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Authors' Note: This originally was going to be a one-shot, but I'm thinking of making into a two or three part short story. It's set after 4x16 and the next chapter or so will be set in Honeygrove and after. Somehow in my head I need to make up for the horrors of season 4 for all of us Brooke and Lucas fans. Please read & review.

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Lucas awoke from his sleep startled; he thought he had heard the door to his room close. He scooted up the bed a few inches and looked to his left, seeing his blonde girlfriend sleeping peacefully, snuggled into a tiny ball, facing away from him, but when he looked to his right he did not see the brunette who had been occupying that space for the past week. It had been a week since senior prom, since the attack on Brooke and Peyton. After that night, both girls had been afraid to sleep alone, so Lucas had volunteered to let them both stay with him.

Lucas cautiously rolled out of bed, careful not to wake Peyton, and went to find Brooke. As he walked into the hallway he could hear her sobbing behind the door of the bathroom. The sound killed him, it always had. If there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was the sound of Brooke Davis crying. His hand made its way to the doorknob, it was unlocked and so he slowly pushed the door open, stepping into the bathroom and closing the door behind him. The sight in front of him almost made him want to cry.

There she was.

Her back was to him, her hands gripping the edges of the sink so tightly her knuckles were white. He could see her face in the mirror; the mascara that she had failed to wash off before going to bed was making delicate black patterns down her porcelain cheeks. Her hair was messy, but still managed to frame her face beautifully. She was wearing only a gray tank top and a pair of black lace panties. Under normal circumstances he would have told her that she looked gorgeous, despite the tears. But this wasn't a normal circumstance. She had suffered a major trauma in the past week and he wasn't supposed to be calling his ex-girlfriend gorgeous when his current girlfriend was sleeping in his bed down the hall.

"Brooke?" her name was like a whisper that floated out of his mouth as he moved closer to her. Tears were still falling down her cheeks and she was shaking slightly. His hand reached out and touched her shoulder. When she didn't acknowledge his presence in the small bathroom, he turned her to face him.

She was a mess.

Her cheeks were stained with tears and there was something about her eyes that scared him. They weren't sparkling. Their color was a dull shade of hazel; normally he could see the hints of green and gold in her eyes, but they were clouded over with tears and not as bright as usual.

"Are you okay?" he was still whispering.

She didn't answer him, but he could tell she was hurting. She was still shaking. Lucas hesitated for a moment before wrapping his arms around the brunette, pressing her body against his. One hand moved to the small of her back, the other rested on the back of her head and his hand slowly began to trace through strands of her hair. Her breathing was shaky against his neck, but still warm. Her tears were getting his t-shirt wet, but none of that mattered if this, holding her, was going to make her stop crying. They stood there for what seemed like hours, until her crying subsided and her breathing became steady. Eventually she pulled away.

"I'm numb." Lucas was shocked at her words. Her voice held no emotion.

"What do you mean?" He whispered, after swallowing the lump in his throat.

"I mean I can't feel anything, Luke. It's like…like I'm bleeding for nothing. I'm alone. Loneliness is the only thing I can sense, but it almost doesn't even affect me. I just feel numb. I want to feel again and I don't want to be alone" she finished, staring at her pink toenails.

"You're not alone"

"Of course I am. Have you looked around lately? Nathan and Haley are expecting a baby and have no time to deal with poor, pathetic Brooke, you and Peyton have each other. Chase dumped me. The only two people who I thought cared about me are missing! Mouth and Rachel are on some mysterious road trip and I haven't even heard from them. I'm alone and I always have been," she was ranting and her breathing was becoming heavier and raspier with every word. Lucas reached out and placed his hand underneath her chin, forcing her to look at him. When her eyes met his, he could see that she was tearing up again.

"Brooke, listen to me" Lucas began, but he stopped when Brooke shut her eyes tightly and shook her head, "Pretty girl, I need you to listen to me."

Brooke tensed at his nickname for her and backed up until her lower back hit the bathroom counter. He stepped forward and placed a hand on each side of her hips, letting them rest on the counter, effectively trapping her in between the sink and his body. It was then that she noticed that he was only wearing a thin white t-shirt and a pair of blue boxers.

She shook her head to rid herself of the thoughts of him and his body before speaking again. "Don't call me that. You lost that right a long time ago" she hissed, her voice tense and threatening.

"Fine, but you need to know that you're not alone. No matter what happens, you still have me." His right hand traveled slowly, teasingly, up her left arm as he spoke, finally settling upon her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. She shivered at the contact and hoped he wouldn't notice. He didn't need to know that she was still in love with him and still wanted him. He didn't need to know that a simple touch from him could turn her on still.

"No, Lucas, I don't have you," she spat out aggressively as she shrugged his hand off of her shoulder before continuing, "don't you understand that? I don't have you. Peyton has you. If I had you… then I'd be able to feel you here with me. I can't feel you, I can't feel anyone…I can't feel anything" she finished; her words were shaky and broken, at best.

Lucas was stunned for a few minutes, motionless. The only sign that he was even still alive were his slow intakes of breath and the blinking of his eyes. He was scared. Here was Brooke Davis standing in front of him, a girl who he loved, who he still loved deep down, whom despite being so strong and independent was broken into pieces. A girl who believed she was broken beyond repair. He was determined to show this girl that she wasn't alone, that she had him, all of him, including his heart. So he did the only thing he could think of – he touched her.

His right hand settled on the side of her face, brushing away strands of her chocolate hair, while his left hand was placed on her hip precariously between the fabric of her tank top and panties. He was so close, too close, to touching her tattoo. "Luke, this is…" she began before he cut her off by placing two of his fingers atop her lips, effectively silencing her. The fingers of his left hand began to slide lower on her hip, just below the top of her panties and started to trace her tattoo.

This is too dangerous, she thought as she bit her lip, stifling the moan that was threatening to emerge from her lips.

Her eyes fluttered closed as he continued tracing the tattoo with his fingers. The touches were feather light, but they were sending shock waves throughout her body. Lucas smiled as he watched her eyes shut.

"Do you feel that?" Brooke nodded quickly as her chest rose and fell quickly. Lucas smirked and leaned closer to her, stopping his lips just by her ear. "I want to make you feel again. I want you to feel me here with you and I want you to feel how much I love you" he finished by planting a sloppy kiss on her neck, just below her ear.

She was this close to falling into the same old routine with him. So close. Had he not mentioned the word love, she probably would have let him continue the motions of his hands on her body. But as soon as the word 'love' came out of his mouth, she pushed him away, shoved him away from her. Lucas stumbled back for a moment before regaining his footing.

"Brooke, what –" his voice was cut off by a slapping sound and pain radiated throughout his cheek as he realized that she had actually slapped him.

"Don't you dare. Don't you dare tell me you love me. You don't love me! You never have. If you loved me you wouldn't be with Peyton right now." Somewhere in her rant she recognized the fact that her voice was getting higher with each syllable; so she took a deep breath before continuing, "Peyton. Did you even think about Peyton? Are you even thinking about Peyton? She's your girlfriend. She may not be my best friend anymore but I sure as hell won't be the whore she was and sleep with her boyfriend."

Lucas sunk at her words. Everything she was saying was completely true, but he did love her. He loved Peyton too, but in a different way. He was only with Peyton because he couldn't have Brooke. He was only with Peyton because Brooke pushed him towards her.

He was about to speak again and Brooke could sense it, because she spoke up before he could even open his mouth. "I think I should sleep on the couch tonight, go back to your room, back to your girlfriend."

And just like every other time before that night, Lucas Scott let Brooke Davis walk away from him at a pivotal moment in their relationship.