Just a heads up: I LOVED writing this chapter!
Peyton folded up the several pieces of paper she had just written on, and slipped them into an envelope. She stuffed the envelope into the top drawer of the night table, and settled back onto her fluffy pillows. The sun was starting to peak through the blinds, as the rest of the world started to wake up.
She let her mind drift back to last night as she gazed at the beautiful ring on her finger. She smiled at the thought of being engaged to Lucas. Finally. That night had been one the best nights of her life. She felt giddy as she thought about Lucas's reaction when she was able to choke the word yes out. He immediately pulled her into his arms, and made everything okay. She forgot she had cancer, and that today she was getting surgery performed on her spine to take it away.
Lucas stirred beside her, instinctively reaching out for her in his sleep. She smiled as he pulled her closer to him. "Can we stay here in bed all day?" He groaned, slowly opening his eyes.
"Well we could." Peyton suggested. "But then people might worry. Andrew would call Brooke and tell her that I didn't show up for surgery… and then she'll come storming over here in her usual Brooke fashion and make me regret it."
Lucas laughed picturing that. "That doesn't sound so bad."
"I'd blame it on you, and then Brooke would be mad at you…" Peyton laughed.
Lucas's mocked a face of terror, before rolling over on top of Peyton. "You wouldn't let her get mad at your fiancé would you?"
Peyton smiled at that word. "Don't worry." She rested his hand on his cheek. "I'll protect you from big, bad Brooke!"
Lucas laughed, before the thoughts of today's schedule came into his head. "I guess we should get ready to go."
Peyton nodded her head slowly. "I guess so."
They both got out of bed, and Lucas made breakfast while Peyton showered. They both slowly picked at their breakfast and finished getting ready, before Lucas grabbed Peyton's suitcase, and put it in his car. When he came back into the house Peyton came down the stairs with a confident smile on her face. "I am ready to go."
Lucas took her hand, and guided her out to the car.
When they arrived at the hospital they checked in at the desk before Andrew greeted them.
"Hi Peyton. Lucas." He said, leading them down a long hallway that did not take them to her usual chemo room. He took them to Peyton's private room, where a nurse was waiting.
"How are you both doing?" Andrew asked, leaning onto the bed.
"We're doing great." Peyton answered for both of them.
"A little nervous. But we know she's in good hands." Lucas added, smiling to the doctor who had done a great job treating Peyton thus far.
"So, we're going to get you settled in here before we take you for some quick routine tests. Then we'll give you some anesthesia, and take you into the operating room." Andrew explained. "Any questions?"
"How long is the surgery?" Lucas asked right away.
"It's about five hours. Sometimes longer."
"Have you done this surgery a lot?" Lucas suddenly had so many questions.
"Yes. I have done it countless times. Don't worry, Lucas. I am going to try with everything I have to get the whole tumor."
Lucas nodded his head, trying not to become emotional. "Okay."
Andrew smiled back at the couple before the nurse handed Peyton a gown. "We'll leave you to change into this."
Peyton took the gown, and everyone left the room. Lucas kissed her before leaving the room.
Lucas was surprised by who he saw in the hallway when he stepped out of the room. There stood Brooke, Nathan, and Haley. "Guys! What are you doing here?"
"We wanted to be here to support you and Peyton." Nathan said, putting a reassuring hand on his brothers shoulder. "You're not in this alone, Lucas."
"Thank you." Lucas thanked his brother, and watched Brooke march into Peyton's room. The brother's followed.
Haley stood outside of Peyton's room, hesitantly. "I've been such an awful friend to Peyton. I don't think she wants me to be here. And I wouldn't blame her."
"Haley, you and Peyton have been friends since high school, and gone through so much. Neither of you should let drama with Lindsey come between that. Now just go in there, apologize, and be the friend she needs today." Lucas explained.
Haley nodded her head, and wiped her eyes before holding her head up, and walking into the room. Peyton and Brooke stopped talking when the last half of their trio walked in. "Hey Hales." Peyton smiled.
"I need to apologize. Again. I acted stupid once again, because of my friendship with Lindsey. I won't do it again. I promise. I've kind of come to realize that she isn't the person I thought that she was the night that she went over to your house drunk. When we got home she said some stuff I really didn't agree with about you and Lucas. So I guess the whole point of this ramble is to say I am sorry for being such a bitch."
"I forgive you, Haley." Peyton smiled, reaching out to give her friend a hug. "Just don't go back on your word this time."
"I won't. Trust me." She reassured her friend.
Nathan and Lucas joined the girls in the room, and they all stayed in there talking together for a little while, until a nurse came in. She had a small clear bag in her hand. "I need you to take off any jewellery that you're wearing and put it in this bag, okay?"
"Alright." Peyton said, reaching up and taking her earrings out. Brooke helped her undo her necklace, and then she tossed the contents into the bag.
"You're missing something." Lucas smiled widely eyeing her engagement ring.
Brooke saw where Lucas's eyes were looking, and gasped loudly. "IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?"
Peyton looked to Lucas brightly. "It is exactly what you think it is!"
"Oh my god! They are ENGAGED!" Brooke said happily, looking to Nathan and Haley who both had matching expressions. The excitement in the room was unbelievable.
"When did this happen?" Nathan was surprised Lucas hadn't said anything to him before he did it.
"Last night, at the recording studio. We were going to wait and tell everyone after her surgery…"
"This is excellent." Brooke grabbed Peyton. "Picture this. You walking down the hall in a beautiful princess gown, with a corset back, and this perfectly pretty sparking band around the waist. Oh and the LACE! Oh my god, you'd look gorgeous."
Everyone in the room laughed at Brooke's excitement, and shared in it. They couldn't be happier to see how things had turned out in the past few months.
Their excitement was broken however by Andrew. He hated to interrupt them when he knew exactly what all the girls were so giddy about. He noticed the ring on Peyton's finger the second he greeted them an hour earlier. He had to take Peyton for some blood tests, and a quick xray, which took a half an hour. When it was done Peyton was taken back up to her room for a few more minutes with her friends before he and his team went to take Peyton to surgery.
"So your tests look fine. We're ready to proceed with the surgery if you are Peyton." Andrew announced, standing at the foot of her bed with Lucas, Brooke, Nathan, and Haley standing close by.
Peyton looked to Lucas, before giving her answer. "Ready."
"Great, the nurses will be here in just a few moments. And I'll see you down in the operating room." Andrew left the room, and Brooke hurried after him.
"Quick kiss for good luck." She said, pecking him on the lips.
He welcomed the kiss, and smiled. "How are you doing? Peyton's your best friend..."
"I am doing fine. I know she's getting the best possible care from my hot doctor boyfriend." She smiled confidently.
"Funny… Lucas said something similar to that earlier. Minus the hot doctor boyfriend part of course."
Brooke laughed. "Thank you for being so amazing these past few months though. Really. You're great."
"It's been my pleasure Brooke. I was going to wait and ask you this at a later date in a better setting than a hospital, but there's no time like the present really… Do you wanna move in with me?" Andrew asked.
Brooke was taken back. "Seriously?"
"Seriously. If you want to… Is it too soon to be asking this? It's just that I'm crazy about you, Brooke Davis."
"Can we talk about this after surgery?" She said unsure.
Andrew nodded his head. "Of course. We can talk later tonight." He tried not to look too disappointed as he walked down the hallway.
Nathan and Haley had just wished Peyton good luck, and where on their way out of the room when Brooke entered, leaving just her and Lucas with Peyton.
"I need a minute alone with my best friend." She said shoving Lucas out of the room, ignoring his protests. "Andrew just asked me to move in with him…" She announced the minute she had the door locked. "And I am freaking out."
"What? Brooke that's great news!" Peyton exclaimed.
"That was my first thought too. But what if moving in together changes everything? What if it's too soon? I wasn't expecting this today!"
"Brooke." Peyton reached out to calm her best friend. "You are in love with this man, and trust me when I say that. And I think you'd regret not moving in with him."
"Yes, really! You deserve someone who is going to look after you, and love you, and cherish you… And that someone is Andrew. I am a full supporter of this idea!"
Brooke contemplated it. "You are right. I do deserve someone like that. Someone like Andrew." She stood up confidently. "The minute he is done your surgery, and walks out and tells us that it was a success and you're cancer free I am going to say "Hey, I would love to move in with you!"… Sound good?"
"Sounds great. Now can Lucas please come back in here…?"
Brooke laughed. "Yeah. All I am going to say right now is good luck, and I'll see you soon."
Peyton hugged her best friend. "Thanks for always being here for me. I know it wasn't exactly an easy journey, and I asked you for a lot of help. Thanks for coming over in the middle of the night after I've called you crying, and holding my hair while I puked, and coming with me to chemo appointments, and just being here…"
"You're welcome Peyt. But you don't have to thank me. I know you would have done the same for me. You're like a sister to me."
The best friends hugged one last time, before Brooke left, and Lucas entered.
"How ya doing?" She asked him, holding his hand.
"Hanging in there. How are you doing?"
"Hanging in there." She shot him a small smile.
A team of three nurses entered the room. "It's time to go now."
Lucas rested his head on Peyton's forehead. "I love you. Be strong."
"I love you too." She answered, before they shared a some sweet last kisses and Lucas let the nurses take his fiancée. He joined his friends in the hallway, watching as they wheeled Peyton down a long corridor into the operating room where Andrew was waiting.
The gang settled into the stiff waiting rooms chairs, knowing that they were going to have a few long hours ahead of them.
Inside the operating room Peyton was put onto a stiff bed, and had already been administered some anesthesia, making it tough to concentrate on anything. A mask had been placed over her mouth, and Andrew was standing above her explaining what was going on. She, however, wasn't taking in anything that he was saying as the images in front of her began to blur, until it all faded into darkness and she was sleeping.
The waiting room had been become Lucas's least favorite place in the world. It seemed as if he was always here, and it was never for happy reasons either. As he sat there for hours he watched people come and go. Some received happy news, and others did not. He had just watched a grown man, much like himself, break down in the same sort of plastic chair he was in, after he had been told his girlfriend had passed away.
Lucas couldn't stand to watch it as the man's friends and family comforted him. He got to his feet, and walked out of the room. He was tempted to go to the observatory but couldn't bring himself to go in there. Instead he decided he needed some fresh air. He went and settled on a park bench in a small memorial garden. Nathan waited a few moments before joining his brother.
"You doing okay?"
"Yeah, just being in that room was getting to me. I saw that guy breaking down…and I couldn't help but think what if that's me in just a few more hours? If they don't get the whole tumor out Peyton will die."
"I know. I thought the same thing. I want to tell you not think about that. But I also think it might be good to be prepared."
Lucas nodded his head slowly. "We'd get married right away. As soon as we could. We'd go on the trip of a life time. Neither of us have been to Canada… Maybe we'd go there."
"Canada sounds great."
"And then after we did that we'd come home and just enjoy each other's company."
"Those sound like great plans." Nathan encouraged.
"I want you to be my best man for the wedding." He finally looked up to his brother now.
"I'd be honored, man."
"I imagine Peyton will pick Brooke as her maid of honor…"
"I don't think Brooke would let her pick anyone else even if she wanted to…" Nathan laughed. "Is Peyton wearing the ring Keith got for Karen?"
"She is." Lucas said proudly.
"Keith would be really proud of you Lucas."
"I think so too." Lucas smiled, thinking of the dream he had after he'd had his heart attack the night of the State Championship.
"Ready to go back inside yet?" Nathan asked, glancing at his watch. "They will soon be done."
"Yeah, let's go." Lucas said, following his brother back to the waiting room.
They had been in the waiting room for over five hours when Andrew finally entered. Everyone held their breath.
Lucas's eyes looked terrified.
"How did it go?" Brooke was the first to find a voice, tearfully.
Andrew let out a small sigh. "It was a success. We got the whole tumor."
It was like someone had finally lifted a massive weight off of Lucas's chest as he heard those words. "She's okay?" He asked, becoming very emotional.
"She's okay!" Brooke cheered, hugging Lucas. "She's okay! She's okay! She's okay!"
Andrew watched the group celebrate, smiling.
"Can we see her?" Lucas asked happily.
"Yeah. Only two visitors at a time though." Andrew said guiding them to Peyton's room. A nurse was inside, setting up machines. "She is heavily sedated, as she'd be in a lot of pain without the drugs, so she may be a bit disorientated." Andrew warned them.
"Okay." Brooke said, looking to Lucas. "Let's go in."
Lucas entered first, followed by Brooke. To their surprise she was awake.
"Hiiiiii." She squealed. "My two favorite people! Patty, look!" She said to the nurse who was fixing her IV.
The nurse smiled politely. "Okay Peyton. I'm going to leave now. You just hit this button if you need anything." She pointed to the call button. She turned to Brooke and Lucas now. "I gave her a sedative so she'll probably be asleep within the next few minutes."
"Oh don't you worry about me, Patty. I have Brooke and Lucas here now. I'm good… I'm better than good."
"Hey Peyt." Lucas said, brushing some curls away from her eyes.
"Hi Luke." She greeted him happily. "Fiancé Lucas."
"How are you feeling?" He smiled broadly.
"I am great. I'm better than great. I am getting married to you. Brooke, we need some wedding magazines stat. Let's go wedding dress shopping tomorrow. And then we can get married the next day…Do these plans sound good to you?" She looked to Lucas for approval.
"Those plans sound great."
"They do!" Brooke agreed.
Peyton's energy was fading quickly. "I'm getting sleepy."
Lucas continued to stroke Peyton's hair. "It's okay to go to sleep. We're going to be right here, waiting for you."
Peyton smiled before letting her eyes droop shut, welcoming the darkness.
The gang camped out in Peyton's hospital room for the rest of the day as Peyton fell in and out of consciousness talking about weddings, and record labels, and book signings.
Nathan and Haley left after nine o'clock to give Deb a break as she had been babysitting the kids all day. Lucas was falling asleep in his chair when Brooke reached over to get his attention.
"Why won't you go home and get some sleep. She's going to sleep all night."
"No. I won't leave her."
"Lucas, don't be stubborn. I'll call you if she actually wakes up, and is conscious for longer than two minutes okay? Come back early in the morning, then you can spend the whole day with her!"
Lucas sat contemplating. "Fine. But call me if anything happens. And I'll be back at the crack of dawn…"
"I will, don't worry. Now go home and get some sleep!"
"You're welcome Luke."
When Lucas got back to Peyton's house that night he had a shower, and had something to eat before wondering upstairs to bed. He was about to crawl under the covers when he noticed an envelope on his pillow with Peyton's hand writing. He opened up with the envelope to find a letter. It read:
I just wanted to take a few moments to write you a letter, before things begin to get even crazier for us.
We have had such an amazing journey together, from being broody high school kids, to smart ass (and kick ass) seniors, to college kids, and finally to adults. This journey has been anything but easy with a number of very big bumps along the way… the most recent one being cancer.
Your support for me throughout this whole ordeal has been overwhelming. You are a magnificent man, and I am so lucky to now finally be able to call you my fiancé.
You are extraordinary in every way, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
Brooke was sitting at Peyton's beside when Andrew entered the room. "Hey. I was just on my way home, and wanted to check on her. I thought Lucas would be here, instead of you." He'd be trying to ignore her all day.
"I sent him home. He really needed some sleep." Brooke explained, watching Andrew check Peyton's binder, and stats. "How's she doing?"
"She's doing incredible." He smiled. "I'm sure I'll see you here tomorrow. Good night Brooke."
Brooke watched him walk away with a feeling of urgency. She remember the conversation she had with Peyton earlier. "Wait! Andrew!" She ran after him, and stopped him in the hallway.
"What is it?"
"I want to move in with you." She stated, answering his earlier question.
"You do? I thought you didn't want to… earlier you seemed hesitant."
"Yeah, can we just forget about how I acted earlier? You are a great guy, and I'm crazy about you too. And also ready to take things to the next level."
Andrew smiled. "That's music to my ears."
That's the end of this chapter! What did you think?
Leave me a review!
Next Chapter: Peyton has a proposal for Lucas (any guesses on what it is?), she also gets exciting news from her work in LA. Brooke, Andrew, & Leyton go on a double date. Some very important people in Lucas's life come back to town.