Disclaimer: I do not own Jane or Kurt or Blindspot. Writing about them is simply the outlet for my obsession.
A/N: As I watched the final scene of the Blindspot season 1 finale as it aired, I was already wondering what I would write that would follow it. This morning I woke up bursting with ideas, and had 1,800 words before my kids even woke up. This is only the beginning, and I hope you like it. :)
She cringed at the look in his eyes even more than the fact that he was pointing his gun at her. He had never looked at her like that before. Like she was a stranger. Not just a stranger, an enemy. He didn't just mistrust her, there was far more than that in his eyes as he stared at her, his gun not lowering as he recited her Miranda rights.
She was being arrested.
It was completely unreal, except that no, it was painfully real. She felt tears begin to slide down her face, which was already black with smeared makeup and soot from the fire that she'd only barely escaped. She didn't bother to try to wipe them away. That didn't matter now. None of it mattered.
Memories flooded before her eyes, a slideshow of split second images of the times they had shared in the relatively short time that they'd known each other. A few of them cut her especially deeply. That undercover mission to retrieve the WitSec list from Rich DotCom, when they'd masqueraded as husband and wife. Waiting for him outside his apartment that night and then kissing him, watching the surprise on his face. Even just a short number of hours ago, when he had kissed her in the locker room. It had been painful to have been removed from the team, but that kiss had softened the blow, let her know that she wasn't alone in how she felt about him, how she had felt about him for so long without wanting to admit it. She had lost her place but she had still had him.
The images that flashed before her eyes took places at different places and in different circumstances, but every one of them had something in common. In every one of them, his eyes spoke the same words to her. She couldn't even form the words in her own mind, but she saw them on his face. Whatever they were, she felt that he understood her. And accepted her. And trusted her. That he knew her… whether or not she had been Taylor.
Maybe once upon a time it had all been because he'd assumed that she was Taylor Shaw. Maybe that was what had drawn him to her in the beginning, or maybe not. She knew now that she wasn't Taylor, and he seemed to have found out in a much more painful way than even she had. She remembered back at the beginning of it all, when she had so desperately wanted to be Taylor, for him. To be the one that he had been searching for for so long, if for no other reason than to finally bring him peace.
Anyone could see how haunted he was, how haunted he had been for twenty five years, because he had never found her… Taylor. Jane had had nothing whatsoever back then, not even her own memories, and therefore nothing to give him in return for everything he did for her. All she could do was to take from him: his kindness, his time… and give him nothing in return. But if she was Taylor and she could ease his mind that way, the way that he had always eased hers just by his presence alone, then that was something she wanted.
That had only been in the beginning, of course. It had been a long time since she'd stopped worrying that if she wasn't Taylor Shaw, he wouldn't feel the same way about her that she thought he did. Or at least, she had thought that she had stopped worrying. He had actually once told her in so many words that who she had been before didn't matter anymore. That who she was now was what was important. She had told herself that it didn't matter who she had been. But who was she now? Certainly not anyone that she was proud of, that was for sure.
She was Jane Doe, of course, but the question of her name was no longer something that bothered her, at least not as consciously as it had at first. She had wanted desperately to believe that she was a good person, a person worthy of the trust and faith that Kurt and the team had put in her, and eventually she had believed it. She felt like she made decisions that showed that she cared about the people around her, and she had been treated with kindness and faith in return. But now? She thought back on her more recent actions. Not on that person that she'd allegedly been before, but only barely remembered in black and white flashes, but her. Jane. The woman who she remembered, the one she'd been with Kurt, the one who had made the decisions that she remembered consciously making.
The thing about losing your memory was that not remembering who you had once been quickly became a convenient excuse to start over. After all, there was no other choice. No one can erase their past, no matter how bad it may be, but when you can't remember it, it can't haunt you. Right? But now she had a string of decisions that she had made, decisions that she could look back on and think that maybe she wasn't such a good person after all. Maybe she wasn't the person who Kurt thought she was, Taylor or not Taylor, the person who deserved his trust, his loyalty and his devotion.
No, she wasn't that person. So who was she? She was someone who had lied to Kurt, over and over, and confided in Oscar. Oscar. The name tasted bitter in her mouth as she realized exactly what she had done, what she had sacrificed. She had wanted to believe the things he'd said, because he was the only real link to her past, to the answers she had so desperately craved. She saw only now, now that she had brought everything crashing down on herself, that she never should have trusted him. That it had all been a lie.
Oscar's agenda – our agenda, her mind corrected her fiercely, but she could not allow the thought to continue further than that. No, his agenda, she insisted to herself, had been… what? To get rid of Mayfair, to start, he had told her finally, but ultimately… what then? It didn't matter anymore. She never should have trusted him. She saw that now, only now when it was far too late. She had burned everything she had had to the ground along with that barn. No, long before the barn. That fire had simply taken care of destroying the last remains.
She hadn't erased her past this time, she had obliterated it. And the worst part was, she didn't have the luxury of forgetting. That would have been so much easier.
Not that she wanted to forget. No, what she wanted was to undo her choices, the ones where she had let herself stop confiding in Kurt, where she had chosen Oscar and his promise of answers over the man who she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt was on her side. She didn't care what Oscar had said about him or the rest of them, Kurt Weller and his team were not corrupt, not people that she needed to fight against. Not before, not now, not ever. Kurt was a decent man and she knew, with more certainty than she knew anything else, that he could be trusted. Hell, he was a thousand times more trustworthy than she was, herself. She'd proven that.
Whatever corruption Oscar had believed existed at the FBI, Kurt was not a part of it. He was no traitor, and there was nothing that would convince her otherwise.
So she had thrown it all away – Kurt's trust and whatever had been between them, along with her chance to work as part of his team to follow the clues that helped them solve the crimes that were indelibly recorded on her skin. Whatever the reason and however they'd gotten there, whoever had put them there… it was almost irrelevant now. Or maybe not irrelevant, but moot. It was done. Even if they were ever all removed – though from what she'd heard about the removal process, she wasn't sure that she could endure something like that all over her entire body – that wouldn't change the fact that they had been there. All it would do would be to erase the chance to get to the truth of so many different wrongs that could only be accomplished by following the clues they had been left. But now it didn't matter. She'd thrown away the chance to do any of that, without removing a single tattoo.
No, he had never looked at her like that before, the way he was looking at her at that moment. What she saw now in his eyes was anger, and hurt, and betrayal. Was there hatred there? She couldn't be sure. She cringed at the thought that he could hate her… It cut deeply into her, having seen love in his eyes so many times. She could see what she had done to him.
Right now he might hate you, the rational part of her mind reminded her. His father just died yesterday, and it seems that he confessed to killing Taylor Shaw before he did. That would be enough to put a person over the edge. So like you, he just found out that you're not Taylor. He's conflicted in every way possible. And it's not that you have to be Taylor, and it's not that he can't adjust to the idea. It's not as though you made him think that you were Taylor on purpose. The only time you lied about that, you did it to protect him from Oscar's threat. Is being lied to better than being dead? Yes, of course.
It was Kurt who wanted you to be Taylor, and Oscar who confirmed it. He did this to you, Oscar, and he did it to Kurt as well, along with her, the woman who wasn't Taylor after all, whatever hername was—
Her mind tried to interject that that she was the "her" it was referring to, her from before, and not actually another person, but her thoughts continued to flow, ignoring her protests.
-Whatever her name was, it wasn't you. YOU ARE JANE. Or you can call yourself something else, whatever you want to in fact. But you are not her. Even though you are physically the same person, you are not her.
Another voice broke into her mind then. I may not be her, it insisted, but it was me who lied to Kurt about Oscar, even if it was only a lie of omission at first. I didn't tell him the truth, not all of it. I was selfish because I wanted answers. I knew that I could trust Kurt with absolutely anything, and I knew that I couldn't trust Oscar, and yet… I let myself do it anyway. I didn't just trust him, I gave myself to him… And in the end I was right about him, that I couldn't trust him, and now look where it has gotten me. I've burned myself to the ground.
She swallowed and willed herself to be numb to what was happening around her. She put her hands on her head as Kurt demanded, and tried not to feel the sharp pinch of the handcuffs he slapped around her wrists, extra tight, it seemed. She tried not to feel it as he pulled her roughly to her feet, pushed her forward across the room toward the door. The care that she had always felt in his touch was gone, and she swore the coldness of his stare also radiated from his skin, spreading the awful, numb feeling to her even through her clothes when he pushed her forward.
She tried not to feel the way he twisted his grip on the handcuffs so that her wrists twisted too, making the cold metal dig into her skin that much more. She knew that he was doing it on purpose. He'd arrested enough people to know how to handle them without hurting them if he wanted to. Right now, she knew, he was hurting on so many levels, and he was focusing on hurting her as well. She couldn't blame him. After all, she was partly to blame, and that was more than enough.
Ever since she had started lying to Kurt, Jane had known that it was going to come back to bite her in the ass somehow. After all, she knew that Kurt had trusted her implicitly. He had put his faith in her when most people wouldn't have even considered doing so. He'd talked the whole team into having her in the field, and they trusted his judgement. It was simply impossible that he wouldn't find out that she'd lied at some point. He'd found out in the worst possible way, of course. Maybe if she'd come clean it would have been better. Maybe if he wasn't under the stress of his father's death and bedside confession. But maybe if events hadn't forced them into this situation, she'd have been too scared to tell him the truth. Again, it didn't matter now.
Thinking back, she recalled the very beginning, the connection between them that had simply always been there, since the first time they'd laid eyes on each other. Kurt had thought that maybe it was because she was Taylor, but now they knew the truth. So what was it based on? She wasn't Taylor, and yet… the connection had been there. Maybe they would never know what it had been... It almost didn't matter though, because now it was gone, leaving nothing in its wake but an emptiness that threatened to overwhelm her.
This reminded her of the beginning, when she'd lay on the floor of the safe house that first night, horrified by the tattoos and feeling scared and violated and so very alone… except that this was worse. Because now she felt all of those things again, and she felt heartbreaking guilt as well. Guilt that she could never make up for, never undo.
He'll never forgive me, she thought miserably. She tried to numb herself to that thought as well, but the hurt cut too deep inside her.
He will calm down, the rational part of her brain insisted. You will have a lot of explaining to do, and there is a lot for him to forgive. You may not get back what you had. You know Kurt well enough to know that he is emotional deep down, though he doesn't let it show. He's traumatized right now, but he will calm down. He needs time, and patience. After all, a person can only endure so much at once. You, of all people, should know that much. He's lost his balance, but he will get it back. You've made your decisions and this is the consequence. Now you need to accept responsibility for what you've done, think rationally, and do what you should have done all along – which is tell him the truth.
But what if it's not enough? the other voice in her head asked desperately.
If it's not enough, it's not enough, the calm voice replied. But you know that it's the right thing to do, no matter what. And you've fucked it all up very nicely, yes, so now it's time to face the music. You wanted to believe that what you were doing was the right thing for you. And maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. This is your reality. So explain it to him – ALL OF IT this time. You can't force him to forgive you any more than you can force yourself to remember your past. All you can do is the right thing now. And if you're really the person that you want to be – the person who does the right thing – then you'll finally tell him everything. And if he's really the person that you think he is, then eventually he will understand.
Her mind was racing and yet numb at the same time. She could no longer process her feelings as she felt herself being pushed into the back of his SUV and locked inside, still in handcuffs, as she watched him pacing outside, phone to his ear. He didn't look back at her once, and she knew that he probably wouldn't look at her again for a long time. She silenced the voice in her head, both of them. The one that blamed herself, and the one that didn't. Staring out at nothing, she let her mind wander, doing her best not to think at all.
You deserve it, she thought. All of it. You don't… but you do.
After all, you did this to yourself.
This time, she couldn't be horrified and she couldn't deny it. This time, it was the truth.
This time, she remembered. All of it.