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You're sitting in your lounge. It's late and the only light in the room is coming from the muted television screen and your laptop. Sluggish fingers idly trace over black, plastic keys, slowly seeking out letters as a champagne and beer addled mind is flooded with memories of the day. The tapping of keys, the only sound to be heard in the dimly lit room.


The shake of a head as eyes look down to your hand.


The glistening sheen of emotion-laden eyes as they fall upon the 'colourless crystalline form of pure carbon' that sits on your finger.


The bracing, intake of breath before…

"So you're leaving?"

Ever the professional, a face silently fights to hold emotions in check behind a trying-its-best-to-look-genuine smile.

Failure - n. A person or thing that is unsuccessful or disappointing. Nonperformance of something required or expected. Cessation of normal operation; breakdown.

"How will I survive without my best friend?"

You smiled. Simply smiled. You hadn't heard her words for what they were. Not then.

[Nonperformance of something required or expected.]

Your stomach drops when you see her face crumple and tears start to fall before she rushes away and you're rooted to the spot.

[Cessation of normal operation.]

You didn't go after her. You just let her go.


A heavy sigh escapes you as you slowly close your eyes. Unable to shift the image of your best friend walking away from you looking utterly broken.

Failure... meet Detective Jane Rizzoli.

A light whimper jolts you from your thoughts and you look to your left where your friend has fallen asleep at the other end of your couch. The faint glow from the television dances across golden locks as your eyes settle on her face – eyebrows sloped in anguish as a choked sob escapes her lips. Your insides clench again at the sound and you feel sick to your stomach.

You did this.

You close your laptop, quietly placing it back on the coffee table and you lean back against the couch, releasing another deep sigh. You reach out and gently place your hand on her thigh, your thumb making slow sweeping strokes. She seems to register your presence and starts to settle. Her brow smoothing out once again and those warm, angelic, features returning.

"God, I'm so sorry, Maura."

'How will I survive without my best friend?'

Memories of the car crash a little over a year ago seep into your head. You and Maura had fallen out over you shooting her father, Paddy Doyle, which had been painful enough in itself. But you had suddenly found yourselves running for your lives after your car had been ploughed into by the suspect’s lackeys. Visions of Maura passed out on the ground after she instructed you to slice into her leg bombard you. The fear gripping you again as you remember how you held her in your arms, her skin deathly pale and looking so weak as the life seemed to be steadily draining out of her.

What if…

No. You defiantly shake your head free of the thoughts that start to prey on your mind, because you already know. Deep down, you know you couldn't have managed it.

Looking up from where your hands still gently caress her leg, your eyes focus on the steady rise and fall of her chest, and though you hadn't noticed that your whole body had tensed up, you start to feel yourself relax with each breath the sleeping woman takes.

The acknowledgement of that thought though causes your mind to race again.

How would I survive without Casey?

You're swamped by moments gone by as you think back to all the times Casey left for Afghanistan. Leaving you needing to be comforted by the woman nestled next to you. More time spent apart than together since you officially became a couple. Memories of conversations with Maura echo in your mind. The irritation you felt after he took it upon himself to go through your kitchen, throwing things out without your say so. Doing your laundry.

He'd been back all of five minutes!

A dark brow furrows when the realisation hits. He's the love of your life, or so you keep telling yourself. It shouldn't have bothered you as much as it had. And yet it did. You remember the times you had wished he wasn't in Boston and the relief you felt when yet again, he announced he was leaving.

The leg under your hand twitches slightly and you try to imagine getting bored of Maura, being relieved to be out of her company. A hoarse burst of laughter spills out of you as you suddenly have an image of the Medical Examiner peering at you through large scuba diving goggles while you teasingly pose with a safari hat perched on your head. An affectionate gaze forms on your face as your eyes settle on Maura's.

No, you could never tire of this woman.

She slowly starts to stir, her legs extending out so they end up across your lap as her back arches, stretching almost feline-like, and it occurs to you that you don't understand how you thought you could ever give this up.

Sleepy hazel eyes now latch on to yours, a shy half-smile forming, revealing her deep-set dimple that always manages to entice your own out; your face mirroring hers.

"Hey," you whisper.

"Hey," she replies, her eyes falling to where, unknowingly, your hand has resumed massaging her leg.

"Good nap?"

Her focus not shifting, she nods, clearing her throat and breathes a softly spoken, "yes."

You watch her watching your hand and you become aware of your heartbeat getting louder in your head and then her eyes are on yours, making you panic momentarily; searching them for signs that she might have heard it too. Her gaze never wavers, but something seems to flicker in her eyes and in that moment nothing is uttered, yet everything is said.

 The fog that had been shrouding your heart and mind clears and you finally have your answer. You, Detective Jane Rizzoli, have never felt more like a fucking Rookie in your life when comprehension hits you full on.

And you are determined to never fail this woman ever again, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death us do part.