Jane stood at her closed front door, resting her head against the jam. Her mother had demanded that everybody clean up before they left, because "Janie needs to rest," and had then hurried them all out to their cars. All, that was, except Dr. Isles.

Jane was exhausted, both mentally and physically, and yet she had been reluctant to let the party end. She knew all too well that the fear would slip in and fill the void her departed guests left in their wake. And as the silence rushed in, she felt the first waves of panic lapping at her chest.

Hoyt was gone, but even in his death he was able to terrify Jane. He had managed to find her greatest weakness and with almost no effort at all, use it to control her as he had each of his apprentices.

Jane had been playing the events in the prison infirmary over and over in her head. If all he had wanted to do was kill her before he died, he had the opportunity when she first saw him. But that was not his intent at all. He wanted to demonstrate his power and control over her and have her know that he was the one pulling the puppet strings. It made Jane sick to think about it, but she had scampered around Boston following Hoyt's esoteric clues like they were orders from a ranking officer.

What is more, she was beginning to realize, Hoyt had had no intention of killing her. If he had wanted to, he would have done it. No, Hoyt wanted her to kill him. And she had. Hoyt's parting shot was that Jane would have to live with the knowledge that Hoyt had played her, and she lost. Her last words to Hoyt now seemed bitter and metallic in her mouth. All her adherence to codes and morals and justice, and she had been reduced to a pawn in Hoyt's final gambit. God Dammit! Why did this man have such a hold on her? Why had she not seen it BEFORE she killed him. Jane felt like she was loosing control, like she was loosing sight of who she was.

"Jane?" The medical examiner questioned softly from across to room. "Jane, honey are you alright?" The Doctor had waited after the rest of the group had filed out so that she could talk with Jane alone. She had been rethinking the events of the past few days, and with a more complete reckoning of all of the facts, Maura had been forced to accept that Hoyt's machinations may have been spurred on by a far darker motivation then they had originally imagined. The thought pricked in her mind and she knew that it was only a matter of time before Jane would reach the same conclusion. Maura had thought about not mentioning it, but she knew her friend's mind too well. Jane's expertly honed cognitive ability, as well as her inestimable intuition, was no match for the truth. The horrible, ugly truth that Maura knew could wreck Jane forever.

Jane heard Maura's words and they pulled her brain out of the brume of confusion and doubt that was tormenting her thoughts. She had almost forgotten that Maura was there, but in an instant she became acutely aware of the other woman's presence. How could she face Maura with the realization she had come to? How could Maura want to continue being her friend after she found out that Jane was nothing more then a weak minded fool who had been manipulated into doing the will of a mad man. Jane ached as she once again focused on the fact that she had dragged Maura into the situation, and allowed her to be used as well. How could Maura forgive her once she knew. Once she knew that Jane had tipped her hand and let her greatest weakness be used against them both.

As she thought, she came to the full realization that Patty Doyle had played her too. Jane had tried smugly to write off the murder of Mickey O'Donnell as Mutt on Mutt crime; after all how could she be held responsible for Doyle's actions. But that was a lie and she knew it. A murderer had asked her for privileged information and she had been all too willing, in fact eager, to hand it over. She was no better than him. She took cold comfort in the fact that O'Donnell's blood was not literally on her.

But Hoyt, Hoyt had put the scalpel in Jane's hand and induced her to use it. Jane had killed for Hoyt. Jane thought she was going to be sick.

Maura called Jane's name one more time and when the raven haired detective declined to answer, she gently rose from the couch and crossed the room. "Jane?" Maura brushed Jane's hair back. Silent tears streamed down the pained face. Jane barley breathed but the tears coursed down her cheeks as if she she had been sobbing. Maura grasped Jane's shoulder to turn the woman to face her, she felt that Jane's whole body was stiff.

Jane seemed to be subsisting by shear will alone, and dared not relax a muscle for fear the she would loose control of everything and cease to exist.

"Oh, Jane," Maura whispered tenderly, and wrapped her arms around her beloved friend.

Jane abandoned the security of the door jam for the surprising strength of Maura's embrace. Her tears flowed harder as she relaxed into the shelter of the Doctor's arms. Jane wanted to come clean to her friend, but a second, and if possibly more horrifying thought, came to Jane's mind. Though she was fairly certain that Hoyt had not intended to kill her, she saw with unwavering clarity that he had had every intention of killing Maura. Jane's knees trembled at the thought.

"What if I'd lost you," Jane sobbed hoarsely into Maura's neck. It was the easiest fear to express, and the only one Jane felt she had the strength to acknowledge. "What if I had let him take you from me?"

"Well Jane, I don't believe that you can take responsibility for letting him do anything, and if something to that end had happened, it would not have been a direct result of your will." Maura's answer was cool and rational and so, well, Maura. She would never be able understand, much less forgive Jane. Jane felt a chasm starting to form between the two and the panic surged. She gripped Maura tighter knowing it would all be gone soon. But then Maura's voice changed, it dropped to almost a whisper, as the Doctor kneaded the taut muscles in Jane's back.

"Shhh sweetie," Maura purred. "He didn't take me, and you didn't loose me, I am right here." Maura consoled her friend, while silently recognizing that Jane was in a very dangerous place right now. Maura's heart broke as she knew her friend would be shouldering the weight of everything, trying to take responsibility for everything. Maura could not help but feel responsible herself. Maura knew what Jane was capable of when it came to defending her friends and family. Maura's mind raced from Mickey O'Donnell, to the shooting of Frankie and then to the infirmary. Maura feared for her friend's well being if she did not talk all this over with someone, but tonight was not the time.

"I don't know why you blame yourself for everything, but I won't let you get away with it! And I am used to having my way."

Jane felt the chasm shrink, yet she held Maura still closer, awed by the woman's hold on her.

The two stood for a long moment, wrapped in each other; neither one wanting to let the other go. But as Jane's breathing slowed, Maura relaxed her hold, testing the Detective's ability to remain standing.

"lets get some rest, huh?" Maura stepped back and stared directly into Jane. "I'm not going anywhere," She reassured, as a smile crinkled at the edges of her eyes.

Jane gave a sheepish smirk, amazed at how Maura could subdue her anxieties with one deep look from those hazel eyes. It was better than valium and it won't show up on any drug test. Jane returned Maura's smile, her panic at bay, if just for now.

The two friends silently closed off the lights in the living room and moved into Jane's bedroom. Jane retrieved a fresh tee shirt and shorts from her top drawer and turned to hand them to Maura, but the pragmatic woman had found the tank under Jane's pillow and was already slipping it on. Jane watched, captivated by the sight of her friend's smooth body as the white cloth stretched over it.

Jane felt a twinge, something like jealousy, when she saw how well Maura filled out the shirt. Jane involuntarily looked down at herself and compared her own narrow frame against Maura's supple curves. Maura had a woman's body, so much more sexy then her own. There were so many differences, so much to contrast; Jane wondered why Maura even bothered with her. The Doctor was smart and cultured, with a body men would would die for, and Jane was just Jane.

She turned away and quickly disrobed, pulling the t-shirt over her head as she dropped her oxford to the floor, wishing that she could be someone different, better, more worthy of her friend.

Maura sensed Jane's mood change and looked over as Jane turned away. Maura studied the lines of Jane's body. Jane was lithe, and her strong but delicate musculature rippled under her skin as she moved. Maura marveled at the power in her friends body. Maura had been unable to defend herself against their attackers, yet Jane had overpowered a man who was physically Jane's superior, and saved her from the hands of a killer. Before her stood the woman who had saved her life, and Maura could not help but feel inadequate. There was a deep strength and yet a quite self doubt that made Jane both powerful and vulnerable at the same time. Maura wondered how it was that Jane, who had been through so much, still had so much compassion for others. Maura's eyes trailed up Jane's body and came to rest on the bandage on her neck. Reflexively, Maura reached for her own neck.

"Matching scars," Maura thought. Hoyt's fixation was on killing couples in front of each other. He fed of the pain he caused by making his victim's watch as he stole their most precious possession, their lover. Could Hoyt have believed that Maura was Jane's most precious? Did Hoyt see something that she hadn't? Was Hoyt right? Was Maura the fulcrum Hoyt had needed to manipulate Jane?

Maura slid to the side of the bed as Jane silently walked over. Jane reclined on her side, with her back toward Maura and her arms drawn across he body. Maura stared at Jane's back. Her head full of questions that she needed answered.

"Are you alright," Maura asked softly, and reached out to touch Jane's shoulder. Jane inched her shoulder away ever so slightly.

"I will be," Jane breathed, barley above a whisper. "I've just got to rest I guess."

Maura had felt Jane's reaction and it caused a heaviness in her chest. Jane's rejection of her touch at a time when she needed comfort most, made Maura feel weak and hurt. Maura, was unaccustomed to feeling so out of control and subordinate to the moods of another. She thought of her many lovers and searched for one who had had this kind of affect on her. Even Ian, who she had thought was the love of her life, did not make her feel this raw. Maura felt like every nerve in her body was exposed and in tune to what Jane did, how she moved, when she breathed, each smile she bestowed upon Maura

Maura had never had a best friend, so she did not have a control against which to compare her current emotional state, but she was pretty sure her feelings for Jane exceeded the perimeters of a normal friendship. Applying the new data provided by the days events, Maura realized what here feeling were for Jane were, her scientific mind found the evidence irrefutable. As soon as she acknowledged it she embraced the fact that she was in love with Jane. What was more, she wanted to be with Jane, and spend he life showing Jane how deeply she felt. She was alive to the possibilities and did not want to wait any longer. Maura rolled on to her side and moved over close to Jane.

"Jane, we should talk?" Maura placed her hand on Jane's arm and spoke softly to the nape of her neck.

Jane felt Maura press against her, and like the touch moments ago, it sent spasms throughout her body. Jane's stomach churned and the breath in her lungs stuttered as she inhaled. Jane felt her own body betraying her as Maura's sweet breath fell across her cheek. Jane was no fool, she knew what her body wanted, but she could not risk loosing her friendship by giving into it. When Hoyt had attacked Maura, Jane had allowed herself to accept the truth she had been ignoring for awhile, but she could not imagine how Maura would react if she found out. Maura's mere proximity had Jane's body screaming, and Jane knew she was too emotionally taxed to be able to keep the tight control necessary for Maura not to hear it.

Jane abruptly sat up, slamming he feet on the floor to stand, but the mixture of the sudden movement and her own fatigue prevented her from rising off the bed. Jane sat there, with her head in her hands praying to God that Maura would not come any closer, but aching inside with the fear that she wouldn't.

Maura had felt Jane's breath catch at her touch, and it prodded her hope. Maura reached out and firmly pressed her hand against Jane's back. She felt Jane's heart pounding against her ribcage. The body was a wonderful and mysterious thing, and Maura knew what Jane's body was telling her.

Maura sat up and moved closer to Jane. She tucked her feet underneath her own body and raised up slightly, onto her knees. She wrapped her arms around Jane's waist and lay her head on the back of Jane's shoulder.

"I'm here Jane, and I always will be," Maura spoke clearly, trying to convey her full meaning without frightening her friend.

Jane was too confounded to move. For the second time that evening she found herself rigid in an attempt to steel herself and overcome emotion.

"Don't Maur," Jane rasped. "You have no idea..."

Maura's fingers caressed Jane's stomach

"Shhhh," Maura breathed, it's ok.

"No, no it's not," Jane snapped, a little more hostilely then she had intended. She took Maura's hands in her own, and unwrapped them from her slender figure, turning as she did so, and resting her knee on the bed.

"Maura you don't get it, and I can't explain it to you, so please, please, just let me be." Jane stared deeply into Maura's eye, wanting to tell her that she needed her, but afraid of how it would sound. All the while knowing that, as damaged goods, she was no good for her. Maura's eyes smoldered with what seemed to Jane like a mixture of pain and confusion. Jane watched as the pain took hold, and elucidated the confusion. Maura's brow pinched and Jane saw the tears before the reached her eyes.

"Oh, Maura," Jane blurted out, as her hand reached reflexively for Maura's face. "I didn't mean...I just meant...oh don't cry."

Maura broke their gaze and half heartedly pushed Jane's hand away as she concentrated on the spot on the floor where Jane's dress shirt had fallen. She refused the let the tears fall. It was her turn to have to will away her emotions.

Jane moved into Maura's stare, trying to lock eyes and see what was in them, but she would not meet her gaze. No matter what her own feelings were crashing around in her chest, the sight of Maura in distress was more then she could handle. Jane wrapped one arm around Maura's waist and slid the other behind her head, drawing her in to a tight, consoling embrace. Jane's hand rested firmly in the small of the delicate doctor's back, and Maura's head nestled into Jane's shoulder.

Jane kissed Maura's forehead without even realizing that she was doing it. The fragrant smell of Maura's hair filled Jane's senses.

Maura inhaled the warm musk of Jane's body. She could hear Jane's heart, beating hard just inches away from her face. Maura reach out for the arm that held her waist, and ran her finger's up to the Jane's shoulder. Maura's hand rested there for a moment as she felt the softness of Jane's lips on her forehead. How she longed for them to be pressing against her own.

In a movement so quick she would not be able to stop herself, Maura grasped Jane by the back of the neck and raised up her face so that she could see Jane's dark eyes.

"I love you Jane Rizzoli." Maura said and pressed her lips against Jane's before she could protest.

Jane heard the words and felt the kiss but it took her a moment to fully appreciate them. When her mind caught up to speed, she felt an explosion in her chest that released a surge of energy like she had never felt before. She pulled Maura closer and returned her kiss with a hunger and ferocity she could not have imagined she possessed. Their kiss was long and deep and searching. All of Jane's angst and fear seemed to ebb away and in their place grew an intense burning joy. Every time Jane pulled away to speak she felt compelled to kiss Maura again, as if putting any distance at all between them would wake her from this glorious dream. Jane smiled as her gaze moved over her beloveds face. Maura was relaxed, with eyes almost closed, hungering for Jane as Jane hungered for her.

Jane trailed her lips to Maura's neck, which she kissed tenderly as she drew Maura across the sheets. Laying her back and resting her head on the pillow, Jane withdrew her hand from Maura's spine and ran the tips of her fingers across the narrow slit of navel showing below the tank top. Jane felt Maura's body shudder under her touch and it fed Jane's own desire. She pushed her hand up under the cloth and stopped just short of Maura's exquisite breast. She felt Maura's chest expand with a sharp inhalation of air and then quiver in anticipation, not able to exhale. Jane slid her palm up and cupped the perfectly round breast and heard Maura groan in appreciation. Jane had stopped thinking about anything but Maura and how she wanted to make Maura feel like this forever.

Maura quaked under her lover's touch. She had never surrendered herself so completely or so willingly, and it felt like nothing she had ever know. As Jane stroked her nipple to rigid attention, Maura raised her hips and wrapped her smooth, shapely leg around Jane's, fitting their flesh tightly against each other. Jane's thigh rocked in between Maura's legs, calling forth another sigh from Maura's lips, which was joined by a similar groan from Jane.

Jane used her last shred of composure to whisper to her lover. "I want you Maura, I want all of you."

Maura sucked air into her lungs and bit her bottom lip before replying, "I surrender Detective."