Author: Hope Falls PM
But there was nothing I could’ve done, except hold him a little longer, kiss him a little more...there’s nothing we can do but let those moments linger. -Complete- NaleyRated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Words: 3,257 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 5 - Published: 05-01-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2376172
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is my first One Tree Hill fan fic and I hope that you all enjoy it-- I do not own anything relating with OTH, this is purely fictional.
Everyone understands the fear of loss, the parasite that lives beneath the surface; a constant reminder that you do indeed feel. Many times that fear is falsely based and when your loved one steps through the door, you chastise yourself for your foolishness. It was the same for me, the fear—only my story ended differently… he never walked through the door again, and my fears were anything but in vain.
"Hey baby!" Haley called from the stove, attempting once again to cook Nathan dinner. Since they'd been married it was something that Haley had attempted—and almost always failed at. Though, she did have to give Nathan credit, he had eaten the rubbery concoction that she'd referred to as 'spaghetti' only nights before.
"I brought us some take-out." He announced as he made his way further into their shared apartment, holding up a Chinese take-out bag up.
"What's wrong?" Nathan asked as he set the bag on the counter and walked to Haley, wrapping his arms loosely around her slender waist, kissing her lips tenderly.
"Well—I was making us dinner." Came the explanation, a small frown crossing Haley's expressive face as she glanced up at her husband. As though unsure of her statement, Nathan glanced over her shoulder and into the frying pan that rest atop the stove. What appeared to be in the pan was a very mangled and burnt piece of chicken. Unable to hold in the laughter that it immediately sparked in him, he shook his head slightly.
"Oh, baby…" He murmured, lips pursing together as he tried unsuccessfully to withhold his laughter. Feeling her hand on his chest, Nathan was pushed back lightly a step or two as Haley slowly neared the stove.
"I can cook." She announced simply, as she picked up the spatula, rolling her bottom lip between her teeth as she silently inquired as to what to do next with it.
"You can?" Laughter once again consuming Nathan, unable to act serious and pretend that it looked remotely appetizing. "Haley, it looks like it needs a proper burial and a service in its honor!" Jaw slacking slowly, Haley shook her head as she walked out of the kitchen, leaving the stove on and Nathan to himself.
"Haley, would you come back here?" Nathan called, moving to the stove and quickly turning it off before following behind her.
"Why should I come back there?" She asked with a slight shakiness to her voice, honestly upset by the fact that she wasn't as domestic as she wanted to be and that she couldn't be a good wife to him—or, at least not in her opinion. "So I can be reminded of all of my short-comings as your wife? No thank you, I'll pass." Making her way into their bedroom, she heard the sound of his footsteps behind her and nearly sighed aloud. "Nathan…"
"Haley." Gently grabbing hold of her arm, he placed his other hand on her hip before turning her body to face him.
"You don't have any short-comings as my wife, alright?" Reaching up slowly, he soothingly cradled her cheek with his hand, his thumb running lightly over the definition of her cheekbone. Haley's eyes fluttered closed slowly, sighing softly before she finally decided to speak.
"I can't even cook my husband a decent meal."
"Do you honestly think that when I married you the first thing that came to mind were your cooking skills?" Nathan inquired rhetorically, eyebrow raising slightly before a slight grin curved his lips upwards. "You have much more important marital duties…" At the closure of his statement, he winked at Haley causing a soft laugh to escape from her lips.
"And what would those important duties be, Mr. Scott?" Haley inquired, a mockingly innocent expression crossing her face as she trailed her index finger along the groove defining his chest, eyes never leaving his. Glad that she'd taken the initiative and had immediately cheered up at his assurances, Nathan rest a hand on her hip as he took several steps forward, in turn making Haley take several steps backwards.
"The dishes." Nathan told her sarcastically, grinning when the back of her knees touched their bed, moving an arm behind her, guiding her body to the soft and awaiting mattress before climbing atop and smiling down at her.
"The dishes, huh?" Haley grinned up at Nathan, linking her hands behind his neck and gently guiding his face down towards her. "Well, we'd better get to work—nothing worse than a dirty kitchen." And with that, her eyes closed as Nathan's lips closed in on hers.
"Because… because he's trying, and I promised him that I'd be there." At the conclusion of his statement, Haley sighed slightly before walking over to him and wrapping her arms around him, standing on her toes and bringing her lips to his in a slowly sensual kiss.
"But you could have so much more fun here…" Came the teasing response with a wink as Haley had retreated and took a step back, looking up at him with a strictly flirtatious grin on her face. Nathan studied Haley with a wanton look, wanting nothing more than to take her into the bedroom and do exactly what it was that she was suggesting. But he couldn't—not right now. Not after he'd made a promise, and not when it had to deal with finally making amends with his estranged father.
"I know I would, but…" Closing his eyes when he felt her lips on his once again, he returned the kiss before slowly pulling back. "I promised him I'd be there." Kissing her once more he cradled her cheek as he glanced at the clock. "I'll make it up to you tonight… I promise."
After a moment Haley stepped out of Nathan's embrace, shaking her head slightly even as a soft smile remained on her lips. Then came the murmured though, "he doesn't deserve a son like you—or Lucas for that matter." Nathan simply shrugged at her words before slowly making his way towards the door.
"I love you, baby…"
Making her way to the door, Haley stood on her toes and placed a final kiss on his lips. "I love you, too."
You can never know when that last moment will be. There is no way to differentiate your last moment with your loved one from any other moment. Life is unpredictable and anything can happen—anything does happen, and you're left there to pick up the pieces. If I had known that it was my last moment with Nathan, I never would've let him go. I would've held on for dear life, would've kissed him and assured him that he meant the world to me. I never would've let him walk out of the door that morning to work on patching up the relationship with his father if I'd known that he would never come back to me. Nathan was young, he was compassionate and caring and good—I would've done anything to ensure that he didn't die that afternoon.
I can remember Nathan in detail—remember the laughter that was so classic of him. I can remember the ways that he made me laugh, the way that he made me feel—and the way I still feel now. Totally and utterly in love with the best man that I've ever known. We had our trials and tribulations, we had our fights and we challenged each other in way that no other ever could. But in the end, we would make up, we'd make love and we'd be stronger for having made it through. But above all else you learn that people are important, and that you can't do it alone.
In life Nathan was there for me during all my battles, and he was a shoulder to cry on. And even in death, Nathan's wisdom is still there, reminding me that I am a strong person and that I can survive. And that it's okay to cry, it's okay to lean on others to help you through. And so I reach out, I search for someone to absorb some of the pain and shock… and yet I wish wholly that Nathan was the one to do that.
"Would you go?" Haley asked as she sat on the couch besides Lucas, glancing over at her brother-in-law and best friend. Pushing the ice cream around in her bowl slowly, she took a bite of the chocolate delicacy as she awaited his answer.
"To see Dan?" Lucas inquired aloud before shrugging his shoulders lightly at her question. Dan was his father, he'd learned to accept that long ago—you couldn't pick who your father was, and that's just the way that life panned out. But did that mean he had to embrace his father or work on the relationship that his father had shattered at birth. "If there was something in it for me."
Letting out a laugh at his words, Haley shook her head. "You're bad."
"I'm serious." Luke told her, a slight smirk coming to his lips as he looked over at her. Haley understood his bitterness and hostility towards his father; his father's desertion was something that Lucas had to learn to deal with a long time ago, and running to his father with open arms wasn't something that he was going to do. Especially not after all the pain he'd caused him, and more importantly caused his loved-ones.
"I don't know why Nathan does it—why he lets Dan draw him in like that." Haley spoke after a moment, placing her half-empty bowl down on the table, shrugging her shoulders lightly.
"Nate's had Dan his whole life. I'm sure somewhere in that time Dan was a decent father to him… and he still wants that. I don't blame him for it. In fact, I admire that he can get past everything Dan's put him through." As Haley was about to respond, she heard a knock on the apartment door and rose to her feet.
"I'll be right back—don't start the movie without me, or I'll kick your ass." She called with a slight laugh as she proceeded to the front door, pulling it open slowly. Instantly as she took in the sight of two of Tree Hill's finest, her laughter ceased. Not simply because the police were at her doorstep but because of the sullen look on both of their faces. "Uhm… can I help you?" She asked after a long pause, glancing behind her to where Lucas was awaiting her presence for the movie.
The young cop, likely to be a rookie glanced to his senior counterpart, a lost look on his face. "Yes… ma'am, are you Haley Scott?"
At the inquiry, Haley's brow instantly furrowed as she studied them closely. "Yes, I'm Haley… is there something I can help you with?"
"Haley! Who's at the door?" Lucas inquired from where he'd been waiting for Haley to return.
"Hang on! I'll be right there." She called softly to Lucas, swallowing the lump that was beginning to form in her throat. Why were they there, at her door and asking for her? What did they want?
"Ha—Haley, my name's Haley."
Nodding his head minimally at her correction, the cop began to speak again as Lucas entered the room behind Haley, a confused look on his features. "Haley…" Intaking one last breath, the police officer continued, "I'm sorry, and I hate to have to tell you like this—but Nathan, your husband… he was in a car accident tonight."
Instantly a hand moved to her lips, eyes wide with shock. "He was in a car accident? What hospital is he at? Is he going to be alright?" Glancing behind herself as she felt Lucas' presence behind herself, her eyes quickly reverted back to the duo in front of her.
"He was dead on arrival, ma'am…"
Haley's first instinct was to scream, to yell at both of the officers and tell them that they were lying. That there was a mistake. But she realized as she attempted to respond to them that her voice was gone, that she couldn't speak—only a small squeak resounded as tears slid unchecked down her cheeks. Lucas stood behind Haley, a similar look on his face—one of shock and disbelief. "Th—thank you." He managed to stammer to the officers, allowing them to relieve themselves from the stressful situation.
"No… no, not thank you." Haley finally managed, her hands visibly shaking, feeling Lucas' hand on her shoulder and pushing it away. "Not thank you! They just told us that Nathan is dead! Dead! Do you understand that Lucas… do… do you even…"
"Don't! Don't even tell me to calm down. He's not dead. They're lying…." The angry and venomous tone quickly faded as she found the strength and anger to be too exhausting. Instead it was replaced by a weak and vulnerable tone. "Please… tell me that you're lying." She pleaded, the two officers still standing in the doorway.
"I wish I'd come with better news, but—I'm sorry. He was already dead when the ambulance arrived. There was nothing they could do for him."
"Nothing they could do for him?" Feeling Lucas' attempt to embrace her once again, she pushed roughly at his hands, angered by the fact that they hadn't even attempted to save her husband. "What happened? I mean… how did he…"
"His car was hit head-on by a drunk driver." After another moment of awkward silence and sobs, Lucas assured the two men that they would be alright on their own. Alright in the sense of physically. Emotionally they were both shattered, they'd both taken a blow harder than any professional boxer could physically give, and all they could do was rely on one another.
"Haley…" Lucas spoke, his voice with a distinctly foreign shake to it.
"I have to go… have to go see him." She vowed with a small nod of her head, turning slowly on her heel she began to fish around for the car keys, barely able to see through her tear-blurred vision.
"You can't stop me, Lucas! Are you going to help me or not?" Feeling Lucas' hand on her shoulder she cringed, trying hard to remain composed, but unable to stop the sobs that had been progressively racking her body.
"He had the car." Lucas managed to whisper, trying just as hard as Haley not to cry and failing just as much. Finally, he silently reached out for her, and when she wouldn't come to him he mustered a small voice. "Haley… I need you." And with that Haley silently stepped into Lucas' embrace, her tears soaking into his shirt as she mourned over the one man she'd ever truly loved.
It's only been a month now, a month since the day that he left me. And it's still hard to wake up in the morning and come to the numbing realization that it wasn't a bad dream, it wasn't a nightmare; it was reality. But there's one thing that keeps me going, one thing that helps me to remain strong.
You're home now, where you belong. It took me a month to realize, a month of selfishness and mourning—but I realize it now. You're home now, with the angels. And one day I'll join you and for once I'll be the one to say those infamous words I remember so vividly, 'baby, I'm home'.