a/n: I've been sitting on this vignette for upwards of a month, because it just felt...off. However, I'm tired of trying to make it better. So, here's the next installment. Song is Perfect by Doria Roberts. As always, the characters in this story are not mine. The treehouse was though. Set sometime early in their relationship, but before "I love you's" have been officially stated.


Let's take a picture now
I do not want to forget
The way you look at me when everything is perfect
A perfect memory of when things are so good
And everything has worked out just the way we knew it would

A gentle grin broke across the detective's features as she watched her girlfriend transfer a frog into an eager little boy's hand a few feet away from the bench they had been occupying minutes prior.

A squeal reverberated throughout the park when the frog jumped out of the child's hand and back into the shrubs, Jane's heart melting at the sheer joy glistening in Maura's eyes as the scene unfolded. Maura patted the kid's knee before standing up and waving goodbye, rejoining Jane on the bench.

"Glad to see you could step away from your boyfriend over there to spend some time with me" Jane smirked as Maura mock-glared at her.

"Oh, hush you. I was just trying to help."

Jane pressed a kiss to Maura's pouting lips. "I know. It's cute. I promise."

They fell into comfortable silence, people watching in the fading afternoon sun, Maura's head resting on Jane's shoulder, fingers subconsciously toying with the smooth calluses on Jane's palm.

"What were you like as a child?" Maura questioned after a long lull, glancing up at Jane.

Squinting her eyes, Jane pursed her lips together, before pulling the smaller woman up, practically dragging her of the park.

"Jane, where are we going?"

Squeezing the small hand clasped in hers, Jane stole a kiss from the questioning woman. "I wanna show you something."

Five minutes later, the women sat cross-legged in a secluded tree house off in the corner of the Jane's childhood backyard, sounds of laughing children and idle chatter cutting through the April air from the surrounding neighbors.

Taking a look around, Maura tiled her head in question. "And this place is?"

"This, Maura, is what I was like as a kid."

Jane was met with a blank stare. "I'm afraid I don't quite understand…"

Leaning back on the wooded wall, the lanky detective closed her eyes as she remembered a 12-year-old version of herself. "I played with the boys, ya know? I had skinned knees and black eyes and more broken bones than I knew what to do with. But sometimes, I needed to just, be. So I'd come up here. My brothers thought tree houses were lame so it was all mine. I wasn't Rollie-Pollie Rizzoli, or just another one of the guys when I came up here. I was…me."

Maura watched her girlfriend with something akin to awe as Jane delicately fingered the floorboard below her, finding a loose one and lifting it up to pull out a worn journal from the space underneath.

"C'mere" Jane wagged her finger at her girlfriend, pulling her into her lap as Maura crawled closer.

"Anything I've ever thought was important is in this journal. Pictures, thoughts. I'm pretty sure I even taped a tooth in here from the first time I punched a guy in the face. That day was awesome." She whispered, chin resting on Maura's shoulder as they flipped through the pages, occasionally stopping at some entries to re-visit her memories.

As they neared the end of the journal, Maura grabbed Jane's wrist, stilling the movement. "Wait. Some of these entries are fairly recent." Looking closer, Maura's breath hitched as she brought her free hand up to her now gaping mouth.

"These…you wrote about me."

Shrugging, a faint blush colored Jane's cheeks. "Uhh…like I said…anything I've ever thought was important is in here…" Jane trailed off.

Maura thumbed through the remaining pages, eyes welling up as she read Jane's scraggly handwriting spell out heart wrenching pining for her.

Jane watched as unshed tears glistened in her girlfriend's eyes. "If I had only known…"

Pressing a kiss to Maura's temple, Jane reassured the slightly trembling woman. "Don't. Here. Lets take a picture. Rumor has it it's worth a thousand words."

Maura clapped excitedly, dabbing her eyes hastily and grabbing Jane's camera phone. "This is hardly the appropriate lighting, but I do enjoy capturing moments like there!"

Extending one arm to take the picture, Maura wrapped the other around Jane's shoulders, heads resting together as she counted down to the picture. At the last second, Maura turned her head, kissing Jane's cheek as she clicked the picture.

They glanced at the small screen, identical grins plastered on their faces as they viewed the photograph.

"I've gotta email this to Frost and Korsak. They're always singing that ridiculous song 'Jane and Maura sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…' Now they can finally stop that shit, 'cause apparently we do kiss in trees."

Maura laughed, winding her hand through dark tresses, pulling Jane's face impossibly closer to her own. "Thank you for bringing me here" she whispered against Jane's mouth, before closing the distance for a languid kiss. After a few more minutes spent in throws of a teenaged make out session, Jane laughed against Maura's neck. "Alright, I've reached my sappy quota for the day. Let's go see if we can grub dinner off Ma before heading home."

They clambered down from the tree house heading back towards the house before Jane stopped short. "Oh and Maur?" Jane bent down to pick up some dirt before spitting on her hand, thrusting it into Maura's.

Horror painted the ME's features. "Honestly Jane, do you have any idea how unsanitary that was. The bacteria found in…"

Jane pressed a finger to Maura's lips, silencing her. "I'd be willing to bet you've never been part of a secret society. Congratulations, you're in. We're bound now"

"But we aren't cuffed…"

Jane rolled her eyes. "No, not literally. Bound like, we have a secret handshake and shit. You're sworn to secrecy. You tell anyone about my tree house, and I'll have to kill you."

"Oh! Well in that case…" Maura bent down, repeating the ritual Jane had just performed, "your secret is safe with me", thrusting her hand in Jane's and offering a toothy grin before skipping off into the Rizzoli's house.

I bought a picture frame
I made room on the wall
I hold you close to my chest
Because I've made room in my heart
You ask me what I'm doing
I say displaying our love
I can see you when I'm awake and you're the one I'm dreaming of

A few weeks later, Maura returned from walking Jo Friday to find her girlfriend reorganizing the picture frames on her wall, making room for a new one.

"New picture?" Maura questioned as she sidled up beside Jane, wrapping an arm around her slender waist.

Looking down at Maura, Jane slung her arm around her girlfriend's shoulders. "Yeah, I figured I'd hang the picture from the tree house on the wall. It's the first official 'couple' picture we've taken together".

"Jane, I…are you sure you want to hang this up? I understand the social ramifications of our relationship and I don't want to make it any more difficult for you than it already is. Obviously Vince and Barry are fine with our relations, but I know the rest of the department can be…exceedingly harsh and..."

"Relax, Maur. I love this picture, and I lo—" Jane paused, shaking her head before continuing, "I've got enough pictures of my ridiculous family. I want to show off my hot girlfriend" she finished calmly.

Calm quickly turned to panic though, and Jane immediately backtracked after a moment of silence. "That is, unless you're not okay with me putting up a picture. I know we're taking things slow…I'll take it down, oh man I just thought that…"

Maura pushed Jane against the wall, pressing her lips to her lover's, tongues dueling in a passionate dance, hands roaming over every inch of available skin.

"It's more than okay," Maura gasped. "In fact, I think I need to illustrate just how okay it is". She grabbed Jane's forearm, pulling her towards the bedroom.

I love the sun when it shines
I love the sky when it's blue
I love the color green
Because it reminds me of you
I've been thinking about you all night
A warm bed and a cozy fire
You put you arms around me and lift my head
And then you kiss me…

Jane smiled, rubbing her eyes as she woke up to blinding sun. Though not a morning person on the weekdays, the weekends were a whole other story, and the detective actually welcomed being woken up to something other than her alarm clock.

Rolling over to her side, she threw an arm around the torso of her still sleeping girlfriend, nuzzling into the crook of her neck to place a soft kiss to the small hickey left over from the night before.

Feeling Maura stir, Jane pulled back, propping her head up on her free hand to watch Maura slowly wake up.

"You're staring." Maura grumbled into her pillow, popping an eye open to peek at her partner.

"And they say I'm the detective"

Maura attempted to swat Jane, her half unconscious state rendering the movement nothing more than an arm twitch.

Jane chuckled, running her hand up and down her girlfriend's spine. "This is nice." Jane mused, brushing a stray strand of hair away from Maura's face.

"Hmm?"

"This." Jane gestured vaguely to the two of them. "It's still a little surreal. Seeing you first thing in the morning. You're so…different.

Maura propped herself up on her forearms, looking over at a smirking Jane. "That's hardly an accurate assessment,"

"Sure it is. Ya know, like how your eyes are greener in the morning. Or how you don't become 'Googlemouth' until you've hit snooze twice. And, oh my God who knew something so beautiful and proper could snore that fuckin' loud."

"I do not!"

"Whatever you say, Maur…"

Maura twinned her arms around Jane's neck, rolling the pair over so Jane was resting flush atop Maura.

Lowering her voice, Maura crooned into Jane's ear. "Oh Jane. You should know by now, I make many sounds in the bedroom. Snoring is not one of them. Care for a demonstration?"