Summary: He'd suspected as much, but that didn't take away the shock of this revelation. Zane's thoughts throughout season four, including Liftoff. Zane/Jo.
A/N: This started with the intent of being a straight up tag, but I couldn't help but expound on Zane's perspective for all of season four. But I assure you, his feelings about the revelation in Liftoff is in here as well. :D
If Zane was being honest with himself, he'd suspected the truth long before Fargo had told him. Okay, so he'd never guessed that time travel had come into play (really, who saw that coming?), but he had been able to deduce with some certainty that he and Jo had once been something more.
Something more than enemies that often antagonized each other, more than acquaintances, more than close friends, even.
When Jo had first thrown his grandmother's ring at him, he'd been stunned. A thousand ways it could have come into her possession had flitted through his mind, each more unlikely than the last. She'd stolen it, of course! Broken into his house sometime, and...and...his imagination failed him. Little though he knew of her, he was certain that law-abiding Jo Lupo would never do such a thing.
She'd left his questions unanswered, and he slept badly at night because of it. No matter how much he tried to block them out, pestering thoughts kept him awake. He'd always imagined that one day, in the very distant future, he'd take his grandmother's ring and give it to nothing less than the love of his life. But he wasn't ready to settle down, not by a long shot. And he'd certainly never felt that kind of love. Right?
But how, how, had she gotten his ring?
And there was something there, in his memory, pressing in on him like a weight. Stirring just beneath the surface.
The dark ceiling of his bedroom held no answers, but when he closed his eyes, he saw it again. It looked differently now, with his suspicions alerted, but it was the same.
Jo had returned to the sheriff's office that day to find him still in his cell, exactly where she'd left him. But she'd acted weird and she'd...she'd said yes to an offer he'd never made. Yes to marrying him.
He'd scoffed at her, assuming she was playing some kind of dumb joke. Trying to get a rise out of him, maybe make him do something stupid so he'd have to stay in jail even longer.
Zane never dreamed that she could have been sincere in answering a very real question, a question that would mean so much for both of them.
It was this realization, this memory of something broken in her expression when he had so callously said, in what universe, that made the uncertain truth more tangible to him.
It was this, more than anything, that convinced him that they had indeed been something once.
The thought of it churned his stomach, not because it was an entirely unpleasant one, but because he could not remember those feelings that must have gone with that status. It felt like a gaping hole in his heart, to believe that he had experienced something life-changing and yet could not remember it.
He had to get the truth, the full truth from her, no matter what it took.
So that's why he hadn't let her walk away that day in the station, that's why he grabbed her hand and pulled her back into a hard kiss. Her lips were soft and moved easily against his. It was familiar and inviting, like coming home after a long time away.
It wasn't like any first kiss he had ever experienced. It wasn't shy and uncertain, but instead confident, knowing, and experienced.
And so when she'd finally pulled herself out of their embrace, he'd asked her, point blank, why it felt so familiar.
Instead of replying, Jo had stared at him for a long time, seemingly conflicted, and then she'd turned and walked away without a word. And he couldn't move, could barely breathe. He stood rooted to the spot with more certainty than ever, but still no confirmation.
But now, now, he knew.
The unexpected trip into space had given him answers. Fargo's resolve to not tell him anything had broken as they sped toward a very possible death.
It was an exceptional story, to say the least. Once upon a time, Zane had begun dating Jo Lupo shortly after he arrived in Eureka. She'd taken some winning over, but eventually came around, and they dated for almost two years. And on Founder's Day, he had popped the question. She had hesitated, for reasons he could only guess at now.
And then a trip back to 1947 for five Eureka citizens, followed by a miraculous return to an altered timeline.
Zane had wanted to laugh at the impossibility of this explanation, but he knew it made sense.
Fargo had continued the story, in which Jo had come back to Zane, ready to say yes, but he was no longer the same man he had been.
Two years with her had evaporated from his memory and he hadn't known it. They must have gone on many dates, kissed, even made love. Certainly, they must have known a lot about each other, but now it was only her with the knowledge of what they had been. What kind of couple were they? Argumentative but passionate? Sappy lovey? Some strange mixture of the two?
When Zane had returned to earth, he had been happy to see her, but he still didn't know what to do.
He was not the guy she had fallen in love with, and he'd never fallen in love with her: whether for lack of chance or because things were not to be in this timeline, he simply didn't know.
That night, the night of the unexpected liftoff, Zane had gone home alone, mind buzzing. Once again, he laid in his bed and wished for understanding, for memories of a time long gone.
Vague ideas floated through his head, and on an impulse, he reached over and turned on his lamp. He felt like a zombie, but with purpose. He opened the drawer of his nightstand and rummaged through it, until his hand found the small velvet box.
Zane opened it and stared at the beautiful diamond ring. He would never admit it, but it was his most prized possession, a promise for a future he would someday claim.
I must have been so in love with her, he thought suddenly. He would never have offered it to her otherwise, and he'd never have given up his bachelor days for just anyone. And Jo had said yes, hadn't she? They had both been ready to take a leap of faith. Together.
Zane plucked the ring from it's box, and it sparkled in the lamplight.
He knew the truth now. They had been in love, as completely and totally as it was possible to be.
Only one question remained to be seen: could they be in love again?
Zane thought of Jo's smile, thought of her beauty that he had always recognized but never sincerely complimented her on, thought of her good heart and strength.
And for the first time since he'd confirmed the truth, he thought of how amazing it must have been to be in love with Jo Lupo, and found himself wishing with his whole heart, that somehow, someway, he could experience that again for the first time.
A/N: I'm a little impressed with myself just because I hadn't realized I had so much Zane/Jo shipping in me. But that's a good thing. ;) Reviews much appreciated!