Alright, it is my second December fic that I have written. This one is for Haven, and is the first Haven fic. I think it turned out alright, but I would love feedback on how I dealt with the characters. I am on the Canadian schedule, and so haven't seen the most recent episode. This is set in an indeterminate time in the future, so it doesn't really matter anyway. I make a couple of assumptions about the finale, but nothing at all spoilery. The prompt was Nathan/Audrey: domestic life, for little_firesar
"Well, that could have been worse," Audrey said, as she walked out of the Carter house.
"It wasn't that bad," Nathan said, falling into step beside her.
"You have strawberry jam on the knee of your pant-leg, peanut butter on your shirt sleeve, and your hair looks like it's been through a whirlwind," his partner catalogued.
Nathan ran a hand through his hair absently, while examining his pants. "Hadn't noticed."
That made Audrey smile. "Course not."
"What did you expect Parker, visiting a house where there are three children under six?" Nathan asked.
"Just because it's expected doesn't make it ideal," Audrey countered.
"Yeah, I noticed you spent most of your time interviewing Mrs. Carter," Nathan said dryly.
"She is the one who's troubled," Audrey pointed out. "Besides, you seemed to have things under control with her kids. And I did help Annabeth draw a picture. Just because I didn't feel the need to engage in a wrestling match with an energetic three year old while his one-year-old brother cheered him on..."
"So they were a little energetic, they're boys. And Connor was just a baby," Nathan defended.
Audrey smirked. "How could I forget, you basically disintegrate whenever any child under the age of two comes into your field of vision."
"Oh, I do not," Nathan denied.
Audrey was really smirking now. "You make sounds I've never heard before."
Nathan was about to object before changing his mind. He opened the door of his truck and climbed in. "What's your point?"
"No point," Audrey admitted with a shrug of her shoulders as she got in the passenger seat. You didn't need to have a point to tease people after all.
Her answer made Nathan a little defensive, "So I like kids. Who doesn't?" He started his truck and headed back to the police station.
Audrey considered his question for a moment, leaning back against her seat. "Well, some people."
Nathan frowned, not sure who she was talking about. "You do."
"I know," Audrey agreed easily. "But not everyone does."
Nathan nodded slightly, now lost in thought. "You've never thought about it?"
Audrey frowned. "Thought about what?"
"You know, having..." Nathan caught himself just in time. "Settling down?"
Audrey knew what he meant anyway. "Turns out, I've already done the kid thing once, that I know about." Hearing about one child from a past life was bad enough. She wasn't sure she could cope with hearing about any more. Particularly since they'd almost certainly have passed away long ago.
Nathan tried to back-track. "No, I meant..."
"Try again so I can remember it?" Audrey filled in when he didn't continue.
"Maybe." He paused, searching for something to say. "You're not going to disappear on us in two weeks now."
She did know that, but it wasn't enough. "I still don't know if I'm ever going to disappear again, or for how long, or why."
Nathan had to give her that one. Still, he didn't like the idea of her giving up on having a life of her own, just because of her... situation. "Alright, not kids then, maybe just..."
"What?" Audrey asked a little harshly.
"Try a little domesticity," he suggested, somewhat weakly.
"I have an apartment," she pointed out. "It's plenty domestic."
Nathan stared at her. "It's right above Duke's."
That made her smile. "Nothin' wrong with Duke's."
Nathan raised an eyebrow.
Audrey was unimpressed. "You need to give him a break."
He didn't answer her, choosing instead to turn the subject away from the perpetual thorn in his side and back to what they'd really been talking about. "It's not very permanent."
"I'm not very permanent." Audrey reminded him. She didn't know why he was pushing this so much. It was bad enough knowing that she might disappear any day, without Nathan going all... whatever he was doing.
"You don't know that." Nathan insisted.
She shook her head. "Yes, I do."
"Hunter's passed." Nathan couldn't help reminding her. The Hunter had passed and she was still in Haven. Surely that meant something.
Audrey was less convinced. "For now."
"So you're what, never going to have another relationship again?" her partner asked.
Now it was her turn to get defensive. "I didn't say that."
He kept pushing. "So you are?"
"Maybe," Audrey said. She didn't want to have this conversation. Not now, maybe not ever.
But Nathan did. "What're you waiting for?"
She sighed. "Some sort of indication that even the medium-term might be possible?"
She had a fair point, but he wasn't willing to admit that. Besides, Nathan knew his point was worth making as well. He pulled the truck up to the station, put it in park and turned to face her. "You ever hear of carpe diem, Parker?"
Audrey was starting to feel almost boxed in. "It's not that simple, Nathan. And it's not... It wouldn't be fair to... to whoever I'd be having the relationship with."
Nathan didn't back down. "But it's fair to not have a relationship with... whoever because you're scared?"
Audrey's eyes widened. "I..."
"Never mind how he feels about it," Nathan added, almost angrily, his eyes never leaving hers.
She softened, couldn't help it. "Nathan..."
"People I love die,"she reminded him desperately.
To her surprise, the man across from her smiled. "People die anyway."
She didn't return his smile. "People I love die sooner."
Nathan just shrugged, and reached for her hand. "Maybe that's not your call."
She looked down at his thumb, rolling back and forth along hers. She could only imagine what it felt like for him. Still, she wouldn't let him get hurt, not because of her. "Maybe I'm making it my call."
Bu Nathan was persistent. And sincere. "Well, maybe all that I can think about is making you pancakes every morning while you test the temperature of my coffee."
Audrey's breath caught in her throat. "Nathan..."
Trying to escape, and buy herself a little time, she grabbed her hand back and got out of the truck.
He followed right behind her, sensing his advantage. "Tell me you don't think about it too."
She met his eyes again. It was a mistake. "You know that I..."
"Tell me that we're just partners," he all-but ordered. "Tell me now, and I'll stop."
He stepped forward, reaching for her. She could feel the shock of her touch ripple through him for the second time in five minutes. She leaned further into him, unable to resist. "We can't do this," she murmured. "You know it's dangerous."
He quirked an eyebrow. "Pancakes?"
"Nathan..." she whispered.
He smiled. "I don't know what you're doing with your stove, Parker, but..."
But he wasn't going to let her weasel out of this again. He wanted her too much, and she wanted him. "Just, forget about forever. Think of it as a little domesticity, for a little while."
Audrey swallowed. "How long?"
That was an easy question. "As long as we can."
Audrey hesitated. "And it doesn't bother you that we don't know how long that'll be?"
Nathan took another step towards her, not caring that they were in the middle of the sidewalk. Not caring that Vince and Dave were probably lurking somewhere, spying on them. "Nope."
"Really?" she asked. And for the first time in a long time, Nathan thought she sounded hopeful.
"Better'n nothing," he reminded her.
He could see her weighing her options in her mind. He tried to be patient, knowing that he couldn't push her. Suddenly, she smiled. "I'll stock up on pancake flour."
He smiled back. "I'll get the syrup."