A/N: Written for an anonymous prompt on tumblr. This piece will have 5 chapters.
A big THANK YOU to socks-lost for her help and encouragement!
Normally the doctor wouldn't bother trying to talk to her friend with the game on TV. On the rare occasion that she would make an attempt, Jane would feign interest between swigs of beer, making eye-contact only during commercials, and Maura would end up having to repeat the entire conversation after SportsCenter. But something is different. It is the uncertainty in Maura's voice that drags Jane's eyes from her beloved Sox.
"I was wondering…"
Jane, bottle still resting against her lips, watches as Maura spins the large onyx ring around the finger on her right hand, her bottom lip caught between her teeth.
"You don't ever wonder, Maur." Jane raises an eyebrow and finishes off the rest of the beer before pushing herself up off of the couch and over to her friend. "Spit it out."
"I need someone to go with me to the hospital tomorrow for the procedure—." The detective cuts her off before she can finish.
"Oh come on, Maura. You said you had everything lined up." Jane throws her bottle into its designated bin. She isn't happy that her friend has agreed to donate her kidney. She knows that Hope is taking advantage of Maura's sweet nature and that Cailin is an ungrateful brat whose disposition will not improve with the addition of her selfless sister's kidney. Jane is finding it hard to be supportive of a choice that is going to do nothing but hurt Maura, both physically and emotionally. The doctor has noticed and has gone to all her consultations and pre-op visits alone.
Maura continues to fidget with her ring, around and around it goes. Jane watches as she goes from fidget to full-blown pace and then words start falling from her faster than the blond can censor them.
"They won't do the procedure if I don't have someone accompany me to the hospital. I asked your mother, but she's babysitting TJ. Frankie, Frost and Senior Criminalist Chang all have to work. Korsak has some event lined up at the animal shelter." Jane's eyes widen and she feels her stomach sink as the blond stops pacing to tick the list of names off on her fingers. "Tommy isn't allowed to drive unless it is to or from work. Lydia's car is in the shop and my insurance won't cover her driving mine." Her voice tapers off, but she squares her shoulders as she meets Jane's eyes.
"You don't have to approve, Jane. I just need someone there to get recovery instructions and to make any decisions in case I can't."
"Wait, make any decisions if you can't?" Jane's hands are both waving as hard as she is shaking her head. "I don't even want to know what that will entail."
"Well, in the unlikely event that something goes wro—."
"STOP! LALALALAAALAAAA" The detective mashes her hands against her ears and closes her eyes. "I said I didn't want to know." She opens one eye to see Maura looking back at her expectantly, a ribbon of hope twisting through her eyes.
"God, fine. I'll take you." As the words leave her lips she is overwhelmed by an armful of bouncing, happy doctor. She smiles and allows herself a moment to relax into Maura's arms, surrounding herself in the smell of the doctor's shampoo and perfume.
As if Jane would ever refuse her. Maura isn't aware that she need only ask and Jane will do her best to deliver. The gruff bitching and moaning is a front; Jane is all about keeping up appearances. She's surprised her best friend hasn't caught on yet, especially since Jane knows everyone else has noticed. They never cease to give her shit about being whipped.
The detective moves to step out of the embrace, but Maura doesn't let go. Her chin rests on Jane's shoulder but she tilts her head to rest it against Jane's.
"Thank you." The words are so quiet that Jane feels more than hears them. She wraps her arms back around Maura and squeezes.
"You know Maur, I read somewhere that hugs that last longer than three seconds are considered creepy." She gently squeezes the doctor again while she talks to let her know that this 9-going-on-ten second hug is still quite alright.
Maura pulls away, sniffling a bit, but catches Jane's hands before the detective can shove them into her pockets. Hazel eyes shine, so intensely earnest that Jane almost has to look away in order to start her heart beating again. "Really Jane, I mean it. I know you're really unhappy with me. I just don't have anyone else to ask."
The detective cringes internally. Of course Maura has interpreted Jane's disapproval and general crankiness as displeasure with the doctor, but she couldn't be further from the truth. Jane wants to rail at Constance for creating these insecurities in her best friend, at Hope for deigning to ask for the donation, and at herself for being a general asshole. Jane cannot think of a single moment when she has ever been angry at Maura. Even during their epic fight she was more hurt than pissed.
"I'm not unhappy with you. I'm unhappy with Hope for putting you in this position and unhappy with your jerk half-sister for being a jerk." Jane squeezes Maura's hands then pulls the doctor up against her side and slips her arm around Maura's shoulders. "Come on, let's go get an early dinner. I'm picking the movie tonight and I want to see it all before I nod off and end up sleeping on your couch again."
Maura just nods and smiles. Jane doesn't know Maura slept on the couch last Friday as well, curled up under the detective's arm like she is now. She just woke up early enough to change and pretend that she spent the night comfortably curled under her fluffy duvet, hiding the crick in her neck as Jane complained about an unusually stiff shoulder. The smile stays on her face all the way to the restaurant.