Disclaimer: I do not own Jane or Kurt or Blindspot. Writing about them is simply the outlet for my obsession.
A/N: Thank you for reading, favoriting and following this story so far! I've loved hearing your comments on chapter 1. :) Now it's Kurt's turn.
He wasn't really sure how long it'd been since he had been able to think clearly. The fog that clouded Kurt's brain made rational thought really, really difficult, maybe even impossible. The previous night, when he'd sat by his father's bedside, knowing that it was the end… well, he had made peace with it. They hadn't had a good relationship since before Taylor had disappeared, twenty-five years before – so, for most of his life. In the end, they'd forgiven each other for whatever sins had been committed against each other, deserved or not, and that was all they could do. It was a shame, so many years wasted, but that was just the way it had happened. Of course Kurt felt sadness, and guilt, and so many other things, but not in a way that it prevented him from functioning.
At least, not yet.
Then, in the final moments, his father had been desperate to tell him something. Kurt had leaned over to try to hear his father's quiet, mumbled words, and what he'd heard… well, that was when Kurt's whole world had shattered into a million pieces – just like it had when he was ten years old, except this was a hundred times worse. Or maybe not a hundred, maybe a thousand or more. After twenty-five years of accumulated guilt and pain and loss, after beginning to grudgingly forgive the man he'd spent his life hating, to have his father finally admit that had in fact killed his best friend, Taylor Shaw, and then lied about it for all that time… that his father had been responsible for how completely fucked up his life had been, and not just a victim of circumstance, as Sarah seemed so willing and able to believe… and that he had gotten away with it… Well, it would have been too much for anyone to deal with rationally. It would have driven anyone more than a little bit out of their mind.
However, the fact that it had long since been accepted by himself and the rest of the team – since the DNA test, back at the beginning – that Jane was Taylor, all grown up and in the flesh… inside his head, this multiplied the agony exponentially. Because that meant that not only did the peace that he'd thought that he'd found not exist after all, not only had he been right all those years when he'd believed that his father had killed his childhood best friend, besides all of it, she'd lied. He really didn't know her after all.
Jane. The woman he'd come to trust against all reason. She represented all of his instincts, his intuition, his judgement. He'd let her inside the walls that he'd built to protect himself over so many years, at least as much as he was able to, which was more than he'd done for anyone else. She had been the one, he had been absolutely certain… and he'd been absolutely wrong.
He'd been… what? A mark? A mission? A goddamn idiot, that's what he'd been. He couldn't decide which strand of the betrayal he felt hurt worst, but it didn't matter, because he couldn't separate them anyway. They were all twisted together inside him, so tightly that he would have ripped out his own heart if he could have, just to make it all stop.
Never mind that Jane had come to the FBI with no memory. Never mind that Kurt had been the one to suggest, and then, when there were doubts, to insist, that she was Taylor. Never mind that he had told her countless stories of their childhood, to the point that he'd probably made her feel that she remembered… Never mind how desperately he'd wanted her to be Taylor. Not because it made her any more important to him – well, maybe at first… something inside him admitted reluctantly. "…but only at first – but because if Jane was Taylor then finally, finally, he had some hope of atoning for not being able to protect her when he was ten. Not that he could ever make up for her abduction or the horrible things that may have happened to her in those twenty-five years, no matter how many other people he saved, but he could ease his conscience at least a little knowing that he'd gotten justice for her, and that, through the tattoos, he would solve the mystery of what had happened. No, he could never make up for failing her like that, but at least he had the chance to try.
Except that Jane was not Taylor, and Kurt had been betrayed. Not just betrayed. He couldn't think of a stronger word for it, but betrayed simply did not feel strong enough. He was conscious of the fact that much of this feeling of betrayal should be directed at his father. Most of it, really. If not for his father's actions, none of this would have even been possible. He was so angry with his father, he couldn't even think about the man anymore, his rage toward him so white hot and blinding.
And yet, somehow it bled over to Jane as well. Besides, his father was gone, and Jane was still there. She still had the absolute audacity to breathe, to exist. He couldn't quite work out what part she'd had in all of this, but she'd deceived him as well, and at that moment that was all he needed to know in order for him to heap her share of the blame on her – far more than her share, actually – as well. The degrees of guilt didn't really matter, after all, did they? Because she was most obviously guilty. He couldn't believe it had taken him so long to see it.
I was such a goddamn fool, he lamented, clenching his fist tightly.
Because let's be honest, even if wasn't all her fault, it wasn't as though she was innocent in all this. Hadn't she eventually said that she remembered bits and pieces of their childhood? How could she, if she wasn't Taylor? Had someone simply told her about it? Or had she made it up? Had the memories been implanted? And most importantly, why had she lied? What exactly did she want from him?
His brain, which was trained to ask questions from every possible angle in order to get results, refused to stop generating new lines of inquiry, new directions from which to come at the issue, even though few, if any, of them could be answered. The questions continued to pour forth from him, angry and hostile and full of rage. He knew that it wasn't solving anything to sit and seethe like this, but he couldn't help it. What else could he do, but wait?
I can't trust her, was all he could think, hearing the voice of reason and putting it into a chokehold, even as it pled for him to be sensible.
You know Jane, it shrieked, she wouldn't…
And he may have been able to consider this explanation if not for the fact that she had claimed to remember, even just a little bit. If only she had never claimed to remember being Taylor, then just maybe, he could believe her now. But she had, and so he couldn't.
You're rewriting history, said the more reasonable voice in his head, his chokehold around it having loosened slightly, from the far reaches of his brain where he'd thrown it, not willing to listen to it any longer. How many times did she agonize over the fact that she didn't remember? How many times did you watch her break down over that very thing? You're going to tell me that you think all that was an act? No one can pretend like that. He tried to summon up the various times she'd crumbled in front of him, and there had been many, but all he saw now were images of her with a glint of malice in her eyes, knowing that she had fooled him.
The voice in his head persisted. Come on, Weller, you're a better judge of character than that. In your heart, you know that those breakdowns were real.
Apparently I'm not a good judge of character at all, he replied coldly to the voice, and then closed the door in his mind against it, letting the rest of its pleas fall on deaf ears. It had all been a goddamn fucking lie. He didn't know who she was. He had no idea. He thought back to kissing her in the locker room, and the intensity of his feelings for her, and it made him feel physically sick to his stomach. He wanted to throw up right then and there, actually felt bile rising in his throat, knowing that he'd been fooled like that. He had always prided himself on being a good fucking judge of character, and here he'd been lied to by not one but two people who had allegedly been important figures in his life. Well, no more.
Except that… what about the connection between them, between him and Jane – or whoever she really was? He felt a pain in his chest, a burning sensation, a feeling of falling, of losing something desperately important. He had to admit it, if he was being honest: even before he'd had the idea that she was Taylor, that connection had been there. He was sure of it… Hadn't it? He shook his head against the assault of emotions raging inside his head. There was simply too much happening inside him, and too many memories of what had happened between the two of them since then, for him to remember accurately back to the beginning. The version of events in his head now was wrong, he knew this objectively, and yet it felt so painfully clear, so real.
How could this be happening?
He took a deep breath, willing it to go away. All of it. He tried to focus only on the present moment, where he sat on the worn couch in Jane's living room, still feeling the damp from the rain that had soaked him to the bone as he'd dug up the campsite in Pennsylvania. How many hours had it been since he'd gotten back? He couldn't even remember what exactly he'd told Sarah when he'd stopped back at the house to tell her what had happened. He imagined that it hadn't made any sense whatsoever - chances were that it was mostly incoherent babble.
At some point he'd called in what he'd found, though he couldn't even remember who he'd spoken to, only that it wasn't anyone on his team. He knew that he'd probably behaved like a lunatic, both on the phone and with Sarah, and he felt badly for leaving her to deal with the aftermath of his discovery. But he just couldn't be there, and he knew that she understood that. His sister was, and always had been, a saint when it came to her level of patience with him.
Kurt knew that Sarah knew enough about the situation to explain what had happened to whoever came to investigate, and he also knew they'd find him later to follow up and to get his statement. She'd told him to go, worrying about him being by himself in that state but knowing that when it came to Taylor Shaw, there had never been anything that anyone could say to make it better, and that this was something he was going to need a lot of time and space to process. It always had been, and now it would be a thousand times worse. Besides, he wouldn't have accepted her help if she'd tried, so it was easier not to argue with him. She could see how badly her brother was hurting already.
Kurt wasn't quite sure that he believed Sarah when she said that she'd be fine at their childhood house for the night, but all he knew was that he had to get back to New York. To do what? He didn't know. How could he fix any of this? It felt impossible. It was impossible. There was no fixing it now, any of it. There was only dealing with it.
So now here he sat in the dark of Jane's safe house, head in his hands, his heartbeat hammering in his ears as he waited. He'd been so sure, so sure that he knew her so well, and that none of what he didn't know about her mattered. He'd known without a shadow of a doubt that she was a good person, that who she'd been before didn't matter, and he'd told her so. Even now, the words echoed in his mind. He had never been more sure of anything… but when it came down to it, he really didn't know her after all, not one little bit.
The one thing he did know almost for certain was that if he sat there long enough, she would show up. And so sit there he did, alone with only this thoughts, spiraling deeper and deeper into an abyss that threatened to swallow him.
At some point, he stood up and helped himself to the contents of one of the liquor bottles on the counter, settling himself again in a chair in front of the board on which Jane had pinned up… well, suffice it to say that it reminded him a lot of the whiteboards in the office where they posted all of the information that they had about a case, along with relevant pictures. She had made her own, but with so many more scraps, tidbits… it was like a visual stream of consciousness, like he was looking inside her mind. For some reason, this made him even angrier and more suspicious of her. Maybe because the contents of her mind apparently contained many things that she hadn't wanted him to know about, or so it appeared from what he saw there in front of him.
She isn't who I thought she was, he thought bitterly as he looked up at the wall beside him, downing his first drink in one gulp and pouring another. He looked away from the board, suddenly no longer able to stand the sight of it. Instead he stared across the room at the blank wall opposite him, feeling the knot of anger release itself ever so slightly as the alcohol took effect. He didn't feel less angry, exactly, just more… focused. Not relaxed, but less tense. Less rage and more… numb, but at the same time… intense was the only way to describe it.
This had all started with his father, but his father was gone. Somewhere deep inside he knew that his father was the one he should be so furious with, but the longer he sat there, the more he felt his rage transfer from his father to Jane.
She did this, he thought bitterly, finishing the contents of his glass again and pouring yet another drink. He felt as though someone had gutted him, not physically, of course, but emotionally. It was as though someone had taken every one of the things he had ever felt about anyone or anything and removed them from his body. Suddenly he felt none of it, just perfectly numb. As he sat in the chair and stared at the wall across from him, he didn't even notice his hands clench into fists. There he sat for what felt like eternity, unmoving, feeling the pressure slowly building inside him. Little by little, anger and betrayal seeped back into him, filling his empty insides until he felt like he would burst.
This is not you, the voice in the back of his head pleaded. And this is not her. Don't do anything stupid.
That voice, of course, didn't stand a chance.
Finally, he heard the telltale jingle of Jane's keys, and she came through the door, looking like she'd been through hell. He didn't notice her looks, however, only that suddenly she was there in front of him. The object of his rage. The imposter. Who the hell was she, anyway? She has a lot of nerve being here, he thought to himself, the fact that he was in her safe house temporarily lost on him. She didn't see him right away, and when she did, she looked startled, uttering his name as a question as if she might be imagining him.
You are in her house unexpectedly, his rational mind told him. It didn't stop the anger that threatened to overtake him, however. Somehow, he kept his emotions in check, and managed to keep his voice calm.
Something was off about her. Or maybe it was him who was off. Or maybe they were both off, it was hard to know. The alcohol he'd consumed while he'd waited for her hadn't exactly helped him think clearly – not that he'd been clear-headed to start with. But no, her eyes were wider than usual, he was sure, and she looked… afraid. He couldn't remember her ever looking afraid of him before.
You never gave her any reason to be afraid of you before, he reminded himself. Afraid, yes, but not of you.
For a second he enjoyed the feeling, watching her squirm where she stood. She should be afraid, he thought. She deserves to be afraid.
But you wouldn't hurt her! That voice again. He wished that it would shut the hell up. That voice in his head didn't know shit. Would he hurt her? He hadn't decided yet. Then as quickly as the feeling of enjoying the fear in her eyes had come, it was replaced by pure anger, directly solely at her. Not his father, not the fucked up circumstances, no one and nothing else. Only Jane. Whatever her real name is, he spat bitterly into the void of his thoughts. There was no longer any malice towards his father left in him.
Kurt was not a man who allowed himself to lose control of his emotions, but he could feel that he was dangerously close.
"I'm so sorry," she said when she said she'd heard his message about his father's death.
"Are you?" he asked without looking at her, his tone flat.
Liar, his mind replied icily. He didn't even hear what she said after that, though he saw the confusion in her eyes. There was a humming in his head that seemed to drown out all other sounds.
Liar, he thought again. You're not sorry. It's all an act. Every single last bit of it.
"It's funny that we still call you Jane…" He looked up at her then, for the first time since they'd greeted each other with simply their names, no other words. He was looking at a stranger. He didn't know this woman, and he never had. Whatever he'd thought he'd known about her, it had all been a goddamn lie.
With every word he uttered, he noticed that she looked more and more confused. She knows that you can finally see through her lies, the voice in his head said coolly. After all, it all made sense. She knows that there's no use pretending anymore, but she can't figure out how to cover for herself.
Except that she didn't admit it, didn't admit to her lies, just kept insisting that she didn't know who she was. It was infuriating.
"He buried her with it," he told her, and watched her face change. He kept his expression blank and unreadable, kept his rage on the inside. She was horrified, the words finally sinking in as she began to understand what he was saying, and he was enjoying it.
So he put down Taylor's doll in front of him, laid it out on the table for emphasis. And then he told her flat out, watching her closely to gauge her reaction.
"My father… killed… Taylor Shaw."
In other words, you're not Taylor. Your game is up, he growled at her in his head. He finally had proof.
He found that he delighted in telling her the truth – that Taylor was dead. He knew that he probably shouldn't have enjoyed it, and certainly not as much as he did, but he simply couldn't help it. After all the pain that she'd caused him, how she'd taken advantage of his weakness over his childhood friend, he wished all of this pain on her and more. Infinitely more.
She looked horrified, but she didn't look surprised. So you already knew, he thought. Of course you knew. You knew because it was all a lie.
Deep down, he knew that he had to find a way to calm down before he did something he regretted… except that he was pretty sure that he wouldn't regret anything he might do just then. It wasn't as though he was going to kill her – at least, he didn't think so – and anything short of that seemed almost acceptable.
This is not you! screamed a tiny voice at the back of his mind. If not because you're a decent human being, than remember that you're an FBI agent, not a vigilante!
No, he replied with eerie calm, you're wrong about one thing. This is me. I've been a goddamn idiot since this whole thing started with Jane, or whoever the fuck she is. This is who I should've been all along. I can't believe I was so fucking blind.
He stood up then, walking slowly around the corner toward where she was still standing inside the door, still looking terrified. Then he did something that he would never have imagined that he could do. He drew his gun on her.
"Taylor Shaw is dead. So who the hell are you?" The words came out more quietly that he would have expected, and he watched her unblinkingly as he kept his gun pointed at her. Now she would finally tell the truth.
"I don't know," she stammered, looking terrified.
Still, she's lying! It was making him angrier and angrier every time she opened her mouth. Why was she still trying to trick him? Couldn't she see that it was over? Couldn't she see that he was now immune to her lies.
She was shaking noticeably as he clicked the handcuffs around her wrists with a satisfying clink. He pulled them just a little tighter than usual, just because, then pulled her roughly up to stand and face him, looking coldly into her eyes. The eyes than he now knew had told him so many lies.
"Kurt, please," he heard her beg, but to no avail. There was nothing she could say now that would cover up the truth.
"It's over. Whatever this is, whatever it was about, it's finished." He felt hatred oozing out of him in her direction, and wondered if she could see it in his eyes.
He tried to keep his voice even, tried not to betray any of the anger that he felt, not to give her that satisfaction, as he told her, "Jane Doe, you're under arrest."
He hadn't been there when she'd been in handcuffs the first time, the night they'd found her in Times Square, but he was here now. He pushed her toward the door, twisting the handcuffs just a little tighter so that the metal would pinch her skin just a bit – not enough to leave a mark, but enough to be extremely uncomfortable.
I wish I had never met you, he told her silently.
He heard a door slam inside his head, and he knew that whatever feelings he'd thought that he had had for her, they were now locked away for good, along with that stupid voice that told him to believe her. He wouldn't ever make that mistake again.
A/N: So, now we're caught up with these two poor, wonderful characters, and the "what's next" can start! I know the show will write it completely differently, and a thousand times more cleverly than I ever could, but still, it's fun to give it a try. Besides, I can't leave them here, this angry and destroyed, all summer. It just wouldn't be right! I'm looking as much forward as you are to seeing where this story goes, because it's always the characters that decide, not me. Thanks again for reading!