Meeting the Dads: Nathan Stark
Summary: "Did this guy know the danger he put himself in for willingly going along with this breeding program?" Part of 'Who's Your Baby's Daddy? series.
A/N: In response to Challenge 3064: conception by conspiracy *non-stargate* by shelli.
A/N2: Thanks to my betas: zigpal and JediKnight.
A/N3: I've gotten some concerned reviews about the idea that Buffy would consider an abortion when her whole life is about saving others. Just to point out, it is only considering. Given the danger of being a pregnant Slayer would be a good enough reason for her to think about, not to mention worrying that she was carrying the child of the human equivalent of a monster. So while she will talk about it, that in no way indicates that she'll actually do it. Okay? Feel better now?
Warning: Non-fuzzy type feelings for Maggie, Riley and the Initiative…duh!!
Rating: FR15 for language and talk of sex, of course, she's pregnant after all.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Eureka characters belong to Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia and Sci-Fi Network. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Buffy was really going to owe the Gunmen for this one. This project was so secret, the entire town was part of it! She felt a little uncomfortable with going through the Sheriff to talk to this guy, but luckily, now her experiences with law enforcement included happier ones as well. She briefly remembered the men she met so far that were proof that good cops did exist.
A voice startled her out of her thoughts and Giles gave her an amused look. Buffy quickly glanced around for the speaker. Oh yeah, the Sheriff, Jack Carter. "What?" she asked, looking much like a student caught napping by the professor.
Jack grinned at the embarrassed blonde. "I was just asking if you were ready to go."
"You bet," Buffy shot back as she stood up. "So, do you know this Nathan Stark well?"
"Yeah, but we don't get along, so you'd better ask someone else about him," the Sheriff commented, trying to hide his intense dislike for the arrogant man.
Buffy raised an eyebrow at that remark. "Why? Are you that bad a judge of character? Doesn't sound like a good thing for an officer of the law."
Genuinely shocked by her question, Jack stopped dead in his tracks. "What? No! Or at least I don't think so. I'm just saying I wouldn't be the most objective person to talk where he's concerned," he explained as he motioned for them to get in his vehicle. Once everyone was buckled up, he started driving to Global Dynamics.
"But that would be true of any person who knew him. Even without knowing him, somebody's personal viewpoint is determined by their life experiences. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to be truly objective with their opinion," Giles lectured kindly.
"That's Giles-speak for 'your opinion is just as good as anyone else's'," Buffy said, smirking at Giles' bemused expression. Then she decided to move away from the unhappy topic by asking the Sheriff about something else, "Tell me, is this town really one big science lab?"
"It feels like it sometimes," Jack muttered, thinking of all the times things went to hell around this place.
Buffy started to gush, "Man, Willow would love it here! She's one of my best friends and is a total genius."
"She'd fit right in then. You know, I never considered myself stupid until I came here. Even the guy who serves coffee is Einstein smart," the Sheriff explained with an unreadable expression.
Somehow Buffy was able to guess it anyway based on her own experiences. "I know how you feel. Until meeting Giles, Willow and Oz, I was fine. But luckily, there were others around that were just as average as me."
She put her hand on his arm to make sure she had his attention before she continued, "But, Sheriff, there must be a reason for you being here. As Giles keeps telling me, there's more than one way to be smart. In fact, I bet you can see things these geniuses can't. You know, times where some seemingly insignificant thing you said made the difference," she suggested softly.
"H-how did you know that?" Jack stuttered out, remembering a few such times.
The Slayer gave him a sympathetic smile. "One: me and the other 'averages' in our circle have managed a good idea or two in our time."
Giles interrupted, "Many times, Buffy. And I wish you wouldn't put yourself down like that."
Turning slightly so she could look at her friend and mentor, Buffy replied, "Not putting myself down, just saying I'm not as book smart as you or Willow. Anyway, before I was so nicely interrupted…" she smiled at her Watcher, "Two: we've read a few reports before coming here."
Suddenly concerned, Jack looked sharply at the woman next to him, asking, "Is this some sort of review of GD? 'Cause nobody said anything about a review happening."
"I assure you, this is a private matter we need to discuss with Dr. Stark. We only got the files because some friends thought we'd like to know what we were walking into," Giles clarified.
"If it weren't for your security clearance, I might worry about a statement like that. As it is, I'm instructed to treat you like VIPs," Jack announced to the pair, wondering what their response was. Usually, when he got that order, it was some pain-in-the-ass group that would get along better with the likes of Stark than with the down to earth Sheriff.
Buffy gave a slight shudder and replied, "As long as you don't get all stuffy about it, that's cool. Maybe after we talk to this guy, you could show us some cool stuff around town," she requested, looking much like a kid in a toy store for the first time.
That made Jack smile and offer impulsively, "Not a problem. And you two are welcome to have dinner with my daughter and I tonight. If you tell me what you like, I could have Sarah whip something up by the time we got there."
Looking at the man with confusion, Giles remarked, "I thought your daughter's name was Zoe."
"It is. Sarah is our house. She is an AI house, designed to meet all our lodging needs," Jack said with equal parts exasperation and pride. He figured these two would get a kick out of his home.
Buffy squealed, hurting the eardrums of the two men with her, "Oh, like a smarthouse! I saw a movie about something like that. She hasn't gone crazy and tried to become Zoe's mom, has she? In the movie, the house went beyond its normal programming and takes the family hostage to keep them 'safe' from the world," she kept babbling.
That led to talk of the mishaps that Jack had dealt with in his own home. After he finished, they moved on to some of the funnier stories of the towns mishaps. Jack even told them how he came to be Sheriff here – though it wasn't as amusing. The amazing part was how comfortable he felt with these VIPs that were here to talk to his primary rival for the affections of the beautiful Allison. He didn't think that would be possible.
Nathan Stark's office, Global Dynamics
A secretary called on the intercom, "Sir, Sheriff Carter has brought a couple people here to talk to you. Some VIPs," she added.
Nathan Stark answered back, "Show them in." He stood and moved around his desk to greet his visitors, "How may I help-- Buffy Summers? What are you doing here?" he asked in genuine surprise at seeing the blonde Slayer.
Turning to Giles, Buffy ground out, "What the heck? Is there a website out there on me or something?"
Deciding to take control of the situation, Nathan offered charmingly, "Well, judging by the fact that you are here, I'm guessing the experiment was a success?"
Giles and Buffy froze when they heard that, but managed to keep their expressions clear. They needed to know what he knew – maybe it wasn't the same thing they were thinking of. Giles spoke first, "You knew about the experiment then?"
"Sure. And can I say that I'm thrilled Maggie decided to chose me to be the first donor?" Nathan said, assuming that their presence meant he was picked, and he was bursting with pride.
Fighting the urge to rip the man's…head would do – off, Giles attempted to clarify, "You wanted to be a donor?"
Nathan didn't even notice the danger he was in from the pair. He assumed that the man was there as an escort to keep the woman safe and in line. He was just amazed that she wasn't drugged or anything. "Of course! Who wouldn't? This is the ultimate in genetic research! I must say, you seem to be a lot calmer than I was expecting, Miss Summers. I take it Maggie was able to convince you of the importance of this?" he remarked in a condescending manner.
By this point, Buffy had heard enough. She stalked over to him and clocked him as she screamed, "You bastard! You knew what she was doing and didn't stop it?"
Quickly calling for security, Nathan tried to keep out of her reach. The only thing that saved him was Giles telling her to stay calm for the baby's sake. Mistaking that he had an ally, Nathan yelled, "Why did you bring her here without restraints?"
Having moved Buffy to the couch where she could sit down and calm herself, Giles turned and sneered at the pillock, "Because I am here with her."
Not noticing the people that spilled into the room included the Sheriff and Allison, Nathan demanded as he took a handkerchief to wipe some of the blood off his face, "What happened to Maggie?"
Buffy was still in no condition to talk – as she was shaking with rage and might accidentally kill the man – so Giles had to answer, "Another one of her experiments turned on her and now she's dead."
At that comment, the Sheriff decided find out what happened, figuring there was something big since Stark was bleeding. 'Wonder which one did that?' he thought. 'Stark must have done a really stupid thing, because they weren't near this emotional about him before.' "What's going on here?" he questioned with his best law enforcement voice.
Turning on Jack, Nathan glared at the man and snarled, "These people you brought attacked me for no reason." He figured the Sheriff had something to do with this.
Finally just calm enough, Buffy stood to stare the head of GD down. When he backed up a step, it surprised everyone in the room – except Giles, who was getting ready to grab her again. "I don't know, you going along with the forcible impregnating of me seems like a good reason to me. How 'bout you, Giles? Sound like a good reason?" she asked rhetorically, ignoring the gasp of horror from the woman behind the Sheriff.
But her Watcher answered her anyway for the others in the room, "A very good reason, dear girl. Are you okay now? Under control and everything?" he inquired with concern clear in his voice.
Rapidly losing her cool again, Buffy turned to him with bright eyes, pleading with him to get her out of there. It didn't stop the menace from seeping into her tone as she answered him, though, "I'm fine as can be, but I have to get away from him before I rip his man-bits off and shove 'em down his throat."
"You hear that? She's threatening me!" Nathan yelled at the others in the room.
Jack leaned back against the wall in a overtly casual manner, making his lack of concern plain. "I hear. Sounds like she has good cause to. In fact, there might be criminal charges to deal with here, Stark," he finished with a gleam in his eyes.
Then Jack Carter took Buffy's hand to gently lead her out of GD headquarters with Giles flanking her on the other side. Last thing he heard was Allison start to scream at Stark for what he did, causing the Sheriff to smile just a little – in spite of the circumstances. Even if he couldn't win over the beautiful scientist, at least the SOB back there had lost her for good.
Remembering his promise earlier, Jack took the pair back to his house for dinner. He carefully questioned Buffy about her comment about forcible impregnating. After she glanced at Giles for help, she broke down and explained the situation while leaving out the supernatural elements.
By the time they left, both were considerably calmer – mostly due to Jack's promise to have his superiors check into the situation. Plus, Sarah did a good job with dinner and a special tea blend that made Buffy moan with delight. Her pocket was a pound heavier when she walked out and Sarah promised to keep her supplied with as much as she wanted.
A few days later, Buffy got a call from Jack, telling her that Stark had been removed from his position, pending an investigation and its outcome. Stark was trying to claim that he thought everyone involved was there by choice, but given the conversation in his office, it wasn't likely to work for him.
Jack also wanted to pass on a message from the woman who was there with them during the blowout – seems that she was the ex-wife or something. Allison wanted Buffy to know that if there was anything GD could do for her or her baby – even if Stark wasn't the father – all she had to do was ask.
Buffy thanked her for her kindness and filed the offer away in her mind, thinking that maybe Willow might enjoy a VIP tour of the town someday.
A/N: Sorry it took so long to post a new dad, but I was too focused on one fic for the series and it wasn't coming to me very easily. Finally, I decided to set it aside and try a different dad and so you get Nathan Stark as a result.