belated a/n: this is not actually a new story, nor is it even that recently written - it's the first fic i ever did for risotto island but i realised i hadn't put it up here and thought it might like... a nice contrast to the last one? idk i feel like i traumatised you guys a little with the last one or something (for which i apologise and also thank you for all the lovely words you sent me, it's always so nice to know something i've written has been appreciated!) so this is just something fun to make up for it. unfortunately there are no lizzy caplans, though.
Maura's hands slide deftly over the curve of Jane's hips, fingers dragging over her spine and up her back, breath damp in her ear.
Her own fingers slip down Maura's ribs, catching the sheen of sweat that sits cool on her skin. Her teeth graze over the pale column of Maura's neck and she gasps, hips rolling against the press of Jane's thigh.
She wants to melt into Maura's bones, fuse them together and feel the rush of her blood spilling into her own. Dipping her chest, she settles her whole long length against Maura, feels her shudder along every inch of where they touch, fingers so unyielding on her back that they feel like they'll leave a mark.
Suddenly, she jolts, and the room goes dark. Completely disoriented for a second, Jane realises she's woken up. "Fuck."
The clock reads 5:04. Jane groans and rolls over, starting when she hears a muffled yelp. "Sorry buddy, didn't mean to wake you too."
She scratches the dog's ears, then swings her feet over the bed, scowling. "I guess we're up." She yawns, then stands and shuffles to the kitchen, flicking on the light and then the kettle switch. She rests her elbows on the bench, running a hand through her hair, and thinks: well, shit.
It's not like she's a stranger to weird sex dreams. Working homicide in such close proximity with the same people every day has its consequences, and most of the time she thinks nothing of it. Maura would say it was something to do with brain chemistry and inter-relational science megapixels or something equally unintelligible but—Maura. She's never had a dream like that about Maura. Shopping for trash cans in India with her and a polar bear, sure, but naked and sweaty and... writhing? Not so much. It also felt a lot less dream-like than she's been used to, which unsettles her somewhat, considering she doesn't really need the reminder of it in high-def whenever she looks at Maura for the next week.
It's totally fine.
No big deal.
She goes to work.
"Jane! Wait for me!"
She hears the sharp click of impractical heels behind her and turns to see Maura waving and trying to catch up. Jane was sure this was going to be fine, it's not like Maura needs to know about anything that goes on while she's sleeping, but as soon as Jane sees the smile, her comforting familiarity, the thoughts come rushing back and suddenly it's a little harder to breathe. The suddenly feeling that comes over her and settles low in her stomach is weird and not really all that fun, but she holds the elevator anyway, and Maura breezes inside.
"Are you all right? Your chest is rising and falling much more rapidly than usual – did you run here? Are you sick? Are you having a panic attack as a result of alarming stimuli?"
Jane rolls her eyes. "No, Maura, I'm fine. I just... had a little too much coffee and not enough sleep."
"But fatigue and too much caffeine wouldn't—"
"I'm fine, Maura, what did you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I have evidence for you regarding the case with the two drowning victims, DNA results came back on the skin we found..."
Jane stops listening to the large words Maura's using in her explanation and accidentally finds herself focusing on the way her lips stretch over her teeth as she talks animatedly, the shadows shifting in the dip of her collarbone, the curve of her—
"Jane, are you listening to me? This information is incredibly significant to your case!" Maura suddenly looks concerned. "...Are you sure you're all right? Your face is flushed, which means something has triggered your sympathetic nervous system; your body is releasing adrenaline and the blood vessels in your face are dilating. Do you have a coppery taste in your mouth? Or is it too hot for you in here?" She feels the back of Maura's cool hand come to rest on her forehead. "Hmm, well, you don't have a fever. Is it something I said?"
Maura tries to diagnose her the whole way to her office and one thing becomes increasingly clear to Jane: she really needs to start going to bed earlier.
She doesn't see Maura much for the rest of the day, and slowly she starts to forget all about making a complete fool of herself (stupid dilating blood vessels) and falls into bed exhausted, ready to put it all behind her.
But she has the dream again.
After waking up from it the third morning, the lack of proper sleep must show on her face because when she walks into the lab Maura greets her with, "Wow, you look terrible."
"Nice to see you too."
"I'm sorry, but you just look extremely tired, have you still not been sleeping?"
"It certainly doesn't feel like it," Jane replies hoarsely; even her voice feels tired.
"Is it nightmares?" Maura asks, concerned.
"Oh, no, it's just this same dream I keep having." On Maura's encouraging look, Jane decides to play it off as no big deal. "For some reason my subconscious wants me to keep watching us have a lot of sex."
Maura looks surprised and oddly embarrassed. "That's... voyeuristic of it."
"...Yeah. Whatever, it's weird, I'll get over it, the end."
"But if it's upsetting you you really should try to understand why, Jane, or you might keep having it."
"It's not 'upsetting' me, Maura."
"So it's enjoyable, then?" she asks, and Jane is sure she can see the hint of a smirk playing around Maura's mouth.
"Do I want to know what this is about?" Frost asks, the door to the lab swinging shut behind him as he stops in his tracks. He looks at Jane. "I just wanted to let you know Adams is in the interview room."
Before Jane can answer, Maura helpfully pipes up. "Jane has been having a recurring dream of an explicit sexual nature involving me and it's making her uncomfortable, so I was just trying to get to the bottom of why."
Smacking a hand to her forehead, Jane winces. "Thank you, Maura. And before you say a word, Frost, it's not what you're thinking."
He grins, and holds his hands up in surrender. "It's my funeral to make you mad when you're wearing your piece, Jane, but you know what they say about denial." With that, Frost makes a swift exit, though Jane can still hear him snickering as he walks back down the hall.
"What do they say about denial?" Maura asks, legitimately interested.
Jane's fingers twitch over her brow, but she composes herself and manages to keep her expression from looking too exasperated. "That it's not just a river in Egypt."
"Of course it's not, it runs through ten countries in Africa, fed by its two tributaries the White Nile and the Blue Nile. It's considered to be the longest river in the world, there's no way it could only exist in Egypt."
Groaning under her breath, Jane squeezes her eyes shut. "Why do I even... look, Maura, while I'm just so super glad you want so badly to diagnose my overactive imagination, I really don't want to have this conversation with you right now. I'm going to talk to our suspect so we'll have to not ever continue this later, okay?"
Ever-cheerful, Maura smiles back at her. "All right, I'll call you if I find anything else!"
The knock on Jane's door after work startles her, and she opens it to find Maura clutching a grocery bag and looking far too excited for ten o'clock at night.
"Oh good, I didn't think you'd be asleep yet, I bought you something."
"A present? For me? You shouldn't have!" Jane says, not even trying to feign delight. "It's not more of your fancy 90s wine is it?"
"Nope, I got you some natural herbal remedies to help you sleep. There's some American scullcap, kava root, lavender oil, a NightWave Sleep Assistant... I thought I'd give them to you now because I learned how to brew kava tea several years ago and I thought I could make it for you!"
"You came all the way over just to make me weird plant tea, this is what you're telling me."
"...Yes. Is that a problem?"
Jane steps back from the door in response, and lets Maura slide in past her. She follows her to the kitchen and slumps onto one of the stools at the counter, idly watching the medical examiner unpack the grocery bag and turn the kettle on. She spies a small prescription bottle and picks it up triumphantly, accusatory. "I thought you said they were natural sleep remedies."
Maura tries not to look sheepish. "Well, they don't... work for everyone, and you... you have something of a..."
"Bias against hippies?"
"You're just a lot more traditional in your healing practices, I didn't know if you'd be open to these ones. I wanted to cover all my bases."
Not being able to help smiling at Maura's unrelenting ability to make her feel both loved and scolded at the same time, Jane picks up one of the weird-looking roots from the counter and sniffs it. And then immediately puts it down again. "I think your cabana root is off."
Maura sniffs it herself, then shakes her head. "Kava root. And nope, that's exactly what it's supposed to smell like."
Jane doesn't want to know what that means it's going to taste like. She sighs and looks at her fruit bowl. "Maybe I should just eat a thousand bananas and fall into a coma for a week or something."
"Actually if you ate a thousand bananas you'd overdose on potassium, it'd stop your heart," Maura says in a gently corrective voice, and slides the fruit bowl a little further from Jane's reach.
The tea thing doesn't go so well.
"Ugh, what the hell Maura, it tastes like old shoes and the woods!"
Maura grabs the cup off her. "Did I make it wrong?" She sips, and frowns. "It tastes the same as every other time I've had it, what's wrong with it?"
"Do you not have tastebuds?! It's like drinking dirt."
For a second Maura looks disappointed and Jane almost tells her to give the cup back and she'll just drink it and then do whatever else Maura wants even if it means drinking five more cups of cabana roots and then eating them afterward because all she wants is for that look to leave her beautiful face, but then Maura shakes herself out of it and shrugs, smiling again. The slightly manic feeling Jane had passes, and she feels a little embarrassed.
"What about chamomile tea and a Zaleplon pill instead?" Maura asks.
"Okay, well you go and get ready for bed and I'll bring it to you."
Jane slides unceremoniously off her stool and when she crawls into bed five minutes later Maura appears at the doorway holding a mug of flowery tea and a tiny pill that she drops into Jane's outstretched hand.
"This is fast-acting, and I should warn you that this particular type of sleeping pill can be habit-forming so please don't take them on a regular basis. And I mean, you probably should have a seen a doctor first, you might have some sort of condition that's preventing you from sleeping properly."
"But you're my doctor," Jane rasps, grinning.
Maura smiles fondly back at her. "Well, technically I'm your medical examiner, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. I'll just clean up in the kitchen and then I'll go."
"What, you're not going to tuck me in?" Jane asks, her voice coming out a little lower than she'd intended.
"I'm not familiar with the concept, is this a night-time ritual of some sort that you have to have me partake in?"
It strikes her, again, just how alien Maura's upbringing would have seemed to her as a kid. All her memories of Ma Rizzoli rigorously tucking in the covers of all three of her children every night without fail are so ingrained that she can't imagine what it would have been like any other way. Almost without thinking, she takes Maura's hand.
"It was a joke, sort of." She refrains from explaining that it's a parent thing on the off chance that Maura gets that look on her face again and she has to scramble around for plants to chew on. "Listen, thank you. For the dirt-flavoured tea and the prescription drugs."
"I just want to help. Recurring dreams can be stressful no matter the subject matter and I don't want your work to be compromised because of it. She squeezes Jane's hand. "Do you want me to stay until you finish your tea? I could do the dishes for you afterward."
"No, oh my god, I mean, no – please don't do my dishes, you're turning into my mother, but yes, stay for a bit; take your ridiculous shoes off for five seconds."
Still grasping Jane's hand, Maura slips off her heels and hops over Jane's knees to flop down on the other side of the bed. Jane pops her pill, swallowing it with a sip of her tea, and notices Maura watching her with an unreadable expression on her face. Neither of them say anything though, and Jane settles back against the pillows with Maura following suit.
"Tell me something science-y to help me fall asleep," Jane beseeches wistfully, turning to face Maura.
Maura looks at the ceiling, thinking. "Did you know that it's impossible to drown peacefully? People always say it's a good way to go, but—"
"Maura. Does talking about drowning really seem like it's going to help me get to sleep easier? Also, why do you always say 'did you know' like my answer is going to be yes? I never know, that's why you always end up telling me."
"If you're going to ask bossy questions then I'm not going to tell you anything at all, you can go to sleep by yourself."
Jane pushes her, scowling petulantly. "Fine. Just... talk about something a little less morbid."
Propping herself on an elbow, Maura contemplates for a minute. "I could talk about the history of the Theobroma cacao, I recently did some research on it after it pertained to a case."
"...Sure. That sounds fairly harmless."
As Maura starts talking earnestly about ancient civilizations and currency systems and cocoa bean processing, everything starts going a little fuzzy, and Jane keeps finding her eyes drifting shut, soothed by Maura's comforting voice.
She wakes into darkness again, vivid images of Maura's skin pressing into the backs of her eyelids, and she frowns. The smell of Maura's perfume still lingers in her nose, and when she shifts she finds the rest of Maura lingered too, curled into the line of Jane's side above the covers. The night isn't warm, and Jane rolls her eyes, wondering why the hell Maura had the sense to turn out the light but not actually get in the bed. Squirming, she manages to free her arms, and gently shakes Maura's shoulder, trying to pull the covers down with her other hand. "Maura. Maura, you gotta help me a little here."
Maura stirs, Jane can just see the outline of her brow creasing as she turns over. "Hmm?" she murmurs, groggy and still not really awake.
"Babe, you just need to get under the covers, okay, it's cold."
Still not entirely sure if Maura is properly conscious, Jane puts a guiding hand on her back as she sleepily navigates getting herself beneath the blankets and slumps bodily back down again. Right next to Jane. Which is just great now that she's awake and hyper-aware of what she was just dreaming about and Maura smells really nice and her nose is lightly pressing into Jane's arm – it's all just super, super great. Trying not to think of what any of it means, she settles an arm under her head and just says, "Your feet are cold."
A quiet hrmmph is all she gets in reply.
The alarm goes off at 6:30am, and she feels Maura lean over her and slap it off before she has time to orient herself. The mattress shifts as Maura stretches and flops back down again, and Jane cracks an eye open as she sighs.
"Wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something?"
Maura smiles. "Sorry for crashing here, by the time I finished talking and realised you were asleep it was nearly one and I couldn't be bothered getting up."
Jane shrugs, rubbing her fingers into her eyes to hide her smile at the fact that she can perfectly imagine Maura chatting away to herself about cocoa beans while she snored blissfully into her pillow. "It's no problem, Maura, you know that. I've fallen asleep on your bed during cases a thousand times."
"Did you have the dream again?"
Jane pauses, lifts her hands away from her face and pulls the covers over her head.
"I'm going to assume that that means you did and you don't want to talk about it."
"Jackpot. You win a million dollars, bye!" Jane tries to make a hasty exit out of the bed but Maura grabs her arm.
"Jane! I'm just trying to help figure out what's wrong with you."
Jane's starting to think she knows exactly what's wrong with her, but she's not about to say it to herself, let alone out loud to Maura. "It's fine, Maura, it'll work itself out."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that, if you don't find the underlying cause of the problem you may end up with—"
"Maybe I'm just sexually frustrated, did your giant brain consider that?!" she huffs, annoyed that this discussion is still happening.
That gives Maura pause, but then she gets that contemplative look on her face that Jane knows always spells out a longwinded spiel in the making. "Oh no, no, no, no, none of your science nonsense is required for that one, I know all about it."
"I was just wondering why your subconscious chose me as your object of desire, but I suppose due to our close relationship and working environment I guess it's not wildly improbable..."
Jane just watches Maura trail off, caught up in her own thoughts, and shakes her head. "It's really not a big deal."
"Unless of course it's some deeper issue related to something you're refusing to acknowledge consciously, and the repressed information is manifesting itself in the same particular dream until you do." She contemplates again, arms folded across her chest as she stares unseeing at the ceiling.
"Now what are you thinking about?" Jane asks, impatient and irritated that she's not being included in the conversation that at this point seems never-ending.
Maura smooths the covers out beneath her fingers. "Just that it's not ridiculous to conclude that we could end up being attracted to each other."
Jane is stunned. "What, how did you even get—yes it is! It's completely ridiculous! You're my best friend, and we're not gay. Especially not for each other. Do you see how that makes it ridiculous?"
"Actually it's far more likely for you to be attracted to one person before you're attracted to a whole gender," she says matter-of-factly, shifting to prop herself on an elbow. "Sometimes it may not even extend past that one person, no one single cause for same sex attraction has been concluded, you know, it's a very widely debated topic."
"Gay for one person? Just one? Not like, three? What if I'm gay for three people?"
Maura shrugs. "Fluid sexuality is well-documented, Jane, and not just among humans. Did you know it's been suggested bottlenose dolphins mate for pleasure, and not exclusively with the opposite sex?"
"No, Maura, I did not know that, and we're not dolphins so I don't see how this is relevant. I think you need to spend less time on the internet."
"On average I only spend one to two hours a day online, that's well within the national daily mean for my age group."
"Then I'm taking away your library card."
Maura rolls her eyes good-naturedly and stretches again. "Do you want to get breakfast before we go to work?"
As they sit in the back of a quiet cafe near Headquarters, Maura chews thoughtfully on a mouthful of scrambled eggs and fixes Jane with a look that makes her grimace.
"I was just thinking about how perhaps your dream is linked to your apparent refusal to accept that you might be having feelings that will call your heterosexuality into question."
Jane almost spits her coffee onto the table. "Jesus, Maura, you need to warn me if you're going to say things like that."
"And occasionally you do engage in what is considered to be stereotypical lesbian behaviour," Maura continues, unfazed by Jane's theatrics.
"Oh my god. They're called stereotypes for a reason, Maura, you're not supposed to perpetuate them!"
"On the contrary, stereotypes exist for a reason and are not strictly negative assumptions – you use them all the time when determining motives for suspects whether you're conscious of it or not. And it has been proven that certain social groups do all exhibit—"
"ALL RIGHT, all right, Maura, I have a deep voice and kick people's butts sometimes so everyone thinks I'm gay, thank you for bringing it up again, now can we leave it alone?"
"There's no need to be ashamed by it, Jane, there are a lot of people who find those qualities attractive in a sexual partner."
"Yeah, other women."
Maura just smiles.
"Why can't you let this go, anyway? Seems like maybe you should think about your repressed subconscious desires a little more before you go poking around in mine." Jane frowns. "Stop smiling at me like that."
She doesn't, though. She simply gets up, walks to Jane's side of the table and places a gentle, deliberate kiss at the corner of her mouth, fingertips warm against her jaw. "I'll see you at work," she says quietly, eyes bright, and Jane listens to the click of her heels as she heads out the door. Then she manages to close her mouth and stop looking like a water-deprived trout, and tries unsuccessfully to finish her breakfast.
They end up leaving it for a few days, Jane catches a break on a suspect and her and Frost end up driving upstate to arrest him, and she doesn't see Maura until they've got the confession and the case is closed.
This time, she's the one standing on Maura's doorstep.
"Don't let my mother know I'm here," she says as soon as Maura opens the door and steps aside to let her in. "I bought... beer, which is also a good natural remedy for sleep, in large doses. Did you know."
Maura chuckles. "Angela's out to dinner with Frankie, so you don't have to worry. Did you close the case?"
"Yup, full confession within an hour," she replies, popping the cap on a beer and taking a swig. She doesn't really know what to say after that, though, and the room falls silent. Maura delicately removes the cap from another beer and sips it, seemingly at a loss for words as well.
"Were you ever going to tell me you had feelings for me?" Jane asks suddenly, deciding just to dive straight in.
Looking at the bottle sweating between her fingers, Maura shrugs. "They don't affect the way I approach our relationship so I didn't see why I should make you uncomfortable by divulging them without knowing you might feel the same way. I didn't want to make things awkward or... lose our friendship."
Jane feels an incredible rush of affection for Maura, face breaking out into a smile, and she sets her bottle down so she can pull her into a hug. "You can always tell me anything, okay? It doesn't matter if you think it'll make me uncomfortable, I'll get over it."
Maura's hands link around the small of her back, and Jane feels her relax against her. She pulls back a little, and Maura smiles.
"I'm going to try this," Jane says, running her teeth over her lip. Maura glances down and she feels a flush creep up her neck when their eyes meet again. "I can't guarantee it's going to work out, though, I really don't entirely know what this—"
Maura cuts her off with a kiss, clearly tired of the constant parade of excuses and brattiness, and Jane gets lost in the gentle insistence of her mouth, the slip over her tongue over Jane's bottom lip.
She sighs, wondering what on earth she expected. Maura has never been a sister to her, never been the kind of friend who'd fall off her radar given the chance, she's never been anything less than everything to her, and that realisation makes something snap. Sliding a hand into Maura's hair she presses her fingers into her scalp, her kisses getting a little more desperate, a little less chaste. Maura moans, her hands gripping Jane's hips, and she feels her smile against her mouth. Jane unwittingly finds herself smiling back, and suddenly they're just standing in Maura's kitchen grinning like goofballs.
"Sorry I was such a pain," Jane murmurs, voice husky.
Maura shakes her head, still smiling. "You've been no more difficult than usual."
Somewhere, Jane registers that maybe they should stop, that despite this feeling completely natural and right, if they keep going things might end up weird. But the rest of her is occupied with not being able to stop touching Maura, all the unique lines of her body and the places she's always been curious about. Maura looks desperately like she wants to say something factual every time Jane's gaze flicks to her face, but she keeps silent herself – biting down hard on her lip to keep from laughing – and that seems to make Maura stay silent too.
Finally, Jane says, "Do you want to um, move this somewhere else?"
Maura leans up and kisses her again, slow and wet and hot, and Jane feels like her insides are liquefying from it. Breaking away with a groan, she nods fervently. "Okay, okay yeah, we need to go to the bedroom now."
She tangles her fingers through Maura's then drags her down the hall. When they get to the bedroom, she unceremoniously pulls off her shirt and hurls it to the ground, then sits down on the bed, pulling Maura with her.
"You know I've never done this before, right?"
"Oh, that's okay, I have!" Maura says brightly, swinging a leg over Jane's hips and pressing lightly on her shoulders to push her back down into the pillows. "It's quite simple, really—"
"Maura, before we go any further I feel like you have to know if this is happening science talk isn't happening. No explanation of techniques, no erogenous zones, no weird medical stuff about how the body reacts to stimulation or whatever, all right?"
"You don't want me to find your erogenous zones?" Maura asks, perfectly aware that's not what Jane meant.
Jane sits up, a wolfish smile on her face that makes Maura momentarily falter. Her hands come to rest on Maura's thighs, and she feels the skin prickle beneath her palms. "I'll bet you ten bucks you can't find them all."
"Don't offer me free money, Jane, it makes you seem sleazy," Maura returns throatily, looking half-scandalised at the tone of voice her words came out in.
"Doctor Isles, was that... oh my god, are you joking about this?"
"Shut up, Jane," Maura says, trying not to laugh, her face red. She ducks her head into Jane's shoulder, and Jane feels another intense rush of affection. She slips her fingers under Maura's chin, lifts her face to hers, then kisses her again.
It seems to awaken something in Maura, and she pushes Jane firmly back down against the pillows, leaning over her so as not to break the kiss, her tongue delving into Jane's mouth. Her hands are everywhere, sliding over Jane's thighs, her sides, cupping her breasts, and it leaves her breathless. When Maura's fingers finally skid down to push past her underwear, Jane is shaking and sucks in a hoarse gasp at the contact, her hips rolling involuntarily. Maura lowers her mouth to one of her nipples, worries it with her teeth, and Jane's hands twine into Maura's hair, a moan rumbling through her.
"I don't..." she rolls her hips against Maura's sliding fingers, "know why we didn't do this sooner."
Maura actually rolls her eyes, face framed by Jane's hands in her hair, and she raises an eyebrow. "You actually talk all the time, don't you?" she says, and it's not really a question. Then she lets her fingers curl, smiles down at Jane beneath her, and it's too much. Her orgasm washes over her and she lets out one long breath, her eyes closing. Maura settles over her, one of her legs nestling between Jane's. She presses two kisses to Jane's jaw and watches her face with a smile as she opens an eye.
"You're gonna have to give me a minute," Jane says officiously, her hand running up over Maura's back. Maura just looks at her, and Jane knows exactly what it means. "You want to say something about endorphins right now, don't you?"
"I just think it's fascinating, Jane! The way the body—oh, come on, that's just mean, you can't fall asleep and snore that fast. Jane. Jane. Jane. If you don't stop it I'm going to test you for sleep apnea and viral illnesses that have snoring as symptoms. Jane!"