Maura had spent a lot of time researching inevitability.
It was a noun. It originated from the Latin inevitabilis.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary informed her it was, "the quality or state of being impossible to avoid or evade."
Most of her research resulted in information about death.
She tried not to focus too much on those.
She had another kind of inevitability in mind.
Another kind of death.
They'd been seeing each other for almost six months.
Well, not exactly seeing each other.
More like fucking, she figured.
Two or three times a week they would collide in a heated frenzy of hands and hips and release all the pressure that builds immeasurably in all the time in between.
For the first two or three months it was only at night. Jane would knock on her door with the smell of scotch on her breath and fuck her against the wall just inside her apartment door because neither of them could wait another second. Maura would show up at Jane's apartment in the middle of the night when she couldn't sleep and they would ravage each other on her couch.
Never in bed.
That was too… intimate.
Then it bled over into the days and Jane would come to her in the morgue when they'd been working for 72 hours straight or Maura would lock them in her office when Jane tried to hide after an excruciating interview.
They never talked, and while Jane occasionally groaned her name, Maura fiercely avoided letting Jane's name slip from her lips.
Contrary to every scenario she'd ever imagined, nothing else changed. They weren't more understanding, they didn't communicate better. They didn't solve more cases, or less, in more time, or in less.
There were no searing looks, no secret touches, nothing to in any way indicate a shift in their relationship.
It was like they'd decided that in order to continue protecting each other physically they'd be forced to sacrifice each other emotionally.
For the first five months and twenty-nine days she'd been fine with it.
Part of her wrote it off as inevitable. Every cliché about strong women, about female cops, danced in her head like millions of tiny shards of glass.
Having sex with Jane was a release unlike any other. She never had to speak to Jane, to explain anything, to tell her how she felt. She was always hungry for Jane and she was always satisfied afterwards.
She comforts herself, late at night when she's alone in bed or when she's driving home, by pretending that it's better this way. That at least now, they're resolving the tension that forced them apart for so long. And at the same time, they're still friends. Still solving crimes and watching each other's back and as long as Jane's safe she can't find it in herself to complain about that.
It's on the six-month anniversary of the first time they had sex when the cracks in the flimsy façade they've built begin to show.
Maura is taken hostage by a drugged up pedophile and while the episode is resolved with comparatively little drama, she can feel Jane raging from across the bullpen.
Placing her pen down, she drifts back to the first time they had sex and tries to figure out what happened, how they went from Jane's car to having sex in Maura's living room.
It had been an unusually long week. They'd tracked down a serial killer and both of them were emotionally and physically drained. On top of that, Garrett had been calling to invite her to dinner and she kept vacillating on whether or not to accept, whether or not to tell Jane. Jane's family had been busier than normal and she'd made a number of comments about dinners they'd cancelled and phone calls they'd shortened that made Maura's heart break for Jane.
Needless to say, by the end of the week when Jane had dropped Maura off at her apartment and she'd perfunctorily invited her in for a cup of coffee, they'd both been a wreck.
She'd been shocked when Jane had accepted and she'd spent the whole walk to her door wondering what she could talk to Jane about while she drank her coffee.
The weather, the Celtics, her holiday plans, their latest cases, Frost's most recent bet with Frankie, a book she'd started reading the week before, the male rookie in homicide who kept asking Korsak out.
Maura opened the door to her home and Jane was on her, barely shutting the door before Jane's tongue was in her mouth and Jane's hands were all over her body. She was too exhausted and too in love with Jane to do anything but respond.
They had heated, nearly desperate sex against the door of her apartment and after she'd come twice, Jane had dressed and rested her forehead against the wall beside Maura.
"I think I'll pass on the coffee," she grated lowly.
Maura had nodded, suddenly hyperaware of her nudity.
"I'll see you tomorrow then," she replied, trying to decide if Jane detected the untimely tremble in her voice.
If she did, she didn't show it.
They didn't talk about it and it was almost three weeks later when it happened again. And again, and again. The pattern varied slightly but the basics were the same.
It was desperate and needy and Maura knew that she could put a stop to it but she didn't.
She didn't change her locks or shower at home after she went to the gym. She didn't tell Jane no or turn her away.
"Maura," Jane repeated, loudly.
Stunned, Maura snapped back to the present.
"Can you give me the case report please," she barked, and Maura fought the urge to throw it at Jane. She handed it across to her.
Jane had already looked back to the form on her desk and Maura took a moment to study her.
The lines on Jane's face were more prominent than Maura remembered. Her knuckles were bruised and scabbed and Maura couldn't remember if they'd been that way the night before.
Something inside her felt strung so tight that it might snap at any second.
Maura could tell Jane felt her eyes on her but she didn't respond, didn't look up.
Months ago Jane would have looked up to meet her gaze with a small smile and a question in her eyes. Now, it was like Maura didn't even exist.
In that moment she knew things had to change.
She couldn't continue in the self-destructive pattern they'd let become the norm between them. She wasn't sure what she should do.
She could deny Jane and try to remain her friend but she wasn't sure she was strong enough to be around her every day with the knowledge of what she tasted like, felt like, fucked like.
Or, she could leave completely. Move away and never look back. But that was almost too painful to even consider. Her life was in Boston, at BPD, with Jane.
The tightness inside her pulled even more taught.
"Jane," she rasped so quietly the other woman didn't hear her.
She swallowed harshly and took a slow look around the room, surprised to see that all their coworkers had left in the late hour of the night.
"Jane," she tried again and she'd never heard anything so desperate as her own voice.
"Yeah," Jane responded callously, not looking up to meet her gaze.
"Jane," she repeated, her voice a little stronger this time as she began to infuse with anger.
"What?" Jane asked harshly, finally looking up.
Her face crumbled in an unrecognizable expression when she saw the swirling emotion in Maura's eyes but she masked it almost as quickly as it happened.
The second that she saw it was enough to make Maura lose her nerve. She couldn't tell Jane, she couldn't face her.
She was a coward.
That evening, she worked out and showered at home.
On her way to her apartment, she called a locksmith.
In her kitchen she slipped Jane's key off her key-ring and put it in a drawer.
If it was inevitable that they were going to sleep together, it was just as inevitable that they were going to destroy each other by it.
It was never her intention, she admitted, to sleep with her so casually.
Although there was nothing casual about it, her mind screamed.
She had always imagined they would date a little, explore the quicksand of the attraction undermining their friendship before delving into such new, dangerous territory. They would relearn each other as more than friends before undertaking the momentous shift into lovers.
It wasn't that she didn't love Jane already, she just wasn't ready to say it out loud. Wasn't ready to hear it from her either.
But now, it was too late.
They had destroyed any possibility of truly loving each other.
She'd never even had the chance to explore Jane's body like she fantasized about. They'd slept together enough for her to know what she looks like but Maura always dreamt about making a long, slow examination of every plain and valley of Jane's body. She'd wanted to map the terrain of her skin until she knew every inch by memory.
Now, she'd never get that chance.
It had been three nights since they'd slept together.
Maura could hear the car in the driveway, the jingle of Jane's keys, then the heart-wrenching sound of her faulty key being inserted into the lock.
There was a metallic fumbling outside her door and she closed her eyes against the noise.
All the lights in her home were off and she pulled the darkness around her like a cloak.
Jane didn't knock and she knew she wouldn't have to worry about her coming to her house, or finding her in the morgue, or waiting for her in Maura's office.
She wondered how much their friendship would suffer. She wondered if eventually she would be forced to leave because she couldn't stand to be near Jane with all the space between them.
She wondered what Jane was thinking. Feeling.
She wondered if they would ever talk about it. If they could ever come back from it.
She wondered what she might have done differently. She wondered if perhaps she'd been more socially inept, less awkward, a different person entirely…
She wondered about fighting inevitability and losing.