Disclaimer: I so do not own anything related to, or in the near vicinity R & I. I only state the obvious because the truth is it never hurts to cover your ass from time to time, someone might not like the view.

A/N: Guess what girls, boys, origami and nude beach lovers? It's time for some Maura POV. To put your minds at ease, don't worry about cases, courts (other assorted shit that the writers of a certain show sling around like monkeys at the zoo) or boyfriends here. My little tale ain't about any of dat' shizzle.

Four Months Ago...

Fast friends? I believe that is the proper term for Jane and I. My focus keeps going back to the definition of my new friend. I can't help that my thoughts drift to her from time to time. Presently, I should be reviewing the case that I will be presiding over, not reminiscing about our chance encounter. But when I first saw this tall, striking woman in a black pinstripe suit with a crème blouse who was going to be sitting next to me I could hardly focus. My first thought was that she had to be a model since her bone structure is absolutely flawless.

I had never thought a woman could be considered tall, dark and handsome but Jane is. I have always found the female form much more atheistically pleasing, but I have also found very few that I was actually attracted to. Upon sitting down next to her I found myself wishing she would talk to me, however at the very same time I was afraid she would. Then I heard her raspy chuckle and yes certain parts of me responded. Yet, I couldn't stop my defensive manner from lashing out. In the last month I've had to 'learn'; for lack of a better term, Jane's humor and its very charming at times, but I've also had to become somewhat adept about understanding sarcasm too.

I sigh and laugh at the memories. I would have never guessed she is an Air Marshall and I do not like to guess. We exchanged cell phone numbers before we parted company at the airport. Jane texted me almost immediately, to make sure I hadn't given her a wrong number. I assured her that had I not wanted to supply her my number I would have said so. Since then we have engaged in numerous texts and calls in the last month. I have come to find out that despite Jane's attractiveness and the sheer elegance of her body lines, she dislikes shopping. Still, I have invited her to go with me the next time she is available. Had I been born with her dimensions I would own twice as many clothes as I already do.

I have also come to find out that her tenure as an Air Marshall is up in one month. After that she will be working out of the U.S. Marshall's field office here in Boston. She has told me about her family, her two younger brothers and her parents. Sadly, her parents are divorced now; as is Jane. I chose not to ask why either her's or her parent's marriage ended. It was information she willingly disclosed to me without prodding, a skill she told me her mother was extremely proficient in. But I am brought out of my pleasant thoughts of Jane by my office assistant's voice.

"Excuse me Dr. Isles, you have a phone call on line one." She announces cheerfully through the intercom.

Walking away from the window back towards my desk, I lean over the intercom. "Thank you."

Then looking at the Caller I.D. I recognize that the number is Jane's. Sitting down in my chair I pick up the receiver out of its cradle and answer.


"You sound all business this afternoon." Jane says, somewhat flatly.

I can't stop the smile that automatically appears now at the sound of her voice.

"To what do I owe the...purpose of this call, Jane?" I ask, in a teasing voice.

I almost said pleasure. Now I just have to wait for Jane's incoming sarcastic response in three, two, one.

"Well, your honorable medicine woman I'm currently bored-as-hell in a hotel room in Denver, Colorado despite the way Dynasty portrayed the city." Jane replies and I can almost hear her smirking into the phone.

"What is Dynasty, Jane?" I ask even though I do know that it must be some pop culture reference.

Jane's low laugh rumbles in my ear before she replies. "You're kidding right? You really have no clue that Dynasty was a popular T.V. show in the 80's?"

"No, I am not familiar with that T.V. program but I am familiar with Denver and there are a number of attractions that could alleviate your..." I am interrupted by more laughter.

"Just stop right there Maura." Jane says, still laughing. "I called you to alleviate my boredom and you're doing that, so don't go all tour-guide on me."

I can't help but laugh too. Her raspy laugh is very contagious. I shift in my chair and lean back. Glancing back to the windows to see the grey overcast skies that look like they are on the verge of bursting.

"So tell me about this T.V. program that makes me grossly deficient by pop culture standards."

More laughter filters in from Jane's end of our conversation. I can't help but smile even more. Oh God! We're flirting with one another and she's enjoying it as much as I am.

"I didn't say you were...what were those fancy words you used...wait, never mind." Jane replies, still lightly laughing. "Anyways, the show was about two rich families, but it was more about showcasing some seriously good cat fights."

"Do you mean actual feline based fighting or do you mean the slang terminology for physical disagreements between two females?" I ask curiously while sitting up in my chair.

Even more laughter, louder this time emits from Jane but then fades. It sounds like she has dropped her cell phone. I cannot make out the faint profanity she uttered, but eventually I hear her retrieve her phone and then more muffled laughter.

"Oh God, Maura...your killing me here...but to answer your question it's the second one you said." Jane replies, trying to stop laughing.

"I am most certainly not killing you Jane." I try to sound exasperated but I have enjoyed every minute of making her laugh, even though I wasn't effectively trying to be humorous. I look down at my watch; my lunch hour has gone by too quickly. Just as I'm about to make my apologies for having to end our conversation, I hear Jane's laughter taper off, followed by a sigh and then the sound of her fidgeting on the other end.

"Well, thanks for the laughs Maura." Jane replies, her tone mildly serious. "I'll let you get back to things now before your lunch break is almost over. I don't want you to starve on my account."

"How did you know this is my lunch hour, Jane?" I ask, slightly incredulous.

"You told me and I'll have you know I can do basic math to figure out the time difference." Jane retorts, chuckling.

I laugh with her while telling her good-bye and to be safe.

Three Months Ago...

I can't keep denying this any longer. I really need to ask her out on a date the worst she can say is no. I haven't been this attracted to anyone in a long time and meaningless flings just are not that fulfilling anymore. And to be honest with myself, it's starting to make me feel quite salacious. I cannot assume Jane will ask me out, since she has only ever been with men. And unfortunately I have not seen any indications from her that suggests she would be interested in dating a woman. This is quite a dilemma but I know she has exhibited signs that she is attracted to me. Truthfully, I can't imagine any person, male or female, not being drawn to her.

"Maura, dear you're neglecting our guests." I smile at the sound of my mother's voice.

"I'm sorry, it seems as though I am easily distracted lately."

My eyes wander around the room at my mother's guests and mine as well. An Isles Foundation Gala. I'm expected to attend these functions when my schedule allows of course. My mother smiles at my words. I watch her facial muscles showcase the thoughts forming on her face, but she takes a drink of her champagne; a classic stall tactic.

"Would the source of this distraction be that U.S. Marshall you met a few months ago?" My mother asks, her voice sounding amused. "If it is in fact Jane that has your attentions this scattered. Then I suggest you make your move quickly my dear before you get put in the friend zone," She continues before taking another sip of her champagne, "...permanently."

I can't help the startled expression that my facial muscles are putting on display, before I can respond properly though she continues.

"I have never had any objections towards you dating a woman, and one of Jane's caliber is a much needed improvement over the men you've been lending yourself to."

It takes every ounce of restraint I have to not fidget with my dress. Taking a cue from my mother I simply sip my champagne and smile politely. I really cannot be offended at my mother's accurate awareness of my romantic situation. After all I completely agree with her assessment.

"Mother..." I really don't have anyone else I can speak with about my predicament. "Jane is straight to my knowledge although I admit that I have not asked her directly about her sexual orientation. She was married to a man for a few years though," Not my most intelligent argument to date. "and..." But I absolutely cannot bring myself to finish that sentence. Telling my mother 'we're just friends' is a lie to me and lying makes me break out in hives. And from the first time I saw Jane on that plane I knew I would want more than friendship from her, that is if we spoke and we did.

Taking in my silent hesitation my mother continues. "So you think you have no chance with her because you are the wrong gender?" Constance pauses briefly to smile at a guest in passing. "If that is the track your train of thought is running on right now, then it's my obligation to inform you that's rubbish. Because my daughter is more than good enough to pursue whomever she chooses for a relationship."

Again, I cannot fault my mother for wanting me in a proper relationship. I haven't really had one since college and he turned out to be a criminal. I know that I'm good enough for anyone but I love it that she thinks so too.

"Mother, those are not very subtle remarks." I reply, handing my empty champagne flute to a passing waiter. "But thank you for instilling confidence even in the face of my uncertainty."

"Forgive me for being blunt my dear, but it has become necessary," I give my mother a warm smile, as we link arms and stroll through the throngs of guests. "For the sake of your happiness." I smile more at my mother's concern but I've missed a step, so to speak.

"Mother, what's the friend zone?" I hear her chuckle before she answers. "Someplace you don't want to end up where Jane is concerned."

Two Months Ago...

Jane actually accepted my shopping invitation much to my surprise. I have almost regretted my actions now because imagining her in various stages of undress have thoroughly tested my restraint. I have decided to woman up, a slight alteration on 'man up' and ask Jane out today. Enough time has been wasted coming to a decision. I have made my peace with what I'm risking. So no matter the outcome I need to do this, for closure if it comes to that. I hope it doesn't though. Jane looks ravishing today. So statuesque in her power suit which is black with red pinstripes and matching red silk blouse, complete with three inch black heels. Jane is very tall without them but with them on a shiver runs through me. She's 6'1, growl my libido roars.

Jane's cell phone starts ringing or more accurately starts playing a song by The Clash.

Well I'm running, police on my back...

I've been hiding, police on my back...

I watch Jane's face welcome a small smile before she answers.

"What's up Frankie?"

The humor of his ringtone is not lost on me, he's a police officer after all. Jane has a wonderful sense of humor, including her sarcasm...sometimes. I don't want to intrude on Jane's conversation with her brother. I hope his reason for calling doesn't cut our time together short. I wander over to the nearby racks, particularly the dresses that hang there, yet I can still catch snippets of Jane's end of the conversation.

"Look, you passed the test but they will promote you on your merit." I hear Jane reassuring her brother.

I busy myself with scanning through the dress options in front of me. I wonder what Jane would think of me in this little black slinky backless? Oh! it has a slit up the side as well. I smile at that thought. I glance back in Jane's direction; she's still talking with her brother.

"I didn't think I would ever have to ask you to keep her longer." I hear her sigh and then chuckle. "I thought you said she was a chick magnet for you."

Jane looks in my direction and then waves me back over to her.

"Maur, how many more places are we going?" Jane asks me while cradling her cell phone between her cheek and shoulder.

I love it when she uses the nickname she gave me.

"I thought we would go have some lunch soon, I'm famished." I answer. After I buy that dress I was just admiring that I hope you will appreciate when I wear it for you. "I saw one more dress I require Jane. I should be done by the time you've finished talking to Frankie." I finish while flashing Jane a smile before walking back towards the dress racks.

"Frankie...Maura and I are going to lunch in a bit." I hear Jane say in a rather distracted fashion. "I'll pick Jo up later."

The food is excellent. I picked a fairly casual restaurant, a place Jane would feel at ease. I hope this doesn't turn out badly. She made some comments about the menu when we sat down, but it was only done to serve the purpose of making me laugh. Sitting across from Jane I've tried hard to not let my gaze linger longer than prudent. Her eyes are so expressive and those long dark flowing locks of hair, her cheekbones...stop it Maura! I smile at Jane over the glass of water I'm drinking. Sitting my drink down on the table, I try to gather my courage while smoothing the napkin across my lap.

"Jane, would you consider going out on a date with me?" I ask, raising my eyes to look directly at her.

She stops, fork in hand with a sizeable portion of lasagna on it, midair. Oops! I guess I should have waited a bit more. I watch Jane put her portion in her mouth. Perhaps I should be grateful she wasn't chewing her food. As the moments pass I scan her face for any signs of discontent but I see only confusion.

She smiles at me before she reaches for her napkin. "I thought we were already doing that, Maur." Jane finally answers, wiping her mouth on the napkin and placing it back on the table.

I can feel my mouth opening and closing in the manner that most likely resembles that of a fish out of water.

"But, we haven't even...kissed or anything, Jane." I manage to say.

Jane just shrugs before she replies. "When have we had the time? I mean, I've just got back home and settled in." She leans forward, putting her elbows on the table. "Besides, I've enjoyed getting to know you. You know becoming friends first before other things started happening between us."

I sit back in my chair since I just realized that I had been leaning involuntarily towards Jane. Well I didn't anticipate that response!

"So just to be clear, you have no reservations about dating me." I state while smiling across the table at Jane "Because you consider what we've been doing thus far as dating."

She returns my smile with a mischievous one of her own. "I really like you Maur, your gender is not an issue." Jane moves her elbows off the table and leans in further towards me. Thank God the table is small. "Don't let the fact that I was married to Captain All-American Male Asshole throw your judgement." Jane adds, dropping her raspy voice even lower.

I need to kiss her as soon as possible!

Soundtrack:"She Is Beautiful" by Andrew W.K. , "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins & "Looking Hot" by No Doubt.

A/N 2: I felt all this belonged in one segment to move things along nicely. Hopefully not too many of you out there feel differently, if you do *shrugs* And now...a preview of coming attractions: Jane POV is all baby got back and their official first date.