"Welcome to Eureka, Zane Donovan", said the general to the scowling dark haired man.
"I didn't ask to be here", he said grumpily.
"It's either this or jail. This is what you chose", he said, "Now here's what we want you to work on."
He opened a lab door. Inside there was an imposing machine and random parts scattered about.
"We need you to crack into this and figure out how to work it", he said, handing the young man a file.
"Wait, this is created by Daniel Tempus? Do you realize how brilliant that guy is? He's so brilliant he turned down the Nobel Peace Prize, five times", he said.
"That's why we're giving it to you. You're notoriously good at cracking open things that shouldn't be able to be opened", said the general as he left the lab, "Dr. Daniel Tempus works here now."
"So why can't he crack it open", asked Zane.
"He doesn't want to", said the general, "So we had to confiscate it. He almost quit."
zane blinked and he was alone with the machine and his thoughts.
He slumped on the floor, defeated. After the second time it electrocuted him he was ready to throw in the towel with this particular approach. The thing was a fortress, on one but Dr. Daniel Tempus was going to get into this thing. Maybe he could pick Dr.Tempus's brain, become friends with him, learn how he thought.
But upon meeting Dr. Tempus, all thoughts of picking his brain flew out the window. He was hot and brilliant, and he had this innocence about him that was downright drool worthy.
"Uh, hi. I'm new. Do you know how to get out of here and find some real food? I'm totally lost", said Zane to Jack, going for the innocent don't know who you really are scheme.
It worked, the Doctor brightened and offered to show him out and take him to a cafe in town for dinner. They had reached the cafe and found a booth.
"So, you never told me your name or your specialty", said jack with a smile.
"Zane Donovon. Astro-physics", he said, trying to keep it simple, "and i never did ask you your name either."
"Daniel Tempus, but everyone calls me by middle name, which is Jack", he said.
Zane pretended to look suitably stunned.
"Wow, here i am eating dinner with a celebrity. I'm a big fan. Still, you seem like a totally nice, normal guy. That's pretty rare for the big names in science to not have totally overblown egos."
Just as he suspected he was met with a pleased look and a blush.
"thanks, if you want to meet another great scientific mind without a big ego you should talk to Henry Deacon. Though I'd avoid Nathan Stark, he's the Director of GD. I'm suprised his ego fits in this town some days", said Jack with a grin.
They went into a discussion on string theory for a time until Zane stopped mid sentence.
"OK, here's the deal. I really, really like you. And i want to go out on a real date with you, Jack. You're funny, brilliant, and hot", sad Zane, "Would you want to?"
Jack was taken aback by this.
"You do? Really?", he said, bewildered.
"Very much so. You're really oblivious", said Zane, "I thought i was being obvious."
Jack blushed again and mumbled something about human interactions.
"So, how about tomorrow night, here?", asked Zane, "at about 7? If you really want to make a date i could pick you up."
Jack smiled and said, "I'd like that. Pick me up at 6:40? Here's my address."
He scribbled it on a napkin and handed it to Zane, then he picked up the check. They spent the next few minutes chatting and then they both went on there way.
"So, Zoe, i just wanted you to know that i kinda sorta have a date tomorrow night", said Jack nervously to his daughter. "Really?! With who? Is it with Allison? I'll bet it's with Allison", she said excitedly. "Actually...it's with someone new at GD", he said tentatively, "and it's with a guy." He waited for an explosion of outrage and braised himself for impact. She hugged him happily. "I'm so glad! I thought you were going to be alone forever", she said as she was hugging him. "What? No freak outs? Or endless questioning", he asked. "Aunt Lexy told me all about your boyfriend in college. She even showed me a picture", she said, "It's not like i didn't know. Besides, i pride myself with my open mindedness." "I'm glad. I was just worried. And I'm not sure how the town will react", he said. "It seems like Eureka's pretty open about stuff like that. They are the greatest minds of our generation", she said wryly, "if you ask them they'll probably start babbling about the Kinsley's scale or something." "You're probably right", said jack in agreement."
he sat, twiddling his thumbs nervously, on the couch at 7:35. this was the nerve racking part of dating, the waiting beforehand. He had wisely let Zoe pick out his outfit so he wasn't worried that he looked strange or anything.
"There is someone at the door, Jack. I have never seen him before, but in all probability he is your date for tonight", said S.A.R.A.H. "Thanks, S.A.R.A.H. Please open the door for me", said Jack as he started for the door. And there was Zane peering inside of the Bunker.
"Well, it's a lot nicer on the inside than the outside", he said. "thank you", said S.A.R.A.H. And he started. "Don't mind S.A.R.A.H, she's the house A.I.", said Jack as the door shut behind him. "You have a smart house inside a bunker? That seems a little bit paranoid", said Zane, one eyebrow raised.
"It's for Dr.Fargo. I'm his guinea pig for S.A.R.A.H. His specialty is artificial intelligence", said Jack, "and for causing large explosions." "I'll keep that in mind", said Zane as they got into the car. They made it to Cafe Diem quietly and got a table for two in the back.
It wasn't until Jack ordered something besides his usual, simpler fare that Vincent started giving him odd looks. And when Zane ordered wine he received a knowing look that meant his date would be intense gossip as soon as he was out of earshot.
Nathan was driving home from work when his phone off. He hoped it wasn't an emergency, he was bone tired. It was Allison so he answered it. "Yes Allison? Is something wrong?", he asked. "Just thought you would want to know the latest news. Apparently, one Dr. Daniel Tempus is on a date tonight with our newest astro physicist, Zane Donovan. At Cafe Diem", said Allison. Stark's brain froze.
On one hand that meant that jack like men as well as woman, on the other hand that meant that jack was on a date with someone else. "He's on a date with some guy? What do you know about him?", he asked her.
"Not much. He's new. He's young and handsome though. And probably very, very brilliant. Vincent was all atwitter about how well they fit together. Also how jealous he was." Stark ground his teeth together in frustration, this would throw a wrench in all of his plans.
"So, was it a success?", asked Zane at the end of the date, "If so, i would really like to do it again. And if not, tell me what i did wrong so that next time I'll do something different."
Jack grinned as they got into the car.
"well, i don't know about you, but i had a great time. Except for the whole town pretending not to stare at me", said jack, "Other than that it was really nice."
"Well, then, i could make dinner at my place. My mom has a killer recipe for lasagna that i could try to recreate", said Zane, "that and a salad and you've got yourself a meal."
"That sounds good, i think I'd enjoy that. What day is good for you", asked jack, glancing at his watch.
He needed to get home to Zoe soon.
"Not tomorrow, how about day after", said Zane", and i wouldn't say no to running into you on accident in the GD cafeteria."
jack smiled; it was a great plan.
"day after tomorrow dinner at your place and accidental lunch meeting tomorrow", agreed Jack, "Sounds good to me."
"7 for dinner and 12:30 for lunch?", asked Zane and Jack nodded.
Then they were pulling up to the bunker.
"Thanks for the date, Zane, i actually had a good time", said Jack as he went to open the door.
A hand on his shoulder stopped him and he was pulled into a short yet fierce kiss. As Zane pulled away, smug look affixed on his face, he said a mild goodbye. As he drove off, still feeling rather smug, he congratulated himself on his awesome date. Oh, but before he forgot. He pulled out his phone.
"Hey, Mom. How are you? How do you make a perfect lasagna?", he asked.
"Who're you trying to impress, Zane? Found someone already in your new hometown? What're they like", asked his mom.
"Mom, first i have to impress him with lasagna, see if he sticks around, then I'll introduce you", he said impatiently.
"You'd better. And he'd better be nice to you, Zane. I may love you, but you never did have the best taste when it came to dates", she said with a sigh.
"He's a brilliant, award winning scientist who somehow stayed humble and funny", said Zane, "You'll like him. Now, lasagna..."
Zane popped his head into Dr. Tempus's lab.
"Ready for our accidental lunch date, Jack?", he asked the scribbling scientist.
"I was just about to head down after finishing this line of code", he said, "give me a second."
He stopped writing after a few moments and he set down the dry erase marker on one of the counters. They both walked down the hall slowly, both talking avidly about their research. They both got food and jack broke the topic of family.
"Oh, i never told you, i have a daughter named Zoe", he said, "She goes to Tesla."
"wow, she must be really smart", said Zane, "And hopefully the next thing you're about tell me isn't that you're married."
"Divorced. Before i ever even heard of Eureka", said Jack, "so no worries there."
then jack told him all about her and Zane told him all about his mom and sister. When they looked at the clock more than an hour had past, which startled them both. And both rushed back to their labs.
Zane gave the general a call.
"Sir, i can't get this thing open, I've tried. And now it goes against my best interest too. I'm dating Dr. Tempus, and i don't intend to quit dating him any time soon", he said to the startled general.
"I didn't realize that a conflict of interest would arise", said the general slowly, "I'll transfer it somewhere else and you can get on with your research, Dr. Donovan."
Zane sighed in relief, he knew that he had gotten rid of something that could potentially bite him in the ass.
The Washer Lair
of Nano Knight and The Ninja
- Tempus Chapter 8