DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, but I certainly wish I did. Damn Ryan Murphy and his unrivaled genius.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth story in the "Surviving the Holidays" series. Following Things That Go Bump in the Night, Overstaying Your Welcome and What's So Merry about Christmas?.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Out with the Old and In with the New
"I can't believe you're so calm about this. I thought you were crazy about him," Carmen said as they entered the Palace's kitchen.
"I thought so too. That's the problem. Things were great at Thanksgiving. Then he went back home and we were restricted to phone calls and emails, the odd instant message when we weren't both busy. I think all of that sort of created a false reality, if you will." Sam explained as she walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out four bottled waters.
"Wow, what did you say to him?" Lily asked as she took the water Sam offered her.
"Well after you all left the Christmas party, I pulled him aside and told him that it wasn't going to work out. I explained to him that the feelings that I thought were there just weren't. And rather than drag things out for three more months where we both end up hurt and resentful, I'd prefer to end it now, while we can still salvage some sort of friendship. Plus things are going to be pretty busy for both of us in the coming months. I don't think either of us will have much time for the other if the month we were together was an indication."
"Ouch, you dumped him on Christmas, Sammy. That's kind of harsh." Harrison walked over and stood next to Lily, snagging an apple from the bowl.
"I know. My timing totally sucked, but at least it wasn't Valentine's Day."
"Besides, it's not like she planned it out ahead of time, Harrison," Lily said, defending Sam.
"This doesn't have anything to do with George does it?" Carmen asked. She'd been quiet all day and it was worrying Sam.
"What? What does George have to do with any of this?" Sam asked, completely thrown by the sudden question.
"Well, I know you guys got pretty close during the rehearsals and everything " Carmen's words trailed as she fidgeted nervously with the bottle in her hands.
"True, we did become close again, but not like that. Believe me when I say that that ship has definitely sailed. What made you ask?" Sam frowned in confusion.
Carmen's head snapped up. "What? Oh oh no reason. I I just wondered if maybe you were thinking about, you know, getting back with him."
Sam shook her head. "Not at all, we're just friends."
"Well it looks like we'll all be single on New Years Eve. Why don't we throw a party?" Harrison suggested.
"Hey! I'm not single," Lily protested.
"Oh I'm sorry Lil, ever since you and Josh got married, you've practically become one person. I forget that there are two of you," Harrison joked.
"Oh haha, Harrison," Lily replied sarcastically, nudging him with her shoulder.
"Guys, I just had a party. I doubt that the 'rents will go for another one."
"Aww, come on Sam. It could be fun, right Carm?"
"Wha? Oh right fun "Carmen responded in a distracted tone.
Sam wondered what was up with the girl. She was jumpy and absolutely refused to meet Sam's gaze. Sam wanted to ask Carmen what was up but was interrupted by the sound of Nicole and Brooke coming through the door. She met and held Brooke's hazel gaze and for a moment the rest of the world fell away.
"You know, Spam, I was hoping that with the recent rise in your social status that you'd stop shopping at The Goodwill." Nicole walked past the journalist, making a big show of not making contact with the brunette, as she opened the refrigerator and grabbed a bottled water.
"I'll do that the day you stop shopping at Sluts-R-Us, Satan," Sam replied quickly before anyone noticed the panicked look on Brooke's face at Nicole's words.
"Speaking of clothes, Sam do you think you could clean up after yourself when you take showers?" Brooke asked in a cool tone. Sam met her eyes in confusion, but then she saw those hazel eyes begging her to go along with it.
"She takes showers? You would never know from the stench that seems to follow her everywhere she goes. I guess the stink of loser just can't be washed away," Nicole added.
"You ever notice how the odor is only there when you're around, Satan? Something to think about." Sam offered the shorter blonde a smirk before turning back to Brooke. "Princess, I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't leave any clothes in the bathroom."
"I thought you might say that, so I left them there as proof. Follow me please." Brooke headed towards the stairs, after shooting her friend a look that said 'be nice and keep your mouth shut.' Nicole pretended to ignore Brooke but walked into the living room anyway.
Sam looked over at her friends. She dramatically rolled her eyes with a loud, disgruntled sigh before following behind Brooke. She could hear Nicole making gagging noises from the other room as they made their way upstairs.
The moment they were out of the eyesight of their friends, Brooke grabbed the brunette's hand and dragged her into the bathroom, making sure to lock the doors behind her. Once she'd finished locking the door to Sam's side, she shoved the brunette against it roughly. Tangling her fingers in the dark locks, she brought their lips together in a searing kiss. Sam whimpered in the back of her throat and she parted her lips to grant the blonde's demanding tongue entrance. She ran her fingers up and down Brooke's back, before finally letting them rest on the blonde's hips.
Brooke's hand traveled down from Sam's hair to her back as she planted kisses along the journalist's neck. "I missed you this morning. Where did you go?" She asked in between kisses.
"I had to run an errand with Lily. Then we picked up Carmen and Harrison and we all went to breakfa "Sam's last word gave way to a moan as Brooke nipped her collarbone.
Brooke moved her lips back to Sam's while her hands made their way south to cup the brunette's rear, bringing their hips closer together. They both groaned at the contact. Brooke's thigh slid dangerously between the journalist's legs as she thoroughly explored Sam's mouth with her tongue.
Sam wrenched her mouth from Brooke's when she felt her hips begin to undulate against Brooke's leg. "Stop we need to stop," she said between gasps. "Too fast "
Brooke buried her head in the crook of Sam's neck, nodding in agreement. She stepped back once she regained control of her breathing. "Sorry, I didn't mean to get that carried away."
"No need to apologize. I enjoy being ravaged just as much as the next girl. I just didn't think we were ready for where that seemed to be headed." Sam offered Brooke a wide grin as she noticed the blush creep to the blonde's cheeks.
"Certainly not, I mean especially not with our friends downstairs."
"Friends that know nothing about us, at least mine don't. I don't think I can say the same about Nicole, given her earlier comment." Sam arched her eyebrow at Brooke.
The blonde looked away guiltily. "I know we agreed to keep this to ourselves for a while, but she would have guessed anyway. This way I took the wind out of her sails before she could find some way to make it negative."
"I suppose you're right. Its just do you think you could muzzle her or something? If she keeps making remarks like the one she just did, my friends are going to get suspicious. Hell I think Lily already is."
"I know," Brooke whined. "I've already threatened to tell everyone her deepest darkest secret if she let this leak."
Sam perked up, giving Brooke a wicked grin. "Deepest, darkest secret, huh? Even bigger than her admiration of me secret?"
Brooke nodded, "Yes, but there's no way that I'm going to tell you what it is. So don't even think it."
Sam crossed the room to where the blonde stood. "Not even if I do this?" Sam cupped the back of Brooke's head before crushing their lips together in a scorching kiss, nipping at cheerleader's lips and thrusting her tongue into Brooke's mouth. She pulled back and looked at the blonde, who seemed to be having trouble regaining her bearings. Brooke's only answer was a whimper before she brought their lips back together.
They stayed in the heated embrace until a lack of oxygen pulled them apart. "I I think that we should probably get back downstairs before they come looking for us," Brooke said in between pants.
Sam reluctantly moved back. "You're right. I think we've already been up here longer than any argument about clothes would warrant. Even for us." She turned to the mirror smoothing her hair. Her lips were swollen, but there wasn't really anything she could do about that. She just hoped her friends didn't notice. She looked over at Brooke. Every blond hair was in place and she'd straightened her clothes. The only thing signifying their little impromptu makeout session was her kiss-swollen lips, that Sam desperately wanted to kiss again.
"Ready?" Brooke asked as she unlocked the doors.
"If I must," Sam replied with a dramatic sigh. She walked into the hall and grabbed the blonde's hand, giving it a little squeeze and offering her a gentle smile before reluctantly letting go.
Brooke returned the smile with one of her own. "God Sam, you're such a pig! Maybe we should build you a pen outside!" Brooke said loudly as they made their way back to kitchen.
The things we do for love, Sam thought as she stomped loudly behind her girlfriend. "Geez Brooke, calm down it was just one shirt and a pair of pants. I fully intended to pick it up when I got home today. I was in a rush this morning. I'm sorry we can't all be perfect like the great 'Brooke McQueen!'" Sam shouted back as she came to stand next to her friends. She could tell from the looks on their faces that they were buying the mock argument. Well all except Lily, whose gaze was practically burning a hole into Sam. It didn't help that she could hear Nicole making little kissing noises in the other room.
"I'm not asking for perfection. I'm just asking for cleanliness. You might want to look that up in the dictionary. I know it's a new concept for you." Brooke was really on a roll. Sam arched an eyebrow at the blonde, but she wasn't really upset.
"On that note, I think I'm going to head home," Harrison said quickly.
Carmen practically hopped out of her seat. "Me too! I mean I have to go help my mom with something at home. Bye guys "She said quickly, still not meeting Sam's eyes. She walked out of the door quickly before Harrison.
"Think about that party Sam," Harrison reminded her as he followed Carmen.
"What party?" Brooke asked in an interested tone.
"Don't worry about it, Blondie. It doesn't concern you. I'm going up to my room." Sam walked up the stairs to her room, with Lily hot on her trail.
"Sam, I think we need to talk," Lily said as Sam opened her bedroom door.
"I agree. Do you have any idea what's going on with Carmen? She's been acting weird all day." Sam could tell what Lily wanted to talk about, but she didn't think she was ready.
"Sam you and I both know that I'm too smart to fall for that. You know what I want to talk about. I think it's time you fess up to what's going on."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"I think you do know. I think it has something to do with that little scene earlier when you were 'fighting' with Brooke up here. Only funny thing is no one could hear any arguing. And don't think I didn't hear Nicole's earlier comment about the rise in your social status. Tell me the real reason you broke up with Cory."
And Sam had no other choice. So she did.
"So now will you tell me about the party Harrison mentioned earlier?" Brooke asked, looking over at Sam. She was sprawled across the brunette's bed idly running her fingers through Sam's soft, brown locks.
Sam groaned. "I'm sorry about that. It's no big deal. Harrison thinks that since we're all 'single' that we should throw some New Year's Eve party."
"First, you don't have to apologize. I know why you said what you did. If it helps I apologize for the things I said earlier too. Second, what's wrong with having a party?"
"Nothing's wrong with it. I just don't think Mom and Mike are going to go for it. I mean everyone was just over for Christmas."
It was Brooke's turn to groan. "Don't remind me of Christmas. Cory still isn't talking to me. He thinks I somehow managed to convince you to dump him. You didn't tell him about us did you?"
"What? No of course not. 'Sorry Cory, I can't go out with you anymore. I'm hopelessly in love with your cousin. Which cousin you ask? Your very female cousin, Brooke that just happens to be my stepsister.' Yes, I see that going over really well." Sam shifted so that she was lying on her side facing the blonde.
"Hey there's no need for sarcasm. I was just asking because he sounded almost suspicious."
"Well, I don't know why he would be. But speaking of suspicions Lily sort of knows about us." Sam blushed sheepishly hoping Brooke wouldn't be upset.
Brooke frowned. "What do you mean Lily 'sort of' knows about us?"
"Remember how I told you that Nicole's earlier comments would catch their attention?" Brooke nodded. "It caught Lily's, who so kindly pointed out that our oh so clever phony argument would have been more believable had we actually argued while we up here making out. You're not mad are you?"
"No, why would I be mad? I don't want either of us to have to outright lie about this, just omit the truth when at all possible. Besides I told Nicole. I guess we're not being as cunning as we thought. We're going to have to work on that."
"Yes, we are which is why we definitely cannot have a party on Sunday."
"Oh, I don't know. It could be fun sneaking illicit kisses behind our friends' back, sort of dangerous and exciting." Brooke's smile grew mischievous at the very thought.
"Wow Brooke, I never knew you had this side to you."
"I guess you're rubbing off on me," she whispered huskily as she leaned in and captured Sam's lips with her own. She cupped the journalist's cheek as she deepened the kiss, nudging Sam onto her back and covered the brunette's body with her own.
"Sam, are you in there?" The knock on the door caused Sam to bolt up, knocking Brooke onto the floor hard. The blonde yelped at the sudden move and Sam made a shushing noise at her before clearing her throat.
"Yeah Mom," Sam replied, praying that this would be one of the times that her mother didn't open her door.
"I have to run an errand in a little bit. Would you mind keeping an eye on Mac? I can't find Brooke." Jane called through the door.
"Uh, yeah Mom. Just let me finish this last sentence and I'll be right down," Sam answered back. She waited until she heard her mother's footsteps moving away from her door and down the hall before looking apologetically at Brooke.
The blonde stood dusting herself off and rubbing the elbow she'd injured.
"I am so sorry about that," Sam apologized, crossing the room and placing a gentle kiss on Brooke's elbow.
"Another reason why having the party is a good idea."
Sam looked at her in confusion.
"Well if we don't have the party, we'll either spend the night ringing in the New Year with the 'rents or will have to spend it apart. At least with our friends here maybe they'll be distracted. Otherwise, I don't get to kiss you when the ball drops and I don't know about you, but I fully intend to start the year off right." Brooke smiled teasingly before she brushed her lips over Sam's.
"Oh I definitely plan on it." Sam brought their lips back together for another long, passionate kiss before reluctantly pulling away and heading downstairs.
Sam was bored. Brooke wasn't around. Lily was working. Harrison was playing golf with Sugar Daddy and Carmen was at Glamazon practice for the next two hours. Even Mac was taking a nap. Sam sighed as she rolled off of her bed. She went over to her laptop hoping to find someone online, but she was out of luck. Even George was out "doing stuff."
She made her way down to the kitchen. She rummaged through the cabinets for something to snack on. Grabbing the box of wheat crackers and a bottled water, she sat at the cabinet absently thumbing through her mother's parenting magazine as she munched.
"Sam, is there something you want to tell me?" Brooke asked when she walked in and spied what the brunette was reading.
Sam started at the sudden sound of her girlfriend's voice. "What? No, no definitely not." She jumped up from her seat to take some of the bags Brooke was struggling with. "Here let me help you."
"Thanks, I got a lot of great stuff for the party. I thought we could do an ode to Hollywood in the 40's theme."
Sam peeked in the bags before nodding her head in agreement. "Sounds pretty cool wait what are you doing home so early?"
Brooke frowned at her in confusion. "What do you mean? Was I supposed to be out later?"
"I don't mean it like that. I mean why aren't you still at practice?"
"Okay you're going to have to start from the beginning. I seem to have misplaced my Sam to English dictionary."
Sam sighed in frustration, wondering what part of her question was hard to follow. "I asked Carmen if she wanted to hang and she said that you guys had Glamazon practice. Since you weren't home, I assumed that's where you were."
"Well that makes a little more sense. Only we didn't have practice scheduled today. We decided to take the week off like three weeks ago. Hmm, I wonder why she told you that," Brooke said thoughtfully.
Sam wondered why too. Carmen had been acting weird since the holiday play, but it only seemed to be towards Sam when the journalist actually managed to find her. "I know why. She's avoiding me."
"That's ridiculous. Carmen's not avoiding you. Though I do wonder why she told you that we have practice. Didn't she think you'd ask me about it?"
"No she thinks you and I still aren't on speaking terms. Plus I told her you weren't home earlier."
"Still Sam, why would Carmen be avoiding you?"
"I don't know, but I'm about to find out." Sam grabbed her keys and planted a kiss on Brooke's cheek before walking out of the house.
Sam tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for someone to answer the door. "Hi Mrs. Ferrara. Is Carmen home?" Sam greeted the woman with a warm smile. She was looking considerably better and from what Carmen recently told her, rehab had been going extremely well for her mother.
"Hi Sam, yes she's upstairs as you can hear from the loud music. Why don't you go on up?" The older woman stepped aside, allowing Sam in.
The brunette made her way up the stairs and followed the pulsating beat of a Paula Abdul song to Carmen's closed door. It took her a few knocks before her friend opened the door. "Mom I said I'm not hungr- Oh, Sam "
"Yep, in the flesh, mind if I come in?"
"Oh, wha sure come in." Carmen pulled the door open all the way, making room for Sam to enter.
Sam took off her jacket before flopping down on Carmen's bed. "So Carm, how was practice?"
"Oh it was it was practice, you know? Brooke showed us a routine and we followed." Carmen fidgeted nervously, first sitting on her computer chair and then standing and pacing around the room.
"Really? That's interesting. Brooke came home right before I drove over here. She was confused when I asked her about the practice. A practice I might add, that according to your earlier statement, you should still be at."
Carmen didn't even bother to try and respond. She just hung her head.
"You know Carmen, we've been best friends since the third grade. Since that time I socked Greg Costanzo in the face for making fun of you when you fell down. I thought when we had a problem with one another we talked about it. We didn't resort to petty avoidance tactics," Sam said quietly, looking down at her hands.
"You're right, but sometimes best friends have secrets that might make the other one hate them," Carmen whispered and Sam could hear the tears in her voice.
"Carm, we've been through so much. There have been things that you've done that I don't like or agree with and I know I've done a lot of things that have made you less than happy with me. But no matter what, I have never hated you and I'm sure whatever this is will not change that."
Carmen remained silent and Sam sighed. Standing she put her jacket back on and headed towards the door. "Well, you can't say I didn't try."
"Not even me dating George?" Carmen asked through her tears.
The question brought Sam's eyes to Carmen's immediately, not out of anger but shock. "You're dating George?"
"Yes Sam, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to happen. It's just we sort of started hanging out a little during rehearsals for the holiday showcase. Then after we all went out after the show he drove me home and somehow we ended up kissing. And now you totally hate me for breaking the best friend moral code of not dating your friend's ex. I just like him so much and he says he likes me, but if this is going to be too weird for you then I'll just tell him we can't." Carmen's words came out so fast that Sam could barely keep up.
"Whoa, slow down. First, I'm not upset and I certainly don't hate you. I was just surprised. Second, what kind of friend would I be if I begrudged you something that could truly make you happy?" Sam smiled as she looked at her friend.
"Really?" Carmen almost seemed afraid to hope.
"Really. I meant what I said that day. I am totally over George and I couldn't be happier for you. He's a great guy."
Carmen smiled. "Yeah he is."
Sam nodded before crossing the room. "Hug it out?"
"Of course," Carmen chuckled, wiping her eyes and sniffling before embracing her friend. "Thanks for being so understanding."
"Hey no need to thank me. I'm just happy you weren't avoiding me because of something I actually did." Sam grinned. "So now that I know, does that mean that it will be you two that become of those disgustingly cute couples that spends all of your time together? Cause I gotta tell you, I get enough of that with Josh and Lily, I'm not sure my stomach can stand it."
"God, I hope so." Carmen laughed.
The party was in full swing and everyone looked fabulous in their 40's glam. Brooke had found this great second hand vintage clothing shop. It seemed to be a real crowd pleaser too. Even Jane and Mike gotten in to the spirit of things, praising Brooke several times for her idea. Though the hottest "gossip" of the night was Carmen and George's newfound love. They'd showed up looking like Hollywood royalty and beaming brightly. Brooke had to admit that they made a great looking couple. She would have never placed them together, but now that she saw them, they seemed to somehow compliment one another.
Her eyes sought out and immediately found Sam. The brunette was standing over with Josh and Lily laughing. She checked the clock and then looked back to where the three stood. Perfect timing, she thought as she made her way across the room.
"Um excuse me, Sam. I need your help getting a few more bags of ice from the freezer in the garage," Brooke said, interrupting the conversation.
"Oh okay, I'll be right back guys," Sam replied, not missing the sly wink Lily gave her. Instead of responding, she followed behind Brooke to the garage.
"There's a minute and a half until midnight. I thought we could use a little privacy."
"Well I would have preferred out by the pool, but here among the old exercise equipment and car parts works too." Sam grinned wickedly at the blonde.
"Hey, this is the best I could do. There was no other place to insure that we wouldn't be rudely interrupted."
"I supposed that's true. You know it's common knowledge that the person you kiss at midnight is the person you'll kiss all year. "
"Oh is that so? Well I guess we'd better make it a good one then." Brooke looked at her watch. "12 seconds "
" 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 " The last number was cut off as Sam leaned forward, pressing her lips to the blonde's. Both moaned into the kiss.
"Happy New Year, Sam. I love you"
"Happy New Year, Brooke. I love you too," Sam whispered before she brought their mouths back together, this time deepening the kiss.
"Hey, where are Brooke and Sam? They missed the toast," Mike asked, looking around the room.
"Oh, they went to get more ice from the garage," Josh answered before his wife could stop him.
"I'll go get them and we can do another one," Jane suggested as she headed in the direction of the garage.
"This may not end well," Lily muttered to herself.
"Hey girls, Mike sent me to get you. You missed the toast," Jane called out as she walked in the garage.
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