Right, I sooo know I shouldn't be starting another story, but...I want too damnit! I also know this isn't such an active fandom on this site anymore, but I couldn't care less. If four of you read this then that's fine by me. These days I seem to be all about the unpopular, or in this case out dated, pairings anyway.

I don't own the characters or the show.

Break-ups, birth and other not-so-natural disasters.

Chapter 1- Old friend comes a knockin' and sanity goes a walkin'.

"He left me."

It was a quarter past ten on a Thursday night and Sam had, as sad as it sounded, been very much asleep up until a minute earlier when someone had started banging on her door. She had stumbled out of bed, her big toe rather painfully meeting her side table and haphazardly thrown on what she thought was her robe. Turned out it was just the button up shirt she'd worn earlier that day on the plane.

So there stood Sam, half asleep and wearing nothing but a tank top, panties and a wrinkled shirt and on the other side of her door stood a red eyed and sniffling Brooke McQueen. Sam was slightly at a loss for words in that moment.

"Huh?"

It was perhaps not the most elegant of statements, but Sam had been on a plane or three for the better part of two days and before that had little to no sleep while covering the spurt of surprise bombings in Turkey. She'd been in the country purely by chance, having taken a vacation for the first time in two years, and had already toured both Italy and Spain before her fateful three day trip into the country waylaid whatever other plans she had for her vacation.

So really, she thought she could be forgiven for her less than eloquent response.

"He left me, Sammy! Said we'd grown apart and that he didn't see a future for us anymore. Said we'd be better off cutting our losses now and concentrating on being good friends again. Can you believe that?!"

A foot was stomped to accentuate how very pissed off Brooke was, but Sam was too stuck on the part where Brooke was actually at her door to notice. Brooke who lived thousands of miles across the country in a rather nice townhouse in Seattle, which she shared with Harrison. Well, by the sound of it at least, used to share with Harrison.

"Uhm, okay. I...you...how'd you get here?"

Sam cursed herself silently as she fumbled over her words, but she was still trying to play catch up with the reality of the last week in her life and now she was faced with an irate, emotional Brooke. Who shouldn't by all accounts be on her doorstep in L.A.

"I flew, Sam. How the hell else would I get here?"

Sam wanted to point out that there was this wonderful invention called the automobile that could easily have brought her from point A to point B, but with time came wisdom and she'd learned after years of having Brooke in her life to finally just bite her tongue on occasion (sometimes quite literally). Sarcasm had long since not been either of their default settings, but it still managed to rear it's ugly head occasionally if they weren't careful.

"Right, sorry. Come inside and we can talk about this...after I've made us some coffee."

Oh there would be coffee, lots and lots of coffee and hopefully with all that caffeine would come some clarity for Sam, because right at that moment she needed it. She hadn't seen Brooke in a good seven months, not since Brooke and Harrison had flown into town to not just spend Christmas with them, but to announce their engagement.

Not to say that they didn't talk often, because they did basically everyday. Whether it was by email or on the phone or Brooke sending Sam a goofy picture of herself, they made sure to stay in touch on a daily basis. That's what best friends did after all.

It didn't matter that hearing Brooke's voice, or even seeing her cross eyed with her tongue poking out in a hastily taken picture was enough to make Sam ache in an all too familiar way every single time. After eight years of it, she'd kinda become accustomed to the feeling.

Which was really why she could be standing in her kitchen next to Brooke (who still looked radiant despite the runny nose and red eyes) and not be a quivering, crying and heartbroken mess on the floor.

"Do you have decaf?"

Brooke's voice and the foreign words it spoke, because to Sam the idea of coffee without the caffeine was kinda outlandish and scary, shook Sam out of her thoughts.

"Uhm...what? Decaf, really? I don't think I've ever bought the stuff, but maybe Lily's left something like that behind. Just give me a minute."

Sam switched on the kettle and knelt in front of a cupboard, digging though her ex-housemate's old boxes of tofu and rusks and teas with funny names, until finally she found coffee of the decaffeinated variety. It looked a bit clumpy, seeing as it had stood in that cupboard for a good two years since Lilly moved out, but Sam couldn't be bothered. It would have to do for tonight.

That and she finally realized that she was probably flashing Brooke her panties while her head was stuck that far into the cabinet. She grimaced when she whacked her head in her haste to straighten up and save whatever was left of her modesty.

Lately the universe seemed to have it in for her, first there were bombs, then crying Brooke and now head trauma. Sam wasn't sure what she'd done to deserve that kinda Karma.

When she finally turned back to Brooke she realized that her modesty was safe, because Brooke's gaze was morosely glued to the floor. Finally Sam's tired, battered mind cleared and she registered that yes, Brooke was really here and not just that, Brooke was hurting.

The ache in her heart doubled and she stepped up to the blond, her arms automatically going around the well shaped shoulders.

"What's that moron of a Harrison gone and done now?"

The words were muttered into the crown of Brooke's golden head, her friend's smooth cheek resting hotly against the skin of Sam's chest.

"He's broken my heart, Sammy, that's what he's done."

And then Brooke cried in earnest, sobs tearing from her chest painfully and Sam felt her own eyes sting in sympathy, her arms tightening its hold on the obviously broken woman. She didn't know what the hell was going on, hadn't picked up that anything was wrong despite their daily calls and now the reporter in her sprang to life. She wanted to know everything, her need to process and assimilate any and all information kicking in as it always did ever since she was a young girl.

Sam hated to be surprised, hated to be the last one to know what was going on and therefore be left vulnerable. That which you didn't know could easily hurt you, it was a motto Sam had lived by for a very long time now.

So with a firm hand she pushed Brooke away, keeping her at arms length with one hand as the other rather clumsily wiped the tears from Brooke's cheeks. She hated to see Brooke cry, had ever since the night of their Junior Prom when Nicole Julian, drunk off her ass and just a little on the crazy side, had attempted to plow her car into the blond.

She hadn't of course, the little sense Satan had had finally decided to kick in just as Brooke's survival instincts had. So Nicole swerved right and Brooke leaped left and all was well in the world. Except for the part where Brooke broke her ankle and sobbed her heart out on the pavement, because her best friend had just tried to kill her.

So Nicole had been carted away for drinking while under the influence and Brooke had spent half the night in hospital while Sam...well, Sam had gone home and cried like a baby in the shower. Once the crying had stopped she'd settled for cursing God or whatever other deity had decided to finally clue her in on the fact that she was hopelessly, desperately infatuated with Brooke.

Brooke, the bane of her existence, the one person in the whole wide world that she could never see eye to eye with or have very much of anything in common with. The girl she'd hated since she was ten years old, because Harrison had started making googly eyes at Brooke and mooning over her when he was supposed to be concentrating on playing Power Rangers with her, Lily and Carmen.

So she'd sat there and felt sorry for herself, sat and tried to figure out when extreme hatred had evolved into love, but she'd been stumped. Maybe it had been gradual, or maybe it had always been love, just obscured by jealousy and prejudice, she hadn't been sure.

She still wasn't sure to this day, but she was long past the point where she cared about the why and the how. She just knew that she loved Brooke McQueen, had loved her for a very long time and would probably continue doing so until she died or the world stopped turning, whichever came first really.

The kettle boiling finally forced Sam to break her gaze away from Brooke's confused, hurt hazel eyes and she stepped forward quickly and pressed a kiss to the weary woman's forehead. She wished her kiss could rid Brooke of all that troubled her, but all it did was bring a small, lopsided smile to Brooke's mouth.

"Go get comfortable on the couch while I make the coffee and then we'll talk this thing through, okay?"

Sam watched as Brooke nodded, as her hand nervously crept up to slip a stray strand of blond hair back behind her ear and it was such a Brooke thing to do that Sam had to smile. Maybe she'd go to hell for thinking it, but she was happy to see Brooke despite the circumstances that brought her here.

It had been a long seven months and she could see that the blond already looked so much different from the last time she saw her. Her hair was longer, her cheeks a little rounder and Sam would swear under oath that her breasts were a bit fuller.

Had Brooke had surgery?

The thought made her frown, made her tilt her head to the side and go though all the mental images she had stored of Brooke in her bikini, or in any state of undress really, for a point of reference as she kept a steady gaze on the breasts in question.

"Uhm...Sam, you okay there?"

Sam flushed and gave what could only be described as a squeaky cough in embarrassment.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just, you know, jet lagged."

Brooke frowned but nodded her head, seemingly happy with the explanation for Sam's little ocular slip up. She left for the couch while Sam just shook her head and finished preparing the coffee. She was usually better at not ogling her stepsister, but it really had been a long time since she'd seen Brooke in the flesh. Her resolve was only so strong...

By the time she sat herself down next to Brooke, steaming coffee cups settled on the low table in front of them, the blond was no longer crying or sniffling. She was just sitting there like a lost little puppy, her eyes somehow conveying to Sam that there was more troubling her than just the breakup with Harrison.

A niggle of fear ran down Sam's spine and she found herself sitting ramrod straight, tension suddenly making the muscles in her neck strain. Apprehension seeped into the air between them, Brooke swallowing convulsively as she once again blinked back tears and Sam suddenly chewing on her bottom lip. She knew Brooke and knew the look on her face meant nothing good.

"Spill it, Princess."

A slim, warm hand slipped into Sam's and there was a beat before Brooke spoke.

"I'm four months pregnant." There was another tense beat. "And you're kinda crushing my hand..."

- - -

Would appreciate any and all reviews, or even just pointers on the characters reactions and so on, as I haven't actually watched the show in a good six years or so...