Nathan and Haley Scott were running around their house, attempting to get ready to meet their old friends. It was a difficult task to accomplish with a six year old and a four year old.
"Jamie, please stop dribbling the ball in the house", Haley begged her six year old.
"But mom", he began to whine. Haley couldn't help but smirk.
James Lucas Scott was the prodigal son. He had Nathan's dark hair, and piercing blue eyes. Haley knew those eyes would be the end of any woman who fell for her boy; they're what did her in. He had a passion for basketball, which was no surprise. He was also incredibly smart for his age. Nathan would joke that that was the only way anyone knew he was Haley's son.
"No buts", she said firmly as she took the ball from him. He pouted before running over to his father.
"Dad…tell mom I needa practice", he said as he tilted his head to the side. Nathan chuckled at his son.
"Jamie she's right. No ball in the house, you could break something", he watched as James nodded his head.
"Okay dad", was all he said. Haley scoffed.
"Why was that so easy for you", she asked rhetorically. Nathan showed off that famous Scott smirk before speaking.
"Because I'm me", he explained with the utmost seriousness. Haley scoffed again.
"Have you seen my other shoe", Haley asked as she frantically checked under the couch.
"Nope", Nathan responded as he searched for his car keys.
"Are you almost ready? We were supposed to be at the Rivercourt like ten minutes ago", he said exasperatedly. He knew they were going to get an earful. When she had something important to discuss she didn't like to be kept waiting.
"I have to find my shoe", Haley said through gritted teeth. With that their four year old came wobbling into the room.
"I found it Hales", Nathan announced as he laughed heartily. Haley lifted her head from behind the television stand to see where it was.
"Mommy look", their daughter yelled as she wobbled forward with Haley's missing shoe on the wrong foot.
"Oh baby", Haley cooed as she walked over to her. "Mommy needs her shoe, she has to go out", she explained as Sarah shook her head.
"It's mine" she spoke as she pointed to herself. Haley ignored Nathan's laughter.
"Sarah Rose, mommy needs her shoe", Haley said a bit more forcefully.
They both watched in amusement as Sarah folded her arms over her chest and let out a dramatic sigh. She had Haley's…well everything. Her light brown hair, her crazy personality, and her love of music. She was already trying to play the piano. The only thing that gave her away was her eyes. They were definitely from Nathan.
"Mommy will see you later", Haley promised as she placed her down.
"Kay", she responded as she looked over at Nathan. He quickly picked her up and threw her in the air. Haley smiled as their daughter's laughter filled the house.
"Bye baby girl", Nathan whispered as he hugged her close.
"Bye daddy", she whispered back as she threw her arms around his large neck. With that Karen walked in and a little brunette flew past them. A quick 'hi' was barley heard.
"Sorry", Karen replied, "she's been excited to see her cousins all day", all three adults laughed. Lily Scott was a family girl. She lived for the crazy days of having everyone together. It was a profound realization that she was Keith's daughter. He loved every minute he had with his family.
"James we're leaving", Haley yelled. The young boy walked over to his mother and held out his arms.
"Sorry about before", he said meekly. She smiled as she bent down to hug him.
"Its okay buddy", Haley's said as she kissed his cheek.
"We'll see you later", Nathan told him as he kissed his head, "be good for Grandma Karen", he said sternly. James nodded before running back into the play room.
"We won't be too late", Haley assured the older woman.
"Nonsense, you two hardly go out. Enjoy yourselves", she more a less demanded.
"We'll try", Haley muttered. Karen looked at her in understanding. She knew that today most likely wasn't going to be the enjoyable day they were all hoping for.
"Don't worry", Nathan told her as the got in the car. Haley shot him a disbelieving stare.
"How can I not", she said incredulously, "we're seeing friends that we haven't seen in years. Who knows if it's going to be awkward? Or civil. And what could be so important that she needs us all to be together, in person?" she continued to ramble on for the entire ride to the Rivercourt. When he cut the engine Nathan could only smile at her.
"What the hell are you smiling at?" she tried to sound annoyed but her own smile was betraying her.
"I love you Haley James Scott", Nathan said as he leaned over and kissed her.
"Always and forever", she whispered as they broke apart.
"You ready for this?" he asked her as they walked hand in hand to the famous blacktop.
"Ready as I'll ever be", she answered as she gripped his hand tighter.
She was pretty sure Tree Hill looked its best pre-summer. The leaves were a good shade of green. The flowers had all blossomed. Birds were singing and everything seemed perfect. This was a moment she wanted to keep fresh. She knew it wouldn't last.
She didn't know what she was doing here. This place hadn't been her home for years. Every instinct in her body was telling her to turn around. Go back to L.A. and the life she had there. This trip could only bring disaster. Disaster may have been too strong of a word but, it definitely was going to cause some drama, drama wasn't part of Peyton Sawyer's vocabulary anymore. She pushed forward though; her best friend had something she needed to tell her and it was a big enough deal that it had to be done in person.
Stepping onto the Riverourt made her tingle. She spent a lot of time here when she was younger. She could remember sitting in the bleachers, watching the boys play basketball; cheering them on. She walked past the spot where she had drawn the heart for Lucas after he got into the car accident. Her and Lucas had spent a lot of time here; just the two of them. When they were friends and when they were more. The last time she was here was four years ago and that was a night she'd rather not remember. This place held a lot of memories….good and bad.
"Sawyer", Nathan pulled her from her thoughts.
"Nathan", she yelled as he picked her up and spun her around. He put her down and held her at arms length. He was looking her, obviously, but he was really looking at her, as if to burn her image into his mind.
"Hey, why don't you look at me like that", his now dark haired wife teased.
"I see you everyday", he responded without taking his eyes off of Peyton, "This one however, I haven't seen in years", Peyton hung her head guiltily. She hadn't intended for the time to go by as it had. It was simply too hard coming back here.
"Sorry", she responded quietly. Haley smacked her husbands arm.
"Ignore him Peyton", she said while embracing her old friend, "that's his way of saying he missed you", she whispered. Peyton smiled, Haley always was the peacemaker.
"We all missed you", she made a point to stress "all". Peyton smiled warily.
"I don't think you all missed me", she said sadly.
"Well I sure did", Haley said while hugging Peyton again. She smiled. Maybe today wasn't going to be as bad as she thought.
Until her green eyes locked with those famous blues.
To say he was nervous was an understatement. He felt physically sick. All morning he had been doing everything he could to not throw up. It was stupid though, the fact that he was this nervous. There was no need to be. He was simply seeing old friends. And her.
She had consumed his thoughts from the time he was sixteen years old. The one girl that always occupied his mind in one way or another. He fought hard to get her, but he didn't fight hard enough to keep her. It's a regret he carries with him every day.
He knew today wouldn't be easy. It was probably going to take a lot but he was willing to do it. Kinda like ripping a band-aid off, he told himself. He would go to the Rivercourt, find out what she needed to tell them, and then he would be on the next flight out of Tree Hill. In his perfect little imagination, he had no contact with a certain blonde. And in a perfect world he wouldn't. It wasn't that he didn't want to, because he did. It would just be too hard. He loved her too much. Loved, being the key word. Of course it would be no secret that she still snuck her way into his thoughts and dreams. She always would.
He felt his breath catch in his throat when they locked eyes. He hadn't seen those green eyes in years and the last time he did they were filled with hurt and pain. He knew Haley and Nathan were there too but all he noticed was Peyton. His Peyton. Of course he couldn't call her that now…not after everything.
"Lucas", Haley yelled as she jumped into his arms. He snapped out of his thoughts and threw his arms around his best friend.
"Hey Hales", he whispered with a smile. he watched as Nathan took Peyton a little further away from them.
"How was Chicago", she asked excitedly. She wouldn't change the life she has for anything but it would be a lie if she said she didn't miss traveling.
"It was great", he answered honestly. He had been chosen to speak at Columbia, to the class of 2013.
"Good", she said sincerely. By the time they had fallen into a comfortable silence Nathan and Peyton came back.
"Hey bro", Nathan said as he approached his older sibling.
"How's my niece and nephew", Lucas asked as they broke from their manly hug.
Nathan beamed. He loved talking about his two children.
"They're great", he said proudly. Lucas nodded his head and the four adults stood there quietly. Peyton bit her lip and thought about what to do. Lucas noticed her nervous habit and smiled. She looked so cute when she did that. She looked cute when she did anything.
"Hey Luke", she said barely above a whisper. His eyes snapped to hers. He hadn't expected them to speak, honestly. But that's what Peyton Sawyer did; she sucked it up and became the bigger person.
"Hey", he said as he stuck his hands in his pockets. He wanted to hug her. To hold her in his arms again. That's the only time her ever felt complete. She was his whole world.
That's why he had married her in the first place.
"You're late Brooke", Nathan yelled out as she made her way onto the blacktop.
"Fashionably late, Nathan", she quipped back with a smile.
Brooke Davis hadn't seen her friends in years. The last time was about four years ago at the end of summer. Nobody questioned why it had been so long, they all had their own idea, but it didn't make it any easier. These were her best friends; they meant the world to her.
That's why she was telling them the way she was. Just her and them, Chase wasn't even here. This was something she needed to tell them personally in a place that meant so much to each of them. They would tell all of their other friends together at a later time.
Brooke had seen Nathan and Haley about a year ago and Lucas she hadn't seen in about two, Peyton she hadn't seen Peyton in four years. She was the only one who had fully stayed away.
"P. Sawyer", Brooke's raspy voice shook as they stood face to face.
"Hey B. Davis", Peyton whispered. Before another word was said Brooke threw her arms around Peyton and the two best friends shared a moment nobody could touch.
"I missed your fake blonde ass", Brooke joked as they broke apart. Peyton rolled her eyes before hugging the brunette again.
"I missed you too Brooke", she said sincerely.
"Oh guys", Haley gushed as she threw her arms around her two friends. Nathan rolled his eyes.
"Women", he snickered. Brooke broke from the embrace and faced Nathan; she stuck her tongue out in response.
"Okay, so before I say anymore hello's. I have some news", she said vaguely. The group stared at her in anticipation.
"Any day now", Nathan pushed.
"Right, well…I'm getting married", she announced as she stuck out her left hand. Peyton and Haley immediately pounced her. Nathan and Lucas were tempted to cover their ears as their squeals filled the air.
"So we're having an engagement party at Tric in a week", Brooke told them all after a few questions had been answered.
Peyton looked down, "In a week", she bit her lip.
"And we're getting married in the middle of August", she said quietly. Lucas and Peyton both stared at her.
"It was the only time they had room available", she argued. They both simply nodded their heads.
"I have to get back to work", Peyton said suddenly. Brooke walked over to her.
"No you're not", she said defiantly, "I have not seen you in four years, you need to be here to help with my preparations".
"Brooke you can do all of that better then I can."
"I know", she said confidently, "But I need my Maid of Honor to keep me sane", she finished with a smile.
"Brooke I can't just take off work", she tried to argue. Brooke rolled her eyes.
"You own the record label. You are your boss", she said as she threw her arms in the air.
"Stop trying to make me feel guilty", Peyton yelled.
"No", Brooke yelled back. "I haven't seen you in four years Peyton. You're not leaving again", she said firmly.
"Fine", Peyton said dejectedly. She didn't want to spend months in Tree Hill, but at least Lucas wouldn't be around.
"Okay, well I'd love to stay but I have to catch a plane", the man of the hour spoke out. Brooke smirked discreetly before speaking.
"You can't either", she watched as he raised a brow.
"Chase wants you to be his best man", Lucas was about to argue but he recalled the mini cat fight that took place five minutes ago.
"Fine", he said in the same tone Peyton had held.
"Good, now everyone go home and wash up. We're going out tonight", she watched as Peyton and Lucas walked off the court without another word. Nathan and Haley however, gave her a curious look before walking away themselves.
She took out her phone and dialed an all too familiar number.
"Hey baby", she smiled at the term of endearment.
"Hey", she responded flirtatiously.
"So, how'd it go?"
"Operation Leyton is in full swing", she said confidently.
okay...leave some reviews and let me know what you think.