AN: This is a companion product to our story Comfortable Liar. We wanted to give some background to certain things and relationships, plus we needed somewhere to post all our outtake-scenes. This way you get more reading and we won't have to bend the storyline of CL to fit all our crazy ideas. As always, check out the LJ for more background info and a playlist. Think of these posts as "background info", "outtakes" & "deleted scenes."

Ever wondered how the Brooke/Rachel friendship started? Well buckle up for the ride as we take you down memory lane...

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Comfortable Liar: Origins & Outtakes

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Brachel Origins Part 1: Miss Independent

(Cuz all great friendships gotta start somewhere)

Sophomore Year, Fall Semester

--x--

You were the slap in the face that I needed to stay focused…

--x--

Rachel Gatina had been bored from the second that the car drove over the state line to North Carolina. And when they drive into the town where her father's last military career promotion has moved them, she clearly understands why it hasn't even been rewarded with its own dot on a state map. According to Google it's 'too miniscule' and when seeing it, she wonders if even that wasn't an exaggeration.

Who the fuck names a town Tree Hill anyway? When she reads the Welcome to Tree Hill sign, she crosses her arms over her chest, produces a childish pout worthy of a five year old and tells her parents that she's going to stay in the car.

Forever.

Or at least until they stop being ridiculous and move somewhere where she can actually have a life.

But her father just tells her to stop whining like a spoiled brat and glares at her until she moves out of the backseat. She'd get over the move from her friends in Philadelphia eventually, he says. God, was he stupid.

She could care less about Camden, Philadelphia. Or about Oak Park, Chicago and Brentwood, Connecticut. It's not like she keeps in contact with her classmates from Palm Bay, Florida or even the ones from the year they spent in Spain. But all these cities had at least allowed her to have fun during the short time they stayed in the same place.

Tree Hill was going to be about as fun as watching paint dry. Maybe even worse.

It takes her less than a day to realize that the mall is tiny, there aren't any nightclubs or bars at all, and the people all seems like dumb hicks. It doesn't take her long to figure out that being bored had probably been a vast understatement.

Rachel Gatina is going to be extremely bored.

Excruciatingly so. Which really isn't her fault.

At sixteen, she's already used to a certain level of entertainment that the hick-town kids surely knows nothing about. And she's not stupid - she knows that she's too young for most of the stuff she usually occupies herself with. But often she just flicks that thought away as something her parents were at fault for.

If a teenager is given an almost unlimited amount of spending money, then gets moved around the continent enough to have to manage school without long term friends, and on top of that is provided no parental guidance – then someone like herself is what you get. A sixteen year old that easily passes for twenty.

And that has done more shit than the regular girl of twenty-five.

As usual, her parents basically dumps her in the new house and leaves. It's normal protocol, nothing out of the ordinary. Officer Gatina –also known as her father– has marine duty outside Virginia Beach and most of the time Mrs. Gatina stays with him. The two story house that her parents have bought in Tree Hill, complete with a pool and staff of four people, is simply to make it look like their teenage daughter has a normal home. And apart from the boring surroundings, it's all normal to her.

At first she sticks to her promise and pouts the best way she knows how. It takes her two days to figure out that the pool-boy smokes weed and mere hours later she's introduced to his friend Chris Keller. For the next three days she's pretty much stoned around the clock.

Bored with that, she manages to sit around the house for five additional days before she's climbing the walls enough to actually go to school, and at the sight of Tree Hill High, she laughs. It was all she can do really, because even the school is a tiny joke.

"Your grades are good," the dark skinned principal – was it Turner? – drawls and flips the pages in her file. "But you seem to get into trouble quite easily, Miss Gatina."

She almost rolls her eyes but manages to produce a sugary smile in the man's direction instead. Story of her life, really. Of course she gets into trouble. Life is short and high school is way too boring to keep her focused for long.

"It sounds worse than it was," she says shrugging innocently. "I promise to behave here and to be grateful for this opportunity. Tree Hill seems to be such a nice little town."

Cue sweet smile.

The ordinary speech, but as usual, the principal seems at least close to taking the bait.

"I hope you'll like it. Your father has made a generous contribution to our local scholarship fund and we're happy to welcome you here, Rachel."

Principal Turner – at least it says so on the plaque on his desk – smiles more genuinely. "Is there any extra curricular activities that you take pleasure in?"

Apart from partying? Boys? Fast cars?

"No, not really."

She glances at the clock on the wall and sighs inwardly when realizing that it isn't even past ten. Boooring.

"Well, I can see that you've taken interest in Cheerleading before. We have an excellent squad here at Tree Hill High. Maybe you'll want to try out for it?"

"Maybe."

At least he lets her off the hook after that.

So she gets a schedule, a homeroom direction, a locker and probably a whole bunch of loser classmates as well. She finds her way to her biology class and takes a seat next to a blonde girl named Bevin. The girl talks more than the energizer bunny would in a debate-team challenge and it takes her exactly seven minutes before she's bored again.

That is, until the door opens, 23 minutes into the class.

"Sorry I'm late," a raspy voice says, "Damon's car wouldn't start."

There's an audible sigh from the teacher.

"Miss Davis, what does you being late have to do with Mr. Carmichael's car?"

"He was gonna drive me to school."

Bevin, the girl next to her, giggles into her hand.

"Brooke," the teacher says sternly, "It's 11.24. School started three and a half hours ago. Do I have to talk to your parents about this? It's the third time you're late this week."

"I know," the raspy voice declared happily, "But it's only Wednesday, Mrs. Stevens. I still have Thursday and Friday to make it in time."

More giggling erupts around her and Rachel actually looks up in time to see a brunette girl in a skirt almost shorter than her own walk towards her. Surprised at finding a person with somewhat of a fashion-sense in this bumfuck of a town, she can't help but to give the girl a look-over.

And that's when the brunette stops right in front of her desk.

"Hey, Elmo," the girl says and raises an eyebrow into a perfect bitch-worthy quirk. "You're in my seat. Move."

For the first time in eight days, at least Rachel Gatina isn't bored.

--x--

It's hardly a case of instant friendship. Actually far from it.

Instead there's lots of sarcastic bickering, a major fight over a parking space and an even bigger fight over who had the bigger ass. There are glares and snickers and even a rather lame competition, flirting with the hot substitute gym-class teacher. And however entertaining it is to get some resistance for once, all these little run-in's with the brunette teaches her that Brooke Davis apparently is very high up on the 'food-chain'.

Brooke seems to boss around not only freshmen and sophomores but juniors and some of the senior boys as well. Not all that surprising to Rachel after having seen the brunette flirting around with most of the guys in question. She has to admit that the girl knows how to sway them hips for what she wants.

But it's not because of the brunette's flirting-skills that Rachel is intrigued. Nor is it because of her ability to throw around a good insult. It's more the fact that the girl – although clearly bred and raised in this hickville hell-hole – acts as if she's born in a much bigger city. She's sharp tongued, hot tempered and bitchy when needed and the only time she seems to shrink is when she's in the presence of that weird curly blonde.

Brooke is still what her father would call 'in higher rank' but it's clear that the Sawyer-girl has some influence. Instinctively Rachel decides that Peyton is someone she won't like.

Not that it matters. Rachel doesn't need to make 'girl friends'. Her father will uproot them within the year anyway and the whole sleepover-friendship-thing, with makeovers and heartfelt secret-sharing isn't her style.

She'll be fine with the Keller-dude and his pothead friends.

She will.

But then, about two weeks after enrolling in the local high school, Rachel Gatina sits down in the same seat during biology as she had the first day, merely to tick the brunette off. And when Brooke comes rushing in long after the bell rings, Bevin is the one that moves back a row.

For some unknown reason, Brooke just rolls her eyes and sits down in the vacated chair.

Halfway through the class the brunette slips her a note that says:

I hear U do cheerleading. Try outs' 2day at 4.

And for some reason even more unknown than Brooke giving up her seat in biology, Rachel finds herself in the gym at 4.12pm and tries out for a squad that isn't as bad as she would have expected. For a small town such as Tree Hill it's actually surprisingly good.

Brooke – who seems pretty chummy with the Captain, Morgan Finley – smirks in a satisfied way when she makes the cut without even having to wait for the paper to be posted the next day. But Peyton, who's clearly in the wrong place since the girl seems about as un-cheery as a funeral, scowls.

"Don't think I like you or anything," Brooke snickers when Rachel turns to leave, "but we do need the talent, and I figured that a skank like you could give a good show."

"It takes one to know one, I guess," Rachel smirks back in the same tone and when Peyton frowns and takes a step forward, Brooke just giggles and shrugs.

"Yeah, I guess it does," she chirps and skips over to the older girls on the squad.

It almost seems like 'skank' was handed out in a positive way which makes Rachel laugh all the way out to her car.

And then, less than three weeks after moving to a small town in North Carolina, Rachel finds herself sitting next to the girl named Brooke Davis outside the principal's office.

She'd gotten caught by a janitor while smoking in the girl's restroom and when she sits down on a chair in the waiting area, the brunette smirks.

"Boys, alcohol or cheating?" she asks and Rachel huffs.

"Smoking. There are no cute boys here, no bars to go get drunk in, and I don't need to cheat."

The brunette cheerleader grins wider.

"Aww… feeling sorry for yourself, huh redhead?" Brooke pulls a manicured hand through dark brown curls. "You know, you're right about the boys. But I could point you out to a bar or two if you have a fake id."

"Yeah? And why would you do me that favor?"

"Because Peyton is being a boring shrew who's spending all her time with Nathan and I need someone with a fashion-sense to go shopping with?"

Rachel contemplates the offer in silence for a second or two. The grumpy blonde, who happens to be Brooke's best friend for some fucked up reason that she yet hasn't figured out, has been on the warpath the last few days. Nathan Scott is the blonde's boyfriend and the next aspiring basketball star, and it's clear to see that that relationship is unhealthier than any other.

Still, Brooke Davis probably has a whole bunch of giggling retards who'd be more than happy to accompany her to the local mall even if her best friend is too busy screwing an asshole.

"What are you here to see the principal about?" she asks instead and Brooke presents an innocent expression.

"Oh, well… I might have elbowed the English teacher, Mr Chavez, in the eye when he 'accidentally' grabbed my ass…"

Two sets of eyebrows are raised in a very similar way. Both question and answer given in silence.

It's nowhere near instant friendship but it's a good start.

---x---

It's her first "Ravens" party. Actually, it's her first party in Tree Hill. The others she's attended since arriving in the God forsaken town she doesn't count because she had to drive to Charleston and Raleigh just to find something minimally resembling the scenes she's used to.

Bevin, the one who's managed to convince Rachel to give Tree Hill parties a chance, practically bounces in her heels. Loud music, high pitched laughter and the clinking of glasses fill her ears the moment they walk into the house. The first thing Rachel's eyes notice when she enters is the two bickering teens who hold court in the middle of the room.

Peyton & Nathan.

She doesn't know them well enough to actually care about whatever it is that has them so worked up. Bevin skirts past them and joins their cheer captain and the rest of squad surrounding her. Rachel is surprised at how many people kiss the ass of Morgan Finley.

She gives it two more weeks before she pulls that pedestal out from beneath the bitch.

"Finally," an arm slides around her waist and pulls her back up against the front of their chest, "I was wondering how long before I got you inside my house."

She knows that voice.

"Dream on, Tim," her elbow shoots out to slam into his gut, "and if you ever touch me without permission again, the next thing I hit will be your groin. Got it?"

His red face nods up and down, "Got it," he croaks.

Almost an hour later, Rachel has given up the search for a fuck buddy and nurses a cold one at the bar in the living room. Perhaps she's being too picky, there has to be someone worth screwing at this damn party. She scans the scene one more time and pauses at Nathan.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," a husky warning is murmured into her ear.

Rachel chuckles and swivels her stool a little to the left to get a good look at the girl beside her, "Do what?" she asks.

"In T-minus two minutes Nathan will sift through this party in search of his blonde Medusa. When that happens? Not even a cheap love-you-long-time slut like you can interfere with that." Brooke laughs softly and leans over the counter to grab a bottle of Vodka.

"I can be very persuasive," Rachel teases and crosses one long tan leg over the other.

"Oh, honey," Brooke chuckles in amusement, "you don't know shit about small towns."

Rachel slides the bottle of Grey Goose across the bar and pours herself a cup, "No, I guess not," she smirks and pushes the bottle back towards the brunette.

Brooke's dimples poke out just a little more as she sips from her red plastic cup, a slight chuckle echo's inside when she snorts. Exactly as predicted, Nathan shoves past a pair of grinding teens and searches the room with narrowed eyes.

"Hey, Davis," he barks and Rachel glances at the girl beside her who looks like a relaxed goddess draped along the bar. "You seen Peyton?"

"Maybe," Brooke drawls and slowly stirs the liquid in her cup in a circular motion with her wrist, "what's it to you, Scott?"

"Don't be a bitch, Brooke, where is she?" he storms closer and yanks the cup from her hand to down it and crumble the plastic.

"You're pouring me another one," she growls in response.

"I'm not doing shit, where is my girlfriend?" he snaps.

Rachel snorts at their hostile interaction and shakes her head. This is the first interesting thing she's witnessed all night.

"If she were smart she'd be as far away from you as possible," Brooke mutters and uncrosses her legs to sit up in her stool. "I like a splash of lime in my vodka cranberry," she crosses her arms.

Nathan scoffs, "And I like when red lipped brunette bitches answer my questions without unnecessary demands."

Her foot shoots out to ram the spike of her heel into his thigh, the hiss and curse words that spill out from Nathan's mouth make Rachel giggle into her cup.

"Watch it," Brooke snarls, "my tolerance of you is minimal at best, Scott. Do not for a second mistake my patience for Peyton's."

Knowing he's lost this battle of wits, Nathan grabs the bottle of vodka and untwists the cap. With wide eyes, Rachel watches him pour the alcohol into a cup and reach for the cranberry cocktail.

"No fucking way," Rachel mutters under her breath in disbelief.

But victory does not cover the girls features as she watches Nathan carefully pour the essential ingredients of her drink. It's as if she knows the boy's intentions and Rachel looks on with baited breath and tense shoulders.

"You know, Brooke," Nathan's tone is even as he stirs the drink with a glass swizzle stick, "I'm gonna let you have this one," he nods.

Her eyes narrow into two thin slits.

He holds the finished drink out in front of him so that she can take it, "Consider this my condolences for the way Felix publically humiliated you. Tell me," he chuckles, "just how did you make it home without your clothes that night?"

Fire ignites behind the lashes of Brooke's blazing hazel eyes and for a moment Rachel is sure she's about to grab the cup and pour it right over his head. But she doesn't, and to Rachel's utter astonishment she takes the offered drink and sips from it daintily.

"Well," she and sets the cup down to step off her stool and approach the boy until her lips are almost touching his ear, "that's one secret I'll never tell," she whispers.

Rachel can't read her lips the second time as she murmurs into his ear something that makes him flinch and back away from her with a hateful scowl. This time, Brooke wears the face of victory and gives a delighted sigh as she takes a seat beside Rachel and gives Nathan her back.

"So fucking predictable," she speaks directly to the redhead in a bored tone and ignores the boy who glares daggers at her back.

Rachel eyes Nathan who has his hands fisted down at his sides and looks about ready to murder the fearless brunette in front of him. Brooke blinks at Rachel and turns to see what has her attention.

"Oh," she snorts, "you're still here?" She gives a dismissive wave of her hand and Nathan takes off in a fit of anger, slamming the guys who dare to ask what's wrong against walls and shouting for them to leave him alone.

"You sure are interesting, Brooke Davis," Rachel laughs.

To which the girl in question merely locks eyes and leans in to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet, bitch."

Rachel blinks in surprise and Brooke stands and rights her halter top then runs her hands down her skirt. "Fede, hey!" she snaps and the boy whirls around to look at her. "I need a ride home, get your shit, let's go."

"Alright," he says without protest and immediately ditches the girl he's with. For the fourth time that night, Rachel is stunned. Perhaps Morgan is not the force to be reckoned with.

"I wouldn't do that I were you," Brooke chuckles and repeats her earlier words.

Rachel locks eyes with in challenge and smirks, "Do what?"

"It's like I said," she rolls her eyes, "you don't know shit about small towns. But if you're up for it? I might be willing to give you a crash course."

"I'll think about it," Rachel nods.

"You do that," Brooke winks and heads off for the front door where Fede waits to take her home.

---x---

It's truly amazing how different this small town is to the major cities Rachel has passed through in her life thus far. From foreign to suburban, East-sider to West-sider and on one short lived occasion, she even spent half a year in the country. But nothing could have ever prepared her for Tree Hill.

Only in a useless little town as this one would people have to get up at 3am to go to a stupid Cheerleading competition.

Giggling girls and hushed whispers from behind make Rachel shudder in annoyance. She really hates waking up before dawn and she especially hates long bus rides with people she doesn't know. Sure, she sees some familiar faces around the still dark parking lot of THH but she can only name a handful of them.

Like, for instance, Bevin. The ditzy blonde who is currently huddled up into her jacket and shivering beside Rachel's black Denali. When she'd gone to pick the girl up from her house nearly a half hour ago, she'd known then that Bevin was going to be shivering in no time. What did the girl expect when it was the beginning of winter?

"Bev," one of the nameless cheerleaders laughs as she and two others walk up to them, "why are you wearing shorts in November?"

"Brooke said to wear something comfortable," Bevin starts with a shaky voice as a shiver shoots up her spine, "she said to wear some pajama pants."

"Bevin!" a girl Rachel vaguely remembers as 'Theresa' remarks in shock, "That's not pajama pants!"

"Yes, huh!" Bevin quickly yips back, "I wear these to bed almost every night! These are my pajama pants!"

"No airhead," Morgan Finley, captain of the cheer squad, saunters over with her hands deeply imbedded inside the pockets of her main squeeze Kyle Richardson, captain of the Ravens basketball team. "These are pajama pants," she lifts leg off the ground for emphasis on her pink cotton plaid pants.

"Oh," comes Bevin's small voice.

"It's cool," Rachel sighs from her spot against the back end of her truck, "I got a spare for you in my bag."

"No," Morgan snaps suddenly and all eyes whip in her direction, "let her ass freeze on the bus."

Rachel doesn't like the word 'no' and she especially doesn't like to be contradicted. "That's fucked up," she snaps.

"The world is a fucked up place," Morgan laughs.

"Yeah, and apparently so are you," Rachel sneers.

Instantly the eyes on Morgan's boy toy widen in complete shock. But Morgan herself speaks on without so much as a glitch in her armor.

"That's what she gets," she snorts and turns to Bevin, "maybe next time you'll use your head. Here's a clue, it's that lump three feet above your ass."

The others laugh and follow Morgan as she makes her way to a small group of people gathered around someone's car in the parking lot. Bevin pouts as she watches them leave then shivers again into her jacket when a blast of cold air blows past.

"What a bitch," Rachel grunts.

Bevin sighs loudly and pushes off the truck, "Come on," she replies before skipping off to join the gathering group of people who are now starting to form a line outside the large yellow school bus.

Shaking her head and rolling her eyes, Rachel grabs the handle of her luggage and starts to roll it towards the crowd. Curiously she watches as the students hand over a slip of paper to the Raven's basketball coach, Whitey, before getting on the bus. What the hell were they doing?

"Hey, Bev," Rachel asks after handing her luggage off to the first boy she could get her hands on to load her stuff then cuts the line, "what's that they're handing Whitey before getting on the bus?"

"Oh," Bev reaches into a small backpack that hangs off her shoulder and pulls out a piece of paper, "it's just a permission slip."

"Wait, what?" Rachel shouts is total surprise, "They make you sign permission slips in this shithole?"

"No," Bevin laughs and rolls her eyes, "they make your parent's sign them—duh, Rachel!" she shakes her head and hands her slip off to Whitey before jumping up into the bus giddily being chased by one of the guys on the team.

"Next," Whitey mutters in disinterest and holds a hand out to her, "well?" he shakes his open hand at her.

So she does the only thing she can do, she slaps him five and brushes past him to step up onto the bus.

"Not so fast there, young lady," she feels firm fingers wrap around her wrist to yank her back outside. "No one gets on this here bus without parental permission."

"Consider the permission granted," she nods her head and tries to brush past him again.

"I don't think so," he shakes his head with a knowing smirk, "no slip signed by your parents, no getting on my bus."

"I wasn't aware those were the rules," she starts, "can't you just give me a pass just this one time? Come on, coach, give me a freaking break it's 4 in the friggin morning."

"Sure, I'll give you a break," Whitey gave a sweet and sarcastic smile, "I'll break my foot off in your ass if you don't step aside so that I can collect the slips from people who are getting on this bus."

"This is bullshit!" Rachel shrieks, "I don't even know where my damn parents are, okay? They could be in Tahiti for all I know, the only way I know they're not dead is the fact that my account keeps being replenished every two weeks."

Whitey looks unmoved.

"Come on," she resorts to whining, "you can turn the other cheek, I can sneak onto the bus. No one will ever know! I'll even play dumb if anyone asks and I'll—"

"What the hell is the hold on up here?" the loud and raspy voice of none other than Brooke Davis shouts out into the night.

The voice is soon followed by quick steps and then suddenly there she is slapping two slips of paper into Whitey's hand.

"Chill, coach, she's with me," Brooke pats his arm and pushes Rachel towards the bus door, "hurry up and get your ass in there before he figures out I just forged the names of two random people with Gatina at the end."

Without protest Rachel quickly presses on and keeps moving forward until she's ushered into a seat near the back of the bus.

"Why did you just do that?" she asks in disbelief.

"Please," Brooke snorts and pulls a small black Prada bag onto her lap, "I've been in your place before sweetums," she chuckles, "I always carry a spare."

"But…"

"Takes one to know one, Rachel," Brooke stops her suddenly by placing a hand onto her knee, "My house is more along the lines of a time-share unit to my parents. Only it's one that they rarely use and when they do they leave again as soon as humanly possible. If they were to die, I'd never know because my name is on my father's account and it's limitless."

Silence falls over them and Rachel fidgets in her seat uncomfortably. Is this the part where she supposed to say something friendly?

"My parents send me a card every year on the 29th of August wishing me a Happy Birthday," she chuckles.

Brooke's arched brow rises curiously.

Rachel snorts, "My birthday is in September, and it's nowhere near the 29th. It's the 3rd."

"Ouch," Brooke winces.

"Do you wanna know the funny thing though?" she shakes her head and laughs softly while Brooke waits for her to finish, "August 29th is actually their anniversary. What a bunch of dumbasses."

"I see your neglected birthdays," she smirks with red lips and hazel eyes, "and I raise you a continuous reminder of being the little mistake that got away."

"Ouch," Rachel laughs. "Speaking of mistakes," she snickers as Peyton's loud mouthed name calling carries its way to the back of the bus from the front, "why on Earth do the two of them continue to date?" she points to Nathan and his broody blonde bitch.

"I dunno," Brooke shrugs as she eyes the arguing couple, "but I do know that they're easier to deal with when they're 'on' than when their 'off'," she snorts.

"You mean kind of like how it's easier to forge the names of parents than to actually get them to sign them?" she lifts a casual shoulder and glances down at the dark haired girl beside her.

"Touché, bitch," Brooke lifts her hand up to Rachel in a closed fist. "To a weekend away from an empty home."

Rachel's really starting to like this chick she thinks to herself as she presses her knuckles against Brooke's. Maybe this weekend wasn't going to be so bad after all? She still thinks Tree Hill is boring as fuck, but for the first time she actually contemplates the fact that it could be worse.

Besides, if she's going to stir up trouble for kicks this weekend? Who better to recruit as a partner in crime than Brooke Davis?

---x---