Disclaimer: One Tree Hill, Nathan, Haley, and the rest of the characters belong to Warner Bros., The CW, Mark Schwahn, and the rest of the producers. They are not mine.

Note: Well, this is it. The end. I mean it every time I thank you for sticking with me and I still mean it. I know asking you to read something that has a more historical background can be asking a lot and I know that my little break recently didn't help. So, those of you who stuck with it through the end, thank you!


The house was warm. The fire crackling carried warmth throughout the entire house. On the mantle hung three stockings. Two of them had names carefully stitched on them. In the corner of the living room was a six foot pine tree, decorated with strands of popcorn and candy canes and an assortment of other ornaments. A star sat perched on the top as if it was guarding the gifts that were underneath the tree. Each box was carefully wrapped and tied together with a bow. Outside on the wraparound porch were hung wreaths made of pine.

Nathan wiped his feet on the welcome mat, carrying an armload of firewood with him. He walked into the house, which was filled with friends and family spending Christmas together. Seated near the tree was his wife. She was glowing and it had nothing to do with the fire casting a light throughout the room. She got more beautiful every day.

Nathan looked around. They had moved into the house three months after they had gotten married. They had fallen in love with it instantly. It had four bedrooms, an upstairs deck, and a wraparound porch with a swing on it. In the front was a garden and during the spring there were an assortment of flowers throughout. They had taken their time decorating it and filling it with furniture, wanting to make sure that everything was just right and that their home truly was their home.

Now, they had been married for two years. In Nathan's opinion, those two years had been nothing short of perfect. He had been coaching the Ravens and teaching physical education now for two years. Last spring, in his second year of coaching, the Ravens had even made it to the playoffs. They didn't make it to the championship game, but they had come close. It had all been enough to further prove to the rest of the teachers and faculty at Tree Hill High that Nathan belonged there and that he was serious about his job.

This was the first Christmas where this many people had a chance to come. Lucas was still overseas. He was somewhere in Europe and had been fighting for two years. Peyton missed him terribly, but was spending her time helping Haley manage Chris Keller at the club.

A few months back, Julian had been drafted into the Navy. Now, he was off in the Pacific. Brooke had been a wreck when she found out, but she stayed strong when she was around Julian. Before he left, he had proposed to her. He promised that nothing was going to stop him from coming home and marrying her. They wrote each other every single day. With the mail being as it was, that meant that some days they didn't get a letter, but on other days they would get two. It helped both Brooke and Peyton that they could live together. It made life seem somehow less lonely.

Haley had enrolled at Tree Hill College and had been attending for nearly two years. She was at the top of her class and was doing well. It wouldn't be long before she finished school and would be ready to start looking for work teaching English. Nathan loved watching her while she studied. She was so focused. Her lip would sneak out between her lips, she would scribble her notes furiously and somehow they would still come out legible. In fact, her writing was clear and perfectly readable. Nathan would look down on her notes, helping her clear things away and would compare it with his chicken scratch which only Haley seemed to be able to read.

She was on break from school now, though. She would be for a while. Nathan couldn't stop the smile on his lips as he watched her with Vivian and Jane. On the sofa were Ned, his wife, and their kids. Her brothers, Seth and Eli, were both in the military and had shipped out. It was difficult spending Christmas without them, but they weren't the only ones going through the same situation. Families all across the country had sons, brothers, and husbands thousands of miles away in either the Pacific or Europe.

Karen, Keith, and Lily were sitting at a small table. Karen and Keith were watching their daughter, now five years-old, coloring a Christmas tree. The three had been nearly inseparable in the past two years since Keith's return.

Nathan looked at the mantle. Right above the stockings were a series of cards they'd received from loved ones, friends, and family. One was from Cooper, Rachel, and Tommy. They'd sent one every year since they'd left Tree Hill. Whenever Nathan and Haley got one, they were even more certain that they'd done the right thing. The three of them seemed so happy.

Right before Mouth left for basic training, Nathan had given him an exclusive interview. Nathan told Mouth everything that had happened the night his mother died. The interview was published in the local paper with no thought to any consequences from the sheriff. The sheriff, in light of the interview, had quietly stepped down from his position. Nathan felt some satisfaction knowing that. The man had never done his job.

Nathan went to the fireplace and set the wood down on the rack. He took off his coat and gloves and took them to the coat rack near the door before returning to Haley. He sat on the arm of the chair where she was sitting and put his arm around her shoulders, massaging them gently.

"How are you?"

"I'm great. You?"

"You know I'm great. You know I have to ask about you."

"I do know. I love you."

"I love you too." Nathan turned his attention to Vivian and Jane. Vivian was the James sibling who he knew best. She and Jane made frequent trips to Tree Hill. With Charlie still overseas, she liked keeping close to Haley. Vivian and Jane had been in Tree Hill for over a week now, arriving well before the other James siblings – Taylor and Quinn were also there. Nathan liked that Vivian was there for Haley. Brooke and Peyton had also been spending a lot of time with her recently while Nathan was at work. Nathan knew that they couldn't stop Haley from studying, but they still came over to spend time with her.

Christmas dinner had ended about an hour earlier. Karen, Peyton, Brooke, and Quinn had all gathered together to wash the dishes, giving Haley a break from all the work she had kept trying to do. Instead, they insisted that she plop herself down in the chair near the fire and relax and enjoy Christmas with her family.

Nathan continued to sit where he was, not bothering to move elsewhere where he might be more comfortable. He kept massaging Haley's shoulders and he felt her tense. It wasn't the first time she had done it. He noticed that the moments when she would tense were coming with more frequency and he looked down at her, concerned. He could see that she was trying not to wince. She may have been able to hide it from the others, but she couldn't hide it from him. She could hide nothing from him.

He leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to the top of her head. "What's going on?" His voice was barely a whisper, but he knew that she heard it. She looked up at him, taking her lip between her teeth. "What is it, Hales?"

"I didn't want to say anything until I was sure. I didn't want to interrupt everyone's Christmas. It's been going on since this morning."

"What?" Nathan began to panic. He knew Haley could see the panic on his face.

"I think it's time. I'm sure it's time. They're three minutes apart, Nathan. I've been timing them for the past hour."

Nathan sat there in shock. He knew that this was a possibility. Everyone knew that it was possible. It was one of the reasons they had all decided that having Christmas in Tree Hill was for the best. It was why Vivian, Brooke, and Peyton had been so attentive to Haley lately, trying to get her to relax.

Like a bolt of lightning, he stood up and nodded his head. "Okay. I'll go get the car. We'll go to the hospital. We'll be okay. It's fine."

"I don't think there's time, Nathan. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, Nathan. I didn't mean for this to happen."

"It's okay. It's okay, Hales. You and me, we were born at home, right? We can do this here. I'll just go run to the Doc's house and get him. I'll be as fast as I can, Hales."

"No." She grabbed his arm, her grip tight as another contraction went through her body. "Don't leave."

Nathan nodded and then looked at all of their guests. They really did have a full house. He looked over at his Uncle Keith and made a decision. "I'll be less than a minute. I promise." Nathan went to Keith and quietly pulled him aside. Haley watched as Nathan explained what was happening. Keith nodded in understanding, a broad smile on his face as he glanced over at Haley. Quickly, he was telling Karen that he needed to head out for a bit and would be back. He was out the door and Nathan was back at Haley's side.

"Vivian," Nathan said, "could you help us get Haley upstairs?"

"Sure." Vivian looked to Jane, who had gone to her Aunt Quinn and Aunt Taylor. Vivian didn't ask any questions. She would wait until they were upstairs. For now, she helped Nathan get Haley out of her chair and they led her upstairs. They went unnoticed by everyone except for Karen. Karen suggested that Lily go play with Aunt Brooke and Peyton and then headed upstairs.

Once upstairs, Haley dropped the pretense of being fine. She didn't have to now. This was happening now, whether she was ready or not. When she and Nathan had found out that they were expecting, they had been both elated and terrified. They knew it could happen from the first night that they were together. They had been married for over a year when it finally did happen. Now, they were about to be parents. They were twenty-one years-old.

Karen had been a big help when Haley told her about the baby. Karen had been there when she was even younger than Haley and Karen also knew that Haley had a support system around her that she hadn't had herself. She knew that Haley was more than prepared to be a mother and Nathan was more than prepared to be a father. They just needed to be convinced of it themselves.

When Keith had told her that he needed to head out for a bit, Karen had a feeling that she knew what it was about. When she saw Haley, she knew that she was right. Now, she watched as Nathan gently lifted his extremely pregnant wife and placed her in the center of their bed after Vivian had turned it down. Karen didn't say anything. She went downstairs to the kitchen and retrieved some water and from the hall closet, she retrieved some towels. She was coming back upstairs when Vivian was coming down the hall. They shared a look. Vivian had been going to get the exact same things that Karen had brought.

When the two women walked back in the room, they found Nathan sitting next to Haley on the bed, holding her closely and whispering in her ear. Haley was nodding and was trying to smile through the pain. She thought she might feel at ease when she didn't have to hide the pain of the contractions anymore, but that wasn't the case. The fact that she didn't have to hold in the pain didn't bring any relief.

In a flurry of activity, Karen went downstairs and announced to everyone that Haley was having the baby. The doctor arrived soon after that with Keith. Everyone was asking what they could do. They were all told to simply wait. None of them were willing to leave. As crowded as the house was and as much as they didn't want to be in Haley and Nathan's way, they didn't want to leave. Brooke and Peyton even headed upstairs to wait with Nathan in the hall as Vivian and Karen were in with her and Dr. Durham.

When Dr. Durham had arrived, he told them that Haley was right; there wasn't enough time for the hospital and the baby would be arriving soon. He got everything ready and was now just waiting for Haley to be completely ready.

Peyton and Brooke had set three chairs in the hallway near the door to Nathan and Haley's bedroom. They each sat on either side of Nathan, who wasn't saying thing. He loosened his collar, unbuttoning the top button. His knee was bouncing up and down and he was unable to sit still. He remembered the day that Haley told him that he was going to be a father. He had been stunned, but he couldn't remember ever being happier. The day that their child would arrive seemed so far away, but also so close. Now it was here. It was only a small matter of time. Soon, he would be hearing his child crying and he and Haley would have a child of their own. A child who existed because he and Haley loved each other so much.

He stood up from his chair and began pacing the hallway. Brooke and Peyton eyed him. They had both been so excited when Haley told them that she was having a baby. They had been there with her through every step of the pregnancy. It was an easy decision when Haley and Nathan decided that Brooke should be their baby's godmother.

Nathan stopped pacing when he heard Haley cry out. He went to the door, but Brooke stopped him.

"Dr. Durham knows what he's doing," she said. "She'll be fine. If something's wrong, they will let you know. Babies are born every day, Nathan."

He nodded, but didn't say a word. It was killing him to know that his wife was in pain and he wasn't there with her to hold her hand. He didn't resume his pacing. Instead, he stood planted by the door, just waiting. He placed his fingers to the door, just wanting to be closer to Haley no matter what. He thought about how much he loved her and how happy she had made him in the past two years.

He heard another scream and this time he didn't let anyone stop him. He couldn't stand on the other side of a door while his wife was screaming in pain. He barged in, startling Vivian, Karen, and the doctor.

"Nathan, you should be out there," Vivian told him.

"No, I should be in here." He went to his wife's side and sat next to her on their bed. He took her hand in his and wrapped his other arm around her shoulders. Haley buried her head in his chest.

"I'm glad you're here," she said. "I didn't want to do this without you."

"Well, one of you is going to have to leave," Dr. Durham ordered. Karen offered to leave and quietly walked out of the room, leaving Vivian on one side of Haley and Nathan on the other.

"How are you?" Nathan asked.

"It hurts," Haley cried.

"You're doing just fine, Hales. You can do this. You're stronger than anyone I've ever met. You can do this."

"I need you to push, Haley. A few more ought to do it," Dr. Durham told her. "Go ahead. Your husband's right; you're a strong woman. I knew that since the moment you were born. You were so stubborn then, you almost refused to come out."

Haley nodded and tightened her grip on Nathan's hand. She pushed, letting out a guttural scream as she did so.

"There's the head," the doctor said. "One more big push, Haley. One more."

Haley nodded and Nathan kissed her forehead. She pushed again and this time when she screamed, it wasn't in pain or discomfort. She screamed out of relief. She could feel the baby leave her body and all of the stress that she felt left. She felt her shoulders slack and she tried to catch her breath.

Both Nathan and Haley looked up when they heard the baby crying. They both looked up, trying to see.

"Congratulations. You two have a son." The doctor pulled something from his bag and handed it to Nathan, indicating for him to cut the cord. Nathan nodded and did so. The doctor and Vivian took some of the blankets and Vivian began helping the doctor to clean the baby up before handing him to Nathan and Haley.

Both Nathan and Haley had tears streaming down their faces as they looked at their son for the first time. He was crying; his little legs and arms were squirming. He was placed in Haley's arms and continued to cry before opening his eyes and looking at his parents.

Nathan and Haley had matching smiles on their faces as they held their son. Nathan sat closer to Haley, his arm wrapping around her more securely. He tentatively brought a hand to his son, nervous to actually touch the baby. This was his son that he was seeing. He never thought that such a thing was possible until he met Haley. After that, it wasn't just possible – it was probable. Now, here they were. He and Haley had created a family together when they got married two years earlier. Now, they had added to their family. They had never felt such love for each other or for anyone else.

"You're a daddy," Haley said to Nathan, taking her eyes away from their son to look at her husband. She had never seen him look at something with such a look of awe in his eyes.

"You did so good, Hales. You were perfect. I love you so much." He kissed her, tasting the salt from both her tears and her sweat.

"I love you too. I love you, Nathan."

"We… we have a son," he said, overcome with emotion.

"James Lucas Scott," Haley said. It was the name they had decided on a couple of months earlier if they ended up having a boy. Nathan had thought of naming their son after Haley's father. She had fallen even more in love with him when he suggested it. Lucas was her idea. Though she and her best friend weren't as close as they used to be, she still gave Lucas a lot of credit for bringing Nathan into her life. Lucas had helped get Nathan away from Tree Hill and away from Dan and that allowed Nathan to become the man he was now, the man she loved so much. He was the man who had given her a son and who she knew would be an amazing father.

"James Lucas Scott," Nathan repeated. "Our boy. Our James."

"I'll give you two some alone time," Vivian said. They had both forgotten that there were two other people in the room. "Besides, I think that there are a lot of people downstairs who want to know that there's a new Scott in the world tonight."

Vivian left them with Dr. Durham. The doctor took care of a few more things. He made sure that Haley and the baby were fine. He left them with a specific set of instructions and told them that he would be by to see them again in the morning to check on Haley and the youngest Scott.

As Dr. Durham left the house, he felt a sense of peace. He was so happy that Nathan Scott, the young man he saw going down a dangerous road thanks to his father, had found something – someone – to love after he lost his dream. Nathan had found a dream that he loved more than he loved baseball and now that dream was getting bigger.

Dr. Durham had been the one to deliver both Nathan and Haley when they were born and it wasn't lost on him that he had now brought their child into the world. It felt as if things had come full circle. He wished that stubborn Haley James Scott had told someone earlier that she was having her baby, but he wasn't surprised. She fought him on coming out twenty-one years earlier. She would always do things her way and somehow, that way always seemed to work out for the best.

Everyone downstairs was in a great mood when Vivian came downstairs and announced that Nathan and Haley had a son. No one made any attempts to go upstairs and visit. They wouldn't be doing that. They would wait for later. For now, everyone was content with letting the family upstairs get acquainted with one another.

Upstairs, Nathan and Haley were still in their room holding their son, just staring at him. The boy was now content in his mother's arms. Nathan was still slightly afraid to even touch him. This didn't go unnoticed by Haley.

"Nathan, hold your son."

"I… I don't want to hurt him."

"You won't. You couldn't." Haley moved to hand their son to Nathan. He cradled the baby in his arms. He was still terrified, but he knew he could do this. Haley knew he could do this.

Nathan felt something change within him when he held his son in his arms. It was more than he could have ever imagined. In his arms was the living embodiment of the fact that he and Haley loved each other. James was proof that Haley loved him. Haley curled her arm around his and watched her two boys together. Her parents would be so happy for her and they would be so happy with their grandson.

"Three years-ago, I didn't know this was possible, Haley. I didn't know I'd ever be a father. Then you came along. I promise you I will protect him. I will never push him into being something he doesn't want to be or doing something that he doesn't want to do. I'll never make him feel like he's less than he is. I love him, Hales. I'll always love him."

Haley wiped the tears from her face. "I know that, Nathan. I know that. You're going to be a wonderful father. The fact that you want these things for him… you're already a great father. I love you. Thank you for giving me a great life."

"Thank you for giving me a great life, Hales. You've given me everything."


Note: The next story, I Love You, but I Don't Know What to Say should be posted in a couple of weeks. There's a description in my profile if you're curious.