HJS-NS-23 Authors Note- Okay I'm back with a new song fic. I know it's been awhile, but I'm back to writing now that I graduated college. This is based on the song What Do You Say? By Reba McEntire. This idea came to me at like 3:30 this morning and begged to be written. I hope you all enjoy. Thank you to Hayley who read through this quick and told me that it wasn't garbage. I didn't really edit it this so any mistakes I'm sorry. Please review and let me know what you think. Also I highly recommend listening to the song as you read this.

Disclaimer: I do not own OTH unfortunately or the song What do you say?


Lucas had taken his 6 year old son Keith to an away game in Charlotte and somewhere along the way they had gotten lost on their way back to Tree Hill. Lucas looked over at his son at they sat at the red light, smiling as Keith stared out the window.

"Hey Daddy what are all those X's for?" Keith asked innocently pointing to a brick building.

Stuck at a red light outside an adult bookstore

His son said Daddy what are all those X's for

Lucas noticed the light was now green and sent a silent prayer to heaven he wouldn't have to explain to his son what an adult bookstore was just yet.

"Are you excited for you little league basketball game?" Lucas asked changing the subject as they drove past knowing he didn't have the words to explain why people needed X rated books and movies.

As the light turned green he changed the subject fast

Started talking about football as they drove right past

Yes he was a famous writer but sometimes he just didn't have the words to tell his son about the real world, he wanted to protect him. He knew he would have to tell his son eventually, but Lucas just wanted him to have a normal childhood at least as normal as could be living in Tree Hill with his grandfather's story still fresh in the minds of others.

He remembered Keith doing the same for him when he was younger and asked why Dan didn't want him. Why he wasn't good enough and Keith telling him that Dan just wasn't ready to be a dad and that as his uncle it was up to Keith to help raise Lucas like his own and that he loved Lucas like he was his own. It was then when Lucas was 8 he vowed to be like Keith.

Lucas laughed as his own son told him he was going to ask for the number 3 to be just like his dad. Lucas felt a spurt of pride in his heart as he realized he and his wife must be doing something right in raising their son.

They finally arrived back on the main road and listening to the radio the boys talked about Keith's uncle Skills coaching and how Jamie was going to be home from college soon. "Is Jamie going to be able to play with me daddy?" Keith asked his cousin being one his hero's, after all he was one of the starting players for basketball at Duke, while still maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

"I will check with your Uncle Nathan when we get home to see if when Jamie gets back they want to shoot hoops with us at the river court okay?" Lucas asked as Keith shook his head. The rest of the drive in a peaceful silence.

---

As soon as Lucas and Keith got home and in the door their 17 year old daughter Sawyer ran down the stairs and towards the living room where he knew his wife Peyton must be sketching away. She still had Red Bedroom Records but she had hired more help to spend time with her family.

"Hey mom can I go out with Jessica and Alison please?" Sawyer begged her blue eyes she inherited from her father shining with hopefulness. Peyton looked at her husband before slowly nodding her head.

"Okay but if you get in any trouble just call okay" Peyton said getting up and tucking a lose curl behind her daughters ear as she surveyed what Sawyer was wearing a light blue halter top with a pair of blue jeans her mom's old leather jacket hanging on her arm before following the blonde to the front door and looking out the window to see her jumping in Jessica's car.

Lucas came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her stomach and she leaned into his embrace. She still couldn't believe her little Sawyer was almost all grown up. She was happy, something both parent's were worried about since Brooke had always teased them they would have broody kids with two such broody parent's.

Brooke had been a major icon in Sawyers life the brunette insisting she would be supplying the clothes for her mini Brooke, which meant her style had rubbed off on the little blonde. Peyton knew about the party at Matt's and hoped that if Sawyer went she would be more responsible then she was in high school.

So what do you say in a moment like this

When you can't find the words to tell it like it is

Just bite your tongue and let your heart lead the way

Let's get out of here

Oh what do you say

"You wanna go watch a movie?" Lucas asked his head resting atop of his wife's.

"Sure" Peyton agreed moving out of the embrace and walking to the living room before waiting for Lucas to sit on the couch so she could curl into him as he started the movie, a black and white classic Casablanca.

---

Sawyer walked through the party laughing at something Jake said as Jessica handed her a cup of beer. It was her fourth, but she didn't care since she wasn't driving home she wouldn't be the DD, plus her parents told her it was okay if she drank knowing that when they were in high school they used to as long as she was smart about it.

Seventeen years old

She was out with her friends

They started drinking at some party

Till she was three sheets to the wind

She smiled at Jake as he excused himself. He was a few years older home from college for the weekend and Sawyer had had a crush on the boy since she was a freshman in high school and he was a junior. She told her friend Angela she would be back in a minute and she followed to where she had seen Jake go her heart breaking in her chest as she saw him kissing another girl, not just any girl but one of her best friends Laura.

Turning on her heels she marched back in the kitchen and grabbed another cup of beer not caring about anything. Laura had known that tonight Sawyer was going to tell Jake she liked him. She couldn't believe it. Reaching for her cell phone Sawyer called one of the only women who had really been there for her all her life.

Her momma always told her she could call no matter what

"Hey can I talk to mom?" Sawyer asked when she heard her father's voice trying to hold back the tears knowing it was late but her mom had told her she could call no matter what time it was.

"Sure is everything okay?" Lucas asked concerned as he looked at Peyton who was sitting up now after noticing her husbands worried face.

"Dad I just wanna talk to mom please," Sawyer begged as Lucas handed Peyton the phone and mouthed Sawyer.

"Hey baby what's wrong?" Peyton asked worriedly.

"Mom can you please come pick me up?" Sawyer asked needing her mother to just get away from this party and her so called friends.

"Where are you?" Peyton asked standing up from the couch and making her way to the hallway where her purse was sitting on the table.

"At Matt's parents beach house" Sawyer told her nervously.

"Okay I will be there in a few minutes I'll meet you outside okay?" Peyton asked.

"Okay bye mom," Sawyer said hanging up her cell phone and slipping it back in her pocket.

---

"Is everything okay?" Lucas asked coming up behind his wife.

"I'm going to go get her. She was upset about something and I have a mother's instinct it was about a boy." Peyton told him as she looked for a sweatshirt.

"Do you want me to go with you?" Lucas asked his protectiveness coming out as Peyton smiled at him and laid her hand on his cheek.

"This is something I need to do alone while I still can" She told him giving him a chaste kiss before walking out the door and into her beloved comet.

As soon as she pulled up she saw Sawyer sitting on the front steps crying, her arms hugging her knees to her chest as she waited for her mom. Peyton's heart breaking at seeing her daughter in so much pain.

She was crying on the front steps

When her mom showed up

Getting out of the car Peyton sat down next to the curly blonde and wrapped an arm around her holding her as her daughter cried knowing that Sawyer would tell her what happened in her own time.

"Can we just go?" Sawyer asked pleading with her mom not to ask what happened.

"Yeah come on" Peyton said standing up and wrapping her arm around her daughter as she led her to the car.

So what do you say in a moment like this

When you can't find the words to tell it like it is

Just bite your tongue and let your heart lead the way

Let's get out of here

Oh what do you say

As soon as they got home Sawyer made her way to her room needing a little bit of time to gather her thoughts about everything, squeezing the purple monkey her Aunt Brooke had given her as she cried about the mess her life was.

Peyton found her husband in their bedroom typing away on his laptop when she came him. He gave her a smile.

"Is she going to be okay?" He asked saving his work and closing the laptop before putting it on the night stand.

"Yeah she'll be okay, I think she just got her first heartbreak," Peyton answered honestly as she moved to her vanity and pulled off the curly blonde wig, her own heart breaking as she fingers the little wisp of hairs attached to her head that are only left of her blonde girls she used to have. The tears coming to her eyes as she thinks about how much life she really has to live still.

Lucas stands behind her his hands on her shoulders as she catches his eyes in the mirror, his fear reflecting hers as she turns around and hugs him.

"It will be okay," He tells her holding onto her tightly as she buries her head in his chest and cries.

Sometimes you gotta listen to the silence

And give yourself a little time to think

---

It had been a month since the disastrous party and Sawyer had opened up to her about what happened. Peyton laid in a hospital bed her breathing shallow as she tries to continue to fight for her family. Lucas sitting by her bed holding her hand as she sleeps smiling as he hears her telling him she loves him, she's in love with him, remembering the night she stood in her room in the green dress telling him and his reaction being 'oh', his heart aching when he realizes he will never love anyone the way he loves Peyton.

Her every breath is weaker than the last

And lately when she sleeps she talks about the past

Sawyer sits on the other side of her mom with Keith in her lap as they watch their mom sleep, tears in both kids eyes.

Peyton's eyes flutter open and Lucas gives her a smile before kissing her lips as the kids say hi to there mom.

Looking at Peyton's eyes he tells the kids to go get Aunt Brooke, Uncle Julian, Aunt Haley and Uncle Nathan knowing she's tired of fighting.

He can see the defeat in his wife's green eyes, her illness taking their toll on her worn body. Peyton looks at him. "I wanna go home" She whispers honestly as the tears prick his eyes. He gives her a sad smile knowing she's never liked hospital, but knowing there's nothing he can do.

Her husband knows she's tired of holding on

She looks at him and says I wanna go home

"I know baby" He tells her lovingly as he rubs his thumb over her cheek, "but you gotta keep fighting cause I can't do this without you." He tells her honestly as she nods her head.

Brooke, Julian, Haley and Nathan walk in with Sawyer and Keith interrupting the couple.

"Hey P. Scott" Brooke rasps out coming to sit on the other side of her friend as the rest of Peyton's world surrounds her.

"Can I talk to Brooke and Haley alone for a minute" Peyton asks softly looking at Lucas.

"Okay but I will be right outside" Lucas tells her reluctantly not wanting to leave her side.

The men and children walk into the hallway Lucas leaning against the wall as Sawyer wraps an arm around her brother.

"I need you to do me a favor" Peyton tells the two girls in the room both knowing they aren't going to like what she's going to say next.

"What?" Haley asks looking down at the frail blonde.

"Brooke I need you to help Sawyer with boys, that's your area of expertise and I just...I need to know that if she has a bad breakup you will be there for her and Hales I need you to take over the record company and help Sawyer learn the ropes so after college if she wants to she can become your partner. I need you two to take care of Lucas...He's going to need all the help he can raising Keith and Sawyer and I know you two with Julian and Nathan are the best parent's I know. I need you two to make sure that Keith doesn't grow up bitter with the world because he lost his mom at such a young age. Please" Peyton begs as the tears fall down her face.

"P. Scott your going to fight this and win" Brooke said wiping away one of her own tears.

"Peyton your gonna be okay" Haley tells her needing to believe that she isn't going to lose one of her best friends.

"Please" Peyton begs.

"Okay" Haley concedes seeing how weak the blonde really has become.

"No..." Brooke says shaking her head. "Your going to fight this P. Scott...you can't just give up" Brooke tells her.

"If I can't please Brooke" Peyton asks again.

Before Brooke can deny anything Lucas walks in not caring that none of the girls came to get him just needing to be close to his wife.

"Hi baby" Lucas says bending down and kissing her chastely, Keith, Sawyer, Nathan and Julian walking in to see all three girls crying.

Julian stands next to Brooke holding her hand as Nathan stands behind Haley his arms wrapped around her stomach as Lucas holds Peyton's hand.

"I love you all" Peyton says closing her eyes she takes one last shuddering breath as the heart monitor flat lines.

What do you say in a moment like this

When you can't find the words to tell it like it is

Just close your eyes and let your heart lead the way

Oh what do you say

Lucas takes her hand that's still in his and brings it to his lips crying because now after everything that had gone on between them he couldn't save her this time.

Haley and Brooke cried as the beeping in the room continued each knowing that now she was out of pain and she would be with her mothers watching over everyone.

"I love you mom" Sawyer whispers standing next to her father her tears falling as she pulls her little brother to her side.

Lucas stands up and kisses Peyton's forehead before putting an arm around each of his children and holding them as they cried.

Brooke's throat catching as she watches Lucas holding his kids her hand reaching out for Haley's as Haley grabs it the tears falling down her face as she tries to hold them in without luck, neither girl knowing how Lucas is going to deal without Peyton in his life.

Lucas closes his eyes as his heart breaks knowing he is at least lucky enough to have Peyton in his children if he can't have her on earth anymore.

Just close your eyes and let your heart lead the way

Oh what do you say

Ooo, what do you say