This story might get updated, it might not. The purpose of this story is to keep my creative juices flowing. I found that the 4 weeks in between 512 and 513 gave me a lot of opportunity to explore what happened between Nathan and Haley at therapy. It kept my pen moving and that was the point. While I'm always open and appreciative to suggestions/criticisms, I cannot promise I will use them, but I will read and consider each.


Haley could not believe how far the mighty have fallen. She and Nathan were two of the most destined lovers. For them to hit rock bottom and now start couple's therapy was unfathomable. But they were here, and Haley was determined to fight like heck to make their marriage whole again.

As soon as they walked into the therapist's office, she directed them to take a seat, instructing them to be quiet until told otherwise.

"Now, this is a little exercise I do with all of my couples that helps make the first baby step a little more attainable," she began. Then, she handed them each a note card. "Now, I want you each to write one word, one word that describes the love you guys had, the love you guys are trying to get back.

Each party came up with a word rather quickly. This was always a good sign. If they knew what they want, it's a heck of a lot easier to get.

"Now, I want you to turn the card over and hand it to your partner. But don't look at what it says," the therapist instructed. Nathan and Haley did as told.

"Now Nathan, when I tell you to, I want you to flip the note card over, read the word aloud, and explain how the word defines your relationship. Got it?" Nathan nodded. "Then, go ahead."

"Always," Nathan read the word aloud. "Always is such a crucial part of our relationship. For me, it symbolizes commitment. I will always love you, protect you, care for you, want to be with you. I may suck at showing it. But that's there, always," Nathan stated, a look of conviction in his eyes.

"Very good," the therapist said as Haley sat, a look of awe and astonishment in her eyes.

"Now Haley, it's your turn."

"Forever," Haley said when she read the note card. Forever is the promise we made on our wedding day. It's the promise that nothing can tear us apart. We might stumble, but we'll never fall. Things may get hard, but love will see us through until the end of time."

"Food job," the therapist replied. Nathan wore a look much like Haley's after she heard what he said.

"Often times, hearing how similar your spouse's goals and feelings are to yours helps motivate you. Also, it lets you know that you are on the same page," the woman said. "From here on out, all we do and all we talk about has to be a collaborative effort between the two of you. When you got married, two became one. Our job now is to renew that vow and action. Now, are you guys ready for your first assignment?"

"Yes," Nathan and Haley replied in unison.

"Each of you hand me your cell phone," the therapist instructed. Nathan and Haley did as told, even though they were unsure of what was going to happen. The therapist took the phones and switched them so Nathan had Haley's phone and Haley had Nathan's.

"You guys are going to use each other's cell phones until our next meeting. When the phone rings, just tell the person that your partner is busy and ask if they want to leave a message. We don't want anyone to know you've switched phones.

"I'm a little confused," Haley stated. "What is the point of this exactly?

"Well, in order for this to work and you guys to still live your lives, it involves teamwork. Haley, in order to get through this week, you'll need Nathan to tell you the messages that he's been given. Nathan, you'll need to do the same. This is about building up your trust for one another and also about making you guys truly need each other in another aspect of your lives.

Nathan and Haley now knew what this was. This was a way to build up their relationship. It was the starting point of their healing process. It made more sense now.

"Now, I want to start something we'll do every week. At the end of each session, I want you each to take turns telling you what you like about each other. Nathan, why don't you start?"

"Um, okay," Nathan said. "I love how Haley doesn't give up. She's fought for us all these years. She's a fighter. I love her compassion for everyone and everything, how nothing is a lost cause in her eyes. I just love everything about her," Nathan said, staring directly at Haley.

"Alright Haley, it's your turn," the therapist said.

"Gosh, where do I start? I love Nathan's dedication, to our family, to basketball, to everything. When something's important to him, he shows it. I love his tenderness. He comes off like such a tough guy, but he has a tender side that's so beautiful to see. I love how he may not show it, but he cares about virtually everyone he comes in contact with," Haley finished. Then, the timer beeped, signaling the session's end.

"Well, that's all for today. See you next week," the therapist said and escorted the couple to the door. Now, it was time for the assignment to begin.

XXXXX

"Hello," Nathan said, answering Haley's phone.

"She's busy at the moment. May I take a message?" Nathan told the caller. "Oh, okay. I'll pass that along."

"What was that about?"

Nathan told the caller. "Oh, okay. I'll pass that along."

"What was that about?" Haley asked the moment Nathan hung up. She didn't want the message to have any opportunity of getting forgotten.

"The faculty meeting has been moved to Wednesday from six to eight," Nathan said. Haley immediately wrote this in her planner.

"So, that means I can take Jamie to school on Monday, but you'll need to handle Wednesday. Does that work?" Haley asked.

"Yeah, that'll be fine," Nathan said. Then, Haley's phone rang again, but it wasn't a phone call; it was a text message.

Nathan read the message and then smirked as he formulated his plan to break some of the tension between the two of them.

"You know, the therapist never said what to do with text messages. I guess I'll just have to respond for you," Nathan said with another smirk.

"Bu…but you can't. You won't say what I would," Haley said while Nathan was typing a reply.

"Oh yee of little faith. It was just Brooke asking if you could stop by the store to help figure out some bills or something. I think I know what you would say to that."

"And that would be?" Haley prodded.

"I'll stop by when I can. Oh and Brooke, would you mind bringing out some of your lingerie designs for me to borrow?" Nathan quoted his message and then hit send.

"Tell me you did not just send that," Haley said with a look of shock.

"I just sent that," Nathan said with yet another smirk. Haley blushed; knowing that in a few moments her friend was gonna read that and reply with some Brooke-like comment.

Haley was so focused on chastising Nathan that she didn't notice her phone ringing. But Nathan did, and he quickly took the opportunity to see if Brooke had responded. Sure enough…

"Ooh, tutor mom getting kinky already. Well, I'll be sure to get some out so you and Boy Toy can get it on tonight," Nathan read aloud.

An embarrassed and upset Haley turned a deep shade of crimson, turned around, and walked away, not saying a word to Nathan. 'Shit,' Nathan thought. It was one thing if Haley was running and screaming. Then, Nathan had half a clue of what to do. But the silent treatment was every man's death sentence. It meant Nathan couldn't charm his way out of this. He'd have to face it head on.

As Nathan pondered over the ways to try and get Haley to forgive him or at least listen to him, he suddenly realized the answer to his dilemma. They had each other's phones. In order to function, they'd have to talk to each other. 'Thank God for the therapist,' Nathan thought. Now, Nathan just needed to figure out what to say.