"The Closet"

Pairing: Brooke/Sam
Rating: PG-13-ish (�maw ha�.ha!)
Summary: The students of Kennedy High (you know the twelve of them that are shown) go on a field trip to New York�
Disclaimers: I don't own any of these characters, they're the property of Ryan Murphy and company (sorry, but I don't know companies name); I'm just borrowing them for a short period of time.
E-mail:  jbslayer27@yahoo.com (Comments welcome, and greatly appreciated)
Author: Janine

| Ch 1-13 | Ch 14-End |

Part One : Day One

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Sam smiled, it was a low, sexy smile, and she saw the girl standing across from her respond with a similar expression. Sam reached out her hand and crooked her finger out beckoning Brooke to come towards her as she bit down on her bottom lip, her eyes twinkling throughout the entire display. To her surprise the other girl shook her head, relaxing her stance; it became clear to Sam that Brooke didn't intend to go anywhere.

"If you want me," Brooke drawled out, an impish smile gracing her lips. "Come and get me," she continued her tone turning teasing. So it was a challenge, that was fine with Sam, she loved challenges.

Sam advanced on the blonde, her movements were slow and touched with a feline grace. She was an elegant, sleek jungle cat closing in on her prey. She didn't blink, she barely breathed, her entire being focused on capturing the prize in front of her.

Upon reaching her quarry, she extended her hand, she had met the challenge and she now wanted her prize. Brooke took a step back, dancing out of Sam's grasp. Sam took another step forward and reached for her again. Once more, Brooke stepped back, smiling all the time. Sam observed her for a second, quirking an eyebrow up questioning.

"You're not playing fair," she commented impatiently, but there was a somewhat petulant, almost whiny tone to her voice as well.

"Would you like some cheese to go along with that whine," Brooke replied with a mockingly inquisitive expression on her face. Her eyes however remained amused, teasing Sam. "Well?" she asked a moment later when the brunette didn't respond. Her hand dropped down to her waist as she said this, then started to trail up her torso and further up in-between her breasts suggestively as she watched Sam intently.

"You'll just move away again," Sam responded though she began to move towards Brooke again. She couldn't help it, the blonde called to her, like a moth to a flame.

"You'll never know unless you try," Brooke responded. Her finger was now in her mouth, the tip of it resting on her bottom lip innocently � in a Catholic schoolgirl in porn kind of way, that is.

Sam moved towards her once again, reaching out as she stepped up to Brooke. This time the blonde didn't step back, instead she relaxed her body letting Sam pull her into her so that they were soon nose to nose. They observed each other for a moment, Sam's head leaning forward then pulling back again in uncertainty, her lips hovering just in front of Brooke's. The blonde smiled as she watched the display, her tongue jutting out to lick her bottom lip.

"Come on Sam," Brooke said, her tone was soft but serious, it had lost the teasing edge that had coated all of her previous statements. "You know you want to," she continued, "why don't you practice what you preach."

Sam was still for a moment after Brooke spoke, then without further ado she leaned in and brought their lips together. The contact was hesitant at first, but in a short period of time their embrace became increasing heated. Their lips crashed against each other, their bodies straining to increase the contact between them. Their hands roamed each other's bodies, skin on skin, skin of cloth, caressing and exploring in a desperate haze.

The next thing Sam knew, they were lying on her bed and they were both completely naked. Brooke was draped over her body, covering almost every inch of her. She found that her own hands were trailing up Brooke's sides, towards her now fully exposed chest. She arched up into Brooke's hands, scarcely aware of the guttural sounds being emoted from her own throat.

"Who do you want?" Brooke whispered into Sam's ear as her hands expertly manipulated the brunette's body. Sam was too preoccupied to respond. "Who do you want?" Brooke repeated, ceasing her movements and looking at Sam intently.

"You," Sam moaned desperately as Brooke's hand began to trail below her waist and her hips expectantly. "I want you."

Sam bolted up into a sitting position, her chest heaving as she blinked rapidly. She braced her hands on the side of her body and closed her eyes taking a few deep calming breaths. When she eventually she managed to get her breathing somewhat under control, she sighed dejectedly and flopped back down on the bed. Dammit, not again! She couldn't freaking believe it, this was the fourth night in a row she had had the same dream about Brooke � well not exactly the same dream as they had gotten increasingly more graphic as time went on � and it was starting to piss her the hell off. Not only did Brooke haunt her for most of her waking hours, but now her unconscious had joined in too. It was a damn conspiracy.

She turned her head to the side. The phone was ringing. She smirked, not only was she glad to have the distraction, but she if this was the call she thought it was, she had been waiting for it for what seemed like eons and it couldn't have come at a better time. There was no more time to think about the meaning of her Brooke dreams, she had bigger fish to fry, greener pastures to move on to and all of that wonderful stuff.

"Hello?" she said hurriedly picking up the receiver, speaking into it before she even had the other end at her ear.

"Persephone?" the voice on the other end asked. The voice was unmistakably male, but Sam had already expected that, what threw her momentarily was tone, which wasn't nearly as deep as she had expected it to be.

"Arabian Knight?" she asked, shaking her head at the codename once again. That one always cracked her up.

"Is Operation Sizzler still a go?" Arabian Knight asked, his voice dropping secretively. Sam could almost picture him looking around his surroundings furtively, keeping an eye out for Fibbies in black, or places that could be easily bugged.

"You tell me?" Sam responded. "Everything's five by five on my end," she continued deciding to play along with espionage-ese for the moment.

"The Museum of Modern Art, the janitorial closet across from the Pollack exhibit 8:00 pm," he responded. "Be there," he intoned seriously, "or be square. Arabian Knight out." The irritating buzzing of the dial tone followed this. Sam rolled her eyes and replaced the phone on the hook. He was goofier than she expected, but that didn't matter to her as long as he could deliver the goods.

"Sam," she heard her mother call through the door as she rolled out of bed. "Get up, your going to be late," she continued.

"It's only 7:30," Sam called back as she ran a hand through her hair and rubbed at her eyes.

"That may be so, but Brooke's already dressed and eating breakfast. You don't want to miss the bus," Jane replied.

"I'll be down in a minute," Sam responded. Soon after that she heard her mothers footsteps retreating down the hallway and she let out an exasperated breath. "Brooke's already dressed and eating breakfast" she repeated sourly in mocking tone as she stomped towards the bathroom. She hadn't even been wake for half an hour and already Brooke was haunting her.

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Part Two

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Brooke's surveyed the crowd uneasily. An abnormal silence had come over the assembled group of teenagers coating the peeling walls of the bus station with a palpable tension. Brooke closed her eyes, her face scrunching up in anticipation of the inevitable. She could feel the indignation swelling in the chests of each and every one of her peers, she could see hands clenching all around her, she could hear breaths being sucked in sharply, and breathes coming in huffs. In about one point five seconds, things were going to get very ugly.

Then it happened, all around her people erupted into fits of rage. Screaming, yells, fists pumping in the air. All around her comments were being shouted at the front of the station, "What do you mean there's a seating plan?!", "The fuck?!", "Excuse me!" To her immediate right, she could hear Nicole starting up. "No! No, I don't think that YOU understand. Listen to me�no listen TO ME. Pull your floppy ears out of the dog dish and listen to the grape vine, there is no way in hell that�" but the cries were soon interrupted by a screeching Bio Glass.

"If you want," Glass yelled waving a clip board in the air, "to be getting on this bus," she continued surveying the crowd with beady eyes, "you will shut your traps this instant and," she turned to face Nicole as she spoke, "as Miss Julian so gracefully put it," there was a definite snare on her face, "you will listen to the grapevine!"

Everyone was quiet.

"The seating is alphabetical," Glass announced, eyes roaming over the crowd. "Now move!" And with that she began to announce who would be sitting with each other on the bus.

"Cherry and Esposito," Glass yelled out. "Front and center."

Sam looked over at Lily trying valiantly to contain her smile, as for how well that worked, well, they say it's the thought that counts. Lily glared at her then made her way to the front. As she reached Bio Glass, she saw Mary Cherry look back and wink at her causing a deep, chilling shiver to run through her body. She looked over at Glass in desperation, panic over came her and threw herself at Glass, grasping onto her arm like it was gas mask on a crashing plane.

"Please, please don't make me sit with her!" Lily pleaded desperately, looking into Glass's eyes. "Oh God, don't make me sit with her," the brunette continued.

"Get on the bus Esposito," Glass responded shaking Lily off. "And for God's sake, pull yourself together."

"Ford and Ferrerr," Glass called out next.

Carmen looked over at Sam and winked, causing the journalist to shake her head and whisper "go `em tiger!", to which Carm blushed and smiled nonetheless.

"Julian and John."

As Harrison walked by Sam crossed herself and mumbled, "My prayers are with you". As he approached the front of the bus Nicole turned around, and while nobody could be absolutely certain it appeared as if she growled at him.

"McPherson and McQueen," Glass called out, then paused for a second. "Oh, how quaint," Glass then added smiling as Brooke and Sam approached.

Sam sighed as she walked to their designated seating area. New York was a very long way away, and Sam could tell that this was going to be a positively excruciating bus ride.

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 Part Three

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Sam looked up and over at the girl next to her, an expression of extreme annoyance covering her features. Her nostrils flared and she rolled her tongue about in her cheek as she observed Brooke.

"I know!" the blonde exclaimed into her Fido excitedly. "I know!" she repeated making the two words last at least twice as long as they should have. "I know, I know," she continued smiling and nodding her head. "I�"

"If you say `I know' one more time I will personally rip that phone out of your hand and beat you with it," Sam interrupted, barely restraining herself from reaching out and shaking the blonde. "Know that," she continued letting out a shuddering breath.

"Uh oh. Spam alert, Spam alert," could suddenly be heard coming from the front of the bus. "Abort mission, no equipment for a bitter, old hag attack."

Sam braced her hands on the arms rests and raised herself up so that she could see over the seats in front her. Turning her attention to the front of the bus she spotted Nicole looking back at her with a smile on her. Sam glared at the blonde for a moment and then sat down.

"Thank you," Nicole whispered to herself with a smile as she turned back around to face forward. It was then that she felt eyes on her. "What are you staring at Shaggy?" she asked turning to face Harrison who quickly averted his eyes to avoid being turned to stone.

Mary Cherry bounced in seat practically dying because she was so far away from the action. As she watched Nicole turn her wrath on Joe a small whimper escaped from between her lips. She was suffering from withdrawal pains, it felt like all of her organs were shriveling up into little raisin sized morsels. She didn't like being surrounded by brunettes at all, the had an earthy, rustic smell to them that disturbed sophisticated sensibilities. Feeling lower than Charlize Theron after she wore the same pantsuit as Charisma Carpenter Mary Cherry turned her attention to Lil' Lily and suddenly she felt better.

Lily sensed Mary Cherry's eyes on her and shuddered. Oh lord, not again, Lily thought to herself. The southerner had actually left her alone for ten minutes or so, but that was about to change, Lily could feel it building up like a tropical storm. Hesitantly, almost painful she turned her head so that she could see Mary Cherry. The blonde was sitting up straight and had her head craned at an odd angle; when she noticed Lily watching her she smiled and licked her lips winking at Lily suggestively. The brunette watched in a state of confusion before she finally realized that with the angle Mary Cherry was leaning at the blonde could see down her shirt. She shuddered again, her hands gripping the armrests like they were the last bottle of Evian in the Sahara desert. Then as she saw Mary Cherry begin to dig into her leather carry on bag, panic gripped her and she frantically turned around looking behind her. She had to escape.

"Lookie what I got Lil' Lily," Mary Cherry said drawing Lily's attention back to her.

Lily shook her head and began to mouth "no, no" over again before suddenly standing up and running to the end of the bus where she locked herself in the washroom.

Brooke turned her head to look at Sam who was still watching her with an expression that could peel paint. The brunette's death stare had been momentarily broken when she turned to watch Lily run through the aisle, but she was now back at it with a renewed vigor. Raising her hand up Brooke pointedly clicked her phone off, the small screen going black with a little beep. "Not that I didn't enjoy the threats of bodily injury," Brooke started in a soft tone, "but all you had to do was ask," she continued turning away from Sam and slumping back in her chair slightly.

Sam looked over at Brooke, feeling genuinely ashamed. Sometimes she was just so Joan Crawford not even she could stand it. "I'm sorry," Sam said softly as she too slumped back in her chair moodily. She was surprised at how easily the words fell out of her mouth, though she considered that with the thoughts that had been running through her head lately she shouldn't really have been.

"I was just bored," Brooke mumbled a minute later breaking the silence that had arisen between the two of them after Sam spoke. Sam looked over at her but didn't say anything. "And I think we both know that you weren't exactly an option," she continued as her eyes traced the contours of the roof idly.

"That's not true," Sam muttered under her breath as she picked at one of her nails, her eyes flickering to observe Brooke's profile nonetheless. Brooke didn't respond to her verbally, but Sam did see her loll her head to the side and roll her eyes dramatically. She frowned.

"That was mature," Sam commented, moody once more.

Brooke turned to look at her, a mildly amused expression on her face. "You're the one that threatened to beat me to death with my phone and you're question my maturity level?" she asked. Instead of responding Sam returned to picking at her nails. "You know, you can act as pissy as you want to, but you know you wouldn't have talked to me," Brooke continued. This comment caused Sam to look over at her, not so much because of what she said but because of how she said it. There was something in Brooke's voice, an accusation, and a sadness that Sam couldn't help but acknowledge.

"Even if I wanted to talk to you," Sam started somewhat defensively, though she didn't exactly know why, "what could we possibly have talked about? I know that I'm personally at a loss as to what could out do that no doubt mentally exhausting `I know' conversation."

"Oh, I don't know," Brooke responded turning to face Sam. "Maybe Herman Melville's condemnation of consumer society as can be seen in his little appreciated work `Bartleby, the Scrivener'."

Sam's lips parted in her surprise and her brows scrunched together. "I�" she started to say.

"Never mind," Brooke interrupted turning away once more. "I've decided to re-organize my make-up case."

Sam stared at her for a moment longer, her mind trying to come to grasps with the fact that, one, Brooke knew who Herman Melville was, let alone was able to comment on the themes of one of works, and two, that she commented on the condemnation of consumer society and then decided to re-organize her make-up case. Shaking her head, she turned around and looked out the window. Screw Brooke, she didn't really want to talk to her anyway.

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Part Four

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Brooke turned her head to look at Sam just as the brunette turned to face her. Their eyes locked and narrowed. They had entered their room only moments before engaging in this almost primal staring contest. Sam licked her lips. Brooke noticed the movement and blinked. This was the opportunity that Sam had been looking for. She smiled to herself and thought `sucker!' She broke out into a sprint. Brooke noticed the movement and started after her, but she was too slow. Sam jumped into the air launching herself forward, landing on the mattress softly, skidding across it for a second before coming to complete stop. She raised herself into a sitting and then a standing position where she turned to face Brooke arms raised high in triumph.

"I have picked my bed," Sam declared smiling. It was the one on the right side of the room, the one she knew Brooke wanted. Both of them had this thing with having whatever was on the right side, and she had won this battle.

"Whatever," Brooke mumbled staring at Sam as if she were trying to cast a spell that would inflict the ten plagues of Egypt plus a clashing wardrobe upon the brunette. After that voodoo moment Brooke then bent down and picked up her suitcase adding `stupid jackass' under her breath as she carried it over to the other bed.

Sam sat and down on the bed and crossed her legs watching as Brooke resentfully heave her suitcase onto the bed, still muttering under her breath.

"Don't be bitter," Sam commented as she luxuriated across her bed, sighing contently, "it'll give you wrinkles."

Brooke frowned, turning her head slightly so that she could see Sam. "I'd ask if you're always this annoying, but I'm already painfully aware of the answer to that question," Brooke responded, pushing to suitcase to the other side of the bed and lying down wearily.

"Hey, I didn't ask to be roomed with you either Merry Sunshine," Sam replied getting up off of the bed and moving to retrieve her own suitcase, which had been unceremoniously dumped just inside the doorway. Hauling the luggage up onto her bed, Sam looked over at Brooke just in time to see the blonde smirk and let out a short, derisive, wisp of laughter before then moodily turning her attention to the ceiling. Sam observed her for a second, think that she looked rather peaceful despite the situation, the way the light was shining on her seemed to light her hair up making it look like she was surrounded by a golden halo, and the angle that she had her head titled at gave her a rather reflective appearance, like one of those ancient Greek statues from the classical period where the subject always looked like the were contemplating some elusive truth.

Sam turned away and began to fiddle with her suitcase, trying to open it. She had things to prepare for tomorrow before Glass came to get them for dinner. There were other things to think about besides Brooke. She was on a mission after all.

"Dammit," Sam exclaimed a moment later. The lock to her suitcase seemed to be stuck. She did not need this. In fact, she was so busy trying to mentally combust the case that she didn't notice Brooke approach her until the blonde spoke.

"Here," Brooke softly said coming to stop beside Sam and reaching over for the case. "Mine does this all the time," she continued turning her head to look at Sam for a moment before returning her gaze to the suitcase. Sam felt herself gulp, and prayed to God that it wasn't audible. Having Brooke this close to her, speaking to her in a soft sexy whisper was doing things to her that was only suppose to happen when she was alone in her room at night.

"All you have to do is very gently," and with that Brooke raised her arm high up into the air and slammed it down onto the top of the leather suitcase with all of her strength. Sam gaped at her, so surprised by Brooke's assault of her suitcase that she didn't resist when the blonde then reached for the key, which was loosely held in her hand, and removed it using it to open the case.

"Thanks?" Sam responded still mildly stunned, but glad that she was no longer in the Brooke induced fog that had been hanging over her moments before. Brooke took a step away from Sam, looking over at her, a small smile gracing her features before she looked away and headed back over to her side of the room. "I meant that," Sam added a moment later.

"Your welcome," Brooke replied as she lay back down and closed her eyes while taking in a deep breath. Sam smelt like lavender and she could still faintly detect the scent hovering about her. She liked it, not that she would ever in life tell Sam that.

She stayed like that for a moment longer then opened her eyes and turned to look at Sam once more. "Wake me up for dinner?" she asked.

"Yeah," Sam responded nodding as she spoke, she was feeling a wee bit out of it, she knew this because it didn't even occur to her to fight with Brooke, no "what am I? Your freaking butler?", no "yes highness, would you like me to fan while I'm at it?", no "This may be the Plaza but that ain't on the room service menu", just `yeah'. Sam continued to watch Brooke as Brooke continued to look at her but then the blonde turned away and closed her eyes once again, and Sam too looked away suddenly deciding that what the room desperately needed was some ice.

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 Part Five

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Brooke slowly, curiously cracked one eye open. For the last couple of seconds she had been coated with a feeling of unease, as if someone was watching her. However, years of movies of the week and badly acted films had instilled a certain amount of caution in her, and if there was some bloody thirsty killer in the room she didn't want them to know that she was awake, so she barely cracked open one eye and looked out to see what awaited her.

"Ah," Brooke cried jumping back slightly. What had awaited her was Sam's face hovering inches away from her.

"Hee," and a smile was Sam's response to her. Brooke frowned.

"What are you doing you psycho?" Brooke mumbled as she pulled herself together. Sam continued to smile.

"You asked me to wake you up," Sam replied seating herself of the edge of Brooke's bed. "So I woke you up."

"I said wake me, not stare at me like some pedophile in training," Brooke responded as she sat up slightly. She hadn't bothered to get under the covers, so all she had to do was rest her back against the headboard to be on even ground with Sam�who seemed to be making herself quite comfortable.

Sam's face dropped a bit when Brooke said that, her expression turning serious. Brooke wasn't sure what to make of the change so she remained silent. Sam turned her head so that she was facing Brooke, her eyes locked on her intensely.

"I really didn't mean to scare you, I was just about to tap you on the shoulder when you woke up," she began conciliatorily.

"It's okay," Brooke responded feeling compelled to say something. "I'm not really a morning�no, make that a getting up person. It doesn't really matter what time it is, I just don't like it."

Sam smirked but her expression soon became serious once more. She turned her head away again so that she was looking at her lap.

"I did watch you though," she said a moment later, raising her head to look out the window. Brooke looked confused but didn't say anything. "You're so small," Sam continued a second later. "You looked so�.small," she went on hesitating for a second them shrugging her shoulders helplessly as she repeated the word `small'.

"I�" Brooke started, not at all sure what to make of Sam's behavior.

"Don't know what to make of that?" Sam asked interrupting Brooke, that cocky smile of hers once again covering her face. Brooke nodded smiling herself, encouraged by the expression on Sam's face.

"If I were you I'd be a morning, or should I say getting up, person," Sam continued still observing Brooke.

"Why?" Brooke questioned intrigued by Sam. She couldn't figure out why the other girl was actually talking to her, she figured maybe it was to show her up for that comment she'd made on the bus, but truthfully she didn't care. She just wanted to see where this was going.

"Because like an astonishing one per cent of the population you actually wake up looking refreshed and rosy cheeked," Sam said. "It's really quite remarkable how much money you spend supporting Max Factor when it's good genes and enough sleep that do all the work."

Brooke stared at her, completely and utterly befuddled. She was sure that for a second or two after Sam had spoken her mouth had opened so that she was gaping at the other girl, but she had quickly closed it so that now she was only staring at her in amazement. She didn't know what to say to that, so she fell back on the old reliable route of sarcasm.

"Flattery will get you everywhere, but you're already in my bed," Brooke said winking at the other girl. She had assumed that Sam would get all huffy at the comment, make some remark about her lack of maturity and stalk into the bathroom where she would remain for so long that Brooke would have no time to get in there before they were called down for dinner. Brooke was wrong, Sam did none of those things. Sam looked over at her and smiled. Then Sam shifted her position so that she was sitting leaned up against the headboard right next to Brooke.

"That almost sounded like a invitation Ms. McQueen," Sam said teasingly.

"Make of it what you will," Brooke replied because quite frankly she had no idea what to say other than that.

"Alright," Sam responded thoughtfully nodding her head slowly in contemplation for a moment before looking back over at Brooke. "I will," she continued, that smile, that damn cocky loveable smile back on her face. And before Brooke knew it Sam's lips were on hers, pressing against hers. Surprise caused her to try and jerk her head back at first, it was a base instinct, but she found that she couldn't do it. Sam's hand had followed the course of her lips and was holding the back of Brooke's head firmly in place. The only way to stop the kiss would have been for Brooke to push Sam away from her, and, well, she found that she didn't really want to do that. Her body relaxed and she leaned forward into the kiss, surrendering to Sam's skillful ministrations. As she leaned into the kiss she felt Sam smile against her lips then shift closer to her on the bed. This caused Brooke to smile herself before then forcibly bringing Sam's lips back to hers, moaning into Sam's mouth as her passion mounted. If this is how she was woken up every morning, there just might have been hope for her yet.

"Sam?" Brooke questioned. She was feeling a bit dizzy. She didn't understand it, she felt like she was being shaken. "Sam stop that this instant," she said looking across her and noticing that Sam's hands were now on her shoulders and were apparently trying the shake the shit out of her.

"Goddammit wake up!" Sam yelled shaking Brooke some more. First the stupid girl tells her to wake her up, then she lies there like limp noodle mumbling at Sam while channeling somebody's mother.

"The�?" Brooke asked opening her eyes and seeing Sam standing over her still shaking her for all she was worth. "I'm awake," Sam still didn't stop. "I'm awake," Brooke repeated, her head was starting to pound. "Get your bloody hands off of me, I said I'm awake!" she yelled finally raising her hands trying to beat Sam off of her before she did some serious damage to her brain.

"Dinner, fifteen minutes," Sam told her with a scowl then the brunette stalked across the room and walked out the door.

Brooke drew her knees up to her body and dropped her head onto them. This was not good, she thought herself, although secretly she admitted she liked how Sam had woken her up in her dream better than reality. No, she then thought to herself, you will not think such thoughts. This�nightmare, she continued as she flung her legs over the edge of the bed and stood up, was not about Sam or sex or especially not about sex with Sam. That was just ludicrous. It was about�about�about her own narcissism, yes that was it. She was far too complimentary to herself in the dream; this was her subconscious's way of telling her to get over herself. Well, she thought, message sealed, signed and delivered. As she stood in front of the mirror, she decided � with this new knowledge fresh in her mind�that she was only going to wear foundation and lip gloss to dinner.

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Part Six: Day Two

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Brooke rolled her head around her shoulders tiredly and rubbed at her eyes. She was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on what their tour guide was saying. She had gotten next to no sleep the night before and she was feeling the effects of it now. She and Sam hadn't spoken much when they had returned to their room after dinner, and when they did speak to each other it was fleeting, yet surprisingly polite. Mundane things, who got first dibs on the bathroom, who was going to put their clothes in which drawer, which one of them got control of the remote. Despite the civility of the conversation however, it was uncomfortable as hell and if it hadn't been for the fact that it was after midnight and that they were on lockdown, Brooke would have made her rounds and gone to visit Nicole and Mary Cherry in the adjoining suites they had reserved on the top floor. But it had been after midnight, they were on lockdown, and Brooke was left with no other option but than to lay down, and try not to think about Sam, which, vexingly, was something she had been finding increasing hard to do since the brunette had woken her up earlier on. Then to make matters worse, it seemed as if Sam was having trouble sleeping too, so they both had lay there in the dark painfully aware of the others presence until Sam had broken the silence. In fact Brooke could remember everything that had been said perfectly.

{"Brooke?" Sam had said softly, the word hovering in the air for a moment before the blonde responded.

"Yeah," Brooke had said, her eyes trained on the ceiling�not that she could make it out or anything.

"You awake?" Sam asked.

"What do you think Sam?" Brooke had responded turning so that she was facing Sam's bed even though she couldn't see her. It wasn't like Sam to ask stupid questions, so it immediately put Brooke on guard.

"I'll go with, yes," Sam responded, her tone a bit rueful. "Listen, I just wanted to say I shouldn't have shook you like that, and if your head really hurts then�"

"Don't worry, I won't make you say it," Brooke responded. "Wouldn't want a black hole opening in the room and sucking time and space into a huge gaping oblivion because we seemed to be getting along." She paused there for a moment. "And it only hurt for a little while."

"Yes�well�" Sam said in response. Brooke had expected more to follow that, but apparently Sam was done, because the silence came after that once more. Just as she was about to drift off to sleep however, she learned that she was wrong about the silence because Sam started up again a few minutes later. "I was thinking, that is to say that our previous conversation and you helping me with my suitcase made me think," Sam continued shaking her head at herself as the words came out of her mouth.

"And," Brooke questioned, sitting up slightly.

"And I think we should try, you know, make a valiant attempt to not piss each other off. Although the argument could be made that this situation shouldn't really be new for each of us since we live together back home, that argument is faulty. The fallacy lies mostly with the principles of time and space, which allow for us to be hardly ever occupying the same area at the same time back home. Here, however, things are different and�fighting could lead to bodily harm. So if you can pretend that you don't hate me for four more days, I think this trip could be much more enjoyable for both of us," Sam replied hurriedly, before letting out a breath and sinking back down onto her pillow.

Brooke was silent for a long time after Sam spoke, so long in fact that Sam had begun to wonder if the blonde had fallen asleep by the time she replied. "That sounds acceptable," Brooke said finally. "And," she added pausing again, "I never hated you," she went on quickly, then she shifted again, her sheets rustling together audibly and she closed her eyes.

"Brooke�" Sam started a second later, surprised by the other girl's words. Actually Brooke's words had caused some heart palpitations, but Sam chose not to focus on that at the moment.

"Brooke's sleeping now," the blonde responded, "she'll be available again in the morning, thank you and please call again," she continued effectively putting an end to the conversation.

"What no beep?" Sam asked afterwards, but she said nothing after that and Brooke could hear her settle down into the bedding like she had done only moments before.}

Brooke was broken out of her revere by the tour guide who was explaining the origins of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" to them. "When Vincent van Gogh was a patient in an asylum at Saint-R�my in the south of France, he wrote to his brother Theo," she was saying as Brooke looked around to see if anyone had noticed her space out. "This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big," the tour guide went on. Looking around her at the restless faces of the Kennedy students loosely assembled around her, Brooke figured that it was a good thing this was the last painting on the tour. It was becoming very clear to her that the natives were getting restless, and truthfully she counted herself among them. "He said he stayed up for three nights painting the picture because according to him, the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." This was followed by clapping and then the scattering students who ran off to eat, or smoke, or ogle the nudie pictures during their free time.

Brooke's eyes immediately drifted over to Sam. She never wanted her eyes to immediately drift over to Sam, but despite her wishes her eyes just seemed to do it anyway, so not for the first time that day she found herself gazing at Sam, this time as the brunette walked away. Sam had branched off from her other friends, heading in the opposite direction; Brooke would have wondered where she was off to, but Nicole grabbed her arm and started dragging her down the hall.

"Where are we going?" Brooke asked giving up trying to follow Sam with her eyes and turning her attention to Nicole.

"Does it matter?" the shorter blonde responded. "The hell away from here," she continued shaking her head.

Sam paused, she had the strangest feeling that someone was watching her. She knew she was late for her meeting, but she turned around anyway, worse than being late would have been having someone notice where she was off to. Looking behind her she noticed Kennedy students scattering, but didn't see anyone watching her except for maybe Brooke who was in the process of turning around anyway. Despite herself Sam watched Nicole drag Brooke through the hall for a moment longer before turning around herself and heading towards the Pollack exhibit. She didn't have time to think about Brooke, she had a job to do. She didn't have time to think about the fact that she and Brooke had gotten along smashingly that morning, she didn't have time to think about the fact that she had seen the blonde smile more at her in the past two days than the past few years. She didn't have time to think about the fact that she had had a dream about Brooke again last night, and that when she woke up in the morning and realized that the object of her lust was lying peacefully mere meters away for her it had excited her so much that she had been forced to take an agonizingly cold shower. She didn't have time to think about the fact, that she and Brooke had actually talked on the bus as they drove from site to site, and that Sam had enjoyed talking with her, finding her conversation to be smart, and amusing. Sam didn't have time to think about these things, but that didn't stop her from thinking about them anyway.

=============================

Part Seven

--------------

Finally locating the Pollack exhibit Sam hurriedly made her way to the janitorial closet across the hall from it. Seeing the door slightly ajar she tilted her head up and sent a silent thank you to the man upstairs for the fact that her contact hadn't been spooked away when she failed to arrive on time. Clutching her shoulder bag closer to her she rapidly walked over to the door, this was the type of story that became notorious in a school's history, if Arabian Knight presented her with the information she thought he would, she would go down in Kennedy High history. Plus, it would look really good on her University application.

Stepping into the closet she closed the door behind her silently. Her heart was racing, this was so cool.

"Arabian Knight?" she called out, "it's Persephone," she continued walking a bit further into the room.

"Over here," a voice returned. It was the same voice she had heard over the phone, Sam smiled to herself. Suddenly and light flicked on, Sam squinted and covered her eyes with her hand until her eyes adjusted to the light.

"I can't see you," she said moving her head around.

"Oh, sorry, my bad," Arabian Knight responded directing the light so that it was no longer shining directly in Sam's eyes.

"No problem," Sam responded mildly as the spots that were dancing in front of her eyes began to disappear. "Did you bring the stuff?"

"Of course," Arabian Knight responded rather indignantly. "Would I be here if I didn't?"

"Good," Sam responded. "Shall we get on with this then?" she asked opening up her shoulder bag and producing a notebook.

"Yes, let's" Arabian Knight said finally stepping out of the shadows as he walked towards Sam. The brunette gasped as she got her first look at him, then stared as he continued towards her. "What?" he asked peevishly, self-consciously running a hand through his hair.

"How old are you?" Sam asked suspiciously getting a painful feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"I told you I'm seventeen," Arabian Knight responded straightening his back and puffing her chest forward. Sam merely raised an eyebrow at him, it was clear to him that she did not believe him. "Thirteen," he said deflating somewhat, "but I can help you," he continued quickly. "I knew you wouldn't talk to me if you knew how young I was, but I have information that needs to be spread and I knew that you could do it."

"Does your mother know you're out?" Sam asked, as she pictured an irate mother busting into the room and battering her over the head while yelling about how Sam was trying to corrupt her baby. She shuddered.

"Pokemon opened today," Arabian Knight responded, "I'm good for at least another hour and a half," he continued smiling. "Not bad, huh?" he asked.

Sam rolled her eyes. Pokemon, oh lord. "Let's just get on with this, what have you got for me?" she asked wanting to get out of there as fast as possible.

"Information that'll change the way school cafeteria's operate from here to Miami," he responded placing a folder down on an overturned box. "Information that will shock and alarm you. Something that will make you question everything you ever thought you knew. Something that�"

"You do not want to finish that," Sam said holding up her hands. "This isn't a rhetoric exam, just tell me what you know."

"Okay," Arabian said, but Sam could tell that he was disappointed she had interrupted his little speech. Oh, well, c'est la vie. "The information I have for you will unquestionably prove that school cafeteria's all over the country, have for the past year been using chemicals pilfered from school chemistry classes to artificially enhance the products served for lunch in an attempt to reduce spending. And, that this disturbing trend was started by one Bobby `Bio' Glass, at a school I think you are very familiar with," he concluded with a smile. "Take a look at this," he continued opening up the folder he had been carrying with him.

Sam looked down at the pieces of paper then back up at him and smiled. She had hit the jackpot and she was going to ride it all the way.

=========================================

Part Eight

---------------

"Leave her," Nicole stated emphasizing each of her words clearfully, "you'll be doing us all a favor. Rose petals and doves await you�besides, don't feel bad, Spam'll fit in perfectly with the freaks and fringe loners that inhabit the city. You'll be helping her out, finally she will have found her people," Nicole continued trying to guide Brooke towards the exit of the Museum. She wanted to get back to the Plaza, "Shakespeare in Love" was coming on Cinemax.

"I won't be able get on the bus, we have to sign in at the same time," Brooke responded craning her head back around trying to catch some glimpse of Sam. "Don't worry, you go, I'll find her and meet you outside," Brooke said removing her arm from Nicole's grasp.

Upon extracting herself from Nicole's sphere of influence Brooke looked around her trying to figure out what direction she had seen Sam go off in. Finally, she just settled on left and started to head in that direction, she hadn't passed the Pollack exhibit or the Etching demonstration so she decided that she should start with those places. Stopping on the ramp that would take her to her first destination Brooke carelessly turned the corner.

"Oh, I'm sorry," the blonde exclaimed as she bumped into someone. Her hands immediately stretching out as she tried to steady whomever it was she had just crashed into.

"I'm o�Brooke?" Sam asked, uncomfortably aware of Brooke's hands brushing over her body.

"Oh it's you," Brooke said finally focusing on Sam for the first time. "I've been looking for you."

"You have?" Sam asked rather incredulously before she had to time to think better of it. "I mean, you have," she corrected herself, her tone far more civil.

"Yeah, I have," Brooke responded shaking her head. "It's time to go, Glass is going to flip. We were suppose to be out there about five minutes ago," Brooke continued subtly trying to usher Sam towards the exit. Sam looked down at her watch, surprise covering her feature.

"I didn't realize�"

"Yeah, yeah, time flies when you're having fun," Brooke muttered as she continued to gently shove Sam towards the door. "By the way your bags open," she added distractedly as she concerned herself with whether it would be faster to go left or right.

"Wha�" Sam began looking down at her bag. "Uh no," she muttered her face screwing up in frustration. "I can't believe I left it behind," she continued stopping dead in tracks and turning around.

"Whoa, where do you think you're going?" Brooke asked hurriedly making an about face.

"I forgot something," Sam mumbled as she hurriedly made her way through the crowd. "You go ahead, I'll find my way back to the hotel," she said turning around to face Brooke before returning her focus forward.

"I can't get on the bus unless you're there," Brooke said catching up to Sam and placing her hand on her shoulder halting her progress.

"I have to go get it," Sam said. "Glass will let you on, just say that you couldn't find me. Nobody'll blame you," she continued before working herself out of Brooke's grasp and continuing back down the hall.

Once again Brooke quickened her step to catch up with Sam.

"What are you doing?" Sam asked turning her head to the side as Brooke began to power walk beside her.

"I'm coming with you," Brooke responded meeting Sam's eyes.

"Why?" Sam asked genuinely confused.

"Because I'm not going to leave you to wonder around by yourself at night to be raped or murdered by some psycho," Brooke responded.

Sam stopped and turned to look at Brooke, her mouth opened and closed a couple of times but no words came out of her for the first few seconds. "I�you don't have to," she said chickening out before she even got started. She had planned on expressing surprise and gratitude for Brooke's concern with her safety, but that didn't end up happening.

"I know," Brooke replied meeting her gaze. She stared at Sam for a second longer, then gave a short little laugh as she shook her head. "Well?"

"This way," Sam said and with that they wondered off back into the depths of the Museum.

===========================================

Part Nine

-------------

Sam extended her hand managing to both whack Brooke in the chest and halt her progress. Brooke looked down at the spot Sam had hit and made a face barely registering the brunette's mumbled "janitor" and she rubbed her now sore spot. Trying to distract herself, Brooke looked up and watched as Sam's head bobbed around the corner as she spied on the janitor's movements while muttering to herself about something or the other. Looking back down again Brooke suppose she should be grateful Sam hadn't landed her blow a few centimeters lower.

"Come on," Sam whispered to Brooke as she crept out from behind the wall they had been hiding behind. The halls of the museum were practically empty and even the soft sounds of their feet scuffling along the floor reverberated against the walls.

Brooke looked around her in something close to wonder, the place seemed grander in the silence, she felt more humbled. She thought that she would have liked visiting museums much more if they were always like this.

"In here," Sam said, hesitating for a moment before finally reaching out and taking Brooke's hand into hers. The blonde seemed distracted and she had to get her attention somehow. Brooke looked over at her immediately after their hands touched, her gaze dropping to their conjoined hands for a moment before she began to walk in the direction Sam was facing. To the brunette's surprise, and pleasure Brooke made no effort to remove her hand from Sam's once they began to walk again, and by some silent accord Sam made no effort to let go of Brooke's either.

As Sam stopped in front of a janitorial closet Brooke looked over at her simultaneously smiling and raising a questioning eyebrow. It was a look that said "what the hell" but in a sleazy, porn director kind of way.

"Shut up Brooke," Sam muttered as she opened the door and slipped inside. Brooke followed behind her letting the door close as they became submerged in darkness. "There's a light over here somewhere," Sam said stepping away from the door. A minute � and a couple of bumps and colourful phrases � later Sam turned on the light and the room was covered in a dim yellow glow.

Sam quickly made her way over to the overturned box, which had served as Arabian Knights desk, dropping down and crouching over it as she got there. "Shit," she muttered as she looked around the box with no luck. She wondered if maybe the janitor had found the fallen folder while he was in there, but then her eye caught something just over to the left. Reaching out, she closed her eyes let out a relieved sigh, it was still there. Picking up the folder and smiling she turned around to face Brooke who was watching her with a curious but patient expression. If she hadn't have just found the folder on the floor she would have brought it to her lips and given it a big kiss. As if was, as the wave of euphoria rushed through her body she had to struggle not to yell `yes!' pump her fists in the air and give Brooke a big hug.

"We can go now," is what she said however.

"Good," Brooke said turning around and reaching for the doorknob.

"Come on, I thought you were in a hurry," Sam said a moment later as she walked up behind Brooke who still hadn't opened the door.

Brooke turned around to face Sam, her features were drawn and she was blinking rapidly. "The door's locked," she stated.

"What?" Sam asked.

"The door. It's locked," Brooke repeated her left eye twitching slightly.

"It can't be," Sam responded pushing past Brooke and reaching for the handle herself. She turned it and pushed. Nothing happened. She tried it again to the same effect. "The door's locked," she said softly a second later.

"Yeah, I covered that," Brooke responded. "Not that I'm trying to usurp control or anything, but I've rapidly come to the conclusion that secrecy is no longer our friend, and that if we want to get out of here we better start yelling like now," she finished still watching Sam.

"I concur," Sam replied immediately. "After you," she said waving her hand graciously.

Brooke nodded her head and opened her mouth to begin screaming like a baby in any enclosed space when the light in the hall outside the door suddenly went out. She turned her head to look at Sam, in moments of crisis like this it was always good to consult with others. They stared at each other for a second then they both flung themselves at the door and began banging on it and screaming for all they were worth.

==================================

Part Ten

------------

Brooke slumped back against the door and let herself slid to the ground with a soft sigh. They had been banging for over ten minutes and nobody had come to let them out, leading Brooke to the conclusion that there was nobody there to let them out, and that there probably wouldn't be until morning. The walls of the closet were thick and Brooke could tell from the way their voices were being absorbed by them next to none of the noise they were making was getting beyond the door.

"Sam," Brooke said softly. "Just stop," she went on. "Nobody's out there, sit down."

"Somebody's got to come by," Sam insisted even though she sunk to the ground joining Brooke. "A security guard or something."

"If one walks by we'll hear and start yelling again, but I'm not up for continuous yelling for the rest of the night. Doing it or hearing it," Brooke responded tilting her head back and rubbing her eyes.

"So what are we supposed to do?" Sam asked as she focused on a rickety looking shelving unit at the back of the closet.

"The way I see it we have to options. We can sit here in silence until someone finds us, or we can talk," Brooke replied turning to look over at Sam. "You indicated yesterday that you weren't totally averse to the idea of conversing with me in a non-combative manner, so now's our chance," she finished.

Sam removed her gaze from the shelving unit and turned to watch Brooke watch her. She was beautiful the dim light of a dusty museum janitorial closet, Sam decided as she watched the blonde. "What do you want to talk about?" the brunette asked finally. "Herman Melville's condemnation of consumer society?"

Brooke smiled but shook her head. "Actually, I was wondering how I ended up getting trapped in here," she responded pointedly looking at the manila folder that was now lying in Sam's lap.

"This could take a while," Sam said softly as she traced her finger around the edge of the folder. She never talked about pieces she was working on before she had finished them, it was one of her unwritten rules. To break it, for Brooke � even if she did owe the girl an explanation � would be a big step, a leap of trust as it were.

"If there's one thing we've got," Brooke replied watching Sam fiddle with the folder.

"About a month ago I was in one of the chat rooms on�." Sam began.

=================================

 Part Eleven

----------------

"I don't know what to tell you sir�ma'am, sir, ma'am sir�.ah, I really don't know what to tell you," the man stuttered looking at Bio Glass in stupification. "We cleared the museum out over half an hour ago, your girls aren't in there."

"You're an Arts major aren't you?" Glass asked suspiciously as she watched the little man suffer. "Ah, ah, ah, don't speak. Look," she said pointing to the line of Kennedy students lined up against the bus. "There, what do you see there?" she asked pointing to a gaping whole in the line.

"Nnnothing," the man stuttered.

"Exactly, that gaping void is where *snap* McPherson and *snap* McQueen should be," Glass replied moving closer to him so that she was now carrying out a full on invasion of his personal space. "Do you know why they aren't there?"

"Mmmight, might I suggest ma'am, sir, ma'am, si�might I suggest that they walked down the street to see Nsync at Radio City," he managed to emote, though it was quite a struggle.

The students lined up against the bus cringed as they heard this, cowering slightly and shielding their eyes. He should not have said that.

===================================

 Part Twelve

----------------

"Are you serious?" Sam asked barely able to control the laughter that was bubbling up inside of her. The visuals she was getting from Brooke's story were almost too much for even her not to bust out laughing at.

"Perfectly," Brooke responded smiling. "Raspberry Kool-aid. I had seen them do it on some show, probably Saved by The Bell or something equally retarded. The minute Dad saw it he made me march up stairs and was it out of my hair�but I'm telling you, for about half an hour there I was a living legend. Gem never looked so good," she continued smiling broadly.

Sam smiled back at her contentedly. "You know what I always wanted?" Sam started in rather wistful tone. "A tree house. In like every family show or children's novel they always had these kids in tree houses. It was like a staple of American society and I always resented not having one."

"Why didn't you build one?" Brooke asked curiously, tilting her head to observe Sam.

"Where?" Sam asked. "One of the palm trees at the beach?" she continued. "That's another thing. Have you ever been skiing? I always wanted to go skiing. Snow, and Yule logs and eggnog around a fire are more staples."

"We should go to Colorado for Christmas this year," Brooke replied thoughtfully. She could picture Sam all bundled up, holding a cup of hot something-or-the-other while being bathed in gentle glow of a fire. The image made something flutter inside of her, gave her a warm, happy feeling. "There's enough snow there for a life time of memories," she continued before pausing for a moment, then smiling. "I'll teach you what a snow job is."

"Nice try," Sam said shooting Brooke an exasperated look, "but I've heard of those." Brooke shrugged her shoulders in defeat. "Aspen?" Sam asked a second later.

"Where else?" Brooke asked in a way that gave Sam the distinct impression that she wasn't joking. To her surprise, and if she were honest to her amusement, she discovered that she found it inordinately cute.

"You're such a preppy," was what she said in response however as she shook her head.

"Back to your tree house," Brooke said deciding to get the subject off of her preppiness before they ended up bitching at each other again, "there were other options you know." She was enjoying talking to Sam, in fact she was enjoying talking to Sam more than she had enjoyed talking to anyone in a long time and she didn't want the mood in the room to shift. She found that being trapped in the closet lead to a pleasant fiction, a story where she and Sam were friends. She liked it.

"Such as?" Sam asked looking at Brooke expectantly.

"Cardboard boxes, they're always good, sometimes even better than what came inside of them. My personal preference was Maytag, very durable. You could have built yourself a small village," Brooke responded, a nostalgic smile spreading across her face as she spoke.

"Did your Dad suddenly come into money a few years ago or something?" Sam asked smiling at Brooke cheekily. Truthfully she had never pictured Brooke as a cardboard box kind of girl, she had always kind of assumed that Brooke would have been one of those My Little Ponies, or Barbie girls, with the house and pink convertible. In fact, the longer they talked the more Sam realized that she hardly knew anything about Brooke, but that the more she found out the more she liked.

"Very funny," Brooke responded although she didn't seem particularly amused. "Even preppies have to make do sometimes," she continued sighing a bit.

"I didn't mean that in a bad way," Sam said noticing the Brooke's defeated tone. "It's actually kind of," she began to say but she stopped herself. The truth was she found Brooke's sporadic displays of preppiness to amazing cute, but she had just begun to be able to admit that to herself and there wasn't anyway in hell that she was going to tell Brooke.

"Kind of what?" Brooke asked turning to face Sam, a look of curiosity covering her features.

"Nothing," Sam responded shifting uncomfortably.

"Come on Sam�Sammy," Brooke began testing the nickname out and deciding that she liked it. "You can't just `nothing' that. You were far beyond the `nothing' line, you've gotta tell," Brooke teased as she bobbed her body around excitedly.

"You pulled that rule outta your ass rather quickly," Sam replied, still shifting about. "I think we've discovered your superpower: the ability to produce copious amounts of bull-shit is a single bound."

Brooke was silent for a moment, then turned away from Sam before lulling her head to the side and muttering resignedly, "And we were getting along so well."

Sam turned to watch the blonde after she spoke, the silence that now covered the room ringing in her ears painfully. She hadn't intended to, she didn't really want, she had only meant to�she had screwed up and she knew it. "I'm sorry," she said finally. She didn't want things to end like that because Brooke was right, they had been getting along so well.

"Are you? Really?" Brooke asked wearily turning to face her.

"Yes," Sam responded softly but adamantly. "It's a coping mechanism, I didn't mean it."

"I don't either, those things I've said to you�I never really meant them, it was just a reaction. I never hated you, in fact," Brooke paused there gathering courage, "in fact I always kinda found you interesting."

"Really?" Sam asked, her surprise showing in her voice. Brooke McQueen had always kind of found her interesting, that was new, new and greatly appreciated. The reality of the situation was that with what had happened since they had come into the closet, and with the way Sam was feeling, she knew she wouldn't have been able to keep up her fa�ade of Brooke hating for much longer. But, if Brooke found her interesting, that meant that there was a chance that this truce they had entered into could be continued, and Sam would take being Brooke's friend over being nothing but a nuisance to the girl any day.

"Amazingly," Brooke replied. It was now her turn to shift uncomfortably.

"We should have done this before. Talked I mean," Sam said as she leaned her head back to rest against the door.

"Why didn't we?" Brooke asked. Sam wasn't sure whether the question was asked rhetorically or not, but she had an answer, and after Brooke's little revelation she decided it would only be far to share it.

"I think I know," Sam replied, her voice threaded with mystery.

"Don't be a drama queen. Spill it," Brooke responded lazily turning her head to face Sam.

"You're a bit of a gossip aren't you?" Sam asked. "Anyway, I think the reason was that I feared that if I got to know you I would like you, and if I liked you I wouldn't have been able to actively hate you, and if I was forced to stop viewing you as Satan the world as I knew it would have collapsed in on itself, leaving me broken and bewildered. Outfits I would rather not have worn."

Brooke was silent for a moment, contemplative before finally saying, "You say the sweetest things." She then looked down at her lap where her attention remained focused for a few moments before continuing with, "but seriously, I'm glad that you've gotten past the actively hating thing. Besides, red has never really been my colour."

They sat in silence for a long time after that, both watching each other covertly until Brooke finally broke the silence.

"Are you going to tell me now?"

"Tell you what?" Sam asked looking over at the cheerleader.

"What you find my preppiness to be kind of. I know you thought that you had distracted me with your charm, and I admit that telling someone you no longer consider them to be a creature of pure evil would have worked on most mere mortals, but I'm on to you," Brooke answered meeting Sam's gaze.

"No." And Sam said no more than that. She knew that the subject was a slippery slope and she was just willing to take a slid. Brooke was just going to have to get over it.

"Fine," Brooke responded with a sniff. "I'm just going to read your boyfriends notes then�to give you time to reflect on your anti- socialness," she continued reaching out and picking up the manila folder, which had been resting beside Sam. Placing it on her lap she opened it up and licked the tip of her index finger before she began to leaf through the sheets of paper.

"He's not my boyfriend," Sam muttered as she watched Brooke take possession of her notes.

"You really should be ashamed of yourself. I know that younger men are in these days but, really," Brooke responded shaking her head sadly. "Sammy," she added shaking it some more to make sure she got her point across.

"Shut up."

"Give me your notes so I can piece this conspiracy together," Brooke said holding out her hand.

"I could make you some Cliff Notes if you're having problems," Sam replied saucily. Despite that however she handed her notes over willing to do most anything to get Brooke not to question her about her feelings on Brooke's preppiness anymore.

"Ha! Oh, wait, no," Brooke responded as she accepted the papers from Sam. "You know, you don't look like you're reflecting to me," she commented a moment later. Sam gave her the stink eye and Brooke shrugged, oh well.

========================================

 Part Thirteen

----------------

"Oooooh, now this is what I'm talking about!" Brooke exclaimed excitedly in a somewhat singsong voice, as she ran her eyes over the paper sitting in her lap.

"What?" Sam asked looking over at her curiously. Brooke had been quiet for the better part of twenty minutes as she flipped through Sam's notes. Occasionally she had asked her a question or two but for the most part she had been keeping herself busy, leaving Sam ample time to take in their quaint surrounds and to practice not staring at Brooke.

Brooked smiled and looked down at the piece of paper she had just been looking at. "'I had the dream again last night'," she began grinning as she read the words Sam had written. "A very promising beginning," she continued winking at Sam. In fact she was so caught up in the excitement of possibly learning about some of Sam's naughty bits that she didn't see the brunette's face immediately fall, or the pained expression that settled on it soon after.

"Give that to me," Sam stated as she reached out for the piece of paper. Silently she cursed herself, how could see have been so stupid. That morning she had been so preoccupied with thoughts of Brooke that she had taken a few free minutes after breakfast to write her thoughts down in hopes that it would get them out of her head. Once she had finished she had just shoved the paper in with the rest of her stuff, the stuff she handed over to Brooke.

"Grabby, grabby," Brooke responded playfully as she stood up so that Sam couldn't yank the paper out of her hand. "Come on, it's not so bad. Maybe I'll tell you mine�since I'll know yours in a minute."

"I'm serious Brooke, give it to me," Sam stated standing as well. She reached for the paper again but Brooke blocked her with her body, turning her back to Sam using her free arm as blocker while held the paper with her other arm as she read it.

Sam continued to struggle with Brooke, trying to find away around the blonde's body so that she could get the paper back, but Brooke determinedly blocked her again and again. Still, Sam couldn't give up, the thought of giving up and just letting Brooke read a diary entry that she made wherein she talked, and talked, and talked about the feelings she had for Brooke just wasn't an option for the brunette.

"I'm�I finished," Brooke said finally lowering her arm and relaxing her stance. Immediately Sam yanked the paper out of her hand, and they stood there watching each other. "Do you really think I have skin like silk?" Brooke asked finally.

Sam watched the blonde in a kind of stupor that was only broken when Brooke spoke. She heard the blonde's question, but it seemed distant, like it was coming from far, far away. She was having trouble breathing. Brooke had actually read the entire the entry, she had read it all, she knew everything. Sam turned and began to walk towards the door. She realized that there was no place to go, but she knew that she had to at least separate herself from Brooke. She figured Brooke would probably be grateful for the distance.

"Wait!" Brooke said as Sam started to walk away, quickly moving behind her and grabbing her gently by the shoulders.

"Why? So you can mock me some more?" Sam asked not turning around. She could feel the sting of tears in her eyes but she wouldn't give Brooke the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She couldn't.

"I was just," Brooke started hopelessly. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have," she continued trying to work through her jumbled up thoughts. "We were having fun," she continued softly, her hands still resting on Sam. "I was just," she went on stroking Sam's shoulders unconsciously.

"Please let go of me," Sam said interrupting Brooke's babbling, her voice remaining calm through nothing more than will power.

"Do you really want me to?" Brooke asked. She could feel the warmth of Sam's skin through her shirt, she could feel it warming her hands, and the scent of lavender, Sam's scent, had infiltrated her olfactory senses. She was hyper of everything that had to do with Sam, her smell, her feel, her breathing.

"That's not funny," Sam responded. She could feel herself beginning to crumble, she needed Brooke to let her go. She couldn't feel Brooke against her and remain strong, remain standing. She needed distance.

"It wasn't suppose to be," Brooke responded moving closer to Sam, so that now she was almost pressed up against the brunette's back. "Do you? Really want me to stop touching you? Because I don't want to stop."

"Brooke please," Sam said, she was begging, begging Brooke to stop torturing her, to just let her go. She was begging and she didn't care because she was moments away from breaking down. Why couldn't Brooke have just freaked out like a normal person? Why was she doing this, teasing her with something she couldn't have?

"I'm serious Sam�Sammy," Brooke breathed out softly. Still holding onto Sam she moved around so that she was standing in front of the brunette. "Lately," she began again in her new position, her hand slowly traveling up Sam's shoulder, "I've�what I mean is�ugh," she sighed in frustration, and closed her eyes trying to pull herself together. She placed her hands on the sides of Sam's face, and dipped her head slightly so that she was looking directly into Sam's big, beautiful, brown eyes. "You smell like lavender, when you're bored you stick you tongue into your cheek and when you're excited her rub your teeth with it. You can write with both of your hands, and your eyes have the most incredible little gold specks in them that absolutely break my heart. I know what you're feeling Sam, I know," Brooke said her voice cracking along the way. "Because I'm feeling it too."

Sam looked away, down at the dusty floor as Brooke finished speaking. Her face was wet, she hadn't even realized she had been crying. She was overwhelmed. She had just heard everything she had ever dreamed about hearing, but it didn't seem real, she wondered if her alarm clock were about to off. But then she felt it, warm fingers tilting her head back up, forcing her to meet Brooke's equally teary gaze. She was confused, Brooke had never cried in her dreams.

They stayed like that for long moments, staring into each other eyes, until finally Brooke impulsively leaned forward and softly, tenderly pressed her lips against Sam's, drawing the brunette into her body as their lips moved against each other. Sam's body shook gently as she felt Brooke's lips, tasted her for the first time. Her hands wound their way around Brooke's waist, clutching at her as the kiss deepened and their bodies pressed closer together, their kiss becoming salty as their tears ran down their faces.

====================================

By: Janine

Any comments, questions, or miscellaneous messages, welcome and greatly appreciated! Email: jbslayer27@yahoo.com

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