Word Count: 3,613
Characters/Pairings: Jo, Zane, Allison, Carter, Henry, Fargo, Jo/Zane, Allison/Carter, Henry/Grace
Disclaimer I don't own Eureka and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Spoilers: O Little Town.
Author's Note: Written for the hc_bingo prompt trapped between realities.
Summary: Jo ends up trapped between the two timelines, and starts dying. Her friends rush to fix it.
Jo went to bed alone in her new house after another exhausting day of work. When she woke up in the morning, she was in Zane’s bedroom in his apartment, wearing an engagement ring. And he was right next to her. Needless to say, Jo screamed, mostly because of shock and fear. She ended up waking up Zane.
“Jo Jo, what’s wrong? Are you hurt? Why are you screaming?” He tried to calm her down, worried that something was seriously wrong. A few seconds later, Zane succeeded and Jo finally stopped screaming.
“What’s going on?” Jo was extremely curious and confused about what was going on. She hadn’t gotten drunk, had she? Was this another Julia situation?
“Nothing. You got shot at last night, but everything seemed fine after Allison checked you out at the infirmary. Maybe we should go to GD and have Allison look you over again.” Zane was hoping nothing had been missed.
“What?” Now she had absolutely had no idea what was happening.
“Yeah, I’m definitely taking you in to see Allison. Something’s wrong.” Zane helped his fiancé out of the bed. After she dressed herself, he took Jo over to Global Dynamics so Allison could make sure Jo was okay.
“I’m telling you that I’m fine.” Jo was actually a little sore and had absolutely no idea what was occurring, but she was otherwise healthy.
“Zane said you were confused when you woke up this morning. That worries me.” Allison smiled at her and then encouraged Jo to lie down on the table.
“Can you get Carter, Henry, and Fargo please?” Jo wanted to see if they were just as confused as she was. Allison clearly wasn’t.
“Uh, sure, I guess. What do you need them for?”
“I’ll explain everything once they get here.” Jo winced as Allison touched a particular spot.
“It seems like you might have some broken ribs. We’ll fix you right up. Why didn’t you mention anything last night?”
“It didn’t hurt?” At least that’s what Jo was thinking.
When Carter, Fargo, and Henry showed up, Jo sent Zane out of the room, much to his confusion, and asked them a few questions.
“Jo, what’s the matter?” Carter stared at her, waiting for an answer.
She started to answer when everything in front of her started to blur. She reached for the nearest person – Fargo – and went to grab him to stay steady – when everything returned to normal. And instead of being in comfortable clothes, she was in her work outfit – the one Jo wore when she worked at GD. “What’s going on?” she murmured before collapsing.
When she woke up, Jo was back in the bed. “Are you feeling okay?” Allison checked her over.
“What happened, Allison?”
“I don’t know. One minute we were talking and the next, you passed out. We’re trying to determine a cause. Have you eaten anything?”
“Was I shot last night? Do I have a broken rib?” Jo was starting to become more aware of her surroundings now and her head was pounding.
Allison and Carter exchanged a worried glance. “No, you weren’t shot. We ate at Café Diem last night, and then you went home. That was it.” Allison was going to order some tests just to be on the safe side. Jo was worrying her.
“I think something’s going on. Something bad.” Had Jo imagined being back in the old timeline, though? Could she have? Then again, this was Eureka, the town where pretty much everything occurred. They had traveled back in time! Returning to the old timeline was probably possible.
“What do you think is going on?” Carter was willing to listen to her.
“Somehow I woke up and everything back to normal. No new timeline. I was in bed with Zane and we were engaged. And I still worked at the station. I got shot at last night and broke a rib. Then everything got hazy and I woke up here.”
“Do you think that’s a possibility?” Carter asked Allison.
Allison shrugged her shoulders. “Probably. Henry will know. Go see him and we’ll figure it out. Now, Jo, will you lie back down?”
Jo sighed, but reluctantly listened. She soon fell asleep. Upon waking up, Jo was shocked to see Zane in front of her and the engagement ring back on her finger. “Crap. I’m back in the original timeline.”
“What are you talking about?” Zane started at her.
“Nothing. I need to talk to Carter, Fargo, and Henry. Are they still here?” Jo hoped they were. She needed to clear some things up with them.
“Yes, of course. They were all worried about you and didn’t want to leave.” Your rib isn’t broken that badly, but I still want to keep an eye out.” Allison left the room and Jo was suddenly alone again. She wondered what was triggering this jumping between timelines. Everything had been fine the day before. What had changed? Had another experiment gone wrong? That was always a possibility, one she should look into once she was out of the infirmary. She tried to get up a few minutes later, but was prevented by the returning Allison.
“What do you think you’re doing, Jo?”
Allison laughed. “You’re not going anywhere right now. Stay right here.”
Jo glared at her, but relented. “Fine.” She’d find some way out of the infirmary. She wasn’t sure how she was going to do it yet, but she would.
Allison left the room again, but she came back in less than five minutes with their friends.
“So, what do you need us for?” Henry stared at Jo, waiting for an answer.
“You looked a little bit upset earlier. Are you okay?” Carter was worried about her.
“I’m fine. Quick question – Did we go back in time to 1947 on Founders Day?” Jo prayed that they had and wouldn’t think she was crazy.
“Yes, but we promised not to talk to about it again. Why are you bringing it up now?” They hadn’t talked about their trip to the past in months, not since they got back. Well, she and Carter had once, after they finally gave into their feelings. However, the entire group had only talked about it once and that had been it.
“Because that’s not what happened for me. I think somehow I’m switching between both timelines. What happened for us was that Trevor Grant came back with us on purpose and the entire timeline changed. Zane and I had never been together, Kevin wasn’t autistic, Zoe and Zane were together, Henry was married, and I was working as head of security at Global Dynamics. I don’t know what’s happening to me.” Jo struggled to hold back the tears. She didn’t know why she was so upset right now.
“Hey, it’s okay. Calm down, Jo.” Allison hugged her. Jo resisted at first, but then just gave in. She really did need a hug.
“I’ll look into this. Going back and forth between both timelines seems a little hard to believe, but I wouldn’t discount anything. You’ll have an answer soon,” Henry promised her.
That made Jo feel a little better. Her friends would figure this out. She wouldn’t have to worry. She closed her eyes and fell asleep. When she woke up, she was in a completely different bed in the infirmary – The one she had been in in the second timeline.
“Are you okay now? You’re making us worry.”
Jo nodded at Allison’s question. “I’m fine. I definitely know what’s going on now. The timeline jumping is happening. Has Henry been by yet? I really need to talk to him.”
“Are you sure you’re timeline jumping?” Allison wanted to make sure that Jo realized what she was talking about.
“I’m sure, Allison.” Jo climbed out of the bed and despite the pain it caused her (Had she somehow broken her ribs in this timeline now too?); she headed over to see Zane. She had to talk to him, even though they weren’t together in this timeline. Deep down, he was still the man she loved, even though he didn’t feel the same way about her. Zane would know how to make her feel better.
“Hey, Lupo. What’s up?” Zane had figured out the truth a while ago and confronted Jo about it. She refused to confirm anything, so he had stayed quiet.
“I know you know the truth. I’m sorry that I kept it from you.”
“It’s okay. What’s wrong? You look hurt. Are you sick or something?” He lunged to get Jo when she opened her mouth to answer and instead, her knees buckled. Luckily, Zane caught her before she collapsed.
“This isn’t how I wanted this to go,” Jo murmured.
Zane laughed, even though he really didn’t want to. “I imagine so. You want to tell me what happened?”
“Timeline jumping.” That’s all the explanation Jo gave. Her vision blurred again for a few seconds and then went back to normal. She was back in the bed, and apparently, in the original timeline again.
“You’re back with us?” Allison checked her chart and then set it down.
Jo nodded. “Has Henry figured anything out yet?” She hoped he had. The deputy (or was it head of Global Dynamics now? Jo was having trouble remembering where was now.) couldn’t take much more of this. It was already wearing on her, and she hadn’t been trapped in both timelines for that long.
“He said he’s pretty close to figuring everything out last time. The last time Carter talked to him was an hour ago. We’re trying to help, Jo.”
“I know you are. Thanks.” This time, Jo got out of bed, despite the pain it was causing her ribs. Everything was normal for the next seven hours. She went home with Zane, who apparently knew the truth. Original timeline Jo had told him the truth after accepting his proposal. She was immensely grateful that she didn’t have to hide the truth from him.
Jo and Zane were talking when the timeline shifted again, and then she was back in the second timeline. She was shocked to see that the engagement ring was still on her finger. Jo was still with Zane, but not her Zane.
“Are you okay, Jo Jo? You zoned out on me there for a few minutes.” Zane didn’t know her that well, but he was still worried. Allison had filled him in on the missing gaps he didn’t know about, and everyone had come to the consensus that everything that was happening to Jo was bad.
“I was over there for a long time. It hurts,” Jo murmured and then passed out. When she awoke, she hadn’t jumped to the other timeline.
“You’re fine for the time being. Your blood pressure is high, which worries me. This timeline jumping is screwing your body up,” Allison explained to her.
“What can we do to fix it?” Jo wasn’t in any pain at the moment, but she knew that wouldn’t last very long. She was probably drugged or something.
“Henry and Fargo are working on it. They’re sharing their theory with us in the morning.”
“I may not even be here in the morning.” Jo knew that was a big possibility. The timeline jumping seemed pretty random so far. Who knew when the next jump was going to occur? It could happen any time in the next few seconds or any time in a few hours.
“Don’t think like that. You’re going to be fine.” Allison gave her a nervous, but encouraging smile.
“Where’s Zane?” Jo wanted to see him.
“He’s right outside. Carter had to forcibly remove him from your room because he wouldn’t leave your side. That man loves you in this timeline, too. Don’t let him go.” Allison smiled at her and then went to get Zane. He bolted into the room and rushed to Jo’s side.
“Hey. I’ve been worried about you.”
“Kiss me,” Jo ordered.
“Kiss me. And I’m not telling you again, Donovan.”
Zane laughed, but listened. He leaned down and kissed her. “You happy now, Lupo?”
“Of course I am. So, we’re engaged now!” Jo held up the hand with the engagement ring on it.
“So, you have it? How? I still had it yesterday.”
“I have no clue. You’d have to ask Henry.” Jo struggled for a few minutes to figure out what to say next, but Zane started talking.
“I know I’m not your Zane, the one in your original timeline, but I still love you, Jo Jo. I just wanted you to know that. Plus, it helps that you’re hot.”
“I would hit you right now if I had the energy. And I love you, too.” Jo wanted to cry. This is what she had been wanting ever since she had stepped foot in this timeline and learned that she and Zane weren’t together.
“No crying. Besides, everything is going to work itself out.” Zane sat down in a chair next to her as Jo fell asleep again.
When she woke up, she was still in the second timeline. Not for long, however. An hour after Jo woke up, she cried out in pain as her vision tunneled. When it stopped, she was clearly in the original timeline again. “It hurts! Make it stop!”
“Jo, calm down or I’m going to need to restrain you!” Allison struggled to calm the flailing and clearly upset deputy. The drugs were no longer working to dull the pain. It had to do with the shifting timelines, Henry had informed them.
“I can’t! Make it stop! Make it stop!”
Zane burst into the room. He hadn’t been allowed in to see Jo, something that had pissed him off. “Shhh, Jo Jo. I’m here. You’re fine. Work with the pain, okay? I’m not leaving you. You’re going to be okay.”
She started to calm down and the pain started to fade a little. It was still there, however. “I’m going to get Henry, and he’ll help explain what’s going on. Zane, stay with her and make sure she doesn’t go anywhere.”
“Don’t leave me, Zane,” pleaded Jo. He was the only thing keeping her grounded right now, and she needed him.
“I’m not leaving you again.” He climbed into bed with her and held her. The pain was a dull roar now for Jo, and she struggled to start paying attention as Henry, Carter, Allison, and Fargo entered the room.
“I believe that the two timelines are basically melding together now. The original timeline still exists, and they both can’t exist at the same time. Why you’re the only one experiencing this shift is unknown. We do know that your body can’t handle it, which is why you’re in pain right now. The shifts are random, but we’re trying to figure out when the next one will occur.”
Jo tried to breathe through the sudden surge of pain that had risen from within her. It was hard not to say a word, though.
“It’s okay to scream. Let it out,” Zane encouraged. He didn’t want her holding the pain in. That would probably make whatever was happening to her worse.
She listened and let out a loud scream. Zane winced, but didn’t move from her side. Allison, Carter, Henry, and Fargo backed away and let her go. In less than five minutes, the scream died down to a whimper. Jo fell asleep and woke back up in the second timeline. Zane was still with her. “Don’t let go. Please, Zane, please.”
“Shh. This is slightly uncomfortable, but I’m not going anywhere, Lupo,” he promised.
“You figured out what’s going on?” Jo hoped they had.
“Of course we have. Henry and Fargo are trying to fix this, but the timelines may meld together on their own.” Allison gave her another shot of morphine, although she doubted it would help Jo at this point. The timelines shift was causing Jo to slowly die. If the issue wasn’t resolved soon, there’d be no Jo in either timeline.
Jo had figured that part out already. “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” She didn’t want to die.
“You’re not going to die!” Zane wouldn’t let her.
“We’re going to try and stop it, but I’m afraid you are. Your body can’t handle these changes. I’m sorry, Jo.” Allison hoped they prevented her death. Jo was a great friend, and she didn’t want to lose her. She was terrified about what was going to happen to Jo.
“Please don’t let me die. I’m not ready.” Jo was starting to get hysterical, which was kick-starting the pain again. Zane tried his best to calm her down, but it wasn’t working.
“Jo, I’m going to need you to stop. We are not going to let you die. I’ll have to sedate you if you don’t calm down.” Allison hated to do it, but she would.
Jo struggled for a few minutes, but then calmed down as Henry and Carter entered the room. “We think we’ve figured out a way to stop this, but we’re not exactly sure.” Henry hoped it worked. He honestly did. It had been a long few days already.
The pain dulled again, but it was worse than before. Zane was reluctant to touch Jo in case he hurt her, but Jo snuggled into his arms and refused to let him go. He helped her feel better somehow. Jo didn’t know why, but she wasn’t about to question it. “Don’t go anywhere.”
“I’m not.” Zane definitely wasn’t going to leave her side, especially since it seemed to be helping her. Allison seemed to indicate that it was good.
Things went blurry for Jo again and she prepared herself to shift timelines, but then it stopped and she stayed where she was. “What just happened?”
“I actually felt that. It was … odd.” Maybe Zane had felt it because he had been holding on to Jo? It was the only theory he could come up with that made sense.
“That is odd. Henry, you have an explanation?” Allison had that same theory that Zane did, but she wasn’t sure if it was right.
“I know what you’re thinking, but I believe the timeline shift is affecting more people now.”
“Yeah, I definitely felt something there, too.” Carter wasn’t sure why he had experienced it and nothing had occurred.
“The timelines are fixing themselves and starting to meld together on their own.” Henry had been hoping that something like that would happen. It was the best case scenario.
“So what’s going to happen exactly?” Jo hoped nothing bad.
“We won’t know for sure until after it happens. Time travel is very confusing and we don’t know all that much about it.” Henry decided to go back to find Fargo and go over this with him some more.
The timeline shimmered again, but went back to normal. Jo cried out pain as her nose started to bleed. Zane and Allison rushed to stop it, but it took a while to slow down.
“I think it’s a result of the timeline shift.” Zane had no clue if he was right, but it was the best theory he could come up with for why Jo’s nose had bled.
Jo started to seize and Zane reluctantly left her side. Allison ended up having to restrain her so Jo wouldn’t hurt herself.
The timeline started to shift again, and this time, everyone in the group who had gone back to 1947 felt it. Jo screamed in pain as she started to bleed. Allison couldn’t tell where the blood started and ended because there was so much. She was slightly happy when Jo slipped into unconsciousness. She immediately started on a blood transfusion.
And then it was a long wait for Jo to wake up. They had figured out what had occurred, and now everything was back to normal – Or as normal as it could be in Eureka.
Jo woke up two days later. She was a little weak and still in some pain, but it was nowhere near as bad as it been before. “Am I still dying?”
“No, you’re not. You’re fine. I’m keeping you here for a few days just for observation, but you’re not dying anymore.” Allison beamed at her.
“So, what happened? Did the timelines issue get fixed?” Jo hoped they had. She couldn’t deal with this anymore.
“Yes, they have. Let me get Henry.” Allison left the room and Zane swooped in and kissed his fiancée.
“Love you, Jo Jo.”
“Love you too.” Zane helped Jo into a sitting position as Henry walked into the room.
“How are you feeling?” Henry wanted to gauge how she was before he started.
“I’m healthy. Now spill, Henry. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore, especially since I’m no longer dying.”
Henry sighed. “The timelines converged on each other. Zane somehow remembers both timelines and you’re still engaged. He and Zoe never dated, but tried for a few weeks only. Grace doesn’t remember anything from the old timeline, though. The Archimedes statue is a mixture of bronze and granite. Tess is still in Australia. No one else but we – and Zane of course – remember what occurred.”
“Wow.” Jo leaned up to her fiancé and kissed him. She snuggled in closer to Zane.
Everything was now semi back to normal, and that was all Jo could have hoped for. She even had Zane back, and she definitely wasn’t going to let him go.
Two weeks after she got out of the infirmary, Jo and Zane were married in a small ceremony.
The timelines converging had been the best thing for everyone.