Characters aren't mine.

I cannot understand the behavior some individuals display during this time of the year. In fact, I am confounded by it. It seems logical to me that, should it be important to be considerate of family, it should be so over the course of the entire year as opposed to forcing a large amount of familial interaction into the very short time span of two months.

It seems somewhat dishonest to me to tell one's relatives they are important to one during the holiday season only to disregard their communications the other times of the year. The implication would be that one does not, in fact, care about one's relatives at all.

Jane tells me my perception of events is skewed. To be more precise, Jane told me yesterday during our Friday nightcap, "Maura, really? It's about spending time with the people you really care about."

She seemed bothered by the fact that I do not visit my parents during the holiday season. I'm not certain why she feels this way as I always spend this time the same way each year, and she is well aware I always volunteer to work so that others may participate in their holiday traditions. I was quite shocked when she told me I would be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with her and her family.

I want to be perfectly clear. She did not ask me. She told me. "You know what?" She pointed a finger at me. "You're coming with me to go to my family's place for Christmas. It's crazy that you don't do anything but work on Christmas. You're supposed to be sharing it with people you love. So, you're going to come share it with us because we love you, and you shouldn't be working. Everyone needs a break, Maura, even you."

I did considered telling her no, but I do enjoy the Rizzoli family. In addition, I find spending time with them aids in my ability to understand social settings. So, I agreed to her demand despite the misgivings I had, and I arranged for someone to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In retrospect, I should have done more research on customary Christmas holiday traditions prior to my arrival at the Rizzoli's home. But, I had completed a cursory amount of research, and I felt confident in my knowledge base. In addition, I was certain Jane would alert me to anything I might need to know outside of what I learned through my research. However, I failed to factor in alcohol when I was considering how much I could rely on Jane's observational powers.

Clearly, I was the only who did so as the rest of the Rizzoli family, aside from a very angry looking Jane, were very self-satisfied when she and I were somehow maneuvered under the mistletoe together.

"Look who's under the mistletoe!" I was startled by Mrs. Rizzoli's outburst. Jane was immediately livid.

"Shit," I looked where Jane was staring to see the bundle of hemi-parasitic plants hanging above us in the doorway.

"I don't understand. Is this some sort of tradition? Why is there a parasitic plant handing in the doorway, Jane?" My confusion only became stronger once the Rizzolis explained the custom of two people who meet under a hanging of mistletoe as being obliged to kiss.

Based on Jane's facial muscles, it was clear she was upset by this course of events. However, I saw no reason to not follow what seemed to be a very long standing tradition. "Jane, I don't see where it would hurt."

"On the lips or it doesn't count!" I've always been fond of Frankie, but I found his outburst to be inappropriate. I was slightly irritated when his sentiments were reflected by his parents.

I watched as Jane's lips tightened into a thin line. She leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on my lips.

Perhaps we both had consumed more alcohol than I had realized. The simple, light kiss that I understand should be what satisfies the obligatory kiss under the mistletoe was quickly replaced by something more emotional, for lack of a better word.

I don't enjoy being imprecise, but I find I am at a lack for a precise word for the type of kiss we shared.

After that point, Jane and I were more at ease. By evening's end, I found myself seated in her lap while we watched a movie. I find it difficult to understand the humor, but Jane enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the closeness.

We went to Jane's apartment that night. It was late. There was no discussion. I simply remained for the night.

It is now Christmas Day, and I find myself watching Jane Rizzoli sleep. I'm unaccustomed to the feelings I have for her, but I am relieved she reciprocates them in kind. I cannot recall spending a more passionate night with a lover.

"Merry Christmas, Maura." I'm not certain how long she has been awake. "How did you sleep?"

"Merry Christmas, Jane. I slept well." Despite my vast knowledge of the human body, I can't help but be mesmerized by the feel of her skin and muscles underneath. I feel almost compelled to run my hands over her body. I have an absolute need to know what every part of her anatomy feels like under my touch. "How well did you sleep?"

"It was good. What sleep I got was the best I've had in ages." I'm certain she's mocking me slightly, but I don't care. "Don't tell my folks, but I'm glad they pushed us under the mistletoe last night."

"I believe they can deduce that fact for themselves."

"Probably. I bet the hickey on your neck will be a dead giveaway."

"Jane! I don't have the right type of cosmetics to properly cover a…"

"Then don't." Her kisses are curiously distracting. I've never experienced that before. "Unless you were thinking this was going to be a one night stand kind of thing."

"No, of course not."

"Okay, then, don't worry about it. They started this, they can deal with the consequences. Come on, let's go take a shower and get dressed. I want to get over to Ma and Pop's to see what Santa brought us."

"You are aware that Santa Clause does not actually exist. He is a mythological construct that could possibly have been created in…"

"Yeah, he exists. I know because he gave me you for Christmas. It's the best present I've gotten in years."

She often surprises me by the things she says. I don't believe she gives herself enough credit for her creative and intellectual side. However, some of the things she says to me indicate she is quite artistic and imaginative.

"Oh, Jane, that's so sweet of you to say."

"Let's go, Maura. I don't want to be late. Ma and Pop can only keep Frankie away from the Turkey for so long. I want to get there before the bird's completely gone."

I'm fascinated by how easily she is adjusting to this new shift in our relationship. I have observed Jane for many years now, and I find she does not often adjust well to new situations that involve her personal life or familiar social settings.

"What?" I believe I find her annoyed facial expressions to be attractive.

"I think I'm confused at your behavior. Are you certain you will be fine with this new development in our relationship?"

"If I wasn't, you would never have gotten to second base last night." Her sports references often confuse me, but now is not the right time to ask for clarification. "The way I look at it, we've been dating for months. It's about time we finally made it official, right?"

In consideration to her comment, she is correct. Our behavior as best friends could easily be misconstrued as dating. I had not considered dating her an option as Jane has never shown dating the same sex to be something in which was open to participating.

"I suppose it could be considered in that way."

"Okay, then. So, what's the problem? Are you okay with this 'new development'?"

"Yes." I did not even take time to consider this question carefully. Jane has made me surprise myself in this moment.

"Good. Now, get your perky little ass out of bed so we can go get turkey."

"Language, Jane."

"Love you, too, babe."