Jane missed Maura. It was that simple. It had been a week and a half since they made up when Maura was in Boston for the symposium. They had barely spent any time together in weeks; first, because they weren’t talking; then, because they both had to work the previous weekend. So, the result was that Jane had only seen Maura the Saturday night of Gia’s birthday in the four weeks between Maura’s last visit to Boston for Memorial Day and next weekend when Jane could finally visit D.C. again.
What was more, they hadn’t been able to talk on the phone in almost a week. Both of them had multiple new cases come in at work and were working long hours at the office. Jane had finally been cleared to return to active duty on Friday, just in time for another case to eat up her entire weekend. Luckily, they had closed the case today, so for the first time in over ten days Jane left the precinct for more than a quick shower and a nap. She had just curled up on the couch to watch some baseball and order dinner when her phone rang. A huge smile crossed her face when she saw that it was Maura.
“Hi, Maur,” she answered the phone.
“Hi, Jane,” Maura replied sounding breathless.
“How are you?” Jane asked.
Maura ignored her question and asked one of her own, “Are you home?”
“Yeah, why?” Jane asked. Suddenly, she was worried about the reason for Maura’s call. Was she calling to break up with her? Was she making sure that Jane wasn’t in public when she broke up with her? Maura hadn’t wanted to commit to being girlfriends; maybe, during the time apart, Maura had realized that she preferred having her free time back.
Jane was pulled from her worrying by a knock on her door.
“Hold on,” Jane said into the phone. “Someone’s at my door. It’s probably my…” Jane stopped mid-sentence when she looked through the peephole and saw Maura standing there. She hung up her phone and flung her door open.
“What are you…” Jane started, shocked. Maura suddenly looked nervous and tense. “Are you okay?”
As soon as Jane asked if she was okay, tears started streaming down Maura’s face. “Oh, Maur,” Jane said as she pulled Maura to her for a hug. Maura dropped her bag and buried her face in the crook of Jane’s neck, letting the tension leave her body as Jane held her.
Jane stepped back and took Maura’s face in her hands, using her thumbs to wipe away her tears. “What’s wrong?” she asked softly.
Maura just shook her head as the tears came faster. Jane pulled her back towards her, whispering, “It’s okay,” into her hair as she ran her hand up and down Maura’s back trying to comfort her.
When Maura’s breathing slowed, Jane stepped back, placing a soft kiss on her lips before reaching down to pick up Maura’s bags and guide her inside. Maura couldn’t help feeling embarrassed at her breakdown as she watched Jane close the door and lock it behind them. She never cried in front of people, not even as a child. Yet, today, after a bad case at work, she’d not only cried in front of Jane, but she’d also taken a two-hour flight just to do so.
“Come sit,” Jane said quietly, placing her hand on the small of Maura’s back to guide her to the couch. Once Maura was seated, she quickly ran to the kitchen to get them each a water bottle, grabbing the Kleenex box on her way back to the couch. She handed Maura one of the water bottles and the Kleenex and placed her own water on the coffee table before wrapping her arms around the other woman and pulling her close.
Running her hand through Maura’s hair as she held her close with her other arm, Jane asked, “When’s the last time you ate something?”
“Um, I don’t…I haven’t eaten since lunch,” Maura said. “But I’m not very hungry.”
“You have to eat,” Jane told her. She didn’t release her hold on Maura as she reached for her phone. She quickly ordered a pizza and salad before placing her phone back on the coffee table. Jane placed a soft kiss on the top of Maura’s head as she wrapped her other arm back around Maura and held her tight. Maura let herself melt into the embrace, taking comfort in just being close to her favorite person. She had never experienced this kind of comfort from another person, and she had never been held like this. She could tell that Jane was worried about her, but that she was letting Maura take the time she needed before she talked.
“I’m sorry,” Maura finally said after they’d sat together like that for a while.
“I hope you’re not apologizing for coming here,” Jane said.
“I didn’t ask, I just came,” Maura said. “You might have had plans or had to work.”
“Maura, you never need to ask. You are always welcome here, no matter what. I don’t have any plans tonight – we closed our case today – but even if I did, I would make time for you. I’ll always make time for you.”
Maura blinked as she felt hot tears return to her eyes. In response, she brought her feet up and tucked them under her body as she snuggled closer to Jane. “During my time as a medical examiner, I’ve worked a lot of difficult cases. Usually, I can remain objective; I can compartmentalize, allowing myself to do my work in order to help the victim and their family to the best of my ability without losing myself completely. But…but…” Maura broke off as she tried to catch her breath, trying not to let her crying overwhelm her. She took strength from the soft loving kisses Jane kept placing on the top of her head, reminding her that she was there for Maura.
[SKIP AHEAD IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ABOUT MAURA’S CASE]
Maura took a deep breath before continuing, “But today I had to autopsy a six year old girl and her parents. The child was adopted. Her birth father had located her and attempted to kidnap her. He killed her parents when they tried to protect her. The police arrived at the house before he was able to escape. When he realized he was trapped, he killed the little girl before taking his own life.
“I’ve autopsied children before, including children who have been hurt in unimaginable ways. Cases involving children have always been difficult, but something about today’s case affected me more than most. I’m not as cold as everyone thinks I am. I feel for every person that ends up on my table, but I have to create some sort of separation between myself and the victim or I wouldn’t be able to do my job.”
“I don’t think you’re cold,” Jane said. “Far from it, in fact, even before today. Can I ask, do you have any idea what it was about today’s case that was different?”
“I’m not completely sure,” Maura answered. “But I think maybe I saw too much of myself in the little girl. I was adopted. I can’t remember if I told you that. I…but I…I don’t have the best relationship with my adoptive parents. I know they loved me, in their own way, but I always felt like I needed to earn their love. I’m honestly not sure if they would have given their own lives to protect me.”
“Oh, Maura,” Jane said quietly, pulling her impossibly closer. “I don’t know your parents, and I’m not trying to defend them, especially if they didn’t give you every ounce of love you deserved, but I’m not sure it’s helpful to you or your relationship with them to think that way.”
“I know, but I can’t help it,” Maura replied. “I guess I just wonder what it would be like to have someone love you so much that they would give up everything for you.”
[RESTART HERE IF YOU SKIPPED THE CASE]
Jane wanted to tell Maura that she would give up everything for her, she would die for her, but she knew that Maura would think that she was just saying it to make her feel better. She decided that, for as long as Maura would let her, she would spend every day showing Maura how much she meant to her. One day, Jane hoped, Maura wouldn’t have to wonder if someone loved her enough to die for her.
Before Jane could say anything, Maura continued, “There was a lot of benign neglect. It’s not that they didn’t love me. It’s just that I didn’t ask for much. I don’t think I really knew how, and the less that I would ask for the less time that they would have for me. They were just very, very involved in their own lives and into each other. I used to wish that my biological family would show up and take me away. I dreamed that there would be an instant connection, and that we could live like the happy families that I would see on TV.”
“I’m not sure those families actually exist,” Jane said.
“Your family loves each other,” Maura said. “I could tell just from the one afternoon I spent with them. All of you freely showed your love for each other, and you’re involved in each other’s lives. I want that.”
“You can have my family,” Jane told her.
Maura laughed lightly. “You’d miss them,” she said softly.
Jane shrugged. “Maybe we can both have them, then,” she said.
Maura smiled against Jane’s shoulder. She wasn’t sure if Jane was just saying what she thought Maura wanted to hear, but she had to admit it was helping. And despite Maura’s doubts, something about Jane’s tone suggested she was sincere. Maura liked the idea of being a part of Jane’s family. She wondered if one day she would have the family she’d always wanted, just in a different way than she expected.
Maura sat up when the doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of their dinner. After placing the pizza and salad on the coffee table, Jane ran to the kitchen to get plates and utensils. Maura tried to clean up her face with the Kleenex while Jane was gone, but she knew that she still must look terrible.
When Jane returned, Maura gave her a small smile. She was more grateful for the woman sitting next to her than she could put into words. “Thank you,” she said softly when Jane handed her a plate. She hoped that Jane knew she was thanking her for more than just the plate; she was thanking her for being here for her, for taking care of her, for holding her while she cried, for not judging her, and a little bit for dinner, too.
Maura realized that she had been staring at Jane when Jane blushed and told her to, “Eat.” She laughed before reaching for a piece of pizza. She felt another wave of…something she couldn’t quite name…when she saw that Jane had remembered that she liked mushrooms on her pizza and had ordered half mushroom half pepperoni.
Their conversation shifted to lighter topics as they ate. Maura continued to feel better as the evening wore on; the combined effects of the food and Jane’s ability to make her laugh working wonders.
“How long are you here?” Jane asked as she stacked their dirty dishes and collected their trash.
“Just till morning,” Maura said. “Um, is it okay if I spend the night?”
“Of course, it is,” Jane said, reaching out to squeeze Maura’s hand. “I told you, you are always welcome here. Besides, I want you to spend the night.”
“Thank you,” Maura replied. “I do have to work tomorrow, so my flight is at 8am.”
Jane nodded before standing up to clean up.
“Can I use your bathroom?” Maura asked.
“Yeah, use whatever you want,” Jane called back over her shoulder. “You don’t have to ask; just make yourself at home.”
Jane was sitting on the couch again when Maura returned from the bathroom. She sat next to Jane and leaned forward to kiss Jane. As the kiss heated up, Maura shifted so that she was straddling Jane, her skirt riding up her thighs. Maura’s hands continued to run up and down Jane’s sides, stopping only to pull their bodies closer together.
“Wait,” Maura said, panting as she released Jane’s mouth.
“What’s wrong?” Jane asked, stopping all movement.
“Did the doctor clear you for…”
Jane cut her off, finishing her sentence, “…for all usual activities.”
“Good,” Maura breathed before resuming their make-out session.
Jane’s hands moved up and down the outsides of Maura’s thighs, shifting to slide under her skirt, cupping her ass, pulling her close. At the same time, Maura moved her kisses from Jane’s mouth, down her jawline and neck, stopping to suck on her pulse point. Jane’s hips bucked in response as she let out a low moan.
Jane released Maura’s hips to bring her hands up to unbutton Maura’s blouse. As Jane slid the blouse down Maura’s shoulders, Maura removed her hands from Jane only long enough to throw her shirt across the room. Maura gasped when Jane squeezed her breasts through her bra.
“T…tt…take it off,” Maura panted. Jane wasted no time reaching behind Maura and unclasping her bra. Once again, Maura threw it across the room before returning her hands to remove Jane’s shirt. She smiled into Jane’s mouth when she realized that Jane was braless under her t-shirt.
“I thought I was alone for the night,” Jane whispered into her mouth.
“Mmmhmmm,” was all Maura could get out as her own hands moved to Jane’s breasts. Maura shifted forward, wrapping her arms around Jane’s shoulders as their breasts brushed against each other. The sensation of Jane’s skin against her sensitive nipples sent shivers through Maura’s body.
Jane used the change in their positions to her advantage, grabbing Maura and flipping them so that Maura was laying on her back on the couch. Maura tried to pull Jane back on top of her, but Jane resisted, instead her fingers sought out the zipper on Maura’s skirt. She quickly removed the rest of Maura’s and her own clothes before (finally in Maura’s opinion) moving back on top of Maura.
“Oh, god,” Maura moaned as Jane’s weight pressed deliciously against her body. Her hips bucked up to meet Jane’s, and Jane responded in kind, their hips moving against each other slowly. Maura’s moans and pants got increasingly louder as Jane moved her lips down the column of Maura’s neck, across her collarbone, and settled on her right breast. Maura threaded her fingers into Jane’s hair, holding her close, as Jane’s tongue circled and flicked her tightening nipple. Her hips bucked again, and she cried out, “Fuck!” when Jane bit down, pulling the pebbled tip between her teeth before releasing her breast with a pop. Jane’s hand came up to continue playing with Maura’s right breast while her mouth moved to her left, providing equal attention to it as she licked, nipped, and sucked until Maura couldn’t take it anymore.
“Jaaannneeee…” she whined. Jane chucked but complied, her fingers releasing Maura’s breast and moving down to where Maura needed her most. Jane moaned against Maura’s breast when her hand slipped between Maura’s legs and found how wet Maura was. Her fingers circled Maura’s clit, working her up quickly. Jane released Maura’s breast with another pop at the same time she thrust two fingers into Maura.
“Shit…fuck…ahhhhhh…” Maura cried out as her hips thrust up into Jane’s hand. They found an easy rhythm with Jane’s fingers following the pace set by Maura’s hips. Jane’s eyes remained glued on Maura’s face, taking in every emotion telegraphed by the other woman’s face as she rose closer and closer to her climax.
Jane knew Maura was close when she felt her walls start to twitch against her fingers and her moans became more and more high-pitched. Maura’s fingers dug into Jane’s shoulders as she pushed her hips harder against Jane.
“I need…m…mmm…more…” Maura whimpered. Jane responded instantly, adding a third finger and curling harder against Maura’s front wall, perfectly hitting her G-spot. “Jane…oh my god…Jane…Jane…Jane,” Maura panted as she fell over the edge. Her legs clamped down, holding Jane’s hand in place, but Jane’s fingers continued to move inside her, drawing out her pleasure. Her back arched off the couch and pressed into Jane; her head fell back as she screamed out her release.
Jane removed her fingers from inside Maura once Maura collapsed against the couch, breathing hard. Maura smiled up at Jane as she reached her arms up and wrapped them around Jane’s shoulders, pulling her down on top of her for a passionate kiss.
Jane moaned into the kiss. “I’m so close already,” she whispered into Maura’s mouth. Maura smiled, bringing her hand down between Jane’s legs. Her smile growing at the wetness she found. “Please don’t tease,” Jane whined as Maura’s fingers began tapping her clit. Jane pushed her hips down against Maura’s hand, and Maura responded by entering her with three fingers. Jane cried out at the intrusion, spreading her legs further apart to allow Maura to reach deeper inside her. It only took a few thrusts of Maura’s fingers, her thumb applying pressure to Jane’s clit for Jane to come.
After, they laid together on the couch, reveling in the feeling of their hot, sticky bodies against each other. Jane tucked herself against the couch so that she was half on top of Maura and half off to the side. As she regained her strength, Maura reached up and wrapped her arms around Jane, holding her close while she buried her face in the crook of Jane’s neck.
Jane placed a soft kiss on the side of her head. “Do you want to go to bed?” Jane whispered into her hair. Maura nodded in response. She let out a shriek when Jane swiftly stood up, taking Maura with her. Maura quickly wrapped her legs around Jane’s waist, placing kisses everywhere she could reach as Jane carried her to the bedroom. Jane placed her gently on the bed, and Maura shifted back so that she was in the center of the bed. When Jane tried to climb on top of her again, Maura shook her head and pulled her down, flipping them so that she was now on top. She smiled down at Jane before leaning forward to give her a loving passionate kiss. The kiss quickly got sloppy as it quickly heated up.
Maura reached for Jane’s hands and brought them above her head. She pinned them in place with her left hand and started to bring her right hand down to play with Jane’s breast, but before she got very far, Jane’s eyes widened in fear. She pulled her hands from Maura’s grip and pulled herself out from under Maura, falling off the bed in the process.
Maura quickly sat up and looked over the side of the bed. Her heart broke when she saw Jane sitting on the ground with her arms wrapped around her knees as she held onto herself as tightly as she could, and her face buried in her knees. Maura stepped out of the bed and kneeled in front of Jane, careful not to touch her.
“Jane,” she whispered. “Jane, are you okay? I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you or scare you.” She paused; she was out of her depth, and she didn’t know how to help Jane. “I’m going to place my hand on your shoulder, okay? Shake your head if you don’t want me to,” she said quietly. When Jane didn’t respond, she sat down next to her, lightly placing her hand on Jane’s shoulder. Jane jumped slightly at the touch but didn’t withdraw from it. After a few moments, Maura started moving her hand in what she hoped were comforting motions, her circles covering more of Jane’s back with each stroke. They sat like that in silence for a few minutes, and Maura felt Jane’s body slowly start to release some of its tension.
Maura continued rubbing Jane’s back. After about 20 minutes of sitting like that, Jane suddenly shifted, collapsing into Maura’s side. Jane wrapped her arms around Maura’s waist and buried her face against Maura’s chest. Maura responded by wrapping her own arms around Jane’s body, holding her tight against her. “It’s okay, Jane. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere,” she whispered into Jane’s hair, leaving soft kisses as she spoke. They stayed like that for a few more minutes as Maura held Jane tight against her body with one arm and rubbed her back with her other. When Jane’s breathing seemed to return to normal, Maura asked, “Do you want to move to the bed?”
Jane nodded and released her grip on Maura. She wiped her face before standing up and reaching her hand out to help Maura stand. “I’m sorry,” Jane said sadly as she pulled Maura towards her into a hug. Maura shook her head against Jane’s shoulder. “You don’t need to apologize,” she said quietly. “I’m sorry…”
“No, you didn’t know,” Jane cut her off. She released Maura from the hug and led Maura to the bed. They pulled down the covers and climbed into bed. Maura wrapped her arms around Jane as they laid face-to-face, so close that their noses were almost touching. Maura’s eyes searched Jane’s face for a few moments before Jane started talking.
“Have you ever Googled me?” she asked.
“No,” Maura responded with a shake of her head.
“I was working a serial killer case last year. He was murdering couples. He would capture them and bind their hands and feet with duct tape. He would sit the husband in a chair and place a teacup on his knee to alert him if the husband tried to move. He would then rape the wife while the husband watched helplessly. Then he would kill the husband and take the wife. He would hold her hostage for a few days, while he continued raping her. Eventually, he’d dispose of the wife’s body in a remote location.”
“The Surgeon,” Maura breathed out.
“Yeah, you’ve heard of him?” Jane asked.
“I have, but I didn’t realize…I didn’t know that you worked on that case,” Maura said.
“Yeah, Korsak and I were the leads on the case. Frost didn’t work in homicide yet,” Jane continued. “We tracked him down. I was alone and I was supposed to wait for backup.” Jane felt Maura involuntarily tighten her grip on her. “But I looked in the window. I could see him in the basement. He was leaning over a woman – the woman he had most recently kidnapped. She was lying on a dirty mattress, and she was still alive. I couldn’t wait, knowing he could and likely would kill her at any moment, so I went in without backup. I figured it was one-on-one and I had a gun, but he must have heard me enter the house or something. He was waiting as I came down the stairs and he knocked me out with a 2x4. I came to moments later, but I was still dazed. He was able to hold me down, and he stabbed scalpels through both of my hands pinning me to the ground.
“Oh god, Jane, I’m so sorry,” Maura said. She couldn’t stop the tears that fell while listening to Jane’s story. Jane pulled her closer so that their bodies were pressed up against each other, and Maura rested her head on Jane’s chest.
“He didn’t rape me,” Jane said. “He was planning to take his time with me, so he was pressing a scalpel against my throat just enough to make me bleed, but not enough to kill me when Korsak arrived. He shot Hoyt, but he lived. He’s in prison.”
“I’m so sorry, Jane,” Maura whispered through her tears.
Jane placed a soft kiss on her head. “It’s okay,” she assured Maura. “It will always be a part of me, but I’m okay. I know it probably doesn’t seem like it right now, but I’ve come a long way since last year. It’s actually been a long time since something like that happened.”
“I shouldn’t have…” Maura started.
“No, Maura, no. You didn’t know. You didn’t do anything wrong. I should have told you. I was just caught up in what we were doing until…”
“Until you had a flashback,” Maura finished for her.
“Yeah,” Jane said. “I’m sorry I ruined our night together.”
“You didn’t ruin anything,” Maura said. “Thank you for telling me. It means a lot that you trusted me enough to tell me.”
“Thank you for not making me feel like a freak,” Jane said, causing Maura to pull back to look at her.
“What? Why would you even say that?” she asked.
Jane couldn’t look Maura in the eye, her gaze trained on something behind Maura. Maura brought her fingers to grip Jane’s chin and gently turned her face so that she was looking at her.
“Jane, you’re not a freak,” she said quietly but firmly. “I don’t know who told you that or why you feel that way, but I need you to hear me. You are incredibly strong and brave; you’re beautiful and smart; you’re kind and caring. There is nothing about you that makes you a freak.”
Tears clouded Jane’s eyes, but she nodded. Maura pulled her back towards her and wrapped her arms tighter around Jane as Jane buried her face in her chest. “I’ve only had sex with one other person since this happened. It…it didn’t go well. She was grossed out by my scars.”
“Oh, Jane, I’m so sorry, but she was wrong. She was so so wrong. Your scars are not gross. Your scars are reminders of how strong you are, and they…” Maura trailed off, unsure of whether it was okay to say what she was going to say next.
“They what? Jane asked.
“They feel good,” Maura admitted. “Against my skin, I mean. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I suppose it’s a combination of enjoying the extra sensations caused by the rough scar tissue on my sensitive skin and the way they remind me that they’re your hands on my body. I’m sorry if that’s weird.” Maura knew that she usually said the wrong thing in these kinds of situations. She had never been good with people, especially not with providing comfort to other people. She hoped that even if it was the wrong thing to say that Jane wouldn’t be offended.
“I don’t know if it’s weird, but thank you,” Jane said.
“Also, I’m selfishly glad that it didn’t work out with that other woman,” Maura said, causing Jane to chuckle.
“Me too,” Jane admitted.