Ok, so I find this plotline a bit stupid 'cuz it make Maura and Jane look so incredibly clueless, but then I figured that that is just as how they appear on the show so then I thought I might as well just go ahead and write and post it. I hope you'll agree. Or like it either way :)
It set sometime during the last half of season 2 with a slight reference to at least "Sailor Man".
And I still don't owe anything of the show.
Doing the Natural Thing
She knew she had never been very patient.
Her mother had scolded her about it throughout her childhood – and still did for that matter – and she knew it was one of those traits that Maura found less pleasant in her. At times she could even agree with them and see their point, and try to be more accommodating.
But taking more than two minutes to get dressed to watch a baseball game at a friend's place was to Jane just a waste of time. Precious time that could be used to so many better things.
Her fashionista of a friend did not seem to agree.
She didn't know how long it had been since Maura disappeared to get ready, but she sure as hell was getting tired of waiting. Not that she usually couldn't find something to entertain herself with at Maura's place – she had after all become quite at home in the big fancy house with the HD TV that was to die for – but now she was starting to get bored. Even going over to Frost's a couple of minutes earlier than they were supposed to, seemed at the moment as a good idea.
And so the words passing her lips the next minute felt completely justified.
"Hey Maur! Hurry up, would you?" she called over her shoulder and fell down in the sofa. "We're gonna be late!"
"Don't rush me," the sound of Maura's voice, calm and composed as ever, came back from the bedroom. "I'll be done in a minute."
Shaking her head in unimpressed wonder, Jane reached for the TV remote. "God, you'd think pulling something on wouldn't have to take forever-," she muttered to herself and uninterested zapped through the channels.
"You know I never just 'pull something on'," the ME, who'd just entered the room, said calmly. "And to use the phrase 'forever' is quite an overstatement, Jane. It's even physiologically impossible as it would require my organs to be infinitely vital."
Mostly just happy to hear that her friend was done, Jane smiled and turned off the TV. She turned around to reply but when she saw the way too fancy dress her friend was wearing, she dropped whatever she was about to say.
"Geez-," she instead said, staring at Maura in disbelief, "we're going over to Frost's Maur, not the freaking ballet."
Although she wasn't particularly surprised to hear her friend's ignorance Maura squinted her eyes displeased at the detective.
After offering a slight apologetic smile in return, Jane jumped up from the sofa. "So you done?"
"I am. But I don't see why you're so stressed, Jane," Maura said and walked over to the kitchen, putting on her heels while doing so. "We have plenty of time. It's still-," she looked at the Cartier watch gracing her wrist, "-27 minutes until the game start."
Knowing Maura indeed was right, Jane hooked her thumbs in her pockets and shrugged. "Yeah well, if we want a taste of those home made garlic fries Frost has been bragging about we better get there before Korsak does," she then said, figuring she should have some kind of reason for her impatience.
But knowing she better get ready as well if she wouldn't want Maura to get back at her later, she changed the subject. "Hey, do you know where my Red Sox jersey is?" she asked, puzzled what had become of her favourite baseball-watching shirt. "I think I left it here after we went to that game last week."
"Why don't you look in the sofa? Or at the dining table," Maura replied, not appearing too involved as she picked up a strawberry to feed Bass. "I have noticed how you have a tendency to drop your things wherever you happen to land," she then added with a slight impatient, yet facetiously, tone of voice.
"Hey! I have manners!" Jane shot back, feigning offended. "I don't 'drop things wherever I land'." And despite believing that her friend was incorrect with her statement, she discreetly, not to let Maura notice, quickly scanned over the sofa once more and lifting a pillow or two in search of her jersey, before she headed over to the hallway.
"Well it might still be at your place," Maura then suggested somewhat more cooperatively as she affectionately patted the shell of her pet tortoise. "We can stop there on the way if you'd like."
Busy ransacking one of the hall drawers for the misplaced piece of clothing, Jane just grumbled her reply. And digging through the wide mixture of hers and Maura's things she couldn't help but be quite amazed by the fair amount of stuff she seemed to have there. She may not just casually throw her things around her at Maura's place, she figured, but she sure as hell didn't seem to have a problem leaving half of her belongings there. "God, it would just be so much easier if we just had our stuff at the same place," she grumbled to herself as she left the drawer and instead stretched herself to look on the top of the closet shelf.
But although the detective's grumbling was meant more to herself than the ME, the statement did not go by unnoticed to Maura.
Just being done feeding Bass she stood up, tilted her head to give herself a moment to consider it, before looking at her friend. "Why don't we?"
Not really listening too much of what Maura was saying, Jane instead just let out a victorious grin for herself as she just found her jersey.
"Why don't we what?" she then however replied absent-mindedly as she pulled the jersey over her head.
"Live together," Maura replied straightforward and walked over towards her friend.
Not quite sharing Maura's casualness about the matter, Jane hurriedly fought to get herself out from under the sweater, before staring wide-eyed at her friend. "What?"
"Why don't we live together?" Maura repeated, believing her friend hadn't heard her the first time.
Befuddled Jane tried to find something to say. But completely thrown off from Maura's suggestion - even more so than she should, she realized – she had nothing.
"We- we couldn't live together Maura", she then finally managed to say, distressed by her own sudden appeared nervousness.
But Maura didn't notice her friend's anxiety, and instead just furrowed her forehead confused. "Why not?"
"Because we-, we're-," Jane fumbled with her words, in vain trying to find a sensible reply; a reply that could both satisfy her friend's question and give answers to her own slight confusing nervous reaction. "Why would we?" she instead blurted out, changing tactics.
"For the reason you just mentioned Jane," Maura replied, sounding slightly confused herself. "So that you wouldn't have to wonder where you have your things. So I wouldn't have to have things at your place that I later am in need of here."
"Oh yeah, misplaced stuff-," Jane muttered sarcastically, "-yeah that's a great reason to live with each other Maur."
"Well it's not just the things," Maura continued confidently, really starting to wonder why they weren't living together. Or at least she found herself quite unable to find a reason why they shouldn't. "I mean you are practically living here already as it is."
"No I'm not," Jane hurriedly blurted out in a desperate attempt to convince them both. "I just like hanging out here. That's different."
Maura just gave her a very meaning look in reply, as if pointing out the flaws in Jane's statement. "You know that's not really the case. You are practically living here, Jane. You're the only one sleeping in my guestroom and as that is the case the room has practically become yours, and you have more than a whole drawer full of your clothes and things over here. And even your mother is living here. Or well-," she paused, altering her phrasing, "-in the guesthouse that is."
"Oh we would not live this close to ma," Jane blurted out at hearing Maura bringing up her mother. "Either she goes or you're moving in with me."
Surprised to hear her friend's sudden change of heart, Maura couldn't help the wide happy smile spreading in her face. "So that means we will move in together?"
"What?" Jane exclaimed panicked, just realizing what she had said. "No!"
But seeing the wonderful smile that previously had graced her friend's face fading, she immediately felt guilty. "I mean c'mon Maur, it would look weird," she tried patiently, hoping it would explain her reluctance. Maybe Maura was a bit socially awkward and unaccustomed to how the social world worked, but Jane knew that moving in together would look strange. It was simply just not something best friends did – no matter how much they liked spending time with each other. And even if she knew that Maura may be correct - that she was staying at Maura's place more than maybe she should, and that Maura did the same at Jane's place - she simply couldn't shake that feeling that it was something not quite right with what Maura was suggesting.
"Weird?" Maura echoed confused, unable to see the strangeness about it. "Why?"
Jane sighed at her friend's obliviousness, all the while trying to work her head around her own reluctance as well. "I mean you don't live together if you don't have a reason," she then said. "Either you're in a relationship or something, or you're in some economical difficulties and need someone to split the rent with."
"Oh," Maura said as if this was new, as well as odd, information.
"And I mean we don't fit any of those types," Jane continued somewhat automatically to further strengthen her point.
But when Maura didn't answer, Jane felt some sort of panic rush over her.
"Right?" she asked a bit too nervously for her own liking.
For just a short, yet significant, moment, Maura was silent, before she replied. "No. Of course not."
And not really letting Maura to continue, Jane was quick to go on with whatever argument that came to her mind. "And I mean at our age we're supposed to have the husband and the kids and the whole freaking picket fence thing. Or at least be on the way getting it." She leaned against the drawer behind her, suddenly feeling a bit weary. "And if we moved in together wouldn't exactly speed up that process."
Maura looked puzzled at her friend. "I don't see why us living together would cause a problem with us finding suitable mates."
Again Jane stared at her friend for her obliviousness. "No, I mean why would it?" she then replied, her voice thick with sarcasm. "And why not just share our dates while we're at it as well. I'm sure that would be a hit."
"Jane!" Maura exclaimed, her eyes wide in shock. "Are you suggesting us to engage in sexual activities similar to what Giovanni proposed?"
"What?" Jane looked at her friend in confusion for just half a second before realization quickly settled. "No! What the hell Maur!" she exclaimed in a wild mixture of shock, confusion and embarrassment. "God!" she then exhaled heavily, just wanting the discussion – and the images it brought to her mind – to disappear.
"Oh-," Maura uttered at hearing her friend's obvious reluctance and didn't even try to hide her slight disappointment.
But hearing that just caused Jane a new round of shock.
"What?" the ME replied innocently. "You know I appreciate the possibility to experience and learn new things. And I don't see why sexual activities would be any different." She shrugged her shoulders casually. "I was more surprised that you would consider it though."
"Well I'm not, ok?" Jane quite determined replied. And sensing a headache coming, she instinctively rubbed her hands against her face before she looked back up at her friend, hoping they would be able to get back to the discussion at hand.
"Ok so what I meant was; it might get a bit awkward if we live together and one of us brings a date over while the other one of us is always around- You know?"
"Oh-," Maura said again, slightly starting to see Jane's point. "Well- I can promise to be discreet and stay out of the way if you bring someone home to enthral or have sex with."
Again hearing her friend's very direct ways, Jane jerked, but could this time however not dismiss the smile that reached her lips. "God, put it blunt would ya'?"
Starting to be able to read Jane's sarcasm by now, Maura offered a small smile in return, before she continued on her previous statement - now with a bit less directness. "And in any case we always have the guesthouse, so that would really not be a problem."
To her surprise, Maura noticed how Jane didn't seem to have anything to counter with. From the relaxation in her facial musculature as well as in her body language, Maura would even say that Jane seemed to see the point Maura was making. But not wanting to jump to conclusions she took the opportunity to further reinforce her point.
"All I'm saying is that even if it might be a bit stressful or awkward at times, I think we will be able to find a way to manage. And just because it's not normally done I don't see why we couldn't." She paused slightly, giving Jane the opportunity to interject, but when the brunette remained silent, Maura went on. "It just seems so impractical to live so far away from each other when everything we do is together. Sleeping at my place, having to get to your place to walk Jo and feed Watson, back to my place to have dinner or watch TV-." She shook her head. "It's tiring."
Jane tilted her head wearily, and could to her surprise find herself agreeing. Maybe the idea wasn't completely crazy. They did do everything together and it was tiring to rush back and forth, both having their stuff spread out at each others places. And half of the times they did spent the night at each others, so maybe it in reality wouldn't even have to be much that would have to change. They would just have their things in one of their places instead of two. Sleeping in a bed as its owner instead of as a guest. That wouldn't be so strange would it? And so what if everyone thought they were weird? Screw them in that case. Maura was her best friend; she loved her, and they loved spending time together. So if they decided to live together as well, whose business was that but their own?
"But I understand if you don't want to," Maura then suddenly said, misinterpreting Jane's silence for a rejection. "It was a stupid suggestion," she carried on hurriedly and shook her head in a self demeaning manner, her previous confidence somehow all gone. "Forget I said anything."
And although the sorrow in Maura's voice didn't go by unnoticed, Jane didn't bother to try and reassure her.
"Let's do it," she instead heard herself saying. She knew she hadn't quite thought it through and that her sudden change about the whole thing might be a bit too spontaneous for both of their own good, but somehow she was starting to warm up to the idea. Quite a bit actually. She looked up, and seeing the slight surprised, but hopeful, expression in her friend's face, she noticed herself smiling. "Let's do it," she repeated, now feeling more certain then ever. "Let's move in together."
She couldn't help smiling even wider when seeing Maura's face lit up in that way she rarely ever saw but loved so very much.
"Really?" Maura exclaimed excitedly, and as if wanting to physically show her joy, but not allowing herself to do it fully, she instinctively reached out and briefly brushed the arm of the other woman. "Oh Jane, I think that's wonderful!"
"But you better not scold me about putting my feet up on the living room table or trying to get me to eat some of that crazy healthy stuff or anything!" Jane warned facetiously.
Maura looked at her, a hint of a suppressed smile appearing in her face. "I thought I did that already?"
Jane couldn't help but smile. "Well yeah, but not more than that ok?"
"Only if you will not increase your habit to make fun of my morning gymnastic rituals or nag at me when I watch the history channel," Maura returned with similar playfulness.
Jane smiled. Yep, she was totally starting to warm up to the idea of being roomies. "Deal."
"Now could we please get going?" she then the next moment said with a slight feigned impatience.
Maura smiled, and didn't even mind Jane's edginess. Because all she could think of now was how great it would be living together. How happy she already was. "Of course."
Grabbing Maura's coat from the hanger, Jane handed it to her friend before pulling on her own jacket and headed out towards the car.
Quickly putting on her coat as well and locking the door behind them, Maura hurried after her friend. "So we might as well just start planning then, don't you think?" she said eagerly as she caught up with her, and without really waiting for Jane to reply she carried on. "And I guess the most sensible thing to start with is where we would live. I know I gave the impression that you were to come and live with me, but I really am willing to discuss it further."
They climbed into the car, and before Jane really could say anything once they were seated, Maura was already busy talking again. "And your place is approximately 3.4 miles closer to work which would save both gas and time for the both of us. However, my house is larger and located in what I believe in a much more preferable neighbourhood. And if I were to live with you, there would be the issue of sleeping arrangement. I mean I couldn't carry on sleeping in your bed if we were living together. At my place you at least would get your own bedroom."
She stopped her ramble, getting a slight troubled frown in her face. "But your reluctance to live close to your mother obviously causes some problems…"
"No it's perfect," Jane suddenly intervened and pulled the car out on the road. "I'll move in with you and offer my place to ma. It's a win-win for everyone."
"Oh-," Maura said, not hiding her surprise at how easy Jane seemed to be willing to give up her apartment. "Are you sure?"
"Oh yeah, definitely," Jane nodded and waved her hand in the air. If she was moving in with Maura she was not the one to be a reactionary. And she was certainly not gonna deny that Maura's house was a whole lot of nicer – not to mention larger – than her two room apartment. "My place is in need of a redecoration anyway. It could keep ma busy for awhile." She grinned, before adding, "Hopefully."
And besides-," she then said, "-all of your fancy stuff wouldn't fit at my place anyway."
Maura smiled, actually being quite relieved to find Jane so accommodating. It was true that she would be willing to move in with Jane, but she did find it to be the more logical solution for Jane to come and stay with her in her house, so to hear Jane agreeing certainly made that decision easier. "If you're certain?" she however said, wanting to make sure they agreed.
"Yep," Jane nodded assertively. "Am actually kinda excited to live in an upscale place for once," she said, offering her friend a sideway grin. "But we have to make some room for my things among all those freaking-looking art thingies and books and stuff you have."
Oh-," Maura said slightly hesitantly, just now realizing that she hadn't quite given that fact a thought – and because of it she luckily didn't take much notice to the way Jane referred to her fine art collection. "Well, of course," she however a moment later went on, wanting to be as forthcoming as she possibly could. "What kind of things?"
"Well you know- things," Jane shrugged. "I can leave most of my furniture to ma I guess, and most of my other things is pale in comparison to yours, but I'd wanna bring my Red Sox and Celtic stuff, and you know, my punching bag and things."
Another "oh" slipped from Maura's mouth before she really could help it. She would not only have to do some slight changes to her newly decorated home, she realized – they would have to do immense change to make it go with Jane's things. But despite the slight panic attack she felt coming of imagining the exclusive art she had collected from throughout the world being mixed with Jane's sporting memorabilia, she quickly managed to dismiss it. Living together with Jane would be worth the slight chaos their widely varying styles would cause.
"Well-, she started, trying to sound cooperative. "Obviously I will be willing to do whatever changes we will find necessary, and I will definitely rearrange certain things throughout the house to make space for your belongings." Slightly more tentatively she continued, "And I guess I could take down some of my painting and sculptures. Maybe I could move some of it to the library, or to my bedroom." She went silent, giving herself a moment to think of what else she could do, and as she did she didn't even noticed how the slight distress she previously had felt was replaced by the excitement she at first had felt.
"And I really don't use the office that much," she then continued with that reborn excitement. "Most of my paperwork I do at work, and when I don't I am sure I can manage somewhere else in the house. So maybe instead of having it as an office, we could make place in there for your training equipment. And I could keep our yoga mats and my Pilates ball in there as well."
She smiled, partly by excitement and partly by self-satisfaction at her suggestion. "It would be like our own little private gym."
Hearing how Maura excitedly went on about how they would make room for her stuff, Jane had turned silent; just listening to her friend, stealing glimpses every now and then of her looking so happy. Somehow thinking of how it would be, living together, did feel surprisingly good. And even though she didn't voiced it the way Maura was, she was completely lost fantasizing and planning in her head as well. She knew they were spending crazily much time together – a lot more than best friends normally did – but still she couldn't deny that she looked forward to being able to spend even more time with the woman sitting next to her.
"Yeah-," she then agreed when she heard how Maura had turned silent. "That sounds good Maur. And I know how much you like the way you've arranged everything and all at your place, so I really appreciate you being willing to make room for me and my stuff."
"Oh Jane, of course I would. And once we'll live together it's not just going to be mine or your things, but our things." She smiled, again being lost fantasizing about the future. "It will be our home together," she then heard herself adding distantly, and as she said it she somehow felt as if the decision they've made was the best decision of their lives yet.
Again Jane couldn't help the smile spreading in her face, neither wanted nor could she dismiss the feeling of nothing but pure joy spreading inside of her.
Maybe it would be perceived as strange with the two of them living together and maybe it would get a bit stressful and awkward at times (although somehow she doubted that). And maybe she still had that nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that this somehow meant more than they tried convincing themselves. But since they both wanted it, why not just go ahead and do it? Why be concerned about something that felt so right?
Because they really were just doing the natural thing, weren't they?
I think I want to continue this story for another chapter or two since it feels unfinished to me, but I'm still dubious whether it's worth it. So what do you think? Is it worth continuing? Or not? Please let me know what you think :)
(Or just give your opinions for this one-shot – I'll be just as happy with that ;) )