A/N-my take on howNathan came about drugging Shilo. All rights go to DZ, TS, and DLB
It was a birthday. It was also a day of death. Nathan locked all the doors and didn't go anywhere. For an entire week he was devoted to the well being of his newborn daughter. She was robust, and had healthy lungs, at least according to her cries. Both Apgar tests he performed on her confirmed this assumption. She scored perfectly. Still, there was the chance she would have special needs later on.
Neighbors came to check on him, but he turned them all away with a nod and a smile. Yes, I'm fine. Inquiries of the funeral were met with subject changes. He told everyone that both mother and infant died. No, I'm sorry, I haven't made arrangements yet. No, the grief, it's too much. I'm sorry. Doors were always shut in faces. The word got around and eventually no one came at all. He never did have anyone come and take the body. He had a special case built. Marni would be with him always. He sewed her up and dressed her and sat her in her favorite chair.
That first week had been the worst of his life, but soon he discovered that the baby was thriving. She'd need a name. Shilo. He and Marni had talked about it. Shilo it would be then. Shilo Annamarie. Annamarie. He was the only one who ever called Marni by her full name. She had hated her name, and often wouldn't tell it to mere acquaintances.
A legacy. This child was now her mother's legacy whether or not she knew it. Eventually, he decided that he was glad she was thriving and that he loved her more than life itself. Her eyes were dark and her hair had not yet come in. She was a bald little thing. At two-months there was no doubt that the baby would live. Thank God. He hired babysitters. He paid them enough not to talk. You weren't here. There was no infant. He had his hit lists from Rotti and when he wasn't doing contract work, he was looking after the needs of Shi.
Finally, though he had managed to find a few individuals whom he could trust. Still, Nathan made sure they were well paid-overpaid at times. He made the extra come out of Rotti's pocket. It was for Rotti that he needed the sitters and couldn't simply be the doctor that he was. If not for the accident that took Marni and if it weren't for his own arrogance, he simply might have set up shop at home, never having to leave either Shilo or Marni for very long. Okay, he reasoned, it was not all Rotti's fault, but such was the cost of having a Repo Man at his beck and call.
Still, with the frequent need of someone to care for Shilo, neighbors did talk. It wasn't often that Nathan could go out and get the paper without a sideways glance from a neighbor. He was sure they only were thinking only the worst. Murderer, child molester, psycho. He couldn't send her away to school, it would break his heart. The time would come for that later, if necessary. Shilo began to walk. He was amazed. She took to it quickly. Then one day she had a serious spill. It necessitated an ambulance. Fortunately, it did not necessitate GeneCo. However, now everyone would know that the child hadn't died. Or would they? Nathan quickly formulated a plan. No more outings, not even to the backyard. He could still contain a toddler. Simple explanations worked best, of course.
Shilo began to talk. He started with the big words, why wait? She became a veritable parrot, a parrot that could talk. Some words she didn't care for and simply wouldn't say. Other words must have appealed to her, for those she repeated readily. Nathan delighted imparting his knowledge to his daughter one word at a time, like a baby bird. He suddenly realized he could mold her to be whatever he wanted. At least at this stage of her life he could start. Perhaps she could follow medically, in his footsteps? No, that would require a real-world degree; more than just home schooling.
Time passed and Shilo turned 5. Each year without Marni reduced Nathan somewhat. He needed her exuberance to keep going. He felt so drained. Nathan knew he was changing. His work at GeneCo uplifted him somewhat. He loathed himself, but he found that he'd begun to look forward to Rotti's will. Something about the tools, the screams-it was easy to block out all feeling, including the pain of Marni's death.
Shilo would learn anything she needed to know at home. He lent her some of his medical texts, and bought her a full set of encyclopedia. And then one day the question came:
"Daddy, I want to go outside, it's sunny. I want to go and pet the cat."
"I'm sorry you need to stay inside honey. You're sick." She was? That was a Novel idea, run with it. "Your blood is sick honey. It's a disease. Your mother died of it before you were born. You know how you've been coughing lately." Mere allergies, but beside the point. "I'm sorry honey. I'd love to take you to the park."
"But Daddy, I want to pet the kitty," Shilo persisted. Her hair in long dark braids behind her back. The housekeeper had taken to the management of Shilo's hair. It was so like Marni's. . .Nathan found it hard to deny Shilo anything. She was such a good girl.
He knelt down to her level "I'll get you a kitty of your own dear, how about that?"
"Oh, Daddy, really?" Shilo had gone off skipping around the house like the healthy child she was. She circled back and gave him a sloppy kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Daddy!"
Nathan allowed himself a smile and wondered why he was so serious all of the time. He knew deep down that it was the strain of keeping his secret from his young daughter. His dastardly, dangerous secret, she could never discover it.
"Daddy, why do you only work at night?" Shilo had posited the question one night.
"Some doctors work when all the other doctors go to sleep."
"Oh." She was a bright young girl. She understood.
That very night he went to work on the formula that would cause Shilo to faint every few hours, causing her to take more 'medicine.' The cycle would continue indefinitely. He fitted her with a holo-device so he could remind her if he was away. Now that he had found a babysitter he could trust (more or less), he felt more at ease about going away on his nightly errands. Part of him felt bad, but only part. He was doing what he could. It wasn't easy being a single parent. He had to be father and mother, and field the awkward questions on his own when it came time. He was already a killer anyway. He had killed Shilo's mother, and taken her from both of them, there was no turning away from it. He may as well embrace who he was.
From that day, Shilo would never leave the house again without special provisions. She would love only him. She would come to depend only on him. Shilo, his daughter, was all he had. Nathan Wallace was going to make sure nothing happened to her. He would take great pains, no matter the cost. He had lost his wife, he would not lose his daughter.