Dangerous questions

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.

Detective Jane Rizzoli stared down at the shorter woman before her, her mouth slightly open, and blinked several times as she attempted to comprehend the words her friend had just uttered so blithely. Maura was known for saying things that Jane couldn't even begin to understand, often in such complicated terms that Jane wasn't even certain she was still speaking English. But although Jane had understood each word that Maura had just spoken well enough on an individual basis, it was when they were all put together into a sentence that their overall meaning escaped her.

Dr. Maura Isles, Boston coroner, super genius, and Jane's best friend, was skilled at many things, but making any sort of sense to what Jane thought of as "normal" people when she spoke was not often one of them, and this was obviously one of those times of a bridge in communication…had to be.

"Uh…is that your idea of a joke, Maura?" Jane asked with a raised eyebrow after a quick swallow of the beer grasped a little too firmly in one hand. "Because generally, you have to lead up to the punch line. You don't just blurt it out first thing and disregard all the rest. It's there for a reason, you know."

"Oh no," Maura assured her, her eyes widening earnestly as she shook her head, dark blonde waves bobbing side to side. She took a dainty sip from her wine glass, as if in contrast to Jane's hasty gulp, and explained further, "If it was a joke, Jane, I would have asked you if you get it, see?"

"Well, I don't get it," Jane said quickly, holding up one hand, and then narrowed her eyes, looking down to the wine in Maura's hand suspiciously as she curled one leg beneath her, the bed's mattress squeaking beneath her at this movement. "Unless you're drunk. Maura, are you drunk?"

"I've barely even touched any alcohol, Jane," Maura explained calmly, shaking her head. "This particular wine's alcohol content, when one considers that to be legally intoxicated, one must have an alcohol level in the bloodstream of 0.08, it is entirely statistically improbable that-"

"Okay, well, maybe you've been watching too many teenybopper movies then, but just so you know, just because we happen to be in pajamas, on a bed, with drinks in our hands, doesn't mean we have to play Truth or Dare in our underwear or turn into some horny teenage guy's vision of what a sleepover usually entails," Jane informed her.

When Maura just looked back at her blankly, her brow furrowing in confusion, Jane sighed, leaning back against her headboard with her shoulders slumping, and took another swallow of her beer before repeating, "Again, I don't get it."

"I thought I spoke quiet clearly," Maura mused, still frowning faintly. "Shall I repeat myself and make sure to enunciate more thoroughly this time, Jane?"

"No, Maura, I heard you the first time, that's not what I-" Jane said hurriedly, and with an undercurrent of alarm, as she tried to head her off, but Maura, convinced that she had hit upon the problem, was already doing what she could to correct it.

"What I said, Jane," she proclaimed, forming each word slowly and distinctly, over-enunciating to the extent that Jane would have laughed if she wasn't already turning a flaming red from exasperation and increasing humiliation, "was that sometimes, I find myself feeling quite attracted to you in a sexual manner, and I then consider what outcomes would be most statistically likely if we were to engage in a sexual activity with one another. And then I asked if you have ever had similar thoughts." she smiled as she spoke in her natural voice and speed again, adding brightly, "Did you get it that time, Jane? Did I speak clearly enough?"

"Yes, yes, Maura, that was very, very clear," Jane muttered even as her reddened cheeks flushed deeper, and she shook her head with closed eyes, stifling a groan. "Thanks."

"Oh, well, good then, because if you hadn't understood it that time, I would have had to write it down, and your pens are always out of ink," Maura informed her. "You really must remember to leave the caps on, Jane. Do you realize, the combination of hydrogen in oxygen and the particular chemicals of the ink when combined can-"

"I'll buy more tomorrow," Jane promised hastily, eager to head off a lecture that had anything to do with any word that could be found on the periodic table- and also pleased to realize that for the moment, anyway, Maura seemed distracted from explaining what exactly she had meant by putting herself, Jane, and sexual ANYTHING in one sentence, let alone running through her thoughts.

But her relief was premature, because even as Maura nodded, she managed to circle back around.

"Oh, good, buy several packs…well, have you?"

"Have I what?" Jane stalled, even as she looked away, pulling her knees to her chest, and took another swallow of beer, being careful not to let her eyes stray anywhere in the vicinity of Maura's nightgown.

Just because she happened to have noticed that the woman wasn't wearing a bra, well, that was just a detail, an observation, it was like being a cop. It didn't MEAN something.

"Have you ever thought about possible outcomes of the two of us engaging in a sexual relationship with one another?" Maura repeated patiently, appearing quite interested in Jane's response from the way she turned fully towards her, her knee brushing Jane's and her hair briefly swinging forward to touch Jane's arm in a way that made her flinch, glancing down with sudden alarm.

"What?" she sputtered, her eyes almost bulging, but she did not specifically answer the other woman's question. "Maura- we are FRIENDS! Coworkers- we-"

"Yes, of course, my thoughts exactly," Maura nodded, smiling with approval, as though Jane had finally reached the correct conclusion rather than realizing that she in fact was protesting her statement. "It has always been statistically preferable for lovers to also be friends. It is theorized that in being friends first, the relationship is provided with a foundation of greater strength and security on an emotional level, laid down by previous positive interactions. In turn this would promote higher levels of serotonin and-"

"Whoa, WHOA!" Jane burst out with, throwing up both hands in alarm and almost sloshing the remainder of beer out of its bottle as she protested Maura's theory, eyes wide. "FROST is my friend, and you don't see ME having fantasies about me "engaging in a sexual activity" with him…although now I do have unwanted and disturbing mental images of it," she added with a groan, briefly shielding her face with her hand.

"Oh don't be silly Jane, Frost is married, of course you can't have fantasies of him!" Maura said in surprised tones, as though this made the option not even a possibility. "It's different with you and I, as we are both single. Also, you and Frost don't go together in a physical complimentary manner as much as you and I do," she added critically, looking Jane up and down with a slightly creased brow. "You and Frost are approximately the same height, and though you of course have lighter skin pigment, you are both merely different levels of darker coloring, whereas you and I in body type and coloring are very physically mismatched, and therefore more aesthetically pleasing together to the casual observer. You are tall and brunette with a more angular figure, and I am shorter and blonde with more typically feminine curves-"

"You're talking about having sexual attraction to me and yet I'M less typically feminine?" Jane blurted, somewhat indignant, but Maura ignored her, continuing as though she hadn't been interrupted.

"Our dissimilarity in appearance is what would render us compatible aesthetically. Of course, that only extends to the exterior, inside I am sure we are quite similarly formed-"

"Will you stop talking about my INSIDES?" Jane cut her off hurriedly, her cheeks heating as she held up both hands again, sputtering. "Maura, that's all fine…well, actually it's completely insane…but you seem to be conveniently forgetting that neither of us are gay."

She paused, as the thought suddenly struck her that perhaps this wasn't quite as true as she'd assumed. Looking over at Maura quickly, she added, "We're not, right? I mean…YOU'RE not?"

Maura's eyes widened, and she appeared startled by the question, as if it were somehow irrelevant to the conversation, and she laughed, shaking her head as if Jane had inadvertently said something quite amusing.

"Oh no Jane, of course I'm not gay," she smiled, and Jane let out an audible exhalation, visibly relieved. Still, her heartbeat remained slightly elevated, and she still felt a little overheated.

"Oh thank god, so all this was just typical Dr. Isles musing and far-fetched hypotheticals," she breathed, but her stomach flipped uneasily as Maura immediately shook her head.

"Oh no Jane, it wasn't hypothetical at all, I was speaking very much of a real and present reality. At least, the reality of my thoughts, which are of course theoretical in nature, because if a person thinks something but has yet to act upon it, the reality of the thought it not yet equal to the reality of the person's actions-"

Throwing her hands up in the air, Jane cried out in frustrated confusion, her voice rising, "Then WHAT, Maura? What the hell are you trying to say?"

"I'm not exclusively attracted to only those of the feminine gender, or as you and others more commonly refer to it, "gay"," Maura said calmly, and the way she said the word "gay," Jane could almost see the quote marks visibly floating around it. "But I am a woman, and so are you, Jane. And there have been many studies which have indicated quite strongly that women are more sexually fluid."

She took another sip of her wine, then set it on Jane's nightstand, having to stretch back to do so. The fact that Jane's eyes happened to shift downward to notice how her nightgown dropped lower than usual on her cleavage as she did so, well, Jane knew that had absolutely nothing to do with anything they'd been discussing.

Absolutely nothing.

"It's very natural, Jane," Maura was reassuring her as she turned to face her, curling her legs properly to one side, and Jane snapped her eyes back to Maura's face in a hurry, annoyed to realize that even Maura surely noticed her face was vivid red.

"No, it's not NATURAL, Maura, at least…I mean….it's not like EVERY woman goes after every…well…I am not FLUID!" Jane sputtered finally, finishing the rest of her beer in one gulping swallow, then shoving the bottle off the bed with her foot. She knew she should have bought a case tonight.

"Oh, that could be a problem," Maura winced sympathetically, her eyebrows knitting as she regarded Jane thoughtfully, then brightened as she reached to pat her arm. "But that is a very common problem, Jane, a lot of women are very dry in their vaginal walls. I'm sure with lots of fluids and electrolytes, a variety of sexual aids, and a little patience we could fix that!"

"What?" Jane nearly choked, eyes popping, as Maura's misinterpretation dawned on her. "Maura! NO- WE aren't doing- I didn't-"

"It's nothing to be ashamed of, Jane, as I said, it's very common. 43% of women experience vaginal dryness by the age of 50," Maura continued to reassure her, still patting her arm. "Do you know that the clitoris will often contract with even light pressure applied to the nipples? According to a study of the sexual behavior of female baboons-"

This was entirely too much. Jane couldn't lower her voice to anything less than a shriek in reaction to this quite nonchalant last statement.

"Maura, did you just compare me sexually to a female baboon?"

"Oh no, Jane, I compared all women, not just you," Maura assured her; though Jane had jerked away from her with this comment, Maura, unbothered, continued to face her earnestly, carrying on with her explanation. "After all, humans are closely related to apes, and all mammalian females' genitalia basically function and appear in a very similar manner-"

"That's where you're wrong, Doc," Jane cut her off again, smirking now. "If I ever have a bright red or blue ass, I'm getting myself to a doctor pronto."

"Unless it's from mock corporeal punishment as used for arousal, of course," Maura asserted, stretching her arms casually, and when Jane connected the dots of what she was talking about, she made a strangled exclamation, gasping aloud.

"Maura, DAMN!"

"What?" Maura asked, tilting her head in genuine perplexity. "It's very true, Jane. Naturally repeated pressure to one's skin through the form of corporal punishment, commonly referred to as "spanking," will increase the blood flow to the affected area, causing a flushed appearance-"

"Maura…stop…just stop," Jane almost moaned, raking a hand through her hair and then using it to cover her face as she took a slow breath. Reaching rather jerkily for Maura's still half full wine glass on the nightstand and flinching when she brushed her chest with her hand, she drew back, glass in hand, and held it up as if presenting evidence emphatically.

"I think you've had more than enough here, Doc."

That said, she took a long swallow of Maura's drink herself, finishing it off in several gulps before setting it down on the floor, nearly overbalancing as she did so. Okay, so maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for Jane to cut herself off too while she was at it.

"I only had a few sips," Maura protested, giving a faintly miffed huff and crossing her arms as she watched Jane dispose of her drink. "I am quite certain the percentage of alcohol in my bloodstream was far under the legal intoxication requirements, Jane."

"Well, you're short, a few sips in your case was obviously too many," Jane maintained, swallowing back a burp even as she spoke and blinking several times. For a moment or two, Maura's shaking head had looked blurry.

"Oh, Jane," Maura sighed, still shaking her head, and she stretched both legs in front of her, flexing and then pointing her carefully manicured toes. "Even your mother was more open to discussion than you are. You really need to come up to date with what it is to be a modern woman."

It was fortunate that Jane had already finished off both their drinks, because if she had anything in her mouth at that declaration, she surely would have violently choked on it. As it was she felt she had been nearly sucker punched with the shock of Maura's nonchalance, and she sputtered, eyes bulging.

"You discussed the fact that you fantasize about sex with women with my MOTHER?"

"A few times, yes," Maura nodded, circling one foot, then the other idly. "She's a very liberated woman, your mother, Jane."

"She's a- Maura, she works as a waitress, and she's shocked by TV shows like Sex and the City!" Jane pointed out, incredulous.

Maura, however, merely raised an eyebrow. "So are you, Jane. Why, the episode where Samantha was dating Maria, and Maria experienced female ejaculation, you were-"

"That was…well…some of those episodes- they're…I am NOT like my mother!" Jane finally managed, and as Maura looked at her steadily, needing no words to voice her thoughts, Jane jumped to her feet, making a show of gathering the beer bottle and wine glass from the floor as she attempted to buy more time for her face to retreat from its flaming appearance.

"You know what Maura, we're done with this conversation…let's talk about something more pleasant, like dead bodies or something, okay?"

She stood and walked with fast strides to the doorway, opening the door and making her way down the hall towards the kitchen. Though she didn't look back she could hear Maura following and gritted her teeth, planning to ignore her, if she persisted any further…or maybe just to run.

"It was just a question, Jane," Maura said in a faintly hurt tone. "but fine, we can talk about something else…have you heard about the outbreak of the ebola virus in West Virginia?"

Jane had not, but it was definitely a preferable conversation than…well, anything she'd heard in the past twenty minutes, and she let Maura launch into the topic with her usual earnestness to impart knowledge upon Jane's vastly more ignorant soul, a much more usual and comfortable place to be. But even as they settled back into a more typical mode of interaction, Jane found her eyes often drifting from Maura's face to her lips, her chest…and when Maura stood to fetch one of the containers of leftovers, Jane was horrified to realize she was watching Maura's ass.

Sometimes a "simple question" from Dr. Maura Isles was a dangerous, dangerous thing.