DISCLAIMER: The characters of Popular are the property of the WB/Touchstone/Ryan Murphy (not really sure who). No copyright infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A big special thanks to M for beta'ing and added the much needed glitter.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Spring Fall
By serendipityspinoff


Part Nine

As the disheveled and sand ridden blonde and brunette sat on the beach and ate breakfast tacos for the second time in a week, they debated on whose room had the better chance of being empty.

"I'm not really into seeing a Jenna/Jock aftermath afterglow scenario," Sam got out in between bites of her taco.

"We can try my room but Lisa is notorious for getting up late and then taking hours to get ready, even to go to the grocery store. So I highly doubt she's gone for the day yet." Brooke picked things out of her taco.

"I think Jock should have at least given me half the prize money for taking part in that stupid contest. I think I still have some salsa in my ear. We might have been able to get another room."

"I don't think there are any rooms left in town anyway."

"Well, maybe we could have rented a car and driven somewhere else, like a small quiet town."

"That sounds nice…while we're daydreaming, does this small town have a cottage out in the picturesque woods to rent? Preferably with great amenities…like a hot tub."

"There is always a hot tub." Sam smiled and took a sip of her drink.

Just then Ruth and Lynney strolled by with their morning walking gear on, which basically consisted of a water bottle, little hand towels and the smallest weights ever made. They stopped when they saw Sam and Brooke sitting on a bench eating their fast food breakfast.

"Boy…don't they look like a pair of ragged dolls." Ruth shook her head with sympathy at Lynney.

"Did you two sleep out here on the beach all night?" Lynney patted her forehead with a towel.

"Sadly, I have the sand in my underwear that says yes." Sam shifted on the bench to try and dislodge said sand.

"Let me guess, rowdy roommates? Either throwing wild parties in your rooms or having loud whoopee time?" Ruth asked while Lynney exercised her tiny weights.

"Let me guess: you two are spring break veterans?" Brooke asked while looking up at the two older women.

"Living here for ten years will do that. How much longer are you two in town for?"

"We leave tomorrow." Sam said in a tone that sounded more somber than had she wanted to reveal at the moment. She tried to recover with a light hearted comment. "Hopefully, we'll get a shower by then that doesn't involve being outdoors."

Ruth and Lynney looked to each other and their eyes had an entire conversation; actual audible words were not needed. They both nodded.

"We're house-sitting for a friend; she's gone until next week…" Ruth spoke first.

Sam and Brooke looked to each other with somewhat expectant faces, both secretly hoping their train of thought was on vaguely the same track as Ruth's.

"Would the two of you like to take over house sitting duties tonight? Just water the plants, check the mail and papers? And a few other things…"

The two young women's faces lit up like a neon sign on a dark highway. They both looked to each other and then spoke at the same time.

"We'd love to."

"You'd have to stay over for the night; the plants need to be watered in the evening and…the uh, morning." Ruth couldn't help the smirk on her face.

"Sure, if you want to kill them," chimed in Lynney under her breath, at which Ruth gave her a quick poke to the ribs.

"Is there possibly a hot tub that needs to be checked on?" Brooke dared to dream big.

"There is always a hot tub," replied Ruth.

Sam and Brooke followed Ruth and Lynney down the entry hallway into the living room of the house they were going to baby-sit and were a little taken aback when a thousand or more plastic eyes stared back at them. Shelves and shelves lined every wall in the living room and on every shelf there were hundreds of beanie babies. One person's beanie baby heaven is another person's beanie baby hell.

"Whoa…" is all Sam managed to say. The brunette and the blonde just stood for a solid minute looking over the expansive collection in awe and just a little hint of creepiness.

"Marjorie does love her beanie baby collection. That is another house-sitting duty; you have to personally comb and fluff each beanie baby."

Sam and Brooke both laughed a little and smiled at the older couple, waiting patiently for the punch line. They waited a beat too long and realized that one wasn't going to be forthcoming. They stared at the older couple; before both got confused looks on their face which slowly turned into ones of horror.

"You two didn't think this was an entirely free rent situation, did you?"

"We thought you two were kind old ladies taking pity on two un-showered, nice spring break girls looking for a retreat from the constant barrage of 'hey, baby let's see those knockers'." Brooke gave her best puppy dog eyes.

"It won't take you long; it only took us what…five hours last night honey?" Lynney shrugged her shoulders and looked to Ruth for confirmation.

Sam mouthed five hours to Brooke with such a pained expression one would think a relative just died…distant that is. And the brunette's eyes started to tear up a bit. Brooke stared at her trying to figure out if she was sad about the house, scared of the beanie babies or about something else that she didn't want to try and figure out.

"Plus…I worry about Lynney and her arthritis; she just can't do another night of the cleaning." Both older women put on their best frail and tired faces while Ruth rubbed Lynney's hands.

The awkward silence descended upon the room briefly as the young women just wanted to take a shower and get into fresh clothes, or preferably none, and break a few state indecency laws with each other. The older women wanted a night off cleaning duties, so they stood silently and waited to hear the answer. And all the plush, once popular, extremely sought after stuffed animals wanted to be cleaned and fluffed.

Sam's mind wandered while looking over all the shelves. They just sit up there all day, how dirty could they get? Maybe this won't be so bad…it won't take us five hours because I don't think I can wait that long to have my hand back down Brooke's.... She then felt a presence on her leg…she looked down and saw a black cat rubbing against her. Ah, crap, no wonder my eyes are watering and my nose is itchy. This is going to look real attractive and sexy. Dumb hairy cats.

"Marjorie has six cats, and they walk around everywhere. You'd be surprised how much cat hair gets on those things in one day," Ruth nonchalantly revealed.

At that moment one of the cats jumped up on a shelf and knocked beanie babies onto the floor. Fur was flying everywhere. Before the cat ran too far away, Ruth moved swiftly for a woman of her age and caught it. She picked up it up and started hugging it fiercely while the feline creature meowed loudly.

"Have you heard of corporal cuddling?" Ruth hugged the cat closer and started kissing it; the cat started meowing again and looked as if it was in the worst pain imaginable. The blonde and the brunette watched as Ruth gave a fast succession of kisses, each one making the cat madder and louder.

Sam turned to Brooke and stared at her with watery eyes and a slightly red nose, her face fast becoming a sad state of emergency. Brooke just rubbed her back gently and then tried to focus her attention back on the conversation.

"I haven't heard about it." The meows got louder and louder each time Ruth hugged and kissed it. "What exactly is it? Is that cat going to be OK?" Brooke had a look of mild concern on her face as the cat meowed louder and louder and looked like it was undergoing some form of extreme torture.

"Corporal cuddling is better than spanking them. You just pick them up, hug and kiss them. They hate it. Works like a charm." Ruth continued as a master torturer while Lynney slightly rolled her eyes, as if not completely agreeing with her partner.

"We didn't realize…" Lynney was cut off by Sam sneezing really loudly and then rubbing her nose while her eyes continued to water more and more. "…what we were getting into with this house-sitting."

"You allergic to cats?" Ruth asked as she finally let go of her torture victim and he hissed as he hit the ground and ran away, shaking his fur out.

"Only long haired ones." Sam saw three long haired cats pass by the hallway, as if taunting her.

Sam knew they should try and escape…as horrible as this option was she didn't know if there would be any other options. However, there was the other part of her that wanted to just grab Brooke's hand and flee; she thought surely they could find someplace else that was less mood killing.

"Let us just show you the guest room and backyard before we leave."

Sam and Brooke were a little afraid at this point, of what the next room might look like and what possible chore it might involve.

The four women walked out the back door and were engulfed in a little jungle oasis. The backyard had high fences that were covered with branches, moss and various plants and high trees loomed over, shading everything. There was a tiny pebble path that led to a small building…along the way there was a beautiful gazebo with a hot tub encased in it. The hot tub looked very well attended and inviting. Sam looked over to Brooke through watery eyes and she could have sworn she saw the blonde drooling.

"The guest room is over here." Ruth pointed to the small building and as they approached it, it looked more and more like a picturesque cottage. The outside was very enticing…the blonde and brunette were trying to not get their hopes up because the outside of the house had looked promising as well, whereas inside beanie babies and long haired cats awaited.

When they stepped into the guest cottage it was like walking into a completely different dimension. It was all modern and gorgeous, like a magazine spread…with hip furniture and light fixtures, a small computer on an art deco desk, a massive plasma TV on one wall, a high tech stereo and surround system adorning almost every corner and a jaw dropping king size bed with very expensive bedding – Sam and Brooke stood in disbelief. How could a five star room be in a Motel 6 type house?

"Marjorie's grandson likes to come down and visit, so he paid to redo this guest room because he didn't like the décor of the rest of the house and wanted to be separate from the cats and beanie babies."

Sam and Brooke exchanged looks. The guest room was a huge selling point, as opposed to the stuffed and live animals which were causing all kinds of unattractive fluids to flow from Sam's nose and eyes. Sam decided to make an executive decision.

"Thank you both for a place to stay. We'll take good care of the uh…collection, make sure each one is polished up nice."

"Oh, no dear…there is no polishing involved…that could damage the hair or fur," Ruth looked at the girls with concern. "All combing and fluffing…these are Marjorie's babies."

"I just meant we will clean them or…whatever." The last part was spoken under the brunette's breath…however the blonde caught it and nearly giggled.

"Don't forget to feed the cats. The instructions are on the counter." Ruth and Lynney smiled and headed out the door. "Good night girls."

Sam and Brooke waited for a few seconds until they heard Ruth and Lynney leave the other house before they flopped down on the inviting bed.

"Do we play or pay first?" Sam's nose and eyes were almost dry at this point and she was feeling like an irresponsible teen with horrible chores, a dangerous feeling which could lead to all kinds of mischief and neglected duties.

"I hate to say it but…" Brooke had already risen a little from the soft oasis of the bed, "pay."

"I knew you were going to say that. Damn. Are you sure?" Sam couldn't help but stare completely and hungrily at the blonde as she got up off the bed and stretched. Brooke turned back and caught Sam staring at her unabashedly and felt a jolt of arousal shoot through her so strong she felt in her toes.

"Yeah…but only because once we start 'playing'…I don't think we'll want to stop." Brooke couldn't believe that had just come out of her mouth, although she was glad she'd said it because she believed it to be the truth.

An hour and half later Sam and Brooke were insanely bored with their tedious beanie baby cleaning task. The blonde was a faster cleaner than the brunette, having completed 38 to the journalist's 24.

Sam's onslaught of sniffles was making it hard for her to concentrate on the thought of catching the blonde's tongue in her mouth…especially when she couldn't stop the phlegm from running down her throat. So she concentrated on the inane task of fluffing and cleaning, which when combined with all her sexual frustration, was making her entirely too grouchy for her liking.

The blonde's voice broke the cleaning silence. "If you tell anyone that I combed and cleaned beanie babies on spring break, I will deny, deny and deny and also quite possibly kill you." Brooke had a tiny comb in her hand and was doing her best Jose Eber on a troll beanie baby with pink colored synthetic hair. Two cats sprawled across the floor asleep.

Sam gave the stink eye to the two sleeping cats and continued with her task. "Believe me, this spring break has turned into a long laundry list of things I'm never repeating to anyone…bingo, salsa wrestling, bad surfing, fluffing beanie babies…" the brunette then sneezed. She eyed the cats and barked, "we don't need an audience fur bitches." One cat looked up sleepily and then rolled over.

Brooke had been holding her breath to see if, 'hooking up with step-sister' was going to be on that unsavory list. When it wasn't she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face. "You make it sound so dirty. Fluffing…isn't that what they do in adult movies." Brooke flashed Sam a wicked smile and threw a beanie baby at her.

"Oh no! Don't even start…there will be a hurricane of beanie babies swarming at you." Sam raised her eyebrows. "I'm warning you. I'm not in the mood. Let's just get this done." It came out a little more harshly than the brunette had planned, but before she could say anything she sneezed again and reached for more tissue to wipe her eyes and nose. "I can't wait to get out of this house so my nose will stop running. I feel like snot is about to overtake my entire face."

"Why Marta, you sure know how to put a girl in the mood." Brooke batted her eyelashes at Sam while stroking a multi-colored beanie bear. "If you don't get in a better mood grumpy, I might be forced to use corporal cuddling on you." Brooke raised her eyebrows and pointed to Sam in a more than suggestive manner.

"If you can make me meow…you'll give Harry Burns a run for his money."

Brooke couldn't believe how fast her mood completely changed; she went from frivolous fun to seething jealously in 2 seconds flat. Who was Harry Burns and why was he making Sam meow. Why do I care? Of course she's dated; of course she's had loads of sex. How can she not, look at her…I don't know if I want to hear about the loads of sex with other people. Unless it was all just mediocre and she's waiting for that one person who she knows it will be more than special with. Maybe Harry Burns was a visiting professor and they had one hot night together and she never saw him again. Or maybe she became his mistress and his wife hasn't found out yet. Or maybe he's a frat guy who crushes beer cans on his head. The key thought of the blonde was to find out who this guy was, without looking like a green eyed monster foaming at the mouth. She picked up another beanie baby and started picking cat hair off it, very casually; in fact a tad too casually.

"So Harry Burns…some guy you dated for awhile?" Crap, that did not come out CCC (calm, cool, collected); my voice was even all wobbly. I must recover with something fast and witty. "or…whatever." Yeah, that wasn't it.

Sam started busting out laughing, Brooke was really confused now.

"What? I was just curious about this guy…who I'm guessing possesses really great skills or really bad ones? Is he someone from Arizona State?" If she says yes, then he might actually be made up and another part of her fake persona. And yes, I'm admitting that makes me feel so much better.

"You really don't know or remember who Harry Burns is?"

"Was he someone from Kennedy? I do find it interesting that you would date someone named Harry…" Brooke hung onto her composed non-cavalier stance for all she was worth but she desperately wanted to know who this guy was. OK, this is kind of scary that I care this much about some stupid guy Sam dated. Who cares? She never brought him home for Christmas or anything so how important could he be?

"He's a little old for me…" Sam was wondering exactly how long she could stretch this out…she thought Brooke was looking pretty affected by the news of Harry and the meowing. She almost felt bad for the blonde for not remembering a classic scene from a well known romantic comedy. "…and besides, I think his counterpart might be more fun…she gives the best fake orgasms in delis I've ever seen." Sam smirked at Brooke and slowly saw the realization come over the blonde's face. Sam couldn't help the giggles she was getting.

"Laugh it up snotty." The blonde threw a beanie baby at the brunette.

"Snotty huh?" Sam threw two beanie babies at Brooke; one beamed the blonde right in the head. The blonde looked up and cocked her head at the brunette.

"Letting stuffed animals do your dirty work for you, huh?"

"You want to see dirty work?" Sam tried her best to saunter over to Brooke in a dangerous yet sexy way…however she started sneezing in rapid succession and all potential danger and attempts at sex appeal were dashed. The blonde's heart went out to her sneezy companion.

"Hey…why don't you go take a shower and hang out in the guest house while I finish this?"

"No way, I can't leave you with all this work."

"It's OK. You look really miserable. It won't take me long." Brooke reached out and ran her hand through Sam's hair. "Please, just get out of this cat hair laden lair. Get that nose cleared up." Brooke didn't know if she should be so bold about why she wanted that nose cleared up.

"I'm guessing I look pretty gross."

Brooke couldn't help it, even with the brunette's runny, red nose and puffy, watery eyes she looked somewhat adorable. "You actually look quite adorable."

"You have totally won me over." Sam thought to herself, in every possible way too. "I will retreat and try to drain all the snot in my head."

"Again, you really know how to get a girl going." Brooke stopped herself before she added McPherson to the end of sentence. It felt natural and she didn't know why she was afraid to let herself finish the sentence that way. "I'll meet you in the hot tub."

"That might be the best thing I've heard on this trip," Sam smiled at Brooke while she exited.

Sam waited in the hot tub for Brooke to join her; she took a huge gulp of wine to calm her nerves. Her head was indeed clearer now, well clear of phlegm and snot, not of second guessing and over analytical thoughts of her blonde spring breaker. She had taken a long hot shower and made sure to get rid of any lingering cat hair on anything in the guest house. She figured this might be her one-time shot with her unrequited crush, sneezing over cat hair was not going to be a part of any type of seduction she had in mind.

Brooke walked out to the gazebo and Sam was sure her breath was stolen away by the blonde's bikini and the sheer desire to remove it. The blonde was taken away with how quickly the brunette's features looked sneeze and allergy free. To say the brunette looked utterly drop dead gorgeous and enticing was an understatement, thought the blonde.

Brooke eased into the warm water gracefully and leaned over Sam for a glass of wine. The brunette could feel the blonde's hair on her neck and she desperately wanted to bury her face in it.

Brooke got her glass but not without brushing her thigh up against Sam's…she moved over and sat across from the brunette. Sam wondered briefly why she even let her move that far away, when all she wanted was for the blonde to sit in her lap…not an arm's length away from her.

The two women just locked eyes for a moment. The tension between the two of them started heating up as hot as the bubbling water.

"I can't believe you let me bail on that cleaning." Not the most romantic thing I could have started with, but I am grateful she let me escape.

"I really didn't want to see you suffer anymore with the sneezing…and I didn't really do that much work." Brooke said shyly, while slightly hiding behind her wine glass.

"What happened to paying first?" Sam smirked and even though she considered herself a somewhat responsible person, she was very happy Brooke let her play hooky on the cleaning duties.

"I was all ready to clean all those crazy things until I saw one that had Marjorie's full name sewn on it…" Brooke let it linger in the air as her hand played in the water.

"Oh god…I don't even want to know do I?"

"Last name is a food…" Brooke didn't want to play guessing games, maybe some sort of other games involving tongues or stripping but not word association. "…that swims in the sea?"


"Yep. The tuna has spread."

"And what did she ever do to you to shirk your beanie baby duties?"

"Don't you remember that horrible cheerleading routine she choreographed?" The blonde made a disgusted face to the brunette.

"Wow…you do hold a grudge, however, since we're both here instead of in there…" Sam made a nasty frown towards the main house, "I respect the grudge." Sam lifted up her wine glass to clink it with Brooke's. They both smiled at each other, however the smiles faded and suddenly things got awkward. Sam felt talking about their shared past was slamming reality in between them.

This is it McPherson, she thought to herself. You're actually in a hot tub with the girl of your dreams and you're not doing anything. Do something!

"So do you go hot-tubbing a lot in Ohio?"

Brooke eyed Sam up and down…she could feel the brunette was just as nervous as she was. Maybe she was having second thoughts about this whole thing too. Now that they were alone and in a hot tub with a secluded guesthouse cottage, where there might not actually be any interruptions, they might actually have the rest of the night all to themselves. As exciting as this thought was to her, and possibly it was one of the most exciting of her life, it also scared the shit out of her. And she guessed that for Sam it was the same, because she was here in the hot tub after all but she was also making idle conversation.

"I wouldn't say a lot, maybe three or four times a week. Its cold, remember? Do you…in Arizona? Or is it too hot?"

"Yeah, we don't need added heat."

"So no, hot tub buddies?"

"Just a lot of studying buddies. How many hot-tubbing buddies do you have?"

"None, really…I had one semi-serious one. He was a marketing major…he thought we made the most marketable couple…sort of killed it for me." Brooke took a sip of her wine and dipped her head to one side. "You never took breaks with your studying buddies?" Brooke admitted she hated all this double talk but if this was the only way she was going to get some insight to Sam's romantic life then she was going to go along. However, it did occur to her that Sam, slash Marta, could just continue on with the whopping lies.

"There were a few…OK maybe one or two…we didn't get along outside of studying…they were both in sororities." Baby steps thought Sam, baby steps.

Brooke had to stop for a minute and think back to one of their earlier conversations.

"So are you strictly an orange girl?"

Sam cringed inside. Oh no…not more oranges and bananas talk. I have to woman up and just talk frankly and not hide behind fruit or fake personas.

"Yes." See that wasn't so painful. Of course I didn't say, yes I, Sam McPherson prefer oranges – damnit! I mean women.

"All the time?"

"Yes." Brooke stared intently at Sam. Did Sam just out herself or did Marta?

They both were fighting internal dialogues in their heads. The brunette wasn't fairing much better. Why can't I just tell her flat out instead of hiding behind double entendres that are killing me? Time is slipping away from me…at this point I have less than 24 hours, I have to do something. And Brooke has made quite a few of the first moves so I have to do something now.

"Would you care to elaborate if oranges are in your fut…" before Brooke could finish her sentence Sam had stood up and in one swooping action she had captured the blonde's lips with hers and wasn't letting go. The sudden and spontaneous onslaught caused the blonde to drop her wine glass in the hot tub along with half a glass of its contents. They both stopped for a moment and looked down.

"Remember its Tuna, its payback."

"Again, what did Tuna ever do to yo…" Brooke grabbed Sam's face and started her own onslaught not wanting to be side tracked for a moment. The brunette brought her arms up and ran her hands through the blonde's hair while the blonde's hands were strictly focused on the brunette's back and were headed to her bikini bottom.

Kissing became more fevered and hungry with each passing second as the two women bounced from side to side in the tub. Sam stopped kissing for a second and looked up.

"I feel like a Real World skank right now. We have to get out of the hot tub."

"Uh, maybe you're right." Brooke didn't care if she was a skank right now, the only thoughts running through her head were entirely skanky and they all involved the brunette and how many skankish things she could do with her. However, she did admit the hot tub wasn't the most ideal place, there were some limitations.

They moved quickly to the guest house, never losing contact with each other.

They entered the guest house and Brooke was surprised to find that Sam had lit candles everywhere, had soft music playing and even sprinkled rose petals on the bed.

"I know…corny." Sam turned to Brooke expecting a laugh and instead she got a warm smile.

"I don't think so…it's really nice. And it just brings out something even more in me, if that were possible…something that rhymes with corny…" Brooke opened her mouth and ran her tongue along her teeth. Two could play the enticing tongue game, she thought.

Brooke was so afraid of another interruption lurking anywhere and even though she didn't want to be fast and furious, she was afraid she would lose her mind if she didn't have Sam naked in 30 seconds. She locked the door and then grabbed the brunette by the waist and started pushing her towards the bed…all the while kissing her neck and loosening her bikini top.

"You don't know how long I've waited to touch you…" Brooke did panic a little and added, "…I mean all week here…" OK, that's not a lie I have been wanting to touch her all week I just didn't add the years part too, Brooke thought. "Do you know what I mean?" Brooke was hoping that Sam felt the same way, that she was as desperate to touch her as well.

"Yeah…but right now for me…" Brooke didn't know what Sam was going to say, she waited on the edge, "…I need a sensory overload of a different kind…" the brunette breathlessly replied before diving back in and capturing the blonde's tongue with such a hunger that the blonde whimpered and was very thankful that they had reached the bed. Brooke pulled Sam on top of her whilst never breaking the kiss.

"Too many words," was all Brooke managed to mumble out in her deep sexual haze and in between feverish kisses. "Too many clothes too." The blonde managed to rid both herself and the brunette of their last remaining vestiges of clothing and was beyond ecstatic by the feeling of Sam completely covering her body.

"Too many words?" the brunette smiled and moved down from the blonde's mouth and started sucking her neck, "Fine…I want to taste you …every inch of you." The blonde had to admit hearing Sam say that was possibly the strongest aphrodisiac she had ever experienced; the words sent shivers down her spine. She was almost afraid for Sam to follow up on her words because if she was this excited from just hearing what she was going to do to her, she might combust when it actually happened…although she was very ready for that dangerous risk.

At that moment Sam reached down and touched Brooke where she needed the most attention. She continued her onslaught with her lips and hands and the blonde held onto her…she even bit down on a shoulder to stop from crying out too loud.

Sam tore her mouth away from Brooke's neck and started traveling down, kissing and running her tongue over the blonde's collarbone down to her breasts. "I need my mouth on you…everywhere."

"I need that too." Brooke needed that more than air right now. She lay back, let her eyelids flutter shut and savored the feeling of the warm, sweet breath on her skin and the soft curls of hair swimming through her fingers. She wondered briefly why she had waited so long to let Sam know how much she wanted her. With her eyes closed, she felt her other senses sharpen…she could hear the flickering of the candle flames, could smell the scent of the rose petals as they were crushed under their bodies and the heady, wonderful aroma that was Sam…her Sam…she felt her chest flutter at the thought. And in spite of all the wonderful things Sam was doing to her body and how amazing it was making her feel, it was the thought that hummed pleasantly at the back of her mind that made her the warmest…at last…Sam was hers…

After, Brooke's breathing had subsided; Sam moved up slightly and laid her head on the blonde's abdomen, wrapping her arms around her waist and closing her eyes. Brooke reached down, ran her fingers through Sam's silken hair and lifted her legs to wrap them around the brunette's back.

Sam never dreamed that she would actually have the opportunity to make love with Brooke McQueen…and it was that…she didn't even care if they had used some childish, goofy pretext of a game to get there. It was love…not just sex. She was convinced at the moment; she just prayed her mind and heart agreed on this tomorrow. Tomorrow would be a whole new world and possibly a whole new game. In this moment everything in their relationship changed yet again, their relationship always seemed to be evolving, from sworn enemies to frienemies to friends to sisters and now to lovers. She hoped in the next few hours they both could handle this change.

Morning light crept in through cracks in the blinds and backlit the guesthouse bedroom in an orange glow…in all its warm shades. Sam stirred first…she could barely move in the twister setting of arms and legs between her and Brooke. They were plastered together in a mixture of sweat and sex. Sam inhaled deeply…fearing she might never smell this rare scent again. She couldn't believe they had stayed up all night exploring each other bodies, everything was not enough. The only reason they finally stopped was sheer physical and emotional exhaustion. Sam wasn't necessarily proud that she shed a few tears last night…which she didn't think Brooke saw…it was just that the whole night was far too much for her.

Brooke might not have seen the tears, but she did hear Sam call out her name. The brunette didn't even know she was doing it until it was already out of her mouth. It wasn't so much that she'd said it…but the way she said it; just remembering it, the brunette cringed. I could have called out Shelly but that would have seemed wrong. Although Brooke didn't say anything when that happened, I know she heard me. OK, combined with the tears, which on second thought she might have seen…I don't know what to do. I feel like such a sap. And laying here with her in my arms…her scent all over me…I can barely breathe. I don't think I could face her right now. I can't face that this was a one night stand on spring break.

Sam felt her chest getting tighter and tighter…she felt the room spinning even though she was still lying down. She felt as if she was about to start hyperventilating. As much as she was loving every single second of having Brooke in her arms, she felt compelled to sneak out of bed and slink away.

As soon as she was a block away from the house, she slumped against a fence and the tears really started flowing. She was crying for her cowardice…her unrequited love that may actually be requited…and her deep sadness that Brooke might only look back on last night as a night of wild, experimental college sex. She just couldn't bear facing the woman she loved so much, fearing it might have only been a fun game for a few days. However she also knew that this was possibly the worst way of handling this problem. Running away…what was she thinking? She needed to run straight back and talk this out with Brooke…why weren't her legs moving? She stayed frozen against the fence, unable to move.

Brooke felt around the bed for Sam in her sleepy haze but all she felt were cold sheets. She was so utterly confused, but finally her brain started putting the pieces together and she blearily opened her eyes to an empty bed. She pulled herself up on one elbow, rubbed her eyes and shook her head looking around for any clues of Sam's whereabouts. She thought maybe Sam had gone into the house to get some food.

She found a shirt and shorts, dressed and wandered into the house. It was empty. She had another thought that maybe Sam went out for coffee and would be back soon, but something felt off about that. She felt in the pit of her stomach that spring break was definitely over and it felt like her heart had been ripped out. This had been her worst fear…sleeping with Sam and having it mean nothing. Of course she could tell herself it wasn't even Sam but some random spring break hook-up…which didn't make it hurt any less.

What are you doing Sam? Why did you run away? How could you sprint away after the night we just had? I saw those tears, I heard you cry out my name, this meant something to you and now you run away like it was some tawdry one night stand? And I'm going to kill you when I find you McPherson.

Sam started running and running, it was as if a ghost or a terminator was about to reach out and crush her heart…she wasn't worried about her head, just her heart. Of course the terminator would be blonde, have long legs that stirred lascivious thoughts, a smile that hit her like a rapid fire machine gun and eyes that turned her insides into liquid which caused many body functions to go astray.

Images from last night kept flashing in her mind…which kept her running faster and faster.

The brunette was so inside her head that she hadn't noticed another spring break floor show going on along the beach walk. This gathering involved a cow girl showing how she could rope hunky guys with her lasso.

When Sam flew by, the cow girl stopped playing to the crowd and squinted real hard at the sprinter.

"I know her! She reminds me of a canned mystery meat nightmare." The cow girl lifted up her lasso and started swinging it in large circles above her head. She then hurled it high in the air over the gathering crowd and it flew aimed at the runaway jogger. The rope latched onto its target and the cow girl gave a harsh pull, yanking Sam to the sandy ground with a loud thud.

The cow girl swaggered over and stood over her lassoed prey.

Sam was momentarily blinded by the morning sun and couldn't see the figure looming over her. Then the figure inched closer and the shocking woman came into focus.

"Mary Cherry??!! What are you doing here?"

"Duh…spring break Spam. Although, with all the travelin' to get here…and the time difference…I can only stay four hours, then I have to head back to blimey ol' England."

"You came all this way for four hours?"

"I wanted one last shout out before I graduated and what better place than the seediest spring break destination of all time." Mary Cherry waved her hands and arms too dramatically whilst saying this last part and made a longer than necessary 'ssss' sound on the word seediest.

"Mary Cherry, will you untie me please?" Sam offered up her hands which had gotten hog tied in the midst of being thrown to the ground and the talk.

"C'mon, I'll buy you breakfast Spam, just as long we don't have to eat your namesake. My hotel has an excellent buffet.

"Where are you staying?"

"At the Deus ex Macarena off the beach, it's like Mexicana meets Greeky stuff. They have the best Tex-Mex gyros there…served hot daily on the buffet."

Sam didn't know what was more alarming, the fact that she was eating a cilantro infused Tex-Mex gyro or that Mary Cherry was actually making sense to her. Had college actually made Mary Cherry somewhat coherent and sane? The brunette sat there and listened to the over animated blonde talk about her life and college in England. Sam was thankful that Mary Cherry hadn't asked her yet why she was sprinting for her life on the beach.

"Ok, Spam. Are you going to spill it, or do you really want to hear me yammer on more about my life over the sea."

"I think it's fascinating to hear about you living in another country."

"Bloody is not! Well…not for you with some sort of drama swirling around…I can feel it." Mary Cherry surveyed her old high school mate across from the dining table and saw a young woman that had a somewhat glow about her but also a terrified streak.

"I'm thinking you met someone down here, had earth shaking and shattering sex and now you're terrified you'll never see them again."

"Actually it's the opposite."

"Ugh, you had the worst sex of your life and now you're worried whether you're pregnant or have some venereal gift set."

"No. I had a great time…and I'm going to see the person again…a lot. Maybe too much…for them…I don't know…can the greatest moment of your life turn into your worst?"

"Of course it can. Look at me, at school I was on the winning rowing team and then BAM! They found about my webbed feet and kicked me off. They said I would have an unfair advantage if I ever lost my oars!"

Sam shook her head and still couldn't believe she freaked, ran out on Brooke and was now listening to Mary Cherry talk about her oars. God, what have I done? Why did I freak out? Everything was so perfect and I guess that was what was wrong.

"Anyway, like I said, my time here is limited…spill it Spam." Mary Cherry had lifted up her lasso and dangerously pointed it at Sam.

"So I woke up this morning with someone and panicked…I sort of ran out…without saying goodbye or leaving a note…"

"So you're not pregnant?"

"No, there isn't a possibility of that."

"Great…smart…you used protection."

"Actually, no…but…"

"Spam! This is VD capital…at the moment!" Mary Cherry waved her arms around. "Bacteria and tiny sea creatures could already be crawling and rooting around your inner and outer," she whispered the next part, "vajayjay."

"When did you become the safe sex guru? Look, I knew the person and she's clean."

Mary Cherry froze for a moment…in fact she looked like a crazed mannequin. Then quite violently she yelled.

"Oh my gawd! You finally got your paws on Brookie! Did you force yourself on her?" Mary Cherry was already into action, ready to attack Sam. The brunette stood up, momentarily frightened about what the crazed Texan might do.

"What??? Who said it was Brooke?" Sam had her hands up, shielding herself from any possible attack.

"Cut the crap Spam. We all knew you had rape lust in your eyes for her back in school."

"I did not!"

"Did you drug her? Use some of that rollypollynol?" Mary Cherry had her eyes squinted hard at Sam, then did a 360 and changed her tone. "Cause I heard Joe was in town…could I have your leftovers?"

"Actually, Brooke sort of hit on me!" Yeah, she sort of really did! I'm not deluding myself here.

"You've lost me Spam."

"Never mind…I hope it's at least ten years next time before we meet up again."

"Oh, Spam…sit back down…let Mary Cherry help."

"How are you going to help Mary Cherry? I ruined everything…everything. She probably hates me."

"She was probably happy that you left. She gave you that little bone and now she doesn't have to deal with a messy, clingy goodbye," Mary Cherry could see the heartache manifest itself on her old high school's face, "…or maybe there is hope...she did seem awfully attached to you towards the end of school…" then the wild haired blonde had a small spasm like she was channeling Barbara Streisand again but thankfully it wasn't, "wait! Oh my gawd Spam! I totally forgot! Remember Sugar Daddy's party?"

Of course Sam remembered…it was after that party that she had helped a very drunk Brooke home and had stayed with her all night…and that was when her feelings really came gurgling to the surface. It was that night that Brooke had wrapped herself around Sam's body so intimately…and her feelings for the blonde had really started steam rolling.

"What about that night?"

"Well, Brooke was really wasted but I thought it was odd when she said all she wanted to do that night was kiss you."

"WHAT??? She said that? You're not making that up to torture me?"

"Why would I care? I just forgot about it or blocked it from my memory because the idea was so horrific but now…I guess it sort of makes sense."

If what Mary Cherry said was true, then Brooke might have been interested in me as long as I have been in her. Which seems almost inconceivable…but such a dream come true…I can't believe it. And if this is true then I just destroyed the greatest night of life by running out this morning. What the hell do I do now? Sam just sat there with the most dreadful face.

Mary Cherry studied her face and knew that Spam had messed up big time. The brunette looked beside herself with stupidity and fear, it was a look that she thought Spam wore throughout high school but she felt sort of bad for her now. And surprisingly she realized she wanted to help her old high school chums.

"OK, so you've screwed up. Just wow'em in the end…that's all you got to do."

"What?" Sam was broken out of her pity parade by Mary Cherry's voice.

"It doesn't matter if you royally screwed everything up from the very beginning."

Sam looked at the crazed Texan more than a little skeptically. She found tipping her head to one side did indeed help with comprehension.

"I still don't get what you're saying."

"Like in a crappy movie…if the ending is super awesome, are you going to remember how boring and lame the beginning was?"

"If the beginning is boring and lame I'm not making it to the ending. What is your point?"

"You're not a very patient one are you? What does Brookie see in you?"

"Mary Cherry…" Sam looked as if she was about to throttle the over made up blonde.

Mary Cherry rolled her eyes and started moving her arms in wide gestures. "A big wow will overshadow that. Like…if you leave all your toenail clippings in bed and then it causes your lover to get a horrible rash or you ruin their one copy of their thesis they worked on for five years or you accidentally give them mono or …"

"Mary Cherry! Is this going anywhere besides me running to the bathroom to hurl?"

"Why, yes it is Spam." Mary Cherry felt the need to roll her eyes again at the brunette. "In my studies abroad I have learned that if you just wow someone – all will be forgiven."

"Wow them?"

"Make a huge romantic gesture. Make the wow bigger than your fuck up. What was your fuck up again?"

"I freaked and ran out on her this morning."

"Spam, do I really need to tell how big of a loser you are again."

"No, I know!" Sam felt the whole weight of her fuck up like a piano being dropped on her shoulders. "I had…like…a major freak out."

"…because you woke up with the girl of your dreams?"

"Yeah…because I couldn't not imagine waking up like that every day. I didn't know how I was going to live…I had to get away and pretend it didn't happen."

"I'm still not getting the running out part. Unless, it's that whole kill your young thing. Oh my gawd! Please don't kill Brookie! Is that why you really left? You thought you were going to kill her?!!"

"No! This isn't helping."

"You just need that big run for the girl…like every movie has…and you'll be fine. Just chase her down, proclaim your love, make a big scene somewhere and y'all will go off and make McBabies and live happily ever after."

"I think I really screwed up though."

"It doesn't matter. Grand romantic gestures always win over stupid mistakes."

"You don't seem the same anymore. You seem smarter? Or I'm just completely and utterly desperate."

"I do go to Oxford you know. And you are."

After, playing back the night in her head again and again on her walk back to the motel, Brooke was convinced that Sam felt as strongly as she did. But I can't force her to acknowledge her feelings when I'm still on shaky ground myself. She has to come around herself, I just really hope she does and soon.

Brooke went back to her room to gather her things to catch her plane. Lisa was there packing.

"So you've been gone for awhile. Been…uh hanging out with…what was it, Marta?"

The blonde came in, grabbed her suitcase and started sloppily throwing things into it.

"You know what…I'm done with games. Marta was a fake name…that was really Sam. And I think I'm probably head over heels in love with her." Brooke continued packing her suitcase.

Lisa stood stunned for a moment. "That girl that was in here…the topless one? That was Sam…your step-sister?"

"Yes, go ahead and make all the Jerry Springer derogatory comments you want. Yes…my step-sister, yes…we hooked up and yes…I'm crazy about her."

Lisa stood and watched Brooke. The blonde stopped packing and sat on her bed with a defeated look. Her roomie went over and sat down next to the blonde and put her arm around her.

"You know, one word can usually make all the difference. Marry, love…cheating…" Lisa looked down and sadness filled her eyes. "Step…is a word that makes a huge difference." Lisa tried to smile but it was hard for her, Brooke saw the pain.

"Jason didn't really cheat on you, did he?"

"Oh yeah…and with a busty freshman from Alabama…of all places."

"That sucks. I'm really sorry Lisa." This time it was the blonde who did the comforting, she leaned over and put her head on her roomie's shoulders. "This spring break sort of turned both of our lives upside down, huh?"

"Its amazing what can happen in a few days."

"Sure is. Do you want to egg his car when we get back?"

"So bad."

They both sat for a little longer before getting up and finishing their packing.

Brooke and Lisa walked out of the motel and started looking for a cab to take them to the airport. They figured since they were done packing they would head out early to avoid the big rush.

Jenna and Jock came running from the side of the building and then tried to look casual when they reached Brooke and Lisa.

"Brooke! Hi! Where are you going?" Jenna smiled and did the silent introductory nod to Lisa.

"To the airport…trying to avoid the rush. It was really nice meeting you. Have a safe trip back home." Brooke tried to walk away but Jenna grabbed onto her arm.

"Have you seen Sam?"

Just hearing her name was a pain in her heart…Brooke was sure her face gave everything away.

"No…sorry…tell her bye for me."

"We'll walk with you."

"Thanks Jenna but we're only going to the end of the street to catch a taxi. Bye."

"We'll walk down there with you and help with your bags." Jenna was desperate to get Brooke to the spot where she needed to be. She jabbed Jock in the stomach and motioned for him to help with Brooke and Lisa's suitcases.

The three of them walked past a huge stage that was set up for another ridiculous competition.

"Hey babe…what's going on here?" Jenna tried to sound as nonchalant and clueless as possible.

"A massive truth or dare challenge."

Brooke inwardly rolled her eyes and couldn't wait to get on the plane and leave this infantile beer soaked zoo.

Jenna realized their pace was much too fast…they were going to pass the stage before the specific time. So she started walking slower and yanked on Jock's arm discreetly. Brooke and Lisa kept up their somewhat fast pace and hadn't realized until they were a good six steps ahead that Jenna and Jock had slowed down considerably.

"I don't mean to be rude but I think I'll just say goodbye here. But we're both anxious to get to the airport."

"You're going to miss the last hours of spring break."

"If I'm lucky…yes."

Jenna jabbed Jock with her elbow, trying to get him to join in to stall Brooke. She didn't know what she was waiting for but there had to be a sign. And suddenly, the gigantic speakers everywhere gave out a deafening squeak.

"That is the ON button I told y'all so!" was the first thing heard by hundreds of people. Jenna knew this had to be the thing they were looking for. She looked over at Brooke who had resumed her walk and wasn't looking back. Then the music started, it was soft and subtle at first. Jenna really hoped her roomie knew what she was doing. Jenna flipped open her phone and texted Sam.

Text: "U bettr do wtever the hell u doin cuz u're losg hr. She's getng in cab."

Sam's journalist attitude popped out for a minute and she mentally cursed texting for destroying the English language. She then took a huge gulp of air and braced herself for what could be the most humiliating moment of her life. She nervously and lowly started singing into the microphone.

Her voice went out over the mega-watt speakers and could be heard by hundreds of people…she hoped and prayed one certain blonde in particular.

"Never knew I could feel like this…Like I've never seen the sky before."

While Sam started singing she passed her phone over to Mary Cherry who started texting Jenna update questions. "Is she n cab yt? Can she hr?"

To buy more time Jenna had run over and grabbed Brooke's purse from her. "Jenna! What the hell are you doing?" The blonde was standing next to the cab dumbstruck about why she had just been shoplifted by Sam's roommate.

Then suddenly it hit her like a gulf of fierce wind…Sam's voice echoing through the entire beach. Singing? Sam is singing?? She sounds horrible! Has she lost her mind?

"Want to vanish inside your kiss. Everyday I love you more and more." With this last statement Sam finally, and sheepishly, came into view on the stage…she looked hard out over the sea of people to search for Brooke's profile.

Brooke hated to admit it but hearing the words of love and more from Sam were melting her anger faster than a snow cone in Hades. She could finally see the crazy brunette now on stage and her heart started beating erratically. It seemed Sam came around much faster than Brooke could ever imagine or hope for.

"Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings. Telling me to give you everything."

The crowd was enthralled even though no one was taking their clothes off or slapping someone.

"Seasons may change, winter to spring…But I love you until the end of time." Sam continued on through her bad pitchy performance and the audience started scanning the crowd, trying to figure out who the song was intended for.

"Come what may. Come what may. I will love you until my dying day." Sam's eyes finally found Brooke across the beach standing there dumbfounded. The brunette really hoped the blonde would pick up her cue and sing the next part. One of the reasons Sam picked this song was because she knew how crazy Brooke was for it. Sam had even remembered that Brooke had dressed up as Satine on one Halloween. So she hoped beyond hope that Brooke would take her cue, forgive her and sing with her.

The next verse came and there was silence. Sam stared out over the crowd trying to lock eyes with Brooke who seemed frozen in place. However, someone did start singing the solo Satine part…it just wasn't the blonde Sam wanted…not even close.

Mary Cherry's voice boomed out, "Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place," while she gleefully ran out on stage and then dramatically belted out the next part, "Suddenly it moves with such a perfect <wide hand gesture> grace…" she was really getting into it when Jock sprinted up on stage and carried her off…which brought cheers from the crowd and kicking and screaming from the crazed blonde.

Sam felt great trepidation now…not knowing whether the next duet part would actually be a duet. She looked out over to where Brooke had been standing, but didn't see her anymore and her heart sank. But then the throngs of people parted and there was the stunning blonde walking through the parted crowd. Sam knew she could go on and she wouldn't be alone.

"Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste," they sang together with Brooke moving closer and closer to the stage. When she reached Sam she took the microphone from her and sang the next part alone, "It all revolves around you." Brooke moved away from the microphone and whispered to Sam, "it always has…I just never wanted to admit it…I do now."

Thankfully, Sam and Brooke got help from the audience for the rest of the song after which the audience demanded a kiss and to which they obliged…although they did refuse to take off their tops when the male portion started yelling for them to, during the heated lip lock.

When they were off the stage, Brooke grabbed Sam's hand, "You didn't have to sing a song or make a grand spectacle…I was already yours. You would have known that if you hadn't run out this morning." Brooke smirked at Sam. "However…this did help a little. Your payback won't be quite as big a bitch now. I think you might get the fun part of telling the parentals about us though." The brunette had a truly worried look on her face, which the blonde found it utterly endearing.

Jock and Jenna hugged each other as they watched the whole show and Mary Cherry was already safely tucked away on her jet, headed back to Oxford.

The blonde and the brunette enjoyed each other's company for the last minutes before their planes were called to board and they would be separated by a whole country. Sam pulled out of her bag, the two pink plastic accessories that she had bought along the beach walk.

"Can I see your phone for a second?" Brooke gave Sam a quizzical look then fished her phone out and gave it to her. Sam snapped the pink plastic cover over the phone and then took her own phone out of her pocket and did the same.

"I know it's not like the walkie talkies you gave us in high school…but this is actually better, because these reach cross country." Sam held up their now matching pink cell phones. "You can call me Marta or Sam…I'll answer to either one."

"Sam…I was going to tell you…Marta and Shelly ran off together to the rain forest…they're gone, living happily ever after, forever."

They both stared goofily at each other…then Sam replied, "I have to say, happy endings don't suck."

The blonde yanked the brunette close and leaned into a sweet kiss that soon turned into a heady, heated lip lock that had strangers gawking at them, they eventually stopped to catch their breathe. "They sure don't."

Sam pulled away from Brooke after a few minutes…breathless. "However, I do want to say we don't have to decide anything right now, things might be different at school…or when we graduate."

"Plan on ditching me McPherson…after serenading me in front of hundreds of rowdy spring breakers?"

"Not ever."

"Then keep that pimped up walkie talkie close by." Brooke winked just as her flight was called, reached down and grabbed her bag.

Sam watched as Brooke boarded her plane and couldn't wait for the next two months to be over.



Brooke had just exited the plane when her phone started vibrating…she reached down into her purse and got her pink cell out. She peeked at the caller ID, smiled brightly and answered.

"What timing. I just got off."

"Damn…I was hoping I would be present for that."

"Oh, you will be." Brooke continued walking through the airport at a brisk pace. "Are you at luggage claim?"

"No, I'm still at work."

"McPherson I fly all the way out here, after spending grueling days on finals, and I mean grueling. You have no idea what they were like. And you have no idea how long that flight was, crying babies, over attentive male passengers and my chair wouldn't recline!" Brooke continued walking through the airport at a very brisk pace, a slight anger spurring her on faster. "I have two days before I have to be back for graduation and I was expecting my cuddle call to start immediately. What good is using my pink phone then? You said the pink phone had vast, far reaching magical abilities!" Brooke stopped in the middle of her rant for a moment to switch shoulders with her bags.

"You know…New York can be a dangerous place…you shouldn't swing your bags around like that."

Brooke paused and then couldn't help the smile that crept up big on her face. "Well, I was hoping someone would meet me here to help me carry them."

"Who were hoping for?"

"Oh you know…possibly a cute, dark haired journalist."

Booke turned around and there stood exactly who she was hoping for…Sam.

The End

Return to Popular Fiction

Return to Main Page