Word Count: 1,821
Characters/Pairings: Jo, Zane, Carter, Allison, Fargo, Henry, Grace, Kevin, Jenna, Jo/Zane, Allison/Carter, Grace/Henry
Disclaimer: I don't own Eureka and never will. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Jo finally falls apart over the changes that have occurred in the new timeline. Her friends rally around her.
Jo Lupo didn’t want to admit that she was falling apart at the seams. Her friends’ lives were going well, and she didn’t want to ruin their happiness. It wouldn’t be fair for Jo to unload all of her problems on them. But she desperately wanted to talk to someone. Especially Zane. He’d know how to make her feel better, but he was also part of the problem. Jo missed her boyfriend so much.
“Hey, you okay?” A worried Carter stared at her. He, along with everyone else, had been trying for weeks to pull her out of the funk she was in, but nothing was working. The sheriff was afraid they’d lost the lost Jo for good and they weren’t going to get her back.
“Of course I’m okay.” Jo was lying yet again, but that was fine. As no one dug deep her problems, everything would be okay.
Carter debated if he should call her out on her lies. Maybe he’d get her to open up, but most likely, Jo would go on the defensive and clam up even more. They wouldn’t get through to her at all if that happened. Jo’s walls were already erected pretty high, and she was currently impenetrable. Carter then realized he hadn’t answered her and Jo was starting at him. “That’s good. “ He handed her a cup of coffee and then went to find Allison.
Jo practically downed her coffee and sighed in relief when Carter vanished from sigh. She was sick and tired of her friends thinking she was fragile.
Zane walked by at that moment. “Hey, Lupo. You getting ready to leave for lunch yet?” He was worried about Jo, too. He knew some of what had occurred, and was ready for her to talk. However, she wasn’t and it was driving Zane crazy.
“Not hungry.” Jo hadn’t had an appetite in two weeks. She had forced herself to eat breakfast this morning.
Zane had noticed the lack of an appetite, and he was determined to get Jo to eat. He’d feel a lot better if she did. “Tough. You’re going with me to Café Diem. I’m not taking no for answer, so don’t think you’re getting out of this.” He stood and waited.
Jo glared. “I’m not playing whatever game you are, Zane. Get out and leave me alone.”
He stood his ground. “I’m not leaving. The only way I will is if you go to lunch with me.”
“Take Zoe to lunch and get out.” Jo wanted him gone so she could be by herself.
“No. Zoe and I are over anyway. It was just a fling. Now think of another excuse.”
“Get the fuck out, Zane!” Jo was ready to crush the empty coffee cup in her hand.
“No.” Zane was prepared and managed to duck when she threw the coffee cup at him.
“Why won’t you take no for an answer?” The rage was fading and Jo was reluctantly ready to give in.
“Because I don’t.” Zane shrugged. He waited until she angrily grunted, got out of her chair, and followed him out of Global Dynamics. The two then headed to Café Diem.
“Don’t think this will be a regular occurrence, Donovan.” Jo stared at her burger and fries forlornly.
“I think it will.” Zane stared at her mischievously.
“Whatever.” She reluctantly started to eat. Jo did feel a little better when she was done, but refused to admit it to Zane. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction.
Zane saw she was looking a little healthier and felt better himself. “This will be a regular thing, Jo Jo. You’ll see.”
She rolled her eyes. “I doubt it, but whatever you say.” The two got up and then went back to work. Jo’s brief good mood faded quickly.
“You want to do what?” Fargo asked later that night at Allison’s house. She had called the meeting out of worry for Jo. However, the subject of this meeting had no idea what was going on without her.
“Stage an intervention.” Allison shifted Jenna around and then handed the baby to Carter.
“I think it’s a bad idea. And why am I here again?” Zane was over on the couch, playing a game with Kevin.
“Yeah, why is he here?” Fargo didn’t understand why Allison had invited him.
“Because he is a part of this, just like I am.” Grace set a bowl of chips down on the living room table.
“She’s right. Besides, Zane deserved to know.” Henry beamed at his wife.
“I’m telling you, if we were to interfere like Allison is suggesting, Jo will retreat even further into herself.” Zane grabbed a chip and began eating it.
“He has a point.” Carter thought pushing her into something she didn’t want to would only send Jo spiraling into a deeper depression.
“We are her friends. She needs our help.” Allison hated to do this, but they had already lost Jo. They desperately needed to get her back.
An idea started to form in Carter’s hand. “Zane?”
“Yeah?” He eyed the sheriff warily. Zane didn’t like where this was heading.
“Are you in love with Jo?”
Zane floundered for a second. “Excuse me?”
“I asked if you’re in love with Jo. Now answer the question.”
The group stared at Zane, waiting for the answer. Allison impatiently tapping her foot on the floor.
Finally, he answered. “I don’t know. Maybe? Wait, yes?”
“Well, which is it?” Grace beamed at him.
Zane opened his mouth to deny it, but then realized he couldn’t. “Yes, I’m in love with her.” He wasn’t about to tell them he had had feelings of some kind for Jo for years. When had it turned into love? Whoa, he was in love with Josefina Lupo. The Enforcer. The thought made Zane’s head spin.
Allison’s grin practically lit up the room. “This is great!”
“Don’t even think of meddling, Alli. These things need to work out on their way.” Carter knew his efforts were futile, however. Grace and Allison were definitely going to meddle in the situation and possibly make it worse.
Gradually, Fargo, Zane, and Henry and Grace left. Carter put Jenna to bed, and after Kevin was asleep, he and Allison went into her bedroom. After making love, they discussed the Jo situation for a little while.
After an extremely tasking day at work the next afternoon, Jo was somewhat thrilled to return home. And that’s when she finally crumbled. All of that issues that had been building up over the past few months because of the timeline change came pouring out. Jo closed her door, slid down to the ground, and began. The sobs echoed in the room. She didn’t know how long she sat on the floor, but Jo eventually cried herself to sleep.
The next morning, she called off work, claiming she was sick. This worried Jo’s friends even more, but they reluctantly left it go for the time being. All Jo did was lie around on her couch in sweatpants and try not to burst into tears. She failed at the latter.
When Jo called off the next two days, her friends had finally had enough. She was shocked when her doorbell rang and opened the door to find Allison, Carter, Zane, Fargo, Henry, and Grace. “Why are you all here?”
Allison explained, “We want to check on you.”
“We’re very worried,” Grace added.
“For the record, I was against this.” Zane was really worried about Jo now, but definitely wasn’t going to admit it.
“I’m fine, but thanks for coming. You can go now.” Jo had a bad feeling about where this conversation was going.
“I thought you had the flu.” Allison pointedly stared at her.
“I’m starting to feel better, but I don’t want you guys to get sick. Go home,” Jo urged.
“Sit down. We have a lot to talk about.” Like Zane, Carter thought confronting her like this was a bad idea.
Jo sighed. Once she realized they weren’t going anywhere, she went over to the couch and sat down. “What do you want?”
“We’re worried about you, Jo. You’ve been a little depressed lately.” Allison gave her a sympathetic smile.
“I have not been depressed!” The lie came automatically.
“You have been. And all we want is for you to be happy. We don’t like seeing you like this.”
An incensed Jo glared at them. “I don’t need your fucking help. Just go. I’ll be back to work tomorrow.” She felt like she needed to bolt.
Zane saw she was ready to flee and decided to calm her down. “Jo Jo, it’s okay. I know everything.”
She turned to stare at him. “How?”
“How do you think? I’m here for you now, whether it’s as your friend or something more. I’m hoping for the latter.” Zane suggestively winked at her. Somehow, it had worked. He had calmed Jo down. She rolled her eyes.
Jo reluctantly broke down a few seconds later, which was mortifying. Soon, she was heaving with sobs. Everyone crowded around her and it became a group hug. Jo began to talk. “Everyone was happy except for me. Carter and Allison are finally together, Henry’s married, Fargo’s head of GD, and all I have is my job. I lost my house and Zane. I’m alone and scared and miss Zane and I don’t know what to do.” Jo gasped for breath as Zane and Allison rubbed her back.
“You’re not alone. You could have come to any one of us.” Carter squeezed her hand.
“Can you guys leave Jo Jo and me alone?” Zane didn’t want an audience for the conversation they were about to have.
“Of course.” Grace grabbed her husband’s hand and followed everyone else into the kitchen.
“They’re probably going to eavesdrop,” Jo murmured. She was nervous about this conversation.
“Eh, let them. Anyway, I’m not going to leave you alone. You’re stuck with me, Lupo. And I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with you.” Zane felt better after getting that off his chest. He and Jo ignored the squeals coming from the other room.
Jo smiled. “You love me?”
“I do.” Zane beamed back.
“I really love you. And I want to be with you so bad, but I’m not ready yet. Can we start slowly? Be friends first and then start dating?” Jo was still feeling depressed (and a lot humiliated over her breakdown), but was already starting to feel better.
“Sure.” Zane leaned over and kissed her. He apologized to her, and then left. Before he went, he promised Jo he’d talk to her later. She wasn’t going to be rid of Zane at all, but Jo found she didn’t care.
Life for Jo Lupo was starting to improve. There’d be some bumps along the road, but she had the help of her friends and Zane to get over them.