Disclaimer: Don't own. No money. ETC.


The door closed softly leaving the two women alone in the kitchen. Maura looked from the space Angela has just been to Jane. There was a lot she wanted to say in this moment, a lot she didn't want to say too and she almost wanted TJ back in her arms as a distraction from the look Jane was giving the counter. The look itself wasn't bad, but she knew Jane's face like it was her own. She knew Jane was processing what just happened and she was almost afraid of what she might say.

She bit her lip. She caught the last few sentences between mother and daughter and knew that Angela was in on the nature of their relationship. And she didn't know if she should ask about it or just act like it didn't happen. Luckily, she was saved from the decision as Jo Friday trotted into the kitchen, her nails making a click-clack sound against the tile.

Jane watched as her dog walked around Maura's kitchen like it was hers. She almost laughed at the simplicity of it. She spent a long time wanting this, maybe not with Maura at first but with someone, anyone. And that was why Casey wouldn't work. She wanted it more than he did in the end. But with Maura, there was an equality there, and she didn't have to guess or play games. They were who they were. And this, standing in Maura's kitchen with her dog, having family dinners in Maura's dining room – she couldn't find the words for it.

How had she not seen it before? She couldn't help but ask herself. It had been like this for…years, and was she really that blind to what was right in front of her? What would've happened had Maura not shown up at her apartment telling her not to date Casey? Would they have continued about their lives as if everything they did was normal? Like it wasn't odd for her family to merge and include Maura too?

She paused her scratching of Jo's ear. Maybe that was what family really was. Maybe it was just the people that you chose to keep or chose to keep you. Her father left and there was Maura with her big empty house and her big heart and open arms – and maybe that was what it was all about. The company you decide to keep.

Her dog didn't know the difference between this place and her apartment. They were both home to her, just like they were to Jane. Her eyes fell to Maura's painted toes in front of her and as her eyes traveled up those toned calf muscles they got stuck on a just barely jagged scar running up her left calf.

Scars told stories. She remembered her thoughts from the hospital. How could she have forgotten about this one?

Her breath caught in her throat as she thought back to that day. She thought she was going to lose her, just when she found her again. They were both going to die in that car had Korsak not shown up, had she not been able to get her out of that seat and to safety. There was no way she was going to leave her there, alone in that car. Maura's voice as she wove in and out of consciousness still haunted her some nights. She looked at the scar almost running the length of her calf. It was a battle scar, a wound from life.

She slid on her knees across the tile, Jo having walked away when Jane stopped petting her. She knew Maura was probably watching her, could actually feel her eyes on her back as her head as her hand tentatively reached for it. The second her fingers grazed against the slightly raised skin she felt Maura's muscles twitch and heard her sigh come from above her. "Does it…" She swallowed hard. "Does it hurt?"

There was something in the way Jane's voice trembled, something in the way her fingers shook against her skin. Maura wanted to wrap her in a hug and never let her leave. She wanted to tell her that it wasn't her fault. But she knew that would fall on deaf ears because Jane already knew it wasn't her fault, but took the blame anyway. Jane always took the blame. So she made sure her voice was strong when she spoke. "It did." Dark eyes looked up at her, soft and vulnerable. "But it doesn't anymore. It hasn't caused me any pain for a while."

Jane nodded, standing on her knees. It wasn't the best position for what she wanted to do but it would give her a better advantage than standing completely. She had a sudden urge to touch all of the scars that set on pale skin, replace the memories of hurt with something else.

Maura had no idea what Jane was doing, but she gasped when she felt Jane pull her shirt from her skirt. She forced even breaths to escape her lips as Jane slowly unbuttoned her top as far as her long arms could reach from her position on the floor. And then those trembling fingers grazed the still faint pink line on her lower abdomen and she nearly let out a moan.

"What about this one?" Jane husked. She wanted to kiss the raised tissue, but she couldn't reach. She grazed it with her thumb again, remembering all of the trouble getting it caused. And she was still angry at Hope for never contacting Maura, still angry at everyone (including herself at times) for not loving her the way she should've been, the way she deserved. She flattened her palm across the line so they rest scar to scar as she stood. And that time Maura couldn't help let out a low sound somewhere from the back of her throat. "Maur."

And it was the long extended 'r' sound of her name that left her putty in Jane's arms. It drove her next move. Gently she grabbed Jane by the chin with one hand, and held her by the belt loop of her jeans with the other as she brought their lips together, finally, for a soft and steady kiss that quickly grew into more.

Jane sighed into the kiss. Maura tasted like the red wine she had at dinner, and her perfume was wafting between them, and she nearly lost focus of her goal when one of Maura's hands rested somewhere on her ass. "You didn't answer." She mumbled, moving her mouth away and down Maura's chin to her neck.

"Answer what?" Maura panted trying to grasp at something to make Jane come back to her mouth. She felt the brunette laugh roughly against her throat and her eyes rolled towards the ceiling. She pulled Jane's hips tighter towards her.

"Does it hurt?" Jane whispered right into her ear, her breath making the hair on the back of her neck stand up as a shock passed down her spine leaving her insides tingling.

"It…" Her words got caught in her throat as she felt Jane's mouth back on her neck, stopping briefly to suck and bite at her pulse point. Long fingers worked their way through the rest of the buttons on her shirt. Goosebumbs erupted across her abdomen as cool air hit her skin. "It pulls sometimes." She somehow managed to whisper.

"What about this one?" Jane mumbled her nose ghosting over the thin, barely there line she was so fascinated with at the hospital. She placed a small kiss there without waiting for Maura's answer.

The doctor watched as Jane bent over. The awkwardness of the position fell to the feeling of those soft, slightly chapped lips over the scar that had caused her so much grief. Jane made her way up leaving open mouthed kisses against Maura's navel on the way. Maura shivered as deceptively soft hands gently moved up and down her bare sides. When Jane's mouth found hers again she decided it was time to turn the tables.

Jane groaned as deft fingers gripped the bottom of her faded t-shirt and in seconds it was on the floor at their feet. Somewhere in the back of her mind she heard Bass scurry for cover and Jo Friday bark in surprise at the fallen item, but that was quickly lost on her as she felt Maura's skin pressed against hers. She didn't think she'd ever get tired of the feeling of their bodies flush together. Her badge fell between their bodies. The cool chain and metal hitting their heated skin made Maura groan into Jane's mouth and only spurred her further. Jane kicked off her sneakers and toed off her socks as Maura walked backwards towards the stairs to her bedroom.

They fell against Maura's bedroom door breathing heavy against each other's slightly sweaty skin. Jane's pants were falling down past her hips while Maura's skirt was hopelessly scrunched and wrinkled a product from of the detective's own handiwork. They stopped for a moment resting against the door. Brown and hazel eyes meeting at last. Jane's heart hopelessly pounded in her chest. "You know, we never did get to go on that vacation."

Maura's head tilted to the side in that adorable way and Jane couldn't help but kiss her again. "We didn't, did we?"

Jane shook her head, almost getting lost in the feel of Maura squirming underneath her. She watched as her hand gently gripped the doorknob. "Nope."

"Well, where do you want to go?" The door opened behind them and they stumbled a bit through the entryway.

How was she supposed to answer that question when the bed was just right there? "Anywhere." Jane answered honestly.

"Jane."

And the way her name fell from her lips sent a shiver down her spine. She swallowed hard as their eyes met. In that space of a breath between her name and their next kiss, they found all of the things they didn't need to voice in that heated space between them. It was here that Jane realized the elephants in the room had significantly decreased in size. Sure, there were still things that needed addressing, things that they still needed to talk about but they weren't overcrowding her heart. They weren't suffocating things.

Everywhere their bodies touched felt like electricity, every inch of contact left Maura craving for more. Jane made her feel alive, both in control and out of control two breaths apart and she was straddling the line between the two as they stood just on the outskirts of her bedroom.

Her fingers grazed Jane's sides softly. She grinned at the way the Jane's eyelids fluttered at her touch. It was maddening, the way the woman in front of her was looking at her. Those dark eyes so full and intense and welcoming. She wanted to say poetry, to say romance, to compare Jane's eyes to the finest chocolate, her voice to the richest coffee, her body to a goddess. But she didn't have to because Jane knew. She could tell by the deepness of her eyes, by the softness of her face so she settled on those three words. "I love you."

And Jane kissed her just then, pulling her in to her body. She wrapped her legs around her hips as Jane shut the door. Jane's I love you too was written into her skin by soft hands and reverent eyes. Everything she ever wanted to see from someone she loved reflected back at her in earnest.

Maybe that was what all of this was about, finding someone you could survive with, someone that made you feel safe and loved with just one look, someone that understood you. Because that's what she found with Jane, however unexpected it was, and she wouldn't trade it for anything. Though in the beginning she was hesitant that this would ruin their friendship, she knew now that it would only make them stronger. She knew now that no mattered what happened they could (and would) always find their way back to each other.


A/N: The end.

For those of you who were wondering...

In the first chapter I had an author's not that said I was going to challenge myself with this, and I did, in a lot of different ways. The main goal was to have a better cohesive story. I wanted something that read cleaner and smoother, with a lot less backpedaling. There were some stylistic things as well, and some other stuff, but that was the main thing. And I feel like I did pretty good on that part. Something I did realize though, is that crime writing isn't really my thing. (Which is ironic because I'm a criminal justice major, actually that's probably why...) Anyway. My update intervals got kind of whacky there at the end but overall I'm happy with the finished product (and happy that it is in fact finished.)

You guys an you're kind words and your constructive criticisms really kept me going through all of my constant re-drafting and re-outlining. And to that, I say thank you! If it wasn't for you guys I probably wouldn't have finished this. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for nominating and voting for this story in the fan awards thing. That totally threw me for a loop and I'm still scratching my head over here like 'did that really happen?' hah. Thank you guys, for sticking through that awkward title change, and for my long periods of not updating, and for constantly giving me encouragement.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story, whether you've been here from the beginning or whenever it is you're reading this now (whenever that may be.) Saying you guys are awesome isn't enough but it's all I got. So, you guys are awesome!

Hope you all have an awesome premiere night!