So, I suck times infinity. I've had this update written for quite some time except it was hand written and I was either a) too busy or b) to lazy to type it up. But here it is! And if there is anyone still reading this, thanks for sticking around through my absence and crap that's playing on our televisions. Anyway, I apologize if this is choppy, I haven't read over it thouroughly, I just wanted to get it posted! Enjoy!
Karen Roe sits on her front porch, rocking slowly back and forth on the old white swing that Keith had put up when she first bought the place. The white paint is chipping off the wood and she sighs a bit before standing up, balancing her coffee and newspaper in one hand. She looks down the road and sees Lucas' old pick up that Keith had given him for graduation. She smiles and places her coffee on to the railing in front of her. "Lily, your brother's here," She calls through the screen door, a few seconds later her daughter bouncing out on to the porch.
She looks down at her daughter's curly hair and runs her fingers through it, trying to keep some of the curls in place. Lily jumps up and down in her spot running to the curb as soon as Lucas pulls up. "Lucas," the little girl screams, opening the door on the old truck. Lucas steps out, picking up his sister before slamming the door behind him. Nathan gets out on the other side keeping the car keys with him. He walks to the back of the truck, picking up the few random bottles Lucas had tossed into the bed however long ago.
"Hey Mom," Lucas says as he walks up the steps, kissing her on the cheek before returning his attention to his little sister who proceeds to tell him about how they're going to see the world.
"I wish you could come Lucas," Lily tells him and he just smiles. He plans to do his traveling when he's old; see all the sites as a seasoned man who will finally see all the sights there is to see. He imagines going to Italy and Paris and Japan, everywhere. It has the makings of a fantastic book…
"Thanks for coming to help you guys," Karen tells them as she walks inside, her son and his brother following her as Lily squeezes her way past them all.
"It's not a problem Karen. Haley, Brooke, and Jamie should be coming pretty soon," Nathan says out loud, only to have Karen and Lucas look back at him.
"Brooke?" they both respond, Karen's voice confused while Lucas' remains worried.
"Brooke's the one I met at graduation right? Am I thinking of the right girl?" Karen asks and Lucas doesn't answer. Nathan looks at him curiously before answering for his older brother.
"Yeah… you met Brooke at graduation," Nathan says, trailing off as he does so. Karen nods, mumbling that she seemed like a very nice girl before telling them that lunch would be ready soon as she walked into the kitchen. The two Scott brothers stand in Karen's half packed living room in silence, Lucas rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Does your mom know anything about Brooke?"
Lucas looks up and sighs before shrugging. "Not really. It was all too confusing… too… personal. And after everything that happened, it just seemed like I should keep it to myself."
Nathan nods, unconvinced by Lucas' reasoning but accepts it none the less. It's then that Haley walks in, knocking on the door as she does so. "We're here," she announces before seeing her husband and best friend in front of her. "Oh, I see you two haven't done much." Brooke giggles behind her and Karen walks back in.
"Great everyone's here! Haley you can put Jamie in Lily's room or I got out her old playpen if you want to put him in there," she says brightly and Haley nods, making her way past the boys and into the little girl's room. "Boys if you could move the couch out to the truck along with the entertainment center, that'd be wonderful. Brooke why don't you help me finish up lunch in the kitchen." Brooke nods, following the elder brunette into the kitchen.
Nathan laughs and walks over to the couch, bending down to pick up the couch. "What're you laughing at?" Lucas asks and Nathan shakes is head as they walk out the door, the couch between them.
"Brooke's got a big mouth bro."
"So Brooke, did you head off to New York after graduation like you said you would?" Karen asks as she spreads mustard on to a piece of white bread. Brooke nods, placing turkey on to a half made sandwich. "Did you like it there?"
"It was beautiful there. I loved Central Park," Brooke answers, pushing the strap of her tank top back on to her shoulder.
"Is that where you met your boyfriend?" Brooke looks at her curiously before answering.
"I don't have a boyfriend."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I just assumed…" Karen says immediately and Brooke shakes her head.
"I had a sorta boyfriend, hence this," she starts, pointing to her rounded belly before continuing. "But I knew him in high school and well, he sorta ditched once I told him."
Karen nods sympathetically before sighing. "He obviously wasn't meant to be the father of your baby then," she says with a smile. Brooke nods wearily before returning her attention back to the sandwich in front of her. Karen Roe made her nervous and she's not sure why. She seems like a nice woman and Brooke's only heard good things about her. But both times that she has faced the elder woman she's searched for a way out. Brooke begins tapping her foot nervously, continuously glancing over to the open doorway in hopes that Haley would appear. "Is something wrong?"
Brooke looks up at the woman and shakes her head. "No. I just… never mind," Brooke says sheepishly before rubbing her lower back. This belly is already starting to cause some pain.
"How exactly did you become friends with my son Brooke? Lucas never told me much about you." Brooke Notices now that Karen isn't looking at her, perhaps unsure if she was over stepping the imaginary boundaries that she and Lucas had in place.
Brooke clears her throat and shrugs. "Through Peyton I suppose. And the basketball team. I was captain of the cheerleaders back then," Brooke answers and Karen's head quickly looks up.
"Really? I was captain when I went there," she says sweetly, a large smile on her face. "That got me in all kinds of trouble though." The laugh that follows is genuine though it trails off in an awkward way. "Were you and Lucas close?"
She can't answer that. She is as close to Lucas, or was as close to Lucas as she was with Peyton. He knew certain things about her that no one else did and understood things that only he could understand. For some reason, ever since the very beginning, he just got her.
Brooke squirms in her seat before standing up. "Where's your bathroom?"
"First door on the left." Brooke walks out as fast as she can.
It has been such a long day. Moving boxes from Nathan and Haley's to Karen's, moving Karen's stuff into the U-Haul, and moving Brooke's stuff from storage to Nathan and Haley's. Hours of driving back and forth, moving boxes here and there with little time to rest. She and Haley sit on the porch as Nathan and Lucas walk in between them, loading the boxes the girls had packed into the U-Haul. It's still so hot too. Brooke had forgotten how unbearable the North Carolina heat could be in the summer. "Considering you two have been relaxing for about an hour now, do you think you could get your asses up and help us load the last few boxes?" Nathan asks and Karen walks out on to the porch.
"Watch your mouth Nathan," she warns before addressing the group. "I'm cooling off dinner now. As soon as the final boxes are loaded, we can eat."
"You're lucky I'm starving," Haley tells her husband and both girls stand up, going inside to see Lily and Jamie watching a movie on a portable DVD player. She and Brooke follow the boys into Lily's room and grab the boxes that are left. Brooke winces slightly when she stands and Lucas watches her curiously from the door.
"Are you okay?" he asks and Brooke looks at him before nodding.
She's not okay.
"It's just a lot of pressure." He watches her for a moment longer before walking over to her. He moves the box he has on to his hip before grabbing hers. "Thank you," she says slowly before closing her eyes. She lets out a deep breath before opening her eyes. Nathan and Haley have already left and the two of them stand in the now empty pink room. He refuses to leave until he walks in front of her.
"Do you still feel it?" She's trying to ignore him. He's going to over react if he thinks something's wrong. So she shakes her head and puts a small smile on her face. She's so thirsty and it's so hot.
She needs to sit down again.
She walks past Lucas and starts to make her way to what used to be the dinning room. Karen or Haley or someone had tossed down some pillows in there and she can practically hear one calling her name.
He follows behind her and all seems fine until she stops and clutches on to the wooden door way. "Brooke?"
She raises a hand before she winces and crouches down, hand snaking around to rub her back. He drops both boxes and walks up to her before she shakes her head. "No, Lucas. Please just go get Haley. Just don't touch me."
He frowns but nods, running out on to the porch to yell for his best friend.
He's so worried. He's been pacing back and forth in the waiting room and Nathan keeps following him with his eyes. They had left Jamie with Karen and Haley had gone back with Brooke, leaving the two brothers to worry. "She hadn't been in any major pain right? Just pressure? That's what she said before… that there was a lot of pressure." He's rambling and sounds more worried than he should be. "Pressure doesn't mean bad does it?"
Nathan shrugs helplessly, looking up at his brother from his chair. "I don't know Luke." Nathan glances at the clock, noticing that the girls have been gone for a half an hour. He wasn't there last time, still to this day, doesn't even know what exactly happened then. Just knows the bare minimum; Brooke was pregnant, she lost the baby, deep depression of course followed. Other than that, it's all a big mystery as to what went on between Brooke and Lucas before that morning in the Denny's on 12th.
He wonders if Lucas was like this last time, pacing and shaking, worry just pouring out of him. "There was no blood," Lucas mumbles to himself and Nathan has to ask him to repeat what he said he spoke so quietly. "I said there was no blood." The older brother stops pacing and looks at Nathan. "Right?"
His voice is weak and barely there and it's then that Nathan notices how truly bad he's shaking. Lucas is straight up trembling, so much so that when he pulls out his cell phone, he drops it. "I'll call my mom," he says, bending down to pick up the phone carefully. "She saw what happened, she'll remember. She's got the memory of an elephant."
Nathan puts his steady hand on Lucas', taking the broken cell phone from him. "There wasn't any blood. I was holding her… there wasn't any blood." Lucas stares at his hands before nodding slowly and sitting on the ground. Nathan puts the battery back into the phone before handing it back to his brother "I'm going to go get something to drink. You gonna be okay for a sec? With no response, Nathan sighs and gets up anyway.
He makes his way towards the bathrooms when he sees Haley. "Are they okay?" he asks and Haley nods slowly.
"She was doing too much and was a bit dehydrated but she's okay." Haley rubs her arms nervously and then asks about her best friend.
"He's in the waiting room… I think he's breaking down," Nathan says slowly and Haley closes her eyes before sighing.
"She doesn't want to see him."
Nathan stares at his wife and raises an eyebrow. "Hales… He's gonna lose it if he doesn't at least see that she's okay, that they're okay. 'Cause right now, he looks like a heroin addict going through detox."
Haley sighs again and nods, running a tired hand through her hair. "I'll go talk to her."
Lucas is still sitting on the floor when he gets back. His legs are sprawled out in front of him, staring at the white wall with the blue strip of wallpaper. Nathan sits down next to him and waist with his head in his hands. "Lucas" They both look up and Haley waves them back.
The three walk down the long hallway, bright white and bleach enveloping them. They stop short, two rooms away from the room Lucas had been in 5 years ago with the same brunette.
Brooke lays in the standard hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and numerous other machines. Her belly is exposed, some sort of monitor wrapped around it. She looks pale and tired but worried most of all. Her hand seems to be holding her stomach up, trying to keep her baby in. She's looking out the window, face blank and as pale as the sheet she lays on; her eyes aren't shinning, her glow is gone, and her dimples now seem like a myth. This is nothing like the Brooke he saw this morning
Haley goes and sits in the chair next to Brooke and Nathan walks around to the other side. "Can you go home today?" Nathan asks and Brooke doesn't respond. Instead, Haley clears her throat and answers for her.
"They want to keep her over night. Just in case."
"So you're okay? You're both okay?" Lucas stands in the doorway, his voice scratchy. His eyes are red and burning because he refuses to cry. Not here, not now. He did it once before, held it together for the brunette who always tries to act like she's invincible and he'll continue to put on the brave face for her now. Though, his strong front is slowly crumbling. Brooke turns and looks at him. Lock her green eyes with his blue and he can see more of her own tears well up. And then, she turns away; clutching on to her belly for dear life and turns on her side so t hat she can only see Nathan.
Haley looks back at Lucas and frowns. "Why don't we go check on Jamie," Haley instructs, walking over to Lucas. "Nathan, you okay with staying?" The other man nods and Haley leads the blond away.
When Lucas steps outside, it's like a breath of fresh air. He finally feels like he doesn't have to gasp in order to breath and that the white walls aren't closing in around him. He halfway feels like dropping to his knees and kiss the ground he's so happy to just get out of the hospital. "You alright?" Haley asks and Lucas nods before he gets into the car.
"So, Brooke's gonna have to go on a form of bed rest," Haley tells him as she drives towards Lucas' childhood home. The streets are busy for a late Saturday evening and it's then that Haley realizes how hungry she is.
"What kind of bed rest?" he asks, not questioning a thing when Haley pulls into the Jack in the Box drive thru.
"The doctor said she has to stay off her feet as much as possible. With her living alone and getting a job, I don't see how she's gonna relax." She stops for a moment, ordering enough food for their families before pulling up to the window "I told her she could stay with us but she's so damn stubborn…"
"She doesn't want to live with you temporarily?" Haley shakes her head and gives him a look that says you should already know this. She passes brown bags filled with greasy yet heavenly food to Lucas as he sighs, taking the drinks before asking Haley what had happened.
"She was dehydrated and she started dilating."
"She was dilating? Doesn't that mean she's going into labor?" Lucas asks, panicked once more.
"They gave her a drug to stop it. She wasn't very far and she wasn't hurting. Like she said, it was just a lot of pressure… like she wanted to push. Which at 5 months, isn't good. But overall, she and the baby are fine."
This time, Lucas lets out a sigh of relief.
She's so tired. No, not even tired, she's exhausted. But god, she's just so disappointed in herself that she can't fall asleep. She spent most of the night awake in the hospital and now, as she sits beside Nathan on the car ride home, her eyes are starting to get heavier and heavier. She's like a baby who's slowly succumbing to the smooth roads. When they finally do reach the small apartment, she has to use Nathan as a support system.
"Wow… this place looks big without the bulk of our crap in it," Nathan comments as they walk into the door and Brooke just nods slowly before sitting down on the couch. She rests her head on a pillow and lets her eyes fall, hand still placed securely on her stomach. She's large now. 20 weeks along and she's carrying heavy again. She still finds it amazing that she's just going to keep getting bigger.
Nathan keeps mumbling to himself, checking off a checklist that Haley had probably told him before he ate breakfast this morning. She only hears a few snippets - fridge is stocked, phone's by you, please don't get up- in between his long continuous words. Finally, he brings her a bottle of water and tells her to drink up. "Are you sure you're okay by yourself?"
Brooke nods sleepily before sitting up slightly. "I'll be fine. It's not like I have much to do."
Nathan nods hesitantly. "Just call if you need anything. Don't hesitate okay?" The brunette nods again and Nathan accepts this. "Alright, I'm gonna go then." He drops a kiss on the top of her head before heading out, leaving her to the horrid sleep that would fall upon her.
She gets maybe an hour before she wakes up. It's the same scene that played in her mind yesterday that now plays in her dreams. All she sees is the blood from before…
She spends the whole week like this. Just sitting on that damn couch going insane with lack of sleep and fear. It's on the 8th day that she sits up because if she lies there any longer, she'll just get trapped in a cycle of restless sleep filled with bloody nightmares. She should be resting as much as possible but really, that's impossible at this point. She's now in full paranoid mode, worried about every little thing she does. But she won't take any help because she needs to be able to do this alone. She's not gonna have constant help once this baby comes anyway…
Instead of complying with her bed rest orders, she goes into the kitchen and begins staking her dishes in the cupboards. She doesn't have very much; a couch, desk, bed, dresser, and dishes (only enough for 6 people) is all she has minus her clothes. She leans against the counter and looks around. She has some money saved up, enough to at least get her though most of her pregnancy. She sighs and contemplates on finding a job. Money's bound to run out sooner than she thinks.
"What the hell have I gotten myself into?" Brooke asks aloud, running her hand along her stomach. Pretty soon, her stomach growls and she tosses the empty cardboard box to the other side of the room, freeing up counter space. She peers into the fridge and decides on a sandwich, one that will be of epic proportions. Turkey, mayo, mustard, lettuce, pickles, and bacon, all between two toasted slices of sourdough bread and some crisp cheddar chips. She sighs to herself and rubs her belly when a growl comes from it.
She places a pan on the stove, 4 slice of bacon starting to sizzle once the flame warms up the pan. Next, she slices her bread and puts them in the toaster. She takes that time to sit down at the old table Nathan and Haley left her. She fans herself with her hand, the heat from the stove and the summer that has enveloped Tree Hill getting her hotter than her normal comfort level.
When she turns off the stove, removing the popping bacon from the pan and placing two slices on one slice of bread, she notices Lucas walking up the path. Brooke's hand tightens around the metal handle and quickly looks down. She's not sure she can see him right now…
So she goes about finishing up her sandwich, ignoring his knock on her door. She doesn't see him leave and she assumes he's probably sitting on the porch. And for once, she's glad that Lucas never seems to walk away because she stupidly didn't move her thumb out of the way when she was slicing a tomato.
"Do you have a bandaid?" Brooke asks frantically, paper towel wrapped around her thumb. He looks at her confused for a moment, before nodding slowly and jogging back to his truck. She walks back inside, throwing the blood soaked paper towel into the trash before grabbing another. She sits down at the table impatiently tapping her foot. Lucas walks in and begins unwrapping the bandaid.
"Have you washed it off?" Brooke shakes her head and meets Lucas at the sink where she unwillingly sticks her thumb underneath the flowing water. She hisses, the sting of the warm water hitting her open cut almost causes her to retract. After a second or two, Lucas turns off the water and pulls some Neosporin out of his pocket, putting the bandaid down on the counter.
"I guess keeping all this stuff for Lily paid off," Lucas says with a light laugh as he runs his finger over her cut. The Neosporin only makes it sting again and Lucas apologizes before wrapping the bandaid around her thumb. "There. It looked pretty deep so if it keeps bleeding as much as it is, then you're probably gonna need stitches. Are you allowed to drive?" he asks and she opens her mouth to respond before she realizes that she doesn't know. She honestly hadn't listened to the doctor very much, she just wanted to go home. So she just shuts her mouth and shrugs.
Lucas must take this as a grain of salt because he just nods and takes her back into the living room. "No Luke, I don't want to sit down."
"Why not?" She doesn't answer, just keeps silent before walking back into the kitchen and sitting down at the table. She stares out the window and sighs to herself. This wasn't how this was supposed to work out. This baby was supposed to be different. She was supposed to keep this baby.
She drops her head on to the table and before she realizes it, her shoulders are shaking, tears running down her face. Lucas, who now stands in the doorway between her temporary bedroom and her, watches her carefully. Notices how she keeps her legs tightly crossed, keeps one hand securely on her belly, and how she won't stop looking outside. He quietly walks over to her, pulling out the chair next to her and wrapping his arms around her. This is the last place she wants to be, yet the place she needs to be the most.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing," Brooke cries, tucking herself further into his arms. "I'm not supposed to be doing anything but laying down. And when I lay down I want to sleep but I can't sleep because all I see is the blood and I don't want to lose my baby… I can't lose him Lucas. And I'm just so tired and I feel just as helpless as I did in high school… I don't know what to do except cry because right now that's the only thing that feels right."
"Shh," Lucas whispers, rubbing her back softly. "You're gonna be fine I promise. Both of you." There he goes again, making promises he knows he can't keep. He prays that she'll trust him this time because he let her down so tragically before.
"I need help." It comes out so quietly that he doesn't hear her at first, just keeps her cradled away in his arms. But then she clears her throat and takes a deep breath before pushing him away. She bites her lip in that beautifully vulnerable way and pushes her messy, dirty hair behind her pierced ears. Her hands lay in her lay, just below her belly, fingers twiddling as a way to distract her from the words that will come out of her mouth. "Will you stay with me?"
She wakes up in her bed. Not the couch that she'd been spending the last week on, but her actual bed. Her big fluffy blankets are pushed to the end of the bed, a simple white sheet shielding her from the cool morning air. She glances out the windows that surround her, day light spilling into the room, illuminating the white walls. She sighs and realizes that she doesn't quite remember how she got there or what happened after her break down. All she knows is that for the first time in a long time, she feels good; well rested and almost like she could relax. Her dark hair falls over her face when she flips on to her other side, sinking into the soft mattress. She hates that she can't sleep on her stomach anymore, just her sides considering she's never been able to stay on her back for long.
A content sigh escapes her lips and she glances at the clock on the bedside table across from her. 7:30. Funny, she thought she had slept for years. She sits up and slings her legs over the side of the bed and raises herself up. She pads her way out of the bedroom, going down the narrow hall that leads to the kitchen. She's shocked to see Lucas standing at her stove, flipping pancakes on the pan in front of him. He looks over his shoulder and notices her standing in the large doorway in the same summer dress she wore yesterday. She looks shocked yet expectant and he can't quite explain it. "You're here," she states simply and he nods.
"You asked me to stay."