Disclaimer: I own none of this, obviously.
A/N: This is darker than what I normally write and it's also in somewhat of a different style because I've used it as a way of procrastination instead of studying. Takes place during/after 2x10. It's hopefully done in a more realistic way than the show, so it's somewhat of an AU. And no, there are no pony parties at the end.
Warning: rape trigger.
Everything happened so quickly. Even if she hadn't have been so shocked, there wasn't much she could've done—only 5'5 with a pair of heels on doesn't exactly add up to taking down two armed men. Two armed and mentally deranged men.
Before she knows it, Jane is pinned down on the bed, arms zip tied to the metal bars to hold her in place—leaving very little chance of escaping. She can feel herself crying, can feel the way her heart is pounding and the rush of adrenaline coursing through her body as Hoyt leans down to whisper in Jane's ear. But Jane…Jane does nothing. She wants to scream, make Jane fight back. Beg her to fight back. But she knows how futile it would be. Jane couldn't even move an inch if she had wanted to with her arms held in place like that. It's horrible and terrifying and she needs Jane to move, but there is absolutely nothing Jane can do. Not now. Not like this.
And that breaks her. She starts sobbing then—gut wrenching sobs that make her bite her lip in an effort to stifle the noise. Sobs that make her throat constrict and tighten; make her whole body shake. Because if Jane—the one person who has always saved her, protected her—can do nothing to get them out of this, then…there is no getting out of this. This is it for them. And if not for her, then definitely for Jane. She has no doubts of Hoyt finishing what he started those few years ago.
So now…now she's going to sit here and watch Jane die. Watch her eyes dim and chest stop moving with each breath. She's going to have to watch this—each agonizing moment—without ever have telling Jane exactly how she felt for her. Never telling Jane how much she loved her, how much she needed her. Now she's never going to get the chance. If anything, she's going to watch Jane die. She's going to lose her best friend and love of her life in one day—right in front of her very eyes.
Never has she felt so helpless.
The scalpel scratches across Jane's neck and there's bright red blood oozing and rolling, and Maura hears herself screaming but it doesn't register that it's actually her own voice until she sees Jane's eyes flick over—terrified—as Hoyt stops and pulls the glinting, sharp metal away from her skin.
She sees the wicked, horrified grin as he turns and hears Jane yelling don't you touch her, and only then does she realize what she's done. Not only does he kill, he rapes and kills—an effective way of breaking not only one but both of them and now she's shown him that she's all he needs to break Jane wholly, completely. But it's not like he didn't already know that she's all it would take. She knows he already knew, and Jane knows it, too, but it isn't any more expected when he walks over to her and pulls out the taser.
The last thing she hears is Jane screaming and the crinkle of the sheets as she tries to push herself backwards, but it's not enough—not even close to being enough to stop him. The cold end hits her neck and the feeling that overwhelms her is instantaneous. Like sinking down into murky, thick syrup with her arms and legs heavy and numb. But then she eventually hits the end of that lazy, easy stretch and everything is spinning, her head is screaming, the light is blinding. The colors are brighter and duller all at once, everything is louder, mixing into a high-pitched buzzing noise so she has to focus, focus until her head is pounding just so she can try to make out Jane's voice.
But she can't because Hoyt is looming over her, like a prominent shadow blocking the sun and all she can feel and see and hear is him and everything that is him and it makes her stomach churn, makes her want to get up and run. Get up and save Jane and never look back.
But she can't.
And it's terrifying.
"Love is nonexistent," he murmurs as he bends a little closer towards her completely frozen body lying on the bed, as she realizes that soon enough, she and Jane were to be the nonexistent. "To people like you and I, Doctor. We aren't capable of loving like Jane loves—jumping in blindly and head first. Stupidly." The blade grazes her neck, and she can feel it—but can't flinch away. "But you aren't like that, Doctor. Every move and feeling is overanalyzed and over-thought, isn't it? You can't love her like she loves you. It's impossible. So why give our little Janie false hope? Why lead her on just to tear her down later?"
He cackles and she feels like retching at the foul odor than emanates from him as he leans closer and closer and closer. "Why do that, when I can just tear her apart right now?"
She can't move, can't protest. But now that he's said it, it sinks in and wraps around her every cell, every fiber. She's not enough. Can't be enough. How was she foolish enough to think that she could be?
But in this limbo, her brain isn't working right. It isn't telling her that she's exactly what Jane needs, not telling her how much she needs to stay alive for Jane. Because without her there is no Jane. They're nothing without the other and she knows it and Jane knows it and Hoyt knows it, but her brain is muddled and the aching pain is overwhelming, so the only thing that helps is to focus on his fallacious words until she believes them and there is no longer room for anything else.
So she lies there and berates herself, consigns herself to the fact that they both are going to die—or maybe just herself because Jane deserves to live without her because she isn't enough anyway—and focuses on Hoyt's words and only his words, not the way she can see him undo his buckle or cackle wickedly.
Focuses only on his words so she can't hear Jane pleading to let her go and just take me. Please just take me.
Focuses only on those crippling words so she doesn't have to realize her skirt is gone and on the floor.
It's only when she realizes she can move a solitary finger, that she stops focusing on him and tries and tries and tries until she can turn her face and only focus on Jane.
Throw out his taunts and take them for what they are—sick and twisted. Full of hate. Purposely only said to break her. To break them.
They are gone, completely forgotten and only Jane is left.
Jane, whose eyes have gone dark and brooding and angry and regretful.
Jane, who's pulled so hard at the restraints that the blood slowly trickling from her wrists matches the blood on her neck.
Jane, who's yelled so loudly for so long, can no longer do anything but manage a raspy, weak whispering plea.
Jane, whose self-hate for getting them into this is written so evidently on her face. In every crevice and every pore, she's oozing remorse and begging for forgiveness all at once.
It's Jane that Maura focuses on when she realizes she can feel rough, demanding fingers digging into her thighs. It's Jane she tries to call out to—but really only manages to whimper—when she can feel the flimsy hospital bed dip down from the weight of him climbing on it with his knees.
And it's Jane she cries for, Jane she uncurls her fingers towards when she thinks this is the moment of truth; the moment she'll never get out of her mind—as if she would get over just this much any time soon anyway—when her legs are pushed open and the rough edges of his jeans graze the inside of her knees.
And finally, finally it's Jane her eyes are locked with in anticipation when she hears the gunshot. When she's confused and feels and hears Hoyt fall to the side of the bed, when she feels the warm blood splatter and cover her skin. Now there's nothing left but Jane and when she thinks about it, it's always been Jane. Always will be Jane.
It feels like it's only seconds later when it's Jane that pushes everyone out of the way and covers her and sits on the side of the bed, pulling her still half-limp body into a sitting position just to wrap her into a rib crushing embrace. The smell of lavender and fear fill her nose as Jane buries herself in Maura's neck, finally sobbing freely—not giving a damn about who saw her doing so.
Whispered I was so scareds and I'm so, so sorrys hit her ears and that's when she melds into Jane completely, none surprised that she's finally gained enough control to finally cry herself. Her whole body is shaking, trembling from the after effects, but Jane refuses to let go until Frost gently pulls her back—reassuring her that getting them to the hospital as soon as possible was best. And there was no doubt that all Jane wants was what was best for Maura. Especially now. Especially after she had dragged them both into this.
He ushers everyone out long enough so Jane can pick up the skirt and pull it over shaky, pale legs still dotted with blood. She tries to stand, but even with Jane's help, she doesn't have enough control to do so—much less walk on her own. They wait and wait and wait for a wheelchair, for anything but after long moments, Jane decides to take things into her own hands—much unlike she was able to do when they were tied to beds and screaming, so it's only fitting that she take control of everything now, protect Maura now since she couldn't before.
"Don't worry. I've got you," Jane whispers as she puts one arm under her knees and one under her shoulders to cradle her gently and yet, possessively. Defensively. Like no one will ever be allowed to take her away from Jane again. No one will be able to harm her, or even try because here's Jane holding her close and making sure no one else will ever be able to lay a finger on her again. She nods against Jane, knowing that she's completely safe now and is carried out—Jane scowling at everyone who dared look their way, until everyone realized to mind their own damn business.
She's none too surprised when Jane climbs in the back of the car to sit with her, but she is surprised when Jane takes the middle seat instead of the other side seat, when Jane is the first to reach out and lace their hands. She leans into Jane after that, burying her face in the too-big suit jacket as she cries the entire way to the hospital—not caring that Frost can surely hear them. Not caring that the blood on her face—Hoyt's blood—is smearing everywhere, now on them both because it's literally been put on them both in a metaphorical sense anyway. Because all she's concerned with is being alive and being alive here with Jane.
And Jane holds her hand as she sits on the hospital bed waiting for something to change into—arguing about a rape kit because even though Maura isn't completely clear on what happened, Jane is. Because she was there and she was watching and saw what didn't happen because he didn't have time to get that far, so she isn't going to let them put Maura through something she certainly doesn't need. Jane isn't going to let them put her through anything else on this godforsaken day, not when she shouldn't have even been a part of it anyway.
She closes her eyes—glad that she's stopped shaking—and tries not to cry as Jane uses the warm, soft washcloth to wipe the speckled blood from her face and arms and legs. So gentle and caring and venerating and…everything.
She wants to say what she's feeling, what she's thinking—let Jane know that she's alright and they'll be alright, but doctors keep walking in and it feels too exposed for a conversation that should definitely only be shared between them and them alone. So she vows to tell Jane later, and eagerly accepts the offer of clean scrubs to wear until she's home; eagerly accepts Jane's offer to help her in to them since her body still feels weak and she thinks she's probably in a slight state of shock after everything that's happened today.
Which she is. Jane can see it, the doctors can see it, everyone can see it just by the paleness of her face and oddly dulled eyes. And it only makes Jane feel worse, and that is something Maura can so plainly see. So she lets Jane help her to the car in an attempt to show that no, she doesn't blame Jane for any of this. She went to that prison willingly and even now, she wouldn't change her decision to do so.
Only Jane has spoken in the hours since they were…saved—it's the most appropriate word she can think of—and she can tell Jane is worried about her long stretch of silence, but she can't find the words. Her mouth feels thick and her head feels heavy so nothing will come out even when she tries.
Well, until they get in Jane's apartment and she walks into the bathroom and Jane turns to leave her in there all alone. Terror instantly fills her, overwhelming her from the inside out and she jerkily turns, instantly grabbing onto Jane's arm to keep her from walking out. She can't be alone. Not now. Not after all of this.
"Stay with me?
Jane can see the fear in her eyes, feel the shake of the pale hand against her forearm—things she can most definitely relate to feeling—and swallows thickly, hating herself for dragging the one good thing in her life into something so decidedly horrible. Something no one should ever have to endure and yet, no she's brought them both into this.
"Of course," Jane nods, squeezing Maura's hand before propping herself up on the vanity to stare at a spot on the tiled floor until Maura's thrown away the scrubs and in the shower.
The water is scalding and her skin has turned a deep shade of pink in an effort to feel something other than fear—and it had worked until Jane started talking and she realized that's all she really needed, not an outlet physical pain. Just the calm, smooth voice wrapping around her from the other side of the shower curtain that's calming her and reassuring her that she's safe now and will be safe as long as Jane has any say in the matter. That what they just endured had happened, yes, but won't ever happen again. Jane will never put Maura in the line of fire again, not after today—after they had both almost lost the best parts of each other and felt how real and true and horrifying that would really be.
And Jane knows what Maura is feeling right now, knows the fear of being starkly alone and afraid that the nightmare will just begin again, so she talks and talks, letting Maura know she isn't leaving. She talks about anything that won't remind them of today—Christmas, baseball, the time she broke her arm when she was six. And then just when she thinks she can't think of anything else, she remembers the show she had watched last week—by herself—just because Maura had mentioned it. "Did you know tortoises can lay up to 30 eggs? I mean they don't normally, but…I mean, they can. And, uhm…did you know that they can't even float? There goes my idea to take Bass to the—"
"Yes, I…" Maura interrupts, before losing the little composure she had built up and letting herself succumb to the sobs that wrack her body. Jane, and only Jane would take hours out of what little free time she has just to watch a documentary about tortoises just for the sake of doing so—just as a little way to show Maura that yes, she does care about what Maura cares about.
Jane hisses when she reaches her arm in and the unbearably hot water speckles her skin as she fumbles to turn off the shower, surprised that her ancient pipes even allowed it to reach that temperature.
"Jesus, Maura. What're you trying to do? Kill your—ah," she cuts herself off, her face growing insurmountably redder at the fact she had let something like that slip. "That's not…I'm sorry," she averts her eyes as she holds out the open towel for Maura to step into, keeps them averted until Maura has fumbled her way out of the shower and wrapped herself in the soft, white material.
It's soft, but it's not what she needs wrapped around her. That flimsy towel is just not enough to help her feel safe.
So she leans forward into Jane—letting those long, protective arms engulf her and shield her from the memories she's trying to stave away. Jane needs to shower; needs to get the memories of Hoyt and that prison and near death off her skin, but Maura's clinging so tightly to her waist that there's no way she's letting go. She was the reason Maura was brought into this, and she's going to be there to pull her out.
Walking backwards down the hall—Maura still close and still wrapped around her torso—she steps into the bedroom and guides Maura to sit on the edge of the unmade bed while she rummages around in her dresser. It's only moments later that she finds her softest pair of sweatpants that had never let her down in all the times she had needed comfort, and a baggy shirt Maura had always worn when she came over. She supposed it was more Maura's than hers now anyway, so it was only fitting that she wear it now—an thinly veiled attempt to get some of their normalcy back.
Turning to face the bed, Jane pauses as soon as her eyes land on Maura. On her abnormally pale face, puffy eyes, and wet hair that's hanging and sticking to her lightly freckled shoulders. She looks empty. Shattered.
Jane sets her jaw. She's not going to let Maura feel broken; let Maura think she is broken. Because she isn't and Jane's not going to let her spiral into self-doubt and hate and loathing like she did the first time. No. Because even though she didn't have anyone to help her the first time, she'll be damned if she doesn't help Maura now.
Jane holds out the clothes towards Maura, glad when those hazel eyes come back into focus and grasp them from her hands. She turns to change into her own sleepwear in an attempt to give Maura privacy without really leaving, and turns her head slightly to talk over her shoulder as she pulls on a shirt. "It gets better, Maur. You won't always feel like this."
And it's only after Jane has pulled on her most worn pair of pajamas does she hear a weak, "Promise?" tumble from Maura's lips.
She turns, surprised that Maura is already in her side of the bed—and yes, it's hers because that's how interwoven their lives have become. And it's really ridiculous now that she thinks about it. Thinks about how they haven't just laid it all on the table so they are only sharing one bed all of the time with permanent sides for each of them, but maybe it won't be ridiculous for much longer.
Because their lives have been tangling and weaving, paths crossing until Maura just looks so perfect laying there against those white sheets that Jane can't ever imagine sleeping next to empty white sheets ever again. And maybe she won't have to, and things won't be so ridiculous and they'll finally be really, and truly happy.
Because there are only so many times a person can sit back and think they're going to lose the love of their life without doing something, and Jane's pretty sure she's just about hit her limit and honestly, she'd be surprised if Maura hasn't already too.
So maybe this horrible day was a catalyst to end all things ridiculous, and damn what a birthday that would be in a weird and twisted, perfect kind of way that fits with so many other facets of their lives.
"Yeah, I do," Jane promises as she crawls into the bed, rolling on her side to face Maura under the blankets.
They normally sleep close, but tonight they're closer. Maura, too, is on her side and they're barely inches apart—which is probably unnecessary since Jane was smart enough to leave on the lamp just like she had needed to do all those years ago—and it's so comfortable to be that proximate to one another, that Jane slides an inch or two closer and their legs tangle in that perfectly natural way that they always do.
Jane reaches up and rests her hand on Maura's in the tiny space between them, her thumb running across cold knuckles—realizing that saving money on the heating bill probably wasn't the best idea if she was going to drag Maura back to her tiny little apartment every time something bad happened to them.
"What helped you?" Jane's eyes flick up to meet hers at the quiet, almost tentative voice. "So you didn't see his face every time you closed your eyes?"
Jane's breath hitches as she remembers those nights she woke up with cold sweats and sickness, crying and sometimes screaming and so, so terribly alone. Maura doesn't deserve that. She deserves the truth on how to maybe come out of this a little easier and Jane will give it to her—regardless of how far she has to open herself up.
Jane slightly shrugs against the bed. "You did."
Maura's forehead creases as she tries to process, but they day has been much too long and strenuous and Jane being so close is making her head swim. "What?"
"You did. I thought of you instead."
"I know," Jane interrupts, because she does know what Maura is thinking—just in the way that they were prone to just knowing with a glance, an imperceptible shake of the head what the other means. "I know we hadn't known each other long, but there was just something about you that I couldn't shake. You helped me."
Jane looks down at their now-intertwined hands, the knotted flesh standing up in the middle of her own. "You…you were even the first person I went to see after they took out the stitches, remember?"
Maura nods, remembering the day Jane walked into the morgue with a larger than life smile and her hands outstretched in front of her—waving them towards Maura and Maura alone. Maura manages a weak grin, a light squeeze against Jane's fingers. "Yes. I helped you hold a pen."
"Yeah," Jane nods, remembering that day so clearly in her mind. Maura in a blue dress that matched the ink of her pen, with a smile Jane hardly felt worthy of receiving. A smile she still hardly feels worthy of.
"And your name was the first word I wrote," Jane whispers, nearly embarrassed.
But Maura grins widely at that, remembering the sheet of paper that Jane had brought into her office months after the incident. It was crinkled from being shoved in Jane's pocket and had coffee on the corner, but right in the middle were five shaky, crooked letters that spelled out her name. "Was it really the first?"
She recalls how she wanted it to be perfect—months of hiding her scribbles on scraps of paper and receipts—but it was taking too long and she was too eager so the crooked letters on the stained paper had to do.
"Yeah, I had practiced it for weeks. Just to show you I could do it," she admits with a bashful, lopsided grin.
"I was so proud of you," Maura whispers, emotions suddenly rushing back to her. Blinking back pricking tears, she reaches over and pushes a wild curl out of Jane's face. "I had my doubts that you would ever manage to write clearly again."
"I know. I could tell by the look on your face. You were shocked."
Jane lightly chuckles, and Maura's airy laugh isn't far behind. It was odd how she could look and indescribable things all day and yet, five little letters had thrown her for a loop. "I was that, too."
But then Maura sees the faintest wrinkle on the corner of Jane's eye as she laughs, and instantly sobers. Today could've effectively taken Jane from her—kept her from getting any more wrinkles or gray hairs. They could've become just Jane or just Maura and that thought hurts, it hurts so badly that her heart starts thrumming against her chest and a tear spills out and the next thing she knows, she's pulled as tight against Jane as she can be. And it's safe and comforting and it's…where she belongs.
Her hands clutch in Jane's shirt and she pulls away just enough from Jane's warm neck to manage a muffled, "I'm sorry this happened on your birthday," because she's Maura—a child who never celebrated birthdays, and now she feels bad from keeping Jane from celebrating this one even though it really wasn't either of their faults.
After everything, that's what she's been reducing to thinking about because she just can't handle conjuring up much else at the moment—and Jane knows it. So she reaches up and runs her fingers through still-damp hair in an attempt to calm and reassure—something that has always worked for Maura, and still does because the stifled cries instantly start to slow.
Jane sighs. "I'm not," she finally settles on.
Jane shakes her head against the crown of Maura's. "No. I finally don't have to worry about him getting out again, y'know? He's dead and I don't have to look over my shoulder anymore. I don't have to worry about him coming after you now, either," she covers the sentiment with a deflective laugh. "Pretty good gift if you ask me."
Maura pulls back enough to look in Jane's eyes, curiosity written on her face. "Have you always worried? About me?"
"I've always worried about something happening to you, Maura," Jane answers in a tone that belies her hurt at Maura's disbelief. And Maura's looking at her in a wow, you really mean it kind of way because not even Maura's parents had worried about her—and that's another issue entirely—so when Jane's chest clenches from every single emotion that comes from being with Maura and thinking about Maura comes rushing to the surface, the next thing to naturally roll out of her mouth in a thick whisper is, "I love you."
It's matter-of-fact and it's raw, and there are no grand gestures that had preceded it. And she had put off saying it for so long because she didn't want to mess things up, but this felt so right that she can't believe she had stupidly thought it would ruin them.
Because Maura's looking at Jane in an I know you do kind of way—none as shocked as she thought Maura would be—and right now there's nothing but them. No Hoyt and broken hands or broken spirits. No barriers. Just them and them alone.
And the lamp might have to stay on for tonight, and there'll will most likely be more than a few nightmares in the weeks to come, but when Maura says, "I love you, too," with a little smile, all is right in the world or rather, will be alright— because now they are a definitive them and not just Jane or just Maura. And that's all they both have ever really wanted.
So I wrote this in between studying for finals because I'm an A+ procrastinator.
Review, if you have the time! I love reading them. Thank you!