DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've been out of the game for quite a while, but was inspired by this show to step once more into the pool. I also pretend that anything that happens onscreen that doesn't fit MY narrative didn't actually occur.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To carrieanneq[at]mail.com
I Want To Wake Up Where You Are
Right at this moment, in spite of everything, Jane could not believe her good fortune. Here she was the object of obsession and hunted target of a son-of-a-bitch serial killer, but she was counting her blessings. The first of which was that she had woken up before Maura. No, actually the first was that she had slept ... and so soundly. That she hadn't bolted awake in terror, but rather had almost floated to the surface of awareness, emerging slightly fuzzy but otherwise refreshed. That was a damn miracle.
She had noticed Maura's presence at precisely the same time as she noticed the light streaming in from the window.. As soon as her eyes fluttered open they settled on the slim forearm just inches from her own. She had been thrilled that she was not alone ... knew that the state of peace she had been cocooned in was due entirely to the fact that Maura had not left her side. How often had she woken up smiling?
Stretching carefully and shifting so that she could prop her head on her hand, she let her gaze drift over the amazing sight that was Maura Isles sleeping. The beautiful face she had become so familiar with that she realized she took it for granted ... the stunning attractiveness, the delicate features, the near perfection. Unconsciousness softened the expression, but did nothing to dim the effect. Neither did the absence of makeup or the fact that her hair was gently awry and slightly strewn across her forehead. Maura was simply breathtaking.
That thought settled strangely in her mind with it's certainty ... even as she exhaled, she felt a wave of warmth spread through her as she acknowledged that this was no ordinary observation. This was deeper than her natural appreciation of Maura's appearance. If she were being honest, and hell, why not since she was inside her own head, she admitted that it was something she had deliberately ignored whenever any slip of evidence had presented itself. She was drawn to this woman in a way she hadn't wanted to examine, but instinctively knew was authentic and unique. And overwhelming.
Still, she didn't feel the rush of panic she'd expected when she accepted the truth. Maybe having Maura next to her calmed all fears. This was the second potentially terrifying confession that had succumbed to such a power.
Last night when she'd been paralyzed with the reality that Hoyt was coming for her ... that her worst nightmare was unfolding and that she had no way of stopping it, she'd come here. Blindly believing that if she could just get some sleep, be away from her own life for a few hours, the fear would not win. Like a child scurrying into her parents' room in the middle of a storm, she'd shown up at Maura's door. No other destination had even crossed her mind.
Her lips twitched into a slight smirk as she remembered her reaction to Maura's prehistoric-looking "pet." Of course she would choose an animal that seemed like more of a science experiment than a loving companion. Maura believed herself to be as sterile and unwelcoming as her lab. It was one of the few things that her intelligence betrayed ... she couldn't fathom that she was totally magnetic and charmingly quirky and adorable ... Jane nearly rolled her eyes as she recognized that her litany of praise was about to turn into schoolgirl's mash note.
Stubbornly, she answered her own admonishment. It was all true and she wasn't the only one who knew it. With a scowl she recalled seeing Maura greet Agent Dean at the door. Spying on them had been childish, but the initial surprise and the immediate stab of jealousy had been something else entirely. Maura hadn't wanted her to know he was coming ... that stung a bit. Only now was she processing that her other feelings had been more about not wanting Maura to be interested in him than not wanting him to be interested in Maura.
And then there was the awkward joking when Maura had joined her on the bed. They'd both been fully clothed, but Jane's unexpected apprehension -- initially chalked up to her aversion to letting anyone get too close to her vulnerabilities -- had caused her make light of the situation. Her subconscious had chosen a silly question that her clued-in conscious self now wished she could retract and rephrase ... possibly pose at another time.
All of the banter had been wiped away by the jolt of anxiety the noise from the other room had brought on. That the boogey-man could reach her here, and possibly go after Maura as well, sent her heart racing a million miles an hour. It took a second or two to hear Maura's reassurances, to feel the soft grip on her arm, bringing her back to herself. Again she'd tried mask her true feelings with humor, almost laughing as she'd said the words out loud.
"I've never been so scared in all my life."
She'd been hesitant to see Maura's reaction to her exposed weakness, worried that it might change the dynamic between them. Cause Maura to rely on her less in the future. Or worse, that Maura might brush it off with Jane's own brand of defense ... a sarcastic comment or a half-assed joke. She'd barely had time to dwell on those possibilities before Maura had drawn her closer, her expression full of compassion and care. Jane's eyes had welled up as she was cradled against Maura's shoulder and side, the tears slipping silently down her cheeks as she listened to Maura gently try to calm her.
"It's going to be okay ... you're okay ... I'm here .... it's going to be alright ..." Over and over they were repeated, nearly became a chant, until Jane felt completely enveloped with their power. Felt herself completely relax into the embrace and the warm security. She didn't even reach up to wipe her face, she was so completely incapacitated by the spell Maura had cast.
"Oh god, I'm ruining your blouse ..." The muffled words had come from nowhere. She hadn't even realized that she'd formed the thought.
"I don't care."
When Jane started to protest, Maura tightened one arm around her, the other hand hypnotically stroking Jane's hair, then down her arm. "Shhhh .... it's okay ... please just relax and let it all go ... all of it .... I've got you ... shhhhhhhh ..." The words gradually faded to a whisper, then into something almost like a hum. Jane slipped further and further toward the edge of sleep, propelled by Maura's soothing caresses and the steady rhythm of her breathing, so comforting to feel ... barely moving Jane's hand as it lay on the silk-clad stomach.
She'd surrendered so fully to these sensations and the welcome retreat of slumber that she'd thought she'd dreamed Maura adjusting the covers over her, sliding back into bed against her ... gathering her close again. Jane barely remembered stirring - uneasy in her confused, half-aware state - then settling down once more against Maura ... so wonderfully held and protected. In another fleeting memory, she recalled Maura murmuring close to her temple ... something about turning out the lights and changing her clothes ... followed by a soft kiss near her eyebrow and more quiet murmuring that had no real meaning. Now that she knew that she hadn't imagined this interlude, she remembered the next part quite clearly.
Maura had clasped her tightly, her lips brushing Jane's forehead and over her hair. Her next words were just as hushed but more firm ... almost fierce now that Jane was analyzing them. "I'm not leaving you again." And then Jane had drifted away. Dammit why couldn't she have stayed in that moment just a little while longer? That had been the best part and she'd been too lulled into oblivion to make it last. To appreciate it.
Her face flushed and this time she did roll her eyes at her train of thought. As her gaze shifted, she followed the line of Maura's arm, casually thrown forward on the pillow and sheets. She felt her face flame hotter as she realized Maura had changed clothes sometime after Jane had initially fallen asleep. Much of what she was wearing was covered by the bunched up comforter at her waist, but it appeared to be some sort of blue baby-doll nightie. Jesus. Jane swiped her hand roughly over her face, but not before she got a tantalizing glimpse of exposed thigh. Jesus Christ.
Stifling a groan, Jane flopped back onto her own pillow, her arm slung across her face. Immediately she regretted her actions when she felt Maura stir next to her. Running both hands over her face and up into her hair she raised up and braced on her hand, ready to speak. Instead, she grinned as Maura half-stretched while remaining in the same position, her hand drawing back to clutch the pillow while her cheek nestled into it more emphatically.
Jane's always husky voice sounded a touch rougher to her ears as she greeted her bedmate. "Hey, Sleeping Beauty." Unbidden, her fingers reached out and brushed the wayward strands of hair away from Maura's face, tucking them smoothly behind her ear. She almost lost her breath when Maura's eyelids fluttered open, those amazing eyes looking directly into her. Instantly, they were searching for signs of Jane's mood, appraising her condition.
"How are you?"
Annoyed that she was blushing, Jane dipped her head forward, letting her hair fall like curtains to shield her embarrassment, and faked a yawn to buy some time.
"Good. I'm good. Slept great ... no scary dreams, no worries. It's good. Yeah." Jesus.
"Jane look at me ... please." It was such a quiet request, so simple. Jane immediately complied. "You don't ever have to pretend with me, you know that, right?"
Nodding, Jane fidgeted with her hands for a moment before looking back again. "Thank you. So much. You have no idea ..." She felt her throat closing with emotion and couldn't continue. Swallowing repeatedly, she felt Maura clasp her forearm, feeling almost as if the fingers were squeezing her heart as well.
"We're going to get him, Jane. We are. He's a monster, but he's not invincible. We ARE going to stop him."
Swiping her eyes with one hand, Jane found her voice. "I know." Barely moving her head in agreement. " I know."
Now that she was fully aware of her situation, of the unfinished business in her life, she'd be damned if Hoyt was going to take the possibility of all of that away from her. Echoing Maura's declaration from last night in her head, she vowed that she wasn't going to leave Maura either.
Reluctantly getting out of bed and looking around for her shoes, she glanced back over her shoulder in time to see Maura stand ... arms high over her head as she stretched and twisted, the nightie riding up ...
Jesus H. Christ!
No way she was going anywhere.
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