Season 2 Episode 2, Roots

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Chris is blunt, he's brash, and when he pursues what he wants, it's like using a brick to kill a mosquito. On their first date, in the same conversation he expresses his utter disdain for almost everyone and his unashamed desire for her. And to her surprise she likes it. Her life is a mystery, her job is wading through secrets, and Nathan, the person she spends all her time with, is silent as the grave. It's refreshing to for once have someone say exactly what's on his mind. And it doesn't hurt that what's on his mind is her.

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It won't occur to him until later that she introduced herself as Evie Crocker. He hasn't heard that name much; even when they were together, on the rare occasion she wasn't using an alias she'd use her maiden name. It was easier that way; Evidence Ryan had a hard-won reputation in their world.

But Evidence Crocker, that's someone he doesn't know. He can imagine her: a wife, a friend, an average girl living a peaceful life in Haven (well, peaceful for Haven, anyway). And though he fights it hard, he finds himself warming to the idea of this Evidence Crocker.

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If Dave and Vince notice that his speech about why Parker's not on a date sounds rehearsed, they kindly don't say anything. It sounds rehearsed to Nathan's ears, probably because he's had this conversation with himself every ten minutes for the last three days. Nine times out of ten he convinces himself it's not a date—it just wouldn't be like her—and for the most part that's enough to keep at bay the fear that whispers, that one time out of ten, that maybe he was wrong when he thought she'd appreciate a guy who gave her breathing room.

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When he says it's the worst date ever, he's being melodramatic—he's been on absolutely terrible dates—but he is genuinely annoyed with how it's going. But he puts up with it for Audrey. And it's not just that Audrey's gorgeous; it's that she treats him like a normal person. When he has the Trouble, people treat him like a god; when he doesn't, people treat him like a jerk (which is his fault, he admits). But Audrey sees past both the charm and the acerbity. And a girl like that is worth putting up with some fawning wedding guests.

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Moira's not stupid. She knows what her fiance is, knows his faults, knows how greedy he can be, knows that her father dislikes him.

But she also knows his kindness, his humor, his heart, his passion, all the things that make him lovable—or at least she thinks she does, until her father is dead and all evidence points to her fiance as the killer. And as she realizes that she's just lost one of the most important men in her life and that she's about to lose the other, she wonders how much you can ever really know anyone.

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All right, maybe this is the worst date ever after all. He's had some bad ones, but this is the first where he's been trapped in a barn by an overgrown plant and offended his date by calling her (and himself) a human aberration.

But this situation is too much for him—it's madness. He's a scientist; he needs to approach things rationally, even after all he's seen—especially after all he's seen. The murky mysteries of the Troubles are just not something he cares to explore, and he thinks that it's highly unfortunate that Audrey's so fixated on them.

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You wouldn't have guessed it if you'd known her at the time, but Evie spent a lot of time thinking about Duke after they separated. A song, a stranger, a quiet night would spark a memory, and she'd find herself wondering what her husband was doing without her.

But of all the scenarios she imagined for Duke, the one that never even crossed her mind was that he'd evolved. And while she didn't envy him his new-found selflessness—lots of work for people who didn't deserve it—she was shocked at the realization that her husband may have outgrown her.

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He lets himself consider Mexico, just for a moment, but he knows he won't say yes. It is, as he tells her, not that simple.

It's complicated because he still doesn't trust her, but it's more than that. It's complicated because of Audrey, because of Nathan. It's complicated because of his boat and the Gray Gull and the familiar smell of Rosemary's donuts. It's complicated because finally he has a proper life where he doesn't have to sleep with one eye open. It's complicated because he's happy in Haven.

Come to think of it, it's not that complicated after all.

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Duke Crocker is an excellent person to have on your side in a tight spot, you decide as you lay slightly stunned in the protection of his arms. Unlike the crying Moira, the bickering Dom and Beverly, and the argumentative Chris, Duke gets things done, whether it's providing useful information, scoping out the building, or knocking you out of the way of killer vines. You wouldn't have guessed, when you two first met, that you'd be glad to have him around, but here you are, alive because of him. How lucky for you that first impressions are so often wrong.

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But Chris is pulling his weight too. He's not happy to be here—you can't really blame him—but once he gets past his need to apply the scientific method to every situation, he's pretty useful. His Trouble is good for calming people, but even better, more than once today his keen eye and factual mind have come in handy. You're not saying you want to partner with him on the force, but there's definitely something sexy about a man who can handle himself in a dangerous situation. At least this disastrous date has let you watch him in action.

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Rarely had Nathan been so wrong about something. Silly as it sounded, he'd felt like he was coming to the rescue as he fought those vines, like a knight in a story. He was going to save the villagers and the princess, and if doing so interrupted the princess's date with the ill-tempered wizard, so be it.

But he was wrong on all counts. His entrance was neither dashing nor heroic, the people had already discovered how to save themselves, and the princess and the wizard were now holding hands. The knight decided he should have stayed in his castle.

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Four couples and one solitary figure went through that door.

Dom and Bev first, radiating regret and reunited love. Moira and Peter next, their connection tainted by distrust but tinged with hope of forgiveness. Then Duke and Evie, their bond ravaged by years apart, yet all but incapable of being entirely destroyed. Audrey and Chris after that, shy but firm in the conviction that this wouldn't be the last time they touched.

Finally Nathan alone, still reeling from the sight of Audrey and Chris's joined hands. If Audrey had looked she might have noticed him trembling. But she never looked.

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She hadn't really expected it to work, this going to Mexico idea, and it was all a means to an end anyway. But still she wondered what would have happened if he'd said yes.

He'd known from the moment she asked about Mexico that he'd say no; they're not that couple anymore, and he's got so much more on his plate right now than love. But still he wondered what would have happened if he'd said yes.

Maybe it would have been great. Maybe it would have ended disastrously. But Duke and Evidence Crocker would never get to find out.

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There's a moment when he's stumbling over an apology where Audrey knows she's going to kiss him. They're two people who are terrible at dating, both completely uncomfortable with making small talk over dinner, and if two such people finding each other isn't a sign, she doesn't know what is. His speech about wanting her for her is icing on the cake; she's unaccustomed to being wanted or loved and it turns out she's a sucker for it. So while the fact that she's on this date still surprises her, the fact that she decides to kiss him does not.

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Why does Nathan call Audrey? He prefers to pretend he doesn't know. He prefers to pretend that he needed her input on writing up this case and that maybe he wants to talk to her about Lucy Ripley. That's better than admitting that the Teagues' words shook him, that he's spent the evening imagining every way her date could end and he's eager to interrupt any and all of them.

But when she doesn't answer her phone—Audrey always answers her phone—he realizes he's too late. And though he tries, he can't pretend that this is not killing him.

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