For Kim McEntire (aka mcentire_k). I know it's not smut, but I hope you like it anyway. ^_^
As usual, the character's aren't mine. I'm just borrowing them.
"The darkening of the nasal jugular fold indicates fatigue and vitamin deficiencies." Maura handed Jane a cup of coffee.
"What?" The detective waved the coffee away with a flick her wrist. "No thanks. I think I've been drinking too much of the stuff here lately." She flopped down on Maura's sofa with a sigh. "And, why are you looking at me like that?"
"You have dark circles under your eyes. Are you not sleeping well again?" The doctor set the coffee she'd just offered on the coffee table and moved to sit next to the exhausted looking brunette. "Jane, are you having nightmares again?" She reached out to lay a comforting hand on Jane's arm, but the other woman pulled away.
"Haven't we had this conversation before?" Maura watched as the normally confident detective tried to curl herself up into a ball in the corner of the sofa. "Can we talk about something else?"
"You know you would feel better if you talked about it."
"That's what the department shrink said, too." Jane rested her forehead on her pulled-up knees. "I don't want to talk about it. I want to talk about something else." She looked up to shoot the blonde a warning look. "Okay?"
Maura regarded Jane for a moment. With a skilled eye, she looked over the lithe body of her friend. She took in the unruly hairs, the dark circles, the paler than normal skin, and the more disheveled than normal appearance. She observed the slight shaking of the other woman's form and the white-knuckled grip the brunette had on her knees.
"Jane, I'm worried about you." She scooted closer. "It isn't like you to be so," she searched for the most accurate word, "Frightened."
"Hey," Jane shot off the sofa, "I am not scared." Throwing her hands on her hips, she glared down at the other woman. "I am a Boston homicide detective. I can take care of myself."
Calmly looking up into the stormy brown eyes bearing down on her, Maura gently replied, "I never stated otherwise." Back ramrod straight, hands folded neatly in her lap, the doctor patiently waited for the detective to settle down again.
Jane scowled for a brief time. But, after a few heated moments, her body relaxed and she sank back onto her end of the sofa.
"I'm sorry, Maura. I don't mean to be a jerk I'm just," she rested a forefinger and thumb on the bridge of her nose. "I'm just tire, you know?"
"How long has it been since you've had a full night's rest?" This time, Jane didn't pull away when Maura's hand found her knee.
"I don't really know," Jane let out a heavy sigh. "I think it might have been," she shook her head and a humorless chuckle escaped her lips. "Does being passed out count?"
Maura sat quietly watching the brunette run her hands over her face in frustration. "No," she replied after a time. "Being 'passed out' does not encourage a state of REM sleep, which, in turn, does not allow for a restful sleep." She pulled her hand back from Jane's leg and turned her head toward the kitchen. A bottle of whiskey sat on the counter where Jane had left it when she came in that night. "Is that why you brought the alcohol tonight? Did you intend to become so inebriated you lost consciousness?" Maura turned back to the detective with a look somewhere between concern and accusation. "Jane, would you tell me if you thought you might be suffering from some sort of substance abuse?"
The brunette gave a small snort. "Maura, I'm not an alcoholic, and I don't abuse any type of drug." She reached out to touch the blonde on the arm, but pulled back at the last moment. "I'm clean, okay?"
Maura gave a curt nod of her head. "Okay. However, I am still worried about you."
"Yeah, well, I'm worried about me, too." Jane picked up the coffee mug.
"I'm serious. Can you tell me the last time you've had a night of uninterrupted sleep?"
The detective ran the back of her hand across her mouth as she stared into her coffee. "Do you remember that case a few weeks ago when we had to go undercover at that bar?"
"Are you referring to the one that ended with the wife killing her wife for the money?"
"Yeah… how many undercover assignments have we been on together?" Jane shot Maura a raised eyebrow. "Anyway," she turned her gaze back to her coffee. "Do you remember how we fell asleep on the bed together?"
Maura nodded. "Yes, I was meditating because it was becoming much too stressful talking to you. I felt very out of alignment." She gave Jane a cross look. Jane gave a weak smile. "You fell asleep with your clothes and your shoes on. Honestly, Jane, I don't know how you can sleep like that."
"I can't, normally." The brunette returned the mug to the table. "There's just something," she swallowed. "That was the first full night's rest I'd had in a month."
"And you haven't slept well since that night?" Jane shook her head no. "What was the difference between that night and the others preceding it or following it?"
Jane turned on the sofa to face the doctor, but it was clear from her movements she wanted to keep space between them. She slowly brought her eyes up to meet Maura's. "You."
"Me?" The surprise was more than evident on the doctor's face. "I don't think I understand."
"I don't know… I guess what I'm saying is that I sleep better when you're around." Jane gave a slight shrug. "You know, when I say it out loud like that, it makes me sound needy, doesn't it?" She stood up. "It's getting late. I should probably go." She retreated toward the door. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to dump on you like that."
"Jane," Maura darted from the sofa and grabbed the brunette by the hand. "Don't go." She pulled the other woman back toward the sofa. "Maybe you could stay here tonight?"
"I… I can't," Jane pulled away from the blonde's grasp. "Not after all of that. It just doesn't… I mean, you're not my… I… I shouldn't treat you like my," she blew out a frustrated sigh. "Maura, it's just not a good idea, okay? I need to not be so dependent on someone who isn't… who I'm not…"
"You could be." Maura stepped closer to the detective. "That decision has always been yours to make."
Jane stepped back. "You've made it pretty clear you didn't want that."
"That same night. 'Good thing you're not my type', or don't your remember?"
It was Maura's turn to frown. "That was, perhaps, not the best form of teasing considering the circumstances."
"I was teasing. There is a difference. It was never my intention to mislead you."
Jane stepped around Maura to sit on the sofa again. "I'm too broken for you, Maura. You don't deserve that."
"I'm a doctor, Jane. I may be the only one who can properly deal with it." Maura returned to her place on the sofa.
"Dr. Isles, was that a joke?" The brunette feigned surprise.
"Only slightly." The blonde gave a small smirk.
There was a pause between them as they waited to see what would happen next. Finally, Maura stood and offered a hand to Jane. "Stay tonight?"
Jane relented and gingerly placed her still shaking hand in that of the steady doctor's. "I can't promise anything."
"Promise me you'll sleep tonight." Maura led them to her bedroom, turning off the lights as they went. "That's the only promise I'm looking for tonight." She pulled the sheets back on her bed. "Well, that, and you'll take off your shoes prior to getting in the bed."
Jane smiled. "I can do you one better than that." She pulled open the nightstand drawer that housed a few clothes she kept at Maura's. "I'll go change into cloths suitable for sleeping in and take my shoes off."
Maura returned the smile. "That's acceptable." She climbed into bed.
"I'll be back in a few." Jane hurriedly headed for the bathroom.
"I'll be here."