The Badger's Den
Off the Record

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: Quality of Life, The House, Here There Be Monsters

Johnny Smith watched the red-head across the table as she placed her order.  They'd run into each other at the diner where Johnny liked to go for lunch sometimes.  He remembered going there once, long ago, with Sarah; they'd enjoyed the food and had planned to make it a weekly stop, but never got around to it before his coma.

Six years later, Johnny still enjoyed the food, so he ate there often.

He'd never seen Dana Bright there before, but he supposed it could have been just a coincidence.  Cleaves Mills wasn't some big city, after all, and Dana had to go someplace when she wasn't hanging around the police station.   The truth was, Johnny liked Dana, and couldn't bring himself to think that she might be stalking him.  Despite Walt and Sarah's warnings to stay clear of her, and despite the vision he'd had regarding them both.

He was actually trying to ignore that vision when it came to dealing with her; trying not to let it color his view of who she was.  He didn't know her after all, but he was starting to, and that was what really mattered.  Besides, he couldn't be sure of the vision--it could have been him, yes, or it could have been someone else in Dana's life--past or present.

If it *was* him, though... well, he'd just have to see how things panned out to get them to that particular point.  Right now, in this little diner, Dana Bright was a new friend, and nothing more.

"So," he said as the waitress left them along with their slightly too bitter--must have been the last of an old pot--cups of coffee.  "Off the record, Ms. Bright... why didn't you write about my little experience in Hobbs Landing?  Could have given your career quite a boost."   The truth was, Dana hadn't written about Johnny or his psychic talents since he helped the Davises in their time of need.  Not that he minded *not* seeing his name in the papers everyday, but Johnny had wondered what changed.  He still did.

"Off the record..."  Dana echoed, flashing him the sweetest smile.  "I was more worried about you than getting the scoop.  I can always find another story, but where will I ever find another friend like Johnny Smith?"

Johnny couldn't help but return her smile now.  Maybe there would be something else between them someday.  Maybe not.  But their friendship was coming along fine.