A/N: omg, someone stop me! Rizzles is literally consuming my life! That last scene has inspired me like I think no other in R&I history. There are so many ways it could have led to Rizzles, and I hope to explore a few of them here. This one was inspired a bit by the last chapter of the CJ sequel, probably. Hopefully with a bit happier of a conclusion. The next one will be fluffier.
"Can I come?"
Maura propped herself up on her elbows, looking down at her smirking friend in faux annoyance. "Only 'maybe?'"
"Yeah," Jane laughed, and Maura lay back down. Then before she could stop herself, out it came: "Depends on what you come as."
Jane all but physically bit her lip after the words had slipped out. She could see Maura had turned her head to look at her, but Jane stayed resolutely on her back, staring resolutely at the ceiling. Frantically she tried to think of a way out, to explain away the comment in some simple, humorous way. Why would Maura assume the truth—that she had meant Maura could come to her Fenway Park wedding only as the other bride? Tell her you meant as a bridesmaid. Or anyone but Tommy's date. Or dressed as like a cheerleader or something! I dunno, just something, Rizzoli!
Before she could come up with a good excuse, Maura asked in a very serious voice, "Who did you picture marrying, Jane?"
"Jane. A little girl doesn't meticulously plan out her wedding day that much without having at least a vague idea of who she sees as the groom. A friend, a neighbor, even an older celebrity?"
Maura noticed that Jane was kneading her hands, a sign of a nervousness. She was still looking up at the ceiling, knowing she'd lose her nerve if she so much as glanced at the gorgeous woman lying next to her on the mattress. "Truth?" Jane whispered so quietly, so weakly, that Maura almost missed it.
"Truth," Maura said quietly back. It had been surprisingly hard to get just the one word out, but she had worried that if she simply nodded, Jane would miss it.
Taking a deep breath, Jane kept her eyes focused upwards and forced herself to get the story out. Maybe Maura would just think it was cute. Stupid. Meaningless. "I pictured myself marrying Emma Wilson." She waited for it, she strained her ears for any laughter or sounds of disbelief. She was even almost tempted to look over at Maura when the woman failed to react in any audible or visible way. Jane needed a moment to compose herself before continuing, trying to calm her heart down enough that she'd be able to hear her own words when she braved speaking up again.
"Who was she?" Maura asked softly.
"She was my best friend," Jane said with a short, nervous laugh. "And my mother always told me that's what being married was about—living with your best friend forever. And that calmed me down, because I, y'know, like all girls at that age I thought boys were gross. Cooties and all that stuff. They were jerks, they called me stuff like Roly Poly Rizzoli, or Frog-face. Right? Who wants to marry a boy?" She laughed and it was a little more forced. "So when Ma said we marry our best friends, I remember feeling relieved. I was like seven, I think. And I said, 'oh, okay. I'll marry Emma, then. She's my best friend." The fake smile left Jane's face abruptly as she cut off, suddenly choking back tears. With a loud sniff, she staved them off a bit longer. "And Ma said, 'no, no, no, Janie. Girls don't marry girls. I know it's crazy to believe, but someday you'll like boys.
"But I didn't believe her. I thought… this is so dumb, I know, but I thought like—Emma and I used to talk about our names a lot. Like how my parents had planned on calling me Francesco if I'd been boy, and how Emma was going to be Charles if she'd been a boy."
"So…you were going to marry Charles?" Maura guessed.
With a shuddering laugh, Jane said, "Something like that, yeah. I was a weird kid, Maura, a real mental case. I figured we could tell Emma's family she'd been in accident or gotten kidnapped or something, and then she'd come back in disguise dressed like a boy, and that's how we'd get married. Nobody would know she was really a girl, really Emma. I never figured out how it'd work, like—of course I wanted her family to be at our wedding, but if they didn't know it was really Emma, why would they be there? And wouldn't it be sad?"
"Jane, that's…tragic," Maura whispered.
The more Jane thought about it, the more it was. When she was a kid, it hadn't seemed so depressing. It had just been one fantasy she'd had one time and obviously not put very much thought into. Why did she remember it so clearly? "Yeah, kinda screwed up, huh? I guess the chivalrous thing to do would have been to be the one to disappear myself, but then I'd have had to be the one who came back disguised as a boy, and believe it or not, Emma was actually more butch than I was."
Maura had very consciously been waiting for Jane to turn towards her, or to at least reach out to her, not wanting to be the one initiate contact and possibly scare her away. But when she saw Jane trying to laugh this off as a tear slid down her cheek, Maura couldn't keep to herself anymore. She leaned over and pressed her index finger to Jane's face, stopping the first tear in its track, and as she'd predicted, the touch made Jane shiver a little.
"Isn't it nice," Maura murmured, "that now little girls in can fantasize about marrying other girls, without having to hide it? And in Massachusetts and other states, those dreams can actually, legally come true?"
"Yeah it's nice for them," Jane said. "The gay ones. But I wasn't gay, Maura. And I'm not. I just was confused is all—I mean, confused about what marriage was."
"A romantic commitment to your best friend."
"Well I didn't know it was romantic," Jane said, her tone sounding anxious and defensive. She finally rolled onto her side, propping herself up on one elbow to look properly at Maura. The expression on her face took Jane's breath away, and she had to fight to remember the rest of what she had wanted to say. "I mean, in movies and stuff there was always a wedding at the end because the couple fell in love, but I didn't see that in real life. I didn't see my parents as having a romantic relationship, and they were married. I just figured it meant you lived with your best friend all the time and hung out with them. And had kids with them, y'know?"
Maura nodded. She had never been very good at nonverbal communication, but she silently prayed that Jane could read the look she was trying to give her. "Do you still think marriage, or any relationship, is about being with your best friend?"
Jane's eyes trailed briefly down to Maura's lips before reconnecting with her eyes. She nodded and brushed away a couple of fallen tears. "Yeah," she said in a thick voice. "Yeah, I do. And Maura…"
Maura's voice was little more than a breath. "Yes?"
It was almost astounding to her that Jane, who had just faced down an entire human trafficking ring and fearlessly shot its leader, was now trembling with uncertainty and fright. "You're my best friend," she finally choked out.
She inhaled sharply just before Maura leaned over to kiss her, and Jane found herself reacting instinctively. With almost laughable ease, Maura had rolled Jane onto her back again, and Jane's hands instantly went up to thread themselves through golden hair. What had started out as affectionate proof of something more than friendship escalated quickly, with Jane tightening her grip on Maura's hair and Maura all but pushing her tongue against Jane's lips. Jane's mouth opened and when Maura's tongue touched her own, her leg reflexively jerked up between Maura's and she got an appreciative groan in return.
Maura pulled back only when she felt Jane shuddering beneath her, and she saw more tears leaking out of those dark brown eyes. "It's okay," she whispered, brushing them away again. "Jane, please, it's all right."
"I-I know," Jane stammered. "I mean—are you sure?"
"I'm more than sure," Maura soothed her, giving Jane's cheek one more firm stroke and getting rid of the last tear. "Just so long as you don't make me masquerade as Charles. This is the 21st century, you know."
Jane let out a shaky laugh, kissing Maura again. "Oh, gosh… Maura, you're… you've…" This time, she did manage to bite her tongue. Whatever it was she and Maura were about to embark on, it didn't seem like a great way to start off a relationship by saying "I've been fantasizing about marrying you." Frankly, she'd never even dreamed she'd make it this far.
Maura picked up when Jane failed to finish her train of thought. "Jane, I want you," she admitted softly. "I want to be with you."
This was surreal. Jane ran her thumb over Maura's lips once more before kissing them again, as if to be certain of their realness. "Those words from your mouth?" she whispered. "That was my fantasy."