DISCLAIMER: Gee, still not mine, but looking to buy, who's with me? I got $80 and some autographed Farscape cards.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Just playing with the inevitable `How will Mom and Mike react' scenario. I thought I'd tackle Mom first. Let me know what you think. My muse is now a certifiable speed freak.
SERIES/SEQUEL: Follows the story Strange Road to Salvation.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Telling Series
By Aeryn Sun


Section 1: Mom


"Sam," Jane started as she sat down to join Sam at the table for breakfast. "Can we talk?" Sam looked up at her mother and was instantly alarmed. Seventeen years of living with her mother had trained her to interpret certain facial expressions well. And the one Jane was wearing now meant one of two things: either she was in trouble or her mother had bad news. Since she had just cleaned her room and could think of nothing else she could have done to get herself in trouble, Sam figured her mother must have bad news.

"Sure, Mom, what's the scoop?" Sam asked, as her mother seemed to hedge. Jane sighed. Alarm bell number two.

"I'm not sure how to go about talking about this," Jane explained. Alarm bell number three.

"Can't be that bad, Mom. We've always had a relationship were we could talk about anything so, lay it on me." Sam felt a little hypocritical about that last part seeing as how she had yet to tell her mother about the fact that she was in a romantic relationship with Brooke.

But everytime the two of them discussed telling their parents that the reason they were getting along so well and seemed so close lately was because they were, well, close, they always ended up playing out the worst case scenarios. One of them always ended up either in Siberia or buried in the deep forests of Washington State. Neither one of them could manage to be optimists about the outcome of their parents discovering their relationship. They were in no way ashamed by it; in fact, they'd shout it from the mountain tops if they could (insert Sound of Music joke here) but they knew Mike and Jane were not going to take the news well.

"I've always felt that way, Sam, but lately it doesn't seem that way anymore." If the bells in Sam's head got any louder she was sure Jane would be able to hear them.

"Why not?" (Ask a loaded question and you're going to get a loaded answer) Sam warned herself.

"You've been keeping things from me," Jane pointed out. Sam looked away ashamed.

"I told you that copy of Playboy was Carmen's," (when all else fails, deflect the topic and then blame someone else) Jane sighed again.

"When were you going to tell me about you and Brooke?" Sam choked on a mouthful of Rice Krispies and Jane had to pound her on the back to clear her airway.

"What about us?" Sam rasped after clearing her lungs. (Wasn't expecting that one)

"Sam," Jane said in a warning tone. Sam chose to ignore it.

"I mean, yeah we're getting along well lately. So what? We can't be expected to hate each other forever especially now that Mac's around. I mean what kind of environment is that for her to grow up in?" Sam babbled, using her best known defense, words, to keep her mother from the truth. Her mother shook her head.

"Sam, honey, I know about you and Brooke…" Sam interrupted her, continuing her rant.

"And she was there for me after Nicole hit me with her car. OK, so Nic was aiming for her, but still, Brooke never left my side. That sort of thing brings people closer, you know?" Jane put her hand over Sam's to get her attention.

"Sam stop," Jane commanded gently. Sam looked up and to Jane, she looked absolutely terrified. "I'm not talking about that. I think that it's great that the two of you got past your differences, but I know there's more to it." Sam shrugged.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sam lied. She did, she was just praying that Jane didn't.

"That's what I mean, Sam. You never used to lie to me. But you've been doing it for a while now. Don't you feel that you can talk to me anymore?" Jane sounded hurt and it broke Sam's heart.

"Sure I can, Mom. And I do."

"Then why didn't you tell me about you and Brooke?" Sam got up from the table and started to pace.

"Why do you keep coming back to that? God, obssessive much?" Jane smiled despite herself as she watched Sam pace and wring her hands. Seventeen years of watching her daughter's mannerisms had taught her to read her daughter very well. Sam was nervous, upset and a tad bit panicked. Her observations were how she figured the whole thing out anyway.

Even before Nicole's ill concieved attempt at drag racing, Jane had started to notice a subtle change in both Brooke and Sam. It began with small glances, stolen when they thought no one, especially the other was looking. Then small touches when passing the other or reaching across the table at dinner. And the fighting had died down to something liveable, neither she nor Mike were afraid to leave Sam and Brooke alone together for fear of imminent bloodshed. They were actually getting along.

And then there was the look in their eyes when they looked at each other. Never at anytime had Jane seen that look in the eyes of either girl. It was a look Jane had only seen a few times before herself. She saw it when Jack, her first husband had looked at her and now when Mike looked at her. It was love. At first she put it off to her imagination, then she chalked it up to infatuation, a common teen-age phase (denial, she was very good at denial). But then she watched as the look grew in intensity in both girls although they both seemed unaware.

And then the accident happened. And Jane saw how devasated Brooke was. If the girl hadn't been standing there right in front of her, she would have sworn the car had hit her too. As Sam lay in a coma, Brooke's life had effectively come to a standstill until the day Sam finally woke up. It was like Brooke began breathing, living again that day as well. She was no fool, Jane realized then that whatever was going on was no phase and wouldn't go away if she ignored it.

She watched, as Brooke was there every step of Sam's recovery and how Sam accepted Brooke's help when she wouldn't anyone else's. She noticed how both girls leaned on and counted on the other to get past the hard parts and bumps in the road during Sam's long journey to recuperation. And she saw how something had changed after she and Mike had returned from Utah but she hadn't been able to figure out what.

"Sam, you can either talk to me now or we can wait for Mike and Brooke to come back from Nevada tomorrow and the four of us can sit down together and have this conversation. And set down some ground rules," the look of sheer horror and fear that stuck itself to Sam's face was nearly enough to break Jane's resolve. Sam was obviously terrified to talk to her about this but Jane could understand why. Given the closeness of their relationship, Sam was bound to fear being turned away by the only parent she had left because of who she loved. But Jane wouldn't do that. She just had to let Sam know that.

"No! God, no!" Sam panicked. All the color drained from her face and she froze in place. "You wanna talk? Talk. Just don't drag Mike into this, please," she begged desperately. "He'll kill me and toss me in a wood chipper. Do we own a wood chipper?"

"All right, Sam, calm down. We don't own a wood chipper and no one is killing anyone. Start at the beginning. What is going on between the two of you and when did it start?" Sam gulped down some air and tried to calm down.

"Going on? I suppose it's too late to say nothing?" Jane shot her a dirty look. "OK, well, to put it simply, I love her, am in love with her. And she loves me. I'm sorry if that's hard to handle, Mom, really I am. I never meant for it to happen, it just sort of did."

"When, Sammy? When did you realize this?"

"A while ago, before the car accident if that's what you're asking. Things with George never really went anywhere and the whole Harrison mess. God, don't get me started. I started to see that my feelings for Brooke were leaning towards the not so sweet and innocent. But I swear to you, Mom, I was never going to do anything about them. I know how much you love Mike, as much as I was against him to start with and I would never, ever do anything to ruin that for you. Honest."

"I know you wouldn't, honey. Brooke feels the same way?"

"Yeah, and trust me I was just as surprised as you. I mean, I always thought Brooke was straight. There was Josh and Harrison…" Sam trailed off. (Gee, for someone who claims to never get the girl, Harrison factors in an awful lot here. But then, he still didn't get the girl, or girls in this case, we got each other. Gonna be one heck of a blow to his ego when he finds out)

"I thought you were straight," Jane reminded her. Sam blushed slightly.

"Uh, yeah, so did I. Seems we were wrong, on both counts," Sam joked. Jane scowled.

"This really isn't the time for jokes, Sam," Jane reprimanded. Sam looked away, properly chastised and sat back down.

"I know. Sorry," she apologized.

"So, you and Brooke are together, as a couple?" Jane asked to reconfirm what she already knew. Sam nodded.

"Yeah, we are," she looked back at her mother, a strength and resolve there in her eyes that hadn't been a moment ago. "And nothing you say or do is going to change that. This isn't a phase or an experiment. We genuinely love one another. She makes me feel like no one else ever has, like no one else ever will. You can move me to Australia, or Antarctica but it won't change the way I feel. Nothing will. You can't dictate the will of my heart, Mom. Time, distance, or death is not going to change anything." Jane sat there stunned by the heartfelt and powerful confession.

"I'm not asking you to change, Sam, I'm asking you to be honest with me. That's all," she said when she could speak. The depth of Sam's feelings for Brooke left her momentarily speechless.

"I just was, Mom," Sam put her head on the table. "And I think I'm going to be sick." Jane reached out and stroked Sam's back to soothe her.

"I think you are very brave to tell me all that. Have you said that to Brooke?" Sam shook her head, still keeping it against the table. "I think you should, it was very beautiful." Sam looked up and Jane could see the unshead tears shimmering there.

"Do you think any less of me now that you know I'm gay?" Sam asked, her voice small and vulnerable. One single tear spilled over and fell down her face. Jane wiped it away.

"I could never think any less of you for being honest with yourself and with me, Sam. True it's not a choice I would have made for you but I understand that you love whom you love. I'm not going to take that away." Tears of relief streamed down Sam's face. She got up and hugged Jane.

"Thank you, Mom. I feel so relieved," she cried. "You're not going to sent me away?" Jane shook her head. "Oh thank God." They sat in compatable silence for several minutes before Jane spoke again.

"Honey, I still have a few questions for you," Sam sat back down, a look of dread spreading across her features.

"Please tell me you're not going to ask what I think you're going to ask," Sam begged.

"Have you and Brooke,…have the two of you been intimate," Sam shot up off her chair like she'd been catapulted off of it.

"Mooooommmmm," she wailed. "What kind of question is that? What happened to boundries and respecting my privacy? I just tell you that I'm involved in a romantic relationship with your stepdaughter and now you want to know the status of my virginity? There is such thing as too much personal information, you know. I don't ask you about you and Mike, do I? I mean, is this information really relevant? I mean, hello, personal space!"

"Sam, breathe," Jane reminded her quickly hyperventilating daughter. During her little rant, Sam had been scurring about the kitchen like a hummingbird. It actually would have been considered cute if Sam weren't desperately trying to avoid answering the question.

"OK, I'm breathing. But still, Mom, geesh," Sam complained dramatically.

"So you have," Jane assumed by Sam's violent reaction to the question. Sam shook her head.

"Relax Mom. No, we haven't. I'll be honest and tell you it's not for lack of trying on my part," Jane paled and Sam blushed. "We are 'so' not having this conversation."

"No, no, really, Sam. Tell me, it's all right," Jane encouraged her. "I want you to feel that you can be honest with me again."

"Well, OK, and I can't believe I'm about to tell you this," she quirked an eyebrow and tilted her head. "Are you sure about this Mom?" Jane nodded.

"Yes, I want our relationship to be the honest and open one it once was. This doesn't change that, Sammy, you're still my daughter."

"OK, but I warned you. You see, I've wanted to, you know, take the next step but Brook keeps putting the brakes on. I think her experience with Josh has made her nervous and she's worried that sex'll ruin our relationship but it's not like that, Mom. I mean, sure I love Brooke's body, I mean, wow, but I love more than that. It's never been about sex. I love her mind, her soul and everything about her. I'm not sure she realizes that."

"Have you told her?"

"I think so," Sam tilted her head again. "Are we actually having this conversation?" Jane laughed.

"Yes, and I asked the original question, not to butt into your person space, but to make sure you didn't jump into something you're not ready for. But it looks like I had nothing to fear. If you're telling me the truth, and I have no reason to think otherwise, than I trust you to do what is right for you and Brooke. But I really think you need to tell Brooke the things you told me. I think she needs to and would like to hear such loving and kind words."

"So you're OK with all this?"

"OK? No, but I will be. I'll just need a little more time. I believe you when you say that this is for real, Sam. You can't fake the feelings you're talking about or the way I've seen you look at Brooke, or the way I've seen her look at you. So, yes, eventually I'll be OK."

"What about Mike?"

"Why don't we talk to Brooke first and let her know that I know and try to figure things out from there?"

"Sounds like a plan."

"Until then, behave yourselves, OK?" Sam grinned impishly.

"I always do, I have no idea what you may be insinuating," she said innocently.

"Sam," Jane started in that `Mom' tone everyone loathes to hear. "You two share a bathroom, don't make us have to move your rooms."

"Oh, kinda like turning the car around if we don't behave, huh?" Jane nodded. "OK, got it. I'll pass the word on. No passing go, no collecting 200 dollars, so noted. Is that everything?"

"Are you happy?"

"My final answer? Yes, completely, totally, utterly and exhaustively happy. Like I never was before. I never realized I wasn't happy, Mom. I guess I needed to have my eyes opened to see what was missing in my life: Brooke."

"You really should say these things to her, you know," Jane advised.

"I will. How long until they get back?" Sam whined.

"Tomorrow night, Sam. Don't worry, you'll make it," Jane hugged her tightly. Sam sighed with relief.

"I don't know about you but I feel much better now," Sam admitted.

"Me too, Sammy. I'm just sorry that you felt you couldn't be honest with me to start with."

"I'm sorry too, Mom. But I swear that's the last secret I'll ever keep from you," Sam promised.

"I hope so. So you really thought you'd be tossed in a wood chipper?"


It had been a very long twenty four hours and Jane couldn't wait for Mike and Brooke to get home for more than one reason. She had missed them both for the week that they had been gone but more than that she wasn't sure she could take much more of Sam in her present condition. Sam was almost literally bouncing off the walls with anticipation. And it wasn't a pretty sight. The last time Jane had witnessed her daughter in such a state was when Sam was seven and had eaten the entire stash of Easter candy. The hyperactive, hopped up, sugar rush aside, the binge left the poor girl vomiting for the next two days straight and promising never to touch a piece of candy ever again. Of course, said vow was never kept.

And now she was at it again, bouncing from room to room on an aimless journey to find something to do with herself. Sam was on her umpteenth circuit through the house, too wired to sit, too fidgity to simply pace. And it was driving Jane nuts but at the same time, she found it incredibly sweet. Sam obviously cared for and missed Brooke very deeply. It was plain to see in the way she watched the windows for a sign of their car, counted the time on her watch and waited for the turn of the key in the door.

"Sam, honey, after they get home, I'll take Mike in the kitchen while you tell Brooke that I know about the two of you," Jane suggested. Sam nodded and Jane was instantly reminded of those dashboard dogs whose heads bob up and down whenever you hit a bump.

"OK," was the anxious response. "I hope she takes it OK and doesn't get mad at me."

"I'm sure she'll be fine, hon," Jane reassured her daughter with a hug. They both jumped when they heard the car pull in the driveway.

"They're home!" Sam exclaimed happily jumping up from the couch. She beamed from ear to ear and balanced on the balls of her feet. Jane rolled her eyes.

"Calm down, Sam, or Mike will guess the second he looks at you," she told Sam gently. Sam frowned.

"I'm sorry," she all but whined. "But I've missed her so much."

"I know you have, but if you don't calm down and keep yourself from bursting into flames at the mere sight of Brooke, than Mike will know that something's going on and we'll all have a lot of explaining to do," Sam slumped back onto the couch.

"I know, I'll try," the doorknob turned and in walked Mike and Brooke with wide smiles on their faces.

"We're home!" Mike announced as he hugged Jane. Sam got up and gave both Mike and Brooke quick hugs before sitting back on the couch. She was afraid that if she hugged Brooke too long she wouldn't let go. And she had felt the way Brooke ran her hands over her back. Brooke hadn't wanted to let go either.

"It's so good to see you," Jane said as she saw Brooke's face out of the corner of her eye. The smile on Brooke's face at seeing Sam could light up New York for a century, the girl just seemed to glow. And the same look was mirrored on Sam's face. (How I didn't see it for so long and how Mike doesn't see it now I'll never understand) she thought to herself.

"Did we miss anything?" Mike asked. Jane shook her head as Brooke and Sam continued to stare at each other. (Oh, brother)

"No, just the usual, right Sam?" Sam looked away with a slight blush and nodded. "We did have a small earthquake that scared me and Mac but Sam slept through the entire thing," Jane laughed remembering the jolt that had awoken her and the baby a few mornings ago. When she hadn't heard from Sam, she found her curled up on Brooke's bed, completely oblivious to the entire incident. It was then that she decided that the two of them really needed to have a little heart to heart.

"Figures," Brooke scoffed, speaking for the first time since coming in the door. Seeing Sam for the first time in a week had rendered her momentarily speechless. "You sleep like the dead, McPherson." Sam stuck out her tongue.

"Have to with the way you snore, Princess," she shotback. They were deeply in love with one another and they didn't fight like they used to but they still tried to keep up the appearance of mild malice between them, even if it did only come across as friendly fire. Mike sighed.

"There's the two girls I recognize," he joked. "Aren't you the least bit happy to see each other?" He was answered by two bright smiles.

"Sure I am, Dad," Brooke responded.

"Me too," Sam confirmed. "but I still need to harass her every once in a while or I shrivel up and die. Very ugly way to go."

"But oh so tempting," Brooke added. Sam arched an eyebrow.

"Not gonna happen. Too much ammo." Brooke flopped down on the couch next to Sam but kept a discrete distance between them.

"Mike, I know Mac would like to see you. And Sam and Brooke have some things they need to talk about so let's give them some time to themselves, shall we?" Jane advised. Mike followed her out. Brooke watched them walk out through the kitchen and when she was sure they were gone, she shifted position so that she was straddling Sam's lap, eliciting a giggle from the other girl.

"A little brazen, aren't we?" Sam teased as Brooke kept one eye on the kitchen.

"Can't help it, I feel like I'm going to burst if I don't touch you, kiss you," Brooke leaned over and kissed Sam lightly on the lips. "You have no idea how much I needed that," she breathed. Sam sighed.

"I think I have a fairly good idea," she confided as she traced her fingers down Brooke's nose and over her soft lips. "I missed you so, so much. Are they still gone?" Brooke nodded. "Good, c'mere," Sam pulled Brooke closer and kissed her deeply, passionately, wildly. She felt Brooke moan into her mouth and almost forgot about who was in the other room. Almost.

"Brooke," she panted when she pulled away. "Brooke, we need to talk." Sam looked to see Brooke sitting above her, eyes closed, lips slightly parted and face flushed. Slowly her eyes fluttered open and the considerably darker hue focused on Sam.

"If we have to. I've been thinking of some more interesting activities for your mouth, though," Brooke whispered saucily, her voice husky. Sam's eyes widened as she chuckled.

"Harlot. Maybe later. Oh yeah, definitely later, but this is serious, Brooke," catching the vibe from Sam, Brooke instantly sobered up.

"What's going on? Everything all right?" Sam swallowed and bit her lip.

"Mom knows," she blurted out. (Smooth, Sam, real subtle. Nice job. Give her heart failure why don't you?) She watched as all the color drained away from Brooke's face and left her lipstick standing out in stark contrast.

"W...what? How? When? W...what?" she stuttered blinking rapidly in confusion.

"Apparently she figured it out awhile ago on her own. Guess we aren't very subtle with the smoldering looks and wanton glances. She ambushed me at breakfast yesterday," Sam explained.

"And you told her?" Brooke asked, her voice several octaves higher than normal as panic set in. Sam ran her hands up and down Brooke's arms in an attempt to soothe her.

"After she practically had to heimlick me when I choked on my Rice Krispies. Trust me, it wasn't my idea." Brooke looked thoughtful for a second.

"How did she take it?" she asked as she played with a lock of Sam's brown hair.

"Pretty good since I'm still breathing. Actually, once we got passed the mutual panic phase, the this-is-not-a-phase-section, the I-really-love-her confession," Brooke blushed and Sam brushed her cheek with the back of her hand. "Because I do, you know. Once we got passed all that, we were able to talk it out. She's a little weirded out about the whole thing but, who wouldn't be? That's to be expected. I don't think this is covered in 'Mom' school. I seriously doubt she saw this one coming. It's not everyday that your daughter falls truly, madly, deeply, head over heels, completely in love with her stepsister although I think Jerry Springer did an episode on it just last week."

"Actually I think it was Rikki Lake but I see your point. Oh, God, she's not in there telling my Dad is she?" Panic set back in on Brooke.

"No, she wants to talk to the two of us first so we can figure out exactly what we're going to tell him."

"Thank you, God. What are we going to tell him?" Brooke asked fearfully. Sam shrugged.

"I don't really know but Mom reassures me that we don't own a wood chipper," Brooke looked at her in confusion. "Sorry, gory personal joke. Anyway, we have to tell him sooner or later, preferably sooner so that he doesn't accidently stumble across us."

"You have a point," Brooke agreed. Sam shifted a little, accidently causing Brooke to rub harder against her thigh. Brooke moaned a little loudly.

"Brooke!" Sam hissed in a mild panic as she looked over her shoulder for any sign of their parents. Brooke didn't move.

"Shhh, I don't think they heard that. It was your fault anyway," Brooke admonished with a Cheshire cat grin. Sam scowled unthreateningly.

"You're cutting the circulation off in my legs, silly," she shifted again. Brooke giggled.

"Oh, move again," she gasped. Sam rolled her eyes.

"And I thought I was bad. Come home from your trip a little horny, did you?" Brooke shook her head.

"No, a lot horny," she joked. Her face suddenly turned serious. "Sam, I had a lot of time to think about this, about us." Panic flashed across Sam's delicate features before Brooke could stop it.

"You have regrets, don't you? Especially now that Mom knows. Oh God, I knew this was going to happen. What was I thinking? Thinking that you could ever feel this way for someone like me…" Sam ranted while trying to get Brooke off of her lap. She desperately wanted to get away from Brooke before she totally lost it. But Brooke wouldn't let her up. Brooke for one, was very confused.

She couldn't figure out what the Hell just happened. (When did she lose control of the conversation? What the Hell was Sam talking about and where was this insecurity coming from?)

"Brooke, get off me, please," Sam begged, losing her composure. Brooke sat where she was and placed her arms on either side of Sam's shoulders on the back of the couch, effectively pinning her in place.

"Not until you listen to me. You didn't let me finish. God, Sam, are you really that insecure? I have absolutely no regrets about anything, especially not about us, about you. You are the one positive thing in my life, the one good thing that I can look at and say I'm proud of. And what do you mean `someone like you'? I hope you mean someone beautiful, intellegent, sensitive, funny…"

"Stop, Brooke, you know what I meant," Sam interrupted her annoyed.

"No, Sam, I don't. Tell me."

"A have not. How could someone like you, a `have' care for a `have not'? We learned all about the dangers of rising above your station in life, Brooke. Maybe I was a fool to think this could work." Brooke leaned closer into Sam's face.

"Somedays, I wonder who the Hell you are. It's like loving Miss Jeckyl and Miss Hyde. You pretend to not care what anyone thinks about you and then you turn around and all you can think about is whether or not anyone will ever see you as anything other than what you think you are. And you apparently have pitiously low self-esteem."

"Your point being?" Sam asked curtly.

"Geeze, Sam, my point is that I love you and I have no regrets about us. Do you understand that?" Sam nodded. "Do you regret us?"

"God, no!" Sam exclaimed. Brooke gave a sigh of relief.

"Good, you scared me for a minute there. Now, that aside, will you let me finish what I started to say before your little panic attack?" Sam nodded. "OK then, I was saying that I had a lot of time to think about everything, us, the sex thing and I came to a lot of realizations. The biggest being that I love you, Sammy. Truly, deeply and like I never thought it possible to love another human being."

"When you're not here, Sam, I feel like there's no air in the room. Without you there's no light in my life and no stars in the sky. Nothing has any color, no vibrancy and my life is only half lived. But with you by my side, everything is in bright technicolor; it's loud and alive and I'm alive and that's all that matters. I need you Sam, to live, to breathe, to exist."

Sam sat shock still as she listened to Brooke's confession. She was afraid to speak and break the spell that they had fallen under. Looking into Brooke's eyes she could only see the honest and raw emotion of what Brooke was saying looking back at her.

"I feel the same way, Brooke," Brooke lifted a hand and covered Sam's mouth with it.

"I'm not finished yet," Sam nodded mutely in understanding. "When I slept with Josh, I did so partially out of obligation. I felt it was something I had to do because I was his girlfriend for so long, he wanted it and it was expected of me. I ignored the fact that my heart really told me it wasn't what I wanted and did it anyway. And once it was over, I knew I'd made a mistake. Josh and me, we weren't meant to be. I meant it when I told you that your first time should be with that someone special. And Josh wasn't that someone for me. It took me a while to realize this, Sam, but that person for me, is you. Should have been you. " Brooke broke the intense eye contact that the two had maintained throughout the long oration and looked down, a few tears falling onto Sam's lap.

"I'm so sorry I didn't wait for you," Brooke cried softly, causing Sam to cry with her.

"Hey," Sam lifted Brooke's face up to meet her own. "You have nothing to apologize for. You didn't know this was going to happen, neither of us did. If someone had told me a year ago that I was going to fall in love with you and that you would return those feelings, I would have called the men with the little white coats that tie in the back to come and take them away." Brooke smiled.

"Cute visual," she laughed.

"Yes it is, but you get my point. Whenever you're ready for the next step, Brooke, is fine with me. I'll wait. I'll fantasize and you'll drive me absolutely insane, no doubt…"

"Short trip…"

"Don't help. Where was I? Oh, yeah, whatever is right for you is right for me. I'm not going to force you into something you're not ready for. But please know this, Brooke. Sex is not going to destroy our relationship like it did yours and Josh's. It didn't work with you and Josh because, like you said, it wasn't meant to be. We are. If, when we have sex, it'll be beautiful, Brooke, just like you are. And we'll be stronger for it." Brooke hugged her.

"How do you always know just what to say?"

"I'm a writer, it's my job, remember?" Sam joked.

"Oh, yeah. But that's what I wanted to tell you. I think I'm ready, Sam. For that next step, when you are," Brooke said shyly. Sam's eyes got wide and then a slow grin spread across her face.

"Well, Mom said we had to behave, you know, no hanky panky where we might get caught. But I'm sure we can think of something, somewhere discreet." She leaned up to kiss Brooke. They stayed that way until they heard Mike and Jane's voices carrying through the kitchen. Brooke scrambled to get off of Sam and sat in the armchair across from her instead.

When their parents walked into the room they looked like the very paragons of innocence. Although they both looked like they'd been crying, Mike chalked it up to one of their thankfully infrequent fights.

"Well, Sam, looks like Brooke and I didn't miss much while we were gone, did we?" Mike asked. Sam shook her head.

"Nope, just the same old crap, different day," Sam responded. Mike yawned.

"Well, I'm tired, that drive always takes a lot out of me so I'm going to head to bed. Jane?"

"I'm going to stay up and talk to the girls for a while. I'll be up before too long," Mike nodded and gave her a kiss goodnight.

"All right then, good night everyone."

"Good night, Dad."

"Good night, honey."

"Night Mike."

After Mike went to bed, Jane focused her attention on Brooke.

"I trust that she told you?" Brooke nodded nervously. "Good, let me tell you a few things young lady," Jane started sternly. Sam and Brooke exchanged alarmed glances.

"Sam is my firstborn and is very dear to me, I don't think I need to tell you that Brooke. I don't like to see her hurt. I've seen too many people who claim to care for her hurt her in the past and I won't stand by and watch it happen again." When Brooke opened her mouth to protest, Jane held up her hand to stop her.

"Let me finish. I won't stand by and watch her get her heart broken again, Brooke. I just won't. But I don't think that it's something I need to worry about with you, is it?" Brooke shook her head emphatically `no'. "Good, now that that's clear, let's get some other things straight."

"Sam cares for you, Brooke. In her own words, `you can't dictate the will of my heart Mom. Time, distance, or death is not going to change anything.' Pretty heavy stuff, even from Sam. This isn't a game to her Brooke so it had better not be for you. Is it?" Again Brooke shook her head `no'.

"OK, now we're getting somewhere. Sam's not the most emotionally available person on the planet, don't glare at me like that, Sam, it's the truth. Anyway, Brooke, because of that she finds it hard to express herself sometimes but please be patient with her. If you could have heard half of what she told me yesterday, you'd be floored."

"I'm sure I would, Mom. So, aside from the normal amount of freaking out about this, are you going to be alright with us?" Brooke asked. Jane nodded.

"I think I all ready am. I saw your faces when you came through that door, Brooke. I love your father but I swear he's a little slow sometimes. You both absolutely glowed when you laid eyes on one another."

"I love your daughter, Jane. With everything I am. With more than words can express," Sam slapped her lightly on the arm.

"You're getting all mushy," Sam protested as she wiped away a few stray tears. "It's embarassing." Brooke rolled her eyes.

"Get over it, McPherson. Seriously, how are we going to tell my Dad?" Jane shrugged.

"I have no idea. He has some pretty antiquated ideas when it comes to things like this no matter how hip and with it he tries to act. He might not take it well."

"Hence my sudden pathological fear of wood chippers," Sam mumbed under her breath.

"For the last time, he is not going to kill you and throw your remains in a wood chipper, Sam," Jane sighed. Brooke scrunched up her nose.

"Ew, Sam. Ew. How could you even think that?"

"Because we don't have snowblowers in California?" This earned her double smacks from her mom and Brooke. "What?"

"So what should we tell him?" Brooke asked, bringing the conversation back on topic.

"The truth, however painful," Sam suggested seriously. At the two dubious looks, she shrugged. "Look, it's like this; either we come right out and tell him `Hi, Mike, Brooke and I are gay and oh, look, in love with each other'. Or he finds out by accident by walking in while we're kissing or something, which is bound to happen no matter how careful we are. Or he finds out from one of our friends when we get around to telling them. Eventually someone is going to let the cat out of the bag and the shit will hit the fan. It's that simple. Plus, if he finds out Mom knows and didn't tell him it might destroy that relationship. God, we're damned if we do, damned if we don't, huh?"

"Looks that way," Brooke conceeded. Jane agreed.

"Afraid so. Let's give him a few days to settle in and then we'll tell him. Until then, be careful you two. I'm not saying live like a pair of nuns, but don't be obvious either. I think it'll be worse if he figures it out on his own and we didn't tell him." Sam and Brooke nodded their agreement.

"So, a few days then?" Sam asked.

"Yes, until then, I'm going to bed. Good night you two." Jane got up and headed to her bedroom.

"Good night Mom," Brooke called.

"Night Mom," Sam echoed. Brooke got up and sat next to Sam after Jane left and played with the girls' long brown locks.

"Whatcha thinking about?" she asked as she twirled a few strands around her fingers. Sam sighed.

"How complicated our lives have become. And how tired you must be from your long trip." She sighed dramatically. "And here I am wide awake with all this extra energy." Brooke tsked her.

"Aw, Sammy, that's too bad. We really should find something for you to do with all that extra energy," Brooke cooed, leaning into Sam's ear and nibbling gently. Sam shivered.

"Hmmm? Any ideas?" Sam asked innocently. "Cards, Monopoly, Parcheesi?"

"I had a much, much more physical activity in mind," Brooke whispered huskily. Sam turned her head and grinned at her. Brooke decided that that grin in particular was very sultry. It made her blood boil and her heart race.

"A rousing game of Twister?" Sam offered.

"Only if they make an X-rated version, beautiful."

"I think we'd better move this to one of our bedrooms unless you want to give the neighbors a show," Sam suggested, her voice just as husky and her eyes full of hunger. Brooke nodded and stood up while offering Sam her hand.

"Let's," she said as she silently led Sam up the stairs.


When they reached the top of the stairs they encountered a small problem. They looked from Brooke's bedroom doorway to Sam's and then at each other in silent question. After a moments thought, Brooke pulled Sam towards Sam's own room after which she closed and locked the door.

"My room, Princess?" Sam asked, her voice low as she played with Brooke's hair. Brooke smiled.

"I told you I thought a lot about this. Your room is on the opposite end of the house," she whispered back captivated by the way Sam was running her hands through her hair. She turned slightly and put her hands on Sam's hips. She looked into Sam's eyes, which looked slightly frightened. "What's wrong?" Sam bit her lip.

"Ah, what if…what if they hear us?" she asked just above a whisper while blushing fiercely. Brooke had never seen anyone turn that dangerous a shade of red. She was almost afraid Sam's ears were going to burn. "Not that I plan on screaming but you never know…" Sam trailed off and the blush deepened.

"Geez, Sam, stop blushing before you stroke out on me," Brooke laughed.

Sam smiled and tried to hide her face with her hand in embarrassment. "It's a valid concern," she pointed out quietly.

Brooke nodded. "Yes it is," she agreed. "Hang on a sec, I've got an idea." Brooke left Sam and went into her own room. A few seconds later, Sam could hear the radio blasting. Brooke returned to Sam's room, shutting both bathroom doors as she did.

"There, now all they'll hear is the stereo," Brooke declared happily. "Now where were we?" Sam smiled and pulled Brooke to her for a heated kiss. The kiss intensified and soon hands began to explore. Sam reached up and unbuttoned Brooke's blouse. She pushed the material off of Brooke's shoulders and it slid unnoticed to the floor. Sam took a step back and looked at Brooke standing there in her pants and light pink lacy bra. Brooke watched as Sam reached out and traced the outline of the edge of the bra covering her left breast almost in a state of awe. Her touch was featherlight but Brooke could still feel the heat from Sam's hand.

"Sam?" she asked wondering if maybe they were going too fast for Sam and Sam wasn't ready. Sam tore her eyes from Brooke's chest and fixed them on Brooke's eyes. The look there stole Brooke's breath away. It was pure, boundless love.

"Brooke?" Sam answered her voice gravelly. Not waiting for Brooke to answer, Sam took a step closer to nuzzle Brooke's neck and reached around to undo the bra. She slipped the straps off Brooke's shoulders and it followed the blouse to the floor. Brooke was slightly self-conscious as Sam again took a step back to observe the vision in front of her. She looked to see unshed tears in Sam's eyes. Before she could ask, Sam placed a finger over her lips to silence her.

"Perfect," Sam whispered. "You are utterly and beautifully perfect," she said in awe. Tears splashed down Brooke's face at Sam's words.

"Sam," she half-complained in obvious embarrassment. Sam shook her head.

"You are," Sam insisted quietly in a tone that allowed for no argument. She reached out and spread her hands across Brooke's chest, barely touching and ran her fingers over the silky skin. She went down Brooke's sides, across her abdomen and up again, stopping at Brooke's breasts. Brooke watched her, slightly confused until Sam cupped a breast in each hand gently, as if testing their weight. When Sam brushed across her nipples with her thumbs, Brooke couldn't help the gasp that escaped her. She looked to see Sam watching her with a worried look on her face. She reached out and stroked Sam's face.

"It's OK, Sam," she purred. Sam smiled and repeated the action, this time adding a pinch to the already erect nub and Brooke pulled her into a fierce kiss. They backed up until they hit the bed and then promptly fell onto it with Sam on top. Sam giggled. Brooke had to ask.

"What's so funny?" Sam giggled again.

"Left hand green," Sam said, referring to the `X-rated version of Twister' comment from earlier. Brooke rolled her eyes but giggled also.

"Incorrigible," Brooke sighed.

"Beautiful," Sam whispered as she leaned over for a kiss, letting her hair fall around them like a curtain. Brooke tried to lift the hem of Sam's shirt up but for some reason Sam stopped her. There was a pleading look in Sam's eyes that Brooke didn't understand. She'd all ready seen Sam's breasts once, why was Sam so shy all of a sudden?

"Not yet, OK?" Sam whispered. Brooke nodded although she was confused. Sam kissed her way around Brooke's throat, pausing at the pulse point and savoring the way the beating underneath was rapid and the way Brooke's breathing was sometimes only shallow gasps. Her hands had never actually left Brooke's breasts and she was eager to see what they tasted like. She kissed her way along Brooke's collarbone tasting the tang of salt from the slight sheen of sweat they were both developing. She ran her tongue down Brooke's right breast until she reached the nipple, which she sucked into her mouth.

"Saaaam," Brooke moaned lowly. She felt Sam smile. Sam swirled her tongue around the erect nipple in her mouth while continuing to suck and Brooke was slowly going insane. She tugged at Sam's shirt again.

"Please Sam, I need to feel your skin," she said, not caring if she sounded like she was begging. Sam bit down slightly and Brooke decided that maybe she could wait a little longer for Sam to take her shirt off. Sam repeated the process on Brooke's other breast and moved her hands lower, dipping her fingers just below the waistband of Brooke's pants. Brooke sat up so fast she almost knocked Sam off the bed.

"Sam," Brooke panted, wanting nothing more than for Sam to continue but wanting them to be on equal footing, as it were. She put her hands on either side of Sam's shirt. "Please." Reluctantly, Sam nodded. Brooke pulled the shirt up over Sam's head and tossed it to the floor. Sam immediately wrapped her arms around herself in a protective gesture. Brooke reguarded her in her plain white bra questioningly.

"What's wrong?"

Sam shook her head. "Nothing, I…" Sam stopped and frowned.

"I've all ready seen the goods, Sam," Brooke said with a smile, hoping to ease Sam's sudden discomfort. Again Sam shook her head.

"It's not that," Sam said softly. "I just…" she stopped again and Brooke reached out to unwrap Sam's arms. Her arms came away surprisingly easy and Brooke saw what Sam was uncomfortable about. The crisscross network of scars that marked her chest and abdomen and served as a reminder of Prom night.

"Oh, Sammy," Brooke said in understanding. A few tears fell down Sam's cheeks.

"Do you think I'm ugly?" Sam whispered in fear as she looked away. Brooke cupped Sam's chin in her hand and brought her face back to meet her own.

"Never," she said honestly. Sam's face lit up. "You're beautiful and I love you. A few scars don't mean jack."

"But you're flawless," Sam countered quietly. "Not a blemish to be found and meanwhile I look like Frankenstein's monster's pet." Brooke sighed. She ran her fingers over the scars making Sam shiver slightly.

"You're not ugly and you're not a monster," she explained patiently. She leaned down to kiss a few of the scars, making Sam shiver harder. Brooke reached around and undid the clasp on Sam's bra and it followed its predecessor on the floor. They both sat there staring at each other topless for a few minutes.

"I've never done this before," Sam admitted quietly, blushing again. Brooke tilted her head slightly.

"What about George?" Sam's blush deepened as she shook her head.

"He was a nice guy and all but, he wasn't `the one'," she looked up into Brooke's eyes. "You are."

Brooke smiled. "If it makes you feel any better, technically, I've never done THIS before either," she said with a small laugh. Sam stretched out her hand and brushed away a lock of blonde hair that had fallen into Brooke's eyes. Brooke grasped her hand.

"We find out together, huh?" Sam asked. Brooke nodded as she lay back on the bed bringing Sam with her. She ran her hands over Sam's warm skin hardly believing that this was really happening, that Sam was really here with her and loved her as much as she loved her back. She never would have thought it possible and yet, as she ran her hands over the expanse of Sam's back and felt Sam's hands on her own body, Brooke knew this was no dream.

Again, Sam's hands found their way to the waistband of Brooke's pants where she paused slightly. She really had no idea what she was doing. She really didn't want this to be another bad sexual experience for Brooke. She really, truly and deeply loved the girl and wanted this to be special. Sam was no prude. Everytime she dreamed of making love to Brooke (which was fairly often) she always seemed to instinctively know what to do and she had seen the movie Bound. Several times. But still, she was afraid of being a bad lover.

"Sam?" Brooke's gentle voice brought Sam out of her internal worry. "We don't have to if you're not ready." Sam looked up into the loving face of the person she cared most for in the world and her anxiety disappeared.

"I'm ready, I just want this to be special, Princess. You've had some bad experiences and I want to do this right," she explained. Brooke smiled in understanding.

"It will be special because it's you," Brooke whispered. Sam returned the smile and slowly unzipped Brooke's jeans and slid them down the slender legs. Brooke helped her slide them off and they joined the growing pile of clothes on the floor, as did Sam's jeans a few seconds later.

Sam stared at the pink panties that matched the bra she removed from Brooke earlier. She arched an eyebrow. "Matching set? How cute," she joked, as she moved her body up to lie beside Brooke.

Brooke looked at Sam's underwear and mimicked the eyebrow. "Leopard print?" she asked.

Sam blushed. "I was feeling frisky this morning," she explained shyly.

Brooke's eyes widened. "Oh really? Me-ow," Brooke purred as she draped her body over Sam's. Kisses and hands grew more insistant and again Brooke found her role reversed with Sam on top. Sam said nothing but grinned wickedly and straddled Brooke's waist for a second before moving down, kissing and licking any skin between herself and her ultimate goal. When she reached the waistband of Brooke's panties, she dipped a finger beneath it to gauge Brooke's reaction. Brooke sucked in a breath and rose off the bed slightly to meet her hand.

"Sam," Brooke complained when Sam removed her hand. Sam smiled and proceeded to remove both Brooke's underwear and her own. She kissed her way up from Brooke's ankles to her knees, up past her thighs, placing gentle, tender kisses on the inside of Brooke's upper thighs making her whimper slightly before moving up to her abdomen. The scent of Brooke's arousal made Sam dizzy and made her own arousal almost painful in its intensity.

"Please, Sammy," Brooke begged softly, feeling as if Sam were driving her insane. Sam looked up into the half-lidded eyes of her love. She moved to take one of Brooke's nipples in her mouth and slid one finger into Brooke's warmth. Brooke moaned at the double attack and clutched desperately at the sheets as Sam slowly started to move her finger inside of her.

"God, Saaaam," Brooke gasped as she moved her body to meet Sam's hand and Sam added another finger to the first. Brooke had never felt like this before in her previous experiences, her nerve endings were on fire and she was hyperaware of everything Sam was doing. She felt Sam's mouth leave her breast and almost leapt off the bed in pure pleasure when she felt the first flick of Sam's tongue on her clit.

"God, don't stop," she rasped as Sam continued to lick and suck around her fingers as they pumped in and out in a steady rhythm. Brooke felt the abyss approaching but tried to hold on. She wanted this to last. But when Sam started to suck harder on her clit, the battle was lost. Brooke was vaguely aware of shouting something but was unsure what it was as she came.

Sam, for her part, was happy and content to stay where she was for the rest of her life. The sounds Brooke was making and the way Brooke was moving were telling her that she was doing everything right. And when she had tasted Brooke, she knew that there was nothing that you could ever offer her that she would ever give that up for. Sweet, tangy and uniquely Brooke. She just couldn't get enough. And then she felt the stiffening of Brooke's body, the contractions around her fingers and the soul-searing cry that came from Brooke's throat. Although lost in a sexual haze, part of Sam's mind was really glad that Brooke turned on the radio in her room. They'd have a lot of trouble explaining why Brooke yelled: "OH GOD YES SAAAAAAAAM!" to Mike in the morning.

Brooke opened her eyes slowly and looked directly into a pair of chocolate brown ones. She smiled and they smiled back.

"You OK?" Sam asked as she brushed Brooke's sweat dampened hair out of her face.

"You are amazing," Brooke gushed making Sam blush.

Sam let out a relieved breath. "I try," she joked. Brooke leaned over and captured Sam's lips in a passionate kiss. She was vaguely aware of herself on Sam's lips. Brooke shifted so that she was covering half of Sam's body with her own. She loved the feel of bare skin on bare skin.

"My turn," Brooke growled. Sam's eyebrows went up but she said nothing, surrendering to the cheerleader's affections. As it was her skin felt like it was on fire and her blood was boiling. She was afraid that if Brooke didn't do something soon she was going to burst into flames anyway.

Brooke kissed her way along Sam's jawline while her hands wandered lower, caressing Sam's breasts and making Sam gasp slightly. She kneaded the soft mounds with her hands, loving the way the pert nipples dug into her palms. Sam moaned and moved her body underneath Brooke in desperate pleasure.

"Brooke, please," Sam begged as Brooke kissed her way down towards her breasts. Her whole body was humming and begging for release. Her hands unconsciously clenched and unclenched the sheets as Brooke took one erect nipple in her mouth and began to suck ardently.

"Oh God," Sam gasped as one hand buried itself in Brooke's silky hair encouraging her. Brooke smiled and continued her mission, to drive Sam insane. She used her thumb and forefinger to pinch the other nipple even tighter before switching places and repeating the process. Brooke continued this until she felt Sam pressing down on her head and squirming beneath her.

"Brooooke," she whimpered. Brooke could feel the heat coming from Sam and knew the other girl couldn't wait much longer. She moved back up Sam's body and placed a passionate kiss on Sam's lips as she placed her hand palm down on Sam's abdomen. Sam's entire body arched off the bed towards her and another whimper escaped her throat.

"Easy, Sam," Brooke whispered as she slid her hand down to Sam's core and slowly slid one finger inside the wet folds and into Sam. Sam sucked in a pained breath and Brooke looked at her in concern. Her eyes were clenched tightly shut.

"Sam?" she asked quietly, remembering the pain associated with what she was doing. Sam's body moved to meet her hand even as her eyes opened and met Brooke's. The normally brown orbs were black with desire and filled with pleasure.

"Don't…stop," Sam panted as her body kept moving. Brooke smiled and nodded, beginning to rhythmically stroke Sam. Sam continued to speak but no longer made any coherent noises and Brooke was glad she'd turned on the radio in her room to drown her out even though she herself loved it. Being careful not to hurt Sam, she slowly added another finger to the first and Sam let out a low gutteral moan.

Unable to resist anymore, Brooke moved down to join her fingers. Sam gasped as Brooke's tongue joined her fingers in their stroking and she bit down on her lip to keep from crying out. Brooke had found her Heaven. She wanted to taste and experience all of Sam and did so energetically. Sam bucked and jerked on the bed until her breath hitched one last time and her body stiffened for an instant before convulsions overtook her. And Brooke was there for the whole thing, drawing it out as long as she could until Sam collapsed back onto the bed spent.

"Oh God," Sam whispered when she was capable of coherent speech again sometime later. Brooke smiled at her as she held Sam tightly against her.

"No, only Brooke," she answered. Sam giggled softly and looked at her wide-eyed.

"I had no idea," Sam told her.

"Neither did I," Brooke blushed.

Sam frowned at her. "Huh? I don't understand."

Brooke lovingly brushed some damp hair away from Sam's eyes. "I may have had sex before, Sam, but it was never like that," Brooke explained. "And that wasn't just sex, that was love."

Sam smiled. "Oh," was all she said although she looked extremely happy. She snuggled against Brooke. "I'm glad I waited for that `someone special'," Sam whispered as she traced a pattern on Brooke's chest. "That was beautiful." Brooke captured her lips for a gentle kiss.

"Yes, it was, Sammy. You were right. Thank you," she said.

"You are more than welcome," Sam responded. She looked shyly up at Brooke. "Uh, I don't suppose you have any energy left cuz I'm not tired," she said wickedly.

Brooke laughed. "I was hoping you'd say that."

Section 2: Lily & Josh


"So, who do we tell next?" Brooke asked, as she lay sprawled out next to Sam on Sam's bed exploring the girl's warm skin with her hands. They were supposed to be doing homework but weren't getting much actual work done. Sam turned her head and stared at her with a horrified look on her face.

"What the Hell are you asking me for? I thought we'd just stay quiet for a little while longer. Hee hee stop that it tickles," she scolded as Brooke ran her fingernails over Sam's sides and watched as the highly ticklish girl (who knew?) squirmed on the bed. She half-heartedly tried to bat the questing hands away but was sadly unsuccessful.

"Can't stay quiet forever, Sammy. I think Nic is getting suspicious," Brooke whispered as she leaned in to kiss Sam's neck. She felt Sam giggle.

"Nicole is always suspicious of something," Sam pointed out. Brooke nodded before going back to Sam's neck and other explorations. Sam had a point. (If Nic ever gave up being a super bitch, she'd have a great career in the CIA. Or maybe she can do both)

"Brooke?" Sam's voice shook Brooke out of the lascivious haze she was happily settling into and she picked her head up to look into the dark brown eyes of her lover. Eyes that told her she wasn't taking the trip to lustville alone.

"Yeah?" she asked throatily. Sam swallowed and gave her a lopsided smile.

"Math homework?" she held up the text to illustrate her point. Brooke frowned.

"Biology homework," she answered slightly annoyed at the interruption before returning to kissing Sam's collarbone and the annoying process of unbuttoning Sam's shirt. She heard Sam moan, and then saw out of the corner of her eye as the brunette grabbed a pillow and proceeded to try and smother herself with it. Shrugging it off as a `Sam' thing, Brooke finished with the shirt and was about to continue downward when Sam suddenly sat up and pushed away, using the pillow as a barrier.

"OK, Brooke, as much as I would absoluely LOVE for you to continue," she said, trying to get her ragged breathing under control and ignore the hungry look on Brooke's face. (Why do I have to be the rational one?)

"Mom and Mike are downstairs. Do you want to explain the cries of pure unadulterated pleasure and bliss coming from this room, from the two of US to your father tonight?" Sam watched nervously as Brooke licked her lips instead of answering.

(Might be worth it, Sammy) Brooke considered silently. Since they'd finally consumated their relationship after she'd returned from Nevada with her father, their relationship had gotten stronger, just like Sam had predicted. And it wasn't just about sex, either. Sex was just a bonus, an added reward to an already terrific relationship. They were close and getting closer everyday. They talked about everything, even things neither had told another living soul. It was like they learned something new about each other everyday and it made them love the other more. But Sam was right, as much as Brooke wanted her right now, the thought of telling her father was like a bucket of ice water in her face, or on other choice parts of her anatomy.

"I hate it when you're right," Brooke growled, relinquishing her hold on Sam's shirt. Sam made no effort to close it but put the pillow down and gave Brooke a deep, passionate kiss.

"I think they might be going out to a movie later," she confided. Brooke grinned evilly. "Either that or I might feel the need for a late night shower."

"We are in the middle of an energy crisis, too. I should shower with you, in the interest of conserving water, of course," Brooke suggested. Sam rolled her eyes. They always ended up using more water than they saved when they showered together.

"It's an energy crisis, Princess, not a drought." Brooke pouted at her, which did nothing to help Sam's resolve. (God she looks sexy when she pouts)

"Well, if you WANTED to shower alone," Sam kissed her again.

"Kidding, I was kidding. So, instead of actually doing our homework, or making love, what was your question again?" Brooke went back to tracing lazy circles on Sam's exposed abdomen as she thought.

"Who do we tell about us next? We certainly don't tell Dad, at least not yet. I'm not ready for that. You?" Sam shook her head.

"Me neither. Still having wood chipper nightmares," Brooke smacked her lightly on the stomach. "Nicole?"

"Uh-huh. As much as she claims to have a soul now, why bait the beast with a bloody steak?" Brooke asked.

"Nice imagery," Sam chided. "I got it. Let's put everyone's name in a hat and pull one out and that's who we tell." Brooke picked up her head.

"Sounds like a plan," she agreed. They wrote down all their friend's names down and put them in an old hat and after flipping a coin to see who drew (Brooke won), pulled out a slip of paper.

"Well?" Sam asked anxiously. Brooke looked at her nervously.

"Lily and Josh," she read. They entered the two as one since they were married.

"Oh," Sam said understanding Brooke's nervousness. She wouldn't want to tell her ex-boyfriend she was now gay and in love with her stepsister either. Thankfully George had moved away and she wouldn't have to. Although she had no doubt once everyone else knew, the news would eventually reach him anyway.

"So when do we tell them? How do we tell them?" Brooke asked. Sam shrugged.

"Not at school, that's for sure. Why not after they get out of work tomorrow?"

"OK," Brooke agreed slightly afraid. Sam hugged her against her body.

"It'll be OK, Brooke. Lily is cool, she'll probably think this is great for women everywhere and take Josh along with her. And even if it does go south, you still have me, and I love you."

"I love you too, Sammy."


"So, what's up, Sam? You haven't wanted to hang out in like forever," Lily said as she, Josh, Sam and Brooke sat down in the livingroom of the Palace. Mike and Jane went out to a movie. (Sam and Brooke had enjoyed a very long shower the night before.) Sam looked at Brooke who did her best to ignore her and shrugged.

"Nothing much, Lily," Sam answered, annoyed at the game of Let's-Ignore-Sam that Brooke had been playing since school that day. Lily settled on the couch with Josh and watched her friend with an appraising eye.

"You haven't been around much lately. I thought maybe you had yourself a special someone that was taking up all your time," Lily teased as Josh handed her a soda. Sam glared at Brooke's back before answering.

"So did I. I must have been wrong," Sam couldn't help the acidic comment from escaping her. This whole thing had been Brooke's idea and now it seemed to Sam that she was hanging her out to dry and it pissed her off. She watched Brooke whirl around towards her, a hurt and desperate look on her face.

"Excuse me a second," Brooke said, eyes brimming with unshed tears, as she left the room. Sam sighed and mentally shot herself. She banged the back of her head on the chair repeatedly.

"What's wrong with Brooke?" Josh asked, concerned as he watched her exit the room like her shirt was on fire. Sam sighed again.

"Not enough iron in her diet. Start the movie while I go get her," Sam stood up and followed the upset cheerleader out into the kitchen.

Brooke was leaning over the sink crying. (I hate myself sometimes) Sam thought. She wrapped her arms around the thin frame and hugged her from behind.

"That was mean," Brooke sniffed.

"I know. I swear, sometimes it's like `open mouth, insert size 10 Adidas'" Brooke turned around in Sam's arms so that she was facing her and tilted her head, a funny look on her face.

"What?" Sam asked defensively.

"Gee, you've got awfully big feet, Sam," Brooke said with a laugh. Sam glared but her eyes lacked the malice to make the action threatening.

"Watch it, I'm trying to apologize here. It doesn't happen often and if you're not careful, you might miss it."

"Sorry," Brooke said, chagrined. Sam kissed her lightly.

"Now, I said what I did because I was upset. You've been avoiding me or ignoring me all day. Did I do something to upset you?" Brooke shook her head.

"No, not at all. God, Sammy, I'm sorry. I'm just nervous about telling them, that's all. I mean, I'm about to tell Lily and my ex boyfriend that I'm gay. It's scary." Sam nodded.

"I know, babe. I'm in the same boat, remember? And at least if it's going to sink, we go down together, OK?" Brooke's eyebrows rose at the last statement. "Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, McQueen. I swear if anyone knew how lewd you actually were you never would have made homecoming queen."

"Actually, I probably would have gotten more votes," Brooke countered.

"This is true. So, are you ready to go back out there?" Brooke shook her head.

"Anxious to feed me to the lions?" she joked nervously. Sam sighed.

"Look, what `s the worse that can happen? They totally freak out and we lose two friends, they tell the whole school and…suddenly I don't feel so well," Sam flopped down in a kitchen chair and looked up a Brooke. "You know, you got me all gung-ho for this and now I'm nervous. Nice job." Brooke hugged her around the shoulders.

"Good, now we can both throw up on their shoes."


Sam and Brooke joined Lily and Josh for the rest of the movie and had a good time even if the movie was rather lame. Josh and Lily told them all about married life and how it wasn't what they expected but that it was starting to work out. Granted they saw each other at school but lately the two pairs were drifting in separate directions and it was nice to catch up. Lily was glad Sam was nearly fully recovered from her experience vs. Nicole's car and Josh was still bewildered as to why the whole thing happened.

"You know women, Josh, piss us off and we go bonkers," Sam joked even as Brooke's eyes held that little glimmer of unresolved issues about the whole incident. Sometimes it worried Sam that Brooke still carried such heavy baggage from that night on such a slight frame. She had suggested psychotherapy for the both of them but was unceremoniously shot down.

"I know but, this is Nicole. Brooke's best friend and she tried to kill her. God, Sam if you hadn't been there," Josh started. Brooke stood up and started to pace.

"But I was," Sam cut in, hoping to prevent a Brooke bomb from going off. "And I'm OK now. It was a long, bumpy road but the end result was more than worth the pain," she directed the last comment at Brooke. Brooke looked at her and immediately relaxed and smiled.

Lily frowned. (What is going on here?) she thought.

"All right, you two, spill. You've both been wound up like dervishes all night and if you don't start talking soon, I'm going to go bonkers," Lily informed them. Brooke and Sam exchanged nervous glances, which only went to further Lily's suspicions.

"Uhm, Josh, Lily, we need to talk to you about something," Brooke started.

"Something really big," Sam added.

"And we just want you to hear us out before you freak out and like yell and run out of here," Brooke continued.

"And we ask that you keep it between the four of us and give us a chance to tell the others at our on pace," Sam kept going. Frankly they were giving Lily a headache and poor Josh couldn't keep up.

"Let me get this straight," Lily interjected before the two started up again and she lost entire track of the conversation. "You have something big to tell us," two nods, "that you don't want us to freak out over," two more nods, "and that you want to keep to ourselves for now," two last nods. "OK, got it. Lay it on us."

Sam looked at Brooke who simply shrugged and looked back at her.

"Oh, you're a lot of help," Sam sighed. "Josh, Lily, we're in love." There she said it. She winced and waited for the fallout.

A huge smile began to spread across Lily's face. As it got larger, Sam swore that if it got any bigger the girl's head would split in two. (Is this a good reaction or is she plotting something horrible against us? Is Lily capable of plotting something horrible?) Sam wondered.

"That's great," Josh said, shocking both girls. "With who?" Lily sighed, closed her eyes and smacked herself upside the forehead. She looked back at Sam and Brooke.

"And to think, I married him," she said wearily. Josh looked at all three girls, obviously not keeping up with the converation.

"What? What did I say?" he asked, genuinely confused. Lily gave him a gentle pat on the shoulder.

"With each other, Josh. And not as sisters. `In love', in love. Sam and Brooke are in love with each other," she explained softly, like a parent explaining that no, Josh, there is no Santa Claus. Josh looked back and forth between Sam and Brooke for a few minutes in dumb silence.

"But they're girls," he whispered to Lily as if she didn't know. Lily rolled her eyes and sighed. She really hoped their children, if they ever had any, took after her side in the brains department.

"Very observant of you, honey. They're also gay," she said.

"Happy?" Josh said hopefully. Sam and Brooke, who were actually trying not to laugh, just shook their heads.

"No, homosexual. Although I'm sure happy does factor in there somewhere," Lily continued. Sam and Brooke nodded.

"Oh," Josh said, as it started to sink in. "Oh!" he repeated, finally getting it. He blinked a few times as he processed the information and then stood up abruptly. "I have to go now," he said as he headed for the door.

"Josh," chorused Lily, Brooke, and Sam. Josh turned and looked at all three.

"I'm OK, with this, really. It's just, Brooke, you were my first love. I lost my virginity with you. You're still really special to me. Don't get me wrong, I really love you Lily. I just need some time to think about this. My first love just told me she's gay, it's kind of a shock," he said honestly. As he reached the door he turned back again.

"Hey, Sam, I've always liked you. You're a pretty cool person. If you make Brooke happy, than that's all that matters to me. But get this straight right here and now, you hurt her and you'll answer to me, got it?" Sam nodded.

"Duly noted, Josh," Sam responded.

"And don't worry, I won't say a word at school. I care for you and respect you both too much to do that. I can understand what it must have taken for the two of you to have told us this. Thank you for your honesty. I'll see you at home, Lily. Love you," he said as he left.

"Wow, that didn't go as horribly awry as I'd feared," Brooke said in relief as she flopped down on the couch. Sam sat down next to her and wrapped her arms around her as Lily watched.

"Does this bother you Lily? Because I can not do it when you're around," Sam said hastily as she started to remove her arms. Lily laughed.

"No, it's fine. It's cute actually. I was just thinking what an unnaturally and sinfully good-looking couple you were." Brooke stared at her for a minute.

"You know, you're taking this awfully well." Lily shrugged.

"I saw this coming," Lily informed them. They both stared at her, mouths agape. "What? You think just because I'm the little sweet one that I don't see what's going on around me? I protest and crusade and never actually notice the one thing going on under my nose? Please. There was enough sexual tension between the two of you since the seventh grade to light a million fires. Anyone who got too close got their eyebrows singed and after the accident, I noticed the little changes, the looks, the way you flirted. Just because no one else wants to acknowledge it doesn't mean I didn't." Brooke buried her face in her hands either in distress or relief, Sam and Lily weren't sure and Sam just smiled.

"Were you ever going to share this little tidbit of information with the rest of us?" Lily arched an eyebrow and smirked.

"And miss out on the free daily show? Hell no! It was better than basic cable. Besides, you both would have had me carted away to the nearest psychiatric facility."

"She has a point," Brooke said through her hands. Sam cuddled closer and rested her head on Brooke's shoulder.

"What about Josh?" Lily waved her off.

"He'll be fine. Probably better than fine given the wonderful mental imagery you two just supplied him with," Lily said sarcastically with a hint of mirth. Brooke groaned into her hands and Sam snickered at her discomfort, which got her an elbow to the ribs.

"Have you told your parents?" Lily asked hoping to allieviate some of Brooke's discomfort.

"Mom knows, but we're holding out on telling Mike until the bomb shelter's completed," another elbow to the rib. "Ow, stop that before you rebreak them," Sam ordered as the last blow actually hurt.

"Sorry," Brooke said honestly, lifting her head and looking at Sam who kissed her lightly on the tip of her nose.

"Hey, I just had a good thought," Lily piped up. Sam and Brooke looked at her expectantly. "Not that it was ever a real worry, but now I really don't have to worry about ever losing Josh back to you Brooke." She tried valiantly to avoid the flying couch pillows tossed in her direction but to no avail.

Section 3 Harrison


"So, who's next on our little `move out of the way of the closet door lest you be smacked in the face with it' list?" Sam asked cheerfully, a little too cheerfully for Brooke's taste at breakfast a few days after they informed Lily and Josh of their relationship. And as Lily had said, Josh was fine, once the shock wore off and neither friend had told another soul of what was confessed that night. It went to show Sam and Brooke just what good friends Josh and Lily actually were. They both took comfort in the fact that even if all their other friends reacted badly, at least Lily and Josh would still be there. Brooke regarded Sam carefully over the lid of her vanilla yogart.

"Where do you come up with some of this stuff Sam? Do you stand in front of the mirror and practice or what? You can be highly annoying sometimes and I don't even think you realize it," she said snottily. Sam looked at her in mild surprise and then looked at the calender and smirked. Without saying a word, she walked to the cabinet, took out a bottle and handed it to Brooke.

"Take two and talk to me again in twenty minutes," she prescribed calmly, grabbed a bottle of water, half a sandwich and headed out the door after placing a quick peck on Brooke's cheek. Brooke was about to snap back when she looked at the label on the bottle. After squelching the urge to put her head in the blender, Brooke did as Sam suggested. After all, two Midol never hurt anyone, did they?

Brooke caught up with Sam at her locker a little while later, sheepish smile on her face. Sam just smiled back.

"Feeling better, Princess?" she asked, enjoying the embarrassed look on Brooke's face. Brooke nodded.

"Yeah, sorry, didn't mean to take my PMS out on you," she apologized. Sam shrugged.

"Eh, don't worry about it. Now, manic episode aside, give any thought to my question this morning?" Brooke shook her head.

"Not really. I still want to hold off on Nicole. She's one of the last people I want to tell, aside from Dad, for obvious reasons. I don't think we'd have half the sentence out before she'll have flyers posted around the school declaring our sexual preference." Sam crinkled her nose.

"Oh, I can see it now: McQueen/McPherson Love Nest or Live-In Lesbian Stepsisters. No, wait, giving Nic way too much credit. Besides, that's more Mary Cherry's schtick than Nic's. And you never know, Nic might take it well," Sam offered. Brooke laughed sarcastically.

"Only because she'll see it as an opportunity to steal my throne out from underneath me. Can you see her as Queen of Kennedy High?" Images of Nic on a golden throne with the poor hapless students bowing and kissing her Prada clad feet, declaring their undying loyalty while she ordered their heads cut off for being uncool or out of fashion flashed through Sam's brain. It wasn't a pretty visual. Sam shook her head to get rid of it.

"Ew, don't do that. OK, that eliminates Nicole for now. And Mary Cherry, just for the whole, I-got-a-big-Southern-Mouth thing she's got going. Now, SHE'D put posters up. Only they'd be hideously tacky ones." Brooke laughed again and shook her head in agreement.

"OK, that leaves us with Carmen, Sugar, and Harrison," she said. They both thought about that one.

"Carmen is away at her uncle's remember? She won't be back for at least another week. Sugar Daddy can't keep a secret to save his life. That leaves Harrison and after the way he totally freaked when he found out about his mother, I'm not sure I want to tell him," Sam pointed out, a hint of worry creeping into her voice. "We can always wait for Carm to get home." Brooke shook her head.

"No, we have to do this, Sam. I hate lying to everyone. I'm not ashamed of you, of us and I don't want to have to hide it. It's stressful and tiring. I know Harrison probably isn't going to take it well. Heck, he's had a thing for the both of us forever and this is seriously going to wound his pride and his ego," Brooke emphasized. Sam sighed.

"I know. It's just, he's been a good friend for so long that I hate to lose him," she said quietly. Wanting nothing more than to wrap her girlfriend in a giant comforting hug but knowing the hallway at school wasn't the best place to do it, Brooke settled for putting a reassuring hand on Sam's shoulder.

"I understand and feel the same way, but either he finds out from us or someone else lets it slip and he really freaks out because we didn't tell him," she explained patiently. Sam nodded, knowing Brooke was right. "Tell you what, why don't we invite Harrison over for dinner since Mom will be home late and Dad is away at Gramps with Mac {A/N: are those two EVER home?} and tell him then? At least it's not a public place and he's free to leave at anytime."

"OK," Sam agreed half-heartedly. "You know this isn't going to go over well?"

"Like a lead balloon," Brooke conceeded. She shrugged. "You never know, maybe having to deal with his mother's homosexuality has made him more openminded." Sam scoffed.

"Yeah," she mumbled. "And monkeys might fly out of my butt." Brooke looked up and down the hallway to make sure they were alone and then spanked Sam on the ass.

"God, I hope not."

EGO PLATE FOR 1 ? [you know who you are]

"Thanks you two, dinner was delicious," Harrison declared as he finished his plate. Brooke and Sam smiled.

"You can thank Brooke. I'm lucky if I can make cereal without setting fire to the kitchen," Sam told him making them all laugh.

"She's not that bad, Harrison. Just the other day she made me a wonderful dinner," Brooke said as she cleared the table. Sam shook her head.

"Macaroni and cheese out of a box, Harrison. Even I can figure that much out." Harrison watched the two in wonder.

"I never figured the two of you for becoming the picture of domestic bliss. You're almost like an old married couple," he said casually. Good thing Sam was sitting or she would have fallen over. And good thing Brooke had a good grip on those dishes or they would have needed to go shopping for new place settings. They stared at him in barely disguised shock.

"Excuse me?" Sam asked. (Was that my voice? I sounded like Alvin the chimpmunk after sucking on helium) Harrison looked at her like she sprouted feathers.

"What? Two years ago you couldn't stand to be in the same zip code never mind the same house and now you cook for each other, it just blows the mind, that's all. Who knew?" he answered with a smile. "I think it's great you get along so well."

(Oh, Harrison if only you knew) Brooke sighed to herself and exchanged anxious glances with Sam.

"So, Harrison," Brooke started after she put the dishes down and sat at the table, "how are things with your Mom?" She caught the look Sam sent her. It plainly asked (What the Hell are you doing? Are you brain damaged?) She chose to ignore it. Harrison sighed.

"Better. Not great, but better. It's tough, you know. I thought she was this one person my whole life and then she turns out to be someone else. It's tough to deal with sometimes." (Oh, great) Sam thought bitterly, (Here, let's add to your baggage)

"She's still your Mom, Harrison, she still loves you," Brooke said gently. Harrison nodded.

"I know, but she lied to me for so long. It's hard to get over that." Sam shot Brooke a desperate look. Brooke shrugged at her with a pained expression on her face.

"But you've forgiven her?" Sam prompted. Harrison shrugged.

"I don't have much choice, I guess. She's my mom," he looked up at his two dinner companions. "Why the sudden interest in my parental situation?"

"Harrison, are you homophobic?" Sam asked bluntly. Brooke glared at her so hotly it could have melted steel. Harrison's look was similar.

"Are you trying to piss me off, Sam? Because you're doing a good job so far," he growled. Sam raised her hands, palms up at Brooke to say (you try) and then shut up. Harrison watched the exchange and turned his attention to Brooke.

"You want to tell me why she's acting so loopy all of a sudden? Is it an after effect of the coma?" he asked, his voice taking on a hard edge. "I know that head trauma can make people act funny sometimes but I thought she was recovered." Silently Sam figured he already knew where the conversation was going. (Yeah, Harrison, two points for Oblivious Boy) Sam laughed to herself. Meanwhile, Brooke sighed. Sometimes she wondered how a writer as talented as Sam could lack so much tact. It was like Sam was absent the day they taught that at would-be-journalist school.

"Harrison, she's fine. Just as subtle as a brick, as usual," Sam glared at her. "Look, we really wanted to talk to you about something tonight."

"And that concerns my Mom how?" a slightly suspicious tone was creeping into his voice and Sam was positive he couldn't be THAT thick an individual.

"Harrison, I don't, we don't know how to say this.to tell you this." Brooke trailed off, suddenly at a loss for words. Sam watched her falter and took pity on the girl she loved so much so she spoke up again.

"All right, listen up because I'm only going over this once," she said to draw Harrison's attention back to her. Harrison stared at her waiting patiently. Sam felt a little bead of sweat run down the side of her face and impatiently reached up to wipe it away. (God, I hope I don't look like I'm panicing)

"I love Brooke, she loves me. Not in a stepsister way, but in a gay girlfriend/girlfriend sort of way. If you have some sort of problem with that, and I really hope you don't because you really mean a lot to the both of us, then take your issues elsewhere," she paused for breath and gauged Harrison's reaction. His face was blank. Unsure what to make of this, Sam continued.

"I know this has got to be confusing. Hell, it was for us too, but this is real, Harrison. And yes, Mom knows. So do Lily and Josh. They all took it really well and just want us to be happy. I know that you have, had feelings for one or both of us at some time, Harrison but it was never going to work out. Our hearts belong to each other. It's the simple truth. We just ask that you either accept or not, but either way, respect our privacy and not go blabbing it all over school like some sort of demented town crier. Let us tell everyone our own way. Give us that much," finished and out of breath, Sam stopped and waited for Harrison's reaction.

Brooke waited too, relieved that Sam had said all that and it was at last out of the way. Harrison looked from one girl to the next, back and forth for several minutes without saying a word. This was making them very, very nervous.

"You're kidding, right?" he asked quietly, looking down at the table for a second. "I'll forgive you if you are, this once." A few tears slipped down Brooke's face as she shook her head and Sam sighed.

"'Fraid not, Harrison,' Sam informed him. (Here it comes, I can hear the pressure building) Harrison's face turned purple and he sprung up from his chair so fast it reminded Sam of those movie theatres that used to have the shocking seats. He now looked at both girls like they'd grown horns and tails.

"Holy Shit! Is it something in the God Damn water supply?" His arms started to flap like he was trying to fly away and Brooke had to surpress the hysterical giggle that bubbled up unexpectedly.

"First my Mom goes all gay on me and now my two best friends? The two girls I love the most? One who I slept with and the one who I dreamed of marrying someday?" Sam and Brooke looked at each other guiltily. They'd been expecting this but it didn't make it hurt any less.

"Did I do something to cause this? Am I really that bad? Is is me that make all the women in my life become lesbians? Because it sure feels that way," he ranted pitifully.

"Harrison, you know that's ridiculous," Sam started. Harrison cut her off with a begging look. He reminded her of a puppy who was just kicked in the ribs with a steel toed cowboy boot.

"Is it Sam? I dreamed of having children with you someday, Sam," he confessed, tears appearing on his face and mirrored on hers. That comment actually hurt. "It's one of the things that kept me going when I was sick. That and keeping you from marrying the wrong guy! And now I see I shouldn't have been worrying about a GUY!" he shot Brooke a dirty look that then softened.

"And Brooke, God, Brooke, I have loved you in some way since kindergarden. How could you do this to me?" Sam moved towards him but he backed away like she was a leper.

"Stay the Hell away from me, haven't you hurt me enough? I bet the two of you were having one Hell of a good laugh at my expense, huh?" he continued angrily. "All this time I spent pining for the both of you while you were groping each other behind my back. `Poor little Harrison, look at how he longs for you Brooke, and I've got you all to myself'. Or `Harrison will never know you the way I do, Sam'. It's sick!" he was screaming now and both girls were reduced to tears although Sam was beginning to get pissed.

"Back off, Harrison, it's not like that. You have no idea what you're talking about," she shot back, lashing out with her own hurt and desperate to regain control of the situation before it degraded any further.

"Then tell me Sam, how long have you been fucking Brooke? Did it start before or after the accident? Is that it why you saved her? Or is this your doing Brooke? Were you taking advantage of Sam while she was weak and confused? Are you just playing with her until the next football star comes along to satisfy you? Tell me, Brooke, is Sammy a good fuck?" The resounding slap Harrison got from Brooke that echoed through the kitchen for a long time served to stop any further conversation.

"I think you'd better leave now, Harrison," Brooke hissed in a low growl, no longer crying and angry beyond words. Her entire body was trembling with the unspent emotion. "You are no longer welcome in our home until you can behave with some level of civility and maturity."

Harrison raised his hand and put in on the cheek Brooke had hit and stared at the girls in shock. He took a minute to recover from being struck and then shook his head in disgust and disappointment.

"Whatever," he mumbled. "You're both a pair of messed up head cases." He grabbed his coat and hastily headed for the door. He turned back to Sam, malice lighting his eyes. "Hey Sam, I'd go back and get my head examined if I were you. That accident obviously did more damage than you thought it did. And Brooke," he turned his glower to the blonde, "I don't remember what I ever saw in you. You're as shallow and vapid as Sam always said you were."

"Get out, Harrison," Sam ordered in a low growl. Brooke wrapped her arms around Sam from behind, holding on tight both for support and to keep the highly irate brunette from doing bodily harm to Harrison. Something in Sam's tone told Brooke it wasn't far off from happening. Harrison glared at them both evilly.

"You make me sick. And don't worry about me telling anyone. This is the last thing I'll ever want to discuss again. You two no longer exist to me," he spat and slammed the door behind him.


Jane came home later that night to find both girls on the couch, Sam curled up protectively in Brooke's lap. They both looked like they'd been crying for a very long time. Setting down her bag, she sat down in the chair across from them and offered a small smile.

"How did dinner go?" she asked gently, already knowing the answer wasn't good. Sam sniffed and buried herself deeper into Brooke's lap. Brooke sighed. She looked at Jane with puffy, red rimmed eyes still filled with tears.

"Badly," she said simply, quietly. Sam `hurumphed'.

"Catastrophic," Sam mumbled though Brooke's shirt. Jane groaned. She had a feeling Harrison wouldn't take the news well but she had been hoping to be wrong.

"Harrison freaked out, did he?" Brooke nodded.

"Major freak out, Mom. Took the whole thing personal and then accused us of all sorts of nasty things," Brooke was gently stroking the hair away from Sam's face as she spoke. Sam shifted so she could look at her mother. Jane was disturbed to see how distraught her daughter looked.

"I think he's gonna pull an Erin Brockavich and call the Water Department to check and make sure that no one's tampering with the water supply," she joked lamely.

"Maybe once he settles down he'll find a way to accept this the same way he has his mother," Jane offered but her words sounded hollow even to her own ears. Brooke shook her head.

"Maybe," she agreed although she obviously wasn't convinced.

"Probably not, Brooke. You heard him, he only accepts his mom because he has to, she's his mom, they're bound by blood. No such bond here," Sam said bitterly. Brooke sighed.

"Sixteen years of friendship should stand for something," she countered. Sam shook her head.

"But it won't," Sam answered. Jane sighed. Sam, unfortunately had a point.

"I prefer to think it will," Brooke said confidently.

"Optimist," Sam teased, her mood lifting slightly.

"Pessimist," Brooke accused, kissing Sam's forehead. Sam gave her a small smile.

"Realist, actually. But I guess it wouldn't kill me to hold out hope," she acquiesced. Jane nodded with a smile.

"No, it wouldn't. After all, stranger things have happened. Look at the two of you."

"Yeah, Sam," Brooke agreed with the first hint of a real smile since Harrison left earlier. "Besides, the guy's got to face us each day at school. It's going to be kind of tough to ignore the both of us all the time." Sam sat up and wiped a hand across the face.

"Oh, I think he'll give it a pretty good try. Either that or move to Antarctica," she settled into Brooke, her back against Brooke's front so they were both facing Jane. "So, now what do we do?" Jane shrugged.

"Who's next on your list to tell?" Sam and Brooke looked at each other.

"Carmen," they said in unison. Jane smiled.

"Well then, that one won't be bad. It's Carmen after all. She takes everything in stride. It'll work out. You'll see." Brooke and Sam exchanged looks that plainly said they weren't convinced but were willing to give it a try. After all, it couldn't get any worse than Harrison, could it?

Part 2

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