Jack wakes to the blaring of horns of the 1812 overture that Nathan had set to be the new default alarm, accompanied by the howls of Shipley, who hated being woken up as much as Jack did. He groans as he gets out of bed and, in a hazy fog of half-sleep, tells S.A.R.A.H to “shut off the music because he was up already” before he remembers they've moved to a house without an AI. He slaps the computer panel on his way to the bathroom, cutting off the music. This in turn causes Shipley to stop her howling and lay back down on the dog bed. Jack spares a moment to glare at the mutt before he closes the sliding door behind him and gets ready for the day.
He stumbles down stairs to Nathan, who is sitting down at the island in the kitchen reading some report. Nathan doesn’t even look up as he pushes Jack’s breakfast over to him; a cup of coffee with the Eureka’s version of Splenda instead of sugar. It’s supposed to be better for your body, according to science, but Jack would say he missed the real stuff - that would be if he ever realized Nathan switched it on him.
Jack makes a mumbled grunt of thanks before taking a swig of the coffee. He gets a hand wave that he assumes means something like “My pleasure,” or “No problem”. Jack hides a smile by taking another swig of coffee. He swears he falls in love again with Nathan every morning because of this. Even after so long he still wants every morning to be like this.
Jack accepts that he’d turned into a giant sap a long time ago, but he’s going to keep it a secret as long as he can.
Nathan stands at the door and looks at the man lying down on the bed. The bandages were frighteningly bright against the pale skin; they covered the other man’s chest and wrapped around his shoulder. He can’t look away from them. Jack had come to mean so much in his life, he didn’t know what he would do if he lost him.
“Stop worrying. I’m fine,” Jack’s voice is gravelly. Hoarse. Completely losing the light, unaffected tone that Nathan knows Jack is going for.
It makes Nathan want to snap, ‘No, you’re not! You almost died, you fool! You don’t even know that much about limnology to have even been attempting what you did! You almost left me!’
He holds his tongue. It’s nothing he hasn’t yelled before and it’s nothing that hasn’t been yelled back at him before. Well, the limnology is specific to this situation but that’s not the point. He loves Jack, he knows Jack and it’s not worth fighting over this because they will both always do what they have to and they’ve discussed this like rational adults. So it’s pointless to talk about it again.
“Nathan. You know that Dr. Franks says that patients can be adversely affected by negative energies in the sick room. So, stop it.” Nathan looks up at Jack’s face. His eyes are closed as if he’s sleeping. He looks better if Nathan only looks at his face. He’s paler than normal, but relaxed and comfortable.
“Dr. Franks is a crackpot and I have no idea how he got hired as Eureka’s foremost expert in myology,” Nathan puts as much scorn and disinterest as he can into his voice. He walks forward and sits next to his lover, taking the hand closest to him to hold.
“Besides,” Nathan is proud that he’s at least able to add a touch of scorn to his voice, “Who said I was worried about you.” It’s not a question.
Even if it is raspy, it’s good to hear Jack laughing softly.
When Zoë moved back to Eureka, they asked her to move in as the primary occupant in the bunker. Even after a long time, Jack remembered S.A.R.A.H. needed someone to mother. With Zoë moved in, Jack and Nathan moved out and into a more normal house. Well, it might be considered over-designed by some, but it is normal by Eureka’s standards. Nathan did the programming for the house’s computer himself.
Zoë tried to argue at first but both Jack and Nathan insisted it was time they started their relationship without a marriage councilor giving advice every time they didn’t need it.
Nathan didn’t realize that they were in a relationship until Jack got him a puppy. Okay so Jack didn’t get him a puppy, he found the puppy and tricked Nathan into keeping it. The fact that Shipley is more often seen with Jack doesn’t change the fact that he’s Nathan’s dog and whole town knows it.
Jack started dating Nathan when Zoë moved out. It was completely by accident.
The first time he just needed to see Nathan about some weird happing in Eureka. It had become a normal thing to talk about these things over a cup of coffee. Next thing he knows they are planning to get together for dinners and baseball and they see more and more of each other until Jack is seeing Nathan more than anyone else in the town.
The fact that most of these outings end up with them back at the bunker, horizontal in Jack’s bed after essentially ordering S.A.R.A.H. out of the bedroom is also a big clue that they are dating.
Jack’s glad he had his ‘I’m Bisexual!’ freak out when he was younger because now he can concentrate on his ‘I think I might love
Stark Nathan!’ freak out.
Their first kiss shouldn’t even be counted as such. It was more a brush of lips that happened due to tight quarters and the inability of both parties to properly judge distances at the time. Jack doesn’t even truly remember it as a kiss; he remembers it as being locked in a closet with Stark for two hours, trying to yell for Jo to get the blow torch.
Nathan remembers the feeling of Jack’s hands firmly on his chest (supposedly to push him back but there was no room to move) and the comfortable heat of another strong unyielding body next to him. He didn’t realize until later that he was doomed from that moment on.
Once he realized it though, he was determined to take Jack down with him.
Jack will always remember the moment that Stark paid for coffee without being an asshole about it. He won’t remember the conversation they had over coffee that actually changed everything, but he’ll remember that moment. It’ll be important because, in his mind, Nathan Stark before that moment and Nathan Stark after that moment bring up different emotions. Jack won’t know why that moment specifically, just that things were different after that.
He wouldn’t say he fell in love then. He would have said that he would have to finish counting up to infinity before he could say that, but every countdown has to start somewhere.