I own nothing, just like I don't own "Satellite Heart" by Anya Marina.

I've had this on my compute for a while now and finally decided to finish it off. I'm not sure it's my best thing ever. But I didn't want to leave it unfinished. Different take on season 5.


So pretty, so smart
Such a waste of a young heart

"B. Davis?" Peyton calls out as she enters what will become the new Clothes over Bros boutique. She smiles at the progress that's already been made in the short amount of time they've been here and she waves to some of the workers.

She came back to Tree Hill because she missed genuine people and real emotions. Now that she is back, she feels overwhelmed and anxious and nervous and a ton of other words that describe every time she sees Lucas.

It's pathetic and cliché and she tries to act indifferent, but she can't. It's hard because she really did come home to find her peace or whatever, but she can't exactly say she wasn't hoping Lucas would be single and willing to be with her again.

Well, she can think it; she just doesn't say it.

"I'm back here!" her best friend yells. Peyton moves to the back of the store and smiles at Brooke. She's at the table with a bunch of different paint samples and color palettes. "I'm going to rip my hair out", she says before even meeting Peyton's eyes.

The blonde laughs, but stops once Brooke sends her a death glare. "Go with the lavender and white feel, it's subtle and pretty. You're clothes will look good against it", she says easily.

"This is why you're my best friend", Brooke says in appreciation and sets those colors aside. "Now, what can I help you with?"

Peyton makes a face and sits in the only other chair. "I don't need help with anything", she says with a laugh.

When she came to Tree Hill she didn't know what she was going to do or where she was going to live; she just needed to get out of LA. Since she's gotten back, she's moved into a house Brooke bought and Lucas and his mother have given her a space in TRIC to start her own record label.

"Nonsense, how about I tell you some gossip?" Brooke's eyes light up and she rests her elbows on the table. "First of all, Millie and Mouth are totally together, but not telling anyone. The hot nanny has the hots for Nathan so we have to keep an eye on that –"

"Can I ask you something?" Peyton asks with a smile. Brooke nods and tilts her head. "How do you know any gossip? I've been in town for like two weeks; how is there even any gossip?!" she asks in amazement.

"Because you're home", Brooke says obviously. Peyton throws the color sample at her and Broke catches it while laughing. "Okay, but really . . . it's just because I'm Brooke Davis."

Peyton rolls her eyes, but her smile is genuine. "Watch it, B. Davis", she grumbles playfully. The (current) red head holds her hands up in defense and smiles.

"I'm just saying, you and Lucas in the same town . . . have you guys had crazy sex yet?" she asks with a dimpled grin. Peyton laughs and shakes her head.

"No! Brooke, are you forgetting about Lindsey?" she asks even though the name tastes sour coming from her mouth. Brooke scoffs and rolls her eyes.

"Please, it's never stopped you guys before", Peyton gasps and reaches across the table to smack her arm. Brooke squeals and flinches away from her. "Once again, I'm just –"

"Saying, yeah, yeah", Peyton mutters. They have a moment of silence between them and Brooke worries she's gone too far. She knows that Lucas is still a sore spot for the blonde – no matter what she says – and she realizes that it's probably hard to see him with another woman.

"I'm sorry", Peyton whispers. "I'm just kind of sick and tired of everyone pointing out that we belong together when he's with someone else. He's engaged to someone else and I'm sick and tired of seeing that stupid ring on her stupid finger –"

"He didn't mean to", Brooke says softly. Peyton meets her eyes and furrows her brows. "Haley thinks he didn't even mean to propose. Apparently Lucas said something to her about it", she reveals.

Peyton tries not to her let heart rate increase and she tries to pretend that her palms don't sweat. It's all futile. But at the same time it doesn't matter. Whether or not he meant to, he is engaged.

"Brooke, it doesn't matter", she whispers. "He's still engaged and happy and in love", she says softly. Brooke stretches her hand across the table and places it over Peyton's.

"Peyton . . ." the blonde shakes her head and looks up to the ceiling. She hates being this person and this girl and she hates having people fawn over her.

"I'm being stupid –"

"No you're not, sweetie", Brooke assures her. She's been the girl who's left broken hearted after Lucas Scott. It's not easy to get over and that was a high school relationship. Peyton and Lucas are the loves of each other's lives.

They just got all skewed up along the way.

"You were young when he proposed and you weren't sure it was what you both needed", Peyton lets out a noise and pulls her hand from Brooke's. After that ill-fated proposal and Lucas visited Brooke, she called her blonde friend and Peyton told her everything.

Peyton knows all about Lucas's trip to New York; even the kiss.

"I need to get back to the studio", she mumbles. "Mia's probably waiting", she runs her hand through her hair and stands from the chair.

"Peyton!" Brooke calls out to her. Peyton turns around and shakes her head.

"I'm fine Brooke. I just need to get to work", she watches as Peyton leaves the store and stops on the sidewalk. Her blonde friend puts her hands on her hips and bows her head before standing up straight and walking down the block.

She knows what her friend is doing. If you bury yourself in work you don't have nearly enough time to think about the pain and heartache that you feel. She's done it multiple times in her life and now it's Peyton's turn to be that person. She doesn't like to see her best friend go through all this, but she knows there's nothing she can do.

They just really need to get their acts together.

What a pity, what a sham
What's the matter with you, man?

He doesn't know what to do. His life seemed perfect and simple and planned out mere weeks ago and now a wrench has been thrown into the middle of everything and he's never been more confused in his entire life. Actually he has.

When he was a junior in high school and needed to pick a girl.

There isn't really another girl to pick. She hasn't said more than five words to him since she's been home; not that he can blame her or expect more. They ended things on a rough note three years ago and they haven't spoken since then. Except for the time he called her and asked her to come to his book signing.

She never did.

He's sitting at his brother's kitchen table with his head in his hands. In the same notion, there's nothing for him to do. He needs to act like it doesn't affect him and he doesn't constantly think about what she's doing.

"So, have you talked to Peyton yet?" it's not easy when everyone's intent on bringing her into a conversation every damn day. He takes the bottle of water from his younger brother and scowls.

"Why would I need to talk to her?" he asks noncommittally and sips the cool liquid. Nathan raises his brows and shakes his head.

"You know, denial isn't just a river in Egypt", he says and then laughs at his own lame joke. Lucas squints his eyes and shakes his head. This is so not the time for jokes.

"I'm not in denial about anything . . . Peyton and I . . . we were a high school couple. High school's long over", he whispers. Nathan sits across from him and rests his elbows on the wooden table.

"Then why are we having this conversation?"

Lucas frowns and throws his head back. He doesn't know why they're having this conversation. So what, one of his ex-girlfriend's is in town. So is another one and she's a famous fashion designer, but Lindsey isn't concerned about her.

"Because . . . she's Peyton, Nate", he whispers. "And I'm me and when I'm with her, high school doesn't feel like it's over", he admits.

"Well what are you gonna do?" Nathan asks in curiosity. Lucas looks at him like he's just grown another head and his brother shrugs. "What?"

"I'm not going to do anything", the blonde stresses. He leans back in his chair and folds his arms over his chest. "I have a girlfriend –"

"Fiancée" Nathan corrects. Lucas closes his eyes and lets out a breath.

That's right, he's almost forgotten. The day before Peyton came back into town he proposed to Lindsey. It was a spur of the moment and maybe done with a little desperation, but he doesn't mind. He loves her and that's why he proposed.

Not because she gave him an ultimatum and found a ring from years ago.

A ring that was never meant to be hers.

"Fiancée", Lucas mumbles and nods his head. Nathan makes a face as he watches his brothers' inner battle. Its clear Lucas is dealing with a lot right now and Nathan doesn't envy him in the least.

"Hey guys", Haley says as she walks into the house. She's got a paper bag filled with groceries and she stops to kiss Nathan before resting them on the counter. Lucas smiles at the interaction between his brother and best friend. They've had a rough few years, but they've come out on top.

"What are you talking about?" she asks when she notices the look on Lucas' face. The blonde shakes his head and tries to let her know it's nothing important, but Nathan will have none of that.

"Peyton", he says simply. Haley lets out a noise as if it say of course you are. And Lucas scoffs.

"It's really not like it seems", he mumbles. Haley rests her elbows on the counter behind her and lifts one eyebrow. "It's not how it seems", he repeats a little louder.

"It never is, is it?" Haley asks softly.

Lucas groans. He loves his family, but sometimes they're too damn nosy and intuitive for their own good. They just don't know what it's like because they don't have any ex's that can fly back into town on a whim. He doesn't realize he's said it aloud until he meets the married couples' eyes.

"I have a sister to look at", Haley comments. "And Peyton and Brooke", she adds. Nathan frowns when he looks at her.

"Hey!" he cries indignantly. "I thought we were over that?"

"We are . . . I'm just making a point", she promises her husband. "Plus, I hired a hot nanny", she mumbles with her hands now on her hips.

"But I have a hot wife", Nathan purrs. Haley looks at him and smiles before walking over and draping her arms around his shoulders. Lucas shakes his head.

"Okay, what does any of that have to do with me?" he asks. Haley meets his eyes and he adds, "For the record, the nanny's not that hot."

She smiles at him and he winks. He'll always be there for her; she's his best friend. She's always honest and truthful and . . .

"It all has to do with you because we all have skeletons in our closets. It just depends on how you deal with them."

And she's always right.

"I just – she's freaking Peyton and she shouldn't have come –" he stops himself before he finishes his sentence because he knows he's ridiculous for even thinking it.

"She shouldn't have come home?" Nathan supplies. "To her hometown and her friends who have missed her, for the record", he adds.

Lucas knows this. He knows all the things his friends are thinking because he's thought them all before. He still thinks them; he still tries to find a way to rationalize everything he feels and thinks and analyzes.

Haley furrows her brows at the lost expression on her best friends face. He's having some kind of inner battle and it's difficult to watch, especially when they all know he should stop fighting it and do the right thing. The thing his heart is telling him to do.

"Lucas, what happened between you and Peyton?" she asks softly.

He looks at her and then looks out the window. He never told anyone about the proposal gone wrong simply because it was too difficult to talk about. Maybe if they did know then they would understand his frantic state a little better.

He shrugs and looks back at both brunettes. "We just wanted different things."

Maybe he'll tell them another day.

Don't you see it's wrong, can't you get it right?
Out of mind and outta sight

A few weeks later they're all gathered in TRIC for Brooke's fashion show. She's got her boutique up and running, but she wanted a bigger venue to promote her collection for the upcoming season.

Peyton's running around like a chicken without a head and it's making her other friends laugh. Karen's recently given her full ownership of TRIC. At first she was certain she couldn't accept it, but Karen wouldn't listen. Now, she's running a club and a record label and she's happy.

She's laughing about something with Owen, her bartender, when Lucas and Lindsey walk in. Peyton pretends not to notice, but she visibly tenses at the sight of the blonde. Owen raises his brows, but she shakes her head. It's not something she wants to talk or think about.

"Okay, I suppose I should get some work done", Peyton says with a laugh. She brings the shot glass to her lips and tosses her head back; the tequila burns her throat, but she doesn't mind in the least.

Lucas greets his brother and best friend and waves to Brooke as she flutters around behind the curtain. He sees Peyton take the shot and then smile at Owen and he feels his jaw clench. They haven't spoken in a few days. Not since they had that blowout in her office.

He doesn't like to think about it, but he's got a bruise to remember it by.

"I'm gonna go get a drink, anyone want anything?" the married couple shake their heads, but Lindsey nods and smiles at him.

"I'll have a glass of wine", she says and slides into a booth next to Haley. Lucas smiles and nods and walks off in the opposite direction. He approaches Owen and the men share a head nod.

"Can I get a Bud Light and glass of white wine", he requests. Owen nods and walks off to get the two drinks; while he's gone Peyton approaches him.

"Here", she says as she hands him a piece of paper. Lucas furrows his brows and she rolls her eyes. "I told you I was going to give you rent money."

"And I told you it wasn't necessary. My mom gave this to you. It's not something you need to repay –"

"And then I told you that the favors have to stop. It's not going to end well for you Lucas; just drop it", she walks away from him and he mutters a curse before grabbing the glass and the bottle and walking over to the table.

"What was that about?" Lindsey asks and he resists the urge to roll his eyes. Haley looks down at her drink and Nathan chugs his beer down.

"She gave me a check for her rent", he says as he stares at the paper. Lindsey makes a noise and Lucas gets the feeling she thinks it's perfectly fine and justifiable.

"Well most people that are using a space do pay rent", she comments. Lucas shakes his head and takes a swig of his beer.

"Peyton's not most people", he finds himself saying, but he's not too sure how he means it.

Not another word is said about it because Brooke takes to the stage and gives a small speech about her inspiration and her friends and how grateful she is for everything she has. During the show the girls stare at the clothes and make comments while Nathan talks to Brooke about the possible drama overload they're in for.

Lucas' eyes stay trained on the empty seat that he knows belongs to Peyton.

After Brooke's showing the band that provided the background music takes to the main stage and TRIC becomes the club that it's known for. Everyone is laughing and singing and having a good time and when Lindsey goes to the bathroom Lucas lets out a breath.

"I'll be right back", he tells his friends over the loud music. They all exchange glances and watch as he walks over to a certain curly blonde.

"I am not accepting this", he says positively. Peyton groans and throws her head back. She grabs the paper from his hand and for a second their skin touches. Lucas does his best to suppress his shiver.

"Fine, I'll mail it to your mom", she grumbles. She moves away from the bar and walks over to the DJ booth. Lucas is hot on her heels.

"She won't take it either", he argues. "I don't want your money."

She looks at him and thinks back to the night they fought so terribly. She had said that he couldn't continue doing nice things for her; he agreed. "That's not what you said the other night. Lucas –"

"What was I supposed to do, Peyton?" he whispers harshly. She looks at him quickly and goes back to sorting some of the albums. "Huh? Tell me because I'm at a loss."

"Nothing Lucas, you weren't supposed to do anything! That's the point, treating me certain ways is not . . ." her body posture is calm, but her voice is anything but that. "I have work to do", she tries to brush him off.

"No! I am not letting this end!"

She looks at him as he raises his voice and then she looks around the club. Nathan's eyes are set on them and she knows for a fact that Brooke and Haley are taking turns looking. "People are staring Lucas!" she hisses.

"I don't care!" he yells loudly. She flinches away from him and then looks past his blonde form. Her eyes meet a set of blue ones and her heart crumbles.

"Your fiancée might", she spits out and then walks away from him. Lucas puts his hands on his hips and looks down before looking at Lindsey.

They stare at each other for much too long. People that are in love and engaged to be married typically want to talk about a misunderstanding and work on whatever the problem is.

Neither of them walks towards each other and the only time Lindsey moves is when she has a clear path to the exit.

All Lucas does is watch her leave.

Call on all your girls, don't forget the boys
Put a lid on all that noise

The next two months turn into a series of unforgettable events. Lindsey breaks off the engagement and it sends Lucas into an alcohol induced tailspin. Peyton leaves to go on tour with Mia. Brooke is attacked in her store and Jamie and Haley are almost killed by their crazy nanny.

They were never kidding when the called Tree Hill drama central.

One night Peyton decides to stop at the bar before going home. She's had a long day of going over demos and trying to get Mia back into the studio and it's all been a little draining. She takes a seat at the bar and smiles at Chase before ordering her drink and putting her chin in her hand.

"Don't look now", Chase mumbles, "But Lucas is heading your way", and Peyton focuses her eyes on her martini. She hasn't seen him in weeks and stupidly she was thinking she could avoid him for . . . the rest of her life.

Silly girl.

"Hi", his voice is soft and timid and Peyton rolls her eyes. He should be scared to be around her because the last time they spoke he was drunk and told her he hated her. "Umm, is this seat taken?" he asks and she can picture his hands stuffed into his pockets.

"Unfortunately it's not", she mumbles and sips her drink. He looks at her and takes the seat with apprehension.

He lets out a breath, "Peyton listen –"

"Let me guess", she cuts him off. "You were drunk, you didn't mean it, you don't even remember saying it", she lists off sarcastically. She hadn't thought she'd be so cold to him when they first spoke again, but she finds herself liking that she can be so strong.

"I don't hate you", he whispers. She laughs bitterly and swirls her chair to face him. She opens her mouth to speak, but she doesn't seem to know what to say.

"It doesn't really matter, Lucas" she whispers and then starts to walk away. She stops and turns around; she just can't leave it at that. "It's not fair", she says loudly.

Lucas stands from his barstool and opens his mouth, but Peyton stops him. "It's not fair that I come off as the crazy ex and get blamed for everything that happened. Haley would barely talk to me after Lindsey left you; she didn't call me until I was already gone for a month –"

Lucas shakes his head, "She shouldn't have –"

"No Lucas, it's just . . ." she runs her hands over her tired face and then through her now wavy hair. "I guess I thought – actually I don't know what I thought", she mumbles.

"It was because of a book", he rushes out once she turns to leave. She looks at him quickly and raises one brow. "Lindsey left because of a new novel I wrote and Haley called you because I made her read that same one."

"Lucas", her voice is pleading with him to stop. "I just can't, okay?" she whispers and then walks away.

She's doing her best to not break down and cry; mostly because she can feel Lucas behind her. She's speed walking out of the club and in her haste she runs into a firm body. She lets out a noise and feels herself start to fall to the ground, but a pair of arms doesn't let her.

And they feel strangely familiar.

"God, I'm sorry", Peyton starts to apologize. She bends down to grab her purse and then she looks up at the stranger who saved her from embarrassment. She can feel her heart stop.

"Julian", she whispers. The grin he sends her is still as charming as ever and he feels her stomach do the slightest flip. It's no Scott smirk, but it's pretty damn close.

"Peyton!" Lucas calls out as he catches up to her. He stops in his tracks when he sees the man she's with. "Julian?"

"You know him?" she asks Lucas with wide eyes. The blonde sticks his hands in his pockets and nods his head gently.

"Sort of. He's interested in turning Ravens into a movie", Peyton's mouth drops and without thinking, she throws her arms over Lucas' shoulders. He's thrown off guard for all of a second before wrapping his arms around her waist.

"Congratulations", she whispers. He smiles and laughs and when his hot breath tickles her ear she pulls away. "Wow", she says in awe.

"Yeah", his smile is like one that she remembers from so many years ago and it makes her heart melt a little; she hates that it does. He looks at Julian who's looking at Peyton and he furrows his brows.

"Do you know him?" Lucas asks. Peyton looks back and slowly nods her head. She takes a deep breath and considers lying to him, but she figures it doesn't matter at this point. And although it's a terrible thought, she might want to see him squirm.

"He's my ex", she says softly. Lucas raises his brows in shock and with her next words he chokes, "My ex-fiancé."

He can feel his stomach drop and his hands form fists. Without much of a second thought he lunges forward and punches Julian in the face. Peyton gasps and rushes to Julian's side; she sends Lucas a glare.

Tree Hill is never boring.

I'm a satellite heart, lost in the dark
I'm spun out so far, you stop, I start
But I'll be true to you

Peyton flips her hair over her shoulders one time before opening the door to the Scott's house. It's the first time she's actually spending time with Haley since her apology and their heart to heart a couple of months ago. Time has been flying by in Tree Hill.

Today is Jamie's fifth birthday.

She walks in the door with a smile on her face and a wrapped present in her hand. Within a matter of seconds she's attacked by a small boy in a red polo and khaki shorts. He grabs onto her legs and presses his face up against her knee (she's in heels).

"Peyton!" he yells. The blonde laughs and crouches down to his level. "What's that?" he asks as he eyes the present (knowing full well what it is).

Peyton smirks and hands him the neatly wrapped item. "This is a present for you since it's your birthday! Happy birthday, Baby James!" she says in excitement and then peppers his face in playfully kisses.

He laughs an adorable five year old laugh and wipes his face dramatically. "I'll put this on the table, but it'll be the first I open!" he promises. Peyton winks at him and then stands. A group of kicks run by yelling and laughing and all she can think is that she's missed this.

Regardless of the drama and heartache and bitterness; she's missed her friends – her family. And she doesn't ever want to miss them again. She turns to her left and meets a nervous looking Haley.

"Hi", the young mother says softly. Peyton smiles and then they both do the awkward should we hug or shouldn't we dance, until Peyton laughs loudly and pulls her into a hug. "I've missed you, girly", Haley whispers.

"I've missed you, foxy", Peyton says with a smile as they break apart. "How have you been?" Haley shrugs her shoulders and rolls her eyes.

"Dealing . . . Jamie still has some nightmares", she whispers. Peyton frowns and throws her arm over her friends shoulder. She knows all about the Nanny Carrie incident and she feels bad that she wasn't there.

"I know how that feels", she mumbles. Haley smiles softly and bumps their shoulders together. "Brooke's not here yet?" she asks as she looks around from their spot in the kitchen.

The brunette shakes her head. "I assumed she'd come with you", Haley says naturally.

"Yeah", Peyton breathes out. "I stopped by the studio before coming here. She and Julian had some things they needed to talk about", she says with a face that makes Haley chuckle.

"Isn't that weird? I mean you guys dated", Haley says with a scrunched nose. Peyton raises her brows.

"I dated Nathan", she's quick to point out. Haley shrugs and makes a face – clearly not thinking it's the same thing.

"What are they talking about?"

"The papers finally went through. Brooke's getting a baby", the blonde says with a grin. Haley squeals and they both jump up and down. "I know; she's like so incredibly excited. Now she just needs to make sure Julian doesn't freak out too much", she mumbles.

"Peyton, come play Rock Band!" Jamie doesn't wait for an answer as he runs over and grabs her hand. Peyton smiles at Haley and laughs at Jamie as she reaches forward and lifts him into the air.

Lucas walks into the house a little later then he would have liked. He had to stop by the post office and pick up mom and Lily's gift for Jamie and there was a longer line there then he suspected.

"Hey, you're finally here!" his best friend says as she walks over to hug him. Lucas rolls his eyes at her not so subtle way of calling him out. "I was beginning to think you wouldn't show", she teases more.

"Please", Lucas scoffs. "Why wouldn't I come?" as if on cue a loud laugh fills his ears and he turns his head. Peyton's playing a video game with Nathan and Jamie and she looks happy.

They haven't had much contact since she came back into town a few months ago. He never would have guessed that in a town as small as Tree Hill it would be so easy to avoid him. But she's got things going on with the label and TRIC and he's been going between LA and New York and coming back home.

When they do happen to be at the same party or one of their friends houses she busies herself in the kitchen or by running around and checking microphone's and CDs. It's really all work that doesn't need to be done at that moment and they all know it, but they know better than to question it.

Truth is, he misses her.

All he does is miss her and seeing her now is even harder than when she lived in LA for all those years. Her jeans are perfect; her boots are perfect, even the plaid shirt she's wearing is perfect. Everything about her is perfect and even though it took him a while he's willing to admit that now.

"Hales, it doesn't matter that she's here", he mumbles while failing miserably at acting like he wasn't just checking her out. "We've gone to a lot of the same things since she's been home."

"I know", his best friend promises. "I just can imagine that it's hard", she says softly. Lucas looks at her and smiles while shrugging.

He decided to tell Haley the truth after Julian first came into town. While she understood why he was so upset, she still didn't really get it. So, Lucas took a deep breath and told her about how he went to visit Peyton that weekend after the State Championship and how he proposed and how she obviously didn't accept.

"Yeah, well it's not like I haven't pined for her from afar before, right?" Haley shakes her head and laughs while wrapping her arm around his waist.

"I suppose you're right", she agrees. They walk over to the table where all the other presents are and Lucas puts down the two he carried in to the house. He hears Peyton's laugh and he turns his head to look at her. That smile still gives him the butterflies.

It's gonna be a long day.

I hear you're living out of state, running in a whole new scene
They say I haven't slept in weeks, you're the only thing I see

She starts traveling a lot. She goes all around the state and the surrounding southern states in search of the next unknown, the diamond in the rough. Basically she's never around and while most of her friends can deal with that, one in particular can't.

Surprise, surprise, it's Lucas.

He just wishes he knew what she was doing at any given time. That probably sounds crazy and overbearing, but he doesn't mean it to be. He just knows how much she loves what she does and he wants to be a part of it. But that's not exactly an option.

They're barely friends, but he's always got hope for something more. They started talking again at Jamie's birthday party a few months ago and they were talking pretty solidly up until she left. He knows she talks to Brooke and Nathan every day and she e-mails Haley all the time (she's taken over since Peyton's departure), she's even talked to Julian since she's left. Lucas is lucky if he gets a quick text.

"Hello! Brooke!" he calls out as he walks into her large house. The brunette flies around the corner with her finger to her lips and a stuffed animal in her hands. Lucas smirks, but doesn't dare to laugh because she'll throw that purple monkey at him.

"Shut up", she hisses softly. "I just got Angie to sleep and if she wakes up I swear to God . . ."

He holds his hands up in a surrendering manner and nods in the direction of the kitchen. She follows him and takes a seat at the kitchen table while Lucas moves around the room. She's glad that it was understood that he was going to make her coffee.

"So what brings you by?" she asks as she rests her head in her hands and closes her eyes. Lucas takes some mugs down from the cabinet and grabs the milk and sugar from their given places. He turns to look at her and smiles when he notices her closed eyes and tired face.

Ever since the brakes were put on the movie he's had a lot more free time. This means he's been spending a lot more time with his friends and his godson. He also has more time to sulk and pout and think about Peyton.

"I just came to see my old friend", he says simply – as if it's that simple. "Can't I do that?"

"You could", she agrees. She opens her eyes and stares at him pensively. "But you're not", he scoffs and puts the mug of steaming liquid on the table as he sits across from her. She adds sugar and a little milk and takes a sip before kinking her brow and staring at him.

"When's the last time you heard from Peyton?" he asks sheepishly. Brooke laughs softly, but when Lucas glares at her she coughs and tried to stifle her giggles.

"What was Nathan too busy to give you a summary?" she teases. Lucas grumbles something that she can't hear and Brooke rolls her eyes before leaning a little closer. "Lucas . . ."

"Is it so wrong for me to want to know about her?" he asks with a lost expression. "We're friends . . . kind of. I think we are", he mumbles.

Brooke smiles softly. It's obvious that Lucas is dealing with the conflicting emotions that come along with his relationship – active or not – with Peyton. She's watched her blonde haired friend do it for years.

The was that even though they were telling Lucas about all the amazing things Peyton was seeing and all the great people she was meeting, she still had an ache in her heart. One that couldn't be filled with music, or work, or friends. It all depended on Lucas, but Brooke and Nathan had decided that they were going to protect her for as long as she was gone.

Their job was going to be over soon though; Peyton was set to come home sometime today.

"She's good, Lucas. She's met a lot of great people and she's happy", the brunette says softly. Lucas swallows some of his coffee and looks down at the table. "Have you ever thought of telling her how you feel?"

He laughs without any humor and shakes his head. "Because that would turn out well?"

Brooke smiles and shrugs her shoulders. "Maybe it could", she offers.

"I just don't get how she could accept Julian's proposal, but not mine", he whispers. It's not the first time he and Brooke have spoken about this. He was curious as to how she was feeling concerning the whole thing and the fact that she was slowly falling in love with the curly blondes ex.

"Peyton was trying to get over you and Julian was falling in love and before she knew it, he was down on his knee and asking her to marry him. She didn't want to lose another person in her life."

"I've really screwed up, huh?" he asks and even though it's a rhetorical question, Brooke answers.

"I think we've screwed up along the way", her voice is soft and comforting and Lucas smiles gratefully. "It's just about how you make them right that counts."

"You know, you're kind of insightful Brooke Davis", he teases. The brunette makes a playful face and shrugs her shoulders. "How's Julian?"

Since that fateful night that he – without much thought – punched Julian in the face, they've actually become friends. It was kind of apparent that the movie producer came into town with every intention of getting Peyton back, but she wanted nothing to do with it. And even if she did, Brooke wouldn't have let it happen.

She was the definitive road block between Julian, Peyton, and a relationship. Somewhere along the way (in true Tree Hill fashion) they started falling for each other. Now he lives in this house with Brooke and baby Angie and the whole group of friends knew it meant something when he didn't run for the hills when she told him about the adopted baby.

She grins widely. "Like, this close to proposing", she rasps as she indicates the length with her index finger and thumb. Lucas makes a face of surprise and his former girlfriend blushes. "It's just a hunch."

"Well you deserve it", he says softly. She quirks her brow and bites her bottom lip.

"You think so? It's not too soon to be thinking that?"

He smiles at her nervous tendencies and shakes his head. "Brooke, nobody deserves this more then you and if you think its right then who is anyone to tell you it's not?"

Brooke smiles softly and stands. Lucas watches as she walks over to him and wraps her arms around his shoulders. He rests his hand on her forearm and rests his head against her shoulder.

"Maybe you should listen to your own advice sometime", she whispers. Lucas nods in agreement.

He thinks he'll call Peyton . . . tomorrow.

I'm a satellite heart, lost in the dark
I'm spun out so far, you stop, I start
But I'll be true to you

Lucas furrows his brows when there's a knock on his front door. It's not really late by any means, but it's kind of late for his friends to be knocking on his door, unless it's an emergency, which has him walking to the door much faster.

He doesn't expect to see Peyton on the other side.

"Hi", she whispers softly. He smiles, but it's mixed with surprise and confusion and utter happiness.

"Hey", he leans against his door and Peyton adjusts the strap of the overnight bag that's on her shoulder. Lucas shakes his head. "Come in", he says and steps to the side.

"Thanks. Sorry to just barge in on you like this . . ." she says softly as she walks into his living room. The house looks different from how she remembers it. It's actually hard to tell that a bachelor even lives here. But Lucas always did break the mold.

"No, its – its fine", he assures her. He follows her into the kitchen – his kitchen – and can't help but notice how perfect she looks in this home. With her jeans and heels and overnight bag, it's like she's coming home from a weekend away.

"I didn't think I'd get back so late and I know it's not even really late, but I wanted to tell someone about my trip", Lucas smiles and feels excited that he's the person she wanted to talk to, until she says. "And Brooke's sleeping or not because Julian's car was in the driveway. I saw your light on and figured I'd see if you were up", she says simply.

"Well it's a good thing I've developed insomnia", he mumbles with a smirk. Peyton furrows her brows, but Lucas shakes his head and waves her off. "Tell me about everything."

He puts on a pot of coffee and takes out a plate of cookies that Haley made and a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Peyton's eyes widen and it's like she doesn't have the spoon in her hand fast enough (it's her favorite kind). He smiles as he watches her dig into the carton and then as a satisfied smirk graces her perfect lips.

"Good?" he teases. She nods her head and makes a noise of approval. "Well, when you come up for air, I wanna hear about everything."

And she does tell him about everything. She talks about all the dive bars and the small cities. The people that she's met and the signed contracts that she handwrote on spot. He listens as she talks and he watches the small smile that she wears at times and he loves her. Plain and simple and just like that. It's not a new revelation, but he wants to tell her.

"How's everyone here been?" she asks a little while after she's finished talking. She takes a minute to look at Lucas as he sips his coffee and she thinks that she's missed him. It's also weird that they're so comfortable with each other, maybe not weird, but it shouldn't be so easy to fall into this routine. Should it?

Without hesitating or taking a breath to prepare himself, he says; "I've missed you."

Peyton meets his eyes in a moment of shock, but she quickly looks down at the old wooden table. She thinks she heard him correctly, but now she's second guessing herself and she doesn't want to say something that's going to make her look stupid so she chooses to stay neutral.

Her reply is a mumbled, "I've missed everyone too –"

Lucas shakes his head vehemently. "I didn't say we've all missed you, I said I've missed you. And I have Peyton", he whispers. "And I don't just mean since you've been traveling, I mean for . . . years", he breathes out that revelation.

"Lucas you can't –"

"I know that I have no right to, but I do – I have", he swallows hard and rubs the back of his neck. Even if this blows up in his face, at least he tried.

Peyton studies him as he leans against the countertop. It's obvious that he's nervous and rightfully so. He shouldn't be allowed to say those things to her and they shouldn't make her heart flutter the way they do.

But he's being sincere and flat out honest. And maybe they've had enough time; they can start over and write a new story for themselves. And she supposes she should be honest since he is too.

"You know how I said I came here because Brooke was with Julian . . . I kind of lied. I didn't even stop there, I came straight here. There isn't really anyone else I wanted to share those stories with", he can hear the raw vulnerability in her voice and he closes his eyes.

His heart flutters wildly in his chest and he takes a small step forward. Peyton motions for him to sit across from her and he does so quickly. "So what does this mean?"

She reaches over and rests her hand atop his. He smiles and flips his hand over so that they're palms are touching. He takes it as a good sign that she doesn't immediately pull away.

"We've got a lot of things we need to work through", she whispers. "A lot of things have been said and done and hearts have been broken", he nods in agreement.

"I know that and trust me when I say that I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be –"

"My friend again", Peyton cuts him off. Lucas face falls for a second, but he recovers like a champion. As long as he gets to spend time with Peyton it doesn't matter.

"Friends", he repeats. "That's something I'd like. Just so you know, I've driven Nathan and Brooke crazy for updates about how you were doing", he smirks and she smirks and he knows that can't be good.

"I know, they both begged me to call you myself, but it would have been too weird. My dreams were coming true and to talk to you . . . it would have been too difficult for historical reasons", she mumbles sadly.

When she puts it like that, he's almost glad she never called him. Almost. He nods his head and she takes a large breath. This feels like kind of a big deal or like a moment in time that they'll both remember as extremely important.

"So, what have I missed?" she asks with a bright smile.

Lucas chuckles and takes a deep breath before starting. He tells her all about baby Angie and how Nathan and Haley are trying for a second baby. He grumbles about the failed movie, but the bright side about still getting paid for his screenplay because Dixon turned out to be a little bit of a genius. Jamie's missed her a lot and he has all her postcards tacked to his wall. Peyton laughs and smiles and makes a wistful face at all the stories he tells her.

And their hands don't lose contact once.

I'm a satellite heart, lost in the dark
I'm spun out so far, you stop, I start
But I'll be true to you no matter what you do, yeah I'll be true to you

Let me know what you think!