Title: Her Wicked Ways Cast You There
Characters: Jed Harper, Kate Bettany
Spoilers: 1x3- "Inmates"
Summary: Despite their squabbles, through the hard words and angry glares, Jed could never forget that he'd come here to save Kate. Even if it meant saving her from herself.
It was several hours past witching when Jed let himself into the flat, tired physically from making love with Sadie, tired emotionally from soothing her recent traumas and from dealing with his own. The only light in the common area came from the window and it was just enough for him to navigate his way to the small kitchen for a glass of water before he retired to his own bed for a few hours. He thought he was alone for the moment, the only one awake, but the soft clicking of the front door shutting echoed through the apartment and startled him. He'd shut it behind him as he'd come in, muffling the noise with his body, so he was clearly incorrect in his presumption of solitude. Both Molly and Ryan's doors were shut, but Kate's stood ajar and her bed sat in plain view from the kitchen, tangled but empty.
Jed hadn't noticed her moving through the shadows, hadn't heard her, and that fact alone put him on edge. Kate was many things, but quiet was not one of them. His eyes searched the room, checking off the list of things she should've taken if she were leaving, noting that her purse, her keys, and her coat were all still littered about carelessly. There was a distinct possibility that Kate was sneaking out to see her married lover, and catching them snogging wasn't something Jed wanted to do for reasons both obvious and unspoken.
Kate hadn't been a fool when they were teenagers, and despite having not seen her in years because of his interment in the institution, Jed didn't get the sense that her fundamental cleverness had changed. Meeting your lover while his wife was home would be very foolish indeed, and this didn't feel like she was sneaking out to a secret rendezvous. This felt worrying, and coupled with other odd behaviors she'd exhibited recently, Jed couldn't resist snagging his keys from beside the door and following.
By the time he reached the corridor Kate was a shadow turning the corner but his long legs ate up the distance between them easily. He expected he'd have to chase her for the rest of the night, she was stubborn enough she'd most likely deliberately elude him. To his surprise, though, he turned the corner and there she was, standing in the middle of the hall that led to the continuing construction, her eyes open but unseeing as she stared at the wall. She wore only her nightgown, a flimsy satin creation designed to scintillate rather than be comfortable, and it was sad that he knew her well enough to recognize this wasn't a play for attention but just her normal sleepwear.
She didn't answer, gave no indication of seeing or hearing him, and his stomach knotted as the silence dragged on.
Jed stepped closer, slipping his jacket off and carefully laying it over her shoulders. The skin of her arms were riddled with goosebumps, and even through the light touch of his hands on the thicker material of his coat he could feel her trembling. He circled her stiff form and even standing directly in front of her there was no reaction. He called her name again, his fingers reaching out and grasping her bare forearm through the curtain of his jacket.
Then he wasn't there anymore. The world felt nebulous and heavy and Jed recognized the weight of vision that pressed down on him. He was alone, his back against the wall, and with a suddenness that raised the hair on his neck someone screamed. It was muffled, disjointed, but he felt it vibrate the wall under his hands and he spun towards the sound with no way of reaching the source. In the clarity of vision he recognized that it was Kate that screamed and that she was on the other side of this wall.
Then, because it was Kate and he was Jed and more often than not he loved her in ways he wouldn't define, Jed threw himself against the wall, trying to get to her through a door that didn't exist anymore. It shook under his weight, pliant beneath the force and weakening with every blow but never giving completely. Still she screamed, wordlessly keening, with the sounds of struggle and movement just beneath the high pitched tone. Something hit the wall from the other side, and Jed ceased his efforts to break through, pressing his ear to the wall and struggling to make sense of what he couldn't see but could hear. Kate stopped screaming and the silence was worse than the ear-splitting noise because now he had no idea if she was even there anymore.
His hand rested on the wall and beneath his palm there was a warmness pooling because even in dreams she was a creature of fire and passion and she could burn him with just a look or a thought. His fingers curled into a fist, his body tensing because he would force his way through the wall to get to her, but then he blinked and seconds had passed and they were standing in the night chill in an empty hallway and she was staring at him with something akin to horror.
"Jed? What happened?"
He swallowed and pushed back the adrenaline that flowed under his skin, sending chills down his back and raising the hairs on the back of his neck. "You were sleepwalking, and I was worried so I followed. I found you standing here, staring at the wall."
"Oh. Well that's embarrassing," Kate noted, forcing a smile onto her face. Her eyes betrayed her nerves, however, and Jed hadn't released his grip on her arm and could still feel her trembling.
"Then I touched you, and something happened," he confessed and though she'd avoided meeting his eyes since waking from her walking dream, she looked at him then and he could see that she was scared. Truly and deeply terrified by whatever she had just seen and the protective instincts he often fought to suppress concerning Kate broke their prison and screamed at him to do something, to say something that would make it all better again.
"What did you see?"
"That's the first time you've ever done that; talked to me like I wasn't crazy, like the things I see are real. A better question would be what did you see?"
They were standing too close, the air between them thick and filled with questions that they were both too mulishly stubborn to answer. She jerked ineffectually against the hold he held on her arm, and he felt her set herself stiffly in retaliation to his question. Her dream still hung heavily in the back of his mind, but she felt solid under his fingers and her familiar scowl was a welcome sight as he reeled with the desperation of being unable to reach her; the touch of her skin was warm but tenuous and he remembered belatedly why he usually kept his hands to himself.
"I didn't see anything, Jed, I was dreaming. No one remembers what they dream," she replied, but she was lying and he could tell.
"Then what's behind that wall, Kate? You were screaming and you were there, so what's behind that wall?"
She shifted her eyes, the blue color so dark in those moments that they mimicked a storm brewing the distant sky, dangerously taunting in the mystery of what was to come. She shook her head, didn't argue with him as he knew she was inclined to. "Leave it alone, Jed."
"You can't save everyone, Jed. Some of us don't need saving, and some of us are fully capable of saving themselves," she interrupted and vowed. She succeeded in pulling her arm from his grip and pushed her arms into the sleeves of his jacket. "Do us all a favor and leave that room alone. Do yourself a favor and leave me alone."
Inwardly he scoffed because even he knew that it wasn't possible for him to disconnect so completely that he'd ever leave her alone. Kate glanced at the wall behind him once last time before stumbling away, back towards the flat. She hesitated at the end of the hall, glanced at him as if to inquire why he still stood there and waited until he'd taken a few steps to follow before disappearing from sight.
He glanced around as he walked away and made a note to speak to Ryan about researching the room that Kate avowed didn't exist, yet warned him away from.
She wasn't seeing a ghost, not in her dreams, Jed knew. The feel of a ghost was intimately familiar to him and through their brief connection he'd gotten a fleeting sensation of what haunted her mind and it wasn't a specter. He didn't know what it was, what she saw, but it felt vitally important.
In his pocket his cell phone vibrated with a new text message, but he didn't check to see the text. He knew already what it said.