More Than Anyone
Disclaimer: I don't own One Tree Hill. It belongs to Mark Schwahn and the CW. The title is based on the song by Gavin DeGraw.
Summary: Haley James loved everything about Duke University—from her major to her new best friends. One thing she didn't love, however, was Duke's star basketball player Nathan Scott. In fact, she hated him; and he her. So what happens when they're forced together by mutual friends and one inexplicable incident? Well, they're about to find out. Couples are Naley, Brucas, and Jeyton.
AN: Hi everyone. So I decided to post my story a little earlier than I had planned. School starts back up for me in two days and I wanted to post this while I still had some summer freedom left. I hope you like it. Please read, review, and tell me what you think.
May 5, 2008
Haley James stared out the window of her cab as it drove along the deserted highway. It was dark out but she could still make out the water droplets left from the rainstorm that had occurred only a few minutes prior. She always loved the rain. There was nothing better than the feeling of being curled up in her nice, warm, comfy bed while a storm raged outside. She reveled in that sense of comfort and safety. But unlike those other times, Haley didn't feel at peace. There was no calm. Tonight, it was just rain—cold, wet, heavy rain. Haley closed her eyes and tried to relax. It would still be about twenty minutes until she arrived. Then the questions would start. Haley wasn't in the mood to talk. She had just been on a plane for two hours. All she wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep. She was both physically and mentally exhausted.
"We're almost there, Miss," the cab driver announced. Haley nodded in understanding. She let her head fall back against the seat, once again. Another five minutes later, they were off the highway and entering a small, suburban neighborhood. The cab eventually came to a stop in front of a medium-sized white house. Haley got out and walked over to the trunk. As the man began to unload her suitcases, the front door of the house opened and out walked a tall brunette woman with a slightly protruding belly.
"Haley," she called as she came over and enveloped her in a tight hug.
"Hey, Vivian," Haley greeted her older sister. "It feels like forever since I've seen you."
"Well, it has been five months," Vivian laughed.
"True," Haley agreed. "And I can see that my little niece and/or nephew is developing quite nicely." She put a hand to Vivian's stomach.
"Yeah, the doctor says the baby is doing well. Personally, I'm just glad the morning sickness is over."
"I can imagine," Haley commented. She then looked over to see the cab driver waiting patiently. "How much do I owe you?" she asked him.
"Oh, don't you worry about it," Vivian interrupted. "I'll have Bill take care of it."
"Oh, that's not necessary," Haley objected.
"No, I insist. Besides, he's got to come out here and carry your bags in anyway." Vivian turned around and began to shout her husband's name. The tall, gangly blonde came out and joined the two women.
"Hi, Haley. How are you?" he greeted and gave her a friendly hug.
"I'm good," she answered. A slightly awkward silence followed. They all knew that she was far from being ok.
"Well, while you take care of the cab and luggage I'm going to show Haley around the house," Vivian declared. She then linked arms with Haley and led her inside.
"Wow," Haley said. "It looks so nice."
"It's alright. We still need to make some changes. The previous owners were supposed to fix some things but they never did. You'd think that after all the money we paid them, they could make the necessary repairs," Vivian stated.
"Well, I still think it's great," Haley complimented. For a new house, her sister was doing a pretty good job of decorating it already.
"So, it's kind of late. Did you just want me to show you the guest room or did you want to look around for a little bit?"
"Um, would you mind if I went to bed? I'm kind of tired," Haley replied.
"Of course. I'll give you the full tour tomorrow," Vivian promised. She then led Haley up the stairs to her room. It was kind of small but Haley wasn't about to complain. She was just grateful for Vivian letting her come and stay. It was a last minute request on Haley's part. She just needed to get away.
"There's a little bathroom connected to this room," Vivian informed her. "And if you get hungry in the middle of the night or need something to drink, the kitchen is to the left as soon as you go downstairs."
"Here's your stuff," Bill announced as he walked into the room with Haley's bags. He set them down at the end of the bed.
"Thanks, Bill," Haley said.
"No problem. I'll get out of your hair now. I know you both have some catching up to do."
"So, how was your flight?" Vivian asked once Bill had left the room and shut the door. Haley took a seat on the bed next to her sister.
"It was ok," she answered. "The pretzels sucked."
"Well, airplane food, even if it's packaged, usually does," Vivian lightly laughed. Haley smiled timidly as she bit her lip and played with her hands.
"Haley Bop, I know that all of this is still fresh with you so I'm not going to push you or anything. I just want you to know that if you need to talk, vent, cry, or whatever, I'm here," Vivian explained as she affectionately squeezed her hand.
"Thanks, Viv," Haley replied. "It really means a lot to me. And thanks again for letting me stay here for awhile. I promise I'll be out of your hair soon."
"No, don't you worry about a thing. You're my favorite baby sister and we're happy to have you. Plus, I could use another woman to talk to. Bill's great but when I'm having one of my hormonal breakdowns, sometimes the poor guy just can't handle it." Haley laughed.
"Well, it's really late and I'll let you rest," Vivian said breaking the silence that followed. "If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask. Our room is right down the hall."
"I'm fine but thanks anyway." Vivian nodded and gave Haley one last hug.
"I'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight," Haley called. She then grabbed her small overnight bag and headed into the bathroom. She brushed her teeth, washed her face, and changed into her pajamas. When she was all done, Haley walked over to the bed and snuggled up under the covers. She closed her eyes for awhile but sleep didn't come. Something—or someone—rather, was missing. Haley quickly pushed that thought out of her head. Don't think about him, Haley. You've come this far without crying. Don't fall apart now. She turned over on her side and faced the small window. The stars shone brightly in the sky. It amazed her how there could be a rainstorm one second and then clear skies the next in this place. She wished North Carolina was like that. If it was supposed to rain there, it'd be dark and dreary the rest of the day. But this place was different. Haley was happy for the change.
She shifted in her bed again and tried to get comfortable. However, it was no use. She had too much on her mind to simply just silence her thoughts and sleep. So she did the next best thing and started to sing one of her favorite songs. Singing had always been her release when she was upset. But since her sister and her husband were only a few rooms away, she decided to just softly hum the melody. After awhile, it started to work. Haley felt her eyelids grow heavy and a wave of drowsiness suddenly hit her. Very slowly, she stopped humming and was quiet. Her body was instantly grateful for the rest but Haley's mind was in shambles. As a result, she tossed and turned the remainder of the night.
"Hey there, sleepy head," Vivian greeted the next morning. "You ready for some lunch?"
"Lunch?" Haley questioned groggily as she entered the kitchen. She had literally rolled out of bed five minutes prior.
"Yeah, it's one o'clock," Vivian said while pointing to the clock.
"Really?" Haley asked surprised. Vivian nodded in confirmation. "Wow, that's a first."
"I know. Who knew that Haley James could be a late sleeper? I was so surprised I went to check on you. I got scared that you might have died or something," she teased.
"I don't usually sleep past eight. That's something that Na…" Haley trailed off as she realized what she was about to say. Vivian gave her a concerned look.
"Never mind," Haley dismissed. "Um, do you have any eggs?" She wanted a breakfast food despite how late it was.
"Yeah, there's a few left in the fridge." Haley went to get them out. She then took the pan that Vivian had given to her and cracked them in it. She next added some milk, let them cook while stirring them for a few minutes, and then sat down at the kitchen table to enjoy her scrambled eggs. Vivian sat across from her as Bill came rushing into the room.
"Viv, have you seen my briefcase?" he asked. "I just got called into a meeting for later this afternoon and I can't find it."
"It's on the coffee table in the parlor," she answered.
"Thanks," he replied after giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. "What would I ever do without you?"
"You wouldn't exist," she proclaimed with a shrug. He smiled and gave her another kiss before rushing back out of the room.
"Aw, you guys are so cute," Haley cooed.
"Aren't we?" Vivian replied playfully.
"Don't let it go too much to your head."
"Don't worry, it won't. Everything pretty much goes to my belly and my thighs now. Do you know that I already gained fifteen pounds? I swear I'm going to look like the Goodyear Blimp by the time this pregnancy is over."
"It's only natural," Haley stated as she ate another bite of her eggs.
"My ankles are swollen, my breasts are sore, and I'm fat. It's more like torture."
"But just think, you'll have a beautiful baby in four months to make up for all of that," Haley pointed out.
"I guess," Vivian mumbled. Haley rolled her eyes amused. She could already see the hormonal changes affecting her sister. She was never this mopey before.
"Well, I'm going to take a shower and get dressed," Haley declared as she got up to put her empty plate in the dishwasher. "I'll be back down in a little while."
"Go ahead. Take your time. I need to get a pickle and some ice cream anyway," Vivian responded. And her disgusting cravings are kicking in, too.
"Yeah, good luck with that," Haley said before heading upstairs. Instead of taking a shower, she opted for a bath, instead. She seriously needed to soak away all the airplane germs that she most likely had on her. Haley stayed in the tub for about a half hour. She then got out, got dressed, and dried her hair.
When that was all done, she went back downstairs. She saw Vivian lying on the couch taking a nap. Not wanting to wake her, Haley decided to step outside for some fresh air. It was actually kind of a good thing that her sister was asleep. Haley really needed some time alone to take in everything that had happened within the last 24 hours. She had even shut her cell phone off. Haley was sure that all of her friends would be calling trying to find out where she was right now. She walked over and took a seat on the swinging chair of the front porch. As she sat there and observed the cute little neighborhood, Haley absentmindedly played with the finger on her left hand. It was a habit she had involuntarily developed over the last year. It was also something she was sure would be hard to break out of in the future.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Vivian questioned while coming outside to join her.
"I thought that you were sleeping," Haley said.
"How can I sleep when I can hear my little sister's lost thoughts through the wall?"
"They're not lost. They're…confused and…"
"Depressed?" Vivian filled in.
"Heartbreaking," Haley corrected looking down at her feet as she pulled a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Maybe if you talk about it, it'll help," Vivian suggested.
"What's there to say? I keep thinking about him. No matter how hard I try, everything leads back to him. I miss him. And the worst part is that he's the whole reason I feel like this and I'm here right now. Does that make any sense?" Haley asked.
"I'd say yes," Vivian answered. "Love can make you do crazy things."
"I won't argue with you there," she muttered. Haley hadn't been thinking straight ever since that fateful day last May.
"Why don't you tell me what happened?" Vivian proposed. "It could help to get it all off your chest."
"There's too much to tell. Believe me," Haley stated.
"So? I'm pregnant, Haley Bop. All I've got is spare time." Should I tell her everything? I mean, she is my sister and I do love and trust her. But will my rehashing it really make me feel better in the end?
"Come on, little sis," Vivian urged. "Don't back out on me now."
"I'd have to start from the beginning," Haley indicated a moment later.
"Well, I'd prefer that you did," she encouraged. Haley sighed. It was no use. Everyone would probably learn the whole story, anyway. It would be better if her sister heard the truth from her. There was no hiding it and there was no going back.
"Ok, it all started when…"