A/N: This fic takes place after 3.14 and assumes that 3.15 (the season finale) didn't take place. Jane is hell bent on chasing after Casey, regardless of what it does to Maura. We're in for an angst-filled ride across two continents. As always, Rizzoli and Isles and their related characters are the property of TNT, Tess Gerritsen and Janet Tamaro.
I didn't think this needed to be said, but now I'm forced to add this to all of my stories:
This work of fiction belongs to me, sociallyawkwardpenguin. The Rizzoli and Isles characters belong to TNT. However this story, and all original characters, belong to me. Absolutely no reposting of this story is permitted (including translations of this story) without my express written permission. If you see this story posted in any other forum besides Archive of our Own or FanFiction, please notify me via private message immediately.
Just the Facts
As Jane approached her building, she noticed Maura sitting there primly, resisting the urge to pull her jacket more tightly around her against the late evening chill as she waited for Jane to make her way home. Jane felt her heart flutter at seeing Maura there, and when Maura met her glance, she felt a tingle shoot down her spine. Jane pushed the emotion away, unwilling to think about what it meant.
"Hey. What are you doing here?" she asked, surprised that Maura didn't just let herself into the apartment with the key she'd given her years ago. Jane disliked conversations on the front steps to her building. They always led to the other person walking out of her life, and she couldn't bear the idea of Maura ever leaving her.
"I know you wanted me to pretend that everything will be fine." Maura said, unable to mask the worry she wore on her face as Jane sat down next to her.
Jane looked over at her, trying to read where the worry is coming from. "What's that?" She asked, tapping the folder on Maura's lap.
"Some... research I did on... decompressive lumbar spine surgery." Maura chose her words carefully, trying her best to break the news without breaking Jane. It hurt her to see Jane like this, but it hurt her even more to see Jane pining away over a man that repeatedly ran away from her. It hurt her to think that Jane would never cry for her the same way she had been crying over Casey, but she realized that wasn't the purpose of this visit.
"I don't wanna know." Jane's answer brought her attention back to the task at hand. She couldn't think about herself. This was about Jane. This was about taking the hurt away from Jane so she can get on with her life. So they could be LLBFFs without distraction. So that maybe someday Jane would just open her eyes and see Maura for who she really was in Jane's life.
"Jane, you need to know." Maura's voice gave away her exhaustion. It was exhausting trying to keep up this charade, looking for ways to hide her feelings for Jane without outright lying. Looking for ways to keep their relationship from breaking apart because she knew Jane didn't feel the same way about her that she felt about Jane.
"Why? I mean, he said goodbye, Maura, so..." Jane shrugged, trying to act tougher than she felt at the moment. She wanted nothing more than to hide the desperation she was feeling, but she knew Maura could see it. She wished she could explain why she was so desperate to Maura, but she feared Maura's rejection of her. She needed Maura.
"Jane, if you care about him, you'll look." Maura said sternly, wishing that maybe Jane would stop caring about him, even if that was a selfish wish.
She looked down at the folder in Maura's lap, suddenly unable to touch it. "How bad is it?
Maura paused, thinking about her reply. "Bad."
Jane nodded her head in understanding, but then shook her head, unable to allow herself to believe this could be happening. "What am I gonna do?" She whispered, her resolve breaking.
"I wish I knew." Maura answered, her own tears ready to spill. She reached over and wrapped an arm around Jane, and leaned her head against Jane's, resisting the urge to kiss her temple. Instead she pulled her in closer and Jane's hands came up to grasp the arms holding her. Jane melted into the hug, Maura's touch enveloping her.
They sat like that for a little while, Maura comforting Jane while Jane cried. Maura pulled Jane as close to her as she dared, not caring who saw them. After a while, Jane stopped crying and looked up. She didn't want to admit to Maura that she could sit that way forever. She was afraid if she waited even a moment longer, she would lose the little control she normally had around Maura. She needed to focus on Casey.
"Let's go inside, Maura. It's late and it's cold, and I don't want to be alone." That got them up and moving, and Jane felt like she could take control of her feelings while they walked up the stairs to Jane's apartment.
Maura nodded and followed Jane inside. She took off her shoes and opened a bottle of wine while Jane took Jo Friday out for a quick walk. She waited for Jane on the couch while Jane walked Jo, and Jane smiled at her when she returned. This was the Maura that she was used to. The Maura that made herself at home because Jane's apartment was as much her home as it was Jane's. Jane couldn't put her finger on why it bothered her so much to see Maura sitting outside on the steps when she came home, but she was relieved when Maura smiled back at her from the couch.
"Here," Maura said, and handed her the glass of wine.
Jane accepted it gratefully and took a long draw off of it, too stressed and too upset to drink it daintily like Maura usually did.
"What am I gonna do, Maura?" Jane asked again, tears threatening to fall once more. Casey was her chance at a normal relationship. Casey understood where she came from, how hard she worked to be who she was. Casey was her distraction from Maura and all the feelings she had for her, but was too afraid to admit to having.
"Jane..." Maura stopped. She had so much she wanted to say to Jane but she didn't know where to begin. She realized that honesty was really the best way to go with this, even if it didn't feel like it was the right time to tell her.
"Jane," Maura started off again, taking a deep breath, her hands spread beseechingly in front of her. "I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you need to hear it."
Jane looked over at her warily, taken off guard by Maura's sudden tension. This wasn't what she was expecting of Maura, but she didn't know what exactly she should be expecting.
"Maura, please-" Jane started, but Maura interrupted her.
"I know you wanted to pretend that everything was going to be all right, but you have to take into account that Casey is essentially committing suicide by surgery. And if I'm really truthful with you, I have to tell you that I don't like it. I don't like how he comes and goes from your life and leaves you shattered every time he disappears. I want to tell you that if he truly cared for you the way you seem to care for him, that he would have never left you in the first place. He would have never hurt you like he has, over and over again. And the idea of him taking this huge risk and putting his pride before your heart makes him an utter asshole in my book."
"MAURA!" Jane exclaimed, shocked at the admission and the doctor's choice of words. "How could you? How could you say something like that?"
"It's the truth, Jane. I'm sorry for speaking the truth if the truth hurts you."
"But don't you get it, Maura? I love him. I love him and he's going to die." And he's going to leave me with my feelings for you, Jane wanted to add, but couldn't.
"I do get it, Jane. I completely understand that you have feelings for him and he once again has chosen the selfish route and has crushed you. I see you sitting here, hurting, and I think you deserve better than that. Actually, I know you deserve better than that."
"I can't believe you would say that. Casey is a good man! He's just trying to get better!"
"Jane, he disappeared and completely cut you out of his life. And if he loved you even one ounce as much as you love him, he would have spoken to you about all of this before he made his decision. He didn't include you in any of this. He does not see you as a priority. You deserve someone who treats you like you are their priority."
Jane buried her head in her hands and started crying again. Maura didn't understand. She couldn't understand. Jane had no way of explaining it to her.
"I'm sorry Jane, but it's the truth. He walked out on you. He has broken your heart twice now. He doesn't deserve you. You deserve someone that is never going to leave you. Someone that isn't going to hurt you like this. Look at what he has done to you. You are the toughest, strongest person I know, and he has reduced you to this."
"He left me, Maura, but he might still come back." Jane whimpered.
"You had to beg him not to leave, and he left you anyway. Look at the facts, Jane."
"No Maura, you look at the facts!" Suddenly Jane was angry, a reaction Maura knew was likely. Jane didn't like being pushed into a corner, and she would always fight her way back out. "You just don't like him. You've never liked him. I love him, Maura! I love him and he could be the one for me, and you just don't get it!"
"Jane, once again, you're not looking at the facts. He walked out. He left you. He made a selfish decision to have high risk surgery and didn't even have the courage to talk to you about it first. He left you here, worried and upset. Those are the facts, Jane. They are the facts that anyone can see. Not just me."
"Really, Maura? Really? What would you know? You dated a fucking serial killer!" Jane screamed.
"How is that relevant to what Casey has done to you, Jane?" Maura asked calmly.
"It's- it's- OH WHO CARES, MAURA? You've always got to throw logic in my face. If you had one clue about what love was, you'd know that love is not logical. It's emotional. I doesn't follow a set plan and it doesn't have a rulebook. I love him and as my best friend you should be here for me and support me instead of telling me how wrong it is for me to love him!"
"I can't do that, Jane. I can't do those things because I am your best friend. I can't stand by the side and watch him hurt you like this. I can't be supportive of a relationship that I know beyond any shadow of a doubt is wrong for you. I know this hurts you, but I am trying to do the right thing here."
"Yeah, well this doesn't feel right. This feels entirely wrong. So I think you need to change your perspective a bit."
"Facts are facts, Jane. Whether you choose to see them for what they are is up to you. I can't force you. Just remember that he walked out on you. He made a selfish decision without your input, and he doesn't seem to care that he hurt you when he made that decision. There are people out there that wouldn't do that to you. There are people out there that love you and would never hurt you the way he has. There are people out there who want nothing more than to see you happy and would do anything to make sure you stay happy."
"Yeah, right Maura. Everyone I've ever loved or had the chance to love has walked out on me. How's that for a fact? So why can't I start chasing after them when they leave? What am I going to do, sit here and wish for them to come back? Why is it wrong for me to go after what I want?"
"Because the right person doesn't walk out to begin with. The right person stays with you even when you refuse to see things for what they are."
"That's ridiculous. You're ridiculous. If I didn't know better I would say you're jealous of Casey."
Jane did have a point, to some degree. Maura was almost willing to concede the point when another thought occurred to her. "You know what's ridiculous? Big, bad Detective Rizzoli groveling over a man. That's ridiculous. Best friends are supposed to point out to one another when they're making a life-changing mistake. Chasing after Casey and having your heart broken over and over again is one of those mistakes. I'm trying to save you more heartache, Jane."
"Yeah, well you're doing a shitty job of it, Maura."
Maura sighed. "Please. You're upset. You're not thinking straight. You must realize that I'm only trying to help you, don't you?"
"Maura, I don't know what you're trying to do, but I don't like it and I wish you would just stop."
"Stop what, Jane? Stop sugarcoating the truth so that when you do finally see the facts for what they are, they can't hurt you even more? Stop trying to be your best friend? What do you want me to stop doing, Jane?" Maura waved her hands out in front of her in exasperation.
This had all become too much for Jane. She needed Maura to understand why she chased after Casey. Why she had invested so much of her life into that man, even when she knew he hadn't made the same investment in her. Maura had backed her into a corner with her reason and her logic, and Jane was scared. Jane Rizzoli didn't like being scared, didn't like the depth of these feelings, and didn't want Maura to know just how far Jane would go to keep her feelings for her best friend buried. She reached her breaking point and before she knew it, she was giving Maura an ultimatum she never imagined she would ever give her.
"Actually, right now I think that's a great idea. If you being my best friend is going to cause me this type of misery, then I don't want you to be my best friend anymore. If you can't be supportive of me then I think you should leave."
Shocked, Maura stood rooted to the spot and speechless.
"Did you hear me? I said get out!" Jane screamed. Jane let the anger consume her, because the anger was safer and easier than the rest of the feelings that were vying for their place in Jane's psyche.
Jane's voice echoed off of the walls and ceiling, and it finally jolted Maura out of her shellshock. Maura left the folder she brought with her on the coffee table and slipped on her heels. She grabbed her jacket off the back of the couch and walked to the door with her head down.
She paused with the door open just enough for her to slip through it, and looked back at Jane. "I know you don't mean that. I know you'll look at the facts, Jane and you'll come to your senses. And I hope you'll realize that I didn't walk out on you. You asked me to leave. If you'd given me half a chance, I would have proven to you that I am always here for you, but you just don't want to hear it."
"JUST GET OUT, MAURA!" Jane screamed, her voice hitching at the end and the tears starting to fall despite her anger.
Maura looked away from Jane and walked out, closing the door softly behind her.