Title: Camera

Author: Megan

Email: shy_grrl@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, or other things `Popular'.

Feedback: Yes, please. Just be gentle, I break easily.

Summary: Brooke wants to photograph Sam.

Archive: http://www.realmoftheshadow.com/megan.htm (My eternal gratitude to Kim for saving my stories from oblivion)

Author's notes: Just saw the ep where Adam wanted to become a male cheerleader. There was this side plot in it, where Brooke had found her mother's old camera and insisted that Sam model for her. They didn't show it :-( but it still had some slashy potential imho. This is just a short piece, and even pre-slash at that.

"Stupid boxes", I mutter when one of them nearly falls on my head. I catch it in the last moment. The upstairs storage closet... it's a scary place. Lots of history here. Most of mom's stuff is here, she didn't take a lot with her. But I'm a big girl now. I can take it.

I push the rebel box back to it's place and take a step back. My gaze roams along the upper shelf as I place my hands on my hips. Thankfully dad has labeled the boxes clearly. Clothes, magazines, stuff... stuff? Maybe it's in there.

I stand on my toes and carefully remove the middle box. My mouth twists into a grin when the first thing in the box to catch my eye is the old photograph. I look so CUTE in that! That'll teach Sam to doubt my words.

I set the box on the floor, and kneel beside it. The picture is even better than I remembered. Picking it up with frames and all, I smile at the memories. Not all the memories of mom are bad. I glance into the box again and spot her camera. The very camera she used to take this picture probably. How come she left her camera home? Photographing was the one thing she did well.

I put down the photo and retrieve the camera. Mom took great pictures. It all comes back to me now. Days spent walking the sunny streets, looking for something to shoot. Moments worth freezing in time.

I flick on the power and am slightly surprised, when it actually does come on. There's a half full film in it. The last pictures she ever took here...

I pick up the old photograph and shake my mind free from the past. The camera has given me another brilliant idea. I hurry out of the closet and close the door behind me.

Outside Sam is just making her way upstairs. Perfect, "Sam, wait up!"

She turns to look at me and frowns when she finds me grinning, "What?"

"I've got the picture", I answer, waving it in the air.

"What picture?", she gets even more confused.

Oh, great. She doesn't even remember anymore! And I spent almost ten minutes looking for it!, "What do you mean, what picture?", I ask a little offended, "The one that proves I was way cuter than you as a child."

"Brooke...", she chuckles, "I've seen your childhood pictures before", she says spreading her arms and shaking her head, "There's no way you were cuter than me."

"You haven't seen this one", I say cockily and walk up to her, "Even I was amazed at how great I looked. I mean, I must've been the most perfect child ever. I must've."

She grins and grabs the picture when I hold it out. I grin back, "Okay Brooke. I think this game has gone far enough. It's bringing out a very unpleasant side of you", Sam says and looks at the photo, "Although it's a good photo."

"So I win?", my grin is even wider now. Sam only smiles and hands the picture back, "Oh, you can keep it", huh? Why did I say that? Why would she want my picture anyway?, "A... as a... reminder, you know."

She frowns and looks at me weirdly for a while. And then shrugs, "Okay", Sam says and lowers her hand back down, "What's with the camera?"

"Oh! Oh!", I get exited all over again, "You have to be my model!"

"Your model?", she frowns again, "I don't think so Brooke."

"You have to Sam", I start to whine when she turns to leave, "I need a model!", she takes a few steps towards her door, "Saaam! You have to!", I grab her hand.

She flings around, "What's wrong with you Brooke? Where did you get that camera anyway?"

Sam's not gona agree easily. I decide to play my pity card, "It was my mom's", I say quietly bowing my head, "She took really great photos and I just... wanted to see if I could do it too."

"Oh", she says, and I can hear an apology coming. She feels bad. A grin starts to form on my mouth, "I didn't know. Maybe I could let you...", I burst out giggling in the middle of her sentence. She stops talking and just watches me for a few seconds, "Great Brooke", she nods.

"I'm...", I try to talk through the laughing, "I'm sorry Sam..."

"Get yourself another damn model!", Sam snaps.

"No, I really am sorry", I quickly try to erase the damage, "I didn't mean anything bad."

"No, you just like manipulating people", she says and turns to leave again.

"Sam...", I call after her. She's almost in her room when I shout, "I'll pay you!"

Sam stops at the door and slowly turns her head, "How much?"

"Well, I don't really have a lot of money right now...", she takes a step further away, "But I'll do anything you want!"

She stops again, "Anything?", I nod. And she starts to grin, "Fine."

"Well, I didn't mean anything as in ANYTHING...", I start to take back my words.

"Too late Brooke. Let's shoot."

I get a little nervous from the grin and the quick change of heart. Hope she doesn't make me do anything too horrible. But I quickly shake off the bad thoughts. At least I got what I wanted, a model.

"Okay", I say, "Come on, you can borrow my clothes."

"Why can't I wear my own?"

"Because Sam", I lead the way into my room, "You don't have a decent piece of clothing in your wardrobe."

Sam follows me a few steps behind. I hear her chuckle, "Keep on insulting me. I'll be sure to remember it when I'm deciding your fate."

I smirk at her and nod towards my closet, "Try the short black one. I think it'll look good on you."

"You've been imagining me in short black dresses?", Sam disappears into the wardrobe.

"Short black dresses, long blue dresses", I answer while familiarizing myself with the camera, "No dresses", the last one just leaves my mouth when I'm not thinking. My head jerks up and I find Sam staring at me from the door.

"No dresses?", she says tilting her head.

I blush and quickly return to study the incredibly interesting piece of equipment in my hand, "Uh...", I mumble, "Yeah... I meant to buy you this swimsuit for your birthday, and I tried to picture how it would fit you", good cover Brooke! Great even.

Sam stands there dumbfounded for a moment, "You are weird", she says and disappears into the closet.

Yes I am. Even though I sometimes picture Sam in various stages of undress, I still didn't have to tell HER that!? God! What the hell is going on in my mind?

I wait and nervously play around with the camera, "This is really short, Brooke", Sam finally calls out.

"So?", I answer, "Just come out, so we can get started."

"But this is REALLY short", she says from the doorway.

I turn to look at her and my jaw drops, "Sam...", I manage to utter with great difficulty.

"What?", she gets confused and starts to look around what's wrong.

"Uhm...", I mumble, still searching for the right words, "That's a night gown", I finally force out nodding my head a couple of times.

Sam's mouth also opens wide, as she proceeds to gawk at me. It takes a few seconds for her mind to catch up, "Oh... I knew that", she says trying to sound sure of herself. I know she's lying though. Too proud to admit making a mistake. But if she wants it that way, I'm game.

"You did?", I ask and grin, "I was aiming for a more of a... classic look, but I guess we can do sort of lingerie catalogue thingy."

Sam glares at me and her face turns a little redish. She has talked herself into a dead end, "Are you sure Brooke? Cause you know, I'm thinking that underwear models get PAID a lot more."

I just chuckle a little, "You look so hot in that, it'd be a shame to waste it", I say and look her up and down. Sam blushes even more and starts to fidget around. But I don't wanna go too far, "Tell you what Sammy. We'll take a few photos of you in that, and then you can choose the next clothes yourself", I continue in a more settling tone, "Anything you want."

Sam thinks about it for a while and shrugs then, "Whatever", she says and walks a little closer, "Where do you want me?"

"How about on my lap?", I talk way too fast again, and grimace at my own stupid statement.

Sam scowls, "I'm changing", she says and walks back into the closet.


I anxiously rip open the envelope with a big smile on my face. I'm feeling real giddy, the photo session turned out to be great once we got it underway. Sam relaxed when she got into more comfortable clothes. But the same flirtatious mood lasted through the entire thing. I don't know where it came, but it was a lot of fun.

"I'm wearing jeans and this cashmere sweater, which by the way is now my reward", she yelled out at one point, "Live with it."

I almost began to protest, the sweater is one of my favorites. But when she walked out and I saw how good she looked, I couldn't really argue.

My smile disappears when I see the first photograph. It's one of mom's pictures. There's a small boy on a bike, gawking like an idiot. Harrison, I realize with a bit of a shock. Harrison at the age of nine.

I quickly start to skim through the old pictures. But I can't bring myself to totally skip over them, I can't look away. And then I meet with a photo of myself and dad. We're standing by the pool and dad has a huge smile on his face. I remember when it was taken. It's the last one she ever took of us.

I'm all ready to throw away the whole stack, but luckily the next picture is of Sam. I sigh out in relief.

"At least you're not drooling all over the camera anymore", she said when she came out and sat on the bed

"Excuse me?", I frowned and grinned at the same time.

And Sam smiled back so adorably.

The memory of yesterday brings back my happy feelings. How good it felt just to spend time with Sam. To do something normal, and not fight. Plus then the added bonus of the extra... emotions. The tingly feeling I got all over.

The last photo I took with the timer. It has me sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning my head on Sam's shoulder. She's sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed and her eyes are slightly turned away from the camera. She's looking at me.

It makes me smile again. Maybe I'll ask Sam if I can take more photos of her. Maybe I'll ask her right now. Or maybe we'll do something else. The future looks bright. All kinds of possibilities are floating around.

"I've got a Niiiiikon camera!", I start humming while I ascend the stairs, "I Love to take a phooootograph!"

Thanks for reading,

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