Frozen

The house is so quiet. Peaceful, really. That's what draws her here, she tells herself. She needs…no, she craves the tranquility she finds here. She doesn't find the same peace at her apartment. She doesn't know why. It's usually quieter at her place. There are not as many interruptions from her mother or other family members bursting in unannounced as there are at Maura's house. She tells herself that maybe it's the relaxing color scheme the doctor has chosen, no doubt after consulting numerous highly-paid designers.

She watches as the large, puffy snowflakes filter down from the sky and land on the snow that has been rapidly accumulating throughout the afternoon. Maura's back yard is covered in a fresh blanket of white. The cold grey skies and thick snow seem to drain the pigmentation out of all the existing foliage in the doctor's yard, leaving the trees and shrubs as dark skeletons of their former shapes. She notices the little spruce tree by the guest house, its small branches straining under the weight of the fresh snow. The young needles on the bottom branches dip down to the ground, succumbing to the pressure from the winter storm.

Paralyzed and frozen.

Jane's eyes fixate on the branches buried in the snow for a moment. In a couple of days the snow will melt and the pliable branches will bounce back; returning to their normal position. No permanent damage will occur; no visible blemishes will remain from the wrath of the storm that is currently wreaking havoc with the small tree.

Jane leans closer to the window to look at the flakes and feels the cold air radiating off the glass. She backs away quickly, before the cold can invade the comfort she feels inside this house. Only inches separate her from the raging storm outside.

The warmth and safety of Maura's house can protect her from this storm. She watches as the millions of flakes in the sky blow through the air. Some people find snowfalls calming. She used to. Life in the last year has changed her. Now all she sees are the remnants of an explosion. A million little pieces skittering across the sky; the aftermath of another tragic event she can't control.

She crosses her arms and shivers as she continues to gaze across the yard. She feels the weight of all that has happened over the last few years; Hoyt, shooting herself, being bound by Dominic. She doesn't like to admit it, but those experiences have changed her. They've hardened her on the outside, and maybe a little on the inside, if she is being perfectly honest with herself.

It's why she tried so damned hard to make things work with Casey. Her actions weren't logical at the time, she knows that now. Hell, she knew that then. But she was grasping at straws. She was looking for someone who knew the old Jane, to remind her of how she used to be, before all of this shit took over her life and changed it.

Someone who knew the Jane before the visible scars on her hands and before the distrust that now courses through her veins.

But he is in a different place now emotionally after his injury. He needs to stop looking back and start looking toward his new, different future. A future he didn't plan.

She accepts that.

Maybe she should start to do the same.

But she's not sure if she is ready to give up on the old Jane.

She tries to bury her feelings deep down inside her so she doesn't think about it. She used to be able to bounce back like that spruce tree. Shake it off, make a few jokes; be back to normal. She swallows back the rush of emotion that tightens in her throat as it hits her, just like she's done a thousand times. It's too damn heavy to shoulder anymore. She feels herself suffocating at times.

She's paralyzed and frozen.

She wipes at her eyes before any tears can form. She's not so sure she can bounce back from the next storm if and when it hits.

She hears the clatter behind her. Maura is cleaning up the kitchen. She closes her eyes as she listens to the sounds. The scraping of the salt and pepper shakers as Maura wipes down the counter and pushes them back into place. The rolling of the drawer to the right of the dishwasher as Maura puts away the clean and dried cheese grater from dinner. Jane inhales slowly as she listens to every move the doctor makes.

It's comforting, knowing she is right behind her. Jane slowly opens her eyes as she realizes that it isn't just the tranquility of Maura's house that she craves. It's the presence of the doctor. She is the overriding force that brings peace and comfort to Jane.

She recognizes that she has been gravitating towards Maura over the last several months. Hell, they both have been seeking comfort from each other; making up excuses to drop by unannounced or making plans to spend their free weekends together. She can't remember either of them having a date since the whole Dennis fiasco.

Maybe Maura needs her, too. Jane huffs to herself. Or maybe she is just monopolizing all of the doctor's time and Maura is just too nice to mention it.

Jane sighs as she continues to look out the window. It's getting late. She rubs at her forehead and tries to convince herself that she should go out and start the car. To head back to her apartment; her cold, empty apartment.

She turns around and watches as Maura finishes wiping down the sink. She rocks back on her heels, her hands firmly tucked into her pockets.

"I should probably get going before the snow gets too deep," Jane motions to the storm outside with her head.

Maura wipes her hands on the towel and joins Jane by the window. She peers out into the back yard. She shrugs, "You could stay." She turns to face the detective, "No sense trying to navigate the streets all the way back to your apartment. Tommy has Jo, so there really isn't any reason for you to make the drive tonight."

The roads really aren't that bad, so Jane breathes in a sigh of relief at Maura's offer to let her stay the night. She's not sure why, but immediately she feels some of the pressure release off of her chest. She hasn't been sleeping very well for the last several weeks. Maybe this is what she needs to finally get some decent rest and get back to feeling like herself.

"If you're sure it's not an inconvenience," Jane gives her one more chance to change her mind.

Maura smiles lazily at her, "Jane…you're never an inconvenience." She grabs Jane's fingers and tugs her towards her bedroom. "Come on. I think I've got something you might be comfortable wearing to bed."

Jane lets her head fall back in mock exasperation, "Okay, just no garters or thongs, please." She gives a teasing smile to the doctor.

She looks back at Jane and grins, "Hmm…that severely limits my options." She looks up and down the slender frame of her friend. "I'm assuming a corset is out of the question, too?" Jane gives a wry smile.

She loves the banter between the two women. It helps lighten the mood when life gets too serious or burdensome. Maura always knows when Jane is feeling stressed. She doesn't have to say anything, she just knows. That's what makes the doctor such an amazing friend. Words don't need to be spoken. They don't need to ask each other for anything…one just knows what the other needs and is there to provide it for the other. Unconditionally.

Jane moves over to Maura's bed and sits on the edge. She watches as the smaller woman rustles through her dresser, no doubt looking for her most conservative night clothes. She finally unearths a silk night shirt at the bottom of the drawer. She walks it over to the detective and places it next to her on the bed.

"Is this alright?" She nods to the baby blue button down garment. Jane runs her hand along the fabric, the cool silky material flowing under her fingers.

"It's perfect. Thank you." She smiles at the doctor and watches as she heads to the master bath to get ready for bed. She grabs the silk nightshirt and heads to the guest room.

Jane marvels at the efficiency of Maura's guest bathroom. A cache of disposable toothbrushes are at the ready in the vanity. Soap and shampoo in the shower, ready for the morning. Fluffy towels hanging on the rack. The doctor is always prepared.

Jane removes her clothes and carefully lays them on the dresser. She slips into the silky smooth night shirt and runs her hands down the length of her torso as she watches herself in the mirror. Suddenly her t-shirts and shorts at night seem inadequate. She never realized how good a fine material could make her feel. She runs her fingers over the hem of the night shirt, which hits her at mid-thigh length. She looks at her reflection. She sees the damaged, shattered shell of a person she'd become the last few weeks.

She moves to the guest bed and sits down. She closes her eyes and listens to the sounds in Maura's house. She can hear the water running in the doctor's bathroom. If she listens really hard, she can hear the faint sounds as Maura goes through her nightly routine. She can make out the placing jars of night crème back on the counter, the opening and closing of a jewelry box as the doctor removes her earrings.

Jane sits and tries to relax. It's still relatively early. She's not really tired. She rubs at the raised flesh on the back of her hands. She looks around the room. It has everything she could possibly need, but the quiet in here is unsettling. She looks to the wall that separates the two rooms. She rises and walks to the edge of the room and lets her fingers graze over the cool drywall. Only a few inches separate her from Maura's room. Suddenly she feels like she is on the wrong side of the window pane; left out in the cold of the storm.

She knows Maura won't mind, so she leaves and makes her way back into the doctor's bedroom. She needs an excuse to spend more time with her to avoid the loneliness of the guest room. She's disappointed in herself for needing this contact with another human being. She used to be so self-reliant. She's not the same overconfident, brazen detective that she once was. She's fairly certain she's hidden this fact from everyone closest to her. But she knows the truth. And it frightens her.

Maura walks out of the bathroom, rubbing the last bit of lotion into her hands. She notices Jane perched on the side of her bed. She smiles, glad that Jane has rejoined her.

Jane opens her mouth and tries to come up with an excuse for her presence, "I…um…," she watches as Maura's hands rub in the lotion, "…was wondering if you had any lotion I could borrow." She looks down at her legs. They are rather dry. Maura will buy the excuse.

"Oh, sure." Maura points to the night stand next to Jane. "There should be a bottle in the top drawer."

Jane slides over on the bed and pulls the drawer open. A bundle of red silk material covers all the contents, so Jane gently tugs it free to look for the lotion. She shakes out the silk to reveal two identical silk scarves.

"Maura, why would you need two of the same scarves?" Jane asks as she locates the bottle of lotion. She squirts some lotion into her hands and looks over to the doctor waiting for her answer. Maura bites the side of her lip as she looks at Jane, a sheepish expression overtaking her features.

She raises her eyebrows at Jane, hoping that she will figure it out on her own. She waits for a moment and watches as Jane's eyes widen. "Oh, I'm sorry." Jane nervously looks back into the drawer at the red scarves, "That's really none of my business, is it?"

Fuck. Jane diverts her eyes and focuses on working the lotion into her calves.

Maura exhales and walks over to settle down next to Jane on the bed. She shakes her head, slightly embarrassed at the situation. She swallows before she speaks.

"Well," she chuckles at the tension in the room between them, "That was slightly awkward."

Jane slows her hands along her leg, "Ya think?" She glances at the doctor and both women break out into large smiles. "Thank god I didn't have to dig down too deep. Hard telling what else I might find in there." Maura playfully punches Jane in the arm as they both laugh. It feels good to laugh again.

Maura runs her hand along her forehead and shakes her head. "It's not like I ever use them. They're just there in case the opportunity arises." Jane gives her a skeptical look.

"Maur, it was the top item in the drawer." Jane looks her down like a perp. "That suggests it was the last thing used, or the most frequently used item in the drawer."

"Or," Maura raises a finger as she gets up to turn down the lights, leaving just the lamp on by the bed, "it just means I recently reorganized." She resumes her position next to Jane. She watches as Jane continues to rub the moisturizer into her limbs, deeply massaging the skin on her lower legs.

Curiosity gets the best of Jane. She stills her hands for a moment. "Have you ever used them?" She knows she shouldn't ask, because Maura will tell her everything. She's not sure if she really wants to hear the answer.

Maura focuses on a spot across the room, clearly lost in an old memory. "No, I haven't ever used those particular scarves." She turns to look at Jane, not knowing how far to go; how much to divulge. "I had a relationship in medical school." She exhales deeply, "It was one of my most memorable sexual experiences, so I guess I keep the scarves there in case I ever run across a special person that I would again feel comfortable with engaging in that type of sexual behavior."

Jane's eyes are on the scarves. She considers herself pretty plain vanilla in the sheets. Nothing too adventurous. Most of that is because she hasn't really had any long-term relationships. She's never gotten past the initial 5-6 time scenario to be comfortable with trying anything else. "I don't think I could ever let anyone tie me up like that." She shudders at the thought of losing all control of the situation. Again.

A flush of emotion tugs deep within her chest. It's happened to her before. Hoyt pinning her to the floor, Dominic tying her to his bed. Those memories come rushing back to her in an instant. Another reminder of how she is different than other women. How her life has veered down a different path. She drops her head down into her hands and rubs at her face. She just wants to feel normal. To be normal.

"I don't think I could ever give myself up like that…willingly."

Maura leans in to her and places a reassuring hand along her back, rubbing small circles against the tense muscles there.

"Jane, sometimes it can be liberating to relinquish all control. To let someone else take charge of things for a change." She waits until the detective's deep brown eyes look directly into her own. "It's all about trust, Jane." She places her hand along Jane's cheek and wipes at an errant tear that has escaped from the corner of her eye. "It doesn't even have to be sexual. Haven't you ever trusted anyone enough to give them complete control?"

Jane shakes her head, "No." She thinks about all the past men in her life. She hesitates for a moment, as it hits her…unsure if she should complete her train of thought out loud.

"Only you." It comes out as a whisper.

Maura's head snaps up to look into the deep brown orbs staring back at her. "I only trust you that much." She reaches into the drawer and pulls out the scarves and runs the fine material through her fingers. "I could only ever trust you to have complete control over me, Maur."

Maura's eyes are riveted to the material in Jane's hands. She so badly wants to help Jane overcome her fears. Jane may trust her enough to have complete control over her, but Maura isn't so sure if she trusts herself. She returns her gaze to the detective's. "Are you sure?" Jane nods. The lump in her throat makes it too hard to speak.

Words are too hard for Maura to form, too. She takes the scarves from Jane and motions to the pillows at the head of the bed. Jane scoots back and lies down. Her eyes close as she sinks into the plush mattress.

Maura gingerly takes Jane's hand and moves it towards the headboard. She ties one end firmly to the headboard and wraps the other end around the brunette's wrist. She ties it snug, but makes sure it's not too tight. "Is this okay?" she asks. Jane nods, her eyes still closed.

Maura repeats the process with Jane's other arm. Jane can feel the warmth of the doctor's body as she leans over her. She can feel her breasts hovering inches over her face. When Maura's done, she looks back down at the detective stretched out on the bed. Her eyes are still closed. She watches as her chest rises and falls with each breath and she can tell Jane is anxious. She slides onto the bed and lies on her side next to the brunette. She props her head up with her hand as she gazes at her friend.

She wants to reassure her, so she gently places her hand over the exposed skin above her knee. The contact does nothing but heighten the awareness of the situation.

"Relax, Jane." Her voice is velvety smooth in the detective's ear. Jane nods, but her entire body is tense.

A small, sad smile spreads across Maura's face. She wants to help her. She would do anything for her. "Jane, open your eyes, sweetie. It's just me."

She slowly peels her eyes open. A solitary candle is the only light. The flickering of the wick is the only sound.

Maura is looking down at her with those soft, caring eyes. Jane exhales slowly.

"What happens now?" Jane's voice is barely above a whisper.

The doctor squeezes her knee, "Only what you want to happen."

Jane wraps her fingers around the scarves binding her wrists and tugs lightly, "I'm pretty sure you're calling the shots, Doc."

Maura has let Jane deflect with humor for months. Hell, she's the first to admit that she's been an enabler to Jane. But she's seen over the last few weeks that Jane has been struggling. She needs help. Maura can help her.

She shakes her head, "Nothing is going to happen that you don't want, Jane. Trust me." Her tone is soothing, but the seductive nature of the situation isn't diminished.

Jane swallows. She's not nervous. She's just scared. Scared of what she really wants. Scared to admit to herself what she really wants. Who she wants.

"You're the expert," Jane's voice is low, "tell me what he did that made you want to keep scarves in your bedside table."

A grin tugs at the corner of Maura's mouth. "I never said it was a 'he'." She lets that sink in for a beat. "Does that surprise you?"

Jane's eyes widen instantly, but then relax. She half snorts, half laughs, "Nothing about you surprises me anymore." She tugs on the restraints again for affect. She breathes in deeply and slowly lets the air release from her lungs. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"

Maura shrugs nonchalantly, "You never asked."

The detective's gaze lands on the flickering candle behind Maura. Moments ago the wick was black and cold. Now it is full of life and energy as it dances behind the glass.

She's tired of being frozen and paralyzed.

She just wants to feel again.

Her voice is calm as she speaks, "What do you want, Maur?"

The doctor leans in closer, her hand stills on Jane's knee. "I want whatever you will give me, Jane." Her deep hazel eyes are dark and penetrating as they search Jane's face, looking for her answer.

The muscles in the detective's body tense as she strains against the restraints slightly. She wants so badly to reach out and touch Maura. To feel the softness she sees in her golden hair. To feel her skin, determine if it is as heated as her own right now.

She's so consumed by the blazing intensity of the blood coursing through her body that words escape her. Maura reaches out to tuck some lose hair behind her ear and she leans in to the touch, her eyes closing briefly as she melts into the contact of the doctor's hand on her face. When Maura's finger glides over the silk covering the center of her torso, she can't help the small whimper that escapes her lips.

She wants more.

She wants to let go.

The doctor brings her lips to Jane's ear to whisper one more time. "What will you give me, Jane?"

The heat from her words bathes Jane's cheek and she turns towards the doctor, her mouth open; silently begging for contact. Maura catches her lips in whisper of a kiss before breaking contact. She sees the stiff peaks form under the thin material of Jane's nightshirt.

Her hand trails up the outside of Jane's leg, brushing under the night shirt to the cotton fabric of her panties. Jane's skin is buzzing, so overwhelmingly alive.

She raises her head to capture Maura's lips in another kiss, her tongue searching out the inside of the doctor's mouth.

"I'll give you everything." She lets her head settle back down into the pillow. Maura's fingertips search higher, under the silk seeking to map out the ridges on Jane's ribs. Her mouth slides along Jane's neck, tasting the detective's skin.

Jane's breath catches as she flexes against the scarves again. The doctor's lips sliding over her throat are so distracting, but she wants to get the words out.

She's done looking backwards.

"I want it all."