Chapters 11 - 14 added 07/15/2017

Quote of the day: CSI

Greg: "I'm like a sponge. I just absorb information."

Grissom: "I thought that was MY line."

Greg: "Yeah, and I absorbed it."

Chapter 14. "We're Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday..."

Week 6.

What's new? Nothing. Well nothing, besides Haley telling me she has cancer, or had cancer, and she's fine now but has a hundred grand of hospital bills which is the reason Taylor and her took part of this show.

She's my number one priority now. She deserves the money and I'm gonna get it for her, at any cost. I don't care who I have to send home, Haley and I are winning this thing.

So, take a seat and enjoy the ride 'cause Team Green is here for the long haul.

"Happy birthday to you..."

"Stop signing."

"Happy birthday to you..."

"I wanna sleep."

"Happy birthday, dear Haley!"

"Go away."

"Happy birthday to youuuuu!"

Haley James opened one eye to stare at the grinning face of a madman, or 'Taylor' as she was more commonly known.

"Happy birthday, Hales!" Taylor screamed in a voice that was both disturbingly loud and high as she dived on top of her sleepy sister.

"Get off of me..." Haley whined her voice disappearing in her pillow.

"Listen to your sister, Taylor." Peyton moaned from under her blanket, across the room.

"Listen to Peyton." Brooke yelled crankily. "Oh, and happy birthday Haley. Didn't know it was today but if you want, I'll silence your sister for good. That'll be my gift."

"And I'll help her." Peyton mumbled keeping her eyes closed. "Congrats, by the way. Enjoy the day."

"If you can." Brooke hissed before slamming her pillow on top of her head to silence all sounds for good.

"Ignore the haters, honey." Taylor said while ruffling her sister's hair. "It is 8.17 a.m. which means that you turned 21 exactly one minute ago. Get up, I'm cooking breakfast! Besides, it's not even that early. I've already come back from a 3-mile-run and showered."

"You are insane."

"You say it like it's a bad thing." she winked. "Go shower, I'll go make us some breakfast and coffee."

"Fine." she said as she grabbed her towel and headed for the shower.

After showering and finally waking up, Haley changed into shorts and a top before heading downstairs not even bothering to dry her hair. She smiled as she noticed the familiar smell when she entered the kitchen.

"Is that-"

"Cheese and turkey toast with extra cheese on top of more cheese? Why, yes it is." Taylor said smiling as she handed Haley a cup of coffee and continued grilling Haley's toast.

"Thanks, Tay and sorry if I was cranky." Haley said accepting the hot beverage gladly.

"Say no word." Taylor said.

"So, I know you love birthdays but please, don't make a big deal about this."

"Hales, I'm not gonna pretend like it's not your birthday."

"I don't like to be the center of attention, you know that. Besides, it's only a birthday. Everyone has one every year. It's no big deal."

"It is a big deal."

"What's a big deal?"

Taylor and Haley turned to look at Nathan who had just entered the kitchen. His hair and swim shorts were wet and a towel was draped over his shoulder. Haley couldn't understand how he always looked so good.

"Jeez, how early do people wake up here?" Haley grumbled keeping her eyes on her coffee. Lately the sight of shirtless Nathan had started to unravel her normally cool exterior. Stop staring.

"What's a big deal?" Nathan repeated his question.

"Nothing." Haley said while drinking quickly some coffee.

Nathan narrowed his eyes at her and then turned to look at a giddy Taylor who was about to burst with excitement.

"Taylor?" Nathan asked slowly, never breaking eye connection.

"It's Haley's birthday!" she said not being able to stay silent any longer.

"Tay!" Haley exclaimed.

"Sorry! I couldn't help it. He was giving me the third degree!" Taylor defended.

"He only said your name!"

"It was the way he said it! And those maniac eyes..."

"Congrats! Why didn't you say anything earlier?" Nathan asked from Haley as he gave her a quick hug.

"Because she's a bore." Taylor said. "But that won't stop the rest of us from partying."

"Who's partying?" Bevin asked coming to the kitchen wearing her pyjamas. She then saw the coffee maker. "Ooh! Coffee! Me, me! Give me!"

"No one." Haley said.

"We are!" Nathan said ruffling Haley's hair. "It's Haley's birthday."

"Wow! Congrats!" Bevin said excited and gave her a warm hug.

"Congrats on what?" Mouth said as he came in the kitchen as well.

"It's Haley's birthday!" Bevin said excited.

"Is everyone waiting their turn outside the door so they can all come in here one by one?" Haley asked annoyed.

"Why's the birthday girl mad?" Bevin asked.

"Who's got birthday?" Skills said behind Bevin as he joined them in the kitchen.

"Oh my god!" Haley yelled and threw her hands in the air in annoyance.

"She's not a morning person." Taylor said and everyone nodded in agreement.

"It's a stinking birthday. I just don't think it should be a big deal!" Haley said.

Right at that moment Lucas walked in the kitchen.

"Do not say a word!" Haley snapped before he had time to even say 'Morning'.

Lucas stopped in his tracks and held his breath while looking around confused as Nathan just chuckled in amusement, appreciating the comedic timing she had. She's hilarious when she's mad.

All the others looked at each other with matching looks.

"Yeah, we're so celebrating." Taylor said.

"Definitely." Skills mumbled.

"For once we have an actual reason." Bevin said as the rest just nodded their heads in agreement.

"Fine. It's a party." Haley said in a not-so-enthusiastic voice.

Nathan wrapped his arm around her shoulders and Haley had to look down to hide the grin she got.

"Don't worry. Tonight will be the best birthday you'll ever have."

She gave herself a small smile as she took a sip from her coffee trying her best to hide her blush and silence the butterflies in her stomach.

"Hey, Shawty! It's your birthday. We're gonna party like it's your birthday..."

Haley smiled at the cliché birthday song that blasted from the speakers. Ever since the song came out, she could remember each of her friend wanting to listen to that song on their birthday.

Haley was actually enjoying her day so far, which surprised her above all. Everyone had pampered her since the morning, cooking for her, getting drinks for her and she had even gotten a foot massage and a mani-pedi from the girls.

The whole day everyone had made sure she had stayed outside as the others had in a not-so-discreet way gone inside one by one. The fridge and the living room had been both off limits and when she had wanted to get ready for her party, the girls had blindfolded her and took her upstairs so she wouldn't see the living room.

So, when they finally took her downstairs and yelled surprise, she had acted out total shock and surprise when she saw that the entire living room was decorated for her birthday. They had started partying early on but were taking it slow and easy, everyone enjoying each other's company.

After a quick phone call from her parents that went surprisingly well, Haley started to enjoy her day even more. The whole group was bonding together and everyone was in a chatty, cheerful mood.

"Now, I'm serious! I never used to drink this much before coming here."

"Oh, I know, Brooke! I mean, we all had freshman year in college but it was nothing compared to this." Chase said.

"This place is like one, big black hole which just sucks in normal people and makes them into borderline alcoholics. Basically us." Rachel said.

"Oh, speak for yourselves." Haley said laughing. "I've been drinking maybe twice here so far."

"You still have hope. The rest of us are doomed." Taylor said as everyone laughed.

"Too bad drinking isn't a challenge." Rachel said picking her nails absentmindedly. "I'd totally kick ass in that."

"We should have our own competition, like Beer Olympics or something." Tim said as a joke.

Mouth looked at Tim and slowly gave everyone a wide grin.

10 minutes later

"Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the first annual 'Alcoholympics'." Mouth announced in a heavily drunken voice.

"Tonights events will be: Bottle Opening, Keg Stand, Beer Pong, Booze Quiz, Sobriety Test, Tequila Body Shot, and the classic yet always disgusting King's Cup." Mouth smiled as everyone groaned in disgust and started boo-ing.

"Hey, we need to have a tie breaker just in case." Mouth explained.

"And now to some safety regulations. The closest bathroom is located behind that corner, just follow the yellow tape on the floor. There will be several buckets also positioned around the living room for emergencies but try and make it to the bathroom, for the sake of the other competitors. Lastly, safety first so know your limits and don't overdrink 'cause that ain't pretty. Switch to soda anytime you want. Any questions?"

"Can I-" Brooke started but got cut off by Mouth.

"Absolutely you can. There are no rules! Everything is accepted." Mouth said. "So, here's how it's gonna work! I am the host, the inventor of this game and the jury. I give out the points, I choose the winner! No whining, no bitching. Since I'm too bored, lazy and not to even mention drunk, I have no patience and energy to divide the teams, so we're just going to keep the same teams as in the challenges." Mouth explained.

"Yes, my gorgeous partner Peyton?" Mouth asked when he saw his partner raise her hand.

"What about me? If you're not competing, who am I partnered up with?"

"Bevin, go take a seat. Peyton, you're partnered with Tim."

"What? Why!" Bevin asked in a drunken voice while almost falling down.

"Just take a seat. If you're still awake in 2 minutes, you can compete." Mouth said.

"Of course I'm gonna be awake." Bevin said and sat down on the comfy couch as she felt the drowsiness take over. She closed her eyes for a second but tried her best not to fall asleep.

"I'm telling you guys... I'm totally... gonna be... competing..." she muttered the last words so quiet that none of them even heard them. They did hear her light snoring a minute later though.

"Solved." Mouth said.

"You're a lucky guy." Taylor said patting Skills on the back while he put a blanket over Bevin.

"Should I take her to your room?" Skills asked from Rachel.

"Nah, she's a heavy sleeper when she's drunk. Watch this." she said and went right next to Bevin.

The group watched in amusement as Rachel yelled in Bevin's face and she didn't even flinch.

"Trust me, she'll be fine." Rachel said and petted her friend's head with a smile.

"Good. So, it's settled then. Peyton is with Tim. Alright, let's start with tonight's first event: Bottle Opening! In front of each team, there are 10 beer bottles. Each member has to open 5 bottles with one hand but you are not allowed to use your primary hand, so if you're right-handed, use your left hand and vice versa. The fastest team to open all ten bottles, wins." Mouth said.

"Let me remind you that in each competition, if you spill any alcohol, points are deducted. We don't waste alcohol in this house." Mouth finished with a serious voice. "And also, I have full control of all the distributed points."

"But what if-" Skills started.

"Two points off." Mouth said looking at Skills and writing notes on his notepad.

"What?" Skills asked angrily. "That's not fair!"

"Five points off." Mouth said as everyone laughed.

Taylor quickly put his hand on top of Skills' mouth to stop him from yelling.

"We get it, Mouth." Taylor said. "He'll be quiet. Awesome t-shirt, by the way. And have you been working out? You look buff!" she purred while playing with the sleeve of his t-shirt.

"10 points for the lady." Mouth said with a smile as Taylor cheered. "And yes, I have been working out, thank you for noticing. No one else did."

"Yay!" Taylor high fived Skills.

"Quick, take off your shirt." Tim told Peyton. "What? We'll get more points."

"Shut up." Peyton said.

"Question, sir." Rachel asked in a professional tone.

"You may proceed." Mouth nodded.

"Are there final prizes involved?"

"Good question and I'm glad you asked that, miss Gattina. 3 points. The team with the most points will be free from all the upcoming cleaning duties. This means no more dishes, no more vacuuming, no more washing the floors or cleaning the pool."

"We are so winning this, Hales. I hate cleaning." Nathan whispered to Haley. She shivered lightly as she felt his hot breath on her neck. She rubbed her tummy when she felt something fluttering there.

She closed her eyes for a second, taking a deep breath while trying to calm down.

"You okay?" Nathan asked worried.

"Yeah, absolutely." Haley said.

"If you're sure." Nathan said.

"We're so winning this."

"Alright, let the games begin!" Mouth announced. "First competition, Bottle Opening. 10 bottles, two people, one opener. Hands behind back! Ready, set, go!"

All the teams started opening the bottles furiously, one by one. Most of them were tipsy already and were spilling drinks, some of them accidentally used both hands while a few actually managed to do it correctly, but too slowly.

The rest of the evening went similarly, the cast playing games and goofing around. Lucas and Rachel won the bottle opening contest, Chase and Brooke won the keg stand, Tim and Peyton ruled the beer pong and Haley and Nathan won the beer quiz.

In the end, it didn't really even matter which team won because the points were given so randomly.

"Time for sobriety test! The rules are very simple. We will conduct a field sobriety test that the cops do. Guys, close your right eye and touch the tip of your nose with your left index finger."

Nathan and Chase closed the wrong eye, Skills and Lucas used the wrong hand and Tim poked himself in the eye.

"Wonderful round, boys." Mouth said sarcastically. "No points! Girls, it's up to you. Walk a straight line with your eyes closed and try not to fall. Ready, set walk!"

Five seconds later all the girls were lying on the ground, laughing their asses off.

"No points from this round..." Mouth announced.

"I like you hair." Haley said.

"...except for Nathan and Haley. Good job, guys!"

"Nice!" Nathan said and high fived Haley, who was still laughing on the ground. He offered his hand to pull her up which she accepted gladly. She stumbled a bit getting up and he grabbed her hips to steady her. Her laughter died in her throat as she once again found herself staring at his eyes. Had they always been so blue?

They both blinked and looked away as Mouth announced that it was time for next competition.

Haley kept avoiding Nathan's gaze while taking a few calming breaths and telling herself to be normal and not act like a teenager with a crush. At least the competition will keep me occupied.

Nathan looked at the wall with much interest, trying to keep away from Haley. He couldn't understand why he was acting the way he was. Sure, Haley was a close friend to him and especially now when she had finally opened up to him, he wanted to do everything to make sure they won that money.

You need to focus, Nathan. You need to stop thinking about her like that and concentrate on winning the game... Win the game, win the game, win the game, god she's hot, with those legs and lips- Goddammit Nathan! Focus! And do not touch her because you'll lose focus. As long as you keep your focus, you'll be fine. No touching!

"Next competition is Tequila Body Shot!" Mouth announced as he came back from the kitchen with some lime slices, a tequila bottle and a salt shakers.

Both Nathan and Haley glanced at each other quickly both realizing that all plans to avoid each other would not work.

"Okay, girls! Lie down on the floor, guys next to them. The rules are: salt on collarbone, tequila on the belly button and lime between teeth. For the sake of hygiene, I really hope you ladies have showered today."

"Question, Mr. Mouth." Rachel asked.


"How do you determine the winner?"

"Oh, I think we can all agree that everyone's a winner here." Tim chuckled earning laughs from the cast.

Haley and Nathan glanced at each other again and both gave a similar, forced laugh.

"You okay with this?" he asked.

"Yeah, of course. I mean, it's just a body shot. Nothing new, right." she said and flicked her hand to emphasize the casualness of it.

"Yeah, exactly." Nathan said with a clenched jaw, the image of some other guy licking her collarbone imprinted in his mind.

"But you better bring your A-game though." Haley added with a grin easing the tension.

Nathan laughed as he looked at her with a softer look.

"Baby, you're about to experience first hand the perfection of Nathan Scott." he said with a cocky look and smirk.

"Oh, big talk, buddy! Now I have expectations, you better not let me down." she said nudging his side with her elbow.

"Girls, down. Guys, get set." Mouth announced while distributing some salt shakers, shot glasses of tequila and lime slices.

"Alright, guys. Get set, ready, lick!"

Nathan chuckled as Mouth announced the start of the Tequila Body Shot.

"You ready?" he asked, looking down at her.

"Uhhuh." she said placing the lemon slice between her teeth.

Nathan took in a confident breath before bending down and licking the soft skin on her throat. As soon as his tongue hit her flesh, the goose bumps appeared instantly and she couldn't stop the shiver that took over her body. He sprinkled some salt on her collarbone and licked it again. By now Haley felt as if her body was on fire.

She looked down just in time to see Nathan suck the tequila from her belly and look up at her. He hovered above her, ready to take the lemon slice from her mouth. He stopped right in front of her, not moving. It felt as if the time had stood still but in reality it was barely a second. Then Nathan bent down and put his mouth on hers, and biting the lemon slice.

Haley stared at him, still feeling his lips on her mouth.

Nathan bit the lemon hard and sucked the sour liquid. He had done dozens of body shots in his life but this one was different. Usually the girls had some strong perfume and he'd get that taste in his mouth almost more than the alcohol. But not now. There had been a mild scent of something pleasant, something flowery. When he had sucked the tequila from her belly, he had felt the goose bumps on his skin, and for a second he had thought that maybe she had gotten them because of him.

But all thoughts had vanished when he had come to the final stage, the lemon. Usually at that moment he wanted to get the lemon as fast as possible, so he'd get the disgusting taste of tequila away, but not now. With Haley, he had frozen when he had looked her in the eyes and saw her looking at him like he was the only one in the room.

Nathan got up from the floor and helped Haley up and turned to look at Mouth who was looking at everyone with smiles.

Taylor grabbed Haley's arm with a grin as Nathan chatted with his brother.

"So, how was it?" she asked.

"Good, what are you talking about?"

"Come on, I'm not blind. You're blushing."

"I'm just drunk."

"Oh please, Hales. And congrats on your first body shot. So proud of you!" Taylor whispered neither of them noticing Nathan hovering close by and the sudden wide, happy grin on his face.

"Alright! What's the score, Mouth!" Haley yelled changing the subject.

"My vastly precise and accurate notes that are essentially incomprehensible for anyone else to utterly comprehend-"

Rachel turned to look at Haley mid sentence. "You're smart. Translate."

"He's bragging how clever his notes are." Haley said.

"So, what's the score?" Tim asked from Haley as if she actually was an interpreter.

"He didn't say."

"Mouth, who won?" Rachel asked again.

"It's a tie." he said after some looking at his notes carefully.

"Dude, don't make us do the King's Cup." Tim said with a shudder while looking at the big plastic cup that was in the middle of the table.

"That thing is disgusting." Rachel said. Throughout the game, the losing team had always had to pour some of their drink in the cup.

"There's white wine, red wine…" Haley started.

"Miller, Guinness…" Peyton continued.

"Corona, Vodka-Redbull…" Nathan continued.

"And let's not forget the two shots of Jägermeister and tequila. With the entire piece of lime!" Lucas finished.

"Fine, so nobody has to drink the King's Cup." Mouth said truthfully not caring one bit.

"So, who won?"

"It's a tie between Nathan and Haley, and Rachel and Lucas." Mouth said.

"What, it can't end in a tie!" Brooke protested.

"Sorry, but there is absolutely no way that any of you can persuade me to decide which team is the winne-"

"It's my birthday." Haley said nonchalantly.

"The winners, ladies and gentlemen!" Mouth announced holding his hands towards Nathan and Haley.

"Oh, man…" Lucas mumbled.

"Yeah baby! Team Green!" Nathan yelled while clapping his cup against Haley's.

"You two are obnoxious." Rachel mumbled as the group scattered, some going outside and the others to bed.

Haley, always the good girl, started to pick the discarded plastic cups from the living room.

"Hales, you do realize that we just won the right not to have to do this." Nathan grinned.

"I know but it's getting late and it's nice to wake up to a clean house." she said and smiled at Nathan thankfully when he started to help her.

They cleaned the room in silent, picking up plastic cups and empty bottles, wiping spots on the floor where drinks had been spilled and rearranging the living room furniture. They were both lost in their thoughts, reflecting on everything that had happened. They both felt like the chemistry between them had changed.

"Okay, I think we're about done. God, I need sleep." Haley said wiping the kitchen counter. She turned to look at Nathan who had just thrown the last of the trash in the garbage.

He leaned against the kitchen counter next to hers as she did the same. She felt different. There was a healthy glow in her cheeks, she was smiling without even realizing, feeling lightheaded in a good way.

There was a vibe in the air, something shifting between them. Neither could explain it but they both felt it.

He looked at her already imagining how the next three minutes would go. She would finish cleaning, look at him with those beautiful eyes that haunted him at night. The air would be charged, both silently looking at the other hoping for something else, something more. He would tell her happy birthday and give her a hug that would last a bit too long to be friendly. She would close her eyes and sigh and they would go their own ways reluctantly, feeling the loss and the ache.

Nathan closed his eyes, tired of feeling incomplete and like there was something missing. He wanted more, needed more and after watching her for weeks, he was beginning to think that the feeling was mutual. Knowing full well the risks involved, he opened his eyes abruptly, making his decision nonetheless.

"You're so beautiful, Haley." he said.

Haley stopped in her tracks, her hand gripping the edge of the counter, knuckles turning white.

"What?" she whispered, both wanting to hear it again as well as making sure she wasn't fantasizing.

He took a deep breath as he moved slowly closer to her, perhaps to give her time to back out or simply to prepare himself. He stopped right in front of her, lifting his hand to gently stroke her cheek. "You're beautiful."

"Nathan..." she whispered lifting her hand to rest on his chest, to feel the beat of his heart. He slowly lowered his head to her level, never breaking eye connection. He stopped less than an inch from her lips, silently waiting for her to decide what the outcome would be. She swallowed hard and took a deep, shaky breath gathering her courage before nodding her head slightly. He grabbed the back of her head softly before placing his lips softly on hers.

His lips were warm and soft and she inhaled the smell of his aftershave and cologne, a mix that was now imprinted in her mind and sending her senses into overdrive. The kiss was slow and sweet, each of them savoring the moment and exploring the other in ways they had secretly dreamed.

Haley broke off the kiss after a while, but only backing an inch so she could look him in the eyes. His heart was beating rapidly. Nathan swallowed hard and stroked her hair slowly as he felt his entire world change. Colors looked more bright, sounds were more clear and the woman in his arms, was at the center of it all. His head was spinning with feelings of trust, affection, loyalty, lust, possessiveness and above all, love. He was falling in love.

She could feel her body changing, the warmth spreading in her being and the throbbing need for something more growing inside her. Something inside her snapped, like a rubber band stretched too much. She couldn't think but instead went with her heart, pure instinct and reaction. She quickly grabbed his head between her hands and smashed their mouths together hard.

Gone was the slow and sweet, it was full on passion, tongues, wondering hands and shaky breaths. His hands grabbed the backs of her legs and he lifted her easily, never breaking their kiss. He placed her on the kitchen counter, spreading her legs so he could stand in between them, their bodies smashed together. Her hands were playing with his hair and abs and pecs as his own wondered up and down her sides and legs, creating goose bumps where ever they traveled.

A noise from outside the kitchen startled them, breaking them apart as Tim wandered into the kitchen. With a drunk nod to the twosome, clearly oblivious to what he had interrupted, he opened the fridge and slammed it close a second later while leaving the kitchen with a bottle of water, mumbling his goodbyes.

Haley looked at Nathan as they were alone once again. The haze of lust was clearing and her anxiety and self-consciousness started to creep in, several worst case scenarios flashing in her mind, the worst of them that Nathan didn't share her feelings and regarded their kiss as a drunken mistake.

"Nathan, I-"

"Go out with me." he interrupted her. He could read her expression, saw her inner demons and fear of rejection surfacing and at that moment he wanted nothing more than to be able to show her his heart and how he felt.

"Like a date?" she asked quietly, the smile spreading slowly on her face.

"Absolutely a date." he said.

"Okay." she whispered.

"Okay." he echoed, grabbing her hands in his. "Come on. You need sleep, babe." he mumbled remembering her words from before.

He gave her a small peck on the lips and walked upstairs with her. He stopped in front of her bedroom door and she turned to look at him expectantly. He placed a strand of hair behind her ear and kissed her again softly.

"Good night, Hales."

"Good night, Nathan."

"I'll see you in the morning."

She slipped inside her room and leaned against the closed door, a gigantic smile forming on her lips. She covered her face with her hands and wanted to scream in joy. Her face was flushed, eyes wide open and her heart beating furiously. She felt different, like something had transformed in her in a molecular level. She felt elated, light headed and so fucking fantastic.

She felt alive. Haley closed her eyes and smiled at the warm feeling of being in love for the first time in her life.

Author's note:

So that's everything I have. I wrote half this chapter eight years ago, the last line I wrote back then was when Mouth declared Haley and Nathan the winners and the rest I wrote today because the chapter, and the story in a way, needed conclusion.

As mentioned before, it's very unlikely that I will continue this since I don't really write anymore but I guess you never know. I had mapped out the entire story chapter by chapter almost a decade ago: I had hurricanes, accidents, some Naley drama but definitely a happy ending in mind. :) Who knows though, maybe there are four new chapters eight years from now, but until then I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Thank you for all the support, I am humbled by each comment and message I've ever received. It's especially wonderful to see the Naley and entire OTH fandom so strong even after this many years.

Signing off,