Title: On the Beach

Author: Megan

Disclaimer: All things `Popular' belong to WB. Or maybe the creators of the show, I really have no idea.

Email: shy_grrl@hotmail.com

Archive: http://www.realmoftheshadow.com/megan.htm

Summary: Sam and Brooke share some summer fun.

Author's Notes: Sort of a sequel to `Camera', check Kim's site if you want to read that first. Might work as a stand alone too. Sam and Brooke still in an unrelationshippy place.

"Okay, Sam. Just... run your hands through your hair, and lean front", I tell the bikini wearing brunette. She has a towel tied to her waist, "Not that much!", I quickly add, when she almost tumbles down onto her face.

Sam makes a face at me, and drops her arms down, "Don't you have enough pictures already, Brooke?", she asks in a bored voice, "Why do I always have to be your model anyway?"

I lower my camera, along with my head, "You don't HAVE to be", I say, "I thought you liked it."

I glance at her under my brow, and smile inwardly. She's feeling bad. It's SO easy to make Sam feel bad. I just have to pretend to be the tiniest bit hurt, and she's all apologetic, and willing to do anything. Kind of fun. And sweet.

"Well, yeah... I do sometimes", she stutters out the words. Then nods once and smiles, "I do", she says more firmly, "Go ahead."

I guess she does like it sometimes. But I also know she doesn't like it all the time. Like now. I know she forces herself to suffer through it. But I don't know, why she does it. Or, maybe I do. Maybe she does it for the same reasons as me, when I let her of the hook, if she's had enough.

"No, it's okay Sam", I say and smile back at her, "I'm out of film anyway", I lie and walk up to her.

"Oh", she mutters, looking at the camera, and then at me.

I can't stand the eye contact for more than a few seconds, so my gaze starts to scan the beach around us. It's almost empty. Not the best of beach days. Lots of clouds. The sun only comes out for short periods. It's a lousy day for photographing, but Sam refused to come if the beach was crowded.

There're three guys with surfboards, sitting a distance away, ogling at us. And a young boy with his mother still a little farther away. At least I think it's his mother. Could be a sister I guess... Or an aunt. Could be lots of things really... and why the Hell do I care?!

"Brooke?", Sam asks.

I find her frowning when our eyes meet again, "What?"

She looks at me for a few more moments, before shrugging her shoulders and letting it go, "So what do you wanna do now?"

"We could go swimming?", I offer. Not because I want to, but because I don't want to leave either. The day's young, and I wanna spend it with Sam. If we go home, then she'll vanish to do some of her own things. Things that I can't take part of, cause we're not really friends. I don't know what the Hell we are. Sometimes I think we ARE friends, but at other times, we're like enemies. So I guess that would make us sisters. But then there are the times I wanna kiss her, and not in a sisterly way.

"Yeah, we could", she says rolling her eyes, "Or better yet, let's NOT go swimming."

Movement behind Sam attracts my attention. Seems one of the surfer boys is heading for the water. I really don't see what he's gona surf on, since the waves are nonexistent.

"Your fans are leaving", I state, and nod towards the guy.

Sam turns to look, "No... I think he's just gona show us what his got."

"Oh my", I say in a mocking tone, "Now he's gona sweep you of your feet with his wild surfing talents."

"Yeah, and blow any chance you ever had", she mutters barely audibly.

"What?, "What?", I ask in a faltering voice. What did she mean by that?

She shrugs, "Nothing", and refuses to look my way.

Nothing... yeah right. It was something. My heart is pounding so hard, I think it's gona burst through my chest any second now. Either that, or there's an alien inside me, ready to pounce. Sam forced me to watch the stupid movie a few nights back. Thank you so very much for those images, "Sam..."

The brunette tramples all over my voice, "Hey!", she exclaims loudly, spinning around to face me, "Maybe we should go surfing sometime!"

I gawk at her for a good five seconds, before managing to shake my head slightly, "Surfing?", I ask blinking my eyes, "Sure...", surfing? Is she in-SANE?

"Yeah!", her eyes are shining, when she turns to look back to the sea, "It's gona be fun", Sam says, with an exited voice. I lift up my camera, and start zooming towards the surfer. He's still swimming on his board, farther away from the beach, "I thought you were out of film?", Sam says.

"Yeah, I am...", I reply insipidly, "Just wanted to catch a better look at the surf-boy."


All I can see is his skinny back, and his longish curly blonde hair. Not a very awe-inspiring sight, so I lower the camera back down. And turn to look at Sam again, "Well, he obviously charmed the panties off you", I smirk, "Though, honestly, I don't know what you see in him."

"Yeah, well... you wouldn't", she mumbles under her breath again, so that I barely make out the words. That's so annoying!

"What's that supposed to mean?", I ask harshly.

Sam just grins, and shrugs her shoulders, "You know what it means", she says, and turns her attention to the surfer again.

I follow her lead. The guy seems to have reached his destination. He's now sitting still on his board, waiting for waves. And he's gona be waiting a LONG time, "Be sure to call your boyfriend home, before he starves to death. He's not too bright, is he?", I say. Sam chuckles a little, and tries to cover it with her hand, "What?", I demand to know. She only shrugs again, "What?!"

"Jealous much?", she simply says.

I glare at her for a few seconds, and then glance back at the surfer guy, "Like I want anything to do with that guy."

"Yeah. Right... the guy", Sam says, "I don't know where you get off calling HIM stupid, though. At least he's doing what he wants to do, even if the conditions aren't perfect", Sam's words are starting to have a definite edge to them. Like she's trying to make a point, in her own vague-ish way. I wish she'd stop with the innuendo. I hate guessing the meaning behind every word. She's still staring towards the sea, not at the guy anymore, but past him. Into the horizon. I study her in secret, taking quick peeks, whenever it feels safe to do so, "Let's get out of here", she suddenly says, startling me, "This is boring."

She turns to me for confirmation, and I nod. If Sam says it's boring, it's boring. We start walking away, towards our car in the distance. Halfway there, I feel a cool breeze against my skin, "The wind is starting to blow", I say. Maybe the guy is gona get his waves after all. Without thinking twice, I quickly open the lock on my bracelet and let it fall down. Sam's none the wiser.

"Yeah", she says.


Slowly my car slides into the exact same spot, we left only ten hours ago. I turn off the engine, and the lights. The beach is the same. Only darker. The sea would be beyond our eyes, if not the light of the moon reflecting from it.

"Hey, look", I say pointing to the sky, when we step out of the car, "The stars are out. Guess the clouds have passed already."

Sam grumbles an incoherent answer. She couldn't care less, "Let's get this over with. I need my sleep", she mutters more clearly this time, "You have any idea where you dropped it?"

"Sure, Sam", I reply in a mocking tone, "I saw the exact spot, where I dropped it. Just didn't bother to pick it up", I shake my head.

"Wouldn't put it past you", she mutters, and heads down to the waterline. I consider giving her a piece of my mind, but then decide it wouldn't be fair. When she's actually right. Slowly I start to follow her, turning on my flash light, and scanning the ground. Hope I can still find the bracelet. Why didn't I just hide it at home, and tell her I lost it here? Sam is right, I AM stupid!, "Why would it be there?!", she calls out from the distance. She's stopped, and is pointing her own light towards me.

Damn it! I start to move towards her, almost tripping on my own feet, "You... never know!", I shout back, and catch my balance. Though, sometimes you do.

Sam mumbles something again, but I can't hear the words, "I can't believe we're looking for a STUPID bracelet in the middle of the night!", she then yells, and starts walking again.

I rush to catch up with her, "Oh, come on, Sam", I say, when I reach her side. She glances at me quickly, "It's a beautiful night, what would you rather be doing?"

She squints her eyes slightly, but doesn't say anything. For the next ten minutes or so, we search the nightly beach, for something that isn't there. Sam was right again, this is idiotic. She's gona kill me, if she ever finds out. We have split the beach in half, me covering one side, and Sam the other. All the while my eyes are sweeping the sand, my mind is trying to plot the perfect way to... charm the panties off Sam. That's the whole point of this waste of time, so I better come up with something good. Sam's grumpy mood just makes it that much harder.

"Boy, the stars sure are pretty, ha, Sam?", I finally break the silence, when we meet in the middle ground again. She glances up at the sky, and then at me. There's a hidden sharpness to her eyes. But she doesn't answer anything, just starts searching the beach again, "And look at the moon! It's full!"

"Yeah", she finally talks, "Better watch out for those werewolves", Sam says. I start laughing, too loud, and too falsely. She notices it immediately, and shines the light straight to my face, "You know, for a girl who was weeping in my room an hour ago, begging for my help in finding her lost jewelry, you sure seem chippery now."

I shade my eyes with my hand, and look for a way out. I'm such a  lousy actress, "I'm sure we'll find it, now that you're helping me", I say, and immediately grimace at the stupidity of the words. Flattering her will only make it worse! She's on to me already.

Sam's quiet for a time. She lowers the light back down, but keeps staring at me. I start to fidget under her scrutinizing eyes. Trying to salvage what little I can, I quickly start to look for the bracelet again, "Okay, where is it, Brooke?", she says.

"I don't know what you're talking about", it's my turn to start muttering incomprehensibly.

"I know it's not here!", she says, and moves closer to me, "Admit it, this is just another one of your stupid games!"

"It's not a game, Sam", I say. Still walking aimlessly around, and sweeping the beach with the light.

"Stop it!", she says, and grabs my flashlight.

I make a futile attempt to snatch it back, but she only takes her hand away from reach, "Give it back!", I shout, though it sounds like a whine

I jump towards her. She tries to step aside, but isn't fast enough. I bump into her, my nose brushing against her cool cheek. My hand circles around her back, and digs into her brown hair. And the next thing I know, we're kissing. Or rather, I'm kissing her. She starts to respond at first, but then quickly pulls away. One of the flashlights has fallen down, and is now creating a cone of light across the beach.

Sam raises her free hand to her mouth, and glares at me, "Now tell me, it's not a game", she says. I think I see tears glistening in her eyes. But I can't be sure, cause as soon as I try to get a better look, she's turned around and is walking away. Towards the car.

I let her get some ten feet away, before running after her, "It's not a game, Sam!", I yell, and grab her shoulder.

She shakes free, and turns to look at me. I look for her eyes again. There might've been tears in them a moment ago. But none are left now. They're burning, "Look me in the eyes, and tell me you don't know where that bracelet is", she says vehemently.

"I... I...", I start stuttering. Sam gives me enough time to answer, but when I don't, she shakes her head once, and starts to go again, "I don't...", I say too quietly for her to hear anymore. She's walking fast. I don't know where though, since I have the car keys, "Okay, I know!", I finally yell, when she's midway between me and the car. Her power walk has slowed to a slouching, and the light from the flashlight is pointing straight down, "It's not a game, though!", Sam stops walking, and bows her head. I keep staring at her back, "I think I love you, Sam", the last sentence is again too quiet. It's only an admission to myself.

Sam crouches down for a second, and then stands up again. I start walking towards her slowly. She keeps her head bowed down for a few more moments, before turning around. I'm still twenty feet away from her, and can't see her expression clearly, "Look what I found", she says blandly, when I get closer. She shines the light to her other hand, which is raised up, and holding a bracelet. The bracelet. My bracelet.

I take a few more steps, and turn my eyes from the bracelet to her, "I knew you'd find it", I say, smiling.

"But you also knew? Where it was?", she asks. Still her face stays blank.

"Yeah. It was all a ploy to get you here", I say, and nod my head, "But this is not a game, Sam. This is real."

Our eyes stay locked for the longest time. Nothing in her expression changes. I try to stay as cool as she, but it's hard. Sam's stare always makes me fidgety. For as long as I can remember, it's been so. I always get uncomfortable when she's looking at me. That's how I always know, when she's looking at me.

Finally, when I think I can't take it another second, she looks away. Glances at the bracelet, and smiles, "Yeah", she says, and lowers her hand, "I know. I just got tired of waiting for you to get over your issues", she takes a step closer to me. I frown. She knew? All along? She must see my mystified face, cause she laughs a little and says, "God, Brooke! I'd have to be blind, not to mention deaf, to not notice how you feel."

"Ex...cuse me?", I'm barely able to say through my confusion. Sam takes a hold of my hand, and lifts it up. She places the bracelet on my wrist, "So... you've been... playing me all along?", I say haltingly, when she fastens the lock on the bracelet, and releases my hand.

"Not playing", she frowns, and then nods her head grandly, and changes her expression to that of a smile, "Waiting. For you."

I start shaking me head, and furrow my brow, "I'm confused. What does that mean? It means... does it mean..."

"It means, you can kiss me now. If you want to", she interrupts my ramblings. Her hand reaches out slowly, and brushes against my cheek.

I stare at her my mouth open for a few more moments. My hand raises up, and I place it on hers, which is still caressing my face, tracing its way towards my mouth. It's all so confusing. I thought I was the devious mind here, and turns out Sam's light years ahead of me.

"Don't feel bad, Brooke", she says, leaning closer, "I've just always known", and then she kisses me.

Way up high, something blocks the moon. Sam's flashlight becomes the only guiding beacon. Soon, it too is gone. It flickers angrily a couple of times, before burning out. We're left in total darkness. Together.

< end >

Thanks for reading,

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