A/N: This is for and because of my other half, who basically came up with the idea on the fly and told me to start writing. As always, the characters aren't mine.
Now, Jane Rizzoli is a woman of many talents. Aside from the obvious detective-y skills like sleuthing and sparring and interrogating grown men until they cry, she's also something of a comeback queen. It's an occupational hazard in a world full of boys masquerading as men—who are all just half an argument away from whipping them out and measuring.
She has no desire to see that many penises (and it only has a bit to do with the fact that she doesn't have one to offer for comparison), so it's not often that Jane is at a loss for words. Snide remarks; witty ones; sarcasm; observations that are just a bit too closer to the truth for anyone's comfort—Jane can pull them all out of thin air with hardly a second thought.
But then there's Maura Isles. Sexy in heels and scrubs and basically anything (and probably nothing), with a brain that acts like a search engine and holds more accurate information than all of Wikipedia and most of the internet.
And who can rock a non sequitur like it's something that Dolce & Gabbana makes in seven colours.
So when the Queen of the Dead's observation about weather and liver temperature marches straight into 'I had a dream about you last night' like they're both floats in the same parade, it's no wonder that it takes the detective more than her usual microsecond to respond.
'I had a dream about you last night.'
They're surrounded by crime scene techs and patrolmen buzzing like busy bees. Brutal reddish-brown-stain-spatter and a poor mutilated girl lying in a reddish-brown pool on the asphalt. Not exactly prime dream-remembering material.
'If it's something about the crime scene that made you remember it, I think I'm gonna steer clear of you for awhile.'
Maura makes a throaty sound that's half a laugh, meticulously removing her rubber gloves as she stands. 'Don't worry, you're safe. I don't know what made me think of it.'
Spoiler alert: the doctor damn well does know—and is careful to keep her body at just the right angle to hide the hives forming on her neck. But it has much less to do with the crime scene and much more to do with suddenly looking up into a certain detective's dark and brooding and fuck me (whether she realises it or not) eyes.
'Any information?' Jane jerks her head towards the victim.
All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. Or at least a careful one. A young officer has wandered into earshot, trying too hard to pretend he has any other reason to be there than eavesdropping.
'Not until we get her back to the lab,' Maura answers with a slight frown. 'Do you want to know what it was?'
'The murder weapon? Yes. A guess, a clue, anything, Maura.'
'It appears to be a cylindrical object, roughly two-and-a-half inches in diameter, but—'
'Check for a baseball bat,' Jane orders the snooping officer.
'Or a pipe,' Maura interjects. 'Or—'
'Fine.' There's the eyeroll. 'Or a pipe.'
For once, Maura will not let cynicism and sarcasm deter her. 'I was giving you a massage. Of sorts.'
It's the of sorts that opens this up to something else entirely. The kind of something where hands are probably anywhere but on a back or a neck or shoulders. And for the second time in as many minutes, the detective is momentarily tongue-tied.
The young patrol officer, however, is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and hasn't missed a beat. The mental image alone explodes with endless possibilities, not to mention the fact that he has a front-row seat to the juiciest piece of gossip to hit the station at least since yesterday.
Jane eyes him warily, lowering her voice and grabbing at Maura's arm. 'You can't just say things like that. People will get the wrong idea.'
'It wasn't a sex dream, Jane. But it was rather sexual.'
The doctor provides an out before her friend can start reeling—they've been tiptoeing around the issue for so long that it's practically second nature. 'It's perfectly normal for the subconscious mind to craft this sort of scenario. We spend a lot of time together. And you're a very attractive woman.'
The poor officer has managed to catch the eye of one of his cohorts, and they're both whispering avidly, the hand gestures unmistakable. The female officer isn't shy at all when she raises an eyebrow in their direction, followed up by a knowing smile and a nod. Now there are phones out and some furious texting.
Jane storms out of a fumbled interrogation—special and sexual are not interchangeable. At least not in all circumstances.
Maura dabs a cocktail of hydrocortisone and concealer on her few remaining hives, satisfied that they're nearly indiscernible.
The young officer perfects his own version of the dream scenario and commits it to memory. He plans to make good use of it later.
'Now when you say sexual…?'
It's two hours before Jane works up the nerve to ask the question, and would probably need two more before she'd be able to finish it.
She had been more or less successful in avoiding the morgue for most of the morning. But she's a cop, and cops need coffee almost more than air. So although Maura's request to meet in the café came suspiciously just as Jane was finishing her third cup that morning (she suspects spies), the pull of more caffeine could not be ignored.
Maura's smile is knowing and teasing and everything her matter-of-fact words aren't. 'It was just a dream, Jane.'
Important sidenote: everything is starting to look pornographic. And not just the everyday things like the way Maura sashays slightly when she walks or has this habit of touching her lips when she's thinking. But things like the way she's stirring skim milk into her coffee or rifling through sugar and Equal packets in search of her beloved Stevia.
'Yeah, a sexual dream.'
'Ooh, there's nothing better than a nice juicy sex dream. Who's your lucky man, Jane?'
Unfortunately, not looking before speaking means that her mother has heard more or less everything (and Jane might be scarred for life). Angela Rizzoli is never one to let a good story pass her by, especially one from her usually tight-lipped daughter.
'It was Maura.' Jane pushes the doctor in front of her as a shield.
'Oh. Well, we're all modern women, and there's nothing wrong with—'
'No! No.' And she needs something like seventeen more no's for good measure. 'It's was Maura's dream, not mine.'
Jane would very much like someone to kill her now, please. But murderers never seem to be around when you need them.
'Was it about that tall, dark, and handsome Italian again? He sounded so dreamy.'
Holding her dripping coffee cup at arm's length, Jane wipes at her chin with the back of her hand. Maura has suddenly found a Splenda packet very very interesting. But then again, who can blame her? Artificial sweeteners are all the rage.
'Ma, can you let us have our own conversation, please?'
The politeness earns her no points. Probably because her tone is that of a teenage girl who thinks she'll just die from embarrassment if her parents even breathe in her vicinity.
'What? Maura and I dish about our dreams all the time. Girl talk.'
'Not about this one, you don't.'
Angela is no one's fool. Maybe a bit naïve to some things of the new millennium, but men have been looking at women the way her daughter ogles her 'friend' since the beginning of time. It's not just mother's intuition either. Everyone with eyes can see it—except for the two parties involved, as it usually goes.
It's not that Jane is so painfully obvious—she keeps her tongue in her mouth, her hands (mostly) to innocent places, and at least tries to maintain eye contact. But it's that expression that's somewhere between hangdog and pleading puppy that always gives her away. Well, that and all those lingering sideways glances, the extra touches that remain just a smidge too long.
And the fact that Maura is equally guilty in all things pertaining to Jane.
It's almost ridiculous.
Lucky that every good mother knows the best way to goad her daughter into action. It's usually a secret blend of embarrassment, nagging, devious reverse psychology, and eleven herbs and spices.
'You tell Jane all about your dreamy Italian. She could use a good dream of her own, you know.' Angela pats Maura's arm with an overly sweet smile. 'And we'll talk later. When Betty Buzzkill isn't around.'
Jane leads Maura out of the café with a hand to the small of her back, her voice far lower and raspier than usual and she probably doesn't even realise that it oozes sex. 'You talk to my mother about your sex dreams?'
'I obviously don't tell her when they're about you.'
Jane is restless to the point that the boys upstairs walk on tiptoes and whisper about whether strategically leaving a bottle of Midol on her desk would do more harm than good.
Maura has analysed the same stomach contents three times in succession.
Angela has plotted six other ways to get her girls together. More than half involve Italian desserts, mysteriously locked doors, and/or power outages. She's working on the seventh.
By now, just enough word has gotten around so that the station is buzzing. But the rules of the pool require hard evidence—a photograph or at least two witnesses, as agreed by all involved before selecting their dates and handing over their money.
This week has the highest odds.
Jane shuffles into the morgue when Maura's wrist-deep in intestines. It should be decidedly unsexy.
'Just tell me,' she blurts almost angrily. 'Was there sex?'
'I didn't find any semen or evidence of tearing to suggest intercourse.'
'No, us.' Jane's staring at her feet, twirling a bit of hair in a rather adorable manner. 'Was there sex?'
'I already told you, Jane.'
'No, you didn't.'
When their eyes lock, it sounds like a dare.
Unfortunately, Maura has already risked hives today—stretching the truth now could be dangerous. 'We didn't have intercourse, Jane.'
'Oh.' Jane's pitched it wrong (or maybe just right)—it sounds almost disappointed. The echo hangs between the two women for a few long seconds. Followed by a deep breath and a rush of words. 'Then what made it sexual?'
Maura removes her gloves with a snap, glancing over at Jane, who's been careful to keep more than a few feet between them. 'You were shirtless and I had your nipple in my mouth.'
Wide eyes and a sucked in breath. 'Jesus, Maura. Warn a girl first.'
A close observer would notice the way the detective's eyes darkened and her breathing sped up. Someone even closer might have caught on to the way the pulse point in her neck had suddenly switched from a waltz to the quickstep. And someone from the medical profession? They would have seen all of that and a dozen other tiny markers stemming from attraction that an untrained eye wouldn't know to look out for.
Handy that there's a doctor in the house.
'You asked,' Maura says softly with a shrug—and a half-step closer.
Jane must know she's caught out. Only a completely innocent and unsexed schoolgirl could mistake the twinge between her own legs (pressing her thighs together fails to slake it)—or the sharp ache of her nipples pressing against her shirt. And it wouldn't take a detective to figure out that her almost-but-not-quite girlfriend probably ascertained those things as well.
She wants more (and Maura) and the upper hand all at once.
Two of those things are definitely achievable.
'So in your dreamland, you just get me half naked and start….' Jane gestures to her chest, gathering the courage to slide a thumb along the outside of her breast.
'Running my tongue along your breasts?' Maura's eyes are locked on that thumb, those long fingers, the unmistakable prick of a nipple underneath layers of cotton. 'Give me a little credit, Jane. I built up to that.'
It's easy to see the how? that hangs on Jane's tongue, the perfect little o that never quite makes it to an actual question. (Never mind the way her expression reads of hunger and tell me more, tell me more.) Instead she settles for almost-nonchalance.
'Yes. Though technically I kissed you.'
'Definitely. It's an entirely different dynamic.'
Jane's missed all those little movements that brought the other woman closer to her. It seems like she's blinked and Maura is suddenly near enough to breathe her in. Her heart flutters like a butterfly in her chest. 'There's no way I just sat there while you—'
'I never said you were passive, Jane.' There's a now-or-never pause (thankfully the now wins out). 'You had my skirt up around my waist and your hand almost up my thigh.'
A twitch of the hand will have the detective's hand there just now. That's it. A twitch. Unfortunately, smart as she is, sometimes Jane can be so beautifully stupid, it's painful to watch.
As Senior Criminalist Chang would know very well.
'I can come back with these later.' Susie waves a file in the air over her shoulder as she does a 180—more to hide her grin than to prevent her from seeing anything else.
Important fact: this interruption does not send the doctor and the detective jumping apart. Just standing there, looking at each other, and deciding what to do next. Unfortunately they both land on head in opposite directions at almost exactly the same moment.
Jane paces, takes an uncharacteristically long bathroom break, and finally grits her teeth with determination—though stabbing repeatedly at the elevator button will not make it come any faster.
Maura pores over lab results like they're autobiographies.
Susie Chang sends a mass email with the subject Rizzles: The wait is nearly over. The email itself is left blank.
The number of strides to cross the medical examiner's office, from door to desk?
It's not a question many people have asked.
Jane now knows it's three. If they're long and purposeful and hurried—anything less and she'll chicken out for sure.
Maura does little more than flick her eyes up from whatever file she's pretending to read, the pen in her hand still tapping out a steady rhythm. 'I told you, Jane. A dream like that is a perfectly normal occurrence. It doesn't mean—'
With a single fluid motion, Jane pulls Maura's chair out from behind the desk and turns it to face her. What follows is one of those moments where a thousand and one little things seem to take place in a millisecond, both too quickly and in slow motion. Maura's head tilts, her tongue peeking out to wet her lips. Jane blinks and breathes, grasping tightly at the doctor's forearm as she swoops in, eyes squeezing shut just as she makes contact.
Maura makes a soft sound that edges toward a moan.
Jane feels something like a growl build deep in her throat.
The pen clatters to the ground.
Now the plan—if the four seconds of thought Jane cobbled together on the way to the elevator could be considered that—was to dip in, get out, and back away. Give them both a chance to consider all of this and what it meant and if it was all just idiotic. Something chaste that could be laughed away easily.
But even the best laid plans can go awry. And this one was pretty shitty to begin with.
The kiss is almost brutal, just shy of bruising. Weeks and months of pent-up tension manifesting in teeth pulling at lower lips and mouths open and tongues tangling. Maura's helpless fingers tangle in Jane's hair as she reaches up to tug at the detective's collar, and Jane runs her palm up an arm that remains deliciously bare for most of the journey.
She finally (sadly) hits sleeve, and it's when she suddenly finds her fingertips gliding over that low neckline and just-brushing the rough lacy edge underneath that Jane starts to back away, slowly, allowing time for a few last nips to a cheek, to lips, to the tip of a nose. She stands back, arms folded as she surveys her handiwork.
Maura is breathless, flushed and radiant, chest heaving—and with the cut of her neckline on this particular day and the way it leaves just-enough-but-not-too-much to the imagination, it's almost a criminal offense for Jane to move any farther away.
She does anyway. With a grin that she tries with everything to keep coy, but is giddy and bouncing along the edges.
'It's not worth more hives.' Jane feels seven feet tall and slick (in more ways than one) and like she needs a fedora to tilt while she adds ridiculously crazy things like dollface to the ends of sentences. At least until she backs painfully into the door, flailing like a fish out of water and muttering a curse.
The moment is perfect without the need for perfection.
Maura says a million things by not actually saying any of them, sweeping a fingertip along the soft skin where Jane's were afraid to go.
Just managing to pull herself together, Jane makes sure she is safely through the doorway this time. 'I want to hear about tonight's dream tomorrow.'
Jane struts like a peacock—her steps gradually slowing, her hand refusing to reach out and open the morgue door.
Maura begins the steady countdown until she knows a certain detective will reappear in her doorway: five, four, three, two….
No one will ever know that Susie Chang is the rightful winner of the office pool; Frost will wrongly collect his winnings two weeks later.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to hear what you thought.