The Wonders of Her World
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Mark Schwahn, my hero. I own none of them, unfortunately. No copyright infringement intended.
Timeline: Set during 5x15 – Life is Short.
Summary: This is my take on how Brooke ended up at Lucas' house and what happened between the moment she showed up on his doorstep and the moment they fell asleep together on the couch.
Author's Note: I wrote this two days ago but I had to wait two days after creating my account here before I could post anything, hence the delay. This is my first Brooke/Lucas fic, so please be kind. I've written a lot, but never for this show, and I have to admit I wonder why I didn't start earlier. I love these characters so much. Oh, and English isn't my first language, so forgive me for any errors you might find.
Brooke is barely done with her second sketch of the night when Angie starts crying again. Her cries pierce her ears and she cringes involuntary.
She puts her crayon down and walks over to Angie's crib. She looks so small and fragile, crying her heart out in this seemingly big crib. Brooke takes her in her arms, tapping her back gently and rocking her back and forth.
Still, her cries don't stop, and it's not just Brooke's ears they are piercing but her heart, too. She think of everything Angie is going to go through and it breaks her heart to know she might not make it. She has only had her for a few days – mere hours really, come to think of it – but she has already grown to love this little person so much. Her smile melts her and her small hands have a solid grip on her heart.
Brooke starts walking around the house with her, hoping the movement will calm her down a little. She whispers soothing words in her ears, and it occurs to her she might not even understand them. She holds her a little closer, but nothing changes.
She thinks of what Lucas told her earlier, trying to comfort herself. "You're doing great, Brooke." Right. At this very moment she feels like she is doing anything but great, and she wonders if she will any time soon.
The truth is, when she was looking into his eyes, she could see how much he believed in his words and it made her stronger. But now she doesn't see how she is going to finish her sketches for Macy's in time or take care of Angie or get any sleep, and she is more exhausted than she ever remembers being.
She picks up her phone and scrolls down her contact list. She lingers over Lucas' name for a second before quickly going past it. It's not that she doesn't want to call him, because she does. Now more than ever. But she feels like calling would be taking another step towards something she is not sure she can handle.
As the line rings once, twice and Peyton still doesn't pick up, she starts to panic. "P. Sawyer, please pick up, pick up, pick up! Whatever you're doing please pick up, I need y–"
"This is Peyton Sawyer. I can't get to the phone right now, but you can leave a mess–"
Brooke hangs up. There is no point in leaving a message and she knows it. She needs someone right now. She needs someone to be there and sit with her, to calm her down, to give her time to breathe a little and find her balance. And wherever she is, Peyton cannot be those things to her.
Brooke can't blame her for how she has been acting lately. She has been there and she knows how hard it is when the boy you love breaks your heart and leaves you for someone else. Hell, she knows what it's like when Lucas Scott breaks your heart and leaves you for someone else.
She understands her pain, but sometimes she is a little resentful of the way she has been acting. She knows it's unfair for her think that. As her best friend, she's supposed to there for Peyton whatever happens and to help her through anything. She's supposed to let her cry on her shoulder and listen to her pour her heart out every night.
But sometimes all that Brooke can remember is all those nights she cried herself to sleep in her bed in Rachel's house and no one was there to tell her it was going to be okay. Sometimes all she can think about is the pain she inflicted herself by breaking up with Lucas, just so he would come to realize his feelings for Peyton; so they would be together, like they should have been from the beginning. That's what they had both always wanted and she couldn't stand in the way of destiny, could she, no matter how much it hurt her to let Lucas go.
And then Peyton let Lucas go, and today Brooke has to pick up the pieces of their relationship. She has to sit there and pretend she never felt anything for him, pretend she and Lucas have no history, no past, no present. But they do, and lately she has been having a hard time ignoring it.
Angie's cries intensifies and Brooke cannot help but swear. She feels tears welling up in her eyes but she refuses to cry. She can do this. She's Brooke Davis. She can do anything. She's going to change the world someday, and she doesn't even know it.
Right now, she wants to believe in Lucas' words so much, but her confidence is crushed by the weight of Angie's cries.
In a flash of insanity and with Angie still in her arms, she grabs her keys, Angie's car-seat, and in a few seconds she's standing in front of her car. She opens the back door and places the seat in the car with one hand, positioning it the right way. She hears no click indicating it is safely secured, and balancing Angie on one arm, she tries to fix the problem.
Tears well up in Brooke's eyes again as Angie's cries intensify. She pushes the car-seat once more but nothing changes, and in a moment of anger and desperation, Brooke kicks the car with her left foot.
"Damn it! Damn it, damn it!", she screams before realizing she shouldn't be swearing in front of Angie.
Hitting the car hurt her, but not as much as her heart aches in this moment. What if she is a bad mother? What if she is going to be worse than Victoria was for her? She can't even lock a car-seat properly, for God's sake!
She turns her head away from Angie, trying to repress her tears as another question races through her mind.
And what if she needs Lucas to make it through all this?
This is what scares her the most – the fact that she is standing there with Angie, desperately trying to sit her properly in the car, all so she can go to see him.
Angie 's seat finally locks itself properly and she carefully places her there. It takes her a couple of minutes to cross town and reach his house, and she can't help but wonder if she should turn back at each red light.
But when she knocks on his door and his eyes meet hers, she knows she has made the right choice.
"Tell me again how great I'm doing?"
"I know how you feel, kid."
"I have to get these sketches done for Macy's, and she just won't stop." She feels her voice break as she speaks, but it's days worth of exhaustion she has to channel. She looks up at Lucas' eyes, and he lets her in without any second thought.
"Come on in."
She is barely inside the house that he takes Angie with him. He seats down on the couch and pulls her up in his arms, like a father would. It only takes her a couple of seconds to calm down, and as she does, Lucas smiles sweetly. He looks up at Brooke in victory, and finds her frozen in the middle of the living room, dumbstruck by how easy it is for him to calm Angie down. She is barely holding back her tears.
"Hey. It's going to be okay," he whispers.
"No it's not!" she answers. She can't get herself to speak more because she's afraid she will break down if she does.
"Brooke, look at me." She doesn't, and he insists. "Brooke."
She finally meets his eyes. "I know it's not easy, and it's probably not going to be anytime soon..."
Brooke chuckles. "Oh, thank you for the support Luke, you're really cheering me up here!" she snaps back.
He knows she is being sarcastic but he really wants to make his point. With a quiet Angie now sleeping in his arms, he stands up and faces Brooke.
"Brooke, listen to me. I meant what I said earlier. You are doing great. And it's not about whether or not you can get her to stop crying every time, or whether you can lock her seat in the car or not. You're doing great because you already love this little girl unconditionally, and because you're going to save her life. She probably won't know this before she grows up, but one day she's going to realize that Brooke Davis saved her life by loving her and caring enough to help her when she needed help. Do you know how rare that is? People who are willing to do so much for others, knowing that the help and love they give will never be returned the way it should be?"
By now tears are freely flowing down Brooke's cheeks. Lucas' word are filling up her heart, her mind, her head, grounding her after days of feeling like she was drowning in quick sand.
"What you are doing is amazing. The love that are willing to give Angie… it's selfless and so, so courageous."
"But what if I can't?" she cries softly. "What if I can't take care of her properly? It doesn't matter how much I care about her if I can't be a good mother."
It hits Lucas once again how damaged Brooke is. It breaks his heart to see the damage that Victoria has done to her own daughter. He has always been taken aback by how little she believes in herself sometimes because of how little she was loved when she was a child. He remembers wishing he could it take it away so many times back in high school. He still does.
"Brooke, you are nothing like your mother."
He says this with such determination both in his voice and his eyes that she cannot help but believe him.
She nods. "I hope not."
He smiles at her and gently wipes away her tears with his thumb.
"Come here, pretty girl," he whispers, and then he steps forward and envelops her in his arms. Angie is still his arms, and she can feel her warm body pressed against her, between Lucas and her. But above all, she can feel Lucas' arm around her, and the warmth of his long-forgotten words spreading in her body.
"Thank you," she tells him, her voice cracking a little.
She feels him smile before he pulls back. "You know I'm here you for you, right? Whatever the time or day, I'm here. Always."
Brooke nods. They had kept in touch even when she was in New York and he was still in Tree Hill, but ever since she came back, they have been growing closer and closer. She feels like she has a true friend in him, in spite of their past. Or maybe because of it. They're only stronger now. Better.
"Now why don't you get settled in and I'll take care of this little girl here?"
"That sounds great," she answers, smiling.
"I'll go get us something to drink," he says before leaving to the kitchen.
Brooke grabs her crayons and sketches before settling on the floor, her back leaning against the armchair. She's already intensely working on her latest dress when Lucas comes back in the living room carrying two glass of water.
"You do know that you can sit on the couch, right?"
They both smile and Lucas hands her the glass. "Thank you, Lucas."
"No, I mean for everything."
He nods and smiles at her before and sitting down on the couch with Angie. He sits her on his lap as they all settle in a comfortable silence. Brooke loses track of time as she goes from dress to suits to shoes and purses. She looks up at Lucas and Angie from time to time, both playing with each other. She feels more calm and serene than she has in a long time, sitting here with both of them.
After two dozens of sketches she feels pretty satisfied about, she is starting to feel her fatigue wearing her down and yawns. As she does, she looks up at Lucas and Angie again, and they are still there, playing and smiling.
"She adores you, Luke," she tells him, smiling.
"Well maybe she could put a good word for me with Lindsay."
She's surprised to hear him mention Lindsay's name. She knows him pretty well and she has rarely brought her up because she knows Lucas will talk whenever he's ready. But she still doesn't want to push the issue, especially not tonight. She thinks everybody else has done that enough already.
"This is kind of strange, isn't it? I mean is this how you thought our lives would turn out?"
"Yeah, with me being stood up the altar and you taking care of a kid that's not yours? Not exactly."
"Do you ever wanna go back?" she asks him. "I remember being sixteen and everything just seemed much easier..." Brooke pauses. It seemed hard at the time and she knows it certainly wasn't easy, but there was less responsibility on her shoulders… Today it feels like these responsibilities are weighing her down, and she doesn't even have love in her life to lift her up. Or maybe she does, and it's right in front of her. "Would you do it differently?"
"I'd try to appreciate the things I took for granted. But… but I think we have to go through all this stuff, you know. To get to the places that we wanna be."
"Yeah," Brooke whispers softly.
Maybe this is where she wants to be.
She looks at Angie and she feels overwhelmed by how much she cares for this little girl. Then she looks at Lucas and she's overwhelmed too, by everything he has done for her lately.
"Well I should go," she tells him, not wanting to impose herself too long. "At least if you wanna get any sleep tonight."
"How are the designs coming?" he asks her as she is packing up her sketches.
"Good. I just have a few more."
Lucas looks at Brooke and then at little Angie in his arms again, and he doesn't hesitate. "Stay," he asks her.
Brooke turns around, surprised.
"Finish 'em. I don't mind". He looks over at Angie again and smiles.
"Yeah, it's kinda nice."
He smiles and she smiles back. He laughs in joy at Angie as Brooke softly whispers, "Yeah."
It is nice, nicer than she knows how to tell him. Instead she gets back to her sketches, her heart swelling in serenity.
She keeps on drawing for a while, and soon she is almost done. There is just one last dress that she wants to be perfect. It's flaming red, just like the door Lucas once painted for her.
She gets up and sits down next to him on the couch as she finally closes her sketch book.
"You all done?" he asks her.
She nods. "I can't believe I made it". She closes her eyes for a few seconds, resting them for a little while. "I didn't think I would be able to pull this off."
"Well, you are Brooke Davis."
"That's true," she answers, grinning, eyes still closed. "I am marvelous", she jokes, and he laughs along with her. It's good to hear her like this again, back to being herself.
She is already half sleeping by now, but there is one thing he wants to tell her before the night ends.
"I missed you."
He looks at her, unsure of her reaction, but he finds her soundly asleep. She looks so peaceful lying here next to him, he wouldn't want to wake her up for anything in the world.
He silently gets up and brings back a blanket from his room before laying it down on her, hoping it will keep her warm enough.
He sits down next to her, exhausted, and as he closes in eyes, Brooke stirs under the newfound blanket. She feels Lucas settle in next to her, and she doesn't even think when she moves closer to him. It makes all the sense in the world and she welcomes that feeling.
He lifts his arm without her saying anything, without him opening his eyes, and she lays her head on his chest as his right arm envelops her.
"I missed you, too, Lucas Scott" she whispers softly. Her tears dried up long ago, but her voice sounds even more vulnerable than before.
He doesn't answer and she assumes he is already asleep. She smiles. It doesn't matter if he heard her. What matters is that they are here for Angie, here for each other now, and they will always be.
- the end-