Author's Note: I started writing this a while ago, but for some reason thought it was the worst possible thing to ever be written and completely dismissed it. I started working on it again tonight, and I'm actually enjoying it. There are so many possibilities for where I can take this story, and I'm really excited. For those of you who know me, and probably don't think I'll finish it.. well, I don't know if I will or I won't. I have a lot of unfinished stories that, believe it or not, I have every intention of finishing. It takes a lot of time and effort to write, and I wouldn't want to give you guys anything less than you deserve. So I may not be the best updater, but take comfort in that I'm always thinking of you and and how I need to get writing! I'm constantly waiting for inspiration to hit, and hopefully you'll all be around to see where I go with everything.
This story is completely AU, but will be filled with all of the characters we know, love, and hate. This will be a BL, but I'm definitely going to throw in some other fan favorites for your enjoyment! (Except for LP, because, let's face it.. there's about nothing more disgusting.)
Also, the summary (damn ff's word limit) is a little short and vague, but I promise, everything will fall into place. Plus, you don't want to know what's going to happen before you read, do you? That's what I thought.
So, enjoy and please review!
To Build a Home
Chapter One: Holes in the Walls
She could not remember what day it was.
In all her life, she'd never exactly been punctual. People who knew her always told her events started hours after they did just to get her to show up on time, and she honestly couldn't say she'd ever commit to memory anyone's birthday other than her closest friend's. But this was different. This scared her.
It was hard for her to believe that one day she'd been a rich socialite partying up her youth and now she was a homeless, teenage mother, living off whatever she could scrounge up during a day's time. All this before the age of twenty.
It wasn't supposed to be like this, but it was.
So she dealt with it.
A cough sounded loudly from near her, and she turned her head to look at the man who'd produced it. "That your baby?" He gestured towards the infant in her arms, speaking in a croaky, gruff voice.
Subconsciously she drew the small child closer into her arms, tugging her dirty blanket tighter around her sleeping frame. "Yeah, she's mine."
He shook his head, and she imagined that at one point in his life, he'd been good looking. But now, with his knotted graying hair, thick beard and tired eyes, he just looked destitute. "No place for a kid," he mumbled, shaking his head in disapproval.
Brooke Davis looked around at her surroundings. He was right, after all. This was no place for a kid. The streets were littered and dirty, both with trash and drug dealers. They sat against a wall in downtown Tree Hill, and while the town itself was mostly affluent and decent, the downtown part of it was definitely not.
She wanted to tell the man, sitting a good distance away from her, that this was not what she had wanted for herself. This was not what she would have wanted for her baby.
When she'd found out she was pregnant, her mother's first and only option had been abortion. "You're eighteen years old," she'd said, incredulous. "You are not capable of being a mother. Look at how irresponsible you are!" There was also the fact that Victoria Davis could not, certainly not, have a teenage mother for a daughter. It was not happening.
She could still remember the feeling when she'd told her mother she was keeping it. Victorious, or perhaps something stronger than that. Even when her parents had told her they were cutting her off both financially and emotionally, she hadn't cared. She'd been so sure of herself then, so full of hope. How had she let it get to this point? How had she ended up here?
She could not ever remember feeling so alone. With a sigh, she lifted herself to a standing position, not even bothering to acknowledge the man as she walked slowly down the street.
Eventually, her daughter began to stir, and soon thereafter began to cry.
She was hungry. But Brooke had no milk to give her. No formula. With her own hunger so prevalent, she could not produce milk. Not anymore.
Tears filled her eyes, and she pressed her lips softly to the child's forehead. "It's okay, baby."
She walked for a while, rocking the little one slowly back and forth, trying to remember where it had all gone wrong.
For one, she'd expected Chase to want to be a part of the baby's life. That was her first error in judgment. She'd left her own house and immediately gone to his. She'd expected support or perhaps a shoulder to cry on. He'd always been her shoulder to cry on. Instead, she'd gotten eyes that wouldn't quite meet hers, ashamed mumbles, the door closing as quickly as it had opened.
She'd spent the last of the money she had in her wallet on a motel room for the week. She had cried all night that first night, so scared and confused and completely all on her own. The next morning she'd gone looking for a job. Managers had stared at her stomach, now showing, with nervous hands crossed over their laps. "How far along are you?" They'd all asked, pretending to be polite, but really wondering what kind of liability they were taking on.
She hadn't been able to keep a job. She had no skills; she'd never done a load of laundry before in her life, had never made coffee, had never even attempted to wash a dish.
It had been the baby's birth that had really sealed the deal. She had lived in Charlotte her whole life, but had slowly traveled downwards towards Tree Hill. Working place to place, staying in one motel to the next. She always had just enough for that night, and then somehow, had managed to get a little more for the next. But she had collapsed at the diner she was supposed to be closing. She'd been taken to the emergency room and had given birth there. It was her hospital bill, once an amount she'd never even have blinked at, that had left her in the streets.
Brooke could still remember that first night. She had sat in an alley she'd hoped was abandoned, the wall cold and grimy against her back, holding her newborn as close to her as physically possible, her cries echoing alongside the baby's all through the evening.
She shook the memories from her head. She'd been living on the street for over two months now. It was hard to get out once you were in, and she preferred to stay in the present, if only for her daughter's sake.
"Willa," she'd named her one particularly rough night. The baby had gurgled in her blanket that lay on the rough asphalt, a giggle escaping her soft, pink lips. Brooke had cried, but it was the one night she'd cried because of happiness and not hurt.
From the corner of her eye, she could see the grocery store. She could almost smell it. Biting her lip, she decided it certainly couldn't hurt to enter. Perhaps someone would take pity on her and Willa and buy her something to eat. She'd managed to get a few men to buy her things before. With the baby it was harder, though. She was not just a pretty girl, but a pretty mother, and those were two entirely different things.
Taking a deep breath, she looked around her before taking a step into the store.
"I'm telling you, dude. That's the lamest thing I've ever heard."
Lucas Scott scoffed as his brother said this, shaking his head. "Every girl I've ever dated has loved me reading poetry to them. Every single one."
Nathan draped an arm around his wife's shoulders, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "You hear that, Hales? You want me to start reciting poetry to you?"
The trio were walking through the Tree Hill Grand Supermarket parking lot, with the couple leading and the loner trailing behind them, feigning disgust at their public displays of affection.
"Please," true to her sarcastic nature, Haley rolled her eyes. "Although Shell Silverstein does not count as poetry."
"Hey, I loved Falling Up!" The darker-haired Scott brother half-joked.
Linking hands, the two walked through the automatic doors.
"I actually really did love Falling Up. It's what made me like literature in the first place." Lucas grumbled as he followed.
People looked at her as if she was trash.
Brooke understood. She'd once been one of those people. She'd looked down on anyone that didn't live in a mansion or drive a fancy car. She'd frowned distastefully at homeless people, never knowing that at some point in her life, she herself would become one.
Her hair was unwashed. Her clothes, picked up from a Goodwill once the baby weight had left her, were dirty as well. Her face was bare of makeup. The baby in her arms was bathed only when it was safe enough for her to find a gas station where she could cleanse her. She had two outfits.
As Brooke walked through the produce section, hoping to slip some vegetables into her bag, she heard a woman remark, "Now, that's just sad. Using a baby as a ploy for pity. Homeless people are just crazy these days."
She bit her cheek and continued on.
"I'd rather live on the streets than eat that." Nathan said as he watched Haley load pasta into their cart.
Haley frowned. "Why? You love macaroni and cheese."
"No," Nathan corrected. "You love macaroni and cheese. I only eat it because I can't cook for myself."
"Well, then you're just going to have to deal with it, aren't you?" Haley smiled her wondrous, bright smile in a way that was not friendly, but still managed to make her look adorable.
Her husband, unable to help himself, leaned down to kiss her lips gently.
"What was that for?" She asked.
He shrugged. "I'd eat macaroni and cheese all day, every day if I could eat it with you."
Haley's eyes widened in a way that was innocent and filled with love. He could remember her how she was when they'd first met, just like this. Every kiss had left her speechless, every time they'd made love it had been new and exciting. "You're my first," she had whispered to him silkily that day after they'd had a fight in the rain and he'd pulled her down onto the bed with him to make up.
She cleared her throat, forcing her eyes away. "I wonder where that brother of yours has gone off to."
"Can I see some ID?"
Lucas looked behind him at the others in the line with a face of disbelief, hoping their expressions were mirroring his. Of course, as luck would have it, they weren't. They stared at him expectantly, their eyes saying, 'show her the ID so we can get moving, you idiot!'
"Are you serious? I'm twenty-four years old. I'm no where near eighteen." He was stalling. Mentally, he was trying to calculate where his driver's license was, because he wasn't sure he'd seen it last time he checked his wallet, and there was no way in hell he was going to have Nathan buy him the pack of cigarettes considering the four hour long speech he'd get from that neo-nazi his brother called a wife.
"If you think that twenty-four is no where near eighteen," said the cashier, who was clearly way past both ages, "then you're obviously too young to be either."
"How is that obvious?" He groaned. "Look.. I can't let my sister-in-law see me buying these because she'll chew my ass out. I'm twenty-four years old, I swear."
"Oh, well now I'm convinced. You're holding up the line, sir. So either show me some ID or find someone who is willing to buy a teenager some cancer sticks for a few extra bucks." She forced a smile, and he couldn't really blame her for being such a cranky bitch. After all, she was at least in her fifties, working as a cashier. You'd think by now with that sunshiny disposition she'd have been promoted.
"I'll buy them if it'll hurry this whole thing up!" Said the impatient old woman behind him.
Grinning at the cashier, he handed the woman his pack of cigarettes. He didn't smoke often, but sometimes, he needed those things more than he needed air.
As the woman brought her cart forward, she handed him his "cancer sticks" with a disapproving look.
"I really am twenty-four," he called as she walked off, shaking his head and placing the pack into his back pocket.
They were so happy.
Brooke, in her entire life, had never seen two people more in love. She watched in awe as the couple flirted their way through the fruits and vegetables, over to where she stood by the dairy and yogurts.
"Milk!" The man exclaimed, grabbing four gallons and tossing them into the shopping cart.
The woman shook her head. "Your obsession with milk really worries me sometimes."
"Come on," he smirked. "Where do you think I got these sexy arms? Milk makes the bones stronger. It helps 'em grow, baby."
"Wow, are you sure it doesn't also help the ego grow?"
Both laughed, and after a while, the woman joked, "I hope our kids don't get that from you."
"No, they should. Think about it, Haley! My wonderful genes, your wonderful genes? They'll probably be famous rock stars slash basketball players with insanely, ridiculously good looks."
"Yes, because the world needs more of those."
Brooke laughed quietly to herself and decided that she liked this Haley girl. She liked the man too. She could see his playfulness and his good spirit, and she liked the way they teased each other. Not to mention, they were certainly an attractive couple. The man had perhaps been over exaggerating his description of their children, but there was no doubt that they'd be attractive.
Instinctively, she looked down at her own daughter. There was no denying Willa's beauty. She was the one child Brooke could honestly say she'd ever found striking. And Brooke was positive it wasn't just because she was her mother that she thought this. Her baby's hair was a soft brown, lighter than both of her parents', and her eyes were a vivid green, a mixture of celery and emerald and hazel all wrapped into one. Her lips formed a natural pout and her ivory skin was rosy and soft.
Willa looked up at her in delight, cooing tenderly and reaching up to grab her mother's hair.
"Beautiful girl," Brooke whispered thickly, swallowing the lump in her throat.
"Nathan!" She whipped her head back over to the couple, where the man, apparently named Nathan, had just been caught trying to quietly remove three boxes of pasta from the cart.
She furrowed a brow in confusion, but continued to watch in interest. They were an interesting duo, these two.
Nathan, obviously defeated, sighed loudly. "Fine! But I'm getting another gallon of milk.."
Haley shook her head at him, but she was smiling.
Brooke couldn't help but stare. She wanted this. She wanted a father for a baby. One that would act goofy and immature sometimes but still be responsible and there for her.
"What am I doing?" She said aloud, feeling so frustrated. No matter how much she thought about it, it didn't make sense that she'd ended up here. It didn't make sense that, because she'd got pregnant at eighteen, her baby had to live on the streets.
A voice in her head, instantly distinguished as her mother's, said, "You should have gotten an abortion, darling."
Suddenly, as if hearing her grandmother's thoughts running through her mother's head, Willa began to cry. One of the things Brooke didn't understand about children was how, one minute, they could be giggling, and the next, they were a screaming mess. Eyes from all directions began to turn towards her, and Brooke swallowed, walking quickly towards the store's exit. The store's security guards eyed her suspiciously and she averted her gaze from them, trying unsuccessfully to quiet her daughter.
"Hey, Lindsay. It's me.. Lucas. I'm sure you knew that. I thought I'd make it clear though. I'm not sure.. do you know any other Lucas'? No, I don't think so. It should be pretty clear.. Scott, Lucas, Scott. Okay, I don't know why I'm doing this. This is unlike me. I don't talk a lot.. I mean, I can sometimes. I tend not to. Generally. This is.. wow, this is embarrassing. Okay. I'm going to just delete this message for both of our sakes, so.. yeah, you haven't called and I still love you and I'm an idiot."
He rolled his eyes, clicking the button on his cell phone to re-record the message. Lucas lifted the phone to his ear, only to be greeted with the mechanical female's voice reporting, "Your message has been sent. Thank you."
His jaw dropped, and he frantically pressed buttons on the phone to reverse what he'd done, but instead, his last response from the dreaded woman was, "Thank you for calling. Goodbye."
Pressing his head against the cold, probably dirty wall of the storefront, he groaned. "Why? Why do I have to be me? Of all people.."
Lucas leaned his body against the wall, opening his pack of cigarettes and pulling one out. As he searched his pockets for a means of lighting, he realized, with much, much contempt, that he didn't smoke on a regular basis, and therefore did not carry lighters around with him.
Upon his profanity, he heard something that sounded akin to a wailing cat, and turned towards it. Sitting in front of the store was a woman with an infant in her arms. He squinted to see better and realized that she was probably homeless. Her hair had been pulled back messily and looked dirty, and her long, cream colored cardigan was randomly dusted with substances of different kinds. She had about three bags around her, one that looked to be specifically a baby bag. Running her fingers over the small child's face while comforting her, she looked herself as if she might suddenly burst into tears.
Slowly, he placed his cigarette into his back pocket and took a step towards her.
"There you are!"
Lucas snapped his gaze over to the voice, belonging to his brother. "I was wondering where you were. Here, help me carry some stuff," Nathan began handing over bags, obviously overloaded. "I wanted to look like a man in front of Haley so I told her I'd carry all the bags."
"You never cease to amaze me," Lucas chuckled, momentarily forgetting about his message to Lindsay, about the homeless girl with the baby. "Where is she anyway?"
"Oh, she's getting some flowers. She thinks they spruce up the house or whatever."
"Did she use the word spruce or was that you?"
"I may have embellished a little." Nathan admitted with a blush.
"Embellished," Lucas nodded, impressed. "Big word."
"Shut up, jackass," his brother muttered, as Haley joined them.
"Okay, let's go," she chirped, leading the three away from the supermarket. Lucas hesitated for a moment, looking back over to where he'd seen the homeless girl. She was gone, leaving no trail of herself behind. He frowned and followed after his brother and sister-in-law, who were shamelessly bantering and/or flirting their way over to their apartment across the street.
Brooke watched as the three walked away, noting to herself that they lived within walking distance of the supermarket. Right across the street, in fact. The apartment building wasn't ritzy, but it was definitely more nice than not.
The blonde man who had joined Nathan and Haley trailed slightly behind them, looking like something of a third wheel. She'd felt his eyes on her earlier, but hadn't known whether she should look up at him or not. She bit her lip, watching as he laughed with his friends, and wished for a moment that she had met his eyes.
The trio disappeared into the apartment building and she watched longingly for a moment before turning back around to return to the street corner.
"This is your life now," she said to herself, because sometimes she needed reminding.
Brooke Davis held her daughter close in her arms, and prayed that tonight she'd find food, or an actual place to stay, or someone to hold her and tell her everything would be alright.
It was so hard to believe that anything would ever be alright again, and she was losing hope.