Title:Little White Lies
Summary:Haley's keeping a secret… a big secret. Her best friend Lucas has a half-brother, but she can't tell him. Her solution? Investigate said brother, but falling for him wasn't part of the plan. She'll learn that little white lies can lead to big trouble.
Author's Note: I'm still working on my other fic but because it's quite angsty I felt the need to start something a little more fun and lighthearted. I really hope you enjoy it. If you'd like to see the wonderful banner made by Elena (Typokween) please go to my LiveJournal page via the 'homepage' link in my profile.
Nathan Scott. God, he looked so much different than she imagined him. Where Lucas was blonde, quiet and reservedly charming, Nathan was dark, intense and charismatic. If she wasn't armed with the knowledge that they were brothers, she'd never have believed it. She watched as other students flocked to him like moths to a flame. It just wasn't natural. He was a freshman… freshman were supposed to be awkward and nervous and struggling to look cool to the other students who had been there before and paid their dues. So why was Nathan Scott strolling around campus like he owned the place and even most of the older students were in awe of him? And ok, maybe not all of them seemed to be 'in awe' but the others at least showed him a respect she was pretty sure he hadn't had the chance to earn yet.
He started to move away from the ridiculous group of giggling girls he'd been flirting with and headed in her direction. Panicking at the thought of being caught spying on him, Haley quickly began backing away, unfortunately she failed to look behind her before doing so and cried out when the back of her thigh collided with a very hard object. Damn that was gonna leave a bruise. Oh well, she was a born klutz so she'd developed a high pain threshold over the years. If only a bruise were the worst of it, she thought a few moments later after she'd overcorrected her balance and toppled backwards, a loud crash filling her ears before she felt herself unceremoniously hitting the ground. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping if she concentrated hard enough she'd not open them to find that she'd managed to embarrass herself in front of everyone at freshman orientation.
"Are you okay?"
The deep voice sent an involuntary shiver down her spine and she frowned at the unfamiliar sensation. She could feel the heat blooming on her cheeks and she just knew she was blushing profusely – not from embarrassment, but from the lust fuelled heat that spread through her body at the sound of a sexy voice uttering three simple words. Opening her eyes she found herself staring into the bluest orbs she'd ever seen and they looked so familiar to her. That's when it hit her. Lucas Scott. Those were Lucas' eyes. Only, it wasn't her best friend she was seeing because he wasn't attending Duke, he'd gotten a scholarship to UNC… which meant one thing, it was his half-brother standing above her. Seeing him close up for the first time she couldn't believe she'd doubted the likeness between them. From a distance they'd looked nothing alike, but those eyes so bright and full of concern were a perfect match to her best friend's. And he'd just turned her on. No! That wasn't supposed to happen. Denial set in quickly and Haley decided to put it down to the stress situation, or PMS - yeah PMS, she was always a hormonal mess in the days leading up to her period, the wiry guy she'd seen falling out of his smoke filled car with the greasy bangs this morning could have turned her on if he caught the right moment right now. Yeah that was it - PMS.
Quickly realizing that the one person she was supposed to be staying hidden from was now talking to her, she inwardly cringed. Shaking her head at her ridiculous klutziness, Haley knew she couldn't really be surprised by the predicament she'd gotten herself into. So much for her plan of staying inconspicuous! Great… half an hour into her 'covert' mission to get the scoop on her friend's currently secret-half-brother, and she'd already drawn attention to herself. Surely he'd never forget her now that he'd seen her embarrass herself so thoroughly. Covert, what a joke! James Bond, she definitely was not. She was just Haley James; plain old Haley James. Inwardly sighing, the brunette did a mental run through of her outfit, a pair of snug casual jeans, an old printed tee and a cord jacket. Yep, she was plain alright, but at least she was comfortable, which was more than she could say for half the girls here who were trying to pass off mini skirts and ridiculously high heels as everyday wear. Now she was just being nasty, she admonished. Haley quickly pushed down her self pitying thoughts and dragged her mind back to situation at hand. Pasting on a bright smile she went into recovery mode and accepted his outstretched hand. Once back on her boring sneaker clad feet she realized that she'd been so awestruck by this guy, no scratch that, this gorgeous guy in front of her that she'd failed to notice the chaos she'd undoubtedly caused around her.
Haley winced at the high pitched scream of dismay and turned to see an irate busty, blonde cheerleader storming towards her. If she wasn't so terrified of having her reputation eternally tarnished by this incident she would have found it comical.
"What the hell do you think you're doing? Are you blind or just stupid? Look at what you've done!"
Haley surveyed what appeared to be the remains of an orientation sign up table and stall. The long trestle table had collapsed, taking flyers, and cupcakes with it, the baked goods now lying on the ground and the papers still being scattered by a light breeze. Seeing the pom poms lying next to the table, she shuddered, realizing exactly which stall she had ruined. Gulping nervously, she turned back to the vicious looking blonde and couldn't help but notice she looked like a life size version of a Cheerleader Barbie. Tamping down the wicked thought, she tried to look contrite but noted to herself that if the girl wasn't being such a bitch, maybe she would feel worse about it.
"I'm really sorry. I can be such a klutz sometimes and I really didn't mean to ruin your stall. I'll help you pick everything up."
Grapping her wrist in a vise like grip that proved to be painful, the Barbie doll sneered at her, curling her lip in distaste. "Don't even think about it. You've caused enough trouble! Looks like we've already weeded out the loser of this year's freshman class."
Taking a quick look around her, Haley realized that they'd drawn quite a crowd and while some people were looking on sympathetically, there were just as many snickering, no doubt glad that they weren't the ones to humiliate themselves on their first day at Duke. Fighting back the urge to cry, she took a deep breath and shrugged her shoulders bravely.
"Look, I really am sorry about all of this, but if you refuse to accept my apology and let me help clean up, there's really not a lot more I can do."
Barbie's jaw dropped at the audacity of a mere freshman to speak back to her instead of groveling for forgiveness. She'd actually thought she'd found this years cheer-lackey. But the girl had too much bite to be bossed around all year doing the cheerleader's bidding. She actually felt a sliver of respect for the petit brunette. At least she did until she saw her speak to Duke's newest basketball star. That little bitch was talking to Nathan Scott! And she'd stood up for herself in defiance against her in front of all these people… oh well, she'd just have to make an example of her. The poor girl would be a social outcast on campus when she was through with her.
Haley had been about to flee the scene with as much dignity as possible before she realized that Nathan had been standing there the whole time. She stopped beside him and smiled slightly.
"Thanks for helping me up."
Before he could respond, she heard Barbie call his name in a shrill voice that reminded her of nails on a blackboard, and he glanced over the top of Haley's head with what could have been a smile or a grimace… she really wasn't sure, but she wasn't going to stick around to find out either. Using his distraction as a chance to escape, she quickly made her exit from the whole mortifying scene and walked back to her dorm trying not to appear as though her whole College experience was now possibly in tatters.
"Hey, are you okay?"
As she heard someone call after her, Haley tamped down the disappointment that it wasn't the same sexy voice that had melted her insides earlier. A vision of Nathan's strong jaw and hypnotizing eyes had her momentarily rooted to the spot, only coming out of her daze when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning to face the stranger, the brunette sighed with relief to find a relatively normal looking guy with a friendly face full of concern. With her parents being… well, kind of nutty, she'd developed an inclination for imagining weird scenarios… the main one at that moment being a psycho killer come to kidnap her. Of course, if she really thought about it, Haley was sure she'd come to the conclusion that the only psycho present was herself and this poor guy should be the one running off screaming in the other direction. Hmm, maybe being an ordinary plain Jane wasn't all bad. It seemed to hide the fact that she a complete nutcase most of the time, well except for the public humiliations… they were probably a dead giveaway.
Still a little unsure of the stranger, Haley sent him a reserved smile and a look that clearly said 'state you business please'.
Jolted into action, the guy quickly removed his hand from her shoulder obviously realizing it was probably kind of creepy considering they didn't know each other. "I saw what happened and I just wanted to make sure you were alright."
"Oh, yeah I'm fine. Thanks."
Haley did quick sweep of the guy, hoping that it was discreet - although with the disaster that was 'operation spy on Nathan', she was probably failing in that department. He was an unusual looking guy. Kind of scrawny but with big features, she noted as she took in his large eyes, nose and mouth. Yep, that was one hell of a big mouth. As soon as she saw his amused smile, she knew he was onto her. Yep, she could rule out a future in the secret service.
"I'm Mouth, and I have to say I'm totally in awe of you right now. That was really gutsy standing up for yourself like that."
After managing to hold in a chuckle at his name, Haley blushed at the praise. She'd always been one to stand her ground and never bow down to other people's expectations, but that was just a value instilled in her by her parents, she'd never thought of it as anything special.
"Thanks mouth. I'm Haley."
"Can I walk you back to your dorm?" He continued before Haley could object, and he knew she was about to, she had that startled rabbit look, like she was already coming up with ways to let him down gently without seeming like a rejection. "And I promise I'm not coming onto you. I mean, you're really hot and all, but I'm just looking for a friend. I don't really know anyone here yet."
She smiled at his honesty, inwardly relieved that he was only looking for her friendship. He seemed like a really nice guy and he was kind of cute, but after feeling the embarrassingly strong reaction she had after meeting Nathan, Haley knew her interest in Mouth was purely platonic. And even though what she really wanted right then was to be alone and throw herself a pity party for one, she couldn't turn him down. She just knew that she might have found herself a really good friend in Mouth.
"Well this is me." Haley smiled at Mouth and gave him a quick hug. They'd had a nice time getting to know each other as they walked to her dorm and after swapping numbers they planned to catch up again soon.
"Ok, I'm gonna head back to orientation." He noticed her wince a little at the word and smiled encouragingly. "Try not to think about it too much. It'll all blow over."
"Thanks, Mouth. I'll give you a call in a few days, okay?"
She watched him walk down the hall and it seemed the further away he got the less she felt his optimism which had been keeping her from getting depressed over the earlier incident. Once he was out of sight she was back to feeling sorry for herself and wanting to indulge in a first class pity party.
Haley entered her suite and all plans of flinging herself onto the sofa and wallowing in misery fled her mind. Her previously clean and tidy suite now looked as though a bomb had hit it and she wasn't sure she'd be able to even find the sofa underneath all the clothing lying all over the room. Scratch that. She wasn't sure that all these scraps of barely there material could actually be classified as clothing.
Haley spun around to see a gorgeous brunette exiting the bathroom. Well, apparently this was the girl she'd be sharing this suite with for the year. God, she was beautiful… no that didn't cover it. This girl was stunning and Haley felt a slight sense of worry wash over her. The last thing she wanted was a bitchy beauty queen room mate who looked down her nose at a lowly tutor.
Seeing Haley's face scrunch up slightly, the other girl did a quick sweep of the room and felt a little guilty. She had a habit of just taking over. Being an only child… and yes, she'd admit to being spoilt, she wasn't used to having to consider other people.
"Look, I know it's a bit of a mess, but I promise you it'll be cleared up in no time."
One look at the dimpled smile her new roommate was flashing and Haley let go of her apprehension. She seemed nice enough and the last thing she wanted was to get off on the wrong foot with the girl she'd be spending a year living with. "Uh-huh. You do realise that your closet is in your bedroom, right?"
Glad that she was being teased instead of told off, the other girl put down the clothing currently in her hands and placed them both on her hips in a diva-like fashion. "Ha ha. Yes I realize that… but what you obviously don't realize is that the way you organize your closet has a major impact on your whole fashion outlook. It takes planning and precision to get the perfect closet set up. I mean, could you imagine if I just hung these things up all willy-nilly. I could end up with this" Haley eyed the very mini white denim skirt the other girl was holding up, and then the lacy black chemise she lifted into the air. She shot the girl a questioning look which went unnoticed as she continued on her rant, "next to this and before you know it… I've mistakenly convinced myself that it's okay to wear a lighter bottom with a slimming top. My god, my ass would look like it needed it's own zip code in that outfit!."
"Oh yeah. Total fashion tragedy" Haley mocked with a smile, but it looked like the sarcasm was lost on the other girl.
"I know, right! Hey, I'm Brooke Davis by the way."
"Haley James. Nice to meet you."
"So, how long have you been moved in here? I thought the dorms only opened today, but you're all unpacked."
Haley blushed, realizing that her penchant for organization was probably weird to other people. She'd often been called anal, OCD and a few other things she'd rather not repeat… and that was just by her parents!
"Oh, um I got here early this morning actually. I just wanted to feel settled you know?"
Brooke looked at her with a guilty expression. "As you probably guessed I had a quick little peek into your room. I hope you don't mind, but I couldn't help myself. I was really worried I was gonna find freaky goth stuff like skulls and posters of Satan… and Marilyn Manson CDs."
Haley giggled as she watched Brooke's exaggerated shudder. She couldn't blame the girl really, she herself had quickly snuck a look at the second bedroom to see if her new room mate had arrived before her. Not that she actually expected them to arrive at the butt crack of dawn like she had. Just remembering her parent's constant complaining the whole two hour drive about their early start was enough to make her groan. It wasn't the first time she'd felt as though she was the parent and they were the children.
"Oh well, you're in luck then. I left my skulls at home and I prefer to do my devil worshipping in private… but you never know when I'll crank up the death metal."
Brooke laughed at Haley's sense of humour, pleased that she liked her new room mate. She'd been so pissed when her dad told her she wasn't getting a single room suite, all sorts of nightmare visions plaguing her of weirdo room mates and their freaky friends… so she was definitely happy with this girl.
"Actually, I think you may have something scarier than all that evil junk… what the hell is up with that ugly ass poncho in your closet?! I swear I had to use all my will power to keep my scissors away from the disgusting thing!"
Haley knew she should have been annoyed, but the girl had a point. Hell, her sister Taylor had been giving her shit about that poncho for years, not that she'd worn it for a long time, but she'd decided to keep it for sentimental reasons. "A quick little peek, huh?"
Brooke flushed, hoping that she hadn't ruined this newfound friendship with her snooping. "Oops. I'm a little nosy sometimes. I'm not really used to sharing with other people. Only child syndrome."
Haley laughed putting Brooke at ease. "Well, you're lucky I have six brothers and sisters. I'm used to not having any privacy!"
"Well I promise not to do it again" Seeing Haley lift an eyebrow questioningly, she sighed playfully. "Well I promise to try not to do it again. How's that?"
"I can live with that. Taking another look around their shared suite, Haley grinned approvingly. Besides the mountain of clothing currently covering every available surface, the place was really nice.
"I still don't know how we managed to score such a great suite. I thought I'd be sharing a shoebox."
"Oh, well Daddy's on the board and he refused to let me have a single suite, so I made him promise me one of the large doubles. And he wanted me to have a 'smart, responsible roommate who would be a good influence on me'. Guess you fit the bill."
Her dad was on the board? Haley could tell this girl was rich and popular, but she'd underestimated her. She was actually glad she'd met Brooke before she found out that information or she might have found herself pre-judging her. Sure, she was a bit of a prima donna but she also had one of those personalities that drew you in and made you like her instantly.
"So, have you been down at orientation?"
Haley gulped, remembering exactly what had happened just a short time ago at orientation and couldn't believe that she'd managed to put it out of her mind. Having this girl with her vibrant personality around might be just what she needed. At least she'd avoid the freshman fifteen if Brooke could cheer her up rather than eating a tub of cookie dough ice cream every time she was depressed.
Brooke looked up sharply, noting the strange quality to Haley's voice. "Ok. What happened?"
Haley thought about brushing it off, but realized that half the student population would probably already be talking about it, so it wouldn't be long before Brooke heard it from someone else anyway. She explained the incident including every mortifying detail of her public humiliation and waited for the pitying to begin.
"You rock Haley James!"
"Well, if your description is on the mark, it sounds like you had a run in with Becky Townsend. She's the captain of the Blue Devils cheer squad, and bitch extraordinaire. Besides me, I can't think of any one else who has stood up to her before."
"You've met her before?"
Brooke quickly brushed her clothing off one of the sofas, taking a seat and patting the cushion next to her indicating for her roommate to join her in a gossip session. Having had few female friends, Haley delighted in the thought of doing something so girly.
"I've been cheering since freshman year and Becky and I have crossed paths many times at tournaments. She thinks she's the shit because her team won a few titles, but nobody likes her. They're all just too scared to stand up to her."
"Great. So I've made an enemy of the captain. Hopefully she'll forget about it… and me."
Brooke winced slightly knowing that it wasn't going to happen. "Sorry tutorgirl. Becky isn't one to let things go… especially if Duke's new star Blue Devil has taken a shine to you. That'd piss her right off."
"Firstly, Tutorgirl? And secondly, he did not 'take a shine to me'. He was just being polite. I mean he spoke a whole three words to me… hardly an epic romance in the making." Haley was slightly disturbed to realize that she had felt a little flutter of excitement at the thought that Nathan Scott was interested in her.
Brooke laughed and responded teasingly. "Firstly… it's your new nickname. All my friends get them and daddy told me you're enrolled in the tutoring program. Hey, any chance you'll do all my homework for me?" Haley laughed as Brooke batted her eyelashes playfully.
"Not a chance."
Pouting exaggeratedly Brooke continued. "Fine. Secondly, you're probably right about Hot Shot. From his reputation I seriously doubt there's an epic romance anywhere in his future… more like on-again off-again drama with slutty cheerleaders."
Hot Shot. She guessed it was another one of Brooke's nicknames. Haley felt disappointment both at the fact that there really was no reason to think that he liked her at all. It was a stupid thought considering he was obviously just being a nice guy by helping her up… and also at the fact that he seemed to have a reputation. At least on the bright side, Brooke might be able to help find out more about him. She'd need all the help she could get considering how dismally she was handling the situation herself.
"Does that include you?" Haley struggled to keep a straight face and Brooke gasped indignantly before grabbing a pillow buried beneath a couple of her tops and smacking Haley with it.
A few minutes later, Haley breathlessly called a truce and both girls wearily lowered their pillows. She took one look around them and burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"If this isn't cliché, I don't know what is. College girls and pillow fights. If were in our underwear we'd be every college boys fantasy right now."
Brooke smirked. "Even fully clothed, I'm every man's fantasy. I'm just that hot!"
Haley chuckled. "Conceited much?"
"Just a healthy self-esteem." Brooke's gaze roved over her new room mate who was wearing a casual, yet perfectly fitting pair of hipsters and a grungy looking tee shirt and did a mental checklist of how she was going to turn her from home town girl cutie… to college hottie.
Haley noticed the appraisal she was getting and wasn't sure she wanted to know what was going on inside Brooke's head. She was beginning to learn that it might be best not to ask.
"We're gonna have a blast this year, Tutorgirl! Just you wait and see."
"So besides that embarrassing, yet completely typical incident, how's your first day at Duke going?"
Haley stuck her tongue out at her best friend who she was chatting with via webcam. She'd just relayed her orientation experience to him, carefully editing out the information about his half-brother. It had been Lucas' idea to stay in touch this way so it'd be just like them hanging out normally and she had to give it to him, it beat the hell out of a phone call. "Thanks for the sympathy, best friend!"
Lucas chuckled at her childish gesture then sobered slightly. "You're tough Haley James. I know you won't let something stupid like that get to you."
Haley felt a pang of homesickness as Lucas comforted her the way he always did. He'd been her best friend since they were six years old and since the day the two children had met they'd been practically inseparable. Her childhood held just as many memories of times spent with Lucas and his mother Karen as it did of her and her own family. They had become her second family, and their house and Karen's Café were second homes to her.
"Don't go getting all weepy and girly on me James. You promised college wouldn't change you."
Haley laughed remembering their long and ridiculous talks about how Lucas would inevitably become the college stud, getting his pick of all the girls and how she'd transform into a self conscious girly-girl who'd simper around after the star Quarterback.
"I'm not going to change Luke. Four years from now I'll still be the same little old Haley James you know and love."
"Ha! That's debatable."
"Shut up Luke. You know you couldn't live without me."
Um… Hales. Is there something you need to tell me?"
Haley inwardly froze while trying to keep her face as relaxed and normal as possible. He couldn't possibly know could he? No, Karen would have let her know if she'd told Luke. In that moment she felt like scum. She'd never kept secrets from him before and this was bigger than most… it felt more like a betrayal.
"Haley? Have you turned into a lesbian on me?"
"What? No!" A flabbergasted Haley was shocked, her mouth hung open as she watched her best friends amused smirk. Where the hell had that question come from?
"Then why is there an almost naked chick prancing around in your living room?"
Haley spun around to see Brooke putting on a little show for her best friend and not being subtle about it at all. "Hey cutie. Why don't you come visit us soon. I'd like to meet you in the flesh, so to speak."
The whole situation was surreal to Haley. She'd never met anyone like Brooke Davis before in her life and she couldn't help but laugh at her new friend, especially the over the top wink she sent Lucas' way which had his smirk disappearing and his eyes widening in disbelief. Even though he was a good looking guy – yes, she'd admit it to anyone but him – he'd never really garnered much attention because he was so quiet and reserved, so having this gorgeous girl coming onto him so openly was a bit of a shock.
With a flirty air kiss, Brooke danced her way past the webcam and into her room, chuckling at the reaction she'd gotten out of her roommate's best friend. Boys were too easy.
"And on that note, I think I'm gonna go."
"Yeah, good idea. I think I need a cold shower."
"Ew Luke! Too much information!"
"Sorry, Hales. But maybe I will have to come visit you sooner than I planned." His smirk and combined wink made him look adorable and she couldn't help but wonder if Brooke hadn't underestimated him. She might find herself falling for his subtle charms.
"I feel so loved, really."
"Stop pouting princess."
"Don't call me princess." Haley growled, the way she always did when he used the pet name she hated more than anything.
"I love you Hales and I'll speak to you tomorrow?"
"Yeah. Same time tomorrow." She reached forward to turn off the webcam before adding. "And I love you too bonehead."
She chuckled to herself knowing he'd be annoyed that she cut him off before he could tell her off for her parting remark. Her happiness at speaking with Lucas soon dimmed however as she mulled over how difficult it would be to speak to him all the time, knowing she was keeping something from him.
It killed her that she held the knowledge that Lucas had a half-brother whom he had no idea existed, and because she'd made a promise to his mother, she couldn't tell him. It had been pure coincidence that she'd found out the truth and an even bigger coincidence that she discovered this half brother would be attending Duke with her. To help ease her guilt, Haley had decided to do all she could to find out what Nathan Scott was really like, so she'd be able to help Lucas when Karen told him the truth. It was the only thing that eased her guilt and made her feel as though she was doing something good for her best friend in all of this.
She just hoped that Nathan Scott was someone she'd be happy to tell Lucas about, and not someone she'd want to keep him away from. Not that she believed anyone would ever choose to stay away from the blue eyed hunk. He oozed charm and charisma, and obviously had people hanging on his every word. Even she'd turned to mush at just the sound of his voice… God, what had she gotten herself into?