Brothers in Arms

A Haven fanfic

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

Chapter 8

 

-x-

 

Duke did his best not to yelp as Nathan nearly parked the Bronco on the front lawn of the house Agent Howard had directed them to. The man in the driver’s seat barely turned off the engine before he was unclipping his seat belt and flung the truck door open, not caring if it closed behind him.

 

Nathan rushed up the walk and was at the front door in seconds. He tried the door but it was locked; it wasn’t like he was surprised. Glancing to his right he saw Duke had joined him and gave him a simple nod to acknowledge his presence as well as his help.

 

“Kick it down.”

 

For a moment Duke almost considered asking Nathan to wait, that maybe he could pop the lock like he had at the Good Sheppard Church but the anxious look on Nathan’s face stilled the words before they left his lips. Instead he simply backed up along with Nathan and they both rushed the door. Two heavy feet slammed into the wood before them, causing the door jam to creak but not buckle. Not even waiting for Duke, Nathan placed a second fierce kick against the wood and the door suddenly gave, the frame cracking and spitting wood fragments into the air that Nathan ignored.

 

“Parker!” called out Nathan as he warily entered into the house.

 

Howard hadn’t said if there was anyone else there, so he wasn’t taking chances. He also didn’t know where in the house she was so that meant they needed to search the place until they found her.

 

“Audrey!” yelled Duke as he followed Nathan inside.

 

In the darkness of her improvised prison Audrey’s head popped up at the sound a loud crash. Instantly she sat up, paying attention and wondering if Dave was coming for her to finish her off. Listening hard to try and pick out what was going on she heard someone calling out and realized that it was Nathan’s voice, followed by Duke, the two of them calling her name. A rush of relief filled her as she realized it was a rescue rather than a firing squad coming for her and she moved to kick at the door hoping to give them enough sound to guide them to her.

 

“Nathan!” she cried out, hoping between her voice and her kicking he would hear her.

 

“I heard something,” Nathan said suddenly to Duke as he pulled his service weapon, pointing it low and forward as he stalked through the house, trying to pin point the sound. Beside him Duke pulled out his own gun, looking around them, waiting for someone to jump them.

 

Audrey continued to yell and kick, and halfway into the house Nathan recognized her voice and he took a sudden, stunned breath, realizing that she really was here somewhere and close from the sound of it.

 

“Audrey!” called out Duke and Nathan nearly simultaneously as they honed in on her location in the house.

 

Nathan’s voice was clearer and closer now, and Audrey felt her heart thunder in her chest. She slammed her feet into the closet door again, feeling the pain from the repeated pounding through her lower legs but wasn’t about to stop.

 

Both men kept moving until they found a closet in a back bedroom with a padlock keeping it closed.

 

“Parker?” called Nathan as he rushed towards the door.

 

“Nathan! I’m in here!” she called out, almost crying in relief at the realization that Nathan was on the other side of her makeshift prison door.

 

The sound of her voice separated by the closet door sent a rush through his veins and he breathed in a shaky breath. He’d been so fearful that they’d be too late, or that she’d be unresponsive, gagged or even seriously injured when they found her. But she was there, inches away from him and he wasn’t waiting any longer.

 

“Move back!”

 

At Nathan’s voice she instantly huddled on the floor in the back of the closet. There was a sudden crack of a gunshot as Nathan shot the lock. He quickly holstered his gun and began fumbling with the lock, memories of opening a trunk in the Carpenter’s Knot house filling his mind. As he flung the door open, Audrey uncurled herself and looked up, blinking rapidly as the sudden influx of light hurt her eyes.

 

Nathan was on the floor beside her in a split second, reaching for her, needing to feel her to assure himself that she was alive and there. The second his fingers touched her face he felt himself fall apart.

 

“Oh God Audrey,” he murmured thickly, relief washing through him at having found her alive.

 

“Nathan…” she responded, her voice equally tremulous.

 

For what seemed like the longest of moments they simply stared at one another, Nathan’s hands on her cheek and shoulder. Over the last 24 hours they had both had a big wake up call about how fleeting life was, especially in Haven and realized just how close they had both come to losing everything they were on the verge of having with one another.

 

“You okay?” asked Duke from where he now squatted beside Nathan having been previously ignored for the reunion going on before him.

 

“Yeah…” she said breathlessly, her eyes leaving Nathan’s for just a moment to acknowledge Duke’s presence. “Maybe a couple of burns from the taser and my wrists are…”

 

At her words Nathan jerked back slightly from her so he could glance down at the two slight marks on her chest above the satin camisole that she was wearing. When his mind registered that he was almost staring at the silky material covering her chest he forcibly yanked his eyes away and moved to assess her hands. He tried to turn her to get to where her hands were tied behind her but couldn’t do it easily. He glanced down and saw the plastic tie around her ankles and realized that his hands were most likely touching the plastic tie around her wrists.

 

“Duke, go look for a knife from the kitchen to cut these…”

 

“On it,” he responded as he rose quickly from his spot on the floor and moving away, leaving Audrey and Nathan alone.

 

Once Duke had gotten up to hunt for a knife Nathan guided Audrey to sit up against the wall more comfortably, what with her hands bound behind her. He found himself absently touching her hair, her skin to ground him to the reality that she was real and in his arms.

 

“How are you doing?” he asked her softly, his hands drifting to hold her before him, hands wrapped around the cool flesh of her upper arms. 

 

“Better… now…” she answered simply, her blue eyes boring into his own, the hesitancy she’d shown since they’d made their dinner date gone in the face of her abduction and near death.

 

She wasn’t shying away from this man any longer…

 

Suddenly Duke appeared with a small paring knife he’d found tucked forgotten in a drawer and handed it to Nathan. He reluctantly eased his hands away from her so he could take the knife and moved to cut her wrists free.

 

“Hold still,” he said lowly as he slipped the knife blade between her skin and the tie.

 

With an angry whip of his wrist Nathan cut the plastic restraint and quickly repeated the motion with the one tying her ankles. Audrey pulled her hands forward, feeling the ache in her shoulders at the movement and then rubbed at the raw, scabbed skin at her wrists, the blood dried and flaked.

 

At the sight of the bloody marks around her wrists where the plastic tie had cut into her Nathan swore softly. His hands reached out and touched the edges softly, not wanting to hurt her. The anger he’d felt at her kidnapping now morphed into fury that Howard could have injured her, even if it could have been so much worse…

 

“You’re going to the hospital,” he said sternly, his tone brooking no argument as he fingered the wounds on her wrists.

 

“No, Nathan, I’m okay…” she remarked, trying to waive off his concern over what in reality were pretty minor injuries.

 

“This isn’t up for discussion.”

 

The way he’d replied made Audrey’s heart both clench and her mind scream. She understood the sweet, protective desire he had to have her go to the hospital but the stubborn side of her thought he was being overly worried. She turned her eyes to Duke, hoping that perhaps he’d back her up but he gave her a rueful smile and shook his head even as he reached forward and placed a hand on her calf.

 

“Come on Audrey. Nate’s been out of his mind worrying about you… the least you can do is go and have the docs check you out and put his mind at ease.”

 

She frowned but nodded slightly, acquiescing to Nathan’s request. There were times when she could fight with him about being over protective, but considering she’d been kidnapped she didn’t think now was the time.

 

Carefully he wrapped an arm around her back and waist and stood, bringing her with him. Once she was standing she let herself lean on him, partially from relief and partially due to her own desire to stay connected to him. When Nathan took a step forward, guiding her to move with him she felt every muscle in her body protest and then admitted that maybe some pain killers at the ER wouldn’t suck so much.

 

Slowly Nathan and Audrey moved through the house, Duke trailing behind them slightly, watching the way Nathan held Audrey as they headed to the front door. As they maneuvered through the limited furniture to the open door leading outdoors and to the truck Audrey seemed to be more secure on her feet, even though she continued to lean into the man beside her. For Nathan’s part he found that he couldn’t let go of her.

 

Finally they were outside and Audrey put a hand up to block the afternoon sun. After her eyes adjusted she could see Nathan’ truck on the gravel drive of the house; the front wheels were nearly on the green grass of the lawn. Nathan continued to direct her down the stairs and to the vehicle where he propped her against the Bronco while he reached into the open driver’s side door and dug in the back seat, pulling out his discarded jacket. He shook it once and then placed it over her shoulders, shielding her from the cooler weather that just by looking at the goose flesh on her bare arms he could tell was settling in Haven.

 

“Thanks,” she said simply, her hands coming up and grasping the lapels of his coat, wrapping herself in the warmth the jacket gave her as well as the smell of him on the fabric.

 

Nathan gave her a smile but didn’t trust his voice to respond as her face looked up at him and he found himself so very tempted to simply lean down and kiss her. But they had an audience and he wanted to make sure she really was okay and then settle them in at his place, maybe hers before they broached the subject of them.

 

Duke climbed in the back so Nathan could settle her into the passenger seat, where she belonged. Nathan walked around hurriedly to the driver’s side, climbing in. Turning over the engine he backed up the truck and started for Haven Regional Hospital.

 

As he drove them through town, his eyes kept glancing away from the road and back to where Audrey sat beside him; even though he’d felt her, held her against him he was still afraid each time he turned away again that the next time he looked over at her she’d be gone.

 

Before long they were at the ER at Haven Regional and Nathan flashed his badge to get the nurse at the desk’s attention. Duke hung back, waiting and watching, knowing that right now Audrey needed Nathan more than she needed him right now, and moved to grab a seat in the waiting area, picking up an months old magazine to wait on them.

 

“Officer Wuornos, Officer Parker,” said the woman at the desk as she took in the two police offices before she took in the raw wrists of Audrey and gasped lightly.

 

“Nancy, could you get a doctor to check on Officer Parker please?”

 

At his request she nodded and was up and moving. Before long she’d returned and escorted Audrey back to a bed in the ER bay. Audrey took off Nathan’s jacket and laid it on the end of the bed as she turned and lifted herself onto the gurney with a slight wince. Nathan started for her but she waved him off. He stared at her, making her smile lightly, somewhat embarrassed at how much a mess she must look and how the way he was looking at her made her heart flutter in her chest. Then the connection was broken as the doctor walked in, chart in hand as he turned to his patient.

 

“So, what is the problem?”

 

“I…”

 

“Office Parker was held against her will, shot with a taser and bound hand and foot for a little under 24 hrs,” quickly explained Nathan, making Audrey look past the doctor and give Nathan a slight, pained grin.

 

“Oh, okay,” answered the doctor, slightly stunned as he quickly went about checking Audrey over, tending to the visible wounds.

 

Nathan hovered at the ER bay entrance as the doctor treated Audrey’s wrists and bandaged them with soft white gauze. She glanced briefly at what the doctor was doing but couldn’t help but look back to Nathan. She could see the weariness in his face and she suddenly realized that she had no idea what he’d gone through to locate her.

 

The way that Duke had told her that Nathan had been worrying about her while she’d been gone made her consider that he might have been ripping Haven apart to locate her and she wanted to know now how he’d done it.

 

“How did you find me?” she suddenly asked, making Nathan jerk slightly from his staring at her, his mind processing what was still to come regarding her abduction and fixing the troubles.

 

“Agent Howard tried to flee town and we picked him up,” he replied simply, not elaborating at all on how he knew about Howard or what he’d done to loosen the man’s tongue.

 

“He’s at the station?”

 

“Yeah…”

 

With the last wound bandaged, the doctor smiled at Audrey and glanced back over his shoulder at Nathan.

 

“You’re good to go. Let me know if you need anything else,” he said before he turned to leave.

 

Once he was gone Audrey picked up Nathan’s jacket and folded it over her arm as she slid off the gurney. Slowly she walked to Nathan’s side, her hand reaching out and catching his wrist, causing him to briefly catch his breath at the sensation.

 

“Alright, so let’s go…” she said softly, her eyes piercing his as she gazed up at him.

 

“Okay. Do you want to let me settle you at my place or do you need to go back to yours… it is a mess though…”

 

“Neither… I want to see Agent Howard.”

 

“Audrey, no… you need to go home and rest,” Nathan said, and even though he really didn’t want to let her out of his sight any time soon he knew he would need to go back to the station to deal with Howard as soon as possible; he could get Duke to stay with her.

 

“Nathan, I need you to take me to the station so I can see him. I have some questions I need him to answer for me, and they can’t wait,” she insisted, her grip tightening on his wrist now.

 

“Parker…”

 

“Nathan, I just spent god knows how many hours locked in a closet because of this guy who knew I wasn’t Agent Audrey Parker all along. I need to see him.”

 

Nathan watched the fire in her eyes and sighed. When she was like this there was no arguing with her. Maybe the best thing was to go and get it over with so he could take her home once they were done… everything else; the weight of Haven that was now on their shoulders could wait until they’d had the time to come to terms with this… with them and the kidnapping and everything…

 

“Alright. Let’s go get Duke and we’ll go to the station.”

 

She grinned at him and briefly caught his hand in hers, threading her fingers with his and squeezing lightly. He quickly clutched her hand back, reveling in the feeling of her soft, warm hand in his and then lead them out of the ER bay and out to find Duke.

 

-x-

 

Vince had come back after meeting with a source and found the office empty again. He’d yet to see his brother in the last 48 hours and was wondering if Dave was purposefully trying to avoid him.

 

His eyes caught the closed door to the dark room. He hadn’t closed it earlier… he hurried across the office and pushed it open. The space where the weapons box had sat was empty.

 

“Damn,” he swore quietly as he slammed a fist into the wall by the door.

 

- End Chapter 8 -