A/N By request, this one is for Lurkingwhump as a reward for completing my gory surgery gif challenge! Thanks so much for getting the GIF made in all its bloody glory. Be forewarned, this one involves torture and is pretty gross.
"They're not cracking," Madeline said, the impatience clear in her voice.
"Because you haven't applied enough pressure," Ivy replied.
"I've already offered them a ticket out of a black site for their friends. Aren't they all moronically altruistic? I thought one of them would jump at that deal."
"Oh one of them would, if you played it right," Ivy said, knowingly.
Madeline scowled at the terrorist, then narrowed her eyes and raised her chin.
"What are you suggesting?"
Weller sat in the interrogation room, staring at his shackled hands. There had to be a way out of their situation, short of taking Madeline's so-called deal. Not only did he not trust Madeline to hold up her end of the bargain, he couldn't condemn his child to a lifetime without knowing her father.
He heard the door open and turned his head to see who was coming in. If it was that twat of a lawyer Shirley again, he was going to snap.
But this time Kurt didn't see who was coming until his head was in another black sack and he was being held by at least two strong individuals while his handcuffs were removed. Then his hands were re-cuffed behind him and he was physically pushed out of the room and into an elevator, then down a series of hallways and stairs until he'd lost track of where he was in the NYO building.
Eventually he was shoved into a cold room, one with concrete floors that cracked hard against his kneecaps as he fell with his hands bound behind him. Weller tumbled forward and almost hit his chin, but managed to take most of his weight on his shoulder instead; catching himself for a moment before a boot stomped on his back, crushing him face first into the ground.
Kurt groaned as his ribs were first smashed into the floor and then his head covering was removed just in time for him to see the boot accelerating into his temple. There was no time to react and nothing he could have done anyways before his head exploded in pain, bright lightening flashing behind his eye sockets as his brain hit his skull hard.
"Very good. Just string him up and I'll take it from here," a familiar voice said.
Weller felt himself being picked up under his arms, and by the time he was able to open his eyes again, his hands were being shackled to a set of cuffs hanging from the ceiling of the low basement room.
Shit, he thought as his pounding head finally registered who the voice belonged to.
The woman who had already mentally tortured him with psychotropic drugs, the woman he had knocked out to escape. The woman who held a grudge against him, who seemed to get pleasure out of hurting him.
"So nice to see you again, Kurt," Ivy said, a bit of sing song in her voice. "We have a lot of unfinished business to attend to."
Weller flinched internally but forced himself to remain as calm as possible despite the circumstances.
At least it was him in there and not Jane, he thought to himself. He couldn't stand it if she were tortured again after what she'd already been through in her life.
"Oh and smile, you're on camera," Ivy added, in the same disturbing tone.
She pointed to the video camera in front of him and Weller's head sank to his chest with another groan. He knew immediately who that video was going to get shown to, that there was nothing he could do about it.
"You ran off last time before we got to my favourite part of interrogation," Ivy said as she approached him. "Good thing I have an opportunity to make up for that now."
Kurt winced internally, despite his attempt to stay emotionally distant from the situation. He had been tortured for information before, but he had a sense that Ivy was amongst the most sadistic criminals he'd personally faced.
When she turned around and was holding a metal bat, Weller couldn't help but shudder. Ivy didn't appear extremely muscular but anyone could do significant damage with a blunt weapon.
"I heard you were a baseball fan," Ivy said. "I hope Jane is too."
Kurt's guts froze with her words and he almost didn't see her first swing, a hard shot right to his solar plexus. Immediately the pain flared and all the air shot out of his body, leaving Weller trying to gasp and groan at the same time. He could feel himself panicking from lack of air, was doing his best to make his lungs start working again when he was hit again, this time from behind.
His lower spine screamed and he felt something go crunch as the bat impacted the same spot another two times. But still Weller did nothing but grunt loudly at each blow, despite the pain spreading out from his back and into his legs as he dangled, unable to touch the ground, except with the tips of his toes.
Ivy moved back in front of him for a moment, then stepped to his side and looked at the camera, then back at him. Weller gritted his teeth in anticipation of what was coming, but still the impact of a bat right against his rib cage made him lose all his air again, made him crumple into a small a target as possible, as if that would offer him any protection from his torturer.
"You think you're too tough to crack?" Ivy asked. "We'll see how many hits it takes to make you scream."
And with that she started swinging at his torso with a steady rhythm, hitting him in the diaphragm to make him choke and then whaling at his sternum with three strong hits in a row until he felt it crack.
It was the next swing that made him scream, another hit to the exact same spot. Weller had been nearly biting through his bottom lip to keep from giving Ivy the satisfaction but the metal crushing the broken bone in his chest set his entire body on fire; made him grey out due to pain for an instant before the next hit sent a pathetic moaning noise out of his body.
Ivy stepped back for a moment after that, clearly getting personal satisfaction from making him holler in pain. Kurt dangled, trying to breathe as shallowly as possible, determined not to make his chest move too much.
"Hmm," she mused. "I've been told to keep you alive and I'm not sure you could take much more of that. But I've got other ways to make you hurt."
Kurt lifted his head up with a colossal amount of difficulty, saw that Ivy had exchanged the bat for a whip, was snapping it as if trying it out for the first time. But the effortless way in which she wielded it told him she was quite experienced with the weapon.
Ivy approached and he saw that she had a knife as well as the whip, tensed as she pressed the tip of it against his broken chest, digging in just enough to pierce the fabric of his clothing and draw a drop of blood. After that she used the knife to slice off the rest of his shirt, always carefully cutting a layer of his skin as well; leaving him hanging with his swollen and already purpling torso fully exposed.
Weller tremored, still unable to breathe well, feeling his body already going into shock from the damage to his abdomen and ribcage. For a second he lost track of Ivy so he didn't see the first hit coming; couldn't help but flinch and jump when the lash hit him, even though the pain wasn't too intense at the start.
But the blows kept coming, again and again. Kurt could feel his back welting, then tearing apart, blood dripping down in streaks as the whip flayed away his skin. Yet still he gritted his teeth, refused to give Ivy any more satisfaction than she was already getting from hurting him.
After twenty lashes his back was stripped bare in half a dozen spots between his shoulders, every nerve sending endless pain signals to his brain until his entire body felt like a raging inferno. Then the next twenty were directed at his lower back, as if she needed a fresh canvas to mark with his blood.
But through it all, Weller held out strong. Even as he completely sagged in his restraints, breathing in short spasms, barely able to feel his abused body anymore. His mind was drifting away from his corporeal self when Ivy suddenly grabbed him by the chin and took a look into his dazed eyes.
"Still there," she mused, as if mildly impressed despite herself.
For a second Weller felt a flash of satisfaction and he smirked at his torturer, with all the energy he could muster.
"Fuck you and Madeline too," Kurt spat out, his voice thick with pain. "You're never going to get that confession and it's obvious she has nothing real on us."
Ivy's face contracted into a predatory stare, and then she raised the whip right in front of him, lashed him across his ribs.
Kurt still didn't scream, though he nearly bit his own tongue off keeping the noise in. But each successive hit to his chest made some air escape his lungs until he was grunting with every strike, moaning in between.
Again he lost track of the number of times he'd been whipped, couldn't even feel the blood dripping down his torso anymore. That's when Ivy snapped her weapon right on his cracked sternum and he couldn't help but scream, the agony making his every nerve ending fire madly while his vision grew hazy at the periphery.
But apparently it wasn't enough to make him cry out because Weller's entire body was still pulsating when Ivy landed another blow, right in the same spot. The swollen welted skin slashed open and he felt the strike of the whip right up against his broken bone. He heard himself scream again, as if from a far distance. Then, finally, grey turned to black and Kurt slumped limply in his manacles, dangling from the ceiling, his body painted in red.
Jane snapped to attention as the door to the interrogation room opened. It had been awhile since anyone had come to try and intimidate her into taking the deal that had been offered. Of course she knew from past experience that they were just giving her time to think about her meager options and come to the inevitable realization that even a failed attempt at saving Kurt and the others from a black site was better than nothing.
She had been bleakly trying to come up with any other conclusion when her thoughts were interrupted by the door opening. This time it was Ivy who came in, which Jane found a bit surprising. Even someone as drunk on power as Madeline should want to keep documented terrorists from doing their dirty work on FBI cameras.
For a moment Jane wondered what kind of threat Ivy would make; certainly wasn't worried about any physical pain the terrorist could inflict. But when she saw the sadistically satisfied smile already pasted onto Ivy's face, Jane felt her blood chill to the core.
"Take the deal," Ivy sneered. "Or I start again in thirty minutes and it doesn't end until you sign a confession. Or until there's nothing left of him."
With that, Ivy placed a tablet in front of Jane and pressed play before leaving the room without another word.
The video was dark and at first Jane could only make out a hooded figure being pushed into a concrete room then kicked to the ground, barely avoiding hitting his head before the next kick stomped him into the concrete.
Of course she instantly knew who it was, why he'd been chosen to bear the abuse. It was revenge for escaping Ivy, incentive for Jane to save him from a future full of torture. And yet when they took the bag off of Kurt's head and gave him a vicious boot to the temple, it still made her insides crumple to see him lying there, already curled up in pain.
It felt like acid was running through her veins as Ivy commanded her goons to string him up to a set of manacles dangling from the ceiling, leaving him hanging with his arms above him, reaching for the ground desperately with his toes. She knew exactly how much it hurt to be stuck in that position; the way it made your shoulders ache as they slowly tore out of their sockets.
Then Ivy started taunting him and Jane could see that Kurt was doing his best to stay stoic until he saw the camera and realized it's implications. His head dropped then, a guttural groan escaping as he understood what was happening and why.
When Ivy next appeared on the screen she was holding a bat and Jane closed her eyes for a moment to breathe deep. She knew what she was about to witness and her entire body was already tensing up in anticipation of the gruesome beating her husband was about to take.
Her first swing was right to his solar plexus, leaving him sputtering for air. Jane bit down hard on her lip and her hands curled into fists as Ivy stepped behind Kurt and swung again and again and again.
Nausea flooded Jane's body and she had to force her eyes back to the screen as Kurt valiantly stopped himself from crying out, despite the pain he must have been experiencing. Even when Ivy hit him in the ribs and he was gasping for air again, he didn't make more than a grunt.
Which clearly pissed off his torturer, the same it had pissed off Jake Keaton.
"You think you're too tough to crack?" Ivy asked. "We'll see how many hits it takes to make you scream."
Jane closed her eyes again for a second, then forced them open again as Ivy hit Kurt in the gut again, then swung the bat at his sternum over and over, finally making him scream as the metal kept striking his obviously broken chest bone.
Jane wanted to cry out herself, in solidarity with the agony her husband had experienced. She could feel tears about to slip through as he hung limply, moaning in misery. But then Ivy paused for a moment, stepped back as if getting off on Kurt screaming, almost beating him unconscious.
"Hmm," Ivy said. "I've been told to keep you alive and I'm not sure you could take much more of that. But I've got other ways to make you hurt."
When she stepped back on screen with a whip in her hand, Jane held her breath for a very long moment, forcing herself to keep watching as Ivy cut off Kurt's shirt, exposing his swollen and already discoloured torso. All of her muscles contracted as if she was going to reach through the screen and destroy Ivy before cradling his broken body to hers.
Then Ivy stepped back to start laying lashes against his bare skin and Jane had never held her jaw so tight, wanted to kill someone so badly.
For a long time, Kurt took lash after lash; so many that she lost count. When the blood starting running down his back a tear slipped down her face in solidarity. She knew what it felt like, knew what he was going through. And internally she howled for him, the need to save him taking over all rational thought.
She knew before the end of the video that she would do whatever it took to free him from Ivy's clutches, yet Jane still forced herself to watch the rest before speaking a word. To know what he had gone through, to see it through with him.
Kurt was barely holding on; she could see it in the way his head was hanging. Yet he still managed to gather enough energy to be defiant to the end, swearing at Ivy with a bloody sneer.
The moment made her so proud of him and yet Jane flinched all the same, knowing what was going to come next. Ivy glared at Kurt then stood right in front of him, started whipping him on his broken chest.
She didn't know how he kept from screaming until the very last moment, when Ivy hit him across his broken sternum twice and he finally passed out, his shattered body completely sagging in his restraints. Jane silently screamed herself, hearing the agony in his voice. She knew what it would take to make him cry out, had seen him just go through such brutal abuse she had gagged on it, nearly vomited.
After the video was over Jane put her head to the table, couldn't quite take in what she had just seen. Her heart was beating much too quickly and she had to make a concerted effort not to hyperventilate as Ivy walked back into the room, a satisfied smirk on her face.
"I was just about to go visit Kurt again," she said with obvious glee. "But if you were to volunteer to confess right now, that visit and a lifetime of other ones can be avoided."
Kurt's words drifted through her mind. No deal with Madeline could ever be trusted, she was a psychopath hellbent on revenge. Yet, she had no choice. Even a chance at saving Kurt from more sadistic beatings was worth everything she had to offer.
"Tell me what I have to do so this never happens again," she growled. "But I want proof that the deal is legitimate before I sign. And video evidence that you're not hurting him anymore."
Ivy sneered at her terms but didn't say no. Switching the tablet to the live feed, she laughed a little at Kurt's still form in the video.
"No problem, you can watch your hubby dislocate his shoulders while we "legitimize" your deal. He can't take much else right now anyways and I don't like to break my toys too soon."
With that Ivy walked out of the room again, leaving Jane watching Kurt hang from the ceiling, covered in blood. Once again she closed her eyes, visualized every possible scenario by which she could escape and find him, while demolishing Ivy along the way.
Hang on, Kurt, she projected out into space. One way or another, I'm going to get you out of there.
Jane sat in front of the video camera, forcing herself to read the words on the piece of paper in front of her. Each one came out gritty, like there was sandpaper in her mouth.
Her head was full of Kurt, all the images of him beaten and battered still constantly flashing through her mind. She could barely get the words out, kept staring down at the table to maintain her focus. She had to do this for Kurt, could not stand the thought of him being put through any more pain.
Jane was only a few sentences into her fake confession when she pulled her eyes away from the lies she was reading, looked up at the camera for the first time. For another moment she kept talking but her gaze was distracted by the odd blinking of the red recording light on the video camera in front of her. It was flashing in a distinct pattern and suddenly Jane was sure that she was seeing a repeating message in Morse code.
Jane. Stop. Do not confess. Stall. Patterson.
Her heart nearly stopped with the last few flashes, could barely keep an appropriate expression on her face as she ceased reading from the confession in front of her and asked for a lawyer to go over her agreement.
Surprisingly, Madeline agreed and left the conference room with her cronies, letting Jane remain in there alone with her racing thoughts.
Patterson was alive! And trying to set up some kind of rescue.
But if Kurt wasn't in his interrogation room, would they even be able to find him? Jane worried that no one even knew he was missing, wouldn't find out until too late.
She had to get out of the conference room and get to Kurt. From what she had seen in the video, Jane had a good idea of where he was from the low ceilings and the concrete floor. But there was no way to escape without being seen, nothing she could do at the moment except sit and stew with her worry crawling around her skin.
Jane had already visually examined every square inch of the conference room a hundred times, searching for any opening for an escape when suddenly the evacuation alert was sounded and her spine began to tingle. It had to mean something and she was ready for whatever was to come.
So she wasn't entirely surprised when an entire panel of lighting was removed from above her and replaced with a dangling rope and Rich's best shit-eating grin. Jane grabbed onto the rope immediately and had climbed her way up to Rich in a matter of seconds, finding herself in low maintenance shaft that ran below the next floor.
"Rich, thank god," Jane panted, crawling over to him as he pulled the lights back into place. "I need to get out of here."
"Uh yeah, that's what's happening here, isn't it? Kinda the point of the whole rope and secret shaft thing. Ooooh, secret shaft…"
"No, I mean I have to get to Kurt," she explained, her wild heartbeat blocking out whatever Rich was saying. "Ivy has him, she was torturing him to force me to make the deal. Which way to the stairs? I need to get down to the basement level."
Rich's eyes widened at the mention of torture but he thankfully kept his mouth shut and started leading her towards the quickest route. When they got out of the maintenance shaft and into a stairwell, Jane stopped just long enough to exhale in relief as Rich lead the way down the stairs in front of her.
As Jane went to follow though, Rich came running back up, frantically drawing his hand back and forth across his neck in a 'cut' motion.
"We can't go that way," he whispered. "There's six goons heading up towards us."
"Is there another way to get to Kurt?" Jane asked.
"Yeah, there is. But it's a lot longer though."
Jane gritted her teeth, took another deep breath. She didn't have time to go around, Ivy could be doing anything to Kurt already.
"Wait here and keep an eye out."
"What? Jane! I said there's six full on MMA guys down there!"
She took out the first two with the element of surprise, flinging her body low, around the corner of the stairs to take out the lead goon at the knees and propel him into the next guy. Jane danced by both of them by stepping off the walls of the stairwell, all while ducking her next attacker. Then she made sure the first two opponents were out cold with two quick stomps before she dodged another set of arms, then popped herself up off the ground and contorted at the same time, kicking out hard with both legs and feeling satisfying crunches as her feet met two separate targets.
That left only two more attackers, both flying right at her and trying to surround her on the stairs. Jane let one get behind her on purpose, even let him grab her around the shoulders before she latched onto him equally as tightly and launched herself into a somersault, flipping him over her and straight into the last attacker.
Jane landed hard on the concrete stairs, felt a sharp pain in her back where the edge of the stair met her spine. But she ignored it easily and launched her way past the last two guys entangled together at the bottom of the stairs while she yelled at Rich that the coast was clear.
There were no more obstacles on her way to the hidden room that Ivy had Kurt in and when Jane got there the door was even slightly ajar, as if Ivy was finishing the job in a hurry.
Fiery hot panic coursed through her veins as Jane burst through the door and found Ivy with her whip wrapped around Kurt's neck, her husband struggling for his life.
She tore Ivy off of Kurt before the terrorist even realized what was happening. Then they were wrestling on the ground and Ivy started throwing elbows at will, managing to land a couple strictly due to luck and the fact that Jane was distracted by Kurt gasping for air as he weakly swung his head around, somehow managing to unwrap the restraint from his neck enough to get air in.
When she saw that he was breathing relatively well, Jane turned her unfettered rage at Ivy. She had hurt him twice, tortured him both psychologically and physically. Now she going to pay; especially if she put up a struggle.
Jane stopped Ivy's next punch with her open palm, then threw her own elbow right into Ivy's chin, knocking her head back with a satisfying crack. Taking advantage of her opponent being dazed for a second, Jane got to her feet first and kicked Ivy in the gut twice before dropping a knee onto her head, knocking her out cold.
Without even bothering to give the prone terrorist another glance, Jane turned towards Weller, who had been watching the encounter through barely open eyes.
"Kurt!" she breathed as she closed the distance between them and tried to figure out where to hold him without putting him in more pain.
"I'm so sorry. She's not going to hurt you anymore."
Kurt blinked in response, his lips moving slightly but no sound coming out. He seemed barely conscious and she wasn't even sure he knew she was there. Though it had kind of looked like he'd been mouthing her name.
Up close in the dark room she could finally really see what had been done to him, how ragged and destroyed his back was, how swollen and bloody his torso was. Hot angry tears came immediately, then quickly turned sorrowful as he groaned in reaction to her touch.
"Rich, get the keys off Ivy," Jane directed as she noticed the hacker standing in the doorway, gawking at Kurt's limp form. "I'll hold him while you take off the cuffs."
Rich was silent as he obeyed, looking at her with such distress in his eyes that Jane had to glance away, refocus herself. She knew how bad it looked; she was already covered in Kurt's blood just from holding him lightly. But she had to stay strong, even if her heart was in pieces from seeing him so broken.
Rich unlocked the cuffs and Kurt tumbled into her as she expected. He was a dead weight as she caught him and guided them both to the floor, carefully supporting him with her entire body as they hit the ground.
Kurt moaned as they landed and the sound of it tore her apart. She still didn't know if he knew what was happening, how aware he was. So she did her best to cradle him without putting pressure on his injuries, talked softly in his ear.
"Kurt, can you hear me? You're safe now. I've got you."
Jane pressed her lips to his temple, then ran her hands lightly over his torso to feel for any invisible injuries and double check that he was still breathing evenly. She was worried about internal hemorrhaging from what she'd seen done to him, concerned that his near unconscious state was due to shock. But his heartbeat still felt relatively normal and his breathing was fine despite having just been choked. So she decided to just give him a minute, hope that Kurt would come to once he realized he wasn't in danger anymore.
Looking up she saw that Rich was still standing there, gawking at Kurt's battered body, looking ready to puke any moment. Behind him, Ivy was starting to move from her position on the ground.
"Rich, behind you," Jane warned, getting tensed to defend them all as Ivy pushed to her feet. But she had Kurt in her lap and didn't want to let go of him so she waited to see what the terrorist would do before moving.
Rich turned and they watched as Ivy considered her options and finally decided to turn and run for it. Jane sighed in relief, even though their enemy was getting away. Her priority was Kurt; they could deal with Ivy after she made sure he was okay.
"It's okay, let her go. We need to get Kurt out of here. I'm going to need medical supplies. A wound cleaning kit, antibiotic ointment, lots of non stick gauze, painkillers."
Rich gulped and nodded.
"On it," he said, his tone disturbingly muted and serious.
"Oh Kurt," Jane murmured as Rich ran out the door in search of supplies. "Please wake up, I need you to talk to me."
She ghosted her hand over his chest as she spoke, wanting to wrap him up tight but only able to touch him ever so gently as she spoke in his ear. Both his back and his chest were still so wet with blood that her shirt was soaked through, her own skin now also stained red.
Kurt still didn't respond though, and she felt tears start to spill over at how badly he'd been beaten, what she'd seen happen to him. The thought that he could be bleeding out internally flashed through her mind again and panic started to rise up her spine, pushing her heart rate up sharply.
I need you to wake up and tell me you're okay, she thought, directing her plea right into his unconscious mind.
And as if he heard her immense need, Weller groaned, then blinked the slits of his eyes just the slightest bit wider.
"Jane," he grunted, barely getting the sound out.
"Hey," she replied, a smile spreading across her face as her fear started to edge back a smidgen. "I'm here."
Kurt moved in response, as if he intended to sit up. But Jane restrained him lightly, her hand just above his broken sternum.
"Don't try and move yet, Kurt. Rich should be back soon with a med kit and we'll get you some painkillers."
Weller shook his head weakly in her lap, tried to shuffle into a more upright position again.
"I'm okay," he muttered, blinking his still-foggy eyes a few times. "I can get up."
Jane tightened her grip just a tiny bit so that he had no hope of moving, then kissed him on top of his head as he struggled for the briefest of moments before falling back into her.
"Please don't. I saw what she did to you, Kurt. You must have so many broken ribs, if you move one could puncture your lung. And you could be bleeding internally too. So just lay still please?"
Kurt either had no strength to fight her or, as usual, was giving her what she needed. Because he did as she asked and stopped trying to get up. Instead, he settled on asking about their situation in a way that made her smile despite the fact that her husband was wracked with pain and she was soaked through with his blood.
"What happened? Where's Ivy? How did you and Rich get free?"
"I don't know the whole story yet. But Patterson is alive and set up the rescue. I think she started the evacuation alert too. Ivy just ran off. I'm sorry, screwed up, I should have tied her up but…"
But you were bloody and broken and I forgot all about her.
Instead of finishing her thought she kissed him again and just stopped at that, hoping he understood her silent words.
Kurt reached his hand up to search for hers and tugged weakly at her fingertips, bringing a sad smile to her face.
"S'okay," he muttered. "We'll get her."
"Yeah, we will," Jane nodded, a fresh set of tears slipping down her face as his hand gripped hers tighter. "But first I'm going to take care of you. How bad does it hurt?"
"I'm okay," Kurt grunted predictably.
"She showed me the video, Kurt. I know what happened and I can see you're not okay. Just tell me so I can help you, please."
Weller sighed, gripped her hand even tighter.
"My chest… is bad. It hurts to breathe. And my back is burning."
From what she'd seen, that was the bare minimum of what could be damaged on him. But she didn't want to work herself up or worry Kurt too much either so Jane didn't press too hard, just squeezed his hand in reply to the telling groan that slipped out with his words.
"I bet it does," she said, the mental image of his shredded skin flashing through her mind again and making her shudder. It had been viscerally bad even in the dark and she was both afraid of having to take a closer look yet anxious to know exactly how badly he'd been hurt.
She was still trying to push off the gruesome image of Kurt hanging bloody and raw when Rich finally returned, panting as he ran wildly with an armful of supplies.
"This is everything I could find," he sputtered, dropping everything beside her.
"Perfect, thanks Rich," Jane said, glancing at what he'd brought. He'd found two different medical kits and had even managed to find a button up shirt for Kurt. For all his flaws, the former dark web mogul was unusually thoughtful. "Can you go keep a lookout?"
"Okay, yeah, sure. Here's me going to do some looking out, right now."
Rich left the little room and Jane turned her attention back to Kurt, gave his hand another squeeze.
"Let's get you cleaned up," she said, her voice a bit choked.
Kurt nodded grimly, gave her a return squeeze with one hand as he used the other to push to a sitting position, wincing silently at the movement.
Jane sat with his bare back right in front of her and for a moment she wanted to sob, could barely hold it together. But she swallowed her emotions as best she could, then kissed the nape of Kurt's neck before reaching for the medical supplies and pulling out what she needed.
"I'm going to put some freezing in before I start, okay?" she asked, even though she wasn't going to give him a choice if he argued.
But tellingly, Kurt didn't resist as she injected local anaesthetic into his wounds and then waited for the drug to take effect. When she finally felt the tension seep out of his muscles, Jane took the sponge prepped with antibacterial soap and started wiping the blood off of his back, doing her best not to further damage his extremely raw skin.
"Does that hurt?" she asked, holding him with one arm around his collarbone as the other lightly scrubbed his back clean.
Kurt shook his head and Jane felt a little of the tightness come out of her own shoulders as she finished washing out his wounds and finally got a good look at the abuse on his back. It was bad, but not nearly as bad as it could have been considering the amount of blood that had been covering him. While a few of the wounds were deep enough to keep bleeding, most of the damage was limited to skin abrasions that looked nasty but should heal relatively quickly. Yet, it was clear there wasn't a single spot on his entire back that Ivy hadn't hit with her whip, every inch of his skin was either bloody, raw, or welted.
Biting back her anger at what had been done to him, Jane applied non-stick gauze to the worst of the wounds and made sure the rest of it was clean and dry before she hugged him tight around his neck, laying another kiss in between his shoulders.
"All done here," she said into his ear. "Now I'm going to check out the rest of you."
Weller gave her a look, a little wink at her phrasing; made her smile a bit despite the situation. He was seeming to gain strength and the painkillers she'd shot him up with appeared to be helping as well.
Staying behind him, supporting his torso with her own, Jane reached her arms around Kurt's chest, ran her hands over his clavicles, then down to his sternum; making him wince and groan.
"Sorry," she said, cringing and squeezing his shoulder with the hand that wasn't causing his pain. "I just need to make sure there's nothing obvious that's going to puncture a lung when I let you stand up."
"It's okay. I know," Kurt replied with a little grunt as she moved her way across his chest, feeling for anything worse than rib breaks and extreme bruising. That would all hurt, quite a bit from her experience; but it wasn't going to prevent Kurt from getting up and moving around.
Jane continued to move her one hand across his body, finding swollen tissue and broken skin, welting that made her grind her jaw. But thankfully his rib cage felt relatively solid, despite the abuse he had taken. Then she continued her exploration down to his abdomen, trying to make sure he wasn't bleeding anywhere internally, looking at his reactions as she pressed on his bruised muscles.
Kurt winced a few times but his heart rate and breathing had remained fairly steady through her examination, and Jane sighed in relief. It had looked really bad, with all the abrasions and how swollen his entire torso was. Yet, thankfully, the worst of it seemed to be a broken sternum, and a lot of rib fractures. Of course there was also a tonne of spinal and abdominal bruising and a concussion as well, from being kicked in the head. But, though all of his injuries would be painful as hell and it was going to be awhile before he could even breathe comfortably, none of them appeared to be life-threatening.
"Okay, I think you can move without doing more damage," she declared. "But I'm going to finish cleaning you up first alright?"
Kurt gave her a little nod that just broke her heart that little bit more. He looked so spent just trying to keep it all together while suffering immense pain.
Jane kissed him on the temple as she wiped blood and derma off of his chest. The whipping wounds weren't quite as bad on his front because Ivy hadn't been able to hit him on his broken bones very many times before he'd passed out. But still he was missing a lot of skin and there were welting wounds all over his ribs.
Again she made sure everything was well disinfected before covering the cuts that hadn't stopped bleeding yet. Then she just sat there for a moment and wrapped her arms around him from behind again, held her hand firmly over his heart.
"All done," she breathed, resting her head lightly against the back of his neck. "Do you still want to get up?"
"Yeah," he replied groggily. "We need to get out of here and find out what's going on."
Jane smiled into his skin, loved his focus despite what had just happened to him. Then she laid another kiss to the back of his neck, breathed him in deeply.
"Okay, then," she said. "Let's get you dressed and we'll look the team."
At first Weller had thought he was dying, that the whip wrapped around his neck had cut oxygen off from his brain and he was hallucinating again. Then when the pressure released and air returned, he'd thought he must be dreaming as he watched Jane throw a beat down on Ivy, knock her unconscious to the ground.
But then she had touched him and he'd known that it was real. Even in his barely conscious state, there was no mistaking the feel of his wife, the worry that transmitted through her skin.
Part of him had wanted to hide away from what had been done to him, pretend that he hadn't just been brutally beaten, broken down in every way. The darkness was absolutely inviting, a place where he didn't have to remember how he'd screamed, how much he still hurt.
Jane had called for him though, with her touch and with her voice. So of course he'd reached through the void and blinked his way back into reality. And even though he'd became fully conscious to the agony of his body, it had been worth it to find himself cradled in her arms.
He had really thought he'd never see her again; getting to touch her was beyond his wildest dreams, even if she was only caressing him because he was broken to bits. So he hadn't moved even though they needed to find out what was happening, had let her hold him as he struggled to breathe. Then he'd even given in to being dosed with lidocaine, knowing it would make both of them feel better about the first aid she had to do. And he had to admit, it had made him numb to the pain, let him sink into Jane's arms as she lovingly cleaned and dressed his wounds.
Now though, the freezing was starting to wear off and everything hurt when he moved, kept getting worse by the moment. Any movement at all jarred the broken bones in his chest even though he felt like they were advancing incredibly slowly down the empty hallway. If Jane hadn't been supporting him around his hip and helping him along, Kurt wasn't sure he would have made out of the cold concrete room where he'd been prepared to die.
Of course, due to the evacuation alert, they were forced to take the stairs; Jane hauling him up each step as he gritted his teeth against the suffering. Weller felt his mind start to drift into a dull haze, his vision suddenly turning grey when he slipped on a step and Jane caught him right on his cracked sternum.
Kurt gasped, nearly fell to his knees anyways.
"Sorry, I'm sorry," Jane said. "It's okay, Kurt. Just breathe."
He did as he was told, mostly because he couldn't do anything else anyways. Stood there bent over while Jane rubbed circles on the only unmarred patch of skin on his back.
"Are you sure you want to keep moving?" she asked, her voice overflowing with concern.
Weller nodded weakly. They had to find out what was happening with Madeline and Ivy, and with the rest of the team. Knowing that Patterson was alive and had mounted the rescue was keeping him going, despite his body fighting through shock and pain.
"Yeah, I can do it," he muttered, even though he was still trying to suck in air without having to gasp.
Kurt fought through the listlessness in his head, focused his attention back on Jane. He still hadn't even figured out how she'd found him, how Rich was involved. Obviously she had seen what Ivy had done to him, just as the terrorist had planned. Which already made him feel like shit, weak to the core. He'd made a lot of pathetic noises, he remembered that much. Not that Jane would judge him. But considering what she'd been through in her life, he certainly felt inadequate.
"How did you get out? And how did you find me?" he asked, looking up into his wife's worried eyes.
Jane sighed and shook her head.
"Why don't we talk about that later?" she asked. "Right now I think you should just rest and wait for Rich to get back with info on the rest of the team."
Jane had sent the hacker ahead to scout the situation but Weller still couldn't stand the idea of sitting and waiting for news; needed to find out for himself.
"No," he grumbled, pushing to his feet. "Tell me as we go. It's a lot of stairs."
Jane sighed again, but this time with a tired laugh at his insistence.
"Okay," she replied. "You ready to move?"
Weller nodded and felt Jane's arm snake around him again, supporting his still-shaky legs.
"Did you make the deal?" he asked, the only answer he really needed to know.
He hated the thought of it. Especially because he already knew it was true, knew her all too well. But he needed her to say it, tell him what she'd nearly done because of him.
Jane gave him a sharp look, the one made of steel. It was such a contrast to the gentle concern she'd just had in her eyes that he forgot to breathe for a second, then almost choked as he gasped for another lungful of air.
That changed her eyes back again instantly, her face softening as she held him to her, rubbed his shoulder and pulled him up another stair.
"Yeah," she said, biting her lip, her expression so sad that he wasn't even upset when she admitted it. "I know. I shouldn't have trusted any of them. But I was scared Ivy was going to beat you to death. I had to do something. I had to try."
He too had been afraid that he was going to die in that concrete room, that he would never get to see her again. His gut had known that Jane would always try, that the strongest of them was somehow also their weakest link when it came to self-sacrifice. But Weller had figured she would make the deal and he'd still never see a federal penitentiary, that he'd still be Ivy's to finish.
Conflicting waves of love and anger surged through him as they ascended a few steps in silence, Kurt completely unsure about how to respond. Part of him wanted to yell at her, berate her for giving into Madeline and Ivy, giving herself up. But a far larger part just wanted to crush her to him, made him marvel at how much fire could still flare up in his broken chest.
He stopped on the next landing and turned to Jane, doing his best to look upset with his wife even as she held him up against her.
"I'm not okay with you giving yourself up for the rest of us. And we're going to talk about that another time," he grumbled.
"But thank you for trying. And for coming to get me."
Jane curled him into her with the arm that was supporting his weight, gave him a quick hug and a glancing grin.
"Always," she said, her eyes shifting into a sparkling jade.
God, he was in a boatload of pain, struggling just to climb the stairs as they tried to find out what their fate would be. But he couldn't help it, found his hand reaching up to hold her jaw before he even knew what he was doing.
Jane's grin widened into an adoring smile as his lips came down on hers, hungrily tugging at her mouth as he relished the taste of her. He'd been so sure he'd never experience it again, the feel of her lips on his; Kurt couldn't stop once he'd started, despite the situation.
Jane didn't seem all that eager to stop either, her hands moving up to roam through his hair as she pulled him towards her, her mouth still all over his. Then, just as Weller started considering the need to breathe, the door in front of them opened and Rich came running through.
"Oh, bad timing," he sputtered. "And by that I mean, good timing. Don't stop on my account. But shit's kinda going down up top. Madeline and Ivy both ditched and we've got control of SIOC but Weitz is dead. He did this totally not-like-him heroic thing, you wouldn't believe it. I didn't believe it. Anyways, even I have to say it's not really the best time for a make out sesh."
Startled by all of the words spilling out of Rich's mouth, Kurt pulled away from his wife and they both stared at the hacker.
"Wait, if Madeline's gone and Weitz is dead then who's in charge?" Weller asked.
Both Jane and Rich stopped in their tracks, turned and looked at him in a particular knowing way.
Jane put her arm around his hips again, gave him a little squeeze where it didn't hurt.
"Let's get you up there," she said. "Someone's got to tell us what to do."
And despite everything that had happened, the way his body felt, Weller grinned as he gritted his teeth and hugged her back. Then, together, they stepped their way back up to where they belonged.