Jane pulled the car into Maura's driveway, the sound of gravel under the tires breaking the uncomfortable silence between the detective and the doctor. Neither had uttered a word during their short journey from the Dirty Robber.
As she turned off the ignition, Jane let out a tortured sigh. Turning toward Maura, she started to speak, "Maura, I…"
"Don't Jane." Maura held her hands up signaling Jane to stop. Frustrated, she let them fall to her lap and clutched at her purse. Jane watched as her knuckles turned white in the grip. Refusing Jane eye contact, Maura hesitated briefly before reaching for the car door.
As she twisted her body to leave the vehicle she added curtly, "Just...you need to come inside. I'll get you some ice for your hand."
Jane winced as the car door slammed shut. She watched Maura angrily make her way to the house. "Fuck," she whispered. Tired and resigned, that was really all Jane could muster right now.
Inside, Jane found Maura in a darkened kitchen, her body captured by moonlight on one side and the glow of the freezer from the other.
So fucking beautiful. Jane's heart sank a little in anticipation of what was brewing.
Abruptly, Maura shut the freezer door and handed Jane a bag of frozen peas. Jane snapped out of her momentary reverie.
"Maura please. Will you just let me apologize?"
Maura looked at her, incredulous. "Apologize? Apologize?" She had said it twice like the repetition would help her understand. "How about we start with, why? Why you did it? Huh? What the fuck is the matter with you Jane?"
Dumbfounded. Jane was dumbfounded. Maura could tell she was starting to acknowledge that she was actually in some really deep shit here.
"Maura. I'm sorry, ok?" It wasn't really a question. Maura's face remained unchanged.
Jane continued, "It's been a long week. I was just a little worked up and I took it out on the guy." In a last ditch attempt to park this increasingly uncomfortable conversation she unconvincingly jeered, "No big deal."
She immediately regretted it.
"No big deal? Are you joking?" Maura was shouting now. Jane had never seen her lose her temper like this. "You're a police officer Jane. You broke his nose!"
At the slightest hint of sympathy for the guy, Jane snapped. She raised her voice to match Maura's pitch.
"He had his hands all over you Maura! He was a fucking pig!"
"He was drunk! I could have handled it Jane!"
A pause. A brief, inexplicable exchange of looks.
"I wanted him to know!"
Oh. Shit. Jane turned and quickly walked a few steps away from the fire she'd just ignited. Oh shit. Her hands in her hair, her jaw locked, her whole body tight with anger. Folded in on itself in frustration.
You gotta calm down here Jane.
So much tension. So much time. Maura had opened a fissure and she knew it.
Maura took a deep, cleansing breath in … and out.
"What about me?" She asked quietly.
"What?" Jane was still reeling.
"What about me?" Maura repeated calmly.
Jane turned to meet Maura's gaze. Something new was there. Jane swallowed back a heartbeat.
"I said I'm sorry Maur." She was sincere. She meant it. "I know you can handle yourself. Lord knows you get enough practice in that place." Jane forced a smile and nervously waited for Maura to reciprocate. She didn't.
"Jane." Maura took a step forward towards her, refusing to break eye contact. "What did you want that guy to know?"
Maura knew and Jane knew it.
"Look, just forget about it. I'm an asshole. I'm sorry."
Maura took another step towards her; the space between them was becoming painfully narrow.
Softly she asked again, "What did you want him to know, Jane?"
Stop saying my name like that. Please.
Jane squeezed her eyes shut momentarily.
Think fast Jane.
Eyes open she made her play, her attempt to deflect this. "That he can't behave like that. That he can't get away with behaving like that."
She was rambling and she knew it. She was fucking nervous. Like, first day on the job nervous.
Maura could feel it. It was palpable. She was certain now.
"Did you…" She stopped herself.
Wait Maura. This is your last chance to negate this.
Eyes fixated on Jane's she steadily regained her strength.
"Did you want him to think that I'm spoken for? That I'm taken?"
Maura watched carefully as Jane brows furrowed and her eyes melted a little. Plain as day she could see the conflict in Jane's face. All the wanting and all the denial.
Jane laughed. She was so nervous she had lost all control here. She stalled for time, "What?"
Maura called her bluff.
"Did you want him to know that I'm yours Jane?"
Jane was so overwhelmingly, so achingly and so suddenly aware.
Aware and undone.
In this moment, silhouetted by the moonlight pouring through Maura's kitchen window she couldn't stop herself from shaking, adrenaline coursing through desire soaked veins. She anxiously, ferociously stroked at the scars on her hands. The knuckles on her left were throbbing painfully.
With a look Jane knew she reserved for her lovers, Maura was suddenly reaching out for her in the dark.
"Maura, please." Jane's brown eyes were begging. She took a step back only to be met by the counter. Trapped. "I can't…" Her voice broke.
Somehow Maura was summoning the strength they both needed for this. But, as if she knew Jane's pleading eyes would shatter her resolve, she now kept her head straight and moved her eyes low.
She was determined to see this through. It's now or never she told herself. And with all those inhibited years already behind them, she knew neither of them could survive much longer without venting some of this ever-mounting pressure.
Silently, slowly and so so tenderly Maura stepped in close towards Jane. Putting her left hand to Jane's chest, her eyes remained fixated on the space where Jane's now swelling heart resided.
Maura closed her eyes. Involuntarily she tilted her head as if she were trying to hear Jane's heart beating.
Jane breathed in deep, her chest rising to meet Maura. She held still. She focused on Maura's touch. Electricity. It felt like Maura's hand was sinking sweetly into her body.
Jane was crying now. Tears welling in her bloodshot eyes, dropping in perfectly formed crystals each time she dared open them.
Maura was whispering, her voice strained, flooding with all the emotions she had been so obsessively controlling since the day she first met the detective.
"Jane." It fell from her mouth like a song, charged with connotation and consequence.
Maura's voice. God, Maura's voice.
Jane was totally out of control. She shook her head weakly in a valiant attempt to regain some distance, some clarity. She turned her face towards the ceiling.
"Jesus Jane, I can't take this anymore."
Maura eyes lifted. Pained but hopeful.
Watching her intently, looking to record the women's every response to her movements, Maura lifted her right hand and reached for Jane's wrist.
Jane dropped her head, letting it fall deep in to her body. She had never felt so defenseless.
Pulling her arm up, Maura placed the detective's hand over her own heart. A small sob escaped Maura's mouth as Jane's touch landed.
Their stances mirrored, hands on hearts, Maura whispered, "Can you feel this?"
Jane could hear the awe in Maura's voice. She thought she could hear a faint smile.
It felt so right. Maura was instantly defeated. She couldn't hold it together anymore.
Squeezing Jane's wrist as hard as she could she stopped fighting her tears. Without warning she pushed angrily at Jane's chest. Once. Twice. Then again, bringing both her hands up to fight Jane's gentle resistance.
"I can't… I can't do this anymore goddammit! I can't… I won't!"
Overwhelmed, Jane gave up the fight. She gave Maura what she needed.
Her body limp she took the blows until Maura was overcome and couldn't fight any longer. She waited. Tentatively she lifted her eyes first and then her head. She watched as Maura put her own head in her hands and sobbed.
"Yes." It was barely more than a breath but Maura heard it. She lifted her weary head to face Jane.
Their eyes locked. Stomachs falling, hearts beating hard.
"What?" So quiet. Maura could hardly speak.
"Yes." Jane said it louder this time. "I wanted him to know…I wanted him to know that you belong with me." She closed her eyes again the weight of their unspoken secret lifting. "I wanted you to know. I wanted you to feel it."