Title: A Promise Made

Fandom: One Tree Hill

Pairings: Mentions of Lucas/Peyton, Brooke/Julian, possible Brooke/Lucas romance, definite Brooke/Lucas friendship

Rating: T

Warnings: Spoilers for "Forever and Almost Always" and "Remember Me as a Time of Day"

Author's Notes: I am trying to get back into writing and this kinda bit me. I have a tendency towards longer fics. I can't guarantee how often I will post.

Also, I am a Brucas shipper, but that does not mean this story is going to turn into a Brucas ship fic. It's definitely going to be about their friendship more. I'll just see how my muses progress the story to determine if romance is a factor or not.

I also changed the baby's name. Due to the nature of the fic, Peyton was unable to name her own child, so Lucas named her Peyton. Brooke insisted that Peyton would have wanted her daughter named after her two mothers, so she has the middle names of Anna and Ellie. So Sawyer Brooke Scott, for this fic, is now Peyton Anna Ellie Scott.

~Chapter 1~

I made a promise, Brooke thought to herself as she stood in the rain, staring ahead. She never thought it was a likelihood that would come to pass. One week ago, she had stood as the maid of honor for Peyton Sawyer as she finally wed her soulmate, Lucas Scott. As she got dressed, Peyton had turned to Brooke and made her promise that if anything happened to Peyton because of the baby that Brooke would be there for Lucas and for the baby. Peyton did not want Lucas, Brooke or her unborn child to be alone. Brooke had not wanted to have that conversation but did for Peyton's benefit. And she listened to all the things she had to say. And then she promised Peyton what she wanted to hear.

If anything happened, she would be there for Lucas and the baby.

But she only made the promise because Peyton was supposed to be okay.

"Brooke?" Haley questioned beside her. Brooke slowly turned to look at her. She took a moment to focus on Haley's red, tear-filled eyes.

"We're heading back to the house," she said. "Lucas needs you."

It took a moment for things to hit Brooke's mind. Finally she nodded and turned. She looked over to where Lucas stood, his head lowered, his shoulders slumped. She forced her legs to move and she walked over to him. Taking his cold hand into hers, she squeezed his fingers. Together they walked to the car that was waiting for them. Even though Lucas opened the car door, Brooke made him get in first. She glanced back where they had been standing, tears coming to her eyes again.

"Damn it, P. Sawyer," she said, her voice catching. "It wasn't supposed to be this way."

But Peyton wasn't going to answer. Finally, after Lucas called her name, Brooke got into the car and shut the door. The line of cars started and drove out of Tree Hill cemetery. And away from Peyton Sawyer-Scott's grave.

--

Lucas' eyes cracked open when he heard the baby crying over the monitor. With the softest of groans, he pushed himself up into a seated position. He was finding it increasingly difficult to move at all. His heart jumped as the baby quieted, then he heard the soft voice cooing to his daughter.

Only it wasn't the right voice. Tears stung his eyes as he listened for a moment before he reached out and quickly thumbed the volume down on the baby monitor.

It should have been Peyton. Was supposed to be Peyton. But it wasn't. Peyton was gone. The very thing Lucas feared would happen came to light. Now he was not even 25 years old and he was already a widower with a newborn daughter to look after. His mother had been younger when she became a single parent, but she had Keith. Even if Dan had walked away from them, Keith had not. Who did Lucas have? Who did his daughter have?

Dammit, Lucas. Selfish bastard. He rested his head in his hands. They both had Brooke. Godmother to his and Peyton's daughter, one of his closest friends and Peyton's best friend. Brooke was there the whole time Lucas sat beside Peyton's hospital bed, willing her to live right along side him. All for nothing because Peyton never woke up. Two days before their daughter would have been a week old, she was gone.

You know she was gone before that, you were just too stubborn to let go. Hoping and praying for a miracle, he thought to himself. The doctors had told him within a day after his daughter had been born that Peyton would never wake up. She was effectively brain dead. He had not listened; did not want to listen or believe them. Peyton was stronger than that. She wasn't just going to give up and walk away. But it was not to be.

"Lucas?" Brooke said softly from the door.

Lucas twisted on his bed, looking at the dark-haired woman. "I was just getting up... I heard her crying..."

"It's okay," she said, her husky voice lower than normal as if she was afraid she would distrub the baby in the other room. "I got her changed and fed. She's all curled up again."

He sighed and got to his feet. "Thanks, Brooke. I'm sorry. I should be the one looking after her."

"I don't mind," she said quickly. "I wouldn't be anywhere else..."

"You should be with Julian," Lucas said.

"He understands," Brooke said, though it was a minor lie. Julian didn't understand the promise Brooke had made, but he was respecting it as best he could. However, he still hated that the woman he loved was temporarily staying in the same house as her ex-boyfriend in order to help care for his newborn daughter.

"I just wish I knew what to do," Lucas said. "It's like I can't function right now. If it weren't for you, my daughter would--"

"Be fine," Brooke interrupted. "She is the best of both of you and you would have gotten up to care for her."

"But I--" Lucas started.

"Are grieving and I know that," Brooke said, interrupting again. "But if I weren't here, you would never let anything happen to that little girl. But I am here and you can grieve, Luke. You can be with your daughter and you can grieve. It really is okay."

Lucas ran his fingers through his hair before moving past Brooke to leave his room and head for the nursery. He knew she would follow him, so he didn't look back. Stepping inside, he walked over to the bassinet where his daughter lay, staring at her sleeping features.

"She doesn't even have a name yet," Lucas said, his voice catching.

Brooke came up beside him. She rested a light hand against his back, offering him comfort. A sad smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as the baby shifted.

"She would have wanted to name her after her moms," Brooke said. "Didn't you two talk about names?"

Lucas nodded. "But I can't, for the life of me, remember now. I think we had decided on Sawyer if it was a boy. I don't remember right now what we were going to name a girl." He looked at Brooke. "But now things are different."

Brooke watched him then smiled sadly again. "I know," she said. "But she would still want her named after her moms."

"But I want to name her after Peyton too. Somehow," Lucas said, looking to his daughter again. "Maybe as her first name. Peyton's moms as middle names."

"Peyton Anna Ellie Scott?" Brooke asked. She looked down, a soft laugh escaping. "Big names to live up to."

"But she can do it," Lucas said. He knelt beside the bassinet and rested his hand against his daughter's back.

"I wish things were happier, but welcome to the world Peyton Anna Ellie Scott."