Warnings: Spoilers for Season 1.
Summary: A little spin control makes Audrey feel like her life is spinning out of control.
"One question." Dave Teagues looks up from his computer, where he's composing an article for tomorrow's Herald , to see Audrey Parker standing in the doorway. The sun behind her gives her blonde hair a halo effect, making her look almost angelic. A very annoyed angel.
"Did fact-checking this piece of fiction even occur to you, or is that something they only do at real newspapers?" Yep, she's annoyed all right. Not too surprising, Dave reckons, under the circumstances.
"Something bothering you, Audrey?" Vince is always giving him well-meaning advice about not taunting bears, but this way is more fun.
"I've had people congratulating me all morning. Sergeant Pettigrew hugged me. At first I couldn't figure it out. I thought it was one of those weird small-town things, like the lawnmower parade, or the mailbox amnesty day."
"Fine Haven traditions," Dave agrees, smiling. The way 'fine' is inflected sounds very ... Maine.
"So I went into my office and read the paper. Do you know what it said? It said that I'm engaged!" Audrey shakes the newspaper at him.
"Congratulations! You and Nathan make a lovely couple."
"We're not engaged! We're not secretly engaged, which is what it says here. We're not even really dating, exactly."
"I don't think that anyone who was at the Grey Gull last night and saw you two, um, reconciling after that argument would really agree."
"It was just a kiss."
"No, when Councilman Dawkins thinks kissing the pretty girls will get him votes, that's just a kiss. What I heard about last night, that was ... foreplay." Audrey turns beet red.
"I showed this to Nathan," Audrey continues, forging ahead. "He's not exactly what you'd call chatty under normal circumstances. But now ... I think he forgot how to talk. He read the article, started to say something to me - twice - and then locked himself in his office.
"I'm sure he'll get used to it. Getting engaged's a pretty big step, especially for a fellow like Nathan. He's not the sort to get married on a whim, you know. Nathan's a 'till-death-do-us-part' sort."
"But he's not engaged! We're not getting married!" Audrey's beginning to suspect that she's speaking another language, and that Dave has some sort of affliction that's preventing him from understanding her. "I want you to print a retraction."
"I could do that," Dave tells her, sounding hesitant.
"You ever hear about Fire Chief Samson?"
"I know Fire Chief Hoffstetter."
"Samson was the Fire Chief before Hoffstetter. Seems he was on top of the fire truck, ah, entertaining Johanna Stout, the town veterinarian, when the hardware store caught fire. By the next morning, everyone in Haven knew about it. It wasn't a week before the City Council asked for his resignation for moral reasons. Now, Nathan's hasn't been Police Chief for very long, and you're still practically a tourist, so Vince and I decided to do a little ... what do they call it, spin control. If you and Nathan are engaged, it's all sweet and romantic. City Council won't mind so much. But if you're just, ah, casual, then they might take offense, say it's setting a bad example. Haven needs a Police Chief like Nathan; we can't afford to have someone that doesn't understand the Troubles the way he does. So ... you still want that retraction?"
"I guess not. But what am I going to tell Nathan?"
"Tell him the truth, that always works best in relationships. And if you two decide to break your engagement, maybe in a few months, we can work with that too. Of course, if you don't break it off, well, that would be even better."
"Why do I feel like I don't have a choice in any of this?"
"If it makes you feel any better, I'm sure Nathan feels the same way. Congratulations again to the both of you."