When It Started
By Grace (purplemud)
Pairing: Naley and you'd never guess.
Summary: He tells all the girls he'd slept with that he doesn't believe in love. This is a lie.
Warning: Spoilers for season 7.
Author's note: Okay, maybe I have gone insane. You tell me. Haha.
Disclaimers: Standard disclaimers apply.

He tells all the girls he'd slept with that he doesn't believe in love.

This is a lie.

Everything starts with a girl and with a lie.

But not everyone believes the lie. Some girls, the more perceptive ones, they'd look at him sadly, almost pityingly. These are the girls who doesn't mind if he calls out another girl's name when he's pounding, moving, so deep inside of them, his head buried against the crook of their neck, wisps of blonde hair sticking against his cheeks, a jagged line across his skin, across his eyes. Yellow-faded-white-silver-blonde.

Not the color of her hair.

When he tells them that he doesn't believe in love, they know the utter wretchedness of that lie. He can see it in their huge blue eyes, green eyes, eyes the color of the skies and the seas.

Not the color of her eyes.

It doesn't matter. Eventually the lie will become the truth. This he fervently hopes. Every day he hopes for this. Every time he's near enough her to secretly count the times she'd quirk her lips up in that playfully smile that he doesn't own.

He's too old for this shit. But he can't escape her. Her joy is his and his joy as well. When he surprised her with a ticket to watch a game at Atlanta, she'd given her that warm smile. A friendly smile. A friendly hug. A friendly kiss on the cheeks. He makes sure to send her one surprise away-game ticket every month. This way, he keeps everyone happy. It's his job. Keep everyone happy.

Her misery is his misery and his misery as well. Although his is always a secret misery and when her bestfriend leaves for Europe, he makes plans. He makes phone calls. It's what he does. It's what he's good at. He still has the unused tickets for London. He can't, won't jeopardize his career for this. This impossibility. This madness.

He's too smart for that. He finds ways to forget her.

Girls that aren't her. That can't be her. That will never be her. He brings them home, fucks them – sometimes, he pretends to love them – but most of the time, he just wants to forget. It doesn't work. It never does.

He's heard her sing before. It rips him. Shreds him. Her voice finds little crevices underneath his skin and it stay there, echoes all over his blood stream. So he doesn't listen to any of her songs. Except for that one night when she sang for him, it's their song, she tells the audience. It's a love song of course. It promises always and forever.

He had watched in silence as she quirks up her mouth: playful, secret smile that doesn't belong to him. He pretends it does. If he stands directly behind his own client, it's easy to pretend that she's his.

He realizes belatedly that he should not have drunk that much, but it was a good year and she wanted to celebrate it. He couldn't say no. They both couldn't say no. He's pretty sure why exactly this is. She just looks up at you with those eyes, pulls you in, makes you feel warm and wrong all at the same time.

When she jumped off the stage, into the waiting arms of her husband, planting a long, lingering kiss, he had scrambled to get out of Tric. Grabbed a drink on his way out. Picked up a girl too. Tall and slender, no delicious, wonderful curves. Her hair is darker though - almost near the same color as hers.

She'll have to do.

He didn't have the time or energy to pick out someone who could never be her. And in the morning, like always, when they're picking up discarded clothes on the floor, he tells her that he doesn't believe in love.

"I don't believe in love." He tells her, avoiding her blue-green eyes.

She glances at him, midway through zipping up her dress. He keeps his stare focused on the still darkened sky. He can't stand to look at her. He knows she heard him last night, when he had his arms around her, when he was ever so gently moving inside of her, when he had tenderly kissed her collarbone and another name slips past his lips.

"Haley. Ha---ley..."

He doesn't believe in love.

This is a lie.

What he truly, doesn't believe in, he realizes with a start is: always and forever.

When the girl who isn't her finally leaves, he starts the tedious process of trying to erase all traces her - what was her name? Amy? Amy. Maybe. It's not important. He changes his sheets. Yanks them off the bed, tosses them into the wash. What he needs to do is to keep his hands busy. They're shaking, he notices, but he ignores this. He makes coffee. He drops on his couch, turns on the TV and stares blankly at ESPN.

Today's sports news. Today's stats. Yesterday's stats.

He needs to not think, because ideas are dropping like little seeds inside his brain and it's quickly, dangeroulsy taking roots.

He's too old for this shit. He's too smart.

He's too lonely.

This is the truth.

And so he makes plans. He makes phone calls. It's what he does. It's what he's good at.

- * * *

End note: Right. So I don't know if this will remain a crazy, useless one-shot or if something comes up but for now, we'll leave it as it is. I do like Clayton. I think he's a nice guy. And it would be so predictable if he turns out to be in love with Haley and just using Quinn as a perfectly good ruse to cover up his feelings towards his client's (friend's) wife. Right? I mean, this all AU. And anyway, hasn't OTH gone over that plot before? I think. Refresh my memory here. So, yeah, this me on some apparently weird brownies. That would also explain if I have some weird Clayton/Haley vibe going around. What do we call them anyway? I mean just in case? Claley?

Unless someone else takes credit, let me be the first insane person to guilt-ship Clayton and Haley. LOL.

I would accept major flaming. Would understand it in fact. So... ugh, feel free to tell me what you think. The title is real bad, I know. Sorry for that.