A/N: Inspired by the lovely Abby (girlplease). This story is AU after 1.04, She Works Hard for the Money.
"I should be leaving soon," Maura mutters, but she tugs the blanket closer to her as You've Got Mail plays quietly in the background. (Jane talked her out of a documentary―and Maura agreed long as she was the one to pick.) Beside her, Jane is beginning to doze, an empty wine glass resting loosely in her hand.
"Hmm?" Jane asks, opening her eyes as she turns toward the blonde. She curls her knees to her chest, her dress pants rumbling beneath her. "You can stay if you want, Maur," she says, stifling a yawn as she nudges the throw pillow into a more comfortable position. The scent of the Chinese food they had for dinner still hangs heavily in the air.
"Maybe," Maura mutters in return, a little tipsy from her own wine, and very, very warm beneath her blanket. She already knows she'll be spending the night.
Maura savors these moments―she knows how fleeting friendship can be. As the credits roll on, she scoots closer to Jane, propping her stocking clad feet up in her lap. "I'll stay," she murmurs, letting her eyes close contently.
Jane wrinkles her nose in mock disgust, shoving Maura's feet off her lap. "Keep your gross feet to yourself," she whines, but a hint of amusement lines her tone.
"My feet are far from gross," Maura defends automatically, wiggling her toes in her nylons. "Besides showering on a daily basis, I also get a monthly pedicure. I'd wager your feet are much grosser than mine, Jane," she adds with an eyebrow raise.
"Rude, Maura," Jane huffs, looking down at her faded black socks.
"You were rude first," Maura reminds her, standing up from the couch as she grabs their empty wine glasses, bringing them over to the sink.
She follows Jane to her bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed as Jane digs through her closet for two clean tees, tossing one in Maura's direction. Its so familiar, spending the night with Jane without reason, that Maura has to wonder when it will end. If life has taught her anything, she has learned that nothing is meant to last.
She thinks about Danielle again, young and ambitious―perhaps a little too ambitious―her life stripped away from her in merely seconds all because of a mistake.
Maura has made mistakes, too.
"Hey, you okay?" Jane asks, sitting down beside her on the bed in a Boston Marathon t-shirt and a pair of paint splattered boy shorts.
Maura nods, sighing after a moment beneath Jane's worried gaze. "Just thinking about Danielle." She tugs off her blouse and skirt, folding them neatly before reaching for the oversized tee Jane has provided for her.
"Yeah," Jane sighs sadly in return. "I keep thinking about her, too."
Maura crawls back onto the bed, finding Jane's eyes once again. Sometimes she feels so much more for this beautiful woman than she knows she should, and it makes her ache that she cannot tell her. But Maura is bad at relationships. They're the one thing she's quick and sloppy with, and Jane means so much more to her than that. As Jane snuggles up beside Maura, patting her arm lightly, Maura is certain that Jane is too much to lose and certainly not worth the risk.
Maura lets out a heavy sigh, letting her eyes close as Jane's subtle and seemingly insignificant touch comforts her. "You know..." Jane starts, her voice a little hesitant. "If you need to talk about anything, Maur, you know I'm here, right?" She can imagine Jane's concerned eyes all too well, and for a moment, Maura's throat feels tight, tears threatening to spill over as she appreciates the genuineness of her words.
"I'm fine, Jane," Maura mutters. Jane's hand now rests on her hip, and Maura takes her own, placing it on top of Jane's hand as she strokes it lightly with her thumb.
"You've just seemed a little off during this whole case," Jane contradicts, scooting closer as she takes on the position of the big spoon. She tucks her chin against Maura's shoulder, and Maura can feel her warm breath against her neck. It's moments like these that Maura is certain Jane feels something more for her, too.
But Jane is right. Maura has been off. She can usually handle these cases in a purely professional manner―it's what makes her so good at her job. But she's been a mess of emotions ever since the reason for Danielle's murder was discovered, and though she's managed to keep herself in check, of course Jane would be the one to notice the subtle differences.
She snuggles a little closer to Jane, for a moment marveling at just how perfectly her body fits into the curves of Jane's. She tightens her grip on Jane's hand, looking across the room at the beige wall as she speaks. "A lot happened," she pauses for a moment because her throat has become unbearably tight. "A lot happened when I went to school in France," she manages to choke out, her voice barely more than a whisper.
Jane's grip on her immediately tightens, followed by a sharp intake of breath. She's protective of Maura, and Maura suddenly feels her cheeks grow wet. It's been so very long since someone has cared.
"Tell me," Jane's voice is thick with the threat of tears as well. "Tell me what happened, Maura."
And for the first time, Maura does.