A/N: I honestly don't tend to write in the M rating range, but I swear it wasn't my fault. My spousal unit was out of the country for two months, just got home, and wham-my brain can only think and write about one thing. Even if it's not your cup of tea (no pun intended), the underlying intent is about an unexpected emotional connection that's reflected in the physical. Rizzles fun, Rizzles happy, Rizzles sweet-let me atone for any angst I've caused in the past. That's my story (literally) and I'm sticking to it. :-)
Dr. Maura Isles stared at the coffee mug on her desk, trying to understand exactly how she had arrived at this point. Just a little over twelve hours ago she had accepted her best friend's offer of a quick drink at the Robber and then somehow agreed to help with the latest plot to assemble her new bed.
Externally, Jane Rizzoli didn't come across as particularly high maintenance—from clothes to hair, 'afterthought' was the first thought—but when it came to a mattress, only perfection would do. The first mattress hadn't been soft enough it seemed and the replacement had been too firm, but this one would hopefully be just right.
Frost or Korsak would have been better candidates to assist but they were tied up with the Dormer case, and besides she didn't mind. If anything it might have given Maura an opportunity to make some helpful suggestions about sheet selection and thread count, or even some general décor tips. All those had been reasonable possibilities she thought, staring at the mug.
What she hadn't predicted was winding up flat on her back on the mattress in the middle of the living room floor, making love to her best friend and having what had been quite honestly the most mind-shattering orgasm of her life.
No, that had definitely not been on the menu when she had left the office last night.
Maura glanced over one shoulder, feeling her heart jump slightly at the sound of the opening door, but it was just one of the lab assistants arriving a few minutes early. She looked back at the mug and thought it had begun to put off a slight glow, taunting her.
You've made your decision, it whispered. Now it's up to her.
There hadn't been any decisions last night though, simply instinct. Truthfully, Maura had to admit, she shouldn't have been as surprised as she was. She and Jane had been close friends for years, even more so in the last few months. They had joked, even flirted at times, but it had always been in good fun and nothing to take seriously, although now Maura saw how wrong she had been.
"Are you sure you're going to be happy with this one?" she had said. "I don't think you'll be able to convince the mattress store to take it back a third time."
"It's…perfect." Jane exhaled with effort as she gave the mattress one last shove and let it fall to the floor in the middle of the living room.
"Have you actually slept on it though?"
Jane glowered, wiping her hair back off her forehead. "It's like shoes, Maura. You can try them on in the store but you don't get to run a marathon in them before you buy."
Maura carefully stepped out of her heels and lowered herself down onto the mattress, appreciating the firm back support as she stretched out to her full length. "I still think you should test it. Just don't take the tags off!"
"What, take a nap right here?" Jane grinned down at her and Maura had felt her heart lift for no other reason than she knew her friend never smiled at anyone else that way. There was something enormously comforting in it, even when they were having a disagreement.
"Is that all you're going to use it for?" Maura matched Jane's smile with her own, adding a wry twist. Jane waved a hand dismissively as if she could tell where this was headed. "You know, the simple act of sexual intercourse can help combat a host of medical…."
"Oh God," Jane groaned. "Not this again. Look, Maur, this isn't a prescription that you can just write and I go turn it in at the drugstore and they issue me someone to come home and have sex. And I'm not like that anyway. It needs to, y'know, mean something."
Maura propped up on her elbows, staring up at Jane. "I didn't say you had to go track someone down and drag them back to the cave. Just consider the possibility that you might want the mattress to provide a little…give and take. Find someone to help you test it out."
"It's not like Google's going to help me with that one." Jane was trying to smirk it off, but Maura sensed there was a more serious undercurrent. Ever since the last failed attempt at a relationship—Maura could hardly bring herself to think of how badly things had ended with Casey—Jane had been keeping herself more aloof than usual, not even playing along with the occasional double date.
In truth though, Maura had to admit that she enjoyed their evenings in as much as any dinner out in an expensive restaurant. Her favorite compromise of all was a very nice takeout split between them in her living room, watching a movie or talking about the day or really nothing at all. It was odd, considering how little they had in common, but they never seemed to have any trouble finding something to talk about.
Jane had eased down onto the mattress beside her, kicking off her sneakers and lying with her hands laced behind her head, staring up at the ceiling. "Feels good. What d'you think?"
Maura debated making some bantering remark, asking if she meant sex or the mattress, but sensed that Jane wasn't in the mood to make fun of herself. "I think…I think that if you ever found the right one that it wouldn't matter if you had a five star mattress or a pile of hay."
"The right one?" Jane wrinkled her nose. "Since when did you start buying into that? You're the one always telling me it's just chemistry and magnetism and ferretmones."
"Whatever." Jane let out a sigh, her eyes closing; then, after a long second, one flicked open. "Are you staring at me?"
"Yes." Maura had no choice but to tell the truth, especially since she'd been caught. "I was thinking that…mmm, doesn't matter."
"What?" Jane demanded. "You can't do that, start sentences and then go away."
"I didn't go anywhere. I'm still here and, yes, I think this is a very nice mattress."
"All right," she sighed. "I was thinking that if anyone deserved to find the right one, it's you. No, don't be like that—look at me."
Her eyebrows gathered into a thunderous line across her forehead, Jane turned her head and stared at Maura in a way that had been making suspects spontaneously confess for nearly a decade; the only effect it had on Maura was to make her laugh.
"Jane Clementine Rizzoli," she said quietly. "You deserve to be happy. You're brave, honest, loyal, kind, beautiful, and underneath it all you're actually very tenderhearted. You deserve to find someone absolutely amazing who can love you as much as…"
"Yes. I know I used that word three times and I should probably find a synonym, but it perfectly sums up what I want to say." Impulsively, Maura reached out across the few inches between them and brushed Jane's hair back from her forehead. "Anyone would be lucky to be with you."
"Yeah, well." Jane tried to shrug which didn't work very well while lying down. "You're in the minority."
"It doesn't matter. I'm still right." There was something unexpectedly sad about the way Jane was looking at her, like a child who had seen that one toy that they wanted—needed—above anything else, but they had also seen the price tag. "I'd give anything to make that happen for you," she said, "anything if I knew…"
Before Maura even realized what was happening, Jane was no longer stretched out alongside her but had propped up on one elbow and was gazing down at her. Maura found her words trailing off as she was quietly swallowed up by Jane's eyes, lost and drowning in the widening pupil. More gently than she could have imagined, Jane brought both hands up to frame Maura's face, her thumbs stroking across high accentuated cheekbones and Maura felt something in her heart take a very small turn to the left, sliding into place with a nearly audible click.
"I think I need to warn you," Jane whispered. "If you stay here, in five seconds I'm going to kiss you. I don't know if I deserve you, but I do know what I want. But if you don't want that too, you can get up now. We won't talk about it, it won't be awkward, and it'll never come up again. You're my best friend and I don't…"
"Jane," she whispered back. "It's been five seconds."
She kissed Maura then, gently bearing her back into the mattress which was in fact the perfect combination of softness and support for that particular activity. For once, Maura didn't even stop to ask questions. Something about the simple touch of Jane's hand utterly shut her brain down, leaving only the neural receptors devoted to experiencing pleasure and those were overloading rapidly. Fingertips brushed against the side of her neck just before a lingering kiss nuzzled in the hollow of her throat. Her fingers tangled into Jane's hair as buttons mysteriously vanished, replaced with kisses until her stomach lay bare except for Jane's hand splayed across it, slender fingers just brushing the waistband of her skirt.
"Please?" The husky question was repeated in an undertone. "Please, please…"
Maura realized then that she wasn't asking permission but was instead offering an incredulous prayer. There was no way to answer such a request with words. Lacing one hand through Jane's hair, she pulled her down to kiss her silent and wash away every plaguing doubt and uncertainty.
Maura jumped in her chair, the wheels causing her to roll forward and rebound off the desk. "Susie…I…"
"I'm so sorry, are you OK?" Her lab assistant hurried forward, the files tucked under her arm forgotten. "I thought you heard me come in."
"No, I was…" Maura searched for some excuse to explain why she had been staring off into space with a foolish, lovestruck expression on her face and found none. "I had a late night," she said at last. That much was true at least. It had been nearly 2 a.m. the last time she had caught a glimpse of the time on her cell phone and later than that before Jane had let her sleep.
"I have the Dormer results you were waiting on. I know Det. Frost was asking about them last night, so I wanted to bring them in right away." Susie blinked a few times and looked like a waiter expecting a tip or at least an extra thank you, which Maura was too happy to provide.
"Thank you." She stood, picking the coffee mug up along with the reports. "I know he'll be very, very happy to see these. In fact…I'm going to take them up right now."
If the mountain wouldn't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain.
Standing in the elevator, Maura balanced the files in the crook of one arm while she took the folded sheet of paper from the pocket of her navy blazer. It was, she thought guiltily, the same one she had worn to work the day before, but if she was lucky no one would notice. Between floors, she unfolded the page and read it again for the thirty-eighth time that morning.
You're probably wondering why you're waking up with this coffee mug next to you instead of me. A call came in on my cell but I thought you should sleep. They don't need an ME at the scene but I have to go and I don't think I'll be back before morning.
I had this all planned out, I really did, and as usual life screwed me up. You saw this mug in a shop on Newbury a few years ago when you made me go shopping and you said you liked it. I went back and got it the next day and I meant to give it to you for your birthday or Christmas or something, but I knew what I really wanted it for. I wanted there to be a day when I could make you coffee in the morning and bring it to you in bed and see your smile when you first wake up—to have you smile to see me there in bed beside you. I didn't know if I'd ever work up the courage to do what needed to be done in order for that to happen, but since you're seeing it now, then I guess I did.
Here's the deal. If last night wasn't a mistake for you, like it wasn't for me, then bring the mug to work. Have it out on your desk and I'll know you want another chance at waking up together. If not, then just leave it here and we don't have to talk about it. I'm not saying it'll be like it never happened, because I'll never forget it as long as I live, but I've gotten pretty good at hiding my feelings and I promise it won't change anything. I'll still be just as much in love with you as I have been since the day we met.
Maura had always been something of an early riser and never late to work, but today she set a record even for herself. She had been a full hour early, going directly to her office and making certain the door was propped back to its full extent so that her desk, with the mug centered squarely on it, could be seen from as far away as the elevator. She even considered angling an autopsy light to give the mug its own little spotlight but couldn't find one with a cord that would stretch far enough.
That was nearly two hours ago, but still, no sign of Jane. The time had come to take matters into her own hands. From Jane's letter, she had every reason to have faith, but her nerves were getting the better of her. It was only the most important conversation that she might ever have in her entire life and instead of having it, she had been sitting alone in her office, staring at a coffee mug and trying to keep memories of last night from completely derailing her.
But now, in the privacy of the elevator, she allowed it all to come flooding back.
Jane slipped out of reach, kissing her stomach again, trailing to one exposed hip. As lips moved lightly over her skin, Maura's fingers convulsed, knotting in the blanket spread beneath them. Jane said nothing as she drifted lower.
And then lower still.
Maura's head slammed back to the mattress and her breath caught as she gasped for air. A surge of warmth coursed through her and left her limbs trembling beyond her control. She struggled, swallowing hard as Jane took her breath away again. Finally she managed to stutter her name, but Jane didn't answer and she didn't want her to, not if it meant stopping what she was doing. But of course she would have to stop, that was only rational—something this wonderful couldn't last.
But Jane didn't stop.
Maura managed to wrench her eyes open for a moment and the image of Jane, completely intent and devoted—practically submitted—to her sent a wave of heat flushing through her. She had put her trust in Jane, literally put herself in her hands, but she had never imagined that someone so strong, with so much guilt and violence in her, could be so gentle and yet relentless all at once.
She had always thought of Jane's hands as competent but hard—scarred and sinewy—but as they touched her, they were unexpectedly tender but not hesitant. The waves were coming steadily, washing against her body, and the heat that had been in her stomach was pulsing through her, rising to her face. Maura struggled to open her eyes again, blinking against tears that were coming for no comprehensible reason. Quickly she wiped at her cheeks with the back of one hand. If Jane thought she had hurt her, she might stop and she couldn't, not before…
Dimly Maura heard the murmured words please, ohmyGod, please. It was another moment before she realized that the refrain was coming from her. Jane's arms were around her now, her mouth just outside Maura's ear.
Ssshhh, it's all right, it's all right, she murmured. I'm here, you're safe.
Maura's breath was coming in short, hard pants now, robbing her of even that plea. She couldn't feel the mattress beneath her even as she twisted her hands, clawing for an anchor, but she was adrift now, spinning higher. It was happening too quickly—she wanted this to last forever—and the tears were coming faster now as she struggled to hold back what was coming…
Sweetheart, you're safe. For me? Could you, just for me?
Maura felt her body slip away suddenly, twisting and arching beyond her control. She struggled to keep from crying out but the shaking had overwhelmed her and she sobbed Jane's name in two great gulping cries as she lost herself utterly to the bright silver fire running through her, flooding her body with warm convulsions. Blindly, she reached for Jane and found her already there, pulling her safely into a tight embrace as the waves rolled through her, reducing her to quiet whimpers and finally silent tears until breathless she nestled against Jane's chest and the world dropped away in small black velvet fragments.
Maura jerked her head up. The elevator doors had opened and two detectives whose names she knew she should remember were standing in the opening. One held the doors open as they bumped against his hand.
"Are you all right?" the other asked.
Maura cleared her throat and somehow forced her legs to steady beneath her. She hadn't thought they ever would again, not after last night, but somehow she convinced them that going forward was the only way she would have a chance at another night like that. At a lifetime like that.
"Det. Frost—the Dormer report?" Before he could say so much as thank you, she had thrust it into his hands and added, "Where's Jane?"
"I, ah…" He looked to Sgt. Korsak and they exchanged looks as though trying to decide what to say.
"Is she here? I know there was a call last night—is everything all right?"
"Yeah, more or less," Korsak said finally. "She didn't get here from the scene until an hour ago…"
An hour? Maura's mind screeched. She let you suffer for an hour?
"…and that's when Cavanaugh caught her. Someone showed up at the station this morning wanting to report a crime and he told Jane to interview her right away."
"Jane was mad." Frost's eyes said that mad wasn't quite the word. "She actually screamed at him, right in the lobby. Said she had to see you about something and it would only take a minute, but Cavanaugh said it wouldn't wait. He nearly dragged her down to the interview rooms himself. I don't know what set them off, but she was yelling her head off the whole way."
"And did it occur to you," Maura said with unnatural restraint, "to come tell me that she needed to see me and would be late?"
Korsak and Frost exchanged looks again, each begging the other to admit that it hadn't. Korsak finally stepped up and said he was sorry and seemed to be on the verge of saying more when a relieved look washed over his face.
"Rizzoli, hey, there you are! Look, the Dormer report."
"Screw the Dormer report," Jane grumbled as she shuffled into the bullpen. "You won't believe what I just had…oh…hey." Her voice instantly softened as she looked up and saw Maura standing by her desk. "Hi."
"Good morning." Maura took a single step forward, the first of many. "I was going to suggest coffee, but it looks like you need more than that."
Jane grinned, a stupid and utterly lovesick grin that Maura recognized as exactly the same one the detective had been grinning for as long as they had known each other—the difference was that she understood what it meant now. "Thanks, you look great too."
Maura had taken her by the arm and was moving them toward the elevator where they could speak more privately. "Here." She held out both hands, the mug cradled between them. "Do you think your mother would mind if you brought your own to the cafe?"
"I think she'd be thrilled." Jane frowned as she stared at the unfamiliar blue mug. "That's not the one…where'd you get that?"
"I bought it." Maura pointed at the department logo on the side. "I didn't realize that BPD had a gift shop. I…" Suddenly the words stuck in her throat as an unexpected wave of emotion rose up. Fortunately the elevator arrived and rescued her for the moment. When the doors closed behind them, enveloping them in a bubble of privacy, her courage came rushing back. "I bought it because I wanted to make you coffee instead. Tomorrow morning, at my house, us. If…if you're still interested."
The tiredness dropped from Jane's eyes, replaced by a grateful hunger that took Maura's breath away. "I think interested is a pretty mild word for it. I gotta ask though-just tomorrow?"
Maura shook her head, exhaling the breath she hadn't realized she was holding. "No, it's more than that. I-I need you to know, this isn't just about what you…last night, I mean…we, the sex…that was…"
Jane kissed her then, bringing an end to the oncoming babble. "Coffee first," she whispered. "We've got all the time in the world to sort out the details. But I think your place would be best, if that's OK."
Maura nodded instantly, struck silent by the kiss and the knowledge that she could have another, any time she wanted. "Of course, I—I'm sorry, I was worried when you didn't come to my office. I should've known there was a good reason."
Jane shook her head, muttering under her breath. "I'm going to kill Cavanaugh for that. Of all the mornings. Some woman came to the station and said she overheard a murder being committed and she's a major union donor apparently so he wanted it handled right away."
"Oh my God," Maura gasped.
Jane gave her a funny look, somewhere between exhausted and smug. "Interesting you should say that. Apparently that's what the victim said, between some thumping and a lot of screaming."
"Well, that's horrible, but why did Cavanaugh want you to handle it? Didn't he know you were out all night?" Didn't he know I needed to see you the way I need oxygen?
"Because." Jane reached behind her to press the emergency stop button on the elevator which came to a sudden jarring halt. "That woman lives in my building. Across the hall from me."
"There was a murder last night and we…" Maura was horrified, one hand to her mouth. "We slept right through it?"
"Not exactly." Jane's grin had crept out and Maura realized now that there was very little space between them at all as she was gently backed against the wall of the elevator. "Apparently, from what I could gather…you were the victim."
"Oh my God."
"Exactly," Jane murmured, kissing her throat.
"Oh my God."
Hands were slipping beneath her sweater, fingernails gently grazing her skin, coaxing shivers and another gasp from Maura.
"So, given what I have in mind for tonight, if you don't want the SWAT team breaking down my front door and getting an eyeful when that woman calls 911, I think it's time we have coffee at your place."
"Oh my God."
"There's just one thing," Jane whispered. "I don't know how to work your damn coffee maker."
That, Maura thought, as they slipped to the floor of the elevator, was the very least of her worries.