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what have we given? (what the thunder said)

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Dominick takes Jane on a Thursday.

Maura thinks of Thursday, Thunor's Day. Thunor, Old English of Old Norse Thor. Thor, from Thunraz, god of thunder.  Thunder like her heart when Frost got the video feed and her head when Jane's apartment was empty and her feet when they finally, finally, found her.  Thursday and thunder.

On Thursdays, they go to Jane's apartment. They go to Jane's apartment and they take stock of the food she hasn't eaten and the laundry she hasn't done. They drink a little and compare weekend schedules and talk the latest case and on Thursdays, they go to Jane's apartment, on Thursdays she sleeps in Jane's bed.

They aren't speaking much in the car and certainly not asking questions like "Where do you want to go?" but Jane is massaging her palms and just looking at the bandages on her wrists and there is thunder all through Maura's bones. She reached out and wraps her hand over both of Jane's. It's a stretch and it pulls at the tendons of her hand. She doesn't take her eyes off the road--too many four-way stops on the back way to her house--but she feels Jane looking at her, feels her fingers get enveloped by Jane's rougher, tougher hands.

Her house is lit and warm when they walk in and Angela's left two plates of food warming in the oven. Frankie had taken her home from the hospital once the preliminary examination was over. Maura had told him to take her before they brought up a rape kit.  Thursday. Last Thursday, they stayed up until one with the case file of a rape-murder. There's thunder in her nerves again. 

Jane doesn't see it, reading the note Angela left on the counter about the food. "I think me and Ma are coming to an understanding," she chuckles.

"Ma and I," Maura murmurs, and pulls out two stretches of Saran wrap.  Jane holds out her arms to be wrapped.  "Go shower," she says softly when she's done.  "I'll put clothes out in the bedroom for you."

Jane nods, opens her mouth and then shuts it and does what Maura says.  When she hears the door to the bathroom close, Maura sinks down to the floor of her kitchen and feels thunder all through her nerves and bones and stinging lightning in her eyes.

 

It's almost 2 am and neither of them have left the couch. She can't even find the words to consider it--is so grateful that Jo Friday lives here now, where Ma can take care of her, that she has more clothes here than her own apartment, that she has no words and doesn't need them with Maura. Besides the shoes comment, they have stayed dutifully on the topics of Jo, Ma, Frankie, this Lydia business (because Tommy or her father, God almighty, Tommy or her father), Constance's latest show in Vienna, chess, not Paddy Doyle, not Hope Martin, not Charles Hoyt, and definitely not Dominick Bianchi. 

But Maura's feet under the blanket are pressed solidly into the bend of her knees like two very feminine tethers and Jane is somewhat certain that taking those tethers away would send her spinning off into some other world where everything is one shade off and the pictures tell horrible lies. And Maura would go spinning away, too, because every moment Jane hasn't felt that nauseating lump of tears in her throat, Maura's hands have shook, and she'll never let Maura go away like that, never leave her lost like that.

But it's 2 am and she knows Maura doesn't have off tomorrow. "Maur--I'm--you should go to bed, I'm just gonna sleep out here tonight. Okay?"

Maura sends her one of those looks again, like the one she sent Frankie right before he and Ma left, like the one she sent Jane when they were getting in the car. "I'll get pillows," she says quietly, as quietly as "Go shower."  Jane didn't expect to win so easily and so quietly, expected to fight for her desperate need to not be civilized and domestic but not be alone. Maura takes her feet away and pushes away the blanket and goes up the stairs and Jane feels dizzy.

She gets up and looks at the photos on the mantelpiece. Real ones, real ones, no lies here. Two of Constance and James, Constance looking ever glamorous, James looking scholarly and head over heels in love.  One of Maura graduating from med school, short-haired and high-heeled and beaming in her crimson robes. A photo from the precinct of the whole Homicide squad in uniform. A picture from last Thanksgiving: Frankie and Tommy throwing mashed potatoes at each other, Ma hollering on the right.  She puts one finger against Tommy's dress shirt, smiles. More photos from the precinct: Frost and Korsak fist-bumping, Frankie in his new uniform, Jane and Frost posing like 70s movie detectives.  One of Jane and Jo passed out on the couch in matching Sox jerseys. She remembers that day, remembers how Maura had called everyone to her house to watch the Sox play the Yankees "in safety and with better quality beer."  How Jane and Frost came straight from an overnight shift, how Maura had a six pack just for her in the fridge and her jersey on a hanger in the master bath.

She picks up the last photo just as Maura re-enters the room. It's the two of them in the morgue, Maura in her black scrubs and Jane sitting irreverently on the empty autopsy table, probably swinging her legs. They're side by side and leaning into each other just slightly, both looking at the floor, both clearly laughing at something. "Maur, who took--"

Maura is carrying all the bedding from her room and Jane just watches, wordless, as she drops it onto the couch and then starts dragging the coffee table out of the way.  "Frankie. Last year, after the case with the schizophrenic female who believed she was a witch?" Coffee table out of the way, Maura proceeds to lay out the comforter on the floor. "Grab that side, please?"

Jane does as she is told.

 

It only takes 15 minutes or so to set up a bed for them on the floor, complete with throw pillows. She feels the storm start to pass when Jane mocks the throw pillows. It is probably not normal for mockery to feel like home, but normal in and of itself...

Jane is staring at the ceiling. Maura can see her in the soft light from the pillar candles on the coffee table. It didn't feel right to be in the dark yet. Jane is staring at the ceiling and the light doesn't quite reach her eyes but Maura can see her lips moving. Singing along. Maura had pressed play on the stereo remote when they finally tucked in. Soft music, comfort music: John Mayer live. Jane likes John Mayer. Maura has found herself growing fond of the way each song sounds like a secret pressed into the microphone.

But then Jane is stuttering and she is moving, sliding one arm behind Jane's back and the other across her stomach. "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here."

Jane is gasping for air. "He knew. He knew. He knew everything."

Maura realizes instantly. Dominick knew the small things about Jane. Knew her whole bedroom. Must have seen the CDs.  Did he play music? Was there music playing? She can't remember, can only remember Jane's dehydrated whispers and the dark rumbling of desperation in her knees.

She goes to turn the stereo off and Jane grasps at her wrists, shakes her head. "I need--yours. You. Yours."

She gets that, too, and pushes for the next playlist. They both hold their breath, knowing full well it was just as likely to be Jane's playlist as Maura's. But it's Nina Simone's voice rasping at them in the candlelight and Jane's grip on her wrists eases slightly. "Is this okay?" she asks, needlessly.

Jane doesn't answer, just brings them both back to a prone position. In one motion, she turns onto her side and releases Maura's left wrist. She likes that Jane always gives her the room to figure it out on her own. It makes her feel like a genius when she gets it right. And get it right she does, tucking her knees into the hollows of Jane's, letting her right arm tighten around that flat and tensing stomach, sliding her whole body against Jane's back. She presses her face to the back of Jane's neck and smiles, a little. "You never let me be big spoon."

And then she feels Jane laughing, shoulders shaking with soft chuckles. "Well, had I known it was a lifelong dream, Dr. Isles…"  She smiles bigger, feels Jane squeeze her hand. "Tell me something."

She understands. She understands so many unspoken things when it comes to Jane. "Thursday, from Thunor's day."

In that flat, oh-so-Jane voice: "What."

"Not Thor, which is Old Norse, but Thunor, the Old English appropriation. Unique to the Germanic languages. In Romance languages, the fifth day is named for Jupiter. Hence jueves or giovedi."

Jane  is silent but she isn't asleep. "Thor is the god of thunder."

"Yes."

"Thunor, too?"

"Yes." She feels the explanation of god-appropriation heavy on her tongue and presses her lips together.

Jane exhales slowly and heavily. "Day of thunder."

"In a way."

More silence. But Jane is still squeezing her hand.

 

It is four am when she speaks again, over Billie Holiday's whispers floating from the corners of the room. "I was born on a Thursday."  Maura was only drowsing. She knows because they haven't moved at all, and the breath against her neck is soft and steady but not quite slow yet.  "You probably don't find that surprising."

Maura hmms slightly. "No. Not surprising."

"I'm tired, Maura."

It makes something in her twist up and unwind every time Maura gets it when no one else would. " Could  you stop?"

Not So go to sleep. Not What do you mean? Not even Would you stop? Maura always gets it. "Never."

"I wish you could."

The admission takes her by surprise. "You do?"

Maura is fully awake now; she can feel her breathing hitch. "Yes. No. Sometimes."

She wants Maura to continue but feels all the hesitation. "Sometimes like when I... When things…" When she should come home in a body bag and instead keeps walking.  She can't say it.

"I watched."

She stays quiet.

"They went to rescue you and I had to  watch ."

She doesn't want to hear this or talk about this because this is Dominick and this is Hoyt and somehow this is Dean and Ian and Casey and Garrett and everyone in between. "Maur--"

"You are a storm, Jane. You are the wildest storm to ever enter my life and..."

She has never heard Maura like this. Metaphorical and whiskey-voiced. "And?"

She feels tears on her back and there are sailor's knots in her throat. "Thunder child." She feels the word, the movement of Maura's lips, more than she hears it.

"War of the Worlds? Are you calling me an alien?" she jokes, and pulls Maura's arm tighter around her. She gets it. She gets it so much. Maura wasn't built for thunder. Doesn't have the tools to keep it from overwhelming her.  Doesn't even have the words to say, Jane, take the pain away.  Thunder child, lightning rod. It all fits together in half-soldered pieces, flared copper pipe joints.

"Wells had considerable imagination."

The walls are going up faster than she expected so she does the unexpected: pulls Maura's hand from her abdomen up to her lips, kisses her knuckles once, softly. "I won't… I won't be that--"

"Yes, you will." She pinches her eyes shut and wills Maura's voice to get stronger, less like Wild Turkey. "You always are. You shot yourself for Frankie. You walked into an armed bank robbery. Jane, Hoyt, how many times Hoyt--"

She breaks. One loud sob and a deluge of tears and she can't  breathe , all she can feel is fear and fear and fear and then Maura's arms, kisses on the top of her spine, warm dry kisses and hot wet tears and she can't breathe.  "Don't go," Maura whispers into her shoulder blade. "Please don't go."

They cry like that for a long time. The room starts to lighten. She still hasn't turned and looked at Maura but their breath is coming back to them. She has to say it. She has to say it now before the sunlight steals what's real. "Frankie and Tommy and you."

Maura lifts her head from the pillows slightly. "What?"

She puts Maura's hand where her bullet scar is. "For Frankie. Bank robbery for Tommy. H-Ho-," she chokes. Sucks in air. "Hoyt for you."

Maura's forehead is between her shoulder blades and she can feel her shaking again. There's nothing else to do or say, now. 

"Can you sleep?"

She nods. "You didn't sleep at all."

"Detective Frost called Lieutenant Cavanaugh. I'm not going in."  She nods again, feels Maura's lips against her hairline, warm and dry. "Sleep now. I'm here."

They watch the sun rise in silence.  Jane's eyes drift closed.