Disclaimer: Rizzoli & Isles are the property of Tess Gerritsen and TNT. No profit made, no infringement intended.
Jane doesn't think anyone notices that her hands sometimes tremble. She knows how to divert attention with a quip or a topic change.
Jane doesn't think anyone notices when she fidgets, and her fingers linger on the scars. She's confident that if anyone did notice, they wouldn't dare bring it up.
Maura notices. She may struggle not to diagnose everyone she meets, but the person she observes above all others is Jane. Maura has learned the good days from the bad days, knowing within minutes if Jane will finch at the sound of a door or if that day the tremors will be worse.
Today Maura has noticed that Jane can't stop her hands from trembling, and once Jane tells her about the flare, Maura understands why.
Jane sits silently beside her, a disassociated gaze into nothingness.
"Jane..." Maura says, her voice gentle yet firm, a doctor's order and a friend's request.
When Jane turns to her, blinking back tears she'd never admit to, Maura takes Jane's hand very gently.
Jane swallows, her hand resistant in Maura's. Maura doesn't let go. Instead she turns Jane's hand between hers, until Jane's palm faces them.
"Cicatrices," Maura says softly.
Jane gives her a "I don't know what you're saying, so stop" look.
"Scars," Maura clarifies. "When he pierced the dermis, the damage was severe enough to leave a scar," she continues, her fingers tracing the scar.
Jane's first reaction is to yank her hand back and head for the door, but Maura's hands are gentle, and her eyes are warm. Jane leaves her hand in Maura's, with some lingering reluctance.
"His scalpel went through the palmar aponeurosis, the muscle covering your palm," Maura continues, her thumb pressing into Jane's scar gently.
"They are healing well, the scars will continue to diminish," Maura tells her, her fingers brushing across Jane's palm.
Before Maura's fingers move back to the scar, Jane closes her hand, stilling Maura's fingers.
Maura opens Jane's hand gently.
"They aren't ugly, Jane. They aren't something you need to hide or be ashamed of. They are your body's reaction to a trauma, a trauma you didn't cause. All they show is that you went through something painful and now you're healing," Maura tells her, wrapping her hands around Jane's.
"Your hands are beautiful, actually. Very well-developed musculature and an elegant bone structure," Maura tells Jane with a soft smile.
Maura notices Jane's hands aren't trembling any more.