Jane Rizzoli was not gay, this much was certain.
"Augh," groaned Jane, shoving her face into her hands. "I have got to stop letting Ma drag me to those stupid Christmas Carol shows." At this point, if she had to hear one more rendition of how Scrooge got his wings, she might shoot someone. Catching on to her distress, Joe yipped and ran around the living room of Jane's apartment. All this did was cause Jane to look back at her counter, where Maura had stood, baldly telling Jane she loved her.
Oh, sure, she backed off really quickly and made the old 'let's got compromise our friendship' excuse, but that was about as obvious as the old 'I fell asleep meditating in your bed.' Maura liked her. No, Maura liked Tommy. She loved Jane.
So now, they were looking at Christmas only a month away, and every time Jane started to think about what to get Maura, she ended up derailed on a thought of herself, wrapped up in a bow. Or Maura in a bow. Or really either of them in a bow. Or nothing at all. Now that would be nice. And that was not about to help her sort out what to get Maura, or Ma, anything for the holidays.
But Jane wasn't gay. That didn't mean she didn't like women, but she wasn't gay. Gay was a definition and by definition, Jane hated definitions. She smiled at herself and imagined what Maura would think about that sentence. There she went again. Shaking her head did not clear it and she deleted the three ideas she'd written down on her list. She typed out ideas for Korsak and Frost, her mother and brothers. Jane lingered over ideas for her father and decided a card would be enough right now.
"What do you get for the woman who has everything, or can afford it in a way better shape," she asked Joe, who had stopped running around and was now gnawing on a rawhide.
Of course Joe had no answer, and Jane snatched up her phone to dial Maura. If she couldn't think of a present forMaura, she could get Maura to help her buy the other presents. And maybe get an idea what Maura might like.
"Hello, Jane," answered Maura, her warm voice sending a shiver right up and down Jane's spine. Bad Jane.
"Hey, Maura. I gotta go shopping for Christmas presents. Wanna come?"
There was the briefest hesitation on the line, before Maura said that sounded delightful, and they arranged to meet at the fancy European coffee place by the Loro Piana downtown. Jane took the subway and was there with enough time to order both of their coffees. Her vantage point let her watch Maura drive into the parking garage across the street and her stroll to the shop.
It was impossible for a living, breathing human being to watch Maura Isles walk and not get just a little bit turned on. The woman had a knack for wearing clothes that hugged every curve in absolutely the exact right place. I am in love with this woman, Jane thought to herself smiling as Maura checked traffic and then crossed the street. Unlike Jane, Maura had walked down to the corner, crossed legally, and then walked back up to the café.
Jane waved a hand as Maura peered into the cafe, and was rewarded with a smile that melted her. "I love the holiday latte," beamed Maura, sliding into a seat. "No feta and spinach croissant?"
"I thought we should eat after we shopped."
"Can I pick the restaurant?"
Smiling, Jane agreed to that, and they went out into the brisk Boston December to find presents. At Maura's insistence, they went to Brooks Brothers to get the boys something nice 'for a change.' They went in together to get Korsak a gift certificate for a new suit (though Jane protested mightily at the price and Maura repeated that it was worth it), Barry and Frankie got ties and Tommy a new shirt ('It will help him get a job,' Maura pointed out).
Finally presents for everyone butMaura were collected, but it was the evening crush. "Why don't we order takeout and eat at my place?" suggested Maura, frowning at the crowds.
"That sounds great," Jane agreed and piled into Maura's car. At the house, Maura went right for the bedroom, to hang up her personal purchases, and Jane went to the kitchen for something to drink. The floor squished and Jane slipped, landing on her keister. "What the hell?" Bass, forlornly, looked at her from a tiny dry island. "Buddy, you're a tortoise, not a turtle," she told the large animal.
Bass, of course, didn't answer, but Maura did. "Everything alright, Jane?"
"Uh, your dishwasher's sprung a leak."
Carefully getting back to her feet, the plumber's daughter went over to the sink and sighed. The hose was loose, so she reached in to turn the water off, hoping that would be it. "What did you say, Jane?" asked Maura, followed by a shriek and the sound of someone else slipping in the water.
Jane was glad her head was under the sink. "Leaky hose. Can you get a mop?" She pulled her upper body out and looked at her wet sweater. Deciding it was stupid, Jane peeled off the sweater and tossed it onto the counter before wedging herself under the sink again to try and see what was wrong. "Oh and your tool kit," she called out as an afterthought.
The other sink door opened and Maura put the red toolbox down before starting to mop. "Bass, I'm so sorry," she said, and Jane caught a glimpse of bare feet tentatively splashing in the water. "Can you see what happened?"
"Uh, yeah, the hose is loose. I'll have it fixed in a second." By hand, Jane unscrewed the hose and shook it to see if there was something wrong or loose within. It was an easy fix, the rubber washer was broken. She started to dig around in the tool kit when suddenly a light was shining in, make it much easier. "Thanks, Maur," Jane said absently, and found the spare she knew Maura would have.
It was the work of a moment to replace the washer, wrap the threads in pipe tape, and reconnect everything. Certain she'd done everything correctly, Jane turned the water back on. There were no leaks, and Jane looked at Maura, smugly, only to find the woman was staring at her. The flashlight's beam and Maura's eyes were stuck on Jane's hands, which were still holding the metal hose.
Jane coughed slightly and Maura jumped. "Oh! Thank you, Jane." Her eyes drifted to Jane's shirt and Maura scowled. Well that wasn't the reaction Jane wanted. "Jane, you're all wet!" Maura got up and helped Jane to her feet. "Go put one something dry."
There was enough of Jane's things in the guest room that she could probably stay a week at Maura's before repeat attire would be an issue. But changing clothes was the last thing on Jane's mind. "Screw it," she muttered. "I don't care if this compromises our friendship." Maura shook her head a little, confused, and started to reply. Jane realized she had two choices, "Maura, I love you too."
Dr. Smartypants just blinked at Jane, as if she'd spoken Swahili (which Maura probably knew how to speak anyway). "Of course. We're friends—"
God, she was going to be that way on purpose. "That's not what I mean. I mean I love you. Damn it, Maura, do I have to kiss you to get the point across!"
A brief moment of surprise crossed Maura's face, followed by a slightly wry expression. "I think that would be nice, actually."
The next day, Jane was, once again, looking at ideas for Maura's Christmas gift. While ordering a new Red Sox shirt for herself, she ran into Red Sox hospital scrubs. "Too bad they're in blue and pink and red," sighed Jane, knowing Maura's preference for black. The Bruins wore black. Jane could buy her Bruins Scrubs. "Oh my god she's gonna hate these…" She imagined Maura opening the package, trying to smile but being disappointed. Then, that night, Jane would show up in Maura's bedroom wearing nothing but a Bruins jersey, and some lacy underthings.
"You know, I bet I can get Maura to appreciate sports apparel a little more now," she told Joe, and made the order, cackling to herself.