Series: Across the Universe
Title: Not That Kind of Boy
Author: Roguie/ SunSpecOps/ Danae Bowen
Spoilers: Up to Just Another Day
Disclaimer: Eureka obviously doesn't belong to me, I just like to borrow the characters and mutate their inner voices. Please don't sue; my house is small, my car is useless and my dogs are pains in the arse, but they're all I have.
Summary: It only takes seconds to look back on the choices he's made, the choices of a boy playing at life. It's time to become the man she's always known existed… in any timeline.
A/N: I'd whine about my bloody muse, but y'all have heard it time and time again. This time, we're writing a series. The point of this series is to take lines from original Zane and apply their meaning to current Zane. Each line will be a one shot, but I'll tag them as Across the Universe if you're interested in reading the results. If there's a particular "Zane-ism" you'd like explored in this, feel free to let me know; even though the muse appears to be on crack cocaine these days, a little inspiration is always welcomed.
He'd never been the marrying kind, nope, not at all. He didn't know what he'd been like before time changed, but one thing was certain, this Zane Donovan abso-fraking-lutely had never been the marrying kind.
So why, as the tiny, delicate ring case trembled in his fingers, the Liza's lingerie box dropping unnoticed to the floor of the Sheriff's office, did he turn to meet her terrified gaze, waiting to hear the words that would change their lives?
Two years ago, his future was nothing more than a coin toss as to which bombshell would end up in his bed that night. Naughty or nice. Blonde, brunette or ginger. Scientist or bored housewife, it was all the same. If anyone had told him his interest in Security Chief Lupo was anything more than a cursory appreciation of her undeniably perfect arse, or yet another way to burrow under her skin, he'd have laughed in their faces, shot a glance at Lupo and been glared at in return. It was routine, natural, and had nothing to do with anything anymore than a healthy, mutual hatred.
Sure, that extra forty pounds of muscle he'd put on was a direct result of Lupo taking over security at Global Dynamics, but that wasn't because of unresolved sexual tension. That was frustration, pure and simple, from being locked up every third day. Seriously. Try to imagine twelve hours in that little plastic cell under the watchful eye of the Enforcer herself, with no other way to work off excess energy. So what if her eyes would widen just that much when he'd strip off his shirt? So what if her breath would catch and her caramel skin would turn a rosy hue as he lowered himself to the floor. So what if she'd run from her own office before he'd make it to the count of twenty-five, his toned muscles gliding with ease beneath his smooth skin, pushup after pushup. His confident chuckle would chase her into the hall, a quiet "frak you" to the power tripping cylon that seemed determined to suck the fun out of his very existence.
Okay, so maybe there was a tiny bit of unresolved sexual tension, but it was all about the give and take. He'd give her the opportunity, and she'd take the chance to taze his arse. He wasn't stupid, one night together and they'd burn it off, maybe move onto a more normal mutual existence, but they never took it to that level. Some days, the game just seemed more rewarding than the prize. It was just who he was, who they were. Until it wasn't.
When she'd changed, much like the orbit of a planet that's gravitational focus had shifted, Zane was knocked off his axis. For more than a year now, he's been spinning out of control, the absolute focus of who he was gone without so much as a whimper. When they'd finally come together, it had been with a heat so brilliant that buildings burned around them. Literally. The flame thrower only had a tiny bit to do with it, the rest was all them.
Since that night, he'd not so much as looked at another woman. Gone were the one night stands, the list of female GD employees, high lit as he made his way through their ranks. Gone was his will to even entertain the slightest notion that anyone else may be interested in him. He had tunnel vision where his heart was concerned, and once again his world fell back into orbit around her, revolving at her will, pieces of his shattered existence slowly reforming and falling into place.
She kicked him, he came back. She ignored him, he waited her out. She left him, he held her in his heart until she was in his arms again. He'd stopped short of begging, but the thought had crossed his mind when nothing else seemed to be working. Now, as both their lives in Eureka fell apart around them, each the other's only constant in an uncertain future, he found her on her knees, asking for a chance at forever.
Two years ago, he would have laughed, hell, a year and a half ago he did, and he'd broken her heart almost beyond repair. A year ago he'd have let her down gently, the sex was great and all, but why did she have to go and get serious? Six months ago, his world was rocked, everything he'd come to know sucked out into the vacuum of space and made a lie. If he were being honest with himself, the weeks he'd spent away changed everything.
He had choices.
He could run, be like his father and disappear into the night, not looking back to see the carnage in his wake. Nothing tied him to Eureka anymore, not with his pardon in hand and GD's imminent closure.
He could laugh her off a second time, tease her about getting serious, force her to take it back and try to carry on, ignoring the elephant in the room until they came to their natural end.
He could say nothing, let his silence speak for itself and watch her slowly begin to dissolve before his eyes, a repeat of the agony she'd worked so hard to come beyond. At one time it had been his sole purpose in life to make her crack, bring the great Jo Lupo to her knees, but as she kneeled now on the precipice of uncertainty, waiting to be pushed into the crevice of unending darkness that hung between them, he knew without a doubt this was no longer an option.
Together, they'd changed the very fabric of who he's always been, and one thing became painfully apparent: he's not that kind of boy.
Words fell from his lips before he realized what he was saying, his heart speaking for once without the help of his overactive mind.
"In any timeline."
He'd stepped across the bridge from child to adult. Okay, not saying practical jokes wouldn't continue to be a part of his life, because damn, didn't her arse look great in that cat suit, but he wasn't going to take a chance at missing them. The official them. The rings, ministers, white dress and tuxedo them. The family, friends and dearly beloved them. The babies, mini vans, rocking chairs and grey hair them.
"I love you, Jo."
He's that kind of man.