The Girl From Down the Block
Author: ALC Punk!
Rating: PG, language, violence
Warnings: er, language, violence, liberties with English grammar
Spoilers: None, so far as I know. For either show.
Written For: Marag
Prompt: *sigh* this gets tricky. It's more of... an extrapolation of: Jo's very own mystery to solve. I want to see her being competent and smart and tough, because Jo is love :) It'd be awesome if she could interact with a lot of people and we could be reminded that she was there before Jack, and knows everybody in town., with some of: I would love to see any (or all) of the Eureka gang meet the Torchwood folks. The more snark, the better. Also, flirting is good. Lots of flirting. And aliens :) thrown in as well. Except that it's really none of the above. I'm sorry, I gave up.
Author's Notes: I have no idea how many times I started and trashed writing bits for this ficathon. I know one of them ended up getting lost when I threw a stack of paper away at work (oops--and that might not be where it went, but it's the most likely culprit). I don't know why writing Eureka fic was like pulling teeth, but it was. (although I now have four pages of hand-written notes with Archie Goodwin from Nero Wolfe flirting shamelessly with Jo. Lord knows why)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She didn't have a curl, though (not in the middle of her forehead, though most were surprised when her hair wasn't tightly restrained), and she wasn't very nice, either. Contrary to popular belief, she wasn't bad, either. At least, not in the evil, take over the world sense. She was just very certain of her place in the world and how that related to being able to punch idiots in the nose.

No, what Jo Lupo was was a very determined woman who'd blasted through training in every martial arts the government would pay for and at least two they hadn't. It was highly possible the government was actually unaware of her proficiency in them.

The first time Jo met Allison Blake, she looked her over and dismissed her as a civilian light-weight. Sure, she worked for the government, but so did mail carriers, and Jo didn't think they could save the world on a daily basis, much less get her a package on-time. Blake caught the look, raised an eyebrow and returned the scrutiny. She seemed to take Jo's dismissal in stride.

A minute later, two rogue droids blasted through the wall, sending plaster and cauking flying. Blake pulled a gun from her back and fired.

The first shot disabled the one in the lead, giving Jo time to get over that split-second of shock and bring her own gun to bear. Her shot took out the second.

While the plaster dust settled, the two women exchanged a glance over the bodies of the now-harmless droids.

"Ms. Blake," said Jo's new boss Sheriff Cobb, "has passed all her exams. I trust you'll remember that."

"Never judge a book by its cover?" guessed Jo, rolling her eyes and checking her gun before holstering it again.

"Something like that."

"Deputy. Welcome to Eureka."

And then Jo met Fargo. It was good times all around, of course: she was soaked in oil; thick, black muck that would take her a week to remove all traces of. Anywhere but Eureka, at least. She didn't really mind the sticky stuff, and barely noticed the smell. And Henry's cheerful explanation about the bugs eating it off of her didn't faze her--there were worse in the Amazon, and she'd never been one to quibble over practicalities. Henry explaining that the bugs had too short a life-span for practical use cleaning up oil spills mostly went over her head.

But what really annoyed Jo was the google-eyed boy (probably a man, but she doubted it) eying her like he'd never seen a girl before.

She was half-dressed, and the bugs were eating her uniform along with the oil, but that was really no reason to stare.

Jo figured accidentally shooting him with her stun gun was a perfectly acceptable use of government property. The sheriff didn't even seem to notice the twitching scientist as he appeared to check up on her and Henry. But Henry did stop his explanation to help Fargo to his feet, chuckling the whole time.

The first time Torchwood Three visit, Captain Harkness flirted shamelessly with everyone from Ms. Blake to Sheriff Cobb. Surprisingly, Cobb almost flirted back, which made Jo reconsider a few things. Not that it mattered. The team was on the hunt for a meteor that had crashed somewhere in the woods.

Eventually, they found that Henry had stuck it somewhere in his workshop, and while he and Toshiko talked computers, technology, and bio-rhythms, Owen Harper sidled up to Jo and attempted to chat her up.

After two minutes of barely interesting conversation, Jo accidentally shot him. She figured if Cobb put her on report for it, Ms. Blake would maybe decide it had been worth it. Besides, it wasn't like an electrical shock would hurt the man that much. As a doctor, he'd surely agree.

"Vampires don't exist," Jo objected as she helped barricade the door. Outside there were shifting, milling crowds of creatures that stalked the night. Or so she'd been told. Since one of them had been munching on Fargo, she figured they didn't exactly have good taste. But vampires were vampires.

Cobb smiled sideways at her and shifted the wooden beam into place. The look was almost serene, "Did I say they were vampires?"

"You said they sucked blood."

"They ingest blood proteins, yes," he agreed as he moved back to the desk and began sorting out his shells and shotgun.

"Vampires!" Jo announced, as though it were obvious. To her, it was. After all, she hadn't grown up watching every version of Dracula not to miss the obvious. She'd even seen The Hunger. Eying his shotgun and shells, she wondered if they'd need silver shot. No, that was for werewolves. The handbook had said so.

"Not quite."

"Do I get to stake people?" The most important question.

Cobb made a sound in his throat, and shook his head, "No. They're not dead, just infected. Global Dynamics will, of course, be working on a cure."

Damn. Jo would have enjoyed learning to stake them efficiently. She sighed, "How long will that take."

"As long as it takes."

Great. She hated answers like that. And she got them in Eureka a lot, more than she'd like. But she was also sort of enjoying it. The assignment wasn't boring, and it definitely kept her on her toes. Something slammed against the door and she shifted, bringing her rifle to her shoulder. "Can I at least shoot them to disable them?"

"Don't break anything vital, like knee-caps."

"Yes, sir," she acknowledged. Damn. This was not shaping out to be a pleasant evening. And it had started so well, too. But the light from the full moon and the noxious fumes from Global Dynamics that she and Cobb had missed by being inside their office had put paid to that idea.

The rattling at the door stopped a few minutes later. Maybe the horde had decided it was impassable, maybe they'd moved on to fresher targets. Jo let herself relax a little, but only after checking with Sheriff Cobb. He always looked relaxed, leaning back in his chair like he was thinking about a hamburger or mowing the lawn. Trivial matters that didn't include blood-sucking humans roaming the streets of his town.

"So. It's not always like this, is it?" she asked. Probably not the brightest question, but she'd never been a huge fan of small-talk. And there was only su much paperwork she could do with one eye on her rifle.

"You've been here three months, deputy. What do you feel the answer is?"

A question for a question. He did that a lot, not that she minded. She was beginning to catch the stride of it, the way his conversations worked. Obviously, he'd been here a long time. Just as obviously, he couldn't have always been this calm and mellow. "It is and it isn't."

Something like a smile crossed his lips, "You're learning, Jo."

"Thank you."

The second time Torchwood Three visited the area, Jo avoided Harper and his hands by attaching herself to Toshiko Sato. As her self-appointed body guard, she stalked the woman through the forests as her little device tracked the 'alien' they'd come to apprehend.

Good thing, too. Jo had to blow its head off when it threatened to take over the world.

It took her a week to get green 'Martian' blood out of her favorite tac-vest.

After two years on the job, Jo didn't even feel a moment's interested when the phone rang anymore. Sure, she knew it meant there was probably work to do. But, on the other hand, it also meant there was work to do, and it might include shooting things. Jo rather liked shooting things. And stabbing them. And kicking them in the head.