This story contains transgender issues. If you don't like it, agree with it, support it, then I suggest not reading.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
The day starts like any other. She wakes up, showers, does her hair and make up, pulls on the layers of undergarments needed to flatten the bulge caused by her penis, and gets dressed for work.
She has to pull over to calm her nerves when she's just a few blocks from home, and almost turns around and calls in sick. Instead, she takes several deep breathes, wiping sweaty palms on her thighs, and makes herself keep driving.
There's a new case, and she needs to be there to help solve it. If she can just get through the workday, then she'll be ok. Calling in sick will just make people worry, and she needs things to be normal. Just for today. Just for a few hours. Tonight, she will sit down with the one person she trusts to be there for her, and tell her the truth. Until then, she just needs everything to be normal, because it might be the last time anything is, ever again.
The day is frantic. Jane, Korsak, and Frost are busy chasing leads, and barely have time to eat a quick lunch as they drive across town to interview a possible suspect. Maura has three autopsies, and two of her assistants are out with food poisoning. There isn't time for Jane and Maura to really see each other, even to talk about the case. Maura calls or texts with new information, and Jane does the same with questions and theories.
It's nearly ten when Jane finally gets time to go down to the morgue, only vaguely surprised to find Maura still there. Sharing exhausted smiles, Jane collapses on the couch while Maura finishes closing everything down and gathering her things. Still not speaking, they ride the elevator to the parking garage, and Maura follows Jane home.
As soon as they're in the door, Jane takes off her shoes and collapses on the couch, Maura following suit quickly. It's several minutes before either of them have the energy to much more than just sit there. Finally, Jane heaved herself up and grabbed a stack of takeout menus out of a drawer in the kitchen, handing them to Maura before getting them both a drink.
Sitting back down, they quickly decide on pizza, simply because it can get there fastest. Turning on the TV, Jane finds a random show to leave it on. Neither of them really pay any attention, just staring at the screen until a knock at the door makes Maura jump.
Getting up, Jane pays for the food and sets the pizza box on the coffee table. Maura doesn't even argue when Jane doesn't bother to grab plates. Neither had time for a real lunch, and they're too tired and hungry to care about anything but eating. After her first piece is gone, Maura gets up and grabs plates and napkins, handing Jane hers. They eat in silence, and the pizza is gone within a few minutes.
Taking the plates, Maura takes them into the kitchen to wash. After putting them away, she grabs the empty box and puts it by the trash can. Looking around, and seeing nothing else to pick up, she goes back to sit on the couch.
They watch the rest of whatever show is on the TV. When the ending credits start, Jane turns the TV off and turns to face Maura. "Ok, spill."
Starting, Maura looks up sharply, smoothing her hands over her skirt. "What do you mean?"
Waving a hand, Jane stares. "This. You've been fidgeting since we got here. I think you've smoothed and readjusted your dress about a hundred times, and you keep rubbing your hands like you don't know what to do with them. What has you so nervous? You know you can talk to me about anything?"
Getting up, Maura smoothes her dress, again, and stops herself just before running a hand through her hair, leaving it hanging uselessly in the air. Sighing, she twists her hands together and paces on the other side of the coffee table. "I have a favor I want to ask of you, but first I have to tell you something. I'm just not sure how to start, and I'm afraid that you'll be upset, or not want to be around you. If, after I'm done explaining, you want me to leave, I will. I'll understand if you never want to speak to me outside of work, but I hope you'll respect our friendship enough to not tell anyone. I've never told anyone about this before, and it's hard. I don't expect you to understand, but I hope you can at least not hate me because of it, and maybe even come to accept it, eventually."
Standing, Jane grabs Maura's hands, stilling them and pulling her around the table to sit back on the couch. "Maura, you're confusing me, and scaring me a little. You should know that I would never hate you, and I would NEVER betray your confidence. Are you in some kind of trouble? Did something happen? Just tell me, and I'll try to help you."
Taking several deep breathes, and forcing her hands to remain still, Maura closed her eyes before speaking. "I was born male. I wasn't telling you the whole truth when I said I asked to be sent to boarding school. After my father caught me wearing Mother's clothes and putting on her makeup, he threatened to send me to military school. He said that no son of his was going to grow up to be a fag. I started looking at boarding schools the next day, and convinced him to send me to one in Paris. It was an all boys school with strict athletic requirements and rules. Students were required to participate in at least two sports each year, and had to be in uniform at all times.
"As soon as I graduated, I started wearing dresses and let my hair grow out. I found a doctor that specializes in treating transgender patients, and started taking hormones. When Father found out, he threatened to disown me, but Mother wouldn't let him. She told him that if he tried, she would demand a divorce. Most of my family's money comes from her side, and he would be left with very little if they divorced. He moved to London, and I haven't seen or spoken to him since then.
"I changed my name before I started college, and lived in an apartment off-campus. I refused invitations to join sororities, and avoided activities that could possibly mean I would have to undress in front of anyone. I've been Maura since then."
Stunned, Jane sat in silence, just staring at Maura. Several moments later, Maura finally opened her eyes, saw the expression on her face, and bolted for the door. Standing quickly, Jane ran after her, catching her before she managed to get the door open, and grabbing her hand.
Yanking her hand away, Maura wiped frantically at her tears and refused to look at her. "It's ok. I understand. Just let me go. I hope we can still work together, but I'll understand if you don't want to work with me. It shouldn't be too hard for me to find a job elsewhere."
Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, Jane pulled Maura into a hug. "It's ok. Calm down. I don't hate you. You dumped a lot of information on me at once, and didn't give me time to process it so I could respond. Come on, sit back down. There are a few things I want to ask, and you said you had a favor to ask me for. Just sit down, and give me a couple minutes to think. Ok?"
Sobbing, Maura clung to her, hiding her face against Jane's shoulder. They stood there for several minutes, until Maura took a deep breath and stepped back, wiping her eyes. Jane led her to the couch, getting her to sit down. Leaving the room, she came back quickly with a glass of water and box of tissues.
Sitting back down, she waited until Maura was more composed before speaking. "I just have a few questions, and you don't have to answer anything you're not comfortable with. Just tell me if I overstep any boundaries, ok?"
Nodding, Maura stared at her in confusion. "Why are you so calm? I hoped you'd be accepting, but I expected you to react more strongly than this."
Smiling, Jane shrugged. "I have an cousin Joe who was born Josephine. Not too long after the family found out, most of them stopped talking to him. He came to me when he needed someone to talk to. I guess it was because I was the tomboy that joined the Police Academy. He moved to California years ago, but we still email. I can't promise I understand everything, or even know much, but it's not entirely unfamiliar. Do you mind if I ask what your name was before you changed it?"
Chuckling lightly, Maura sat up straighter and answered very formally. "Richard Wallace Stanley Isles the Third."
Snorting, Jane covered her mouth. "Ok, I can completely understand why you would want to change it, even if you weren't transgender. That is a horrible name to stick a kid with. Why did you pick Maura?"
She shrugged. "It was a name from a book I read as a child. I don't remember the title, or even what it was about, just that I liked the name. Even though I was too young to really understand what I was feeling, I decided that I would change my name to Maura was I grew up."
Jane thought for a moment. "How is it, that no one knows this when you work with a bunch of cops? I mean, something like a name change comes up really quick during even the most basic background check."
Grinning slightly, Maura shook her head. "Have you ever run a background check on me? There was a routine check done by the Medical Examiner's Office when I was hired, but I doubt anyone at the Police Department has ever had a need, or desire, to do one. My personnel file doesn't mention it because I asked that it not be included. No one knows, simply because no one has thought to look or ask."
Thinking, Jane realized she was right. "Huh, I never thought of that. Makes me wonder what I could find out if I ran a check on people. You know, a lot of things make more sense, now. Why you had such a hard time making friends when you were younger, why you preferred to read instead of playing with other kids, why you chose to work with dead people. I can't even begin to understand how hard it must've been to grow up feeling like even the simplest things, like what restroom you used, were wrong. Joe tried explaining it, once, but finally just had to give up."
Wiping away fresh tears, Maura nodded. "It was hard, and lonely. After the way my father reacted, I knew I couldn't mention it to anyone. Essentially growing up in boarding school meant I was never around other girls. I wasn't interested in most of the things the boys liked, but there was no real opportunity to finds things I did enjoy, beyond learning. The one time I managed to get a fashion magazine, it was confiscated and I got in trouble for having 'pornographic material.' It didn't matter that I told them I only wanted to look at the clothes. The few pages featuring lingerie meant that it wasn't allowed."
Scooting closer, Jane pulled her into a hug. "Well, that explains your love of shoes and fashion. I think that's all the questions I have, at least for now. Do you want to tell me about that favor, now?"
Pulling away, Maura sighed. "My last reassignment surgery is next week. I'll be in the hospital for a about a week, and I'm supposed to have someone stay with me after that, at least for a few days. I can hire a nurse for during the day, but I was hoping you'd be willing to stay with me at night. I would just feel more comfortable not relying on a stranger the entire time."
Shaking her head, Jane wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "Nope. I have a bunch of unused vacation time. You tell me which day you're getting released, and I'll take a week off. I can visit you while you're in the hospital. Bring you movies and snacks and make sure you don't die of boredom. You'll have to tell me what to do, but I can play nurse until you're up and about, again. There's no way I'm going to make you have to deal with a complete stranger. I know you still get nervous around new people, and you need to be comfortable while you heal."
Nodding, Maura wiped her eyes. "Thank you. I really don't know what else to say. Just. Thank you."
Smiling, Jane gave her a quick hug before getting up. Holding her hand out, she pulled Maura to her feet. "Come on. It's late, and we're both exhausted. Let's go to bed."
Jerking to a halt, Maura stared in shock. "You want me spend the night?"
Snorting, Jane led Maura into her bedroom and dug through her drawers looking for sleep clothes. "Of course. You're way too tired to drive. Nothing's changed, not really. You're still the same person. What anatomy you may, or may not, have doesn't change the fact that I didn't mind sharing a bed with you a few days ago. If it didn't matter then, why should it matter now? Now, go change so we can go to bed. I'm exhausted, and we have to be at work in a few hours. If tomorrow is anything like today, then we both need our sleep."
Speechless, Maura took the clothes and went into the bathroom to change. Coming back out, she found Jane already in bed, and climbed in the other side carefully. Turning off the lamp, she stared at the ceiling.
Finally, Jane sighed loudly and reached a hand out to grab Maura's. "Relax. Go to sleep. I'm not going to freak out if you touch me, and you can't sleep if you hold yourself that stiff. You're still you. What can I do to convince you that nothing's changed?"
Sighing, Maura wrapped her hand around Jane's and tried to relax. "I don't know. I keep expecting you to be upset, but you aren't. I think I could deal with that easier, since it's the outcome I planned for. I just. I feel like everything should be different, now that you know. I spent so long worrying about telling you, and how you'd respond, that I'm not sure how to deal with the reality. My body is still processing the physical side effects of the stress, and it's making relaxing difficult."
Chuckling, Jane scooted closer, throwing an arm over Maura's waist. Pulling her closer, she waited until Maura turned onto her side and then spooned in behind her. "It's late and I'm tired. Go to sleep."
Eventually, Maura relaxed and listened to Jane's breathing even out. Giving a quiet sigh, she pulled Jane's arm closer around her. Smiling, Jane waited until Maura fell asleep before closing her eyes.
A/N: I didn't plan to start a story when I already have one I'm working on, but this just wouldn't leave me alone. Several things combined in just a few hours time just had the idea bugging me. If I wanted to get any sleep, at all, then I had to write it out.
I'm not sure where this is going, or if they'll end up a couple.
My knowledge of transgender issues is mostly academic, gathered from conversations with acquaintances, and/or learned secondhand. I've never had a close relationship with a transgender person, so I will be doing my best to do this topic justice with what I already know, or can find through research.
Transgenderism is a difficult, and usually misunderstood, subject. Transgender individuals suffer not only from mental and emotional issues caused by their gender dysphoria, but also the pressures and judgments from family, friends, and society. I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced it could even begin to understand how that shapes and changes a person.
If anyone has any feedback, personal experience, or knowledge on the issue, I more than welcome anything they wish to share. I am always happy to expend my knowledge. I also welcome links to online resources and information.