Brothers in Arms

A Haven fanfic

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

Chapter 4

 

-x-

 

“What do you have?” asked Nathan, anxious to hear some good news.

 

After a moment Nathan suddenly pulled the Bronco over to the side of the road as he sat there, his ear glued to his phone as he continued to listen to what the person on the other end was telling him. Then he shot his eyes over to Duke, staring critically at the other man. He wanted to believe that Duke had no clue as to what he’d just learned, but he had to wonder.

 

“Who was that?” he suddenly asked and then nodded as he got a reply from the person on the phone, surprise showing in his face.

 

“Okay. Call me if you hear anything more.”

 

With that Nathan hung up the phone and sighed. It seemed that this day was getting worse by the hour.

 

“What now?” Duke asked, his tone of voice displaying his expectation that Nathan was going to say something uncomplimentary about him, as was his normal behavior.

 

“That was Dwight. He intercepted a call to the station about a disturbance at Eastside Cemetery.”

 

Duke made a questioning face and then said, “Kyle’s dead and the ghosts left with him…”

 

“Dwight went out there… he found your father’s grave had been dug up…”

 

At Nathan’s words Duke’s eyes opened wide as he realized what that meant. He’d made a point to bury his father’s things with him not only to show he wasn’t following down his old man’s path but to get the stuff out of circulation. When Dwight had come looking for the box before, it had been on someone else’s behalf, but he hadn’t asked or found out who it was.

 

And now…

 

“They’re gone?”

 

“The box, the weapons, everything…” Nathan said with some concern.

 

“Shit,” Duke said, dragging a hand through his hair.

 

“Who knew you buried it there?”

 

“You and Audrey…”

 

Nathan and Duke looked at one another as they considered what that meant; that whoever had Audrey had might have also forced her to give them the whereabouts of the box…

 

Nathan closed his eyes and tried to control his anger but couldn’t; the palms of his hands slammed against the steering wheel in frustration. The idea that whoever had taken Audrey might have actually done something to her, maybe even tortured her to get the information about Simon Crocker’s weapons box… it made him furious.

 

“So now someone has Audrey out of the way and quite possibly all of your father’s information and weapons…” Nathan nearly growled, frustration and anger tingeing his voice.

 

“I still have the journal, but yeah they have the box and weapons. But without me they can’t really use them.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

Duke had no reply to that. His father’s ghost hadn’t said anything about the weapons more than how it was the Crocker legacy to kill the troubled and to kill the woman that was Lucy or Audrey or whatever she called herself each time she returned to Haven. And neither of those things were things he was willing to do.

 

In the silence between them, Nathan tried to focus, use his investigative skills to figure out why someone would want to dig up the box. Inside might have been weapons meant for Duke only, or maybe there was more to it. Maybe whatever was inside the box had powers even in ordinary hands. 

 

“Do you think that they dug up your dad’s weapons thinking they needed them to… kill Audrey?” Nathan asked the fear in his voice audible.

 

Duke glanced at Nathan, his concern showing in his eyes.

 

“I don’t know,” Duke said honestly and saw Nathan’s expression fall even as he visibly caught and held his breath. “But if we have anything to say about it, they won’t be using them to hurt her. We’ll find her Nate, we… you have to believe that.”

 

Nathan nodded but didn’t seem fully convinced. Until he had Audrey safe in his arms he was going to worry about what was happening to her and keep searching for her. But he did at least have a lead on the box and maybe that person might be able to point them in the direction of the person or persons who had taken Audrey, and he needed to focus on that for now. He took a deep breath and looked at Duke, his eyes filled once again with determination.

 

“We don’t know who has the box now, but Dwight did tell me who had asked him to retrieve it from you earlier…” revealed Nathan as he pulled the truck back onto the road and turned the Bronco around in a tight U turn.

 

“Who?”

 

“Vince Teagues.”

 

Duke’s mouth dropped open. Of everyone he might have considered he would never have pegged the kindly co editor of the Haven Herald as the man behind the muscle of the bow carrying sasquatch that worked ‘odd’ jobs in Haven.

 

“Sounds like we need to go talk to him,” Duke suggested.

 

“My thoughts exactly,” replied Nathan as he drove towards the Herald office, expecting that this time when he walked in there he wasn’t walking out without some answers.

 

-x-

 

Dark had already fallen when the small chime of the door opening at the Haven Herald brought Vince’s head up. It was late and Dave was already gone so he really hadn’t expect anyone there at this hour. Of course seeing Duke and Nathan walking through the door was something he couldn’t have anticipated. The fact that they were there, together made him hopeful that the time to make a stand had come… finally.

 

He pushed his glasses off his nose, letting them fall against his chest and took a deep breath as he prepared himself for what was to come.

 

“Dwight sold you out,” Nathan began darkly as he pushed past the little barricade between the Teagues’s desks and the entryway to the paper’s offices.

 

“Nathan, it isn’t what you think…” began Vince, swiveling in his chair to regard the two younger men, who approached him quickly, anger in their eyes.

 

“You sent Dwight to steal my father’s box of secrets,” Duke yelled, pointing at him furiously. “And now they’re gone again.”

 

Vince sighed and nodded his head. He stood briefly and walked to the dark room they kept at the paper and opened the door. In the red light of the room they could see the glint of the silver box by the doorway, surprising both of them that Vince had dug the box up and brought it here.

 

“You unburied them from the cemetery?” Duke questioned, confused. “How did you even know they were there…

 

“I have sources,” he said simply, “I originally had meant to keep them from you so you would not heed the words of either your father or Reverend Driscoll. Now I wanted them safe for fear others would find them and try to force you to use them.”

 

“You really believe I could be manipulated like that?”

 

“I was afraid of what they might try to make you do; that they might persuade you to follow your family’s path without fully understanding what the Crocker line can do.”

 

“You mean killing troubled people to cure their family lines…” Nathan said, the words sounding like condemnation from his mouth.

 

“And killing the woman sent to help them,” Vince agreed with a dark look to Duke. “This time, it is Audrey.”

 

“So… Audrey really is Lucy…” Nathan questioned, his voice nearly breaking on the last word.

 

Vince nodded and Nathan felt his heart freeze in his chest. He’d denied believing it could really be true every time Audrey had suggested it… because he hadn’t wanted to contemplate what that could mean. For Audrey… and for them. Vince saw the way Nathan’s face darkened at his words and knew he had to tell him the rest, what he’d recognized this time that made him feel that Audrey’s fate had changed.

 

“She is. But this time things are different. She’s different Nathan… and I believe it has to do with you. Both of you in fact.”

 

Duke and Nathan looked to one another in confusion, not clear on how they could affect Audrey in this bizarre context. Taking a deep breath Vince glanced at them, readying his observations and what he was sure was the key to changing everything.

 

“Before, with Sarah, before both your times, she had attachments but nothing that could hold her here,” Vince began, recalling Dave’s… feelings for Sarah that she did not share.

 

Duke leaned back against the railing even as Nathan moved closer to Vince, hoping to hear something that could help protect her once they found her…

 

“There was no one to help her when your grandfather tried to hunt her down,” he continued, looking to Duke before he turned to focus his attention on Nathan, “then when she returned as Lucy, Garland worked with her, but he was already happily married to your mother Nathan. When Simon tried to hunt her down Garland did what he could to keep her safe, but it wasn’t enough. Both Lucy and Simon perished. This time however…”

 

“What’s different this time?” Nathan asked urgently, his heart now in his throat as he considered what it could be.

 

“She fell in love with someone who loves her back.”

 

At Vince’s words Nathan found his head swimming and he swallowed reflexively. He hadn’t said those words, and he wasn’t even sure if Audrey felt that way about him… yet here was Vince saying that how he felt for Audrey, how he’d hoped she felt for him wasn’t only real but the key to Audrey’s future.

 

“Love conquers all,” whispered Duke, thinking of the inscription inside the smaller silver box he’d found months back, his eyes sweeping to Vince, seeing the acknowledgement there before he focused his gaze on what seemed to be a stunned Nathan Wuornos.

 

“Indeed. Before, she has never had a reason to stay in Haven, and the Crocker line was taught to hate her, fear her. This time, she came to be friends with you Duke, before either of you knew your roles…”

 

“And I…” Nathan whispered, his emotions overwhelming him and Vince smiled at him.

 

“You fell in love with her, and she with you. Because of that, and the personality she came to Haven with, she is special… and this time by working together I believe you can stop the cycle once and for all.”

 

“We can stop the troubles permanently?” asked Duke, concerned. “I thought the only way I could do that was by killing someone so the line is cured.”

 

Vince’s face grew angry and he narrowed his eyes before looking at them, his features calming slowly. Still Nathan and Duke noted how the older man’s hands were clenched on the arms of his chair, the whites of his knuckles still showing.

 

“It was always communicated through the Crocker line that your power to end a trouble required the death of the troubled person as the catalyst for the cure. That isn’t the case but your arrogant father wouldn’t listen.”

 

“You mean…”

 

“It is the spilling and absorption of the blood onto someone in the Crocker line that cured them, not the death of the troubled person. I believe you already met someone slightly branched from your family that had a similar power… Ian Haskell.”

 

At Vince’s dual revelation Nathan spun his gaze to Duke who was already turning his head toward him, eyes wide. Ian stole people’s abilities, and had taken Jackie’s affliction with him when he’d died. If he really was related to the Crocker’s like Vince was saying, then it made sense that Duke could somehow absorb a troubled person’s powers, but in Duke’s case it seemed he didn’t take them on more than… eliminated them. If it was true, then every troubled person in Haven could be helped just by letting their blood touch Duke’s skin.

 

Processing the realization that he could help the troubled rid themselves of their power or curse without killing someone gave Duke a moment of pure relief. He had been sure that he was cursed, that his ability was more evil than any of the others he’d seen in Haven as someone had to die, but now it seemed that he could actually help people…

 

For Nathan, the reality that Duke could cure the troubled of Haven, help people who were suffering was only tempered by the idea that he could be cured too. Nathan pondered the idea dazedly, allowing himself a brief selfish moment to consider asking Duke to try it then and there in the Herald office so he could feel once again.

 

Then his concern for Audrey re-established itself, reminding him of his priorities. Right now he needed to focus on getting her back safe and sound. Knowing that his inability to feel pain might be help him get through whatever he had to face in the coming hours, days, even weeks, he immediately shelved the idea of being cured until it was all over… finding Audrey, the troubles... all of it.

 

He would be the last person Duke ‘fixed’. And if for some reason he couldn’t, as long as he could always feel Audrey, it would be enough.

 

“So Kyle died for no reason…” Duke said at last, stunned still by the news.

 

Vince nodded sorrowfully. He had tried to convince Dave that he was right; that Nathan, Duke and Audrey needed to know what they knew. Instead he’d waited too long and more people were dead.

 

“Are you sure this works?” asked Nathan.

 

“I believe so. Simon wouldn’t believe Garland when he tried to tell him the truth in an effort to save Lucy and stop the cycle back then. He swore that his father would have said something if that was true.”

 

“So why do people want to kill Audrey?” asked Duke, now thinking that the fact that the Rev and his father had wanted her dead must have meant something.

 

“Before it was because they thought she was the cause of the troubles, or that she wanted to help them rather than let people like Simon hunt them. This time I believe it is because she can end it if you work together. Audrey is the catalyst for the troubled to believe that they can be cured. Duke’s family’s power will allow him to do that. Nathan’s family has always been there to protect her in every incarnation and this time with his love for her and her love for him it should anchor her here after the troubles are gone, forever this time if I am right.”

 

Nathan took in a deep breath at the idea that the three of them could not only save the troubled and Haven but keep Audrey in Haven when the troubles left as well. He’d worried that if she was Lucy returned that when the troubles left that she would too. But now with Vince saying the feelings they had for one another would allow her to stay… he hadn’t realized how much he’d been afraid of losing her when the troubles were over until now.

 

Still none of this was any use to them when Audrey was missing.

 

“Vince, none of this matters right now because Audrey’s been kidnapped, and we have no clue as to who took her,” Nathan said, finally at a moment to refocus the conversation to what mattered to him: Audrey.

 

At that announcement Vince’s mouth dropped open and he closed his eyes, his head slumping forward as he realized that while he’d been working to try and help her, help Nathan and Duke right things, other forces had been working against him and now were trying to derail what could be Haven’s best, last chance at redemption. He opened his eyes and looked at Nathan, seeing the pain and fear in the man that he’d been masking with anger and confusion before and his heart broke for him.

 

“I don’t know who has her Nathan. I’m sorry.”

 

- End Chapter 4 -