DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know next to nothing about science. I have not read any of the novels. Any impression I have about Maura's motivation, back-story or nature come strictly my observation of the series and from my imagination :)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To carrieanneq[at]mail.com

I Want To Hold Your Hand
By EponinesGhost


Stripping her remaining latex glove from her left hand with a weary sigh, Dr. Maura Isles reached up to turn off the device that had recorded the last hour of her life. Distantly, she noticed that her finger shook as she pressed the button. She was exhausted. Flexing and stretching repeatedly, she turned toward the sink and began untying her scrubs. This had been a busy day. A day full of death. Grimly she noted that for her, it was a long, even brutal, day at the office ... for those she encountered on her slab it was much, much worse. She always found it fascinating that a change in perspective could have such a profound impact on any scenario.

Methodically she pumped the strong antibacterial soap onto her hands and vigorously scrubbed them. Wearing gloves was only one of her precautions. This part of her postmortem routine always made her think of Jane. Jane who was as comfortable in the lab as any doctor, but nearly phobic about the thought of coming into contact with anything that had been in the mere vicinity of her autopsy implements or samples.

At first Maura had been highly offended by her reaction. Took it personally that anyone might imply that she didn't maintain an impeccable work area or meet the highest standards of sterility. It had been monumentally frustrating to explain again and again that there was no way she would allow or accept even the tiniest threat of contagion or transfer in her domain, only to have Jane wave her off with a shudder. There was no logical reason for the detective to cling to her concern about potential exposure ... it had perplexed her to no end that someone so fearless -- even analytical in her own organic way -- would be so susceptible to suggestion and so immune to reason.

Eventually, Jane had kindly and firmly reassured her that it had nothing to do with Maura's abilities or efforts. Some things, irrationally or not, just gave her "the creeps." Maura smiled as she remembered the facial expression that had accompanied this proclamation. As soon as she realized that it was a psychological issue rather than a literal one, Maura had been able to let it go and even tease Jane about it. She delighted in eating in the lab in front of Jane ... and implying that she stored her lunches and other edibles along with her cross-sections and smears.

Her attention was drawn to the motion of her hands as she thoroughly rinsed them. Intertwining ... sliding over and over ... their choreography was suddenly mesmerizing, despite the fact that she had seen it countless times. It struck her that although she was performing a rote and necessary task, she had seen the same repetitive gesture triggered by extreme and extraordinary circumstances.

Jane moved her hands in much the same way when she fidgeted with them. Unconsciously or consciously, the manifestation was similar. She rubbed and massaged and worried them whenever she was nervous or traumatized. Or if she were in pain ... phantom or otherwise. Whenever Maura noticed -- and she made sure not to be obvious about her awareness -- she felt a sharp stab of anger and helplessness. With a fierceness she rarely felt, Maura wished she could erase everything about the situation that had caused such a deep and lingering scar.

Scars ...

Drying her own hands mechanically, she examined her palms. She knew she wouldn't see the kind of marks there that she had memorized on Jane's beautiful skin. Would hopefully never know the agony that accompanied their creation. She worked with scalpels nearly every day ... had nicked herself numerous times, sometimes rather seriously. Still, she could not fathom the torture of having them plunged through her ... without care of regard ... any resistance furthering the torment of the wounds already inflicted. Her stomach clenched even now at the thought. A thought that could never convey even the barest hint of the reality and still managed to sicken and shock her.

Instinctively her mind tried to divert itself with facts. Crucifixion was designed to terrorize and humiliate as well as kill. The victim was inevitably made as vulnerable as possible .... his or her distress most preferably witnessed by others to increase the level of shame. The process was intended to be slow, drawn out ... with increasing levels of anguish ... excruciating -- meaning literally "out of crucifying."

Her fingers curling protectively inward, over the center of her palms, she closed her eyes against the tears that threatened. Oh Jane. What you endured and survived. What you struggle with still ...

Swallowing her grief over the injustice and horror of it all, Maura leaned against the counter. Almost blindly she applied the lotion that she needed to counter the affects of the harsh cleanser. Calming slightly as she felt the soothing coolness spread and absorb, she tried to shake the last of the darkness brought on by her ruminations.

She might be helpless to erase the past, but she wasn't helpless when it came to comforting and caring for Jane now. The next time she saw the familiar and heart-wrenching ritual begin ... picked up the first signal that Jane was anxious or troubled by the memories ... she was going to intervene. Still the obsessive movement with her own hand. Quiet the hum of uncertainty and worry with her touch. Softly and surely assure the person closest to her in the world that they were in this together. Fingers interwoven, gently stroked and securely clasped.

She would give Jane something to hold onto. And she would never let go.

The End

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