Some Encouragement

"Now is the time for us to…" Haley turned so that she was facing Nathan, and stopped mid sentence as she took in his appearance.

"Hey," she said softly, placing her paper on the countertop.

"Hey," he replied, trying to sound like his normal self. He did sound like he usually did, and Haley would have thought he was okay if she hadn't been looking at him. But she was. His eyes had always given him away, and when she looked at him she could tell in his eyes that he thought he was a failure, that he thought he had let her down. One look into his sad, beautiful eyes, and she knew that he was disappointed in himself, that he wasn't happy with where he was going. That look only lasted for a few seconds, though, because Nathan quickly busied himself with untying his shoes. It was like he didn't want her to know he was hurting.

"Hey," she repeated, still softly as she began to walk to where he was sitting. When he still didn't look up at her, she brushed his large knee with her small one and placed her hand on his cheek. She sat down on his lap and turned his head so that he was looking at her.

"Hey," she said again. "Nathan."

"Yeah?"

"Tell me." She softly demanded.

"I'm just tired, Hales."

Haley shook her head.

"Nuh-uh. Don't pull that. I can tell when you're tired- that's not what's wrong." She moved her hand from his cheek to the nape of his neck, running her fingers through his hair. "I mean, obviously you're tired, but there's something else. I can tell." She pressed her forehead against his.

"Tell me," she said once more, looking into his eyes.

Nathan sighed. He knew he needed to get it off his chest, but he had been such a downer lately. He was always talking about college, and what he was going to do- he didn't want to burden Haley with anymore of his problems. He tried to pull away, but Haley was too quick. Her grip on the nape of his neck tightened slightly, and when she next spoke, it was almost as if she had read his mind.

"Your problems are my problems, Nate. Let me in. Please."

He sighed again before speaking.

"I don't want to work in that factory for the rest of my life, Hales."

"Oh, babe, you won't." she said soothingly, her hand still massaging his neck.

"How do you know?" he asked, wrapping his arms around her expansive stomach and leaning his head on her chest- his hair just below her chin. "If I don't play basketball then I can't go to college; if I don't go to college, then I can't get a decent job. If I can't get a decent job, then I can't support you… or our son. I'm gonna be crap, Hales. I'm gonna suck as a husband and a father- I won't be able to support you or make you happy-"

"Hey." Haley said yet again, cutting him off. As she was about to speak, she felt Nathan's body shake in her arms. Her grip instantly tightened on his shoulders, and she buried her lips in his hair. She had something to say, but she knew Nathan just needed to cry and get it all out. So she rubbed his back, her lips still in his hair, whispering "Shhs" and "Its okays" to him. Eventually he stopped shaking and his breathing began to even out.

"Nate," she said, leaning back and pulling his head up. "Nate, look at me." Nathan raised his gaze slowly to meet hers. Haley leaned forward, her hands still on either side of his face. His eyes were still red, and his cheeks were wet from the tears he had cried. She pulled him in close to her, kissing a stray tear that had begun to roll down his face. "How could you ever think that you can't make me happy?"

"Because- I'll have to work a crappy job and I won't be able to buy you anything-"

"You know I've never been one who's obsessed with materials- that's Brooke. I've got you- you're all I want. You make me happy- you alone. I don't need anything to accompany that. And Nate? You're gonna be an amazing father."

"But what if I turn out like my dad?"

"You won't." Haley answered surely.

"How do you know?"

"Because you are such a better guy that he is- you protect and love the people you're close to, not criticize and tear them down. And because I will beat your ass if you try to pull any of the crap that Dan did with Deb."

Nathan chuckled and tightened one arm around her waist, his other hand resting on her protruding stomach.

"I don't know what I would do without you, Hales. I love you so much."

Haley pushed a lock of hair out of his eye, and then leaned forward to kiss him. Before their lips could touch, however, Haley felt a swift kick from inside of her. She pulled back and looked at Nathan, who was watching her in awe, his hand on the spot where their son had just kicked.

"That never stops amazing me." He stated simply. At the sound of his voice, their son kicked Haley's insides a few more times. Haley grunted and closed her eyes, but was still smiling.

"Ugh. He knows your voice. Every time you talk, he goes crazy."

"Really? That is so cool!" Nathan exclaimed. That set off another series of kicks.

Haley could only nod in response, her eyes still closed. When the baby finally stopped kicking, she opened her eyes and saw that Nathan was watching her intently.

"What?"

"Thank you." He spoke softly, trying to avoid riling up their son again.

"Um, for what?"

"For being so amazing to me, and helping me. For marrying me, for loving me. For carrying our child. I love you."

"I love you too, Nate."

At her admission, Nathan put one hand behind her neck and pulled her down to him so that he could kiss her- a soft and gentle kiss to show her how much she meant to him, and how much he loved her.

Their son kicked once more, and Nathan smiled against his wife's lips.

A/N hey! first fanfic- figured i'd start small. let me know how you like it, or if you have any ideas for any other stories!