Author: Jourdana Standish
Author's Note: I woke up with this idea of a missing scene right after Episode 9: "As You Were". Most of it is me having wishful thinking as far as OTP/OT3-ness and speculation over the animosity between Duke and Nathan and the Troubles themselves.
Warnings: Spoilers for Season 1, Episode 9: "As You Were"
Duke Crocker watched Audrey Parker drive away, a wistful smile lighting across her lips a bit. He enjoyed seeing the happiness light her eyes as she saw his gift, noting its beauty. Then the happiness turned to awe and curiosity when she saw the initials and Duke told her that he knew Lucy, her mother. That he was the boy in the picture beside the woman that looked identical to Audrey, though with dark hair.
It was obvious that Audrey's questions were quelled in astonishment and she didn't know where to go next, so instead, Duke moved around the car door, lifted the necklace from the exquisite box it was nestled in. He moved behind her and draped the necklace around her neck, smiling some as she automatically lifted her ponytail so he could fasten the necklace. He gently cupped her shoulders, giving them a squeeze, which is less than he really wanted to do but he knew she would not be receptive to that right now... if ever.
It didn't even take the time for her headlights to disappear around the corner for Duke's mood to shift. Because despite what he saw in her eyes when he gave her Lucy's necklace, his mind kept drifting back to seeing her lying on the floor, a bullet hole in her chest, blood pouring from the wound... and Nathan Wournos holding the smoking gun. Even though he knew now that it had been the shapeshifter, Audrey was still lying there dying.
He growled and turned, looking for Nathan, but he was already gone. Fine. He knew where to find him.
Nathan wasn't quite ready to go into his home yet. Instead, he leaned against his truck, staring at some of the nicks and spots he would eventually need to get touched up or buffed out. When he found the time. Or took the time to do so. Suddenly he found himself being spun around and Duke's fist connected with his jaw.
"You sonuvabitch," Duke snarled.
"What the HELL are you doing?" Nathan demanded.
"You SHOT her," Duke said. "How could you shoot her and not give a damn?"
"It wasn't Audrey," Nathan said.
"You didn't know that, you bastard," Duke said, rushing towards him. Nathan was expecting the move and managed to grab him and slam the other man against his truck.
"I knew!" Nathan yelled. "I knew it wasn't her!"
"How could you know? NONE of us knew!" Duke said, his hands tightening around the wrists that held him against the truck.
"Because I can feel Audrey's touch!" Nathan snapped. Duke's furrowed brow relaxed from anger to confusion. Nathan relaxed his hold and released Duke, but didn't step away, keeping him backed against the truck.
"I can't feel... anything, but I can feel her," Nathan said. "But... I realized... when that thing touched me... I couldn't."
"So you kissed her? Holding her hands couldn't-." Duke cut himself off.
"You saw that?" Nathan asked.
"Oh yeah," Duke said, his tone bitter. "I saw. You know, she doesn't notice, she may never notice, but I am very aware of Audrey and I can't help but watch her."
Nathan blinked, noting the bitterness. "You like her."
Duke laughed, his eyes looking around, a small smile on his face. "Well everyone knows that," he said. "I wouldn't talk to her if I didn't. She is a cop."
"You know what I mean, Duke, stop being an ass," Nathan said. "For once, be straight with me."
Duke watched Nathan. There had been a time when they hadn't been... this. Enemies, frenemies, whatever it was. Back when they were kids. Before everything changed.
"I don't know if I can," Duke said finally. "Because I don't understand it. I've never thought I would be someone that would be drawn to one woman. Then she came to town."
"Maybe it's the same reason why I can feel her touch," Nathan said. "Why when the shapeshifter became her, she didn't die. She's different."
Duke let out a laugh. "She's different, all right," he said.
"I mean it, Duke," Nathan said. "You know it, I know it. We've been avoiding each other for years since... well you know. Yet this is the most civil conversation we've had where your life isn't on the line. And because of who? Because of Audrey."
"You call me punching you in the mouth a civil conversation?" Duke asked, grinning slightly. "We have different definitions of civil."
"I went to the party, didn't I? We worked together then," Nathan said. "And when we found out who the shapeshifter was..."
"You cried," Duke pointed out.
"Like you didn't want to? Tell me that your heart didn't break when you thought Audrey was dead because of that thing," Nathan said.
Duke swallowed a bit. "I can't," he admitted. "You know I can't."
"Just like I can't," Nathan said. "I don't know how to explain this either, Duke, but she's like Lucy. You know that as well as I do."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Duke asked, shifting.
"I'm not blind, Duke," Nathan said. "I know it's you in the news clipping beside Lucy."
"So now what?" Duke asked. "We have a rumble over one girl? We did that before, remember?"
"Audrey's my friend and my partner," Nathan said. "She's a connection that I never thought I could have because of... this." He stepped back from Duke and sighed. "I lied."
Duke blinked, the sudden statement confusing him. "What?"
"Back when Ray's music made me crazed," he explained. He looked at Duke. "When I was chained on your boat..."
"So you wouldn't attack me," Duke reminded him.
He smiled a bit. "I know," he said. "But I lied. When you punched me."
"You did hurt me," he said. "I felt your punch."
Duke's eyes widened. "Wha..."
"I don't know how to explain it," he said. "Maybe it's Audrey around us. Maybe there's... something in her that draws all three of us together, I don't know, but I felt your punch. And it hurt."
"Nathan..." he started.
"Look, Duke," Nathan said. "I don't understand any of this, I doubt I ever really will, but we know that we eventually have to work through things. It won't be easy. You are an ass-."
"Hate to break it to you, Nate, but so are you," Duke interrupted. That brought a genuine smile to Nathan's face.
"Audrey has a connection to us both," Nathan continued. "We're going to snark at one another, it's our nature. But maybe we can work towards a truce. For her sake."
"If she had to make a choice," Duke said. "I know the choice she'd make. It wouldn't be me."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that," Nathan said. "She's drawn to you as much as you are drawn to her." Duke gave him an odd look. "I just think... we should work at it. Don't you?"
Duke tilted his head and let out a breath. "Yeah," he said. "Guess so." He extended his hand. "Truce?"
Nathan looked at his hand, then at him. A simple smirk was the answer and he grabbed his bag, walking away from his truck and Duke to head up to the house. Duke let out a bit of a laugh and let his arm drop. "Yeah," he said quietly to no one. "Typical Nate." With a mild shake of his head, Duke headed to his own truck and drove home.