A/N: This started off as a non-fanfiction short story and then it started sounding more and more like a One Tree Hill fic. This has Leyton, Jeyton and Brucas. Mostly one of those three but I won't give away the definite pairing. I don't use names until half way through this and it's a pretty lengthy oneshot. I would have cut it into two chapters but I just liked the way it flowed as one part. Oh, and finally, I do swear a little bit toward the end. If swearing offends you, I'm sorry but you've been warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own One Tree Hill or Shania Twain or whatever else I might have mentioned that one would need to own to mention.
From the moment it began, it was clandestine, surreptitious almost in their minds. To the rest of the world it was as translucent as tissue paper. But no one dared say anything about it. For it was to be their secret. Their burden to carry. Their mark to hide. Secrets hurt people. But they also invoke a fiery passion deep within one's heart. There is nothing more fervent and raw than two lovers finding solace in a dark corner, the only sounds heard are the heavy and labored interchanging breathes that linger between them. They run from their past. They hide from their future. They don't even live in the present. It just sort of floats between time and space.
If they defined a time. They'd be real. And they don't want to be real. Because real things evaporate. Real things end. And they're too weak, too fragile to end. No these forbidden lovers would rather travel through life meeting when meeting allows. Living off of stolen glances and chance meetings. Off the times when they're longing for each other has reached a crescendo and they want, no need to cave in.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. He believes this to be true. He notices the longer they're apart the louder she screams when they consummate their lust. The harder her nails dig into his shoulders. The longer he can make her wait, the closer she'll come to saying the forbidden words.
Because if there's anything more forbidden than having a secret affair, it's falling in love with your partner in crime. Because the meetings will become more frequent. The passion will die and all that will be left are cold memories of what once were the best nights of their lives. Yet, they both can't help but want something more.
We've been groomed since we were children to marry the person you love. The covert lovers are no different. They had good homes and happy families. His mother taught him to respect women. To find a girl who made him happy and settle down. His girlfriend does that. She loves him with all her heart. She takes care of him when he's sick, nurtures him even when he's not and is willing to hear everything and anything he's got to say. And it's not like the sex is bad because it's not. It's spectacular. The problem is she's not like his lover. He wishes it was simpler. That he could just be happy with his girlfriend, but no matter how he tries, he can't stop himself from straying. He has to see her. She's got a hold on him.
She's no different from him. Her dad said to her a long time ago, "Baby, only date the best." And so she does. She's dating a man who promises her the world and will no doubt deliver it. He's got a pretty sound future ahead of him. He makes her laugh and tucks her in at night. And when they make love, it's fun and sweet, but never anything unexpected. He's predictable and reliable. He doesn't lie like her lover and make promises he can't keep. But unfortunately, her lover's lies don't stop her from coming back. She's tried to stop, but he's got a hold on her.
They're beginning to worry now. Their meetings are becoming more and more frequent. And unlike they predict, boredom isn't settling in and the passion is not wavering. If anything, it's intensifying. They decide that they're in too deep. They must pull back before they both fall into this misty haze that is love. They decide not to see each other. The break-up (if you can call it that) is mutual. They try and convince themselves that it's not going to hurt, but it does. The pain is unexpected. But in a way, it's deserved. Punishment for having done such sinful deeds.
Then she gets the news. She's pregnant. She shrieks in horror when she watches the pink lines slowly appear. She chokes back tears when the doctor confirms her fears. She knows that this baby is her lover's not her boyfriend's. Her boyfriend uses protection every time. With her lover, they're lucky if they make it to the bedroom by the time they finish their first go. She smiles despite herself at the thought of something growing inside her. A child is a blessing, she says to herself. She will keep this baby no matter what because it's against her own personal beliefs to discard it. Then she realizes though that she still has a choice. Birth control doesn't always work. She could pretend this baby is her boyfriend's. Her boyfriend will be a good father. She knows that for sure.
Her other choice is that she tells her lover about the baby and asks him whether he wants to be a part of its life. If he doesn't, she can still opt for choice 'A', if he does then they will face this storm together. She really doesn't like either of her choices. But she knows what she has to do. She calls her lover and sets up a meeting, not telling him what it's about.
He arrives late, as always telling her that his girlfriend kept him. She can only nod in response. He goes to kiss her, but she stops him and tells him why he's really here. And as soon as the words "I'm pregnant and it's yours" fall from her mouth, their whole relationship changes. Now there is something undeniable between them. A consequence of their lustful actions. He doesn't yell or break down as she expects. He doesn't beg her to get rid of it or tell her that he refuses to take responsibility. He pulls her into his arms and holds her shaking body. He tells her that he'll be there. But he knows that he won't ever really be there. Because she won't let him.
She convinces him that it would be best if they didn't say anything to her boyfriend. She doesn't want to hurt him because she loves him. She really does. He agrees because if they tell her boyfriend they'll have to tell his girlfriend and he really doesn't want to lose her either. He asks her if his child will ever know the truth and she doesn't know how to answer that. She nods and says someday. Even if it isn't true, it calms him to know that. Someday it all won't be a secret. Someday he'll be able to proclaim his love for her. Even if it is all really a lie.
Nine months later she gives birth to a baby boy. 8lbs 1 oz. Her boyfriend is now her fiancé and he's there holding her hand tightly as she tries to regain her breath. She's crying, but those tears are not all of joy. Half are shed for the lover who's not here holding her hand. The lover who will never formally claim this boy as his son. She smiles softly when they place the baby in her arms. He wails a little before opening his eyes for the briefest moment. And that's when she sobs even harder. Because he's got his dad's eyes. The eyes that promise to haunt her every day of her life.
Her lover is in the waiting room along with his girlfriend when she gives birth. After all, his girlfriend is her best friend. They've both been chosen as godparents. This makes him chuckle bitterly. At least, he's a father to the boy in some form. He wrings his hands in his lap, his eyes glued to the floor. His girlfriend likes to pretend that she doesn't notice how nervous he is. She'll pretend that she never noticed the long gazes that were exchanged between the woman in labor and the love of her life. She knows about the affair, she'd have to be dumb not to. But she won't mention it because she's still trying to figure out why it happened. It's not like she and her boyfriend ever fight. They're the perfect couple. What does her best friend have that she doesn't?
The so-called father of the child enters the waiting room and announces the news. A baby boy named David Joshua. When he hears the name, his heart soars. The one request he had was that if it was a boy, she'd name him David. It was a family name. His maternal grandfather. His girlfriend notices this immediately and it's as if her worst fears have suddenly been confirmed. But she doesn't say anything.
The labor has worn her out and she knows she should be resting, but her head is still swarming with guilt and sadness. Her soon to be husband is asleep in the chair across the room, a grin plastered on his face. She hates the fact that this is all a lie but she won't and can't take it back now. Not after all of this.
Then she spots him at her doorway. Her lover. Her heart leaps a little and she doesn't know why, but she watches with a slight smile as he approaches her bedside and sits next to her.
"Hey," he whispers.
"Hi," she responds almost shyly. He grabs her hand and begins tracing small circles on its back.
"You named him David."
"I promised you I would." There's an awkward pregnant pause where neither know what to say, but both want to fill the void. It's so painful to be this close and yet so far.
"How does he look?" he asks softly.
"Beautiful. He's already got your eyes," she says her tears falling again. He reaches over and wipes them away.
"He's got a piece of my heart too," he says, a touching statement and a cryptic warning at the same time, "This is the only time I'll ever say this." He's almost too quiet when he says it. She looks at him warily.
"What is it?"
"I love you," he says.
"I love you too," she responds automatically. He reaches over and kisses her soundly on the lips.
"And if either of you ever need me, I'll be there."
"I know." And like that he's gone.
She falls asleep not long after, a smile nowon her face. Little did she know her fiancée heard every word of their conversation. He had his doubts before, but they were always doubts. They weren't real. Now, the late nights at work and the smell of strange cologne allcomes together.His heart aches at the revelation, but he doesn't say anything. Because he loves her and as far as he's concerned that boy is his son.
David Joshua turns three today. He's still got his daddy'scrystal blue eyes. Only now he's got his bright blonde hair to go with it. If that doesn't make things worse, he's got his smile as well. There's a huge party for his birthday today. He'll play on the swing set with his older "sister" and his friends from preschool. He'll laugh and smile without a care in the world. His parents will watch from the side with sad smiles on their faces. Life is good, but it's not great. It's definitely not how it should be.
Because Peyton shouldn't be marrying Jake. Lucas shouldn't be with Brooke. Most importantly David Joshua Jagileski should be David Joshua Scott. Jake knows it. Brooke knows it. Lucas and Peyton know it for sure. The only one who doesn't is David Joshua.
Watching from the sidelines, Lucas feels his heart fall a bit. His son is running around the backyard with Jake chasing him playfully. Every time he hears David call Jake dad it feels as if someone's stabbing him in the heart. David will never call him dad. Peyton will never call him husband. It's at this point he wonders if this is what it feels like to be negligent father. Has he become the one thing he loathed most? Dan Scott.
Peyton sits at her desk drawing another picture of her son. It must be the three hundredth in her collection. This one is of him on the see-saw at his party. It's been two weeks since David's third birthday and Peyton notices that Lucas hasn't been seen anywhere. Brooke hasn't called either. Peyton's been busy planning her wedding, but no matter how busy she is, her mind always strays back to Lucas.
Her wedding had been pushed back three times now. The first time David got the flu and they spent two weeks in the hospital. As a result they pushed it back three months. Then, Nikki reopened her case against Jake for custody of Jenny. The stress was too much for both of them so they figured the wedding could wait again. Once Jenny's case was settled she went back to planning only to have her grandmother die. This, she promises, will be the last chance. Fate has given her many signs that this is just not right, but she tries to ignore it. But it's useless because she knows it's not right.
She lets out a deep breath. Jake is gone. He took Jenny and David to the park for the day. She stayed behind claiming she had wedding work to do. Really, she finds it difficult to watch Jake and David together. Don't get her wrong, she loves her son. And she loves her fiancée. But she can't help but notice how when David's not looking, Jake frowns and his eyes fill with sadness watching him. Everyday he ages, David looks more and more like Lucas. So much so she's sure that everyone in town knows the truth. But no one has the guts to say it. They tread on pins and needles at the mention of his blonde hair, and blue eyes. Peyton doesn't even bother rationalizing it anymore. She used to say that Ellie had blonde hair and blue eyes, but now it seems almost pointless. Her words always fell on deaf ears.
She's awoken from her musings by the sound of the front door opening. She figures that Jake and the kids are home so she fixes a fake smile on her face and waits for the kids to come barreling into the room. When she hears no noise, she begins to worry. Then, she sees a different face round the corner of the living room. Lucas.
"Hey," she says, "What are you doing here?"
"I saw that your fiancée took the kids to the park. I figured you'd be alone." She raises her eyebrow at the statement.
"Right," she says awkwardly shifting her feet.
"No, not like that!" he says quickly, his face blushing uncharacteristically. He'd never been ashamed of doing that sort of thing with her before. Now, it's all different.
"Then what brings you here?" He never came to her house before without a reason. And he most definitely never came without Brooke since David was born.
"Brooke dumped me," he says flatly. It hurts, but not as much as he thought it would. If he would have known this three years ago, things would've been a lot different.
"Why?" Peyton asks. Though she's not shocked, she is curious.
"She said she was tired of living in a web of lies. She yelled about how I have a bastard son. About how I cheated on her with her best friend again. How I didn't have the decency to at least own up to my mistakes. Then she ended by saying I'd make Dan proud."
"And you said?" Peyton asks tipping her head to the side. Lucas looks away guiltily. He knows what he was supposed to do, but he didn't do it.
"I didn't deny any of it," he says letting out a small sigh, "I'm tired of lying, Peyton."
"You admitted to it!" Peyton shrieks. She hates how his honest streak always kicks in during the most inopportune moments. "You told her David was yours!"
"I didn't tell her anything," Lucas hisses, "I just didn't deny anything."
"You basically told her then! How could you Lucas? The whole point of this arrangement was to keep people from finding out about us! Brooke's going to tell everyone!"
"Well it hasn't been working. The whole town knows he's mine."
"Why couldn't you just deny it!" she cries as she crumbles to the ground. Her tears have formed out of nowhere, but there's no sign that they're going to stop soon. "Why couldn't you just stay with Broke and let me marry Jake in peace?"
"Because it's not what I want, Peyton!" he yells at the top of his lungs, "I only want you! I only need you! I love you! It's been this way from the very beginning and you've known that all along! The only reason I went along with your plan was because I thought it would make you happy!" He kneels down in front of her. She's slumped against the wall, holding her head in her hands. "But you're not happy Peyton," he says softly.
"I'm never happy Lucas."
"Aren't you tired of lying?" he asks brushing away a few tears from her cheek.
"Of course I am."
"Then stop. I don't want to be like Dan. Our son deserves to know the truth."
"What about Jake?" Peyton says looking at him angrily, "What does he deserve?"
"He knows Peyton. You can pretend he doesn't but he does."
"Of course he does." It isn't Peyton who answers him. It's a voice that travels from the door. Peyton's eyes snap up to greet the figure. Her fiancé.
Peyton's never seen Jake so mad. His eyes are blazing. His fists are clenched. The fire in him has been lit and Peyton fears for Lucas. She knows Jake won't lay a hand on her, but Lucas doesn't get that sort of protection.
"Jake," she says approaching him slowly. She doesn't want to set him off. She doesn't want to hurt him any more than she already has. "I'm so sorry. I never-"
"I've heard this speech before," Jake says softer than anyone expects, "You're sorry. You never meant to hurt me. It just happened. Those words are empty, Peyton!" Lucas suddenly feels so awkward standing there. He tries to edge his way out of the room, but Jake steps in front of him. "Take another step and I'll punch you in the face." Lucas stops walking.
"Don't you think we should talk about this later?" Peyton asks, "Like when the kids aren't here." She's trying to buy herself more time. But after five years of running, she's run out of time. She has to face this now.
"They're not here. I dropped them off at my parents' house so we could have a quiet night together. But I get home and Lucas-fucking-Scott is professing his love for my fiancée in my living room." Lucas frowns and tries to reason with him.
"Jake, it's not-"
"Shut up Lucas," Jake hisses, "I've heard enough of you!" Jake paces his living room, heatedly. Peyton leans against the wall, her eyes closed. Lucas rubs the back of his neck unconsciously. Jake watches Lucas's movements and lets out a bitter laugh.
"You know David does the same thing when he's uncomfortable. I bet you didn't know that. I bet you also didn't know his favorite color is blue, but not blue like the sky, dark blue only. His favorite bedtime story is Hansel and Gretel because he wishes he could have a candy house. And when he's older he wants to be a firefighter because his daddy's one."
"But his daddy isn't one is he?" Lucas says almost mockingly. He doesn't mean to be so angry and bitter, but the fact that he knows nothing about his son hits a nerve more than he'd like to admit. "Because he's my son not yours!"
"No, Luke! He's my son! I'm the one who raised him for three years now!"
"Stop it both of you!" Peyton cries out. Her plea is not as loud as she'd like it to be but it's heard and felt nonetheless. "He's my son." Her words are so pained that it tears both men in half. Because both men love her. Jake bends down in front of the woman he loves and takes her hands in his. She's ashamed to look at him. Ashamed to look at Lucas. She keeps her eyes glued to the floor.
"You know what David also tells me," Jake says, "He tells me that he can't understand why mommy looks so sad all the time. He wonders why mommy doesn't look him in the eye. He wishes that mommy could just be happy." Peyton's heart breaks even more at the words. "We all just want you to be happy."
"I'm so sorry," she says falling against him. Her tears are falling so fast that they soak his shirt as soon as her face touches it. "I'm sorry." She repeats it at least five more times before her sobs keep her from talking all together. Lucas grabs some tissues of her desk and hands them to her. She mumbles a thank you.
"I hate to do this to you, Peyton. I know you're in pain," Jake says quietly, "But I can't keep living this life wondering if this is where you really want to be. You need to choose now. Me or him." Peyton looks at them both. She knows one of them is going home with a broken heart.
One Year Later
Peyton stands in front of her sweetheart table watching her newly crowned husband mingle around the tables greeting everyone. She only just left his side for a breather. She's been on her feet all day and she knows she needs her rest for the first dance. Soon, he catches her eye and makes his way back to her side just as the DJ announces their first dance.
"You ready?" he asks extending a hand. She nods accepting his hand and letting him pull her to the middle of the dance floor. She places her left hand softly on his shoulder. He pulls her especially close, wrapping right arm tightly around her waist. His left hand still clutching her right. The music slowly begins and Peyton laughs.
"What?" he asks, a smirk growing on his face.
"I'm so glad I let you pick our song," she says sarcastically.
(When I first saw you, I saw love.
And the first time you touched me, I felt love.
And after all this time, you're still the one I love.)
"I like this song," he shrugs twirling her around his arms.
"I wish you would have told me ahead of time."
"You wanted it to be a surprise."
"It's Shania Twain," she says flatly. She can't understand why he'd pick Shania Twain.
"But it works," he says defiantly. She thinks about it for a moment, letting the words register in her mind.
"Yeah, it does," she admits.
Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday
They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong
(You're still the one)
You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night
Ain't nothin' better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missin'
They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong
"Did you ever think we'd be here?" Peyton whispers in her husband's ear.
"No. I thought it was impossible after everything we'd been through."
"We almost didn't make it, huh?"
"But we're here."
"Yeah, we're here," Peyton says leaning her forehead against his.
"I love you Peyton," he says giving her a small peck on the lips.
"And I love you," she said smiling softly, "Lucas Scott."
I'm so glad we made it
Look how far we've come my baby.