It had been three weeks since Jane's apartment was trashed. Three weeks since she was taken by Hoyt and his apprentice. Three weeks since she shot him through the palms and sent him back to prison. Three weeks of not feeling like herself.
Jane had been trying her best to regain some sense of normalcy to her life, and, to an average observer, she appeared to be "normal." But Maura was not an average observer. While Jane did seem to be getting better, Maura couldn't help but notice Jane flinch everytime a car door slammed, her overall jumpiness and, most obvious (and most concerning), the almost constant rubbing of her scars. Each time her thumb swiped over the raised skin, the action seemed to whisper:
There were other factors too that were more hidden from the outside world: Jane's lack of sleep, the nightmares and her unspoken fear of being alone in her own home. Fear. That word. That word was not Jane Rizzoli and Maura hated seeing her best friend so out of sorts and unsettled. So, in an effort to give them both a much needed break, she made a plan.
"A spa? Really, Maura?" Jane huffed in disapproval as Maura parked her car in front of the resort. "My first full weekend off in… I don't even know how long, and you thought it would be a good idea to drag me to a spa?" She finished, unbuckling her seatbelt.
By now, Maura knew not to take Jane's brashness personally, but she still found it difficult to not feel hurt by her words. She was just trying to help.
Maura sighed and turned in her seat to look at Jane. "First of all, I did not drag you here. I asked you about going away for the weekend last night and you said it sounded like a good idea. I know the spa isn't a place you normally enjoy, although I'm not sure you've even been, but I just thought… after all we've been through this past month; what you've been through," she sighed, thinking maybe it was a bad idea. "I wanted to do something nice for you. I wanted to help you relax, to finally get some rest." Maura rubbed her temples. "I don't know what I was thinking," she reached to put her seatbelt back on, "I'll drive you back to your apartment and you can spend the weekend watching baseball or－"
"No," Jane interrupted and quickly reached for Maura's wrist, stopping her actions. Startled, Maura looked up to meet Jane's eyes. "You're right. I'm sorry for being such an ass. I know you're just trying to help," she said and gave Maura's wrist a gentle squeeze. "If you're willing to put up with my lousy attitude, I guess I can handle one weekend of frilly spa treatments," she finished with a smile, earning one in return from her friend.
"Are you sure?" Maura questioned.
"Let's go before I change my mind," Jane said as she opened the car door.
After dropping off their bags in their suite, the women made their way to the spa area of the resort.
"I thought we could start with a massage," Maura explained to Jane as they walked. "I think it will do wonders for all the pent up stress you've been carrying around with you. Maybe you'll even get a nice nap out of it," she said with a smile.
Jane rolled her eyes and playfully gave Maura a nudge as they reached the reception desk.
"Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli," Maura said to the young woman at the desk.
The woman glanced at her computer screen before saying, "Ah yes, there you are. Looks like you two have quite the day planned. Follow me," she said and opened the door for Jane and Maura.
Jane groaned and followed behind Maura. "This isn't like a couples massage is it? Like, with a happy ending or whatever?" she whispered to Maura.
"What?" Maura responded with a confused look. "No, of course not. We'll be in separate rooms. I know how squeamish you are about nudity. I thought if we were in the same space, you might get a little… uncomfortable."
"I am not squeamish."
Maura gave her "the look" as the spa attendant stopped in front a door. "Ms. Isles, this room is for you. Helene will be by shortly to begin the massage."
"Thank you," Maura replied.
"Ms. Rizzoli, if you'll follow me, your room is just down the hall."
"Have fun," Maura said sweetly as Jane turned to follow the woman to her room. Jane couldn't help but grin back. "And when they tell you take all of your clothes off, they really do mean everything. That means your bra and－"
"Maura!" Jane yelled over her shoulder.
The doctor held up her hands in defense and laughed before entering her room.
30 minutes into the massage, everything was going great and, although Jane would never admit it, she was actually really enjoying it. Maura was right, she had been carrying around a lot of stress. She couldn't help but let out a sigh of approval as soft hands rubbed out all the tension.
But then, minute 31 happened.
Two of Jane's triggers happened simultaneously; one being the slamming of a door from somewhere down the hall, which would've been fine if it was just that. But it wasn't just that. Her massage therapist had just started lathering her hands with a soothing oil before rubbing it down and over Jane's shoulders. As the all too familiar scent filled the detective's nostrils, she panicked.
Her eyes flew open and her fists clenched. Her heart started beating rapidly.
"Stop," she whispered at first, but her voice didn't carry over the soothing music. The hands kept kneading and her body noticeably tensed beneath the woman's palms.
"Relax," the woman said, "it's much more enjoyable if you－"
"Stop touching me!" Jane yelled and clumsily removed herself from the table, standing awkwardly in her bra and underwear, suddenly grateful that she didn't heed Maura's advice, Hastily, she grabbed at the sheet to cover herself.
"Miss," the woman said, face full of confusion. In an effort to calm and get Jane back on the table, she took a step forward and reached for the closest part of Jane she could grab. Her hand.
"I said stop touching me!" Jane yelled, yanking her hand away and shoving the woman. The touch had pulled her deeper into a flashback; her reality blurred; panic rising.
After being shoved, the woman looked back at Jane with fear in her eyes before quickly running out of the room.
Maura had almost drifted to sleep when a knock on the door startled her. The soothing hands on her back disappeared as a frightened woman entered the room.
"Miss, the woman－your friend, she－" the woman said, sounding on the verge of tears.
"She what?" Maura asked, quickly sitting up, covering her front with a sheet.
"We were halfway through the massage when she tensed and started yelling and then… she pushed me!"
"What?" Maura repeated, her mind still groggy.
A loud crash from down the hall startled all three of them and jump-started Maura into action. She quickly slipped into one of the complimentary robes and ran down the hall.
"Jane?!" she yelled, concern growing. She knew the detective had been dealing with flashbacks that sometimes turned into violent outbursts, but Maura had been so certain that nothing here would trigger her.
When she reached Jane's door, she slowly pushed it open. "Jane?" she said, quieter this time. Stepping into the room, she noticed the flipped over massage table and a broken bottle on the floor. The pungent smell of the leaking essential oil immediately assaulted her senses.
Lavender and fear.
"Oh, Jane," Maura said sadly and quickly looked around the room until her eyes caught sight of her friend. The sight broke her heart.
Huddled in the corner of the room, Jane sat with her knees pulled close to her chest, head tucked between. Shaking.
Tears pricked at Maura's eyes. "Jane," she said quietly and took a tentative step forward.
"Don't touch me," came Jane's reply. Her tone was stern, but Maura could hear the shaky undertone.
Maura took another step. Then another until she was directly in front of the brunette. Slowly, she bent her knees and sat back on her heels. "Jane," she repeated and watched the detective flinch and the close proximity.
"Don't touch me! Please… don't," she trembled and tried to push herself further against the wall.
"Sweetheart," the term of endearment slipped out, "it's me, Maura," the medical examiner said quietly, watching as Jane stopped pushing, but her body still shook and her head was still down.
"It's me, Maura," she repeated. "It's just you and me… it's Saturday, June 3rd and we're at Relaxation Retreat," she explained, trying to pull Jane back to the present. "Remember?" she asked, "we drove here this morning and we argued over what station to listen to; you wanted 80's rock and roll and I wanted to listen to NPR, so we settled on jazz… remember?"
Maura sat quietly as she watched Jane's shoulders start to relax, heard her breathing return to a more even pace. Not being able to resist the urge to comfort her friend, Maura asked: "Jane? Is it alright if I touch you?"
"I'd just like to put my hand on your arm. Would that be alright?"
Minutes passed by until Jane finally nodded her head against her knees.
"I'm not going to hurt you," Maura assured her and slowly, reached out and placed a comforting hand on Jane's bicep; her muscles tensed beneath her palm before slowly relaxing. "You're ok," Maura cooed as her thumb gently stroked over tan skin.
The simple gesture pulled Jane completely from her flashback.
"Maura?" she asked, lifting her head.
"Hi," Maura greeted her sweetly.
"What－," Jane began to ask before her eyes flickered over to the massage table and broken bottle. Quickly, her gaze returned to Maura with wide eyes as her recent actions flooded back to her. "I didn't… I wasn't… I didn't mean to…"
"Shh," Maura hushed her. "It's ok, Jane. I know you didn't mean to."
Jane's eyes started to shimmer with tears, frightened by her uncontrollable actions. "I'm so sorry," she whispered.
Maura shook her head and opened her arms, welcoming Jane into an embrace. The brunette lurched forward, tears streaming down her face, breath hot against Maura's chest.
"I'm so sorry," she kept repeating.
"It's ok, sweetheart. It wasn't your fault," Maura continued to reassure her as she felt Jane tremble in her arms. "I'm not mad. No one is mad at you."
They stayed like that for a while; Maura gently rubbing Jane's back until the brunette was calm.
"Would you like to go back to our suite?" Maura asked as she stroked her fingers through Jane's hair.
"What about all the other spa stuff you had planned for us?" Jane asked quietly, her lips tickling Maura's skin.
Maura shrugged her shoulders. "I can always reschedule."
Jane stayed quiet.
"So is that a yes?" Maura asked.
Jane nodded against her.
"Ok, let's go," Maura replied and placed a kiss on Jane's temple.
A little over an hour later, Maura had changed into her pajamas and was resting comfortably against the headboard of the king size mattress as she waited for Jane to get out of the shower. Although Jane didn't say it, Maura knew the only reason she insisted on showering was so she could scrub her body free of the lavender oil.
When Jane emerged from the bathroom, wearing a fluffy white robe, Maura couldn't help but smile.
"Are you feeling better?" Maura asked as the detective made her way over to the bed.
"I'm glad," the doctor replied and patted the spot next to her, "come here."
Hesitantly, Jane climbed onto the mattress and settled in next to her friend.
"I'm really sorry, Maur. I didn't mean to ruin your plans for us," she said, rubbing at her scars.
Maura reached out and placed a hand over one of Jane's, stilling them. "You didn't ruin anything. I'm just glad your ok."
Jane turned her head to meet Maura's eyes and was greeted with a classic Maura smile. "Thank you," she said sincerely.
"For what?" Maura asked.
"For being you… for being my friend," she paused. "For always knowing how to make me feel better. I...I love you, you know that right?"
Maura smiled and shifted until she was snuggled up against Jane's side. "I know," she said softly, her fingers toying with the fabric of Jane's robe. "I love you, too."
Jane wrapped an arm around Maura, letting her hand come to rest on Maura's hip. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to enjoy the moment.
And then her stomach growled.
Maura laughed before remembering she had ordered room service while Jane was in the shower. "I almost forgot," she said, rolling away from Jane to grab something off the nightstand.
Before Jane even had a chance to miss Maura's warmth, she was back at her side with a white styrofoam container in her hand.
"Food," Maura said, resting the container on Jane's lap.
Expecting a kale salad, Jane was thrilled when she opened the lid. "Bacon cheeseburgers and french fries? Cheesburgers. Plural. You are going to eat a bacon cheeseburger?" she asked in disbelief.
Maura responded by reaching out and taking a large bite, causing Jane to laugh. "I like to indulge every once in a while," Maura said after swallowing. She reached for a french fry.
"You know," Jane said, taking a bite of crispy bacon, "when you told me we were spending the weekend at the spa, I never imagined it would turn out this way."