So all you OTH-fans, if you're anything like me then season 4 disappointed you greatly and hope for season 5 is low… And it was with those feelings in the back of my head that I started talking to some of my FF-girls about writing this story. And yes, I know I should be updating my other stories, but I just couldn't. Not until this was out of my system. It's a 5-parter and it's finished already so updates won't be far apart.
A huge thank you to Cami, Casey, Eva and the others that was in the convo that night when we talked about the ultimate endning; without you girls this story wouldn't have become written.
Without further ado; This is MY version of season 5… and maybe even season 6, loosely based on the song 'You look good in my shirt' by Keith Urban.
YOU LOOK GOOD IN MY SHIRT
May 17th 2013
It's after dinnertime and the sun is already setting behind the trees across the river, turning the sky all sorts of purple and orange. The sounds of laughter fill the River Court Park and Lucas, who is standing on the far side of the tarmac, puts his arm around Haley's shoulders and leans his head onto hers. And even though the scenery around them looks exactly like it has since they were kids, High school is now six years behind them. The River Court might have been saved from time's evolution but the people that used to hang out here, like him and Haley, Nathan, Skills, Mouth, Peyton and Brooke and all the others, have grown older and things have changed.
"Would you have thought that it would end up like this?" he asks Haley with a soft voice and his childhood best friend looks up at him, smiling nostalgically. At twenty-four she looks almost like she did in high school, just with dark hair instead of the blonder version she had sported for a couple of years.
"Who wouldn't Luke?" she answers. "Even with all the twists and turns during the last few years one wouldn't have needed to be psychic to foresee this…"
Haley sneaks her arm around his waist and squeezes him before saying; "Just think of that night before James' first birthday… when I asked you about the pictures…"
She brushes some hair out of her face and he smiles at her. And then he thinks back…
May 10th 2008
Lucas closed the English literature book and threw it aside on the bed. At eight o'clock in the evening he had finally finished reading his 400 pages due until class the morning after and he let out a sigh of relief. Haley, who was sitting in front of his laptop, laughed.
"Don't feel so sorry for yourself Luke. I told you to start weeks ago… College is tougher than you might have thought."
The baby boy sleeping in the carrier on the floor beside her whimpered a little in his sleep and she rocked the car-seat with her foot while clicking away on his computer.
"What are you looking for?" he asked, ignoring her mocking of him.
"The pictures from Rachel's big goodbye party last year. I want to find a good picture of Brooke to frame and hang over James' bed. He sees her so seldom and I want him to remember what she looks like."
"Why would I keep any pictures of Brooke?" he said a little too quickly. "We're not together anymore. Haven't been for almost a year and a half…"
He squirmed a little uncomfortably and Haley must have noticed because she gave him a questioning look.
"I know that Lucas. You're with Peyton, and even though you've hardly talked to her since Christmas, she's still your girlfriend. I'm not looking for nude pictures, just that cute pic of Brooke outside on the porch. You were the one that took it, remember?"
"Uhm… no, I don't…"
He stood up and picked up his book, and just to have something to do he carried it over to the bookshelf. When he turned back around Haley was still looking at him.
"What?" he said with an annoyed pitch to his voice and she raised her eyebrow, looking surprisingly much like his dimpled ex girlfriend.
"You don't remember?"
"Then what's this?" she said and turned the laptop so he could see the screen. And open on it was exactly the same file that had made him squirm moments ago. His 'Brooke-folder', containing every photo he had of her since they first started dating.
Haley clicked on a picture and a close-up of Brooke filled the screen. It was the exact picture she had been talking about and of course he remembered it. Brooke looked beautiful in it, wide smile, huge dimples and eyes twinkling. Her brown hair hanging loosely in waves around her face and cheeks still rosy from laughing hard just before he snapped the shot.
"Oh, you mean that one" he choked out, knowing that lying had never been his strong side, and Haley's eyebrow shot up even higher.
"Yes Luke, I mean this one. Or this…"
She punched in a couple of commands on the computer's dashboard and the picture gave way for a slideshow. Another picture of Brooke from that evening emerged, this time of her laughing with Nathan in the kitchen.
"Or how about this?"
Brooke again, all smiles and laughter in the garden with Rachel and Bevin. This one could have been discarded as an ordinary picture of 'friends' hadn't it been for the fact that both Bevin and Rachel were cut in half.
"So?" he huffed and turned away. "Me and Brooke are still friends. I'm allowed to have pictures of her."
Haley laughed and shook her head. "Friends? Hah, you could have fooled me… you two have hardly spoken two words to one another since you broke up. Even less since she moved away. But I'm not saying you're not allowed to keep pictures. I'm just wondering why you're acting so strange about it."
"Okay Luke, if you say so…"
James woke up and Haley reached down and picked him up. His godson had grown so much over the last twelve months and Lucas was happy that he had chosen to stay around him to see him learn all his 'firsts'. He had thought long and hard about the decision not to follow Peyton to Los Angeles but being around James felt more important. Peyton and himself should have managed either way. And they had, at least at first.
The last six months he had hardly talked to her all and he knew that they should just call it quits. But he kept fighting for the relationship, maybe because he knew she still needed him. College in LA hadn't really been as fun as Peyton thought and the once kind of broody girl had turned rather depressing.
He glanced sideways to the picture he kept of her on his nightstand. It was a beautiful picture too, one of his favorites, and Haley saw his eyes shift.
"Talking about Peyton…" she said and bounced James up and down on her lap. "How are things really between you two? I heard she's not coming home for the party tomorrow. How long has it been since you last saw her?"
"Two months. I was there for spring-break, remember?"
He sighed. "I don't know Hales… honestly I think we might as well break up. But she means a lot to me…so I'm not sure what to do…"
His best friend smiled and handed him his giggling godson. "It'll be okay Luke. You'll figure it out."
He lifted the little boy high up in the air earning a laugh from him and in the corner of his eye he still watched the slideshow on the computer-screen. Brooke in junior year, dressed in her cheer uniform. Brooke being silly at a Halloween party at Tric and Brooke in that sequence-dress on the prom they crashed in Honey Grove…
"She's coming tomorrow, you know that right?" Haley said, breaking his line of thoughts.
"No she's not" he answered confused. "You just said so yourself. She's staying in LA because of some exhibition…"
Haley rolled her eyes at him. "I meant Brooke, Luke. She's flying in first thing tomorrow. Nathan is picking her up at ten."
He swallowed. "How long have you known? Why didn't you tell me?"
He hadn't seen Brooke since she left 9 months ago. He had called her on her birthday and she had sent him a postcard from Mexico at Christmas, but other then that nothing. And knowing that he'd have to see her tomorrow made him strangely nervous.
Haley smiled again, this time looking mysteriously full of secrets. "I thought you knew" she said. "I thought you said you were friends…"
May 11th 2008
He was standing in the middle of the garden blowing up balloons when Nathan's car stopped in the drive-way outside the beach house. Haley was inside preparing the last of the food and for some reason he wanted to run in and hide behind her like a little boy. And when the car-door opened on the passenger side he was happy that he had both Lily and James at his feet so that he could pretend to be busy with them.
He wasn't even sure why seeing Brooke made him so uncomfortable, he had been awake half the night last night thinking about it. Maybe it was simply because they shared so much history and their break-up had been so bad. Or maybe because since they'd lost touch the way they had he felt strange about not really knowing her. She had after all been one of the people that knew him best once.
"Look who's here guys!" he heard Nathan yell and he forced himself to look up. Brooke stood outside the car, picking her suitcase out of the trunk, and she smiled towards him.
"Hi…" he said awkwardly and waved, and she waved back. She looked about the same. Her hair was a little longer but otherwise no real change. And when she came over and spontaneously gave him a hug he subconsciously breathed out in relief. Maybe it wouldn't be weird, hanging out with Brooke without Peyton at his side. They were after all both James' godparents and they needed to get along.
"You look good" he said after letting her go and she smiled widely at him before bending down to the two birthday babies at his feet. She tickled James, making him instantly raise his arms up at her, and she picked him up.
"I always do" she said and winked at him. "But you need to get a hair-cut though Luke. You look more and more like your girlfriend every time I see you."
Nathan, who had joined them, laughed out loud and Lucas smiled too, but he couldn't help to think that 'every time I see you' was a weird phrase. He hadn't seen her once in almost a year.
The afternoon passed in the happy demeanor that most birthday parties did. He didn't see much of Brooke, and when he did she was always busy talking to someone or playing with either James or Lily. He was surprised that James seemed so comfortable with her, from what he knew she had hardly spent any time with the baby in the last six months, but then again, he hadn't really asked Haley about Brooke in a long time. Maybe they saw more of each other than he knew about.
And when the sun started to set and people were starting to leave, he took a walk down to the beach and found her sitting on the damp sand, looking out over the ocean. As if she'd felt him behind her, she mumbled;
"I've forgotten how peaceful it is here… There's no place like this in New York."
"I guess not…"
He sat down beside her, silently watching the ocean with her for what felt like a long time, and when she finally spoke again, he had almost forgotten she was there.
"How's Peyton? I haven't talked to her in months…"
He pushed the sand back and forth with his sneaker and wondered if Brooke remembered the time when they built a sandcastle right in this spot. Or when they sat out here that night of the formal.
"I really hoped I'd see her here today" Brooke continued. "I wanted to introduce her to David. But I guess it doesn't matter since he couldn't come either…"
He looked up now and she smiled brightly at him. "My boyfriend, silly. I wanted him to meet you too. But I guess it's for the best. I've told him some things about you and I guess he'd just be jealous."
He probably should have guessed it. It had after all been a year, but his stomach still dropped at the news of her dating someone. Just like in senior year when she was with Chase he just felt like her being with anyone other then him self was strange, even though he was with Peyton.
"Oh" he said and cleared his throat, "I didn't know that you had a new guy…"
"Well, it's still pretty fresh. But he's great. Haley met him and she liked him."
He pushed the sand into a little pile and bit his lip. "How long have you been seeing him?"
Not that he really wanted to know, but something in the brunette's twinkling eyes made him curious.
She sounded proud, and happy. And he wondered what the guy was like.
Back in high school, when Brooke first broke up with him it hadn't really crossed his mind that she'd move on. He had been so concentrated on his newfound relationship with her best friend. He hadn't realized how much he would miss Brooke because when he had gone for Peyton he had never in his wildest dreams thought about the fact that it meant that his close bond with Brooke would be broken so abruptly. So the second semester of his senior year had become a very confusing experience. He was happy with Peyton, but seeing Brooke slip further and further away was so much harder then he had imagined it would be, and then, watching as she fell for that guy Chase…
"I think I love him…" she had said at their graduation. "For real Luke, I think I do…"
And then the brown-haired skateboard guy had come up behind Brooke, wrapping his arms around her, and he had watched her smile that beautiful smile towards Chase. The dimpled smile that used to be reserved only for him. And for a second he had wanted to break them apart. Pull Brooke away from Chase and tell her all this was ridiculous. She didn't love Chase, she loved him. And he still loved her.
But as a good boy he had instead turned to his girlfriend, gently kissed her forehead before turning back to Brooke and returning her smile. And even though it had for some reason felt so wrong, he still opened his mouth and said; "I'm happy for you Brooke."
Now, a year later he was completely over his brunette ex-girlfriend and he and Peyton had been happy for a long time. Yet the same feeling of ownership and raw jealousy emerged in the pit of his stomach. 'It'll probably always be strange' he thought and put his arm loosely around her shoulders.
And once again he got out a forced; "I'm happy for you Brooke."
May 17th 2013
Lucas laughs awkwardly when thinking back to that night five and a half years ago. Haley has always been able to read him like an open book, and back then hadn't been an exception.
"God, Hales… you have no idea how weird that birthday-party was for me… I hardly talked to her at all. Not until the end, and we both know how good that turned out… It felt so strange."
He makes a funny face and she laughs at him. "You don't need to tell me Luke. I was the one that tried to get the two of you into the same picture the entire afternoon…"
He hugs her again and for some reason all the memories from the last six years keep flooding over him. And as if she understands what he's thinking she softly says;
"It's been a long road Luke…"
November 5th 2008
It took almost six months before he saw Brooke again. It wasn't that far from Tree Hill to New York, just a quick flight or a few hours by car, but being College-juniors were hectic. Although after that birthday-party they had at least kept in touch sporadically. And that was more than he could say about himself and Peyton. So at the end of that summer he broke things off with the curly blonde. It pained him to do so, because in a way he still felt responsible for her, but there was no use in trying.
He loved her but he wasn't in love with her anymore, and sometimes he wondered if he ever had been. And one night, when he hadn't talked to Peyton for over two weeks, he simply called her up and asked her if there was any reason for them to keep pretending, and she actually sounded relieved when she said 'no'. They were still friends of course, but after that phone call he honestly felt like a whole new person. He felt free, and he couldn't other than be saddened by that, because he realized that it probably meant that he should have left Peyton a long time ago. Almost two years had been more than long enough.
Instead of his relationship, he concentrated on school and his book that he still tried to publish. He hung out with Nathan, Haley and sometimes Skills. Occasionally he called Brooke to talk a little. And one of those talks was what had landed him here, standing in the cold wind on the doorstep of Brooke's dorm.
He was in New York to talk to yet another publisher and Haley hadn't left him alone until he had called Brooke and arranged to meet her while he was in town. He had felt stupid at first, it wasn't like they were close anymore, but Brooke had actually sounded exited about seeing him.
It was still pretty early when he knocked on her door and it was opened by a sleepy looking, curvy blonde that looked surprisingly much like Rachel Gattina.
"Hey cutie…" she said and quirked an eyebrow at him. "You must be looking for Brooke."
"Yeah" he answered a little hesitantly, not sure if he should introduce himself. "I'm Lucas. Is she here?"
"I guess not, but I'm sure she'll be right back. This is her usual running-time." She yawned and stepped back to make way for him to come in to the apartment. "Come on in and wait if you like. I'm on my way to class."
He followed the blonde girl, that he still didn't know the name of, into the small living room and sat down at the edge of the couch. The Rachel-lookalike disappeared in through one of the doors to what seemed to be a bedroom, and he looked around. It was more of an apartment then a college dorm room and he guessed that Brooke paid much more than the average student. It was nicely furnished too, in light colors that made the space seem even bigger.
Just minutes later Brooke's roommate came back out, now with the cell phone to her ear, talking fast and loud. "She'll be here. Just wait" she mouthed to him and he nodded in return before she disappeared out through the door.
And then he was alone in the home of Brooke Davis.
For a few minutes he sat there, just waiting, but then he stood up, to curious to pass on the opportunity of finding out more about his ex-girlfriend's new life. Walking around, he looked at all the framed photos and other memorabilia. He found the kitchen, sneak-peaked into Brooke's bedroom which was full of mannequins and parts of colored fabric, and then he opened the door to the bathroom, thinking that he might as well use it while he waited. Freshen up a bit after the long trip.
It wasn't until he was halfway in there that he realized somebody was in the shower. Blushing like a schoolgirl he covered his eyes and started stuttering out apologies.
"Uhm… I'm sorry… I, I didn't know that… uhm…"
But it was a little late. He had already seen her. Brooke was standing in the tub, not at all covered by the clear plastic curtain. She was shampooing her hair and the shower was turned off which was probably the reason to why he hadn't heard her. And to be honest he didn't regret one bit that he had walked in on this. Brooke was obviously annoyed by the intrusion, but she was also stunningly beautiful. And of course naked…
"Lucas Scott!" she barked at him, without trying to hide her naked body. "Can't you knock, huh?"
And that's when he started laughing. The irony in the situation was far too humorous for him to stay serious or even embarrassed. She had turned the water back on and he reached his hand in under the streaming water and felt the temperature.
"Well Brooke Penelope Davis…" he said with a mocking voice. "Are you taking a cold shower?"
Her angry face fell and was replaced with an embarrassed blush.
"No, I… it's not like I was…"
He just smirked and walked backwards, not being able to stop looking at her. And before he turned and disappeared back out into the living room he laughed and said;
"Whatever Brooke… next wet-dream, tell your boyfriend I said hello…"
An hour later they were sitting comfortably in a café down the street from her college campus. Brooke was of course dressed now. Dark jeans, knitted polo-sweater, the usual make-up. But in his head he kept getting flashes of her naked and it wierded him out a little. Because during the last two years, it was that exact image that he had tried to forget.
They talked about school, his book, her Victoria's secret fashion-line. About her mom suddenly popping up out of nowhere wanting to be a parent, and about how big Lily had gotten. The talked about James, the New York weather and his basketball coaching-job, but during all of this he only thought about her smooth creamy skin, her delicate collarbones, her curves and those long legs…
He jumped a little in the plush armchair in which he was sitting, and met her eyes.
"Are you listening to me? You seem a little spaced out."
"Uhm no… I'm listening, you shouldn't be forced to park four blocks away…I agree."
He shook his head a little to clear his foggy mind and tried to concentrate on the clothed Brooke in front of him instead of the imaginary naked one. For some reason it was harder then he thought. And suddenly he found himself blurt out;
"I broke up with Peyton."
It must have seemed random because they hadn't talked about the curly blonde at all. And even though Brooke had asked him what was new in his life, and the news of him and Peyton breaking up was pretty big, he hadn't said anything. He had just not been sure how to bring it up. Peyton had always been a sore point between Brooke and himself, or as Brooke would have expressed it; Peyton was always the everlasting 'monkey' in the room with them. Maybe it was some kind of syntax error in his brain but the sight of a naked Brooke and the feelings it evoked, made him think of David. And the thought of Brooke's boyfriend made him think of Peyton, or in this case the lack of her. Brooke was spoken for and he was single.
Either way he had been sure that Peyton had told Brooke herself by now, but she obviously hadn't because Brooke looked back at him with a stunned expression and he realized that he had probably interrupted her right in the middle of a sentence."Why?" she asked blankly and he cleared his throat to win some time.For some odd reason he wanted to tell her that he never really had fallen in love with Peyton, but he realized how weird that would sound, especially since he knew how hurt Brooke had been by it all. So he settled for simpler explanations. "We never see each other anymore, hardly even talk on the phone... On some days I even forgot that I had a girlfriend..." He laughed awkwardly and Brooke gave him a sympathetic smile. "I'm sorry Luke... I know how you felt about her.""No it's okay" he said, looking down into the table's surface and feeling guilty as if he had been caught with lying. "I guess... I guess we just fell out of love."At least that was closer to the truth.
The coffee cups had been empty for a long time and the morning had become late afternoon. They had been laughing so much that his jaw was aching, and it almost felt like old times, when they could sit in his room for hours and just laugh at silly things. Minus all the making out of course. This time there was none of that.
They didn't talk much more about Peyton. Brooke asked him a couple of questions but when he just huffed and mumbled in response, she gave up. And soon they were back to discussing worldlier things.
His stomach was making hungry noises and he was just about to ask Brooke if they should maybe move to a restaurant and grab some food. But he was interrupted by the bell above the coffee-shop door. Over Brooke's shoulder he saw a tall dark-haired guy, about 25 years old, who scanned the café as if in search for someone. Well built, nice clothes, good looking, even Lucas had to admit that, and a sudden bad feeling came over him.
Just like he had suspected the guy lit up when seeing Brooke and he walked over with a big smile on his face.
"Hi baby…" he said and placed a kiss on the top of her head. "I've tried to call you..."
So this was the boyfriend, he thought, and he felt himself unconsciously frown.
Brooke turned her face upwards and pulled the tall guy down to her level, pressing a smiling kiss on his lips.
"Sorry David" she murmured sugary and Lucas' stomach tightened up into a knot. "I've been sitting here all day, and I guess we just lost track of time."
It was easy to see that this guy was as mesmerized by Brooke as every other male person on the planet and it irritated him that the guy just kept staring at her breasts instead of on her face. If this was that David-guy, then they had been seeing each other for almost nine months. Shouldn't he have gotten over the staring phase by now?
"This is Lucas, baby. He's an old friend from Tree Hill... Luke, this is David. My boyfriend."
Lucas stiffened in his seat. Old friend? Was that how she saw him? It just sounded so estranged…
David finally looked up and met his eyes, wide smile covering his face and showing off bright white teeth. He reached his hand out in an effort to make a proper greeting and he had a childish urge to just ignore it. But he didn't since he still had some manors.
"Hi David. Nice to meet you…"
"Yeah man, you too. I heard a lot about that little town of yours. And it's nice to meet one of Brooke's friends. I mean, I've only met Haley and Rachel so far, but I'm looking forward on getting to know everyone else."
"Aha… Yeah well Brooke's not home that often so I guess that'll take some time, right?"
He had to struggle not to let the sarcasm seep through in his voice and he couldn't have been all too successful because Brooke shot him a hurt glance, yet he kept going.
"I mean, did you meet Chase? Brooke's ex? He never really made it into our little circle of friends but I'm sure you'll succeed better. Or do you skateboard too?"
David shook his head, looking confused, and in the corner of his eye Lucas could see Brooke making an 'I'll kill you'-face towards him.
He wasn't even sure himself why he acted like a jealous fourteen year old. The white-teethed guy just got on his nerves. Even though David had hardly even opened his mouth Lucas had already decided that this guy was an idiot and that he would never be good enough for Brooke. He just seemed to be the same kind of slimeball that that Nick-character had been in high school.
And when David's hand lazily travelled higher and higher on Brooke's jeans-clad leg he just couldn't control himself.
"I'm out of here" he said, breaking David off in mid-sentence while he told Brooke about something that had happened at work. "I need to get back to my hotel."
He picked up his things and leaned over to give Brooke a goodbye hug but her response was weak. He kissed her forehead out of old habit and tried to wave off the guilt he felt when he saw the hurt in her eyes that his behaviour caused.
So for her sake he recollected himself and faked a smile as he turned to David. He extended his hand and like a good boy he said; "It was nice to meet you David. I'm sure I'll see you around" even though he hoped on the exact opposite.
And then he left the café, and he didn't turn although he still felt Brooke's disappointed eyes boring into his back.
The air outside was cold in that way it only got in New York and the wind whipped his cheeks. He drove his hands down deep into his pockets and instead of hailing a cab he pulled his bag higher up on his shoulder and started walking in the down-town direction.
He needed the time to think.
And she only wanted him to like David too. At least to give him a chance, because for some reason it seemed like He had behaved like a jerk, there was no question about that, and he already felt bad about it. It had been so evident on Brooke's smile when David stepped in through the door that she really liked this guy. Brooke needed his approval in order to finally move on for real, and what he had done was the exact opposite.
He pulled the collar up on his jacket and kept walking, picking up pace as he went. And he still wondered why he felt so angry.
Later that night he got a call from Brooke on his cell. He lay sprawled out on the hotel couch watching old Friends-reruns and he didn't even check the caller-id before he answered.
"What the hell was that Luke?" she said as soon as he had picked up. "Why were you acting like a jerk?"
"I don't know what you're talking about Brooke. I thought we had a nice time today."
Of course he knew what she meant, but he didn't want to acknowledge it. And she huffed as a response.
"We did! At least up until David joined us. What happened, huh? You just decided that you were allowed to treat him like crap?"
He sighed as if he thought she was over-reacting but in honesty he just didn't know what to say. He shifted on the couch and felt the green monster inside him resurface again. She just didn't understand that he was looking out for her.
"You deserve better than him…" he mumbled. "I just don't like him…"
He knew that he was probably not in the right place to say these things, Brooke and himself had just recently regained contact, but he didn't know what else to do than to be honest. Obviously she didn't see it his way and her voice was raised when she answered;
"I don't care what you think! Because I really like him Lucas. And if you can't even make an effort to be nice then I don't need you around me. I was even happy for you and Peyton, however hard it was for me. I found you two in bed, god damn it! Less than two months after you and I had broken up, I might add. And you didn't see me act like an idiot, did you?!"
She didn't let him finish. As usual her anger was quick and fiery and she impatiently cut him off.
"God, how stupid am I? Little old me actually thought that you were my friend now and that you were past those ego-trips of yours… But I guess I was wrong."
She was silent for a couple of seconds and he listened to her fast breathing, thinking about all the times that she had yelled at him in passionate anger when they were together.
Then she said; "Goodbye Lucas…" and all that he was left listening to was the tone on the line after she hung up.
That was the first part. Review and the second part will be up much faster :)