This is nothing but gratuitousness fluff. I can't even say there's much of a storyline here in the sense that I ordinarily do storylines. The other story I just finished up was so heavy that I wanted to do something lighter, and this is what I've got. I'm posting this as I write it. Characters aren't mine. They belong to Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro, Turner Broadcasting (TNT), and Warner Brothers (WB).
"Hey, Maura," Jane sat on the doctor's sofa, leaned back to stretch her full length across the cushions, "Come here. You've been working on that paper for that journal thing for three hours now. Don't you think you should take a break and let your brain rest?"
The doctor smiled. One of the many things she loved about her detective was the other woman's way of forcing her to take breaks. "I'm all most finished with this paragraph. Let me complete my thought, and I'll take a break."
Jane sounded doubtful. "Promise?"
"Baby, please, let me just finish this. I promise I'll cuddle with you on the sofa once I'm done with this paragraph, okay?" The doctor sighed and turned back to her notebook.
"Fine," came the grumbled response as Jane turned her attention back to the book she was reading.
A few moments later, Maura's hand plucked the book from Jane's and set it down on the coffee table. "You look comfy."
"I am. You should try it out. It's called relaxing." The detective smirked. "I can give you lessons. You in?"
Maura pretended to consider it. "What's involved?"
"First, you have to lie down with me." Jane moved to lie on her back, facing the ceiling and then motioned for Maura to lay on the sofa so the doctor lay on top of her, back to front. "Good?" Honey brunette curls tickled her face as Maura nodded yes and sighed at the feel of Jane's arms wrapped around her. "Now, close your eyes. Are they closed?"
Maura chuckled. "Yes, they're closed."
"I want you to remember something with me," the detective said, voice quiet and soft next to the doctor's ear. Maura nodded in response. "Remember the first time we met?"
Another chuckle escaped Maura. "Yes, I told you to step out of my light so I could properly process the scene."
Jane smiled. "Do you remember what I said?"
"As I recall," Maura said, humor lacing her voice, "you said, 'Who is this chick, where's the ME, and why are you wearing high heels to a crime scene?' Then you rolled your eyes and demanded that I identify myself. You clearly had not been reading your interoffice memos."
"Hey, I was busy doing other stuff, like catching the bad guys," they laughed, and Jane placed a light kiss on Maura's neck. "Did I ever tell you what I was actually thinking the first time I saw you?"
"No," the doctor frowned, "you never did. The only thing you've ever mentioned about it is that you were irritated that no one had told you I was the new medical examiner because everyone knew you had a tendency to not read memos."
"That's what I have you for," the detective gave the woman in her arms a little squeeze.
"Not at the time." Maura frowned, eyes still closed as she thought aloud, "I have often wondered how you managed to obtain information regarding the internal happenings of the department prior to my arrival. If your habits when I did arrive were any indication of how you normally operated, it's a wonder you knew about anything outside of the cases you were currently working."
"I didn't. In fact," the doctor could feel Jane's left arm move away from its hold on her as the detective talked, "before you came along, I didn't really pay attention to anything outside of the case I was working on unless Ma forced me to, and, even then, I wasn't really there mentally. I was still working the case. But, I don't know, there was something about you that made me stop and refocus, and, the next thing I know, I'm paying attention to what operas are playing on Friday nights and whether or not I have wrinkles in my suddenly tailored suits."
A smug smile graced the doctor's face. "I'm glad I could be a positive influence on you."
"Yeah," the detective said, trying her hardest not to sound as amused as she felt, "we'll go with that. Anyway, back to my thoughts. I was telling you what I thought when I first laid eyes on you." Her left arm found its way back to Maura, rewrapping around the other woman. "I was thinking, 'Oh my God, she's… she's… holy crap, she's gorgeous, and I have no freaking idea what I just said to her. She's the new ME? Not good… really not good. I'm going to be distracted all the time. Wait, why am I going to be distracted all the… holy shit, her legs are just… why am I thinking about her legs? This is crazy! I just met this chick, and she's… really, really pretty and I'd really like to… I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay…"
Maura tilted her head, smug smile still in place and eyes still closed. "From the moment we met, I had you questioning your sexuality?"
"Pretty much," Jane sighed. "I mean, looking back on it, the whole thing is a little crazy. I didn't know you or anything about you, and all I could think of from the moment we left the scene until I went down for the autopsy was getting to see you again. Honestly, sweetie, you had me at 'Detective, you're standing in my light. Move, please." Again, they chuckled before Jane's voice dropped into a more serious tone. "That was five years ago today, did you know that?"
"I hadn't realized that, no," the doctor turned her head, opening her eyes to meet the dark brown ones looking down at her. "I've forgotten about our anniversary, haven't I?"
"We've both been really busy." Jane shrugged. "Between the deadlines for this article you're writing and the double homicide, things have been hectic, so I'm not mad. Besides, we have that whole neat thing where our anniversary happens to be the same as the date we met, and how many couples can say that? I figure that, so long as I at least get a kiss tonight, we're doing good."
"Thank you," Maura replied gently before kissing her detective. "I did have plans for a gift for you. Perhaps I can…"
"I've got it covered." Jane nodded for Maura to look down at their interlaced hands. "I thought maybe we'd do something different for our 2 year anniversary."
A small, velvet box lay on Maura's stomach, just above their hands. "Jane?"
Pulling their hands apart, Jane opened the box and sat it back down. Inside was a stunning ruby ring set in a band of white gold and accented with smaller diamonds around the setting. "Did you know," Jane began as she held a suddenly shaking doctor, "that diamonds didn't become the standard stone for engagement rings until about the 1930s? Before then, people used all sorts of stones, and, in the Middle Ages, some women carried sewing thimbles instead of wearing rings?"
At the quiet in the room, Jane cautiously continued, "I always thought that a diamond engagement ring just didn't fit with what I thought about when I thought about forever, you know? It's just too commercialized to me to really mean anything anymore. To me, marriage is about love, devotion, integrity, courage, vitality and happiness, and it just so happens that is exactly what a ruby represents. It's a pretty amazing stone, historically speaking. It's the stone that warriors going into battle would implant under their skin to bring them valor on the battle field, and some people wore them in talismans to ward off danger and disaster. Royalty traditionally used them as opposed to diamonds in their engagement rings, and rubies are supposed gather and increase energy, bring light, contentment and peace into your life. There are even legends that say rubies are able to reconcile lover's quarrels. Apparently, if true love's course isn't running all that smoothly, the ruby in the engagement ring will get darker, and, combined with white diamonds like the ones in this ring, a ruby engagement ring symbolizes life, love and commitment." She moved her hands to pull the ring from the box. "I think all of that is a much better symbol than a diamond for everything you are to me because, Maura," she said as she motioned for them to sit up, "You are and bring all of those things to my life."
Slowly, Jane moved to kneel in front of the now silently crying honey brunette seated on the sofa. "You are what I think about when I go out on the streets and into battle each day, and the thought of you brings me valor. You protect me. You are my princess, my bright light, and, no matter how bad the day, you can make it better again simply by being nearby. You bring me peace, Maura, in so many ways. I can't imagine life without you." Taking the doctor's left hand in her right, Jane met Maura's eyes and asked with hope and sincerity, "Stay with me forever, and I promise I'll do everything I can to make you happy every single day. Marry me, Maura?"