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Characters aren't ours. They belong to Tess, Warner Brothers, Janet, and other assorted important people.

The light streaming in through the crack in the bedroom curtains fell across a tumbled mess of bedding, pillows, a still fully clothed yet sleeping Jane Rizzoli, and a sleeping Maura Isles, who clearly had borrowed something to sleep in from Jane's closet.

As the light grew brighter, the detective's eyes slowly opened, and she winced as she tried to move. Her entire body was sore, and her head hurt where the bruising on her face and neck was the worst. Her wrists were chafed and bruised, and she grunted as she rubbed at them. As quietly as she could manage, she turned onto her side to check on her friend.

She grimaced at what she saw. Her own injuries were painful, but not unusual. She was a cop; bruises, cuts, burns, and a few gunshots were expected. That was all part of the job. She knew what she had signed up for when she decided to join the force, but Maura had not. She had chosen the nice safe field of medicine, so it wasn't fair that her usually flawless skin had angry red scratches, scabbed abrasions, bandages over deeper wounds, and the dark purpling of bruises. Jane knew how those wounds would feel, and, though they were minor, she couldn't help but feel the same wounds would hurt Maura worse than herself. After all, she had more experience dealing with injuries than Maura.

The doctor was sleeping, but Jane knew that sleep had not been peaceful. Maura looked beaten down, even as she slept. She normally looked peaceful, but the stress and worry on her face had not gone away. It was still there, and Jane was concerned that it may never leave again. She shook her head.

In the honey brunette's current state of distress, her sleep became even more fitful as Jane watched. The detective's face flashed guilt as she reached over to lightly run the back of her hand across Maura's tense features.

"Maura?" she whispered, voice still husky with sleep. "Wake up. You're having a bad dream. Come on, wake up. It's okay. Everything's okay." She cooed in hush tones, trying to sooth her friend's nightmares.

"Nnnn," replied the doctor in inarticulate refusal, stuck halfway between sleeping and waking as her face crumpled in sadness. Her body twitched in a defensive manner as she tried to make her sleep-heavy limbs move to protect herself from both her dream and the state of wakefulness; both were frightening places to be.

"It's okay," Jane whispered. She moved the tangle of sheets to allow Maura to move, kicking the linens down the bed with her boot-clad foot. "You're okay. You're safe. I'm safe. Everything's fine." Gently laying her hand on the smaller woman's shoulder, she gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Please open your eyes, Maura."

The defensive half-motions stopped, and Maura rolled towards Jane, huddling childlike into Jane's chest, eyes leaking already. It was not her eyes opening, but the changes in her rate of sniffling and the type of shivering in her body that told Jane that her battered friend had left her nightmare behind, only to fall into her waking one. Trembling fingers clutched at Jane's rumpled button down shirt, then crept around the taller woman's slender waist reluctantly, as if unsure whether she wanted to clasp or to cower within the embrace. "You were dead," came her tiny, choked voice. "You w-were dead, and I…"

"It was a bad dream. See?" Jane pulled back to look down at her friend. "I'm alive, and we're both safe. Everything's fine." Again, the detective winced as she ran a finger along the edge of the scratches on the doctor's face. "Well, relatively fine anyway." With a sigh, Jane leaned back in, pulling Maura against her. "Want me to run you a bath? Soaking in hot water helps the soreness go away."

"Warmth expands blood vessels, which stimulates blood flow to injured areas," recited the shivering woman automatically, "resulting in slight increase in pain followed by relaxation of muscles and advancing of the healing process." Maura-speak for yes,please. However, her hands refused to let Jane go, still clinging to her source of comfort. "Don't leave me," she blurted at the first sign that Jane would be getting up, then in a voice only slightly more reasonable, "I'm coming with you."

Jane couldn't stop the small chuckle that escaped her throat. "Give me five minutes, okay? I need to," she gave an apologetic shrug, "use the facilities, and I'm betting you do to. It won't take me long; I promise." Moving to reach behind her, she gave a grunt as she tugged at something beneath her head. "Here," she said with a lightness in her voice that didn't reach her features, "take Pookie. He'll keep you safe until I get back." She held a small, stuffed panda above them both.

The bear was clearly aged. Its eyes held scratches, and the once white fur was greyed. One side of the little bear's head was slightly concaved where stuffing had been pulled out and never replaced when the ripped seam was repaired, and one ear was bent down flat against the bear's head from years of being held in a specific position as Jane slept. "He's great at that protection thing. Trust me."

Trustme. The words had an almost magical effect on the smaller woman. Immediately she accepted Pookie and held the panda to herself, tucking that same ear up to her chin and mouth, just as Jane must have done for years, and began whispering as if it could hear her, "Giant panda. Ailuropodamelanoleuca, literally cat-footed black-and-white. Mass of one- to two-hundred grams at birth. Primarily herbivorous. Common misconception that pandas are relatives of squirrels or raccoons; molecular analysis of DNA confirms full membership in the family Ursidae…" The facts seemed to ground her with their certainty, and so she kept offering them, though her voice grew quieter with the telling.

Still, once Jane had left her sight, she could not stay in place. Maura stood and, Pookie in arms, walked to stand right outside the bathroom, as close as she dared get to her real comfort and protection.

It took a few minutes for Jane to take care of business and brush her teeth. After running a brush through her mess of hair, she turned to open the bathroom door as she started to unbutton her hopelessly wrinkled shirt. The last thing she expected to see were Maura and Pookie standing right outside the bathroom.

"Maura!" Jane's voice cracked in surprise. "God, you scared the crap out of me." Her shirt hung open, revealing a white tank. Quickly reaching out, she placed a hand on her friend's shoulder. "Is everything okay? Do you need something? I was about to come get you so you could do your thing while I made us a quick breakfast."

Jane's yelp, fortunately, didn't startle Maura. In fact, the sight of her caused some of the tension to leave Maura's hunched shoulders. "I didn't want to just walk in while you were indecent," she explained weakly, but the implication was clear; she had wanted to be closer to the lanky woman standing in front of her. "And, and I don't want you to be in there while I'm using the facilities, but…" Her voice trailed off as she glanced inside, then back up at her friend. "After that, will you come back in? I just, I don't… Please?"

"Yeah, sure," Jane nodded. "Why don't you go do your thing, and I'm going to change out of my clothes from yesterday. Then we can eat, and I'll run you a bath, okay?" Ducking her head down to meet the smaller woman's eyes, she gave a weak smile. "I'm not going to be far away, and Pookie knows how to look the other way when you're," she smirked, "indecent."

"You can shower," the doctor allowed, though clearly the notion of being separated for longer was not a pleasant one. "I'll make breakfast, and you can shower. I'll be okay if I can hear you moving, I think. And," she added after a moment's thought, "Pookie can't look the other way, but it doesn't matter. Because he's inanimate." With that reassurance, Maura darted into the bathroom for the most abbreviated morning routine she had probably ever conducted and then scuttling back out to the kitchen to do as promised.