I don't own anything, just like I don't own "Happiness", by The Fray.
Okay, so OTH has been pretty stellar lately and with the upcoming episodes, I think it's going to get better! This is just a little one-shot that looks at how LP continues to deal with everything around them, Peyton more then Lucas, but Lucas at the end, they also get a bit short. Its quite angsty and I haven't done angst in a while . . . it felt kind of good LOL.
Now, I know that we don't know what's wrong with Peyton, but a lot of people – myself included – are speculating that it's an ectopic pregnancy. Well, I did a little research and if this is the case I don't really see how Peyton could live through it. Every website I checked didn't even give the option of how to continue with a pregnancy, one even said that this type of pregnancy couldn't be followed through to full term because the mother's life would need to be saved. They aren't always caught, but if they are it seems that the doctor would intervene. Sorry for my little speech, but I was trying to work through what to do LOL.
I love that The Fray already have two coda songs from their new album on OTH. I'm completely in love with this song! It's a total double meaning behind the word happiness and I think it works well with this . . . I'll let you judge that LOL.
Happiness was just outside my window
I thought it'd crash blowing eighty miles an hour
But happiness is a little more like knocking
On your door, you just let it in
Peyton places the lid on her baby box and lets her hand linger there for a while. She plays with her engagement ring and can feel her eyes water. She knows this is the right choice, but it's scary to think that she won't be around to see pivotal moments.
She swallows back the sob that's in her throat. Her hands quickly wipe at the tears that have fallen and she puts the box back into her back before tucking it under the couch. She smiles her best possible smile and slowly stands. She places her hand on her stomach – something she's been doing a lot lately – and walks into the bedroom she shares with her fiancé.
Hopefully, one day her husband.
The little life nestled inside of her kicks and Peyton's smile becomes more real. She stops and soaks in the moment she has alone with her child and tries to stop the tears that beg to spill. She tells herself that it's worth it and she takes a deep breath before turning the corner and walking into the bedroom.
Lucas is lying down with the covers gathered at his waist and his bare, toned chest shines in the moonlight. She sighs in appreciation and bites her bottom lip. Her guy is so damn sexy. He peeks at her through one half-opened eyelid and smirks softly.
"Not gonna happen, Blondie", he teases, but they both know the torment that statement holds. As per her doctor's orders, they haven't participated in any physical activities. Peyton's already high risk and there's some worry that being intimate could only further that issue.
"I know", she sighs out and her lips form a smirk of their own.
She sheds her sweater and slips her dress down her arms and off her body completely. Lucas watches as she walks around their bedroom in just her bra and panties, the moonlight reflects off her body in the most perfect of ways and he lets out a groan. Pregnancy suits her wonderfully.
"Could you put on some clothes already?!" he asks in exasperation from his spot in bed. Peyton giggles and grabs on old t-shirt of his. She slips it over her head and the hem of the light blue Tar Heels shirt barely covers her butt.
"That's not helping", he says in an obviously pained voice. Peyton mocks a pout and climbs into bed beside him. She nestles against his bare chest and hooks one of her legs over both of his.
He places his hand on her hip and slowly his fingers trail to the expanded stomach that presses against him. He feels the pressure from the life inside of her and he lets out a muted sigh. He just needed to know that this was still the right choice.
He closes his eyes with the smell of Peyton's shampoo filling his nostrils and the feel of her fingers dancing across his heart. It's perfect in its simplicity and so completely them that he can't imagine not doing this every night.
"So I've been thinking", she says softly. Lucas's eyes open and he stares at their white ceiling. His eyes trail down to his fiancée and her expectant eyes meet his.
"Uh oh", he mocks playfully. She pouts and sticks her tongue out at him before budging his body with hers. "Alright, alright . . . what's going on, wily?"
She can feel her heart pound; she loves when he calls her that. Years ago, when she was still a teenager, she had a conversation in the cemetery with their high school coach about her mother and father. Whitey told her that her mother was a wily one and that her father didn't stand a chance.
When the older man called the other day he said – via speaker phone – that she was too damn wily for him and that Lucas didn't have a chance when it came to her.
She bites her lips adorably and he tilts her chin up so that he can see her better. She smiles and quickly leans up to press her lips to his. "I was thinking of a name if it's a girl", she begins.
"I thought we wanted Anna?" he asks in confusion. She nods and runs her hand along his torso.
"Yeah, but I've been thinking of something different . . . how about Annabelle?"
Lucas' brow furrows and his nose scrunches adorably. She gives him a wary smile and he opens his mouth several times, only to close it. Annabelle sounds like it's completely out of left field.
"Wasn't there a cartoon movie that came out a few years ago with like a pig or something and that was its name?" he asks instead of giving her any input. Peyton rolls her eyes and lets out a sigh.
"It wasn't a pig", she says snidely. "It was a calf."
"I'm not sure that's better", he mumbles. She smacks his chest and he grimaces while laughing. "I'm sorry."
"You should be", she mumbles and he sees her smile gently. "I just like the name . . ." she trails off.
"Okay", he says simply and shrugs. "Annabelle", he says aloud; sees how it feels. "Annabelle Scott, get your butt in here right now!" he yells, but not too loudly.
"What are you doing, crazy boy?" she asks through a fit of giggles. He pulls her a little closer to him and taps her nose like he did earlier.
"I'm just trying it out. It's a good name to yell", he says matter-of-factly. "And we could call her Anna for short", he points out with a smile.
Just when she doesn't think it's humanly possible, she falls a little more in love with him.
She nods halfheartedly and says, "Yeah, but I would call her Belles."
Lucas groans. "Peyt, do you want our kid to get beat up on the playground?" he asks mostly to tease her. She gasps and smacks his chest again.
"I think it's cute", she responds to his comment. "Annabelle Scott", she says softly; like a secret between her and the world.
"Whatever you say, sweetheart", Lucas murmurs and kisses the top of her head. There's a moment of silence and Lucas can feel a nagging voice that he can't shake. "But I mean, we have lots of time until we need to really decide on anything."
Peyton goes back to tracing imaginary designs on his chest and she nods her head. "Yeah, I know . . . but I just wanted to share it with you", she whispers.
They both know why.
"Okay", Lucas says and clears his throat to break through the sob that forms. "Okay."
Happiness feels a lot like sorrow
Let it be, you can't make it come or go
She's just finishing up an e-mail to her doctor – an update on how she's been feeling – when Brooke walks into her office. She smiles at her brunette best friend and Brooke smiles back. It's been a few days since she's actually seen Brooke and if she knows her best friend like she does, it's because Brooke's holed herself away from the world and she's come up with some design ideas.
"Well, well, look what the cat dragged in", Peyton teases, her southern accent coming out with certain words. Brooke pretends to laugh and she rolls her eyes before sitting in the chair across from her friend.
"Nice to see you too", she mumbles. Peyton snorts and shakes her head.
"How have you been B. Davis?" she asks seriously. Brooke shrugs and looks as nonchalant as possible, but after Peyton sends her a pointed look, she cracks.
"I miss him", she admits. "I miss the coffee he would bring over in the morning. I miss that stupid grin of his. I miss the way him and Sam would talk about her writing. I miss the way he'd hold me at", she rambles on and Peyton smiles sadly. "But mostly I just miss him", Brooke finishes with water filled eyes and a red nose.
Peyton stretches her arm across her desk and her hand finds Brooke's. Her brunette friend sounds just like she did before – and even when – she first came back from Los Angeles.
"Have you called?" she asks delicately. Brooke nods once.
"I called a few hours after he was supposed to land, but he didn't answer . . . I shouldn't be surprised though", she mumbles in anger at herself.
"Brooke, that's no –"
"No, it totally is, Peyton. He told me he loved me. He asked me and Sam to go to LA with him. He wanted a family with me! And I was too damn scared to do anything in return!" she shouts in frustration.
"Brooke, sweetie, he still –"
"I had no problem sleeping with him though", she snaps at herself. That's when Peyton pulls on her hand to grab her attention.
"Stop being so self deprecating!" she demands. "Brooke, he knew how afraid you were of love when you guys started dating. It shouldn't have been too much of a surprise to him."
"But I should be able to open up!" Brooke stands and begins to pace along the floor. "High school was years ago and I'm not trying to cop out and blame you in any way, but . . . I don't know", she whispers. "I shouldn't be so broken. I should be able to love again. I should be over it all!"
Peyton holds her breath to stop the tears that are begging to break free. She really wants to help Brooke and be there for her like the brunette has so many times in the past, but she's going through so much on her own. Sometimes she'd like to be the damsel she's seemed to create for herself.
". . . Are you telling me you're still into Lucas?" she asks with a small smirk. Brooke looks at her with incredulous eyes and sighs.
"Peyton, this is so not the time for jokes", she whispers with her trademark raspy voice. The blonde – although now you'd never know it – looks to the ground before looking back at her longtime friend. "Nathan and Haley have Jamie and their careers and I'm watching you and Lucas get everything you've both always wanted and I just wish that I could do that", she finishes softly.
"And you deserve it, Brooke", she pauses for a minute and tries to gather her scattered thoughts in order. "I'm sorry that you're still so frightened by love and I'm sorry that I played a part in all of that –"
"Peyton, I didn't mean that –"
"I know", Peyton promises. "I know you didn't, but I'm still sorry; you deserve your happy ending Brooke Davis. You deserve it more then anyone."
Brooke stops to stare at her best friend and when she notices the tears that are in her eyes, she freaks out. Peyton's been hormonal, but she hasn't been the random crying hormonal pregnant woman. She's been snarky and more sarcastic then ever.
"What's wrong?" she asks without any hesitation. Peyton shakes her head and swivels her chair a little so that she's not directly facing Brooke. The brunette places her hands on her hips and simply walks around the desk. She perches herself atop it and spins Peyton around so that their eyes lock.
"What's wrong?" she asks again.
Peyton shakes her head. "I just want to see you be happy and have the family you always wanted, Brooke", she says with a few tears leaking from her eyes. Brooke can feel her own eyes water, simply because that always happens when Peyton cries, and she lets out a small laugh.
"Well, there's no real rush on any of it. I mean, I've been thinking about going out to LA anyway – to at least talk to him – I just haven't gotten the courage", she admits weakly.
"You need to go! You need to get him and fall in love and get married and I need to stand up there next to you . . ." Peyton trails off because she knows she sounds completely delirious. Brooke smiles in confusion.
"Okay, but can we get through your wedding first?" she says playfully. For Peyton, that breaks the dam.
She may not make it to her wedding.
She stars crying and Brooke starts panicking. "What's wrong, P? What is it?" she asks frantically.
"It's the baby", Peyton mumbles between tears. Brooke shoots to her feet.
"Okay, I'll call Lucas and then an ambulance – maybe I should call an ambulance first", she mutters to herself. "I'll call the ambulance and while we're waiting I can call Lucas and then he can meet us at the hospital", she decides finally.
Peyton grabs her arm and forces Brooke to pay attention. "Nothing's wrong now", she stresses. Brooke lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding in and finds her place on the edge of the wooden desk.
"A couple of weeks ago I had this pain", her voice cracks with every other word and before she can stop it, Brooke's eyes are filling with tears. "Lucas took me to the doctor and . . ."
She closes her eyes and feels the hot tears roll down her cheeks. Her mind flashes back to everything her doctor told her and she doesn't want to consume Brooke with all the medical jargon. She lets out a shaky breath and opens her eyes.
"There's a chance for some complications", she says finally.
"What kind of complications?" Brooke asks. "Aren't there always chances of complications? I cannot believe she would get you so worked up! What's her name? No, you know what . . . I'll just walk down to the hospital and ask for the joke that printed her degrees off the internet!" Brooke seethes.
"I could die!" Peyton yells over her best friend's rant.
Brooke freezes and stares at her. In an instant every moment they've ever shared – good and bad – flashes before her eyes. She can't find the words to talk and she doesn't think she'd know what to say if she did. A sob rises from her throat and spills from her mouth and in a second their arms are around each other.
It's how they spend the rest of the day.
But you are gone, not for good but for now
And gone for now feels a lot like gone for good
She's sitting at her kitchen table drawing another set of pictures from her past. The ones she has in her round box will remain there because they're personal and they mean more to her then she ever thought they would. But she still wants her child to know about the relationships she's had with all the members of their group.
She knows Lucas will be around to tell the stories or show the pictures, but Peyton wants to give a personal account of everything. She's just finishing an outline of Nathan when he was seventeen when the kitchen door bursts open.
"Were you ever going to tell me!?"
Peyton spins around and places one hand over her heart while her left one covers her belly protectively. Nathan stands near the refrigerator with his hands on his hips and fire in his eyes.
"Nathan . . ." she says slowly. He feverishly waves his hands around in the air.
"No! Peyton, were you ever going to tell me?" he questions a bit softer. Peyton stares into the blue eyes that she used to adore and feel her heart melt. His eyes are filled with emotion; sadness, fright, anger, betrayal, and at least a dozen others that she can't make out.
"Lucas wanted to tell –"
"Lucas didn't tell me anything!" he barks. Peyton blinks and shakes her head in confusion. "Brooke told me", he clarifies. She closes her eyes and rests her head in her hands. She takes in a deep breath and lets it out slowly before looking up at her soon-to-be-brother in law.
"I'm so sorry that Lucas didn't get to you, but –"
"Peyton there really isn't a way out of this. You've known for weeks! How could you not tell me?!" he asks again.
"I didn't want you all treating me different", she whispers and bows her head. Nathan hears the way her voice cracks and the hoarseness of her tone and his heart breaks for her.
But he's too fucking pissed to notice it.
"Damnit Peyton . . ." he grumbles and runs his hand through his dark hair. He catches sight of the paper she didn't have a chance to hide when he stormed in and he feels his blood boil all over again. "And what the fuck is this?" he asks and snatches the paper from the table.
"Nathan!" she yells, but his name barely comes out.
"Is this come kind of talking from the grave, dead person comic strip?" the words strike a nerve with him that he hasn't yet felt and he tears the paper to pieces.
Peyton stands so fast, her chair flies back and smacks to the ground. She rushes over to him and pulls on his bicep. "Stop it!" she yells.
"Nathan, stop it right now!" she screams and her voice is so rough that it causes even more tears to spring to her eyes. He freezes and drops the tattered pieces of art from his hands; they fall to the floor and Peyton rushes to pick them up. Nathan watches and feels his knees buckle.
Peyton could die. His best friend could die.
He lands in the chair behind him with a thud and it causes Peyton to look at him. She sees the silent tears that trail down his cheeks and fall off his chin to land on his jeans. She stands up, taking her chair off the ground in the process, and moves to sit right in front of him. She places her hands on his knees and it snaps his focus on to her sad face.
"I'm totally gonna kick your ass for that", she whispers and a smirk tugs at her lips. Nathan shakes his head and closes his eyes; more tears fall.
"Don't joke about this", he says with a hoarse voice. Peyton frowns, everyone's been telling her not to make jokes, but it's how she copes.
"I know that's what you do . . . but you could – I can't – the baby . . ." Peyton's hands cup his face and force him to look into her eyes.
"I can't live in that world Nathan", she says softly. "This baby is me and Lucas . . ." she trails off.
"God, I can't even . . . Peyton you can't leave us", he says finally. She smiles a smile that he can't really decipher, but then she nods her head.
"This is why I told Brooke and Lucas was supposed to tell you. Brooke and I cried for hours and barely got any words out. You, you are so strong and brave and . . . proud, that you barely acknowledge the tears that are hitting my hand", Nathan sniffles loudly and rubs his eye with a fisted hand.
"I'm not going anywhere", she promises the third person in her life . . . but it's a promise they've all known she can't really keep. Nathan looks up at the ceiling and lets out a short laugh. Peyton's hands leave his face and she grabs his hands. Their palms meet and his large hand squeezes her small one.
It's Nathan's way of letting her know that he's making sure she keeps her promise.
His eyes flitter to the mess in her lap and he clears his throat. "Sorry that I went all crazy and ripped your art", he says breathlessly. Peyton chuckles and shakes her head.
"It's okay, but one day I'm just going to punch you and you won't know why", she warns playfully, but Nathan knows she's completely serious.
"Do you have any tape?" he asks and when Peyton sees that smirk of his, she smiles. Nathan stands and heads into the living room; he knows where the junk drawer is. As he starts to walk away Peyton whacks the back of his leg. Nathan spins around and glares at her.
"That's just a little taste of it, Scott", she threatens. Nathan's laughter fills the hallways and while he's gone, Peyton let's a sob escape her throat and those extra tears fall from her green eyes. She knows she's doing the right thing. It's incredibly hard and painful.
But it's the right choice.
It's the only choice.
Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
They make a promise. The promise to love and honor and cherish each other – it was already known, but it's done in front of everyone they love. They're on the outskirts of town, in a small garden. It feels so unlike anything in Tree Hill that it's like a fairytale. It is a fairytale, but it's better. Because it's a reality.
It's their reality.
They walk down the aisle arm in arm and they smile at everyone that stands to cheer them off. They walk into TRIC arm in arm and they grin at everyone that stands to cheer them in. Their reception is simple and intimate and Peyton smiles when she sees Julian and Brooke talking in the corner.
"Everybody please help me welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Lucas Scott", Mouth announces from his spot at the DJ booth atop the stage. Everyone yells and whistles and claps. "Alright, let's have them to the floor to share in their first dance."
The newly married couple does as Mouth announces and they smile the entire time. Lucas holds her as close as her bump will allow and Peyton's fingers tickle the small hairs at the nape of his neck.
"So, Mrs. Scott", Lucas begins softly – gruffly – against her ear. "I've been thinking that we should consummate our marriage tonight", he whispers.
Peyton's eyes widen and she bites her bottom lip. Lucas loves this and the groan he lets out is evidence of that. "Keep doing that and I'll take you out of here right now", he growls.
Peyton giggles and rolls her eyes. "Baby, we can't leave our reception", she reasons. Lucas scoffs and makes a face.
"The Hell we can't", he says and carefully lifts her off the ground. Peyton squeals and yells at him to put her on the floor. He smirks widely and wiggles his brows. "Don't test me", he warns.
Their song ends and they share a kiss that can't possibly be suitable for the crowd that watches. They can both hear the guys howl and whistle and once they break apart Lucas nods his head triumphantly.
Peyton makes a face and pushes him playfully. The girls laugh and point at the fact that Lucas is – as of right now – not getting any tonight.
The married couple sits at a table near the stage and Lucas sips champagne while Peyton drinks sparkling apple cider. Brooke takes to the stage and first says something about loving the spotlight – which makes the crowd laugh – and then she begins her speech about Lucas and Peyton and the love they share.
After tears and more laughs, everyone claps and Lucas and Peyton hug the maid of honor. Next Nathan takes to the stage and quips that he doesn't have a way with words – that's his brother's job – and everyone laughs. He talks about the fact that Lucas and Peyton have a love that people always want and admire and that even when it isn't easy, it's real. And he's glad that they've made to this point.
Peyton blubbers like a baby and Lucas has to clear his throat before he can thank Nathan for the words. Peyton holds him close and thanks him for everything and Nathan kisses her cheek before wiping at his own tears discreetly.
Hours later, when Peyton yawns for the fifth time, Lucas motions to Mouth. Their friend takes to the stage and asks everyone to gather to see off the newlyweds. They all line up and take the small satin pouches with them. Lucas and Peyton stand at the back of the line and link arms.
They speed walk to the car beneath a shower of confetti.
Careful child, light the fuse and get away
'Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks
They ride in the car in silence; the only noise is the gentle songs coming from the speakers. Lucas drives with one hand on the wheel and the other around Peyton's shoulder. She curls into his side and uses her thumb to fiddle with her ring.
"Peyton Sawyer will become Peyton Scott", she whispers deliriously.
Lucas hears her perfectly and he grins like a madman; his heart also races. She's his wife, his wife. Peyton Sawyer, the girl he fawned over for years, is his wife. He parks in the driveway and once he turns the engine off he positions himself to fully look at her.
Peyton grabs his hand and plays with the white gold band that rests on his ring finger. She smiles softly and Lucas cups her cheek. She meets his eyes and they share a heated kiss before Lucas pulls away. He rests his forehead against hers and closes his eyes; savoring the moment.
"I want to take some stuff out of the car . . . you head on in", he says softly. Peyton pouts for a second and then pecks him quickly. He watches as she leaves the car and heads into the house.
Waiting for her inside is a beautiful scene. There's a pathway of white rose petals leading to the bedroom. Inside their bedroom are arrays of candles that cause the room to glow romantically. Because of their situation, they can't take an actual trip just yet and he wants to make sure this is perfect for her.
He walks into the house with a sly smile on his face; he gets a head start and tosses his tux jacket onto the kitchen chair. He can imagine the look on her face and as he nears the bedroom he gets excited. He turns the small corner and finds something he hadn't expected. Peyton's on the ground.
And there's blood all over her dress.
Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor
He sits in an uncomfortable chair in the hallway with his head in his hands. He's still dressed in his shirt and slacks and there's blood on a better portion of his clothing, but he doesn't notice nor does he care.
As soon as they got here, Peyton was whisked away to a room that he hasn't been allowed to enter and that very notion is killing him. He presses his palms to his eyes and sighs the tears away. He needs to be strong.
"Lucas!" a voice, which he barely recognizes as his mother, calls out. He lifts his head for just a second to see a fleet of people rush towards him. Karen and Larry lead them all; their postures strong solely for the kids that they watched grow up. Nathan and Haley are close behind each on different sides of the elders. Brooke clings to Julian from behind them all and he can see the terror in her eyes.
"What's going on?" Haley asks as soon as they're close enough. She sits beside Lucas and grabs his hand; sandwiching it between her smaller ones. Lucas waits a minute before pulling his and out and placing it in his lap.
Her hands don't feel like Peyton's.
"I don't know – they haven't –"
His words are cut off when the doors open and the doctor that rushed Peyton in comes out. He's got blood on his gown and Lucas swallows back the bile in his throat. Lucas stands and walks over to the older man.
The group watches with baited breath as Lucas is spoken to. They can see the doctor motion with his hands and nod and shake his head. He places a hand on Lucas shoulder and makes a solemn face.
The next thing they see is Lucas' knees hit the ground.
So you tell yourself, that's enough for now
But happiness has a violent roar
He sits in a chair right beside the operating table. Peyton's lying atop it with a sheet pulled all the way up to her chest. All he can see is her face. Her beautiful, angelic face. She told him once that this baby was their fate, but he really doesn't see how this can be fate.
Fate wouldn't tear them apart. It wouldn't rip her away from him. It wouldn't have such a sick sense of humor and it definitely wouldn't have done it on their wedding night; although it is technically the day after.
He's so angry he could just scream. Brooke pokes her head into the room and tells him they need to take her they need to take Peyton away, but he doesn't flinch. Her sneakers scuff against the tile floor and she rests her hand on his bicep. She tells him again – softer this time – that he needs to leave the room. Lucas lifts his head to glare at her, but that glare fades.
Her eyes are puffy and her nose is red. He can see the dried wet tracks on her cheeks and she sniffles to hold back her sobs. He places his hand over hers and squeezes it gently.
Brooke knows that's his way of apologizing and telling her that he just needs one more minute all at once. She nods and presses her fingers to her lips before resting them on her best friends' cold cheek. Lucas hears the sob she lets out because she can't hold it in any longer and snaps his eyes shut.
He's not the only one who lost her and he knows this, but it honestly feels like he's the only one who feels empty. It's like he's dead inside and a small part of him is scared of that because Peyton told him she had faith that he wouldn't hate their baby.
Brooke squeezes his bicep one last time and takes in a deep, shuddering breath. She turns on her heels and walks to the door. She opens it and gets halfway out before she looks back at him.
"Not too much longer, Luke. Don't forget that you have a daughter waiting for you", she wears a ghost of a smile. He doesn't bother to look back at her.
As far as he's concerned, he has no child.
Happiness, it's like the old man told me
Look for it, but you'll never find it all
"He needs to see her", Haley murmurs as she rocks the small bundle in her arms. Nathan smoothes out her hair and rubs his finger against his nieces' cheek.
"I know that, Hales, but we can't make him do anything", he says softly. Karen places her hand on their backs and they both turn to look at her. The older woman smiles down at her grandchild and feels her heart explode with pain and immense love.
They say things happen in three's. Well, there was a wedding, a death, and a birth all within a few hours. Unfortunately, all those instances rocked her family to their very core.
"He'll come up here", she assures them. "He will", she says and nods her head firmly.
Lucas paces outside the door and sticks his hands in his pockets. He spent the last fifteen minutes in the bathroom washing the dried blood off his hands and trying to get it out of his shirt. It's all been futile.
Plus, Peyton's always been better at getting out stains.
He takes a breath and pushes open the door to the nursery; 3 sets of eyes stare at him. Brooke and Larry are outside, both needed fresh air and Julian went back to Brooke's house to talk to Sam. The second Karen smiles at Lucas he feels sick.
"I'm glad you're here", Karen whispers. Lucas shakes his head and blinks furiously.
"I have to –"
"Luke, bro . . ." Nathan trails off. His voice cracks and he has to stare at the ceiling to stop the tears. Haley lifts her arms in the direction of her best friend and Lucas' jaw clenches.
"I can't –"
"Lucas, please", she begs softly.
He shakes his head and says that he can't even look at her, but Haley doesn't care to listen. She shoves that little pink bundle into his arms and then they all walk out of the room.
Lucas holds the baby that was supposed to have a mother. She was supposed to have both her parents dance at her wedding. She was supposed to have both her parents spoil their grandchildren. She was supposed to check in on both her parents as they grew old on their porch. But she'll never get that. He'll never get that.
Because his daughter took it all away.
His arms shake as they cradle the baby. He's suddenly so angry that it honestly scares him. He hates the life that's in his arms. He's repulsed by it. She yawns a perfect baby yawn and slowly opens her eyes. Lucas is met with the green eyes of her mother.
Slowly, he feels his shattered heart piece itself back together.
But let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, you'll wake up and she'll be home
He now wears his wedding band on a chain around his neck. It's not because he's ashamed of what happened 16 years ago and it's not so that he can rake in any of that sexy Jake Jagielski single dad tail.
It's closer to his heart this way.
He knows. He knows how incredibly cheesy that sounds and if Peyton were around she'd tease him for it. She'd roll her eyes and tell him to stop reading so many romance novels. She would call him sappy and a dork. He would make a playful face and turn his back on her.
The second he did that she would bite her lip and smile softly.
Her heart would flutter at the romance he displayed and she would fall even more in love with him. She would walk over to him and wrap her arms around his torso. Her cheek would rest against his shoulder blade and she would quietly tell him she loved him.
If she were here.
Lucas puts the morning's paper on the table and leans back in the chair. He thinks about her everyday, many times in one day. Unlike the first few years, a smile graces his lips when it happens and he shakes his head in laughter.
He can hear the distinct sound of sneakers against the hallway floor and when he sees those classic Chuck Taylors, he smiles wider.
His daughter is everything that Peyton was at sixteen. She's sassy and rebellious. She's quick tempered and when she's really angry, she blasts her music. She's got her mother's eyes and legs; which thrill him.
And she's got her heart of gold.
The few things that their daughter got from him cause him to smile. Her nose is upturned her and instead of curls, her hair is straight. She loves to read and has already won a few creative writing awards. And of course there's basketball. She loves to play it with her uncle and cousins and sometimes she shoots around in the driveway with him. But she doesn't play it religiously.
She's actually a cheerleader . . . that she gets from Peyton too.
"Morning dad", she says with a sleep filled voice. Lucas smiles and pushes an empty bowl in front of her as she sits at the table. She's typically a morning person, but she had a game last night and then she went out, but they're always up early on Saturdays.
It's been that way since she was five days old.
"Morning Belles", he says softly. She rolls her eyes at the nickname that only her father calls her by. Lucas chuckles and stands to put his mug in the sink. His daughter is right behind him and she rushes to grab the keys from the table.
"I'm driving!" she calls out. When her hand is on the doorknob she looks over at him with a pensive smile. "Can we take the Comet?" she asks meekly.
Lucas' heart skids to a stop and he stares at his little girl. She's got on a denim skirt and a basic t-shirt and over that she wears a leather jacket that's generations old. She's everything he hopes she would become and he doesn't know how he got so lucky to have her in his life. His little Annabelle.
Annabelle Sawyer Penelope Scott.
"Yeah", he says once he finds his voice. "Just pull it out of the driveway though, okay? Wait while I clean this up", she nods her head and grins excitedly.
After he's put everything in the sink and the dishwasher and the cupboards, he walks outside and breathes in the spring air. He slides into the passenger seat of the classic car and when Annabelle asks him what's in his hand, he shakes his head and tells her it's for later.
She parks the car on a patch of dirt and they both exit at the same time. They usually walk to Peyton's grave together, but once Annabelle entered high school, she asked Lucas if she could talk to her mom alone. He nodded and told her that she could do whatever she wanted and they've been doing it ever since.
She walks over to Keith and Anna's graves and he walks to Peyton's.
He presses his hand to the stone and he squats beside it. He tells Peyton the random things about his week and the boys he's chasing off with a shovel. He can imagine what Peyton would say and he finds himself agreeing with her. Their daughter is gorgeous and she's smart. She would never do anything she didn't want to.
"So, I brought the box", he says after a moment of silence. "As per your orders", he mutters playfully. He tells her he loves her and that he misses her everyday and he places his hand on the stone one last time.
When Annabelle approaches him, he gives her the round, oddly decorated box. She scrunches her nose cutely and looks at him in confusion.
"Your mother wanted you to have this", he says simply. "I'm going to go home, you call me when you're ready", he kisses her forehead and before she can ask any questions, he walks to the car.
He sits in the Comet and watches as she greets her mother and then sits Indian style right in front of it. She talks for a while and then apprehensively opens the lid. She takes out a worn copy of Ravens and opens to the first chapter.
He doesn't know what's in that box because Peyton wanted it to remain closed until their daughter turned 16. He lets out a sigh when a leaf dances in the wind and falls right beside Annabelle; Peyton will make sure she's okay.
Later that night, she comes home with that box and a ton of questions. They sit at the kitchen table and sift through everything together. A lot of it causes Lucas to choke up and Annabelle puts her hand on his back in a soothing manner.
She asks about the book and his relationship with Brooke. She asks about the series of comics and the only real answers he can give her are the ones that contain him. There are others of Brooke and Nathan and Haley and he tells her that she'll have to talk to them.
They spend the night with Lucas telling her stories she's heard before. Some she hasn't and when she laughs or smiles he mirrors it. They look through old pictures and play Peyton's Friends with Benefit CD.
He makes her the infamous Sawyer hot chocolate and they spend the rest of the night reminiscing.
Home, she'll be, she'll be, she'll be home
She'll be home, she'll be home, she'll be home
Many years later he dances with his daughter at her wedding. Brooke designed her dress and Haley fluffed her veil. Lucas walked her down the long aisle and Nathan sent her a wink before she said 'I do'.
Lucas watches as she dances with her now husband and he can feel his heart soar. It hasn't been an easy journey, but him and Belles have come out stronger then ever. She's got her degrees in art history and business. She's young for her accomplishments and he knows that Peyton was right with her inkling all those years ago.
Annabelle is most definitely going to change the world.
She brushes some hair from her husbands' – Sean – brow and her ring glints in the light. It's her mother's ring which was his mother's ring and it now her ring. He found a note in his Peyton Box – which was embarrassing because he didn't think Peyton knew he still had it – and the one thing Peyton truly wanted was for Annabelle to wear her ring when she married.
He'll never know how Peyton knew it was a girl or how she found the elusive box, but he did as he was told.
It was what Peyton wanted.
A few years after that, he holds his newborn grandson. He's got green eyes and a tuft of blonde hair and the world's most perfect name. William Sawyer Lucas Andrews. Lucas doesn't know what it is with his family and the never ending names.
But he'll never question it.
A few more years pass and he holds three more grandchildren; another boy and two girls. He spoils them rotten and spends as much time with them as he can. They become his world and he wishes Peyton could share the same sentiment.
One day when they're out together, William let's go of Lucas' hand and runs into the street; after a basketball. They all yell and chase after him and when a truck honks its horn Annabelle lets out a sob. The truck whizzes by them before he can really break and on the other side is William.
He's crying and scared and calling for his mother. As Annabelle scoops him into her arms and whispers things that all mothers do and Sean holds onto their other children and pulls his family into his arms, Lucas looks into the sky.
That's when he knows that they're a part of Peyton's world too.
When his grandchildren are teenagers, his heart starts to fade out. It's hard to tell them all that he doesn't have much time, but Annabelle and Sean knew it was going to happen eventually; of course that doesn't make it any easier.
He spends a full week at their house on the beach and he has some private time with each of them. Brooke and Julian stop by with Sam and their other kids. Haley and Nathan bring James and his two younger siblings over and they all have dinner together. That Saturday, Lucas and Annabelle go to the cemetery, just like they have every Saturday since she was 5 days old.
On Sunday Lucas announces that he's going to go home while Annabelle's pretty sure she knows why, she promises to check in on him tomorrow. They hug and Lucas kisses her cheek and when she cries he tells her not to worry about anything.
He lies in bed and closes his eyes and before he knows it, he's with Peyton. He sees her every night in his dreams, but this is different. She's got color in her cheeks and a laugh in her throat.
And it feels real.
"You're here", she says with a southern twang. He smiles at her like it's the most normal thing to do and when she kisses him; it feels like a lightening bolt straight to his heart.
She looks just like she did on their wedding day, with a long white dress and her delicate waves pinned back. She's missed the pregnancy bump and there's no blood. She's wearing Keith's ring and when he looks down at his hand a white gold band rests in his finger.
They walk up the pathway to their house and Peyton intertwines their fingers. He stops at their front door and she gives him a coy smile that he loves. She brushes his hair from his face and in the reflection of the door he can see that he looks all of 22.
"I've been waiting for you", she says softly.
He knows the immensity of those words and he nods his head. He pulls her flush against his body. He tucks some of her auburn hair behind her ear and taps her nose.
"I think we've waited long enough."
She will be home, she will be home
She'll be home, she'll be home
Let me know what you think!