This day had gone on far too long, just as the day before had. It seemed that lately their days stretched on in an endless march of spatters and motives, the cases all blending together and sometimes becoming jumbled even in her own compartmentalized mind.
But it’s the nights like this, when Jane is too tired to make the drive to her own apartment and instead throws herself on her side of Maura’s bed, falling asleep immediately, that Maura lives for.
(The fact that Jane has a side of the bed here is not lost on Maura. She knows that this is not a distinction that friends have, but rather one reserved for lovers and spouses. It feels like proof that they could be more, that they are more.)
The sight of Jane so comfortable and at home here unlocks a part of Maura that the world doesn’t often see; the part that forgets facts and figures and logic and instead feeds off of want and hope and imagination.
Jane’s quiet, even breathing beside her makes her dream.
Jane sighs in her sleep and Maura can’t help but be reminded of all those sad songs that sound more like prayers – the ones her father used to spin her mother around the parlour to after they had been apart for one of his studies. The way the simple melodies float and fall gracefully, somehow able to capture every single facet of the human experience, the little things she’s never been quite able to articulate.
Here, in the dark, she thinks she may finally understand the complete reverence being sung.
If there was anything worth worshiping in this life it is Jane Rizzoli.
Maura thinks she could quite happily spend her days penning hymns exalting the roughened texture of her voice, arias devoted to the angles and plains of her face, symphonies to fill the space between her heartbeats.
For surely the world has never seen anything quite as glorious as the way Jane’s eyes can meet hers across a room and hold, filling her to the brim with complex, deep, swirling emotions, with secrets and sweet promises.
(It’s not imagined, Maura is sure of it. She knows how to read the subtle clues of the face. She knows what it means when Jane’s pupils dilate when they stand next to each other; she knows what it means when Jane willingly puts her hands in Maura’s own - when she hears her breath catch and speed. She wonders if Jane sees the same things she does. If she realizes.)
Jane’s eyelashes are so long that they cast shadows, even in the dim light of the moon.
Her cheekbones would not be out of place on a statue of a Greek goddess - not Aphrodite, thinks Maura, but perhaps Artemis. The goddess of the hunt.
Maura’s gaze slides over the perfect Cupid’s bow and imagines how it would taste if she were to lean over and trace it with her tongue.
In her sleep, Jane turns her head, burrowing deeper into Maura’s side, looking for warmth. Maura pushes dark curls away from her friend’s face, marveling how much younger she looks sleeping.
It’s so easy for her to picture Jane as a child; loud and precocious, stomping around a schoolyard somewhere shouting in that abrasive Boston accent. It makes her smile, the image of a young Jane; she can imagine her playing baseball, punching a miniature Joey Grant when he pouts after her for scoring a run, ducking away from Angela’s exuberant hugs, and scowling at that bed with the pink canopy.
But picturing a child Jane always leads to picturing Jane with children. And that image makes Maura’s heart feel far too large and far too warm to be contained within the confines of her chest. She once said that she didn’t see Jane as the maternal type, but these days it seems to never be far from her mind.
(She dreams about them sometimes, Jane’s children. All wild shocks of curls and wide, dimpled smiles reaching to take her hand. Sometimes they call her Mommy. Sometimes she purposefully oversleeps to have a few more minutes with them.)
She can never quite decide on the details of how it would happen. It’s too difficult to settle on a favourite way.
Sometimes they're in the bullpen, celebrating the end of a case, and Maura simply tilts her head up and brushes her lips against Jane’s; other times it happens at the Dirty Robber, influenced by the bustle, soft lighting, and more than a little alcohol. Once she dreamt it was during a fight and Maura had been so frustrated that she had and pushed Jane onto the desk and forced her to shut up.
The nights after the incident with Hoyt were the worst – her mind ruthlessly playing scenes with Maura pressing lips to cold flesh, confessing desperately to ears that cannot hear, and whimpering as Jane is lowered into the ground over and over.
She had the same dreams after Dominic.
She still flinches when she walks into Jane’s bedroom, aghast at just how similar he had made Jane’s prison to her sanctuary.
(They stay at Maura’s home far more often now. Honestly, it would probably make more sense for Jane to completely move in. Sometimes, as she watches Jane pull her coat and boots on to leave, Maura catches the offer on her lips, stumbling over it at the last minute, desperate not to alienate. She wishes she could let go and let it fall out and land there between them; an act neither one could ignore.)
Maura isn’t quite sure how she came to be in this position. How she fell in love with her best friend.
For someone who has spent her life following the rules, both written and otherwise, to the very letter, it is startlingly out of character and astonishingly reckless.
She isn’t sure what makes Jane different from everyone else; doesn’t know how she can hear footsteps on the stairs to the morgue and know instinctively that Jane has come to her.
She can’t put into words what it feels like when she points out that the coffee Jane brings her is from the organic free-trade place five blocks over and not from the same cart outside the precinct where Jane gets her own.
The way her heart flutters dangerously as Jane’s ears flush and she grins sheepishly.
She isn’t sure what to say.
How to make Jane know how much it’s appreciated.
How much she’s appreciated.
How wonderful and stubborn and foolhardy and beautiful and strong and how utterly perfect.
(She isn’t sure of anything when it comes to Jane. Except that what she is feeling - what she is finally feeling after years of wishing and hoping and even praying – is not going anywhere.)
And so it’s true that this day had gone on far too long. Just as the day before had.
And yes, it did seem that lately their days stretched on in an endless march of spatters and motives, until the cases were all blending together.
But it’s also true that the nights like this, the quiet nights when Jane is too tired and stays are what Maura lives for. And as drained as she is, Maura can never quite forgive herself if she falls asleep too soon.
Here, in the calm and the quiet is when she tells her she loves her.
Here is where Maura lays her soul bare to her slumbering best friend, where she tells her all the ways she terrifies her and all the ways that she makes her feel so incredibly, unbearably alive.
(And it’s here, long after Maura has resigned herself to sleep, that Jane lays still beside her sleeping form and wishes with all of her heart that she was even half as brave as everyone thinks.)