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06 March 2008 @ 02:05 am
Precious Continuity (1/1)  
Title: Precious Continuity
Fandom: One Tree Hill
Characters: Nathan Scott, Haley James Scott, Jamie Scott
Word Count: 1,050
Rating: G
Spoilers: None, though the story is meant to take place sometime during episode 4.21, "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone."
Summary: Nathan's first introspection about how immeasurably precious the bond of his small family is comes only after they are asleep.
Other: Be gone, writer's block! Who knew that the first thing to come out of my brain would be my first (and maybe only?) One Tree Hill fic? It turned out to be a low-key story to necessitate actually being able to finish it instead of tossing it aside and I guess I succeeded! Nothing outstanding of earth-shattering to be found behind the cut, but the words weren't originally easy to come by so be gentle!
Author's Note: One Tree Hill and its characters have been manipulated here without the knowledge or consent of Mark Schwahn and Warner Bros. Entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.

Their first night home from the hospital with baby James, Nathan is sure that he won't be able to sleep a wink. He is too wound by the reality that he is a new father; that this new journey he and Haley have embarked upon is parenthood.

The lampposts that line the street outside don't come on until early June twilight makes the sky ashen without sunshine and the last light a subdued lavender. It's then that Haley retires to their room, a bleary-eyed Jamie clutched to her breast. Even in their shared fatigue, new mother and son make a quiet ruckus.

Nathan is still sitting in his favorite well-worn recliner, tucked into one corner of the small living room, but he can hear them clearly. Dozy and contented coos from the drowsy infant, palliative murmurs from his wife that he can make out but is unable to decipher. And then when Haley makes that first vain attempt at lowering Jamie into his waiting bassinet, there is the crescendo of bleating wails from the previously serene baby that makes Nathan think that perhaps Haley's anticipation of peaceful sleep was not long for this world.

But even as the newborn exalts his perfect little lungs with lusty cries, Haley soothes him in earnest. James screams louder in protest of his mother's attempt to put him down but she simply raises her voice, murmuring to him patiently over the sound of his own indignant fury.

Nathan revels in the way the pair have an innate means of communication all their own. A simple, fluent language and a connection that began with shared blood and a shared body. He knows why James never cries for long when he's in Haley's arms; why somehow he, so new to the world and ignorant to most everything, knows where he is safe and sound and most susceptible to slumber.

But when Haley begins to sing, he knows that their strong-willed son is a goner.

Nathan can hear the weariness in his wife's hushed voice but its beauty would still put a songbird to shame and he is lulled by her melodious humming himself until his eyes flicker shut. The tune is sweet but arbitrary, Nathan can tell. It's not a song that exists anywhere but on Haley's lips and it's without lyrics but it seems to speak volumes to Jamie, who whimpers faintly a few more times before falling silent.

Nathan smiles in unspoken celebration of Haley's small victory and remains optimistic that her lullaby has done the trick when only the tranquility of an early summer evening meets his ears over the next half an hour.

When Nathan finally crawls into bed beside Haley at just after nine o'clock, it hasn't been dark long enough for him to have taken conscious notice of the arrival of night. Even when he outstretches an arm to flick off the small nightlight plugged into the wall between the bed and the nightstand, the room isn't entirely consumed by darkness; it is merely veiled.

Weak yellow streaks of light stretch across the wall opposite their bed, tossed there haphazardly through the slats in the blinds that cover the windows, and when Nathan eases onto his side, he can still see Haley clearly. She is facing away from him, resting on her hip, and he can see the way her legs are drawn up partially below the covers that drape her only from the waist-down. Her pale shoulder and the bare curve of her neck coax him closer and he doesn't resist the temptation to lie beside her and feel her presence rather than taking it for granted.

Nathan crosses the small distance between them in tediously small sliding motions, not wanting to intrude on Haley's slumber by by disturbing the mattress below her. When he settles just behind her, his body hugging the gentle contours of her own, and she doesn't stir, he heaves a soft sigh of relief.

The air as it rushes from his lips stirs the fine flyaway strands of her hair that tickle his nose and he resists the urge rub his knuckles over it to absolve the delicate itch. Instead he slips his arm around Haley's waist, the length of his forearm curving her hip so that he can lay a tentative hand on her stomach. Through the thin cotton of her well-loved camisole he can feel the faint swell of her belly under his flattened palm. No longer is it familiarly rounded by the baby that was not so long ago growing inside but, Nathan's cautiously wandering fingertips quickly discover, the baby has not gone far.

As the pads of his fingers brush over a warm stretch of skin and a downy fuzz of hair, Nathan knows without looking that soundly sleeping James never did make it to his bassinet and in spite of himself, he chuckles quietly.

When he carefully lifts his head to peer over the rise of Haley's shoulder, Nathan is greeted by the sight of their son nestled against her chest. His small body is stretched in a supine position, resting in a nest made of a fleece receiving blanket. His tiny hands and fingers are fisted by his face, little feet curled into commas, head fitted like the piece of a puzzle into the crook of Haley's elbow. Nathan cannot see the rise and fall of Jamie's chest, but as he rests his palm over top of it, he can feel it.

Nathan can feel the natural shudder that each breath in and out makes and he can tell by the weighted pause between each one that the James is deeply asleep--pacified by his proximity to his mother.

And Nathan understands. He understands why the nearness of Haley is all that James needs to feel at home. To feel safe and loved. He understands because the nearness of Haley is something that he counts on, too. Something that he can't sleep without, can't breathe without, can't live without.

Nathan knows in that moment that he and his new baby boy have more than blood in common. Haley is the beautiful and natural thread binding the three of them now and always. Mother and son, husband and wife. She is the precious continuity that will hold them together forever.
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: "Stay Awake," Josh Kelley
m i h i k aspeed_up_truth on March 22nd, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Gawd, you wrote this like you were painting a freakin' picture.
And damn, if it isn't a apretty one.

Pure and absolute beauty.
Erin: Sweet kisses [Haley/Nathan]xxsh0tgun on March 22nd, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you so very much! I appreciate that you took the time to read this, let alone leave me such kind feedback :D I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this; venturing into uncharted territory (in this case, an entirely new fandom) with my writing is always makes me a little anxious!
Susanburstoflight on April 21st, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I just randomly found you via a friending meme, but I had no idea you wrote this fic! I've read it before and I can't remember where. Do you post on the RC? Cause it is TRULY AWESOME.
Erin: New parents [Naley/James]xxsh0tgun on April 21st, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Umm...heh, I don't even know what the RC is. Or I don't think I do. So I'm going to say no, lol. :D I think when I wrote this fic I only posted it on onetreehillfic and nathanhaley so it didn't really get a widespread response. But thank you so much!