Author- Emily-Grace Mendes (Brookebynature)

Disclaimer- I don't own any of the characters, or the Bobcats or One Tree Hill. Oh, and I don't own Christmas either.

A/N- I can't believe it's nearly Christmas already! It hardly seems like any time has passed since I was writing 'A Brucas Christmas Special'! So here I am again, with another Christmassy fic, with yet another brilliant title. Sometimes I amaze even myself...haha. So it's Brucas (OBVIOUSLY!) and Naley too cos I'm giving myself a challenge with two pairings here seeing as it will make more of a story. Hope you enjoy this prologue, and please let me know if I should continue. If the feedback is good, I'll keep writing for this, if not so much, then I'll update 'Nude, With Calla Lilies'

Love Gracie xxx


What I Want for Christmas

Prologue

"Haley I look freaking ridiculous!" Lucas grumbles, rolling his eyes at his reflection in the mirror. Dressed as Santa, and stood in his very un-Christmassy living room, he attempts to sit still on the couch before quickly jumping up.

"What are you doing?"

"See? I knew I'd be too hot in here, and this damn…beard." He mutters, tugging at the white fluff covering his mouth.

"Lucas, you're not looking to win any style awards, you're Santa at James' school."

"Couldn't he have told them Nathan would do it?"

"James can't rely on Nathan." Haley replies coldly. The look in her eyes silently tells Lucas not to push the matter any further. "None of us can."

"Haley…"

"You know what Lucas? You're James' Godfather, so can you please just do this?"

He looks back at his best friend, her left hand without its wedding ring rubbing her face. It's pale and tired-looking now, worn out from endless shifts at the café, worked partly as a favour to Karen, who was finding it difficult to be a single Mother to four-year-old Lily, and partly to save up enough money to be able to afford her own place again.

"I'm sorry." She breathes, "I just can't…"

"I know." Lucas nods.

Haley and now four-year-old James had been living with Lucas for a year, after Nathan had left their apartment. After loosing our on a college scholarship, and after that, his job coaching at a local basketball camp, Nathan had sought solace in alcohol, a couple bottles of beer at first, increasing to too much for Haley to bother arguing about.

The camp he'd coached at had been shut down after developers had bought the plot of land to turn a profit from building apartments. The last thing Tree Hill needed was more apartments, Nathan had told Haley, before opening another bottle of beer.

It wasn't supposed to turn out that way. The three of them were supposed to be happy together. They didn't have money, but that wasn't supposed to matter, because they loved each other. They were a family. Families weren't supposed to fall apart.

"I'm doing this for you and James." Nathan had said as he'd opened the front door, taking with him his sports bag, and a few clothes. He hadn't even remembered his toothbrush

He'd made it big now though, playing basketball for the Bobcats, with two apartments and a fancy car. He wore clothing that sportswear companies sent, rather than paying for it, and every basketball fan knew his name.

He'd sent a cheque to Haley every week since he'd gotten his place on the team.

"Use it Hales." Lucas had urged. "He'd hate it if he knew you two didn't have a place of your own."

"It's guilt money." She'd snapped. "I'm saving it for when James goes to college. He needs a father, not his cheques."

With every cheque had come a letter, and after Haley had removed the small slip from each envelope, the remaining contents had burned on Lucas' fire, nothing but black ash and memories left.

"Which day?" Lucas asks, changing the topic back to his stint as Santa. If it took Haley's mind off of Nathan for even a few minutes, he figures it's worth it.

"Thursday." She tells him with a strained smile. "It's the nativity production on Friday, so the school figured they'd get the excitement of Santa out of the way first."

"Great." Lucas muses, scratching his itching chin under the fluffy beard. "Should I put on weight?"

"What?"

"Well Santa's supposed to be a little more…rounded isn't he?"

"More rounded than you, yeah." Haley laughs a little, watching Lucas try to breathe out.

"How about a cushion?"

"Whatever." She smiles, shaking her head at the sight of her best friend strike different poses. "And Luke?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks for this, for it all."

He smiles, removing the beard. "It's no trouble."

-

"Rachel I have to away on business." Brooke tells the redhead, snapping her cell shut as Rachel looks up towards her from her position on the floor of their living room, a Barbie in one hand, the other holding her body up a little to avoid making her cashmere sweater look anything other then pristine. "Can you watch Skye for me?"

"When?"

"Next week." She replies, kissing the little girl beside Rachel on her forehead. She barely waits for the answer as she steps over numerous Barbies and their clothing, past the cushions on the floor pretending to be the Playboy Mansion towards the flat screen television at the other end of the room. Having a four-year-old around what's supposed to be a swanky city apartment hasn't done much to keep the place looking elegant, but the two friends haven't had time to care.

Brooke's clothing line had taken her to New York, with Rachel following soon after to attend college at NYU to study fashion journalism. After spending hours upon hours with Brooke, she'd learnt more than a thing or two about the processes involved from designing clothing to actually getting it to retail, and had decided that advising others was what she was destined to do.

"You can't just tell people they look like crap." Brooke had told her after hearing that Rachel had told a woman not to wear turquoise blue because it emphasised her ample waist. "You have to advise, not shoot down in flames."

"She needed to know!" Rachel had replied indignantly. "Besides, I was helping all the same."

Between them now, Brooke and former-enemy Rachel managed a successful fashion line, a small fashion magazine, and the raising of Skyla 'Skye' Davis, who knew probably way too much, and yet not enough at the same time.

"You're always away now Mommy." Skye pouts, learning her tricks from the best, as Rachel catches Brooke's eye, and the two of them exchange sympathetic looks.

"I know baby, but this is the last time before Christmas, I promise."

"You promised last time."

"I know but…"

"I told my parents I'd visit them." Rachel cuts in softly, giving Brooke her best 'I'm sorry' face.

"Can't you take her with you? She likes California."

"They're not in California." She says.

"Then where…"

"Tree Hill."

-

"Scott." Nathan hears his name, and hoping for the best, makes his way into the coach's office, tracksuit zipped up to his neck, hands plunged deep into his pocket. "Sit down."

The tone of his voice tells Nathan that things aren't good, and the look on the man's face says only the same.

"Tell me why it is that you failed a drugs test."

"I…" Nathan falters, not knowing what to say. "I didn't know that we'd be having tests. I don't do drugs, I…"

"Traces of alcohol were found. And to say that you didn't know there'd be a test." His voice booms, Nathan's body slumped further into the chair opposite, his blue eyes staring at a picture of his coach with his wife and sons at a previous game. "Rubbish! You had practise anyway, you'd be a fool to drink before suicides!"

"I'm sorry coach." He fumbles "It won't happen again."

"Damn right it won't. You know the rules Nathan."

"C'mon, coach don't bench me."

"Oh, you're not benched." He replies, causing a brief smile to flick across Nathan's lips. "If you're lucky, you'll get to watch from a t.v screen."

"What?"

"You heard me. You can't pass a drugs test, you can't be on my court until I know you've learnt your lesson."

"C'mon coach, I'm sorry." He pleads. "It won't happen again, I promise."

"Thing is Scott," The coach begins, concern written across his face. "It's hard to believe the promises of alcoholics. More often than not, they get broken." He throws a leaflet at Nathan, pointing to the door. "Read it, and if you're still the same player in a year, I'll sign a new contract with you."

"You can't drop me!" Nathan protests. "I still have another year on my contract."

"You fail a drugs test, I can drop you like that." He replies, a click of his fingers as a sad smile crosses his lips. "You think I want to let my point-guard go?"

Nathan doesn't hear the rest. In his mind, he's already at a bar, drowning depression in beer after beer, whisky after whisky as the barmaid tells him he should call a cab.

It's a mess: his career, his family, and he knows that within a day, this will be spread across the front page of every newspaper, blasting out of every sports channel as he sinks a beer and orders another.

What do you want for Christmas? Reads a billboard en route to his apartment, and as Nathan sits in yet another traffic jam, the radio turned up load so that he can't hear the coach's words echoing in his head, he can't help but want his life back: James, Haley, basketball. Happiness.


Continue? Yes or no? Let me know guys, much love xxx