A/N – So I'm here with a new Brulian story. And it's AU!

(ohh – and the title of the story comes from a song by The Fray – just sayin', I don't own it!)

Let me know what you think :)

We Build Then We Break

Chapter 1 –

She can't believe she is back here; back in the small, old town of Tree Hill.

The calm serenity of the quaint town is quite a contrast to what her current life consists of, and just standing on the deserted street of her childhood home leaves her mind at peace.

It's a true breath of fresh air, one she is very grateful to accept.

However, she can't seem to brush away a strange feeling she has. As a kid, growing up, Brooke Davis ruled this place…She was the queen. Yet now, as she stands, basking in the warm southern heat, she can't help but feel discomfort. This isn't her town anymore. It hasn't been for five long years.

Everything has changed. She's no longer that naïve, free spirited eighteen year old girl that once lived here. The crazy, noisy chaos of New York City changed all that for her. That was her life now.

Thinking back, she realizes that perhaps she had jumped too quickly into leaving Tree Hill for New York. It was impulsive, but at the time so liberating. But often times now, she's left wondering what if she had stayed. What if, instead of running scared, she reached out for help from the amazing people she ended up leaving behind?

Would she be happier?

She most definitely isn't happy now.

Sure, she gained several positive assets by moving her life over to the city…but not everything is great now…There's something about Tree Hill that she's hung on to...The memories, the people…

She steps onto the very same porch where she feels her childhood began. A surge of nostalgia rushes within her and memories flood her mind. She knows this is the right thing. Just by standing here she is able to recall a simpler place in time, when things weren't as complicated as they are now back in New York.

She can't go back to those times.

"Were you gonna stand outside here forever without ringing the bell?"

Suddenly she is jerked out of her thoughts, and when she looks up and spots her blonde, curly haired best friend, she can't help but smile.

"Peyton." She replies, embracing her long time best friend in a giant hug. "Oh, it's so good to see you."

"You too, B. Davis." They break apart from the hug. "Now come on inside."

But Peyton doesn't even have to tell her. Because Peyton still lives in her childhood home, a home that Brooke practically grew up in herself. She still knows the way around, even after all these years.

"You have got to tell me everything." Peyton says.

"First you." Brooke insists. "I mean, you're engaged!" She exclaims, almost like it's some obscene thing. "You're getting married in two weeks!"

"To Julian Baker, none the less." The blonde gushes. "I just hope it isn't weird…after everything and all…"

Brooke shakes her head and waves her hand. "Please. You're my best friend, P. Sawyer. And Julian and I…what we had…was such a long time ago…it's buried in the past."

Peyton tries not to show her hesitancy. What Brooke and Julian had once had was surely something…but things had changed. They really had, so she has nothing to worry about.

"I know." Peyton decides to reply. "Besides, you live in New York freaking City! I'm sure you've had your share of hot guys." She smirks.

Brooke nervously laughs at this. "I guess you could say that."

"Oh my god. Spill, B. Davis!"

But Brooke simply shakes her head. "This isn't about me, Peyton. I'm here for you…and Julian." She quickly diverts the attention off of herself. "And speaking of which, where is he anyway?"

"Oh, just at the production office wrapping up his latest movie."

Brooke smiles. She's so proud of him. For going out and fighting for his dream; For going above and beyond his expectations; For achieving.

She's thankful one of them was able to do all of those things.

"It's so beautiful out here…" She's resting against his chest as they sit on the beach one summer night. The sun has set and it's just the two of them and the waves crashing along the sand. "I could stay like this forever."

"Me too, baby." He drops a kiss on her head."Just you and me, like this, forever."

And she can't help but agree. It sounds perfect.

"Brooke?" And just like that, she's back to reality.

Ready to face the fact that Julian Baker is no longer hers. He's Peyton's. She gave up that life. She gave up him…and she's not too sure that she's ever going to be able to accept that fact.

"I'm so glad you decided to come, Brooke. I mean, Julian told me you probably wouldn't, but I sent the invitation anyway. I couldn't get married without my best friend beside me…We've been talking about this since we were eight years old! And I'm so happy you came a couple weeks early to help me out."

"I wouldn't miss this for anything, Peyton." She answers.

Peyton smiles. "I missed you."

Five years certainly had been too long.

She sees Peyton look at her, and she hopes she doesn't notice anything different. The dullness of her otherwise sparkling eyes, the dark bags beneath them…She looks a mess, and she knows it.

"So how was the flight?" And Brooke discretely lets out a sigh of relief…disaster avoided.

Just as she's about to reply, the front door opens, and it feels as though time has stopped.

There he is, in the flesh. Still with that same adorable grin.

"Julian…" It comes out as nearly a whisper.

He only smiles wider.

It's been too long.

"Welcome back, Brooke Davis."

And she can't believe how good those words sound.

Julian seems the same. He's still that caring, sensitive, smart and handsome guy she fell for back in her high school days. Except now he's getting married.

She watches across the dining room table as he talks about all these film technicalities over dinner. It's always been his dream to become a movie producer…in fact, Brooke was the first person he ever revealed that news to. Once upon a time, they told each other everything.

A few hours ago, after they had become reacquainted, he had asked if anything new had been going on her life. She almost wanted to laugh and cry at the sardonic question. She couldn't tell Peyton…and she certainly couldn't tell him what her life had succumbed to.

So she simply shook her head…As usual.

It seems like everyone is moving up in life. Peyton owns a record label. Julian makes movies.

Everyone's dreams are coming true.

Everyone's but Brooke's.

She just hopes that this trip will do some good.

Maybe, just maybe, she'll be able to find herself again…

A/N – So Brooke is definitely hiding some stuff…but I didn't want to reveal any of that in the first chapter obviously ;p , The stuff will be revealed over time!

Leave a review to let me know you're interested in the story please! Thanksss! =D