Author's Note: Here it is, the long awaited epilogue for this piece. Your reviews have, as always, been a great motivation to keep going. I'm glad you all have liked this piece. The epilogue picks up sometime after "Shadow of Doubt" (07x05). I'm really starting to get sad about the end of this series. I can't imagine the series ending will end my writing about it. Ideas pop into my head all the time. I suppose I'll have to move on to new 'ships. Any pairings I should be paying attention to? -dkc
12 Times - Epilogue
They were sitting on a bench in the park on a Saturday morning. It was a beautiful, sunny Boston day. They had opted for coffee and croissants over going for a run. It might not be necessary, but Jane was doing everything she could to remind Maura to take it easy. Her head injury was still a matter of great concern.
"Jane..." Maura whined.
The stubborn cop had stood from the bench to walk their paper coffee cups to the nearest trash can. She refused to let Maura do it, much to the doctor's frustration.
"I'm perfectly capable," she said firmly when Jane returned to the bench.
"I know you are, but you've just had brain surgery. It wouldn't hurt to take it easy."
"It wasn't brain surgery, Jane," she rolled her eyes.
"Did they touch your brain? It doesn't matter if they removed part of your skull or used a probe. That counts as brain surgery. Doesn't take a genius, Maur."
"It's rather sweet when you are protective of me," she smiled.
Jane placed her arm over the back of the bench. She loved this woman and couldn't believe it had taken her so long to see it for what it was.
"Did you have a good evening with Hope? You didn't mention it when I got home last night," the way Jane referred to home was casual despite the fact she was speaking of Maura's house and she had crawled into bed with the doctor not long after her arrival.
"I did," the smile on the M.E.'s face was genuine. "We discussed the opportunities that might be available to me if I were ever to commit my time to the clinic. Either in the capacity of a volunteer or otherwise."
"I'm proud of you," she smiled. Her arm had been across the back of the bench and was now wrapped around Maura's shoulders. She gave a gentle squeeze.
"I haven't committed yet."
"That's not why I'm proud of you, Maur," Jane was gazing at the woman with affection.
Their eyes flirted silently.
"Detective?" the familiar voice caught Jane's immediate attention, pulling her from the conversation she and Maura's eyes were having.
"Dr. Kaplan," Jane was surprised.
"Enjoying this beautiful morning?" he was walking a small French bulldog.
"We are," she smiled at the pronoun. "Have you met Dr. Maura Isles?"
"Please, Maura," Maura stood and shook the psychiatrist's hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet you."
Ever the professional, Dr. Kaplan didn't let on that he had heard about Dr. Isles. Yet he may have known Jane was falling for the doctor before either of them did.
Sitting back down next to Jane, Maura was quite happy to meet the doctor whom she had heard so much about.
"She's adorable," Jane reached for the dog, scratching her ears.
"Thank you. We ought to finish our walk," he said, looking down at the dog. "She needs her exercise."
"It was nice to meet you," Maura said.
"Have a good morning, ladies," he nodded and walked away.
Jane looked at Maura with a slightly raised eyebrow and curiosity.
"He seems nice," she said.
"Nice?" Jane smirked. "What does that mean?"
"Nice. Nothing more."
Jane took Maura's hand, entwining their fingers. It may have been the first time Jane hadn't fidgeted or looked around to see if anyone was watching their interaction.
"He is, I guess. I've never talked to another shrink," looking down at their hands, she shrugged. In some ways she was ashamed that she had been seeing him, yet she also knew how important seeing him had been to the progress she'd made in her personal life.
"There's nothing wrong with seeing him," Maura read her mind and body language.
"It's not something I ever would have done had—" she wouldn't speak the words that still felt as if they gave Charles Hoyt power over her life.
"I know," Maura wanted badly to kiss Jane to reassure her. However, they weren't quite to the place where they would kiss in public. They were holding hands. Baby steps. "It has been good for you, Jane. I'm sure it's hard to see that, but I see it. I see you."
Jane smiled, leaning forward to touch her forehead to Maura's.
"It's mostly you, you know?" Jane's voice was barely above a whisper.
They were oblivious to the world around them.
"Whatever role I've had, you don't give yourself enough credit, Jane."
Tilting her head to kiss Maura's cheek, the cop tilted her chin up to speak against her ear.
"What do you say we head home?" she said suggestively.
Nothing more needed to be said.