Author- Emily-Grace Mendes (brookebynature)
Disclaimer- I don't own any of the characters, but for once I am proud to say that I thought of this title all by myself! Hard to believe I know, since I seem to steal every title from songs, but there you go...
A/N- I've had this idea for a while now, so I've waited until one of my old stories was complete before I began, and this is what I've come up with. For probably the first time ever, I've written the end of this story, so I do know (roughly) what's going to happen, although I'm always open to suggestions :)
Hope you enjoy, and don't forget to review at the end!
Bubblegum Cherry Pie
Chapter 1: Blue Raspberries
His room has been painted the same dull blue for as long as Lucas Scott can remember. He's always liked the colour, whether it was cars, clothes or indeed the colour of a wall, the colour blue had always struck him as eye-catching, noticeable, interesting. But he's stared at these walls for too long, and the appeal of the colour blue is beginning to wear off.
He can hear everything in that room, from the conversations his Mother and Uncle Keith have about him not focusing on his school work enough, to the drunken snoring of the two of them after yet another night dining out at some over-priced restaurant. Then there are also the (unfortunate) times that Lucas can hear the grunting and moans of pleasure from the room next door (his parents' room non-the-less) that he tries his best to block out by reciting poetry or a section of a John Steinbeck novel silently to himself.
Conversation isn't something that takes place regularly for Lucas: a conversation with Karen (his Mom) usually results in her asking him to speak a little less, and study a little bit more, and conversations with Keith (his Uncle who is, in a fashion, trying to do his best by his nephew) usually result in Lucas feeling even more pressure to gain straight A's.
There is one place he can go though, the place he needs to be able to escape his own thoughts and schoolwork. It's Lucas' Haven, his safe place, and right now, he's hugely grateful that both his Mom and Uncle haven't yet discovered the River Court.
He does have friends (of sorts) there, people his own age he can talk to about something other than the French Revolution, or why the Tectonic Plates cause earthquakes.
Basketball was, and is, the one part of Lucas' existence that he enjoys, and the company of the local players Skillz, Junk, Fergie and Mouth (all nicknames of course-Lucas isn't even sure he knows their real names) give him an outlet for whatever it is that he channels into his schoolwork during the week.
"They having try-outs for the school team Luke." Skillz tells him, just as he's about to shoot a three-pointer. The ball misses of course, bouncing its way to the grass at the side of the concrete court.
"They having try-outs, and you go and miss."
"Why'd you tell me?" Lucas asks, retrieving the ball without a backwards glance to the boy his own age, waiting for a better response than he was given. School is a place that Lucas hates, mainly because he feels like he doesn't fit in. The truth is, that he fits in so much, he's barely noticed among his peers, perhaps another reason why Tree Hill High is never high on his topics-to-discuss-with-the-guys list.
"Cos you good. And we need someone who can actually score."
"You have the best points score in the state." Lucas replies plainly. "It doesn't seem like you need me."
"Roberts transferred to some school in Charlotte. We're one down."
"So you're asking me?"
"I just thought you might be interested man." Skillz says, raising his hands in defence as he wonders whether the opportunity is just another lost cause on the boy he's never understood. "And you the best we have round here."
"I thought we were tight man!" Fergie shous from the picnic bench, laughing a little as Lucas squints his eyes, releasing the ball in professional-mode, trying his best not to act like he's interested.
"So what'dya say Luke? Try-outs tomorrow."
Bouncing the ball a final time for that night, Lucas aims once more at the backboard, a blur of orange bouncing off before dropping straight through the net.
Round about this time of night, when Lucas lays in bed, starched white sheets wrapped tightly around his naked torso, he recites some form of literature to himself (silently of course) in order to block out whatever he can hear from the room next door. He's tried too many times to count tonight, and nothing has worked to keep his mind off of basketball, not even reading 'The Winter Of Our Discontent' has been enough to suffice. Try-outs are tomorrow, and Lucas has to fight desperately against himself to keep from believing that he actually wants to attend.
And when morning finally comes, after too many hours of consciousness, Lucas can think of nothing but basketball. His parents weren't going to like it if they found out, in fact, he'd most definitely be grounded. But that's the beauty of only seconds of conversation in the place he calls home: they would never even ask.
The gymnasium is too noisy when Lucas enters, the harsh reality of the reason why he's here hitting him like a slap across the face. The lighting seems brighter than it has done any time he's ever attended gym class, and the uniforms of the cheerleaders seem shorter, more provocative, even less like clothing a girl he could ever like enough to date would wear. New situations were never Lucas' strong point, and adjusting the bag on his shoulder containing the basketball jersey and shorts, he turns, his posture untidy as he begins in haste to exit the gymnasium he's barely spent a minute surveying.
"Leaving so soon?"
The raspy voice belongs to someone Lucas hasn't ever talked to before, and as he cranes his head to see, the body he's met with is more than an unfamiliar sight.
"I never even got a chance to ask your name."
Her eyes are brown, twinkling, her dimples etched into the side of her face like they've been sculpted by some kind of artistic genius.
His voice is shaky and uneven, a perfect match for the way he's feeling right now as the girl before him widenes her smile just that little bit more.
"So you're quitting before you've even given this a shot?" She cocks an eyebrow, her appeal broadening just as a very nervous Lucas shakes his head.
"No I um…was just going to look around first."
"Yeah, and I'm not a cheerleader." She replies, rolling her eyes at the clueless boy before her. She's no comedian and Lucas doesn't see the funny side, or whether this is even a joke. He's definitely more nervous than any other guy she's ever met, and the outfit he's wearing clearly tells her that he isn't in the popular circle-the one she'd become a part of many years ago. But he's kind of cute, in a book-ish sort of way, and there's something about his eyes…
"It was a joke." She giggles a little. "It was meant to make you less serious."
His examination of her body is interrupted by the coach, Whitey, who calls all guys to the middle of the court, and orders all cheerleaders to resume their practise somewhere they wouldn't be able to distract the prospective players. His instructions are probably falling on deaf ears, Lucas figures. He's not going to be able to think of anything other than this girl anyway.
"When I call your name, dribble to the three-point line and then shoot." He instructs, a clipboard in one hand, whistle poised before his lips in the other.
Lucas can't remember a time when his heart had banged in his ears so loudly, other than when he'd returned home from his first and only ever detention, for failing to hand in the English assignment he'd lost somewhere along the way to school.
It's his turn, and taking the ball, he casts a glance to the stunning brunette he'd been chatting to only moments ago. She gives him a small smile of encouragement, ruffling her pom poms as Lucas turns his attentions back to the ball.
It misses, and only quick thinking saves him from being laughed out of the gymnasium doors. He has just enough pace to catch the rebound, and the cheers of approval from the squad of girls by the net cause a small smile to play across Lucas' lips.
The glimmer of hope Lucas held disappears in that moment, the smile dropping instantly as he rejoins the other guys vying for the one place. Suddenly what had seemed so insignificant to Lucas only a day ago, matters more than anything ever has.
The rest of try-outs consist of lay-up drills, demonstrations of different plays before the new hopefuls get their chance to be part of 'blue play' or whatever their name has been assigned to.
"Scott." Whitey calls, looking directly at Lucas, but having never once been called by his surname before, he fails to respond, focusing instead on the beautiful girl demonstrating some move to the rest of her attentive squad. If that one shot had been his chance, Lucas had most certainly blown it with this girl. Only the blocking of his view arouses him from his self-pity.
"Here." He catches the ball, blinking in surprise. "Dribble to the three point line and shoot."
Lucas does as he was instructed, biting his lower lip just as the blur of orange swishes its way through the net. Jogging back to Whitey, he looks up hopefully, not even sure what he wants the coach to say.
"If you make the team, don't let me catch you staring that way again. They've ruined too many good players, and I don't want to loose another one."
It wasn't that.
After being told that the list of players for the next game would be posted on the notice board in two days time, the boys are dismissed, and Lucas, with new-found confidence after Whitey's comment, shouts to the girl disappearing into the ladies' locker room.
"You didn't tell me your name."
Smiling a little, she leans up towards the blonde-haired boy standing innocently before her.
"You didn't ask."
He watches her walk away, even the back of her more beautiful and perfectly-sculpted than he'd ever imagined a girl could be. And as Lucas makes his exit from the gym, contemplating which lie to tell his parents in the unlikely event that they ask how his day has been, and what he has accomplished.
If basketball is his ticket to knowing the pretty girl's name, then Lucas is damned if he doesn't get the spot on the team. Guys kill for opportunities like this one, and he can only pray that in two days, it will be his name at the bottom of that list.
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