Title: Obligatory Post-Accident fic

Fandom: Popular

Pairing: Sam/Brooke

Spoilers: A whole heap - "Promblems", mainly.

Rating: PG (Sorry, no sex, neither the time nor the place)

Disclaimer: Characters do not belong to me, they are the property of Ryan Murphy, or Touchstone, or Buena Vista or maybe all three. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred. I'm not making any money from them and I make no claim to them whatsoever.

Warning: F/F - so if you're under 18 or living somewhere backward, please don't go on! Also, death and grieving - just the facts of life (well my life at the moment) but if you're feeling tender you might want to skip it.

Feedback: Yes please appl88cor@yahoo.com

Part I

Ten days after the Junior Prom...

Samantha McPherson stood alone next to the grave. It was still open, a huge pile of dirt covered not-so-discretely by a green tarpaulin lay off to the side. But there was a coffin at the bottom. She stared down at it, it seemed so much smaller than the person she knew was inside it. Her best friend. Someone she would never see, or hear, or talk to again. Someone who would never wrap their arms around her and hug her, someone she would never fight with again. There was a cold wind blowing. There always was at this cemetery. She briefly glanced two rows over to where her father was buried. She had visited him earlier, after the service had finished, whilst everyone else was still lingering here. It seemed odd to her that now, she when she came here, she would have to make a round of the cemetery, not just visit the one plot. It was so different this time. When her father had died, in a way, she had known how to act, what her place was - she was the daughter and she had to look after her mother, the grieving widow. But this was so unexpected, she wasn't sure what she should be doing or how she should be feeling. Not that she had really been feeling anything. There hadn't been any tears, just a knot in her throat and a low-level ache in her belly. She knew that her best friend was gone, but it didn't seem to make any sense to her, it was as though the thought just didn't ring true in her mind.

"I love you." She whispered to the coffin. "And I'll miss you. I hope that wherever you are now that it's somewhere nice." She felt so awkward. This should be a time of such importance. It had been with her father, but her mind seemed incapable of grasping the finality of this moment.

"I'll always treasure every moment that we spent together. And I'm sorry that we fought so much." She was and she wasn't. Whilst the fighting had been unpleasant, it had always brought them to a new and better place in their relationship. But they had never properly resolved the whole who was going to take who to the prom row, and whilst she couldn't quite believe at the moment that now they never would, she also knew that later on she would probably regret that for the rest of her life. She shivered as another gust blew right through her. She blinked down at the coffin.

A figure stepped up beside her. She knew who it was without even looking up.

"Do you blame me, Sam?" asked Brooke.

Sam looked at her now in confusion. It was first time they had spoken since the accident.

"Of course not." Sam genuinely didn't. "If I had gotten to you first then I... he..." she couldn't finish. Sam didn't blame Brooke. She blamed herself.

Suddenly warm arms wrapped around her from the side, drawing her into tight hug. She'd been shrugging people away all week, she couldn't stand being touched by anyone, but now she instinctively responded, turning into Brooke and looping her arms around the blonde's back. And as she did so, the knot her in throat loosened and she choked on the force of the sob that escaped. Brooke silently stroked her hair as Sam cried into her shoulder.


Ten days earlier...

"This isn't what I wanted!" Brooke insisted, walking through the restaurant's reception area.

"This is not what I wanted, Brooke, okay? Just stop!" Sam tried to slow her progress, but Brooke kept walking. Why was Brooke so upset? She was the one that should be upset - Harrison had chosen the blonde over her.. But instead of being happy, or even at least smug, Brooke had simply looked at Sam with something akin to horror on her face and leapt from her chair, rushing from the room. Sam had followed hot on her heels. If Brooke hadn't wanted Harrison to choose her, then why had she bothered to participate in this whole Harrison tug-of-war mess at all?

Brooke was halfway across the road now, as Sam heard the screech of tyres and saw the Jaguar.

"Brooke, no!"

Brooke saw it - the car was nearly on top of her and she screamed and flung her hands up in defence.

Sam unfroze and raced toward the cheerleader, but someone burst past her, ploughing into her shoulder and knocking her sideways. The car hit, but Brooke was unharmed on the other side of the road and it was Harrison that collapsed sickening onto the bonnet and crunched into the windscreen before flying up over the roof. Sam watched in horror as the car continued and smashed into a pole. She reached Brooke, who was now sitting up, and together they turned to Harrison. There wasn't much blood, but the angle of his neck told them what they didn't want to know. His eyes were open, staring up at the sky.

"Harrison?" Sam whispered. Her brain shut down in that moment, she simply refused to believe what she was seeing.

Brooke was silent beside her, and they sat there together, staring at their friend, barely registering the sirens, mutely not protesting as they were hustled out of the way by people in blue uniforms.

"Ms. McQueen, can you tell us in your own words what happened?" The police officer was kind and looked at her with understanding.

Brooke was sitting on the bonnet of a police car. She had finally registered that her left wrist was broken and winced as a paramedic put a splint on it. "I... uh." She didn't know what to say. Tears began to stream down her face. She looked over to where Sam was talking to another police officer, on the side of the road. And then to the ambulance, the back doors of which were already closed. She would see what was inside every time she closed her eyes for quite some time. "Uh... we... we..."

The police officer reached out and clasped her right shoulder. "Don't worry, miss, we'll talk to you at the hospital." Sam was still talking to the other officer, her face was dry and pale. The paramedic helped Brooke up and led her to an SUV-type vehicle and sat her in the passenger seat. As they drove away, behind the ambulance, she was still looking at Sam.

The world seemed a surreal place for the next few days. Their friends had left the prom when they heard what had happened and come to the hospital. They had all sat in Brooke's room, crying and staring at one another in shock. Except Sam. Brooke didn't know where she was, their parents were there, and every time she had tried to ask Mike or Jane where the brunette was, no-one had answered her. She wondered where Harrison's body was. Did they need to do an autopsy - would they cut him up? And no-one seemed to know what had happened to Nicole, either. She had been discharged the next day and everyone had been at her house when she'd gotten home. They'd all sat in the living room, drinking cups of tea, talking in choked voices, but Sam was in her room with the door closed. In fact Brooke didn't see her until they arrived at Harrison's house that afternoon. Robin John was devastated. She sat on her couch with Sheila at her side as Josh, Lily, Sugar Daddy, Carmen and Brooke awkwardly tried to offer their condolences. Sam hovered in the corner, eyes downcast, looking like she was trying to melt into the wall. Part of Brooke desperately wanted to reach out to her, but another part felt too guilty, wondering if Sam blamed her for Harrison's death, the way that she herself did. So she held back.


Lying sleepless in her bed, Brooke couldn't stop herself from dwelling on the last few weeks of Harrison's life. She burned every time she remembered how she and Sam had shut him out when they'd thought he'd been playing them both. She'd been so bizarrely happy when she and Sam had decided to take him to the prom as a threesome. It felt so right, the three of them all together. She'd remembered his initial clumsiness and awkwardness when she and Harrison had slept together during Spring Break and the look of adoration on his face afterward. She ran over and over in her mind the moment when he'd chosen her, puzzling on the horror that she'd felt. Why had she reacted that way? Why had it been such a shock? Why couldn't she have squealed with delight and kissed him right there, instead of running out like that. Why was it that all she been able to think about was Sam? And under and over it all was Harrison's face as he stared up into the night sky.

None of them went back to school that week. Brooke was thankful that no-one even thought to try and make them go. The last thing she wanted was everyone staring at her, or worse, trying to talk to her about it. Harrison had captured everyone's hearts and sympathy with his battle against cancer earlier in the year, and they'd all been so happy when he survived. It all seemed so futile and ironic now that he was gone. They'd lost him anyway. Sam was still in her room, but even Mary Cherry had joined them in their daily living room vigil now, and Brooke was grateful to her that there were no theatrics, no wailing about her Joe. She was as quiet and respectful as they all were. She told them that Nicole had been completely uninjured, and that the police were pressing charges. She seemed to think that Nicole's mother would find a way to get her daughter acquitted. Brooke honestly didn't care, as long as she never saw the shorter blonde again.

Above all her grief, Brooke was worried about Sam. Harrison had been the brunette's best friend for ten years, and Brooke knew that she wasn't dealing. On the few occasions that Brooke had seen her she was still as pale as she had been that night, her eyes wide and shocked, her face becoming more and more drawn. But Brooke had no idea how to reach out to her, but she knew that she needed to and it was killing her. Sam was the only other person who had been there that night. Her friends were skirting around the actual events of the night, giving her some kind of added respect because she'd been there and seen it, something Brooke felt she didn't deserve - Harrison had been a friend to all of them. Brooke needed Sam there to relieve the pressure on her, to be beside her, but the brunette was trapped in her own private hell and didn't seem to want to let anyone in. Both Lily and Carmen had knocked on her locked door for hours, trying to talk to her, but Sam hadn't responded. Brooke knew better than to even try. She just had to wait until she figured out what to do, and hoped it would be soon.

The day of the funeral was bright and sunny but the wind at the cemetery was freezing, buffeting them all as they stood around the grave. The celebrant's impersonal and cliched words didn't penetrate Brooke's mind as she stared at the coffin, and then watched it being lowered into the ground. That was the horrible part - the thought of Harrison, so warm and alive being down there in the cold, damp ground. It swept away all her hopes that Harrison was hanging with Clarence having fun somewhere, and left her feeling bleak desolation. When she looked up, after it was all over, Sam was gone. She spied her a couple of rows over and knew what she would be doing and her heart broke for her. Everyone began to wander away. The reception was going to be across the road at the country club, where Harrison had loved to play golf. Sugar had arranged and paid for it as a gift to Robin. She turned back and saw that Sam was back at Harrison's grave. Making up her mind and taking a deep breath, she went back and stood next to her.


Sam sobbed into her shoulder, making Brooke cry all over again. She held onto the brunette for all she was worth, silently comforting her through her own tears. They stood like that, clutching one another for a long time, before a man in a black suit coughed discretely behind them. She looked over Sam's head at him, and realised that they wanted to fill in the grave. Sam was looking at him too, now, and the horror of the thought overwhelmed them both as they stepped back. Brooke guided Sam gently down the path, looking back over their shoulders, grateful that the men seemed to wait until they were out of sight.

When they reached the country club, Sam baulked at the door. "Brooke, I can't..." And Brooke understood. The sat down on the edge of the planter outside and Brooke looped her arms around the brunette's shoulders and they both began to cry again.

No-one disturbed them, even though they didn't go inside all afternoon. They must have been seen and accounted for, and it must have been thought wiser to leave them to it. They didn't say much, just sat and cried, relieved to be together at last, and to be able to share their grief. Neither Mike nor Jane said anything to them when they came to get them for the drive home, or when they both refused dinner and went upstairs. Sam mutely followed Brooke into her room and they simply curled up together on the bed, the tears gone for the moment and words gone with them.


"Yeah Sam?" It was about two in the morning, but neither of them were sleeping.

"It wasn't your fault." Sam whispered.

"It wasn't yours either." Brooke told her gently. Neither quite believed the other yet.



"Why..." Sam took a shuddering breath. "When you... when he, you know, chose you..."

Sam was having a lot of trouble asking, but Brooke knew what she meant.

"I don't know." She still didn't have a clue why she'd reacted the way she had. She only knew that she wished she hadn't. "I've been trying to understand, because maybe if I... If I'd..." her voice broke.

"It's okay." Sam hugged her and kissed the top of her head. "It's really not your fault, Brooke."

"I... don't know."

Sam pulled a blanket over the two of them and lay back against the pillows.

Part II

"Come on, Sam. Please, for me?" Lily was almost whining by this point.

Sam sighed. "Lily, I really wish I could, you know I care deeply about the rights of African..."

"Australian..." Lily corrected her.

"Right, Australian green tree frogs, but..." The truth was that Sam really didn't have a great excuse. She just didn't want to go to the rally. "Just, what with homework, and... stuff." She finished lamely and tried batting her eyelids at her friend.

"Right." Lily wasn't happy but gave a small smile at Sam despite herself. "I guess it's just you and me, honey." She looked at Josh, who didn't appear to be too thrilled with the idea of going himself. They had recently moved into a small and dingy apartment, where everything from the oven to the ceiling routinely stopped performing their proper functions, but it was better then Ms. Glass' basement, and they were much happier in their marriage.

"Sorry Lil'" Sam mumbled, relieved when Brooke slid into the seat next to her, tucking her ankle around Sam's. "Hey." She turned to her almost step-sister with a warm grin. Mary Cherry sat down opposite them.

"Hey." Brooke responded in kind. They had been almost literally inseparable since Harrison's funeral, six months earlier. In fact if they weren't joined at the hip, they were certainly joined at the hand, or at least the arm almost every moment of every day. Even when they were fighting, there seemed to be some form of physical contact between them. No-one mentioned it to them directly - the two had always been physically close when they were on speaking terms - figuring that under their special circumstances, this was allowed, even if it did seem a bit odd at times. Nor did Brooke and Sam discuss it between themselves. It just seemed to them to be the natural thing to do, and made them both feel good, so they just did it.

"Brooke, I'm just letting everyone know that there's a rally on Friday..."

"Friday?" Brooke cut her off elegantly. "Sorry, Lily, but we're having an early Thanksgiving dinner on Friday."

"Huh." Sam really did have a legitimate excuse for turning Lily down. "I'd forgotten about that."

"Jane reminded you at breakfast."

"Oh yeah." Sam shrugged.

"And you're supposed to be helping me with the cooking." Brooke pointed out.

"You just like to see me in an apron."

Sam was a natural flirt, and flirted with everyone - she always had. Brooke loved that part of her, surprised at her own ease in responding to it - she had always been a bit more reserved, but she doubted there was anyone who could resist Sam when she was being cute.

"Well, I hope you'll all be happy in five years from now when the Australian green tree frog becomes extinct." Snapped Lily.

"That reminds me." Mary Cherry reached for her phone. "Mr. Caesar Crouton?" she asked. "Ah was wondering you'd gotten those special..." she glanced at Lily. "Items that we'd discussed, from France?" she emphasised.

Lily left the table in a huff, Josh scurrying after her.

"Mary Cherry." Carmen began reproachfully.

"What did Ah say?" Mary Cherry was all innocence, despite the devilish glint in her eye.

So it had been since they'd begun their senior year. The abyss that separated the Unpopulars from the Populars had vanished over the summer. They were all now hopelessly intertwined, with Josh and Lily's wedded bliss, Carmen and Brooke being co-head cheerleaders yet again and Brooke and Sam being, well, just plain intertwined. Mary Cherry had resumed her regular personality soon after the funeral, and had entertained the whole group with her quest to get back into her mother's mansion, and then her continuing war with B.Ho., who attended the School for Very Bad Girls in the city. Everyone had certainly warmed to her when, upon finding that a rumour had been circulating that Brooke or alternately Sam, had pushed Harrison in front of Nicole's car in the middle of a fight, Mary Cherry had stormed off with Sugar Daddy in tow. They never found out what she did, or to whom, but that particular rumour was never heard again by the time she was finished.

"Why are you having Thanksgiving early?" asked Carmen.

"Jane and Dad are taking Mac to visit my Grandma over the actual weekend, so we're doing it a week early this year." Brooke explained.

"So you guys will have the house to yourselves over Thanksgiving?" asked Sugar Daddy.

"Yep." Sam confirmed.

"Well that sounds like too good an opportunity to pass up." Hinted Mary Cherry, none-too-subtly.

Brooke hadn't thrown any parties this year, without Nicole to talk her into it. The shorter blonde had indeed been acquitted of the vehicular homicide and DUI charges against her, with no small help from her mother. The younger Julian had then been sent away. No-one knew or cared where, and the mention of her name was still taboo amongst her former friends and enemies.

"I don't know, guys." Brooke was hesitant.

"Oh, come on, Brooke. It'll be fun. I can organise a wicked DJ." Sugar Daddy offered.

Brooke still wasn't convinced, but Sam had warmed to the idea. "Let's do it." After all, it was her house, too. She pointedly ignored the warning look Brooke gave her. "Let's say, Saturday night. Mom and Mike won't be home until Monday, that gives us plenty of time to clean up."

Brooke didn't say anything, as everyone at the table excitedly began to plan the event.


"What's your problem, Brooke?" Sam slipped into what had become her side of Brooke's bed. Their parents had tactfully declined to comment on the fact that they were still sharing a bed, Mike and Jane were just happy to see the two getting on with lives after what they'd been through. It was just another facet or their new-found closeness.

"You could have waited until we'd talked about this before you just agreed to it." Brooke had been angry all evening.

"Oh, come on. It'll be fun.." Sam didn't see what the problem was. "Shouldn't you, as the Queen of Kennedy, be setting the social agenda anyway?"

"Don't say that." Brooke's tone was harsh as she settled in next to Sam.

"Okaaaay." Sam reached out and pulled the blonde into her arms. "Spill. What's the problem here?"

"It's nothing." Brooke rolling away from her. Now Sam was really concerned. Brooke hadn't tried to shut her out like that in a long time.

"It's obviously something." Sam pushed her, trying to be gentle, but genuinely alarmed. A tear trailed down Brooke's face. "Is it something to do with Harrison?" Sam asked.

"No, yes, well, not really." Brooke sniffled. "It's about Nicole.."

"Ah." Was all Sam could manage.

"I know." Brooke began to cry in earnest. "I know that we don't talk about her, that's she's a horrible, evil person, but..."

"It's okay." Sam said. "Just tell me what's going on."

"I miss her." Brooke looked her in the eye. "I do. I can't help it. I know what she did. But Sam, she was my best friend, and I've never thrown a party without her to do... well, the stuff she did. And this has just brought all that up for me."

Sam knew that Brooke had to miss Nicole in some way, even though the shorter blonde had tried to kill her, and had killed Harrison. She realised that they should have talked about it before this. Sam wasn't the only one who had lost her best friend that night. Brooke's welfare had been her foremost concern for so long now - she couldn't believe she'd been so insensitive about this. She didn't know what to say.

"She was always there for me, making me laugh, running interference for me." Brooke continued, seemingly unable to stop now the floodgates had opened. "And I hate her, I really do, no-one knows how much, but I still miss her."

"Of course you do." Sam stroked a strand of blonde hair back behind Brooke's ear. "We'll call the party off, we don't have to do it." She offered.

"No." Brooke smiled weakly. "I feel better now I've said something. It was just, I don't know. It's hard when I can't even say her name sometimes." She snuggled back into Sam's shoulder, and smiled again when Sam kissed the top of her head. Sam didn't know why she often did that. She just knew that Brooke loved it, and so she did it.

"You sure you're okay with it?" Sam asked.

"I'll be fine. Who knows, it might even be fun." Brooke tried a small smile and suddenly Sam felt everything was right with the world again. "And I've cried all over your favourite pyjamas." Brooke snuffled, ineffectually wiping at her shoulder.

"You just wanted to see me in a wet t-shirt." Teased Sam drolly, gesturing down at her now partially see-through top.

"Oh baby.." Chuckled Brooke, settling back in against her.


Sugar Daddy's friend was setting up shop in a corner of the newly cleared out living room. Brooke held the streamer in place and motioned to Sam for the tape. The brunette had been watching, tongue planted firmly in her cheek in concentration. Brooke grinned. Sam was so cute when she did that.

"I don't know if tape will hold that there," Sam was saying as an enraged yell came from the kitchen.

"How would you feel if someone minced pieces of you to make an appetiser?" It was Lily.

"Why Lil' Lily, it'd taste delicious with me in it. You, on the other hand..." And that was Mary Cherry.

"I'll be right back." Sam handed Brooke the tape quickly and went to intervene.

Brooke sighed.. She climbed down from the chair and surveyed her handiwork. It was looking good. She ticked off the mental checklist in her mind. The house - tick. The music - tick. The food, well, she'd wait and see. Drinks - tick. She had enough sodas and non-alcoholic beverages to slake the thirst of an army, and anyone who wanted something more would undoubtedly bring it themselves. She also knew where the key to Mike and Jane's liquor cabinet was if she or Sam wanted something with a bit more kick. Mary Cherry and Sugar Daddy had taken care of the guestlist and she knew that Sam had fought strenuously with them over some names that hadn't initially been on it, but without Nicole to put a prada-clad heel down about it, the list was far more inclusive than usual. It was five o'clock and the guests would start arriving in a couple of hours. It was time to go make herself presentable.

Sam returned and shrugged at her questioning glance. "I give up. Let's just let them stab one another with toothpicks. Hey," she said looking around her. "It really looks good."

"Thanks." Brooke grinned. "Let's go and get ready."


Sam hadn't been able to decide what to wear, and she still wasn't sure as she looked in the mirror. She had blown her hair out, twisting in couple of knots at the front. It was okay, she guessed, but she still didn't know about the black top with black pants. Was it too, well, black? She wondered as the door opened and Brooke joined her at the mirror, gazing at her reflection.

"You look great!" the blonde told her, gently shoving her with her hip and grinning.

"You've scrubbed up alright yourself." Sam responded, shoving her back. Brooke, or course looked immaculate in silvery pastels. Even though Sam would never wear half the things in Brooke's wardrobe (and the other half she borrowed often and without qualm), there was no denying that the blonde had a fabulous sense of style. And indeed, she always looked fabulous.

"You don't think this is too black?" She asked the blonde.

"Sam, you look hot." Brooke reassured her.

"Hot, huh?" Sam raised an eyebrow teasingly.

"Oh, yeah." Brooke grinned at her. "Your ass looks great in those pants."

"Brooke!" Sam was laughing now and swatted her.

"Well, it does." Brooke insisted, laughing too. "And me?"

"And you what?" Sam grinned, knowing but making Brooke say it.

"How hot am I?" the blonde asked, as Sam chuckled.

"Definitely do-able." Sam assured her.

"Let's hope there's some hot guy down there tonight who agrees with you." Brooke said without thinking.

Sam had no doubt that every guy coming tonight would certainly agree, but for some reason that thought took the smile of her face.

"Sam, what's up?" Brooke noticed the change in her immediately.

"Nothing, I don't know." Sam responded quickly. "I've just never had a party like this before. Half the senior year is coming tonight." She babbled but her mind was still working furiously. Why shouldn't Brooke pick up? She hadn't been with anyone since Harrison. It was well-past time for her to move on, and yet Sam just couldn't shake her dislike of the idea. Did she think that Brooke should be faithful to Harrison's memory? Of course she didn't, but then what was her problem?

Brooke was watching her closely. "Are sure you're okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Sam tried to reassure her, but the earlier lightness of their conversation was gone.

"I know I haven't been with anyone since..." Brooke didn't need to finish.

"I know." Sam shrugged. Brooke was too bloody good at reading her mind these days.

"And to tell you the truth, I don't know if I want to be. I don't know why I even said what I did." Brooke was starting to look upset.

"Brooke, you don't need to apologise, you have every right to find someone."

"So do you Sam." Brooke said softly, taking her hand.

That thought had not even occurred to Sam. She honestly didn't think she'd even looked at any guy seriously in the last six months. And the thought of it left her cold. Those kind of feelings seemed almost alien to her now. She hadn't felt them since the heady days when she and Brooke were taking Harrison to the prom.

Brooke was apparently still being telepathic. "I still miss him, too."

They both remembered the moment when he'd chosen Brooke and they stood there, awkwardly looking at one another.

"If he was still alive, he'd be coming to this party with you." Whispered Sam.

Brooke didn't smile. She still looked uncomfortable. "I don't know Sam. We don't know what would have happened."

"He chose you."

"I know, but I didn't want him without..." Brooke didn't finish. She had been about to say 'without you.' But the wrongness of the remark stopped her before it was out of her mouth. Sam's eyes were locked on hers, and she shivered suddenly.

"Why?" Sam asked, for the first time since the night after the funeral.

Brooke couldn't answer her. She bit her lip. Why hadn't she wanted him? Because you were only happy when it was you and Sam together, her mind told her suddenly, and once Sam was out of the picture, you didn't want him at all anymore. Brooke was shocked at the thought. Had she really wanted to be some in some mormon-esque polygamous relationship where she and Sam shared Harrison? Or, and her thoughts twisted again, did she want a threesome with the other two? Her heart beat faster at the thought and now she had truly rocked herself to the core. Sam was still looking at her, slightly confused, but waiting for an answer.

"I... I... can we, uh, talk about this later?" she wrenched her hand from Sam's and practically ran into her room, leaving a bewildered Sam at the bathroom counter.


Brooke leaned with her back against the closed door and tried to get her breathing under control. A threesome? A picture danced in her mind. Her and Harrison - and Sam - naked, doing stuff. Stuff like kissing and touching, and... Oh no. She thought. Was that really what she had wanted? Was that really why she'd been so upset when Harrison chose her, because he hadn't chosen both of them? Something like that could never work out. But she couldn't deny that when Harrison had picked her over Sam, her horror had been at the thought of she and Sam being separated. Something clicked finally and she suddenly wished that Harrison had been the one left out. Her hand flew to her mouth. Oh god, no.

Part III

The party was in full swing and going off, but Sam wasn't really in attendance. She was just floating through it. She couldn't believe that Brooke had shut her out like that minutes before the first guest had arrived. The blonde had raced from the bathroom and left her standing there alone. Their conversation had been intense, true, but they'd been able to talk to each other about everything until now. Even after Harrison had died, when Brooke had been the only one Sam had been able to talk to. But right now, Brooke wouldn't even look at her. She'd taken nearly an hour to come out of her room, and by then enough people had arrived that she'd been able to manage to have a constant wall of partying teenagers between them at all times. She seemed to be having a fine time, always surrounded by huge groups of laughing people. Sam was upset and confused and just looked at Carmen mournfully when the dark cheerleader took her arm and steered her into the kitchen.

"Okay, Sam, what's up?" her friend asked her.

"Huh?" Sam raised an eyebrow, she didn't really know how to respond.

"I've seen you drunk before and so I know it's not that. C'mon, you're being positively depressing." Carmen smiled supportively as she tried to cheer her friend up.

"It's nothing Carmen."

"Did something happen with you and Brooke?" Carmen asked.

"What makes you say that?" asked Sam now.

"Haven't you seen her tonight?" Carmen was surprised.

"We've been busy being hosts, I suppose, is she okay?" Sam was worried suddenly, and not wanting to admit that they'd been fighting.

"If you call being absolutely maggotted okay." Commented Carmen. "She can hardly stand up out there - I've never seen her so drunk."

"Shit." Sam swore and raced back into the fray, trying to locate the blonde, which wasn't hard considering Brooke was being the life of the party. She was also completely plastered, Sam now saw. In fact, she was a mess. She was sitting on a table being fed a shooter by some tall blonde guy Sam didn't recognise. The guy was laughing and Sam knew from the look on his face that he was laughing AT Brooke, not with her.

Sam saw red. She charged through the crowd and practically pulled Brooke from the table, shoving the guy out of the way as she did so. "C'mon, Brooke." She said to the drunkenly protesting cheerleader, holding her up under the arms and heading toward the laundry. She knew she was making a spectacle, but right now, she didn't care. She sat Brooke on the washer and slammed the door behind them.

"Dammit Sam, what's your problem?" Brooke whined plaintively.

"MY Problem? Look, Blondie, whatever YOUR trauma is right now, this is not the way to solve it." Sam retorted angrily. The blonde might have been freezing her out all night, but Sam was not going to stand by and let her make a fool out of herself in front of everyone.

Brooke seemed to sober a little. "For god sakes, Sam, I was just trying to have a little fun."

"You're drunk." Sam countered.

"Like you've never been drunk!" There was fire in Brooke's eyes. "Remember that night you'd been out with George and you came home with a..."

"Yes, I remember." Sam cut her off.

"Well, then, get off my case. I covered for you with Dad and Jane that night, so tonight you can just leave me alone."

"Dammit Brooke, what the hell is going on?" Sam exploded, not caring if the entire party could hear her. To her dismay, Brooke burst into tears. "Brooke, Brookie," she reached out to hug her but Brooke shoved her away with surprising strength.

"Don't, Sam." She warned. "Just don't!"

Sam was shocked. Brooke hadn't ever turned on her like this before, even when they had hated one another. "Why?" she asked now, crushed. She instinctively reached for Brooke's hand, but caught herself and pulled away.

Brooke noticed the move and had already snatched her hand back, out of reach. "Don't touch me!"

Sam's blood ran cold. "What did I do?" She asked quietly.

"Nothing." Brooke began to cry harder. "It's not you. It's me. God, I'm a complete asshole."

"Brooke, I... I don't understand." Sam felt lost.

"I know, neither did I until tonight." Brooke laughed bitterly through her tears.

"What happened tonight?" Sam didn't know whether pushing the blonde was the right thing, but she honestly didn't know what else to do.

"If I told you that, you'd never speak to me again." Brooke shook her head.

"Brooke," Sam stretched out a hand to pet her hair, but thought better of it. "Brooke, honey, there's nothing you could say or do to make that happen." Brooke looked up at her and for the first time there was a glimmer of something in her eyes and Sam continued, encouraged. "I mean it. You can talk to me about anything."

"Not this Sam, I really can't." Brooke was crying again.

Sam took a breath. "Is this because I asked you about... Is this about Harrison?" She asked, carefully.

"No, Sam. It's about you and me, and that's the problem." Brooke shook her head.

"You and me?" Sam repeated.

"That's right." Brooke confirmed. "And not Harrison at all, and maybe that's the real problem, because now he's dead and he never knew what was really going on."

"Really going on?" Sam was really confused now.

"I didn't want Harrison at all, Sam. He was never what I wanted."

Sam just let the words sit for a minute, trying to understand what Brooke was saying, whilst the blonde watched her, fighting the alcohol in her system. "Then what did you want?" she asked eventually.

But Brooke just laughed. "Nevermind, Sam, just don't worry about it." She slipped off the washing machine with the obvious intention of storming out, but stumbled as her feet hit the floor. Sam reached out and grabbed her before she collapsed, hauling her bodily up.

"Sam," Brooke tried to throw her off, but her inebriation had caught up with her again, and this time she couldn't manage it. Sam simply held her, still not understanding as Brooke's eyes looked into her own.


And then Brooke kissed her. Urgently, her tongue delving deeply into the surprised brunette's mouth. For a moment Sam just let her, startled by the feelings that coursed through her. Brooke tasted like alcohol and Sam knew she was drunk, but her touch was electric. She shivered at the force of her response to it and then she was kissing her back, not able to stop. Her hands slid around Brooke's back, clasping her tighter and she moaned, leaning into the embrace. She had never felt this way before. She had never imagined that she could feel this way. She had lost all control of herself, was completely at the mercy of the moment and she didn't care at all. Everything was focussed on Brooke and the kiss. She could feel one hand in her hair, holding her close, the other one was somewhere in the region of her hip.


The moment was shattered as Sugar Daddy suddenly opened the door. They sprang apart. Sam was speechless as she stared at Brooke, the cheerleader's hazel eyes were blazing, her lips swollen and her chest heaving. She wrenched her gaze away to look at Sugar Daddy who was looking back and forth between them in shock.

"Shit." Said Brooke, as Sam turned on her heel and fled.


"Sam?" Brooke knocked on the locked door. The last vestiges of the party had trickled on to other places and Brooke, sober as a judge now, had seen them off with relief, before racing up the stairs.

Sam did not answer her.

"Sam, please. I need to explain."

Still no answer.

"Sam, Look everyone's gone now, and I just wanted to see if you're okay."

The lock clicked, but the door did not open. Brooke turned the handle and sighed in relief when it worked. Sam was hunched on the bed - a bed that she hadn't slept in in months, Brooke thought - still in her party clothes and looking at her with an expression that made Brooke want to cry. She looked so vulnerable.

"Sammy, I..." suddenly Brooke was at a loss. She went to sit down on the edge of the bed, but thought the better of it. "I don't know what to say." She finished lamely.

"Just tell me what the hell is going on." Sam sounded tired.

"Uh, okay." Brooke realised that it was the only way - she had to tell Sam everything. She sat on the desk chair, well away from the brunette, and looked up at her.

"When you asked me again tonight why I ran out after Harrison chose me, I realised that I did it because it took you out of the equation." She felt emboldened as she saw Sam nod in understanding. "At first, I didn't understand why that mattered so much, until finally I figured out that I didn't actually want Harrison to choose either of us that night. I'd been enjoying the three of us together, because it meant I was close to you, and maybe that's all I ever saw in Harrison - a way to get closer to you. Do you have any idea what that makes me Sam? After everything, I never really wanted him at all! In fact, if there had to be a choice, I wanted you to choose me, or me to choose you, because it was you that I wanted all along." Sam was blinking at her, her expression unreadable. "And that completely freaked me out. I mean, I've thought about girls before, you know that, but you.... you're... well, you're Sam." She took a deep breath. "So that's why I acted the way I did, and I'm so sorry that all this has happened. I'm sorry for the way I treated Harrison, and I'm sorry if I upset you. I'm sorry if I've fucked up our entire friendship, because I love you Sam, with all my heart.." Her voice became choked. "Oh, and I'm sorry, I kissed you. That was nearly the stupidest thing I've ever done, I just couldn't stop myself. But I promise not to do it again."

She stared at the floor, studying a gap between the floorboards. The brunette hadn't said a word, but now Brooke could hear her moving. Then the toe of a black boot covered the gap she had been so industriously studying and a gentle hand took hold of her chin, lifting her head up.

She stared into Sam's eyes, apprehensively.

There was no cold condemnation there, only the familiar warmth and quite a few tears. Sam was bringing her up now, lifting her to her feet.

"Promise me something, Brooke." Sam had a strange half-smile on her face.

"Anything." Brooke responded immediately.

"Don't ever, ever," She emphasised and Brooke's heart felt heavier by the second. "Apologise for kissing me like that again."

Brooke wasn't sure she'd heard what the brunette had just said, but she didn't really have time to think about it before Sam's lips claimed her own.


Sam opened her eyes, and for a moment didn't know where she was. Then she realised that for the first time in months she was in her own bed. They were her photos, her curtains, that was her stuff everywhere. Brooke stirred in her sleep and Sam turned her head to study her. How had they ended up here, she wondered. Then she remembered the party, and then everything else. Her heart began to thud as she remembered what she and Brooke had been doing when they'd ended up in her bed. They'd been kissing. A silly smile spread across her whole face, she couldn't help it. She and Brooke had been kissing. Brooke wanted her. And she knew for certain that she wanted Brooke.. Well, she hadn't known it until the instant that Brooke had kissed her in the laundry, but after that it had been one of the few things that had been clear to her. She'd sat in her room, going back over the previous six months in detail. Brooke had barely been out of her sight. On some level, she'd known their extreme intimacy had been odd. They'd been acting exactly like they were a couple. Hell, a few times people they didn't known had assumed that they were a couple - something they'd both found uproariously funny at the time. And on that level it had all been so innocent, but now she knew that it also hadn't been. The sense of warmth and calm she'd felt in Brooke's arms, the constant need to be together - they'd even been sharing a bed, and Sam had realised that she should have seen it coming, she should have understood what was really going on. She'd been desperate for Brooke, maybe she had been even before Harrison had died, but that was something she hadn't been able to think about last night, her own guilt was far too painful. And instead of thinking about it now, she studied Brooke's sleeping profile, sculpted eyebrows, long eyelashes, cute nose, full lips, determined jaw. Hesitantly, she reached across and kissed her forehead.

Brooke mumbled something and Sam suddenly panicked. What if Brooke had just been drunk last night, what if she hadn't really meant all those things that she'd said?

"Sammy?" Brooke was waking up and when her eyes opened Sam watched the same confusion that she herself had experienced waking up in her room instead of Brooke's, going through the blonde's mind. Then she smiled, and looked up into Sam's eyes. "Sammy." She repeated, and snuggled closer to the brunette.

"Hey there." Sam suddenly felt unaccountably awkward.. She'd never been in this situation before.

"Hey." Drawled Brooke lazily..

"Er, how's your head?" Sam asked.

"My head?" Brooke was puzzled for a second. "Huh. That's right. I was drunk, wasn't I?"

"You'd forgotten?"

Brooke giggled. "Yeah, I had. What, with everything else that was going on." She grinned and reached up to kiss Sam.

Relief coloured the emotions that raced through Sam at the contact. She'd suddenly been sure that if Brooke couldn't even remember being drunk, there was no way that the blonde would have remembered later events in the evening.

"Oh god, the house." Brooke groaned, breaking away after a few moments. "We have to clean up."

"Yeah but not right now." Sam assured her, enfolding the cheerleader in her arms.


In the end, it didn't take more than a couple of hours before the house looked completely normal again. Apart from the six huge garbage bags, no-one would have known that they had thrown the most successful party of the season the night before.

"What about Sugar Daddy?" Sam asked, as she tied the final one off.

"I swore him to secrecy." Brooke picked up a bag in each hand, heading for the garage. "I trust him not to tell anyone."

"Me too." Sam followed behind, carrying two bags of her own. "He's a really sweet guy."

The garbage collection was the following morning, first thing, long before their parents would get home, and they put it all out on the pavement, ready to go. Their tracks well-covered, they collapsed on the couch in the living room.

"Sam?" Brooke began.

"Mm Hmm?" Sam asked contentedly as she snuggled into Brooke's shoulder.

"I really am sorry about last night - not the kissing part." She added hurriedly when she saw the look in the brunette's eyes, "But all the fighting."

"Me too." Sam agreed.. They were quiet for a while.

"Sam?" Brooke asked again.


"Do you think Harrison would be mad at us?" Brooke's voice was very quiet.

Sam thought about it. She been avoiding that question and ones like it since the scene in the laundry, but now she let her mind go there. "He wasn't a bigot." She said after a moment. "I mean he had some issues with his mom at first, but remember the way he stood up for Miss Debbie, and he was the first to join Lily's gay alliance."

"That's not what I meant," Brooke pointed out but Sam knew that already.

"I know." She took a deep breath. "I think he would have been mad at first, but not because we were together, but because he would have felt like we played him. But I think then he would have understood that we didn't mean to, that we didn't know what we were doing and then I think he would have been okay with it." And she knew it was true. Neither she or Brooke had done what they had maliciously, they simply hadn't understood their true intentions.

"Yeah?" Sam could hear tears in Brooke's voice.

"I think if he's anywhere that people who claim to know about that kind of stuff say he is, then he would have understood before we did, and he's probably been rooting for us all along." She smiled sadly. "And I think if he was still alive he would not be so mad at us as much as he'd probably just want to watch."

That broke the tension and Brooke laughed as she shoved Sam in the shoulder. "Sam!"

"I know, but think about it." They were both laughing now as they wrestled. A weight had been lifted and Brooke smiled through her tears.

A whole lot had changed in twenty-four hours, Brooke reflected, and not just between her and Sam. They'd finally laid Harrison to rest.

The end


New Stories

Author & Genre

Main Index