"What are you doing, man?" Lucas looked up, laughing as Nathan walked into the room, sliding the dusty cover of his old yearbook shut, and then sliding the volume over to Nathan, who picked it up, wiping the coat of dust off the front to read the date. "Freshman year?" He laughed, sliding down onto the couch."You'd think if you were going to relive high school, you'd want to relive the part where people knew who you were." Lucas reached over and smacked Nathan's arm, both men, brothers, laughing.
"Page 16." Lucas said simply, reclining back onto the chair, and grabbing the remote to switch on the Duke game while Nate paged through the book.
Lucas knew as soon as Nathan had seen the page. "You'd also think that you wouldn't want to spend your time looking at pictures of your wife and her ex-boyfriend." He shoved the open book back at Lucas, pointing to the picture he was looking at. "Is that what you're reliving?"
Lucas laughed again as his eyes once again travel back to the picture he had been looking at all morning. Once upon a time, it would have probably bothered him, the way Peyton was curled up in Nathan's lap, his hand running through her hair, her hand resting comfortably, familiarly, on his thigh. But now, the only thing Lucas could see when he looked at that picture was himself.
He was there, in the background, like always. The picture was in the cafeteria, and behind Nathan's lunch table, where you could a younger Brooke and Tim, was an almost blurred out table, holding only two. If you weren't looking for them, you probably wouldn't even notice it, and if you didn't know who it was, you wouldn't have been able to tell who the two people in the picture were. But Lucas knew that the figure hunched over, a backpack resting next to him, was himself, and the girl across from him was Haley. They were less than ten feet from the people that they would one day marry, and neither one knew.
"Not reliving so much as thinking." Luke said, looking at Nathan. "If someone had come up to me that day, the day that picture was taken, and told me that one day I'd be married to Peyton Sawyer, married, with a baby, and happy, I would have seriously considered asking what they were on. I just think about who we were before I joined Ravens, and it astounds me that Peyton and I could even have dated. I mean, seriously, if someone had come up to you and told you that you and Haley would be married by your Junior year, what would you have said?"
"Honestly? I probably would have asked who Haley James was." He paused for a second, letting the reality of what his brother has said sink in. The time they were talking about was a time when he didn't know Haley, when he hated Luke, when Jamie, Jamie of all people, was so far from a possibility that it made him shudder. It had been him, Peyton, Tim and Brooke. Sex, clothes and basketball. Everything had changed so much since then. "God, I was an ass to you."
"Just a little." The swamp kidnapping, he thieving of his clothes, and all the other memories of his first few months as a Raven came flooding back, and even though he knew the Nathan he was sitting next to was far from that Nathan, he felt himself shrugging away from him. "Everything was almost simpler then. I was just a river court kid. I had my mom, Haley, Skills, Keith, Mouth... Jimmy. If someone had have told me back then that one day Jimmy Edwards would take a gun into the school, that that entire thing could have happened, I probably would have punched them for even thinking about it."
"Do you ever wish you hadn't done it?" Lucas looked up at his brother, perplexed. "Do you ever wish you hadn't have left the Rivercourt?"
"Sometimes I wish that I knew then what I knew now. I wish that knew how badly Jimmy was hurting, how much Haley loved you when I was giving her trouble, how much my mom loved Keith. Especially now, I wish I could go back, and just fix those things. I would include Jimmy more, and just let you and Haley be, and I would made sure that my mom and Keith got their shot. But no, I never wished that I didn't leave the court. Look at what I wouldn't have." He gestured up to the mantel, and even though Nathan could see both of Lucas' books prominently displayed, along with a manuscript of his next one, he knew that wasn't what he was trying to show.
He was looking at the pictures. The pictures of Haley, Nathan and Jamie, of Julian, Sam and Brooke, of him and Peyton, of Emma, curled up in her mother's arms, Lucas standing behind his daughter and wife, happier than Nathan had ever seen him.
"No, even when it gets bad, when I'm really missing Keith, or something, I just have to look at Peyton, at our daughter, I know in a heartbeat, in as long as it takes for my baby girl or the love of my life to smile at me, that I wouldn't change a single thing that happened."
"Not even Lindsey?"
"Lindsey taught us both that life without the other is impossible. And until we learned that lesson, I think that we always would have been insecure, because of our parent's relationships, that we rushed into things. I know that if Peyton had said yes, and I had found out later that she was scared, I would have been worried."
"Do you have any idea how mad I was when I found out, back in high school, that you liked her? I was so upset with you. And the sad thing is, if someone had have told me that you two were destined for each other, I probably wouldn't have cared."
"Are we talking about how much of a jerk you were in high school?" As Peyton's voice, laced with humor, filled the room, Lucas' eyes lit up, and Nathan laughed.
"I know, I know, Sawyer." He sighed, getting up. "I just came over for some bread, so I'm going to take that, and leave you two to the smoldering eye sex."
Peyton glared at him. "First of all, it's Scott, and you know it.
Second of all, baby in the room." She gently bounced the baby girl
that was resting on her hip, watching as Nathan's eyes softened as
he looked at his niece.
"Yeah, yeah, Sawyer. I'll see you for dinner tomorrow." They heard the fridge door, and then the front door shut, and then Peyton slid onto the couch, moving Emma Anna Scott so that she was on her lap, her curly blonde locks resting in her mother's arms, her eyes closed.
"What were you two talking about anyways?" She noticed the yearbook open and laughed. "Really? You were talking about what an a- jerk Nathan was?"
"No." Lucas wrapped his arm around her pulling her close. "We were just talking about High School, and life, I guess."
"Pretty deep Scott. What'd you come up with?"
"I wouldn't change anything for the world." His daughter's eyes, bright blue, opening at the sound of his voice, and her arms stretched out towards him as she giggled, just reaffirmed that as he picked her up and pulled both of his gels close to him, the silence broken by Nathan's voice again, though this time, it was a simple "I love you guys," through the walkie talkie that had sat on their mantle for the past year.
"You have no idea."
A/N: So if this isn't pointless, I don't know what is. Review though.