DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, but I certainly wish I did. Damn Ryan Murphy and his unrivaled genius.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is in response to a challenge posted on a group a long time ago. What would happen if one of our favorite pairing stumbled upon the diary of the other.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Truth about Tippy Typewriter
By Teara


Part Seven

Brooke sighed as she heard the door to Sam's room open and close. It was followed by the sound of footsteps in the hall. She held her breath as the feet paused in front of her door, but sighed again as the brunette continued down the stairs. The blonde flopped down on her bed. She was bluer than blue and there was no one to blame but herself.

She felt like she was going crazy lately. Her emotions were up and down and they only intensified every time she was near Sam. Something inside of her felt like it was slowly dying and she couldn't breathe. She continued to read "Tippy's Journal" even though it caused a burning sensation in her stomach and she would sometimes lay awake in her bed late at night running the words through her mind over and over again. Sam hadn't said much about the disaster that had happened, but it had destroyed the thing that mattered to Brooke the most, their friendship. Sam really liked Mia. Brooke couldn't understand why she couldn't just be happy for the journalist. Sam was her friend after all.

She couldn't explain it, but whenever she was in the other girl's presence she became a completely different person. Someone she didn't recognize and it wasn't like Mia had done anything to her. There was just something about her that got under Brooke's skin. She was just too…perfect. Having to hear Sam talk about how wonderful Mia was made Brooke feel like her heart was being ripped into little pieces and she felt like she was going to be sick. This was not a normal reaction to have to someone she disliked. She'd disliked plenty of people in the past. Hell she even disliked a few people she knew now, but no one made her react the way Mia did.

And she still didn't know what she'd been trying to achieve that night at dinner, certainly not a week of the silent treatment from Sam. Things had gone a lot further than she'd ever thought they would. She hadn't meant the hurtful things she said to the brunette. She just hadn't liked the thought of having to sit at her dinner table, with her family, watching Sam making eyes at the petite blonde. She'd tried putting it off for as long as she could. There hadn't been cheerleading practice. Brooke had just driven to the park and sat there people watching until she figured she'd missed most of dinner. All the while, her mind had been filled with thoughts of everyone sitting around the table laughing and having a good time, not even thinking about her. When she had finally gone home and she saw the girl sitting there as if she belonged, Brooke was angry. She'd almost let it slip that she knew about Sam's feelings towards her. Angry was not a good shade on Brooke. She was slowly becoming a person she didn't like. The fact that Sam now brought Mia to the house on a regular basis only added fuel to an already out of control fire. Why couldn't Sam see how phony she was? Why did she have to look at Sam like that? Why couldn't they just break up already?

Whoa, where did that come from? Brooke asked herself in confusion. Why would she even think something like that? She let out a growl of frustration as the burning returned to her stomach. She'd never felt like this before. Wait, that wasn't exactly true. She had felt this way before. It had only happened twice that she could remember, both times with Josh. Once when Josh had been dating Carmen and when he'd first started dating Lily, but that couldn't be right. Those situations were completely different. She'd been jealous because she wanted Josh. She didn't want Mia, did she? Eww no, she thought with a frown. She didn't want Sam either, right? No, that was crazy. Why would she even think… No, there was no way. She couldn't, could she?

Brooke paced around the room trying to gather her thoughts. Too many of them were coming at her at one time. Images of Sam from various stages of their relationship fluttered from the deep recesses of her mind, as her thoughts swirled. It was like they were all trying to form one thread, a single thought, but they kept getting jumbled. She needed to take a moment to sort through them.

Did she think Sam was attractive? Well sure, anyone with eyes could see Sam was beautiful - no more than beautiful, Sam was sexy…hot…stunning. That was plain as day to anyone who looked at her. But she thought the same things about Nicole Kidman when she watched Moulin Rouge. There was nothing wrong with that, right? Could she see herself kissing Sam? She had to admit that she had thought about it from time to time. Especially when she saw the journalist running her tongue along her teeth or sticking it in the side of her cheek. She bet Sam was a fabulous kisser. That thought made her blush. Could she see herself touching Sam? She touched Sam constantly, at least she used to. Touching her intimately? That thought made her blush even deeper as Sam's oral fixation came back to mind.

Okay so she was attracted to Sam, she could deal with that. There was nothing wrong with being attracted to another girl. Then why was she jealous? Why was it that the thought of Mia touching the brunette made her want to rip every strand of blonde hair from the other cheerleader's head? That seemed to be indicative of feelings that were more than attraction. But how much more? She cared about Sam a lot. And the brunette seemed to occupy her thoughts constantly. Sam had a way of getting a person caught up in her excitement or latest crusade. Brooke loved when the journalist would come home after one of her articles in the Zapruder had turned out well. Whenever Sam was having a bad day, Brooke went out of her way to try to get Sam to smile or laugh. She'd learned over the last couple of months they'd been friends how to do just that. It didn't hurt that she was normally rewarded with a hug. No one gave a hug like Sam did. For one thing, Sam always smelled incredible and she was so warm. The blonde could spend all day wrapped in Sam's arms. They always made Brooke feel like she was one half of a puzzle being put back together. And there it was, the answer to her question. Sam was the other half to her puzzle. They just fit together. Even when they fought something always drew them back together.

That was why she'd never felt threatened by George or Harrison. They'd never been competition, not like Mia. Mia threatened everything. She'd even reverted back to their old ways and Sam had simply walked away. And they hadn't spoken in a week. Sam wouldn't even look at her. Without Sam, she felt lost and incomplete. She needed Sam. Something about finally admitting that made her feel like a terrible weight had been lifted from her shoulders. The fear she was expecting didn't come. In fact, she felt sort of euphoric. She wanted Sam. And she would have Sam. But how?

Brooke walked into her room and slammed the door. She was in the worst mood imaginable, but that wasn't anything new. Five days! Five days since she'd made her little self-discovery and it hadn't made her life any easier. No, if anything it had made her life ten times harder. How could she have not seen it? It was like someone had given her the missing lens to her glasses and she was overly aware of everything Sam did. The way her laughter filled the air when someone told a joke at the lunch table. The little smirk she got on her face whenever she gave the Claw the right answer in class. Even the way she ate her dinner at night and her tongue would snake out to catch the little bit of seasoning that was caught on her lip. But none of that made a bit of difference. To Sam, Brooke didn't exist. No matter what she did, Sam wouldn't even acknowledge her presence. To make matters worse, Brooke found herself thinking irrational things about the brunette. Things that involved her pulling Sam into the Novak and giving her that first kiss that "Tippy's Journal" told her Sam still longed for.

That was hard to do when the other person wouldn't even look in your direction. Well, she hadn't been completely immune to Brooke's charms, the blonde thought with a smirk. She remembered the look on Sam's face the previous day, when she'd come into the kitchen sporting the new Bring It pep squad uniform. By the time Sam's brown eyes had finally met Brooke's hazel, she'd scowled and turned away, but not before Brooke saw the blush that had crept from the journalist's cheeks to the tip of her ears. That had filled her with a renewed sense of hope.

Sam was still interested, but Brooke needed to act fast. Sam'd already been going out with Mia for almost two months and the blonde was well aware of what happened when Harrison had told her about his feelings and she'd been with George. The problem was that she'd been allowing the brunette to avoid her and if that kept up, she'd be giving the toast at Sam and Mia's wedding; that is if she was even invited. No, she needed to make Sam see that her feelings were no longer unrequited. A plan formed in her mind and she knew she needed to act right away or risk losing her nerve.

She walked the two doors down to Sam's room and opened the door without knocking. Sam, who was sitting at her desk writing an article, spun around in surprise. "God Brooke, do you even understand the concept of a closed door? Don't you know how to knock?"

"What would have been the point? Would you have let me in if I did?" Brooke asked in a matter of fact tone.

The brunette just shrugged before returning her attention to her laptop and for a moment Brooke wondered if this was such a good idea. She quickly tamped down her feelings and proceeded. "Sam, we need to talk."

"We do? That's funny cause everything I had to say to you, I said two weeks ago."

"Well maybe now I have something to say that you need to listen to," Brooke replied. Sam was silent, but Brooke knew she was listening. "First, I want to say I'm sorry for the way I acted at dinner. I said a lot of things I didn't mean. I got caught up in the moment and said hurtful things. I was out of line and you were right when you said I wasn't acting like a friend. I…I haven't been acting like friend a lot lately…" At that Sam turned wary brown eyes towards her. She looked back at the girl she'd never really noticed before and wondered how she could have ever been so blind. "It's just I've been going through some things lately. Things I wasn't really aware I was going through and, uh, I should have been talking to you about how I was feeling instead of shutting you out."

"Yes you should have, Brooke. You told me, that day in the store, that you felt like you could tell me things and I wouldn't judge you. Did you mean that? Did you really believe that?" Sam finished quietly.

Brooke could see the hurt in Sam's eyes and mentally chastised herself for being the person to put it there. When this was all over and Sam was finally hers, she'd make sure that she made it up to Sam.

"I did mean it and I do believe it. It's just…I think it was something I had to figure out myself first. But now I'm ready to talk with you."

The scowl was now gone from Sam's face as she sat forward in rapt attention. Brooke took a deep breath and smiled over at the journalist. "I think you should break up with Mia."

Sam sat back, stunned. Her mouth was open as wide as her eyes. Brooke thought she looked like a dying fish. "Excuse me? What did you say?" The brunette asked incredulously.

Okay, maybe leading with that wasn't such a bright idea, Brooke thought, but hindsight was twenty-twenty, and now it was time to do damage control. "Okay Sam, that came out all wrong."

"It did? You meant to say something other than that I should break up with my girlfriend?"

"No, I meant that, but not the way I said it. Just let me explain what I…"

"No, I don't think you need to explain, Brooke. I think I understand just fine. God, why did I expect you to change? It's always about Brooke. It always has been. I mean it's bad enough you don't like her, but now, now you're telling me who to date?"

"Sam it's not like that…There are things I need to say. Things you aren't letting me say."

"Oh yeah? Cause I think you've said enough already," Sam said standing up from her chair and pacing.

"I know you think that, but if you would just let me explain…"

"Explain what Brooke? That you're the most self centered, cold-hearted bitch on the planet? I mean you went from apologizing to telling me to break up with Mia in like five seconds flat. That's got to be some kind of record. How could I ever consider you a friend? A friend wouldn't come in here and tell me to break up with my girlfriend simply because she didn't like her."

"No, but a friend would tell you when you were making a big mistake!" Brooke shouted, causing Sam to stop mid-pace.

"And what gives you the impression that I'm making a big mistake?"

"It's been almost two months and you haven't even kissed the girl. Geez Sam, senior citizens don't go that slow."

Sam visibly bristled at that. "Well excuse me for not wanting to jump into bed with the first girl I date. This is new territory for me," Sam said defensively.

"That may be what you tell Mia and yourself, but why don't you just admit that you don't think she's the one for you? I think it's pretty obvious."

"Why don't I admit…why don't you admit that you don't like that someone else now has monopoly on my time? Poor lapdog Sammy with no social life isn't waiting around to live out her days vicariously through the Great Queen B."

"That is not what this is about!" Brooke spat back.

"Oh it isn't? Then why don't you tell me what this is about? Because I obviously don't know."

"You want to know what this is about? Fine, it's about this…" Brooke said as she stood in front of the brunette. She tangled her hands in Sam's hair and crushed their lips together.

Sam fought her at first out of shock, but she didn't resist for long. With a whimper, she began to kiss back. The kiss was urgent but tender and the blonde thought her knees were going to buckle when she felt Sam's tongue tentatively flick her bottom lip, asking for admittance. She gladly acquiesced and as Sam's tongue timidly explored her mouth, a feeling of rightness swept over her. She wondered why she'd fought this for so long. This was where she belonged, pressed against Sam with the journalist's hands moving slowly down her back, causing her to moan.

The sound of the moan seemed to lift the fog that had settled over them. Before she knew what was happening, Sam was wrenching her mouth away, stumbling backwards. "What the hell was that?"

"That was me telling you I have feelings for you and I know you have feelings for me too."

"You have…feelings for me? When? What? I …I, I can't do this. I, uh, I have a girlfriend and you're Brooke and you're straight…and I have...I have a girlfriend," Sam stuttered.

"A fact that I'm painfully aware of, hence my earlier statement," Brooke replied. The words seemed to break the stupor that Sam had temporarily fallen in. Her brown eyes flashed and Brooke could barely keep from flinching.

"And you think you can just waltz in here and tell me to break up with her and…and kiss me like that? And then what was I supposed to do? Just fall into your arms and completely disregard a relationship I have built over the past two months?"

Brooke looked away sheepishly. She really didn't know what she had expected when she'd come into Sam's room, but now she was wishing that she hadn't. "Well, when you say it like that it sounds so callous." Then, figuring she couldn't mess up more than she already had, she decided to be totally honest, "In a perfect world, I guess I assumed that you would."

"Well you know what happens when you assume, Brooke. You make an ass out of you and me!" The brunette said shutting her laptop and storming towards the door.

"Sam…Sammy where are you going?" Brooke called after her.

Sam spun around and there was something in her eyes that Brooke had never seen before. "I'm going to see my girlfriend, and do what, according to you, I should have done two months ago," the brunette said walking out of the room and slamming the door.

Brooke flopped back down on the bed, letting out a sigh as tears of fear and frustration streamed down her cheeks. She'd really fucked things up.

Sam returned three hours later, long after everyone had gone to bed. Brooke lay awake in her bed, listening to Sam's soft footsteps as she walked quietly past the blonde's room and into her own. Brooke turned over on her side, willing her tears not to come. She didn't know what she was going to do. Sam definitely wasn't going to break up with Mia, and now she was going to know, first hand, what it felt like to have unrequited feelings. Feelings that she'd so foolishly pushed Sam away for having.

She heard Sam moving in the hall again, past her room and to the bathroom. This was like torture, but she was responsible for this mess. If she was destined to live a life of listening to and watching Sam from afar, then so be it. Moments later she heard her door open and held impossibly still as the brunette stood in her doorway. She listened as the door closed again and let out the breath she'd been holding. Only the footsteps she expected going down the hall were making their way over towards her. She felt the gentle pressure of Sam sitting on her bed and willed her erratic breathing to be normal.

"I kissed her," Sam said quietly.

Brooke really didn't like where this conversation was headed. She would rather be alone assuming the worst, than with Sam having her confirm her worst fears. But there was no sense in continuing to feign sleep since they both knew she was awake. "And how was it?" She croaked out.

"It was…nice," Sam replied nonchalantly.

"Oh," was all the blonde said and an awkward silence fell over the room.

"And then…we broke up," Sam said quietly.

Brooke turned over and looked at Sam's face. The brunette was obviously upset. "Why?"

"Why?" She asked with a humorless chuckle. "Because I kissed her and all I could think about was you. All I could think when my girlfriend who I was crazy about kissed me, was how she wasn't you."

"Oh," was all Brooke said as silence, once again, filled the room.

"I told you that and all you can say is 'oh?'"

"Well, I'm not really sure what else to say. I mean I'm obviously not happy that you're upset, but I can't say I'm complaining that my kiss affected you."

"Yeah well, don't get too happy there, Princess. There are a few things that you and I need to work out."

At this Brooke sat up. She didn't care what they had to work out. She was just happy that Sam had come back to her. She felt like she wanted to get up and dance. Well, maybe not dance, but she was definitely brimming with unshed energy. "Okay, what would you like to talk about first?" She asked with a big smile.

"You said something earlier that caught my attention. Just how did you know that I had feelings for you?" Sam asked cautiously.

Brooke's smile faded as her euphoria came to a screeching halt. What should she do? She could take the easy way out and lie about reading "Tippy's" journal, or she could be honest and risk losing Sam forever. She took one look up into Sam's brown eyes, and she knew that she would never be able to live with herself if their relationship was based on a lie. So Brooke took a deep breath and stepped off into the deep end.

"I read 'Tippy's' journal."


Part Eight

Sam slammed her locker shut. She was furious. Today had not been a good day. Mac had kept the whole house awake the night before with some horrendous stomach virus. She hadn't heard her alarm and overslept. Brooke had used up all the hot water and she got stuck in traffic on her way to school. When she arrived at Kennedy High, things hadn't improved. First period was a thing of the past. She'd made it just in time to miss the late bell for second period, her class with none other that Bobbi Glass. That was enough to put anyone in a bad mood, but then the Claw had sprung a pop quiz on them. A quiz that actually had something to do with the subject of Physics, leaving her totally unprepared. Of course her lovely blonde seatmate didn't seem at all surprised by the test and she was sure that Brooke had aced it.

That fact made her blood boil. No matter what happened, or who was in the wrong, Brooke always came up smelling like roses. She looked down at the note in her hand and was tempted to read it, but she already knew what it said. She'd gotten one everyday for the past three days. They were from Brooke. Since the blonde had spent the first two days ineffectually trying to get Sam to talk to her, she'd resorted to the letters, apologizing for her actions. They just made Sam angrier. Leave it to Brooke to be so arrogant as to think that this could all be fixed by a simple apology. Didn't she understand that this was a direct violation of privacy?

It wasn't just that Brooke had read her journal. It was that Brooke had not only kept reading it, but she'd done it for so long. How could someone that's supposed to be her most trusted friend keep that from her for almost six months? Six whole months! For six whole months her every private thought or feeling was exposed to someone she didn't think should be privy to them. She was so mad she wanted to kick something.

"Uh Sam…" came a voice from behind her.

"What?" She practically growled as she turned around to find Carmen and Lily.

"Whoa, put the claws away. We were just going to walk with you to the cafeteria," Lily said, holding her hands up in defense.

"Oh, sorry guys," Sam said, looking contrite.

"What's been going on with you lately? You've been so snippy," Carmen asked as they made their way to the lunchroom.

"Nothing's been going on. I've…just had a lot on my mind," Sam answered.

"Is this about Mia? I mean it's only been a week since you two broke up so we totally understand you still being upset," Carmen pressed on.

"Yeah, I mean this can't be easy for you. If my girlfriend broke up with me after two months I'd be all upset and grr..too," Lily added.

"THIS IS NOT ABOUT…"Sam began to shout but saw that several people had stopped and were looking at them. "This is not about Mia! And I broke up with her, she didn't break up with me!" Sam said in an angry whisper.

"But you told us that she dumped you," Lily whispered in shock.

"I know I told you that," Sam replied grabbing a bag of chips from the cart.

"Why would you lie to us about it?" Carmen asked, a hint of hurt in her voice.

"Because I knew you guys' next question would be, 'Why did you break up with Mia?'" Sam said, picking up her tray and walking towards their table.

"And you would be correct," Lily added, following her out of the lunch line.

"I don't want to talk about it," Sam said, looking at her two friends pointedly.

"Okay, but you have to tell us why you've been two seconds from ripping everyone's heads off for the past week," Carmen said.

"I can't! It's all a part of the thing I don't want to talk about," Sam replied.

"Right, the thing that has nothing to do with Mia…" Lily said sarcastically.

"It isn't about Mia…" Sam growled.

"Then who is it about?" Carmen asked.

"Hi Sam," Brooke said as she walked over to the table. Sam offered her no response. She fixed her icy glare on the blonde for a moment before turning away. "Right, I'll just go get in line," Brooke finished before walking in the direction of the long lunch line.

"Okay, what the hell was that? I thought you two were best friends," Carmen asked as she took a sip of her juice box.

"We were…" Sam replied. "But I don't want…"

" …to talk about it. I thought you were going to say that. Okay, so let's do a little math," Lily started. "You break up with Mia. Then you lie to everyone and say that she dumped you, just so you didn't have to answer any questions…"

"Meanwhile, this is like the fourth day in a row that Brooke has opted to sit with the foreign exchange student, there in no man's land," Carmen interrupted. The three stopped talking as they watched the blonde in question sit next to the new student that had just moved to America from Yemen.

"That's pretty much it in a nutshell," Sam said vaguely.

"I think we deserve a better explanation than that and before you say that you don't want to talk about it, I think you owe us at least an explanation since you lied to us," Lily said.

Sam sighed. She could just refuse and that would be the end of the conversation, at least for today. She knew Lily and Carmen were relentless at times. Besides, given the fact that she'd just been lied to by her best friend, she didn't think she should continue the cycle. So she took a deep breath and spilled the whole sordid story, save for the kiss she and Brooke had shared. Silence filled the air as she finished her story. She was almost worried as she watched the two of them sit stock still, not blinking. She waved her hand in front of their faces.

"Um, guys? Are you okay?" Sam asked.

"Brooke's gay?" Carmen whimpered.

"You have a secret journal?" Lily asked.

"I don't know if Brooke's gay. And yes, I have a secret journal. Well I did, before Brooke totally went behind my back and read it."

"You're in love with Brooke?" Lily asked, finally looking over at Sam.

"Brooke's gay?" Carmen asked again.

"I am in love with Brooke, yes," Sam admitted quietly. This was not why she'd told them the story.

"…And Brooke's in love with you?" Lily asked in confusion.

"Brooke's gay?!" Carmen said loudly.

"Carmen shh…I'm sure even if she is, she doesn't want you yelling it across the cafeteria for all to hear. And Lily, I don't know if she is in love with me. She just said she had feelings for me."

"How come?" Lily asked accusingly.

Sam blinked. Why was Lily suddenly so hostile? "How come what?"

"How come you had the secret journal? How come you never told us you were in love with Brooke?" Lily asked in an incredulous tone.

"Yeah, Sam, I mean we accept the fact that Brooke's your new best friend and all, but we were your friends longer," Carmen added, now that she'd awoken from her stupor.

Sam growled in frustration. This was so not about them. "I had the journal because it helped me sort out my feelings. I didn't tell you because I wasn't going to ever tell anyone, including Brooke! And technically I didn't tell Brooke. She went behind my back and read my private journal."

"But Sam, isn't that a good thing? I mean now she knows and she feels the same. Shouldn't you be all 'yay! happiness!'?" Carmen asked in confusion.

"That's just it. I don't know that she feels the same. I mean what if this is just an experiment for her? What if she's just toying with my emotions? And even if she isn't, and her feelings are genuine, the point is that she went behind my back and invaded my privacy. If that isn't bad enough, she continued to do so for almost six months!"

"Yeah, I'm with Sam on this one. It is such a violation not just of Sam's privacy, but also of their friendship," Lily added.

"I don't know. I think it's kind of romantic," Carmen gushed.

"Carm, how could you say that? The last five or six months of their friendship has been based on a lie," Lily asked in disbelief.

"Well that part is kinda bad," Carmen agreed.

"Yeah, and she has the audacity to think that it can all be fixed with a simple apology. I mean how am I supposed to be able to trust her again?" Sam fumed. "And the icing on the cake is that she keeps looking at me with hurt in her eyes, like she's the wronged party!"

"The nerve of some people," Lily added as the three of them turned angry eyes towards the cheerleader who was trying her best not to look at Sam.

It felt good to be able to talk to her friends about this finally. They turned back to their lunches and continued to eat. Sam felt better than she had in the last few days.


Part Nine

Brooke didn't know how much more of this she could take. She felt like she was going insane. She'd long since stopped going into the cafeteria. She couldn't stand the glares being shot her way or just watching Sam. She wished the brunette would just talk to her. There was so much that she wanted to say. She wanted to make things better. She had to make things better. There had to be a way. She'd have asked Lily or Carmen, but Lily just ignored her and Carmen would only talk to her about things regarding the squad. She was at her whit's end. She had no place to turn and she couldn't talk to Jane about this. She didn't want to have to explain that she wasn't sure if she was actually a lesbian, but she definitely was in love with Sam. She didn't want to have to tell her future stepmother that she had every intention of being with Sam forever once she finally got the reluctant journalist to talk to her. Somehow, Brooke didn't think that would go over so well with Jane. So she was all out of options.

She opened her locker and shoved her books inside. Normally, the end of the day was her favorite and there was no practice this afternoon, which should have been the icing on a well deserved cake, but instead she was dreading going home. She was tired of having to face Sam's closed door.

"Hey Brooke," Harrison said from behind her open locker door.

"Hey…Harrison," she replied in a solemn voice.

"Is everything okay?" Harrison asked concerned.

"Yeah, everything's fine, just dandy…" Brooke replied sarcastically.

"Come on, Brooke. Everything's obviously not fine. You haven't eaten lunch with us in over a week and MC says you've been snapping at everyone."

"Yeah well, I don't want to talk about it," Brooke said, slamming her locker shut. She started to walk away, but Harrison's arm on her shoulder stopped her.

"Suit yourself, but I thought we were past that whole Sam/Brooke/Harrison, you're my ex, now you're dating my friend so I can't talk to you about what's bothering me phase of our relationship," Harrison said quietly.

Brooke sighed. "We are. I just…look, can we go someplace else to talk about this?" Brooke asked, looking around to see the halls still semi-full of students.

Harrison led the way into an empty classroom and sat down on the top of a nearby desk. "Okay, talk."

"I really screwed things up with Sam," Brooke replied, finally breaking down.

"Well, it's not like that's never happened before. I'm sure it will work itself out. It always does."

"I'm not so sure. This time I really screwed things up, like massively. I don't think she'll ever forgive me."

"What did you do?" Harrison asked.

"Well you see…Sam has this journal. It's sort of a top secret, ultra personal type of journal…and I stumbled across it. And I read it, "Brooke answered looking down at her hands.

"Okay so you read her diary. I don't understand what the big deal…"

"It was really private, like deep dark secret type of stuff and I didn't just read it once. I read it everyday for months," Brooke admitted.

"Okay, understanding a little more as to why you think Sam won't forgive you, but this is Sam here. You two are beyond that whole you read my diary, you stole my sweater, knock down drag out fights of yore."

"We were. We are…"

"So, all you have to do is apologize and while you're at it, you might want to point out that she invades people's privacy in the name of journalism all the time," Harrison said with a smile, figuring he'd just solved the problem.

"I would, but somehow I don't think that pointing out that Sam can be slightly hypocritical at times will be the best way of getting back on her good side, especially after what I did."

Harrison turned back to her. "What exactly did you do?" He asked in morbid fascination.

Brooke felt her cheeks burn even before she began to speak. "Ikissedsam…"she mumbled, looking away.

"What?" Harrison asked.

"Ikissedsam…"Brooke mumbled a little louder this time.

"Brooke, I know everyone thinks I have huge ears, but I can't for the life of me hear what you're saying."

Brooke took a deep breath. "I said; I kissed Sam."


Lily Esposito was rounding the corner to head to her locker when she heard the shout from what was supposed to be an empty classroom. Who had kissed Sam? Were they talking about her friend Sam or a different Sam? She moved over to the open door and peeked inside. She saw Harrison and Brooke involved in an intense conversation. Well they were definitely talking about her Sam. But wait, who'd kissed Sam? Had Harrison kissed her? She rolled her eyes. Lily really didn't want that whole mess to start up again. Had Brooke kissed Sam? No, Sam would have told them, right? Lily moved to press her body flat against the wall, but strained to hear what was being said.

"Harrison, do you want to say it louder I don't think people in Cambodia heard you?!" Brooke said in a stage whisper, looking around her wildly.

"I'm sorry. I'm just shocked. I mean when…what?" Harrison took a moment to compose himself. "Okay, let's try that again. You kissed Sam?"

"Yes, I kissed her."

"Okay, I'm going to put a push pin in that discussion and we will be discussing it in a moment, but I need to ask this. What does you kissing Sam have anything to do with you reading her journal?" Harrison asked in confusion.

Brooke took a deep breath and told Harrison all about learning of Sam's true feelings for her, her initial reaction, the whole Mia/dinner fiasco and she'd finally realized how she felt for the journalist. Harrison sat captivated and she couldn't help but notice the huge smile that now graced his face.

"What? What are you smiling about?" Brooke asked him suspiciously.

"Nothing…" he said as his grin got wider.

"No, you don't just smile like that for no reason. What's going on in that oversized head of yours?"

"It's just…I'm happy you finally figured it out," he replied with a smug grin.

Brooke was shocked. "What? Do you mean you…how did you know?" Brooke stammered.

"Well remember right after you and I got out of the hospital and we had that little 'fling?'"

Brooke nodded slowly wondering where he was going with this. "Yes…"

"Remember the look on my face when Sam caught us in your room with the camera?"


"That was the same look you had on your face when I told you two that I was choosing you over her and you never quite lost it even when you and I were dating. Every time Sam was near you would clam up and at first I thought it was because the situation was awkward. But then I would catch you watching her while she sat on the couch, while she sat next to you in class and I realized that was the same way I used to watch you. Why the heck do you think I took our break up so well? I'd been expecting it for a while. At first I thought you'd figured out your feelings, but as the time passed, I saw that you hadn't, but Sam was starting to realize hers. So I decided I could either hate the both of you and lose two of my best friends, or I could be happy for you and be as supportive as I could be."

Brooke was really touched by his words. They had all been through so much in the span of two years and she'd personally been responsible for a lot of Harrison's adolescent misery. To hear him say that he still valued her friendship filled her with so much emotion. "Thanks Harry," she said through tears.

Harrison stood and embraced the crying blonde. "Hey anytime and it coincidentally worked out for me. If you hadn't dumped me, I would have never escorted Mary Cherry to homecoming."

Brooke smiled at this. "I have to say, love suits you Harrison."

"Thank you. The same can be said for you. This is what this is right? Love I mean. You love Sammy, don't you? Cause if this is just some sort of experiment then…"

"Of course I love Sam!" Brooke interrupted. "After everything we've been through together, all the times she's been there for me, hell even the way she drives me insane by just being her, how could I not love Sam?"

"I was just checking. After all Sam is my best friend."

"I thought I was your best friend too."

"You are and when I see Sammy, I'll have the same talk with her," Harrison said with a wink. "Speaking of Sammy, tell me more about this kiss."

Brooke flushed bright red before shaking her head. "You, Harrison John, are incorrigible."

"You wouldn't love me any other way," he said before looking down at his watch. "Oo, I have to get going. Cherry Cherry is taking MC and me out for a steak dinner Texas style."

"Yum, sounds interesting," Brooke added before standing up to hug Harrison. "Thanks for being my shoulder Harry."

"Anytime," Harrison said, returning the embrace before he headed to the door. He stopped and turned around. "Oh, and Brooke, everything will work out just fine with Sam. You two are meant to be," he said walking out of the classroom.

"Yes, you are." Lily added walking into the room.

Brooke looked up sharply, surprised by Lily's sudden presence. "What?"

"I was agreeing with Harrison. You and Sam are meant to be," Lily said as she walked over to the blonde.

"How much of that did you hear?" Brooke asked, narrowing her eyes.

"Pretty much the whole thing, but don't worry I already knew about everything. Well except for the kiss, Sam left that part out."

"I figured Sam had told you guys. I mean why else would you and Carmen be avoiding me like I've been infected with the West Nile virus?"

"Yeah, and I have to say, you didn't come off so good."

"I'm not surprised. So what, now you've come to tell me what a bad person I am?" Brooke asked dourly.

"No, I've come to help you. You see Sam is upset, but I don't think she's really that upset. I think all she needs to see is that you weren't reading it to be malicious or betray her trust. She needs to know your intentions were pure. And I think I know just the way." Lily said with a sly smile.

They went over the plan for the next twenty minutes. Brooke wanted to make sure everything went off without a hitch. By the time they left the room she was feeling hopeful and a lot more confident. She took a deep breath and walked to her car. She had a lot of work to do. But first, she needed to call in a few favors.


Part Ten

Sam could hear the whispers behind her as she walked into school on Monday morning. Even given her status as Brooke's new best friend, she still walked down the hall relatively unnoticed by most of Kennedy High's general population. This was surreal. She walked up to her locker, trying to ignore the stares as she entered her combination. She pulled out the books for her first class and grabbed her notebook. She turned to her left, and caught a 9th grade girl looking at her intently, but when their eyes met, the redhead quickly adverted her eyes.

"Hey Sammy," Harrison said, coming up to her locker.

"Okay, tell me it's not just me," she replied.

"What's not just you?" Harrison asked in confusion.

"The staring, the whispering, people are talking about me," Sam answered in a panicked whisper.

Harrison took a good look around before turning back to Sam with a confused look. "Okay, maybe a few people are taking more of an interest in you this morning than is per usual, but then again, you are having a good hair day," he said, flicking her ponytail.

Sam ducked his hand and playfully slapped his arm. "Will you quit it? I'm being serious."

"I know, but I think you're paranoid. If anything, I'd be a little worried that there are more people reading the good ole' Zapruder than normal."

"Maybe it's my article on Lily's protest of the school's new spa in the teachers' lounge. I got a really good feeling about it when I sent it down to the printer's on Friday!" Sam said excitedly as she shut her locker and they walked towards Harrison's locker.

"Hey Sam," Lily called from behind her.

"Hey," Sam greeted her shorter friend.

"Have you given any thought to what we talked about last night?" Lily asked in a serious tone.

Sam had to bite back a groan. Lily had cornered her Friday morning and told her she'd rethought the whole Brooke situation. She told Sam she thought that maybe Sam needed to be the bigger person and at least try to listen to what Brooke had to say. Sam had been completely shocked by the about face. She wasn't sure how to take it. What had gotten into Lily that she would just turn on Sam like that? Whatever it was had gotten to Carmen as well and the two of them had dogged her every step over the past weekend.

"I've thought about it, but that doesn't mean I agree with you. Brooke totally betrayed my trust and that's unforgivable!" Sam replied adamantly.

"Okay, I'm with you on that, but I just want to ask you something. What did she do with the information after she read it? Did she taunt you, or use it to destroy your reputation?"

"Well no," Sam begrudgingly admitted. She already didn't like where this was going.

"Well I'm sure she had a good reason for reading it. What did she say when you asked her?" Lily asked.

Sam looked away as her cheeks flushed. "I, um, Ididntaskher…" she mumbled under her breath.

"What did you say?" Lily asked.

"I said I didn't ask her, okay? She told me she read my journal. I asked her how long she'd been reading it. She said about six months and I left the room. I didn't ask her why she did it. I was too angry," Sam grumbled.

"Oh Sammy, you didn't even give her a chance to explain? How is that fair?" Harrison asked, throwing books into his bag.

"Since when do you know about this?" Sam asked suspiciously.

"I, uh, ran into Brooke after school on Thursday. She sort of spilled out the whole story. She was pretty upset," he replied.

"Oh, that's just fantastic. I'm sure she probably made herself come out looking like the victim," Sam said sarcastically.

"Actually, she sides with you."

That took the wind right out of her sails and she'd been working up a good dose of indignation to go with her last comment. "Well, that still doesn't excuse what she did," Sam huffed.

"No, but how is this different than say, you breaking into the doctor's office and stealing my confidential files?" Harrison asked, shutting the door on his locker.

"This is totally different! I was worried about you. I thought you had a drug problem," Sam answered haughtily.

"Right, and I was pretty pissed because I felt like you'd invaded my privacy, which you had. But then I actually listened to what you had to say and I saw that your heart was in the right place. So I forgave you," Harrison said, leaning against the row of lockers.

"All we're saying is maybe you should at least hear Brooke out," Lily added cautiously.

Why did they have to be so rational? Whose side were they on anyway? Sam thought as she pushed away from the wall she'd been leaning against. "Yeah? Well who asked you anyway?" She grumbled before walking away.

The rest of the morning, Sam's thoughts were filled with her friends' words. Were they right? Had she been too harsh on Brooke? A part of her wondered if she was angry just because she thought she should be. She was so confused and it didn't help that more people were staring at her and whispering. She knew she wasn't being paranoid. People that hadn't given her a second glance in the four years they'd been in high school now stared at her openly. Why was her life always so complicated?

She hazarded a glance at Brooke for the first time that day. They hadn't seen much of each other over the weekend. The blonde had been mysteriously out of the house most of the time. So even if Sam had wanted to talk to her, she wouldn't have been able to. When she'd woken up that morning, Brooke had been long gone and she hadn't seen the blonde until this class. Brooke looked different somehow. She was still as breathtaking as ever, but something had changed. Something wasn't quite right. Sam felt like she was looking at her through the fuzzy lens on one of those eye doctors' tests. Then hazel eyes caught hers and she knew what it was. Brooke's eyes, her whole demeanor, held this great sadness that was reminiscent of an R.E.M song. It was enough to make Sam immediately turn away.

Maybe her friends were right. Brooke hadn't really done anything with the information she'd gained from her secret journal. So she had to have a good reason for reading it. Sam just needed to give her a reason to explain and if her reason wasn't a good one, then she'd start shopping for a new best friend.

"Sam! Sam!" someone called from behind her as she made her way down the hall.

She turned and saw Josh Ford sprinting over to her. She stopped and waited for his approach, wondering what he could possibly want with her. They'd never really been friends and that hadn't changed even with the advent of his marriage to Lily.

"What's up, Josh?" She asked once he was standing in front of her.

"I was just wondering if I could borrow your notes from Global Studies. You're the only one I know that gets what the teacher's saying in that class and everyone tells me you take really detailed notes," Josh replied.

"Oh sure, just, um, follow me to my locker," Sam said leading the way down the hall. She quickly put the combination in and opened the door.

"So that letter in the school paper was pretty intense, huh?" Josh said casually as he waited for the notes.

"I'm sorry?" Sam asked over her shoulder.

"That letter from Brooke in the Zapruder," Josh said, like she should completely understand what he was talking about.

"What letter from Brooke? Brooke didn't write a letter in the paper," Sam said whipping around to face Josh.

"Sure she did. She wrote a 'letter to the editor' type of thing," Josh replied. "I thought you'd read it, you know since it was about you."

"No, I haven't read any letter about me in the paper," Sam said slamming the locker as she walked around the corner where the Zapruder Reporters were normally located.

"Hey what about the notes?" She heard Josh call after her.

"I'll get them to you in the cafeteria," she called back over her shoulder.

There were barely any papers left, but Sam grabbed one that had been crumpled in a stampede of students and immediately flipped to the letters to the editor section of the Zapruder. Sure enough, there was Brooke's letter to her.

"This may come as a surprise to some of you, and not such a big surprise to others, but I, Brooke McQueen, have not always been the best friend to the people I hold near and dear to me. I'd like to say that most of these indiscretions were simple mistakes, but sadly that would be a lie. You see, it's really easy to get caught up in our own lives, our own misery, and completely disregard those around us. Unfortunately, this sometimes means we neglect our friends, or we make decisions that are more harmful to our friendships than we ever imagined possible. I'm especially guilty of this. There's this friend I have, and really, when I think about it, she's always been there for me during even the most traumatic moments of my life. She's pretty much been the only true friend I've ever had and yet, I didn't appreciate her. I did something to her that is utterly unforgivable. I destroyed something that I didn't realize was the best gift I'd ever received until I threw it all away with careless actions and I don't know how to get it back. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get it back and if that is to be, then I have no one to blame but myself. I just wanted to let her to know one thing; there was never any malicious intent on my part. I had my reasons for doing the things I did and since I don't want to go into gory details in this very public paper, I will say if you ever want to know those reasons, all you have to do is ask. I know this doesn't excuse what I did, but I think it needs to be said one more time. I'm sorry, Samantha McPherson. I hope one day you will be able to forgive me."

Brooke McQueen

Sam's eyes misted over as she read the words for a second time. She'd never expected anything like this. Brooke's words were so honest and real, laid out in black and white for the whole Kennedy population to see. Hope, fear, joy and frustration filled her. She needed to find Brooke, wrap her arms around her and let her know everything would be okay. She walked down the hall to the cafeteria, the paper held firmly in her hand. She was disappointed that Brooke was nowhere in sight, but she saw her friends sitting at their table and made her way over to them.

"Hey guys has anyone seen Brooke?" Sam asked casually, sitting down next to Carmen. Three grins formed on three eager faces as they looked at one another. She sighed. She hated when they were right. They never let her live it down. "What?"

"Nothing," Carmen answered, though her smile never faltered.

"I take it you've decided to take my advice," Lily added with a smug grin.

" I don't know what you're talking about," Sam replied, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Sammy, you're really bad at lying," Harrison said, amused.

"Okay, so I'm a bad liar," Sam agreed. "Maybe I'm not totally adverse to the idea of listening to what she has to say."

"And, uh, did you reach this decision on your own or does it have anything to with that little letter in the paper?" Lily asked, taking a drink from her juice box.

"Let me guess. You three were all in on it," Sam said in an accusing tone.

"We don't know what you're talking about. We just think it's romantic," Carmen replied excitedly.

"Oh spare me," Sam said with a sigh.

"So what are you going to do now, Sam?" Lily asked.

"I'm not sure. I don't really have a plan. I just want to find Brooke and then I think I'll wing it."

"And then hopefully you two will kiss and make up, because I gotta say, Mary Cherry and I miss having to another couple to do couple things with."

"Hey! What about me and Josh?" Lily huffed.

"Lil, I love ya, but there's nothing romantic about a protest, and the last time Mary Cherry ended up joining the other side's counter protest."

"Yeah, well what do you expect from a fur freak," Lily mumbled.

"Hey, she's my fur freak," Harrison said in mock defense as he threw his roll at Lily.

"HARREESON JOHN!!!!!!!" said a loud voice that caused a sudden hush to blanket the entire room.

Sam saw Harrison swallow hard as he turned towards the voice of his very irate girlfriend. "Harrison, what did you do?" She whispered to him.

He shrugged in confusion as her watched his girlfriend approach. "Hi Lovemuffin," he said nervously.

"Don't you 'Hi, Lovemuffeen" me Harreeson John. Did you make an appointment for me at Dr. Gerald's for three o'clock?" Mary Cherry asked as she sat down next to him.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot." Harrison replied looking around at his friends. They all seemed to be taking great interest in their trays and refused to make direct eye contact.

"Well that's jus great! Now how am ah supposed keep my young nubile body firm yet teender if ah can't get an appointment with Dr. Gerald?" Mary Cherry asked her boyfriend.

"I'll call him as soon as lunch is over," Harrison quickly amended.

"You'd better or you will be rubbing crème de la mer on more than my back, Mr. John."

"Well, there goes my appetite," Sam muttered. She really wished she could talk to Brooke, but it looked like the cheerleader would be a no show in the lunchroom. It looked like she was going to have to wait to do this at home.

Sam made it home in record time, after she fruitlessly searched the school for Brooke at the end of the day. She prayed all the way home that Brooke would be there and smiled when she received her answer in the form of Brooke's car parked in the driveway. Sam was really nervous about what she was about to do. Everything was up in the air at this point. Her anger was gone and in its place was unbridled happiness. Only her happiness was dampened by uncertainty and a fear that Brooke didn't feel for her the way she felt for Brooke. She called 'hello' as she walked in the house, stopping to kiss Mac on the forehead and chat with her mother a little about mundane school things. She begged off before their conversation got too lengthy, saying she had a lot of homework to do and headed up the stairs in the direction of her room. She instead walked into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror, willing her fears away. She could do this. Taking a deep breath, she headed to Brooke's room. She hesitated as she reached her hand up to knock on the door. Finally tamping down on her insecurities she raised her hand again.

Sam knocked on Brooke's door. "Brooke, can I come in?"

"I guess…" the blonde replied cautiously.

Sam opened the door and walked into the neatly kept room. The cheerleader lay on her bed surrounded by open textbooks, loose-leaf papers and notebooks. She'd changed from the Prada sweater and skirt set into more comfortable yoga pants and a tank top. She was wearing reading glasses and her long blonde hair was pulled up in a ponytail. Sam found the whole scene surprisingly sexy, but there would be time for that later. She shook her head to clear her thoughts.

She walked over and sat next to the blonde, careful not to crumple any of the papers. Awkward silence filled the room, as Sam tried to figure out where to begin. She'd been feeling so confident only minutes ago, but now she was full of uncertainties. What if Brooke didn't want her anymore? What if she'd waited to long? What if…

"I, um I read your letter," Sam said quietly.

"Oh," Brooke replied looking over at the journalist. The look in her eyes was unreadable.

"Yeah, I…you didn't have to do that," Sam said nervously.

"I know, but I couldn't think of any other way to get your attention," Brooke replied. An awkward silence descended over the room.

"You said if I wanted to know why you did it, all I had to do was ask. So now I'm asking."

Brooke looked away. "I should have known that would come back to bite me in the ass."

Sam said nothing; she waited for the blonde to answer.

"Well, I found the journal by accident. The night you came in here and asked to use my computer, you left your email signed in and I thought it was mine. When I realized it wasn't my account, I signed out, but by then, I had already read about the secret journal. I was curious as to why you would need one. Then I was surprised and a little hurt that you had this whole other side to your life. A side that you didn't deem me worthy enough to know. I swear at first I didn't know you were talking about me. I thought it was someone else at school. I was curious about who it was, which is why I watched you so much in the beginning." Brooke had an almost amused look on her face, like she couldn't believe her own naiveté. "The night after we went shopping at the mall, I figured out it was me, and I…I couldn't handle it, so I pushed you away." Brooke looked away, ashamed at her behavior. "Then you started dating Mia, and I…I don't know. I wanted to be happy for you. I really did, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't." Brooke's voice became husky as tears spilled over her cheeks.

Sam tilted the blonde face towards her and wiped the wetness from her cheeks. Sam noted the shiver that ran through Brooke's body and smiled. The blonde's breathing was a little shallow and her throat worked a few times before she spoke.

"I don't know why I kept reading the journal. It was like I had some morbid need to punish myself. My emotions were crazy. I didn't understand what was wrong with me. It took so long for me to understand what I was feeling, but by then it had been months and there had been too much damage done. Sam, I'm sorry for every-"

"Shh, I know. I read every letter. I'm sorry too." Brooke looked up at her in confusion. "I think somewhere along the lines our signals got crossed and when we should have been talking to each other, we were silent. Then when we weren't silent, we were fighting. We were both wrong and we're both sorry. Now, I think it's time for me to say some things I should have said a long time ago. Brooke, I'm in love with you. I wish there was a way I could pinpoint the day that I fell for you, but the truth is, I can't remember a day when I didn't love you. And I know there will never be a day when I don't. You're my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night and if you'll let me, I want to spend every day making sure you know just how much you mean to me."

Silent tears streamed down her cheeks. She smiled tenderly at Sam and cupped her cheek in her hand. "That is the most beautiful thing that anyone has ever said to me. I love you too, Sammy. I don't know why it took me so long to see it, but I do. Please never doubt that. I almost lost you once because I was so blind. That scared me more than you ever will know." She wiped away the tears Sam wasn't even aware she was crying. "But I will never let that happen again." She slid her hand into Sam's dark hair and guided the other girl's head down towards her own until their lips met.

Sam pulled back, quickly adjusting so that she was lying on her side in front of Brooke. She stroked the blonde's cheek before bringing their lips back together. This kiss was gentle, but eager as Sam moved to press her lips more firmly against Brooke's. She ran her tongue along the seam of Brooke's mouth and the blonde's lips parted slightly allowing her inside. Their tongues slid against each other teasing, dancing, fighting for dominance. The kiss turned heated as hands began to explore and moans and whimpers started coming from deep within the blonde. The need for oxygen drove them apart, but Brooke simply moved down her neck, nipping and sucking, as she made her way to Sam's collarbone. Sam gasped as the blonde's hand ran down her side and over her stomach moving back up to rest just under the swell of Sam's breast.

When Brooke's hand tentatively cupped her breast, Sam knew she needed to cool things off. She placed her hand on Brooke's chest and gently pushed her away. Hazel eyes looked up at her in confusion and she offered the blonde a loving smile.

"That was…wow, but I think we need to back up. I'm not really ready to go any further than this," Sam said trying to get her breathing under control.

She saw the disappoint flicker across Brooke's face, but the blonde nodded her head in understanding. "You're right. So this is new…"

"Yeah, but nice…better than nice. It feels great."

"Definitely," Brooke said with a big smile. They sat there grinning at each other like a bunch of loons for a moment. "So…um…so…so does this mean we're…dating now?"

"We can call it dating. Of course that implies that we'll actually have to go on dates," Sam replied jokingly.

Brooke rolled her eyes but smiled. "Well of course we'll be going on dates. You don't think that I worked this hard just keep you holed up in the house do you?" The blonde said moving to sit up on her bed. "I intend to show you off. Do all that disgustingly sweet and mushy stuff that other couples do. The stuff you did with Mia."

Sam sat up, moving next to Brooke. "You know what's funny is she was always telling me that you had feelings for me, but I didn't believe her. That night when I kissed her, I think she knew that it was the first and last time. She didn't say anything, but the look on her face said it all. She didn't even look surprised."

"You know, I wish I could say that I wished that you hadn't ever dated her. But I can't. If it weren't for her, I would have never realized my feelings for you. So I guess I owe her a thanks," Brooke said wrapping her arms around Sam.

They stayed that way for a while, both reveling in the contentment that settled over them. Sam couldn't remember the last time she felt this happy, and she couldn't keep the grin off of her face. She wasn't deluding herself. She knew that they had a long hard road ahead of them, but in this moment, wrapped in Brooke's arms and listening to the beat of her heart, she knew that things would work out fine as long as they were together.

Part 11

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