Disclaimer: I do not own Jane or Kurt or Blindspot. Writing about them is simply the outlet for my obsession.
A/N: This is the last chapter, and just in time, since we're so close to season two beginning! I can't believe this story has lasted all summer… and I'm excited for these two to finally get a happy ending (which is not a spoiler, since I've said it all along) – just in time for Martin Gero to rip our hearts out with what "really" happened to Jane… Enjoy!
JANE AND KURT
Kurt waited, attempting to breathe evenly. Come on, Jane, he what felt like longer than an eternity, but upon consultation with the clock on his phone he saw had been less than the expected four minutes, he heard footsteps echoing down the hall. Craning his neck as if he would be able to somehow see around the corner, he nearly jumped out of his skin in anticipation. Finally, they appeared – Billington, followed by Jane, who looked like she was being mostly held up by the two agents who were one step behind her, each holding one of her arms.
Billington waited with his hand on the heavily barred door, then pushed forward when the buzzer sounded, signaling that the door was unlocked, the other three following closely behind him. He may as well have been moving in slow motion, and Kurt couldn't help but feel like every second was an eternity.
They came to a stop in front of Kurt, and Billington looked at him menacingly. Kurt hadn't had any respect for the man before, after on his forced promotion, and he had even less now. Without turning around to look at her, Billington informed anyone who cared to listen, "Jane Doe is no longer welcome at the FBI…"
She's 'no longer welcome?' he thought, feeling his blood boiling beneath his skin. As if she'd come for a visit and we'd allowed her to stay? Kurt was seething, and it was all he could do to stop from punching the man in front of him – never mind that that man was his boss. He'd actually calculated the costs of doing just that, and decided that he needed to avoid it if at all possible, despite how extremely satisfying it would have been.
Billington was still talking, however. "These agents will escort her from the premises. She is free to go."
Just like that? So he would send her away from here with nothing, feeling no responsibility whatsoever for her or the fact that she has nowhere to go if I wasn't standing here to prevent that from happening? Kurt wasn't entirely sure that he wouldn't punch the man after all.
"That won't be necessary," Kurt told him, his tone icy. "I'll make sure that she leaves the premises, and as a matter of fact, I'm going with her. We did just work all night, after all…" The scathing look he gave Billington dared the other man to challenge his plan. For once, Kurt's new boss seemed to find his request reasonable.
"Fine," he nodded curtly. The two of them had been in the same meeting all night, after all, and Billington was probably going to go home himself as soon as they were finished there. "Be back at your desk tomorrow morning." Kurt just glared at him, then walked past him quickly to reach Jane, who looked like she was going to fall over at any moment. The agents who'd been holding her up stepped back and nodded at him respectfully. He bore them no ill will, knowing that they'd been simply following orders and that Zapata and Patterson would have let him know if they'd treated her inappropriately.
He stood in front of her, putting a gentle index finger under her chin in an attempt to get her to look up at him. "Jane," he whispered, and found that her head tilted up, but her eyes didn't seem to see him. It was almost as though she was in some sort of trance, and it was heartbreaking. Had she finally reached a breaking point? Surely he could still save her from this mess… this mess that he himself had gotten her into in the first place…
Don't do that now, he told himself. Now, just get her out of here.
He put a protective arm around her shoulders and guided her forward just as Patterson, Reade and Zapata came around the corner, stopping short when they saw them. Patterson's hand flew to her mouth to try to trap a yelp of worry, Zapata bit her lip, and Reade looked on in dismay. Kurt just nodded at the three of them as he walked past, mumbling, "I'll see you tomorrow." They just stared, speechless, unable to move as they watched Kurt steer her down the hall and around the corner.
"I hope she'll be okay," Patterson whispered.
"She's with Weller," Zapata replied, still staring after them. "She couldn't be better taken care of. And if he needs anything, he'll let us know." The others nodded, knowing that Zapata was right. There was no one in the world who cared more about Jane than Weller did.
He didn't stop until they reached the elevator, where he pushed the button and hoped that it would come quickly, for once. The only thing he could think of was that he had to get her out of the building – not because there was a threat to her there, but for her sanity's sake. At that moment she needed to not be in the place where she'd been imprisoned. She needed to be anywhere else, and just then, anywhere else was his apartment. After all, she no longer had a place of her own, and there was no way he was letting her go anywhere except with him. There was nowhere else for her to go.
Though he felt that he simply could not get her out of the building fast enough, somehow he eventually managed to get her to his car, which was parked at the far side of the garage. He unlocked the door and helped her inside, buckling the seatbelt over her while she simply stared ahead. He hoped that she was simply lost in thought, and not something more serious than that. Her silence and her lack of focus was extremely unlike her, and it was frightening him. "Jane?" he asked her, biting his lip and taking her hand, squeezing it gently.
She leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes, looking even more fragile than before. However, she did one thing that gave him hope – she squeezed his hand slightly, letting him know that she could hear him. As much as he hated that he had to let go of her hand to close the door and get himself into the other side of the car, he felt relief that she was at least still with him.
At his apartment, he was thankful that Sarah and Sawyer were out – probably owing to the fact that it was now mid-morning. Jane walked through the door that he opened for her, moving forward about halfway into the space and then simply stopping, as if she'd run out of momentum, staring at nothing. He closed the door behind them, dropping his keys on the counter and walking up in front of her, putting his hands lightly on her upper arms.
"Are you hungry?" he asked, though he knew the answer. She'd eaten shockingly little since she'd been arrested, and he wondered how he was only now noticing how thin she'd gotten in that relatively short stretch of time. She just shook her head, staring over his shoulder toward the window. He made a mental note that he would work on forcing her to eat… later.
Normally, Kurt probably would've been starving himself, but all things considered, his stomach was in knots and food was the last thing on his mind. He wound his arm around her shoulder once more, steering her toward the door of his bedroom. What she needed was sleep. She was going to be okay… she had to be. He opened the door to his room and she walked forward to the bed, where she perched on the edge. She sat for a second, looking as though she wanted to say something but not quite finding the words.
He followed her in slowly and sat down beside her, slightly worried that quick movements would somehow spook her. Her left hand rested on her knee beside him, and he put his hand on top of hers.
While he had been hoping for her to say something – anything, really – he wasn't prepared for what she said then. "What do I…" she began, but found that she couldn't even finish her thought. She tried again, "I just… I have… nothing," she whispered brokenly, and he felt his heart shattering.
"It's going to be okay, Jane," he said soothingly. "You're out of there, you're free…" He wanted to apologize to her for all of it, but he was afraid that if he did, he would break down, and he couldn't afford to do that just then. At that moment, he needed to be the strong one – for her.
"But… free to do what? To go where?" she asked him, staring at the floor. She hated to sound so empty, but she couldn't help it. It was how she felt. Realistically, she had had nothing to start with, not even clothes on her back. The FBI had given her literally everything she had had, and with the exception of the clothes she was currently wearing, it had all been taken back from her once again.
No, she corrected herself, there was one thing the FBI had not given her. There was one thing that Kurt had given her. The necklace that he'd given her when they'd thought that she was Taylor, that had been the once Emma Shaw had bought for her daughter when the girl was born.
Nice necklace by the way, she heard him say in her head.
Oh, thanks. Someone special gave it to me. And then they'd smiled at each other, that special smile that had always been theirs and theirs alone, before Kurt had walked away.
But she was not that girl, and so, that was not her necklace… wherever it was now. She had no right to wonder what had happened to it, she supposed. But how could something so simple and so unimportant, in the grand scheme of things, hurt so much? At some point, didn't everything have to stop hurting so much? Wasn't there a limit to the pain that she could endure before she became numb to it all? Apparently things didn't work that way for her, because just when she thought she'd reached that point, it always just seemed to get worse.
He picked up her hand, placing it between both of his own. She'd spoken, which was a good sign, he told himself, no matter how miserable she'd sounded. It was better than nothing. Now, however, she seemed to be lost inside her own head.
"It's going to be okay, Jane," he repeated soothingly. "You know that I would do anything to keep you safe, right?" She seemed to hear him then, because she tilted her head to look at him. However, there were questions in her eyes, as if she wasn't quite sure what to believe.
I deserve that, he told himself. Of course she can't quite believe me, when I'm the one who got her into this mess… Again, however, he told himself that this was not the time for these thoughts.
"I'm going to see what Sarah has that you can use, just for now, okay?" he asked her. "Until we can get you something else of your own. I'll be back in just a minute." She heard the words he said, even noticed the fact that he said 'we.' Until we can get you something of your own. She wanted to believe that it would be fine, that she could depend on him absolutely… at some level, she knew that she could. Things had been so broken between them, but that had been the secrets, and those secrets were no longer there.
Still, trust was hard. After all, she'd come a long way, and she was no longer the same Jane who didn't know the feeling of being let down. Now, she knew betrayal – both to betray herself and others, and what it felt like to know that she had betrayed them in return… or first, even. Trust? Could she still do that? She wanted to… but was that enough? More importantly, could she trust herself? Her own judgement? Again, she wanted to…
Objectively, she knew that it wasn't as simple as the idea that bad judgement had gotten her into the mess that she'd ended up in. No, there were good reasons why she'd done what she'd done… Could she have done things differently? Yes. Should she have done them differently… well, yes. But the fact that she was here, sitting beside Kurt, listening to him beg her to hang on… she couldn't possibly have done everything wrong… at least, not so wrong that it couldn't be fixed. Or… could she?
Yes, trust was scary, especially because this time, she had no safety net.
No, the voice in her head corrected her, he is your safety net. Just let him be that for you.
She nodded ever so slightly, the only sign that she'd heard him, and he removed his hand from hers and stood up reluctantly. The last thing he wanted was to leave her, and yet, she needed things, like something else to wear – pajamas, preferably – a toothbrush… the absolute basics. He promised himself that he wouldn't leave her alone for more than a few minutes. Besides, it wasn't as though he was leaving the apartment. He'd be in the next room, for goodness sake. Still, as soon as she was a step away, he couldn't help but feel like it was too far.
When he returned to the room a few minutes later, he had borrowed several sets of clothes and some pajamas from Sarah, who he guessed was about Jane's size, and found an extra toothbrush in the bathroom. He found her now sitting in the center of the bed, her knees folded up in front of her and her arms wrapped around them protectively, just as she had sat so many times against the wall of the interrogation room at the FBI. Her head was down against her knees, as if she was trying to shut out everything and everyone around her. The clothes and toothbrush momentarily forgotten, he set them down on a chair and walked quickly to the bed, where he crawled forward across the blankets until he was beside her, sitting close, his legs crossed in front of him as he leaned towards her.
His first instinct was to put his arms around her, but he hesitated. She was so fragile just then, and so unpredictable. Even though he was usually right about what she needed, he was afraid that in her heightened emotional state, he would suddenly be wrong, that he would do something wrong and make it worse.
"Jane," he whispered, putting his right hand gently on her back. It was as if they were back to square one. All the progress that he'd made in getting through to her, in comforting her, in that interrogation room over and over seemed to have evaporated. Or had it? He felt her exhale slowly at his touch, and he took that as a good sign, beginning to rub slow circles in the middle of her back, as he had done before. She took several slow, deep breaths, and then she tilted her head to the side, leaning her left cheek against her knee so that her face was turned in his direction. Slowly, she opened her eyes, but didn't look at him. She simply stared ahead.
"Hey," he said quietly, leaning forward towards her so that he could put both arms around her. "Just keep breathing."
He'd said something like that to her, she remembered, a very long time ago. Back at the beginning, when she'd been having a panic attack of sorts, when it had all been too much. Kind of like now, she thought, wondering how she could possibly get through this.
Feel that. I'm here. I'm here with you. You're okay. Just keep breathing. He remembered telling her that a long time ago. It had seemed to work then, and he hoped that it would work now, as he simply tried to pull her even closer than he already had.
She nodded slightly, exhaustion beginning to seep into every part of her. With the tension and stress slowly leaving, she found that there was very little, if anything, left to keep her going. The only good night's sleep she'd had since she'd been arrested had been with Kurt by her side… so maybe, with him there, she could actually sleep. Her eyelids were already growing heavy.
"Hey," he said quietly, watching her carefully and seeing the signs of exhaustion as she slowly began to relax. "You should get some sleep." She just nodded, suddenly ready to surrender. He loosened his arms around her enough to lean back and look at her carefully. "Do you want me to…?" Glancing at the door, he looked back at her. Her expression changed immediately, and she almost looked panicked.
"No," she whispered, shaking her head only very slightly, suddenly terrified that he would leave. Objectively, she knew that he wouldn't, not if she didn't expressly ask him to… and yet, she couldn't prevent the helpless feeling that washed over her at the mere thought of not having him there.
"Shhhh, okay, don't worry," he said, pulling his arms tighter around her once again for a few seconds, before loosening his right arm to reach up and tug at the top edge of the covers, which were partially anchored in place because they were sitting on them. "I brought you some of Sarah's clothes, if you want to change, and a toothbrush…" he murmured.
She tried to smile at his thoughtfulness, but had to content herself with simply the warmth of affection for him that she felt inside, because just then she didn't even have the energy to smile. Realizing that she needed to respond to his offer of clothes and a toothbrush, she simply shook her head, managing to whisper, "Later." From the corner of her eye she saw him nod at her sadly, and she wondered if she really looked that bad, that she warranted the worry that she saw reflected in his eyes.
I don't deserve him, she thought. I don't deserve someone who cares this much about me.
He managed to wiggle the blankets out from under them, pushing them to the end of the bed. He'd already taken off his own shoes, and as she laid down against what was possibly the softest pillow she'd ever felt – or maybe it was simply the fact that her FBI cell's lack of comfort had made her forget everything else – he untied and gently removed her shoes as well, tossing them toward the wall past the edge of the bed. Again, she felt the warmth of affection for him at the small gesture, and she knew that she must be losing her mind. All he'd done was take off her shoes for her, because she was simply too exhausted to do it herself, and she felt as though he'd given her the moon.
Now that she was laying down, on her side, facing the wall, he pulled the blanket up over her and pushed himself reluctantly toward the edge of the bed so that he could stand up and grab his own pajamas. The clothes she'd been in had been more casual than what he'd worn to work, and he changed quickly into pajama pants and a soft t-shirt, watching her shoulders rise and fall from behind her, wondering if she was already asleep. He had brushed his teeth quickly when he was in the bathroom looking for a toothbrush for Jane, so changing his clothes had been the one remaining step to accomplish, which was now completed. Now, imagining that he was almost as exhausted as Jane, he lifted the blankets carefully and crawled back over to where he'd been beside her, slowly, not wanting to either disturb or startle her.
For some reason, at that moment he remembered holding her hand in the limo on the way to the helicopter that had taken them to Rich Dotcom's party, remembered feeling at that moment, like at so many others, that though they were in extreme danger, they were in it together – really, they always had been in it together, even when they hadn't known it, or hadn't believed it. And yet, here they were… still in it together, depending on each other.
He settled himself against the pillow beside hers, slipping his right arm under it and his left arm carefully around her waist, pulling her close. Leaning his forehead against the back of her head, her hair tickling his face, he thought about how close he had come to not being there – how many things could have gone wrong along the way. How many things had gone wrong along the way. And yet, there they were. Together.
For some reason, at that moment he remembered something Allie had said to him, what seemed like a long time ago now. It might have seemed inappropriate to be thinking about Allie just then, except that it had been all about Jane. There's something between you and Jane. I don't know what it is. I don't know if you know what it is, but don't make me feel crazy by pretending it's not there. She had been right, of course. He didn't know why it had seemed so complicated, why for so long he hadn't wanted to admit it to himself… but it had always been there.
She was already drifting towards sleep when she felt him behind her, his arm around her waist and his head leaned against hers. She'd known that he was there before that, of course, because she knew objectively that she was in his bedroom, and that he wouldn't leave her there after she'd said that that wasn't what she wanted. Still, once he made contact with her again, that was when she could finally relax and surrender to unconsciousness.
The difference had been subtle, since she'd already been so close to being asleep when he'd crawled in beside her, but he'd felt her relax against him almost immediately, and less than a minute later, her breathing evened out quickly as well, telling him that she had probably fallen asleep. She hadn't slept well the previous night, that much had been clear, so that made two of them who were completely exhausted in every way.
Just before he surrendered to sleep, he heard another familiar voice in his head, once again talking about Jane. Tell me again why you're not with Jane, he heard Rich Dotcom say, because every time something goes wrong – or goes right for that matter – you look at Jane first. The man had been far smarter than they'd given him credit for – which probably had something to do with the fact that he'd managed to escape.
The next thing Kurt was conscious of was being ripped from sleep suddenly, his room bright, feeling extremely disoriented. Why is it so bright? he'd wondered, taking a few seconds to remember that he was sleeping during the day after being up all night. This led his thoughts back to Jane, who was no longer laying in front of him…
He turned his head to see her, sitting up in bed, her arms once again wrapped around herself, her shoulders shaking as he watched her for a second from behind her, where he still lay on his pillow. "Jane?" he asked groggily, sitting up beside her, shaking off the exhaustion at least enough to find out what had gone wrong. If he had to guess, he'd say that she'd had a nightmare. He put his hand on her back and felt her jump slightly, which told him just how tense she must be. He slowly brought both his hands to her shoulders, moving over slightly so that he was sitting behind her, squeezing her shoulders gently to try to massage the tension away. "Hey," he said quietly, "It's okay."
Her shoulders relaxed slowly, but her head was still down against her knees, so he scooted himself around her so that he was sitting almost directly in front of her, only slightly off center. "Do you want to talk about it?" he asked. She shook her head, which was still down, then took a deep breath and lifted her head, looking at him sadly.
"It was… everything. At the FBI. All over again…" Despite the fact that she'd just said she didn't want to talk about it, that was exactly what she was doing, and he certainly wasn't going to stop her.
"That two day long confession?" he asked, trying to understand exactly what she was talking about. She nodded, then continued.
"Yeah, except, you…" Tears formed in her eyes again, and he reached his hands to her shoulders, kneading the muscles once again, this time from the front.
"It's okay," he repeated. She nodded, closing her eyes, which released some of the tears that had gathered there. After a shaky breath she opened them again, looking down and then finally, back at him.
"You didn't forgive me," she whispered, "for… any of it. You were so angry, and the more I told you, the angrier you got. The truth just made it worse…" She was having trouble catching her breath now, and he moved his hands from her shoulders to the sides of her face, so he could use his thumbs to wipe away the tears that were falling down her cheeks.
"And that's how you know it was a nightmare," he told her evenly, keeping his voice steady despite how his heart hurt for her, "because I'm right here." She nodded, but the look on her face told him that she was still in a lot of pain. Without a second thought he slowly let his hands drop from her face, scooted around to the side of her, sitting with his legs crossed in front of him, and, slipping one arm under her knees and the other behind her back, he lifted her so that she was sitting on his lap. This allowed him to wrap his arms around her tightly, and she laid her head down on his shoulder.
It took a while, but eventually she relaxed again, and he wondered if maybe she'd fallen asleep that way. When he felt her shift, however, he knew that she was still awake, simply calm again.
She lifted her head slowly off of his shoulder and looked up at him shyly. "Sorry I woke you up," she told him.
He shook his head, and replied, "I'm sorry the 'me' in your dream wasn't smart enough to understand what he was giving up."
Smiling reluctantly, just a little, she punched his arm gently. "That's silly," she told him.
He just shrugged, smiling right back at her. "But it made you smile." She laid her head back down on his shoulder with a sigh, and he turned his head just far enough towards her that he could kiss her forehead. "Okay, do you want to go back to sleep, or should we have something to eat?"
"Sleep," she mumbled, already appearing to be fading again.
"Okay, but we're going to talk about this whole not eating thing later…" he warned her. She just nodded sleepily. After the past few days, she could happily agree to talk about just about anything he wanted to talk about. After all, none of would be as painful as what she'd just endured.
He lowered her gently off of his lap again, slowly laying back down and tugging her toward the pillow as well. It didn't take much to convince her to follow, settling herself comfortably once again, Kurt snuggling behind her just like before.
"Jane," he whispered, and she turned to look at him curiously over her shoulder, her eyelids heavy. He propped his face up against his hand, anchored by his elbow in his pillow. He knew that he'd wanted to say something, but when she looked at him, he couldn't quite remember what it was… Her sleepy smile didn't seem to require him to say anything else, however, and after a long few seconds of looking at each other, she smiled, feeling the warmth of his gaze, and turned back around to lay her head on the pillow. She still didn't feel quite right, still empty and sad and a million other things… but the one thing she didn't feel was alone, and that counted for a lot.
Hours later, she awoke and peeked her eyes open just a little once again to find that the light from the windows was now considerably dimmer than it had been the last time they'd been awake. It must be getting later in the day, she reasoned. It only took a few seconds before the events of the past twenty four hours started flooding back to her, and for a split second she wondered if she could be remembering it all correctly. Was she really…?
She shifted slightly, just so that she could reassure herself of her surroundings. Pillow under her head… soft, comfortable mattress… cotton pajamas… and Kurt's arm around her, his body behind her, reassuring and strong. Opening her eyes all the way, slowly, as they adjusted to the light, she glanced over her shoulder and couldn't help but smile. He was awake, and watching her with a smile that said a thousand different things, all of them good.
"No bad dreams this time?" he asked quietly. She turned onto her back slightly, so that she was leaning against his shoulder, shaking her head and looking up at him.
"Nope," she replied. "Thanks." Again, they just looked at each other for a long few seconds without speaking, almost without moving.
Finally, almost hating to break the calm silence between them, he asked, "Are you hungry?" It was nearly dinner time by then, and he was going to insist that she eat something, like it or not. She just shook her head, knowing what he was going to say. He pushed himself up to sit, feeling slightly groggy from the exhaustion of the previous night along with effects of a long daytime nap, which always seemed to throw him off. She watched him, her head now lying flat against the pillow behind her,
"We'll start with toast, then, okay?" he asked, and she nodded, smiling up at him. She didn't want toast, of course, but she knew that he wouldn't take no for an answer. Before she could make herself produce actual words, he'd stood up and walked to the door, promising to be right back. For a second she watched the door, through which he'd just disappeared, and then she closed her eyes again, stretching and trying to think of different things, different people, testing herself for her reactions to them. She still felt beyond drained – empty – even though Kurt's presence beside her while she slept seemed to have taken the sharp edge off of her feelings.
She told herself that it was all too fresh, too raw, that she shouldn't let her mind spin. By now even with her lack of memories, she knew herself well enough to know that it wasn't a good idea. However, she couldn't help it. She heard herself telling Kurt so long ago, "You… you're my starting point." She still believed that about him, despite everything that had happened between and around them… The thing that she wondered was… what was she to him, now that she wasn't Taylor?
This question spurred her thoughts onward. Feeling guilty for even thinking about it, after everything else that had happened that was so much more important, but again she wondered about the necklace. The one he'd given her for her- no, Taylor's – birthday. At that point she still had no clue when her own birthday was, which she knew shouldn't have been as big a deal to her as it suddenly seemed…
No, she'd been right when she'd told herself not to let her mind spin. And then, because she simply couldn't stop herself, she closed her eyes again and saw herself, opening the box that had contained the necklace that Kurt had given her that morning – the birthday present he'd given her on what it turned out had not been her birthday after all. She had opened it just as he walked into the locker room. "Hey, thank you. It's so beautiful," she'd said.
"It's my pleasure. It belonged to your mom. She bought it when you were born, to match your eyes.
"How did you…?"
"After she passed away, some of her things were sold. I know how much that necklace meant to her, so I… now it's yours."
Except, of course, that it hadn't been her mom's, and it hadn't been meant for her, and she had never been Taylor, the girl they'd both wanted her to be… She felt panic returning, both her pulse and her breathing coming faster all of a sudden, and it frightened her how little control over her emotions she had. Not that that's any different than any other day in recent memory, she reminded herself, which didn't help her state of mind… Besides, it isn't news that you aren't Taylor, she reminded herself, you knew that a while ago, so why….
She curled onto her side, facing the middle of the bed and the place where Kurt had been only a few minutes before. She felt the panic of that morning when they'd first arrived returning, when it had felt as though everything was crashing down around her, that it was too much, and she felt herself shutting down once again. Sleep had helped, but only so much.
You're not a miracle worker, the rational voice in her head reminded her. It's going to take time… But it was hard to slow down, hard – no, impossible – to stop her spiraling thoughts once they started. And just like that, she was lost inside her head again.
Kurt re-entered the room a few minutes later with a tray of various kinds of toast and two glasses of orange juice, which he immediately set down on his dresser and walked swiftly back to the bed when he saw her huddled inside the mass of blankets at the center. Approaching from the opposite side this time, so that he crawled across the bed behind her once more, he sat and assessed her condition as best he could with the blankets wrapped tightly around her. It wasn't hard to see that something had spooked her again. Despite his deep concern, he reacted calmly, trying not to overthink his reaction. If there was one thing he had learned, it was that his instincts when it came to Jane were generally right.
Therefore, he didn't give it a second thought, but gently loosened the blankets that she'd pulled up around her face, giving him better access to her. He knew that it wasn't him that she was protecting herself from, and he knew that this was far from the last of this kind of traumatic reaction that she'd be suffering from going forward. At that thought, he made a mental note to text Dr. Borden to see if he could meet with her there, possibly the next day.
Having freed her from the blankets that she'd held so tightly, he ran his left hand over her hair, smoothing it all the way back and then starting again at her forehead. "Jane," he said softly. He found himself simply saying her name quite often, when he thought about it. It was really all that was necessary, just the chance for her to hear his voice, to remind her that he was there with her. His right hand wound around her hands, which were clenched together under her chin, holding onto them and feeling her determined grip loosen ever so slowly.
Something had clearly set her off again, and he somehow knew that if he could just get her to tell him, he could somehow fix it. After all, look at what they'd already overcome. "What's wrong?" he asked her.
Where had the thought started? she wondered. It took a minute for her to remember. With her eyes still closed, she reminded herself that she had told him much harder things already, that she could do this. "I was thinking about… not being Taylor." The words came out slowly, quietly. He kept smoothing out her hair, and holding onto her hands, which he'd managed to free from the space below her chin. She'd loosened her grip and now held his right hand between both of hers, the ball of them which lay on the bed in front of her.
Taking a slow, deep breath, she continued. "And I know how ridiculously small a thing it is to be concerned with, but I was thinking about… Taylor's necklace…" She pressed her lips together, not quite able to get any more words out just then. Her eyes were still closed.
She couldn't see it, but he smiled sadly at her. Nothing can be easy for her, can it? he thought, wishing that he could make it all just make it all go away. The one thing that he'd tried to give her that would be special, that would be hers, and it turned out that now even that felt like a piece of someone else's life. It was a piece of someone else's life, after all.
"I gave it to you," he reminded her gently.
"You gave it to me when we thought I was Taylor," she corrected him. "But as we know, I'm not Taylor." Her voice cracked, and she opened her eyes, turning slightly to look at him with wide, sad eyes.
No, she wasn't Taylor, and she'd gone through hell because of the way they'd found out that she wasn't Taylor… because of me, he thought again.
Identity was a tricky thing, and she was struggling with it, as she had for as long as he'd known her. Maybe she always would. He just hoped that he would say the right thing now. It was important that she understand that none of that mattered to him, because she was the one. Her. Jane.
"It's okay if you don't want it. I understand," he told her, hoping that she could feel how sincerely he meant what he said. "But it's okay if you do want it, too. I know you're not Taylor, and I hope you know by now that that doesn't matter. As for the necklace being Taylor's… Well, I think that Emma Shaw would want you to have it." He paused, watching her process what he was saying, then he took his hand reluctantly out from between hers and stood up, walking to his dresser and opening the top drawer. From the far corner, he carefully retrieved the necklace, closed the drawer and walked back over to her.
Sitting back down beside her, he opened his palm and held it there. She had turned over, sitting partway up against her elbow, and was watching him carefully. "Like I said, it's okay if you don't want it," he told her again. "I'll get you something else." She looked up at him and smiled weakly at the absolute sincerity of his offer, and the fact that he was casually offering to buy her jewelry. Even in her current state, that part hadn't been lost on her.
"You have it…?" she said in surprise. "I wondered what happened to it…"
He nodded, looking away for a second. "They should have left it with your things when you were processed," he admitted. "But… well, one of the agents brought it to me directly, and I…" he wasn't proud of either his thoughts or his actions at the time when he'd arrested her, or in the days that had followed. He'd been so angry, and he'd felt that getting the necklace back was the only way to hold onto a tiny fragment of Taylor. It was only later that he realized that it wasn't Taylor that he wanted to hold onto. "Like I said, if it's too—"
"No," she said, shaking her head and reaching her hand slowly towards it, "I…" she paused, trying to gather her thoughts. "I just didn't want to have it if… you didn't want me to. Since I'm not… her." She touched the chain on his palm, which he continued to hold open between them, but didn't take it. Instead, she traced the path of the necklace until she reached the circular pendant, the one that had the small green stone that had matched Taylor's eyes. That matched her eyes.
For a moment, her eyes were clouded with unhappiness, as she thought about the little girl that Kurt had loved so much as a child, who had never had a chance to grow up. The girl who they'd all thought was her. She might have no identity, no past, but at least she was still alive. Poor Taylor had never had that chance. After everything that had happened, it was ironic that she now almost felt connected to the girl, despite the fact that she'd spent so long insisting that she couldn't be her, that she knew nothing about her.
He was watching her steadily, she realized. Her finger had stopped moving when it had reached the pendant, and now she moved the necklace out of the way and pressed her finger gently against his skin, moving it slightly, similarly to what he'd done for her in the interrogation room. She had a sudden flashback, remembering the day she'd held his hand as he'd been wheeled to an ambulance on gurney, with an oxygen mask over his face. When she'd been afraid that he was going to die.
For the millionth time, she felt a surge of appreciation for him, and for everything that she had come so close to losing so many times. She remembered telling him, "I've never lost anyone before. At least, not anyone I can remember."
And just as clearly in her head, she heard his reply, "You're lucky. It takes time." She couldn't help but wonder if this kind of loss every really healed… and, after everything, how he really felt about her not being Taylor.
Looking back up at him, she asked simply, "Are you sure?" He just nodded, smiling slightly, and traced her index finger, which was still in his palm, with his thumb before uncurling the necklace from his hand, reaching both of his hands back to put it over her head.
In her head, she heard the words that Rich Dotcom had said to her in the elevator that night, going to what they'd thought was a Gatsby themed party… "Yeah he really seems to worry about you, a lot…" She'd been very conscious of her audience, and had said, "We are a part of the team, and teams look after each other." She remembered that her companion hadn't bought it, however, and had replied, "Right… I mean, it's for sure more than that, but hey… A for effort." And then, just before he'd hang glided off the roof of the building, his last words to her had been even more direct. "Jane, listen to me. Life is short. You follow your heart. Tell Weller how you feel."
And then she remembered… that her feelings were the one thing that she hadn't confessed, the only thing. She'd told him everything else, but never how she felt about him. About Mayfair and Carter and Oscar and Cade, all her flashbacks… everything. Except that she loved him. But surely… by now he knew… Except that if she didn't tell him, would they ever move past the limbo they seemed to be stuck in?
And then she heard Patterson, that night in the locker room, after David… "I wasted so much energy on why it wouldn't work. When I could have been…. I loved him. And… and I… he was right in front of me and I should have just held onto him and instead I just pushed him away."
He was watching her, and could see that her attention was elsewhere. Still, she didn't look upset, not at first, anyway, just thoughtful, so he didn't try to interfere, simply lowered his hands from where they'd been behind her head, putting the necklace back on her, back down to her hand, which lay on the bed in front of her. Something in her face changed then, and a look of determination came over her.
She looked up at him then, and then she said one thing that surprised him. "There's something I didn't tell you, at the FBI."
What could she possibly have left out? And why did she look so calm? He got the feeling that while it may be a confession, it was a different kind.
"We don't really… the two of us… there's a lot of things we don't need to say. It's like, we just know, somehow…" He nodded, listening, and wondering what she was building up to. He still couldn't get over how fascinatingly calm she was. It was something he hadn't seen from her in a long time.
For a second, she was lost in thought again. This time she heard Kurt's voice in her head. "You okay? Something on your mind?"
"I don't know how to say this," she'd replied seriously.
"It's okay," he'd assured her, "tell me."
"Kurt, I, uh, I totally beat you up the stairs."
"Really? Wow. Alright, fine. Whatever helps you sleep at night."
"You owe me a drink. And you still owe me one from my birthday." The birthday that hadn't actually been her birthday. The thought only stung a little, and she forced herself to move past it.
"Wow, rackin' up the debt," he'd replied.
"Never seems to work out," she'd shrugged.
That's a cop out, the voice in her head interjected now. Maybe it would, if you'd do something to make it work out.
It's not that easy, she'd thought defensively.
Maybe if you say it… the voice in her head told her.
Now she looked down, and found him holding her hand. She smiled, pulling herself to sit up. "I don't know how I don't give you emotional whiplash," she said, shaking her head.
He shrugged, chuckling to himself. "You keep life exciting, that's for sure." She was sitting cross legged in front of him now, and she looked down and smiled. Once again, her hands had ended up in his.
She took a deep breath, wondering how in the world she was going to do this. He had told her long ago that he and Allie had never been very good at communicating, and she was determined not to end up like that… Still, now that she was trying to say it…
"I didn't tell you that…" she stopped, biting her lip, and looked up at him, into those eyes that she could somehow always get lost in. Which was exactly what was happening now, rendering her speechless. What was it about him, anyway?
You love him, stupid, her inner voice said. What do you think I've been trying to tell you all along?
She chuckled again, because how could she not? Kurt would definitely have long since decided that she was crazy, the way she was acting.
"It's just that, I…" Seriously, why were words failing her so completely?
He looked at her, smiling as if he knew a secret that he was dying to tell her. "I know you do," he said matter-of-factly. Then, leaning forward towards her, he stopped with about two inches left between them. "I love you, too." She stared at him, her mouth slightly ajar in surprise, as he leaned the rest of the way forward, kissing her. It took her a second before her mind caught up, and she could respond, which he only found all the more endearing.
Sitting back to look at her, he couldn't help but smile at her, because she was clearly still in shock. "You're going to tell me you didn't know?" he asked her in amusement. Unsure what to say, she felt herself blushing.
"I mean… Maybe… I guess I never really…" she stammered, which only made him chuckle. Letting go of her left hand, he used his right hand to push a strand of hair behind her ear, withdrawing it slowly and leaning forward again, stopping less than an inch in front of her this time.
"Never what?" he whispered.
"Never let myself believe it. Not really," she replied in a voice that was barely a whisper, looking away despite how close together their faces were. "It's harder to be disappointed when you're wrong if you don't let yourself quite believe it in the first place." He used one finger against her cheek to get her to look back at him.
"I think you've learned the wrong lesson," he told her. She looked at him questioningly, waiting for him to tell her the right lesson. "Sometimes heartache is part of life," he admitted, glancing down at her necklace for a split second, then back up at her.
If anyone knows heartache, it's Kurt, she thought sympathetically, watching him. She swore she'd seen sadness in his eyes for a second, but it was gone just as quickly, and now he was looking at her just as intently as she was looking at him. They were still so close their faces were almost touching.
"But," he continued, "you can't let it control you. Not that I'm one to talk, I suppose… but I learned it the hard way. I guess we all have to do that sometimes."
She just nodded, staring into his eyes, watching him stare back at her. Finally, after what felt like more than a few very long seconds, she smiled. "I love you," she whispered, then leaned forward the last inch, and kissed him this time.
Later, after they'd finally gotten around to eating all the toast and she'd promised to eat something even more substantial the next day, they'd agreed that it was time to go back to sleep. After all, there was a lot to make up for – both sleep, and simply time spent together.
They were lying in bed, facing each other with their fingers laced loosely together, both starting to get drowsy but not wanting to go to sleep yet. "Did you ever wonder… how we ended up here?" she asked him after a few minutes of silence. Then, shaking her head slowly, she added, "I mean, I know how we ended up here – plan, tattoos, memory wipe and boom!" He couldn't help but smile at her six word summary of what was such a complex situation. "But what were the odds, in the grand scheme of things, that it would happen this way?" she asked.
She was silent, and he watched her, unable to think of an answer. He got the feeling that the question had been rhetorical, anyway. Still, he couldn't help but think about it.
"Maybe it was because… I was never lucky…" he began slowly, breaking off as he was suddenly lost in thoughts of the past. Not realizing that he wasn't finished, she laughed ruefully, hanging her head and thinking that what he was saying was that they'd ended up there because of his bad luck.
"No, that's not what I mean," he said quickly, realizing how it had sounded and squeezing her hands. "I was never lucky. Before I met you. My whole life, I wondered why I'd been singled out – or it felt like it anyway – for bad things to happen to me. From the time Taylor disappeared, a cloud hung over me and I couldn't get myself out from under it, no matter what I did. Even later, in this job, no matter how many people I helped, no matter how many people I saved, it didn't matter. Nothing I did was ever enough… It always felt… empty. No matter how hard I tried to atone for losing Taylor…"
Now it was her turn to squeeze his hands in hers, shaking her head and opening her mouth to argue. She'd meant it back when she'd told him that it hadn't been his fault, back when she'd thought she was Taylor. The fact that they now knew that she wasn't didn't change the fact that ten year old Kurt had not been responsible for Taylor's disappearance.
"But… ending up here with you…" he continued, "maybe that's my reward for making it through the rest of it."
She felt her voice catch in her throat, suddenly, choked on a surge of emotion that she hadn't seen coming. "I'm not a reward," she whispered, swiping in vain at the tears that were suddenly on her cheeks. Despite his sincere and repeated reassurances, she still had trouble seeing herself as anything other than a liability much of the time. Though she'd honestly thought that she'd cried all the tears that she could possibly cry in more than one lifetime already, somehow they seemed to have refilled.
"Oh yes you are," he whispered. He dropped one of her hands so that he could reach up and tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, and then he wiped a few stray tears from her cheek with this thumb, which still hovered nearby. "We've been over this. That wasn't you. It was her. Whatever else you think you've done, Jane, you saved me from myself. And that's something no one else could do. How we ended up here? You got me out from under that cloud. I'm just… I'm sorry that you had to lose everything for it to happen this way."
She shrugged, shaking her head. "I'm not," she replied simply. "I don't know much about the other me, or what happened to her… but what I know is… I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. So whatever had to happen for me to get here… it was worth it."
"For me, too," he replied softly.
"Even… those twenty-five years?" she asked in surprise, hesitating slightly. Surely he wasn't saying that all those years of sadness over Taylor had been worth it…
"And twenty-five more, if I had to…" he replied without hesitation, looking her in the eye.
"But… Taylor?" she asked. Surely he wasn't saying that losing his childhood best friend had been worth it.
His hand was still on her cheek, his thumb moving slowly, back and forth. "I'm not saying that I'd have given up Taylor," he replied carefully. "That was never my choice. My father…" He stopped, inhaling heavily, and shook his head. "She was gone, and when I think about it objectively, I know that there was nothing I could have done… Torturing myself for twenty-five years? No, I didn't exactly choose that, either. All I'm saying is, if I had to endure twenty-five more years like that to end up here, I would." She nodded, overwhelmed by his declaration. She couldn't begin to imagine what twenty-five even felt like, much like the ones he'd endured.
"Though, I'd much rather be here with you," he added, leaning his face closer to hers and smiling.
"That makes two of us," she replied, touching her nose gently against his, feeling her face melt into a smile. She leaned back slightly so that she could see him better, knowing that she probably had a dopey grin on her face.
They were quiet for a minute, and he just watched her as she lost herself in thought again. It happened a lot, but he didn't mind. She had so many things to process, after all…and honestly, just the chance to stare at her from so close felt like a privilege that he barely deserved.
"What am I going to do now…?" she asked him. Her whole future was a question mark, and her panic came and went at random, the fear of uncertainty sometimes taking her by surprise.
"This may sound annoyingly familiar, but we're going to figure it out," he told her soothingly, knowing that it was the same thing he'd told her since they'd first met, and that it wasn't likely to make her feel much better than it had the first time he'd said it.
She exhaled loudly, shaking her head at the fact that in a way, she was back to square one. Except that she wasn't. No, this time she was infinitely better off. After all, if she was going to have to face the aftermath of all of the destruction that her former self and their shadowy organization had created, at least she could do it with Kurt by her side. No lies, no secrets, no conspiracies or threats or cover ups. Not only that, but…
To his surprise, her thoughtful expression vanished and she smiled at him, leaning her face closer to his. "As long as there's a 'we' in that sentence, I know it'll be okay."
"I think you know me well enough by now to know that you're not getting rid of me," he said, leaning in to kiss her again.
"Promise?" she whispered a few minutes later, when they paused for air. He just leaned forward and kissed her again in reply. After all, they'd never really needed words anyway.