This is inspired by the Leyton scene at the Rivercourt in 1x03. Peyton told Lucas that she stays with Nathan "'cause sometimes it's good. Sometimes there's no one else."
This is just going to be a collection of oneshots exploring some of those good times, and some of the times when there was no one else.

First chapter's set the day the beach photo was taken (the frame Nathan found in the Season 2 finale when packing up the apartment)
Let me know if you think I should continue with a few more of these, Lexie :)

Peyton stretched out her long limbs and yawned widely, happy to wake up on a Saturday morning without a hangover or memories of a break-up the night before.

'Morning, Babe.' Nathan greeted her from his propped position beside her.

She ran her gaze across his bare tanned torso and let a proud grin cover her features, happy to call him her guy, 'Hi there.'

'Nice to wake up in the same bed.' Nathan remarked referring to the fact that Friday night parties tended to end in spectacular fights and one of them spending the night on the couch.

'Sure is.' Peyton agreed wriggling towards the curve in her boyfriend's chest. She closed her eyes and sighed blissfully as Nathan stroked her curls with one hand and used the other to trace circles on the small of her back in a therapeutic action.

Nathan twisted slightly to avoid the glare of the sun streaming in through the nearby window, 'What do you want to do today?'

'This.' Peyton returned lightly, squinting to meet his gaze.

His blue eyes met the stare of her hopeful green orbs, 'Whatever you want.'

'That's a big statement.' Peyton remarked, 'What if I want to sit in my room and listen to records?'

Nathan shrugged, 'I'd talk you out of it, I know you can't resist my amazing good looks.'

She slapped him softly on the shoulder and pulled herself into a seated position, 'I guess it's too nice a day to spend inside.'

'We could stay in bed.' Nathan suggested an optimistic tone to his voice.

She interrogated him with one look and bit down on her lower lip in a gesture of indecision which silently drove Nathan a little crazy, 'We could go to the beach.'

'The beach is hot.' He declared in what she took to be agreement.

There was a twinge of uncertainty that rippled through Peyton as she wondered if Nathan's wandering eye would return with the temptation of all the beautiful skin on show at the beach. Instantly she heard the voice of her best friend Brooke in her head telling her not to be so silly. Nathan was her boyfriend after all and he had complimented her just last week when she'd tried on her navy blue bikini, maybe she was over-thinking things like she usually did.

'Breakfast?' Nathan asked, not waiting for an answer.

She watched as he jumped from the bed and pulled on a discarded pair of shorts that had been hastily thrown aside late the previous night. He self-consciously ran his fingers through his unstyled hair in a way that Peyton secretly found adorable before heading downstairs to the kitchen.

Following in her boyfriend's footsteps, Peyton slipped from the sheets and shrugged on one of Nathan's t-shirts which was lying amongst the mess of clothing that littered the floor on the beach house's master bedroom. She tiptoed to the en suite bathroom welcoming the feeling of the cool tiling beneath her feet. Gazing at her reflection in the mirror she saw something in her eyes that had been absent for a long time, she recalled it as being happiness. There was a twinkle to them, along with a rosy tinge to her cheeks and a wide accompanying smile. She had to admit that it was a welcoming change from her usual frosty front.

The smell of bacon lured her away from the mirror and to the kitchen where she found Nathan sporting an apron.

She laughed heartily, 'Now that's sexy.'

He winked and pulled her towards him, offering a kiss at the same time. She squealed and wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders to prevent herself from succumbing to the weakness in her knees and falling to the floor. She felt Nathan's hands slide down the cotton of her back and slip beneath the long shirt she was wearing to cup her bare bottom.

'Cheeky.' The word was in reference to her missing underwear but it didn't come from Nathan's lips.

The pair whirled round wildly to face a grinning Tim. Peyton rolled her eyes at the sight of him in just a small pair of briefs whilst Nathan groaned deeply in irritation.

'Bacon smells good, Nate, you know that I like mine extra crispy, right?' Tim said, moving towards the fridge in search of a drink.

As he opened the door Nathan reached out and slammed it shut, 'Get out, Tim.'

Tim smirked then on realising that his best friend was serious his smile fell, 'Come on, Nate, it's Saturday, we always have breakfast together!'

Peyton snorted, 'So that's who you dump me for, your boyfriend!'

Nathan's eyes flashed with anger, 'Tim!'

Before Tim could argue Nathan was pushing him to the French doors, not sparing a moment to let him collect his clothes from the next room. He pushed him out onto the decking and then locked the door to prevent any further interruptions.

Peyton shook her head in bemusement at the antics of Nathan's obsessed friend, 'You know he probably slept in your room last night and sniffed about in your underwear drawer.'

Nathan pulled a face, 'That's not funny.'

'No, it's not.' Peyton shook the butter knife at her boyfriend, 'It's hilarious.'

Nathan ran at her and lifted her in his arms before she had the chance to run. He laughed as she screeched and squirmed, kicking her legs madly whilst at the same time gripping onto him tightly.

'Let me go!' She demanded as he circled the centre island.

'Sure you want me to do that?' Nathan asked, eyebrow cocked he whipped his hands from beneath her for just a second letting her fall only the shortest of distances. He grinned as she screamed and clung to him firmly.

She whacked him playfully before bursting into a surge of joyous laughter that Nathan realised he didn't hear enough from her. He moved to the counter and sat her gently down, bringing his hand up to softly caress her cheek. She responded by slinking her hand behind his neck and bringing her lips to meet his. She was used to his usual intense style and so was surprised when Nathan softly grazed his lips against hers and let her lead him. Feeling extremely turned on by her half naked boyfriend who was cooking her breakfast and had chucked an extremely irritating Tim from the house, Peyton curled her legs around his waist and parted her lips inviting his tongue to roam.

Their passionate moment was only broken by the smoke alarm which began whirring crazily at the first sign of a little charring.

Nathan snatched a towel from the side and waved it madly at the ceiling in an attempt to cease the siren whilst Peyton looked on in amusement. She took the frying pan from the heat and pulled a box of Lucky Charms from the cupboard knowing that neither she nor Nathan liked crispy bacon like Tim did. Once the shrieking sound stopped the pair couldn't help but laugh at the disaster their simple meal had become.

'That was your fault.' Nathan told her as he shovelled a large spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

'It so was not!' She retorted, pouting through her grin.

He nodded insistently, 'You were distracting me! What do you expect me to do when you're waving your long legs in front of me, tasting as good as you do and not wearing any panties.'

She shrugged feigning innocence, 'It's never been a problem on game night.'

'You have no idea.' He told her causing a blush to fill her cheeks. 'Now come on, the quicker we go to the beach, the quicker we can go skinny dipping and the quicker we can come back and shower.'

'Gee don't wish the day away or anything.' Peyton said sarcastically.

'Can you blame me for wanting to see you in that skimpy bikini?' He asked brashly, leading her away from her breakfast by the wrist.

He pushed her ahead of him as they ascended the stairs so that he could watch as her hips swayed from side to side and so that her endless legs could tease him. Although he'd initially wanted to spend the day in bed he was beginning to think that the beach was an even better idea, he liked nothing better than showing Peyton off and being about to admire her body for which there was no better location than beside the ocean.

Nathan in his haste threw a beach towel into Peyton's huge bag and changed into his swim shorts before she'd even chosen what to do with her hair. He sighed and flopped down on the bed realising that it may be a while before they went anywhere. He tried to tell her that her hair always looked amazing, that it didn't matter what shoes she wore because it was the beach, and that she really didn't need to repaint her toenails before they left but she seemed deaf to his moans.

For a while he watched as she danced around the room throwing things from drawers into her bag and then back into the drawers due to her indecisiveness, then eventually he grew bored.

'Babe, your hair looks great as it is, just chuck a hair tie in the bag, wear flip-flops and don't worry about your nail polish, I can paint your nails when we're there.' He puffed in one long breath.

She turned to him, eyebrows arched, 'You're going to paint my toenails?'

'What?' He replied, 'How hard can it be?'

'Okay.' She surprised him by readily agreeing. She chucked a few more items into her bulging beach bag, grabbed her flip-flops and headed for the door, 'Are you coming?'

He wiped the shock from his face and jumped up to follow her, hoping that Tim had given up trying to break in by this point and was no longer lurking anywhere in the vicinity.

Peyton, knowing that she'd made Nathan wait an unnecessarily long amount of time whilst she got ready reached her hand out behind her for him to take in his own.

She smiled when his fingers linked through hers, 'Thanks for telling me what to pack.'

'Saved us some time.' Nathan smirked opening the French doors that led to the golden sand quite literally on the doorstep. 'I can't believe you didn't know what shoes to wear.'

For the first time that either of them could remember, Peyton had no argument to bite back with; instead she just shook her head in a silent agreement, making her curls bounce wildly. On any other day Nathan was sure that he wouldn't have let her hear the end of it, never did Peyton Sawyer ever admit that she was wrong, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to gloat.

It even shocked Nathan to admit that he didn't want to boast.

Peyton eyed her boyfriend suspiciously but didn't say a word, instead she laid the towels out on the sand and rummaged her magazine and ipod. Nathan sat down beside her and pulled the sun tan lotion from the assortment of items she'd dragged with them from the house mere yards away.

'Hold your hair up.' He instructed as he squeezed a sizable amount of the liquid onto his palms. She did as was told, turning away from him so that he could begin with her back. She closed her eyes behind the mask of her aviator shades as he rubbed wide circles down her spine, taking his time ensuring that every inch of her skin was covered.

'It's a beautiful day.' Peyton remarked, feeling the warmth of the sun's rays beating down over them.

'Hmm.' Nathan agreed but his attention was focussed on her bronzed skin disappearing beneath the navy material of his favourite outfit of her's.

Although she was quite capable, Nathan had taken it upon himself to apply Peyton's lotion not only to her back but her entire frame. He of course took full advantage, taking his own sweet time to caress her fine form from head to toe and not missing the opportunity to kiss her at each available moment.

'You're like a dog on heat!' She cried swatting him away as his hands began to move with as much exhilaration as his tongue, 'There are people around!'

'So what?' He asked unfazed, 'They're probably jealous they're not as hot as us.'

She wrinkled her nose thinking how much he sounded like Brooke in that moment. 'We're not doing anything here. If you're bored you can get to work with the nail varnish.'

'You ruin all my fun.' He whinged but obediently located the purple polish so that he could get to work.

Peyton smiled in a satisfied appreciative manner, sure Nathan could be an ass sometimes but there were moments when she wouldn't change him for the world, moments that no one else saw and no one else would understand but at those times he was like a different guy.

Although she had brought a magazine with her to read, she couldn't tear her eyes from the sight of Nathan concentrating on the tricky task of painting her toenails. His tongue poked out the corner of his mouth as he focussed intently, desperately trying not to smudge his handiwork or accidentally get polish on the skin surrounding the nail. Peyton was almost embarrassed to admit that he was better at it than she was - and she'd had years of practise.

'I don't get it.' He announced after a short time.

'What's there to get?' She shot back, her eyes narrow.

He shrugged, 'Just why? It's a lot of work and for what?'

Peyton blew her bangs out of her eye line, 'I wish I knew.'

Nathan frowned and looked from her bemused expression to the labour of his time. Peyton wiggled her toes and regarded the boy before her, watching the cogs of his mind whirring.

'Man, you talk in riddles sometimes.' He said finally, 'I'm going for a swim, you coming?'

She smiled at his way, 'No, I'm going to stay here and read.'

'Okay.' He leaned in for a quick kiss before heading towards the water lapping gently at the sand.

She watched as he jogged, his toned, athletic build attracting more than just her attention. She smiled to herself, proud for the second time that day that she was Nathan Scott's girl.

For all of the fights, for all of the yelling and for all of the angry words it was worth it for the feeling that was surging through her. She wasn't quite confident to say that it was love exactly but it was the damn nearest thing to it that she'd ever experienced before.

It wasn't a perfect relationship, she knew that, she knew that it was far from perfect but there was an invisible force that pulled them together. It was a strong and intense power that time and time again brought her back into his strong embrace no matter how huge the argument had been.

She wasn't sure that she believed that they would go the distance, she wasn't even sure they'd still be together at the end of the day but she knew that even after a hundred more arguments she'd remember this day. A day when without meaning to, he'd made her feel on top of the world. She loved that he had the power to do that; with just one look or wink he could win her round and make her feel like the only girl in the room. It was the twinkle in his bright blue eyes when he suggested they go somewhere alone; his cocky arrogant shrug when other boys glanced her way; and the way he made her feel electric with every touch. It was a terrible and powerful hold he had over her that even he didn't know the extent of, meaning that no matter how much he royally screwed up, she would take him back; because sometimes there were days like these.

She hated that she'd become dependent on a boy but he made her feel a way that no one else ever had.

He emerged from the water, his skin glistening with sparkling droplets and his hair jet black dripping beads of seawater into his squinting blue eyes; eyes that are focussed solely on her. As she stretches out, the radiant sun beaming down, brilliant music playing in her ear and the hottest guy on the beach heading for her hold and her kiss, she can't help from grinning madly.

'You have no idea how sexy you look right now.' Nathan said as approached her.

'Not looking so bad yourself, Scott.' She returned before pressing a kiss to his lips.

He engaged passionately in response, 'Now are you going to let me lie in your arms so that every guy here knows that you're taken?'

'I think I can manage that.' She said, letting him press his damp skin against hers. 'Don't call me a dork, but let me take a photo.'

'You're a dork, Peyton Sawyer.'

She shook her head and grinned, not caring for a moment. She grabbed the camera and dragged him towards the pier where there was some shade from the glaring sun. Then in her usual commanding manner she ordered a passer-by to snap the shot.

Nathan wrapped his arms around her waist and she settled her hands over them in a warm hug and they beamed at the camera. The stranger took the shot and Nathan dropped a kiss onto his girl's curls.

'It's a keeper.' He whispered.

'Definitely.' She agreed happily, pleased to have the memory of a good day captured on film.

They spent the rest of the morning entwined together, happy for the world to pass them by, content that in that moment all they had was each other and that was enough for both of them.