Title: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Author: nailbunny617

Email: nailbunny617@yahoo.com

Rating: Uh… R I guess for language…I could probably get away with a PG-13 though

Spoilers: Any episode is fair game, I guess.

Fandom: Popular

Couple: Brooke/Sam eventually (in Popular there is no other, IMHO)

Warning: If you haven’t figured it out yet, this story details a romantic relationship between two women. If this bugs you, what the hell are you doing reading femslash anyway? If this kinda thing is illegal where you live, well then move. If you are too young, age quickly because femslash rocks!

Author's Notes: I need feedback! You will have my eternal adoration for any feedback at all! Please?!?! And I kinda played with the timeline so they’re in 2003, just sort of kicking the show to take place now rather than in 99-01.

Disclaimer: Sadly, they are not mine. I honestly have no idea who does own them, just know that IT ISN’T ME. Oh, and I get absolutely no profit from this. Don’t sue me because I have nothing of value. Unless you count a growing collection of CSI episodes…

Part One

The two girls stood there, locked in a Mexican standoff that could turn deadly any minute. The blonde, a cheerleader, stood at one end of the bathroom, a red sweater held just above a lighter that remained threateningly unlit. The brunette, definitely not a cheerleader, stood at the other, curling iron held over knee ready to be snapped at the slightest provocation.

“Okay, Brooke, that’s my favorite sweater. Please put it down!” There was a little bit of a whining edge to her voice, although she’d be the last to admit it.

“And that’s my favorite curling iron. Put it down first, Sam!” Brooke may have been a blonde cheerleader, but she was far from dumb.

“How about on three?” Sam was desperate, the sweater was the last thing she wanted to make a casualty of war. On Brooke’s slight but definitely affirmative nod, they both stood there a minute longer, just warily staring at the prisoners of war.

“One.” Feet shifted in nervousness, important belongings were at risk here.

“Two.” Bodies slightly tensed, watching for the slightest indication of movement.

“Three!” And they both throw the POW items at each other. Just as quickly as it had started, it was all over.

Clutching the curling iron to her chest, Brooke screeched, “God, Sam! It’s not like the curling iron ever did anything to you!”

Not one to be defeated by logic, Sam rallied with, “Yeah, well neither did my sweater!”

Found at another standstill, the girls regarded one another hotly. Finally deciding that she’d had enough, Sam huffed loudly and slammed the door to her room. Brooke glared at the closed door for a moment longer, and then slammed hers as well, not to be outdone.

Safely in the sanctity of her room, Sam petted her sweater, mumbling sweet nothings while hanging it back up in her closet. In the corner, well hidden just in case Brooke got another vengeance streak.

She sat back down at her desk and signed online, cracking her neck as she did so in preparation of scrunching over to stare at the screen. Much as she loved sitting there, reading and surfing and writing, her neck hated her for it. Especially lately with her new discovery of fanfiction. She’d sit there, day in and day out just reading. Scrolling on and on through the words. Words that described a life she wanted to live. Lives that were lived by people who were more free than she was. People who were braver and not cowering in closets and dating the star football player for cover.

Brooke once commented on how Sam was lucky because she got to be herself, without any expectations or restrictions. How wrong she was. Sam could no more come out of the closet than Brooke could quit cheerleading.

So, she read fanfic. It was her only outlet, and she clung to it fiercely and guarded her secret with everything she had.

Only lately it was falling apart. Sam was growing more and more distant at school and more and more hostile at home. Living a double life was never going to work, but she couldn’t figure out a way to be the person she wanted to be. The tension headaches were getting worse. She was sleeping next to nothing. Eating was more of a chore than a pleasure. And the newspaper was taking a dive as well.

Something had to change, but Sam didn’t know what to do.

After reading a few more sections of a particularly long and engaging story involving Buffy and Willow, she signed off rubbing her eyes fiercely and yawning. But it didn’t matter how tired she was, she’d never be able to sleep.

Changing into a loose t-shirt and boxers, she made her way downstairs for a snack. Snacking had become her life, often the only times she was able to stomach anything at all.

Once she was in the kitchen, Sam stood with the fridge door open, remaining indecisive. Brooke walked in and stood there watching Sam, not openly hostile but certainly not happy.

Sam had come in and taken over. Involved herself in everything the family did. Brooke’s dad even offered to adopt her, and she’d never admit just how glad she was that Sam had declined. Her dad was the only thing Brooke had left of a real family, and she never wanted to lose him.

But lately something was wrong with Sam. Much as they fought like cats and dogs, Brooke couldn’t bring herself to mean the biting words they always ended up exchanging. If snapping at Brooke made Sam feel better, then Brooke wasn’t going to take it away. That didn’t mean she had to like it, though.

No, although she’d never tell anyone, Brooke honestly liked Sam. Maybe a little bit too much, but she’d never had a sister before.

Finally deciding to break her silence, Brooke tentatively asked, “Sam, are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Sam spat without turning around. Choosing just a bottle of water and an apple, she turned to face her soon-to-be-stepsister.

“Is that all? You haven’t been eating lately.” Brooke would know, she’d learned to watch people’s eating habits, always comparing and contrasting them with her own. As long as she wasn’t eating more than the people around her, there was no way she could get fat.

“What are you, my mother? God, I’m fine!” Sam was scared. She didn’t know how to defend her crumbling world against niceness. All her walls had been carefully constructed around one fact: she and Brooke would always fight. A million witty quips she could handle but open concern made her skittish.

“Sam, I’m just worried about you. You know you can talk to me, right?” If it hadn’t been for the honest, plaintive tone, Sam would have had the perfect comeback. But Brooke had really meant it, and Sam’s retort was stuck in her throat.

“Yeah right I can. You’ll just go spilling everything to Satan and then laugh at me with the rest of the Glamazons.” It always came back to Nicole. Brooke was loyal to a fault, even if it meant consorting with Nicole, the most backstabbing, opportunistic girl in the entire school.

Sam turned and fled the kitchen without another word, seeking the relative safety of her room. Brooke was rooted to the same spot, however, and just stared numbly where Sam had just occupied. There was something definitely wrong, and she couldn’t handle being around the brunette much longer if this was the price.

She’d just have to do something about it, then. Trudging up the stairs, Brooke began to question her own sanity. If Sam didn’t want to open up to her, there was nothing she could really do. But she had to try.

Knocking hesitantly on Sam’s door, Brooke fidgeted uncomfortably. She’d always secretly admired Sam, the staunch reporter who never backed down from what she believed in. Who would never stick around people like Nicole and Mary Cherry because she had real friends who loved for her, not for a set of poms or respect by association.

“What?” Sam managed to sound hostile and negative even through a couple inches of wood. Now that was impressive, if not more than a little daunting.

“Sam, can I come in?” Brooke decided this was worse than self-flagellation. She’d be better off in a nunnery.

“Fine.” The blonde cheerleader knew this was going to be a trying experience, but she just couldn’t drop it. Opening the door carefully, Brooke walked into Sam’s room. If asked, Brooke would describe it as comfortably cluttered, even though she couldn’t really give a definition of that term precisely. It just fit. Kind of like Sam herself, the brunette wasn’t organized but somehow managed to pull off more than the average high school student would be able to handle.

Sam was sitting at her computer, having panicked and minimized the screen at Brooke’s initial soft knock. She kept half-turning to convince herself that there was no way that the blonde could tell what she’d been reading.

Brooke stood in almost the exact middle of the room, not sure if she should push her welcome by sitting on the bed. She’d realized upon entering that she had absolutely no idea what to say.

“I’m sorry for trying to burn your sweater.” Well, at least an apology was a start. If she’d learned anything from her dad, it was that saying you’re sorry works when at a loss.

“Yeah, I’m sorry about your curling iron, too.” That was almost a civil tone, surprising both girls.

“Look, I know we’re not best friends.” Sam snorted in snide agreement. “But I want you to know that you can trust me. I’d never repeat anything to anyone, much less Nicole Julian.”

Sam could feel the walls tumbling, but she struggled valiantly not to let them fall. “Thanks.”

Brooke saw that she was making progress. And making Sam speechless, only throwing out a solitary word, was reward in itself for the venture into enemy territory.

Deciding to press her luck after all, Brooke ventured to ask, “Is it George?”

Sam’s mouth opened and closed a couple times and she fiddled nervously with her hands. Brooke took those to be a positive answer and charged on, saying, “Is it the whole sex thing? Because if it is, you should just repeat the speech you gave to me. You don’t seem to be having an easy time of it, so it doesn’t seem like he’s the right guy.”

Brooke ran out of steam when Sam began shaking her head. To hell with it, Sam thought, she’ll get a whole lot more than she bargained for, that’s for sure.

“No, it’s not George, not really. It’s just that lately things have been changing. I’ve been changing. And I don’t want people to hate me. But…but I’m tired of fighting it, and…” At that point, Sam’s throat closed in fear and she had to fight back sobs. But Brooke was here, offering her support. And if something didn’t give, Sam was going to snap. So she took the deepest breath of her life and continued anyway, “I’m…I’m gay, Brooke.”

Sitting on the bed with a concerned frown, Brooke waited to see if Sam would say anything more. When it was apparent that Sam was just waiting for a reaction, Brooke softly said, “Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t see why that would be so horrible.”

Obviously, that was the wrong thing to say. Sam, upon finding her walls completely down and totally vulnerable, blew up. She shot up out of her chair and gestured wildly, saying, “Horrible? Oh, it’d be horrible! Do you know what happens to gay kids in high school? Do you?” Brooke thought it best to stay silent and let Sam get it out of her system, so the brunette continued her rant, “They get the shit beaten out of them. And I’ve tried to ignore this. I’ve tried but it won’t work. For once in my life I want to be normal. Do you know what it takes for me to say that? Because I can’t help this. I wish I could choose, because I sure as fuck wouldn’t choose this. They call it having a skeleton in your closet for a reason. But you know what? I don’t have any room for fucking skeletons because I’m already stuffed in there myself!”

Sam broke down and sobbed on the floor. Before she put any real thought into her actions, Brooke had gathered the shuddering girl in her arms and was rocking them both back and forth, rubbing Sam’s back comfortingly. Sam was broken and let Brooke in, but she had no idea what to do.

Brooke, head cheerleader at Kennedy, best friend of Nicole Julian and Mary Cherry was scared.

“Shh, Sammy, it’s going to be just fine. You’ll see, it’ll all work out. It’s going to be okay.”

Brooke wasn’t sure how long they sat like that, but when Sam finally quieted down to a few sniffles, her muscles were screaming in agony. While Sam searched for tissues, Brooke stretched discreetly.

And when Sam continued to avoid eye contact, the blonde decided it was time to set things straight. Well…nevermind. “Sam, it’s okay. I’m not lying. And don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone about this. But, if it makes you feel any better, I’m bi.”

Sam’s head shot up, surprised at the frank tone with which the cheerleader had just confessed her sexuality. In response, Brooke just shrugged and said, “No one knows because it’s not that big a deal and it’s no one else’s business anyway. But since you’re opening up to me, I thought maybe knowing would help.”

Not sure what else to say, Sam stuttered out, “Th-thanks.”

Brooke just grinned and responded, “Any time. But I think I’m gonna hit the hay. You’re gonna be okay.” Her tone left nothing to wonder about, it was as good as fact.

“I…I know. Night, Brooke.”

“Night, Sam.”

Both girls lay in bed, unable to sleep and filled with thoughts about the other. Sam was wondering how Brooke could so suddenly be so nice and understanding. A part of her wanted to be wary of this new side of the blonde, but she knew it was useless. Brooke was a good friend after all.

Brooke, for her part, was thinking about Sam’s confession and what it meant. She’d been harboring more than passing warm feelings for the brunette, but never put much thought into it. Up until that night, she had no reason to suspect that Sam was anything but straight as an arrow. And as glad as she was to help Sam and have her confidence, she knew she was in trouble.

Part Two

Author's Notes: Hello, my name is Katie and I’m a feedback-aholic… Thanks for all the feedback, guys…you rock! Oh, and I’ve also kinda played with the timeline of the show a little and probably forgot some facts about characters. Don’t be angry, it’s just more fun for me this way…


By the time Brooke was ready for school the next morning, Sam had already been long gone. Wandering aimlessly into the kitchen, she spotted Jane at the table.

“Morning, Brooke.” When Jane put her newspaper down, Brooke knew this was going to be a serious talk.

“Uh, morning Mom. I gotta run, I’m gonna be late for school.” The cheerleader decided it was better to be fidgeting with the fridge door than to meet Jane’s eyes. Sam had trusted her, and there was no way that she was going to let the brunette down. So, picking up an apple, she dashed for the door with record speed.

Once at school, Brooke ran immediately into an irate Nicole. As the bleached blonde stormed her way down the hall, defenseless freshman scattered like cockroaches, except for one poor soul who never saw Nic coming. “You never called me back last night, B!”

“Oh, sorry, I kinda got caught up in something.”

“What kind of something?”

“You know, broken nail emergencies cannot wait for even one phone call.” Even Brooke thought her excuse sounded lame, but Nicole seemed appeased because she let go of the poor freshman’s hair she’d locked onto. The underclassmen, once released, ran whimpering into the Novak to inspect her damaged scalp.

Before inspection of Brooke’s nails was demanded, the bell rang.

Despite her best efforts all day long, Brooke couldn’t seem to find time to corner Sam and talk to her. In the back of her mind, she knew that she shouldn’t be so obvious, but she also wanted to make sure that Sam was okay after the confessional last night.

When the final bell of the day sounded, Brooke decided she’d check the newspaper office just once more and then head home to the Palace. But, as luck would have it, Sam was present and accounted for in the only place she spent more time in than her own bedroom. The brunette was thoroughly engaged in constructing a pyramid from the pink rubber erasers the school provided the office with, one side of her tongue firmly planted in her cheek.

“Hey Sam.” Brooke scared Sam so badly that she knocked over the foot tall construction, sending erasers flying around the room.

“God, Brooke, were you a stalker in a past life?” Best to cover up any fear with false annoyance.

Brooke managed to contain her smile, and apologized, “Sorry, I’ve been trying to find you all day and didn’t want you to run again before I had a chance to talk to you.”

Sam covered her doubt at the cheerleader’s seemingly innocuous request by replying, “Okay, so talk,” as if Brooke were a two year old that needed everything spelled out.

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m really not gonna tell anyone. And I still don’t think it’s a big deal, but if you want to keep it under wraps, I’ll support you all the way.” At this, Brooke bowed her head and scuffed the sole of her right shoe on the ground hesitantly. “I was thinking, maybe as a formal declaration of our newly acquired level of trust we could have a movie night?”

Brooke peeked up through her lashes, watching as Sam sat there pondering the request. The cheerleader had every right to be nervous, because she’d just left herself wide open to any number of verbal jabs. But having told someone, even if it was her soon-to-be-stepsister who also happened to be head cheerleader, made it feel like her life wasn’t so bad. Maybe things really were going to be okay.

Instead of directly responding, Sam asked, “How would you feel about ‘Bound’ and ‘Better than Chocolate’?”

The wide grin she got in response was enough of an affirmative. “Definitely! I’ve been dying to see ‘Kissing Jessica Stein,’ I’ve heard it was really pretty funny.”

“Great,” Sam replied, “it’s a date.” As the last word left the brunette’s mouth, both girls frowned inwardly, but chose to ignore the wording. Sam quickly finished, “I just have a couple things to finish up, and I’ll stop by the grocery store to pick up junk food. You wanna stop by the video store?”

“Okay, see ya at home.”

As Brooke left the office, she barreled into the still-stunned Nicole. The second-in-command’s eyes were open so wide that Brooke began to wonder if her eyes were drying out. “You…you’re…watching lesbian flicks with Spam? What the fuck has gotten into you?”

Brooke groaned, taking Nicole by the arm and forcibly walking her to the exit, saying softly, “We kinda talked last night and some things kinda came out.”

Nicole, rather than prudently ignoring the poor choice of words, latched onto them. “Came out? Spam’s a dyke?”

Rounding on her friend, with a force that surprised even Brooke herself, she roared, “Don’t you EVER call her that!” Calming down slightly, she continued, “You may not like it, but she and I are going to be stepsisters soon, and I’m determined to make us friends. Despite everything I’ve ever done to her, she is a really good person and I’m not going to betray her trust.”

“Who said anything about you betraying her trust? I’ll do it for you. We could so bury her with this! Finally the ammo I need!”

“Nicole, listen to me. I will not repeat this again. You will in no way use this against her, in fact you’re going to act like you never heard any of that conversation.”

“Oh, I am?” Nicole scoffed.

“I don’t want to, but I will use everything I’ve ever known about you if this ends up getting out. Because I’m not telling anyone, and neither is she. So if and when Sam decides it’s time to go public, you will not breathe a word. If I hear anything regarding Sam’s sexuality, your dirty laundry will see the light of day all over the front page of the newspaper. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Yeow, way to bring out your inner-bitch, Brooke. You lose points with the vague disclaimer, but the overall passionate display makes up for it in the end.” Nic was covering up her sudden fear of Brooke’s wrath by not answering her question. Brooke, knowing Nicole better than anyone else, knew that she’d gotten her point across and it wouldn’t be used in the war between the crowds.

Sam numbly made her way back into the newspaper office, not quite sure how she felt about the scene she’d just witnessed. Brooke was defending her honor. Brooke was standing up to Nicole for her. The friendship she’d glimpsed briefly the night before and in the movie discussion was definitely gaining merit with this development.

Something in her stomach twisted at the thought that Nicole knew her deepest darkest secret. But there was also something almost like elation when she thought about just how badly the other girl wanted to out her. At least then it would be over, she wouldn’t have to worry about it. Anything that might happen as a result could be quite bad, though. She’d heard enough horror stories on the news about what happened to out teenagers, and she didn’t want to become another statistic.

As long as Brooke was on her side, keeping Satan at bay, she had nothing to fear. And she had a feeling it was genuine caring that made the blonde stand up to the most feared person in school other than the strange man-woman Bio Glass. Something inside her simply wanted to believe all the good things she’d noticed about Brooke lately. Her loyalty, the way she treated everyone with respect, her intelligence and dry humor…it couldn’t all be lies.

Pushing aside her unease, Sam gathered up the erasers and made her way out to the parking lot.

At least Sam knew enough to make Brooke get the movies instead of the snacks, or they wouldn’t have had anything beyond a little water and maybe a couple apples. Try as she might, she would never be able to understand eating disorders. There was something inside Sam that would beat its head angrily against the walls at just the idea of letting other people rule her life that way. Putting others’ opinions in front of everything, even her health.

But Sam understood all too well the contributing factors. Well, the biggest one anyway. Low self-esteem. And what teenager didn’t feel depressed on a regular basis? Sam, like Brooke, seemed strong on the outside, but on the inside was anything but. She had tried dating guys, in fact still was, but she’d always known there was something missing. Then one day, while researching a topic for biology, she came across something called fanfic.

Her life was never the same. Hell, she was never the same. Or maybe, Sam mused, I’m more myself now than I ever was before.

Either way, the shit was going to eventually hit the fan. Only, it hadn’t worked that way at all.

Opening the door, she spotted Brooke sitting on the kitchen counter with her legs swinging and a bright smile on her face. “Hey Sam!” she enthused while leaping gracefully off her perch to rescue a few bags from Sam’s faltering grip.

“Thanks, those are deceptively heavy.”

“So I noticed,” Brooke frowned while juggling her load. “What did you get anyway?”

“Oh, you know, stuff.”

“Like that really clears it up.”

“Alright, three different kinds of ice cream, chips, dip, highly caffeinated and carbonated beverages…” and the items just kept appearing out of bags. Brooke could feel the pounds just waiting to be hefted. “And I’ve taken a marker to all the food labels, so you’re not allowed to mope over how one night of indulgence might ruin your figure. Because I’ve got news for you, you are the furthest thing from fat.”

Upon inspection, Brooke was surprised to see that Sam had indeed done just what she’d said, and there were black slash marks over all the info on the bags and tubs. Looking up with an amused glint in her eye, “Does that mean you’ve been looking?”

“Yeah, hello? Gay here. Checking out girls is kinda my thing.”

“Do your friends know?”

The way that Brooke always seemed to leap huge bounds of logic with her conversations threw Sam off every time. Sputtering a little, feeling a blush rise on her cheeks, Sam replied, “Uh, no…not exactly.”

“Not exactly?”

“Okay, fine. No, no they don’t. But I think Lily has a good idea.”

“How’d our little activist get that idea?”

“The things you do to grammar… Anyway, she sort of caught me checking somebody out.”

Squealing like a kid dropped in a candy factory, or Mary Cherry at a pre-fall-lineup extravaganza for Donna Karen, Brooke pounced on the information. “Who?”

Trying to play dumb to avoid having to answer, Sam studied the unreadable nutritional facts of a bag of Cheetos. “Who what?”

“Come on, who were you checking out?”

“You know, just somebody.”

“Nope, you’re gonna have to be more specific than that.”

With a huge sigh, as if she were signing away one her kidneys, Sam muttered, “You were at cheerleading practice and I was there interviewing the softball coach for an article.”

“Checking me out, huh? You do such wonderful things to a girl’s ego.”

Sam was shocked that Brooke didn’t push the issue until one or both of them ended up in tears. A good kind of shocked, though, like new-car-on-sixteenth-birthday kind of shocked.

“Do you check out girls?”

“Yeah, hello? Bi here, checking out everybody is kinda my thing.”

“Funny, I could have sworn I said that.”

“Everything you say can and will be used against you.”

“I thought that was for a court of law.”

“Court of love, court of law, details schmeetails.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Well, sure, if the right girl catches my eye.”

“Have any girls caught your eye lately?”


“Oh ho, don’t think you’re getting off that easy if I had to spill.”

“I’ll eat the Chubby Hubby if you don’t drop it.”

“Alright, alright, just don’t take it out on my ice cream!”

“That’s better.”

If anyone else had been in the room, they’d have noticed the dialogue zipping between the two took less than a minute. Minute and a half tops. The observer would also be in bad neck pain from looking back and forth between the girls.

Sam left the room, threatened tub of Ben and Jerry’s safely in her grasp, feeling as if she’d just missed out on a big confession. Brooke, for her part, was sagging against the kitchen table, thankful that for once in her life she’d kept her mouth shut. Sam needed a friend, not a lover.


Part Three

The movie night went exceptionally well, with Brooke even downing a few extremely unhealthy snacks at Sam’s urging. Strange as it seemed, the blonde probably would have never even considered it had she been able to see the labels. She supposed that knowing and seeing something really is completely different. Just because she couldn’t see the amount of fat she’d be gaining, it didn’t seem like such a big deal.

Funny how the mind works.

Both girls imagined the steamier parts of the movies would lead to awkwardness, but the night ended with a discussion of the humor embedded in the movies. They even decided to watch Sam’s beat up copy of Chutney Popcorn for more humor.

“Well, that does it, I’m watching Crossing Jordan from now on,” Brooke declared as the ending credits rolled.

“Huh?” Sam was used to not having any clue about what trail of logic brought the cheerleader to her tangents, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

“Jill Hennessy stars on that show.”

“Who’s Jill Hennessy?”

“You know, Lisa, Reena’s commitment phobic girlfriend?”

“Oh her. She was on Law and Order, too.”

“A while ago, right?”


“So, you watch that show for the hot lawyers, don’t you.”

“Shut up.”

“Shutting up won’t negate the fact that I’m right.”


“Well, I was just saying that because that’s why I watch it, too. And Crossing Jordan now.”

“And any other show, I’m sure you could find someone. Alias chick?”

“Hell yeah, Alias chick!” Brooke confirmed.

“Those tight leathers numbers sure are worth watching.”

“Definitely scrumptious. Jennifer Garner in leather is a sure-fire hit any way you look at it.”

“You know, I don’t really hear you talking up guys that much. Outside of school, that is.”

“So?” now was Brooke’s time to get defensive.

“So… I don’t know, I was just commenting.” And Sam really didn’t know why, and she wouldn’t let herself think too hard about it.

“I thought that sexuality wasn’t that important to you.”

“It’s not.”

“Well then.”

“So are you really bi?”

Sam’s query was met with contemplative silence. Since it wasn’t a hostile silence, merely thoughtful, she decided not to antagonize the blonde and simply wait her out. ‘Wait her out, ha,’ Sam thought.

“I…I don’t know.”

“Well, at least you’re honest about it.”

“Would it matter if I were gay?”

“Uh, no. Remember? I’m a lesbian.”

“I know, but…”

“I’m a firm believer that a person should be who they are. Physically, emotionally, sexually.”

“Uh, thanks.” Brooke was acting kind of strangely, almost as if she were trying to keep from laughing.


“Just, I thought I was the one supposed to be giving that speech.”

“Not all of us can be as well-adjusted as I am.” At Brooke’s critical expression, Sam raised her hands defensively, “Okay, okay, so I’m a mess. Just let me feel a little better about myself by telling you this stuff?”

“Go for it,” Brooke smiled broadly.

“So why don’t you know?”

“If I knew why I don’t know, then I’d know, wouldn’t I?” Both girls had to stop and ponder exactly what it was Brooke had just said.

“I guess so.” Sam was confused but didn’t want to let Brooke know it.

“Exactly.” Brooke didn’t want Sam to know she couldn’t make sense of her own sentence.

“Well, have you ever kissed a girl?” Sometimes Sam’s mouth moved, words came out, and she had no idea where they came from.

“No. That’s kinda why I don’t really know. I mean I’ve been with a guy, and that sucked. But I do look at women more than appreciatively.”

“It’s settled then, we’re going to go to a club this weekend and search for some girls.”

Brooke thought, but didn’t have the courage to say, that she’d already found the girl she wanted.

Sam wasn’t sure what she wanted, but she was starting to have a good idea. “You know, we don’t have to wait for a club.”

“We don’t?” Brooke asked, trying not to let her hope color her voice too much.

“Come on Miss-Four-Point-Oh.”

“Oh, you mean,” Brooke gestured between the two girls.

“Well, yeah.”

“Uh, okay I guess.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Won’t things get weird?”

“Only if we let them.” Sam really wanted this, and she was beginning to figure out why. She’d never let herself truly think about the reasons why she fought with Brooke so passionately. Now that she wasn’t hiding from herself anymore, why should she have to hide a little crush? And shamelessly take advantage of the situation to see just how bad her crush on the blonde was.

“Well, okay.”

With that, both girls just sat there staring at each other, willing the other one to make the first move.

Giggling a little, Sam said, “What’s with the sudden glacierness?” as she closed half the distance between herself and the cheerleader.

“Takes two to tango.” Brooke leaned forward as well, so their faces were only inches apart.

“Well if you put it that way…”

When their lips met, Sam only meant to give Brooke a little peck. But neither girl was breaking it off, in fact they found themselves deepening the kiss. Brooke’s hand snaked up and settled on the back of the brunette’s neck, subtly encouraging Sam. For her part, the journalist licked Brooke’s lower lip, eliciting a moan from the blonde while slipping her tongue in. Sam placed both her hands on Brooke’s hips, brushing up and down the strong cheerleader’s thighs.

The girls continued their heated exploration to the boiling point. When Brooke’s other hand slipped underneath the hem of Sam’s shirt and softly ascended, they broke apart.

“Wow,” they both breathed in unison, both noticing that neither wanted to relinquish the physical contact.

Part of a parent’s job is to unknowingly interrupt at the most inopportune times. Both girls jumped apart, wildly staring at the opening door.

“Hey girls, what’s with the shrapnel impression? Were you fighting again?” At the girls’ silence, interpreted as a positive answer, Jane sighed. “Come on, you both know that getting along isn’t that hard. I’ve SEEN you do it.”

“Sorry, Mom,” they both mumbled, suddenly finding the carpet worth scrutiny.

Jane settled on the couch, pulling her legs up underneath her while studying the girls’ swollen lips and flushed faces. As realization settled in, she smothered a smile and patted on the couch, motioning for the teens to sit next to her.

“We’re going to have to have that talk, aren’t we?” She asked, trying to prod the truth from the two.

“Huh?” Sam really had no idea what her mom was talking about, confident enough in her hormone-control to think it wasn’t obvious that she’d just been making out. And, for the first time, seriously considering losing her virginity. Maybe she was glad Jane had interrupted.

“You know, you guys and safe sex and all.”

“I thought we did that, remember the whole condom debacle?” Brooke managed to grimace only a little at the unpleasant memory.

“I don’t think you two have any use of condoms anymore, do you?” Sam and Brooke’s eyes met panicked across the couch.

“Wh-what do you mean?” Sam squeaked out.

“Alright, I may be old, but I know what an interrupted make-out session looks like.”

“You do?” Brooke’s voice was about two octaves higher than it normally was.

Sighing deeply, Jane continued, “I’d just hoped that you would have come to me with this. I’m pretty cool, you know.”

“Yeah, but it’s just-“

Jane interrupted the brunette’s explanation, “Look, it’s fine. Just, if you are having sex, PLEASE don’t ever let me walk in on it. There are some things, as cool as I may be, I cannot handle.”

“But Mom, we just kinda found out about this ourselves.”

“I’m not stupid, Sam.”

“She didn’t say you were, and she also wasn’t lying.”

“What?” Looking between the two girls, Jane saw that they weren’t lying. “You mean you guys haven’t been…together long?”

“Unless you count ten minutes. Wait, how long did you think something was going on?” The journalist side of Sam took over with a vengeance.

“Oh, you know, a while.” Jane tried to cover up her faux pas with vagueness, and the girls let it drop.

“So you’re okay with it?”

“Honey, I’ve seen the way you two look at each other, even if you didn’t know about it yourselves until now. Just don’t give me details, okay?”

As Jane got up to go in the kitchen, the teenagers were left on the couch, staring at each other in mute wonderment.

“I, uh, I guess happy endings do happen once in a while,” Brooke stated dreamily.

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