Death Could Have Been Kinder | Part 1/2

Summary: Alternate ending to 510. Both Jane and Kurt get locked in the room with the ZIP bomb.

The last of Kurt's assailants had just hit the ground when Kurt heard the gun shots coming from the end of the hallway— the direction which Jane had gone towards.

He quickly glanced around to make sure none of Ivy's men would be getting up and then ran quickly towards his wife. He found her taking cover at the end of the hallway front of an open door. Jane heard him approaching and quickly turned towards him— weapon raised— and then sighed and relaxed when she saw him.

She signaled to him that there were two inside that room and he understood as well that Ivy was one of them.

Everything after that was a blur— a nightmare.

Jane went into the room first as Kurt covered her. But they were a fraction of a second too late. Ivy and the man with her had exited through the back door.

And Jane and Kurt were left alone— for just the briefest moment before they heard that hissing sound.

Jane turned around slowly— her brain already figuring out what that sound was but refusing to accept it. Her eyes met Kurt's— just as wide and just as terrified— as a white cloud of smoke filled the room between them.

"No," she choked out in a whisper.

No, no, no, this can't be happening.

She wanted to yell at Kurt to get out. To leave. To try to escape this nightmare.

But she knew it was too late. The ZIP had already covered their clothes, touched their skin and they had definitely breathed enough of it in for both of them to realize this was it.

And she saw the same desperate realization reflected back in Kurt— his mouth slightly open, the words dying out on his lips before he could say them, his shoulders slumped and fear painted all over his face.

She wanted to cry.

He wanted to scream.

They wanted to run to each other. To hold each other.

But neither one of them made a move. They just stood there. Shocked. Terrified. Heartbroken. Angry.

"Jane! Weller!"

They were pulled out of their trance by Tasha's voice— running down the corridor towards them.

"Tasha! No!" Jane called out in a panic.

Kurt was faster to react, hitting the emergency lock on the blast doors almost violently, closing the room, stopping the cloud of ZIP from claiming any more victims and sealing their own tragic fate.

Tasha banged on the door. Her face fell when she realized what had just happened. And after a moment of denial. A moment of fear. And a moment of anger. She reached for her phone and frantically dialed Patterson's number.

Kurt slowly walked towards her, making his way through the thick white cloud, and with a trembling hand he touched her cheek.

"Jane," he whispered desperately.

She shook her head, her eyes filling with fiery tears, and her fingers grabbed the front of his shirt in a death grip.

"No," she whispered again— the fire in her eyes unbearably painful. Her brain was telling her to close them, to relieve some of the pain, but she couldn't. She couldn't bear the thought of not looking at him, of spending what little time she had left not looking at him. Not being with him in all her senses.

His head was filling up with the fog.

Her body was getting heavy.

His stomach was tying up in a sickening knot.

Her muscles were getting weak.

They knew they had only a few moments left before it was— before it was all over.

Before they lost everything they'd ever had. Ever wished to have. Everything they've ever fought for.

With what little strength he had left, Kurt moved them towards the closest wall, sliding clumsily against it until he was sitting and she was in his lap.

Her knuckles were turning white as she gripped his shirt tighter. Tears streamed down her cheeks— a mixture of heartbreak and reaction to the ZIP fumes— as she cried out in a desperate whisper.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

What she was apologizing for she wasn't sure. Nothing. Everything.

But he just shook his head. His throat was dry and his chest was tight. He felt like he was drowning.

"I love you," he choked out.

The string of apologies died on her lips and she touched his cheek. A touch so gentle, so tender, it would have brought tears to his eyes were they not bloodshot and painfully dry.

"I love you. I love you. I'll always love you."

Please don't forget that.

He stopped himself before the words slipped out. That was the one promise he knew neither one of them could make.

She took his hand in hers and pressed it against her chest. Above her heart.

And silently she prayed that he knew what she was trying to say.

Silently she prayed that her love for him was stronger than what the ZIP could erase.

He leaned forward pressing his forehead to hers as he felt the faint beat of her heart against his fingertips— felt his own heart beating irrationally in his own chest.

And he silently prayed that the way she filled his heart— his soul— was a force far more powerful than whatever damage the ZIP could do to his mind.

His free hand reached for her— touching her arm, her shoulder, threading through her hair, and brushing against her cheek, her jaw, her neck.

"I love you," she cried as his thumb traced her lip.

He wanted to kiss her. Needed to kiss her.

He needed to keep his hand against her heart. It's steady beat the only thing keeping her grounded.

He needed to keep on touching her. Holding her.

He needed to keep looking at her. To commit to memory every detail about her— in hopes that maybe her memory would be too vividly burned into his brain that no amount of ZIP could erase it.

She started fading away before him. The ZIP conquering her mind and body before his and no matter how much he urged for her to stay awake, she struggled to keep her eyes open.

"Don't... don't leave me," he whispered against her skin.

She held on just a little longer— just long enough to brush her fingers against his cheek— his beard tickling the skin of her fingertips.

Long enough to whisper one more thing.

"I know you won't remember me," she breathed out heavily, "but please... please... love me again."