip in despair.

"Nathan," Veronica finishes and reaches across the table to take her friends hand. "It's okay Brooke. It's okay to be happy, you deserve it."

"I wish I could believe you," Brooke whispers and stands from the table to lay down on her bed and cry.

---x---

Push. Pull. Scream. Fuck.

These are the words that describe her dysfunctional relationship with a boy she won't admit to caring for. She's agreed to meet him for lunch because she plans on telling him it's over. She can't keep pretending anymore.

Does she want him?

Oh dear god, does she want him.

But she won't do that to Haley. Even though Haley's been in L.A. for nearly three weeks without contacting Brooke, she still refuses to claim Nathan as her own.

She smiles when he approaches, her instincts betraying her intentions and making her cringe. The quad is full of students, some taking a much needed break, and some on their way to class. Brooke's never quite been able to envision herself as one of them, and it's through this perspective that she plays the big picture in her mind.

There's her, and there's them.

Brooke, and… everyone else.

Her thoughts are interrupted when he sets down a tray of assorted goodies onto the table. His smile beaming down at her happily, making her want to cry because suddenly she's not sure she's strong enough to tell him they're done. Because when Nathan's around?

There's her and Nathan, and there's them.

"I snagged you the last chicken caesar. Good lord are you women and your salads crazy. I almost lost an eye—baby?" he stops talking to hurry around the table and sit down beside her. "What is it?" he asks urgently, his thumb brushing away her tears.

"I can't…" She blurts and stops, "Nathan, I…" She coves her mouth with a hand to hold back a sob. She can't do this, she can't tell him to go when she wants so badly for him to stay and tell her he loves her.

"I have to go." She jumps up from the table and hurries off for the restroom where she plans on hurling up her breakfast from hours ago.

"Brooke!" He calls after her, shocked and confused and unable to jump up in time to follow her before she's quickly lost in the crowds.

Halfway to the nearest restroom, Brooke runs into someone that she half-hoped she would never run into again. UCLA was a huge campus, so she had been reasonably sure that it would be effortless to avoid her. But yet, there she stood, hair still long and blonde, lips still covered in cherry chapstick rather then lip gloss.

Still flawless. A natural beauty.

"Brooke, oh my god!" Haley James, formerly Scott, beams up at Brooke with a gasp. "I was wondering when we'd run into each other." She steps forward to embrace Brooke, who backs away with a quickness.

"Uhhh…" Haley pauses in her movements, clearly feeling rejected.

"What did you expect?" Brooke snaps before she can stop herself, "That you could cut me out of your life and bring me back in when you felt like it?" She grits her teeth and bites her tongue to keep from lashing out further.

"Brooke, look I'm so sorry. I was going through a tough time and—"

Brooke snorts with disbelief. "Please spare me your pathetic excuses Haley. I've heard enough of them to last a lifetime from your two best friends back in Tree Hill. Trust me, I've heard them all." Her laugh is pungent. "I just never expected to hear them from you," she shrugs.

Haley feels her stomach drop at this, but does nothing to deny Brooke's words.

"I really am sorry," she whispers truthfully instead.

"And I'm sure you are," Brooke agrees bitterly, "But, reality check? That doesn't take back what you did or how it made me feel." Her voice cracks with this admission, and she mentally kicks herself for showing Haley how much she's affected her.

"I don't know what to say except that I'm so, so sorry. You're my best friend Brooke and I know I screwed up. God, I screwed up big time but you have to believe that there wasn't a day that went by where I didn't want to call you," Haley begins to cry.

"You had two and a half years to call me Haley," Brooke snaps, and is horrified by her own tears that begin to spill over blinking eyelashes. "But you didn't. Not once. I sent you cards and gifts and called you for every birthday, holiday and special occasion. You didn't pick up, not once."

"What can I do to fix this? Tell me Brooke, just tell me and I'll do it. You have to forgive me, I've missed you so much and I am so ashamed of what I did." She cries harder, her chest feeling as if it's going to implode.

"That's the thing Hales," Brooke shrugs sullenly, "I shouldn't have to tell you anything." She wipes angrily under her eyes to smudge away her mascara before it can slide down her cheeks. "You see, I'm not as forgiving as Nathan. You can't come back and expect to pick up where we left off. I'm not built that way."

"Nathan has not forgiven me," Haley whispers, looking away and back again to meet Brooke's stare. "But he will," she continues in an even tone with a slight edge in her voice. Her eyes stare back at Brooke with a slight challenge. She knows.

"He told you," Brooke nods resignedly, already knowing the answer. Damn Nathan and his moral center.

"He told me," Haley confirms Brooke's suspicions. "And I'm okay with it, because in a way I guess I deserve it. I abandoned both of you, it's only natural you two would cling to the first thing you two shared that connected you to me." She shrugs, "But I'm here now, so please… Just back off, okay? Because Nathan is going to forgive me and we're going to be together again. I love him and he loves me. It's as simple as that, and I'm sorry that Lucas didn't choose you but that doesn't mean you can just move onto the next Scott in line."

Brooke cannot believe what she's hearing, because she's never heard Haley speak in such an arrogant tone before. She's not even quite sure how to respond, "Lucas chose Peyton because I told him to. I even left Tree Hill to make it easier for him to go crawling up to her door—"

"Lucas loves Peyton Brooke, get over it." Haley's words sting just as they were meant to. "They're engaged you know."

"I know," Brooke says, marveling in the way Haley's eyes widen in surprise. "I know, because he called me the night before, begging for me to give him one more chance. He calls me all the time you know, sometimes he's drunk and all he does is cry and tell me how much he still loves me. Sometimes he's sober and he spends most of our conversation apologizing and being nostalgic. But every call ends the same."

"He wishes she was you," Haley whispers, her eyes cast down to the ground.

Brooke acknowledges this wearily. "A part of me will always love him, will always wonder what could have been. Just like I know Nathan still loves you," she says, swallowing the lump in her throat. "But those ships have sailed Haley, I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what?" Haley questions hollowly. "Being a bigger whore than Peyton?"

Her chest tightens, but Brooke knew this was coming. "I didn't do anything wrong," she denies tightly, and for the first time ever, she believes it.

"He's my husband Brooke!" Haley shouts out angry, "He doesn't want you. You were just a distraction until I came back to him, which I have. I was wrong to push him away, and I was wrong to push you away. But so help me Brooke Davis, if you try to get between me and Nathan…"

"What?" Brooke curls her lip and urges her to finish her sentence, "If I get in your way, what?"

"Just don't," Haley warns hotly. "Nathan and I belong together, he knows that. You're going to get hurt Brooke. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. He doesn't love you the way he loves me."

"You're right, he doesn't love me the way he loves you. Because he's over you Haley, he loves you but he's not in love with you. Not anymore."

"You're a liar!" Haley screams, throwing her finger in Brooke's face.

"If I'm such a liar, than why are you so upset?" Brooke taunts, willing herself not to reach up and break off the hand that was currently being waved in her face.

"I'm trying so hard not to say things I may regret in the future Brooke. I really am, but if you do not back off and stay away from Nathan, then I will tell Nathan about you and Lucas."

"What about me and Lucas? He knows I still talk to him. He knows because every time Lucas calls, Nathan comes over to help me forget him," she replies with deliberate malice.

She watches Haley pale at the drop of this bombshell, and reminds herself that she is justified in her spite. That Haley cast them aside long before Brooke and Nathan had found their way to each other. Haley was the one who had put away them away in a drawer, as if they were paper dolls to be removed at a later play date.

Haley threw down the gauntlets first.

But Haley also throws curve balls of her own.

"Does he know about last July when Lucas flew down here and you two spent the night together?"

Brooke's posture stiffens, shocked to find that Haley knows about that night. It was just one night-- the last time Brooke ever thought about Lucas in that way.

Why?

Because after they were done, she cried herself to sleep and spent the next day scrubbing him off her body until her skin was raw.

"You know Haley, that's the beauty of mine and Nathan's relationship. We don't keep secrets," she answers coolly, pushing down the lingering voice in her head reminding her of the fact that Nathan kept Haley's arrival a secret from her. "He knows about that night, and he spent several hours convincing me why he's the better Scott for me."

Smack!

Brookes head flies to the right after Haley's palm connects with the left side of her face. Brooke gently runs her throbbing cheek and chuckles. "Thanks for that," she nods, licking the corner of her mouth where Haley's wedding ring has sliced her.

"Now I don't feel so guilty anymore," Brooke spits a wad out blood out on the ground. "Go back to Tree Hill Haley, no one wants you here. I'm sorry things ended up this way but you only have yourself to blame. Nathan's mine now; feel free to try and slide your way in-between us as much as you want. It won't make a bit of difference."

"I beg to differ," Haley snorts, eyes flashing angrily. "Back the hell off, Brooke. I'm seriously warning you. This is one game you are sure to lose."

"Nathan's not a game, Haley. Geez," Brooke scowls with disgust.

"I never would have thought you could betray me this way," Haley shakes her head, staring incredulously at the girl staring back at her.

"Funny, I was just about to say the same thing to you. Have fun being Peyton's maid of honor," Brooke dismisses Haley with one last sardonic smile thrown her way. "Now, if you'll excuse me? I'm going to go throw up now."

She walks off to do just that.

---x---

Veronica minces no words on the sight of Brooke's arrival. "You look like shit," she states matter-of-factly. She wrinkles her nose before her eyes widen comically. "And? You smell like vomit. Ew, Brooke. What the hell?"

Brooke ignores her and pulls her shirt up over her head, tossing it down to the floor. She then unzips her jeans and kicks them off before reaching for her robe and shower sandals.

"Davis, hey!" Veronica snaps her fingers in her roommates face, "Brooke!"

Veronica is ignored. Brooke brushes past her with her bathroom necessities in hand and leaves the room without a word. Fed up with her friend's zombie-like state, she huffs and heads out in search of the two people that she's wanted to share a few words with since she first met Brooke.

She starts with Haley. She has seen the girl more than once hanging around the East wing of their dorms, which was nearby the basketball gymnasium. And sure enough, Veronica spots the equally petite blonde lounging at a bench in front of the exits.

Pay dirt.

Haley is pretending to study, but her eyes betray her façade by darting up towards the doors every so often. Veronica smirks at the transparency of the girl.

She's waiting for Nathan. Veronica looks down at her watch and smiles because she realizes she's about to kill two birds with one stone. Nathan's practice doesn't get out for another 30 minutes, which gives her plenty of time to bitch out Haley and prepare herself for round two with Nathan.

The mental image of Brooke's emotional state for the past two years is enough fuel to fire Veronica for days. All she needs right now is an hour. Thirty minutes for Haley and thirty for Nathan. Simple as that.

"Excuse me," Veronica calls out as she approaches Haley at the bench, "are you Haley? Haley James?"

"James-Scott," the blonde corrects sweetly. "Can I help you with something?"

Veronica clenches her fist, fighting the urge to slap the face off the snooty girl in front of her. Instead, she closes her eyes and counts to ten. "James," she mutters back finally.

"James-Scott. My husband is—"

"Let's cut the shit, shall we?" Veronica interrupts viciously, blue eyes narrowing as her anger boils over. "I'm Veronica Mars, Brooke's roommate. I know the story, and I know you and Nathan are divorced. So technically, you're James. If you'd like to live in denial, that's your problem. I'm only here because I want you leave."

"Excuse me?" Haley scoffs. "I don't even know you."

"You don't need to know me. In fact, you never will. But you heard me correctly the first time. I want you gone. Out of California to be exact, but I'm willing to meet you half way and just say leave campus," she shrugs nonchalantly. "Either one is good, just do it as soon as possible. You're tearing Brooke apart, hasn't she been through enough? Now you want to come back and try to take away the only person who's cared about her in a long time?"

"What Nathan and I have is—"

"Over," says Veronica firmly, blonde curls shaking with emphasis . "The word you're looking for is over. You're chasing something that doesn't exist anymore. Nathan loves Brooke. And she loves him; your being here is just screwing things up. It's taken Brooke ages finally to open up, and I will by no means have you jeopardize that with your selfish ways. Slowly but surely I can see her getting closer to telling Nathan the truth and telling Lucas where to shove it. If you cared about her at all, you'd back off."

"I don't have to do anything. Nathan is my husband. Brooke, more than anyone, should know better than to try and steal something that is not hers!" Haley jumps up to her feet heatedly, no longer trying to contain her words.

"You make me ill," Veronica scowls, looking the other girl up and down disdainfully. "Has Nathan even given you the slightest impression that he's into you like that? In fact, I'm willing to bet he's told you exactly how he feels about Brooke." She crosses her arms and gives Haley a pointed look.

"Nathan's not one to leave loose ends," Veronica finishes cuttingly, her unspoken words ringing loud and clear. Unlike you, bitch.

It's funny. Veronica has wanted nothing more than for the relationship between Brooke and Nathan to meets its end, so that things could go back to normal. So Brooke could finally reach the level of contentment and peace that she so richly deserved to find.

But standing here, in front of Haley, Veronica now understands how perfect the two are for each other. It's as if she has suddenly gained a missing piece of the puzzle. They're were so wrong they were right, so different yet so much alike. Two completely separate entities that only made sense when they were together.

Both Brooke and Nathan have both been burned by the ones they trusted most, and both had given their significant others a second chance only to have it blow up in their faces. No wonder they never opened up to each other.

They were scared shitless. Physical contact was all they knew, it was the only 'safe' way they had to show how they cared.

It was so twisted, and yet it made perfect sense to Veronica Mars.

"Nathan is going to walk out of those doors in twenty minutes," Veronica says calmly, "And when that happens you will not be here."

Haley stands her ground. "Like hell I won't.

"Look chick, I have no problem with kicking your face in. I'm about the same size as you and I'm in excellent psychical shape. No amount of Tae Bo classes is going to help you out when I've been enrolled in kick boxing for going on two years now. And if all else fails, I have a pretty sweet taser in my bag of tricks. I know they say violence is not the answer, but Buddha so help me, I will kick your ass. And damn if it don't feel good when you know the person's ass you're pounding into the ground deserves it." Her lips twitch as she fights back a smirk, "Plus? I can make your life a living hell. I know people, high… low… wherever I need them, they'll be there. Can you say the same for yourself?"

For once, Haley begins to look worried. She audibly gulps and backs up a step or two. "Even if I leave right now, I'm not going anywhere. Nathan and I belong together. Nothing you say or do is going to change that."

Veronica laughs loudly at this. "If it were really meant to be, don't you think you two would still be together? Tell me Haley, how does it feel to be a backstabbing bitch?"

"I don't know, why don't you ask Brooke?" Haley glares at her, pursing her lips bitchily.

"Wrong answer," Veronica steps up into Haley's face. "You wanna say that again, tutor girl?" she warns, flaunting her Tree Hill knowledge with the use of the other girl's nickname. "Cause from where I'm standing? The only manipulative backstabbing bitch I see is you. Brooke never once went to bed without crying from regret. She's fought her feelings for Nathan for so long that she hates herself for even allowing herself to like him, let alone love him. She was there for you when you needed her most. Where the hell were you when she needed you?"

Haley swallows the ball in her throat and looks away in shame.

"Oh, and I won't even get into the fact that you chose to become best buddies with the two people who royally screwed Brooke over in more ways than one. The two most selfish people I've ever heard of besides you." Veronica feels she could go on forever listing Haley's wrong doings.

"She left!" Haley screamed out suddenly, tears falling down her cheeks. "She left me in Tree Hill. She was all I had and she left! She knew how badly I wanted to go to Stanford, she knew all about my hopes and my dreams and instead she turns around and leaves me to go after those dreams for herself! I was the one stuck back in Tree Hill, divorced and alone. I turned down my Stanford acceptance, for what? For a guy who chose to leave me too? If I clung to Lucas and Peyton it was only because they were the only ones who were there."

"That's bullshit," Veronica rolls her eyes, unconvinced by Haley's tearful confession. "And you know it. Look, believe whatever helps you sleep at night. All I care about is my best friend," she shrugs. "You don't even want Nathan, do you? You just want him because you're hoping that being with him will help you figure out what's missing from your life. It's all about you, Haley James."

"That's not true," Haley whispers, her eyes telling another story entirely.

"Oh, it's true," Veronica nods and glances down at her watch. "You have five minutes to get the hell out of my face." She holds her wrist up. "Four minutes and fifty seconds… forty eight seconds… Forty six…"

"Tada," Veronica murmurs as Haley grabs her things and leaves without further protest.

As much as she hates to admit it, Veronica is right. Haley doesn't want Nathan because she's still in love with him. She wants him because she doesn't know what she wants. But, what she does know? She doesn't want Brooke to have him. She'll walk away for now, but she wasn't going anywhere far from campus.

Veronica isn't stupid. She knows this isn't the end of Haley's wrath and she's fully prepared to be Brooke's full metal jacket. She'll take the hits that she knows Brooke can't handle, and she'll be damned if she will allow Haley to mess with Nathan's mind.

Veronica sighs and watches Haley's figure get smaller and smaller as she disappears into the distance. The doors behind her slam open and she turns to search for Nathan. He's the fifth one out the door and he spots her immediately, surprise clearly written across his handsome face. He walks over to her instantly.

"Hey Ronnie, what are you doing here? Looking for Wallace?" he runs a hand over his recently washed hair. "You look pissed," he notes, sending a look over her shoulder warily. "Logan isn't going to sucker punch me in the stomach and drag me off to the unknown again, is he?" he asks, recalling the last time Veronica had looked so intense.

"Nah, I've got that penciled in for later." She grins up at him. "I actually just spent a little over a half hour chewing out your ex-wife. She and Brooke got into it today. So don't be surprised if Brooke ignores you for a couple days," she informs him.

Nathan feels his muscles tighten at the thought of the two girls knocking heads. "Is she alright?" he asks worriedly. "Should I come over and—"

"No." Veronica stops him from continuing. "Give her time. She'll come to you when she's ready."

Nathan is quiet for a moment. "Don't take this the wrong way, but why are you telling me this?" Nathan's brow rises in confusion. "I thought that you despised me."

"I do," the feisty blonde agrees with a small laugh, "but Brooke doesn't. For whatever odd reason, she's in love with you. You make her miserable, but only because she won't allow herself to admit that she wants to be with you. Once she gets over her guilt…" she shrugs, "you two are good for each other." She sighs, "Just don't be stupid. You break her heart and I'll break your face." She grins, "Side note? Haley is hell bent of winning you back. But you knew that, you're not as stupid as you look." She pats his chest mockingly.

He chuckles at this. "She'll get over it. She knows how I feel about Brooke. In fact, I told her the first night she came into town."

Veronica nods in satisfaction. Vindication! "Good, now prove it," Veronica says, turning to leave. "Oh, and Nathan?" she stops and spins around, "Brooke only talks to Lucas because she feels sorry for him, not because she still loves him. She feels responsible for him in some severely twisted way, like his indecision is her fault. She loves you Nathan." With that, she leaves.

---x---

He's lying on the bed when the persistent knock at his door interrupts his studying. He casts the door a baleful look before abandoning his text book in search of a shirt to throw on, but the knocking only becomes more violent with every second he waits to answer. A cursory glance at the small alarm clock by his bed tells him that its nearly midnight. His visitor could only be one of three people:

A. His roommate, who he knows is staying the night at his girlfriends.

B. Haley, who has always suffered from insomnia.

C. Or Brooke.

Without another thought, he swings his door open, ready to bite out his annoyance at whoever is on the other side. The words die out in his throat upon seeing the look of determination in her eyes.

"Brooke? What's wron—"

Her hand darts out to stop him from continuing. "Don't talk," she snaps in a tone laced with cold fire. She raises her hands to his chest, only to push him back into his room before slamming the door shut with her foot in a deliberate motion. He opens his mouth to speak, but the words are taken from him as Brooke shoves him backwards onto his bed.

"No words," she rasps out, her eyes glittering with mayhem and lust. He can see the destruction on her mind, a plan to systematically destroy and all willpower that he has formed against her charms. He begins to feel as if he's become her prey.

"Brooke, what the hell is going on?" his gruff tone does nothing to hide his bewilderment, nor does it sway her to stop her seduction. She steps forward to stand between his spread legs, all the while eyeing him with a carnal hunger that sends a lick of fire down his spine. He tries to sit up and barely makes it to his elbows before she shakes her head in the negative.

They stare into each others eyes for a brief silent moment. To Nathan, it seems that it's a battle, a fight for domination between two souls. He knows that he is fighting a lost cause long before she grabs the ends of her sweater and pulls it over her head. His eyes widen in surprise at her boldness but says nothing, and Brooke takes his silence as approval. Her shirt follows her sweater to the floor, and he takes a moment to appreciate the beauty that is Brooke Scott in a simple black cotton bra.

"Brooke—" he stops when her hands move to her jeans, her fingers gently sliding down the zipper. Her pants fall to her ankles to reveal the matching Victoria Secret set he loves and knows oh so well. His nether region tightens in anticipation, and not for the first time does he curse his libido for bending to the will of Brooke Davis so easily.

She moves forward to lean over him, her hands crawling up his bare chest so she can straddle his lap. "This isn't about love," her breathless voice sends tingles down his spine. "This isn't about you and me," she kneels over him, her lips centimeters from his own, "what this is, is simple," she says as she reaches behind her back to unsnap her bra, tossing it in an effortless motion over her shoulder. She stares into his face, her eyes searching his fiercely.

He reaches up to touch her cheek tenderly, because she is so beautiful he feels he can not help himself. But the gentle gesture is quickly taken out of context when she slides one of his fingers in and out of her mouth. He hardens immediately beneath her and closes his eyes to try and contain himself.

She presses herself into his enticed lower half and with a small moan she bends over him again so that their mouths are a breath apart. "This is about ownership," she says, grabbing his face in her hands. "And you?" she looks him up and down, her mouth twisted in a mockery of a smile.

"You are mine," she whispers harshly, and it is then that Nathan viciously attacks her mouth with his.

In a heartbeat, he has maneuvered her onto her back, one hand exploring her curves and the other pulling the silk cloth down her thighs inch by pleasurable inch. She sighs into him agreeably, her pelvis arching up to rub against him. His hand runs the smooth expanse of skin below her belly button before locating the soft folds that hid his true destination. He slides a curved finger smoothly into her and swiftly makes a come-hither motion. When the rough pad of his finger strikes her sensitive nub, she bucks wildly, and Nathan knows he has her. He continues to stroke her clit with a building momentum, enjoying the cries and whimpers that he elicits from her. She is on the verge and he knows it, which makes it all the more cruel when he abruptly halts his motions.

He knows he should pause to reach into the drawer beside his bed for a foil wrapped rubber. He knows this, and yet he finds himself reaching into his thin flannel pajama pants to pull himself out to settle over her hot and wet entrance.

She moans again, her breathing becoming more ragged from excitement with each second that passes. "Nathan, please," she begs him, anticipation and need lighting her eyes. Even in the dim light from the small lamp in the corner of the room, he sees the desperation in her expression. He knows that tonight will mean something huge come morning. He knows that this will be a turning point, a catalyst in some big picture that will define himself and Brooke.

But right now? He just wants to fuck her like nobody has ever done before.

Tonight he is claiming Brooke Davis.

He'd like to say that he hesitated before plunging into her, that he thought of the consequences before diving into the unknown. But he's done this so many times before with Brooke. The unknown. She was anything but predictable. Every touch, every kiss, every fuck meant something different. But tonight was not just a random night spent rolling around hot, sweaty and naked.

She withers beneath him, still waiting for him to claim her, he knows he has the advantage over her. No matter the circumstances in which she came to him, he has the upper hand, the ball is in his court. "So," he says softly in her ear, "I'm yours, huh Davis?" he whispers and nips her earlobe.

She gasps and arches up hoping for him to dive in and fuck her raw. She wants it hard, fast and violent. She wants to drip all over him, she wants to melt into his soul, become one. She nods, "Yes," she pants.

He teases her then, his fingers exploring her walls and enjoying the way her head falls back into his pillow and her hips buck into his hand. "Tell me you want it," he demands, teasingly hovering over her entrance.

"I want it," she cries desperately. "I want it Nathan!" she almost sobs in with her need, her nails digging into his shoulder blades.

He grunts into her neck, his control reaching its end, he bites his lip to calm his nerves so that he can buy himself time. "Say you need me," he commands her to obey, his fingertips teasing her further. "Say you want me."

She wiggles and nods her head vigorously, "I want you," she shouts, "I need you, oh god Nathan, please." She begs him, her voice hoarse and full of built up emotion. "Nathan…" she pants and pulls his lips to hers, her tongue exploring his mouth with great detail. She tastes of strawberries and cherry lip gloss. He shudders over her and takes a deep breath.

"I love you Brooke," he whispers and drives himself into her, pushing until she cries his name and pulling out to the tip before thrusting back inside to the hilt. He groans lustfully when she locks her ankles around his waist to pull him inside of her deeper. Its as if she cant get enough of him, she can feel him in her stomach, she grits her teeth and hisses in beautiful pain.

She can feel his length each time he pulls out and the room spins wonderfully when he rams back inside. She cries his name as she nears her end, her tears sliding down her cheeks to add salt to their passionate embrace. His mouth devours her, and she eagerly invites it.

"Say you're mine," he says, feeling his body tighten up, ready for the ultimate release. He has to hear her say it, that he's always been hers. Since the day he ran into at that frat party he's been hers. Never letting go to that small ounce of hope in his gut. Fate had brought them together, it would never drive them apart. This night, this moment, this love making, was meant to be.

Her fingernails run down his back, her moans becoming more persistent. She arcs up into him, meeting him thrust for thrust. "I'm yours," she whimpers, "I'm all yours Nathan." Her arms tighten around his shoulders.

Sweet love, their night together would be his utopia. With one final thrust he collapses over her, a primal growl escaping past his lips as he groans into her neck. His body shudders over her, every last inch of him emptying into her. She holds onto him as if she never plans to let go, pulling him closer so that they can ride the waves of their pleasure together.

"I love you," she whispers into his ear, making him want to come a second time. He turns over so that she's on top of him, his arms circling around her. Satisfied, he closes his eyes and breathes her in, her scent everywhere and all over him. He is content, claimed. He's dominated her, bending her to his every will and making her cry for more.

But the ultimate test would not take place until morning. If she is still beside him or in his arms, he'll know she's his. If not, he feels they'll be doomed to forever replay their sadistic and twisted game of cat and mouse.

---x---

The knocking at his door wakes him from a deep, peaceful slumber. He stretches languidly and rolls his eyes towards the alarm clock to see the time, grimacing when he sees how early it is. He pulls the back the covers on his bed to get up, and it's only then he notices the second body on his mattress. The events of the previous night come rushing back to him in waves, and Nathan is momentarily unable to come to terms with the significance of the brunette in his bed. He is overcome with the strength and range of emotions running through his mind. Shock, relief, gratitude, love and a little bit of his old friend fear collide to make one happy Nathan He wants nothing more than to lay back down on the bed and wrap himself around Brooke, but for now, he will settle with placing a tender kiss to her shoulder before getting up to answer the door.

She'll be here when you get back, he smiles to himself in wonderment.

"Wallace, dude, I told you I wasn't gonna run with you today 'cause I have to study…." His voice trails off when he looks down at the person who is not Wallace. "Haley?"

"Hey Nathan," she smiles and looks up at him. "I brought you Starbucks," she holds up his cup enticingly.

"Haley, now is really not a good time." He steps into the door closer to block Haley's view of his bedroom. "My girlfriend's here," he says pointedly, sending a deliberate look over his shoulder for good measure.

Haley flinches at the word but does not back down, "Well… okay. Then do you want to meet later for lunch? There's no rule that says we can't be friends, right?"

He shakes his head. "I don't think that's such a good idea right now Haley. I still care for you, I always will, but I'm in love with someone else. I'm sorry, but being around you right now would make her uncomfortable. I don't want her to doubt me in any way possible, so if that means staying away from you for a little while? Then I'm gonna do it," he continues seriously, "I don't say this to hurt you Haley, but you and I both know that what we had is over. There's no use trying again when we know the outcome."

"It's Brooke in there, right?" Haley sighs and runs a hand through her long soft hair. "Okay," she shrugs and smiles up at him, "she wins."

"This isn't about winning or losing Haley. This is about people's feelings. I love Brooke, simple as that. I don't regret anything that's happened between you and me because I loved you and you helped make me who I am today. I will never stop caring about you because you will always be important to me, just like I know Lucas will always be important to Brooke. I know it, and I accept it and I'm not threatened by it."

"Then why do you have to stay away from me?" Haley cries, tears finally spilling down her cheeks.

"Because Hales," Nathan frowns in dismay, "just because I'm okay with Brooke talking to Lucas, doesn't mean she'll be okay with me talking to you. For one, Lucas lives across the country, and you're right here."

"But I love you," Haley whispers, raising a shaking hand to wipe away a stray tear.

"No, you don't Haley," Nathan shakes his head, "you're going to realize that one day when you meet the guy for you. I'm not that guy Hales. I'm sorry, but I can't and won't be that guy ever again." He backs up into his door, "I have to go. When I'm sure Brooke is ready, I'll give you a call. Okay?"

She nods. "Nathan?" she says, reaching a hand up to stop him. He pauses and looks down at her, "Take care of her, okay?"

He nods, "I will. Bye Haley."

"Goodbye Nathan," she twists her lips sadly, sending one last look over her shoulder before turning and walking away.

Nathan shuts the door and looks down at Brooke, "How long have you been up?"

"Long enough," she shrugs and reaches out her arms for him to come to her. He obliges willingly, reveling in the way their bodies melded together perfectly.

"I love you," she whispers in his ear when he slides into bed, his body pressed into hers. "I'm just sorry it took me so long to admit it."

"I love you too, Davis," he smiles and kisses her soundly. "I would have waited forever for you."

"Good thing you didn't have to, eh Scott?" she grins into his mouth before pulling back to cup his face tenderly. He stares into her eyes, and marvels at the beautiful woman in his arms. His prize, his joy, his Brooke.

"Yeah," he nods his head slightly before capturing her lips with his own. Some would say they didn't mix, because they were two sides of the same coin. But Nathan didn't care, he loves not knowing what will happen next, as long as she is here. Beside him, beneath him, anywhere around him. Eyes closing he breathes a sigh of relief and slides over her warm soft body so perfectly.

Like oil and water.