DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Jane Rizzoli sat up, suddenly and completely awake, and listened.
There was no unusual sound, nothing there that shouldn't have been, and nothing was missing. Instinct and fear gnawed at her, even as she told herself she woke because of the nightmare, one of several that plagued her. A new one entered the repertoire recently, but it wasn't that one tonight.
She silently slid open the nightstand drawer and removed her weapon from its holster. She started in her own room, checking windows, closets, shadows. When she left the room, the dog jumped down and followed her, the clicking of her nails on the hard wood the only thing to give her away as she systematically went through her apartment.
She sat on the couch and ran a hand through her hair. It's because Hoyt is still alive, she told herself, and wished she'd taken Maura's offer to stay over again.
This was why she didn't. She needed to feel safe in her home. She didn't run away, and she wasn't going to start now. It was fitting that Hoyt's play finished in her bedroom with an epic fail on his part, as he again underestimated Jane.
Her sorrow was for Frankie, and Emily Stern. For Korsak, who couldn't say no because of guilt and believed in her like no one else until Maura. Insanely intelligent, runway model beautiful, quirky, funny, goofy, amazing Maura.
Jane heard another noise, and wondered, 'How many fucking apprentices does he have?" She leveled the gun at the door, and Jo Friday jumped down from the couch and approached it, barking furiously.
The door opened, and Jo began jumping, and Jane yelled. "Put your hands in the air and don't move."
"Jane, it's Maura."
Jane kept the weapon aimed at the center of the door and moved to the light switch. When her eyes adjusted, Jo Friday was jumping excitedly around Maura, and Jane lowered her gun.
"Are you all right?"
Jane declined to answer, and re-engaged her door locks. "I should be asking you that question."
"I couldn't sleep."
"So you decided to come over here and scare me to death."
"That wasn't my intention." Maura entered the living room and removed her coat.
"Do you want a drink or something?" Jane followed her.
"I couldn't sleep because you aren't there."
"I'm not good company tonight."
"I don't care." Maura went to her, looked up, as she had to whenever she didn't wear heels. She took Jane's empty hand without looking. "Come to bed."
Jane nodded, and followed Maura. She returned her gun to its place before getting under the covers. Maura immediately moved over and put her head on Jane's shoulder.
"Your feet are freezing," Jane protested.
"Did you have a nightmare or something?"
"No. Did you?"
Maura reached across Jane and put her palm against Jane's, forcing Jane's fingers away from the scar on her palm. Maura is the only one, besides Jane and Hoyt, who knows everything that happened, everything that wasn't in the official reports, everything that Jane tries hard to keep away from the rest of her life. She knows because Jane told her, trusting Maura to pick from her story what was pertinent to their current situation.
In some ways, it made things better. In others, worse. Talking about it, remembering, brought it to the surface, and forced inaction grated on her more than anything. It hurt more than Cavanaugh's bluntness: "He made you a victim." More than talking honestly with Korsak for the first time, hearing his guilt and regret, and his unwavering belief in her: "You're not broken. He can't break you."
She and Maura knew each other in ways Jane knew no one else. The only thing they didn't share was sex, and that thought crept in more frequently the longer she knew Maura. It was hard not to think about, with the heat of Maura's body and her scent, and on nights like tonight, she was reminded of Maura's admission about her childhood, something that followed her into adulthood: "I didn't ask for much."
"You know you can ask me for anything, right?"
"Ok." Jane didn't bother to stifle her yawn.
Maura knew this wasn't the night to ask. Jane was tired and anxious, although Maura was calm now. She felt absolutely safe, and knew that one night, she would ask. She's 80 percent certain of Jane's answer, up 10 percentage points since her arrival.
Jane, on the other hand, is 100 percent sure that she will do whatever Maura asks, willingly give Maura anything she needs. She squeezed Maura's hand and closed her eyes. If she had nightmares again, the one who eased them was there.
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