A/N - yeah, like I said, evil, not cruel. Y'all didn't seriously think I was going to maim, kill, or otherwise harm any of the main characters, did you? I promise the next few chapters are all fluff and smut. mostly fluff, since I'm keeping the smut to "optional" chapters. (Who the hell am I kidding, I know that's why y'all are reading anyway) So like, a few chapters of fluff before going back to the case stuff.
The icy feeling retreated, slightly, as she heard the first notes of Maura's ringtone coming through her phone as she passed through the foyer, and she let out a breath she didn't know she was holding as hazel eyes met hers. There was the faintest hint of unshed tears in those eyes, but she couldn't help the relieved slump of her shoulders as she realized that Maura was standing there in front of her, Christopher nestled against a shoulder. That the body the paramedics were loading onto a stretcher belonged to neither of them. "Jane – I was just calling you." She nodded, unable to do much of anything else.
"Dispatch – I saw -" The feeling of utter panic was slowly subsiding, but whole sentences were still beyond her. "Paramedics. Called here." She couldn't do anything more than step forward and wrap Maura in a fierce hug. She rested her chin on Maura's shoulder, trying to will away the thick feeling in her throat, trying to choke down the sob of relief. Maura was fine. Christopher was fine. That was all that mattered. The arm that Maura wasn't using to hold Christopher close wrapped around her, thumb tracing soothing circles across her shoulder blades. She was vaguely aware of the paramedics still working around her, and once the icy tendrils had started to retreat from where they'd been holding her innards captive she slowly pulled back from the embrace, shifting slightly so that she was standing next to Maura rather than trying to squeeze the life out of both the ME and their child. "What happened?" The words were barely a croak, and she found Maura handing Christopher off to her. Simply holding the cooing child, unknowing of what was going on around him, managed to make the few remaining knots in her stomach fade away.
Looking down into those deep brown eyes, she felt another wave of utter relief wrap around her. "Gertrude-" Was all Maura said, looking at the retreating stretcher as the paramedics made their way back out the front door. There was an arm wrapped around her waist, and a head buried against the crook of her neck. She cold feel the hot tracks of tears as Maura cried wordlessly against her. "She said she wasn't feeling well this morning, and I invited her over for tea- ventricular fibrillation, secondary to latent cardiomyopathy – she wouldn't have even felt it coming." One of the paramedics stepped back through the threshold.
"I wanted to let you ladies know that we shocked her back to normal sinus rhythm – she'll live, all thanks to you, Dr. Isles" He passed his eyes between the two of them. "She wasn't either of your mothers, right? Wouldn't want the poor kid to have the first bad thing he sees be his grandmother having a heart attack."
"No, she was watching him for us while we worked. Oh god, I'm so glad I took today off-" The fear in Maura's voice was evident, she could hear the same hundreds of what ifs that could have played out whispering in her own ears. What if this kid had been left alone with the woman, and Maura hadn't been there for CPR? The very idea of the kid being left alone from ten in the morning until they got home at god knows what hour with a dead octogenarian? The very thought of it made her nearly sick to her stomach. She didn't even attempt to think of what could have happened to him, the various fates that could have befallen him, because just even daring to consider the worst had her heart hammering and chest tight. The paramedic backed out, heading towards the hospital with what had been their babysitter.
"You're both OK?" She asked, looking between Maura and Christopher, checking them for any sign of trauma.
"Outside of being emotionally drained, I believe we're both fine." She held the boy up in front of her, staring into his eyes, as though she could will them to inform her of any unvoiced troubles, and all she got was a wide grin from him. She couldn't help but notice the first glimpse of white in that grin, cocking her head slightly as she attempted to figure out if it was what she thought it was. Unable to contain her curiosity she swiped her pointer finger inside a tiny mouth, grimacing slightly at the slimy sucking at the digit, before confirming her suspicion.
"When'd he start getting teeth?" Maura blinked, taking Christopher back from her, confirming that yes, the boy had cut his first tooth. "Great, I thought all that crying shit was over for a while. Guess we're in for another few sleepless weeks."
"Jane-" She could hear the tentativeness in Maura's voice, and she supposed that the uncertain note had every right to be there. Eighteen hours ago, she'd stalked out the front door and said she'd wanted no part of this, and yet, here she was acting as though nothing had changed, when everything had. Maura had every right to doubt her, second guess her, believe that she wasn't serious about this.
"Look, I'm sorry for being an ass last night. It's just – I've been looking at this kid with the thought that I'll be giving him back, because at first, yeah, I wanted nothing more than to get him out of my hair. But now – now I'm scared shitless of it actually happening. And then I saw the house pop on dispatch asking for paramedics, and – I got here on autopilot. I think my car needs new tires. I just had to make sure that you and Christopher were all right. I, well, the idea of either of you not being alright scared me even more than, well- Besides, you try getting used to that bed and even rhe new mattress over there feels like plywood when compared to that."
The words had come out in a breathless rush and Maura looked up at her with a soft smile that drew a quirk of her eyebrow, wondering what it was she said to get such a look back. "You do realize that in the entire five months he's been in our lives, I've never once heard you call Christopher by name? You've always called him the kid until just now." She paused, suddenly realizing that Maura was right. She blinked as she realized that somewhere from the time she left the precinct until the time she got through the front door, even her internal monologue had stopped referring to him as the kid.
"Well, it is his name, isn't it?" She grinned, suddenly feeling relieved. Like somehow, a giant weight and been lifted off of her shoulders. This wasn't an obligation , she no longer wanted to be a part of this kids life as the best option she wanted to be in his life as the only option. "Shit – that was what I had been thinking of before – y'know, yesterday. He doesn't have any papers. No birth certificate or anything. I guess, it kinda got forgotten about with the case, and not knowing if we were going to keep him, or what. We should probably fix that." She found the grin slipping into a sly smirk as the other option came to mind. "Or we can keep him out of the system and train him to be some sort of vigilante superhero. What d'ya think? We could have the next Batman right here." There was a long moment where she was afraid she'd gone and put her foot in her mouth again, before Maura giggled. Not just laughed, but giggled.
"I'll call the county clerk first thing Monday morning. But for now, I believe you're not on call this weekend, and I think after the day we've had, the night calls for takeout, movies, and going to bed early."
"I think that this is just what the doctor ordered." She found her arms wrapping around Maura rather of their own free will as she leaned forward to place a gentle kiss to the top of the tiny head that was nestled against Maura's shoulder.