DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for IDF 2008 and posted to my ff.net account with the same title. This makes mention of Episode 10 in Season 1, ‘Purple Haze’ where the people of Eureka are acting strange, Jo confesses a childhood dream to Jack.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To howlingturtle[at]hotmail.com
"So," Zoe Carter began in a teasing tone, "Josephina Ballerina, huh?"
"Oh god," Jo said, horror lacing her tone. "You've been talking with your father. He told. Does that man not understand the concept of a 'private' conversation?" The question directed more to herself than the teenager grinning at her over her mocha lid.
"Aww, I think it's cute! You. In a tutu. Pirouetting." Zoe's grin grew with every word, bursting into a full smile and a chuckle at Jo's agonized groan. "Can't you just see it now? Little Jo dancing around a stage." Zoe sighed wistfully if a little overdramatically.
"No. No, I can't. Nor do I want to. Me and tutus, we just don't mix." Jo tried to squash the mischievous glint she saw in Zoe's eyes, but knew it was a futile attempt. With some things Zoe was most certainly her father's daughter. This was a bone the girl was going to pick for as long as she could.
"But Jo! You'd be so cute! I can see it, even if you can't. It helps that you keep your hair in that ballerina bun " Zoe teased gently and Jo's hand immediately went to her hair intent on pulling it down. She stopped herself just in time, if she let her hair down Zoe would win. Zoe smiled hugely at Jo's little struggle, "All I've got to do is think of the frilly dress and slippers. All of it pink!"
"Stop. Stop right there." Jo lifted an admonishing finger at Zoe, wagging it to emphasize her words. "No imagining me in that ridiculous dancer garb. None. Nada. So just wipe that smile off your face. Your imagination finishes now."
Zoe's smile just got bigger, "Oh, but Jo, I don't have to imagine it!"
The smug smile that had just started to form on Jo's face fell at those words. "What?" she whispered. "What do you mean?" Jo didn't like the victorious smile on Zoe's face or the humor in Zoe's manner. The feeling of dread built in her gut, not abating in the least as Zoe began to rummage through her shoulder bag.
Jo started a mental chant of 'oh no. please no. no no no. she doesn't have a picture does she? only my brothers have copies of that Halloween. please no. I'd never live it down. no no no.' Zoe obviously missed Jo's growing dread.
"I mean," Zoe giggled even as she continued digging, "that I don't really have to imagine that as long as I've got Photoshop on my computer. You're really quite photogenic you know."
Jo moaned in despair, "You didn't. Please tell me you didn't." She tried to bury her face in her hands, even as she heard Zoe reply.
"I did. I really did." And then a printed picture was put on Jo's desk.
Jo looked at it.
She looked at Zoe's grinning face.
She looked back at the picture.
She almost laughed, but she knew better than to encourage this behavior. It was hard fought composure though the picture was ridiculous. There in front of her was a print out of her head glued to the body of a five year old ballerina.
Zoe spoke again, "Look at this one," she said, magically producing another print, "This one has you dancing with your favorite guns!" She slid the second picture across the desk to the deputy.
This picture was even sillier than the first, it was still her head on a child's tutued body but it also included a grenade launcher in her arms with various rifles and handguns filling the stage behind her.
Jo did laugh then.
She heard Zoe speak through her laughter, "I said I had Photoshop. Not that I was any good with it."
Jo laughed a little harder. She didn't know that at home Zoe had a picture of an adolescent Josephine Lupo, dressed as a ballerina, tucked safely into her diary. Probably her most treasured picture now. A photo she received after contacting one of Jo's three brothers and begging him for the picture.
Zoe laughed with her. That was a secret she didn't ever plan to tell Jo, just like she didn't ever plan on telling Jo how she felt for her. She'd settle for being Jo's best girl friend, at least she'd get to spend time with her and tease her with impunity.
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