Title: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole
Disclaimer: I don't own them, but I certainly wish I did. Damn Ryan Murphy and his unrivalled genius.
Summary: How do you deal with life's little "surprises?"
Spoiler Information: Any and every episode of this show is fair game
Beta’d: This work was beta’d by the lovely and talented Karen.
Author’s Notes: This is the seventh story in the “Surviving the Holidays Series” that take place of the span of a year, from one Halloween to the next. So if you haven't read “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” “Overstaying Your Welcome,” “What’s So Merry about Christmas?,” “Out with the Old and In with the New,” “Cupid’s Broken Arrow,” and “Irish Eyes Don’t Always Smile.” You might be a little confused on some things.
Sam walked into the kitchen, exhausted from yet another afternoon spent in the Zapruder office teaching her staff the finer points of being an editor. The new editor wouldn’t be determined until the following year, but it was up to the departing seniors on staff to make sure they’d be leaving the paper in capable hands. A job that was proving to be very taxing, not only on Sam’s nerves, but her social life as well. Saying the last two weeks had been hellish was putting it mildly. She hadn’t seen much of her friends or her girlfriend. She felt especially guilty about that. Dropping her bag beside the island, she walked over to the refrigerator, grabbing a bottle of water before walking into the living room. Brooke sat on the couch, playing with Mac.
The blonde looked up at her, offering her a bright smile. “Hey, how was the meeting?”
“Long,” Sam answered flopping down next to her.
The water bottle became a great source of interest for the ten-month-old brunette, who immediately made a grab for it. “Bababababa,” Mac babbled looking up at Sam with wide green eyes.
“No Mac, this isn’t a bottle,” the older brunette explained. Mac however was not to be deterred. She practically leapt out of Brooke’s lap trying to take the bottle from her sister. Sam moved the bottle out of reach, bringing it up to her lips for a sip. At the sight, Mac grew agitated and began to cry. “Oh for crying out loud…” Sam muttered, standing and walking back into the kitchen. She grabbed one of the short bottles her mother kept in the fridge for Mac. She moved back into the other room, handing the bottle to her blonde girlfriend, who promptly popped it into the infant’s waiting mouth. “There you go. Now you have your own bottle of water.”
Brooke chuckled at their antics. “So I take it they’re still acting like it’s their first day working on the paper?”
“You have no idea. I honestly thought that my staff was better prepared for the seniors’ departure than they are. Instead, I’m sure next year’s paper will be full of articles on skincare and polls on who your favorite N’Sync members are.”
“Well why don’t you give them a chance to practice?”
“What do you mean? They get a chance to practice every week.”
“No, they hand in articles and let you and the other seniors do the leg work. So why don’t you let them have a couple of shots at putting it all together on their own? I mean what better way to learn than the hands on approach? Give them two weeks to work on it. Then at the end you can show them what works and what doesn’t. I mean it’s what Nic…” the blonde’s words trailed, a pained expression crossing her face.
Though Sam was still unclear of the catalyst, she knew that Brooke and Nicole hadn’t spoken since the St. Patrick’s Day party. She’d tried unsuccessfully to get Brooke to talk to her about it, but all she would say was that they’d decided it was best if they stopped being friends for a while. Ever since then, Brooke had been withdrawn from the rest of her friends, choosing to come straight home after school and practice. Sam was spending as much time with her as her schedule would allow, but recently that had practically become nonexistent. She didn’t know what to do to help the situation and it was killing her. She thought she’d be happy when Brooke finally stopped being friends with Nicole, but instead all she felt was guilt. Brooke seemed so sad. She didn’t even seem to want to go to practice anymore. Sam had learned from Carmen that Nicole and Brooke alternated captains’ schedules for the squad so that they wouldn’t have to be together.
A million questions sprang to her lips, but instead Sam offered Brooke a small smile. “You know what? That’s a great idea. I’ll pitch it to them tomorrow.”
“Really?” Brooke looked over at her in surprise.
“Yes really, that was the best idea I’ve heard all week. It gives me hope for humanity. I was beginning to worry when Peter Kramer asked me about doing an article on euthanasia and Amber Sachs commented on how teens in Japan have weird fashions.”
Laughter shook the blonde’s thin frame. “Yes, now that would make me doubt our school paper’s already somewhat ominous future. Who knows? Maybe next year there will be another foxy brunette girl reporter in the incoming freshman population that will blow everyone away with her keen eye and hunger for the truth.”
Sam smiled brightly, her checks tinted under the unexpected praise. “Have I ever told you how much I love having you for a girlfriend?” She asked, leaning in for a kiss.
“Yes, but not nearly enough,” Brooke teased back, copying the brunette’s actions, but pausing right before they made contacts. “You know, we probably shouldn’t do this in front of Mac. We don’t want to scar her.”
“Good point.” Sam took her hand and placed it lightly over the infant’s curious green eyes. She closed the distance, offering the blonde and light, but lingering kiss.
They broke apart when the baby between them began to fuss. Brooke readjusted the bottle in the tiny brunette’s mouth. “So, I happen to know both of us are study free tonight. What do you say you stop by my room?”
Sam cleared her throat. Their conflicting schedules had been severely cutting into her favorite pastime, making out with Brooke. “Gee, I don’t know. I was planning on rereading Pride and Prejudice.”
“Oh well, if you’d rather read, that’s fine, but I was planning on letting you get to third base tonight.”
She was pretty sure her mouth was open, in spite of the lack of words coming out. “Uh…re-really?”
Brooke nodded, a mischievous smirk dancing on her lips. “Yeah, but if you’d rather do something else…”
“What? No!” Sam exclaimed louder than she’d intended to. “I meant no, I just didn’t know…I mean we’ve never…” It wasn’t that Sam had never thought about it because she did, a lot. You don’t date a girl that looks like Brooke and not think about it. And in the weeks since her confrontation with Nicole in the hallway, it seemed to be constantly in the back of her mind. She wasn’t sure why she’d been waiting so long. It wasn’t like she wasn’t ready, because she was. She’d been lusting after Brooke long before they’d ever gotten together, but then things between them had been so rocky. Now things between them were on a stronger foundation and she was ready to move forward. She smiled shyly at Brooke. “Actually, I’ve been thinking about all of…that lately and-”
“Sam, you can’t just leave your bag in the middle of the floor like that.” Her mother’s exasperated tone cut through the air, effectively stopping her words. She saw a look of disappointment flicker in Brooke’s hazel eyes before she looked over at her mother.
“Sorry Mom, I just got home. I must have forgotten I sat it down.” Sam offered her mother a contrite smile.
Mac popped the practically empty bottle out of her mouth. “Mumumum,” she babbled as she reached for her mother.
“Just be more careful. Someone could trip on it.” Her tone softened. The older woman walked over and picked up the insistent baby. “Come on Mac, time to get you in a bath and then to bed,” Jane cooed to the baby before looking over at her teenage daughters. “While I have you two in the same room, tomorrow afternoon we’re all going shopping.”
Sam groaned. “What? Why? I have a Zapruder meeting.”
“You’re just going to have to miss it. We’re going shopping for nice matching outfits.”
Brooke and Sam shared twin looks of dismayed confusion and groaned. “First why are we going shopping for nice outfits?”
“And why do they have to be matching?” Sam added.
“Because on Saturday we’re taking a nice family portrait for Easter. It’s Mac’s first Easter.”
“Mom, we haven’t done one of those since I was seven and I hated it then too. What happened to just taking pictures at the mall with the Easter Bunny?”
“I want things to be different with Mac. Is that so wrong? I mean am I so terrible for wanting to have memories of us all together as a family?!” Tears filled her mother’s green eyes and Sam felt guilty and a little worried.
“No Mom, of course not.” She wasn’t sure what was going on with her mother. “I’m sure the picture will be great. I just don’t understand why they have to be matching outfits.”
“Because I think it will look nice. So I expect you home right after school. I left you a plate of food in the microwave. Please eat, you’ve been looking a little thin lately.” The older woman said before walking out of the room, her arms full of the squirming infant.
“Is it just me or has she been really moody lately?” Brooke asked, looking over at her girlfriend.
“I don’t know. I’ve been so busy I haven’t really noticed, but now that you mention it, she has been a little on edge lately.”
“Do you think everything’s okay? I mean this morning at breakfast she snapped at my dad for eating the last English muffin and then ran out of the room crying.”
“Well she’s never acted like that before. At least, not that I can remember…except for when she was pregnant with Mac and we were living in that motel. But there’s no way that’s what’s wrong. I mean as much as I love Mac, there’s no way they were that stupid twice.”
“I don’t know, Sam. She has been really moody lately.”
“Maybe she’s bipolar…maybe she’s become a raging alcoholic…maybe she’s going through the change. I mean she’s almost forty. It could happen.”
“I can’t believe that you’re hoping your mother’s either bipolar or an alcoholic. And before you start making out the scripts for estrogen, you might want to consider the possibility.” Brooke smiled brightly at Sam.
“I can’t believe you’re actually getting excited about this. I mean I was feeling a little apprehensive about going across the country, leaving Mac at the mercy of the ‘rents, but knowing that there are two here will seriously keep me up at nights.”
“Just think about it, Sammy. Maybe this time we’ll get a little brother.”
“I’m so not listening to you.” The brunette covered her face in her hands realizing that all that the blonde sitting next to her was saying could actually be true.
“Maybe he’ll be blond. I’m beginning to feel a little outnumbered. Maybe we’ll get to name this one too. What do you think of the name Logan? Or David? Little David McQueen. Sounds like a blond name. Don’t you think?”
“What I think is I want to continue the discussion we were having earlier upstairs in your room. You know with a lot less talking and preferably with you topless.”
“Ooo…I like the way you think. The last one upstairs has to remain fully clothed.” She said before leaping of the couch and heading for the stairs.
Sam wasn’t far behind her. No way was she going to be the one stuck fully clothed.
She never realized how hard it would be not to have her best friend in her life. It was so difficult to see her in class or walking through the halls and not say anything. But that was the way Nicole wanted it and that’s how it was going to be. She still couldn’t believe the conversation they’d had that night…
“So, you lied to me.” Brooke wasn’t asking. She knew the answer.
“Yes, I did.”
Nicole didn’t even bother to hide it. She looked over at the taller blonde with guilty blue eyes, but her gaze never faltered. Brooke’s heart began to race with the implications. How had she not seen all of this sooner? Nic was her best friend. But then again she hadn’t exactly been acting like herself. A girl like Nicole went after who and what she wanted, consequences be damned. Only she hadn’t been pursuing Sam. If anything she’d been doing the exact opposite. And that scared Brooke. It made her think that maybe this time Nicole had fallen in love.
“I just don’t understand, Nic. I mean what does this all mean? Are you going to go after her? Because I’m not going to back off.”
“No! No, it’s not like that. Relax. I’m not planning on dueling with you to the death, hun. So you can put your sword away.”
“Then, I don’t understand.”
“And you think I do? This is a new one for me.” Nicole offered her a sardonic smile before turning back to face Sam’s direction.
Brooke was going crazy, her mind racing with so many thoughts. She couldn’t process. There was one thought, a question, that just wouldn’t go away. She had to ask even though she was terrified of the answer. She took a deep breath, grateful that Nic was turned away from her. She could feel tears burning her eyes, but she wiped at them rapidly. She wouldn’t cry. She cleared her throat, but the question still came out as a whisper. “Are you in love with her?”
Nicole’s head snapped in Brooke’s direction, her eyes wide. Then she tilted her head, considering the question. She paused before answering, her gaze flickering back in the brunette’s direction. “I don’t know…” Her voice was so defeated.
Brooke looked, a mirthless laugh escaped past her lips. “Well what do we do now?”
“It’s simple. We stay the hell away from one another.”
The taller blonde looked over at her friend in surprise. “What?”
“Brookie, we can’t stay friends like this. I just…need some time to get over this, whatever it is. And considering the fine specimen here tonight, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. I’m sure things will be back to status quo Monday.”
That had been three weeks ago. Things still hadn’t returned to normal and Brooke was beyond depressed. Only she didn’t know why. She thought she’d be mad at Nic. It seemed that once again her best friend was going after someone Brooke loved, simply to feel like she was just as good if not better than her. That didn’t seem to be the case this time and Brooke believed when she said that she wasn’t going to pursue Sam. In fact, she’d somehow managed to talk Miss Glass into letting Sam and Brooke be lab partners again.
“…and then Charlie Chaplin came into the office and did a tap dance right on the desk.”
Brooke looked over at her girlfriend in confusion. “Uh huh…wait. What?”
“We’ve been talking to you for the past ten minutes and you’re not even paying attention.”
Harrison smirked at her. “If it’s any consolation, you had a really cute, vacuous look on your face, very reminiscent of Cher from Clueless.”
The blonde rolled her eyes. “Oh shut up. I did not.”
Sam chuckled. “I’m sorry, babe. He’s right, but it was really cute.”
“Whatever…” Brooke mumbled good-naturedly. “Wait. Did you just admit to watching Clueless?”
The journalist groaned. “Carmen was going through a phase.”
“Uh huh…sure she was.”
“She was! I would never watch that movie of my own volition. I was just being a good friend.”
“Brooke, don’t let her fool you. She and Carmen used to act it out.”
The cheerleader couldn’t hold back the laughter. The mental image that popped into her mind was too funny for words. When she saw the murderous glare Sam was shooting Harrison, it just made her laugh harder.
Brooke loved seeing Sam blush, and Harrison’s admission caused her cheeks to tinge a beautiful shade of pink. “You are so dead to me, Harrison John. You swore. You swore on ‘the oath’ that you would never tell. As soon as I find Carmen she and I will come up with a suitable punishment since publicly reading a love note to Brooke McQueen doesn’t quite hold the same weight. Though maybe we can modify that to Mary Cherry. Yeah that sounds about right.”
“Oh come on, Sammy. You wouldn’t hold me to a promise I made when I was ten.”
“Oh, I think I would.”
Just then Nicole walked past the laughing group. Her eyes looked with Brooke’s for a moment and the taller blonde held her breath, hoping Nic would say something but frightened of what that something might be. Instead her former friend turned her head and continued down the hall towards the girls’ locker room. Today was her day to run practice.
“Ouch, so I take it things are still a no go for the former bffs?”
Brooke turned at Harrison’s question. It hurt but she shrugged it off. “That’s the way we want it.”
“So anyway, former bff, as penance for this blatant betrayal of friendship, I think you should stop by tonight and view whatever my monstrosity my mother picks for us to wear for this ‘family’ photo and find some way of talking her out of this idea.”
“I don’t understand what the big deal is, Sam. So your mom wants to take a family portrait. So what? Lots of families do that. Some even do it more than once a year.”
“That’s what I keep telling her,” Brooke added, happy for the change in subject.
“That’s strike two, John. And more and more I’m thinking that you reading a love letter to Mary Cherry publicly seems like justice.”
“There’s no way you can make me do it.”
“No? Remember Harrison, we’ve been friends since we were six and the dirt I don’t have on you, I’m sure Brooke does.”
The taller boy sobered at that. He looked over at his other childhood friend, brown eyes pleading with her. “You wouldn’t…”
“I don’t know, Harry. Sam can be pretty convincing.”
Harrison sighed. “Once again I am outdone by the X chromosome. I really need some guy friends. Look even if I wanted to come over tonight. I can’t. I’m busy.”
“Ooo another hot date with Mary Cherry?”
“Haha. So funny. Actually Sheila’s moving in this weekend and my mom needs help cleaning out the attic.”
“Ouch. Sounds almost as fun as shopping. Well if you need to escape, the offer to do penance still stands.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” He looked down at his watch. “Actually I need to get going. I told my mom I’d meet her and Sheila right after school. Have fun shopping.”
“Yeah right. Have fun moving.”
Brooke watched as Harrison walked down the hall seeming to go in the direction of the football field instead of the parking lot. Shrugging, she turned her attention back to her now pouting girlfriend. “Ah come on. Tell me you’re not going to pout all afternoon.”
“I hate shopping,” Sam complained.
“It’s not going to be so bad. It’s just one outfit. How bad can it be?”
“Come on, Sam. Come out of the dressing room and let me see?” Brooke could hear Jane calling from outside.
She heard the door to the other dressing room open and Sam stepping out. Mac blew a raspberry then babbled incoherently. “I agree with Mac,” she heard Sam say.
“What? I think it looks lovely.”
“Mom, you’re kidding me, right? Please say you’re kidding. There’s no way I’d be caught dead in this. And there is no way I’m being photographed in it.” Brooke could almost see the brunette crossing her arms over her chest.
“I don’t know why you’re making this so difficult, Samantha. Everything I’ve picked out you’ve hated. I just don’t understand why you can’t just do this one thing for me.” The blonde could hear the tears in Jane’s watery words and decided to step out of the dressing room before they caused a scene.
Mac was the first to spot her. Her green eyes lit up and she began to clap excitedly before reaching for her blonde sister. “Ooo, bububububu…”
Jane turned watery eyes to her and her expression softened into a smile. “You look beautiful. Both of you do.”
Brooke hazarded a look over at her girlfriend. Sam’s expression was one Brooke had never seen before, but it made her stomach flip and she could feel her cheeks burning. Sam offered her a discreet smirk before her scowl returned and she looked at her mother. “Dresses like this are meant for girls like Brooke. I look hideous.”
“Oh Sam, you do not look hideous. You look lovely.” Jane was growing impatient with her oldest daughter’s petulance and Brooke was beginning to fear they really would cause a scene.
The blonde took a moment to study what Sam was wearing. She bit her lip to keep from smiling. Sam’s dress was almost identical to hers and though Sam did look lovely, she also looked out of place. It was completely the wrong cut and style for her thin but curvy frame.
“You know, I agree with Jane, Sam. You do look lovely.” The blonde tried not to flinch at the incredulous look her brunette girlfriend sent her. Instead she focused on her stepmother, who seemed to be smiling triumphantly. “But I don’t really think it’s your style and Jane, isn’t the point of this portrait to show us as a family? If Sam wears that dress in the picture it won’t really be her we’re seeing. And you’re always saying how much you love Sam for individuality.” It was a risky step, Brooke knew. Given Jane’s recent Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde impersonations, the blonde wasn’t sure what affect her words would have.
Jane looked back and forth between the two girls for a moment, not speaking. “You know what, Brooke? You’re right. That dress is all wrong for you, Sam. Why don’t you and Brooke go pick out something together? She seems to have a good eye for this sort of thing. She picked out that beautiful dress for Mac.”
Sam didn’t seem too thrilled by that option either. As she and Brooke made their way back to their fitting rooms, the cheerleader heard her mutter something about being able to pick out her own clothes.
In the ended they settled on a long khaki skirt and a simple light blue quarter sleeved shirt and Brooke had never been so happy to end a shopping trip in her life.
Long after the ‘rents and Mac had gone to bed, Brooke snuck into Sam’s room. She slid under the covers, wrapping her arms around the sleeping brunette. Sometimes she would do this when she was feeling lonely in her own bed. She always made sure to set her alarm to wake up way before Jane ever arose to start her morning routines. They’d only nearly been caught three or four times, but Brooke just couldn’t resist. Tonight had been especially lonely. Sleep seemed to be eluding her. Her mind was riddled with doubts. Doubts that Nicole would change her mind and go after Sam. Fear that they’d never be friends again. Worries of what would happen when she and Sam left for college. Worries of whether or not Jane was actually pregnant. Brooke was almost positive that she was despite what Sam said. What did that mean for their family? She was already feeling guilty about going across the country for college and leaving Mac behind. If there was a new baby would that change her mind completely? What if it changed her mind but not Sam’s what then? She’d felt like she was drowning. So she’d sought out her anchor. She pulled the girl to her, taking a moment to breathe in the scent that was uniquely Sam’s and felt her body finally relax.
“Hey, I was wondering if you’d show up,” the brunette mumbled, her voice rough with sleep.
“Shhh…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you,” Brooke whispered back.
“ ‘s ok. You can wake me whenever you want.”
Brooke smiled into Sam’s hair before bending her head and placing a light kiss on the brunette’s bare shoulder.
“I love you, Brooke.”
The blond felt the last of her earlier anxieties leave. “I love you too, Sam.”
“So what do you say, Harrison? Party at your place tomorrow? I’m sure I will need the break after a day full of forced family fun. Having to play the role of Brooke’s sister for an entire morning is sure to have me wishing for the sweet bliss of an aneurism.”
Harrison laughed. “Any plans for telling of telling the folks that things have gone all ‘flowers in the attic?’”
“First, gross. The only way we’d resemble anything close to a V.C. Andrews novel is if Mike and my mom were actually first cousins. The fact that I even had to come up with that analogy is making me wish I could bleach my brain. Second, even though Brooke says she’s ready, I can tell she’s totally freaked about the whole idea. I mean every time I even suggest it, her eyes get all wide and she says, ‘okay, as long as you’re prepared for the consequences.’ Then I get all freaked and talk myself out of it. I mean what if they want to go completely ballistic and want to ship one of us off to Canada?”
“Well Sammy, they’re your parents and they’re together. I’m sure this is not what they had in mind when they told you and Brooke to bond. But I’m sure that after the initial shock wears off, they’ll handle it like the loving parents we both know them to be. And if that doesn’t happen, I hear Vancouver isn’t a bad place to live.”
Sam swatted at his arm playfully. “That’s not funny.”
“Plus, I hear the girls up there are really hot. So you know if things don’t work out for you and Brooke-”
“Then what will happen?” Brooke asked as she walked up behind the taller boy. She crossed her arm over her chest, her hazel eyes narrowed into a mock glare.
Harrison swung around, eyeing the blonde nervously. “Oh, hey Brooke. I was, uh, just telling Sam about the finer points of living in Vancouver.”
“And why were you doing that?”
“Well because it’s a really nice place to live. A lot of culture and there’s an awesome film festival and…Sam, wanna help me out here?”
Sam smiled brightly, winking at her girlfriend. “Nope, I think you’re doing a great job on your own.”
“You could have at least warned me she was coming.”
“And miss the chance to see you squirm?”
“This is just your way of getting even with me for spilling your little secret the other day.”
“No, this was just for sport. We are still very far from even.”
“And for the record, Harrison John, things will work out for me and Sam because we are the very epitome of meant to be.” Brooke walked over and placed a lingering kiss on the journalist’s lips
“Hey, I have no problems if you want to prove just how ‘meant to be’ you are right here in the hallway.” Harrison smirked at his own dirty joke, his tone only half teasing.
“God, when did you become such a perv?” Sometimes Sam couldn’t believe the things that came out of her best friend’s mouth.
“I think it was sometime around age eight, when I caught you in your pink My Little Pony nightgown.”
“My Little Pony?” Brooke looked over at Sam with an amused grin and the brunette buried her face in her hands.
“Do secrets mean nothing to you?”
“Well since we’re not even, I thought I should go all the way.”
“Just wait until I get you back! It’s not going to be pretty because I’ll make sure we’re in a very public place. Or better yet, I’ll just blow up that really embarrassing picture I have of you from the twelfth birthday party and put it up all over the Novak.”
The smile fell from Harrison’s face. “Sam, you promised me that you burned that picture.”
“Yeah and you promised me you’d keep that secret. I knew keeping it around would prove more useful than pulling it out every few months to have a laugh on a girls’ night.”
“You pull it out and laugh?!” Harrison turned his brown eyes to the blonde who was having trouble keeping a straight face. “You’ve never seen the picture, right?”
Brooke took a deep breath and made her face neutral. “No, I didn’t even know there was a picture.” The big smile that sprung to her lips contradicted her statement.
“Hey, you brought this on yourself.”
Brooke stiffening beside her drew her attention and they all turned when they saw Nicole walk out of the principal’s office. Her gaze flickered towards the three before she turned and walked down the hall in the opposite direction. Sam looked back at her girlfriend, offering her a sympathetic smile. She knew that things were still really tough for the cheerleader. She’d slept in Sam’s bed every night over the past week, but the brunette knew she wasn’t really resting. She wondered if maybe she should try and talk to Nicole, but decided against it, thinking Brooke probably wouldn’t appreciate it.
Harrison groaned looking up at the large clock in the hallway. “Shit! I’ve gotta go. Sammy, we’ll finish this later,” he called over his shoulder as he hurried down the hall nearly knocking over Lily who was making her way over to where they were standing.
“Where is he going?” She asked.
“He didn’t say, only that he was late, but you know he’s been doing that a lot lately.” The wheels in Sam’s mind began to turn. Harrison had been acting weird over the past two weeks, disappearing suddenly, never home when they called him or stopped by his house. Something was definitely up. Her journalistic nose could practically smell a story.
“Uh oh, I know that look.” Lily said, smiling slyly. “Sam thinks there’s a possible scandal brewing.”
Sam turned to look at the smaller girl. “No, not a scandal, but he’s definitely up to something.”
Brooke chuckled. “I’m sure he just had to help with the move.”
“Perhaps…” the journalist said noncommittally. She was sure he was up to something. She’d been friends with Harrison for practically her whole life and she knew when he was trying to hide something and she was determined to find out it what it was.
“It’s no use Brooke, we’ve already lost her.” Lily smiled at her friend’s determined look.
Sam stood in the mirror applying the final touches of make up to her eyes, wondering yet again how a seemingly innocent family portrait had morphed into some sort of McQueen/McPherson family fun day. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if it didn’t require her waking up before 9am on a Saturday morning.
Brooke entered the bathroom, smiling over at her girlfriend. “I’m glad to see you’re finally getting into the spirit of things. I fully expected a struggle or act of rebellion this morning. I thought for sure you’d come downstairs in sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt or something. I’ve got to say, I’m a little disappointed.”
“I thought about it, but given my mother’s recent split with sanity, I thought better of it. And if this portrait is to reflect the true me, then I thought I should put some effort into displaying that. Besides, I hate to think that all the time you spent trying to convince me to drop my ‘bad attitude’ would go to waste.” Sam grinned wickedly at the blonde in the mirror, remembering just how Brooke had persuaded her. The feel of her lips and passionate touches were still fresh in Sam’s mind and she couldn’t stop the slight shiver that coursed up her spine. The bright tinge on Brooke’s cheeks and the way she wouldn’t quite meet the brunette’s eyes let her know that the blonde was remembering too.
When the hazel eyes did finally make their way up to Sam’s, there was a hunger in them that made the journalist’s breath hitch in her throat. Brooke crossed the room to where the other girl stood, their gazes locked as the tension built. She wrapped her arms around Sam’s waist, bringing the bodies together as she covered Sam’s lips with her own. The kiss was hungry and the brunette moaned as Brooke used her tongue to part her lips. They fought for control, as Sam thrust her fingers in the long blond locks, holding Brooke steady as she nipped at her bottom lip.
She shuddered as Brooke pressed her into the sink, sliding her fingers up under the hem of Sam’s shirt. The blonde placed tiny kisses along the journalist’s jaw and down the column of her neck, using her free hand to move the collar of her shirt to expose her collarbone. Sam bit her lip to keep from moaning loudly.
The sound of knocking caused them to spring apart guiltily. Sam jammed her elbow against the mirror and let out a yelp of pain. “Is everything okay in there?” Mike called through the door.
“Yeah Daddy, everything’s fine. Sam just bumped her elbow.” Brooke walked over and lifted the other girl’s arm placing a tiny kiss on the injury.
“Okay, I just wanted to let you know that we’ll be leaving in twenty minutes. Jane says she’s starving.
“Dadadadadada,” they could hear Mac babbling excitedly.
“We’ll be right down.” Brooke rolled her eyes and let out a frustrated sigh. “I’m so getting tired of that happening.”
Sam groaned. “I know. Especially since I’m so ready to see just how that will end.” She brought her brown eyes to Brooke’s, her intense gaze full of meaning.
She watched as realization dawned on the blonde. “Oh…OH! Really?”
The brunette smiled shyly before nodding. “I’ve been trying to tell you all week, but we keep getting interrupted.”
“But Sam, are you really sure?”
“Yes, I really want this.”
“Wow, this is pretty big.” Sam couldn’t help but smile at Brooke’s wide, excited grin.
“So I was thinking that tonight-”
“Girls, are you almost done?” Sam sighed at the sound of her mother’s voice.
“I guess we’ll finish this conversation tonight,” she muttered. “Coming!”
She tried to hide her blush when she heard Brooke mutter, “not yet, but you will.”
The portrait ended up going extremely well, to Brooke’s great relief. Even Mac was all smiles, especially when she was the picture with just her sisters. The blonde was anxious to get the pictures back, wanting to add it to her rapidly growing collection of pictures of her and Sam.
The two pulled up in front of the drugstore. Jane had asked Sam to run and pick up some cold medicine for Mac, who’d developed a slight cough the day before. They decided to walk back and say a quick hello to Robin John.
“Hello girls, Happy Easter.”
Brooke smiled over at the woman that really helped her through some of the tougher moments in her childhood especially right after her mother had left. “Hi Mrs. John.”
“Happy Easter. I’m surprised to see you working today.”
“I’ve been working all weekend. There was no one else to cover this shift.”
The blonde looked over at her girlfriend in shock. She’d been right. Harrison had been lying.
“It’s just we thought with all the moving-”
“Moving? Do you mean Sheila moving?” The older blonde eyed the girls in confusion. The two nodded. “Oh that was last weekend. I though you knew. He said that you guys were busy, but the girl he’s been seeing was really helpful.”
Brooke could feel the anger building in the brunette and moved to stand closer to her. She wasn’t sure how to take the news. After all she and Harrison were friends, but they weren’t as close he was to Sam.
She could see the journalist struggling to laugh off her shock and hurt. “Girlfriend?”
“Yeah you know. She goes to school with you guys. I’m sure I’ve seen her over at your place. She’s a pretty blonde. A real sweet girl. Her name is escaping me at the moment.” The woman turned her eyes heavenward, as if the name would miraculously appear.
Sam expression had grown from anger to fear and as they stared at one another, Brooke knew they were sharing the same thought, Mary Cherry. Brooke wasn’t sure if she knew how to process the possibility that Harrison might be dating the slightly insane Texan. She supposed with time it was something she could get used to but right now, the very idea made her feel a little woozy.
“Oh here they are.” The statement caused the girls to spin around just in time to see Harrison crossing the threshold with his new “lady love”. The very shock of actually seeing the two together caused Brooke’s heart to race. She saw Sam’s knees to buckle out the corner of her eyes and was grateful she had quick reflexes as she caught the girl before she hit the floor. She just couldn’t believe what she was seeing. There on his arm, laughing freely up at the taller boy, was Nicole Julian.