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Posted August 21, 2009
Series: Eureka Moments
Title: A Hand to Hold
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: So maybe that was making him a little giddy, a little more little-boy forward with Tess than he'd felt like being with anyone for a long time. 500 words.
Spoilers: Eureka post-3.14 "Ship Happens"
Notes: So, it looks like I've been won over despite myself, darn it. They better not ruin it.
Jack could never think about Kim without feeling a deep ache on Henry's behalf-- and the feeling that he should have, could have done something differently. Something to prevent her death. It wasn't a logical feeling, he knew; but then, grief seldom was, even grief by proxy, and Henry was the first, best friend he'd made in Eureka. As rocky as things had got the year before, Henry was still like the older brother he'd never had.
Everyone needed a hand to hold, he'd told Tess. And if getting to know the person who was in many ways Kim's computer-hybrid daughter helped Henry? More power to him.
...And if getting to know Tess herself relieved a little of the aching loneliness for him? Jack had found himself being won over despite his intention to keep his distance. She was attractive, smart, and had the barbed kind of wit he liked so much-- at least, when it wasn't aimed at him. Not to mention, a little something else he hadn't even known he was craving.
When she looked at him, she looked at him. Evaluating, yes, not quite sure of him either, but-- attracted at least a little, he was pretty sure. Not balancing her surety of his affection against someone else's. Not vacillating back and forth, taking coffee with him one minute and denying in the next breath that they had a 'thing'.
He'd always care for Allison, but somehow, these few weeks of getting to know Tess Fontana-- the part of him that had been bound up in the slightest gesture from Stark's once-and-future-wife for what felt like forever was letting go, little by little. Which, paradoxically, was making it easier to be there for Allison, be the supportive friend she really needed right now.
So maybe that was making him a little giddy, a little more little-boy forward with Tess than he'd felt like being with anyone for a long time. Tofu pizza, the verbal equivalent of pigtail pulling, and stargazing, for crying out loud. He didn't even remember it being that much fun with Callie; which was pretty sad, when he thought about it.
But every time he was around Tess, he found himself angling his posture toward her; found himself wanting to surprise her more with what Zoe called his 'mad problem solving skills'. Found himself offering his hand to her as they curled atop the car watching the meteor shower-- and savoring the warm look in her shining eyes.
He didn't know what Eureka had in store for him next; couldn't begin to guess what would happen next week, and the week after that. Or whether Tess would even stick around as head of Global Dynamics' Section Five now that the signal had been resolved; she didn't have to be in Eureka, after all, to analyze the Columbus' data.
Regardless-- he was going to enjoy it while it lasted, and count himself lucky.
Henry, too. It wasn't every day you were given a second chance.
© 2009 Jedi Buttercup.