Disclaimer: I do not own Blindspot. More like it's the other way around… I've come to realize that THEY own ME. :) I also don't own the song lyrics that I'll mention again at the end, so I don't spoil anything… because trust me, you don't want me writing songs. I tried when I was about 12 and it was NOT pretty.
A/N: Welcome to chapter 2. There is at least one more. Beyond that, I'm not sure. The ideas are coming to me a little at a time, as usual.
Kurt had let go of Jane's hand for just a few seconds so that he could hold the door for her as she went through it in front of him, into the chilly wind outside. She'd paused for a split second as she walked in front of him and their eyes had met. Just like so many other times, it was almost like they'd had a whole conversation without saying a word. As soon as they were clear of the door, he reached for her hand again, of course finding no resistance from her. If anything, she felt the pull towards him just as strongly as he felt it towards her.
Looking down at their hands, interlocked between them, as they started walking, Jane glanced up at him shyly. It was an understatement to say that she wasn't used to this. It was also an understatement to say that she liked it… a lot.
He glanced down at her at that moment, and she smiled self-consciously, looking down, now feeling him watching her. His hand squeezed hers, and she leaned towards him slightly, bumping her shoulder gently against his arm, just below his shoulder.
This is perfect, she shouldn't help but think, once again in awe of the whole evening.
They'd taken a cab to the bar, knowing that neither of them would want to be responsible for driving after their outing, so as they began walking along a sidewalk still littered with lots of people, out to enjoy New York City nightlife, they almost didn't pay attention to which way they were going. They were really and truly simply walking, since they were in a busy section of Manhattan and whichever way they chose, they would find food.
After a few blocks of slow progress, during which they'd glanced at each other frequently and smiled the giddy smiles of two people who were at least sort of on their first date – although the evening had started out with Patterson and Zapata – Jane felt him tug on her hand, pulling her toward the edge of the sidewalk. Coming to a stop out of the way of the flow of foot traffic, she squeezed his hand a little tighter and looked up at him curiously. In reply, he took a step closer to her, letting go of her hand and then immediately winding his arms around her waist. While she was surprised, she certainly didn't mind this, and she brought her hands up to his shoulders.
"What?" she asked, feeling her smile intensify as her insides melted just a little from the look he was giving her? Though she had no experience with this sort of thing, she would have been willing to guess that the look on his face meant the same giddy devotion that she felt herself. Really, it was the same look he'd always given her, just intensified, and it made her wonder… had he felt that way from the beginning? Surely not…
She was immediately grateful for the chance to once again look directly into his eyes for more than a split second, like they'd had to make due with while they'd been walking. Walking along and holding his hand was its own kind of magic, but this… this was definitely better. Of course, they hadn't reached their destination yet, but that was suddenly irrelevant. Food could wait.
Shaking his head, he leaned slowly down towards her until, once again, their foreheads touched. He held his there and took a few deep breaths, inhaling the moment the same way they'd each been doing in the bar. It already felt like ages since the last time he'd kissed her, even though it had been literally a few minutes, and this thought made him chuckle to himself.
"What?" she asked again. "I don't get to know what's so funny." Pretending to pout, she successfully held that look for about ten seconds before she couldn't keep a straight face anymore and her smile broke through again.
"I was just thinking…" he finally told her, moving his forehead slightly in order to feel the sensation of brushing his skin against hers, not quite managing to finish his sentence.
"About…?" she prompted him, amused by his apparent inability to focus on what he himself was saying. She had to admit that it was difficult…
Leaning back and looking deeply into her eyes, he decided that the simplest answer was the best. "You," he told her sincerely, which made her blush, her smile widening to match his. "More specifically…" he said, leaning closer to her, "…doing this." This time he didn't stop moving towards her until he was kissing her again, to her surprise.
No arguments here, she thought, her heart racing.
She certainly hadn't expected him to kiss her in the middle of the crowds of people on the sidewalk. It just seemed like a very… un-Kurt Weller thing to do. Then again, the Kurt that she was out with that evening seemed to be acting more and more differently from the Kurt that she knew from work as the night went on. While she had always loved the serious version of him, she was quickly warming up to this one, as well.
"Get a room!" a random voice called from the crowd that was moving along the sidewalk, not far from where they were standing. This brought them back to reality, back to the fact that they weren't actually standing there alone, despite the fact that they'd been able to very successfully tune out the rest of the world and just focus on each other for a few minutes. Leaning back slightly, they glanced out at the crowd, not knowing who had called out to them, before quickly focusing on each other again.
He noticed the sheepish look on Jane's face, and shrugged, grinning at her with the infectious smile of his that she so loved. "Maybe later," he said lightly. "First, we're getting food."
If they'd been on an actual first date, if they'd been two people who had just met recently, who didn't have such a history together, who hadn't saved each other's lives more times than they could remember, then the implication of Kurt's joking reply might have made things awkward.
But since none of those situations applied to them, and because she did know him as well as she did, she simply chuckled, shaking her head at him as she grinned. If there was one thing that she didn't feel, standing there with him, it was awkward. Maybe they'd used up all the awkwardness already. There'd been plenty of not just awkward, but painfully awkward situations between them in the past months, after all.
"Come on," he said, letting his arms fall from around her reluctantly, pausing just for a few seconds with his hands resting on her waist before dropping them back to his sides, then quickly reaching out to take her hand once again. He squeezed it tightly, protectively even, as they stepped back into the flow of "traffic" along the sidewalk, once again with no particular destination in mind other than simply to find something to eat.
Even though food was their goal, there was no rush. She was a little bit hungry, but not starving – at the same time, it was easy to forget about food when she was there with him, holding his hand and walking along very much not just as friends… though his friendship had always been something she'd valued more highly than almost anything. That was, of course, why losing it had been so painful, and why the thought of even the possibility of things going badly between them again was so terrifying. After all, she knew how much it hurt, and she'd rather face off with Sandstorm all on her own, no matter how grim the odds, than lose Kurt for any reason.
He wasn't sure how long or how far they'd walked, since he had completely lost track of the time and even the direction in which they'd been going, as distracted as he'd been by the woman whose hand he was holding. All he did know was that all of a sudden, he knew where they were… and he knew that Jane must realize it, too. After all, not only was it immediately recognizable to most people who had so much as visited New York City and many, many people who hadn't, this place had a personal significance as well.
They came around the corner, out into a wide plaza that was still filled with people, even as late as it was. She was surprised to realize that, despite the fact that they hadn't talked about where they were going – they'd simply walked for a while, following the crowd – they'd ended up here. Without needing to say a word to each other, they stepped to the side, out of the way of the people behind them and towards one of the many large buildings along the edge of the plaza.
He tugged her towards him, stepping slightly behind her so that he could put his arms back around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder, his cheek against hers. Her felt her inhale slowly, then exhale again just as slowly. Together, they stood and looked from one end of Times Square to the other, the place where Jane had first come out of that surprisingly small duffle bag somewhere mid-way between where they stood and the towering buildings at the other end. Again, he felt her breathe and out, slowly and deliberately, as if she was working hard to retain her composure. As much as he liked standing this way because he was so close to her, he didn't like not being able to read her emotions on her face.
"Are you okay?" he whispered in her ear, the scruff on his face tickling her cheek.
How could I not be okay? She wondered, leaning slightly against his face, moving her cheek gently back and forth against his.
"Not just okay," she assured him. "I'm pretty sure that this is about as good as it gets."
"No way," he assured her quickly. "This is just the beginning. So, I guess it's pretty appropriate that we're standing here, where it all began before."
Once again, she had the sensation of her insides melting, for lack of a better description. She wasn't just okay, not even close. On the contrary, she was so happy, she couldn't help but feel a little bit weak. Of course, that worked out fine, since he had his arms tightly around her waist. If it was possible, just thinking about how happy she was just then only made her happier – despite the fact that it didn't seem possible.
She'd been to Times Square – mostly walking through it quickly with the team for work, crossing from one destination to another or, occasionally, stopping at one of the buildings that lined it – many times. Occasionally, she'd also come down here just to sit on the smooth stone benches that littered the area for hours at a time, just thinking. There had been one day when she'd been particularly upset, and she'd spent the better part of a day on one of those benches, to the point where Kurt had actually come looking for her. That memory, though she'd been drowning in her own helpless thoughts that day, made her smile. After all, when she'd failed to go to work that day, it had just given Kurt a chance to surprise her by showing up there to look for her, showing that he cared about her.
"Do you want empanadas?" he asked, fairly sure of the answer. There was a small building in the middle of the walkway that wasn't far from where they stood that sold empanadas that Jane loved, and she stopped for them almost every time they were nearby, if they had the time.
"I was thinking of fries, but now that you mention it…" Jane replied. He expected her to start walking, and was surprised when, as he tried to step around her so that they could continue on, she shifted, blocking him, almost as quickly. "Not yet," she said, her head turned towards him. "I just want to… stand right here with you for another minute."
He kissed her cheek, squeezing his arms around her tightly, and knowing exactly what she meant. The rest of the world could have completely disappeared, and he would've barely noticed, if at all. He rested his chin against her shoulder again, completely content at that moment, not a thought of Shepherd or Sandstorm or any cases that needed to be solved. The only remotely work related thing he was thinking about was the bird tattoo on Jane's neck, because it was just inches from his face – and he was not thinking about it in a work-related capacity, that was for sure.
Now focusing on that particular tattoo, he suddenly leaned towards it, leaning his face against the ink lines of the bird. She turned her head away instinctively, making her neck easier to access, then leaned back towards him slowly, the side of her head against his forehead with a smile. This, again, was a side of him to which she wasn't accustomed, but that she liked very much.
As much as the moment felt absolutely perfect, they both knew that they were going to have to continue on their way sooner than later. They couldn't just stay there all night…
"We should probably… keep going…" he whispered, still resting his face against her neck.
"Yeah," she agreed, not moving a muscle. She did the opposite, actually, standing rooted in place just in case he tried to tug her from where she stood. She simply wasn't ready to move yet. "But not yet. Just… Five more minutes," she said insistently.
Kurt chuckled, recognizing the request from when he'd said the same thing to Patterson so that he could kiss her for five more minutes. "The thing is, though…" he said beside her ear. "…we both know that five minutes won't be enough."
The smile on her face intensified, because he was so very right and they both knew it. He moved his nose slowly against the bird tattoo, and she felt herself shiver. He certainly did have a point.
"I'm not sending you off on your own," he reminded her, "I'm walking right along with you."
"I know, but…" she started, now feeling silly.
"But what?" he asked teasingly, leaning back slowly so that he could grin at her from the side.
God, but she's beautiful, he thought.
"But this is better," she replied matter-of-factly, as if it was obvious. He laughed out loud then, loosening his arms from her waist and turning her around to face him, then immediately wrapping his arms around her shoulders so that he could hug her tightly. She hugged him back, her arms his middle, her head pressing into his neck.
Even though he was hugging her tightly in the first place, there was something about how tightly she was holding on that worried him. His right hand moved up to the back of her head, moving his fingers gently in her hair, and he loosened his left arm from around her back so that he could lean back and look at her. Without saying anything, his eyes asked the question for him.
He looked at her with so much concern, she felt a tug at her heart.
You can never again pretend that you don't know that he loves you, the voice in her head insisted. He does, and it's obvious. No matter how much it may scare you, you can't deny that you know. You already knew, really. It was just easier to deny it.
She smiled then, the wave of emotion that had overcome her for a second subsiding back to "just" pure happiness, and she felt tension that she hadn't even realized was in her flowing out of her. With his left arm over her shoulders, he turned to walk beside her. "Come on, the empanadas aren't going to come to us," he said insistently, and she felt herself propelled gently forward even as she leaned her head against his shoulder.
"Hamm… probably not," she agreed, moving forward. "But wouldn't that be great if they did?"
"Then again, if they deliver… they could," he observed with a straight face, and he felt her chuckle beside him. It was a sensation he loved – being close enough to her that he could also feel rather than just observe her reactions to things.
They reached Nuchas, the tiny little building in the middle of the walkway in Times Square, and she ordered enough empanadas for both of them, knowing that he would probably be hungry, too. To her surprise, before she had a chance to pay, he'd reached up and handed the man inside the window enough cash to cover the total. As they stood and waited for the food, she looked up at him in confusion.
"Thanks," she told him, "But… you didn't have to do that." The look on her face made him want to laugh, and at the same time made him want to hug her tighter. Even now, as far as they'd come, she was still so unaccustomed to having someone do something nice for her that she was confused by something so simple? Even when it was him? He would have to fix that.
A minute later, the man in the window passed them the paper bag of empanadas. Jane reached up and took it, and they began moving away from the window, walking towards the middle of Times Square to find somewhere to sit and eat.
With a shrug, he replied, "No, of course I didn't have to. That's why it's fun. I think I like doing things for you. What can I say? I guess I'm a nice guy. And who knows… It might even become a habit." They were walking leisurely along through the crowd of people who seemed to be mostly tourists.
When she stopped in the walkway, to the dismay of several people walking behind them, he was forced to stop as well, turning to look at her in surprise.
"Are you trying to say that you don't think you've done anything for me already?" she asked, appearing genuinely concerned.
He hadn't meant his comment seriously. Yes, things between them had been a tangled web that they were only just beginning to unwind, and he'd done many things he wasn't proud of. But when it came down to it, he didn't actually think he hadn't done anything for her. Not enough, sure. But not nothing. Surely she didn't think that was what he really thought…
His left arm was still draped over her shoulder, though he had moved to stand in front of her, and he lifted his right arm over her other shoulder, looking into her eyes and then leaning down to press his forehead against hers.
"That wasn't what I meant, Jane," he said, his voice low and as soothing as he could make it. "All I meant was I intend to do a lot more. Because you deserve more. Okay?"
The concern left her face, and she smiled in relief. "You've done so much for me," she insisted.
"Not all of it good," he interjected, to which her face became pained again.
"I still have you beat, there," she replied quietly, looking down.
"Okay, we're not having this contest," he declared, his stubborn side kicking in. "Neither of us is, or was, perfect. But both of us are here right now. End of discussion. Right?" He leaned back and, when she didn't look up, he lifted his right arm off her shoulder so that he could bring his hand back around and lift her chin towards him with his fingertips. "And I'm not taking anything but agreement, by the way," he added with a wink.
Finally she smiled again, rolling her eyes and feeling her doubts once again dissipate. It was pretty amazing, that as fast as she could produce them – and she was an expert at doubting herself – he could simply make them disappear.
"Okay, yes, right," she agreed, pretending that it was hesitantly, her heart feeling very full once again. It seemed to happen a lot when he was around, and today even more than usual. They continued walking then, Kurt simply following Jane's lead. She seemed to be walking with purpose now, though still leisurely, as if she knew where she wanted to end up.
He was surprised when she steered them towards one of the long, smooth, architectural granite "benches" that dotted Times Square, which started low and gradually got taller, slanting up like a ramp and them reversing back on itself so that it had a front half and a back half, the back of which continued its upward slant past the end of the front, ending up far taller than where it had started. They'd only been installed in Times Square somewhat recently – in the past year sometime – they hadn't been there when Jane had emerged from the bag.
Glancing around at the familiar landmarks and noting that some of the stores had changed since the last time he'd been there – most notable to him, the Toys R Us was no longer there – he knew why she'd chosen this particular spot. It was only a very short distance – a matter of yards, most likely – from the spot where an NYPD officer had first noticed the bag from which she had emerged. She stepped up onto the low side of the "bench," if it could be called that, as architecturally cool as it was, turned to her left and walked a few feet, past the end of the low, front side, then sat down. When he stepped closer to her, the low side of the bench no longer in his way, they were almost at the same eye level.
From the paper bag that she'd been carrying, she pulled several napkins, laying them down on the smooth surface, and then took out several empanadas. She broke them open slightly in the middle, so that a plume of steam could escape from each one. She'd learned several lessons the first time she'd ordered those particular treats. First, let them cool before trying to eat them, no matter how hungry she was, because they always came out scalding. Second, don't try to eat them while walking. The amount of sauce and gooey cheese that would drip out of them, seemingly no matter how she wrapped them in napkins, made it necessary to sit and focus all of her attention on them.
As the steam poured out of the empanadas beside her, she looked up at him. She'd felt him watching her as she'd pretended that she wasn't avoiding his gaze, knowing the look that he was giving her. Of course he knew where they were, why she'd chosen this bench. The thing she'd never been able to understand herself was why she'd chosen it so many times before. All she could come up with was that there was something oddly comforting about going back to a place where she had a history. Good or bad, there weren't many places, even within New York City – the only place she had lived since being Jane – that she could say that about. This place was something familiar, a part of her.
When she finally looked up at him, she saw that sure enough, he was looking at her with the same expression she'd known he would be. Smiling back weakly, she knew he was going to ask her to explain, so she saved him the trouble. "I don't know why I keep coming back here," she said softly. "It just… pulls me back." She thought back to the time she'd sat there so long, he'd had Patterson trace her phone and he'd come to find her. She'd been sitting right there, on that same bench.
He hadn't realized that this wasn't just the second time she'd been drawn there.
Besides the fact that you obviously don't know everything about her, there's also a big chunk of time where you didn't know what she was up to because you consciously chose not to ask. You chose to shut her out, he reminded himself, feeling a stab of guilt and struggling to push it aside. There was nothing he could do about that now. All he could do was to just be better in the present.
"How often do you come here?" he asked. He was genuinely curious.
She shrugged, considering it. "Lately, not much… it's been quite a while. But back when…" She considered how to diplomatically refer to the time when she'd been dragged back after the black site, when he'd made it clear that he hated her and seemed like he always would… "When I had more, uh, time on my hands…" She commended herself on her choice of words, even though she still saw him cringe, knowing exactly what period of time she meant. "…I used to come here pretty often. Even before that, sometimes when I used to sneak out of my safe house at night, when I'd slip my detail. And I know," she said before he had a chance, "It was dangerous to do that…"
He smiled, because he'd been fighting the urge to point that out, even now that it didn't matter anymore, since she no longer had a detail.
"I don't know, it just…" she paused, not sure she could explain it. "I would just come here and sit and think."
Nodding slowly, he couldn't help but think that it made sense. "I wish I'd been there… I mean, here… that night," he said suddenly, looking into her eyes.
Though he hadn't specified, she knew that he was talking about the night it had all started, when the bag with the tag that said "Call the FBI" had been found. "Why?" she asked him. "You didn't know me, I didn't know you… I didn't even know me. I didn't mean anything to you. It wouldn't have made any difference."
"I know…" he replied, trying not to cringe at her comment that his presence wouldn't have made a difference, even though he knew it was simply the truth. "…but I hate the thought of you being here alone, and so vulnerable… and just that I wasn't here. For you."
He was so sincere, she couldn't help but be surprised, even after how sweet he'd been acting towards her lately – and especially that evening. She was still unable to quite believe how things had turned out between them, and he just kept surprising her.
"So it's not because I was naked?" she asked with a grin, at which he rolled his eyes at her.
"I know it probably wouldn't have changed anything, if I'd been here…" he said, only a little less seriously, ignoring her joking question.
Or would it have? she wondered. Would he have arrested me the way he did after he found out I wasn't Taylor, in the exact same way they cuffed me that first night, if he'd been there to see it happen the first time? There was no way to know, of course, and at this point it really didn't matter… but she wondered fleetingly, for just a second, nonetheless. A shiver ran through her at the memory, even now, after all this time and all the progress they'd made.
"…but I can't help it," he continued slowly, watching her face freeze in what looked like an attempt to hide a pained expression. But then only seconds later the thought must have passed, because she smiled at him.
Letting go of the thoughts that were bothering her, she instead focused on the fact that he was there in front of her, and that they weren't in that place anymore – either of those places – the beginning, where they hadn't known each other, or the middle, where he'd arrested her. No, where they were now was infinitely better.
Leaning forward, she reached for his hands and then used them to tug him forward, until he was standing between her knees. "But you're here now," she reminded him, "and that's way more important to me." She watched as the concern left his face and he smiled that smile that she had always loved, the one that she'd only ever seen him smile at her, squeezing her hands as he looked into her eyes.
"You're right," he agreed. "And I intend to keep it that way."
"Good," she replied, "now I think we can eat these." Letting go of his hands reluctantly, she turned to her left, where she'd laid the now slightly cooled empanadas, picking up one, strategically wrapping it in napkins and handing it to him.
"Thanks," he said, taking it from her and watching as she picked up the other one for herself. They ate in silence, Kurt having stepped back only a little to try to ensure that they didn't drip sauce and cheese on each other.
As they sat, in Jane's case, or stood, in Kurt's, eating empanadas in the middle of Times Square, strains of music floated through the air from somewhere that neither of them could identify. Jane finished chewing the bite in her mouth, hesitating before taking another one as she listened.
"I didn't fool you but I failed you
In short, made a fool out of you
And a younger heart.
And I rage and I rage.
But perhaps I will come of age
And be ready for you…"
Looking at him cautiously, she saw that he was watching her as well. Glancing away, she looked for the source of the music, but to no avail. Finally, her eyes landed back on him again, only to find that once again, he was watching her. As the song continued, she couldn't help but smile at how appropriate the words were. Or at least, she hoped that they were. They continued to watch each other as the rest of the song played in the distance, and it was as if the world around them tunneled to two points – him and her. Everything else around them – the noise, the crowds, all of it – simply ceased to exist.
"And you saw me low
Didn't they say that only love, will win in the end?
Didn't they say that only love, will win in the end?"
Either the song had ended, or maybe it was just that the source of the music was no longer nearby, because suddenly, she could no longer hear the song, despite how she strained her ears. She could almost hear the last refrain still echoing in her head.
"Didn't they say that only love, will win in the end?"
I hope so, was all she could think as she watched him, their eyes meeting and then one or the other of them glancing away.
When they'd finished their empanadas, Jane realized that she'd bought far too many, since, despite their relatively small size, she was already full after eating one.
"Do you want another one?" she asked him, but Kurt shook his head.
"No, thanks," he said, "that hit the spot, though. And now you have some leftovers. I bet Roman would help you with them."
Jane smiled at the thought of being able to give some to Roman. She felt guilty about the fact that she could come and go, but he was still tied to the safe house and his detail. Those days when she'd been in his shoes were still fresh in her mind, but she hoped that Roman would get to the point where she was, as well.
"Good idea," she agreed, forcing herself to smile even though the thought of sharing the food with Roman made her realize that she was going to have to go home, and that this evening was going to end. Though she knew it couldn't last forever, of course, it just seemed like there was something magical about this night… as if tomorrow the spell would be broken and things would go back to the way they'd been with Kurt. As if on cue, she yawned.
Traitor, she told her mouth accusingly.
"It's probably time to call it a night," he said reluctantly, smiling down at her with what felt to her like some sort of hypnotic power.
Ending the night was the last thing he wanted to think about. Really, he wished there was a way that it wouldn't have to end, and he stepped forwards, closer to her, where he'd been standing before they'd eaten, his hands resting on her waist lightly.
"Yeah," she agreed with a dramatic sigh, and he had to smile when her tone matched how he felt about the idea as well.
"We're going to see each other tomorrow," he reminded her, not taking his eyes off of hers. And then, watching the face she made that told him that it was not the same thing – which of course, it wasn't, because they couldn't exactly act this way at work – he added, "And this – us – isn't going away overnight. You know that, right?" She continued to look into his eyes and he got the feeling that there was something she wanted to say, but didn't. "It's not like things are going to go back to the way they were between us."
She glanced down, sure that her eyes had betrayed her thoughts, or if they hadn't, they that they would. Rationally, she knew that everything between them wouldn't all just disappear… But then again, it had all gone to hell once before, a fact that she couldn't help but remember. So it wasn't likely, but it wasn't impossible.
You were both keeping a lot of secrets back then, she reminded herself. Right now you only have one… which, by the way, you need to tell him sooner than later. Dismissing the last thought until another time, she focused on the present situation. She could only deal with so many things at once.
"I know that I haven't really given you a reason to be able to trust me," he started, and she looked up in surprise. He hadn't given her a reason to trust him? If anything, he had it backwards. She shook her head, unable to get the words out to protest, her mouth simply sitting open slightly, refusing to work.
"Oh, I know, you'll take all the blame," he said, rolling his eyes. "That's not happening. It wasn't intentional, but I know that I…"
He stopped, then, and a strange look came over his face. She would've given anything to know what was going on in his head.
"What's wrong?" she asked curiously, hoping that he'd actually tell her.
What he'd realized was that he was doing the same thing he'd just told Jane she couldn't do. Take all the blame for himself for the fact that things between them had fallen apart completely. Looking at her sheepishly, he cleared his throat and continued slowly. "All I'm saying is… I know why it might feel like… like we'll wake up tomorrow and this won't be there, suddenly? Is that what you're thinking?"
She glanced nervously between him and the ground. Sometimes it was annoying that he could read her so well, like now for example. "Logically I know that it won't," she replied, knowing that that answer said all he needed to know.
"But I'm not talking about logically…" he replied. She just nodded, not looking up. He reached both of his hands up to the back of her neck, his thumbs moving slowly in the ends of her hair, and his other fingers on her skin. He watched her close her eyes, smiling, but it wasn't quite a happy smile.
Nodding at him, she tried to just focus on the sensation of his fingers on the skin of her neck, breathing in and out.
Didn't we just talk about this? the voice in her head asked. You are not allowed to doubt that he loves you. You can be scared, but you have to remember that much.
He knew her well enough to know that her emotions weren't usually too far below the surface, and this time seemed to be no exception. "But it's different this time," he told her softly, "And I just want to make sure you know that. Of course, I know that it's all just words, which clearly, I'm not good at…"
"I don't know, I think you're doing pretty well," she told him with a smile. She leaned forward, resting her forehead on his shoulder, then turned her head so that she was facing his neck. "Besides, it wasn't all words, if I recall correctly."
He chuckled then, leaning down to kiss her on the top of her head. As he stood up once again, he saw her hand come up to her mouth to cover another yawn, and he shook his head. "Come on, I saw that. Let's get going." When she didn't budge, he added, "I'm sure we can find something fun to do tomorrow evening – assuming that you don't already have plans, or, you know, that we're not busy saving the world." Her face lit up in a smile, and she slowly lifted her head off his shoulder. She almost looked surprised.
"You want to go out tomorrow night?" she asked.
"Is that too soon?" he asked with a grin, knowing the answer.
"I was thinking… not soon enough" she replied. He just grinned, bringing his hands back down to her waist to help her down from the bench as she slid forward.
"Thanks," she said quietly.
See? said the voice in her head.
Alright, alright, she thought in annoyance, I get the point.
Once she was on the ground, he reached for her hand again. As they took a few steps away from the bench, he turned and looked back, pausing in his tracks, which in turn pulled her to a stop as well.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing," he told her. "Just… if you come down here and you want company… call me. You don't have to come down here alone if you don't want to." As soon as the words left his mouth, he felt slightly ridiculous, but they were out and there was no taking them back. Besides, he'd meant them.
But Jane just smiled, squeezing his hand. "Thanks," she replied, slightly in awe once again at the man beside her.
They walked to the edge of the crowds around Times Square, cutting between the tall buildings that lined the square in search of a cab. Just before the wide plaza was out of sight, Jane paused and turned back to look at it. She didn't have much in the way of history, but this place represented her beginning, in a way. Maybe that was why she was drawn back here at times, even though it represented a less than ideal time of her life. After all, as Kurt had said, all of it had led them to each other – even the part where she'd been Remi, and she'd helped Shepherd organize a plot to infiltrate the FBI and take advantage of Kurt. Mercifully, though she had to live with her past, it was just that – her past. She didn't have to be that person anymore. Her present and, hopefully, her future, were so much better.
A block away from the noise and bright lights of Times Square they found a cab, and soon they were on their way to Jane's place, her head against his shoulder in the back seat, her eyes closed. He held on tightly to her right hand with his left, as if somehow, she would disappear if she didn't. Once upon a time, everything they'd had had gone up in smoke, it was true, but not this time. He'd been the one reassuring her before, but now he was reassuring himself. They had a second chance, and he intended to take advantage of it.
Though her eyes were closed, she wasn't asleep. Sitting beside him in the cab, she noticed just how tightly he was holding her hand, as if he expected her to try to get away, or that someone else would try to take her away. She felt more secure somehow, though she couldn't have explained it, because he was holding on so tightly. All she knew was that at that moment, his touch made it easier for her to breathe, as it had so many other times in the past.
Once again, she heard the song echo through her mind.
"Didn't they say that only love, will win in the end?
Didn't they say that only love, will win in the end?"The evening was going to end, despite how much neither of them wanted it to, and they would go their separate ways for the night.
But… not quite yet.
A/N: You may have noticed by now that I like using songs in my fics. I have a playlist of 500 of so (probably more) songs that remind me of them, because, well, almost everything reminds me of them, so I can admit that I work them in whenever I can. This particular song, "Only Love," by Mumford and Sons – which I don't own in any way, shape or form – is the latest one that I've been playing over and over and over in my car, to the point where I'm hearing it in my head the way I just described Jane hearing it in hers. Which is fine with me, because I love it.