Jane follows Maura towards the bedroom. With dark eyes and a hammering heart, she watches Maura's hips sway. Jane thinks that Maura's petite waist is beautiful. She wants to touch it. To grab it. To wrap her arms around it. Around Maura. The hair that falls over Maura's shoulders is perfectly styled, even at this late hour, after all day at work. Jane knows from experience how soft it is to touch. Just like Maura. Like her hands. Like her lips. Jane feels warm all over. She can't help but stare at the way Maura's dark blouse clings to her delicate back. At the impression of Maura's bra at her sides. Lace? Satin? Jane licks her lips, and labels arousal as nervousness. As reluctance. As confusion.
As beautiful as Maura is, Jane doesn't know how this, their first time, is going to work.
Because Jane is not gay. And neither is Maura.
Maura turns off the bathroom light, and suddenly, the hallway seems much darker. The bedroom light is on, guiding them. Jane glances down at the heels of Maura's bare feet. Maura is comfortable. Maura wants this. Maura is more than ready. While she's taken off her shirt to eat the pizza she bought home for them in just her tank top, Jane is still wearing her work boots. In boots, she's at least a head taller than Maura. Jane likes this. The height difference turns her on. Makes her feel stronger, like Maura idolises and adores her more than she already does.
The wind is louder the closer they get to Maura's bedroom, as it always is at this end of the house. When they reach the bedroom, climbing the three steps to the door, Maura steps aside, a full wine glass in each calm, steady hand. She props the door open with the tilt of her hip. She smiles at Jane, that loving, adoring smile that says I trust you. It is strange, in that moment, that Jane has never felt so distant from her best friend. It must be because this is different. This is sex. Sex with her best friend. And even though Jane's thought about it (what Maura looks like naked, the sounds she would make, how she would move beneath Jane, above Jane, against Jane, how she would taste and writhe and lick and fuck), she doesn't know if this is something that she actually wants.
Maura is an awkward friend and person. But as she places the wine glasses far from the bed, all the way across the room on her dresser, she moves towards Jane with a raw sexual energy. Maura is relaxed like this. And even though Maura is not gay, has surprisingly never been with a woman, and has only so much as kissed Jane, it is clear that Maura knows exactly what to do in the bedroom.
Jane sits on the bed, rubs her sweaty palms against her dark suit pants. Maura watches Jane for a moment before she moves back to the door. She's locking it, Jane realises. And then there's a click. When Maura turns and rests her back against the door, full breasts pressed against the silk of her burgundy shirt, bottom lip caught between pearly teeth, hipbones sharp against her white pencil skirt, Jane thinks about all of the ways that this could happen.
Maura sighs. Jane stills her movements. When she raises her eyes to Maura's…there is an explosion of emotion. Of lust. Desire. Panic.
"If you don't want to do this," Maura starts, "…we don't have to."
"I want to do this."
"I love you, Maur."
"You love me like a friend."
Jane is quiet. She doesn't correct Maura. Friendship. Companionship. Happiness. An end to loneliness. Family, eventually. Maybe. A world of possibility. And that is what this thing, this agreement was supposed to be about. Sex…sex was never supposed to be a part of this.
But Maura is looking at Jane with need and rejection shining in her eyes. She wants to be loved. God, Jane does love her, in so many ways. In confusing ways. The usual friendly way that she always has. But these last six months…there is something else. Something new. Something sexual. It's a growing passion that aches inside of Jane, but it feels utterly fantastic, even under lock and key.
"I like kissing you," Jane shares, and Maura's fallen expression brightens.
"I like kissing you, too, Jane."
I know. I feel it. Every time. On the couch. In your office. In our bed when you whisper 'goodnight'.
Maura's chest heaves. "You're a wonderful kisser."
Jane leans back on the bed, her palms spread out to hold herself up in an attempt to appear more relaxed, like she can do this. Confidence is sexy.
Jane pats the mattress. Maura pushes herself from the door. She smooths her skirt beneath herself as she sits next to Jane. Jane draws her eyes away from the curve of Maura's behind, tries to imagine what it's going to be like to unzip that skirt and touch silky skin and press her fingers against heat...
Maura interrupts Jane's thought process when she reaches up, and, with gentle fingers, rakes that stubborn strand of hair away from Jane's line of sight. Her fingers trail over Jane's scalp, fingernails tickling. Jane's eyes close involuntarily. She leans into the touch. Can't help herself. Maura's fingers feel so good, so delicate. Affectionate.
Words spill from Jane's lips. "I just…I know I'm nervous, and I know you can see that, but I don't want to mess things up."
"Jane, you're not going to mess anything up," Maura whispers, her devotion to Jane so real and true.
Jane opens her eyes again. She swallows as Maura's fingers trace the neckline of her tank top. It feels good. Too good. Maura is distracting her from the guilt, the responsibility. "What if we're not compatible like this?"
Maura raises an eyebrow and runs a fingertip beneath the neckline, just brushing the very top of Jane's right breast.
Jane reaches for that hand, and grasps it in her own. "No, Maura, just listen. What if we get naked and vulnerable and it's really, really bad?" She lets go of Maura's hand. "I'm not like you. I can't just make things work in the bedroom if they can't."
Maura draws her hands back into her own lap. "I know you get scared."
"I'm not scared." Jane leans forward, elbows on knees, head in her hands. "I'm just…we're not gay, Maura. God. We went into this with a no sex rule for a reason."
"Rule? There weren't any rules. You asked me how far it would go in the bedroom and I said that we'd take things slowly. See what happened."
Jane's heart is pounding. Fear. Excitement. She has no idea what she is saying. "You said that it wasn't about sex. That it was about commitment."
"It doesn't matter what I said, Jane. It's been six months, Jane, and I need to be touched."
Jane swallows. "Companionship, Maura. You wanted safety, and I've given you that."
Maura runs a hand through her own hair. Jane has pissed her off. She watches as Maura stands and untucks her short-sleeved blouse from her tight skirt. Maura opens the closet doors, her back to Jane. "You say you're not gay, but you're attracted to me, whether you like it or not. You're possessive, Jane."
Maura twirls on the spot.
"No. Don't scoff at me. You don't like the way men look at me, and I get that. You've always been like that. But now it's different. I still don't know what happened between you and Timothy Granger last week, but I know it was about me, Jane. I know he said something to you about us, about me, and you didn't like it."
Jane jumps up from the bed and reaches for her wine glass. She's heard enough about that. Fuck Timothy Granger. Fuck everyone. She drains the glass. "I told you that I don't want to talk about that ever again, Maura. Don't bring it up again."
Maura huffs. "Fine. That's for you to decide. You're the one who hit a man. But you can't pretend that you don't enjoy protecting me. You get a rush from it, Jane. Because you want me."
Jane draws in a shaky breath, and perches herself on the other side of the bed. Maura's side. Closer to the closed window. Somehow, closer to air. Jane is suffocating.
Silence. A cry of the wind.
"I love you, Jane. As a friend, and I want to love you in other ways," Maura is calm. Jane wants to be calm. Maura's calmness brings tears to Jane's eyes. Tears only make Jane more confused. "But you have to let me. Otherwise, I think we're both going to be very frustrated and lonely for the rest of our lives."
Jane tears at the zipper of her boots, throwing them against the carpet in irritation. "Lonely? The whole point of doing this, of being together, was so that we'd never be lonely. So that we'd always have each other."
The bed dips behind Jane. She can feel the heat of Maura's body behind her as the doctor kneels on the mattress. Jane sighs as Maura presses her thumbs into Jane's muscles. Jane licks her lips, and thinks before she speaks. "If we just keep things the way they are, just kissing, just sleeping, just," Jane blushes, "…holding each other, why can't that be enough?"
Maura sees straight through the façade, the want, the confusion. "Jane, people already think we're a lesbian couple. Your mother, your brothers, our colleagues. They think we've fallen love. We told them that because you didn't want them to think that either of us was settling. Settling for each other because we couldn't find real love with men. So, if everyone already thinks we're in love, making love, why are you so reluctant to just try to be with me in that way?"
Jane is quick to retort, and when she does, the words taste metallic on her tongue. "Because I'm not gay. And you're not gay. We're not really attracted to each other, Maura. C'mon, we both know that."
Maura is quiet, but she does not cease the movement of her fingers, pressing into Jane, relieving the tension. And, fuck, it feels so good to have Maura's warm hands against her bare skin.
"Do you remember last Sunday after family dinner?" Maura whispers in question, her lips pressed against the shell of Jane's ear. "We were in the kitchen, and you thanked me. You told me that you were happy with me."
Jane's eyes slip closed and she nods.
"You kissed me."
"I like kissing you," Jane repeats.
"I know." Fuck. Maura's breath is hot and wet against her neck. Jane need a long drink of water. More wine. She doesn't even like wine that much. "I like kissing you, too," Maura adds. "But Jane…you touched me, really, for the first time. Your hand…you touched me beneath my shirt, against my rib cage. You pulled me closer, pressed my leg between yours. You moaned."
"Maura…" Jane warns, her voice hoarse and the space between her legs begging to be touched by somebody other than herself. It's been a long time since she's even done that. Sleeping in a bed with Maura has its rewards (goodnight kisses, Maura's curves moulded to Jane's, listening as Maura gets herself off hours after she thinks Jane's fallen asleep). But Jane hasn't dared to find release in Maura's bed since the day she moved in. And the one time she had given in, lost control during a simple kiss, Maura had noticed. Noted it. Stored it to use against Jane in her moment of weakness. Only for good, of course. Maura Isn't manipulative. Maura Is too good for that.
Maura presseS her lips against Jane's neck. "Last night, you offered to try this. Last night, you seemed comfortable at the idea of being intimate with me. Jane, you need to stop thinking so much."
Jane turns her body on the bed, and suddenly, Maura's lips capture hers. Nip. Slide. Pressure. Jane's lips part slowly, hesitantly, and Maura's tongue is in a desperate hurry to slide against Jane's. Wet. Warm. Hot, heavy breaths. Jane just wants to push Maura back against the bed, press a leg between Maura's and grind them to orgasm. Fully clothed, she doesn't care. She wants Maura.
Oh, God. If only Jane was good enough. If only she wouldn't lose control. If only this was the right thing to do. If only she was sure that she was in love with this woman. Because really, aren't they just using each other? That must be the reason. It has to be the reason why Maura wants Jane so much. She's not in love with her blue-collar detective. Maura…Maura is just content.
Fuck. Who cared?
Jane's hands come to feel the smoothness of Maura's jaw. Jane angles their kiss, makes it deeper and fuller and wetter. But when Maura's hands grasp at Jane's waist, Jane slows. She has to be careful. She can't let them rush this. There's too much want. Too much need. Too much fucking frustration that she can never, ever let Maura see. Because if this doesn't work, god, if Jane isn't good enough as a lover, maybe, maybe they can just go back to companionship and forever. If Maura's just using her for sex, and commitment too, maybe they can just not be lonely together. That way, Maura will never have to know how desperately Jane wants to make love to her, to make Maura hers.
"Let's take this slowly," Jane breathes. She runs her hands, her shaky fingers over Maura's gorgeous neck. This woman is warm all over. So different to Jane.
"We have all night," Maura whispers seductively. Jane blushes at the mere thought. All night with Maura. Hot, wet, aroused Maura. Her best friend. Oh god, Jane is so far in denial. At least one of them isn't using the other. Jane is in love with Maura. She knows it when Maura sighs, when their lips meet again. All that Maura has to do is kiss her and Jane loses control.
Maura runs her thumbs up and down the ribbing of Jane's tank top, presses them against Jane's abdomen. There's a fire between Jane's legs now, and Jane's amazed that it's burning so strongly because she's so goddamn wet. She's aching and Maura hasn't even touched her naked skin.
"Mmm…" Maura's lips trail along Jane's jaw. Jane dares to feel the silk of Maura's blouse at her back. It feels good. The heat of Maura's body beneath it feels even better. It almost burns away the mass of guilt that's been building on Jane's shoulders since the first time they tried kissing, the first time Maura held her as they slept. Oh god, Jane knows that her nipples are so hard. She fights to keep her hips from moving on the mattress.
Maura's hands touch the buckle of Jane's belt. Jane pulls away from the kiss, unable to disguise her panting breaths.
"Maura," Maura's lips latch onto the muscles between Jane's shoulder and neck. She bites there, softly. Jane swallows harshly at the sound of Maura's desperate little grunt. "Sweetheart…I want this to be about you tonight."
Maura kisses her way up Jane's neck, shaking her head as she goes. "Not just me. Us." She's refusing Jane's request. She sucks on Jane's earlobe, runs her hot tongue over the skin. Jane closes her eyes and swallows a moan. Maura's lips press against her ear again. "I want to touch you, Jane. I want to make love to you."
Jane doesn't think. She doesn't mean what she says. But she says it anyway.
"I don't want that."
Maura pulls back, arousal quickly turning to pain. And not the pleasurable kind. "What do you mean you don't want that?"
Jane gazes at Maura, trying to focus her eyes, to think of something to say. But Maura doesn't give her time to focus. Maura pulls herself away from Jane. Jane tries to reach for her, whispers, "Maura", and wraps her fingers around Maura's frail wrist, but Maura can't even look at Jane as she roughly peels them away.
The blonde pads across the room for her wine glass. She picks it up, swallows what is left, and leaves it next to Jane's empty glass. She shoots an angry glare at Jane as she moves toward the door. Jane swallows, but is slightly relieved. At least Maura is angry. Angry Maura is better than Hurt and Disappointed Maura.
Angry Maura unlocks the door.
"Maura," Jane tries again, thinking that there's no hope left tonight.
Maura surprises Jane when she turns at the doorway. "Jane, when you figure out what it is that you want from this…commitment…please tell me. I'll be here. I'm always going to be here with you. We decided that months ago, and married to you or not, I am a woman of my word. But we need rules from now on. I need to know what this is. You need to tell me what this is. Because I am tired of feeling guilty for pressuring you into sex, when you're the one who looks at me and touches me like I'm the love of your life."
Jane was awake until three am in the guest bedroom, thinking, figuring, trying to work it all out. The bed was uncomfortable, different, but even asking to sleep in their bed seemed asking for too much. The two am realisation that she hadn't slept in the guest bedroom for five months told her that somewhere along the line, something between Maura and Jane had changed.
Jane pushed her hand beneath her panties, and touched herself. Minutes later, when she came, it was the thought of Maura's hands at her buckle that sent Jane into a rich, throbbing orgasm.
And that should have changed everything.