Timeline: 2.06 - Noche de Sueos
A/N: I always thought it was funny that it took Nathan a moment before he said the dream wasn't him.
A/N2: All dialog except the last section is from the episode.
A/N3: I like Carter, I really do. But this is a Stark POV non-slash fic. Carter-insulting is kind of a must.
Thanks To: kamiki_seto , molleo & serene_quill starks_lab for help with the age thing.
Feedback: is a must!
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.
First Posted: July 13, 2010


"I know," Fargo says, tentatively upbeat, "because it means I wasn't the one who had the man in black dream." The moment his assistant says it, Nathan freezes. He's careful to keep his face neutral as he looks over at Jo.

"Well, it sure as hell wasn't me."

"Oh, God." Lupo groans and presses her hand to her forehead.

He watches Jo drift over to the sofa as Carter starts babbling about pay grade and Allison gets sucked into the nonsensical rambling. She's less graceful in her movements then she usually is, which concerns him. Deputy Lupo has always been almost as good with concealing her emotions as he is, one of the many things he respects about her.

Alli's voice takes on a different tone and his attention switches back to their conversation.

"...could the neural network be used as an amplifier?"

"It's possible." He concedes. "We should shut it down." Nathan begins to push himself out of his chair when Jo speaks up hesitantly.

"Carter?" Her fear is evident and Stark's stomach drops. "Do it fast."

"You're not coming?" The Sheriff asks before he can inquire the very same thing. She looks down at her lap, her arms braced on the couch, then back up at her boss.

"I would, but I can't move my legs."

Henry and Fargo go over to her as he and the Sheriff look at each other. As Henry begins asking her questions, Carter shifts from one foot to the other. Nathan looks at him disgustedly then goes to his pager calls for a medical team to come to his office.

.-.

When Lupo is wheeled into the med lab, Nathan starts to go with Fargo and Henry to see to Jo, but Allison notices and puts a hand on his arm. "Nathan?" She looks at him inquisitively and he grunts, pretending that he doesn't know what she's asking. He follows her and Carter to where Dr. Childress is waiting.

He half-listens to her explanation of her botched project, but his thoughts are mainly on the young woman lying immobilized not ten feet from him. While he'll never admit it out loud, he blames himself for not checking the other on-going projects that could have combined with his own to create this mess.

"But why the sudden build-up of acetylcholine?" Allison asks Dr. Childress. It's all Nathan can do not to call her in idiot. She's supposed to be a medical doctor.

"Probably lack of sleep." He tells her coolly, careful not to snap. He's as unnerved by this as everyone else here and it's taking its toll. Not to mention the knowledge that he's one of the fifty. Thank god he was able to blackmail Paul not to include his name on the list. Not that anyone in Eureka would care about his involvement with Vincent, but he knows the two would like to keep their relationship on the down low for a little while longer and he's more than happy to use that to his advantage.

"I'll shut down the network immediately."

"That won't stop the build-up of acetylcholine in the test subjects." He points out, marvelling at the ignorance of the so-called professionals in front of him. This level of stupidity he's come to expect from Carter, but the rest of them are a great disappointment. "Their bodies are overproducing the compound, like a hyperactive gland."

"If you can cleanse the system of the compound entirely, it may reset the body's rate of production." Childress says, stating the obvious. But clearly it wasn't all that obvious, because Carter seems to think this piece of information is the key.

"Okay, good. Let's do that." Nathan sighs internally. But before he and reach out and smack the Sheriff for being a moron, Allison speaks up.

"The excess neurotransmitters are acting like toxins in your body and I have no idea how we scrub that out."

"So G.D. has the most advanced waste reduction system in the world but we can't clean this stuff out of us?"

Actually, the moron has a good point. Not that he has any idea what he said actually has any substance, but that's why Nathan has the Nobel and the Sheriff has the shiny badge. "Maybe we can."

.-.

"Why don't you just tell her how you feel?"

Nathan has long since stopped asking Allison how she knows his so well. Maybe it's an ex-wife thing or maybe it's just Alli, but either way, the woman has an uncanny way of knowing him better then he knows himself. "I don't know what you mean, Allison."

She snorts dismissively. "Oh, come on, Nathan. Whatever you have over Paul wasn't good enough to keep him from telling me about your being one of those affected." Nathan grits his teeth, formulating a swift means of execution. "And don't be too hard on him for it," She says sternly before his mind can complete a plan of extermination for the doctor. "Most of the staff here still think of me as your wife."

"Allison, don't take this the wrong way, but how old are you?" He asks tightly. She blinks in surprise.

"35."

"And how old am I?"

"37."

"So wouldn't you say I'm a little old to be chasing after a 26 year old deputy?"

"Nathan, this is Eureka. So long as you're not interested in Zoe Carter, I'd say you're safe from being a cradle robber."

"Alli-"

"No. Tell her, Nathan." Stark's face hardens. "Look, I'm flattered at the attention you've been giving me and Kevin, and for a while, I thought you were trying to win me back. And maybe you were, but I know you. We had our chance, but it's passed. You're only chasing me because you can't stand to see me with someone else. But I saw the way you looked at Jo when she was affected and I heard about that weird Zorro dream. I know you've always had that bandit and combatant fantasy. I know you, and that, Nathan, was entirely you. Although why Fargo won in your sword fight is a little interesting-"

"Allison! Look, I appreciate you not saying anything to anyone," he fixes her with a look, ensuring that she really won't tell anyone, "but it's really strange to have my ex-wife giving me dating advice. So, please, let me handle this my own way, okay?"

"Fine, Nathan. But just for the record, it's not dating advice until you actually go on a date."

"Allison!" He hollers, exasperated.

"I'm going, I'm going."

"I'll think about it, okay?" He lets slip just before she leaves his office. Allison beams at him.

"Thanks you. And believe me, she'll be shocked but not in a negative way. I've seen how she looks at you, too."