Alright kids, here we go! This is the last lil' bit that I had blocked out in my head. A million bazillion hugs and thank yous to those who took the time to read this and post a few words in response. Every review, every word was wonderful.

To all the guests who told me I had Jane and Maura down, I still think it's a bit OC. There are fics that could practically be scripts. Except ya know, for the part where they're allowed to be together. But still, I aimed for that and cookies to you all for the ego boost.

To those who said they loved it and couldn't wait for more….SQUEEEEE!

To the friend who said I could include myself with the greats, my smile hurt when I read that. I truly appreciate the words.

To the friend who said I nearly made them wet themselves, I'm completely sorry….well, mostly sorry anyway hehe


"I see. Well then, she's a lucky woman. I wish all the best to you both."

If it hadn't been so completely unlady-like, Maura would have let her jaw drop. As it was she just watched in silence as he turned and went back to his car, driving away into the night. Still standing in her open door, Maura shook her head. She'd have time to go over what had just transpired later. Jane would be here soon and she still had to change. With a shrug, she turned and walked inside. Maura hadn't even made it past the kitchenette when a noise startled her and she jumped, flicking on the lights.

"Angela! You startled me!" Jane's mother just smiled.

"I'm sorry Maura. Wasn't my intention at all. Just came in for a cup of milk for a recipe I'm working on." Maura nodded, wiggling out of her heels.

"Of course. Please help yourself Angela." The older woman nodded and Maura turned to walk upstairs when Angela cleared her throat.

"Maura…" The blond turned, noting the nervous expression.

"Yes Angela?" Angela shuffled from one foot to the other and sheepishly bit her lip.

"I didn't mean too… I mean I wasn't trying too…." She sighed and Maura cocked her head, coming to rest against the counter.

"What is it?" The eldest Rizzoli took a deep breath and looked her straight in the eye.

"I heard what you said. To that man. I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to eavesdrop." The Me shrugged.

"That's quite alright Angela. There's no way for you to have known when I would be home." Angela shifted and regarded Maura curiously.

"So what you said, it was true? You weren't just trying to get rid of him?" Maura blinked.

"Well I can't lie. I was trying to get rid of him for tonight, but yes. What I said was true." Angela looked surprised and sat down on one of the stools.

"So…. You and Janie…. You two….. You have a thing?"

"Oh God! She thought…!" Jane trailed off and Maura gave her a pained smile.

"Yes. I do believe that's where her mind-set was. Though since that is most certainly not where mine was, I didn't quite understand that yet." Jane nodded, thinking hard for a moment. No doubt trying to string bits of the week together and Maura chewed on her lip. After a few moments, Jane shook her head and grinned.

"Okay. Go on."

"Yes Angela. In fact, Jane should be here soon." Angela looked at the ground, deep in thought.

"Okay. Well, it's a surprise. I mean, not an unhappy one. Not a huge surprise either I guess. Vince and I were…."

"Vince!? As in Vince Korsak!?" Maura downed the last of her cup.

"Jane…this um… It gets worse before it getter better."

"It gets better?" Maura stared into confused chocolate for second.

"Jane, this gets worse." She amended. Jane let out a groan and stretched on the couch, letting her feet plop down when she was done. She opened one a eye a crack and peeked at Maura, lifting up a hand to signal her.

"Vince and I were talking about that not too long ago actually. Boy did he call it." Maura adjusted herself on the stool nearest to her and smoothed out her dress, dropping her heels in a pile.

"He called what?" Angela raised an eyebrow, a resigned half-grin in place.

"He called you and Janie." Maura widened her eyes and pursed her lips. Detective Korsak certainly knew about Jane's hatred of self-defense classes. It was reasonable of him to assume she'd call Maura to blow off steam.

"He does know Jane quite well. I'm not altogether surprised that he knew." Angela chuckled and patted Maura on the arm.

"I just can't believe that I didn't see it. I suspected it. I mean, we all did. But I'm her Mother for crying out loud." Maura shook her head with a smile.

"Jane likes to keep as many parts about her secret as possible. It's really not a big issue Angela." Jane's mother just sighed.

"I don't want you mistaking this for anger or anything. So long as my baby's happy… well, I guess I finally have that Doctor in the family huh?" Maura blinked. Well, that was an odd response. She must be off her game tonight. She didn't normally get so lost in conversations.

"Of course Angela. You know I consider you all my family." Angela shifted and nodded her head.

"Don't think I'm not gonna give her any crap for keeping this from me though." Maura gave her a smile. Angela sure was passionate about this.

"I'm sorry Angela. If I had known it was so important to you, I would have told you as soon as possible."

"No. If Janie doesn't want me in her business, I understand." She got the oddest look on her face. "If you don't mind sharing, when did all of this come about?" Maura shrugged and thought for a moment.

"We decided around four pm earlier this evening I believe." Angela opened her mouth in shock.

"Oh my… So this is all new to you both then?" The ME scrunched her nose. Did Angela really believe that Jane had never practiced self-defense before? No wonder she was always so worried about Jane in the field. Maura grinned. She could at least clear things up for Angela, and maybe take a little bit of heat off of Jane the next time she had to go into a dangerous situation.

"Not completely new, no. We attempted this a few months back but were interrupted by a break in a case we were working. I know Jane's done this with other's from the precinct. She's quite adept at it. I know many officers go to her when they feel their skills aren't quite up to par. She's highly regarded at the station. As for myself, I've tried it with others before too. It just, seems to work best with Jane. I feel most comfortable with her. She truly is the best I've seen."

"Oh…. Oh Jesus Maur…. You know she thought you were talking about…." Jane whimpered, elbowing resting on her knees, hands covering her face. Maura hid her rapidly warming face in her hands as well, speaking through her fingers.

"Yes, yes I know. I didn't then, but I certainly realize how that all sounded now." To her surprise, instead of anger, Jane seemed amused. The brunette chuckled to herself.

"Only my Ma." She gave Maura a look out of the corner of her eye. "It gets better from here?" Maura quirked an eyebrow.

"Define better." Jane huffed at her.

"Right…. Right"

Angela's face turned pale and she shifted on her stool.

"Janie….she's done this with others? Other…women?" Maura shrugged innocently.

"Honestly I'm not sure. The majority of her partners I know are men. They just keep up with her better. With a female partner Jane is worried about her own strength. She doesn't want to hurt them." Angela nodded, wringing her hands together, hesitant.

"I can't believe that. Janie is more protective of you than anyone. You trying to tell me that she isn't worried about hurting you?"

"I assume she is. That's probably why she was so hesitant to agree to this."

"This was your idea?" Maura nodded, happy to finally be on the same page in the conversation.

"Oh yes. I've been trying to get Jane to agree to this for the longest time. She always manages to come up with excuses at to why we shouldn't though. And then it was just one long string of interruptions after another. Ian, Casey, Hope and Caitlyn." Angela hummed softly.

"Yes, I suppose there has been quite a bit that's been in the way of you two. You just kept trying? Even though she's so stubborn?" Maura laughed at that.

"Of course. I knew eventually that she'd come around and agree to it. The reward will very much be worth the wait." Angela smiled softly, rubbing Maura's arm.

"You're a good girl Maura. I'm glad Janie has you."

"Well, I'm glad I have her too." After a few seconds of happy comfortable silence, Angela stood.

"Well, I certainly don't want to interrupt tonight then. I want it to go as smoothly as possible for you both." Maura felt warm. It felt so comforting to have family like this.

"Thank you for your support Angela." The older woman chuckled lightly.

"You can thank me with grandchildren." Maura blinked, curiously. Well, that was an odd lead in.

"Grandchildren?" Angela nodded.

"Oh yes. Don't think just because you are both women that you can get out of this. I know there are ways to make it happen. TJ needs a cousin." Maura flexed her hands and squinted her eyes.

"I…I'm afraid I don't understand Angela." The older woman smiled, leaning over to envelope her in a hug.

"Oh I don't mean right away. I'm just so tickled that Jane finally has someone… I suppose I can wait a bit for some granbabies. But don't you two make me wait too long!" She laughed, tapping the end of the ME's nose. Maura scrunched the appendage.

"You want grandchildren, from both Jane and I?" Maura was fully aware that Angela expected grandchildren from Jane, but it was new for her to want them from Maura as well. And how had Angela jumped to that from self-defense class?

"Not from both of you. I mean, at least from one of you. I just figured, Jane always puts up such a fuss about having em' herself, maybe I could start in early and get you too. Oh! The babies will be soo cute! I can just see it! Janie's wild hair and your mind. Or Janie's stubborn attitude and your curls. Can they even do that Maura? Can two women have children mixed like that?" Maura opened her mouth to reply, and closed it again. She shifted, and gave it another shot. Confused, she looked down at the counter-top, brow furrowed. Why couldn't she focus? Angela mistook her silence.

"Oh! Oh Maura, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to make you sad." Blond hair waved as Maura shook her head, forcing words out before they'd been properly strung together.

"No…. Angela, I'm not….that's not what I'm….." She took in a deep breath, images of little Jane's and Maura's running around in her head. Focusing first on the only question that she could answer with any sort of clarity. "While it is possible to achieve a child with DNA that would resemble both female parents, the child could physically only have DNA from one of the female donors. The closest other option would be if one parent were to carry the fetus containing the DNA of the second parent." Angela blinked.

"Given it some thought have you? Oh I'm so happy that you two are considering having children." Maura shook her head again, trying to make sense of it.

"No Angela, Jane and I aren't…. We're not…."

"Ready yet? Oh I know. After all, this is just a first date. But you two have been so close for so long, it's not like you're starting off with a blank slate." Maura rushed now, tumbling out phrases. Unable to focus on a point to straighten out first

" Angela, Jane… we don't want … We aren't having children…" Wait, did she just say date? It was Angela's turn to look confused.

"Don't you want kids Maura?"

"Well yes I have thought about…"

"Don't you think Janie would make a great Mother?"

"Yes, she has many qualities that would lend too…"

"And your little ones WOULD be cute."

"Neither I nor Jane is unattractive, so yes if we were to have children they would most likely retain our physical traits but…"

"So what's the problem?" Maura made a fist and tried again.

"Jane…" Angela smacked the counter with her hand.

"That girl is SO stubborn!"

"She is but that's not…." Angela waved her hand in the air.

"No no Maura. If this is something you want you just need to push her. That's why you are so good for her. You don't let her just ignore things. You don't put up with her shit."

"I try not too but Angela that's not…"

"I have faith in you Maura. If anyone can tame Janie down, it'd be you."

"Angela, I have no interest in taming…" Angela chuckled.

"No, I suppose that's part of what you're attracted to huh?"

"What? I… well, that is to say…."

"Awww, I didn't mean to make you nervous Maura. I'll just leave you to your date. About time you both came to your senses." Angela was getting up now, walking away. Maura stood too. She had to fix this. God what would Jane think if Angela came at her with all of this? Take a deep breath. Be clear.

"Angela, Jane…." Nope, try again. "Tonight isn't a date Angela." The older woman paused, tilting her head.

"It's not?"

"No Angela. It is not." Maura let out a sigh of relief at the frown on Angela's face. She'd seemed so excited about the prospect, but this needed to be nipped in the bud.

"So… you and Janie aren't…?" Angela trailed out and Maura shook her head, placing one hand on either of Angela's shoulders. She looked into her eyes and spoke softly.

"Angela… Jane, your daughter… Is NOT interested in me like that."

"Why'd you say it like that?" Maura snapped out of her retelling to focus on the brunette leaning up against the opposing armrest.

"Like what?" Jane shrugged and searched for words.

"I dunno. Like, instead of 'We aren't together' or 'Jane and I don't feel that for each other' you just said 'Jane doesn't feel that way'. Why?" Maura felt the blush start under the collar of her shirt. Because I can't lie so I couldn't say I didn't feel that way about you.

"Because my first priority was clearing things up with your Mother about you." That wasn't a lie, really. That truly had been her first thought. Well, one of her first thoughts anyway.

"Why?" Maura sighed, running through her words carefully before answering. Blast Jane for being so….. Jane.

"Because, you tend to get defensive when your Mother brings up the subject of you seeing someone, particularly when it is someone you are not in fact interested in seeing." She held up a hand, holding off an indignant response and continued. " Also, you have always been…..sensitive about your sexuality." A loud scoff sounded and Maura just arched an eyebrow. " Should anyone question it, or hint at it, you tend to…. Beat them up?" Jane snickered lightly, completely unable to deny it.

"Gee Maur, you make it sound like I'm homophobic or something."

"Oh no. I didn't mean to insinuate that at all. I just, understand your desire not to be seen as a stereotype? I wanted to clear things with your Mother. Set her straight about your sexuality to the best of my understanding. No pun intended." Jane sniggered and gave her a smile that Maura couldn't quite decipher.

"So, tell me how you set Ma straight."

"Angela… Jane, your daughter… Is NOT interested in me like that." Angela looked at Maura. Maura looked at Angela. And then…

"Oh my God Maura." Angela threw her arms around the blonde and hugged her hard, forcing Maura to fight for air.

"Angela….it's okay…." The older woman shook her head vehemently, clinging ever tighter.

"No, no it's not. I'm so sorry. This has to be so hard for you and here I am just shoving it in your face." Her shoulder grew wet and Maura realized Angela had tears in her eyes.

"Angela! Don't cry!" Was she really that upset over it? Why would Angela be so heartbroken over the idea that she and Jane weren't together? Oh! That had to be it! The prospect of Jane wed and baby-making had been so close, and now Maura had shattered that dream. Maura gently patted her back. "It's okay Angela. Jane will settle down eventually." Angela jumped back suddenly, a look of determination in her eyes that was so fierce it froze Maura's lungs.

"No!" She shouted and Maura knew her eyes had to be wide as saucers.

"N..No?" Angela pointed finger at her.

"Don't you give up Maura Isles. You are not a quitter! Do not give up on her!" If she hadn't been so startled by the force of Angela's outburst, Maura might have laughed. It sounded like Angela thought Jane's eventual nuptials and subsequent offspring were just as important to her.

"I'm not giving up on her Angela. I want her to be happy too." She couldn't help the soft smile on her face. It was sweet how much Angela loved Jane. Wanting her to be happily wed and settled down was just her way of showing it. Angela nodded at her firmly.

"You better not. I don't care what she's told you, Jane loves you." Maura paused in her thoughts.

"She….what?" Angela was pacing now, talking as much to herself as she was to Maura.

"She's just stubborn. Scared of good thing. Scared of losing a good thing. That's all." Maura's facial features turned themselves into a frown.

"Angela, I don't…."

"But now that I know for sure about you, oh Maura. I'm so sorry you've been fighting this alone. Unrequited love hurts." The ME felt her eyes bulge slightly.

"Unrequited….?" Angela waved her hands in the air, on a roll now.

"Well, it's not actually unrequited. She just made you think that. Oooo! I could just beat her senseless for that!"

"She didn't make me think…" Maura tried.

"No. She's so, sooo crass! She probably just told you right out that she wasn't interested didn't she?" Maura fumbled for words.

"Um, wha…she….no. Jane has never…." Angela seemed relieved and gripped Maura's arms.

"Just hold on Maura. We all want this. We do. And so does she, even if she is too hard-headed for her own good."

"Want…what?" Angela made a face.

"You're sure right?"

"Sure?" Angela nodded, stepping back.

"I want you to be sure. I don't want my baby hurt if you aren't sure." In all the confusion, Maura felt a stab of irritation. She addressed that first. It was a mistake.

"I would NEVER hurt Jane…." Another breath-taking hug.

"Oh! I just knew it! I'm so happy Maura. It's almost over. I can't believe you've been in love with her this whole time. Just standing by her side. My baby couldn't hope for anyone better!"

"Angela…" But the older woman was already half-way out the door.

"It's in my hands how Maura. Maybe I'll get in contact with Vince and Barry. We'll come up with something. Just to give her the nudge she needs. You leave her to me Maura. Mother knows best!" And just as Maura had her mouth open, ready to say something, anything to interrupt, Angela spun in place, hands clasped happily. "I can't WAIT for the wedding!" Then, with a squeal, the door slammed shut and Maura felt her knees give. She settled down on her stool, staring at the back door. What the hell just happened?

Jane had her tongue in her cheek, obviously processing the story. Maura found herself breathing shallowly, hands clasped tightly. She was waiting for the inevitable explosion. The anger. The uncomfortableness. The words of denial that would sting and burn.

"So, that's how I found you?" Her voice was deeper, darker than normal. Maura huffed at the shiver of desire the tone produced.

"Yes, that is where you found me." Jane nodded, crossing her legs carefully.

"And that's what this whole week has been about then? Ma and Vince and Barry convincing me that we should be together?" Maura almost smiled at the way Jane had bit off her partners names. They were in for a hurricane when Jane walked into work tomorrow.

"Yes. That was Angela's plan." Jane raised her eyebrow at that.

"There was an actual plan?" Maura forced herself to calm down when Jane's voice remained the same. Curious, but relaxed. No trace of real anger.

"She's been informing me of each step all week."

"You didn't try to stop her." It was said as a statement, not a question. Maura let out a huff and stood, stretching slightly as her irritation at her own ability to clarify the situation with Angela seeped into her words.

"I have attempted to talk to your Mother every day this week. When she has her mind set on something…." She trailed off as Jane snickered. The ME allowed herself a small grin. "I'm afraid I've just been making it worse." Jane regarded her curiously.

"So, step one was making sure I liked you?"

"Mmm-hmm. Angela reported an affirmative to that." She teased and Jane rolled her eyes, shifting to hide a pink tint to her cheeks. Maura bit her lip at the sight of a blushing Jane Rizzoli.

"Remind me to kill Vince and Barry in an especially painful way for tag-teaming me with my Ma, kay?" Maura chuckled but nodded, giving a quick mental condolence for the two.

"I'm sure I could contribute to evidence removal should my assistance be required." Jane laughed lightly and then screwed up her features for a moment.

"So, step two was…. Making sure I knew you liked me?" Maura felt her face burn.

"Correct." Jane's face took on a teasing smirk of her own.

"And was that reported as an affirmative as well?" Maura shifted at the rapidly changing tables and sighed, avoiding eye-contact. Walking that thin line again…

"Angela told me that she believed they had collectively gotten the point across to you." Jane chuckled at her discomfort, letting her go for now.

"What was next?"

"Well, they thought that, perhaps you…" She stopped, looking suddenly sheepish. Jane narrowed her eyes slightly.

"Out with it Maura." There was that warning tone again. She groaned and rolled her eyes to the ceiling, forcing the words out swiftly.

"They thought that perhaps you were uncertain of how to approach me about it." Jane deciphered for a moment before sending a cock-eyed grin her way.

"They thought I didn't have enough game huh?" The blond looked over at her, tilting her head.

"Game?" Jane nodded back.

"Yeah. Like, swag." Now, Maura was really confused.

"Swag?" Jane rolled her eyes.

"Not like that stuff Dr. Pike was handing out. Like, attitude." At Maura's squinted eyes, Jane pushed on. "Like confidence" Another sigh. "They didn't think I knew what the hell I was doing." Ah, there was the understanding.

"Language Jane. But you are correct."

"So Ma had you walk me through how to ask you out?"

"I was not aware that that was what she had in mind at the time, but essentially yes." Jane pursed her lips and waved a hand about.

"And this?" Maura leaned against the edge of the couch, folding her arms lightly.

"This was your Mother's way of showing you that she approved."

"Approved? Of you? Christ, what's there not to approve of?" Maura let the heat of the words trickled through her for a second before responding.

"I believe it was the fact that I was a woman." Understanding dawned in dark eyes.

"Ohhhh. I see. She thought I might think she wouldn't approve if I were gay." Maura nodded again and Jane settled back. She watched her friend mull things over. Honestly, she was surprised. There wasn't against kind of negative reaction to any of this at all. Just mild confusion and pure amusement. The explosion she'd been anticipating was nowhere to be found.

"I truly am sorry for all of this Jane. I promise to sit Angela down and…." Jane laughed out loud.

"No no, don't worry about it. I'll handle Ma. Make sure she knows exactly what's going on." God but that sentence sent another wave of shivers through her. She wanted there to be something going on so badly. "And I will definitely take care of the boys. Suckers won't know what hit em'." Maura winced in sympathy. A small portion of the Boston homicide division would be out of commission for the upcoming weekend.

"Be gentle please." Jane sent a playful glare her way.

"Oh no I will not be. I'm not sure I've ever been more insulted in my life!" Maura felt the breath catch in her throat.

"Because they assumed you were gay?" Because they assumed you'd ever be interested in me?

"No. Because they assumed I have no GAME Maura! C'mon, they actually thought I was so bad at this kinda thing that my MA had to walk me through a date? Jesus! My ego will never recover from that." The relief Maura felt at Jane's words was an actual physical feeling.

"Ah, I see. Because you'd be a natural at it?" Jane hummed, a Rizzoli grin firmly in place.

"Of course!" They shared a chuckle and then Jane made a face. "Besides, what Ma told me to do was all wrong." Maura looked down at her.

"Oh?" The brunette nodded.

"Yeah. Say Mr. Date starts out a at 'C' right? That's average." Jane held up her hand. "He gets points for going down to the morgue and being okay with what you do for a living. He goes up to a 'B'." She ticked the point off on one long digit, associating letters and numbers with each other, and Maura resisted the urge to correct her, much more interested in her actual point.

"Go on."

"He brings you a red rose. Yay for flowers. Up to an 'A'." Maura bit back a smirk.

"And that's…bad?" Jane made a face at her.

"A red rose is cliché. And not your favorite. And does not have some special meaning that no one but you and Google know. Back down to a 'B'." Maura smirked.

"Plus, a flower is so, impractical. It would die quickly. Not a proper gift for an ME. Not a proper gift for you. Down to 'C'." Maura could not hold back the full-blown grin now. "Lastly, he didn't go for any extra credit."

"Extra credit?" Jane smiled.

"Yeah, He didn't do anything else."

"Like what?" Jane shrugged, standing up.

"Well hell I dunno. Just, a little extra something you know? You Maura Isles, strike me as the type to always appreciate extra credit." Jane accentuated her point with a gentle tap to her nose. Maura bit her lip, letting some of the sultry burn she felt in her stomach bubble up.

"And you? You would provide extra credit?" She couldn't help teasing. Couldn't help pushing. God help her but Jane was standing less than a foot away and the candle light made her just that much more breathtaking. A slow smile spread across Jane's face. She'd caught on. She took another step forward, staring straight through Maura. The blonde felt her heart pound with the close quarters. She had to tilt her head up to look at Jane directly. Even then, Jane still had height on her.

The brunette let her eyes glance downward. But not the swift, guilty looks of the past. It was slow deliberate eye-sex. Maura felt the burn of her heavy gaze as it drifted down, over her nose and the weight of it when it hit her lips was a palpable thing. Maura could practically feel the pressure of it. Of her. Of Jane. It was hot and intense and made her stomach squirm and legs weak and when Jane's eyes finally raked back up her face she felt out of breath. Like the air had been ripped from her center. Like the pressure of Jane right there was keeping her lungs from re-inflating.

Darkened hazel burned through liquid mocha, and Jane's raspy timbre, octaves lower than Maura had ever dreamed of hearing it, did nothing to put the strength back in her knees or quell the suddenly raging inferno inside of her.

"Oh Maura. I'm all about the extra credit." Jane was searching her face, searching her eyes. Looking deep for something that Maura couldn't identify. Maura noticed Jane wasn't breathing regularly either. They spent a few insanely long and drawn out moments, locked, inches away from each other. And Maura found herself ridiculously disappointed when Jane broke the stand-off.

"C'mon, let's go eat." She caught the whimper before it came out, her brain processing past the possible double entendre faster than her emotions did.

"Eat?" Jane grinned, her playful smirk firmly in place. Apparently having found whatever it was she had been searching for.

"Forever ago, after the millionth time Ma set me up and I walked out, she figured out my secret."

"Secret?" Jane leaned in close.

"My stomach." She patted her abs and Maura quirked the corner of her mouth.

"Really Jane?" Jane pulled away and laughed, tugging Maura by the hand after her.

"She figured out that if she cooked a good enough meal, I'd at least stay through dinner. Then maybe she'd have a chance at actually hooking me up with someone." Jane pulled out a chair for Maura and the blonde gave her a look, fully appreciating the chivalrous gesture. The table was lit with beautiful taper candles. "So, whenever she'd set me up on one of these 'dates' she'd be sure to cook my favorite dishes. Every time." Maura giggled.

"That does make sense." Jane rolled her eyes at smiled, pouring them each some wine and setting out plates.

"Since this lovely meal is in front of us, I say we may as well enjoy it huh? You are in for a real treat Maur." She sat down with a flourish, holding up her glass. "Shall we toast?" Maura picked her cup up as well, regarding Jane's pleased expression and easy demeanor. She bit her lip and pushed again.

"To our first date." She quipped. Jane's gaze darkened ever so briefly before her playful nature took back over.

"To our first date."


The elevator doors chimed as they opened, and Dr. Maura Isles stepped out into the deserted corridor. Unless there was a case, specific findings that needed to be gone over, no one was ever at the morgue before she was. As her heels clicked along the cement, echoing in the silence, she let a smile tug at her lips. Last nights memories playing over and over again in her head. It had been pleasant dinner. Wonderful actually. Conversation had flowed along with wine. And Jane had not been lying. Dinner had been delicious. The best meal she'd ever had at the hands of Angela Rizzoli. And that was saying something.

She turned the corner, opening the door to her office and began hanging up her coat and purse. She had to admit to herself, she was a little disappointed that the night had only been a faux-date. The idea of a real date made her heart skip a few beats, or feel like that's what it had done anyway. Thinking about the sarcastic brunette tended to shut off the scientific portions of Maura's brain. Made her focus only on feelings and emotions and remembering to breath.

But Jane wasn't angry or uncomfortable. There had been no Rizzoli related murders that she was aware of. They'd stayed happy and playful and borderline flirtatious all night. All in all, everything had turned out much more smoothly than she had expected. A shape on her desk that did not belong there drew her out of her thoughts and she took step toward the box, lips pursed.

"Morning Maura." Jane's voice sounded behind her and she looked up from her pursuit with a grin, the lanky Detective's frame filling her doorway.

"Good morning Jane. How are you today?" Jane shrugged easily from her position leaning against the entryway doorframe as Maura sat down in her chair, picking up the rectangular box curiously. Wrapped only in brown packaging and twine, about as long as her forearm, her name written in black sharpie on one side.

"Not bad. Taaad bit hung over but meh, I'll live." Maura couldn't help a small chuckle at that, even as she gently began to pry open one end of the package.

"I have faith in your ability to survive a hangover." Jane laughed and Maura savored the husky sound, carefully prying open the opposite end of the box. They were both silent for a moment. Maura was too preoccupied with her task to notice Jane shifting nervously from foot to foot.

"So I uh….I talked to Ma." That stopped her. Blond curls waved as Maura looked up swiftly, in the middle of peeling the wrap away from the box.

"Oh?" Jane nodded slowly, looking around the room and Maura dropped her eyes back down to her desk top. She hoped the shaking her hands didn't translate to her voice and she did to best to focus on the package instead. "How did that go?" She was concentrating on folding up the brown wrap so she missed Jane's shoulder shrug.

"Well, I'm pretty sure I got through to her." Maura bit her lip, and began opening one flap.

"Did you?"

"Yeeup. She and I sat down. And, well…. now she knows what's really going on." Maura couldn't help the sting of tears stupid overactive lacrimal glands and she fought through them, flipping open both ends of cardboard. Of course. We can't have anyone thinking we're a couple.

"Well, that's good. I'm glad you were able to get through to her." The sting faded slightly into curiosity when she managed to get the top off, and saw what was inside.

"So, I was wondering…" Jane began, and Maura tuned one ear in to her words. The rest of her senses focused on the item she pulled out.

"Would you want to go to dinner with me tonight?" Maura turned the object over in her hands, answering absently.

"Of course Jane. That sounds lovely." It was a vase. A beautiful cobalt color swirled with teal. It was glass, and quite heavy in her hand. Why would someone send me a vase? Jane cleared her throat.

"That a vase?" Maura hummed an affirmation, still turning it over in her hands.

"Do you like it?" She should have caught the inflection. Caught the curiosity, the underlying hope.

"Yes. It's quite beautiful." She still didn't look up and she heard Jane huff lightly.

"A vase. That's really….. Practical?" Maura blinked, the vase frozen in her hands. Practical was an odd descriptive choice of words for Jane to use. Why did it sound so familiar to her? Oh yes! Jane had mentioned the practicality of a suitor giving her a flower that would die quickly when asking her out just last night…..

Maura sucked in a breath sharply as something slammed into her thoughts. The rest of her body completely frozen, slowly she looked up, and the view of her friend made her glad she was sitting down.

Jane had stepped away from the doorway and was standing in the middle of the room, shifting on her feet. Her face was a swirl of nervousness and anticipation. Of curiosity and hope, chewing on her lower lip. And in her outstretched hand, a single Ambrosia blossom. The meaning of which, Maura's large nearly useless by this point brain informed her, was reciprocated love. An ancient Greek term indicating a shared and returned affection.

She looked back down at the vase in her hands and her lungs fought for another breath. Oh my God. OH MY GOD. Jane is… Jane is… she's asking me…. The smile on her face, though tentative, grew, and she looked back up into soft brown eyes. The tension on Jane's face visible lessened when it was obvious that Maura understood. The brunette released her lip and held the flower up higher.

"So, dinner tonight then?" She asked again, and this time Maura heard the uncertainty in her voice. Heard what she was really asking. She beamed for a second, the warmth in her heart bursting out before she could stop it. That Jane was here… With a tiny bit of effort, she schooled her features into a coy teasing smirk and stood up, walking forward. It was Jane's turn to stop breathing as Maura approached, and she saw the emotions swirling her expressive gaze. Gently, she took the flower away and was briefly stuck. They searched each other, both smiling, both on shaking knees. Finally she ripped her eyes away from Jane's magnetism and turned back. Only once the flower was secure in it's new home full of water settled on her desk did she look back.

"Of course Jane. I would love to have dinner with you this evening." Jane's whoosh of relief was audible and Maura giggled, blushing suddenly as they stared at each other like giddy school kids. Jane started and shook her head, backing up step by step.

"Right. Well then, I should ah... Get back upstairs." Maura nodded, the adorableness of Jane practically tripping over herself forever etched in her mind.

"Right. I understand." The brunette paused in the doorway.

"So I'll um, pick you up at seven? That okay?" The honey blond could have spent forever drowning in the hopeful eyes staring her back.

"Perfect." Jane sent her a million watt smile and went to walk away. She halted mid-step and face palmed.

"Gah! Maybe I do need help with this kind of thing." She mumbled to herself and Maura quirked her head as Jane strode back in the room, all confidence. She walked right up to where Maura was sitting on the edge of her desk. Maura's ability to think clearly stopped right along with Jane, less than a foot away. They both swallowed, and hint of uncertainty flitted across the Detective's face before it was gone, replaced with pure bad-ass swagger. Slowly, Jane leaned down, tilting her head to the side and Maura decided that she was going to pass out before Jane ever got around to doing whatever it was that had put that glint in her eye.

Her heart was thudding so loudly she was sure Jane could hear it, and she knew her breathing was dangerously shallow. She stopped breathing altogether, and let her eyelids flutter shut as Jane dipped the remaining inches, sweet breath ruffling a curl of blonde over her ear. She almost, almost moaned aloud when soft warmth pressed lightly against her cheek. After a second pause, Jane pulled back slowly and Maura released the air in her lungs. Inches apart, Jane's retreat halted and they were suddenly in limbo. Completely unable to pull away, slightly terrified of pushing closer. Jane's eyes burned her lips and out of pure reflex, Maura licked them. She saw, felt, Jane's shudder at the visual and with a sigh of absolute defeat, Jane pulled back another foot.

"Extra credit." She rasped out, her voice low and rough and Maura could only stare back with the knowledge that whatever emotions were swirling around in her own eyes, Jane was reading loud and clear. Maura tilted her head, a smile playing on her lips, acknowledging Jane's successful extra effort. The brunette shook her head, blinked and the spell was broken. There was that quirky confident you know you want me and I know you do too smirk.

"See you tonight Maura." And she was walking away again. Still reeling from the softness on her cheek, the little niggling thought in the back of her mind took longer than normal to process through to her speech center. She wasn't even able to follow Jane's form out of her office. Her eyes still stuck on the spot on the wall behind where Jane had been. She struggled through the happy hazy fog. Just as Jane was rounding her doorway, Maura found her voice.

"Jane?" The Detective practically skidded to a halt, one hand caught on the doorway molding, pulling herself backward. Long brown curls waved as her face appeared.

"Yeah Maur?" The honey-blonde shook of her shock, turning finally to face her.

"You said…" She trailed off and Jane moved back fully, one hand cocked on her hips, and playful quirk of her eyebrow encouraging the ME. Maura swallowed and tried again. "You said that you had spoken to Angela. That she knew exactly how things were. What did you tell her?" Jane smiled so wide her teeth showed, and just as quickly crossed her arms over her chest and gave a half-hearted shrug.

"I told her we weren't dating." Maura felt her heart drop into her stomach briefly before that God-forsaken smirk that she knew was going to be the death of her someday came back full force. With a voice full of smoke and promise Jane finished her sentence. "Yet." With a wink that took any remaining strength from Maura's legs and all the remaining oxygen in her brain, Jane was gone, the sound of her boots echoing through the basement.

For a long moment, Maura sat, perched in the edge of her desk, fingertips lightly trailing the soft petals of the Ambrosia blossom, and the memory of the even softer lips playing on her skin. Eventually she managed to sink back down into her chair. She stuck her tongue in her cheek, and began ruffling around in her desk drawer. A thank you card to Angela was in order.