I don't own anything, not even "Sweet and Low" by Augustana.

Okay, so this is another one-shot. OTH is frustrating at the moment and I'm doing my best to keep the faith.

I know that Angie is going to interact with Brooke and from the looks of it Lucas (rolls eyes because he's trying to fill a void) a lot, but this is 5x15 my way. 4,000 words I didn't intend for it to be this long, it just worked out that way.


Anywhere you go, anyone you meet,
Remember that your eyes can be your enemies,
I said, well hell is so close
And heaven's out of reach
I ain't giving up quite yet,
I've got too much to lose

He sees her the second she walks into the house. Well actually, he doesn't see her; he can feel her presence. She has an aura around her that she carries with grace. It's in the little things she does, her smile, her laugh, the way she waits patiently for someone to finish a story; she bites her bottom lip and her eyes glow.

When she finally does come into view he can feel a tightening in his chest that's plagued him for the last few weeks. She's talking to Haley as all the girls walk into the house; Brooke's got Angie safely strapped into her car seat carrier. He's pretty sure Peyton and his best friend are talking about music because Peyton's got a look in her eyes that's reserved for her passion.

She and Brooke turn to place their things in the other room and he spots the purple monkey sticking out of her purse. He smiles and remembers when he went to Brooke's house the other day. They sat on the couch and for a moment it felt like it used to. It felt like they could be friends. That maybe, just maybe, they weren't a mess when they dated and a second – third – chance wouldn't be so bad. That this could be the family he's been longing for.

But then he remembered Peyton telling him that Jenny had a purple monkey and once again all he saw was blonde hair and green eyes.

That blonde hair catches his eye and he notices the tiny infant she has cradled in her arms. When they were teenagers she was always terrified to be a mother; she had had virtually no training. But he always did his best to ease her concerns.

Seeing her with Angie fills his heart with pride and love.

He's having an inner battle. One side of him – all of him – wants to talk to her. To tell her that she's handling this new baby thing wonderfully. It may have been Brooke that offered, but it was dropped in Peyton's lap and even though the brunette told everyone she could do this on her own, he knew Peyton would never let her actually be alone in this.

It makes his amazement in her soar.

He's about to walk in her direction when Skills snaps his fingers and grabs Lucas's attention. It's cake time. The conversation will have to wait. He walks past Peyton, pretends not to see her eyes glace upward, ignores the haunting aroma that fills his nose, and most of all he ignores the way his heart pounds in his ears as his pant covered calf brushes against her bare knee.

"Make a wish", Haley tells her son.

Anything you want, everything you want, Lucas's mind speaks. Jamie closes his eyes to think and opens them with a smile on his face. Lucas can feel Peyton's eyes on him and it sends chills throughout his body.

"I know exactly what I want", the five year old grins. Lucas grins too because he knows exactly what he wants also. He takes a deep breath and bravely raises his head. His eyes are darting around and as they're about to land on a certain blonde someone else enters the room and out of instinct that catches his attention.

It's Lindsey and he can feel everything he wanted look away.

Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down, sweet and low, and I'll carry you home
Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down, and I'll carry you home

Leave it to Jamie to make an already awkward situation uncomfortable. Lucas sits at the table alone and mulls over what just transpired. Lindsey's coming over later, but she didn't look thrilled when she said it. He runs a hand through his hair; he can't think about this anymore. He can hear a soft voice through the glass windows and when he turns he sees the back of Peyton's head and the side of Angie's. With a smile and no second thought he stands.

Haley watches her best friend open the sliding glass door and step one foot onto the porch. She smiles and shakes her head. He's a fool and the quicker he notices that the better off everyone will be, hopefully she's helping move that along. She knows that Peyton got him the shirt he's wearing; the one she told him to put on.

And she's pretty sure that Lucas knows that too.

Peyton rubs Angie's back and softly sings a lullaby. Lucas watches from his spot in awe at the rush of emotions he's feeling. He wants to pull her into his arms and kiss her. He wants her to have his children just so he can wake up and see this everyday. He wants her to let him love her.

The wind blows and as Peyton breathes in she freezes, so much so that her singing actually stops. She had felt the air shift before the wind blew and as she got a whiff of that scent she knew why.

Lucas Scott was suddenly sitting beside her.

"Nice song", he says honestly, but a small smirk graces his lips. She bows her head and feels a blush rise to her cheeks.

"Thanks", she says gently.

Nobody was supposed to hear that. It was a song that her mother used to sing to her. She figured that since it worked on her maybe it would work on baby Angie and considering how quiet it is now she thinks she was right. She gives Lucas a sideways glance and chuckles.

"Nice hat", she counters with a smirk.

He's confused at first and has no idea what she's getting at. Her eyes travel to his head and he quickly groans. His hand flies up to his head and he rips the hat off with a snapping noise.

"Jamie asked me to", he mumbles out of shyness. Peyton smiles and shakes her head.

"It suits you."

He squints his eyes before cracking his lips and smiling brightly. Her sarcasm wounds him and when he mutters this she laughs. It's a real laugh; not one of those awkward ones she's been giving everyone. It's soft because of a sleeping Angie, but he can see all her teeth nonetheless.

"I saw Lindsey."

"You're perfect with her."

They speak at the same time and both blush after it. Lucas heard her words perfectly, but right now he wants to leave his almost wife at the back of his mind. He's spent weeks thinking about her and to be honest he's sick of it.

"You're perfect with her", he repeats.

Peyton heard him perfectly the first time and the blush that spread was proof of it. Now, as he repeats the words to her she can feel her eyes water. She's done her best to not think about him, but it's hard not to constantly be reminded about what they had. And holding baby Angie in her arms with him at her side makes her think about what could have been.

A cream colored baby with gold like hair and blue-green eyes. A nose that matched its fathers and was equally as perfect for Eskimo kisses. Perfect rosebud lips and a pensive stare.

Her eyes are burning and even though she's spent the last few days praying for Angie to stop crying right now she wants nothing more than to hear that shrill wail. She needs this moment to pass.

He reaches a hand out and gently rubs her small, sock covered foot. It's been so long since he's interacted with a child of this size and he's almost afraid of it, but the thoughts that had clouded his mind made him need to feel this infant. To know that one day his dreams would be a reality.

One day this will be their lives.

"If you wake her, Brooke will make you take her home", Peyton warns with a smile.

Rain is gonna fall, the sun is gonna shine,
The wind is gonna blow, the water's gonna rise
She said, when the day comes, look into my eyes
No one's giving up quite yet,
We've got too much to lose

Lucas's eyes shoot up to meet Peyton's, but he doesn't move his hand. Instead, his other one reaches up and strokes the infant's chubby arm. Peyton wants to stop the smile that spreads to her lips, but she can't. For the moment this is their lives and as foolish as it may seem it's all she's got.

It's all she'll ever have.

Lucas sighs. Her words are a defense mechanism; the only one that may know that better than him is Nathan. She spent years being bitchy to his younger brother when all she wanted was to be pulled into a strong pair of arms and cradled until she cried all the tears her body could handle.

"Ehh, she's an angel", Lucas whispers.

Peyton lets out an uncharacteristic snort. "When she's not screaming so hard her face is red."

"It's what babies do", he smiles. "Remember what Lily was like?" he asks with a somewhat horrified expression.

Peyton lets out a breath and nods. She most certainly does. The two weeks before she left were filled with cries and tears and dirty diapers. Karen had told her that she didn't need to help with any of it, but Peyton brushed her off. That was where she had wanted to be.

In Lucas Scott's house taking care of a baby Scott.

Peyton's about to open her mouth, but before she can speak Angie lets out a little whimper. Both pair of eyes shoot down to the tan skinned baby and Lucas furrows his brows while Peyton speaks;

"What time is it?"

He glances at his wristwatch. "A quarter after two", he says.

She sighs and stands. "She needs to eat."

He moves to stand beside her, but his actions are paused as she speaks again. "I'll see you later", and before he can object she's walking to the door.

Brooke bounces up the porch steps and smiles at her best friends retreating figure. The blonde has become the best unofficial godmother a woman could ask for and that makes Brooke the happiest person on this planet. Peyton had always been doubtful when it came to her mothering skills and she hopes that these moments with Angie make her realize that her dreams are within her reach. Brooke glances to the blonde that's left on the bench and smirks at the fact that his eyes are watching her leave.

All of Peyton's dreams are within her reach.

The weight on the other end of the porch swing causes Lucas's neck to snap around. Brooke smiles a little too knowingly and Lucas inwardly groans. He watches as she opens her mouth and is more than prepared for some type of verbal lashing, but instead she says;

"Hey Broody, wanna know a secret?"

She asks him the same question she's asked her godson in the recent days. Her perfectly shaped eyebrow kinks in a way that used to drive him wild; now he simply chuckles and nods his head.

"What's the secret Brooke Davis?" he plays along.

Her smile disappears and she bites her bottom lip. The sudden change in her demeanor scares him. It's not very often that the self-proclaimed 'bubbly brunette' is this serious.

This could get her into trouble. Her brown eyes search the house for the location of woman and child. They land on a standing Peyton Sawyer that's talking with Nathan; Angie is still in her arms and a bottle is in her mouth; every now and again the blonde sways back and forth on instinct.

Her head turns to look at her former lover only to find that he had followed her gaze. A small smile is playing on his lips as he watches the straight haired blonde caress Angie's leg with her thumb; almost unconsciously. Brooke smiles too.

Screw being trouble, they both need this.

She clears her throat and before facing her Lucas hangs his head. He's been caught watching Peyton yet again. But he can't it. It's like high school all over again; only this time it isn't her legs he's watching . . . at least not all the time. He's watching her interact with a child in a way that he had only ever dreamed about.

He faces Brooke and her serious face. When she speaks her raspy voice is a mere whisper.

"She still wants all the same things that you wanted and she still wants them with you."

Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down, sweet and low, and I'll carry you home
Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down,

He can hear the hushed voice from the other side of the door. For a moment he thinks its Lindsey, coming back – if not for him than at least for the key. He isn't sure why he wants so badly for it to be her. Earlier today he was imaging a future with Peyton and just moments ago he was begging Lindsey to stay. When he hears the momentary cry he knows it's far from being his former fiancée.

The doorknob jiggles and that's when he remembers that it's locked. He stands from the bed and is about to walk to the door until the jingle of keys makes him stop and sit back down. The lock clicks and a moment later a baby carrier comes into view.

"Okay sweetie, please stop crying."

The desperate voice of Peyton is noticeable before he can even see her. She walks into his room and closes the door behind her before she spots him from his place on his bed. He can see the set of keys in her hand and furrows his brows.

She bites her lip and stands there uncomfortably. Things had been so hectic at the house that she hadn't even given it a second thought when she grabbed the car keys and left the house with Angie. She hadn't given it a second thought when she pulled out her old set of keys and open Lucas's door. But now she realizes that she should have.

Because she feels incredibly awkward for having used a key she shouldn't even have anymore.

"Hey . . . sorry", she mumbles.

He shakes his head and stands from the bed. He makes a sympathetic face at the still crying baby and without a word takes the carrier from his blonde ex-girlfriend. She runs a hand through her disheveled hair and lets out a breath.

"I don't mean to intrude like this, but Brooke had said that she really took to you and she needs to get some sketches done and even though I love baby Angie", she says animatedly while smiling at the infant. "I really need to listen to some demos and I can't do that with a screaming infant . . ."

"Its fine", Lucas says with a smile.

He always loved when she rambled and this time was no different. Peyton blushes and watches as he meticulously undoes the snap of her seatbelt. His large fingers gently tickle her onesie covered belly and the cries fade into whimpers before the whimpers turn into giggles.

Peyton raises a brow and huffs. "I tried tickling her."

Her voice is low and Lucas simply smirks. He picks her up and Angie smiles the brightest smile a baby of her size can manage. It melts Peyton's heart. He finally faces Peyton with Angie's head resting on his shoulder.

"I'll take her into the living room. This place is all yours", he says while motioning around his bedroom. Peyton shakes her head.

"I'm not trying to put you out. I'll go into the kitchen or something", she says while walking away. Her eyes catch sight of the single metal key resting on his dresser and her heart drops.

She completely forgot that Lindsey was coming over.

He moves Angie from her spot on his broad shoulder and is now cradling her in his arm. He uses a finger from his other hand to tap her little nose playfully; she lets out a squeal and he can feel his heart warm at the noise. He lifts his head and stares at Peyton as she stares at the abandoned key.

He figures Brooke told her that Lindsey was coming over, but he knows for certain that there's no way Peyton remembered that when she drove here. Her own keys dangle in her hands and even though he probably shouldn't, he smiles.

Lindsey hadn't felt like this was her home. She left her key here and that obviously meant she never planned on returning. The fact that Peyton still has her key gives him hope. She always planned on coming back. The fact that she used it makes his head spin.

She obviously felt at home here.

"There's a stereo in here, don't be so ridiculous", his words cause her head to snap around and meet his eyes.

"Do you wanna talk about it?" she asks.

She completely ignores his comment and takes a step in his direction. Peyton may still be in love with him, but that doesn't mean she wants him to hurt like this. He shakes his head and moves past her.

"There's nothing to talk about", he says simply.

He walks to his door, but pauses in the doorway. He looks over his shoulder at her. She's taken to his desk and took over the pad and pen he uses to jot down ideas for his novel. She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and bites her lip as she pulls a stack of C.D's from her bag. She writes down the name of the first band and opens the case. He looks down at the life in his arms to find her big, bright eyes staring back at him.

"Hey Peyton", he says suddenly.

She cranes her neck and tries not to look surprised; she had no idea he was still there. With thoughts that he wants to talk about Lindsey in her mind she takes a deep breath and braces herself for another 'she's coming back to me speech', but instead he smiles gently and says;

"Thanks", before she can question it he walks out the door and closes it behind him.

And I'll carry you all the way,
You say you're fine
But you're still young, and out of line
All I need is to turn around,
To make it last, to make it count
You're gonna make the same mistakes
That put my momma in her grave
I don't wanna be alone

He sits in the kitchen with Angie on his lap. It's been a little over an hour, but he has no complaints. She's actually been relatively calm. The muffled sounds of the various musicians were the only noises he's heard all night.

When the music stops he smiles and waits for Peyton to emerge from the room. The seconds tick by and the door remains shut. He raises a brow and lets out a noise. Angie raises her head and tilts it to the side.

"Let's go see what she's doing", he says and Angie laughs.

He opens his childhood room and chuckles softly at the sight before him. Peyton has her head in her hand and her eyes are shut. Her mouth is slightly open and a quiet snore escapes it. Before he can leave the room Angie let's out a noise and reaches her arm out in Peyton's direction.

The blonde sits up straight and Lucas watches as she gathers her bearings. She mumbles something that he can't really understand; all he hears is a mutter of Angie's name. She looks around the room and lets out a breath as she stares at Lucas with a sleepy eyed Angie in his arms.

"Sorry, I didn't mean fall asleep."

To be honest, she's still half asleep as she stands and takes the chubby child from his arms. Their skin touches and Lucas feels like a lightening bolt has just jolted through his body. She places Angie in her car seat and kisses the top of her head. She wraps her hand around the plastic bar and lifts it with a soft grumble. She mumbles a goodbye and heads for the door.

"You shouldn't drive if you're this tired", he says with a caring voice. "Precious cargo", he smirks as he nods in her direction. Peyton looks down at the now sleeping infant and can only nod her head. She is incredibly tired and it wouldn't be safe to drive with something this special in her care.

Little did she know Lucas was talking about Peyton her-self.

"She can't sleep in her car seat the whole night", Peyton says through a yawn. He holds up a finger and asks her to wait a minute. He disappears and she can hear a muffled curse along with a grunt. A moment later a pink colored bassinet is being pushed into the room.

"This'll be fine", he tells her.

Peyton smiles at the image of Lily's old sleeper. The memories of her and Lucas watching over his baby sister are overwhelming and she's sure that if she wasn't so tired she would burst into tears.

Thank God for exhaustion.

He pushes the bassinet over to the side of his bed; the side that had always been hers and Peyton follows him. She places the car seat on his bed and unbuckles Angie with ease. She carefully picks her up and cradles her against her body. She softly wishes the child sweet dreams and places her on her back. Peyton strokes her cheek and before she can reach for it, Lucas is at her side placing the blanket over the sleeping girl.

Without a second thought Peyton climbs into the bed and Lucas rubs the back of his neck. She shifts and quickly realizes what she's doing. "Oh gosh, I'm sorry", she whispers. She goes to stand, but Lucas puts both of his hands up.

"I'll sleep on the couch."

"Don't be ridiculous", she mimics his earlier words. He gives her a boyish smile and when the other side dips down she feels a nervous flutter in her stomach. She knows they aren't going to sleep together, but sleeping together is still an intimate action; at least when it concerns him and her.

He pulls the covers down and watches as Peyton makes her-self comfortable. He's more than positive that Haley will be over early tomorrow morning to find out how things with Lindsey went and he can picture the questioning look on her face. Luckily, he has an answer . . . Peyton was far too tired to drive and the couch hurts his back. He shakes his head.

He needs to think of a better answer.

He feels Peyton curl into his side and without hesitation he wraps his arm around her body. Her fingers are playing with a random string on his shirt and she takes a breath before speaking;

"What are you thinking about?"

The words are on the tip of his tongue: you, us, the life we should have had. He knows this isn't the time to bring any of that up. They've had a relatively good day and things like that will only ruin it.

"I'm torn between what I know I should do and what I feel like I have to do", he admits.

He waits with baited breath and hopes that she's too tired to analyze what he's just said. He hasn't told anyone that and it shocks him that she's the first person he decides to share that with, but at the same time he isn't really all that surprised.

She's Peyton Sawyer afterall.

But he's still worried none the less. Not because of what he told her, but because of how true his words are. He knows he should be with Peyton, but he feels like he has to fight for Lindsey because he had wanted to marry her only a month ago.

"Just follow your heart, Luke. It always leads you in the right direction."

Her words are mumbled and she's too tired to really think about what either of them are saying. She has no idea just how deep her words run. They comfort him and it's almost as if as weight is lifted from his shoulders. She nestles further into his body and he hears her yawn once more.

"What did you thank me for earlier?" she questions sleepily.

He smiles and waits to hear her even breaths before speaking. He kisses the top of her head and cranes his neck to peek at a still peacefully sleeping Angie, in a low whisper he speaks;

"For giving me a glimpse of the family I always knew we'd have; the family we will have."

Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down, sweet and low, and I'll carry you home
Hold me down, sweet and low, little girl
Hold me down, and I'll carry you home


Let me know what you think!