Title: The Power of Friends

Author: AmericanFairy

Rating: PG for very slight language

Pairings: Nathan and Audrey friendship

Summary: Audrey is going through a dark time in her life, but Nathan helps her to move on.

Warnings: Spoilers through 1X11

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own it. Though I will buy the DVDs when they come out.

Word Count: 1,467

A/N: It's been a long time since I've written fic so please be kind!

The early morning light streamed into the small bedroom where Audrey Parker lay contemplating her current situation. Indeed, she had a big problem and one that she hadn't faced since early high school.

She was now unemployed.

Audrey blew out a sigh as she stared at the ceiling. Deciding to leave the FBI was probably the hardest decision that she had ever had to make. Time alone would tell if she had made the right one. And if she hadn't? Well… Let's hope that she hadn't.

The ringing of the cell phone interrupted her thoughts. Frowning, she looked at the clock. 7am? Who could be calling her at this hour? She picked up her phone. "Parker here," she answered just as she always had.

"You planning on coming in today?" Nathan's voice sounded slightly amused.

Nathan. Why wasn't she surprised? "I was planning on it. Why?"

"Just making sure that you hadn't forgotten about your job is all."

Audrey gave a short laugh. "Are you sure that I still have that? I was only on loan from the FBI remember?"

"Yeah, I'm sure," Nathan replied easily. "Otherwise I wouldn't be calling you."

"Well then I'll be there," she replied with a smile. Trust Nathan to make things seem so simple. Let's just hope that Chief Wournos would still have her. Otherwise she truly would be out of a job.

When Audrey arrived at the station she couldn't help but feel a small thrill of anticipation. Sure, she had been working here for months now but that was back when she was still the FBI agent on loan. This was different. For the first time in a long time she felt hope. Sure, this wasn't exactly a break in the Colorado Kid case, but maybe she still had a chance. Maybe staying here had been the right decision. As she walked into the small office that she shared with Nathan she was surprised to find a badge and a gun sitting on her desk. A voice behind her caused her to jump.

"'Bout time we had given you one of those. You'll need to get your picture taken for your ID but otherwise you should be good to go," was all Chief Wournos said as he reached for the nicotine gum in his pocket.

Audrey wasn't quite sure what to say. "Thank you."

The chief shrugged. "Can't have my detectives running around with no guns and no badges. What kind of a police force do you think I run anyways?" And with those words he turned and walked to his office.

Audrey sat down and picked up the badge to get a better look. Yup, it was just like Nathan's alright. On one side of the slim wallet was the actual badge that proudly stated Haven Police. On the other side was the clear plastic pocket where she would put her ID card once she got one.

She was still staring at the badge when Nathan walked in carrying two cups of coffee. "So it's official then?" he asked as he set one cup on Audrey's desk.

"Not yet," Audrey replied as she waved her new badge to him in greeting. "I still need to get a picture ID." Then she noticed the Nathan was smiling. "What?"

Nathan just shook his head.

"What's so funny? Come on Nathan!" Audrey really didn't like guessing games unless it had something to do with an investigation.

"Nothing," Nathan replied as he struggled to put on his poker face. "Just glad to see that the chief finally got around to giving you one is all."

Audrey frowned. "That's it? That's why you're laughing?" She glanced at the badge in her hands before turning her full attention on her partner. "Did you have anything to do with this?"

Nathan raised his eyebrows. "Me? Nope."

Audrey opened her mouth to speak but before she could say anything Nathan's phone started ringing. He promptly picked it up. "Haven PD Detective Wournos speaking. Uh huh. Uh huh. We'll be right on it." As he hung up the phone he turned to Audrey. "Old Mr. Anderson has been seen walking down First Street without any pants on."

Audrey grimaced. "Did he say anything about white rabbits?" Mr. Anderson had dementia and sometimes went down the street to play with imaginary white rabbits.

Nathan shrugged as he reached for his jacket. "Laverne didn't say."

Audrey sighed as holstered her new gun and pocketed her badge. She couldn't help but notice that the badge felt good in her pocket, like it belonged there.

Two hours later they had found Mr. Anderson, talked him into accepting a ride home to get some pants, and called his son. Audrey let Nathan handle that call. The younger Anderson seemed pretty upset as he discussed with Nathan what he should do. He didn't want to send his father to the Freddy but in Haven that wasn't really anywhere else someone in his condition could go.

After about ten minutes of conversation Nathan hung up his phone with a sigh. "Wish I didn't have to do that."

Audrey nodded in agreement. "Yeah, well better you than me." The two of them stood in front of the Anderson house for a moment before walking back to the Bronco. This air was crisp and cool with a hint of autumn in it.

"How about some pancakes?" Nathan asked suddenly.

"Pancakes?" Audrey turned to him in surprise. "It's barely even lunch time."

"I could really go for some pancakes right now." Nathan said so seriously that Audrey burst into laughter.

"Okay, okay you win. Pancakes it is."

Nathan simply smiled as he started the engine. Audrey couldn't help but get in one last word.

"One of these days I'm going to win."

Nathan gave her a sideways glance. "Excuse me?"

"One of these days you're going to say that you want pancakes, and I'm going to say that I want lobster. And one of these days I'm going to win." She sat back and smiled at the thought.

"Do you want lobster?" Nathan asked.

"No, no. Pancakes will be just fine." Audrey smiled at him. She wouldn't admit it but pancakes were starting to become her new favorite food.

They pulled into the local diner and as they climbed out of the truck a sudden gust of wind blew catching Audrey's hair. "Damn! I knew I should have pulled my hair up today," she grumbled as she attempted to brush her hair out of her face.

"Here, let me help." Nathan was suddenly in front of Audrey helping to get her hair out of her face. Audrey couldn't help but notice how his hands seemed to linger on her face a bit longer than necessary.

"Nathan, are you okay?" As soon as she asked he took a step back putting some distance between them. Audrey couldn't help the empty feeling that came over her once his hands left her, but she determinedly brushed it off. After all, it was nothing.

"Yeah, I'm okay," Nathan mumbled as he pulled the door open and motioned for Audrey to go first. "Let's go eat."

Somehow Audrey doubted that but she decided to let the matter drop. Now was not the best time to push her partner, not when he closed himself off like he had a tendency to do.

As they sat down she was wondering how best to approach the matter when Nathan spoke up. "What's your favorite color?"

Surprised, Audrey blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "What?"

Undeterred he pushed on. "What's your favorite color?"

"What brought this on?" Audrey asked. "Not that I mind but… Why?"

Nathan sighed as he sat back in his seat. "Do you remember that time with the chameleon?"

"Not very well." Audrey shrugged. "You seem to forget that I was pretty out of it the entire time."

"No, I haven't forgotten." Nathan focused his baby blues on her. "And you were right. We don't know each other that well at all."

"Well, well," Audrey mused. "This is a surprise. My favorite color?" And before she knew it she found herself launched into a full blown conversation with Nathan Wournos of all people. She learned that not only did Nathan paint, but he also played the guitar. And Nathan learned that Audrey was a sci-fi junkie with a soft spot for vampire novels and that they both shared a passion for hockey. As the hours passed Audrey found the she felt happier than she had been in a long time.

"So, this is what friends do? They just sit around and talk?" she couldn't help but ask.

"So I've heard," Nathan replied with a smile. "Feels pretty good doesn't it?"

"Yeah," Audrey said feeling somewhat impressed. "Yeah, it actually does."