Look Closer, Part I

A/N: Okay so…here's the next chapter! It's kind of short but…I wanted to give you all something. So here it is...I hope you like it!

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"Lucas…"

Upon hearing the very familiar voice, Lucas immediately jumped up and began looking around. "P—Peyton?!"

He began walking around frantically, not knowing if the voice was merely coming from inside his head or from somewhere else and desperately trying to figure it out. "Peyton, are you really—"

Lucas let his voice trail off as he started to feel something in his throat. He covered his mouth with his right hand and started coughing.

Once his coughing had finally ceased he pulled his hand away and became horrified after noticing the blood he had just coughed up onto it.

Lucas stared at the blood in his hand for a long while before wiping it on his shirt and then making his way to Haley's car.

Just as he was about to open up the car door he noticed that, once again, Maya was standing in the middle of the street staring out aimlessly, only this time she now stood with the psychiatrist from the police station, Dr. Hayes.

Lucas ran over to the two women and once he reached them heard the psychiatrist whisper out. "Those poor things."

Lucas eyed Dr. Hayes curiously for a long while, before slowing making his way back toward the car.

He hopped in, sat down and shut the door. He then closed his eyes, briefly rubbed his temples, opened his eyes back up, started the car up and drove off down the road, still determined as ever to get to Julian.

"That son-of-a-bitch is going to get everything that he deserves." Lucas said to himself as he maneuvered the car onto the highway ramp. "He's gonna…"

Lucas's voice trailed off and his mouth opened in shock as he saw the highway scenery change around him. Lucas slowly stopped the car, put it in park and hopped out of the car.

His jaw dropped in shock as he looked around and realized that he was back on his now very deserted home street.

"I…I d—don't understand." a confused Lucas said to himself as he looked around his surroundings. "This…doesn't make any sense…"

Lucas let his voice trail off and he slowly collapsed onto the wet road. He then curled up into a ball and let the tears that had been welling up in his eyes fall, though one would hardly be able to notice amongst all the rain.

"I…I just want to kill him." Lucas whispered to himself. "But I don't know how. I don't know how, I don't know what I'm doing and…I…I don't know what's going on. I—I'm going crazy and…"

He paused for a moment, wiped his eyes and the continued. "Peyton and I we…w—wasted so much...time…being angry and bitter with each other. We ALL did and now…she's gone and…l—life will never be the same again. I'd do…anything to have a second chance with her…to live the life that the two of us were supposed to live…o—one filled with happiness and love for each other…w—with all the family and friends we took for granted."

Lucas stopped talking and just sat very still on the soaking wet ground, letting the rain fall down on to him. He sat there in silence for a long while when out of nowhere the car radio turned on by itself and began blasting a bunch of familiar voices.

Beckah's voice is the first one he hears. "IT'S ALL MY FAULT!"

"SHE'S DEAD ISN'T SHE!?" Keith shrieked.

He then heard a bloodcurdling scream from Haley. "AAHHHH!!!!!"

"Yes 143!" he hears a panicky Brooke shout. "HURRY!"

"I'm here to help." Lucas hears Riley say very calmly. "I'm here to help."

"YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH!" Nathan yells out angrily. "WHAT THE HELL—"

"I—I didn't mean to hurt…" Lucas heard Julian cry out through the car radio. "I DIDN'T MEAN IT! I DIDN'T MEAN IT!"

"YES YOU DID!" a heated Lucas shouted in response to Julian's words as he popped up from off the ground. "BECAUSE YOU'RE A WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT AND I—"

"I didn't mean it."

Lucas turned to his left and saw a distraught Julian, and Julian alone, sitting down in the middle of the road.

"I'm not supposed to take lives..." Julian says very quietly, barely above a whisper, looking blankly out into the distance in front of him, not recognizing Lucas's presence before him. "I'm supposed to save them."

Lucas eyed Julian curiously and as he slowly made his way over to him the entire scenery around him began to change and he suddenly found himself standing in a nearly empty waiting room inside of a hospital where he saw himself standing at the receptionist desk filling out paperwork and his kids goofing off in some nearby chairs.

Lucas put down his pen, glanced over to his left and gave a stern glare at his kids, letting them know that they needed to stop acting up and behave.

The look did the trick and Keith and Beckah instantly stopped goofing around and Lucas then redirected his attention back onto his paperwork.

Lucas scratched his head in confusion. "W—what is going…"

Just then Julian entered into the waiting area with a pretty curly haired blonde by his side.

Lucas briefly glanced up at them, the blonde catching his attention because of her startling resemblance to Peyton but once quickly realizing that it wasn't his ex-wife he refocused his attention back onto filling out his paperwork.

"You really shouldn't be working another overnight shift tonight." Kate said to him as the two walked over to the other side of the front desk. "You like, never sleep."

Julian placed the chart he had been carrying on the desk and began filling out some information. "Yeah well Melissa's engagement ring is going to pay for itself and since first year residents like myself hardly make any money, I don't mind being a little tired for a while if it means I'll be debt free."

Kate slowly nodded. "Yeah well still…try and get some sleep when you can. Don't need you falling asleep in the OR, at a staff meeting, behind the wheel—"

A page from Kate's pager suddenly went off. She picked it up and looked at it. "I gotta go."

"Alright I'll see you later."

Kate nodded and then hurried off down the hall and Julian continued to fill out the chart before him.

"Ok I'm finished." Lucas said as he handed the papers over to the lady at the front desk. "I'm all set now?"

She shook her head. "Dr. Friedman wants to ask you a few questions before deciding whether or not to switch your HCM meds."

Lucas sighed, looked over at Keith and Beckah and then back at the front desk lady. "But I thought I was only going to have to be here for a minute. I didn't know I was going to have to talk with him. What should I do with—"

"I can keep an eye out on them for you." She said cutting him off.

Lucas nodded. "Okay thanks."

He then made his way over to Keith and Beckah, bent down to their eyelevel and said to them quietly, "I'll be back in a few minutes. You guys behave while I'm gone."

The two nodded their heads. "We will." They said together in unison.

Lucas nodded, stood up and then made his way to a nearby elevator.

Julian still stood by the front desk, diligently writing, while the front desk lady began typing on the computer keyboard in front of her, looking up every now and then at Keith and Beckah.

Keith reached his hand into Beckah's baggy of green grapes.

"I bet you can't do this." He said as he tossed a grape up into the air and caught it in his mouth.

"Yes I can!" Beckah exclaimed as she tossed a grape into the air, caught it in her mouth and began chewing. "See!"

Keith made a face at her. He then took another grape from her baggy, tossed it high into the air and just before it was about to enter into his mouth Beckah leaned over in front of him and caught in hers.

"Hey!" Keith said, as he hit her in her arm. He rolled his eyes, picked up the game consul that he had sat down on his lap and began playing on it.

Keith's hit caused Beckah to get the grape logged into her throat and she began gagging.

Keith looked over at her and gasped in fright. "Help! My sister's choking!"

Julian and the front desk lady directed their attention to the kids, seeing that Beckah was struggling to breath and then quickly became unconscious.

Julian dropped his pen and hurried over to the little girl. He then quickly sat down in the seat next to her, put her face down across his lap, and then placed his left fist just below where the ribs and breastbone meet. Then with his right hand he gave a solid whack to her back, right in between the shoulder blades.

The forceful hit caused the logged grape to fly out of the little girl's mouth, yet she remained unconscious.

"Code blue!" Julian shouted out to the front desk lady, who hastily flipped a switch on the wall and picked up the phone beside her.

Julian sat Beckah up and then laid her down onto the floor. He then lifted up her chin, tilted her head back and listened for signs of breathing, quickly coming to the realization that she wasn't.

Julian held onto Beckah's chin with his left hand and then took his right pointer finger and thumb, pinched her nose and blew two forceful breaths into the little girl's mouth. He then placed his right hand on her forehead, to ensure that her head was tilted back, and started a round of chest compressions with his left hand.

Once he had completed 30 compressions he rechecked her airway and then once again blew two more breaths into Beckah's mouth, just as Lucas came walking out of the elevator.

Lucas's jaw dropped at the sight of Julian performing CPR on his young daughter and he quickly made his way over to them.

"What happened?!" a visibly shaken Lucas asked his son.

"She was c—choking on a…grape…" Keith stuttered out. "And then stopped…b—breathing!"

Just then a team arrived from down the hall, right when Julian's latest set of chest compression caused Beckah to regain her breath and consciousness. Julian stepped back as Beckah started coughing and Lucas rushed over to her side.

"Beckah, honey, are you okay?" He asked as he bent down and hugged her.

Beckah stopped coughing and nodded. "Yeah."

Lucas then redirected his attention toward Julian. "Y—you saved her. Thank you for saving my daughter."

Keith squinted his eyes and read the name tag on Julian's lab coat. "Dr. Baker's a hero!"

Julian shook his head. "No, none of that Dr. Baker stuff, you can call me Julian. And I'm no hero…I was just doing my job and my job is to save lives.

"Thank you." Lucas reiterated to Julian. "Thank you so much."

Julian nodded. "You're welcome."

Lucas stood in shock, not sure what to make of the scene that had just transpired before his eyes. Just then, the hospital room scenery changed around him and he found himself standing in the middle of his street in front of Julian, who was still sitting there in the middle of the road, with a slight gash on his forehead, rocking back and forth.

"I'm not supposed to take lives." He repeated once more. "I'm supposed to save them…"

Lucas stood staring at Julian for a long while, then closed his eyes and began trying to envision the murder scene Beckah had depicted…

"You've got a HELL of a lot of nerve barging into this house Julian!" Peyton screamed out as she ripped off her engagement ring and threw it at him. "NOW GET OUT!"

Julian shook his head and slammed the door behind. "Not until I find out how long my FIANCE has been sleeping with her ex-husband!"

Lucas then found his mind drifting to the hospital scene he had just witnessed…

"Yeah well, Melissa's engagement ring isn't going to pay for itself."

Lucas's then refocused his mind onto the killing…

"IF YOU DON'T GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS HOUSE AND STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL KILL YOU!"

"You don't have the balls."

"No?" Peyton spat out angrily. She then hurried into the living room, headed for Lucas's hidden safe, opened it up with the secret code and pulled out the gun.

Julian chased after Peyton. "What are you…"

Peyton pointed the gun at him. "GET OUT!"

Julian stood in place, not moving, but as he saw Peyton about to cock the gun he lunged toward her and tried to rip the gun from her hands. The two struggled for a bit before Julian finally gained control of the gun and then shot Peyton in the stomach.

The gun dropped to the floor and a shocked Julian stepped and watched as Peyton grabbed her profusely bleeding stomach and healed over onto the living room floor. She attempted to utter something, but didn't have the strength. Her eyes then closed and she was gone.

Lucas then found his mind wandering back to the hospital scene…

Julian shook his head. "No, none of that Dr. Baker stuff, you can call me Julian. And I'm no hero…I was just doing my job and my job is to save lives.

Just then Lucas's head started to throb. He held it with his hands for a while, until the pain finally subsided, and then redirected his attention onto Julian.

Lucas walked up closer to him. He clenched his fist and as he slowly lifted it up to clobber Julian he found himself unable to do it.

Lucas stared deeply into Julian's eyes and said very quietly to him. "You…you saved her…"

He unclenched his fist and stepped away from Julian.

"You saved her." Lucas repeated once more. "Oh…oh my God I remember that! I remember…"

Lucas started shaking his head. "But…you killed Peyton! And you ABUSED my daughter! This…this doesn't make any sense...NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!"

Lucas continued to slowly step away from Julian and as he did saw Maya and Dr. Hayes suddenly appear at of nowhere from behind him.

Lucas stared at the two women for a moment before quickly running over toward the psychiatrist.

"I'm going crazy!" He yelled out to her. "You're a shrink! Please, please help me!"

Dr. Hayes ignored Lucas's plea and just continued to stare off into space.

Lucas shook his head and tried again. "Please don't ignore me. Say something, anything!"

Dr. Hayes remained silent for a long while before finally saying, "Those poor things."

Lucas threw his arms up into the air. "What are you talking about?! What…"

Lucas let his voice trail off. He then stepped away from the psychiatrist who, along with Maya and Julian disappeared into thin air.

Lucas closed his eyes and lifted his head up and looked up at the dark, cloudy sky, letting the rain fall down onto his face, and began pleading.

"I need you now Peyton." Lucas said aloud. "And I need you more than ever…"

"I'm here Lucas."

Lucas slowly opened up his eyes. "Where?"

"I'm right here."

Just then Lucas, though he didn't see a hand, felt a slight touch across his chest; a soft touch that caused his heart to fill within an immense amount of joy.

"I feel you." He said smiling. "I feel you. But I don't see you. I...I need to see you."

"I'm here Lucas. I'm here. Just look closer. Look closer…"

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So there it is! I hope you guys liked it! Anyways, what the heck is going on? Lucas is really losing his mind isn't he? So consumed with grief, anger and regret he seems to be losing grip on reality. He knows that Julian is this monster who abused his daughter and killed Peyton yet has the flashback to when Julian, a doctor, saved Beckah after she passed out from choking. He feels as though it really happened, but doesn't understand how that fits into anything he knows about Julian, his relationship with Peyton and the recent events that occurred. Doesn't help the fact that in his memory flashback Julian knew Riley's wife and appeared to be engaged to some woman other than Peyton. Lucas is hearing strange things (Peyton, the crazy radio shouts), seeing strange things (Julian, Maya and the shrink just standing in the middle of the road), and remembering strange things (Julian saving Beckah). Is he really going mad? Hmm…I don't know…I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out!

Coming Up…

"Wait a minute, who are you? What are you?" Riley asked looking at Kate.

Lucas continues to be plagued by familiar memories that don't make much sense

Lucas comes to a startling realization

A devastating accident, a flat line and a reunion (which may or may not occur in that particular order)