DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network. The title comes from Rogers & Hart's 'Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered'.
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Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
Jane and Maura didn't cross paths over the next few days - there were, it seems, other Detectives who solved homicides in the city of Boston.
It didn't mean that Jane wasn't acutely aware of every time Maura's heels clicked down the hall, past the division's door. And it didn't mean that Maura wasn't absolutely aware of how long it had been since they last ... interacted (83 hours and counting). Per Jane's request, she was giving her room - space. In which to think. Which were her exact words. Jane's, not hers. To say that Dr. Maura Isles was confused was an understatement. Wrist deep into the body of her current subject, Maura reviewed all the known elements in what had happened in order to better grasp the situation:
1. Jane came over on Saturday night (Well, Sunday at that point) with Twinkies and candles
2. Jane kissed her after she blew out the above mentioned candle
3. Maura devoured her Twinkie and half of Jane's
4. Jane smiled at her and physically indicated she would like to kiss Maura again - but didn't
5. Maura invited Jane to stay the night, assuring the brunette that it was a strictly platonic invitation
6. Jane smiled and said she had plans that morning
7. Maura took Jane's hand and walked her to the door (Bass following along. Slowly.)
8. There was an awkward moment when neither woman knew what the appropriate goodbye gesture would be.
a. Maura went for the cheek
b. Jane went for a hug
c. They crashed into themselves and laughed
d. They pulled back
e. Maura smiled and gently pushed her against the door and ki-
"Doctor Isles?" A voice interrupted her list-making and pulled her out of her corpse.
"Yes?!" She snapped, shooting a dirty look at the new Detective who was assigned to her case. Dougie, Doogie, Denny something. She didn't really catch it. Cute though, if you went for that boyish charm kind of thing.
"I was just - guess you're not done. Never mind."
"No, not done yet. Still open." She pointed down to the open chest before her, "Generally means I'm not done yet."
"Got it." He stammered, still looking at her.
"Ok." She dismissed him and returned to her work.
"Ok." He stood there for a moment, watching as she continued her exam.
"Did you want anything else?" She finally asked, his peering making her nervous.
"No - I mean - I..."
"You?" She knew she shouldn't be so curt with him - he was probably scared of the body on the table; he was young and hadn't seen too many corpses splayed open. She also knew she had a reputation of being intimidating (it was the whole 'cuts corpses open for a living' thing Jane assured her). She also knew what it was like to be intimidated. It wasn't nice. "I'm sorry," Maura pulled herself out of the body cavity she was working in and turned to face him again. "You were saying?"
"I uh - wanted to see if, when you were done..." He stammered and blushed and reminded her of someone, she couldn't quite place her finger on. "If you wanted to grab dinner, or something? I mean, if you can eat after...that." He motioned towards their victim.
"I can eat after almost anything. Except for roller coasters." Maura began, her mouth racing and her mind working to catch up to it. "And I should be hungry in - Oh. Oh! Ohhhhhhh." Her mind and her mouth finally met and realized she was just asked out. Mid-autopsy. Perhaps she really should cut out the flirting in close proximity to corpses. It never did work out well for her. "I would, gee, I would love to. I would, it's just I'm kind of-"
"You're probably seeing someone, right?" Denny asked, nodding his head in understanding. "I get it, should've known. I mean, I asked but -"
"You asked? Who?"
"Um, Korsak and Rizz. They said you weren't - but then Rizz said you didn't really talk a lot about that kinda stuff. Anyway - I uh..."
"I'm sorry - but thank you." Isles smiled at him, "It isn't often that someone comes in to talk to me in here, let alone wants to spend time with me." She paused for a moment "It was very nice. You have good manners." she offered.
"Well, no worries - maybe we can grab a drink or something later - you know, in a non-dinner capacity?" He returned her smile and ducked out of the room, letting her return to work. And her list.
e. Maura smiled and gently pushed her against the door and kissed her - gently
9. Jane left
10. Maura fed Bass/re-brushed/re-flossed/crawled into bed/thought about how this may have been one of the best birthdays she'd had in recent memory
11. Jane called her and said she needed 'space'. She needed to think. About what this meant. And if there was a this, because you know she was hopped up on beer and Twinkies.
12. Maura pointed out that it had been hours since the beer's effects wore off and that the Twinkies came after the kiss
13. Jane muttered something about a Twinkie defense
14. Maura responded along the lines that Jane could take all the time she wanted or needed, wished her good night and then hung up
15. Maura then considered revising her previous statement about her birthday, but chose to leave it intact as it was well past midnight and therefore no longer her birthday
16. Maura then pounded her pillow into submission, curled up in the fetal position and fell asleep feeling confused.
That sense of confusion stayed with her when she woke up in the morning, and when her phone didn't ring or buzz, or why Jane never responded to her text asking which pizza place it was that they preferred, Pizza Milano or Pizzeria Roma? That confusion carried over into Monday when she told the Barista at the coffee shop she only needed one coffee today, not two. And it was with her now, as she reviewed everything - as far as she could tell, she hadn't committed a transgression more major than eating Jane's Twinkie. Maybe Jane really liked her Twinkie? But it was her birthday, and it was in lieu of cake, and Jane had her entire life to eat Twinkies and it was Maura's first time!
"Cavity's still open. Still open means still not done." Maura called out in response to the door which clicked open.
"I'll be sure to remember that." The familiar voice remarked, lingering by the door.
"Jane!" Maura's head snapped up at her unexpected visitor. "Hi." She greeted her friend, a smile spreading across her whole face.
"Hi." Jane repeated, laughing softly.
"How are you?" Isles asked, snapping her bloody gloves off her hands and throwing them out, before washing her hands.
"I'm good. How was pizza?"
"Oh. Um. Good. Good. I think Bass is developing an appreciation for crusts."
"Well that's good."
An awkward silence hung over them, allowing the honey-haired woman to realize that she was doing it again, flirting over dead bodies.
"So, anyways..." Jane began, revealing a file folder from behind her, "I was wondering if you could do me a favor and look over these files - I can't help but feeling like there's something we've missed."
"No rush, just whenever. Thanks." Jane placed the files on the counter, offered a wan smile and backed out of the room leaving Maura and her faded smile alone. "I washed my hands for that?" she murmured to herself as she returned to her corpse.
Jane, meanwhile ducked around the corner from the door and leaned her back against the wall. She knew she was being an asshole. She did. She said so to herself every time she heard Maura's voice, or made a detour to avoid the morgue. She just didn't know what else to do. She kissed a girl. She had worked her entire adult life fighting that stereotype - what was it, was it something everyone else could smell on her?!
And it wasn't a forgivable, drunken, make-out session either, (not that she'd ever done that) but she'd hung enough around bars to see it happen often enough. And it wasn't just any girl either, it was Maura. Maura of all people. The woman was at times the most literal human being on the planet! Jane didn't have a lot of friends, it wasn't like she could afford to get new ones if things didn't work out with the ones she had. And she had a strong feeling things wouldn't be working out between them. And then where would she be? She'd be down a ... girlfriend. And worse, down a friend. The damned near greatest friend she had. And she couldn't deal with that. Deep down, Jane Rizzoli was a coward. With that admission, she pushed herself off the wall and made her way back to her desk.
They only had one more run-in that week (112 hours) - both women were in their cars, stuck in the bottleneck of traffic trying to get out. Jane quickly nodded, then lowered her head to occupy her time with doing whatever she could find to prevent her from looking into the confused eyes of Dr. Isles. In fact, she was doing such a good job that she didn't even notice it was her turn to exit until a honk from Maura's car alerted her. Damn.
It was a Friday night and Jane was sitting at home, alone. The highlight of her night was going to be taking Jo Friday for a walk - she even did an extra block to prolong the night and they had just returned home and Jane had an entire evening looming ahead of her. She didn't realize just how much of her social life revolved around drinking with Maura, or hanging out with her or - a knock at the door interrupted her thoughts. Jane eagerly opened the door, hoping to find a misdirected pizza guy on the other side, only to find Maura...and a box of...
"Are those Twinkies?" She asked, stepping aside and half-heartedly waving the woman into her apartment.
"Yes." She responded. "I brought you a box of Twinkies."
"Why?" Jane asked, ripping the box open and shoving a snack cake in her mouth.
"After reviewing everything from that night the only thing I could come up with was that I ate half your ... Twinkie. And even though it was my birthday and supposed to be my cake, perhaps it was not fair of me. So I brought you replacements. Can we be friends again?" Maura asked, her eyes lighting up in earnest.
"Let me get this straight," Jane began, "You reviewed Saturday night, and the only thing wrong that you found was that you ate half my Twinkie."
"So you went and bought me a box of Twinkies, and arrived here asking if we could be friends?"
"Yes. Should it have been two boxes?" She asked, legitimately concerned that she had just jeopardized the reunion.
"For the record, yes. Always two boxes." Jane responded with a deadpan face.
"I can get another one." Maura gathered her keys and started towards the door.
"Maura, Maura - wait, no. It was a joke."
"Oh. Ha. Funny."
"No, it wasn't."
"Not very, but I've learned it's not polite to tell that to someone's face." Maura agreed, standing like a lost child in the middle of the room. "So? Are we friends again?"
"No, Maura, we're not friends again."
"Why not? You ate my Twinkie!"
"They were a gift!" Jane protectively clutched the box towards her chest, "Besides, you ate mine."
"Half." Maura corrected her.
"Why do you even want to be friends with me, Isles?" Jane asked, placing the box on top of the fridge, and grabbing two beers. She opened both and handed one to Maura, then sat herself on top of the kitchen counter. "I'm mean, I don't share, and I tease you."
"You also forgot you're bossy." Maura added helpfully.
"Demanding." She began to tick off faults on her finger with the beer bottle as she walked towards Jane.
"Sure, if you -"
"Judgy, sarcastic -"
"Yeah, yeah I get it Isles. I'm not what you'd call a 'catch' - so why this...interest?" She took a swig of her beer and watched Maura watch her. "What, why do you always watch me?" Maura always watched her. At first it was unnerving - but - no, it was still unnerving.
"I watch everyone." Isles stated simply, taking a sip.
"No, not like you watch me."
"I don't know. There's a lot of reasons I watch you. Sometimes I can't tell if you're joking or not, so it's to gauge your intention, or your motivation. Sometimes it's to see what you're really feeling. Sometimes it's really is because I watch people. Sometimes it's just that...you're really very pretty."
"And you like pretty things?" Jane smiled at her.
"Like now, I can't tell if you're making fun of me, or asking me. The upward direction of one side of your mouth indicates you're making fun, the fact that you're hiding behind your hair suggests you're embarrassed to be asking."
"I'm not hiding!" Jane sulked, "You sound just like my mother."
Maura walked up to Jane and placed her beer on the counter before she ran her hands through the brunette's dark hair, pushing it behind her ears. "If you're asking, yes, I like pretty things. They remind me that all the ugliness we see everyday was once ... different. And you, Jane? Are beautiful." She stood on her tiptoes and placed a soft kiss on other woman's forehead.
"It won't work." Jane muttered, taking a sip of beer to force some distance between the two of them.
"Flattery? On you?" Maura tried to smile as she stepped back.
"Oh." The all-knowing Mona Lisa smile returned to Isles' face at the thought that there may still be an 'us'. "What makes you say that?"
"It just never does."
"What never does?"
"Care to explain, Jane?" Maura asked
"Things. Between me. And people. Or you. And people. Well, living people anyways." The joke didn't go over well.
"I've had successful interpersonal relationships with the living."
"Name three." Jane challenged.
"Well there's...and...Hmmm... You first!" Maura responded, jutting her chin out in an act of defiance. Jane sighed, and reached her arms out and hooked her hands into Maura's coat pockets and tugged her closer, settling the doctor's body between her own legs.
"Yes, we are." Maura agreed, unsure of what to do with her own hands.
"It's just - not going to work." Jane's voice was heavy with disappointment.
"Is that why you have your arms wrapped around me Jane?" Maura asked softly, placing her own hands on the other woman's waist. "Your waist is really tiny, it's incredible, do you-"
"Focus here, Mar?"
"Sorry." She dramatically shut her mouth but couldn't hide that grin.
"What, what are you smiling at?"
"Yeah, I got that." Jane rolled her eyes.
"Just that 15 minutes ago we weren't talking, and now your arms are around me."
"While I tell you why it won't work."
"Jane, do you think I'm attractive?"
"Really, if this is what it's like to date you, I'm kind of glad we haven't even started."
"We have started dating. We're well into the dating phase. And no, I'm not asking like that."
"Fine, you're - you know. Pretty. You've got your hair," She flipped a curly strand of Isles' hair, "And you've got those really cute eyes - kind of like Jo's, and you look great in a skirt. And if I can be honest?" Maura nodded. "Well, you're stacked." Jane admitted.
"I know!" The doctor responded with a gleeful smile. "I may not have your legs, but I have these!" She pointed to them. "They even bounce!" She began to bounce slightly on her feet, then stopped, realizing that she still had her coat. "Well, trust me. They do."
"I know," Jane laughed, "I've seen them. At yoga, at work, at the bar. We all have!"
"Jane!" Maura playfully tapped her arm. "What I'm getting at, aside from the fact that I have magnificent breasts (because I do) is that you like me. You like to spend time with me, you like to interact with me, you like to tease me - and if I'm not mistaken, you'd like to keep doing these things, right?"
"Right - so why can't we go back to -" Maura slid closer and closed every gap between their bodies. She swiftly tangled her fingers through Jane's hair and placed a determined kiss on Jane's lips and felt the other woman melt in her arms. "We can. If that's what you'd like. Or we can have this." Isles murmured against Jane's own lips, finally letting go and stepping back to their former position.
"This, this was nice." Jane admitted, her eyes finally opening. "But when it ends?"
"I don't like that answer."
"Neither do I. It'd be foolish to think there isn't a chance that it won't because there is a good chance that it will. We can accept it and do our best to keep it from happening, or we just stop here and now." Maura explained. "Did I mention they bounce?" She joked, pointing to her chest once more in an attempt to lighten the mood.
"So, for someone who has no idea how to interact with other living human beings -"
"I never said that. I just said I wasn't very good at it." She corrected.
"You know, you say I tease you all the time, but you correct me all the time. It's very annoying."
"Because I'm always correct."
"Maura, I'm a cop. I have crap hours at a crap job where people like to shoot at me with guns. And I like it. I'm always on-call. I can never guarantee that I'll be where we're supposed to be. You can't take me anywhere without me probably embarrassing myself and maybe you. I can't buy you pretty things. I'm moody. And I have my family. Do see where I'm going with this?"
"Jane, I cut dead people open for a living. And I love my job but I'll probably always smell *just* a little like formaldehyde. I probably embarrass you on a daily basis when you have to explain things to me like 'Fluff' or Twinkies. I can buy my own 'pretty things' - I've been doing it long enough, but if you must know, flowers are also pretty - dahlias especially. I'm confusing and awkward and I don't have my family - I just have me & a tortoise."
"Geeze Mar, we're pretty pathetic!" Jane began to laugh.
"I don't think so! I think we're charmingly...odd people." She pouted.
"Charmingly odd? Is that classy talk for pathetic?"
"Does this mean we're friends again?" Maura asked, finally taking off her coat.
"Well if you keep bouncing, we can more than friends!"
"Oh, like this?" Maura teased, watching Jane trying to keep from blushing. "Jane Rizzoli, you're a breast lady."
"I am not. Yours are just magnificent."Jane defended herself as she hopped down from the counter. "You said so yourself."
"Listen, Jane -" Isles' voice turned serious once more. "Let's take it slow, ok? We don't have to rush. Or tell people. Not until you're ready."
"Really?" Jane asked.
"Really." Maura confirmed, "I mean, unless you want to... In that case..." She smiled, "I just - I just don't want to be here -" She motioned to the distance between them "-Again. I don't want us to get to a point where we don't talk."
"Me neither." Jane agreed, grabbing Maura's hand and leading her towards the bedroom. "Now, Tell me I'm pretty again! And that you like pretty things! Oooh - does this mean you'll be my sugar mamma?"
"Maura?" Jane whispered across the dark, "You awake?"
"I am now. Nightmare?" She asked, her hand tightening onto Jane's, her eyes still closed.
True to their word, the two women didn't rush into anything, choosing to take their time. They laid out some ground rules - and then promptly agreed that since they'd already shared a bed, maybe a sleepover wouldn't be such a bad idea. They then promptly changed into pajamas (Jane even relinquishing her cherished BPD Academy t-shirt to Maura who gleefully slipped into the oversized shirt) and crawled into bed and each other's arms. It was not as awkward as Jane had assumed it'd have been. She'd shared a bed with Isles before, and crossing the distance between them once under the sheets was not difficult. She did mean it when she said Maura was pretty; she was. And there was something restful about have the softer woman curled up beside her, a nude thigh wrapping around Jane's body. There was also something...enticing as well, Jane admitted, running a hand along the soft curves of Maura's calve and leading up to the thigh, then her hips. She had a feeling this 'taking their time' thing wouldn't take too long.
"No, no nightmare." She whispered back.
"Tell me about the piano, Maura."
"What? It's 3 in the morning!" Isles exclaimed, snuggling herself deeper into Jane's side.
"Please?" Jane asked.
"Tomorrow. Sleep now?"
"Maura. I just want to know something about you. Something happy."
"Fine - but tomorrow you're telling me a bedtime story." Isles insisted, with her eyes still closed. "It was a gift from my godfather. It's the one I learned to play on when I was small. I would take lessons every Friday night. And when he had a party at his house I would have my own room. And I would sit at the top of the stairs and peek between the railings and watch as everyone came in. They were beautiful." Her voice dropped off, fighting sleep. "They were in these dresses and tuxedos and in jewelry. And every time he welcomed a guest, he'd turn his head up towards me and wink. And I would watch them..." Isles lost the battle and fell back asleep in Jane Rizzoli's arms. Jane lightly kissed Maura and closed her own eyes, sleep coming back to her. Tomorrow it would be her turn for a story.
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