One shot. Characters aren't mine. They belong to Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Brothers, and other assorted important people.

The rain pelted the windows of Jane's apartment, and the thunder echoed through the streets of Boston. Outside the tiny one bedroom apartment, whipping wind raced through the man made valleys constructed of concrete and steel while inside the darkened home two women and one dog lay sleeping and oblivious to Nature's power.

One lanky, sinewy dark haired brunette lay curled on her side facing away from a smaller, curvier honey haired doctor who lay on her back, suddenly awakened by the sound of thunder cracking loudly outside the window. In between the violent sound of thunder and the bursts of lightening, Maura could make out the sound of a whine.

At first, it was difficult to determine from where the sound came. She thought it might come from the little dog curled up at the foot of the bed. But, as the thunder continued to shake the building, the doctor realized it was not Jo Friday quitely complaining with each deafening sound.

It was Jane Rizzoli.

Deep in sleep and unaware to her own actions, the normally fearless detective winced and shivered with each roar from outside. Her body tensed as the thunder boomed, and a sound not unlike mewling issued from the back of her throat with each flash of intensely bright light.

Maura slowly turned on her side to watch the back of her friend and determine if what she was observing was really what she thought she was observing. Each new wave of thunder and lightening seemed to enforce the fact that, at least in her sleep, her best friend was afraid of the thunderstorm.

The doctor was torn on what to do with this new piece of information. On one hand, she hated the idea of leaving Jane to her fears knowing that she would likely calm down if she was held. On the other hand, she knew the detective would hate it if she knew anyone knew she had a weak spot when it came to something as common as a thunderstorm.

As she considered it, Maura knew there was more to it than even those two things. Yes, they were best friends, but even best friends had lines. Wouldn't Jane waking up to find herself being held by Maura cross that line? Best friends didn't hold each other like lovers would, and, in this circumstance, that is exactly how Maura would hold Jane.

How would the detective act? Would she be angry? Would she pretend that it never happened? Would she even care? They had cuddled on the sofa a few times, and there was one instance Maura could think of where Jane hand held her when they were waiting outside in the cold for the morgue van to arrive, and it was particularly cold. Even with all of those factors, the doctor was certain she would cross one of the unspoken of lines they had drawn regarding their very close friendship.

Was she really ready to answer to crossing that line once Jane was awake?

Another loud crack brought forth a very audible whimper from the detective and all thought of the consequences left Maura's mind as she scooted closer to Jane and wrapped herself around the taller frame of her friend. Whispering quiet words to calm her, it took a few minutes before Maura was able to soothe Jane.

A few minutes after that, the two settled and both were fast asleep and again oblivious to the turmoil outside.

A bird chirped loudly outside the window, and Jane cracked an eye to give a dirty look in the direction of the noise. She was warm, comfortable, and really had no desire to move. Upon consideration, she realized she couldn't move if she wanted to.

At some point in the night, Maura had managed to wrap herself around Jane. The doctor's arms and legs were wound around her, and Jane could feel Maura's breath caresses the back of her neck where the other woman's face was nuzzled into her no doubt messy pile of hair.

Before trying to untangle herself, she took a moment to consider how this situation might have happened. The last thing she recalled was settling on her side, facing away from Maura, as she listened to the light pitter-patter of rain against her window. She knew the forecast had called for a thunderstorm that night, and it was one of many reasons why, after movie night, Maura had elected to spend the night rather than try to drive home in the dark and the rain.

Thunderstorms meant lightening and lots of thunder, which Jane hated. Though she'd never like to admit it aloud, thunder freaked her out. There was just something super creepy about a noise loud enough that you could feel it making your insides shake.

She gave a shiver at the thought and froze as, in her sleep, Maura made soothing sounds and pulled the detective closer.

A light went on in Jane's mind. She must have been whining in her sleep last night as she knew she sometimes did during loud storms, and Maura must have decided to calm her down. This revelation brought up a whole line of questioning she tried to avoid because it always ended with her questioning why Maura was allowed to do things that not even the men she dated were allowed to do.

Not one man she had called her boyfriend would ever have been allowed to hold her like this as she slept in order to keep her from being afraid. She knew it. Jane knew she would have thrown a fit the instance she had put the pieces together as to what had happened in the night. She didn't need a man to protect her. She could protect herself. However, upon waking up and realizing that was exactly what Maura had done, the only thing Jane could really come up with was relief and the desire to snuggle closer to the smaller woman.

It was a sign she would prefer to have never seen because it meant so much. With such a little gesture as protecting her while she slept from the fear of the wrathfulness Nature could present, Maura had somehow managed to cross the unspoken line they had both set down years before. Now the dark hair brunette had to decide what to do.

Would she act in anger? Would she ignore it all and pretend it hadn't happened? Did she even care?

It took little consideration to answer those questions. No, she wasn't angry and would not act that way toward Maura unless she was actually upset. No, she couldn't ignore it nor could she pretend this wasn't happening. Yes, she cared. She cared very much.

She felt Maura stir, and then the arms and legs wrapped around her tried to slowly and carefully pull back. In a quick movement, Jane held on, refusing to let Maura go.

They were quiet for a long breadth of time as they lay how they had been most of the night, each not really knowing what to say. Finally, Jane broke the silence, her voice scratchy and deep with sleep, "I was whining in my sleep, wasn't I?"

Maura swallowed the lump in her throat and answered carefully, "You were distressed."

"Thunder," the detective answered, body twitching slightly, "It freaks me out."

"Yes, I could tell. I wasn't aware you were af... that you didn't care for thunderstorms." The doctor winced at her word choice.

"Afraid," Jane filled in the the word. "I've always been afraid of them. Ever since I was a little girl. I have no idea why, but I guess a lot of us out there have some irrational fear about something, right?"

Maura let out a sigh of relief. Jane wasn't angry. "Yes, we've had this discussion before."

"Oh yeah, I forgot. That was around the time of that witch case." The taller woman made a motion to indicate she was ready to move, and the doctor rolled over onto her back to allow Jane to go where she wanted. Much to Maura's surprise, long arms and legs wrapped around her as Jane settled her head against the honey brunette's shoulder. "That was a creepy ass case, too. Do I even want to know how you knew all that stuff about witchcraft?"

"Most likely not," Maura answered, voice sounding as puzzled as she felt. "Jane, what are we doing?"

"Laying in bed," dark brown eyes looked up to meet the green ones looking down at her. "Why?"

"Because we've never laid like this before, and, frankly, I'm completely baffled by your behavior. I was certain you were going to be angry when you woke up this morning, yet," the doctor tilted her head in consideration, "you seem perfectly fine."

"Mmm," Jane made a positive yet noncommittal sound. "Well, here's what I figure. Once we get out of bed and really start our day, we're going to have to talk about this because, let's face it, if you were anyone else, we'd be fighting right now. But you're you, and I've got some serious lack of boundaries when it comes to you. That either means I'm getting soft," she chuckled as if that was a super humorous joke, "or you are more important to me than my pride. Either way, it means we have to talk about lines and crossing them and where we are and a whole bunch of other things that I'm probably really going to want to avoid but won't because I know it's time to talk about it. So, while we're still in bed and before we can start all of this, I thought it'd be nice to just enjoy cuddling with each other. What do you think?"

"I think you've been awake much longer than I have," Maura deadpanned before giving a chuckle. "We could avoid all of that and simply say what's actually on our minds. The worst case scenario is that we aren't on the same page regarding our boundaries. Once we know that, we can move forward with whomever has the more restrictive boundaries."

Jane shook her head, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. "Not one for small talk, are you?"

Maura gave a shake of her head. "I find that, when it concerns you and emotions, direct is generally the best approach."

"Fair enough," the detective pulled back to sit up. "Okay, how about this?" She took in a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she thought of what to say next. "We obviously have something going on here, and I'm thinking it's gone way past best friend status to something else, but God only knows what. I can't say that I'm attracted to women because I'm not, but, Jesus Maura," she shook her head, "you make me wonder."

"I make you wonder or you wonder because of what you feel for me?" Again, the doctor tilted her head in thought as she waited for a response.

Jane narrowed her eyes. "Yes."

Maura rolled her eyes. "I walked into that." She sighed. "Okay, you offered something, so it only seems fair I do the same. I feel the same way you do, though I hypothesize that what we're actually moving toward is a romantic relationship should both of us be open to that. Just so you know, I am open to that possibility. I have been for quite some time."

"This sort of feels like we're playing poker or something... maybe writing out a contract or talking about a case." With a wince, Jane ran her hand over her face. "I always sort of pictured us having this really dramatic moment where we professed our feelings for each other. This whole matter-of-fact thing is throwing me."

With a smirk, Maura asked in a humor laced voice, "Would you rather I blushed and said, 'Oh, Jane Rizzoli, I love you so much' before kissing you passionately with my morning breath?"

"No, not really," the dark haired brunette smirked. "Who does that anyway? I mean, morning breath is nasty. Who kisses someone when they first wake up?" She made a face. "Anyway, no, I just mean... okay, look, so we both have feelings for each other. What do we do now?"

The doctor shrugged. "Take turns using the facilities and then go for a kiss?"

"We're going to have to work on this romance thing. We clearly fail in that department," Jane said as she stood from the bed. "You go first, and I'll make us something to eat. After I'm out of the bathroom, we can try for that whole kissing thing. Sound good to you?"

"I've always liked having a plan," Maura said as she slid from her side of the bed and headed to the bathroom. "I prefer my eggs..."

"Scrambled. Yeah, I know how you like your eggs, Maura." The detective followed the smaller woman out of the bedroom, rolling her eyes at the obvious request.

"Better than fertilized," Maura called out before closing the bathroom door and leaving Jane to the blush that crawled up her face as she went to work on breakfast.

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