nike_ravus (nike_ravus) wrote,

Corduroys and Machine Guns 1/5

Title: Corduroys and Machine Guns (1/5)

Author: Alsike

Rating: PG-13

Fandom: Popular

Pairing: Sam/Brooke

Apologies: Apparently I have decided to clear out the fanfiction files sitting on my desktop, and if they're okay at all (meaning unutterably trite and completely unoriginal) i should post them!  So, I never wrote Popular before this one.  And I stole part of the plot from a gay thriller that i found accidentally at work, no idea what it was called or who wrote it.

Summary: Sam and Brooke haven't spoken for three years, but Brooke is finally graduating from college, and that is about to change.  At least if porcupines and terrorists have anything to say about it, it will.

(Still waiting for inspiration to hit for the end of the CSI thing, or, you know, gumption enough to face the next scene)

“I can’t believe Harrison’s dating Mary Cherry!”  Sam’s voice over the line was laughing if faint and Lily smiled in response.

“I don’t think it’s by choice.  She just sort of showed up at his door before Josh and my Anniversary party and hasn’t let him alone since.”

“Oh, yeah.  The party… Look, Lily, I’m sorry I-“

“Brooke came.”


“That’s all you really wanted to know, isn’t it?  Brooke came and ate two pieces of pizza like a normal human being.  But of course she is a normal human being, not that you could ever bring yourself to think of her that way.”


There was silence for a few moments.

“I’m sorry, Sam, but really.  Why haven’t you come home?”

“I’m just, getting everything settled.  My career’s just getting started, and I need to make inroads with my colleagues and…”

“Yes Sam, we all know you’re a workaholic, but why haven’t you come home for Christmas in four years.  Ever since Brooke went back to rehab.”

“It’s not rehab.  Don’t call it that.  It’s not drugs.”

“God Sam.  Just come home.  She’s okay.  You don’t have to be afraid.”

“I’m not afraid!”


“I’m sorry Lily.  I’ve been put on a big article at work.  I probably won’t be able to make it back for her graduation either.”

“I didn’t expect you to.”

“Why- why did you invite me-“

“And not her?  Sam-“

“She could have sent a card.”

“You know, she hasn’t mentioned your name once since she got out of the hospital.”

There was frozen silence on the other end of the phone, and then a short click as Lily hung up.

*            *            *

Sam groaned as she clicked her cell phone closed.  Davis walked past her desk and tapped the back of her head.

“No personal phone calls on company time.  Now get back to those Obits!”

“Yes, sir,” Sam grumbled and opened the notebook on her desk, looking at the facts she had noted down about the life of one Mrs. Phillip Lucio, remembered by her three children and ten grandchildren for her amazing meatloaf.  Sam’s mind wandered back three years to the two am phone call that had come while she was staying up late working on a paper and the desperate voice, and how she hadn’t done anything.

Sam’s head sunk onto her desk and she clenched her eyes shut.  She wasn’t going to cry.

*            *            *

Brooke ran down the steps in her gown, holding her diploma tightly and hugged her dad and Jane.  Then she grinned and waved her diploma in triumph before hugging Lily, Josh, and Harrison in turn, giving them all a kiss on the cheek.  She squeezed Mary Cherry’s hand and tuned out of whatever she was saying.  Then she spotted Carmen and leapt to hug her with a screech.

“Carmen!  I haven’t seen you in so long!”

Carmen grinned and hugged her back.  “How could I miss this?  My girl beating the odds.”

Brooke nodded, sort of embarrassed, then glanced around once more.  Lily looked disgusted.

“Sam obviously could,” she muttered.

There was a slight tension in Brooke’s shoulders.  Jane put an arm around her.

“Come on, it’s time for the party at home.”

*            *            *

Sam banged her fists down on Davis’ desk.  “Come on!  I’ve been on Obits for six months!  Can’t you please give me a different assignment?  I just want a chance-”

Davis raised a bushy eyebrow.  “Mmm, sorry.  You’re not out of probation yet for that disaster with Mrs. Lucio.”

“Disaster?  It was a simple mistake.  I’m sorry I misread my handwriting.”

“I don’t think you’ve learned your lesson yet.”

“God!  So what if she was famous for her pineapple meatloaf and not her porcupine meatloaf?  It was an honest mistake.”

“Yes, and when the animal rights groups demonstrated at her funeral and all her children were spray-painted with ‘porcupine killer,’ that wasn’t important or embarrassing in anyway for all concerned.”

Sam sighed.  “I’m sorry, sir.”

“That’s more like it.  Now get back out there.”

“Yes, sir.”

*            *            *

“So what are your plans now, Brooke?  Are you going to get a job?”

Brooke laughed at Carmen’s earnest interrogation.  “Yes, as I think the whole trophy wife thing is a bit overrated.  And actually, it’s been easier than I thought to turn my fine arts degree into a career.  I’ve had a few interviews already.”

“Wow!  Are you going into fashion photography?”

“No, I don’t think so.  Too much-“

“Oh, yeah.”

“Photo-journalism, actually.  I did it for the last two years in school.  I don’t have the camping creds to do nature photography, and no way am I going to become paparazzi, so I was thinking about working at a local newspaper or magazine.”

“So you’re staying locally?”

“I mostly applied around here, but Lily gave me some tips for the bay area, and I had an offer from a paper up there.”

“The bay area-“ Carmen stopped herself, and Brooke glanced at her, confused.  “It’s a beautiful place,” she covered quickly.

“Yeah, but I’m going to try an support myself for a bit, so no mansion in the Berkeley hills.”

“You think you’re going to take the job?”

Brooke tipped her head to think.  She was smiling.  “It sounds like fun.  It’s a small paper local to a tightly knit Italian community in the middle of crazy San Francisco.  They support the paper a lot, so it pays really well.  There are a lot of cultural events- that’s what I’ll be starting as, the cultural events column photographer.  Isn’t that great!”  She looked so happy.  Carmen stared at her sadly.  “Yes, it sounds amazing.”

*            *            *

“Lily- do you know where Brooke is going to work!”

“I heard she was applying-“

“San Francisco.  San Francisco, Lily!”


“What if she runs into her?”


“Look- her paper, they were looking for a photographer, I just cut out the ad and sent it down.”

“Oh my god.”

“It might not even be the same paper in San Francisco that she applied to.”

“No Lily, it is.  It has to be.  For those two- everything that can go wrong will.”

*            *            *

On Monday morning Sam woke up in her bed that nearly filled the whole of the second room of the two room sublet where she lived in San Francisco, shut off her alarm and stretched.  She slipped out of bed and into her jeans that she had left on the floor the night before, then pulled on the nearest top that smelled decently clean.  Sam grimaced as she looked around the closet like space.  She really should have made another trip to the Laundromat that weekend, but it looked like another week of trying to not disgust passerby.  Wednesday afternoon she’d do it, definitely.

She waved to Mrs. DiAngelo on her way out who greeted her with a wave of a wooden spoon.

“Will you be in for dinner?”

“If you’re cooking, then definitely!”

She stopped in at the co-operative café on the corner and jogged out again with a tall coffee and cinnamon raisin loaf and a rainbow sticker stuck to her forehead when she wouldn’t take a pamphlet about the discrimination against gays in the Teamsters from the dreadlocked girl in a rainbow bandanna camped out by the register.  Sam made it down the next two blocks at a quick trot and then darted up a rickety staircase to the second floor offices of the Star Daily.

She dropped her coffee and loaf on her desk and was unpeeling the sticker when Andy, the reviewer for the Star came up to her.

“Hey, Davis said something about seeing you in his office when you got it.  What did you get today?  Ooh, Cinnamon-raisin?  Don’t mind if I take a bit, do you?”

“What?  In his office?”  She smacked Andy’s hand as he tried to mooch a chunk of her bread.

“Yeah,” Andy grinned.  “If you ask me it looks like you’re off obits.”

“Oh my god!”

“Good luck!”  He yelled at Sam as she bolted for Davis’ office.  She stopped suddenly at his words just in time to see him bite into a chunk of her bread.  She scowled, but not unpleasantly, and stuck the rainbow sticker onto his forehead, before continuing on her previous path.

“Thanks!” he said happily.  “You think this will help me score?”

*            *            *

“Oh, Sam, good, you’re here.”  Davis glanced up from his computer.

“Yes, sir!”

“You look bright and shiny today.  Looking forward to writing Dr. Jerome’s Obit?”

“No, sir!”

He laughed.  “Good, because it’s going to Cassie.”

Sam suddenly looked worried.  “Are you sure she’s ready?”

“That’s what I like to see, responsibility for the paper.  No, she’ll be fine.  We’ll be riding her.”

Sam grinned.  “Yeah, you will.”

“But you are getting a big new responsibility.”


“You’re taking our new photographer out.”

“Huh?”  This did not seem to be an assignment.

“She’ll be photographing the craft fair and you’re in charge of the companion article.”

Sam was speechless.  A craft fair?  Could it actually be possible to go down in importance from obituaries?

“Now this is a big responsibility.  It’s her fledgling article, and you need to make sure she doesn’t get in trouble and learns to feel her way around.”

“I… see.”

“Don’t worry.  If all goes well you’ll get the Tuesday-Thursday spot for cultural events.  And your own photographer.”

“Oh.”  Suddenly this didn’t look so bad.  Cultural events was a little tame, but if she did a good job here, maybe there was a chance to get onto the investigative staff.

“All right.  She should be here by now.”  Davis went to his door and leaned out.  “Send the newbie in!”

There were a few moments of bustle, and then a girl was pushed into the room.  She was blonde and there was a camera hanging from her neck, and that was the last thing Sam noticed before she realized it was Brooke and nearly died.

*            *            *

Tags: popular, sam/brooke

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