Feeling a Moment
Disclaimer: I don't own One Tree Hill or its characters. They belong to Mark Schwahn and the CW.
Summary: AU. Haley's always loved Nathan, but he barely knows she exists. When Haley decides to reveal her feelings in the time capsule, she never thought anyone would see it. That is until someone releases the time capsule early. Now everyone knows of her feelings, even Nathan. When tragedy strikes, will this revelation bring Haley and Nathan together or keep them forever apart?
Author's Note: Hey guys, so here is my new story. This idea had been floating around in my head for a while, and I'm so glad that I finally got to write it. It's an AU version of events that occurred in episodes 3x15 and 3x16. This fic isn't super long; it's just under ten chapters. But I hope you like it. So here is the first chapter. Please read and review!
Haley James blew a stray piece of hair out of her face in frustration as she searched through the mess that was her locker. She knew agreeing to share it with her best friend would come back to bite her in the ass. As much as she loved and admired Lucas Scott—because he really was a good guy—Haley had to admit that the boy was a complete and total slob. But he'd begged and pleaded with her to let him use her locker in between classes. His excuse being that his locker was located opposite all his classes on the other side of the school, and the running back and forth was constantly making him late. If he got one more detention, Coach Durham would suspend him from a couple of games. Being his best friend, Haley couldn't let that happen. There was only one other thing that meant the world to Lucas besides his family and friends, and that was basketball. So she'd given in and allowed him locker privileges.
Haley's nose scrunched up in disgust when she found a banana peel jammed between her history and calculus books. The things I put up with for that boy, she thought and picked it up.
"Hey, Tutor Girl. Ew, what is that?" her other best friend—who also happened to be Lucas's girlfriend—questioned.
"This is what happens when I let your slob of a boyfriend use my locker." Haley waved it in Brooke's face.
"Ew! Get that thing away from me!" the brunette screeched.
Haley laughed and tossed the banana peel in the trash. "You're his girlfriend. I should just tell him to use your locker from now on."
"No way. I am not having his junk in there. I need the extra room."
"For your books?"
"No, my makeup. Duh."
Haley smiled and shook her head. It was such a Brooke thing to say, but she supposed it went along with the territory. Brooke was the captain of the Tree Hill High Ravens basketball cheerleaders and the most popular girl in school. If you'd told Haley three years ago that she and Brooke Davis would end up becoming friends, she would have said you were crazy. Haley had never been anything out of the ordinary. If anything, she considered herself somewhat of a geek. Haley absolutely loved school, was the member of several honors societies, and had the highest GPA in her class. And when she wasn't working on homework or projects for extra credit, she tutored others in her spare time.
Yup, she and Brooke Davis were an unlikely pair to be friends. That all changed, however, when Lucas decided to join the Ravens Varsity basketball team. He'd always been a great player but hadn't mustered the courage to tryout until their junior year of high school. As Haley had expected, Lucas made the team. When the rest of the school saw how amazing he was, Lucas's social status went from broody loner to superstar athlete. He made new friends on the team and started dating Brooke after a couple of months. All the while Haley felt like she was just along for the ride. But she was Lucas's best friend so she supported him. And Brooke really was a good person once you got to know her. Luckily it all turned out well.
"It's nice to know that you have your priorities set straight," Haley teased.
"Hey, looking this fabulous takes a lot of hard work and dedication."
"Not to mention a ton of eye liner and a wonderbra," a curly blonde added, approaching them. It was their other friend and fellow cheerleader, Peyton Sawyer.
"Shut up, P. Sawyer," Brooke chided. "Let she who has never colored her hair cast the first stone."
Peyton laughed as Brooke stuck her tongue out.
"How old are you guys, five?" Haley quipped. Her smile quickly vanished when she spotted a pair of dirty gym socks shoved next to her lunch bag. "That's it. I can't take it anymore!"
"Can't take what anymore?" Lucas approached and placed his arm around Brooke, leaning against the locker next to Haley's.
"Speak of the devil." Haley glared at Lucas and pointed at her locker. "Lucas Scott, I said you could put some of your books in here, not fill it up with crap."
"Your half-eaten food, gross gym socks, and some kind of substance that resembles green Jell-o," she retorted.
"That's nasty," Peyton commented.
"That's my science project."
"Well, it's oozing onto my backpack. You have until the end of the day to get all of this out of here. Or else," Haley warned.
"Come on, Hales. You know I need to use your locker to make it to my class on time."
"I love you, Luke, but I draw the line at unidentified green substances."
"What if I promise to clean out the whole locker"—she gave him a look—"and promise to keep it clean," he quickly added and ran a nervous hand through his shaggy blonde hair.
"I'll also buy you dinner and a movie," he threw in.
"I already get to eat free at your mom's café. I work there, remember?"
"Then we can go to that new Chinese restaurant that just opened. I know you've been dying to try it." His eyes looked wide and innocent. "Please, Hales? Please?"
Haley was silent for a moment before sighing. "Ugh, fine. But when I say I want it clean, I mean clean."
"You got it. Your locker will be so clean you'll be able to eat off of the bottom."
"Ew, that's gross," Brooke said.
"You get my point."
The shrill sound of the bell ringing filled the hallway. First period classes were about to start.
"Walk me to class, Broody?" Brooke asked.
Lucas smiled and kissed her lips. "You got it, Cheery." The pair took off holding hands.
Peyton shook her head, bemused. "That boy is so whipped. See you at lunch, Haley."
"Bye," Haley called after her. She hastily grabbed the rest of her books and shut her locker. Just when she turned around to head to class, Haley bumped into something hard.
It was a guy. A tall guy from her first look at him. It took a moment for Haley's mind to register that it was Tree Hill's own Nathan Scott. Nathan was seen as the king of Tree Hill High. Not only was he incredibly handsome with his dark brown hair, deep blue eyes, and tall, strong frame, but he was the captain of the basketball team. Nathan also happened to be Lucas's estranged half-brother. When she finally recognized him, Haley instantly blushed.
"I'm—" she began to apologize, but it was too late. Nathan had already mumbled an apology and was now sprinting down the hallway.
Haley sighed. She supposed she shouldn't be surprised. Nathan had never noticed her and probably never would. Unfortunately, that had never stopped Haley from noticing him.
"Yo, what up, baller?"
"Tim, you do know you're white, right?" Nathan replied.
"Only on the outside," Tim answered and plopped into the seat beside him.
Nathan rolled his eyes and went back to eating his lunch. Tim wasn't always the sharpest crayon in the box, but they'd been best friends since kindergarten—when Tim had accidentally glued a pencil to his tongue and Nathan had to escort him to the nurse's office. Nathan still to this day had no idea how Tim had managed that one.
"You ready for practice tonight? I heard Whitey's going to have us doing suicide drills for an hour."
"It's gonna suck, man."
Nathan shrugged. "That's life." He was used to the pain of training by now. An hour of suicides was nothing compared to the fitness regimen Nathan's dad always put him through. Dan Scott expected nothing less than perfection from his son.
Thinking of his dad, Nathan suddenly lost his appetite. He dropped the rest of his sandwich on a napkin and took a big swig of Gatorade.
"Any plans to humiliate the bastard spawn today?" Tim questioned with his mouth full of food.
Nathan knew that Tim was referring to Lucas. Ever since he'd joined the team last year, Nathan's life had only become more complicated. Basketball had always been Nathan's domain. He was part of the Scott Basketball Pedigree. His grandfather and father had been star players in high school, and Nathan had followed in their footsteps. It was his legacy to carry on. But then Lucas came along and had to ruin it.
Suddenly Nathan wasn't the only highly skilled player on the team. Now when people thought or talked about Ravens basketball, it wasn't Nathan's name that was automatically associated with it. Now it was Lucas's, too. The guy thought he was the hot shit just because he'd gone from playing street ball to varsity. But Nathan knew that it took more than raw talent to make it in the game. It took a strong mind and body. And as much and as hard as Dan had pushed Nathan over the years, Nathan knew that he had achieved both of those things on the court.
Lucas joining the team was a threat to everything Nathan had worked for, which Dan had pointed out repeatedly last year. Nathan had done everything he could to get Lucas to quit the team. He'd tried to turn the team against him, freeze Lucas out of plays, and put him through brutal hazing. Nothing worked. The bastard spawn still stuck around. The longer he stayed, the more people noticed him. Eventually their teammates followed and instead of hating Lucas, they started to respect him.
There was nothing Nathan could really do after that. He barely tolerated Lucas and only made passes to him during games when absolutely necessary. Once in a while Nathan would still pick on or aggravate Lucas, just to remind him that Nathan was captain. Lucas would then retaliate, which would lead to their coach yelling at them to get their heads out of their asses. In the end, the only thing they seemed to have in common was their mutual hatred of each other.
"Nothing set in stone yet." Nathan's eyes reluctantly honed in on Lucas's table. Brooke was sitting next to him, whispering in his ear. Next to her was Peyton and her boyfriend Jake—another member of the Ravens basketball team. On Lucas's other side was a bald, dark-skinned guy. He seemed to be content with spinning a basketball on his finger over and over again.
Having witnessed enough of what he'd dubbed the Table of Misfit Toys, Nathan started to look away when someone caught his eye. There was a petite blonde with long, wavy hair walking toward the table. She had a stack of books in her hands and appeared flustered.
"Hey, who's that girl?"
Tim looked up from his lunch. "Huh?"
Nathan nodded in her direction. "That girl carrying all of those books."
The pile seemed to teeter for a second before it came tumbling down. Without thinking, Nathan sprang out of his seat and walked over to her. Their hands reached out for the same book and brushed against each other. Nathan felt a spark course through him at the contact.
"Oh," she gasped in surprise. "Sorry."
Nathan noticed the way her cheeks colored and found that he liked it. A grin formed on his face. "It's okay. Let me help you." The girl stared at him in astonishment, not saying anything. "If that's all right with you."
"T-that's okay. I can handle it," she stammered after a short pause.
"You have a lot of books here. It's the least I can do." Nathan picked up the rest of her books, and they both stood up. "What's your name?"
She was staring at him again, and Nathan took the moment to really look at her. This girl was much more attractive up close. Her golden locks were shining in the sunlight, and she had her bottom lip tucked between her teeth. It was kind of cute, actually, Nathan thought with surprise.
"Um, I'm, um…I'm Ha—"
"Haley," another voice called in a harsh tone. It was Lucas. "What happened?" he demanded and looked between Haley and Nathan. "Did he do this?"
The accusation in Lucas's voice instantly made Nathan's blood boil. "I didn't do anything, you jackass."
"Doesn't look like it to me, moron."
"Lucas, please don't," the blonde pleaded. "Let's just go."
Lucas's gaze never strayed from Nathan's. "Well?"
"She dropped her books, and I was helping her pick them up. No need to make a big deal out of it."
"I suggest you stay away from her if you know what's good for you."
"I'll do whatever I want whenever I want, you got that?"
"Why don't you go fu—"
"Lucas," Haley said sternly. "Let's go." She took the books out of Nathan's hands, elbowed Lucas, and led the way to their regular table.
Nathan watched them walk away before sitting back down next to Tim.
"That was a close one."
"Lucas said her name was Haley," he mumbled. Nathan didn't remember seeing her around school before, which was kind of a shame considering how pretty she was. Haley was talking to her friends, and her whole face lit up when she smiled. To Nathan's astonishment, he suddenly had the urge to get up and walk over to the table just to hear her voice—Lucas be damned. The others were laughing about something she'd said.
Tim shook his head. "I don't know," he mumbled. He nudged Nathan in the arm. "Why so interested? You thinking about slumming?"
Nathan looked at Tim sharply, to which is friend abruptly stopped laughing.
"It was just a joke," Tim muttered and finished his lunch.
The rest of the time Nathan couldn't stop sneaking glances in her direction. Lucas caught him a couple of times and sent him a murderous glare. Nathan only smirked in response, which riled Lucas up more. It was too bad that the blonde girl—Haley, he remembered—was friends with his enemy. Nathan might've actually made a move.
Only when Haley was in the comfort of the Tutoring Center did she let her mind wander to the event at lunch. She'd been in total shock when Nathan had come over to help her—especially since he'd bumped into her earlier and had barely given her a second glance. Haley wasn't sure what had changed. All she could manage to feel at the time was embarrassment at her klutziness and shyness at the way Nathan kept looking at her. Haley had nearly jumped out of her skin when their hands did touch.
It had been so surreal. Haley couldn't count the number of times she'd pictured something like that in her head. Usually they were just daytime fantasies that she used to take a break from her teachers' boring lectures. The chance of them coming true was a long shot—at least until today.
The sound of the Tutoring Center door opening snapped Haley back to the present. She noticed her tutee, Brian, walk in.
"Okay, before you get mad at me, I went to the library to try and find books about my project. But the librarian told me they were all checked out. So I looked online and found some—" Brian rambled.
"Brian, it's okay. I know they were checked out." Haley pointed to the stack of books on the table. "I was the one that got them."
Brian breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, thank God."
Haley took a seat at the table, and Brian followed suit. "Where would you like to start?" she inquired.
The overwhelmed expression on Brian's face as he stared at the stack of books was answer enough. Haley took the lead and helped Brian make an outline of the major points he'd like to mention about the subject in his paper. They were actually on a roll and making progress when someone came bursting through the door.
"Oh my God, Haley, it's terrible. It's absolutely terrible!" Brooke exclaimed.
"Brooke," Haley stated, stunned. "What are you doing here? What's the matter?"
"You don't know?"
"Don't know what?" Haley was completely confused as Brooke started to pace back and forth, ranting to herself. "Brooke, tell me what's going on."
"It's the time capsule," the brunette finally replied.
"What about it?"
"Someone released it early, and now it's playing all over the school."
Panic suddenly overcame Haley. "What?"
"Come on." Brooke grabbed Haley's hand and dragged her out into the hallway. The video monitor hanging from the ceiling was on. Some random student was on the screen talking about all of the girls he'd hooked up with, which seemed to include one of the faculty members. Gasps and catcalls could be heard throughout the crowd.
Haley put her hand to her mouth. Brooke was right. This was a disaster.
"Oh, God. They need to shut this thing off. No one can see what I did in my video."
Seeing Brooke panic about her entry made Haley think of her own. She also found herself filled with utter dread. The things she'd said in the time capsule were personal. Highly personal. Haley had said things she'd never told anyone, because she never thought anyone else would see it. Haley was beginning to regret being so honest.
"Do you guys see this?" It was Lucas, along with Peyton and Jake.
I've pretty much been with all the hot girls, Tim Smith's voice rang out through the hallway. Freshmen. Seniors. I even hooked up with the new girl, Anna. Oh, and I'm currently dating Brooke Davis...
"What the hell!" Brooke exclaimed in fury.
"Well, I guess you gotta give him points for an overactive imagination," Peyton joked.
"Oh, he's got an overactive something, all right. Let's see how imaginative he is when my fist meets his face."
Another student's confession popped up on the screen. The kid was overweight and had brown hair and glasses.
So you want to know what it's like in my high school. Well, the truth is there's not a single person in this place worth remembering. You see, people here are fake. So they stick to their cliques to hide it. The stoners are medicated. The honor students are afraid. And the jocks, well, they're jocks, man. They'll peak at seventeen and their cheerleader girlfriends will be fat and lonely by twenty one. Losers! Everyone here is a loser. And the truth is every day that I have to come to this school, is one less day I have to come back...
"Who's that?" Peyton mumbled.
Lucas was staring at the screen with a pensive look on his face. "It's Jimmy Edwards."
"We used to hang out."
"He sounds pretty angry," Jake commented.
"No offense, but who cares about him. We need to stop this thing before my entry comes on," Brooke interrupted.
"Brooke, I'm sure they—" Haley began when she saw her own face appear on the screen. "Oh no. We have to shut this thing off."
So the time capsule. I have to say that I think this is a really cool idea. I think it's nice that we get the chance to share a piece of our world with future generations. There seems to be so much to talk about that I don't really know where to start. I guess if I had to describe myself then I'd say that I was pretty average. I do well in school, I tutor, I have great friends, a large family, and work at Karen's Café. If the café is still around in fifty years, by the way, I totally recommend it. Karen's food is amazing.
But if I had to choose one thing in my life that I'm most grateful for, then I'd have to say that it's my best friend, Lucas Scott. We've known each other since we were eight years old. And in case you're wondering, it is so not like that whole Joey-loves-Dawson scenario, which would be totally gross. Haley shuddered and continued, I love Lucas, but he's practically my brother. Anyway, we've been through a lot together. I'm actually really proud of him. He finally tried out for the Ravens basketball team and made it. I know that basketball is really important to him. It's great to finally see him living his dream.
He's also dating the most popular girl in school, Brooke Davis. Brooke and I have actually gotten really close lately. I've even become friendly with Peyton Sawyer and Jake Jagleiski. It's kind of weird when you think about it considering that we all run in completely different social circles. They're all part of the basketball crowd while I'm a lowly tutor, Haley laughed. Although if I keep my GPA up, I might be class valedictorian by the time we graduate. That's gotta count for something, right?
I know what you're probably thinking. This time capsule entry is supposed to be about me, Haley James. So why am I rambling on about everyone else but me? I guess the answer is that I don't know. Well, I do kind of know but admitting it is another thing. She paused for a moment. It seems like everyone else's lives around me are evolving. My friends are all branching out and trying new things. With me, well, I sort of feel stuck. Sometimes I feel incredibly disconnected and really uncomfortable in my own skin. It's kind of like I don't fit into this world. Like I was born at the wrong time, and I don't belong.
From what I said earlier, it probably seems like I have everything that's important. What more could I possibly ask for? Maybe the reason why I tend to feel so detached from everyone else is because I've been keeping some things to myself for so long. It's shocking but yes, I, Haley James, have a secret. And if it ever got out, I can tell you right now I would be totally embarrassed and mortified. But even worse, it would probably really hurt my best friend.
Haley sighed and said, You see, Lucas has this half-brother. His name is Nathan. He's the star of the Ravens basketball team and by far the most popular guy in school. You're all probably rolling your eyes right now and saying that I'm just another love-struck teenager with a crush. Everyone falls for the king of the school. It's what's supposed to happen. But you see, the thing is that I don't fall for just anyone easily. I'm not even sure why I'm so moved by him. And it's not just because of his looks, which I have to say are top-notch.
Nathan and Lucas have the same father, but they're far from being a family. Dan Scott got Lucas's mom pregnant in high school but never acknowledged her afterward. When he got Nathan's mom pregnant in college, he married her instead. Lucas and Nathan have been at odds since they were kids because of it.
Nathan isn't always the nicest person, especially to my best friend. I know he has this reputation around school of being an arrogant bad boy. But for some reason I can't explain, I've just always had this feeling that it was all an act. That maybe there's more to him than he's letting on. I know Lucas has struggled with the fact that Dan wouldn't accept him, but I also wonder about Nathan. What's it like for him to know that his father has another son he's never claimed? If Dan Scott could do that to Lucas, what else is the guy capable of? Maybe I'm completely wrong but growing up with a father like that can't be easy.
Haley shrugged. But that's my sad story and big dark secret. I'm in love with my best friend's brother and neither one knows about it. Sometimes I feel like my life is the sequel to Sixteen Candles, with Molly Ringwald pining after Jake and never being noticed. And if you guys don't know what Sixteen Candles or who Molly Ringwald is, you seriously need to brush up on your cinematic history. It's a classic, trust me.
Well, that's all I really have to say. I hope in fifty years that this entry has helped at least one of you understand your lives a little bit better and feel like you're not alone. And if it hasn't, then at least you got some entertainment out of it and a little break from your schoolwork. Anyway, good luck Class of 2055. I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Haley could feel the eyes of everyone in the hallway on her. She wanted nothing more than to bolt out of the school and go hide in a corner somewhere. The whole school had seen her confession. Had heard what she said and who she was talking about. It was all out in the open now.
Reluctantly, Haley turned to face the one person whose opinion mattered the most. Her eyes met Lucas's icy blue ones. The shock, hurt, and betrayal were evident in them.
"Lucas," she said, but it was too late. He'd already turned away from her and started walking down the hall. Haley wanted to go after him, but he was too quick. He had already disappeared into the crowd of students.
"Shit, someone turn this off," Brooke demanded. She was now on the TV.
Let's see, in ten years I'll probably be married to my boyfriend, Lucas Scott. At least I hope I am. You'll probably know him as the Lucas Scott, star player of the Charlotte Bobcats. Or the great American author since he's so into books and stuff. I'm sure you're probably looking at this and making fun of my outfit, right?
Anyway, here is all you really need to know about today. If you're fat, dumb, sexual, and a guy, you're okay. If you're a girl, not so much. Please tell me that's changed in the future. Somebody tell me you've got love figured out, because I've got news for you: It's pretty darn messy right now. But I guess it's always been that way, wanting to be loved and to find somebody that makes your heart ache in a good way. To feel understood.
So if you're robots or aliens or something else and you're watching this right now and that feeling no longer exists, well, you missed it. And I feel sorry for you. I guess as far as I can tell that's what it's all about. And that's what it always should be about.
But if you're watching this in 2055, there really needs to be some sort of record of my body at its peak. Oh, what the hell, Brooke said and started to lift up her shirt.
"Can somebody do something?" Brooke shouted as the image of herself on the screen started to undo her bra.
Peyton shook her head, laughing. "You didn't."
Haley saw Principal Turner and Coach Durham run toward the electrical box.
Now, if you guys are space aliens, you probably have three of these but I haven't gotten any complaints so far.
"Coming through," Brooke exclaimed, carrying a chair. She made her way to the TV when the power shut down. The entire hallway was filled with groans and complaints. Brooke dropped the chair, relieved. A second later, though, the power came back on and the hallway erupted in cheers as TV Brooke flashed the audience.
You probably have eight sets of eyes, which means that I would have sixteen boobs, which would mean my lingerie bill would go through the roof.
Brooke covered her face with her hands as Peyton patted her back. "Oh, God."
"Attention all students," Principal Turner shouted. "Proceed to your lockers and pack up. There will be an early dismissal today."
Haley did as instructed but felt no where near relieved. Classes may be officially cancelled, but the damage had already been done.