Title: Some of Us Are Just That Lucky
Warning(s): AU - Haley never got pregnant by Nathan and they didn't have a re-commitment ceremony!
Summary: Jake Jagielski reflects on how lucky he is.
Some Of Us Are Just That Lucky
Jake Jagielski figured his life was just a tiny bit cursed from the beginning. He grew up in a town where people came from a gossipy background and disliked anything out of the norm. Unfortunately for Tree Hill, nothing ever seemed to follow the norm. It was like drama central for most of Jake's life. And got even worse when he had a baby in high school. His daughter's mother wasn't the best woman; he might've been in love with her once, but her true color's came out after Jenny was born. She hightailed it so fast he started to think he conceived Jenny all on his own. He wasn't the only one with problems; seemed every single one of his friends had something going on in their lives that wasn't happy or appreciated. And when he had to up and leave with his daughter, walking away from a girl he thought he loved, he figured his curse was becoming even worse.
But then it all changed.
One day in the lazy down of Savannah, he was taking Jenny out for lunch at a nice little diner that reminded him a lot of Karen's café. And it was in that diner that he spotted a familiar face. Haley James. Or more likely Haley Scott. Greeted with a hug and a whole lot of catching up, he enjoyed the day spent with his old friend. She was great with Jenny, always had been, and he was already sad that she'd have to go. She surprised him though.
"I left Tree Hill. Too much drama and death and everything in between," she admitted, shaking her head. "Got in my car, left my wedding ring and the divorce papers on Nathan's lap and just... drove." She smiled somewhat sadly. "Wound up here and..." She looked around. "I don't know, I just... It feels like I've found somewhere I can be. For awhile, at least."
When she found out they were hiring, she was quick to apply and just as fast to get the job. He felt like maybe that curse of his was being lifted just a tiny bit. At least now he had a friend. One who didn't find fault in his early fatherhood or his running away. And that smile of hers made him feel like a million bucks. But of course, because it was him and nothing in his life ever really went right, he had to go and fall in love with her. A girl who was running away, lost and scared, and in the middle of a messy divorce. But some days, when everything just seemed so screwed up, all he had to do was walk into that diner and see her. See the way she smiled at him and ignored the rest of the room to come over and see him. To say hello to little Jenny and ask if her if she wanted her favorite juice. It was all he needed to brighten his day. She was all he needed.
Took him six months before he asked her out on a date. And even then he had the sweaty palms, butterflies in his stomach, ready to puke feeling that seemed to haunt him every time he got close to saying the words. She was wiping down tables and putting away dishes. It was the end of her shift and she was probably happy to go home and get off her feet. She had a nice apartment; kind of small but homey. And then he just sort of forced the words out, in a really awkward manner. "So, there's this new movie in town and that pizza joint just opened up and I was kind of thinking of maybe going and... Um..." He rubbed the back of his head nervously.
"You want me to watch Jenny?" she asked, smiling up at him. "I can do that. You gotta date? Or is the movie not G-rated? You usually take her with you everywhere."
He swallowed tightly, eyes darting around nervously. That hadn't gone how he planned at all.
"Ohhh, it is a date." She nodded, looking down at the table and scrubbing at it with her cloth. Apparently she saw something he didn't, ‘cause the table looked sparkling clean. "Who is she? Do I know her?" She glanced up, a stiff smile in place. "Gotta say, usually babies attract more women, but you turn them away a lot. What's up Jagielski? You had a secret girlfriend I don't' know about all this time?"
He shook his head. Okay, only getting worse. "I don't- I'm not- I mean..." He sighed. "I'm asking you out, Haley. I'm asking you to a movie and out for dinner and I know someone who can sit for me, if you're interested." He swallowed tightly. "I haven't had a secret girlfriend, just a... a secret crush, I guess."
She stared at him, wide eyed, the rag hanging from her hand. "Oh... Um..."
"You don't, uh have to. I just thought... I mean, I..." He shook his head, his hands stuffed in his pockets as he looked around. "Okay, well, I'm just going to, uh, go... Now." He turned, heading for the door, his head ducked.
"Wait! I'm sorry, I just... I froze. Sorry," she repeated, hurrying over to him and grabbing his arm, turning him around. "I- I'd love to go to a movie and dinner with you, Jake."
He looked over at her, uncertain. "You're not just saying this to keep my pride in tact, right? Because I can take it."
She smiled, lifting a brow. "No, really. I was actually just a tiny bit," she lifted up her finger and thumb, parted slightly, "jealous of the idea that you were going out with someone else."
"Jealous, huh?" He grinned. Okay, maybe he wasn't so cursed after all.
"Tiny bit." She admitted with a lift of her shoulders. "So when does this date start?"
It was all slightly smooth sailing from that. Having a relationship while raising a child wasn't exactly the easiest thing he'd ever done. He'd been careful about dating in the past; he didn't want his daughter to get attached only to lose that person. Like with Peyton. But Haley genuinely loved Jenny and since she lived in the same town, she promised to always be a part of her life, no matter what happened between him and her. Which didn't really matter, seeing as seven years later, his luck had changed phenomenally...
"Jake?" Haley called, walking past him from the bathroom to her dresser, a loose, damp robe around her and a brush in hand. "I can't find my hair dryer. Any ideas?"
"Uh..." He lifted his eyes in confused thought. "That drawer in the bathroom where you keep all that hair stuff?"
She snorted. "No, it's too big, remember?"
"Didn't measure," he muttered, turning toward her. "You check Jenny's room?'
She smiled at him in gratitude before rushing back out of the room. "Jenny?"
"Yeah?" she called back from down the hall in her bedroom.
"Um..." He could hear some stuff being moved around and then a muffled voice saying, "Gotcha!"
"You find it?" Haley wondered.
"Yeah! It was under my bed," Jenny said. He could see her hopping out of the bedroom and handing Haley the hairdryer.
"Thank you. Now, what did I say about these things, honey?" she asked, lifting a brow.
"Always put ‘em back where I found ‘em?" she wondered, lifting a brow that reminded him of his own facial expression whenever someone asked something he wasn't sure of the answer to.
"Yes," Haley agreed, running a hand over Jenny's hair. "You ready yet?"
"Almost," she said, walking back into her room. "I can't get my hair right."
"Sweetie, it looks fine."
"It looks weird." Jenny sighed. "I wish I had your hair."
"Not when I was your age, you don't," Haley disagreed. "It was tangled and thick and it never sat the way I wanted it to."
"Really?" she asked, almost hopefully.
"Really." Haley nodded. "Just throw it up in a ponytail and add some of those pretty clips and it's going to look great." She smiled before making her way back toward the bedroom. Jake smiled up at her. He loved it when those two interacted like that. Made him wish Haley had been Jenny's mom all along. She examined him from head to toe. "You don't have any clean socks, do you?" she asked, eyes thinning.
"Do too." He lifted a shoulder. "Somewhere."
She smiled, shaking her head. Walking across to their dresser, she dug around in his shirt drawer, coming up with a clean pair. "I figured if I hide a pair or two for emergencies, we're good. But if I put them in your actual sock drawer, they go missing." She nodded, expression rather suspicious. He figured it was best not to tell her how he'd used a few pairs as cannons while he was playing earlier.
"Mom?" came a voice from behind them.
Haley turned around, looking down at the little boy smiling at her, a few teeth missing. "I don't have no socks e'ver."
She chuckled. "You are too much like your dad, you know that?"
Hence the reason his own socks were missing. Bryan's had already been used as cannons, thrown into the pit of darkness out back, that was really just a hole he dug up with their dog Chuck. Four years old and Bryan was a lot like him, except with better luck in his younger years.
He grinned up at her and then over at his dad, nodding.
"Go check your shirt drawer," Haley told him.
He ran off, his curly reddish brown hair bouncing on his head.
"MOOOOOM!" Jenny's voice called out. "One of the clips is stuck in my haaaaaaair!"
With a sigh, Haley tossed the hairdryer to their bed and then walked down the hall. "Don't pull on it; you'll only get it more stuck!"
"Ugh!" Jenny exclaimed.
Jake shook his head. Today was a good day, just like most other days had been for the last seven years. He and Haley had moved in together after a year of dating. They were both working on their music, selling songs to a few big names to help pay the bills. They didn't want to head line. They liked their lives; just them and their families. They were engaged after four years and a little over a year later had their son Bryan. And now he had the life he'd always wanted, the one he'd hoped for himself and Jenny when he was just a lost kid in high school, trying to get by and hoping not everybody would judge. Then Lady Luck showed him some leniency and now he had all that he could ever need or want. Sure they were paying off a mortgage that he figured would always be hanging over their head until their late sixties. And yeah, he always feared the day Jenny's mom might pop up and want her back. Sure they rarely saw their friends from Tree Hill except during the summer or the odd holiday, but they were happy. Really and truly happy.
"There," Haley said, down the way in their daughter's room. "You look beautiful."
"Thanks," Jenny replied. "Do you think we'll be late?"
"Nah. As long as you dad gets his socks on!" she said, purposely loud enough for him to hear. "I can be ready in twenty minutes and we'll be out the door."
"Good. You know, ‘cause it's so not cool being late for your own wedding."
"I know, right?" Haley replied, in a purposely half-mocking voice. "Whatevs though! Your dad and I will totally rock the after party!"
"Moooom!" Jenny whined. "Please just remember you're not cool, okay? And stop trying!"
Laughing, Haley left her room and returned to her own. "You find your socks, Bry?"
"Yeaaaaah!" he called back.
"Are you playing Cannons with them?" she wondered, lifting her brow at Jake accusatorily.
She sighed, shaking her head. "Put ‘em on, mister. We've gotta be outta here in a half hour."
"Okaaay," he replied with a sigh.
She closed the door and then walked over to the bed, sitting down beside him. His arm wrapped around her shoulders easily and he could feel her wet hair against his cheek. "You didn't shave," she said, lifting her hand, the back of it rubbing against the red tinted whiskers.
He half-smiled. "You like it when I don't," he replied, turning his eye down toward her.
She grinned. "Lazy," she murmured, turning her head to kiss his gently.
"Thoughtful," he corrected, pressing soft, lingering kisses to her mouth.
She was sliding down the bed and he was moving to cover her, his hand wandering down her side, tugging her robe apart to reveal soft, wet skin. She laughed lightly, nipping his lower lip and soothing it with her tongue. His eyes fell to half mass, staring down at the beautiful woman beneath him. She stared back up with brown eyes that radiated warmth and love and forever.
"You ready to become Haley Jagielski?" he asked quietly, nuzzling her nose with his.
"Have been for years, procrastinator," she replied, her pink lips curving in a grin.
He chuckled before kissing her, long and passionate. She moaned into his mouth, her arms raising to wrap around his neck and her leg lifting, knee against his side. He slid between her thighs and could already imagine what the faces of all those invited would be like. Knowing why they were late, just by the guilty looks on their faces. To their own wedding, no less. He smirked. Well worth it.
"Daaad!" Bryan called through the door, knocking loudly. "Uncle Luke just called and he said you betta not be all ova mommy, ‘cause he's been standin' waitin' for you and the tux is really hot."
Jake broke away from Haley's mouth, laughing. "All right, buddy. Is he still on the phone?"
"Nope. He said you had ten minutes before he comes over!" With that he could hear his son running off; message sent and back to his toys he'd gone.
He sighed, lifting up from Haley, looking down at her with dampened desire. "Well, we still got the honey moon."
She grinned. "Which we're spending in Disney Land with the kids." An amused brow lifted on her sweet face.
"What? You can be Snow White and I'll..." He trailed his fingers down her upper half, from her neck to her navel. "Bring you back to life with a kiss." He lowered his head, pressing his lips softly against her stomach and then again a few inches higher, all the way up until he was hovering over her mouth.
"You brought me back to life seven years ago," she whispered, lifting a hand to run over his face, thumb stroking his whiskered jaw. "Now you're just living it with me."
"Happily ever after," he murmured back.
She smiled, nodding. "I love you, Jake."
"Love you too, Haley." He pressed a short kiss to her lips. "Now go get ready so we can get married and run off to Disney Land together," he told her, rolling off of her and patting her butt to get her going.
With a chuckle, she stepped off the bed and shook her head, taking her dress bag with her into the bathroom to change.
He grinned to himself. Whatever curse plagued him when he was younger felt more like a rocky stepping stone to the great life luck had in store for him. All because he stepped into a diner one morning and spotted a familiar face. Some of us are just that lucky.
Author's Note: I've never written OTH fanfic. But I always loved Jake (Bryan Greenberg is awesome!) and while I liked the Peyton/Jake relationship, Haley is my favorite on the show and I think they could've been great together. So, this is what came out of my excursion into OTH. Hope you liked it! Reviews are sustenance, readers! Luv yas - Fina!