I still don't own it, nor do I own "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS.

Okay, I've wanted to write a one-shot for a really long time and I was so glad that I actually had some inspiration for it. Also, is the website acting screwy for everyone? The separation I use like disappears, it's weird and since I'm incredibly anal about this stuff I'm going back and changing them all.

It's a year long view on things after 5x12. The P.O.V. floats around so keep an eye on that.


She takes a deep breath and opens the sliding glass door. This day has been a series of events that none of them saw coming. Brooke said she needed to talk to him and she did, but now obviously wasn't the time for that conversation.

He lets out a sigh and she watches as his shoulders rise and fall with the breath. Her heart goes out to him. She doesn't know what transpired between him and his almost wife, but it had to have been a big deal. He's here and she's not.

He hears the sounds of heels behind him and assumes its Haley. She's either coming to yell at him or collapse into his arms and he isn't sure which one he would prefer. The steps grow hesitant as they grow closer and he snaps his eyes shut. He knows it's not Haley and he knows exactly who it is. He turns to face her and inwardly sighs. She is incredibly uncomfortable right now.

"Dan's talking to the police", she says softly.

He tenses and she wants to reach out to him. His father, according to blood, has been released from prison and was no more than ten feet away from him today. He may or may not have abducted his godson. James keeps saying he saved him, but Lucas doesn't want to believe that.

Because he's supposed to save everyone; and if Dan did save him, than that makes him near heroic and that thought alone makes Lucas sick.

The silence lingers until it's no longer a silence. They can both hear the blood rushing in their ears and the birds sound like they're chirping on their shoulders. Peyton can't take it anymore and so she speaks.

"I'm so sorry", she whispers.

He knows she's being sincere, but at this point he is so fucking tired of everyone apologizing that he explodes.

"Sorry? Isn't this what you wanted?" he shouts. She flinches at his tone, but it does nothing to him. "I'm alone now Peyton, why aren't you kissing me now?"

"Lucas", her tone isn't angry and that might be what aggravates him even more. He's being an asshole and she's being submissive.

"This is all because of you", he whispers. Her eyes darken and he knows he's hit a nerve.

"This isn't my fault! I gave you up, Lucas. Everything I have ever done has been for you!" she shouts back. "I gave up my happiness because I wanted you to be happy!"

"Well, thanks for the sacrificing, but I'm still nowhere near happiness."

"That's not my fault", she repeats at a low whisper.

Somewhere, deep down, he knows its not. But if it wasn't her fault than it was his and it couldn't be his because that book didn't mean anything. A comet is something in the sky, not the model of a car.

"Yes it is! You should have stayed away. You didn't need to come back here."

The tears are bordering her green eyes and she doesn't know how much longer she can keep up the angry stance she's giving him. Her entire world is crashing down; has been for months, but she doesn't want to show him that. He's always told her she's strong and that he admired her for it, so even if it's the last thing he'll ever think about her, she wants it to be that she's strong.

"I'm sorry you feel that way", she says.

And then it starts raining; although not literally.

It's springtime in Tree Hill and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It's quite a sight to see; the town's covered in whites and pinks. As he watches her walk away the wind picks up and the light colored petals fly around the yard. She stops and with her back half turned to him she gazes at the floating flowers. He isn't sure why, but he feels a pain. Not in his arm or face or even his leg.

He feels an ache in his heart.

It's a feeling he isn't be able to pinpoint now. When he tries to write about it he won't be able to find the words to describe it.

All he knows is that this feels familiar.

-x-

He walks into his house with a yawn and a suitcase dragging behind him. He's been gone for the past month; deciding to spend some time with his mother and baby sister and the only other man that was ever like a father to him.

He's got two messages on his answering machine and frowns before hitting the play button. The voice of the first person fills the room and his mouth drops in shock, he even plays the message once more just to know he isn't imagining this.

It's Lindsey, his ex-fiancée; the girl that left him at the altar.

Once the shock of hearing her voice wears off he concentrates on what she's saying. It's about his book, the same book that caused their fallout. She wants to publish it. She leaves nothing else and her tone is indifferent.

The second one is Brooke and he knows she left it shortly after he spoke with Peyton. She's angry. Infuriated is a better word. She's yelling so loud he can barley hear what she's saying, but he can make out certain words.

Peyton. Crying. Broken. Stupid. Ass. Stay Away. Pod Lucas.

The message ends and his fingers itch. He grabs for the handheld phone and quickly dials the necessary numbers, but pauses before hitting the last digit. He has caused Peyton so much heartache that she didn't deserve. Brooke is right, he has broken her. At this point, it's better if he stays away.

He sighs and hangs up.

-x-

A week later he's in New York. The city looks the same as it did years ago and he thinks it's odd. In a city that always changing and always has something going on he seems to be the only thing that's different.

Lindsey hears a knock on her door and she knows it's him. Her co-workers called her insane. Others thought it was her attempt at revenge. And although revenge sounded pretty good at the time, she's an editor first and foremost and his book is good.

It's an epic love story. It may have caused her pain and agony, but it's about love in its purest form. The kind of feeling that honestly makes you believe in things. God, love, and art are just some of them.

And she thinks it would be a shame to keep that feeling from the world.

She calls him in and the blonde walks in with a briefcase in one hand and the other shoved into his denim pocket. She wants to smile out of politeness, but bites the inside of her cheek. She's moved on from what happened, but being this close is almost too hard. She's torn.

Because Lucas Scott the person disgusts her, but Lucas Scott the author awes her.

He sits at the chair across from her desk and is brought back to that day in New York. The day he met with Lindsey, but it's not Lindsey that he's thinking about.

Oddly enough, it's Brooke.

He can remember being nineteen years old and sitting in this very chair. At the time Brooke's words were playing in his head. You need to go out there and become the best person and the best writer that you can be and then you approach Peyton, and if she comes back to you, you know it's meant to be. It was his mantra. A song playing on repeat. All he had wanted to do was make his dreams come true. Because if he did she would come back.

And that's why he called her a year after they broke up. He was going to be in LA for a book signing. At the time he had felt he was the best person, the best writer he could be and so he was approaching her. If she came that night it was obviously meant to be. That's why when she didn't he went out to dinner with his editor.

He hears Lindsey say his name and he's brought back to the present. The twenty two year old Lucas that's sitting across from his ex-fiancée with thoughts of his ex-girlfriend running through his mind. He's missed the entire conversation, but of course he manages to catch this part.

She asks him if he and Peyton are together and he frowns. Is this some type of trick question? Will his answer change her mind about publishing his second book?

"No", he barley breathes out.

She laughs, but it's more of a cynical one than a real one and at that moment he realizes two things.

Lindsey truly was rooting for the Lucas and Peyton in the book.

She also thinks he put her through all that heartache for no reason.

-x-

It's been four months since he's met with Lindsey, but Peyton doesn't know that. Lucas never called back that day all those months ago. So, she's been traveling; doing the things she never got to. It's not for no reason though. She's been on the road looking for up and coming artists.

The road of undiscovered talent has led her to Georgia and a man she never thought she'd see again.

He's aged well. The uncut boyish look he once had has faded away and all that's left is a very cut and defined man.

They're sitting in the club he brought her too in senior year when she visited him. It's been good to catch up. He's told her pretty much all of his life for the past five years and she's told him all of hers; all the gritty details. They've laughed together and gotten nostalgic; overall she's forgotten how good a friend Jake could be.

Jenny's a little over six years old and it makes Peyton shake her head. He is far too young to have a daughter that old. She misses the small blonde and she tells him this. He smiles and says that Jenny misses her too. Peyton's shocked, but Jake tells her that he's never let her forget who she was. He will never let Jenny forget about the woman who cared for her and loved her as a mother.

Peyton's eyes gloss over and she would be all over him right now if it wasn't for the gold band on his left ring finger.

He's been married for two years and says he's never been happier. It pinches at Peyton's heart a little and he places a comforting hand over hers.

"Didn't Lucas make you happier than anyone else?" he asks with a knowing smile.

She blushes and he has his answer.

"Lucas never left me with a baby to raise on my own", she counters with a typical Peyton Sawyer smirk.

He laughs and nods his head in agreement. "Fair enough."

She's silent for a moment and he nudges her shoulder to ask what's going through her mind. She's asks him how he could possibly be with the woman who caused him so much pain and devastation. How was he able to let that all go?

He sighs and she instantly knows it's not the first time someone has asked this question. After he's gathered his thoughts he turns on the bar stool and faces her.

"We both know we made mistakes. We were young. At the end of the day I know that I love her and that she loves me. As cheesy as it sounds, sometimes that love is all you need", he says while glancing down at his wedding ring.

Her heart suddenly feels as if it's too big for her chest and she takes a deep breath. Jake knows she's thinking of Lucas and he's glad for it. The two blondes have already sacrificed so much; their happiness really shouldn't be added to that. She throws back a shot and he smiles when she asks him if she could use his cell phone.

She flips it open and dials a number she'll never forget. It rings once, twice, and a third time before a recording asks her to leave a name and a message. It beeps and the shrill sound resonates in her ears.

She silent for a moment before her mouth does all the work for her.

She misses his smile. She misses his eyes. She misses the way he speaks. She misses the way he carries himself. She misses him.

She's sorry she's caused him pain in the recent months. She's sorry they constantly cause each other pain for the sake of everyone else's happiness. She's sorry she didn't say yes that day all those years ago. She's just so sorry.

She loves his voice. She loves his grace. She loves his dignity. She loves him.

She hangs up the phone and throws back another shot. As the liquid burns her throat her eyes widen.

What the hell did she just do?

-x-

It's been five months since that message, but Lucas doesn't know that. There was a rainstorm in Tree Hill and it blew the power out. When he got home that night he had to reboot the computer and record a new message on his answering machine.

Things in Tree Hill have changed a bit. Nathan and Haley went through a bit of a trial period. After Jamie was returned home, Nathan was allowed to move back, but he slept in the guest room. They started counseling sessions; Haley was too high strung and Nathan was trying too hard to please her. Eventually, their hard exteriors faded and the Haley and Nathan that were married in their junior year of high school poured through their veins.

They're now expecting their second child.

Brooke's want to be better than her mother led her to adoption. Of course that wasn't the guiding force; she's achieved more than most twenty two year olds and there was nothing she wanted more than to give her love to someone who needed it. Someone who would love her back with just as much devotion.

Her daughters name is Madison.

He hasn't seen Peyton in months and Brooke says it's just as well. Her blonde best friend doesn't need him popping back into her life when the timing is right for him. She's been on a rant for minutes and in a desperate attempt to make it all end he asks if Madison needs tending to. Brooke simply smirks and says that she's napping.

He knows that he doesn't really have a right to feel the way he does about her. He shouldn't miss her. He shouldn't think about her. He shouldn't love her.

But he does.

He's been at her house for an hour at this point and she doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon.

"How's her musician hunt going?" he asks in hopes of calming her down.

The brunette smirks and takes a seat across from him. She tells him that it's been going great. There are a ton of unsigned artists out there and that she can't wait to work with them more closely. Lucas nods and seems pleased with the answer, but Brooke has an even better one.

"Right now she's focusing on one in particular."

He raises a brow and waits for her next sentence. His heart is thumping because he loves hearing about Peyton and all the success she's gotten for herself. He's also excited because he knows that whoever she's focusing on is sure to be a star.

"You know him; actually we went to school with him."

She's being vague and Lucas doesn't like it. He also doesn't like the fact that they went to school with one male who was interested in music and that same male was interested in Peyton.

Brooke chuckles inwardly at the reaction she's already received. Lucas doesn't need to know that Jake's married. He doesn't need to know that Peyton hasn't actually worked with him in close to three months.

He does need to feel the agony Peyton's lived in for years.

-x-

It's springtime in Tree Hill and he's out in the yard with family and friends. Jamie's running around with the kids from his class and Lucas smiles brightly. It's a party, Jamie's party. If the circumstances were different his baby sister would be here, but she's with Karen, and they're with the man that has become a father and a fiancé.

This time last year he was supposed to get married and Jamie had just been brought home by his murderous father. It amazes him that that was a mere twelve months ago. He thinks about the person he was and the person he's become and he can tell there's a difference. He isn't sure what it is, but there is definitely something different.

Jamie walks up to him and grins. Lucas raises a brow and kneels down to the boy's level.

"What's up with you?" he asks with a smile.

Jamie simply grins wider and runs past him. Lucas shakes his head and stands, he's about to walk over to Skills and some others until he notices that everyone's eyes are facing straight ahead. He frowns and decides to follow the trend. His eyes scan the yard until they land on Peyton Sawyer.

And there's this moment.

You see the cherry blossoms are in bloom again. The wind picks up and petals fly through the air. Peyton stops and watches as the colors flutter around her and his heart aches an all too familiar ache.

But unlike this feeling last year, he knows exactly what it is. It's his world being pieced back together until its whole. It's his belief in God, and love, and art coming to life right before his very eyes.

It's a comet on two legs and it's walking in his direction.


I'm not sure how I like the ending, I left it open ended, but I think you're all smart enough to know where it's going from there. Let me know what you think!