This is my first Haven fic, so be gentle! This takes place between Tale of Two Audreys and Fear and Loathing. I think I'm going to miss Julia's character, because I really wanted to see where they were going with her having the tattoo! Let me know how I did!
Oh, and I don't own anything Haven! But I would move there in a heartbeat!
Vince and Dave both looked up as Julia Carr stepped into the small newspaper building. "Morning, boys."
"Morning, my dear," Dave said with a small smile as he made some finishing touches to the article on his desk.
"I came to say goodbye."
Both men stopped and turned to face her, identical looks of surprise on their faces. "Goodbye?"
"I can't stay here. I never should have come back."
"The loss of your mother has been a shock certainly, but it's no reason to run away."
"How about the fact that I'm terrified?" She gave an uneasy laugh. "That reason enough?"
The men exchanged a look.
"Listen," she said before either of them could speak. "I grew up on nursery rhymes about the Troubles. Mother was insistent on it. I can't be here for that. It scared me then, and it scares me now, and if I don't go, now, I never will."
"We understand," Dave said softly.
"Do you?" She shook her head. "If anyone would, it would probably be you two. You're the last of the generation aren't you? You have all the secrets."
"Julia," Vince said softly, shaking his head just slightly. "You're upset. You shouldn't say anything you might regret."
"Like what? That I watch the people that I've grown up with, and this town has changed them so much they don't even recognize themselves? Or the secret tattoo society? This town is changing me, too, but you know that, don't you? Haven protects its own, and it keeps us when it can get its claws in us."
"You're just the next generation, and your family goes back a long way in Haven. Most families around here do. And your generation has to fight its battles just like everyone else's," Dave said coolly.
"I will not be part of this town's last stand," she said quietly, almost angrily. "It took my mother, it's probably what killed Chief Wournos, and who knows who else it will take before it's over. That was part of my mother's stories too. The great sacrifice so that Haven can survive. Well, it won't take me."
"You do what you think is right, what you think is necessary. No one will hold it against you," Vince said with a small smile.
She stared at them a moment. "I won't come back, I can't. I can't do what you do, and keep this town's secrets at the cost of my soul."
"It's alright, Julia." Dave smiled gently, his irritation forgotten. "Just keep in touch, will you? You're all we have left of Eleanor now."
Julia hesitated, and for a moment she almost went to hug them, the two men who had been part of her mother's secret council whenever things weren't right in Haven. Instead she nodded briefly and left without another word.
She made her way quickly to the police station. She saw Audrey talking to another officer and waved her over. "Hey, want to grab a bite to eat with me before I head out?"
Audrey gave her a curious smile. "Head out?"
"Time here's up," she said, trying to force the nervousness out of her voice. "Catching a plane to Africa in the morning. Well, technically multiple planes before it's all over."
Audrey stared at her, and a volley of emotions crossed the blonde's face. Confusion, surprise, and a bit of sadness. "So soon?"
"Yeah. Thought it was time."
"Something happen? With Duke?"
Julia snorted. "Besides the normal Duke attitude? No. It's just time for me to go." She spotted Nathan standing in the office he still shared with Audrey. "Listen, can you give me a minute to talk to Nathan. I haven't talked to him since the Chief's boat went down."
There was that flicker again, guilt now, across Audrey's face, and Julia knew she had been right to doubt the story that was going around about what had happened to the Chief.
"Sure, I'll wait for you outside. The Gull okay?"
"Actually, can we go anywhere else? I'm trying to avoid Duke. Don't need to get my blood pressure up by arguing about me leaving."
Audrey nodded, and Julia walked slowly to the office door, knocking lightly. "Hey Nathan."
He looked up, nodding at her politely. "Julia."
"I wanted to tell you, I'm sorry, about your father."
"Thank you," he said, looking slightly uncomfortable.
"I'm heading back to Africa in the morning, just a head's up. Already taken care of everything at the M.E.'s office, so it shouldn't slow down anything."
He frowned, watching her. She'd always thought losing the sense of feeling had enhanced his ability to read people along with the other senses. Right now, she tried to hold his gaze without shifting, telling herself he couldn't read her mind. "Africa?"
"Yep. It's a continent, big place, lots of need for doctors."
He almost rolled his eyes, she was sure of it. "Sure that's what you wanna do?"
"Are you kidding? It's the best idea I've ever had," she laughed, then sobered. "You know, this was never meant to be permanent."
"Yeah." He stood straight, then held out his hand for her to shake, a motion that wasn't lost on her. "Good luck."
"Thanks. You too." She hesitated, oddly touched and sentimental. "This town, it's dangerous, you know."
He gave a sort of laugh. "Yeah."
"You should watch out for Audrey, okay?"
He looked up at her sharply, that intense stare reading her again. "Yeah?"
She nodded. "I like her. She doesn't deserve this place."
"None of us do," he said almost bitterly.
"Yeah, ain't that the truth? See you around, Wournos."
As she ate dinner with Audrey, promising to keep in touch, and enjoying her last civilized frou-frou drink, she almost blurted out so many things. So many warnings, old stories, even just rumors.
"Duke know you're going?"
Julia looked up, embarrassed at having been lost in her own thoughts. "Hmm? No. He'll find out, I'm sure." She frowned. "Why are you so concerned about what Duke's going to think?"
"He likes you. Thought it was obvious."
"He likes you more. I think he's changed a lot since meeting you. Mom told me about it, and I noticed it too. Think he's got a crush on you?"
Audrey snorted. "I think he's got a crush on anything that, well, is female and moves. Let's be honest."
Julia smiled slightly, watching her. "So, do you have a crush on him?"
Audrey laughed. "Yeah, he wishes." She smiled fondly. "I've never really had friends before, you know. Duke, Nathan, Eleanor, then you. So, you can't just disappear into the bush, or whatever. You're already part of an endangered species."
Julia smiled. "I won't." She wondered at how much she had changed to be able to lie so well.
She tried to relax in her chair in Philadelphia International Airport, staring down at her phone that currently said 13 missed calls. She knew they were all from Duke. Hesitantly she dialed his cell phone, hoping he would be asleep this late at night.
Her luck held out and his voice mail rattled off a message she didn't really listen to. At the beep she took a deep breath, and almost hung up. Instead she sighed and said softly. "I'm too scared to stay, Duke. Take care of yourself. I mean it. All's forgiven. "
Then she hung up and stood at the final boarding call for her flight. She powered the phone off, hesitating only a moment before slipping it into the trash can.