Author's Note: A HUGE thank you to all the great readers and reviewers and followers who are making "From Whence We Came" feel like such a success. It hasn't been abandoned, I just haven't had the muse to work on it recently. I did, however, write this little bit after watching "Magic Hour, Part 1" and can I just say that the huge reveal at the end wasn't 100% a surprise to me. I kind of cheated, though, since I used to work with cops and the guy didn't know how to handle evidence...something was fishy about him all along.
Spoilers for this whole season, especially the most recent episode.
They're not mine!
She bolts from the room with her excuse of needing air, but the truth is she needs space. Space from Duke, from herself, from herself and Duke as…whatever they were on the bed when they were mouths and skin and not-so-much-friends-as-something-else-entirely. She takes her phone with her, tucked inside the pocket of her sweatshirt, and she wanders away from the door to the motel room. She doesn't know who to call or even what to say, but she needs to hear someone's voice other than her own rattling around her brain.
She scrolls through the meager amount of numbers until she finds the one she's looking for, her finger hesitating over the name. It's almost midnight back east – back home – but she touches the screen anyway.
"Audrey," Claire's voice says and she sounds worried, "what's wrong? What's happened?"
She's never been so happy to speak to her psychologist as she is right now. "I kissed Duke," she says before she can stop herself. "I ran away from Nathan to find pieces of my past in Colorado and instead all I found was…Duke's mouth."
Claire laughs, not mockingly but with relief and affection. Audrey wishes she was back in Haven, wishes it was three weeks ago – before the sand shifted and she fucked everything up royally.
"Why'd you kiss him?" Claire asks.
Audrey sighs. "Because he was there, because I felt like I needed to, because…"
"Nathan's here, running around with Jordan, and you were jealous and angry and sad?"
Audrey pulls the phone away from her ear and frowns at it. Claire's damn good at what she does, even from 2,000 miles away, but that doesn't make it any easier to digest the brutally honest response.
"Stop frowning at the phone, Audrey."
She laughs in spite of herself, brings the phone back to her ear. "You're annoying, Claire."
"So I've heard." Audrey can almost see the smile on Claire's cherubic face. It calms her a little, to think the good doctor is calm all that distance away. "Nathan's with Jordan because she wants him, because he feels like you brushed him aside – which you did." Audrey doesn't respond, mostly because she doesn't have an argument. Claire continues. "You love him, Audrey. He loves you. Pull your heads out of your asses and fix this whole thing – before it's too late."
"Twenty days left," she mumbles.
"I know," Claire says and she sounds suddenly sad. "I've been keeping track ever since you told me."
The door to the motel room opens somewhere behind her and Audrey turns to see Duke's head poking out into the night. She waves at him and he nods, disappears back inside. She wonders, for just a moment, if the motel was actually booked solid or if Duke planned their shared room.
"They're not going to handle it well," Audrey says.
"I've got news for you, dear, they're not handling it well now." It's a fair and true point. "Frankly, neither are you. You kissed Duke Crocker for fuck's sake!"
Audrey's so astonished by the usually reserved, composed Doctor Claire that her throwing out an obscenity over the phone makes Audrey giggle. "Oh god, I did. What the hell was I thinking?!"
"You weren't." Claire allows a giggle of her own. "Now, when are you coming home?"
"Semantics, but yes." Audrey smiles into the darkness, suddenly homesick. "Thank you, Claire."
"You're welcome, Audrey. Just do me a favor."
"Don't kiss Duke again; doctor's orders."
She laughs. "Doctor's orders. Got it."
She ends the call, her eye catching sight of her most recent phone call. Nathan's name is like a blister on her heart – just seeing it rubs something raw inside her, makes her chest constrict with the feeling of loss and unfinished business. She's homesick for Haven, for Claire's friendship and counsel, but most of all she's homesick for Nathan – strong, silent, and always present Nathan.
She turns off the phone, returns it to her pocket. She promises herself she'll fix it when she gets back.
When she gets home.