AUTHOR'S NOTES:

Thank you guys for all of the feedback!

This chapter is also for my darling Danielle to make up for her terribly rotten, no good, very bad day yesterday, and cause I love her—love you, honey!

WARNINGS: Language, Slash, Sensuality, Future f/f

ENJOY!

xxxx

Alice was feeling pretty bad about hanging out with Lucas behind everyone's backs, but she was doing just that. She was trying to escape the drama all around her: Brooke upset she hadn't stayed with Beth that night they gave in to the idea of liking each other, Haley crushing on Peyton harder and harder but not "allowed" to do anything about it, Brooke reaching out to Samantha per Haley's plead—it was all too much for Alice. She liked being in charge of situations, and with Lucas, it was pretty obvious that she owned him.

Lucas wasn't even sure why he was so infatuated with Alice because she'd never been nice to him. She had had it out against him for so long that he couldn't even imagine why he wanted to be her friend, but he knew that she was just protective—he knew that someone beneath all of that venom was a heart. So he had tried to push all of the thoughts away and just looked at her, Alice raising her eyebrows at him because she didn't really like being stared at.

"Are you a vulture?" Alice asked him.

Lucas smirked a little. "Maybe—you must be a dead thing if I'm hanging around here."

"Was that intended to sting, because I'm actually quite flattered." Alice told him with a little smile, sipping her drink. "We're going to play pool."

"Seriously?" Lucas asked, shaking his head and then standing up. "I take it I have absolutely no choice in the matter?"

Alice smiled and shook her head. "Absolutely none."

Lucas chuckled and then just nodded, going over to the pool table with Alice as Peyton barged into the back room of the store. Brooke looked up at her and smiled a little, but it faded when she saw the face that Peyton was sporting and she stood up, crossing over to her. Peyton meant business—that much was obvious—but she also looked like she was hurt and Brooke knew that it was time to be ready to pick up the pieces if she had to because Peyton was her best friend.

"What is wrong with you?" Peyton asked Brooke directly.

Brooke bit her lip. "A lot of things—want my list?"

"Don't try to be cute." Peyton said as she laughed a little, shaking her head. "The girl loves you and you're just brushing her off."

"I am not brushing Beth off." Brooke told Peyton, pointing a finger in her direction. "Beth and I are still working together and brainstorming, we're just…not in a relationship exactly."

Peyton sighed loudly. "Brooke I'm tired of you putting everyone else above yourself, all right? Just trust her and try it out and do this for you."

Brooke made a face and then ran her fingers through her hair exasperatedly, nodding slowly because she knew that Peyton was right. Beth had always been there for her and she had always made it a point to put Brooke's needs first, and yet she was willing to go after what she wanted…and she wanted Brooke. So since Brooke had the same feelings for Beth, why was it so hard for her to just give in and be with Beth? Honestly? Brooke wanted Beth.

"There's something else." Brooke told Peyton, completely changing the subject.

Peyton sighed loudly. "It's Lucas—he's spending a lot of time with Alice."

"Oh…well you don't have to worry about that." Brooke explained, sitting back down and looking at her sketches.

"No?" Peyton asked her, letting her purse slide off of her shoulder and then dropping it by the leg of the table, sitting down across from Brooke and giving her a look.

Brooke laughed a little. "Alice hates Lucas' guts. If looks could kill—he'd be dead. If murder was legal—he'd be dead. Just…you do not need to get jealous P Sawyer—I promise you this."

"Fine…if you say so." Peyton said, and then she looked up as Haley knocked and she beamed at her.

Brooke knew that look and she smiled a bit, nodding and going back to her sketch as Haley asked Peyton out to coffee. It was just as friends, but Brooke knew that Haley wished that she could be doing this as more of date. Ever since Brooke had confided in her about everything happening with Beth, Haley had been a little more able to admit to herself that she had a thing for Peyton—she just wasn't ready to admit it out loud and knew she probably never would be.

"Have fun, guys." Brooke told them and they nodded and headed off.

xxxx

Normally Beth enjoyed catching up with her father over the phone, but the last conversation had been pretty bad. She had come clean to him about being in love with Brooke and the conversation had taken a turn for the worst and she was devastated, eating ice cream out of the corner and watching a movie when Alice walked in. Alice took one look at her sister and then sat down next to her and took the spoon out of her hand, eating it and then looking at Willy Wonka on the TV screen.

"So…what is going on?" Alice asked her sister as Beth made a noise. "You talk to Brooke yet?"

Beth shook her head. "No, I took the day off today…I kind of told Dad how I feel about Brooke and he freaked out. He wants me to find a nice guy, get married, have some kids…why doesn't he understand that I want Brooke? How hard is that for him to see past?"

"At least you don't find Lucas charming." Alice said with a sigh.

"Whoa! Duck and cover, the bombs are coming down!" Beth told her laughing a little and blotting her wet eyes. "I kind of feel like Hell just froze over."

Alice nodded and ate another spoonful of ice cream. "You and me both. I just, uh…he argued with me over pool. Lucas Scott argued with me."

Beth took a breath and took it all in, nodding slowly and then taking her spoon back and laughing, shaking her head. The thing about Alice was that she was used to having her way. Ever since she had asserted her independence, she had pretty much been in control of her own life because though their aunt got involved sometimes, mainly she let Alice do whatever as long as it wasn't putting her in mortal danger. Lucas arguing with Alice was apparently a turn on for Alice.

Alice had expected to be attracted—she thought that Lucas Scott was a pig—but he had argued with her and chuckled after saying his piece. He wasn't trying to be mean, he wasn't trying to be rude…he was trying to be her friend…he was flirting with her and he was engaged to Peyton. So the fact that he was the pig that Alice thought he was and she was attracted to him, made her stomach queasy and so she got up and went into the kitchen, grabbing a spoon of her own and going back to the couch to sit with her older sister groaning.

"What now?" Beth asked her taking spoonful.

Alice pointed at the TV. "This movie always makes me want chocolate bars and gobstoppers and jawbreakers."

"There's a Sweet Factory a couple blocks down if you wanna walk there with me—it's the DVD." Beth explained with a shrug.

"I like this plan." Alice said, nodding quickly.

Beth smiled and put the ice cream away, both of them grabbing their coats and heading to the door, Beth opening it as Brooke stood there, about to knock. She smiled a little and Alice smiled too and nodded, looking at Beth and then back at Brooke and deciding that she was going to have to go and get candy on her own. It was pretty obvious by the looks on their faces that they were going to talk, and that meant that Alice was going to have to watch the rest of the movie by herself.

"I'm going to go to the Sweet Factory and you guys do whatever." Alice told her, smiling at Brooke. "Hope you had a pleasant day."

Brooke smiled back at her. "You too, Alice—have fun."

"I always do." Alice replied with a nod, and headed past Brooke, out onto the sidewalk.

When Brooke looked back at Beth, Beth motioned her inside and took off her coat, Brooke taking hers off too. It was a sign that Brooke meant to stay awhile and Beth relaxed a bit, glad to see Brooke and enjoying the outfit she was wearing that day. Brooke had noted that Beth had been sad and she walked up to her, Beth smiling a little when Brooke reached up to stroke her cheek.

"What's wrong?" Brooke asked her.

Beth shrugged a little. "Nothing, I just…I told my Dad about my feelings for you and he's not too happy—you understand that though."

"Yeah…when I tell Victoria, she's not going to be too happy either, but then again it could make good publicity—there's nothing more Hoes over Bros than this." Brooke said with a small laugh, Beth joining in. "I came to apologize."

"I surmised as much." Beth told her, kissing her gently. "Talk to me?"

Brooke smiled a little. "Where to begin?"

"The beginning is the best place to start, I think." Beth whispered.

Brooke nodded slowly and then kissed her again, not wanting to talk about it, but definitely wanting to kiss Beth. Beth didn't mind because she knew that Brooke was trying and it was better than the last time they'd kissed and Brooke had run off because she was so afraid of commitment. So Beth just ran her fingers through Brooke's hair and kissed her softly, Brooke resting her forehead against Beth's.

"You're going to have to be patient with me, Beth." Brooke explained slowly.

Beth smiled and nodded, kissing her again. "I'll wait as long as it takes."

Note: There you go, some fluff! We're getting to close to yet another realm I'm not exactly versed in, so be kind and yet give me feedback when we get there so I know what to improve on. Feedback is always appreciated!