A/N: So I found myself watching this episode again, leading to another idea for pillow talk :) I just love this scene so freakin' much, and wanted to write another oneshot that focused a bit more on Maura. (just as a reminder- Dennis is mentioned in this one, but at this point in the show he hasn't yet been revealed to be a serial killer. So that's why that doesn't come up in their conversation, haha.)
It didn't matter how silly or unglamorous Jane's wedding fantasy had sounded: Maura wanted to be there when and if it ever happened. Maura had about as much interest in baseball as Jane had in modern art, which is to say that a wedding would be a much more intriguing reason for Maura to go to Fenway than an actual game. And of course Jane would want to be married in a sports jersey.
"Can I come?" Maura asked.
"Maybe," Jane teased her, rolling onto her side to face Maura.
The move caused Maura's breath to hitch—she had been about to do the same exact thing before Jane turned first, and if Maura had rolled over as well, they would have been close enough to kiss. The mere thought of it almost made Maura's heart stop; instead, she was sure her heartbeat quickened, a sure sign of attraction in her case. This was what accounted for the breathy, weak, "okay" she offered by way of response.
"But only if I can come to yours," Jane said. She thought Maura's last reply had sounded a little choked for some reason, and she wanted to lighten the atmosphere again.
However, it seemed that she had done just the opposite. She watched Maura's face in profile as her brow furrowed and a thoughtful frown appeared. "That depends," she said.
Given Maura's utter seriousness, that was unexpected. "On what?" Jane asked, baffled. She propped herself up on one elbow to get a better look at Maura's expression, as Maura remained lying on her back.
Sparing a quick glance for Jane before returning her gaze safely to the ceiling, Maura said, "On how you feel about my groom."
All Jane could think of was the very brief conversation she and Maura had once had about Dean (or, as Jane had started calling him since the Doyle shooting, "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"). At one time an attractive and even intriguing man, Dean had been the only person Jane and Maura had ever both expressed an interest in. But Maura hadn't begrudged her friend when Dean made his choice, had she? The only way Jane could think to translate Maura's last comment was in that way: if you loved him, too, I wouldn't want you to be there. That was the only way it made sense, right?
Wait, no, not right. Why would Maura even think something like that?
Finally Maura cleared things up a little: "You've never liked any of the men I've dated."
"What? That's not true!"
"It is true," Maura said, looking up at her. Honestly, she was surprised by Jane's jaw-dropped reaction. Maura sat up a little, leaning back on both her elbows and keeping her eyes on Jane. "And if you couldn't bring yourself to wind up doing anything besides actively dislike the man I married, I don't know if I could handle your being at my wedding. It would make me too sad."
"Maura! I can't believe you'd even say that!"
Maura gave the best shrug she could in her position. "I'm just being honest. Of course I want you to be at my wedding. You're the only real friend I've ever had, and when we first became close, I even thought how nice it would be to have you as my Maid of Honor one day. But not if you were just going to sit there all grouchy and unpleasant because you didn't like my husband."
Jane couldn't believe their conversation had wandered into this territory, and on some level she also couldn't believe how hurt she felt. "Why the hell do you assume I wouldn't like your husband?"
"Past experience," Maura replied calmly. She shifted all of her weight onto one side, mimicking Jane's much more comfortable pose, even if it felt too casual and relaxed for the route their dialogue was taking. "Name one man I've dated or one man who's expressed an interest me who hasn't caused you to sputter, roll your eyes, or get angry."
Jane's mouth dropped open again, and she was unable to speak. Actually, all she could think of right now was the first time Dean had entered their lives—how he had offered to stay the night in her apartment, and she had turned him away; then, how she had later gone to Maura's apartment for some companionship, and Maura had turned Dean away to be with her. Both of them had had the opportunity to spend that very night with him, and they had instead chosen to sleep in the same bed together.
Assuming that Jane's stunned silence was a sign that she couldn't think of a way to properly respond to Maura's challenge, Maura took the initiative: "Tommy."
"He's my brother!" Jane hissed, annoyed and thinking her reaction to that relationship had been perfectly justified.
"There was Ian, who you investigated behind my back."
"Well, he was shady! And doing illegal stuff, so I was totally in the right!"
"Byron, who you slandered at every turn."
"C'mon, you said yourself that his bedside manner was gross!"
"Giovanni, also slandered at every turn."
"Maura, again, you said yourself that you couldn't stand talking to him!"
"How about Garrett?"
Jane looked relieved to have found an easy answer. "Really? Maura, he murdered someone."
"Yes, but before we found that out, you still didn't like him. That was very apparent. Can you deny it?"
"He was smug, okay? I don't go for smug."
"That's not the point, he wasn't going for you," Maura pointed out. "He was going for me. And face it, Jane, you don't ever like the men who go for me. Not even our yoga instructor!"
"Ew, that smarmy guy who had his hands all over you when we went on that double date with Jorge?"
"Or how about Dennis?"
Jane rolled her eyes and flopped onto her back again. "Oh, you mean the jackass who got you to commit a felony and hasn't called you in three months? You're right. How could I have possibly thought he didn't deserve you?"
Maura was tempted to say "see what I mean?", but it was clear by Jane's expression that an original thought had finally registered with her. She was kneading her hands—a sure sign that she was stressing over something. After a long pause, Maura whispered, "Jane?"
"What?" Jane asked a little too quickly, too sharply. After the perturbed syllable came out of her, Jane's facial features all tightened for a moment, almost unnoticeably.
That small gesture of regret for her tone might have slipped past someone else, but Maura was too in tune with Jane's every tic to have missed it. So in a patient inquisitive tone, she asked, "What must a man be, have, or do in order for you to think he deserves me?"
Jane gulped, keeping her eyes on the ceiling. She was now very much aware of the fact that she was circling the scars on her palm, but she couldn't bring herself to stop. It sounded like Maura was onto her, but Jane felt uncharacteristic fear descending upon her at the thought of confessing her growing interest in Maura, an interest which went beyond mere friendship. More time. She needed to buy more time.
Better answer that question, then!
"How about that autopsy guy?" she finally said. "The one you told me you imagined marrying?"
"Yeah, him. He must be smart, right?"
"You do realize Antonio Benivieni has been dead since the beginning of the sixteenth century, right?"
Even better. "Well, I mean his type. You deserve somebody smart, Maura." She held up her hand and started ticking off her fingers: "That knocks out Giovanni, and Tommy."
"Tommy's not stupid, Jane!"
"Just because he can play chess doesn't mean he's brilliant, Maura."
"So you think I need someone brilliant."
"Someone who can challenge you at more than just chess, yeah. And he can't be a smarmy kiss-ass, so that gets rid of Byron, Dennis, that yoga instructor, and Garrett. Oh, and he has to be reasonably healthy," she added as an afterthought. "Unlike Marfan man. And he can't do illegal stuff."
Maura sat up enough to reach behind her for her long-abandoned glass of wine. She took a long sip, then looked down at Jane, who seemed to be purposefully avoiding her gaze. "Okay," she said slowly. "I can understand why that would be yet another reason to dismiss Dennis, as his desire to break the law was immature and, I think, inspired by a misguided attempt to impress me. Would you consider Ian to be on the same level as that? After all, he only bent the rules to try and help people."
"Doesn't matter," Jane said brusquely.
"Because breaking the law is still breaking the law?" Maura sighed.
"Because he left you." Jane brought herself to look over at Maura, and felt her heartbeat spike: there was no mistaking the look in Maura's eyes, just as there had been no mistaking the tone of Jane's voice. "If you were the love of his life," Jane continued in a gravelly voice, "He would have made your relationship his priority. You deserve someone who will never, ever leave you."
When Maura lay back down, it was on her side and incredibly close to Jane. Close enough for her breath to hit Jane's bare shoulder.
"Any candidates?" she whispered.
Jane took a deep breath. How to proceed without being too direct? "So it's got to be a groom, right?" she asked. "No, uh… no chance of it being like… a…" God, why was this so hard to get out? "A woman?"
Maura took a moment to answer, causing a million insecurities to needle Jane, none of which were helped by Maura's baffled tone when she asked, "Have I ever given you any indication to believe I would be interested in women?"
"Uh…no, I guess not," Jane mumbled, blushing and feeling something deflate inside her chest.
"Oh. Time to fix that, then."
A moment after hearing that remark, Jane turned to look at Maura. She watched in nervous excitement as Maura's eyes dipped noticeably to her lips and back up. Maura propped herself up again, enough to be leaning over Jane. This was what they both wanted, she was sure of it. She ran a thumb over Jane's lips, eliciting a barely perceptible shudder.
"I'm going to kiss you now," she whispered.
Jane's voice was a breath: "Okay."
Maura shifted her hand down to Jane's neck before leaning in for a kiss, and Jane's reciprocation was immediate. She lifted her fingers to curl in Maura's hair, her other hand going to Maura's waist and gripping it tight. Soon enough their mouths were hot and open against each other's, and Jane's hand had wandered down to Maura's ass, pulling her over to lie fully on top of her. Everything inside her was clenching, pulsing at the feel of Maura this close to her, kissing her like this.
But she didn't want to be taken in this manner quite yet. Some things had to be cleared up first.
A satisfied moan came out of Maura's lips when she felt Jane's legs squeeze her own, and then Jane used this position to roll them over so that she was on top. She swept her hair over to one shoulder, both of them breathing heavily and momentarily lost for words or action as they looked at each other. Maura's heart felt faint at the sight of Jane looking down at her like this, fully exploiting her dominant personality in a way Maura had been fantasizing about for some time now. And Jane throbbed with long-burning desire when she gazed down at Maura Isles in this heat, her face flushed and lips parted, luminous hair mussed more than usual.
"Am I smarmy?" she asked.
"No," Maura breathed. Her response was rewarded with a long kiss.
Jane moved down to Maura's neck. "Unintelligent?"
"No—ahh," Maura whimpered as Jane nipped at a spot close to her ear.
"I'm in reasonable health?"
"It would seem so," Maura answered. "Although it wouldn't be to either of our detriment for me to make a more thorough examination myself."
A shiver went down Maura's spine as she felt Jane's chuckle against her neck. "Am I on the right side of the law?"
"Damn straight I am." Jane's hand crept under the loosened hem of Maura's shirt, stroking the skin near her hip.
A sharp intake of breath preceded Maura's next observation. "If this is any indication, 'damn straight' you're not."
Jane had been so into what she was doing that it took her a second to understand the quip. She stopped and looked back up at Maura, whose bottom lip was between her teeth, like she was regretting the timing of her joke. Whether or not it had been appropriate, Jane couldn't help laughing, and that eased Maura into feeling like she could as well. If anything, it got Jane to pause and let up, which was probably needed at this point. She had lost her head for a second there. After a few moments of shared soft laughter, Jane stroked Maura's cheek and leaned down for a long, slow kiss.
"No matter what happens," Jane whispered, pulling back. "No matter where this goes, or where I go or you go, Maura… would I ever leave you?"
Maura's throat constricted with a sudden influx of emotions. She and Jane had been through every level of hell together and always wound up feeling safe in each others' arms, regardless of the problem they had had to overcome. The answer to this question, then, was the easiest so far: a quiet yet categorical "no."