I really can't believe that this is the last time I'm doing this, but this is the last chapter of this story. I truly want to thank everybody who read this and helped me continue with this story and finally complete it. As I already said, this was my first fanfic, so all of your support meant a lot to me and truly encouraged me to continue, so thank-you! I really hope that you'll enjoy this chapter, and I'll ask you, for one last time, to please tell me what you thought- about this chapter, about the story in general, or about whatever else you would like to tell me. It would be really great to also hear from people who have been reading this and haven't shared their thoughts with me yet. So for one last time- enjoy! ;-)

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the OTH characters.

Chapter 30

"Brooke, we're home. It's time to wake up, babe…", Lucas softly said and kissed the top of Brooke's head, which was leaning on his chest. Even though the drive from the Riverview hospital to Tree Hill took only thirty minutes, all the excitement and energy she spent that day exhausted Brooke and caused her to fall asleep against Lucas. As Lucas saw that in response to his attempt to awaken her, Brooke only shifted slightly, he began to gently stroke her back and tried again, "Cheery- we're here", he whispered into Brooke's ear.

"Mmm… Already?", Brooke mumbled, still half asleep, causing both Lucas and Keith, who was sitting in the driver's seat, to chuckle. She straightened herself out and rubbed her eyes tiredly, letting out a yawn.

"Let's go, sleepy-head", Lucas pulled Brooke out of the car and took her hand in his once she stood on the ground steadily. Seeing that her eyelids drooped over her eyes, though, he quickly wrapped an arm around her shoulders, to give her more support.

"I'll take care of Brooke's bags, just help her in", Keith said in response to Lucas' outstretched hand, which offered to take the two bags from him. He smiled at his nephew and his sleepy girlfriend fondly, and let Lucas lead the way with a barely awake Brooke at his side. Lucas paused by the entrance door to his house and grinned as he saw Brooke close her eyes again, lean on his body and hug his waist as she snuggled into him. He foreseeingly tightened his grip on Brooke with one hand as he swiftly opened the door with the other.

"Surprise! Welcome back, Brooke!", as soon as Lucas opened the door, Karen, Haley and Nathan called out, completely startling Brooke and causing her to jump and open her eyes completely.

"You guys scared the crap out of me!", Brooke exclaimed, putting her hand over her heart and causing all those present to laugh out loud.

"Are you O.K., babe?", Lucas asked through his laughter, squeezing Brooke to his side lovingly, only then realizing that she was slightly trembling. "Brooke?", his expression turned serious in a moment as he looked at Brooke's face, which paled a bit.

"I'm fine…", she finally found her voice and replied, "But don't you dare wake me up like that again…", Brooke joked, lightening the mood back up and causing Lucas to smile in relief. However, Karen, who could see that their loud greeting managed to shake Brooke up a little, quickly approached her with a glass of water.

"Here you go, honey", Karen kindly smiled at Brooke and handed her the glass, which Brooke downed in one shot.

"Geez, Davis, this was a glass of water", Nathan told Brooke in amusement, "What did you think it was?", he asked her humorously.

"Vodka, considering what you guys did to my heart…", Brooke playfully replied, causing everyone, except for Karen, to laugh wholeheartedly.

"I see we're going to have to set some ground rules in this house…", Karen raised her eyebrow and looked at Brooke warningly. Haley and Nathan shared an uncomfortable glance and quickly walked over to the living room, to avoid the awkward moment.

"I was only kidding…", Brooke was quick to ascertain Karen with a dimpled smile, "I promise…", she added in a more serious tone, fearing that she had caused Karen to regret having let her move in. She realized that finally, someone was actually paying attention to what she was doing and felt like she had to prove herself worthy to Karen for letting her into her home.

"Good", Karen replied, only now allowing a smile to grace her face. She believed in Brooke, yet realized that the girl was used to getting away with anything without her parents even acknowledging that she was doing something wrong, and wanted to set her on the right path from now on. Seeing the nervous expression on Brooke's face, Karen widened her smile, realizing that the girl was far too grateful and loyal to mess with her trust.

"Welcome home", she told Brooke in a soft tone, wanting to show her that she truly meant it and causing Brooke to sigh in relief.

"I promise you won't regret this", Brooke said with a lot of sentiment as she hugged Karen gratefully. "I'll be on my best behavior and do whatever you tell me and won't cause any trouble", she continued rambling and then scrunched her face and awkwardly added, "not on purpose at least…". In response, Karen finally laughed, squeezing Brooke to her before releasing her from the hug and putting her hand on Brooke's cheek in a motherly gesture.

"You are truly something, Brooke…", she told her adoringly, causing Brooke to smile shyly at her. "Go have fun", Karen said to her quietly with a wink, causing Brooke's smile to widen and allowing her to reunite with Lucas, who immediately pulled her over to the living room, to join Haley and Nathan.

"So how did the damage control go?", Nathan smirked at Brooke.

"Perfect!", Brooke cheerfully replied, displaying a wide smile.

"Karen let you go that easily?", Nathan asked in disbelief and then added humorously, "Davis, I thought your middle name was trouble...".

"I wish...", Brooke replied with a huff as she was reminded of her dreadful middle name, sending Lucas, Haley and Nathan into a fit of laughs. Brooke smiled as she watched her three closest friends continuing to laugh and simply having a good time and couldn't help but feel happy and complete. Before everything that had happened, Brooke would have needed a much more entertaining and adventurous activity to keep her from getting bored, but she had matured and learned to appreciate every little moment of happiness she had. And that simple moment, with her friends surrounding her and enjoying each other's company, was nothing short of perfect in Brooke's eyes. She felt happy, she felt safe and she felt loved.

Brooke leaned into Lucas and kissed his cheek blissfully, afterwards whispering into his ear, "It's good to be home...".

After they had finished eating dinner together, Haley and Nathan helped clean up, thanked Karen and Keith and left, promising Brooke and Lucas that they would talk to them on the next day. As he heard Nathan's car pull out of the driveway, Lucas came up to Brooke and hugged her from behind.

"Babe, I think it might be time for you to get some rest", Lucas suggested, resting his hands on Brooke's flat stomach and stroking it up and down with his thumbs.

"That's not a bad idea...", Brooke agreed, as she suddenly felt a wave of exhaustion sail through her body, causing her to lean her head against Lucas' chest. "I'd better change into something more comfortable first. Do you know where Keith put my bags?", she looked up at Lucas and asked. Lucas simply gave Brooke a mysterious smile and moved from behind Brooke to her side, wrapping his arm around Brooke's shoulders.

"Come with me", was all he said, not reacting to any of Brooke's questioning glances at him. He slowly walked Brooke over to his bedroom, which Brooke had yet to enter, and paused before its closed door.

"Luke...", Brooke guiltily and uncomfortably looked up at him, "You don't have to give up your room for me...", she said.

"Just open the door, Brooke", Lucas instructed Brooke with a confident smile.

"Luke...", Brooke continued to uneasily stare at him and tried to decline. She felt like Lucas had already done enough for her and truly didn't want to see him making yet another sacrifice for her sake.

"Go on, babe", Lucas encouraged her softly and something in his eyes told Brooke to just listen to him. She sighed and opened the door, averting her gaze from Lucas over to his bedroom, and gasped the moment she saw the sight before her.

"Oh my god", Brooke whispered in shock, taking little steps into the room and taking in what she was seeing. She expected to find her two bags waiting for her on Lucas' bed, but instead she found all of Lucas' belongings rearranged, now taking up only half of the room, while the other half consisted of all of her belongings, including her bed, her beloved doll house and her favorite childhood stuffed animal- her purple monkey.

"Luke... I don't know what to say...", Brooke said in a shaky voice, completely overwhelmed and touched by the gesture. She felt like a simple 'thank-you' just wouldn't be enough to express how grateful she was.

"Um... If you'd rather stay in a separate room, I could just move to the guest-room or something...", Lucas offered, unable to read Brooke's face at that moment and fearing that he was moving too fast for Brooke with the proposal of a shared bedroom.

"No", Brooke immediately replied, smiling at Lucas as tears welled up in her eyes, "I... this... it's perfect...", she stuttered as she attempted to tell Lucas just how much she loved the idea through her rising emotions. She walked up to Lucas and buried herself inside his arms, hugging his neck tightly, "Thank you, boyfriend", she whispered into his ear, closing her eyes and getting lost in his hug.

"Well, I'd better let you get changed", after a long, comfortable silence, Lucas finally released Brooke from his arms. As he walked towards the door, intending to leave the room, Brooke looked after him, still feeling like she hadn't done enough to thank Lucas for letting her into his home, into his room, into his world.

"Wait!", Brooke called out just as Lucas was about to step out of the room, causing him to turn back and look at her questioningly. "Stay", she asked him and Lucas smiled at her and stepped back into the room, closing the door behind him.

Continuing to look at Lucas intently, Brooke stepped out of her flip-flops and took her shirt off in one swift movement.

"Brooke...", Lucas uncomfortably said, but she only began to unbutton her pants, her eyes still locked on him. Lucas wanted to stop her, knowing that it was still too early for what she was trying to do, but as Brooke pulled her jeans down and let them slide down her legs, his breath grew ragged and all he could do was lock the door and watch the beautiful girl before him.

Brooke stepped out of her pants and gestured with her finger for Lucas to come over to her. Transfixed, Lucas could only do as he was told and walked up to Brooke, stopping right before her. Brooke advanced towards him a little more, causing Lucas to let out a small groan as her hot breaths tickled his neck. She quickly pulled Lucas' shirt over his head and tossed it carelessly onto his bed, regaining eye-contact with Lucas within a moment. Brooke helped Lucas out of his shorts and soon the two stood, facing each other, only wearing their under-garments. Lucas eyed Brooke's gorgeous body with lust, but as his eyes landed on the small marks that were still slightly showing on her stomach, he frowned, remembering that he was still supposed to be looking after Brooke and not having his way with her. Brooke noticed the way he was staring at her and spoke.

"I'm fine", as if she could read his mind, Brooke reassured Lucas. He lifted two apologetic eyes up to Brooke, feeling bad for even thinking about going along with her, but as she leaned into him and crashed her lips into his, any thought or logic left his mind. The way that her tongue danced against his mouth, begging for entrance, caused Lucas to feel shivers going up his spine and finally feeling her bare skin pressed against his didn't allow Lucas to even think about saying no to her. His hands quickly found their way to Brooke's hips and pulled her even closer to him as he granted her tongue entrance to his mouth and deepened the kiss. As he held her against him, Lucas could suddenly feel how Brooke's body was slightly trembling. Resisting the temptation of continuing to feel her soft lips against his, Lucas pulled away from Brooke and eyed her intently.

"Brooke, are you sure?", he asked her seriously, looking at her carefully as she struggled to even out her breaths as well.

Brooke nodded, looking straight at Lucas with determination, yet he could see the suppressed fear in the back of her eyes. When she shakily added, "Just be gentle with me", Lucas realized without a doubt what he had to do. He wrapped his arms around Brooke's body and lifted her over to his bed, gently positioning her on top of his lap as he sat down. Brooke shifted across his lap until she was straddling him and, keeping her eyes on his, took her bra off with her trembling hands. Lucas stared down at her perfect breasts and couldn't help but cup them with his hands and caress them lightly. He bent down and gently kissed one breast and then the other, afterwards moving his trail of soft kisses up to Brooke's collar bone and neck. As he watched Brooke close her eyes, he carefully lifted her arms up, kissing up along them from her shoulder up to her fingers. Holding her arms up with one hand, he quickly reached for his previously discarded shirt, which lay next to him and gently helped Brooke's hands, and then head, into it.

"Luke...", Brooke opened her eyes and stared at him questioningly. Even though his kisses were soft and tender and not the usual frantic, passionate ones he would always give her, she thought that he wanted what she was offering, and simply trying to treat her like she had done him the first time they had gotten together.

"Baby, I love you for wanting to do this for me, but you're not ready yet", he gently said to her, cupping her cheek in his hand and brushing over it with his thumb. He hoped that Brooke wouldn't react as strongly as she had the previous time she had tried to be intimate with him before being ready to do so, but he was willing to take the chance in order to protect her.

"I'll be fine", Brooke shrugged and let her eyes slip away from Lucas', so he won't be able to read her through them, but not before he saw her vulnerability in them.

"Hey", he lifted up Brooke's face so she would look at him once again, "I want it to be perfect the next time we make love, and when the time will be right, we'll both know it. Right now I would just like to hold you in my arms, alright?", Lucas said to Brooke, causing her to force a small smile and nod. Lucas did as he said he would and brought Brooke into his arms, lying down on his bed and pulling Brooke over him.

"I'm sorry", Lucas suddenly heard Brooke say.

"It's O.K.", he softly said, "It's not your fault", Lucas kissed Brooke's neck and began to rub up and down her back.

"I just hope I can be good enough for you again", Brooke mumbled, unable to help but share with Lucas what troubled her mind.

"Where did that come from?", Lucas asked as he looked down at Brooke and frowned, "Brooke, you're good enough for me no matter what. Nobody and nothing can change that because I love you", he told Brooke, squeezing her to him as he spoke. He was filled with anger towards Brooke's parents for mistreating her and causing her to doubt her worth, yet as Brooke finally looked up at him, his face immediately softened.

"I love you too", she said to him, leaning up to him for a short kiss and afterwards resting her head back on his chest and snuggling into his body. Lucas pulled the blankets from underneath them and covered Brooke and himself up.

"Come on, babe- get some sleep", he said to her softly, beginning to stroke Brooke's hair with one hand and arm with the other, applying the same delicacy he would have used had she been a porcelain doll. Affected by his soothing actions, Brooke started to drift off and completely fell asleep within a matter of several minutes.

Lucas continued watching Brooke for a while, glad to finally have her back in his room, simply sleeping by his side, buried in his t-shirt, yet he couldn't help but feel resentment as he thought about everything they had both been forced to endure since the last time they lay this way in his bed. Even though Dan was now locked up in jail for life and Brooke was once again sleeping safely in his arms, he was wondering if it was all worth it. If things wouldn't have been tremendously better had he simply given Dan's account book to Deb or something, and would have let her be the one to handle Dan.

Lucas couldn't have known that despite all the heartache he had felt, he saved himself and his loved ones from a far-worse fate. He couldn't have known that his mother would have stuck with Andy for a while longer, making the ache in Keith's heart much worse. He couldn't have known that Dan would have pushed Nathan so far, he would have gotten involved in cheating on the basketball court, just so he could support himself and Haley, and would have ruined his basketball career due to that. He couldn't have known that Dan would have stepped into his school a year later, during a school shooting they would have, and would have taken Keith away from him forever. And he couldn't have known that his grief from his loss would have eventually driven Brooke away from him, not allowing them to have the happy ending they were now about to have...

Six months later, life seemed great- Brooke was healthy again and she and Lucas got accepted to the same university, which offered both an excellent writing program and basketball team for Lucas and a program specializing in fashion for Brooke, the direction she now sought in life. Nathan and Haley were expecting a baby and Keith and Karen had just gotten married in a beautiful ceremony.

Brooke had returned home after the wedding and waited for Lucas to come back from the airport, where he dropped off the newly-weds for their flight to Italy, where they were about to have their honeymoon. It was pouring rain in Tree Hill, but luckily for Keith and Karen, Italy was preparing a sunny week for them.

By the time Lucas parked the car in front of his room, it was raining even harder. Lucas was glad that Karen and Keith's plane had already safely taken off, but sighed as he thought about the walk he was about to have from his car to his house's doorstep in the heavy rain. Only the thought of Brooke waiting for him inside the house caused him to reluctantly get out of the car and sprint over to his house.

Lucas was about to open the door and enter the house when he saw a note on the entrance door on which the word 'shoes' was written, along with an arrow pointing to the floor. Lucas smiled, realizing that Brooke had meant what she said when she told his mother she would take care of the house while she was gone, and obediently took his wet shoes off and placed them next to the door mat.

He entered the house and was immediately met with yet another note which hung down from the lamp on the ceiling and reached exactly his eye level. This note said 'jacket' and pointed to the coat rack to his left. Lucas chuckled as he took his jacket off and hung it on the coat rack, admiring how his girlfriend was turning into a perfect housewife.

Just as he was wondering what else Brooke had in store for him, he noticed a trail of paper stars on the floor. He curiously followed the trail and was surprised to find himself in the laundry room. He questioningly looked around him, wondering whether Brooke was now going to drag him into doing the laundry with her, but was soon met with yet another note. This note rested on the laundry basket and had three words written on it- 'pants, shirt, socks'. Only now did Lucas realize that Brooke's motives for having him take his shoes and jacket off weren't as innocent as he first thought. He smiled at Brooke's mischievous ways, yet did as she asked in her note, stripping down and remaining only in his boxers. He looked at the floor and realized that a new trail of pink paper hearts was ready to lead him out of the laundry room.

Lucas gladly followed the trail and quickly reached his closed bedroom door. On his door there was one more note that simply said 'Come in...', and Lucas needed to take a deep breath before he closed his hand around the doorknob and pushed the door open.

"Hello, broody...", Brooke immediately greeted her boyfriend in her raspy voice, smiling at him seductively. Lucas simply stared at her with widened eyes, taking in the sight of her standing before him in a silky red robe that reached a bit above her knees. As he failed to respond, Brooke's grin widened and she slowly walked up to him, swaying her hips from side to side in a way she knew would drive him crazy. As she reached him, Brooke wrapped her arms around Lucas' neck and pulled him in for a passionate kiss, to which Lucas immediately reacted. He wrapped his arms around her small waist and pulled her to him as he enjoyed the feeling of her sweet lips slipping in between his own lips and pressing against them.

Brooke abruptly pulled out of the kiss and just as Lucas questioningly frowned, she leaned towards his ear and huskily whispered, "I've got one more note for you...", she told him and then looked over to his chest of drawers. As she promised, a note lay on top of it, and when Lucas read it, his eyes widened- 'robe'.

Seeing that Lucas looked at it hesitantly, Brooke bit her lower lip and untied her robe's belt, letting it slide open a little and reveal her matching lacy underwear and bra from underneath it.

"Go on, boyfriend...", Brooke urged him to help her out of the robe, and this time Lucas pulled it off her shoulders and tossed it away, straight onto the chest of drawers.

"I figured you won't need any more notes after this", Brooke sexily said to Lucas, who, in response, finally pulled her into his arms and began to kiss her senselessly.

With their mouths attached to one another, Brooke and Lucas made their way over to Lucas' bed and tumbled onto it, side by side. Lucas' fingers quickly found their way to the clasp of Brooke's bra and expertly unlatched it and tossed it to the side. Needing to feel as much of Brooke's skin attached to him as possible, Lucas carefully flipped Brooke onto her back and climbed on top of her, pressing his body into her warm, soft one. He felt his hips involuntarily grind into hers, causing Brooke to let out a moan, which, as it always would, completely turned Lucas on. With one hand pressing against one of Brooke's breasts and the other making its way up her thigh, Lucas was happier than ever that he had waited until then to finally make love to Brooke again, because now he could tell that Brooke was truly enjoying it too, and not only him.

"God, I missed you, pretty girl...", Lucas breathed out against Brooke's skin, immediately freezing after he spoke and hitting his head with frustration. There it was, the perfect moment, and he had just completely ruined it by not keeping his mouth shut. "I'm sorry, Brooke... I am so, so sorry...", he apologized, closing his eyes in agony, unable to believe that he was so careless to remind Brooke of the horrible events she underwent.

"It's alright", Brooke replied, and as Lucas opened his eyes, he was surprised to find Brooke smiling calmly at him. "I'm fine now, boyfriend", she reminded him, and looking deeply into his eyes, she sincerely said, "I won't let him haunt me anymore... I want to be your pretty girl again".

As Lucas heard what she said, he was overcome by joy, realizing that Dan's dreadful shadow was finally out of their lives for good. As he lovingly looked into Brooke's eyes, he knew that he didn't even have to ask her if she was sure or if she was ready, because it was the right moment, and they both knew it.

Lucas pulled Brooke's underwear down her legs and then got rid of his boxers. He leaned over to the drawer beside his bed and took a condom out of it. He carefully stroked Brooke's body, letting his fingers find their way back to all of Brooke's sensitive spots, which he was suddenly reminded of, before mumbling to her, "You're so beautiful", and then the two of them became one. Their mutual gentle movements quickly grew faster and rougher and soon they came together, remaining in each other's embrace until they both caught their breaths and then flipping over so Brooke was lying on top of Lucas. Lucas continued kissing Brooke tenderly until they both grew exhausted and fell asleep in each other's arms, feeling more in love than ever.

The next morning, once Lucas woke up, he simply stared at the strikingly pretty girl that slept soundly in his arms and couldn't help but smile to himself. Finally, after so much heartache, he was truly and completely happy. Brooke, the girl he loved so much it made his heart hurt, was finally lying in the safety of his arms, where she belonged. He couldn't help but tighten his grip on her slightly, just to make sure that this blissful reality wasn't merely a tantilizing dream, but he already knew that this time, it was for real. This time, he was about to have all his dreams come true.

Lucas carefully brushed a stray strand of hair away from Brooke's eyes and whispered to her softly, "I love you, pretty girl". He caressed her cheek gently and kissed her forehead lightly, careful not to wake her up. "I'll never leave you again, Brooke. I promise…", he said, knowing that this time, he would be loyal to his word and stick by Brooke's side throughout the wonderful future he imagined that they would have, which, unknown to him at that point, would in a matter of time become his reality and be filled with everything they had both ever wished for.

-The End-

AN: I really hope that this chapter was as good as you all hoped it would be, and was a good enough ending for this story! I'm thinking about writing a new Brucas fanfic, set in my version of season 6, so it could be great to hear if any of you would be interested in reading it!

Thanks again to all of you for everything!

superstargirl7 ;-)