AN: Yeah, I started this ages ago and I finally decided to get back to it. I was in the mood to. Everything might not be in the proper order of how it went in the ep but I'm changing it slightly...not sure how much yet but it's mixed up for a reason...probably. lol...On with the story. :)

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She had often seen him staring at her out of the corner of her eye. Secretly she had been pleased with the attention. She often got stared at, just for being the girlfriend of Nathan Scott. All the attention hadn't bothered her, it came with the title, but with him – the estranged brother of her boyfriend – it had been different.

He didn't just stare at her, taking in her body. No, somehow whenever she met his gaze she could easily see that he was studying her, taking in every detail and trying to create a perfect picture of who she was, but there was nothing perfect about her.

She narrows her eyes, studying him back warily, before mouthing, "What?"

He grins and she thinks he might see this as some small sort of victory, but a victory of what exactly? A win over on his brother? She looks into his eyes and knows - how much she might think otherwise at times - that this isn't the case. It is more like something Nathan would do anyway.

This guy...he's something different.

He shrugs, a grin still complacent on his face, "Nothing."

Her eyes travel over his face once more and longer for a second on his baby blues, before she looks sharply down as his gaze locks on to hers for a simple second. There's definitely something different about him. It bugs her that she can't figure out what exactly that difference is.

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He smiles to himself as he makes his way to the River Court. It's unusual, but today was different. Good different, great different and now – at long last – he's finally making progress. She talked to him, and he talked back. It may have been a total of two words – one on each part – but it was still progress.

Peyton Sawyer had finally noticed him. Now, he at least had the oppurtunity to engage in more conversations; longer conversations and then maybe…

Well, then maybe he'd be the weird guy who wants to date his estranged half brother's girlfriend. The gossip mill would have a field day, but he's used to the stares; it came with the title of the 'unwanted Scott'. He doesn't care about that anymore…at least he tries not to.

He raises his hands, the ball glides through the air and swishes down the net and when he hears the familiar rumble of a car engine making its way by, he looks up and see her.

The only difference is that she now sees him too.

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The familiar sounds of NOFX pump out as she drives. She considers changing the CD, not because she doesn't like the song but because maybe a change is warranted. Maybe it would be good to change. Different music, different outlook on life, different boyfriend…

She decides against it. She doesn't want to change her music, she loves what she listens to now. As for her outlook on life, well, she can't remember a time when it hasn't felt pessimistic. Nothing could probably change that now anyway and as for Nathan…well, she just doesn't know anymore.

Peyton could feel eyes on her. She didn't know why she suddenly knew but she did and the strange thing was that she didn't feel unnerved by that knowledge. And then she looks up and she knows why.

It's him.

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He had watched her drive by; a billow of smoke being the only proof she had been there in the first place. He stands still for a moment – dazzed, stunned, surprised, but most of all; happy.

Definitely making progress, he thinks to himself.

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He thinks it's ironic that it's her whose car is broken, when it seems to him that she in her own way is broken to, not that he would say that to her. No, if he said that to her then the progress - albeit little progress – he's made would turn out to be worthless.

She's surprised to see him when he stepped out of the van, she probably expected anyone else but him and he found it hard to surpress a grin at the expression on her face.

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Somehow she's surprised to see him, and yet she expected him anyway. It wasn't as if it was impossible for him to be here. She did ring 'Scott's Body Shop' after all and she did know from the gossip mill she's forced to listen to that he does work there, so it didn't come as that much of a surprise that he's here to fix her car.

Yet it's still a surprise nonetheless.

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Who else would drive a vintage comet but her?

It's a great car, there is no denying that and having seen her driving in it, well, it's hard to imagine there being any other car that seems made for her. Or if there would be any other car that she would feel happy driving.

He has a feeling she will be reluctant to change this car. Ever. No matter how many times it will break down, she'll try to keep it for as long as she can because it is almost a part of her, in a sense.

Lucky for her it's not that bad this time.

But there's no point telling her that, she wouldn't really care. Or at least she would pretend not to care, still reluctant to remove the façade she shows the world. He can understand that; he's the same way. She's constantly trying to show that nothing matters to her whilst he's trying to show everyone that being a Scott doesn't matter to him.

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She can feel him staring at her just out of the corner of his eye. The silence is awkward because she feels there shouldn't be silence. They should be talking about something, anything, nothing…she wants to talk to him but at the same time she doesn't.

No wonder her dad, when he's actually there, calls her a mass of contradictions.

She knows he's been studying her and, if she's honest with herself, she's been doing the same thing. She can't help it; he intrigues her. She doesn't know why, but he seems different.

She feels like he could break down her barriers, the emotional ones she's built up so carefully to stop people getting in. The prospect of him breaking them down both excites her and scares her.

Yet what scares her most is why she cares.

She has no answer for that question. What makes him so different?

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He wants to say something to her; something smart, something she'll appreciate…anything to get rid of the silence.

He doesn't mind the silence, if he's honest. He could be comfortable sitting in silence with her, but neither of them are sitting and making eye contact is turning out to be harder that he once thought it could be.

It's when he sees the NOFX sticker on her book that a lyric sticks out in his head. "That's me inside your head."

Somehow fitting, he thinks. At least she listens to good music.

"What?"

Or not.

"NOFX." He continues,"That's me inside your head…" He tries again singing (barely) in a voice he really regrets. He's never been a good singer and the way she's looking at him only confirms that. So much for trying to look cool, "It's the lyrics from the-"

"I know the song."

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To be continued...

AN: Not sure why I left it off there, but I brought the wrong USB pen with me and I'm not sure when I'll if I'll be int he library again for another few days so I thought might as well put some up rather than none. Review if you enjoyed...