By Andie O'Neill
Summary: When Nathan Stark and Jack Carter are trapped in rubble after an explosion at GD, they will have to put issues aside as they try to survive until help arrives.
Disclaimer: I don't own Eureka or any of the characters… I just wanna borrow them for a sec!
A/N: Jack and Nathan are just so funny together… I just couldn't resist writing this story! Enjoy! And please review! :D
Jack paced his office, cell phone in hand while his deputy read the latest 'girl' magazine that Zoe had smuggled in for her. "… yes, I understand that, but if I could just talk to him… oh come on! At least allow me to come down there and talk to him! I understand you have concerns but Henry Deacon is a good man! He's done a lot for this town and he doesn't deserve to be treated like a criminal! But I-" when he heard the dial tone he sighed, turning to look at Lupo as he hung up his cell and slammed it down on his desk.
"Didn't go so well?" Jo asked him, not bothering to look up from her magazine.
"He hung up on me."
"You could just let Allison take care of it. If anyone can get Henry out of jail it'd be her."
"They won't even let me talk to him anymore!" he shouted in frustration, sitting on his desk with a tired sigh.
Lupo frowned, putting her magazine down on the desk. "He'll be back here before you know it, Carter… trust me. They know how important he is to this town."
"Yeah," he agreed, though not quite believing it himself. He was worried about a friend, his best friend and it was driving him crazy not having Henry around. With all the stress he was going through and all the changes going on in Eureka he was beginning to wonder why he'd ever wanted to stay. Eva Thorne was making his life a living hell. Allison was beyond excited about her engagement to Stark, and Henry was stuck in prison for saving Allison's son… and worst of all, his only daughter was turning seventeen. When he looked down at his watch he cursed, shaking his head. "I better go… I'm supposed to meet Doctor Calvin at GD in fifteen."
"He want you there in case he blows up the town?" she asked, knowing the drill better than anyone.
"Stark wanted me there in case he blows up the town. Apparently it wouldn't be the first time."
Jo smiled. "You better hurry then," she told him, picking up her magazine.
Carter rolled his eyes, grabbing his things before he walked out the door.
"Have fun!" she called after him.
Jack waved just before leaving and headed for his car.
"Well, if it isn't Sheriff Carter… late as usual," noted Stark, dripping with sarcasm as he stood in front of Doctor Calvin's lab.
Jack silently wondered how Allison Blake could have ever want to remarry a man like Nathan Stark. He just couldn't see it! "Uh huh… and hello to you too. Tell me Stark, are you a jerk because mommy didn't love you enough or because you were born without a heart. My money's on mommy not loving you enough," Carter said quite pleased with his comeback as he took a victory sip of his coffee.
Nathan raised an eyebrow, as Jack walked into the lab, following closely behind him. "Clever Sheriff," Stark conceded.
"I thought so," Carter agreed.
"Doctor Stark! Sheriff Carter! You're just in time! I was hoping Doctor Blake could be here to observe as well, but unfortunately she's been stuck in a meeting with 'The Fixer'," said Doctor Calvin enthusiastically.
Stark didn't seem quite as amused. "Doctor Calvin, if you'd please go on with the demonstration."
Doctor Calvin nodded, suddenly looking around the lab awkwardly before he turned to a machine nearby no bigger than a twenty- four inch television. It was silver, which rods going every which way and looked like junk to Jack Carter. To another it may seem important, but to him it could be in an art museum for all he would have cared. "So… what is it?"
Calvin smiled happily. "It's the most amazing project I've ever worked on. With this device I will be able to create a stable wormhole between points in our galaxy! It will revolutionize the way we travel!"
"Wormhole?" questioned Carter. "That thing creates wormholes?"
"Indeed!" said Calvin as he walked up to his device. "Unfortunately the wormholes it's created were far too unstable to send an actual person through, but I believe it will only be a matter of time before I can find a way of stabilizing it. Hopefully with your help, Doctor Stark."
"How long have you been able to maintain it for?" asked Stark.
"Only a few minutes before the wormhole collapses, but we've learned quite a bit in that amount of time."
Stark nodded, seemingly satisfied. "Go on with your demonstration then, Doctor."
Doctor Calvin nodded, turning to his computer as he began the sequences that would activate the device. Suddenly Carter had a bad feeling about the little demonstration as a high pitched whine pierced their ears. Jack couldn't hear a thing, and it was only getting louder. He could see Nathan trying to say something, but understood none of what he said, and neither, it seemed, did Doctor Calvin. Sparks began flying everywhere as Calvin typed furiously on his computer, obviously worried. Out of instinct Jack grabbed Stark and threw them to the ground as the device sent out a shock wave, reducing Doctor Calvin's lab to rubble as parts of the Global building collapsed around he and Stark. He blacked out moments later when he felt something heavy slam into his leg, followed by something sharp grazing his head.
Nathan coughed, feeling the dust he'd inhaled in his throat. He could barely breathe, and his whole body ached. Opening his eyes he groaned, pushing off little bits of rubble. The entire ceiling had collapsed, enclosing them in a pocket of rubble… not good. "Carter? Carter? Doctor Calvin?" he called, looking around. When he heard someone groan he immediately began moving debris revealing a very badly injured Sheriff. "Sheriff!"
Carter coughed hard as Stark tried to pull him from the rubble, making him shout. "My leg! It's pinned," he told him, gritting his teeth.
Nathan knew it was bad. A piece of the ceiling had collapsed right on his left leg and Stark wasn't sure he could remove it, but he would try. "Sheriff, this might hurt a bit."
Carter nodded, understanding. "Just do it."
Nathan patted his shoulder, seeing the pain in the other man's eyes. He then moved down to the rubble on his leg, grabbing it. With a deep breathe he pushed as hard as he could. Carter screamed in agony, but Stark kept going, using all the energy he had left to push the rubble off his leg. When it was finally off his hands hit the floor as he panted for air. Carter's screams turned into pain filled moans. "It's off… it's off."
"I knew I should have stayed in bed today," Carter remarked.
Stark smiled before turning his attention to his left leg, which looked bad. There was blood everywhere and Nathan could tell it was broken. He immediately took off his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves. Gently he rolled up the Sheriff's pant leg so he could get a better idea of the damage. Carter groaned in pain, but seemed to be holding back anymore screams. He was trying to be tough, which didn't surprise Stark at all.
"How bad?" he asked, shutting his eyes tight.
"Well… not good," Nathan admitted, seeing no reason to lie to the Sheriff. "Your left leg is broken, which means there's probably internal bleeding. How are you feeling?" He was worried Carter's leg wasn't the only thing he'd injured.
"It's… kinda hard to breathe. Bad headache."
Nathan could see the blood coming from a cut on his forehead. It worried him that Carter was having trouble breathing; he'd probably cracked a few ribs. Stark moved up from his leg and began unbuttoning the Sheriff's shirt.
"Uh… is there a particular reason why you're undressing me, Stark? I think this was covered in that sexual harassment seminar."
Nathan rolled his eyes. "I'm trying to see if you've broken any ribs. It may be the reason why you're having trouble breathing."
"Oh… I knew that," the Sheriff said awkwardly. Once again his foot was set firmly in his mouth.
Stark pushed his button down shirt away and pulled up his undershirt. He did his best not to wince when he saw the purple and blue hues around the Sheriff's sides. Gently he touched his ribs, cringing just a bit when he heard Carter's gasp.
"Okay! Okay! You can stop now!" Sheriff Carter shouted desperately.
"I'd say you've broken three or four ribs. There could be internal bleeding but there's no way to know for sure until we get you out of here," Nathan told him. He moved over even more in the tight space, holding Carter's head up so he could get a closer look at the head wound. "And I'd say you have a pretty nice concussion too."
"Thanks Sherlock," Carter muttered gruffly, wincing as Stark set his head back down. "Think you could find us a way outta here and stop telling me just how good I have it?"
Nathan looked around the pocket of space. Through the rubble he could see a small fire nearby that was lighting the space they occupied, but he could see not much else. Above them there were a few cracks in the rubble that were probably supplying them enough air to survive, but he had a feeling if he tried to dig his way out he'd be risking the structural integrity of the pocket. The ceiling above caved any further he was sure Carter wouldn't survive. "I think we should just stay put… I'm sure their out there already trying to find a way to get to us."
"You could dig your way out. I may be a little out of it, but I can see daylight."
"I could dig out, but it might compromise the structural integrity and bury you in rubble in the process. It's not worth the risk," he told Carter, sitting back next to the wounded Sheriff.
"Didn't know you cared," Carter told him, mimicking words Stark had once said to him.
"Oh… I don't," he shot back, mimicking the Sheriff's words.
Carter coughed hard, the sound almost a wheeze and didn't at all sound good. "Careful there Stark, or I might actually start thinking you're a decent human being."
"Believe me Sheriff, my reason for staying is purely selfish. Zoe'd kill me if I left you down here to die."
The Sheriff smiled at that. "Yeah… guess that would kinda put a damper on your plans of world domination huh?"
Stark raised an eyebrow at his snide remark. The man was barely alive and yet he was still well enough to insult him. "Can't rule the world if your dead, Carter."
"… so how do we get them out of there?" Allison asked, folding her arms as she tried to keep the worry from showing on her face.
Fargo frowned, looking at Eva Thorne, their new fearless leader. "We have our best men working on it, but the damage was pretty severe. Deputy Lupo's been doing her best trying to find the wounded. Almost three levels were reduced to rubble. We've done a head count. Two are dead, thirteen more are wounded… and we still haven't found Doctor Stark, Sheriff Carter, and Doctor Calvin."
"Considering the shockwave originated from Doctor Calvin's lab, it's possible their already dead," pointed out Thorne sounding far colder than Allison could take.
"We've been trying to get accurate scans of the damaged areas for life signs… anything, but there's just too much rubble and debris… it's interfering with our scans," Douglas Fargo informed them. "If they are alive… they won't be for much longer."
"There's got to be a way we can get to them," said Doctor Blake, shaking her head. She refused to write them off as dead. She was not going to give up on them… not when there was still a chance. "Maybe Henry could help."
"Doctor Henry Deacon is at the moment being held in a high security prison on very serious charges, Doctor Blake," Eva reminded her, looking almost astonished that she would even think such a thing.
Allison didn't really care. She just wanted to save Nathan and Carter… by whatever means possible. "He's always been of great assistance in the past. If anyone could get to them… it'd be Henry."
Eva Thorne frowned, sitting on her new GD desk. "I'll make the call."
Jack was trying hard to keep his eyes open, but it was a losing battle. Everything was fuzzy and he was starting to feel numb. He knew that wasn't a good sign, but from the moment he'd awoke in their current predicament he'd known how it would end. He was gonna die in Global Dynamics with Stark as his only form of company. He worried about Zoe. He knew how sensitive she could be though she tried hard to be tough. They were so much alike in that way. His eyes closed for the fourth time. He couldn't stay awake anymore.
"Carter? Come on, Carter!" called Stark, shaking him hard.
Jack opened his eyes, looking up at Stark. "Huh?"
"If you fall asleep you could fall into a coma. You need to stay awake, Sheriff," Stark explained.
He knew all about concussions and comas. He didn't really care at the moment. He was exhausted. How the heck did Stark expect him to stay awake? "I can't… too tired. Just need to rest." He tried to close his eyes again, but was immediately shaken, even more roughly than before.
"Come on, Sheriff. Wake up! Tell me about Zoe… what she was like when she was little," he asked.
"What?" Jack questioned, wondering if his concussion was making him delirious. "We're trapped under tons of rubble and you wanna know about my kid?"
"How else am I going to keep you awake? Tell me about her," Stark said, moving to sit beside him.
Jack tried hard to clear his mind, thinking back to the days before Eureka. He remembered being happy once… happy with his job, with his wife, and with Zoe. "What is there to say? She's always been a smart little devil. I think she was made for this place. Six pounds and seven ounces… when I saw her for the first time I thought she was an angel. My little girl. I used to sit beside her crib each night just to make sure she was still breathing. Sometimes I'd fall asleep with my finger in her hand… and Abby would come in and force me to go to bed. I guess I've always been kinda protective of her," he admitted smiling. He remembered Zoe always being a bit of a terror, but she'd been his little terror and he'd never wanted that to change… except for maybe when she'd become his little teenage terror. "I swear she drove me crazy though. Nothing was ever simple when it came to her. She had to complicate everything… just like her mother."
Stark smiled at that. "I think that's just women in general."
Jack chuckled at that, which immediately turned into coughing and wheezing. "Eureka's been good for Zoe… I think she feels at home here."
"What about you?" Stark asked quietly.
Jack was starting to feel like he was in a session with Beverly Barlow. "I have friends… and my job keeps me nice and busy. Can't really complain." He was getting uncomfortable talking about himself. "What about you? Your turn."
"What about me?" Stark asked, confused.
Jack sighed, wincing as he pushed himself up a little more despite the pain. "I know this is kinda hard to believe, but I've known you for more than two years and I really don't know much about you. Call it curiosity. Hey, you were the one that wanted to keep me awake," Carter reminded him.
Stark rolled his eyes. "What do you want to know?"
"Why'd you leave Eureka?"
Stark frowned. "Why else? Things weren't working with me and Allison… so I left."
"But you came back," Carter added.
"I never stopped loving her," Stark admitted.
"That much is obvious!" muttered Jack. Carter could tell the other man was getting antsy, but seemed to be forcing himself to stay put. Jack supposed Stark believed if they kept talking he'd stay awake and survive long enough for rescue to arrive. He'd never liked Nathan Stark… not from the beginning, but there had always been a small bit of curiosity about the man. He was a mystery to Jack. They'd always rubbed each other the wrong way. Not only had that been because of Allison, but also because of Stark's holier than thou demeanor. He'd never understood what had attracted Allison to Stark, and doubted he'd ever figure it out, but it didn't stop him from trying.
"You know… Kevin really likes you," Stark told him, changing the subject.
It took Jack a second to understand what the man was saying, his brain running just a little bit slower after being damaged so severely. "He's a good kid."
"It's rare that he'd attach himself to someone he's only known a short time. That's saying a lot," Stark admitted.
Carter rolled his eyes. "Obviously not… he likes you too," he noted with the usual sarcasm.
Stark chuckled, though Jack could tell he wasn't amused. "That took some convincing. It took him a while to trust me. It was trial and error for quite a while when I realized what we shared most was our love for science. It gave us something to bond over. For some reason he took to you right away."
Jack shrugged, ignoring the sharp pain his action caused. "I'm good with kids, I guess."
"It would seem so," Stark agreed.
It seemed strange to be having a deep conversation with his would be nemesis… and painfully ironic that of all the people he could be stuck with, it had to be Stark. Still, Stark had just given him a compliment, and it would be wrong not to return it. "Henry seems to like you."
Stark sighed. "He saw how much I loved science. Attending college at such a young age may sound impressive, but it's tough. He took me under his wing."
"That must have been rough… being different," Jack noted, seeing the man in a new light.
Stark rolled his eyes. "Well, it certainly wasn't easy, but I learned to adapt. That's why Eureka is such a safe haven for so many people, Sheriff. We're free here… free to be creative, to break the rules, and to explore. Outside of Eureka we're just a bunch of would be Einsteins with fancy degrees and giant egos."
Jack snorted. "You are a bunch of would be Einsteins with fancy degrees and giant egos."
Stark glared at him. "What about Henry?"
Carter shook his head. "There are always exceptions."
"That much is obvious," said Stark, throwing Jack's own words back at him.
Jack secretly wondered if in another universe he and Nathan Stark could have ever been friends. It seemed hard to imagine the possibility, but as he looked over at the scientist he'd despised since day one, he couldn't help but wonder. Jack had no problem with geniuses, or else he wouldn't have become friends with Henry Deacon or Allison Blake. He'd developed a friendship with many in the town, all geniuses for some reason or another. What would it have been like to be Stark's friend too? Was it even possible for them to get along? Allison and Stark's wedding was fast approaching and Jack was starting to realize just how hard it would be to maintain his friendship with Allison when the day finally arrived. Perhaps sending up the white flag was the best way to handle the situation after all. The guy was willingly staying with him… trying to keep him alive when he could have saved himself. That had to be a good sign, and perhaps something to build upon. "For what it's worth… I never congratulated you."
"For what?" Stark asked, confused.
"For your engagement to Allison. She's an amazing woman… so do me a favor and try not to screw it up the second time around. She deserves to be happy."
Stark raised an eyebrow at his words. "Oh believe me; I don't plan on making those mistakes again."
"Good," Jack said, finding he really meant it.
"And what exactly do you want from me?" Henry asked.
"Our drill just isn't cutting it, Henry. We need to get to Nathan, Carter, and Doctor Calvin as soon as possible. They could be badly injured. There must be some way to get to them," Allison spoke as she stared through the clear glass walls at Henry still wearing his brown jump suit. It was hard seeing him locked away… she wasn't sure how Carter did it every week. She knew he came to visit Henry as much as he could… more so than anyone else. Sheriff Carter was many things, most of all loyal.
Henry paced his cell, deep in thought. "It may be possible. I was working on a project early on… outside of GD. It involves gravity."
"Gravity?" she questioned, not quite sure she liked where their conversation was going.
"Yes, manipulating gravity… anti-gravity… controlling the weight of an object. We wouldn't have the time to make something powerful enough to lift the rubble, but we might be able to manipulate it in order to get to Jack, Nathan, and Doctor Calvin. Almost like parting the red sea."
Allison smiled, understanding why Carter was so loyal to Henry in an instant. Somehow… Henry always managed to come through when needed. "Tell me what I need to do."
To Be Continued….