Who does he look like he's having more fun dancing with?

Coop and Audrey the Cool Coop and Annie the Yucky

WARNING: SPOILERS: DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SERIES!

Thus I begin my exploration of the relationship between Audrey Horne and Special Agent Dale Cooper. I will leave it up to you out there to decide whether they would eventually have become involved romantically, but I must warn you that I am a romantic at heart and that this may come through quite clearly in the following passages. There will be highlighted words, which, when clicked upon, will lead you to the appropriate pictures taken from Mike Dunn's ever awesome Black Lodge sight, and from the always informational Twin Peaks FAQ, maintained by Jim Pellman, and partly established by my good pal Rich Haller.

At the beginning of our story we find our two subjects in their "original" incarnations.

Audrey Horne is a high school student and the daughter of the richest man in Twin Peaks, Benjamin Horne. She is spoiled materially, but not emotionally. Her father generally ignores her and the only way she can elicit attention from him is by pulling pranks and making a nuisence out of herself. She delights in ruining her fathers' business transactions and drilling holes in filled paper cups with pencils and then pulling the pencils out. Underneath it all, she just wants someone to pay attention to her and treat her with respect.

Special Agent Dale Cooper is a buttoned down, no nonsense man whose best friend appears, at the beginning to be the tape recorder he uses to dictate to his secretary (Diane), and whose greatest pleasure in life is that morning cup of coffee. He dictates every tiny detail to the recorder. His ideas are strange, and his methods eccentric. He seems to be the picture of absolute (if somewhat weird) perfection. But even he has secrets. The love of his life, Caroline Earle was not only married to his partner, but was involved in a witness protection case he was working on. His inattentiveness at a key moment resulted in her death, his nearly fatal wounding, and the apparent mental deterioration of his partner, Windom Earle Caroline's husband. Subconciously, he is looking for someone that can help him heal that wound.

As "Twin Peaks" begins, FBI Agent Cooper is being brought in to help the local law enforcement solve the murder of the homecoming queen Laura Palmer, who was discovered wrapped in plastic on the shores of a local lake. Audrey Horne, upon learning that Laura is dead, proceeds to ruin her father's business deal with a group of Norweigans by entering their conference looking coy , and telling them that Laura has been murdered. This shatters their vision of Twin Peaks as an undisturbed paradise, causing them to leave and prompting Ben to tell her "If you pull another stunt like that, you'll be scrubbing bidets in a Bulgarian convent."

Cooper ends up staying at Ben Horne's hotel, the Great Northern, and, on his first morning there, not only experiences some "damn fine" coffee, but is joined for breakfast by Audrey ("...just so long as those grapefruits are... [sees Audrey] freshly squeezed..." "Can I sit here?" "Ms. Horne unless I miss my guess, your father is Benjamin Horne, owner of this fine establishment, so I imagine you can sit anywhere you like. And might I add that it would be my pleasure.") She has ideas about helping him out on his case. She wants to demonstrate that she's a good, smart investigator. She wasn't exactly friends with Laura but she knew her "better than the rest". Part of the reason she wants to help is that Laura helped to tutor her brother Johnny, who is 27 but in the third grade ("emotional problems. Runs in the family"). She and Laura did spend time together on occasion, but probably only because her father insisted. Audrey obviously felt that her father loved Laura more than her, which was probably true (she tells Donna, "He used to sing to her...")

Hopefully, while she's helping Cooper with his investigation, he will "realize that I'm the woman of his dreams". She wants his attention, affection, and to run off with him. She wants out. She hates her father, and the town, and she wants to get away. In the course of her "investigation" she also enlists help from Donna, who she talks to in the bathroom of the High School. Donna agrees to help her if what they discover remains between the two of them. Audrey readily agrees and walks out.

Cooper is attracted to her physically, but denies his attraction because she is just 18. They eat breakfast together a couple times, and Cooper begins to realize that she is a lonely person whose father neglects her. He tells her that his work is dangerous and that she shouldn't try to solve the case. After this, their relationship gradually becomes more based upon mutual like than their inital motives (he was physically attracted, she wanted out).

Their initial talks show a lot about their relationship. Audrey actually thanks him for talking to her, which indicates that most people don't. She has probably been isolated from her peers by her financial status. Even when she does talk to other people her age, such as Donna Hayward the conversations are stilted and the person she is speaking to generally ends up looking at her like she's crazy. It's doubtful that any men talk to her in any sort of constructive way. More likely most men she's met have been like Bobby Briggs, and relate to her only as a "conquest".

Cooper shows her infinate respect, and this is even further demonstrated when she materializes in his bed without any clothes on. He enters the room, and, thoroughly astonished, is greeted with Audrey's "Please don't make me leave". When, with what seems to be some effort, sits at the end of the bed and explains to her that "this is wrong, Audrey, we both know it" she says, "But I thought you liked me." She obviously believes that if a man likes her, he should logically wish to jump her. But Cooper shows her a kind of respect that she's probably never experienced by not doing what she wants him to. "You're beautiful, intelligent, desireable, everything that a man wants in his life, but what you need right now, more than anything else, is a friend." He pays her probably the greatest compliment she's ever recieved in her life, and also makes it clear that he will be there for her.

There is a slightly sinister overtone to this scene towards the end, when the following exchange takes place:
Cooper: Secrets are dangerous things Audrey.
Audrey: Do you have any?
Cooper: No.
As will be seen later, this is not at all true. The way in which Cooper states "no" foreshadows slightly what may be coming.

While this is going on, Audrey is refusing to take Cooper's advice, and has, after some investigation, discovered that Laura worked at the perfume counter of her father's department store. She goes to her father, feigns remorse over all she has done to him and pleads with him to allow her to become his daughter again. Her father, reluctantly at first, agrees to let her work at the department store. An interview is set up with Horne's store director, Emory Battis. During the interview, Audrey smiles sweetly, listens to Battis' suggestion she work in the gift wrap department, and then, still smiling tells him that she's going to be placed at the perfume counter, or she will "tear her dress and tell my father that you made a pass at me." Audrey is nothing if not manipulative, and she is very good at it. Battis, nervous, allows her to work at the counter.

The reason Battis is nervous about this, is that the perfume counter is a pipeline to a whorehouse across the border called One-Eyed Jack's. Girls who work at the perfume counter are funnelled up to the brothel after a certain amount of time. Once at the brothel, they become a One-Eyed Jack's girl It is, as Battis puts it, "a sensitive position".

Audrey soon discovers this. She is interrupted while searching Battis' office one afternoon, by Battis, who is bringing another perfume counter girl in back in order to tell her that she is going to be invited to Jack's again. Audrey listens to the whole exchange from the closet. Later, she tricks the other girl into giving her the number of the "Black Rose" who the other girl was told, by Battis, to contact.

Intending to go undercover, Audrey calls the Black Rose, and, after slipping a note under Coop's door (addressed to "my special agent") with her plan summarized on it ("I've gone north, Jack's may have the answer, Love, Audrey"), she goes north. There, she meets the brothel madam, a heroin-addict and thoroughly evil woman named Blackie. Blackie sees right through Audrey's initial ruse (her alias? Hester Prynn). Blackie asks her why she shouldn't throw her butt out, and in answer, Audrey picks up the cherry stem from the cherry that was in Blackie's drink. She places it in to her mouth, and begins working it. When it is finally extracted, it is in a knot. Blackie grins, and Audrey is allowed to stay and given a new outfit. While in Blackie's office, she observes Cooper on the surveillence camera.

He has come North undercover in order to investigate Jacques Renault, a drug dealer and bartender who is also working at One-Eyed Jack's as a blackjack dealer. He was inspired to chase this lead by the first note that Audrey slipped under his door. Cooper and Ed Hurley, disguised and using the aliases Fred and Barney, have arrived just as Audrey did. After being propositioned by a girl, Coop gets down to business and questions Renault, who reveals that he had seen Laura the night she was killed. They later pursue and capture Renault.

Meanwhile, Audrey is learning all the ups and downs of brothel living. One of the downs being that the first man who comes to her room is the owner of the brothel, who just happens to be her father. She manages to refuse him creatively for several minutes (using a mask and the curtains around her bed), and is finally saved when Ben's brother Jerry comes to fetch him. After her father leaves she is very shaken. Later, she is called into Blackie's office and told while she is restrained by a goon that "everyone is her type". It is strongly implied that if it happens again she will not be so lucky. At this point, she begins to doubt that this was the right idea, and prays for Cooper to come and rescue her.

Unfortunately, Coop can't really help her much at this point, because, not only does he not know where she is, her note slipped under his bed when he was shot by persons unknown.

He is therefore in no position to help her, as she gets herself in deeper at Jack's by questioning Battis while he is being entertained by one of the girls (his idea of entertained? Being tied up and having his toes painted). She gets the girl to leave, and wraps a vacuum cleaner cord around his neck, questioning him about whether Laura worked there. Battis tells her that she did, and confirms for her that Ben Horne does own One-Eyed Jack's. Although she seemed quite confident at the beginning of the session ("Well, I'm Audrey Horne and I get what I want!"), she is signficantly shaken when Battis tells her that Laura slept with her father ("Mr. Horne made it his business to 'entertain' all the girls...").

Later that night, she calls Cooper, who is back from the hospital, and has just had a strange dream featuring BOB, the psychotic killer spirit who is responsible for Laura's death. Cooper had learned earlier that day that Audrey was missing. He was stunned when he was told, and later tells Diane that he can think "not of clues or of evidence, but of the content of her smile." (On the other hand, Ben Horne acts as if he doesn't really care). Cooper is concerned when Audrey calls and tells her "this is no time for schoolgirl games, I want you to come home now." She tells him that "I am in trouble, but I'm gonna come home now." She is cut off by Blackie, with a grinning Emory in the background. Blackie disconnects the phone and, smiling, says "Trouble, Miss Horne? You don't know what trouble is..." Cooper, is left hanging.

The next morning, Cooper goes to Ben Horne, tells him that Audrey called. He then asks if there has been trouble at home. Ben grins condescendingly and asks if there is more than just professional curiosity here. Cooper responds that "Audrey and I have struck up an acqauitance." Ben says, "Acquaintance? Agent Cooper... Let me give you the best advice that you're going to get all week. Men fall under the spell of Audrey's charms like ducks in a shooting gallery, and if you don't want to get a load of buckshot up your tailfeathers, I suggest you park your jalopy under someone else's window." Cooper, grimaces and says nothing as Ben walks off. It is obvious that Cooper dislikes Ben a great deal, and not just because he's slimy, but that he doesn't seem at all concerned about Audrey.

And there is much to be concerned about. Blackie and Emory video tape Audrey tied up and gagged, and inject her with heroin. Blackie tells Emory that they're going to use Audrey against Ben. Emory is nervous, but Blackie assures him that she will get some help.

The help arrives in the form of Jean Renault brother to Jacques Renault. Jean visits Audrey and injects her again. Then goes to speak with Blackie. There he says that he is adding a price of his own. He wants Agent Cooper, who he believes is responsible for killing his brother. Emory stutters that "I think we can do that... maybe..." Jean laughs, and goes to visit Ben, who is, to his credit, appalled when he sees the pictures of Audrey tied up. He asks what they want, obviously prepared to pay whatever it takes to get her back. Jean says, "They require a large sum of money. I... I require something else completely." He fastforwards the tape to a picture of Agent Cooper from the One-Eyed Jack's security cameras. Ben reluctantly agrees to get Cooper for him, and Jean leaves, satisfied.

Ben contacts Cooper, tells him that Audrey's kidnappers want a ransom, and that he, Ben, wants Cooper to deliver it. Cooper, who has to this point in the conversation, been staring, expressionless at the picture of Audrey on the TV screen, agrees to do so. Later, he asks Harry for help. Harry agrees to help him, and the two of them plan a two-man assault on One-Eyed Jack's.

Cooper, who suspects a trap, but can do nothing about it, eventually figures out where Audrey is when he discovers her note while doing his morning meditations. Instead of going to the prearranged meeting sight, he and Harry know exactly where to go.

On the night of the rescue, Jean makes ready to meet Cooper, intending to kill him. And he and Blackie agree that it's time to get rid of Audrey, with a massive overdose of the already nearly fatally pumped up kidnappee. As they speak in his office, Cooper and Harry infiltrate the brothel. Harry is left outside of Blackie's office, watching Jean and Blackie talk, while Cooper searches around, and finally finds Audrey, tied up to a bed. She wakes up briefly, as ecstatic as she can be to see him, and says, "My prayers..." then she lapses back into a coma. Cooper gets her out of the room, and gets back to Harry, who has just seen Jean kill Blackie. The two of them make it almost all the way out of the house, before being confronted by a bouncer, who almost shoots them before they are saved by Hawk who has followed them there.

Once on the other side of the border, they take Audrey to the Bookhouse, home of the Bookhouse Boys, the secret society formed by the men of Twin Peaks to "fight the evil in these woods", whose members include Harry, Big Ed Hurley, Hawk, James Hurley, and Joey Paulson, another biker. There, Cooper checks her out and determines that she was given enough heroin to bring her "this close" to overdosing. After delirious ramblings, Audrey wakes up, and sees Cooper. "I prayed that you would come and save me, and you did..." she hugs him, and he holds her.

After her rescue from near-death, her behavior changes quite a bit. She has nearly been killed, and she realizes that perhaps she should grow up a bit (one major indication: she quits smoking). Her outlook on her father changes a lot as well. She confronts him about his "relationship" with Laura, and he admits that he slept with her, and that he loved her. Stricken, Audrey goes to Cooper and Harry and tells them about her father. This, along with some other evidence, including the fact that Laura wrote "Someday I'm going to tell the world about Ben Horne, I'm going to tell them who Ben Horne really is", prompts Cooper to arrest Ben.

Audrey later goes to Cooper's room and asks him if they have arrested her father. Cooper confirms that they have. She then tells him that she never did anything while she was at Jack's, and he assures her that he knows. There is a long moment of silence, in which Cooper and Audrey's eyes lock. The look is intense, and is only broken when the phone rings, and Cooper is told that Madeline Ferguson's body has been found. Cooper tells Audrey to go to her room and lock the door, and then goes to the waterfall, where the body has been found.

Cooper then goes on to solve the murder of Laura Palmer. He gathers together the men of Twin Peaks, and then sees a vision. Laura Palmer, who he had seen in a dream, whispers the identity of the killer to him. It was her father, Leland. Giving those assembled a thumbs up, he takes Ben down to the station, bringing Leland along, allegedly to serve as Ben's lawyer.

At the station, they force Leland into a cell, and Bob shows himself. After confessing to having done it all, Bob promises that "I will kill again!", then proceeds to reveal himself, and smash Leland's head into the door of his cell. Leland later dies in his cell, expressing regret for having killed his daughter, and leaving Cooper, Truman, and Agent Rosenfield to wonder where Bob is now. Finally, the murder has been solved.

Unfortunately, Cooper is not allowed to rest for long. More trouble appears soon after, and it will take some ingenuity from Audrey to get him out of it...

This ends part 1 of the Coop/Audrey relationship story. You can either click here to get to part two, or bail out now 'cause ya just don't care... ;-)

Oh yeah: For the record, Twin Peaks and all the characters within are property of Lynch/Frost Productions. As X-Files fanfic writers like to say, I'm just borrowing them, so don't sue me. No profit bein' made here...

And if you have any questions, comments, or angry threats, talk to me, slhamm77@hotmail.com. I finally managed to graduate from college (just barely), but I still don't know how to prioritize, which is why I'm doing this instead of, y'know, sleeping. I crave feedback, so tell me what you think.

Go on back to my links pageif you wanna bail out.

And remember: Eat y'r haggis or Willie will come to get ya! Run fast y'wee buggers! Willie's a strong Scotsman! Psycho Willie

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