Author: eponinesghost (EppieG)
Title: I Want You To Want Me Part 1/?
Rating: Pretty mild for this chapter
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the creators of Rizzoli & Isles. No infringement intended.
Notes/Summary: With this story, I'm challenging myself to write the whole "realization and first kiss" thing without the use of role-playing, costumes, or major trauma. It may end up being really, really boring and require the intervention of an evil twin …
Almost every muscle in Jane's body ached. She tried to tell herself that her age had nothing to do with it, that anyone who'd been through the week she'd had would be sore in a similar fashion … but she was also no fool. She wasn't getting any younger.
She kept herself in excellent physical condition, sure. And she knew she was tough. Strong. A little slower, maybe by just a step, but she could still run down most of the humps who made a break for it - most of them because they were pretty sure they could outrace or outdistance a girl.
She was in good shape and she was proud of it. It was just that she was weary. She got precious little sleep some nights. After years of practice, she was adept at handling a crazy schedule and never let her professional responsibilities suffer because of it. No one could ever say that Jane Rizzoli wasn't up to the tasks required of her.
Still, she was supremely glad that this Friday night she was in her sweats, on her couch, slumped comfortably with her legs stretched out, her feet resting on her coffee table. She certainly didn't have enough energy to go out. Even trekking to the Dirty Robber would have been too much of an effort.
The only wrinkle in her evening was that it had been Maura's turn to choose the movie. She'd groaned inwardly when she had seen that it was "Pride & Prejudice." If there were ever a night she needed a fast-paced, smash-em-up thriller, this was it. She'd been afraid that she'd be snoring fifteen minutes past the credits.
Dutifully – because it was fully expected – she'd complained loudly about the period setting and dreary costumes. And the accents. And the plot. All of this "hurry up and marry a suitable match" crap reminded her too much of her mother and her own situation. She would have thrown herself in front of a team of horses if she'd had to follow all those damn rules and never wear pants.
Naturally, she stopped her criticism before it could dampen any of Maura's enjoyment of the movie. She'd been nearly giddy that Jane had agreed to watch it with her. Of course that was the deal. It would be her turn next and since it seemed that Maura had a bit of a girl crush on Keira Knightley, she might just pick "Pirates Of The Caribbean" to liven things up a little.
And because she was feeling particularly generous, she might even admit that once she'd gotten past the hoity-toity nature of this flick, she was actually not hating it so much. Especially when the characters started insulting each other.
As she absently fumbled around in the large bowl next to her for another half-handful of popcorn, she realized that she hadn't had to shoo Jo Friday away from the snacks in a while. Glancing down and sideways, she saw that her fluffy little pest was curled in the crook of Maura's arm, snoozing away with her tiny head on Maura's lap.
Smiling as she chewed, she noted that everyone in her immediate circle was smitten by the attractive M.E. Why should Jo be any different? She was just about to tease Maura about having to take the small dog home with her, when it struck her that Maura hadn't moved or spoken for a similar length of time.
Shifting slightly, she angled her head so that she could see Maura's face. Her eyes were closed, her breathing was slow and steady, and it was patently obvious that she was sound asleep. Ha! And Jane had been worried about nodding off during the fancy love story! She was never going to let Maura hear the end of this.
Flicking the movie and the television off with the remote, she moved her feet to the floor and leaned to set the almost empty bowl on the coffee table. As she twisted back around to study her two oblivious companions, her smile widened. She wasn't sure she'd ever seen anything more adorable.
Carefully she eased back into her place, only this time she was propped on her hip, facing Maura. She rarely got to observe her friend this openly in such close proximity. Glancing down once again to where her traitorous canine cuddled happily, Jane amended her earlier qualification. Jo was adorable. Maura was something else entirely. Refocusing on the peaceful countenance of the woman she spent most of her free time with, she was struck for the thousandth time by how innately beautiful she was.
Jane had an immediate impulse to trace the planes and shape of her face - the way she had seen visually impaired people do when they wanted to "see" what someone looked like. Maybe it would help her memorize, absorb the full impact of Maura's exceptional appearance.
The effect was dulled only marginally by the fact that the gorgeous, expressive eyes were closed. Jane was grateful at this moment that they were. She wanted to take her time, stare without reservation, and consider why it was it was so important for her to do so.
It had long been true that Maura could turn her insides into a gooey, mushy mess. That was not news. But Jane had theorized that it was due in part to the fact that she always went into protective mode when confronted with an underdog, or someone who needed her strength. It's why Korsak had been so sure she'd take Jo Friday in and be completely devoted to her.
But Maura wasn't helpless or a stray. She was incredibly capable and quite strong herself. Still, something about her social awkwardness; the way her face fell when she felt she didn't fit in; the acute vulnerability she showed when she discussed her family situation … all of those things made Jane instantly crumble. And want to fix everything.
Those who really knew Jane Rizzoli saw past the gruff exterior and posturing. She had to constantly keep building walls and kicking ass so that no one else would know about her big heart and many soft spots. By being so difficult and prickly, she hoped the ones who had peeked behind the curtain might forget what they had seen, or at least question whether or not they'd been mistaken.
Except for Maura. She didn't want Maura to forget or question. She knew Maura found her outward persona as amusing as Jane found her over-the-top geekiness. That each of them actually impressed the other. She knew that Maura didn't judge her fears or weaknesses. Kept her secrets safe. Hell, somehow kept HER safe.
And if she were being completely honest right at this moment, the flood of warmth and feeling overtaking her as she marveled at Maura's sleep-softened appeal had absolutely nothing to do with any of those things.
It wasn't about wanting to protect her, or fix things for her, or share secrets with her … it was just about … wanting her.
Suddenly, Jane's heart was in her throat, thudding ominously. Her stomach felt like it was just underneath, had floated upward as if it were filled with helium and butterflies. Swallowing rapidly to no avail, she tried to push away the thoughts that were affecting her so powerfully. Thoughts that were shocking and yet somewhat strangely familiar.
This was Maura. Who is everything.
Your best friend. Who could be so much more.
You're not gay. Are you sure about that?
You've never wanted another woman like this. Other women aren't Maura.
You've been attracted to men. And how did that work out for you?
This would be a huge mistake. Or the best thing that's ever happened to you.
People will talk, treat you differently. I don't care. I honestly don't give a flying fuck.
She's out of your league.
There it was.
Something to hold onto, halt the headlong rush of momentum that she was building up. Staring at the sleeping woman right in front of her, she was assailed for millionth time by the truth. She wasn't good enough for Maura. Not in that way. Someone so incredible, so very special, deserved better than a damaged, driven, loudmouth who was barely presentable to the public most days.
She could feel the anger that she needed to distract herself starting to simmer, competing with the flush of desire that had propelled her to the brink of a colossal misstep. But somewhere in between, somewhere that still managed to be quiet and deliberate, a voice was trying to break through. Present a softer, calmer case.
Maura has always accepted you for who you are. Encouraged you to stop being so hard on yourself, to stop seeing only the negatives. She would be furious if she heard you selling yourself short, even more so if she had a hint that you were elevating her above you at the same time.
Maura looks at you as if you are the most amazing person in the world. And she can't fake anything.
Jane wanted to listen. She wanted to believe. If anyone could smooth her rough edges, heal the wounds that were not visible to anyone else … it would be Maura. Jane had no doubt about that. And she would give Maura anything and everything she wanted in return, beyond that if necessary. More than she could imagine. Even if it killed her.
Her fingers trembled as she simultaneously willed them to curl back into her palm and reach to brush a caramel-colored lock of hair away from the delicate eyebrow that it had fallen across. She clenched her hand into a fist, wrestling with her impulses and her better judgment. In the end, she knew which one would win.
She'd always been impulsive.
Even as she brought her fingers closer, they felt clumsy and inadequate. Cursing the tremor that wouldn't go away, Jane ultimately allowed only her pinky finger to graze Maura's forehead, guiding the errant hair toward her temple and behind her ear.
She watched spellbound as Maura began to move at the contact, her eyelids barely flickering as her head slid further back against the sofa. The rest of her body shifted slightly with the subtlest of stretches. The only obvious, outward indication that her sleep was disturbed, however, was the way her arm adjusted Jo against her, cradling the unconscious ball of fur tighter to her side.
As Maura's breathing settled back down into a shallow, steady pattern, Jane felt a surge of affection. She was completely taken by this woman, and for the first time, she acknowledged the extent of her captivity. She was in love. IN love. Completely and totally surrounded, with no escape. Admitting it to herself should have made her panic, but somehow … she didn't want to fight or flee. She wanted to surrender.
Some detective you are, Rizzoli. It's taken you this long to piece the clues together? The truth has been as plain as the nose on your face this whole time.
But the cases you get too close to are the ones that cloud your thinking, shield you from the obvious and divert your emotions. And was she ever too close to this one.
Still, as she studied the rise and fall of Maura's chest, the elegant expanse of her neck, the faint pulse beneath the tantalizingly soft skin … she wasn't nearly close enough.
Her eyes focused on the way Maura's lips were parted and the powerful yearning claimed her once again. They were so inviting, so fucking irresistible … she could practically feel the electrical current, the tingling shock they would transfer to her own.
She could see the tiniest crumb of popcorn clinging to the bottom one, and that miniscule imperfection only fueled the fire that threatened to consume her. She wanted … no, needed … to flick it away with her tongue …
The compulsion that overwhelmed her, controlled her now, reminded her of when she was younger, a child … and her mother would tell her not to play with the candle flame. She would stare at it until she couldn't really see straight, the dancing colors drawing her in further and further, her brain telling her that it was dangerous, forbidden … but her finger itching to just plunge right into it. The thought that she might, the way it skipped and twirled through her, was exhilarating.
Or the time Pop had taken her up to the roof of a building where he was working a job, warning her about getting too close to the edge. As soon as he'd been immersed in his work and no longer paying attention to her, she'd eased closer and closer until she could look down. The height was dizzying and terrifying and exciting. The longer she'd looked, the more she imagined what it would be like to just step over. She remembered that it had nothing to do with wanting to harm herself, just an intoxicating siren song of being on the precipice …
Where she found herself now.
Her hand hovered along Maura's jaw. She knew … knew … that if she touched her she would be free-falling. Into the flame.
Her own breath felt foreign to her, her heartbeat unnaturally harsh and loud. Leaning in slow motion, she wet her lips … shuddering to her toes when she felt the warm puff of Maura's exhalation wash over them. Nearly whimpering and unable to move forward any further, she allowed her thumb to gently travel across Maura's full bottom lip, unleashing a new round of exquisite shivers under her skin.
She'd barely had time to register the sensation when Maura's eyelids fluttered open … triggering the dozens of butterfly wings in her stomach. Before she could react or retreat, sleepy hazel eyes met hers and she was frozen in place.
end part 1
thanks for reading!
The "short break" I took after finishing "I Want Candy" turned into a much longer span of time once I started reading the nominees for The Rizzles Awards. (rizzlesfanawards AT wordpress DOT com) There are some SPECTACULAR stories out there you guys! I was quite intimidated about picking up the keyboard again (doesn't sound quite the same as "picking up the pen" but whatever ;) Anyway! Like I said, I'm challenging myself. LOL