Author's Note: A R&I fic, oneshot. I'm trying a 15 oneshot challenge, so this is the first of 15. I hope you enjoy! Please review. Criticism, but no bashing. Remember, people are entitled to ship who/what they want, so don't have a go at them if it's not to your tastes.
Disclaimer: As usual, I own no rights to any of the characters portrayed in this fanfiction. Rights belong to; Janet Tamaro, TNT, Tess Gerritsen.
It had came about one morning when she had awoken from an alcohol induced slumber. Her mascara tracked and tear stained pillow reminded her of the internal battle she had fought with herself the night prior, before she had eventually cried herself to sleep. Maura sat up and moistened her lips, in the process, her breath assaulting her senses. Quickly, she made the dash from bed to bath, not quite making it to the toilet bowl in time, so the wash basin would have to suffice.
After she had managed to empty all possible contents of her stomach, Maura then leaned back and perched herself on the edge of the bathtub. She sighed and shook her head, "Why?" she asked herself before standing again, shakily now, so she could rinse out her mouth and brush her teeth to rid her taste buds of the awful bile taste.
Moving back into her bedroom, Maura winced as she then noticed the Red Sox jersey draped over her other side table. Gently, she picked up the shirt and furrowed her brows, she could still smell that familiar scent, as strongly as ever. Swiftly though, Maura made light work of folding the shirt and storing it into the designated drawer from which it had originated before ending up as a table decoration along with her telephone and table lamp.
Maura ran over the events of the previous night in her mind as she sat herself down on the edge of her bed now, the scents of the last time now wafting up into the room. She sighed, frowning as she stared at the somewhat trodden section of rug on her side of the bed. Exhaling shakily, Maura only remembered details. Details of how she'd been in the living room, watching her documentary on the Great Barrier Reef before Jane had barged in, in her usual fashion, headed to the fridge to grab herself a beer before finally sitting down beside Maura on the sofa, feet instantly finding the coffee table.
No sooner had Maura saw Jane's Tennis shoe clad feet comfy themselves on the edge of her coffee table, did she internally lose her mental stability with Jane. She tried her best to focus upon the documentary on screen, but each of Jane's movements, no matter how subtle or minuscule, seemed to annoy the Medical Examiner. So much so, that she all but jumped to her feet and stormed to the kitchen, standing at the island as she refilled her wine glass.
Jane, of course didn't notice Maura had even left until she heard the series of hardly suppressed sighs from Maura's, "What's wrong, babe?" Jane asked her.
In that split second, Maura didn't even think, she just spoke, "I can't do this anymore, Jane."
Now, Jane was interested. She lifted the remote and flipped off the TV before turning to look at Maura over the back of the sofa. After what seemed an eternity of staring at Maura, Jane finally stood up, setting down her nearing empty beer bottle on the coffee table - no coaster - and she joined the smaller woman at the island in the center of the kitchen.
"Wh-what?" was all she could muster.
Maura looked to the surface of the counter and sighed, somewhat inaudibly before she glanced briefly to Jane and she shook her head, "I can't do this anymore."
"Maura what the hell?"
"I'm sorry Jane."
A moment of awkward silence went by, seemingly unnoticed before Maura decided she would pass Jane to head along the hallway to her bedroom. Jane, being Jane, grabbed her arm and turned her to look into her hazel eyes, "Why?"
Maura just looked down, "I've been asking myself the same question for a couple of weeks."
"A couple of wee- Maura!" Jane then let go of her arm, "What has brought this on?"
That was it. Maura looked at Jane, tears in her eyes and she stared at the Detective, "The truth." she told her before continuing along her intended path.
Jane stood, mouth gaping open as she watched Maura continue towards the bedroom - their bedroom, once - before she shook her head and followed the Medical Examiner, "No, Maura. Come on. This is a joke, right?" she started to chuckle a little, "Frost, get out here!" she looked around the room a little, checking the closet door.
"I don't joke Jane, you know that."
"Woah, woah. Maura, come on..."
"No, Jane..." Maura began, turning away from the Detective as she felt her throat tightening, the tears making their way through her system.
"Maur..." it was then, the Medical Examiner felt Jane's arms around her waist, standing behind her. Jane sighed close to her ear and swallowed, she wasn't going to give Maura up without a fight, or at least trying to make her see reason. Maura allowed herself to get carried away with her emotions a little too long, turning in Jane's arms and leaning forward to kiss her passionately. Jane took that as red, and hoped that Maura was rethinking her confession, and she lifted her shirt, a Red Sox Home shirt and tossed it across the room.
After a few moments of letting Jane hold her however, Maura broke free and moved away, shaking her head, "I-I can't, Jane. I just can't." she hissed a little, causing Jane to raise both brows before she continued, "I don't know how I've managed this long, Jane. It's lying and, I can't lie." she looked up.
"What are you saying Maura?"
"Us. I can't." she shook her head.
"You're...ending this...?" Jane raised her brows again, blinking a little as she looked to the petite frame before her. Maura simply nodded, so Jane continued, "Why? Is there someone else?"
Looking to Jane, Maura frowned, "No! I just...this isn't who I am, Jane. It's not fair on us both if we continue this."
"Not fair? Maura, what is going on?"
"I love you Jane, but as a friend. You're my best friend. And, when we crossed that line of becoming...more than friends, I-it was like we lost that. Being best friends, it all felt..." she sighed, "Forced. Korsak noticed there was something going on, and he broached the issue on several occasions but I evaded it." she explained to Jane, who had now crossed her arms across her chest and stood staring at Maura, her biceps looking sculpted without any sleeves to hinder them.
"So, Korsak's opinion is more important?"
"I didn't say that." Maura counteracted, "After he left my office, I gave it some thought and I realised it. We moved too fast Jane. It was just too much, too soon."
"So, you never wanted this?"
"Jane, I didn't say that. I just- Why did you kiss me, that night?"
"Because, Detective Sherlock, I was very much attracted to you, and I thought you felt the same way. I took my chances. I could have easily blamed the beer." Jane shrugged and eyed Maura then, "Why did you allow me to kiss you?"
"Because it felt nice. There hadn't been anybody who'd kissed me like that since before Byron."
"So, that's all it was about for you? The sex?"
"It's not uncommon for humans to fulfil their sexual needs with different partners, if only just for one night."
"Another notch in a bedpost." Jane muttered to herself and shook her head a little before she looked back to Maura, glaring at her intensely, "So, I was just sex to you."
Maura bowed her head and sighed, "That's why I can't do it anymore. It's not fair to you." Jane scoffed and turned, storming out, not picking up her shirt on the way. Maura looked up and frowned, "Would you rather I had continued this as a lie? Jane, wait!" Maura called, "I still want to be friends with you!" she stood, starting to follow the Detective, but as she reached her door jamb, she heard the front door slamming, a few seconds of silence before she heard the engine running and tyres screeching away. Silence.
"I guess she doesn't want to be friends..." Maura frowned to herself, glancing over her shoulder to the bed before she sighed and moved along to the kitchen, to bring her friend into the bedroom to keep her company.
This friend was not going to answer back to her, or judge her. Though, in the morning he would leave her alone, again. Maura didn't care though, at that moment, she picked up the bottle and glass before heading back to the bedroom and burying herself under the covers. As soon as she was enveloped in the covers, the tears came, streaking down her face as she sipped the wine from the glass, going over the conversation she'd had with Jane.
Although it had hurt her to tell Jane her feelings, it had been the right decision. This discovery had been a powerful thing.