Brothers in Arms
A Haven fanfic
By Jeannine Trevizo
Waking up in Audrey’s bed was almost like déjà vu for Nathan… except for the fact that she was in the bed beside him. Her head and her blond hair were tucked under his chin and even though they had slept what had to have been a good eight hours they were still cuddled into one another.
He assumed that perhaps the fact that neither of them had really wanted to be alone might have had something to do with their continued entwined sleeping arrangements come morning as well.
Nathan fought the desire to move, enjoying all the sensation the touch of her skin against his allowed him and decided that he was perfectly happy with just laying there entangled with her, watching her in his arms.
Almost as if she instinctively knew he was awake and staring at her, Audrey shifted in Nathan’s embrace and looked up at him with a small smile. Just seeing it made him grin as well, thoughts of their conversation the night before filling him with a deep sense of contentment.
“How’d you sleep?” she asked him sleepily as she shifted in his grasp.
“Good… better than yesterday,” he replied without thinking, honesty his default mode of reply with her.
“So… you did sleep in my bed while I was gone then…”
Nathan fidgeted under her gaze, realizing that she had let him put the pieces of the puzzle together to confirm somehow that he’d slept here, on her bed while she’d been missing. Yet he had a fall back plan – he’d blame someone else.
“Duke made me. He slept on the couch.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. The image of Duke directing Nathan to sleep in her bed just seemed so implausible she knew it had to be the truth, or at least as close to it as she could imagine.
Carefully she extracted herself from his arms, making them both feel a bit… bereft. But they still had so many things to figure out; she had so many questions about what Nathan and Duke had learned that she couldn’t just take it easy today. Of course it was probably more accurate that neither she nor Nathan was the type to just take a day off when there were people that needed their help.
Watching Audrey get up and go to the bathroom make Nathan cringe a bit. He looked down at himself and then at his clothes on the floor. He didn’t know how she could stand to be near him… he thought he smelled horrible having worn the same clothes for days now.
“I need to go home, get a shower and change…” he called to her as she continued her routine in the bathroom.
“That might be a good idea,” she replied through the door with a small laugh.
He waited for her to get out so they could discuss the matter but she simply opened the door as she continued doing what she was doing and he saw that she’d put on a fluffy robe over her camisole and underwear. He smiled at the way it made her look – innocent and adorable. Which normally were not two words he’d use for her; tenacious and vibrant would be better ones. But for right now, he’d go with it.
Yet staring at her as she fiddled with her hair in the doorway of the bathroom he recalled exactly why he’d driven her here the night before without asking to stop at his house to clean up or bring a spare set of clothes… he was scared to death still of letting her out of his sight.
Swinging his feet off the bed he moved to slide on his pants. Dressed in the bare minimum to have any kind of deep conversation Nathan padded across the bare wood floors to where Audrey stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, her fingers picking at the white bandages on her wrists and unwinding them.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, realizing he was standing there, staring at her wrists and not meeting her eyes.
He stepped into the bathroom and took her hands in his, thumbs brushing against the bared, scabbed skin before he dared look up at her.
“I just…” Nathan started, one of his hands moving to run along Audrey’s arm and then cupping her cheek, “I’m scared if I leave you here alone that Dave or whoever else he’s working with might come back…”
“I know it’s foolish; I should be more confident that you can take care of yourself, now that you know the danger but I can’t help it…”
Audrey stepped closer to him. Then she was wrapping a hand around his neck and pulling him down to kiss him softly yet briefly.
“It’s not foolish. And while I appreciate that you respect me and that I can normally take care of myself, it… I get how you could feel like this.”
Nathan nodded ever so slightly, acknowledging the fact that she got it. But the fact remained that he still needed to leave…
“I really do need to go home though. You don’t want to know how long I’ve been wearing these clothes.”
She gave him a small grin before she considered all he really was asking for; the chance to clean up and change but with the feeling of safety that her being near him could give him. And there was one very easy way to do that…
“I could come with you.”
Nathan’s heart and head both froze for a moment. The fact she was willing to offer to come with him lightened his worry instantly. He hadn’t wanted to ask, but if she was offering…
“Stay here,” she commanded, pointing to the rest of the apartment. “I’ll shower and change and then we can go to your place to do the same for you.”
“You don’t have to…” he started to demur but she already knew how he was feeling and wanted to do what she could to ease it as much as possible.
“I do. I get it Nathan, I do… and…“ she announced as she scooped up clothes from her closet and drawers, heading back to shower, “and you could make us some coffee you know…”
Nathan smiled at that last, hearing the real Audrey under the concerned words.
“Alright. Go shower and change. I’ll have coffee ready when you come out then we’ll run past my place and then…”
Audrey closed the door to the bathroom and Nathan smiled as he started going through her kitchen cabinets to get the coffee started.
After stopping at Nathan’s long enough for him to shower and change, Audrey spending the whole time sitting in his living room, flipping channels on his TV they’d headed to see Vince at the Haven Herald. When they walked in Vince stood up immediately and went over to hug her, startling her.
“Wow, what a greeting. I should get kidnapped more often.”
“I was very worried for you,” Vince stated sincerely. “I am so glad you are safe.”
“I understand you gave Nathan and Duke a bunch more information about the troubles and me that you didn’t share with me the last time I came by here,” she remarked, the anger in her voice evident as she launched right into the reason they were there.
“I’m sorry about that. If it had been up to just me I would have told you all this months ago.”
“So who was it up to?” questioned Nathan, his arms crossing in front of him.
“Dave and Garland thought we needed to give you more time…”
“And you agreed with them?” asked Audrey, her voice raising just a bit more and Nathan moved to place a hand on her shoulder, hoping to calm her a bit.
“At the time. Now I realize we did all of you a great disservice. If you, Nathan and Duke had known what you were all capable of; what your roles in all this were…” Vince started, trailing off when he realized he didn’t know exactly what Audrey knew just yet. “How much did Nathan explain to you?”
“I told her everything you told Duke and I,” Nathan replied, hoping to clarify the situation as much as possible.
“Nathan said you told him that he, Duke and I can fix the troubled?”
“Yes. It’s what you’re supposed to do; what you’re meant to do each time you come back. But people have kept you from that path before.”
“Like Simon…” Nathan supplied and Vince nodded.
“And this time it wasn’t just the Rev that wanted me gone, but Dave as well,” Audrey noted, her anger spiking.
Vince looked at her and then Nathan, seeing the hard edge in his blue eyes and the set of his locked jaw. Now that Dave had openly chosen to work against Audrey and Nathan it had solidified their opposing views and put them in two very different camps. Ones that would mean that Vince might have to watch his brother end up in jail, or worse, dead at Duke or Nathan’s hands as they protected Audrey from his insanity. But Dave had chosen his path.
“He… has issues.”
“Well that’s nice and all but he wanted me dead.”
Vince looked down and away. He had no way to excuse his brother’s behavior and what he’d done to Nathan and Audrey, along with Duke. But at least he could help them with what information he did know.
“And there’s nothing I can say to apologize for that. All I can do is tell you everything I know about the troubles; stories that were passed down through our family, that I’ve found from founding family histories and tales that explain how the troubles started.”
Audrey glanced from Vince to Nathan. No one supposedly knew what the troubles were and why they afflicted Haven. Now Vince was saying he had some clue as to the history of Haven and the troubles…
“What do you know?” questioned Nathan, curious as to what Vince knew that he’d yet to share with him.
“There is significant evidence in all the family histories that I’ve come across to show that the troubles go back to close to the founding of Haven nearly 350 years ago. The troubled seem to be able to trace their ancestry to the founding families that originally settled here that were cursed.”
“Cursed?” asked Audrey, not liking the term since Reverend Driscoll had always used it in such a derogatory way, but now she wondered if he’d known what the troubles were all along.
“That’s how the accounts describe it. According to the stories the curse came because there was a… dispute between two factions of settlers here; the Native American tribe that lived on the land and the European settlers who came from England.”
“There was a… incident. It’s vague as to exactly what it was but it caused the shaman of the tribe to curse the European settlers,” explained Vince, slowly moving to sit down at his desk as he began to feel overwhelmed by what he’d learned over the decades and how sharing it with Audrey and Nathan would change things.
“Okay,” stated Audrey, thinking how the curse could have created the troubles, but it still left a big unanswered question, “so that makes sense. But what about me?”
“There’s a legend, one that changes depending on which one you hear or read that says that one of the English women tried to help the tribe. Because of her they eased the troubles… which is why they occur only every 27 years. And they gave her a chance to… reverse the curse.”
“And you think that she was me? That I’ve been coming back with the troubles ever since the people of Haven were cursed?”
Beside her Nathan stiffened. When Vince had first confirmed that Audrey was Lucy he’d felt his heart collapse in his chest at the idea that he’d lose her when the troubles left, like Lucy had disappeared after the Colorado Kid murder and the troubles had left town once again. But Vince’s theory on how his love for Audrey would keep her here after they’d cured the troubled had eased that fear but now he could see how her connection with the troubles was so intertwined that he desperately needed Vince to be right because he couldn’t image losing her when the curse was reversed.
“It would fit,” Nathan suggested poignantly under his breath. “If they wanted to give the descendants of the cursed settlers a chance at breaking the curse they had to give the people of the town some way to do it... and I guess… you… are it.”
Audrey glanced at him and turned away from Vince to lay a hand on Nathan’s arm. She tried to convey to him with her eyes exactly how she felt, that barring something beyond their control she wasn’t leaving him… ever.
“As I explained to Nathan while you were… gone,” Vince said quickly, interrupting what seemed to him a very intense moment between the two younger people in front of him, “you have always disappeared when the troubles do. But this time things are different. I believe you can do away with the troubles once and for all.”
“And I won’t leave because of Nathan…” she responded, her eyes finally pulling away from Nathan to focus on Vince once again, her hand slipping from Nathan’s arm as she turned.
Vince nodded, watching Nathan close the distance between him and Audrey when her hand left his arm. He couldn’t fight the small smile that grew on his face at the movement. Seeing them now, like this, he had no doubts now that everything he’d believed about Audrey’s fate this time around was right…
“Your love for Nathan and his for you will keep you here…”
At Vince’s words, Audrey had a memory of music in her head...
“Love will keep us together,” Audrey said with a slightly incredulous tone as she swiveled her head to look up at Nathan who was already watching her, his hand now pressed against the small of her back, even if he couldn’t feel her through her shirt.
“That’s the theory,” replied Nathan with a smile.
“Seems like I’ve heard this somewhere before,” she replied, her mind recalling that stupid Captain & Tennille song that had been on her radio when ‘Agent Howard’ had first sent her to Haven, then when she’d been in the rental car on the cliff’s edge and then again when she’d been locked in that closet…
In fact, it seemed there was a theme in regards to love… she, or Lucy could play the piano and the one song she kept playing she’d learned was Elton John’s “Your Song”. That and the revelation of the Crocker box’s Latin translation all seemed to point her to the fact that love was the key to the troubles, her and Haven.
“And what about this?” Audrey asked, pulling out the ring Vince had given her earlier that she’d taken to carrying in her pocket since Vince had given it to her days earlier.
“Where did you get that?” asked Nathan quickly, seeing the dainty gold band with its three diamond insets.
“Vince said it was Sarah’s… the woman before Lucy… Why?”
Nathan dug into the front of his shirt and pulled out the gold chain he wore around his neck with the dangling ring that his father had worn. He slipped the chain over his head and put the ring next to the one in Audrey’s hand. Audrey couldn’t fight the gasp that broke from her lips as she looked at the two rings side by side. They looked…
Two sets of eyes went from the rings to Vince and he shrugged. He had expected once Nathan and Audrey saw both rings together that they would ask about them. But he doubted they knew what they were getting themselves into.
“They do…Sarah had one ring, Garland the other.”
“But… they weren’t…” began Nathan, suddenly desperately scared about what that could mean.
“No, I told you Nathan that your father was happily married. He was simply the… caretaker for the ring while I held onto Sarah’s. These rings,” Vince said, standing as he moved closer to them where they held the circles of gold between them, “were created around the turn of the century when my great grandfather started to piece together some of the legends of Haven.”
“Why were they made?” asked Audrey, still rattled by the sudden realization that the Chief’s ring was the male match for Sarah’s.
He looked at them in turn with a knowing gaze. He’d told them both straight out that the love they had for one another was the key to keeping Audrey in Haven after the troubles were eliminated. Love was the missing ingredient in curing the troubles and keeping Audrey from vanishing like she had every other cycle. And the rings were a symbol of that love…
Standing there both Nathan and Audrey finally turned to one another as Vince’s unspoken answer crystallized for both of them.
“We’re supposed to get married?” Audrey questioned, her voice rising on the last as the magnitude of Vince’s implication hit her.
“Would that really be such a hardship?” Vince asked with a wide smile as he watched how Nathan and Audrey were still looking at one another as they both separately had to come to terms with where their feelings were ultimately going to take them.
Nathan heard Vince’s question and graced Audrey with an intense, open look of longing and love in his eyes; that half smile that she knew so well and that told her everything she needed to know without words. Even if they hadn’t already admitted to one another the depths of their feelings, she knew that what they had was the one real thing about her, something that was only hers and not Audrey Parker or Lucy Ripley’s…
She and Nathan were real and being with him forever… well there were no doubts in his mind, she could tell…and if she had to be honest, she didn’t have any either.
“No…” she replied, still looking at Nathan as she watched the brilliant smile slowly fill his face at her words as he reached out and caught her hand in his, reveling not only in the ability to feel her but with the knowledge that she wanted this too. “I guess not…”
- End Chapter 12 -