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27 April 2006 @ 04:48 pm
Author: Cari!
Title: The Closest Thing To Perfect
Pairing: Nookie, baby!
Rating: Um, T ... I guess.
Summary: Before Nathan and Peyton, there was another girl from his past. Memories resurface one night. Wheee!
Notes: This is a two parter, and it's complete.

Part I

Flinging clothes over her head, Brooke huffed as she tried to find an outfit that screamed ‘Notice Me’ for the party scheduled for after the big game tonight. She’d already curled her hair and tied it in a ponytail until her cheerleading duties were over; her makeup was applied, with the emergency touch-up kit already in her car. All she needed now was something to wear. Not just anything, but something that would make all the boys want her, and all the girls hate her. The typical Brooke Davis party outfit.

As she dug deeper in her closet, she pulled out a black dress, and searched her scattered memories for a clue as to when she last wore it. Unable to put her finger on it, Brooke stepped into it and fastened it before looking in the mirror. It hugged her figure beautifully, and would look great with her knee-high boots. It was almost obscenely short, with a dipping neckline and revealing a lot of skin, without flaunting everything. Perfect.

She grabbed some silver hoped earrings and a long silver necklace from her bureau and made a mental note to redo her makeup after the game to give her a more sixties-ish look. Crossing her fingers that she wasn’t forgetting a recent outing in the dress, Brooke changed into her cheerleading outfit, threw the dress and jewellery into a bag, grabbed her boots and headed for her car. She slipped into the driver’s seat, put the bag in the passenger seat, started the car and cranked up the upbeat pop music that was playing on her radio. Tapping her fingers on the wheel, Brooke checked her makeup once more before heading towards the school with the usual excitement she felt on game night building inside her. By the time she pulled into the parking lot, Brooke was anticipating a great night ahead. Spotting Peyton, she quickly climbed out of her car and bounded towards her.

“Hey best friend!” Brooke greeted her enthusiastically. “And best friend’s boyfriend. Are you ready to score tonight?” she winked at Nathan.

Raising his eyebrows at the obvious double-entendre, Nathan merely grunted something that sounded like a yes.

“Nathan’s in a mood,” Peyton told Brooke. “He and Lucas got into it earlier.”

“Can’t you play nice with your very-cute and hopefully-corruptible brother?” Brooke asked, rolling her eyes.

Nathan glared at her before planting a brief kiss on Peyton’s cheek and stalking off towards the gym.

“He’s such a breath of fresh air these days,” Brooke muttered, before letting her bright smile reappear. “Maybe it’ll help him on the court. Post-match parties are much more fun when they win.”

“I hope they win just so we can avoid another argument,” Peyton grumbled. “Every time they lose, Nathan picks a fight about something stupid.”

Brooke linked arms with her best friend as they traced Nathan’s path into the gym. “This is why I don’t have a boyfriend. They’re so moody and demanding. And that’s my territory.”

“And you’d get bored after a day,” Peyton teased.

“Well, that’s true,” Brooke giggled. “But who wants all that drama when you can have a new, cute guy every week?”

Peyton chuckled, despite herself. “Trust me; sometimes it’s tempting when Nathan’s in one of his moods.”

“We better cheer extra hard then,” Brooke grinned. “Parties can only handle one broody yet popular guest.”

“And that’s clearly my territory,” Peyton said dryly.

“You got it, best friend,” Brooke patted her on the ass before jumping away and giggling as she headed for the group of cheerleaders across the gym.

Brooke ran out to grab her stuff from her car, still elated from their win. Nathan had equalled his previous record for game points, spurred on by his bad mood and some dark need to prove himself. Brooke wasn’t too preoccupied with why Nathan had played well, since he was always in a mood, according to Peyton. So long as he’d worked it all off on the court so that Peyton wouldn’t be extra-broody at the party. She loved that girl, but there was only so much emo-crap she could take, especially on a Friday night, at Nathan’s beach house, full of cute boys and alcohol.

She grabbed the bag and headed back to the changing room, spending five minutes on the transformation from high school cheerleader to party girl, remembering to fix her makeup and sliding on her boots. Strolling out of the changing rooms arm in arm with Bevin, Brooke laughed softly as she heard the catcalls and appreciative comments. She listened half-heartedly to Bevin’s gossiping chatter as they reached her car and headed towards the beach house. After drowning Bevin out with loud music, they sang loudly and tunelessly until she pulled up at the house. Noting with pleasure that the main crowd had already arrived, Brooke wriggled out of the car and checked her makeup once more before striding confidently into the heart of the party.

Within minutes, she’d been handed a drink, and she took a turn to find someone she wanted to talk to. She turned around and came face to face with Nathan. She opened her mouth to congratulate him on his game, but nothing came out. One look into his eyes had her remembering exactly when and where she’d last worn this dress.

Pushing him away, Brooke glared up at the loser who was trying to paw at her.

“Look, Boy-Without-A-Chance, you need to keep your hands to yourself or you’re going to lose some of your anatomy,” Brooke growled.

He wasn’t listening. His hands were all over her, making her wonder if she was so drunk that she’d confused him with a slimy octopus. Until she realised how ridiculous that was. An octopus would have better manners. Slapping his hands away, Brooke spun on her heel and attempted to stalk away from the dark corner he’d managed to manoeuvre her into, but his grip had quickly switched from slimy and creepy to tight and scary. With her heart beating a little faster, Brooke had attempted to flirt her way out of the situation that was beginning to spiral out of control, but that hadn’t worked either. She’d desperately glanced around the dark and dingy club, hoping that someone she knew would be in the vicinity, but of course, she wasn’t that lucky. Grimacing, she’d resorted to struggling and pulling and creating a commotion, until someone had stepped behind her and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. Afraid to look up and see the bastard’s friend grinning down at her, she’d never been so happy to hear his voice.

“Excuse me, but I think you’re hurting her,” Nathan said gruffly.

The slimy octopus glared at him, sizing him up before realising that it wasn’t worth it. He slunk away, into the shadows.

“Nathan Scott, I have never been so happy to see you in my life,” Brooke gasped, rubbing her wrist. Being popular, Brooke and Nathan travelled in the same circles, although they’d never been close. Recently, she’d caught him looking at Peyton slightly longer than was completely necessary, but Peyton had been oblivious at the time.

Nathan lifted her arm to examine it. “You’ll be okay. He won’t, if he comes back.”

“My knight in shining armor,” Brooke sighed, fluttering her eyelashes. “Let me buy you a drink to say thanks. I promise I won’t expect you to put out.”

Nathan chuckled. “Cute.”

“Why, thank you,” Brooke grinned. “So what are you doing here, Scott? This isn’t your usual hangout.”

“Family stuff,” Nathan mumbled. “Wanted to escape for a bit.”

“Well, I’m glad your home life sucks,” Brooke said cheekily. “Otherwise I might have had to disgrace myself with that jerk.”

“Don’t tell me you’re here alone,” Nathan muttered as he looked around, searching for any familiar cheerleading face.

“Guilty as charged,” Brooke admitted. With a wink, she echoed, “Family stuff.”

She used her fake ID to buy them a beer each, before heading for the pool table. “What do you say, Scott? Want to try your luck against a girl?”

Nathan eyed her suspiciously. “Something tells me you’ve spent a lot of time at this pool table.”

Brooke just grinned at him.

“Fine,” he sighed. “But just remember that I saved you two minutes ago.”

“All’s fair in love and pool, Nate,” Brooke teased as she racked up the balls. Picking up a cue, she leant against it suggestively. “Do you want to break?”

Shaking his head ruefully, Nathan picked up a cue and broke.

Ten minutes later, he watched Brooke sink the last ball.

“Nice work, Davis,” he admitted.

“I love beating boys at pool,” Brooke grinned.

“It’s not so bad, being beaten at pool when you get a view like that,” Nathan smirked.

“Hey!” Brooke protested, ruining the effect by giggling and wiggling her butt.

Nathan swatted her ass with the pool cue. “Just so you know, I’m not saving you again.”

“You’re a sore loser, Nathan Scott,” Brooke frowned at him.

“And you’re a tease, Brooke Davis,” Nathan retorted with a slight grin.

Brooke sidled up to him and looked up into his eyes through her eyelashes, whispering in a seductive tone, “I feel so very close to you right now, Nathan.”

“Your little tricks don’t work on me, Brooke,” Nathan reminded her. “They work on gullible, horny guys.”

“And yours work on gullible, horny cheerleaders,” Brooke grinned. “We’re so alike, you and me, Scott.”

“That’s a scary thought,” Nathan muttered. “You’re a little too wild, even for me, Brooke.”

“And you’re a little too moody and broody for me, Nathan,” Brooke returned with an easy smile. “So it’s a good thing I happen to know that you’re the only guy in this club that doesn’t want to sleep with me right now.”

Nathan chuckled. “God, Brooke! You might want to rein that ego of yours in.”

“You want me to prove it?” Brooke asked, her eyebrows raised and her eyes issuing a challenge.

He held his hands up. “No, I believe you. You’re just the only girl I know who admits it.”

“What’s the point in pretending something’s not there when it is?” Brooke asked in genuine confusion.

“You want another drink?” Nathan offered, smothering a laugh.

Brooke nodded enthusiastically.

Four rounds later, Nathan and Brooke were finding it harder to focus on the pool table. Brooke giggled as she attempted to pocket a ball and found herself miscuing, scuffing the table in the process.

“Nice shot, Davis,” Nathan mocked. He bent over the table to attempt the shot himself.

Brooke pouted, annoyed that she hadn’t made the shot. She watched him pot the ball, and smile smugly at her. Calculatingly, she watched him drape himself across the table for his next shot. A dangerous smile curved her lips as she sauntered over to him and perched herself on the table in front on him. She lifted her leg and slowly unzipped her knee-high boot. She slipped a hand down her calf and pretended to scratch an itch. She watched with delight as Nathan took a half-hearted attempt at the shot, his gaze drawn to her shapely leg.

Re-zipping, she giggled as she picked up her cue and made the shot easily.

“Hey, no fair!” Nathan protested.

“You shouldn’t be such a typical guy,” Brooke chided him.

“Two can play that game, Brooke,” Nathan warned her, a glint in his eye.

“Like I’m going to get distracted by the sight of your skinny legs,” Brooke scoffed playfully.

Nathan moved closer to her and bent to whisper in her ear. “Take your shot, Davis,” his breath tickled her skin, causing a small frisson across her body.

Brooke brushed it away, and took his challenge. She bent to take her shot, lining up carefully, determined not to miss. She didn’t blink when she felt his hands rest lightly on her sides. She didn’t flinch when his fingers began to caress her lightly. Flirtatiously. Dangerously. Just as she was about to take the shot and laugh at his lame attempts to distract her, he bent down and whispered, “Take it nice and slow, Brooke.”

The shot went wide.

Nathan didn’t laugh, though. Brooke didn’t claim foul play.

She stood up slowly, and slowly met his gaze. His eyes had lost their teasing and were concentrated solely on her. Brooke had felt something, and she was experienced enough to know that Nathan felt something too. Nathan had known the moment he’d affected Brooke, and whatever it was, it had settled over him too. Brooke looked up at him, momentarily unsure of herself, which was completely unsettling. Nathan searched her eyes, normally so confident, but not with Brooke. Brooke was different. She knew the score as well as he did, possibly better than he did.

After being caught locked in a gaze for what seemed like eternity, Brooke made a decision. She lifted her head almost imperceptibly. Nathan, skilled as he was, noted her move and decided that, if she was willing to follow the moment through, then he was too. He bent his head and captured her lips expertly.

Part II

Scoring always put Nathan in a good mood. Both on, and off, the court. He’d strolled into the party at his own beach house feeling better than he had in a long time. Tim had passed him a beer, and Peyton had appeared by his side, happy that he was happy. He’d whispered an apology for his bad mood earlier, and she’d waived it away. Grinning, Nathan knew tonight was going to be a good night.

Until he caught sight of Brooke entering the party. Normally, his path barely crossed with Brooke’s, despite their connection through Peyton, and the fact that she was the head cheerleader and he was the destined captain of the basketball team. Some people might have thought it strange that he and Brooke had never hooked up, or barely talked. Some people would have been surprised.

He stood up, muttering something to Peyton about getting another drink, and found himself standing in front of Brooke. One quick glance down at her outfit, the way it hugged her body and teased at something more, and he was drawn back to that night.

He slanted his lips over hers, lost in the moment. His hands curved around her waist, pulling her closer to him as he deepened the kiss. She moved against him, causing him to groan inwardly as fire coursed through his body. He felt her arms wrap around his neck, bringing his head down further so she could get better access to him. They were both spiralling out of control as the kiss threatened to engulf them, and Nathan pulled back whilst he still could. He rested his forehead against hers, struggling to breathe normally.

Her eyes were closed, but he could feel her fighting to catch her own breath.

“We’re in a bar,” Nathan murmured raggedly.

Brooke opened one of her eyes and looked up at him. “Where’s your sense of adventure, Scott?”

Nathan chuckled. He was suddenly conscious that he was stroking her back gently, and stilled his fingers, a little embarrassed. “Afraid of ending up in the local jail, waiting for Dan to bail me out for indecent exposure,” he deadpanned.

Brooke giggled. “So Scott, what exactly are we doing here?”

Nathan looked down at their entwined limbs. His hands were still on her back, and her arms were still locked around his neck. Figuring that they’d already thrown caution to the wind, he bent to brush his lips against hers, grinning when he saw her body react, despite her best attempts to remain cool.

“I’m surprised, Brooke,” Nathan teased. “I thought you were pretty experienced in this kind of thing.”

Brooke arched her eyebrows. “I don’t seem to remember doing this with you before though.”

“Well, that’s true,” Nathan conceded. “What do you normally do after you pick up a guy in one of these seedy clubs?”

Brooke grinned. “The same thing you do when you pick up a girl at one of your seedy parties.”

“Except this is different,” Nathan muttered.

“Yes it is,” Brooke agreed softly.

“This is just a bit of fun, right?” Nathan murmured.

Brooke let one of her fingers trail down his chest. “Of course.”

“I mean, neither of us is relationship material or anything like that,” Nathan pointed out as tiny fires ignited on his skin where her finger had touched it through his shirt.

“The horror,” Brooke agreed with a delicate shudder.

“So that leaves us with tonight,” Nathan hedged, unsure of himself and of Brooke.

“One night,” Brooke murmured as she lifted her arms to wrap them around his neck once more.

Nathan grinned as he dipped his head once more, brushing a kiss across her lips. “One more game of pool. Winner gets to choose what we do for the rest of the night.”

“You’re on, Nate,” Brooke grinned. “But all’s fair in lust and pool.”

“Bring it on, Davis.” Nathan opened his arms in invitation as Brooke slid away from him and picked up her cue.

She set up the table and leant down to break, giggling as Nathan stood next to her and placed his hand lightly on her hip and moved his fingers in a distracting manner.

When it was his turn, she stood opposite him and bent down low, making sure Nathan caught the teasing view. Nathan chuckled as he took his shot.

Knowing he hadn’t stood a chance, Nathan had just enjoyed Brooke’s attempts to put him off his shots. When she potted the last ball, she met his gaze with a feline-like satisfaction.

“I guess I get to choose,” she purred.

“If you get me arrested, there’s going to be trouble,” Nathan warned her as he wrapped an arm around her waist and guided her outside.

“As if I’d do something like that,” Brooke said angelically as she leaned into him.

“So what’s the plan?” Nathan asked as they reached the road. Being a small town, they could walk in any direction and find home.

“You can walk me home,” Brooke said graciously.

Nathan nodded and directed her towards her house. Brooke tucked her hand under his jacket and let him guide her.

“This is nice,” Brooke mumbled.

“You’re out with the sexiest guy at Tree Hill, and it’s nice?” Nathan teased.

“The sexiest guy in Tree Hill?” Brooke pondered for a minute. “I guess you’re in the top five.”

“Sure I am,” Nathan said easily as they crossed the street. “Because I’m number one.”

“Nathan?” Brooke whined. “Buy me some hot chocolate?”

He raised his eyebrows, but he didn’t say anything. He disappeared into a café, returning with two hot chocolates. Passing one to Brooke, he watched as she used her finger to pick up the froth and put it in her mouth.

“You know, you’re a lot sexier when you’re not trying to be sexy,” Nathan grinned as he reached out to pick up some froth she left on her lips and fed it to her.

Brooke tried to look affronted. “I managed to distract you plenty back there.”

“I didn’t say you weren’t sexy,” Nathan chuckled. “I just said you were sexier when you’re being yourself.”

“I’m always myself,” Brooke said, confused.

Nathan said nothing, but put his arm around her waist and started walking again.

“You’re a strange one, Nathan Scott,” Brooke decided. “Hot, but strange.”

“Hot, huh?” Nathan grinned. He took a quick glance around before gently pushing Brooke against the wall and kissing her senseless.

It didn’t take long for them to verge on losing control once more. This time Brooke broke away, giggling.

“Hey, you’re the one who’s going to get us arrested, Scott,” Brooke teased.

“I couldn’t help it,” Nathan grinned. “I have to kiss all the sexy girls who think I’m hot.”

“That’s how you got your reputation,” Brooke reminded him.

Nathan chuckled as he straightened her dress. It had gotten a little rumpled with his teasing exploration during their kiss. He wasn’t going to forget this dress in a hurry.

“Nice work,” Brooke commented as they started towards home again.

“Nice dress,” Nathan replied.

“I can’t imagine why you like it,” Brooke teased.

“Sure you can,” Nathan laughed. “That’s why you wear it.”

“Okay, stop knowing all my tricks,” Brooke pouted. “You’re no fun.”

“You want me to demonstrate how I know you don’t really think that?” Nathan asked wickedly.

“We’re home,” Brooke announced with good timing. “Thanks for walking me home, Nathan.”

Nathan looked at her in surprise. “This was what you wanted to do? Be walked home?”

Brooke shrugged, a little smile playing on her lips.

Nathan tried to figure out how Brooke Davis could look adorable, yet here she was. Looking adorable. “I’d have walked you home anyways, Brooke,” he told her.

“I know,” Brooke said as she smiled up at him.

“You don’t want anything else?” Nathan asked, bemused.

“I might want something else, but it wouldn’t be a good idea,” Brooke said softly. “As much as I want to drag you inside, I won’t. All it would be is one really great night, and something is telling me that you and I aren’t destined for that together.”

“Because we’re not relationship people,” Nathan remembered. “You’re full of surprises, Brooke Davis.”

“You’re full of a couple yourself, Nathan Scott,” Brooke returned with a cute smile.

Nathan bent and captured her lips one final time. He tempered the passion that immediately flared between them, and kept it slow. Sensual. Searching. Eventually, he backed away, putting some distance between them.

“I guess we go back to normal tomorrow,” Nathan supposed.

“Except tomorrow I’ll know how great a kisser you are,” Brooke grinned cheekily, before bounding towards her house.

Nathan watched her open the door and wave before disappearing.

Chuckling to himself, he turned to walk home. No, he wouldn’t be forgetting that dress in a hurry.

But things hadn’t gone back to normal. He hadn’t seen Brooke for the rest of the week. And afterwards, he hadn’t known how to talk to her, to figure out how she felt about that night. Then, about a month after that night, he and Peyton had hooked up. They’d started dating. And he’d still hardly seen Brooke. Like he said, their paths didn’t cross that much. And he’d forgotten all about that night, two months ago. Until he’d seen her in that dress. In that dress, Brooke belonged to him.

“I never told you, that night,” Nathan said gruffly. “But you look beautiful, Brooke.”

Brooke stared up at him, and he could have sworn he saw a glimpse of pain in her eyes.

“I guess one of us was relationship material after all, Scott,” Brooke whispered, before turning and disappearing into the crowd.
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