-1Authors Note: I don't have much experience with this show, so excuse any OOC-ness, although I don't think it will be an issue with this story, just a forewarning.
The halls were almost empty by the time Haley stepped out of the teacher's lounge, and anyone watching her would have been able to visibly see her rigid body become relaxed again. If Lucas had seen her, he would've probably laughed at her for still being afraid of that room. But she would've shot right back that even though he doesn't admit it, he's afraid as well, and that he's only lucky enough to have an office of his own to hide in during planning period.
She blew out a breath, exhausted, and swept her bangs off of her forehead. She acknowledged the last few students packing their things and slamming their lockers shut, pieces of loose leaf paper flying from their backpacks and scattering across the dirty floor.
She then heard a small whoosh of what sounded like books and folders hitting the ground. She turned her attention to the source, finding one of her English students on her knees, frantically scooping a multitude of papers back into a notebook.
"Oh, shit…" the girl uttered, and Haley tightened her lips to keep from smiling, It took a moment, but she finally remembered the girl from her 4th period class, a new student to Tree Hill, as a matter of fact.
The papers fell again at the girl's surprise, spilling around Haley's shoes in a messy jumble.
"Mrs. Scott! I'm so, so sorry. Sorry…" Her voice trailed off, embarrassed, as she desperately tried to untangle her papers from her English teacher's feet.
Haley half-smiled, bent down and helped the frantic girl. She gathered some random note cards and papers filled with scribbled writing from top to bottom. She recognized the subject immediately.
"Ah, the Critical Analysis--"
"Due next Monday, right?" Jennifer cut her off. Haley could sense the pitch in her voice and could easily see worry etched in the girl's eyes.
"Yeah…How are you coming? If you don't mind my asking." Haley had to admit that she herself was just as worried about the assignment as her students were. She would feel like a complete failure if her class didn't do well. As far as she was concerned, this paper was the first major obstacle that would prove if she was actually ready to be a teacher; if she was really good enough…
"Great!" she girl answered quickly, trying her hardest to muster a confident look. Haley cocked her head to the side, prodding the girl to open up.
"Well, maybe not great. Good. I'm doing…good," She shrugged a little, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. Haley still didn't look convinced, her brow creased as she looked on.
"Are you sure becau--"
"Bad. I'm doing really bad…ly. Badly. Mrs. Scott, I- I really thought I knew what I was doing but, actually writing the paper has me completely freaked out. And you know, I'm not usually like this, I mean, I understood everything you said about note cards, a-and sources and documentation, but I just--"
"Jennifer! Calm down…Breathe," Haley smiled, trying to put the girl at ease. She handed Jennifer the stack of papers she picked up and they both stood, swiping the grime from their clothes.
"Look, I've got some time right now," Haley glanced at her watch, noting that she didn't have to relieve the nanny for another hour and a half, "I could help you get it all figured out."
Haley saw a look she could only define as grateful come over the girl's face, "Really? That would be really great, Mrs. Scott, thank you so much. I promise, I won't be long." Before Haley had a chance to say anything they had arrived at the empty English classroom. Jennifer pulled a chair up to the front of the teacher's desk and sat. Haley came around the other side and waited for the girl to organize her notes.
Haley tried to look as dignified and "teacher-like" as possible, all the while channeling her inner "tutor-girl" as the girl presented an oral list of what had her confused, discouraged, and just plain ready to break down in tears of frustration. Haley took in a deep breath, "Okay. Well here we go…"
Time passed quickly as Haley re-taught Jennifer the method of essay-writing; Introductions, body paragraphs, conclusions, themes, the whole nine-yards. Haley found herself much more at ease teaching without a full classroom of students in front of her. She had never been this articulate and full of life when teaching an entire room of people.
"…and my thesis statement is like a summary of what my body paragraphs will talk about?" Haley nodded enthusiastically as Jennifer scribbled notes on a new sheet of paper, her giant pen with a blue puff of feathers bouncing back and forth as she wrote.
Haley rolled her watch around on her wrist and realized they had been working for about 45 minutes straight. She looked back at the girl, who was now eyeing her notes, and mouthing silently to herself, her eyes flying back and forth on the paper.
"Okay…," she mumbled to herself, "Yeah, I think I finally get it!" she looked at her teacher with a brilliant smile.
Haley couldn't hide her relief, "Great! Wow, okay, good. I'm glad, and if there's anything else you need, I'm here."
"Thank you so much Mrs. Scott. Really, I can't tell you how grateful I am that you could help me. Oh! One more thing about the documentation…," Haley leaned over her desk, following Jennifer's hand through her notes as she explained her problem.
"Oh, okay well you want to put the authors name here and--"
"Haley?" a knock sounded on the inside of the open door. Haley turned her head to see Lucas standing there with a duffel bag slung across his shoulders, then quickly hold his hand up after seeing she was busy, backing out of the classroom, "We can talk…after," He motioned, pointing his thumb towards his office, "I'll come back…"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll just be a few more minutes Luc-- Uh, Coach Scott…"
She turned back towards Jennifer after Lucas departed, just barely missing the dopey smile on the girl's face.
A minute or so later, Jennifer was packing up her bag and Haley was stretching out her legs, feeling a sense of accomplishment. At least one of her student's would do well…
"All right, well I hope it all works out well for you. I'm sure your paper will turn out great."
"All thanks to you. You're like the best teacher ever, Mrs. Scott, seriously," She bounced her way to the door, but turned around before exiting, "Oh, and tell your husband I said hey!" She motioned a wave with her hand for emphasis.
Husband? How does she know Nathan…?
But once she saw Jennifer glance down the hall towards a certain safe haven/office, it hit Haley, "Oh! N-"
But the girl was already gone down the hall. Haley sighed, and couldn't help but laugh. Actually, the more she thought about it, the more she couldn't contain her giggles. She sat in her chair and laughed right into the top of her desk. It hadn't occurred to her that a mix-up like that would ever happen.
"Wow," was all she could say to herself.
"Wow what?" As soon as Haley saw Lucas appear in her doorway she burst into a fit of giggles yet again. His utterly clueless face was not helping matters much either. He shrugged off his duffel bag and sat on the edge of her desk. Haley stifled the laugh in her throat as he stared down at her.
"What's so funny?" He smiled in confusion.
Haley's mouth fell open, but she could only motion towards the door, "That girl,"
"Yeah, who was that? One of your students?"
"Yeah…," Haley looked on as Lucas glanced at the doorway, as if the girl would suddenly appear again, Haley giggled, "she thought we were married!"
Lucas' head snapped back at this, a comic smile forming on his face, "What? Us? Why would she--"
"Ah," he pondered to himself, "Well, I could see how she might think that; last name and everything, and the creepy amount of time you spend in my office," he joked. At this, Haley tried to contain the corners of her mouth from stretching out into a smile.
"Hey now, you know I'm afraid of the teacher's lounge!" He laughed to himself and Haley stood up and rounded her desk until she was face to face with him.
"Yeah, right." He teased.
"Psh, like I would want anyone to think you're my husband!"
He put his hand over his heart in mock pain, "That hurts, Hales."
She chuckled, throwing her arms around his neck as his hands immediately rested on her waist, he pushed his bottom lip out and pouted.
"You big baby!" She playfully slapped his shoulder.
He laughed, "Would being married to me really be all that bad?" He teased.
She threw her head back, theatrically resting the back of her hand against her forehead, "Oh, I would be utterly miserable!"
They both laughed light-heartedly, still clinging to each other. Lucas playfully put on a frowny-face and looked at her with his best puppy dog eyes. Her laughter slowly came to a halt but a smile remained. She looked at Lucas not in all seriousness, but yielded enough to let him know the words she was about to speak were heartfelt and true.
"Any girl would be lucky to have you, Luke. I would be the luckiest girl in the world..." The thoughtfulness in her statement made him smile softly. He brought her close and hugged her tightly, and when they broke apart, she pressed a chaste, innocent kiss to his lips.
"Oh! I'm so, so sorry, Mrs. Scott…" Haley's arms immediately left Lucas' neck when she heard the familiar voice of the girl she was tutoring all of 10 minutes ago.
"Jennifer! Hi, listen it's not--"
"Sorry sorry sorry, I just--I left my pen in here! It's on your desk. I would've just left it, I know it's just a pen, but it's like, my favorite pen so I had to come back and get it because I knew if I left it, it would bother me the whole weekend and I know it might not be obvious, but I'm kind of OCD about things like this."
As the frantic, apologetic girl rambled on, Lucas and Haley couldn't have gotten in a word if they tried to. The girl had scurried in, snatched her bushy blue feather pen from behind Lucas, and rushed back into the hall, that dopey smile still plastered on her face, "Bye, Mr. and Mrs. Scott!" They heard her call out from down the hall.
Haley's mouth hung open in disbelief, and it was now Lucas who was stifling laughter. Haley turned to him with a death glare, "Lucas, this isn't funny!"
"Oh, but it is," He chortled.
"Easy for you to say! You aren't the one that's married!"
"Hey, don't rub it in! I'll get there one day, speedy." He laughed at how frustrated she was becoming.
"You know that's not what I meant…What are we gonna do? I mean, what if she--"
"Haley! Calm down…Breathe." Haley released an exasperated sigh, running her finger's through her hair, staring back at the empty doorway.
"You have to admit…it is kind of funny." She prepared to glare at him yet again, but seeing the childish smile on his face weakened her resolve, "By the way, I need a ride home."
She giggled despite herself. Sighing, she packed her books away and pulled her tote bag onto her shoulder.
Lucas hopped down from her desk, following her out of the classroom. Once they made their way to the parking lot, Lucas hugged her from behind and spoke again, "So, wife, what are you cooking me for dinner tonight?" He wiggled his eyebrows up and down. Haley turned to face him with a comeback, but at that very moment, Jennifer's car came rolling up beside them. She was waving to them with a big smile on her face as she passed. Haley's head fell against Lucas' shoulder pitifully, her body heaving lightly as she chucked.
She looked up at him with laughter still thick in her voice, "You better fix this, husband."
"Hey, as far as she's concerned, you're the luckiest girl in the world." He said, quoting her words from earlier.
He was expecting a biting remark from his best friend in return, but all Haley did was smile to herself as she jumped in the front seat of the car, no arguments slipping past her tongue.