Title: Temporary Good bye

Author: Jenn

Rating: K

Summary: A rewrite of the final scene at the airport with Brooke and Julian. Can they find a compromise?

The smile on Julian's lips, and the happiness and relief she saw in Julian's eyes, put the last of Brooke's doubts to rest. She was making the right choice. The choice to follow her heart.

"Where's Sam? Where are your bags?" Julian asked, the happiness leaving his eyes, replaced by doubt and uncertainty.

"I can't come with you. Not tonight at least," she quickly added. "Sam has two more months of school. I need time to take care of selling the house and the store. I can't come with you tonight. Will you give me two months? Just 'til Sam finishes the school year?"

The fear and uncertainty in Brooke's eyes softened Julian's heart. "I'll give you as much time as you need. It really wasn't fair to give you so little warning. Not when I expected you to turn you whole life upside down. And Sam's too."

The loud speaker announced his plane was boarding.

"I have to go," he said reluctantly.

"I know. Call me when you land?"

"It'll be really late, Brooke."

"I don't care. Please?"

"I'll call, you," he said against her lips before kissing her deeply.

He pulled out the tickets for her and Sam. "You can get these changed for whenever you need."

"Okay," she said, then leaned up to kiss him again.

Julian turned to leave, but Brooke took his hand, and he turned back to her. "I… I love you, Julian."

"I love you, Brooke," he said, giving her another quick kiss before walking onto the plane.

Brooke's declaration of love replayed in his mind on the long flight home. He also began thinking what contacts he could introduce Sam to since she was interested in the business. He decided he'd also start looking around to find a good school for her.

He was drawn from his thoughts by the announcement that they were landing soon. He shook his head slightly. He'd just spent a cross country flight dreaming of the woman he loved and planning a future for their family. He knew it should feel strange to think of them as a family so soon, but he did. Yes, he decided, Tree Hill really had changed him.

************

"Hello," Brooke said sleepily.

"Did I wake you?"

"Sort of. I think I dozed off. But before that I was thinking. Sam has Spring Break next week. We could come out to LA, if you want…"

"Of course I want you to come out and visit," Julian assured her.

"We'll need two rooms. You and I, and probably Sam, know I'm going to be spending the nights in your room. But if anyone from Child Services asks…"

"You want to be able to say you had your own room."

"Yeah. The last thing I want is for them to take her away from me because I'm an unfit mother or bad example."

Hearing the real concern in Brooke's voice Julian smiled. "You're a great mom, Brooke. No one is going to take her away from you. You wouldn't let them, and neither would Sam… Neither will I."

"Thank you, Julian."

"You're welcome. Let me know when you get the flight arranged and I'll pick you up at the airport."

"Okay," Brooke said, trying to stifle a yawn.

Julian heard it. "I'll let you get some sleep. But first, will you say it again?"

"Say what?" she teased, even though she knew what he wanted to hear.

"You know what."

"I love you, Julian."

"Good night, Brooke. I love you."

"'Night, Julian."

Both had smiles on their faces as they hung up their phones.