Lissa unhesitatingly walked over to him. Her fear poured into me through our psychic bond, but there was something else too: her complete faith that I would take care of everything, that we would be safe. Like always, I hoped I was worthy of that kind of trust. (1.41)
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to read someone else's mind? Well, not if that person is scared—Rose feels all of Lissa's fears and anxieties, and they start to bleed into her own feelings as well. Their bond is more than psychic because they are also friends who trust each other.
A funny feeling settled over me. I'd gotten so used to being her primary blood source that the thought of returning to the Moroi's normal routine seemed strange. In fact, it almost bothered me. It shouldn't have. Daily feedings were part of a Moroi's life, something I hadn't been able to offer her while living on our own. It had been an inconvenient situation, one that left me weak on feeding days and her weak on the days in between. I should have been happy she would get some normality. (4.14)
Rose is willing to give up a lot for Lissa, but she also knows when to call it quits. She's relieved when she no longer has to be Lissa's blood source, but at the same time, she's a little jealous that someone else is. Huh? It looks like Rose likes being the one to take care of Lissa all the time. It makes her feel needed.
I'd gotten to join that world with her. It was easy for me, because I didn't really have to deal with the politics of it. I was a pretty dhampir, one who didn't mind getting into trouble and pulling crazy stunts. I became a novelty; they liked having me around for the fun of it. (4.88)
Back in the day, Rose got to join the in-crowd and be a social god because her BFF was a princess, and no dhampirs were allowed. Wait a minute… Isn't that the exact same thing Rose accuses fake friends of doing?
"Well. If that's not friendship, I don't know what it is." (5.27)
Christian says this when he finds out Rose let Lissa use her as a blood source. There's such a negative social stigma around feeders, that no respectable dhampir would choose to become one, yet Rose cares more about Lissa's wellbeing than she does about what people think of her. And believe us, that gets tested again and again.
The fear and excitement had worn me out too, and for an instant, I wished I could have a normal life and a normal best friend. Immediately, I cast that thought out. No one was normal, not really. And I'd never have a better friend than Lissa… but man, it was so hard sometimes. (12.42)
Right after Lissa cuts herself, Rose starts wondering what a different best friend would be like. We've all been there—things are down and out, and we wish we could just change our whole lives in one flash. We've got to give Rose props for realizing that everyone has problems, so dealing with tricky situations with our friends is pretty normal.
Shifting into my bodyguard role, I stuck by Lissa's side as we wandered from store to store, looking at all the new styles that were out there. It was nice to be in public again and do to something with her that was just fun and didn't involve any of the dark, twisted politics of the Academy. It was almost like old times. I'd missed just hanging out. I'd missed my best friend. (17.68)
Aw—Rose wishes she could be less of a bodyguard, and more of a gal pal, but those days are over. Part of becoming a guardian means always being on alert, waiting to protect your Moroi, and Rose finally gets how hard that's going to be for the rest of her life. She misses the good old days of chillin' with her BFF.
It all made sense now. I shouldn't have survived. Everyone had said so. Who knew what kind of injuries I'd actually suffered? Internal bleeding. Broken bones. It didn't matter because Lissa had fixed it, just like she'd fixed everything else. That was why she'd been leaning over me when I woke up. (18.66)
Let's call this her aha moment. Rose thinks about the accident and finally realizes that Lissa's been healing her this whole time. She's got Rose's back, and as much as she's the delicate Moroi in need of a bodyguard, Lissa is also a good friend, willing to make sacrifices for her pal.
"I've never seen anything like you two. Always so worried about each other. I get her thing— some kind of weird guardian hang-up—but you're just the same."
This pretty much sums up how everyone thinks about Lissa and Rose: they're not just friends or guardian and Moroi, and they care about each other in a way few people do. Christian can't believe how much they look out for each other.
"She got rid of you, and you're too high and mighty to admit it." Her blue eyes practically bugged out. "Don't you want to get back at her?" (19.36)
Leave it to backstabbing, manipulative Mia to try to get something for herself out of Lissa's trip to the med clinic. When she asks Rose to give her the details on Lissa, Rose doesn't bite, even when Lissa is ticked at her. Now that's true friendship.
After she'd seen me hold Lissa back from the dove, she and Victor realized that they needed to injure me to get to her— it was their only chance to get her to heal again. Natalie had simply waited for a good opportunity. (23.22)
Ultimately, it's friendship that drives Lissa to heal others, despite the huge toll it takes on her; it's pretty sweet really, if you think about it. Rose is willing to give up her social and love life to be with Lissa, and Lissa uses her life-sucking powers to heal Rose. Theirs is a friendship that isn't easily broken.