Word Count: 1,138
Characters/Pairings: Jo, Zane, Allison, Jack, Jo/Zane, Carter/Allison
Spoilers: Of Mites and Men
Disclaimer: I don't own Eureka and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Jo doesn't want Zane to leave Eureka, but she feels like she can't ask him to stay.
Jo went home worried after Zane told her about the pardon. The fact that he was thinking of leaving Eureka (leaving her, a voice in her head whispered, but she ignored) was slightly terrifying. She didn’t want him to go – Jo was in love with him. Somewhere along the way, she had fallen in love with this timeline’s Zane. It was his faith in her that had kept her going these past few weeks as she tried to prepare for the Astraeus Mission.
Jo wanted him to stay, but she didn’t think she had the right to ask him that. Zane had to make up his own mind, or he’d end up resenting her. That was the complete opposite of what she wanted. But he might leave her and their friendship slash relationship behind and never speak to her again. And Jo wasn’t sure if she could handle a life without Zane. She could deal with him just remaining a friend (with benefits) if he didn’t leave.
“Are you okay there, Jo? You look like you’re deep in thought.” Allison eyed her friend. She was worried about Jo. She had been acting odd ever since she had stepped foot in S.A.R.A.H. tonight.
“I’m fine, Allison. Don’t worry about it. How are you feeling?”
Allison tried not to wince. She was sick and tired of people asking how she was feeling. She was perfectly fine! “I’m great. But tell me what’s wrong with you. I’m sick of hearing about my own problems.”
Jo laughed. Then she turned serious. “Zane says that he’ll be granted a pardon. And that he’s free to do whatever he wants now, including leaving Eureka. If he wants to, that is. But he’s going to go. I know it. What does he have here to stay for you?”
“You, for one. Jo, that man isn’t going anywhere. I can tell you that now. It’s only an option. Talk to him and tell him your feelings. Don’t hold onto this.” Allison smiled at her friend.
“You seem a lot happier with Zane. Perhaps you should tell him the truth.” That came from S.A.R.A.H., who had been listening in and trying not to say anything. However, she couldn’t take it anymore and offered her opinion.
However, Jo wasn’t buying it. She was about to say something when the two were interrupted by Jack. “Hey, what’s up?”
“Nothing important.” Allison didn’t want to betray Jo’s confidence.
“Ah, so girl talk. Glad I missed it.”
“Well, I’m going to bed. I’ll see you both in the morning.” Jo got up and headed upstairs to her room.
“You ready for bed, too, Babe?” Jack beamed at his girlfriend.
“Yes, I am. Let’s go.” The two headed up to his room and soon fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Jo tossed and turned all night because she couldn’t stop thinking about Zane. The scenarios running through her head had him abandoning him when she needed him the most. By the time she was supposed to actually be waking up, she was exhausted. However, Jo went into work anyway since she didn’t want to miss anything.
“You okay, Jo Jo? You’re looking pretty tired there.” Zane shot her a worried look. She had started pulling away from him right after he told her about the pardon, and he couldn’t figure out what the problem was.
“I’m totally and completely fine. Now go do your job and irritate someone else while I finish up this paperwork I missed yesterday.” Jo just wanted him to go away so she didn’t have to talk to Zane.
Zane wasn’t buying it, but he went to work anyway. However, the latest Jo Lupo mystery kept him occupied and he didn’t do complete a single task he had set out to do. Around 3:00, he finally had enough and decided to corner Jo in her office. “So, tell me what’s wrong because this is driving me crazy.”
“Really?” Jo was skeptical about that.
“Really. And don’t you dare lie to me, because I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on with you. No lying or I’ll know!”
“Well, that’s because you’re a master at lying,” Jo murmured.
“Jo Jo, come on.”
“Fine.” But Jo just sat there trying to come up with the words to explain how she was feeling. She didn’t want to whine or seem petulant. She also didn’t want to drive Zane away.
He tapped his foot on the ground. “I’m waiting.”
Jo stayed silent. “It’s nothing.
“Stop saying it’s nothing since it’s obviously bothering you. I know that you’re upset. Lupo, I swear, if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t be in here to figure out what’s wrong and having you turn my life upside down.
Jo went to say something but she couldn’t get past the fact that Zane had told her he loved her. “You love me?”
“I said that out loud?”
“Yes! You said that out loud and now you can’t take it back!” Jo hoped he didn’t take it back.
“I don’t want to take it back. It’s the truth, Jo Jo. I am so in love with you sometimes I can’t believe it.”
“You’re telling me. Now, will you please tell me what’s wrong? I love you.” Zane figured using those three little words might get a lot of use, especially if it helped Jo get whatever it was off her mind.
“Okay already! Last night, you told me that you could leave Eureka if you wanted to and I guess that scares me because then you would be leaving me. And I don’t want you to go, but I also don’t want to hold you back because that’s just wrong.”
“Really, that’s it? Jo, I told you last night that I would leave Eureka if I wanted to. The key word here is “If”. You don’t have to worry about this because I’m not going anywhere. You and your friends dragged me into your life and I like it. Besides, I love you.” He couldn’t help but slip those three words in again. It was nice to tell her the truth about how he felt.
Jo blushed. That was three times Zane had told her he loved her and she still couldn’t get over. “I love you, too. And I’m sorry for panicking, but I jumped to conclusions and my mind was stuck on the worst case scenario. Sorry.”
“You don’t have to apologize, although I do wish you had said something sooner.”
“Me too.” Jo rushed to her boyfriend’s side and kissed him. The two made out for a few minutes before he pulled away.
Zane was glad to have calmed Jo down, while she was thrilled that she didn’t have to worry – or overreact – anymore.
Jo and Zane were in this relationship for good now.