thegirl20: (Jane/Maura: hugz)
[personal profile] thegirl20
TITLE: Tonight I wanna do some drinkin': Champagne
AUTHOR: [livejournal.com profile] the_girl_20
FANDOM: Rizzoli and Isles
PAIRING: Jane/Maura
SUMMARY: Maura's birthday is approaching.
RATING: R
WORD COUNT: ~7500
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em.
SPOILERS: Mentions of various aired episodes.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Part of a series based on this prompt: Jane/Maura, from the first meeting to where they are now (together or on the verge of it, idc) via the drinks they drink (each meeting should have some sort of beverage). All can be found at this tag: tiwdsd or HERE in chronological order.


It all started on a Friday night. Work was relatively quiet, and after a few drinks at the Robber, Jane and Maura had come back to Maura’s place and ended up lying on the couch with the TV on and Chinese food cartons littering the coffee table. Jane pressed a kiss against Maura’s curls, smiling into her hair as she shifted; trying to get closer even though she was already practically lying on top of Jane. Lips brushed Jane’s neck, a tongue ghosted over the faint scar there eliciting a shiver.

Jane closed her eyes, smiling wider. They’d been together almost a year, and Maura still could still make her shiver with the gentlest of touches. Jane had always known Maura was different; that she felt differently about Maura than she had any of her other ‘relationships’. She was reluctant to call them that these days, because they didn’t even come close to what she shared with Maura. When they first got together, Jane had a niggling concern that she’d grow bored and restless, as she always did. Then she reminded herself that she’d been ‘with’ Maura in some way, shape or form for years and hadn’t grown bored. After that, Jane had relaxed into the relationship and let it happen. And, a year down the line, she couldn’t imagine ever tiring of the woman in her arms. She couldn’t imagine ever being without the woman in her arms.

Unconsciously, the thought made Jane hold Maura closer, making her groan.

“Not so tight, sweetie. I ate too much.”

Jane laughed and turned slowly so that Maura was forced to slide off of her until they ended up lying facing each other. Jane’s arm was loosely draped over Maura’s hip. Their noses were almost touching on the shared cushion.

Jane sighed, unable to help her happy smile. “Hey.”

Maura smiled in return and reached up to brush some hair from Jane’s forehead, watching her hand as it raked through Jane’s tangled mane. “Hey.”

Having known Maura for so long, Jane could tell that she had something she wanted to say, but was unsure how to broach the subject.

“What’s up?”

Maura’s eyes snapped to meet Jane’s, her mouth forming a surprised ‘o’ before sliding into an affectionate smile.

“Am I so very obvious?”

“To me you are.” Jane tweaked Maura’s nose. “But then, I make it a habit to study you as closely as I can. As often as I can. I’m pretty sure I’m majoring in Maurology.”

“That’s not a real word, Jane.” But Maura was smiling.

“Well it should be. I’m gonna suggest it to Harvard. Because you’re way more interesting than all that other geeky stuff that people study. But anyway, you want to talk.”

Immediately, Maura’s eyes dipped. Jane frowned until she looked up again, concerned about what would make Maura reluctant to talk to her. She hooked her arm more tightly around Maura’s waist, pulling her in so that they were as close as they possibly could be.

“Hey, it’s me.” Her voice was gentle, cajoling. “You don’t have to worry about talking to me about anything.” Jane paused. “Unless, that is, you’re...breaking up with me...”

Maura looked up, horrified. “Oh, Jane! I would never...how could you even think...that is just too awful to...”

Jane halted the string of incomplete sentences – almost unheard of from Maura – with a kiss. A soft, firm, reassuring kiss. When they parted, Jane grinned.

“I know, I was kidding.” She winked. “But now whatever you want to talk about probably doesn’t seem so bad, huh?”

Forehead wrinkled, Maura shoved Jane’s shoulder.

“That was not funny.”

“It was a little funny.”

“It was not. Maybe I will break up wi-...” Maura stopped and drew in a deep, steadying breath, her fingers twisted tightly Jane’s shirt. “No, I can’t even joke about it.”

Jane shrugged. “That doesn’t really make it much different from any other subject, does it?”

“Are you intent on verbally abusing me for the entire evening or will you be taking a break any time soon?” Maura’s exaggerated pout made Jane bite her lip to stop from laughing.

“I’m sorry. I’ve stopped. What did you want to talk about?”

Maura grew sombre again. She brought a hand up to caress Jane’s cheek.

“I love you.”

Hearing those words made Jane want to do a victory dance around the room, every time. But she decided that Maura still needed to lighten up a bit with whatever this thing was she wanted to say.

“Uh huh...I love you too. This isn’t groundbreaking news, sweetie.” She offered a cheeky smile. “Not that I want you to stop saying it, but it doesn’t require the dramatic build up anymore.”

Maura, as she was so adept at doing, completely ignored Jane.

“It’s my birthday next month...”

“I know it is.” She did know, though she hadn’t really given it much thought.

“And I know you don’t like to talk about money...”

Jane immediately tensed. She was still uncomfortable during discussions that had anything to do with money. She had gotten better at it since they’d started dating, but she still didn’t like it. Maura knew this.

“...And I’m not going to make you...but I just want to tell you that I don’t want you becoming stressed about buying me something for my birthday. I don’t need anything. I have you and that’s the greatest gift I could ever ask for.” She traced her fingers over Jane’s cheek. “So for my birthday, all I want is to be with you, okay?”

As Maura spoke, Jane’s eyes had filled with tears, which she tried to blink away. She closed the minute distance so that their noses bumped together, their shared breath warm between them. Running a hand up Maura’s back, Jane sighed.

“Maur...” She coughed to clear the lump from her throat. “Don’t let me run my mouth when you’re about to say really nice stuff like that.”

Following the outline of Jane’s lips with the tip of her index finger, Maura shook her head. “I love your mouth.”

Jane kissed the finger on her lips.

“I love your everything. And don’t worry about your birthday. ‘Cause it is gonna be the best birthday ever.”

Maura broke into a bright smile. “Of course it will be. Because I have you.”

This time, Jane couldn’t stop a tear from escaping. She closed her eyes, letting out a shaky laugh.

“Jesus, you’re determined to turn me into a huge sap, huh?”

“Oh, Jane...” Maura’s whisper breezed across her lips. “You’ve always been a huge sap. I just bring it out in you.”

Jane opened her eyes and looked into Maura’s own, sparkling with mischief. She thought about protesting, but then shrugged.

“I guess that’s true.” She frowned. “But don’t tell anyone.”

Maura grinned and pushed on Jane’s shoulder until she was flat on her back. Maura crawled on top of her. “Cross my heart.” She made an ‘x’ over her chest. Jane lifted her head slightly. “X marks the spot...” and she placed her lips on the warm skin of Maura’s chest.

---

Later that night, as Maura lay asleep in her arms, Jane started to think about the implications of their earlier conversation. Maura’s birthday was approaching. It would be the first time they’d been together on Maura’s birthday. Maura was incredibly wealthy and could buy herself pretty much anything she wanted. Jane, while she had some savings, was a cop and earned a cop’s salary. Every other year, she had mostly bought Maura gag gifts or little tokens of affection. That wouldn’t cut it this year.

She thought back to what Maura had said and smiled. It was so like Maura to not want Jane to worry. At Christmas, both Tommy and Angela were having money problems, so Maura had suggested that rather than shop for everyone, they all buy a $20 gift that could suit anyone and on Christmas they would put them in a box and pick one out. Jane had been touched and surprised by the gesture but Maura had just shrugged and said she never wanted anyone to feel awkward or embarrassed because of money.

Overcome with a surge of love, Jane pressed her lips against Maura’s forehead, hard enough to disturb the sleeping woman who snuggled even closer to Jane.

“S’that for?”

Jane smiled against Maura’s skin. “Do I need a reason?”

“Mmmmnope.” Maura threw a leg over both of Jane’s and curled further into her. “Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetie.”

Yep, Jane thought, she was going to make sure Maura had the best birthday ever. Now all she had to do was think of a gift to get for her that didn’t cost the earth and was meaningful. Closing her eyes, Jane decided to sleep on it. She had plenty of time.

---

Home call mr indeed us hope.

Jane sighed and held her phone to Maura to take as they walked into the precinct together a few days later. “Translation, please.”

Maura took the phone, glanced at the screen and smiled. “Honey, call me, I need your help.”

Jane took the phone back, holding it between her thumb and forefinger like it was poisoned. “That’s never good.”

“I’d love to come with you to see what she needs, but I have paperwork I need to get done this morning because someone dragged me home early last night.”

Grabbing Maura’s arm, Jane pulled her to a halt. “Hey, you tell whoever this is that’s dragging you places that I’ll kick their ass.”

Going up on her tiptoes, Maura kissed Jane quickly. “I’ll be sure to pass on that message. My hero.” She started to walk away in the direction of the elevator. “Good luck with your mother. You can tell me about it when you bring me my coffee.”

“Yeah, yeah, abandon me in my hour of need and then demand coffee, why don’t you?”

Maura winked at her. “I just did.”

Jane watched the elevator doors close and couldn’t help the soft smile that touched her lips. With a sigh, she turned and headed to the café to face whatever crisis her mother had conjured up.

---

She’d barely taken a step inside before her mother’s voice rang out.

“Jane, oh thank God!”

Trying not to sigh, she made her way to the counter and leaned on her elbows.

“Good morning to you too, Ma. And please tell me this isn’t another car emergency? Those never end well for me.”

Memories of having to rescue her mother’s Buick from a sleazy car dealer and then having an even sleazier mechanic offer to lick Maura’s face danced through her head. She shuddered visibly at the last one.

“No, this is nothing to do with cars.” Angela thrust a cup of coffee at Jane. ”And it’s actually kinda your fault, so you need to help me.”

“My fault?” Jane was confused. Generally she was aware of when she’d done something likely to piss her mother off. More often than not, it involved getting herself injured.

Angela mirrored Jane’s pose across the counter from her. “I don’t know what to get Maura for her birthday.”

For a second, Jane was thrown, wondering if her mother had completely changed the subject and had been carrying on a whole different conversation without her noticing. “Maura’s birthday? It’s my fault you don’t know what to get for Maura’s birthday?”

“Uh huh. If you weren’t dating her, I wouldn’t have this problem.” Angela somehow made this sound like the most logical thing in the world.

“So...I’m at fault for dating Maura because you can’t decide what to get her for her birthday?”

This drew a disapproving ‘tsk’ from her mother. “Don’t say it like that, Jane. You know I adore Maura.” Angela threw up her hands in defeat. “I just have no idea what to get her for her birthday. “

Jane sighed and rubbed her eye with one hand, while taking a long gulp of coffee. Maura’s words from the previous evening came back to her.

“She wouldn’t want you stressing over what do get her for her birthday. Just get her whatever.”

Angela tipped her head to the side and pursed her lips in thought.

“You know, Carla Talucci’s daughter was wearing this really ni-“

Slightly too late, Jane realised she’d left the field just a bit too wide open for her mother.

“Stop right there, Ma. Do not buy her clothes.”

While Maura would accept any gift from anyone with grace and gratitude, her mother’s tastes were not exactly in line with Maura’s. And she didn’t want Maura getting hives from insisting on wearing a fabric that she wouldn’t normally wear, just so that she could please Angela.

“Oh, so we go from ‘get her whatever’ to ‘don’t get her this’ and ‘don’t get her that’.”

“Ma, you spend more time with Maura than you spend with me. You know her. Get something that means something to you both. She’ll love it. And she wouldn’t want you taking out a loan to get it, either.”

“Yeah, I guess...” Angela trailed off, her eyes focussed somewhere in the distance.

“While you’re thinking, gimme another coffee. Her Highness wants hers delivered to the morgue.”

Watching her mother pour the coffee, Jane pondered her own situation. She knew Maura better than anyone. They had shared so much over the time they’d known each other that there were bound to be hundreds of meaningful gifts she could give. But for some reason, she couldn’t think of a single one.

Oh well, she still had time.

---

Jane was in the kitchen, elbow deep in a huge pan of tomato sauce, when Maura came in with several bags from stores Jane had only recently learned how to pronounce. Joe Friday ran to greet her, yipping excitedly as Maura stooped to pet the little dog.

“Hey girl, did you miss me?”

“Yes, she did.” Maura looked over with a grin as she scooped Joe up using her free arm. She made her way to Jane’s side, stretching up to kiss her cheek as she continued to stir the vat of sauce she’d created.

“How do you know she missed me?” Maura asked, trying to keep Joe from licking her face.

“Because she looked at me funny when I came home without you. Like she was accusing me of something.” Jane glared playfully at the diminutive canine. “Guess we know who her favourite is.”

Maura laughed and bumped Jane’s hip with her own as she placed Joe back on the floor and dropped her bags so that she could wrap her arms around Jane’s waist from behind. “Don’t worry Jane, you’re my favourite.”

“So you like me better than your turtle?”

“Tortoise. And yes. Marginally.”

Jane huffed and turned back to her cooking. “What have you been buying?”

“Let me taste whatever smells so good and I’ll show you.”

Jane blew on a spoonful of the fiery red liquid and held it out for Maura to taste. She closed her eyes as she dragged her lips over the wooden spoon.

“Mmmmmm, delicious.”

“You bet it is. Now, show and tell.”

A kiss was pressed between Jane’s shoulder blades and then she was released. Maura picked up her bags and placed them on the counter, reaching into one and drawing out a cocktail dress. It was fuchsia, with a cowl neck and a pencil skirt and capped sleeves. Jane rolled her eyes at herself; a couple of years ago she’d have said it was a pink dress. When she picked up these other terms was beyond her. Maura draped the garment against the front of her body and looked up at Jane.

“Do you like it?”

The dress itself did nothing for Jane. The thought of Maura in the dress was another matter. Maura appreciated the craftsmanship in clothes, Jane appreciated how clothes looked on Maura. “You’re gonna make that dress look amazing.”

She was rewarded with a grin. “Thank you. It’s a birthday gift from my parents.”

Jane looked from the dress to the bag Maura had just taken it from. “But...I thought you just went shopping?”

“I did. I always buy myself a gift and charge it to my parents. It’s easier that way; I get something that I like and that fits. We’ve done it that way for years.”

And your mother doesn’t have to expend any energy thinking about what to get you. Jane managed not to say what she was thinking, but the look on her face clearly indicated her distaste.

Maura moved closer to her and shrugged. “It’s fine, sweetie. It doesn’t bother me.”

Having seen Maura and her mother interact, Jane knew that on some level Maura longed for her mother to pay attention to her. She knew that Maura wanted her mother to want to choose a present for her. But she’d never ask her to. Good thing Jane wasn’t so bothered about asking for things. She smiled widely.

“You can wear it when I take you out on your birthday.”

Maura’s eyebrows went up.

“You’re taking me out? Where are we going?”

Jane winked. “It’s a surprise.”

Maura watched Jane for a moment, before turning and putting her dress back into its bag. Then she walked over and put her hands on Jane’s hips, turning the taller woman to face her.

“I don’t care where we go on my birthday. As long as I get to spend it with you. Please don’t feel like you have to take me someplace expens-”

“Babe, who said I was taking you someplace expensive? We’re going to the McDonald’s near the precinct.”

Maura smiled and let her hands slip around to Jane’s back, winding around her waist.

“You’re kidding, I know that. But...seriously, Jane. I mean it when I say that all I want is to be with you. It doesn’t matter where we are.”

Jane cupped the back of Maura’s head and pulled her into a soft kiss before hugging her close.

“Stop worrying. You’re worrying about me worrying about your birthday. I’m not worried, so you don’t need to be either. Okay?”

“Okay.” The reply was slightly muffled against Jane’s shoulder.

The importance of choosing just the right gift had just increased tenfold. Jane was not going to become a person who let Maura choose the present she wanted and buy it for herself. She kissed Maura’s temple and willed herself to think of something that was perfect.

Nothing.

She still had time, though, so it was okay.

---

A week later, Frankie dropped into the chair by her desk. She finished typing an e-mail to Maura and pressed send before turning to Frankie. He didn’t bother with preamble.

“I need your advice.”

Jane leaned back in her chair, putting her hands behind her head. She allowed herself a moment to preen that Frankie still came to her for her wise counsel, even though he was a detective himself these days. “Sure, little brother, what case?”

“No case. It’s Maura.”

Jane closed her eyes and resisted the urge to groan.

“Lemme guess, you need help with what to buy her for her birthday.”

“Yeah.” Frankie shifted in the chair, uncomfortably. “I mean, it’s different from buying for you, because you’re like a guy.”

It was clear that Frankie did not think his comment was insulting, even though Jane was shooting daggers from her eyes. “Gee, thanks.”

“But Maura’s...Maura.” He threw up his hands in a way that reminded Jane of their mother, almost frighteningly so. “And all the things I can think to get her are like things you’d get for someone you’re dating...like flowers, or candy and I...don’t want her to think I have a crush on her or something. And you never had anybody serious before and...”

“Woah! Way to make me sound like I’m a freak!” Though Jane couldn’t dispute her chequered dating history, she didn’t particularly like it to be broadcast. “It’s not like I’ve had to buy gifts for your multitude of girlfriends.”

“You did for Teresa.”

Just the sound of her name made Jane’s nose wrinkle in distaste. But Frankie had just ruined his case. “Exactly. I didn’t even like her and I still managed to pick a gift that was personal and thoughtful without whining to you about giving me ideas.”

“You got her perfume. That she was allergic to.”

The sound of an e-mail arriving gave Jane the opportunity to turn away from Frankie before replying. “That wasn’t my fault.” She scanned over the content of the e-mail and smiled. Maura could make her do that with very little effort.

“She said she tol-“

She quickly interrupted him. “I don’t see what this has to do with Maura.”

“Janie! Are you gonna help me with this or not? I need something that says ‘Hey, we’re kinda family and I’m happy that you’re dating my sister. Oh, and thank you for saving my life that one time.’

Jane smiled at Frankie’s description. Maura had far more impact on people’s lives than she was aware of. “That’s...kinda specific. I don’t think they make a card for that.”

“No kidding.” Frankie slumped down in the chair, covering his face with his hands.

“Just...get her something from the heart. Honestly, she’ll be happy with anything you get for her, I promise.”

“Yeah...I guess.” Frankie stood and leaned in to kiss Jane’s cheek. “See ya, sis.

“Be safe.”

She watched Frankie leave and felt panic bubble up in her chest. She was still no closer to thinking of a gift for Maura, and her birthday was looming now. She had a little over a week to come up with an absolutely perfect gift, and to arrange a wonderful evening. She was running out of time. Making a decision, she pushed her seat back and grabbed her jacket.

“Frost, I’m going out for a while. You know how to get me if you need me.”

“Sure thing, partner.”

She was already dialling Maura’s cell as she walked out of the precinct.

“Hey.”

“Hi, listen, I have to go out for a little bit. I’ll pick up lunch for us and meet you in your office, okay?”

“Sounds good. Oh, but Jane, I’m wearing a silk blouse today so please try to keep the grease content to a minimum.”

She couldn’t help but roll her eyes affectionately. “No grease, roger that, Dr Isles. I’ll see you soon.”

“You will. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

---

If anything, shopping was making Jane more nervous. She’d bought some silly little gifts; things that would make Maura smile. But nothing that was enough to show Maura how Jane felt about her. Laughing softly, Jane doubted such a thing existed. She was browsing through some silk scarves when her phone started to ring. Her stomach dropped, as it always did when she heard Tommy’s ringtone.

“Hey Tom, what’s up?” She had stopped answering with ‘What have you done now?’ after one too many lectures from Maura and her mother.

“Janie...Ma says Maura’s birthday is next week and I gotta get her a present. What should I get?”

“Jesus, Tommy, how should I know?” She bit her cheek after the near yell had escaped. It wasn’t Tommy’s fault that she had no idea what to get her girlfriend for her birthday.

For his part, Tommy seemed unperturbed by Jane’s angry tone. “Well, hasn’t she asked for stuff?”

“Maura doesn’t ask for stuff, Tommy. The only thing she wants is...” Jane trailed off, inspiration finally hitting her.

“Is what? I’m thinkin’ something around twenty bucks ‘cause I’m not made of money.”

“Is....” Me. The only thing Maura had asked for for her birthday was to be with Jane. She said being with Jane would make her happy. Jane knew what she could do.

She was lost in her own thoughts when Tommy’s voice broke through after what must have been a whole minute of silence. “Thanks, Jane. You’ve been real helpful.”

She’d almost forgotten he was still on the line. “Sorry, Tom. Just get her something that shows you put some thought into it, okay?”

Hurriedly saying her goodbyes, she hung up and started scrolling through her phone while she barrelled out of the store.

“Ma? I need your help.”

---

Jane looked up from her magazine when Maura entered the bedroom after attending to her nightly grooming routine. She smiled as the other woman shed her robe and climbed into bed, immediately attaching herself to Jane’s side and kissing her shoulder.

“You’re almost out of toothpaste.”

“Ah, yeah, I haven’t been by the store in a while.” More often than not, they stayed at Maura’s, but occasionally, usually when Jane needed a little distance from her mother, they stayed at Jane’s apartment.

“I’ll pick some up tomorrow.” Maura rested her head on Jane’s shoulder.

“’Kay.” Jane shifted a little to make them both more comfortable and then returned her attention to her magazine.

“Your mother was acting strangely towards me today.”

“My mother is strange, honey. You should know this by now.”

“Jane.” Maura’s scolding tone was negated by the huge yawn that overtook her as she spoke. Jane took the hint and put her magazine down, reaching over to turn off the lamp and then settling down with her arms wrapped around Maura.

“So, what was my mother doing that was noticeably strange today?”

She felt Maura sigh against her chest.

“She kept...looking at me.”

“As behaviour goes, that’s not all that strange. Especially for Ma.”

“Yes but...it was as if she wanted to tell me something, but couldn’t. Or wouldn’t.”

Jane rolled her eyes into the darkness. Her mother was awful at keeping secrets. Including her in the preparations for Maura’s surprise was a risky, but necessary strategy. She shrugged.

“You know what she’s like. She probably thinks that Stanley is running a still in the pantry and selling moonshine to the Dirty Robber. You know how she loves to invent drama.”

They both knew she was referring to her mother’s antics during a visit from Maura’s old boyfriend. Determined to ensure that Ian did not come between her daughter and the best thing that had ever happened to her, Angela had taken it upon herself to expose him as a criminal mastermind. The whole episode had been a little embarrassing and wholly unnecessary, but ultimately Maura had been touched by Angela’s efforts at protecting their relationship. So had Jane, though she’d never admit it.

“Maybe. Or maybe she’s excited about my surprise party?”

Jane bit her lip to keep from laughing. She’d kind of hoped that Maura would suspect something. It would keep her from uncovering the realsurprises Jane had planned.

“Who says you’re getting a surprise party? I told you, McDonald’s.”

Soft lips pressed against her sternum.

“Your mother could never play poker. And Frankie is almost as bad at lying as I am.”

That was true. While Jane and Tommy could both spin a believable yarn when required, Frankie had always been the weak link in the chain when they were growing up. All her mother had to do was look at him and he’d spill his guts. Though it had been frustrating when they were kids, Jane admired her brother’s honesty. She made a show of sighing.

“Yeah, well, now that my useless family have spoiled it...maybe something might be happening of the surprise variety.”

Maura turned and propped her chin up on Jane’s chest. There was just enough moonlight for Jane to pick out her features. She was smiling.

“I’ve never had a surprise party before. Or...any kind of birthday party. Nothing is spoiled, Jane. Absolutely nothing.”

Thinking back to her own birthday parties, mostly involving a roomful of screaming children and then barfing from too much cake, Jane couldn’t help the anger that threatened to surface that Maura had never had this attention paid to her before. But she forced herself to relax. She rubbed her hands up and down Maura’s back, underneath the t-shirt she was wearing.

“Well, you know there are rules about birthday parties, right?”

“Rules? No, I didn’t know that.” Maura was playing along with a grin. ”You know how I like to observe etiquette, so you’ll have to share these rules with me.”

“Rule number one: if the party is meant to be a surprise, you have to act surprised. Even if you know about it.”

“I may have to work on that.” Maura’s fingers were rubbing circles on Jane’s shoulder.

“I imagine you will. We’ll practise. I’ll randomly yell ‘surprise’ at you and you can perfect your surprised face.”

“Sounds fun.” She shifted closer to Jane, bringing their torsos into closer contact. “What are the other rules?”

“Rule number two: there will be cake, probably with your name on it. But you are expected to share it with other people. Sucks, I know, but that’s the rule.”

Maura chuckled, the vibration moving through Jane’s chest and settling low in her stomach.

“Share the cake, got it. Anything else?” Maura’s hand was now dancing up and down Jane’s side, skimming over her scar tissue, making Jane’s breath hitch.

“Rule number three, and this is the most important one...it’s your party, just have fun.”

Leaning in, Maura met Jane in a gentle kiss. “I don’t think that will be a problem. As long as you’re there.”

Jane’s fingers slid down Maura’s back and dipped underneath the waistband of her underwear, scratching lightly at her skin.

“I’ll be there, you can count on that. Oh, and Maura?” Without warning, Jane moved her hand so that it was in between Maura’s legs, prompting a shocked squeal from her partner. “Surprise!”

---

Maura’s birthday finally arrived. After a very enjoyable breakfast in bed, they’d headed to work. All morning, Jane’s phone had been going off as Maura discovered the little presents she’d hidden around the morgue and her office. Already she’d called squealing in delight over an anatomically correct heart-shaped stress reliever, a framed photograph of the two of them watching fireworks go off at New Years and a stuffed toy tortoise.

She smiled as, once again, ‘My girl’ starting blaring out of her phone. She shot Frost the obligatory glare for messing with her ringtones, and picked up.

“Hey.”

“I love you.”

“Ah, you love me...so I guess that means you found the fudge clusters?”

“I did.” She could picture Maura holding the candy against her chest as she spoke. ”And you even ventured into the ‘dead fridge’ to hide them for me. You’re wonderful.”

Jane was particularly proud of herself for sucking it up enough to place Maura’s gift in the fridge where she kept parts of dead people. The fact that she’d had to chant ‘cold air is cold air’ to herself the entire time was neither here nor there, and no-one had to know about it. “Yeah, I kinda am.”

“I know you’re being self-deprecating right now, but I’m not exaggerating. You are full of wonders. You fill me with wonder every single day.”

Jane turned away from the prying eyes of her colleagues to hide the blush that had crept up her neck. She coughed a little to cover her embarrassment.

“Well...ditto, sweetheart.”

“I...Jane, I can’t even tell you how much it means to me that you’ve done this.”

Jane wanted to simultaneously laugh and cry. The things she’d given Maura were silly and insignificant. Yet she knew they were probably the most thoughtful gifts Maura had ever received in terms of the effort that had gone into them.

“Hey, this is only the beginning. You have a whole day and night ahead of you to get sappy, so pace yourself.”

A light sniffle came through the phone. “You’re right. I’m really looking forward to spending this evening with you...whatever it is we’re going to be getting up to.”

“Uh huh, so you should be. I promised you the best birthday ever and I plan to deliver.”

“You already have.”

Again, Jane’s throat closed up. “Maur...”

“Come down here. I feel the need for another birthday kiss.”

Jane closed her eyes and smiled. “Your wish is my command, birthday girl.”

---

That evening, Jane was examining herself in the mirror in Maura’s bedroom. She had opted for a tailored suit, rather than a dress, and she had to admit that Maura was right; it really was all about the fit. She looked pretty damn good. Even her hair was relatively calm.

“Jane, can you come in here?” Maura called from the bathroom.

“Sure thing, be there in a sec.”

Stepping into her shoes on the way, Jane headed into the bathroom and stopped in her tracks when she caught sight of Maura. She was wearing the dress she had purchased as a gift from her parents. It was unzipped at the back, revealing her bra and a hint of her panties, both fuchsia to match the dress. Maura gathered her hair up in her hand and looked at Jane over her shoulder with a coy smile.

“Zip me up?”

A smile tugged at Jane’s lips which was dangerously close to a leer. “You know I want to do the exact opposite of that, right?” She walked up behind Maura, the heels she was wearing accentuating the difference in their heights as Maura was barefoot, and caught her eyes in the mirror. She lowered her lips to Maura’s exposed neck, even as she easily pulled the zipper up. Smoothing her hands over Maura’s hips, she looked up into the mirror again.

“You are so very beautiful.”

Maura dropped her hair back down and raised a hand up to cup Jane’s cheek, bringing their faces close together as they gazed into the mirror.

“Well, that makes two of us.”

Turning to press a kiss against Maura’s cheek, Jane sighed. “As much as I would love to stand and stare at you all night, I, uh...I promised Ma that we’d, uh, drop in before we head out...so she can give you your birthday present.”

Maura giggled and turned in Jane’s arms, letting her hands drift over the crisp front of Jane’s shirt and jacket.

“Well, we had better hurry. We don’t want to be late for...your mother.” Her eyes were sparkling at the ruse that they were both keeping up.

---

The guesthouse was in darkness as they approached, Maura slipped her hand into Jane’s and Jane could feel her shaking. She tugged on Maura’s arm until she stopped walking.

“Are you okay with this?” The last thing on earth Jane wanted was for Maura to feel uncomfortable.

Inhaling deeply, Maura fixed her with a smile. “I am. I truly am. It’s just...new. I’ll be fine if you’re holding my hand.” She squeezed Jane’s fingers.

“Okay, then let’s do this.”

Pushing open the door, Jane kept a tight hold of Maura’s hand as they made their way into the dark room.

“Ma? You here?”

Someone flicked a light on, illuminating the space.

“Surprise!”

Jane looked over at Maura, and found that no acting was required, which was what she’d hoped for. The room was full of people. She was sure that Maura had expected it to be Jane’s family and maybe Frost and Korsak. But pretty much every detective in homicide, as well as a number of the cops were there, and so were all of Maura’s lab assistants and technicians. And Maura hadn’t even noticed the best part yet.

Maura was clinging to her arm, one hand over her heart as she took in all of the smiling faces.

“I...my goodness! I...can’t...I’m so...”

“Surprised, Maur?” Jane’s smile leaked into her voice.

“We got you?” Angela asked, bustling over and pulling Maura into a hug. “Oh, I’m so glad. Frankie’s terrible at keeping secrets and I thought for sure he’d have given us away!”

“Hey!” Frankie protested.

Releasing Maura, Angela glanced over into the corner of the room and winked. Jane turned just in time to see Constance Isles make her way forward.

“Happy Birthday, darling!”

At the sound of her mother’s voice, Maura’s head spun around.

“M...mother?”

Jane willed herself not to cry when Maura’s eyes came to rest on her. They were filled with so many emotions that Jane couldn’t begin to name them. She watched as Maura’s mother embraced her politely. She decided to get the focus away from Maura before it became too daunting.

“Frankie, I thought you were in charge of music? Let’s get the party started!”

With the music, a low hum started up as people fell into conversation. Jane watched as Maura’s mother pretended to cough, allowing her a moment to wipe at her eyes as they exchanged greetings and pleasantries. Maura looked over and caught Jane watching her. She touched her mother’s arm and gestured to Jane.

Jane smiled as Maura walked back to her, shaking her head.

“How...”

Jane shrugged. “I wanted to surprise you.” She favoured Constance with a glance, offering her a conspiratorial wink. “I told your mother this was one social event she really didn’t want to miss, and she agreed.”

Suddenly, Jane was the one on the receiving end of a surprise as Maura grabbed her face and crashed their lips together, causing the crowd to whoop and yell their approval. Maura pulled back, ignoring the racket around them, all of her attention focussed on Jane.

“You...I...all of this. I love you, Jane Rizzoli.”

Still recovering from the unexpected kiss, Jane managed something resembling a cocky grin.

“That works out pretty well, because I love you too.” She bumped Maura’s forehead with her own, lowering her voice. “Now, you remember those rules I told you about? Go do number three.”

Maura’s fingers tangled with her own. “You’re here. So I already am.”

Jane kissed Maura’s nose. “Sap. Let’s have cake.”

---

After hours of laughing and gifts and crying and cake, Jane and Maura finally stepped out to make the short walk back to the main house. Some of the guests had left, but most were carrying on the party. Jane was slightly worried about the fact that her mother and Constance had been deep in conversation for most of the evening. God only knew what they had been saying to each other.

Jane lifted her face to the sky and closed her eyes, enjoying the cool air after the crowded room. Maura wrapped both of her arms around one of Jane’s leaning on her as they sauntered across the yard. Neither of them had consumed much alcohol, but Jane felt pleasantly at ease with the world.

“Thank you.”

The words startled her out of her head and she turned to brush her lips across Maura’s forehead.

“You’re welcome.”

Jane opened the door to the house and they stepped inside. Maura put her hands on Jane’s forearms, preventing her from moving further into the house. Jane raised her eyebrows in an unasked question.

“I’m not just talking about tonight. Thank you for...for being in my life.”

“Awww, Maur!” Jane scowled, playfully. “Don’t make me cry again. It’s bad for my badass image.”

Unperturbed by Jane’s complaints, Maura continued to smile up at her. “Let’s get married.”

Jane froze.

“Huh?”

Maura frowned. “Not the answer I’d hoped for...”

“No, I...Maura...”

“Is it because I didn’t kneel down? I know that’s traditional but I was caught up in the moment and I can do it again if yo-“

Jane could see Maura was going into panic mode, so she cut her off with a deep kiss. Pulling away, she ran a hand down Maura’s arm until they were holding hands and dragged her to the fireplace. She wrapped an arm around Maura’s waist and turned so that they were facing the mantle.

“See that?” She pointed at a completely out of place, tacky, pewter figure of an elephant. Maura had insisted on buying it during their first date and it had enjoyed pride of place amongst the expensive art ever since. But it bore an addition that had never been there before. A diamond ring dangled from its trunk.

Maura’s hand flew to her mouth. “Oh...Jane.” The words were barely more than a breath. “I’m so sorry! You...you should have...”

“I should have what?” Jane asked, a laugh colouring her words. “I should have told you that I planned to propose tonight so that you wouldn’t do it first?”

“Well, no...but...oh, Jane. So this means...”

Taking Maura’s hand in her own, Jane removed the ring from the elephant’s trunk and slowly went down on one knee.

“Yep, this means...that I’m a lot less nervous about asking this question now.” She winked, but then grew serious. “Maura Isles you are, without doubt, the most amazing, wonderful person I’ve ever known...and also the goofiest.” This drew a sobbing laugh from Maura and Jane swallowed hard against the lump in her throat. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So, yes, I’ll marry you...on one condition.”

Maura paused midway through wiping one of the tears that was running down her cheek. She tilted her head. “Condition?”

“Yeah...” Jane allowed herself a full grin. “On the condition that you marry me too.”

Shaking her head with an affectionate smile, Maura held out her left hand. “I can think of nothing I would rather do than marry you, Jane.”

Jane let out a breath she’d apparently been holding as she slid the ring onto Maura’s waiting finger. Then, unable to help herself, she sprung to her feet and raised both arms in the air. “Yes!”

Maura laughed and wiped her eyes before being gathered into Jane’s arms and kissed to the point of breathlessness. They reluctantly parted, but stayed close, Maura nuzzling into Jane’s neck.

“You were right.” The words were muffled against her skin.

“’Bout what?” Jane asked, dipping her head so that her nose brushed Maura’s.

“This is the best birthday ever.”

Laughing gently, Jane nodded. “Yeah...but how the hell am I gonna top it next year?”

Maura tilted her head back to look up at Jane. “You’ll think of something, I’m sure. But right now, I think we need to celebrate.”

Jane allowed herself to be tugged into the kitchen, where Maura ducked into the fridge and came out with a bottle of champagne. Jane’s eyes went wide.

“Oh, hey! That’s the good stuff! The hundred bucks a glass stuff!”

“I know you like it. And I think the occasion merits it, don’t you?” Maura had already expertly removed the cork with a soft pop and was pouring the liquid into two glasses. “I bought this for us to enjoy together tonight for my birthday. I hadn’t planned to ask my...uh, little question earlier.” Maura blushed and Jane grinned.

“Yeah, talk about stealing a girl’s thunder!” She accepted one of the glasses from Maura.

Maura leaned against the counter, absently fingering the pearls around her neck, obviously thinking. “I...was going to say I was sorry, but I’m not. I think it was lovely that we’re both at the same place in our relationship. And I think it fits us perfectly that our engagement was slightly...non-traditional.”

“Really? You don’t think we’re the epitome of a traditional American couple? Tradition be damned.” Jane clinked her glass against Maura’s. “I think we’re way more interesting. Who else gets to fight crime together by day and then come home to a dog and a turtle and be gay married by night?”

“Tortoise. And we’ll be gay mar-...” Maura stopped and rolled her eyes at her use of Jane’s terminology. “Married by day too, you know.”

“We will? Gee, I thought it was a part-time thing...” She leaned in and kissed Maura’s pout away. She held up her glass. “To us.”

“To us.” Maura echoed, tapping her glass against Jane’s and then taking a sip. Jane did likewise, her eyes closing at the taste of the champagne.

“Jesus, that’s as good as I remember.”

“Mmhmm.” Maura took another sip. “I had a thought...”

“Just one?” Jane asked, draining her glass.

“Yes, I thought you might enjoy drinking your champagne from my navel?”

Jane barely managed to keep hold of the expensive champagne flute in her hand. Maura, for her part, was all innocence; waiting patiently for Jane’s reply.

“From your na-...yes. Yes, I think I would like that a lot.”

“I thought so.” Maura took Jane’s glass from her and placed it on the counter along with her own. “But first...I still have one present to unwrap...”

Her mind still a little foggy from the mental images Maura had evoked, Jane’s brow creased in confusion.

“I thought you op-“ Maura stepped right up to her and starting unbuttoning her shirt. “Oh...yeah, that present.”

Jane’s shirt was all the way open and Maura’s hands were roaming over her torso. With a firm kiss to Jane’s lips, she stood back and appraised her. “I think I’ll finish unwrapping you in the bedroom...” Maura started to walk in that very direction, casting a suggestive glance over her shoulder. “Don’t forget the champagne. And leave the glasses here.”

Jane watched her go, her smile growing with every step. Oh yeah, it was gonna be a bitch trying to top this birthday. But it would be fun to try.

Nice!

Date: 2011-11-24 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ddffranke.livejournal.com
Is it wrong that I want that for myself??
Nicely done!

Re: Nice!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
You want what for yourself? Maura? You can't have her, she's Jane's. ;)

Glad you liked it :)

Date: 2011-11-24 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crackinois.livejournal.com
I just love this series. And this was just so sweet....between my Thanksgiving food coma and the sweetness of this I'm very nearly dead.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Well, wouldn't that be an interesting autopsy? 'Death by turkey and fanfic'.

Glad you liked it :)

Date: 2011-11-24 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mszvandelle.livejournal.com
Yum!!!Is there a part two where Maura unwraps her present??!!Greedy I know...

Date: 2011-11-27 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
lol, I don't think we'll get to see that. But please feel free to imagine it any way you see fit ;)

Date: 2011-11-24 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reggieme.livejournal.com
Love this series and this entry may be my favorite so far. Beautifully done. Thank you!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Awww, thank you :) I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Date: 2011-11-24 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] torpedo-x.livejournal.com
I've so enjoyed all the installments for this series, but I loved this! So cute!! Lol, and I love how Angela thinks it's Frankie that blew the surprise. Lovely fic. =)

Date: 2011-11-27 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Self-awareness, thy name is not Angela ;) Poor Frankie.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-11-24 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ozlawstudent.livejournal.com
Love your stories and this installment was awesome! The DVD extras were a fantastic idea! Thanks so much.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
The DVD extras weren't so much an idea as just a way to be able to get rid of a lot of stuff that didn't fit ;) I'm glad you liked them, though.

Date: 2011-11-24 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bonobo24.livejournal.com
Ok it is ridiculous how much I love this series, and this may sound a little demanding for a humble fic reader such as moi ;) but you absolutely can NEVER end this series!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
NEVER??? But...but...I'm running low on drinks!!

I'm glad you're enjoying it. I have a few more ideas so hopefully it's not the end yet.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bonobo24.livejournal.com
Beer, water, soda, milkshakes, lemonade, ;)

I CAN COME UP WITH MORE!!!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I have plans for beer and milkshakes...

Water...I started, then stopped, so we'll see about that one.

Soda and lemonade though...I will see what I can come up with :)

THANK YOU!!

Date: 2011-11-25 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] afret2010.livejournal.com
Speaking of birthday presents this is a pretty good one for me. That's right today is my birthday. Of course I wouldn't mind getting what Maura got ;-)

By the way, I expected Jane to propose but I didn't expect Maura to beat her to it. Great twist.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Happy belated birthday!! I don't think you can get what Maura got. Maura would be upset if you did.

The 'twist' wasn't originally there. If you've read the Extras, you'll see that originally it was just a big, sappy proposal scene that kind of went nowhere. I'm glad I changed it.

Date: 2011-11-25 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caity-love.livejournal.com
This is such a fabulous series. I love that Maura stole Jane's thunder!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Poor Jane. Well, proposing is proposing, I suppose. Doesn't matter who did it ;)

Glad you're enjoying the series :)

Date: 2011-11-25 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaws-of-fenrir.livejournal.com
I like the role-reversal of Jane thoroughly planning and Maura impulsively proposing, that worked really well. This whole series is fantastic, I've really enjoyed reading them all again and though this is a perfectly satisfactory conclusion, I would love to read more.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
The proposal from Maura was something I'd had in my head for a while, although it had originally started out as a far more business-like proposition. I'm glad you thought it worked this way.

It's not over yet (I hope). I still have a few more instalments from various places in their relationship that I want to write. So...we'll see...

Date: 2011-11-25 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermitstull.livejournal.com
What an awesome Thanksgiving treat. This is such a great series and you write Jane and Maura so well. I eagerly look forward to the next installment.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I'm glad you're enjoying them. Next instalment may or may not be underway....

Date: 2011-11-25 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pibby.livejournal.com
So effing good! Love this series, keep it going, please :D

Date: 2011-11-27 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you! I do plan to keep it going for at least another couple of fics. We'll see how it goes.

Date: 2011-11-25 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mm-burnttoast.livejournal.com
Goodness, this was so sweet, adorable, cute, fantastic and absolutely perfect that it gave me cavities and made my heart explode. Guh, I loved it!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I claim no responsibility for any cavities you may have acquired. I can't afford your dentist bill...

Glad you're still enjoying them :)

Date: 2011-11-26 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] capturing-words.livejournal.com
It's ridiculous how much I love this story. It's super sweet and damn funny. Please tell us there will be more!

Date: 2011-11-27 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I'm hoping that there will be more. I have a few more ideas in the works so we'll see how it goes. Glad you're enjoying them :)

Loved it.

Date: 2011-11-26 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hollyhwrites.livejournal.com
Recently read the whole series so far and have loved them all. This one is great I hated seeing the end I wanted the stories to continue. I look forward to reading more. I love the heart in all these pieces.

Re: Loved it.

Date: 2011-11-27 08:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
It's not the end!!! (I hope). I plan to dip back into their relationship at various points so I hope there will still be a few fics in the series. I'm glad you've enjoyed them so far :)

Date: 2011-11-27 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] insanityonline1.livejournal.com
I loved this so much. I love this series.

Date: 2011-11-27 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
:D Thank you!!

Date: 2011-11-27 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] s0phi4.livejournal.com
I might've squeed when I saw you updated... LOL. This is a wonderful installment! I loved how Maura proposed first, and Jane leaving little presents around for Maura was so sweet :D

Date: 2011-11-27 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Well, I do love to be the cause of squeeage ;) I'm glad you liked this one.

Date: 2011-11-28 02:02 am (UTC)
ext_270953: (Default)
From: [identity profile] analise010.livejournal.com
MY EMOTIONS. I'm not sure if you're American, but I spent my entire Thanksgiving weekend drooling over this fic. I got the entire thing off A03 and loved every single word of it. Your characterization was perfect, and everything felt like a natural progression from beginning to end. Well done. Fandom needs more writers like you. ♥

Date: 2011-11-29 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Hey :) Glad you liked it. Not sure how you got it off AO3 though...cuz it's not on there ;)

Date: 2011-11-30 01:19 am (UTC)
ext_270953: (Default)
From: [identity profile] analise010.livejournal.com
...right, that was somehow my brain's shorthand way of saying, "I copy and pasted all of the parts into word document and then saved it as a PDF so I could put in on my iBooks."

Whew, but yeah. All of your fic is really great. It's some of the best femslash I've ever read. And this entire series was perfection. :D.

Date: 2011-12-03 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Ah, understood ;)

I'm very flattered that you like my stuff. Thank you!!!

Date: 2011-11-30 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angela vatalaro (from livejournal.com)
Don't think I've commented on this series yet, but I am loving it! Great characterizations and this is a wonderful addition to your series.

Date: 2011-12-03 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Awww, thank you. :) I'm glad you like this series.

Date: 2012-01-03 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachel452.livejournal.com
"when Maura came in with several bags from stores Jane had only recently learned how to pronounce." That line is hilarious.

Also this "I’ll randomly yell ‘surprise’ at you and you can perfect your surprised face.” cuz I see it in my head so well.

You write these two so well you spoil other fics for me, don't you dare stop!

Date: 2012-01-03 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you. I love when people point out the bits that worked for them :D

I'm glad you enjoy my stories.

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