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Remember When

Remember When
Author: enigmaticblue
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters. Too bad, so sad.
Pairings: Gen, Jack & Zoe
Spoilers: Through the end of season 3.
Summary: Jack stumbles upon a few old memories while visiting Zoe at Harvard.
A/N: Written for schmoop_bingo, and the prompt “memories – scrapbook/photo album”

Jack moved aimlessly from one end of Zoe’s dorm room to the other, making certain not to encroach on the other side. He’d met Zoe’s roommate, and had been impressed (and a little bit relieved) when she offered a firm handshake and a smile. The roommate—Rachel, he thought—was also in the pre-med program, had informed him that her father was an attorney and her mother a software engineer, and spoke fluent French.

Jack thought Rachel might be more of an overachiever than Zoe, a fact he found comforting.

Right now, however, he was waiting for Zoe to finish up in the bathroom so that he could take her and Lucas out to dinner. Not that Jack had particularly wanted to bring Lucas along, but Zoe had wheedled an invitation for him.

And Jack couldn’t say no to Zoe at the moment, and she knew as much.

Jack paused in front of the built-in bookshelves, spotting the familiar cover of a scrapbook he remembered seeing Zoe working on back in Eureka. After a moment’s hesitation—Zoe hated anything even resembling an invasion of privacy—Jack pulled it out and sat down on her bed.

The first page held a photo that had to have been taken in Los Angeles. Zoe wore jeans and a red and white, raglan Angel’s t-shirt and baseball cap. Jack had an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close, and they both wore huge grins.

He remembered Abby taking the picture, back when their marriage was still working, and before Zoe had started running away and acting out.

Jack ran his fingers over the bright red borders that surrounded the picture, the stickers of baseballs and gloves.

When he flipped the page, Jack smiled as he saw a series of pictures from their last vacation together as a family. They’d gone to Disneyland, and this time, the stickers were of Mickey Mouse ears and the borders were green and blue.

Jack had enjoyed that vacation, and he thought Abby had, too. Zoe had insisted on riding every roller coaster twice.

“What are you doing?”

Jack jumped, feeling a little guilty. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. I just—”

Her face softened when she saw the scrapbook. “Oh. That.”

“Yeah, I remember you working on it.” Jack started to close it, but Zoe put a hand on the page.

She sat down next to him and bumped her shoulder with her own. “School project,” she replied.

“Seriously?”

“Art.” She raised her eyebrows. “Hey, I’m very well-rounded.”

“Did I say you weren’t?” Jack asked.

Zoe just grinned and flipped the page. “Oh, hey, look.”

Jack winced as he saw the picture of Zoe with Abby. Zoe’s expression was clearly pissed as hell. “That was from after the divorce, huh?”

“Yeah, when we moved into the new place,” Zoe replied. “Hey, Dad, it’s cool. No guilt.”

Jack grimaced. “Right.”

Although he expected Zoe to announce that they needed to get going at any moment, she flipped the page again. “Remember that?”

His grimace turned to a smile. “Yeah, I do. That was your first science fair.”

Jack couldn’t quite help the way his fingers traced the outlines of stickers in the shape of the moon, Saturn, and various other planets, as well as atoms and—“What’s this?”

Zoe grinned. “It’s the chemical representation of water, Dad.”

“How did you find stickers like that?”

“I special ordered them. Remember the bill for art supplies?”

Jack winced at the memory. “Right.”

“Looks good, though, right?”

“It looks great.” Jack stared at Nathan Stark’s stern expression, off to one side. Allison stood at the other side of the group of Tesla students, wearing a dark suit and enigmatic smile. The suit, at least, was a match to Stark’s. “Brings back memories, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, it does.”

They flipped the pages together, and Jack chuckled as he recognized a picture someone had snapped of him standing with Henry, their heads bent close together as they shared conspiratorial grins. “That was at one of the Founder’s Day celebrations, wasn’t it?”

“Our first year in Eureka,” Zoe confirmed. “Pretty great, huh? I won’t tell you who gave me a copy of it.”

The next page held a picture of Zoe bent over a table Jack recognized from Tesla, lab goggles and coat in place. Lucas hovered somewhere just behind her right shoulder.

“One of my first chemistry projects,” Zoe said. “I think Pilar took this one.”

Another page flipped, and this time the picture showed Jack and Jo, standing shoulder to shoulder in front of Café Diem, both of them in uniform. He couldn’t remember when the picture was taken, but he smiled at the expression on his own face—his eyebrows raised, Jo in the middle of an eye roll.

Pretty typical for the two of them, really.

“I think that was right before the thing with Dr. Stark,” Zoe said softly.

Jack nodded. “Right.”

“How’s Allison?”

“She’s good.”

“And you?”

“Also good.” Jack glanced over at his daughter. “We’re not talking about me, remember?”

“Come on, Dad. You—”

“Not talking about me,” Jack insisted, flipping the next page.

There were pictures of him and Lexi, pictures of Zoe and Lexi, one of Lexi and Duncan, another someone had snapped of him with Allison at her baby shower, Allison leaning back against him as she laughed, Jack looking down at her with a smile.

He probably looked like an idiot.

“Come on, Dad. I’ve talked to Vincent, but the gossip has been really quiet,” Zoe protested. “What’s going on with you and Allison?”

Jack hesitated. “We’re still friends.”

“Come on, Dad.”

“That’s all I’m going to say on the subject, Zo.”

She seemed to let it go. “Okay.”

The last picture in the photo album showed Jack standing next to Zoe in her graduation robes. Jack had insisted that she come back to Tesla for the graduation ceremony—early acceptance to Harvard notwithstanding.

Jack recognized the pride on his own face, the shy grin on Zoe’s, and the soft smile on Abby’s. He’d actually managed to make it through lunch with Abby and her new boyfriend after the ceremony without losing his temper. In fact, he’d managed to be downright civil.

“I don’t think I have a copy of this one,” he managed to say past the lump in his throat.

“I’ll send you one.” Zoe offered a mischievous grin. “Or I’ll send one to SARAH and have her print out a copy.”

“That might be for the best,” Jack agreed. He paused for a moment before pressing a kiss to his daughter’s forehead. “Thanks for having me here.”

“My pleasure,” Zoe said. “And, um, thanks for coming.”

“Anytime, kiddo. Anytime.”

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
fai_dust
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Cute!
enigmatic_blue
Jul. 16th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
seramercury
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
I love fics that showcase the relationship between Jack and Zoe. Excellent work. :)
enigmatic_blue
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
afteriwake
May. 2nd, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love stories with the two of them together. Great job.
enigmatic_blue
May. 3rd, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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