"Ma, no. I'll… yeah, okay. I'll tell her when I see her. What? No! Of course not, we're," Jane glanced up as she walked into the bullpen to see Korsak and Frost watching her. "It's fine. Look, I'm at work now, and I… yeah. I said yes! I'll tell her, okay? Yeah, I love you, too." With a frustrated grunt, Jane plopped into her chair, ignoring the amused looks on the men's faces.
It had been almost three weeks since their brunch with Angela, and, although they hadn't told anyone else, Jane was pretty sure her mother was making enough fuss for everyone else. She was constantly calling or texting to tell Jane to tell Maura something or the other or pestering Maura about where Jane could put something 'when they moved in together'.
It was starting to all wear kind of thin on the young detective's nerves.
After checking her email and glancing through the folders on her desk, she finally said something to her partner. "Frost, where are you hiding the results of the Trovosky case? You been accidentally feeding the shredder again?"
"Don't blame Barry," came a cheerful, feminine voice as Maura entered the bullpen, silk Hermes scarf fluttering like a lovesick butterfly out from where it was tied about her head like women used to do in the 1950s while driving convertible automobiles. "I just wanted to slip the results from tox and fibers into it." So saying, she went around like Santa Claus, delivering several files to those who had requested them. She didn't have to do that; there was interoffice mail, and there were interns. However, Dr. Isles didn't like to spend her entire day in the lower basement of the precinct, in rooms without windows. "Detective Crowe, here's your Simmons file. Vince, my updates to the airport murders from last month. I have my final notes on the Bergen couple for Frost; here you go. And, saving the best for last, Trovosky for Jane."
"Thanks," Jane gave her a warm smile as she plucked the folder from the doctor's hand. "Hey," there was twinkle of mischief in the detective's eyes, "the next time you decide to steal something from me, could you warn me first?" She winked at Maura's retreating form, smirking as she remembered their conversation the night before where she had mutter the forever corny line about Maura stealing her heart.
Maura whipped back around; she'd been on her way to the break table for a cup of tea, but this was more important. Shock flashed across her features, but was quickly replaced by mischief as she saw her opening. "Why, so you can arrest me? I thought you didn't like to use the cuffs."
Low voices quietly offered their input in a discordant, "OooooOOOOOooooh" from multiple points throughout the bullpen, detectives and visiting uniformed officers alike.
The shocked look on Jane's face was all too quickly replaced with one showing the challenge had been accepted. She shrugged. "No, I said I didn't like using the cuffs on just anyone. That's something you have to earn. Why? You volunteering?" Her smirk broadened. "Think you got what it takes?"
"Oh my God," Frost croaked out between laughs. "The mental pictures."
"Yeah," Korsak added jovially, "It's like you guys aren't even trying anymore." Truth be told, the grizzly bear of a sergeant was long past the point at which he actually thought anything of all the teasing he gave his former partner over her friendship with the weird medical examiner, long past the point at which he remembered that Maura was weird (most of the time). It was just a habit. An entertaining habit, but still, just friendly ribbing.
Still smiling, Maura tilted her head to muse aloud, "You know, Vince, you're right. It has been a while since Jane shut any of you out, hasn't it?"
"That's not how you say that. It's 'shut you down', and I figured it was kind of pointless," Jane shrugged. "Besides, I think you're just trying to avoid the question, Dr. Isles. Clearly, my handcuffs are too much for you handle." Her smirk turned into a full-fledged grin.
"Really? Oh man, you two are just too much sometimes, I swear," Frost shook his head as he sipped his coffee.
Laughingly, Maura walked over to Jane's desk and leaned over, hugging Jane's shoulders from behind. "I agree, Barry. Honestly, Jane! Do you think that's appropriate workplace conversation?" Still she smiled as she went to give the taller woman a friendly kiss on the cheek.
Slowly, detectives' and unis' attention swayed towards their comrade-in-arms and Jane's... well, the woman they'd always called her girlfriend behind Jane's back and occasionally to her face. They'd all seen the hugs, the touches, the too-warm smiles, flirty banter. Sure, they knew girls could get away with stuff that guys couldn't, but those two took it to a whole different level. Or maybe that was how their own wives or girlfriends acted towards each other when the men weren't there. Frankie, still assigned to shadow Korsak, spoke up after clearing his throat. "Yeah, Janie, Maura, you don't want any of the guys getting the wrong idea."
Maura stood upright again, but didn't go far, choosing to seat herself at the corner of Jane's desk with one foot on the floor and the other leg bent. "What wrong idea is that?" she asked plainly. Someone muttered the word clueless.
"You know," Frost explained. "I mean, we all know you two are real close friends, and it's great. It's great. But sometimes you sort of make it sound like you're a little bit more than that."
"Oh, well, we are," Maura replied with a bright, happy smile. "We're LLBFFs."
"You still owe me for that, by the way," Jane said as she started flipping through the file. "I told you to leave Giovanni alone. But, do you listen to me? No, of course not. I've only known the guy most of my life." She rolled her eyes. "Speaking of – Hey, Frankie, Ma get that racing stripe off the car yet? She was supposed to do that today, said you were taking the car in to Giovanni to get it done."
"Yeah," Frankie responded, chin jerking upward in a quick guy-nod, since guy-topics were being discussed. "She took it in today, and I'm supposed to take her in whenever she goes to pick it up. Hey, what's an LLBFF, and does that have anything to do with why Giovanni kept telling me to remind you two to call him if you changed your minds?"
Maura suppressed a smile until it turned into a chuckle, then just let it happen. "LLBFF is a Life-Long Best Friend Forever. I know it's redundant, but it was all we could come up with on the spot."
"Worked, though." Jane held up an x-ray of an arm fracture to the overhead light. "Ouch." She frowned, set the x-ray down, and continued to look at the file. "But he can just keep dreaming because that's never going to happen." She gave a little shiver, looking up at Maura, who was still sitting on the corner of the detective's desk. "I can't believe you were thinking of sleeping with Grease Monkey Boy. Ew." She shook her head. "Every time I think about it I want to vomit."
Frankie's eyes bugged. "You were going to sleep with him?" No one answered.
"I'm sorry, sweetie," Maura replied to Jane, sounding actually apologetic, though not at all ashamed of the choice she'd almost made. "But thank you for saving me from it."
Again, Frankie expressed astonishment, this time by dropping his jaw. "You actually got Giovanni to lay off of you? How? Nobody ever gets that guy to give up!"
"We told him we batted for the other team," his sister said matter-of-factly as she gave a very hard look to a very complicated chart. "He offered a threesome, but I'd rather poke my eyes out with rusty nails than even think about… oh man, see? Now I have mental picture of a naked and horny Giovanni in my head. Gross. You totally owe me something for that, Frankie, and you," she threw her gaze back to Maura, "are welcome. You know I'm here for you, sweetheart." She scrunched her face up, making an unpleasant sound in the back of her throat. "Naked Giovanni... Ugh. Not. Enough. Brain. Bleach."
Maura rolled her eyes and gave Jane a playful swat on the arm. "Oh, hush. He's very physically attractive. He just shouldn't speak at all. Well, except that if he hadn't spoken, I wouldn't have found out in time that he wanted to lick my face, so I suppose the warning is something I should appreciate. But don't worry, Jane. I promise I don't want him anymore."
Jane gave a quick glance up from the chart, raising an eyebrow and smirking before going back to the papers.
"Wait, that guy offered you a threesome?" Vince asked, getting back to what he considered the essentials. That was hot. Not that he'd say so out loud.
"He did," confirmed the honey-haired beauty on Jane's desk, shifting a little for comfort as her skirt rode infinitesimally upward on her thighs.
Frankie looked impressed. "Seriously, you told him that, Janie? Man. Guys talk, you know. He's going to have the whole neighborhood thinking you two are... dating. I thought you hated it when people said that." He turned next to Maura, surprise heaping atop surprise. "And I thought you couldn't lie!"
Maura glanced at Jane. "That's right, I can't," she said placidly.
Most of Jane's attention was on the file she was now hunched over. Both elbows on her desk, forehead resting in her hands, and face contorted into a grimace, she was reading handwritten letters from the victim to one of the suspects. "This guy's handwriting is worse than mine," she grumbled. Glancing up, she shrugged. "We didn't lie. He asked if we batted for the other team. I said yes, and Maura just smiled. He can think whatever he wants. I don't really care." She went back to the letter she was trying to decipher. "That either says, 'I've loved you for ages' or 'I've lived you for apes.' God, this sucks." She picked the paper up and held it closer to her face.
Watching Jane fondly as the detective went over the case file, Maura sighed in contentment. "It's probably loved you for ages," she suggested, but her mind wasn't really on the page. "All right, I guess that's enough of a break for me. I'm going to go back down to the morgue and begin the Yamamoto autopsy. This is your case, Jane, and I know you always want to be there for your victims. See you in about twenty minutes, baby?"
"Yeah, sure, sweetheart. I'll be there in," she gave a quick look at her watch, "twenty. You want to do dinner after while stuff's processing? I'm going to need a break after going through this," she held up the paper in her hand. Sighing, she went back to it. "I'm pretty sure this says, 'I've loved you for ages, and I'm sorry I never," she leaned forward, squinting as if that would help decipher the handwriting, "something. Then there's a bunch of stuff that I think are more words, then it says, 'afraid we might be found out, and I'm sorry I can't… something," she shook her head in frustration. "Seriously? Man, why couldn't he just tell this Jackson guy that he wanted to hook up instead of waxing poetic about wanting to hook up but not being able to because they might be found out? Who cares? God, people make life so freaking complicated sometimes." She grunted, rolling her eyes, and setting the letter down. "Just say it. What's so hard about that? Then, I wouldn't have to sit here and try to read this God awful handwriting."
"Oh, give it," Maura said with a tolerant laugh as she plucked the page right out of Jane's hands. "It says: Dear Jackson. I've loved you for ages, and I'm sorry I never had the courage to live with that. I've always been afraid we might be found out, and I'm sorry I can't – Oh, no, it says couldn't– risk public discovery. This will destroy my relationship with my family, but nevertheless, it's time for me to say that I'm ready now." She looked up from the paper for a long moment, then back down as her voice became quiet and whispery. "I'm ready to be yours if you're still willing to be mine. I don't fear exposure anymore. Let me be with you honestly. All my love, Toby." She sniffled, ducking her head as she handed the page back to Jane and reached for a tissue. "Jane?"
Letting the paper hit the desk, Jane stood and placed a reassuring hand on Maura's arm. "Hey, it's okay." She gave a little squeeze.
"I think we should just tell them... babe."
"You… you do?" Jane dropped her voice so the others had a harder time hearing her. "Are you sure?"
Frankie was already grinning. "Aw, sis," he said... to Maura, and then just cleared his throat to macho up his voice a bit. "You don't have to say anything. Teddy told me." Maura looked surprised until he went on to explain, "I knew he wouldn't come down off that shelf until Janie wanted to pass him on."
Maura glanced around at the detectives, who had long since given up pretense of having better, or at least, work-related things to do in their vicinity. "Well, maybe it's not really necessary," she said with a smile that was almost as brave as she wanted it to be. "You work with detectives."
"I keep trying to tell you." Jane gave Maura a gentle smile as she let go to return to her chair. "Take a look around, Maura. No one here is anything but supportive. We're a family in this department, and you know what that means." She sighed, picking up the letter up again as she started to sit down.
Before Jane could sit fully down, though, Maura stood to intercept her. "Yes. It means I'll never live down the fact that I thought we weren't out all along," she said as, with rapidly diminishing trepidation, she grasped the front of Jane's belt to pull her closer for a kiss. It was not a scorching volcano; those she saved for more private settings. It was just a comfortable, warm connection, barely more than an embrace, except that it involved lips instead of only arms. The two stood flush against one another for several seconds.
"Oh, and Jane?" Her voice lowered so that this time, the words were only audible to her lover. "If you were serious about using the cuffs... bring it.I dare you to see just how much I trust you."
Then Maura let go, backed up a step, and added cheerfully, "See you downstairs in twenty for the Yamamoto autopsy."
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