I own nothing.


Divorced.

That's an eight letter word that Lucas Scott never thought he would associate with his life. Marriage? Sure. Children? Absolutely. But divorced? Never in a million years. Especially not from the love of his life.

They were married young. The tender age of eighteen. She had just gotten back from LA and he knew he didn't want to spend another minute without her. A twenty minute shopping trip with the girls, a five minute trip with the guys, and a ten minute ceremony later . . . they were Mr. and Mrs. Scott.

The balance between work and school wasn't easy, but they made the best of it. They were in love and happy and to them that was all they needed. And then life had different plans. Lucas's book got published and he had to go on the book tour. He was gone for weeks at a time. Peyton focused on school and her job. She wasn't living her career dream like Lucas was, but being with him was her dream.

His gaze caught the picture frame that he put out freely when nobody else was around. It was the last time they were together as a family. Jamie and Lily's third birthday. Ellie had just taken her first steps and Lucas and Peyton were thrilled.

"Did you see that?" Lucas shouted with a grin.

"Oh my God!" Peyton screamed as an answer.

"That's my girl", Lucas cooed as he scooped her into his arms. The one year old simply giggled and blew a raspberry.

Peyton lovingly rubbed her back and kissed the top of her head. "We have an amazing daughter", she whispered.

"We're pretty lucky", he whispered as she stared at Peyton; whose eyes were glued on their daughter.

Haley seized the opportunity and reached for her camera.

Lucas sighed as he shook his head to erase those thoughts. They were long gone. Soon enough they would both move on and forget all about the time they shared. Divorce was looming.

Okay, so he actually wasn't divorced yet. The papers had finally been sent out; he wasn't sure what had taken so long, but he hadn't signed them. He couldn't. It made everything too real and too final. And that was scary. He didn't want to forget the times they had. He knew he wouldn't be able to. And he knew she wouldn't either. At least he didn't think she would.

For all he knew she was out and about, having a grand ole' time. She could be engaged to someone else by now. The thought of the woman he loved possibly being engaged made him nauseous. He pushed it all to the back of his mind and let his denial take over once again.

He didn't really care what she did.

He took the picture off of his dressed and placed it in the box before putting the box in his closet.

-x-

Life can throw you curveballs.

Nobody knew that statement better then Peyton Sawyer. Her mother died in a car accident when she was eight. She found out she was adopted when she was seventeen. Then her birthmother died from cancer. She was shot. She discovered a brother later the same year. She was attacked by a crazed stalker . . . twice. And in the midst of all of that she had fallen in love.

That thought alone made Peyton shake her head. She often wondered how a cynical, untrusting, stubborn, closed off girl like her could find someone. But Lucas Scott broke the mold when it came to boys. After two years of ups and downs they married. They were only eighteen, but to them it seemed so right that they never second guessed it. Looking back now, maybe they should have.

Lucas's published book became the main spot in his life. Peyton didn't look at it that way though; not at first. She was proud of him and his accomplishments. He deserved everything he was getting. Even if it meant spending less and less time with him.

Eventually it all took a toll. The apartment that they once called home became more like a pit stop for Lucas then an actual place to stay. When Peyton got pregnant he promised it would get better; that he would be around more.

It didn't and he wasn't.

She sighed as she put the visor down so that she could check the mirror. The small picture that fell made her flinch in shock. The smallest smile in the world crept onto her lips; their wedding picture.

"So, this was an interesting day", Lucas mused as he and Peyton swayed to the music.

"Tell me about", the blonde laughed.

"I can't believe Brooke got you a dress on such a last minute."

"She actually had it made", Lucas's surprised eyes met hers, "she figured it was going to happen", Peyton said as she shrugged.

Lucas smiled brightly. "I love you Peyton Elizabeth Scott", he whispered as he closed his eyes and he leaned down to give her and Eskimo kiss.

Peyton grinned as her nose rubbed against his. "I love you, Lucas Eugene Sawyer", she teased.

Lucas's eyes snapped opened and he was ready to kill Haley, but her laughter erased those thoughts and before he knew it he was laughing as hard as she was.

Brooke saw the moment and reached for her camera.

"Mommy, let me oouutttt!" the small blonde in the car seat begged from the back.

"Sorry baby", Peyton apologized as she chuckled.

"Cheese Louise"

"Jeez Louise", Peyton corrected her young daughter.

"That's what I said."

Peyton laughed again before she opened her door and did the same for her daughter's side of the car. As soon as the straps were off Ellie was running for the back yard; Peyton could only chuckle.

She was twenty three and a mother; a pretty damn good one if she said so herself. She was also twenty three and a divorcée . . . well almost. She had just recently filed for divorce. She was still hanging on to some hope that he would come in and save the day; like he had so many other times. She would have assumed that he was busy with another book, but a week after she left she learned from Nathan that he had stopped writing. She bitterly noted the irony.

He was most likely living it up like the bachelor he never was. Heck, maybe he was engaged. That made up theory was enough to make her stomach turn. The guy she was in love with being with someone else. But she quickly pushed all her thoughts to the back of her mind and rebuilt her walls.

She didn't really care what he did.

She opened the car door and put the picture back in her visor; making sure to lock the doors.

-x-

"Ma", James whined as he pulled on the collar of his shirt, "why do I needa dress up?"

"Because, it's your birthday", his mother responded.

He continued to follow her around the yard; watching as she put plates and other party things in various places, "So shouldn't I get to wear what I want?"

"Nope", she said teasingly.

The young boy huffed before stomping his foot on the grass.

"Stop pouting", his cousin scolded him.

He turned his attention to the other raven haired Scott.

"Mind your beeswax", he told her through a glare.

"Stop being a baby."

"Stop butting in", they continued to bicker.

"Hey", Karen caught their attention, "stop it. Lily, go inside and see if Uncle Nathan wants help with anything", her daughter opened her mouth to argue, but Karen stopped her, "now", she said warningly.

James sent her a smug smile and she stuck her tongue out in response before Karen shuffled her to the house.

"Ma", he once again began to whine. Neither of them noticed the tall blonde that had walked through the gate.

"Hey, what's all the commotion?" he asked with a smirk.

"Uncle Luke", the dark haired boy yelled in excitement, momentarily forgetting his ongoing battle.

"How you doing buddy?" the older Scott asked as he scooped the running boy up into his arms.

The smile on his face was quickly replaced by a pout, "Mom says I gotta wear a collared shirt", he said while sending Haley a glare. She scoffed in response.

Lucas held back his laughter. "Well, she's right kiddo", he watched as his godson stared in disbelief.

"If I have to wear one", he said while pointing to the semi-crooked collar, "then so do you."

"Yea, besides, do you wanna look like slobs in the pictures later?" Haley questioned as she taped more balloons to the patio chairs.

"No", both Scott's muttered.

"I didn't think so", she said with a sweet smile, "James, why don't you go let everyone know that Uncle Luke's here", she watched as he nodded before squirming to be put down.

"I cannot believe he and Lily are five", Lucas said in awe as he watched the young boy run into the house.

"I know", Haley said sadly, "I feel like I just gave birth to him yesterday", she said with a small laugh.

"A lot has happened to us in the past five years", he muttered more to himself.

Haley smiled sadly, "Speaking of which, how excited are you to see Ellie?" she smiled as she watched him grin.

"I can't wait. I miss her so much."

Elizabeth was three now and she mirrored her father in virtually everything she did. His marriage may not have lasted, but he was more then glad that the small blonde was brought into his life.

"Well, it has been a few months", she instantly regretted reminding him.

He and his soon to be ex traded off on holidays. He hated the thought of not spending every holiday with her. Hell, he hated the thought of not spending every day with her, but this is what his life was now. That being said, he hadn't seen Ellie since the day after her third birthday . . . that was three months ago.

"Yea, so did Nathan go to pick her up yet?" he asked in anticipation.

The dark brunette opened her mouth to speak, but she was quickly cut off.

"Hales", Nathan whined as he walked through the yard, "do I need to wear this stupid shirt", he groaned as he tugged at the collar of his shirt.

"Yes!" she scolded.

Lucas furrowed his brows, "Why are you here?" he asked as he faced his brother.

"I live here", Nathan said slowly.

"I know that", Lucas said as he rolled his eyes, "I meant why you aren't picking up my daughter."

Nathan sent Haley a look and she stared at him pleadingly. Lucas returned his gaze to his best friend.

"Hales?" she glanced at Nathan again and he put his finger to his nose to let her know he wasn't going to drop the bomb.

"Umm, well . . . actually", she spoke with a nervous laugh.

"Daddy!" the squealing girl interrupted them. Lucas smiled instantly and slowly turned around; stopping mid movement when he heard the next announcement.

"Aunt Peyt!"

-x-

"Haley James Scott", Lucas reprimanded through a clenched jaw.

She sat on the edge of the bed with her legs crossed. She stared up at him innocently.

"What is it?" she asked as if nothing had happened.

He scoffed. "Why didn't you tell me she was coming?" he asked desperately.

She shrugged her shoulders, "I guess it slipped my mind", she said offhandedly.

"Slipped your mind", he mocked, "Hales, she hasn't been to his birthday in two years!"

After they decided to separate the blondes agreed that to make things easier on their family and friends they would steer clear of each other. Peyton would show up a day or two after James and Lily's birthday and sometimes the Tree Hill gang would make a trip to New York after the holidays.

"She said she wanted to come today. I think she has things to take care of tomorrow", Haley said as she furrowed her brows.

Lucas rubbed a hand over his face. "I cannot believe she's here", he whispered.

"Lucas, it's been two years since you've seen each other", she reminded him, "I think it's safe to say this was over due", she muttered loud enough for him to hear.

"Was this a set up?" he asked accusingly.

Haley scoffed. "No", she said as she shook her head.

Before he could interrogate her further a mini-female version of Lucas walked into the room.

"Dere you are", she said dramatically as she held her arms out to him. Lucas chuckled.

"What's up baby girl?" he asked as he scooped her small body up into his arms.

"I been lookin' all ova' for you", she said sternly as she folded her arms in front of her.

"Well here I am", he teased as he poked her stomach, "what do you need?"

"Nothin", she said as she shrugged, "I just missed you", she said somewhat shyly.

Lucas's heart broke. "I missed you too", he said as showered the girl's cheek and neck in sloppy kissed, and he grinned as her laughter filled his ears. He walked out of the room with his daughter in his arms. He made sure to send Haley a 'well continue this later' look.

"Doesn't mommy look pretty?" Ellie asked in adoration.

Lucas sighed. Peyton was wearing a modest yellow sundress. It didn't show too much cleavage so it was tasteful for the children filled party. But it stopped just before her knees, which left her long legs perfectly exposed.

"Your mother looks beautiful, Elizabeth", he spoke with passion.

The young girl smiled. She loved when her father complimented her mother like that.

-x-

"Was this a set up?" the blonde in the other room asked at a dangerously low level.

Nathan panicked. Of course it was a set up. The entire group was sick and tired of having Lucas mope around town and hearing Peyton's fake cheery voice over the phone. He took the moment to pause and knew he had blown it.

"I cannot believe you!" Peyton yelled as she pointed a finger at him.

"Peyton—"

"I can't believe he's here", she whispered.

"I'm sorry", he apologized even though he didn't feel he had to.

"The only reason I'm here is because you told me he was out of town", she said as she swatted his arm.

"Can you really blame me? Peyton you haven't seen Jamie or Lily on their actual birthday in years", she watched as she put her head down, "This certainly wasn't going to kill you", he yelled.

"It's hard", she defended herself.

"I get that it's hard", he said sympathetically, "but the Peyton Sawyer I knew never let the hard times kick her around", he teased as he nudged her playfully.

"I'm still a Scott", she muttered through a shaky voice.

"Peyton", he started delicately, "why is this bothering you so much?"

"Because . . . he . . . it—" she stuttered over her words.

"Peyton, it's been two years", he reminded her again, "you either need to move on or talk to him", he told her forcefully.

She opened her mouth to speak, but stopped when the blonde toddler walked into the room.

"Mommy!" she squealed.

"Hey baby", she cooed as she picked the little girl up.

"Whatchya' doing?" Ellie asked as she played with her mother's hair.

"I was talking to Uncle Nathan, but we're done . . . for now", she added when she saw his relaxed expression. Ellie nodded.

"So, what's up?" Peyton asked as she walked out of the room with the small girl in her arms.

"Nothin" she said as she shrugged, "just missed you", she admitted quietly.

"You just saw me like ten minutes ago", Peyton said as she smiled.

"But I still missed you", her daughter argued, "didn't you miss me?" she asked with a pout.

"Of course I missed you baby", Peyton smiled as she kissed the girls nose affectionately.

"Doesn't daddy look nice?" the blonde questioned adoringly.

Peyton sighed. Lucas was wearing a light blue button down shirt that had a few buttons opened with a white wife beater underneath and kaki shorts. His hair was short; just the way she liked it and he was freshly shaven so he had that teenage look that she fell in love with.

"You're father looks handsome, Ellie", Peyton said passionately.

The young girl smiled. She loved when her mother complimented her father like that.

She really loved having Brooke Davis for a godmother.

And she really, really loved the ice cream sundae she was promised for later.

-x-

"So . . . today went well", Brooke announced as she sipped her drink, "it could have been worse", she argued when she saw the look the married couple gave her.

"What could have been worse then the dinner incident?" Nathan asked in anger as he scratched his neck.

After the conversation Nathan and Haley had with their best friends things went smoothly. Until dinner. Peyton was on line making a plate of food. Lucas was playing with the kids like he did every year; he was never on the food line. Nathan raised a brow when he walked over to her. She had piled Karen's famous macaroni salad a mile high.

"Peyton you hate macaroni salad", Nathan told her as if she had forgotten.

"I know . . . it's for L—" she stopped her sentence and dropped the spoon back into the bowl.

"Eat this", she begged in a panic. Nathan shook his head.

"Just throw it out", he said as he picked up his own plate. Peyton ripped it from his hands and threw it in the opposite direction, "there are more plates", he said as he pointed to the pile.

"I can't throw this out", she whined, "Everyone will know I made it for Lucas. Then I'll feel like a fool and I'll look like one too", she gasped out.

"Well, why did you make him a plate?"

"Habit", she said honestly, "Lucas always plays with the kids and he almost never listens when you announce that dinner's ready", she let out a small laugh, "Look at him now", she said as she pointed out to the end of the yard, "he's playing and not listening . . . hence the habit", she explained as she held up the plate.

"Peyton you hate macaroni salad", Brooke said as she approached the friends.

Peyton opened her mouth, but Nathan stopped her, "It's for me", he said as he took the plate and shoved a fork full of macaroni salad into his mouth. Peyton smiled gratefully before walking over to her table.


Nathan continued to chew until his throat felt scratchy.

"Brooke, what's in this?" he asked nervously.

"Celery", she responded with a quirked eyebrow.

Small red bumps began to form. He spit out the salad and started to scratch.

Nathan Scott is highly allergic to celery.

"The radio fiasco?" Haley questioned as another choice. Nathan nodded.

After calamine lotion had been applied to Nathan's hives the adults wanted to enjoy what was left of the children's party. The children were sitting on the grass, intently watching as the magician pulled a live rabbit from his hat. The adults sat around the large patio table and watched in amusement. That's when it happened.

Lucas leaned his body up against the tree, watching as his daughter's face lit up at the removal of the rabbit. The act was nearly over and the magician was finishing up.

"And now for my final trick", he said in a booming voice that had the children enthralled, "I will make that radio play a song without even going near it."

Lucas raised a brow. To him that seemed absurd, but the kids loved it. Low gasps were heard and a disbelieving 'no way'; he was sure came from James.

"I'm going to need your help with this", he said as he made a motion that let all the children know they'd be participating, "on the count of three I need you to all yell Abracadabra", the assortment of kids nodded their heads enthusiastically.

On cue the radio turned on, but that wasn't what shocked the knowing adults. It was the song playing.

"Nathan unplug it", Haley demanded as she followed him.

"I'm going to", he said as he noticed the horrified expression on his brother's face and the paleness of his best friend's face.

"What the hell?" Nathan muttered as he held the plug in his hand.

"It's still on?" Haley questioned in amazement.

"At least we know he was worth the money."

"Nathan!" she scolded. He shrugged his shoulders to let her know that he was out of ideas.

The song continued and she was sure the memories were killing the two blondes. In a panic Haley picked up the radio and threw it into the empty pool. As the backyard went silent Haley spoke.

"That song is so played out."

"At least the night is over", Nathan said gratefully.

"Oh tutor husband, the night is still young", Brooke spoke as the two blondes walked into the kitchen from separate entrances.

They stood there like deer in headlights. Their eyes flew to the other's hand and relaxed inwardly when they noticed the bare ring fingers. Peyton bit her lip and was about to speak until it suddenly felt too overwhelming in there. The room watched as she turned her back and walked outside.

"Oh no you don't", Brooke warned as she grabbed Lucas's shoulder, "go talk to her", she ordered.

"Brooke—"

"I don't wanna hear it Luke, we have all gone out of our way to accommodate to the two of you, and enough is enough", she said as she pushed him in the direction her best friend went in, "and if you even utter another word I will stick my four inch heel—"

Before she could finish her sentence he was sliding the door open.

-x-

"Hey Blondie", he whispered a he stepped out onto the deck.

She tensed and it didn't go unnoticed. She hadn't heard that nickname in years. She hadn't heard his voice in years and she realized something. It had the same effect on her now as it did then.

Her pulse quickened and her palms began to sweat. She unconsciously began to shake her leg and had to take a deep breath.

"Hi", she responded after a minute without turning to face him.

He took a breath and bravely sat beside her. He sat on the bottom step and leaned back on his elbows. They both stared at the sky.

"You ever wonder Luke?" she asked softly.

He turned his head to face her. She shivered involuntarily. He always had that effect on her.

"About what?" he asked just as softly as she had.

She stared up at the stars. The tiny, twinkling lights giving her a sense of comfort she hadn't felt in a while.

It was their first wedding anniversary and the two blondes sat comfortably on the beach.

"I could stay like this forever", Lucas whispered into her ear.

She stared up at the stars and smiled.

"Me too", she whispered back as she snuggled closer to him.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath; inhaling the warm June air.

They let the silence envelop them. As if for this moment there was nothing to question and nothing to fear. It was Lucas and Peyton, spending a summer night together as they had so many times in the past.

"Just wonder", she breathed out as she finally faced him.

He walked into the room and felt his heart drop at the scene in front of him.

"Peyton", he said in a pleading voice.

"Don't Lucas", she warned with a shaky voice.

"Stop it", he begged as he started to unpack her bags.

She ignored his demand and continued to pack. "Ellie will sleep here tonight, I'm going to my dad's. I'll be back in the morning for her", she refused to look at him.

"Peyton, I love you", he said helplessly.

She took a breath and turned to face him, "And I love you", she said as tears rimmed her eyes, "I just can't do this anymore", tears streamed down her face. The warm droplets left a spot on his cheek as she leaned up to kiss him goodbye.

He watched as she gathered her bags and walked out the door.

"All the time", he said with a far off look in his eyes.

-x-

"Do you ever wonder?"

This was the question Peyton was faced with at what she assumed to be three in the morning. She was in the middle of a rather enjoyable dream that included her, Dave Grohl, and a champagne filled bathtub. She squinted her eyes and cursed the late night visitor, although she supposed that was her punishment for not locking her door.

"What?" she asked with a sleep filled voice.

"Earlier you asked me if I ever wondered", he stated as he took a step to the bed, "Well, do you?" he pressed.

"Lucas, it's . . . nine", she said pathetically as she pointed to the clock.

"Do you think I woke Ellie?" he asked in concern.

Peyton smiled. "She's staying at Brooke's beach house for the night. Apparently she missed her godmother more then anyone", Peyton said dryly.

"Okay good", Lucas said as he nodded his head, "so do you?" he returned to his original question.

Peyton got out of the bed and walked over to him.

"Yes", she said softly. There was no point in beating around the bush and pretending like emotions and feelings weren't there. Because they were.

"Really?"

"Yea, why do you think I waited so long to actually file for divorce? I kept wondering that maybe one day you'd come to New York and tell me everything I'd wanted to hear and nothing else would matter", she admitted softly.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I was wrapped up in work and stupid things", he berated himself.

She sighed in relief. That was all she had ever wanted to hear. She wanted to know that he was sorry for everything he put her and their young daughter through.

"It's okay", she said sincerely, "I mean, at first it wasn't, but it is now", she assured him.

"I still love you", he whispered as he took a step closer. Peyton smirked.

"I still love you too", she smiled as he smiled.

He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. He kissed her forehead and took in her scent. God, he missed that smell.

"You know, I hope you don't always leave the door unlocked", sarcasm laced his voice.

She rested her head onto his chest and listened to his heartbeat. She was wrong earlier when she thought about the stars. This was giving her a sense of comfort she hadn't felt in a while.

"What? And miss out on all my other late night love confessors?" she teased as she stared into his eyes.

"This happen often?" he played along. Peyton nodded.

"At least once a week", she mused, "But there's only one that I really like", she said playfully as she leaned up to his lips.

"Lucky guy", he said as he swooped down and captured her lips.

They both felt the other smile. This was it. They were older now and they had their priorities straight. They weren't turning back.

"Mmm", was his reaction.

"Brooke", she said as they broke apart.

"Well, that's not the response I was looking for", he chuckled when she swatted him playfully.

"She must have been behind all of this."

"How do you know?" he asked with a smirk.

"Trust me", she assured him.

"Maybe we should make the best of this", he said suggestively.

He led her to the bed and gently placed her on top of it.

"Maybe we should", she agreed as she pulled his head down to hers and kissed him passionately.

-x-

The two girls sat in front of the television watching a repeat of 'Dora the Explorer'.

"What's with the talking backpack?" Brooke questioned as she scooped ice cream onto her spoon.

"That's backpack", Ellie said from beside her Aunt, "he always has whatever Dora needs", she said in amazement. Brooke smiled at her innocent goddaughter.

"Swiper no swiping!" Brooke and Ellie yelled at the same time.

"Good job", Ellie commended. Brooke blushed.

"This is how I'm spending my Saturday night", she muttered under her breath.

"That was the best ice cream sundae ever", the blonde spoke as she licked the bowl.

Brooke smiled and thought of what was happening across town in the childless home of Peyton Sawyer . . . Scott.

"Victory is sweet my dear."


So that was really long lol . . . I didn't wanna cut it into two chapters. I know I tend to write angsty one shots, but here was a happy ending lol. I have another one shot in the works and other chapters are coming don't worry. Let me know what you thought.