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27 July 2007 @ 11:26 pm
Guernica by Mariah, rated G  
Title: Guernica
Author: Mariah (dollhouses/messageforyou)
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,289
Character: Nathan, Brooke
Spoilers: Not really any. But to be safe, as long as you've seen past season 3, you'll be okay.
Summary: Nathan gets help from an unlikely friend in his time of need.
Author's Note: I just realized the deadline was PST not EST, which even so I'm still late, but I figured there was no hurt in posting it any way. This was kind of a spur of the moment piece. I haven't written anything in a long time so be kind. And it's kind of rushed, but I like what came out of it. Also, please excuse any mistakes as this is unbeta-ed. And in case you were wondering, Guernica is both a painting and a title of a song that both represent a battle.
Oh yeah, while I was writing this I had "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" on repeat. :)

When she left, he was a mess. He was hurt, confused, and angry, but mostly he was alone. Even with all of his friends he seemed to have, he felt as if he had no one. She had been his everything. Everybody was willing to talk, there was no one he wanted to talk to. She had been the one he turned to in place of all of his friends. His phonebook was full of numbers, but none of them were right.

His friends did what they could. Lucas was there and so were the guys from the team, and he had good conversations with Peyton every now and then, but it wasn't what he was looking for. They both had experienced loss, but it just wasn't the same. Peyton hadn't known life before her mother. Nathan had known what it was like before her, and he didn't want to go back to that. He didn't want to go back to the path of turning into his father. Nobody knew what he was going through.

No one knew how he felt.

When the school year ended, everything got worse. He had more time on his hands; camp didn't start for a few weeks. And with more time on his hands, he had more time to think. The more he thought, the worse he felt. He spent his days cooped up in his apartment with the television on, blanky staring at it. People knocked and he either told him to go away or acted like he wasn't home. He knew his friends were trying to help, but they weren't the company he wanted. They made him feel worse.

Eventually camp started and it was the same as being at home. He made friends, but it wasn't what his heart and his head needed. His roommate was a cool guy, and tried talking to him and helping him, but Nathan pushed him away too.

And then she called. Just out of the blue. His phone had flashed 'out of area' and for a second his heart stopped and he thought it was her. Haley. Calling him from somewhere on the road. He debated for a few seconds on whether or not he should answer it; whether or not he wanted to answer it. Finally, he just went for it. He flipped open his phone and mumbled out the steadiest hello he could manage. It wasn't Haley's voice on the other line. His heart returned back to a regular beat and he felt a little relieved. It was another voice that he recognized, but definitely wasn't a familiar caller on his phone. Brooke Davis.

At first he thought maybe she'd made a mistake and thought he was the other Scott. Or Peyton, or Bevin, or whoever was her boyfriend this week. But then she started babbling on about how pathetic they were pining over people they loved that had screwed them over, and he knew she'd dialed the right number. And before he could deny it, she told him not to. At first, he was a bit irriated and he almost told her what she could do with her opinion but something inside of him stopped him. And at the end of the call, something happened: he grinned genuinely for the first time since Haley had left.

And that was how it started.

Everyday after practice, his phone rang and a smile came to his face before he even looked at the caller id. And while a few other people called him here and there, he always knew it was her. She called him at the exact same time every night.

He would ask her how her day was. After their first few calls, he learned that even though she was the one iniated this weird friendship, she expected him to ask her how her day was first. It was only polite, she had explained, she was a lady after all.

Sometimes they would talk about Lucas. Sometimes they would talk about Haley. It only happened on rare occasions, though. Mostly, they stayed away from those topics. It was an unspoken thing between the two of them. Unless the other brought up their own (un)significant other, which was a signal that they were comfortable with talking about them, they didn't talk about them.

Nathan talked about basketball camp and complained a lot about how hard it was. Brooke talked about how great California was and complained about her parents. Sometimes they even had conversations about basketball which surprised Nathan. But as they talked, he learned that a lot of things about her surprised him.

He had never really known her that much. Yeah, they ran in the same social circle but they never really talked. And yeah, they had a fling once a few years back, but there wasn't much talking during that time either. It surprised him how passionate she was. About everything. And how caring she was. He could hear it in her voice whenever she talked about something or someone she loved. Even her parents, who while she was ranting about how much she hated them, he could tell that she did love them.

And he hadn't noticed much, but the more he talked to her, the more he smiled. It wasn't the same smile he had when he was with Haley: bright, completely happy, and full of love. It was more of a content smile that showed he was at sort of at peace with things. He was also in a better mood at practices, and everybody definitely noticed that. For the first few weeks of camp, he would either throw himself and all of his anger into his game and tear everything and anyone in his path up, or he would mope around; not bother to communicate with his team. He had hated going to practice and he hated waking up every morning. But after his conversations with Brooke, he was up before his roommate. He gave his best game at practice. He even hung out with the guys at camp.

Nathan brought his best game to the table. For the last weeks of camp, he enjoyed himself. His conversations with Brooke continued religiously. When other people called him, he didn't shut them out. He had decent conversations with Lucas, and even Tim. Things were looking up.

When he returned from camp, he had a new perspective on everything and a brighter attitude. Things weren't perfect, but he was a different from the angry and depressed boy that had left. And then he found out that Haley was back in town. Brooke was the first person he called. They hadn't talked about Haley that much during their conversations. Maybe twice, three times at the maximum. But even so, Brooke knew what he was going through. She knew that he missed her and resented her at the same time. But she also knew that he loved her, and how much he loved her. And when Nathan muttered the words that Haley was back in town, her heart sank for him. She hadn't had to face Lucas yet, but she was dreading it. Just like she knew Nathan was dreading talking to Haley.

She knew exactly how he felt.

They helped each other through their screwed up relationships. And then slowly, the phone calls to each other were less frequent. Things had somewhat returned to normal. The two of them didn't need each anymore, didn't need to rely on each other. They had gotten through the tough times. It was unspoken between the two, but they knew what was happening. The pair were more alike than they knew, and the both of them understood.

It was their little secret.
autumnleaves23: Ross_Crazy Anticsautumnleaves23 on July 28th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
First off, thank you for entering the Coda Challenge and filling out that poll we had placed in the community. I'm glad you were able to complete your entry before time went out. :)

This was such a well-written piece. I always enjoy reading stories that are full of description and like I said for thedreamygirl's fic, this is a great example of that, too.

It's nice how Nathan had someone talk to. Brooke is definitely a bubbly character. I could definitely see her being able to cheer anyone up with her bright personality. I also like how you explained their situations before and after they started talking. How Haley had left Nathan and that was why he was in such a slump. And then, in the end, they drifted apart because Nathan and Haley were beginning to repair their relationship.

I can definitely see their similarities, too, which I had never even thought of before reading this. (Like how you stated in the last paragraph of your one-shot).

Wonderful job! Keep up the great work! :)
pepper jack love fraggle rock: s&s; old coupledollhouses on August 12th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
sorry this is a little late, but thank you for the comment!
Alix: nh:I am falling for youthisholymess on July 31st, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
I have to say at first I was a little weary with the whole nathan brooke ship but you did what alot of other writers dont, you left it as a friendship. Some writers automatically make it into a romance and am so happy you didnt do that. It was about a friendship and being there for a person who needs you just as much as you need them. I could actually see them developing this kind of friendship and it didnt give me the willies,hahaha!
Thank you so much for submitting it. Lovely job.
pepper jack love fraggle rock: nathan&haley; hj + nsdollhouses on August 12th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
this is a little belated, but thank you! I'm not much of a fan of Brooke and Nathan together either. I see them as being so much alike that there can be a friendship.
Sweetsugangel7 on August 3rd, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
I liked this. I liked seeing that Brooke helped Nathan through that summer. And you know what, it could've been like that. I kind of like thinking about it like that.

Because Brooke was such a great friend to Haley too when Haley came back to town, letting her stay in the apartment and not being as bitter as Peyton about the whole situation.

So, it'd be cool to think of her helping both of them!

And plus, it does make sense with Brooke's own situation with Lucas.

Thanks for sharing!
pepper jack love fraggle rock: taylor&ryan; they are too cutedollhouses on August 12th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
this is a little late, but thanks for commenting!