Now or never.
Disclaimer: I do not own Rizzoli and Isles in any way, shape, or form - much to my disappointment. I borrow the characters as I please and make them work at my will, or so the will of my muse.
Warning: I have not seen the final episode, but based off the continuous 4 gifs I've been seeing I get the gist of how the last part went down. Just a bit of Rizzles fluff-n-stuff.
Author's note: This story has not been beta-d even though I do have an amazing beta; meaning all mistakes are mine. Also, this is not the story that I promised in the last chapter of A Mother's Remedy – that is still in the works and this is just something that came to mind.
Summary: Both Jane and Maura have put aside the part of their heart that is in love with their best friend, unbeknownst to the other, but is it time for Maura to lay it all bare?
Jane wasn't really sure how it happened. One minute they were smiling, laughing even, and then she was flailing around looking for words, not unlike a fish out of water. Had Casey really just given her the ultimatum of marriage or his deployment? It wasn't supposed to go like that. Jane had planned to stay with him, but still have her own life completely unhindered by the full commitment. She wasn't supposed to be given such a big choice. But she had been, and she was unable to answer it, so she had told Casey to give her a day to think about it; and by that she had meant that she needed to find Maura and bask in her wisdom until an answer came to her. Could she really commit to a man when her heart wasn't completely his?
Finally finding a moment alone with Maura, Jane couldn't hold it in any longer, and told Maura about Casey returning to Afghanistan.
Naturally curious, Maura enquired in to how long he was going for this time. Sure, she was in love with Jane, but Jane had chosen to be with Casey and because of that Maura was trying her hardest to be happy for Jane. And by 'chosen to be with Casey', Maura meant that she hadn't actually disclosed her feelings for Jane to anyone so it really wasn't a choice for Jane to pick Casey over her.
"I don't know. He said he hadn't decided whether to reenlist. He will, unless..."
"Unless I marry him..."
Maura looked at Jane, confusion and concern etched all over her face. Had she really heard Jane right?
Although not as adept at reading facial expressions as Maura, Jane was almost positive that she was reading Maura's correct. There was not only concern and confusion, but a little hurt and realization too. Realization for what, however, Jane couldn't tell. She hadn't expected Maura to be overjoyed with the ultimatum because really, Jane couldn't even hype herself up for it, but she didn't expect the reaction that she got; perhaps some facts, a list as to why she simultaneously should and shouldn't accept the proposal, but not confusion and hurt.
Maura tried to come up with something to say, preferably positive, but she was coming up blank – a rather unusual thing to happen. She couldn't be happy about this. There was just something about the situation that made Maura sceptical. She knew that Jane wasn't the marrying type, but if she truly loved Casey should she not have shown a bit more emotion than she did? Perhaps that was just Maura being hopeful, for no reason other than she didn't want to share that much of Jane with another person, even if she could never have it herself.
"Maura, say something, please. I was hoping for your insight on this because honestly, I'm coming up with nothing coherent. I don't want this kind of decision and responsibility; I'm not ready for it and I don't know if it's what I want."
It was now or never.
"Do you love him?"
Jane was slightly taken aback by the abruptness of the question. She thought it was a given that she did love him in some way, but she never had to actually declare it before.
The hesitation with Jane's answer was all Maura needed to make a decision of her own. Jane wanted help with deciding an answer, and although Maura couldn't provide that as such, she wasn't going to let Jane make a decision without all the facts being out on the table.
"Did you know that the divorce rate for couples where one member is in the army is higher than the divorce rate of America itself?" Maura blurted out, "That is, if Casey decides to reenlist even if you do marry him. Who is to say that he won't? I mean, I don't know if he will, but what if he does? Will he still want you to do your work? Are you going to feel guilty if you say yes and he stays? Does he allow you to love your job?"
"Maura, you're babbling... You're nervous, why?"
Maura lowered her eyes, refusing to look at Jane. She had planned to explain her feelings to Jane, but instead statistics and questions came flowing out, and although they were relevant to the situation at hand, they weren't what Maura intended.
"What is it, Maur?" Jane tried again, her voice a little lower. She had known Maura long enough to know when something wasn't right, and now was one of those times.
"Jane... there is something that I need to tell you. I've tried not to for a very long time, but I didn't want you to make such a big decision without me knowing a hundred percent that there wasn't even the remote possibility of us. It's purely selfish reasons, I know, but I just needed to know! I love you, Jane, and I have for a very long time. A part of me will always belong to you, but I didn't want to burden you with it so I tried very hard to be happy for you when you were with Grant, and now with Casey. I tried, Jane, I really did."
Although she didn't want to, didn't want to see the emotion that Jane was sure to display, she let her gaze finally find Jane's. She was best at reading people's expression, so she figured that she'd get the most honest response from Jane's face than from her words. When her mind set to work deciphering all the signs, Maura's eyes widened in wonder.
Jane's face had softened, and there was even a small smile playing on her lips. She wasn't sure this was actually happening, but instead of waiting to see if it was real, she stepped forward and kissed Maura with all the passion she could muster. She had been waiting a very long time to hear those words, and although she had allowed herself to resign to the fact that she would never get the girl, she allowed herself to be swept up in the moment that she had dreamed of for years.
"Sweet Maura," Jane laughed tearfully once she finally pulled away, "I've been waiting to hear you say that for years. You've always had a part of me, and it was a part that I couldn't give to anyone else. I couldn't say yes to Casey because it wouldn't have been fair if I didn't give him all of me... and I just couldn't do that!"
Standing in the background, Casey watched the whole scene. Although it hurt, it really hadn't come as a surprise. He had always known that Jane wasn't fully with him, and he had sensed the reason too. He guessed that this was his answer, and to save humiliation, he slipped out the door and began his walk to a different life.