The Badger's Den

Author: DebC
Disclaimer: The Dead Zone belongs to USA network, Lions Gate Television, and is based on the characters and novel by Stephen King.  I am not affiliated with any of those institutions, and have no money, so please don't sue me for the use of these characters.  No money exchanged hands for the production of this fanfic.
Spoilers: All of Season 1 without mercy, plus Valley of the Shadows, Descent and Ascent

As Johnny watched Sarah and JJ pushing Walt out of the hospital doors, he felt a little lighter, more free--as if someone had lifted a huge weight from off his shoulders. The weight, of course, was the burden of knowing what he and Sarah had done, and it was gone because he'd finally told Walt the truth about what happened that night when Sarah came over.

He liked Walt. When Sarah had told him Walt was a good man--when he'd first woken up and before they'd met--he'd been jealous... and angry. Walt Bannerman had everything he'd always wanted: his girl, his son... everything that he used to think would make him happy. Sarah, however, had been right about one thing. Walt Bannerman was a good man. And because he was a good man, he was also a good friend, and Johnny liked him.

Which made what they'd done all the harder for him to accept. He'd slept with Sarah--Walt's wife... his *friend* Walt's wife.

Telling Walt--even if Walt thought it had all been a dream--was a huge relief to him. He'd spoken the words that leapt to the tip of his tongue each time he saw his friend, they'd fought, and now, maybe things would be better.

However, he had one more person to tell, someone whom he owed an explanation to every bit as much as Walt. Dana.

Their relationship was tender, just forming, and he'd thought he'd screwed it up by sleeping with Sarah. His guilt had driven him to ignore her for weeks, which made him feel even guiltier. Dana, however, had continued to be his friend through it all. She went so far as to make it clear to him that if 'friend' was all she could be, she would accept that and they *would* be friends.

The past few weeks without her, however, had made one thing clear to Johnny. He didn't want to just be her friend. He missed her. He missed the caring side she let show around him, and--sometimes, he thought--only him. He missed her bravery, her quick wit, and most of all, the way she made him smile when no one else could. But he couldn't, he knew, get those things back by avoiding the issues.

When Sarah asked him to come to dinner, he hadn't been lying when he'd told her he had plans. He planned to hunt Dana down, call her up on the cell phone Sarah had given him him, and try to set things right.

Maybe, all four of them could get their respective lives back on track at last.