Author's Note: This is set during 6x02. Don't read ahead if you don't want to be spoiled about the upcoming season. As always, read and review. Song belongs to Something Corporate and the fabulous Andrew McMahon.


She wants to hear she's beautiful.

She's beautiful.

I want to save you,

I want to save you

I need you to save me too.

I want to save you.


He's already been in the house for twenty-five minutes, yet he still hasn't made the seemingly long trek upstairs to her room. When Haley had called him and Peyton and told them about the attack at Clothes Over Bro's they immediately booked a flight home, they wouldn't even consider staying in Las Vegas a second longer.

Lucas sighs and looks around the living room. Jamie sits on the floor, crayons and paper littered across the floor. He's drawing a picture for Brooke. It's of him and her holding hands in the park. Written in shaky letters across the top is "Get Better Soon, Aunt Brooke". This makes Lucas smile, if only for a moment.

Peyton has already been up and down the stairs at least six times and Nathan and Haley have volunteered to go pick up lunch for everyone. He's the only one who still hasn't seen her. He's not sure, however, why he hasn't gone upstairs. He knows that he is afraid of seeing the physical affect the attack had on her.

He guesses that he's also afraid of the possibility of her being mad at him. Mad for not being there with her when it happened, mad for not being able to protect her, mad for not saving her. He shakes his head because no, this is Brooke Davis and Brooke Davis would never be mad at Lucas for not being there.

Lucas, however, is mad at himself. It seems as though he can never save her when she needs him to. Every time Brooke has needed saving Lucas has been with Peyton. This time was no exception.


She wonders why he hasn't come upstairs yet. He's been inside the house for a good twenty minutes; she saw his car pull up alongside Peyton's a while ago. She's trying desperately not to count the exact minutes since his arrival.

He has to be talking with Peyton or Jamie, at least that's what she's telling herself. She has to rationalize the fact that he hasn't come upstairs to see her yet. She needs him. She knows that and deep down she prays that he knows that too. Over the last few weeks Lucas Scott, twice ex-boyfriend, has become her best friend. He helped her with Angie; she helped him cope with being suspended from coaching.

They've been there for each other for the first time since junior year, back when they were "just friends" and Peyton was with Jake. The last time they were just friends he kissed her, she muses. But that simply can't happen now. He went to Las Vegas with Peyton and they will finally get their happy ending, even if it is at her expense.

She looks over to her bedside table, which just happens to have a copy of An Unkindness of Ravens sitting on it. To be honest she's never read the whole book, just the parts about her. The words brilliant, beautiful and brave swim through her head and she hopes somehow that rereading that passage will help her get through this.

The attack. She thinks about it constantly and wonders who could have possibly done this to her. More than that she thinks about how ironic it is that her safe place could be violated so easily.

It's then that her door creaks open and a blonde head pokes it's way through the empty space.


"Brooke…" her name tumbles from his mouth before he can stop it.

He's tried to prepare himself for the sight in front of him, but it clearly didn't work. Peyton told him about her black eye and the scrapes on her face and arms, the bruises, but he can't help but think that Brooke Davis looks broken.

Brooke smiles slightly and beckons him into the room with a wave of her hand and Lucas steps in a bit further. He stops near the end of the bed and takes a long look at her. She feels uncomfortable. He hasn't studied her this intently in years, nor is she comfortable being vulnerable around him. Never has been.

Lucas continues to stare and he feels sick. He can't believe that anyone would lie on hand on this wonderful woman sitting in front of him. He can't believe that he wasn't there to protect her.

"Oh Brooke…"

It seems as though the only thing he's capable of saying is her name. He's still frozen in place and it's then that she realizes that she needs to make the first move. She pushes herself off of the bed and immediately wraps her arms around his waist, burying her head in his chest.

He holds on to her like his life depends on it.

Finally she backs away a bit, putting enough distance between the two so she can look him in the eye.

"It's okay, Lucas" she says, her voice cool and soft. "I'm okay". Her hands trail up and down his arms as she speaks. But she can't be okay. She has dark circles under her eyes and she looks like she hasn't had a good nights sleep in days. But she still looks beautiful.

It's not right, he thinks, she's the one hurting and here she is she consoling him. Lucas wraps his arms around the brunette in front of him again and leads her towards the bed. They find a comfortable position sitting next to each other, Lucas's back against the headboard and his arm around Brooke, who has her head resting on his shoulder.

"Tell me something." Her words break the comfortable silence that has fallen over the two friends.

He thinks for a moment. There are so many things he could say. I love you, Brooke Davis or I could kill the guy who did this to you or You don't deserve this, pretty girl. None of those options seem appropriate for the moment, however.

"I'm sorry I wasn't here to save you."

She can't help but notice the fact that he sounds defeated, guilty.

"You don't need to be sorry, Luke. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. You can't always play the hero." She says as she pushes herself off of his chest, moving over on the bed so she is sitting with her legs folded underneath her in front of him.

He wants to look directly into her green eyes, but he can't get past the purple bruise that seems out of place against her porcelain skin.

She feels his hand brushing the tender skin beneath her eye before she sees it. Her eyes flutter shut automatically as he continues to brush his thumb over the bruise.

"I could have stopped him. I could have stopped this. I should have been here for you." His hand begins to shake as he speaks.

Her hand reaches out and wraps around his wrist and she manages to tangle their fingers together, resting both of their hands on her lap.

"Nothing could have stopped it. He knocked me unconscious. You couldn't have possibly rescued me."

"But I wanted to."

That in and of itself makes her smile. She appreciates it, appreciates him and the fact that he still wants to keep that promise he made to her years ago. She pulls their entwined hands closer to her face and kisses the place where their fingers meet.

"Brooke do you remember…"

"The night I asked you to rescue me after Keith died?"

He smiles and nods at her. It's odd that even after so many years apart she can still tell exactly what he is thinking.

"Of course I remember that night." The memory is fresh in her mind, a bit too fresh, if you ask her.

"I promised you that I would rescue you as long as you promised to rescue me back." In a weird way his heart constricts as he talks about it. It's as if he's reliving the pain of the moment all over again. His pain over losing Keith, her pain of having to watch him rescue Peyton, her insecurities in their relationship, his mistakes with her.

"And then you kissed me" she reminisces, "and even though everything was going wrong at the time, in that moment with you I felt completely safe."

Hearing her say that just furthers his guilt. It's like a punch in the stomach and suddenly he can't breathe, thinking of every moment that he's ever let her down when she needed him. He wants nothing more in this moment than to make her feel safe again.

"I'm always with Peyton when I should be saving you." He doesn't just mean the attack. He's talking about the school shooting and the period of time after they broke up.

She wants to say that he's meant to save Peyton and not her. But she won't. She can't because Brooke Davis has never been that person in Lucas Scott's life to tell him that he's mean to be with Peyton. Whether or not she thinks it, she won't say it.

Her quiet tells him that she doesn't know how to reply to that statement. After a few moments she thinks of something.

"You were there for me when Angie left."

"Damn it, Brooke. Then I jetted off to Las Vegas with your best friend. I feel so damn guilty that I can't breathe. I should have been here for you. What kind of a guy tells one girl that he loves her and then goes to Vegas with her best friend?"

Her breath hitches in her throat. It's like her whole world is spinning out of control and for a moment she believes that he actually meant the 'I love you'.

"Do you mean – " she's cut off.

"How pathetic is it that after all these years I can't let go of my two girlfriends from high school? That I'm still in love with both of them?" His hand tightens around hers when he says in love.

She doesn't know what to say. No matter what she says someone will end up hurt, either her, Peyton or Lucas. He sees the doubt flash in her eyes and he realizes that he needs to speak before she builds up those brick walls around her heart again.

"You do believe me, right? That I'm still absolutely in love with you?" His blue eyes search hers and he sees the tears pool in them. Moments flash in his head, memories of him and her, fighting in the rain, making love in front of the fire at Rachel's cabin, talking at Keith's failed wedding. He wonders if she's remembering too.

"I believe you, Lucas. You know I can't say it back right now."

"Because of Peyton."

"Yeah, because of you and Peyton. But don't for a moment ever doubt it. Just because I can't say it doesn't mean it's not true. You're the only one I've ever truly loved." He smiles at this and leans over, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

She snuggles back into his arms and rests her head against his chest again.

"Whether or not we end up together Lucas, can you just promise me something?"


"Do you promise to save me? Because sometimes I need you to save me."

"If you promise to save me back." The smirk on his lips tells her all she needs to know. He'll be here when she needs him. He'll love her forever and she'll love him back. Right now it's not a question of who is going to end up with you, it's a question of who is going to save who; who is going to be there for who. Lucas will be there for Brooke. And Brooke will be there for Lucas.

She closes her eyes for a few minutes, enjoying the feeling of being in his arms and just before she's about to fall asleep she hears a whispered, "I've always wanted to save you."


When Peyton walks upstairs and gently pushes the door to her best friend's bedroom, she's both elated and saddened by what she sees. Lucas and Brooke are both asleep on her bed, Lucas in a somewhat uncomfortable looking sitting position and Brooke curled up in his arms. Brooke has a content smile on her face and when she shifts slightly Lucas's arms automatically tighten around the petite brunette. She should be happy because the guy she loves is there protecting, saving, the girl she loves, but she can't help but wonder if it's the girl he loves too.


I want to save you

I want to save you.

I need you to save me too.

I want to save you

(Let me save you)

I want to save you

(Let me save you)