How to Save a Life
Chapter 42 –
"You alright, B. Davis?" Peyton throws a questioning glance towards the brunette whose face, in a matter of seconds, contorted from jolly to pain-ridden.
"Yeah…," she huffs. "Yeah, I'm fine. He's just kicking…a lot!" she says, returning to her smile while grabbing the sides of her stomach.
"Any day now," Peyton reminds her with a grin.
This statement sends a feeling of butterflies to Brooke's stomach. The fact that she and Lucas will have a baby in this house in a matter of days still seems surreal to her.
She looks over to her best friend, eyes glistening with happiness, as she rubs a hand over her bump. "Can I talk to you, Peyt?"
"You know you can," Peyton insists as they walk over to take seats on the couch. "What's up?"
Brooke grabs hold of her best friend's hands before starting. "I just wanted to tell you how important you are to me and Luke…"
"—Peyton, I'm serious. I just wanted to let you know that even if you aren't our son's godmother, you're still going to have a huge role in his life. He's going to need his Aunt Peyton…and I just wanted to make sure you know that." She and Lucas had, had a hard time choosing between Peyton and Haley. Peyton had been there for all of Brooke's life while Haley had been there for all of Lucas's. Haley and Nathan had made Brooke and Lucas godparents of their toddler, Jamie, and somehow that had helped them make their decision a little easier.
The curly-blonde bobs her head in agreement, squeezing Brooke's hand in reassurance. "Of course I know that, Brooke…but I do have a request," she states skeptically.
Brooke looks up in interest and nods her head, encouraging Peyton to go on.
"I so call dibs on godmother the next time," Peyton jokingly replies, winking at her childhood friend.
Brooke giggles and throws her arms around her in a tight hug – the tightest she possibly can with her pregnant stomach in the way. "Oh, P. Sawyer. You got it."
"She's going crazy. Right, Hales? I mean completely off her rocker!"
"Well, maybe this is her way of trying to make up for everything that happened last year…" Haley tries to justify it, but this is huge news.
"But I've told her she's forgiven. I've told her a million times. And if she still wants to make it up to me, there are tons of other things she can do…like, take me to the spa…or…go on a shopping spree with me…I mean come on, Haley. This is a baby we're talking about. A baby she'd have to carry for nine whole months. A baby she'd have to carry that wouldn't even be hers to keep!"
"What did you say to her after that?"
"What do you think I said, Hales? I mean I love her for the gesture, I really do…it's just…not possible, I don't think…And I honestly think she's being irrational about it all. I'm not sure she understands just what she'd be signing herself up for."
Haley bites her lip, perplexed at the scenario before her. She knows that Brooke wants a baby with her husband desperately…this just isn't the way she saw it panning out.
"Well," Haley begins, sitting up further in her seat. "Put it this way…would you do it for her?"
Brooke raises her eyebrows and folds her arms over her chest as though she has this all figured out. "Peyton's always said she doesn't want kids."
Haley rolls her eyes. "Hypothetically speaking, Brooke. If Peyton was settled down and married and wanted a kid but found out she couldn't have one – or even better – what if I, god forbid, couldn't have the child I wanted?"
Brooke lets out an elongated sigh. She knows this game Haley is playing and it isn't fair. "It's complicated. I'm married…I already have a child at home to think about. That's a huge request. I'd practically have to drop my life and put it on hold…"
"Exactly. But you didn't request it…Peyton offered. And she doesn't have a family like you and I do…Maybe…maybe she feels like she has nothing tying her down. Maybe she sees this as a way to give her very best friend something she's longing for but can't have herself."
Brooke opens her mouth ready to speak, but instead finds herself at loss for words.
Haley offers a condoling smile. "Go talk to Julian."
"It's crazy right!?"
For a moment, Julian sits stunned at the revelation until his wife's loud voice snaps him out of it. He scratches his head, deep in thought, allowing it to sink in that Peyton, the woman who, for a long time, he'd only known as a selfish, hurtful individual, had offered this to them.
"Well…" he contemplates.
Brooke throws her hands up in frustration. First Haley and now him. "Oh, you can't be serious!"
Julian chuckles at her antics and reaches out to grab her hand. "Sit down," he orders before turning serious. "We want to have a baby, right?"
Brooke blinks and nods her head. "More than anything."
"And we've gone through a long list of procedures that just won't work for us, whatever the reasons may be," he speaks, thinking back to their last fight about trying IVF. "Surrogacy is one of the few that can work, but when you go into that, you deal with a ton of money and people you don't know from a hole in the wall…"
"—Wait," he presses a finger to her lips to silence her. "You've known Peyton your whole life. She's your best friend. Yes, she has hurt you in the past but…her offering this is…it's huge, Brooke. It could change everything. But that might not be such a bad thing."
"But, Julian…for the longest time I couldn't even trust her with our friendship. How…how am I supposed to trust her with our baby?"
"Look, I'm not saying anything right now. This is a big deal and I really think the two of you need to seriously talk about it."
Brooke nods, knowing that, as usual, Julian is right. "I'll call her and see if she can stop by."
Julian smiles at his wife and leans in to press a kiss against her forehead.
"Hey, Peyt," Brooke greets, wrapping her in a tight embrace. She has to let her know that she does appreciate what she's offered.
Peyton, a little surprised by such a welcome, hugs the brunette right back. "Everything okay, Brooke?"
"Yeah…I was just hoping we could talk about…well, you know."
Peyton lets out a small laugh. "I know," she smiles.
"Want to take a walk?" she gestures down the driveway.
"Absolutely," Peyton agrees, linking her arm through Brooke's. The two walk for a few moments in silence down the pathway before Peyton looks up from the gravel ground to face her friend. "You know I meant what I said, Brooke."
It isn't until Peyton breaks the silence that Brooke notices how her breaths have turned heavy. She really is nervous, and she's not too sure why.
"I'm sorry I freaked out on you, Peyt. It was just…a lot to take in. I was surprised, you know?"
"I know…to be honest, I was a bit surprised when I thought of it at first, too."
"Why did you then?" Brooke blurts out. After a short pause, she goes on. "I mean, you have to know how much I love you for such an offer. It means the world to me that you would do something like that for me…but…why?"
The two stop walking and Peyton is back to staring at her feet and the ground. She shrugs, suddenly feeling embarrassed. "Because you're my best friend, Brooke. I want you to have everything you deserve. And you deserve this baby. You're finally happy again…and if there's anything I could do to keep you this happy…I'd do it."
"P. Sawyer…" Brooke whispers, feeling tears begin to brim her eyes.
"Look…I don't have a family. I'm not like you and Haley…and I'm okay with that. I have all of you guys and your kids to be my family. And I feel like… like I "owe" you for letting me into this amazing family you guys have formed."
"Peyton, you don't owe me anything. You are family. You always have been."
It isn't long before Peyton's cheeks are wet with tears too. She swipes at her eyes before realizing it's a pointless action. "And this is what family does, Brooke. They help each other in times of need. I want to do this for you guys."
"If you do this…you do realize how hard it's going to be…the morning sickness, the weight gain, crazy mood swings…"
She tearfully laughs at all the horrible things the brunette lists off. But through it all, Peyton still holds her smile and when she reaches over to take the other girl's hand, Brooke knows why this is.
"And in the end, one beautiful baby and happy best friend."
A/N – So, are they really going to go through with this? REVIEW and you'll find out ;)
Seriously, all your feedback really means a lot to me so I appreciate any and every review I get! :) Thanks everyone!