Parents (Another Zoe Carter Story)
By Andie O'Neill
Rating: K+/ PG
Pairing: Nathan/Jack, Lucas/Zoe
Summary: Note to self… putting my mother, both of my fathers, and my boyfriend in the same room is NEVER a good idea.
A/N: This is a sequel to "Family (A Zoe Carter Story)," so before you read you might wanna check the first one out. I kinda enjoy writing for Zoe as she's one of my favorite characters, and this story was just begging to be written! :D This really is just random silliness, so yeah... enjoy!
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own it… except for maybe in my dreams. :sigh:
"Note to self, putting my mother, both of my fathers, and my boyfriend in the same room is NEVER a good idea," Zoe remarked with a sigh.
Pilar smiled, folding her arms in delight as she watched the scene before her. "Yeah, too bad you didn't think of that before you invited him over, huh?"
Zoe glared at her best friend. "Not helping, Pilar."
Pilar chuckled. "Well, he seems to be handling himself pretty well considering," her friend said watching Lucas tug on his collar nervously as he tried to avoid Nathan Stark's gaze. "Yeah okay, I think he's actually about to wet his pants," she finally added, shaking her head sadly.
Zoe frowned, gulping down the rest of her ginger ale. When her mother had first called to tell her she was coming for a visit, having been given some extra time off from work, Zoe had been extremely excited. She hadn't seen her mother since Christmas, and that had been almost five months ago. "You know, sometimes it really sucks having a boyfriend with absolutely no backbone," Zoe muttered, putting her glass in the sink before taking Pilar's hand and leading her back out into the living room.
"There you are, Zoe! What took you so long? I was just about to show Lucas here, a few pictures of you when you were little," Abby spoke with excitement.
Jack rolled his eyes. "Abby, you are not showing him those pictures!"
"Why not?!" Abby challenged. Zoe was about to speak when she noticed Nathan leveling Lucas with a glare, and immediately slapped his arm. Her step-father immediately looked up at her, giving her his best innocent look.
Jack blushed, glancing at Lucas for a moment before turning back to his ex-wife. "My daughter's boyfriend does not need a front row seat to Zoe's bare ass, that's why," he explained.
"Oh for god's sake, Jack, she was a baby when we took those pictures!" said Abby.
Zoe groaned… pinching the bridge of her nose as Pilar's smile turned into an outright grin. She could hear Lucas choking on his soda, coughing hard. She should have just stayed in the kitchen. "S.A.R.A.H. please tell me dinner's almost ready?" she asked the AI.
"It will be ready to serve in approximately ten more minutes," the house answered.
"Ooohhh, what are we having?" Zoe's mother asked.
"Fettuccini Alfredo," S.A.R.A.H. answered proudly.
Abby immediately deflated. "I hate Alfredo," she remarked.
"Do you? I must have forgotten," said the house with just a hint of sarcasm.
"Somehow, I doubt that," muttered Abby in annoyance.
"Are you insinuating that I would lie, Doctor Carter?" S.A.R.A.H. challenged.
"As a matter of fact-"
"Okay, okay! Down ladies!" Jack interrupted before things could get out of hand. Zoe chanced a glance at Lucas who was trying to look relaxed despite the fact that Nathan had resumed his little staring contest.
"So Lucas, what exactly are you're plans for the future?" Nathan asked, folding his arms.
"Dad!" Zoe exclaimed, smacking him again.
"What?" Nathan questioned. "I was only trying to have a conversation."
Zoe glared at her step-father, taking a seat beside her boyfriend. Nathan was sitting next to Jack and Abby on the couch. Pilar took the only other chair available, looking quite pleased with the entertainment Zoe's family was providing. Over the months since Zoe's father had married Nathan, nine months ago, Pilar had come by more and more, and was therefore a lot more comfortable at the bunker than she'd once been. Zoe had a feeling it had to do with the improved cooking, although she wasn't ruling out the fact that her friend seemed to have a very disturbing crush on her step-father. Pilar claimed she just enjoyed looking at him. That was usually about the time that Zoe pretended to throw up and threatened to call her a therapist. "It's okay Zoe," Lucas assured her. "Actually sir, I was thinking about a career in robotics."
"Robotics… interesting. You know I myself worked in robotics for quite some time."
"Uhh… yes sir, I know. I followed some of your work in the field. I wrote a paper on a few of your theories," said Lucas.
Zoe turned to look at her boyfriend, her eyes narrowing as she realized he was actually trying to kiss up to the guy. Upon seeing Nathan's smile, she realized it seemed to be working and rolled her eyes. Sadly, her father seemed to notice as well. "Ah come on, why are you kissing up to him? It's me you should be kissing up to. I'm her biological father," complained Jack.
Nathan's smile immediately grew. "You want the kid to write a paper about one of your theories? Perhaps one page on your theory as to how they get the nugget into the 'Three Musketeers" bar?" he teased.
Zoe's mother stifled a laugh as Jack glared at his husband. "Careful my dear husband… I may not be able to lock you out of the bedroom anymore, but I can get headaches every night for a few months."
"So S.A.R.A.H., how about that dinner?" Nathan asked, changing the subject quickly.
Just when things were going so well…. Zoe groaned. She was never inviting her boyfriend over again… ever!
"I am so sorry about my parents… all three of them," Zoe said as she walked her boyfriend to his car. Pilar had left almost an hour before, wanting to get some studying done before bed.
Lucas linked their hands together as they walked up the stairs and out of the bunker. "Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be," he admitted with a gentle smile.
"Lucas, my mom spent the whole evening arguing with the house. My step-father was glaring at you half the night, and my Dad… frankly I don't think we have enough time for me to list everything he did," she told him, a little frustrated with how the night had gone.
Lucas stopped, tugging her arm as he pulled her in for a gentle kiss. "Relax; believe it or not, I think my family may actually be worse."
Zoe snorted, not believing a word.
"You don't believe me, do you?"
Zoe shook her head. "Nope, but I find it extremely adorable that you're trying to make me feel better." Zoe leaned up to give him yet another quick kiss before they resumed the short walk to his car. Zoe glanced back at the bunker, noticing the door was cracked and rolled her eyes. What ever happened to privacy?
Lucas let go of her hand reluctantly and opened his car door. "Don't worry; it'll take more than what they put me through to drive me away. I think I really impressed your step-father when I told him I wrote a paper about some of his work. He didn't glare at me nearly as much afterwards."
Zoe laughed. "Yeah well, I think you may just have found my Dad's weakness. He loves having his ego stroked. He rarely gets it from me and my father."
Lucas smiled back down at her before climbing into his car. "I'll have to keep that in mind for next time."
"Oh please, there won't be a next time! From this day forth, you are never allowed in a room with my mother, and fathers."
Her boyfriend simply grinned, starting up his car. "We'll see," he said. "Night Zo."
"Night," she said, waving goodbye as he pulled off. Zoe watched him leave till she could no longer see his car, then turned back around and walked into the bunker. When she re-entered the house she was surprised to see the living room deserted. Finally she spotted Nathan in the kitchen washing dishes. "Hey… where's Mom and Dad?" she questioned him, grabbing a towel so she could help.
Nathan handed her a plate, as he focused diligently on his task. "Abby was pretty tired, so she went off to bed, and your father is taking a shower. He's got work pretty early tomorrow."
The two continued to work through the dishes until everything was finished. Finally her father turned to look at her. "Listen Zoe, I'm sorry if we uh… didn't quite behave ourselves. Your Dad feels really bad about it… same goes for Abby."
"Its fine," Zoe assured him, smiling. She wasn't exactly happy about how the night went, but at least they hadn't completely scared Lucas. "Just promise me next time you'll take it easy on Lucas. I know you can't help being protective, but Lucas is a great guy. I really like him."
Nathan sighed, taking a seat at the kitchen table. "I suppose I could be a little less hard on him. I just… don't want you to get hurt. Besides, I was once a teenage boy, you know. They're a dangerous breed."
Zoe sat next to him, resting her head on his shoulder. Nathan immediately wrapped an arm around her. "I can handle myself, Dad. Believe me… this isn't my first train ride," she told him. "And no more spying on us. Don't think I didn't see you check up on us. I was walking him to his car!" she added.
Nathan laughed, raising his hands in defeat. "Alright, alright. I promise."
Zoe narrowed her eyes at him for a minute before accepting his promise. She knew he meant well. She was just happy he cared enough to be protective, even if it was a bit annoying. "Okay, I'm off to bed. Night."
"Night," he whispered, kissing her forehead before she got up and left the kitchen, heading for her room.
It was late when Zoe awoke, unable to get back to sleep. With a sigh she walked out of her room and headed down the stairs only to see Nathan and her father on the couch. She couldn't help but roll her eyes as she realized they were kissing. Nathan was the first to break the kiss. "I've wanted to do that all day," he spoke, resting his forehead against Jack's.
"Why didn't you?" Carter asked him, looking rather breathless. Zoe didn't even want to know how long the two had been playing tonsil hockey for him to be panting.
"I thought it might be a bit awkward kissing you with your ex-wife staying with us," Nathan told him.
Jack laughed at that. "Yeah, I suppose that would be a little strange, but you've kissed me in front of Allison before."
"That was different. She practically planned the wedding for us. She seemed more excited than us half the time."
"You know, that's true, in fact now that I think about it… your ex-wife seriously is not normal," Jack commented. Zoe forced herself not to laugh. Allison Blake certainly was a rare breed of woman.
Nathan chuckled. "That's the point. I know Abby was pretty accepting about the whole thing, but I still feel a little weird about the whole situation," he confessed.
Zoe frowned. She'd been so focused on Lucas she hadn't really thought about how her step-father felt about her mother. She'd noticed the awkwardness before, but always figured it would go away with time. Perhaps she should have paid more attention. She knew at times he felt like the outsider when her mother was around, but that simply wasn't true. She'd come to see Nathan as her father, just as Jack was her father. He was family just as much as her biological parents. Zoe watched Jack gently kiss Nathan. "Nathan, you are a part of this family. You're my husband. You're Zoe's father. Don't ever forget that."
Nathan smiled, looking a little more relaxed. "I love you."
"Love you too."
"Oh and by the way, you know you owe Zoe an apology after what you pulled today."
"Hey! You were the one practically staring the poor kid down," Jack fought.
"Yeah, and I already apologized. It's your turn… apologize," Nathan said, not backing down.
Jack frowned. "Fine, first thing in the morning."
Sometimes she really loved her step-father. "Why wait? She's been staring at us from the steps for a few minutes now," her step-father pointed out. Zoe froze eyes wide. How the hell he'd known, she'd never know.
Jack turned, looking right at her. "Zoe! Aren't you supposed to be in bed?!"
Zoe blushed. "Umm… I was just coming down for something to drink! That's all!"
"Does that also include spying on your parents?" Jack questioned, folding his arms.
She simply shrugged. "I'll just be in my room…."
Her father glared at her. "Good idea."
Zoe sighed, walking back up the steps.
"Oh and Zoe?"
"Yeah?" she asked, turning back around.
"Uh… sorry, if we embarrassed you today," Jack almost whispered, ignoring his husband's pleased smile.
"Whatever… it's fine. You managed not to scare him away, so no harm done."
"Damn," Jack swore.
Nathan nudged him at that.
"Kidding! I was kidding!"
Zoe rolled her eyes, laughing as she walked back up the steps. "Night you two!" she called out before walking into her room. As embarrassing as her parents could be, they were still her parents, and she was proud of all three of them. Obviously, they were going to need a bit more training… especially when it came to dealing with Lucas, but they'd learn sooner or later. If she could get Lucas to face his fear and have dinner with her parents… anything was possible. Either way, she'd learned a valuable lesson. Her mother, her fathers, and Lucas in the same room… NEVER a good idea.
"ZOE! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US YOU GOT A 'D' IN ENGLISH?!" shouted her father.
Crap… they'd found her report card. Not good.
"I HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR NIGHT WITH LUCAS AND PILAR TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE SO GROUNDED!" added Nathan.
Zoe winced, hoping to god they hadn't woken up her mother.
"A 'D' IN ENGLISH?! JACK, TAKE HER CAR FOR A FEW WEEKS TOO! SHE WON'T BE NEEDING IT! SHE HAS A LOT OF STUDYING TO DO!" added her mother.
Damn, not the car! Zoe groaned. "Parents suck…."