Author's Note: This fiction takes place directly after the episode 'The Trick Is To Keep Breathing'. If you don't watch the show, you might not get the story. I'm not recapping the episode, because it's just a short little thing off the top of my head. Written - November 11, 2004
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Consensual disciplinary spanking of a teen by a sibling.

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Learning about Marriage

Haley yelled in frustration and tossed her cell phone on the bed. She would have liked to toss it on the floor, but even when she was having the night from hell, she was still to sensible to wreck a perfectly good cell phone just because her husband was being an ass. She had been crying for half an hour straight. Her husband, her soul mate, the man she wanted to spend her life with, had truly disappointed her. After she called him for the fiftieth time with no response, she decided to go see Lucas.

Lucas was just getting ready to sleep the morning away after being up all night at the formal dance, and then at the beach house party. He had gotten out of his tux, and put on some sweats, and was about to lie down when there was a banging on his front door. His mom was working at the café, so he answered. He opened the door to Haley. She was still in her yellow dress, and had obviously been crying for a while. He didn't say anything, just pulled her into a hug and shut the door behind them.

After a few minutes Haley felt better and let go of Lucas. She shook her head and gave him a sheepish look as she wiped her face. She said, "Sorry."

He shook his head no and said, "You know I always have time for my sister-in-law."

Haley sighed and sat at the kitchen table. She said, "That still sounds strange doesn't it? Sister-in-law. Sounds scary."

Lucas smiled at her and said, "Stop avoiding."

Haley looked away and said, "It's Nathan."

"I figured. You gonna tell me what he did, or do I have to go beat it out of him?"

Haley smiled and teased, "Such violence Luke! And here I thought you and your brother had decided to play nice."

Lucas sat down and put his hand over hers. He said, "What happened?"

Haley told Lucas how Nathan had lied to her about getting accepted to the basketball camp. She told him that he had pushed her into starting to do her music, and that now he was angry with her because she was working with Chris. Haley started crying again when she told Lucas that Nathan had asked her if she was starting to have feelings for Chris. Then she told him she thought Nathan was resenting her for not being able to go to basketball camp when he hadn't even given her the chance to make that decision with him. She ended it by telling him Nathan wouldn't return her calls, and hadn't come home last night.

Lucas had been silent through the whole story and sat there thinking about how to help. He hated to see Haley so upset. He had been thinking of her as his sister long before either one of them had known Nathan, and he knew Haley wasn't prone to emotional outbursts.

Haley looked at Lucas and said, "How is our marriage going to work if he's already lying to me and manipulating me into things and then blaming me for it later? I love him Lucas. I want to be with him for the rest of my life….but I can't be in a marriage that is full of lies and deceit."

Haley started crying again and Lucas put his arm around her. Lucas was pissed. He thought, 'How could Nathan do that to her. Especially after seeing how often Dan does that same kind of mind game crap to everyone around him. But then maybe that's the problem. Maybe that's the only thing Nathan knows. If any boyfriend had tried that kind of crap with my Mom they would have been out the door. Mom can't stand lies.'

Lucas thought about it for a few more minutes, and remembered why he would never lie to his mom. He got a slight smile as a plan formulated in his mind. He said, "It'll be okay Hails."


"I'm gonna go have a talk with my little brother."

Haley pulled out from under his arm and stood up. She said, "No! I came here to tell you, because I needed a friend, but I don't want Nathan to think that I don't trust our marriage enough to work it out just the two of us. I don't want him thinking I went behind his back or something."

Lucas stood up and put his hands on Haley's cheeks to make her look at him. He wiped a stray tear away with his thumb as he said, "Haley, you know that I love you right?"

Haley looked at him like he was dumb and said, "Yeah, I love you too, but what does that have to do with this?"

"Do you trust me?"

"Of course."

"Promise me you'll stay here until I come back."

"The hell I will! I'm not going to let you go fight with your brother just because of some dumb ass idea you have in your head that you have to protect me because I'm like your sister."

Lucas laughed and said, "Down girl, you've got it all wrong. I am going to go see Nathan, but we won't be fighting. And I'm going because he is my brother, and now that we've started to actually act like brothers, I have to do the right thing for him just as much as I do for you."

Haley thought about it for a few minutes and said, "What are you going to do?"

"That's between me and Nathan, but I promise I won't punch him."

"I don't know Lucas."

Lucas said, "I'm gonna go put on some jeans and get ready to go while you think."

A few minutes later Lucas came out and said, "Are you going to still be here when I come back?"

"Is my husband going to be with you?"

Lucas thought about it and said, "He'll either be with me or at the apartment waiting for you."

Haley sighed and nodded her head. Lucas kissed her forehead as he was leaving to find his brother.

An hour later Lucas found Nathan sitting on the beach staring out into the waves. Lucas sat down next to him. Nathan looked surprised and said, "What are you doing back?"

"I came to see you."

Nathan looked at Lucas closely and then said, "Why?"

"Because you're being an ass, and I'm gonna help you stop."

Nathan turned back to look at the ocean and said, "Screw you Luke. Haley had no business talking to you. This is between us."

Lucas shook his head and said, "We may not have grown up together, but we're still brothers like it or not. Do you ever wonder if Dan would be a different person if Keith had started calling him on in when he was being a jerk when they were teenagers?"

Nathan didn't say anything and Lucas said, "I think you and Haley have a rough couple of years ahead of you, but not because you got married young. I think it's going to be hard, because you never had a good example of what a marriage should be like. Hell, you never had a good example of what a family was supposed to be like. But lucky for you, both Haley and I do, and we're going to help you figure it out because we both love you."

Nathan looked over at Lucas and said, "I had this whole romantic evening planned for her, and she spent the whole damn time with that jackass Chris."

"That sucks. Did you tell her you had planned a special night, and that it was important to you that she be there?"

Nathan looked away and said, "No, it was supposed to be a surprise."

Lucas was silent for a while letting Nathan think. Then Nathan said, "And she spent time with Chris when I was gone, AND she didn't tell me about it."

Lucas shook his head. He said, "Nathan man, you are so blind. I should punch you, but I promised Haley I wouldn't."

Nathan got mad and said, "I'm not blind. She's beautiful. Anyone would want her."

Lucas held up his thumb and first finger to show a space of less than half an inch when he said, "You're this close to me breaking my promise. Shut up and listen to me."

Nathan looked unimpressed. Lucas said, "I've known Haley most of my life. Haley would never, and I mean NEVER cheat on you. I don't care what the circumstance, she just wouldn't. She doesn't have it in her to do that, and I think that's what hurt her the most. The fact that you don't know her well enough to know that she wouldn't."

Nathan thought about it and started to feel bad. Lucas said, "She has never been in love with anyone but you. You are her first, and her only. She is the most sensible, down to earth person I can think of, and she chose you to marry when she was still in high school. Trust me when I say, that if you don't screw it up, she will still be with you forty years from now."

Nathan knew Lucas was right. He looked down at his shoes in the sand and wondered how to tell Haley he was sorry. Lucas said, "Come on home to the apartment with me."

Nathan nodded and said, "Okay."

Lucas drove them. On the way he said, "Remember when you told me about basketball camp, and that you decided not to go so that Haley could start her music?"

Nathan looked out the window and said with some regret, "Yeah."

"I knew it was wrong at the time, but I didn't say anything to you because I knew you were doing it to try and make Haley happy. I'm sorry I didn't call you on it at the time. It won't happen again."

Nathan shook his head and looked at Lucas. He said, "It wasn't wrong. It is maybe wrong of me to get mad at her now because of it, but I still think I made the right decision."

"Lying to your wife to manipulate her into something is wrong."

Nathan shook his head more violently and said, "It wasn't like that and you know it!"

Lucas gave Nathan a look that he hoped showed both love and disappointment the way his mother's look always did when he had done something wrong. Lucas said, "It was like that Nathan. You have to make big important decisions together, even if one of you has to compromise, it still has to be a joint decision."

Nathan said, "Thanks for the marriage advice bro. And correct me if I'm wrong here, but you don't even have a girlfriend do you?"

Lucas shrugged and said, "We aren't talking about me right now, but I still have a better picture of how a marriage should work than you do. You are doing exactly what Dan would have done."

Nathan got bright red and said, "The fuck I am! How dare you compare me to him! Haley and me are nothing like Mom and Dad!"

Lucas gave Nathan another look and said, "Calm down and think about it Nathan. How does your father always get his way?"

The rest of the car ride was silent. At first Nathan was fuming, but by the time they pulled up to the apartment he looked over to Lucas and almost whispered, "I think maybe you're right."

Lucas nodded to the apartment and said, "Let's go talk upstairs."

Nathan robotically got out of the car and got into the apartment. He sat on the couch and stared at the blank TV. Lucas sat next to him and said, "You manipulated Haley into doing her music instead of sitting down like an adult and making the decision as a couple. Then you got mad at her for doing the thing you manipulated her into doing. Then you hurt her more than you can know, by accusing her of having feelings for another man."

Nathan felt like he could cry hearing it all laid out like that. He said, "Jeez man. Just kick me some more why don't you."

Lucas gave a slight smile and said, "I'm being honest with you, and because we're family, I'm going to keep being honest with you even if you don't like it."

Nathan nodded at the TV. Lucas said, "I think I know how to help you feel better, and how to make it easy to make up with Haley."

Nathan turned to look at Lucas and said, "Really? How?"

"You won't like it."

Nathan said honestly, "I need Haley. I'll do anything I have to do to keep her."

Lucas nodded. He said, "In my house, and in Haley's house by the way, when we were growing up we would have gotten spanked for lying and trying to manipulate someone."

Nathan just sat and looked at Lucas. Lucas said, "The last time seems like a long time ago, but was really only about 4 years ago when I was 13. Haley's smarter than me, and tends to pick things up quicker. Last time for her was when she was 9."

Lucas turned to look at Nathan. He shook his head and said, "I had no idea."

Lucas shrugged and said, "It's not something either one of us really likes to talk about now that we're older."

Nathan said, "I bet. I just can't see your mom….That sucks."

Lucas said, "Now, you know that what you did was wrong, but will you really think about that next time?"

Nathan was still lost in thought and said, "What?"

"Look Nathan, I know this is probably going to sound crazy to you, but I really think it would help if you let me spank you."

Nathan stood and said, "What?! No way!"

Lucas said, "Calm down. Think about what you did. Can you honestly tell me that you won't try to lie to her and manipulate her again if you think it will work to your advantage?"

Nathan did think about it. He said, "I….I'd like to say yes….but I don't know for sure. I would try to be honest."

Lucas shook his head. He said, "If you let me do this, it will be stuck in your head, and there's no way you can even think about lying without remembering it. And as an added bonus, Haley will feel so bad for you, she'll forgive you before you even apologize. She'll be pissed at me, but she'll get over it."

Nathan thought about it and nodded. He liked the sound of Haley forgiving him quickly so things could get back to the way they were before. He didn't know how he was going to make things right with her, but he knew he had to. This sounded like an easy way to fix things between them. Nathan said, "I do want Haley to forgive me."

"She'll eventually forgive you either way, but I'm telling you, as the brother that loves you, that I think you need a concrete reminder not to lie. It was so ingrained in your childhood that lying was a normal thing for couples to do to each other, that it's going to be hard for you not to lie to Haley if you don't let me do this."

Nathan slowly nodded and said, "Okay."

Lucas was surprised it had been so easy, but he really did believe it was for the best. He stood up and put a hand on Nathan's shoulder. He said, "Good decision little brother."

Nathan rolled his eyes and said, "You're only older by a few months dude."

Lucas smiled and said, "And I'll never let you forget it."

Nathan shook his head. Lucas looked around to try and decided where would be best. He nodded at the kitchen and said, "You can bend over the back of a chair, or the kitchen table."

Nathan cringed and got bright red. Lucas then said, "Do you have anything I could use?"

Nathan squeaked, "Use?"

Lucas said, "I'm not wearing out my hand on your ass. Do you have anything like a ping pong paddle, or a brush? I guess I could use a belt, but that seems like it would be harder to control."

Nathan shook his head and said, "What are you an expert or something?"

Lucas got a little irritated and said, "No. I've never done this before, and I don't plan to do it again. I'm trying really hard to be a good brother to you, and a good friend to Haley. I don't want to do it at all, and the whole thing makes me nervous, but I think it's the right thing to do."

Nathan was surprised at that and said quietly, "Ping pong paddle in the closet with the other athletic equipment."

Lucas looked to where Nathan was pointing and went to get it. Nathan looked at the kitchen and decided to lean over the table. He saw Lucas had found the paddle and was looking at him. Nathan took a deep breath and went to the kitchen. He leaned over slightly with the palms of both hands flat on the table. Lucas went to stand behind him and said, "You should put your whole chest on the table and let me hold you down with my hand."

Nathan looked back and said, "Why?"

"Because it's gonna hurt, and you're going to want to get up before I'm done."

Nathan shook his head. "I can take it. You don't have to hold me down."

Lucas said, "Okay, but you stay there until I tell you we're done. Got it?"

Nathan nodded. Lucas said, "You don't lie to your family, especially to your wife."

Then he brought down the paddle in the center of Nathan's butt. Nathan was amazed at how much it hurt. His body jerked with shock at the first swat, and then he sucked in a big breath and held it. The next swat came just as hard and overlapped some of the same area as the first swat. After the fourth swat Nathan let all his breath out in a loud grunt. By the sixth swat he was having trouble making himself stay in place. During swats eight, nine, and ten he was bouncing a little in place, and having a hard time not flat out yelling at each swat. He was relieved when they stopped, and took a deep breath to calm himself down.

Lucas said, "You don't manipulate your wife."

Nathan's eyes got round with surprise when he realized Lucas wasn't done. He started to say he had had enough when the swat landed, and he yelled, "Owww! Stop!"

Nathan pushed himself up right after the next swat. Lucas stopped and took a step back. Nathan turned to him and said, "It's enough."

Lucas shook his head and said, "No. It's not."

Nathan said, "It is."

"Didn't I tell you it would hurt and you would want to get up? Get your self back over the table, and put you chest down so I can hold you in place."

Nathan shook his head no. Lucas said, "You told me you could take it. You agreed to stay in place until I decided we were done. Are you going back on that now?"

"No….I….I just…."

"Nathan, you may hate it now, but when it's over, you'll feel better."

Nathan looked at the ground and after a few seconds he went back to the table and put his chest on it. Lucas said, "Give me an arm."

Nathan put an arm behind his back. Lucas held Nathan's wrist at the small of his back, and started to paddle him again. After another eight swats, Nathan was yelling loudly, and cursing. He could feel himself starting to tear up. Lucas paused and said, "And I think since you got angry with her for doing the very thing that you manipulated her into doing that you get some extra for it."

Nathan said, "Nooo!" but Lucas had already brought the paddle down. After five more he stopped. He could hear Nathan crying quietly. Lucas let go of his arm and went to go put the ping-pong paddle away.

When he came back Nathan was standing and wiping at his face. Nathan caught Lucas' eye and quickly looked away. Lucas gave Nathan an encouraging smile and said, "I would have cried too. It's okay."

Nathan shrugged and Lucas pulled him into a hug. He said, "I do love you little brother, and I expect you to do better with Haley."

He let him go, and said, "I'm gonna go home, and tell Haley to come see you."

Nathan said, "Maybe you should wait a while. I don't know that I want her to know. It's too…"

Lucas guessed, "Embarrassing?"


"Trust me, she will understand, and she will help you feel better."

Nathan sighed and said, "Okay….I guess."

Lucas said, "I'll come check on you guys tomorrow, and see if Haley tries to slap me."

Nathan gave him a small smile and nodded.

Lucas arrived home to see Haley pacing around in the kitchen. She looked at him and said, "Is he home?"

Lucas nodded. She smiled and gave him a tight hug as she said, "Thank you."

She pulled away and said, "Is he….mad about my music and Chris still?"

"I don't think so. He's feeling bad. You should go talk to him."

She left and on her way out said, "Thanks again Luke."

The next day right after breakfast Lucas went over to the apartment and knocked on the door. Nathan answered. He smiled and opened the door wide for Lucas to come in. He said quietly, "You were right big brother. We made up much faster than we would have otherwise."


Nathan looked away and said, "And you were also right about….I feel better now. Like I've made up for what I did somehow."

Lucas nodded and said, "I'm really glad."

Haley appeared from the bedroom in her robe and glared at Lucas. He cringed but stood his ground as she walked up to him. She poked him in the chest and said, "I can't believe you hit him after you promised you wouldn't."

"I promised not to punch him, and I didn't."

Haley gave him a glare that would melt lesser men and said, "You are really lucky that Nathan talked me out of going back to your place last night and smacking you a few times."

Lucas nodded and said, "I knew you wouldn't approve Haley, but I'm not sorry I did it. I think he needed it."

Haley smiled a little and said, "Well, I was really mad last night, but the more Nathan and I talked, the more I decided you were right…..just this once."

Lucas smiled back at her and she gave him a hug. She said, "Now go home. Nathan and I are going to spend the day together deciding what we are going to do about his camp and my music."

"Okay. See you both tomorrow in school."

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