I do not own Rizzoli and Isles or its characters.

Jane awoke with a start, her heart racing and her face littered with tears as she tried to search through the recesses of her mind for the source of her midnight distress. As if through a haze, details of the dream began to find her, the nightmare piecing itself together through intangible emotion and imagery.

It was Hoyt, that much she knew for certain. Hoyt and Maura, the pair that always seemed to weave through her subconscious when it was weakened, when the stress of the outside world began to eat away at her and she was left with the skeletons of her past. And it was always the same. Maura, so weak and fragile at the mercy of her boogieman. Hoyt and his scalpel taunting and teasing until Jane was screaming, begging for mercy, and the final slash that ended one life but really destroyed two.

This was when she always awoke. It was never about her. She could handle physical pain. She could endure torture. She could not cope with the loss of Maura.

Sighing, she glanced over at the sleeping doctor, her mouth curved into a slight smile, and this gave Jane a little peace. She was dreaming happily, perhaps about their future, maybe of her latest shoe purchase. Either way, she was fine, and that was what Jane needed.

Quietly, she slipped out of bed, making her way to the kitchen quietly. Jane poured herself a glass of water, noting how her hands shook and her scars ached.

As she lifted the cup to her lips, the water spilled from her unstable grip.

"God dammit," she murmured. And she thought it again. God dammit. How long would this go on? Would she ever be at ease, or would her past haunt her forever? Could she have a future with Maura with a mind this possessed?

She jumped when she felt two small arms wrap around her stomach, hands holding strong as she strained against the grip. Relaxing, she sighed and melted into Maura.

"I'm sorry I woke you. I was trying to be quiet."

Maura pressed a light kiss to her shoulder.

"Don't be sorry. What's got you up this late?" She sounded worried more than tired. Jane was grateful for that.

"I…nightmare. No big deal." Jane knew that Maura would understand. This wasn't her first nightmare, nor would it be the last. She was scarred in more than just a physical sense, and yet, Maura loved her.

"It is a big deal, Jane. I want to help you. I want you to be okay."

"Maura," Jane replied warning.

"No. You don't always have to be strong for me. That's not how this works. I want to be strong for you, Jane."

Maura tugged at Jane's hands, turning her around so they were face to face. She cupped Jane's chin to force her to make eye contact.

"Can you let me do that, please?"

Jane nodded slowly, her eyes showing her fear at relinquishing control. That was her territory, being the dominate. She was Maura's protector, always. She asserted herself at work to fill the holes that being a female in law enforcement created. She never let her guard down because if she did, even once, her career would crumble. And she wanted to be a detective too damn much to ever let that happen.

But Maura needed this. And, in some crazy way, she needed this. She needed to know, for once, that she was being taken care of. She knew that Maura needed to help her.

So she let it happen. She nodded for so many reasons, but mostly for Maura.

"Listen to me," Maura insisted. At this point, she was angry. She was angry that Hoyt had taken something from Jane, a piece of her that had gone missing but she was sure could still be recovered.

"He cannot hurt you, Jane. He cannot hurt me. The damage is done…and it's you and I standing here. Okay? You and me, fighting the bad guys. That's all we've ever done, right? We've never lost. He's never coming back. And I'm here. I'm here, sweetheart." She stood on her tiptoes to place a strong kiss on Jane's forehead.

Jane couldn't bring herself to do anything but nod in agreement. She wrapped her arms around her girlfriend, allowing herself to get lost in her scent, her touch, her comfort. If Hoyt was her hell, then this was, without question, her heaven.

They seemed to dissolve into the night, the dark kitchen disguising both of their insecurities from the cruelty of the world outside their safe haven, the place they found in each other.

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