Disclaimer: I do not own Blindspot. More like it's the other way around… I've come to realize that THEY own ME. :)
A/N: This chapter is almost completely fluff, and I am not sorry. And it is the last chapter.
The next thing Jane was conscious of, she felt herself pitching forward, hard, and the feeling that she was falling. She flung out her arms to stop herself, to grab on to something, anything, not remembering where she was but only knowing that there had to be something that could stop this feeling of falling into nothingness. Her hand met the coffee table in less than half a second, but she didn't know what it was, only that it was something hard and close by. For a second she thought she was back in that dark cell again, or the black site, and panic overtook her.
Except that in the next second, when she didn't hit the floor, and she opened her eyes to find fuzzy, dim light around her, she began to realize that whatever had scared her so badly had been a dream. Yes, she'd been falling for a fraction of a second, but then, even though he'd been asleep, Kurt's reflexes had kicked in and he'd been at least awake enough to catch her before she'd been able to tumble off the couch, onto the floor. Now, in the seconds that followed, Jane lay on the couch, eyes wide open, fear still coursing through her as she struggled to catch her breath, Kurt's arm tightly around the middle of her. He was still waking up, realizing exactly what had just happened there in front of him.
The first thing he registered, after pulling Jane back from nearly falling on the floor, was that even though he was holding on tightly to her, pressing her firmly against his chest, she was rigid, as if she thought that there was still a chance that she would fall. He nuzzled his face against the back of her head, then worked his cheek slowly to the side against hers, so that he could speak more directly into her ear.
"Ssssshhhh, hey," he whispered. "It's okay. I got you." He could feel her rapid heartbeat and how hard she was breathing, and his heart ached to be able to do something about it. He stayed just like that for a few seconds, realizing that it was time to do something he probably should have done earlier, but hadn't thought about the possibility that she'd pitch forward in her sleep. Slowly and carefully, he began to sit up behind her, moving her legs carefully as he swung his gradually to the floor.
She knew that she was safe by the time she heard his voice in her ear, but she lay there, breathing hard, trying to clear her mind. The nightmare she'd had hadn't been much of a surprise – some of her past demons mixed with the newest one to form a new form of nightly terror, which would probably now haunt her for some time to come… Though he might not be able to tell, at that moment, the only thing holding her together was Kurt's arm around her tightly, and the sound of his voice. Without those two things, she may have simply fallen apart. Or, at least that was how she felt.
Suddenly, she felt him shifting, and just as quickly she realized that he was no longer laying behind her. While she wouldn't have admitted it, stubborn as she was even at that moment, she missed the contact with him right away. She only had a few seconds to feel that way, however, before she felt herself begin to shift as well, and she turned in surprise to see what was happening.
I should have insisted, he was telling himself as he picked her up, once again threading one arm under her knees and the other lifting her from behind her back. He stood up all the way and looked down at a very sleepy, scared and quite surprised Jane, who he was now holding up in his arms once again.
"Since there's no guarantee that that won't happen again, and I don't want you ending up on the floor or banging your already very bruised face on the coffee table, or both, we're going to go and sleep in the bed," he told her. It was no longer phrased as a question. She was fairly sure that they were going to his bed, together, just based on the way he'd worded his sentence. Even that same sentence earlier that evening might have made her feel awkward, but now, in the middle of the night, when she was already tired and scared and she could admit that all she wanted was to stay close to him, it didn't faze her whatsoever.
"Okay," she whispered.
"Shall we make a bathroom stop on the way?" he asked in a gentler tone before he started walking, putting his foot up on the couch and resting her weight on his knee while he waited for her answer.
"Probably a good idea," she mumbled, though her head was leaned heavily against his collar bone and she didn't like the idea of him putting her down at all. Otherwise, at some point in the next few hours she'd have to hop there herself, which was less than ideal.
"I thought so," he replied, kissing her forehead and then shifting slightly, pulling her tighter so that he could put his foot back down on the floor and turn to begin walking towards the bathroom. At the doorway, he let her down slowly and she hopped inside. "There's a spare toothbrush in the left drawer, if you want," he told her just before pulling the door closed behind her. Turning to lean his head back against the wall behind him, he sighed tiredly. If anyone had told him that this was where he'd have been only a few days ago, he would have denied that anything like this could happen. And yet, here he was. Here they were. It wasn't perfect, but compared to the polite coworkers they'd been lately, though slowly growing closer, well… he preferred this.
A few minutes later, the door opened and a sleepy looking Jane hopped back through the doorway, only to be scooped up by Kurt once again. "You know you didn't have to do that," she told him. "I could have made it."
Smiling down at her, he shook his head. "Just because you could have doesn't mean you should have to," he told her sincerely, his voice still a little raspy from tiredness. "Besides, maybe I'm just being selfish and this is for me… because I kind of like holding onto you like this."
She smiled, shaking her head at him and laying her head back against his collarbone where it had been as he began walking again. Slowing down to go through the bedroom doorway sideways, they had reached their destination in seconds, and Kurt pulled the covers back on the bed as well as he could with the hand that was under Jane's knees, then leaned as far forwards as he could to deposit her as close to the center of the bed as possible.
Walking around the bed to his dresser, he pulled out one of his larger clean t-shirts, closing the drawer and then setting it on the bed beside her.
"If you'd rather have something else to sleep in…" he said, smiling enough that she could see that he felt slightly awkward about making the suggestion. "Make yourself comfortable," he told her, "I'll be right back." Taking the chance to duck into the bathroom himself, he was back in under two minutes, only to find Jane, now wearing his t-shirt, which she seemed to be swimming in, sitting with the blankets pulled up over her legs. However, she looked anything but comfortable. Her legs were pulled up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them tightly. Seeing her sitting like that, so rigidly, made him once again wish that he could simply say or do something that would fix this for her. However, he knew that he was doing his best, and reminded himself that he was getting through to her, and that that would have to be enough.
Walking back around the bed to his dresser, where he saw the pile of her clothes that she'd left beside the bed, he pulled out another t-shirt. Facing away from her, he pulled off the t-shirt that he was wearing and exchanged it for the clean one, pulling it down over him tiredly, and only then remembering that he was sore, too, as he stretched muscles that didn't want to be stretched. He pulled off his jeans as well, tossing both garments in the small hamper in the corner of the room. Usually he just slept in his boxers, but he'd added the t-shirt for Jane's benefit, not wanting to make her feel awkward for any reason. As far as pants went… well, hers were on the floor with her shirt, so his tired brain decided that that was enough of a sign of her comfort level with the situation.
He made his way back to the other side of the bed, closer to the door, which Jane was facing slightly more towards. Sitting down in front of her, he saw her look at him, but while her eyes followed him, her expression didn't change. Her face was tight, as was her posture, and once again he couldn't help but think that she looked exhausted. She also looked like she had no intention of going back to sleep anytime soon. Smiling at her gently, he scooted himself closer to her.
Hunched as far forward as she was, it was relatively easy to scoot himself behind her in the center of the bed. She tensed even more as he did, turning slightly to see what he was doing. "Tell me if you want me to back away, or stop," he said in a soft voice, resting his hands gently on her shoulders and just holding them there.
To this she replied quietly, "Okay, I mean… No… I mean…" Now she smiled a little bit, though it took some effort. "I don't, but if I do, I will."
He moved until his face was beside hers, kissing her cheek and then leaning back just enough to begin rubbing her shoulders, trying to ease the tension out of them. It only took him a few seconds, however, to realize that what he was trying to accomplish would have been easier if she'd still been wearing her own tank top instead of his oversized – on her, anyway – t-shirt. Even so, he already felt her beginning to relax, even though her arms were still wrapped tightly around her knees in front of her.
Maybe it was the lateness of the hour that made him just a little bolder than usual – or was this considered early, not late? It was almost 2:30 am, so it could have been considered either, really… Alternatively, maybe it was everything they'd been through that day already, or some combination of those, or something else, but, unsatisfied with the back rub she was getting through the fabric of his shirt, he slipped his hands down onto her arms, where the ends of the sleeves sat, midway between her elbows and her shoulders, and slowly slid his hands most of the way inside the sleeves, pushing the fabric back up so that his fingers were once again on her shoulders, with the fabric of his shirt mostly out of the way.
To his surprise, she didn't tense at all, even for a second, when he did that. Actually, when his hands grasped her bare shoulders, he swore he felt the tense knot that she'd pulled herself into actually begin to loosen. This was good news, of course, since that had been the outcome he'd hoped for. He continued to knead her shoulders, slowly increasing the pressure he used, and finding that not only was she beginning to relax, but he felt himself getting sleepier and sleepier as well.
When she felt his fingers slide inside the sleeves of her shirt, she was surprised when it didn't bother her. Logically, she would have thought they she would have felt uncomfortable, but instead, she felt nothing but relief. Then again, his touch had always been soothing to her, so perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise, after all… All she knew was that she felt the tension in her left over from her nightmare begin to dissipate.
At some point not too much after that, she was sitting with her knees bent loosely in front of her, her arms around them but not tightly whatsoever. She just hadn't put them down all the way yet, but it was only a matter of another minute or so before she did just that. She wondered silently how he had this effect on her, and then realized that that thought was something that he might like to hear out loud. After all, she thought, the least she could do was to tell him how much his actions meant to her. It was the truth.
So she considered what she should say for a few seconds, before deciding to keep it simple. She was feeling very sleepy again, despite having told herself that she was done sleeping for the night. "How do you do it?" she asked him quietly, turning her head in his direction, though not far enough around to be able to see him.
"Do what?" he asked, leaning forward so that he could almost see her face from the side.
She considered how to explain it, but most of it was just vague, fuzzy thoughts she had when she thought of him. So she went with the only words that came to mind. "You always just… know what to do to fix things." His hands paused in their work, resting against her skin, and he leaned forward just enough to lean down and kiss the skin just inside the neck of the shirt she was wearing, behind her collarbone where her neck and shoulders met.
"Of course, I didn't say that to make you stop," she told him with a smile, turning the rest of the way around. Looking into his eyes, she suddenly realized how tired he looked. As much as she didn't want him to stop what he was doing, she knew that she needed to at least let him sleep. Doing anything else seemed cruel just then. "But you look exhausted. I think it's time you went back to sleep," she told him.
"And what about you?" he asked. "I could say the same thing about you." She just shrugged, looking away, and she felt disappointment flood her as his hands moved back down from her shoulders, to her arms, and back out of the sleeves of the shirt of his that she was wearing. He moved slowly, so that he was no longer sitting behind her, but now lying on his right side, on her left and facing her, and looking up at her with concern. She looked back down at him only reluctantly, after feeling him watching her, and was surprised to see the warmth of the smile that looked back up at her.
"You need sleep, too, but I can't force you, and I know that," he told her quietly. "And I understand why you don't want to sleep." He spoke slowly, trying to choose his words carefully. "I just wish I could fix it for you." His left hand moved to where her hands were wrapped loosely around her legs, outside of the blanket, taking her left hand gently in his, finding that he met no resistance from her. "But I also know that I will sleep better if you lay down here with me. And I hope that you know that you're safe here… Obviously I know better than to promise that nothing can hurt you, but I'd do anything in my power to stop it from happening. For whatever that's worth."
She smiled slowly, and maybe a little sadly, too, he thought. All things considered, it made sense – her hesitation. It was all complicated. It always had been, and probably always would be. Or maybe it just felt that way.
"But I meant what I said before," he said, pausing slightly and looking up at her. "When I said that I love you." He'd slipped it in just before he'd kissed her, earlier, which had effectively ended all conversation. She hadn't forgotten, but afterwards she'd almost wondered if it had slipped out by accident, or if she'd maybe imagined it. Now it was clear that it hadn't, which both gave her a warm, fuzzy feeling and simultaneously terrified her.
Despite the fact that they scared her, those were apparently the words that did the trick to bring her out of her shell, however, because she finally began moving slowly, avoiding his eyes as she shifted herself to lie down beside him. She moved close enough to snuggle against him, finally letting herself relax. Only once their faces were inches apart did she finally look back up into his, and he could see the hesitation there, mixed with so many other things.
She stared into his eyes for more than just a few seconds, feeling the words forming in her head but not quite finding their way to her mouth. He smiled back at her, fairly sure that he was watching the wheels in her head turning, and reached up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ears. He only hoped that she believed him when he said it… though if she didn't, really, it shouldn't surprise him too much. After all, with everything that had happened, she had every reason to doubt him. But he promised himself that he'd convince her.
But her words surprised him. "I love you, too," she told him softly. "I guess… I always have… I just," she paused for a second, thinking, then continued. "I just didn't know what the feeling was… or what I was supposed to do with it."
Kurt couldn't help but smile, because it was so very Jane. Come to think of it, she'd summed up his feelings as well. Never mind that he had far more memories and far more experience to draw from. He hadn't been any more clued in that she had. Zapata had been right, that day back in Michigan when she'd tried to spell it out for him.
Smiling back at her, he laid his left arm across her back, gently tugging her closer. "Time to go back to sleep," he told her. It wasn't a question. She was hesitant, but not as terrified as she had been earlier. Somehow, things looked better there, beside him. And really, as much as she usually did try to simply avoid sleep, laying here next to him it seemed to make sense that that technique really wasn't going to work. It would catch up with her eventually, she reasoned, and there was nowhere she'd rather be when it did.
Out of habit, she fought to keep her eyelids open, and had to actively remind herself that it was okay to close them. His reminder helped, too.
"I'll see you in the morning. Right here. Okay? Unless you're planning to go somewhere…" he said tiredly, his smile still playful.
"I've never wanted to not go anywhere more," she told him, and was rewarded with his smile.
"Good night, Jane," he whispered.
"Good night," she replied, keeping her eyes open long enough to see his close, but no longer.
Ideally, the next time they woke up it would have been much later, after at least five or so more hours sleep, if not far more. However, that was not meant to be that night.
Just before 4:00 am, Kurt woke up to Jane rolling away from him, almost throwing herself backwards as if she needed to escape from something dangerous. Having been asleep, he didn't quite catch her that time, and later he would applaud the decision he'd made to move them off of the couch. Surely, she would have fallen off and ended up on the floor that time, if he hadn't. She was moving from side to side widely, muttering things that he couldn't make out but that were punctuated by a lot of the word "no," and seemed to involve pushing his hands away from her whenever he tried to hold onto her.
I just need to wake her up, he thought with increasing desperation. He was saying her name over and over, to what seemed like no avail. He didn't want to restrain her, because he didn't want to make things worse, but it was hard to think of how else to get her to stop thrashing around. "Jane," he said, loudly and emphatically, "Jane, wake up. Come on, it's just me." There was a hint of desperation in his voice. He hated to see her so obviously scared of something in her mind, and he knew that being awake, while it would bring her relief, would also be painful in a different way, depending on how much of her dream she remembered.
She was laying on her back, moving constantly. He leaned over her the best he could, gently grabbing first her left hand with his right, and then her right with his left, holding them above her against the bed, not tightly, but firmly enough that she couldn't immediately slip them back out of his grasp. "Jane, come on, come back to me," he said in the most soothing voice he could manage. He felt a hint of desperation seeping into his voice. It was so hard to see her like this, after all.
He noticed the second that she stopped fighting him and began waking up. In one way she relaxed, stopped struggling, and in another way she seemed to tense even more. "Hey," he whispered, glad that she'd finally escaped from the dream, but not wanting her first waking thought to be fearful. "It's okay. It was just a bad dream." She was breathing as though she'd just run a marathon, unable to catch her breath. It was only when she opened her eyes and looked at him, tears suddenly leaking out of the corners, that he realized that he was holding himself up nearly directly above her, his hands still holding hers against the bed and their faces only inches apart.
Even as the tears leaked from her eyes and she struggled to catch her breath, she couldn't help but be grateful that Kurt was there, as close as he was. She stared into his eyes, getting lost in them, and trying to center herself. She'd had plenty of nightmares in the past – though not too many recently – and she knew from experience that waking up with him there, that close, was much better than waking up and being alone. Her tears were from fear, but also from relief, and it seemed important to tell him that. At that moment, however, she couldn't quite form those, or any other, words, only stare into his eyes as she fought to catch her breath.
He was just about to loosen his grasp on her hands and move back, feeling slightly self-conscious about the position that he was in, leaning over her like that. He didn't want her to think that he intended to take advantage of the situation… But before he could move, he felt her hands tighten their grip on his, and saw her eyes close again, as the flow of tears from the corners of her eyes, even while they were closed, intensified.
"Hey," he whispered, the break in his voice revealing exactly how desperately he wanted to figure out what to say to make her stop crying. He knew his words were probably insufficient, but that wouldn't stop him from trying. "You're safe. It's okay. Alright? It's okay…" Her eyes were still closed and she nodded her head, but the tears continued to leak stubbornly from her eyes. He leaned up and kissed her forehead, then moved his face to her left cheek, the one closest to him. He brushed his cheek against hers gently, before whispering into her ear. "I've got you. Okay? No one and nothing is going to take you away from me. Not this time."
He thought he felt her nod her head slightly, but he couldn't he sure. That was okay, though. If she'd heard him, that was enough.
Her head was a confusing place just then. The emotions that were assaulting her were each fighting for dominance, and so far none of them were winning. Until, of course, she heard the words he'd whispered in her ear. While it wasn't immediate, she felt herself calming down slowly after that, still not quite able to reply but at least able to breathe less desperately.
Thinking about logistics quickly in his head, he realized that he should get himself onto the other side of her in order for what he wanted to do to work right. Leaning his head back from her, though he didn't want to, he found himself once again bracing himself on his elbows, looking down at her. Even when she was crying like this, she was beautiful.
Reminding himself of what he was trying to do, and that it would hopefully help her, he carefully shifted himself above her, "stepping" his legs over hers, brushing against hers in the process and remembering once again that both of them were sleeping without pants. Of course, it was a passing observation and not something to focus on just then, one that he made because he was reminded when his leg brushed against hers and he felt the softness of her skin.
Successfully on Jane's right side now, he slowly managed to disengage his hands from hers, where they had still been clutched against the bed. She looked up at him, now on the other side of her, in slight confusion. "Alright, come here," he told her, scooting himself towards her, now lying on his left side and pulling her towards him at the same angle, so that she gradually moved onto her left side as well. His left arm was threaded through the space under her neck, her left ear against the pillow below her head, and with the angle and the fact that she seemed so small there in front of him, his left hand could reach all the way across her to hold onto her right shoulder. His right arm was crossed tightly the other way over her, and he could feel her leaning back against him as hard as she could, her right hand on top of his left, squeezing hard.
"Just breathe, okay?" he whispered into her right ear, careful not to lean against the side of her face, which still looked uncomfortably puffy. Making sure that she didn't end up leaning on that side of her face had been his primary reason for changing to the other side of her – he had known that he wanted to hold onto her as tightly as possible.
When he told her to breathe, it still felt like there was a huge distance between them. It was like she was somewhere far away, and yet somehow he was whispering in her ear. It was strange, and yet… she liked it. She felt him pulling her tighter, and slowly the feeling of being far away from him began to fade as she let herself relax again. Oh, there you are, she thought. You're not far away after all. She realized only then that he was holding her against him tightly, and she couldn't help but smile. Doing as he'd told her, she focused on breathing in and out.
He could feel her beginning to relax, and the tightness in his chest only then began to loosen. Even though he knew that it was just a bad dream she was having, her reaction was hard to watch. The fact that he couldn't jump in and fight off whatever was in her head for her was perhaps the hardest thing for him to deal with. "Better?" he whispered near her ear, and then felt her nod her head, still not saying anything. "Good," he said, and she could hear him smiling.
"Thanks," she said, slightly breathlessly, pulling her right arm tighter. It overlapped both of his arms, which were wrapped tightly around her, her hand holding onto the back of his left arm just above his wrist, which happened to fall somewhere not far below her chin. The fear from her dream was slowly seeping out of her, replaced by exhaustion, relief, and, the strongest one… love. She didn't feel like she'd ever done anything to deserve something – someone – so wonderful, but she wasn't going to question it. At least not this time.
"It's okay if you don't go back to sleep," he whispered from behind her, knowing that sleep was probably the thing she wanted to do least just then. "But stay right here with me, okay?" he asked.
She smiled weakly at his words, once again amazed at his astuteness. He was right, she didn't want to go back to sleep. Not only was she wide awake, for one thing, and she didn't want to repeat the dream she'd just had, for another. Smiling to herself, she felt warmth spread through her that slowly but surely began to push out the tension left over from her nightmare. When he felt her nod her head against him, he leaned forward and kissed the back of her head.
"If I fall back to sleep, I'm sorry," he whispered then, and she couldn't help but chuckle softly to herself.
"Go back to sleep," she whispered, turning her head slightly in his direction, only getting far enough that her cheek was even with his mouth instead of her ear. "You deserve it. Being Superman takes a lot of energy. I have to wonder what's more exhausting, saving the world, or saving me."
He smiled at her compliment, even though he thought it to be a gross exaggeration. "You, definitely," he replied playfully, which made her laugh out loud. She let go of his arm in front of her for a second and reached back awkwardly, because of the angle, pretending to punch him – though, afraid to accidentally hit a spot where he was actually injured, stopping short of actually punching him even lightly – before replacing her hand on his arm, pulling it tightly once again.
"Watch it," she told him, unable to keep a straight face.
"I intend to," he told her. "Or, you, mostly."
"Haha," she whispered.
"Didn't you hear? I'm hilarious," he assured her with a grin.
"You may have been misinformed," she told him, still leaning back in his direction. "Are you sure your source is reliable?" She felt him chuckling, felt it rumble in his chest as she leaned back against him, thoughts of her nightmare now quickly fading. He kissed her cheek gently, so lightly that it almost didn't make contact, since this was the side on which she'd been hit in the face. He nuzzled her cheek just as gently with his nose, leaning his forehead against the side of her head behind her temple.
When she sighed contentedly, he didn't need any more words to know that she was okay. More than okay, really. That was the sigh of someone who was truly happy. He knew it, because he felt it as well. However much baggage they still had, at that moment it didn't matter. It wasn't clear who fell asleep first after that, only that there were no more nightmares that night.
The next time he woke up, it wasn't because Jane was having a nightmare. On the contrary, she was sleeping peacefully beside him. Well, on him was probably a more apt description. It seemed that in his sleep, he'd rolled onto his back, tugging her along with him. She was sleeping draped mostly over him, her head on his chest – the right side of which was against him. He'd been trying to avoid having her sleep that way for the sake of her poor, bruised face, but oh well, he wasn't going to disturb her now. Her left arm was draped across him, and the rest of their limbs were tangled up together. He didn't dare move any part of him that would potentially jar her, which basically left only his head free. Turning to look at the clock, he saw that it was just after 9:00 am this time.
A much more civilized time, especially after being up half the night, he thought. Looking back down at her, sleeping soundly, he closed his eyes and drank in this feeling. It was a strange thing, this happiness that he'd heard so much about.
That's not just happiness, the voice in his head interjected. It's even more powerful than that. What you're feeling is love, too.
He realized that he was smiling then. Lucky me, he thought, perfectly content to lie there and simply feel it, not moving a muscle.
Even without opening his eyes, he knew the moment Jane started waking up. Even before she actually moved, he felt her muscles contract slowly against him, probably taking a few seconds to figure out where she was. His eyes were still closed, the smile still on his face.
Moving just enough to look up at him, she saw the smile on his face and guessed that he was awake. After all, it was really late for either of them to still be sleeping. "Good morning," she whispered, looking up at him but otherwise not moving. "You awake up there?"
"Mmmmm…. Yes, just enjoying exactly where I am right now. I saw no reason to move," he replied, his smile intensifying but his eyes remaining closed.
She felt her stomach flip flopping a little bit, her cheeks growing warm as she slowly realized only how close they were, that's she'd been sleeping on top of him and that their bare legs were tangled together… and that he had liked it enough not to want to move. When she slowly began to shift, she felt his arms suddenly holding onto her in the middle of her back.
"You're good where you are," he assured her. "No moving allowed."
The slight awkwardness she had felt when she'd realized how close they were immediately melted into the warm glow of happiness that she was already feeling, just intensifying it. "Oh yeah? For how long?" she asked him curiously.
"Hmmmm…" he mused. "I haven't decided yet."
"But we'll move eventually, right?" she asked curiously. "I mean, we're going to get hungry at some point. Actually, I'm surprised you're not hungry already." She felt his chest rumble with a quiet chuckle beneath her, and she couldn't help but smile, letting her eyes fall closed again and setting her head back down just where it had been when she'd woken up. She listened to his heartbeat, feeling like her heart might burst with happiness.
"If I was up, I'd eat," he replied with a shrug that she felt instead of saw. "But I'd rather be right here, with you." After a pause he added, "Until you decide that you're hungry, and then I can make some breakfast." He was rewarded for his offer with her own soft chuckle, which he felt just as well as she'd felt his.
Lying there with her eyes closed, she began to feel a light sensation against the skin of her left hand, which moved up her arm after only a few seconds. Opening her eyes, she looked up at Kurt once again and smiled. His fingertips were ghosting lightly over the ink lines of her tattoos, following them every which way, looping back around and around as they traveled up her arm.
At first she smiled at the sensation, but her eyes followed his fingers as they continued, and her expression changed.
He was confused to notice that it wasn't long after she'd smiled at him, and he'd assumed that she liked what he was doing, that her smile disappeared. Her eyes were still following him, but it was clear that something was bothering her. She glanced back down at her ink-covered arm, then once again at his fingers, which had almost stopped moving, before settling on his face once again.
"Do you want me to stop?" he asked, his fingers halting their movement and lying flat against the skin of her arm.
"No," she replied quietly, shaking her head against him. "It's not that. I…" Her eyes darted back down to her arm, and he saw her expression darken.
"You don't see it, do you?" he asked her, wonder filling his voice.
Confused, she looked back up at him once again. "See what?"
"How beautiful you are," he replied, watching her carefully.
Her lips curved into a smile, but the rest of her face, especially her eyes, were sad, and she looked away, back down at the same arm she'd already been frowning at so intensely. He was right, she didn't see it. Once in a while, depending on the situation and her mood, she felt like some kind of monster – though less often now than she used to. But beautiful? That felt like something that other people were. She knew that she certainly attracted a lot of attention, but it didn't usually feel like the positive kind.
Besides, the people in her life consisted mainly of those with the FBI, and complete strangers. The people associated with the FBI were mainly used to her – though even some of the junior agents in other departments sometimes gave her looks that betrayed their nervousness around her. Complete strangers, on the other hand. Well, they mostly seemed to fall into two categories.
The first group was those who were some degree of shocked by her appearance, which could range anywhere between obviously uncomfortable and horrified, depending on the person. The other group were the few who were attracted by her tattoos, but more because of what they thought they said about her as a person. Those people tended to look at her in ways that made her intensely uncomfortable, as if they knew a dirty secret about her that others didn't, and they were already undressing her with their eyes. Either way, if they couldn't look her in the eyes as if she was simply anyone else, she had learned to ignore them – though even now, it wasn't necessarily easy.
But beautiful? No, she could honestly say that she'd never considered the possibility.
"You will, though," he told her quietly, leaving it at that. He was relieved to see that her expression lightened slightly then. She glanced back at him tentatively, as if she was afraid to believe it, but she wanted to. He resumed tracing the ink lines on her arm, and he watched her close her eyes, smiling once again.
I could get used to this, she told herself.
They laid there just like that for a while, denying the existence of reality, Kurt watching her but Jane keeping her eyes closed, just focusing on the way she felt. After all, she didn't really have a memory of being perfectly and completely happy, and she wanted to savor it as long as she could. Besides, he'd moved his left hand to her hair, where his fingers trailed lazily along her scalp, and between the two, she didn't think she could have moved if she'd wanted to. Which she decidedly didn't, of course.
She had lost all sense of time when, sometime later, both of his hands stilled, though they maintained contact with her, and she heard his voice break through the blissful silence. "How are you feeling?"
Without opening her eyes, she smiled up into the direction she knew that his face was. "Physically? Like I was dragged behind a bus, maybe…?" she replied. It was a funny response to hear, since it didn't match the smile on her face. "But otherwise… let's just say I didn't know that I could be this happy." When he leaned down and kissed her forehead, the buzz in her head that had already been there intensified. It was as if there was simply no end to the good feelings, and she was quickly becoming addicted to them.
"I think that's the perfect description of it," he replied. "And I think maybe we should get up now…" Before he finished his sentence, he felt her tense against him in protest. "So that I can make us something to eat, and we can get some painkillers, and wash those terribly dirty clothes from yesterday… so you have something to wear. Not," he added, "that I'm complaining about you not wearing pants."
She felt herself blushing a deep shade of pink, and she finally opened her eyes slowly, looking up at him to find him grinning at her. "I, uh, last night I guess I was, uh, upset by my nightmare and…" It felt out of character for her to simply have shed her pants when she was sleeping somewhere besides her own bed, with someone else… but when it came down to it, Kurt was not just someone. On the contrary, he was the only one. Of course, if she hadn't been so tired and distraught, she probably would have just kept them on… but that ship had sailed. Besides, she could feel the skin of his legs against the skin of hers, and it was a nice feeling.
"Though, you know, pajamas are also acceptable next time, if that's what you want," he added, "I just don't have any that would fit you."
"Next time, huh?" she asked, wondering if he was really saying what she thought he was saying.
"Absolutely," he replied, watching her intently. "Unless you don't want to do this again, of course." He grinned at her, and she could tell that he knew that that wasn't the case.
"I don't even want to get up now," she replied quietly.
"I'll take that as positive," he told her, "but we really should get up." She sighed heavily, nodding, but not moving. "You should probably be the one to get up first, since you're on top of me," he told her, noting with amusement that when he pointed out her position in relation to him, she blushed slightly.
…since you're on top of me, she heard him say, and felt her cheeks growing instantly warm once again. That simply wasn't something that she'd ever thought would come out of Kurt's mouth to her. She really, really didn't want to move.
Looking up at him with a smile, she was surprised when she felt his hands settle firmly on her sides, slightly above her waist, at the base of her ribs, and tug her up gently until her face was even with him. Looking into his eyes in amusement, she enjoyed the sudden closeness, their faces only a few inches apart.
"We need to get up," he told her, "but first, clearly I need to do something else."
"What's that?" she asked, wondering what he had in mind but not able to think all that clearly when they were so close together.
"This," he said simply, closing the distance between them and kissing her gently. The buzz in her head intensified, and there were no more thoughts of anything at that moment, certainly not of getting up. Even after the kiss ended, she remained still, her nose and forehead pressed against his, her eyes still closed. At that moment, she felt so happy that her chest actually ached from the intensity of her feelings. She pulled her head back only very slowly and opened her eyes to look at him reluctantly. It was almost too much, and she had to remind herself to breathe.
"Now," he told her, bringing his right hand up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, her face still barely back far enough for them to focus on each other properly, "we get up. I know that you could skip several meals and probably not even notice," he said with a slightly disapproving look, "but we're going to break you of that habit."
"We are?" she asked, grinning once again. It seemed that everything he said made her grin like an idiot. Or maybe it just felt that way.
"Yes," he told her emphatically. Leaning forward to kiss the tip of her nose quickly. "Now come on, let's get up."
It took a while, because Jane wasn't exactly cooperative about the whole getting up thing, but they did eventually find themselves out of bed. Kurt deposited all of Jane's dirty clothes into the washing machine, returning to the bedroom to where she was pushing herself to stand up from the bed on her good ankle. He was perfectly content for her to simply stay in his oversize t-shirt until her clothes were clean.
"Do you want, uh, a robe or something?" he asked her.
But to his surprise, she shook her head. Her cheeks slightly pink, she replied, "No, I'm fine."
Kurt, of course, also had no complaints about this. He helped her to one of the stools in the kitchen and got started making coffee, putting a steaming cup of it in front of her only a few minutes later, then excusing himself temporarily. When he emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, once again seeing her sitting on the stool at the end of the counter, he couldn't help but smile at the sight of her in his t-shirt, her legs bare.
"I'll handle breakfast, so why don't you take a shower?" he asked, coming to stand in front of her at the corner of the counter, so that she shifted in her chair to face him. He put two small pills in her hand and set a glass of water on the counter between them. Jane, not wanting to be shorter than she had to be compared to him, pushed herself out of her chair, standing up on her good ankle once again. Taking half a step back to give her space, he then rested his hands lightly on her waist while she swallowed the pills and he waited for her answer.
Lowering the glass slowly from in front of her face, she replied, "That sounds logical, but there's only one problem."
Tilting his head slightly sideways, he looked at her curiously. "What's that?" he asked.
"I like it right where I am too much to move," she told him.
He leaned forward and kissed her forehead yet again, letting his hands slip down over her hips so slightly that she almost didn't feel them there, and then let them fall back to his sides reluctantly. Forcing himself to take another half step back from her, as she balanced herself against the counter, he said, "There's more of that, don't worry."
"Of what?" she asked teasingly.
"Of… all of it," he told her, which made her smile so hard she wasn't entirely sure her face wasn't going to crack.
Fifteen minutes later, she was out of the shower, her hair damp and wearing the same t-shirt of his that she'd had on before, her legs still bare. He helped her back to the stool at the counter, where breakfast was waiting for them, sitting down on the stool beside her. Instead of facing the plate of food in front of him, however, he turned and faced her, watching her intently, as if he wanted to say something.
After settling herself on the stool, she looked back up and saw him watching her, so she turned to face him once again. "What's wrong?" she asked, slightly concerned. She wasn't sure what to make of the look on his face.
"Absolutely nothing," he said, almost in surprise, his expression still unclear to her. "I guess I was just thinking that I wish we'd been locked in together sooner."
She couldn't help but smile then. After all, she knew the feeling. It was easy to wonder if things would have happened between them much earlier if they'd been put in that situation before…
With a shrug, she said thoughtfully, "I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't have worked the same way earlier." He was watching her so carefully that for a few seconds, she almost forgot what she was saying. "Maybe it had to happen the way it did… all of it." She shivered slightly at the thought of what all of it had entailed, and the pain that they'd both gone through to get to where they now were. "But it doesn't really matter now, right? The important thing is that we're here now." He was nodding at her, watching her silently. "Besides, what we do… it's never certain. How many times have we had close calls, where we weren't sure we would make it?"
"Too many," he replied quietly.
"Exactly," she said, smiling slightly. "I guess we just have to enjoy what we have while we have it."
"Okay," he agreed, leaning forward to kiss her. She smiled in genuine surprise and more than a little delight at his interpretation of her words. That hadn't been what she meant, but she wasn't exactly going to argue.
"What am I going to do with you?" she asked teasingly during a very brief break for air.
He kissed her again, then said, without actually leaning back from her, "Whatever you want." She laughed then, somehow managing to kiss him at the same time, slapping him playfully on the arm.
So this was what had been waiting for them all this time. As they finally stopped to catch their breath, agreeing that they really did need to eat the food that Kurt had cooked before it got cold and turning towards the counter, their shoulders rested against each other. He couldn't help feeling it again, that intense and surprising happiness that wasn't just happiness, but love as well. As much as he loved kissing her, what he really loved was her. Everything about her.
So many things had stood in their way, and so many more roadblocks would undoubtedly be put there. They were bruised and battered, literally as well as metaphorically, and yet, there they were, stronger than ever. Despite everything, Jane couldn't help but feel the burden of the past begin to lift for the first time. After all, everything horrible thing that had happened to her was, at that moment, in the past, and this… whatever they decided to call it… it had been worth the wait.