New year, new fic. This fic is the result of a scene or idea that I've had in my head for years, and one that I've talked about but never gotten around to writing, until now. Thank you eblonde for giving me the necessary shove. And thanks to Indelible Evidence and Heather for listening to me and helping me with this fic.
This is another Bad things happen bingo fic, the square being "Bleeding out." Since this is a longer fic, I am publishing it separately from my other BTHB fics on FFN.
Summary: Kurt and Jane have just returned to New York after the events of 3x01, but the threat has not passed.
"That sounds good." Jane smiled into her phone, almost like Kurt could see her as she stood in front of the balcony doors, gazing outside. "Yeah….Okay, I'll see you soon."
She hung up and looked outside, once again taking in the familiar view of the New York skyline. She felt incredibly lucky, being back here with the man she loved. It had been a long eighteen months, but now with the bounty on her head no longer a problem, she and Kurt could get back to their lives.
He had promised to cook for them when he got home, but she knew that it would probably still be over an hour before dinner was ready. Her stomach growled at the thought of food.
"Maybe I'll just have a piece of fruit to tide me over."
She cast one more glance at the view and had taken a single step when she felt like someone had hit her in the chest with a sledgehammer. She stumbled back, dropping her phone. It was as if she was in a dream when she brought her hand to her chest and saw it come away red. She tried to understand what had happened when her knees gave out and she fell to the floor.
She could feel the warm blood soak her shirt as she lay on the floor of their living room, trying to get air into her lungs but gasping like a fish on dry land. The next thing she registered was the blinding pain, radiating from her chest to her entire torso.
Kurt frowned as he pushed the door open. He had spoken to Jane on the phone only 20 minutes before and she had been home, but now the apartment was dark. Something felt off.
"Jane?" He called out to her as he switched on the light.
At a glance he thought something seemed wrong with the balcony doors when he let his eyes scan the living room. The realization of a hole in the glass came simultaneously as he heard a quiet, pained gasp from the ground. His breath caught in his throat as he saw Jane lying on the floor in front of the balcony doors, a crimson stain on her shirt blossoming onto the floor. A strangled sound escaped him as he rushed to her.
He called out her name, his heart pounding in his chest, for a moment afraid he was too late. "Jane…"
She opened her eyes at his voice, the terror reflected in her eyes feeling like a punch at his solar plexus. He ran his hands over her, trying to find any more wounds but finding none.
"She's been shot! Where's the shooter?" Despite his brain screaming at him about the danger, he ignored it. All his FBI training of the 1+1 threat rule went out the window the moment he saw Jane on the floor. On some level he knew he had tunnel vision, but he didn't care: she was his sole focus.
"It hurts…", she gasped out, her face twisted in pain.
Kurt pressed one hand down on her chest, trying to stem the bleeding as he dialed 911 with his other hand, smearing blood onto the screen of the phone. "Hold on, Jane…"
As he managed to put the phone on speaker, he placed it beside him, pressing both of his hands on her wound.
An agonized cry spilled from Jane's lips as he put pressure on the wound. She instinctively tried to reach for his hand, to move away the source of more pain. He intercepted her hand, gently placing it on top of his own."
"No, no. I'm sorry. Keep your hand there, okay?" He tried to smile at her, to reassure her, but it soon died on his lips. "We need to keep pressure on it."
Placing his other hand back on top of hers, his eyes were transfixed on the blood staining their fingers. "There's too much of it."
Just as the cold fear squeezed at his heart, he was broken out of his reverie by a calm voice on the line.
"911, what's your emergency?"
"This is Special Agent Kurt Weller of the FBI. My wife's been shot."
He kept watching her as he talked with the dispatcher. She was growing paler, her breathing becoming more labored by the moment. He saw the fear in her eyes, as she struggled to get air. The blood wouldn't stop flowing from the wound.
Finishing the call, he pressed Jane's hand on it firmly and got up. "Hang on." He took a step towards the couch, grabbing the blanket there, and returned to her side. He pressed the blanket against her chest, hoping to better stop the bleeding with it. He shook his head, trying to ward off the chill created by the image in front of him. Both of their hands were red; he could smell the blood, felt its stickiness covering his skin.
"It's…hard…. to breathe." She gasped out the words, pain tinging them.
He reached out, feeling the clamminess of her skin as he stroked her cheek tenderly, struggling to keep himself together for her sake. "Shh…don't talk."
"Kurt…" she gasped his name with difficulty.
He swallowed a lump in his throat, shushing her. "Shh…I'm here. I've got you." His entire being hurt as he saw the terror in Jane's eyes. It was of profound fear, one he hadn't seen since those early moments when she came into his life and had no idea who she was. He wanted to take it all away.
He leaned in, speaking softly." It's gonna be okay. Just lie still." He had to focus on Jane and her survival; he couldn't let his mind sink into the abyss, the alternative was too terrifying even to contemplate.
The ticking minutes felt like hours to Kurt. He could feel Jane slipping further and further away from him. He prayed to a God he didn't really believe in, but he was desperate. He couldn't have just found her from the other side of the world to lose her forever now.
"Stay with me, Jane," he pleaded with her, a tear escaping his eye as he pulled his barely conscious wife close. She groaned at the movement, but hardly reacted to his words. He heard the rasp in her breathing and found himself silently pleading for help to arrive before she bled out in his arms. A chill made him shudder. That option was too terrifying to contemplate. He pressed his lips against her forehead, murmuring quietly. "Please stay with me. The ambulance is almost here."
Kurt let his gaze wander in the direction of the flashing numbers of the displays surrounding Jane's bed. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to banish the heaviness from his shoulders, the tight feeling from the pit of his stomach. Nothing worked. The worry and anxiety remained.
He inhaled a deep breath, lifting his eyes to gaze at the still form of his wife laying on the bed. The pallor of Jane's skin contrasted with her dark hair and her tattoos, their color now even more distinguishable than normally. It was killing him to see his normally strong, determined wife so frail, so vulnerable.
The bullet had left a destructive path in its wake as it tore through her chest. She had lost a lot of blood, had a couple of broken ribs, a hemothorax and damage to her lung. She had been given transfusions and some color had return to her face, but it was still apparent she was badly injured. The doctors had dug out a 7.62x54R rifle bullet out of her, saying that she was fortunate to be alive. A slight change in the trajectory of the bullet and it would have hit her heart.
Jane had tubes and monitoring wires snaking out from beneath her hospital gown, and a nasal canula helping her get air, but at least she was alive. It had been almost a day since her surgery but she still hadn't woken up properly, and if Kurt was honest, it scared him. Still, the doctors and nurses had assured him that she was stable right now, that she was just very heavily medicated to help her body direct its energy to healing.
He reached for her hand, gingerly taking it into his and caressing her knuckles with his thumb as he leaned in closer in his chair. His emotions were a tangled mess of worry and conviction as he murmured softly into her ear, running his other hand through her hair." You're so strong, Jane. Right now, you need that strength to heal. I know you can get through this. I love you so much."
Kurt sat there as time ticked by. He watched Jane sleep, her face pain free and relaxed. He would whisper something to her on occasion, endearments or words of encouragement, but mostly he was just content to be able to touch her and watch her sleep.
He didn't know how much time had passed - maybe he had nodded off slightly himself - when he was startled by someone entering the room.
The man, whom Kurt assumed was a nurse, gave him a quick smile and took Jane's chart, studying it for a moment. He was in his early thirties, muscular, and he had a large tattoo on his forearm. His hair was dark and closely cropped.
Scribbling something on the chart, he placed it back in the holder and addressed Kurt.
"Mr Weller, I need you to step outside for a moment while I change some of the drain tubing. Some of her values have dropped so it needs to be done now. Shouldn't be long, you can just wait outside."
Upon hearing the words, Kurt stood up from his chair, his protective instinct over Jane kicking in as he faced their new visitor. "I'm not leaving, she's my wife."
The nurse gave him an appraising look and then glanced at the door. "I'll come back later, then."
"If it is so urgent, why won't you do it now?" Kurt queried, something not sitting right with him.
"I will not argue with you about issues concerning medical treatment. I was asked to check the condition of your wife and I'm trying to do that." He sounded offended.
Something about the man's behavior made alarm bells ring inside Kurt's head. He wasn't like any of the nurses that he had met, and his scrubs were ill fitting and different from all of the others working on the ward.
"Why do you want me to leave, when none of the other nurses have asked me to do that?" He asked, his eyes narrowing slightly.
"I don't know why they allowed you to stay. They shouldn't have, it's a privacy issue," the man stammered.
Kurt resisted the urge to groan, giving the nurse a look that was bordering on indignation but managing to keep his voice level and non-confrontational.
"I'm her husband and I have a power of attorney to make any decisions on her treatment if she is unable to provide consent." Kurt observed him quietly for a moment, before taking a step closer. "Where's your ID badge?" He tilted his head questioningly, still maintaining a relaxed posture.
"I…I forgot it at home." The nurse laughed nervously, averting his eyes.
Kurt gave a short laugh, but the reply made his instincts scream that this guy wasn't who he said he was. "Yeah, we're all human. It happens."
"Anyway, I'll come back later." The man turned, taking a step towards the door.
Kurt grabbed his arm. "You know what, wait just a moment. "
The statement was met with a glare. "Let go of me!"
Kurt's eyes narrowed as he spoke, shaking his head. "I'm not going to do that. I'm going to call security to come and verify your ID, because I'm not sure you are who you say you are."
"I have other patients to see!" The other man's eyes shone with anger now, his body tensing in Kurt's grip.
"I realize that, and if everything turns out to be a false alarm, you'll have my deepest apologies. But I'm a Federal Agent, whose wife was just the target of an assassination attempt, so you'll have to excuse my suspicion."
He was about to say something more, when he heard a terrible crashing sound coming from outside, momentarily distracting him, and he turned slightly toward the door. Then he saw a metallic glint from the corner of his eyes, managing just in time to get his arm up to block the hit.
"He has a knife." The blunt realization of the man's intentions and the almost mundane tone in his mind would have made him laugh if he wasn't struggling over possession of the weapon.
He pushed the assassin against the wall, slamming his arm against the plaster but still the man held on to the knife. Keeping the blade clear of himself, Kurt's fist slammed into the guy's side and he heard a grunt, feeling his opponent's hot breath against his cheek as they grappled.
Everything had happened so fast that Kurt hadn't had the chance to reach for the pistol in his holster, and right now he was using all his strength to keep the sharp blade away from his body. Tunnel vision engulfed him, and next it felt like someone had hit his side with a baseball bat. His grip loosened, and he gasped, the other man now getting the upper hand.
The assassin pushed him against the opposite wall and Kurt saw a bright flash behind his eyelids as his head connected with it. Things were moving quickly, but it felt like minutes had passed. He deflected a stab directed at his chest and groaned as the blade cut his forearm. He thought he'd been able to land a punch or two at the guy's solar plexus, but still the man kept fighting.
"This guy is built like a wrestler," Kurt thought, as he felt his own muscles screaming and the pain pulsing in his injured arm. The knife was between them now, and they grappled over it. Kurt managed to twist the weapon slightly, pushing it toward his opponent, but the other man had managed to grab his throat somehow, and was strangling him. Kurt tried to use his injured forearm to loosen the grip, but it was no use. His arm was useless.
Kurt's vision grayed at the edges, his lungs screaming as his enemy squeezed at his throat with one hand while using his other hand to keep the knife away from himself. His opponent was strong as an ox.
Kurt felt his desperation surge. "If I die, he'll finish what he started and kill Jane." Kurt ignored his brain's screams for oxygen and gathered all his remaining strength, pushing the knife blade forward and plunging it into the assassin's chest.
The man's grip loosened and he let out a surprised yelp, retreating from Kurt. He collapsed onto the floor seconds later, his other hand trying to reach for the knife in his chest as his eyes reflected his amazement. His breath came in short hiccupping gasps before fading and stopping altogether.
Watching the assassin take his last breaths, Kurt leaned his back against the other wall, sliding down to a sitting position as he tried to get his own breathing under control. His lungs and ribs were on fire, and he grimaced at the stinging sensation in his arm, feeling the warm blood trickling from the wound as he put pressure on it.
He glanced at the bed where Jane was lying, noting that she was still resting peacefully. He closed his eyes in relief, saying a silent prayer of thanks to any deity that would listen. "She's still here, she's alive and she's going to be okay."
Jane opened her eyes, trying to blink and clear her blurry vision. It didn't work, things were still fuzzy. She tried to move her arm but it seemed to weigh a ton. She was so tired. She closed her eyes again, trying to concentrate, but to no avail. "What's going on? Where am I?"
Her head felt heavy, woozy somehow. She tried blinking again, her vision slightly clearer now. But she was still groggy, not quite nauseous but not completely normal either. An unexplained feeling of anxiety was lurking at the edge of her consciousness. Something had happened. She wasn't at home, that much was clear. When she noticed Kurt standing by the door with his back to her, talking to someone quietly, she knew something was wrong.
As Jane tried to sit up, it was as if someone had detonated a hand grenade inside her chest and in that instant her body was filled with a white-hot sensation of pain. She let out a strangled scream, her face contorting as she grabbed the blanket under her hand, needing something to hold on to until the agony receded.
"Jane!" Kurt's alarmed voice broke through the red mist of agony, as he rushed to her side. "No, no. Lie still." His touch was light, almost tentative when he wrapped his arm around her back to steady her.
She groaned faintly, wanting to curl in on herself but the tearing sensation in her chest didn't allow her to do anything but moan pitifully as she tried to breathe.
He shushed her gently, his look pained as he placed his hand on her collarbone, coaxing her to sink back into the softness of the pillows. "Just stay still."
Jane willed the pain to go away, but it flared with every breath she took. She moaned, swallowing thickly. Kurt's warm hand cupped her cheek and she leaned into his loving touch. His touch had always had been a comfort to her. The rare moments when she had no strength or energy to fight, she knew he would keep her safe. She tried to concentrate on feeling his hand against her skin, the ordinariness of the gesture something she clung to like she was drowning. It was as if something was tearing, clawing across her chest, his touch her only relief. She desperately wanted him closer, to lean into his protective embrace but with all the tubes and wires attached to her, it wasn't possible. At the same time, she hated being so needy, but it seemed his touch was the only thing keeping her from giving into the pain.
He must have sensed the unease and anxiety within her, his voice softening as he soothed her. "Shh…it's okay."
She looked up, seeing Kurt gaze at her with concern plain on his face. He trailed his hand up and stroked her hair, the familiar gesture calming her. He stood next to her, his touch her anchor.
"Do you want something for the pain?"
Jane thought for a moment before giving a tiny nod. The pain pulsed, making it feel like something gouging at her chest wall.
A nurse arrived then, giving her a compassionate look and a promise to return soon as Kurt explained the situation. Gathering some strength, Jane tried to speak but only a croak emerged.
"Hold on." Kurt reached for the table next to her, bringing a straw to her lips. The coolness of the water was like a soothing balm on her throat. Jane swallowed thickly and closed her eyes for a moment as she struggled to describe the pain to the nurse. She took solace in Kurt's presence, his thumb tenderly rubbing the back of her hand.
The nurse scribbled something onto her chart and left, only to return a minute later, injecting a painkiller.
Kurt sat down next to her bed, murmuring endearments in her ear as he nuzzled her gently. Slowly the agony ebbed and was replaced by a warmth in her body.
Weary, she glanced at the IV in her hand, trying to piece things together. "What happened?"
She closed her eyes, tiredness creeping upon her as the pain dulled further.
"What do you remember?" Kurt asked softly, running his hand again through her hair. His attention was fully on her, the look in his eyes a mix of love and affection, and deep anxiety for her. She could feel it.
She struggled to dig up anything meaningful. "Fuzzy flashes from home….being on the floor, pain…" Her eyes met his. "…the fear in your voice."
His shoulders sagged, his voice subdued and pained. "You were shot, Jane. A sniper. Apparently, he was at the building a few hundred yards away." Careful of the nasal canula, he leaned in to press a tender kiss to her brow. Despite his tenderness, she sensed how tense he was, how worried he was.
"The doctors say it's a miracle you're alive," he whispered, leaning his forehead against hers for a moment. His voice trembled. "A half an inch to the right and it would've been an instant kill shot." Sitting back in the chair beside her he gazed at her with an anxious look, his blue eyes glistening with moisture." I thought you'd bleed out in my arms, in our living room. I was afraid I'd lose you," he admitted quietly.
Her heart shattered at his words, at the lost look in his eyes. "Kurt…" With effort, she reached out to cup his cheek. She brushed the stubble there, hoping she could take his pain away. "I'm sorry you had to go through that."
He nuzzled her hand, nodding. "It's okay now. You're still here."
Despite her weariness, Jane noticed the bandage covering Kurt's left forearm. Her heart started beating faster in her chest at the realization that he was injured. "Your arm…what happened?" She asked, alarm in her voice.
He glanced at the bandage and shook his head softly, giving her a reassuring look. "It's just a scratch. Don't worry."
At her questioning look, he cleared his throat and proceeded to tell her how her assassin had returned to finish the job and ended up getting killed in a fight with Kurt. That chain of events alone was starting to overload her capacity to process the information. Then, Kurt explained to her how Patterson had connected the dots through a text message on the man's phone to some Russian mobster whom Jane had crossed doing K&R in Russia. The mobster had held Jane responsible for the death of his daughter, whom she had failed to rescue.
That chain of events alone was starting to overload her capacity to process the information and, by the time Kurt got to the end, her mind was absolutely drained.
"How did they…who…?" She tried to form coherent thoughts, to figure out the sequence of events from Russia to today, but she felt so exhausted. She struggled to keep her eyes open, her eyelids feeling like they were made of lead.
"It's over." Kurt gave her an affectionate smile before kissing her forehead. "Right now you need to rest. Get some sleep." He squeezed her hand and sat down in the chair beside her. "I'll stay right here."
Kurt pushed the door open, noting that the lights in the kitchen and the living room were out. Darkness shrouded the apartment. His heartrate picked up, the hairs at the back of his neck standing up, his mind immediately thrown back to that evening almost a month ago. "Where's Jane?"
He had only been gone for about a half an hour, going to the pharmacy to refill Jane's painkiller prescription. He had been reluctant to leave her, but she had assured him from her spot on the couch that she would be fine.
"Jane?" He called her name as he his hand reached for the light switch. No answer. The light came on, dimly at first as the energy-saving bulbs warmed.
He instinctively glanced at the floor first, flashing back to the image of Jane lying there, bleeding out. It was empty. He squeezed his eyes shut for a second, trying to banish the vivid memory. She wasn't there, nor was she on the couch. Still, his heart pounded as he set his keys and the prescription on the breakfast bar. The feeling of unease grew inside him as only silence greeted him.
"Is she hurt? Did they send someone after her again? I knew I shouldn't have left her! She's barely started to heal!"
"Jane!" He checked the records room, but it was empty, as was the laundry room. His heart thudded louder in his chest every second that passed, he could feel a cold sweat form on his forehead. He strode down the hall, entering their bedroom and scanning it quickly. His heart calmed a little as he noticed Jane's bedside lamp was on. Listening, he heard the shower running in the adjacent bathroom.
"Jane?" Still no answer, only the sound of the running water. "Did she pass out in the shower? You should've been here!" His conscience berated him. "She still tires easily, that's why you've helped her shower. What if she's unconscious right now?"
Kurt felt like he couldn't wait, he had to check. He called out her name again and grabbed the doorknob, opening the bathroom door, calling her name again.
Jane had just stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself when she heard Kurt calling her name. He sounded frantic.
"In here," she called to him, and almost the moment the reply left her mouth the door opened and he came in.
She briefly made eye contact with him before she found herself in a tight but gentle embrace as Kurt pulled her against him, clearly not caring that she was still wet from the shower. The anxiety and fear reflected in his blue eyes tugged at her heart.
"Are you okay?" He murmured shakily into her hair, squeezing her flush against him.
She closed her eyes for a moment and rested her cheek on his chest, listening to his rapid heartbeat. Then, she took a step back in his arms, gazing up at him. His look was distressed, his shoulders tense.
"Kurt, I'm fine." She gave him a loving smile and brought her hand to his cheek tenderly, caressing the stubble there. "It's okay," she assured him gently.
He swallowed thickly and gave a small nod. "Yeah."
Something had clearly upset him. "What is it?" She queried softly, still stroking his cheek.
He glanced away, clearing his throat, as he seemed to be studying the tiles on the wall. "It's nothing," he tried to brush off her concern.
Her tender tone made him focus his eyes on her again, and her heart broke at the pain she saw in his gaze. "Talk to me. Please."
His voice held the slightest, almost indistinguishable quiver as he spoke. "I came home and the living room was dark. I called for you but you didn't answer. It was just like that night."
Jane didn't have to ask which night he meant. That night was still vivid in both of their minds.
"I thought something had happened when you didn't answer me. Then, in the bedroom I heard the shower running, and I worried that–"
She took his hand and lifted it to her chest, right where the towel covered the still fresh scar. The love she felt for him made her heart burst, the love and softness shining in his eyes warming her entire being. "I'm right here. I'm okay." She wished she could take his pain away. Gazing at him, and her fingers still caressing his cheek, she continued candidly. "I still tire easily, and get out of breath on our walks. And yes, I'm still achy. But I am healing." She hated seeing him so anguished. She smiled at him tenderly. "You don't need to worry so much. I can take a shower without passing out."
"I know," Kurt admitted. He sighed after a moment. "I'm sorry, I just want to take care of you."
"You don't need to apologize. I know, and I love you for it. But I'm afraid you'll worry yourself to death."
Jane leaned into him again, tucking her head into the crook of his neck, feeling him wrap his arms tighter around her. "I'm going to be okay. You don't need to hover," she finished, with a smile in her voice.
That earned a chuckle from him, as he pressed a kiss into her hair. "Okay, I'll try not to hover so much in the future."
"Thank you." She kissed his jaw, smiling at him sweetly before snuggling back into his embrace.