Getting To The Bottom Of It

By The Psycho


Rating: PG (bordering on PG-13)

Genre: Popular

Pairing: S/B (not B/S… well, maybe a little BS) first time

Spoiler: No spoiler.

Summary: Brooke & Sam, the resplendent couple. What's really behind their fighting? (As if we don't know…)

Disclaimer: Not for profit, no infringement intended. The characters are not mine, just borrowing them.

Feedback: Yes, Please!

Archive: Realm

A/N: This is just my pathetic attempt to murder the stereotype. And now that I've said that, I realize only one person will probably understand that sentence, (you know who you are…) The story didn't exactly turn out how I intended… but it still came out OK I think. Waiter! Extra helping of sappiness please!

A/N 2: If things here don't match up with real life… Hey… I don't have one so what would I know?  I'm just a computer geek with visions of MCSE. ;)


"… and that concludes today's lesson." Standing up, the instructor approached his pupils. "Now remember, secrecy is top priority! Tell none of them!" The instructor concluded with a glare.

"Sir, yes sir!" echoed from the pupils.

"As you know, I have been recalled. Your new instructor will continue the standardized lessons where I left off."

"Sir, yes sir!" echoed again.

Moving over to the door, the instructor turned off the scanning device attached to the door and handed it to one of the pupils. "Have a good week. Dismissed!"

"Sir, yes sir!" echoed before everyone filed out.

* * *

Chapter 1:

"Why is your scummy shampoo on MY side? I told you to keep your junk on your own side!"

"Scummy? This is the good stuff! And it's not your side! This week is my turn!"

"Is not! You had it last week!"

"No I didn't! You used my conditioner last week, and it was on THIS side!"

"That wasn't last week! I used it the week before!"

"I KNEW it!" exclaimed the girl with a triumphant grin.

"Yeah? Well… You're ugly!"




For a moment, both girls glared at each other with an intensity that could melt lead. Eyelids narrowed. Fists clenched. The silence was thick. Both girls stared at each other for a few intense minutes before both turned and stalked to their own rooms and both doors slammed shut with a force that their parents could feel downstairs.

* * *

"Should we talk to them? It's getting worse."

"I don't know about you Jane, but I really don't like the idea of talking to Brooke when she's that upset."

"You're such a chicken Mike." Jane smiled at her fiancée accusingly.

"Bwaak! Bwaak!" Mike clucked like a chicken while pecking his nose on Jane's neck.

"Mike! Cut it out!" Jane giggled, "The girls will hear us!"

"Not if we're 'vewy vewy qwiet'."

"Not even talking like Elmer Fudd is going to make me do this here! The girls are right upstairs."

Mike gazed at Jane intensely, "Oh no?"

Jane knew that look and it almost made her melt. Her reply came out a bit forced. "No."

Leaning in, he placed a few delicate kisses on Jane's shoulder, approaching her neck. "Are you Sure?"

"Um… Yes? Oh Mike…"

* * *

Sitting up in bed, Jane put her arms around her fiancée, who was sitting on the edge of the bed, putting his clothes on. "Morning dear." She drawled, placing a delicate kiss on his neck. Turning around in her grasp, Mike gave her a proper kiss, which left them both breathless.

"Good morning."

The tender moment was suddenly broken by the sound of shouting coming through the walls. Turning to look at the clock, "God Mike, it's not even 6am and they're already at it! We have to do something. This is getting out of hand." Turning to the dresser, she noticed a magazine sitting on top. 'Field & Stream' Jane picked up the magazine and read the title of the lead article 'Perfect Outdoor Camping Spots'. Turning to Mike, she held up the magazine. "Mike? I didn't know you read this?"

"I don't usually, but there is an article in there about camping locations, My brother has a cabin at one of the places mentioned in there."

"Sam loves camping."

"Really? So does Brooke. I used to take her there a lot when she was little."

"You know Mike, we should take the kids camping, If they're having fun, maybe they'll get along better."

"I don't know. At least here we can call for an ambulance if things get violent."

"Come on Mike! It's a great idea."

"Well, Ok. I'll have a talk with Brooke… Later…" Grabbing the woman, he kissed her passionately.

"Mike… Oh yea… No… Mike! I have that early meeting remember?"


"We'll see what we can do when I get home tonight."

"I'll hold you to it."

As Jane left, Mike looked at the magazine. Smiling to himself he muttered, "Like a charm." He then turned to walk into his bathroom where he could hear the argument going on through the wall a little clearer.

* * *

"… Brooke, I got here first!"

"I have Glamazon practice, I have to go in early, you know that!"

"Do I look like I care? I get the shower first!"

Both girls were standing in front of each other. Eyes narrowing, they each looked at the door to the shower, each daring the other to make the first move. It was a standoff. The first one to blink would lose.

Brooke watched Sam. Her gaze didn't wander from the other girl's eyes. Sam lowered her arms, but not before trailing her fingers down her chest. Brooke's glance lowered to the other girl's chest. One eyebrow shooting up, Sam made her move.

Brooke saw the movement of Sam's eyes just as it happened and moved, but Sam had a fraction of a second head start and reached the shower door before she did.

Just as Sam reached the door, Brooke's momentum was too great. Placing her hands in front of her to stop herself, her hands made direct contact with Sam's breasts, the force of Brooke's movement pushing the other girl against the shower with a gasp.

Looking down, Brooke noticed where her hands were and quickly moved back. "Oh Sam, I'm so sorry… I didn't mean to… I mean… I wasn't trying…" crying softly, the blonde turned away, burying her face in her hands.

Moving away from the door, "Brooke, it's ok, It was just an accident." Placing her hands on Brooke's back and began to rub the crying girl.

Turning around to stand beside the girl, "I'm so embarrassed! I wasn't trying to cop a feel! I feel horrible Sammy!" Tears were making tracks down the girl's face.

"Shhh. It's ok Brooke. I'm not mad. I'm sorry too. It's ok." Sam tried to soothe the other girl.

Brooke pulled away. "Thank you Sammy."

"For what Brooke?"

"This!" Before the brunette could even move, she darted over to the shower, pulling the door open and stepped in.

"Oh, you bitch!"

Brooke laughed, "Come now Sammy, you didn't really think you could beat me?" her voice was low and sexy. "I mean really, using your beauty and charm to get an advantage over me?" Brooke then proceeded to remove her robe.

Sam's eyes grew wide. "What are you doing!"

"Getting undressed Sammy. You don't expect me to shower in my clothes?" Running a hand across her bare midriff, "I'm not making you uncomfortable, am I… Sammy?"

The sex appeal and raw power the blonde displayed left the brunette completely speechless, Sam just stood there gaping at the blonde, her face beginning to flush.

Turning around to turn on the shower, "Go away now Sammy. I've got a shower to take."

Sam just glared at the other girl through the opaque shower door. *Maybe if I try hard enough I can use my heat vision to melt Brooke and she'll just run down the drain* When it didn't work, Sam just growled "OOH!" and turned to stalk out. Pausing for a second, Sam got an evil glint in her eye, she giggled.

"What are you laughing at out there?"

"Oh, nothing. See ya at school Brookie!" With a quick movement, Sam reached over to the toilet, flushed it, and ran out the bathroom, closing the door. Leaning against the door she heard a very satisfying scream.

* * *

Wiping the remainder of the shaving cream off his face, Mike walked back into his bedroom. *Well, that was interesting. The girls were obviously teasing each other. Since they were each bothered by it, I wonder if they "like" each other. That would definitely explain their arguments.*

* * *

Sitting at the table drinking his coffee, Mike heard a thundering coming down the stairs. He looked up just in time to notice a blonde-haired streak run past the doorway, the streak exclaimed, "Bye daddy!"

"Brooke! Wait a second."

The afore-mentioned streak stuck its head in the doorway. "Yes daddy?"

"Brooke, can we talk for a few minutes?"

"Can't it wait until after school? I'm going to be late for practice."

"I guess so."

"Bye!" She gave her father a kiss on the cheek before dashing out.

A few minutes later, his fiancée's daughter walked into the kitchen, "Morning Mike." Sam singsonged as she started her breakfast.

"Good morning Sam. You sound like you're in a good mood."

"Why shouldn't I be?" *I just got a free porn show!*

"Well, after the shouting I heard earlier…" he said accusingly.

"Sorry Mike, but Brooke's been giving me trouble lately."

"Has Brooke been teasing you?" Mike had to hide the smirk that threatened to appear.

Sam's eyes got wide as a picture appeared in her head of a naked Brooke teasing her. "No!" Sam squeaked, "No teasing! Nope! None at all!"

"I know how she hates that lamp of yours."

"The lamp! Right… yeah! She hates the lamp!" Sam tried to cover, "I suppose I could look for one she would like. Why doesn't she like it?"

Mike thought to himself for a moment, *Why doesn't she like it? Or Why doesn't she like you?* "I dunno Sam, I think it's pretty cool myself."


"Definitely one of the prettiest around."

Sam smiled. *Is he still talking about the lamp?* "Well, I'd better run before I'm late for school. Bye Mike."

"Have a nice day."

* * *

Returning home from work, Mike spent most of the day thinking about the two girls. He concluded that the two girls must like each other a lot more than they admit to themselves or each other. He doubted they even knew what was going on. Their digging at each other was simply a way to get closer to each other while still keeping their emotional distance. He simply had to find out how deep-seated their emotions were… and maybe get them to look at each other without insults.

Walking in the front door, a now-familiar sound reached his ears. Stopping in front of the closed door to the kitchen, he listened…

"Do you know how embarrassing that was? I had to walk around school all day with red skin thanks to you!"

Sam laughed, "What's wrong with that? Red looks good on you!"

"Red clothes maybe, not red skin!"

"Oh, come on Brooke, It's not like I set you on fire!"

Brooke's eyes downcast, "It sure felt like it."

Sam quickly hid the smirk that appeared on her face and then slowly walked up to Brooke and placed her hand on her cheek. "Does it still hurt?" she whispered.

"No." Brooke whispered.

"I wasn't lying before when I set it looked good on you. It was kinda like you were blushing. Like I made you blush."

Brooke looked up into Sam's eyes. With Sam's hand caressing her face, she leaned into it. Reaching up, she placed her hand over Sam's and closed her eyes, enjoying the contact. She was enjoying it so much, it didn't register immediately when Sam's hand slipped out of her grasp.

Opening her eyes, she suddenly realized she was standing there holding her own cheek. Looking at Sam, she saw the other girl standing there with a smirk on her face. Brooke was suddenly very embarrassed. Sam was teasing her.

Sam saw Brooke's embarrassment and stepped back, laughing. "That was just payback for teasing me in the bathroom." Still laughing, she walked out, leaving Brooke standing there.

* * *

As Sam walked out of the kitchen, she didn't notice Mike standing by the doorway. Stopping half-way up the stairs, Sam's grin was gone, her breathing labored, her heart racing, she leaned against the wall, trying to compose herself. Bringing her hand to her chest as if she could stop her heart from beating so hard, she looked down at the hand that had touched Brooke so intimately. Bringing it slowly up to her face, she smelled it. It smelled like Brooke. Closing her eyes, she inhaled the scent. It smelled comforting, safe, like… home. Bringing the hand up to her head, Mike heard her say "Oh my God… What is wrong with me?" before running to her room.

Mike thought to himself, *Well, it seems Sam at lease "likes" Brooke.*

* * *

Entering the kitchen, Mike noticed the faraway look in his daughter's eyes. "Brooke? You ok?"

"Yea daddy." Walking to the refrigerator, she grabbed a bottle of water.

"Do you have time to talk now?"

"Sure, what's up?"

"Do you remember when we used to go up to the lake?"

Brooke smiled as she remembered all the times they spent at the lake together. "Of course, we used to have so much fun, fishing, swimming."

"Well, you liked the fishing but you always had me put the worms on your hook."

"Well geez daddy, they're icky!"

Mike laughed. "Well, It's been a long time since we went to the cabin. Wouldn't it be nice to go up again?"

Brooke's smile brightened, "Daddy, that would be great! But… why now after all these years?"

"Well, I was talking with Jane and it turns out, Sam likes that stuff too. Tomorrow starts a three-day weekend and Jane thought it'd be a good idea for all of us to head up there."

Brooke suddenly frowned, "ALL of us? Do you mean to tell me that SAM has to come?"

"Come on Brooke, You can put up with her for a few days can't you? Who knows, you two might have fun!"

"I seriously doubt that. But if you really want her to come, then OK. She can come. I'll try to be nice… for YOU daddy, not her."

Mike hugged his daughter, "Thank you Brooke."

"You're welcome. Besides, I really miss the lake."

"You'll have a great time. You'll see. Why don't you go tell Sam. We'll be leaving early tomorrow morning."

Sighing, "Ok daddy."

* * *

Standing outside the door to Sam's room, Brooke didn't relish the thought of spending even more time with Sam. Knocking on the door, she waited.

"Come in"

Entering the room, she saw Sam now in her sweats, working on her computer. Looking up, she saw Sam frown.

"What do you want McQueen?"

*Maybe this isn't such a good idea* "My dad was talking to your mom and she said you like camping out and stuff?"

"Yea, what of it?"

"Well, my uncle has a cabin up in the mountains near a lake. Jane thought it would be a good idea to go up there this weekend."

Sam brightened but when she looked at Brooke, she frowned. "Does that mean YOU'RE going?"

"Of course I'm going."

Brooke knew Sam was torn, she could see it in her eyes. She wanted to go up so much but didn't want to go with her. Brooke suddenly felt bothered by this. "Look Sam, I know we don't get along. But the lake and cabin are really beautiful. Although you probably don't want me to go, I really want to. We could have fun!" Coming to a decision, she hung her head. "But if you really don't want me to go… I can make up some excuse…"

Sam saw the hurt in Brooke's face. *It actually looks like Brooke wants to go with me.* "No!" Sam exclaimed so vehemently it stunned both of them. "I mean, it IS your uncle's cabin and all. It wouldn't be fair to leave you behind."

Brooke looked up at Sam and smiled brightly, "Really? You don't mind me coming?"

Sam saw the other girl smiling at her and she realized she liked it. Smiling in return, "Of course I don't mind. Like you said, it could be fun."

Standing there smiling at each other like fools, Sam suddenly added, "But I'm doing this for Mom and Mike. Not you. I still hate you."

Brooke smiled at the girl, "I hate you too Sam."

* * *

Reaching into the front seat, Sam quickly changed the radio station. Suddenly, the sounds of the Backstreet Boys was replaced by the Supremes. "Much better." Sam sighed.

Letting out a grunt of frustration, Brooke reached over into the front seat and changed the station back, the sounds of the Backstreet Boys filling the car once again.

"Come on Brooke!" Once again reaching for the radio again. "That boy band crap makes me want to gag!"

Slapping Sam's hand away, "Oh, and that oldies junk you like is better? That stuff is older than both of us combined!"

"At least my music has some substance."

"The Backstreet Boys have substance!"

"About as much substance as Satan has."

Reaching back into the front seat, Sam reached for the radio dial again. This time her hand was met by Brooke's as she tried reaching for the dial as well. Both girls squeezed together, fighting for control of the knob.

"Come on Brooke! We've listened to that crap for the last half hour. It's my turn."

"No, I will not listen to that crap!" They continued for control over the knob. Brooke's longer arms had gained her an advantage, an advantage that proved to be short-lived. Just as Brooke's fingers grasped the knob, she felt something warm and wet on her face. Brooke was so startled she jumped back. *Did Sam just lick me?* She was so stunned; she just sat there gaping as Sam changed the dial back.

"What the hell was that?", wiping her face with her hand.

"It made you stop didn't it?"



"Girls! That's enough!" Reaching for the radio, Jane changed the station. Suddenly Alan Parsons filled the car. "We're listening to this and that's THAT!"

Mike turned around in his seat and saw both girls looking out their respective windows, sulking. "I thought you two were going to try to get along?" Looking at his daughter accusingly, Brooke tried defending herself.

"But daddy, she…" Brooke stopped when she felt Sam's hand grasp her own.

Sam held up her hand, fingers laced with Brooke's. "See? We're getting along!"

Brooke smiled weakly, "Yep. This is us… getting along." Holding her smile until she saw Mike turn back around. Once his back was turned, Brooke tried removing her hand from Sam's but Sam held fast. Looking up at the other girl, Sam leaned over and whispered.

"Look Brooke, We should really try to get along. For them. Look."

Brooke saw Sam's gaze turn to their parents. Jane was looking at Mike in sympathy. Mike returned the gaze with a look that said 'It'll be alright'.

Brooke softened, they were obviously in love and their fighting was hurting them. Adjusting her fingers, she grasped Sam's hand tighter.

Speaking up for their parents to hear, "I'm sorry Brooke. Really I am. I'm sorry I called you a whore."

"Me too, I'm sorry I called you a bitch."

Giving the other girl a wry smile, "And I'm sorry I licked you."

Brooke gasped, and shot a quick look at their parents who were looking back at them. Turning to look at Sam she saw the other girl trying to hide her laughter, which didn't work for long when she saw the embarrassed look on Brooke's face and burst out laughing.

The blonde saw the absurdity of the situation and couldn't help but laugh also. "You are so bad." As she continued to laugh.

* * *

Sam jumped out of the car, arms flailing, twirling around as if trying to get a panoramic view of the entire area in a single shot. "God Mike, it's beautiful!"

"I'll be sure to tell Mark you approve of it." Mike replied with a grin.

"I do."

"I do too Sammy."

Sam looked over at Brooke. Brooke's was looking at the sunlight filtering through the trees, listening to the birds chirp, a huge smile on her face. Seeing the happiness and child-like wonder in the blonde's face, Sam was enraptured. "Beautiful," Sam whispered.

Brooke missed the fact that the brunette wasn't talking about the scenery, "Isn't it Sam?" The girls just stood there for a few moments, Brooke staring at the scenery, and Sam staring at her.

Sam turned back to the scenery, it was beautiful but in Sam's opinion, didn't hold a candle to Brooke. As Sam was lost in thought, Brooke turned to look at Sam, "Very beautiful." Sam turned to look at Brooke and saw the blonde smiling at her. She smiled in return and took Brooke's hand in hers, both girls enjoying the tender moment. Neither girl noticed Mike looking at them out of the corner of his eye, smiling.

Turning to her father, "Daddy, I forgot how beautiful it was here! I missed it so much!" A frown coming to her face, "Now why did we stop coming here?"

Walking up to his daughter, he placed his hand on his daughter's arm, "You remember. It was when your mother…"

"When mom left us." Brooke's gaze falling. "I remember. Things didn't seem as pretty any more."

Hugging his daughter, "I'm sorry Brooke."

"It's not your fault daddy. It was a long time ago."

Holding their embrace for a few moments, Mike kissed his daughter on her forehead. "You know I love you Brooke."

"I love you too daddy." Brooke smiled weakly.

As Mike went to help Jane take their bags into the cabin, Sam grasped Brooke's hand again, tighter. "Are you ok?"

Seeing the caring and worry in Sam's eyes, Brooke smiled at the girl fondly. "I'm fine."

"It's just, you seem upset. I was just wondering if there was anything I could do to help."

"I just needed a hug but…"

Without even hesitating, Sam reached around the girl and folded her arms around her, hugging her tightly. Brooke was startled for a moment but the hug felt so good, she decided to go with it, wrapping her arms around the brunette, she returned the hug tightly. They just held each other for a few moments, before releasing each other.

Brooke stood in front of the other girl, holding both of her hands. "Not that I'm complaining, but what was that for?"

Sam look at the other girl puzzled, "You said you needed a hug."

The corner of Brooke's mouth quirked up, "Yea, and my dad gave me one."

Sam frowned, Brooke saw it and broke into a huge grin. Sam pulled her hands out of Brooke's and slapped the girl on the arm, "Oh, you!", not being able to control her laughter. Both girls laughed at each other.

"Your dad said there was a lake here somewhere?"

Brooke's eyebrows shot up and she gasped. "Oh! I hope you brought your bathing suit! You are SO going to love it! Come on!" Brooke grabbed the girl's hand and they ran into the cabin to change into their suits, laughing the whole way.

* * *

As Mike dropped their bags by the door, he noticed Jane standing in front of the screen door on the porch, looking outside. Wondering what she was doing, he walked over and wrapped his arms around her. "Whacha doing?"


Following her gaze, he looked outside where he had just left his daughter, and saw his and Jane's daughters hug tightly. He smiled.

"See Mike? I told you this would be a good idea."

"Yes Jane, you were right. This is definitely a good idea. But it could be even worse for them than before if things don't go right."

"Mike, what are you talking about?"

Catching himself, "Oh nothing… just babbling." Satisfied that Jane dropped the subject, "Let's leave them alone for a while." Jane carried her bag into their bedroom. Mike paused, whispering to himself, "If things don't go well here, I'm afraid I'll have to resort to drastic measures." Mike then gathered up the rest of their bags, and went inside to unpack.

* * *

"Where are those girls? Dinner's almost ready. They've been out there all day! Mike, you don't think they've…"

"What? Killed each other?" Mike laughed. "Come on Jane, you saw how they were when we arrived."

Jane softened, "Yes, and it was so sweet seeing them like that, but you know as well as I do, they can't go for very long without having a fight."

"They'll be just fine Jane. I don't know Sam as well as you do, but I know Brooke. Brooke may argue and be stubborn as heck, but she's really a pacifist at heart."

"Sam's the same way. Geez, if they weren't both girls, I'd say they were perfect for each other."

Mike heard Jane's comment and quickly glanced up at her. *Did Jane actually say that? Does Jane suspect about the girls?* This was the perfect opportunity to bring it up. As he watched her, he saw Jane quickly glance over at him as if she was waiting for his reaction. Jane was feeling him out. *Well, that answers that. Perfect, this'll work just fine.* Mike said nothing but turned his head when he heard the girls return.

"… you didn't have to push me in Sam!" Brooke's voice accusing but held no malice.

"So? You were already all wet!"

"At least I got you back." Looking at her hand as she popped a wild raspberry in her mouth, glancing at Sam out of the corner of her eye, smiling.

"Yea, thanks for that! I had to go back in and wash the berries off!"

"Well, what can I say? Red looks good on you too!" she replied cheekily.

Sam tried to be angry with Brooke, but she saw the laughter in her eyes and found she couldn't. "Of course red looks good on me." Watching Brooke pop another berry in her mouth. "Gimme some of those."

Covering her berries with her other hand, "You should have picked some of your own."

"I was busy washing them off and you wouldn't show me where you got 'em!" Sam looked down at her feet, lips pouting, and sniffed, glancing back up at Brooke.

*Sam is so cute when she does that!* Brooke sighed and rolled her eyes. "Fine… here." Holding her hand out.

Smiling brightly that she won, Sam reached over and took a few berries.

Walking in from the kitchen, Jane stared accusingly at the two girls. "Girls! Where have you been?" Looking at the two girls, not saying anything, hands behind their backs, smiling, Jane was suddenly suspicious. Brooke made a quick gesture with her hands behind her back but Sam simply smiled and stepped away. "Brooke? What's in you hand?"

Mumbling, "Nufin!" Jane simply glared at Brooke in that way only a mother can. Brooke shot an annoyed look at Sam, she quickly swallowed the berries in her mouth and brought her hand out, showing Jane the berries.

Taking the berries from Brooke, "You girls better not have spoiled your dinner."

"We only had a few, mom."

"Good. Now go wash off. Dinner's ready."

As the two girls walked upstairs, Sam made a quick movement and reached behind herself. Pulling her hand out, Brooke watched Sam pop another berry in her mouth. "Wha… where did you hide those?"

Sam just giggled, "Now look who has all the berries!" and took off running.

"Gimme some!" Brooke laughed and ran after her.

* * *

The evening progressed fairly well with hardly any bickering, stories were told, marshmallows were toasted, laughs were had, all in all, it was a good day. When the girls headed up to their room for bed, they both walked into their room at the same time, still laughing. When they both looked at the beds, the laughter died on their lips. Two beds, one on the left… and one on the right. Both beds were exactly the same, however they looked at the left one with distain. They both looked at the one on the right, then looked at each other. Eyes narrowed, they both took off running.

* * *

Downstairs, Jane turned to Mike, "Oh no! I forgot!"

"What's that sweetheart?"

"The beds!"

Mike looked up quickly when suddenly there was a loud thud and he broke out in a full-on belly laugh.

Jane winced, "I sure hope the bed can take it."

Still laughing, "Five bucks says Brooke gets the right bed."

"I don't know Mike, Sam can be damn persistent." Jane laughed herself.

"So can Brooke." Shaking his head, he went back to cuddling with Jane.

* * *

"I've got the right bed!" both girls exclaimed at the same time. "No you don't!" both girls said again at the same time.

"Come on Sam! I was here first!"

"No you weren't. We both got here at the same time."

"Well, it doesn't matter because I'm not leaving this bed until tomorrow morning."

"I'm certainly not." To prove her point, Sam slid under the covers.

Certainly not one to be outdone, Brooke slipped under the covers as well, right next to Sam.

"What are you doing?" Sam's voice at least two octaves higher than usual. Sam tried to calm herself, but when she saw the blonde get under the covers with her, her brain effectively disconnected itself from her body. *Ohmygod! Brooke's in bed with me!*

"I told you I wasn't leaving this bed until tomorrow morning. If you refuse to leave then we'll just have to sleep together." *I can't believe I just got into bed with Sam! This is so cool!*

Both girls were silent for at least 20 minutes, both staring at the ceiling, both trying not to move, when Sam broke the silence.

"Brooke?" she whispered.


"I had a lot of fun today."

"Me too."




"I'm glad we came here."

"Me too."



{sigh} "Yeeaa?"

"I hate you." Sam quickly whispered before turning on her side and prepared to sleep when she barely heard the whispered response.

"I hate you too."

* * *

Lying out on the raft the girl discovered the day before, the girls were busy sunning themselves. The raft was tied to shore by a length of rope where the excess was coiled on the edge of the raft. As the raft lightly bobbed up and down, the girls enjoyed the peace and warmth of the sun. While the area was very peaceful, the girls' minds were anything but peaceful.

Sam's thoughts were fixed upon the blonde lying next to her. Glancing over at the other girl, Sam saw the blonde's eyes closed. As her eyes traveled down the slender bikini-clad form next to her, she couldn't help but realize how beautiful the girl was. Sam frowned. *How can Brooke have a self-image problem? She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen!* Sam glanced down at herself, *She's nothing like me, I'm not beautiful like her.*

"You're staring Sam."

Sam looked over at Brooke in alarm, suddenly wondering quickly how the girl knew. "Sorry, I was just wondering how you could have a self-image problem when you look like that."

"Like what?"

"So… pretty."

Opening her eyes, Brooke turned to look at Sam, her eyes doubtful. "You think so? You think I look nice?

"Nice? No Brooke, you don't look nice. You look beautiful."

Blushing, Brooke smiled. "Thank you Sam, that's sweet." Sitting up, Brooke placed her hand on Sam's. "And I hope you believe me, you're beautiful too. Definitely more beautiful than I am."

Sam jumped to her feet. "Are you kidding me? You're joking right? You're a lot prettier than I am."

Wanting to be on equal ground as Sam, Brooke stands up and gets right in the other girl's face. "No I'm not!"

"Yes you are!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

The girls were silent for a minute as they realized what they were arguing about, then suddenly laughed.

"Brooke, it doesn't matter who's prettier. You think I'm pretty? Thank you, I accept that. So are you."

Brooke looked down shyly and took Sam's hand in her own. "Thank you Sammy." Another look of doubt ran across Brooke's face, a look that Sam caught.

"What's wrong?"

Whispering, "If I'm so pretty, how come I couldn't make it work with Josh?"

"Because Josh is an idiot!" Sam replied without hesitation, the force of Sam's response causing the blonde to look up. Sam turned away and began pacing in front of the other girl, yelling. "Josh is such an idiot! How could he do that to you?"

Brooke was getting worried, "Do what? He didn't do anything to me."

"Brooke! That's the problem! How could he see what was happening to you and not do anything? I see it every day! I see how you look at yourself in the mirror! I see the doubt in your eyes when someone says you're pretty. I found the laxatives in the bathroom!"

Brooke looked away ashamed, that look of shame simply served to pour fuel on Sam's fire.

Grabbing the blonde, Sam forced the girl to turn and look at her. "Don't you dare look ashamed because of what you are!"

Tears coming to her eyes, "And what am I?"

"You're kind. You're caring. You're compassionate. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen! My god! How could Josh let you go!" Tears were now running down the brunette's cheek. "If I were your girlfriend, I would make sure not a single day went by that I didn't tell you how beautiful you were! If I were your girlfriend, I would find a new way every single day to show you that! If I were your girlfriend, you would never doubt for a single second how much I..." Sam froze as she realized she almost spilt her deepest secret to the other girl.

Brooke's mind was running a hundred miles per hour. She was running it all through her mind but it only came out in pieces. *If I were your girlfriend… how much I… How much you what? Does Sam like me?* Brooke was suddenly scared. She knew she loved Sam, but this was too much, too quickly. Backing away from the other girl she put her hands up in front of herself. "No… I can't… not…" Brooke couldn't get anything else out because she found herself falling. Her foot having caught in the rope coiled on the raft, Brooke couldn't maintain her balance and fell into the water.

Sam was stunned at first. But when she saw the rope, and Brooke struggling in the water, she yelled "Brooke!" and quickly dove in.

With the rope caught around Brooke's foot, she couldn't get her feet below herself to kick up. She tried using her arms but just ended up splashing around. When Brooke felt something else grab hold of her foot, she desperately tried grabbing onto it. The 'something else' managed to free her foot and pull her towards the raft.

* * *

Panting and clutching her chest, Brooke looked around and saw Sam was gone. Panicked, "Sam? SAMMY!"

"I'm right here."

Brooke looked over to the water and saw Sam pull herself onto the raft. She was favoring her arm which had long scratches down the side. "Sammy! Did you… What happened to your arm?"

"I pulled you out, but not before your nails took off a layer or two of skin…"

Grabbing desperately onto the brunette, Brooke buried her face in the other girl's shoulder, sobbing.

"Brooke? Shhh… It's ok… It's ok… You're fine now…" The brunette kept her voice soft as she whispered soothingly to the blonde.

* * *

Mike knew the girls would be spending the day again out at the lake. It was already after 1pm and they hadn't returned for lunch. Deciding to give them more time to themselves, he fixed a picnic basket and walked the short trip to the lake.

Arriving at the lake, he looked around for them for a few minutes before he heard a shout "Brooke!" Looking across the lake, he saw his daughter struggling in the water and panicked. Dropping the basket, he bolted towards the water. Just as he reached the water he saw Sam jump in and grab her. He waited a few more minutes until he saw his daughter grab the girl desperately, sobbing. Seeing that Sam had things under control, he left the picnic basket by the girl's clothes and quickly ran home to get something.

* * *

Sam didn't think swimming back to shore was the best idea for them, so she grabbed onto the rope and began pulling the entire raft back to shore. It was a slow painful process but not too difficult. When they arrived, the brunette looked over at the blonde, who was still curled up on the raft, "Brooke? Are you ok?"

Brooke looked up and saw the raft was by the shore. "Wha…? How did you…"

"I guess we just floated back." Sam jumped down to shore and walked over to retrieve their clothes and saw the basket.

"What's that?" Sam jumped when Brooke's voice came from right behind her.

"Mom must have brought it over."

"That was nice of her."

"Yea, it's not like her though.  Anyway, are you hungry?" Sam reached down and picked up the basket, quickly hissing and dropping it, clutching at her hand.

"Sam? What's wrong?" Brooke moved forward to look at Sam's hands.

Hiding them behind her back, "It's nothing."

Keeping her voice soft but forceful, "Sam. Let me see it."

Bringing her hands out, Brooke took them in her own and turned them over to look at the palms and saw the blisters and redness. Wondering how she might have gotten them, she looked back over to the raft and saw the rope coiled there. Smirking at the other girl, "Floated back huh? Come on, Let's go over to that tree, I'll fix your hand and arm and we can have lunch."

After a quick look in the basket, they found some bandages inside. After a quick bout of 'How did they know we'd need those?', they settled on just accepting it. After spending a while carefully cleaning and bandaging her hand and arm, they sat down to eat.

* * *

That evening in the cabin, both girls were unusually quiet. Mike noticed Sam giving worried looks over at Brooke, and Brooke giving sad but curious looks at Sam. "How was the lake today?"

"Fine daddy."

"It was good Mike."

Jane looked over at Sam's dressings, "Sam? Do you want me to change your bandages? That must have been a nasty fall out of that tree. You really should be more careful."

Brooke looked alarmingly at Sam, realizing Sam lied for her, she couldn't let her take all the blame, "Sam didn't…"

"I didn't watch what I was doing." Looking at the blonde pointedly, "Don't worry about it…mom. The bandages are fine."

"If you're sure?"

"I'm sure. Brooke took care of me."

Brooke couldn't take it any more, "Sam? Can I talk to you for a moment outside?"

"Um… sure."

* * *

"Jane? I have to get something from the kitchen."

"Sure Mike. I'll be waiting." Jane drawled.

Walking into the kitchen, Mike quickly walked over to the window where he could better catch what was going on outside.

* * *

Following the blonde outside, "Look, it's not a big deal…" was all she got out before she found herself being hugged. Brooke didn't say anything, she just seemed to be holding onto her for dear life. Giving in, she put her arms around the girl and hugged back tightly. Not a word was spoken for several minutes as the girls simply held each other before pulling back.

Brooke leaned forward and rested her forehead against the other girl's, still holding her tightly. As they looked deep into each other's eyes, Brooke whispered, "Thank you Sammy."

"For what?" Sam was almost at a panic stage being that close to the girl.

"For saving my life." Brooke leaned forward and gave the girl the lightest kiss on the cheek before running inside, leaving the girl standing there stunned.

* * *

The girls had gone to bed several hours before, Mike decided to check on them. Softly opening the door, he saw the girls on different beds, each as far away from the other as possible. Throughout the rest of the evening, Brooke and Sam had been distancing themselves from each other. He knew both girls were still trying to work out how they felt for each other. It was extremely obvious to him that both girls cared tremendously for each other, but he knew that if they couldn't work out their feelings, it would only serve to drive them further apart. He decided to wait a few days to see if they would work it out on their own, but it was beginning to look more and more like his fallback plan was going to get put into action.

* * *

The return home was extremely uneventful, so uneventful in fact, that it worried Mike.  There was no biting, no bickering, no … anything. The girls wouldn't even talk to each other. Oh, they talked, but only when necessary and it bothered him. He knew how they felt for each other but for some reason, they either couldn't, or wouldn't admit it to themselves or each other.

Mike was positive how Brooke felt, he knew his daughter well, but he was not 100% positive how Sam felt. Sam kept displaying the same indecisiveness and looks of longing as his daughter but it was not concrete. He was about to just assume Sam felt the same way as Brooke when the perfect opportunity arose.

"Mike, I'm going out for a while, I'll be back later."

"Where are you going Sam?"

"Um… to see my dad."

This was perfect! He hated the idea of spying on his daughters but in this case, it wasn't only for him… in quite a few ways.

"Sam, I don't mean to intrude, but do you mind if I come along?"

"Why do you want to come?"

"You may not know this, but I knew your father back in college. We were actually friends, I didn't have the chance to go to his funeral… and I thought…" Mike just trailed off.

Sam just took Mike's hand, "Come on Mike, Let's go say 'Hi' to my dad."

"Thanks a lot, you don't know how much this means to me.  Let me just go grab my coat."

Running into his workroom, he grabbed his coat and reached under the workbench and grabbed a small electronic device. *While I can control a lot of things, sometimes luck lends a helping-hand!* Placing it in the pocket of his coat, he went to catch up with Sam.

* * *

Walking up to Joe McPherson's grave, Mike took off his coat. "Whew.  It's warmer than I thought." Taking off his coat, he set it upon the stone bench near Sam. "Sam? Why don't you go first? I'll just go for a walk and give you some privacy."

"Thanks Mike." Waiting until Mike was out of earshot, Sam sat down upon the ground in front of the headstone and began…

"Hi Dad…

"Your headstone's a mess. I'm really sorry I haven't been to visit in such a long time. I really should come by more often,

"I have some news… I'm in love! I know what you're probably thinking, 'Who's the lucky guy?' Well, it's not a guy. It's a girl… and her name is Brooke. Brooke McQueen. I don't know if you know her, Mike said he knew you from college so maybe you don't. But Oh dad! You'd simply love her! She's beautiful, kind, sweet, compassionate, warm, caring, and she has this smile that absolutely lights up the room!

"I think she likes me too, but she's straight. She used to go out with this guy named Josh, but they broke up. I want to ask her out but I know she doesn't like me like that. She'd probably slap me.

"Yes, she would! You have to understand, for the longest time me and Brooke were enemies. We absolutely hated each other. We each hated everything the other stood for. It was like that for the longest time. It only got worse when I moved in with her and Mike.

"I don't know what happened, but at some point, I think I started to respect her. While I hated everything she stood for, I respected that she fought so strongly with me in her own defense. I don't know when it happened, but this past week, I can't seem to get my mind off her! No, that's not true. She's been on my mind for years! It's only this past week that I've come to realize that I've been in love with her for a long time.

"Well, I suppose that's not strictly true. Yes, I love her, so much! But to be in love WITH her, I suppose that implies she loves me too right?

"Oh daddy, I don't know what to do! She's in my thoughts and dreams all the time! I wake up and she's the first thought in my head. I see her in the bathroom and she looks so cute in her silk bathrobe that I want to just hug her and never let go! Oh god! After she showers she smells like lilacs and strawberries, She smells so good I swear I could drown in her! I fantasize about her all day long, I see something beautiful and I immediately want to run and get her so I can show it to her. She's the last thing I think about before I sleep and she's in my dreams all night long!

"What do I do? I love her so much! But I can never have her. She hates me. She's always hated me. Even if she doesn't hate me, why would she ever fall for the girl who said such incredibly mean things to her in the past? Besides, once Mike and mom are married, we'll be step-sisters I suppose. What do I do then? I can't tell my step-sister that I'm in love with her!

"She's in my heart! I wish I could just cut it out and throw it away! But I can't.

"Oh daddy, I wish you were here. You'd know what to say to make things better.

"You'd probably tell me to be strong. To believe in myself, and that you love me.

"I'll try daddy. For you. I love you. I miss you so much."

* * *

As the next few days passed, the silence in the palace grew thick. Sure, things were running smoothly, but with both girls avoiding each other, Mike knew his plan would have to go into action soon. Mike saw the wanton glances the girls threw at each other when each thought the other wasn't looking. He saw the sadness, desire, and love in each of their eyes. Remembering how Sam took care of Brooke back at the lake, hurting her hands as she pulled them back to shore so Brooke wouldn't have to go back into the water. He remembered watching the girls on the porch of the cabin, Brooke hugging Sam and kissing her on the cheek.

Taking off early from work, he proceeded to the club. Walking down the back hallways, he entered a door that said "Employees Only". In the back of the storeroom was another door. Standing in front of the door, he simply whispered, "Agent 1231, access code McQueen-5467"

"Scan complete. Enter Sir."

Opening the door, he walked inside and proceeded to his office. Picking up the phone he dialed.


"This is agent 1231, I need a code 4 approval."

"1231? Mike? Is that you?"

Recognizing the voice, Mike exclaimed, "Hey! When did you get back?"

"Just a few days ago. Let's talk in a few minutes. That was a code 4?"

"Yes. IPSEC security requested."

"IPSEC password?"


"Ok Mike, IPSEC connection established."

Mike inserted a disc in his computer's drive, "I'm transferring the files now. Hold the connection, I'll have something else."

"Ok, I've got it. Transferring for approval." Mike waited for a few minutes before he heard the reply. "Code 4 approval granted."


"You know if this goes badly Mike, you could be re-assigned. You know what that means right?"

Mike understood the fact that his friend knew all too well the price. As well as he did. It meant leaving everything and everyone you love.

"Yes, I know. It's worth it."

"Um… How is she?"

Mike didn't have to ask who his friend was talking about. "She's just fine. Great even. I know you miss her. She misses you terribly."

"I miss her too. Um… What else did you have to send?"

"This is for you. It's a … surprise." Mike plugged a second disc in the computer's drive, and transferred the file. Mike waited anxiously.

"What is it? An MP3 file?  What's on it?"

"Just play it.  Trust me buddy." Mike waited until he heard through the telephone connection…

"Hi Dad…

"Your headstone's a mess. I'm really sorry I haven't been to visit in such a long time…"

Through the connection, he heard the man start sobbing with joy. This man, his long time friend. He knew how much he missed his daughter.

* * *

Mike couldn't get over how happy Joe was after receiving the audio file of his daughter's voice. Joe was so happy he swore to find a way to get a case of twelve-year old scotch shipped to him. Since his plan was approved, Mike decided to put the first stage of his plan into action tonight at dinner.

* * *

"This looks wonderful Jane. Have I told you how much I love your cooking?"

"I knew you only wanted me for my cooking skills."

"That's it exactly, if I couldn't find someone to cook, I think we would have starved!"

Both of them laughed, trying to keep the mood light, both of the parents look at the girls, who were quiet. As Jane turned back to her dinner, mike glanced up and saw Sam look at Brooke with such sadness and want in her eyes, he knew it was time.

"Jane… I got a call from Mark yesterday."

"Yea? How's he doing?"

"He's great. He just got engaged."

"Really? Who's the lucky girl?"

"He's engaged to Steve."

"His partner in the firm? That's great!"

"Yea, I met Steve once, he's a real good guy. My brother's very lucky."

Upon hearing this, both girls looked up at Mike and then at each other. He could see their minds racing. Sam looked at Brooke with hope in her eyes, Brooke just looked even more worried. When Mike saw his daughter's gaze drop, the look that appeared on Sam's face broke his heart. Tears forming in her eyes, Sam jumped up and ran upstairs. Sighing, Mike returned to his dinner. *Tomorrow, stage two goes into action*

* * *

"Yes! This is priority four! I need them today!"

"Yes sir, they'll be delivered this afternoon."

"Good, thank you."

"Not a problem. It's for a good cause."

"See you at the next meeting."

"See ya then Mike."

* * *

"Mike?" Jane exclaimed as she walked into the house with the day's mail.

"What honey?"

"Look at this. It looks like we won some sort of contest. Two free tickets to the movies."

"Really? Wow!" Taking the tickets from his fiancée. "I've been meaning to take you to this movie, it's very romantic."

Jane looked at the tickets. "Maybe we should give them to the girls. They've been so quiet lately, I just know something's bothering them. They could really use a night out."

Sighing in disappointment, "Well, I guess you're right."

* * *

Mike waited until the perfect opportunity. Sam had just gone up to her room to begin her homework, Brooke had just walked into the kitchen. Following his daughter, he watched her grab a bottle of water out of the fridge. Brooke turned around and saw her father watching her.

"Daddy? Is something wrong?"

"No sweetheart.  Nothing at all.  These came in the mail today." handing the tickets to his daughter.

"Two tickets to the movies?"

"Yea, I guess we won some contest or other.  Jane thought you and Sam might like to go."


"Well, you've seemed depressed lately. She thought it might be good for you two to get out."

"You won daddy, you should take them. Take Jane out for the night."

"We want you to have them. Please?"

"Ok daddy."

Mike hugged his daughter, "Thank you. Maybe you could tell Sam it was your idea."

"My idea?"

"Well, sure. I don't want Sam to think I'm butting in…"

"You're not daddy, but if it makes you feel better, I'll tell her it was my idea."

"Thank you, you're the best daughter a guy could hope for."

* * *

Standing outside the door to Sam's room, Brooke shifted from foot to foot, looking anxiously at the doorknob. Her hands were sweating, her breath short, her mind racing. She was almost in a panic over what she was about to do. In a few seconds, she was going to knock on the door to Samantha McPherson's room and ask her out on a date. Granted, she didn't buy the tickets, and it was only under the pretense of just 'having fun', but still…

Brooke raised her hand to knock and paused. Her hand was shaking badly. Brooke couldn't understand why she was in such a panic over this. She had gone out with Josh many times and it never panicked her this badly. *You weren't in love with Josh* her mind told herself. Brooke froze as she suddenly realized it. *I'm in love with Sam? I knew I loved her but am I 'In Love' with her?* Brooke knew the answer to that question was 'Yes', and it panicked her even further. Brooke was about to chicken out when…

"Come in if you're going to Brooke."

Brooke was startled so badly she actually yelped. Since Sam knew she was out there, she gathered up her courage and opened the door.

"How did you know…"

"Your shadow blocked the light from under the door."

Looking back to the door, "Oh."

Sam just watched Brooke, she was incredibly nervous for some reason. She watched as the blonde walked over to her dresser and picked up her teddy bear and seemed to look at it with great interest.

"I see you found Walter."

Startled again, Brooke jumped and almost dropped the bear. "Walter?"

"… Cronkite." Sam saw Brooke smile at that. She seemed to be gathering the courage to say something. She watched the blonde hug the bear to herself tightly. "Brooke, what are you so nervous about?" Sam was nervous herself, she so badly wanted to know what Brooke wanted to say, but she was terrified of what it might be. One of life's little puzzles.

"Well, I… I… I wanted… to… you know… ask you… to… to… to…" Brooke knew she wasn't going to get it out very well sounding like an idiot, so she decided to just get to the point. "Here." And handed the tickets to the other girl.

Sam saw how badly the items the girl was holding were shaking, she got up and took them from the girl. Looking at them, "Two tickets to the movies?" The only thought that was running through the brunette's mind was *Ohmygod. Ohmygod. Ohmygod...* "Wha… what's this?"

Looking down at her feet, "Well, I just thought… you know… I'd do something nice for you. Since you saved my life and all." Brooke's voice almost a whisper.

Sam smiled sweetly, "Brooke! My god, that's so sweet! But you didn't have to do this, you already thanked me."

"I really want to Sam. I thought we could go get something to eat, and then go see the movie."

Sam listened to Brooke's whispering and realized what she was asking. *Dinner… and a movie?* Her eyes wide, "You… you… You're… asking me out? On a… Date?"

Brooke saw the surprise in Sam's eyes, "No!… I mean… Well, sorta. Not a DATE date…" Brooke looked scared then suddenly blurted out, "Ijustwantedtodosomethingtothankyousinceyousavedmylifeandallandyou'vebeensosadlatelyandIthoughtitwouldbefunandifyoudon'twanttogoI'llunderstandbutIreallywantyoutogobutyouprobablydon'tsoI'lljust…" Brooke trailed off backing out the door.

Sam thought Brooke was being unbelievably cute. When she saw the blonde backing up, "I'd love to Brooke." Sam swore that the smile that appeared on Brooke's face could light up California for a year. And the way she was bobbing up and down, she seemed to be filled with just as much energy.


"Really." Sam found her own smile was threatening to split her face in two.

"That's awesome!"

Both girls just stood there smiling at each other like idiots. Brooke figured she had better leave while she was ahead. Better not press her luck. Moving backwards towards the door, still smiling, "Well, I'll see ya."

Sam still smiling brightly, "Um, when?"

Brooke was so lost in Sam's eyes she almost missed the brunette's question. "Oh! Um… " thinking quickly, "Be ready at six?"


"See ya!"

"See ya!" as Brooke turned around to leave, "Um Brooke?"

"Yes Sam?" Brooke quickly turned around, taking a few steps forward, eager to hear what she wanted.


"Walter?" Brooke was confused. Sam just pointed at the teddy bear Brooke was still clutching tightly to her chest. "Oh! Sorry." Quickly replacing the bear on the dresser.

"Well, bye Sam."

"Bye Brooke."

"Bye." Brooke fumbled for the doorknob behind her, still grinning.


As the door closed behind Brooke, Sam suddenly laughed at how cute Brooke was acting.

"I'm going out with Brooke." Smiling, Sam thought about that for a second before her smile faded away, "Oh my God! I'm going out with Brooke!" Looking at the clock, less than three hours away, "Oh my God! What'll I wear?" Sam screeched before throwing her closet door open.

* * *

Sam walked out of her bedroom, 6pm sharp. She had spent the past three hours agonizing over what to wear. She wanted to appear sexy, but not dressed up like she was going to the prom or something. Confident she chose the correct outfit, she approached the door to Brooke's room. Knocking hesitantly, she heard a yelp coming from inside, "Just a minute!" came through loudly then a whole series of soft "ohmygodohmygodohmygod's"

* * *

Inside, Brooke's room was a shambles. She had the outfit and makeup done, but she was frantically running around the room, searching. "Where's my broach? Oh my god, I can't find it! Sam'll think I'm ugly! I've got to have it!" Brooke started to sob. Quickly catching herself, she ran to the mirror, "Don't cry… you'll ruin your makeup." Suddenly remembering Sam was waiting for her, "I'll be right there Sam!" and resumed her frantic search.

* * *

Sam waited outside smiling as she listened to the girl running around inside. *She keeps running like that she's gonna get her outfit all sweaty* Picturing Brooke all hot and sweaty, the brunette found her heart racing. *Enough of those thoughts for now.*

After about five minutes she heard a crash from inside. "Brooke?" Knocking on the door, her voice worried. "Are you all right?" Not getting a response, she opened the door and saw Brooke sitting on the floor next to a broken lamp, sobbing. Rushing over to the girl, she knelt down and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Are you ok? Are you hurt?"

Brooke looked up at the brunette with tears in her eyes, "I can't find my broach."

Sam smiled softly as the other girl cried. The old Sam would have found this the perfect opportunity to tease the girl, but now… Sam couldn't even fathom doing anything so mean. "Which one?"

"The gold one with the Greek design and…"

"… and the little green jewels?"

"Yea. I can't find it!"

"You mean this one?" Reaching down to the jewelry box that lay sprawled across the floor next to Brooke, she picked up the broach.

Brooke simply looked at the broach in awe, took it from the girl's hand, and laughed. "I'm such a moron."

Sam took the other girl by the hands and helped her up. "No you're not Brooke. Why is that broach so important?"

"I needed something pretty, and you gave me that for my birthday. I thought I lost it. I thought you would think I was ugly."

"Brooke, you don't need a silly broach to be pretty. You're…" Sam stepped back as she talked. Her voice failed her as she finally took a good look at Brooke, and gulped. "You're…" As Sam looked at Brooke, her voice seemed to have completely left her body, as well as all capacity for rational thought. The silk dress, the light sheen of perspiration covering the blonde made her seem to glow. Sam had never seen anything more beautiful in her entire life.

As Sam stood there gaping, *Sam thinks I'm ugly. Look at her, she's so beautiful! I'm like the ugly duckling next to her. Sam's right, some silly broach isn't gonna make me pretty like her.* Backing away from the girl, "You're right, the broach is beautiful but it won't make me pretty. I'm sorry I made you get dressed up for nothing…"

Sam simply couldn't fathom the words coming from Brooke's mouth. *The fuck?* "THE FUCK?!?!" Sam's exclamation froze the blonde in her tracks. "Are you kidding me?"

Thinking Sam was shocked at how she looked, "I'm sorry…"

Cutting the girl off, "You seriously think you're ugly? Oh my GOD! You are the cutest, prettiest, sexiest, most beautiful thing I have ever seen!"

The blonde smiled hopefully, "Really?"

"Ohhh Yeaaa!" Smiling at the girl, "You look beautiful." Taking the girl by the arm and guiding her into the bathroom, "Come on, let's fix your face, you cried all over it."

As Sam led the girl into the bathroom, the gold broach lay forgotten on the floor.

* * *

Sam was seriously considering taking Brooke by the arm and making a run for it as another camera flash went off. "Mike! Can you please stop before I go blind? What's the big deal anyway? We're just going out to dinner and a movie. It's not like we're going to the prom or anything."

Jane gushed at the girls, "I'm sorry Sam, you two just look so beautiful!"

Brooke took Sam by the hand and glanced over at her.

Sam squeezed the girl's hand and looked into her eyes just as another flash went off. Grunting in frustration, "That's it! We're leaving before you two psychos have us bronzed!"

* * *

All through dinner, Sam was quiet. Her thoughts continued to bother her, while she was confident that the other girl was the most radiant thing ever to exist, she was convinced Brooke was straight. She was happy Brooke thought she was beautiful, but that's not the same thing as desire and love. She was convinced the girl didn't feel that way for her. Lost in her thoughts, she secretly longed to tell the girl how much she loved her, to take her into her arms and kiss her until the suns themselves burned out. *I love her so much, but she'll never love me like that.*

Unknown to the brunette, the blonde's thoughts were pretty much the same, Brooke's desire for the other girl was making her crazy. She longed to hold her in her arms, and shout it from the rooftops. *I LOVE YOU SAMMY! I don't care who knows, but I can't tell you! You're straight. You'll probably just laugh at me. I hate my life! I love you so much but I'll never have you.*

* * *

Walking out of the theater, both girls had convinced themselves they would be alone for the rest of their lives.

* * *

"Report!" Mike spoke hurriedly into the cell phone. He was extremely anxious as to what was happening. He hoped and prayed things were going better. He heard a sigh on the other end.

"No change."

"No change!" Mike was seriously considering therapy for those two. *Talk about denial at it's finest!* Sighing himself, "You have a 'go', I repeat, 'GO'."

"Yes sir."

Mike turned off the cell and cried, hoping and praying things went well.

* * *

The girls were walking down the street towards the parking lot where they parked their car. Both girls wanted to talk to the other, but their fear of the denial they would get was preventing them.

As they passed by an alley, someone suddenly reached out and grabbed Brooke's arm, pulling her into the alley. Sam's heart froze, *BROOKE!* her mind screamed and she ran after them.

Sam heard the girl of her dreams cry out, she followed the sound. As she passed a dumpster, she saw a man at least twice her size force Brooke up against the wall. Sam screamed "BROOKE!" and charged the man.

The man never saw the brunette coming. The brunette plowed into him, knocking him down several yards away. Looking up in surprise, he saw a young brunette grab the blonde and hold her tightly. Grinning from ear to ear, he laughed evilly. Reaching behind him, he pulled out a wicked looking hunting knife, and got to his feet.

Brooke was almost hysterical, she saw the man and the knife. Hiding behind the brunette, she whimpered.

As Sam saw the blonde duck behind her, she turned to look at the man and saw the knife. Backing up in fear, she tried to move them both away from the man.

"Come on blondie," the man's voice grated. "You're not going to fight me are you? I won't hurt you if you cooperate. You might even like it."

"You stay away from her!" Sam yelled, anger and tears in her eyes. "You are not going to hurt her!"

"Oh! Is that so?" Laughing harder, "You just run away little girl, I'll take care of your girlfriend now."

As Sam held Brooke, she looked deep into her eyes. She saw Brooke look imploringly into her eyes. She was telling her to run. Sam's determined look told Brooke that hell would freeze over before she ran.

The look Sam then gave Brooke scared her. It was a look of apology. She knew what Sam was going to do and it terrified her. She heard Sam whisper, "I love you Brooke." Sam then placed a soft kiss on Brooke's lips before she let her go.

Moving forward, Sam approached the man, trembling. "Let her go. I'll go with you."

The man grinned from ear to ear. "Doesn't matter to me! Go away blondie. Me and your girl here have a big night ahead!" and he laughed.

Brooke saw Sam approach the man. She heard her offer herself to save her. The feeling of love inside her welled up, it filled her entire being. She now knew Sam loved her. Sam's last words to her "I love you Brooke." ran through her mind. The girl of her dreams stood right in front of her, about to give her life for her. Brooke's vision seemed to go into slow motion, she saw the man reach forward and roughly grab Sam's arm. Suddenly, love wasn't the only thing inside her. A new feeling welled up. Rage. Brooke saw the man's dirty hand on the girl she loved and her vision turned red, she snapped.

"NO!" Brooke screamed at the top of her lungs. "DON'T YOU TOUCH HER!" Reaching forward, she grabbed Sam and ripped her from the man's grasp, pulling the startled girl behind her. "I LOVE HER! YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO TOUCH HER! I'LL DIE FIRST!"

The man just laughed at her, brandishing the knife, "Suit yourself." And he approached her.

"Get away from them!"

The man turned his head and saw two men running at him from the end of the alley. Snarling, "Fucking dykes!" he took off running in the other direction.

One of the two new men continued chasing the man. The other stopped and saw the two girls holding each other tightly. "Are you two ok? Did he hurt you?"

Sam looked up at the man, still shaking, "We're fine. Thank you so much for stopping him. Thank you."

The man looked over at the blonde and saw her shaking. "Is your friend all right? She looks pretty shaken up… maybe we should get you to the hospital…"

Sam looked at Brooke, holding her tightly, "My GIRLfriend will be ok. I'll take care of her."

Upon hearing Sam use the word 'Girlfriend', she looked into Sam's eyes and just held her tight, "You'll take care of me Sammy?"

"Forever Brooke."

Brooke buried her face in the brunette's shoulder. "I love you Sammy."

Running her hands over the blonde's back, "I love you Brooke."

* * *

The dirty man ducked into a doorway as he panted. He saw the door open up and simply grinned.

The man who had been chasing him dropped to his knees and panted. "Jesus Tom, where the hell did you learn to run like that?"

Tom just laughed. "You need to lay off those candy bars Greg."


Both men stood up and turned towards the voice that came from the corner of the room. Mike stepped out of the shadows.

Tom spoke up, "Complete success sir."

Mike sighed. "That's good. How bad was it?"

Tom's gaze fell. "I'm really sorry Mike. I scared them pretty badly. I feel awful."

Mike approached the man, "So do I, but it's alright Tom. It was for a good cause." Mike's voice grew stern, "But you understand you'll have to be re-assigned nevertheless?"

"I understand sir."

"Good job men."

As the two men left, tears appeared in Mike's eyes. "I hope I did the right thing."

* * *

Mike McQueen walked into a room, filled with young men. Turning to the one standing by the door, "Harrison, take care of the door please?"

"Sure thing Mr. McQueen." Turning to the door, Harrison closes it and places a small scanning device on the center of the door. Doing a preliminary scan, he reads the results and then sets the device to auto-scan. "Sir? No females within a five mile radius."

"Thank you Harrison, sit down please." Waiting until Harrison joins the others, he begins. "As you already know, your last instructor was recalled by the MEN's council. I have been assigned as his replacement. You already know this by now, but I simply must stress this fact." Walking up to the young men, he glares at them. "Tell NONE of them! Everything we discuss here must remain secret! Understood?"

"Sir, yes sir!"

"Very good.  Now, the first thing I will discuss today deals with subterfuge. Turn your manuals to chapter five. 'Playing Dumb'…

* * *

One year later:

Mike and Jane stood before all their friends and relatives. Offering themselves to each other in marriage. Standing next to them, was Brooke and Sam.

"Do you Mike, take Jane to be your wife, to have and to hold, until death do you part?"

Mike smiled at his soon-to-be bride, "I do."

"Do you Jane, take Mike to be your husband, to have and to hold, until death do you part?"

Jane smiled brightly at Mike, "I do."

Both Mike and Jane turned their heads to look at Brooke and Sam. The girls eyes were locked on the each other. Holding hands.

"Do you Sam, take Brooke to be your wife, to have and to hold, until death do you part?"

"I do."

Do you Brooke, take Sam to be your wife, to have and to hold, until death do you part?"

"I do."

Mike and Sam each took a ring and placed it on the fingers of their brides. Their voices together, "With this ring, I devote my life to you."

Jane and Brooke each took a ring and placed it on Mike and Sam's fingers. "With this ring, I devote my life to you."

The preacher smiled at the love in the room, "By the power invested in me, by the state of California, I now pronounce you spouse and spouse."

Mike leaned into Jane and softly kissed her. Sam squeezed Brooke's hand, leaned in and kissed her tenderly.

Turning to the crowd, "I present to you, Jane and Mike, Sam and Brooke McPherson-McQueen"

The crowd cheered.

* * *


Joe McPherson quit as an operative, and remained with the head council so he could maintain contact with Mike McQueen, and his daughter by proxy. Once a year, he would write a letter to his daughter and send it to Mike who would conveniently "find" it in the attic or in the bottom of a box. In the letters, Joe would talk about everything, his hopes for Sam and her future.

Mike McPherson-McQueen also quit as an operative so he could devote all his time to his family. Every year on Sam's birthday, he would give Sam Joe's letter. He would make up some excuse as to where he found it, but Sam never questioned them. After reading the letter, Sam and Mike would go to Joe's grave and she would talk about things going on in her life. Mike would record these and send them back to Joe.

Sam McPherson-McQueen has long suspected that Mike was the one writing the letters from her father. She never questioned them because it allowed them to spend time together. While she loved Mike like a father, she was never comfortable calling him "dad". Mike never questioned it. Brooke knew Sam missed her father so she was never jealous of Sam and Mike spending time together. She thought it was very sweet. Plus it allowed her more time to spend getting to know Jane, whom she didn't mind calling "mom".

Sam and Brooke were ecstatic when five years into their marriage, parthenogenesis was perfected. Brooke bore Sam's first two children, twin girls. Sam now carries their third child. It'll probably be another girl but Sam is secretly hoping for a boy.

Jane couldn't be happier. She happily dotes on her two grandchildren, babysitting when Sam and Brooke need time alone to be together.

All-in-all, their lives were good. And they lived happily ever after.

The End

A/N: Sorry, couldn't resist that last line. ;D

A/N: And my stories keep getting longer and longer! They should reach novella size by the time I'm 50 at this rate.

- The Psycho

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