A/N: I've been debating with myself what to do with these small stories for a long time, and I finally decided I should just make a place for them here because that's easy and keeps everything organized. (So if I write anymore, they'll go here rather than tumblr like I've been doing.) They're basically just shorts that are less than 1k words in length that have nothing to do with each other. It's kind of what I use to practice. ANYWAY.
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters related in any of these stories.
There is a line between them. It's made of subtle paint and blurred edges with worn spots in the middle.
Jane doesn't know what she wants to do with the line.
She's torn between wanting to step across it boldly with a smirk and say screw it or to quietly mind its boundaries. Because while some rules are meant to be broken, some are there for a reason. And what if this is the one with a reason?
They've crossed other lines, she knows. And they haven't died yet. (Which is a miracle in and of itself.)
She knows they are more than friends, but not quite more than friends.
And every time she thinks about crossing the line, she can't help but wonder what makes the difference. Can't help but wonder how many lines can they cross without adverse effects. And why does it even matter? Why is this little, obscure thing in the road seem like such a big deal? Why is she so hyper aware of a tiny little thing that never meant any harm?
They are the type of questions that don't actually have answers. The kind that just sit in the back of the mind and agitate brain cells and disrupt thoughts.
Like right now, they are in Maura's kitchen. Alone. And Maura's talking a mile a minute about an article she read earlier in the day about something Jane knew nothing about because she was too focused on other things, like intonation over words. Like the way Maura's lips curl upward at the ends of her sentences when she looks over her shoulder to see if Jane's listening, and how her eyes light up the whole room, make everything warmer.
And Jane's mind starts to drift to other things and she wants nothing more than to kiss her hard against the counter.
And she knows, she absolutely knows, that if she did, Maura would kiss her back and just the thought of Maura's lips moving against hers, Maura's fingers in her hair gives her goose bumps, but then reality sets in, because they are alone.
And there's a difference in being alone and being with other people.
A difference in being inside and being outside.
And she wants to say that being a woman and being with a woman has nothing to do with it. But it does. And she wants to say it's not self-sabotage out of fear of being loved. But it is.
Her reactions are typically knee-jerk in nature. She acts before she thinks, says offensive things without meaning to. And more often than not Maura is on the tail end of it all because Maura is always there and that thought smacks her again right in the forehead.
Maura is always there.
And what if she screws it up?
What if she does or says the wrong thing? Or what if she reacts badly to the good natured teasing she'll surely endure from her brothers and coworkers? Or what if the first time they hold hands in public she drops Maura's hand when someone walks by?
And what if, like the men she's dated, Maura disappears?
And being with Maura would mean having to admit that she needs someone else. She would have to admit that what they say about her is true. That her mother is right and yes, she likes having someone to come home to and 'take care' of her.
It means having someone there at the odd hours of the night when sleep is elusive and she's vacuuming the floor. Or having someone next to her in bed while she's tossing and turning and sweaty and all long limbs and twisted tank and shaky breaths.
It means commitment, and everything about that word freaks her out.
"Jane? You haven't been listening to a word I've said, have you?"
Jane blinks out of the sudden tunnel she's in and she's staring straight into those eyes that can't make a decision on what color they should be. Maura's gone through the whole dishwasher and is drying her hands leaning against the counter with a knowing smile on her face.
They have been here before.
And it's this moment when Jane doesn't know which feeling is stronger: the fear or the want?
She feels like she's at the threshold of something she can't name and she's too afraid to move forward and too drawn to go back. And usually she goes in because that's what she does and who she is but her feet are glued to the floor. She has not spent hours training for this.
But she looks at Maura who is looking at her and she thinks.
She thinks maybe needing someone isn't so bad, maybe she already needs Maura and this little extra is like whipped cream and a cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.
She thinks her arms would fit perfectly around Maura's waist and when her head gets too heavy it would find a perfect resting place in the crook of Maura's neck.
And maybe she should just let herself be happy for once without the thought of consequence and catastrophe.
She blinks and Maura is standing in front of her and there are words between them. They are silent, unspoken things full of promises they can't possibly keep but there is no harm in trying.
In the space of a breath and a look Maura is kissing her hard against the counter. And her breath hitches as her hands go to Maura's hair (and this is better than what she imagined.)
And there is something in the way Maura's hands grasp her shirt in handfuls which tells Jane that maybe Maura's been stuck at that threshold too.