Heroes No More...
“You did what?!”
Nona was physically stunned by her tone. Jordan had chastised her before, been upset, even disappointed but never had she been so livid. Her older sister bore down on her with a gaze so intense, Nona worried that she might shoot fire from her eyes. It had happened before and was as terrifying as it sounded. She realized her sister was waiting rather impatiently for a response.
“I just thought if we knew what he was up to… that maybe we could figure out a way to stop him?”
When Nona had shown up at the house looking for Kurt to stitch her arm, this was not the reaction she expected to get from her sister. Before Kurt could begin treating her, her sister had begun yelling and he had quickly excused himself until she had settled. Jordan’s glare seemed to intensify if that were possible and Nona realized that perhaps she had given the wrong answer.
“I don’t care what he’s up to as long as he does his business and leaves Denver for good. That was the agreement. That is how I’m going to keep all of you safe. But only if you follow the plan!”
Nona blanched at her sister’s last statement. She hadn’t been aware that Jordan had seen or spoken to CLU, let alone that they had struck some type of deal for her safety.
Jordan stared back at her with an unreadable expression. Was that fear or shame reflected in her sister’s eyes?
“He came to me. Said that if we let him handle his business here without interference, he’d leave us alone. Whatever his motives are, I’m willing to stand aside if it means we don’t have to fight…” Nona couldn’t believe her ears.
“You can’t! You’re a hero.”
“We’ve been over this. I’m not the person I used to be and I don’t know if I even want to be her again. I do know that if we confront him, I am NOT strong enough to stop him. Okay? I’m not strong enough to protect you…”
Nona moved towards her sister, not sure what to say or how to comfort her. It had only been a couple days since Jordan had admitted to being suicidal over the mess her life had become after CLU had last torn it apart. She could understand her reluctance to start the painful process over, especially if she didn’t believe she could win. She placed a reassuring hand on her sister’s arm, half expecting her to pull away but she didn’t.
“I’m sorry…” She began hesitantly.
“All I wanted to do was protect you. It’s my job and I’ve been failing at it so much lately.” Jordan hadn’t pulled away from her but she wouldn’t meet her gaze either.
“Are you kidding me? No one has worked harder to protect me! You went BACK IN TIME to save me. I’m pretty sure I can NEVER top that. Like ever.” She tried to catch her sister’s eye, give her a reassuring smile.
“Nice to know you appreciate it…” Jordan mumbled under her breath. Nona couldn’t understand why her sister would say something like that; feel that way about her.
“What? What would make you think I don’t appreciate all you’ve done to protect me?” This time Jordan met her gaze and she no longer seemed sad but rather angry.
“Times like these! When I have given all I have, pushed aside my personal convictions and then you got out and practically throw yourself in front of the crosshairs! I won’t always be here to protect you. One day I’ll be gone and sometimes I wonder if you’ll be the reason.”
Ouch. Nona had never felt so small in her entire life. This was how her sister saw her; a petulant child who failed to consider the impact her actions had on others and waited expectantly for Jordan to pick up the pieces. Her sister’s opinion hurt even more because somewhere deep down she knew she was right. Would she be the death of Jordan?
“Maybe it’s my fault… I’ve always spoiled you, taken your side in fights but that’s what I’m supposed to do. I just want you to appreciate it.”
“I do! Jay, I appreciate you so much. And I know I’m a brat and I don’t deserve a sister who cares as much as you do! I’m sorry, okay? Don’t look at me like that.”
“Like I broke your heart into a million little pieces.”
Jordan didn’t refute the fact that her sister’s actions had hurt her. She didn’t resent her sister for her physical scars; the emotional ones seemed to hurt far worse. Nona tightened her grip on her sister’s arm, hoping Jordan would give in and reach out for her.
“We’ll fix all of this! Together. You don’t have to do it alone. We’ll get the team back and…” but Jordan snatched away from her before she could finish!
“No!” She practically roared. “No more team! No more fighting, no more killing, no more dying. I can’t take it! I can’t lose anyone else.”
Nona stood rooted to her spot. No more team? She had always thought Jordan would eventually come around, remember how many people they had helped, remember that her powers were a gift; to hear her dismiss that notion with such certainty shook Nona to the core. These were not the ramblings of a broken woman. Jordan sounded more sure than she had in weeks. It was really over.
Jordan stared her sister down waiting for her words to sink in. She had decided months ago that she would never again don her uniform but none of the others had mentioned reuniting so she kept the decision to herself. Now they were faced with a crisis and Nona was ready to break out the costumes and charge right in. But Jordan wasn’t ready, would never be ready. She wanted to close that chapter of her life and she desperately needed her sister to understand that. Her chest ached from the emotional strain. When Nona reached out for Jordan again she pulled away so violently that her hand smashed into a glass, knocking it off the kitchen counter. They both looked down at the broken glass shocked before Nona realized there was blood on it!
Jordan raised her hand to stare at the jagged gash that ran down her palm to her wrist, parallel to the scar already there. It was white for a moment, then bright pink before the blood began to run down her arm in heavy rivulets. Nona sprang forward, wrapping a dishtowel around the limb, trying to keep it above Jordan’s heart even as her sister stared dumbfounded at the blood rapidly soaking the towel. This was her worst nightmare. When she’d heard that Jordan might be suicidal, this scene was what she had pictured in her head. Her sister, wrists cut, bleeding to death before her very eyes.
“Oh god… Kurt! Kurt!”
She had no idea where he was, sure he would have come running when he had heard the argument getting more heated. He hadn’t and Nona wondered if he was even around. She needed help but she couldn’t let go of her sister’s hand. There was so much blood!
Jordan was in shock, could do nothing to assist her sister. Without warning, she dropped to her knees, already drowsy from the blood loss and the adrenaline boost from the fight. Nona gripped the limb tighter, wrapping another towel around it.
He came charging into the kitchen like a raging bull, stopping dead when he saw the scene before him: Jordan on her knees in their kitchen bleeding with a panicked Nona trying desperately to help.
“What happened?” He asked even as he dropped to his knees beside them. He took the bloody towels from Nona’s hand to inspect the wound, shocked by how deep it was. He quickly wrapped the towels back around, preparing to pick Jordan up as she could barely keep her eyes open at that point. “Nona what happened?”
“We were … arguing and she pulled away and broke the glass. It was an accident! She needs a hospital.”
“No! We can’t. This looks like a suicide attempt. They’d lock her up before we could ever explain.”
Nona came to the frightening realization that he was right. No one would ever believe this was an accident after the way Jordan had been behaving lately, the thoughts she had been expressing.
“What can I do?”
“Go out to my car, get my medical bag…” He had hurried them into the living room, depositing Jordan on the couch before peeking at her hand again with a grimace. He pulled open a drawer on the table and began to pull out gauze and sterile pads.
“You keep this stuff just lying around?” He spared a glance at her, taking in her battered appearance.
“You girls do seem to get hurt a lot. The bag?”
She jumped and quickly ran from the room. Kurt threw the bloody towels aside and began cleaning the wound, trying to get the bleeding under control.
“Dammit,” he muttered to himself. “Five minutes. I’m gone for five minutes…”
Jordan opened her eyes a bit, surprised to see Kurt looming over her with an all too familiar grimace of concern. Her hand stung mercilessly and when she tried to pull it towards her face to inspect it, she realized Kurt was holding it tightly above her heart. She tried again and he finally noticed her eyes were open.
“Don’t move, love. The cut is pretty bad but I’ll have you fixed up in no time…”
“Kurt… I didn’t… I wasn’t trying to…” She wanted him to understand that this was not an attempt at taking her own life but her head felt so heavy, her thoughts muddled. Kurt just nodded at her but she couldn’t be sure he believed her. Before she could push the issue, he placed more pressure on her wound and the world snapped to black.
Kurt sat in the kitchen, at their cozy little table nursing a glass of scotch and glared across the room. Directly in front of him was broken glass, the unmistakable stain of blood, and the realization that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t really protect Jordan, most definitely not from herself.
He looked up to see Jordan standing in the doorway, wearing only his old t-shirt and socks. Her hair was a mess and her left hand was thickly bandaged up to her forearm. She held it stiffly against her body, belying her discomfort. She stared at Kurt unsure of what to say or if she should even say anything at all. He looked so… defeated. When she had awoken a few minutes prior, she was in their bed with her hand bandaged. Her engagement ring had been cleaned and moved to her other hand. Kurt was unreasonably stubborn about her removing it for more than a few minutes at a time.
“It’s a symbol,” he had told her. “Of my love, of our love. As long as you wear it, you’ll know I’m with you.”
She knew this of course, without doubt yet she didn’t belittle his need to reassure her. Stepping into the kitchen, mindful of the broken glass and blood, she approached him cautiously. Kneeling in front of him, she placed her good hand on his knee. He raised his head a little to smile at her, reaching out with a gentle hand to cup her chin.
“How are you feeling, love?” He asked, her well being always his chief concern.
“I’m fine. I know a really good doctor.” She tried to joke lightly with him. When he didn’t respond to her, she grew somber again. “Kurt… you should know I wasn’t trying to-“
“Kill yourself with a broken glass?” He finished for her with a small smile. “I know, love. You needed that, though.” She stared at him with a look of confusion and relief so he continued. “I kind of eavesdropped on part of your argument with Nona.” He confessed sheepishly.
“Oh…” He brought his other hand to her face as he spoke.
“I know how much you love her and would do anything for her but I can tell the toll it takes on you. I can tell when she pushes you too far and instead of stopping her, you put aside your own feelings. She needed to know how you were feeling. She’s a big girl, she can handle it.” She sighed and rubbed her cheek against his hand lovingly.
“You’re right but it’s so… hard. I still see her as eight years old needing me to protect her and slay her monsters. And when I can’t protect her like I think I should, I feel so guilty.”
“I think she got the point today…” She nodded but didn’t seem to agree.
“You should have seen her face when I told her about the deal. She was so disappointed in me. Like I wasn’t who she thought I was.”
She turned away some at that statement, as if to hide her shame from him. She had done nothing wrong; had made the smart choice so why did it still feel like a betrayal? Kurt echoed her thoughts.
“Don’t beat yourself up, love. You made the right choice for everyone. Rarely are those choices also easy. Nona will come around.”
“Thank you.” There was a tense silence before she stood and grabbed his hand. A reddened area on his forearm caught her attention.
“What’s this?” She asked as Kurt moved to pull his sleeve down over the area.
“Nothing. Let’s go.” He tried to pull her along but she held back.
“Was that a burn? Did I burn you?”
Kurt turned to face her, guilt visible on his face. Jordan stared at him with such a look of horror that he couldn’t help but draw her into him.
“It’s okay. You weren’t yourself; I’m fine. Everything is fine now.”
“When?” Kurt knew she wasn’t going to let this go. He paused before answering.
“A couple nights ago, when you had that nightmare…”
She nodded slowly as her mind took her back to that night, that nightmare. The horrible scenes of Nona dangling like a rag doll, of her inability to save her. She had wanted nothing more at that moment than to summon a flame, free herself, protect her sister.
“I’m so sorry…”
“For what?” Kurt pushed her away from him so he could see her face; wipe the tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “It was an accident. I know you would never hurt me, so please don’t beat yourself up anymore than you already do. I’m a big boy.”
“I know you are.” She smiled softly up at him. “I love you.”
“Back at you kid…” He leaned down to kiss the tip of her nose. She gripped him tightly before stepping back and leading him out of the kitchen.
“Let’s go to bed.” Something in her tone suggested more than their usual sleeping arrangements.
“Love… Jordan,” He only called her Jordan when he was upset or wanted her to know he was serious. “You don’t have to do this. I told you I could wait and I meant it.”
“Maybe I can’t.” The sultry lift in her voice was making Kurt’s blood boil. “Maybe, I think we’ve waited long enough.”
She pressed her body against his as she stood on her tiptoes and captured his mouth with her own, cradling her injured arm between them. When she pulled back her voice was practically a whisper.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen Kurt. But I know I don’t want to be filled with regrets. Regrets that I never got to marry you… never showed you how much I love you…”
“Your arm?” He managed to squeak out in protest as his senses were filled with her.
“I know you’ll be careful. You wouldn’t hurt me… unless…” She paused for effect, “You thought I would like it.”
Kurt sucked his breath sharply at that statement! He wanted her, had always wanted her and could see himself desiring no one else. Not in this life or the next. He was mentally scrolling through the reasons why they shouldn’t when she grabbed his face with her good hand.
“Stop.” She commanded him. “Stop questioning, stop thinking and let me show you…”
She pulled him down the hallway to their bedroom. She had always thought of it as theirs, now it truly would be. Jordan had brought them this far; the rest was up to him. Kurt did not disappoint. He kicked the door closed as he reached for the hem of her shirt. He glanced at her for confirmation and when she gave a small nod, the shirt was quickly gone. Their mouths crashed together as he backed her towards the bed. When her knees hit, she laid back with a contented smile, ready for whatever was to come.