Title: Beauty and the Beast
Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Warning(s): fluff, rainbows, kittens, sugar, spice, everything nice.
Summary: Jane and Maura go to the opera.
Jane hopped up onto the cool metal examining table opposite the one Maura was standing behind and crossed her arms defiantly.
"No," Jane said shaking her head. "Maura, no," she continued, still emphatically moving her head to and fro. "No, Maura. Come on. Stop it. Don't look at me like that."
"Like what?" Maura asked.
"Like that, with those … with those!" Jane exclaimed, waving her hand in front of Maura's face.
"Those what, Jane?" Maura asked innocently, opening her eyes just a fraction wider as she gazed up at the detective.
"Those eyes!" Jane said accusingly, looking straight into said eyes even though she knew that they would be her undoing. "You're like that cat from those Shrek movies, bewitching innocent villagers," Jane went on, lifting her hands to form a cross with her fingers which she then extended in Maura's direction.
Maura stared at Jane for a moment and then frowned.
"I just thought that it would be nice to spend some time together where we're not in the morgue, the station, the cafeteria, Callahan's or either of our living room's. I didn't realize that made me the anti-Christ," Maura sighed, holding Jane's eyes as she spoke and then she sadly looking away when she was done.
"Maura," Jane said plaintively, her voice cracking on the tail end of Maura's name as she tilted her head to the side, just the slightest bit, so that she could better see Maura's face. "Hey, come on," Jane encouraged hating to see that wounded look in Maura's eyes and feeling like an asshole for putting it there.
"I just wanted," Maura began, looking up that the statuesque brunette hopefully, only to sigh once more and look away. "But it's fine," Maura sighed. "I'm not going to try and force you. If I was, I would point out that you're constantly encouraging me to branch out and try new things, for example ordering chili fries instead of the house salad, or going to Callahan's for beer and foosball instead of going home to a glass of white wine and the newest issue of The American Naturalist. But I won't do that because I respect you and I would never want to do anything to …"
"Okay," Jane moaned before Maura could say more. "I'll go. We'll go," she sighed, thinking that the guilt trip Maura just gave her would have made Angela proud.
"You don't have …"
"I want to," Jane said forcing a smile onto her face and enthusiasm into her voice. "I can't wait. I'm sure it'll be super fu … educational."
"No, not really," Maura replied thoughtfully. "There's very little credible science in the story of Beauty and the Beast, though I suppose one could argue that there is some important social commentary being made, or indeed that …"
"So, educational, then?" Jane interrupted, her eyes twinkling as she watched Maura, an amused little smile playing across her lips as she did.
"Well," Maura hummed evasively, "at the very least the genesis of the story is fascinating. The original tale, or as least what is generally considered to be the first rendition of a tale with similar characters and motifs, isn't at all what you'd remember from the stories Angela told you when you were little … and nice," Maura continued, muttering the last bit under her breath, when she noticed Jane rolling her eyes.
"I heard that," Jane grumbled, crossing her arms as her lips turned down into a frown.
"You were supposed to," Maura shot back, sticking her tongue out at Jane who just laughed. "Anyway, as I was saying, the story of Beauty and the Beast has taken on many different permutations over hundreds of years and it should be very exciting to see an opera based on one of the early, less well-treaded versions!"
"You took the words right outta my mouth," Jane drawled, looking at Maura out of the corner of her eyes, and Maura made a face at her and hit her lightly on the arm, Jane watching the entire process with an amused smile on her face. "I'm gonna have to wear a dress for this, aren't I?" Jane sighed a minute later.
"You're not gonna let me wear one I already own, are you?" Jane asked sighing again, deeply.
Maura shook her head.
"Please tell me you don't want me to go shopping with you," Jane moaned looking at Maura like she might just fling herself on the floor and throw a tantrum if Maura said yes.
"I would never do that to you, Jane," Maura said smiling indulgently. "Or myself," she added, smirking when Jane frowned down at her. "You can change at my place when you pick me up."
"Pick you …" Jane began, drawing her head back indignantly. "How come you ask me out and I gotta pick you up?" Jane asked narrowing her eyes.
"Because I'm going to cook dinner before we go and you only own one pan, which means we'll have to dine at my house, Maura responded knowing that she had won this round.
"Oh," Jane said, settling down. She had a notoriously weakness for Maura's cooking. "Can you make that noodle thing?" she asked hopefully, smiling winsomely over at Maura, hoping to sweeten her up.
"The ginger one? With sesame?" Maura inquired, looking up at Jane for confirmation.
"Yeah," Jane said practically giddy with anticipation, "That one."
"I can do that," Maura murmured.
She paused then for a moment to watch as a smile lit up Jane's face, and her own lips curved up happily before she gave her head a little shake and then lowered the visor on her helmet before reaching for the bone saw.
Jane was full after dinner and almost docile as she walked towards Maura's bedroom. After dinner Maura had insisted on going into her bedroom ahead of Jane so that she could drape the dress she had bought for Jane and present it to her. Jane had told her not to go to the trouble – and she'd meant it to the very core of her being – but Maura wouldn't listen and had bounded up the stairs like a sugared up five year old to get everything ready, leaving Jane alone in the kitchen.
Jane had been so bored on her own that she'd been on the cusp of engaging Bass in conversation like he was a real pet when Maura called down that she was ready for Jane, and so it was with a mixture of relief and apprehension that Jane started up the stairs.
When she arrived in the room, Jane was struck by how artfully Maura had managed to present the dress. Maura had draped it over a designer's mannequin and included accessories to go along with it, but Jane's appreciation for Maura creativity didn't stop her from groaning and tilting her head back in exasperation when she got a good look at the dress.
"Maura, we're going to a show, not the Royal Wedding! This is a bit much don't you think?" Jane asked as she eye-balled the dress Maura had set out for her. "You know I hate wearing things that cost more than my rent."
"So you've mentioned," Maura replied smiling a little, "I promise you, the dress was very sensibly priced since I knew you would complain about it," she continued, nodding her head knowingly as she said the last bit.
"I'm conscientious," Jane grumbled, looking down at her feet, watching as she dug her big toe into the carpet. "Ma taught us to be smart shoppers," she continued, looking up at Maura through her eyelashes. "I'm a simple girl, Maura, with simple tastes. I just need a simple dress. Like the one I brought with me which I think I should …"
"Jane," Maura interjected, watching Jane pointedly for a moment before she carefully picked up the dress and then held it out for her.
"It's just that …"
"Jane," Maura interrupted, taking a step forward and shaking the dress again.
"Maura," Jane began in a voice that was very close to being able to be characterized as a whine.
"You agreed," Maura pointed out, looking up at Jane and holding her gaze firmly. "You promised," Maura pronounced gravely.
"Fine," she pouted, grabbing the dress out of Maura's hands. "But no pictures! I swear, if I see your iPhone pointed at me at any time tonight one'll ever find your body."
"One'll?" Maura questioned, her eyebrows drawing together in confusion.
"Don't start on my grammar," Jane said, pointing a warning finger at Maura as she moved towards Maura's closet to get dressed.
"I wouldn't have to if you would use real words," Maura replied, her voice rising a little so that Jane could still hear her as she moved further away.
"That's starting, Maura," Jane replied irritably and Maura smiled a little to herself.
"It's like the alphabet," Maura mused, bracing her arms behind her as she lounged on her bed while the detective changed.
"It is?" Jane asked dubiously, though Maura could hear the smile in her voice.
"Yes, actually. Haven't you ever noticed that the majority of people just run 'L', 'M', 'N', 'O' and 'P' together as if they were one letter?"
"I can't say that I have," Jane told her, amusement clear in her voice.
"Well they do," Maura stated firmly. "For the whole song, people clearly differentiate between the letters, and then all of a sudden it's, elemeno, as if some kind of hot pepper just inserted itself into the alphabet."
"So?" Jane asked, her voice getting louder as she began to enter the main part of the bedroom.
"What do you mean so?" Maura asked, frowning over at Jane even as her eyes roamed over Jane's form approvingly.
As she had suspected, the dress looked marvelous on Jane.
"I don't get what's bothering you. Elemeno sounds right to me," Jane said as she fussed with her hair. "A, B, C, D, E, F, G … H, I, J, K, ELEMENO, P. That's how you say it."
"Jane," Maura gasped and Jane looked over at her curiously. "Oh, you're kidding me," Maura said feeling as if she could see a mischievous twinkle in Jane's eyes. "You're kidding me, aren't you?" However Jane said nothing to confirm that she was kidding and Maura began to fret. "You are kidding me, right? Jane?"
Knowing that she ran the risk of crossing over from playful into mean, Jane smiled so that her dimples stood out prominently on her cheeks and nodded her head slowly as she gazed over at Maura.
"Oh, I thought so," Maura said placing her hand over her heart, releasing a breath she hadn't realized she'd taken, "I thought s … you perturbed me for a second there."
"Pertur…" Jane started, but then she decided that it wasn't worth it. "It's only the alphabet, Maura," Jane said shaking her as she looked down at the blonde. "You're taking it way too seriously."
"Only the alphabet," Maura gasped sounding absolutely scandalized. "The alphabet is very important, Jane. It's the foundation for our very …"
"Are we going do something about my hair?" Jane said interrupting Maura, hoping to distract her from explaining the importance of the alphabet by giving her a new task to focus on.
"Really?" Maura asked happily. "You'll let me do your hair?" she asked clapping her hands together in anticipation.
Jane was usually such a stick in the mud about such things.
"Yeah," Jane sighed plopping down on the bed next to Maura. "But no more talking about the alphabet," she added pointing her finger at Maura.
Maura nodded and then crossed her heart before looking up at Jane's head with speculative glee.
Later that night …
"You liked it, didn't you?" Maura asked, resting her head against the back of the couch as she turned towards Jane, looking up into the brunette's dark eyes as a small, knowing smile turned up the corners of her lips.
"How much gloating will I have to endure if I say yes?" Jane asked wryly, looking down into Maura's eyes as she absently toyed with the stem glass of red wine in her hands. Normally she'd have had a beer, but in such a fine dress as the one she was wearing, it had seemed natural to Jane to simply nod her head when Maura held up a bottle of Merlot and raised an inquiring eyebrow.
"No gloating," Maura breathed out, she small smile spreading into a big one. "I'm just happy you had a good time. And … I'm hopeful that maybe now that you know the opera isn't so scary, we can go to the theatre again," she continued, smiling up at Jane hopefully, her eyes shining so brightly that a five year old would have been jealous.
Jane rolled her eyes, but even as she did a smile settled across her lips and the look on her face was decidedly happy before she looked away from Maura.
"I have a request though," Jane said, looking down at Maura with a serious expression.
"What is it?" Maura asked gravely.
"Can the next bit of culture you impart upon me be in English?" Jane asked hopefully.
Maura couldn't help but smile at that, but she still shifted closer to Jane on the couch so that she could whack her arm lightly.
When Maura drew her hand back she became aware that she was now sitting very close to Jane on the couch, intimately close even, and she realized that she should put some space between them.
The thing was that she was just loath to actually do it.
Being so close to Jane had Maura's heart beating quickly and the rush of adrenaline was going to her head. She felt hot, and light-headed, and reckless, and before she knew it Maura was resting her head on the back of the couch again, only this time her face was also partially resting on Jane's shoulder.
"That can be arranged," Maura murmured softly as she settled against Jane.
When her head first made contact with Jane's shoulder she had felt the brunette tense and nearly pulled away, but she fought the urge to retreat and by the time she had finished responding to Jane, Jane's body had relaxed again.
"Good," Jane breathed out, speaking more for the sake doing something than because she had something scintillating or witty to add. "Once I can understand what they're saying up there, I'll probably become addicted and be putting on my fancy clothes every week for my appointment with the theatre."
"I know you're joking, but that sounds delightful," Maura breathed out.
Jane made a disbelieving sound in her throat but said nothing in response, and so Maura found herself essentially resting in Jane's arms quietly for a few minutes as the music Maura had been on upon their return from the opera played in the background and Jane finished off her glass of wine.
"You look like you're going to fall asleep," Jane husked, drawing Maura out of the pleasant daze she had fallen into.
"Mm," Maura hummed, looking up at Jane, blinking slowly.
Jane's face immediately lit up in a smile as Maura squinted up at her, and before she could think better of it she heard herself saying, "You're cute as a button sometimes."
Once the words were past her lips and Jane realized what she'd said, she began fervently hoping that Maura was still out of it enough that she didn't register her words, but when she saw Maura's face lit up, wide, happy, green eyes met her own, Jane knew she was out of luck.
"Cute?" Maura squeaked, cutely.
"Yeah, cute," Jane grumbled. "You're adorable, okay. An ogre would coo like Ma when there's a baby in a 50 foot radius of her if it looked into your eyes."
"That's sarcasm," Maura said dropping her eyes away from Jane's, and though her tone was matter-of-fact, Jane didn't miss the look of hurt that flashed in Maura's eyes and Jane felt like an ogre herself.
"Not really," Jane said, reaching out to brush her fingers across the back of Maura's hand. "I mean the ogres thing yeah. Cause ogres don't exist except for in storybooks. But you are … cute," Jane breathed out awkwardly.
"You don't have to say that," Maura said softly, shifting a little uncomfortably beside Jane.
"I know that," Jane said. "I mean it. I don't understand what goes on in your head half of the time, and you can say entire sentences where I don't understand one word you've used, but I love that about you. I love the way you see the world … and the way you sometimes help me see it," Jane said, surprised by how easily the words fell from her lips as she gazed down at Maura. "So yeah, you're confusing and mystifying, but also fascinating and …"
"Cute," Maura interjected softly, the sad look that had been in her eyes a minute before completely absent as she gazed up at Jane.
"Yeah," Jane said, her voice cracking roughly halfway through the word in the way that always made Maura's knees feel weak.
Maura didn't say anything after Jane spoke and they should have looked away from each other, but they didn't. They were caught in the moment, the air between them charged with something terrifying and exciting, and they were no more able to look away from each other than a moth could resist a flame.
The moment stretched on and as it did Maura became overwhelmed by the nearness of Jane. They were close to each other, very close to each other, and while Maura had been aware of that – and had been enjoying it for a number of minutes – as they looked at each other she became aware of Jane's body in a new way; in a way that made her want to squirm and lick her lips in preparation for something that it was exceedingly unwise of her to be thinking of as she gazed into Jane's eyes.
"Maura," Jane breathed out.
Maura breathed in sharply at the sound of Jane's voice and her heart seized in her chest and then began beating madly, like the wings of a hummingbird.
Jane sounded confused, surprised, a little scared, and a little hopeful, and Maura was able to decipher cocktail of emotions because she was feeling them too.
"Yes," Maura whispered.
Her brows creased a little after she spoke when she realized Jane hadn't asked her a question. However, before Maura could even think about making sense of her response to herself – let alone trying to explain it to Jane – her brain registered movement and then Jane's lips were pressing against her own.
Maura released a faint sound of surprise, but even as the exhalation escaped from her, her hand was lifting to cup Jane's cheek and she was arching up to meet Jane's lips, moaning softly when Jane's tongue licked its way into her mouth.
A hunger that Maura had been trying to deny for months exploded within her as she and Jane kissed and Maura found herself instinctively shifting on the couch until she was on top of Jane, straddling her as she took Jane's face into her hands and deepened the kiss.
"Maura," Jane breathed into their kiss minutes later, her thumb softly stroking Maura's cheek as she did, gently requesting space.
Maura reluctantly pulled back.
"Are you sure about this?" Jane asked softly, her voice scratchy and vulnerable as she looked up into Maura's flushed face.
"Are you?" Maura husked a second later, her brows creased together thoughtfully as stared down at Jane.
"Yeah," Jane breathed out. "I know what I want."
Jane had known for a while who and what she really wanted but she'd been too chicken shit to do anything about it because she needed Maura in her life and she was terrified that if she told Maura what she was feeling that she would lose her.
"I know too," Maura said, her heart thundering beneath her breast. "It's you. It's this," she breathed out.
Jane stared up at her with unblinking eyes for a few seconds, and then she wet her lips and arched up, capturing Maura's lips once more in a kiss that left no doubt as her feelings on the subject.
"I'm not too much of a beast for you?" Jane asked a little breathlessly minutes later as she and Maura rested with their foreheads pressed together.
"You're perfect," Maura whispered. "Just the way you are," she continued before pressing a soft, sweet kiss to Jane's lips.
"That wouldn't have made a very good story though," Jane said softly, her lips curving up into a smile as Maura gazed down at her.
"No," Maura agreed, smiling gently before she dipped her head down to draw Jane into another lingering kiss.
"Just imagine, Belle walks into the room and the Beast turns around dramatically," Jane continued when Maura pulled back. "The music swells and he reveals himself to her in all of his terrifying majesty," Jane went on grandiosely making Maura smile. "The horrifying beast looms before her and Belle says … 'You're perfect just the way you are.' They get married, have beautiful half-Thundercat babies and live happily ever after.'"
"Nobody's going to pay to see that," Maura agreed laughing softly as she reached out to stroke Jane's cheek.
"I wouldn't mind living it though, minus the half-Thundercat babies part," Jane replied softly. "And you have no idea what the hell a Thundercat is, do you?" Jane asked a second later when Maura continued to stroke her cheek, looking relaxed and happy but also slightly bewildered.
Maura shook her head. "Is it from Lord of the Rings?"
"The deprivations of your childhood make me want to cry," Jane sighed shaking her head. "Thundercats was a cartoon. It was about," Jane began to explain, but halfway through her sentence she stopped. "You know what?" Jane said, changing tracks as she looked up at Maura. "I can think of way better things to be doing with my mouth."
"Jane!" Maura exclaimed, somehow managing to look both scandalized and amused.
"I didn't mean it like that!" Jane immediately countered, blushing as she looked up with wide eyes. "I meant kissing!"
"Are you sure?" Maura asked a little shyly and a little slyly as she looked down at Jane.
"Are you?" Jane asked, struggling to maintain her softly gentleman-like manner and not reveal how much she really would like to have meant it like that. "I mean, I feel like I should take you out for dinner somewhere first. Somewhere that's not Callahan's," she added remembering Maura's complaint from earlier that evening.
"I would love to go out with you to a real restaurant, one without peanut shells on the floor and laminated menus," Maura's breathed out, smiling when Jane made a face at the laminated menus crack. "But, there are definitely things I'd rather be doing."
"Like?" Jane asked impishly, smiling up at Maura.
She had an idea what Maura's answer would be.
"You," Maura responded gamely, smiling herself as Jane's smile deepened.
That was it.
"We should go to your room," Jane managed to get out a moment later, her cheeks burning from smiling so much. "We're lucky Ma hasn't walked in on us yet. Her 'How-to-Destroy-Jane's-Life-and-Leave-Her-Mentally Scarred-and-Miserable' sense must be on the fritz."
"Jane," Maura said admonishingly shaking her head, and Jane prepared herself for one of Maura's perplexing defenses of her mother. "There's no such thing," was what Maura murmured a moment later however, and Jane grinned up at her.
Maura was getting much better at making intentional jokes.
"Well, come on then," Maura said sliding off of Jane's lap and then holding her hand out to her.
"This is weird," Jane breathed out once she was on her feet, her hand still firmly ensconced in Maura's. "You're taking me to bed."
"Do you not want me to?" Maura asked hesitantly, tilting her head up so that she could see Jane's eyes.
"No, I do," Jane said quickly, so quickly in fact that she blushed because of how fast her response had been. She really had been thinking about it for a while. "It's just also … you know, kinda weird. Cause it's us."
"Hmm," Maura hummed thoughtfully. "Well, it seems to me that there's really only one solution to this problem."
"And what might that be?" Jane asked.
"I'll just have to keep taking you to bed until you get used to it," Maura replied, flicking her eyes up to Jane's to see how she took the comment.
"That sounds like a sensible plan," Jane husked, and Maura released breath of air she hadn't realized she'd been holding and smiled, then she pushed up on her toes the slightest bit so that she could kiss Jane's lips.
"I have a very tactical mind," Maura began as they started to walk towards her bedroom hand in hand. "I've read Machiavelli and Sun Tzu."
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized," Jane drawled, quoting from Sun Tzu and Maura looked up at her with a surprised but delighted smile. "What? I can read, you know," Jane said with playful indignance in response to Maura's look. "I have a beautiful mind, remember?"
"I remember," Maura breathed out as they finally reached the door of her bedroom, "but I'm more interested in your other beautiful assets at the moment."
The hallway filled with the sound of Jane's husky laughter, and then, they stepped beyond the threshold and entered Maura's bedroom where they quite happily passed the remainder of the night.