For Better or Worse

A One Tree Hill Fan Fiction

ONE: Hugs and Kisses

Hi everybody: ) Welcome to the first chapter of the September sequel! Hehe… Enjoy. ---Sarah

"James I said it's bedtime. You need to come into the bathroom and brush your teeth, please." 22-year-old Haley James-Scott stood beside the doorway of the only bathroom in her little apartment, and sent her four-year-old son, James a stern, no-nonsense look. Little James stood at the opposite end of the short hallway; he scowled defiantly at her over his shoulder, donning Superman pajamas, and he looked so much like his father, Haley had to choke back a laugh.

"No," he stubbornly refused.

Haley arched an eyebrow. "James Lucas Scott," she warned.

"I don't want to go to bed, Mommy!" James whined.

Haley's other eyebrow arched as well. "Do I need to get your daddy?"

James pouted and crossed his arms over his chest with a "Humph."

As if on cue, 21-year-old Nathan Scott (he would be 22 in a little over a month), strode out of his bedroom. He was dressed in a white dress shirt and black slacks; the shirt was unbuttoned half-way, and his tie was undone, just hanging around his neck. He fixed his son with a strict stare, folding his muscular arms over his chest.

Haley looked back and forth between the two of them, fighting with a nearly uncontrollable urge to giggle. They were staring unwaveringly at each other, arms folded…. They looked so alike. James was almost his father's clone.

"What's going on, James?" Nathan inquired.

James' scowl faltered and he slowly lowered his eyes to his feet.

"He doesn't want to brush his teeth," Haley reported.

"What?" Nathan pretended to be horrified. "That's so gross. Everybody has to brush their teeth. Do you know what? I haven't brushed my teeth yet, either. Can I brush my teeth with you, buddy?"

James regarded his father solemnly for a moment, before he broke into a cute, lop-sided little grin. He nodded and raced for the bathroom. Climbing up onto the little stepstool he used to help him reach the sink, he let Nathan put the toothpaste on the brush for him. Father and son stood side by side, competing to see who could brush their teeth the best.

Haley stood propped up in the doorway, watching her boys with a soft smile. Nathan caught her eye in the mirror and winked, and her smile widened.

"Will you read me a story, Daddy?" James hopped up and down, full of the excited energy of a child.

"Yeah, buddy," Nathan grinned. "Hang on, hold still. James, hold still," he chuckled. He put his hand on top of his son's head to hold him in place and wiped leftover toothpaste foam from his face with a wad of toilet paper. When that was finished, James lifted his arms, and Nathan swept him up. Making airplane noises, Nathan flew James into his bedroom and flopped him down in his little bed.

"All right, which story do you want to read tonight?" Nathan asked, pulling the basketball-print bedspread up to his son's chin.

"Superman," James responded without a moment's hesitation.

"We read that last night," Nathan reminded him.

"I want it again," James laughed, kicking his legs under the blanket.

"Okay," Nathan sighed and smiled. He retrieved the Superman book from the small set of shelves that sat beneath the window at James' bedside. He opened it and began to read; James recited it as he read, having memorized it because he'd asked to hear it so often….

"Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's… Superman!"

Haley giggled when Nathan came up behind her and began kissing her neck. She'd just finished putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and had been staring at Nathan's name on his graduation program with a proud smile when he'd sneaked up on her. He'd graduated from the University of North Carolina that very afternoon, with a degree in Business.

"Your son wants a hug and kiss," he said, without moving his lips away from her skin.

"Okay," she said, turning around in his arms, so she could face him. "And when I'm done with that, I'm going to hug and kiss you, College Graduate. I'm going to hug and kiss you all night long."

Nathan chuckled when she touched her lips to his. Then he moaned when the kiss intensified. When she pulled back, his blue eyes fluttered open, dazed and full of a smoldering, yearning fire. Without a word, he tugged his necktie off and un-tucked his shirt, yanking it out of the waistband of his slacks. He wandered down the hall, grinning at her over his shoulder, as his fingers went to work unbuttoning the rest of the shirt's buttons.

"Hi, Baby," Haley whispered with a smile, tip-toeing into James' bedroom. James flashed a sleepy smile back at his mother and held his arms out to her. She sat down on the edge of his mattress and embraced him, kissing his soft brown hair.

"Mommy sing to me," he yawned, taking her hand in his small one.

Haley knew which song he wanted to hear without asking. Reaching out to smooth some rebellious locks of hair away from his forehead, she sang….

"…Goodnight, you moonlight ladies

Rockabye Sweet Baby James

Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose

Won't you let me go down in my dreams

And rockabye Sweet Baby James…"

Haley smiled again, her eyes brimming with happy, love struck tears, as she gazed down at her little man sleeping in the moonlight. She kissed him once more and whispered, "I love you, Sweet Baby James," before she got up and slipped soundlessly out of the room.

Nathan glanced over his shoulder when he heard Haley enter their bedroom; he was standing in front of their closet in only his slacks, hanging his shirt up. He smiled when she quietly shut the door, calling him to her with her eyes. Hastily shoving the shirt into the undersized, crowded closet, he crossed the room in three strides and pulled her into his arms.

"Nathan, Nathan, wait," she said between eager, demanding kisses.

"What is it?" he panted. Talking was the last thing he wanted to do right now.

"I… I'm out of birth control," she stammered, sighing when he began kissing her neck. The kissing came to an abrupt halt, and Nathan stood in her arms hiding his face in her neck, as he struggled to catch his breath.

"You couldn't have mentioned that before?" he grumbled grumpily.

"I'm sorry, I just remembered," she frowned. "I've got to renew my prescription."

Nathan disentangled himself from her embrace and quickly made his way to the nightstand that stood on his side of the bed. He pulled the door open, shuffling things around and mumbling, "Come on, I know I've got one left," under his breath.

"Yes!" He cried out in triumph a moment later, clutching a packaged condom in his fingers.

Haley broke into a very happy smile and strode up to him. The kissing began again at a feverish pace.

Don't get mad, I know this is short. This is just meant to be kind of a preface, to let you guys know how much time has passed and what's going on. There will be more soon. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see happen and I'll see if I can work it in. I love hearing your suggestions, they're welcome. Um, so, that's all for now. I hope this story will get as much positive feedback as September did. I guess that's sort of up to you, huh? Please be kind. Hehe… ---Sarah