Beer. Her brain didn't register much else as she dropped her keys onto the vestibule by the front door, a habit that Maura hated, but had come to tolerate. Slipping out of her BPD jacket, Jane hung it neatly on the coat rack, a custom of Maura's that she found burdensome, but had succumbed to after repeated nagging.
Beer. She headed straight for the refrigerator, eager to forget about her day, which had been long, frustrating, and wholly unproductive. Despite the fact that she'd spent most of it wading through a mountain of redacted phone records. Which had yielded none of the evidence that she'd hoped it would.
As she plucked a bottle from the refrigerator drawer that Maura had dedicated solely to Jane's “plebeian spirit of choice,” she heard her girlfriend's voice echo from the back hallway. “Bass, your lotus leaves are going to wilt if you don't get a move on.”
Jane smiled into her beer, chugging a little heavier than she ought to, but since she'd worked late, she needed to make up for lost time. “Is Bass as picky about his lotus leaves as you are?” she asked as Maura made her way into the living room, Jo Friday clicking along the floor behind her. “Isn't that what you made for dinner last night?”
“Those were beet greens,” Maura replied, undaunted by the complaint as she leaned into Jane for a quick kiss. “Most people throw them away, but they contain helpful sixty percent of your daily intake of vitamin C. Which helps with wound-healing, by the way. A good thing in your line of work.”
“I'm going to stop you at 'most people throw them away',” Jane said with a grin as she returned Maura's kiss, but savoring her lips a few seconds longer.
"It does a body good," Maura said with an approving smile as she gave Jane a quick once-over. She bent towards the oven, her wide-necked blouse slipping off her shoulder and revealing the strap of a black bra that Jane knew all too well from the numerous times she had slipped it from the shorter woman's shoulders. She'd spent a good twenty minutes fantasizing about that particular garment while she should have been perusing phone records.
“You'll like tonight's dinner better," Maura said, her voice pulling Jane from her thoughts. "Your mom brought over lasagna.”
Jane's expression brightened, and she pushed herself from her perch on the counter. “Is it Stouffer's?” she asked hopefully, looking over Maura's shoulder.
The blonde straightened, turning back to her with a grimace. “Unfortunately, yes. How is that an Italian family's favorite go-to dish is from a retail frozen food chain?”
“It's a genetic mutation,” Jane responded with a shrug, taking another sip from her bottle. "Ma isn't coming for dinner, is she?" After a long day, the last thing she needed was her mother piddling around their home.
Maura shook her head with a smile, clearly computing Jane's internal dread. "No, she was on her way to Korsak's bowling league."
"Well, at least divorce is keeping her social," Jane replied with a snort. “How was your day of the dead?” she asked. “Sorry I didn't make it back after lunch. We got caught up in the Inman Park case.”
“Still no leads?”
“Nope,” Jane sighed, settling her drink on the counter and stretching her hands over her head. “But I'll worry about that tomorrow. For now, I just want to have a nice, relaxing dinner with my favorite person." As her eyes traced the black of Maura's bra strap again, however, she began to think of several more things she would enjoy doing.
"I already ate," Maura said with a smile. "But I'm sure Jo Friday will nosh with you. I've got to get some reading done."
Jane's face suddenly fell, and her earlier bra fantasy began to unravel. “Reading for work?” she whined. "Isn't it late for work, Maur?"
"Jane, I told you. I'm giving my presentation on Thursday for the AME summit. I want to review some notes. Do you know how rare it is for a woman to give the keynote on medico legal parasitic bacteria?”
For Jane, the unraveling continued. She could compete with a lot, but extracurricular scientific endeavors were sure to trump her offer of a couch and lasagna. Maura had already spent most of the week holed up with journal articles preparing for her summit. "You sure you don't need a break?" she tried. "Maybe stimulate a different part of your body – er, brain - for awhile?"
Maura smiled at her. “You're sweet, but I've got a few more slides to add to my PowerPoint. Initiate your couch potato position and I'll bring you a plate."
“Sans lotus leaves.”
Maura rolled her eyes at her. “You're missing out on two hundred and twenty percent of Vitamin A intake.”
Jane resigned herself to the couch, flopping onto it and flicking on the television, which looked like it would be her main source of company for the night. A familiar theme song wafted through the television speakers, and she looked up to see the familiar blue-boxed screen of Jeopardy. She hadn't caught the show in awhile, but the visual reminded her of the nights she had watched with Tommy, each competing for title of "Biggest Snob" by scoring the most correct answers. She didn't flip the channel, but instead had a flicker of what could potentially be her most inspired idea of the day. “Look, Maur, this is right up your alley,” she called over her shoulder.
“Hmm,” Maura acknowledged from the kitchen. “I don't care for Jeopardy. I prefer something more rigorously academic, like the Science Bowl.”
Jane raised one eyebrow, turning fully to look at her girlfriend. “ Jeopardy isn't academic enough for you?” she repeated. “That's a three-alarm nerd alert, Maura.”
“No, it's not,” she objected, walking towards the couch. “Many Jeopardy questions can be answered with a little layman's knowledge and common sense by reading into the category title. It's quite simple. A glorified Trivial Pursuit."
"Simple, huh?" Jane asked, recalling the numerous times she had pummeled Tommy at both Jeopardy and chess. "You, uh, care to play a little game, then?" she asked, rubbing her hands together. If there was anything that could distract Maura from work, it was the promise of competition. And Jane knew just the twist to make sure she got what she wanted out of their little contest.
Sure enough, Maura raised an inquisitive brow. "What kind of game?"
Jane pointed at the television. “For every question you get right, I'll take something off, and for every one I get right, you'll take something off.”
“That sounds like a win-win,” Maura replied blankly. “I don't see where the competition comes into play.”
Jane rolled her eyes, but smirked nonetheless. At times, Maura could be one of the hardest people on the planet to seduce, thanks to her tirelessly calculating brain. “It may be a win-win in the long-run, yes,” she agreed with a placating nod. “But I kind of need you to just work with me here,” she pressed, curling her lips into her best seductive smile.
Maura cocked her head and slipped a small, knowing grin. “Ah,” she replied. "I now see what you're doing here.”
"So you'll take the wager?" Jane asked.
Maura nodded, but glanced distractedly toward the kitchen. “Did you want to eat first? The lasagna might get cold again."
“Jesus,” Jane sighed, grabbing the shorter woman's hand and pulling her down onto the couch. “Stouffer's can wait.” She turned up the volume, allowing Alex Trebeck's voice to fill their living room for what she was sure was the first time ever, especially for foreplay purposes. “Okay, the round's half over, but whatever. If you know the answer, just blurt it out."
"What if we say the answer at the same time?"
Jane took a patient breath. "Then it's a draw, and we wait for the next question."
"And no one takes anything off?"
"Maura, no one's going to be taking anything off unless we actually start playing." She heard the exasperation in her tone, and made up or it with an exaggerated smile. "I love you," she said breezily.
"Shut up, let's play," Maura said, her brow furrowing into its competitive position.
Jane suppressed a laugh, and gazed up at the television. This was one battle that, whether win or lose, she would definitely get what she wanted. That didn't mean, of course, that she wasn't just as competitive as her girlfriend, and as the question was read, she leaned forward in concentration.
“On September 1, 1715 Louix XIV died in this city, site of a palace he himself built.”
“Versailles,” Maura replied effortlessly, with a casual flick of her hand.
"I didn't even have time to digest the question," Jane protested with a slight scowl.
As soon as the answer was confirmed, Maura eyed Jane with a grin. "Take it off,” she said, leaning over and pulling on Jane's t-shirt with an impatient hand.
“Fine,” Jane grumbled, peeling the shirt from her torso and tossing it onto a chair. Luckily, she still had on her requisite tank top, which would at least buy her a couple of more questions. She would eventually have to get a few right, if only to save her pride.
“According to CS Lewis, it was bordered on the east by the Eastern Ocean and the north by the River Shribble.”
“Narnia,” Jane called out sarcastically, at least attempting to thwart Maura's thought process. She had no knowledge of CS Lewis beyond a fourth-grade level, but what the hell.
“What is Narnia,” came the response, which was approved with a slight nod from the host.
“Holy shit,” Jane said, surprised. She turned excitedly towards Maura, already waving a commanding finger at her. “Come on, woman. Strip.”
“A lady doesn't strip,” Maura said with a slight pout.
“Then remove your blousierre-blahzay,” Jane said with a flourish of her hand and an accent to match.
Maura begrudgingly unbuttoned her blouse. “This isn't fair,” she said. “I don't wear as many layers as you.”
“Well, clearly, you need to rethink that if you're ever going to play strip poker,” Jane said with a smile. It quickly faded, however, as the turquoise blouse slipped from Maura's shoulders, baring the black lace that had run through Jane's mind for a good portion of the afternoon. Unable to focus on the television, or anything that wasn't in the near vicinity of her girlfriend's breasts, she completely missed everything onscreen, including the next question.
“What is Lumet,” Maura called with an enthusiastic clap of her hands.
“What?” Jane asked, startled as she turned back to the television. “That doesn't count; I missed the question.”
“Too bad,” Maura said breezily, training an appreciative, if boastful eye on her. “Now let's get through some of those layers.”
It didn't take long for Jane to discard most of them, to the point where she wished she'd worn a pair of long underwear underneath her slacks. She may have ben able to compete with Tommy, but Maurabot was a completely different story. It had taken no more than five questions before she was sitting begrudgingly in her bra and a thin pair of navy cotton briefs.
Maura, for what it was worth, seemed to enjoy the view, and as a commercial played in the background, she leaned over, eyeing Jane with a predatory gaze. “I'm definitely winning,” she said with a smirk. “In more ways than one.”
“These categories are bullshit,” Jane said with a disgusted wave of her hand, but she couldn't help appreciate the way Maura looked at her.
The blonde captured her lips in a quick kiss, but took the time to let her tongue delve inside Jane's mouth. Pulling away only when the theme music marked the end of the commercial, she grinned, leaning back on her end of the couch. “Round two,” she said.
Jane watched as the categories once again signaled her demise, but she raised her hands triumphantly at the last two: “American Football and 80s Music!” she said with an enthusiastic pump of her fist. "Thank you, Jeopardy gods!”
"I thought you said this was a win-win?" Maura asked, but her eyes drifted nervously to the television as one of her weaker categories was chosen.
"This pitcher holds a record for most innings pitched in a regular major league season."
"Walter Johnson!" Jane called toward the television with a grin. "Walter Jooohhhnsooooon." She turned to Maura. “Come on, sweetheart, take something off.”
Maura glanced at her, slipping one heel daintily off her foot. It landed with a thump onto the floor. "You're going to have to do a lot better than one question if you want more than that," she said with a purse of her lips, settling back into the couch.
Jane sighed, leaning forward, but not before stealing one more glance at the blonde's cleavage, which was barely encapsulated by the black lace of her bra. "Oh, don't worry. I will."
As she rattled off another correct answer, she grinned widely as Maura slipped off another shoe. Another baseball question, and she expertly fielded it, continuing her winning streak: "Yankees,” she called casually, feigning a yawn. “You're right, this show is a little too easy,” she said with a smirk, pulling at the black strap on Maura's shoulder. Her girlfriend was clearly out of shoes to discard.
“Fine,” Maura said, turning towards Jane and reaching behind her back to unclasp the bra. Without moving her eyes from her partner's, she lowered the garment down her arms, tossing it into Jane's lap with a defiant smile. Jane may have been making a come back, but Maura had her right where she wanted her: in heat.
“Is the round over yet?” Jane asked breathlessly, fingering the lacy material in her lap.
"This top-selling artist was a main chart rival for Debbie Gibson."
"Tiffany!" Jane yelled. "But she had nothing on Debbie!" She turned fully to Maura, not wanting to miss an inch of her shimmying out of her skirt. This was something she needed to watch with dedicated concentration.
Instead, Maura reached for her watch, unclasping it with a sigh.
Jane frowned. “Maura, that is not an article of clothing.”
“It's a Cartier,” she replied defiantly. “Trust me, it costs enough to count.”
It was a valid point, and Jane was just confident enough to let her get away with it, shrugging as she turned her attention back to the screen of bright blue boxes. “Fine,” she concurred. “But you're a tease.”
"A smart tease," Maura quipped. "One who prefers the academic sparring of a good spelling bee over these nonsensical questions."
"Slow your roll, Nutty Professor," Jane replied, holding up a hand, but her face fell at the next question.
"James D. Watson and this man first originated the double-helix model of DNA."
Jane looked expectantly at Maura, who of course breezed out the correct answer, taking extra pleasure in her comeback. "Francis Crick," she said with a small clap of her hands. She cocked her head. "Although it was in the late 1800s when DNA was first isolated by Swiss physician Freidrich Miescher in the pus found in old bandages. He never does get enough credit for that."
"You done?" Jane asked expectantly.
Maura smiled devilishly. "No, but I think you almost are," she said, reaching over and slipping the strap of Jane's bra down her shoulder. "Take it off."
Jane reluctantly reached behind her back. "You realize that if I were home alone watching Jeopardy in just my underpants, it would be considered pathetic, right?" As many times as she had stripped in front of Maura, she always felt that tingle of bashfulness as the hazel eyes raked appreciatively over her.
"From where I'm sitting, it's incredibly sexy," Maura said, biting the corner of her lower lip, a move that she only made when aroused. Or reading a complicated case study.
"This ballpark was where Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's hits record."
Jane saw Maura eye her, and for a brief moment she thought about dodging the question, taking one for the team, so to speak. Something had shifted in their little competition, and judging by the looks they shared, they wouldn't be playing much longer. But the thought of watching Maura strip further for her won out, and she quickly answered: "Riverfront Stadium."
“Why do you clutter your brain with information like this?” Maura asked as she slipped the skirt over her hips, inching out of it to reveal a set of black lace panties, which did little to reveal her natural curves. The voices onscreen faded completely for Jane as she licked her lower lip; she had no more interest in playing their game.
She reached out, letting her fingers caress Maura's thigh, and she saw the blonde visibly swallow. Despite the goose bumps on the shorter woman's skin, she still angled her head toward the television. "One more question," she said slowly, sneaking a peek at Jane. "Winner takes all."
Jane pulled her hand back with a low grin. "God, you're competitive," she said, but nevertheless hoped like hell for a baseball question as she leaned forward.
"This renowned doctor established the first farm of its kind in order to study human decomposition."
Both of their voices competed for dominance as the each yelled out, "William Bass!"
"Looks like it's not winner take all just yet," Jane said gleefully, thankful for another shot at getting Maura out of that one last barrier.
The couch rustled next to her, and her mouth dropped open as Maura slid the lace panties over her thighs, despite the fact that the last question had been a clear wash. "Then let's just call it a draw," she said, tossing them onto Jane's lap with a flick of her toe.
Jane straightened, her senses suddenly heightened at the sight of her girlfriend, now completely bared for her. "Okay," she said quickly, summoning a weak, but husky voice. "We're doing this."
She went for her own briefs, but Maura reached out, grabbing her hand. “Let me,” she offered, sliding off the couch and to her knees, where she placed a hand on either side of Jane's hips.
“Oh boy,” Jane said, her head dipping back to the couch. Objectively, she probably would have lost, but she sure as hell felt like a winner at the moment. Her concentration was broken as the Jeopardy music blasted once again out of the speakers, and she lunged for the remote, punching the power button with a hasty thrust.
She had no clue where Maura had tossed her underwear, but that was the least of her worries as she felt the blonde's hands run up her thighs, spreading her legs further. Maura peered up at her with a pair of devilishly clear eyes. “The only worse thing than a sore loser is an ungracious winner,” she said.
“Right,” Jane mumbled, the practice of speaking made daunting by the way Maura was sliding her hands up her inner thighs, her thumbs getting dangerously close to her folds. “Or a winner who... teases the loser,” she managed, inhaling as Maura played with the curls above her center.
“Didn't you call me a tease earlier?” Maura asked innocently, allowing her fingers to explore further, but with a casual, flippant caress that caused a pleasurable tickle to penetrate Jane's spine.
“I think that must have been someone else,” she replied, her breath hitching. “Alex Trebeck or someone.”
Maura smiled, but leaned further between Jane's thighs, nipping at the sensitive flesh with her teeth. Jane felt the familiar throb at her center, and she shifted her hips just slightly, enough to show her anticipation. Words were getting harder to form, but she managed a small plea as Maura's fingers traced her folds. “Please don't tease me.”
Maura pulled Jane's hips down further to her, splaying her legs wider and taking a moment to gaze at her core. This appreciation always sent a bashful redness across Jane's chest, despite her arousal, but any embarrassment was eradicated by the feel of Maura's tongue tracing her folds. She hissed in pleasure as the capable tongue dipped inside her, circling slightly, the feeling shooting straight through to the tiny bundle of nerves at her center.
Gripping the pillow beside her, Jane watched as Maura glanced quickly up at her before turning her eyes downward with a lustful hunger. It was the last thing she saw before Maura's tongue centered in on her clit, forcing her to close her eyes and tip her head back with a prolonged moan.
Maura circled the sensitive bud for a few moments, working it with a steady pulse of her tongue. Her hand flitted up Jane's stomach, playing casually with a nipple, but never losing her pace. Jane felt the familiar swell below her pelvis, her tension mounting as Maura captured her with her mouth, suckling harder, but nursing her closer and closer to the edge. It was this incredible talent, the way that Maura simply took her time pleasuring her, that made Jane wonder why she had bothered with penetration for so many years.
She opened her eyes briefly enough to catch a glimpse of Maura's head bobbing between her thighs, the blonde's murmured moans mingling with her own, and it was that brief image that sent her plummeting. She bucked her hips against Maura's mouth, a breathless groan slipping from her lips as she felt the last shudders of her orgasm quiver through her.
She wrapped her hands in Maura's hair, enjoying her mouth until the sensation was too much for her sensitive nerve endings to handle, and she pulled her girlfriend gently away from her.
"Yeah?" Maura asked, looking up at her with a smile.
"Oh yes," Jane gushed, sliding off the couch to meet Maura, pushing her beneath her and allowing her own wetness to graze the blonde's thigh. Maura wasted no time in wrapping her legs around Jane's back, pulling her on top of her, and pushing the coffee table abruptly out of their way.
Jane traced Maura's jaw line with her lips before focusing on a particularly sensitive spot on her neck. Maura voiced her appreciation with a small sigh and a clenching of her legs, pulling Jane further into her.
As Jane pressed her knee between Maura's open thighs, she felt a pleasing dampness, and it took sheer willpower for her to keep her fingers from slipping into her. As tempting as it always was to rush immediately inside Maura, she preferred savoring a few other parts of her first.
Leaving a faint mark on Maura's pale neck, her mouth coasted downwards, focusing on her a breasts, kneading them roughly. Her thumbs grazed the already pert nipples, flicking one even further to attention before wrapping her lips around it.
Maura's fingernails scraped over her back, a tacit signal of pleasure, but as Jane let her teeth graze the hard bud, the blonde let out a more verbal cue, groaning as she arched into the touch. Jane turned her attention to the neglected nipple, rolling it with her tongue until Maura was writhing steadily beneath her, signaling a heightened need for release.
Jane moved her mouth downward, nipping gently at her bare hip bone. "Are you ready for a round of Final Jeopardy?" she asked, as she let a finger trace Maura's wetness onto her inner thighs.
"I can't comprehend metaphors right now, Jane," the medical examiner breathed, her own hand venturing dangerously close to her nipple.
"It's not a metaphor," Jane clarified, inching her mouth closer to Maura's pulsing center. "It's a question."
"Technically Jeopardy doesn't ask a question, it states an answer." The voice was husky, but authoritatively Maura.
Jane looked up at her. "Do you really want to parse technical details right now?" she asked. "Really?"
In response, Maura ground down on Jane's hand with a shake of her head. "No," she managed before inhaling sharply as Jane's fingers delved lightly inside her.
"Good," Jane replied, pumping her fingers slowly. She couldn't resist allowing her other hand to drift up over Maura's heaving chest to capture a nipple with her thumb and forefinger, rolling it roughly to match the increased pace of her fingers.
Maura's breathing became heavier, morphing into light, but consistent moans. She began to grind her hips onto the hand inside her, and Jane knew she was looking for that last touch to send her over the edge.
"It has more than eight thousand nerve endings and is considered one of the most sensitive... neediest parts of a woman's body," Jane said, her thumb inching towards Maura's center point.
"Yes," Maura moaned in response, her hands looking for something to grip and finally settling on the edge of the rug at her head.
"That would be incorrect," Jane replied, but still leaned down, her mouth perched over Maura's mound, her fingers beginning to curl inside the wet warmth.
Maura whimpered, a sound fueled by anticipation, and Jane didn't have the heart to deny her any further, lowering her head quickly and finally giving her girlfriend the release she needed.
She let the blonde's own writhing increase the friction against her center, and worked her fingers further, coaxing her over the edge. Maura was vocal, and her high-pitched notes of appreciation didn't disappoint as her orgasm fluttered through her, leaving her breathless.
Jane didn't pull out of her immediately, instead waiting until Maura stilled completely, and only then reluctantly removed her fingers from the blonde's core. Moving upwards over Maura's body, she let her lips graze smooth, heated skin, until she found the contact she was looking for in a slow, intimate kiss.
"You make me see competition in a whole new light," Maura said with a smile as she let her fingers trace light circles across Jane's back.
"Anytime," she replied, pulling Maura up with her so that they were both leaning against the couch.
"Although I technically won," the blonde said confidently. "You wouldn't have gotten William Bass if it weren't for me."
"That's completely beside the point," Jane responded with a laugh, prompting Maura to widen her eyes. "Besides, you didn't get the final question right."
"That doesn't count," Maura countered with a shake of her head.
"I think it counts."
"I was mid-orgasm," Maura laughed.
"It's not my fault you can't multi-task."
Maura eyed her with amused disbelief before swinging a leg over Jane's hips, straddling her. "I'm going to look over some notes before bed," she said, leaning in for a kiss. "If you're smart, you'll follow me in a few minutes and I'll show you how well I can multi-task."
She rose with a grin, and Jane watched her walk casually toward the bedroom, plucking her clothes from the floor and grabbing her watch. Jane sat for a moment, the growl of her stomach finally rousing her from her comfortable spot on the rug. "I'll be there in a minute," she called. "And the only clothing you're allowed to wear is that Cartier watch!"
She scrambled to her feet, smiling as she made her way back to the kitchen where a pan of hot lasagna and a beer awaited her. That had nothing, of course, on what awaited her in her bedroom.