It wasn't like she imagined.

It was…

Nothing like she imagined.

She thought it would be rushed. Frantic.

Desperate.

She thought there would be anger.

Or alcohol.

Lots of alcohol.

Not this… this thing that it is.

This thing where she fucked Maura slowly with her fingers and Maura was smiling.

This thing where Maura gently teased her when she couldn't get the other woman's bra unclasped.

This thing where they bumped noses and laughed. Real, pure laughter.

This thing where their eyes kept meeting in the fully lit room and she didn't feel guilt or shame or anger.

She didn't think it would be light and full and good.

Maura's hand skimmed her brow, breaking her musings.

"Where did you go?" she asked.

"I'm here," Jane assured her, smiling again.

Maura smileed too.

"I'm here."

"I'm glad," Maura responded.

Jane was glad too.

This would change things. Irreversibly.

She didn't doubt that.

But it felt like they might survive it. Like if they could still smile and laugh and make this choice with consciousness and sobriety, their relationship would withstand it- maybe even grow to accommodate it.

She was glad because she finally got to skim Maura's smooth legs, kiss her full lips, touch her soft breasts.

She was glad because she didn't feel like anything was bending, breaking.

It felt like they were doing something right. Something they had been denying for far too long and for all the wrong reasons.

"We're gonna be ok," Jane rasped, and she believed it.

"Yes," Maura replied. Her smile this time shone through her eyes, and they fluttered closed in pleasure when Jane's lips met the core of Maura's desire.

With her lips and tongue, Jane brought Maura to the brink of ecstasy. Before pushing her over the edge, she stretched her whole body along Maura's. Being naked and pressed against her s intimately made Jane's own arousal skyrocket.

She had never felt so close to someone, so innately connected, so attuned.

Maura was perfect for her, and she knew it.

This only cemented that knowledge.

Maura leaned up for a kiss, her eyes struggling to open. Jane met her lips, used her hand to push Maura over the brink. Maura's arms wound around Jane's body, holding her close as she quivered.

They both stilled for a moment until Maura began peppering Jane's shoulders with tiny kisses, her words breathless when she spoke.

"You're amazing," she panted. "So amazing. I just… amazing."

Jane laughed, and met Maura's eyes. Maura smiled again and Jane couldn't resist kissing her.

"You're amazing," Jane countered.

Maura flipped them over in a move that made Jane's breath catch and a burst of laughter spring forth.

"I taught you that move," Jane teased.

"You did," Maura agreed. "Never thought it would come in quite so handy."

They both laughed again.

Jane didn't think she had laughed so much, felt so free, in years.

And she drifted away in a could of ecstasy when Maura began to slide down her body, kissing and sucking on every inch of Jane's skin.

When she came, Maura held her close, kissing every spot she could reach.

Afterwards, they lay naked in the bed, tangled impossibly close, for hours. Jane never wanted to move, to leave the bed, the room, the house.

"Can we just stay like this forever?" Maura sighed, nuzzling against Jane's neck.

"I was just thinking the exact same thing," Jane chuckled.

"Then we're in agreement," Maura nodded.

Silence enveloped them again and Jane matched her breathing to the even cadence of Maura's inhalations.

"Did you think it would be like this?" Jane asked hesitantly.

"Hmm?" Maura yawned.

"Did you think we'd get together this way?" Jane clarified.

"What do you mean?" Maura tilted her head back to meet Jane's eyes.

Jane couldn't resist kissing her briefly.

"Like this," Jane indicated their naked, tangled bodies. "So…"

"Sober?" Maura offered.

"Well yeah," Jane shrugged. "But I was going to say happy. You know? So much laughter and just… so easy, I guess."

"I don't know," Maura sighed. "I always hoped it would. But I would have taken you any way I could get you."

"Really?" Jane peered curiously down at Maura's face.

"Yes," Maura nodded. "You're gorgeous and funny and intelligent and you're the best friend I've ever had. Being with you like this seemed like too much of a fantasy to even consider."

"You deserve the right way, Maur," Jane squeezed Maura closer. "I'm glad it happened this way."

Maura smiled, one of her thousand-kilowatt smiles, and Jane felt the happiness all the way to the tip of her toes.

It wasn't like she imagined.

It was about a million times better.