Hell Week

Jack has a bad week

(Set in between the end of Flash Forward to Eureka and before Founder's Day)


Monday, Monandaeg, Poniedzialek, Somavara, Wan Jan, first day of the week for most, second for others, family day, bad Monday, Manic Monday, started Jack's week from hell. His day started early, his phone bleeped at oh-dark-thirty and he groaned quietly and hoped against hope that it wouldn't bleep again. But it did and he quickly moved his hand out from under his pillow and fumbled for it before it could go off again and disturb his limpet wrapped around him. He blinked and quickly read the message before he muffled his next groan in the pillow under his face.

"What?" said limpet asked, grumbled really from his position wrapped around Jack's back, arms around his waist, face buried in his neck. "GD?"

"Not yet," the Sheriff replied, his voice muffled. "Domestic. I gotta go, Babe."

Nathan huffed and pressed a kiss to the nape of Jack's neck before he let him go and rolled off him. "Do you want me to go with?" his lover asked him as he watched Jack force himself into a sitting position.

"No, Nate," Jack replied with a soft smile and bent over him to kiss his mouth. "No point in both of us being awake. Go back to sleep," he added and used a hand to gently caress the Scientist's face. "I'll call later."

Nathan smiled and nodded and turned his face so he could kiss Jack's palm. "Okay, Sheriff," he agreed. "Go protect and serve. Just be careful."

"You too," Jack replied, kissed him again and got up. Nathan turned onto his side and watched him walk away, naked, and smiled self-indulgently. But Jack went out of view quickly and the scientist sighed and snuggled back down into their bed, closing his eyes and relaxing again. By the time Jack had had a quick shower and got dressed he was asleep again, not noticing his lover standing at the doorway of their bedroom for a few moments, watching him fondly before he shook himself out of it and left to do his job.

The Sheriff turned up at the house he'd been called to, and he could hear the yelling from his jeep. Of course it didn't help the noise level for the neighbours with Doctor Umberto banging on the front door of the house from the outside, yelling himself. The Doc was a big man, he had a big voice, he was a baritone in the church choir and normally calm and laid back, but even he needed sleep obviously. Jack got out of his jeep and jogged over, wincing at some of the more colourful language he could hear coming from the house. He tapped Umberto on the shoulder and got him away from the door. "Go home, Ben," he told the bigger man with a sigh. "I'll deal."

"Hmmm," the Doc grumbled but stepped back and let him work.

The Sheriff could hear a man and a woman screaming abuse at each other in the house, sounding a bit like Abby and he used to, and they didn't let up when he banged on the door himself. "Sheriff!" he yelled at them. "Open up or I'm forcing the door!"

The noise didn't abate and Jack sighed again and pulled out his ID card. All front doors had been equipped with card reader access in the last few months and he had one of the four master cards. He swiped it, waited for the reader to work, and shoved the door open wider when it clicked open. "Stay here," he said to the Doc, who hadn't gone home, and slipped inside.

The house wasn't a lot different to most of the others in Eureka – short hallway leading to a kitchen, a couple of reception rooms, an office, the back yard and the stairs to the upper floor. He quickly searched downstairs, torch in one hand, other on his gun in its holster, before he climbed up the stairs. He was beginning to think he was being played; the noise didn't stop even though he wasn't being silent but the people upstairs didn't seem to notice. They had moved on to insulting each other's parents it sounded like – the woman screeched: "If your mother is so bloody perfect why don't you go and live with her?!"

"Because she reminds me of you!" the guy yelled back, and Jack got to the top of the stairs to hear what he had been frightened of. Someone had punched someone else, and he jogged along the corridor to the master bedroom at the end of the hall. He kicked the door in and took in the confrontation in front of him.

Man and woman, neither of whom he recognised, where standing at the foot of their bed, the man, about as tall as Jack, had a hand pressed against his face, blood oozing from between his fingers. He looked relived when he saw Jack, took a step towards him, and the Sheriff could see a faint smile under his hand. "Sheriff," he said, his voice muffled. "What..?"

The woman seemed to be the opposite; her anger increased when she saw the Sheriff in his uniform and strode towards him, shoving the other man away from her as she past him. "What the hell are you doing in my house?" she yelled, and tried to shove Jack backwards and out of the room. "Never heard of privacy?"

Jack kept his feet and looked down at her, laughing once humourlessly. "Privacy?" he asked her darkly. "Your neighbours have heard every word you've been screaming out for at least the last ten minutes. That's why they called me," he told her. "People want to sleep, it's four am in the morning."

"I know what time it is," she growled at him.

"But you obviously don't care," he retorted. He knew he shouldn't, he was supposed to be the one in charge, calming the situation, talking to both parties, risk assessing and dealing with any charges. But it was four am after all, he was tired, he had planned to wake up slowly, Nathan in both their favourite positions: outside spoon, or as he had been about half an hour ago. "Why should everyone have to listen to a harpy yell about her mother-in-law at this time of the morning?" he demanded. "I don't want to hear it, why should everyone else?"

"Harpy?" she questioned, her voice deceptively mild, and he really should have been more worried. "Did you just call me a harpy?"

Jack sighed. "Is that all you took from that?" he asked her. When she said nothing he turned from her to face the guy who had found a chair and sat down. "Do you need medical assistance?" he asked him. "Are you going to press charges for assault?" he added. He really hoped he would, he would enjoy arresting the woman and letting her cool down in his cell for a day or two.

"I don't know," the guy replied unhelpfully. "She always calms down again quite quickly."

Jack frowned and studied the fuming woman in front of him. "How many times have you punched him?" he asked her incredulously.

"As many times as he deserves" she snapped back.

Jack shook his head and flicked off his torch before he put it away. "No one deserves it," he told her, told both of them, and reached for his handcuffs. "I'm arresting you for suspicion of assault and breach of the peace," he told her and reached for her wrist. "You have the right..."

She leapt into action, pulling back her free hand and launching her fist at his face.

Her punch was almost as hard as Jo's, leaving the Sheriff reeling in surprise, and then righteous anger. He didn't let her go, and managed to wrestle her to the ground, ignoring the guy who was now back on his feet, yelling again. "You're also under arrest for assaulting an officer of the law," he growled and managed to cuff her wrists together behind her and press her into the floor.

Her hubby strode forward and grabbed Jack's shoulder, but let go when the Sheriff glared up at him. "Step back," Jack ordered, nothing like his normal affable self. "Or do you want to get arrested too?"

Sensibly the man shook his head and stepped back, and didn't get involved when Sheriff Carter pulled the female up off the floor. She was furious, hissing profanities at him, and Jack shook his head in resignment. There goes any chance of him being able to go home before the end of the day, he thought to himself as he pushed and pulled the woman out of the room, down the stairs and out of the house. Doctor Umberto was still standing in the front yard, and he grinned at them both.

"Thank you, Sheriff," he said, relieved.

Jack nodded at him, and pulled the woman towards his jeep when she started on the Doctor. "Just shut up," he told her tiredly. "You're already in enough trouble."

"Whatever," she growled, but was quiet as he got her in the car and drove her to the Sheriff's office in the middle of town. It took only a couple of minutes; they were the only people on the road after all.

She only started to shout again when he pushed her none-too-gently into the cell, and since she refused to shut up when he asked her, he left the cuffs on and walked out of the office to get some air.

Then he had to drive back to house and spent the rest of the day dealing with the aftermath.


Tuesday, Tiwesdaeg, Uborak, fire day, unlucky day (if you're Greek), lucky day (if you're Jewish) election day, Mardi Gras, Patch Tuesday didn't go much better.

Nathan really did think he was helping, Jack thought as he supervised the redaction of Selina Blackstone, the woman who had punched her partner, not husband, Jack had found that out in his research yesterday, and himself.

The Scientist, in the only thing that had made Jack's Monday not a complete disaster, had met him for lunch at the cafe. He'd taken one look at the bruise forming on Jack's cheek under one eye and demanded an explanation.

As soon as his partner said the woman's name Nathan was on the phone to Fargo, asking for all the information on Blackstone and Janus Ivanovich, her partner. The information came through, and Nathan read it on his iPad as he sat next to Jack at their table, hand on the Sheriff's thigh as they ate their lunch.

They had parted then, and hadn't seen each other again until both got home again well after dark. All Jack wanted to do was have a shower and go to bed, so he hadn't known what his lover and Alison had decided earlier.

Now though, about 10am Tuesday morning, he was supervising while techs from GD removed everything of Blackstone's from the house, leaving Janus' things alone. He hadn't been redacted; Jack had unknowingly planted a seed of an idea in Nathan's brain the day before. It was obvious to the Scientist Jack felt sorry for the guy – he was a long term victim, it seemed that he had left Blackstone several times but she had always found him again and wheedled her way back into his life. Nathan was of the opinion Ivanovich should grow a backbone and some self-esteem, but he didn't tell his lover that. Instead he had arranged for the woman to be redacted while Jack arranged for her to be removed from Eureka to a jail in Portland, and then had to spend the morning standing over her and glowering at her as she signed the redaction paperwork, and then as she was handed over to state police officers for transfer to Portland. He then spent the rest of the morning, and most of the afternoon too, consoling a distraught Janus, moving him from the house he had shared to another, smaller one, and wishing to himself that he hadn't let Jo have the week off even though she had the vacation time saved up.

And then the Sheriff had to deal with some delinquent kids, not Zoe, who were causing trouble in the centre of town, just as he was planning on going home. Eureka maybe populated by geniuses, but teenagers were still teenagers, and someone had spiked the punch at a birthday party.

Jack ended up chasing down a pack of drunk, rowdy teens as they ran down the main street, pushing over street furniture, throwing Vince's chairs and tables around outside the cafe, and using spray paint to graffiti the sidewalks and glass fronts of the stores. He and Tag, with some help from Vincent, caught all six of them, and he realised quite quickly what had happened when two of the now scared kids threw up all over his shoes and pants. And he still had to take the kids home and find the brat who had laden the punch with booze before he could go home.

At least he and Nathan managed to share the shower when he finally got home, and he wasn't exhausted just because of the stresses of the day when he finally tumbled into bed, Nathan spooning up behind him as they settled.


Wednesday, Wodnesdaeg, hump day, middle of the week heading for the weekend and two days off for some people, mecredi, miercuri, Mittwoch. Jack had hoped the day wouldn't be so bad as the previous two, but his luck just didn't run that way, obviously.

Taggart got bored to start with and because he got bored, he accidentally/on purpose let out his genetically engineered bluebottles. No-one could explain to Jack why anyone would want bluebottle flies the size of ravens, not even Taggart himself, and of course, since this was his life now, all bug spray did was get the Sheriff wet and cause him to break out in a rash over most of his body.

Then, when he had just been hosed down in quarantine, much to Henry's amusement, Fargo pressed a button he shouldn't have and blew up a lab.

Everyone who was there to help dig Fargo and a couple of other lab technicians out, didn't say a word about the scrubs Jack was wearing, even Nathan, until they were all in the infirmary. Fargo and the other two unfortunate enough to be in his general vicinity were hurt, but not too badly, and Jack had managed to sprain his wrist when he had tripped on some rubble and fell heavily on to it.

Nathan smiled at him as he strapped the offending limb after checking it with a portable MRI and lightly kissed the bruised skin under Jack's eye. "You need to be a bit more careful, Sheriff," he commented, amused.

"I'm trying," Jack retorted, and yes, he was whining. "But this town hates me."

Nathan huffed a laugh and hugged him tightly close for a few moments. "Not all of us," he assured him as Jack leant against him for some strength. "SARAH is quite fond of you."

"Well that's alright then," the other man responded aridly. "Thanks a lot."

Nathan laughed and bestowed another kiss on him, on his temple this time. "And I'm quite fond of you too," he added and hugged him some more.


Thursday, Punnesdaeg, Thor's Day, Giovedi, Dijous, Joi, Dydd Lau, Guruva, Wan Pharuehatsabodi, Tree Day, Teacher's Day, pay day, thirsty Thursday was a really REALLY bad day. It started quietly, and Jack almost almost believed he was going to be bored all day. Well, he had hoped so, just one day of doing paperwork, but no.

The first inclination of something was up was the shouting he could hear in the street outside the Sheriff's office. Jack got up and quickly grabbed his gun belt and put it on as he walked out of the door.

A crowd had gathered in the street in front of Cafe Diem, and someone was already jogging towards the Sheriff's office. She waved at him when she saw him and then turned round and ran back when she was sure Jack was following her.

It didn't take long for the Sheriff to muscle his way into the middle of the crowd to see Vincent of all people, squaring off against a couple of white-coated scientists standing over something that looked dangerously like a 'device' they'd put in the middle of the street.

"I don't care who you are!" Vince snapped at one of the people opposite him, and poked him, hard, with a finger. "You can't set off a nuclear weapon in the middle of town!"

"Wait? What?" Jack queried, shocked. "Vincent, I just thought I heard you say 'nuclear weapon'?"

"You did, Sheriff," Taggart, standing the other side of Vincent, facing off against the other scientists too growled. "He did say that. These ... drongos want to set **that**," he pointed to the black box-like thing at their feet. "off to see what it'll do."

Jack gaped at him and then turned to face the smug scientists. "You what?!" he demanded incredulously. "What the hell do you want to do something so stupid like that for? What possessed you to think setting off a thermonuclear weapon off in the middle of Eureka would be a good thing?!"

"You wouldn't understand," Doctor Connolly, a new addition to Eureka, sneered at him in his most patronising tone.

"Damn straight I don't understand!" Jack yelled at him, and pulled out his communicator. "Carter to Stark!" he snapped into it and glared at the two in front of him as he waited for his partner to answer.

Nathan didn't wait, he ignored the other people in the boardroom as his little communicator bleeped and answered it. "Stark," he said quickly, and listened to Jack's voice in mounting incredulity. "What?" he demanded, his tone alerting the others to the unfolding crisis. "They want to do what?" He was silent for a moment and looked up at Henry who was there, watching him thoughtfully. "We're on our way, Jack," he said firmly as he stood. "Is Tag with you?" he asked, and when he got an affirmative he added: "I'll bring Henry and the equipment. Keep everyone away from it, and please, Babe," he pleaded his tone softer. "Don't touch it, and stay safe."

He nodded when Jack replied and he hung up. "Henry, there's a major problem in the town." he explained firmly. "We need to get there with containment for a nuclear warhead."

Henry gaped at him for a moment, noted he wasn't joking, and nodded as he stood. "We'll be in the road in five minutes," he told him and hurried out of the boardroom, gathering a couple of security guards as he did so.

"Nuclear?" Alison, also there, asked, and blanched when Nathan, virtually to the door himself, nodded. "That's what Jack says," he told her. "Can you get some security into town? We're going to need some back up."

When she nodded Nathan rushed out of the boardroom and left her to get to it. He took a detour to his office and grabbed some items himself, Jack had been too busy to explain much and he didn't want to be outgunned when he got there. He grabbed Fargo too, and just under six minutes after Jack had called them they were both in Nathan's Beemer and he was driving hell for leather towards town.

Jack hung up from Nathan felling somewhat relieved, and he glanced at Tag. "They're on their way," he told him. The Australian nodded, not taking his eyes from the two in front of them, which allowed Jack to concentrate on the crowd around them.

Most of the people were those support staff that helped at GD or others that worked at the town, store holders, gardeners, maintenance workers etc. and he frowned. "What were you thinking?" he demanded of the two scientists again. "Did you want to destroy the town?"

"No, Sheriff, don't be so stupid," Connolly replied condescendingly. "We were testing our new deterrent. We were going to see if we could stop it in time."

"Really?" Jack glared at him and replied darkly. "In the middle of town? And I suppose you were going to stay here and watch, too."

"No," Connolly scoffed. "We have everything set up in a bunker under Global."

"What about us?" Vincent was standing a little behind Jack and Taggart, who had closed ranks and pushed him behind him. "You put it outside the cafe, with people inside. And what about everyone else?" he added, waving an arm to indicate everyone else surrounding them. "Does your bunker have room for all of us?!"

Connolly brandished the remote he held for the device at the Chef. "This would have worked," he said to him, so sure of himself. "And everyone of worth would be protected in Global anyway," he added, still oh so smug. "Which is why I planned to do it now, and not at lunch or dinner."

Jack quickly found himself keeping people back from the little, about F502, Connolly and his so far silent, larger, much larger colleague, even though he wanted to smack his face in himself.

The scientist carried on blithely; unaware of the danger he was in of being torn apart. "We've tested it in the lab, I'm sure it would have worked."

"You're sure?" Jack queried sarcastically, his arms stretched out as small barriers to stop people getting in front of him. "You put the whole town at risk, and you're sure it would work?"

Connolly nodded and smiled at him. "I knew we could do it, Sheriff," he replied. "And now, if you would be so kind as to do your job and keep these ... people (he used the word as an insult) away, I'll show you."

"My job?" Jack repeated, but was giving more attention to the vein throbbing in Tag's forehead he could see out of the corner of his eye. He knew the man well enough to know that only happened when LoJack got the better of him or he was just about to launch into violence, and the dog was nowhere to be found. "My job is to protect people from psychopaths like you," he snapped.

"On that note…" Tag growled, and leapt into the fray.

There was no way Jack could stop him, or any of the people around them from joining in, all he could do was try. He grabbed for the remote in Connolly's hand before he could use it or anyone else could grab it, he managed it, and then started to shout at the top of his lungs, as well as trying to pull Tag off Connolly as he did so.

"Stop!" he yelled, and grabbed the vet's shirt collar as he did so, pulling him back. "I've got the remote! Stop!"

Nothing, and he sighed as he looked around.

Vincent, his cook and someone else were fighting with the silent scientist, and it looked like they were losing – the guy could take on Ving Rhames and win. Tag was battering Connolly, and others were pushing their way in and trying to get a punch or two in as well. At least he had some help – three people were arranging themselves around the warhead, backs to it, arms linked, and they were making sure no-one got too close to it. Jack nodded his thanks at the one closest to him and let go of Taggart to get his gun. He cocked it, sighed again and lifted it to the sky. And pulled the trigger.

It worked; the noise of the single gunshot stopped everything, including Taggart. "Everybody," the Sheriff said loudly, firmly. "What is wrong with you? You're all supposed to be clever, but you've turned into a mindless mob! Vincent!" he shouted and turned to the Chef who had the grace to look sheepish. "Get everyone into the Café, Doctors Deacon and Stark are on their way to sort this out."

The Chef took a breath and nodded, and started to herd chagrined people away and into the Café. Most of them Jack was pleased to see were uninjured. Vince's cook had a bloody nose, Tag had a bruise forming on his face from where Connolly had decked him, and Connolly himself was battered and a bit worse for wear but not too bad. "Tag, get off him," he ordered, watching him steadily until the vet climbed off the guy – he had knocked Connolly to the floor and was sitting on him – until the guy did, albeit reluctantly. "Sheriff," he grumbled but stepped away from the downed scientist.

"I don't want to arrest you, too," Jack told him and waited for Connolly to push himself to his feet. "You, on the other hand," he added and stepped towards the guy. He holstered his gun, replacing it with his handcuffs. "You're under arrest for…" he began, but he didn't finish.

The hitherto silent colleague of Connolly's finally lost his temper when he saw his boss and colleague just about to be arrested. That meant automatic redaction for both of them, and he really liked living and working here. So he grabbed a wrench from his toolkit on the ground and moved forward as the Sheriff reached forward with his still strapped arm for one of Connolly's wrists. And made his move.

He leapt at Jack, wrench held tightly in his hand, and no one expected it, least of all the Sheriff. He slammed the wrench down, as hard as he could, against Jack's outstretched arm with a yell.

Both Tag and Jack reacted, but not quickly enough. Jack yelled in pain at the sudden agony the blow caused him, and he could do nothing but go with Tag when his friend pulled him back out of the way and leapt into the fray again.

Jack tripped over his own feet and fell heavily to the ground, curling up around his arm and trying not to sob out loud at the pain. He took lots of deep breaths, and all he could do was lie in wait and hope the vehicles he could hear arriving were Nathan and the cavalry.

Nathan took a leaf out of Jack's book and drove like he'd never done before – as if he'd stolen the vehicle. Fargo had the good sense to strap in and hang on to the sissy bar above his head, and stay silent. The Scientist was pleased to quickly be joined by two security vehicles behind him, and they kept up as he sped down the hill.

So he got to town quickly, but only enough to see Jack go down after that giant physicist Clements smacked him with a wrench.

When he stopped the car and got out Tag was already beating the living crap out of Clements, Connolly was trying to grab something Jack had dropped, and a groundskeeper was trying her best to stop him. "Fargo!" Nathan yelled as he jumped out of his car. "Get to the warhead! Stop anyone apart from Henry and me touching it!"

Fargo, bless him, nodded and sprinted off to do as he was told. He had grown up a whole lot after Nathan had disintegrated, and re-integrated, and the Scientist trusted him to make sure no one activated the device, more so than what he would have before. He wasn't going to be left to go it alone though, security had arrived, and they spread out to help.

Nathan ran to his partner and fell to his knees beside him, not caring about his knees and suit pants, and quickly pressed a couple of fingers to Jack's throat to check his pulse. "Jack?" he called to him. "What's wrong? Your arm? Jack, please talk to me."

Jack groaned and pressed his face against Nathan's thigh. "Fucker broke my arm," he grumbled and gasped quietly as his bigger lover simply used his strong arms to pull him up to sit. He then pulled him against him and made Jack lean heavily against his own strong chest. "It's all right, Love," he murmured and wrapped an arm around his Sheriff's trim waist as he studied the arm in question.

Jack simply pressed his arm to his chest to protect it and buried his face in the soft material of Nathan's shirt as his partner studied his damaged limb. It was already swelling in the support stockinet he had put on it this morning, blood soaking into it, and the Doc sighed and gently nuzzled his lover.

"The fucker did break your arm, Jack," he murmured, and pressed a kiss to his temple. "I've got to get you to Global,"

Jack enlivened and looked up at him from red-rimmed eyes in his grey face. "Wh…what about the bomb?" he asked him quietly. "And Tag?"

Nathan looked up and around to see what was going on. Henry and Spencer had arrived while he was with Jack, and they were both working with Fargo to make the weapon safe. Clements and Connolly were both restrained by security guards and Vincent and the groundskeeper were speaking to Alison, who had also arrived.

Taggart, bless his John McLean nature, was grinning despite his bloody nose and knuckles and he was literally bouncing on the balls of his feet as he jogged over.

"Henry's in charge of the warhead," Nathan assured him lover. "And Tag is fine. He's going to help me get you to Global," he added when the man himself joined them.

"Whatever you say, Doc," the Vet replied eagerly. "Do you want me to carry him?"

So that was how Jack found himself finishing his day in the infirmary at Global, stretched out in a bed, after some emergency surgery. The drugs were good though, very good, and it also helped that he had been put in a private room and Nathan ignored all demands that he go home to stay with him. The night was better than the day because of that, but the week wasn't over yet.


Friday, Frigedaeg, Paraskevi, Jum'a-tul-Mubarbak, Shukravar, end of the week day to prepare for the weeked, POETS day, holy day for some, unlucky for others, started slow and late for the Sheriff.

He woke slowly, stretched and opened his eyes. It took him a few moments to figure out where he was, and the weight on his arm was a fibreglass cast. Nathan was still with him, and the reason he woke when he had was being wafted under his nose by his partner's hand, and the smirk on his face told him Nathan knew exactly what he was doing.

"Morning, Sheriff," he greeted him, and waited while Jack forced himself to sit up. "Feeling better?"

"Gimme coffee," Jack grumbled in his usual morning way. He would be pre-verbal until he had coffee, and Nathan was a hedonist, not a masochist, so he handed over the big bucket of Vinspresso and waited for him to drink some of it. Then he waited, counting down mentally in his mind for the caffeine to take effect. Three…two…one…

"Scientist!" Jack grinned at him, and leant over to press a welcome kiss to his mouth. "I'm fine, how are you?" He frowned as he looked him up and down. "Why are you dressed for work?"

Nathan smiled and reached over from where he was perched on the bed to lay a hand on Jack's strong thigh. "As much as I would love to give everyone in here a show and have these wrapped around me, I have to get some work done," he told him, fondly amused. "Henry, Zane and I are going to dismantle some old projects today," he continued. "The one this morning's going to take all of us, and we've already had to postpone a couple of times."

Jack nodded and sipped some more coffee. He did remember something about it, Nathan had mentioned it last week in passing and had been pleased about it.

"I can stay if you want me too," the Scientist added sincerely. One reason why his relationship with Alison had failed so dramatically was because he had ignored her needs for those of his work, and he had promised himself he wasn't going to do that with Jack. He had kept to it too, and the Sheriff had been surprised and appreciative of it.

Jack thought for a moment and then shook his head. "It's okay," he answered and covered the hand on his thigh with the free one, pleased he could move his arm. "When can I get out of here?" he asked him, checking the time on the wall clock in front of him. "Will I have time to clear up for the kids tonight?"

Nathan nodded. "Carole's scheduled another scan for lunch time," he explained. "I can be back for then and take you home. Is that okay?"

When Jack nodded Nathan squeezed his thigh and stood. "Get some more sleep," he instructed. "Someone will bring you some breakfast in a few minutes, okay?" Jack replied with a nod and responded to his next kiss. "I love you, Scientist," he told him. "Be careful," It was their usual parting comment and Nathan smiled and nodded. "I will, he assured him. "Love you, too,"

Jack watched him go, admiring the muscles filling the seat of his pants as he left. With a sigh he finished his coffee and tried to settle back down against to get some more rest.

He was dressing when the call came through to his communicator and he sighed and fumbled for it, checking whom the caller was before he answered it. "Fargo, what is it?" he asked grimly. "I'm battered, and Jo'll be back tomorrow."

"It's Doctor Stark," Fargo said to him, his voice panicked.

Three words that could stop Jack's heart with fear. "Nathan?" he asked, losing all strength in his knees. "What…? Is he all right?" He was trying not to panic, he had already lost the guy to a failed experiment once and he wasn't planning on doing it again.

Fargo looked at the scene in front of him in disbelief. "He's tinkering with Weinbrenner's time machine," he said quickly. "I can't get him to stop."

The machine that had caused them all so much pain was one of the projects scheduled for destruction this morning. Henry and Fargo had planned carefully, for Nathan to be working with Zane on something a couple of labs over to make sure this exact situation didn't occur, but the best laid plans and all that… Zane and Nathan were obviously more efficient than the others gave them credit for; they had worked well together and finished their projects before schedule, coming to find the other two before they were ready for them.

Nathan had taken one look at the time machine and dove right in, despite all the others in the lab trying to stop him, and even as Fargo watched he stepped into it again.

"Jack!" the younger scientist cried. "We're in section 3, lab 18," he told him quickly. "Please, get here!"

Jack didn't wait; he pulled himself together, slipped on his sneakers and burst out of the room. He ignored the people around him as he jogged out of the infirmary, especially his own Doctor as she tried to chase after him. When he got out of the main, busy areas he moved into a sprint, and then a flat out run towards the elevators and the right section. He was panicked, Nathan had died in that machine about eighteen months ago, it had taken them another six months or so to get him back, and four or five months after that to finally get into his bed and heart. Their relationship was still relatively knew, they were both still learning about each other's habits, and he really wanted that to carry on for a very long time. So he ran, hurried the elevator along as much as he could, and ran out of it as soon as the doors opened enough so he could slip out.

Lab 18 wasn't very far away, and he slammed open the door in his haste to get in.

Everyone jumped, startled, at his entrance and Fargo grinned in relief. He was standing by the time machine, a hand clamped firmly around Nathan's arm and he was stopping him getting too far into the belly of the machine that had taken him, just in case. He was protesting, but looked up when Jack rushed in and frowned.

"Jack? What…?" Nathan asked, and stepped out when the Sheriff almost stumbled in his haste to get to him.

"Nathan!" Jack shouted, and ran over to him. He grabbed him and pulled him bodily away from the machine, over to a desk on one side of the area and out of danger. "What are you doing?" All he could see was the man on his arm slowly disintegrating in front of him, slipping away in a cloud of golden dust motes, with "See you around, Jack" echoing around his ears.

Nathan went with him, frowning all the way, until he figured it out. And then he mentally kicked himself and embraced his smaller lover tightly close. Jack's voice broke, he grabbed hold of the back of Nathan's shirt when he hugged him back and didn't let go. "I'm sorry, Jack, I didn't think," the Scientist apologized and buried his face in Jack's hair. "We were dismantling it so it can't cause any more problems for anyone,"

Jack sniffed and turned his face so he could see the stupid machine that he had hoped was already in pieces. "Why you?" he asked him firmly. "I really can't lose you again, Nathan. Why does it always have to be you?"

Nathan huffed and looked at the machine too. The other three men in the room were watching them, Henry and Fargo blatantly, Zane somewhat covertly, but all three had worked hard on getting the other scientist back, so they all understood where Jack was coming from. Both Henry and Zane had explained to Nathan they didn't need his help with this device; that he didn't need to be so hands on with this one, but he was so curious he'd had to get involved. "You're like a cat, Nathan," Henry had complained as Fargo was making a call. "Don't let curiosity kill you, again."

"It doesn't, Jack," the Scientist admitted to him and pressed a kiss to his temple. "You're right. Let's sit down." He pushed and pulled his partner to the chairs at the desks and sat down next to him.

"But you can both help us check the components," Henry said with some obvious relief after the pair settled down. "You can do it from there," he added quickly as Jack was going to protest. He walked over and handed his protégé an iPad and laid a hand on Jack's shoulder to reassure. "This is complete safe for both of you, Jack," he assured him. "And Nathan's still involved. You know he'll be much happier helping."

Jack glanced at the man in question and saw the sheepish expression on his face. He smiled a little and looked back at Henry. "He wouldn't be Nathan otherwise," he replied fondly.

Henry smiled and nodded. "Very true," he agreed. "Very true indeed."

So Jack spent a pleasant few hours with the four other scientists as they pulled apart that awful piece of technology into its component parts. Nathan stayed with him, sitting next to him, close enough that their sides, hips and legs were pressed together.

The more of the machine was stripped down to its nuts, bolts and little parts the more relaxed he became, and by the end of it he was finally reassured it was gone.

He was not foolish enough to believe that because this one was gone Nathan was complete safe, there was always a device, and always someone stupid enough to use it – yesterday was one such example. And Nathan, as the Director of R and D was in the firing line. But he seemed to be willing to pull his natural curiosity back a bit when it came to his safety, such as this, and others things too. It was examples that showed the Sheriff his Scientist was in their relationship for the long haul, as much as he was, and he turned to face him and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "I love you, Nathan," he told him quietly. "Thank you for doing this,"

Nathan knew what he meant and turned to kiss him back. "I love you, Jack," he replied sincerely. "Don't ever think I don't, ever."



Saturday, Saeternesdaeg, Shabbat, Langardagur, Zaterdag, Sabado, dydd Sadwrn, Rahoroi, Shanivar, Sweet Day, first day of the weekend, was the day Jo came back to work and Jack could stay at home.

He woke slowly, and it took him a few moments to realize he was lying on his belly, his face buried in Nathan's neck, draped over half his body with his lover's strong arm around his waist. He shifted a little and pressed a kiss against the Scientist's skin, thinking he was still asleep, so he was surprised therefore when Nathan moved quickly and flipped him over onto his back. He yelped quietly at the movement and then smiled up at him when the other man arranged himself over Jack's prone form, looking down at him with a smile. "Morning, Sheriff," he greeted him, his voice that morning growl that always turned Jack on.

"Morning, Scientist," the Sheriff replied, his own voice gravelly, and Nathan laughed quietly and kissed his mouth. "What time is it?" he asked when the larger man broke off.

Nathan looked over at the clock on his nightstand and nodded. "Too early for the kids to be up," he assured his lover. "Not too early for me to do dirty things to you…" he added with a grin, and kissed him again. This time he explored his mouth, tasted him, licked inside and hummed in pleasure when Jack responded in kind. "I take it," Nathan murmured when they finally broke off for air. "That is an acceptable proposition?"

Jack laughed quietly and used his unhurt hand to lightly cup Nathan's bearded cheek. "Definitely," he agreed. "Most definitely."

The next time Jack woke he was alone, stretched out in bed, still feeling the remnants of their earlier activities. He sighed and lay there for a while, luxuriating in the sheets, the mattress and the lingering scent of his lover, before he decided to get up for the day and hit the shower. He knew why Nathan was up, he had his kids this week from Friday night to Friday night, and loved spending time with them, so he didn't begrudge the time away from him. The Scientist was so different when he was a Dad, Jack doubted as he wandered into their newly (ish) installed ensuite, scratching his belly as he did so, that anyone in the town would recognize him as he played choo choo with Jenna to get her to eat, or discussed m-theory with Kevin while drawing cartoons with him. And this Nathan was just the antidote for Jack's week of hell, the Sheriff thought as he activated the shower and stood under the warm spray for a few moments before he started to wash. Just the antidote indeed.

"Good morning, Sheriff Carter," SARAH greeted him as he walked back out of the bathroom after his shower and morning ablutions. "How are you feeling today?"

"Morning SARAH," he replied as he rubbed his hair with a towel. "Fine thanks. Are Nathan and the kids downstairs?"

"Yes, they are," the A.I. answered him and opened the wardrobe for him. "The temperature this afternoon should be 61 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon, I suggests jeans and a sweater."

He laughed, fondly amused at her care of him, and nodded and retrieved what she suggested, dressing himself quickly. He picked up the pill pot Nathan had left on his nightstand in passing and climbed down the stairs to see what the rest of his family was doing.

They were there, and he felt a lot better when he stood at the bottom of the stairs and surveyed the scene.

Nathan was pottering around in the kitchen, talking to Jenna as he held her in one strong arm, using the other one to press the lid onto her two-handled juice cup. He looked great, the Sheriff thought to himself as he watched: dressed casually in jeans and a sweater, grinning at his daughter as she chattered to him and took the cup he gave her. He looked completely relaxed; there was no sign of any tenseness in his shoulders, no lines on his forehead when he turned to face Jack. His grin was bright and welcoming and Jack was very, very pleased he got to see this very private part of his Scientist that he suspected (hoped) that even Alison hadn't been gifted with.

"Look, Jenna," Nathan said to his daughter with a grin. "It's your Papa Jack, finally awake. Shall we say hi?"

The younger Stark was just old enough to be starting talking and she giggled, waved at Jack with her free hand and said: "Hi, Pa'ak!"

The Sheriff grinned and walked over to them and kissed her on her forehead. "Hi, Jenna," he replied. "How're you this morning?"

She gurgled to him and he looked over at Nathan. "You're looking very handsome, Babe," he said to him. "Are you all right?"

Nathan nodded and quickly stole a kiss from him. "You're looking better, Sheriff," he answered him. "So I'm feeling pretty good. Have you taken those drugs I left you?"

Jack shook his head and showed him the pot he had brought down with him. "Can I take them with coffee and a pastry?" he asked, putting on his most hopeful, kicked puppy face.

Nathan sighed and shook his head, but he was amused, Jack could see it in his eyes, twinkling with mirth. "I guess," he replied, and smiled to himself when Jack kissed his cheek as he walked past him to the nirvana called SARAH's coffee machine.

Nathan laughed as he watched him pour himself a cup and savour it like others did wine, and pressed a kiss to Jenna again. "Your Papa is weird," he told her fondly. "Just so you know."

She laughed too and nodded, agreeing with him.

The morning passed in easy laziness for Jack. He spent most of it on the sofa with Kevin pressed up against him, watching while the boy drew, did his homework, and drew some more. Jenna was on his lap, gurgling contentedly, and Nathan spent some time to do some Nathanish pottering around, before he slipped in behind Jack on the sofa and just cuddled him close.

Jack dozed for a while, woke for lunch, and then found himself spending the afternoon in town for one of the many festivals they had, strolling around for a while with people just coming over to meet and greet with the family, before Nathan decided they take a table outside of Café Diem and let everyone come to them.

It was so … surprising to be sitting there, in the warm autumn sun, with Nathan sitting close to him, the two children with them, a steady stream of their friends coming over to speak to them, he was worried the next shoe was going to drop, from a large height, but Nathan simply laid a hand on his arm and shook his head at him when he looked back at him. "Don't worry, Jack," he assured him. "You're off duty, nothing is happening, just relax and spend some time with us. Okay?"

It took a couple of seconds for the Sheriff to stop cringing and expecting something to happen after Nathan had actually said it, but when he looked up again and the world wasn't coming to an end, he relaxed and leant into him. "Okay, okay," he agreed and smiled up at him. "It is the weekend after all."

Nathan laughed and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "But only one more day til next week," he murmured, making his lover laugh, which was the point. But he was right, they had the rest of the day and Sunday to enjoy before Jack had to go back to work and immerse himself back into the craziness that was Eureka. And he was going to enjoy the rest of the weekend as much as he could, his family and friends around him; Monday would come all too quickly after all.