Author: snuffnyc PM
Jane and Maura dance around the inevitable, while juggling mixed signals and a senseless triple homicide.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - M. Isles & J. Rizzoli - Chapters: 27 - Words: 120,481 - Reviews: 303 - Favs: 407 - Follows: 114 - Updated: 06-04-11 - Published: 04-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6937688
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(one: A Little Cold)
Notes: This was first posted on Livejournal, and can be found in its entirety there if you're so inclined. However, several readers asked that I post here, and I am obliging. Reviews are lovely but unnecessary; do what you feel. Barring unforeseen circumstances, as this work is complete, it will be updated daily. Thanks. :)
Maura Isles stared at the silver key in her hand. Her knock had gone unanswered, just as her phone calls had earlier. And while this didn't constitute an emergency, according to Frost, Jane had left the office rather abruptly on Friday. And he did say she didn't look well.
She bit the inside of her lip, and listened.
She looked at her watch. Forty-six hours and eleven minutes since she last heard from the detective. Unlike her, even if this was her weekend off.
The key turned easily in the lock, and that was that. I'm going in.
"Jane?" she called out as she peeked in the door. Jo Friday popped her head up from her perch on the couch, but no Jane.
The shades were all drawn, shutting out the Sunday afternoon sun. Maura frowned.
She was about to turn and leave when she heard a moan from the bedroom. Her face went red. Instantly, a dizzying red.
Oh my God, did I just-
Another groan. But this one was less ambiguous. A painful, uncomfortable, dissatisfied sound. She breathed.
"Jane?" she tried again, crossing the living room to the bedroom door, slightly ajar.
All she could see of Jane Rizzoli was a single arm and a single leg, bare and above the sheets. Maybe a tangled lock of dark hair against the cream pillowcase.
"I'm dying," came the muffled voice from the lump on the bed, covered in a twisted down comforter.
Maura smiled. "I doubt that very much."
Jane rolled over and Isles could see she was flushed. Sweating. And one very unhappy camper.
"I turned my phone off so no one would bother me," she grimaced.
Isles looked away. "I'm sorry, I just..."
"Not you," Jane practically yelled. She let her arms slap against the blankets around her. "Everybody else. You don't count."
Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Maura wondered.
"I mean that in a good way, dammit!"
Isles' eyes went wide. Had she said that out loud, or was she really just that transparent?
"I got worried. Frost said you left in a hurry Friday afternoon."
Jane swept her arm over her forehead. "I dunno. Just a cold or something."
Maura took another step closer to the bed and sat down on its edge. "Sudden onset?"
"Huh?" Jane looked irritated. Maybe this was a bad idea.
"Did you feel a little 'off' before it hit you," she held her hands up in midair, "or just suddenly-"
"All of a sudden." Jane started to cough and covered her mouth with the crook of her elbow. "Jesus, I just want to sleep and I can't."
"That doesn't sound productive."
Jane scowled at her. "Did you come here to criticize?"
"No, I meant... your cough. It doesn't sound productive."
A raised eyebrow.
"Mucus-y," Maura tried, with an exasperated look of her own.
"And clearly you're feverish," Isles reached in and was about to put her hand on Jane's forehead before she squirmed away.
"Don't, Maura. I'm fine. I'm sorry to worry you. Really. But I'm okay. Just frustrated. I have court tomorrow and I haven't gotten any freakin' sleep this weekend."
As she spoke, Jane shivered. She angrily yanked at the blankets, trying to get comfortable.
Maura just watched. And waited.
"What?" Jane shifted beneath the sheets. "One minute I'm sweating my ass off and now I can't seem to get warm. Explain it to me, doctor."
"Well," she sighed, "when the body-"
"On second thought, no. Don't."
Once again, Maura looked off. Perhaps she really should just go.
"Ugh, I'm sorry. I'm exhausted. I feel like shit."
When she looked back up, into Jane's eyes, something inside of Maura stirred. That look gave the doctor her own set of chills. It emboldened her.
"Move," Maura commanded. When Jane just looked at her incredulously, she was a little firmer. "I said, move. Move over."
"Wait, I don't think you want to..."
Maura pulled her hair back over her shoulder and slipped her heels off, letting them fall to the floor. She moved swiftly, so as not to lose her nerve, and pulled her own legs underneath the blankets. Alongside Jane.
After a beat, Jane finally spoke. "Are you nuts?"
"Shh," Maura reached blindly and fumbled a bit, until she found the hem of Jane's shorts, then her hips. She pulled them closer together. "Let me help you get warm."
"It's just a cold, Maura. I'll be okay. You don't have to..."
"Flu, more likely. Sudden onset. Dry cough. Fever. Chills." She ran her thumb hard over Jane's tricep.
"Oh God, ow! What's that for?"
"Muscle pain," she softened her grip on Jane's arm until it was almost a caress. "You've got the flu, Detective."
Jane sighed. "And you're spooning up next to me in the hopes of, what? Catching it?"
"Bless your mother's heart."
A snort. "For what?" Followed by a cough. "The woman has a PhD in nagging!"
"You must've been one hell of a stubborn child. Just let me help you."
Maura leaned into Jane and tried to relax. If she couldn't, then Jane certainly wouldn't. She tried to ignore the heat - the heat from Jane's body, and that other, unexplained heat that rose within her. She concentrated hard on not appearing as though she was concentrating hard. She stroked Jane's wavy hair.
"Oh. That... is nice."
Maura smiled. "Try to relax."
She noticed Jane shiver again.
The detective stifled a cough. "No... just... I always have that reaction when someone whispers in my ear."
"I see," Maura was careful to lean back as she spoke.
"Never tell anyone that," Jane warned.
"We'll see," she replied playfully. She could feel Jane take a deep, if slightly labored, breath, and snuggle closer to her.
They stayed like that for several minutes, with Maura quietly stroking Jane's hair. Her cheek. Whatever she could reach.
"I'm so sweaty and disgusting," Jane mumbled into her pillow. "I hope whatever you're wearing isn't 'dry clean only'."
Maura sighed. "Oh Jane. Everything I wear is dry clean only."
The detective laughed lightly, until it morphed into a cough. Once she settled from that, though, that was the last the doctor heard from her. Her breathing slowed, and the shivering stopped. She was sweating, but not dangerously hot.
Jane Rizzoli's neck was bared to her. The soft flesh there smooth and unblemished. A few rebellious strands of hair fell over her ear and across a well-defined jaw line. Maura swallowed.
She closed her eyes and breathed in, then out, unsteadily. She cared so much for Jane. She found her own instinct to soothe her utterly out of character. She was baffled by Jane, and she loved it.
Carefully, cautiously, Maura leaned in until her lips just brushed the back of Jane's neck. She stayed still like that, breathing, for a few moments to see if the other woman stirred. When she didn't, she pressed her lips against the skin there fully, trailing a few light kisses up until she reached the soft hairline behind Jane's ear.
And then Maura Isles silently slipped out of the bed.
When Jane awoke, the blinds were still drawn tight, but she could tell it was no longer light out.
She rolled over, noticed the empty spot beside her, and blinked. Then she looked at the alarm clock. Almost 8:30 on a Sunday night.
Christ. I could sleep another twenty-four hours.
It took her a little while, but eventually Jane found the strength to swing her legs over the side of the bed, crack her neck, and stand up.
"Whoa," she whispered to herself as she sat back down quickly, dizzy.
She tried again, and this time made it all the way to the bedroom door, where she stopped.
From there, she could see her. Well, the back of her, anyway. Maura Isles, her blonde hair tucked to one side, sitting on her couch. Watching something that looked frightfully boring on The History Channel.
Jane couldn't help the amused grin from spreading across her face. She watched Maura pick up Jo Friday and sit her on her lap.
"What do you think, Jo? Bathing in the Ganges is said to take away a person's sins. Shall I ready our passports?"
Jane let out a strangled laugh. The doctor instantly turned around, and wrinkled her nose.
"How long have you been standing there?"
Jane stepped gingerly around to the couch, where she joined Maura and the dog. She let her body fall onto the cushions, exhausted from the effort.
"Not that long. I can't believe you stayed."
Maura shot her a half-smile. "That okay?"
"Of course..." Jane trailed off when she noticed what the other woman was wearing.
Isles looked embarrassed. "I hope it's okay. You kind of... sweated right through my silk dress."
Maura Isles had on a pair of Jane's mesh basketball shorts and a BPD softball t-shirt. Jane blinked.
"No, of course not. It's just... wow. So out of character."
"What? I can be sporty."
"Not... like that," Jane tried to hide her bemused expression. "But, um, jeez. That shirt is screamin' for mercy."
Maura looked confused. Her eyes followed Jane's down to her chest, then back up.
"Your boobs, Maura. I'm talking about your boobs."
The doctor put a hand to her face. "Oh. Right. Well... okay, so we're not the same size. But it'll do in a pinch."
Suddenly, Maura seemed nervous. She popped up off the couch and went to the kitchen, coming back with a glass of water in her hand.
Jane dutifully accepted. "Sorry I sweat all over you. I warned you."
"It's okay. How are you feeling?"
The detective stretched a little. "Shitty. But at least I got some sleep. You've, uh, got a pretty magic touch. I don't even remember drifting off."
"Good!" Maura said enthusiastically. Jane gave her a confused look.
"I mean," Maura composed herself, "It's good you got some sleep. You need the rest."
Jane watched as the doctor fumbled with the remote, leaving it on the Sunday Night football game before she stood up. "Better?" she smiled, but there was a sadness there.
Say something, douchebag.
Maura gave an apologetic frown. "I have to. I've got an early morning tomorrow, and so do you. Plus," she grabbed the dress from the back of the armchair and held it up. "I've got to stop off at the dry cleaners before work."
Jane put a hand on her knee and willed herself to stand.
"We could get a pizza..." Jane tried to lighten the mood by waggling her eyebrows. Even if she knew pizza wasn't exactly Maura's favorite.
"I can't. I should-" Maura was heading for the door but Jane reached out a hand to her shoulder to stop her from leaving.
With her back to Jane, Maura shifted uncomfortably, dress in one hand, heels in the other. Jane approached her slowly, sweeping a few stray hairs across the doctor's shoulder to reveal the back of her neck. Both in bare feet, she had to bow her head to reach the other woman.
She started above the neckline of her gray t-shirt, just a soft and simple kiss. She squeezed the hand that rested on Maura's shoulder. Then another kiss, and another, tracing the bony protrusions of Maura's backbone until they disappeared in her smooth blonde hair.
She felt the other woman tense beneath her grip.
"Okay, I lied," she whispered against Maura's shoulder, her voice gravelly from sleep, "I do remember that part."
When Maura turned to face her, Jane could, for once, read every single emotion on the doctor's face. Nervous. Aroused. Maybe more than a little embarrassed.
Isles took a deep breath. "Do I have to watch football?"
Jane smiled, then her expression went very serious. "It's Patriots-Jets. What do you think?"