"i - god, maura, you sounded like you were about to cry over the phone. the hell i'm not going to come over after that."
jane/maura friendship, pg, 608, minor character death.
for capeofstorm - prompt was "don't let it break your heart" - enjoy!
Maura was kneeling on the floor when Jane burst into the room, looking like she had run all the way to Maura’s, her breath coming in short gasps. “You – what happened?” She bent over, trying to catch her breath. “You said that something had happened?”
“I also said that it would be unnecessary for you to come over,” Maura said calmly, not looking up at Jane.
“I - god, Maura, you sounded like you were about to cry over the phone. The hell I’m not going to come over after that. What happened?” Jane stepped closer to her, reaching out cautiously.
Maura flinched, leading Jane to believe that something was definitely wrong. Maura never flinched from her touch. “Tell me,” Jane said, putting her hand on Maura’s shoulder.
“It’s Bass,” Maura finally said.
Maura immediately corrected Jane. “Tortoise.” She paused. “I should have realized that something was wrong. Bass hasn’t been eating lately, even when I give him his favorite foods.”
The turtle — tortoise — didn’t look any different now than any other time Jane had seen it. It was just lying there on the hardwood floor, head hidden in its shell.
“Is there something wrong with Bass?” Jane finally ventured cautiously when Maura didn’t say anything else.
“I didn’t even realize that he was sick. I should have figured it out, but I’ve just been so wrapped up with work and-”
Jane sat down next to Maura. “It’ll be alright. Do you want me to take Bass to the vet? We can go now.”
Maura shook her head. “I said that I didn’t realize that Bass was sick. It’s too late now.”
“Oh no, Maura.” Jane immediately drew Maura into a hug, holding the other woman tightly. Maura sniffled a little, biting her lip.
“I should have known-”
“Stop it, Maura. It’s not your fault.”
Maura fell silent and just let Jane hug her. They sat there in silence, tangled up in each other on the floor of Maura’s hallway. Jane could feel Maura breathing against her, but she didn’t say anything. She had a feeling that Maura appreciated the silence more than anything she could say right now.
Finally, Maura pulled away. “Thank you for coming over, Jane. You didn’t have to.”
Jane rolled her eyes. “In the future, every time you make a silly statement like that, I’m just going to stop listening.” She paused. “I’m sorry about your tortoise.”
“You finally got his species right,” Maura said in a small voice.
“Yeah, I guess I did.” Jane pulled Maura to her feet. “Come on. I think you need to go out for a bit.”
Maura looked back at Bass’s prone form in dismay. “But Bass-”
“Will still be here when we get back. I’ll help you take care of him when we get back.”
After a moment, Maura nodded and took Jane’s hand. “Thank you.”
“What are friends for?”
“I believe friends are there for you if you need a helping hand, or if you need someone to talk to, or-”
Jane grinned at Maura. “That was rhetorical.”
“I knew that.”
Leading the way to the door, Jane opened it. “Come on. At this rate, even your turtle would be faster than you.”
“…it hides in a shell and is slow. What’s the difference?” Maura opened her mouth. “Don’t answer that.”
“Would you prefer to call Bass by his scientific name? Tortoises are known as Testudinidae in the scientific community, you know.”
Jane blinked. “Testi…what?”
“Whatever. I’ll just stick with tortoise.”
Maura gave a small, albeit weak, laugh. “Good choice.”
They walked out into the cold hand in hand.