Author's Note: Awww! You guys know just the things to say to a girl. If y'all really can't bring yourself to pick a favorite, I totally understand. I'm attached to each of the chapters/reactions myself. Each have their strengths. Here is my final installment. It is angsty, angry and has a happy ending. Maybe this is the one I secretly wish were real the most. Maybe… -dkc


Chapter Seven – Lonely

Jane had been home for a matter of minutes when her mother called to inform her that Maura was upset. It wasn't a matter of informing Jane; really, it was a matter of accusing her. Little did Angela know Casey had proposed to Jane, Jane had told Maura and Maura had done everything in her power to not lose control until she was home alone. Jane grumbled at her mother, hung up and was then faced with telling Casey that she had to go. Casey gave her that pleading look as if asking her to spend her evening with him and not with her best friend, but Jane knew that if she didn't deal with this now, her mother would not give up.

Driving to Maura's, Jane held the steering wheel so tight that her hands ached. She never should have told Maura about Casey's ultimatum. No, she should have told her. She was her best friend after all. No, what she shouldn't have done was slept with Maura. No, god, not that, either. Of all the things in her life that felt wrong right now, having slept with Maura was not one of them. It was a spontaneous, passion-fueled moment in which they both realized the chemistry between them and acted on it. It was before Casey returned from Afghanistan, but was not yet a distant memory. Driving in her car, Jane found her mind reliving that moment when she touched Maura's bare skin for the first time; the path her lips followed across her friend's abdomen; and, the sexy sounds that escaped Maura as she reached ecstasy. That last memory caused Jane to slam her hand against the steering wheel. What had she done?

Pulling into the small driveway along the backside of Maura's brownstone, Jane took a deep breath and stepped out of her car. She let herself in and immediately heard a loud crash from upstairs. With her long strides, she was standing in Maura's bedroom immediately, worried about what could possibly have happened.

"Maura?" Jane was out of breath as she reached the closet and saw the aftermath of a shoebox avalanche.

The doctor turned from her place on the stepladder revealing her tear-stained face. Jane didn't need to ask. It didn't take a detective of her caliber to put the pieces together—the obsessive rearranging of the closet and the tears—to know that something was very wrong with Maura. And Jane knew exactly what that something was. For the second time in their friendship, Jane had hurt Maura. In this moment, she wished this time it was because she'd shot someone. However, this time was fraught with complicated feelings that Jane didn't know how to address.

"Come down, Maur," Jane sighed, running a hand through her wild hair.

"I need to finish this," Maura's voice was raw and her response curt.

"Come down, Maur. Let's talk about this," Jane clenched her hands.

"There's nothing to talk about, Jane," Maura asserted.

"Jesus, of course there is!" Jane's patience was gone. "We need to talk about this."

Maura turned on the ladder, making and keeping eye contact with Jane for the first time. There was anger in the doctor's eyes that scared Jane. It was an anger that reminded Jane of that moment after she had shot Paddy Doyle and Maura had told her not to touch him.

"We don't need to talk about anything," Maura seethed.

"Dammit, Maura," Jane's voice matched the frustration of Maura's as she made her way around the pile of shoe boxes to the foot of the ladder.

Jane stood looking up at Maura, a position she was unaccustomed to given her height advantage over Maura even when the doctor wore five-inch heels. It was impossible to not notice the tight yoga leggings that showed off Maura's curves and the baggy sweatshirt that hung off one shoulder revealing bare, ivory skin.

"Don't look at me like that," Maura was biting her lip.

"I can't help it," Jane looked at her own feet, avoiding the pain she saw in Maura's eyes.

"Right," Maura climbed down the ladder, turning her back to Jane as she busied herself with shoes she could reach from the floor.

"Maur…" Jane's voice dropped as she took a step toward the doctor and reached for her hand.

"Jane, please. I get it, okay?" she said, shrugging off the brunette's hand.

"Get what? Come on, Maur, we have to talk about this," Jane fired back.

The escalating tone of Jane's voice caused the doctor to whirl around. She had to put a stop to this and she knew that the only way to do so was to be completely honest with Jane.

"You were lonely, we were lonely. You love him and you are a good fit. I get it."

"Is that what you think it was for me?" Jane fumed.

"I don't know, Jane. I have no idea what it was for you. It clearly wasn't enough," Maura's voice was raised, her look indignant.

"Don't," Jane's voice cracked. "Don't diminish what you are, what you mean to me."

"I'm simply pointing out the obvious. Whatever I mean to you, whatever being with me meant, it will never mean as much to you as Casey," tears were now falling down well-established streaks on Maura's face.

"That's not true!" Jane surged. "You, Maura, you mean more to me!"

"Bullshit!" Maura spouted with the authority of a woman who actually might use such language on a regular basis.

"Maura," Jane stepped forward, her hands gripping the biceps of the woman before her. "You, Maura. It's you."

The force with which Maura pushed Jane away from her shocked both women. The smaller woman was deceptively strong.

"No! You can't have it both ways, Jane," the furor with which Maura spoke stilled the detective. "You can't use me when you are lonely. You can't need me and have him. You just can't."

Tears that had surfaced were now escaping Jane's eyes. She could no longer look at her best friend because of the hurt she knew she had caused this woman. How had Casey merely asking Jane to marry him created such chaos? The silence was heavy between them as Jane attempted to focus the thoughts that were swirling in her mind.

"What if I don't?" Jane croaked.

"Don't what?" Jane still had the power to surprise and utterly confuse Maura.

"Don't want it both ways," Jane whispered.

Jane's words caused any bit of hope to fall from Maura's face, quickly replaced by disappointment and hurt.

"Then you don't," Maura turned her back to Jane again, reaching for another pair of shoes to rearrange.

"I don't want him, Maura," Jane stepped forward, her hand resting on the back of Maura's elbow, her body a mere inch separated from the back of the woman before her. "I don't want it both ways because I don't want him. I want you."

Maura let out an audible sigh as she leaned back into Jane's body. She didn't turn around, she didn't urge Jane to hold her, she simply leaned against this woman that she had spent a lifetime looking for in both a best friend and, yes, lover.

"I wasn't lonely. I've never been lonely since I met you," Jane whispered.

The smaller woman turned, her face still streaked with tears. Her gentle, small hands cupped Jane's face. She couldn't speak. She couldn't say precisely what she was feeling. These emotions were foreign to Maura. She had never felt completely crushed and then supremely elated all in a matter of moments before. Instead of speaking to the tears that continued to fall, she leaned in and pressed her lips softly to Jane's.

In contrast to their first kiss weeks before, this kiss was gentle and timid where the first was immediately passionate. Jane's hands held Maura's hips as if her friend might break rather than with the ferocity of a woman incensed.

"Do you need help with these shoes?" Jane smiled as the kiss was broken and they simply looked into one another's eyes.

The smile on the doctor's face was replaced by calculation. She shook her head as she reached for Jane's hand, leading the detective around the pile of shoeboxes and out of the closet. Standing near the foot of her bed, Maura slowly lifted her sweatshirt over her head, revealing her unimpeded breasts. Appreciating the sight before her, Jane fought off an ill-timed smirk. Her hands began at curvy hips, grazing soft skin until her thumbs teased the sides of Maura's full breasts.

"Jane," Maura saying her name was a request, not a question.

The brunette quickly pulled her own shirt over her head as Maura's precise hands undid Jane's belt and pants. In her tank top, bra and panties, Jane could no longer contain her desire to get Maura out of her leggings. Pulling both the leggings and thong down Maura's toned legs, Jane stopped to midway to take in the magnitude of what was happening. This wasn't simply sex. This was the beginning of a life together and they both understood that. Without a word spoken, they both agreed that there would be no wedding proposals, no boyfriends, no more casual sex.

"Come here," Maura whispered as if knowing instinctually this moment required special care.

Jane stood, wrapping her arms around Maura's waist. The doctor's arms encircled the detective's neck and both breathed each other in. How long the moment lasted, neither could be certain. It was what they both needed to assure their tender hearts that the heartache they'd felt at the thought of losing each other was fleeting and never to return.

Maura was the first to pull away, using her hands now to remove Jane's tank top and unclasp her bra. They climbed onto the bed together, never more than a few inches apart.

It began slowly, their lovemaking, with soft kisses that eventually deepened and wandering hands that found solace in intimate places. There was nothing rushed this time and though both were passionate in their caresses, there was reverence as they touched.

"Jane?" Maura hummed as they mutually cupped one another rocked into the other's hand.

"Hmm?" Jane moaned against Maura's breasts.

"I want to say this and you don't have to say anything, it's for me," Maura whispered.

This got the brunette's attention as she looked up at her lover, curiosity and concern on her face as she continued to rock her hips into a hand that fit her perfectly.

"You are the love of my life," Maura's words were both light and forthright.

"Oh, Maur," Jane choked on her words.

The passion of their first kiss returned as Jane's lips pressed into Maura's and a finger slipped past her welcoming entrance. Finding a rhythm that was perfect for them came easily this time and they found release simultaneously. The heavy panting, the sheen of sweat was shared. Maura realized how much she enjoyed Jane's face pressed to her breasts as they caught their breath and their hearts returned to a normal pattern. Never had either woman been comfortable with simply being held after reaching climax, but with one another everything was different.

They would make love again before falling into a deep sleep. Waking in each other's arms brought smiles to their faces and a renewed sense of devotion to their friendship washed over them. Eventually Jane would make her way home to tell Casey it was over. Coming to terms with just how blind she had been all along would take longer for the usually astute detective. However, did any of that really matter now? Together nothing else mattered.