Timeline: 4.05 - Crossing Over (last two sections, dialog taken from the ep.)
A/N: Actually, according to Wikipedia (.org/wiki/.50_BMG), Jo got the bullet wrong. No Browning Tracer has a brown tip. I say the Wiki's gotta be the one with faulty info, right?
Written for: eureka_tag LJ
Oops: Three days late from my self-imposed timeline of posting the eureka_tag fics on Tuesdays. But this was as soon as I could watch the thing, because my idiot sister downloads stupid amounts of TV shows that we get on TV! But, see, apparently, it's too hard to hit the 'rec' button on the VCR when she watches her other shows at 8 and 10 o'clock so instead, she uses up our bandwidth and then I can't watch my one show once a week. Not that I'm bitter.
Feedback: is a must!
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.
First Posted: August 13, 2010
The young woman camped out on the sinfully comfortable couch held up her hand and gazed at her ring, lost in thought. Idly, she grabbed the large glass mug off the end table, took a swig and found it empty. She cursed, debated the value of a refill against the inconvenience of having to stand up, but in the end, the empty mug mucking her won. With a groan, she heaved herself up with a lot more effort than it should have required. Then Jo pulled the blanket wrapped around her shoulders tighter and tugged into the kitchen. "S.A.R.A.H., hit me." Jo stuck her glass under the dispenser on the fridge. Nothing happened. "S.A.R.A.H.?"
"I believe you've had your limit, Chief Lupo." S.A.R.A.H. answered. Jo cursed again. "Using language like that will not convince me otherwise. Just ask Zoe."
"How 'bout I ask her for blackmail material instead?" She threatened the house.
"No." Was the prim reply.
"S.A.R.A.H., you're not programmed to act as a therapist and I'm not officially one of your tenants, so you're not programmed to mother me, either."
"I still do not think-"
"Not in your programming." Jo interrupted. "Now, do I have to call Fargo and have him override you on this?"
"No." If possible, and after living at Carter's for the last little while Jo was convinced it was, S.A.R.A.H.'s tone was clipped and if not angry, then at least hurt. Her mug was filled first with vanilla ice cream, then the liquid that made it into a float. "Thank you, S.A.R.A.H." The smart house didn't reply. Jo sighed. "Look, how 'bout I let you choose the next program?" She offered. That seemed to do the trick.
"Jerry Springer will be on soon."
"Deal." Jo agreed and made her way back into the living room. "Shoot. Eye-patch guy in on next. You like him too, right?"
"I do." S.A.R.A.H. conceded. "But I can run a split-screen so that both programs are running at the same time. Also, there's this new show on LifeTime I wanted to see-"
"Hey, if you can do a three-way, it's fine by me." Jo giggled into her glass, and the carbonation caused her drink to come out her nose. She began to choke just as the cheers from whichever show S.A.R.A.H. chose to air the sound on and of course Jack chose that moment to come home.
"Jo!" He yelled, racing over. "Are you okay?" She coughed, then handed him her glass so she could wipe her eyes.
"Yeah." She gasped. "Fine."
"Okay." He looked at the beverage he was holding. "Ice cream float? Coke or root beer?" He asked. Jo was still clearing her throat and before she could warn him, he tool a long pull from it. His eyes went comically wide and he spat it back into the glass. "Beer?" He asked, gagging. "And you give me crap for putting it in my cereal?" He demanded, glaring at the ceiling.
"This was not for breakfast." S.A.R.A.H. defended calmly.
"I give up." Jack threw his hands in the air and headed for the stairs. Jo watched him go, dissolving into giggles. She grabbed her sides and the ring dug into her other arm.
Quickly, her giggles turned into tears.
She woke up to pain (deep, intensive, earth-shattering, suicidal-tendency causing pain) and... the smell of Zane's cologne. It hurt like hell to move, but she had to know if it was just wishful thinking. She turned her head, and unless the extent of her ability to delude herself had grown to include hallucinations, he was really there. He looked like hell, unshaved and in sweats of all things, but he was really there.
"What are you..?"
"I heard what happened. And -for the record- it wasn't me."
She blinked. But she choked out, "Okay." And screw morphine, because Zane was the best painkiller she'd ever taken. It was like she knew it was there, but it barely even registered because his presence was more important and experiencing him took precedence over her body screaming at her.
"Yeah, the Sky Cruser's almost done, So you can stop walking by my lab, like, ten times a day." He shook his head a little. "So passive-aggressive." Breathing, while no longer making her feel like her chest is going to implode, was still fairly restricted, so she took a few shallow breaths and fought the urge to inhale deeply. "Anyway," He help up a copy of Military Ma'am, "I thought you could use something to pass the time." If it was possible, Jo fell in love with him all over again.
She opened her mouth, and then closed it again. She tried to call the pain back, just for something else to focus on, so she could compose herself. It didn't work, but she managed to reach out pathetically and take the gift. "Thanks."
"Yep." As soon as she had it, he was up and gone.
"And I'm passive aggressive." She muttered to herself, but with Zane gone, so was the weird healing properties he'd brought with him and her body's agony came crashing back at her.
She watched him disappear out sight from behind the magazine, then threw it as forcefully as she could onto her lap. "Hey." Allison said as she came over to take the spot Zane just vacated.
The doctor held up a copper-coloured tracer bullet. "Brought you a souvenir." Jo reached out and took it.
"Wow." She held it as well as she could, turning it over. "That's a fifty-calibre, Browning Aviation Tracer." She said in awe, feeling it's coolness between her fingers.
"Yeah, I had to check the military database to find that out. They use them in fighter planes."
"Yeah. Collectors will go nuts for this."
"Why? They still make them."
"Yeah, but..." Jo felt an extra-sharp jab of pain from her shoulder and she stopped for a second, "They-they stopped painting the tip in the 1950's."
The older woman took a deep, silent breath as Jo looked at her, not understanding. "How did this end up in my chest?" And then the significance of hit her and the excitement of the cool new toy Allison just gave her evaporated.
When the day was finally over, Jo was back on the couch, examining her engagement ring. But she was dressed like a normal person this time and had ditched the blanket, so she felt like she could honestly say she was in a better place. And when Carter handed her her beer, sans-ice cream, and she was able to both accept his teasing and volley it back, she was sure of it. And then he had to go and ask her about Zane, because that's what Carters do.
"So how're you doing with Zane?"
"I catch these glimpses of what we used to be. And then they're gone." Jo closed her eyes and tilted her head in resign. "Are we having girl talk?"
"No, we're having guy talk."
Jo giggled in what seemed like forever as her old boss took a sip of his beer. She pointed at the TV. "Semi-finals are on. Eye-patch guy made it to the next round. You wanna watch?"
"See, I think he's pitchy." Jack answered, his own tone higher than normal. Jo began to laugh again, and it felt good. "It's good to have you here." He said seriously. To avoid having the moment turn into something too sappy, Jo just held her glass out to him and he met her half-way, clinking them together.
It was just so damn near perfect, Jo almost didn't gaze at her ring when it ended. And when she did, it only lasted a second.