She didn't want to die.
She just had no reason to live.
Maura looked over at her, and Jane had never seen such haunted pain. Her voice was laced with something desperate, confused.
"I'll go," she repeated, voice gravelly but unwavering.
Cavanaugh looked at her, hard. Jane felt transparent.
Like everyone in the room knew what Maura refused to acknowledge.
But it was so simple.
"You can take a few days to think about it," Cavanaugh suggested.
Jane nodded, but there wasn't much to think about.
Cavanaugh waited a beat longer, his brow furrowed, his eyes belying a hesitation that made him seem so much older than he was.
Then he blinked and turned on his heel, disappearing back into his office.
The rest of the people in the bullpen dispersed but the tension and Maura remained.
Jane would accept this assignment.
Despite the risk. Or maybe because of it.
She had heard a couple guys in the hall earlier call it a suicide mission.
Whoever took it on was likely to come back to the precinct in a body-bag, express to Maura's office.
But someone had to do it, and why not her?
She didn't have children or a spouse. No one relied on her to survive. Her family would pull together and learn to live with her death.
Maura had Ian now.
They'd gotten engaged four months ago.
Jane and Maura had only spoken twice since then.
Once when they argued about the engagement, and now.
Although Jane wasn't sure that Maura torturously whispering her name in a tension-filled bullpen really counted.
"Jane," Maura repeated, reaching a trembling hand out towards her.
Jane stepped back, evading the touch.
"I'm doing this," she said firmly, avoiding Maura's gaze.
That look, those eyes, they could make Jane do anything.
She'd rob a bank if Maura asked her to.
Jump off a bridge.
Let her marry someone else.
He's the love of my life, Maura had said.
Jane hadn't replied, but the words on the tip of her tongue had been shockingly heavy.
But you're the love of mine.
It wasn't the first time she had realized. Jane had figured her feelings out weeks before. She just hadn't figured out what, if anything, to do about them.
So she had remained silent.
And during that time Ian had come back and Maura had fallen into his arms and… the rest was history.
Now, weeks later, the painfully palpable distance between them worse than anything Jane could ever have imagined, she knew she would take the assignment.
She didn't want to die…
But without Maura, she just didn't have a reason to live.