Status: On hiatus.



Brooke tugged on the hem of her dress as she walked into the bar where the cocktail mixer was taking place. How Lee convinced her to wear the tight wiggle dress was still baffling.

"You look fucking amazing, stop fiddling!" Lee hissed into her ear.

They were the first to arrive, taking advantage of the empty bar to have a quick tequila shot for courage before their former classmates started coming in.

"What should we toast to, Lee?"

"How about ... to the death of Book!"

Lee's smile was so infectious, so genuine, Brooke couldn't help herself. "To the death of Book!"

She licked the salt off of her wrist before slamming back the liquor, enjoying the burn as it went down her throat.

"That's too bad, I quite liked her."

Brooke stumbled on her stilettos as she recognized his voice. His hand was warm and firm on her forearm as he steadied her. She turned to face him for the first time in a decade. "Dan," she breathed.

"How are you, Brooke?" He leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek, his cologne subtle but still so distinctly him. Her face burned, his lips seeming to linger for a half second too long. She had to stop herself from raising her hand to her cheek as he pulled away.

"Good," she managed to mutter out, her stomach doing backflips. She knew she was going to see him at some point this weekend, but didn't anticipate it being so soon. Brooke quickly sucked on her lime wedge, anxious to hide the nervousness that Dan had always seemed to bring out of her.

"And the always fabulous Lee," he turned to her friend with a smile, giving her a quick peck as well. But he didn't linger, she noticed. "How are you?"

"Still fabulous," Lee laughed out.

"As always." Dan stepped back, signaling the bartender. "How about another shot?"

"Abso-fucking-lutely!" her friend called out. Brooke nodded, nerves kicking into high gear. She was a lightweight, but she would need some more liquid courage to get through the night.

The bartender offered them each a new shot glass, each taking their turn to wet their wrists for the salt. She couldn't help but redden as Dan watched her, seeming to focus on her lips and tongue as she gave her wrist a quick lick.

"What should we toast to, then?" Lee asked, shot in hand and ready to go.

Dan's eyes were locked with hers as he responded. "To Brooke, who was never really 'Book' in the first place."