Story Title: Section Seven - The Liaison
Description: Eureka gains the attention of the Scoobies. Someone needs to go check them out to make sure another Initiative isn't being formed.
Pairing: established Allison/Nathan
Timeline: Season Two of Eureka before it's discovered that Kevin was exposed to the artifact. Post Chosen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Author’s Note: This is an idea that just popped into my head. I don't really know if it will go anywhere at all. Updates (if any) will probably be sporadic at best. Comments and reviews are greatly welcomed as I am currently working without a Beta.
Standard Disclaimer: The Erueka premise and characters were created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer premise and characters are distributed by 20th Century Fox, The WB, UPN and created by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy (Grr, Arg). The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred. “Printouts of this page, when crumpled and swallowed, may cause serious choking.”
"And when will the new liaison be arriving?" Allison asked. She tucked her phone into the crook of her neck as she took the computer tablet that Fargo was holding out to her. Distractedly, she tapped the stylus against the edge of the screen as she skimmed over the contract that was on display. She had gone over the document in detail with Dr Canus only the previous week and, as far as she could tell, all of the changes that she had requested had been made.
"I'm unable to provide an exact ETA at this time, Ms Blake," came the refined British voice of the secretary on the other end of the phone line. The sound of rapid fire typing came over the line as the woman spoke. "The man assigned as your liaison is currently working as a free agent out in the field."
"That's Doctor Blake and I would appreciate it if you would put me on the phone with someone who can give me an exact answer," Allison stated, emphasizing her title. She ignored the cocked eyebrow that Fargo was giving her and scrawled her name at the bottom of the document. The citizens of Eureka were more often subjects of double blind case studies than not and Dr Canus had followed all of the proper procedures and tests necessary before applying to her for authorization. In an atypical display of self preservation, Fargo hurried from the office as soon as she handed the tablet back to him.
"I apologize, Dr Blake," the woman replied, emphasizing the title as well, but for an obviously different reason, "but you are not cleared to speak with anyone within this organization other than myself or your liaison. Until such a time, please know that your liaison should arrive anywhere from a week to ten business days from next week."
Stunned, Allison pulled the phone away from her ear to look at the face before once again listening to the dial tone that was the only sound coming through the speaker. She disconnected the line and said, "I don't believe this!"
"Believe what?" Nathan asked as he casually strolled into her office.
"Nathan," she said, "you're early."
He nodded as he dropped into on of the chairs positioned in front of her desk. "Kevin's Occupational Therapist managed to fit him in today when one of her other patients canceled. I figured that you might prefer him to work with her then him spending yet another day in my company," he explained as he scooped up a stray computer tablet. Idly, he flicked through the screens before he unselfconsciously used the stylus to make a correction to one of the formulas. After a pause, he also added a comment on the scientist's methodology and provided an alternate theory.
Allison stood with a hand on her hip as she watched him. She couldn't help the smile that tugged at her lips. While Nathan's original passions had lain in the fields of artificial intelligence and cryogenics, he had always had in insatiable thirst to know and understand any subject that he had been able to get his hands on. His enthusiasm for scientific knowledge had been one of the things about him that had attracted her to him in the first place. Still smiling, she circled her desk so that she could be just that little bit closer to him and leaned back against the front of it. "I know that Kevin loves spending time with you and vice versa, Nathan. I wouldn't dream of keeping the two of you apart... you bring out the child in him. He just loves to play whenever you're around."
"Yeah, there is that," Nathan murmured. He barely looked up from the screen to share a fond smile with her before he went back to reading from the tablet in his hands.
Her smile dimmed as she realized that this had been what had caused their marriage to fail in the first place. Nathan's tendency to ignore everything save for whatever project he was working on, while noble, was frustrating to no end. The single minded focus that allowed him to work through problems so well and so fast in the lab didn't translate well into his human interaction. In fact, he was horrible at dealing with people in general.
"So what is it that you don't believe?" he asked suddenly, dropping the tablet into his lap and leveling her with his full and unwavering attention.
Allison felt a tingle travel down her spine at the intensity of his stare. She did her best to disguise it by turning to grab her jacket and purse, but knew from the grin that she had caught on Nathan's face that she had failed. As she rummaged in her desk drawer, she said, "It's the United Watchers' Collaboration. They're sending me a liaison, but I haven't the clearance to be told when that liaison will be getting here or even their name."
When she turned back to face Nathan again, he was sitting at rigid attention with a strange look on his face. "What?" she asked. "Was it something I said?"
"The Collaboration is sending someone to Eureka?" Nathan asked, his voice strained with tension.
Confused, Allison nodded. "I heard a rumor that they were curious about what we do here so I sent out a few feelers."
Nathan's jaw dropped for a moment before he seemed to get a hold of himself. He visibly gathered himself together before asking, "And just how did you catch wind of those rumors?"
"I was trading war stories with my cousin. You remember Tanya who works in deep cover delta forces?" At Nathan's nod, Allison continued, "We got to talking about the few things in our lives that aren't classified from each other. Her partner's step-sister is involved with the Collaboration somehow."
"But how is it that you even know who the Collaboration is? I was in charge of GD for nine months before I was given clearance," Nathan explained.
"It was by fluke," Allison offered, feeling bad for her ex. Nathan had always been the superior scientist, something she had always known and would never hold against the man. She hated that she had been put in charge of GD in his place even though it had been obvious that his fixation on certain Level Five projects had been influencing his decision making capabilities and endangering lives. She knew that he was better at running things than she was and sometimes she got the feeling that everyone else knew it too.
"Shortly after I was given control of GD there was a situation in Cleveland. I wasn't told any specifics, but I was told to put all my people on high alert. Not only that, but I was to have as much advanced weaponry on hand as I could get within twenty-four hours." She put her purse down on her desk and pulled her jacket on. As she was buttoning up the front, she continued, "Then I was suddenly told to stand my people down. It was stranger than usual so I did some digging. Mansfield found out. Eventually I was given Level Three Clearance on the subject. Just enough to get an idea about who and what the Collaboration is."
"The bare basics," Nathan murmured with a slow nod. Suddenly, he seemed to shake himself out of his mood and stood abruptly. With a pasted on smile, he held his arm out for her to take. "Well now, we can't let something like this distract us from our lunch date, now can we?"
"Nathan, what's going on?" Allison demanded. "I know you, and there's something that you're not telling me."
"Of course there is Ally," Nathan said softly. He straightened and pulled at the cuffs of his tee-shirt. "But I was given full clearance on the subject and you weren't. If I say anything more, I could spend the rest of my life in jail and you know it."
Allison sighed as she tried to get her emotions under control. She was used to the secrets. There had always been secrets between the two of them, but never before had she felt so cheated. The Collaboration was such a universally captivating subject. She didn't know much about them, but she did know that they made a huge difference in the world. And the little bit that she did know had her itching to learn everything else.