Because He Loved Her

And OTH Fanfic

By AlexB

Eight

He felt heavy. Like something was weighing him down. He couldn't get his eyes open, but he knew that someone was there. He could feel them.

Something wasn't right.

Whatever it was, whoever it was, was holding him down pushing on his chest. He had to get it off. His eyes fluttered, Lucas blinked, but everything was moving in slow motion. The shadow beside him had him trying to fight harder.

It moved closer and those alarms blared densely in Lucas's foggy mind. There was a pressure on his chest again and he stopped moving at the whispering in his ear.

He couldn't understand what was being said, but an overpowering need shot thought him. He had to get to her.

He had to get to, Peyton.

-

"Lucas? Luke."

Jake shot out of his seat next to the wall. Lucas was coming to and messing with the hospital contraptions around him. He pulled at the plastic tubing that gave him extra air from his nose mumbling something that Jake couldn't understand. He leaned closer and listened as Lucas kept muttering the same thing over and over again.

"Peyton. Peyton…"

He jerked his shoulder trying to throw off the effect of whatever it was that had been given to him.

"Cool it, Luke or they're gonna strap you down."

His eyes came open. He knew that voice. It was Jake. He could hear him. But his vision was still all messed up and the man before him was a smudge.

"What?" The word slurred.

"You're in the hospital, Luke." Jake told him. "You had to have surgery on your leg."

"What?" Still groggy, Lucas asked. "Where's Peyton?"

"Dammit!" Jake swore when Lucas pulled his IV from his hand.

"Where's Peyton? Gotta protect her." His words slurred. Lucas lurched hard damn near throwing himself out of the bed. Jake caught him.

"We will."

Jake reached over and pressed the call button. Seconds later a nurse came in. He stepped out of her way so that the woman could do her job. She spoke to Lucas as she started him on a new IV. She told him what had happened and why he was where. When she left Jake took up his post again beside his friend.

He'd been going to Luke's to apologize for beating him up when he'd seen that the door had been kicked off its hinges. He drew his weapon on instinct, no cop was ever off duty, as he heard Simon going off. He shouted for Luke and wondered why Simon hadn't taken care of it.

Stepping inside, Jake watched as Simon streaked from the back of the house and through the back door jumping off the porch he barked and lunged at the two men who were battling it out on the ground. It was a straight shot from the front door to the back. Jake ran through the living room, down the hall and kicked the screen door open ready to haul Nathan's ass to lock up.

The screen door had slapped against the side of the house. The noise hadn't gotten their attention. Putting his gun away he had whistled sharply. That hadn't done a damn thing either.

When they stood, Jake had barked out a warning, "Knock it the hell off!" Neither one of them had listened. Nathan charged Luke and they had fallen over that old stump. Luke's ax had been laid across the top and shot up when Lucas and Nathan disturbed it. When it came back down, it came down on Lucas's leg. His pained shout still echoed in Jake's mind.

He shouted a command to Simon, gave the dog permission really, to do what he had been doing for years before. Simon pulled Nathan off Lucas and pinned him to the ground growling low and deep in his throat and chest. Nathan didn't move.

While he'd called an ambulance for Luke, Jake had told him not to touch the ax to leave it. He had told him not to pull the damn thing out, but it had been like Lucas hadn't even heard him and they guy had been staring right at him.

Lucas had been in shock when he pulled the damn thing out.

Leaning back in the chair, his head tilted against the wall, Jake sighed and washed his hands over his face. He reported this to the Sheriff after it all had happened, but he was still going over the facts in his mind. Trying to see what he could have done sooner to stop it so they wouldn't be here now.

I should have shot Nathan's ass.

-

"How long I been here?"

Jake jerked his head from where it rested on the wall at the sound of his friend's rusted voice.

"Thought you were asleep."

"I'm not." Lucas replied with his eyes still closed. "How long, Jake?"

"Three days."

Lucas's eyes came open the smallest bit. "I've been in this place for three days?"

The other man nodded. "You've been in and out of it since you came out of surgery."

"Surgery?"

"Do you remember what happened Luke?"

Lucas swallowed as it all played over again in his mind.

It hadn't been a dream.

"You son of a bitch…"

"This is your fault…"

He flinched and jerked when he remembered the searing pain of the ax cutting into his leg.

"My leg." Lucas forced his eyes opened and looked down his body to the foot of his hospital bed where his leg was bandaged and elevated on a pillow. When Lucas swallowed again a slicking sound sounded at the back of his throat. His voice came out thick as he was near tears.

"How bad is it?"

"Luke-"

"How bad!" He shouted.

Jake sighed pushing a hand through his hair. "They, uh, they had to completely reattach your calf muscle, Luke." He watched Lucas squeeze his eyes shut and clench his fists into the sheet under him.

"They say that the ax had just been oiled and sharpened," Jake went on. Lucas nodded. He remembered doing all that before he started splitting more wood.

"It didn't go all the way through, Luke, but it was pretty damned close. Too damned close." Jake waited, debating whether or not to tell Lucas this. When he spoke it was because he needed to hear it all now and not later.

"I got Nathan in lock up."

"Why?"

"Because he attacked you, Lucas."

"I don't want to press charges."

"Luke-"

"Cut him loose, Jake!" He hadn't meant to yell, but he didn't want to argue about this either. "He didn't put that ax through my leg. It was an accident. Let him go."

Jake stood. "Okay."

Lucas turned his head away staring out the window. He didn't want to leave his friend like this, he didn't want to leave him alone period, even if he did want throw his surly ass out his own hospital window, but he had business to take care of.

-

Nathan sat in his cell, his head in his hands.

His soul hurt.

"You want to hide from me in this cage, I'll leave you to it, but before I go, you will listen to me, damn you…."

He couldn't stop remembering that morning. He could still hear his wife's screams. Haley had been in so much pain, and the blood…

Nathan shuddered.

They had lost their child.

"So is this it, Nathan? Am I going to lose you too?"

The doctors…they couldn't tell him anything. They couldn't tell him how it happened, why it happened, what they could have done to stop it. They had named every cause from stress to Haley's body rejecting the pregnancy, and that was a load of bullshit.

"Are you saying that this is my wife's fault? That she didn't want our baby?"

They had made that life together and Haley had wanted their baby every bit as much as Nathan had. Haley never regretted being pregnant or thought that it was a mistake. There had to have been another reason.

"You don't know my wife, she loved our child. Get me another doctor. Someone who knows what the hell they're talking about. Someone I'm not about to stomp a mud-hole in and walk dry. I want another doctor. Now!"

In the end he hadn't need a doctor to tell him the reason why. Nathan knew what the reason was.

Stress.

Haley had been trying so hard. She had wanted so badly for the feud between he and Lucas to end so she could have the both of them in her life, and that selfish…that selfish bastard…that selfish prick, couldn't even table his animosity toward him for Haley on her birthday.

Her birthday.

"You don't get to blame Lucas. It's ridiculous, Nathan and you know it. You're hurting-"

"He did this!"

"No he didn't. You want to blame someone, blame me."

Nathan couldn't have stopped himself from going over there if he tried, and he hadn't wanted to. The whole drive over there images had flashed mind of things that would not happen. Haley big and pregnant with his baby. Cutting the cord. His child looking up at him with Haley's eyes.

It had been a girl.

The doctors hadn't told him that, they couldn't have, it was too soon, but he had known. Nathan had known that Haley was having a girl, he had know that his wife was carrying his daughter.

Now that was over and he was here.

Haley had been here.

"You want to hide from me in this cage, I'll leave you to it, but before I go, you will listen to me, damn you…."

So is this it, Nathan? Am I going to lose you too?"

"You don't get to blame Lucas. It's ridiculous, Nathan and you know it. You're hurting-"

"He did this!"

"No he didn't. You want to blame someone, blame me."

"You loved our baby. This is not your fault."

"It's no ones."

"It's his. He couldn't do one thing for you after all you've done for him."

He looked up as a shadow fell over him.

-

"What the hell are you doing?"

"What's it look like." Jake snapped. He twisted the key in the lock then jerked the cell door open.

Nathan didn't move.

"You're free to go, Scott." Jake told him. "Lucas isn't pressing charges."

"How big of him." Nathan nearly snarled. "Close the gate, Jagielski. I'm not leaving just appease Lucas's guilty conscience."

"Lucas hasn't got a thing to be guilty about. He isn't responsible for Haley's miscarriage, Nathan. Things happen that we don't have any control over. My mom had three miscarriages before she and my dad had my pain in the ass little brother.

"You sitting in this cell like a moron isn't going to hurt Lucas, it's going to piss him off because it's hurting Haley. While you're in here being a bastard, hating a man for something that he had no part of, your wife is alone and she's hurting because she lost her child, your child, and her husband is sitting in a cell when he should be with her."

"Go home." Jake told him. "Go home and don't try to find a reason for why this happened. There isn't one, and Haley doesn't need you spouting off any more about how her best friend is responsible."

"He is responsible!" Nathan roared standing. He had his hands clenched at his sides. Jake glanced from the other man's balled fists to the hurt and anger that twisted his face.

"No he's not," Jake spoke softly. "And that's why you're so damned mad, because you can't kick the crap out of God. It wasn't supposed to happen this time, Nathan. Go home, be with Haley. She can't be the one taking care of you on this. You gotta be the one to take care of her."

-

His blonde hair was long enough to fall over his forehead, his cheeks and jaw sported the beginnings of a beard and his eyes were dull with whatever it was that they were giving him for pain.

He stared out the window as rain fell down the glass in rivulets. "This isn't the storm you know." He spoke. "Just the big one's warm up act."

Lucas looked over at this friend. Haley stood in the door way in jeans and a huge sweater that probably belonged to her husband. He watched her eyes fill when she took in his bandaged leg.

"It's not event that bad." The told her.

It was worse.

"I'm sorry."

He was shaking his head. "This isn't your fault, Hales, and it's going to piss me off if you keep thinking that it is."

"Nathan-"

"Is a jackass, but he didn't slice an ax into my leg. This is me. I should have put the damn thing away after I was done using it, but I didn't.

"He came to your house. Your face-"

"Is still wicked handsome thank you very much." Lucas shrugged a shoulder. "Jake took some swings at be before. No big deal."

Jake hadn't broken four of his ribs from sending him flying off the porch, but he wasn't about to tell Haley that.

"He was upset. Hurt."

Lucas nodded. "I know."

Haley paused. "You do?"

"Why else would he come after me the way that he did?" He spoke quietly. "I'm sorry, Hales. You can't know how sorry."

"It was a girl you know."

"Yeah," he husked holding out a hand for his friend. "She'd been beautiful too."

Haley took his hand and sat on the edge of the bed next to him and laid her head on his shoulder while she cried. Lucas knew that this wasn't his fault, but a part of him felt so responsible.

"I told Jake to let Nathan go." He felt her nod against his shoulder.

"They'll be other babies," Lucas told her. "Scott men are potent." He wasn't sure if it was laughter or more tears that made Haley's shoulders shake. He really hoped that she was laughing her ass off, but he didn't think so.

"It'll happen again." He told her, touching her hair. "It'll happen again, Hales. I promise."