Story Title: The Mayberry Moment
Character/Relationships
: Jo, Jack
Rating: PG13
Warnings: N/A
A/N: This last challenge was "Take any character(s) and place them in a situation they would not normally be in." Since Eureka is just chock full'o'unusual, I decided that giving Carter a 'normal' week would qualify.

Carter's call had been surprisingly vague. He had been acting odd for the past few days and Jo wondered if something had been going on in town that she hadn't heard about. The past week had been relatively quiet at GD and Carter's mysterious message was the first interesting thing to happen in seven long and boring days.

Jo strode through the doors of the sheriff's office, feeling instantly at ease in the comfortable setting. Some of her worst moments had happened here but it still felt more like home than any other place in Eureka. Even though her job as GD's head of security was awesome, most days, Jo would rather be back here as Carter's deputy.

Of course, there were moments- like right now for example- when Jo was glad she didn't work in the sheriff's office anymore.

Carter was staring at the clock. That, in an of itself, wasn't disturbing. The grin on his face was the unsettling part. He looked almost manical as he watched the seconds tick by on the old clock and worry started to creep as Jo wondered Carter had finally lost it.

"Hey Jo," Carter's greeting was, at least, normal even if he didn't bother to look up from the clock. "I don't suppose you remember the promise you made me after my first month here, do you?"

"Um, the only promise I remember making to you was that I was going to break every bone in your hand if you ever went through my desk without a federal warrant." Jo frantically tried to remember any other promise she had made because that obviously wasn't the right one. It wasn't even her desk anymore.

Carter laughed and finally looked away from the clock. When Jo met his eye, she almost flinched. He was positively giddy with happiness and Jo tried to remember if she had agreed to put him down if the town actually drove him insane.

"No, not that one- though thanks for reminding me of that. I meant the one where you promised me an honest to god Mayberry moment if we ever went one full week without an incident."

A memory of Carter half-heartedly complaining about too many explosions for such a small town crashed into Jo's brain. She had laughed at the time and told him that she would go 'all out small town cop style' with him if there was ever a week when something didn't go wrong. Apparently, Carter had been holding her to this promise and the time had finally arrived.

"How much time do we have left," Jo asked as she felt a grin of her own tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Two minutes. Just two minutes until it's been a full seven days without an incident." Carter bounced in his chair and gestured to her- Andy's desk. There was a box of doughnuts, two pieces of straw, her old deputy's hat and badge sitting next to a small framed picture of S.A.R.A.H.'s blueprints. "I pulled your hat and badge out of storage when Andy and I reorganized the inventory yesterday."

Jo grabbed a doughnut and picked up her old badge. She missed the little piece of metal more than she could say. Flashing her GD badge just wasn't the same. Setting it down carefully, she turned to Carter and asked, "So why aren't you doing this with your actual deputy? Shouldn't Andy be here?"

Carter snorted and turned back to the clock. "Yeah, like I could have a Mayberry moment with an android deputy. Now sit down, put your feet up and eat your doughnut."

"You know actual small town cops don't just sit around eating doughnuts, right?"

The clock had apparently hit the magical time because Carter jumped up from his chair and tossed up his arms in celebration. He ran across the room and shoved Jo down in her chair. He plopped the hat onto her head and handed her a piece of straw. As he rushed back to his desk, he called out, "We probably don't have much time Jo. You know this streak of normalcy is going to blow up big time. Just let me enjoy this while it lasts."

Jo sighed and tipped her hat down over her eyes as she kicked her feet up onto Andy's desk. Doughnut gone, Jo stuck one end of the piece of straw and leaned back. A promise was a promise and, after four years of almost constant chaos, Carter had earned his little moment of 'normal'.

It took less than five minutes for Jo to realize why this week had felt so long. Normal was boring.