Maura had not felt the need to bind and tether Jane's wrists. Sometimes it was beautiful to look at, but it was never necessary. Jane was completely pliable, completely at her will. The thought sent a shudder through her as she kissed her jaw. Jane was still save for small tremors, soft sounds as Maura touched her, circling her clit with her fingers. She had her eyes closed, simply intoxicated at feeling Jane so seemingly willing.

That night, she'd decided to take her time, to enjoy herself more acutely by drawing it out, and she had lost the hours since she had given Jane her last drink. Maura knew it was wrong, knew it was far from conscionable, but she had long since stopped being able to help herself. And it was practical in that it kept Jane out of trouble, kept her from getting hurt with someone else. She smiled to herself as she continued to touch her, settling against her warm body. To have Jane as hers entirely, it had to be this way. And Maura was coming to accept that more readily.

Jane's shudders grew more violent as she reached inevitable release. She let out a whimper which faded into a moan. From someplace in the thick darkness swirling around her brain, she registered the noise as if from far away. She was caught, confused by the pleasure, and the sudden panic of realization that she was lost. Her eyes struggled to open, to focus on anything, "Maura...?" Jane's voice waived and cracked, "Oh..." Her toes were curling into the sheets, her senses coming back in waves.

The sounds that formed into her name more articulate than anything in quite some time startled Maura. She sat up quickly, her hand going to Jane's shoulder with a firm touch. She focused on the brunette's dark eyes, noting the size of her pupils, the color of the whites. She had let herself go too long; she knew she had not miscalculated the dose. "Shh, Jane," she whispered. Quickly, Maura calculated the time she had left. She moved to the bedside table and opened the drawer, her hands working as quickly as she could make them against her thoughts.

The vials were carefully arranged. She planned for any contingencies, though she did not expect to ever use the needle. Even so, her movements were mechanical as she affixed the rubber to Jane's arm, as she filled the syringe and swabbed the crook of Jane's arm. At the push of Jane's skin against the needle, she bit her lip, teeth hard against it as the thick liquid went in.

Jane's mind struggled to follow, though her body wouldn't respond. Maura seemed to be moving so quickly, and she could see more with each second. Finally though, it was the burning pain in her arm that brought her back to herself, if only for a moment. She wanted to cry out, but the sudden flash of vision—Maura there over her looking so determined, intent, stole the ability from her. Though she couldn't feel them, a few tears ran silently down Jane's flushed cheeks. The last coherent thought she could manage before fading out again was if she had been hurt- injured somehow she couldn't remember, and a brief moment of relief that Maura was there, and would somehow take care of her.

"It's all right," she said soothingly at last. She hadn't used gloves. That registered in Maura's mind, but relief washed it away. Jane's body was growing slack again, her features relaxing back to their dazed and content expression. Jane was hers-all hers.

"That's better," Maura whispered as she stroked Jane's curls. She sat there for a while, simply watching the brunette take deep breaths. It was soothing, pleasant even. And Maura felt calmer despite the lingering guilt. Rather than face it, she began to touch Jane again, this time pressing herself against the brunette's thigh, moaning softly at her own pleasure.

The pain had faded into the background of Jane's consciousness as an even heavier fog settled. She could capture little, save small impressions—the feeling of Maura's hair on her chest, a subtle creek of the bed under her, and the weight of the darkness all around.

Finally, Maura gasped in her climax. She clung to Jane for a moment, grounding herself in the brunette's stupider. "That was...mmm, yes. Yes..."

She sighed softly as she sat up, stretching to draw out the moment. Dressing Jane could wait a bit. She wanted to clean up, to shower before moving her to the guest room. And now she had time. As she stood, Maura looked down on Jane and smiled. "So beautiful..."

When Maura returned, she was humming softly as she toweled off her hair. She was thinking of the way Jane had looked up at her, confused but trusting. And she was remembering the feeling of her climax, trying to make it last. They had shared so much together, but this...this was entirely hers. She bit her lips at the thought, at the guilt. How had she come so far that she didn't question herself, that she anticipated these nights?

She paused in the doorway to look at Jane, to ground and reassure herself. Jane hadn't moved since she'd left her, and Maura took a breath, realities closing in. She watched the subtle rise and fall of Jane's chest, counting the seconds, her eyes widening with each. It was too long. The breaths came too slowly from Jane's parted lips. All she so carefully anticipated, carefully calculated could be lost, and she could see that looming in front of her.

The towel fell from Maura's hands. She stood frozen in place, her heart in her throat as she struggled for breath, struggled to make herself move, to check Jane's pulse. Maura's mind worked to calculate how much she had used in the second dose, how long it had been. But that all crumbled away as she admonished herself for carelessness and held back a sob with her hands to her lips. All her selfish happiness began to drain away, and she felt chilled.

Finally, she did move, crossing the room silently. Jane's breath might have been slow, but it was steady, deep, and Maura picked up her wrist, feeling for her pulse with practiced fingers. The slow rhythm soothed her somewhat—the knowledge that at least Jane's body was at peace. However, her eyes then strayed up the brunette's arm and the panic returned at the unmistakable sight of the needle prick on her perfect skin. Maura knew she had been careful, but some things were inevitable. Jane would be sore, and she would ask questions Maura had no answers for. Silently, Maura hung her head and squeezed her eyes shut, dropping Jane's wrist back to the bed.

She stood, fighting something stronger than her, as if she were moving through palpable tension. Maura counted her steps, clenched her fists at her sides to keep her hands from shaking. It was more noticeable as she moved to the kitchen, as she poured herself a gin and tonic. She sipped it slowly, wondering, worrying that Jane would certainly remember. Maura took one shuddering breath and then another. What had she let herself do? Her eyes felt dry, raw. She had lost control. She had lost control for a moment and it could have been so much worse. The possibilities stretched out before her, as cold and telling at her work, as her calling. She wanted Jane to be part of her living world—not that.

"Oh, Jane..." she said to herself, anguished.

Sounds which she seldom heard in her own home now were deafening—the tick of a clock, hum of appliances, even the subtle whine of the heater as it came on. Over them all, though, the clinking of the ice in her drink echoed as she put it down with shaking hands.

Maura wasn't sure if the moment was so long as to be interminable, or if she stood immediately. She set her jaw with more determination than she felt as she took measured steps back to the bedroom. Even as she checked Jane's pulse once more, she was trying to calm herself.

Taking Jane into the guest room was more difficult than usual, the chemicals still so thick in her system. She could feel the weight more acutely, could hear her own breaths. The routine of dressing her again steadied her hands, but when Maura crawled into her own bed, sleep would not come.

*****

Jane stirred restlessly, tugging the blankets around her more tightly, then pushing them away when she felt the daylight coming through the windows, warming the room. Even before she managed to open her eyes, Jane groaned. Her limbs felt heavy, their aching only drowned out by the pounding in her head.

The room around her took long moments to focus, and she groaned again. Her sense of deja-vu was growing, and she cautiously looked to the nightstand to see a familiar glass of water and pills waiting. Embarrassment, anger at herself welled up, but this time also tinged with the sense that something else was wrong, though she couldn't make it out. She tried to sit, but steadied herself as a wave of nausea washed over. Jane flinched back then from a sharp pain in her arm, and her eyes widened as she brushed her fingers over the sensitive skin.

Maura had been so shaken, she had forgotten to set her alarm. As Jane was beginning to stir, she was walking quietly down the stairs. She felt her cheeks flush and pressed her hand to one of them. She should have been starting breakfast by now. She should have been ready, but her limbs were dragging. She was tired and the wave of guilt of worry over her carelessness, her lack of control was beginning to make the muscles in her shoulders tighten again.

Maura's footsteps on the stairs shook Jane back, and she reached for the water, though the thought was making her stomach churn again. She looked again at the mark—a cut maybe?- on her arm and something came back to her, a moment, but it was hazy—Maura there with her as she struggled to ask something, then darkness. Jane probed her mind, unsettling thoughts coming to her the more she tried. emShit, this isn't rightem Jane stood gingerly, realizing only then how much her body hurt. emGod what happened this time?/em

Jane made her way downstairs, head pounding harder with each step, and by the time she reached the kitchen, she felt herself blinking rapidly, searching for words.

"Jane..." Maura struggled to smile. Her throat felt tight, but her hands worked methodically as she stirred together pancake batter like she normally did. The brunette looked confused, wild even, and Maura's smile was even more difficult to maintain. It seemed wrong somehow for Jane to see her in her preparations, even for this. Here, she questioned whether Jane was truly her. "I overslept..." she said quietly as she turned her eyes to the bowl in front of her.

Jane was quiet for a long moment, watching Maura's demeanor. Even tired, sick, Jane could read her friend's expressions—Maura wore them like she did her clothes. Slowly, Jane nodded, and sat in her usual place. She coughed as she first spoke, voice still hoarse, "It was a late night, yeah?" That much was abundantly clear, but there was an unease in the room that kept Jane from launching into her usual banter with Maura.

"Very..." Maura replied, looking up only to flash another smile. She forced herself to look into Jane's eyes for that brief a time, and she had to sniff to cover the way her breath caught. She had lost control, and now there was no excuse. She had tried to take care of Jane, to make sure she would be safe, and she had gone too far because of what she wanted, what she needed. Perhaps Jane remembered everything or perhaps she only felt the effects of the night, but Maura could not deny that things were now irrevocably changed. She was ashamed. She was guilty. And she was blushing because she was thrilled.

Finally, Jane looked away as Maura turned her back to take ingredients out of the fridge. She gazed down at her hands, speaking quietly but with intent, "Maura, what happened last night?" If she had been out of control, she wanted to hear it. If something more had gone on, she needed to know.

Maura licked her lips, her back stiffening. She clutched the buttermilk container in her hand, but she did not turn around. "Oh, Jane..." She left only the most imperceptible pause, knowing that going on would not be a lie...technically. "It was merely the usual."

Jane slammed her fist down on the counter, "Damn it, Maura, what does that even mean!" She winced then as the sound made her head pound harder.

"Jane, you're..." Maura's throat was dry as she continued, turning around slowly, "you're getting excited. I'm sure you have a headache, and...let me get you some water..." Her hands shook as she put down the milk and turned to the fridge again. She could feel the sting of tears behind her eyes.

Jane collapsed her face into her hands then. "God, Maura I'm sorry, I just..." She stood and went to the other woman, pulling her close and into an embrace, "...I just don't understand is all, and I can't take much more of it." She could feel Maura still tense in her arms, and more guilt crept over her.

"It's difficult to stop," Maura said so quietly that her voice almost softer than a whisper. She felt tears begin to slide down her cheeks as she turned in Jane's arms. The brunette was so still—just as she had been the night before—and Maura felt guilt for taking comfort in it. Her fingers brushed the knot in the crook of Jane's arms and she closed her eyes as she pressed into her. "I just want what's best for you."

Jane didn't push her away, instinctively running her fingers through Maura's hair, trying to comfort her. She didn't understand in the slightest, but something was wrong, something Maura was trying desperately not to say. "What is? I mean, I know that, but..." Jane was getting more and more uneasy, "Maura, I don't understand."

The touch was soothing, but Maura was trying to keep herself from shaking. She could feel Jane's tension mounting, and her own fear that everything would soon slip away became overwhelming. She tightened her grip on Jane, clinging to her, knowing just what instincts that would pull from the brunette. "I wasn't as responsible...as usual. I'm sorry, Jane."

At seeing the always pristine woman admit to such a thing, Jane couldn't help but relent, knowing how much it pained her. Obviously whatever it was, Maura was mortified by it. Maybe they'd both had too much, maybe something else, but Jane didn't have the ability to force once she felt Maura's tears start to seep through her shirt. "Hey, no...it's okay." Jane's tone shifted to reassuring, trying to let go of her own uncertainties.

Maura waited just a moment longer, drawing it out, knowing that moment could mean the difference between Jane bending to her will again or walking away. then, she slowly withdrew, pulling away to carefully wipe her eyes. "Let me...let me make it up to you...it'll just be a moment to finish these pancakes. Just..." She sniffed once more and lapsed into silence. This was her fault; she had brought this on herself in acting too hastily, in losing control.

Jane watched Maura return to her cooking, casting around for something to do to make things better. Finally, though, she resolved herself to her former place, drinking gingerly from the glass of water the blond had set in front of her. She forced a small laugh, trying to lighten the mood—anything to keep from making Maura feel worse. "You know Maura, I think I'm not used to 'awkward mornings after' this long out of the academy. I don't suppose my usual apology will make you feel any better?"

"It's all right, Jane..." Her smile was more genuine, relieved to a point. She reached for Jane's hand and squeezed it softly. "Really..." Her cheeks were flushed at the contact, at moving past the danger of everything falling apart. She had lost control, but Jane was still hers. She couldn't help herself, but Jane was still hers.