final chapter but maybe the beginning of something new. Let me know it there is any interest in a part 2

Jane held the doctor tightly as she withdrew her kiss, slowly pulling back to look into the eyes of the woman before her. Jane could not remember Maura ever looking so beautiful or as at peace as she did in that moment. Her smile, which spread like warm butter across her face, radiated pure joy, and her eyes were filled with the promise of the future. Jane did not know what that future held, but knew unequivocally that this woman would be there through what ever was in store. With all that she could see and read in Maura's eyes, Jane wondered how they had managed to miscommunicate so outrageously.

"I think we should go some place and talk, don't you?" Jane whispered as she registered the applause mixed with congenial cat calls filling the space around them. This time Maura did not object when Jane took her hand to lead her out of the room.

"Way to go Rizzoli!" Came a well meaning but still boorish remark from somewhere in the back of the room. Jane changed direction and headed for the elevator bank. Korsak stood holding the door open for them with a huge grin plastered on his face. He had missed the altercation but had gotten off the elevator in time to witness their reconciliation.

"Thanks Korsak." Jane husked at him, her emotions still trembling at surface level.

"Glad to see you two worked things out." Vince slapped her back as they passed, then stepped protectively in front of the door as it closed.

Jane and Maura rode down together in silence, holding hands, fingers intertwined. They stole a few glances at each other but were content to wait for the right moment to speak. Once outside on the street, the two headed for their favorite bench in the park down the block.

"I am sorry for striking you." Maura said softly once they had settled in. She reached out and gently caressed the fading redness on Jane's cheek. "I don't know what got into me." Maura's touch made Jane's breath catch in her chest.

Jane took Maura's hand and softly kissed her palm. "I deserved it. I was being an idiot, hell I am an idiot." Jane looked down into the doctor's warm hazel eyes. "I was just so scared of losing you, losing us. I guess I kind of freaked out." Jane paused, trying to find the words to explain herself to Maura.

"Last night was...well, I had never let myself think it was possible. You are the most important thing in my life and this morning I panicked. I was afraid that you would realize that you had mad a mistake." Jane looked away, still harboring a small fear that she might see acknowledgment in Maura's eyes.

"A mistake?" Maura could not fathom how Jane could doubt herself so much.

"It's not like we haven't been over this before." Jane said incredulously. "It's not like the whole sleeping women thing hasn't come up in conversation. Besides, I'm not your type Maura. I know that. I suck at relationships. I'm selfish and pushy, and have done some really 'effed up things in my life. I'm a mess. I guess I just find it hard to believe that you would want to be with someone like me. Someone..."

Maura pressed her fingers over the detective's mouth to prevent her from saying anything more, and instead finished with her own thoughts.

"Someone passionate, caring, dedicated, beautiful, strong? Jane I'm sorry I ever let you doubt yourself or my feelings for you." Maura slid her hand to cradle Jane's cheek, stroking the detective's lips with with her thumb. "I meant what I said. It took me a long time to realize it, but I don't want anyone else in my life."

Jane's emotions were so raw that she could not keep the tears from her eyes, this time however, she made no attempt to will them away. She stared into Maura's face, allowing her words to sink in. Like a contagion, tears quickly formed in Maura's eyes.

"I love you Jane, and I am in love with you. You are the only thing in my life I can not live without."

"I'm in love with you too Maura," was all Jane could manage to whisper before Maura's lips were pressed against her own. Their kiss was gentle and sweet, but filled with the same passion they had shared the night before.

After a time, Jane pulled back and caught the doctor's eye.

"How about we get out of here and find a more productive way of spending our day then being at work?"

"I couldn't agree with you more." Maura smiled, suppressing a giddy laugh. She felt like a world of possibilities had been laid at her feet. So long as she had Jane's love nothing was impossible, and nothing in her life seemed as bad as it had just 24 hour before.

Jane stood and helped Maura to her feet. Without thought, she slipped her arm around Maura's shoulder as they walked back to the building.

"So what are we going to tell the guys at work?" Jane asked, as Maura's arm found its place around Jane's waist.

"I don't think we left much in need of explanation." Maura nudged the detective playfully. "I think the question you really should be asking is what are we going to tell your mother, she does live in my guest house after all."

Jane looked over at her friend and noted that there was a look of genuine concern on her face. Whether it was concern for herself, Jane, or her mom, the detective could not determine. She nudged Maura back and laughed. "Mom? Hell your her favorite anyway. Besides, now she can stop trying to dress me up in pink and marry me off to the next available bachelor. Ooo, and she'll get off by back about having kids."

"Well Jane, the bachelor part I agree with, but I wouldn't be so quick to jump the gun on the child issue."

Jane stopped and arched her brow. "Really? You want to have kids?"

"When I found someone I wanted to share the rest of my life with, who would be a great parent to our children yes."

Jane paused and processed the information she had just been presented. The kid thing was easy, Jane had always wanted to be a parent but had never held out much hope of it actually happening. But the more significant idea was that Maura had just told her that she wanted them to spend the rest of their lives together. Nothing could have made Jane happier.

"Well good, then Ma can now start nagging you about it." Jane placed a light kiss on Maura's cheek, this day just got better and better.