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Story Data

Posted August 29, 2011

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: Subtracting Himself From the Equation

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: He wanted to hear her say it. Out loud. At least once. 600 words.

Spoilers: Eureka 4.17 "Clash of the Titans"

Notes: Trying to understand Zane's side of the current drama.

Zane had heard about the judgment leveled on Carter and Dr. Blake's 'intimate alliance'. Who hadn't? The only universal constant that had never been challenged in Eureka was the speed of its gossip.

Especially when it was about something as controversial as Warren Hughes' recommendation. Seriously? The REMFs at the DOD had never even batted an eye when it was Stark she was involved with, and their professional and emotional entanglements had been obvious to anyone in Eureka with a pair of working eyes. Or ears. There was some kind of ulterior motive there, even if it was just petty one-upmanship on the relationship auditor's part rather than some grand scheme of Beverly Barlowe's shadowy organization.

It kind of put the games he'd been playing with Jo into perspective. He hadn't just been dallying with her because he was trapped in Eureka, whatever she seemed to think. Besides, he would have to be a moron to turn down the Astraeus mission after all the effort he'd put into earning Wen's thumbs up in the first place. Taunting Jo with his newly expanded range of opportunities, when it clearly made her uncomfortable, wasn't exactly kind. The thing was--

He wanted to hear her say it. Out loud. At least once. He wanted her to admit that she didn't want him to leave... and that she didn't want him to want to leave, either. That she hadn't just been fucking the ghost of the other Zane in his body all along, the way he suspected she'd been doing before Fargo spilled the beans and changed the stakes. He didn't like being made to feel like a cheap substitute, even for another version of his naturally superior self. He'd been pretty hopeful about a positive outcome at first-- proving to her that they were both better than her fears painted-- but his optimism had started to sour of late.

He knew he'd succeeded with her... at first. But as far as proving his own individual value? Nevermind that he'd virtually stopped calling her 'Jo-jo' the minute Fargo let drop that it was the other Zane's favored nickname, and started exploring endearments like 'cupcake' instead. Nevermind all the coaching he'd done to get her past the physics tests. Nevermind that he'd thought he'd proven he could stay a course when he chose to with the Astraeus preparations. One obnoxious performance in the testing lab, and it was as if she'd totally reset her opinion of him back to its base, suspicious level, including every action he'd taken to show off her own intelligence.

Granted, he might have deserved that kind of doubt at the beginning... and it hadn't been that long since he'd tried this 'turning over a new leaf' thing on for size. And granted, he'd been really enjoying 'dessert' rather than retread the boring 'meat and potatoes' ground he'd assumed the other Zane must've covered before offering his grandmother's ring. But still. She wouldn't even ask him to stay! He found her lack of faith... disturbing. Pun not even intended.

His attempts to verbally prod her fellow temporal refugees hadn't been very helpful, either. Fargo was the only one who'd spilled details, and while he might not be quite as pathetic in the romantic department as Zane had previously assumed, he wasn't impartial, either.

Well, it was clear the 'repeatedly saying goodbye' technique wasn't going to magically clarify his 'intimate alliance', or even make Jo admit they were in an 'alliance' at all. He was going to have to rethink things.

...Maybe including a few of his own expectations along the way.


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