DISCLAIMER: Don't own. If I owned I would make sure that someone was playing the series in the UK on one of the channels my TV will allow to work most of the time. Mind you, if I owned I'd probably get unlimited free box sets...Um, I figure this is set somewhere in the first few months of Jane and Maura's friendship, at that stage in the relationship when you're trying to get a handle on the connection you share.

"You haven't called me." The voice was low, blending with the night so well that Jane wasn't sure at first she'd heard her friend's voice.

Her best friend, whom she hadn't spoken to in almost two weeks.

She ran an impatient hand through her hair and did what had become second nature lately; pushed the guilt away and went on the offensive. "Maura? What the hell are you doing here? It's freezing, you're going to get some sort of hernia or whatever and then I'm going to get a freaking lecture on not letting the ME try to turn herself into an ice cube."

There it was; the smile, quickly squelched behind Maura's Enlighten Jane Face as Maura allowed Jane to drag her inside her apartment. "I believe you mean hypothermia."

"I knew that." She snapped back. Took a breath as she saw the quickly smothered hurt flicker across Maura's face as she took her coat off. Yeah, great job Rizzoli. Now smack her in the face to really get your point across.

It was bad enough she'd engineered her caseload so that she was only crossing paths with Maura via email; that she was always "questioning a suspect" or "reviewing her notes" or, in desperation today, "at the doctor's."

Damn it, she knew as soon as she'd texted this in response to Maura's tentative, obviously hesitant invitation for lunch that this would result in a confrontation. Maura was her doctor, at least insofar as minor cuts and grazes were concerned, and infringement on her territory would make her seek Jane out, even if she wasn't sure why Jane had been distant lately.

Jane absently tightened her coat around herself, watching Maura hang hers up and greet Joe, knowing she'd have to come clean. Knowing that if she tried to squirm out of this by using the words personal or serious that this woman, who had done personal and serious with her more times than she could count, would be hurt in ways Jane really didn't want to think about.


She glanced up at Maura's quiet voice. "Would you, uh, like a drink?"

Maura cocked her head to the side, crossing her arms in front of her. Protecting herself, Jane noted and felt her stomach lurch. "Why are you treating me like a stranger?"

Jane threw her hands up, as if to block the pain she could practically feel emanating from Maura. Jesus, I'm a freaking mess.

"Hey, I'm trying here. You're the one who showed up at my door at midnight in the middle of a freaking blizzard!" Jane whirled away and stormed into the kitchen, busying herself with pulling out mugs and boiling water and generally not looking in Maura's direction. Half afraid that if she looked over she'd find an empty doorway. Half hoping that if she looked over she'd find one, and a reason to justify her behaviour.

She shook her head at the thought and turned from the counter, two mugs in hand.

"Here you-oh."

Maura stood right in front of her, holding out her hands for the mug. Jane gave it to her, wishing that for once she didn't have the sense that Maura was reading every thought in her head.

Everything she felt, even when she didn't realise she felt it, was often translated by Maura with ease. Generally Jane shrugged this gift off, appreciated it intensely and rued it by turn, especially when she was trying to get out of some random frog hairdressing event or whatever that Maura wanted her to go to.

Today, and for the last couple of weeks, she had wanted desperately to hide from that gift, and by default from Maura.

Jane blinked as Maura took her mug from her as well, and put both back on the counter.

She took a step towards Jane. Jane took a step back without thinking, then cursed herself as Maura's fists clenched convulsively, just once, at her sides- a sure sign the control she was exercising over her emotions was slipping.

"What did I do, Jane? I have been reviewing my recent behaviour of late and I don't know what it is that would make you put sudden emotional and physical distance between us. I haven't made any unwelcome revelations about myself. I haven't discussed any particularly distressing or traumatic cases with you, although there is always some degree of both in our line of work. I haven't refuted any of your theories or compromised any of your personal values...I haven't broken or damaged anything you have given me to read or to watch." Maura voice held a tinge of desperation as she watched Jane. "You've haven't spoken to me, or called me, or even emailed anything beyond our work in a fortnight. The only reason I can think of is that I have broken a...a rule somewhere that I'm unaware of due to having limited exposure to-" Her voice hitched, and she held up a quick palm as she saw Jane shift on the balls of her feet. "-Let me finish, Jane." She took a deep, steadying breath. "Limited exposure to deep friendships. So... if you could please let me know, I would very much appreciate it, and I will be sure to work on it-"

Jane shook her head, shifting again, stunned at the need coursing through her to protect Maura from the obvious pain coursing through her. That she'd caused. Oh, god. "-Why would you think anything about this would be your fault, Maur?"

Maura creased her forehead in a frown. "Because it always is. Going on evidence gathered during previous, ah, friendships, I mean." Watching Jane open her mouth to protest, she shook her head and held up a staying hand again. "It's okay. I've long considered myself just to be one of those people not particularly skilled in reading...well. Except, with you, I-I thought per-mmph." She stopped as Jane stepped forward and yanked her into a hug.

"You're such a dork." Jane spoke into Maura's hair, frightened to note the speed with which the tension she'd carried around with her for two weeks was going away. Willing to ignore it so long as Maura's arms stayed wrapped around her waist.

"Why?" Maura shifted slightly, and Jane tightened her grip without thinking. Maura instantly stilled and Jane closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, something inside her relaxing slightly at the scent of Maura's shampoo and perfume.

"Because it's me."


"It's me. I'm the one at fault here." She drew back slightly, keeping her hands on Maura's waist. Maura covered them with her own, and suddenly Jane knew how to say what she had been trying to forget for a fortnight, without compromising either one of them.

"It's like this link we have, this bond. I can't get it out of my head. I can't get you out of my head. I wake up and you are the first person on my mind. I walk Joe and I think about what you were saying about the whoosit collar."

"Canny collar."

Jane smiled slightly and ran quick fingers over Maura's ribs to make her squeak. "Maur, I'm having a moment here."

Maura just lifted a shoulder slightly, an invitation to continue. "Yes, I believe you are."

"I see something on TV and I know what you'd say about it. I watch a game and see you rolling those eyes at me. And you can read me. Sometimes so well it's like you're in my freaking head with me. It's just...it just suddenly became...a lot. You know?" Jane watched as Maura shook her head, stepped away to pick up her mug, cradling it but not drinking. Oh, jeez, I broke her. I totally broke Maura. She started to step forward, willing to pledge Yoga classes and bamboo sculpture and chakra balancing everyday forever when she noticed Maura's shoulders shaking. She narrowed her eyes. "Maura."

Maura turned around, caught Jane's eye and broke into full scale laughter.

Jane put her hands on her hips, something inside her starting to lighten. "Maura Isles, you have exactly three seconds to tell me why you are ignoring my pain before I toss you out in that fancy designer coat."

Maura calmed down, took a sip of her coffee, before setting it aside, all the while watching Jane with that annoying expression that meant she was about to reveal something she knew that Jane didn't.

"Jane, you are such a...a dork." She stopped, waited in smug expectantly. Jane rolled her eyes, realising what she wanted.

"Yes, that was the correct terminology, Maur."

"I believe that what we have is called friendship. Although my previous experiences would indicate we have a stronger...connection, than a standard relationship." Maura shrugged her shoulders slightly. "I feel it too, when I'm shopping and I know what your reaction would be if I a suggested you wear a certain dress, or when I'm in the lab and I know what you're going to say about a case that looks clear cut but obviously isn't fully determined by scientific evidence...I know you. And I know your thoughts, not with one hundred percent accuracy of course..."

Maura met Jane's gaze, and Jane realised with some relief she wasn't the only one panicking lately.

"...I am never certain of anything unless I'm one hundred percent sure, don't you know that by now? I can't...quantify you. I can't predict your outcomes, or list every single quality that makes you who you are. I can't fit everything you are to me on one piece of lined paper and file you away. I...I use my heart, my intuition more often than I use my head when it comes to you and yet I've never, never been certain of anything the way I am certain of you."

Jane considered her, saw the undercurrent of fear running through those words. Thought about how hard it would be for a woman like Maura to confess something like that, and felt something click back into place.

She nodded. "Scary."

Maura blew out a breath. "Damn right it is."

Jane caught her eye and they both burst out laughing. I was afraid of this? This is...so not scary. Jane snorted. I am a dork.

Jane reached out, tugged at a lock of Maura's hair. "Do I have to buy you coffee tomorrow morning?"

Maura caught her hand. "I believe you owe me a coffee and a gluten free donut."

Jane grimaced. "Only if you never combine gluten free and donut in a sentence again."

"Agreed." Maura cocked her head and Jane watched something like humour flicker though her eyes, followed by an arch of her eyebrow.

"I can read you, Jane. And nothing that I read will ever make me turn from you." Maura held her gaze for a beat, then turned to get her coat. "Don't forget that. And stop avoiding me. I don't like it."

Jane swallowed, shoved her hands in her pockets, absently realised she was still wearing her coat. Yeah. I'm a dork. But at least I'm her dork. "I'm sorry, Maur. Will you stay?"

Maura smiled gently at her, put the coat down, and Jane felt the last of guilt and sorrow slide away.

"Don't be sorry, Jane. Just be my friend."

AUTHOR'S NOTE: So I have been out of the fan fiction game for a little while. (I won't be able to hear them but I acknowledge all potential and most likely purely theoretical shocked gasps). I went AWOL to track down a little more of myself, and during this process found Rizzoli and Isles. Don't laugh, but I have only ever seen parts of episodes. What I know of the characters is through the wonderful portrayal by other writers and of course, just a few hours of that wonderful invention, YouTube.

I have ordered the Season One box set and am very desperately awaiting its arrival- it will be nice to see if I'm anywhere in the ballpark here, but for now I couldn't get this one out of my head. My very sincere apologies if it makes anyone cringe- all feedback read thoroughly, gratefully received and always appreciated! Have a great week. XD