[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: fingers inside your heart and your mind
Fandom: Haven
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Duke/Audrey, Lucy Ripley, Chief Garland Wournos
Author's Note: I've been trying to write a semi-PWP where Duke and Audrey hook up because she now lives at The Grey Gull. This did not want to be that, sadly. It got close though. Title is from The Horrible Crowes song Blood Loss. Word Count - 1,037
Disclaimer: I own nothing.

She crawls under his skin like a monster, filling up the dark places he tries to hide, does it with a smile because she just doesn’t know.

At the end of the day, she’s the only friend he’s got.

(Even at eight, Duke knows he’s different. Nathan Wournos can’t feel, Mike Welch just disappeared one day, and his father orders Duke to stay away from those people.

Duke just doesn’t care what the old man thinks anymore. He’s not around to notice it much either.)

The third time in a week he’s dragged in to the police station for petty crimes, he gets sent to Chief Wournos’ office. It’s a bit like being sent to the principal’s office, but Duke notices the dark-haired woman standing next to the Chief more than anything. She watches him while the Chief lectures him on civil something or other and then interrupts.

“Why not bring him along for a ride, Garland?”

Her name is Lucy. For a long time after, Duke wishes he’d never met her (nearly convinces himself of this).

“You going to teach me how to pick locks?” she asked him, that first ride, and Duke flushed, looked over at the Chief who shrugged. “Maybe I will,” he told her.

(She’s his only friend, teaches him to never say goodbye.)

He starts showing up at the police station on his own, figuring what the hell, and Lucy lets him listen in. Garland doesn’t like the idea, argues Duke’ll just cause trouble, but Lucy shrugs him off.

“He’s a good kid,” she insists.

But Duke, even at eight, can tell the town’s getting worse. Whatever it is, his father threatens to move the family and Duke slips out, runs straight to the station to find Lucy; finds Garland instead.

“That might be for the best,” Garland says.

The Colorado Kid turns up dead the next morning, and Lucy vanishes just as quickly as she came.

All Duke’s left with is a necklace and a sense of resentment.

(“Keep it for me,” she’d said, pressing it in to his hand one afternoon.

“Sure,” Duke said, promising. It hadn’t seemed important at the time. She wasn’t going anywhere.)

But Duke grows up and Lucy never comes back, and he learns his lesson well. No cops, no friends, no family. The Chief tries to talk to him, but Duke’s done with Haven, lights out of there at fifteen.

The necklace, he hangs on to.

He can't count the number of times he's nearly pawned it, but couldn’t ever bring himself to do it. Duke carries it around with him, a worry stone worn with time, the initials rubbed clean from shady job after shady job.

(Years later, he slips back in to town. ”Promise me,” his father had said.

Promises, promises, all piled up.)

He’s back six months when Audrey comes to town.

Duke doesn't notice it at first, just sees a pretty girl drowning, a girl who looks cute in her pressed t-shirts and the way she holds herself, always looking around the corner for someone (some thing).

(It takes the picture of the Colorado Kid to make him remember.)

She knows better than to ask much about Lucy, when he gives her the necklace, but her old guard is back up and Duke wonders how much the daughter is like the mother. Nothing like, it seems more and more.

(It’s a comfort to think it, that Lucy’s still out there somewhere. Wandering, lost, never coming back, and now Haven’s got Audrey instead.

It’s too much to admit he’s made friends of them both; that Audrey might disappear too and he’ll end up on the run again, searching for something not there.)

“When did you know?” she asks him one night at The Grey Gull, when they’re both there past closing. He keeps glancing at the stairs to her floor but the hour’s past two and it’s easier to stay up.

“Took me a while,” he admits, toying with her idea, that Audrey is Lucy and Lucy is Audrey. He doesn’t entirely buy it. “Anyway, how was I supposed to know?” he adds and Audrey leans forward in her chair, watching him carefully. Duke shifts in his chair, the scene eerily familiar.

(Memory is a funny thing. Dark brown hair and belt marks on his back and the Chief trying to win him back. “You're not your father, son.”)

“What was I like?” Audrey asks, and Duke hesitates, reaches across to run a finger along her hand, tracing up to her wrist.

“She was quieter than you,” he says, and feels Audrey’s eyes on him, hungry. “Less eager.” He hesitates. “She pushed the Chief around more,” he adds, and when Audrey chokes a laugh, he picks up the sweet scent of her wine.

“You say that like she’s not me,” she says, and Duke looks up at her.

“I don’t want her to be you,” he says, because it’s late and she’s close and it’s been such a long time since he was a lonely child in this town. Wonders if she was ever a kid like him, or just a ghost in time. Knows what she thinks; wishes he could change her mind.

(Orphans, all of them.)

“I wish I knew you as a kid,” she says quietly. “You were probably a mess.”

(She doesn't protest when he closes the distance, inches making his heart pound and palms sweat. He just doesn’t know what else to do, months of curiosity and hurt mixed together, but she’s finally not running from him.)

Her lips are chapped, damp from the wine, and they open under his; her hands on his shoulders pull him closer and Duke forgets, forgets about his father and the new chief and this town he can’t escape.

“I think you’re better than her,” he manages, and Audrey swallows hard when he digs a hand in to her hair, feels burned by her this close.

“I’ll try not to leave this time,” she tells him.

(If wishes were horses.)

“All right then,” he says as she leans in, hands linked behind his neck, and Duke forgets the last thirty years (meets her halfway). “I believe you.”

(Promises, promises.)

Finis
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