|Pretenses - Brooke/Chris
||[May. 6th, 2007|06:31 pm]
Fandom: One Tree Hill
Genre: Angst? Kinda. Not.
Synopsis: Being the good girl had never been her style. And falling for the 'right' guy had broken her heart.
Being the good girl had never been her style. Doing her homework on time had never brought the rush that a shot of tequila did. Receiving a chaste kiss at the end of the date never felt as satisfying as the feel of skin on skin. Dressing to hide her curves never got her the attention that wearing something outrageous did.
And falling for the ‘right’ guy had broken her heart.
No, being the good girl wasn’t her style. A good girl wouldn’t be sitting in this intimate, smoky bar with a half-finished beer cradled in her hands. The beer had grown warm, and yet she still sipped at it in regular intervals, a habit more than thirst for the taste. Her legs were demurely crossed, her clothing was a respectable black sweater and clinging jeans, her hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, but her eyes betrayed her. They always betrayed her.
Attempts by patrons of the bar to capture her interest had been met with a cool, amused dismissal, and soon they’d learned to stay away from the brunette with the sweet appearance and devilish eyes. She wasn’t one of those students, free from the shackles of home at last, and looking for adventure in a dive like this, they’d come to understand. This was her territory, as much as it was theirs.
Her cell rang or beeped every now and again, but she wasn’t interested in whoever was on the other end. She’d deliberately cultivated her popularity in high school, and yet now that she was in college, her cool refusal to vie for popularity had the hordes lusting after her approval and acceptance. She indulged them, now and again. But tonight, she’d wanted to be alone. She’d wanted to feel the familiar and pretend, just for a moment, that she could forget.
She waits for him to finish his set, lost in the melody of his song and the haunting memory of his voice. She knew he’d be here, as he’d been here every Saturday night for the last month. She knew he’d look up and see her, before he returned his attention to his music and not look at her for the rest of his time on stage. She knew, just as always, that he’d come and sit with her after his set, and finish her warm beer, before he disappears into the night.
And that’s all she’s looking for. Something familiar, where she can pretend, just for a moment, that she could forget how alone she feels, in this city where everyone wants to be her friend, and no one really cares.
He joins her, but this time, he brings his own beer. The change to their routine has her looking up in surprise, and he offers no explanation, only the raise of his glass in toast. Warily, she lifts her own and the clink of glass on glass seems to resonate through her body.
“My last night,” he offers offhandedly in response to the toast.
She nods, and pretends that a part of her doesn’t want to beg him to stay. He’s her familiar, her person, her lifeline, but she’d never admit that.
“Going to Texas next week,” he grins. “Got fond memories of that place.”
She knows what he’s referring to. She’s got fond memories of that place too, but she won’t satisfy his ego by telling him that.
“It’s a nice place,” is all she’ll say.
“You remember that picture we had taken at Prom?” he asks the question she’s been dreading, and expecting, since he mentioned the Lone Star state.
“You remember,” he insists, with that wicked glint in his eyes that she loves and loathes so much. “You were wearing that blue sparkly dress.”
“And you wore that ugly purple suit with the white loafers,” she murmurs.
“I knew you’d remember,” he laughs softly. “You never forget your Prom.”
But if you could, she thought, she’d sure like to.
“You wanna get out of here?” he asks, a hint of concern in his eyes.
“Don’t feel sorry for me, Keller,” she warns, fire flashing in her eyes.
He soothes her by picking up her coat and standing, holding it out for her. She steps into it, and feels her skin tingle where his fingers brush her nape.
The night air cools her heated skin, and she doesn’t resist when he slings his arm companionably around her shoulders. It feels good to lean into him, and let herself pretend that they’re a normal couple just walking around the streets at night, lost in each other. She likes to feel the familiar, and pretend, just for a moment, that she doesn’t feel like the loneliest person in the city.
He talks, and she listens, but she doesn’t hear a word. It feels too good by his side to concentrate on what he’s bragging about today, and she can almost feel her old self returning.
“I sent baby James a little guitar last week, Nathan tells me it drives Haley mad,” he tells her, chuckling at the mental image it provides him with.
It reminds her that he’s still in touch with the Scotts. Her mind clouds for a second, but then she clears it.
“Let’s go get coffee,” she suggests, and pulls him into one of those darkened cafes. She heads for the back of the room, and settles herself on a couch, waiting while he orders their drinks. When he finds her, he sits and arranges his long frame into a comfortable position, with one arm behind her. She knows she’ll settle herself into his shoulder soon enough, but for now, she pretends that she doesn’t want to.
“Where will you go after Texas?” she asks, not that she cares.
“Wherever the wind takes me,” he shrugs, and she figures she should have known better than to expect a real answer.
Their coffees arrive, and she takes a long sip, enjoying the warmth that slides through her. She settles finally into his side, and he lets his fingers trail along her arm, drawing lazy patterns.
“It’s strange how often we run into each other,” she thinks aloud.
His fingers pause for just a second, before he continues with his patterns.
She figures it out. Cursing herself for not putting it together sooner, she sits up straight and gives him her best freeze-out look.
“Haley asked you to come and check up on me,” she says, stupidly hoping that he’ll deny it.
“She’s worried about you,” he tells her, dashing her vain hopes. “They all are. They designated me to come check up on you while I was in town. They miss you.”
“I’m fine,” she snaps, standing up. “You can report back to them all and tell them that college is great.”
“Yeah,” he says, in that snotty disbelieving way that drives her mad.
“And you can stay the hell away from me,” she whispers. “Don’t check up on me again.”
She storms out into the cold, and refuses to let her eyes fill with tears. Heading back towards campus, she stumbles and curses.
A strong arm stops her from falling on her face.
“Get the hell off me,” she growls.
“Just stopping you from ending up flat on the sidewalk,” he shrugs, but he doesn’t let go of her.
“Shouldn’t you be calling Haley and telling her all about how my life sucks?” she asks bitterly.
“Does it?” he asks conversationally as he walks with her.
“No,” she sighs. “My life is fine. It’s just …”
“Lonely,” he fills in for her.
“Shut up,” she glares at him, her body shivering in reaction.
“And you need me to make it whole again,” he tells her with an arrogant smile that makes her skin crawl.
“Like hell,” she says through clenched teeth.
“Relax, wildcat,” he soothes her. “Maybe I need a spoiled, bitchy princess as much as you need an arrogant, handsome musician.”
She scoffs, but her heart pounds. “Do you?”
“What do you think?” he asks her.
“I think you’re going to drive me crazy,” she huffs as she creeps closer to him.
He lifts his arm to fall across her shoulders, but it’s not so companionable this time.
“I’m still going to Texas,” he tells her.
“Okay,” she smiles into her jacket.
“I’ll bring you back something blue and sparkly,” he chuckles as he tightens his grip on her.
Being the good girl had never been her style, she reminds herself as they walk down the streets together. But being the bad girl was so much more fun.