"Kurt? Oh, thank god. You're awake."
As Kurt Weller returned to consciousness, the first thing he felt was excruciating pain pulsing through his head. He groaned, reaching up to check his skull was still intact, and his hand met a swathe of bandages. Something had definitely happened to him. Was he in the hospital?
Someone was holding his other hand, and he wondered if Sarah had come over from Portland. She was the only one he could think of close enough to him to hold his hand these days.
He tried to open his eyes, and grunted with the pain, giving up the attempt. It was too bright in the room right now.
"It's okay, keep your eyes closed. Patterson's gone for the doctor. Let me get the lights."
He recognised the voice now, and it made no sense. Why was Jane Doe sitting at his bedside, holding his hand?
"Jane?" he managed, his voice emerging hoarse and scratchy.
"Yeah. Don't worry; I'm still here." The room suddenly grew dimmer, and he cracked open one eye experimentally. Everything was blurry, and it still hurt, but it was progress.
She returned to his side and took his hand again, holding it as tenderly as though they were lovers.
"Why?" he asked.
"Why are you in the hospital?"
No. Why are you here?
Before he could ask, she answered her own question. "You had an accident. A suspect was fleeing arrest. He ducked into a construction site and climbed some scaffolding. It collapsed right on top of you."
Well, that explains the head injury. He blinked a few times, and his vision cleared. At least he still had his sight.
He focused on Jane. Last time he'd seen her, her face had been covered in bruises, and she'd had a gunshot wound in her side. She looked much different now. She was wearing more makeup than he was used to seeing on her, and she seemed to have regained the weight she'd lost at the black site. How long had he been unconscious? Months, from looking at Jane.
"You were in a coma for over two weeks," she told him, tears in her eyes, and pressed the back of his hand to her lips. "I've been so worried about you."
He wrenched his hand out of her grip, angry at her familiar touches and tone after what she'd done. "Why are you here, Jane? Was the case related to one of your tattoos? Is it making you feel guilty? Because it should."
"What?" Her expression filled with hurt, and she rose from her chair. "Kurt, I don't understand."
Her reaction made no sense. "Why are you acting like I don't remember you're not Taylor? Like things are like the way they were before my father died?"
Jane froze, fear and disbelief in her expression. "Kurt—"
"You're a terrorist, Jane. I can't just forgive you for that, even with a head injury."
Jane wrapped her arms around her waist defensively. "Kurt, what's the last thing you remember? The last case we worked, what was it?"
He thought back, impatient with the change of subject. "Uh… We just stopped those stinger missiles from being used to take out a plane full of Mexican politicians."
Jane sat down hard, staring at him.
"What?" Kurt was beginning to get the feeling something was very wrong.
"You don't remember the past three years, do you?" she murmured, almost to herself.
He shook his head. "I don't know what you're trying to pull, Jane, but this isn't funny. Get out of here, and get me my team. Reade. Patterson. Zapata. Hell, even Nas. Anyone but you."
She flinched at his words. "Look at your left hand, Kurt."
"Just look." Her voice was quiet, but insistent.
He glanced down, then did a double-take at the wedding band sitting on his left ring finger. "I don't… What is this, Jane?"
In reply, she sadly held up her own left hand. A much more delicate ring adorned her finger, but still, the implication was slow to register with him.
"I'm your wife, Kurt. I know this might seem impossible, if you can't remember anything since just after we found out who I really am…but we've been married for over two and a half years."
Kurt couldn't help it. Despite the pounding in his head, he broke into derisive laughter. "This is ridiculous. You can't possibly think I'd buy this. Is this even a real hospital, or has Sandstorm set this all up to try to get information from me?"
A tear fell down Jane's cheek, and she brushed it away, looking towards the door.
"Until I see my team, I'm not trusting a word you say. Get out."
Jane didn't move, her eyes closed against more tears. "Kurt, please—"
"Get out!" Kurt insisted, and she finally moved, leaving the room at a fast walk without looking back.
"Jane? Oh, god, what's wrong?" Patterson caught her by the shoulders as she headed blindly down the hallway, fighting tears.
As the doctor in charge of Kurt's case stepped past her and went into his private room, Jane swallowed a sob, trying to get herself under control. "He…" She took a deep breath, then continued, "He has amnesia. The last thing he remembers is just after I came back to the FBI after the black site."
Patterson's eyes widened. "Oh, Jane…"
"I tried to tell him we were married, but he thought it was another Sandstorm plot. He made me leave, but he wants to see you and Reade and Zapata. You should go in and calm him down."
Patterson hesitated. "I don't want to leave you out here on your own."
"It's okay," Jane said, needing more than anything for her confused husband to see a familiar face. "He needs you more than I do. I'll… I'll call the others."
"Okay," Patterson said softly, and gave Jane a quick hug. "I'll try to talk some sense into him. Head injuries are tricky. He'll remember in time, I'm sure."
As her friend went to check on Kurt, Jane went into the ladies' room and locked herself in a stall, trying to take slow, deep breaths to calm herself down.
They'd been so much happier since Avery had moved in with them, finally putting the painful past behind them and beginning to look to the future. They were closing in on Roman and Crawford, and it seemed like there might even be a point when they could move back to Colorado, if they wanted to.
Had all of that progress been lost? Kurt couldn't even remember forgiving her for her involvement with Mayfair's death. He'd called her a terrorist.
A memory hit her, sharp and agonising. Kurt telling Zapata, I can't even stand to be in the same room as her.
She was already so exhausted from over two weeks of sitting at Kurt's bedside, terrified he'd never wake up. Having him conscious was a huge relief, but now this…
Jane lost her fragile grasp on control and wept, leaning against the side of the bathroom stall for support. She and Kurt had come so far since those days, their bond forged through danger and adrenaline, each successful case bringing them closer as she'd proved herself to him. What if he never regained those memories? Could he ever trust her again?
"Patterson! Thank god. I was starting to think this wasn't even a real hospital."
Patterson stopped by the door as the doctor, who'd examined his pupils and asked him a few basic questions, murmured a few words to her before leaving the room.
"It's a real hospital, Weller," Patterson said gently, sitting in the chair Jane had been occupying. "And it's 2018."
"How is that even possible?" He closed his eyes, fighting dizziness. The bright light the doctor had shone in his eyes hadn't helped his headache.
"The doctor's going to get someone to grab a copy of today's paper, if you need the proof." Patterson leaned forward. "But it's true. And you and Jane really did get married."
With every second that passed, Kurt could feel fear building up on the edges of his senses. It just wasn't possible that he could have lost memories of years of his life over one accident. But mostly he was numb, his panic held at bay by denial.
Jane lost all her memories. He seized on that, sickened by the possibility.
"Patterson, I want you to take some of my blood and test it for traces of ZIP. It's just too much of a coincidence that I've lost memories right when I've been working a case based around amnesia."
Patterson looked uncomfortable. "I'm not gonna do that. A scaffold fell on you. Reade was right there with you when it happened, heading around to the opposite side in case the suspect jumped off that way. He saw the accident. And head trauma causes amnesia."
"Damn it, Patterson, I'm your boss. This is an order."
She bit her lip. "Umm, actually… You're not. Reade has your job now. After you and Jane moved to Colorado, he stepped up, and when you got back, you went back to Supervisory Special Agent."
Kurt was feeling more and more lost by the second. "This makes no sense. Even if Jane and I did get married, why would we move to Colorado? Our lives are here, in New York. And why would we move there and come back after such a short time?"
After a few rapid blinks and a glance at the door, as though someone else might save her from this conversation, Patterson groaned. "I don't even know how much I should be telling you. I don't want to overload your brain the first hour you're conscious."
"I feel like hell," Kurt admitted, rubbing a hand across his eyes. "I'm so confused, I just…" He didn't even know what he wanted to say.
After a moment of Patterson looking at him sympathetically, her whole demeanour brightened. "Oh!" She began to fiddle with her phone. "I still have a couple of pictures from your wedding saved here. Let me just… There."
Kurt took the phone and stared down at the picture on the screen. In it, he and Jane were in each other's arms, gazing at each other with loving smiles, seeming oblivious to everything else around them. The picture cut off at their midsections, but Jane was clearly wearing a white lace dress that showed off her tattoos, rather than hiding them.
"This… This is our wedding day?" They looked so happy. How could he have gotten past all of Jane's deception, her lies about being Taylor, the way she'd planted evidence to make Mayfair look guilty? She'd watched Mayfair die after her fiancé had pulled the trigger.
He felt like he'd betrayed himself. Not only himself, but Taylor and Mayfair, too.
"You haven't had the easiest marriage, but you're together, and you're happy now. Or at least, you were until this accident." Patterson gave him a slightly reproving look. "I'm not blaming you, because I can't even imagine how confused you are. But Jane's devastated that you don't remember. Next time you see her, try not to be so harsh, okay?"
Kurt looked one more time at the picture and then handed back the phone, wondering why he felt so guilty. "Did we at least get Shepherd?"
Patterson smiled. "Yes."
Kurt couldn't help a sigh of relief. It felt strange to take Sandstorm off his list of worries—as though he'd cheated to solve the case— but he got the feeling that was because he couldn't remember the details.
"You guys arrested her in Washington, DC, and now the CIA have her in a black site somewhere. We stopped Phase Two and saved millions of lives, and Nas eventually went back to Zero Division. Though she did get fired and go moonlighting for the CIA for a while. There were…circumstances."
"Okay. So how did we get her? What was Phase Two?" It was easier to focus on work than on his personal life.
He threw questions at Patterson as she outlined the case for him, and was just trying to come to terms with the fact that Shepherd had been watching him since back when he'd been at military school, and that Borden had been a Sandstorm plant all along, when Tasha and Reade appeared in the doorway. And behind them was—Rich Dotcom?
"What the hell is he doing here?" Kurt demanded.
"Okay, that's a little hurtful. I'm here because I've been worried sick about you, just like the rest of these guys. Geez."
"He consults for the FBI now," Reade filled in.
Every time Kurt thought he might be beginning to get a grip on the situation, something else twisted out of his grasp. "What? Last time I saw him, he jumped off a building to escape FBI custody, wearing a parachute built into his tux."
Rich grinned. "Ahhh, one of my finest moments," he said nostalgically.
"I'm gonna go check on Jane, and you are gonna come with me, before poor Weller's head explodes," Patterson told him, heading for the door and yanking Rich out of sight.
Reade and Zapata came further into the room. "So, what do you want us to fill you in on first?" Tasha asked. "Politics, or sports?"
Kurt groaned. "I don't think I can handle anything that doesn't relate directly to my life right now." He looked up at Reade. "I hear you have my job these days. If you were the one who hired Rich, I really don't think much of your judgment."
Reade and Tasha exchanged a look. "I don't even know where to start," Reade said. "Did you even meet Hirst?"
"Hirst?" Kurt asked blankly.
"She was the director after Pellington," Tasha said, sitting down. Then she froze. "Oh, god. I'm assuming no one got around to telling you what happened to Pellington."
"Glad I brought the Sandstorm file with me. We're gonna need it," Reade added.