Disclaimer: I do not own Jane or Kurt or Blindspot. Writing about them is simply the outlet for my obsession.

A/N: Sorry this update has taken a while. I'm actually on vacation, and that combined with the length of this chapter meant that it took a while to get it written. There will be one more chapter after this… in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one.


She woke up slowly, still feeling exhausted… drained… like maybe she'd been severely beaten or tortured – and having actually experienced those things, she knew what they felt like. As she began to stir, taking slow breaths to try to remember why she might be feeling so much pain, both physical and emotional, each of her senses began to check in with her brain, sending data about her surroundings. Even before she opened her eyes, she became aware of the fact that she was already sitting up, despite having just woken up, that she was possibly on the floor, and that her head was pounding. Her face hurt, her throat was dry, and she just generally felt sore all over. Simply put, she felt like shit.

And yet, there was simultaneously a sense of peace, the origin of which she couldn't figure out. How can I feel so horrible, and yet so… she couldn't even think of a word to describe it. For some reason, she felt… safe. As though she'd been through something horrible, and yet she just knew that she was alright. But how? Was that even possible?

Opening her eyes slowly, she saw fuzzy images in front of her at first. As she had thought, she was indeed on the floor in a room… Within seconds, she recognized it as the interrogation room where she'd spent so many of the past long days, and mainly, the especially horrible last few days. She felt herself tense involuntarily, seeing the two chairs that sat facing each other by the table nearby. They were simply not far enough away for her not to be tense at the sight of them. But… why?

Two chairs… Her mind was working slowly. One for me and one for… Kurt.

She was about a split second away from panicking when she realized why the sight of those same chairs made her so anxious, but that was when she suddenly realized why she felt so at peace. Glancing down, she saw two arms wrapped loosely around her, tightening slightly as she shifted. She realized then that she was laying against him – the owner of those two arms – and of course, it was none other than Kurt. Sitting up tentatively and looking at him, she winced when the shift of position made her headache pound harder. Suddenly embarrassed and tense on top of everything else in her that ached and screamed in pain, it became clear that she must have fallen asleep against him.

"Sorry, I… I guess I…" She was breathing quickly, suddenly flustered, wondering how in the world she'd ended up falling asleep at all, much less basically in Kurt's lap, and on the floor. She had absolutely no memory of ending up there.

Kurt just smiled at her, still sleepy from the nap he'd been taking right along with her while she'd been asleep. It was a little like waking up beside her in the cell, except this time instead of waking up and smiling at him, she seemed panicked and disoriented. "Hey," he said calmly, unclasping his hands from around her so that he could set one hand on her shoulder, running it down her arm smoothly to her hand, clasping it in his. "Are you okay?" He watched as she took a deep breath, looking around the room in confusion.

"Why are we — did we sleep on the floor?" she asked, her headache getting worse the more she tried to remember.

He chuckled slightly, because he could understand why she was confused. With the hand that he was holding, he adjusted his grip so that he could draw the same circles in her palm that he'd been doing while they'd sat in front of each other at the table, and he felt her begin to relax almost immediately. "You got through what you were trying to say," he said gently, "at least, I think you did, and you… looked like you needed space… You got up and walked down to this corner." He paused, not really knowing how much she remembered, or whether it was helpful or hurtful to remind her of what had happened a few hours ago. Maybe it was better if she didn't remember…

Well that's a slightly ironic thing to say about Jane, isn't it? he asked himself almost accusingly. But it wasn't that he wouldn't tell her, just that it seemed unnecessarily cruel to remind her of what she'd been through that had clearly upset her so much… He just wasn't sure how much to say.

Memories suddenly assaulted her, and there was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as it all began coming back at once. She realized quickly that Kurt was telling the sanitized version of the story. He wasn't lying, but he was going out of his way not to remind her of how traumatic the whole thing had been, or of how hard she'd been crying…

No wonder I feel like I've been dragged behind a truck, she thought, wincing at just the memory of earlier that day.

As she nodded her head slowly for lack of anything to say, even that small action made her wince. As he watched her, a faraway look came across her face that told him that she now remembered, if not all of it, then most of it. Her eyes closed against the memory, the sound of her own sobs echoing in her head, and she tensed all over, laying her head back down against his chest. He was awake now, and he wrapped his free hand around her, pulling her closer, as his other hand continued to rub circles into her palm. "Sssshhhh," he said soothingly. "It's over. It's okay."

She took what was supposed to be a deep breath, but it caught in her throat and became more like a choked sob than anything else, which only caused him to hold on tighter to her. "I think my head's going to explode," she said, the sound muffled as she leaned against him.

Looking down at her in concern, he asked, "Bad headache, huh?" She nodded slightly against him, immediately regretting it and wincing so hard in pain once again that this time, her whole body shuddered against him. Wishing that he didn't have to move, he reluctantly let go of her hand and dropped his other arm from where it had wrapped around her, shifting slightly to dig out his phone. He knew that one of the agents on his team would have something for that. He still had one arm on each side of her, and held his phone out to the right side of her as he typed, since she had her left side of her curled against him.

As she felt the slight motion of him tapping the screen of his phone – still too much movement as far as she was concerned – she tried to will herself to forget the things that she was suddenly remembering. That's new, she thought, trying to forget instead of trying to remember. At the same time, however, she knew that she couldn't forget them. After all, this was part of her penance, her punishment. Correction: this was only the beginning of her punishment.

Is there anything that isn't a part of my punishment? she wondered to herself. The answer came less than a split second later. Of course there is, her inner voice replied. Kurt. Whatever the reason that he's still here, he's far from a punishment. She smiled in spite of everything, in spite of the pain in her head, or the terrible things that she'd done.

But losing him would be, the voice in her head reminded her, as almost an afterthought. She tried to push the thought away as quickly as it had come, simply unable tothink about that just then – she had reached her maximum capacity for suffering that day... or she certainly hoped that she had.

His arms were suddenly clasped around her again, and he told her, "Patterson's going to bring down something for your head." She wanted to nod, but she'd finally learned that she didn't actually want to just then, so instead she just whispered, "Okay." In the meantime, she would just try not to move at all.

"Do you want something to eat? It looks like someone brought us… something. I can't quite see what it is from down here…" He craned his neck as much as he could without disturbing Jane, but to no avail.

She wanted to shake her head, but considering the pain she was already feeling, decided against it. "No, I don't think food's a good idea at the moment… I actually feel kind of sick," she said quietly. She knew she'd have to eat eventually, but just not now

He looked at her in surprise, realizing that he probably should have thought about this before. "You had that donut this morning… Besides that, when was the last time you ate, anyway?" he asked her with concern. "Didn't they bring you anything?" The FBI had strict protocols for the treatment of detainees… he cringed inside when he realized that that was the category she currently fell under.

"No, they did," she replied quickly, not wanting to admit that she had simply been refusing to eat most of it. "I don't know, I just… haven't been able to look at food most of the time. A little bit of bread here and there." She watched as the look on his face reflected shock and concern, looking away quickly. She knew how it sounded, and that he was going to overreact. I know I need to eat, I just… It was simple, really - her stomach had been in knots, and food had been the last thing on her mind… even just the thought of food was too much most of the time.

For whatever reason, when she said that it only made him pull her a little tighter. He felt powerless to help her, and he hated that feeling. She was in so many different kinds of pain, and there was nothing he could do about any of them… it was endlessly frustrating, because he was not used to being in a position where there was nothing he could do. Kurt Weller was the guy who solved problems, who saved people if it was humanly possible… but Jane… no, he was failing her, and not just a little bit. He was failing her completely, or so he suddenly felt.

Just the same way I failed Taylor completely, he thought miserably.

It's not the same, his mind countered. Jane is still here.

And yet, she's drowning in all of this… whatever the hell it is, he screamed back silently, and there's nothing that I can do to stop it, nothing that I can do to help her…

You are helping her, the voice replied calmly. You're the only one who can help her. Can you really not see that? He just sighed, and held on a little tighter.

They just sat there like that, in a little ball curled up together in the corner of the interrogation room, until a few minutes later, when they heard the click of the lock on the door. Patterson came in, glancing around until she saw them. She walked over to them and crouched down hesitantly. "Hey, guys," she whispered, glancing at both of them before her eyes settled on Jane. She had a bottle of Tylenol and two bottles of water, which she set down on the floor in front of them. "Jane, are you okay?" she asked quietly with concern.

Knowing that her friend had seen and heard everything, she sighed and made a valiant effort to smile – which failed – before she replied, "Better than a few hours ago, I guess." Jane picked up the bottle of pills and fiddled with the top of it half-heartedly, to no avail. "Not that that says much," she added tiredly. Patterson just nodded as she watched Weller take the bottle from Jane as he might have done for a child and open it easily, shake out two pills onto his palm and then hold them out to her. She didn't protest, didn't resist, but actually looked relieved.

She took the pills, holding them in her own palm and staring at them as if she'd never seen them before. Meanwhile, he opened one of the water bottles and held it for her while she put the pills in the back of her throat, then took the water from him gratefully and swallowed the pills. When those were gone, she took another long drink of water.

"You guys need anything else?" Patterson asked softly.

"I don't think so…" he looked down at Jane questioningly.

Still not wanting to shake her head, she said, "No," in a voice so quiet, they almost didn't hear her despite being right in front of her. Patterson just nodded, trying to smile as she glanced back and forth between them once more. She didn't think she'd ever seen Jane look so fragile, and it ran counter to the way she thought about her. Despite knowing very well what Jane's mental state had been when she'd come to them, she still thought of her as almost superhuman. Look at all the things she could do, after all…

"Okay, well… you get some rest, Jane," she said softly, standing back up. "At least we know you're in good hands." She tried to smile reassuringly at her friend, truly feeling pain for the situation in which she found herself. Patterson simply couldn't imagine being in her place.

"Thanks, Patterson," Kurt said with a grateful smile. The blonde took the bottle of pills and set it on the table, leaving the two water bottles on the floor by where they were sitting, then walked quietly to the door. Kurt couldn't help but wonder if the rest of the team was still assembled in the monitoring room, watching the cameras… not that it really mattered. That hadn't even entered his mind when he'd ended up on the floor with Jane. He opened the second water bottle and took a drink, then replaced the cap and set it down beside him, pulling her closer once again.

The pounding in her head gradually receded to a dull ache, and she began to regain her ability to think clearly. There were a few things left that she was going to have to tell him, and it would be so much easier when it was over…

He'd been quiet for a while now, and was surprised to hear her speak again. "I need to tell you something else… a few more things," she told him in a quiet voice, sitting up enough that her head wasn't leaning against him, but her body still was.

"Okay," he said encouragingly.

"We don't have to get up, do we? And go back to the table…?" At that point she was more afraid of having to go back to the table than she was of the things that she had left to say. Smiling, he shook his head gently.

"No, we're fine right here," he assured her, feeling her relax slightly.

"Okay," she sighed, and figured there was no time like the present. "There a couple more… memories. Her memories…"

"From before?" he asked. It was how they'd been referring to the time before she was Jane, when she had been… whoever that woman was. Simply as before.

She nodded slightly, feeling it in her head, though not as badly, and immediately wishing that it was already over with. Almost there, she told herself. Taking a deep breath, she thought back to those offensive memories. They were holding so much power over her only because she'd never spoken of them aloud, she knew, so if she made herself do just that, maybe they would finally fade.

Unable to meet his eyes, she swallowed hard. "I shot someone in a church…" she began, diving right in. "I think it was a man… he was dressed as a nun, and I shot him in the back of the head… three times…" Despite a valiant attempt to block it out, she saw the now familiar scene flash before her eyes. "It wasn't a nun though," she said, attempting not to lose her composure. "He fell down, and I saw that underneath the nun's robes he had on some kind of uniform – military, maybe? But not the US military, I don't think. Something plain…" She paused there, feeling the headache that hadn't quite gone away starting to gain strength again, and she wondered if she should have waited before starting again.

It doesn't matter, she thought. Just get it out. All of it. And then you'll know once and for all what he's going to do with the truth, how he's going to react.

"He had fallen forward, and I turned him over. He was dead. In one of his pockets he had a flash drive on a chain, with a small number pad on it. I took it… I don't know what it was… That's all I remember. I don't know… who he was, or what was on the flash drive, or… anything else about why I was there, what I was doing…"

She fell silent then, and Kurt just nodded. "Jane," he said softly, "you know that wasn't you."

At some point while she'd been talking, one of his hands had once again found hers, and was drawing the now familiar circles in her palm, while the other arm was around her back, his hand tucked gently at her waist, holding on to her.

"I know," she whispered. He knew that she knew that in theory, but he also knew that she felt a crushing guilt over the things that that "other her" had done, and that she was going to need a lot of reminders.

He got the feeling that even if that particular memory was finished, there was still more coming – that's just how well he could read her. Besides, she didn't yet look relieved, as he imagined that she would if she was finished. On the contrary, she looked very anxious.

"I know we found the Navy Seal tattoo a long time ago," she began again, "but I remember some training… besides what I told you about. It wasn't just the course in the woods. It was something more… official. I was wearing a uniform – camouflage – and I was on some kind out outdoor obstacle course, or something…" She struggled to remember the details. This one might be more important than the one in the church, after all. This one included Carter and Orion. "I was crawling through the mud and… There was a guy – an officer, I guess – screaming at me… He kept saying that if I couldn't take it, I should ring a bell. There was actually a bell there, too… I guess that was what you did if you decided you couldn't take it anymore… He kept telling me to ring the bell and quit."

"I can't imagine you quitting anything," Kurt told her softly.

"That's the thing," she told him, "I heard the bell ring… I was climbing a rope, and I remember struggling. I was up high, but I couldn't get any higher. Another man was screaming at me to quit, and to ring the bell… And then I fell all the way down and hit the ground… and then I did. I rang the bell. I just don't understand why."

This surprised Kurt, because the last thing the woman who Jane was now would ever do was quit. He sat quietly, waiting for her to go on.

"Then the next thing I remember is that it was night… and I was sitting in a car with a different man. Both of us were wearing the same uniforms as before. And I said, 'You have no idea how much it killed me to ring that bell.' He told me, 'You cleared your part well.' So I asked him, 'Now what?' And he said, 'Now the real work begins. Welcome to Orion.'"

She paused then, waiting for his response. Orion. That had been something they'd heard before. From Casey, the jewel thief, early on… and it had been what had led Patterson to almost get herself killed, investigating a tattoo on her own.

"Then, I remember being in a hallway… wearing the same uniform… and I walked by Carter…"

"Tom Carter? From the CIA?" Kurt interjected, more than a little bit surprised.

She just nodded, still unable to meet his eyes, and continued. "He was wearing a suit, standing in the hall and talking to someone else. He didn't know me then, or at least… he didn't seem to recognize me. He told them, 'The program's called Orion.' The night that Carter… when I was abducted… that was the night I remembered that part, and I was stupid enough to mention it to him while he was in the middle of torturing me…"

Every muscle in Kurt's body clenched at the mention of what Carter had done to Jane. If the man hadn't already dead, Kurt couldn't be sure that he wouldn't have killed him himself, so strong was his hatred of Carter since learning what he'd done to Jane.

"He never told me anything, of course… I also asked Oscar about it, about Orion, once. He didn't want to tell me… all he would tell me was, 'Orion is where you died.'"

She sat rigidly, not looking at Kurt, just looking down at their hands, at the floor, at anything except at him. Waiting. Without realizing it, she had been holding her breath after her admission, especially the part about Carter and Oscar. She felt him exhale slowly, as if he was trying to take it all in, and she hazarded a glance at him. Though she couldn't explain why, she was afraid that this would change something… which seemed silly, since they both knew that this was someone else's memory.

Besides, she tried to remind herself, if he didn't hold the things against you that were so much worse, then why would he start now? Still, she couldn't relax until she looked into his eyes and saw that he wasn't angry… which is just what she did then, and it was just what she saw.

Her relief lasted only a few seconds, however. It doesn't matter, she thought, It'll be the next one that will get him. Again, though she knew that it wasn't her, wasn't Jane, who had done these things, it didn't change the fact that she had done them… well, no, actually it did, and Kurt seemed very much able to see the difference – more so than even she was herself. But even so, she dreaded having to tell him about the final thing she could think of that she had not yet confessed, because it was another one that was about him. About how she'd planned to take advantage of him. She couldn't help but feel ashamed, even though it had been before.

Suddenly she heard herself talking to Oscar. "I don't trust you. Whoever I was, I don't trust her either. I'm not your asset inside the FBI anymore. I am FBI."

And then those other words, the ones that had since become her nightmare, when Oscar answered her. "…If you refuse to cooperate, the people we work with will kill Agent Weller."

He was watching her intently, trying to figure out how best to calm her down. She'd looked into his eyes hesitantly after talking about Carter and Oscar and the memory where she'd been in uniform, as if searching for something. No, she looked afraid to see something… somehow, despite everything, she still thought that he would hold these memories against her.

No, he thought, she doesn't actually believe that you will, but that doesn't mean she's not afraid that you will. It's two different things… because in her head, she still feels guilty somehow. Understandably so, though she shouldn't, because imagine having someone else's memories in your head… that's got to be confusing as hell!

He just looked back at her with the same calm, open look, the same smile that told her than he was with her, that they were on the same team, that she didn't need to be afraid. At least, that was what he hoped the look on his face was saying. After staring anxiously at him for a full minute, she looked slightly less anxious, as if she'd gotten the message after all, once again. With every secret she revealed, she'd been looking at him as if he'd expected that to be the one that sent him running in the opposite direction. She simply couldn't get it through her head that he wasn't going anywhere. And that was okay, because he would tell her again and again, no matter how many times it took.

Sighing heavily, she leaned very slowly towards him, until her head was laying slightly against his chest. For some reason, this struck him as even more concerning as when she'd laid heavily against him and fallen asleep from complete exhaustion. Bringing his hand up from her waist, he pushed his fingers gently from her neck, up the back of her head, threading his fingers through her hair and gently pulling her head to rest against him. Her pulse was racing, and she exhaled raggedly, as if something had just triggered an unpleasant thought that had been too much for her to breath through, despite her best effort.

"What's wrong?" he whispered, moving his fingers slowly in her hair, attempting to calm her down that way.

She lifted her head away from him, leaning back far enough to look in his eyes for a split second before looking away. "There's something else," she mumbled.

"You or her?" he asked, trying to figure out what kind of guilt she was feeling over this particular issue – because they were different, somehow.

"Her," she said quietly. "But—"

"Okay, then it's not as bad," he reassured her.

"No, it's just as bad." She shook her head sadly, tears gathering in her eyes again.

How could something that her former self had done be upsetting her just as much as if it had been she herself who had knowingly done it? he wondered. His hand had slipped from her hair when she'd sat back to look at him. It now rested at the base of her neck, squeezing the muscles gently.

"So just tell me," he said. "So I can tell you that it's okay."

It's not that simple, she wanted to scream. She somehow managed to remain calm, though she felt like she couldn't quite catch her breath. "It's not okay," she insisted, tears welling up in the corners of her eyes, just thinking about it.

For some reason, at that moment she heard Fisher's voice ringing loudly and ominously in her head. "I'm going to bury you, Jane," and she couldn't help but cringe. She didn't need anyone to bury her. At that moment she knew that she had buried herself.

"Jane," he said, leaning closer to her, "just tell me." He rested his forehead against hers, and she closed her eyes, unwittingly spilling the tears that had gathered there down her cheeks. "And don't you dare say I about something that she did," he added, knowing that she would have done just that.

She let out a choked sob, pulling away and slowly beginning to shake her head, feeling herself descend into panic. Before she knew what was happening, he had his hands on the sides of her face. The heels of his hands at her chin, his fingertips rubbing slowly on her temples… it would have been the most soothing feeling ever, if it wasn't making her feel even guiltier for what she had to tell him.

"Sssshhhh," he said. "You're almost done… right?" She stopped shaking her head and nodded silently, her eyes still closed.

"It was at Taylor's memorial… I guess it was last year…" she whispered. She felt his hands stop moving, and stiffen against her face, and every muscle in her body tensed in response.

He's going to hate me, she thought.

He made a conscious effort to relax, knowing that no matter what she said, it wouldn't change anything for him. It was imperative that she know that. It wasn't what he'd been expecting to hear, but then again, he didn't know what he was expecting to hear. What he did know was that his reaction would have a very real effect on her. She needed him to be calm and unflinching more than she needed anything else right now.

"Oscar and I were there. We were… standing behind a tree, not too far away. We could hear what was being said. Emma Shaw was speaking to the group, about Taylor…"

Breathe, he reminded himself. He felt a searing pain in his heart as he thought about Taylor, the girl that he had spent so many years searching for, only to have found out in possibly the worst possibly way that she had been dead all along. He thought about Jane, who he'd convinced that she was Taylor, only to have her find out, possibly also in the worst possible way, that she wasn't.

His heart broke all over again – for himself, for the five year old who hadn't deserved to die at the hands of his psychopathic father, and for the woman in front of him who was so determined to blame herself for all of it. Out of sheer willpower he kept his fingertips moving slightly against her temples, refusing to remove them now that she'd started talking, lest she think that he was upset with her. That couldn't be farther from the truth. If anything, he'd never wanted more than he did just then to hold onto her and never let her go.

"You told your dad that he shouldn't be there… He insisted that he hadn't done anything wrong…"

Her eyes were still closed, as if somehow by refusing to open them, she could keep reality at bay, even while recounting the memory that held so much power over her.

"I – she – said to Oscar… 'It's been twenty-five years, but it's like it just happened.' She said it as though she was surprised, like she hadn't expected that. He just said, 'They never moved on.' I – she – asked him if he was sure he was still okay… 'with this?'…" She struggled to exhale normally, but failed, sniffling quickly. "I don't remember what he said… but then I – as Jane – asked him one day when we met… I asked him about that memory… Why we were surveilling you. He said that I – she – wanted to make sure that you were still connected to… her. To Taylor."

He was already holding her face in his hands, but he needed her closer. He needed to do more to reassure her than he was already doing, so he pulled her face back towards his, leaning their foreheads together once more.

"She asked Oscar if we were assessing your vulnerability. Oscar said that my – her? – coming back had helped you."

Something inside her chest ached, and the more she said, the worse it felt. She felt as though she was ripping out her own heart, slowly and painfully – and probably his as well – but it was the only way.

Her voice dropped to barely a whisper. "Not too long ago, he said he needed me – Jane – to tell you that I was having memories… remembering Clearfield, our supposed childhood there. He gave me pictures from back then, things that he wanted me to pretend to remember…"

"Which you did, because he told you that you had no choice, because that mysterious 'they' would kill me if you didn't," he reminded her gently.

She nodded ever so slightly, which he might not have noticed if not for the fact that both his hands and his forehead rested on her face, and he felt the gentle movement easily.

He wondered how to pull her closer than she already was, but it simply didn't seem possible. So instead, he drew back slightly, kissing her forehead where his own forehead has rested only a few seconds before, and then slowly let his hands fall from her face so that he could wind his arms around her tightly, pulling her as close to him as he could.

"Is that all?" he asked her, speaking into her ear. She nodded against him, completely drained, and absolutely expecting him to simply vanish into thin air at any second. And yet… he remained there, holding tighter to her every moment, if that was possible. Maybe she was just imagining it… but at that point, she would take even an imaginary version of him. With every secret that she could think of finally spilled, she was ready to collapse… preferably, into nothingness… except that for some reason, he was holding onto her tightly, unwilling to let that happen.

They simply remained there, Kurt holding onto her as tightly as he possibly could, and Jane expecting it all to disappear like Cinderella's finery at any second, for long enough that neither of them had any concept of time any longer. It didn't matter.

Some time later, which felt like only a few minutes, the lock clicked loudly at the door. Kurt looked up to see Patterson and Zapata standing awkwardly in the doorway. They entered slowly, as if they didn't want to be there. Zapata stepped forward, deciding to be the spokeswoman for the pair. "Weller, Billington wants to see you," she said reluctantly. The two women stood by the table, awkwardly, knowing that the last thing their boss wanted to do was to leave Jane – but that was why they were there. They were the moral support which, while they couldn't replace Weller in his absence, could at least ensure that Jane didn't sit there alone.

Kurt turned to Jane, pulling her even more tightly towards him for a second and then pressing a kiss on her cheek, whispering in her ear once again, "Everything's going to be okay, Jane. Trust me. I'm not going to let anything happen to you." She nodded numbly, but still feeling like, as he let go of her, it was for the last time. He pushed himself to stand up slowly, feeling old and tired and sore, and absolutely torn inside at having to leave her there. Jane had turned around and pressed her back into the corner where Kurt had been sitting, and Patterson and Zapata walked forward then, seating themselves against the wall on either side of her, each of them taking one of her hands and squeezing it in solidarity.

He had known that it would come to this. As the Assistant Director of the NYO, of course it fell to him to meet with Billington and who knew who else about Jane's case. Undoubtedly there would be suits from the FBI, maybe even the NSA, the CIA… who knew where else. He knew that it would be a battle, and that he would likely be her only ally. He also knew that he would not accept anything other than her freedom, and he would fight anyone who tried to argue otherwise for as long as it took. As he left the interrogation room and heard the lock click loudly behind him, he had to force himself to continue down the hall, and not to look back at the three women who sat huddled together in the corner, or better yet, to go right back into the room and walk straight back to Jane.

You're doing this for Jane, he reminded himself.

Still, the fact that he wasn't there with her tore at his insides, no matter how he knew that the voice in his head was right. What he was doing was for her, and it was critical. Now that everything was over with, he had to deal with the legal aspects. He had to make people believe her, people who would surely want to rip to shreds everything she had said… it was daunting, at best – but for Jane, he would have fought battles a hundred times harder. A thousand. Whatever it took.

The lock clicked as the door closed behind him, and Jane sat, huddled into the corner, her knees in front of her, her head leaned against her knees and her eyes closed, with one hand in Patterson's and the other in Zapata's. The click of the lock seemed to echo in her ears, sounding so final, so ominous… as if her fate was already sealed.


The sound of the door latching behind him seemed to echo long after he'd walked through it and disappeared down the hall. For some reason, she heard a very angry Kurt in her head… his final words before he had arrested her: "It's over. Whatever this is, whatever it was about, it's finished." She knew with certainty that Kurt would be back, that he had only left because he had to, and because he now had to salvage what he could on her behalf.

His words now took on a new meaning, even though the tone of the words in her head made her cringe. At the time he'd said them, he'd been talking about what was happening between the two of them. Now, his words applied to whatever had been happening, what had been done to the two of them. This time, they were on the same team. Whatever it had been that had been happening, whatever it had been about, it was now finished. Or it would be, assuming Kurt could now convince the FBI to free her. That could be a tough sell, she knew.

The three women hadn't spoken a word. There was nothing to say. All of them knew that it was up to Kurt now, and that he would do absolutely everything in his power to secure her freedom. They all also knew that there was no guarantee that what Weller could do would be enough, and that the consequences for Jane might be worse than they could imagine. There was simply no way to know what came next. The only thing they could do was sit there side by side and be sure that at that moment, no harm could come to her.

Jane retreated inside her mind. She loved Patterson and Zapata dearly, and she loved them even more for being there for her at that moment, however… she simply couldn't bring herself to utter even a word to them just then. Her head was full of words and images, floating through in front of her eyes. She tried closing her eyes, but they were only more vivid, the voices louder. Still, she rested her head against her knees, unable to stop the flood of emotion that washed over her along with the images…

She heard her own voice in her head, against the blackness inside her mind, and then she saw a familiar and yet long ago scene, of herself and Weller driving in his SUV. Back before… all of it. The secrets, the lies. Back when things had been easy between them, though not easy, of course.

"What if I find out who I am, and I don't like it?' That had been such an understated fear of hers, and she'd had no way to know that it would become so painfully true… But that was exactly what had happened.

Next, she remembered Zapata… so absolutely certain of the rules of good and evil. "I think terrible people do terrible things. And the good people stop them."

Lifting her head, she looked over at Zapata. "I'm sorry…" she whispered, "I'm… not one of the good people." It was enough to break the other woman's heart, and she knew instantly what conversation Jane was referring to. She'd regretted her statement ever since she's realized that Jane had probably meant something specific by it. While she knew why she'd said it, she had also come to realize that there were exceptions to every rule, and sometimes many of them.

That was when something flashed through Zapata's head. Something that she had done, something that was probably unforgiveable… She didn't know if this was the best or worst time to mention it, however, she decided that as long as confessions were being made, that this was the time to do it.

"Jane, I need to tell you something," Zapata said quietly. Jane opened her eyes slowly, sitting up just enough to look at Zapata. Her eyes were tired and blank, and Zapata immediately wished with all of her might that she could take back what she'd done… Of course, what she was going to say would have consequences for her, just as Jane's did, and there would undoubtedly be serious conversations with Kurt about it… even if no one was monitoring the feed from the interrogation room at that moment, which was unlikely, she would march in and tell Kurt herself – as soon as he was in a position to listen to such a confession. At that moment, however, none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was to do the right thing, and to tell Jane what she had done – to beg her forgiveness.

"I had a lot of gambling debts…" Zapata began, feeling Jane's eyes on her and unable to look up. "My bookie was threatening me. I was so far in the hole, and I couldn't see a way out… and then along came Carter…"

Suddenly all Jane could hear was Carter's voice in her head, and she closed her eyes in hopes that she could make it go away… "You are hours away from being put on a plane and sent down a dark hole that only I will know about. How open you are in our brief time together can radically effect how nice that hole is going to be."

The other two women didn't notice the look of distress on Jane's face. Patterson's eyes were frozen on Zapata, afraid of what her friend was going to say. What had she done? Zapata couldn't meet either of their eyes, so ashamed of herself and her actions. Jane felt dizzy for a second, felt sick from the memory of Carter's words, and how very close she had come to simply disappearing into nothingness, to where no one could have helped her…

But you didn't, Jane reminded herself. You're right here. She concentrated on the fact that she was grasping her friends' hands, that they were very real and were there beside her, despite everything else that had happened. She forced herself to return to the present.

"It was back at the beginning," Zapata continued slowly, "back before… we really didn't know anything about you then… the file was almost empty…"

On another day, Jane might have been shocked at what she was hearing. That day, however, she simply had no capacity left to process emotions – at least, not her own emotions. As Zapata's words slowly revealed what she had done so long ago, Jane managed to find herself sympathizing with her friend, despite the fact that she had literally betrayed her.

"I sold you out," Zapata finally admitted to her. "I gave your file to Carter, to the CIA. He paid me, and I used the money to pay off my bookie. And then Carter wanted me to put a listening device in your safe house. But I refused, more than once. He threatened to expose me, what I had already done, and I think he definitely would have if…" she trailed off, knowing that that was where her confession intersected with what Jane had already told them.

"If Oscar hadn't shot him," Jane finished quietly.

"I'm sorry I said what I said that day. I'm in no position to judge you, Jane. I never was… I was idealistic to a fault, I see that now," Zapata said quietly, finally looking up at her friend. "If anything, you're the one who should be judging me."

Jane shook her head sadly, squeezing Zapata's hand as Kurt had squeezed hers so many times over the past few days. "I think," Jane began slowly, "good people can do terrible things, for many different reasons. I think we only become terrible people if we decide that those mistakes are acceptable, that we live our lives believing that what we did was right. None of us is perfect, and some of us are far less perfect that others… You're a good person, Tasha… A good person who made a mistake."

For a second, she was in the car with Kurt again, talking about Mayfair, and whatever it was that he hadn't been able to tell her about what their boss had done. "…You're pretty stubborn," she'd told him. "You make gut decisions and I know they're usually right. But I just hope that you can try to see her side of things. Because whatever she did, she is more than just one mistake."

More than just one mistake, she repeated in her head. And so is Tasha.

And so are you, her mind piped up.

It was a surprise, then, when Zapata immediately replied, "And so are you," though she was replying to a different, though similar, thought – the answer was the same. Zapata knew from the past few days' of experience how Jane would react to being told that she was a good person, but she also knew that more than anything, Jane needed to hear it. Instantly, Jane's walls were up again, and she was shaking her head without even thinking.

"You're really goddamn stubborn about admitting it, though," Zapata added, which made all three of them chuckle for a second. "You can't tell me," she continued, "that what you did was worse than what I did. No one forced me to do what I did. No one threatened my loved ones. I got myself into a bad situation because I was stupid, because I didn't ask for help when I should have, and I got out of it by betraying a friend, and my agency…" Zapata looked away, feeling herself dangerously close to tears, which was something that she simply did not allow – ever. She did not cry. She did not permit it of herself.

"If you're going to tell me that I'm a good person, after what I've done, then you can't tell me that you're not… not after all the good that you've done since I've known you, whatever else may have happened," Zapata said emphatically. "And that's final." They both had tears in their eyes then, as did Patterson. There was nothing else to say on the subject. Jane just nodded and fell silent, considering Zapata's words, and the fact that she didn't even have the energy to care that her friend had essentially sold her out to the CIA. It had, after all, been so long ago…

In the silence, Kurt's words suddenly rang in her ears. "Whoever you were then, that's not who you are now… Your first instinct is to help people, Jane… You don't hesitate, you act. And you do the right thing. So I don't know what it is you're remembering, or what the context is, but I do think you're a good person."

She wanted so desperately to believe these words, both from Zapata and from Kurt… but once again, the fact that this was the thing she most wanted to believe made it the thing that she was most afraid to believe. After all, if she let herself believe it again, and then found out that she was wrong… that it was all a lie, and that everything she had believed that she was was also a lie…

How is that different from what's already happened? she asked herself. It was the truth. She'd been through that already. What did she have left to lose?

That won't happen, and you know it, the voice in her head protested. You yourself have admitted to Kurt in the past that he's usually right. You trust his judgement about absolutely everything else… so why not about you?

She was just beginning to think that maybe there was something to all this, that maybe she should allow herself to relax slightly… and that was when she heard Mayfair's voice in her head, which sent shivers up and down her spine. "They trust you, so I trust you," Mayfair had told her. If only Mayfair had known not to trust me, she thought miserably…

No. You may have done all this to yourself, the voice in her head repeated calmly, quoting the other her from the video she'd recorded in the time 'before,' but Mayfair… what happened to her was also because of her, not you. It's okay to admit that she was kind to you, to admit that you feel responsible, at least in part, for her death. And you've already admitted just that out loud. But like the other you, Mayfair did this to herself. You are not responsible for her choices. You're also not responsible for Oscar's choices, or the way that Mayfair died. Or the fact that she died, for that matter. None of that is on you.

She closed her eyes once again, leaning back into the corner and trying to objectively consider what Zapata had said, and to integrate it into her thoughts, which had already been so confused. How could it all fit together…? After sitting and trying to make sense of things for what felt like an unreasonably long period of time, and still feeling like she was no closer to the truth. The only thing she felt closer to was a headache, so she finally gave herself permission to stop trying to make sense of any of it for the time being, and to just let her mind wander.

Almost immediately, she heard Kurt's voice in her head – it was certainly not the first time that that had happened. "What do you do if someone you trusted… lets you down?"

She remembered this conversation, and now found that she related to it in an entirely different way. "Well if it's forgivable, I think you forgive her," she had 'd been talking about Mayfair at the time, but now… well, there were more choices now. More of them had let each other down.

"What if you can't?" he had asked. She felt a wave of gratitude that she didn't find herself in that situation, as she had feared that she would. As bad as what she had done had been, she somehow had been granted forgiveness, deserved or not… at least from Kurt. From the FBI… well, that remained to be seen.

"I don't know. None of you have ever let me down." Strangely, she didn't feel betrayed by Zapata, though she knew that she should. Perhaps that would come later, when she had processed the rest of it.

The lock on the door clicked loudly again, and the three women looked up, startled. Kurt hadn't been gone nearly as long as Jane had expected…

But no, it wasn't Kurt. It was the two now-familiar agents who'd come to take Jane back to lock up. Jane shuddered upon seeing them, and the two other women both squeezed her hands harder in reply. "It's going to be okay, Jane," Patterson whispered. "Weller is going to fix it. You know he'd never let anything happen to you."

Jane nodded, tears leaking out of the corners of her eyes as she had to release their hands to stand up.

"What's going on, guys?" Zapata asked suspiciously.

"It's just time for Ms. Doe to go back to her cell, ma'am," one of them answered politely.

"Can we go with her?" Patterson asked. She was ready to beg, if it would help.

"No, ma'am. Director Billington's orders," the other agent replied.

"I really hate that guy," Zapata mumbled out of the corner of mouth. Jane's expression now resembled a trapped animal, her face overtaken by panic. She turned around and put her hands behind her back, now without the benefit of being able to focus on Kurt while the handcuffs were placed on her, so she simply stared at the floor. Patterson and Zapata looked on helplessly, unable to do a thing for her.

Jane looked up at them just as she turned toward the door. For a second, despite how illogical it seemed, she wondered if she would ever see them again. Once again she had flashbacks to Carter's threats of the deep, dark hole she would be trapped in, and of Fisher telling her that he was going to bury her. Help me, her eyes cried out to her friends, and Patterson was on the verge of tears. "Jane, Weller is going to fix this," Zapata reminded her fiercely as she was led toward the door by the agents. Jane looked over her shoulder at her friends, trying to nod, but couldn't manage it. Patterson put her hand over her mouth, trying to stop the flood of emotion that threatened to overtake her.

"She's going to be okay," Zapata whispered as the door closed behind the three of them. She wasn't sure who she was trying to convince, Patterson or herself… or maybe both of them. As they quickly disappeared around the corner, the two women exited the room as well, to try to find out what was going on, and to camp out near wherever the all-important meeting was happening until they found out what was going on.


Jane saw her tiny cell getting closer and closer, and the knot in her stomach once again grew tighter and tighter. She tried to breathe normally, but it was a struggle… one that she was losing. Once she was inside, the tiny cell felt even smaller than she remembered it. Her handcuffs removed and the other two agents having retreated back down the hall, she perched at the edge of the tiny cot, gripped the side so tightly that her knuckles were turning white within minutes. She'd been there two minutes, and already she felt the walls – bars, rather – closing in on her. Her pulse was racing faster and faster, and she couldn't help but think that she hadn't felt this panicked since the very beginning… when she'd first tried to come to terms with being covered in tattoos.

Despite her best efforts, the memories were still flooding her mind, and they weren't the ones she wanted to remember. Against her will, she saw herself standing by the elevator sadly, after being told by Director Billington that she was off the team. "We've got no choice right now, Jane," she heard Kurt say. It was like a knife to her heart, even after all this time.

"So, that's it? I'm out? Just like that?" she heard herself asking.

"Of course not. You know how important you are to me. To this team. You need to give me some time to fix it." She saw herself get into the elevator sadly, remembering how much it had hurt. "This is temporary," he had told her.

That's right, she told herself. Because after that, it had gotten worse.

"I hope so," she had replied.

Her mind, far from giving her a break, seemed determined to torture her that night – since it was now past 6:00 pm, and it was now solidly evening. The next thing she remembered, she was telling Kurt, "I just turned in my access badge. Signed about 1,000 documents promising I wouldn't share anything I'd seen or heard here. I'm sorry if any of this is my fault. I know how much this case meant to you." She remembered how horrible she'd felt that day in the locker room, how responsible she'd felt for the fact that everything had fallen apart. Even though she knew what was coming, she still felt anguish of that day.

"Jane… you were never just a case to me… Speaking of which…" She remembered the sudden change in the air as he stepped closer to her, and how, for just a second, she had wondered what was happening. "Now that we're not working together, that sorta means I can do this…"

The memory of that kiss, only their second one, made her eyes fall closed and her heart feel as though it was being squeezed so tightly, she couldn't help but wonder if there would be some physical damage left by whatever was happening inside her. She felt dizzy from the heat of that moment, now long passed, but also slightly nauseous at the thought of what would happen if Kurt couldn't work whatever magic he thought he could do, and get her released from custody. What if she had to spend the rest of her life in that hole that Carter had talked about? The thought made her shiver. Her eyes were squeezed shut, her knuckles so tightly clenched onto the side of the bunk that her fingers ached, her back hunched forward and her breathing labored… she wasn't sure how long she could go on like this… but there was no other choice.

It felt like hours later, but it was probably only a matter of minutes, when both her strength and her willpower gave out, and she pulled herself up onto the bunk, curling up into a ball on her side as tightly as she could. She wanted to plead with whatever power in the universe might be able to help her get out of the mess she was in, but realistically, she knew that she didn't deserve any help.

Time ticked by painfully slowly – not that she had any concept of time in her cell. At some point, she fell asleep, which she only knew because she woke up to find that she was completely disoriented. For a second she thought that she was hungry, but then realized that the sensation was more of wanting to throw up… she'd been eating so little, and stressing so much, she had actually stopped being able to tell the difference between the two. And so she erred on the side of assuming that anything she ate would rapidly come back up again. Hoping to avoid throwing up if she only stayed still and let sleep claim her again, she closed her eyes tightly and begged to lose consciousness. It was the only way to escape from the reality that seemed worse than even the most frightening nightmare.


He'd walked into the meeting – held in the conference room near his office – before 6:00pm with Director Billington, various lawyers and a few miscellaneous suits whose names he had already forgotten. Despite his best efforts, it had taken more than twelve hours before the men he was meeting with were satisfied with the footage they'd seen, the answers he'd given, and the timeline that had been pieced together. They'd wanted to break for the night and reconvene in the morning, but Kurt had been adamant that they were not going to stop until they were finished. These men would go home to their families, to their own beds. As long as it took them to settle this, Jane would sit in a cell, miserable.


And so he emerged from the conference room, just after 6:00am. He walked by the door of his office and was surprised to see Patterson and Zapata, both dozing in the chairs by his desk. They were undoubtedly waiting to hear what had happened… but he was confused, because he'd thought that they were with Jane…

It is 6:00 am, he reminded himself, too tired to figure out what was going on. He stopped in the doorway, knocking loudly on the door of his own office. The two women started, sitting up as quickly as they could in their exhausted, confused condition.

"Weller," Patterson said, the first to recover, "what's happening?"

"Billington was stubborn as fuck," Kurt replied, tiredly rubbing his hand across his face. The women looked at him worriedly. "Come on," he said simply, cryptically, and walked away. They followed quickly after him, exchanging worried looks as they saw him head toward lock up. At the end of the hallway, where IDs were checked and the heavy barred gate buzzed open, the uniformed agent shook his head.

"Director Billington said no one goes in right now," the agent told him.

"What?" Kurt demanded, incredulous. The agent shrugged.

"He went in about two minutes ago, and he said no one goes in until he comes out," the man said apologetically. He knew he was talking to the Assistant Director, and that Weller was not going to appreciate being denied access.

Zapata elbowed Patterson quickly. "Let's get to the security room and see what's going on," she told the blonde. Patterson nodded in agreement. "Weller, we're on it. Stay here, just in case," Zapata told him, seeing that Weller was clearly at a loss for what to do.

"Thanks," he said simply, glancing at the women as they took off back down the hall.


Kurt was not going to move from that spot until he knew what was happening. Billington had just agreed to release Jane, after a twelve hour negotiation in which he'd done everything in his power not to give in to Weller's demands. What the fuck was this about? Kurt was absolutely too tired to process whatever this was, and he was certainly not going to accept anything less than what he'd been promised – Jane's freedom. Every second that Billington fucked around was a second that Jane was denied her freedom. And now he was denied access to her? FUCK NO.

He stood and glared at the agent who'd told him that he couldn't go past security, despite the fact that it wasn't the young's agent's fault, and Kurt knew that all too well. If anything, this was a testament to the man's ability to do his job in the face of unpleasant circumstances – having the head of the NYO glaring at him, staring him down, was quite possibly one of the more hostile work conditions that this agent had faced, at least recently.

His phone dinged with a text from Zapata. We don't have audio, but Billington is standing by Jane's cell. Looks like he's talking to her. She's curled up on the bed, not responding.

FUCK! was all Kurt could think. Why can't I fucking go down there?

His phone dinged again. He sent the two guys who walk her to and from her cell in to get her up. He ground his teeth angrily. Though he knew that those agents were professionals, and that they would not intentionally harm her, he couldn't help but feel that no one should be touching her but him.

Grasping his phone in his hand, he waited impatiently for an update. After what seemed like an eternity, his screen lit up.

Looks like they're coming your way, Zapata had typed. The wait was agonizing. The walk from Jane's cell, even if she was shuffling slowly and being less than cooperative, should take less than four minutes.

And so he waited, attempting to continue breathing. Come on, Jane, he thought.