Disclaimer: I do not own any of the situations or characters of Eureka. No money is being made off this story. Please do not sue me.
Author's Note: Fair warning, this is a little more angsty than I usually go. It's mostly just me working through my thoughts on what's happening with the Jo/Zane/Carter/Allison quadrangle. Jo's been giving Carter some looks, and I'm hoping this is all it is. Also, I think we all remember a certain dream involving Fargo. People can't really control what they fantasize about. On the other hand, I totally get where Allison is coming from.
The Avoidance Methodology
Summary: Jo did not want Carter; she just wanted to be able to talk about it without everyone freaking out.
Spoilers through: 5x05—Jack of All Trades
Jo did not know exactly what happened in the matrix, but she knew the most important part, that it was not real. None of it happened. In fact, since she was the only one of the four who wasn't there, she was the only one who was entirely, undeniably blameless in this. And yet she was the one being punished.
She understood that it was weird for them, Zane and Allison especially. She knew what it was like to see the person you love with someone else. In her case, with a lot of someone elses. So she tried to put herself in their shoes, but she just could not imagine continuing to be this ridiculous and petty about something that never even happened.
That weirdness was never going to go away so long as the others just pretended there was no problem and then blamed Jo for everything that went wrong. Take that morning, for example. That morning, Jo got into the shower with her boyfriend, the same boyfriend she had been in bed with five minutes earlier. She did not do anything wrong, anything those three wouldn't want her to do. But who was Allison giving the evil eye to?
Jo thought maybe it would make things better if they just talked about it. So she went to Carter, who should have been the least crazy, and who was going through the same problems she was. And she just put it out there, that it was natural to think about it, and that it did not mean anything. And what did Carter do? He lied to her.
In point of fact, she couldn't be sure that Carter was lying, but . . . she was pretty sure he was lying. Two relatively attractive people working that closely together for that long, Carter being single for almost the entire time, and it never even crossed his mind? She was not buying it.
Jo was not ashamed to admit that she thought about it. Even when she wasn't single. When the alternate timeline Zane was driving her crazy, she thought about how much simpler it would be to date someone who wasn't a mad scientist, she thought about how comfortable she was with Carter, and she thought about what it would be like to be with someone like him. And then she stayed with Zane. Because her thoughts on Zane, which were much more detailed and based on a certain reality, always trumped the other thoughts.
So yeah, she thought about what it would be like with Carter. She thought about what it would be like with a lot of guys at one point or another over the years. Zane thought about other people too, because that was the normal thing to do. When he found himself in bed with Allison, he was thinking about it. And while Jo was not thrilled at the idea of her boyfriend having sex dreams about the good doctor, she had to accept that it was totally natural.
As for this predictive probability stuff, it did kind of sound reasonable. If Allison was dead and Jo was single and Carter needed help raising the kids, it would be really easy to fall into a comfortable pattern and things might develop from there. And eventually, yeah, maybe she could see herself even falling in love with Carter. If all of those stars aligned. But if Allison and Zane were dead, why would they even care?
Maybe Zane should run the diagnostics on what would have happened if Jo never threw his grandmother's ring at him all those months ago. What were the odds he would have fallen in love with Zoe? Why didn't they play that game? Hypotheticals were stupid. And unlike her and Carter, the Zane and Zoe thing actually almost happened. So her stupid hypothetical was better than his.
As she watched Carter propose, Jo envied how easy it was for him and Allison. Carter was the one who did whatever he did in the matrix, and Carter was the one who stood in the shower with Jo and never bothered to mention that he was not the man she thought he was. But they were fine. Better than fine, they were going to get married. And Jo? Jo was going to get to be with a guy who looked at her like she'd been cheating on him.
There were only so many times Jo could say that she didn't do anything wrong. Only so many ways to say, "It wasn't real." Only so many things she could do to show that she wanted to be with Zane. Which was what she was doing in that shower and what she was doing when she let Zane kiss her with Carter's face.
As the champagne was being passed out, she looked at Zane and his clear elation that Carter was off the market. Any other time, she would be over the moon, first to congratulate the happy couple. But after the day she just had, the day of not doing anything wrong and still getting in trouble, all she could think about was how sick of it she was. She hoped Zane knew that she was only going to put up with this for so much longer, and he was running out of time.
Continued in "The Confrontation Experimentation" (Sort of).