DISCLAIMER: I do not own One Tree Hill, or any of the characters, except the made up ones.
My Way Home Is Through You
Chapter One – What's Left Of Me
February 3, 2011
Nathan always hated traveling. Even sitting in the cab was pissing him off. New York City was just too busy. The cab hadn't moved in a good ten minutes. It was the worse part about his trips here. He hated having to drive all the way across town and it took almost hours to get where you were going. Life wasn't like that in Tree Hill. He could run across town in half that time. He loved being from a small town. It was the best.
He looked at the cabdriver questionably when the older man put a cigarette to his mouth. The guy rolled his eyes through the rearview mirror and tossed it out the window. Nathan shook his head before looking back out of the window. He absolutely hated having to come here.
"Stupid son of a –"
Nathan reached in his pocket and pulled out some money. Holding it up the cabdriver quickly took it as Nathan opened the door. Grabbing his bag, he got out and left the door for the lady moving past him and jumping in. Where ever she is going I hope she doesn't need to be there soon, Nathan thought.
He made his way to the equally busy sidewalks of New York. Countless people walked around like it was just another day. Reaching in his pocket he pulled out his BlackBerry checking the time before he continued walking. He never knew where he was going when he was here. He made it to a cross walk and noticed that he finally made it to 5th Avenue. Just the place he wanted to be. He walked past a guy simply playing an acoustic guitar and he tossed in some cash. He smiled as the guy gave him a thankful look.
It was seconds later when he walked in front of Clothes over Bro's. He smiled as he looked through the windows at all the women shopping. Brooke Davis had certainly taken the advice of her friends and they were all so proud of her. Nathan continued looking through the windows from the outside. It had been the first time that he had seen her store. It had opened a little over a year ago and Jake had been the one that told him. He admired her work for another minute before jumping into yet another cab.
"The Ritz Carlton, please," Nathan said as the cabdriver nodded his head and started driving. Hopefully this guy was brighter than the last one.
They finally arrived and the door was instantly opened. He tossed the driver money before grabbing his things once again and getting out. He took off walking as fast as he could. He needed a room and he needed one now. He had been on a plane this morning and plus sitting in all of New York's hectic traffic, he needed to rest. He walked in and immediately someone approached him.
"I need a room for the night," Nathan said with a smile.
"Let me get that bag for you," he handed his bag over and followed the boy over to a nice looking lady. It was nearly fifteen minutes later when he arrived in his room. He tossed his bag on the floor and laid himself on the bed. He was exhausted. Basketball practice had been kicking his ass. Coach K had been kicking everyone's ass. It was almost playoff time, then after that graduation. To Nathan though, it couldn't come fast enough.
He woke up hours later. Looking at his watch he noticed the time. Grabbing his coat he headed for the door. He hadn't expected to sleep that long. The drive was long and he had a lot of time to think. He knew that he shouldn't be doing this, but still that didn't stop him. In typical Nathan Scott fashion he simply didn't care. At least this time he didn't.
Before he knew it he was walking the dark streets of Manhattan. He pulled his jacket tighter around his body. The cool crisp New York wind was picking up. He smiled as he noticed a flower shop a few feet away. He reached it and searched for the perfect flowers. To bad they didn't have the little wildflower ones that she loved, he thought. He settled for the white lilies. They were the only ones that caught his eye. He paid for them and started back on his journey.
He noticed two women eyeing him as they walked towards him. They were coming straight for him. He prayed to god that they would just keep walking. He heard their laughter as they got closer. He was so used to women checking him out but it never ceased to amaze him. He was in a simple pair of jeans with a blue button up shirt. His jacket covered most of that. His hair was way shorter now. A month earlier he had lost a bet and now his hair was gone. He inwardly groaned as one of the ladies started licking her lips right as they passed him. Once he passed them up he rolled his eyes and continued on his way. He wasn't looking back, not for something like.
He finally reached the building he was looking for. He noticed the huge sign right above the doors. The Wreckers, Haley James, and Chris Keller it said. He smiled as he approached a large man with a clipboard.
"May I help you?" The man said blocking the way.
"I'm here to see Haley James," Nathan said pointing to her name.
"Are you on the list?"
"Scott," Nathan said quickly. He watched as the guy looked over the list. It was seconds later when he looked up.
"Lucas Scott," the man said looking at him.
"That's me," Nathan said with a smile. The guy moved and let Nathan pass. He walked down the hallways looking at people passing him by. So many people were running around. He finally noticed a door with Haley's name on it. His heart started pounding in his chest. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. He tried to mentally prepare himself for what was about to happen. Then just like that her laughter filled his ears and it brought a smile to his face. He missed it so much. Without even thinking he took off walking and entered the room holding the flowers.
Then there she was.
His heart started pounding in his chest. He felt like he was in high school again. All those old feelings came rushing back to him. It was the first time in years that he felt butterflies in his stomach.
Everything stopped moving as he took in the sight of her. She was laughing at something that Brooke was telling her and the girls had yet to noticed him. They both looked really good. Really, really good. He searched for words but nothing was coming out. The sight of Haley again seriously threw him off balance. He cleared his throat and got both the girls attention. It didn't go unnoticed by him that they both looked at him in complete shock.
"Nate," Brooke said as her laughter died down.
The room got really quite. His eyes locked with Haley's. Her reaction to seeing him was just as he knew it would be. She looked at him and for the first time in his life he couldn't read her eyes. They were empty and that thought made him empty. And still she didn't say anything. She wasn't even angry. He found himself wanting her to feel something even if it was hate or anger. Anything was better than nothing.
"How was my girl?" A voice came from the door. All three pair of eyes followed the man walking up to Haley and lifting her in his arms. He twirled her around a few times before crashing his lips onto hers. Nathan quickly looked away. This was something that he didn't want to see. Seconds later he heard Haley laughing again. Laughing for someone that wasn't him. The thought alone had him wanting to kill the guy holding her.
"I thought you weren't going to make it," Haley said in a sad voice. "But I'm so glad you're here, Jeremy."
"They want my baby for an encore," Jeremy said smiling as he lifted Haley once again in his arms. Nathan watched as this guy carried her out of the dressing room. Nathan stood there frozen as his eyes stayed on the ground. He didn't expect this. He couldn't feel his heart beating anymore.
"She's over you," Brooke's voice rang in his ears.
"I know," Nathan said forming words. Nathan looked at the flowers in his hands before tossing them in the trashcan a few feet away. He closed his eyes and prayed that Brooke couldn't hear the pain in his voice. He took a few sallow breaths before turning to leave. It was then that he felt Brooke touch his shoulder. He turned and smiled as she held her hands out for him to hug her.
"I miss you, Nate," Brooke mumbled as she closed her eyes. "It's been too long."
"I'm sorry," Nathan whispered as he held her tight. With that he pulled away and turned around. He didn't think twice as he walked away. It was nearly an hour later when he got out of the shower in his hotel room. His hands were sore and he cursed himself for beating up a trashcan in the alley way, when he left for a cab. A few people had passed by and looked at him as if he were crazy. Still that didn't stop the pain he felt in them now. His knuckles were bleeding once he reached his hotel room. He was angry at himself for giving in to his stupid desires to finally see her.
He sat on the bed and reached for his BlackBerry as he heard it ringing. He smiled as he noticed who it was.
"Just who I was thinking about…of course I miss you…that much fun, huh? Well, I'm glad…I love you too…I'll be home before you know it, promise. Goodnight." With that he hung up the phone and placed it on the nightstand. He laid himself back in the bed and prayed for sleep. Only this time sleep didn't come.
He thought about everything that had happened over the last four years. Despite how his stupid little trip had been he was kind of happy that he did go to see her. Just seeing her again felt good. It had been so long. He was surprised that Brooke actually talked to him. He always thought deep down inside that she would hate him as much as Peyton did. He didn't know how he ended up here but somehow he did. He sat up as he heard a soft knock on his room door. He wondered who it could be as he walked up to answer it. Maybe it was room service? But that thought quickly vanished as he opened the door.
They both stared at each other for a few minutes.
"I don't know why I'm here."
July 15, 2011
"Haley." Nathan's voice said softly as he opened his eyes. He looked around his empty room. It was the millionth time that he dreamed about that night. About her. He threw his head back against the pillow and ran his hands over his thick hair. He looked at his alarm clock and noticed that it was already noon. He got out of bed and looked around for his shirt. Seconds later he finally noticed it hanging on one of the boxes in the corner. He put it on before heading downstairs. He smiled as he smelled coffee. He finally reached the kitchen.
"Good morning, Sunshine."
"Good morning," Nathan said smiling as he pulled out a coffee mug and poured himself a glass. He took a long sip before placing it down and filling it up again. "I slept pretty late, huh?"
"You looked so cute," the voice said laughing. "I didn't want to wake you."
"Where is everyone?" Nathan asked looking around. "This place is like a ghost town."
"They're out front playing basketball instead of unpacking."
"Sounds about right," Nathan said with a chuckle. He looked around at his empty house. So many boxes still needed to be unpacked. He didn't know where to start. He was happy to have the help of his family though.
"Nathan Royal Scott," Karen said walking into the kitchen. "Sleep late much?"
"Mom," Nathan whined. "I had a late night with the guys."
"Yeah, Mama Scott," the girl said laughing. "You know the guys are always having late nights. In fact I was left alone yet again all because of another guy's night out."
"Sad about that, huh?" Nathan asked with a smirk.
She walked over and kissed his cheek. "Do it again and you're dead. I just moved here and already I can't spend enough time with my boyfriend. I hate guy night already."
"I'll do my best," Nathan said giving into her. She smiled in triumph as she started to walk out of the kitchen. "The things I do for you."
"You know you love me, Natey."
"You know that I do but...Don't call me that, please," Nathan said making a face.
"Yeah, Lindsey," Karen said laughing. "He hates it when we call him Natey."
"Good to know," Lindsey said smiling as she blew him a kiss.
"I really love her," Karen said smiling as she watched her go.
"She's pretty great," Nathan said smiling as he looked at his mom.
"Oh I forgot to mention Jake's out front," Karen said approaching him. "He told me that they just moved into their new house."
"Yeah," Nathan said nodding his head. "They had been staying with Jimmy while Jake had the place renovated. The place looks nice."
"I'll have to check it out soon," Karen mumbled as she started unpacking one of the boxes. "How you boys have this much stuff, I'll never know."
"I'm a packrat just like you," Nathan joked. She smiled at him as she started removing all his basketball trophies. He took off walking towards her and grabbed his NCAA Championship trophy from his junior year. Walking out of the kitchen and into the living room he placed it in his trophy case.
"What about the other million of them," Karen said proudly.
"You can put them at my house," Jake told her as he walked into the kitchen. "I did teach the boy how to play. Hell, I made Nathan Scott the player he is today."
"What the injured knee NBA wannabe," Nathan said with humor.
"Nathan," Karen said softly.
"Its fine mom," Nathan said quickly when he noticed that his words made his mother upset. He might have been used to the fact that he missed his shot but that didn't mean the rest of his family was. "I'm fine."
"It's been too long," Jake tried to change the subject as he walked over to Nathan and they hugged. "Last time I seen you was –"
"When I graduated," Nathan finished for him.
"Well, it's good to have you back home," Jake said smiling. "The house is nice by the way. The thing is huge and I love the pool. Very nice, Scott."
"Yeah," Nathan said smiling. "I wanted this place the moment I saw it. So what brings you all the way down to my humble abode?"
"Just wanted to welcome you back home," Jake said taking a seat. "I've been home almost two months now and this place hasn't changed a bit. Peyton's having fun decorating the house and Jenny loves it down here. She's finally happy to live closer to her grandpa. So things have been good since we moved back, Florida just wasn't home."
"I know what you mean," Nathan said smiling. "I couldn't stand another minute in that tiny apartment another year. It's really good to be back home."
"You boys play nice," Karen said opening the back door and walking out of the house.
"I see your mom and dad are happy to be back in Tree Hill?" Jake stated. "My dad told me it just wasn't the same around here without your mother cooking the food at the café."
"Well, the place is back to normal," Nathan said nodding his head.
Jake watched as Nathan walked back into the kitchen and stood on the other side of the counter. "So how's the knee? Lindsey said she brings you to rehab three times a week."
"Yep," Nathan said looking down at his knee. "It's more like she drags me but if it wasn't her then it would be my mother."
"Women," Jake said laughing.
"Tell me about it," Nathan mumbled. "Speaking of…how is my goddaughter?"
"Loving Tree Hill for one," Jake said laughing. "The girl is a total tomboy. Peyton hates it so much. But I just laugh it off. I'm sure she'll grow out of it eventually but until that day comes I'll let her beat me in one-on-one."
"That's my girl," Nathan said smiling. "I miss her."
"I'll bring her by one day this week," Jake replied. "We'll make a day of it. Hang out like old times."
"Sounds fun," Nathan said nodding his head.
"I'll be sure and pick up that bike she was asking me for," Nathan noted. "I haven't been able to get it with the moving back here and traveling up to New York so much. But I'll get it now that everything is finally back to normal."
"Well, as normal as it can be," Jake said with a chuckle.
"I miss hanging out with you man," Nathan told him honestly. Over the last four years they had been so far way. They didn't see each other often but when they did they made sure to have fun. Now they were both finally back home.
"It'll be nice having my bestfriend in the same town as me," Jake said smiling. "Now, when I piss Peyton off, I can come hiding here until she forgives me."
"You're always welcome," Nathan told him pointing around.
"Good to know," Jake mumbled. "I have a few hours to kill. I have to meet with the architect later. I need to make sure that my studio is being built to my standards. I'll have artist recording in there in no time."
"Or Peyton will," Nathan said smirking.
"Probably," Jake admitted. "You know Peyton. She's always had a thing for music. I'm just happy that we decided to do this together. We are both going to be doing something we love and the best part is that we are going to do it together."
"That's great," Nathan told him. "I'm really happy for you…both of you. I know Peyton and I haven't really been the same since high school but I still consider her one of my best friends and I'm happy for both of you."
"Thanks man," Jake said smiling. "And about Peyton…it's just she doesn't know the truth –"
"Its fine," Nathan told him. "I'm over it. Hopefully one day we can all be friends again. Without the past coming back or in between us. I'm certainly over all of it. I've moved on with my life."
"I see that," Jake said looking around. The room got quite and both boys didn't know what to say. It had been so long since they had just hung out and talked. It wasn't that it was awkward or anything. Neither knew what else to say.
"So did you hear about Whitey retiring?" Nathan blurted out.
"No way," Jake mumbled stunned. "I thought he had another five years in him."
"Nope," Nathan said sadly. "I went to visit him a few weeks back. Turns out that he's been wanting to retire since we were in high school. We talked for hours. He was always like a second father, you know?"
"Yep," Jake agreed. "I can't believe he's not going to be coaching the Ravens."
"Me either," Nathan mumbled. "I also can't believe that I agreed to take his place."
"What?" Jake shouted shocked.
"That's right, James," Nathan said smirking. "I'm the new head coach. I was actually going to stop by later and tell you. Whitey asked and I accepted for some reason. I guess since I won't be playing again for a while I might as well help other players try to accomplish their dreams."
"You're going to be coaching our high school team," Jake said in disbelief. "That's going to be so funny to watch."
Nathan watched as Jake laughed his ass off. "Why is this funny?"
"B-because have you seen them play the last four years?" Jake said laughing. "They suck…they suck so badly! I can't believe you have to coach them…you're going to need a miracle to teach them how to win as a team."
"Well, lucky for them I've played with the best and for the best," Nathan said confidently. "Whitey and Coach K will be proud."
"You let me know when practice starts because I want to be watching," Jake mumbled as he looked at his bestfriend. "It's going to be so funny watching you in charge."
"You want to be my assistance coach?" Nathan asked with a smile. "You're right about them needing a lot of work. I'll need all the help I can get."
"You want me to agree to humiliate myself?" Jake asked amused.
"It'll be fun," Nathan told him. "Teaching the boys how to play…hopefully we will help them like Whitey helped us. I want to make the old man proud and since I'm currently injured…I just think that this will be a good thing. My whole family is happy about it."
"Fine," Jake mumbled. "But I'll have you know that the whole town will be laughing at us once the season starts. Unless you have some miracle up your sleeve to make them magically win?"
"We can do this," Nathan said bumping fist with him just like old times. "Now, let's go meet my family upfront. Whitey taught me a lot of things over the years. I took so much advice from him. He's the one I went too in college when everything go to be just too much. He was there for me through everything that's happened over the years. The first time I won with Duke in the Championship he's the first person that called me. He's been great and the best thing that he ever taught me was that family was the most important thing in life."
"He's right, Nate."
"I know," Nathan said opening the back door. "I'll never forget his exact words. There are more important things in life than basketball and he was right."
"He's got like a lifetime of knowledge," Jake joked.
"Tell me about it," Nathan said laughing. "Now, how about you get your butt beat by the Scotts again."
"Just like the old days," Jake said laughing.
Nathan smiled as they continued to the front driveway. Only it wasn't like the old days. Things changed over the years –he changed. Nothing had happened like he planned. Nothing had turned out like he planned and there was nothing he could do about it now. All the things that happened over the last four years were in the past. All his mistakes were in the past. The only thing he could do now was smile and play basketball with his family. They were the only thing he had left.
AN: So let me know what you think? As you can see things aren't the same anymore. Something happened in those four missing years that changed his life. Also I know a lot of people hate Lindsey but I personally love her. I thought she was a really good add to the cast and the show. I didn't necessarily love her with Lucas but I loved the character. Plus, she's like a million times better than Carrie. You all know I'm right! There are a lot of shocking things coming your way. I want all their secrets to be shocking and I think most of them are but i'm evil. They'll have flashbacks to all the important things that happened over the last four years and it'll explain why things are the way that they are. So here's the summary.
Summary: Nathan Scott always envied his bestfriend Jake James in high school. Now just out of college he finds himself still in the same position. After all, Jake always got what he wanted. Nathan finds himself back in Tree Hill trying to move on with his life and all the mistakes that he made over the years. Things won't get easier when Haley finally returns home after being away herself. It also won't help that she'll be bring her new love with her. Will the gang learn to be friends again? Or is the past too much to forgive and forget?