Author's note: Here we go for the sequel to Until Death Do Us Part; daily updates (as usual), reviews and suggestions more than welcome.
Chapter one: Angles - Lack of Light - And Distances
She turned around as soon as she felt a weight on Jane's side of the bed but – too tired to open her eyes – she simply slid a leg between her wife's own ones and went to cuddle against her.
Fail. She had miscalculated the distance between her forehead and Jane's. Wincing in pain and still in the dark - too lazy to turn the light on - Maura moaned and apologetically shook her head.
"I am so sorry... Are you alright?" Hoarse voice. Jane had woken her up in the middle of the night in spite of being discreet enough. She never slept well anyway when her wife was out at night. "Let me check."
"No, I'm fine. I'm fine, Maura." Jane huddled under the blanket and delicately took her partner in her arms. They didn't bang, this time. "I just wanna sleep. Nobody's bleeding. It's okay."
Jane was tired. Her night shift had been long and painful. She was not in the mood for a medical checkup. Her eyes had already accustomed to the lack of light and all she wanted now was to fall asleep. It could wait. Everything could wait.
"Okay." Maura didn't insist. She settled on the crook of her wife's neck and planted a light kiss on her shoulder to soothe the pain. "I am sorry."
Jane murmured a vague 'yes'. She rolled her eyes. If there was one thing that she had learned about Maura since they had got married, it was that the medical examiner could be extremely clumsy.
In a cute way, though.
The thought made Jane smile and she felt her cheeks turn hot. Was she blushing? Everything about Maura was cute. Cute and sweet.
A well-known sound made Jane open an eye. She stared at the ceiling for a long minute as what she could now identify as successive bangs on her left suddenly reduced her chances to fall asleep anytime soon. She pouted; sighed.
"Maura?" Silence. One, two, three. "Maura!"
She hadn't yelled but had surely been a lot more insistent the second time around. A growl coming from her right let her understand that it had worked. At last.
Another bang. It wasn't loud but annoying enough to let her fall asleep. She would focus on it and the next thing she knew, it would be time to get up and start a new day.
She was getting too old for this.
"What is Bass doing in our bedroom? He's banging his head against my bedside table. Again."
The question didn't trouble Maura. Jane felt her shrug against her body before settling better to go back to sleep.
"Maybe he is simply trying to communicate with you. I told you that you didn't talk enough to him. It... It is probably his own way to let you know that he would appreciate it if your interactions were more frequent."
This has to be a joke, Rizzoli.
Jane cast a glance at the floor on her left. She didn't see anything. The tortoise had probably moved now to another spot in the bedroom. She clenched her fists, began to breathe hard. She was losing her patience, she knew it.
"But not at 4am, dammit!"
Patience: over. Desire to sleep: gone. Jane was wide awake, now. Wide awake and pissed off.
"Stop yelling. You are going to wake up the whole neighborhood and scare Bass. He is sensitive, remember?"
"And aren't they luck to be able to sleep... No freaking moody - talkative - tortoise to ruin their night!" Pause. "Ouch!"
Maura shrugged, satisfied of the snap on her wife's hip.
"There is no need for you to be so impolite."
She studied the shape of every single little cake with meticulousness before finally giving Jane an appreciative nod.
"Your cannelés look perfect!" Maura approached a hand from one of them but her wife snapped it right away.
"Don't touch them!" Jane looked at the small French cakes. She had to admit that she agreed with Maura. She had followed a new recipe and the result looked more than appetizing. "And what's going on with the sweet things, lately? People are gonna start thinking you're pregnant."
The remark made them both giggle. They had been married for two years but hadn't come to a real conclusion yet about their motherhood desires. Maybe not, maybe yes. It was a perpetual ocean of doubts; an endless fog.
"Margot is going to be very proud of you." A smile played on Maura's lips as soon as she mentioned the French girl's name. "I am so happy that she is coming back here."
Her joy found an obvious echo on Jane's face who enthusiastically nodded.
Everything had gone very fast since they had received Margot's mail that told them that she had been accepted to Cambridge for a year.
Within two weeks, they had settled the date of her arrival and all the other details of her stay in Boston. Everything was ready, from her room on the campus to the bank she would choose to open an account.
The only thing missing now was Margot herself.
"Tomorrow... She's coming back tomorrow." Jane nodded at nobody but herself. "Now sit down and let me know what you think of them. If they're good then I'll bake some more. It's not the recipe she had taught me so I'm not sure..."
Maura obliged and gladly took one of the cannelés Jane held out to her. From the outside, they did look perfect. She bit into it and closed her eyes. A moan of pleasure passed her lips. Thumb up.
"Good morning! I was stopping by to... Oh my god! What happened to you, Maura?" Angela rushed to her daughter-in-law and and cupped her face with strength to have a proper look.
Maura managed to escape from Angela's hands but almost lost her balance and clutched to the kitchen counter at the last moment to not fall down. She motioned her mouth – chewed a bit more – then swallowed.
"A domestic accident. Thankfully, it isn't serious."
Angela was about to reply when she noticed that her very own daughter wore a matching bump on her forehead.
She squinted her eyes at it – divided between the desire to ask for more details and a more polite sentiment to remain uninformed – but finally forgot it all as soon as she spotted the cakes.
After all, it wasn't the first time that Jane and Maura took her aback. They formed a strange couple. Adorable but definitely odd, at times.
"May I have one? Who baked these?"
Jane waved her hands and grabbed her tablet to show her mother the recipe she had found earlier in the morning.
A quiet day at home. If she had hated these days off at some point in her life, she now cherished them with a very evident strength. She had found balance through her marriage; thanks to Maura. She did love her work more than anything but also had a private life, now. And she didn't want to forget it.
"It's a typical pastry from Bordeaux. I'm making some for Margot. Not the first time I try but they actually look like the picture, this time. Right, Maura?"
The scientist nodded; her mouth full. She had taken advantage of her wife's lack of attention to grab a second cannelé. Jane was right, though. She had to slow down on food. She was slightly in denial but the truth was that she had put on weight lately. For absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Just because you are now married doesn't mean that you can let yourself go, Isles. Nothing is sure, nothing is eternal. Jane could leave you any time if she wanted to.
The door bell took Maura out of her wonders. She stood up – adjusted her summer dress – and went to open the door. They weren't expecting anyone but dispatchers often delivered her medical files when she wasn't at the morgue. As a matter of fact, it happened all the time.
She put her stilettos on as she reached the lobby and cast a very last look at her reflection in a large mirror above the console table before opening to their visitor.
Maura froze; her mouth wide open.
Her reaction made Margot giggle. The student was standing on the threshold surrounded by a dozen of travel bags and suitcases. She looked ecstatic.
It took Maura a lot of efforts to finally react. She shook her head – as if to make sure that it wasn't a dream – and laughed in disbelief. Hands on her hips; cute frown on her face.
"Weren't you supposed to arrive tomorrow? I thought... I thought you had said Sunday." She tilted her head and bit her lip as Margot smiled.
She had missed her so much.
"Oh no... Don't cry!" Margot took Maura in her arms. She couldn't help giggling. "What happened to your forehead?"
Maura rolled her eyes and tried to swallow back the wave of emotions that Margot's presence had stirred up.
"An unfortunate story of angles – lack of light – and distances." She grabbed half of Margot's bags and let the young student come in. "Jane will tell you I tried wrestling on her, though... Don't believe her. It is a lie."