Disclaimer: All recognizable Rizzoli & Isles characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners including, but not limited to Tess Gerritsen and Janet Tamaro. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this fan fiction story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No financial gain is associated with the publishing of this story. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: The season four summer finale has already garnered many fics, as it should, but in my own mind, I find myself struggling to pinpoint the exact way I would have Maura react to the ultimatum Casey gave Jane. So, instead of a stand-alone piece that answers all of the questions I have about that absurd proposal, I've decided to approach it with the door open for various endings. Each chapter will represent a different way Maura and Jane deal with the Casey proposal. If you find I am not writing a scene that you hoped to see, shoot me a DM or leave a review and I'll consider writing a chapter/reaction to meet your suggestion. Will begin at K, will certainly end with M rating.

As for the first chapter, it is no surprise to my regular readers that I write dialogue. In fact, I love dialogue. But over time, I have realized that I can use it as a crutch. I've never written a Rizzles piece that is without dialogue between these two characters and I've decided it is long past time. Dialogue will return in the next chapter. –dkc

Reactions

Chapter One – Silent Dialogue

Maura Isles entered the Dirty Robber in a blue silk blouse, tailored black, pinstriped slacks and her newest Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Jane Rizzoli found her eyes precariously glued to the medical examiner as she sashayed into their favorite bar. Surely the detective's eyes were not the only pair on the doctor as she made her way to the table. There were few women who looked as beautiful as Maura and nearly every man and woman in the bar noticed this as the doctor walked to their regular table.

Reaching the booth, Jane's eyes met Maura's, both women smiling. The table laughed at Korsak's obliviousness to some new school pop culture reference Frost was making. Jane's laugh wasn't as sincere as it could have been. She had her eyes and mind strictly on Maura.

Frost immediately stood and took Maura's drink order, hustling over the bar to attain her standard glass of red wine. Korsak moved over in the booth so the doctor could sit next to him. Though Jane was alone on her side of the booth, she tried to hide any disappointment from reaching her features that her friend was sitting on the other side of the booth. Jane had hoped she and Maura would get the chance to talk after they left the assisted living facility, but Maura had dropped Casey and Jane off at Jane's condo, making an excuse that she had errands to run. Jane noticed the blotchiness on her friend's neck as she waved and put the car in gear to drive away. It was unlike Maura to lie to Jane, but then again, it was unlike Jane to be considering a marriage proposal.

Jane took a moment to analyze her friend, as she couldn't pinpoint precisely why she had wanted Maura next to her, rather than across from her. She quickly realized that having Maura across from her had its benefits. They made eye contact and held it until Frost returned with Maura's wine. Thanking him, she swirled the wine in her glass and took a sip. Jane noticed that Maura's eyes were slightly puffy and unusually dark.

Jane's eyes found themselves on Maura's lips, on that fabulously expensive lipstick that Maura wore like it was merely an extension of her supple lips. Her gaze wandered to Maura's blouse and the image of Maura that morning at breakfast entered Jane's mind. The silk pajamas Maura wore as she stood at her kitchen counter revealed noticeably erect nipples. They had been discussing Casey after Maura had pointed out Jane's tell was showing. Jane shook her head in an effort to shake the image from her immediate thoughts. When she looked up she noticed the doctor's eyes on her, a bit of concern evident in them. Jane offered a slight smile.

The conversation went from the case they had closed to their weekend plans. Korsak asked Jane why she wasn't out with Casey, reminding her that they'd looked at movie times in his new car. It wasn't lost on Jane that a pained expression overtook Maura's face at the mention of Casey. It also wasn't lost on Jane that Maura would no longer make eye contact with her. Jane hadn't told Frost and Korsak about Casey's proposal and wasn't going to do so at the Robber. However, she did brush off Korsak's question by saying that she at Colonel Jones didn't have to spend every waking moment together. At that, Maura stood and excused herself, making her way toward the bathroom.

Barry Frost was many things, but most of all he was a man with a good heart who wanted the best for those around him. He gently nudged Jane with his elbow and then stood so she could slide out of the booth to follow Maura. He watched his partner take a deep breath as she stood and made her way to her best friend.

Jane opened the bathroom door and immediately saw Maura blotting her eye makeup in the mirror of the single stall bathroom. No detective skills were necessary to know that Maura was attempting to catch threatening tears and wipe away those that had already escaped. Jane closed the bathroom door behind her, turned the dead bolt and then leaned against the door with her hands behind her at the small of her back. She didn't speak, merely gazed at her broken friend.

When Maura turned to meet Jane's gaze, words needn't be spoken. Jane saw the heartache behind the hazel eyes she had grown so good at reading. Jane saw the anguish as Maura clinched a Kleenex in her right hand. Jane was taken back to the moment earlier when she told Maura what Casey had asked of her. Their eyes had held on one another and for just a brief moment Jane had thought she had seen happiness in those hazel depths—happiness for her best friend. However, that brief moment was buried by the other moments that reflected nothing but disappointment and sadness. Jane tried to convince herself that what she saw in Maura's eyes had nothing to do with their friendship and everything to do with what Maura saw as Casey's shortcomings as a boyfriend. But Jane was no fool. She knew that what she saw in those hazel eyes earlier that day as well right in this moment had everything to do with their friendship and what they mean to each other.

Jane took one step toward Maura, her hand outstretched, palm up. She wanted Maura to take her hand. She wanted to touch Maura, to feel that connection as they worked out what was going on between them. Instead, Maura took one step back. That one step was all it took for Jane's heart to break. She suddenly began to see everything, the least of which why Maura was attempting to keep distance from her. Maura was sad, disappointed, maybe even angry with Jane not because of who Casey was or what their relationship was or wasn't, but because Maura loved Jane.

Jane swallowed hard, the lump in her throat not moving. Her eyes were clouding with unshed tears. She clinched her fists, now lowered to her sides as she looked once again into her best friend's eyes. Tears were now streaming down Maura's cheeks.

In the years that these two women had known each other, they had fought so rarely that forgiveness was never needed. Their biggest fight required one life-threatening injury, an apology and a hug to correct. Forgiveness came unbidden. However, in this moment, Jane wished she knew how to ask for Maura's forgiveness. She would have begged for that forgiveness if given the opportunity. She finally realized that she was an idiot for carrying on the way she had. She had allowed Casey to come and go, leaving her heartbroken, yet relieved each time. She had complained about Maura's dates, but never offered her an alternative. She had flirted unabashedly with her best friend, hell, her only friend, because she knew it could never lead to anything. And here she stood, in the bathroom of a bar; coming to the realization of just how blind she had been all these years. It was Maura. It had always been Maura.

The tall brunette risked another step forward and was surprised to find Maura holding her ground. Their eye contact was never lost. The sadness in Maura's eyes replaced with confusion and something Jane couldn't pinpoint at first. It was hope. Her best friend was hoping that finally the brash detective had figured it out. The detective took another step and reached out her hand again, this time using it to cup Maura's tear-stained cheek. The doctor furrowed her brow at the touch, her eyes closing briefly. As her eyes opened, they were dark and determined. She tilted up her chin slightly to meet Jane as the brunette leaned ever closer.

The doctor's delicate hands reached out to grip the detective's angular hips, anchoring her against the shakiness she was feeling. She found herself anticipating what was to come as the detective closed the gap between them, her lips softly pressing against Maura's.

The doctor let out a breathy gasp, her hands now clinging tightly to Jane's hips. The detective's free hand tangled in the doctor's hair as she pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. Their mouths explored one another until they were forced to surface for a breath. Jane pulled back first, looking intently at Maura in hopes of finding something on her friend's face that would confirm everything. When Maura's eyes met hers, they reflected the slight smile that was now evident on the doctor's face.

After pulling themselves together, their foreheads resting against one another, their fingers intertwined, the detective motioned for the door. Words weren't needed for Jane to ask Maura if she wanted to get out of there. The doctor merely smiled and headed for the door. She unlocked the door and allowed the detective to lead her out, her hand on the small of her back.

Maura bypassed their table and made her way for the door. Jane stopped briefly to grab her jacket, explaining to her partner and former partner that they were going to call it a night. Barry Frost smiled at her with those knowing eyes and nodded. As she walked away, she turned back to see his eyes on her. She smiled that sheepish smile that told him she had no idea what she was doing, but that she was going to do it with all her heart. He winked at her and she made her way out of the bar.

Jane caught up with Maura at the entrance to the bar and returned her hand to the small of the doctor's back. She led them out into the fresh air realizing that this is where their friendship had always been leading. Always.

-finis-