Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill

Cause and Effect

Chapter Twenty-Six

The Atlanta Dome was packed with Duke Blue Devil fans during Duke's first game in the Final Four. Energy was radiating off everyone as the Blue Devils battled against the University of California, Los Angeles. The cheerleaders yelled as loud as they could as the basketball players played their hearts out. Both teams had put their hearts and souls into this season, and they were both determined to end it on a good note, especially Haley.

Her days as a cheerleader were number. For such a long time cheerleading had been such a important part in her life. She had been through ups and downs with the sport but at the end day she had always loved cheerleading. The petite girl loved dancing in front of packed stadium filled with loud and energetic fans. She loved the adrenaline rush she got when she tumbled or when she got throw up into air. Haley also loved being able to support her boyfriend as he played the game he loved, but luckily she didn't need be a cheerleader to do that.

"He shots and scores," the announcer's voice said as Nathan shot a basket that set Duke even further ahead of UCLA. There was only a few minutes left in the game but Duke was currently ten points ahead of their opponent. All the Duke players were determined to win the game, and get into the National Championship game the next day. Every Duke fan wanted another National Championship to add to the four they currently had, but Nathan especially wanted one. He had been so close in to past to winning one, and it had always been a dream of his to win the National championship. He also didn't want to propose to Haley simply at a nice dinner, he wanted to propose to her front of the whole world so that everyone would know the he was hopelessly in love with her, and that she was his.

"Duke wins! Tomorrow they will be playing against Kentucky for the championship!" The announcer exclaimed as the final buzzer rung.

It was a moment Duke Fans had been waiting for awhile for, the moment when they would finally be a official contender for the National Championship. The stadium was going crazy with upset UCLA fans trying to flee the stands as Duke Fans celebrated. The happiness was short lives as tomorrow the game that matter would be played, the game that Duke would either make history or lose it all.

The game would also be the last game of Nathan's college career. It would be the last time he called basketball his hobby, or extracurricular, as it would soon become his job. To Nathan, the end of college career was not upsetting for saddening. He was about to fulfill one a dream that a many little boys dreamed but very few actually achieved . He was going to be a NBA player. The raven hair man was finally be able to do what he loved and was good at for a living, and it couldn't be happier that he had the love his life by his side.

"Brooke how did you manage to switch all the rooms around?" Nathan asked. The gang was currently gathered in his and Haley's room eating pizza and watching TV. Peyton and Jake had brought Jenny down with them to Atlanta and little girl was sound on asleep on the bed, as her parents chatted with their friends.

"I have my ways," the brunette smirked. She had somehow managed to get past all the coaches and security and switch rooms up with several players and cheerleaders.

Nathan was glad that he and his friends were able to spend time together , as tonight would be one of the last times he and his group of friends would gather together as college students. He had been so lucky to have his friends in his for so long, and sometimes at night he wondered what he and Haley would do when they were far away from them. Their friends were their family, and the one thing that Nathan dreaded about playing for the NBA was that he may have to leave his beloved home state. He knew it wouldn't be forever, as he could never imagine be awaking from Tree Hill for too long, but it was still hard to leave the area that he had grown up in. It would be weird to be so far away from his family from his friends, but he knew at the end of the day as long as he had Haley he would be home.

"I swear all that's on is basketball," Peyton muttered as she flipped through the channels on the TV. The boys rolled their eyes at the blonde girl. As much as the boys tried their significant others would never understand their obsession with basketball.

"There seriously isn't some cheesy soap opera on?" Haley asked; she and the girl were curled up on the same bed that the sleeping Jenny was laying on. The on the other hand sat on the floor leaned up against the bed with boxes of pizzas right in front of them.

"Our lives are some cheesy soap opera," Peyton replied.

"Our lives are just dramatic P. Sawyer," Brooke said.

The boys, who badly wanted to watch recaps of NBA games, didn't complain when the girls settled on watching a movie. Nathan was secretly glad that they weren't watching a basketball game. Tonight, he just simply wanted to spend some time with his friends, before he would have to play one of the biggest games in his life. Tomorrow would change Nathan's life for the rest of his life, and tonight would be the last night he would truly be a college student who wasn't fully a adult yet. After the game tomorrow, he would be officially done with his college career, and he would hopefully be engaged to Haley. His life of being a grown adult would start after tomorrow, and as ready as he was to be in the NBA it felt just like yesterday he was high school.

Tomorrow all his dreams may come true, and Nathan Scott wasn't anxious and wasn't scared, he was just wondering how he become the man he was today. How the stuck up, arrogant, sixteen year old boy, became a man that was worth loving. It was because of the people in this room, his friends who had become his family, and the girl that was the only one he had ever loved, that made him the person he was today. It was because of them, that he was able to fulfill his dreams, and he couldn't imagine them not being in his life.

"Are you nervous about tomorrow?" Haley asked after their friends were long gone, and they were in bed trying to fall asleep.

"No," Nathan answered. He wasn't nervous anymore, he knew that no matter what happened he would always have Haley and his family behind him and that was what really mattered. Before meeting Haley, basketball was the most important thing in his life. He had his friends that he cared about but it wasn't until he fell in love with Haley that he learned how to really love. He soon realized the only thing that matter was his family, and they would always come first.

Haley sat contently in a chair in the cheerleaders' locker room as Brooke painted Nathan's number on her cheek, just like she had for every game before. The petite cheerleader thanked her friend before she stood up and got dressed in her blue and white cheer uniform. It was the same stomach showing cheer uniform that the cheerleaders wore at every game.

Not so long ago, when Haley would put on the uniform the voice would start whispering to her and tell her she wasn't good enough wasn't skinny enough. Now as the cheerleader adjusted her top, she honestly felt confident in her uniform. She had become a better, stronger, more confidant person over the past months. Haley still had the past memories which made her worry about relapsing, but she was no longer to vulnerable, sick, and unloved girl she used to be.

The honey blonde girl was loved, she was cared about, and she knew it. She no longer felt like she was forgotten about, or that people just past be her because she wasn't anything special. Haley knew that she was cared about by her friends, by her parents. She was loved, by Nathan, and because of him she had reason to changed and become the person she was today. A recovered anorexic, and not a girl that was still tormented by the eating disorder on a daily basis.

She had come to Duke, not having a clue about what she wanted to do, who she wanted to be. Being with Nathan though, life become a little bit clearer to Haley. She could see a future, a life, with Nathan Scott by her side. The cheerleader wanted a future with the raven hair basketball player more than anything. Haley wanted a family, with two kids, the dog, and white picket fence, with Nathan. She was only eighteen, but Haley knew, that Nathan was the person for her, he was her future. Nathan's and Haley's future was about to start, tonight would be the night that everything changed.

"Haley, put a tiny bit more lipstick on," Brooke said as she walked up behind the petite cheerleader. Haley was currently putting the finishing touches on her makeup in front of a mirror hunger above a nice and long counter.

Haley sighed, she felt like she had plenty of the dark pink lipstick she usually wore on. She knew better then to argue with the cheer captain, and pulled out her lipstick from her navy blue, makeup bag put another coat of it on her lips.

"There?" Haley replied, as she threw her lipstick back into her makeup bag.

"Perfect, now lit me straighten your bow," Brooke said as she began to untie the white ribbon that had 'Duke' embroidered on the tails in blue. The bow was a mandatory part of their uniform when Duke was playing a hard team, or their games was being televised. It was also mandatory that all the girls wore their hair half up, half down when the games was televised to insure that their hair would not be in their face.

"Now, do you have your pearl earrings? You really should put them in," the cheer captain suggested as she finished tying ribbon. The cheerleaders were only allowed to wear a pair of small pearls earring or diamond studs, in games. Haley usually wore her own pair of simple pearls, but today she hadn't put them.

"Brooke," Haley whined, "I really don't want to wear earrings. My ears are sore from those dangly earrings this morning you made wear at breakfast." The basketball team and cheerleaders had a nice breakfast this morning, and Brooke had insisted on Haley wearing a pair of slightly big dangle earrings.

"Haley, you're only going cheer at National Championship once," Brooke said.

"I guess you're right," Haley mumbled as she pulled out her earring from her makeup bag. She quickly placed the small pearls into her ears.

Brooke beamed, Haley looked picture perfect. The brunette was starting to find it hard to hide her excitement. She was on edge, waiting for the moment that Nathan would finally propose to Haley. Luckily, for her Haley thought her excitement was being caused by the Championship game that was starting in a matter of minutes, little did she know the real reason behind Brooke's excitement.

Nathan carefully placed band aids over the chain that was holding Haley's ring so that the chain was flesh against his skin, and wouldn't pop out during the middle of the game. He shrugged on his white Duke jersey for the last time, he would never again wear a Duke jersey, but his basketball days were not over. In a week or two, once everything calm down after the Championship game, he would make it know to the sports world that he would be entering the NBA draft. He was starting a new life on hopefully at end of the game, Haley would officially be his soon to be wife.

As Nathan walked out of the locker room, his eyes immediately went to cheerleader searching for Haley. His eyes found her, she looked beautiful in cheer uniform. She always looked beautiful to him, she always had and always would. She was girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and Nathan felt like he knew that moment he saw her. There has been something about her, something that kept him interested, made him fall for her. She was one the person in room he eyes for. Even with the stadium filled with Nathan Scott fans, she was the one he wanted .

The stadium was filled with thousands of Duke and Kentucky fans waiting anxiously for the start of the game. Television cameras were attached to small moving cranes were scanning over the basketball court every few seconds as the players began to warm up. The lights shone brightly, and if Nathan wasn't used to the bright lights of a stadium he might have found it hard to see. He had been preparing for this game since his freshmen year of college, and maybe even before that. This was his one dream, and he was about live it out as he took his spot for tip off.

Duke fans went crazy, when their team won the tip off. Instantly, Nathan gained control of the ball and soon was shooting the ball into the basket. The band blared their horns when the team scored, and the cheerleaders began to the lead the Duke fans in a cheer. The celebration was cut short quickly as Kentucky gain control of the ball and began hurling down to court to try and score a basket.

Nathan didn't worry when Kentucky scored, he knew it was going to be a hard game, and even a close one. Kentucky had only lost four games this season, to teams that Duke had a tough time winning against. He knew, he just knew, that he was going to win this game. He had to win this game, just like he had to win the State Championship in high school. He felt like he owed to so many people to win the game. His coaches at Duke , who for the past three years had put up with and has help him polish up some of his playing. He felt like he owed it to Whitey, who for four years had been more than just a coach to him, he had been one of the first people who had tried to make him a better person. He owed it to him mom, who had tried her best to support his basketball career. He owed it to the Duke fans that came to every game to cheer him on. Nathan owed to his friends, to his family, to Haley, who had put up with the past months as he worked his butt off, to win this game.

At halftime Haley could see the worry on Nathan's face as he walked to the locker room. She caught his eye giving him a quick smile that he returned with a small one of his before he walked into the locker room. Duke was down by five, and she knew that Nathan was probably a little worry, he never liked it when the other team was ahead, and today was no different.

As she took her place on the court for the halftime routine, Haley couldn't help but smile. It was her last halftime routine. The last time she would dance on a basketball court. She was happy though, that this time when she quit cheerleading it was for a good reason. In High school when she had been forced to quit, she had been heartbroken. Haley loved cheerleading. It was hard work, but she loved the instant gratification she got from the applause of the crowd. These past months she loved cheerleading even more, because for the first time in her life she felt like she could just enjoy herself. She no longer felt like she had to live up to her family reputations.

Haley slowly walked off the court at the end of the routine. She took in the feel of the applause for the last time, as she walk back to the sideline. The cheerleader instantly began cheering for the team as the ran back onto the court to play the remainder of the game. She saw Nathan, who looked as confidant as ever. He no longer looked worried, and Haley could see the determination to win his blue eyes.

The next two quarters were a all out battle between the two teams. Sweat dripped of Nathan's face as he stepped up to the free throw line to take a shot after a Kentucky player fouled him. It was the fourth quarter, only four minutes left, and Duke was only a head by seven. Kentucky was trying their hardest to catch up, but Duke was fighting back and not letting them get control of the ball. Nathan effortlessly shot both of the two free throws he was allowed to make into the basket. He had the best percentage for free shows out of the college basketball players in the country. Usually, players tried to avoid fouling for that reason, but tonight Kentucky had made the mistake of fouling Nathan not once but twice.

After his free throws, Kentucky gained control of the ball, but one of Nathan's teammates quickly stole the ball back and passed it to him. For the next four minutes, Nathan played the hardest he had ever played in his whole life. He ran faster, passed quicker, and shot baskets better than he ever had before. He felt his nerves grew as the clock began winding down. Duke was going to win, and he was going to finally have enough guts to propose to Haley. He was sweating bullets in the last seconds of the game and it was because he was trying to score a final basket, but because he was nervous about proposing.

Nathan's eyes stared at the ball as it went through the net, there was only five seconds left on the clock, and Duke was twelve points ahead. He couldn't help but smile as one of the Kentucky players hurled the ball down to court to burn up time. Duke was going to win the game, and as another Kentucky player caught the ball the final buzzer ranged. Nathan Scott and the rest of the Duke Blue Devils were finally National Championships, and had finished the year undefeated. He had done it, his dream had come true, and now he knew there was only one thing that could make it better.

"Its official the Duke Blue Devils are the National Champions!" the announcers declared as the Duke players began to celebrate on the court, and as cheerleaders and coaches and few fans began to join them on the court. Nathan pushed away his teammates as the confetti and balloons began to fall from the ceiling, he was trying to find Haley.

"Haley!" Nathan yelled, as he grinned when he saw her at the edge of the facing away from him. She whipped her head around and smile when she saw him, and then took off and ran to him. Nathan wrapped his arms around Haley's waist as she jumped up wrapped her arms around his neck, as he spinned her around. She kissed him on the lips, as he placed her feet back on the ground.

"We won! Aren't you excited?" Haley exclaimed as she pulled back.

The basketball player simply nodded.

"Nathan what's up? You should be happiest you ever been in your all entire life right now," Haley began. "You should be the happiest man in the world right now."

"I am happy, that I won Haley," Nathan replied as he reached into his jersey and pulled the Band-Aids of the chain, and then reached behind his neck to unfasten the hook. He then pulled the chain off his neck, and Haley's eyes widen when she saw the engagement ring.

Nathan slowly got down on one knee as he held the ring in between his pointer ringer and thumb. "I'll be the happiest man in the whole entire universe Haley, if you answer yes to my question. Will you marry me Haley James?"

"Yes!" Haley cried as Nathan slipped the ring on her finger. She could feel tears start to roll down her cheeks as Nathan kissed her.

"Why are you crying?" he asked.

"You just made me the happiest girl in the whole entire universe," Haley answered. It was the truth, she hadn't been expecting a proposal anytime soon. Haley was though was overjoyed that Nathan had proposed. She didn't want to wait years to marry him, she loved him with all her heart.

Nathan wiped her tears away, as he leaned in again to kiss her again. Neither notice the cameras that has captured the whole proposal, as they were lost in their happiness.

Nathan quickly shut the hotel door behind him and Haley, his lips never leaving hers. They had just arrived back from the stadium, dressed in matching brand new Duke National Championships shirts that had been given to the basketball team and cheerleaders after the team was presented the Championship trophy. Nathan had never let Haley leave his side after he proposed, and Haley hadn't tried to leave it.

Nathan kissed Haley passionately as he laid her down on the bed, he hovered over him. His weight supported by one of his hand as the other hand careened Haley's side . Her hands slipped underneath his t-shirt tracing the outline of his abs, before she began pushing the shirt up and over his hand.

"I could love you forever," Nathan admitted as Haley discarded his shirt.

"So could I," She replied breathlessly.

Nathan smiled a little, "Marry me."

"You already asked, Nathan."

"I know, but let's not wait Haley. Let's elope," He said.

"Nathan you can't be serious, what about my parents, what about your parents?" She asked.

"Your my family now Hales, you're the only thing that matters. I am done taking chances, I am not going to lose you Hales," He said.

Haley sat up, causing Nathan to do the same. "Nathan were already not normal, we're engaged and in college. Normal people don't elope in college."

"Well I don't want to be normal," Nathan began, " Not with you."

"Nathan," Haley sighed.

"I am being serious, so let's do this again. I could love you forever," He said.

"I could too," Haley replied.

"So why can't forever start today?" Nathan asked.

The cheerleader smiled, "Because the courthouse is closed at eleven o'clock at night."

Nathan laughed, "Way to ruin the moment Hales, tomorrow then."

"Okay, but there's one thing," Haley said.

"What?" Nathan asked.

"Were bringing Brooke, Lucas, Peyton, and Jake. We'll never hear the end of it if we don't," Haley answered.

Nathan nodded as he kissed Haley on the lips. Tomorrow he and Haley would be married, and his dreams would finally come true.

Haley and Nathan stood in front of the judge in the Downtown Atlanta courthouse. Haley was dressed in white strapless dressed that she had packed for a nice dinner, but now was wearing for her wedding. Nathan was simply dressed in a grey suit jacket and matching pants, with white dress underneath and a Duke blue tie. Their wedding was simple, but at that moment neither cared. They had each other, and they had their four people who were family to them at their side.

Jake, Peyton, and Jenny stood along with Brooke and Lucas as they watched Nathan and Haley exchange vows. Brooke, who originally felt cheated out of planning a wedding, couldn't help but smile as she listen to Nathan's and Haley's vows. Lucas looked like a proud father as he watched his little brother get married to girl he loved. Peyton and Jake also wore smiles as the watch their long time friend, and their newer friend declare their love for each.

It wasn't a big production, or the grandest wedding. Nathan and Haley didn't need one though. Their love was so great and so strong that people wouldn't have even noticed the decorations of a real wedding if they had one. To everyone in the room, the two look like they were right out a fairytale with the looks they were giving each other.

"With the power vested to me by the state of Georgia, I here now pronounced you man and wife, you may kiss your bride," the judge said.

Nathan kissed Haley without hesitation, as their friends clapped.

Haley grinned, she felt like everything was a dream, but she knew it wasn't. She was where she belonged and she was finally the person she was meant to be. She was Haley James Scott, the wife of Nathan Scott.

-The End-

Author's Note: Thanks so much for reading this story! This is the last chapter. Anyway I hoped you enjoyed this story. Thanks again- Bedazzlement