Continuation of the end scene from 2x12. One shot. Characters aren't mine. They belong to Tess, Janet, TNT, WB, and other assorted important people.

"Fine, if you won't let me take it back, than I'm putting it somewhere that we don't have to look at it." Jane recorked the bottle of wine and set it beside the sink. "Since your drink was a bust, we're drinking beer."

"I suppose that's only fair," Maura sighed as she settled on the bar stool, watching Jane pull two beer bottles out, twist the caps, and hand one to her. "At least you've moved to the microbrew I suggest."

"No, this is just the stuff you left here last week, but I like cherry, so who am I to complain?" Shrugging, the detective hopped onto the other bar stool. "Listen," she said after a few seconds of nursing her beer, "I'm sorry about being so bitchy to you. I mean, I know you were just trying to do your job, and I just," she grunted, "Tommy gets into a lot of trouble, and I just sort of freaked that this time it was going to be something that I couldn't get him out of, and …"

"I know, Jane. I do understand. I want you to know that it wasn't that I didn't trust you to protect me because I do." One delicate hand settled on the detective's forearm that held her beer. "I trust you with my life, but you know that I can't lie well, and I was afraid that I would get us all into trouble, and then we'd all be in a federal prison. I can't stand the idea of going to jail or being the direct reason someone goes to jail because I did something illegal."

"I get that. I mean, I know how you are about your personal code of ethics. I'd be a hypocrite if I said anything against them. I think I just had a hard time dealing with the fact that you didn't tell me that our family was in trouble when you knew, but I understand why. I was just being a jerk." Jane shrugged, pulling the beer into her other hand to leave her arm under Maura's touch. "I'm really sorry, Maura."

"So am I." The honey brunette gave Jane a gentle squeeze before pulling back to take a sip of her beer. "How long have you considered me a part of your family?"

"How long have you loved me?" At the question, Jane's eyes grew wide, and she paled slightly. "I mean… I… have no idea what I meant by that. Let me try that again."

"No, I don't think so." Tilting her head to the side, Maura considered the other woman for a moment. "I could ask you the same question, Jane. How long have you loved me?"

"Well, I mean," the detective floundered as she looked around the room desperate to change the subject. "There are different types of love, Maura. Friendship, sisterly, best friends…"

"Lovers?" Maura smirked, eyes narrowing at her friend's sudden uncomfortableness.

"Yeah, that too." Standing, Jane walked out of the kitchen and into the living room to pick up a ball for Jo to fetch. "I think it might be time to buy Jo a new dog collar. She's almost chewed through the one you bought her a couple of months ago, not that I'm complaining. Pink? Really?"

Maura shrugged, turning toward dog and owner. "It's what she liked when I took her to the store." She sighed. "Jane, are we going to talk about this?"

"The collar? I don't know." Giving a shrug, Jane threw the ball again, and Jo happily fetched it. "I was thinking a brown collar would be okay. Maybe get something that matched the brown tones of her fur?"

"Well," the doctor's eyebrows rose in surprise, "that's actually highly fashionable of you, and I agree. But we can discuss Jo's collar colors at a later time. Jane, we can't keep ignoring this."

Jane dropped the ball, gave her dog a scratch on the head, and turned around to face the doctor. "Sure we can. All we have to do is not talk about. See how easy that is? If you stop talking about it, then I won't have to, and we can order dinner. In fact, let me just pull a menu…"

"I'm not going to stop talking about it. Things have gone on for too long. I have no desire to continue doing this. The drama, angst, and stress of wondering if today will be the day that you decide to hate me because I might have gone on a date or had a tryst is becoming too much. Did you know that I haven't so much as kissed a man or woman since Ian? Every time I think about it, I remember how upset you were, and I just can't. I don't want you to hate me, but we need to settle this. I don't think I can continue to handle the lack of balance this situation throws into my life." Maura took in a deep breath, centering herself. "Please?"

"What do you want me to say, Maura?" Anger seeped into Jane's voice. "Didn't we just say everything? Didn't you just say you loved me? Didn't I just say I loved you. What else do you want?"

"A commitment."

The room fell silent. The detective paced. The doctor watched. The dog hid under the coffee table.

Jane cleared her throat, running a hand through her hair. When she spoke again, her voice was quiet, seeming to echo in the intense quiet of the room. "You already have one."

"But what kind is it?" Maura pushed, voice equally quiet but stern in its need for answers.

"What kind do you want?" Jane walked over to stand in front of the still seated woman.

Maura shook her head. "I can't answer that, and you know it. This time, I need you to tell me where you want to be. For anything else to happen would be disingenuous."

"I want," Jane crossed her arms over her torso and gave a grunt. "I want to eat, and I want to sit on the sofa with you and watch a movie. I want to hang out with you when we're off work together, and I want to be able to … how much do you like Tommy?"

"Not as much as I like you. We've already been through this, Jane."

"I know. I know! I mean, I know, but… okay, look, I really hate that my little brother nearly kissed you. It just rubs me the wrong way. He's got a lot nerve trying. Who does he think he is anyway?" The detective was starting to rant. "He just waltzes into your place with a bottle of wine and a Rizzoli smile and thinks he can just… just…"

Smirking, Maura pushed, "Just what?"

"Kiss you? Really? How is that okay? You play a couple of games of chess with him, and, suddenly, you two are starting some wildly deep and meaningful romance? No way!" Jane was moving closer to the doctor, who stood up as the taller woman approached. "What does he even know anyway? I bet he can't tell anyone what your favorite color is or what movies you like to watch when you're at home. I bet he has no idea what makes you laugh when you're really upset or how to make you feel comfortable in groups of people when you start feeling awkward. He's never saved your life over his own, and, damn him, I don't think he would. He's never been there for you when you've been scared or hurt. Tommy's got a lot of nerve trying to make a move on you when he doesn't even know you. Screw him." By now, Jane was just an inch away from the standing doctor. Dark brown eyes shone brightly with anger and possessiveness as one scarred hand reached out to touch the upturned face before her. "He doesn't know, and I do because I love you, and he doesn't even know what it means to love you." She stopped talking, catching her breath. "I…love you?" Her voice cracked, rising to make the statement a question.

"I love you, too," Maura gently replied, nuzzling into the hand on her face. "Very much so."

"It scares the hell out of me, Maura."

The doctor gave a nod, not breaking contact with Jane's hand. "I know. It scares me, too, but I feel we could handle whatever came our way. We're stronger together than we are apart."

"Yeah?" Dark brown eyes shown with unshed tears.


Leaning down, Jane pulled Maura to her, placing a gentle kiss on Maura's waiting lips. "What if this doesn't work? What if I screw this up? What if Tommy goes off the deep end when he finds out?"

"I don't work in what if's," Maura said, leaning into Jane's embrace, "And I don't care if Tommy 'goes off the deep end'. He's a grown man. He should be able to deal with rejection."

"Harsh," came Jane's quick reply despite her growing smile. "But fair enough. Can we order pizza and cuddle on the couch now?"

"No," pulling back, Maura made a grab for her cell phone as she walked to the sofa. "But we can order pizza and make out on the couch," she said, eyes sparkling.

Following the doctor's lead, Jane hopped over the back of the sofa, landing squarely on the middle cushion. "Good plan."

Maura gave a disapproving shake of her head at the detective before dialing and sitting down next to her. "I thought you'd approve."

It took them a few minutes to answer the door when the pizza arrived, and the disheveled and breathless appearance of both women left the delivery man with a smile and a mental picture to carry with him for the rest of his shift.

Thank you for reading. Your reviews area always loved and appreciated.