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Bruise Easily

By Clarity Scifiroots


Nathan Stark/Jack Carter (additional appearances: S.A.R.A.H., Zoe Carter, Allison Blake)

Adults Only!

Prompt:  Quietly slide away off the mattress Find my clothing on the bedpost Slowly tiptoe out of this mess As I slip back into last night's dress (oldschool56) one night stand with unexpected partner

Warnings: Slash (look at the pairing). Set post-season 2 but no spoilers. Rough consensual sex. (And is it a warning that it isn’t quite a one-night stand?)

Notes: Huge thank-yous to Sowilo and Classics_geek for looks at early versions. Infinite amounts of thanks (and kisses and hugs, first-born, etc.) to Classics_geek for some beta-work and getting me through the final bits. Third- and second- to last scenes were proposed by her in and it’s the only way this actually got done. =D



                He wakes up in an unfamiliar room. It’s too dark, he thinks; no windows. That’s his clue and he catches his breath, startled and horrified. Now that he has some idea what to expect, he listens to the deep breathing of his bed partner and can feel the warmth of a palm resting over his sternum.


                Nathan Stark takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, silently. The hand on his chest rises and falls with his breathing.

                He’s not ready to think about any of this, only cares about slipping away. Although he’s loath to touch the arm encroaching on his personal space, Nathan knows lifting the hand away will be less likely to wake Carter than letting it slide and drop when the scientist stands up. Nathan loosely encircles the sheriff’s wrist with his fingers and lifts while he slides out of bed.

                Once on his feet he sways a bit, unbalanced by the darkness and the aftereffects of Teng’s ridiculous pheromone experiment.

                Nathan forces himself to play back enough of the night to figure out where his clothes are. His shirt, tie, and jacket won’t be here, but he thankfully finds the rest in one pile after shuffling around in the dark. He shivers at the memory of Carter kneeling before him and stripping him of the remaining clothing.


                For all his genius, his mind utterly lacks coherency when he’s disturbed.

                Nathan yanks on underwear and pants and foregoes shoes and socks in favor of getting the hell out of the bedroom. At the door he has to pause a moment and run his fingers along the side to disengage the lock. He realizes locking the door likely means Zoe’s home.

                Oh. Oh fuck.

                The situation is more problematic than first expected, and Nathan hurries into the hall, dimly lit but still too bright for his eyes. He squints and does his best not to stumble to the stairs. At the bottom he blinks to clear his vision and locate the rest of his clothes. He finds his shirt – horribly wrinkled – and jacket – abandoned on the floor next to the door. His tie is missing.

                Nathan pulls on his shirt and buttons it with shaking hands. He barely manages to bite back a curse when he realizes he doesn’t have the sides matched up. Amidst his scattered thoughts, part of his brain takes note of the serum’s aftereffects, although he’s not sure he’ll share with Teng. Maybe if she gets rid of the jumpy lab assistant that caused this whole mess.

                Idiot. It sure as hell reacts with skin contact. He lifts his arm to check the time and finds his wrist watch-less. With a small groan he looks over his shoulder at the stairs. No way in hell he’s going back up there. Somehow he’ll get it back later. Send Fargo, glare at him hard enough so he won’t ask questions.

                With one last look around for his tie, Nathan moves to the door. He stares at it irritably when it remains closed.

                 “S.A.R.A.H., door.”

                It takes a moment for the computer to answer and there’s a hint of reluctance as the door swings open. “Very well, Dr. Stark.”

                Nathan clenches his jaw to refrain from cursing at the house as he exits.

                The concrete under his bare feet is cold as he ascends the steps two at a time. At the top he pauses long enough to tug on his shoes before hurrying to his car. The coming dawn has lightened the midnight of the sky to a deep blue. He isn’t sure when Carter will wake, and he doesn’t want to find out.

                His keys are still in the ignition, a reminder of how intent he’d been earlier. Nathan shudders at the memory of marching into the bunker and backing Carter into a wall. Arousal stirs in his gut and he determinedly chalks it up to another aftereffect.


                With a violent twist he starts the engine. He decides he’ll inform Teng of the side effects as long as he doesn’t have to explain that the serum worked differently than previously recorded. He thinks he’d be better equipped to handle the aftermath if he had wantonly submitted and Jack reacted violently.

                Instead he’s stuck with lust-filled memories of a mutual struggle for control. At least he won’t be the one walking oddly.


                Jack wakes with his arm extended over a rumpled pile of bedding still retaining warmth. In a moment he realizes what happened, why Nathan Stark had acted as he did. Jack just doesn’t know the exact cause. If he’s honest – and for now he will be, as he’s alone and in his bedroom – he doesn’t really want to know.

                Is it too much to ask to get laid without it being the result of some science experiment gone haywire?

                No, he really doesn’t want to know the truth.

                Jack shuts his eyes and huddles under the blankets. Although he thinks it’s ridiculous, he hooks an arm around the pillow Stark had used and pulls it close. The scent of sex and sweat follows him back into sleep.


                S.A.R.A.H.’s voice urges Jack awake at the usual time. He opens his eyes and reluctantly lets go of Stark’s pillow.

                “One night and it’s his pillow?” he mutters to himself.

                “Sheriff, Dr. Blake called to say she wants to meet with you at nine o’clock.”

                It’s almost enough to make Jack crawl under the covers. With a sigh, he resigns himself to the fact that he’ll have to find out the details of the latest experiment-gone-wrong eventually.

                “Thanks, S.A.R.A.H.” He stands up and stares at the bed. For a moment he imagines he can feel warm, confident hands roaming his body, gripping his hips.

                Oh crap.

                Jack shudders and quickly strips the bed. The pillows go flying and he shoves the linens into the laundry bin. “S.A.R.A.H….” he starts, swallowing hard when he realizes he doesn’t know what to say.

                The house doesn’t respond for a few seconds, then it retracts the bin. “I’ll start the laundry, Sheriff.”

                “Yeah…” Jack escapes to the shower and scrubs hard. He wishes he could block the memories… wishes he didn’t want to keep them. The images crowding the forefront of his thoughts and the remembered touches exploring his body make him hard. Biting his lip to keep from making too much noise, he grasps his cock and strokes.

                He closes his eyes tightly as he recalls Nathan’s unexpected arrival: how strong the hands were that pressed him against the wall; how hot and inviting the scientist’s mouth and tongue had been. Yet Nathan had willingly allowed Jack to angle them to the stairs – once he’d broken from his stunned numbness. Nathan was naked long before Jack lost even his shirt.

                The memory of kneeling in front of the scientist and stripping him makes Jack’s knees tremble. He braces his shoulders against the shower wall and tugs his cock firmly. He can’t contain a low moan of  desire as he imagines Nathan at his feet, exploring his body with confident strokes. Jack’s hips buck and he slides one hand further between his legs.

                His thoughts stutter to a halt and fix on a single image – Nathan poised above him, hands pressing apart Jack’s thighs. Jack’s mouth opens and his breath quickens as he sinks one finger into his hole. The move is enough to unlock a flood of remembered sensation and he climaxes with the memory of Nathan’s expression during orgasm.

                Jack performs a perfunctory but thorough washing. When he steps out of the shower he just stands for a moment, a sudden sense of emptiness overwhelming him.

                “This is so not good,” he grumbles to himself.

                Somehow he manages to clear his thoughts while he shaves and dresses.

                He heads downstairs for a light breakfast. With his stomach a little queasy, he isn’t sure how much he can handle.

                Jack freezes when he sees Zoe sitting at the counter, seemingly engrossed with her cereal.

                She looks up, her eyes widening. “Um, uh. Morning, Dad…” Her gaze darts to the stairs. Crap.

                “I, ah… Morning. Right.” He shuffles into the kitchen, turning his back to her as he contemplates breakfast.

                Zoe breaks the silence after a few minutes. “So, um. Are you…? I mean, is Dr. Stark, like, still, um. Y’know, upstairs?” He really doesn’t want to know how she learned of Stark’s presence.

                “No.” Jack shuts his eyes as he says it and knows his sudden tensing gives away more than he wants to share. When he doesn’t hear any sort of response, he slowly turns around and watches his daughter. She’s staring intently at him with a frown.

                “Um, Zo?”

                Shaking her head quickly, Zoe slides off the stool and hurries for the stairs. “I’m gonna go, Dad,” she says.

                He doesn’t have a reply before she runs upstairs to grab her schoolbag. She’s made it to the door before he can speak again. “Zoe!” She jerks to a stop but doesn’t look at him. Jack sighs and rubs a hand over his hair. “Zo, I, um. I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry…”

                “What?” She turns her head, expression exasperated. “Dad, you don’t… God, why do you think you need to apologize?” Before he can answer, she steps closer to the doorway. “Never mind. Just… It’s nothing.” She shakes her head again and runs out.

                “Oh hell,” Jack groans. “Today’s gonna suck.”

                “Would you like a drink, Jack?” S.A.R.A.H. provides, almost sounding sympathetic.

                “That wouldn’t be a good idea. Look, I’m not hungry. I’ll be home at the usual time. How ‘bout you make Zoe’s favorite for dinner?” he offers to keep the house from sulking.

                When he goes to retrieve his jacket from upstairs, he sees a silver watch laying at the foot of the bed. He swallows hard and picks it up. His thumb rubs over the engraving on the back; the message is clearly from Allison.

                S.A.R.A.H. wishes him good luck as he leaves with Nathan’s watch clutched in his hand.


 Part 2