"Where's Maura?" Frost slapped his tray down against the table, pulling out the chair beside Jane as he was greeted by a scowl.
Jane only snorted as she glowered at her sandwich. "She's probably off somewhere sucking the face off Ian Faulkner."
"Whoa, someone's bitter," Frost raised an eyebrow, slightly taken aback by her overly sour mood. "I didn't even know she was dating him," he added in an offhand manner, squirting a ketchup packet onto his hotdog.
"Yeah, neither did I, but one charming smile in gym class and suddenly they can't keep their hands off each other," Jane took a particularly vicious bite of her peanut butter and fluff sandwich, a pang of regret settling in her stomach when she looked over to the other half she had pushed aside for Maura.
Before Frost could analyze her livid reaction any further, Maura appeared at the table, looking a bit winded. "I apologize that I'm late. I was just—"
"Shoving your tongue down your boyfriend's throat. Yeah, we figured," Jane spat out before she could consider the consequences of her words. Whatever consolation Maura's words had offered her last night were now gone. She had promised that nothing would change, but Jane was struggling to hold herself together as every semblance of familiarity in her life came crashing down around her.
Maura's mouth hung open, unable to come up with a proper retort for a good few seconds. "Excuse me, what I do in my free time is my business, but if you must know, I was merely at the office so I could fill out some paper work," she informed Jane with an indignant tone in her voice. Though her face was creased with irritation, she bit her lip in frustration. "Honestly, Jane, I don't know what you want from me – I never meant for this situation with Ian to make you so upset."
"Fine, sorry. I have been being an asshole," Jane admitted, the hurt still apparent in her voice. "But it does kinda suck, seeing your best friend have so much going for her, when I don't even have the frickin' hope of having someone even ask me to this stupid dance."
Maura opened her mouth, but promptly closed it, as if she were reconsidering her response. Frost, however, rolled his eyes, speaking before Maura could. "Is this honestly all that this is about?" Frost huffed, dropping down onto one knee on the floor beside Jane.
"What the hell are you doing?" Jane hissed, her cheeks turning a little pink as he remained in his current position.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm offering you a proposal," he stated, a wolfish grin spanning across his face. "Jane Clementine Rizzoli, would you do me the honor of accompanying me to the homecoming dance?"
"Frost, you're being ridiculous," Jane whined, her blush deepening as Frost's display turned a few heads and raised some whispers.
"Aw, come on, Jane. You're not gonna turn me down, are you? I just bared my soul to you," he gave her a stern look, though she could see the amusement in his eyes.
She caved, a smile breaking out onto her lips as well. "Fine, fine, I accept. Now get your ass up off the floor before you embarrass yourself anymore." She reached for his hand, tugging him back up into his seat.
"Frost, that was so sweet of you!" Maura gushed, only to earn a glower from Jane, who was not at all pleased by Maura's condescending words. "Honestly, Jane, you should appreciate that you have such a great friend," Maura narrowed her gaze at Jane, pursing her lips in response to Jane's irritable demeanor.
Jane bit back a remark, letting her frustration wane. She let out a weighty sigh before she smiled genuinely in Frost's direction. "You didn't have to do that – besides, I thought you had your eyes on Anna Farrell," Jane reminded him, thinking of the tall, gorgeous star of the girl's basketball team he always spoke so fondly about.
"Ha, yeah, like I'd even have a chance with her," Frost chuckled wistfully. "And I wasn't about to let you sit here and wallow in self pity – besides, what's more fun than going to a dance with one of your best friends, anyway?" He reached for her hand, placing his gently atop of hers.
"Ew, Frost, now you're making this too sentimental," Jane mockingly rolled her eyes, tugging her hand away from his grasp.
"I'm quite excited you'll both be attending," Maura edged her way back into the conversation. "And Jane, I do believe this calls for another shopping trip."
Jane let out a loud groan. "I was saving this half of my sandwich for you, but after that remark, I'm second guessing my generosity," Jane scoffed, though her anger had faded considerably at this point. She couldn't surpress the glint of a smile that danced in her eyes as she spoke the words.
"You've left me with quite the dilemma," Maura teased her back, and Jane began to feel more at ease as she realized that perhaps she wasn't losing her best friend after all.
Maura had not won, much to her chagrin, but she had not lost either. While Jane had vehemently protested the shopping trip, at last winning by playing the financial card, Maura had come up with alternative compromise.
"Right on this side of my closet," Maura led a grumbling Jane across her room, throwing open the door to her walk in closet. "I have a fair amount of dresses from the past few years that you're more than welcome to try on."
"Maura, I'm really not in the mood to play dress up," Jane whined, folding her arms petulantly across her chest, but Maura did not miss her eyes widening as she took in the rows of dresses.
"I do believe you'd look lovely in red. This shade in particular would accentuate the melatonin in your skin." Maura reached for a deep crimson dress, holding the silky material up to Jane's chest.
"Fine, I'll try it on, but just so I can prove to you how awful it'll look," Jane huffed, snatching the dress out of Maura's grasp.
"Jane," Maura tutted. "Just put the dress on. I need to run to the restroom - I'll be right back." She distinctly heard Jane curse as she stepped out of the room, and though she had the urge to roll her eyes, she could not help but to grin at Jane's endearing stubbornness.
Maura stepped back into the room a minute later, stopping short as she caught a glimpse of Jane's lean form. She had yet to pull the dress over her body, wrinkling her nose as she held it out an arm's length away. Maura noticed she was wearing a one of the bra and panty sets she had purchased with her, realizing that in all the times she had changed with Jane, she had not seen her quite this naked. Though her body was skinny and angular, Maura could not help but to admire the way the simple lingerie hugged her curves, and she found herself content to hover quietly in the doorway, her presence unknown to Jane as her eyes drank in the simple, yet stunning sight of her body. Jane stepped into the dress, and just as Maura had predicted, the color looked gorgeous against her Italian skin and dark hair. It was shorter than it had been on Maura, though it accentuated Jane's long muscular legs in a way that made Maura's stomach stir in a manner that had her questioning her sudden arousal. She had always found Jane beautiful, and she had never had any reservations admitting that she found many women attractive, but the breathless feeling that settled in Maura's belly was quite unlike anything she had felt before.
She watched Jane fumble with the zipper in the back, and she forced herself to swallow a breath, an offer tumbling from her lips. "Would you like a hand?"
Jane wheeled around, her face turning pink in an instant. "Jesus, Maura, you just came out of nowhere. How long have you been standing there?"
"Just for a moment," Maura spoke, which was not a lie, though she had seen much more than she suspected Jane had wanted her to. She stepped up behind Jane, acutely aware of the curve of Jane's spine as she tugged the zipper slowly up her back, her finger skimming Jane's soft skin. She felt Jane shiver from her delicate touch, and Maura kept her hand pressed against Jane's skin for a prolonged moment before she stepped away, watching Jane turn so she could appreciate the dress in its entirety.
"It is most definitely your color," Maura managed to speak, her mouth a little dry.
"I dunno," Jane held her lanky body awkwardly as she looked down at her exposed thighs. "It's a little revealing, don't you think?"
"Not at all," Maura spoke a bit too fast. "Of course, it will ultimately depend on your comfort, but I can assure you that it looks perfect on you." Maura spoke the words with such sincerity that she noticed Jane immediately hold herself with a touch of confidence, the effect making her all the more stunning.
"You sure this color isn't too bold?" Jane spun around, taking a closer look at the dress, still a bit skeptical.
"Jane, do me a favor and don't try to argue with me on this one."
Jane let out a shaky laugh, her eyes nearly melting against Maura's, and then she nodded.
A/N: Sorry this is on the shorter side - I wanted to save the actual dance for the next chapter.
Also, I feel as though I should address a matter that I have failed to mention definitively, and I apologize because I know the summary is a bit misleading. Since this story deals with Jane and Maura at such a young age, I don't want any of you to continue reading with the expectation that anything overly sexual is going to take place between Jane and Maura. Upon starting this story, I had considered making them older teens so I could make that an option, but instead I felt more inclined to examine the innocent and excitement of first love - which I have enjoyed quite a bit, as I hope you guys have as well. So if you're looking for something hot and heavy, then there's plenty of other stories out there that can satisfy your cravings. I do hope you'll appreciate this story for what it is, but I did not want any of you to have unrealistic expectations. Thank you for everyone who has given me support as I write this, and I hope that you'll stick with me through the end.