Brothers in Arms
A Haven fanfic
By Jeannine Trevizo
It was late in the day, the sun beginning to set when a black Harley Davidson bike pulled into the marina, parking at the dock slip where the Cape Rouge was anchored. The man riding the bike had checked and found out that it was docked here, much to his surprise, but in some ways it made sense. Duke Crocker was nothing if not… unpredictable.
He climbed off the bike once he had it stable, his tall, well muscled frame covered by a heavy leather jacket, t-shirt and jeans. Motorcycle boots rounded out the look and he took off his helmet, revealing dark brown hair cut short as he hooked the helmet onto the handlebar.
Dark sunglasses covered his eyes but the rest of his face was bare, slightly tanned and showing the remnants of what could be considered a bit more than a five o’clock shadow on his broad jaw.
Slowly he headed to the gang plank to walk onto the boat. On the deck he found the person he was looking for, leaned over the opposing railing, his arms pulling on a rope that hung over the side.
At the sound of the man’s voice Duke’s fingers when numb and the rope slid from his hands, causing a quiet splash to be heard overboard. Stunned briefly he then swiveled, his mouth gaping slightly. The sight before him was more than a shock and one he had not expected to see… well, ever again.
“Lance?” he asked astonishment in his voice.
Before him Lance Crocker reached up and pulled off the sunglasses revealing chocolate brown eyes that matched those of his younger brother before him. He smirked briefly before turning the action into a grin as he looked at the surprise on Duke’s face.
“That any way to greet your brother?”
Duke looked him, his mouth now set in a deep frown. He hadn’t seen him in nearly fifteen years. Lance was his older brother by nearly ten years and had been long gone from Haven for the worst of his experiences with his dad after their mom had passed away. And now here he was, out of the blue just days after he’d learned about his father’s ‘occupation’ and the trouble that the Crocker family was cursed with. It made him question just what had prompted his brother’s return.
“What are you doing here?” Duke asked as he began moving, closing the distance between himself and where Lance stood just past the gang plank. “You said hell would have to freeze over before you set foot in Haven again. You didn’t even come to dad’s funeral…”
“I got a call telling me I needed to come back. That I was needed here…”
Lance’s words stopped Duke cold and he skidded to a halt a few feet from his brother. This had all the fingerprints of someone who knew about the Crocker ‘curse’ having called Lance to entice him back to Haven. He had no idea when that call had been placed but he knew one person who had been itching to get him to follow in his dad’s footsteps, and he wouldn’t put it past him to have tried an end around the uncooperative youngest child by calling big brother.
“Did Reverend Driscoll call you before he died knowing he couldn’t pull my strings?”
“It wasn’t the reverend… he’s dead?” asked Lance, genuinely saddened to hear that Haven’s ‘spiritual leader’ was no longer with them.
“Yeah. So, who called you then?”
“Does it really matter?”
At the dismissive tone Lance answered him, Duke found his temper slipping. Between Nathan trying to kill him, Audrey’s kidnapping and finding out he could cure the troubled without killing them when his dead father had told him that was the only way… it had been a trying couple of days and his brother’s arrival was not making it any easier. He rushed forward and shoved his brother hard in the chest, making Lance look at him dumbfounded as he stumbled back a step at the force of Duke’s push.
“Yes, it does! If someone said you needed to come home then I’ll bet that they want you to pick up where dear old dad left off because I won’t and you have no idea what that means…”
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!”
“What I’m talking about is the fact that someone is playing you. They got you here to either get me on board, which isn’t happening or they’re gonna tell you some story about how it’s your responsibility to pick up where dad left off.”
“And what the hell does that mean? I just know that supposedly dad would have wanted…” Lance began and Duke barked out a laugh, scoffing at how little it seemed Lance knew about both their dad and what he’d ‘wanted’.
“What dad wanted?”
Lance looked at Duke, slightly taken aback before he put some space between them as he watched his younger brother’s face. The anger and frustration on Duke’s features was obvious even to him. But he wasn’t sure the real reason for it; if it was because he felt anger at his arrival or if there was something else going on, something to do with Dave Teagues’ call.
“Since when have you ever cared about what dad wanted?” Duke continued, finally turning and walking away disgustedly from Lance.
“I gave a damn… he just didn’t so I left…” stated Lance as he moved swiftly across the deck of the boat and caught Duke’s shoulder, stopping him as he yanked him around to face him.
With Duke facing Lance once again the two brothers stared at one another, conflicting emotions showing in their dark eyes.
“But now you’re back because someone said that he would have wanted you here, huh?”
Duke slapped Lance’s hand away and then pointed a finger into his brother’s broad chest. Lance had no idea what he’d walked into and at this point Duke didn’t really feel like being responsible for anyone else’s life… between Nathan, Audrey and all the troubled in Haven it felt like he had more than enough people counting on him.
“Cut the crap Lance, you’re here because you think there’s something here for you. You have no idea what dad sent me back to Haven to do…”
“Then why don’t you tell me?” suggested Lance, pushing Duke’s hand from his chest. “I get a call telling me I need to come back, that somehow dad would have wanted me here, and you’re all pissed off about Reverend Driscoll and wanting to know who ‘sent’ me here. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”
Sighing Duke ran a hand down his face. For a moment he looked around and then realized that perhaps he really should explain everything to Lance. Once his brother understood what was going on the better. And with that knowledge maybe he’d realize that he was better off elsewhere.
“Fine. Let’s go below and I’ll explain what the hell is going on.”
With that Duke turned and headed to the cabin, taking the stairs and finding the single glass and the bottle of whiskey he’d been drinking when Nathan had stormed in. There wasn’t a lot left in the bottle but it was enough to start with. He moved to the cabinets and opened one to pull out another tumbler and turned to see Lance standing behind him.
“Sit down…” Duke said as he sat heavily in the same spot he’d been in a little over a day before and slid the clean glass to Lance, grabbing the bottle to pour half of what was in it into the empty glass. “So you got a call saying dad would have wanted you here. Well what you don’t know is why.”
“No, I didn’t get an explanation… he just wanted me to call him when I got here, but I figured I should come and see you first.”
Duke knew now that it was a man, but not the Rev that had called Lance, so it was progress in figuring out who was trying to mess with him and his family. He was glad at least that Lance had come to him before he’d called the guy who had brought him here. By the time Duke finished explaining he figured Lance would be heading out of town or hopefully give up his contact so Duke could track him down.
“Good to know, because whoever called you is playing you. You see, dad told me I needed to come back to Haven if the troubles ever came back. What he didn’t say was that it was because he wanted me to pick up the old family business and kill troubled people.”
“What?” questioned Lance, his expression stunned; the words coming from Duke’s mouth causing him to reach out and take the whiskey glass and drink a swallow. “The troubles are back and he asked you to come back to kill people with them?”
“Not really. He just made me promise to come back. He didn’t say a damn thing about killing people. And then when I found that out, I wasn’t having any of it,” answered Duke angrily, images of Kyle flinging himself onto the knife in his hand filling his mind before he gulped down some of the whiskey in his own glass.
“But somehow you found out…” prompted Lance, seeing the shadow that seemed to cross his brother’s face as he explained what their dad had sent him to Haven to do.
Lance found himself confused by the vehemence in his brother’s voice compared to that of Dave’s obvious… wheedling tone on the phone. It made him wonder just what really was going on here, and if his arrival in Haven was about what his dad had wanted or what someone else, someone that was trying to use Duke and now maybe him wanted instead.
“Yeah. The thing is that dad didn’t know shit about our power or what we really can do. He wanted me to kill people to cure the troubles and to kill the one woman who can really, truly help them. Then I find out he was wrong and I can fix them without killing them… If I had believed him I would be responsible for the deaths of dozens. How screwed up is that?”
“So you believe whoever told you that dad was wrong?”
“The guy’s got the inside track on everything in this town. And everything else he said about the troubles… well there wasn’t anything he said that didn’t make me believe he knew what he was talking about,” Duke related, remembering the way Vince had been so right about Audrey and Nathan and fought down a smug smirk at the thought.
“Then I’m here…” Lance began before bringing the glass back to his lips.
“To replace me, to get me in line, I’m not sure exactly which. But now that you know what’s going on… maybe we can work together? The guy that called you… you could draw him out and we could all get some more answers. What do you say?”
Lance stared at Duke for a moment, still trying to absorb everything his brother had just told him. He knew about the troubles, he knew that there was always something that his dad wouldn’t tell him and he knew that Duke wouldn’t be telling him fairy tales… he was too much of a realist for that. His only hesitancy was that he knew Dave Teagues. The guy was a kindly, bookish man… he couldn’t imagine that he, of all people, was trying to get him to come to Haven to kill the troubled…
But the look on Duke’s face was what convinced him that his brother meant what he was saying; that he was telling the truth. The raw hopefulness and anxiety he saw there reminded him that this was his brother and that if there was ever one thing that you could depend on, it was your family. And after everything that had happened to them in their lives, the broken bond that he’d been responsible for by leaving his younger brother behind he wasn’t going to let his brother down now.
“Okay,” he answered finally, tipping his glass towards Duke’s, prompting his younger brother to raise his own glass and clink the two tumblers together. “So, what’s the plan?”
- End Chapter 10 -