DISCLAIMER: Alas, I don't own the characters of Popular. They belong to Ryan Murphy, but hopefully he won't mind if I borrow them for a little while.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Based on the prompt "L is for Love." Written for kauschi.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Above All Else
By mysensitiveside


When Brooke was younger, there was one thing that she wanted above all else. Sure, she wanted popularity, friends, to be the prettiest she could be... But all that was merely a means to an end.

What Brooke wanted more than anything else was love.

As she got older, though, she began to wonder if love was enough. Her mother had loved her, theoretically, but that wasn't enough to keep her in Brooke's life.

She and Josh had been in love, but later she would wonder how real that ever was; whether, unconsciously or not, they were only together because they were "supposed" to be, according to high school cliché.

Brooke had thought that Harrison had potential -- he was both sweet and infatuated with her, after all, which was always a plus. But the events of junior prom had left Harrison feeling too guilty and Brooke feeling too angry for any love to flourish.

Then there was Noah for three years of college. Noah had loved her so much and had been so heartbroken when he'd mistakenly thought that she was cheating on him that he simply had to run out and sleep with that redhead from Spanish Lit. Needless to say, Noah's love wasn't enough either.

Maybe Brooke and true love simply weren't meant to go together the way she'd once hoped.

Of course, it was only once Brooke stopped actively looking that she was able to finally find it.

Staring out the window of her hotel room as the sun rose from beyond the horizon, Brooke smiled as two arms wrapped around her from behind and a head came down to rest on her shoulder.

"Watcha doing?" came the sleep-infused question, causing goosebumps to rise as warm breath hovered across Brooke's skin.

"Just thinking," Brooke replied with a smile, turning to press a light kiss to the crown of her companion's head.

The arms around her tightened as the brunette burrowed closer against Brooke's body. "Good thoughts?" she asked.

"Happy thoughts," Brooke confirmed.

"Mmm. Well just don't fly off to Neverland without me, okay?"

"I'd never go anywhere without my Sammy. You're stuck with me now," Brooke grinned, reaching to run her fingers over the new ring on Sam's left hand.

Maybe when love wasn't enough, it wasn't truly love, Brooke mused. But standing within Sam's arms, Brooke had never felt happier, safer, more complete. Never had she felt more loved.

The End

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