Oneshot, wrote it myself. Fair warning: I never proof read. ;-)

Characters aren't mine. They belong to Tess, Warner Brothers, TNT, and other assorted important people.

"Please? I've already paid for the tickets, and I still think you'd enjoy it." Maura looked up from her desk at the sulking detective next to her.

"Really? Can't you just take one of your friend boys?" Jane crossed her arms, giving a heavy sigh.

"I suppose I could, but I made the purchase with you in mind." The doctor tilted her head to the side. "Jane, is there something you're not telling me?"

"About what?"

"Are you afraid of heights?" Maura narrowed her eyes, trying to figure out why her friend was so against joining her for the hot air balloon ride.

"No!" The detective looked highly offended. "No! Of course not. I'm not afraid of heights, Maura. I just," she shrugged, "You know, I think that, if God had meant for us to fly, we'd be born with wings. That's all."

The doctor rolled her eyes. "Following that line of logic, we'd be without most modes of transportation, medication, and means of communication."

"Do you hear yourself when you talk?" Shaking her head, the lanky woman leaned against the pathologist's desk. "Maura, do you really want me to go with you?"

Giving a small pout, Maura answered quietly, "Yes, I'd very much life for you to."

"Okay, fine. When, what time, and what do you wear to go ballooning?" Jane rolled her eyes, clearly giving up in the face of the Maura Isles's pout before her. "I never can tell you no," she grumbled.

"Oh good!" The doctor jumped up from her chair, catching Jane in a surprise hug. "We'll look through your closet tonight."

"Yay," the detective deadpanned.

"I know you're cold," Maura said with a smile on her face as she tried to hand Jane a warm cup of coffee, "but I brought you a present!"

"Maura, it's negative 100 out here," Jane's arms were crossed, and she was dancing around in place to try to drum up some warmth. "Keep your coffee. If I try to drink it, it'll probably freeze before it makes it to my mouth."

"Must you exaggerate? It will warm up today." The doctor shrugged and took a sip of the coffee herself.

"Yeah, down here on the ground. Up there," the detective pointed up, it's still going to be freezing. I can't believe I let you talk me into this," she grumbled.

"Fine," Maura rolled her eyes, "What can I do to make you more comfortable until the balloon is filled and ready to go?"

"Create a bonfire? Find some furs?" Jane raised an eyebrow. "Let me go back to the car and turn the heater one?"

"None of those are options at the moment," the smaller woman sighed. She stepped closer, standing less than an inch from her friend. Face tilted up to look at Jane, she stated matter-of-factly. "Body heat can help."

"What?" Eyebrow raised, Jane shook her head. "You offering to be my cuddle buddy or something?"

"I am not cold, but, if you are, I don't see an issue with helping you warm up." The doctor shrugged, taking a sip of the coffee. "But, if you want to remain chilled, that's your decision."

A frustrated growl left Jane's throat before she sighed heavily. "Fine. Just… turn around, okay? Please?"

Smirking behind her coffee cup, Maura complied and was greeted a moment later with Jane's arms wrapped around her. "How are you so warm when I'm freezing my ass off?"

"I don't know. There are a number of reasons that are possible. I could list them for you if you'd like?" The doctor leaned back against her friend.

"God, no. It's bad enough I'm out of bed before the sun rises. Let's just skip the Wikipedia entry, okay?" Jane turned them toward the east. "Speaking of," She resituated them. "I don't get to see that very much unless there's a dead body on the ground somewhere."

"No do I," Maura sighed. "It's nice to enjoy the dawn without having to worry about uniformed police offers and crime scene investigators blocking my view."

Jane gave a chuckle. "You see beauty everywhere, don't you?"

"It's everywhere to see," the doctor replied. "Are you warmer?"

"Yeah, thanks," giving the woman in her arms a squeeze of thanks, Jane grunted. "I think the balloon guy is almost ready for us."

"Yes, it would seem so." Maura hesitated. "Shall we?"

"Let's go. The quicker we do this…"


"You ladies okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine, thank you. Jane? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good." The pallor of the detective's skin, shallowness of her breathing, and dilating pupils told the doctor differently.

Maura started to point out why that was, in fact, not true when she saw the hard look the detective gave her. Deciding it better to not point out the obvious fear on display, she turned to the man flying the balloon. "James, this area is lovely. I'm glad you chose it today."

"Thank you, Doctor Isles. It's always nice to float over farm country in the morning. Everything just sort of looks greener about this time of the day, you know?" He grinned. The middle aged man was clearly enjoying himself. "You sure you're alright, ma'am? No offense, but you don't look too good."

"I told you I'm good," Jane snapped back. Her hands had a death grip on the side of the basket.

"Are you still a little cold?" Maura asked, eyes full of concern and understanding.

"No, I," the detective hesitated for a moment. "Yeah, I'm still a little cold." She frowned. "I can't feel my nose."

"My offer still stands, as I am not cold." Giving a gentle smile, Maura reached for Jane's gloved hands, pulling them away from the basket's side. Moving slowly, she turned to stand as she had while they watched the sunrise, allowing Jane to wrap shaking arms around her for support. "Better?"

"Thank you," the detective murmured into the smaller woman's ear.

James smiled and turned around to give them some privacy.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" The older man asked as he held the basket stead for the women to disembark.

"Besides the freezing weather, height, and unsteady swing of the basket, it was great," Jane said as she helped Maura out of the basket.

"It was wonderful, thank you James," Maura gave her friend a hard look.

"Anytime," he nodded, smiling broadly. "Listen, this is a lot more romantic in the evening when the lights are starting to come on down here on the ground and the sky starts getting dark. You two ought to think about it for an anniversary thing."

"An anniversary thing?" Jane shook her head. "What anniversary?"

"Yours," James pointed between the two of them.

"Oh, we're not dating," Maura shook her head.

"You're joking," he responded.

"Always with the dating," Jane muttered, rolling her eyes.

"No, why would I joke about something like that?" The doctor looked honestly confused. "Jane and I are friends."

"Could have fooled me," the man mumbled, shrugging.

"Best friends," the detective threw in.

"Yes, best friends, but that's all. Although I suppose we could celebrate the anniversary of our meeting each other?" She turned to the taller woman. "That was the Delaney case."

"Yeah… no." Jane shook her head. "All that makes me think of is that woman who was riding her bike and got hit by a car. Pass, thanks. Look, I agreed to do this once, but just once. I'm not doing it again. You promised me greasy food if I went today. I demand my payment. I'm starving."

"Thank you so much, James. It was a pleasure." Maura offered her hand.

"Yeah, thanks, James," the detective did the same before they headed to their car.

"I'll have a bacon double cheeseburger, chili cheese tots, and a large Coke." Jane handed the menu to the server, not bothering to even look at it.

Maura rolled her eyes. "Grilled chicken salad and a glass of water, please."

After the server's departure, they sat in a peaceful silence as they thought about the morning. "That sunrise," the detective began, "was nice."

"Yes, I agree. We should do that more often. It's so rare that we actually take time to enjoy the things nature provides to us." Maura gave her thanks to the server for their drinks.

"Yeah, that was nice, too," Jane answered absentmindedly as she sipped from her glass.

Maura blinked. "What was nice, too?"

"The sunrise was nice, too." As soon as the sentence left her mouth, Jane bolted upright. "I mean, it was nice… the sunrise… that was all that was nice, I mean." She put her palm on her forehead and groaned. "Can we try that again?"

"No, I don't think so." The doctor leaned in, lowering her voice. "What was nice, Jane?"

"The balloon ride?"

Maura shook her head no.

"The scenery?"

Again, she shook her head no.


Another no.

"The temperature?"

This time, an eyebrow raised in mocking humor.

"Maura, do you really…" Jane watched the expectant look on her friend's face. "Fine. The cuddling. The cuddling was nice, okay?" The deep blush rushed across the detective's features.

"Yes, I agree. That was nice, too." Maura didn't bother to hide her smirk.

"Okay, great, now let's never speak of this again. The last thing I need is for people to go around thinking I'm a cuddler." Jane smiled at the server as her plate of grease was set down.

Maura nodded her thanks. "Your secret is safe with me."

"Thanks." They ate in silence. Toward the end of the meal, Jane gave out a huff of frustration. "That's it?"

"Yes, unless you want to order dessert?" Maura set her silverware across her plate.

"No, not that. I mean, all you're going to tell me is that my secret is safe with you? You're not going to poke and prod at me until we come to some sort of Earth shaking, ground breaking conclusion or anything? I mean, most people don't cuddle like that, Maura."

"You'll tell me what you want me to know if and when you want me to know it and not a moment before. I learned quite some time ago not to push you. It's the best way to prevent you from ever doing anything." The honey brunette tilted her head. "Are you ready to go home?"

"No, I'm not ready to go home. Maura," Jane leaned forward in her seat, "You're just going to let it go?"


"Just like that?"


"Unbelievable!" Throwing a hand up in frustration, Jane slid from her seat. "Come on, let's go home. Jo needs to be walked anyway."

"Jo, you've got to stop picking fights. That last dog didn't stand a chance." Jane bent over to unlook the lease to allow the little fur ball to run around the apartment.

"The other dog will be fine. Besides, it's nice to know your pet can take care of herself," Maura commented as she hung up their jackets.

"Of course she can; she's a Rizzoli," the intonation in the detective's voice indicated this was an obvious connection.

"Naturally," Maura deadpanned, much like Jane, as she plopped down on the sofa. "Is there anything else you'd like to do today?"

"Don't think so," the detective joined her. She set two glasses of water on her coffee table, ignoring Maura's grunt of protest at the lack of coasters, and then leaned back to look at the other woman. "You're really just going to let it go?"

"Yes, but it seems as though you're not." Maura turned to face her friend. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"No. Maybe. We probably should." Jane sighed. "I don't like talking about crap like this. Life's complicated enough without making it worse."

Maura reached for the remote. "Okay, then we won't. I think the game is on. Do you want to watch that, or do you want me to leave so you can have some time alone?"

Jane's hand stopped her. "No."

"For which one?"



"Maura, damn it," Jane pulled her hand away, "This is all awkward and weird. I hate that. It's just… what do we do?" she shifted uncomfortably.

"We either watch the game or do something else. I'm really up for whatever." Giving a sympathetic smile, the doctor added, "Or, we can do nothing at all. It's up to you."

"Why? Why is it up to me? I have to make decisions all the time. Just once, it'd be nice if it wasn't up to me. Just once, I wish someone else would take charge." Frustration grew in the darker woman's voice.

"You don't normally like it or appreciate it when someone else takes the lead. But, if you want me to come up with something, I suppose I could. I did, however, already pick out the balloon ride. I believe it's your turn."

"Maura, are we even talking about the same thing?" Jane closed her eyes, giving a shake of her head.

"We're talking about what to do next, so, yes, we are. I already told you, Jane. It's up to you."

"Yeah, well, I told you that I was tired of being the one to decide what to do all the time," the detective snapped back.

"So you did." Nodding, Maura leaned forward. "Are you sure you want me to take over? We have different ways of approaching things."

"I trust you," Jane replied, not leaning forward but not moving. "I only give people I trust the option of taking the lead."

"Good," Maura purred before crawling the extremely short distance to lay a kiss on Jane's trembling mouth. "You're shaking, Jane."

"You're in my lap, Maura."

"You want me here."

Jane's hands ran along the smaller woman's sides, pulling her down more firmly into her lap. "Yes." She kissed the doctor again.

"Do you still want me to take the lead?" Maura asked between stolen kisses and tentative brushes of finger tips along exposed skin.

"Please," came the husky reply.

"You'll tell me if we go too fast?" Maura whispered against the pulse point just below Jane's ear.

"We can't move fast enough," Jane groaned.

"Are you certain?" Whispered the smaller woman before nibbling at Jane's ear.

The brunette moaned. "God, yes."

"Then we should relocated."

Grunting, Jane stood, picking Maura up as she squeaked out in surprise. "I never can tell you no."

Thanks for reading. Your reviews are always appreciated.