A/N: OMG guys S5 starts today! So here's a double POV epilogue to celebrate a new episode tonight. Thanks everyone for reading and reviewing.
She's going to be too late.
That's the thought that plagues her long after it's all over, the one that leads them to the end.
The guy fires before Jane even gets in the door; when she rounds the corner all she sees is Kurt falling, bleeding.
She quickly screams that Weller's hit, in a voice she barely recognizes. Her mind is a blur, her heart trying to leap out of her chest as she quickly dispatches the man, hollers for back up.
Then it's just blood everywhere, her gasping husband, her own panic pounding in her ears.
She tears off her vest, uses her shirt to put firm pressure against the entry wound in his chest. A messy gushing hole too close to his heart for her to think about, especially when she can't find a matching wound on his back.
"It's going to be okay, Kurt, you're going to be okay," she says on repeat, the franticness of her tone belying the content of her words.
Kurt breathes in raspy gulps, his eyes boring into hers with the same fear she feels in her own chest. She can tell he's not getting enough oxygen intake, can barely keep it together as she thinks about all the damage the bullet could have done inside of his torso. At best he has a punctured lung. Or he's bleeding out internally even as she holds him, tells him how much she loves him. As if that's going to stop the heartache from coming.
When his eyes start to slip closed, Jane can't hold back her tears anymore. But she forces herself not to demand anything he can't give, ask him to stay awake when he clearly can't get enough air in.
"You don't have to fight it," she says with a slight shudder. "Just rest, Kurt. I've got you."
His eyelids shut with her permission and she leans down to kiss his forehead, still pressing both hands into his bloody chest.
It's okay, Kurt, she thinks. I won't let anyone hurt you.
Except she had. And now he was unconscious, bleeding out in her hands.
This isn't the end, she thinks desperately at her lifeless husband. I can't lose you like this.
An indeterminable time later the paramedics show up, gently push her away from Kurt and load him up almost immediately. Leaving her standing there alone, covered in blood and panic.
Someone drives her to the hospital where he's already in surgery. She calls Allie and the kids, talks to the nurses, gathers the relevant info but it's like everything is happening in an alternate dimension, her mind is just a blur of desperation and self-recrimination.
He had to be okay, he just had to be. It was as irrational as it was true. Because she hadn't been there in time, hadn't protected him the way she's meant to. And it couldn't end like this, not after everything they'd been through together.
Even when the surgeon comes out with a tired smile under her mask, tells Jane the good news, she still feels the icy fear dripping down her back. She hears the doctor's words, that the bullet had shattered his collarbone and punctured his left lung but somehow missed his heart along the way, and she knows it was pure blind luck that he hadn't just died in her arms on a relatively meaningless mission.
Some creative storytelling and a flash of her badge gain her access to the recovery room so she can settle her own heart by watching his beat on a monitor. He's wearing an oxygen mask, his shoulder bandaged and immobilized, and a chest tube protrudes from his left side.
She knows it looks worse than it is, that there's nothing really to be worried about. But the constricted feeling in her ribs won't release, even as she watches his chest rise and fall.
He wakes from surgery in a panic, the way he sometimes does. Sure that he needs to escape the tubes holding him down, that he's needed on scene somewhere. But she's there to make soothing sounds at him, lay one hand on his uninjured shoulder, hold his jaw in the other.
Weller calms as soon as he feels her there, she can see the tension slide out of his body. She lets her hand slip down into his, grips it tightly to tell him all the things her eyes and mouth can't.
After that it all goes normally, a regular room and nurses that roll their eyes at his stubbornness. He's off the oxygen but the chest tube still drains air from his torso and his surgically repaired clavicle is pinned down in a sling. Which is really fairly minor considering what easily could have been.
But she can't get rid of it, that feeling of dread that sits on her shoulders. Even when Allie brings the kids to visit and he's all jokey with them, allaying their worries with his well-honed protective Dad manner, it does nothing for hers. It eats at her even as her mind rationally tells her they've both been through much worse, have the scars to prove it.
So she insists on staying with him through the night, on the pretence that he still needs FBI protection. At first he argues with her about it, tries to make her go home and get some real sleep. But there's something that won't let her leave him out of her sight and he must get a hint of it from her demeanour because he stops insisting that she go, though he does continue to poke fun at her for staying over something so trivial. Which does at least ease her tension a little, wins him a grudging smile.
He's released after a day, still with a tube in his chest, under orders to return daily for treatment until his lung is fully re-inflated. Which should reassure her, that they're letting him out of the hospital without any arguing or signing of multiple legal documents. But still that feeling claws at her, grips her neck with terror.
It's that evening when she does it, utters the words she thought she'd never say. She had always thought it would be Kurt that caved first. But Jane knows in her heart, it's over.
She had argued with herself silently all afternoon while she watched him nap, recognized that she was coming at a big decision while highly emotionally triggered. But the problem was she was stuck in that place and couldn't think of any other way out of it.
Weller's lying on the couch, pretending to watch a movie but lightly dozing when she sits next to him on the edge of the sofa, watches him as he breathes. His eyes blink open as the cushion moves with her weight and she can feel him sleepily watching her back.
She knows she should say something, just isn't sure how to start the conversation. But thankfully Kurt reads her as clearly as ever, comes to her rescue like he always does.
"Hey, are you okay?" he asks, his head tilted with concern.
Jane takes a deep breath, then let is out slowly. Reminds herself that it's Weller, that he's never been anything less than understanding. Even when they barely knew each other. Now, after nearly two decades she should have nothing to worry about.
And yet it's still hard to push out, the one word that will take them to the end. She closes her eyes for a moment, bites down on her lip.
"No," she finally admits, with a shake of her head.
Kurt makes the little frown that she adores, concern spilling from his eyes as they look up for hers.
"I'm fine," he says. "It's just a broken collarbone."
Because the bullet miraculously bounced up instead of down, shattered your clavicle instead of ripping through your heart. She can't let go of this thought, the fact that another very different series of events could have happened from the exact same situation. That it was sheer luck he hadn't bled out in her arms the previous day.
"I know," she replies. "But it only missed your heart by millimeters."
She places her hand over his heart as she says the words, blinks back unexpected tears.
"I thought I was watching you die, Kurt. I can't do that ever again, not like that."
He tilts his head at her, reaches out with his good arm to wipe the tears from her face.
"What are you saying?" he asks.
As sure as she is, it's still hard to say the words. She loves the job, loves working with him professionally. But it's no longer worth the risk of losing him entirely.
"I want to quit," she says, her voice cracking a bit with emotion.
Kurt doesn't immediately say anything, which she loves. Instead, he's thoughtful as always; searches her eyes out and gives her a studious look.
"Really?" he asks, his eyebrows raised.
Jane nods, feels surer about it the more they talk. She can even feel her tension ease off a bit now that she's started the conversation, although her chest is still much too tight.
"Yeah," she says, with a nervous nod, a hitching breath.
"There was so much blood, Kurt."
Jane shudders at the memory, how lifeless he'd been in her arms. She has to close her eyes for a moment to compose herself, continue the conversation.
With her eyes still closed, she feels Kurt tickle at her fingertips, then slip his hand into hers and squeeze.
"Hey hey, it's okay, I understand," he says. "I'm right here. I always will be."
"It's more likely we'll both be here if we stop," she replies.
Kurt does a one shoulder shrug, concedes the point.
"If you're sure it's what you want," he says. "I'm right there with you."
"What do you want?" she asks, wearing a small frown. She doesn't want to make this decision for both of them, that wasn't the deal.
"I want whatever you want, Jane," he answers, with an easy grin.
Jane groans, perversely wants him to argue with her a bit, try and convince her that she's being irrational. He loves the job, always has. She doesn't want to just take it away from him without some sort of real discussion.
"It doesn't work like that," she sighs. "We always said we'd decide together."
Kurt gives her a funny look, that crooked grin. Throughout the years, that hasn't changed at all.
"That's what we're doing," he says, one eyebrow gently raised. "If you don't want to, then I don't want to. And if you were first through that door yesterday… I'd be thinking the exact same thing right now."
Jane closes her eyes again for a moment, feels the rest of the stress and tension drain out of her. The reassurance of knowing he has her back in everything they do, even with something as big as quitting their jobs, makes her body sag in relief.
When she opens her eyes she sees him staring at her intently, wordlessly searching for something. Then he gives her an affectionate grin, a hopeful look.
"Feel better now?" he asks, tugging at her hand.
Jane nods, though she still wants nothing more than to wrap herself up in him, hold him much tighter than his injuries will allow.
He must sense her need because he tries to sit up and reach his good arm around her.
"Come here," he says, with a grunt of pain.
Jane leans her head gently against Kurt's chest as he runs his hand along her back, tracing the patterns his fingers know so intimately. It's the most soothing feeling in the world to her; there's absolute comfort in his touch.
After countless rounds of his fingers running along her scars, Jane tilts her head up at him and Kurt immediately moves to kiss her, wincing in pain as he leans in.
She can tell he's suppressing a gasp but he doesn't let that stop him from nibbling at her lips, snatching kiss after kiss until he's clearly a bit winded.
Jane giggles, tries to ignore his hand drawing all over her body, his mouth still reaching for hers despite his lack of breath.
"No sex until your lung is reinflated dear," she says, not for the first time in their lives.
At least my goddamned lung is back to normal, Weller thinks as he shifts uncomfortably, trying to find a position that doesn't make his shoulder scream.
He's found that sleeping with a broken clavicle is impossibly more difficult than with broken ribs, even with Jane propping him up on a ridiculous mound of well-fluffed pillows, treating him as if he's been grievously injured.
Kurt looks over at his dozing wife, a smile spreading over his face despite the pain in his collarbone. She hasn't been sleeping well ever since he got out of the hospital but it seems that his latest checkup and the removal of his chest tube had eased her anxiety enough to let her catch up on some rest.
She looks so relaxed in her sleep and his heart aches for her, knowing all the visible and invisible scars that still affect her, even now. Jane's been an emotional mess ever since he got shot, more than he would have ever imagined. Even after he'd agreed to quit with her, she's still been inordinately anxious about his well-being.
Her reaction to his latest incident with a bullet is somehow both adorable and disturbing, not at all what he'd expected even after so long together, being able to read her so well. Jane hurts with the same intensity she does everything else and she's been maxed out on guilt and worry for days now, as tense as he's ever seen her.
There had been a brief moment of relaxation when they'd resolved to quit together; he'd felt the stress drain out of her as soon as she realized he was okay with it. But then the next day her tension had somehow returned, despite his assurances that she hadn't pushed him into it, made him say anything he didn't want to.
Since then it had mostly been Jane pampering him to extremes, doing her best to be loose and normal. But he could read the constant tightness in her shoulders, had caught her wearing the saddest of expressions while she watched him nap.
He's not sure what to do, if there's anything he can do to relieve her stress. Mostly he hopes it will fade with time, especially now that they have endless amounts of it.
Weller leans over a bit, just to catch her scent more clearly as he breathes in all of her. She's as beautiful to him now as she ever was, maybe more so. Every mark on her, ink or collagen, tells her story, one he's forever grateful to have been a part of.
Kurt watches her doze, toying with the thought that still sits in his mind, the thought that still won't let him be.
If he hadn't been asleep that night when he was ten, then none of it would have happened. Taylor would likely still be alive and he might have not ever become FBI. Also, with no convenient way to insert her into the FBI, Jane could still be Remi, angrily wreaking havoc on the world.
It's too much to think about, makes his head hurt at the best of times. That he had to lose Taylor in order to have Jane. That his childhood friend was taken from him but he received his adult partner in return.
Weller sighs, knows he shouldn't look at it that way. It isn't all about him, there were real lives lost along the way. Taylor's and Emma's, not to mention all the innocent people killed by Sandstorm. But it's hard not to read it as karma, this central give and take of his life.
And the key to all of it is his wife, his one love. Who's stirring a bit, making drowsy mumbles as she semi-consciously reaches for him.
Jane looks up at him, still more than half asleep. He plants his good hand, tries to lean down and kiss her but ends up grunting in pain, having to lie back.
Goddammit, he thinks. He hates missing any opportunity to sneak in some dreamy kisses, wake her up with his lips all over her.
But then she pushes herself up on her elbow, looks at him with sleepy slyness before carefully rolling over onto her knees and straddling him. Her hand comes up to his jaw and she gives him an undefinable look before kissing him good morning, her lips gentle and needy all at once.
Weller contemplates retirement, endless mornings lounging in bed with Jane. The thought brings a smile to his face even as her hands start skimming over his bandages, followed by her lips. She barely touches him, her kisses just breaths of Jane-air, so soft they make him exhale in delight.
There's love and tenderness in her caresses but still that anxiety too, one she hasn't shown very often in all their years together. It's a bit adorable, just so not her. To be so frazzled by a relatively minor injury, stuck on all the what ifs of the situation. She's been ridiculously doting but touching him like he's going to disappear. He knows what it feels like because he's done the same to her on many occasions. All those times they just made it out, escaped death yet again. He's touched her like that, as if she might vanish from his life, leave him alone once more.
Too many times, he thinks. She's right, as usual.
He loved the job but there's no question who the love of his life is. As soon as she'd declared her heart, his decision had been made. There was no chance he was going to go back to work and lose her to some unlucky shot, not when she'd wanted to stop.
When his brain had put it like that, there'd been no question about it.
So that was it, decision made. Weller had put it out of his head right away but he was starting to wonder if Jane was still worried about pushing him into it. Sometimes he'd catch her looking at him with her brow furrowed and she'd just shrug it off when asked if anything was wrong.
He still tries though, is always wondering what's on her mind when she's wearing that expression.
So when she stops kissing him and lays her head on his good shoulder for a few long breaths, he can't help but ask, even though he's unsure about the answer he might get.
"What are you thinking about?" he asks.
Jane takes a deep breath, scrutinizes him expressionlessly before frowning at his bandages once again, still touching him like he's about to shatter.
But then there's this thing her eyes can do, go from one shade to another in a flash. Make the transition from muddy sadness to impish delight in an instant.
Light glints off the green tint of her eyes, turns into a twinkle.
She bites her lip a little coyly. He fucking loves it when she does that.
"Wouldn't you like to know," she says.
In a different inflection it would be heartbreaking, hurtful. But that little twitch of her nose, that sorta almost wink. The upward quirk of her mouth. Ah hell. He would die for her over and over. Though now he hopefully won't have to anymore.
He answers with his own look, one of stunned adoration, waits for whatever she has in store.
Jane raises her eyebrows, then tilts her head conspiratorially at him.
"I was thinking how glad I am that Bee can drive her and her brother to school now."
Weller doesn't know what he expected but it definitely wasn't that. She'd looked so upset, examining all his scars. He'd been ready to coax her out of the anxiety she's been dealing with lately, is completely thrown for a loop by her response and laughs out loud, shaking his head affectionately.
Her response is just so Jane, practical and frank but sassy and flirty too. He loves everything about it, his chest a turmoil of desire, adoration, pride. All he can do is stare at her in awe, wait for what she has next.
"I just want to stay here with you alone, no distractions, the rest of my days," she adds whimsically. "Does that sound like too much?"
"Hmm, what are we going to do with the kids?" he asks, grinning widely as he plays along. "And how are we going to feed us all?"
"They're old enough and, thanks to you, they can cook," she replies. "They can always call Allie if there's an emergency."
"And we can just invest more in Patterson's game company."
Kurt laughs again, this time at her mood, at how she can still surprise him after all these years.
"Oh yeah, and how are we going to spend all this free time?" he asks with a goofy attempt at seductiveness.
Jane looks at him seriously, then makes a thinking expression.
"First, construction," she declares.
"Huh?" Weller replies to her seeming non sequitur.
"Yeah, this room's going to need some better sound proofing," she muses.
Kurt knows he's wearing a ridiculous grin and he doesn't care in the least, definitely wants to see where she's going to carry the line of thought.
"Oh yeah?" he asks. "And then what?"
Jane looks at him with a little squint on her face, her expression somewhere between seductive and amused.
"Physical therapy," she says, raising her eyebrows suggestively.
Still straddling him, she throws off her own shirt because he only has one available arm. Then she runs her hands all over his already bare chest and up to his jaw, then all through his hair before pulling him into a long kiss.
If this is what she has planned for retirement, he is all in.
Even when they both have to breathe, she keeps nipping at his lips, coming back for more.
Kurt pulls her to him, his functioning hand in her hair at first, before it starts to draw its way along her body. He automatically starts tracing her scars, down her back the way he's always done. Then his fingers make their way up her tattoos right up to his name, the marking he not-so-secretly loves. She came to him with his name printed on her skin, was it really that surprising things had ended up like this?
Jane's mouth, her hands, are so fucking playful right now, he can't get enough. He puts his arm down and starts turning his hips to indicate that he wants to trade position and she subtly helps him roll over so that he ends up straddling her, looking down at her bare torso.
"You are so gorgeous," Weller hums, so satisfied with his view.
After all these years he knows every inch of her as well as she does, maybe better because there are ones she can't see except in photographs, mirrors. He supposes it's true of himself too, there's just fewer marks.
"I want this to be every day too," he adds, with a dreamy sigh.
"Are you sure?"
He can tell she's still uncertain, feels like she forced him into something because he didn't put up any resistance. But really it was easier than he'd expected to let the idea of the job go. Because she was right, it was just pure luck that saved him the other day. The bullet could have easily ricocheted straight into his heart on its way up to his collarbone or back down through his lung.
He doesn't want to contemplate leaving Jane alone with the kids, how much she would always carry his death with her. And quitting solved that problem, shut down the thought before it could ruin his mood.
So Weller just nods like an idiot, feels a wicked grin spread across his face.
"Oh I'm sure," he says slyly. "The kids can fend for themselves. I need a lot of recovery so I don't hamper my retirement dreams."
Now it's Jane's turn to look surprised, eye him mock suspiciously.
"What dreams?" she asks, that mischievous glint still in her eye.
"Hmm," Kurt says, pretending to think.
"Motorbike, gorgeous girl, Baja California."
Jane grins, tugs him down into a series of kisses.
"Oh yeah," she says. "I think we can fit that in somewhere."