"Maura, honey", a kind female voice was talking to her and she could feel fingers softly stroke her forehead and hair. It felt nice, comfortable.
"I think she's coming to," a male voice said.
Maura opened her eyes and saw Angela's face right above her own.
"Welcome back," she said.
'Why am I on the floor,' Maura thought, 'did I go vasovagal?' and then it all came back to her. "Jane," she said trying to get up.
"Hold on now," Dr. Clint was holding her by the arm, "we don't want you fainting again. Try to get your bearings first."
"I'm fine," Maura waved him away. She grabbed Angela's hand that was reaching out to help her stand up. She felt dizzy for a moment, so she closed her eyes, waiting for the moment to pass.
Angela looked at her, concern evident in her eyes, "lets sit you down somewhere, you look like you're about to topple over again."
Maura wanted to protest but she couldn't argue the fact, she did feel terrible.
Dr. Clint led them to a little office towards the back of the ICU ward. "Take a seat," he said while getting some water and giving it to Maura.
"I'll be fine, doctor, please," she motioned for him to start talking.
"Okay," he said while taking a seat himself. "I know you must have some questions, but first if you can please tell me what exactly happened when Jane woke up."
Angela looked at Maura and Dr. Clint, question in her eyes.
"It's ok, Mrs. Rizzoli, you did nothing wrong, neither of you did. I just need to know what happened."
"Ok," Angela started, "well, when we saw a change to one of the machines in the room, we started talking to Jane, trying to coach her to open up her eyes."
Dr. Clint gave her a reassuring nod to continue.
"It took a while," Angela said, "but she squeezed Maura's hand and then opened her eyes.
"Did she seem alert?"
"No," Maura finally had found some form of control again, "she appeared confused, her eyes unable to focus on anything."
"Yes," Angela added, "like she couldn't look at one spot. Then all of a sudden she started to panic and call out 'No'."
"She called out my name, and pulled away from me." Maura said sadly.
"Oh, Maura, I'm sure that wasn't on purpose." Angela tried to grab a hold of the blonde's hand, but Maura held it out of reach.
"Hm-hm," Dr. Clint nodded his head in thought,
"Doctor, is this because of Jane's concussion?" Angela asked.
"Possibly, but I think there is more at play here. The combination of her concussion, her being drugged and her sedation for the past few days, I think her mind hasn't caught up yet to reality. I wish we had more information on what happened to your daughter. We will have to conduct some more tests, but for now I think it's best to keep Jane sedated for a little while longer, the stress from today is not good for her brain or her body. We will try to wake her again tomorrow, but I think it's best that only medical staff be present at that time, at least until we have a better understanding of what's going on."
Maura and Angela reluctantly agreed with Dr. Clint.
The doctor excused himself and left the two women by themselves, neither of them knew what to say.
Angela was the first to speak up, "Okay," she said, "I'm going to call Frankie to come sit with his sister for a while and I'm taking you home, I'll cook you a real meal and you can get some rest."
Maura looked up, sad eyes brimming with tears, "Stop being so nice to me. Don't you understand, this is all my fault, I should have been here."
"What? No, Maura. None of this is your fault, nobody blames you."
"I do, I blame myself," she said tears now streaming down her face, "Frankie blames me and so does Jane."
"Oh Maura," Angela just realized the blonde must have heard her conversation with her son, "Frankie doesn't blame you, not really, he's just upset and not thinking clearly. And Jane loves you."
"You saw what happened in there, she pulled away from me." Maura's voice cracked.
Angela grabbed Maura's hands and did not let her pull away from her this time, "I don't know why she did that, but Jane loves you very much. Whatever happened to her she's going to need you to get through this. You need each other, and you're not to blame for any of this."
Maura unable to see reason at the moment, jumped out of her chair and quickly ran to the door, she had to get out of there. She ignored Angela calling behind her, she ran for the stairs and didn't stop until she was in her car, where she finally let her self break down and cry.
Late the next day Dr. Clint and nurse Amy were standing in Jane's room. Dr. Clint had just injected Jane's IV with a mild stimulant that should wake her within a few minutes. They were waiting now, closely monitoring her vitals.
Her brain was muddled, everything around her was dark, but it felt comfortable. She could hear a voice calling her name, but she didn't want to answer it, she knew if she opened her eyes there would be more pain again. She couldn't stand anymore pain. She tried to fight her increasing awareness of the voice, she could already feel the pain in her head building.
"She's waking up, doctor." a woman's voice said.
"Jane, you're safe. It's ok to open your eyes." a man's voice spoke now.
Jane fought the voices, she tried to relax back into the comfortable darkness. The darkness where there was no pain.
"She's slipping away again," the woman's voice said, Jane felt a pressure on her shoulder, she started to feel panicked.
"No, don't touch her," the man's voice said, he sounded urgent, "lets just give her a minute."
After a few moments the man's voice spoke again, he kept repeating the same things over and over again, "You're safe Jane, everything is ok." She was getting irritated, she wanted to tell him she heard him the first time.
Slowly Jane opened her eyes, she blinked a few times against the light before closing them again.
"It's ok, Jane. You're safe." the man said again.
"H-heard you," 'the first time', she wanted to say but her throat was dry and her voice hoarse.
"Can you open your eyes again for me?", he asked in a very calm tone.
It felt like a tremendous chore but she did what he asked. Her vision was blurry and she saw two of everything; she was unable to concentrate on one thing for long and the bright light shining in her eyes was painful.
"Ok, Jane, you can close your eyes now. Just don't go back to sleep yet, ok?" the man asked her. She liked his voice, he sounded nice, safe.
"Jane, my name is Dr. Clint, you are ok, you are in the hospital."
"K," she groaned. 'wait what?' she opened her eyes again quickly, a shot of pain coursing through her head from the sudden movement.
"Can you tell me what you remember?" the doctor asked.
Flashes of Roy started filtering back into her brain.
"Roy", she croaked, her heart rate was increasing again.
"Ok, try to stay calm. He can't hurt you anymore, Jane. You're safe. Just try to breathe."
Jane let out the breath she didn't realize she was holding and tried to do as the doctor said.
"Try to relax, just focus on breathing, in... and out, in... and out."
Jane was listening to the calm voice of the doctor and obeyed his request, she slowly felt herself relax and drifted back to sleep.
"That's enough for today," Dr. Clint said, "we'll let her sleep until she's ready to wake up on her own again. Keep a close eye on her and call me the minute she wakes up again. Nobody else in the room for now, I'll notify the family of the situation."
Angela had just gotten of the phone with the hospital when she walked through the door of Maura's home. The doctor was sitting in her kitchen nursing a glass of wine and looking at something on her laptop, at the sound of her back door opening she looked up and gave Angela a small courteous nod before diverging her interest back to the screen in front of her.
"The hospital just called," Angela said while making herself a cup of tea.
"Oh, what did they say?" Maura had not been back to the hospital since Jane woke up the day before. She had wanted to go back, but she was afraid, she had felt so helpless not being able to comfort Jane.
"Jane woke up again today," she looked at Maura, the blonde woman looked so sad, she had been inconsolable the night before; Angela had tried to talk to her and reassure her, but it was like her words fell on deaf ears. Maura had quickly made her excuses and locked herself into her bedroom until this morning.
"It went well, Dr. Clint said she was a little confused still and very unfocused, but she did seem to remember what happened to her," Angela frowned, "actually I'm not sure if that's a good thing, maybe it would be better if she didn't remember what that bastard did to her."
"It's a good thing, it means her memory is intact," Maura said, "it is not uncommon for people with a grade three concussion to experience some form of temporary or permanent amnesia."
"I guess," Angela shrugged her shoulders, "anyway, they didn't have to sedate her again, so that's good right?"
Maura nodded her agreement.
"The doctor wants to meet with us tomorrow morning. You want to drive there together, or would you prefer to take your own car?"
Maura wanted to let out a deep sigh, but instead she told Angela she would meet her there. She excused herself to go to bed, but she wasn't going to sleep yet, she just wanted to continue the research she had been doing before Angela came over. She needed to be better prepared the next time Jane woke up, she needed to know what she could do to help her, so she wouldn't be standing there like a dumb frozen statue.
The next day Jane woke up early in the morning; her mind still a jumbled fog. She opened her eyes and tried to scan the room around her, but her vision was a little fuzzy.
She raised her left hand so she could rub her eyes, but it was weighed down by something. She held it close to her face, 'what the - ? a cast!' "Well this sucks," she mumbled to herself.
She tried to move her legs, but quickly stopped when a sharp pain shot through her right leg. "Now what?" she reached down with her right hand to touch her leg which was bandaged up. She flexed her abs so she could lean herself forward, but the movement jostled her broken ribs and the pain immediately took her breath away. She fell back into her pillow which in turn aggravated her headache. "Shit!", she grumbled, "shit, shit, shit!"
"I see you're awake," a smiling woman was standing inside the doorway to her room.
Jane looked at the woman raising an eyebrow.
"The doctor is going to be happy to see you're awake, he should be here any minute now," she looked down the hallway, "ah, there he is."
The man in question joined the nurse inside the room.
"Hello, Jane. I'm glad to see you're awake again. My name is Dr. Clint and I am the doctor assigned to your care," he spoke to her in a calm reassuring manner.
Jane had actually woken up several times during the night, but each time she had still been very disoriented and had gone to sleep almost immediately after waking. This morning was the first time Jane actually was alert since she was brought into the hospital several days earlier.
The doctor was talking to Jane, but she had a hard time concentrating on his voice as the memories from her ordeal started to come back to her.
Jane was still confused, she didn't remember waking up before this morning, all she remembered were her last moments with Roy and Sam...and Maura.
'Oh no... Maura', she thought, ...'Maura is dead', she couldn't believe it; her mind was still trying to make sense of her memories, but she had seen it herself, Roy had killed her. 'she's dead, she's really... dead.'
Tears started to form in her eyes while images filtered into her brain, she had seen Roy slice Maura's neck and she had been unable to stop him. She had failed to protect Maura; Jane wanted to curl up and die herself.
Dr. Clint noticed the spike in her heart rate and her rapid breathing. He snapped his fingers a couple of times and Jane finally looked at him, he had purposely tried to startle her before she would get lost in her memories again, he wanted to avoid a full panic attack.
"Take a deep breath Jane," Dr. Clint said and she complied, "that's it, try to clear your mind and just breath." Every time Jane had started to panic during the night they had helped her calm back down before she was too far gone, this way they had avoided the need to sedate her again. They needed to keep the stress on her brain to a minimum, until she was better equipped mentally to deal with everything.
Jane tried to do as Dr. Clint said, she tried to breath, but the tears kept falling.
After a few minutes, when she was able to catch a breath, her mind started to wonder why nobody else was there, where was her mom?
Dr. Clint reading Jane's unspoken question answered for her, "your family is nearby, but we asked them to stay outside for a while."
"Why?", Jane said, her voice strained.
"The first time you woke up two days ago, you went into a severe panic attack and we had to sedate you. As not to further upset you or your family we decided it best for them to keep their distance until we were sure you were mentally up for visitors."
Jane didn't remember, but when she had first come out of sedation and Maura had been right there holding her, she had been scared, it had been too much for her confused mind to comprehend that the blonde woman was actually there, because Maura couldn't really be there with her, she had seen her die.
Dr. Clint was watching Jane closely, seeing the different emotions cross her face.
"And Sam?", Jane asked after a while, voice broken. "Did Sam make it?"
"The kid that was with you? Yes, he's going to be fine, he was released from the hospital two days ago."
Even though Jane was devastated, she felt a slight relief that Sam survived, at least it hadn't all been for nothing.
"You think you're up for a visitor, it's been very hard keeping your family away from here," Dr. Clint said trying to assess Jane's state of mind.
Jane gave him a weary look, 'I bet it was', she thought about her mom being kept out of her room, that must have been difficult. She tried to wipe away her tears and nodded her approval.
"Ok, I'll send her in. But you have to promise me not to exert yourself in any way, you are still dealing with a serious concussion on top of your other injuries and we need to be cautious.
Jane took another shaky breath before giving the doctor a thumbs up with her right hand, too tired to speak again.
Dr. Clint left and a few minutes later Angela stepped inside her room.
Mother and daughter shared a quiet moment, which was very unusual for both women.
"Hey ma." Jane finally whispered.
"Oh baby," Angela cried before she pulled her daughter into a hug.
"Ma," Jane yelped.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," Angela quickly let go of her daughter, "We've been so worried about you. Maura has been a wreck since she came back. You gave us all quite the scare."
"Wait, what? ... Maura? ... Maura is here? She's alive... No... how is that possible? she thought confused, thinking she was going crazy.
Then suddenly her mind cleared enough to connect the dots and she realized it, 'it was all a hallucination, none of it was real.'
That bastard had tricked her, he had played on her fears and used it against her. Maura hadn't even been there, Maura had still been in Africa. She felt relieved, but it also made her angry; she felt weak and pathetic to have fallen for that.
But it had felt so real, the things she had envisioned during her drug induced delirium weren't like dreams. No, her hallucinations had been vivid, dark and terrifying; everything she saw had felt very real to her.
"Maura is here? She's back?" Jane's voice cracked.
"Oh honey, she's been back for days," Angela said, unaware of the emotional turmoil her daughter was experiencing, "She's right outside, but the nice doctor said we could only visit one at a time."
Jane looked over at the door, 'Maura is alive, she's here'. At this moment Jane didn't think about Maura leaving her to go to Africa, or the miserable week she spent by herself while she was gone, or the terrible pain she had experienced by Roy's hands, not even the horrible hallucinations depicting Maura's demise. All she could think about right now was that Maura was there, alive, in Boston, right outside the door.
Angela had been chatting away at her, but she soon realized her daughter had tuned out the moment she heard Maura was back; she didn't mind, she was just happy Jane was alive and awake, "why don't I go get her and give you two some time alone."
Jane glanced up at Angela, "thanks mom."
"uh huh," Angela teasingly said before stepping out of the room.
Jane closed her eyes for a moment and put her head back on her pillow, she took a deep breath and waited.
It only took a minute before she felt it, Maura was there.
"Jane?" she heard Maura's soft voice say.
Jane smiled before opening her eyes; the beautiful but nervous blonde woman was standing in the doorway.
"Maur," she said while reaching out her arms, and that's all it took for Maura to rush forward and fall into her arms.