|Navigation: Home About News Fiction Links Email|
Posted August 1, 2011
Series: Eureka Moments
Title: Good Old-Fashioned Insight
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: Maybe Zane was right, and the undeniable spark between them was enough of a foundation. 900 words.
Spoilers: Eureka 4.13 "Glimpse"
"Jack?" Jo called as she came down the stairs, dressed for an evening out. She hadn't heard him leave to go over to Allison's, and if he was staying in that night it was only polite to keep him posted that she wouldn't be. With all three of the house's residents involved in adult relationships at the moment-- if you counted the artificially sentient house herself-- they all generally tried to be respectful of each other's space and privacy. Well, Jo and Jack tried; S.A.R.A.H. was a law unto herself most days.
"Down here," he called back from the living room, over the faint sounds of sports on the TV. "You headed for Zane's?"
He sounded pretty dispirited; Jo frowned at that and turned toward the living room rather than beelining straight for the door. She and Jack had become a lot closer in the new timeline, mostly as a result of the fact that he'd taken her in both times her house had been destroyed and they weren't competing for competency in the sheriff's office anymore. She thought of him as kind of an irritating but lovable extra brother these days, and had been thrilled to see him happy after he'd finally worked things out with Allison. She hoped they weren't fighting over the mission to Titan.
"Yeah; don't wait up," she replied lightly, sneaking up behind him on the couch. It looked as though he'd unbuttoned his uniform shirt, but hadn't changed, and she could smell beer; but the source of the scent was a tall Pilsner glass, not a bowl of cereal, so things weren't as bad as they might have been. "You watching last night's game? Where's Kevin? Thought you were going to watch it with him."
Jack glanced up at her in surprise, then frowned a little, deepening lines already present between his brows. "Ah, well. Something came up," he shrugged.
Came up with who, Jo wondered; Kevin? Allison? Or Jack? "I'm sure there'll be other games," she offered commiseratingly.
"So... is everything else all right?" she pushed, just a little. "You look a little... preoccupied." Whatever was up, it had to be more than just the game. Jack would see Kevin this week regardless, given how much time he spent with Allison and how much the kid looked up to him.
Jack started at that, eyes widening in feigned innocence. "Uh, yeah. Everything's fine. Why wouldn't it be? I'm just, you know, a little tired. Narrowly averting an apocalypse never gets any less stressful, no matter how many times it happens."
She smiled at him, faint but knowing. "Just checking," she said. Message conveyed: I know you're lying, fess up already, it'll hurt less in the end.
"Ask me again after Zane's got the P.A.L.s back up if you don't believe me," he replied, summoning a creditable smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Message reply: I know you know. But I'm not ready to talk yet. Let me sulk in peace until I've figured it out.
Yeah. Several months under the same roof? She knew him pretty damn well. But he was a big boy, and she was sure she'd find out eventually if the problem was anything important. "If you say so," she shrugged, then headed for the door again. "Enjoy your game!"
"Yeah, well, enjoy your-- uh, Zane," he called after her, a little awkwardly.
"Oh, I plan to," she purred, stepping through the door as S.A.R.A.H. opened it for her. She didn't need to look back to know what expression he'd be wearing at that rejoinder, and the amusement buoyed her up the stairs and out to her car.
Maybe she'd been right all along, and she and Zane had no future together. But maybe he was, and the undeniable spark between them was enough of a foundation. Yeah, that 88.03% Narcissitic Tendencies report those smart contacts had given her was a concern. But who knew, maybe that number had started out at 100%--maybe he'd started to grow up already, the way the other Zane had done over his time in Eureka.
Jo knew exactly how futile it was to expect anybody to change their spots just because you wanted them to. But maybe... Zane just needed sufficient motivation to want to change his spots on his own. Stark had been a mentoring factor back home... but maybe this one had too, and without her as another anchor this Zane just backslid after Stark's death. Zoe was great, but she was still discovering her own course in life; she wasn't in a place to be anyone else's pillar of strength. Whatever Zane had seen in Zoe, it had to have been more for ego's sake than anything else.
He was different, with Jo. Always had been. And apparently always would be. Whatever the shift had done to Jack's relationships, not to mention Henry's, it hadn't changed anything about the potential between Zane and Jo.
She pictured telling the other Zane that she'd left him for himself, and suppressed a snort. Narcissistic tendencies: if he even believed her, he'd probably crow that it was proof he was the only man who could possibly make her happy. And maybe... he would even be right.
The only way to find out would be to let go and... find out.
She pulled up in front of his place with a hopeful smile.
© 2011 Jedi Buttercup.