Author's Note: I quite like Maura/Ian. Firstly, I love Jonathan Cake (JCake) who played Ian in the episode, and secondly, I thought he was nice. He made Maura happy, and that was lovely.

Disclaimer: as always, I own nothing. Rights (and props) to TNT, Janet Tamaro, Tess Gerritsen.

"Doctor, we need you to come right away, he's been asking only for you..." the voice on the other end of the line trailed off.

Maura sighed. She was knee high in a case with Jane and the team, she couldn't just go gallivanting off to Africa when it suited her, but Ian was critically ill. He had contracted a desert disease - Babesiosis - a parasitical-like disease, transmitted by ticks. Maura knew she had to leave for Africa, she just had to. Ian needed access to drugs that she knew were not available in The Sahel - where he was stationed - and she would have to take them to him.

"What's his condition?" Maura asked, she had subconsciously made the decision as she opened up her laptop, ready to book herself onto a red eye. She nodded and sighed again as the medical personnel told her Ian's condition was critical. She logged herself into the account she held with the airline and quickly booked herself onto the next available flight, punching in her frequent flyer details before she then clicked to confirm the flight.

She would not be at work for a few days.

"Should I bring...? Oh, atovaquone? Azithromycin? Quinine and clindamycin, I've researched have little affect." she spoke quickly, jotting down on her prescription pad so she could head to the chemicals lab before she clicked on the print button for her flight confirmation. Maura nodded and she bit her lip, she was worried for Ian, she was worried about seeing him again after what Jane had said about him being a criminal.

"I'll be there by morning." she told the administrator and nodded, hanging up so she could prepare her bag and call the taxi company so she would be able to head to the airport without having to worry about her car and parking fees while she was gone. Maura lifted the phone and sighed, "Time to call the Chief..." before she punched in the number for the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, rifling through her desk drawer for her passport as she listened to the outgoing call tone until his assistant lifted the call.

"Good evening, this is the Chief Medical Examiner's Office." she announced, a dull, monotonous tone greeting Maura.

"This is Doctor Isles, Maura Isles...I have to request emergency personal leave, for a few days." she sighed, "I'm sorry it's such short notice, but Boston P.D. will need a covering Medical Examiner, possibly for four or five days. I have to leave now but, I will have my cell, so if there's a problem, you can reach me there. Bye." she quickly hung up and rushed around collecting necessities to take with her for her short trip for Ian's benefit.

"Bass, sweetie...I'm sorry I'm leaving you, I wish you could come too, I know how Ian misses you..." she furrowed her brows at her pet tortoise, sitting lonely in the corner of her kitchen as she whizzed by him to her bedroom, to pack an overnight bag with some of her clothing to last a number of days. She whooshed back into the kitchen and stooped down to pet Bass, momentarily smiling, "Angela or Tommy will be by. They'll look after you while I'm gone, okay?" she smiled, standing before moving through the kitchen and calling the taxi company to collect her.

It didn't take long for Maura to leave her home, head to the lab to pick up the needed supplies and arrive at the airport ready to go. Looking up, she saw it was almost boarding time, her cell began to ring out. It was Jane. She had forgotten about gnocchi night with the Rizzoli's. Maura took the call, "H...hi Jane..."

"Did you forget we had gnocchi night this evening? Are you still at the office? I didn't see you..." Jane asked her, she could tell the Detective was smiling into the call, no signs of concern showing until the announcer called for her flight, "Maura, wh-where are you?"

"Jane, I have to go. Uhm. Sam will be with you for this week, I have to...go somewhere, I'll be out of town for a few days. Goodbye Jane." Maura hung up as she heard Jane trying to get her words in. Looking to her phone, Maura switched it off before Jane could call again before making her way to the boarding desk, Priority Passengers first.

The flight was a long one. Long and treacherous. Maura had been bounced around in her seat like a rag-doll. The turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean had been hell and was actually grateful when they landed in London Heathrow. She knew then she just had to make the last seven hours to Ethiopia.

Maura boarded her second flight, eyes barely open as she looked around the First Class carriage for her seat. She felt faint. Maura didn't know if it was the lack of sustenance in her system or the fact she had barely slept, or that she was about to treat the man she was in love with. But she barely made it to her seat and slumped down in it, exhausted.

Upon awaking, she discovered the flight had since landed and she was being woken by one of the flight attendants, gently shaking her arm to rouse her from her slumber. Looking up, Maura saw it was bright out, extremely bright, she would need her sunglasses when she stepped off the plane. She smiled to the attendant and nodded as she had gestured for Maura to leave the plane, "I'm sorry, I was just so exhausted." she chuckled to herself weakly, unbuckling her belt and stepping up from the seat to collect her belongings and exit the plane.

When Maura had managed to energise herself with a small cup of coffee, the Doctor found her escort who had been waiting for her to de-plane, so he could take her to the camp in which Ian was staying. Looking to him, she smiled and nodded a thanks for waiting for her, "Guma?" she asked softly, "I'm sorry I took so long. There was a slight mix-up with where the attendant had placed my carry-on bag." she told him before following behind him to the car he had waiting outside for her, to take her to the camp.

It took barely thirty minutes to arrive at the medical camp in which Ian was staying, looking to Guma as he placed her belongings into a makeshift room, Maura nodded and thanked him before he led her, silently to the Personnel 'office' so she could register in with them that she had arrived. As Guma left her with the assistants, Maura smiled to him, "Amesege'nallo', Guma." she nodded and received a gratuitous smile from him in return.

After she had registered and been assigned her scrubs, kit and she had stowed her belongings properly, Maura was taken to see Ian. He was isolated from any other patients. Looking to him, Maura gasped slightly. He was shivering, yet glistening in sweat. Maura sighed and nodded for the assistant to leave them, so she could make a proper diagnosis. Looking at Ian, Maura stepped closer to him, smiling behind her cloth cover, covering her nose and mouth.

" made it." he smiled up to her. He was pleased she had gotten to him, "I was hopeful you'd come..." he hacked a little and frowned, before he gazed up at her, "Were you able to bring supplies?" he asked her gently.

She nodded, "Of course." Maura smiled brightly, "I brought atovaquone and azithromycin. They work best with Babesiosis." she inhaled and swallowed, holding her breath subconsciously before she exhaled shakily, watching Ian gazing up at her. Maura did her procedural checks on him; heart rate, lungs, blood pressure before she called for an assistant to fetch her medical kit, the one she'd brought with her.

When she knew they were alone, Maura tucked back her hair, sitting on the bed next to Ian, facing him and she smiled to him, "I missed you..." she told him.

Ian gave a sigh then, reaching for her hand, "I know. I'm sorry I took off like that. I had no choice...your Detective friend, Jane...I had a feeling she was going to start bringing me in for questioning...I mean, her mother cornered me, that was enough..."

Maura looked to Ian and frowned a little, "What do you Angela 'cornered' you...?" she tilted her head a little.

"Well, she-"

"You bag, Sir." the assistant entered the room, looking to Maura sitting on the bed now.

Maura stood and smiled to the young assistant before gesturing her to come into the room, "It's okay, bring it here." she smiled, "Thank you." she told the assistant before she saw her turn to leave, "No, please stay." she looked to her, "I may need assistance while administering the..." Maura trailed off, sighing a little.

"Yes, Sir." the assistant nodded and turned back into the room, she took a pair of gloves from the table beside the door and moved closer towards Maura and Ian, "How can Zema help?" she asked.

Maura had already begun prepping the syringe and drugs to give to Ian, she glanced to the assistant, "What's your name?" she asked.

"Zema, Sir." the assistant responded, smiling to Maura, "And you, Doctor Isles."

"That's right, you can call me Maura, Zema."

Zema smiled gently, "No, Sir..." she bowed her head momentarily before looking up to Maura, mirroring what she did to Ian, holding his front to prop him as delivered the drug into Ian's side, "You work with mother, Sir. You help deliver baby."

Maura pressed the cotton ball to Ian's side, soothing over his skin gently as she helped to rest him back again before speaking to him, "Ian, we're going to have to set up a blood transfusion too. It won't take long, but it will help restore some of your lost red blood cells." she nodded before looking to Zema, "Your mother? What was her name?" Maura asked, she had delivered a lot of babies when she had worked Doctors Without Borders before she had returned to Boston.

"Genet, Sir. Baby was Zema."

Maura felt herself tearing up as she looked to Zema. She and Ian had delivered Zema into the world, her first baby in Ethiopia. As she smiled, she spoke, "Oh, Zema...I'm glad we meet again." she told the assistant and nodded to her gently, "Would you be so kind to bring another assistant, to help sest up for Ian's blood transfusion. And bring a bag, some O-Neg. Thank you, Zema."

Once Zema had left the room once again, Maura smiled to Ian before she felt herself propelled towards him. He had grabbed her and in one swift movement, ripped off her clinical mask to kiss her passionately. Maura obliged into the kiss, it felt heavenly to have him kiss her like that again. She gently and hesitantly pulled away though, Zema and the other assistant coud return at any moment. Looking down to Ian though, Maura blushed a little, seeing her leg was on the bed, bent at the knee and her dress had rode up her thigh to reveal him a glance at creamy, silken thighs he knew too well.

As she brought her leg down again, Maura fixed her dress and blushed slightly before she fixed her scrub coat, "We can't. Not here..." she smiled knowingly before turning to see Zema and her friend appearing with the items she'd asked for, "Thank you Zema..." she nodded and gestured for them to begin with the transfusion. One thing she couldn't help thinking about though, was Ian and his hands. She just wanted him to recover so he could use his hands on her...