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No Competition

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It's the start of a beautiful friendship.

Well, okay, not really the start. Maura's fairly sure their friendship started sometime last year. But they'd promised to go do something outside work, and that hadn't happened until about a week ago.

Now, it's become kind of a routine thing, if once a week on different days can be called routine. But they go to the same place, and drink the same drinks, and most of the time, the conversation is pretty much the same as well. Work, men, lack of men, shoes. That last bit is mainly Maura, but she appreciates the fact that Jane will at least listen, which no other friend of hers ever has. Not that she's got a lot for comparison, but then neither has Jane.

There's a lot of work to talk about, though. And a lot of men. In the last month, Jane's dated two guys. Maura's dated seven, not that it's a competition. And the last one didn't even have anything diagnosable, but still he didn't call. Maura really didn't expect anything different; they never do. Once she might have minded, but now that she has a beautiful friendship, the rest of it doesn't seem to matter so much anymore.

'Maybe we should just date each other,' Jane says glumly, upending her beer bottle and setting it back on the table with a thump.

Maura shrugs. 'Okay.' It sounds like a good idea to her as well, and she has always wondered what women do with each other.

Jane is giving her that look though, the one that says she's done something wrong.

'What?' Maura checks the idea for logic and it makes perfect sense. She likes Jane and Jane likes her, they'd both like to be coming home to someone at night, and there certainly doesn't seem to be a man willing to put up with either of their jobs.

'Maura, I was joking.'

'Oh.' A strange disappointment washes over her. She wonders if there's a book she could read that would answer her question instead.

Jane's boots make a muffled thud on the carpet as she takes her feet off the bench and turns to face Maura. 'Have you ever dated another woman?' she asks softly, looking around to make sure no one is close enough to hear.

'Well, no,' Maura admits. 'But I'm a two on the Kinsey Scale, which indicates a 30% chance of interest in members of my own sex.'

Jane gapes at her like a slightly stunned fish.

'What? Have you never tested your sexual interests?'

'Um, no.'

Maura shrugs and sips her wine. 'Well, maybe you should.'


Five hours later, they're lying side by side staring at the ceiling, trying to catch their breath.

'Kinsey scale, huh?' Jane finally says.

'Well, I only tested 30%,' Maura answers.

'Dear god help me if you were more.'

'Why?' Most of the time she understands Jane fairly well. It's one of the things Maura likes best about her -- Jane just is what she is, she says what she thinks and does what she wants. There's no complicated code to unravel. Her body is even easier to fathom: as it turns out, what women do together isn't that different from what they do with men.

'Why?' she asks again. 'Was I enjoying it too much?'

Jane's grin widens slowly, until it seems to take over her entire face.

'No,' she finally answers. 'No, you weren't enjoying it too much.'

'Good.' Maura wriggles herself a little deeper into the covers. Normally she likes to sleep in her own bed, but Jane's isn't too bad. The mattress is certainly firm enough, and though the sheets are straight out of KMart, they're at least 100% cotton and old enough to have acquired a certain softness. 'I actually found it very relaxing. Do you mind if I stay?'

Jane rolls over and places a nice warm hand on Maura's stomach. 'No,' she murmurs, her mouth very close to Maura's ear. 'I don't mind if you stay.'

'Good,' Maura repeats, sleepily twining her fingers through Jane's. She hadn't thought their friendship could get any more beautiful, but clearly she'd been wrong. Maybe she should make Jane take the Kinsey test tomorrow. Not that it's a competition. Of course.