A/N: Reflection piece on the horrors that these two have gone through. Takes place the evening of Jane being tied to Dominick's bed (3x07, "Crazy For You") Maura/Jane. Maura POV.
You guide her to your bedroom, make her sit on the edge of your bed. She will not be going home. Not tonight, not for a long while. And when she does, you will go with her. Pack her things and move her somewhere else.
Hoyt took her sanity, for a time. Her easy future, forever. Now Dominick has taken her home.
The world is torturing her in a much too similar fashion as her god. Palms pinned by scalpels. Arms stretched, wrists bound to the corners of that wooden bed frame. Men stretch her out. Put her on display. Horrific and one crown of thorns away from a fucking cross.
But Jane isn't holy and she is far from being a saint. Her sins are her own. The cruelties she has borne make you want to slap mankind, spit bile into their faces.
Leave her alone World!
All evening you have been choking on the words.
(You wonder how you will ever convince Jane to have babies with you. She has seen too much. She has seen too much too closely. There is wild fear that lives in the corner of her eyes and these men are responsible. Jane's heart is too good to go about it lightly. Or maybe she is just not as desperate as you to see her dimples smirk on a child's face.)
"Sorry Maur. I'm just," Jane lets out a yawn, deep from within her, "Just so so tired."
"Shh. Let me."
You pull her shirt off of her. She raises her arms to allow it before letting them fall heavily back down. She takes off her own bra as you find a baggy t-shirt for her, slipping it over her head and pulling it down her torso. She starts on her own belt buckle but her fingers slip and you push them away gently, do it yourself.
You've undressed Jane like this far too many times.
Her whisper is soft, "Please don't."
Your fingers are on the button of her slacks; they still immediately. Of course. He undressed her. You should never have attempted it.
But Jane isn't talking about that. She wipes at your cheeks with both of her hands, tries to dust off the tears that you didn't know were there.
"You know I can't stand it when you cry," Jane says. Moans it actually, raw and in her throat like she's about to come undone. Quickly.
You nod. Hard. Send a few more stray tears to the carpet.
Jane continues, "Let's go back to laughing about it, okay?"
Her voice is drained of all infliction. She is barely stringing together the sentence and when you look up at her, her eyes are closed. Her hands, however, are still on your face. The bandages on her wrists feel like they are clawing at your skin, making matching scars along your cheeks.
You breathe out slowly, "Okay Jane. I can do that."
She nods and drops her hands; you remove her shoes and then her pants. You pull her hair out from underneath her shirt, setting it free on her clothed shoulders.
"Thanks," she chuckles. "That was starting to tickle."
She scoots back on your bed. You try to laugh too. Nothing comes out of your mouth.
Jane is tucked in-between the soft sheets of your bed, her bare legs pulled up tight into her body as she sleeps on her side. One hand is curled underneath her cheek because she is lying flat, her pillows discarded onto the floor. You don't talk about why she is positioned this way. Her other hand clutches the excess material of your own sweatshirt.
You expect her hand to fall away when she nears sleep. But she only tightens her hold, gives a long sigh that shakes on the exhale, falls into slumber. You know her nightmares are coming.
So you slip from her side, her hand falling empty onto your side of the bed. The emotions that have been building, clinging to your vital organs in a last ditch effort to not spill, are coming, now, and they will not come quietly. You, however, can not bare to leave this room, the room where her own body has only just stopped shaking. Subtle shakes that Jane thinks you don't notice.
So you kneel inside your closet, doors shut behind you, and you sob.
Hard brutal sobs that leech the last bit of anything that you have left. Your tears are hot and flow at such a fast rate that you don't try to keep up with tissues or palms.
In moments of chaos, intense loss, anger, sorrow, fear- your body latches onto certain sensations.
Tapping. Your fingers kept reaching out, two of them, and tapping that toilet paper roll in front of you. You sat on the floor of Jane's hospital bathroom and you watched the streamers of clean white paper flow down. You couldn't stop. Roll after roll you went through. The night Charles Hoyt marked her for the first time.
Bleach. The van had been scrubbed recently. The scent was so intense that you couldn't focus on counting the right or left turns, average your speed and distance. The night Patrick Doyle took you from your morgue.
Sun. Blinding, white hot, and spotlighting your face. You were pressing your hands to her bullet hole and when you started to feel the heat of her blood, you jerked yourself into concentrating on something else. Hot, hot sun. The day Jane shot herself.
Edges. Sharp, too sharp. You have never been so aware of the edges on a bandaid before. The wound wasn't deep yet it felt that if you moved your neck too suddenly, turned your head too sharply, that your entire world would fall apart. You matched, the two of you. The day she finally, gratefully, killed him.
Jane has taught you too many things about yourself. Most of them, yes, wonderful.
You are capable of communion. You so awkwardly and perfectly fit into her little world of connections. She makes jokes and now you expect them. Sometimes you joke back. Your sarcastic voice, especially when teasing Jane about her behavior towards all things science, is getting really good. You think less about how you appear to the world and think more about who you are as a person. Your intentions in life are less rigid, more authentic. You are discovering that you deserve attention. You are discovering that when your feelings are hurt, you are allowed to be angry. You are allowed to show emotion. You are, in a manner of speaking, allowed to come out of your room, interrupt your parents, and demand that they see you.
But Jane has also taught you other things.
Jane has taught you how to hate. Not silly schoolyard hatred or boyfriend stealing anger. But real, bottom of your heart, dark, dark hatred. You don't judge yourself for it. But you notice it. Because while you were bound and Jane was laid out underneath Hoyt's stare, your hatred expanded so severely. And in that moment you wanted Charles Hoyt dead. You didn't just want him to stop or for all of this to just go away. No, you wanted to kill him yourself. Immediately.
Your career is soaked in death. People say, you even say, that the more exposure, the less effect. It's true. In some ways. Although you were never squeamish around blood and in fact always leaned towards decaying bodies as oppose to away, still the statement holds true. You and Jane talk about colleagues over defiled bodies. You discuss family plans while your fingers grip at bullets. Jane eats her mother's sandwiches, holding your half out to you so you can lean over the table and take a bite, even as you slice through skin, break bone, and reach for cold organs.
So yes, those things, immune.
But some aspects you don't get use to. You don't get use to the horrific acts that mankind is capable of. You don't get use to evilness. And most of all, as dark as the world gets, you don't let it make you dark. In all the crimes you've seen, carried, unfolded, and solved, you have never wished monsters dead. Caught, yes. Put away for life, yes. Killed by the state, if the people so decide, at times. But out and out, in a moment of heated and rushed anger, never just dead. It's just not you.
It's Jane though. And you don't judge her for it, not at all. Sometimes you even envy her for it, for her black and white thinking. She knows good and bad within herself and she sees the world clearly. But even so, it isn't within you.
Wasn't within you. Until, well, until it was.
You wanted Charles Hoyt dead. You want this Dominick dead. You know that you could do it yourself.
People say that casually. Oh, I could kill him. Or less casually. To protect my child, I would kill.But gun in your hand, human eyes on yours, could you World?
Most couldn't. Not really.
You use to think you were one of them.
You are not.
And you don't know what to do with hate as strong as this. It has changed you. Permanently. No judgement, just, changed.
Your hatred, your murderous hatred, towards the men that have tortured Jane has expanded at the same rate as your love for this woman. Everyone sees Jane as the protective one in this relationship. And she is, protective. But Jane is protective of the world. Jane kills for the innocent. Jane protects to promote safety. It's what makes her such a good cop.
You are protective of Jane. And Jane alone.
Carpet. That's what you feel right now. Knees, carpet, knees, carpet. And then the loud sobbing that is coming out of your mouth ceases and a moaning starts. Low. You lean forward and bury your face into the floor of your closet in attempts to muffle the sound. You taste fibers on your tongue.
You get what Jane means now when she says that a decent man could not watch her do this job.
(But you're also not certain if this job is worth it. Because, come on! The sum of your lives, the total of your careers, the both of them, can not be reduced to this! Jane has almost died too many times. Horrible deaths. And you, you are usually only a few steps behind. How much good do the two of you have to do to make it worth it? How much before the world notices the unbalance and lets up?)
"Maura?" Jane's voice is quiet and a gentle knock on your closet door follows.
You try to swallow your noise. You try to sweep away the emotion that is piling up around your body, hunched up in the center of your giant closet.
She pushes the door open and you can't look up. You are silent now but your body is still shaking, more violently now that it has been silenced.
Her sleepy face enters. Her worried face enters. You finally turn towards her and sit back on your heels. The evidence is all over your face but you protect her anyways.
"Hey. You should be sleeping." You give her a small smile, your voice gentle.
That baggy t-shirt barely covers her thighs and she looks like a child with her wild hair and clean face. It makes you want to cry some more.
Jane takes one good look at you and closes the door behind her. She sinks to the carpet and crawls towards you and then sits. You scoot so you are sitting too, knees pulled up to your chest and she places her legs on either side, rests her chin on your knees, her hands grab yours and both sets rest on the carpet.
"I'm okay." You sniff at her.
She tilts her head and it strikes you that as much as she has rubbed off onto you, you too have rubbed off onto her.
"No you're not."
She just says it, simply, because it's true. And because she's your Jane she goes on, taking your concerns and settling them without you even having to give voice.
"You don't have to stay strong for me. And who's to say that not showing your emotions is strong anyways." She puts a little pressure on your knees, uses her jaw to make you listen.
"Today, yes, happened to me. But it happened to you too." Jane scoots in closer as she speaks until her legs are touching yours, sealing them in like some sort of haven. It's warm inside this closet, safe.
She continues, "I was thinking earlier about how this job changes people. How it has changed me. Mostly in good ways but also in just different ways. Ways that I don't think other jobs or other experiences would. You know?"
You nod. Lean in, shift your bodies, and rest your forehead against the warmest part of her neck.
"And it's tough," She breathes out here, long, slow. "I don't think I could bare it though if it changed us too much. So maybe, maybe we do have to talk about it. Together. And I know I'm not so good at that but maybe you could help me."
You pull your head back, look at her. Study her face. The face you almost lost today.
"Okay." You're a little stunned but not as stunned as you would be if you were out in the world right now, because inside this closet you sort of expect everything. It has a soothing effect. "I can do that."
Her eyes smile back. She leans away from you and grabs a pillow from where your extra linens are stacked.
"Yeah?" She grabs a blanket as well.
"Can we just forget about all the, you know." You gesture between the two of you. "I just want to be as close to you as possible without thinking about it all. Or have you thinking about it all."
It's possibly the least concrete sentence you've ever uttered. But here in this space, in the warmth of a small space where it feels more safe because both of you can see all four walls, it makes sense.
"Okay." She nods.
Jane pulls you down so that both of your heads fit onto that one pillow. She faces you. Your hand reaches for one of hers and she drapes her other arm over your side and you scoot in closer. You lean up to grab the blanket and pull it over your bodies. She wraps one leg over yours and you shift so that your legs rest between hers.
And you talk. The both of you. About how the horrors of the last few years have made you feel. About how it has changed you. About how it has changed her. How it has changed the both of you, together. You talk about who you are as adults, about what you expected to be and what you are. You talk about your fears and about how much more of this world you think you can take.
At one point, after a silence, Jane asks you what you imagine your life to be like in ten years.
You make a joke about the two of you still chasing after bad guys, solving crime. She clarifies, outside of work. What do you imagine your life to be in ten years outside of work?
And you hesitate. So she goes first.
"I can feel it. It's this really big change that's happening to me and I can feel it starting, like just the edges of it or something, you know? In ten years I want this job to not be the most important thing in my life. Not in a regretful way, no. I'm glad it has been. It, well it makes me feel good. To be the good guy. I just, I think in ten years or whatever I'll have put in my time and I'd like simple life, outside of it all."
You just look at her.
For a long while and then you answer.
"Me too, Jane."
She nods. Pulls you closer. Just us.
You're not sure if she says it or breathes it against your neck but you repeat it back to her anyways. It's out there.
And guess what?
It is right where it belongs! The sentiment, the promise, it sits right between the two of you.
It recharges you better than sleep ever could. It breathes some of the life back into you. Hours of whispered confessions go by. It must be almost morning when you feel the tired coming on. She yawns into your throat and you pull her in as she scoots down your body so that she fits against your chest.
She sleeps then, on the floor of your closet with just one pillow and one blanket for the both of you.
She sleeps soundly. And finally, so do you.