T itl e: He’s the Selfish One?
Disclaimer: No, I’m not paid to do this.
A/N: Phew, I have not done this in a while, so a bit rusty here. Yes, I ship them because they are my OTP, and Duke said about Audrey, “It’s complicated.” He still has feelings for her, I know it. I could give you all a list of why I still ship them. I like Juke (My shipname for Jennifer and Duke) but Juke is not Daudrey, okay? Duke loves Audrey. Still. And this is where my one-shot came from. So please read, review and keep calm because Duke Crocker.
He’s napping on the Rouge; Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise draped over his chest as he is rocked gently back and forth by the waves beneath his ship. A loud sploosh startles the rakish con man out of his sleep, and he groggily pushes himself up into a sitting position just to see a pair of feet slip into the water. With speed surprising for someone of his tall, muscled build, he lunges forward, diving into the freezing waves. His feet churn the water as he propels himself with strong kicks, arms extended to entangle the feminine figure suspended in the blue depths.
Her hair fans out behind her like a blond halo, and her thick lashes flutter, her lips twitching as her mouth opens and closes—bubbles escaping past her lips. Recognition glints in his dark eyes. He sees her face, framed by crimson tresses in his memories, the past coming back to life. Only a little boy then, he watches as the young woman bends down and removes from her slender neck a detailed silver medallion, extending it towards him. His tiny hand closes around the medallion.
He pulls the fragile creature into his arms, pinning her against his chest with one arm and swims back to the surface. His heart thrums solidly in his chest, pushing the blood through his veins, and resonating a rhythm in the ears of his charge. A rhythm that calls to her.
“I’m supposed to be the selfish one," he growls to himself, slamming the bottle of liquor on the counter. The burning liquid scalds his taste buds but it is respite compared to the sharp cracks splitting in his already broken heart. He never gets anything in return. For all the selfish pain he puts himself through, losing her, fighting him, losing his brother. “The thing about this town, is no matter how hard you try, you lose everything. So why bother?” he repeats, droplets threatening to flow over the brinks of his eyelids.
Seconds after he fires the shots, and his angel flies off to her end, he shoots after her, ignoring his shouts. He slips through the collapsing matter just in time and pulls her into his arms once more. She thrashes, failing to recognize the heart beating against her own, nor the tanned arms locking her in an embrace. She turns her golden head, and her oceanic eyes meet his. Turning in his arms, she collapses suddenly. He tightens his arms around her, holding her still, calling her name repeatedly, each repetition carrying a deeper note of worry. His heart twists as he awaits their doom—when her memory would be erased, when she would forget him but he would not forget her. Never to forget her.
He erases the troubles. His curse—his family’s curse—brings the peace to the insanity that is Haven, Maine every 27 years. The irony is rich; the Trouble in his blood, what drives him to the edge of his own insanity is what brings a calm to the people around him, if not for a blissful moment’s peace. She is clarity. She, a light in the fog-muddled ports on a dark decade and a half filled with chaos, death, and anguish. She, the still that falls over a pond after a stone breaks ripples into the glassy water.
He’s never said it to her.
Never can now; she’s too far.
She never asked to hear it.
Never needed to. But they both know it.
Reviews are love!
Kudos if you can recognize my inspiration. [Cough cough] Look again, lovelies. [Cough cough]