Five Times Janis Could Have Kissed Demetri (In A Purely Platonic Way)
It's that rarest of all occasions, a Friday night off, and Janis and Demetri are quick to take advantage and make the drive out to Washington for the night. They make an odd couple at times like this, with Janis watching and clapping as Demetri, already three sheets to the wind, finishes a truly impressive rendition of a country song Janis has never heard before. Country music isn't really her thing.
Most nights like this, Demetri would already have set his sights on a girl – often as not, in cowboy boots – and shrugged at Janis apologetically, but his luck seems to have run its course tonight, and he collapses beside her at the table, still grinning.
"No girls tonight?" Janis teases gently, and Demetri shakes his head ruefully.
"Not – not tonight," he says, enunciating carefully. "And how about you? You never end up with any guys, and you could have anyone in the entire fuckin' bar, you know that?"
"Yeah, that's not really my thing," Janis says, counting on Demetri not remembering this tomorrow in any detail.
"Sleazy guys in karaoke bars?" he asks, and Janis laughs.
"Exactly," she says.
"Oh, okay," Demetri says. "Only you never date anybody, do you? You know, all the time I've known you, you've never told me about a guy or anything? I was kind of starting to think guys aren't your thing. But, you know, that's cool too. Whatever."
And partially because Dem's getting progressively drunker, and partially because Janis has known him for long enough to start to trust him, she shakes her head.
"Guys are great, but no, they're not really my thing," she says. "You know, they can look attractive, they can be fun – but in the end there's just something about girls, the way they look, the way they feel – gets me every time."
Demetri nods sagely, spinning an empty shot glass in his hand. "You know, Janis, I couldn't agree more," he says seriously, and Janis, surprised and a little delighted, laughs.
"You don't mind, do you?" she asks.
Demetri shakes his head. "Hell, no," he says. "Especially if you ever decided to let me watch." He grins, lets her know for sure that he's joking.
"In your dreams, Dem." Janis smacks his arm as a matter of principle, but inside, she's practically soaring.
It's a touchy subject, and Janis knows it. Everyone else is walking on eggshells around Demetri, watching their words, careful of what they might say or imply. The way they skirt the issue makes it as painfully obvious as open speculation would. It's bullshit.
Janis has resolved not to act any differently around Demetri, and she can tell he's grateful for it. They work late in their cubicle, the way they've played dozens of other cases, and this one is no exception.
She can open up to Demetri, talk about her flashforward, and really, there's no reason she wouldn't, except oversensitivity.
Demetri's quick to talk about his own lack of a vision. He hasn't talked to Zoey, hasn't talked to anyone at all. Not really. And even though he tries to joke about it, about what it would be like for Zoey to dance with a corpse, she can tell how scared he is. How it's been preying on his mind.
He says he doesn't want to know how it happens, but that's bullshit, and Janis isn't going to let him get off that easily.
Someone has to talk some sense into him, and if everyone else is just ignoring the elephant in the room, it might as well be her. At any rate, she's not going to sit back and let Demetri die if they can do anything to stop it.
And they can. The future's there for anyone to change. To prevent.
"What the hell," Demetri says finally, because she was right. He doesn't want to die. He doesn't want to sit back and let the future happen any more than she does.
He reaches over, uses her computer to fill out the form. It's a quick message, giving his name, asking if anyone has any information. When he submits it to the website, she can see his shoulders tense up.
Because as frightened as he is of not knowing – there's still the fear that he'll learn something even worse.
She wants to tell him it will all be okay. But that's not what he needs to hear right now. He jokes around for another minute about getting weird responses from more people like DiDi Gibbons, then abruptly says he thinks he'll call it a night.
"March 15th," Demetri says, blankly.
"What?" Janis asks absently, not really looking up from her computer.
"I got a response to my Mosaic posting," Demetri says, and Janis swivels around in her chair immediately, heart stopping.
His voice is oddly flat, like he's trying to distance himself from his words. "A woman who wouldn't give her name or tell me how she got my cell phone number. Her accent was Middle Eastern, but I couldn't say where she's from."
"And?" Janis prompts. She wants and doesn't want him to answer.
"She was reading a dossier of some kind in her flashforward," Demetri says. "I'm going to be murdered on March 15th."
Janis stands up and opens her arms in a hug. Demetri allows it, but he doesn't hug back. Just stands there as she tries to transfer all the warmth she can.
"Have you talked to Zoey yet?" she asks finally, releasing him, and he shakes his head.
"This isn't exactly the sort of thing you can say over the phone, you know?"
"Is she coming down soon?" Janis asks.
"Yeah, soon," Demetri says. He's still flat, emotionless.
"Dem," Janis says, aware she's treading a thin line, "if you need some company – if you need anything – "
"I'm fine," Demetri says firmly. "Thanks, but I'm really okay, Janis."
She closes her eyes briefly. Too strong, too much, too much like pity. She could have expected this. "Okay," she says.
"Besides," Demetri says, sitting down at his own computer and typing furiously, "this isn't inevitable, like you said. We can change the future."
4) Free Fall
Janis isn't sure she can stand it. She's an analyst. She's low-drama. She's pretty sure that she didn't sign up for this. But here she is, back to the office after her stay in the hospital, and now Al is gone too.
In the hospital, she had a lot of time to think. And she's pretty sure that she's come to the conclusion that she wants this. She didn't expect it. She didn't ever think it was missing. And yes, she was more than a little intimidated when Maya started acting like the two of them might be forever.
But this is one forever she thinks she could understand. Someone she could finally commit to.
And now she's looking at the loss of yet another field agent, in some attempt to prove that the future can be changed. What she's been saying all along.
She has to run to the bathroom in the morning, locks herself in a stall and sits there, sobbing as quietly as she can. She's shaky and uncertain and scared. When she finally gets back, people seem to be watching her.
She doesn't feel like talking, works instead on clearing up the cell phone pictures for Mark.
It happens again just before lunch, and as she reapplies mascara in the bathroom, she thinks it's time to talk to Wedeck about some time off.
"It's good to have you back," Demetri says that night. "I thought you might take some more time off, actually."
"Believe me, I wanted to," Janis sighs. "What with Al, and the thought that I could have lost my future – " She swallows. "I actually told Wedeck I needed a break."
"And something tells me he didn't bite?" Demetri asks, not probing, just sympathetic.
"Told me that he needed me here, yeah." Janis is surprised she's held it together ever since, but she's always been damn good under pressure.
"Losing Al's been rough on everybody," Demetri says.
Janis shakes her head. "I… I'm torn," she says. "Part of me wants this future, wants it so badly, and part of me thinks I've finally gone off the deep end."
She takes a deep breath. Demetri's just sitting there, content to listen. They're supporting each other through this, at least.
"I just don't know," she says. "I mean… I thought I wanted to change the future, but maybe I don't." She looks Demetri in the eyes. "At least, not my future."
"Well, there's proof at least that the future can be changed," Demetri says.
"Wedeck said it was proof that we could choose whether or not we wanted the future to come true," Janis says. "I just… I want to believe we can pick and choose what we want."
"We can," Demetri says, and even if it's a lie, it's exactly what she needs to hear.
Janis never thought that she would be this person, but she's glad Demetri is with her at the clinic. It keeps up an appearance she wasn't aware she was concerned with projecting, but it's something.
"I'm just… what if it doesn't take? What if I choose the wrong donor?" she asks.
"Relax," Demetri tells her. "You'll be fine."
"I want the baby from my vision," she says. "I don't want anything to change. Not anything at all."
"I'm sure you'll get the right baby," Demetri says again, the same pacifying voice he's been using all afternoon. If she weren't so nervous, she would be annoyed.
As it is, she's grateful.
"I want you to be her godfather," she says suddenly. "You and Zoey. Will you be the godparents?"
Demetri is taken aback. "Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asks. "I mean… you know as well as I do…."
"Mark isn't going to kill you, Demetri," she says. She's never been so certain of anything in her life. It's like suddenly standing on solid ground after a wild ride in a runaway balloon. "Not now that he knows to avoid it. He could never kill you."
"I don't know, he gets pretty cranky sometimes," Demetri says, grinning, but Janis shakes her head.
"You're going to live, you and Zoey are going to get married, and you're going to be my little girl's godparents," she says. "Promise me."
"Okay," Demetri says. "I promise."
It might not mean anything in the end, but in its own way, it means everything for Janis to hear him promise that the future can still be created.