Till death do us part

This is a version of the aftermath of the episode "For Richer or Poorer".

I don't own the characters. I just borrow them and will give them back unharmed. I promise.

I.

"This is the best way to celebrate a divorce!" Maura Isles stated cheerfully, following Jane Rizzoli to the couch, leaving the guests to themselves.

"Well," the other woman said, while placing herself onto the couch. "I think the divorce should be as much fun as the wedding."

"Thank you for throwing the party," Maura said now softly.

"Yeah, sure, it's not every day that your best friend gets divorced," Jane said jokingly, but Maura eyed her closely.

Jane sighed, shifting uneasily. "Ahm… yeah.."

"You've decided to take the job, haven't you?" Maura concluded.

Jane nodded. "Yes, I have…"

Maura gasped. Although it came to no real surprised to hear that Jane would take the FBI job she felt a sharp surprise and something else, when actually hearing it.

"I'm proud of you," she tried.

Jane smiled, still uneasy. "Really?"

"Yah, I know change is hard. It's scary to face the unknown, but we have more to do in our lives."

Jane smiled, looking down and then up to Maura. "Thanks for supporting me."

"It's what best friends do," Maura whispered, trying to smile.

"Cheers to change," Jane said as if she wanted to lift Maura up, because she must have known it will be hard for Maura. They both toasted to each other with a glass of red wine.

"And maybe collared shirts," Maura added trying to lighten the mood.

"No! God no! That is never gonna happen," Jane exclaimed, knitting her eyebrows. "Not even at the Bureau." Then her face lightened up a lot. "Ohh… good news. Ah…the employee discount at the FBI gift shops…? 25 % percent off. "

Maura gasped in delight, less at the prospect of FBI merchandise on a discount than at the hope that Jane would still include her in her life, even when she was at Quantico.

"You know, I never can resist a sale," Maura laughed.

"M-hm.." Jane breathed audible into her wine glass. Again Maura Isles eyed her closely.

II.

"Hey!" Edward, Maura's surprise and now newly ex-husband approached them, smiling a little bit unsure.

"Ah, Aeh…" Jane mumbled, "I think Ma needs my help in the kitchen." With that she excused herself and stood up from the couch. Maura looked equally unsure as she gazed from Jane walking to the counter to Edward, who was standing beside the couch.

"Please have a seat," Maura offered.

"I didn't mean to interrupt you and Jane," Edward began.

"It's alright. After all that's also your party," Maura smiled.

"Yeah, you're doing well," Edwards started.

"What do you mean?" Maura took a sip from her wine glass.

"Well, you have a great, fulfilling job. You are the Chief Medical Examiner. And your friends are admirable, especially Jane."

"What do you mean?" Maura asked again, taking another sip of wine.

"I don't know," Edward looked down. "I saw you both on the couch. You seem very close and intimate with each other."

"Jane and I have been through a lot the last seven years," Maura tried to explain, feeling increasingly uncertain.

"You know, sometimes I regret that I let you go. Back then, I felt so close to you, I admired you for your courage and intelligence. I don't know if it would have worked out, but I regret that I never tried, because I was too much of a coward."

"You couldn't have split with your family. You hadn't much choice," Maura offered.

"I don't know, Maura," Edward looked thoughtfully. "My mother had no right to determine who is appropriate for me and who's not. There aren't many chances in life to find your soul mate. I should have tried. Now it's too late, now you have Jane." Edward sighed heavily.

Maura Isles laughed uneasily, turning around to the others to see if someone was listening to their conversation. "Jane and I aren't a couple, I mean… it's not…"

"To be honest Maura," Edward looked at her. "I knew I needed you, because I could trust you. And when you came to visit me at the hospital I grew hopeful that…," Edwards voice trailed off. "But then I saw you together with Jane and I realized you have no room for someone else, for no man or woman other than the Detective. So I buried my hopes again."

"Edward.. I… , " Maura Isles was speechless, which wasn't happening very often. She wasn't speechless because of the thought that she and Jane had something going on itself. She was speechless because Edwards had seen it right away, whatever it was. However she realized she shouldn't be that surprised. Edward had always been a very observant man, someone who always had cared a great deal for her. Furthermore he had met her and Jane in a situation, where Maura felt things where stirred again that she thought they had already put behind them.

"It's okay, Maura," Edwards still looked at his old flame. "I just wanted to tell you that I always was interested in you, although we tried to annul the wedding, which obviously didn't work. And I'm still interested, but I won't make a move this time, because I know my chances a pretty low. I'm no coward any more, but I'm also not blind. I guess I just wanted to say how I feel about us. "

"You… you certainly aren't a coward, you hired a forensic accountant, when you noticed something was off. You took a great risk, you….," Maura stammered.

"It's okay Maura, it really is," with this Edward rose from the couch and went back to the counter, where the others were eating cake and laughing about wedding anecdotes.

Maura sat a while longer on the couch, before she could compose herself enough to return to the other guests.

Jane viewed her coming over and placed her hand gently on Maura's back. No one payed attention to Maura's flustered looks and Jane's soothing hand, except Edward, who exchanged quick glances with Maura.

III.

After the guests had left, Jane filled the dishwasher, while Maura cleaned the counter.

"Thanks for helping me clean up," Maura said.

"What was that between you and Edward? You seemed to be nervous." Jane said casually, maybe a bit too casually.

"It was just nothing. We talked about why it hadn't worked out between the two of us. I guess that made me feel a little nostalgic."

Jane nodded. "Yeah, I can understand that," Jane said, still sorting plates and pastry forks.

"Jane!" Maura said suddenly in an alarmed tone that told Jane to look up from the dishes and look at Maura.

"May I ask you something?"

"Sure… go ahead," Jane said, looking sympathetically at Maura.

"Why has it never worked out between us?" Maura blurted, her heart hammering in her chest. She was as afraid of how Jane would react, but she was relieved to have finally addressed that topic.

Jane dropped a fork to the floor. "What do you mean?"

"You know what I mean," Maura said sharper as she has intended.

"Maura…," Jane's voice trembled. Maura could see her mouth falling open a little and her upper lip tensing ever so slightly.

Both women starred at each other, standing there motionless and speechless for the moment.

"Why would you bring that topic up now?" It wasn't as if Jane had no clue about what Maura was speaking.

"Well, you telling me you're leaving for Quantico, Edward telling me, how he feels he has missed his chance with me, his chance to find his soulmate, so I …. I think there are so many things left unsaid, Jane. And right now, I don't want us to end like Edward and me. That just scares me, Jane. What if we drift apart like Edwards and I did? At a certain point you can't reverse things. At a certain point your chance is just gone forever."

"Maura… I.. it's complicated," Jane stuttered.

"Yes it is!" Maura isles exclaimed. "Isn't it always? I mean, there were some people in my life, men, whom I genuinely loved, but it was never working out, because of circumstances. Although I think about what Edwards said, about maybe not having tried hard enough, I know the reason for each break up and somehow I think it was always the right thing to do, somehow… still it hurt me so much. I loved them and they left my life and I left their life. And then there is you. At least you are still in my life. And I'm so afraid that now I will lose you, too, like I lost everyone I loved to their job, their family…" A tear ran down Maura's face as she glanced up to Jane. "Of all the people, I can't bear loosing you, Jane. How am I supposed to live without you?"

"Maura!" Jane said again, breathing, pausing. "Are you saying you loved me?" Jane's mouth fell open more, while she was bending forward.

"Of course I loved you!" Maura said in a mixture of sadness and now anger, letting her tears flow freely over her heated cheeks. "I loved you so much, Jane Rizzoli and somehow I always will." Maura exhaled with a sigh. "For a while I thought you might have feelings for me, too. For god's sake Jane, we practically dated, although we never called it that, but it was exactly that. Then after a while it changed somehow. I think you changed, our relationship changed. So I settled with being best friends. I told myself that would be fine with me, as long as I'm an important part of your life. And it was fine, until now, because now I'm afraid I will lose you too, Jane."

"Maura, no! I will always have your back." Jane's voice trembled again. "You won't lose me…"

"So why has it never worked out between us, Jane?" Maura repeated her question, being able to compose herself, after Jane had disclosed at least a little bit of what she wanted.

"I do not know, Maura!" Jane exclaimed. She raised her tensed hands only to let them drop. Her shoulders sank. "I need some fresh air." With that Jane left into Maura's yard.

Note from the author:

I would like to have a reliable beta reader for this story. If you think that's an interesting and fun thing to do, leave me a message via Private Messaging.