One Tree Hill
With Arms Outstretched

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The Blame Game

Brooke's all giggles and smiles when she sits down with Peyton at another table: "Hi, friend, guess who I went out with last night, I'll tell you, Lucas." Peyton stops for a second, tries to act nonchalant, and says, "Define 'went out.'" Brooke happily complies: "We met at a bar, shot some pool, had a few drinks." Peyton: "Lucas Scott?" Brooke smiles, "Yup. You didn't tell me he was such a good kisser." And then as fast as she sat down, she's up again, leaving Peyton behind to cry cardboard tears all over her sketchbook. Poor poor Peyton, it's only when what she wants seems to want someone else that she sees the value in taking a chance. Oh, to be a tortured teenager again. Yawn.

For some reason that can only be construed as torture, Dan has called his wife and told her to meet him at an abandoned warehouse/restaurant-type space. When Deb walks in, she's totally wondering what it's all about. Dan holds out his arms and says, "So, what do you think?" She says, "About what?" Dan mocks, "A long counter here, some retro booths." Deb doesn't follow what he's saying. Dan clarifies, "Deb's Diner, the hottest little place in town." Deb tells him she doesn't want a diner; she just wants to know what's going on. Dan says coldly, "You tell me." Deb tells him for the eight-hundredth time that she's just helping Karen. Dan: "You hardly know the woman." Deb insists that's not true. But for the sake of discussion, she admits he's right and says, "Let's say I'm doing it to help you." Dan doesn't get it. "What do you feel when you see Lucas? I mean, it was different when we never saw him, but now?" Dan snaps, "What do you want me to say?" Deb replies, "Anything, something honest?" Dan snarks, "Okay. How does this sound? I was a kid, I made a decision, and I am tired of you and everyone holding it over my head every day of my life. So if you're running that little café so you can find absolution for me, forget it, I don't need it or I don't want it." And then he walks away, leaving his wife all alone in the broken-down, dirty old space. Man. That chip on his shoulder is reaching Sisyphus-like proportions. And again, look! It's Dan playing The Blame Game! It's not his fault he's acting like an ass; it's everyone else's. And that's a burden I'm sure Deb's tired as hell of carrying around.

Haley asks Peyton what's going on, something about wanting to talk. The two girls are sitting in the Tutoring Center. It's Haley's turn to wear red today. Peyton says, "Do you think second chances are a lie?" Haley says honestly, "I think it depends on who you're dealing with, I guess." Peyton mutters, "Yup." Pause. Then she asks, "How are things going with you and Nathan?" Haley runs her hands through her hair and admits they aren't great. She doesn't know what he wants them to be, because if it's just about the sex, then it's not enough for her. Peyton jokes, "Bad experience?" Haley smiles. Then Peyton gets it: "What? Are you a virgin?" Haley replies, "Yeah, so what if I am." Peyton says, "Good for you." And good for OTH for not making that whole virgin issue worthy of a three-month story arc that feels like it's never going to end. Peyton asks Haley what she's going to do, and Haley says she doesn't know, but she's going to get some answers. Peyton asks quietly, "Did Lucas tell you what happened between the two of us?" Haley replies, "Yeah, he said you weren't ready for a relationship." Peyton twists her pen around: "Did he tell you about Brooke?" Haley says, "That they went out, yeah." Haley continues, "Are you okay with that?" Peyton: "He's fair game. Plus, she's really not the dating kind, if you know what I mean." Haley smiles. That's an awkward, kind of jealous comment, especially seeing as Brooke saved Peyton's ass last week, but I guess it's also kind of honest. Peyton continues, "Is connecting with someone really this complicated? Or is it simple and we just make it worse?" Haley says wittily, "For me it's complicated. You just make it worse." Then the two of them laugh. You know, for all my Hilarie-bashing, that was actually a pretty good scene -- they haven't reached Gilmore-style levels of female bonding, but the friendship between Haley and Peyton seems to be developing nicely. They sort of understand one another in an odd way.

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One Tree Hill

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