On a few very rare occasions, Maura has been present when a takedown happened, right in front of her. She prefers to avoid those situations, because they're dangerous- in more than one way.

She has never really brought into question what she'd call her 'sexuality' if someone asked about it. The fact is that most people find the subject too taboo, even in today's society, and prefer not to bring it up in conversation.

She knows, from research, from overhearing things, from articles and journals she's read, that in many conservative areas of the nation there exists a kind of stubborn ignorance, a refusal to acknowledge the emergence of confidence in people with 'different' sexualities; it seems to her like most people who haven't voiced their opinions condemning homosexuality have a tendency to quietly allow it but would rather not hear about it.

This is where the takedowns come into play. Maura is attracted to Jane. Jane is attracted to Maura. It's nothing more complicated or angst-ridden than that. They've come to a tacit decision not to do anything about it but what they already do, which is mostly innocuous flirtation. They're friends first and foremost, so for the majority of the time their relationship isn't in the least bit uncomfortable. As long as Maura doesn't see Jane consumed with the focused, predatory grace that takes the detective over when she cuffs a culprit.

But, God. Maybe it's the oxycontin rushing through her veins from holding that baby boy and the adrenaline of a hostage situation, maybe it's the amount of sexual tension that's built up between them, as it would in any two people who are attracted to each other and spend so many hours together, maybe it's a little of both, but when Jane swings herself around and slams nurse Randi into the counter it awakens something ridiculously primal in Maura. Something she has to fight down because it's completely inappropriate in any situation, but especially in this particular situation. Lust.

Sometimes she slips up. Spends so long thinking about how Jane operates that she ends up thinking about how she… 'operates'.

The clay bath should help, but it doesn't, not much. It distracts Maura long enough for her to get herself back under control, but her subconscious is still painfully aware (she knows that's an oxymoron but she can't help it, her attraction to Jane is oxymoronic) of what Jane does to her. And that means that she dreams. She wakes up with the sheets tangled all around her legs, a thin sheen of sweat covering her body, and a greatly increased heart rate. She sighs, leans back into the pillows again, and stops pretending as if she can forget. It's not as if she wants Jane to hurt her, exactly, but as someone who always has so much control over everything she does…the idea of someone taking that control, someone she trusts implicitly, is more than a little arousing. Especially given Jane's athletic physique.

Somewhere in her occipital cortex a fantasy starts to grow- hot breath on the back of her neck, Jane's front pressed against her back, fingers tight around her wrists and no love lost between them.

She's not sure how she'd broach the subject with Jane, even if she were brave enough to do it. There's no acceptable way to tell your best friend that you want her to pin you up against something solid and-


She jerks violently out of her reverie, violently enough that she narrowly misses cutting off her finger as she chops up the vegetables she's planning on putting in her omelet. She looks up to see Jane in plainclothes- jeans, leather jacket, keys dangling from one hand and a bag of what looks like books under her other arm.

or, instead, hot breath on the back of her neck and leather pressed against her arms and Jane's voice in her ear.

It's one thing to dream. It's another thing entirely to have a whole fantasy play out in your mind while you're standing four feet away from the person the fantasy's about.

"I came to drop off some of Ma's books- she's working and she wanted to… are you okay?"

Maura begins to count the muscles she can see moving in Jane's face and neck. Platysma, procerus, obicularis oculi, obicularis oris…she's smiling. And that's when Maura realizes her fatal mistake- she's got a strand of her own hair wound tightly around her finger like some sort of schoolgirl too shy to admit what she wants. Which is ridiculous, because they both know, and they've been handling their mutual attraction like adults for months.

"Why, doctor Isles," Jane says, in the tone of voice she reserves for moments when she knows she has the upper hand with Maura- rare, but oh-so-savored by them both, "I believe that's a sign of sexual frustration." The bag of books finds its way onto the seat of one of the bar stools and Maura shakes her head, hastily dropping her hand.

"Not always," she counters weakly, "it can be a simple habit, too, depending on…"

She trails off. Jane's in front of her within moments, hands on her hips, an expectant, amused look on her face. Their respectful game of 'don't ask, don't tell' has turned into cat-and-mouse, and Jane has her trapped. In fact, she's pretty sure she trapped herself.


"You don't have that habit," Jane states, her amused little smile slowly but surely turning into a smirk. Maura shakes her head again, this time in agreement, because, as always, she refuses to lie. No, she doesn't have the habit of twirling her hair around her finger. If she had she would have actively sought to rid herself of it; it's entirely unprofessional. This whole thing is clearly some kind of a game for Jane, whose eyes give her away completely, relaying her excitement where Maura only feels apprehension.

And confusion. She had assumed- guessed, even- that Jane didn't want anything but friendship from her. She had assumed that when her inability to answer "are we having a sleepover or is this your way of saying you're attracted to me?" had successfully exposed that she was, indeed, very attracted to Jane. She seems to have overestimated. She has the tendency to overestimate everybody else's ability to read emotions off of other people, which is why she so adamantly refuses to guess about anything.

In the middle of the night she sometimes guessed things silently to herself just for the thrill- she'd guess at what Jane's hands might feel like on her skin, and what her lips might taste of if she ever got up the nerve to kiss her, and those guesses were okay because there was no time or place where they might be proved wrong.

"Maura," Jane murmurs, arching an eyebrow, "is there something you want?"

What an absurd question. What a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to ask anybody about anything. And especially when the answer, as in Maura's current case, is so painfully obvious. She opens her mouth to say something, but the words won't come out right away, and she gapes like a fish until her brain catches up with her and she manages to whisper a hoarse 'yes'. Jane waits. Maura swallows harshly and adds, although she feels it's fairly redundant, "you."

Jane swoops in for the kill without giving Maura a moment to prepare herself and she finds that her guess about Jane's lips had been right; when she tugs Jane's lower lip between her teeth Jane makes a vague noise of approval and steadies herself with one hand against the counter next to Maura's hip. She's not surprised that the aggressiveness of their day-to-day banter carries over into that kiss. Really, she's not.

Jane tastes like coffee with too much sugar, just how she prefers to drink it. It's good, for lack of a stronger word- it's very good, the way Jane's hips press insistently against hers, the way Jane's hair feels between her fingers as she threads them in and pulls her even closer.

Jane tries to pull back to speak, but Maura doesn't let her. She doesn't have the patience for it and she's sure Jane's just going to gloat or make some sarcastic comment, when the other things her mouth could be doing instead are far superior. Jane's stronger than her, though, so for a moment she loses contact, just for long enough that Jane manages to breathe her name. She doesn't answer but she leans up to kiss Jane again, and then something…happens.

Jane pushes her. Not hard- not nearly hard enough- but she does it; she shoves Maura back against the counter and Maura drops her hands to the smooth granite and closes her eyes and tries her hardest to choke back the frustrated little whine that gets out of her anyway. She can literally hear Jane realize what it is she wants. The detective's grip on her waist loosens and she exhales something that sounds a lot like 'oh, wow'. Everything is heightened, in this state, and because so much of her blood is rushing away from her head, Maura knows she's lacking appropriate amounts of oxygen to retaliate or save face. She can't. In fact, her coordination is so limited by her current state of arousal that the best she can do is let some warped version of her fantasy bubble up.

"I need you to take control," she says, knees beginning to tremble. "I need you to take control away from me."

"Okay," is Jane's breathless reply, "Okay. Yeah. I can do that."

"Stop talking."

Another push, this time a little harder. The granite bites into Maura's back where her shirt has been pushed up and she outright gasps at the contact. Jane growls in her ear and she shivers hard, scrabbling for purchase on the slick granite with clammy hands and blunt nails. "Don't tell me what to do."


Before she has time to react Jane has her completely spun around, bent forward at the waist just enough that the detective can cover Maura's shaking hands with her own. "Let me do this for you," Jane practically purrs into her ear, and oh God the real thing is thousands of times better than Maura's expansive imagination could ever conjure up.

Leather pressed up against her arms and Jane's shallow breath in her ear and her entire body burning from within; all of it leaves her breathless and broken open and she's sure Jane can see everything she's ever felt or hoped for in that moment.

Jane's lips find the shell of her ear and Maura wouldn't be able to move even if she wanted to. The secondary rush of arousal weakens her knees enough that Jane is quite literally holding her up. 'Weak in the knees' is an overused cliché but something that does actually physically happen- at some point, Maura knew the word for it, but now she's not sure she knows any words at all besides Jane's name. She doesn't get turned on very easily. She's not sure how long it's been since she has ached so badly for someone, but she's so glad that it's Jane. Jane, who really does understand her, who shifted so seamlessly into the role Maura asked her to fill that she's left wondering if the fantasy was a shared one.

Jane's fingers slip between hers, and whatever it is Jane's doing with her teeth and her tongue is enough to distract her until she can gets her wits about her and twist in the detective's arms.