This is a one shot I was asked to write explaining Jo and Zane's choice of code words in chapter 2 of Stolen Memories. It is in the original timeline. Purplepotatopig this one is for you.
Also is is bad that I can't stop grinning b/c Niall tweeted me, even though it's not good news? Good thing my insurance covers a few visits with a shrink.
Jo sighed as she looked across her living room. She had been gone for three days and hurricane Zane had practically destroyed her house. He was never going to be as neat and tidy as she was but did he have to leave his dirty socks on the couch. The bigger question was why had he stayed here and not at his place while she was gone? Sure they were practically living together but he still kept the bachelor pad. He could have left his trail of destruction across his place instead of hers.
Rolling up her sleeves she began to clean up the mess her boyfriend had made. At least he hadn't broken anything. It took half an hour to get the living room and bath room back in order. Now it was time to tackle the bedroom. Taking in the sight of this room she wondered how she could have fallen in love with such a slob. Clothes and shoes were scattered everywhere. Never in her life had she met a man with so many shoes. Twenty pair were now lined up on his side of the closet. Apparently he hadn't done laudry either as she added his clothes to his full laundry basket, stuffing them down with her foot.
The floor was clean the dresser top cleaned off and dusted, her attention turned to the queen sized bed. At least he managed to keep the pillows and blanket on the bed. As she tucked the sheets in on his side her fingers found papers stashed between the mattress and box spring. Oh hell no. That man was never going to darken her door again if he left his spank material under her bed. Pulling the offending material out from it's hiding spot she was surprised to find a book. Not some girly magazine but a well worn copy of The Great Gatsby.
"Hey Jo, your home early." Zane called from downstairs. "I promise I was planning on having this cleaned up before you got home." He smiled now leaning in the doorway. He must have taken the stair two at a time to get up here so fast.
Jo quickly tried to hide the book behind her back. Zane shot up an eyebrow, apparently she wasn't fast enough. Closing the distance between them he wrapped her in a hug. "I missed you JoJo." He placed a quick kiss on her lips and grabbed the book out of her hands.
"I missed you too. Came back early to surprise you. Didn't expect to find that a bomb had gone off in the house." She tried to take the book back.
"I see you found my stash." He grinned holding the book over her head. She may be able to over power him with out breaking a sweat but he was still taller.
"Not exactly what I imagined a former felon, particle physicist would keep as late night reading material. You do know you have a night stand next to the bed or there's the book shelf in the living room. More then half the books on that are yours anyway. Or do you just not want people to know you read Gatsby for fun?"
"Okay busted, Gatsby is my dirty little secret. I used to visit my grandmother on Long Island every summer. And she used to make me read this book the first week of every visit since I was eight. Now that she's gone, reading it makes me feel closer to her." He ran his finger down the spine of the book before placing it on the night stand. "It's not like you don't hide a copy of that Chronicles of Narnia book on the top shelf of your closet."
Jo punched his arm hard.
He yelped and jumped backwards. "What was that for?" He rubbed the now injured arm.
"You went through my stuff."
"I found it on accident when I was looking for something of mine in there." He grinned down at her. "Why don't you want that book on our bookshelf?"
When did her bookshelf become our bookshelf? Well he had told her why he had his book hidden. "My mom was reading Prince Caspian to me when she died. I've never been able to finish it. I keep stopping where she left off." Jo absently picked at a piece of lint on her sleeve.
Zane picked up his book off the night stand and walked purposefully over to her side of the closet removing her copy on Prince Caspian. Without saying anything he headed out the bedroom door and downstairs.
Following close behind him Jo asked, "Where are you going?"
Zane's long strides had put him downstairs in the living room way ahead of Jo. She entered just as he was pushing the two books onto one of the shelves on the bookshelf." "There, no need to hide them away anymore right?"
Jo's eyebrow quirked up and then her face softened. That was probably one of the last secrets she had from him. Not that she lied to him, it had just never come up before. Now here he was placing their secret books together on their bookshelf. Everyday she found a reason to love him more.