A/N: Posted elsewhere a while ago. My take on Maura's headspace during the killing of Hoyt. Maura POV.
It happened like this. One moment things were as they should be. Jane was in control and she was in her environment, interrogating a suspect. It only mattered slightly that the environment was the infirmary and that the man was Jane's personal horror story. It wasn't suppose to be risky; if it were Jane would have no doubt left you behind. She's seen your gun skills and there was a lot left to be desired. Since then you actually took a gun safety and shooting class but Jane doesn't know that.
You were there to play your usual role. Be behind the line. Watch. Listen. Tell Jane things. You both knew your presence would provoke Hoyt to say something offensive or violent or threat-like but your words would outweigh his words, so you came.
But then suddenly Jane wasn't in control. Suddenly Jane was on her back and he was over her with his hands wrapped around her throat. You were so focused on Jane's change of position that it took some time for you to notice that you yourself weren't so free.
You study people, this is what you do. You study the dead to determine their story. You study people who are alive in order to understand how to interact with them. Most people you give up on. It's why you have so few friendships; it's why you've conditioned yourself to enjoy solitary time. And you were so certain that you did in fact enjoy your seclusion, your semi-isolation. But that was before Jane.
Your instinct is not to fight back. Jane's the fighter, physically at least. One thing you have noticed from people in all your silent observations of them is that people are wary to have faults. Sure they admit in an abstract way that all people have faults, themselves included. But few study their faults, notice them, attempt to improve them. You wouldn't categorize yourself along those lines. Living the isolated life you have leaves plenty of time to psychoanalyze why you don't mesh easily. It gives time to listing faults and working on the ones that stand a chance.
Jane is naturally protective, fiercely loyal. And her life has lead her in a direction where she has learned the skills to physically protect herself and those she loves. You would say that you too are fiercely loyal, if not as polished as Jane is in that sense. You want to be more so, occasionally you just need to be pointed in the right direction, told how to make that happen.
But physical strength isn't something that comes naturally or something that you've pursued. Sure, you're strong, you are healthy. You'd feel a certain level of competence if it came to outrunning danger but you rely more heavily on your knowledge to prevent yourself from being in situations that would require it. You would expect yourself to be able to think yourself out of a situation before punching your way out. You rely on Jane for the punching.
So it takes some time before you realize that you can't think your way out of this one. You and Jane are there, you sitting with your hands tied and Jane on her back with a taser to her throat; the two of you attempting to talk yourself through this. You offer information and you both take turns talking to Mason, the guard. But then there is a scalpel and it slaps you in the face that being able to throw a punch would really come in handy right now, especially if you knew how to do one with tied hands.
And he's talking to her. And she. She. She is.
Jane's eyes are terrified.
It's an image that will haunt you for years to come. You are crying, you can feel the moisture on your face. There is blood, Jane's blood and if you were her you would be screaming, yelling, physically attempting to break free once you saw her blood. But you aren't Jane. You are just you and you are obsolete. There isn't a blade to your throat yet because you aren't considered a threat. You aren't really considered at all.
It hits way too close to everything you don't think about.
And that's when your mind has a reaction. It pulls on the corner of your memory until images flash and emotions swell. Every time Jane blinks, Hoyt practically on her chest, a different but oh so similar memory sprints across your mind.
And you remember.
And the tears keep coming because she should blink and you should try to save her. That's what best friends do. That's what lovers would do and oh how you wish you were. It's also what partners would do. It most certainly is what humans would do. But you don't. Instead your mind, your knowledge, takes over and you have no choice but to follow it.
Jane blinks and this is what you see.
You are seven and the dreams have come yet again. Now, thinking back, the dreams weren't abnormal. They consisted of monsters and fires, being chased and being barefoot. But at the time they seemed so very scary, so very personal, so very real. You had woken with a start like you always did. The rest of what you did was exactly as it had alway been too.
Your blinking was erratic as you forced your eyes to acclimate to the darkness that was your room. The beautifully crafted globe, set inside solid and finished wood passed for an intruder. The butterfly collection that was framed and set too high on your wall to really look at was scary what with its fine needles that pierced the pretty creatures. The bookshelf of expensive encyclopedias that you couldn't read were looming and huge. The ribbons that you had won the previous year at your first equestrian competition were untouchable and all you really wanted to do was stroke them and remember the horses and your sense of pride when you came in first. Now the tail ends of the ribbons flap in a non-existent wind. It's enough to officially freak you out what with the images of wild monsters, sharp teeth and too dark of eyes still so very fresh.
You sprint to your door and throw it open. If you had your way it would already be open with hopes of a hallway light to lull you into sleep but your parents are firm believers that big girls sleep with their doors closed and you Maura are a big girl.
Your bare feet hardly touch the plush carpet as you practically fly through the giant living room; it's as impersonal as your bedroom. The fact that you are running only adds to the fears since running is what is done to get away from danger. The danger seems to be back at your heels as you dance up the stairs. Your hands make no contact with anything, scared that if you reach out to touch something that a scale-y claw will latch on. Your tiny girl body makes no sound as you reach the top of the stairs and come to the landing.
Dashing through the long hallway that leads to your parent's bedroom is always the scariest part. You allow yourself to glance over your shoulder once to convince yourself you are not being followed. Your rational brain and your seven-year old brain do battle over the realities of your nightmares. The hallway makes you feel trapped, no exits or quick turns to duck into if need be. You reach the end with no harm done.
At the threshold of your parent's master bedroom, double doors closed and silent, is where you stop. Your breathing is loud and you hold your breath for long moments in order to be silent but the pressure builds in your chest until you expel your breath in a wild whoosh. Your back is to their doors, eyes wide and alert. When you are certain that the danger has passed for the moment, you go over your options.
Go back to your bedroom or stay here.
It never dawns on you that some kids would have a third option of opening those double doors. It isn't an option here. Not that you've been told that but even at seven you have instincts and they tell you that going into your parent's bedroom isn't a choice.
So you do what you always do when the fear is so great that you are forced to leave your bedroom. You drop to the carpet, curl your body tight so that your knees bend, one arm wrapped around them to keep them close to your chest. The white airy nightgown drapes over your body and tucking your limbs together helps keep your body heat close. Your long hair flows over your tiny shoulders, the strands curling past your shoulders and warming your neck.
Quietly, oh so quietly, you allow your other hand to creep along the thick carpet until it stops at the space underneath your parent's door. There is just enough space there for you to slip your hand underneath it, letting your fingers grab onto the carpet on the other side, the side where your parent's sleep. Your mind briefly thinks about how one day your hand might grow and be too big to fit under that space. But tonight it isn't. Tonight you cling to the only part of your parent's safety that you are allowed to have.
And it helps. Your breathing settles completely until your tired eyes droop and you drift off into sleep. You pray that the monsters will not come back. You pray that your dreams will be peaceful and safe. And you squeeze your fingers together to feel the threads of the carpet underneath them against your skin. You squeeze and you feel better. You squeeze until you sleep. You don't allow yourself to think about what your parents will say or not say when morning comes and they find you still there. You only think about how it's warm here on this floor, it's warm and it's what you know.
Jane blinks again; her eyes scream silent fear.
And your remember something else.
You wait, patiently. Your knees are pressed together, your back straight even as you sit on the overstuffed sofa. Hands are folded, fingers laced together and perched on your lap. Your purse rests against your hip, placed so that nothing spills out of it. It's a bag that your mother bought you; you found it on your dresser last week. It felt and smelled expensive. You had no doubt that it wasn't. It didn't have a strap, instead you knew you should carry it in one hand, fingers clutching along the surface, the way you'd seen your mother carry hers. It didn't make any sense, it didn't have any convenience value but you had arranged the contents of your wallet into it along with a tiny tube of lip gloss, your address book, and your delicate tortoiseshell comb.
You glance down at your watch, twisting it back into place so it sits perfectly along your slender wrist. You notice that you have fifteen minutes before Gregory will come to find you and take your luggage to the car. There isn't a lot of it, two trunks were shipped last week so that everything would be settled by the time you arrived. All that's left is a small bag that you can carry in one hand and your clutch in the other.
Gregory has been driving the family for as long as you can remember. He's older than your father but he doesn't have any family of his own. Gregory peeks his head into the library and knocks twice on the open door. You smile as he comes in and nods his head at you. Gregory points at the bag that sits by the door.
"That all you taking with you today?"
You nod. "Yes, that and this." He nods back when you hold up the purse now clutched in your hands.
He goes to pick up your bag but then sets it down and looks at you for a moment. Then he makes his way to where you are sitting. You follow his movement until he is sitting next to you.
"Miss. Maura you excited about going off to that fancy boarding school?"
You blink a few times in order to hold your tears in check. You want to tell him, tell him everything about what you're feeling but you don't know how.
"Yes." You nod at him, giving a real smile because you are excited. You are. But you're also terrified. You've memorized every line in the Maison d'éducation de la Légion d'honneur vade mecum. It is an honor to be attending since your acceptance is based on your great-grandfather's military service. The school demands perfection and enthusiasm for academia which you are thrilled about. You want to be challenged, you are ready to be challenged. You will however be the very youngest of the students there. You will be in sixième which can admit students up to twelve. The students in terminale will be as old as eighteen. You know you will feel so very young and so very small with only your ten years.
And there will be so many girls, so many boarders, so many people to make mistakes with and to socially embarrass yourself in front of.
Gregory tucks a finger under your chin and tilts your face up so that you have to look at him. "You will do wonderfully Maura. It's okay to be nervous but you will be magnificent. Don't ever doubt that."
You gaze into the kind man's face and whisper to him the whole truth. "I'm so scared Gregory."
"I know." He taps you on the nose and stands. "You just use that big ole brain of yours to shock them all, okay?"
He grins at you and winks before standing and making his way to your bag. "And in no time it will be the weekend and I'll be picking you up so you remember everything so you can tell me all about it."
You nod and this time you grin back with a small laugh to follow. "I promise." And with that Gregory is out the door with your bag and you remind yourself that you will be home in six days. The youngest boarders have to be taken care of by family over the weekends. You won't have to stay there by yourself full-time for several more years.
You glance around at the room once more before you stand. You are already in your uniform and ready for inspection upon arrival. Your white blouse has been perfectly starched, the collar flares up on one side and you smooth it down with your palm. The navy sleeveless dress was a little longer than it should be but the tailor hemmed it perfectly so it hits right at your calf like it should. You adjust the green sash so it lies across your chest as intended. You pick up your handbag and you make your way out of the library.
You had wanted your mother to see you in your uniform for the first time but she and your father couldn't be home. You will see them on the weekend. It flashes in your mind the possibility that the other girls might have their parents with them today. You push that thought away.
They would be here if they could. It's a thought you've had to repeat a lot throughout your young life. You tell yourself that you don't really mind. And that's the truth. You don't let yourself think how your parent's absence has less and less of an effect on you each year. You don't know what that means.
You slide your arms into the school's navy blazer, fixing the gold buttons up before making your way to the mirror in the hall where you fit your beret so it sits on your head as it should. One tug to your long hair to smooth it out and you are ready.
You remember your mother's words when she said goodbye to you last night. Be brave.
And you are, you know you are. You just wish you didn't have to be quiet this brave.
Jane blinks and you remember. She blinks and you remember.
She blinks and you remember when you found out you would be graduating first in your class with the highest marks the school had seen in years. You remember how your mother didn't answer her phone.
She blinks and you remember when your dorm mate for four years threw a farewell party and forgot to invite you. Actually forgot as in when you asked her about it she was surprised and admitted that she simply forgot to include you.
She blinks and you remember when Garrett moved to Milan and while you encouraged that he should, in the end he actually did. He had barely glanced over his shoulder at your presence on his way towards life.
She blinks and you remember when you fell in love with Ian and he fell in love with Africa.
She blinks and you are flooded with a lifetime of feeling insignificant. You remember how you use to sit in front of a mirror and how you would practice appropriate facial reactions in certain social situations. You mastered it eventually but it didn't seem to make a difference. Still, nobody saw you. If it wasn't for that mirror and the science behind it you may have been convinced you didn't always exist.
And in the time it takes Hoyt to scar Jane yet again, whisper to her promises of both your deaths, you remember it all. And soon he is gone from Jane and you are grateful, so grateful. But then he is on you and your eyes search past his shoulder just in time to watch Jane open her mouth and scream in your defense.
And then you are nothing. There is nothing. Your mind is gone. Hoyt has taken the only thing you have to offer.
And what results from the shock is a simple mind. You watch, you listen and you feel. Simple conclusions wash over you without the hopes of your brain making much sense of things. Your brain struggles to take in every piece of stimuli and measure it, explain it, analyze it. Your brain refuses.
Instead it is only his face as it fills your vision. Instead it is only Jane's voice as she screams, shouts, curses at him to not touch you. And then she fights. She fights for you.
In the end, Frost helps you sit up and unties your hands and you see Hoyt's body with the scalpel stabbed in his chest. You see Mason and know he too is dead. You see Jane crumpled in Korsak's arms. You watch paramedics flood the room. Eventually you feel hands on your neck as they bandage your throat. Eventually they clean Jane's face and you aren't so scared to look at her. They want to take you to the hospital to run a few tests, make sure you are fine. Already you can feel your mind coming back, feel your body starting to respond but you nod your head yes anyways. Jane insists she be allowed to come but they need her here to give a formal report. She finds your eyes and you try to reassure her that it is fine but you aren't certain that you succeed.
She tells everyone to clear off and give the two of you a moment.
"Can you walk?" Jane jerks her head towards the doors, indicating the outside.
"I think so." You whisper it back and she helps you to your feet. You make better progress when you pause to slip your heels off and Jane holds them for you as you ruin your stockings on the cement.
She steers you to a bench, her arm firm around your waist. When you sit, Jane does the unexpected. She collapses in your arms, hugging you more fiercely then you've ever been hugged before. Jane's arms and hands feel as if they are expanding over your entire back which part of you brain knows is not possible. Her hips and thighs align next to yours even as both your upper bodies turn into the embrace. Jane sobs into your hair and apologizes over and over.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. God Maura, I'm so sorry." Her voice hitches over and over and she repeats herself as if it's a mantra.
You shush her, soothe her, fail at calming your own shaking. "No, no, it wasn't you. Don't you apologize for him." You want your voice to be strong for her but you are whimpering, not strong at all.
She starts to pull back, probably to look at you, but you clutch her shoulders and refuse for her to stop holding you. You tell her the rest because it needs to be said, because you need to say it.
"You fought for me. I don't, nobody, no one has ever really fought for me before. I'm sorry. I'm the one that should be sorry. I should have fought for you first."
This time Jane does succeed in pulling back, her hands slip to your neck in an embrace that screams you are lovers. Her eyes find yours and her thumb comes to rub against your cheekbone, smearing tears into your skin.
"Don't you ever apologize for being you." She shakes you a little to emphasize her words. They are not condescending or judgmental. They are the truth. You are not Jane. She is not you. You both know this and now she has spoken to it. She continues.
"I should have killed him a long time ago Maura. I wanted to kill him so many times but I never did. I don't know if I could have this time if it weren't for you."
You blink back at her not sure what she means.
"The idea of him existing in the same world as you-⎯ it was." She struggles briefly for her words. "It was too much. I couldn't let him ever have the chance to hurt you again. Do you get what I mean?" She is desperate for you to understand.
You nod back because you do understand, you do.
"Jane." Your own hands curl against her slacks, tugging at the fabric that grips her thighs. "I think I'm in love with you." You blame the shock still coursing through your system for your lack of thought, your lack of censorship.
"Good." Her hands are back to your neck and she tugs you to her so that your forehead rests against hers. "I'd hate for it it be one-sided."
And it's so Jane. You hear yourself laugh against her face as more tears come. And she stays. She stays until they dry, she holds you until a paramedic finds you and asks if you are ready to be transported to the hospital. She snaps her fingers at an EMT to grab you a blanket when you shiver in the evening air. She wraps it around your shoulders and hugs you once more.
Today Jane saw you. Today Jane fought for you. Today you let yourself be seen, you let yourself be fought for and in your own way you fought back too. You told her of your love. She told you of her own. You let the memories of all those times you felt invisible, felt insignificant, float away. They will always be there but now you have a new memory to combat them with.
Now you have the memory of Jane.