For LJ Bard and Brandi Mortati

The M rating is for language at the very end. I'd hate to offend the kiddies!

As usual, the characters aren't mine. They belong to Janet, Tess, TNT, WB and other assorted important people.


The hospital room was quiet except for the beeping from the heart monitor as it followed the steady rhythm of Gabriel Dean's heart and the sound of the respirator beating out its own rhythm to provide the precious oxygen he needed to continue to live.

Beside him sat a very tired and very lonely Jane Rizzoli. Between the police investigation, the loss of her best friend, and her mother moving into her apartment, she was finding it hard to find any rest for her wariness. The constant beat down from the Brass for apparently withholding information about Doyle didn't help.

She was tired, and it showed in every aspect of her personality.

As she watched Dean's chest move slowly up and down, she pondered on what had brought her to this place in her life. How had she'd gone from having everything to having nothing? Her job was on the line, she had no friends to speak of at the moment, her possible boyfriend was hanging onto to life by a thin thread, and her mother was living with her in her apartment. Had she thought that before? Probably.

Patrick Doyle was going to be fine, though there were some very large issues surrounding him, not the least of which was where the hell he was. As soon as they had loaded him into the ambulance to get him to the hospital, there had been a long line of events that ended up with Paddy Doyle, once again, disappearing after coming out of the recovery room of the hospital and into a secured, private hospital room. No one would believe she hadn't had a hand in all of that. No one believed much of anything she said now, especially Maura.

Maura hadn't spoken to her in weeks. She had resigned as Chief Medical Examiner, and Jane was terrified she would never be able to even speak to the honey brunette again. Maura was her best friend, had been her best friend until Jane had a romp in the hay with Dean and decided to tell Maura's biggest secret to the FBI agent.

Jane glanced over to Gabriel, giving him a hard look. This was really all his fault. If he'd kept his promise and not done anything until she told him to, none of this would have happened. If he'd left her alone when she told him the first time that she didn't want to be in a relationship, things would be fine now. If he had not been so freaking interested in her, then …

Then what?

Jane sighed. The truth was that she was attracted to the tall, dark and handsome guy, and she had let her hormones run over her good sense. Now she was paying for it. Two kisses and a night of sex doesn't make anyone your significant other or even trustworthy. That's like thinking what you say is sacred if you say it while sharing a pint of Rocky Road. What she had done was stupid on so many levels that she loathe to even list them all out in her mind.

Jane leaned back in her chair and ran her hands over her face. Life sucked.

She wanted her badge back. She wanted her mother to get a place. She wanted Maura back. She wanted Dean to just die already.

Those thoughts caught her by surprise. She wanted Dean to die and she wanted Maura back? Back as a friend, of course. Right? Right?

A moment of panic ran through her mind as a rush of adrenaline coursed through her. She shivered. What did she want?

Maura.

She shook her head. Anything else?

Nope.

With a heavy sigh, Jane stood up and paced about the small room. The monitor beeped, the machine moved, and Dean lay there, lifeless. Suddenly angry, she punched a wall. It didn't improve her mood, so she punched it again, and again, and again…

"You'll eventually break your hand, and I know how much you dislike going to therapy for your hands now. Can you imagine the irritation if you have to go to even more sessions?"

It was less the words than the voice that caught her by surprise, and she turned to see Maura standing in the door way holding two cups of coffee and a bag with a pastry in it. "Maura? What are you doing here?"

The doctor stepped inside and took the seat Jane had been in a moment before, setting the drinks and bag on the table beside Dean's bed. "I may no longer be working for the police department, but I still hear the rumors. Some say that you haven't left this room often, and Angela is very worried about you."

"Okay, but that doesn't tell me why you're here." Jane turned, leaned against the battered wall, and crossed her arms in front of her as she tried to ignore the pain in her left hand. "You hate me, remember?"

"I don't hate you, Jane. I am angry about many things, but I don't hate you." Maura stood again, stepping in front of Jane so their eyes met. "I told you once before that I love you, and I meant that. I hate what has happened. I hate the situation we're both in, and I hate how angry I am at you right now. I know that it is less rational than I would like for it be, but I don't hate you. I don't."

For a time, Jane regarded the other woman, unsure of what to say. Finally, she spoke as her voice cracked with unshed tears and brittle emotions, "I miss you, Maura."

"I miss you, too." Maura placed a hand on Jane's arm, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "That's why I'm here."

"I'm sorry," Jane couldn't stop herself. Now that everything had started rolling, there was no way she could stop it, any of it. She couldn't stop the tears, and she couldn't stop the pleading on her face and in her voice, and she couldn't stop the words pouring from her mouth. "I am so sorry. I should never have told him your secret. You should have been able to trust me. This is all my fault. None of this would have happened if I had stuck to what I promised you about Doyle. I should never have slept with Dean. It was wrong. It was all wrong. God, Maura, you were here with your mother, and I should have been here with you when I wasn't working that case, not in bed with him. I should have been with you. I am so very sorry. I'll never forgive myself for this. It's all my fault. Everything. All of it. I created this mess, and I am so sorry. I just…"

A finger over her lips stopped her word spew. She quieted, and her gaze again locked with Maura's. "Jane, we all have some blame. No one can take full responsibility for this. This isn't all your fault, but you are not without a great burden of the blame. That fact I'm willing to allow you to claim ownership of." She slowly pulled her hand away from Jane's face. "Do you really feel you should have been with me?"

"Yeah," the detective nodded, sighing in defeat. "I should have. I'm always here for you, Maura. At least, I was, and I don't know why the hell I wasn't the one time you really needed my support. I could have slept with him whenever, but I can't be with you when you need me whenever I feel like it. I need to be there when you actually need me. I failed on so many things. I wouldn't blame you if you walked out of here and never spoke to me again."

"I want to," Maura said with an air of sadness, "but I find I can't. I'm so angry with you, Jane, but I think about you all the time. I wonder how you are and if you're well. I miss our talks and the time we spend away from work where we simply are with each other. How can I be so angry with you yet want to be in your company at the same time? It makes no sense, and it frustrates me."

Jane swallowed down the lump in her throat. "Maybe you really do love me?"

"I've come to that conclusion, yes." Turning around, Maura stepped closer to the side of the bed to look down at the immobile man in it. "I really hate him."

"I can't believe I heard those words come out of your mouth." Jane blinked, stepping up to stand beside the honey brunette. "But, if it makes you feel any better, I had the thought before I started punching the wall that I wish he'd hurry up and die."

Maura made a noncommittal sound but kept her eyes on Dean. "Is that why you were punching the wall?"

"No," a humorless chuckle escaped the back of Jane's throat. "I was pounding the wall because my other thoughts were I wanted Ma to move out of my place, and I wanted you back."

"I'm not sure you ever really lost me," came the monotone reply.

"I'm not sure I ever really had you," was the quick response, followed by an unsure comment of, "but I want to."

Jane looked over and down to see Maura had turned to face her. The lanky woman shifted uncomfortably, painfully aware of how exposed that last thought left her. She waited, fighting back her urge to run.

"One step at a time," Maura said quietly as she reached a tentative hand out to again lightly touch Jane's arm. "I'm still angry with you. I need time, but I need you, too. For now, let's start with getting through this, and, in time, we can build toward more. I want that, too. I have for a while now. I just never thought you would consider it as an option."

"You not being around and refusing to even look at me has made me realize a few things," Jane said, a light blush covering her features. "I get what you're saying, and I'm willing to do whatever you want me to. I want to earn your trust back, Maura. I need you in my life."

"We'll get there." The doctor paused, considering something and then ignoring another thought as it passed through her mind. "I believe in the strength of our connection to each other."

"That's not very scientific of you, Doctor Isles," the dark haired brunette couldn't help the light tease.

Maura gave a small smile. "No, it's not, but you've taught me to trust instinct, and, in this, I do." She stepped forward and more into the other woman's personal space. "I missed us."

Throwing caution to the side, Jane reached forward and pulled Maura into a huge. Relief rushed through her as the smaller woman returned the embrace. They stood there for a long time, wrapped in each other, before a knock and throat clearing pulled them apart.

"Detective Rizzoli, I see you called someone in. I'm glad you took my advice." A short, round, older woman with dark hair, dark features, and a name tag reading "Dr. Irma Sharma" stepped into the room followed by a nurse. "These things are never easy to go through alone. It's better to have a friend or loved one with you."

Jane nodded. "It's time?"

Doctor Sharma gave a simple nod. "His living will was very specific. It's time. I'm very sorry, Detective. It won't take long, and you don't have to be here. We can come out to the lobby and notify you after its over."

"Jane?" Maura was confused.

"Dean had a lot of balls, Maura." Rolling her eyes, Jane ran a hand through her hair. "He had a living will, but he apparently doesn't have any family to speak of. Sometime between our romp and this," she motioned toward the bed, "he added me in as his emergency contact and person to make calls on his behalf. Guess he thought we were destined to get married or something. I don't know."

"You can't be serious," the smaller woman gaped. "It was only a few days."

"Yeah, I know." Jane shrugged and shook her head. "Like I said, he had a lot of balls."

Maura nodded in agreement. "What's about to happen?"

"We're taking him off life support," Doctor Sharma answered. "If you're both ready?"

Jane nodded, crossing her arms at her chest and pulling a hand up to chew on her thumbnail. "Do it."

Maura stepped closer to Jane, wrapped an arm around her waist and placing her head against Jane's shoulder. They stood aside and watched as the nurse and doctor turned the machines off and left the room. Both remained silent as the steady beat of the heart monitor slowed and then flat lined.

The room was eerily quiet. Nothing moved. They barely breathed.

"He's gone?" Jane's voice was again brittle.

"Yes," Maura answered quietly.

The detective nodded but didn't move. She stared at the body, taking in the sight. "Dean, you son of a bitch," the words were acid on her tongue, "Fuck you for putting me in your will, and fuck you for putting all of us through this shit, and fuck you for thinking that we had anything going on but a one night stand. I hope you burn in hell, you bastard."

With that, she wrapped her arm around Maura and guided them both out of the room, not bothering to look back.


Reviews would be loved. I'm curious to see what you guys think of this one.