"What's that?" Nathan asked as Audrey shook a Halloween print gift bag at him. It was one of those stiff paper bags with glittery little orange pumpkins smiling from a background of black and a little bright orange rope handle, which Audrey dangled precariously on one finger swinging it almost impatiently.
"Halloween present!" she responded, smiling that big smile of hers that always made him feel a bit edgy. It was the smile she wore when she was planning something…
"Halloween present?" Nathan repeated back to her in the form of a confused question, because he could honestly say that no one had ever given him a gift on Halloween before.
"Yup! Now open it! It's not going to bite you." she encouraged, now swinging the bag lightly as if to promote good faith.
With a wary eye, and possibly twitching brow, Nathan slipped the bag from her finger and peered down inside. Okay… So yeah … What…?
"What. Is. This…?" Nathan asked slowly, dumbfounded, as he looked back up at Audrey who looked like she was having a hard time trying to keep from laughing and failing miserably at that.
Audrey just laughed with that big goofy smile covering half her face before giggling on her way out of his office. "Don't forget we're going to Duke's party at 7:00. I'm gonna go change, and you 'better' do the same! You strike me as the kind who goes as is and just says you're dressed as a cop or a cowboy!"
Nathan watched her go, not able to say a word in protest. She was right… but that didn't mean he'd wear this… But the tone she'd used when telling him to get dressed promised retribution if he didn't comply with her wishes. He may not be able to feel pain, but that didn't mean he wanted to get on her bad side either.
What could it hurt? He could humor her… Glancing back down at the bag's contents, he cringed.
He could do it…
For Audrey… She was his partner… She was just looking out for him, right?
~ Duke + Nate ~
Duke was behind the bar refilling drinks as the bell over the front door to the Gull jingled merrily greeting the newest guests to this year's Crocker hosted Halloween Bash! He'd barely heard the bell over the crowd that was already enjoying the company of their friends and the free booze. Glancing up at the door, he smiled as he saw Audrey, dressed as a pirate, dragging a rather reluctant looking Nathan behind her. Just as Duke remembered, that man had no sense for these things. Even as a kid, Nathan wasn't really the dress-up and trick-or-treat kind…
Duke's brain seemed to die mid-thought on that… and his mouth was most likely hanging open as the two made their way over to the bar. At Audrey's knowing smile and Nathan's fidgeting, his mouth was most certainly hanging open. Something he quickly replaced with a charming smile as he ran a towel across the bar top to keep his hands busy and give him that nonchalant look as if he weren't just staring at Nathan… Nope, not staring at… Nathan…
But damn! Wasn't he something to stare at!
That thought made Duke pause before he scanned the room with a quick glance. He wasn't the only one who took notice of Chief Wuornos' Halloween costume. Great, now he was fighting to keep a friendly smile on his face… And by the look in Audrey's eyes as she took her a seat on an empty stool, she hadn't missed it.
"Well if it isn't Pirate Captain Audrey!" Duke grinned at her, before turning his attention to her stiff partner. "And Nathan Wuornos, you'll have to help me here, because I'm just not quite sure what it is that you're trying to be…" Duke ignored the sharp look Audrey gave him before she turned to the flustered sheriff.
"It's okay Nathan; he's just joking." Audrey huffed, sending Duke a light glare as she placed a hand on Nathan's arm. Duke watched, irritated as the touch visibly calmed Nathan's nerves and helped him relax ever so slightly. "Now! If you two can play nice, I'm going to go mingle like a normal person, who's job description doesn't include helping people with super powers they can't control, since it is my night off!" And just like that she was off her stool and darting into the crowd leaving Nathan standing there confused and Duke bewildered.
"So…" Duke was smoother than this dammit! He just didn't plan on Nathan being… well more than the usual Nathan…
"A bunny…" Nathan mumbled as he slowly and stiffly sat on Audrey's abandoned stool.
"What…?" Smooth real smooth, Crocker… Stop staring and listen, dammit! It's just Nathan. It's just normal old Nathan Wuornos; you've known him all your life. It's just Nathan, normally gorgeous and astoundingly naïve Nathan… It's just Nathan in a freakin' tux with a pair of black bunny ears and, his guess, a bunny tail by the way people were staring at Nate's back.
"I'm a bunny…" Nathan repeated, trailing off in a miserable sounding sigh.
"So you are…" Duke responded half paying attention. He really wanted to confirm that tail… purely for mocking purposes! Or at least that was what he was trying to tell himself.
"It was Parker's idea…" Nathan grumbled, before looking up from the bar through dark lashes at Duke who gripped the cloth in his hand a bit tighter. "Vampire then?" Nathan questioned, now fully studying what little of Duke's costume he could see.
"Yup! Chicks dig vampires!" Duke laughed, thinking how Audrey really needed a reward or something for getting the usually uptight Nathan into something other than his plaid or well-fitting sweaters, not that Duke disliked either of those thanks. "You look good Nate." He added softly pushing a glass of scotch in front of his… frenemy?
"Thanks…" Nathan mumbled, glancing down at the drink now refusing to meet Duke's eyes, face flushed ever so slightly. Interesting, real interesting… "You too…"
~ Duke + Nate ~
"DUKE!" Audrey yelled as said man pressed her partner firmly against the bar, looking completely prepared to just eat the poor Sherriff up. "Stop molesting Nathan! We have to find the person who is causing the Trouble that did this, and then you can molest Nathan!" She huffed out impatiently. Really, after all the Troubles she'd seen, she'd never imagined one that could turn people into their Halloween costumes… People were running from people who 'had' been dressed as wolves, but now were werewolves themselves. And here she was, in the Gull, with all the chaos going on outside in the town and she had her hands full with a worked-up vampire and fidgety bunny…
"Parker!" Nathan cried indignantly from his trapped position between a very 'troubled' Duke whose vampire fangs were now all too real, causing Nathans now fully functioning bunny ears to twitch at his current state of duress.
"Nathan," Duke purred in Nathans normal ear before giving it a nice slow lick; Nathans bunny ears twitched subconsciously, "Looks like 'mom' gave me permission to court your fine bunny ass once this is all over!" Duke all but crooned as he slowly peeled himself away from where he was practically molded to Nathan. His eyes were hungry and promising a continuation at a later date, and poor Nathan's eyes were wide as he glanced back and forth from a grinning Audrey to a smirking Duke.
Audrey… She was his partner… She was just looking out for him… yeah right…
~ FIN ~