Author's Note: This is the last chapter. Sorry it took me a while to get it up, I wanted to get the scenes just right. I didn't get as many reviews as I would have liked to last chapter, so hopefully the happy ending here inspires some people to review! Thanks again for reading – I really appreciate the feedback. The ending I'm not completely excited about but I wanted to end it how I did without all of the unnecessary moments afterwards.
She doesn't want to talk about it. She just doesn't.
They've all asked if she wants to talk about it and she doesn't. Haley has asked if she wants to talk about it, Mouth has asked, Nathan has asked and hell, even Skills is worried about her at this point. She wishes Rachel was around, because Rachel would know what to say to her. She wouldn't be staring at her with pity laced in her eyes, like everyone else does.
Even two weeks after getting back from Honey Grove, she doesn't want to talk about it, can't bring herself to. She heard from Haley briefly that Lucas had broken up with Peyton and that Peyton was basically a wreck. She had moved back into her house the night that Lucas had broken things off with. Brooke knew the next morning when she woke up and Peyton's things were gone that the blonde had figured out that the demise of her relationship involved the brunette. That's probably why Haley wants to talk about it. It was funny to Brooke, though, that Haley wanted to talk about things now. She would have preferred talking to Haley after she and Lucas had broken up three months ago.
As much as Brooke wants to care about Peyton's emotional state, she couldn't. Now Peyton knew how she felt the first time Lucas dumped her and the second time, when she had to let him go.
She doesn't want to answer his phone calls, either. She's guessing that he started calling her the night that he broke up with Peyton. But talking to him would just make it real. She's not ready for that reality yet.
He doesn't understand why she won't answer his phone calls. Well, actually he does understand, but he likes to pretend he doesn't. As much as he knows the truth, he doesn't like to admit it. Lucas Scott broke Brooke Davis. He caused her pain, he gave her trust issues, he made her doubt her relationship with her best friend. He's screwed up a lot when it comes to Brooke. He doesn't know how to fix it. The only thing he knows for sure is that he loves her, still loves her, always will love her.
Haley stormed into his room and finds him sitting behind his laptop, staring blankly at the screen. She mumbled a quick 'hello' and fell backwards onto his bed. He shot her a quick look and his saddened eyes were just enough to make her feel bad for him.
"Okay, as your best friend, I feel entitled to say this. I don't know what's going on with you and Peyton or with you and Brooke. All I know is that since we got back from Honey Grove the three of you have been pretty silent. I know you and Peyton broke up, but she's a mess. She keeps saying it has something to do with Brooke and then when I go to talk to Brooke she completely shuts me out. Care to share what's been going on?"
The answer seems simple, really. But in the Bermuda Triangle of Death that he, Brooke and Peyton have been sucked into for the past two years, nothing is simple anymore.
"I'm in love with Brooke. Not Peyton. I left Peyton for Brooke."
"Does Brooke know this?"
"No. She won't take my calls, Hales."
"Do you blame her? I mean, really, Luke, I love you, but when it comes to Brooke you're just so clueless sometimes. She's only ever wanted one thing from you – to fight for her. She wants you to love her enough to fight for her."
"If she wants me so badly, then why did she even break up with me in the first place?"
Haley scoffed. "You and I both know the reason she broke up with you. You can pretend you don't know all you want, but deep down you know."
Suddenly it makes sense. Brooke and Peyton's friendship dissolved once again before Brooke broke up with him. She said she couldn't do it anymore. She asked him not to talk to Peyton. It wasn't about the kiss.
"Peyton told Brooke that she loved me, didn't she?" Haley nodded and Lucas slammed his fist down onto his desk, wincing a bit at the pain.
"What do I do now?"
"Look deep into your heart. If you want Brooke, then fight for her." With that Haley was gone and Lucas was left trying to think of a way to win Brooke back.
Brooke was somewhat shocked when a weight on the other end of the couch woke her up at two in the morning. She had fallen asleep on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, television on and a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream sitting on the coffee table. She rubbed her eyes and saw Peyton at the other end, looking tired.
"Hey roomie" Brooke mumbled.
"Hey B. Davis."
Both girls were quiet for a moment, Brooke wondering whether or not she should speak. She's really not in the mood to be yelled at, even though she probably deserves it. But Peyton has been her best friend for over ten years and for Brooke at least, it's always been hoes over bros. "How are you doing, P. Sawyer?"
Peyton sighed before answering, "I've been better, how are you?"
"I've been better, too." She smiled and gave Peyton part of her blanket, watching as she kicks off her shoes and curls them underneath her small body.
"I'm sorry I just left, Brooke. I just needed some time on my own to think, away from…"
"Me" Brooke stated simply.
"That too. You should know though, that I don't blame you for him breaking up with me. I know that he left me to be with you but for the most part it's my fault. I caused you to break up with him in the first and I knew when we got together that he wasn't fully over you. I saw what you did at the championship game, you told him it was okay to go to me. To some degree I don't think he even wanted to go to me, he just wanted to listen to you."
"Peyton, did he tell you about- "
"The night at his house? Yeah. I want to thank you though, for not doing to me what I did to you."
"You know I would never."
"Yeah. Have you talked to him?"
"He's been calling me, but I haven't answered."
"You should talk to him, Brooke. He really does love you."
"Sometimes that's just not enough, though. I want it to be, but it's not."
Peyton rolled her eyes at her friend and stood up. "Why won't you just let him in? He's done with me. It's over."
"Can't love, can't hurt, right?" Brooke whispered quietly.
"Damn it, Brooke. You're already in love with him and he's in love with you. He's already hurt you and you've already hurt him. It can only get better from here. Just give him the chance to make things right." With that Peyton walked into the bedroom and closed the door behind her.
The next night, when he calls her, she answers the phone. She doesn't say anything though and his only sign that she is there is the sound of her breathing. He could listen to that sound all day long.
"Meet me at the River Court?"
"Name a time and I'll be there."
"How does eleven sound?"
"Fine, but Luke…this is it."
"I know, Brooke." He does know. This is his last chance with her. Something in her voice let him know that she was willing to do this one last time, but that's it. "I'll see you later." Brooke doesn't see Peyton smiling from the hallway when she hangs up the phone.
Less than an hour later Brooke finds herself parking her Volkswagen on the street closest to the River Court and walking over. She looks down and silently curses herself for putting so much effort into her appearance. Lucas always told her that she looked best in nothing at all. She manages to laugh about that now, how sexual it was on the surface.
Deep down she knew that he meant she was beautiful all of the time, when she was dressed up, or down, or even naked, both literally and emotionally. He seems to like her vulnerable. As if her vulnerable is the only way he sees her. Maybe he feels like that's the real her – Brooke Davis, girl who asked Lucas Scott a long time ago to save her.
As she walked up the River Court she was almost blinded by light – there are literally hundreds of small red and white candles outlining the edge of the pavement. Lucas was standing in the middle, watching her make her way towards him.
She stopped about a foot away from him, looking around and finally saw the backboard of the basketball hoop. Just like he had done at the beginning of senior year to the mirror in her locker, the words "Lucas + Brooke Forever" are emblazoned in pink. She smiled at the memory of her pimped out locker. She snapped back to reality though, when she heard Lucas shuffling his feet.
"Do you like it?" The way he asked threw her back to junior year when he used to try and gage what she liked and didn't like. He was hesitant back then, trying to figure out how to please a girl he felt was way out of his league. The truth was, almost everything he did made her smile.
"I love it, Luke, but it's a little much."
"Anything for you." Again, it's a throwback to a time when they were happier. Sure, they hadn't been together the first time he had said it, but mutual feelings were held between the two, in a time where things seemed much simpler.
"Brooke, I know that this is my last chance to get you back, so I need to say some things without being interrupted. If after that you want to walk away then fine."
She nodded to tell him that she wouldn't interrupt.
"I told you once months ago when I brought you here that you were going to be the biggest part of my world. I wasn't lying, Brooke. It's still true – you are the biggest part of my world because I love you. I've only ever been in love with you, you're my first love, first lover and nothing's going to take that away – not Peyton, not any other girl. I'm the guy for you Brooke Davis and I always will be."
Now, he is waiting for her reaction. Her head wants nothing more than to put up a fight, tell him that they would never work again, they had failed together twice before. Her head wants to scream that he had hurt her so many times, broken her, destroyed her faith in love.
Her heart however, wants nothing more than to just give up the fight. She can't keep denying herself, denying him. Her heart wants nothing more than to give in and kiss him, make love to him right there on the court.
Her heart wins.