Something to Talk About

by Hheath541

Copyright © September 2012

Rating: NC-17
Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Disclaimer: Yadayadayada, I own nothing. I'm unemployed. Sue me and I'll sic my cats on you.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse
Feedback: I welcome any feedback. I read it all, and respond when I have something of substance to say.
Author's Notes: This story was inspired by the Bonnie Raitt song, "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About." That being said, I HATE songfics, so the chances of seeing the lyrics in this story are pretty much nil. If you're not familiar with the song, and are interested, then I'm sure you can find it on youtube.
Pairing: Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles
Summary: When Jane and Maura hear rumors that they're a couple, and find out even their friends and family believe them, they have to face some truths and make some decisions.

Chapter 1

Jane Rizzoli walked into the police station, heading for the café to meet Maura for breakfast before their shifts started. She was early, but figured she'd just grab a coffee and wait.

She paused before entering when she heard Maura's named mentioned, and waited on the other side of the doors. She didn't recognize the voices and figured it must be a couple of beat cops. She told herself she just wanted to make sure no one was bad mouthing the ME.

"That Dr. Isles is pretty hot. Think I got a shot?"

"Really, man? The Queen of the Dead? Yeah, she's hot, but no normal chick wants to work with dead bodies all day. There's gotta be something wrong with her. Besides, have you seen the way she acts around Rizzoli?"

"Frankie? Really? Never would've guessed. Lucky."

"Nah. Jane Rizzoli. Frankie's sister. Look, I know you're new here, but you really don't want to mess with Rizzoli, which means you don't want her to catch you checking out her girl."

"Really? Now, Rizzoli I can see. But, Dr. Isles a lesbian? I don't believe it. She's too hot. No way she's gay."

"I'm telling you, man, you do not want Rizzoli to catch you looking at or talking about her girl. Not if you value your balls."

Right then Jane heard the distinct clicking of heels against the floor and scurried to pretend she hadn't just been eavesdropping. She turned to watch Maura walking toward her, stopping herself from focusing on the way her dress showed her figure.

"Hey, Maura, I was just waiting for you."

Maura looked at her oddly, "you could've waited inside at a table. I'm sure Angela saved a table for us."

"Seriously? And risk her serving me zoo animals like I'm five? No, it's safer out here."

"I told you, Jane, rabbits are now zoo animals. Unless you mean a petting zoo. Which, isn't a real zoo. Petting zoos typically have animals more commonly found on farms, while zoos…"

Jane hurried to interrupt, "yeah, yeah. I got it. I don't need an entire rundown on the differences between zoos and petting zoos. Come on. Breakfast. I'm starving." She quickly opened the door and ushered Maura inside before she could get started again.

Breakfast was uneventful, with Maura happily ordering the bunny pancakes and Jane opting for a much safer order of scrambled eggs. Silently daring her mother to make animal shapes, zoo or otherwise, out of that.

Just as they were getting ready to leave, Angela grabbed Jane and pulled her to the side.

"I just wanted to let you know that I set a couple of young men straight about you and Maura, before you got here."

"Really, Ma? Thanks. I don't understand why people think…" Jane then realized she wasn't supposed to know what they were saying and tried to cover herself. "I mean, what were they saying?"

"Well, one of the young men was hoping to ask Maura out on a date. When his friend told him you were together he couldn't believe Maura would be gay. Said she's too pretty to be gay. I informed them that you are both very attractive young women and there's no shame in being with a woman."

Jane just stared at her for a moment, before dragging her further to the side and hissing, "REALLY, Ma? You didn't tell them we're not together? You let them believe we're a couple? Do you have any idea how fast that's going to get around? I can't believe you. It's not bad enough that people can't mind their own business and stop spreading rumors, but my own MOTHER has to help them?"

"Why would I tell them a thing like that? I know you haven't come out to anyone, not even your own mother, but you can't expect me to lie for you. I have eyes. I see things. I'm modern enough to know what's going on. I can't believe you wouldn't tell your own mother these things. Do you honestly think I wouldn't understand? Are you afraid I wouldn't accept you? You remember Mary Facchinello? Well, she has a gay nephew and is always talking about him and his partner."

Jane stared at her, mouth open, disbelieving what she was hearing. Her own mother thought they were together. Not wanting to hear all about Mary Facchinello and her gay nephew, she interrupted, "MA! What do you mean you see things? You know what? Nevermind. I don't want to know. Maura and I are just friends. I gotta go. Stop spreading rumors."

With that she turned and left, half hoping for a new case just to have something to distract her.

A couple hours later, and Frost was finally tired of Jane mumbling to herself and glaring at everything.

"Hey, Rizzoli, what's up? You've been in a bad mood all morning."

Jane glared at him, "I am NOT in a bad mood."

"Yeah, you wanna try that again, without the growl?" He just chuckled when she glared again.

She finally sighed and responded, "Fine, you want to know what's wrong. Ma's spreading rumors about me. Now, other people, I get. I don't like it, but at least they don't know me. But she's my MOTHER! She should know better. And she doesn't even believe me when I tell her it's not true."

He held up his hands, eyes wide, "Wait. Hold up. She's spreading rumors about you? What is she saying? Why doesn't she believe you?"

"She's telling people Maura and I are a couple. Then, when I told her not to, she just went on about how she sees things and how someone she knows has a gay nephew. Like I care about someone's gay nephew. It doesn't have anything to do with me. Maura and I are just FRIENDS! Why can't anyone believe that?"

By the end, Jane was almost yelling, and Frost had backed his chair away from his desk and had his hands up in surrender. Even Korsak had backed away from her and was looking a little afraid.

"Hey, don't yell at me. I didn't do anything. Besides, you kinda have to understand why people think that. I mean, you have to know how you guys act around each other."

Jane gaped at him, "Not you, too. Really? I can't believe you agree with them. I thought you knew us better than that. And, what do you mean, how we act around each other? We act like friends. How else are we supposed to act?"

At this point, Korsak decided to jump in, "You know. You guys are always together. Either she's coming up here, or you're going down there. You guys are always touching each other and staring at each other. If one of you is going out for food or coffee, then you ask the other to go with you. When's the last time you hung out at the Robber without her? Or really did anything without checking to see if she had plans and wanted to join you?"

Jane just stared while Frost joined in, "And what about what happened with Doyle last year? You were ready to do ANYTHING to get her back. You even said as much when you answered the phone. And we all know who gave him the name."

Korsak nodded, "And there was the thing with Hoyt. You can't tell me that it didn't occur to you that he goes after couples."

Her mouth opened and closed several times before she finally managed to respond, "You know that had nothing to do with Maura. He just wanted to finish what he started with me. He only went after Maura because she was there."

"Really?" Frost added, "What about when she interviewed him last year? He tried to get to her then, because he knew it would get to you. If he just wanted to get to you, do you really think he would've gone after Maura, first? Come on, we read the reports. He went after Maura and made you watch. You have to admit, of the two of you, you are the guy."

Jane stood up, her chair slamming backward. "You know what? I'm not listening to this. We're just FRIENDS! I'm going out. This subject is over. Call if we get a case."

With that, she strode out of the room and headed for the elevators. She hesitated before pushing the button for the morgue, before changing her mind and hitting the button for the garage.

She got in her car, not quite sure where she was going, before deciding to just drive. Her mind racing.

The rest of the day was spent trying, unsuccessfully, not to think about what they had said. Even her own mother thought she and Maura were a couple.

The other cops and detectives, she could just ignore. They didn't know her. Didn't know Maura. She wished they'd mind their own business, but they didn't know what they were talking about.

Frost and Korsak should know better. They knew her. Knew Maura. Saw them together everyday. But, they were guys. Guys liked to imagine two women together. She just wished they'd pick a different two women.

She pleaded a headache when Maura called to check on her that night, then had to convince her not to come over.

After a couple beers, and more thinking than she was comfortable with, she finally went to bed after midnight. She spent the next couple hours staring at the ceiling, before finally falling asleep.

She woke before dawn. Panting, sweaty, panties wet, sheets tangled, and Maura's name on her lips.

When she finally caught her breathe she swore, "Fuck!" Then got up to take a cold shower and start the day, knowing there was no chance of getting back to sleep.

Despite the early start, Jane was still late to work.

She glared at Frost and Korsak, daring them to say anything, before pretending to do paperwork.

After more than an hour of uncomfortable silence, Frost decided to try talking to her.

"Have you heard that song, Let's Give Them Something to Talk About? I think it's by Bonnie Raitt, or Shania Twain, or Gretchen Wilson." Jane just stared at him blankly. "Ok, well, it's this woman singing about how everyone thinks her and her friend are more than just friends, and she realizes they're right, and decides maybe they should prove the rumors true." He trailed off at Jane's disbelieving look.

"Country music? Really? You decide to talk about this, after I told you the subject was closed, and you compare it to a country song?" She shook her head. "You guys are worse than teenage girls. I'm going to the morgue."

At the look Frost and Korsak shot each other, she glared at them, pointing, "Not. A. Word. Do you hear me? Not a single word." Then stalked off.

She found Maura in her office, doing paperwork. Before she could stop herself, she found herself checking out the way Maura's legs looked in her heels and skirt, and the way her top showed just enough cleavage to make her want to bury her face in it.

Unbidden, the images from her dream came back and she blushed as her mouth went dry. Deciding maybe Maura was the last person she should be around, Jane turned to leave.

She'd only taken a couple steps when she heard Maura's voice, "Oh, Jane, did you need something? Do you still have a headache? I can get you a couple aspirin, if you haven't taken something already. You should try sleeping more, and drinking less coffee. Sleep deprivation and dehydration can both cause headaches. You know, sex is supposed to help with headaches. Well, not sex, exactly, but orgasms. You can have an orgasm without a partner. Of course, having a partner…"

Jane gaped at her, before stuttering to interrupt, "Maura! God! Really? I don't have a headache. I just came down here to get away from the guys. They were driving me nuts. Maybe I should go back up there though, if you're going to give me a lecture on the benefits of sex."

Maura stopped talking, blushing and pretending to straighten her already neat desk. "Sorry. I was babbling. You can stay down here. I'll try to pick a topic that won't make you uncomfortable. Or, you can go back upstairs. I won't make you stay down here. Not that I could. Make you, that is. Or that I would want to force you to do anything against your will."

At Jane's amused look, she stopped talking. "Sorry. Babbling again. You really can stay down here, though, if Frost and Korsak are bothering you."

Jane chuckled, "What has you so nervous? You don't usually babble like this. Well, not this bad. Did I catch you shoe shopping instead of working, again?"

"No. I was actually just finishing up paperwork on a couple autopsies. Like I said, you can stay here, if you want. I think I'd rather enjoy the company. What were the guys doing to bother you?"

Jane took a couple nervous steps into the office, before deciding to go sit on the couch. "Uh, nothing, really. Just acting like a couple schoolgirls." At Maura's slightly confused look, she continued, "You know, gossiping like teenage girls."

Maura nodded, but didn't look convinced, "You usually just ignore them when that happens. What were they talking about this time?"

Jane ran a nervous hand through her hair, trying to come up with something to say. She finally gave up, and settled on the truth, "Us. They were talking about us."

Confused, Maura asked, "What about us?"

"You know the rumors around the station about us, right?"

Maura shook her head, so Jane continued, "That we're together? As in, a couple, together."

At Maura's nod, Jane explained, "Well, they think they're true. I told them they're nuts, and Frost started talking about some country song. Hell, even MA thinks we're together. She told some guys in the café yesterday that we are. One of them wanted to ask you out, and then said you were too pretty to be gay when the other one told him we're together. Ma actually told them that we're together and that there's nothing wrong with two attractive women being together. Then, she didn't even believe me when I told her we're just friends. She started going on about how she sees things and has a friend with a gay nephew. Then, the guys agreed with her when I told them, and started naming a bunch of reasons."

When Jane finally stopped her rant, Maura asked, "What country song?"

"REALLY? Out of all that, you pick THAT to focus on? What about the fact that Frost and Korsak and my MOTHER think we're a couple? Even after I told them we're not. That doesn't get your attention? You want to know what song Frost was talking about? Why does it even matter?" Jane covered her face, resting her head on the back of the couch and growling in frustration.

"Well, they are entitled to their opinions. And, I can see why they may view us as a couple. We do engaged in many activities and actions usually attributed to couples. I can understand why you would dislike the idea of being in a romantic and sexual relationship with me. You dislike it when people assume you're gay strictly based on your chosen profession, and having others think you're romantically involved with the 'Queen of the Dead' must be less than desirable. You are strong, brave, trustworthy, intelligent, confident, and very visually appealing, I, on the other hand, while visually appealing, am socially awkward and often misread and misunderstand people and situations."

Jane jumped up, going to kneel by Maura's chair. "No, it has nothing to do with that. You're a wonderful, amazing, intelligent, and caring woman that anyone would be lucky to date. I just don't like people saying things that aren't true. Especially about you. I've had people assume I was gay since I was a teenager. I mostly ignore it. I don't like people spreading lies about you. About us. Ma and the guys should know better. They know us. They know we're not together. Or, at least they should." She looked at Maura funny, remembering something she said, "And, what do you mean we act like a couple?"

Gesturing to Jane's hands resting on one of her knees, she said, "Well, we are often in physical contact. We spend a great deal of our free time together. We sometimes have dinner, or even lunch, in common 'date' locations. You've accompanied me to events I know you would not have chosen to go to on your own, and I have done the same with you. You're mother and Tommy live in my guesthouse."

Sitting back on her heels, Jane gestured for Maura to stop, "I get it. When you put it like that, I can kinda see it, too. Does it bother you? I mean, it doesn't bother me. I wouldn't change anything about our friendship. I just don't want to make you uncomfortable."

Maura smiled and reached out to take Jane's hand, "Not at all. If it bothered me, I would have either said something or made an effort to change my own actions. Now, are you going to tell me what song Frost was talking about?"

Jane shook her head, laughing, "it really matters that much to you? You'll have to ask him. I don't remember the name. I was pissed that he didn't believe we're just friends and more than a little surprised he would be quoting a country song at me."

Chapter 2

The rest of the week was relatively uneventful. The guys had dropped the subject of her and Maura. They had one case, but it was a murder suicide that was more paperwork than police work. Jane did her best to avoid her mother, and was mostly successful.

The only problem, was that Jane kept waking up sweating, wet, and screaming Maura's name. She'd get up, take a cold shower, and try not to blush every time she saw Maura.

And she caught herself checking Maura out more often than a friend should. She realized she liked the way Maura's legs looked in heels, a lot. She found herself wanting to know if Maura's hair was as soft as it looked. She noticed that green really made Maura's eyes shine, and her eyes shone even more when she was smiling at Jane. And she really wanted to know what Maura's lips tasted like.

By Friday, Jane was ready for the week to end. She needed time alone to think. She'd spent most of the week at least mildly aroused, and trying not to blush. Jane Rizzoli did not blush. She certainly did not blush because she was remembering dreams about her best friend. Dreams that had her waking up mid-orgasm, screaming said friend's name.

Who was she kidding? Jane Rizzoli not only blushed, she had to restrain herself from reenacting those dreams whenever she saw Maura. Maura deserved more than to be taken on Jane's desk, in the middle of the squadroom. When it happened, they would be in a bed, preferably with candles and soft music.

SHIT! When did she start thinking about when, and not if? Hell, when did she start thinking it was even a possibility at all?

Right about the same time she started having the best orgasms she can remember, just from dreaming about being with Maura, apparently.

She was so screwed.

Saturday morning found Angela in Jane's apartment, waking her up early and insisting the go shopping. Apparently, she had some new project that she needed help with. Jane wasn't really paying attention.

They spent all day going from store to store, looking at paint swatches and shelving. Jane just hoped Maura's closet was safe from whatever her mother had planned.

The evening was spent at Maura's, eating dinner and hanging out watching a movie.

It wasn't until she got home that Jane realized she never got the chance to think and sort through her feelings about Maura. She went to bed with a groan of frustration, and determined to spend Sunday thinking.

She woke up to another dream induced orgasm. This time, instead of getting up to take yet another cold shower she stayed in bed to really think about and examine the dream.

She remembered kissing and licking down Maura's body. She remembered Maura's hands tangled in her hair while her head was buried between her legs. She remembered Maura on top of her, fingers thrusting inside her as they stared into each others eyes. She remembered kissing Maura, hard, as her fingers rubbed Maura's clit hard and fast. She remembered grinding her clit against Maura's as they both cried out.

And, just as she was about to bring herself to another screaming orgasm, there was a knock at her door.

Jane growled in frustration and slammed her head back on her pillow, seriously considering ignoring it, when the knock came again.

She got up, yelling, "Just a minute," at the door and made her way to the bathroom to make herself at least passably presentable.

When she answered the door, she almost groaned aloud. Maura was standing there in jeans that hugged her like a second skin, a top that made Jane want to lick the cleavage on display, and red heels. She left the door open and walked off into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.

Maura closed the door behind her, following Jane into the kitchen, looking concerned. "Are you feeling well? You look a little flushed and sounded irritated. I didn't wake you, did I? It's almost noon."

At the last, Jane looked at the clock. She'd been in bed, reliving here dreams, for almost two hours. She groaned and turned to Maura, "I'm fine. Just, dreams, you know? Haven't gotten as much sleep as I should be."

Maura's eyes softened and she placed her hand on Jane's arm, "If you're having nightmares again, you could've called me. You said they'd gotten better since Hoyt died. You haven't mentioned them in awhile."

Feeling bad about misleading her, Jane hastened to explain, "Not nightmares. Just, dreams. Dreams that wake me up and make it impossible to go back to sleep."

Taking a closer look, Maura really paid attention to Jane's appearance, the way she looked when she answered the door, and the way she sounded when she told her she'd be there in a minute. Suddenly, her eyes grew wide, "Oh. OH! That kind of dream."

Panicking, Jane tried to backpedal, "What, 'oh?' There is no, 'oh.' They're just dreams. Just regular, old dreams."

Smiling, Maura tried to calm her down, "Jane, sex dreams are perfectly normal. Most people have at least one at some point in their life. For many, they're a common, if not frequent, occurrence. In fact, I have them on a semi-regular basis. Did I interrupt your dream?"

Answering without thinking, Jane yelled, "NO! I wasn't asleep. I've been awake for a couple hours. There was no dream to interrupt."

"Oh, then I interrupted you taking care of the arousal caused by the dream. I can wait here if you'd like to go finish. Or I can come back later. You can call me when you're done."

"Stop! No! There is nothing to finish. There was no sex dream. There was no dream. Forget I ever mentioned anything about a dream. It never happened. Moving on. Why are you here? Did we have plans I forgot about?"

Maura sighed, clearly not believing her. "No, no plans. I just thought we could spend the day together, since we're not working. Did you have other plans? I can go, if you do."

Relieved, Jane took her coffee to sit on the couch. "No, I was just going to spend the day taking care of a couple things, but they can wait."

"What are they? Maybe I can help. It's almost always easier to accomplish things with more people. Or, if you'd prefer, I'm sure Angela would be willing to help you."

Jane almost dumped the coffee she was drinking down her front, burning her mouth in the process. "NO! There is NO way Ma is helping with this. Just, no. I can handle it on my own. Some other time. Not today."

Maura rushed to get a towel and a glass of water, bringing both to Jane. "Are you ok? You didn't burn yourself too badly, did you? I didn't mean to upset you. I just wanted to help, if I could. I'm sorry. I can go, if you'd rather be alone."

Jane gulped down half the water before responding. "No, Maura, it's ok. Stay. I like spending time with you. You know that. What did you want to do? Please tell me it's not shopping. Ma dragged me to every store in the city last night. I don't want to go shopping again for at least a year."

Maura turned to face her more fully, looking suddenly nervous. "I talked to Frost. He told me the name of that song, and I looked it up. It's rather interesting. I found I liked it."

When Maura stopped talking, Jane just looked confused. "What does Frost's obsession with some country song have to do with anything? Let alone our plans for the day?"

Maura took a deep breathe, "I found I'd like to take the song's advice, if you're interested. I think we should 'Give Them Something to Talk About.'"

Chapter 3

Still looking confuse, Jane stared at Maura, waiting for her to continue. When it became clear she wasn't going to, she finally asked, "'Give Them Something to Talk About?' What are you talking about? And what does it have to do with some stupid country song Frost likes?"

Maura stood up to pace for a moment before taking another deep breath and sitting back down. She turned to face Jane, making an effort to keep her hands still in her lap. "You really don't know what the song is about? I know you said you couldn't remember the name, but Barry said he explained the content of the song to you."

Jane waved a dismissive hand, "Yeah, yeah. But I wasn't paying any attention. He was getting on my nerves and I stopped listening when he started explaining all the reasons he believes those stupid rumors."

Looking more than a little dejected, Maura took a fortifying breath and sat up just a little bit straighter, before starting to explain, "Ok, the song is called, 'Let's Give them Something to Talk About,' and it's sung by Bonnie Raitt. The song is about a woman who hears rumors about her and a friend being in a secret romantic relationship. She realizes that the evidence the rumors are based on is true, that she does hold romantic feelings for her friend, and decides that maybe they should pursue an actual romantic relationship. In essence, prove the rumors true. Do you understand, now?"

It was Jane's turn to get up to pace, more vigorously than Maura had. "So, what you're saying, is that you think we should be together because people already think we are? All because some song said so? Do you have any idea how nuts that sounds? How little sense it makes? You don't start a relationship because people think you're already in one. You start a relationship because you are attracted to each other. Because you like spending time together and get along. Because you respect each other. Hopefully, because you want to see more of each other and see if there's a chance of something long-term. NOT because of what other people say of think. Why would you even suggest that?"

Maura fought back tears for a moment, before visibly coming to a decision. "No, it's NOT because of what others say or think, or because a song told me to do anything. You know me better than that. The song, and the rumors, was merely a catalyst. They merely presented a course of action I had previously ignore or discounted. You like spending time with me, right?"

Jane sat on the coffee table facing Maura, "Of course, I like spending time with you. You're my best friend. We work together, and hang out together when we're not working. If I didn't like spending time with you, then we wouldn't be friends."

Nodding, Maura continued, "And we get along. Well, most of the time. We don't fight often. I hope that is because you genuinely like and understand me, as a person, and not because you either don't value me and our friendship enough to fight over anything, or because you're afraid that fighting will cause our friendship to end." By the end, Maura sounded almost fearful.

Taking Maura's hands, Jane looked into her eyes, "Where is this coming from? You KNOW I value you and your friendship. You KNOW I'm not afraid that some stupid fight will end our friendship. We've fought. Not often, no, but often enough for you to know that I'm not afraid to fight with you.

"We don't fight very often BECAUSE I value you and your friendship. You're too important to me for me to pick fights over stupid sh-stuff. When we fight, it's usually because of a misunderstanding, or because I'm in a bad mood. We always work it out. You know that. Yeah, you can get on my nerves, but I know I get on yours, too. We're human, and spend almost all our time together, of COURSE we're going to end up fighting sometimes. All that matters is that we make up and don't let something stupid get between us."

Maura pushed back the tears that had been threatening. "Yes, I do know that. Thank you. I guess I just started over-thinking and started doubting myself. You know I'm not always very good at reading a situation, or people, and I've never had many friends. Sorry. I'm ok, now."

She paused and leaned forward to grab the glass of water Jane had abandoned early, taking a couple sips before setting it back down. "I know we respect each other. Both professionally and personally. We have to, in order to work together we closely as we do. Even when we first started working together, before we were friends, I respected you. I didn't like the way you always wanted me to make assumptions and guesses, but I respected your bravery and work as a detective. I believe, that you respected me, as well. As we became friends, that respect grew until we it encompassed our personal lives, as well as our professional."

Jane rolled her eyes and made a vague gesture with her hand. "Yeah, yeah. We like and respect each other. Where are you going with this?"

Maura sighed. "You said that a romantic relationship should start with mutual respect and enjoyment of the others company. As well as physical attraction. Since we've fulfilled the first requirement, the only reason I can see for us not to begin a romantic relationship, is that you are not physically attracted to me. Is that the problem? Do you not find me physically attractive?"

Bolting upright, she nearly knocked Maura backward, "Are you crazy? You're beautiful. How many times have I told you that you look like you just stepped off a runway or photo shoot? Anyone would be lucky to have someone half as attractive as you. How could I NOT be attracted to you?"

Realizing what she'd just said, Jane turned frantically, trying to pick an escape route. She took a couple steps toward the kitchen, before changing her mind and heading for her room. Maura got there first, blocking the doorway and almost daring Jane to try to run.

"You're attracted to me." It was a statement. Nothing more. No question in her voice, like Jane had confirmed something she had already suspected.

Jane nodded, hesitantly.

"Do you see us being in each others lives long-term?"

Finally meeting Maura's eyes, Jane nodded. "Of course. You're my best friend. I can't see my life without you in it."

Smiling, Maura took a step forward. "Then why can't we start a romantic relationship. We fit all the criteria you presented for the foundation of a romantic relationship. So, I don't see what the problem is."

Mouth opening to answer, then closing again, Jane visibly started. "Wait! You're attracted to me? Since when? Wait, no, don't answer that. No, do. No, don't. I need a beer."

Maura followed her into the kitchen, watching as she opened a beer and downed half the bottle. Finally, Jane turned to face her again.

"Yes, I'm attracted to you. I thought that was clear when I suggested a romantic relationship between us. As for when it began, I've always been attracted to you. Even before we were friends, I found your appearance arousing. That only grew with time. As I got to know you better, I started to find your mind arousing, as well. Now, there is very little about you that doesn't arouse me."

Jane stared at her dumbly, then turned to down the rest of her beer, opened the fridge to get another, changed her mind and leaned against the counter, before finally going to sit in a chair in the living room. After just a few seconds, she got back up and started pacing. Maura just watched and waited.

"Let me get this straight. Ok, maybe that's a bad choice of words. Let me see if I'm hearing this correctly. You've been attracted to me since we met. You find me…arousing. This has been going on for the past few years, and you've never mentioned it before. What happened to me not being your type? What happened to you not wanting to sleep with me? How, exactly, does that fit in with any of this?"

Maura sighed and walked over to sit on the couch. "You're not my type. I don't believe I even have a 'type.' I have dated men, and women, from several backgrounds, careers, and social standings. The only commonality has been that I has attracted to each of them. Since I do not have a 'type,' you could not fit in that category. As far as not wanting to sleep with you, at that point in time, I didn't. Had we ended up in a bed together, I had very little interest in sleep. If you remember, I was pursuing Giovanni purely for physical release. Had I been given the option of seeking that release with you, I never would have considered the possibility of taking Giovanni to my bed, or anywhere else. I may have ignored the spirit of your question, but I was truthful to the letter of it. I wasn't interested in sleeping with you, but I have always been very interested in a sexual relationship with you."

Jane fell heavily into the chair. "I think I need another beer. But I don't think that will make me any less…whatever I am. I don't even know, anymore. Confused? Overwhelmed? Something. So, you really want to be with me? Really? Wow. And, did you say you've dated women? When? Where was I? How did I not know that? You know what? I think I do need another beer. Can I get you some wine?"

"Yes, please." Maura leaned back to watch Jane in the kitchen, over the back of the couch. "You haven't said if you were interested in pursuing a romantic relationship, with me. You stated the reasons why such a relationship should and should not begin, but not rather or not you would actually be interested. We both meet all the qualifications you set forth, so I don't see why we shouldn't, but you know I don't like to assume anything. WOULD you be interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with me? I know you said you're attracted to me, but sexual attraction doesn't always mean romantic interest."

Coming back with the drinks, Jane sat down beside Maura, handing her her wine. "God, Maura, you even have to ask? Who am I kidding, of course you do. Yes, Maura, I am 'interested in pursuing a romantic relationship' with you. I never thought YOU would interested. Then you come in here talking about some country song and Frost and how we should do something because a song said so, and I guess I freaked a bit. So, we're actually going to do this? We're going to actually be together? We can go out on dates, and hold hands, and I can introduce you as my girlfriend? You are ok with me calling you my girlfriend, right?" At Maura's nod, Jane grinned. "God, I could almost kiss Frost."

"I'd rather you didn't. I don't tend to be a jealous person, but I find that idea of sharing you with anyone to be unappealing. However, we can always send him a thank you card, and maybe tickets to the theater or a sporting event. Which do you think he would prefer? I don't know if he likes the opera, but there are a couple noteworthy plays that will be showing soon. Or, we could get him tickets to a sporting event. I believe it's football season, correct?"

Jane's grin turned into a smirk, right before she leaned in to kiss Maura, quickly.

"You think too much. Besides, I'd rather kiss you, than Frost. If you think he deserves tickets, then I'll leave that up to you. Since it IS supposed to be a thank you, though, I would suggest NOT getting him tickets to the opera." At Maura's slightly upset look, she kissed her again. "We want him to actually enjoy himself, you know."

Almost bouncing with excitement, she proceeded, "Oh, and don't send him anything, yet. I don't want to hide this, but I DO want to see how long it takes people to notice the change. I give Korsak a couple weeks. Frost, a month. Ma, two months. Frankie, a week. This could be fun. Mess with their heads. Get a little payback for not believing me, before. Let's see how long it takes them to see what's right in front of them."

Maura smiled, cuddling into Jane's side. "As long as we don't have to hide this, and I get to be with you, I don't care. Just don't be too hard on them. They care about you, and they DID see something we didn't. I'm surprised you're not worried how they'll react to you being in a relationship with a woman."

She pulled Maura closer, resting her chin on her head. "Like you said, they already thought we were together. If they didn't react badly before, why would they, now that's it's true?"

"Very logical of you. Now, are you going to tell me what you were really doing when I got here, and what your dreams have been about?"

Chapter 4

Groaning, Jane leaned back to look at Maura. "I should know better than expect you to let this go, shouldn't I? Ok, well, before I answer that, I need you to answer something for me. How are we going to do this?"

At Maura's head tilt, Jane gestured between them. "This. Us. How are we going to handle this relationship? How fast are we going to go? Are we going to go through the whole dating-beginning-of-relationship-thing? Are we taking things slow? Are we treating this like we've been in a relationship this whole time, just without the sex? I guess what I'm asking is, what level are we starting at, and how are we going from there?"

She fidgeted nervously as Maura sat in silence for a couple minutes, obvious thinking through each of Jane's questions before answering. Finally, she looked up and met Jane's eyes. "The way I see it, we have a couple options. We can either treat this like a new relationship and go through all the rituals that usually accompany a fledgling relationship, or we can view all our previous outings and interactions as the beginning of our relationship. If we choose the first option, than it will mean taking things slowly to allow an adjustment period for us to acclimate to the changes in our relationship. If we choose the second option, then we just do what we are comfortable with and comes naturally to us, without placing ourselves on a timeline. It will probably mean moving fairly quickly, especially compared to how you usually pace romantic interactions."

She looked up at Jane through her lashes, biting her bottom lip before running her tongue along it. "I certainly know which option I prefer. As I said, I have always been very interested in a sexual relationship with you. I have used others as substitutes to deal with the arousal caused by being around you. It's the primary reason I pursued Giovanni, before I became aware of his unfortunate fondness for face-licking. As you stated, you and he come from the same background. It's what first caught my interest. So, if I had to give my opinion, I would much prefer the second, much faster, option."

Jane stared at her, wide-eyed, shaking her head with a shudder. "You mean you were going to sleep with Giovanni because he reminded you of me? I think I'm insulted. Or maybe complimented that you didn't go though with it. I'm really not sure how to feel about that. Wait. PLEASE tell me you were NOT going to sleep with Tommy because he reminds you of me. That would just be too weird, and I may need to bleach my brain. And possibly kill Tommy. I haven't decided, yet."

Maura giggled lightly and pulled Jane closer. "I told you I had no interest in sleeping with Tommy. I was merely interested in his mind. Since I became delightfully aware that not he has nothing to offer me that you can't provide in higher quality, I have no interest in him, beyond the strictly platonic, and possibly familial."

Sighing and leaning down to kiss Maura, Jane relaxed against her. "Good. I'd really hate to have to kill Tommy. I don't think Ma would ever forgive me."

Straightening up and looking Maura in the eye once again, Jane returned to the actual topic they were trying to discuss. " So, you have no interest in taking this slow? You want to go just as fast as we're comfortable with, and treat this like something that's been going on for awhile? I can deal with that. God, I am MORE than ok with that. This past week has been TORTURE trying to keep my hands off you. How did you manage to do it for so long? We've been friends for YEARS, and I never suspected you were attracted to me. I spent a WEEK trying not to jump you. I'm not sure I would've lasted another week. And you did it for years. You are far stronger than me."

Maura smiled happily, her eyes shining, and leaned in to kiss Jane. It started off slow and sweet, but soon turned hot and passion-laden. Maura finally pulled back, panting. She leaned in to kiss her again, than almost launched herself to the other end of the couch when Jane tried to deepen the kiss, again. One hand out to keep Jane from getting closer.

Meeting Jane's startled gaze, she chuckled. "I think I need to stay over here if we are going to finish this conversation. Just, you stay over there, or we'll never talk."

Jane groaned, leaning back against the couch to stare at the ceiling. "She shows up dressed like sex in heels, says she's wanted me for years, kisses me like THAT, then wants to talk. I am so screwed. She's gonna kill me. And I'm gonna let her. Screwed. So fucking screwed."

Rubbing at her face, she turned to face Maura. "Ok, talk. What do we need to talk about? I thought we just decided we weren't taking this slow. Then you flew three feet in the air and won't let me near you, so we can talk. So, talk, woman."

Giving Jane a chastising look she would never accept from anyone else, Maura took a deep breath. "Did you forget what started this conversation? You were going to tell me what you were doing when I got here, and what you've been dreaming about that's kept you from sleeping."

Jane groaned at the ceiling, again. "Of COURSE, she wants to talk about that, now. Why not? I'm already in hell. Why not make it perfect? I'm gonna die of blue balls, and I don't even HAVE balls."

Maura watched, fighting between amusement, concern, and confusion. "Jane, you do realize you're talking to yourself, and that I can hear you, right?"

She turned her head to glare at Maura. "Yes, Maura, I realize I'm talking to myself and that you can hear me. Did you realize that you are pure evil. I'm dying here, and you want to TALK! Do you have any idea how worked up you got me? then you want to talk. You're gonna have to bear with me for a moment. Right now, you're lucky I can even remember what the question was. Just, give me a minute before I answer, ok? And forgive me if I don't look at you. I can't look at you wearing THAT, and not want to jump you. You had to show up dressed like sex. You couldn't show up in a muumuu, or something, could you? Of course not. You ALWAYS look like sex. Gorgeous, classy, expensive, sex."

Maura looked on, amused, as Jane peeked at her out of the corner of her eye, before slamming them shut and moving to get up. "God, woman. I need ice water. Or maybe a cold shower. I am so tired of having to take cold showers because of you. Do you have any idea how many cold showers I've taken this week? Me neither. Everyday, I wake up and take a cold shower. I get home from work, and I take a cold shower. I get back from spending time with you, and I take a cold shower. I don't think I've had anything but cold showers, all week. And it's all your fault. You and your legs and your lips and your hair and cleavage that makes you want to lick every inch and eyes you can drown in."

She started pacing, frantically, looking anywhere but at Maura. "You climbed in my dreams and wouldn't leave. Every morning, I wake up screaming your name. Do you have any idea what that's like? All day, I keep picturing you the way you are in my dreams. All day, you stare at me with those eyes and I watch those lips as you talk and keep thinking about those legs wrapped around me. Wanting to lick and suck and kiss every inch of skin. And you have to show up to work wearing your tailored dresses and heels and perfect make-up. You're been teasing me all week, and now you want to TALK! Well, I talked. I've been dreaming about you all week. Under me, on top of me, in me, around me. Tasting and touching every inch of your skin. Then, this morning, I FINALLY decide to let myself think about those dreams. Think about you. And you show up just as I'm almost…GAH! Are you happy? Have I answered your question? Can we PLEASE be done talking, now?"

She finally turned to face Maura, only to see her eyes dark and heavy lidded, mouth slightly opened as she breathed deeply, hands clenching and unclenching at her sides, and legs crossed tightly. As soon as their eyes met, Maura stood up and stalked toward Jane, keeping their gazes locked and only stopping when there was barely a breath of space between their flushed bodies.

She reached up to thread one hand in Jane's hair, the other pulling the waistband of her pants, forcing them closer. Her voice was deep and breathy as she answered, "Yeah, I think we're done talking," right before pulling Jane's head down to kiss her hard.

Chapter 5

Monday morning found Jane and Maura waking in her bed, limbs and sheets tangled. Maura woke first, stretched lazily, and turned to watch Jane sleep. She smiled, remembering the night before, as one hand ran up and down Jane's side. Finally, she leaned over to check the time, sighed, and started kissing Jane awake.

Jane burrowed into Maura's side and mumbled sleepily, "Tired. Go again, later."

Grinning, Maura pulled away slightly to kiss Jane's lips. "Babe, it's morning. We have work, and I need to go. I still have to go home and shower and change. And I'll need to borrow a top. I don't think all my buttons survived. Come on. Get up and shower, and I'll make you breakfast before I go. Something healthier than Lucky Charms and coffee."

Groaning and pulling Maura closer, Jane kissed her neck. "Don't wanna. Can't we just call in sick?"

At Maura's sigh, Jane reluctantly pulled away to sit up. "Fine. We'll get up, but do you have to leave? Don't you have clothes here? I don't wanna shower alone. Come on. Please?"

"Yes, I have clothes here, but nothing suitable for work. I have the clothes I left here the last time we went to yoga, and the dress I wore to dinner a couple weeks ago. I can hardly go to work in yoga pants and a sports bra. That dress, while lovely, is too formal for work, and shows just a bit too much. Come on, get up and I'll start breakfast."

As Maura got out of bed, Jane hurried to follow. "Come on. Please? Just shower with me. You can wear your gym clothes home to change. I'll even promise to behave myself."

Trying to hide a smile, Maura sighed and agreed, just a bit too quickly too seem coerced. "Ok, but we will just be showering. You will keep your hands to yourself, and I will do the same. I really do need to go home to change, and there won't be time if we get carried away."

Work saw Jane and Maura rushing in, just a few minutes late. Maura followed Jane up to the squad room, supposedly to look at a file, before heading down to the morgue.

Korsak looked up from his computer to comment on Jane's lateness, when he changed his mind and kicked Frost's desk, instead. Frost looked up to glare at him, when Korsak nodded his head toward the couple.

Frost did a double-take before whistling. "Wow, Doc. You look nice. Hot date, tonight?"

He looked her up and down, admiring the bright red dress. It fell to just below her knees and plunged just a tad too long in the front to be strictly work appropriate. The matching heels were just a little higher than what she usually wore.

Jane snickered as Maura blushed, lightly . "Why, thank you, Barry. No, I do not have a date, tonight. Nothing else in the closet appealed to me, this morning, and I do love this dress."

Frost turned to stare at Jane as she almost spit her coffee across her desk. "You ok, there, Rizzoli? Coffee too hot for you?"

Coughing and trying not to laugh, she held a finger up until she was able to talk. "Something like that. Don't you have work to do?" She turned to Maura, grinning. "Meet you for lunch, right? That deli down the street, sound ok? I think I'm in the mood for tuna."

Maura blushed darker at Jane's wink, and agreed before hurrying to the elevator.

Jane and Frost watched her go. Frost sputtering when he noticed the dress was open to halfway down her back. Korsak was too busy watching Jane to notice.

"Sure she doesn't have a date? That is definitely a date dress."

Jane just smirked and turned to her computer.

When Jane went down to the morgue to grab Maura for lunch, she was surprised to be dragged into her office, the door almost slamming behind them.

Maura wheeled to face her, smacking her arm lightly. "I can't believe you did that. First we end up taking longer to get ready than planned, and I have no choice but to wear this dress, unless I want to be even later to work. Then, the comment about wanting tuna for lunch. And don't think I don't know you were watching me leave. Do you have any idea how distracted I was this morning?"

Taking a step back, Jane put both hands up to fend off anymore swats. "Hey, no abusing your girlfriend. We said we weren't going to hide this. That was me not hiding. Besides, I thought you enjoyed 'getting ready' with me, this morning. I certainly didn't hear you complaining. And, I'm pretty sure it's scientifically impossible for people to NOT check you out when you're wearing that dress. All I could think about all morning, was getting you home and taking it OFF of you. This day couldn't be any longer. Come on. Are we still going for lunch? I'm starved."

Opening her mouth, probably to comment on the exaggerations in Jane's speech, she changed her mind and just sighed. "Yes, we're still going to lunch. Yes, that little deli sounds good. We need to be in public right now, or I won't be able to keep my hands to myself. Do you want to walk, or drive?"

"Let's walk. It's just down the street, and it's nice out. Besides, I've been wanting to just hold you hand while we walk, for awhile now. Now that I finally can, I'm not going to pass up the chance."

Maura smiled and grabbed her hand, interlacing their fingers, and led her out of the station.

That evening found them at Maura's house, mostly because Maura refused to end up with a repeat of that morning.

They were in the kitchen, laughing and stealing kisses while they put together a quick dinner, when Angela came in. Jane winked at Maura and swatted her ass before darting to the other side of the counter.

"Hey, Ma. How was your day? Maura and I were just about to eat. Are you joining us? I think Maura wanted to watch some documentary, afterward." She started getting out plates and setting the table, as she talked.

Angela watched, amused. "Why do you always throw a fit when I ask you to set the table. Maura didn't have to ask, and you're putting the silverware in the correct place, and everything. Why do I have to fight with you to do anything for me, but you do things for Maura before she even has to ask? You'd think you'd be a little more willing to help out your mother. I DID raise you, after all."

Jane smirked at Maura, winking. "Well, Ma, it's the WAY Maura asks. And I like helping her out. Besides, I like doing things for Maura."

Smiling shyly and blushing, Maura finished getting the food ready, fixing a plate for Angela. She got drinks for everyone, then sat down next to Jane, their legs touching.

Dinner went relatively uneventfully. If you don't count Maura sliding a bare foot up Jane's pant leg, or Jane dragging her hand up Maura's thigh every time she used the napkin in her lap. Angela talked about her day, keeping the conversation going, even when the couple were distracted and lost track of what she was talking about.

Angela insisted on helping them clean up, oblivious to the stolen touches and looks.

When they were finally settling down in the living room, she asked what the documentary was about.

Looking excited, Maura hurried to explain. "It's a series that focuses on plastic surgery. Each episode follows an individual through the entire process. They start with the initial meetings with the surgeon, and follow them through the pre-surgery meetings and preparations and into the recovery process. They even show the actual surgery. Have you ever seen a rhinoplasty performed? They actually have to break the nose during surgery, and sometimes even cut away part of the cartilage. the skin of the nose is lifted away from the face and folded back to lie on the forehead while the underlying structure is reshaped. It's a very fascinated procedure to watch."

Starting to look a little green, Angela quickly made her excuses and left.

Jane chuckled, watching her go. "Wow, you really had her going. Looks like we're alone for the night. Good job, Babe. I don't think she's going to come back anytime soon. We'll have to use that documentary excuse more often. How do you come up with that stuff?"

Maura just looked at her, confused. "I was describing an actual series. Although, I don't believe it is still on the air. I haven't seen it in a few years. It really was quite fascinating. I may not work with live patients, but I like to keep up to date on medical techniques. If, for no other reason, than so I can recognize their effects when I perform an autopsy. However, I must admit to choosing a rather graphic description, in the hopes that it would deter Angela from staying longer."

Jane snorted, and stood up. "Come on. I've been wanting to get you out of that dress all day. I can't believe Ma didn't say anything about it. Usually she uses any excuse to try to get me to wear dresses more often.

Maura took the offered hand, letting herself be led toward her bedroom. "While you do look particularly stunning in a dress, I have grown rather fond of the way you dress. Dresses and skirts are hardly practical in your line of work, anyway. You can't expect to chase down a suspect in a skirt and heels. You're clothes could be fitted a little better, but I imagine it's hard to find clothing to fit your frame without needing altered in some way."

Jane pulled her close, kissing her to get her to stop talking. "I get it. You don't mind the way I dress, but you think it could be better. As long as you don't try to make me wear dresses or heels or any of that expensive, designer stuff you like. Or pink. You know how I feel about pink."

Maura leaned up to kiss her, again. "I have no desire to change you. I like you the way you are. It's useless to start a relationship with someone if you're goal is to change who they are, as a person. I wouldn't mind getting you some higher quality clothing, however, but I know you wouldn't let me. I would never ask you to change your style of dress, or any other aspect of your personality, just to please me. Now, you mentioned something about getting me out of this dress. Care to unzip me?" With that, she turned and moved her hair out of the way.

"Babe," Jane's voice came from the bathroom, "my clothes fit different. I swear they did not fit like this when I left them here. You didn't go out and replace them, did you?"

Maura walked in, watching Jane pulled at her shirt and fiddle with the waistband of her slacks. "No, I didn't replace them. I told you I knew you wouldn't let me buy you higher quality clothing. I did, however, have the clothing you left here tailored so it would be more flattering on your figure."

Turning, she stopped fidgeting to stare at Maura. "You did what? When did you do that? How did you even know my measurements?"

"Are you mad? I didn't think you would mind. They are, after all, the same clothes. I just had them altered so they fit you better. As for when and how I knew your measurements; I sent them in an outfit at a time over the past couple weeks, since you started leaving clothing here after sleep overs. And, my job does require me to weigh and measure all aspects of the human body. After a few years, one becomes quite adept at doing so on sight. I have spent a considerable portion of the time I've known you admiring your body, it's inevitable that I would be able to closely approximate your measurements." Maura squirmed, looking nervous. "Did I do something wrong? I really didn't think you would mind. And I really wanted to see you in well-tailored clothes. It was purely selfish, I must admit. I wanted to be able to see your figure better, without your clothing obscuring it. I can get you new clothes, if you want. I really didn't want to upset you. I wasn't even sure you would notice the change. The alterations really are rather minor."

Jane placed a hand on either side of Maura's face, getting her to look meet her eyes. "No, Babe, you didn't do anything wrong. I was just surprised. I actually like the way they fit now, better. I look better, too. I just didn't expect you to do something like that. Really, I don't mind. In fact, if you'd like, I'll even let you get the rest altered. Who am I to deny you the ability to better ogle me?"

Maura leaned in to kiss the smirk off her face. "I will take you up on that offer. Maybe someday, you'll let me actually buy you clothing. Until then, I'm just glad that you aren't mad, and like the changes. I would never change the way you dress, but I don't mind making sure the clothing you do wear fits you well. Are you ready to go? I don't want to be late to work, again. It sets a bad example if it looks like the boss doesn't care to follow the rules expected of everyone else."

"Yeah, I'm ready. Off we go, Boss."

The next couple days were busy with a new murder investigation. Jane and Maura went out to lunch when they could, and ate in either Maura's office or the café, when they couldn't. Evenings were spent at Maura's house, because she wanted to avoid a repeat of Monday morning.

By Thursday, Jane was ready for the case to be over. She still wanted to take Maura out on a real date, and there hadn't been the time, yet. She finally decided to pull rank, and cornered Frankie.

"Hey, I need you to do me a favor. And, since you DID just pass your detective's exam, I outrank you. So, I need you to cover for me tomorrow evening, unless there's a major lead. Just follow up interviews and trolling through paperwork. So, can I count on you?"

He looked at her, knowingly. "Yeah, sure. So, where are you taking her? Opera? Some foreign film? Is it your anniversary?"

"Nah, just wanted to do something nice. There's a french place she's been talking about." She stopped talking, doing a double-take. "Wait, how did know I wanted to go somewhere with Maura? And what do mean anniversary? Don't tell me you bought into the rumors, too."

Frankie grinned. "Come on. Maura is the ONLY reason you ever beg off work. Not even a gun shot wound kept you from wanting to work, but you had me answering your phone just so you could go to some art thing with Maura. Besides, I've seen you guys holding hands and acting different around each other. I don't know how long you've been together, but it's obvious you've stopped trying to hide it. You're even dressing nicer, which HAS to be Maura's doing. There's no way you'd get new clothes on your own, you hate shopping."

Chuckling, Jane shook her head. "I told Maura you'd figure it out within a week. You make a good detective. This is new, like just-started-Sunday new. We decided not to hide it, but I wanted to see how long it would take people to notice. Maura didn't buy me new clothes, she had the clothes I left at her house altered before we were even together. I just decided that I like the way they fit. So, you'll cover for me, tomorrow? I haven't had the chance to take Maura out, yet, and I want to do something special for her. Show up at her door with roses, take her somewhere that serves food I can't pronounce, pull out her chair, open doors, hold her hand, maybe even wear a dress. You know, first date stuff."

He clapped her on the back, smiling. "Your first date? Really? Well, congrats, sis. Of course I'll cover for you. Maura deserves the best, and you deserve to be happy. I take it Ma doesn't know, yet?"

She shook her head. "You're actually the first one to figure it out. Or, at least, the first one to say something. Ma was convinced we were together even before we were, even after I TOLD her we weren't. She thought I was lying to her. I think it'll take something BIG to get her to notice the change. I am not looking forward to when she does. I don't want to think about all the talk of grandbabies and weddings. I'm not ready for any of that, yet. Maura and I haven't even been together a week, yet."

"I won't say a word. Give you guys some peace before Ma starts in on you. Give myself some peace, too. You do realize that once she knows you're dating Maura, she's going to start in on me to find a wife, right? I want to put that off for as long as possible."

Jane chuckled, "Yeah, welcome to my life. Thanks, Frankie. I'll owe you. Ok, back to work. Got about a million hours of grainy security tape to watch."

Jane and Maura were cuddled in bed, that night, when Jane remembered her talk with Frankie.

"Hey, Babe, you still awake?"

Turning slightly, Maura responded, "Yeah. Did you need to talk about something?"

Jane kissed her temple, pulling her closer. "Yeah. You don't have plans tomorrow evening, do you? I want to take you out. We haven't had our first, official date, yet."

Maura turned to fully face her. "No, I don't have any plans. But, don't you have to work on the case? I know you don't have any solid leads, yet. We can wait until after it's closed to go out on a date. I don't mind."

"Nah, I got Frankie to cover for me. He'll call if something big comes up, but he can handle the paperwork and interviews for me. I know we can wait, but you know our jobs. There's no guarantee we won't catch another case after this one. If we wait until there's no case, we may end up married before we have our first date."

Maura sat up as Jane's eyes widened. "Married? You see us getting married?"

Jane started to panic, until she saw the huge grin spreading across Maura's face. "Well, yeah. Someday. I told you, I can't see my life without you in it. I'm not proposing, but I do see us getting married, someday. You're not upset or freaking out. So, you wouldn't mind marrying me, someday?"

She leaned down, kissing Jane sweetly. "I wouldn't mind, at all. In fact, I look forward to. Someday. I just didn't know you saw that for us. I can't see my life without you in it, either. So, someday."

Grinning like an idiot, Jane leaned up to kiss her, again. "Yeah. Someday. But, first, we need to have our first date. So, you come home and make yourself more gorgeous than usual, and I'll get ready at my place. I'll pick you up at seven, and we'll go on our date. And, before you ask, I am not telling you where we're going. Dress nice, but not opera nice. I'm taking care of everything. Oh, and Frankie knows about us."

Lying back down to cuddle, Maura relaxed against Jane. "He does? That's good. I gather he took it well?"

"Well, yeah. He actually figured it out when I asked him to cover for me. I didn't even have to say why. He said that you are the only reason I ever take off work, and asked if it was our anniversary. Said he noticed we were acting different, and that my clothes fit better. He's happy for us, and even agreed not to say anything to Ma. Although, that's more because he doesn't want her to start hounding him to get married."

Maura snuggled in, mumbling sleepily, "Mmmm…that's nice. I'm glad. Sleep now. Date tomorrow. Love you."

Jane's eyes shot wide open, staring at the woman in her arms. It was a awhile before she was able to get to sleep.

Chapter 6

The next morning saw an unusually quiet and fidgety Detective. Maura watched her while they got ready and ate breakfast, but finally decided against asking. She just shrugged internally and assumed it was misplaced nerves for their date.

Jane kept sneaking glances at Maura, wondering if she should bring up the previous night. Every time she decided to broach the subject, she'd change her mind as soon as her mouth opened. She knew Maura meant it. After all, she can't lie, and had no reason to lie about something like that. She knew she loved Maura. She even knew they'd be married someday, and maybe even have kids. She just wasn't sure if they were ready to SAY it, yet. They'd hadn't even been together for a week. It was too soon, wasn't it? On the other hand, they'd been friends for years. She just couldn't decide, so she didn't mention it. Maura may not even remember saying it, she was falling asleep, after all.

They parted ways with a kiss, taking separate cars to work so Jane could pick Maura up later.

All morning, Jane kept fidgeting. She got up several times, just to decide against whatever she was going to do and sit back down. She rearranged her desk repeatedly, managing to make it look worse than when she started. She clicked her pen for a good five minutes straight, before Frost AND Korsak yelled at her to stop. Then she started tapping it against her desk, before throwing it down and getting up again, just to sit back down. She finally settled on tapping her foot and staring at her computer screen for the next hour.

Around noon, she stood up, told the guys she was out for the day, and left. Frost and Korsak stared after her. Frost gave Korsak a questioning look, and got a shrug in response.

Jane called Frankie on the way to her car. "Hey, you can cover for me early, right? I realized I don't have a dress Maura hasn't seen, and I want to look nice, so I'm going shopping. I need to pick up flowers before tonight, too. Do you think I should get her chocolate, too? Or is that too clique? She likes fudge clusters, but she didn't seem impressed by the chocolate with the gold flecks. Maybe I'll just go with fudge clusters. Or maybe the flowers are enough. Do you think chocolates are too much? It's early, maybe I should get my hair and nails done, too. I just want her to feel special and know that this is a big deal for me. I want her to know I made an effort, you know? Are you there?"

When she FINALLY paused long enough for him to respond, Frankie couldn't help but laugh. "Yes, Jane, I can cover for you early. I don't think I've ever heard you this nervous. You really care about her, don't you? I don't think I've ever known you to voluntarily buy a dress. Or get your hair and nails done. I don't think it matters if you get her flowers, or chocolates, or both. You guys are perfect together. All she's going to care about is that you show up. The rest is just a bonus. Now, did I miss anything? Do you need to panic some more?"

She leaned against her car, "Yeah, I'm good. Thanks. Sorry for that. I just don't have anyone else to talk to about this. I want this to be perfect. It's our first date. And, I think it may be the last first date I ever go on. If you tell anyone that, I may have to hurt you. But, I think Maura's it for me. If it's going to be the last first date, for both of us, then I want it to be the best one either of us has ever had."

There was silence on the other end, and Jane started to fidget.

"Wow, Sis, I knew you loved her, but I didn't know it was that serious. Congrats. You guys are good for each other, and you deserve to be happy. I've seen the way Maura looks at you. She loves you. Just having you there will make the date perfect. Just try not to stress out too much. And maybe wait awhile before you tell Ma exactly HOW serious it is. Unless you want her to start planning the wedding before you get the balls to propose."

Jane gave a wry laugh, "I, kinda, almost, not really, proposed last night. I didn't mean it to sound that way. I was just saying how if we wait until we didn't have a case, we'd end up married before we went on our first date. It just came out. I panicked, but Maura didn't. She wants to marry me, someday. We agreed it wasn't a proposal, but that we would get married, someday. Then, she told me she loves me. Only, I'm not sure if she meant it, or even remembers saying it." With a sigh, she let her head fall back against the roof of her car.

Frankie laughed, "You don't do anything the easy way, do you? You already proposed and talked marriage, and you haven't even been together a week. And, what do you mean you're not sure she meant to say she loves you? Anyone with eyes can tell she does. Why wouldn't she remember saying it? She wasn't under the influence of anything, was she? Do NOT tell me you were in bed. I do NOT need to know that about my sister. I might need to bleach my brain."

"No, you perv, we were not in bed. Well, we were in bed. But not IN bed. She was falling asleep when she said it. She may have already BEEN asleep. I didn't know what to say, this morning, so I didn't bring it up. What if she doesn't remember, or didn't mean to say it? What if it's too soon? What if she remembers, and is upset I didn't say it back? She didn't seem upset this morning, but what if she was hiding it? What if she decides I'm too messed up? She deserves better than me. Hell, she deserves everything. I love her too much to lose her."

Frankie interrupted before she could upset herself even more, "Stop! You've said yourself, Maura cannot lie. If she said she loves you, then she meant it. Even if she was asleep and doesn't remember saying it, it still means that she loves you. You just said that she agreed to marry you. Why would she do that if she thought you weren't good enough for her, or didn't love you. You need to stop thinking about it. She loves you. You love her. So, tell her, and let her tell you, again. God, when did you turn into such a girl? First you want to go buy a new dress, then you're getting your hair and nails done, and now you're freaking out over Maura telling you she LOVES you? She better be it for you. If you turn into this much of a girl with her, I'd hate to see what would happen with someone MORE serious."

Standing up straight, Jane glared at the air in front of her, "Shut. Up. I have to go. You go cover for me. And, thank you for this. I mean it. Thanks. I really do owe you."

Hanging up, she got in her car and started off to get ready for her date, feeling a little calmer and more settled.

Maura left work a couple hours early, after making sure she was caught up on everything, to get ready. She'd been surprised to learn Jane left at lunch, but smiled when she thought of her taking the extra time to get ready for their date. She was excited to see what Jane had planned, and pleased that she would go through the effort of leaving early to prepare.

Six thirty saw Maura putting the finishing touches on her hair and make-up, before getting pulling a dress from the back of her closet. She'd seen it a few months earlier, and loved it. It'd hung in the back of her closet, waiting for a special occasion. She knew she wanted to wear it for Jane, but had only vaguely hoped it to be on a date with her. She'd assumed she'd wear it when they went to the theater or opera together, but kept putting it off. She couldn't wait to see Jane's reaction to it, tonight. Especially since it was more daring than what she would usually wear on a date.

She smiled, and finished getting ready.

Jane was nervous. She'd found what she hoped was the perfect dress, and found a clutch and shoes to go with it. She's gotten her hair styled. She'd even gotten her finger AND toenails done. She drew the line at having someone else do her make-up, but thought she'd done a good job.

She went to three flower shops before finding the right once. Roses, yellow with red tips. After debating for several hours, she decided against chocolates. Feeling like too much a teenage boy bringing flowers AND candy on the first date. She called to confirm a reservation at the restaurant, and asked for a back table with a single rose at one of the settings.

At the last minute, she decided to leave her badge and gun at home. Tonight, she wasn't Detective Rizzoli. She was just Jane Rizzoli, out on her firs date with Maura Isles. If something came up, she'd have to go home to change, anyway.

At six thirty, she was sitting outside Maura's house, trying not to run her sweaty palms over her dress or hair. The flowers sat on the passenger seat as she watched the dashboard clock slowly tick over the minutes.

The doorbell rang at exactly seven o'clock, and Maura smiled as she made her way to the door.

Jane's mouth dropped open when the door opened, the hand holding the roses falling to her side.

Maura paused, and looked Jane up and down for several moments, trying to find the right words. She finally gave up, and let out a breathy, "Wow!" Visibly shaking herself, she stepped aside to let Jane in.

It took a second, but Jane finally registered the gesture and held out the roses as she stepped inside. Still speechless, she stared at Maura, appreciating the royal blue gown. It fell to the floor, and was slit to half way up the side of one thigh. The front was cut low, and exposed the top of her breasts. The straps didn't look anywhere near strong enough to hold it up.

As Maura turned to find a vase, Jane closed her eyes and nearly moaned. The dress was backless, clear down to top just above the top of her ass.

Maura turned back around, to find Jane standing with her eyes closed, head tilted back, and hands clenched at her sides. She took the time to admire her. The deep red gown made Jane's skin almost glow, and made her hair seem darker and shinier. It fell to the floor, skimming her curves on the way down. The top was almost conservative, but it was fit that really made it perfect. The silky satin seemed to float and caress her body, making Maura remember exactly what that skin felt like.

She must've made a noise, because Jane's eyes opened and caught her gaze. The look they shared was heated, and Maura took a deep breath and looked away. Something caught her eye, and she noticed the simple french tips on Jane's nails.

Smiling, she stated, "You got your nails done. And you bought a new dress. And is that a new clutch and shoes? You even got your hair styled. You hate shopping, and wearing dresses. I'm not sure I've ever known you to go to a salon."

Jane looked down, shifting awkwardly, "Well, you know, I wanted to look special for you. It's our first date, I want it to be perfect. You deserve it to be perfect."

Maura smiled and walked over to place a quick peck on her lips. "You're here, it's already perfect. I love the flowers. Yellow for friendship and red for romantic love and passion. Very thoughtful. Are we ready to go?"

Jane stole another kiss before leading Maura to the door, taking the opportunity to run her hand down her exposed back.

Dinner was perfect. Maura was excited to be able to try out the new french restaurant, and pleased that Jane had remembered. Jane opened doors and pulled out her chair for her, and presented her the rose she had asked be waiting for them. Maura ordered for them in perfect french, picking items she knew Jane would recognize on sight and enjoy. They forewent wine, since they were both on-call with an open case. Conversation was as easy as ever, and they couldn't take their eyes off each other.

When a small band began to play, Jane stood and asked Maura to dance. Maura accepted. Over the next few songs, she taught Jane a few simple ballroom steps, and Jane surprised her by being a graceful dancer who already knew several ballroom dances and had experience leading.

During a quiet lull between songs, Maura decided to satisfy her curiosity. "Where did you learn to dance? And to lead? You've never mentioned it, before."

Jane chuckled and started to lead her around the dance floor as the next song started. "Yeah, well, Ma got it into her head, when I was about 16, that all 'proper young ladies' have to know how to dance in order to catch a husband. She found some class and forced me to go. There were more girls than guys there, and I was so tall, that I spent most of the class partnered with others girls playing the guy's part. By the end, I was better at leading than most of the guys there. Ma wasn't too thrilled, but she couldn't complain since she made me go, in the first place."

Maura smiled and leaned into her more. "I can see that. I took ballroom in boarding school. It was an all-girls' school, so everyone ended up leading at some point. I was younger, and shorter, than most of the other girls, so ended up being led, more often than not. We had a dance with the all-boys' school every semester, but I rarely participated. I was too young for boys to hold much real interest, at first, and found I just had little interest in the competition that went on between the other girls to find dates, when I was interested in them. I would usually spend the time in my room or the library."

Jane rested her cheek against Maura's hair, placing one hand on the skin at the small of her back. "I can understand that. I wasn't interested in the drama when I was in high school, either. We had guys in our school, but they may have just made it worse. Instead of only happening before dances, we had girls fighting over guys in the hallway one week, and crying because he broke up with them the next. Given the choice, I would much rather get in a fight with a guy. Girls fight dirty."

Maura hummed in agreement, enjoying the feel of Jane's hand against her skin, "Did you want to stay for dessert, or did you have something else planned?"

"I thought we could take a walk and enjoy the stars, if you wanted. It's not going to be warm enough, for much longer."

She happily agreed, and let Jane lead her back to the table.

Jane signaled for the check, and just looked at Maura until she put her purse back down. "I told you, I'm taking care of everything, tonight. I asked YOU out, which means I'm paying. You can pay when you take me out. This night is for you, so just let me take care of you. Ok, Babe?"

She nodded, smiling, "Yes, that's ok. I understand. I just don't like you spending money on me, when I know what a detective's salary looks like. But, I can understand your need for chivalry. You DO know, though, that this night is just as much for you, right? It's not just my first date. It's yours, too. And, I'm hoping, it's the last one either of us ever has. At least for a very long time. I meant it when I said I look forward to marrying you, someday. I don't, conceivably, see a point in my life where I won't want to be with you."

Jane shook her head, "You are impossible, woman. Here it is, our first date, and you're already planning on spending the rest of your life with me. I wanted this date to be perfect because I want it to be the last first date either of us ever has to go on. Frankie's right, we don't do anything the easy way. Zero to sixty in under a second."

Tilting her head, Maura puzzled over what she'd said. "I'm not sure what acceleration speeds have to do with anything, unless it has something to do with your racing classes. I didn't know you'd talked to Frankie about us, again. Why does he think we never do anything the easy way."

Thinking a moment, Jane decided she'd rather finish the conversation elsewhere, and stood up to lead Maura outside, talking while they walked. "I called him when I left work, earlier, to make sure he was good to cover for me early. I wanted everything to be perfect, and realized I wouldn't have time to do everything if I waited until later. We ended up talking. Well, I ended up panicking a little bit and rambling while he listened. I ended up telling him about last night, and my almost-proposal. He pointed out that we'd already basically talked about marriage before we'd even been together a week, or gone on a real date. Then he called me a girl and told me he hopes you are it for me, because he doesn't want to see how bad I would freak out if a relationship were more serious than this. I don't think that's possible, though. You really are it for me. I don't want to have my life without you in it. Someday, I want to be married and have a family with you. We can grow old together, and you can explain why one wheelchair is better than another or why I should drink more prune juice, and I can remind you that sometimes all the medical details are not needed, and our grandkids can think we're crazy old ladies."

Maura turned and pulled jane to sit on a nearby bench. "I want all of that with you, too. Although, there really aren't any medical studies on prune juice, that I'm aware of. Now, I know you've stated, in the past, that you would be the guy in a relationship between us. Ignoring how factually incorrect that statement is, does that mean you would prefer to be the one to propose? If so, would you mind if I still bought you an engagement ring? I like the idea of you wearing my ring, telling everyone you're mine. You have, basically, already proposed twice, and I've accepted both times, but I'm not sure if you want to be more traditional and wait until you have a ring to ask on one knee."

Chapter 7

Jane sat there for a moment, thinking, before finally responding. "I think I'd like to be able to propose to you. I've never really thought about proposing, before. Then again, I never thought I'd end up with another woman. I don't think I'd mind either way, really. If you want to propose to me, that's fine. You're right, proposing is really just a formality, at this point. We've already both said we want to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. I would love for you to wear my ring, and I would love to wear yours. Why don't we just see what happens. If one of us finds a ring, then we can worry about proposing. Sound like a plan?"

Cocking her head to the side, Maura looked at Jane, "I must say, I'm a bit surprised at your reaction. I thought you'd be at least a bit more agitated. I'm glad you're not, however. I think you're plan sounds perfect. I feel I must admit that I started looking at rings, today at work. I kept thinking about our talk, last night, and found myself imagining your long, graceful fingers with a ring catching the light. I liked the image so much, I started looking for the perfect one. I didn't find one, but I'm glad you are willing to wear it when I do find it."

Jane chuckled, "So THAT'S why you brought it up. Did you, honestly think I wouldn't want to wear your ring? Just, know that I don't want some huge rock. I need to be able to wear it at work, and I'm not usually one for jewelry, anyway. A huge ring just isn't me. And, I won't be able to afford some monster, five carat diamond on a platinum band, for you. I am, still, just a detective, making a detective's salary. I may want to give you the world, but I just can't afford it. I can't really see you wearing a huge ring, anyway. You're ok with that, right?"

Maura leaned over, giving Jane a sweet kiss. "You don't have to look so nervous. I love YOU! I know you don't have a lot of money, and that doesn't matter to me. All that matters is that you love me and want to be with me. I'm sure I will love whatever ring you pick out, because YOU picked it. You're right, I wouldn't to have a huge ring. I'd like to be able to wear it at work, as well, which means wearing it under gloves. A large, raised stone would make that impossible."

Sputtering, Jane stared at her, wide eyed. "You…You, love me? Really? Ok, that sounds stupid when I say it. Here we are, talking about engagement rings, and I'm asking you if you love me. I just…we hadn't said that, yet. I know I love you. God, I love you. And, I know you must love me, if you want to marry me, but it's different to HEAR it. You know? You really love me?"

She took Jane's face between her hands, pulling her closer, and kissed her, hot and hard. When she finally broke away, she was panting and had a huge smile on her face. "Yes, of course I love you. I told you that, last night. When you didn't respond, or bring it up today, I wasn't sure if you hadn't heard me, or just wasn't ready to say it back. I'm glad to hear you say it, now, but even if you weren't ready to say it, it wouldn't change the way I feel. I've loved you for awhile, now. I want to marry you and have a family with you and spend the rest of our lives together. I wouldn't even consider that possibility unless I was in love with you. Can we go home now? I find I want to continue this in a much more private setting."

Jumping up, Jane almost dragged Maura back to the car. "I love the way you think, almost as much as I love you."

They made it back to Maura's house in record time. Maura didn't even mention all the traffic laws Jane broke on the way there. They both just wanted to get home. Neither had been able to keep their eyes off the other, all night, and they were done waiting.

Jane pulled into the driveway, and hurried out and around the car to open Maura's door. She'd barely helped her out of the car, when she had her pressed against it. The kiss was hot and hungry and Maura moaned into Jane's mouth when she felt her hands slip down the back of her dress to cup her ass.

Jane pulled away sharply, gasping for breath. "You're not wearing anything under this? All night, you've been naked under this dress? You're killing me. Inside. Now. Before I take you against the car."

It took a moment for Maura to realize Jane had pulled away, and register what she was talking about. When she did, she smoothed her dress and hair, and started walking toward the front door. Looking back over her shoulder, she smirked, "This dress doesn't allow for under garments. The back is far too revealing to cover even the smallest panties. Are you coming, Jane?"

Groaning, Jane swallowed roughly and rushed to join Maura as she unlocked the door.

As soon as the door closed, she had Maura pressed against it. One hand went back to her ass, slipping back under the fabric. The other went for the slit in the side of the dress, grabbing the exposed thigh and pulling to wrap it around her. Maura moaned into Jane's neck, licking and nipping and kissing any skin she could reach. She gasped sharply, biting into Jane's shoulder, when the hand holding her thigh moved to brush against her center.

Jane moaned at the sudden pain as her head fell forward onto Maura's shoulder. "God, Maura, you're soaked. Have you been like this all night?"

Maura hummed in agreement, grinding against Jane's hand. "Yes. Since you showed up in that dress. Seeing you dressed like that, knowing it was for me. Wanted you all night. Wanted this."

Jane cut her off, kissing her deeply as she thrust two fingers inside her. She kissed her way across her jaw, to her ear. "If I'd known you were naked under this, we never would've made it out the door. You're lucky we're not still outside, against the car."

Maura moaned deeply, seeking more contact as Jane held her up against the door. Finally, her hands started roaming Jane's body, pulling her closer and touching anywhere she could reach. The feel of satin covering hard muscles and soft curves left her wanting more.

Before she could start looking for a way to feel skin, Jane slipped one strap off her shoulder, then the other. She stepped away, watching as the dress pooled at Maura's feet, leaving her naked and flushed against the door, wearing nothing but her heels.

A breath later, and Jane was back, pressed against her body. Maura's fingers groped for a zipper while Jane kissed down her neck to her chest. She gave up and buried both hands in Jane's hair when she felt a hot mouth envelope one nipple, licking and sucking gently. She felt a hand slip down between her legs to start rubbing her clit slowly as Jane's mouth moved to the other nipple. Her hips bucked as she cried out Jane's name and her knees almost gave out.

Jane kissed her way back up Maura's body, still gently rubbing her clit. She kissed her lips gently, waiting for Maura to open her eyes and look at her. When she did, she grinned, "You like this? Feel good? Tell me what you want, Babe, and I'll give it to you. Just tell me what you want."

Maura stared at her, blankly, until her mind cleared enough for her to understand what she'd just said. She moaned, her head falling back against the door, as her hands went back to their abandoned search for a zipper. "Off. Now."

Jane stepped back, grinning, and slowly raised the dress up and over her head, letting it fall to the floor. She stood there, letting Maura look. She was wearing a red lace demi bra that barely covered her nipples, matching boyshorts, sheer stockings held up with a matching garter belt, and red heels.

Maura pushed herself, unsteadily, off the door. "Bedroom. Now."

They stumbled they way through the house and down the hall. Jane's bra and their shoes left behind along the way.

When they made it into the bedroom, Maura dropped to her knees in front of Jane. She slipped the boyshorts down her legs, then gently unclipped and rolled stockings down and off. Finally, she reached up to remove the garter belt, before pushing Jane back onto the bed.

She kissed her way up Jane's body until she met her lips. Holding Jane's gaze, she reached down between them, holding them both open as she lowered her body onto Jane's. They both moaned as they felt their clits meet, grinding against each other. Her hips thrust a couple times, unconsciously, before she was able to get momentary control.

Jane opened her eyes, meeting Maura's darkened gaze. "Like this? This is what you want?"

Maura started grinding her hips again, her eyes closing in pleasure. "Yeah, like this. Want to feel you. Feels so good."

Jane moaned, reaching down to grab Maura's ass and pull her closer, grinding harder and faster. Their mouths kissed and licked and bit every inch of skin they could reach. Maura's hands tangled in Jane's long hair as they both panted for air, thrusting against each other.

Maura's body tensed, stilling, as she bit hard into Jane's shoulder to stifle her scream. A moment later, Jane dug her fingers into Maura's ass, holding her tight and grinding hard as her body arched and she cried out Maura's name.

They lay against each other, panting, until Maura started to giggle. Pulling away to look at her, Jane tried to figure out what was so funny. She finally gave up, and asked.

Maura took a couple deep breathes to calm her giggles before she could talk. "I don't think you're going to need a ring to tell people you're mine."

At Jane's confused look, she gestured to her shoulder, then laughed harder as Jane tried to contort herself to look. She finally got up, dragging Jane into the bathroom with her and pointing at the mirror.

Jane looked, and cracked up laughing. There were several, rapidly darkening, hickies on her shoulder and lower neck. The darkest clearly showed the imprint of Maura's teeth. Turning to Maura, she started laughing harder, gasping for air and gesturing at Maura's neck.

"You won't either. And I don't think you can hide that."

Turning to the mirror, Maura saw a rather large hicky, just below her ear. Several smaller ones ran down the length of her neck, to another large mark just above her breast. She ran her hand over the marks, smiling.

"I don't think I want to hide them. I like that you've claimed me. You might want to hide yours, however, if you don't want people asking questions."

Jane wrapped her arms around Maura, holding her from behind and watching her in the mirror. "I don't care if people ask questions. The sooner everyone figures out we're together, the sooner I can tell everyone you're mine. I think most of my work shirts will cover them, anyway. I'm not going to try to hide them, but I'm not going to show them off, either. If someone sees, then they see. I'm not ashamed to be claimed by you. Come on, let's go back to bed and 'claim' each other some more."

When they finally fell asleep, neither remembered the clothes left crumpled and strewn throughout the house.

The next morning Jane almost bounced into the squadroom, holding a tray of coffees for everyone. As she handed them out, Frost and Korsak looked at her funny. Frankie's grin turned into a smirk when he noticed a hicky peeking over the collar of her shirt.

Frost took the lid off his coffee, looking into the cup suspiciously. "You didn't do anything to this, did you? Why are you so chipper on a Saturday morning? And why are you bringing us coffee? You had a date last night, didn't you? That's why you left early."

Jane shooed Frankie out her chair, and sat down. "As a matter of a fact, I did. And it was great. Now, drink your coffee, before I change my mind. I didn't do anything to it. Just wanted to share my good mood. Now, any leads from last night?"

Frankie answered, grinning and rubbing the side of his neck while staring at Jane's, "I finished looking at the security tapes. Didn't see anything important. Nothing visible in the phone records, either. Nothing worth looking into from the phones, either."

Jane nodded slightly at Frankie before turning to Korsak. "What about you? Haven't said anything since I got in. Kitten videos got your tongue? Nothing to say about your coffee, my date, or the case?"

Korsak looked at her, closely, and shook his head. "Nope. Thanks for the coffee. Frankie covered everything from yesterday, and I know better than to try to ask you about a date. If you get another basket of chocolate, though, I'm calling dibs on the fudge clusters. Unless, you're saving all your fudge clusters for the Doc."

Jane glared, but couldn't hide her smile. "If I get a basket of chocolate, what makes you think you have the right to call dibs on anything? When YOU get a basket of chocolate, you can call dibs on whatever you want. Until then, stay away from my fudge clusters."

At that moment, Maura walked in. "Oh, you have fudge clusters? Would you be willing to share?"

Frost almost snorted the coffee he was drinking when he turned to face Maura. She hurried over and started to rub circles on his back as he coughed. "Are you alright, Barry? You really should be more careful when you drink. You know, it's possible to drown with as little as a teaspoon of liquid in your lungs. The coughing is a natural reaction as your lungs try to expel the unwanted liquid from your lungs. Just let it pass, and be more careful when you drink."

Frost coughed and sputtered as he looked back and forth between Maura and Jane. "Yeah. Sure. Thanks. Did you and… Nevermind. Doesn't matter. I'm ok, now. Thanks. Did you have a nice evening?"

Frankie turned away as he tried to keep from laughing. Jane met Maura's eyes, smirking. Korsak sat back, watching.

Maura smiled at Frost's question. "Yes, I had a very lovely evening. Thank you for asking. I hope yours went well, too."

Before he could answer, Korsak interrupted, "Hey, Frost, your turn to buy donuts. Gonna be a long day, and we need fuel, so you better get going. Don't forget the ones with sprinkles."

He turned to glare at Korsak. "I bought donuts a couple weeks ago. It's your turn, this week. If you don't wanna go, then send Frankie. New new guy, remember?"

Korsak rolled his eyes, "Stop being such a baby, and just go. Hurry back, I'm hungry."

Frost grumbled, but got up to leave. As soon as he was out of sight, Korsak rounded on Jane. "Ok, spill. When did you and the Doc decide to stop hiding this? Frankie, do not even think about taking another step. Don't think I didn't notice your look, earlier. Come on, we're partners, Jane. Partners share things. You could've at least told me you weren't going to pretend you and the Doc aren't together, anymore."

Jane sighed, reaching out to grab Maura's hand and pull her closer. "There was never any hiding. We WEREN'T together before. We are, now. Last night was our first date. That's why I had Frankie covering for me. And, before you ask, I didn't tell him, either. He guessed. Weren't not hiding this, but I wanted to see how long it would take everyone to notice the difference. Congratulations, Frankie beat you by several days, and he JUST passed his detective's exam. On the bright side, Frost and Ma still haven't figured it out, so you're still ahead. What tipped you off?"

Korsak chuckled, "Aside from the matching hickies? By the way, hope you weren't trying to hide those. If so, you failed, spectacularly. No, I've suspected all week. There's no way you'd change the way you dressed for anyone but Maura. When'd you start letting her buy your clothes, anyway? Kinda early in the relationship for that, don't you think?"

Maura grinned at her from where she sat on the edge of her desk, then turned to answer Korsak, "I haven't bought her any clothing. She won't let me, yet. I merely had the few outfits she had left at my house sent in for tailoring. When she noticed, and agreed that the new fit was far more flattering, she agreed to let me get all of her clothing tailored. I originally started sending the items I had access to before the change was made in our relationship. I was unsure if she would even notice the difference, but looked forward to seeing her in clothing that better flattered and showed her figure to the best advantage."

Groaning playfully, Korsak looked at Jane. "You guys are already an old married couple. When are you going to make an honest woman out of her?"

Maura answered before Jane got a chance to even open her mouth. "Vince, you know very well that I am ALWAYS honest. I don't see how you could think that marrying Jane would change that in any way. If you were referring to the colloquial saying, then it originally referred to women that became pregnant out of wedlock. Since Jane lacks the required anatomy to impregnate me, that saying is not accurate for our situation. However…"

At that point, Jane clamped her hand over Maura's mouth, giving her a look to let her know she needed to stop talking. "Korsak, until you see one of us wearing a ring, you can just shut up about us getting married. Got it? We're not talking about this with you."

When Korsak nodded, she turned to Frankie. "Can I talk to you for a sec? Away from prying ears?"

She turned back to Maura, "Sibling stuff. Don't worry about it. See you at lunch."

Once they were out of sight, and earshot, she turned to face Frankie. "I need your help finding a ring for Maura."

Chapter 8

Frankie started choking on air, almost dropping the coffee in his hand. "SERIOUSLY? You're serious? You guys must have the fastest relationship, ever. Together not even a week, gone on one date, and you're already proposing. Man, I know they say lesbians take a uhual on the second date, but I didn't think it came with a ring. All kidding aside, you know I'll help you. Just tell me when, and I'll be there."

Jane smacked him on the back, harder than was really needed, and grinned when he had to catch his balance. "Ok, first of all, we're not lesbians. We're just two women in love. I've never been attracted to a woman before, and Maura is bi. We should probably get used to being called lesbians, though.

"We haven't actually talked about moving in together, yet. When it happens, it's kinda obvious I'll be moving in with her. I think about half my clothes are already there, anyway. There really won't be much to move.

"Yes, I really do want to buy Maura a ring, so I can propose. We talked about it last night, and decided that whoever finds a ring first, gets to propose. She already started looking at work, yesterday. As much as I love her, I do kinda want to be the one to propose. Even if I didn't, I'd still need to find her a ring, just like she'll be finding me one if I propose. We want everyone to know we belong to each other."

Frankie leaned back against the wall. "Wow, that was some first date, Sis. I'm happy for you, though. So, when do you want to do this? I assume you want to keep Maura from knowing what you're doing, so probably either lunch breaks or right after work. Sound good, to you?"

Jane watched an officer down the hall to make sure he wasn't heading toward them. When he got on the elevator, she turned back to Frankie. "Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. I'm meeting her for lunch today, so maybe tomorrow. If nothing pops on the case, it'll be a pretty slow day. We should be able to get out for a couple hours, or so. We can figure it out from there. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, yet. Which is why I want you there for a second opinion."

He pushed off the wall, turning to go back to the squadroom. "No problem. I told you I'd help any way I could. Let's get back before someone comes looking for us."

The rest of the day was as quiet as it could be when there was an open case.

Maura mostly worked on staying caught up on paperwork while she waited on the results for a few lab tests. She didn't really expect anything useful to show up, but she was always thorough, and they had no other leads.

When she thought there was less of a chance of someone catching her, she browsed engagement rings online. By the end of the day, she was sure that the perfect ring just didn't exist. Instead, she started looking for a good jewelry designer in the area. If she couldn't find the perfect ring, she'd have to have it created.

Jane spent the day going back over witness statements, phone records, financials, alibis, and anything else she could think of. Hoping something would stick out. Staring at cramped lines of numbers and letters until she thought her eyes would cross.

Lunch was a welcome break. The tedium and stress of not having any leads was getting to both of them. Maura convinced Jane to eat in the café, pointing out that they weren't hiding their relationship from Angela, so Jane had no reason to avoid her. Jane finally gave in, even though she was still upset that her own mother thought she was lying.

Angela practically pounced on them as soon as they got through the door, making Jane roll her eyes and Maura smile. After they ordered and sat down, Angela joined them for her own lunch break.

"Girls, it's been forever. I swear, I haven't seen Jane in weeks, and she's been avoiding my calls. You'd think she'd be kinder to her poor mother. I just want to see her happy, and this is the thanks I get. Can't you get her to spend some time with me, or even call me?"

Jane rolled her eyes, again, as Angela rambled on to Maura. "Ma, I'm sitting right here. Don't you know it's rude to talk about someone right in front of them. I've been busy. You know we have an open case. And, I am happy. I don't need you trying to marry me off. Speaking of, what is the deal with trying to set me up on blind dates with every guy you meet when you've apparently thought I was with Maura for the last few months? How does that even make sense?"

Maura looked curious, too. They'd both been too preoccupied with their new relationship to really think about much else, outside of work.

Angela, at least, had the grace to look embarrassed. "I figured if you felt the need to hide it, then maybe it wasn't that serious. Or maybe you were just experimenting. If it wasn't serious, then I wanted you to be able to meet some nice, young men. If it was serious, then I figured you would eventually finally tell me you were in a relationship. Instead, you turn down every one of them, and keep hiding that you and Maura were together."

Maura finally spoke up, cutting Jane off before she could get too upset. "Angela, Jane had nothing to hide from you, since she and I were not a couple. She turned down the dates, I believe, mostly out of a dislike of others interfering in her romantic life. You must admit, that some of the men you presented as potential dates were not ideally matched. I can't see Jane enjoying the company of a banker or insurance salesman for an extended period of time."

Angela glared when Jane gave a very unladylike snort. "Really, I don't know how you expect to get married and have a family if you never go out and meet new people."

Rolling her eyes, Jane debated not answering. "Ma, I meet new people all the time. Most of them are murder suspects. Do you know how many bankers and insurance salesmen I've interviewed as potential suspects? It does not make me want to date one. I am perfectly capable of getting married and having a family without your help. Would it kill you to let me live my own life?"

Angela was too busy staring at Jane to notice the smile and wink Maura gave her daughter. "well, fine. I just want to see you happy and settled down with a family. Is it too much to ask that I have grandkids while I'm still young enough to play with them?"

Casting a quick glance at Maura, she answered, "There will be no talk of grandkids until I'm at least engaged. There will be no talk of you setting me up with strangers you meet. Now, I think it's about time Maura and I get back to work."

Maura was too busy thinking to protest when Jane led her out of the café. When they got to her office, she was still unusually quiet.

Jane shut the door behind them. "Babe, you're thinking awfully loudly, there. Anything you want to share?"

She gave an internal shake to clear her head, "Hmmm? What? Yes. Did you mean it? What you said about kids? I know we mentioned them, last night, but that was more in the abstract for an unnamed point in the future."

Jane pulled her into a hug. "Yes, I meant it. I want that, but I don't think it's something we should talk about, yet. We're already moving pretty fast. Not that it bothers me, or I want to slow down. I just think that adding talk of kids, already, would be too much. Let's leave it in the abstract and unnamed future, for now. Ok?"

She reached up and placed a gently kiss on Jane's lips. "Yes, that's perfectly fine. I just hadn't realized that children was a topic you might want to discuss so soon. You're right, that can wait. We have been moving rather quickly, and it's best to overwhelm ourselves. Right now, it feels natural. I don't want anything to change that."

Smiling, Jane kissed Maura again, before pulling away. "Ok, then. I should probably get back upstairs and stare myself cross-eyed some more. Love you."

She left before Maura could start to comment.

There were still no leads on Sunday, so Jane and Frankie were able to take a long lunch. Jane told Maura she had some errands to run, and wouldn't be able to eat with her. Maura, surprisingly, chose not to question it.

They grabbed some food to eat on the way to the first jewelry store.

The salewoman looked at them strangely when they walked in, probably noticing the guns they both wore. She watched them, curiously, until it became clear they were actually they to shop. Then, she approached with her biggest smile.

"How may I help you? Are you looking for anything in particular?"

Jane eyed her, seeing through the act, but answered anyway, "Yeah, I'm looking for an engagement ring. Something simple. Maybe set more into the band than raised?"

The salewoman grinned at Frankie, "Smart man. It's always a good idea to know that she'll like ring. Although, letting her pick it out does ruin the surprise. Most men have no idea what they're looking."

Jane cracked up laughing, leaning against the display case in front of her. Frankie sputtered and turned red, looking to Jane for help he wasn't going to get.

"No, it's not for me. I mean, it's not for her. She's my sister. I'm just here to help her find a ring for her girlfriend."

It was the saleswoman's turn to blush, looking back and forth between them, "Oh, I am SO sorry. I just assumed. I am sorry. Ok, you were saying something simple? Did you have a cut or setting in mind?"

They quickly got to talking about the various cuts, quality, and sizes or diamonds, along with the settings available. By the time they left, Jane's head was reeling, but she had a better idea of what she was looking for.

When they reached the next shop, Jane made sure to specify that she was looking for a ring for her girlfriend. Frankie mostly wandered around looking in the other cases.

When Jane went over to ask his opinion on a ring, something in the case caught her eye. She leaned over to take a closer look, and called the salesman over, pointing at a bracelet.

"What's that stone?"

He smiled and pulled the bracelet from the case, hoping to make an extra sale. "Emerald. A very lovely stone. It ranges in color from a light green, to darker, more vibrant shades. This bracelet would make a lovely wedding gift. There is a matching necklace and earrings, if you'd like to see them."

She waved off most of his explanation, "Could it be set into an engagement ring?"

Frankie looked closer at the bracelet, smiling when he realized where Jane was headed.

The salesman looked confused as he answered, "It could be, yes. Not very traditional, but emerald is said to be the stone of successful love."

Jane looked at Frankie, smiling and nodding before turning back to the case. "Would it be possible to look at some stones in that shade?" She pointed at a stone set near the middle.

He nodded, and had them wait while he went into the back room.

Frankie grinned at Jane. "Nothing about you guys is traditional, is it? I think it's perfect, though. And Maura will appreciate the meaning behind it. Hell, she probably already knows what all the stones mean."

The salesman came back with a tray of lose stones and set up at a nearby bench with a magnifier and light. Jane was quickly immersed in discussing the available stones and what setting would be perfect for each one.

When they got back to the station, Jane was smiling and had an extra bounce in her step.

Chapter 9

The following week was painfully slow. Jane was going crazy without any new leads or breaks in the case. Maura was at a loss how to help. Jane was on edge and snapping at everyone. She tried not to take it out on Maura, but it still happened, a few times. She felt horrible, and apologized, after each time, and Maura easily forgave her, understanding the stress she was under.

Late Thursday afternoon, they got a a call. There was a new witness. A businessman had been heading out of town when he noticed a car parked at the murder scene. He hadn't thought anything about it, until he heard about the murder when he got back into town. They had a description of the car, and were able to track down the owner.

On Friday, they confronted him as he left for work. When he ran, they made the arrest and found the switchblade that'd been used in the murder in his pocket.

After nearly two weeks, they were finally able to close their case. Jane spent the rest of the day working on paperwork, before heading down to the morgue a little before five.

She collapsed onto the couch in Maura's office, huffing out a tired sigh. "Babe, are you done? I just want to go home and relax. This case sucked, and I want to forget all about it. I know I've been a bitch this week, and I want to make it up to you. We can grab some take out and veg out with a couple movies, then relax in warm bath before bed. Sound like a plan?"

Maura put away the file she was looking at and shut down her computer, before walking over to sit on Jane's lap, wrapping her arms around her neck. "That sounds almost perfect. I'll agree, if you agree to let me give you a massage after the bath. You've been tense, and I know it's causing neck and back pain."

Jane hummed happily, pulling Maura closer to nuzzle her neck. "Do you honestly think I would turn down a massage? You have magic fingers, no matter you use them for. Just don't be upset if your massage puts me to sleep."

They heard footsteps heading toward the office. Jane refused to let go when Maura tried to get up. Frost walked in to find Maura in Jane's lap with one of Jane's hands under the back of her shirt, and her face buried in Maura's hair.

He started to sputter and find somewhere else to look. "Um, sorry. I didn't mean. I didn't know. I mean, I came to see if Jane was here. I didn't expect to see. I'm just gonna go."

Maura's voice stopped him before he could leave the office. "Barry, it's ok. Did you need Jane for something?"

He turned, relieved to see that Maura had slipped off Jane's lap to sit beside her. "I just wanted to see if she wanted to go to the Robber to celebrate. It's no big deal, with you guys are busy. I didn't mean to walk in on anything.

Jane chuckled, squeezing Maura's knee, "Babe, I think you can buy him those tickets, now."

Maura sat up straighter, turning to Frost with an excited look, "Oh, that's right. Barry, would you prefer the theater, or a sporting event? There are several shows coming up that I think you might enjoy, but Jane said you would probably prefer a sporting event."

Frost just looked confused. "Tickets? What are you talking about? Why are you getting me tickets?"

Jane smiled, watching the excitement on Maura's face as she explained. "Well, you were instrumental in us starting our romantic relationship. Jane offered to kiss you, although I think she was joking. I felt that tickets to a social event would be a much better thank you gift."

Jane and Frost shared a slightly horrified look, and she raised both hands. "Don't look at me like that. I did NOT offer to kiss you. I said I could ALMOST kiss you for helping us get together. It was a joke. It's not my fault Maura's joke-detector is broken."

They both ignored the look Maura shot Jane.

Frost finally came all the way into the office, sitting in a chair to face the couple. "What do you mean I helped you guys get together? I don't remember doing anything."

The girls shared a look, and Maura nodded to give Jane permission to tell the story. "You remember that song you mentioned a few weeks ago? Well, I mentioned it to Maura, then forgot about it. A week later, she shows up at my place saying we should follow its advice. I had no idea what she was talking about, so she had to explain it to me. Long story short, we talked and came to the conclusion that there was no reason we WEREN'T together. We've been together since then. We decided not to hide it, but I wanted to see how long it would take people to notice. Frankie and Korsak beat you. Frankie figured it out after just a few days. Korsak's known for more than a week. I don't think Ma's noticed anything, yet."

He looked back and forth between them, "You mean you WEREN'T a couple? Are you sure?"

Maura settled into Jane's side before answering, "Yes, we're sure. I do believe that we would have noticed had our relationship had a sexual component at that point in time. We have been a romantic for almost two weeks, now. You really did play an instrumental part in us realizing our romantic feelings were shared. If you'd like, I can send you a list of events I think you might enjoy, for you to pick from. Or, if you already have one you would like to attend, you can let me know and I'll do my best to get you good tickets. We really do want to thank you, even if the assistance was unintentional."

Frost got up to hug them both, somewhat awkwardly, "Congratulations. I'm glad you guys finally realized what the rest of us have always known. You guys are perfect together. So, are you coming to the Robber? It looks like we have another thing to celebrate. First round's on me."

Jane stood up, pulling Maura up with her. "Well, Babe, looks like take out and movies will have to wait. I'm not turning down free beer with friends. We can still do the rest when we get home. That ok with you?"

Maura leaned up to kiss her, smiling, "Yes, that's ok with me. I think I'll enjoy spending time with our friends, with all of them knowing our new status. We haven't gone out for drinks in awhile."

Frost followed them out of the office, smiling when he saw Jane reach out to hold Maura's hand.

Frankie and Korsak laughed and couldn't resist rubbing it in when they found out that Frost had finally realized the girls were together. They picked on him even more when Jane told them the only reason he figured it out was because he walked in on them cuddling. He took it all good-naturedly, and then informed him that they were together because of something HE said.

The next few hours were spent laughing and talking. Jane and Maura enjoyed being able to be more open around the guys. While they weren't hiding their relationship, they both knew they were unconsciously reining in their words and actions to keep from making it too obvious.

A little after nine, Jane decided they'd stayed long enough. She was ready to enjoy a bath with Maura followed by her promised massage.

"Are you ready to go, Maura? I want to stop by my place on the way home to grab a couple things."

The guys exchanged looks, silently nominating Korsak to speak up.

"Jane, when did you start calling Maura's house, home?"

She thought about for a moment, "You know what? I really don't know. When DID that happen?"

Maura cocked her head to the side, and finally giving a little nod, "I think it started the morning after the first night we spent together at my place. I don't think I've heard you call your apartment home, since then. In fact, you haven't spent more than a few minutes at a time there, since then. Usually, we just stop there long enough for you grab whatever you needed."

Jane went over the past couple weeks in her head. "Huh. You're right. I hadn't even noticed. I feel like that should bother me, or at least surprise me, but it's doesn't. It just feels right for my home to be wherever you are. You're place is bigger, and nicer, so it only makes sense for us to be there."

They both blushed when cheering from across the bar reminded them they were still in public, with three very interested detectives sitting at the table with them.

Jane stood up, helping Maura with her jacket. "Ok, let's continue this conversation at home, alone. Guys, it was fun. Thanks for the beer. See you on Monday."

They were relaxing in the bathtub when Maura brought the subject up, again.

"You know, it really doesn't make sense for you to pay for an apartment that you never spend any time in. I don't want to move too quickly, but I really would love it if you made this your home, officially."

Jane leaned forward enough to see Maura's face. "Is that your way of asking me to move in with you, Dr. Isles?"

She turned to be able to see Jane more fully. "Yes, it is. I apologize if it's moving too quickly, but it just feels natural. I love having you here with me. I love knowing you consider this home. Most of your clothing and the things you use on a regular basis are already here. I can understand if you want to keep your apartment in the event you need space by yourself, but I really would like it if you lived with me. We can convert the guest room into a space where you can be alone."

Jane stopped her with a kiss. "I would love to live with you. There's no need to convert the guest room into anything, unless you want to. I've felt at home here since you bought the place. There really isn't much left at my place to move. If we donate the furniture and other stuff I won't need, the rest will probably fit in my car. Your furniture is better than mine, anyway. We can probably have everything boxed and ready for Goodwill to pick up in just a few hours. We'll just have to find a time where we aren't working. I want to just relax, this weekend."

Maura settled back against Jane's front, pulling her arms around to rest on her stomach. "You're free over the weekend, in a couple weeks. As long as you don't have an active case, we can take care of everything, then. We could ask the guys to help move the heavier items for donation, and have them back here for a house warming dinner. You do realize that you'll have to ask Angela for her key, right? That means explaining why you're moving in with me."

She felt Jane pull her closer as she kissed the side of her head. "Yeah, I know. I really don't want to hide this, anyway. I think it'll take something huge for her to notice a difference. Maybe she'll finally get it when I tell her we're moving in together. She'll probably never believe that we haven't been hiding our relationship for months. All that matters, is that I'm with you. I can ignore that she'll be telling everyone the wrong story of how we ended up together. Ready to get out? My fingers are starting to prune, and I'm looking forward to that massage."

Chapter 10

Over the next several days, Jane was able to ask each of the guys with they were willing to help. After some ribbing and knowing looks, they agreed. She suspected it had as much, if not more, to do with the free beer and food than helping out friends.

When they caught another case, it looked like moving day would have to be postponed. They had no witnesses. The body was found in a trash-filled ally, which made it almost impossible to tell what was real evidence. To top it off, the victim was a lawyer that had cheated on both of his ex-wives, and had an entire filing cabinet in his office filled with hate mail and death threats. For once, their problem was too much evidence and too many suspects.

Jane and the guys spent time in the morgue helping sort through all the trash from the ally. When they weren't doing that, they were reading through boxes of letters from people who had reason to want their victim dead. Most of them were unsigned, and either had no return address or were hand-delivered to his office and had no postage of any kind.

By the end of the third day, Maura had started just bringing lunch up to the squad room for everyone, and had stopped asking Jane is she was ready to go home for the night. The trash had all been processed, very little actually looking like evidence, but there were still several boxes of mail to read through. Maura couldn't spend too much time away from the morgue, and the mail needed to be gone through together, in case someone noticed similarities. It left Maura with little to do, and Jane frustrated and overwhelmed.

Maura went home, after Jane insisted that at least one of them get a decent night's sleep, while Jane stayed to help go through more mail.

She was curled up with a glass of wine, trying to decide if it was worth it to call Jane in a couple hours and ask her to come home, when Tommy knocked on the backdoor. She let him in, grateful for the distraction. When the silence became too awkward, she offered a game of chess.

They talked and got to know each other a little better, and traded stories about Jane. Halfway through the second game, Tommy grew quiet and Maura went back to Jane still at the station.

A few minutes later, Jane let herself in, kicking off her shoes and collapsing onto the couch.

Tommy stared at her, looking confused and a little annoyed. "Hey, Janie, don't you have your own place? And when did you get a key?"

She tilted her head back over the arm of the couch, seeing him for the first time. "Shut up, Tommy, and don't call me 'Janie.' Maura gave it to me when she moved in. You just haven't seen me use it. What are you doing here?"

Maura got up to straighten up the minor mess Jane left behind, and to get her a some food. She listened as she worked, choosing not to get between the siblings.

Tommy was too busy glaring at Jane to notice the ease Maura took care of Jane, ease that could only come from long habit.

"I was just playing chess with Maura. I happen to enjoy her company. In fact, I was just getting ready to ask her if she'd be willing to go to dinner with me, this weekend."

Maura looked up, sharply, from where she was handing Jane a beer and setting a plate of food on the coffee table. She looked at Jane, who just leaned back with a grin.

With a sigh, she sat back down in her previous seat. "As flattered as I am, it just wouldn't be appropriate. I am already in a relationship."

Looking embarrassed, Tommy started to fidget in his seat. "I'm sorry. I didn't know. It's just that, I haven't see you with anyone but Jane in awhile."

Jane chuckled, tipping her beer to point at him, "Got it in one, little brother."

He looked back and forth between them, "Wait. Really? Wow, I did not see that, at all. I didn't know you were gay. I mean, Jane, yeah, but not you."

Jane put her beer down, loudly, and stood up, "Hey, what do you mean you you knew I was gay. I. Am. Not. Gay. We're not lesbians."

Now, he just looked confused. "But, you said you're together. If you're dating, then you're obviously gay. That's how it works."

Maura jumped in, to prevent a very tired Jane from fighting with her brother, "Actually, human sexuality is not that black and white, especially for women. A woman's sexual orientation can change several times throughout her lifetime, while a man's is usually more static. In the 40's and 50's Kinsey did research that showed that very few people are exclusively hetero or homosexual. Almost all fall somewhere between. I won't bother explaining his scale, since it's not entirely relevant here. What is relevant, is that human sexual attraction is not binary. The only options are not 'gay or straight.' I, myself, have identified as bisexual since I was a teenager, although pansexual is probably a more accurate term since gender plays no part in my choice of dating partners. Jane, on the other hand, was never sexually attracted to a woman before me, and still identifies as straight. Therefore, neither of us can be truly considered lesbians. I do, however, understand that it is the most obvious, and least confusing, description of our relationship. Still, neither of us identifies as lesbian, we are merely women who happen to be in love with another woman."

Jane smiled at her fondly, while Tommy looked a little overwhelmed.

After a few seconds, he seemed to finally process everything Maura said. "Ok, sorry. So, you guys really are a couple? Is this something you want kept a secret, or are you ok with people knowing? You do know, that with Ma living in your guesthouse, she'll find out eventually, right? Once Ma knows, the entire world will know."

Jane sat back down, shoveling a couple bites of food into her mouth before answering, "We're not hiding this. We're just letting people figure it out on their own, for the most part. Ma's about the only one who HASN'T figured it out. Actually, since you now know, you get to help me move. Next weekend, as long I'm not busy at work. I'm donating my furniture and anything else I don't need, so it's mostly just boxing stuff up and putting it in the donation truck."

That caught his attention, making him sit up straighter, "You're moving in together, and donating all your stuff? Does that include dishes and everything? If you're donating it anyway, can I have it? I've been looking for a place, and wondering how I was going to afford that and furniture. I'll rent a storage unit until I get a place."

Jane waved her fork dismissively, "Yeah, that's fine. It's all yours. I just wanted it to go to someone who needed it. You can just donate anything you don't want."

Maura pointed something out neither had thought of, "Actually, Jane, do you think the building manager would be willing to let you either sublet your apartment or sign over the lease? Tommy needs a place, and you're already moving here. You would just need to pack what you want to keep, and Tommy could move right in. I'm sure having two detectives and a medical examiner as references would relieve any worries associated with Tommy's criminal history. It's in a good location to access public transportation, or even walk to a job."

Jane smiled and got up to give Maura a kiss. "Babe, you are a genius. I know you already knew that, but I felt the need to point it out." She turned to Tommy, still smiling, "So, how does that sound to you? Furniture, dishes, AND an apartment. Not bad. I can talk to the manager sometime this week, and we can still do the moving next weekend. And, it'll save us a lot of heavy lifting."

Tommy got up to give them both big hugs. "Really? That's amazing. Thanks, Sis. Maura, thank you. You guys are the best. Maura, welcome to the family. I hope you know what you've gotten yourself into. Ma's gonna flip when she figures this out."

They spent the next hour or so working out details and just talking. When they finally noticed the time, Tommy left and the girls went to bed.

Jane snuggled into Maura, half asleep. "Tommy's right, you're a Rizzoli, now. We're all nuts, and you haven't even met most of my family, yet. There's lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, and they're all just as crazy as Ma. I'd tell you to run while you still can, but I'm not letting you go anywhere. You're stuck with me, so you're stuck with them."

Maura pulled Jane's hand up, placing a kiss in the palm. "I'm honored to be a part of your family. I always wanted a big, loud family. I love you, either way, but I'm glad you have a 'crazy' family. Our children will never have to doubt if they're loved."

Jane fell asleep smiling into Maura's hair.

Chapter 11

After almost a week of reading hate mail, they finally found something. Several of the letters Korsak was reading held threats that looked a lot like elements of the murder. The letters didn't have any postage, but they managed to find a fingerprint on the inside of the envelope flap. Their suspect had moved out of town, so they had the local PD pick him up.

Jane shoved her pile of letters away, and sat back with a sigh. "How does one guy have so many enemies? I mean, I know no one likes lawyers, but EVERYONE hated this guy. He cheated on his wives, his clients either ended up losing a lot of money or paying him way more than they expected to. Other lawyers hated him. Judges hated him. Hell, even the waitress we talked to hated him. And enough people hated him so much that he had an entire filing cabinet devoted to their hate mail. Wasn't this guy EVER nice, to anyone? Even just once?"

Frost chuckled, "Jane, he specialized in injuries. He was an ambulance chaser. He had a police scanner so he could show up at every car accident, assault, or slip and fall. Most of his clients just wanted to get money out of someone else, and he promised them he could do it. It didn't matter if they had a case, or not, he convinced people that they could win, just so they'd hire him. Then, he tacked on charges for anything he could think of. Some of these people, even after they won, still had to pay him for his 'services' out of pocket, because the court settlement didn't cover it. This guy, is the reason lawyers get a bad name."

Jane still looked less than convinced. "Still, I don't get it. He was a miserable human being. I'm surprised he didn't end up murdered sooner. I just don't understand what would make someone so…nasty…that we didn't speak to a single person who had anything good to say about him. People are probably only going to show up at his funeral to make sure he's actually dead. If there even is a funeral. Parents dead. No siblings. No kids. No girlfriend. His ex-wives hate him. Do we even have anyone to release the body to?"

Korsak rolled back over to his desk to look through a file. "Looks like his closest family is a second cousin that lives in Florida. When he was notified, he said they'd never even met. I guess he gets whatever money and possessions our gave left behind, but I doubt he's going to want to have a funeral. If he wasn't a murder victim, and already autopsied, I'd suggest he donate the body. Don't know what'll happen, now."

Jane leaned back in her chair, "I just don't get how someone could have NO ONE that cared about them. No friends. No family. Nothing. This guy really was alone. Makes me glad to have my family, even if they do drive me insane."

Frankie slapped her on the back, "Don't worry, Sis, I'll claim your body if you kick it. Just leave a warning note or something so I don't end up finding your toys and porn."

Her phone interrupted any response she was going to make, "Rizzoli. Yeah. It's ready? Really? I can be there in a bit. Ok, thanks. Bye."

She stood up, grabbing her gun and badge, "You're off the hook, for now. I gotta go do something."

Frankie watched her, "Was that what I think it was?"

She grinned, "Yep. It was. Be back, soon."

Frost and Korsak watched her leave, confused, before rounding on Frankie. He held his hands up, backing away until he could reach the door. "Sorry, guys, but I am more afraid of what what Jane will do to me if I tell, than I am of the both of you. Besides, I'm sure you'll know soon."

Korsak and Frost looked at each, turned toward their desks, then turned to bolt after Frankie as he ran out the door.

Jane walked into the jewelry store, feeling unexpectedly nervous, and approached the counter. "I'm here to pick up an engagement ring. Rizzoli."

The salesman smiled, "I remember you. The emerald ring for your girlfriend. Just wait right here and I'll go get it. I think You'll be very pleased with the finished product."

Jane stood there, fidgeting and repeatedly wiping her sweaty hands on her pant legs. She'd just started pacing when he came back.

He led her over to the bench they'd used at her last visit, and turned on the lamp. "I think you'll really like the way the gold brings out the color in the stone. Your girlfriend is very lucky. It's a beautiful ring, and you put a lot of thought into it."

Jane took the ring box, pulling the ring out to get a closer look, a huge smile spreading across her face. "It's perfect. Thank you so much. I can't wait to see her wearing it. Thank you. Really. I couldn't have even imagined this on my own."

They settled a few details, signed paperwork, and Jane paid. She couldn't stop smiling when she left the shop, even if she'd wanted to.

Their suspect was brought in, along with a pair of bloody shoes and a hammer the local PD thought might be the murder weapon. His car was being towed in, later.

He lawyered up almost immediately, but they still had enough to arrest him.

Maura didn't expect DNA tests on the shoes, hammer, and car trunk to be back until the following day, so they called it a day.

When they got home, Jane shooed Maura off to take a relaxing bath, telling her to come out until called. After a bit of arguing, she finally agreed, knowing Jane had something planned.

As soon as Jane was sure she was settled in the bathroom, she hurried to change, before working on getting everything else ready.

About an hour and a half later, Jane knocked on the bedroom door. Maura opened it wearing a simple green sheath dress that fell just past her knees. She smiled when she saw Jane wearing one of the nicer suits she'd convinced her to buy for special occasions.

Jane held out her arm for Maura, and led her through the house to the table. There were candles spread across the tables and counters, and soft piano music playing. The table was set for two with a single purple rose in center.

She gaped, taking everything in. "When did you have time to cook?"

Jane grinned as she held out Maura's chair. "I didn't. I ordered it. I didn't think you would mind."

Maura smiled, and leaned up for a kiss. "I don't mind at all. It's beautiful."

They ate quietly, mostly just enjoying each others company in the romantic setting. After dessert, Jane cleared away the dishes before leading Maura to the couch.

Sitting Maura down, she dropped gracefully to one knee, "Now, I know this isn't really a surprise, but I still wanted to do it right. You deserve to be courted, so I'm doing my best to try. Maura Isles, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Would you do me the honor of being my wife?"

Maura smiled as Jane pulled out the ring box, kissing her before she opened it. "Yes, of course I will. You already knew that, though"

Jane pulled her into another kiss, smiling so hard it was barely even a kiss. "Aren't you going to open it?"

She looked down, and slowly pulled the top open, gasping. "Oh, Jane, it's beautiful. Emerald, right? I love it. Would you like to put it on my finger?"

Jane slipped the ring on Maura's hand, staring at it and running a thumb over her knuckles. "I was looking at diamonds, then saw a stone that reminded me almost exactly of your eyes. The salesman helped me find this stone, and pick a setting. I fell in love with your eyes when we met. They're just gorgeous. I'm glad you like it, even if it's not a diamond. I know it's not very traditional."

Maura looked down at the ring. An oval cut bright green emerald was set sideways into a yellow gold band. On either side of the emerald was a small diamond. When she looked closer, there was a feint brown vein running through the center of the stone.

She looked up to meet Jane's eyes, her own shining. "I love it. It really is beautiful. I never thought. I just. I don't know what I expected, but this is so much better. And you put so much thought into it. Thank you. I can even wear it under my gloves, so I never have to take it off."

Jane dropped a gentle kiss to Maura's ring finger. "I know. Did you know emerald is the stone of successful love? I didn't, until the salesman told me that. It just made it even more perfect."

Maura smiled. "I actually didn't know that. Did you know that emeralds were used for engagement rings long before diamonds became popular? So, it's actually more traditional than a diamond ring would be."

Jane looked surprised, then grinned, "Really? Wow, I don't think the salesman even knew that. Go me."

Maura laughed, smacking her lightly on the arm, before leaning down for a deeper kiss. Finally, she pulled back just enough to talk, "I think we should celebrate out engagement, don't you?"

Making it to the bedroom took longer than expected. Blowing out the candles was interrupted several times by kisses and touching. By the time they did make it there, they were both impatient, and most of their clothing had been left behind.

Maura pushed Jane back onto the bed. "I want to try something new, tonight."

Jane sat up, eyes shining, "You mean, it came? We just ordered it the other day."

Crawling on top of her, Maura kissed and licked her way up Jane's neck. "Yeah, it showed up yesterday. Do you want to go first, or can I?"

Jane tilted her head to expose more of her neck, moaning, "I want you to use it, first."

Maura kissed her again, before getting up and opening the drawer that Jane knew held her toys. When she came back, she was carrying a purple dildo shaped almost like an L. She put it on the bed next to Jane, and went back to kissing her.

She kissed and nipped her way down Jane's neck to her chest, sucking a hard nipple through her bra. As she kissed across to the other side, she slipped her hand underneath to unfasten her bra. Jane gasped when she felt Maura lightly bite her newly exposed nipple.

Jane's hands tangled in Maura's hair was she held her to her chest. Her body arched, seeking more contact, as she moaned at the feeling. She whimpered a little at the loss when Maura moved away from her breasts, but it quickly turned into a gasp when she felt a mouth mouth kissing it's way down her body.

When she reached Jane's panties, Maura placed a light kiss directly over her clit, before moving down one leg. She kissed and licked down to her ankle, stopping to tickle the back of her knee. Then, she worked her way back up the other leg. Jane was whimpering and moaning when Maura finally reached her panties again, and groaned when she ignored them completely and continued the rest of the way up her body.

Jane grasped at any inch of skin she could find, pulling Maura closer and kissing her deeply. Fingers clumsy with passion and desperation finally managed to undo Maura's bra, pulling it off and tossing it aside. One hand started kneading a breast, pinching and rolling the nipple lightly. The other slid down to slip down the back of Maura's panties, pulling her pelvis close and grinding them together.

Her voice was almost a growl when she spoke directly into Maura's ear, "Stop. Teasing. Me. I want to make love to my fiancee."

Maura leaned back to look at her, before crashing their lips together. Her hand slipped down Jane's panties, moaning at the wetness she found there. She slid Jane's panties off, followed by her own.

Grinding her pelvis against Jane's, she whispered in her ear, "I want you to put it in me."

Jane reached over to grab the previously ignored toy as Maura sat back on her knees. She held it in one hand, as she ran the other through Maura's folds, grinning when she found her more than wet enough. The shorter, more bulbous end of the toy slipped easily inside, making Maura gasp and moan as her eyes slipped shut. Kissing her deeply, Jane then leaned back on her elbows to look at the vision before her.

Maura's hair was mussed and tangled. Her lips were red and swollen, and her eyes dark and heavy lidded. A flushed chest was topped by hard, pink nipples. Below her the flat planes of her stomach, a purple dildo emerged from smooth, wet folds.

Lying back, Jane smiled. "You're beautiful. I love you. I almost can't believe you agreed to marry me."

Maura leaned down, molding her body into Jane's, "I love you, too. I can't wait to be your wife, and for you to be mine. Are you ready?"

At Jane's nod, Maura reached down to guide the end of the dildo between her folds, sliding slowing inside her. They both gasped when their clits ground together once the dildo was fully seated.

Jane lie there, just feeling, "God, this is even better than I expected it to be."

Maura just hummed in agreement, before slowly start to rock in and out. Her eyes fluttered shut as she sped up slightly.

Jane held onto Maura's hips, pulling her into her as she met each thrust. "That's feels good for you, huh Babe? I think you might even be enjoying this more than I am."

She forced her eyes open, meeting Jane's dark gaze. "It's rubbing right. Against. My g-spot. Every time. Feels so good."

Her eyes slid shut, again, when Jane pulled her hips even harder on the next thrust.

"Maura, Babe, I want you to open your eyes. I want to see your beautiful eyes when you scream my name. Can you do that for me?"

"Yes. Almost there."

She thrust for a couple more minutes, feeling the toy rubbing against her g-spot and Jane's clit grinding against hers on each thrust. Finally, she forced her eyes open, and screamed, "ANGELA!"

Jane's eyes flew wide, and it took her a moment to realize Maura wasn't looking at her. She followed her gaze, just to find her mother standing in the open doorway staring at them.

"Shit! Ma! What are you doing there? Go way!"

She groped for anything to cover them with, but they were lying on top of the blankets and she couldn't get a good grip. When she looked up again, Angela was gone.

Maura collapsed onto her chest. "Well, I don't think you have to worry about telling her. That was…mortifying. I guess we should get dressed and go talk to her."

Jane groaned, slamming her head into the pillow repeatedly, "Do we have to? God, what was she even doing here? It's late. Can't we just hide in here and hope she goes away? Or maybe just die of embarrassment? What a way to kill the mood. Ok, let's get dressed, before she decides to come back in here."

A few minutes later they were dressed and sitting in the living room with Angela. Neither had stopped blushing, or had been able to gather the courage to speak, let alone meet her eye.

Angela finally broke the silence, "So, are you still going to claim you aren't in a relationship?"

Jane looked up sharply, "That's what you decide to talk about? You walk in on us having sex, and you want to know if we're together? What were you even doing in here this late? And what were you doing standing in the doorway of our bedroom?"

Jane and Maura were too upset and embarrassed to notice the slip, but Angela caught it. "'OUR bedroom?' When did Maura's bedroom become yours, too?"

Looking slightly sheepish, Jane glanced at Maura before responding, "It's been 'our' bedroom for almost four weeks now. Now, are you going to explain what you're doing here, and why you were standing in the doorway?"

Looking slightly smug, Angela sat up straighter. "I came over to ask Maura if I could borrow her mixer. Mine broke and I wanted to make the sauce for Sunday dinner, early. I heard noises, and decided to investigate."

Jane shot up, starting to pace until Maura pulled her back down beside her. "Really? You heard noises. From Maura's BEDROOM? And decided to investigate? What did you think you'd find, in the middle of the night, in someone else's bedroom?"

Maura rubbed a calming hand on her knee, speaking quietly, "Jane, it's actually not that late. It's not even eleven, yet."

Jane turned to look at her, before checking the clock on the wall. "Really? How is it not later? I swear it was later."

Suddenly, Angela let out a strangled squeal, "Oh my God! Is that what I think it is? Janie, you didn't. Oh my God, you did. I can't believe it. And you didn't even tell me. How could you not tell me? When did this happen? You have to tell me all about it."

By the end, she was standing and Jane had managed to fend off a couple of the swats meant for her shoulder. They looked at her, completely confused, until Angela grabbed Maura's left hand, yanking it closer for a better look.

Maura smiled happily, while Jane tried to decide if she should still be mad, or if sharing the news was more important. The pure happiness and love in Maura's eyes made the decision for her. She pulled Maura's hand free from Angela's, just to hold it and run her thumb over the ring.

She smiled lovingly at Maura, then smiled happily at Angela. "Ma, we haven't had the chance to tell anyone, yet. I just asked her, tonight. You actually interrupted us celebrating. And, before you say anything, we didn't TELL anyone we were together. We weren't hiding it, but we wanted to see how long it would take people to figure it out. Well, we told Tommy, but that was because he tried asking Maura out."

Angela looked upset, and more than a little mad. "You lied to me. You looked me in the eye and you lied to me. I can't believe you lied to your own mother. What kind of daughter does that? If you weren't hiding anything, then why would you lie to me?"

Maura's hand on her arm kept Jane from responding. Instead, Maura spoke up, "Angela, I assure you, neither of us have lied to you. Unless I'm mistaken, the subject has only come up once since we've become a couple. The only thing Jane said on the subject during that conversation was that she was able to find her own romantic partners and that she was happy. She never said she wasn't in a relationship, and you never asked."

Jane leaned into Maura's side, watching Angela's face as she came to a conclusion. "I'll forgive you for lying to me, since I was the first to know that you're engaged. I'll be helping plan the wedding, though. And we WILL discuss when I can start expecting grandchildren."

When Maura went to argue, Jane just shook her head, telling her it wasn't worth it.

Angela suddenly stood, pulling Maura into a hug. "Welcome to the family, Maura. I'm happy to have you as my daughter."

When the hug ended, they both had tears in their eyes.

Angela went to leave, when Jane stopped her. "You're forgetting the mixer."

She stood there, confused. "Mixer? Why would I need the mixer when I have my own?"

Jane jumped in the air, pointing at her. "I KNEW it. You lied. You didn't want to make sauce at eleven at night. What were you really doing in here?"

Angela looked embarrassed for a moment, before straightening her posture with an indignant look on her face. "I could hear you guys in the guesthouse. I figured if I actually caught you in the act, you'd have to stop lying to me. I didn't expect to walk in on…THAT! I thought you'd at least be under the covers. Are you aware there's a bra hanging from your doorknob?"

Jane turned a dark red, and Maura giggled. "Ma, just get out. And no more 'investigating.' From now on, if you hear any noises from this house, you call me. If I don't answer, then don't call back. I can't believe you walked in on us on purpose. It's high school, all over again."

Angela finally left, looking smug.

They were back in bed, to sleep, when Maura suddenly bolted up and out of bed. Jane watched her, curious, as she dug to the back a drawer.

Maura came back, sitting on the edge of the bed. "I was going to give this to you later, but I want you to have it now."

Jane sat up, taking the ring box Maura held out. "How long have you had this? This is a ring, right? I thought you said whoever found a ring, first, would propose."

Smiling sweetly, Maura answered, "It was finished about a week ago. I thought about proposing, but I knew how important it was to you. I was going to wait, and give it to you later, so you could remember this night as the night you proposed. I figured, after Angela interrupted, that it was safe to assume that giving you my ring would be the least of the things that could possibly intrude on that memory. Is that ok?"

Jane pulled her into a kiss, grinning like an idiot. "I love you. You're amazing. You waited just so I could ask you. Did you want to ask me? You still can."

Maura shook her head. "No, I don't need to ask you. Having you wear my ring is enough, for me. All that really matters, is that we're engaged."

Eyes softening, Jane opened the ring box. Wiping away tears, she took the ring out and held it and her left hand out. Maura took the ring and gently slid it onto her finger.

"So, you like it? It's simple, but I know you wouldn't want anything too fancy."

Jane just nodded, unable to speak past the lump in her throat. She stared down at the ring resting on her finger. It was a simple square cut diamond inset in yellow gold. The stone was set at an angle, making the square look more like a diamond.

When she felt she could speak again, Jane pulled Maura into a loving kiss. "I love it. It's perfect. Just perfect. I'm glad you gave it to me, tonight. You didn't have to wait, even if Ma hadn't walked in on us. There's no way this could make the memory of proposing anything but even more special. I love you."

Suddenly, Jane started chuckling, "God, I can't wait to see the look on the guys' faces. Frankie already knows, but Frost and Korsak have no clue. God, I gotta warn Frankie before he talks to Ma."

She went in search of her cellphone, finally finding it on the end table next to the couch. She typed out a quick text, "Do NOT tell Ma you helped me go ring shopping. Explain later."

The response came as she was climbing back in bed. "Don't worry, after that saleswoman, I had no desire to ever mention it again. Talk in the morning."

Jane curled up against Maura, hearing, "You know, you get to help me keep your mother from 'helping' too much with the wedding plans."

Chapter 12

Jane and Maura walked into the squad room carrying coffee and pastries for everyone, the next morning. Jane handed out the coffees while Maura set out the boxes of donuts and bagels.

Korsak had one donut in one hand, while he took a bite from another one before speaking, "So, Janie, what's the occasion this time? Last time you brought coffee, you had a date with the Doc the night before. This time, you brought donuts, too, so it must be bigger. Did you propose, or something?"

He almost choked when Jane smiled, and actually blushed. Frankie pounded him on the back, laughing. "So, do I get to see what the ring ended up looking like? And are you going to explain what happened that you had to warn me away from Ma?"

Maura grinned, leaning into Jane's side. "I assume you mean the ring she gave me, since you went with her to pick it out. Thank you, by the way. I know she needed someone there with her, and I'm glad you were willing to help her. It's beautiful, and I love it."

She held out her left hand, letting the guys see the emerald shining on her finger.

Frankie pulled Maura into a hug. "Welcome to the family, Maura. I always wanted a sister." He winked at Jane when she stuck her tongue out at him.

Frost hugged Maura, then went to shake Jane's hand, but she pulled him into a hug. "Man, I can't believe you guys really were not a couple before. At least you're making up for lost time. I'm happy for you. Congratulations."

Korsak was still standing off to the side, slightly stunned that his teasing had been right. "You really proposed last night? Aren't you afraid you're moving kinda fast? I'm not saying you shouldn't be together, or that it's not going to work out. I just don't want either of you to end up hurt because you rushed into something before you were ready."

Jane pulled Maura closer, wrapping an arm around her waist. "Korsak, I say this with the utmost care and respect, but SHUT UP! I know you've been divorced twice, and maybe that makes you a bit uncomfortable with the idea of marriage, but we love each other. We've talked about this, and it's what we both want. Hell, we talked about the idea of proposing BEFORE we proposed. Either you're happy for us, or you shut the hell up."

Maura turned, taking Jane's head in her hands to draw her gaze. "Jane, he means well. He's only known about our relationship for a few weeks, and we ARE moving quickly. He had no way of knowing that we'd talked about this before last night. Calm down and think about it for a minute. How would you react if Frankie had proposed to a girl he'd been dating for less than a month?"

Taking a deep breath, Jane rested her forehead against Maura's. "You're right. I'd freak out and think he was crazy. But it's different with us. We've been friends for years. It's not like we just met. We've spent almost all our time together for almost as long as we've been friends. We've seen each other at our best and worst. We've saved each others lives. Yes, we've only been a couple for a few weeks, but we've had that connection for a lot longer. I just don't like anyone suggesting that we shouldn't be together, or that we don't know what we're doing."

She placed a light kiss on Jane's lips. "Were you listening to what Vince said, or only hearing what you thought he was saying? He only said that he doesn't want us to get married before we're ready, because he doesn't want either of us to get hurt. It's a very valid point, and one he is right to point out, because he cares about us. It's not his fault he didn't have all the information, to know that we'd already considered those very concerns and come to our own conclusion."

Jane hugged Maura closer, placing a kiss on the side of her head. "Maura's right. I'm sorry, Korsak. I know you're just worried about us. We really did talk about it, though. We know we're moving fast, but it doesn't feel fast to us. You guys all thought we were together before, anyway. If you look at it that way, we moved REALLY slow for the first couple years of our relationship. We did all the hard, emotional stuff, first. The past few weeks has just been the getting the physical stuff to catch up."

He smiled, "Nothing to forgive. I felt it had to be said. I doubt the Doc, here, would let something like happen, but it was better to risk making you mad than have things end badly because you were too busy being in love to notice the obvious concerns. You guys are family. I can't have my family ending up hurt. Now, are you going to show us your ring, Janie?"

Frankie and Frost tried to catch a glimpse of the hand that was currently wrapped around Maura's waist.

She watched them, amused, for a moment. "How do you know she gave me a ring?"

Korsak chuckled. "I didn't make Sergeant because of my stunning good looks. Maura said she assumed Frankie meant the ring you gave her and you said 'we proposed,' implying that it wasn't just you who proposed and gave a ring, last night. So, are you going to show us? You know we'll see it, eventually."

Maura laughed, pulling Jane's arm from around her, so the guys could see her hand. "Jane, we work with detectives. Is it really any surprise one of them would notice and ask? You couldn't wait to tell them when we got up, this morning."

Jane held her hand out, admiring her ring as the guys looked at it. "I know. I just didn't realize we said anything to give it away. I was kinda wanting to see how long before they noticed."

Lightly swatting her arm, Maura shot Jane a chastising look. "Jane! You already made them figure out we were dating, on their own. It's hardly fair to keep doing that. They're our friends, and we should be happy to share good news with them."

Jane looked embarrassed, as the guys laughed. "Ok, Babe. No more making them guess, for now. I make no promises for the future. Gotta keep their detective skills sharp."

Frankie spoke up, "So, what was up with the text last night? What did Ma do? Have you told her, yet? You know she'll kill you if she's the last to know you got engaged."

Jane groaned, while Maura tried to hide her blush behind her coffee. "Ma knows. She, came in, last night after I proposed, and saw Maura's ring. She's still convinced we've been lying to her about being together. She 'forgave' me, though, since she was the first to know about the engagement. Then she promised to help with wedding plans. Sounded more like a threat, to me. Oh, and I still have to give her grandkids."

He looked at Maura strangely, trying to remember if he'd ever seen her blush before. "What do you mean she 'came in?' Did she interrupt the proposal?"

When they both blushed an even darker pink, he laughed. "She walked in on you, didn't she? Like that time in high school with you and Nicky Bellushi. Oh, that's rich. You'd think she'd know better, by now. I think she walked in on all of at least making out at least once, in high school."

Pointing, Jane started advancing on him. "It's not funny. Nicky Bellushi wasn't anywhere near as embarrassing. At least we were still at least partially clothed, that time. And, she walked in on us, on purpose. She said she figured we'd stop 'lying to her' if she caught us. She did it on purpose. I have a feeling it was on purpose in high school, too."

At the look in her eye, Frankie swallowed his laugh. "Really? Man, I'm sorry. Maybe you need to put a lock on your bedroom door. Nothing like dragging up bad high school memories."

Maura piped up, from behind Jane, "Actually, there is a lock on the bedroom door. However, since the door was open, locking it wouldn't have been very effective. I can't say I've ever had to worry about having someone interrupt an intimate moment in my own house, before. In fact, I've never had anyone 'walk in on' me, before. That was an experience I hope to never have to revisit."

Everyone looked at her in disbelief. Frost finally spoke up, "You've never been walked in on? Man, I think I was 14 the first time it happened, to me. My mom caught me kissing Susie Jones."

She took a moment to think before answering. "Well, in boarding school, it was never much of an issue. There were no boys in the school, and no one thought much of two girls alone in a room together, unless they were a known couple. On holidays, my parents were usually busy with events and business. Even if I had a guest over, they rarely noticed, and never came into my room. In college, I had a single dorm room, until I moved off campus. I've never had a housemate, so it's just never been an issue, until last night."

Jane pulled her into a hug, chuckling quietly. "You're lucky. That is one teenage experience you did NOT miss out on."

Suddenly, Korsak clapped his hands, loudly. "I hate to break this up, but I just saw Cavanaugh drive past. You guys should probably tell him about you, before someone else does. The rest of us should look like we're working."

Jane looked confused. "Why would we need to tell him, anything? Maura's not an officer, so there's nothing that says we can't work together if we're dating."

Maura placed a hand on her arm. "It's just to notify him of our change in status, in case of future conflicts. It will go in our files. A different M.E. will be called should a member of your family be involved. You won't be allowed to investigate any cases concerning members of my family. While we could wait until we are married, and actually legally related, but it is a courtesy to tell him before then. The likelihood of it ever effecting either of our jobs, is very slim. The same measures probably would have been taken, even before we were together, given that the entire department knows we're friends."

Jane squeezed her hand, smiling. "Ok. I actually hadn't really thought about that. I mean, I knew we wouldn't be allowed to work cases involving either of our families. I guess I just never thought we'd have to actually meet with Cavanaugh to tell him. No big deal."

Their meeting with Cavanaugh had gone quickly. He wasn't at all surprised by their news, and told them there had already been a note in both in their files. It had gone from unofficial knowledge to an official record when Maura let Angela live in her guesthouse.

They were relaxing on the couch when Angela came in and dropped a box on the coffee table. "I took the liberty of getting some bridal magazines and catalogs. I thought we could go through them, together. I already went through some of them and marked the pages I thought you should see. Do you have a date picked out, yet? You're getting married in our church, right? I'm sure Father Stevens would be happy to marry you. He's known you since you were tiny. Oh, and I still have my wedding dress, so you won't have to worry about finding one. Maura, do you think your mother still has hers, for you? Now, are we thinking a spring wedding? I've always wanted you to have a spring wedding. All those flowers, and the birds singing. Janie, where do you think you're going? This wedding won't plan itself, you know. You're getting married, you don't get to just leave and leave all the work to everyone else."

Jane had gotten up, pulling Maura with her, and dragged her down the hallway. "Good night, Ma. We're going to bed. You can let yourself out. Take the box with you."

Angela just sat there, hearing the bedroom door shut and lock.

The End

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