A/N: Been sitting on this for awhile, planning to make it a bit longer, but I think I'll have to accept that this is where it's meant to end. Thanks to anyone who's read it and esp. my (one) reviewer, who inspired me to finish it.
Prom night arrived. Sam (Beckett) picked up both girls, who seemed in surprisingly good spirits, even holding each other's hand as they entered, with "Harrison" following. All Beckett could think about was the speeding car moving ever closer to Brooke.
They drank punch with too much sugar and not enough alcohol, danced to songs none of them would admit to liking if confronted, and talked about everything but the elephant in the room.
It was over an hour before they finally confronted him. They were sitting together, the girls expressions looking more appropriate to a funeral than a party.
"Harrison, this isn't working," Brooke said.
"It was your idea," Sam (Beckett) answered.
"Look, we know," Brooke answered, waving her hand as she searched for the right words. She looked at Sam (McPherson), who looked equally lost.
"It's just... it hurts too much."
"You want me to choose?" Sam (Beckett) said.
They both nodded.
"Well, I knew this was coming, so.. I'm prepared."
"You know which one of us..." Brooke began, only to be interrupted.
"Yeah," Sam (Beckett) said. "I have." Taking a deep breath, he continued. "Look, I don't want either one of you to get hurt – I hate that more than anything – but, yeah. I have."
They looked at him with expectation turning to impatience.
"I choose..." he said, "neither of you."
The girls looked stunned – and hurt.
"Listen, how many people end up with their high school boyfriend or girlfriend? These things don't last, friendships do, and I wouldn't trade my friendship with either of you for anything. And, no matter what you say, choosing either of you will hurt the other one. That will hurt your relationship and that person's relationship with me. The only way for us to remain friends, either of you with me or you with each other, is to keep it as friends."
"Look," he continued, "I love both of you more than anything in the world. There's no way I'd trade our friendship for any high school relationship that'll likely be over by the time we go to college."
Beckett looked at each girl. Their mouths were hanging open and he hoped he hadn't made things worse.
"Nice speech," Al said, standing behind the girls. "You been working on that all day?"
He had. Ever since the answer hit him at five o'clock that morning, but he'd tell Al about that later, when no one else was around to see him talking to what appeared to be empty air.
The real question now was, how would they react? He braced himself to tackle Brooke if she even looked at the front entrance.
Brooke's laughter, followed quickly by Sam's, told him he'd made the right decision.
"So," he asked, "are we good?"
The girls exchanged glances. "Yeah," Sam (McPherson) said, "I think we are."
"Yeah," Brooke agreed.
"Cool," Sam (Beckett) said, waiting for the blue light to talk him away. When it didn't, he looked around to see Al looking at his PDA and laughing.
"You did it Sam! Brooke's alive and in Med. school. Harrison's getting on the fast track to a PhD and Sam's writing for the L.A. Times. Looks like a win!"
Sam was about to smile when he saw Nicole Julian storm into the room, marching towards Brooke.
He managed to put himself in between them as the shorter blond began to hurl a flurry of profanities and accusations at Brooke – claiming she'd convinced her date to stand her up among other things. Brooke told her she was crazy. Sam (McPherson) claimed that was an understatement. Sam (Beckett) just asked everyone to calm down.
Finally, Josh and the others showed up, pulling Nicole away, still hurling curses at Brooke. Sam (Beckett) looked at Al.
"Well, no rehab," he said, checking his Blackberry again, "and she finished college, but I doubt she's any happier."
He turned back towards Brooke and Sam.
"So, whaddya wanna do now?" he asked.
"Well, I think we can skip the drive and watching the sunrise," Sam (McPherson) said.
"Why not?" Sam (Beckett) shot back. "No rule that three friends can't watch the sun come up. We'll just skip the make-out session."
The girls laughed. Brooke took Sam (McPherson)'s hand. "C'mon, we might as well."
Al burst through the girls with a shocked expression on his face.
"OH... MY... GOD Sam! You're not gonna believe this..."
Sam (Beckett) didn't hear the rest, he was already enveloped in a familiar blue light, as his universe exploded once again.
A/N: Harrison's speech is actually the first part of this that I wrote. It kinda inspired the rest. I actually copied most of Brook's dialogue in the last scene from the last episode of Popular, only changing Harrison's, since (here) it's Beckett speaking instead. Review (good or bad) are appreciated (good for obvious reasons, bad if they give me advice on how to do it better in the future).