Okay this story was started forever agobut I've just decided to post it. It was started over Christmas so it's set during the hiatus...but Haley did get on the bus...like it was started back when we didn't know...
"Lucas?" Haley's voice over Lucas' cell phone sounds timid, scared and small, three things Lucas Scott had never heard in his best friends voice.
"Hales?" Lucas questions quickly, "where the hell are you?" Haley had disappeared twelve hours before and nobody had heard from her and Lucas knew that Nathan was worried sick.
"New-New York C-city," Haley stutters out.
"What? Haley, are you okay?" Lucas asks quickly. "Why are you in New York?"
"I..." Haley falters, "can you come get me."
"Of course," Lucas responds immediately knowing Haley would explain everything when she wasn't in a strange city. "Nathan and I will drive up as soon as possible."
"No," Haley's response is sharp. "Not Nathan."
"But Haley he's worried sick about you."
"Please Luke, don't bring Nathan with you, I can't bare to see him right now."
Haley's plea is heartbreaking and Lucas can't help but give in, "fine. But I at least have to tell him that I'm coming to get you."
When Haley begins speaking again Lucas can hear the tears in her voice, "please just hurry Luke, please." She manages out a couple more sentences explaining to Lucas the location of the hotel she was staying in.
Already on his way to Nathan and Haley's apartment, where everyone was meeting back up after breaking up into groups to search for Haley, Lucas drives faster glad to at least have news that he'd heard from Haley. Walking into the apartment Nathan, Peyton, Brooke and Jake's faces fall at the sight of Lucas alone.
"We're not having any luck," Peyton states. "I think we need to call the police, in case something happened to her."
"Don't." Lucas stops her, "she called me. She's fine, she wants me to come get her."
"She called you?" Nathan's expression is a mixture of confusion and joy. "I'll come with you to get her."
Lucas sighs, "she said she didn't want you to come."
"She wouldn't say why, just let me go up and get here and bring her home."
"But she's my wife," Nathan's voice and expression is one of pain.
"I know," Lucas nods, "but she asked that I come without you."
Brooke's eyes dart back and forth between Nathan and Lucas before she states, "we should go. Lucas, call us when you get back with her okay?" Quietly the three slip out of the apartment to leave the two brother's alone.
"She's leaving me, isn't she Lucas? That's what this is all about, right? She's leaving me for Chris and she doesn't have the nerve to do it herself so she sent you to do it for her."
Lucas shakes his head, pained by the expression on his brother's face, "she didn't say that. She just wants me to come get her, she's probably just ashamed to have made you worry. And it's probably about something dumb and Haley like and she'll have a funny story to tell about it in the end."
Lucas ended up flying to New York, he'd explained the situation to his mother and Karen was clearly worried about the usually so level headed Haley James-Scott picking up and leaving town without a word to anyone and had offered the money for the flight. The entire flight Lucas spent trying to convince himself that it was just some stupid Haley thing, but the more he thought about it the more Haley's voice wasn't the Haley he had known for his entire life.
The motel Haley had directed Lucas to is far from the hospital and gives Lucas enough time to work himself into a mild panic attack. And upon reaching the motel room and knocking twice without an answer Lucas was in the middle of a complete panic attack. Pounding on the door once more Lucas calls out, "Hales? Haley it's Lucas, you in there?"
"Lucas?" Haley's voice is almost inaudible.
"Haley, it's me, come on, open the door."
There's a fumbling on the other side of the door before it's finally opened to reveal Haley, deathly pale where she's not red from scratches or black and blue with bruises. "Oh God, Hales, what happened to you?"
"Lucas," Haley whispers before collapsing, sobbing, into Lucas' arms.
"Oh God Haley, what happened?" Lucas' eyes lock on Haley's watery ones.
"He...I..." Haley takes several ragged breathes before adding, "I said..."
"It's okay, shh," Lucas' soothes gently knowing exactly what had happened. "Shh, it's okay, it's all going to be okay, we'll get you to a doctor. It'll be okay, shh." Every instinct in Lucas' body wants to find Chris and kill him, but instead he pulls Haley to him tightly as she sobs. "We need to get you to a hospital, okay?"
"No," Haley shakes her head. "I don't..."
"Hales, we have to get you to a doctor...there needs to be proof..." Lucas struggles for the words, not knowing what to say to make her stop crying.
"No," Haley shakes her head again, "I just want to go home. Please Luke, just take me home."
"Haley you really need to..."
"Luke, please I can't be here anymore, please take me home."
Lucas finally caves, "my mom got us a flight back to Tree Hill. But we should really..."
"I just want to go home," Haley lets out a shaking breath.
Lucas takes out a long breath, "we have a flight out in an hour and a half. Do you have a bag or something?"
"No, I-I don't have anything. I just, I..."
By the time they get to the airport they only have about 15 minutes before they are going to start boarding the plane and Haley is tucked gently under Lucas's arm. "I have to call Nathan, let him know we're coming home."
Haley, who had momentarily stopped crying, has a fresh round of tears in her eyes at Lucas' words, "Luke, I...I can't talk to him. He...he's going to hate me forever."
"Oh Hales, no," for what felt like the millionth time in just a few short hours Lucas' heart breaks at just a few simple words.
"He...he..." Haley mumbles the word but she has no others to accompany it.
"It's all right," Lucas whispers. "I'm just going to call him and let him know we're on our way home. Okay, you don't even have to talk to him until you're ready right?"
Nathan sinks a shot into a hoop at the riverside court with Peyton standing on the sidelines, "it seems like all we've been doing lately is fighting. I wouldn't blame her for wanting to leave me, all I've done is act like a jealous asshole for the last couple of weeks, because of the whole Chris thing."
Peyton grabs, and holds, Nathan's rebound as she states, "she didn't leave you. Nathan, don't jump to conclusions until you've actually talked to Haley. She loves you, and Lucas is right she probably has a logical explanation for wanting Lucas there."
Peyton's attempt at reassuring Nathan is interrupted by Nathan's cell phone ringing, despite the fact that it says Lucas's cell on the caller ID Nathan asks, "Haley?"
"Nate, it's Luke." Lucas' voice sounds strained on the other line. "I've got Haley with me, we're getting on a plane in fifteen minutes. It should be another two hours before our plane gets in soon. Nate she's..."
"Luke is she okay?"
"Lucas!" Nathan uses his brother's name as a demand for answers.
"She was with Chris," the words Lucas' says are slow and drawn out.
The feeling that rises up in Nathan isn't one of jealousy because in his heart Nathan knows that whatever had happened to Haley was something more complicated than basic jealousy. "What happened?"
"Nate she was..." Lucas stops unable to tell his brother that his wife had been raped.
"I'm going to kill the fucking bastard," Nathan utters the words without an ounce of untruth.
"Nate, we'll be home in three and a half hours. Meet me at my house, I need to talk to you before see her."
"Dammit Luke, you can't keep me from her, she's my wife."
"She's afraid to see you right now," Lucas admits immediately. "We'll be at my house in three and a half hours, meet us there. Don't come to the airport."
"I'm serious Nate, my house three and a half hours."
"Haley we should take you to the doctor," Lucas attempts the tired statement for what seems to be the millionth time between the flight and the drive from Raleigh to Tree Hill.
As if drawing strength from being back in her home environment Haley states firmly, "I am not going to the doctor."
"Hales, to press charges..."
"I'm not pressing charges," Haley's words are less strong this time and with them she falls silently into her own world for the rest of the ride to Tree Hill.
When they pull into the driveway of Lucas' house Karen comes out to greet them and Lucas can see Nathan from the window. Karen immediately rushes to Haley's side and slipping a supportive arm around Haley's waist, "come on sweetie, let's get you inside." Turning to her son Karen places a gentle hand on his cheek and whispers, "I'll take it from here. You should probably talk to Nathan."
Once inside the house Lucas heads straight for his bedroom to find Nathan with his fist embedded in the wall. Facing his brother Nathan apologizes, "I just..."
Lucas nods, "I know."
"Lucas she's so..." At the sight of the tears swimming in his brother's eyes Lucas nearly looses the little control over his emotions.
"I know, but she'll be okay. She's home now."
"Shouldn't we take her to a doctor?" Nathan demands, "she should be checked out...she should..." And with those words Nathan buries his face in his hands, crying silently.
"You know I can't force you to see a doctor," Karen sighs, she too was losing the battle that Lucas had tried to wage earlier.
"I know," Haley whispers.
Karen nods sadly, "okay. What can I do?"
Haley bites her lip, "I just want to take a shower and forget all about this."
Karen nods, "okay, you can use my bathroom. I'll let Nathan know what's going on, he's anxious to see you."
Haley's eyes fill with tears again, "I can't see him."
"Haley," Karen places a gentle hand on Haley's shoulder. "He loves you, he wants to take care of you."
Haley bites her lip until she draws blood before responding, "I can't see him. He's never going to be able to look at me in the same way again."
"Oh Haley," Karen lets out a long breath.
"I just...I just can't see him tonight. Please?"
Karen nods, "you can stay here tonight, of course. But you have to see him at some point."
"I know, just, just not tonight."
"Go home?" Nathan demands.
"That's what she wants you to do." Karen nods.
"And do what, Karen? Kick back, catch some TV and then get some sleep?"
"I know this isn't easy Nathan, but this is what she needs right now. And I know you're worried about her, and she knows that and she knows that you love her but right now she's..." Karen stops, unsure of what exactly the sleeping Haley wants Nathan to know.
"She's afraid to see me, yeah I've heard that. But what I haven't heard is the reason why my wife, who was raped by some son of a bitch, is afraid to see me."
"Nathan, she just needs time," tears are in Karen's eyes as she says the words. "Just give her time, let her get some sleep, put things in perspective."
"Karen I love her..."
"I know," Karen nods as she pulls Nathan to her. "And she loves you, there is no question of that, but she's having a hard time right now and I think it's best if you respect her wishes. We'll call you in the morning."
"Nate, I'll take you home." Lucas offers.
Nathan shakes his head, "no, I need to clear my head." And with his words Nathan slams out of the house.