Jane sings Heart of Stone as she does every night, but the other Queens know that Nancy is in the audience that night and, whilst Nancy still smiles and laughs at things before Heart of Stone, they all worry a little about the effect it might have on Nancy.
“'Cause like a river runs dry
And leaves it's scars behind
I'll be by your side
'Cause my love
Is set in stone…”
Nancy is crying heavily by that point. She knows what the song means, to Jane, to anyone who ever struggled with an abusive partner, but somehow seeing Jane, beautiful, bright, sweet, Jane sing her heart out, raw and real and still powerfully beautiful, she can’t hold any more of it back. She sneaks out sometime during Haus of Holbein, using the spare time to wash her face, re-applying what little makeup she used and hiding her emotions again. She is tidying Jane’s room when Jane finally comes back.
Silence falls and then, finally, Jane speaks.
“Something’s wrong, what is it?”
Nancy shakes her head, struck silent at the way Jane’s gentle brown eyes darken and she moves to change, no longer bothering to send Nancy out the room, smiling slightly when Nancy moves to help her, wrapping the dress she’d brought from home, a simple silver-gray wrap dress, around her, changing from the heels to her favored grey sneakers, finally freeing her hair from the intricate design she wore for the show.
“You can talk to me Nance… I won’t judge…”
Nancy sighs but shakes her head, leading Jane out to the bus, settling and letting Jane settle in her lap, holding her just that little tighter, a little more possessively. Jane sighs softly and nestles her face into Nancy’s neck, holding tighter to Nancy when the bus finally took them home, finding excuses to press soft kisses to Nancy’s neck and jaw, not caring if the others saw.
They talk later, when Jane wakes from a nightmare, shivering and sobbing and burrowing all the deeper into Nancy when Nancy pulls her close, sobbing out only her son’s name. Edward. She had missed him worse lately and Nancy hated that she couldn’t protect her fully from nightmares.
“Don’t let me go.”
The whisper is so soft Nancy almost misses it, but she pulls Jane firmly into her arms and kisses her gently but deeply.
The promise is soft, honest and loving and Nancy can’t help smiling when Jane smiles and nestles deeper into her arms, burrowing deeper with a content sigh. She is soon asleep but Nancy stays awake, holding her closer than usual, reminding herself that Jane is alive, Jane is here, Jane is alive, Jane is here. She won’t leave her. She won’t die.
Sleep comes slowly and when the morning comes their positions have shifted, Nancy’s face is pressed so deeply into Jane’s hair she can smell her strawberry shampoo, Jane’s grip is tight and protective and Nancy nuzzles deeper against her as Jane twitches in her sleep, tangling herself tighter against Jane.
They sleep in that day and Nancy is shy when they join the Ladies in Waiting and Queens for a meal, Jane’s grip tighter on Nancy’s waist when she shifts nervously, a clear claim and possessiveness that Nancy sighs at, moving to curl her own arm slowly around Jane. She is still finding her place with the rest of the Queens and the Ladies in Waiting, but she won’t leave Jane, not ever again.