Set after reunion after the ending around then. So yeah, enjoy
He could tell right from the moment she left the downstairs of the gull that she wasn't okay. It was the small smile and the last glance that gave her away. He could almost feel tears in his own eyes for her, except far from almost, in fact not at all, only her skin could make him truly feel. Without her he was nothing, he knew it, she knew it (he hoped) that without her by his side, as his partner, he was just an empty shell. There wasn't a chance in hell he was done fighting for her to stay yet, whether she had given up or not, he'd be there. Putting any doubt he had behind him, he stood slowly from the worn wooden chair that lay next to the chipped dinner table.
Wandering across the room, his eyes never left the door; he didn't even notice Duke's eyes follow him whilst he sat there, beer dangling by the neck in between his fingers as he took a large swig. He'd wait there too, he cared for Audrey as well, and no way would he leave her unprotected. But even he understood Nathan and Audrey's relationship. He knew they were meant to be.
Running his fingers lightly along the banister of the faded blue steps that lead to her apartment, he wanted to rid himself from the sensation of numbness. Nothing. Emptiness. But to no avail, it was her; everything always came back round to her. His life revolved around her in the best way possible, like oxygen, only better, he mused.
He could hear the sound of crying drifting through the air, mixing with the crashing of the Maine waves. He could already make out her shadow slouched against the bolted door of the entrance to her humble apartment.
So he knocked gently on the glass window and carefully opened the door.
She sniffled, almost trying to conceal the fact that she had been crying, as indiscreetly as it was considering the significant amount of mascara that had smeared below her eyes.
"Hey Parker." He spoke softly, with a sad smile as he peered down at the woman before him.
"Hi." She replied monosyllabically, a change for her, he thought.
Placing one hand on his knee as he knelt beside her, she hoisted herself up to her feet.
"Ugh look at me. I'm a mess." She laughed slightly at herself whilst using the end of her sleeves to wipe away the stray eye makeup.
"I've seen worse." He replied, his voice laced with humour, standing up from his crouching position.
"You okay, Parker?"
"Yeah." Came the unsure reply, her voice shaky and unconfident.
"Really?" He questioned the known concern in his eyes.
"No." Came the sob, as she broke down once again. Hands going up to her face to cover her eyes as her breathing picked up and Nathan's arms wrapped around her frame, a soothing hand trailing up and down her back.
"Audrey. Sh. You're going to be fine. When that meteor storm comes I'm-…" he swallowed.
"I'm going to protect you." He stated the assurance in his voice almost unsettling.
Her breath hitched and lay still for the first time since he had come. Breathing out slowly, she started to look up at him and was faced with his eyes fixated on her. She finally uncurled her damp hands from his chest, wiping them on the sides of her jeans.
"I know… I know you will. I just… don't want you to get hurt. I couldn't handle it if you did something for me and…" she grew silent at the thought, eyes concentrated on some point on his chest.
Resting his hands nervously on her waist he searched for an argument in her features, or the objection to his action, when reassured he started to trace circles upon her skin.
"Audrey." He said gruffly, the name sounded foreign on his lips, her surname always seeming far more intimate and personal.
"There isn't anything I won't do to protect you from this. I need you to understand."
"I don't want to understand! I have to go into that barn, Nathan. Maybe you're the one that has to face the facts. We've tried everything; this is just how it has to be."
"No." an emotion displayed on his face he had only experienced a few times. Fear. Like when he discovered she had been kidnapped by the bolt gun killer. Or wasn't herself on the night of her birthday party. This was worse. How do you deal with the one you love being ripped away from you, destined to return un-aged and memoryless. Even when you haven't told them you love them. But you want to. Desperately.
"I'm going to bed, I need every ounce of strength I have for tomorrow."
"Okay Parker," his hands dropped to his sides, "I'll see you in the office, g'night." And with that he started to reach for the door handle.
"No." her hand grasped his forearm tightly, and her eyes pleaded with his own, they looked watery and alone.
"I need you. I can't be-… not tonight."
The answer was not needed; instead he took her outstretched hand in his and let her pull him towards her bedroom…
He was left standing awkwardly beside the bed as she changed in front of him; he guessed that's just how comfortable they had gotten with each other by now. Unbuttoning her shirt from the day, she pulled on a grey camisole and pyjama pants and started to peel back the bed sheets.
"What? Are you going to sleep in your boots and work shirt?" she pointed out to him as he stood there still gawping at her.
"Uh...I… Parker…" he stuttered uncontrollably.
"It's okay Nathan, I won't feel like you're taking 'advantage' of me, I promise." And with that she proceeded to unravel her hair from the bun it was delicately placed in, from her head, while Nathan unlaced his boots slowly without taking his eyes off of her, scared she would make him leave at any moment.
Clambering into her bed, she leant her head back onto the cold metal structure and let out a breath she had no idea she had been holding. It was the sound of the day. She had been so scared she would disappear instantly, she still was. Even when she was here with him.
He sat gingerly beside her, now shirtless, in only his denim jeans, and he mimicked her position and leant backwards also, turning to look at her. Her eyes were closed, but her brow furrowed. Even now she could not relax, he thought, she really was terrified.
Taking her hand in his, he squeezed it gently.
"You're gonna be okay you know."
She surprised him by wrapping an arm around his naked torso and lying across his chest.
"I'm just scared, Nathan. I don't want to leave. Not Haven, not anyone, and especially not you." The tears fell fast now, and he took a sharp intake of breath as they pooled upon his chest, running down it slowly. He could even feel her tears, her warmth alone was incredible. If it was sound it would be deafening. His biceps tightened around her and he pressed a warm kiss to her scalp.
"And you're not gunna. Not for as long as I'm here with you." He couldn't feel it but the tears even fell from his eyes too, enough to make her look up at him.
"Are you crying?"
"I guess I just love having you here so much."
"Wow Wuornos, would you look at that. I broke the tough guy act." She poked at his chest roughly.
"I liked you better when you were crying." He put on the best stoic face he could. But couldn't help the smile creeping onto his lips.
"Well I hope you like this even better." She said as she crashed lips into his, his wide eyes from the shock slowly closing as he knew she knew. How much he loved her. But he still felt the need to say it.
"I love you, Parker." he spoke softly to her when they pulled apart.
"Love you too, Wuornos." She grinned up at him, and laid her head back onto his chest, and that's how they stayed, because he'd be there for her. Always.