A/N last chapter, thanks everyone for reading and reviewing!
Her head feels better. But her heart, it's still more than a little broken.
Jane's awake early, wants time to go for a run before work. It's so satisfying to be able to physically release her anxieties, to stop rehashing her mistakes while her feet pound the pavement.
Because otherwise, all she does is look at him and think about all the times she yelled at him, how all of her anger and frustration landed on him. She is more sorry than she can express in words, especially because Kurt won't let her apologize for all the hurtful things she said. He just shuts it down whenever she tries to bring it up, occupies her lips with other tasks.
She looks over at Weller, soundly asleep under all the covers as usual. He genuinely doesn't seem to blame her for anything she did while concussed, brushes even the worst of it away. Her chest warms just watching him slumber, listening to his soft snores. She's still sure she doesn't deserve him, but a little more willing to accept that her traumatic life gave her one single boon to make up for all the bad.
Jane smiles at the thought. A lifetime of woe in exchange for one Kurt Weller.
At least it was a good deal in the end.
She crawls out of bed quietly, gets dressed for her workout. Then she puts on some coffee for when Kurt wakes and eats a bagel before heading out the door; still relishing in being able to do the little things in life without taxing her brain.
Jane runs and thinks about the problem that's been tugging at her, still finds that she has no satisfactory solutions. Even though it's been on her mind for over a week, filling all the nooks and crannies of her mostly-healed head.
By the time she's slowed to a cool down walking pace Jane's decided that she needs some advice on her situation, someone to give her a critical outside perspective. Quickly she goes through her options, realizes that her teammates are not the best resources for relationship questions. Which really just left one option, thankfully one in the right time zone for a call at that hour.
Jane pulls her phone out of her running waist belt, one of her concessions to Weller's worry. Dials the number and waits as the call goes through.
Allie picks up on the first ring, sounds concerned as she answers.
"Hey Jane," she says. "What's going on? Is Kurt alright?"
"Hi Allie. Don't worry, nothing's happened. Kurt's fine," Jane replies.
She pauses for a moment, unsure how to continue. She had always gotten along great with Allie, admired her a lot. But they didn't talk a lot about her relationship with Kurt and suddenly Jane thinks this is a bad idea.
Still, she had to say something. So Jane goes with her gut, lets her worries slip through.
"I mean, physically he's fine," she adds, chewing on her lower lip. "But I know I hurt him with a lot of the things I said."
"Jane, you had a head injury," Allie says. "From what Kurt told me, you were both lucky that it wasn't worse."
Jane groans, annoyed that everyone seems to want to let her off the hook for everything she did. Yet another depressing pattern in her life.
"That doesn't make me feel any better about it," she says. "I want to make it up to him somehow or at least let him know how much I appreciate him. But I can't come up with anything that even comes close to saying how much he means to me. What do you think I should do?"
"Well, if this was me and Kurt's relationship, we'd get wasted and I'd fuck his brains out," Allie replies with a laugh. "But you and Kurt have a different dynamic. He's just so relieved that you're okay, I don't know what else he could want."
"That doesn't help me, Allie," Jane groans. "There must be something I can do for him."
"Oh, I'm sure he could come up with a lot of things you could do for him," Allie says slyly. "But we both know Kurt doesn't expect appreciation. The way he grew up, he even has a hard time accepting it. So whatever you do, it will be more than enough for him."
Jane sighs, annoyed and saddened by the truth. He deserves so much he's never gotten, she'll never be able to show him how much she loves him. But it doesn't mean she won't try, just has to figure out what to do.
She hangs up with Allie, tries to put all her guilty thoughts out of her mind before she sees Weller. He is so sensitive to her moods, in the most endearingly irritating way.
Jane returns to the apartment, showers, and dresses for work. She feels Kurt's eyes all over her as she pours a to go coffee, turns and gives him a questioning look.
"I am so lucky," he grins, in reply to her silent question.
No, Jane thinks, mentally wincing. I'm the lucky one.
But she knows better than to argue with him when he's in this mood, just smiles and shakes her head at him in mock exasperation.
Kurt's grin broadens at her response and he lifts his arm in an open invitation, wraps it around her shoulders as she accepts his offer, snuggles in against him as they head out the door. He makes her feel so adored, protected. She wants to do the same for him, just doesn't know how.
Jane keeps thinking about it all the way to the NYO, through all the morning briefings and a team meeting. Trying not to stare at Kurt while she tries to gather invisible intel, something to tell her what to do.
It gets to a point where her brain feels too full again and she can feel a headache coming on. Although most of her symptoms were under control, stress did still sometimes lead to recurrences. Which just made her feel dumber about the whole thing. Worrying so much about showing him her appreciation that it was making her head worse again.
At the moment she's stirring in this stew of emotion while sitting with Rich and Patterson, half-listening to them argue about the provenance of an obscure dark web delivery service only tangentially related to the case they were investigating.
"Everyone knows that Licorice Black started doing illegal arms shipments as early as the 1990's," Rich says, in his annoying pedantic voice. "But not everyone knows that my old friend Lic was into human trafficking too. Anyone looking for a sex slave or even a whole harem, he was your man. Not that I have any first hand knowledge of any of this, of course. Although that cabana boy he sent me that time at his pool might have been a bribe of sorts, I never really got into it with him…"
"Rich, will you shut up!" Jane snaps, the words out of her mouth before she even realizes it. "No one cares about the goddamned cabana boy."
Incredibly Rich actually stops talking for a moment, looks at Jane with surprised faux-hurt.
"Whoa, Jane," he says. "What the heck has got you so riled? It's kinda hot, but definitely scary."
Jane rolls her eyes, considers just removing herself from the situation. Of all the people she could consult about her problem, Rich was at the bottom of her list. But the weight of it is so heavy in her mind that she feels the words start to slip through, seemingly without her own permission.
"I need to do something special for Kurt," she hears herself saying. "Something to show him how much I appreciate him."
Rich gives her a confused look, a studied eye.
"Other than fucking him until he can't think?" he asks, sounding genuinely bewildered.
Jane groans, sighs loudly. Glares at Rich.
"What?" he asks, raising his hands defensively. "Come on, you had to know that was what I was going to say."
"Uh, yeah," Patterson adds. "That was definitely what he was going to say. And, I hate to say it, but in this case, he's probably right."
Jane shakes her head, exhales irritably.
"No, it's not that," she mutters. "Allie just basically said the same thing."
"See!" Rich exclaims proudly. "I knew it. If Ms. no screwing around US Marshall thinks you should be screwing your main man then it's obviously the right advice. And you know I always have your best intentions in mind, Jane. You and Weller are my OTP, I worship the ground you walk on."
Jane groans again, resists the urge to slam her head against the desk. It had been stupid to say anything about it to Rich, that was her own fault.
"Forget it," she says through clenched teeth. "I'll figure it out on my own."
She gets up and walks away to Rich still pleading in the background, begging to be put to use as a relationship muse. Jane shakes her head again, tries to ignore the stuffy feeling in her brain.
It should feel reassuring that everyone thinks Weller just wants her but Jane is somehow still sure that it's not enough. Sex with Kurt had been such a pleasurable component of her recovery, ever since she stopped feeling nauseous whenever her heart rate rose. Working out with him in bed, fucking him senseless, that was a regular joy, not a token of appreciation.
No, she was going to have to do better, Jane tells herself. Figure out some way to really tell him how much she loves him.
Though she has to admit her friends are probably right about how the night will end.
Weller is doing his best not to let the ever present tendrils of worry take over before he knows all the facts. But he's been low key flipping out since Jane left work early to run some undefined errands. Hates that he wanted to question her further when she didn't elaborate, that he is so torn by anxiety about her.
It's not that he's suspicious of Jane. He's just afraid for her. The way her moods had swung for the first few weeks of her injury, he was terrified of the bleakness he saw in her at times. It reminded him of how depressed and anxious she had been after getting all her memories back. Which had made him feel so incredibly powerless, all over again. Watching her suffer and being unable to do anything to ease her pain.
He had felt much the same during her recent recovery, trying to do his best to keep her spirits up while barely keeping his own head above water. She had pushed too hard of course, she wouldn't be Jane if she hadn't. Which he loved and hated all at once. And he'd barely been able to keep it all contained; his emotions, her frustrations. His injured wrecking ball of a wife.
As he walks up to the door Weller tells himself that her symptoms had mostly been gone for a week now, that she's seemed to be in good spirits most of that time. But he knows she would be resistant to telling him if her low moods were still appearing, that her inclination would be to hunker down and deal with it on her own.
It hurts that she hides her wounds, even though he understands why. As much as she loves and trusts him, it takes a lot to counteract a lifetime of learned behaviours. So all he can do is love her too much, hope that it's enough.
Kurt opens the door to their apartment, his heart in his throat. Steps in and looks at Jane in surprise.
She's busy in the kitchen with something that smells decidedly non-vegan, looks up at him with a shy smile when she hears the door.
Weller gives her a huge grin as he approaches, asking a question with his eyes.
"I'm making you a steak," Jane says. "Just the way you like it."
He has a flash of déjà vu, is about to reach for her when he is distracted by a tray on the counter.
"Are those vegan brownies?" he asks, his eyes fixated on the chocolate for a moment before turning back to his wife.
Jane is laughing at him by the time he refocuses on her, gets back to his proper line.
"Uh. Have I told you that I love you?" he asks, wearing his goofiest most adoring look.
Jane's eyes glimmer with emotion as she wraps her arms around his neck, clearly remembers her role in the scene.
"Not for a few hours," she whispers.
"Can I tell you again?" he asks, suddenly realizing that her mood is shifting.
He doesn't wait for her reply, starts running his lips up her neck, along her jaw.
"I love you," he says, between kisses. "I love you, I love you."
Jane loosens against him as he reminds her of the obvious, how much he adores her. He buries his face in her hair, breathes her in.
"So what's the special occasion?" he asks, right up against her ear. He's been doing all the cooking since she was injured, trying to take as much off her load as possible. Also, she dislikes baking, rarely makes the brownies.
He feels her exhale a breath, somehow bury herself into him further.
"I'm sorry I couldn't think of anything better," she mumbles into his shirt. "And no one else was any help at all."
Whoa. The apology makes his stomach curdle, a frown snap onto his face. He had thought they were done with this, Jane feeling down on herself. He was certainly over it; the way it eats away at his soul.
"Jane, this is perfect," he replies, taking her head in between his hands and tilting her eyes up to meet his. "Steak. Chocolate. You. What else could I want?"
That flips a corner of her mouth upward, puts a tiny twinkle in her eye.
"I guess I do know you best," she muses, the tension starting to drift from her body.
"Of course you do," Kurt says. "But what's this all for?"
Jane pauses, bites down on her lower lip. He resists the urge to kiss away her apprehension, gives her time to put her words into order.
"I just wanted to thank you Kurt," she finally says, so sincerely it stings. "For taking care of me."
"You don't have to thank me, Jane," Kurt replies immediately. "I'm your husband, that's what I'm here for."
He looks at her in his arms, the little furrow of disagreement in her forehead. His chest is bursting with thankfulness of his own, pure joy at having his wife back after a serious head injury that could have left permanent damage. He had read a lot about post concussion syndrome lately and it all scared the shit out of him. Stories of partners that became different people, full of anger and depression. He knew he would always love Jane, no matter what. But he had been terrified that it wasn't enough, especially in those times she seemed so determined to hate herself.
Anything else didn't matter at all to him. All of the arguing, the angry tears. Yes, he had been upset a lot in the month since she was injured. But he'd been upset with the situation, or with his own inability to handle things. Not with her.
But Jane seems to feel differently, is clearly still holding onto some sort of regret. Which isn't all that surprising considering she's always had a skewed sense of her own behaviour during that time, held herself strictly accountable for every emotional outburst. But still, Kurt's disappointed. He thought he'd talked her out of it, had told her countless times that he's already forgiven anything that she thinks she did wrong. And yet she's still apologizing, has obviously been carrying it with her all this time.
"Yes I do," Jane argues predictably. "I remember, Kurt. I remember how terrible I was to you, how understanding you were about everything. It was weeks of me yelling at you, then bursting into tears. So thank you. For being so patient and loving when I kept trying to hurt you, push you away."
Well, maybe he didn't deserve the thanks but Weller has to admit it feels good to hear her say it, to know that she appreciated his efforts. Yet it also leaves a distaste in him, a realization that there are still some demons to be exorcised.
"Is that really how you remember things?" he asks, annoyed with himself for not realizing that she still felt so strongly about it.
Jane furrows her brow at him again, nods her head in his hands.
"Because I remember you hurting so much. And me not knowing what to do to help you," he says, spilling his own truth. "I was flailing, Jane. But that was my own fault."
The look she gives him is wide-eyed, flecked with surprise. Weller realizes he had never brought up any of his own insecurities while she'd been recovering, knew she would just take it upon herself even more. But he wonders how she could have missed the fact that he had been doing a less than superb job of taking care of her.
"You were perfect, Kurt," she says with a shine in her eyes. "Please believe that."
"Only if you'll believe that none of this is your fault," he counters, determined to push through her stubbornness for once. "And stop apologizing for any of it. It breaks my heart, Jane. When you're so sorry for things that weren't within your control; when you're so goddamned hard on yourself."
"But I am still sorry for all of it," she replies, irritation flashing through her body.
Weller laughs. He knew it wouldn't be that easy, not when it came to Jane.
"I know," he says, shaking his head at her with a satisfied grin. "You are so ridiculous. And absolutely the best."
"Oh and you made me steak and brownies. Did I tell you how much I love you?"
Jane stays huddled into him for a long moment, wavering between moods. He knows the instant she decides to let go, feels the tension flow out of her body. She looks up at him, her eyes bright with a heady mix of intimate comfort, growing arousal.
"Tell me again," she says, a sly smile sliding in.
So of course he does. Over and over with his mouth on her skin, his voice in her ear. Until dinner is postponed by his favourite kind of impromptu workout, all his needless worry ecstatically released as he loses himself in her touch.
Afterwards, still gloriously naked, she brings him a pre-dinner brownie, makes him wonder what the hell he had ever done to deserve this. Taking care of Jane is a privilege, one he would never give up voluntarily. His reward for all the hard days and heartache was seeing her healed, knowing he'd been there when she needed him. Oh and there was the sex too, that in itself was more than enough for him.
But Jane is sitting in his lap on the floor, covered in only ink as she feeds him a brownie, still warm from the oven. So even though he's not used to accepting appreciation, Weller is not going to question what's going on. Just wraps himself around her, plants a chocolaty kiss on her upswept curve of her lips.
"Thank you," he hums against her throat. "You didn't have to do this. But you've made me feel so appreciated."
Jane brings her hands up to frame his face, leans him back and gives him her most adoring eyes, that look that melts him entirely.
"That's exactly why I had to do it," she says. "You've been so patient, Kurt. I don't know what I would do without you."
Her words and the sincerity of her tone soothe his deepest aches, while the look in her eye makes an easy dopey grin fall across his face.
"You don't need to worry about that, Jane," he says. "I'm always going to be here for you."