As her beer buzz started to fade and the situation became less shrouded with alcohol, worry began to creep up Jane's neck. Even though Weller had checked the agent's ID and authorization, none of it made any sense at all. How could a helicopter have known that they would be chasing disappearing suspects on the roof of Radio City Music Hall?
But at least she was the team. Christmas had already been better than expected, even if it did end up with them abducted. Jane flushed at the memory of skating with Weller, his hand warm in hers. Then reaching up to kiss him in front of an entire stadium full of people. She still couldn't believe she had done that. Well, yes she could. She had been quite drunk and it's not like she didn't still think about how perfect it had felt, the first time she found a moment just for them. Right before her life got exponentially complicated.
The helicopter began to descend in a densely wooded area, presumably in upstate New York based on the direction and time traveled. When it landed, there was nothing nearby except a cabin, all lit up with Christmas lights on the outside.
They all got out of the chopper and it flew away without giving them any more information on why they were there. The pilot had claimed to know nothing except that where he was meant to drop them off, that further instructions would be given once they arrived.
Everyone drew their weapons and they split up into groups to do a perimeter check of the building before entering. Jane and Weller went around back, saw that the cabin had a nice deck and a fire pit, with a bonfire already going, more wood piled nearby. They approached the back door and the windows that looked out onto the deck. It didn't appear that anyone was inside, but it was lit and prepped for festivities.
Jane reached for the doorknob, wasn't all that surprised to find it unlocked. The day had been extremely strange already, she was no longer shocked by anything.
When she opened the door and walked into the cabin Jane was assaulted by multiple aromas all at once. The scents of roasted turkey and pine trees and spiced cider tickled her nose as she looked around to see a full Christmas dinner laid out on the table, along with copious amounts of alcohol, and mistletoe. A lot of mistletoe.
Jane looked at Weller, saw that he appeared to be as confused as she was. Just then the rest of the team entered the cabin through the front door and they all stood around staring at the table full of food, the absurd amount of decorations.
"What's that?" Patterson asked, pointing at a package in the middle of the table.
It was a slim gift-wrapped item, arranged as the centrepiece with a placard that said "The Gang". Weller grabbed it and tore off the paper.
"It's a tablet," he stated, handing it to Patterson.
Patterson took the device and looked it over, powered it up.
"It's only got one video on it," she reported.
"Well play it," Zapata urged. "So we can start drinking again."
Patterson pressed play on the video and a familiar face appeared on the screen, followed by his equally familiar, grating voice. Weller groaned as soon as he heard who it was and Jane sighed as well, shook her head in exasperation.
"Merry Christmas my FBI friends! Or Happy Hannukah, if you prefer, though I think that was done days ago and none of you present as Jewish. Anyways, happy holidays from your friendly neighbourhood felon, I hope you've all had a better day than I've had. Which isn't exactly hard considering I'm enjoying the fine amenities of the federal penitentiary system. Not that I'm complaining, but there isn't a lot of opportunity to go ice skating or to a football game or to a Broadway musical. Or even just to have Christmas dinner with your family."
Patterson pressed pause and they all looked at each other, stunned.
"Rich did this? How?" Weller grunted irritably. "He's in prison. And why would he do this?"
"I bet he tells us," Reade commented dryly. "Let's hear what else he's got to say."
Patterson pressed play again and the video of Rich continued.
"So I bet you guys are wondering how I did this all from my cold lonely prison cell. But what you should be asking is why I did this all from my cold lonely prison cell. Because the thing is, criminals, they really can be such gossips. And word on the street was my favourite FBI team just took some hits so I thought to myself, Rich, it is your duty to give your good friends at the bureau a Christmas together. So I did this for you. Well, really, I did it for Stubbles and Jane but they're such suckers for the rest of you that I couldn't leave anyone out. Well, except for that scary NSA lady, I definitely left her out. That was for you, Jane."
Rich paused and winked at that point, leaving time for everyone to stare at Jane and Weller who were both blushing, trying not to look at each other. Jane shook her head and bit down hard on her lower lip trying to tame the pitter patter that her heart made at Rich's words.
"So that's it. I did this all so you guys would spend Christmas together, like a family should. Well, that and you know, there's the whole I scratch your ass, you scratch mine kind of thing. I figure a favour owed by my FBI compadres is always a plus. Also, on an unrelated note, did you know I get conjugal visits? Jane, Weller, that's for your info. Although I think it's a one at a time thing in here, the federal prison system isn't in on threesome cultures yet, they're not very progressive that way."
Jane looked at Kurt, could see his jaw grinding as he glared at the image of Rich. She had to grin though, as much as Rich annoyed the crap out of her too, at least he was consistent. And he had done a very thoughtful expensive thing for them, had given them all a great day at a difficult time.
"Anyways, that's all I wanted to say from my sad cold corner of the inmate world. Please think of me while you enjoy the luxuries of the outside. And the next time we meet, remember I could have had you all killed instead of sending you on a romantic adventure."
With that the screen went dark and Christmas music came on to replace Rich's voice. For a moment they all just looked at each other trying to process what had happened. But then Tasha grabbed a bottle of wine off the table and started pouring herself a glass, so Weller shrugged and popped open beer for himself too. After that they took down the dinner in record time, Jane eating more than she ever had in a single sitting and then getting laughed at by the rest of the group by moaning about how much she regretted her second plateful.
"Oh my god, she doesn't know about wearing pants with elastic waistbands for holidays," Zapata exclaimed. "Or about saving room for dessert."
Jane joined in the laughter because she genuinely didn't know about either of those things, had never considered eating so much that her pants would feel uncomfortable. Or that there could be another whole course after the huge amount of food they'd already eaten. Usually when she was reminded of her lifetime of missing memories Jane would feel empty, disconnected. But this time she suspected she had never had a Christmas as full of happiness before, that the previous holidays of her life had not been full of turkey and pumpkin pie.
After dinner, Jane felt the need to move around a bit so she walked out back for some fresh air and added some wood to the fire that had died down while they ate. Once the bonfire was going again she stood by it absorbing the warmth, watching the flickering flames.
She heard the patio door open and looked up to see Weller walking towards her. Rich's innuendo came back to her in the moment and she almost blushed again. Despite the fairy tale day, the ridiculous kiss cam situation, Jane knew that Kurt wasn't hers, would likely never be. His trust in her was still fragile, he had barely just started treating her as a friend again. And he was sleeping with Nas, obviously was not looking to start a relationship with a former terrorist.
Weller came to stand next to her at the fire, huddling up close to her and looking up at the sky.
"It's starting to snow," he commented, a lazy smile on his face.
She loved seeing him like that, so at ease with everything. She knew things had been hard for him lately, that he was troubled by Shepherd's role in his life. It had to have been terrible to find out you'd been watched from afar, every since you were a kid. And despite the merry atmosphere and alcohol, she felt bad about having planned this all with Shepherd, no matter what she was doing to counter it now.
"Yeah, it's so pretty," she replied.
Jane looked up at Weller, wondered if he had come out to talk to her for a reason. She wished things could be easy between them again, that she could heal all the hurt wrought by her lies. But she had broken a fundamental trust between them and she didn't know if Kurt could ever truly forgive her for everything she had done, everything she kept from him.
She was still searching for something to say when Weller turned to look at her, wearing a slightly anxious expression. Jane braced herself for some sort of disappointment, though she couldn't imagine what she was so afraid of. Kurt had been so kind to her all day, she supposed she was just worried because the fairy tale had to end some time.
"So, um, Jane," Weller started, glancing at her nervously. "I know we didn't talk about this, and I don't want to put you on the spot."
Now she was really confused, her shoulders starting to tense up with fear about whatever bomb he's about to drop on Christmas, of all days.
"What are you talking about Kurt?" she managed to squeak out, her heart rate ramping up with anticipation.
Weller sighed, pulled something out of his pocket.
"I got you something for Christmas. I know, I shouldn't have, so there's no reason to feel bad that you didn't get me anything. But I saw it and it made me think of you. It was an impulse thing and it was probably a mistake. And then I brought it skating because I wanted to figure how to give it to you without it being weird and so I had it here with me..."
"Kurt, you're rambling," Jane interrupted, taking the small box from his hand, feeling her heart flutter.
Weller had given her something in a similar box before and the moment caught in her chest, stopped her in her tracks. But she could tell that this was something different, that it was something for her, not Taylor.
Jane opened the box to reveal a vibrant green gemstone, cut sharp and shaped like a miniature dagger. She pulled the pendent out to admire it closely, run her fingers admiringly over the sharp edges.
"Kurt, it's gorgeous," she said. "But I can't accept this."
Kurt silently reached out to take the necklace from her and put it around her neck.
"Yes it is," he agreed. "And yes you can."
"It's the colour of your eyes," he murmured in her ear. "And its beautiful, but deadly. Just like you."
Maybe Christmas really was a magical season. Or maybe she was just delusional.
But either way, Weller was saying absurd things to her and Jane was going to run with it.
"I love it," she replied, unable to form any more coherent words. "Thank you, Kurt. I'm sorry I didn't get you anything."
Weller shook his head, smiled at her winningly.
"This day together, being here right now to give it to you. That's everything I could have wanted," he replied.
Honestly it's everything she could have wanted too. This day with her team, the people she considered to be her family. And time with Kurt, without the endless stress of their regular lives.
Still Jane wished she had gotten something for him, just had never thought that he would buy her a Christmas present. Especially something that was so thoughtful, and, by all appearances, expensive too. She had thought about whether she was meant to buy something for Kurt but wouldn't have been able to get him anything much, considering her meagre asset stipend. Still, she could have drawn him something, or tried her hand at baking something chocolatey. Now though, it was obviously too late to remedy the situation.
Or was it?
For an instant Jane's mind turned to the gaudy Christmas decorations in the cabin, then to her own favourite memory of the day.
She looked at Weller wistfully, glad he couldn't read what was going on in her mind. They were friends again and that was already more than she expected. And he wasn't hers, no matter how much she wanted him.
But that moment of letting it all go, reaching up for his lips in front of a roaring stadium. It kept coming back to her, taunting her.
'What would Rich do?'
The question flashed through her mind, seemingly out of nowhere. And there was clearly only one answer.
"This is everything that I want," she replied as she reached her arms up around Kurt's neck, pulled him towards her until their lips met.
Again, the kiss was soft and shy to start but Weller's initial surprised hesitation only lasted a split second before his hands came up to her face, and his mouth started exploring hers hungrily.
Jane had never felt more connected, passionate, content. Being wrapped up in Kurt, the heat of his body warming her in intense unfamiliar ways. She pulled him to her fiercely and ran her fingers down the back of his neck, trying to permanently record the moment in her memory.
She was just thinking she could just stand there and make out with Kurt forever when the patio door opened again and she heard Zapata's voice hollering a half-joking warning about no more kissing.
Weller pulled away at the interruption, then looked at her with dazed eyes.
Jane grinned, her tongue poking out the corner of her mouth playfully at him.
"Merry Christmas, Kurt," she whispered.
Weller broke into a huge smile, slung his arm around her shoulders.
"This whole day was a dream right?" he replied. "I'm pretending none of this ever happened."
Jane knew what he meant, felt the same way herself as the rest of the team came up to join them around the fire. It was Christmas and she was with her family, wrapped up in Kurt Weller's arms, with him insisting that she's too thin, needed to be kept warm.
So, of course, Jane chose to not tell him that it was already the warmest she had felt in ages, that she couldn't possibly dream up a better Christmas. Instead she just snuggled into Kurt, mentally thanking their felonious frenemy for the most absurdly wonderful day of her life.