Title: "Fallout"

Author: carpesomediem

E-Mail: carpesomediem[at]gmail.com


Fandom: Popular

Characters: Sam/Brooke

Rating: G

Warnings/Spoilers: Everything belongs to Ryan Murphy; I just bring the characters out to play.  Spoilers from "Under Siege."

Summary: Brooke and Sam ponder what happened between them in the Novak.

"And then there's you and me."  Sam cut through the air of tension between them.  The conversation had winded down, and even though Brooke wanted to say more, she knew Sam would never let her in.  The brunette managed to open up more than she ever thought possible, but still, it was just a few threads of the complicated nature of the journalist she found so intriguing.

Brooke had offered herself up, too.  A little bit here, and there, regretful for what happened at the dinner the night before.  She only had to look into the pained expression of her father that morning to realize how much damage she'd half-caused.  Sam, too, it seemed like realized the impact of their show at the dinner table even if she didn't seem as remorseful as Brooke thought she should be.

"This ought to be interesting," Sam followed up when Brooke didn't respond.  She watched the flood of emotion wave over Sam's features before she turned slightly, trying to regain her composure.  She noticed the way Brooke looked at her, almost as if trying to gage some sort of response from the civil conversation they were having with one another.  Sam already admitted too much to her enemy, it was time for her to gain the upper-hand.

"Very," Brooke responded dryly, glancing over the brunette one last time before heading out of the Novak and to her locker.  Sam didn't say anything as Brooke left her there, her bag slung over shoulder and tears welling up in her eyes.  She turned back to the mirror, wiped her eyes and just sighed.

Why was she so bent on Brooke McQueen?  Besides the obvious social dominance at school and being at the bottom of the totem pole, Brooke really wasn't that bad, even though she made her out to be.  She knew that deep down inside, but Sam also knew something was seriously brewing at the surface threatening to spill over into every facet of her life.  It was only a matter of time before her emotions cracked her.  It was inevitable.  So, she wiped her eyes once more, shrugged the encounter off before she could think too much of it and headed for her own locker before class.  This was just too much for her right now, and like always, she just didn't want to deal until it smacked her in the face.  Then, again, Brooke did slap her last night, maybe it was a sign.

Brooke, meanwhile, high-tailed it to her locker the second she exited the Novak.  It took her a few tries to open it; she couldn't quite get the combination right even thought she knew it by heart.  She put her left hand on the locker next to hers, the right held the door open and she just stared into its contents.  Her purse laid on top of scattered textbooks and notebooks for her various classes.

She thought of checking her cell phone but thought against it.  Her mind was just scattered in all the wrong places, and she didn't want to answer a million questions about something she couldn't explain.  Truth be told, she really didn't want to deal with anybody else and kept looking around to make sure Nicole or Mary Cherry didn't spot her.  Josh did, however, and headed in her direction.  She rolled her eyes before tucking a strand of hair behind her hair and greeted him with a fake smile.

"Hey," she said flatly.  She really, really didn't want to deal with her boyfriend right now.  He was just so dense to it, too, and it was frustrating her more every passing day.

"Hey, honey," he kissed her on the cheek.  "Everything okay?"

"Sure, why wouldn't it be?" she asked, a dull flush on her cheeks from her encounter with Sam.

"I don't know.  You seem to be avoiding me," he pointed out.

"Oh," Brooke shrugged, grabbing her purse and notebook for her next class.  She closed the locker behind her, "I'm just running late."

"But class isn't for another few minutes," Josh replied, confused.  "Want me to walk you there?"

"Nah, I'm fine," she said, "I'll call you, tonight?"  Josh just nodded, kissing her on the cheek again and heading off to his own class with a sinking feeling in his gut.  Brooke felt bad, but really, who was she kidding?  Josh didn't get it, most of the people she called friends didn't get it, and now the one person who might actually get it didn't have the emotional capacity to put down her guard for longer than a millisecond.

Brooke walked into her next class, sat down and opened her notebook.  Normally, she would've said hi to a few people and gossiped with the best of the, but today her mind was focused solely on what went down at the Palace the night before.

Other than being on opposite sides of the fence, so to speak, her and Sam weren't all that different.  They both came from broken homes in a way, and they both had a way of seeing more of the world than most around them.  They'd been through a lot individually and now they were going through a transition together, but they were focused on destroying that to get at one another.  In the process, they were destroying their parents.  Brooke couldn't stand the idea of losing another parent; Mike was all she had left, and she wasn't about to force him out of her life, too.

Sam walked into class a few minutes after the bell and just shrugged off it being pointed out to her.  She took her seat, opened her notebook and appeared to Brooke to be going on with life as if nothing happened and the blonde wondered if this was how it was always going to be.  She didn't catch Sam turn around from her seat a few rows ahead of her and sneak a glance.  The brunette mentally berated herself for giving into it and did her best to focus the rest of the period.


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