Author's Note: How amazing did Zane's place look in episode 5x05? I want to live there. (I think. I'd have to see the kitchen to be sure.) Also, this is the last chapter. Danny's gonna be in Eureka for a while; I can't give much more resolution than this.
By now Zane had a lot of experience sneaking out of S.A.R.A.H. He and Jo usually had their rendezvous at Zane's apartment for convenience and privacy's sake, but there had still been many a night over the last six months when he had gotten in and out without Carter ever knowing he was there. This was not going to be one of those times. First of all, he hadn't even bothered to conceal his motorcycle, so Carter most likely knew he was there. Still, at the very least, he could have made his exit while Carter was sleeping or in the shower. He had woken up early enough for it too, but then Jo snuggled up to him, pressing the full length of her body against his side. And before he knew it, by the time he was dressed, Carter was already downstairs.
The smell of toast and eggs wafted to the stairs, making Zane realize just how hungry he was, but he decided it was better not to linger. Those few times he had run into Carter under similar circumstances had been fairly awkward. Zane had only recently gotten on okay terms with the town's sheriff, and he still had a little bit of a conditioned response to seeing him too early in the morning. There was a part of him that felt like he needed to get out of dodge before something went wrong and he was blamed for it, even though it had been quite awhile since he was baselessly accused of wrongdoing.
Zane had to go home to get fresh clothes. Unlike with Jo, people might actually notice if he wore the same clothes two days in a row. This combined with the morning's diversion meant that he rolled into the GD parking lot well after the start of the workday. It was fine; he was not really known for keeping a tight schedule anyway.
Zane knew that Jo had deftly managed to avoid making him any promises about the future. He was surprisingly okay with that. They made strides, big strides, the night before. "I don't want to" did mean something different with Major Danny than it had with Zane, and there were more differences between the two of them than just a criminal record. Zane never really needed promises from her; he just needed to know that he had a legitimate shot at keeping her. And last night had definitely shown him that.
Still, when he saw Major Danny come into the Astraeus lab, Zane thought there was no harm in getting a little more insurance. But he had learned his lesson about jumping into this kind of conversation half-cocked. No, this time Zane would wait for it to be right.
It didn't take very long to find the moment. Jo and Carter had found their saboteur, and as she hauled Dr. Kemp away, Jo flashed Zane a smile. There was something very sexy about watching the Enforcer do her job, you know, when she wasn't falsely accusing him. Although, it had not been entirely unsexy even when she was falsely accusing him, or not so falsely accusing as the case may be.
Major Danny caught whatever looks were exchanged between Zane and Jo and walked over to the competition. "Looks like you guys patched things up."
They stood next to each other, both looking out at the ship. "Yeah, I should probably thank you for that." In some ways Zane had Major Danny to thank for all the developments of the night before, but he was not going to get into that. "I mean I don't know what you said to Jo, but it worked."
"Glad I could help," Major Danny said with no discernible trace of sarcasm.
Zane crossed his arms, still not looking at the other man. "And as a token of my gratitude, I'm going to help you with your problem."
From the corner of his eye, Zane saw Major Danny smile and scratch the side of his neck. "And what problem would that be?"
"How to sleep with my girlfriend." He let that linger for a moment. "Here's my advice, don't try."
"You realize you're just making me want to do it more?"
Zane begrudgingly respected him for admitting that. "But see, you cheated on her, and then you cheated on your fiancée. And Jo's pretty sure your divorce was caused by more cheating. So if you go to her in three weeks—" Closer to two weeks at this point, but Zane did not want to dwell on that. "—knowing that she has a boyfriend, you'll just be proving to her that you have no respect for relationships or her. Not a good way to start."
Major Danny considered this for several seconds. "What if I'm cool with a one-night stand?"
"A one-night stand with a lonely woman who can't be with the man she really wants?" Zane shook his head. "No, I don't think you really get what you want out of this unless you steal her away from me. And considering that I'll be a billion miles away, it's not even that fair a fight to begin with. So it's going to have to be more than a one-night stand."
He snorted. "Do you really think I'm going to wait six months just to make it a fair fight?"
Zane finally turned to face Major Danny. "I don't know. I don't really care. Go ahead and go at her with everything you've got; I'd be interested to see how that works out for you. But my advice is sound."
Satisfied with the way that had gone, Zane walked off to find work. With the launch so close, there had to be something he should be doing. At this point, whatever was going to happen was out of his control, and there was a part of him that was curious about what would happen if Major Danny really tried to seduce Jo.
There was just a little more shoring up of the relationship Zane needed to do with Jo, but she was tied up with redactions and getting someone else sent to federal prison for once. He was sure that he'd distracted her from enough work for one week.
Zane waited for the end of the day before seeking out Jo in her office. He was glad to find her there because he knew how he wanted this conversation to go, and he did not want to wait any longer. "So the bad news is I may have strengthened Major Danny's resolve to sleep with you. But I think you can hold out."
Jo came around the front of her desk. "Why do you keep talking to him?" she asked with a smile.
"I think it really helps sell me as your fake boyfriend" He backed her into the desk. "That's what I am, right? Your fake boyfriend?"
Jo gave that a lot of thought. A lot of breathy, not-fully-focused-on-the-subject-matter thought. "We could probably stop referring to this as fake."
That was what he was hoping she'd say. "But if we drop the fake part, that leaves the designation as just 'boyfriend.' You okay with that?"
She nodded. "I am if you are."
"Oh, I'm very okay with it." Zane had not gone to her office with the express purpose of sex, but it felt like he was getting the signal from her. He pressed in closer to Jo, really pinning her in. "You know these in office hook-ups would go more smoothly if you wore a skirt."
She laughed. "That wouldn't really be practical, given my line of work."
She had a point there. "No, but it would be crazy hot."
He leaned in to kiss her, but Jo placed her hands on his chest to hold him off. "Are you doing this because you're hoping Callahan'll walk in on us?"
The thought had not occurred to him, but now that she mentioned it . . . "That would be awesome."
Jo was not in agreement. "I think we should take this somewhere more private so that neither one of us is thinking about my ex-boyfriend. Because I really want to be able to focus on my current boyfriend."
Private was good too. There were a lot more things they could do in private. In two weeks, and for the next six months after that, Zane would be obsessing about what Jo was doing back on Earth. But right now, for this moment, he knew with stunning clarity that he and Jo were going to be just fine.
Author's Note: So that's the end. I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed. (Especially the ones who reviewed.) You've all made breaking into the Eureka fandom a really rewarding experience.