Jane had been quiet for a long time. These days, it wasn't unusual for her to just sit there with her mind apparently wandering, while Maura went about her autopsies. Maura assumed she was thinking about Casey and the way she said goodbye to him.
He had undergone his risky surgery, recovered without complications, and finally deemed himself fit for Jane. They attempted a relationship, but after only two months they split. It was amicable; they had really been better friends than lovers. That was over a month ago, and Jane was still not back to her usual self.
Maura supposed it was the lovers part that kept Jane's mind wandering. Jane didn't talk about sex with Maura, but Maura had learned to translate the euphemisms and facial expressions. She could tell when Jane was unsatisfied, and it pained Maura to know she couldn't do anything to help. Or… well… she hadn't been invited to help. And Jane didn't seem to appreciate her subtle offers of assistance. All humility aside, Maura considered herself to be a better lover to Jane than Casey had ever been. She appreciated the value of a holistic approach, loving the whole person. If only Jane would give her the chance to try.
One way or another, here Jane was, on a mental walkabout while her body showed all the symptoms of exhaustion. Perhaps her thoughts had been keeping her up at night as well. Her shoulders slumped, head propped up with elbows resting on the unused slab.
Maura didn't mind the quiet. Jane's silence was preferable to blaring solitude any day. Just as Maura finished closing the Y incision and was about to suggest Jane use her office sofa for a short nap, Jane spoke.
"Do you still want to have a baby?"
Maura considered the question at face value, refusing to jump to conclusions. "Someday, yes."
"But not now?"
"I'd prefer to have a partner in parenting. You know I didn't have an ideal childhood. And while I'm sure I could learn quite a bit from research, I would feel much more secure if someone else were there for support."
"What if the right guy doesn't come along in time? What would you do? You said you were going to freeze your eggs. Did you do that?"
"No, I decided against it. I decided that were I to feel confident enough to raise a child on my own, and I hadn't found a partner, I would adopt."
"You don't really seem to be looking for a baby daddy."
Jane was quiet while Maura covered the body and cleaned up her work space. Jane's head dropped, her eyes watching the fingers of her left hand trace the veins and ligaments in her right.
"Casey would have been a good baby daddy." She was quiet, almost whispering.
Maura's tone followed suit. "Do you miss him, Jane?"
"No." She shrugged.
After a beat, "Do you have something to tell him?"
Jane looked up at Maura, trying to decide what she knew, but all she saw was hazel orbs of sympathy. She knew everything. "Yeah."
"What can I do, Jane?"
Maura kept saying her name, Jane, Jane, Jane, like there was someone else she could be talking to, someone else sitting here, making a decision that would affect the rest of her life. Making a request that would affect the rest of both their lives. She kept saying it and it sounded like her mother telling her to clean her room when she was 8. It sounded like Sister Mary Catherine asking for her math homework in the 10th grade. It sounded like her sergeant at the academy presenting her badge for the first time. It sounded like Maura was saying, Jane, you're Jane, you'll always be Jane, no matter what happens next.
"Can we be elephants, Maur?"
Maura just stared at her, puzzled, waiting for elaboration, until she made the connection.
Baby elephants are raised by the female elephants in the herd.
Jane saw Maura's eyes soften and a tiny smile creep onto her lips. "Please, Maura? I can't do it alone. I can't do it without you. And I don't want to… I just… I can't do it alone."