Notes: Just a quirky little one shot

"Just The Facts Ma'am"

It itched.

Really itched.

That kind of itch that gnaws at you. You're clawing at yourself in a deep sleep dreaming about how bad something itches. You don't know that you're dreaming. In the dream of course the itch is caused by something horrendous, your body shudders unconsciously, it gives you the willies. There's no other way to describe it - just the willies. A horrible plague of insects are blanketing you in the dream you're swatting at them but they don't go anywhere, it's like they're coming out of your skin itself, birthing out of your pores. It makes you gag. You start raking at yourself until finally you scratch just hard enough through the layers of that dream state that you wake yourself up. And your skin burns from the job your sleep-comatose nails did on it without the filter of conscious pain receptors to tell you to back off.

Fucking nightmare. Yeah, that's how bad it itched.

But now she was awake. Sigh.

And it still fucking itched.

She looked over at Maura, asleep. It was kind of her fault. The jewelry was a gift and she wasn't used to wearing such things. Not sleeping in it would probably be the best plan in the future. Maura meant well, she liked buying nice things for those she loved. At any rate, she was awake now. It was early, not too early though, nighttime had almost passed. It was a wonder, she thought, that she didn't wake Maura with all the scratching. If it was as violent in reality as it seemed to be in the dream. The burn from the scratch marks indicated it probably had been. She got out of the bed.

She was getting accustomed to Maura's house, even growing fond of it. It was big, which was a little intimidating at first. And everything in it so pristine, the interior completely planned, arranged and decorated. No doubt much thought had gone into it. The fear of clumsily dashing some irreplaceable heirloom to bits never quite released its grip on her but once you spend enough time somewhere it starts to feel like home even with certain eccentricities – and behavior altering floor plans.

A tangerine glow from the breaking dawn was beating back the blue and gray hues from the night. She walked over to the window and peered out. Daybreak was a good time of day. In periods of optimism it meant the opportunity for a fresh start, another day ripe with possibilities.

She didn't usually see daybreak on an off day. Off days were for sleeping in. But really, she wasn't mad at the jewelry-induced itch fiasco anymore. This seemed an unusually beautiful sunrise. The soft glow from the rising sun was taking the chill off the window; she could feel it as she pressed slightly against the glass. Maura had mentioned something about maybe going for a walk in the morning; but perhaps she'd just let Maura sleep until she woke up. It wasn't that she didn't like morning walks with Maura, but something about the solitude this morning was satisfying.

It struck her she was a bit thirsty. Probably parched from the violent itching. She made her way to the kitchen for a drink of water. Jesus! Ok, some of the unconventional things at Maura's were easier to get used to than others. Rounding dark corners to come unexpectedly upon Bass rising like the Rock of Gibraltar out of the floor still gave her a startle on many occasions.

She tapped him on his shell and peered down where his head was tucked neatly under. He didn't budge. Bass didn't care for her much, she was sure of it, Maura had tried to say otherwise but he had given her that look. His beady little eyes watched her with judgment and disdain, well, when he actually bothered to poke his head out of his shell in her presence anyway. Maybe he'd come around. If not, that was fine too; she wasn't going to stress over it. He was just a tortoise after all.

Force of habit found her doing a tour around the house; just checking to make sure everything was as it had been left, everything in order. No surprises, no masked intruders. As she neared the bedroom it sounded as if Maura was waking up.

"Jane?" She heard her say, groggily.

She meandered back into the bedroom. The light was on now. She found herself taken by a moment of narcissism as she paused to evaluate herself in Maura's full-length mirror.

Maura laughed from behind her as she made her way over on her way to the bathroom. She knelt down, "Looking at yourself in the mirror Jo?"

Jo shook her head and the tags on the new collar jingled. She took another peep in the mirror. My name is Friday – I carry a badge.