...Mightier Than the Sword
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Story Notes:
This story was written in response to the Christmas in Eureka Fanfic Exchange. My assignment was to write for strifechaos (http://strifechaos.livejournal.com/), who wanted "UST, first time, happy ending (it's Christmas!), snark, Possessive!Stark, Oblivious!Carter". I hope that I was able to meet these requirements.
TITLE: Insensibility
EMAIL ADDRESS: meana@borderline-angel.com
FANDOM: Eureka
FOCUS: Carter/Stark
STATUS: new, complete (December 12, 2007)
SPECIAL WARNINGS: At most, the season two episode "Unpredictable".
DISCLAIMER: This story is an original work of amateur fiction, and is written purely for private entertainment. This story is no way affiliated with any organization that owns an interest in the show.
SUMMARY: Nathan thinks about the events that lead to his current location.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story was written in response to the Christmas in Eureka Fanfic Exchange. My assignment was to write for strifechaos (http://strifechaos.livejournal.com/), who wanted "UST, first time, happy ending (it's Christmas!), snark, Possessive!Stark, Oblivious!Carter". I hope that I was able to meet these requirements.

Nathan Stark lay in the bed that wasn't his and stared at the face of the man who had turned his world upside down. He stared, his eyes losing focus, as he thought back to the steps that had brought him to the bed he was in and more importantly to the man he shared it with.

From the first day that Jack Carter had entered his world, Nathan had felt as though he was on a roller-coaster ride with no end in sight and no way of getting off. It had come as a shock when he'd realized that it was attraction rather than contempt that he felt. He'd fought it for a couple of months before finally giving up and, at least to himself, acknowledging and accepting the attraction he felt. He'd then started studying Carter trying to figure out why he was attracted to the damnably infuriating man. It was while studying Carter that he'd realized that the attraction appeared to be mutual, though Carter seemed mostly to be unaware of it. Upon realizing that the attraction was reciprocated, he'd set out to seduce Carter and get the man out of his system.

His seduction, however, had backfired on him. Carter had proven to be particularly stubborn and unaware. Nathan had ended up expending more time and energy into seducing the other man than he'd expected. Due to his efforts, he'd had to get to know Eureka's erstwhile sheriff, and he'd found he was not just attracted to Carter, but falling in love with the man.

It had taken watching Carter flirt with his ex-wife, Abby, for Nathan to realize he was capable of feeling jealous. He'd felt the emotion before, but had never clued in that he was jealous of who Carter flirted with when Carter flirted with Allison. This was due to the remnants of his own feelings for his own ex-wife.

For a couple of days after recognizing he was jealous, he had been particularly snippy with Carter and downright rude to both Allison and Abby, especially whenever he caught any sign of flirting between Jack and either woman. After a couple of days, he regained his equilibrium and, recognizing the potential danger of the exes, he'd stepped up his seduction of Carter.

As always, it was a covert seduction... at least in front of others. He didn't want anyone to interfere, so in public, he acted almost normally, but there was more innuendo to the conversations. In the rare times it was just the two of them, the light innuendo became almost blatant and Nathan allowed himself the luxury of touch - a hand to a shoulder here, a hand on the lower back there. And still Carter didn't seem to realize anything was going on! Nathan was about ready to pull his hair out.

It was the annual Eureka holiday party at Café Diem that finally made him snap.

Carter's ex-wife had come to visit and spend Christmas with their daughter. The trio was at the party together, almost like a family unit. When he realized that the two were flirting with each other again, he'd been unable to control himself. He'd let out a growl that had Fargo 'eeping' and running for cover. He'd then stalked over to Carter, grabbed the man's arm, told him they needed to talk, and then, ignoring the stares of everyone in the room, he'd pulled him from the party and onto the streets of Eureka. He pulled him along until he found a relatively isolated area and then pulled the other man into the alcove provided by the door of a nearby store. He'd been surprised that Carter had followed, but when he looked at him he found the man looking back at him in bemusement, obviously not knowing what was going on, but willing to listen. Stark just stared back at him... for once in his life he was unable to come up with something clever to explain his actions.

When Carter started to become impatient, he had looked around for inspiration and found it in the decorations adorning the front opening of the store doorway they stood in. He'd nudged Carter's head up to see the item that had caught his attention. While Carter had looked at it in confusion, Stark had taken a chance and claimed Carter's mouth as his own, his hands holding Carter's head still. Shock had held Carter immobile for several excruciating seconds as Stark prepared himself to be shoved away and punched, but Carter had surprised him when he kissed back. Maybe Carter hadn't been as oblivious as he'd thought.

The passion in the kiss had stolen Nathan's breath and he'd had to end the kiss sooner than he'd have liked. Panting and still holding Carter's face, he had stared into Carter's eyes waiting for reality to return to the other man, hoping against hope that he hadn't just destroyed everything. Once Carter's eyes had cleared, he had stared back at Stark in silence for several minutes before pulling away with a bemused smile at both Stark and the mistletoe that had been his inspiration. Stark sagged back against the nearby wall and closed his eyes in defeat. While Carter had not vilified him for the kiss, it seemed obvious to Stark that his feelings, which he still could not fully verbally express, were not as reciprocated as he'd thought. And then his eyes flew open in shock as Carter kissed him.

Unable to help himself, he had pulled the other man closer. After the kiss, they'd stood in silence holding each other for several moments before reluctantly parting. This time it was Carter who said they needed to talk before leading the way to his vehicle and driving them to his home for privacy during the conversation. They didn't, of course, spend the whole time talking, but by the time Zoe made it home from the holiday party, they had hashed quite a bit out and S.A.R.A.H. had actually declared that he would be a tolerable addition to the family - high praise indeed.

They had spent the next few weeks slowly getting to know one another better as more than antagonists and revealing the new relationship to their closest loved ones - Carter to his daughter, and he, himself, to his ex-wife Allison and her son Kevin. They had all been amazingly supportive, and he could have sworn he'd heard Allison muttering something about it "being about time". It was soon obvious to both of them that what they felt was more intense they either one had thought.

Lust was more accurately love. And Nathan couldn't have hoped for better.

The End

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