Disclaimer: I do not own Blindspot. More like it's the other way around… I've come to realize that THEY own ME. :)
"Let's go out for breakfast," Kurt suggested with a yawn. "The place around the corner from your old place. It's a nice morning for a walk."
"That's a pretty good walk," Jane replied, raising her eyebrows teasingly.
"It's supposed to be beautiful outside. We can drive, though, if you want. We just haven't been there lately. They must miss you by now. Besides, we don't want them to go out of business." He kept his expression serious, and she just shook her head at him, a smile creeping across her face.
"Very funny. It's true though, it's been weeks. Okay, let's go. I'll just go throw some clothes on." They'd been lazing around in pajamas and bathrobes, and now Jane jumped up and walked into the bedroom without another word. Under two minutes later she was back, dressed and ready.
"That was fast," Kurt said with a grin.
"Hurry up. Go get dressed."
"I'm going, I'm going. Sheesh, you're so bossy all of a sudden." They exchanged a grin, and Kurt stood up to walk to the bedroom. Jane followed, leaning against the door frame and watching his every move.
"May I help you?" he asked.
"What? I'm just standing here watching you. Aren't I allowed?" Her eyes were dancing with laughter and she tried unsuccessfully to keep a straight face.
"Because you want me to hurry up, or because you want to watch me change?" The corners of his mouth twitched in amusement.
"Who says it's one or the other? Can't it be both?" she asked. "Now hurry up. Off with the clothes."
Kurt chuckled, shaking his head as he dropped the pajamas he'd only recently put on onto the side of the bed. He pulled clothes out of the dresser, but paused before he pulled them on, giving her a devilish grin. Jane, however, was already shaking her head.
"Oh no you don't. We're going to get breakfast first. You're not going to distract me. Not yet, anyway. When we get back… that's a different story."
With a shrug, Kurt pulled on track pants and a t-shirt, laughing quietly. "I know, I know. Nothing's going to get between you and those croissants."
"Nope," she agreed with a grin. "Now hurry up."
Now dressed, he walked over to the doorway to meet her. Instead of moving out of his way, she remained in place, watching him come closer and now standing up straight. His hands went to her waist, slowly moving around to her back and pulling her closer. "I thought you were in a hurry," he mumbled.
Standing on tiptoe, she kissed him firmly, but pulled back seconds later and watched his expression change. "Just a preview for later. Now, food."
He chuckled, pulling her tighter and kissing her hair. "Yes, dear."
In the elevator, she put her arm around his waist and leaned her head against his shoulder. With all the obstacles that life had thrown at them, the fact that they'd ended up together seemed impossible, but here they were. Letting out a happy sigh, she felt the rumble of his laughter before she heard it.
His arm had snaked around her as well, tugging her closer. "It's been too long since we had a day off. I've missed you."
Tilting her head to look up at him, she watched him in amusement as the elevator doors opened on the ground floor. "We work together. We live together. You see me more than you don't see me."
"And as much as I love saving the world with you, I prefer this," he replied without missing a beat.
"Fair enough." Her smile grew until it had spread across her whole face, and they walked across the lobby toward the front door. She'd walked the same path many times over the years. Nervously. Self-consciously. Excitedly. In tears. Hurriedly. Angrily, even. And then there were the times, like now, when she'd felt less like she was walking and more like she was floating on a cloud. The problem with that feeling was that it made her nervous – so many times before, it had preceded one tragedy or another.
The air outside was cool and crisp. From the east came filtered sunlight, a growing brightness, but the sun wouldn't be overhead for several more hours. Though this block was quiet, the sounds of car and people – of the city waking up – were audible from around the corner. This block, however, seemed to still be asleep.
"It's like we have the city to ourselves, almost," Jane murmured.
Kurt chuckled softly. "Maybe just the block, but I'll take it."
They walked in companionable silence. It had been a long time since they'd had a leisurely day, and they took their time, stopping to look into shop windows as they went. Jane swore she discovered something new every time she walked through this neighborhood.
After working up a good appetite with their walk, they arrived at the bakery. Once upon a time when Jane had lived in a safe house – the second one – this had been the closest breakfast place. The fact that she'd discovered it with Kurt made it all the more special. The red metal tables were still outside in front of the window, and a few people were inside, staring into the glass case and pointing at what they wanted.
"Mmmmm, it smells so good!" sighed happily, gulping in the deliciousness in the air even before they'd opened the door. "I could live here. How in the world do I ever leave this place?"
"Not voluntarily, most of the time," Kurt said quietly, grinning in amusement. "Good thing you have me to drag you home."
"You could just stay here with me," she suggested, and they both chuckled. Something about their first day off in a very long time and the beautiful morning combined with the delicious smells had created a giddiness. Or maybe that was just because they were happy to be there together.
They ordered coffee, and then chose several pastries at random, not giving too much thought to it. This was what they usually did – try an assortment of things they hadn't tried before, and if they ran out of new things to try, they opted for something they hadn't had for a while. It was left over from the days when Jane had been working hard to try as many things as possible, making up for time that had literally been lost.
Minutes later, seated at one of the red tables outside, they drank in the delicious morning along with their breakfast. "This was the best idea you've had all week," Jane told him.
He frowned at her for a second before asking, "So does that mean you don't think my ideas were very good this week, or that this one was just that fantastic?" His mouth betrayed the seriousness he was attempting as a hint of a smile appeared.
"This one was just that fantastic," she replied in between bites, quickly taking another one. After another sip of coffee she added, "I've missed this place, and I hadn't even realized it."
"It always reminds me of the first time we were here," he said, and for a second he was swept up in the memory.
"If I try not to remember it too clearly, I can almost forget how miserable I was, covered in poison ivy," Jane replied. "Thank goodness for the company."
"Still traumatized, huh? Even years later?"
"I'm always going to be traumatized from that battle with poison ivy," she promised. "It was that bad."
Kurt shrugged, nodding. "Well, I was glad it gave me an excuse to hang out with you for a couple weeks."
"Oh, I was too. But I was the one who was incredibly itchy and uncomfortable."
"True." The glint in his eyes told her that he was still remembering.
For a second, she got lost in the memory as well. And then, as often happened, the mostly happy memories of the weeks she'd spent with Kurt recovering from poison ivy gave way to other, far less happy memories of so many things that had come after it.
"Hey," she heard Kurt say. "Where are you, Jane?"
Tuning back in, she smiled as she tried to push away the thoughts that had suddenly clouded her mind, focusing on the man in front of her. His expression was intense as he stared into her eyes.
Her smile had deserted her while she'd been lost in thought, but now it was back, even as those other memories left a trail of sadness in their wake. If only, if only, if only… But I could do that all day. It doesn't matter. I ended up here, didn't I?
Did you? a voice asked.
She felt her smile give way to panic. What did the voice mean? Wasn't she here? Where else would she be?
"Jane?" Kurt was asking her, but at that moment everything started to spin. Faster and faster, until she put her head in her hands to try to make the spinning stop. No, she thought. Not again.
It was, of course. A dream. The next thing she knew she was waking up back in her own bed again, surprised to her find her hands covering her face, just as they'd been in her dream. Removing them slowly, she noticed that they were damp, as was her face. Tears? Or sweat? Or both? It almost didn't matter. How many times had she woken up this way? It felt like a million by now. And no, things weren't bad between them anymore, but...
Her cheeks filled with color as she remembered the day before. Despite the fact that they'd almost died and her own mother had almost destroyed the world – or at least the part of it where they lived – at the end of that wreck of a day, she had ended up with Kurt. And she'd been fraught with guilt and despair, and even though she hadn't wanted to listen, he'd looked into her eyes with absolute certainty and told her that she was nothing like her family. That he knew her. And when he'd kissed her, it had been unlike their other kisses – it had been so much more.
And then, predictably, national security had required him to leave immediately with the Secret Service agents who had arrived almost the second they'd finally been pulled together. It would have been funny if it wasn't so damn frustrating. Since last night, nothing. No word from him. All things considered, she felt like worrying about him was justified.
Just like that, there wasn't a tired bone in her body. No, there was too much to do. Besides, the longer she went without hearing from Kurt, the more on edge she became. Where exactly does the Secret Service take people for the sake of national security, anyway?
Despite having dreamed in excruciating detail of having breakfast, Jane wasn't hungry. She grabbed coffee on her way to work, and wasn't sure she could keep even that much down. Upon arriving at SIOC, she was shocked all over again. Though she'd seen the damage first-hand the day before, it hit her like a ton of bricks all over again to see the place that had been her second home for so long destroyed so completely. Yes, they'd stopped Shepherd from bringing down the building, but they'd failed on so many other fronts. It was overwhelming.
She knew that Kurt would be in touch when he could, but she couldn't help herself – she called and left him another voicemail. If she at least knew he was getting the messages, she'd feel better, but she didn't even have that much.
Hanging up the phone and listening to the broken glass crackle under her feet, Jane was surprised when an unfamiliar woman approached her, introducing herself as Eleanor Hirst. The new FBI Director was warm and sympathetic, and Jane was surprised when she offered her the chance to relocate. Of course, Jane's first thought was Kurt – she didn't particularly want to relocate. But Hirst's words stayed with her long after the conversation ended.
"I think you need to ask yourself – what do you want?"
She'd never been asked that before, and while she thought she knew, she didn't even know if what she wanted was possible. It wasn't enough for her to want it. He had to wait it, too.
A conversation with Patterson didn't make things easier. The blonde wasn't her normal optimistic self – which wasn't surprising, all things considered. They'd lost so much at once. Like Hirst, Patterson also gave Jane pause for thought.
"Well, you deserve to do what you want."
"What if I want this?" Jane asked.
"How do you know if you've never done anything else? We can't all stay here forever. Reade's talking about teaching, and Weller… he's gonna be a dad in a couple months. And his kid is living in Colorado, so…"
"You think Kurt'll move?"
"I mean, I would." Patterson apologized for telling Jane what she didn't want to hear, but Jane barely even heard the words. Everything had already changed. It made sense that Kurt would move to be closer to his daughter. Why wouldn't he? She would never dream of getting in the way of that. No, that was how things were supposed to be. What she wanted was secondary. After all, she wanted him to be happy more than anything else… no matter what sacrifice it required.
Things moved quickly after that. Kurt and the team had separately discovered that Phase Two wasn't over, and the stress of the prior day resumed. When Kurt stepped off the elevator, Jane didn't care who was watching, running across the bullpen to hug him.
Within hours, she found herself with Kurt on the jet, heading for DC. They sat across the table from each other, and Jane couldn't help but feel that it was all just a little too surreal. She was so distracted, she forgot her fear of flying.
"Patterson told me that you're thinking of leaving." She hadn't been expecting to have this conversation today, not even having had enough time to think about it herself, but apparently it was happening now.
"Uh, maybe." She kept her eyes on him, searching for some sign of what he thought about that.
"You should go somewhere fun."
Her stomach dropped, but she managed to keep her face from showing her disappointment. "You think I should go?" Holding her voice steady took a Herculean effort, but she managed. She didn't know what she'd expected, but it wasn't this.
"You didn't choose this life, Jane. This team will miss you. It's not fair to keep you here."
She wanted to protest, but speaking of fair, that wouldn't be fair to him. Besides, if he was going to leave anyway, what did it matter? "I hear California's pretty nice. Well, what about you?"
"That would be fun…" She took a nervous breath, then pushed out her real question. "But what about Colorado?" Patterson had mentioned the possibility of him moving there, but how did he feel about it?
"I'll visit there a lot."
"You should take your own advice. Denver has a field office, right? You're allowed to be happy, you know." She said the words sincerely, and she meant them. Still, she felt her heart breaking at the same time.
"We both are."
For a few seconds, it was as though the oxygen had been sucked out of the cabin, and Jane did her best to reign in her emotions. She was not going to make this into a big deal. What Kurt chose to do with his life was his decision, and she would never interfere with his happiness. He was too important to her to do that. He needed to be near his daughter more than anything else.
But what about your happiness? a voice asked her.
After everything I've done? I can't be selfish, she told the voice. If I really care about him, I have to let him go.
The day continued at breakneck pace – there's something about thinking you and everyone else is going to die if you don't succeed that distracts you from the passage of time. Amazingly, they captured Shepherd, and the team's efforts stopped the detonation that would've wiped out the eastern seaboard. However, when it came down to it, Jane couldn't shoot Roman. Kurt would've done it for her in a heartbeat, but he'd been busy with Shepherd, and by the time he came outside it was too late. Roman was walking away.
Kurt jumped down from the ambulance with every intention of stopping Roman, but his injured leg gave out. Watching him roll onto his back in pain, unable to move, Jane forgot all about the brother she hadn't been able to shoot.
"Kurt, hey. Say something."
"Jane… Don't move to California. Stay here… with me." His eyes were closed and his voice had already been labored, but now it dropped to a whisper. He struggled to open his eyes just enough to look into hers. "I love you, Jane. I love you."
The words were difficult to process. On the plane, she'd been so bowled over by the idea that he thought she should leave, but here he was now, telling her to stay? As she leaned close to him, her hand under his head, she waited for the words to make sense.
He loves me? If there were any words she'd never thought she'd hear, it was those. Those words repeated themselves in an endless loop in her head, closer and closer around her heart as they worked relentlessly to wear down the wall she'd built there. It was impossible. But no, he's said it – twice.
There was momentary silence on the comms, before Patterson's voice crackled in her ear. "Jane, backup's on the way. And an ambulance. Are you guys okay? How's Weller?"
Jane put her free hand to his neck for his pulse. "He passed out, but his pulse is strong."
"Okay, just hang on." There was something in Patterson's voice that she'd never heard before, but Jane ignored it. After all, Kurt's words were still working their way through her, and unless they were in immediate danger, she wasn't going to waste her energy on anything or anyone but Kurt.
"Kurt," she whispered. She didn't know what to say, and he couldn't hear her anyway, and she felt tears gathering in her eyes. Don't die, she thought. Between them, it was another way of saying "I love you," even if they didn't quite realize it.
Her left hand remained under his head, and her right hand came to rest on his cheek. Slowly, her thumb moved back and forth over the thick stubble, and her breath hitched in her chest.
"Jane… Don't move to California. Stay here… with me… I love you, Jane. I love you."
Tears were rolling down her cheeks now, pushed out by the force of far too many emotions hitting her at once. He had to be okay. He had to.
"Jane, help should be there in less than two minutes," Patterson said in her ear. Jane nodded, even though Patterson couldn't see her. It was all she could manage at that moment.
When the EMTs showed up, Jane reluctantly stepped back and let them work. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Shepherd being taken into custody. She knew she should've felt relieved, but with her mother, it was never that simple. Not because she had some sort of conflicted feelings about the woman – no, Shepherd was responsible for far too many of the terrible things that had happened in Jane's life. What it came down to was that Jane was too emotionally drained to spare any emotions for Shepherd. They'd caught her. That was all that mattered for now.
Jane rode in the ambulance with Kurt to the hospital, holding his hand and focused on nothing but watching him and breathing in and out. Everything else was a blur, secondary. When they got to the hospital, she was sent to the waiting room. For more than an hour, she paced. The rest of the team arrived, hugging her and trying to get her to sit still, but to no avail. Finally, after what felt like all night, she was told she could see him.
Her heart threatened to beat out of her chest as she entered his room, and she was relieved to see him sitting up in bed, smiling weakly at her.
"Hey." His voice was raspy and tired, but his face said everything else that he didn't have the energy for.
"Hey," she replied, walking directly to the chair beside the bed and moving it until it touched the side, folding her legs in front of her. Sitting as close to him as humanly possible, she reached out and took his hand. His fingers tightened around hers, and he lifted her hand to his face, kissing the back of it and then leaving it there against his face for a few seconds. Only reluctantly did he let it go. Propping her elbows on the bed beside him, Jane steered their joined hands until they were pressed against her forehead, tilting her head down.
There she sat, breathing in and out slowly, her eyes falling closed. His fingers squeezed hers weakly, and her left hand joined her right to clasp his hand against her forehead. She knew he was watching her, but she couldn't bring herself to look at him, or even to move, overwhelmed as she was. They stayed that way, silently, for a long time. It was all they needed – each other.