A/N: I was trying to write something nice and fluffy, but this came out of nowhere and demanded I write it instead. And of course, I'm just borrowing these two.
As always, thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear what you thought!
It's Google's fault that she's going insane. Clearly. Her internet search history is that of a crazy person. Or a teenage girl, maybe. But it's definitely on the fine line between the two.
It starts out innocently enough. A stormy Saturday afternoon. Frustration. Curiosity. A rain delay. The spark of a simple question that should have a simple answer. But then there are the what ifs. And maybes. And I know it's not, but just in cases. And suddenly she's following a weird trail of search strings that dangle like carrots in front of her even though the seventeen before were all supposed to be the last ones.
The reason for this sudden compulsion is simple.
There's something wrong with her hands.
Not the scars. Not the joints or muscles. The actual hands themselves.
There's only one explanation: her hands have become their own sentient creatures. And not just in the way that they can feel things. Jane knows how the sense of touch works—she's not stupid (at least not in that respect). It's that they've developed minds of their own. Little tiny brains probably located somewhere in the scar tissue that have connected in with her nervous system and muscles and make her palms and fingers and thumbs do things that she's convinced she wouldn't do otherwise. (In that respect, she's very stupid indeed.)
(Maura's little finger brushes against yours as you stand at a crime scene, and you lose the trail of your snarky comment, letting it dangle, open-mouthed and awkward—the compulsion is not to stay still or move away, but to link both your fingers together, tightly.
Maura just breathes. And you feel her hand quiver against yours.)
SEARCH #1: Frankenhands
It's not impossible that one of the doctors who fixed her hands way back when was some sort of Frankenstein in the making. (It almost doesn't sound too crazy as long as she doesn't say it out loud.) That once she was under, there was lightning and menacing laughter and a hunchbacked nurse taking orders—and at the end, shouts of 'They're aliiiiiive!'
This makes absolute perfect sense. All of it.
Except the part where the internet tells her it isn't really possible, but whatever. Hadn't Maura once said something about very little being rigorously peer-reviewed?
Yes. But what if….
(Somehow your arm has stretched across the length of Maura's back as you exit the elevator [and you can call it protective and chivalrous all you want, but that's not all that's there anymore], and your fingertips find purchase on a hip for just a fraction of a second.
And you think Maura moves closer. You know she smiles.)
SEARCH #2: Alien Hand Syndrome
This has Jane trapped on Wikipedia for far too long—tab after tab of people's hands unbuttoning gowns and trying to strangle them and pinching their nipples. Always a good hand and a bad hand. One having to restrain the other.
But her own hands are equal opportunity offenders, and it's not like she ever completely loses control of them—it's just that she won't realise exactly what they're doing until they're already doing it, and obviously that's a bit too late.
Or maybe it's not. Because so far, the only thing Maura's said about it is something (exactly) like You have exquisitely long fingers, Jane. And that's not exactly no or stop or what is your problem?
(That night you marvel at just how well those exquisitely long fingers can pinch and pull and reach all those places deep inside you.
But it's the way Maura looked at you as she'd said it, the way her tongue wrapped around the words that has you gasping—two, three, four times in rapid succession before sleep finds you.)
SEARCH #3:Human magnets
So maybe there aren't actually any little hand-brains involved. Maybe there's some sort of strange magnetic field or tiny magnets implanted into her palms, hidden by scars, that only react with… well, Jane hasn't figured that part out yet. And does it matter? There's obviously something drawing her fingertips to… all those soft and smooth places—with definite uncontrolled speed and almost a metallic clinking.
But suddenly the idea of magnets is a bit too close to animal magnetism and charisma and sexual attractiveness….
(You're in the car and Maura's worrying over something you don't remember, and the hand that reaches over in comfort lands a little too far up Maura's thigh.
And you're pretty sure your eyes aren't playing tricks on you when you see the doctor's legs open almost imperceptibly, more a twitch than anything, but definitely there, and if you had just been a little farther north….)
SEARCH #4: Female masturbation techniques
Well. It doesn't look like the Red Sox are going to be playing anytime soon, and Jane obviously needs something somewhat constructive to do with her hands.
Now, being a human female, Jane has certain needs that her short and sad string of so-called lovers hasn't really satisfied, and she's no stranger to a good old-fashioned solo orgasm. Though they're usually of the quick-and-dirty variety—hand just dipping under clothing and doing what needs to be done for the payoff at the end.
But drawing it out. Teasing. Fluttering. Licking her fingers and touching there. And there. (And oh… there—is it even possible to reach that?) Are things she's rarely considered. And she feels her legs spread as she wonders whether Maura likes it this way or that or what sounds she makes when she's alone (—what sounds she'd make if Jane were plunging her fingers deep inside her).
It's not until Jane's hips thrust compulsively and her laptop almost crashes to the floor that she realises her fingertips are already circling through her sweatpants. Diving in, she lets them continue, dipping inside and hissing at the feel of it. Old habits die hard, and she sets a hard and fast rhythm—needing the tightness and pressure and curled-toes of it to overwhelm her before her imagination can.
(And it's not your hands' fault that you see soft golden curls when you come.)
Catching her breath and letting her heartbeat settle back to something like normal, Jane picks up the phone, presses a well-used icon on her favourite contacts. And orders a pizza.
Then she washes her hands.
SEARCH #5: How to tell if you're a lesbian
It seems to have an awful lot to do with short hair and flannel and choice of shoes.
But probably—if she really thinks long and hard about it—has much more to do with not being able to keep her hands to herself around her best female friend. And the flash of Maura's face she always sees when she comes. And a million other things—some so small they're barely noticeable, others like elephants.
(Honey-blond hair escapes the hold of an elastic while Maura's elbow-deep in intestines and you reach to brush it behind her ear automatically—and maybe let your fingertips trail down her neck just a few inches more than necessary before retreating.
Maura licks her lips, meets your eyes, and thanks you softly. Her head still slightly tilted—as if she'd been allowing you better access.)
SEARCH #6: How to tell if your best friend is attracted to you
The page loads. Jane's just about to click on the first link—something almost guaranteed to be an inane teenage magazine quiz. And there's a knock at the door.
'Just a sec!'
Right. Laptop on the coffee table. Stand—stretch—dig for that crumpled $20 bill—and open the door with something like a smile.
The pizza's there. The box familiar, with the fancy bicycle deliveryman and that scribble on the side that's some kind of pizza code for Rizzoli. But the usual grinning face of the overly-bubbly teenager has morphed into something else entirely, and even when she blinks (hard), the illusion holds.
(With damp hair that still looks perfection and a drop of rain winking in the light—and so enticingly lickable—just on her cheek. Not touching it is painful.)
Jane quickly folds her arms. And wonders if she remembered soap when washing her hands or if the scent of (lonely) sex still lingers, but what she says is much simpler: 'You stole my pizza.'
'I paid for it, Jane.'
'How did they know you weren't just some random person paying for a pizza that I was never gonna get?'
'It was Gemma. She said "Hey, Dr. Isles. Are you heading up to Jane's?" I don't think there was ever any concern that you weren't going to get your pizza.'
'Maybe there should have been.'
'Honestly, Jane. Your dinner is safe.' Maura raises an eyebrow, seemingly caught in that strange space between mild annoyance and laughter. 'Are you going to let me in?'
'Yeah.' Stepping aside, Jane takes the pizza box—her fingers bump clumsily against Maura's (wanting to stay there, knowing they shouldn't) and the coveted pizza is only just saved from barrelling to the floor. 'What do I owe you?'
'Don't be ridiculous.'
It's Saturday, and still Maura's all high fashion and clicking heels as she crosses into the room, shedding her wet coat and draping it neatly on the back of a chair—revealing a simple but elegant dress in a crazy-soft material that she probably considers on par with Jane's stained sweatpants and worn Red Sox jersey. Jane's hands twitch with the need to feel the silkiness of that dress and how it hugs the curves beneath. She has one hand stupidly outstretched already, reaching, and she slams it down on the counter a little too hard.
Obviously, she needs to keep her hands busy. And on lockdown.
Opening the pizza box seems like a good idea, but Jane finds herself staring at a 50/50 split of pepperoni and mushrooms. She gives it a second—waits for her eyes to stop playing tricks on her—but the offending mushrooms (unsurprisingly) never turn back into the pepperoni slices they should have been.
'Apparently I knew you were coming.' Jane feels a twinge in the part of her that's still warmer and damper than it should be—wants to kick herself for her poor choice of words (and the image they flash behind her eyelids when she blinks).
Nothing has ever felt more important than the need to clarify: 'Mushrooms. On the pizza.'
Maura turns from the muted sportscasters still waiting out the rain delay on the television and pads softly over to the kitchen, settling on one of the barstools—the heeled boots are gone now, and the stockinged toes of one foot curl deliciously around the crossbar. (Jane wants to peel those stockings so slowly down smooth legs, run her fingertips along calves and ankles and arches and toes.)
'Do you have any of that beer that I liked? That will pair well with mushrooms, won't it?'
'Uh, yeah.' The first request is unexpected—Maura always asks for wine (or weird fruit juice or sparkling water). The second is easy—and Jane retrieves two bottles from the fridge and pops them open before handing one over (careful not to risk any contact). 'Beer goes with everything, Maura.'
Whatever way Maura means it, Jane hears the question like a loaded gun (because the dip of the collarbone, the crease of a thigh are yeses as easily as hamburgers and fries) and immediately sets the safety—changing the subject and taking a long swig of her beer. (It also helps to hide the image of Maura taking of sip of her own, and the way her neck lengthens and the muscles move.)
'You need some napkins to mop up the pepperoni grease?'
A sentence filled with a few distinctly unsexy words that still somehow sounds like flirtation. Glass clinks as they both set their bottles down and inspect the pizza. The line of demarcation is pretty well set, but for a single renegade mushroom that has made its way well into pepperoni territory.
There's eye contact. A quick grin from Maura and an answering grimace from Jane.
And then Maura eats the mushroom like it's a fucking striptease.
An arm lengthens, the sleeve riding up a few precious inches—the slice of mushroom snatched between finger and thumb—the journey up to waiting lips seems to take a lifetime, and there's just a passing glance of pink tongue peering out to meet it—fingertips popping just inside, and what that tongue must be doing to clean them should be criminal.
It is the single most seductive thing Jane has ever seen.
Maura swallows and speaks science (Jane loves even what she doesn't quite understand.) 'Dilation of the pupils. Vocalisations in the lower registers. Monoamines increase heart and breath rates and fuel the sudoriferous glands.'
Jane raises an eyebrow. 'I think I'll stick with the pepperoni.'
'Sweat glands. A person's palm can have up to 3000 per square inch.' Maura holds an outstretched palm face-up to drive her point home (and her slender fingers are beckoning even without moving at all).
'Good to know,' Jane responds, confused and careful. Right now she's pretty sure that number is more like a million, and discretely wipes a palm on her pant-leg.
'Signs of attraction.' Maura tilts her head to where the laptop still sits incriminatingly open.
Hand tightening into a fist, Jane fights the urge to run over and slam it shut, throw it out the window, anything. Nonchalance—she needs it. 'Oh, that's just…'
Research? Something for Frankie? Leftover from when a teenage girl stole my computer?
'You could have just asked, Jane.'
Maura says it like it's so straightforward she can't even imagine another option. Jane knows better.
'Right. I'll just pass you a note next time we're in Biology: Do you like me? Check yes or no.'
She's caught mid-eyeroll.
Maura makes checkmarks, precise and deliberate. A hand to Jane's wrist (check), the fingers still damp from her mouth. Tugging (check) so that Jane stumbles before her, palm sliding up forearm (check) and elbow (check) and bicep (check). Following the neckline of her Sox jersey to grab a handful of material right at the centre and tugging again, leaning forward and up to meet halfway.
Maura's lips land on hers like the wings of a butterfly—soft, fluttering, almost hesitant (but somehow without hesitating at all). Then gone just as quickly. It's answer and invitation in a fraction of a second—and it's nowhere near enough.
'Yes.' It's with a small smile and a little almost-embarrassed head tilt that sends soft golden curls swinging.
'I kinda figured.'
'But I didn't check any of your boxes, Jane.'
'Trust me, you did.' She practically growls it.
Confidence now. Her hands have been given the all-clear and immediately snap to attention, a palm over Maura's fist still on her shirt—the fingers relaxing under her own—and Jane leads it down to cup her own breast, her breath catching at the contact. Her shirt is enough of a barrier—the fact that she'd been too lazy for a bra today seems like the best non-decision she's ever made.
Maura hums softly, her expression almost reverent—and it's something else, both those things together, from this woman—and Jane's nipple hardens, almost more at that combination than the touch through her shirt (her back arches, begging for more).
There's a few inches between them and Jane subtracts from them, bending just enough—all now and mine and jesus, woman—as she presses their mouths together hard and fast, with an insistent hand to the back of Maura's head. The connection this time is a kaleidoscope—a quick twist, the snap of crystals, and an explosion of colour that shifts over and over as tongues tangle and lips slide and they breathe into each other (or forget to breathe at all).
Trailing along Maura's jawline, Jane nips at an earlobe and pauses, voice raspy and breathless. 'Are we gonna go make out under the bleachers now?'
Maura pulls back, a gleam in her eye the likes of which Jane has never seen (and with a small smile that she definitely has). But when Jane tries to lean forward to kiss her again (and again and again), she finds her own hand suddenly led to Maura's thigh—the rough scrape of stockings and the warm promise beneath them. Maura's legs open, nothing slight or subtle about the motion, and she slides Jane's hand upward, just underneath the hem of her dress.
'Well, I don't know about under the bleachers, but….'
And as she kisses the other woman fiercely, Jane remembers, just barely, that voice and the smile and exquisitely long fingers—and decides to make good use of them.