Maura was reluctant to make any movement that might disturb the head of brown curls in her lap, but the circulation in her left leg was impaired and she was beginning to lose sensation in her foot. Furthermore, SportsCenter seemed to never cease its recap of the basketball game they had just finished watching an hour earlier and the television remote was just out of reach, still clutched in Jane's hand.
In one graceful motion, Maura cradled Jane's head, shifted her legs into a more comfortable position, and plucked the remote from her best friend's fingers. There was a low grunt, but the chocolate eyes did not open and the lithe arms and back did not stretch or otherwise signal awakening.
Satisfied that slumber had not been disrupted and nobody would be driving groggily home, leaving anyone else alone in her big and quiet, but well-decorated brownstone, Maura took a breath of relief and lowered the volume on the television, then changed the channel to something more educational, a program on the social structures of apes and the ways they signal dominance and hierarchy.
The show's content didn't matter though; she wasn't watching the television. Her eyes and fingers alike were drawn to the locks in her lap. She must have been tired because her brain didn't stop her fingers from gently rolling russet split ends. Of their own accord, they combed the curls, untangling and smoothing as they spread natural oils to condition them. Fingernails lightly scraped scalp, her palm massaging a hairline of babyfine wisps.
Entranced in her duty, Maura was startled when Jane stirred. She noticed the Mona Lisa curl to Jane's lips as her body turned over away from the television and toward Maura. Jane nuzzled Maura's navel and pulled her brown tresses out from under her before wrapping one arm around Maura's back.
Maura froze in place, afraid she had crossed a line, an invisible but well-trod line between friendship and…. Before she dared think the word, Jane's hand blindly reached up for her wrist and replaced Maura's palm on her head. Maura breathed deeply, relaxed back into the cushions, and continued her caresses.