Nathan wakes up to the feeling of a hand stroking his hair. He half opens his eyes to see Audrey. He’s lying on his stomach on a travel bed in the police station. Audrey smiles at him way too happily given how early it must be. She leans over and kisses his cheek. He can’t help his own sleepy smile. He will never get over the feel of her.
“Happy birthday,” Audrey whispers before kissing him on the lips. They kiss for a while, slowly and thoroughly. Best birthday morning ever.
“Thanks,” he murmurs. It really must be early, given how quiet everything is. He moves to his side so that Audrey can come lay with him on the bed under the covers. They take a moment to get settled, Nathan on his side, Audrey cuddled next to him, burying her head in his neck. Afterwards they just hold each other quietly. Nathan almost falls back asleep, before Audrey asks him,
“How do you usually celebrate your birthday? It’s so close to Xmas and everything.”
Nathan is glad Audrey can’t see his face at the moment. He suspects she did that on purpose. He takes a moment to gather his thoughts and closes his eyes, to better reminisce.
“When Mom was alive, she would always make special pancakes for me. I used to always have a birthday and xmas present list. I didn’t get that many presents, but it was kinda fun to get stuff twice within 2 weeks. I don’t have any cousins, ones that I know of anyway, and the timing was terrible, so I never got big parties. But I liked my birthdays.”
Afterwards he falls quiet. They haven’t talked much about his mother. When you grow up with a father like Garland Wuornos, talking about things, especially painful ones, is rare. He needs to get used to talking but it's hard.
“And after? When it was just you and the Chief.”
Nathan sighs before continuing. “She died a month after I turned twelve. Before I turned 13… Dad, asked whether I wanted a birthday or xmas. Everyone had xmas, so birthdays kinda became, not a thing anymore. We did continue to always get pancakes. I think Laverne always reminded him about it. The period from my birthday until xmas was the most involved he was in my life.”
Audrey gives his neck a supportive kiss and he puts his hand on her chin to guide her face to kiss her properly. They stay like that for a moment. After they break apart, Audrey’s smiling again.
“I wish I could get you any type of pancakes today.”
“It’s OK. You have a good excuse, what with the town being completely cut off from the world and all.”
“I’m gonna go and try to get Laverne to dispense a Baby Ruth for you. It’s your birthday, and you deserve one.”
They share a brief kiss before Audrey gets up from the bed. Before she’s completely gone, Nathan takes a hold of her hand to stop her movement. Audrey looks at him.
“Audrey. We’re gonna get Duke back. We’re gonna defeat Croatoan and fix Haven. OK? Trust me.”
Audrey smiles sadly and squeezes his hand. “Yeah,” she doesn’t sound quite convinced, but it’s enough for now.
They have a long day ahead of them, so Nathan lies back on the bed to get some more rest. He can’t stop the smile on his face though. This is gonna be a nice birthday.