Maura finds herself staring at a pair of piercing brown eyes. Even if she could manage to prevent the hives from appearing associated with lying it would be futile. Jane would never believe anything other than the cold hard truth. She pushes strands of hair from her face, and hangs her head in shame as she offers a solemn response.
"It was if all of the walls were suddenly closing in on me. It is difficult to offer scientific reasoning behind."
Jane shakes her head, "It is human nature, Maura. You suddenly found yourself being sentenced to eighteen to life. People make out of character decision when faced with the idea of losing their freedom."
"I actively sought out this challenge."
"It doesn't make it any less of a challenge though, does it?"
"No. I have never felt so utterly deflated in my entire life. No amount of studying, or preparedness has proven to be effective in the matter."
"Exhaustion does negatively impact performance, Maura."
"Did you know that there is no way to repay a chronic sleep deficit?"
"We are moving away from the original premise of the conversation. My mother has suggested that you took an odd bed fellow…"
Maura cuts her off, "On the night of my undoing?"
Jane nods in confirmation, "Precisely. Is there any truth to such an accusation?"
"The evidence is relatively circumstantial, as I have actively avoided the other possible party involved in the matter."
Jane points to the brown paper bag that rests on the bed between them.
"I come bearing gifts," she reveals.
"I steadfastly assure you I will not accept stimulants as a gift."
Jane offers her friend a box. She pops the lid open, and points, "What about sprinkles?"
Maura smiles at the sprinkled doughnut with pink icing, "I graciously accept."
Maura watches as Jane's hand returns to the plain brown paper bag. She expects Jane to fish out her own doughnut. Instead a box with a different purpose tumbles from inside.
"After a heated debate with my mother I decided to put her theories to bed. Luckily, the value pack was on sale. I believe you have often suggested the minimal number for burden of scientific proof is three. So, you're welcome."
"You're suggesting that I am pregnant?" Maura's eyes widen. Her uneaten doughnut rests in her hand three inches from her mouth.
Jane shrugs, "I am only offering a tool to determine such a question. My mother is really the one suggesting such an idea. As I recall these are relatively user friendly."
Maura falls utterly silent as her hand rests on the box. Suddenly any desire to eat has evaporated. She returns her doughnut to its resting place as her mind spins in circles. Jane interrupts her dysfunctional thinking loop with conversation.
"Logic and reason can be applied to the situation. We both know how much you love data and statistics. When was your last menses?"
Maura's respirations begin to increase, as does her pulse. Jane gently squeezes her hand.
"You have been under an intense amount of stress. You can choose to become well acquainted with panic level anxiety, or you can simply pee on these little plastic sticks."
Maura locks eyes with her best friend, "Only if you agree to unravel what is behind your sudden application of a full face of thick, evenly applied make-up, and the deafening silence you've brought home with you."
Jane's eyebrows arch, "Have you received your credentials in psychology in my absence? I assure you that it is a load of baggage you do not truly want to unpack."
"I have a Ph.D. in being your friend," Maura argues.
"I will consider the proposition as you wait for your fate."
Maura begrudgingly divorces the bedclothes back from the fitted sheet. She trudges to the bathroom with a box full of pregnancy tests. She returns from the bathroom with freshly washed hands in less than two minutes.
"Do you require assistance?"
"Just moral support."
Jane accompanies her best friend back to the safety of her master bathroom. Maura positions herself on the lid of her toilet as Jane leans against the bathroom vanity.
"I didn't think you would show up yesterday after such a long period of radio-silence," Maura broaches the subject.
"You can never truly go home again."
"What makes you say that?"
"Time marches on. Everything, and everyone moves in a forward direction."
Maura nods, "Progress pushes the plot along. Jane what has happened to you in your absence?"
Her glance shifts and she focuses on the floor tiles as she considers her response. "No matter what polish is used to shine, or rose colored glasses you apply, if you stare into the chasm long enough it begins to acquaint itself with the depths of your soul. In certain cases it takes up residence, before you can remedy it."
Maura arches an eyebrow, "How is training new FBI recruits darker than being a homicide detective?"
"Training recruits wasn't stimulating enough for me. I dove head first back into the field after a couple of months."
"What ever became of agent Davies?"
Jane refuses to meet her glance, "He is nothing more than a face on the wall."
Desperately motivated to avoid further conversation on the subject Jane turns towards the countertop to examine the results. Three plastic sticks lie on a tissue space with precision. Each digital screen offers the same result.
"Your time is up. The results are in."
"You know if you had told me a year ago that I would be sitting here in the safety of my own bathroom on pins, and needles hoping that those ridiculous plastic sticks flash the words 'Not Pregnant', I would have insisted you were wrong."
"I am reminded of the scene on Oprah where everyone gets a car. Except in this scenario you are the entire audience."
"Please don't say that."
Jane folds her arms across her chest, "You can keep your butt parked there all day if you would like, but facts in evidence won't change."
"That is your way of telling me I have a bun in my oven?"
Jane furrows her brow, "You do not use phrases like that. How much time have you been spending with my mother?"
"All of my time! Some days she scrapes the baby from my arms, who is secured with slobber, and sweat, and tucks me into bed."
"How long can a human go without sleep?"
"Jane I do not wish to hash this scenario out with you, again."
Jane grins, as she waves a pregnancy test in the air. "It would appear that you are about to conduct your own experiment on the subject."
"Three infants at the same time? I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of bodily fluid involved."
"It could be worse," Jane offers.
"I am not entirely prepared for whatever worst case scenario you would like to throw at me like a grenade."
"It isn't the absolute worst case scenario. I am certain there are worse outcomes. I was just going to point out that you could always be expecting twins."