Brothers in Arms – chapter 14
Warnings, spoilers, etc in chapter 1
Hi all! Well, here it is the end of our story. It's been an incredible ride and I've been privileged to have you all join me as I offered up my hypothetical season 3 'beginning'. Anyway, now to the story…
Brothers in Arms
Lance pressed the button to disconnect his call with Dave and looked to Duke, Audrey and Nathan. He gave them a slight smirk before he shoved the phone in his jeans pocket, still bewildered by the fact that somehow his brother had convinced him to do this.
"He's on his way."
Nathan nodded ever so slightly at the news, his mind doing its best to reign in the violent impulses that he'd suppressed since learning of Dave's role in Audrey's kidnapping. Since her rescue he'd done his best to focus on Audrey, providing her and himself with some semblance of normalcy, but now, with Dave hours away from custody he was letting himself feel the rage and betrayal his actions had brought out in him. The thought of finally getting his hands on Dave Teagues just made him consider, ever so briefly the idea of just shooting the man, claiming self defense and letting the chips fall where they may.
Glancing over at Duke he saw an expression that Nathan recognized and understood - anticipatory. Of course it did make sense that Duke wanted Dave in cuffs just as much as he did; Audrey was his friend too and he'd been concerned for her welfare just like he had been. Considering everything, he wondered if they might have to flip a coin to see who got to rough up Dave before he got to the station.
Then his eyes slid to Lance once more and he wondered what would have happened if the man hadn't come to see his brother before contacting Dave. He didn't like what came to mind and he unconsciously slid a step closer to Audrey as he thought again about the still unknown forces that were still out there and potentially conspiring against them.
Still, all he needed was for Lance to play along with them a little longer; the trap was set but without the bait…
"So we just need you there at the lighthouse. You won't need to do anything but if you aren't there when Dave arrives, he'll bolt."
"If I don't?" Lance asked with a dark tone, his voice trailing off a bit as he gauged what Nathan might do if he walked out on this whole mess now that he'd done what they wanted and set up Dave with his phone call.
"Lance…" Duke started, causing his older brother to turn and regard him.
Lance was taken aback by the stern look on Duke's face. He had never seen his younger brother so… serious. All they years he'd been home, before their mother had died and their dad had caused things to fall apart Duke was a prankster, a troublemaker and all around pain in the ass. But now he seemed to have had made friends of cops of all people and found something important in his life… this plan to end the troubles once and for all.
So for his brother's sake, he'd continue to help.
"Okay…" he stated, causing Duke to close his eyes before looking at him once again and giving him a tight smile.
"We appreciate it," Audrey interjected, bringing the three men's attention back to her, "we just need you there for Dave to see. Once he gets there we'll take care of the rest."
"I think I can handle that."
"Thank you," she replied and watched again the interaction between the brothers, and how both of them interacted with Nathan with a respectful deference… one that she suspected came from Lance, Duke and Nathan having all grown up together in this town.
She was once again reminded just what she didn't have in her life: family, friends, and real memories. But she did have her job, her friendship with Duke and her relationship with Nathan and that was enough.
The earnest expression on the blondes face as she thanked him made Lance grin. He could see the appeal of the woman that his brother had explained his father wanted dead and his brother and Nathan so obviously cared about. Still, the whole thing with the troubles and the intrigue of Dave's manipulation of himself to screw with some kind of plan, he really just wanted to help Duke and get the hell out of Haven again. And the sooner he helped them catch Dave the sooner he could leave.
"Well then, let's not keep Mr. Teagues waiting…"
Duke had driven his jeep with Nathan and Audrey to the lighthouse, while Lance had taken his bike. He could leave his jeep in plain sight, knowing that Dave would recognize the Bronco but he doubted Dave would look at it twice his vehicle.
After they had arrived at the lighthouse they settled in to wait; Lance stayed outside the door to the lighthouse while Duke was inside with Nathan and Audrey. Once Dave arrived Lance's part would be over and Nathan and Audrey would take him into custody.
At least that was the plan; if Dave tried to run for it, both Nathan and Duke had no qualms in shooting him.
Lance kept his post, hands shoved into the pockets of his leather jacket as he looked out along the road that wove up to the lighthouse. He was starting to worry… he hoped the older man hadn't figured out what was going on and had fled. It seemed to take forever before he finally saw a small car driving up the road. It quickly made its way to the small area where Lance had parked his bike, passing Duke's jeep without slowing.
As soon as he was parked, Dave clamored out of his car, adjusting his glasses before hurrying to make his way to the lighthouse where Lance stood. Observing the younger man whom he hadn't seen in years, he mused how he reminded him a lot of Simon, but his face evoked his mother. He smiled a bit, thinking that maybe now that Lance was in Haven he could convince him to help, and maybe even get him to talk Duke into joining them.
"Dave…" Lance began, his eyes focusing on the man before him, knowing that he needed to play his part but after everything Duke had told him, he was worried he wouldn't be able to keep a straight face for very long.
"Lance, I'm glad you're here. We desperately need your help…" Dave said as he moved quickly to reach for Lance's hand, planning on shaking it, but he was taken aback when Lance instead folded both arms across his chest, his eyes narrowing.
"To kill Lucy Ripley? Or Audrey Parker?" Lance suddenly asked, making Dave's face pale. "Or do you want me to kill my brother and take his place in my father's 'crusade' against the troubled?"
Dave took a stunned step back, his eyes going wide behind his glasses. He'd avoided explaining any of this on the phone, so that when they met he could be sure to frame the conversation to his benefit. But now…
"See Dave, I know blood is thicker than water so when I got to Haven I came to see Duke… ask him what was up. And he was more than happy to fill me in."
As if on cue the door to the lighthouse opened and Nathan stepped out, followed by Duke and then Audrey. Nathan found his fists balling at his sides as he got his first look at the man who'd wanted Audrey killed to stop her from fixing the troubles.
Dave saw the dark look of anger on Nathan's face and froze, and then slid his gaze to Duke and found a similar expression was on face. Both men looked ready to rip him apart and he knew that he was in serious trouble. Finally his eyes drifted to look at the woman that had cause this mess and his mouth fell open in astonishment. Audrey's expression wasn't one of anger; she seemed… disappointed.
And it was with that simple look that Dave realized that he'd screwed up. That he should have listened to Vince… Audrey was different this time; everything was different.
Nathan walked past Lance and closer to Dave, who simply stood there, resigned now to his fate. Noting that Dave wasn't trying to run, Nathan pulled out his cuffs and slowly made his way behind Dave, sliding the first cool metal hand cuff around Dave's left wrist.
"Dave Teagues, you're under arrest for conspiracy to kidnapping and an accessory after the fact," announced Nathan as Audrey and Duke stood in the door to the lighthouse watching. "You have the right to remain silent…"
While Nathan continued to Mirandize Dave as he finished cuffing him, Duke and Audrey watched in rapt attention. Once Nathan asked if Dave understood is rights Duke's eyes left Nathan and focused on Audrey. She stood there, arms now wrapped around her torso, eyes haunted. He didn't know all of what had happened after Agent Howard had kidnapped her or how Dave was really involved but he guessed that seeing Dave in custody was more than a bit tough.
Of course if he had his way or if Nathan wasn't the upstanding citizen and former chief that he was Duke suspected that Audrey would never have seen any of this and Dave would have ended up feeding the fishes in Haven Harbor.
"I really expected Nate to rip Dave apart once we found him," Duke whispered loud enough that Audrey could hear him, prompting her to glance his way, her eyes dark and almost… frightened at Duke's words.
"You didn't see him when you first got grabbed. I thought he was gonna kill me…"
She looked away from him and watched as Nathan carefully led Dave down to where he'd brought his car. She knew from what they'd already discussed that her abduction had scared and distressed him. Hearing Duke clarify that Nathan's behavior had been so… frantic and deadly just made it all the more important that he was doing what he was doing right now… walking Dave to sit in his car while he called for backup rather than taking out any of his anger on the older man.
And that was one of the things she loved about him.
"But he didn't…" Audrey noted, her voice low as her emotions threatened to overcome her.
"Nope. But he could have… he would have if he'd needed to do it to find you. In the end he stopped himself from doing something stupid because he realized that he and I had something in common… we both cared about you. But don't ever doubt that that guy down there would have moved heaven and Earth to find you."
Audrey nodded at Duke's words and with a brief sideways glance she moved away from him, quickly walking down the path to stand with Nathan where he waited for the patrol car to arrive so they could take Dave back to the station.
Because wherever he was going, she would be there with him…
Stan had ended up coming out to the lighthouse and he'd driven Dave back to the station. Audrey and Nathan drove Dave's car back, parking it in the station's lot before going inside to do the paperwork to hold him until the local district attorney could review the case. After trying to get Dave to talk to them with no results, they decided to let him sit in a cell overnight and think on it.
With a promise from Stan that someone would call them if Dave decided he wanted to make a statement before they tried talking to him again the next morning they got a ride to the piers so they could retrieve the Bronco and then headed back to her apartment at the Gull.
Several hours later Duke made his way up the stairs from the Gull to her place, finding Audrey and Nathan out on the deck, sitting in a couple of chairs as the sun set.
"I come bearing beer to celebrate," he announced as he walked along the deck towards them, one hand lugging a bucket of beer on ice he'd brought from the Gull downstairs.
"If you're bringing booze you're welcome," Nathan replied, somewhat humorously and Duke took a seat in the empty Adirondack chair beside them.
"Where's your brother?" asked Audrey, genuinely curious.
"Lance already headed back out of town," Duke stated as he set the bucket on the deck beside him. "He said that he really wanted nothing more to do with the craziness that is Haven and he felt that his sticking around just might encourage others to try and use him like Dave had."
"That's too bad. I would have liked to have talked with him more… gotten him to tell me all about you as a kid," joked Audrey as Duke passed her a beer, which she in turn handed to Nathan with a soft smile, her hand catching his briefly, sending spikes of sensation through him at the incidental touch.
"Yeah, well that isn't happening. Besides, Nate over there would probably be more than happy to tell you whatever stories about my misspent you from when we were kids that you want to hear," he remarked as he handed her another beer which she kept this time, and he smirked before continuing, "So Vince says you get to stay this time because you and Nate hooked up?"
"Duke…" she warned before she swiped at Duke with her free hand, landing a solid hit on his shoulder.
As he rubbed the spot she'd hit Duke watched as Nathan reached over and laid his hand on hers, and she turned to look at him. He gave her a half smile and she returned it, her hand turning and intertwining their fingers briefly before Duke cleared his throat, making them break apart, their hands flying from one another.
Nathan's hand unconsciously moved to press against his upper chest, covering the spot under his clothes where the ring the Chief had worn that sat on the chain around his neck; a ring which now had a companion – Sarah's ring. Since leaving the Herald's offices he'd put them both on the chain, waiting for the time when he and Audrey would need… want to use them.
But for now, they were still navigating the newness of their… relationship. And they still had an official date to go on at some point. Since talking with one another after seeing the former Agent Howard and airing out their situation, they had been more comfortable with their evolving relationship, and after seeing Vince… it was now just a matter of time.
"So, what's next?" asked Duke out of the blue as he took a slug from his bottle.
"We're going to start reaching out to those troubled people we already know… I'll convince them its safe and we'll work around your schedule to get them cured," Audrey answered honestly.
"Well if we're gonna start with people we know, you wanna go first Nate?" Duke asked, pointing to Nathan even as the other man shook his head.
When both Audrey and Duke looked at him, confused and concerned he held up his hand, pausing their expected questions as he knew he needed to try and explain himself.
"I'm last," he said simply. "We spend whatever time it takes, weeks, months, years curing every troubled person in Haven and when we know the troubles are finally gone, and then I'll go."
"But…" Audrey began, her hand moving to lay over the exposed skin of his lower arm and he let his eyes close briefly at the contact, but forced himself to open them again, staring directly at her.
"We have a lot of people that really need the help, and sometimes that puts them and us in danger. And to best help them, I might need to… not feel…"
The weight of his comment hit her like a ton of bricks, and beside them Duke's mouth dropped open ever so slightly. Nathan was wanting to keep his trouble because he expected that they might end up in a situation where his inability to feel could be a benefit. Audrey recalled how many times Nathan had just kept coming at someone when realistically he should have been on the ground and in pain: nails to the back, shot in the arm, hit by a car… the list went on. And here he was saying that his feeling that pain would be a… liability?
"Nathan…" she started to say, her eyes wide as she stared at him, pleas for him to reconsider dying on her lips as he smiled at her so wide that her heart constrict in her chest at the love she saw and felt when he looked at her like this.
"I can manage however long it takes until the troubles are over… as long as I can feel you…"
There was a long pause as they stared at one another, the emotions written plainly on their faces and Duke almost felt a little like a voyeur watching the two of them. It was only when Audrey started to lean towards Nathan, her lips poised to kiss him did Duke decide it was time to break things up.
Audrey turned from Nathan and Duke smirked as she blushed slightly, but she didn't move her hand from Nathan's arm. Duke glanced past her and caught Nathan's eyes; the other man giving him a look that told him that he didn't appreciate the interruption but understood Duke's… aversion to their display of affection. There might have been a time when it could have been Audrey and Duke together, but things had not worked that way, much to Nathan's s
"Sorry…" she stammered, her eyes barely meeting Duke's.
"No problem. Just… save it for the bedroom. And never tell me anything."
Audrey ducked her head, embarrassed and Nathan glared at Duke, causing the con man to grin at them both before taking a long drink of his beer. Brushing his thumb across her hand Nathan brought Audrey's eyes back up to his and smiled at her, causing her to grin back. If a little bit of teasing was the price they had to pay for what they were finding with one another, it was more than worth it.
"So… when do we start?" questioned Duke before taking a pull from his beer.
"How about I make a few calls in the morning… start with the people most in need," Audrey suggested, thoughts of Stu being unable to even touch his wife filling her mind. "Of course there are still those who don't know they're troubled to locate, and we need to keep a low profile so anyone Dave, the Rev or Agent Howard might have been working with don't target them before we can help them…"
"Well, I guess we have our work cut out for us," replied Duke sarcastically and Audrey frowned at him before she took a sip from her beer.
"That we do," Nathan admitted before he took a swallow from his beer and then looked at Audrey and Duke seriously once again. "But we have an advantage now. We have each other and a game plan. This time will be the last cycle for the troubles."
Duke and Audrey nodding in agreement, three beers reached across the space and clinked together, the dark brown bottle necks meeting. There was work to be done, and potentially still others that wanted to stop them, but with what they now knew they finally realized that this was a war that they could win.
- End -
Well, obviously the trio now has a job to do, a season's worth of episodes of locating and helping troubled people but I think that this ends the story very well. I can't tell you all how much I appreciated the early support of my story and to all of you that stayed through the end and those that left reviews, it meant a lot to me. Thanks for reading! Ms. J.