Brothers in Arms

A Haven fanfic

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

Chapter 5

 

-x-

 

Once Nathan had realized that Vince had no clues to finding Audrey he’d quickly turned and headed to the Bronco, intent on going to the Gull and searching her apartment like he’d planned. Duke was on his heels in a moment, not about to let him leave without him. Right now one of them needed to be level headed, and it certainly wasn’t former interim police chief Nathan Wuornos.

 

Besides, he was sure Nathan was pondering everything they’d learned from Vince just like he was. How this time, with the woman they knew as Audrey Parker here in Haven, the three of them had a chance to not only fix all the troubled but allow Audrey to stay after they were gone… it was a lot to take in.

 

And from Duke’s perspective it was a good thing too. If Vince was to be believed he couldn’t imagine the pain losing her forever would cause Nathan.

 

A slight overcorrection by Nathan as they drove forced Duke to regard the other man seriously and found him blinking and slightly shaking his head, as if to clear it; if Duke had to guess he’d say that the adrenaline and fear that had been fueling Nathan seemed to be wearing off. There was only so long he’d be able to keep going at this pace, and without any significant leads on Audrey, all he’d be doing would be running himself into the ground if he didn’t eat and get some rest.

 

Normally it would be Nathan worrying about Audrey and vice versa, but with her the one in trouble it left Nathan on his own… except for Duke. He could almost hear her voice in his head telling him to take care of Nathan for her.

 

After another correction to get them back straight on the road Duke fought the sigh that wanted to escape. Then he drew up his courage to dive into the shark infested waters that were Nathan’s emotions with regards to Audrey’s abduction and him being a sane person and resting… before he got them in a wreck.

 

“So… are you going to rest at all?” Duke asked impulsively as they continued to drive to Audrey’s, the truck’s headlights cutting through the darkness as it crept closer to midnight.

 

“Not until I find her,” Nathan replied in a clipped tone.

 

“Where? How?”

 

Nathan turned on Duke, his eyes blazing. He was not going to let Duke discourage him. There would be clues at Audrey’s place. He was going to find something, someone that would point him in the right direction to find her. He had no choice but to believe that.

 

“Don’t you get that if it was me she’d be hunting for me until she dropped?”

 

“Look, Nate, I do get it… more than before actually,” he said, trying to reach over and lay a hand on Nathan’s arm but he just ignored it; it wasn’t like he could feel it anyway. “Vince was right, wasn’t he? About you and Audrey…”

 

Nathan didn’t say anything, instead turning back to the road, keeping his eyes pinned on it. Even without him answering it was now obvious to Duke that Vince was right; Nathan was in love with Audrey and it sounded like she loved him too which now made Nathan’s behavior make a whole lot more sense. When Nathan had barged into the Cape Rouge so many hours ago, his tone menacing as he demanded to know where Audrey was, threatening him with his gun Duke had just assumed that it was the fear of a partner. Now, knowing what he did the actions were clearly those of a man in love.

 

When Nathan and Duke finally got to the Gull it was business as usual; people drinking and eating and music playing. Neither though was much in the mood, they had more grim things to deal with, like the ‘crime scene’.

 

Nathan parked the Bronco and hurriedly scaled the stairs to Audrey’s place, Duke right behind him. They got to the French doors, one still ajar and Nathan walked in without pause, finding the light switch to illuminate the place. While Nathan had seen the mess before, Duke hadn’t and froze at the doorstep as he took in the scene.

 

“It was like this when you got here?”

 

“Yeah… but all I really saw was the whistle, here,” Nathan remarked as he knelt in the kitchen space where he’d found the whistle pointing him to Duke.

 

“Looks like they were looking for something… sort of,” Duke remarked, noting the open cabinets that Nathan had mentioned earlier.

 

“I’d thought that too but nothing else is touched. Her bed, the couch, bookcases… it’s all undisturbed.”

 

Duke looked past Nathan to the griddle with its burned pancakes, and then turned to see the ruins of a table set for two, the wine… put together with the jacket and tie in the truck it all clicked in his head and he couldn’t help the smirk that filled his face or the mischievous glint in his eyes as he realized that fact.

 

“You were on a date…”

 

Nathan looked back at Duke, pain now visible in his eyes. He’d tried to block out the reasons for being here once he’d realized she was gone, but Duke’s words brought it all back. He’d been looking forward to pancakes and talking and maybe another real kiss with her… or more than a single kiss. Now…

 

“We’ll just have to postpone until we find her…” he said as he moved to turn the griddle near the sink off, studiously ignoring the charred remains of what was supposed to be dinner.

 

Duke watched as Nathan walked around the apartment, eyes and hands searching everything. It seemed to take forever but in reality Duke figured it might have been an hour, maybe slightly more. But there wasn’t anything left to find. Whoever had taken Audrey, they’d been sure to leave nothing behind that was easily visible. Now fingerprints of fibers or whatever, that might still be a possibility to find, but they’d need help, which meant trusting people.

 

And right now, following Vince’s revelations neither of them were quite sure who exactly they could trust.

 

Turning around from where he’d been looking out the French doors Duke found Nathan leaning over the ruins of the dining table, both hands braced as his head drooped. He could almost see the despair and anger rolling off him. The longer it took them to find Audrey the closer to the edge Nathan was getting.

 

But on top of all that it was obvious to him that Nathan was finally hitting the wall, both physically as well as mentally. The clues he’d been banking on finding to lead them to Audrey hadn’t been here, and now he was starting to shut down.

 

“I need to start checking all of the Rev’s properties, his acquaintances, maybe there’s something there; someone has to know something.”

 

“Nate, it’s like 2 am…. you can’t do any of that until morning.”

 

“What else am I going to do?”

 

“You can get some sleep,” Duke stated simply, a slight edge to his voice as he talked to the other man like he was a two year old. “You can’t run on adrenaline and coffee even if you think you can. And if you don’t sleep your mind’s gonna start messing with you and where will that put her? She needs you sharp to help her.”

 

Nathan stopped, Duke’s hand now resting on his shoulder. He couldn’t feel it but he could see Duke standing beside him, trying to talk some sense into him. Of course he didn’t want to hear it. Audrey was gone and he needed to find her. The longer she was gone the greater the chances were that he’d never find her. He knew how it worked with kidnappings; the first 24 hours were crucial, and he figured he had about 12 of them left.

 

Still, he knew he’d nearly killed them both a couple times just driving to the Gull because he was getting fatigued on top of the emotional upheaval her disappearance and Vince’s revelations had wrought. He was still trying to figure out how Vince knew what he did, and why he and Duke were only learning about these things now.

 

No matter what though, what Duke had said was true. He did need his brain working and right now it was past the point of coherent thought. He hated the fact that he was impaired by physical limitations that his affliction couldn’t compensate for.

 

“I hate when you’re right, you know that…” Nathan said with a sigh.

 

“Of course you do. Look… we can stay here. First thing in the morning you can start making calls and asking questions. I’ll see who was on shift tonight before you showed up at the boat and you can ask if anyone saw anything.  I’ll sleep on the couch, you take the bed.”

 

Duke turned Nathan around and pointed him physically towards the bed in question. Nathan looked at the wrought iron headboard and pure white linens with a sense of horror. To sleep in it at all, but especially without her just seemed wrong.

 

Duke caught the look on his face and laughed. If he was honest, he’d been rooting for Nathan and Audrey to get a clue and hook up for a while. When she’d taken up with Chris Brody he’d been surprised and a bit dismayed. But then she’d ended up breaking things off with him and now it seemed she’d finally realized that Nathan had been waiting on her. And of course that was when someone realized she needed to be gone… it made a lot of sense based on Vince’s theory…

 

“I can’t sleep in that…” Nathan began, his body unconsciously moving away from the bed in question.

 

“Yes you can. Besides, its not like you aren’t going to be in it once you get her back anyway,” scoffed Duke, making Nathan glare at him like he didn’t know what he was saying.

 

Even if it was the truth.

 

Nathan thought about arguing some more before his eyelids started to droop for a moment as fatigue began to push at his senses once more. He sighed and gave in, his exhaustion making the decision for him that under normal circumstances he never would presume to make.

 

Duke watched Nathan sit on the edge of the bed and take off his shoes before he lay back on the bed on top of the covers. There was no way he was getting under them…

 

He closed his eyes and turned to the side, his senses taking over for him. As his head hit the pillow he suddenly smelled Audrey’s scent and he tried to fight off the ache that threatened to erupt in his chest as he thought of her held captive somewhere, possibly hurt…

 

God, he wanted her back safely so badly…

 

His hands curled in the pillowcase as he held the pillow closer, hoping that maybe he could turn off his mind any let her scent lull him to sleep in the false promise that she was there, and would be there when he woke.

 

Having seen the way he’d curled into the bedclothes, Duke turned away quickly to give Nathan whatever privacy he could afford him and headed to the couch. He laid down on it, finding a loose afghan over the arm and wrapping himself in it. As he laid there, eyes pointed to the ceiling as he fought to decompress he thought to himself that as much as he might envy Nathan for having found Audrey he was grateful he wasn’t in his shoes tonight. Loving her as a friend was hard enough at the moment; he couldn’t imagine what Nathan was going through…

 

It was going to be a long night… for both of them.

 

-End Chapter 5-