Disclaimer: I do not own Blindspot. I'm just borrowing the fantastic characters so I can play with them a little bit.
Author's Note: So yesterday I was on my way home with groceries for all the things I'm making for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I suddenly thought "Too bad Blindspot had the mid season finale already and didn't get to incorporate Thanksgiving" (because these days I'm thinking about Blindspot most of the time, I'm not gonna lie). My next thought was that I wanted to write a Thanksgiving one-shot. In all of the fanfic I've written, I've never written a one-shot. My previous shortest story is 16 chapters long! So I don't know how this turned out, and I'll be the first to admit that it's mostly fluff, but I hope that you enjoy it. It takes place after 109 but before 110, in that space where Jane and Kurt are now really close, but she hasn't kissed him. Or been captured. Or... any of the rest of it... Oh man, it's gonna be a long wait til February... Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers in the US, and to everyone else... have a great Thursday!
It was a Wednesday night, and the team had spent the day chasing the clues from another one of Jane's tattoos, surviving yet another close call. That day alone, they'd ended up in a car chase, some hand to hand combat, had guns pointed at them and had narrowly escaped a warehouse fire on top of everything else. In the end, though, they were all still alive. All four of them had been discharged by the paramedics that checked them out not long before, and Mayfair had debriefed them and told them to go home and get some sleep. They would be sore the next day, Weller and Jane especially. Somehow, as usual, those two seemed to have been magnets for danger.
Jane and Zapata were in the locker room already, collecting their belongings and getting ready to head out to their respective destinations, when Reade wandered in, followed a minute later by Weller. As soon as the men arrived, Reade and Zapata began were bantering back and forth, as they usually did, and even Weller couldn't help but smile at the cracks they were making about each other. The two really were pretty funny. Lately, lots of times Jane would join in giving Reade a hard time, to Zapata's delight and Reade's mock annoyance – it was pretty obvious that he didn't actually mind the good natured teasing from either woman. Weller had been thinking that it was nice to see Jane coming out of her shell in the past few weeks. It hadn't been too terribly long ago that they'd found her in Times Square, and now it felt like she was a part of the team, almost as if she'd always been one of them.
But today Jane wasn't saying anything to Reade, or to anyone else. No, today Jane had seemed a little… off. He'd thought that he was imagining it earlier, but the feeling had only grown stronger throughout the day. Weller hadn't quite identified what the problem was, but there was something not quite right with her. Which, of course, meant that he was determined to figure out what it was.
"So," Zapata began as she shut her locker, putting on her black leather jacket and pushing her bag onto her shoulder, "do we wanna place bets on whether we can make it through the day tomorrow without having to rush back and save the world?"
Reade shook his head, rolling his eyes. "Don't jinx it," he groaned. "If we make it one day without getting called in, I'll be shocked. The whole Thanksgiving weekend? That's just not gonna happen."
"We've worked every single holiday since we've been on this team," Zapata said emphatically, turning to look at Weller, pretending to be annoyed with him as their team leader – as if it were his fault they worked on holidays, "whether we were scheduled to be off or not. Mayfair promised that we could have a break this time, for once."
Kurt understood the frustration his teammates were feeling, even if they were taking it pretty well. He didn't necessarily want to work every holiday either, but he was realistic when it came to their workload. As much as they might love the idea of having a four day weekend, the odds of it happening, whatever Mayfair may or may not have promised them, seemed slim to none in his eyes. After all, working for the FBI was always going to be intense and unpredictable, and ever since they'd found Jane… well, you just couldn't predict when they'd get a hit in the "tattoo database," as Patterson called it. The people they dealt with in their line of work didn't take holidays off, so that meant that usually, they couldn't either.
Weller had been shaking his head in amusement at Reade and Zapata as they continued their back and forth jabs. That was when he glanced at Jane, standing at her locker and suddenly looking stricken, far more noticeably upset than she had been up to that point that day. She gripped the narrow metal door tightly with one hand, and the metal frame on the other side of her locker with the other. Somehow, Kurt knew that she wouldn't want to talk about whatever was causing her such distress in front of the other two, so he said nothing for the moment. Luckily for him, Reade and Zapata were ready to say their goodbyes, and they headed out through the locker room door together, arguing the whole way about how many days of the four day weekend they'd manage to go without seeing each other's ugly faces when they were called into work. Their voices faded quickly as they left, leaving silence in their wake.
Kurt turned back to Jane, who was still standing at her locker, her fingers now curled even more tightly around the locker door, color draining from her knuckles from the pressure with which she was holding on. She was focused a spot on the floor, appearing to be making less of an effort to hide the turmoil of whatever was bothering her now that the other two were gone.
She knew that he was watching her, but she'd used up most of her energy in the past few minutes, pretending in front of Reade and Zapata that everything was fine. Besides, she wouldn't be able to fool Kurt and she knew it. She had no doubt that he'd already figured out that something was wrong.
He glanced around, seeing that they were now alone in the room, before taking a step closer to her, which, considering that there hadn't been a lot of space between them in the first place, meant that he was now standing only inches away from her. "Jane?" he asked quietly, looking down at her with concern. He'd only said her name, but it was a question as well, and she knew it. What's more, he knew that she knew it. She exhaled heavily and her eyes flicked up towards his without her tilting her head up. "Are you okay?" he asked, already knowing the answer. She didn't speak, just nodded silently as her eyes flicked away from his, around the room.
Why do I bother to lie to him? she wondered. It would've been obvious to anyone that I'm not okay, and he knows me better than anyone.
As much as she didn't want to talk about it, she knew that Kurt wouldn't let her go at that. She really was a bad liar when it came to him. He wouldn't push her to talk, she knew, he would just try gently to convince her to and then wait her out. He knew her too well. Better than I know myself, she thought ruefully. It wasn't an exaggeration. If anything, it was an understatement, but she supposed that that was what happened when one person had had their memory wiped and the other one had an FBI case file on them that included scans of every single inch of her body. She'd gotten past that a while back… mostly.
He was still looking at her, waiting. He had a guess at what was bothering her, and if he was right, then it was his own fault, but for the moment he was playing his cards close to his vest, so to speak, to see if she'd tell him herself.
When her eyes finally stopped darting around the locker room and her breathing slowed back down closer to normal speed, she looked back up at him – tilting her head in his direction this time instead of just her eyes – to find him looking at her with that look that he gave only to her. She hadn't quite figured out what it was, only that he never looked at anyone else that way. Whatever it was, it was special, and it made her feel special.
Swallowing hard, she forced herself to hold eye contact with him. "I... you know, today was just Wednesday and... I forgot…" she stopped and took a deep breath, trying to continue, but stumbling on the words. "I didn't… I don't… It's just…" Her breath hitched and she silently cursed the tears that she could feel forming behind her eyes. You sure cry a lot for someone who's supposed to be some kind of badass super fighter, the voice in her head told her mockingly, which only made her feel worse. It was true, she was constantly battling against her emotions, and even now, after she'd adjusted somewhat to her new life, she felt like most of the time she lost the battle. She closed her eyes and shook her head, trying to silence her doubts.
She knew she wasn't making any sense, and that he probably had no idea what she was talking about… but she couldn't get the thoughts to come out coherently, and her voice had already begun to break. She looked away, somewhere just over Kurt's left shoulder, now feeling the tears gathering in her eyes and willing them to evaporate. Hadn't she cried in front of him enough?
He watched her and could almost see the wheels in her head spinning faster and faster. "Hey," he said softly, causing her eyes to land back on him again. He rested his hand on the upper arm, just below her shoulder, squeezing gently. Warmth immediately radiated out from that spot, spreading through her. She felt her knees weaken slightly, as sometimes happened to her when he was that close, and she somehow managed to remain standing as she released her vice like grip on the door of her locker and turned towards him slowly, grateful for the contact. The relief that she felt simply from him holding onto her arm was so overwhelming, that suddenly she couldn't stop herself from leaning forward the few inches between them, until her forehead rested against his shoulder.
She let out a ragged sigh, hating that she felt so helpless. No matter that she had spent so much time feeling helpless that she was almost used to it, or that she felt it much less often now than she had when she'd first ended up at the FBI. She was making progress, but there were still so many moments of panic, like this one, where she hated herself for feeling so weak.
He was glad when she leaned against him, because he hated to watch her suffer and not be about to do anything about it. His arms came up and circled gently around her shoulders, pulling her into a hug, and he felt her arms come up around his waist tentatively to complete the circle. However complicated his feelings for her were, there was one thing he knew for sure, and that was that holding onto her like that felt like the right thing to do.
Ever since that black tie undercover party op they'd been on together, playing husband and wife, things between them had been a little different. Nothing had happened, exactly, it was more of just a feeling. God knew that his feelings for her hadn't needed to get any more complicated, and yet… in a way, things seemed simpler, though it seemed impossible to explain what that even meant. He didn't even understand it himself.
Looking back at the op now, with the danger behind them, he would almost say that the day had actually been kind of fun. In order to look like husband and wife, they'd had to spend all their time holding hands, dancing, whispering in each other's ear… it had been an excuse to be that close to her, something that he wouldn't have dared to do otherwise. What he had discovered that day, was that it felt... right. Ever since then he'd felt closer to her, even though nothing had really changed between them. Well, other than the fact that he was slowly realizing that his touch was comforting to her, so little by little, he found himself slowly less afraid to reach out for her at times like this.
"Do you want to tell me?" he whispered, speaking almost directly into her ear because of the way his head was angled. Her felt her exhale heavily, but she didn't say anything. "Would it have anything to do with Thanksgiving being tomorrow?" he asked gently in the same whisper. The conversation between Reade and Zapata about Thanksgiving had seemed to set her off, which was why it was his first guess.
He felt her stiffen quickly, and he held on to her a little tighter, knowing that he'd just confirmed his suspicion. It made sense. He knew how much she hated to be alone at her safe house, and now they were facing a potential long weekend – if work didn't call them in, anyway – which just meant even more time alone. Not only that, it was a holiday where the focus was on family and being thankful for what you have… which, he realized, when you've been stripped of everything and everyone in your life and all the memories that go with them in the still not too distant past, it would be more than a little bit painful.
He pulled back from her enough to look her in the eyes, noticing that she didn't seem to want to meet his. "Jane," he said evenly, waiting until her eyes settled on him, "You really think I'd let you spend Thanksgiving alone?" She just glanced down sadly, then back up at him again but said nothing. It was a look that broke his heart.
"You don't have to, I mean…" she started, but broke off. Once again, the words just didn't want to come out. She looked down at the floor yet again.
"No," he said insistently, "This is all my fault. I was supposed to have invited you last week, and then I forgot. We've just been so preoccupied with these last few cases, it slipped my mind. Sarah's actually been bugging me about it for like a month, but I just kept forgetting." He stopped and looked at her, feeling guilty. God, I'm such a jerk sometimes, he thought. She was glancing between the floor and him, and he tried to catch her eyes again. "I'm sorry, Jane, I didn't mean to leave something so important to the last minute. It's not fair to you." He felt horrible, knowing that he could have saved her so much stress.
She finally met his eyes again, and he was fairly sure that what he saw in them was relief, and she smiled just the tiniest bit at him.
"Unless, of course, you already have plans," he deadpanned.
"Shut up, Weller," she replied, pulling one of her arms from his back to punch his jokingly in the arm with her fist, trying to look annoyed but succeeding only in smiling sadly at him.
As serious as he typically was around most people, he couldn't help but smile back at her then, and pull her back into a hug, tighter this time. She rested her cheek on his shoulder and sighed contentedly. A comfortable few minutes went by before they both pulled away and dropped their hands, the air between them no longer heavy. Jane turned back to her locker slowly, pulling out her small, mostly empty bag, and closing the metal door with a clang.
As if sensing that she was about to tell him good night, Kurt went back to his locker and closed it, then turned back to her before she had a chance to say anything. "Come on," he said, "I'll give you a ride home." She opened her mouth to protest, but he just raised his eyebrows at her. The thing was, they were both stubborn, and they both knew it. She closed her mouth and made a face at him.
It occurred to her then that she didn't actually have a reason to say no. She had nothing to prove to this man standing in front of her. He knew literally everything about her, and there he was, looking at her with that look again… like she was the most important person in the world. She didn't feel worthy of such admiration, but knowing him, she knew it wouldn't be worth arguing. Besides, why would she want to?
At that moment she was flooded with gratitude. She had lost so many things in her life – literally everything – but they were gone, and she didn't remember them anyway, which was perhaps for the best. And yes, that made things scary sometimes, and frustrating, and lonely… But the feeling that she had at that moment – that was one thing she hoped that she would never have to forget. She may have lost everything once, but what she had gained was so much better. She had no proof of that, of course, but she believed it with everything inside her. After all, what could be better than the way she felt around him?
Realizing that she'd been lost in her thoughts, and that he was standing there probably waiting for her to tell him that it was fine, she didn't need a ride, she smiled at him and said simply, "Okay." She realized that he really had been expecting her to say no, because he looked pleasantly surprised by her response. A wide smile spread across his face and she couldn't help but smile back.
"So, let's go already," she told him in mock impatience. They maneuvered around the lockers towards the door, falling into step side by side, and Jane couldn't help feeling like Thanksgiving had come a day early.
It wasn't long before they pulled up in front of her safe house, her security detail pulling up just behind them. They got out of the car, waved goodnight to the detail, and walked to the door, Kurt doing his usual careful surveillance of the street around them. She unlocked the door and let them in, and was surprised to see Kurt walk past her, appearing to do a quick inspection of the entire first floor – doors, windows, closets and corners. He didn't usually do this, and she wasn't sure exactly why he was doing it now. When he completed the circuit of the first floor and walked back to where she was still standing in the entryway, an amused look on her face, he realized exactly what he'd just done as she had stood and watched him. He stopped in front of her and looked slightly embarrassed, as she just grinned. "You… looking for something?" she asked him, suppressing a chuckle.
"Just want to make sure you're safe," he told her seriously, looking straight into her eyes the way he often did. She felt her insides melting a little bit. He was just too sweet.
"So, are you planning to check upstairs, too?" she asked innocently. She honestly hadn't meant anything by it, but she suddenly realized that it may have come out of her mouth in a different way. Before she could stop herself, she blushed slightly. He just stood and looked at her, aware of the awkwardness that had just appeared, and not sure of the right answer.
"Well, go ahead," she told him, gesturing upstairs. "I'm going to make some tea." With that, she walked back toward the kitchen, leaving him to go upstairs alone, thereby dispelling some of the tension of the situation. Not that she thought that he was anything but a gentleman, it was just one of those things that was unspoken between them; exactly what they were to each other.
Honestly, she didn't know what to think. She was fairly sure that she'd overheard whispers between Reade and Zapata about some sort of bet the two of them had going over what would happen between herself and Weller. She ignored it. From the first time she and Kurt had met, there'd been a connection between them, one that neither of them had even tried to articulate. Not really. It just… was.
Then there had been that whole "keep work separate" thing, which had been a terrible idea. It had just made them both treat each other with hostility, and made them both miserable. So since they had agreed that they were "in this together," they'd been something more. Something special. They were more than just plain friends, but how much more wasn't clear. For example, he'd let her question him extensively about his love life when they were dancing on the undercover op, and he'd answered all of her questions. If anyone else had ever tried to ask him any of those things, not only would he would not have answered, but would have shut down the line of inquiry altogether. No, there was something there, something that both of them seemed to know but neither of them dared to articulate – or to act on past a certain point.
When Kurt came back downstairs, Jane had two mugs of tea on the coffee table in front of the couch and she was sitting with her feet curled under her to one side, leaning on one arm along the back cushion. "How's it look up there?" she asked curiously.
He knew that she was teasing him, but he didn't mind. "Everything's in order," he said, walking over to sit down next to her, about halfway between where she was sitting and the other end of the couch. Not too close and not too far away.
"Thanks," she said simply, smiling at him. She found his concern very endearing. She leaned forward to pick up her tea, then she sat back again holding the mug, scooting over just a little closer to him so that only a few inches were between them. He watched her settle back into the cushions, sipping carefully on the hot tea. His first thought was that she looked very… at peace. It was rare to see her like that.
"What?" she asked him, watching him smile at her.
"You just look… happy. I like it," he told her simply. He sat forward at picked up the second mug of tea, then sat back beside her. He was more of a coffee person, but this tea wasn't bad.
"Well… I am," she replied. He couldn't help but smile. Without having to be told, he knew that he had something to do with that smile, in the same way that she had something to do with the smile on his own face. Careful not to spill his tea, he settled himself back against the pillows the same way she had, closing the small gap between them so that their shoulders and legs brushed against each other. She looked at him, surprised but simultaneously not surprised. She felt a little awkward, but only until she looked back up and into his eyes. The look in his eyes, as usual, said all that she needed to know. He was rewarded for his bold move – by his standards, anyway - with her head on his shoulder. He secured his tea in his other hand and wrapped the arm closer to her around her shoulders, gently tugging him toward her a little more.
She breathed out a sigh, not quite sure this wasn't all in her head. It seemed too good to be true. They sat that way, drinking their tea, without needing to say anything, until Jane felt her eyelids growing heavy. She yawned, and then picked up her head to look at Kurt. He looked sleepy too.
"I saw that," he told her, a teasing smile on his face.
"I know," she replied regretfully. "It's been another long day."
"Yes it has," he agreed. He removed his arm from her shoulder, sitting forward to put his tea on the coffee table, and then lifting both of his arms in the air and stretching them upwards. "And we both need to get some sleep."
"Yeah," she agreed disappointedly. Her expression made him chuckle.
"You remember that you're spending tomorrow at my place, right?" he grinned. "You're going to see me in a few hours." She nodded, sitting up to put her mug down on the coffee table and stretch as well.
"I know, I know," she told him. She looked at the clock, which told her that it was later than she had thought it was. "Wow, how'd it get so late?" she wondered out loud.
"Time flies when you're having fun," he told her. The look on her face told him that she may not have remembered the expression. "It's just something that people say," he added. She nodded, a look of discomfort passing over her face. He assumed it was because she realized that it was something that she had probably known in the past, but forgotten. He patted her knee gently, and watched the frown on her face disappear. Standing up slowly, he stretched again, and looked down to see her watching him. "Come on, I need to get going, and you need to go up and get some sleep." She narrowed her eyes at him jokingly.
"But I don't want to," she said, pretending to sulk.
"Oh, you'd better get your rest. I'm sure Sarah and Sawyer will want to talk your ear off tomorrow," he told her. She nodded, smiling tiredly again and standing up beside him to follow him toward the front door.
At the door, he turned around to smile at her, his eyes locking onto hers. She leaned against the wall, suddenly sleepy. "I'm going to come pick you up at… what's good? 9:00?"
She nodded, smiling, still leaning on the wall. "Whatever's good for you."
"Okay then. Around 9:00. Good night, Jane," he said, not moving. As usual, he was mesmerized by her eyes.
"Good night," she replied, smiling, her eyes equally locked onto his.
He stared at her for a few extra seconds before forcing himself to turn around and let himself out. As she locked the door behind him, she couldn't help but wonder how she could go from feeling so completely empty to so completely cared for in the space of such a short time. Life certainly was full of surprises.
The next day, Thanksgiving, was something of a blur. As predicted, Sarah and Sawyer talked a mile a minute pretty much all day, but Jane didn't mind. Whether or not she had been Taylor as a child, and consequently spent so much time with Kurt and Sarah, she fit right in with the three of them now. She helped Sarah prepare food for several hours, until there was nothing left for her to do for the moment, and she was released from the kitchen. "Go on and check on the boys," Sarah had told her. So Jane walked out to where Kurt and Sawyer were seated on the couch in front of the TV, watching a football game.
"Jane! Sit with us!" Sawyer exclaimed excitedly, scooting over to make space for her. The space just happened to be between himself and Kurt. Jane smiled at Sawyer, touched by the boy's excitement over having her there. Though she had no idea what was going on in the game they were watching, she happily sat down between the two boys. She wasn't quite as close to Kurt as she had been the night before, but just his proximity was enough to make her smile. He turned and looked at her with the same warm look he'd given her the night before. The same look he gave her a lot lately.
She sat back into the cushions between the two, feeling surrounded by happiness. The game went on and Kurt and Sawyer screamed out their excitement or disappointment, depending on what happened on the TV, and Jane had no idea what was going on. That was okay with her. She was perfectly content. At one point, Sawyer got up and wandered into the kitchen to talk to his mom, and Kurt turned to Jane.
"Having fun?" he asked her.
"You have to ask?" She was pretty sure the smile on her face should have said it all, especially considering how closely he always seemed to watch her. He just smiled back at her.
"You're not bored of football by now?"
She glanced at the TV and looked only a tiny bit guilty. "Well, I have no idea what's going on, but it doesn't bother me. I hear that there's lots of women who don't know anything about football, so it's not just me," she replied.
Kurt nodded his agreement. "That is true," he told her. "You're definitely not alone there."
Her expression changed then. She was still smiling, but there was something else there, something he couldn't identify. He waited to see if she was going to say something, and he was surprised when she clasped his hand gently in her own. He glanced toward the kitchen, aware that Sarah and Sawyer weren't far, and that Sarah would make a lot more of what Jane was doing that she should if she happened to see this. Neither of them were looking in their direction, though. He looked back at Jane, wondering what she was doing.
"You're right about that," Jane said softly, "I'm not alone. And I know that now." Kurt suddenly felt like his heart was going to burst, not with pain, as it had felt so often over the years, but with happiness. She squeezed her fingers.
"Good," he said simply, eyes once again locked on hers. They heard rustling from the kitchen and she slowly let go of his hand, missing the contact as soon as it was gone.
Within seconds, Sawyer was back. "Jane! Uncle Kurt! Mom says that it's time to eat!" Excitement shone in his eyes.
"Alright, thanks buddy. We'll be right there," Kurt told him. Sawyer was off again as soon as the words had left Kurt's lips.
They turned back to look at each other, suddenly a little shy. "Thank you for today," she said softly. "And for... all of it. I'm glad – no, it's Thanksgiving, so I'm thankful – that you're the first person I can remember." He didn't know how to reply to something like that, he was overwhelmed by the weight of it. All he could do was sit and look at her, his mouth slightly open. She watched him for a minute, then chuckled. "Special Agent Kurt Weller… speechless? Wow," she teased him.
He just shook his head at her. "I'm thankful…" he said in a whisper, "that you ended up here. It was worth it. All of it." They were both frozen in place, looking into each other's eyes for a few seconds, and then, too soon, he was standing up from the couch. Turning around to face her, he held his hand out to her, and said "Come on, time to eat." She put her hand in his and let him pull her up from the couch, both of them now smiling dopey smiles at each other, enjoying their momentary uncharacteristic sappiness. Once she had stood up, she held onto his hand for a few seconds longer than necessary before letting it go.
No matter what happens, she told herself, this life is one that I'm never going to forget.