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Jane hears a faint beeping. It's rhythmic, coming at regular intervals, but it's annoying. She's curious where it's coming from. She wonders if she's got a hangover, because everything feels fuzzy, greyed-out, and generally painful. Eventually, she wins the fight that the lights won't hurt her eyes, and makes them open.

Conscious realization sets in slowly. It's a hospital room. The beeping is the soft sound of a heart and oxygen monitor warning that its battery back up is not reliable. The pain and swollen, cotton-headed feeling is all her own, not the product of too many beers at the bar.

She shot herself.

She could have died.


Her sudden gasp is what draws the attention of the occupant with her, the woman sleeping in the chair at the bedside, despite how illogical it is to keep vigil over a woman in a medically induced-coma. Maura, in her heels and designer clothing, is still impeccable despite the way she had been sleeping in a chair not designed for somnolence. She sits up straight, and moves so that Jane can see her, can know she's not alone.



"Frankie's fine. He's already home with your parents." Maura's proud of how calm her voice is. Normally this breaks her. The whole social interaction thing had been getting easier, though. With Jane, at least, she admits to herself. "You shouldn't really be awake. You have more than enough barbiturates in your system to prevent consciousness, as I've been monitoring the administration of the sedatives when I have been here."

Jane doesn't parse all the words. She can't. Frankie's safe. Frankie's alive. But the words matter. They are normal, familiar, reassuring. It's Maura, and that means everything will be fine. She flicks her fingers closer to where Maura's hands are knotted on the side of the bed. Maura sees the motion, understands it, and makes herself stop twisting her fingers together and to take the fingers swollen by retained fluid and prolonged bed-rest.

"Don't worry. I'm not leaving," Maura promised. "Except if they call me. People still die. I mean...I..."

The fingers she holds tighten, just a little, and Maura understands that too. Jane knows what she means, and that makes it right.

Maura quiets, and Jane's eyes close. Maura, no matter her own views, cannot help the plaintive echo of what Jane reaching for her meant.

Don't leave me.