Title: Answers
Show/Pairing: Rizzoli & Isles, Jane/Maura
Rated: PG-13
Words: ~1700
Summary: Post-ep of Crazy For You; Maura and Jane struggle to get to sleep after the events of the day
Spoilers: None, really, but this is a post-ep piece for Crazy For You (which just aired in the US on 7/17) so there are some allusions to events in that ep and also this piece may or may not make more sense if you've seen the episode.
Notes 1: You read that right. A post-ep. I never write these. Like, ever. And certainly don't write them this quickly! And maybe I shouldn't ever again, lol. But, like Maura's, my mind wouldn't let me sleep until I wrote, for better or for worse.
Notes 2:You also read the rating correctly. No sexytime. Just...I don't know what this is. But not nookie. Sorry. Maybe next time. ;)


Answers

It was late. The day had been long, metaphorically and in reality. And they were tired. Bone weary, even. But they also didn't seem all that inclined to go to bed. So they just kept talking. About Pike. About the Texan. About Tommy.

About anything but the day, anything but that.

Jane was the first to start to fade, listening to Maura go on about a paper she might write for next year's symposium, her eyes began to droop. She didn't want to fall asleep, she really didn't, she wanted to keep listening to and just sitting with Maura, but her eyes were refusing to cooperate, were refusing to stay open.

Maura noticed and stopped mid-sentence, knowing instinctively and not really caring that Jane hadn't really been following her anyway. "Jane?" she said after a moment.

Jane's eyes came slightly back into focus and she rubbed them, "Yeah. Sorry. I think I zoned out on you there. What were you saying?"

Maura smiled and didn't bother resuming her previous thread, it wasn't really important anyway, "I was saying that you look about ready to collapse."

Jane closed her eyes and rubbed them once more, "Yeah, sorry again. I guess I'm more tired than I thought. I guess I should head home."

"Nonsense," Maura said, "You're staying here tonight. Come on." Maura got up and offered a hand to Jane who took it. Maura then pulled an obviously exhausted and barely functioning Jane off the couch and led her – still holding her hand – down the hall to the guest bedroom. Maura checked the bed, pulling down the blankets and fluffing the pillows before turning back to Jane. She smiled and squeezed her friend's shoulder, "I'm just down the hall," she said quietly.

Jane smiled back weakly. "Thanks."

Maura smiled back, wishing she could bring herself to say what she really wanted to say, but instead just leaving quietly, closing the door behind her.

. . . . . .

The doctor made her way to her own bedroom. She went through the motions of changing into her pajamas and brushing her teeth before climbing into bed. She heard a toilet flush in the guest room and then quiet, and knew Jane had also climbed into bed, and took comfort in the belief Jane had fallen into a much needed sleep.

But for Maura, sleep would not come, just as she knew it wouldn't. She should be tired. But she wasn't. Or, more accurately, she was quite tired but simply powerless to do anything about it.

For despite the exhaustion, her mind wouldn't shut down.

It wouldn't shut down and it wouldn't let go. All Maura could think about was what she might have lost today.

Again.

And the only questions in her mind, repeated over and over and over, was how many times did they have to almost lose each other?

How much longer would they wait?

What would it finally take?

. . . . . . .

Even in the quiet of her home and the emptiness of her bed, despite focusing on her breathing, despite attempts to calm her racing synapses, Maura's mind refused to quiet, refused to empty, refused to even out, refused to slow. Instead it just continued to mull over the course of the day, to process the various emotions, the highs and the lows, the absurdities and the terror; just continued to consider memories that might never happen, to try wish away events that already had, and just continued to ask those same questions, those same questions...

...until she was interrupted by a soft whisper. Barely audible. But loud enough.

"Maur? You awake?"

Maura sat up in bed and faced her bedroom door. It was dark and hard to see, but she didn't have to see. "Jane, are you okay?" was her immediate answer.

"Yeah, fine...," came Jane's response, a little louder than her previous soft whisper, "Just..." the detective's voice then trailed off.

"...having trouble sleeping?" Maura finished for her, knowingly.

"Yeah, I guess. Can I...?" again Jane's voice trailed off but she took a tentative step into Maura's bedroom.

"Of course," Maura moved to one side of the bed, lifting the covers as an invitation for Jane to come in, to join her. Had they been looking in from the outside, both women, like anyone, would have recognized the intimacy of just how few words were needed for them to communicate.

As it was, they were separately content to simply be together.

. . . . . .

When Jane was settled into the bed, Maura spoke, "I thought when you went to bed, you'd be asleep as soon as your head hit the pillow."

"Me, too," Jane replied before falling silent for several moments, deciding what to say, how much to say, finally settling on the obvious, "Guess I just kinda woke up."

Maura, like Jane, wasn't sure what to say. Wasn't sure what to ask. They both knew why Jane couldn't sleep. They both knew they should talk about it. They both just didn't quite know how.

Finally Jane spoke again, avoiding that possible conversation, turning her head on the pillow to face Maura and asking, "So, why are *you* still awake?"

Maura, likewise, turned her head toward Jane. She shrugged one shoulder, not willing to completely let it go, "Same as you, I suppose."

Jane turned her head back towards the ceiling, "Yeah," was all she said.

They lay there quietly for a while longer before Jane spoke once again, a seeming non-sequitor, but really around about way to acknowledge the day, to acknowledge that it was what they were both thinking about. "Frost really is amazing, isn't he? I mean he may be no good with dead bodies but man he knows his cyber ether compu-crap, you know?"

Maura smiled in the dark, gratefully, even relieved, "Yes. He's quite skilled and knowledgeable."

"You know there was this one case, I think it was the second case we worked together..." Jane rattled on about Frost, chuckling here, admiring there, Maura listening, knowing that's what Jane needed, but also taking such comfort in just hearing Jane's voice.

Comfort enough that even as she listened she felt her eyes grow heavy for the first time since that awful webcam image flashed onto the screen at police HQ. She actually had to struggle to follow what Jane was saying, to put in the appropriate "Mhm"s, and "uh-huh"s.

Finally Jane noticed the slowing of Maura's speech and felt herself growing tired again as well. "I'm sorry, I'm keeping you up," she rasped, her head once again turned on the pillow towards Maura.

"Sokay," Maura slurred slightly, trying to act awake, "I don't mind."

Jane smiled and lifted herself out of bed, "No, it's not okay, you need your sleep. So do I." Jane gently tucked the blankets she'd just gotten out from under back around Maura. She smiled down at her droopy eyed best friend and ran a finger down the side of Maura's face, "I'll see you in the morning," she whispered with a soft smile, then turned to go.

. . . . . . .

Maura heard her bedroom door close and the soft retreating steps of Jane down the hall, and snuggled down deeper under the blankets. And she really thought she'd be asleep within a minute, the earlier turmoil in her mind having been quieted by Jane's presence and voice.

But once that presence and voice was removed, a void was created.

And filled with the same emptiness and doubts and questions from before.

Maura rolled onto her back again and looked up at the ceiling. Awake. Again.

Aching. Again.

For so many things.

How much longer? What would it take?

. . . . . . .

Maura couldn't be sure but she didn't think it was long. Ten minutes maybe fifteen since Jane had retired back to the guest room.

"Maur?" she heard, much like before. "You still awake?" again barely audible.

"Yes," she whispered back quietly. "As are you, I see."

A soft chuckle. "Yeah."

Quiet. A beat. Then finally, "Do you want..." Maura once again lifted the blankets in invitation.

"Would it be okay? I just... I can't... Could I...?"

"Of course," Maura replied then amended, "Please."

Jane got into the bed. "Thanks," she mumbled, curling up onto her side, facing away from Maura, "I'll try not to hog all the blankets."

Maura smiled softly behind Jane, knowing that attempted light heartedness was Jane's way of covering stronger emotions.

"It's okay," was Maura's slightly raspy reply, ostensibly to Jane hogging blankets.

Again there were a few seconds of silence between them, a little tension in the air, the felt and known but as yet unacknowledged truth begging to be given voice, to be put into words.

It was Jane once again to speak first. "Maura?" she said tentatively... on the brink... on the precipice...

"Yes, Jane?" Maura whispered back, fearful, hopeful.

A beat. No words. Just silence.

But it was a start. Maura lifted herself enough to pull Jane's hair back from her head and give the brunette a light kiss on the temple before whispering to her tenderly, understandingly, "I know." The doctor leaned down and placed another light kiss on Jane's temple, "Get some rest."

Maura heard Jane exhale and felt more than saw Jane's body relax. And Maura knew the detective was asleep within seconds. Snuggling a little closer to that long warm body, Maura knew she'd follow Jane into slumber quickly, as well.

She knew because her mind no longer needed to ponder, no longer needed to mull, no longer needed to race. For it had the answers to the questions it had been asking all night.

Not much longer. Not much more.