I love you too. But I can't do this.
There are tears in your eyes as the reality of the moment crashes into you.
“He asked you, didn’t he?”
The moment you saw that ring on her finger, all of your worst fears came true. Your knees shake; your arms tremble with indecision. She won’t even look at you and it only serves to make your hurt and pain shine through as anger.
“You are going to get married, aren’t you?”
Your tone is spiteful and indignant while your heart is competing desperately within the confines of your chest in a race it cannot win. Casey’s beaten you to the punch. And Jane – Jane said yes because the ring is there and her hand is over her mouth as she, too, starts to cry.
She still won’t look you in the eye and it just makes the hole in your soul rip itself wider as the most suffocating feeling of dread spreads itself thickly over your entire being.
“You must have known how much I love you.”
It’s not the first time you’ve said those three words to her. It’s not the first time you’ve given her countless exhibits of evidence that you’re in love with her.
But it is the first time she hasn’t said it back. The distinction is a blunted knife, sawing back and forth, across and through the most fragile heart there ever was.
You can feel your expression harden and it makes it easier for you to hurl your next words at her.
“What lie did you tell yourself every day? What fabrications did you have to make up in your mind to go about life with me this way?”
Your eyes are narrowed and you want to scream. You just need to get all of these emotions out of your brain and then you’ll be okay again. Right? You just need to compartmentalize and then everything can go back to the way it was, before all of this.
“I didn’t know how to tell you!” And you can tell that it’s an admission.
You can feel your heart break and even though you know the origins of almost all the words you’ve ever had to use in a conversation, there is not a single word which could describe the hurt you’re feeling right now.
You know you’re shutting down. She can tell, too, because her brow furrows ever so slightly.
“I’m so sorry.” The words are strained, like they’re genuine, but you can’t let yourself believe.
“I do love you,” she finally whispers, eyes shut tight, body shaking.
Your heart splinters into microscopic fragments and you shake your head, willing yourself to unhear those perfect words falling from those perfect lips.
“I love you, too,” you say, because it’s true. “But I can’t do this.” You take off the necklace she gave you for your thirty-eighth birthday and place it in her hands. You curl her fingers around it so that it doesn’t fall and then, on a whim, you bring her hand to your lips and place a gentle kiss there.
You don’t say goodbye.
Two hours later, you find yourself sobbing quietly in your single First-class seat with a one-way boarding pass to London.
There was no gloriously beautiful reunion scene as the flight boarded. No jaw-droppingly stunning brunette detective came rushing up to you to demand you to stay. You know it’s irrational, but you’d hoped for it anyway. You’d hoped that you could be enough, you could be what she wanted; what she needed.
You’re used to being left behind. You’re not so used to doing the leaving.
When the flight attendant offers you a beverage, you ask for their finest red and hint that she should leave the bottle. You watch as she takes in your designer clothes and run-down appearance before she nods and disappears.
An empty house awaits you when you land. A clean slate, a fresh start. You can pick the mantle of Queen of the Dead right back up off the dusty ground and this time fully embrace it.
You won’t be able to forget about her, but at least you can learn from her.
Anyone you let into your heart only ends up breaking it in the end.
Her body trembles as she throws her green curser into park in the emergency fire lane. She has no idea if this is the right terminal or even close to it. Her mind focuses solely on finding Maura, her vision the epitome of tunnel vision.
The flash of her badge shuts up the over zealous curb boy- guard really. She doesn’t even look at him as she rushes through the doors and throngs of people.
She feels like calling out. How completely unprofessional would that be for a detective of her caliber? Calling out like a lost child, separated from her guardian. But she is lost, she’s so incredibly lost and soon the swells of people drown her.
Yet, she pushes through; the note 'In another life ~ Maura' folding and wrinkling in her iron grip.
Where would she go? She thinks- panics. Where would Maura go?
She tries to read the boards, the departure and arrival times updating before her eyes.
Which one was she on?
Fuck this, she thinks as she turns and runs upstream against the swarm of patrons.
She reaches a counter and buts in line, again flashing her badge to the individual and clerk.
"I need to find someone," her voice is earnest.
"Help me," her eyes brim with regret, "please," she beseeches.
The clerk types and gives a look of remorse.
"I’m sorry no one by that name is flying this airline, if you-"
Jane retreats, her attention seeking for more desks, more flight registries.
Delta, Southwest, United Airlines, this is only a portion of the airport.
She runs to another booth, flashes her badge and requests the same.
"Help me," each time she begs, her voice growing more desperate. And each time a frown of lament precedes the, "I’m sorry there’s no one by that name flying this airline."
She steps away from the fifth desk, woozy, staggering as her legs refuse to carry her weight. She shuffles slowly, shaking as she makes her way to the bench where she sits, lost, as she searches one last time among the faces that pass.
But she is gone.
For months now, she has been gone and is no where to be found. But everyday Jane checks, making one more phone call and googling her name one last time before she heads home, only to conduct the search again, alone in her apartment.
Six months have passed when the call comes. Six months in which it’s all fallen apart. Six months which have seen her mother find herself living in a dingy little apartment that’s all she can afford on the pitiful salary Stanley pays her. Six months in which the Governor has given Maura’s job to Pike, and his incompetence has set murders free. Six months in which she’s barely seen her brothers or her nephew. Six months in which her relationship with her partners, current and former have deteriorated to the point where they barely speak, even working a case. Six months in which she’s realized how central Maura had become. Not because Maura was the glue that held it all together, but because Maura was the glue that held Jane together.
But then the call came.
The voice could only belong to Constance.
"Where is she?" she asked, desperate for some news.
"Detective, I remember you telling me you don’t like to see your friend hurt, yet in all her 38 years, I’ve never seen my daughter is so much pain."
"I made a mistake. More than one. But please, please tell me where she is. I want to make it right."
The line disconnects, and for a moment, she looses all home. She falls to her couch, finally broken, but before the tears can come, there’s a knock at the door. She looks up, wondering who it is, hope blossoming in her chest as she stands.
She opens the door to find Constance standing in front of it. The older woman does not come inside. She simply holds out an envelope.
"She will be in San Francisco, in two days time. I’ve booked you into the suite next to her. Everything is paid for, Detective, but understand this. If you hurt my daughter again, if it takes every penny I have, I will destroy you."
She takes the envelope from Constance, and the woman turns and walks away from her without another word.
It doesn’t matter. Not now. Not anymore. She has a chance, one last chance.
She’s not sure if she can get the time off on such short notice. It doesn’t matter. If she can’t, she’ll quit. Hand in her badge. It doesn’t matter. If she doesn’t come home with Maura, she’s not coming home at all.
She calls Cavanaugh.