Title: Mer Girl

Author: Megan

Email: shy_grrl@hotmail.com

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

Pairing: Sam/Brooke.. sort of. Or maybe not. Well, you'll see.

Summary: Set a few years into the future. The girls come to spend thanksgiving at home, and Brooke has a surprise.

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine.

Notes: This is a sequel to `Train of Thought'. Set about a year and a half later. I don't know how it works if you haven't read that one. Anne is a creation of my very own imagination. Also, the title is stolen of a Madonna song by the same name. It is a really heart wrenching song, but has very little to do with this story. Btw, if you're looking for happy endings, I can't promise you one.. sorry.

`Mer' - a type of light or energy.

Part One

"Sam!", mom shouts and runs down the steps, "It's so good to see you again!", she throws herself around my neck and I do my best to hold my balance.

"Okay..", I say trying to disentangle myself from the woman, "It's good to see you too, mom."

She reluctantly agrees to pull back. It's the same thing every time I come. You'd think it was years since we saw. Instead it's only been three months. But I know why she is this way. It's because of Brooke. It's because Brooke never visits them. It's because she hardly ever even calls. And mom is afraid the same will happen with me some day.

"How are things with Harrison?", mom asks when we get inside.

"Fine", I say. Things with Harrison are as good as they'll ever be, "He'll come around later, just wanted to go say hi to his mom and his... other mom."

"Will he..", she starts but never gets to finish.

We're ambushed by the little two-and-a-half-year-old terror, "Sammiii!", the girl screams and runs straight for me.

I manage to drop my bag in time and scoop her up into my arms, "Macciii!", I scream back and spin around once lifting her higher and higher. She starts to giggle and I bring her back down, hugging her tight, "Macci has grown a lot, hasn't she?"

She only grins when I set her down, "Macci insisted waiting for you. Even though it's way past her daydreams", mom scolds her.

But the girl only keeps grinning, "Macci wanna see Bo.. ro..", she tries to form the difficult name with her limited verbal skills, "Rooke too", finally leaves her lips and she looks quite proud of it.

"Macci will see Brooke when she wakes up", Mike has appeared from the kitchen, "Hi Sam."

I give him a smile and a hug. Mike seems tired and a little sad. No doubt that is also thanks to Brooke. But it is as much my fault as it is my dear sister's. I'm the one who messed up our relationship, with all the lies and the rest. It is because of me that Brooke never comes. She has never said as much, but I can see it in her face every time we meet. Which has been exactly two times since we started college a year and a half ago. She went to San Francisco, and I went to New York with Harrison. She lives practically next door and I live across the continent. And yet she's always the one who's too busy with her studies and what not.

I wave my hand at Mac when mom takes her upstairs, "So she's still coming?"

"Yeah", Mike nods and forces a smile, "Should be here in an hour or so. She's bringing a friend too."

A friend? Not a boyfriend?, "Is it like a.. boyfriend or..?"

"Oh no. No, it's a girl", Mike says and I'm relieved. Even after all this time I still don't want her to find happiness. I want her to be alone and miserable, "Anne."

We walk into the living room and I spot a trace of anxiety in Mike's voice. He's scared. Scared of seeing her own daughter. Oh my God. Poor guy. He must go crazy over thinking what went wrong. When it was he lost Brooke.

Well, nothing I can do about that. We engage in a riveting conversation over my studies, his work, and Mac, and everything else. It's always the same discussions whenever I visit, but they make us feel better. These are the good things in our lives, things we can control. Mom comes down maybe twenty minutes later and I have to go over all the same stuff again.

The tension starts to rise when the time starts to close in on one. She's supposed to arrive any minute now, and the parentals are starting to squirm about. And it's not making me feel any more comfortable. Still, no one even mentions her name. We just talk about everyday stuff, and it's stupid. Cause no one is paying any attention to what anyone else is saying.

One o'clock comes and goes. And she hasn't arrived. Mom is glancing at her watch every five minutes now. And Mike has stopped talking almost completely. It's unbelievable. I had no idea things were this bad. But it has been so long since she was home. It's been almost a year. She didn't visit once during the whole summer.

"Maybe her flight was delayed?", I offer when I can't take it anymore. Brooke is on everyone's mind, so we might as well talk about her.

"Oh, she's not coming by plane. She's driving here with that friend of hers", mom says and looks at Mike, "Did you tell Sam about her?`"

Mike nods, "Yes I think I mentioned her."

"Her name is Anne", mom goes on and starts to babble. She does that sometimes, when she's nervous, "She's from Montreal. They have thanksgiving in October in Canada, did you know that, Sam?"

"Yes I did mom", and right that moment the doorbell rings. Brooke has to ring the doorbell now, she doesn't live here anymore, it's not her home anymore, "Here they are", I know it's her.

Mike and Jane exchange looks and then both stand up. I decide to stay put, let them deal with it first. It takes all my will power to not sneak a peak around the corner. I can't wait to see her again, and at the same time I wish I didn't have to see her again.

"Brooke! Oh, we've missed you so much!", I hear moms voice. It sounds genuine, I can't tell the difference. Maybe she means it with all her heart. Of course she means it, but still..

I try real hard to listen to her voice, but I don't hear it. I do hear Mike's greeting and I hear the door close. And then I hear the steps as they get closer. They are coming in here, and she's coming with them. When they get back, mom and Mike first, I can tell they are not far from tears. At least he isn't.

And then there's Brooke. Who is so far from tears. She looks peaceful, almost happy. She smiles at me when she walks in, and I try to smile back. It must look fakish, cause that's how it feels. I didn't expect her to be so.. so calm, "Sammi!", she says and walks up to give me a hug. She picked up the name our little sister chose for me before things got this bad. It's all she, both my sisters actually, use anymore.

The hug feels so uncomfortable I want to scream. Is this how it's gona be from now on? And it's all because of me. I made all the wrong choices. I chose to keep seeing Harrison even when I didn't love him. I chose to keep Brooke close to me, even though it hurt her, and me, and everyone else. I chose to live a lie. And then I chose to let her go off to college all by herself. And she chose to stay there. That was the only choice she made, and I can't blame her for that. Things were awful for her here. Her life revolved completely around me. She didn't have any friends of her own, she didn't do much of anything unless I asked her to.

"Hi Brooke. It's been a while", I finally answer.

She grins adorably. Things are definitely better with her. She's almost like the old Brooke, the one from the fighting days, "A long while", this time I can't smile back. Instead I look past her and see the girl that accompanies her. She's quite the petite creature, cute in her own way, not beautiful, but pretty. A long brown hair on ponytail. And nervous as anything, "Oh, Sam, this is Anne", Brooke says when she realizes what I'm looking at, "Anne, Sam", okay, so she still calls me that too.

"Hi", the girl smiles, "It's nice to meet you", she talks with barely a noticeable accent. I just wave my hand and keep looking at her.

No one says anything more, we're all uncomfortable, nervous. Every one of us, save Brooke. She looks almost as if she enjoys the awkwardness, "So, how about I show you your room Anne?", mom says after a time, "You can take a shower or rest if you want to."

The girl smiles at her and nods. Then she and Brooke exchange smiles. And I'm feeling so out of place, "Your friend seems nice", Mike says when the two have left.

We sit down, me and Mike on the couch, and Brooke alone on a chair, "Anne is great", she wants to say more, but doesn't, "Oh, hey, where's the little one? I've so missed her!"

"She's napping", Mike seems to have relaxed slightly.

"Awww.. well, later then", all the time this goofy grin stays on her face. I don't understand it. I don't understand why she's so happy. Why she isn't the least bit anxious about this visit, "So where's Harrison, Sammi?"

I'm a little startled by her attention, "Eh.. he's.. he'll come by soon."

Brooke nods, "How's New York then?"

"It's great. Just great."

Again she nods, "And school?"

"School's great too", I can't come up with anything to say.

And Brooke notices it. She grins even wider, "Okay. I guess that's it then", and I take offense to her joviality. How come she gets to be so smooth, and I have to be this awkward chick?

"How is your school Brooke?", Mike interrupts. I was already to snipe at her.

"It's okay", she turns her head back to her father, "I picked English lit as my major."

"Oh..", Mike manages to answer, "When was this?"

"At the beginning of this semester", Brooke says and nods a couple of times. The grin is gone, thank God, "In September."

Mike doesn't have another question lined up so there's a pause again. I observe as Brooke's eyes start to roam around the room. It has to be a little weird for her. She's lived in this house all her life, and now she's like a guest here.

"So where did you meet this Anne?", I ask and her gaze comes to rest on me.

"She's my roommate", she says and nods again, "It's actually kind of funny, at first we fought all the time. You know, like you and me, remember?", her grin returns, this time it's softer though. This time I feel warmed by it. But her words hurt. I thought we were special. Me and Brooke. The fighting was so intense, I thought no one could ever replace that. But I do smile back and I do nod, "Then after a time, when we got used to each other, things settled down", again I get the feeling she wants to say more, but doesn't.

"That is funny", I answer, "She's such an itty bitty thing, I can't picture her fighting with anyone", it is really weird. And a little worrisome. All kinds of thoughts are forming in my head.

The happiest smile ever works it's way onto Brooke's lips, "Yeah, it is so freaky. I mean, I've never seen her even argue with anyone else. But with me, it was like: everything I did was wrong. One minute she would be preaching to me about how I could be catholic and pro-choice at the same time, and then the next minute she'd be telling a friend to get an abortion if that was what she really wanted."

"Hmm. That is freaky", I say. And now I know where it's all leading, "And now you're best friends?"

She nods and smiles. And then she smiles some more, "Yeah, we do everything together."

I bet, "Really? Let's see. Do you..", I say trying to sound real mysterious. Brooke does get a little confused. I look at her with my eyes wide open, "Sleep together?"

The confusion twists into outrage. She gapes at me her mouth open. And Mike has pretty much the same expression.

"Okay she's all settled in", mom makes a grand entrance and notices the open mouthed McQueens staring at me, "What did I miss?"

"Nothing much", I say not moving my eyes from Brooke. Her eyes have narrowed into slits and she has closed her mouth, "I just outed Brooke", I glower back at her. I hate her SO much right now! How can she do this to me?!

"You what?", mom is having trouble grasping my meaning.

"Ask her", I say and storm out of the room. If I stay for one more second I'll probably end up strangling her. A guy I could've maybe accepted, but this? No! It's not fair! And with the happiness so evident.. I hate her! So much!

I rush up the stairs and into my room, slamming the door shut behind me. I'm so mad I'm actually seeing things in red. I pace back and forth in my room for a while, contemplating on ways to kill Brooke. No, death is too good for her. She should be locked up and tortured for all eternity. Stop it! It's not her fault! It's yours, you stupid girl! I take a deep breath and try to calm myself. I need a bath so badly.

Still ticked of as hell I push open the door to the bathroom. It doesn't even cross my mind to knock. It comes as a total surprise then that it is occupied. The tiny Canadian girl is just undressing a bathrobe, Brooke's bathrobe I might add!, when I burst through the door. She is shocked and quick to slip the robe back on. But I still catch a glimpse of her body. Her, oh so, frail body, it looks as if one could break her in half with two fingers. Like I could.. Stop it!

"Oh", I stop on my tracks, "Sorry. I didn't know you were in here."

She takes one step back and looks around the room, purposely avoiding me, "It's.. okay", she says and finally agrees to look at me, "You can go first if you want to Sam."

"No", I mumble and shrug my shoulders, "I mean, you already ran the bath and all."

"Yes, but it's your bathroom", she says smiling shyly.

Take the fucking bath already!, "Just get in!", I say harshly, scaring her. She jerks back slightly.

"I.. if you're sure", no smiles this time. More of a hesitant step even further away from me. She probably thinks I'm about to attack her any second now.

I sigh, "Look, I'm sorry I shouted. It's not been a good day."

My words seem to have quite the impact on her. Something lights up in her eyes and she tries to straighten up so as to appear bigger than she is, "Did.. Brooke tell you something?"

I scowl at her. She really shouldn't start with that, "More like I guessed it."

She nods, "Oh", and takes another step away, "What.. `it' do you mean?", she asks timidly.

"The big it."

"Oh..", by now the girl is ready to run for her life. But something is keeping her from fleeing. Maybe it's her pride, if she even has any, "And you don't like.. it?"

Eh.. no, you twinkie! I don't say anything, I only shake my head and exit the bathroom closing the door behind me. Oh God, let this be a bad dream. Let me wake up and realize that it's all been a nightmare! I groan and fall down on the bed. It's not a dream, it's just my bullshit life taking another grand leap towards complete misery!

Thanks for reading. Sorry if I've ruined the original story for anyone, I was a little scared of doing that when writing this.

Oh and btw, I have no idea where Sam's anger thing appeared. I certainly didn't plan for it, it just happened.

Part Two

I've been lying on the bed for half an hour, trying to hear noises in the bathroom. But the girl is so small, and so weak she probably couldn't make any noise even if she wanted to. And with any luck she has drowned in the tub by now.

There's a knock on the door, "Sam? Are you okay?", mom's voice is a little shaky, "Harrison is downstairs", aww! Give me a break already! I'm getting a splitting headache because of all these good news, "Sam?", she opens the door enough to push her head inside.

"Okay mom. I'll be there soon. I just want to take a bath first."

That is what I say. What my mom hears though, goes something like this: Okay mom, please come in and bug me some more. She takes a few tentative steps inside and closes the door behind her, "Sam.. how did you know about Brooke..?"

And her little whore? It's easy to follow the clues mom. When you've lived through it yourself, "What does it matter?", I say and get up.

"Well nothing..", she says, "It's just that.. why are you so angry?"

I'm angry because my whole life is a waste, "I'm not angry. Just a little surprised", I answer and head for the bathroom door, "How did the little talk go anyways?", not that I'm interested. Nouu, not in the least. Unless.. maybe they decided to kick that canuck out on the street, and lock Brooke into her room. Even the thought is enough to put a smile on a girl's face. It's good that mom doesn't see it though.

"Oh..", mom says and I turn to look at her. She sounds real worried, "Not very well I'm afraid. At first Mike didn't want to believe it. And when he finally did, he pretty much demanded that Anne go back to San Francisco", hey! Good for Mike!, "Of course, that's when Brooke said that if Anne would leave, she would leave. And that she wouldn't be coming back."

It's easy for Brooke to hand out ultimatums. She's holding all the cards. She has already proven she can live without them. Without us, "And you stepped in and played the mediator?"

"I had to. Mike would've let her go", she says and I'm a little surprised Mike would be ready to go to such extremes, "But I managed to convince Brooke to stay."

"All's well that ends well", I say trying to sound indifferent, and open the bathroom door. It's empty, thank God.

"So you're fine with everything?"

"Give me a little credit mom", I answer. My voice stays so steady it's a little scary. I had no idea I had such control over myself, cause inside I'm screaming, "I'm a twenty-first century gal, not some homophobic loony."

I enter the bathroom and am quick to close the door so I don't have to listen to her anymore. I don't want to listen. How the hell am I gona get through this visit? There's a fresh new bath water all ready in the tub. It makes me grin, the girl probably did it cause she was afraid I might hurt her otherwise. Or maybe she did it just to be nice, the grin fades. I mean, come on Sam. You really can't blame her for falling in love with Brooke. Everybody who is in contact with Brooke on daily basis falls in love with her. She has this energy, aura if you will, around her. And if those feelings are returned even the slightest, the love intensifies tenfold. I know. Oh boy, do I know.

The door to Brooke's room is open a crack, and I hear voices. Talking voices. Two girls. Brooke and the.. Canadian. I tiptoe closer and strain my hearing, ".. why did you insist we come? I told you they wouldn't understand", Brooke is talking. Her voice comes louder first and then it gradually distances. And magnifies again, "I hate this town so much. I hate this house, and I hate them."

Anne's voice stays the same, "No you don't Brooke. You love them, and they love you."

"You didn't hear him, so you can't say that."

"I didn't have to hear him. I know that you're still here, and I'm still here."

"Yes, but.. could you stop reading the magazine, please?", Brooke sounds pissed, "I mean this is my life here, you could at least pretend to be interested."

"Oh, I'm very interested. But you've been whining for ten minutes already. Just take a deep breath and let's move on."

There's a short silence, maybe five seconds and then Brooke starts to giggle, "You can be so annoying sometimes."

Her voice scares me half dead. It comes right behind the door and before I have time to react the very door slams into my head, "Ouch!", I yell and jump back. The door opens fully and a very confused Brooke is staring at me. And behind her mutually confused Anne is sitting on the bed and also staring at me, "Thanks", I mumble and start to rub my forehead with my hand.

"Sam?", Brooke frowns at me, "What are you doing?"

Thank heavens for my quick wits, "Well, Brooke, before you tried to kill me with the door, I was planning on taking a bath."

She keeps frowning and behind her I notice Anne trying to hide a smile. She bows her head in an attempt to look as if she's still reading the magazine, "A bath? Did you get lost or something? The tub is that way", Brooke points in the right direction, to my left, "You sure you weren't up to something naughty? Like eavesdropping?"

If I weren't so mad at her, she might've caught me at a lie. But not now, I'll die before letting her have the satisfaction, "Believe me blondie, I have no desire to listen on what illicit activities you might be performing with your..", I bite back the need to insult the girl. It wouldn't be fair, and it wouldn't be nice, "girlfriend", Brooke seems to appreciate my effort. She doesn't look half as ticked as she could be by my comment, "I only noticed the door was open and decided to close it before you dragged me into whatever weird sex games you might've been playing."

Now she looks ticked off. Mad even. But the Canadian girl seems to have more of a sense of humor, she giggles quietly on the background. Brooke waits for a moment for it to end. And when it doesn't she turns around and glowers at the girl, "What is so funny?", I see Anne shrugging and trying to hold the laughter in without much success, "She just insulted us."

The girl turns to look at Brooke, and then past her, at me, "It was only a joke, right?", she raises her eyebrows.

I don't know why the girl is the way she is. But she is a nice girl, a lovable girl. Someone who deserves to be happy. But not with my Brooke. I spread my arms and try to look innocent, "Yeah, only a joke, Brooke."

She turns back to Brooke, "See?", she smiles and nods a little. And then returns to flip the pages of the magazine, "Now kiss and make up."

Brooke turns around again and doesn't look any less pissed off, "Fine. It was a joke. But you still did an evil thing downstairs."

I tilt my head and shrug, "Sorry. Now if you'll excuse me I have a bath waiting", I say and start to close the door, "Thanks Anne."


"No, I'm sure it was on fifth avenue."


"No, it was fifth. Don't you remember we went to that.."

"Fine then. Fifth", I say putting an end to the most stupid argument ever.

Harrison looks at me little weirdly and then opens his mouth to resume his pointless story on THE best diner in New York. But Brooke, who's sitting on the couch with her girlfriend!, HOLDING HANDS!, interrupts him again, "Are you certain you're not married? Cause you sure sound like it", she is wearing this wicked face and is grinning at me.

I return her with a mock grin of my own, "Haha! Very funny Brooke", Harrison says, "Now can I finish my story?", Brooke spreads her arms, "Okay, well.. like I said.. it was on fifth avenue..", Harrison mumbles on incoherently and the blonde girl on the couch start to giggle, "You know what? I think I already finished it", he finally shuts up.

There is a weird feeling in the room. Mike sits quietly on the chair and looks like he's about to explode. Mom is sitting near him trying to keep him under control. Harrison on the other hand is clueless to why there's such tension in the air. No one has bothered to relate the latest news to him. The two reasons for the whole mess look to be enjoying themselves the most. Brooke smiles all the time, and snipes evil comments whenever she comes up with one. And they are all aimed to aggravate her father. And her girlfriend, she talks next to nothing but is always backing up Brooke with nods and smiles. I'm bored more than anything, tired of watching how good the two look together. How well they compliment each other.

Mom is the one who breaks the silence again, "So.. how are Lily and Josh doing? Sam, didn't you say Lily transferred to NYU too this year?"

I nod but don't say anything. Harrison doesn't know when to keep quiet though. One of the qualities I hate the most about him, "Yeah, she and Josh are getting a divorce", I squeeze his hand as hard as I can. Shut up already! He looks at me and frowns. And I only glower at him.

"Now there's a shocker", Brooke is ready to pick a fight. Any fight, "I mean if those two can't make it, what hope do the rest of us have."

"You sure talk a lot Brooke", Harrison takes the bait. Like always, "I mean for a girl, who hasn't had a decent relationship in years."

"How would you know? When's the last time we talked?"

Oh, boy, I can so see where this is going. And there's no stopping it, "What? Don't tell me you're hiding some dream guy in San Francisco?", Harrison just goes on and on.

"No", and there's the evil grin again. Brooke turns to look at the girl next to her and then back at Harrison, "But I do have a dream gal right here", the expression on Harrison's face is not much unlike the one Mike had earlier. Open mouth, and eyes bulging out, his gaze flips between the two girls, "Hey, why don't you do a spin for Harrison dear? Show just how dreamy you are", Brooke says looking at the brunette.

She just wants to rub it in her father's face. Mike is squirming quite uncomfortably but manages to still keep quiet, "Brooke..", Anne tries to get the girl to stop.

"Please?", I don't know what has gotten into Brooke. Why is she so evil, "Can't you see how interested he is?"

Anne glances at Harrison, "Okay then..", she says and stands up.

Brooke isn't looking at Harrison's reaction, her eyes are on Mike. The girl twirls around twice and manages to mess up her hair. Combing it with her fingers she takes an exaggerated bow in Harrison's direction. I'm actually feeling a little sorry for the guy. He is so oblivious to everything that is going on around him. And there's much going on. Especially between Brooke and her father.

The show has the hoped results on Mike. He clears his throat and stands up, "I think I'll go wake up Mac."

But Brooke isn't finished. She's determined to drive the man over the edge, "Oh!, Can I daddy? It would mean so much!", she chirps and almost jumps up from her seat. Mike looks at her for a few seconds and then shrugs and nods at the same time, "Thanks!", Brooke says and grabs Anne's hand, "Come on Anne, you're gona love my little sister."

Finally Mike's had enough. He blocks the way from the two girls, "No", he says adamantly, "You can go Brooke. But `she'", the way he says that single word describes so perfectly how much he loathes and is disgusted by the other girl, "Stays here."

"What?", Brooke asks like she wasn't expecting it. Like she wasn't going for that very reaction all the time.

"It's okay Brooke..", Anne says still trying to get the blonde to back down. I feel sorry for her. Getting caught between the father and the daughter. And really, she hasn't done anything to deserve it. Except steal my Brooke. And the way Brooke is acting now, I don't think I'd want her anymore.

"No, it's not okay!", Brooke shouts, "You know dad, the gay-gene is inherited, it's not something you can catch."

My mouth starts talking before I can stop it, "Actually Brooke, I don't think it's in the genes either.."

"Shut up Sam!", okay..

"Brooke, I don't know what to make, or how to deal with all this", Mike tries to control his emotions best he can, "But I know this girl is never getting near my daughter."

I can't see Brooke's face but I bet it looks like the man just hit her. And he might as well have, "And what am I?", her voice is so hurt I only want to wrap my hands around her. No matter how much she deserved it, I only want to make her feel better. But I can't. Cause things are the way they are.

"I don't know. What are you?", Mike says.

"Mike stop it!", mom yells at him.

But for nothing. He is too upset to listen to reason, "A girl who comes by once a year to turn our lives upside down", Mike's face is turning red.

Brooke is quiet for a long time. I see the way she's squeezing Anne's hand harder, drawing strength from the other girl. And I wish I was the one, "Right then. I guess we're done", she says after a while and walks past Mike.

He doesn't try to stop the girls, but when they reach the door he speaks again, "I'd like to know what I.. we did that was so horrible you never visit? I thought you had a pretty good life here."

"Exactly.. `dad'", she says turning around. Her face is like stone. I didn't think she could ever look so distant, "You thought. You never saw. You never asked. You never wondered why I spent the last year locked away in my room. And I don't blame you. You have a baby and it takes up a lot of time and energy", this time her voice is more settling. She isn't provoking him anymore. And that's even scarier. Cause I get the feeling she is cutting of her last ties to this family, "But when you thought everything was all right, it wasn't. When you thought I was doing all right, I was actually dying inside. I hated my life here, hated it SO much. And if I hadn't gotten away, and especially if I hadn't met Anne, I wouldn't be here. I would be six feet under in a cemetery somewhere."

Brooke waits for his father's response for a while but it never comes. Mike is too overwhelmed to answer. He doesn't know how to answer. And then the girls are gone, out the door and up the stairs. Safely hidden in their sanctuary, till it's time to leave. And that time is near.

Part Three

Brooke's door is left wide open. It's an invitation. A thing from the past. She used to do it a lot. Back when she was too much of a messed up to ask for help, for company. She would just leave her door open and I'd come in. I was the only one.

She does have a valid point about her father. Mike was totally oblivious to everything going on. And why not my mother too, but Brooke didn't really expect anything from her. But her father's neglect had to hurt, it had been just the two of them for so long.

I accept the invitation. I'm even quite happy about it. Until I walk up and find Anne in there too. She is everywhere now. There is no Brooke without Anne anymore.

I walk inside and cross my hands over my chest. Brooke is on the chair and Anne on the bed again. Presumably reading the same magazine, "Well, hello Sammi. Enjoying the vacation?", Brooke says raising her eyebrows.

I shrug, "Listen... I am sorry for blowing your cover earlier. I don't know why I did it", it was a bad thing. Brought on by my insane jealousy, but she doesn't need to know that.

"It's okay", the Canadian talks without looking up. She's really good at forgiving people. Or at least forgiving me, "Brooke was gona tell anyways."

Well, of course she was. But it's still about a year late, "I might've been a little more subtle about it though", the blonde says. I can tell she's not that angry with me. She's not even that upset about the way things are going.

"What are you planning on doing now?"

"We'll sleep on it. And then just..", she says tilting her head, "Play it by ear", okay. It's a good plan. A sensible girl this sister of mine. I nod at her and she smiles back, "I really missed you Sammi. Why don't you ever call?"

"Me? Why don't you?", I thought I was doing her a favor. Giving her all this space and this time. She looks at Anne who is still reading. It's like she wants to say something but can't because of the girl, "Look.. umm.. Anne. Could I have a moment alone with Brooke?", I go on when the blonde says nothing.

The canuck looks up at me and then at Brooke and then again at me, "Yeah, sure", she says and gets up in a hurry, "I was just about to.. go to bed anyway."

"You can sleep in here Anne", no she can't! Shut up Brooke!

The girl smiles at her, "No, I don't think that's a good idea", she says and walks to the door.

"Don't be silly Anne! We've slept in the same room for over a year", I so don't want to be listening to this, "It's stupid to start changing things to please my father."

Anne is silent for a moment and then turns back, "You.. can't be this way Brooke", she says with a little strained voice, "You have to meet him halfway."

"Oh, great. Just take his side. So like you", Brooke is getting a little angry.

"I'm not taking sides. But if you keep rubbing it in his face, then...", the Canadian starts and then sees that it's pointless. Brooke is not listening to reason. And then I understand something. It's only because of Anne they're still here. Brooke would've left at the first sign of trouble, "Let's just do it this way tonight. It's his house after all", she finishes and leaves.

I look after her a while and then turn to look at Brooke. She's angry now, pissed off because of her girlfriend. I keep looking at her and she finally turns to look at me, "So, what did you wanna talk about?"

Yeah, Sam. What DID you wanna talk about? Nothing interesting really, Brooke. Just wanted to tell you I love you in a very special way, "Why don't you ever visit them? Or call them?", I finally ask.

"Sam.. don't start with that", she says.

"With what?"

"That!", she shouts, "God! You have all the answers, and yet you still pretend like you know nothing", she sighs and calms down a bit, "You know why I left, and you know why I don't like coming back."

No I don't. I wouldn't ask if I did, "What? Because of your father?", I honestly don't know the real reason. Even if her life sucked before, she obviously has things under control now, so why does she still stay away?

She shakes her head and seems disappointed by my answer. And then she looks away, "Yeah, because of my father."

"Okay", I nod and try to sound upbeat, "So you just work it out. It can't be that hard."

She doesn't look at me anymore. Only nods, "Yeah, we'll work it out", but I know that's not the reason. It isn't. But I don't want to push it. Even though I know I should. This might be my last chance. Nah, there's always tomorrow.


There's a certain law in the universe. Some things, usually bad things, come in threes. Always in threes. Like this time. The first one was me telling Mike about Brooke and Anne. The second one was the fight in the living room. And the third one is going down right now in the hallway. I know it the second I wake up from the shouts.

"You won't do.. THAT under my roof!", Mike yells. And he sounds angry. Real angry

"No! I just wanted to see her!", it's the canuck's voice. And she sounds scared.

There's a loud bang and I jump up. He wouldn't hurt the girl. He wouldn't, no matter how angry he is. Would he?, "Dad! Let her go", it's Brooke this time, "You're hurting her!"

I fling open my own door and rush into the corridor. The scene is weird, so unreal. If I didn't know better I'd think I was dreaming. There is Mike holding one of Anne's wrists and trying to pull her away. And behind Anne is Brooke. One of her hands is around the girl and the other one is furiously pounding on Mike's hand, not with much effect though. I can't believe it! What the hell is going on in the man's head?!

And I don't know what to do. Thankfully mom has woken up too. She appears into the corridor and is appalled by the sight, "Mike!", she screams. And that single word is enough.

Mike let's go off the girl's hand. He does it so suddenly that both the girls pulling in the other direction lose their balance. They bump into the wall and slowly slide down to the floor. Brooke has her arms protectively around the Canadian, who is desperately trying to hide herself from the world in Brooke's hold.

I look at them, and then at Mike, in a daze. This isn't happening. Not in this house. Not to these people. Brooke is staring daggers at her father who seems lost. He looks at the two girls and then turns around and finds my mother. She is still standing at the door, but quickly disappears inside, away from him.

At first Mike doesn't know what to do. Then he whispers, just barely loud enough, "I'm sorry", and follows mom into their room. This thing isn't only affecting Mike's relationship with her daughter anymore. It's also creating problems for his marriage. But that's none of my concern. Actually none of this is my concern. I'm an outsider.

"Are you okay?", I ask walking up to the two girls.

Brooke nods slowly, and then releases her hold on Anne. The Canadian is a little shaken up I can tell. She only barely manages to look at me. And no smiles. That makes me kinda sad. The girl has a beautiful smile, and usually it never leaves her. Usually even when she isn't actually smiling, there's still the same warmth in her expression. Not now though. Now she only fights herself to her feet and whispers something to Brooke. I don't hear it. Brooke nods in response and they walk away, to her room. At the door she glances at me once, and then goes in. And I know now, that there is nothing that can ever break the two up. Nothing.


I don't sleep the rest of the night. I'm not even tired. Or rather I am, but I'm tired for different reasons. I'm tired of this life, tired of this world. When the morning comes I find myself looking out the window, looking at how Brooke and Anne are loading up their car. They are leaving. Like I knew they would.

I watch them for a few minutes when something hits me. How come they have so much stuff? When they came yesterday they both had only one bag. That means Brooke is emptying her room. She's leaving for good this time.

Quickly I throw on pants and a sweater and rush down stairs. Mom and Brooke are talking at the front door, "Just stay for the day. It's thanksgiving day, Brooke", mom says. She's almost begging.

"No, Jane", is Brooke's answer. Nothing's gona change her mind this time, "I'm sorry, but no."

"He... he feels really bad, Brooke. We talked a lot last night, and he feels awful."

"Yeah I bet. That's why you're here apologizing for him, right?", Brooke's voice is so hurt. I know this thing isn't going to be resolved. Not for a long time. If ever. Then she sighs, "Look.. I'm real sorry how this is hurting you and Sam and MacKenzie too, but it's just the way it is now. Maybe.."

I keep walking closer and see through the open door that Anne has also arrived in the doorway, "We'll try again later. When he's had more time to deal", the canuck says. I'm glad to find the warmth on her face again.

"Okay then", mom nods and gives up, "But please Brooke, please don't... disappear completely. I'm not trying to defend Mike's actions, but a lot of his anger is due to the fact that you've been gone for so long", Brooke looks away. She knows mom is right, "He feels like... Anne has taken you away from him", she goes on. And still Brooke looks away, out the door. She knows mom is right, she knows a lot of this is her own fault.

That is when I reach them. Mom sees me first, she smiles a sad smile and then says her good-byes, "Take care now", she says and slightly brushes Brooke's arm, "And I really am happy for you", she smiles again and turns to look at Anne, "Both of you", and then she walks away.

"Thanks", I hear Brooke mumble. She has also seen me, as has Anne. They are both staring intently at me.

"So you are going?", I say when nothing else comes to mind. Brooke nods but doesn't say anything, "Just like that. Nice knowing you and all the rest, hmm?"

Again she nods, "Look Sam", Anne starts talking, "Why don't you come visit us some time? And we can come to New York. I'd like to get to know you better."

Brooke keeps looking at me. And I finally understand. Why she never comes back, never even calls. Cause I feel the same way now. I don't think I can see her if I can't `be' with her. But if she feels the same way, then she has to... feel the same way. She has to feel the same way about me, as I do about her.

"I have to talk to you Brooke", I say without thinking.

"So talk", she says. She is strangely calm. Nothing in her posture changes.


"Again?", she smirks, "Better watch it. Anne might get the wrong impression."

Anne just smiles, "Bye Sam. I meant what I said", she says and walks out the door.

I wait until the Canadian reaches the car and picks up the last bag on the ground. Then I turn to look at Brooke. Who is still looking at me with that calm look about her. She waits and waits for me to talk. And doesn't give out the slightest sign of anxiety. Finally I give up and decide to just go to the point, "Maybe Anne might get the right impression?", it's meant to shock her.

But a small twitch is the only reaction it gets out of her, "So you finally wanna talk about it?", she says trying to surprise me herself.

Again with the stupid games. They are the reason everything is so bad. All this time... "Jesus! I can't believe you Brooke!", I try my hardest to keep my voice down, "All this time, you felt exactly the same way and you never said anything?"

Brooke takes a quick glance behind her to make sure Anne hasn't heard anything. She hasn't, "Yeah, sure. Blame it on me. You were the one in a relationship."

She's getting angrier. And she is right. It is my fault. But if she knew all this time, "You should've told me how you felt", I'm pleading. And I'm not far from tears. All this time, "I thought.. you saw me as a sister. I thought..."

"A sister?", she can't believe her ears, "Oh, Sam... how could we ever be sisters?"

"But I didn't know Brooke."

She doesn't believe me, not for a second, "Of course you knew Sam. You had to know", she says getting a little annoyed, "You just chose Harrison over me. And it was the right choice, I mean, you're still together", what?! No Brooke! There was no choice! I didn't know there was a choice!, "And I'm with Anne. And I love her SO much", she smiles. The mere thought of the Canadian makes every bad feeling fly right out of her, "So everything turned out fine. And now we just go our separate ways."

But I didn't know I had a choice! Brooke turns around, she's leaving. I never knew I had a choice! She walks across the yard and gets into the car. She thought I chose Harrison over her, that's why it hurt her so much. She starts the car and they are both waving at me for good-bye. And I kept making it worse by dragging her everywhere with us. She backs the car down the driveway. And she couldn't keep away, cause she loved me so much. Onto the road. And I never knew. The car comes to a halt before speeding away. And now I really don't have a choice.


Thanks for reading,

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