I own nothing, not even "Ships" by Umbrellas.

Phenomenal song! They actually have a couple of amazing songs that I'm planning on using so be on the lookout for that.

This is set during the summer before season 3 starts. I'll always wonder if something happened or should have happened. It just seems too unrealistic for them to not "slip up" at least once. Also, I was watching leyton scenes from 3x01 on youtube and when Lucas and Peyton walk into her room, Lucas is leaning against her dresser or whatever it is and directly behind him is Peyton's drawing of "Sometimes They Come Back." I swooned a little bit.

Slightly AU I guess, I don't know, but the bottom part is a bit different.

Enjoy!


Just like ships, we float through each other's lives
Through the waters of beauty and grace

Sunlight hits the side of her face and stirs her from her slumber. She wakes up alone, which isn't all that surprising. She didn't really expect things to change overnight. Lucas is still a virtual stranger to her and even though she hopes that will change; she knows it won't happen within a day. It could very well take the whole summer.

If he gives her that much time.

She rolls onto her back and stretches her arms over her head while letting out a yawn. For a second she forgets about the crazy woman who's stalking her until she hears a noise outside and feels her muscles tense.

Peyton slowly gets out of bed and walks into her hallway. She can hear the jiggle of her doorknob and her heart starts to race. This can't really be happening. People don't try to kill people at nine in the morning. Then again, this is Tree Hill, anything's a possibility.

She walks down her wooden steps and tries to peek out the curtains of her windows before actually doing anything. She doesn't see anybody and so she unlocks the door and opens it hesitantly before stepping out onto the porch. Her green eyes search the surrounding area and when she doesn't see anything she furrows her brows.

She turns around and screams when someone's standing behind her.

Lucas puts his hands up to defend himself while she starts to flail her arms around in any attempts to hit the person who's snuck up on her. "It's just me! It's just me!" he yells over her screams.

"Damnit Lucas!" she yells. "Why the fuck would you sneak up on someone who's been getting creepy e-mails?"

"I didn't think I'd have to sneak up on you", he argues. "I also didn't think you'd go all karate kid on me", his tone is light and teasing as he rubs his shoulder. Peyton lets out a breath and does her best not to smile; she fails miserably.

She runs her hand through her curls and closes her eyes. "What are you doing here so early?" he sticks his hands into his pockets and smirks that wonderful smirk.

"Wanna get breakfast?" Peyton laughs and nods her head. "Do you wanna get dressed? I mean I'm not exactly complaining, but Deb might", the curly blonde furrows her brows before looking down at her sleep attire.

It's just a tank top and short, cotton shorts.

"I'll be ready in five minutes", she mumbles and walks into her house. Lucas follows, closing the door behind him, and he sits outside her bedroom door while she changes. "How'd you sleep?"

Her voice is muffled because of the wall that separates them, but he can still understand that she doesn't really want to know how he slept. His head rests against the wall that his back is leaned against and he closes his eyes.

"I should be asking you that. Aren't you the one with the stalker?"

Her door opens and she places her hands on her hips as she narrows her eyes at him. "That's not even close to being funny", she grumbles.

Lucas looks at her as she walks down the stairs and he can feel his heart race and his stomach flip. He shakes his head; he hasn't had that happen in a very long time. Of course, he attributes it to the fact that she's wearing a denim skirt and layered tank tops and her curls are wild and untamed.

He thinks he could get use to spending the summer with Peyton.

"Are we going?" she asks from downstairs. She's standing beside her front door and she's already wearing her aviators. Lucas chuckles as he stands and jogs down the stairs to meet her. He watches as Peyton locks the door behind them and he shakes his head.

"It's weird to see you do that", he mumbles as they begin their walk. She looks over at him and shrugs her shoulders. It's weird to hear him say that like he's known her forever. They're still barely friends. But she'll never tell him that.

"Well, it's weird to have some random woman tell me she's my mother", Peyton counters. Lucas nods his head and mumbles something along the line of fair enough.

"What are you gonna do about that?" he asks curiously. Peyton sighs.

"I don't know. I mean I don't wanna believe it, but the things she knew . . . I have to call my dad and talk to him", she mumbles. Lucas smiles sympathetically and throws his arm around her shoulder.

"We're something else, huh? It's like the first official day of summer and we're both brooding", he says which causes both of them to laugh.

"Speaking of . . . what are you gonna do about Brooke?" Peyton asks as she tilts her head up in his direction. Lucas groans and throws his head back. "I'm sure you're thinking of something, Romeo", she teases.

He chuckles softly and shrugs. "I don't know. I would call her, but what would I say? I wanna be with you? I already did that and she left anyway", he mutters.

"She didn't really have an option, Luke", Peyton whispers.

He looks down at her and finds himself smiling. It's been too long since she's whispered his name like that and he's missed it. Peyton smiles out of confusion and she shakes her head.

"What are you smiling about, weirdo? Actually, if it's about Brooke, I don't wanna know", she says playfully. Lucas chuckles and holds the door open for her as they walk into the café. When the bell chimes above the door Deb turns to them with a smile.

"Good morning you two", the two blondes smile and Peyton takes a seat at one of the tables near the window while Lucas grabs them some coffee. He returns with it made just the way she likes it and she can only smile.

"So, you didn't answer my question . . ." Peyton sings out and then lets it hang in the air. Lucas looks down at his cup of coffee and takes a breath.

"I don't really know", he answers honestly. "I think maybe I was trying to cling to her, you know? Haley's gone and Nathan isn't talking to me. My mom was leaving for New Zealand and Brooke and I have gotten close ever since I came back from Charlotte . . . plus, you and I weren't exactly what we used to be", he mumbles.

Peyton looks at him, but he doesn't lift his head from staring at his mug. She isn't really too sure what he means by that. Her heart starts to race and she thinks she wants it to mean they weren't how they were when they were, well whatever they were. But she somehow doubts that.

"So you don't want to be with her?" she asks in confusion.

"I don't know", he admits with a humorless laugh. "I'm such a piece of work", he repeats what he said the night before. Peyton smiles and takes a sip of her coffee.

"Well, at least we've got each other for this wonderful season", she says sarcastically. Lucas laughs and nods his head.

"How about we try to put all this crap behind us and enjoy the summer?" he offers with the boyish smile that she fell in love with all those months ago.

Peyton nods her head and grins.

"I'd like that."

And she thinks she's going to like spending the summer with Lucas.

We will one day dock at the same port
And give rest to our weary legs

"Peyton let's go!" Lucas yells from his place at the foot of her stairs. "I want to spend some time at the beach before it rains!"

He can hear her drawers slamming and closet door opening. He has no idea what she's spending all her time looking for, but he's got a cooler and a towel and he's more than ready to start their day.

It's been fun; spending the summer with her. They're only a few weeks in, but they've done a lot so far. The beach hasn't really been on the top of either of their lists. Peyton doesn't want to run into Ellie and Lucas wasn't go to go to the beach alone.

It's been a pretty good few weeks in spite of that. They're either at his mother's café or sitting in Peyton's room with the windows wide open and a record playing loudly. He'll read while she draws and recently she's been teaching him the art of sketching. He's not fantastic at it, but he's got potential – at least that's what she tells him. They've taken road trips and gone to a couple of concerts and it's really just been a great summer.

He's glad there's still a month left.

He's spinning his sunglasses around (a pair of aviators Peyton made him buy) when he hears her bedroom door open. He doesn't have time to say anything as she flies down the stairs and passes him. All he sees is her yellow sundress and all he hears is the thwack of her white flip-flops.

"Well come on!" she drawls out. "I wanna get some sun before it rains", she smirks softly and Lucas chuckles as he shakes his head. He throws his towel over his shoulder and grabs the handles of the cooler.

"We're not driving?" he asks as they pass both of their cars. The thought of carrying this cooler all the way to the beach is a little daunting, but he won't tell her that.

"I'm assuming you've got beer in that thing and if I'm correct then that means that one of us would not be able to drink and that's just not fun", she says simply and with the sweet smile he's gotten accustomed to.

"Alright, I'm on the basketball team. I can do this", he mutters to himself. Peyton looks over at him and takes the towel from his shoulder so that she can put it in her beach bag. "Thanks", he says in appreciation.

"Luke, are you going to be able to do this?" she asks softly. He sends her a look out of the corner of his eye. "I just . . . because of your heart . . ."

"I'll be fine, my heart is fine", his tone lets her know that that's the end of their conversation in regards to his health. When he told her about his heart condition she was instantly worried, but he assured her that he was on medication and then he made her promise not to tell anyone else.

They walk through their town while talking about nothing and everything. Lucas stops a few times to get a better grip on the handles or to give his arms a rest. Peyton offers to carry it for a little and when he laughs she pouts before stomping away. Lucas groans as he forgets about the cooler to catch up to her. She folds her arms over herself and rests all her weight on one foot while she tells him she could do it if she wanted to. He tells her that he knows she could, he just doesn't want her to wear herself out. And then he smiles and she smiles and they're both walking back to the abandoned blue cooler.

He's a few steps behind her when he's hit with the sudden feeling that he could do this every day.

Lucas quickly shakes his head and clears his throat. He wants Brooke or at least that's what he's been trying to tell himself. Ever since that day in the café with Peyton, he's been thinking about what he's going to do. He doesn't like to think about it because he starts to brood and both he and Peyton have been doing well at the whole not brooding thing.

"I cannot wait to get into the water", she says as they walk down the wooden stairs that lead to the sandy shores of the ocean. Peyton picks a spot that's apparently the perfect place to sit and Lucas simply shakes his head while he puts the cooler down.

She lays out his towel first and he quickly takes a seat as she does the same to hers. She looks out at the water and lifts her sundress over her head to reveal a black halter bikini. Lucas watches as she makes the necessary adjustments and makes sure the bottom is tied tight enough.

He doesn't even hear Peyton call his name.

"Hey!" she says loudly. He shakes his head and meets her green eyes as she stands above him. He hopes it wasn't obvious that he was staring at her. "You thinking about Brooke?"

He doesn't answer because he doesn't want to lie to her so he shrugs his shoulders and looks out at the water. Peyton reaches into the cooler and grabs two beers, she hands one to Lucas before opening her own.

"Have you talked to her?" she breeches the conversation slowly. Lucas takes a sip of his beer while looking at her.

"Have you talked to Ellie?"

She looks down at the cold bottle that's in her hands and lets out a soft laugh. "Fair enough", she mumbles.

"I thought her were going to put all of this behind us?" he asks rhetorically. She nods her head and smiles as they both drain the rest of their beers. He watches as she reaches into the cooler again and he's a little surprised that she's already going for her second beer.

She doesn't.

Instead she throws some of the ice cold water at him and runs off giggling.

They spend a good portion of the day laughing and sun bathing and goofing off in the warm water and drinking. There's lots of drinking. They're both laying on their beach towels with their sunglasses covering their eyes when some clouds roll in and the sky seems to open and rain pours down on them.

Peyton squeals and Lucas jumps up. Peyton stands – a bit wobbly – and shakes out her towel before covering herself with it. They're both laughing deliriously and Lucas grabs the cooler before they start to jog back to Peyton's house.

"Leave it here!" she yells over the loud rain.

He gives her a look that makes it seem like she's crazy and she laughs before taking it from his hands and placing it right near the bulkhead. Then she grabs his hand and they start running again. It's a far, farther than the walk seemed to be, but they're both pretty buzzed and want to reach shelter so neither really cares.

They make it up the pathway to her house and because of how wet her flip-flops are she nearly slips on her wooden deck. Lucas catches her in time and Peyton kicks of her white sandals before pushing open her front door and dropping her bag near the stairs.

Lucas closes the door behind him and stares down at his rain soaked shirt. He looks over at Peyton and she's standing at the foot of her stairs with rain dripping off of her sundress (she threw it on before they began their journey) is creating a puddle around her.

He chuckles loudly and it causes her to pout. "We look like two drowned rats", she pouts adorably. He rings out a section of his shirt, which she yells at him for, and then places his hands on his hips.

"I think I pull it off well", he says confidently. Peyton rolls her eyes, but takes notice of the way his tee shirt clings to his body. It's been hard not to stare at him all day. She had forgotten how good he looked and it's as if he's only gotten better looking in the time they've been apart.

"You think wrong", she quips with a laugh.

Lucas' mouth drops and he takes off after her. She shrieks and starts to run, but Lucas catches up with her quickly. His entire arm wraps around her waist and because his flip-flips are wet he slips, which causes them both to slip. But like so many other times he saves her; manages to brace them both against the staircase.

They're both laughing and Lucas feels like this is the best he's felt in a while. Buzzed from the alcohol and with a gorgeous girl in his arms. With her green eyes and beautiful smile and passion for art.

She cut her hair recently and has been wearing it straight, but it's gotten curly from the rain and he loves it. Her face has a little color from the sun and her nose and cheekbones are peppered with freckles that he's never seen before. She's breathing heavily from the laughter and as her chest presses against him, he licks his lips.

She knows that look. She remembers that look. Her fear and insecurities start to bubble to the surface and she can see their ruined summer flash before her eyes. She wishes things weren't so hazy right now. Damn all that beer.

"Luke", she whispers.

And he doesn't know if it's the fact that he's (they're both) a bit drunk or the way she's whispered that shortened version of his name. Maybe it's solely because it's Peyton Sawyer and he's wanted her since he was thirteen years old.

But he kisses her. And she's kisses him back.

They can't go back from this.

There is a light placed up in the sky
Like the stained glass, time slows down
I wish I could sleep, I wish I could dream

Lucas is lying in bed tossing a basketball in the air when his front door opens. He doesn't bother to take his eyes off the task at hand. He knows who it is and he may not have seen her in three days and he may miss her, but he doesn't want her to know that.

"Hi", she whispers. She doesn't get a response which doesn't totally surprise her. They haven't seen each other in days and the last time they were together they had a pretty heated make-out session.

She sits on the opposite side of his bed and says his name softly. She still doesn't get a response; he's too interested in the orange ball that's being tossed into the air and landing in his hands.

Fed up with his antics and lack of acknowledgement she heaves a giant sigh. The next time he tosses up the ball she watches it and right before it lands in his hands she whacks it away. It slams against his closet door and they can both hear things fall off of the shelves because of the impact. The orange ball bounces and then rolls around the rest of his room.

Lucas finally looks at her.

"Really?" he asks as he sits up. Peyton rolls her eyes at his dramatics, but thinks about what she just did and realizes that it may have been a bit dramatic too.

"Are we going to talk about it?" she asks desperately. Lucas stands from his bed and walks over to his desk. "Don't ignore me", she demands.

"You mean like you've ignored me for the last three days?" he bites back. Peyton bows her head and lets out a small sigh before standing.

"Luke, I haven't –"

He pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs. "Please don't try to deny it. I've called and texted and I've gotten nothing in response!"

Peyton looks at his floor before daring to meet his eyes. She hasn't meant to ignore him; life's just gotten in the way. That's kind of the main reason why she's here. The past few days have been pretty brutal.

"My dad came home", she whispers. Lucas takes a step closer to her and he listens in interest. He's been waiting for Larry to come home and he hates that he wasn't aware of this sooner.

Peyton takes a deep breath and feels her eyes water and she hates it. She hates it all. "She's my mom, Luke. My birth mom . . . I'm adopted", her voice cracks as she finishes speaking.

Lucas doesn't stop to think before he walks forward and wraps his arms around her. It doesn't matter that they haven't spoken in three days and it doesn't matter that they have some things to talk about. All that matters is Peyton and the fact that she needs someone. She needs him.

She nestles her face into the crook of Lucas' neck and locks her arms around him. He can feel the tears hit his skin and so he holds her a little closer. She's been lied to for seventeen years of her life. It must have been so hard for her.

"Why didn't you call me?" he asks softly. Peyton sniffles and pulls away just enough so that her words aren't muffled.

"It's not something you could have saved me from", she mumbles simply. He looks at her and sighs.

"Well somebody's gotta try", he says just as simply. Peyton closes her eyes and shakes her head. She's also going to choose to ignore that statement.

"I don't know Lucas, maybe because the last time we saw each other we kissed", she mutters. He pushes her back to an arm's length and narrows his eyes.

"Peyton, I would have been there for you", he says seriously. She shrugs off his hands and walks a few feet away from him. "Peyt . . ."

"I know, but the whole situation was just – we we're drunk and you want to be with Brooke and . . . I don't know", she whispers. Lucas swallows hard and runs his hand over his head.

"I don't know if I want to be with Brooke."

Peyton smiles sadly. "Lucas, you told her you wanted to be with her", she says as she shakes her head. She needs a distraction from the conversation they're having so she opens his closet and starts to clean the mess she inadvertently made with the basketball.

"But I told you that I was clinging to something", he argues. Peyton looks up at him and makes a face. "Peyton listen, I know what I said to Brooke and I know that it's going to make me look like a tool, but I don't think I meant any of it."

"Think?" Peyton asks unsurely. She lets out a breath and folds a tee shirt before grabbing a shoebox that's flipped over. When she picks it up the contents are displayed and she can feel her heart race.

Lucas looks at her at the same time and he quickly walks over. She doesn't let him get near the box as she looks through the memories that tie them together. There are drawings and letters and CD's. He's saved pictures that she forgot even existed and all the stupid little notes she wrote to him in Spanish class.

"You kept all this?" she asks with a shaky voice. He smiles sweetly and nods his head. "But I thought . . . you said it was a mistake", she whispers.

His heart drops and he kneels down to be eye level with her. He hadn't said those words exactly and he's kind of mad that Brooke ever made it sound like that was the case. He's also mad that they've gone this long without Peyton telling him.

"Peyton, I never said we were a mistake. I told Brooke that I kept this to remember all the mistakes I'd made –"

"That kind of sounds like the same thing", she spits out.

He shakes his head and tries to gather his thoughts. Maybe . . . maybe he should just be honest.

"When Brooke brought it up I panicked. I was trying to convince her that I wanted to be with her, but she knew about this secret that I was keeping. Peyton, I keep this because I miss us. I miss what we had and I miss everything we could have had."

Peyton looks down at the picture that's in her hands and she smiles softly at the image of her and Lucas. They both seem happy and carefree and she doesn't remember feeling like that lately. Actually, this summer has kind of given her a lot of that feeling again. She looks up at Lucas once more.

"It's been my only connection to you since, well I guess since that night on my porch when you told me you couldn't be with me anymore. I mean it's not like I look at it every day, I just like knowing that I have these memories", he assures her.

He doesn't have a chance to gage her reaction because she's in his arms and her lips are on his. Lucas tries to brace himself – both of them really – by placing a hand on the floor behind him, but he fumbles and lands on his butt and both he and Peyton laugh as they lay on the floor of his bedroom.

His blue eyes search hers and he takes a deep breath. "Peyton I lo –"

"Shhh", she cuts him off. She cups his face with her hands and she smiles softly. "Don't say anything", she begs and then kisses him hard. His hands land on her waist and she rocks against him teasingly.

He pulls away from her lips to groan softly and when she smirks he can only shake his head and kiss her again. They stay like that for a while, just kissing on his bedroom floor, but then Peyton moves and it's just something that Lucas can't ignore.

He pulls away from Peyton's neck to meet her eyes and they both understand the silent conversation they're having (they always have). His hands hook under the shirt she wears and it's the first time he realizes that she's wearing a sweatshirt.

His sweatshirt. And damn, she looks good in his clothes.

He smirks at her before lifting the grey material over her head. When it's revealed that she's only wearing a bra beneath it he can feel his mouth go dry and he shakes his head at her. She shrugs and smiles innocently, though nothing about this situation is innocent.

She leaves his lap and Lucas instantly misses the feel of her, but he watches as she climbs onto his bed, tosses her bra at him, and lies down in the middle of it. He's on his feet and pulling his white tee shirt over his head before Peyton can tell him to join her – not that he would really need to be persuaded.

The comfort that she feels when his weight is hovering over her is like nothing she's felt before. Granted, she hasn't had many sexual partners, but with Nathan and Jake things were different. This feels like a whole lot more then sex and that scares her because it can't. Lucas wants Brooke whether he realizes it or not and she's still healing from being left by Jake (and the fact that she's adopted).

So maybe this is just two people coming together for comfort or some type of release.

Lucas kisses her neck – the spot he's obviously never forgotten about – and Peyton parts her lips while a sigh escapes. He smiles against her skin and from then on everything is clouded. It becomes deep kisses and touches that they've never had before. His shorts disappear and Lucas kisses his way up her legs before removing her short denim ones.

His breathing is heavy and so is hers and that's somehow the most erotic thing either of them have ever experienced. It's like they just can't get enough of each other. Lucas nips at her collar bone and the little noise Peyton lets out has him lifting his head and looking into her eyes.

"God Peyton, I love –"

"Don't say it", she pleads. "Just kiss me", her words come out as a breathy whisper and if this was a different scenario, Lucas would be putting forth some type of argument. But he's a little lost in his own world and blood isn't exactly flowing to his brain at the moment.

So he kisses her again. And soon enough their remaining clothes are on the floor and her hand is on his bicep while one of his hands is buried in her short locks, and they're moving together perfectly. Kind of like Peyton always imagined they would, but she can't think things like that.

Just like he can't love her.

Because in the end, he'll just choose Brooke again.

I love the sound of my feet against these empty streets
I saw the whole town burn down
I'm walking away

He's walked all around their town looking for her. He's checked her house and the Rivercourt. He walked along the pier and stopped into her favorite little ice cream shop. This is his last resort because if she isn't here, he doesn't know where to look. He knows he can't check the cemetery because the only time that place admittedly creeps her out is at night.

His feet crunch against the sand and the closer he gets, the easier her silhouette can be seen. She's sitting near the shore with her knees curled to her chest and her head resting on her knees. She doesn't move as he approaches and she doesn't move when he sits beside her. It kind of feels like déjà vu.

"I've been looking all over for you", he says softly. She tilts her head slighting and sends him an apologetic smile. He tucks some blonde hair behind her ear and then runs his hand down her back. "What's going on, Peyt?"

She either doesn't know she does it or she doesn't care to acknowledge it, but she leans a little closer to him. She's been sitting out here for a few hours just thinking. And she's not even sure where to begin to tell him where her thoughts have gone, but she knows she needs to tell him something.

"Summer's almost over", she whispers. He nods his head and lets out a small sigh. There's just about two weeks left to their summer vacation and he can't believe that times gone by so quickly, at least the last couple of weeks have.

"Time flies when you're having fun", he says cheekily. Peyton smiles her first smile of the day and rolls her eyes at his lack of maturity.

Things haven't really changed between them since that night. They haven't talked about it, Peyton's found that avoidance is a pretty good method and Lucas doesn't want to rick bringing it up and having her freak out on him.

"How about we head on over to your place", he whispers and pulls her closer to him. Peyton giggles softly as she rests her head on his shoulder. Okay, so one thing has changed.

They've slept together more than that one time.

It's still only been a handful of times, but their relationships changed because of it. Lucas doesn't blush if Peyton catches him staring and Peyton doesn't get flustered if she accidentally brushes against him. They're more comfortable with each other and granted, it didn't and shouldn't have needed sex for them to get to that stage, but they've never done things by the books.

Peyton takes a deep breath and says; "Brooke will be home soon." She moves out of his arms and glances at him from the corner of her eye. He looks out at the water and runs his hand over his slightly longer hair.

"Is that what's been bothering you?" he asks carefully. She's been kind of odd over the last few days and he knew it didn't have anything to do with Ellie (her dad had some words with the woman and she left town the same day). He just didn't expect it to be about Brooke.

She doesn't say anything, doesn't trust her voice. So she nods her head and sighs loudly before standing up and brushing the sand off her jeans. Lucas watches with confusion and interest on his features.

"It might be best if we didn't see each other for a few days", she whispers. Lucas' eyes widen and he's on his feet in an instant.

"What? Why?" he asks in a panic. Peyton folds her arms over herself and Lucas hates the protective stance she takes. She's talking to him not some random person. "If this has anything to do with Brooke –"

"It has everything to do with Brooke!" she yells. She takes a moment to calm herself and then she speaks again; "Lucas you want to be with her", he opens his mouth, but she cuts him off. "You told her you wanted to be with her before she left and you haven't talked to her since then so as far as she knows nothing's changed."

"Well, I'll talk to her when she gets back", he says easily.

Peyton shakes her head and runs her hand through her hair. "Lucas, there's nothing to even tell her", she closes her eyes because she's talking in circles. "What I'm trying to say is that I – Brooke and I just got our friendship back after you left and I promised her . . . I can't lose her again, Luke", she whispers.

He clenches his jaw and stares at her. "But you can lose me?"

She takes a step in his direction and raises her hand out to touch him, but decides against it. She's doing her best not to let her emotions get the best of her, but it's hard when he's standing in front of her looking vulnerable and desperate – in a non-pathetic way.

"I'm not going to lose you", she assures him (and herself). "I don't want to lose you . . . I just can't be with you. I don't want to", she mutters.

Lucas scoffs and rolls his eyes. "I think you're scared", he challenges. "I think you want to be with me or you think you could want to be with me, but you're too damn scared to admit it", his tone is biting and it has her looking off to the side and biting her bottom lip.

"I love you", he says honestly and purely. She snaps her eyes shut and lets out a noise. "I'm in love with you and I don't know why you haven't let me say it, but it's true and I think that you love me too", he says boldly. "Or that you could and that scares you more than anything."

"Of course it does!" she shouts. "Lucas, of course", she runs her hand over her face and swallows. "I can't do this", she whispers and turns away from him.

"Sure, walk away, Peyton!" he yells to her retreating form. "Just like you always do", she stops, but doesn't turn to look at him. "When things get tough you can count on Peyton Sawyer to run!" he spits out.

"You ever think it's because I'm waiting for you to follow me?" she yells as she spins around. She's grateful that she's not closer because then he'd be able to see the tears that are slowly making their way down her cheeks.

Lucas feels the wind get knocked out of him and he whispers, "Peyton . . ."

She shakes her head as she swiftly walks over to him. "Don't . . . it doesn't matter, okay? You owe it to yourself and Brooke to give it a chance."

"Don't we deserve a chance?" he asks softly.

"Lucas if we're meant to be together, it'll happen no matter what", she whispers to placate him and to comfort herself. He opens her mouth, but she lifts her hand to stop him. "This is going to be the last night we talk about this, okay?"

"Something tells me I don't have much of a choice", he mumbles. Her eyes plead with him and he lets out a soft sigh. "Okay, fine; I won't breathe a word", he promises.

A ghost of a smile graces her features (like this is something she really wants him to do) and she backs away from him. She's trying to memorize every inch of him even though that's a silly idea. She'll see him eventually, in a few weeks actually. She just doesn't know how she'll deal with not seeing him every day.

She finally turns around when the tears start to gather. Lucas has to tell himself to stay where he is; he can't follow her. He waits until he can't see her form anymore and then he retreats the way he came. He does his best not to think about how much he'll miss her, but it's impossible. Memories of them are everywhere in this town.

He's gonna miss her, in every way possible.

Nothing stays, these feelings have wings
Our arms outstretched, we are soaring

She's trying to keep her hand steady as she paints the number six in a red-orange color onto her wall mural. It's kind of a creepy mural, but she doesn't really mind it. She just needs to do something to it. She's gone all summer without changing her room and it's finally time to change that. She's spent a better part of the past two weeks alone and it was actually what she needed. She's cried and cleared her head and talked to Nathan (he's in Florida) and spotted Lucas around town, but they haven't talked since that night on the beach.

"It's about time", Peyton turns to watch as the boy that's occupied her thoughts walks towards her, "Well I knew you couldn't go an entire summer without doing something to your room", and he voices her previous thoughts.

She places her paintbrush onto the metal caddy behind her and sends him a (somewhat) flirty look. "Whatever, you don't know me", she says playfully.

He narrows his eyes and slightly tilts his head. "Oh I think I do", he says in a tone that manages to give her the chills. She can't stop the desire she has to touch him and so she walks forward and lets out a low laugh as she hugs him quickly and breathes in his scent.

"Okay so, check it out Tom Sawyer, if you're lucky I might let you help me and if you're really lucky, I might even let you pay to help me", she gives him her best smile and persuasive tone, "What do ya say?"

He looks at her and then his eyes catch sight of a drawing from the year before. "Brooke's home", Peyton bites her lip and looks back at the picture that caught his attention before. "I went to the airport this morning to pick up my mom and poof, there was Brooke."

"Poof?" she asks unsurely.

Lucas nods his head and leans forward a little. "Poof."

She lets out a noise and places her hand on her hip. "What are you gonna tell her?" she asks softly as her southern accent comes out.

He sticks his hands in his pockets and bravely meets her green eyes. He's missed her over these last couple of weeks and all he wants to do is breathe out that sentiment, but it wouldn't be okay. He doesn't know how they can go from having a tearful conversation to not seeing each other for weeks to acting like it never happened in the first place. Maybe it has something to do with their sneaking around last year.

"There's nothing to tell her", he says with a sigh. A look that's a mixture of relief and pain (if that's even possible) etches onto her features and she picks up the paintbrush that's next to her.

"So, what do you say? I know you've got some artistic ability . . . wanna help me?" she quirks her brow and points the brush at him once more. Lucas smiles and tilts his head. He would love to stay and hang out with her, but he doesn't think he can. He probably shouldn't.

"Actually, I think I need to check on Brooke", he mumbles and tries to ignore the way her face falls. He's already picking Brooke over her. "She had some choice words for me when I saw her earlier."

Peyton nods her head and tries her best not to look like she's completely disappointed that he won't stay with her (she doesn't know that she's already failed). Lucas takes in a breath and sends her a smile before turning and walking to her door.

Peyton bites her lip as she watches him leave. She tosses her paintbrush and rushes towards him before he can get too far. Her hand curls around his bicep and the second he turns around her lips are on his. He lets out a noise of surprise and his eyes widen before he realizes what's happening. One of his hands tangles in her straight locks and the other wraps around her waist.

She clamps her eyes shut and gives the kiss everything she's got. Her hand curls around his muscle while her other one caresses his cheek lovingly. This may very well be the last time she ever touches him so intimately, it could be the last time she ever kisses him. She's got to make it count.

He knows what this means and so he's taking full advantage of it. It's really a simple and sweet kiss, but there's so much that's left unsaid and so many things are still unknown that this ends up looking a lot steamier then it is. But it is Lucas and Peyton so it's not exactly PG.

They break apart only when air becomes an absolute necessity. They both take in a large gasp of air and Lucas rests his forehead against Peyton's. Neither says anything for a long while; they just stand there with their eyes closed and foreheads touching. Peyton takes in a shuddering breath and Lucas finally opens his eyes to see her squeezing her eyelids together tightly. He lets his hand leave her hair and cup her cheek.

His nose nuzzles hers in a sweet manner before he takes in a deep breath and pulls away. Peyton opens her eyes and watches as he back away to her doorway. She fidgets with her fingers just so she has something to do for the moment. Lucas smirks softly before looking at her and around her room.

"I'll be seein' ya", he whispers with a hoarse voice.

Peyton smiles sadly and nods her head. She can hear his footsteps as he walks down the hall and she looks up to her ceiling. She gathers a large breath and lets it out slowly before turning her attention to her wall. She walks over and picks up the paintbrush, but before she starts her artwork again, she glances at her door. She knows he's not coming back and that's really her fault, but it's okay.

He'll be okay.

They both will.

There is a light placed up in the sky
Like the stained glass, time slows down
I wish I could sleep
I wish I could dream

He doesn't really know what to expect when he enters the library. All he knows is he saw blood on the floor and Peyton's still somewhere in here. Thoughts that it could be her and that she could be lying somewhere, dying, overcome his mind, but he can't think those things because he needs to be alert and focused.

He hears some noise coming from behind a bookcase and so he raises the bat and takes a deep breath. He turns the small corner and is fully ready to swing the aluminum object, until he sees that it's Peyton.

His heart drops and he throws the bat to the side as he rushes over to her. "Peyton! Hey, hey, it's okay", he says quickly as he places his hands on her. She grabs his wrist before he can touch her injured leg.

"Ow, my leg, I got cut by some glass", she whispers between breaths. "Lucas, I lost Brooke; I'm sorry", she cries. He shakes his head as he caresses her head and cheek caringly. He would smile at how much she cares for her best friend, but he can't.

"She's fine, she's fine", he promises. He looks down at her and winces. "But, okay you're not, umm alright, we gotta get you to somewhere safe, come on", he cups her upper arm and tries to stand.

Peyton grabs both his hands and shakes her head. "No I can't – I can't walk, I tried."

"Okay . . . okay", he stands and turns to leave, but Peyton grabs his hand and pulls him down to her.

"No, don't leave me, please", she begs as tears spills down her cheeks. Lucas hasn't exactly heard her beg for someone to be with her before. But he never had any intentions of leaving her, not for a second.

"No look, hey, hey; I'm gonna go block the entrance alright", he says as he cups her face. "We'll – we'll just hide, okay. We'll wait this out, okay? Listen to me", he says forcefully. Peyton makes a face from the pain and fear and Lucas grabs her hand to comfort her. "I'm not leaving you, Peyton", he promises.

She starts to cry for multiple reasons and Lucas understands all of them. "I won't", he swears. He puts his hand around the back of her neck and brings her forehead to rest against his. "I won't."

He doesn't know how long they sit there with their hands intertwined and their heads resting against the bookcase. He doesn't wear a watch and Peyton's broke when she fell to the floor. He wishes he knew what was going; he needs to get her out of here. Lucas took off his shirt and tied it around Peyton's leg to apply some pressure and stop the bleeding, but she lost a lot of blood before he even came into the school.

Lucas can hear her breaths and they're slow and shallow and his heart starts to race because he can't lose her. They haven't even had a chance yet and . . . she just can't die. It wouldn't be fair and he won't allow it. His blue button down is soaked with blood and the carpet around her leg is discolored.

He still can't believe this is happening right now.

"I'm tired", she whispers and turns her head slightly to look at him. "Are you tired?"

He clenches his jaw and looks into her eyes. "Yeah, yeah I'm tired, but you've gotta stay awake, okay? Talk to me . . . tell me about a good day", he requests softly. He knows that he needs to keep her talking because that means she's awake and breathing. If she loses consciousness . . . he can't even think like that because it makes him sick.

"Remember when we went to that concert, in Charlotte?" she asks, though she doesn't need to, he couldn't ever forget that day. "We sang old songs on the way there and then the concert was so horrible, but we made the best of it", her voice cracks and more tears fall.

"We – we had the top down on my car and it started to rain. I wanted to put the roof up, but you wouldn't let me", she whispers with the smile. He smiles as tears cloud his eyes, but he pushes them back. "I don't think I've ever felt more carefree or happy – deliriously happy – and . . . and alive", she whispers painfully. "I wish we could be in that moment forever", a sob breaks through and Lucas squeezes her hand.

"Nothing is gonna be the same after this", she says in her soft voice. "People are going to try to make sense of all this, but they're not going to be able to. And even if we do make it out of here, we're always gonna carry this with us", she whispers. Lucas swallows and closes his eyes.

She looks up at him from her half opened eyelids. "It's not glass, is it? In my leg", he shakes his head and leans a little closer.

"No, it's a bullet", he whispers. "Now I may have to get you out of here, okay? But nothing will happen to you. I promise."

He's got an inner battle he's dealing with and it's ridiculous because there's nothing that can change what's happened, but he can't stop thinking about the what if's. If he had never agreed to let things end between them then maybe Peyton wouldn't be here.

"You're always saving me", she whispers with a small, private smile. He looks into her green eyes and cups her cheek; he runs his thumb over her skin.

"Somebody's got to", he murmurs. She closes her eyes and a few more tears escape. She hates herself for ever turning him away and telling him to be with Brooke. He should be with her. He's supposed to be with her.

She can't die without him knowing the truth.

She takes in a large breath, "If I say I love you right now, would you hold it against me?"

He sighs and closes his eyes before shaking his head slowly. He's waiting his entire life to hear her say those words. Especially since the summer they shared. Peyton's nerves kick in and she looks at him.

"Because I've lost a lot of blood", she says after; in hopes of lessening her confession. Lucas smirks at her typically method of avoidance and shakes his head. He whispers something along the lines of don't do that.

"Come here", she whispers. He leans in closer because he assumes it's too straining for her to talk loudly. When he's close enough, she uses her strength and pushes herself forward and when her lips meet his, he isn't entirely surprised.

She pulls away and starts to say something, but Lucas doesn't let her. He kisses her again and cups her cheek with his hand. He's going to do his best, but if this is the last moment he ever has with her, he wants to make it count.

He pulls away after a long moment. She's surprised by his actions and it shows by her expression. He's getting her out of here because he has to. He needs to be with her and spend the rest of his life with her. He pushes some of her hair away from her face and smiles softly.

"I love you too", he whispers.

They can't go back from this.

Lucas doesn't want to.

There is a light placed up in the sky
Like the stained glass, time slows
I wish I could sleep
I wish I could dream


Let me know what you think!