AN: I am so sorry for the delay getting this up. Work, impending baby, LIFE. I want to say this is done, but I maybe kinda have a final chapter floating around in my head to wrap this up back in Boston. We'll see. All the kudos to Feltknickers for putting up with me and my delays and rambling apologizes for not being more timely with this. She's a pal.
Maura taps the end of the pen between her teeth as she reads over the file setting on her lap.
She emanates a soft hum as she flips the page.
Jane lies stock still.
But Maura knows she is listening.
Jane cracks open an eye and peeks over at Maura. She intently continues to read the file in front of her.
"How did you-"
"You were making a fist." Maura flips her hand over and points with her pen.
Jane eases her fingers and her nails pull back from her palms. She stretches out her hand, and IV tape pulls at her skin. She wipes her hands across her face before pushing herself up. She pulls in her knees and hugs them to her chest. She glances out the window above her. Drops of rain race down it.
"How are you feeling?"
Maura still isn't looking at her.
Jane shrugs, "Okay. Hungry."
Maura's eyes stay fixed on the on the folder in her lap, "The nurse should be returning soon with lunch." She licks her lips and lets go of the corners of pinched paper she has been slowly flipping through. She watches them settle and can hear her blood pumping rapidly in her ears.
"How did you find me?" Maura folds her hands politely over the file and looks at Jane.
Jane rests her head against her knees and studies Maura. Dark circles tug underneath red eyes. Exhaustion and sadness are etched into her features.
They make her appear hard.
But really, Maura just looks defeated.
"Good morning to you, too." Jane tries for humor
"It's four in the afternoon, actually."
And falls flat. Her eyes grow wide and her head snaps up, "How long have I been asleep!?"
"A little over sixteen hours. You fainted."
Jane blinks hard and her eyes dart around the room trying to remember. She had been with Ian when Maura had came in. Her stomach lurches at the memory.
"How did you find me, Jane?" She asks again, firmly. Maura's voice jars Jane and she shakes her head of the memory.
"Susie." She answers quietly.
Maura sits back in her chair, "She promised me she wouldn't tell-"
"She talked. I have a gun, remember?"
Hazel eyes narrow, "Jane."
Their chastising tones match. She can imagine Jane spending a day stalking behind Susie in the lab until she cracked and poured out information.
"Why did you come here then?"
Jane's eyes widen and she stares at Maura as if it is the most obvious thing in the world, "Why wouldn't I?"
Maura's eyes flicker down to Jane's hand and then back up, holding steady with a dark gaze.
Jane wrings her hands together. Her thumb pushes hard into the scar of her palm and she pulls at her ring finger. "Casey and I.. we aren't together. I.." Jane forces herself to sit a bit straighter in an attempt to catch her fleeing reserve, "I broke up with him."
"And you thought if you did that and came out here we would be together?" Maura's words bite back and Jane searches her brain for a response.
Because that was the plan.
Jane swallows hard and she absently pulls at the edge of the sheet covering her.
The door pushes open and Jane flinches. A nurse walks in carrying a tray and Maura stands quickly, breaking their stare. She thanks the woman and quickly dismisses her. She sets the tray at the end of Jane's cot.
"You should eat."
Jane waves off the idea, "I've lost my appetite." Her hands run through tangled hair before she drops them back into her lap. She pulls at the medical tape on the back of her hand and fidgets with her IV.
"Let me." Maura says, moving around the cot and kneeling beside Jane. She surrenders her hand. A sharp breath catches in Jane's throat and she bites her lip as she watches Maura pull the needle free of the vein that owns her heart.
The gentle brush of a thumb wipes away the small rising point of blood and Jane's hands deceive her before her brain can catch up. She captures Maura's hand between her own.
"I came for you." She says quietly.
When she looks up, Maura's face is expressionless. Jane searches her eyes for a safe place, but gold and green flicker with confusion.
Maura gently pulls her hands free and pushes herself up on the edge of the cot. She stands and takes a step back to the seat behind her. She wants to shield herself. She wants to erect walls and make Jane come to her.
She wants to scream.
And she wants to run and be found all over again.
She wants the truth, but doesn't want the scars; and she isn't sure she can have the lasting marks etch themselves into the walls that surround her heart because this is all she wants.
And it terrifies her.
Buzzing at her hip brings back Maura from her thoughts and she pulls at the pager at the waistband of her scrubs.
"I'm needed in the ER."
Jane nods weakly as she watches Maura stand and move towards the door.
"We can talk later. There is a shower through the door behind you. Your bag is in there.." Maura's grip becomes tighter on the knob and she hesitates, "I'm glad you're here, Jane."
And Jane can barely contain flip her stomach does or the smile that pulls at her lips. She glances down and wiggles her toes underneath the sheet, nodding.
When the door shuts, Jane tosses back the covers and stands. She stretches and glances down at the tray perched at the end of her cot. She tries to decipher the food, but it is a palette colors on a pancake. Jane scrunches her nose and moves it to a small side table. She decides it is better to wait and ask Maura as she walks back to the shower.
A neat pile of toiletries had been laid out along with her clothes and Jane can't help but smirk at Maura's consideration. She twists the knobs in the shower and steam begins to fill the room.
Jane suddenly feels a childlike giddiness peak and flutter madly in her chest as she picks up her toothbrush.
She resists the urge to sing into the bristly head.
Jane wipes the steam from the mirror and studies herself. She runs her hands nervously over her face before picking up her faded Sox shirt and slipping it over her head. She pulls her hair back into a messy ponytail before putting back each item that had been laid out for her.
She has finally found all the words to make these miles disappear.
Voices leave her hand hovering over a small bottle of shampoo. She strains to listen and takes a step back, opening the door. A flash of heat moves under Jane's skin. There is an argument unfolding in the hallway. She can't understand what is being said, men are talking over each other. It is aggressive and one voice in particular, Maura's voice, makes adrenaline course through her veins and sends her body into action.
Jane moves quickly through the room. Pulling open the door she hesitates in the hallway, listening for the voices to lead her in the right direction. She takes off in a sprint and turns the corner sharply, running into the back of someone. Jane steps back as he turns. He is armed and muscle memory sends Jane's hand to her unarmed hip.
Her timing is off and she can't deflect the hand that tangles into her hair and sends the side of her face into the wall. The pain is acute and she can feel warmth trickle down the side of her face as he presses against her with all of his weight. Jane grits her teeth and brings her knee up swiftly into this groin. The soldier stumbles back, hunched over and cradling himself with one hand while his other reaches for the gun at his hip.
Maura appears in front of her, pushing her back, but Jane's eyes are burning to the soldier behind her. He has his gun raised, and Jane quickly pulls Maura behind her.
He is shouting nonsense at her - stalking towards her. Jane doesn't understand him, but she doesn't need to. She can feel Maura tugging at the belt loops of her cargo shorts, pulling her back from the fight her body is tensing for.
"Jane, let me speak to him." Maura keeps her tone modulated and she can feel Jane ease her hands back. Fingertips brush against the tops of her thighs as Jane lowers her mounting defense, but she is determined to remain a shield.
Maura raises her hand and begins to step around Jane and speaks directly to the soldier. Her words are rushed and incoherent to Jane. He stops and Maura glances up at Jane quickly. Blood runs from a cut near her temple at her brow. Jane's eyes flicker between her and the soldier and Maura catches the subtle nod she gives her.
"Go back to the room and wait for me there." Maura says calmly, resting her hand on Jane's shoulder. The muscles in Jane's jaw tighten and set. The commotion has brought nurses scurrying from around the corners of the halls to attend to the curious patients who have started to gather in their doorways.
"What's going on?" Quick footsteps echo down the hall along with Ian's voice.
His eyes grow wide when he notices the blood on Jane's face, "What happened?"
"These men-" Maura cuts into Jane's words with authority, "brought in an injured soldier. A nurse had refused them our service and I was trying to explain that we refuse no one here, not even militia."
Ian nods, "I'll take care of them and the nurse. Take Jane back."
Maura grips Jane's forearm and leads her around the corner, back to their room.
"Maura, I'm sorry." Heat pricks at the back of Jane's neck as Maura pushes open the door.
"What was that, Jane?!" Maura pinches the bridge of her nose and takes in a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves. Her frustration wins out and she turns abruptly and slams the door, "You could have been shot!"
"I was trying to protect you!" Jane erupts.
"I had everything under control. You made the situation dangerous."
Jane opens her mouth to speak, but quickly finds her has no words. She turns on her heels and disappears in the bathroom. She snatches up her book bag off the floor and unzips the side pocket, pulling out a handful of napkins. Jane wipes them angrily over her cheek and brow.
"Jane." Maura steps into the bathroom and rests her hand on Jane's bicep as she raises her other and brushes her thumb gently over her temple, examining the cut, "You're going to need stitches."
Jane presses the handful of napkins against her brow. She licks her lips and turns, leaning against the sink. Maura gives her a sad smile, "Come here. Sit."
She follows and perches herself on the edge of her cot as Maura kneels and slides a first aid kit from under it.
"I know you were only trying to protect me, but you need to trust that I can take care of myself. Especially here." Maura removes a small suturing kit and sets it beside Jane.
"Is that why you came here? To protect yourself?" Jane asks, dropping her hand from her face. Maura tears open a small alcohol pad.
"This is going to sting." Maura says hesitantly. She brushes the pad over the cut and Jane bites back the hiss of pain trying to escape from her.
"Yes. That is part of the reason why I came." Maura trails the pad down Jane's cheek, wiping away blood.
"What is the other reason?"
Maura sighs and tucks the pad back into packaging. Pushing herself up, she picks up the suturing kit and sets it in her lap as she sits beside Jane.
"I didn't want to be hurt anymore." She says removing a pair of latex gloves and putting them on.
Jane worries her bottom lip as she looks down at her fidgeting hands, "That wasn't my intention."
"I know that it wasn't, but here we are."
Jane takes in a wavering breath. She winches as the needle pierces her skin.
"Sorry." Maura ties and cuts the stitch quickly, "One more."
"S'ok." Jane says between her teeth.
Maura ties off the final stitch and drops her hands, removing her gloves. She closes the suturing kit and sets it beside her and turns her attention back to Jane.
"You can't always protect me, and I can't always save you. I can't always put you back together, Jane."
Maura's eyes flicker with confusion, "I don't understan-.."
A mirth of laughter escapes Jane as she shakes her head. She gathers Maura's hands into her own, "Don't you get it? I fell apart when I fell for you."
Maura's lips purse into a thin line and she looks down at their intertwined hands in her lap, "Then why did you say yes? If you knew how-.." The want to cry out settles in the back of Maura's throat and tears sting her eyes, ".. how I felt. How you felt, even."
Jane takes in a steadying breath, "Because you do this."
Gently, Jane takes Maura by the wrist and guides her, pressing her palm against her chest. Jane's heart drums madly in the confines of her ribs.
"Every time I am around you, my heart beats so loudly it is in the only thing I can hear." Jane's eyes flutter and close, "And when I close my eyes it is the only thing I can focus on. Everything turns into chaos."
When Jane opens her eyes, Maura is staring back at her. Wet trails of tears streak and race down her cheeks.
"When I was with Casey, the only sound I ever heard was silence. That was me settling because this.." She presses Maura's hand harder into her chest, "this is you, and it made too much sense. It terrified me, but you are the only thing that has ever made sense, Maura. And I'm sorry I couldn't say it that to you. I'm sorry I made you run. I should have told you.."
Maura shakes her head, "Jane-.."
"I love you." Jane says in a staccato breath before cupping Maura's face and pressing a gentle kiss to her lips. Maura's hand holds steady at her chest, feeling each trembling beat of Jane's heart. Her fingers tangle into her shirt and pull her closer, the broken pieces of her own heart suddenly setting themselves back together and into something whole.
Pulling back, Maura's searching eyes find Jane's. They are warm and ache to be forgiven. She has never felt safer looking out into the dark.
"How do you do that?" Jane asks, her knuckles brushing down Maura's cheeks in unison, capturing tears along their way.
"Be so damn beautiful."
A small bubble of laughter rumbles in the back of Maura throat as she brings Jane's hands to her chest, "I'm crying."
Jane smiles as she leans forward and presses a quick kiss to the tip of Maura's nose, "You're still beautiful."
Jane's hand moves from Maura's lap and encircles her waist, pulling at her hip. Scooting closer, Maura rests her head at Jane's shoulder and nuzzles herself into the crook of her neck, breathing her in.
Glancing down, she notices the bloodied napkins and Jane's scribbled words.
"What is this?" Maura asks. She unfolds the napkin and smooths it over Jane's thigh.
Jane grits her teeth, "Poetry."
Maura leans back slightly and glances up at Jane. Her expression is pained.
"You write poetry?"
"Not well. Especially not on a plane and sorta drunk."
Maura exhales a snort of laughter and begins to read leaving, Jane's heart to hammer wildly in her chest.
If you were pulled below
I'd open the earth and map hell
To bring you something sweet
And if you were to rise above
I'd earn righteous wings and lay siege to heaven's gates
To lay roses at your feet.
But if it is rest that you craved
I would offer you my chest
To watch over your dreams as you slept
A new wave of tears begin to well up in Maura's eyes as she leans back and looks at Jane.
"Who knew you were such a poet?"
Jane rolls her eyes, "It's not any good and no one. No one can ever kno-."
She is silenced with a kiss and a halfhearted groan of protest vibrates against Maura lips along with a smile, "Who knew you were such a muse?"
Silence envelops them and incessant raindrops continue to fall outside.
"What do you hear?" Maura ask quietly, lowering her head and pressing a warm kiss to Jane's neck.
Maura smiles and snuggles in closer.
She doesn't mind if it rains in heaven everyday.