Jane rolled over onto her pillow, freezing. She pried her eyes open and chanced a glance at the window, but only enough to see that it was closed and John wasn't in the room before she had to close her eyes from the bright light. She threw the pillow over her head and moaned at the feeling of having to get up and go to work. She wasn't going to be able to do much today on their case, but she wasn't going to admit it to anyone. Besides, she was feeling better already...ish.

5 more minutes to go before she had to get up. Maybe she could squeeze in a bit more dozing before she had to get up and shower. She could always use an extra 5 minutes. She got herself comfortable and her eyes almost snapped shut in a matter of seconds, putting a comforting, soothing feeling over whole body. Her breathing got slower and she was soon fast asleep again.

xox

Her body woke her up with the need to go to the bathroom. Some extra sleep made her feel relatively better and she was able to slowly stand up and walk to the bathroom without as much pounding behind her eyes.

She exited the bathroom a minute later and began to find some clothes to go to work in, then went back into the small room and turned on the shower, never noticing the time. She waited until the steam started to billow over the top, then stripped down and stepped in. The steam and heat almost made her gag, so she turned the water cooler and soon found a comfortable temperature. She scrubbed and washed the sickly sweat off of her skin and hair, then stood completely under the water and let it run down her face, opening her pores and relaxing her.

It wasn't but a few minutes until her weak legs started to wobble under her. She quickly rinsed one last time and then dried off and wrapped the towel around herself and sat on the fuzzy toilet cover. She could feel her eyes beginning to water from sleepiness and not being able to sleep the night before, and all she wanted to do was get some chicken noodle soup and put on some fuzzy socks and sweats and sit on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket.

Jane sighed. No, she had to go to work. No easy relaxing until she got home that evening. With that she dressed and wobbled down the hall to start her daily routine.

Niki had her backpack on and was making herself some toast when Jane slumped into the room. She tried to hide the fact that she was sick, but Niki already seemed to know.

"Hey, Jane. You feelin' any better?" she slapped some butter on her toast and walked over to her. "John told me you were sick."

Jane tried to brush her off and started to make her morning smoothie. "I'b... aggh... I'm not sick." She sniffed. "It's probably just allergies or something."

Niki barked a laugh. "Um, Jane...you don't have allergies. I can tell you're sick. Your eyes and nose are red and you're all stuffy. Not to mention your constant coughing. And you were burning up this morning. I called Sam, and he says that you need to stay home. So does your boss."

Jane tried to roll her eyes, but it hurt too much. "I'm fine, Nik, really. I'm dressed anyway, so I'll just head to work before I'm late and I'll take it easy."

Niki bit her toast and pointed at the clock. Jane glanced over to it and had to make a double take. "Eight fifteen?! I've got to go! I'm late!" She was just about to grab her keys and bolt out the door when Niki grabbed her.

"Hey, hey, take it easy. You're not late because you're not going. I decided not to wake you up and called Sam to let him know you were sick. Now get back into your room and change. John's bringing some chicken soup from his place. I know how much you like that when you're sick. If you're ever sick." Jane hesitated for a moment, then began to walk brusquely to the front door, only to be stopped by John's voice. She turned around and saw him squatting below her window on the carpet, plastic bag in hand. He stood up and walked up to her until he was inches away from her, his eyes boring into hers.

"You are better?" he asked quietly.

It took a moment for Jane to answer. He always made her brain stop working. "Erm...yeah..." she managed to say breathily. Niki giggled silently.

John lowered his head some so that he could be on eye level with her with her. "No you aren't," he whispered. He knew Jane too well. She always hid things from him. He could feel the heat from her cold radiating off of her. Her eyes were red, her breathing was light and she was weak. Without warning he put down the bag and picked her up in his arms, carrying her down the hall and into the bedroom. Even he wasn't going to let her go to work today.

Niki giggled again. "I'm leaving now!" she called down the hall. "Don't let her do anything, John! You've gotta do everything for her." He didn't respond, but she knew he heard her, so she picked up her backpack and bus pass and walked out the door. She didn't feel like walking today.

John laid Jane delicately on her bed and walked over to her drawers, pulling out some pants that looked comfortable. He then moved to a higher drawer and pulled out a violet spaghetti strap shirt. He had only seen Jane wear it once, while she was sleeping. He liked how it looked on her and wanted to see her in it again.

Jane watched with curiosity as John rummaged through her clothes. He knew where everything was. He even knew where all her favorite clothes were.

"Just how many times have you gone through my drawers while I'm gone?" Jane asked slyly.

John placed the clothes down next to her. "I don't. I see you do it."

Jane smiled. He really was observant. He mimicked what other people did, just like a child modeling after their parents. But this was no child. This was a full grown, sweet, mature man. A handsome one at that. Jane thought of better words. No... fine. That was definitely a better description of him. And incredible. He had survived all those years alone in the jungle, learned how to live, learned how to take care of himself and others. He had become hard, and yet he had become soft, never exposed to the "real world", never corrupted. He was a real man. He fought only when he had to protect, and was deeply caring for those he had to protect. He had then survived those grueling months in his uncle's cage, under constant surveillance, poked with needles and pushed near insanity. He fought with those men fist to fist and with himself mentally. Once again he learned how to adapt to his surroundings, but that place he hadn't completely. He still fought it, and he had every right to. He was mistreated and abused there, both mentally and physically.

But he had survived and escaped. And found her.

She hadn't even noticed when he had slipped off her shoes, and was shaken out of her reverie only when he started to take her pants off. She stopped him.

"John! What the-- what are you doing??"

He looked up and answered. "Taking your pants off."

"Wha... why?"

He held the sweats in front of her. "You need to change. Niki said so."

Jane grabbed her pants that were already halfway off and wriggled into them, praying that he hadn't seen anything. Evidently he did, but he didn't show it. "I know why. I mean... why are you doing it?"

He backed away from her guiltily. "I'm sorry."

Guilt washed over Jane. She sighed. "I know you are, John. And I know you were just trying to help." She walked over to him and put her hand on his shoulder. "But I've got to do this part, k?"

He nodded and let her change in the bathroom, waiting until she came out. When she did come out, he couldn't help but stare. Her hair was in a bun and there were two locks of hair on the sides of her face, and the spaghetti strap looked better on her when she was awake. Did that make sense? He didn't care. All he could do was stare at Jane.

Jane walked over to her sock drawer and pulled out her favorite fuzzy socks and put them on, then grabbed her dark blue comforter and wrapped it around herself and started down the hall to sit on the couch. John followed her and sat next to her, her on one side of the couch and him on the other. He didn't want to pressure her into anything that she didn't want to do, and that meant sitting next to him.

A sudden coughing fit took over her, causing him to panic and move to her side. He wrapped an arm around her and waited for her to finish, making sure she was okay. She nodded and leaned against him, getting comfortable.

John smiled inwardly. This was progress.