Hey guys! This is the longest chapter I've ever written, so I hope you like it!
The car ride to school was nearly silent. Brooke was staring out the window, still mad at herself for letting Rachel read her like a book. Rachel was trying to concentrate on driving while letting her mind wonder. Today was going to be the day from hell. They were going to tell some of their friends about their relationship and after school Rachel was going to find out what exactly was happening to her girlfriend.
As they pulled into the schools parking lot, Brooke turned to open the door only to be stopped by Rachel.
"Brooke I want you to listen to me." Rachel said, her usually playful tone replaced with a serious one.
"I'm crazy about you. And no matter what your friends think of this, I'm still going to be crazy about you. I don't care what they think or say, I like you for real. Don't ever doubt that babe." Rachel finished with a smirk, kissing Brooke on the cheek.
Brooke let out a sigh. "Thanks Rach, I guess I really needed to hear that. Look I'm sorry I got mad at you this morning. But I feel the same way. I know I'm not the easiest person to get along with but I really, really like you. And whatever my friends think about our relationship is their problem. I'll still want to be with you, whether this goes fantastic and they accept it or it all goes to hell and I need some new friends." Brooke joked, hesitantly pulling her red haired girlfriend into a tight hug, during which Brooke bit back a scream. Rachel had to force herself not to question her girlfriend; she knew she'd get answers tonight.
Brooke and Rachel exited and casually walked over to Brooke's usual group up friends consisting of Peyton, Haley, Nathan, Lucas, and Jake.
"Hey Brooke." Nathan called from his seat next to his wife. Confusion was evident on his face at seeing Rachel with her.
"Hey Tigger!" Haley greeted enthusiastically.
She received several similar greetings from all of her friends before standing in front of all of them. She pulled Rachel along with her, gripping her hand for support. Several group members noticed the action but didn't comment.
"There is some I need to tell you guys." Brooke began, her voice shaking.
"Okay, what's up Brooke?" Nathan asked curiously.
"Rachel and I…we're kind of dating now." Brooke stuttered out, taking a deep calming breath.
Rachel squeezed her hand, hoping to provide some kind of support for her girlfriend.
Peyton was the first to recover from the shock. The curly blonde started to laugh as if she'd just been told the funniest joke ever.
"Come on Brooke, that wasn't funny. You had us all going there for a second." Peyton said as she continued laughing.
"It's no joke P Sawyer." Brooke said, using her old nick name.
"Wow, congratulations guys." Jake said slowly, getting up and pulling Brooke into a loose hug, which as usual, Brooke fought the urge to scream and her body was tense. He politely shook Rachel's hand and sat back down next to Haley.
"Brooke…are you serious?" Haley questioned angrily. "This girl has made your life a nightmare! How can you trust her?"
"Tutor-girl, I'm crazy about Rachel. We only "hated" to try and push away these feelings we have. But the truth is, I'm tired of fighting them. I found someone I want to be with so I'm going to for it." Brooke said, looking at Rachel the whole time.
"Rachel…I swear to God, I'm not a violent person but I'll kill you if you hurt her or don't take this seriously." Haley growled.
"I wouldn't dream of it." Rachel promised, kissing Brooke's forehead.
"So Hot-shot, what are we thinking?" Brooke asked Nathan nervously.
"Well, to each their own. If she makes you happy Brookie Cookie, I support you. How could I not? You're practically my sister." Nathan said, getting and pulling both girls into a tight hug.
"And Rachel, you hurt her and I'll kick your ass." Nathan said in a playful tone, although he was completely serious.
"Noted." Rachel smirked and turned to Brooke, whose eyes held fear and panic from the hug and impeding opinions from her friends.
"This is disgusting and wrong." Peyton spoke out.
"Peyton come on…don't be like this." Brooke begged.
"No! I think you dating another girl is disgusting. Especially a whore like her." Peyton said viciously.
"Peyton…" Haley said in a warning.
"Don't you call my girlfriend a whore Peyton Sawyer!" Brooke shot back angrily.
"Brooke, babe don't get all worked up." Rachel whispered, discreetly wrapping her arm around Brooke's waist to restrain her.
"This is a new low, even for you Brooke." Peyton spat at her before getting her backpack and leaving.
Brooke's body began to tremble and Rachel tightened her hold on her girlfriend. Rachel could feel the muscles in Brooke's back tense up. Sensing an episode coming, Rachel tried to deflect.
"Wow, I see Peyton is still a bitch." Rachel said loudly, earning a small chuckle from the group.
"I'm going to go talk to her." Jake said awkwardly, getting up to leave.
"Luke?" Brooke asked, her voice quivering.
Lucas finally looked up and made eye contact with her. His piercing blue gaze that used to make her heart race met her own nervous hazel eyes.
"Well Brooke, I love you. I know we aren't together anymore, but I love you. Not romantically of course, but I want you to be happy." Lucas paused to get up walk over to the new couple. "And if being with her makes you happy, then I'm completely happy for you. If anyone deserves to be happy, it's you, pretty girl." Lucas finished with a smile, pulling his ex girlfriend into a loose, friendly embrace.
"You have no idea how happy that makes me. And you'll find the girl for you Luke, I know you will. And she'll be the luckiest girl on the planet." Brooke whispered into his chest. For once, Brooke didn't tense up during his hug. This shot a surge of jealously through Rachel, who quickly shook it off and met Lucas's gaze.
"You take care of her alright? I don't want to have to join Nathan in kicking your ass." Lucas said seriously, with a playful hint. He reached out and shook Rachel's hand as she nodded.
"By the way Brooke, you've got some pretty good taste in women. Rachel's hot." Luke said with a smirk, sending a playful wink to the girls.
The group let out a laugh, the obvious tension in the room seemed to disappear for the moment.
"Thank you guys so much. It means that world to me to have your support, well most of you." Brooke trailed off, suddenly finding the ground interesting.
"I know it'll take some time, getting used to me and Brooke but I'm crazy about her. So thank you guys, for giving me a change." Rachel said honestly.
The group hugged and began walking to their first class, math. Haley, Lucas and Brooke all had math first while Jake, Rachel, Nathan, and Peyton started with science. As the group split into two, Nathan kissed Hayley goodbye and Rachel gently kissed Brooke on the forehead.
"I'll see you at lunch." Rachel whispered before joining her new friends on the way to class.
Brooke let out a sigh of relief as she walked to class. All of her friends, except Peyton, had taken the new well and supported her relationship with Rachel.
Rachel…even the thought of her girlfriend brought a smile to Brooke's face. The brunette didn't think she'd ever been this happy before. Granted, that was all about to go out the window after tonight. Telling Rachel the secret she'd never told anyone, the secret that could put them both in more danger. But if she didn't tell Rachel, she could lose her and that just wasn't an option for Brooke.
The young brunette shook off these thoughts and joined Lucas and Haley in their math class.
The day seemed to pass by all the quickly. The rest of the day was relatively uneventful, the two girls sat together at lunch. The new couple sat next to each other, their fingers intertwined underneath the table. Their friends laughed and joked with them, trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. Peyton and Jake never showed up for lunch, much to Brooke's dismay.
Before either girl had realized it, the bell had rung and the two girls were standing outside Rachel's locker, getting ready to cancel cheer squad practice.
"Rach, do I really need to cancel practice? I mean we can talk after." Brooke begged.
"Yup, you do. Listen, I know that you're not exactly looking to having this talk with me. I get that, trust me but I do have other reason s for wanting you to cancel cheer practice." Rachel said, checking to make sure the hallway was deserted before lacing her fingers through Brooke's.
"Oh my God, please don't tell me you're jealous already?" Brooke asked teasingly.
"Not exactly what I meant Brookie. I am worried about you though, I know I said we'd wait until tonight to talk but the fact that you're pretty seriously hurt isn't really a secret anymore. Cheer practice puts unnecessary stress on your body and frankly, I don't think you can handle that right now." Rachel said seriously.
"Look I get that you're trying to look out for me, but I'm a big girl Rach, I can make my own decisions." Brooke snapped back.
"Obviously you don't make very good ones, or you whatever is hurting wouldn't be hurting you!" Rachel yelled angrily.
Tears pooled in Brooke's hazel eyes and she turned to leave only to be stopped by Rachel.
"Wait, Brooke, wait. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that, at all. Whatever is wrong, it isn't your fault. Its just been an emotionally intense couple of days and I didn't mean to snap at you. I'm sorry." Rachel murmured out sincerely.
"I understand that this is hard for you Rachel. This is by no means a "normal" relationship, we both know that. But did you ever stop to think for a second that this is hard on me too?" Brooke hissed back.
"Of course! All I do is think about you! Don't you know that?" Rachel asked, exasperated.
"I don't want to have this fight with you in the school hallway." Brooke said dismissively.
Rachel groaned in frustration before pulling Brooke along to the gymnasium. The two girls walked in silence, their fingers no longer intertwined. As the pair entered the gym all eyes fell on the two girls. Brooke took her usual stance in front of the cheerleaders.
"So..um, I know this is a little unorthodox, but I'm canceling practice tonight." Brooke said awkwardly, her eye darted over to meet Rachel's, who nodded in agreement.
"Why not? Got better things to do Brooke?" Peyton asked sarcastically.
"Family emergency." Brooke muttered out quietly.
Most of the other girls nodded in sympathy, wishing Brooke the best before exiting into the locker room to change out of their cheer clothes. The couple was left standing in the gym alone. Brooke looked down, suddenly taking an interesting in the shiny gym floor and Rachel just stood next to her and watched.
Still without addressing her girlfriend, Brooke exited the gym swiftly. The limp in Brooke's step was almost unnoticeable to anyone except Rachel, who of course was looking for one. The red head rolled her eyes and followed her stubborn brunette out of gym and quickly caught up to her. The pair walked in silence back to Brooke's car.
"I'm driving." Brooke announced, brushing by Rachel and getting into the driver's seat.
Rachel bit her tongue and fought the urge to protest. She understood that Brooke was a 16 year old girl that was perfectly capable of driving, but that didn't mean Rachel wanted her to when she was upset. Rachel nodded slowly and sat in the passenger's seat. The brunette started the car and drove out of the school without a word. Rachel turned on the radio to break the awkward silence that had filled the car and stole a glance at her girlfriend. The younger girl's posture was tense, her hands where so tight on the steering wheel that her knuckles were white. Needless to say, Rachel was concerned but didn't want to overwhelm her girlfriend, she'd be doing that tonight.
After ten painfully slow minutes, the two girls finally arrived back at Brooke's huge house and got out of the car. Both girls walked up the driveway and Brooke pulled out her key and began to unlock the door. Rachel zoned out, looking around Brooke's yard and enjoying her last moments of normalcy before the intense stuff started. Realizing it was taking her girlfriend longer than it should to unlock the door, she glanced at the brunette only to find that her hands were shaking too bad to get the key in the lock and the younger girl close to tears.
"Damn it, just work." Brooke whispered, her voice shaking.
Rachel reached over and put her hand on top of Brooke's, forcing the girl to look up and meet her gaze. The hazel-eyed girl stopped her motions and locked eyes with the red head, who gently took the key and quickly unlocked the door, ushering her girlfriend inside.
Almost as if she were on autopilot, Brooke walked into the house, through the kitchen, up the stairs and went straight into her bedroom. It was almost as if she didn't notice or care what Rachel was doing. The brown eyed girl followed her girlfriend worriedly. Rachel sat down on the bed as Brooke paced nervously back and forth around the room. This went on for a couple minutes as silence filled the room until Rachel stood and pulled her brunette girlfriend onto the bed with her and wrapped her arms around her waist. Brooke tensed at the sudden contact and tried her hardest not to scream at her girlfriend to let go. Taking several deep calming breaths, Brooke finally locked eyes with Rachel.
"You want to know why I'm like this. Why I have bruises, why I flinch when anyone touches me, what made me like this." Brooke stated calmly.
Rachel nodded silently.
"It was that sick bastard's fault. He made me like this Rachel! He did this!" Brooke shouted, getting out of Rachel's arms and shaking him rage.
"Brooke, baby I need you to calm down for me. Take a deep breath, sit down and tell me what's happening." Rachel said soothingly, taking Brooke's hand and leading her back over to the bed.
"When I was young, I never saw my parents." Brooke began, her voice already shaking.
"They were never around, not even for my birthday. I wouldn't even know what they looked like if there weren't pictures up in the house but it never bothered me because I always got what I wanted. And I always had P-peyton."
Rachel nodded sympathetically and gave Brooke's hand a squeeze.
"One day when I was 14, my Dad came home. Of course I was happy to see him, that he was paying me any attention at all. I didn't even notice that he didn't bring bitchtoria along. God I was so stupid. He told me that he had an important business deal the next day and that he wanted me to t-tag along." Brooke relived the story, tremors shaking her body and Rachel was too afraid of the younger girl's reaction to touch her.
"He brought me into this building and it was sketchy and dark, like in downtown. I thought it was so cool, spending time with my D- him." Brooke whimpered, unable to call the sick man her dad.
"He traded me to these men as a business deal. T-they took me into this room and it was d-dark and they did things Rachel, t-terrible t-things and I-I can't talk about t-this anymore." Brooke spoke through her tears as strangled sobs took over.
Rachel tried to pull her distressed girlfriend into her arms but immediately stopped when the brunette began to resist and begged her to stop. Brooke was in a flashback and Rachel was helpless.
"Brooke? Brooke! Baby I need you to be here with me. Now, in this moment. It's just you and me. You don't have to talk anymore okay? You're here with me, you're safe." Rachel chanted.
Slowly, Brooke's tremors turned into subtle shakes and her sobs died down to quiet cries and silent tears. The two girls held eye contact for a long time before Brooke hesitantly pulled Rachel into a tense hug, which the red head happily reciprocated.
"God, I'm so sorry Brooke. I promise you, I won't let anyone hurt you anymore." Rachel vowed, tears leaking out of her eyes.
"Will you stay with me tonight? I don't want to b-be alone." Brooke muttered, her eyes filled with such innocence and the vulnerability was so evident in her voice that Rachel felt her heart break for her girlfriend.
"Of course." Rachel murmured, pulling the girl closer.
Not much later, Rachel felt Brooke's body relax and her breathing even out to a sleeping pattern. The red head let out a sigh of relief and felt her own body relax against her girlfriend's. So it was these men, theses strangers that were hurting her beautiful, sweet girlfriend? Hell no, Rachel wouldn't stand for it. Granted, she needed Brooke to finish her story but tonight they had a breakthrough. Rachel would learn some of the things that trigger those memories for Brooke as well as details tomorrow, but the fact the Brooke had open up and trusted her put her on cloud nine.
"You're amazing Brooke. And I'll never let anyone hurt you again, I swear." Rachel whispered in Brooke's ear before drifting off to sleep.
WOW that was a long chapter! Like 3,000 words! Defiantly the longest I've ever written. Well there you have it, Brooke's secret is out. You'll learn more on the details in the next few chapters. Maybe some more interaction with her friends? Please let me know what you think, what you liked and would like to see. Sorry it took so long, I kind of hit a wall about half way through. Thank you for reading and please review.