A/N: Future fic, assuming A/N become a couple. Assuming that sometime in Season 3 they discover that killing Audrey is the only way to end the troubles, I hope I'm wrong there but it was an idea I had to play with, in a horrible angsty way, but read to the end it might surprise you. I think Season 3 is going to blow this whole story out of the water (and I want it too because I'm so not ready for endgame, I want many many more seasons of Haven) but hey it was fun writing it. I hope you enjoy it.
The picnic blanket was spread out near the cliff where they'd first met. Everything was perfect, the cold champagne, the chocolate dipped strawberries. Audrey had sensed her moment was coming but she wanted to enjoy one last happy moment with Nathan so she'd stayed and laughed and kissed and let him ask that wonderful terrible question.
"Nathan, I'm sorry but I can't," it should have been the happiest moment in her life but Audrey knew she had to break his heart. She had been preparing herself for months, this was just the tipping point. "I should never have let it get this far," she added apologetically. "I love you so much, I know that's hard to understand but it's true," she added tearfully, and kissed him one last time before she stood up and began to walk away fro
"Audrey please," Nathan begged.
"No I have to do what I should have done three years ago, when we first found out."
"Audrey, no," Nathan begged, the panic rising, his eyes wild and desperate. Nathan was on his knees but he reached for her hand, tugging her back towards him.
"I can't," she repeated, the tears now fast and furious. "We both know it's the only way, I've been putting this off for months."
"There's still time to find an alternative. You can't do this. I can live with the troubles, but I can't live without you." Nathan Wuornos could count the number of times he'd cried in front of another person on one hand but there was no mistaking the wetness on his cheeks. A knife twisted in Audrey's stomach.
"I know you can, you're so strong, but people keep dying Nathan, we both know that, I can't live out some fantasy fairy tale life and ignore that."
"Then don't, say no, we don't have to get married, but stay, do the work we've been doing, help the troubled. You make a difference. You help them live with the troubles."
"It's not enough Nathan, you know its not. You've seen the people who've died, the ones we were too late to save, some of them were only children Nathan, and others living with the pain of their afflictions every day. I live with that every day, knowing that I could end it."
"It wouldn't end Audrey, we know that, it would just go away again, it would come back, it's not worth your life just for a few years of peace."
"How many lives might be saved? Hundreds? How many is too many? How many lives am I worth? Because the answer should be one, if one person is going to die because of me being here, then I shouldn't be here. Duke's father was right."
Nathan found his feet and took both her hands in his, and stared into her blue eyes searching for sense, searching for reassurance that she was moveable on this.
"So why hasn't Duke killed you then? If the Crockers are such experts why hasn't he ended it?"
"You know why he can't, and its killing him. Another grandfather came to him last week, begged him to take his life so his grandchildren would be safe. It's killing him too Nathan, he can't live with this. Neither of us can."
"You've talked to Duke about this?" Nathan asked angrily, suspicion and hurt in his voice and the crinkle of his forehead.
"Not this part, he would have stopped me you know that, but do I talk to him about my guilt? Yes, I do. He understands."
"How lovely for you both," Nathan responded dryly.
"Nathan don't, you've made me so happy," Audrey began her tone gentler.
"Not enough to make you stay with me," Nathan responded quietly.
"I stayed for three years that I shouldn't have had, shouldn't have wanted, but I was selfish, I wanted you too much. You made me too happy," And then she hugged him and he clung to her.
"You don't have a selfish bone in your body Audrey Parker." he whispered fiercely into her hair.
"Thank you, thank you for always seeing the best in me," Audrey responded, pulling back a little to study his beautiful angular face and his stormy blue eyes. She wanted memorise every last detail from the curve of his smile to spicy musk of his smell. She wished she could take just one memory of him with her.
"It was easy," he smiled. "There was so much good to see, but I can't let you do this. That's why I can't let you do this, it's not about you, the world need Audrey Parker."
"The world already has one, I'm just an extra remember?"
"You're the most important person in this town. Forget about Duke's father, remember my father, he told me I couldn't be in love with you because you were too important."
"That's why I've got to do what I've got to do."
"No, you're not thinking straight, it's the shock, I shouldn't have asked. Just please, please come home with me, sleep it off. Think it over. In the morning, you'll realise how crazy this is."
"That's why I can't, because every night that I go home with you it's harder to think about leaving. I stayed this long for you Nathan, because I loved you too much and I felt like I deserved that. You made me feel like I deserved that."
"You do, Audrey, you do," Nathan promised fiercely, cupping her face with his hands.
"You deserve more than this, more than I can give you," she whispered, "You deserve someone who could have said yes," and then she leaned towards him and kissed him deeply. Nathan didn't want to kiss her back, he knew she was trying to say goodbye but in his panic he also feared that she would succeed, today or tomorrow, and this might be his last chance. He wanted to knock her unconscious and drag her home for her own safety but he couldn't do it. He couldn't see the wild shock of horror in her face. He couldn't hurt her, not when there was still time. She'd never trust him again if he did.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you," he whispered back, kissing her forehead and clinging to her. "There's something I need to show you," she began tearfully pulling away.
"Okay," he agreed reluctantly.
Audrey walked over to the picnic blanket and opened her hand bag quickly. With the speed of her resolution she pulled the Taser out and in one swift fluid moment turned it on her lover and pulled the trigger.
"No," Nathan protested. It was some comfort that he wouldn't feel the pain that brought him to his knees. A different sort of pain was reflected on his face but Audrey knew that if she waited a moment longer to say goodbye it would be too late, Nathan of all people would have the strength to stand up in spite of the havoc being wreaked upon his nervous system. The biggest weakness of this plan had been not knowing if it would even work on him, but it bought her precious seconds. "I'm sorry," she whispered as she ran towards the cliff at full speed. When she felt herself falling she knew she'd done it, she'd gone through with it, and despite her resolve she felt terrified for herself but her anguish for Nathan came back to her as she conjured up his face in her mind. And then it was over.
"Audrey, no!" Where the two most pointless words Nathan had ever screamed, because there was nothing he could do. By the time he had gotten to his feet and stood near the edge of the cliff she was already gone. The image would haunt the rest of his days.
And then she faded away, as if the rocks, the sand and the sea had absorbed her. As if she had never really been there at all.
"Audrey," Nathan sobbed. "No, no, no," he mumbled. He was physically and mentally incapable of accepting this reality. He sunk to his knees. He automatically pulled out his phone to call it in but there was no body to rescue, no hope. So he just sat there and cried.
He would never know how long he sat there and cried before the red car pulled up behind him. He didn't even turn around to see who it was, nothing would make a difference, no one would convince him it was okay. It took every last inch of his willpower not to follow her off the cliff. He was no theologian but one of the things that stopped him was the belief that Audrey Parker wouldn't be waiting for him in Heaven, no he wouldn't even have the luxury of knowing they would be reunited in the afterlife because whatever sick curse plagued this town it meant she was different, the normal rules didn't apply, if in the case of the afterlife they were even true.
"Excuse me Sir, is everything alright?" a familiar impossible voice called from behind. Nathan assumed it was a side effect of his grief and ignored it.
"Sir, stay where you are, I'm with the FBI, I'm here to help."
Nathan laughed a sick horrible, twisted laugh.
"Whatever has happened, I can help, just tell me, what happened here, it looks like you were having a picnic, did something happen to your companion?"
He felt rather than heard or saw the gun in her hand. Finally an gave in and turned towards her, not bothering to stand up. "What is this? Am I sane now? Maybe this was all a dream and I'm locked up in the Freddie."
"I'm Agent Audrey Parker, what's your name," the woman identified herself.
"This must be a delusion because that's not how this works, Parker you know you come back as a different person every time, what am I saying, I'm arguing with a dead woman."
"Did someone die? There might still be time, I can call for help."
"It's a bit late for that, she's gone, you're gone."
"I'm right here, what was your name Sir?"
"Nathan Wuornos, Haven PD."
"You're a police officer?" there was shock in her voice.
"Sure, not that it's doing me a lot of good right now. I'm the Chief actually; you want to see my ID?"
"Sounds good, just slow movements please Sir."
"Yeah wouldn't want to spook the dead woman," he answered dryly, and pulled out his badge.
Audrey glanced at it and then handed it back. "It looks real, so how did someone like you get yourself into a situation like this? You can tell me Nathan. How about I help you up, I'm going to keep my gun handy but I'm going to reach for your hand okay, don't make any sudden movements or I'm going to have to use it regardless of that ID you showed me."
"But that goes against protocol; I thought you thought I was a murderer? Aren't you worried I'm going to throw you off the cliff?" Nathan asked sardonically.
Audrey shrugged. "Some things are outside of the protocols. I'm here to help, give me your hand."
"Okay, I'll play a long," Nathan agreed and reached out his hand. She grasped it and he felt the warm familiar touch of her hand. "Figures," he whispered to himself, and she pulled him to his feet.
"You were attacked?" she asked gesturing to the Taster.
"Yeah thanks for that."
"Sorry, I don't follow."
"You Tasered me Audrey, this is all just some sick delusion anyway."
"I don't know what's happened here but I just arrived in Haven, you saw me pull up. I was sent my Agent Howard, he told me the local PD could do with some help, which judging from you apparently they can."
"This isn't happening. This can't be."
"You know you look sort of familiar," Audrey remarked quizzically, she was studying his angular features, the curve of his lip and the blue eyes and an odd sense of… home…. Came over her. Which was strange, because Audrey Parker had never felt at home…. Anywhere.
"What is this, some sort of reset? Some sort of sick do-over? Is this the troubles? Because I already have an affliction," Nathan asked incredulously.
"Why don't you tell me about this, er problem, on our way into town, if you are who you say you are you can show me the way to the station," she gestured to her car.
"Sure thing, why not?" Nathan gave in and started walking towards the red rental car. "I'm bound to wake up soon anyway. I must say though, the drugs at the Freddie really have improved."
"Whats the Freddie?" Audrey asked as she followed behind him.
Driving force Audrey to put her gun away so she had to cuff Nathan for the ride into town, just in case. He played along. It was all a dream anyway. He didn't even worry about leaving the Bronco unlocked. Cars don't get stolen in dreams, he reasoned.
At the station the dream got weirder. Nathan was the only one that remembered Audrey Parker. At least she uncuffed him when it became obvious that he was who he said he was. It wasn't until the settled themselves down in his office with coffee that Nathan started to wonder why the dream hadn't ended. Would the rest of his life be one strange dream about Audrey? Maybe that was the best he could hope for. But when he sipped his coffee it burnt this tongue. "Damn," he cursed, and then he realised it shouldn't have hurt. So what? It was a dream. "Can you excuse me a sec?" he asked Audrey.
"Sure," she responded.
Nathan stepped out of his office, "hey Stan!" he called, "Do me a favour, shake my hand," he instructed. Stan looked confused but he went along with it. Nathan was the Chief after all. Surprise registered on Nathan's face. "Now, slap me on the back." Stan hesitated. "Just do it." So he did. Nathan shook his head, weirdest dream ever, but he had had dreams about getting his sense of touch back before. He pulled out his phone and carefully selected a number from its memory, he stepped back into the office to make the call. "Hi it's Nathan Wuornos, this is going to sound a bit strange, but have you noticed any changes with your, little problem? Really? Yeah me too. Can you make some calls, see what the others say? Thank you."
As he hung up the phone on his desk rang. "Sorry, just a minute," he said to Parker. "Hello Wuornos," Nathan answered.
It was a mysterious male voice but Nathan couldn't know his father had one received a similar phone call. "She's all yours."
"Sorry do I know you?"
"She won't remember, but she's yours. It's over." And the phone line went dead.
"Come with me," Nathan instructed bluntly, and they went down town to Dave and Vince.
"She look familiar to you?" Nathan asked, even blunter than usual.
"Well no, not really. Maybe we can find something in the archives," Dave replied, startled.
"She looks like Lucy Ripley and Sara whatever he name is, but do you remember Audrey Parker?"
"Audrey Parker?" Vince asked surprised. "Wait, you know about Lucy?"
"Of course I know about Lucy," Nathan was getting annoyed.
"He does, I remember that Vince. I think something unusual is happening here," Dave joined in gesturing to his screen. There it was – a simple search had pulled up article after article about Audrey Parker, the blond haired blue eyed FBI agent turned Haven police officer.
"It can't be, we would know," Vince murmured in surprise.
"Explain this to me, I just watched the woman I love jump off a cliff because I asked her to marry me and then she shows up and can't remember me, but oh wait, I can feel again, the troubles seem to be over, and some mysterious Mr X calls me telling me she's mine and it's over," Nathan was ranting wildly and Audrey had a shocked look on her face. She was beginning to wonder if she should pull her gun but Dave and Vince seemed calm. In fact Vince looked excited.
"By God, I think she's done it," Vince enthused. "We always wondered… " He looked at Audrey incredulously, beaming.
"You say she jumped off a cliff?" Dave asked also studying Audrey. "And that you two were, what lovers?"
"That figures," Dave remarked dryly. "And the troubles are over?"
Nathan shrugged uncertainly.
Vince stepped in and punched him in the shoulder.
"Looks like it," Dave confirmed. "Well fancy that. What do you know? I suppose you should tell Duke."
"Duke? I'm not even sure this is real. I'm pretty sure this is some sort of delusion."
"Oh it's real, after everything we've seen, it's real. I suppose we'd better make some tea. Miss Parker we have a lot to tell you. Nathan let the poor girl sit down. She's going to have a lot to take in. Why do you think we never rushed to tell her about Lucy? But if Dave and your mysterious caller are right, and our girl's finally broken this god forsaken curse, than she deserves the truth and you deserve your chance."
"My chance?" Nathan asked confused.
"At happiness Nathan," Vince explained. "The one thing I never got, by the time Lucy came back it was too late for us, but you've got Audrey standing right here in front of you and this time I don't think she's going anywhere."
"Okay enough can someone please tell me what the hell is going on?" an exasperated Audrey Parker demanded, looking at all three men as if they were crazy. But she could recognise her own photo on the computer system and she had that strange feeling of déjà vu. Maybe the attractive young police Chief and these two friendly old geezers would have some answers for her.