DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So I'm watching through season 3 in preparation for season 4, it's late and I keep telling myself 'just one more episode'. Watching 3.07, of course my heart breaks at Maura's expression, and then at the end this hits me. Like many of my favourite creations, it began with a single line and evolved into itself. All feedback, bar flames, is welcome.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Based at end, and references, 3.07.
FEEDBACK: To kc_sg27[at]yahoo.com.au
Not Letting Go
"Maura, you're not letting go." Jane held her friend close despite her statement.
Maura shook her head against Jane's shoulder and tightened her grip around the slender waist. She had once again witnessed Jane in a life-threatening situation and felt her heart being ripped apart by tiny but strong tweezers. She was not letting go. At least not until she told Jane how she truly felt; which she was currently working up the nerve to do while she clung to the brunette's midsection. Maura was grateful that Jane didn't attempt to let go or push her away. Quite the opposite in fact; Jane held onto her with the same pressure as she did Jane. Her right arm around Maura's lower back, and her left hand rubbing sooting patterns across her upper. Maura couldn't recall a time when her thoracic spine had felt so good.
"Can we at least move to the couch?" Jane suggested. "My legs are still sore from Dominic's crappy knots."
A sob escaped Maura's throat involuntarily at the memory of seeing her friend tied up on the bed with a crazy person about to hurt her. Jane squeezed her tighter as she gently walked Maura backwards to the couch. Maura complied with every movement she made, happy and willing to submit to the Detective. Except letting go. That she would not do.
It made lowering to the couch difficult, but eventually Jane flopped down on her back with the ME glued to her front. Normally she would make a joke at the absurd situation but she hadn't seen Maura like this before. She had never prolonged a full body embrace. Sure, they were always touching each other in some way or another, but Jane had always known there was a line. They were well and truly over that line right now but she didn't know what to do.
Maura nuzzled back into Jane's neck and they stayed like this for some time. Jane thought the shorter woman had gone to sleep until she whispered, "I was so scared, Jane."
Jane stopped with the soothing motions and fully wrapped her arms around the Doctor. "I know Maur. I was too."
"The thought of losing you " Maura shuddered. "I can't handle it Jane." Maura held on tighter, if that was even possible. "I see dead people every day. I know how fragile mortality can be, that death is waiting for each and every one of us, and one day it'll take us all. But I cannot reconcile that knowledge with you." She lifted her head to look into concerned brown eyes. "I cannot accept you not being here."
Jane cupped Maura's cheek and wiped a tear away with her thumb. She didn't know what to say, so she blurted out the first thing that popper into her head, "Come on Maura, you know I'd come back to haunt you."
Maura let out a brief laugh before her haunted expression returned. "I'm serious Jane," she scolded.
"So am I," Jane's fingers somehow found themselves in Maura's hair. "You're stuck with me."
Maura genuinely smiled at this, small but it was there. So was the emotion behind Jane's careful features. She could read the Detective's eyes like a book. It is one she has been studying since their friendship began all those years ago; every dilation of the pupil, every shift in colour and intensity. This is a line she had read often. It was unrestricted caring, love and affection. Maura had always been too afraid to act on it before. They both had careers to think of, families to consider, and an irreversible action could have untold consequences.
Maura looked at Jane's lips, so close to her own that she could feel her breath mixing with the brunette's, sharing oxygen and carbon dioxide. It wasn't healthy to breath in recently exhaled air but Maura's heart insisted it was perfect. She lifted her eyes to meet Jane's and saw them darken, and felt them bore into her. Maura leaned in and closed the space between them, gently pressing her lips against Jane's. Maura felt Jane's fingers in her hair hold her in place, and after a brief moment of hesitation both women began to move their lips in synchrony. After what seemed like hours, that were probably only minutes, they pulled apart and locked eyes.
"I love you Jane." Maura blurted before her fears could stop her again.
Jane beamed. This was the smile that she reserved for Maura, the one that always took her breath away, as it did now, along with the words spoken with reverence and a husky voice. "I love you too, Maura."
Lips met again in a desperate effort to confirm their admissions, confirm the love they felt for each other. It wasn't long until they parted and rested their foreheads together in symphonic panting. Jane grinned like an idiot, like the cat that caught the canary, like the girl who just kissed the woman she's been falling in love with since day 1.
"I meant it Maura, you're stuck with me."
"Good," Maura pressed a chaste kiss to Jane's lips. "Because I'm not letting go."
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