Title: "In My Way"

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 the episode "The Phantom Menace."

Summary: Brooke and Sam run into one another, and for just a moment, the world disappears.

Physics taught us that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  When two opposing forces collide, they reject one another and retreat in the other direction.  However, science has never been able to explain why opposite forces connect in unexplained moments of collision and fail to repel one another.  That's where the heart takes over and science gets thrown out the window.

Brooke McQueen turned the corner first.  She was wrapped up in conversation with Nicole about something or other, Brooke barely had time to keep up with the scheming the shorter blonde always managed to find herself steeped in.  She held her textbooks close to her chest, not having had the time to go to her locker, yet, and the next thing shes knew she collided with Sam McPherson and clutched those very books as if her life depended on it.

For just a split second, the girls remained entirely within a bubble of their own creation.  The world around them stopped, and neither knew what to do with the fleeting emotions flowing through them in those few moments.  Everyone else who witnessed the social food chain faux pas of a clash of populars versus unpopulars didn't even notice the way Brooke slowly looked over Sam, then diverted her eyes so as to not be caught staring at the brunette.  Not even Nicole noticed it, and Nicole Julian was always looking for a way to overthrow Kennedy High's teen queen.

Brooke was completely taken out of her element.  She didn't know what to do.  She'd never looked over another girl quite the way she was right now, and for all intensive purposes, she wasn't even sure why she was doing it.  Or if she was even doing it right.  Was checking out a girl the same thing as checking out a guy?  Or was their another type of form or technique she should be employing?

Something about Sam McPherson captivated her, whether they were sort of getting along or not, and it was small moments like this that reminded her of that captivation.  Sam was passionate, albeit in the wrong ways at the wrong times.  She was headstrong, that often landed her center stage when she'd rather hide on the sidelines.  And, most importantly, Sam was beautiful, but she didn't think the brunette ever thought it of herself.

Brooke couldn't help but admit after catching a glance of her in the cafeteria or viewing her profile from their shared lab table in biology class.  She found herself often lost in thought over the brunette, but she could never quite pinpoint why this girl elicited the feelings she felt deep down inside.  She didn't know what to make of them or how to classify them or if they were even real feelings.  Did she like girls?  Boys and girls?  Just girls?  She'd never felt this way before about another girl, and it confused her, but instead of dealing with it head-on, Brooke McQueen did what she always did and pushed those feelings to the side and let the world around her drown them out.  After all, she couldn't be that popular and be gay.  That would surely be the end of her reign.

Sam would never admit she thought about the blonde outside the confines of their bitter battle of wills.  Not even to her journal, and most of the time, not even herself.  Lately though, their fights increased in intensity and she found herself more drawn to her adversary.  It was very rare she found someone who challenged her the way Brooke McQueen did and now she was what some would say infatuated with her.  If she knew how confused Brooke was about her feelings, she would deduce that at least Brooke had an inkling of what she felt.  Right now, Sam McPherson had no clue what it meant or even how to rationalize it within her mind.

She couldn't even rationalize her feelings let alone categorize them.  All Sam knew was that she felt more for Brooke in that one second than she did about anything else in the world.  Not even the Zapruder, her pride and joy, made her feel so alive as she did standing their looking into Brooke's eyes.  The last time she felt that alive in someone's presence was when her father was still alive.  It wasn't something Sam could just shrug off, forget and roll off her back like so many feelings she'd had before.

As soon as it started, it was over, and Lily piped up and drew Sam's eyes from Brooke's first.  Nicole just wanted to throw barbs, but Brooke wasn't listening instead focusing intently on Sam's full lips.  If Sam knew anything about being chased, she would've realized Brooke was checking her out, but while the journalist was highly observant, she could never quite figure out what was right in front of her face.

"I'm just in her way," Sam rolled her eyes at Lily, anger seething through her veins as they scurried off down the hall.  Sam turned slightly to take a look at Brooke, but she didn't know why and she didn't quite know what to make of her eyes roaming over the blonde's form like a hormone crazed boy.  She merely shrugged it off.

'You're never in my way,' Brooke thought to herself, having overhead Sam's remark, before Nicole's voice grating through the air brought her back to reality for another day.  She adjusted her book strap, clutched her books and walked away as Sam spied another look before Lily dragged her away.

At the end of the day, both girls sat alone in their worlds making sense of the few brief moments they spent looking into one another's eyes.  The world around them saw it as a stare down, but they both knew it was something more than that even if they didn't want it to be.  It was moments like that when science failed, and the heart proved to be the very thing that ruled them all.


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