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A Safe Place

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Jane couldn’t remember the last time she’d let someone care for her; the last time she’d trusted someone else to keep her safe. In her line of work, no one had her back but her own damn self. She couldn’t rely on other people to save her when she was in trouble. She had learned that lesson the hard way.

She hadn’t meant to snap at her mom, but her worry wasn’t doing Jane any favours. She didn’t want to think about Hoyt escaping prison; she didn’t want to think about what had almost happened to her the last time that bastard was loose. And she knew her mother was still mad at her for being a cop, for leading Frankie towards being a cop, but she couldn’t help it. This was in her blood; it was what she was meant to do. It was the only thing she could do. Even when it hurt sometimes.

Jane wasn’t going to be able to stand a night of fending off arguments with her mother, nor a night of Frankie and Frost hovering just outside her doorway. It was putting her on edge, and she didn’t want to give Hoyt any more power over her than he already had. He had taken enough of her.

So, ignoring the beseeching look on her mother’s face, Jane took off for Maura’s house. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d spent the night there, and at least Maura was safe. The medical examiner knew her better than anyone else, even her own family. If anyone could put her at ease, it was Maura.

Sure enough, after a few minutes Jane was reclining in Maura’s guest bed, her nerves halfway settled for the first time since they’d gotten that damn call about Hoyt’s apprentice. She felt shaky, but she was okay, at least for now. It was more than she could say for the way she’d been feeling around her mom and Frankie earlier. Maura knew when to push and when to leave her be.

They hadn’t been laying down for very long before Jane heard the thud, the sound making her heart seize in her chest all over again. She was halfway off of the bed by the time Maura reached over and steadied her, one hand on her shoulder, the other on her arm.

“It’s okay, it’s just Bass,” Maura promised her. The hand that held her wrist stroked gently, comfortingly, and Jane allowed herself to lean into it. Sometimes she needed the grounding touch, and Maura knew it. She could pretend all she wanted, but Hoyt had done a number on her. He and her both knew that she’d been lying earlier, in the prison. She did dream about him. He was her worst nightmare.

“Really, it’s okay,” Maura said, voice soft, snapping Jane out of her thoughts, and she sighed, falling back onto the pillows and twisting her hands together in her lap. She knew the movement would shake Maura off, and it did. She removed her hand and went back to looking kindly at Jane - no pressure, no expectations. Just her presence, a reminder that Jane could open up if she wanted to. The ball was in her court, just like always. She appreciated it more than words could say.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” she admitted, and she knew she was playing with her hands, the ghosts of the tacks Hoyt had drilled into them still lingering just beneath the surface. If she closed her eyes, she knew, she would still be able to see Hoyt and his sadistic smile, leaning over her, on top of her, pinning her down and she couldn’t get free, she couldn’t escape -

“Hey.” It was Maura. Jane snapped to attention to see her friend staring at her with concern in her eyes. She didn’t try to touch Jane again, but her hand was open on her thigh next to Jane’s, a clear invitation. She gave Maura a soft smile and laced their fingers together, squeezing gently. Maura gave her hand a firm squeeze back, reassuring, and Jane felt some of the tension start to bleed out of her.

“I know this is a big deal,” Maura said gently, “And I’m not trying to minimize that. But for right now, let’s just focus on getting through the night. Okay? You’re safe here, Jane, I promise.”

And Jane knew, logically, that she couldn’t promise that, but it didn’t matter; it was Maura, so it managed to settle her nerves and calm her racing heart. She took a deep breath, nodding. “Yeah. Thanks.”

Maura smiled softly, giving her hand one last squeeze before scooting down on the bed so she could rest her head on the pillow opposite Jane’s. “Anytime.”

And when Maura said that, unlike so many others, Jane knew she meant it.