One Day In The Future With You
Setting: A year into the future, Audrey and Nathan are not only together but are getting to that stage in a relationship where you're open and comfortable and just enjoy being together. Yes it's a bit sappy but this conversation was playing out in my head on the drive home and I thought I'd share it.
"Hey Nathan," Audrey asked idly. It was summer, it was their day off, and for once, it had been a quiet day in Haven, so they were lounging on deck chairs soaking up some afternoon sun and drinking iced tea. Neither of them could remember the last time they'd had so much time to themselves. If it lasted another day boredom would certainly set it and the two work-aholic officers would quickly get on each other's nerves, but for the moment they were just enjoying the cool breeze blowing off the water on and the twinkle of Audrey's wind chimes.
"Yeah," Nathan replied lazily, his blue gaze wondering towards his partner and girlfriend, an eyebrow half-cocked questioning.
Audrey's face was upturned and she was wearing dark sunnies, instead of turning towards her boyfriend she reached out and lazily touched his fingertips playfully. Even after all these months together she couldn't quite get over how much he still loved that, it was such a simple gesture yet it meant as much to him as a peak on the cheek to a normal man.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want to have a baby."
"Huh? What, sorry? Um, I- " Nathan spluttered, totally caught off guard. He sat up slightly and beside him Audrey pushed back her sunnies and swung her legs around to face him.
"Wow, calm down Wuornos, let me explain. It's probably too early to say this but, I'm not sure if you noticed, but I'm not really the dating type, and because of that this hasn't really been an issue before, but it's been awhile and presuming that I don't disappear or fade away or whatever the moment the troubles are over, you might want to know that, well, I just thought you should know, I mean, I don't want to give birth. Oh heck. I shouldn't have mentioned anything." Audrey suddenly found herself staring at the deck blushing.
"Hey, slow down, first you have to stop acting as if you expect to disappear any day now, whatever has happened in the past we don't know that you're going anywhere. For one thing, this time around I'm pretty sure you and Duke aren't going to kill each other. So let's just assume we have forever and this is a conversation that normal couples have, we can do normal." Nathan wasn't one for big speeches or long talks but when something was this important he wasn't going to leave anything unsaid, not anymore, he'd made that mistake too often in the days before they'd been together and he would never risk it again.
"It's not exactly our strong suit," Audrey teased. "I've never really seen normal, I have no idea how a real family actually works."
"We'll I'm not expert but I've seen you with kids, you're fantastic, so if that's what you're worried about…"
"It's not that Nathan, it's just that I decided a long time ago that I didn't want to bring any more children into this world, not while there are so many that don't have parents or homes of their own."
"Are you saying you'd like to adopt? That's perfect."
"What? I mean not right now. I just… That wasn't really the reaction I was expecting."
"You thought I'd break up with you and run for the hills. Yes I would like kids. But biological kids maybe aren't such a great idea for me either, I'm troubled remember, and I have pyscho killer DNA," Nathan made fake crazy eyes as he said the last bit. "So, adoption probably isn't the worst idea for me."
"It's not like I'm worried our kids would inherit anything from you, you're an amazing man, I hope you don't think that-"
"No I get it, thank you, but I get it. Family is about more than DNA, The Chief and I might have had our problems but he's the only father I've ever known. It would be the same if we did decide to adopt one day. A decision I leave totally in your hands, no pressure. I'm be happy with you either way, but I do think a family would be nice - one day."
"Yeah it could be, but in Haven? Can you imagine raising kids around here?" Audrey's brow creased with the memories of so many children she'd had to save, and even more, those she'd failed to save, from troubled people.
"People do every day, even with the troubles, I grew up here, Duke grew up here, and we're pretty… okay ignore Duke, but I'm not so bad am I?"
"Yeah I guess you're alright, and you don't have two heads or anything," Audrey winked at him. "But we've both seen how dangerous it can be around here with the troubles."
"And we've also kept a lot of people safe, if the troubles don't go away, well I don't think we have to put our lives on hold, we'd protect a child the same way we protect each other, probably more," Nathan reasoned, and he took her hands in his and looked into her eyes with that look that said, everything will all be okay.
"But what if I do, just, disappear, when it's over," it was a hard sentence to get out and the words came out all wrong. Audrey struggled to hold his piercing gaze.
"If that happened, then I would tell our child or children everything about you. I would tell them that their mother loved them and that she didn't want to leave but that she was just so special that the world only gets to have her when it really needs her," Nathan tried to sound confident and strong for her but by the end of his speech there were tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat. He remembered losing his mother and the idea that his children, even futuristic imaginary children, might ever lose their mother stung, the idea that he might lose Audrey was unspeakable. But a life lived in fear is a life half-lived and he refused to live a half-life waiting for his wife to die.
His wife? Where had that come from? But he knew that it hadn't been a big leap for him from admitting he wanted to be with her to admitting he never wanted to let go, they'd never used the m word, he was pretty sure Audrey would need a fair bit of convincing, her commitment issues made Duke look like Mr Reliable (after all even Duke had been married already!) but a big part of him already thought of her as his life partner. He turned the word wife, over in his mind a few times and bit back a happy chuckle, some days he was lucky that she couldn't read his thoughts. One day, he thought. One conversation at a time.
"Nathan that's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me," Audrey gushed, tears in her eyes as well and then she reached out to hug him and he hugged her back before drawing her towards him for a kiss. It was their day off after all.