AUTHOR'S NOTE: Last chapter, I meant for the line to say "leaning in to kiss her" not "leaning in to kill her"...because Nathan would so kill Haley...sorry for the goof...

Epilogue: For What It's Worth, It was Worth All the While

The cold, wooden coffin looked so oddly out of place. It shouldn't be in that church, and it shouldn't have her husband's nicely dressed, cold body in it's soft lining. A single tear rushed down her face, her shaking hand creeping out to take his cold, pale one, her body almost losing all control.

"Mom?" She turned to see her son-her eighteen-year-old, now fatherless son.

"Yes, Danny?"

"Um…Uncle Luke asked if it was okay to start letting people into the church." Danny whispered, blue eyes widening when he saw his father in the coffin. "He looks like he's sleeping."

"He is, buddy," she whispered, giving him a wry smile. "Sleeping in heaven. Tell your uncle to open the doors. Will you help Max usher people in?" Though they were uncle and nephew, Max and Danny were more like brothers. "Where's Kaleigh Anne?"

"In the bridal room," Danny answered. "Crying."

"Oh, God. Let me go get her." With a soft hand on his shoulder, she left him, walking back toward the small bridal room, hearing the soft sobs of her daughter. "Kay A?" she soothed softly, using her husband's nickname for their beautiful daughter. "I know you just want to cry," haley whispered, sitting beside Danny's twin.

"I can't believe he's gone…or that he left us so quickly." Kaleigh leaned to sob on her mother's shoulder.

It was quick. He was diagnosed four months before, and it had gotten so bad in so little time. But, Nathan had never stopped loving his parents, his brothers, his wife, his kids…he had never stopped loving life. "Honey," Haley started softly. "He wouldn't want you to do this. He wanted you to remember him for his good…not for his death."

"I miss him."

"We all do, baby. But, you had eighteen years with him…he loved you so much, baby girl."

"I can't look at him in that coffin, Mom….it's hard…and it hurts."


Haley's hand trembled as she tried to keep the test steady. She took a deep breath in, this could not be happening now. This was not what they needed. Their marriage was a little shaky at the moment, stress of school and work and basketball putting them on edge and making their annoyance with one another grow gradually day after day. Yesterday, their screaming match had lead to Nathan bunking with Lucas for the night.

She heard the door open, and her brown eyes quickly caught the blue one looking around the darkened apartment, wondering if Haley had picked up and left him. He walked to the light switch, dropping his bag on the floor beside the couch before flipping on the switch. His face was clearly surprised to see her there, sitting on the couch, pregnancy test in her hands. "Haley?" he whispered, finding a seat beside her. He reached out to touch her hand, and she flinched, the pregnancy test falling to the ground, smashing into several pieces. "Hales, what was that?"

"A pregnancy test," she answered, her voice soft and distant. "I'm pregnant."


And that was it. She could feel it all sliding away in one single awkward moment. Their happy life, their happy marriage…she could feel it slip-sliding away in a second. All because of this…because of this stupid problem. She sucked up the tears, brushing them off her cheek as she turned to face him, her eyes cold. "I'm pregnant, Nathan. With your child." She got off the couch, her steps unsteady as she made her way to their bedroom, laying on their bed. She heard the door open softly, Nathan's soft steps coming towards the bed.

"Why are you so sad, Hales?" He asked quietly, sitting beside her, watching her.

"Do you not understand, Nathan? I'm going to have a baby. I'm nineteen-years-old, and I'm pregnant! And I don't even know if I can count on you to be here for the baby and me!" she screamed, watching him, feeling him tense as she said the last sentence.

"I'm not my father, Hales," he said in a clipped, hurt voice, standing up, not looking back at her as he walked out of their room.

She trembled as she heard the door slam.

He didn't come home for two days. And, when he did, he was drunk, the smell of alcohol worsening her cursed morning sickness. He had gone straight to the bathroom, puked, and then headed to the kitchen.

"Nathan-" she started, not knowing how much of an argument she could take today. "Do you want this baby?"

Her words were so soft that she didn't think he heard them. His back was to her, hands balancing him. "Why wouldn't I want it?" he replied, just as soft.

"I don't know. But I can't take this. Our baby can't take this. I won't let you do this to us."

"Do you know how much it hurts, Hales, to know that your own wife thinks you'll screw up with your own baby? Do you know how much that hurts?"

"Nathan, I don't think that." She took a cautious step forward, close enough to wrap her arms around him. "I was mad. We were fighting and I was stressed and with the news…that doesn't mean I had any right to question your ability to be a father."

"Hales, maybe this is what we need," he whispered, turning around to embrace her, placing a single kiss on her forehead. "Maybe this is just our fate for right now."


"In entertainment news, thousands of mourners gathered outside Tree Hill Christian Church to grieve for the loss of basketball great Nathan Scott. Though many stood in the gardens of the church and lined the street going from the funeral home to the church, as well as attended the memorial service two days ago, only 50 people were allowed inside for the service-among them his parents, Keith and Karen, his brothers Lucas, a teammate from both Duke and Charlotte, and Max, a senior at Tree Hill High, his wife of 20 years, singer Haley James-Scott, and the couples twins, 18-year-old Daniel and Kaleigh Anne. Teammates and coaches from both his old Duke Blue Devils team and the Charlotte Bobcats were also in attendance."

Haley muted the volume on the TV, wiping away the silent tears that trailed down her cheeks. She sat on the couch, memories flooding her mind-memories of intimate times with Nathan, of times with her kids. She let out a sob, her reserve finally failing.

"Mom?" Danny whispered, coming into the great room. "K.A. is sleeping. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, honey," Haley answered, stopping the tears. "Just…sad…thinking…"

"We all are, Mom. I'm going to miss him…I'm going to miss him so much. I don't know…he's always been there, to help me, to guide me…I…I don't know if I want to keep playing basketball after this."

"You will, Danny. Your father lived for you-to make sure your life would be worth something…to make sure you wouldn't have to go through anything he went through. This…this was his fate…his destiny. And though we're sad…we won't ever forget…and he'd want you to enjoy life…enjoy basketball…be successful…"


"How's my little man," Nathan cooed, letting his son grab his pinky and pull it into his mouth. He kissed the baby's bald head, looking over to his wide-eyed, blue eyed baby girl. "And how's my princess? Is she tired? Did Aunty Brooke take her shopping?"

"Hell yes, she did," Haley answered, coming into their tiny living room of their apartment. "Lot's of cute frilly dresses. And you should have seen the stuff she brought back for Danny. I'm surprised it all fits into their room." Their small apartment was cramped now, with four people sharing two bedrooms and a bathroom.

Nathan smiled at his wife, standing up to embrace her, feeling her lips whisper soft kisses on his neck. He leaned down and captured them, giving in to the kiss they so desired.

They were interrupted by the phone ringing, and Nathan stared at it a moment, hope filling his eyes as Haley answered it and then handed it to him.

"Hello?" His entire future was riding on this one night. "Yes, sir? Really…oh…my…oh my God….yes, tell them yes. Yes, sir. I'll talk to you in the morning. And yes, sir, Haley and Danny and Kay A are doing just fine." Nathan hung up the phone , turning back to his wife, who was quietly holding her breath. "That was Coach Krzyzewski, Hales. I was first round draft pick for the Charlotte Bobcats."

Talk about Fate coming to answer their prayers.


She froze as she heard the tv turn on again, and she realized that she had accidently hit the MUTE button as she pulled away from the hug with her son.

"Scott retired after winning the NBA Championships for the fourth time and then announced he had a rare form of bone cancer that started on his spine and moved to attack his brain. Scott, who also suffered from Ewing's Sarcoma as a teenager, told reporters in an interview at his home twenty-four hours before he died that he and his wife Haley had decided that any donations should go to the Danny Kay Foundation, which helps pay for treatment for underprivileged children that have cancer. At the opening day of his foundation, named after his two children, he was asked what his greatest accomplishment was…"

Haley looked up at the screen as Nathan's image flashed across it, a huge grin on his face as he lazily petted old Maddox's fur. "My greatest accomplishment?" His deep voice invaded the speakers. "My wife-Haley, and my kids. I do all this for them. None of this would be worth it without them. I wouldn't want to be along for the ride of my life without them."

The reporter looked around, rather surprised at the answer. "And what about your success in basketball…" she trailed off, turning the mike back towards Nathan.

"I love basketball. Basketball has provided me with all I will ever need. But it wasn't my fate to play basketball. It was my fate to find Hales-to be a father. And that's all I'll ever need to know about my life, and about my fate."

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.