I do not own Blindspot or its characters.
Jane came awake with a soft groan, the pounding in her head simultaneously luring her into wakefulness and making her long for the peacefulness of the oblivion she is
Bed. She was in bed. Her fuzzy brain latched onto that thought, and she groaned again as she attempted to recall how she had gotten here. She slowly attempted to shift into a more comfortable position as she pondered that, but she couldn’t go far, because . . . Oh god. She stilled as she registered the presence of a hard body at her back, a firm arm slung securely over her waist, muscular legs intertwined with her own, realizing she wasn’t alone in this snug oasis just as a very familiar voice said, “You’re awake. Good.”
“Kurt?” Jane breathed in a tone that was equal parts relieved and appalled. She was glad to know she wasn’t in bed with a random stranger, but she was equally uncertain how she had wound up in this predicament with Kurt. How the two of them—who only ever seemed to get along these days when bullets were flying—had wound up this tangled up in one another. She attempted to reason it out, to recall the sequence of events that must have led up to this, but her head still ached so unmercifully that she quickly gave up the attempt. “I think I’m dying.”
In spite of the gravity of the situation, Kurt couldn’t help the bark of laughter that escaped as he extricated himself from Jane and got up. His amusement died as the sound made her wince. “You’re not dying, Jane, just hungover. Though I know from experience the two can feel similar.”
Hungover? She’d gotten drunk? Jane frowned as she attempted to process his words, the pain in her head still making it difficult to entertain rational thought. “Why . . .?” she managed carefully. “Where . . .?”
Kurt frowned as he approached her side of the bed. “You don’t remember?” he asked gently. She’d consumed a great deal more alcohol than was good for her—they both had—but he didn’t think she’d drunk enough to black out. He hoped she hadn’t, anyway. He ignored the little voice in the back of his head that suggested that might be the best thing for both of them. More than likely, the memory loss was temporary, a lingering side effect of the alcohol in her system. “About nearly being shot yesterday?” he prompted. “And—”
Jane stilled as his words triggered a flood of memories that overshadowed the pain in her head. “I remember.” Oh, boy, did she remember.
She remembered Kurt running toward her, tackling her to the ground and shielding her with his body as their suspect unleashed a volley of automatic weapon fire on them, several of the bullets missing their heads by mere inches.
She remembered him lingering to drive her home after the paramedics had cleared her, badly shaken, showing a concern that she’d never thought he’d feel toward her again after things had gone so horribly wrong between them. That was probably why she had accepted his offer to stop for drinks on the way.
Mistake number one, she thought now. The last thing either of them had needed when the stress of the day already had them needing an outlet for their emotions was to imbibe a drink that lowered inhibitions. Especially not with one another.
She couldn’t remember whose idea it was initially to relocate to Kurt’s apartment with a bottle of his favorite scotch, but by the time it was suggested, she vividly recalled that they were both in such harmony with one another that they had been in complete agreement that it was an excellent plan.
Mistake number two.
She remembered taking a seat next to him on the couch, inching closer and closer to him with every glass of scotch she consumed until she was cuddled up against his side. Had he been closing the distance between them as well?
Their eyes had met as she set her glass down that final time, and then their bodies, their lips. She had already been moving to straddle his lap when his arms encircled her fiercely to pull her to him, their mouths meeting in a crash that mirrored the earlier violence of the day, both of them seeking proof of life after nearly losing it.
Mistake number three.
Jane’s cheeks flamed with color as she remembered exactly how the night had proceeded from there. For a moment, she dared to hope that it had all been a dream—a very vivid dream—but a discreet check of her body quickly put that hope to flight. She was naked under these covers. Kurt’s covers. “We . . . we . . . we . . .” Oh, god. She was never going to be able to look him in the eye again, she realized, as she recalled some of the things they had done, and then groaned as the pain in her head took center stage once more. “Kill me now,” she muttered.
It must have been the lingering effects of the alcohol in his own system, but Kurt found Jane’s embarrassment adorable. “You’re going to be fine, Jane.” He took a seat beside her on the bed and lightly brushed his knuckles against her cheek. “I’ll go get you a glass of water and some ibuprofen. That should make you start to feel better, and then I’d recommend a cool shower. I’ll fix you a piece of toast and a glass of orange juice once you’re done with that.”
“Trust me,” he added, when Jane reluctantly cracked one eye open, looking doubtful at his proposed remedies. “I’ve been through this more than a few times myself, so I’m practically an expert on the subject.” Not that it was an accomplishment to be proud of. He rose. “I’ll be right back with the first part of that cure.”
Jane breathed a sigh of relief once he disappeared from view. Kurt was being more kind than she would have ever expected under the circumstances—not that he wasn’t fifty percent responsible for their current predicament—but she knew it was only a matter of time before the awkwardness of their situation dawned on him as well and forced a very uncomfortable conversation. A conversation she would give anything to avoid. She closed her eyes, hoping that when she opened them again, she would be back in her own home, in her own bed, but no such luck.
“Here you go,” Kurt said as he came back into the room, crossing over to the bedside and dropping the pill into her outstretched hand before setting the glass of water on the nightstand beside her. “Drink it all down, and then go take that shower. The bathroom’s through there,” he said, pointing to the doorway to their right. “And, uh . . . here.” He dropped her clothes he had gathered up on the nightstand beside her.
Kill me now, Jane thought again, but she managed a weak smile. “Thanks, Kurt.”
“You’re welcome, Jane.” He returned her smile before turning toward the door to give her some privacy, sensing her embarrassment and now feeling more than a little discomfited himself. The reality of their situation had begun to dawn on him as he picked up her underwear from the trail of clothes they’d left down the hallway. “I’ll, uh . . . I’ll be out in the living room when you get ready. Take your time.”
Jane nodded, and he exited the room. She eased to a sitting position, waiting before her stomach settled once again before downing the pill and taking a sip of water. It took her almost ten minutes to empty the glass, and nearly thirty more passed before she joined Kurt in the living room.
He was standing with his back to her, staring out the picture window, apparently too lost in thought to hear her approach, and she felt her heart sink at the pensive expression on his face. Clearly, their détente was over, and hostilities were about to resume, but she hadn’t realized until this moment just how much she missed his friendship. “So is this the part where we concede that last night was a mistake, and agree never to speak of it again?” she asked softly, hoping against hope that he would say no. Or at least, when he said yes, that he would confess to missing her too.
Kurt turned slowly. “Jane. How are you feeling?” he inquired, sidestepping her question. He had never been good at mornings’ after under normal circumstances—not that he’d had all that much practice—and this situation was so far out of the ordinary that he had no clue how to begin to navigate it. She had just given him an out most men would kill for, but somehow it felt cowardly to take it. Even if every word of it was true.
“Better,” Jane admitted. “My head doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode any longer, and my stomach’s settled down some. I still don’t feel great, though.”
“Well, sleep’s the best remedy of all,” Kurt offered as he moved toward the kitchen. “Fortunately, today is Saturday, so we don’t have to go into work. Let me get you that toast and juice, and then I’ll drive you home, and you can get some rest.”
Apparently she’d been wrong: hostilities weren’t about to resume; instead, he was choosing to hide behind a wall of polite indifference that stung worse than all the cutting words he’d leveled at her since she rejoined the team. At least that reaction had been honest. “You don’t have to do that,” Jane responded as she took a seat at the kitchen counter, watching as Kurt prepared her breakfast. “I’m sure you’re more than ready to see the last of me, so I can call a cab.”
Kurt sucked in a breath. Jane’s words had been uttered matter-of-factly, without any hint of malice or accusation, but they nonetheless struck him on the raw. He had been horrified when he’d woken to discover what he’d done—what they’d done—but he had accepted his culpability in the matter and had resolved to treat her with the same dignity and respect he had every other woman who had been a guest in his home. In his bed. “What do you want from me, Jane?” he demanded sharply. “You said yourself that this was a mistake.”
Actually, she had asked him if he thought it was, but she guessed she had her answer now. And it was. Of course it was. The two of them were like fire and gasoline; they had no business interacting on a personal level, but their near-death experience yesterday had provided the spark which had ignited passions both had been doing their level best to ignore. The resulting conflagration had been inevitable. “We let our emotions get the best of us,” she agreed dully. “It won’t happen again.”
It couldn’t happen again. “No,” Kurt said with far more assurance than he felt. It was just his luck that after a lifetime of being too choosy, he’d finally met the one woman who held his interest like no other, only to have her be all wrong for him. Or maybe it was that wrongness that provided the allure. Whatever the reason, there was something about Jane that drew him in like a moth to a flame, and as much as he’d like to think he’d learned his lesson this time, he had an uncomfortable feeling that he was likely to get singed again.
Theirs was hardly a safe line of work, after all. Yesterday’s was unlikely to be the last close call they faced, and unless he found a way to shore up his defenses against her, the line they were currently attempting to redraw between them might as well be etched in quicksand. It was not an encouraging thought. He buttered her toast and slid it and her juice across to her. “Eat your breakfast, Jane. I’ll drive you home.”
Jane nodded as she obediently took her first bite. Anything to get her out of here faster. The toast was a perfectly done golden brown, but it could have been cardboard for all she tasted it. She choked it down as quickly as possible and chased it down with the orange juice, feeling Kurt’s eyes on her all the while. She shoved her plate and glass toward him the moment she was done and stood hastily. “I’m ready to—” The room spun crazily, and she made a grab for a counter that was no longer in arm’s reach as her knees began to give way on her.
“Jane!” Kurt took a hasty step toward her as Jane’s face turned white, and he pulled her into his arms to steady her, holding her tightly against his chest, feeling the involuntary tremors shaking her body as she struggled to regain control of her limbs. “Maybe you should sit back down,” he suggested, turning them back toward the stool she had just vacated.
“No!” Jane stiffened, resisting his direction. Trying to ignore how good it felt to be back in his arms. “I’m fine now. I just . . . I stood up too fast, that’s all.” One more crowning humiliation to top yesterday’s stupidity. Or this morning’s, depending on how you looked at it. “I’d like . . . can we just go now, please?” She tugged back from Kurt’s hold, and he reluctantly let her go, but kept an arm loosely around her waist to steady her as he acceded to her request and they started for the door.
She paused in the doorway, wanting to put this matter entirely behind her before they exited the apartment. Wanting what had happened within these walls to stay completely within these walls. “So we . . . we just pretend this never happened, right? We don’t ever mention it again. Not . . . not even to each other.”
“I think that’s for the best,” Kurt agreed, feeling an odd pang in his chest at the notion. Well, at least she hadn’t said to forget it ever happened. Because there was no way he would ever be able to do that. Every moment of last night was already indelibly etched on his memory.
Jane smiled ironically. “I just realized . . . I think that might be the first thing we’ve agreed on since . . . since I came back to the team. I’d say we should have a toast to celebrate, but all things considered . . .”
“I think we should lay off the alcohol for a while,” Kurt said dryly. “How about we shake on it instead?” He held out his hand.
“To . . .” Jane paused to consider what she wanted to say. “To one secret that it’s good to keep. May it stay buried forever.” She grasped Kurt’s hand and the two of them shook on it, once again in perfect harmony. At least on this subject.
Fate, however, was not.