Author's note: Hi all. I'm starting a new story. And I should probably tell you that the idea for this sprung out of a season 5-spoiler. It's going to be a bumpy road, but I hope you'll all enjoy. The title for this chapter is from a song by the same name, performed by Ben Lee.
Disclaimer: I don't own One Tree Hill. Sadly the tv-series is all in the tight grip of Mark Schwan. If I did in fact own it, then season 5 would look something like this story. /Lynn
CHAPTER 1 – No Right Angles
let your body play.
Anyone in need
give it all away.
No right angles in my life,
there are no right angles in my life
Lucas stands in an upscale bar, thirty-eight stories above Manhattan, feeling totally lost. Champagne is flowing and literati mingle about around him but even though this 'party' is pretty much for his sake he doesn't feel the least bit welcome. This is not his usual environment, and in the suit and tie he's wearing, he just feels out of place.
An easel sits near the entrance with an oversize mock-up of his book cover for 'An Unkindness of Ravens' and everybody politely smalltalks to him about it. But he doesn't know anyone here and on top of everything, he's starting to get bored.
When he wrote this book in high school he never would have though that this would be it. He had had high flying dreams of this stardom as a famous author and he had always thought that he'd have the book-release party at his mom's café in Tree Hill. Everyone would be there and he would tell them all how thankful he was towards them in some heartfelt speech.
But instead he's standing here, in a way to classy bar, without family or friends with him to celebrate.
An assistant from the publishing company comes up to him where he stands, and the girl, probably just a year older than himself, clears her throat.
"Excuse me, Mr. Scott, there's someone here to see you. She said to tell you she's from Tree Hill."
He frowns, both for having her call him Mr. Scott, in his head that would always be Dan, and also because he wonders who it can be. His mom had already been there, and Nathan and Haley couldn't make it since James had come down with the flu at the last minute. And it really couldn't be Peyton, right? After the fight they had last night, she would probably not talk to him for weeks. Either way, it wasn't like she wanted to be with him. She had proven that.
Then the assistant steps aside and behind her is a face he would recognize anywhere.
"Well, well, well… If it isn't Lucas Scott…" she says and smiles widely.
So it wasn't Peyton, but having Brooke here a night like this wasn't a bad deal either. He happily embraces her and she hugs him back before he steps back and takes a long look at her.
"Wow Brooke, what are you doing here?"
She smirks, bringing out those 'hard to forget'-dimples and that twinkle in her eyes.
"I wasn't gonna miss a chance to spend a night on the town with a soon-to-be bestselling author, was I?"
"I'm glad you came" he says and means it. "It's good to see you, Brooke".
Two hours later they're sitting by the counter in a crowded bar on down town Manhattan. They decided to ditch the publishing party shortly after finding each other, it was mostly old boring editors and company people anyways, and instead they had come here to have a few drinks and catch up. And after his first glass of Jack Daniel's was empty he had already told her about his complete failure with Peyton.
She was shocked of course, mostly probably because Peyton hadn't called her herself, but she took it with more ease then he had thought.
And after the second drink was downed they had already moved on to other subjects, mainly the news that Brooke had moved to New York. Apparently both she and Rachel had transferred to NYFI to finish their educations, but Brooke wasn't even sure if she'd be able to finish the school year. Her little design-line, 'Clothes over Bro's', that had been created in Nathan and Haley's old living room, was growing, and all of a sudden her designs were sought after by a lot of the big companies.
It makes him happy that she's doing well. They hadn't talked much the last two years, just the occasional e-mails or phone calls, but looking at her now she seems happy.
He watches Brooke laughing at a couple a few feet away from them. The woman is obviously pretty tired of her date and when the man reaches over to kiss her she simply turns her head away. Brooke giggles again, saying;
"Did you see the look on her face? You'd think someone spewed on her Jimmy Choo's."
"I'm glad you're enjoying this."
The couple reminds him of himself and Peyton and he can't help it that his voice comes out both bitter and sarcastic. Brooke seems to realize her mistake and her smile falls. For a second she looks just like she did in high school whenever she felt bad for someone and on the inside he smiles. Brooke has always carried her emotions on her sleeve.
"Oh, come on" she says and punches his arm lightly. "You and Peyton are gonna work things out."
"I don't think so, Brooke. Not this time."
She shrugs and half-smiles crookedly. "From what you told me before it sounds like you gave her an ultimatum. Trust me, there's no better way to paralyze a girl. And you know as well as I that Peyton is a little scared of commitment… Maybe proposing to her was a bit much Luke… Maybe you should have just gone with flowers or chocolate?"
She's trying to cheer him up but for some reason it's important to him to get Brooke to see that he has really tried. He had actually asked Peyton to marry him and she had said no.
"Brooke, how many times have you talked to Peyton since you left L.A" he asks tiredly.
The question must be touching a raw spot for Brooke because her body-language instantly stiffens and she crosses her arms over her chest and frowns.
"That's not her fault. We're both busy. She has her music and I have Clothes over Bros'… and we both have school…"
"Yeah? And today she broke up with her boyfriend of almost two and a half years. Has she even called you?"
Brooke doesn't answer and he shakes his head.
"Things have changed, Brooke. It's not the same as before…"
Her facial expression softens again and she reaches out to touch his upper arm. "You're just saying that because you're hurt" she soothes. "And I get it. But I don't think you mean any of it."
There's a long pause, or maybe more of an awkward silence, and he stares into the floor-tiles while she plays with her napkin.
"You know what?" she says suddenly. "We should get drunk. Really, really drunk."
He watches her, marveling over the fact that although almost three years has passed since he dated her, Brooke seems to be the same. And she smiles. "…But first let me see that ring."
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the velvet box he's carried with him the whole day, and then he hands Brooke the ring. He blushes a little because of the awkwardness in the situation. He had after all done this before, handed Brooke a wedding ring that wasn't meant for her. Brooke however doesn't seem to think in that direction but simply takes the ring and gasps.
"Aww… Lucas! It's beautiful!"
Before he has the chance to answer, the bartender takes notice and claps his hands.
"Well, well... Look at these young lovebirds… Congratulations!"
And before he knows it the whole crowd around them applauds. It feels like the entire bar is watching them, and Brooke quickly tries to protest but he puts a hand on her arm and stops her. It feels so good to hang out with Brooke again and he just wants to live a little, forget about the last couple of days and have fun. And what harm could a little white lie really do?
"Let them believe whatever they want" he whispers and she opens her mouth to say something but before the she has the chance, the bartender smiles widely and shouts;
"Champagne on the house!"
The applause continues and he meets her green eyes. They sparkle with pent up mischief and her raised eyebrow seems to say; 'why not?' So he slips the ring onto her finger and her huge smile with those amazing dimples almost looks real to him.
He leans in and puts his forehead towards hers, whispering "we're crazy…" and she jumps five feet into the air when the bartender shoots the champagne cork, before throwing her head back and laughing at herself for being such a scardy-cat. A warm feeling fills him when hearing the sound, and he realizes that he has really missed the sound of Brooke laughing.
Five different bars later they walk near Central Park, both more than a little tipsy. Brooke his jacket thrown over her shoulders, because even though she says she's not he's sure she is cold in only her dress. He is not cold at all, it's probably the alcohol keeping him warm, or maybe all the laughing. Because as much as he has laughed since declaring a fake-engagement with the girl beside him, he hasn't laughed in months.
"Who knew that ring trick would get us free drinks all over Midtown, huh?" he says and winks at her. And then he quickly reaches out and grabs when she is about to fall.
"Oops…" she laughs. "Maybe a little too many free drinks. I think I'm drunk."
They pass a horse-drawn carriage that's standing still beside the road. It's a beautiful old wagon and it reminds him of the one Haley rode up in when she and Nathan got married their second time. The driver notices them and waves.
"Hey youngsters. Can I give you two a ride?"
Brooke looks at him, excitement written all over her face and he exchanges a look with the elderly man by the horse. Then he smiles down at Brooke again.
"Why not? It is our engagement night."
The driver breaks into a huge smile and opening the door to the carriage he says; "In that case, the ride's free."
It's dark in the park, the few streetlights scattered along the path creating only a dimmed glow. And he's drunk, and maybe that adds to the situation, but sitting beside Brooke in the horse-drawn carriage makes him nostalgic. He remembers when they dated back in high school and Brooke had said that she had always wanted to take a carriage-ride in Central Park. He had laughed back then, kissed her and called her an incorrigible romantic, but now he wonders why they never did this before.
Brooke's thigh keeps rubbing against his and every time small electrical impulses shoot through him, making the skin on his neck prickle with Goosebumps. Funny how something so simple as sitting beside each other like this could bring back so many memories…
"This is nice…" she mumbles and leans her head on his shoulder and her raspy voice just adds to the warm feeling pooling in her stomach.
"It is…" he answers softly. "And it's kind of romantic too."
It's hard to believe that just hours earlier his mood had been on an all time low, and now he feels like laughing out loud. He takes another sip of the sparkling champagne and smiles to himself. And Brooke looks up at him and her raspy voice once again sounds in his ears;
"Are you making fun of me Luke?"
"Of course not princess."
His smile and quirked eyebrow tells a whole other story and she giggles softly and readjusts against him, mumbling "shut up…"
The driver turns in his seat up front. "So what do you two have planned for your lives together?"
He glances down at Brooke and she looks back at him. They have no choice but to play along now and Brooke is of course up for the challenge.
"Well, we're definitely gonna be a power couple" she states. "Lucas is going to be a famous novelist and I'll have my own fashion line."
He has no worries at all when it comes to Brooke's career. In his head he can see her accomplish anything she sets her mind to, and he proudly adds; "But we'll still have time for a big family."
Her face turns surprised but also a little shy. "Two boys and a girl" she says softly. "And the first born is going to be named after Keith."
"We'll have to talk about that… I just want daughters, all of them just as beautiful as their mother."
They're both getting swept up in the fantasy, but in a way it feels so natural. Probably because all the late night talks they had when they were younger. Before Keith died and he pushed her away. And now, with a healthy assist from the champagne, it's like all their old plans keeps bubbling up to the surface.
"I'll coach little league..." he says and pulls Brooke closer to him. She snuggles into his side, kind of hiding from the late night's cool air.
"And I'll bake treats for the team. Well, I'll buy them anyway…"
At this he laughs loudly, realizing that she still hasn't learnt how to cook.
"We can spend summers at our beach house..."
"Yeah, and winters in the South of France."
"It won't matter where we are as long as we're together…"
He hears how cheesy the last line is, but in the heat of the moment it just feels true. Brooke has always got him to forget everything but her. 'Just look at tonight', he thinks.
The driver chuckles in the front-seat and the fatherly smile that covers his face reminds him of Whitey's.
"That's the key" the old man says warmly. "Success is wonderful. But finding someone to love. Having them love you back… That is what it's all about."
When the carriage finally let them off at the outskirts of the park his head is dizzy with tangled up emotions. They thank the driver and start to walk in the direction of Times Square and he holds Brooke's small hand in his. In the other hand he carries the bottle of left over champagne. If a police officer would pass them right now they would probably get arrested for drinking in public, but he doesn't care. And then Brooke interrupts his thoughts.
"I had fun tonight…" she says with a dreamy tone in her voice. "We should hang out more often."
Squeezing her hand he jokes back; "Well, we have to now, don't we? I mean, we are engaged Brooke. I would like to see my fiancée now and again, even though she's in the middle of becoming a famous fashion-designer…"
For some reason he can't seem to say what he really wants to say. That he doesn't want this night to end. That he hasn't felt this happy or relaxed in a long time and that he has really missed her.
But she's still the Brooke he remembers, and even though it's probably also due to the alcohol, she still has no problem blurting out exactly what she thinks.
"I've missed you Luke."
She says it happily, not in a sad or emotional kind of way, and he raises the bottle to his lips and takes a couple of gulps of the fluid. Using the action as a reason not to have to answer, because it feels as if he does, he'll just end up saying too much, and he doesn't want to ruin this.
He probably needs to sober up. To get the thoughts in his head untangled. But instead he hands the bottle to the equally drunk and extremely beautiful brunette that now has her arm linked through his, and says: "Cheers! To almost being neighbors!"
The streets are still scattered with people and while walking through Greenwich Village he doesn't let go of her hand once. He talks now, and she listens as he tells her about transferring to NYC last year and hanging out here in Greenwich Village all the time those first months, just basking in all the literature history of the neighborhood.
They've stopped at an old stone house and he points up to a window on the third floor.
"Edgar Allen Poe used to live up there" he says.
She leans against the wall, probably a little dizzy from all the alcohol. And she quirks her eyebrow in that way that has always gotten to him. The way where she kind of tips her head a little over to the side and looks up at him with eyes that just pulls him in. And then comes that little rise of her perfectly shaped eyebrow that tells him she's amused by something he's just said. The quirk that makes his body tingle.
And the only word he has for her at this moment is… sexy.
"Did you know…" he says and brushes away some wisps of hair from her face, hearing his voice sinking into an almost whisper, "Did you know that this part of town has been home to some of the world's most famous writers?"
Her voice has sunken too. Into that sultry seductive raspiness that still sends hot shivers down his spine. He feels wobbly as well now, but he's no longer sure if it's because of drinking all night or ifshe is doing this to him. She, meaning Brooke Davis…
He supports himself by putting a hand against the wall, right to the side of her, and he ends up standing a lot closer to her than he has meant to.
"Oh like… Henry James or Edith Wharton. Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Norman Rockwell and Jackson Pollock…"
While reciting the names he looks at her face. Her lips are a little parted and she unconsciously licks them and bites her lower lip. The movement makes his head spin.
"Wow… that's a lot…"
She whispers now and her hand plays with the fabric of his shirt.
And then he closes the gap between them and slowly captures her perfect lips with his. For a couple of seconds that well-known soft fullness moves against his mouth and his tongue tastes her. And it's the most breathtaking experience he's had in years.
He cups her face with his free hand and then slides his fingers down her cheek, along her neck and further down her collarbone, and just as he's about to pull her closer and pick up the pace of this tantalizing kiss, she pulls away. Pushes him backwards.
"No Luke…" she says and closes her eyes. "Don't…"
He squints and tries to collect himself but his mind refuses to co-operate.
"Why?" he asks, and she sighs.
"Because you're hurting Luke… You're in denial because Peyton just said "no" to your proposal. But kissing me will only make matters worse, trust me…"
He had totally forgotten about her. And it shocks him when he realizes that he actually hasn't thought about her in hours. The feeling of being empty and heartbroken had been completely pushed back in favor of the happiness he had felt over spending time with Brooke.
And even now, after Brooke has reminded him, he still can't stop longing for the feel of Brooke's lips on his again.
"Peyton has nothing to do with this…" he mumbles. "This is you and me Brooke."
It's the only way he can explain it. But at the same time he knows that she's right. He and Brooke have a lot of history, a lot of unfinished business, but that doesn't make this more right.
Then again, if it was wrong, then why the hell did it feel so good?
Author's note: That's all for the first chapter. Review and tell me what you thought. ;)