DISCLAIMER: Popular and its characters are the property of Ryan Murphy. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The inspiration for this came from random_flores's Just a Little Insight story, and a scene between Spike and Buffy in season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many thanks to my alpha random_flores for looking this over for me.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Series finale.

Imaginary Hero
By Revolos55


"I save you almost every night.

Every night I'm back sitting at that table in that stupid, uncomfortable dress and those useless strappy shoes. I hear Harrison say your name and the fist of dread that had been sitting in my stomach all day explodes and floods my body, filling me with heat and nausea so intense I think I'll faint.

With a sob you stand and shove the chair backwards, fleeing the restaurant, and I follow you without pause. It never occurs to me to do otherwise, because I need to explain.

I need to explain to you that I didn't want this. I didn't want Harrison to choose you. And I didn't want Harrison to choose me either. What I wanted was to throw this whole stupid three-way date idea out the window and go to the prom just the two of us.


Because I love you.

I love you. I love the way you tuck your hair behind your ear. I love your strength and your spirit. I love it when you don't do what your popular friends expect you to do. I love when we look at each other and know exactly what the other one is thinking. I love watching you become the person I know you can be.

And I tell you this almost every night.

I catch up to you, I grab your hand and I tell you this and everything is all right.

I save you almost every night.

But sometimes…

Sometimes I don't.

Sometimes Harrison tries to stop me when I leave to follow you. Sometimes I trip on that stupid, uncomfortable dress, or break the heel of those useless strappy shoes. Sometimes the waiter gets in the way.

It happens over and over, lots of different ways.

Sometimes it happens just the way it did.

I try to explain and all I get out is 'This is not what I wanted Brooke, ok? Just stop,' before you're twisting away from me and stumbling out into the street. As the car bears down on you and that bitch guns the engine all I can do is scream your name before there is a sickening thud. I see it all in horrible slow motion, as your beautiful and broken body falls to the ground in a graceless heap. Tires finally screech as the car plows into a lamppost, but it barely registers with me, because all of my focus is on getting to you. It feels like I have to wade through molasses to do it, my body doesn't want to cooperate, and I can hear someone mindlessly repeating "Nonononono", but it takes me a few seconds to realize that it's me. When I finally do reach you I want to shake you, wake you up, because you're not moving and you're barely breathing but I don't want to hurt you and there's so much blood…

But not every night.

Most nights I save you. Most nights I reach you in time and I tell you how I feel and the car passes by and we go to the prom and dance and laugh and everything is ok.

Which is why I need you to wake up.

You need to wake up so I can tell you this, because when I tell you, the story has a happy ending. Telling you is how I save you.

Even if you don't feel the same way. Even if you laugh at me and tell me that my coming to see you every day for two months straight is ridiculous. I know my mom and Mike would agree with you. I think they're starting to get worried, but between what happened to you and taking care of Little Mack, they're too tired to do much more than suggest I try and get out more. I mean, Mike barely batted an eye the first time he found me curled up in the hospital bed with you.

So, take your time, if you need to. I'll be right here whenever you decide to wake up, because there's something I need to explain."

The End

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