After Dr. Green left, Maura began making calls. Jane's parents first, and she got a relieved sigh from Angela, followed by a lecture about making them worry. Korsak, who was at her house when he answered his cell. Frost, as a courtesy.

In between, techs came, each in a different color according to specialty. The physical therapist who came at mid morning wore Jane out. She'd forgotten how much work that was, and between that and the pain medication that they didn't give her the option of refusing, she fell asleep.

She was awake for lunch, which both she and Maura made faces at, and a call to Frost brought him to the hospital a little later with soup for Jane and a salad for Maura. He was happy to see his partner looking better, although Maura looked tired. Frost stayed to chat for a few minutes while they ate, but was careful to keep the conversation away from cases. Maura threatened he and Korsak after they got Jane into the back seat of Frankie's car after the first funeral, and he did not want to know what the even-tempered coroner would do should he disregard that warning. One outburst from her was more than enough.

Techs and nurses paraded in and out during the afternoon, and her mother and brother came to visit. Behind Angela, Frankie signaled to Jane that they were both in big trouble by drawing his forefinger across his throat.

Jane sat through her mother's lecture. It was much quieter and less extensive than one would have received at home or over the phone. After that, Angela sat beside Maura to chat while Frankie and Jane talked too quietly for Maura to hear. She kept her eyes on them at all times, alert for another round of scheming.

Jane looked at the clock. They had an hour until dinner, and the staff would be busy until then. "How you doin'?"

"I'm fine," Maura answered.

"Why don't you go home? I'm sure Bass misses you, and you can get something decent to eat, and get some sleep."

Maura looked askance at her. "You honestly believe that I'm going to go home after you and Frankie spent an hour whispering to each other?"

"We were talkin' about the investigation."

"Oh, he's really in trouble now."

"Don't be like that, Maura."

"Didn't you hear anything Dr. Green said?"

"Yeah, and I'm doin' exactly what I'm supposed to."

"No, you're not."

"Frost won't tell me anything."

"And he won't. Neither will Korsak, and neither will Frankie after this."

"That's not fair."

"Do you really want to talk about fair now, Jane?"

They stared at each other. To Jane, the combination of emotions Maura showed did not bode well for any discussion. "No, I just. I'm worried about you," she admitted.

Maura's anger faded. "I'll go when visiting hours end."

"Ok."

"Vince has been taking care of the animals."

"Good."

"Vince is also taking care of dinner," he announced from the doorway.

Jane smiled at him. "Hey."

"Hey yourself. Nice to see you looking human."

Jane maturely stuck her tongue out at him.

"Do not taunt the man who has tasty food in the bag." He put it on the tray table. "Everyone's fine. No messes, they both ate. I'll take care of their dinner after I leave you lovely ladies."

"Thank you so much."

"I know Joe thanks you," Jane added.

"Yeah, yeah. What's the good word?"

"Maybe tomorrow."

He nodded. "Just let me know if you need anything. I don't care what it is. Except, you know, feminine hygiene stuff. We ain't married, and it ain't happening."

Maura giggled at his discomfort and Jane's snicker.

"Now that I've fed you and amused you, I'll be on my way. Hey, Doc, walk me to the elevator."

Jane wanted to go with them, but there was no way she could keep up, much less catch up.

He waited until they were near the elevator to say anything. "Jane still needs to give a statement."

"I know." Maura gave hers at the hospital. The intensive care staff were very good about keeping everyone but family away from the patients, and she waited until Jane was deep in drugged sleep to meet another detective in the hospital coffee shop. It took hours, and fortunately Jane was still asleep when she returned.

"I'm not gonna do it here."

"You're going to take her statement?"

"Yes."

"Do you think that's a good idea?"

"Yeah. She'll talk to me. Plus, I can read her pretty good." Let me know when you take her home, and I'll come by a day or two after that, ok?"

"All right," Maura agreed. "Thank you again for all your help."

"That's what friends are for. Good night, Doc."

"Good night," Maura answered absently, and returned to Jane.

"What was that about?" Jane asked as soon as she came in the door.

"He needs to get your official statement."

"Then why did he leave?"

"It can wait until you're home." Maura put the bag on the bed and opened it.

"That smells good," Jane said.

Maura put two large and four small containers on the tray table, the hinges toward Jane. It didn't help. As soon as Maura opened the first one, Jane announced, "That one's mine."

She was right, but Maura quickly closed it and checked the others. Salisbury steak for Jane, chicken for her, salad and pie for both of them. "You have to eat your vegetables," Maura said firmly while turning the container toward Jane.

They were still eating when Jane's father stopped by on his way home. "Hi, Maura," he said while moving to Jane's bedside. "Hi, Janie."

They chatted for a few minutes before he kissed Jane's forehead and excused himself. Other than the nurse, that was the last intrusion of the evening.

Maura stayed an hour after the announcement of the end of visiting hours. She sat beside the bed, watching the evening news and Jeopardy! and whatever came on after that while Jane dozed intermittently. Maura realized how tired she was.

She called a cab, and kissed Jane's forehead. That woke her. "Mmmm?"

"I'm going home."

"Good."

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"Good," Jane repeated sleepily, and her eyes closed.

The ringing phone woke her early in the morning. "Isles," she answered by habit.

"He sprung me."

"I'll be there soon."

"Please bring real coffee."

Maura chuckled. "I'll bring coffee."

"Thanks."

"You're welcome. I'll be there as soon as I can get ready."

An hour and a half later, Maura entered Jane's hospital room. She was all ready sitting anxiously on the bed. "I brought you some clothes." She put her bags down on her chair and removed her coat.

"They won't let me shower unless there's someone to help."

"And?"

"I don't know these people."

Maura started to question Jane's logic, then stopped. "Do you have what you need?"

"They left it in the bathroom."

"All right." Maura went around the bed. Jane moved to the side and stood. She took a second before beginning to walk.

Like everything else, taking a shower was a chore, but Jane was thrilled to finally feel clean. Maura retreated into her professional persona and tamped down every personal thought about Jane while she helped her bathe and dress.

Shortly after they finished, Jane's nurse returned to complete the discharge paperwork. Jane dutifully signed it, and handed it to Maura. She knew the instructions would be followed to the letter. She was so glad to be getting out of there again that she didn't even fuss about using the wheelchair.

"I love this couch," Jane sighed happily less than an hour later. Joe Friday stretched along her thigh, tiny tail thumping enthusiastically against her hip.

"It is comfortable," Maura agreed from Jane's other side.

"You wanna give me the no list now and get it out of the way?"

"The no list?"

"All the things you're gonna tell me I'm not allowed to do."

"It's quite long."

"You're not gonna leave me any wiggle room, are you?"

"Not a millimeter."

"All right. I'll just do what I'm gonna, and you can yell at me after, like usual."

"No sudden movements. No 'forgetting' to do your exercises. No excessive movement. No lifting anything. No carrying anything. No doing anything you know you aren't supposed to. No beer. No yelling at the television or newspaper. No calling the office. No shop talk." Maura paused while she tried to think of other things that Jane might do.

"At least my hands work this time," Jane joked.

Maura's stomach lurched. How close she had been to losing Jane overwhelmed her for a moment.

"It was a joke," Jane explained when Maura didn't answer. She turned her head. Maura's eyes were closed, and Jane didn't understand the expression on her face. "A crappy joke," she added quietly.

'I must improve my self control,' Maura thought. She didn't sleep well the night before. She woke often, and each time she reached out, expecting to find a warm body, there were only cool, empty sheets. Each time, her body went immediately into panic mode before she remembered that Jane was still in the hospital. She changed the subject. "Are you ready for a nap?"

Even if she wasn't, it was obvious Maura was. After the chaos of the past days, Jane wanted to take care of Maura as much as possible. Right now, that meant taking a nap she really didn't want. "Do we have to move?"

"No," she answered Jane. "Joe, off."

The dog obediently jumped down from the couch and sat at Jane's feet. Maura handed Jane a throw pillow and slid forward. Jane lay on her side, and Maura grabbed the other pillow for herself. She backed into Jane, then laid down. Jane put her arm across Maura, and Maura linked their hands. She was asleep in minutes.

Jane watched her sleep. Her head was too fuzzy for deep thoughts, but she knew she caused Maura considerable emotional pain. She remembered for a moment the silence in the moments after pulling the trigger. It wasn't really silence, but the muffled ringing that follows a burst of excessively loud noise. Her thoughts were jumbled. Not panicked or afraid for herself, but Frankie.

She went to church only on holidays that her mother was able to corral her, and didn't consider herself religious, but she prayed then, that Frankie would be all right. Nothing hurt until they began to move her, and then she saw Maura's face above her, eyes wide, lips moving. She couldn't hear Maura's voice, couldn't hear anything, not even the siren she wanted so badly to alert her that her baby brother was getting the help he needed.

Maura looked the same when Jane woke in the ICU, a little panicked but still perfectly dressed, coiffed, and made up, holding Jane's hand too tightly. Jane squeezed it, and Maura sighed with relief and began to explain Jane's medical condition. It was more than Jane could take in. Her eyes glazed over, and she fell asleep before Maura finished. Maura was there every time Jane woke, the same worried look on her face.

The first few days bled together in a haze of morphine and pain, and it was Maura she wanted, and only Maura. Her parents were more than she could deal with, especially her mother, and Maura was her buffer.

For the first time, Jane realized that she was concerned only with Maura's reactions. She didn't give anyone else any thought once she learned Frankie survived. Jane knew Maura didn't understand why she and Frankie went to every funeral, and she couldn't really explain it. It was a cop thing, and they quietly agreed that they were going, no matter what anyone else might say. The only one Frankie let in on the plan was Jane's former partner. Korsak called Dr. Green and left a message telling him that Jane was leaving the hospital and asking that anything she needed be routed to her pharmacy and from there to Maura's home. By the time the doctor got the message, the Rizzolis were long gone, with Maura as their unwilling chaperone.

Jane was more tired than she realized, and her thoughts became disjointed as she slipped toward sleep. Her final coherent thought was that she really, really liked Maura's shampoo.

They slept much of the day away, Joe Friday behind Jane's calves. The doorbell, followed by the knocker, woke them. Maura got up and stretched on her way to the door. She peered through the peephole and recognized Angela Rizzoli.

"I brought soup and fresh bread," Angela announced.

"Thank you." Maura closed the door and followed Angela to the living room.

The dog moved almost as soon as Maura left, and was getting a tummy rub. The best thing about staying at Maura's was that Angela didn't have a key and couldn't just pop in when the spirit moved her. "Hey, Ma."

"How do you feel, Jane?"

"Good."

"I brought you some soup."

"What kind?"

"Vegetable beef."

"Thanks. How's Frankie?"

"A little better. Your father sends his love. I just wanted to bring you some dinner."

"Thank you so much, Angela," Maura said.

Angela finally surrendered the bag to her. "Everything is still warm, so don't wait too long to eat or you'll have to reheat it," she instructed.

Jane bit down on her smirk. "Thanks, Ma."

"You're welcome, Janie. You're coming to Sunday dinner, right?"

"If Maura says it's ok."

Angela looked at Maura.

"Barring complications, we'll be there. Should we bring anything?"

"Not this time. I'll see you both Sunday." Angela walked to the couch and bent down to kiss Jane's cheek. "Behave," she instructed softly.

Maura heard her and smiled a little. "Thank you again, Angela."

"You're welcome, Maura. I'll let myself out. Good night, girls."

Maura took the bag to the kitchen and went back to lock the door. Since being kidnapped by her biological father, she was far more cognizant of her safety. When she returned to the living room, she asked, "Are you hungry now?"

"Yes," Jane answered, and Maura returned to the kitchen. Jane sat up, and slowly stood and made her way to the kitchen. "What can I do to help?"

"Sit down." Maura stirred the soup, then turned to face Jane. "Will you please just let me take care of you for a few days?"

"Who's gonna take care of you?"

"You, when you're recovered."

"You're tired now."

"We'll go to bed early." Maura turned back to the stove.

Jane watched her prepare their meal. Maura sat on the stool beside Jane while they ate, and wouldn't let Jane clean anything up. She gave Jane her medications, got a glass of wine, and they returned to the couch.

Jane was asleep in less than an hour, and Maura turned off the television and closed her eyes. Bass was next to the couch, Joe was behind Jane's legs, and everything was quiet.

Maura was glad. There was far too much in the past weeks. She wanted to return to a routine, even a different one. While Jane recovered, they would spend much more time than usual together. That thought made Maura happy. Even when Jane was in a bad mood, Maura enjoyed her company.

At the moment, she was especially enjoying how Jane was keeping her warm. Their combined body heat was making Maura sleepy, and she fell asleep again.

It was dark when she woke, and Jane's hand was on her breast, held there by Maura's. She didn't move their hands, just lay still. Jane was still asleep, her breathing even, and Maura didn't want to disturb her by moving, but she needed to go to the bathroom.

When she opened the door, Jane was calling her.

"Coming," she answered.

Jane sat on the couch, looking sleepy and confused. Maura helped her up, and they went to bed.


"Just sit down, Maura. You're drivin' me nuts."

"I'm trying to help."

"I know. You're doin' a great job. Now sit down and watch the game with me. Please."

"Don't you"

"No, I don't need whatever it is. I need you to sit down."

After a few seconds, Maura did. Jane took her hand. "I know you wanna take care of me, and I appreciate everything you're doin', but stop. I need to do things for myself."

"You are convalescing from a serious injury and subsequent infection."

"I know. I'm getting' better, so you can lose the panic."

"There are still thousands of things that can go wrong."

"They're all afraid of you. Nothin's gonna happen."

"Korsak is coming to take your statement tomorrow."

"Great. Why are you changing the subject?"

Maura didn't answer.

Jane huffed, but Maura still didn't answer. "Ok, you don't want to talk about something." Jane picked up the remote, turned on the television, and tuned in the ball game. She could be silent, too.

At least until a standup double, followed by a walk, followed by a line drive to the outfield that brought in two and left one on base. Cheering made Jane cough, which set off a chain reaction that left her sitting stiffly for several minutes after it stopped. Maura watched her, but made no effort to intervene as long as Jane continued to breathe.

Coughing that hard was exhausting. Jane's injuries exacerbated it. In the fourth inning, she went to the bathroom and didn't return. When Maura went looking for her, Jane was in the middle of her bed, holding Maura's pillow. When Maura ascertained Jane was asleep, she got a light blanket from the linen closet and covered her.

Maura woke Jane for dinner, and they watched TV for a few hours after before going to bed early again.

The morning was closer to how they were before. Their legs were twined, arms across each other, facing. They didn't say anything right away, but smiled at each other. Maura intended to kiss Jane's forehead, but Jane raised her head, and instead, Maura met her lips.

It was a pleasant surprise, especially because Jane immediately kissed her back. Even without the chemistry between them, it was the best kiss Maura ever received. Jane's kiss told her things, and promised others, and made her pulse accelerate. Maura was afraid to open her eyes when it ended. What if Jane was upset? Keeping Jane in her life was more important than how. She steeled herself.

Jane smiled little while she watched Maura think, but it faded when the first thing Maura said was, "I'm sorry."

"What?"

"I shouldn't have."

"I want you to."

Maura's brows came together. "But you said before"

"You said I wasn't your type," Jane interrupted, openly smirking. "Guess we were both wrong."

"We shouldn't," Maura repeated. "You're still recovering."

"Can't think of a better reason. I'm alive. Now shut up and kiss me."

Maura's brows came together again. "Isn't that a popular culture reference?"

"Yes." Jane bit her lip, wanting neither to sigh nor laugh, because both would hurt. "And an urgent request."

When Maura continued to frown, Jane took the initiative and kissed Maura. At first, it was just nice, but as Maura relaxed and responded, it improved exponentially. Jane felt like she couldn't get enough air through just her nose and reluctantly broke away.

"Are you all right?" Maura asked immediately, anxiously.

"Great," Jane grinned, and winked at her while working on controlling her breathing.

"You aren't healthy enough for that yet."

"Are you offering an incentive?"

Maura smiled, certain Jane was serious although her question sounded like a joke. "I'm all for anything that will get you back on your feet."

"Not exactly the position I had in mind."

Maura blushed, but managed an, "Oh?"

Having Maura flushed and a little flustered beside her wasn't helping anything, but flirting with her was always fun, and more fun now that what was behind it was out in the open. "When I'm on my feet again, I wanna take you on a date."

"I'd love that," Maura beamed and kissed Jane again.

-30-