Title: Special Agent Audrey Horne.
Author: J.I. Fevang.
Summary: AU where "Twin Peaks" ended after episode 17. Audrey Horne is all grown up and graduating from Quantico. She thinks it's time to find Dale Cooper.
Author's Notes: Got majorly depressed today when I watched a couple of "Twin Peaks" episodes from late season 2 and I started thinking about what could have been. Wrote this to cheer myself up. If you read this then PLEASE review because the "Twin Peaks" online fandom is pretty small and I probably won't get a lot of reviews, so I'd really appreciate it if you could take the time to let me know what you think :) Also, this is unbetaed and I'm not completely fluent in English yet so I bet there's some mistakes. Sorry about that. Please don't favourite without reviewing!
Audrey Horne brought the eyeliner to her eyelid and flicked her wrist expertly, creating subtle cat eyes. She wanted to look sophisticated, like a woman, and she'd been slaving in front of the mirror for a good hour and a half now trying to achieve that look. She was wearing a black dress that hugged her breasts and hips. Her dark hair was up in a soft chignon with a few loose tendrils framing her face. After painting her lips ruby red she took a step back and admired her handiwork.
Time had been good to her. She was 23 now. Gone were the soft layer of baby fat from her cheeks and the look of naiveté in her eyes. Audrey Horne was all grown up. And that day was the day she graduated.
After 4 years of college, Audrey had gone through 20 strenuous weeks at Quantico to become a Special Agent. That day was the day when all her hard work would pay off. She giggled nervously at her own reflection. She couldn't believe it was finally happening! She'd been dreaming of this day for so many years now and finally it had arrived. It was like a dream. The graduation ceremony was in 2 hours. She'd have to change into her uniform by then so putting on the dress she intended to wear afterwards was really a waste of time, but she just wanted to feel beautiful for a couple of minutes. And have a cigarette. Audrey was never really a smoker. She'd have a cigarette every now and then to treat herself, or to calm her nerves, but when she enrolled at Quantico she had quit completely to fulfill the hard physical demands the job entailed. But right now she needed to calm down.
She lit the cigarette (which was a hard feat because her hands were quivering so badly) and took a few long drags, enjoying how her simple apartment filled with wisps of smoke. The truth was that Audrey was terrified. Audrey rarely got nervous. Her classmates often told her they admired her ability to stay calm no matter how unnerving the situation was, and Audrey valued that quality in herself very much, but now… she was a mess. She wasn't scared of graduating or how she'd have to do a speech because her classmates had elected her to be the class spokesperson (those things barely fazed her at all), she was scared of seeing Special Agent Dale Cooper again for the first time in 4 years.
She remembered the last day she spent with him down to every detail. It was a Wednesday. She'd had pancakes with syrup for breakfast, indulging in calories as solace because he'd solved the Laura Palmer murder and she knew he was leaving. They'd been in his hotel room and he'd been packing his things. They talked. Agent Cooper had tried to convince her that he wasn't perfect (probably to soften the blow of his departure) and told her about a girl he loved that had died and that he'd caused it. Audrey told him that one day she'd be grown up and on her own and that when that day came she'd come find him. The day had finally come.
Audrey had been planning it ever since. She would grow up and become Special Agent Audrey Horne and then she'd go find Cooper; her very own Special Agent. And then they'd be together. She almost couldn't believe her luck when she'd read that the guest speaker at her graduation would be none other than Special Agent Dale Cooper himself. So yes, she was nervous. Because the truth was that he very well might not want her and that thought was unbearable. Audrey snuffed out the cigarette butt. "Time to get into your uniform" she mumbled to herself and carefully slipped out of her black dress. Benjamin Horne would be picking her up any minute now and he hated it when she was late.
That was another thing to be happy about: her relationship with her father had improved greatly the last couple of years. Audrey knew he was very proud of her and that he was anxious to see her graduate. The thought made her smile. She had just gotten into her uniform when there was a sharp knock on the door and her father entered.
"Jeez Daddy, don't you knock?" said Audrey but there was no real anger in her voice. Benjamin Horne smiled and scooped her up in his arms. "Hello darling. I can't believe my little girl is graduating!"
Audrey burrowed her face in his chest and dragged in the familiar smell of cigar smoke. "Neither can I, Daddy. Neither can I."
Graduation was in 20 minutes. The drive over had been pleasant. Benjamin Horne had chattered about how business was booming and told her how sorry Audrey's mother was that she couldn't make it, all the while smoking a cigar. Audrey had answered him absentmindedly while thinking of Agent Cooper. He was all that mattered right now. While the rest of her classmates were chattering excitedly, Audrey was scanning the crowd for him. Did she want him to see her now? Or should she surprise him after his speech?
Those 20 minutes raced by and suddenly it was time to walk out on stage. Audrey's heart was leaping out of her chest. A band of graduating Special Agents in uniforms played a joyous tune while the rest of the class went out on the stage. The audience consisting of friends and family of the graduates went wild and clapped like crazy. Audrey tried to smile her usual confident grin but it came out rather weak. She waved at her father and then the speeches were starting, so she had to get in line. She scanned the audience one final time before firmly settling her eyes on the FBI Director, Robert Miller. His speech was actually quite beautiful. His voice was kind and charismatic and he painted a lovely picture of what their lives as Special Agents would be like, all the adventures they had in store and what a great honor it was. Audrey was sure she would have absolutely loved it if she wasn't so distracted and if her heart wasn't beating at such a furious pace.
'Where the fuck are you, Cooper?' she thought to herself. Surely he was coming, right? "And now it's time for the class spokesperson to do her speech. Audrey Horne, everyone!" said Robert Miller. He tore her out of her thoughts. Her classmates started roaring and patting her on the back while she struggled up towards the podium, all the while smiling dazzlingly at anyone that looked her way. 'Pull it together, you'll do great!' she repeated to herself like a mantra. She reached the podium and Robert Miller wished her good luck. Audrey thanked him and then suddenly she was at the podium alone and the crowd was quieting down. Her eyes traveled across the audience one final time before she found her notes and started doing her speech.
"When my classmates and I began our training here at Quantico six months ago, we truly had no idea what we were in for", Audrey gave the crowd a big smile and they all chuckled. "Throughout the course of time we've spent here, we have learnt a lot. The average person might think shooting straight and being physically strong is all there is to being a Special Agent, but I think everyone here on this stage with me knows that's wrong." Her classmates nodded approvingly. "You have to have a will of steel to be a Special Agent, because it isn't easy. You have to know what you want; you have to have the courage to achieve it. Well, I'm Audrey Horne and I get what I want. I've been like that from a very early age, as I'm sure my father would agree on." The crowd laughed again. "Before starting my education as a Special Agent, I had never really met anyone like myself. I must admit that I was quite lonely. I would never in a million years have thought that Quantico would be anything but a learning experience for me, but as I'm standing here today I've become good friends with some of the best people I have ever met in my life", Audrey said and gesticulated towards her classmates. "These people are exactly whom you'd want defending our country, and I'm so very proud to be one of them. What we want is to protect and serve America to the very best of our abilities, and I'm exceedingly happy to say that everyone on this stage will get that wish fulfilled today when we get our badges. Thank you so much!" Audrey smiled while the crowd and her classmates clapped loudly and beamed at her.
Robert Miller was by her side again. "Good speech" he said and smiled kindly. Audrey thanked him before she went back to her classmates.
"Thank you for that lovely speech, Miss Horne. Now Division Chief Dale Cooper will say a couple of words before we start giving out the badges." Robert Miller walked away from the podium and Cooper entered from behind the stage, looking as handsome as ever. Audrey felt like she might have a heart attack. 'Of course he'd be waiting behind the stage!' she scolded herself.
Cooper locked eyes with her and there was a glow of happiness in them that Audrey had never seen before. He gave her a small smile and she felt faint. Then it was his turn up on the podium. Audrey didn't catch much of his speech (which deeply annoyed her later) because she was just too busy taking him in. His classically handsome features, his enthusiastic voice … it was like she'd been parched for years and then suddenly she got to drink from the clearest stream. Then his speech ended and it was time for everyone to get their badges.
It's as if Audrey was in a trance. She never took her eyes off Cooper, not once. When Robert Miller finally called out her name and the crowd clapped as she walked hurriedly across the stage to receive her gun, it was as if everything blurred and Cooper and her were the only two people in the world. She got her gun and shook hands with Robert Miller, and then finally she was with Cooper and it felt like a hole in her chest that she wasn't completely aware of was filled.
"Hello, Audrey" he said softly and took her hand in his. Cooper stroked his thumb across her knuckles and she had to bite her teeth together as not to moan. "I'm so proud of you." His green eyes were blazing.
Audrey stared dumbly at him for a couple of seconds before she finally snapped out of it. "Hi, Cooper. T-thank you" she stuttered.
Cooper smiled briefly. "Here's your badge" he said and placed it in her free hand. "May we talk after the ceremony?" he asked. Audrey beamed. "Of course" she said. Letting go of his hand was awful and she had to remind herself that she would be with him again shortly in order to do it.
Audrey walked off the stage and then she hurried to the bathroom to change into her slinky black dress. Audrey freshened up her lipstick. She looked awfully pale. "You're Audrey Horne and you get what you want, remember?" she told her reflection. "Now go take it".
Audrey walked back to the ceremony and she knew she should be looking for her father in the crowd, but she needed to talk to Cooper and she couldn't bother with Benjamin Horne right then. A hand touched her shoulder and Audrey spun around. Cooper. She smiled brightly at him and he smiled back.
"Sorry if I frightened you" he said. Audrey stared gravely at him. "You could never scare me, Cooper" she whispered. Cooper nodded slowly, "I'm starting to realize that, Audrey." Audrey felt her confidence returning.
"So" she said saucily and got in his personal space, "now that you have me, what are you going to do with me?" That is the kind of thing that would have made him extremely uncomfortable when they first got to know each other 4 years ago, but this time Cooper didn't even flinch. He just smiled crookedly and extended his arm to her. "We have a lot to talk about. Join me outside." Audrey grinned and looped her arm through his.
The wind outside was cold and Audrey shuddered slightly. Cooper immediately took off his coat and placed it carefully on her shoulders. "Thank you" she whispered, breathless. It smelled like him and it was the second best thing to being in his arms. "You're very welcome, Audrey" said Cooper.
"I must say I'm impressed" she said. "I never would have been able to keep my composure if I was the one to throw a speech and you suddenly came up out of nowhere." Cooper smiled affectionately at her. "I knew very well you'd be here. Do you think I haven't checked up on you these past years? You're the reason I agreed to do the speech, Audrey." Audrey was speechless. "I don't … Why?"
Cooper let his fingers travel carefully through one of the tendrils that framed her face. Audrey leaned into his touch and sighed with pleasure. "I have a present for you" he said finally. Audrey's eyes widened with glee. "Really? Because I happen to love presents, you know."
Cooper smiled and fished a small box from the pocket of his coat that was draped around her shoulders. It had a pink bow. "It's a graduation present. I hope you'll like it and that it'll be as useful to you as mine has been to me, Audrey" he said. Audrey bit her lit and opened the small package. It was a state of the art tape recorder. Audrey looked up at him. She didn't know what she'd been expecting, but certainly not a tape recorder. That was so … personal. She knew how much Cooper loved his.
"Oh Cooper. It's perfect. Thank you so much, I don't know what to s-"he interrupted her by catching her lips with his own. The kiss was obviously supposed to be sweet and undemanding, but it quickly turned rough and needy. Their mouths were exploring one another properly for the first time and nothing had ever felt as good before.
Audrey held her tape recorder in one hand and tugged at his hair with the other while Cooper wrapped his hands around her waist and pulled her close. Every cell in Audrey's body was on fire. "Mhrph" she moaned while he sucked on her lower lip. "Fuck, I need you Cooper!"
He pulled away from her for a second and then his hand was cupping her cheek again. "Call me Dale, Audrey. Please. Dale". His eyes were on fire and she realized in that moment that he wanted her just as much as she wanted him. Audrey smiled up at him. "Dale. Yes."
Then they were kissing again and suddenly he was leaving a trail of sweet kisses down her neck and to her collarbone, and everything seemed to fade away. They kissed for a long time, but when they stopped to just hold each other for a moment, Dale lent his forehead against hers and murmured: "I guess you'll be my special agent now ..." softly into her hair.