DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the followup to Every Time I Blink.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Tiny Shiny Thing
By DJ Shiva


I keep dreaming in reverse.

I can't tell if that means I'm dead, in a coma, or on really good drugs. I'm hoping it's the last one, because all my dreams are about you. And if it's not the drugs, that would make this whole thing way more depressing than it already kinda is.

Because now that my brain has nothing better to do than process, that's all it wants to do. So it's playing back every look, every smile, every touch, in vivid detail and demanding that I categorize what it all meant.

I wasn't aware at the time that any of it had to mean anything, but my subconscious mind seems to have taken over, and evidently it has slightly different ideas about my life. Because it has been attaching entirely new feelings to all of these familiar moments.

My brain rewinds to the tiniest smile at dinner. Before, it thought of it as warm and lovely, sure. But now it's a promise made in hooded eyes and dimples, hidden slightly behind Dr. Maura Isles' signature huge ass glass of wine.

Looks that before I may have mistaken for social awkwardness...held long enough that most people would consider it odd...now those looks say something else entirely to my subconscious that has decided to work overtime in the absence of my waking life.

I see all of this, flashing in between family and work and it's all backwards. Winding down like a stopwatch, moving toward the beginning until once again the fog threatens to overwhelm it all. I realize there's something I need to see, need to know, hiding among the pictures of my life...and I try to reach out...to do...what? Stop it? Grab a dream?

These really must be some good drugs.

And suddenly my hand touches something and my mind celebrates because the whirlwind of images has settled on something, and I feel a little less dizzy and a little less foggy, because the image I see now is you. Smiling. And it is...perfect.

And then I realize that your smile is tempered by the concern in your eyes, and that those same eyes are red-tinged and underscored with dark circles. Your hair, usually so perfectly styled, is messy and shoved back into a ponytail and you're wearing my favorite Red Sox jersey.

My God, you're beautiful.

My throat feels like sandpaper covered in razor blades and I realize that I must have tried to say that out loud. I'm not real sure how it came out though, because your expression turns varying degrees of confused, concerned, thoughtful, and very, very tired, all within the span of 10 seconds. Or maybe it's 10 minutes. These are really good drugs.

I feel your fingers gently closing around mine, and remember reaching out for something in my dream. It was your hand that I found, and you that pulled me back. Your fingers brush softly against the raised scar on the back of my hand, and the confusion and fear in your eyes goes away for a second and I just see...you. Everything you're feeling is written in your eyes at that moment, and even through the haze of the drugs, it's all pretty damn clear.

Wow. OK. You too, huh?

I test out a smile, which probably comes off pretty loopy, and you let out an exhausted laugh as your eyes fill with tears. I can barely speak above a whisper, but I try to make a bad joke.

"Maura, I think your lachrymal spatula is broken."

And with that you put your forehead against our clasped hands and burst into tears.

The End

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