Had to take a break from the angst fest that is The Sharpest lives, so here is a slightly less angsty, hopefully more hopeful story to cheer us all up a little!
Hope you guys enjoy :)
It had been months since the baby shower, and Jane still felt the distance. Unable to connect to Kurt, or the rest of the team. The invisible barrier between them while lessened, still firmly lay between them, and nothing she ever did seemed good enough to bring it down.
Though Patterson, and her had a few moments where they felt like friends again. They'd met for coffee, and Jane had worn the high of it on her sleeve for weeks. Just getting to see Patterson's face light up as she talked about Dr. Borden, made the darkness in her life seem just a little brighter.
But even that just barely sustained her.
She had stopped trying shortly after the baby shower. In that moment the isolation, and separation between her and the others had been so frighteningly clear.
Nothing would fix it but time. Or at least she hoped.
She instead concentrated on the mission. If she couldn't be their friend, she would be their weapon, and their shield. No one would touch them or harm them while they were under her protection. So her drive went up a notch, her intensity almost frightening to the rest of them. Her willingness to jump on the grenade at an all-time high.
Still none of them questioned it. None of them cared enough to ask her if she was okay. To ask if she'd eaten anything or had anything to drink aside from the coffee that might as well have hung on an IV besides her for the amount she drank.
But it didn't bother her. She ate only as much as she absolutely had to. She drank only as much as she must. She slept only as much as the nightmares would allow, forcing herself to sleep after she emptied her stomach ever night, because sleep deprivation would make her ineffective and that couldn't happen.
Then something changed.
Almost five weeks after the baby shower she ran into Ally at the grocery store a block from her apartment. It had been just after 3 in the morning, she'd been unable to go back to sleep, and she needed something anything to do. So she went to get a snack from the store. Though she knew it would taste like ash in her mouth.
She just needed to escape the stark grey walls of her safe house.
She'd nearly jumped out of her skin at the checkout counter, when someone had called her name from behind.
"Jane?" She had to stop herself from reaching to where her gun lay behind her shirt.
"Ally?" She questioned, when she turned and realized who she'd spoken to. In the last few weeks Ally's bump had become oblivious. Sticking out from her slender frame in a way that drew the eyes, "What are you doing here?"
"The baby is craving jalapeno bites, so here I am," Ally said with a laugh, raising a hand she nodded to the box she carried in her hands with a halfhearted shrug. It seemed to say, what can you do?
"Should you be out here alone?" Jane asked, eyes scanning the room, tension returning to her frame. Sandstorm was still out there, and they had Kurt in their sight line. She knew they wouldn't hesitate to harm Ally or the baby if it would get them what they wanted.
"I'm fine Jane, I'm pregnant not handicapped," Ally replied, her voice kind as she stepped closer, "Anyway, Kurt's undoubtedly asleep and Brian is on a stakeout. So what's a girl to do?"
Jane closed the remaining distance between them, "Well let me walk you home, please?" she asked, trying to keep her hands from trembling. Imagining what would happen if something happened to ally. If something happened to Ally and she could have prevented it. She would never forgive herself.
They'd never forgive her.
"Jane, are you alright?" Ally had asked, concern evident in her tone.
"I'm fine," Jane replied, reaching for her wallet, and throwing a twenty on the counter. "Do you need anything else?"
"Jane you didn't have to do that," Ally looked between the bill on the counter and Jane, "Really, I would have paid for myself."
Jane forced herself to smile, "Ally its fine, it's the least I could do, I never did get a chance to thank you for allowing me to come to the party. Now come on, let me walk you home? Or call you a cab?"
Ally simply looked at her, "Jane I didn't allow you to come, I wanted you there from the beginning? Did Kurt not tell you that? You deserved to be there, if you hadn't of been there that day we wouldn't have been having a party."
Jane just shook her head, it didn't matter, "its fine Ally, I only did my job, nothing special. You would have made it out of there-"
"No Jane, I wouldn't have, neither would the baby. Please, let me say thank you for real! I tried to hunt you down after we cut the cake, but you must have left early."
Jane just smiled again, no use in telling Ally that she'd known when she'd overstayed her welcome. She'd gotten out of there as soon as she could.
Ally seemed to realize she wouldn't be able to reach her, and just gave her a sad smile, "Okay Jane, you sure you want to walk me home? I don't want you to go out of your way."
Jane just smiled at her, "It's not out of my way, and I just want to make sure you get home safe."
"Okay," Ally replied, and then relayed her address.
"Hm, you live right down the block," Jane told her unable to hide her surprise.
"Really? I can't believe we've never run into each other before."
Jane nodded, "Yeah, funny right? We've been so close this whole time."
"Yeah, it is."
"Well, come on, I'm sure you don't want to eat cold Jalapeno bites," Jane said with a wink, and then moved to start walking out the door. Careful to make sure she stayed in front of Ally while they exited, and then stationed herself between Ally and the street when they reached it.
"Very true," Ally replied with a laugh, linking arms with Jane as they walked.
"It's so funny that we've never really talked before," Ally told her as they crossed the street, reaching up to tighten her scarf against the cold.
Jane nodded, "I guess," she didn't say that the reason they'd never talked happened to be a 6'2 man of their mutual acquaintance. But she had to admit this conversation was the most human she'd felt since before Kurt had arrested her.
"It's okay, I know Kurt made things a bit awkward in the beginning, but Jane," Ally called, waiting until Jane looked back at her before she continued, "I'd really like to be friends. We should exchange numbers, what do you think?"
Jane felt herself nodding before she'd given it any thought, "I think I'd like that," She wasn't too desperate to admit that she didn't have any friends now. And she wouldn't be so stubborn as to resist the chance to have even just one person who she could actually talk to.
By the time they stopped in front of Ally's apartment building Jane felt lighter somehow. They'd done nothing more than chat idly, but still it felt like she'd come alive. She felt a genuine smile stretch across her face for the first time in months when she handed Ally her number.
Ally smiled back, "Let's plan to get coffee, maybe Saturday?"
Jane nodded, "As long as we don't have a case I should be free, I'll text you?"
They'd agreed, and Jane had waited until she saw Ally enter her apartment before she turned to walk back to her own place. Alone. As always. But, still when she got back she found that sleep found her easily and for once she slept. She didn't wake up screaming or running to the bathroom. Instead she woke the sound of her alarm clock ringing.
That had been the beginning, Ally and she had met for coffee that Saturday, though Ally drank decaf. It had become a ritual. They met every weekend from that point onward.
Anytime Ally had a late night craving and Brian wasn't home, she called Jane. Jane never minded, she usually found herself awake anyway. Then Jane would go pick her up and they would walk together to the corner store. It felt liberating, being able to laugh, to chat, and be human with someone who didn't look at her with contempt.
Soon it seemed like any moment Jane or Ally weren't working they were together. She'd even had dinner with Ally and Brian a few times. It felt awkward at first but she found that she liked the man Ally had chosen. They were a good fit.
Then after a few weeks of the routine, Jane decided to invite Patterson to join them, and soon she joined them every other Saturday.
It felt amazing.
Even though things between her and the rest of the team remained relatively unchanged she felt better.
She hadn't realized how dead she'd felt inside until she started to have a life again. No longer were her days simply work, sandstorm, training, rinse, wash and repeat. Now she had things to look forward to. Friends to talk with, to tell about her worries and her fears.
Now, she stared at her phone in disbelief, Jane we're headed to the hospital! Looks like the munchkin is finally on her way out! Hurry up!
She felt herself smile, and she rushed to get dressed into something more presentable. Then she ran out of the door, hailing the first cab she saw, and telling them to hurry to the hospital.
Ally and she had, had so many conversations about the baby that Jane felt almost like the child's aunt. Ally always showing up with new sonograms, and things to show her. Even once inviting her to an appointment when both Kurt and Brian were unable to attend.
Jane would never forget the way her heart had felt ten times bigger staring at the baby on the screen. How hearing the steady heartbeat had sent tears coursing down her face. To be included in such a moment felt so beautiful.
She'd be forever grateful that they had run into each other that night. That for whatever reason Ally had reached out for her and refused to let her go.
When she arrived at the hospital, she quickly found the front desk and asked for information. The woman at the counter directed her to the proper waiting room.
She headed up the elevator to the third floor, fully prepared to sit quietly in the waiting room while she waited for news. She'd already texted Ally to let her know that she had arrived and would be waiting out there.
When she stepped off the elevator, she turned, heading down the hallway as the secretary had advised her and she quickly found the waiting room.
She stopped short when she saw who else was in the waiting room. Ready to turn back and retreat when he turned and saw her.
"Jane? What are you doing here?" Kurt demanded, his tone somewhere between confused and angry.
"Ally, texted me," She replied quietly.
"Why would she do that?" Kurt asked, his tone sharp. Jane and Ally had only ever touched on the topic of Kurt, and they had an unspoken agreement that he simply didn't need to know about their friendship.
She shrugged, "We've been getting coffee," She couldn't force the word, we're friends, out of her mouth for some reason.
She shrugged again, "We've gotten close, she sent me a text, and told me to come."
Kurt just narrowed his eyes at her as if he didn't believe her.
"I can go if you want," She offered, though her heart sank in her chest at the prospect.
"No, stay, if she wanted you here," Kurt replied, closing his eyes and sighing, "I'm sorry, this is a stressful process."
She nodded, sitting down in the seat furthest from him, and pulling out a book. She wouldn't force him to engage her in conversation. It would only be more awkward.
Sometime passed before she heard him take a seat, out of the corner of her eyes she noticed that he'd chosen the seat only a few down from hers.
He sat with his elbows on his knees and his hands on his head. She could tell that he was stressed out of his mind.
"They'll be fine," she told him softly, even now unable to resist the need to comfort him.
"Thank you," He replied, he sounded tired.
Then they sat in silence waiting for news. But after the exchange the silence felt less tense.
Hours later, a nurse came out, and called for Kurt.
She watched him jump out of his seat and practically race over to her. It made her smile.
The nurse took Kurt back, at almost the exact time her phone buzzed.
She looked down, Brian had texted her a picture, Ally lay in a hospital bed tired and sweaty but smiling brightly the tiny bundle laying against her chest. The text read, Rosaline Weller 7lb 6oz, born at 4:46am. Jane felt tears building in her eyes, as she replied, letting him know that she was beautiful and to tell Ally she was beautiful!
Almost an hour later, her phone buzzed again, come tell her yourself. We're in room 3-112.
Almost a mirror of Kurt, she too leapt from her seat and walked as fast she could without looking like a crazy person to the room in question. She paused at the door to simply look in, Ally still lay in the bed, talking tiredly with Kurt who sat on the bed beside her the baby in his arms. Brian sat in a chair besides them, Ally's hand in his as he stared at her lovingly.
She almost turned to go, even now she didn't believe she belonged here, but Ally turned and caught sight of her, "Jane," She said with a smile, wearily gesturing her to come in the room.
Jane hesitated, especially when Kurt looked up from the baby to watch her, though his eyes seemed friendlier than they had in sometime.
"Come on, she won't bite," Ally said with a laugh.
Jane smiled timidly, as she entered the room and approached the bed, "Do you want to hold her?" Ally asked, taking Jane's hand as she got closer.
"I'm not sure if I should," She replied, trepidation filling her. What if she dropped her? She didn't know if she'd ever held a baby before.
"You won't, I promise," Ally replied, gesturing to Kurt, "Come on, stop hogging her and give her to Jane."
Ally carefully positioned Jane's arms, and then again gesturing to Kurt, "Kurt, hand the baby over, Jesus."
"Alright, alright, Christ woman," Kurt retorted, giving Jane a look that said he didn't know if he trusted her but he didn't know if he didn't either.
She could take that, and then suddenly there was a baby in her arms. Immediately she noticed the soft, sweet smell that seemed to pour off her. Her eyes were closed and her tiny nose twitched as if she were going to sneeze. Her tiny lips pursed for a second but then she relaxed.
Jane didn't think she'd ever seen something so amazing, "She's beautiful," She breathed, unable to tear her gaze away from those rosy cheeks.
Despite the added weight of the baby, her body felt lighter than it had in months. God, she never wanted to let her go.
The baby gave a happy little sigh, and seemed to burrow closer to her. Jane's heart melted even more, one of her hands coming up to stroke that tiny little cheek. Unable to believe how soft the infant's skin felt against the pad of her finger.
She heard the click of a camera, but even that didn't make her lift her head. She'd been entranced.
"Well, I think we've found a babysitter," Ally joked at the two men besides her, Brian laughed having met Jane a few times and found her very likable. Kurt didn't immediately argue so Jane took that as the best she'd get.
"I don't think I've ever held a baby before," Jane confided to Ally, her eyes tearing away from the babies for a few seconds to meet Ally's. "This is amazing."
"I won't lie, I make a pretty kick ass kid, don't I?" Ally said with a smirk.
Jane felt herself nodding, already her eyes pulled back by the babies tiny gravitational pull.
She had no idea how much time passed as she simply stared at this tiny life in her arms before Brian came to grab her.
"Alright, the nurses are going to come in anytime now to fuss at us, technically visitor's hours aren't until 9. Do you think you could come back then?"
Jane nodded, "OF course, thank you for letting me be here, and congratulations again, she's beautiful." She'd never been so sincere in her life, she felt privileged to be able to be there. To be trusted to hold such a precious gift in hands that didn't deserve the pleasure.
She left soon after, she felt in a daze, an almost high from the experience.
It wasn't until she got to the apartment that the more melancholy thoughts took over. It hadn't been so long ago that she thought it would be her in a hospital bed presenting Kurt with a tiny bundle of joy. It hadn't been so long ago that she imagined Kurt would look at her the way that Brian had looked at Ally.
Still, she did her best to push those thoughts away.
Her life now better than it had been before that night in the corner store. She felt like maybe there was hope for her, Kurt and the team again. The bubbling joy that had filled her heart returning as she thought again about the smell of baby and the feel of her skin.
One day maybe, she'd get the chance to have her own baby, with Kurt or someone else. Who knew? But until then she would be the best Aunt a baby could ever ask for. Already she'd planned things they could do as the girl got older. Planned the next time her and Ally would go out with a stroller in front of them.
For the first time in a while she felt something other than dread at the thought of her future.
For the first time in forever she didn't want the end of Sandstorm to mean the end of her as well.
For once she had hope. Hope that maybe someday soon things could be better.
Maybe one day they would be.