AN: Chapter 8, it is! I'm so flattered by your interest, thank you! You guys are the best. I had only planned out those 7 chapters and I'm just winging it now…so your input is encouraged. I'm toying with an idea for an AU-ish fic, so when the ideas for this one run out, I'll probably start that one. Have a lovely weekend!
Make You Feel My Love: Chapter 8
Here comes the sun
Maura stirred from her sleep, lying on her stomach with a heavy weight on her back. She slowly became aware of her surroundings and realized that the heavy weight on her back was a very asleep, very naked Jane Rizzoli. Their left hands were laced together, legs intertwined and Jane's steady breathing was ruffling the hair at the back of her neck. She couldn't wipe the grin off of her face or suppress the full bodied-tingle running through her as she stretched, reveling in every inch of skin-to-skin contact. She looked at the time. Just after 4 in the morning.
Carefully, she rolled in Jane's arms until they were face to face. She really couldn't wipe the smile from her face if she tried. She barely suppressed a giggle at the sight of her normally fierce, 'badass' detective, slack jawed and lightly snoring. She was so peaceful in her sleep. She leaned forward, pressing kisses to every available surface.
Jane slowly woke to the feel of soft, slightly wet kisses on her forehead. She hummed in contentment and tightened her grip around Maura's waist, a sleepy smile gracing her lips. Maura kissed her way down to those smiling lips, lazily capturing them and trying like hell to keep the smile at bay so she could just keep kissing those lips for one more minute. Jane fully engaged after a few hazy moments, her hands skimming down Maura's sides and gripping her hips before she rolled the smaller woman on top of herself.
She grinned as she mumbled against Maura's lips. "I will never complain about waking up if this is how it happens every morning." Her hands traveled down to a perfectly rounded posterior and squeezed. "What time is it?"
"Quarter after 4." She muttered to a collarbone, leisurely exploring the elegant neck with her mouth. Jane threaded her fingers through honey blonde curls, bringing her back up and kissing her deeply. She rolled them again, pinning Maura down to the mattress. As the kiss heated up, Maura thought back to what had started it all the night before. Jane's hands were just beginning to wander when Maura stopped them and broke off their kiss.
"Can I ask you something?" She had to know. Her eyes pored into Jane's, willing her to understand.
"'Course you can." She rolled onto her side, concern taking over her features as she laced their hands together and pulled her close.
"Why did you wait, Jane?" She asked, timidly. "You never did answer me last night."
Jane exhaled heavily. Looking into those sparkling hazel green eyes now, wrapped up in each other as they were, all of her answers seemed so weak. At one time, those answers were life and death. Those answers were the only reason she could keep breathing – she had relied on those answers to get her through the day because each minute that passed without Maura being hers made her feel like she was slowly dying. How did she put any of this into words?
"I've loved you, Maura, for so long." She reached up to stroke her hair, seeking to ground herself and sooth the wrinkle from Maura's brow. "When we first met, and actually got to know each other, you were just…different. You felt different. For awhile, I didn't know what to make of you; all brains and class and so unbelievably gorgeous. I just – " She stopped, taking another deep breath. "I just wanted to know you. I felt drawn to you. I thought maybe the attraction would fade. But then I got to know you, and you're just – you're just – so you – and before I knew it, you were my best friend. And you're not supposed to be attracted to your best friend so I just tried to ignore it. But I couldn't. And I didn't think you would ever in a million years be interested in me. You even said I wasn't your type." She felt bad, bringing this up. It had been a hypothetical conversation in a somewhat jocular manner, but when you're…hypothetically…grasping at straws hoping your otherwise straight best friend feels the same way, hearing something like that not only puts the kibosh on your hopes and dreams, it absolutely kills them.
"Jane, I – "
"It's okay, Maur. We didn't know. And you dated a lot and shared about it and pushed me to date because that's what friends do. I still held on to the fantasy, though. That maybe someday you would want me too. But then Ian came around."
Maura gulped and looked away. She looked down to their entwined hands and started tracing the outlines of Jane's fingers.
"I don't think I've ever felt so hurt and deflated in my life. And god, was I jealous. I hated that you kept something like that from me. I hated that he had something so special with you. I hated that when he was around, it was like I didn't matter anymore." She'd never talked to Maura about this. It was probably the only time in her life she could honestly say that she had been more focused on trying to be a good friend than trying to be right.
"You called him the love of your life, Maura. How was I supposed to compete with that? How was I supposed to know that I had a chance?" This conversation was not going the way she wanted it to. All she could hope was that it didn't sound like she was blaming Maura for any of it. She wasn't trying to – she was just trying to recall why she had waited so long. The honey blonde hadn't made eye contact, hadn't looked up from their hands, since she brought Ian up.
"But none of that stuff really mattered, I guess. You know as well as I do, the real reason that held us back." She put a finger under the doctor's chin, gently lifting to meet her teary eyes. "I love you. I love you as my best friend, my family, before I love you as anything else. I couldn't lose you. I couldn't risk everything we had for romance."
Maura sniffled. "And then the warehouse." She said, thickly.
"And then the warehouse." Jane repeated. "I just wanted you back as my friend. Nothing else mattered. I couldn't get through the day, knowing you weren't on my side. The thought of a whole life, without you?" Her voice broke. "The funny thing is, is once we made up…its like it just made me realize how in love with you I am. The more I told myself that I just wanted us to be friends, the more I realized that it would never be enough. But it had to be. And it was so much harder to fight, once I realized you felt the same way about me."
It was her turn to shy away from Maura's eyes. "And then Casey came back into my life and he was the perfect distraction from what was going on with you. I know it wasn't right, or fair to anyone, but it was so easy to slip back into high school and pretend. And its not like I didn't really care about him – because I did – I do – I just realized that it was a cowardly thing to do."
Maura finally spoke, so quietly that Jane had to lean in even closer. "I understand all of that. I think I knew, on some level. But after the building collapsed, I thought something had changed. Hadn't it?"
She seemed so small, and Jane finally understood what she was asking. "It did, Maur. It did. You're right. I finally pulled my head out of my ass." She said it with a chuckle, hoping Maura would crack a smile. No such luck.
"I wanted it to be perfect. I had this stupid idea that I could romance you." That did earn her a weak smile. "I didn't want you to think that I wanted to be with you because we could have died that day. I didn't want to do anything during the worst case we'd worked together since we'd met. I didn't want to kiss you for the first time because I was in a jealous drunken rage. I didn't want to kiss you for the first time in public, or when my family was watching. You deserve better than any of that, Maura. I just wanted it to be us, you know?"
Maura nodded and leaned up to kiss her slowly, sweetly. Of all the explanations she had worked up in her mind, this was not one of them. Everything she had hypothesized pointed to the conclusion that Jane had changed her mind. She had said it before and she knew she would be saying it for the rest of her life: this woman was deceptively complex. Maddeningly, frustratingly, beautifully, complex. She moved to deepen the kiss, but Jane softly pushed against her shoulders and leaned away.
"But Maura, why didn't you say anything until last night?" If she were a lesser person, she would have gotten angry. Maura was more than capable of, and had frequently taken it upon herself to pry into her love life. This was the woman who dragged her on double dates; the woman who all but pushed her into bed with said dates for the 'health benefits'; the woman who wouldn't stop pestering her about Casey until she was crying on her stoop.
And then something clicked. This was also the woman who didn't know how to ask for anything for herself. The insecurity was written all over her face, and Jane wished she could eat her words.
Maura leaned in and kissed her chastely, lingering before she pulled away. "I thought that you must have had good reason. I didn't want to push you into something you weren't ready for, and I didn't want to say anything because I thought that – " She stopped, voice catching. "I thought that you might have changed your mind."
She felt like time was standing still as she watched Jane's face fall.
"What? Maura, I – no – Oh my god, no!" She cupped her face, frantically trying to make her understand. "I'm so sorry – I never meant for – I could never – "
She was cut off by Maura's lips and a slow, sensual kiss. "I know," another kiss, "I know that now."
Jane wove her hands into sleep-mussed honey blonde curls and deepened the kiss. As their tongues met she felt her toes start to curl. She moaned into the kiss, with the fleeting thought that she could never, ever tire of this. Something about this kiss felt different – it was somehow deeper, infinitely more intimate than the kisses they had shared last night. Perhaps it was because they were no longer in the heat of the moment, like last night – or maybe it was because of what they had talked about – regardless, if this was what kissing Maura would be like…they were never, ever rejoining the world.
She rolled Maura onto her back, her body now warm and tingling, alight with her love for this woman and the unyielding need to physically demonstrate it. She brought their hands together, lacing their fingers before bringing them above Maura's head and pinning her to the bed. Her free hand roamed, gliding across every available surface, becoming mesmerized by the softness. At Maura's whimper, she ran her nails down the back of her thigh and brought it up to wrap around her hip. Their hips started a slow rhythm and she gave Maura's hand a squeeze before running her fingertips down her inner arm, her hand and lips beginning their never ending quest to memorize and worship every inch of Maura Isles.
"You know, I think I could learn to be a morning person." Jane said, her mouth hovering somewhere right next to her ear. Her hands had found their way down to her hips as she stood making coffee, and that delicious mouth had descended to kiss a tantalizing trail down her neck. She tilted her head to allow her better access and vaguely wondered if they were ever actually going to make it in to work that day. They snoozed through the first two alarms – she had never, in all her memory, used the snooze button on her alarm clock…but she could definitely get used to hitting snooze on a daily basis if it meant she could have Jane writhing beneath her for an extra forty minutes in the morning – and their "quick shower" ended up being three times as long as a regular shower. And now, apparently, as the hands on her hips slipped into the front of her slacks, Jane was hellbent on prolonging breakfast.
"You think so?"
"Mm." She felt Jane nod, just before her teeth sank into that glorious spot where neck and shoulder meet, eliciting a gasp and making her knees buckle.
"Jane…" She was trying, she really was. "We need to eat and – oh – we have to go to work. Sooner rather than later." There was an unhappy grumble into her hair before Jane pulled away and started digging through her cupboards.
"What are you looking for?" Coffee finished, she poured two cups.
"There's fruit and yogurt in the fridge. And fresh granola in the cupboard to your left."
"I'm not eating your pro-extra bionic yogurt, Maur. A-ha!" She emerged from a bottom cupboard, triumphant, holding up a box of Froot Loops.
"How do you do that?" She was only mildly surprised, at this point, by Jane's ability to sneak her favored foods into the house. Jane just grinned in response, happily munching away on her bowl of cereal. They sat at the breakfast bar, side by side, reading the paper and sharing kisses between bites of cereal and yogurt until they absolutely had to go to work.
The drive in to work was relatively quiet, with a few stolen glances and shared smiles.
As Jane parked, she looked over to Maura. She really couldn't wipe the stupid smile off her face if the Red Sox winning the World Series depended on it. "Ma's gonna take one look at us and know, ya know."
She was radiant, beaming back at her like that. She put the sun to shame. "What do you want to do? Should we tell people?"
Jane paused for a moment, brow furrowing in thought, before leaning in to kiss her sweetly. "I don't want to hide this. But I don't want to broadcast it either. Is that okay?"
Maura nodded. "Agreed." She then peered around the garage quickly, face scrunched with mock seriousness. "Coast is clear, Detective Rizzoli." She leaned across and kissed Jane thoroughly, leaving her spluttering and gaping like a fish. "What? That's the last kiss I'm going to get until the end of the day. I had to make it count." With a wink, she opened the car door and stepped out.
Jane clambered out behind her, grinning like a fool as her hand found its home at the small of Maura's back.
It was going to be a beautiful day.