Goin' To The Same Old Bar

Summary: Jane and Maura discuss Casey. Follow up to 4x01 We Are Family


"The sex was good?"

"Great. Amazing," you say wistfully. Then wince. When you go as long as you do without a viable partner, any sex is good. Great, even. And it's not that Casey isn't ridiculously sexy. He says all the right things in that stupid 'non-accent' of his which just literally melts you every time you hear it, which may actually be more of a problem than a quality attribute now that the thought crosses your mind again. (Run on sentence much?) But how many men have been in and out of your life that 'said the right things'? Again, you confirm, "Amazing."

"Then I don't see the problem."

"You wouldn't."

"He's passionate."

"Okay."

"Smart. Brave."

"Yep," you sigh. He is those things. He's also: "Inconsiderate. Selfish. Afraid."

Maura frowns at you. The Robber isn't quite so busy tonight. Frost left an hour ago. Korsak couldn't make it. He was too tired, or something. She repeats, "Inconsiderate?"

"He waited until the morning after to tell me he was going away again."

"You told him you understood."

"About him going. I would never see fault with that. I didn't understand about how he told me."

Maura nods. She can see the problem now, you guess. "Okay, what about the selfish part?"

"He didn't write. He didn't call. He just assumed I would be available, which golly gee wilickers, I was. I guess that's partly my fault. He knows me well enough that I would just be here when he got his head out of his ass."

"Jane. . ."

"And this whole thing has been about him. I told him I would be there, with or without working parts. He just decided that he was useless to me. That wasn't fair. He didn't ask me."

"You've been thinking long about this?"

"He didn't call for three months. You bet your ass I did." You take another sip of your lukewarm beer. Familiar music plays out of the jukebox. Something folky and sad. You like it. It fits your mood. Although, a little Metallica wouldn't hurt right now either. "What is wrong with me?"

Maura smiles sadly at you. "Jane, nothing is wrong with you." She sips her wine now. She's barely touched this second glass. Even her drinking habits have changed since she gave up the kidney to her half-sister. Suddenly so conscious of the food she puts in her body. "Okay, what about the third thing?'

"Third?"

"Afraid."

"Oh, right," you say. You lean back in your booth. "He's afraid of me, you know that? He's told me that."

"Two years ago."

"I can still tell. He wants to take care of me. He wants to go all domestic when he comes back. I can't help but feel that's all some plan of his to keep me in line. You know, distract me from disarming crazies with grenades or something like that."

Maura laughs lightly. "I hardly doubt Casey has allusions that he can dictate how you function, Jane."

"He's afraid I'm more of a man than he is."

"You might be."

"Maura!"

"What?"

"You weren't supposed to agree with me."

"What was I supposed to do?"

"If you have to ask, we're not friends anymore."

She smiles. You smile back.

Maura swirls the liquid in her glass. "Well, I guess I can agree that you've been as adult about his situation as any woman could be. You did what you could to convince him otherwise, but Casey wasn't well. His self-esteem had been fractured. A man of his standing and upbringing probably has great difficulty dealing with such loss of control."

"Well, here's to every breakdown I'm bound to face because I'm more mature than he is."

Maura sighs. "Jane. He makes you happy. I don't understand why you can't accept that."

"A lot of people make me happy. You make me happy, doesn't mean I should marry you."

Maura shrugs. "Well, it wouldn't be illegal."

"Was that a joke?"

"Just a fact, Jane."

You lower your head to the table, a soft thunk resounds as your forehead hits the table. "Relationships suck. This sucks. Casey's an asshole."

"Humans are fallible, Jane. I'm, apparently, a whiney pain in the ass, but you still value our relationship."

"You just won't drop that, will you?"

"And if Casey had absolutely no flaws at all, you would still find something wrong because you have just as much to fear as he does. I think he's just had a bit more clarity on your relationship lately and that has built up his confidence to reunite with you. Is that really wrong?"

"Maybe not." You lift your head back up and insist, "But he could have told me his plans before he sexed me up."

"Would you still have slept with him?" Maura counters with a smirk.

"Yes," you say defiantly, furrowing your brow in determination. You quickly roll your eyes though, then admit, "Maybe. I don't know."

"He's still a man," Maura says nonchalantly. "You're beautiful. He was thinking with his other head."

"God, Maura, enough," you groan. "I hate this, alright? I'm such a teenage girl. I mean, his accent just does it for me. He might have told me he's decided to form a militia to overthrow our capitalist government and I probably would've stripped right there on the sidewalk."

"Primal Jane," Maura says, eyes lighting up some. "I like it."

"Again, enough," you warn, finishing off your beer. She laughs. The jukebox continues to spin sad, lonely tunes and Maura's irritating optimism regarding your on again/off again buddy with benefits is somewhat disturbing. Although, you do understand this is her way of saying she just wants to make sure you're happy. It's just how Maura is. She notices that you're still pouting.

"Okay, so maybe I don't like how he discarded you either, but he's not a bad man," Maura insists. "He was given a second chance. "

"More like a fourth chance, if we count high school."

"Okay, a fourth chance. Some people need to be hit over the head that many times to get it." Maura reaches across the table and grasps your hand. She squeezes tightly and smiles brightly now. "Look at how stubborn we have been over the years. We're still going strong."

You hold onto her hand very tightly, like it's a lifeline. Stubborn could be a bit of an understatement, but she is right. The two of you are strong. The two of you are almost inseparable. The two of you are headstrong career women with the same aspirations as anyone else; with desires of acceptance and love and forgiveness. The two of you are . . .

And then a light bulb blows in the ceiling above you.

"Shit!" you gasp, never letting go of her hand.

Maura didn't move to let go of you either. "You okay?"

"Yeah, it scared me," you laugh. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine."

"Sorry everybody!" someone yells over the slight rise in surprised voices. You realize you haven't let go of Maura's hand and frankly, you don't want to. Maybe she doesn't want to either, you decide.

You both sit quietly for a moment. Suddenly sitting in the same old bar, listening to the same old music, hearing the same voices carry on near the pool tables, it is all so stifling. Except for one common fixture, that is. You smile warmly at her. "Let's go."

"My place?"

"Sure."

"I have a new documentary!" Maura says excitedly, finally extricating her hand from yours. She throws some money on the table and your urge to argue about whom should pay the bill dies on your lips, because the look of elation on her face has always taken your breath away. It's no different now. "It's about Australian aborigines and their adaption of the game cricket."

"Fascinating," you deadpan, but with more lightness than usual. As you both walk out, you ask aloud, "You said Casey makes me happy. What if he doesn't make me happy?"

"Are you saying he doesn't?"

"It's a hypothetical."

"I would say it's probably a waste of time, no matter how sexy his accent is."

You nod. "Okay. I'm glad you make me happy then. Means I'm not wasting my time."

Maura quirks an eyebrow at you then. She will look at you sometimes, as if she is trying to decipher some unknown language or something. Maybe you are speaking in another language. But anyway, she looks at you as if you are the only person in the world. You are important, valued. You are loved and if in three months, Casey decides to be a selfish asshat again, you know that Maura will always love you.

Without preamble, she hooks your arms together and pulls you in near. Close enough to kiss you (and where did that image just come from), but she doesn't kiss you and you're glad for that. Not that maybe you wouldn't want to. You might like that. It's just maybe not the right time to do something else monumentally stupid and emotionally driven.

"I shouldn't have slept with him."

"But you did."

You begin the walk to your cars. Maura jingling her keys first means she is driving. Probably a good idea. You definitely had more to drink and you're distracted.

"I'm happy I make you happy, Jane." Maura says finally. "You make me happy too."

Good, you think. Nobody's wasting their time then.