Saying goodbye? Why is it sad? Makes us remember the good times we've had... You're in my heart, so until then.. gonna laugh... gonna cry... it's time for saying goodbye. - Muppets Ensemble.


January 10th

Julia had fled after she'd stopped crying. I should have gone after her to make sure she was ok, but I couldn't muster up the strength. The bright-eyed scoundrel who saved my life and then made me coffee was gone. I would never be able to repay him for all the help that he'd given me. I'd never get a chance to apologize for the times I'd hurt him, and I knew that I had hurt him. It seemed just when it was most important to him for me to acknowledge something he'd done, I'd screw it up. The way he'd looked at me after I'd flippantly inquired if he'd gotten me a pony on my birthday was the first time I'd seen a crack in the armor around his heart, and it hurt me when he'd sealed it shut.

Duke could piss me off with the best of them. I was still angry at him for not telling me that he was the boy in the picture, but I could understand it, sort of. He'd needed time to decide who I was, and if I was trustworthy. Everything with Duke was a damned test, and if you got one question wrong, he slipped farther away. It was rather like how Julia had described her mother. Still, I had wanted to earn Duke's trust, not only because I was rapidly becoming sure he knew more of what was going on than he was telling me, but because he was my friend. My instincts told me that when Duke decided that you were someone worthy of his friendship, he would remain your friend until the bitter end. I'd seen that in the way he interacted with Nathan. There was no doubt in my mind that Duke liked to bicker with Nathan, but underneath all that, Duke still had wanted to be Nathan's friend, if only Nathan would have let him.

As reality continued to set in, I felt my mind wandering to try to deny it, or at least find something practical I could do to deal with it. Morgan, Duke's orange cat would need looking after. The cat hated Nathan since an unfortunate incident involving being stepped on by Duke and misapplying feline blame. Marge probably had taken him back in. I wanted to call her and ask, or go down to the Cape Rouge and see if Morgan was still there. Duke loved that cat…had loved that cat.

Nathan moved further into the room, the noise of his shoes scuffing over the carpet temporarily distracting me. His face had a hollowness to it that wasn't there this morning. He closed his eyes when he'd heard one of the gulls laughing outside, evidence that he could feel pain without my touch. His face was slowly reshaping itself into a granite block, hiding behind Stoic Maine Man tm. "You OK, Nathan?" I asked, fearing the answer.

"No." That just about summed it up for both of us.

A/N: Sorry for the short chapter. Next one will be longer (though not by much). I'm hoping to get more writing time over Thanksgiving weekend so perhaps there will be more chapters flowing faster. Please note that the above statement doesn't imply any guarantee. However neoxphile wants me to wrap this kitten up so we can work on our next project. Neoxphile has written some fics in the X-Files universe that tie into our Haven universe. If your bored with me not posting, check them out. They are good!