What Friends Are For, Part 3 of 3
Pairing: None, really, though it skirts right up to the edge of Jane/Maura.
Spoilers: Up through "I'm Your Boogie Man"
Warnings: Some talk of Hoyt and what he did.
Disclaimer: The only thing that's mine is the plot, such as it is.
Notes: Parasthesia is science-speak for "pins and needles." I had to allow one Maura-ism to slip in. "Letters to a Young Poet" does indeed appear on the soundtrack to the television show Beauty and the Beast. I have, indeed, owned said soundtrack since around 1990. I am a romantic, and Ron Perlman's voice is made of win.
When she woke, it was with a crick in her neck and paresthesia in her feet. Jane's hand was still resting on her wrist, though it was no longer clenched tight enough to bruise, as it had been around four in the morning when Jane's hoarse gasp and a sudden pain had snapped her wide awake.
Maura observed her closely, with both a friend's and a clinician's eyes. Though she looked better, there were still clear signs of both stress and exhaustion.
As she watched, she saw Jane go rigid with tension. She mumbled something that sounded, perhaps, like "don't…please" and then "it hurts."
"Jane," she said, after spending a brief moment weighing the restorative power of REM sleep against the psychological effects of yet another nightmare, "Jane, wake up."
Her eyes snapped wide open, and, for a moment, there was nothing but panic in them. Then she closed her eyes and exhaled a shaky breath before opening them again. "Hi," she said weakly.
"Hi," Maura replied. "Feeling any better today?"
"Um…." Jane shed a few layers of blankets and attempted to sit up. Maura already knew she wasn't a morning person, under the best of circumstances, and was content to wait. "I'm…not dead. I think I slept a while." She glanced at Maura, a little embarrassed. "And I'm not crying. I think those are all good things."
She stood and glanced at Jane and gracefully avoided all three comments. "I think I have some sweats that might fit you."
Jane stared at her. "There are – you have designer sweats?" She watched as Maura rummaged through a drawer and then tossed her a pair of gray sweat pants. She dug out the label and stared. "Designer sweats?"
"Well, I – "
"You can't tell me there's any human ingenuity to admire in sweat pants!"
"I – "
"I thought you couldn't lie," she said, though the mischievous twinkle in her eye belied the accusatory tone somewhat.
"I didn't! I said I admire craftsmanship."
Jane's diabolical grin, an obvious indicator of her rebounding spirit, was well worth the flush she felt heating her face. "Well…."
"I'm gonna take you to Target this weekend," Jane said, "to buy some really grungy, off the rack, store brand clothes." She waved off the look of absolute horror. "I'm not going to let you buy a single thing that costs more than twenty dollars."
Jane mock glared. "Careful, or it'll be Wal-Mart."
Maura's mouth worked soundlessly.
"I suppose it's a good thing you keep…borrowing…my softball shirt," Jane said, stepping out of the guest bathroom freshly showered and relatively comfortable in her own shirt and sweatpants that probably cost more than her entire wardrobe.
"I made breakfast," Maura said, handing her a plate loaded with eggs, bacon, and sausage.
"You didn't have to do that," she said as she reached for the plate, smiling despite the token protest. "But thank you." Then she froze, frowning. "What the hell?"
She pushed Maura's sleeve up, staring at her wrist, which now bore what were clearly finger-shaped bruises, in slowly dawning alarm. "Did I – ?"
Her shoulders slumped at the horrified look on Jane's face. "You were having a nightmare. It wasn't your fault."
To her surprise, tears once again welled in Jane's eyes, only to be brushed away by an impatient hand a moment later. "See?" she said hoarsely.
"This is why! Everyone around me…Hoyt'll destroy everyone and everything around me. You should all just – I should just get the hell away from all of you."
She stood up and made for the door.
"Jane, it's just a bruise. It's okay. Wait. Please."
She dug her fingers into her hair in frustration, but stopped just shy of the door.
"Really. It's okay. You were having a dream and you were scared. It's okay."
Some of the wild horror faded from her eyes as Maura slowly approached her.
"It's okay," she said one more time, finally getting close enough to reassuringly rub her friend's arm.
Jane stared at her for a long moment, then finally heaved a sigh. "I'm sorry. I never meant to get you caught up in all…this. You or Frankie or anybody. If Hoyt wants to kill me…fine. Either he'll win or I will. I never wanted…."
"I know." She tugged Jane back to the kitchen. "Come on. They gave us all today and tomorrow off."
"Frost called while you were in the shower. Let's have some breakfast, and then maybe I'll let you take me to…" She made an exaggerated face of distaste. "…Target."
Jane's smile finally reached her eyes. "Okay. Thanks."
For a few moments, things felt almost…normal. She could focus on her breakfast and just let it fade away.
She could put out of her mind the horrors of the last few days, could forget that somewhere out there, Hoyt still lingered, could forget that he had, through the nightmares he'd given her, put those bruises on Maura's wrist, could forget that Frankie had shot his first perp, in her apartment, while saving her life.
And then she moved the wrong way. A bolt of familiar pain shot from her finger, through her palm, up her forearm.
She sighed and tried to put it out of her mind. "So…that…whatever…in German? What was that?"
Maura smiled. "Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet."
"You memorize German poems?"
"Most literary works suffer in the translation."
"Can you speak German?"
"Well, English is a Germanic language." Jane rolled her eyes and just waited. "A little," Maura finally admitted.
"So, what was it?"
Her eyes drifted closed. "It's been a long time since I read it in English, but…." She frowned, then began to recite, "'So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you, larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands, and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand. It will not let you fall.'"
Jane's lips twitched. "I like that. Did you learn it at school?"
Unaccountably, Maura flushed. "Uh, no."
"Beauty and the Beast."
Maura winced. "The show."
"Is that the one with the lion guy?" Jane frowned and quickly added, "Ma watched it."
"Uh huh." She flushed at the amused look. "I was a teenager. A romantic, I guess. It was…."
"It was a chick flick for TV." After her friend sighed and covered her face with her hand, Jane grinned and relented. "If you tell anyone I even knew what that show was, let alone what it was about, I'll tell everyone you sleep with a nightlight."
Maura rolled her eyes but consented.
"Is there more? Of the poem?"
"Well…yes," Maura said, "but it's largely about how all the bad things in our lives really have hidden beauty, hidden purpose. Rilke calls them 'dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses.' That didn't seem appropriate."
"No," Jane said, suddenly serious. "There's no hidden beauty in Hoyt."
They ate in comfortable silence, then worked together to wash the dishes.
As she picked up the mugs that still held congealed hot chocolate, Jane glanced at her phone, which had vibrated on the table, and grinned. "Ma invited you to Sunday dinner."
She shrugged. "Frankie told her how you guarded my back the other night. I think she probably wants to adopt you. She's already callin' you family." She frowned, belatedly realizing what she'd said. "You know what I mean. Not adopt-adopt, but…."
"I'd love to."
"Don't be hasty, here…I should warn you – once Ma gets her hooks into you…well, let's just say askin' for stuff won't be a problem. You'll probably get tired of her hovering."
Maura was surprised to feel tears stinging her eyes. "I don't think I'll mind."
Jane didn't say anything aloud, but her tiny, satisfied grin said enough.
She shrugged. "I was thinkin' about what you said. My mom drives me crazy…but she might be just what you need. Didn't think it would hurt to ask. Besides…maybe if she's busy mothering you, she'll leave me alone for awhile."
Maura swiped a hand across her eyes, irritated. "I spend all night trying to help you, and you turn around and…."
She shrugged. "I never had…much more than 'good acquaintances' either. The girls wrote me off 'cause I ran with the guys, and the guys wrote me off 'cause I was a girl. Now that I got a best friend, I figure I should treat her right."
Maura reached out and squeezed her hand. "Thank you. For everything."
Jane smiled. "What are friends for?"