Title: Caress & Snuggle
Fandom: Rizzoli and Isles
Author: exquisitliltart
Word Count: 2,182
Rating: G
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.
Spoilers: Finale
Summary: No plot, just banter. Another snapshot of Maura taking care of Jane after the hospital. This is a sort of sequel to "Pulled Pork & Wavy Lays," but stands alone as well.

Jane woke up from her 3rd nap of the day on the couch, and saw that her apartment had been Maura-fied. In other words, it was decidedly cleaner and brighter. It smelled better too. She sat up slowly and looked around. Jane could hear the familiar slow clomp of a giant tortoise roaming the house and the whimpering of a kenneled Jo Friday.

Maura startled Jane by kicking open the door to the apartment, carrying in a huge basket of laundry, and depositing it with effort in the bedroom. Maura emerged empty handed and immediately saw that Jane was awake.

"Did I wake you?" Maura rushed over to the couch to examine her. She touched her forehead looking for signs of fever, and ran her hand up and down Jane's arm with concern.

"No, I just woke up. Are you doing my laundry? Where's Jo?" Jane asked, still a bit groggy from her painkillers.

"Jane, your dirty laundry was overflowing, when was the last time you washed anything?" Maura asked.

"I don't know. I usually just go until I run out of socks and underwear. I guess it's been awhile," Jane shrugged, noticing that Maura was dressed to the nines, in high heels (of course) doing laundry.

"I'm not letting you put on any clean clothes until you take a shower. It's been 2 days since you've been out of the hospital. I know you don't want to, but you have to shower today," Maura said using her best impression of a 'mom' voice.

"Okay, okay, I know…my hair has enough grease in it to fry a basket of chicken," Jane ran her fingers through her grubby locks. She didn't want to shower because she didn't want to see the wound; she had been trying her best to avoid it, "Where's my doggy?"

"I'll go get her. She misses you terribly," Maura went into the bedroom and Jane's face lit up as she heard excited yelps and the calming tone of Maura's voice. She brought the wriggling pup out and held her out in front of her.

"Hi, baby. I'm okay! Yes, Maura is taking good care of us," Jane patted Jo on the head. "Give her here."

"No, she'll inadvertently claw your abdomen," Maura pulled her back.

"Ahh, no she won't," Jane blatantly lied, when they could both see the excited animal running her little legs trying to claw her way to Jane, panting and heaving to get free of Maura's grasp. "Okay, yes she will, but this is torture, I want to hold her."

Maura sat down next to Jane, cradling Jo, letting her get closer to her mistress. Jane petted her head and scratched behind her ears.

"I can't wait to take you out for walks again and to the park," Jo's ears perked up immediately at the words she recognized, and she leaned over to lick Jane's outstretched hand.

"I'm going to put her back in her crate, and then we are going to get you into the shower," Maura picked up Jo and left Jane stranded on the couch again. Bass had made his way under Jane's coffee table and was lumbering toward her. He stopped at her feet, peeking out from his shell.

"Hey buddy, you checking on me?" Jane looked down at him. "Maybe I can sneak you some extra strawberries." Jane briefly debated the appropriateness of using Bass as an ottoman, but decided Maura would disapprove.

She heard a drawer shut in the kitchen and then Maura came out holding a box of cellophane, "Okay, I need to redress your wound and I'm going to wrap it in plastic so it doesn't get wet. Let's go the bathroom."

"Can't we wait a little longer?" Jane whined. She really was not looking forward to this.

"No, come on, you need to walk around a little anyway."

Maura grabbed Jane under her arms and slowly helped her to her feet. They had developed a process that worked and they did this in silence. Jane automatically leaned on Maura and they made their way to the bathroom.

"Put you hands up as far was you can, so I can get your shirt off."

"Whoa, a little fast there, doctor? Well, I guess you did make me dinner so…" Jane tried to tease, her voice uneasy due to the pain in her side. Maura ignored her nervous innuendo, but the intimacy of the moment was heightened by being in the small bathroom where it was quiet and still. She gently lifted her shirt off as Jane winced, and then rolled Jane's sweatpants down around her hips to gain full access to the wound. Jane braced herself against the towel rack, "I'm not looking forward to taking off this sports bra."

Maura looked up at her questioning rather she was ready for her to pull off the tape. Truthfully, Maura didn't want to see the damage either, but she was practical and this had to be done. Jane nodded and Maura pulled the tape off and removed the bandage. The wound was red, but the stitches were in place. She moved to Jane's side to check the exit wound, which looked okay as well.

"Jane, it's healing nicely. Do you want to see?" Maura asked as she stood to help Jane over to the mirror.

Jane took a deep breath and then inspected herself in the mirror, and then looked down at it. Jane sighed in relief, no flashbacks occurred, and there was no overwhelming swell of emotion, "Wow, it's much smaller than I thought considering the amount of pain I feel," Jane commented.

"The bullet tore through your tissue causing-" Maura started in on a briefing of why it hurt so much, but Jane stopped her by placing her hand on arm.

"You can tell me later, please. I've seen enough of it for today," Jane said glancing down once more as Maura crouched in front of her to clean and redress the wound. After she had it re-taped, she took the roll of cellophane and wrapped it around Jane's waist and taped it in place.

Maura started the shower and made sure the temperature was perfect and adjusted the spray so it wouldn't be too strong. "Jane, be careful don't bend at the waist, and don't let the water hit you right in the side."

Maura hooked her fingers into Jane's waistband and worked her pants down her legs so she could step out of them. "Hmm, I might have to cut your bra off if it hurts too much to stretch your arms all the way up."

Jane felt a hot flush creep up her chest and face, embarrassed that Maura was going to see her naked, and realizing that she hadn't shaved her legs or armpits for a substantial amount of time. "I think I can get it from here."

"I'm not leaving you in here by yourself; it's out of the question." Maura said.

Jane looked panicked for a moment, and Maura tried to recognize the look on her face. "Are you embarrassed? I won't 'look' at you."

"No…um... it's just..." Jane couldn't find the words, and she didn't want anything she said to come out sounding ungrateful for Maura's help because she certainly was beyond grateful. She tried again, "I didn't think it would be 'like this', the first time you saw me 'like this'…" Jane made an all encompassing motion with each 'like this'. Maura made the adorable confused face that caused Jane to melt.

Jane sighed, realizing she couldn't explain it, really it was irrational. Besides, Maura was a professional, and looked at naked dead people all day so Jane probably did look pretty good (even wounded) in comparison. She made a conscious decision to get over it, "its okay, Maura, really. Let's get me naked so I can get clean and be less disgusting for you. The water is going to run cold by the time I get in there at this rate."

"You're sure?" Maura knew what she wanted Jane to mean by her vague statement, but she wasn't one to assume, and if she had guessed wrong than she would have been the one embarrassed. She pulled the bottom of Jane's bra up, and tugged at it until she rolled it over one arm and over her head and then pulled it easily off the other arm, "You really are absolutely gorgeous." She hooked her fingers in Jane's panties and pulled them down her legs, then quickly helped Jane into the shower.

"I took the liberty of buying you new body wash. You were all out," Maura said as she handed Jane a bottle of Tahitian caress. "I would have gotten you something better, but that's the only one I really liked the smell of out of the selection at Wal-greens."

"Thanks? I usually just use a bar of soap," Jane said taking the bottle from Maura and smelling it.

"I know, and you shouldn't use bar soap; it dries out your epidermis. This is more moisturizing, and it will make you're skin softer," Maura lectured.

"Thanks, I'm glad you have such an investment in making sure I have soft tropical smelling skin," Jane lathered up as best she could, feeling instantly better to get the grit and grime off of her skin.

"Jane, I can wash your hair if it causes you pain to reach, and help you shave. That is, only if you want me to?" Maura offered.

"No, gross! I know you are taking care of me, but really that would be above and beyond. It's weird enough that you're standing out there, and I'm wrapped in cellophane covered in Tahitian Caress."

"Just so you know natural hair growth doesn't bother me," Maura said hesitantly, not sure if it was appropriate to comment.

Jane smiled at her words, "That's great. I think I'm clean now."

When Jane slid open the shower door, Maura wrapped her in a big warm towel, and helped her out and into the bedroom.

"Do you feel better?" Maura was rubbing the towel against her gently to dry her, and it felt like a massage.

"Yeah, I'm sleepy again. Wow, everything smells so much better when you're around," Jane sat on the edge of the bed and Maura selected some clean clothes for her.

"Fabric softener: Have you ever heard of it?" Maura said trying to use her newfound gift of sarcasm.

"Yes, but I never use it. Fabric softener is just a conspiracy to get you to buy more products," Jane said raising her arms as Maura slipped a fresh cotton t-shirt over her head.

"But it does smell good and your laundry is nicer. I bought you a year's supply of citrus melon Snuggle," Maura pulled Jane forward to un-wrap the cellophane and make sure the wound was still dry.

"I think I'm noticing a pattern: you are doing everything to get me to smell better and feel softer," Jane chuckled, as Maura helped her step into a new pair of shorts.

"Jane your legs aren't even that hairy," Maura said, absently running her fingers up Jane's calf.

"That tickles" Jane finished pulling on her shorts, and playfully tossed the towel over Maura's head.

"I'm ready for another nap," Jane laid back down on the bed and Maura sat next to her.

"I washed your sheets with extra fabric softener too, and tonight you must sleep in your bed instead of me. No more sleeping on the couch, you're the one recovering."

Jane sighed, giving silent credit to Maura for helping her to feel fresh, soft, good, and taken care of, "Okay, but only if we both sleep here, and only if you'll take a nap with me right now."

"But I still have to fold the rest of your laundry, you'll need your afternoon meds, there's dinner, and then Jo will be due for a walk," Maura started to give a rundown of all the things she felt she needed to do, but Jane shushed her.

"Please? I know you've got to be just as tired and emotionally drained as I am, and I feel like I could sleep forever."

Maura conceded and she pulled back the covers, crawling into bed," Okay just a short one…"

"Come closer," Jane tugged on her arm trying to make her scoot across the bed.

"Jane, I could accidently hurt you."

"Maura, short of you sticking your finger in the wound, I'll be fine. Besides, you're the one who worked so hard to get me soft and smelling good, don't you want to reap the benefits?"

Maura smiled sheepishly and came closer, resting her head gently on Jane's shoulder and inhaling deeply, "hmm, you are lovely."