A/N: Sorry about the late update but this chapter had me completely baffled. I wrote numerous different scenarios and could not find one that fit. Thank you for all of your suggestions, they helped a lot. All of them were really good so I decided that I would definitely incorporate them at some point in this story... the next chapter will have a few.

Now I was going to have the entire chapter set a few days later but... because you were all so nice about the fact I made Haley hit Lucas I decided the apology should be in here. Therefore the entire thing is set the following day.



You close your eyes and kiss your hand, then you blow it
But it isn't meant for me… and I notice
If the choice was ours alone
Then why'd we both choose letting go?
Does it end like this?

Time never had a chance to heal your heart
Just a number always counting down to a new start
If you always knew the truth
Then the world would spin around you
Are you dizzy yet?

Respectfully, some honesty I'm calling out
Do you hear the conversation we talk about?
Back away to the safety of a quiet house
If there's half a chance in this moment, when your eyes meet mine, we show it off

(Jimmy eat World - Dizzy)

The ball bounced methodically on the tarmac and Lucas felt himself become lost in the repetition. The simple action seemed to be hypnotizing. For a few minutes now, he had been standing there and did not seem inclined to move anytime soon.

"Are you going to make a shot... or are you just trying to make a hole in the ground", said a voice off to his side.

Broken from his thoughts he glanced up at the basket, jumped off the ground and threw the ball. Not bothering to see whether it had been successful, he turned to the newcomer as the sound of the chains rattled signalling his hollow triumph.

"Have you come to inflict bodily harm?" Lucas said tilting his head questioningly.

As the ball rolled over to him, Nathan lifted it from the ground and squeezed it gently between his hands. Considering the question he sighed and then answered.

"You upset your best friend... who also happens to be my wife. So yeah, I was going to kick your squinty arse."

"Well why aren't you?" Lucas asked confused by his brother's lack of interest.

"You sound like you want me too". Nathan said smirking lightly, bouncing the ball back to Lucas.

"No... I'm just curious to know what's stopping you".

"Peyton was round this morning. I heard about what you said yesterday... to be truthful, she and Haley had to stop me from leaving there and then... but do you really want to know why I changed my mind about hurting you".

Seeing the shake of Lucas's head Nathan continued, "Peyton said you weren't worth it".

Looking down Lucas frowned. That statement hurt worse then any punch his brother could have thrown.

At the lack of response Nathan sighed again, "Look Luke...I've had your back for years... but lately I can't help but think that's she's right... and I'm not the only one."

"What do I do?" Lucas asked sadly.

"She loves you and you hurt her... apologize and pray she forgives you".

"Peyton hates me".

Laughing at his ridiculous brother Nathan shook his head, "I was talking about Haley. You know Luke sometimes you're so blind to your own feelings you amaze me".

"What do you mean?"

"You'll figure it out big brother... hopefully sooner than later." Nathan replied cryptically.

With that, he turned around and walked back to his car. Lucas was turning into the one person Nathan hated with a vengeance... their father. He just hoped his brother could redeem himself before he lost everyone who mattered.


Leaning back in the chair Peyton lifted her hands and massaged her temple. She loved Brooke..., she loved her birthday present... but the persistent hammering, and drilling was beginning to grate on her. Sighing she closed her eyes and let her arms drop taking a minute to listen to the quite. Thankfully, the builders had left for lunch which mean she had - lifting an arm she cracked her eyes open and glanced at her watch - exactly thirty-one minutes before the noise started again.

Shifting her body, she tried to get comfortable in the chair. However there was something digging in her back and she gave up the fight. Sighing she got up from the table and walked to the door. As she pulled it open, she was met with two of the men in her life.

"Well well well... to what do I owe this pleasure", she asked crouching down.

"Aunt P..." Jamie said excitedly as he jumped into her arms.

Laughing Nathan shook his head at his son's actions. Sometimes he swore that boy loved Peyton and Brooke more than him. He was definitely going to be a heartbreaker when he was older.

Letting go of her nephew Peyton stood and hugged Nathan.

"My son here decided that he wanted to see you as he missed you this morning".

Laughing Peyton looked down and raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"... Aw sorry about that but you were sleeping."

"I know... that's why I'm here now", Jamie said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Stepping back Peyton turned and walked to the small couch she received yesterday. After having Brooke continuously moan about the uncomfortable desk chairs she had caved to her friends wishes of a soft place to sit. Taking a seat she smiled as Jamie took his place on her lap. Signalling Nathan to sit beside them she nodded to the bag in his hand.

"What's in there"?

Realising he was still holding his package Nathan smiled,

"Jamie thought we could all do lunch... so..."

With that, he pulled out an assortment of sandwiches and drinks and arranged them on the small table in front of the couch.

"Wow Nate, how many people are joining us exactly?"

Shrugging he looked at his friend as a knock sounded out on the door. Getting up he walked over and pulled the door open before moving back to the couch. Peyton smiled as she watched Skills and Mouth come through the open space.

"Hey Guys what brings you here".

"Girl you know we can't stay away from you". Skills said wheeling a chair away from the desk.

"You're here for the food aren't you," Peyton said laughing.

"Damn she really knows me", he answered reaching forward to swipe a sandwich.

"You're not exactly a closed book", Mouth added grabbing a drink from the table.

Taking the sandwich that Jamie offered her Peyton laughed. The arrival of her friends had managed to cure her. Noise may have been the cause for her headache but it also seemed to be the cure.


He had been standing on the doorstep for a total of ten minutes. Looking at his watch Lucas rolled his eyes... make that twelve minutes. Sighing loudly, he berated himself for his cowardice. This had to be done... she was his best friend. Gently, he lifted his hand and pressed a finger to the doorbell.


The Scott residence was quieter then normal... mainly because Nathan and Jamie had gone to see Peyton. Sprawled out on the couch, Haley was catching up on paperwork. Stifling yet another yawn, she straightened up trying to concentrate on the essays in front of her. Unfortunately, she was convinced the pile was growing by the minute.

She was incredibly tired and for that, she blamed Lucas. Yesterday had without doubt been one of the worst days she had experienced for a while. Sure, the two friends had, had arguments before but never to this proportion.

After dinner she had told Nathan in detail what had happened. Then she had, had to hold his arm in a vice like grip to stop him from marching to Lucas's house. Her husband had without doubt been furious. Her tears and pleading had worked and eventually Nathan was calm enough to leave the matter alone.

Sometimes her husband really did live up to his protector status. Sobering slightly she amended her statement. She should not need protecting from Lucas. She was still angry with him. Never before had she ended an argument with physical violence. That was normally Peyton and Brooke's thing... she was Haley... the calm one.

Peyton had been round that morning to talk. Apparently, she had hated the thought that Haley had fought with Lucas about her. It amazed Haley how selfless the other woman could be. Of course, once Nathan had heard the rest of the story he had gone to storm off again. Unable to stop him she had watched as her husband had stood to leave only to be stopped by Peyton. Or more importantly Peyton's words.

By telling him that Lucas 'was not worth it', she had managed to diffuse any vengeful thoughts that had taken refuge in Nathan's head. Haley had just stood there sadly, as she realised that for once they might be right. Lucas was beginning to not be worth the effort.

Suddenly the doorbell rang and she sighed. Getting up would mean disturbing the paperwork that surrounded her. As the chiming repeated, she resigned herself to answering the door. Carefully she managed to stand without dropping any of the piles of paper on the floor.

Walking slowly to the door she did not bother to see who was the other side before she swung it open.

"Great", she muttered glancing at the person.

"That's the second time in twenty four hours I've had that greeting... I'm starting to feel un-loved", Lucas, said trying to break the ice.

"What do you want Luke?"

"Can we talk?" he sighed, rubbing the back of his neck with his left hand.

"Is there anything to say?" She answered sadly.

"Hales can I come in... I need to explain."

"I'm still angry at you Luke".

"I know, and I deserve it... but I swear just one minute".

"Fine... "

"No hitting me though", he said holding his hands up.

"I never meant to hit you and I am sorry... but you deserved it".

Stepping to the side, she allowed Lucas to pass where he stopped to wait for her to close the door. Leading the way she went through to the dining room and took a seat waiting for her friend to copy her actions.

Folding his hands on the table Lucas looked down. After he had written well into the night, he had laid in bed thinking of ways to apologise. However, his entire plan had gone out of the window as soon as Nathan had spoken to him on the Court. His brother had been right... and he hated that. All he knew was that he needed to make things right between him and Haley.

"Look Luke..."

"I'm sorry," he said interrupting her. Looking up he winced at her small glare. She was still mad which meant this was going to be harder then he thought. Breathing deeply he continued, "I am so sorry Haley. I never meant to lie to you... I just..."

"I'm not annoyed because you lied to me... I'm annoyed because you never told me the truth".

Chuckling slightly Lucas raised an eyebrow at the statement, "Isn't that the same thing".

"No... Look if you had told the truth when you had first come back from LA, I would have said what an idiot you were. You and Peyton could have been happy all these years... but you were too stupid".

Reaching across the table, he grabbed her hand and held it. He was not sure whether the action was to comfort him or her.

"You're right... I just couldn't tell you, I couldn't tell anyone. I didn't want your sympathy... and I will always regret that... but I am happy now Hales... I promise".

"Luke..." she sighed. His persistent attempt at trying to be okay when he clearly was not was starting to annoy her.

"Okay look... I do regret what happened with Peyton... and part of me will always care for her. However, I married Lindsey, I chose her. Me and Peyton..."

"Peyton and I".

Rolling his eyes at her correction he continued, "Peyton and I... just hurt each other. I cannot do it any more Hales. Now you're my best friend... you're meant to support me. You're the person I should be able to turn to when I think I made a mistake. I need you to be able to tell me that marrying Lindsey was the right thing to do".

"I want to Luke... but..."

"Anyway Peyton wants nothing to do with me." Lucas said interrupting her again.

"Has she actually said that"?

"Only numerous times", he answered sadly.

"That's your fault... you should never have kissed her. My God Luke you just don't get it do you." Haley said frustrated.


"Okay look... you say you can't do it anymore... this thing with Peyton."


"Then why did you see her last night", Haley asked accusingly.

"Peyton told you." Lucas countered angrily.

"No she didn't actually... Brooke did. She called last night because she was concerned about Peyton's sudden need to re-decorate. Apparently she's decided that the room represented her past... or something like that."

"How does that have anything to do with me"?

"Sometimes Lucas Scott, I swear you're an idiot... She wants to let you go. Now in Peyton's mind, re-decorating will do that... but that is beside the point... I asked you to do one thing and you couldn't even make one day".

"It wasn't like that... She was at the River court... I didn't even know she was there and then I accidentally told her about the argument. So I went after her when she ran off".

"You followed after her?"

"Yes I know... Lucas Scott finally decides to chase Peyton Sawyer... too little too late though".

"Aren't you always when it comes to her?"

As silence spread throughout the room at her statement, Haley looked down at her hands. To fill the void the quietness had created she changed the subject slightly.

"Nate wanted to hurt you this morning".

"I know he told me earlier".

"You saw him... where's your bruises then".

Frowning Lucas looked down at the table, "He said that Peyton's words had calmed him down... apparently I'm not worth the effort".


"I understand okay... I've hurt her and she's entitled to hate me... I just... she's never been like that with me. Sure, she sometimes ignored me but... I swear that last night she actually managed to look right through me. I don't know what to do..."

Rolling her eyes at his obvious ignorance of his own feelings, Haley answered him,

"I told you yesterday... you have to let her go. She only pretends to hate you because it's easier."

"Easier then what exactly?"

"... Loving you... all she knows how to do is love you Luke... and you have showed her constantly that you don't want her anymore. I know in your novel you claimed you would love Peyton Sawyer forever... but I think its time you try working on loving your wife forever instead... remember, the woman you said you chose."

Lowering his head Lucas closed his eyes. He had to somehow erase the words he had once immortalised in the pages of his novel. For the first time since he had been a child, Lucas Scott was going to love someone other then Peyton Sawyer.

Or he was at least going to try.


2 hours later


Lunch had been great and Peyton had really enjoyed her friend's company. After they had left she had gone back to work for an hour but then the noise became too much. Deciding that she would probably get more done at home, she had left.

The houses passed by quickly and the wind whipped through her hair as she drove through the streets. These were the moments she cherished most. Since she was able to drive her healing had always been done behind the wheel. Her beloved Comet had the top down so she could feel the air around her. It was definitely a strange reason... but to her it made sense.

Listening to the music that blasted through the speakers, she smiled at the lyrics. It was Mia on the radio and the pride she felt had etched a permanent smile onto her face. As the song finished she turned to reach for the CD she knew was on the backseat. With one hand on the wheel, she glanced quickly behind her as she located the elusive item. Snatching it up, she turned back around and let out a cry.

Using her feet to slam down the brakes as hard as possible, she cringed and closed her eyes tightly as the car stopped. Not feeling the jolt of a body hitting her bonnet she slowly opened one eye to check. She had been lucky... they were still standing. Suddenly the man turned his head, and her eyes opened fully as she was sent back in time by her memories.


Speeding around the corner, she nodded her head in time to the music. The game had finished and she had chosen to go home alone. Who knew where Nathan had gotten to. Deciding to change the song she picked up the lose CD on the dashboard. As she glanced at the name on it, she put it back down and grabbed the one off the seat. That disc was no more interesting than the other was.

Remembering the collection on the backseat, she threw down the CD in her hand and looked behind her. Leaning right back, she lifted herself off the seat keeping one hand on the wheel. With the other, she sifted through the small pile and lifted one up which caught her attention.

As she was reading it she turned her head slightly to glance quickly back at the road. Eyes widening at the sight she sat back down quickly and replaced her hand on the wheel. Cringing she hit the brakes as hard as possible and turned her head to her lap. She really did not want to see the body bounce over her car.

As the car came to an abrupt halt, she counted slowly in her head to three to check she was okay. Not feeling a bang from a possible collision, she chanced looking up. Lifting her head slowly she noticed the boy in front of her. What kind of idiot crosses the road without looking? What kind of idiot has their eyes on the back seat instead of the road?.. her mind amended

The boy turned and stepped back shocked. The basketball he had bounced landed in his hands as he glanced at her. Watching as he pulled his hood down and removed his headphone from his ear, she waited for him to react. She was thinking he would probably shout at her... or even a rude hand gesture. She was not expecting the intense stare he seemed to be giving her. The one that seemed to be looking right through her and into her soul.


Letting go of the wheel Peyton jumped out of the car and ran to the slightly shocked man. Forgetting about her new rule and... Well everything she had thought about him in the last week, she grabbed onto him. With her arms around his neck, Peyton clung onto Lucas as she began to shake.

"Oh my God Luke... I'm so sorry".

The re-creation of the scene from years ago had, had Lucas taking another trip down memory lane. At her words, he was pulled back to the present and the currently shaken woman who was holding onto him for dear life. Frowning slightly he realised his arms were also around her. Obviously, his sub-conscious reflexes were taking the opportunity to relish this moment. Closing his eyes, he held her tighter as the familiar clenching feeling in his chest began.

He knew he had promised Haley he would let Peyton go... but she had hold of him. Surely, that would pass as a mitigating circumstance. Realising he had yet to answer her he opened his eyes and nodded,

"I'm fine..."

Meanwhile a few tears had begun to course their way down her cheek as Peyton buried her head in his shoulder. Not only was the shock of the near miss in her mind but the realisation that she had missed this. The simple action of being held by Lucas seemed to fill the small empty space she had in her stomach. For a while now she had tried to fill it with various different things... but now she knew. The comfort he could bring her was the thing she missed most.

"I could have killed you". She said pulling away and taking a step back.

Shaking her head slowly she looked at him. He was doing that thing she loved. The squinting of his eyes, which he would always do when he was trying to figure her out. It was almost as if partially closing his eyes would help him see through her. That was the look he had given her all those years ago. If only she knew then how much he would change her life. For one she certainly would have done things differently.

Seeing the tear tracks on her cheeks Lucas frowned. He hated to see her cry, it was his weakness. Reaching forward he wiped a stray tear from her cheek with his hand brushing some hair from her face at the same time.

Unconsciously she leant into the touch and kept her gaze on his face. Later she would hate herself for the action... but at the moment, it was stopping her tears.

"I'm okay... besides I know you would never hurt me". He said quietly.

Nodding she smiled and lifted her hands to wipe her face as he moved his arm away. Laughing emptily she tried to lighten the mood,

"So which scene shall we re-create now"?

Smiling Lucas shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged. Even though it seemed like a simple, light-hearted joke, the question was also loaded. Raising an eyebrow, he nodded towards the car,

"You know most sane people have their CD's in the front".

"Yeah... I like to be different".

Nodding he smiled at her answer and watched as she moved back to the car door.

"I need to go... but I really am sorry".

As she sat in her seat, his voice halted her when she went to turn the key in the ignition.

"Peyton..." Grabbing her attention, he smiled softly and tilted his head. "My mum told me about the studio..."

"Yeah, it was Brooke's birthday present to me. I was going to ask you if it was okay... I know it's your space..."

"Peyton", he said slightly loudly interrupting her rambling, "I think it's a great idea... and I really am happy for you. If building a studio means you're one-step closer to greatness then do it. You're not different Peyton Sawyer... you're special".

With that, he turned and walked off leaving Peyton sitting there confused by the sudden change in events. Obviously something had happened to him... either that or he was trying to play a game. Rolling her eyes, she sped off down the road. She would never understand that man completely.

Once again, Lucas Scott managed to make her life more difficult and leave her confused.

Why could that man not just stick to the pavements?


The cool breeze drifted along and swept around the group as they stood on the concrete of the River Court. Looking around wildly Lucas sighed as he took in the faces of his friends. They all stood in a line facing him with Peyton in the middle. Walking forward he moved towards her and gazed around confused.

"Peyton" he asked only to be interrupted by what sounded like his own voice.

"I was now and always would be in love with Peyton Sawyer".

Bringing a hand to his mouth he tried to stop the words but realised he had not actually spoken. Noticing the blank stares from the people before him, he stepped back.

"It was a simple moment of clarity".

"Who is that", Lucas shouted becoming frustrated with hearing the words he wrote.

"Direction... beauty... and meaning".

Angrily Lucas walked up to Peyton and went to grasp her arms only to be knocked away. Turning to the person who had pushed him Lucas rolled his eyes.


Laughing his clone stepped in front of Peyton and adopted a protective stance.

"Of course it's me..."

"What do you want... who keeps talking?" Lucas asked confused by the situation.

"Shut up and listen".

Throwing his arms up in frustration Lucas lifted his head to the sky and waited. Sure enough the voice continued.

"He knew in his heart that someday it would return to him... and his world would be whole again."

"What the hell is this", Lucas said annoyed at the lack of answers. Stepping forward his clone moved an arm back and brought it forward hitting Lucas in the chin.

The force of the punch had Lucas flying backwards and landing on the floor. Lifting a hand to his chin he rubbed it not even realising it did not hurt. Coming to a stand quickly he looked up and noticed everyone had vanished apart from Peyton. Waking towards her again, he focused on the tears that fell down her cheeks.


This time he managed to attract her attention and breathed a small sigh of relief when she gazed at him. Reaching out to her, his heart clenched as she stepped back and shook her head.

"Peyton what is this".

"Those are your words Lucas... you wrote them and only you can erase them."

Suddenly the scene changed and he took in his new surroundings. He was in Tric or more importantly her office. Suddenly a book came flying at him and he ducked to narrowly avoid it. Looking up he watched Peyton move to throw another one.

"You said I was great"

Ducking again, he felt the wind on his cheek that was caused by the book flying past.

"You said I could be great".

Yet another book flew at him and this time caught him slightly on the cheek. He never felt any pain but still cringed at the thought of the contact.

"You said we were destined to be together. You said it the world... you said it to me... and I wish you never had because you did not mean any of it".

As the fight left her, he watched her raise a hand to her mouth in shock. Walking forward he grabbed onto her arms and pulled her towards him. Feeling her shake with emotion, he dropped to the floor to cushion her fall as her legs gave way. Embracing her tightly he rocked back and forth as her tears stopped.

"Erase the words Luke".

Looking up he glanced from the woman in his arms to his persistent clone.

"I... what?" He said barely getting the words out in confusion.

Glancing back down he brushed the hair from her face as she sighed tiredly. Hearing the other man's words he sighed.

"You need to write a new story... let her go. You say you've moved on but your novels suggest otherwise. She's your inspiration Lucas... find a new one... erase your words".


Sharply he woke up and looked around wildly. He was in his room. The dreams seemed to be getting worse with every night that passed. The memories of that night in her office had him cringing. She had been so hurt. At the time, his first instinct had been to comfort her... that was why he had left so abruptly.

Running a hand tiredly through his hair he looked at the clock. It was only 3.40. That meant he had hours before he needed to be up. It also meant he had more then enough time to dream again. It was pointless trying to fight it.

Laying back down he rested his head on his pillow and stared at the ceiling. The words from his dream circled around his head.

"Erase the words".

Thinking about them, he frowned. Was he meant to destroy the new novel he was writing? Peyton inspired it again. Glancing over at his computer, he shook his head. He could never do that... the novel was going to be the final part of the story he needed to tell. Without much thought, he came to a decision. He could live with the dreams that were likely to plague him until he was finished. Not only that sometimes they had a positive side.

In the dream he had just awoken from he had actually managed to do what he had wished he could have at the time. He had gone to her and held her when she had broken down. That was what he had wanted to do so much in reality. With his eyes shut, he began to drift off, his thoughts still churning around. If the dreams meant he could heal his broken memories then he would welcome them... especially if they meant he could hold and protect Peyton.

The feelings that flowed through his body were strange. Somehow, the dream had awoken his desire to be her saviour. He had felt the emotion before... only once though. Recalling the time, he realised it had been when he and Peyton were in...

Trailing off he opened his eyes quickly as the shock froze his body. The only noise in the room were the words that fell shocked from his lips.

"It isn't love... it can't be".


A/N: Tell me what you think no matter what it may be. None of you are getting fed up with the dreams are you... they're kind of fun to write cause it can be about anything. Here is a small heads up.

In the next two chapters there will be:

A gathering

An announcement about the new novel

A moment of clarity

And a few flashbacks involving Lucas and Peyton

PS. If anyone has any ideas or episode suggestions that could have had a Leyton scene tell me. You can even say what kind of things you want in the flashback. It can also be just an extended scene.