Author's note: This is a post season 2 Nathan/Haley story, taking place exactly where the finale left off. Each chapter will be from Haley and Nathan's perspective switching off from chapter to chapter. This story is pretty much my vision of what I want season three to be like. Most likely, this story is planned to be between 10-15 parts, and I will try and update as soon as I can, but I also have 3 other active fan fictions, so updates will probably be once a month.
I hope you all enjoy and don't' forget to leave me some feedback because I will love you for it:)
Note:Keep in mind that before you read this story that Nathan thinks that Haley wanted the annulment because she had signed the papers (and didn't see the note she had left him), and Haley thought that Nathan wanted to the annulment. However, Dan forged Nathan's signature.
Ch 1- Tonight and the Rest of My Life
The moment I saw Nathan, staring back at me, his eyes wide with unequivocal shock, was something that would linger inside my head and in my heart forever. There I was standing on his front doorstep, red bag in tow, and a feeling of bitter sweetness that felt like butterflies in the pit of my stomach that I couldn't escape. Deep inside of me, there was this ever dangling hope that things would be exactly the way between us like they were a few months back when we first got married.
But who was I kidding? Only myself, I knew that much, and I knew the truth. I couldn't pretend anymore. As much as I wanted to, It was time to grow up. I knew that I wasn't the same person anymore, and neither was Nathan. We were changed, in a matter of months, and we couldn't go back to the people we were. The innocence was gone, like puff of smoke that evaporated in the air, and who remained in the dust were two different people; people that I did not recognize, and was constantly fighting not to. I wanted to live in a dream where Nathan and I were happy and so in love, where nothing could touch us; or hurt us. The more I would dream about this life, the more I denied myself it, because I knew I didn't deserve it. I didn't deserve Nathan, and I didn't deserve to be happy again. So, I denied him. I pushed him away. I acted like a stranger to him. Of course I wanted to go with him; be with him like nothing had changed. But it was too late for me. I had tore us apart, so now it was time to set Nathan free-----of me. Did it hurt? More than you can imagine. But It was my love for Nathan that opened my eyes again. Why was I pushing the one and only person I had truly loved away from me? If he was willing to forgive me, couldn't I be forgiven? I didn't feel I like I could, but all I could think and feel and dream about was Nathan. I knew I wanted to make it work. I had wanted to go home, and I felt a wave of excitement and happiness like no other. I was beginning to feel less like the stranger that I had become and more like myself..Haley. But then Dan showed up with annulment papers in his hand. And It felt like someone had punched me hard in the gut. Every ounce of hope I had vanished. Every ounce, however small it was, of forgiveness in myself vanished. Because Nathan didn't want me anymore. I had been too late in fighting for him. I had been foolish. It had gone too far. It was obvious our love hadn't been enough. And that was the night when Dan delivered the annulment papers, with Nathan's signature on the bottom, I told myself that the tour was my life from that point on. I couldn't go home. If I didn't have Nathan than I didn't have anything. And I wasn't that person anymore. I was Haley, but a different one. One that I would wake up with the shame of knowing that I had failed the one person that I loved the most, and faced everyday with the sad realization that maybe I never deserved Nathan.
My denial of facing the situation quickly turned to anger. And anger turned into regret and that regret turned into something I couldn't explain. All I knew was that as much as I told myself that Nathan didn't want me anymore; and wanted to pretend our marriage never happened, the more I told myself that I shouldn't sit here like a baby and let it happen. I had the power to fix it. If I was sure of anything, I was sure of our love, and it was still there no matter what he did or said. Even if Nathan really did sign those papers, I didn't care. I wasn't going down without a fight. I wasn't letting him slip away from me forever without a fight. I knew for a fact that our situation wasn't grounds for an annulment, and that's why I didn't sign those papers. At first. But I wanted to give Nathan what he wanted, and I told him on a note, that I really didn't want to do this, but I did this for him, if this is what he really wanted. But signing those papers, and seeing my oldest friend, and hearing about my old life...did something to me. I had woken up. Completely. I had told Lucas that my life was on the tour now, but after he left, something went off inside of my heart. A loud, deafening alarm that blind sided me. I remember the exact moment. It was my turn to go up on the stage for a show. Actually, it was Chris and I going on stage together. I had told myself that this was my life now, and I just had to accept it. But the more I tried, the more I failed. Then I had the most sourest taste in my mouth. I felt like I was about to throw up. I wanted to throw my guitar down, and run off the stage and out of the door, and back home to Nathan as fast as humanly possible. It was all I craved, and the more I pictured leaving the stage, the bigger the smile arose on my face. Then I looked at Chris. I looked at the crowd...one last time.. And that's when I knew that my was my last show, and I knew that I truly didn't want this anymore. I was going to go home, put my bravest face on, and own up to everything I did, said, and what I didn't say, and if he took me back with open arms, then my prayers would come true. If he didn't, then I was prepared to fight. For him, for our marriage, and for everything we once were. I wish it hadn't come to this. I wish we were the same old Nathan and Haley. I wish I hadn't made some of the dumbest decisions of my life. But I'm not a perfect human being, I know that now. I just wish I didn't have to find out the hard way. We are all flawed. I'm flawed. But I'm afraid that It costed me my whole life.
I could dream and wished for things I might never have again all I wanted. What killed me the most was that I couldn't go back and reverse the decisions that I made, and I couldn't sit down and pout and cry about all the regrets that continued to weight me down. This is what my life was and I couldn't go back in a time machine and undo the damage that seemed to tear us apart right before my eyes. If I ever wanted to save my marriage, I knew I had to face what I did, and the choices I had made, and most importantly I had to stop punishing myself. I had to be brave and no matter what, I wasn't just going to settle for a life that I didn't want any longer. I wasn't' going to give up on Nathan, even if he was ready to give up on me. Even though Nathan and I were different people now, our love never changed. I was hoping if anything, that was enough; something to build off of. We could evolve together again. But what if I was wrong, and what If I was too late?
I continued to stare at Nathan, and he continued to stare back, his blue eyes gleaming at me, almost touching me all the way to my soul. My lips were frozen. I couldn't speak. I had went over all the things that I was going to say to him on my way over, but it all somehow slipped away. I had naively envisioned one simple look from each of us. Then we would know that it didn't matter what had happened, or how much we had changed. Our love was as present and as strong as ever, and anything else could be simply and instantly pushed to the past; a fresh start. Then I would stand up on my tippee toes, and meet my lips with his. His hands caressing my hair, my back; my hands firmly around his body, never leaving him again.
Then I opened my eyes to reality, and blurted the only thing I could think of to break the silence.
"Hi", I said.
It seemed that a lifetime passed by me before Nathan responded. Maybe I hadn't said anything. Maybe I was just standing here, my lips still frozen.
"W–what are you doing here?" Nathan finally blurted, looking genuinely shocked. If he was "happy shocked" or "mad shocked", I could not tell. As scared as I was, I was here, standing before him. It was time to face the consequences. It was time to fight.
I felt my lips unfreeze yet again, and a small smile creep up on my face. "I–-wanted to see you", I whispered. But that wasn't what I had planned on saying. I had something much more bigger and better planned. But that's all the came out of my mouth.
Nathan eyes looked me once over, and my heart skipped with anticipation, while the silence cut through me like a sharp knife. Then he frowned, and then my heart dropped out of my chest.
"Why are you here, Haley?" Nathan said, frustration leaking from him voice.
I did my best, not to break out in tears. "I told you Nathan----I wanted to see you. I wanted to come home."
Nathan sighed. He looked angry. "Oh, you did, really? Just another pit stop home, to see the ones you left behind?.What's the point anymore Haley?"
"Nathan—--this isn't some pit stop home. I'm done with the tour", I told him outright, looking straight into his eyes with every word. His words cut right through me, but should I have been surprised? No. I thought I had been prepared, but I wasn't. Tears were brimming in my eyes, ready to flow out. My hands were shaking. My lips were trembling.
Nathan stared at me for over a minute without saying anything. I couldn't take it. The silence was killing me.
"Nathan? Say something!", I demanded.
"Are you really done?"
I shook my head. "Yes. I'm home for good".
Nathan turned his back to me, and then touched his hands to his head. He slowly turned back around.
I grabbed his hand.
He yanked it back. "No, Haley! You can't keep doing this to me!" Nathan shouted, pain emerging on his face.
Hot tears sprung down my cheeks. I got as close to his face as the earth allowed. We were inches apart. I touched his chest, right where is heart beated. "Nathan–--I love you", I whispered softly.
Nathan didn't back away. Instead, he grabbed my hand. "You love me, huh? But I guess sometimes love isn't enough, is it? We both know that now Haley", He whispered to me in my ear.
"It is for me!" I told him. "And I know I have a lot to make up for-
"Oh—save it, Haley!" He exclaimed, lifting my hand of his chest. "I don't want to hear it! You can't just come here to my door, and tell me you love me out of----guilt—just so you can leave again. It doesn't' work that way Haley."
"That's not why I'm here, Nathan! I'm here because-"
"I—think you should go", Nathan cut in ever so faintly, while looking away from my eyes. I just stared at him, as he was ready to close to door. I wasn't going to let this happen. I wasn't going to let him close the door on me and everything we were and could be again.
"I'm not going anywhere Nathan", I told him, putting my hand firmly on the door so it wouldn't close. " I'm not ready to give up on us yet. You might be, but I'm not going to stand idly by anymore-----and watch our marriage go down the tubes like it never happened. I'm home now, and I'm where I should be. With you", I started, without taking a breath. "And I don't care if you slam the door on me, or if you tell me to go to hell. I know I had my chance, and I blew it. But that doesn't matter anymore. As cliche as it sounds, life's all about second chances, and we deserve one too. I know that now!" I finished passionately, my voice quivering, my palms sweating.
Then Nathan looked up at me, with the most strangest look on his face. Almost like an alarm went off in his head or something.
"What are you talking about Haley?", He said, in the most innocent way possible.
"What do you mean?" I said just as equally bewildered.
"You—you mean your really home for good? He mumbled, his eyes glazing over.
It took me a moment to answer. "Yes. I'm just—done with that other life", I said staring at my feet. Then I looked up right at those piecing blue eyes, and smiled. "This is where I want to be".
It looked like a single tear was going to fall from Nathan's eye, but before it did, he just looked at me, his eyes wide with shock or confusion–I couldn't tell which one. He looked as if he was desperately trying to say something, but he just couldn't seem to get it out.
"What is it Nathan?" I demanded. He was trying to say something to me. I fiercely wanted to find out what that something was. His face wasn't mad, angry, or upset. There was something encouraging about it in a way, and I felt hope fill up my whole body once again.
Nathan looked at me, almost looking at me truly, for the first time in a very long time. He moved closer to me. We were practically an inch apart. Moments of long silence stretched between us that seemed to practically go on forever.
What was Nathan trying to tell me?
"Haley, I------" Nathan began.
"NATHAN, Oh my god! We have to go right now!" Deb Scott's voice came roaring into the picture coming down the stairs.
Nathan and I looked right at Deb, who was running into the room, her eyes frantic with disbelief. Whether if it was from seeing me, or what she was about to say I didn't know.
"Haley? When did you come back?" She asked completely taken over by shock, her tone expressionless.
Before I could answer, Nathan grabbed Deb's shoulders. "Mom. What is it?" Nathan finally asked, alarmed.
But Deb was staring right at me. Then she quickly faced Nathan. "The dealership. Your father. There was a fire. He was in there", Deb said, hypervenitaling.
"Mom. It'll be okay. Just calm down!" Nathan told her.
Deb shook her head. "Come on! We have to get down there!" Deb shouted out, looking at Haley out of the corner of her eye, then back at Nathan.
Nathan just looked at me, not saying anything.
I stood there motionless, like an idiot, not knowing what to do.
"Let's just all go... come on!" Deb broke the awkward silence as she ran out the door. The last thing I remembered from that moment, was the look on Nathan's face, as we ran out the door together. We didn't say anything to one another, but one look was all it took. It was a look of possibility. But we had been interrupted. So many things were up in the air, so many things were left unsaid and so many things were left to be discovered. But what I also saw a look of hope buried deep inside his face somewhere. And while we couldn't talk about it right then, I knew we would later. But I didn't want to wait, and I could tell he couldn't either. I was home. I was, and I think Nathan was finally starting to realize. What would become of us, I didn't know. I couldn't predict. But I knew I wasn't going to give up, because we deserved that second chance.