Author's note: Just a short little piece that wouldn't get out of my head tonight. It's not much, but at least its something. I've got some ideas to expand this into a two parter but...unemployment has slowly killed any and all creativity I may have at one time possessed, so I make no promises.

Something is amiss.

Sluggishly, Maura turned towards her alarm clock, frowning as she noticed she had half an hour of sleep left before her alarm was scheduled to ring. Obviously not what had broken her REM sleep.

Moving on, she took quick inventory of her room, looking for a fallen book to account for her current level of alertness, her frown only deepening as her confusion grew.

Slowly, her brain registered the smell of pancakes wafting into her room and the sound of sizzling bacon. An unconscious smile graced her lips and the woman sighed contentedly, snuggling back into her burrow of covers.


Maura bolted upright. She lived alone. And most certainly spent last night alone. How were such delicious smells coming from her kitchen? And more importantly, what kind of intruder cooks breakfast for their prey before doing their deed?

Her panic waned almost as quickly as it came when she felt slight shifting by her feet, noticing a now familiar scruffy dog snoozing at her side. She fell back into her pillows, rubbing the sleep from her eyes just as her bedroom door creaked open and her "intruder" made their presence known.

"Hey there, birthday girl, you're awake. I made chocolate chip pancakes for you." Maura lifted her head to find Jane grinning at her, the brunette nodding at the tray in her hands. Jo Friday's head popped up from her perch on Maura's leg, ears perking at the word pancakes. "Oh, and sorry about Jo, she rushed in her as soon as we walked in the door. Fuckin' Judas." Jane glared at her dog, her scowl belied by the affection glimmering in her eyes.

Maura blushed deep crimson, genuinely touched by her best friend's sign of affection. Tears prickling her eyes, Maura averted her attention to Jo, rubbing the dog's belly. "Oh Jane, thank you, this is a very lovely surprise. But you honestly didn't have to."

Jane shrugged in response. "I wasn't sure what you were doin' for your birthday since we haven't seen each other all week because of that damn case. I didn't just wanna send you a lame happy birthday text, so I figured this wouldn't be all that disruptive of any plans you had. Plus I had the spare key and all." She paused mid ramble as Maura's face softened, a lone tear trickling down her cheek. Jane raised her finger in warning. "Oh no, don't you dare go soft on me now, Isles. Relax, it's just breakfast. Eat." The detective plopped the tray down on Maura's lap, reaching forward to wipe the tear from her friend's cheek.

Smiling in gratitude, Maura patted the space next to her. "Will you join me?"

"Let me just go grab my coffee." Jane barreled out the door like a bull in a china shop, her curls cascading down her back. Maura chuckled at her friend's antics, and then moaned as she took a bite of pancake.

My goodness, she certainly has Angela's touch in the kitchen. I wonder what other things I can get her to do...

When Jane returned, the pair caught up on all they'd missed from each other's lives, having spent the better part of the past week painfully separated. In between bites of food, Jane looked at Maura expectantly.

"So tell me, what're the big birthday plans today?"

Maura squirmed. "Nothing actually. I usually don't commemorate my birth. Growing up, it was never a cause for celebration. Did you know some religious sects…"

The lesson was promptly cut off by Jane's horrified gasp. "Maur, you're not spending your birthday alone! That's ridiculous! What do you want to do, today? Anything you want, except I've gotta go to Ma's tonight for Saturday night dinner, so it's gotta be something that doesn't get me whacked upside the head for being late." Jane pinched her nose. "Actually, come with me tonight? She bakes a killer cake."

Maura shook her head. "I wouldn't want to intrude…"

Jane stared. "Intrude? You'd be doing me a favor; I've been craving Ma's birthday cake for months now. Besides, Ma loves you more than she loves me."

"I suppose it would be nice. And I'd very much like to spend the day with you, I don't really mind what we do." The smaller woman toyed with a rogue cuticle, her voice muted with tenderness.

Jane dropped a hand to Maura's knee with a reassuring pat. "Good. Go take a shower, and then we'll go take Jo to the dog park. Enjoy some fresh air. Whattya say?"

Maura smiled and leant forward, brushing a soft kiss to the detective's cheek. "Thank you, Jane. Truly. You've already made this the best birthday I've had yet." When she pulled back, Maura brushed an errant curl behind Jane's ear, her heart skipping a little as she watched Jane's face and chest flush at the gesture.

"You're welcome. Now go, we're burnin' daylight here." Jane mumbled as she shoved the last bits of pancake in her mouth.