Disclaimer: I still do not own Jane or Kurt or Blindspot. Writing about it is simply the outlet for my obsession, and a fun way to escape reality.
A/N: Okay, this time it really IS the last chapter. (It had to happen eventually) Of course, there's still whatever MonkeyPajamas adds to Friday Night Gossip…
Kurt sat in his office, trying to concentrate on the work in front of him. The whole concentrating on work thing was not going well. All he could think about, of course, was Jane, which wasn't much of a surprise after the last few days. Or, if he was being honest with himself, it shouldn't have been much of a surprise considering how much time he'd spent thinking about her over the past two years. His feelings were more intense now, certainly, but they weren't exactly new. He just hadn't understood them before.
Of course you can't concentrate on anything else. That's how it is when you're in love, the voice in his head told him, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He felt a very "un-Kurt Weller-like" smile slowly creep across his face at the thought. So this was the feeling that he'd heard so much about. He had to admit, it was even more powerful than he'd imagined, which seemed fitting. After all, Jane herself was a force of nature.
He tried to imagine what was happening in Patterson's lab – what details Patterson and Zapata were pressing her for. Knowing that he was the main topic of the women's conversation at that moment made him more than a little uncomfortable, being a relatively private person. Breathing deeply, he reminded himself that Jane shared this trait. While the other two women were her friends, he knew that there was only so much information they were going to get out of her. She'd withstood CIA torture, after all, so she was not going to break under the pressure of some girl time. She would probably tell them enough of the highlights to entertain them, but not more than that. He knew that he didn't need to be worried…
He wouldn't say that he was worried. No, more… uncomfortable. Patterson and Zapata were like younger sisters to him (sometimes less annoying than his actual sister, sometimes more so), and he knew that their intense interest in the relationship between himself and Jane was born out of a genuine desire to see the two of them happy – which, of course, meant that they had a lot in common with Sarah.
Despite the fact that he knew all of these things, and knew that the women's "interrogation" of Jane was friendly, he was still intensely glad that he didn't have to go through it. He wondered again how it was going, and hoped that they weren't making Jane too uncomfortable. Mostly, however, he just wished that the day was over so that they could go somewhere where this new relationship between them wouldn't raise any red flags. Even when they'd walked in together side by side, they'd already been much too far apart as far as he was concerned.
It was almost two hours later when he next saw any of the women again. Zapata returned first, settling herself at her desk and getting a strange look from Reade, who probably hadn't even known what was going on or where she'd been or so long, Kurt imagined. The other agent had seemed to be oblivious to the exchange by the elevator when he and Jane had arrived, when Kurt had caught a glimpse of him at his computer, focused on his work.
Zapata, to her credit, sat down as if nothing unusual had happened, appearing to get back to whatever she'd been doing earlier. However, only about a minute later, Kurt could feel eyes on him and when he looked up, he saw Zapata staring at him with an odd look on her face. She smiled crookedly at him, seeming to acknowledge that he'd caught her, and looked back at her computer screen.
Kurt watched as Reade said something to her, appearing to ask her a question, to which Zapata just shook her head and said a few words. Kurt imagined that Reade had asked her something along the lines of 'What's going on?' or 'What's so funny?' since Zapata had an unusual grin on her face, but she had probably brushed it off, telling him it was nothing. Kurt watched as Reade continued to look at Zapata somewhat suspiciously for another minute, as she revealed nothing that he could see. Reade, then, turned backed to him computer screen, going back to whatever he'd been working on all morning.
At least someone is focused on work today, the voice in Kurt's head observed. He sighed heavily, closing his eyes and scrubbing his hand across his face, and then back through his hair. There were so many things that he needed to get done, which was never going to happen if he didn't figure out how to make himself focus better. Getting Jane out of his head completely wasn't an option, but he at least needed to move her from the front and center position in his mind. At least for a little while.
The next of the three women he saw was, he noted with a smile, was Jane. She walked back into the bullpen area and sat down at the computer across the room, the one which she had finally claimed as her own workstation only a few months before.
For a long time after she'd come back, even after Sandstorm had been taken down and the team seemed to be functioning almost as well together as they had back before all the lies had started, she'd continued to work on a laptop in one of the conference rooms, never spending too much time in close proximity to the rest of the team when her presence wasn't required. Everyone had wondered why, but she had always insisted that she just liked it that way. Jane being Jane, she had been slow to admit to anyone the real answer, and they, not wanting to push her, had let her keep her distance from them. Looking back, Kurt knew that he of all people should have known that this was not in her best interest.
It had come out eventually that she had felt like she needed to simultaneously stay out of the team's way and, out of a perceived need for self-preservation that hadn't been there when she'd first come to the FBI, that she needed to remain separate from them for her own good. Back in the early days, she had gravitated toward them, needing them – especially Kurt – to give her stability. During her torture at the hands of the CIA and her time as a double agent with Sandstorm, she'd come to feel like she needed to separate herself from everything and everyone on all sides. For a long time, she had trusted no one, because she felt like no one had trusted her, only used her or tried their best to do so.
But if she kept herself separate from them, nothing could touch her. Not rejection, not betrayal, not any emotion that she could fall victim to. And so even after she was safe, after the team had accepted her once again and all seemed to be forgiven on both sides, she had maintained an emotional wall around herself. The fact that the things that had made her want to protect herself in the first place were no longer there was irrelevant. She had come to see this behavior as essential, and it was impossible for her stop on her own. She was now protecting herself from the team. When Kurt had finally realized that, that was when things could finally start getting better.
The campaign to convince her to trust them had taken a while, but she had finally accepted the idea that she was going to remain a member of their team, that she wasn't in their way by working in their midst, and that it was okay to finally let her guard down. On the contrary, they had insisted, she was one of them, and she should be right there with them. Even now, however, he'd noticed that every time she sat down at that computer, she still looked around for a few seconds before settling in, as if she had the sudden fleeting thought that she shouldn't be there, before remembering that those days were behind her. It was hard to watch, and he'd hoped that someday she would move past that reflex.
Baby steps, he reminded himself. After all, look how far all of them had come in the past year. Besides, a lot had changed in the past four days, and hopefully now it would be easier for her to internalize the fact that she was part of their dysfunctional FBI family for good.
This time was different, however. As Kurt watched her, he was surprised when, instead of looking around the whole area like every other time, Jane's eyes snapped immediately to his. She looked at him through the glass that separated his office from the bullpen where the rest of them worked, not looking away when she saw that he had caught her looking at him. On the contrary, she smiled at him. He immediately felt the sensation of warmth that had become so familiar over the past few days spreading through him as he smiled back at her. His eyes shifted when he saw movement a few feet behind Jane, which was when he saw Patterson standing there, watching him watching Jane. There certainly was a lot of watching going on around their office today.
Patterson just grinned at him, and then turned around to walk back towards her lab. Kurt rolled his eyes, looking back down at the papers in front of him, determined to get something done before hopefully taking a break to get some lunch.
Another half hour later, he'd finished dealing with the current stack of papers. It hadn't taken so long once he'd finally forced himself to get started. Starting the next item on his to do list, on the other hand, would mean diving into a whole new project, and his stomach was already protesting loudly. When he looked up at the clock, he understood why. It was just after 1:00 already, which he supposed made sense since it had been just barely before 10:00am when they'd gotten in. He stretched in his chair and stood up slowly, feeling every bit of the sleep deprivation of the previous night, and yet also feeling that it had been completely worth it.
As tired as he was, there was a buzz in his head, not even a sound exactly, though that was the best way he could describe it – maybe more like lightheadedness – that he couldn't ever remember feeling before… Well, except in the past few days. Looking across the room at Jane, staring intently at something on the screen in front of her, the buzzing that wasn't really a buzzing intensified, and he knew without having to guess that she was the cause.
You're lightheaded when you think about her… when you look at her. Well what do you think that means, Agent Weller? Let me give you a clue. That's happiness. Love, even, the voice in his head told him matter-of-factly, in a tone that suggested that really, he should have known this. It was no wonder he'd never felt that sensation before, since both of those emotions had alluded him for most of his life. He realized that he was smiling at her, and, feeling like an idiot for standing in his office watching her and grinning at her from across the room, he decided that they could both use some lunch.
He could tell that she was concentrating on something because she didn't seem to hear him approaching. "Hey," he said, stopping beside her and looking down at her fondly. "You want to go get some lunch?"
There was surprise in her eyes when she looked up at him, since she hadn't heard him until he was right behind her, and she smiled happily.
The urge to put his hand on her shoulder, or her neck, or any part of her at all, in fact, was intense, but he fought it valiantly. This was not the place for that, as much as he wanted it to be.
"Absolutely," she said, blinking quickly and reaching up to stretch her arms in the air, then immediately covering her mouth as a long yawn escaped her. He watched her in amusement.
"Were you up late last night, or something?" he asked casually. His eyes twinkled and she nodded, stifling a grin the best she could.
"Yeah," she replied, "very late. But it was totally worth it." Standing up slowly, she stared into his eyes, which were locked onto hers. They stood in front of each other for a few seconds, not moving or blinking, before she smiled at him, and as if he'd just realized he wasn't moving, he turned to walk to the elevator without another word, as she followed closely behind him.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Zapata watching the two of them go. Standing up casually herself, he watched her practically sprint down the hall in the direction of Patterson's lab. Shaking his head as he and Jane stepped into the elevator, he didn't give it another thought. Why would he, when he had a precious few seconds alone with Jane, after all? Who knew what those two were up to this time.
As soon as the doors were closed, she melted against him, his arms around her securely as he kissed the top of her head. "I missed you this morning," she told him. "Which I know is silly, but…"
"I missed you, too," he told her, reluctantly letting go of her just before the doors opened on the ground floor. They walked out into the sunshine of a day that was noticeably cooler but no less sunny than the ones in Virginia had been. "So, what do you feel like?" he asked her. This whole going out to lunch thing was strange to him. It wasn't uncommon for him to order in or to skip lunch altogether, especially in the year since he'd taken over as Assistant Director. He supposed he could be considered a workaholic, but really, everyone on his team could be as well. It was just part of constantly having to save the world.
"Coffee," she said decisively, which made him chuckle.
"I actually meant food, you know…" he said with a grin, too which she just smiled and shrugged. "So basically… you're okay with anywhere that has food, as long as they also have coffee?" he asked, looking at her in amusement.
"Oh right, yes… food, too," she said with a nod. They'd stood just under a foot apart from each other for this short exchange, but it was becoming more and more difficult for him to be so close to her without getting any closer.
"Okay, coffee shop it is," he declared, taking her arm and tugging it through his to pull her closer to him as they walked down the block. A few minutes later, they found their favorite nearby coffee shop almost empty, lunch not being their busiest time of day. After being seated at the table in the far back corner, they decided that they had been as discreet as they could stand for the time being and slid close together on the same side of the booth. They sat facing the door, though obscured from the immediate view of anyone who might come in unless they purposely walked halfway back through the restaurant. Basically, it was the most privacy they could hope for in this part of town without being in a closet – which, while it might have had more privacy, wouldn't have served food or coffee.
Even though they'd been there probably hundreds of times between the two of them, they did have to look at their menus. They'd never ordered anything there besides coffee and breakfast foods before, after all. While they tried to focus on the words on the pages in front of them, they maintained constant contact with each other – their legs were pressed together and he held her right hand in his left, their fingers intertwined and his thumb moving back and forth against her skin as their hands rested against her leg.
Maybe sitting beside each other is the trick to being able to focus on the menu, he thought. After all, when they'd had breakfast at Doc Taylor's in Virginia Beach, he'd been across from her, and it had been nearly impossible for either of them to look away from the other. Here, on the other hand, he wasn't facing her and therefore didn't have to pull his eyes from her, and as a bonus, they could sit as close together as they could manage and still be able to focus – well, mostly focus – on the menu.
Still, he had to read the words in front of him several times before they sank into his brain. The majority of his energy was being used on simply absorbing the sensation of having her beside him. After the multiple hours without it that morning, he felt starved for contact with her. It was almost as though he'd been holding his breath all that time, and now that she was finally close to him once more, he could breathe again.
While they waited for their food, he asked the obvious question. "So… how did it go with the girls this morning? You three were missing for quite a while."
Jane blushed involuntarily, before she even had a chance to attempt to hide her reaction. Not that there was anything to hide, of course. But she knew that Kurt had seen Patterson and Zapata drag her away, and it was fairly obvious what they had wanted to talk to her about…
"It was…" she began, hesitating and trying to think of how to put it into words. "Kinda intense. I'd forgotten what it was like to be questioned by the FBI." He chuckled at that, his mind automatically going back to the first time he'd sat in front of her in the interrogation room, when she'd put her hand up to his face in an attempt to trigger a memory. He remembered the feel of her hand on his cheek, and he felt warmth in the spot that she had touched so long ago – even though he hadn't liked it at the time.
As if reading his mind, she turned her body to face him, then pressed the back of her left hand – since her right hand was already holding his - into that exact spot, holding it more steadily against him than she had the first time, feeling him lean into it.
After holding her hand there for a few seconds, she slowly let it drop again, turning forward again and letting her eyes drop to the table. "I mean," she said in a more cautious tone, "I definitely prefer their tactics to…" She stopped and inhaled sharply, and he knew that the words she was unable to say were 'the CIA,' and he understood precisely why they'd gotten stuck in her throat. He didn't even know why she'd decided to bring up that time at all. As he squeezed her hand in his, he leaned over and kissed her cheek.
That's over, he thought, willing her to hear his unspoken words. From the way she smiled sadly, he was pretty sure she had gotten the message.
"It was what I expected," she continued, the hesitation of a few seconds before having dissipated. "They had a lot of questions… Some of them they got answers to, some they definitely didn't." Looking up at him suddenly, seeming almost shocked, she said, "I didn't know girls told each other… those kinds of things." Her eyes were wide and she looked so innocent, so beautiful, that Kurt almost laughed out loud.
He had a sister, so thank goodness he at least had a clue what Jane was talking about, and he just shrugged at her. "Some do… some don't. Just like anything else."
Nodding, and appearing to take in this new information, she looked down at the table and seemed to think about it. He didn't want to ask her anything too invasive, because he didn't want it to seem like he didn't trust her, and yet there were a few things he was truly curious about in terms of that long conversation. After all, he was used to having all of the facts of a situation.
"So… If I'm allowed to ask… what was the most personal question about the weekend that they asked you that you answered?" he asked, truly curious. He wouldn't ask her anything else if she just told him that, he promised himself. He knew that it wouldn't be anything he would be uncomfortable with – this was simply how much faith he had in Jane.
She smiled as she thought back, and he could tell right away that it was a memory that she liked. This made him smile, too, and made him even more interested in the answer.
"The most personal question that I answered?" she asked him, finally making eye contact. She briefly thought about all of the many questions that she hadn't answered, but that her eyes had answered for her, but those didn't count. Never mind that that girls had made their own assumptions, and some of them had been correct. She couldn't help that.
He nodded, looking into her eyes and waiting. They seemed to twinkle up at him like miniature stars, and he was momentarily hypnotized. Still smiling, she said, "They asked me… if I loved you. And then Zapata said, 'Well of course you love him, we've known that, like, forever… but do you actually admit that you love him? And have you guys told each other?'" Her smile grew even wider then, as she remembered, and he grinned too.
Jane went on talking as Kurt listened. "And I told her, yes, that we both knew, and yes, we had said it, and that… I couldn't remember the feeling from… before… but that even if I had, I know that it wasn't ever as good before as it is now."
"You said that?" he asked her quietly, slightly in awe.
"I did," she replied simply. "Because I truly believe it."
He looked at her in disbelief and just shook his head. "How did I get so lucky?" he asked.
Even though the question had been rhetorical, she thought about it seriously for a few seconds, then answered, "Finally making up for lost time, I guess. We both are."
He was about to kiss her when their waitress suddenly appeared with their food, so he had to content himself with squeezing her hand, suddenly holding onto it as if his life depended on it. As they thanked the waitress and she walked away, she laid her other hand over the back of the one that she was holding, so that his left hand was enclosed between both of hers.
When she looked up at him, she felt tears prickling her eyes and she hoped that he couldn't see them. Really she wasn't sad – not at all – and she didn't want him to think that she was. No, she was overcome with happiness just then, and simply didn't know how to express it.
They lingered in the coffee shop just long enough to eat, both of them emerging back into the sunshine with large cups of coffee that they hadn't yet finished. He hated to have to go back to work, but he knew that a million things awaited him there, and the sooner he was finished, the sooner he could go home.
The sooner we can go home, he corrected himself, feeling a smile on his face involuntarily at the thought.
They dropped their arms from each other about half a block from the building, without comment, just a lingering look shared between them and a determined half smile on each of their faces. They both waved to Wilson, the security guard, as they re-entered the building, and all too soon they were leaving the elevator and back on their floor, headed for their separate desks. Their lunch break had felt as though it was over in the blink of an eye, and the afternoon seemed to stretch out in front of them to infinity. Still, it had to be done.
He was back into something of a rhythm with his work – the file he was going through was pretty dense, and if he didn't give it his full attention, he knew that he'd have to go through it all over again – and so, mercifully, the afternoon seemed to pass more quickly than he had feared it would. Before he knew it, Zapata and Reade were standing in his doorway, waiting for his attention.
"Hey, boss," Zapata said, then waited for him to look up. "Anything we need to take care of before we call it a day?" Glancing at his watch, Kurt saw that it was already almost 6:00.
Where did the day go? he wondered. Not that he was complaining, of course, because it meant that it was just about time for him to leave – with Jane, hopefully – as well. Shaking his head at the pair, he said, "No, thankfully things were quiet today. Just catching up on paperwork here."
He felt Zapata looking at him pointedly. "You're leaving soon, though, right?" Without even realizing it, he glanced toward Jane's workstation, and noticed that she wasn't there. He'd just started to feel a twinge of disappointment, but before he could say anything in response, Zapata added, "She's didn't leave. She's hanging out in Patterson's lab, currently waiting for you to be done with whatever you're doing. I was just down there. She wanted me to tell you to hurry up."
He felt an embarrassed smile on his face, and Zapata crossed her arms across her chest, grinning in what he swore was satisfaction and raising her eyebrows at him "So? You going, or what?"
Shaking his head in resignation, realizing that the situation between himself and Jane was going to be something that seemed to make all of them happy, no matter how much it logically felt like it should be only about the two of them, he said, "Alright, thanks Zapata. You guys get out of here." Reade pushed the door open and stepped out of the office, but Zapata did the opposite, walking up to his desk and resting her right hand on the edge, leaning down slightly towards him.
"I've never seen either of you so happy. We're all just really happy for you both," she said quietly. Her voice was more serious than usual, devoid of any of her usual jokes.
He nodded, smiling at her. "Thanks, Zapata." He felt like he should say something else, something more heartfelt, but as usual, he wasn't sure what else to say – so he stopped there, added simply, "I'll see you tomorrow."
"You promise that you're going now? Because I promised her I'd get you heading that way," Zapata said, looking at him with her trademark mix of a smile and a mildly threatening expression. She wasn't one to mess with, as he knew very well.
"This is me, putting the file away," he said, closing the file on his desk and standing up to replace it in the file cabinet, then locking it. "I'm going. Now get out of here." Kurt turned to see Reade standing halfway to the elevator, waiting for Zapata. It struck him then how very lucky he was that his team had survived the turmoil of the past few years. They were possibly even stronger for having gone through it.
"Night, boss," Zapata said as she smiled at him, pushing through the door to catch up with Reade and walking towards the elevator.
Kurt surveyed his office once more, beyond ready for the day to be behind him, then made his way out into the bullpen area, which was now empty. Zapata and Reade stood waiting by the elevator, where Reade was impatiently looking up at the digital display above each elevator that showed their current locations, and Zapata was, of course, watching Kurt.
"I'm going," he called to her, rolling his eyes and shaking his head as he turned down the hall.
He could hear voices as he approached Patterson's lab, and he slowed as he got closer. Looking through the open doorway, he saw Jane there, sitting on a stool by the counter and smiling as Patterson appeared to be in the middle of a story. He stopped and leaned against the inside of the doorframe for a second, listening and enjoying the chance to see Jane so relaxed. It was only a matter of seconds, however, before his presence was no longer a secret.
"Hey, Weller," Patterson called across the room, which made Jane immediately turn to look at him. She already looked happy, but her smile changed then. He couldn't quite explain it, except to say that her regular, happy smile morphed into the one that seemed to originate from her eyes more than her lips. Of course, that sounded crazy, but it was the only way he could describe it.
"Hey," Jane said simply, turning on her stool to face him. Patterson, he noticed, had completely forgotten that she was in the middle of a story, and was staring at him with nothing short of complete and utter delight – as if he was about to provide some form of major entertainment. He felt slightly uncomfortable, but knew that her excitement was friendly, and that she was happy for their happiness. To be honest, he wasn't used to this whole happiness thing, and he didn't know quite how to deal with it.
He walked forward into the room, stopping a few feet from where the women were sitting and glancing awkwardly back and forth between the two of them. "You ready to go?" he asked Jane. His eyes flicked to Patterson briefly, and he was slightly unsettled to see that she was still grinning at him, so he looked back at Jane once more. He was getting more and more uncomfortable with the two of them staring at him, despite their smiles. What exactly had been said about him during the course of the day, anyway?
"Yeah," Jane replied, her voice shaking him out of his thoughts. "Let's go." She slid off her stool but stood awkwardly, looking back and forth from him to Patterson and biting her lip, suddenly unsure how to act.
Patterson groaned in exasperation. "You guys know you don't have to stand three feet apart for my benefit, right?" she asked. Kurt got the feeling that if he and Jane got any closer together, the blonde might spontaneously combust with happiness. Still, she was like a sister to him and he appreciated her comment, as awkward as the whole thing was. He nodded at her, smiling self-consciously, and wished in vain that he was about three blocks from there – with Jane, of course.
"Duly noted," he said, looking from Patterson to Jane, who looked like she wanted to move closer to him, but was still holding herself back… which was exactly how he felt.
"Oh for goodness sake you two, come on!" Patterson cried, prompting Kurt to slowly move towards Jane in the hopes that if they did stand together, it would calm their now somewhat frenzied friend down. Feeling intensely awkward, but reminding himself that Patterson was practically family – and that she already knew what was going on between them – and besides, the chances that she wouldn't have seen them together sooner or later were pretty much zero anyway – he stepped closer to Jane, slipping his arm around her waist as she leaned hesitantly against his shoulder, unable to stop herself from smiling up at him.
"Hi," he said quietly into Jane's ear, painfully aware of Patterson's gleeful stare. Jane glanced at him quickly, replying simply, "Hi," in return. They both turned back to look at Patterson, who looked so happy that Kurt swore her face was going to split open then and there.
Suddenly, Patterson surged forward, grabbing the two of them tightly, one by each shoulder, and pulling them into a hug from which they could not immediately extricate themselves. "I'm so happy for you guys!" she cried excitedly, bouncing slightly and holding on tight for a full ten seconds more, during which Jane began to laugh, and Kurt felt more and more uncomfortable, trying his best to lean against Jane and away from Patterson. Enough was enough.
When she finally released them, Patterson leaned back looking slightly teary as she stepped away from them. "Sorry," she said, now both embarrassed and emotional. "I'm just so happy for you guys."
"Thanks, Patterson," Kurt smiled. "Let's all get out of here, okay? It's been a hell of a long day." As much as Kurt enjoyed standing with his arm around Jane, he dropped it to his side again before they'd made it out of the lab, and he walked in between the two women down the hall to the elevator.
Just keep walking, you've almost made it, he kept telling himself.
Once they made it to the locker room, Patterson grabbed her things and made a quick exit, waving goodbye. Jane quickly finished up at her locker and walked over to where Kurt stood in front of his locker, swinging it closed and turning around to face her, smiling.
"Everything okay?" he asked, taking a step closer to her. "Did I interrupt any… girl stuff?"
Looking at him in amusement, she made what felt to her like a funny face at him. "Girl stuff?" she asked him, almost laughing.
"I don't know… whatever it is that girls talk about," he said, trying to clarify his first question but fairly sure that he hadn't done so at all.
Jane shrugged, glancing around then back up at him. "We were just… talking."
"About anything in particular?" he asked.
She swore that he had moved closer to her again, and if he didn't stop doing that, she was going to lose her mind very shortly. It was all she could do to leave space between them.
"Nothing much," she shrugged again, looking at the floor and making a face, then, when he cleared his throat, finally looking up at him again.
"About me?" he asked, thinking that this was pretty likely, all things considered.
"Maybe," she replied noncommittally.
"Ah-ha!" he cried, pretending that he'd discovered a secret. She just shook her head at him, blushing.
"Only good things," she admitted quietly, her eyes not leaving his face. If she didn't know any better, she'd say that he was fighting the desire to kiss her at that moment.
Watching him with interest, she saw him glance around to check that they were alone, then suddenly his face changed. Suddenly he almost looked… nervous? But why? When he spoke, however, she understood.
"So, do you… want a ride? Or do you want to… go home, uh, together? I mean, you know, get some dinner, and… maybe…" He was stammering out words than had ceased to form sentences, and suddenly he seemed to have decided just to stop talking.
She chuckled at him, thinking that awkward Kurt Weller was perhaps the cutest thing she'd ever seen. At the same time, warmth flooded her system at the idea of an evening with him. She hadn't known what to expect at the end of the day, she'd simply been hopeful that they'd be spending more time together outside of the office. Feeling herself blush, she looked up at him and smiled. This not touching thing was seriously killing her.
"Yes," she replied simply.
He looked at her with relief, which then changed to confusion. "Yes to which one?" he asked in a low voice.
"All of it," she whispered. From the look on his face, she guessed that even the stoic Kurt Weller was more than a little bit moved by her answer, and after glancing around them and finding the locker room empty for the moment, she leaned up to kiss him very quickly. "Now let's get out of here. I can't take this anymore," she added even more quietly.
"Yes, ma'am," he replied with a smile. If she had to guess, she was pretty sure he felt exactly how she felt as far as the distance they'd maintained in the office all day – that he'd had enough of it, already.
She couldn't help but feel relief that they'd made it through the day, and that things felt just the same as they had that morning – better even, because she was starting to realize that she didn't have to be anxious after all, just like Kurt had been telling her. No, she shouldn't really be surprised by that… but now that they'd gotten through a day without everything between them disappearing into thin air, it seemed even more real… which was slightly ridiculous, she knew, but that was just the way it was.
They managed to make it the rest of the way out of the building and into the parking garage while keeping their hands to themselves. He opened the car door for her and, once she'd settled in, closed it again, then walked around and let himself into the driver's seat. They looked at each other and sighed, Jane leaning her left cheek against the seat tiredly as she looked at him. She felt as though the adrenaline that had been keeping her going all day, along with the healthy dose of caffeine that she'd consumed, had suddenly all worn off at the same time.
"You look tired," he said as he started the car, then looked back at her once more. "You should probably go to bed early tonight."
"And when you say you, you mean…" she trailed off, extremely curious where exactly he was going with that. Hadn't they said they were going home together?
He smiled at her, the very same smile that always melted her heart, and then right on cue, he yawned. "I mean us, of course," he replied, as if it was the most logical thing in the world.
"Oh, okay," she said with a smile. "You had me wondering for a second."
Backing out of the parking space and turning towards the exit, he glanced over at her. "So, where are we going? Your place or mine?"
"Yes," she said, still leaning her cheek against the seat, even with her seatbelt fastened over her shoulder.
"And you know that that wasn't a yes or no question, right?" he asked with a grin. She must be more tired than I thought, he told himself. Then again, this was the second time in the past few minutes that she'd answered "yes" to a question that had two choices, neither of which was "yes."
"It makes perfect sense," she replied. "Yes, your place or mine. Anywhere. Just… with you."
He felt an ache in his chest that was so powerful just then that he quickly glanced in the rearview and side mirrors and, seeing no cars coming from any other direction, simply stopped the car in the middle of the narrow lane that wound through the garage, leaned over towards her and whispered, "You are too much," then without further hesitation, he kissed her.
It was one of those things that, because he didn't have to wait to do, even though he probably should have, he decided not to. It was a short kiss by their standards – they were, after all, in the middle of what was, well, sort of a road – and afterward he rested his forehead against hers for several seconds before sitting back up and resuming the drive out of the parking garage.
"Let's consider the alternatives," he said reasonably as he pulled out into traffic, as if their conversation had just been progressing normally without stopping in the middle of the road to kiss her. "Are you too tired to deal with Sarah?" She just smiled at him and shrugged, but he knew that though she liked his sister, the answer was yes.
"Okay," he continued, "so how about we stop at my place so I can grab a few things, and then we go to your place?" She shrugged, nodding, and he wondered if she'd even be awake by the time they got to her place. Or to his place, for that matter.
He reached for her hand, squeezing slightly. Her eyes closed almost immediately, and he could both see and feel her relax at the contact. Just then, he couldn't help but remember a few other times when she'd fallen asleep in his car, the first of which had been in the first few days that they'd known each other. It had been a very long time ago, and it felt even longer… like another lifetime. In a way, it had been another lifetime.
When he pulled up in front of his building a little while later, she was sleeping soundly in the passenger seat. Instead of waking her, he carefully removed his hand from hers, then turned off the car, taking the overnight bag that he'd left in her car from the weekend to exchange the contents, and locking the doors, leaving her there to sleep.
As he rode up in the elevator, he mentally made a list of the things he needed to get from his apartment, and found that the thought of staying with her made him smile. This could quickly become a habit, he thought.
In his apartment, he grabbed the few things he needed for another night at Jane's house, relieved to have found the apartment empty. It was unusual, though not unheard of, for Sarah and Sawyer not to be home at that hour, and it meant that he didn't have to answer his sister's well-meaning but slightly nosy questions, or have her fawn over the fact that he was going back to Jane's house. He could get back out the door that much faster, in other words.
Seven minutes later, he was back at the car with a backpack over his shoulder and a plastic bag in his hand, unlocking the door and sliding back inside quietly. She stirred slightly when he turned the key in the ignition, but otherwise she continued to sleep.
When they pulled up in front of her house, he once again hated to have to wake her up, but this time he had two distinct advantages over the previous night. First of all, it was just the two of them there, and second of all, they already knew that they were going inside together, so he anticipated much less resistance.
He sat and looked at her for a few seconds, smiling at how peaceful she looked in her sleep. Then, as he had earlier, he leaned forward and kissing her slowly, feeling her stir beneath the weight of his kiss. When he leaned back and opened his eyes, she was looking at him sleepily.
"Hi," she said quietly. "Sorry, I fell asleep."
"I noticed," he grinned back. She looked past him, outside the car, in confusion, clearly trying to get her bearings. "We're at your place," he said, and watched the confusion fade from her face. "I already stopped to get a few things from my apartment, and you slept right through it. Come on, let's go inside." Grinning sheepishly, she nodded and turned around to open her door.
He made it around the car before she had closed her door behind her, carrying his backpack and a plastic grocery bag. Finally away from the prying eyes of the FBI, his arm went around her shoulders and hers around his lower back, separating again only when they reached her door.
She let them in and switched on the light as they entered, bathing the room in a warm glow. It was funny, she'd never thought of her little house as cozy, or anything other than a place to sleep, really… and yet somehow, as soon as Kurt was there with her, it seemed like a perfect place to escape from the chaos of the FBI and a world that constantly needed saving.
Kurt set his backpack down along the wall by the stairs, carrying the plastic bag to the kitchen. Jane had locked the door behind them, and now walked slowly behind him to the kitchen. It was her turn to lean against the doorframe and watch him, and she saw that he'd taken out a plate from the cupboard, onto which he had dumped the contents of a Chinese takeout box.
"Dinner," he said proudly, putting it in the microwave.
"Perfect," she declared, walking up alongside him tiredly. As they waited for the food to be ready, he wrapped one arm across the back of her neck, hooking it around and pulling her tightly into him. He kissed her forehead, and then tugged her closer with both arms, until she couldn't get any closer. She had wrapped her arms around him as well, feeling tired enough that she was pretty sure he was now holding her up. Just then it felt as if she might never be able to let him go.
"Thank you," she mumbled into his neck, where her face was nestled. She expected him to ask her what she was thanking him for, but instead she felt him shake his head, then lean down towards her to mumble, "No, thank you." As she smiled against him, she somehow knew that they both knew exactly what the other one was talking about – just like it had always been between them.
It wasn't for just any one thing. It was for everything, and yet nothing. The tiny things that might have seemed inconsequential, but were simultaneously so important, and the big things, which might have seemed important, and were simultaneously so inconsequential. It was just… everything.
"I never realized what it was… this…" she said, leaning back to look into his eyes. Once again, she expected him to ask what she was talking about, like anyone else would have, but he just nodded.
He smiled, then said, "I didn't either. But now I do."
She nodded, suddenly unable to say what she'd been about to say. It had never occurred to her that her heart could be too full for words.
"I…" she managed, but couldn't coax any other words out.
He just smiled, leaning his forehead against hers. "Me, too," he whispered.
As they stood there in the kitchen, holding onto each other, the microwave beeped to signal that their food was ready. They didn't move, didn't even hear the noise. At that moment, once again nothing else in the world existed besides the two of them. They both breathed deeply, their foreheads shifting against each other until their noses were touching as well, at which point they stopped, overcome with the emotion of the moment.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
This can't be real…
And yet, it is.
I don't deserve this…
Yes, you do…
Their thoughts were jumbles of unspoken feelings and by some strange force, both of them knew that the other one knew exactly how they felt.
Finally, when it had been long enough that they knew they were going to have to warm up the food all over again, Kurt reluctantly lifted his head, leaning his cheek against hers and then breaking the silence. "Let's eat, so we can go to bed," he said quietly into her ear, for no other reason that he liked to be that close to her.
"Yes, please," she replied, sighing happily against him.
That was when Jane finally let herself believe it. Yes, the weekend was over, but the rest of it? That was just beginning.
A/N: I know, I know, there's no good place to end this because we all want it to go on and on. I'm sad to see it end myself. But it was a story about their weekend at the beach, and now that they've survived the transition back to reality… that's all.
Fear not, I'll still be writing about this pair, since they're my very favorite thing in the world to write about at the moment (and besides, MonkeyPajamas is never going to let me stop). I have a Jeller story that I've neglected for months now (I See You) which I hope to get back to… plus, every time I finish a story (or… when I'm smack in the middle of one, sometimes, for that matter) and think I have no idea what to write about, another story generally pops into my head about five minutes later. So I should be getting a new idea any minute now… :)
Thank you all SO much for reading, and for your kind reviews of this story. They have made me smile like you cannot believe. I'm excited (and a little scared) to see what the rest of the season (and hopefully more seasons to come) brings in the non-fanfic Blindspot universe (i.e. the show itself) – hopefully Kurt gets his head on straight before we have to watch him sleep with every woman on the show except Jane... (*groan*) But I won't get started about that. :) This story has been my happy place, so thank you all for sharing it with me. Until next time!