Maura strolls out of the bathroom with a towel around her body, and one in her hand tousling her hair dry. She makes her way to the closet, but stops as she catches her own reflection in the full length mirror hanging behind the door. She has a hard time remembering the last time she got a good look at her self, her whole self. Gingerly, she throws the hair towel over the footrest of the bed and stands squarely in front of the mirror.
The ever-present bags under her eyes look even darker now that she has washed away her make-up, her cheeks are full, but no longer pink or glowing, the way so many other pregnant women are described. Now, she is just tired. So incredibly tired. She remembers when she was in med school, and she pulled all-nighters like a pro. Studying for hours on end until she physically couldn't study any more. And not too long ago, when she could pull extra shifts at the precinct to help close a case. She could go through her day on only few hours of sleep under her belt, now, though, even after nine hours of sleep, (although restless and uncomfortable) she can barely keep her eyes open.
She drops the towel from her body and stands sideways. The first word that comes to mind is enormous. She is enormous. Her stomach protrudes well past the rest of her, and ugly, slug-like stretch marks ripple across the bottom of her abdomen. Some are white, older and more permanent than the pinkish purplish ones from her current pregnancy. On one side, a faint, circular, yellowing bruise in the shape of a gun barrel is finally beginning to fade.
Sway-backed, and swollen breasts that ache almost constantly now, she wonders how Jane can even look at her.
The mirror serves as another reminder of the incredible woman she doesn't deserve.
Since the incident at the precinct, Jane has been... she doesn't even know what Jane has been, but it worries her, and even more so, scares her.
The intimacy has come to a grinding halt, and she can't say that she blames her. The woman in the mirror is anything but arousing. She all but ordered Maura to begin her maternity leave, even though it was a few weeks premature.
Maura agreed without argument, and after they got home from Maura's check-up, Jane said she was going to go for a walk.
Maura had been about to stop her, but Jane had been out the door without another word.
That night, when Jane had finally come home to find Maura already in bed, reading silently, she looked older than Maura had ever seen her. The weight of the guilt and worry and fear that was pressing down on her shoulders had left its mark. And a single realization made Maura's heart drop into her stomach.
I may be the pregnant one, but she is barely standing.
She would hold her. Every single night, not that she wouldn't do that anyway, but this was different. Every night since the day in the morgue, Jane would come home late and crawl in to bed next to her wife. With no intentions of being intimate, she would drape her long arms around the blonde, and would wake up every morning in a position like that of a human shield, with most of her body covering Maura's protectively.
Maura wanted to talk.
Jane did not.
Whenever Maura tried to discuss how Jane was feeling, or asked her if she was alright, Jane would wave her off dismissively and find an excuse to walk away. Sometimes even leaving the house for hours at a time.
That's what happened tonight, Maura's thoughts are jarred into reality as she rips her gaze away from the mirror and to the bedroom window. She sees headlights briefly illuminate the room and then fade, just as she hears an engine kill in the driveway. Jane's home.
She throws on one of Jane's old flannels and a pair of maternity panties and pushes the curtains aside to glance out the window.
Jane has not exited the car. Instead she sits in the drivers seat, motionless, staring at the closed front door in front of her, obviously deep in thought. Today's reason for Jane's departure was yet again due to Maura asking her if she was alright.
Jane had rearranged all the furniture in the baby's room, the crib now sat on the opposite end of the room, away from the window. Jane said it was safer to have the baby closer to the door, it meant they could get to him faster. Then she started talking about this new state-of-the-art baby monitor with cameras you could put above the crib that sent live feed to the master bedroom.
"That...sounds like a great idea, sweetheart." Maura had agreed carefully. But Jane continued to speak as if she hadn't said a thing.
"Maybe we should move the nursery to the bedroom next to ours, it's a little bit closer. Better yet, what if he just stays in our room? Just until he's old enough-"
Maura silenced her with a soft touch to her arm, and they finally made eye contact. "Tell me," Maura had whispered. "Jane, tell me-"
But Jane shrugged away, mumbling something about the local 'Babies R Us' carrying that state-of-the-art baby monitor.
And now here she was, staring out the front windshield of her car, shopping bag in hand, trying to find the strength, the will, to get up and go inside.
She lets her head fall slowly onto the steering wheel, sighing heavily at the contact.
Maura watches her struggle from the window, close to tears. How had she let it get this bad? They aren't even married yet and they are having what would be classified as 'marital problems'.
After a few minutes Jane finally wipes angrily at the stray tears that had escaped and gets out of the car, only then does Maura finally leave the window and crawl under the covers.
"So, everything is...okay?" Jane asked nervously.
"Yes Jane, everything is still okay." The doctor replies, not unkindly.
Jane releases a large breath of air ans runs a hand through her curls. "Good, that's good."
Maura steals a glance and the detective and reaches for her hand, wanting to hold it as the doctor moves the ultrasound wand over her stomach, the screen filling with life and their baby boy.
But Jane's grasp only lasts a second and is gone again.
The doctor has mercy on Maura and fills the awkward silence. "Well, it looks like we're coming in on the home stretch. From any point now you could go into labor, I'm actually a bit surprised that you haven't already. 38 weeks isn't perfect, but a lot of women are usually in the delivery room by now."
Maura nods and listens intently with one ear, the other listening to Jane's boots as they pace around the exam room.
"Have you been feeling any discomfort, Maura?" This question finally gets Jane's head to lift just a bit.
"Nothing out of the ordinary. My back hurts a little, and I can't stand for too long, but that's been my normal since the third trimester started"
"Alrighty, sounds good, do you have any questions?"
"Just one," Maura says. "I know the common methods of activating labor, but in your professional opinion, what works best? I just want to know what's equally safe and effective."
The doctor smiles, "eager to get the little guy out?"
Maura sighs and nods, whispering "I don't know how much longer of this I can take." As if to back her up, the baby gives her a hard kick in the ribs, causing her to wince.
The doctor eyes her sympathetically and rubs at the spot where she saw the baby kick. "Walking can help sometimes, and some of my patients say that some herbs and home remedies work, everyone is different." She removes her hand from Maura's belly and leans back in her chair. "But what is most effective is intercourse, semen has been shown to activate labor, but that's obviously not a factor here."
Maura chuckles lightly. Jane continues pacing.
"Everyone is different, try what works for you."
The front door opens and closes, heavy footfalls track their way through the living room and into the kitchen. She listens as Jane opens the fridge, then silence before it closes again. She got a water bottle no doubt, part of her routine before bed. Good, Maura thinks, the bed is so cold without her.
Jane begins her accent up the stairs, stopping at the third and fourth step to slide off each shoe.
by the time she reaches the bedroom, Maura has turned off the bedside lamp and has settled in comfortably. Her belly resting on its side against her body pillow, but her top half turned to the door to watch Jane walk in.
They make eye contact for a moment, and then Maura turns away, settling her head down on the pillow and closing her eyes.
Jane sighs heavily, like the weight of the world is on her shoulders. And it is, the weight of her world at least.
Maura is a few days shy of 39 weeks, and Jane doesn't need to ask her to know that she is miserable. She walked in on her crying a couple days ago when she got out of the shower and couldn't put lotion on her legs because her stomach was in the way.
And tonight, just before the detective stormed out the front door, she heard the first few whimpers of her girlfriends sobbing before she slammed the door behind her.
And for that, she felt like the scum of the earth.
Who walks away when the love of their life, who is in a hurricane mixture of agony and bliss because they are carrying YOUR child, is crying for the only person who can make them feel better?
"Maura," Jane whispers, walking to her side of the bed.
The blonde opens her eyes but doesn't move, taking in the sight before her. Jane's disheveled and forlorn face, hair more unruly than usual with the humidity they have been having.
"I want to talk now. I mean..." She runs a hand over her face. "I'm ready to talk."
Maura is about to open her mouth, but thinks better of it. She doesn't want to drive Jane away again, and that's all her words seem to be doing lately. So she stay's quiet, and nods in understanding.
Jane drops her glance to her fingers, twiddling idly in her lap.
"I'm...I'm scared, Maura." Her voice trembles when it passes over the name, and she shuts her eyes for the briefest of moments.
She starts over.
"I love you, I love you so much it scares me sometimes. Because you changed me, Maur. You changed me into this person that- that I wouldn't recognize if I met myself ten years ago."
Worry lines deepen on Maura face, and Jane realizes what her words sound like.
"Not in a bad way!" No, never. You changed me into someone I never thought I'd be." The brunette rakes two fingers through Maura's hair, pushing it away to better see her eyes. "I love you. And I love him, and I love you more and more everyday for giving me him, for giving us him. God, Maura. I love you for making me better, you have truly made me the best person I can be."
Now Maura looks confused, this isn't the conversation they were supposed to have.
But she sees it coming now.
"But, even though you have made me this better, happier person, I keep remembering I'm still only human. And the world is still a terrible place. And there is so much that I can't do to prevent either of you from all of that." Her lips trembles a bit, and she grabs it with her teeth before sitting up straight again.
"I can't ask you to sit in the house all day with the doors locked and never go outside, even if that's exactly what I want sometimes. To lock you both up and never let the awful things in the world touch you."
Maura cannot stay silent any more. "I'm not a child," she says quietly. "And as much as I love you for being so protective, I am a grown woman, and I can handle all the bad things this world has to offer just as well as you can. However differently I choose to do it."
There is a silence for a moment that Jane uses to absorb and reabsorb what Maura has just said.
"I know, I know you are. It's just my instinct, sweetheart." And it's the pet name that finally causes Maura's tears to surface.
"Dammit," the blonde says breathlessly as she wipes at her cheeks, and Jane places a hand over hers.
"I want to protect you both so much, and when I can't..." she shakes her head. "It makes me the biggest failure I could ever be."
"Jane, you know as well as I do that you are no failure. You know," and she sits up on the bed, supporting her belly with both hands. "That the world will always be full of evil, and of good, and of arrogant people who will never change. I don't want to raise a child in a world full of flaws either, but the world isn't going to change. We have to."
At this, Jane locks eyes with her.
"We have to be the reason this baby finds its way into the world, and we're already almost there." She smiles, and Jane drops both her hands onto the abdomen between them. "We have to be the ones to show our son that the world isn't perfect, but it isn't scary either. It took me years to figure that out, Jane. It took you for me to figure that out. Darling," she strokes Jane's cheek. "This baby is going to be so loved, so loved."
And with only a single sob escaping, Jane pulls Maura's face in with both hands and kisses her tenderly. Over and over again until they are motionless, their lips still connected and hot tears mingling on their cheeks.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Jane murmurs into her mouth. "I need to stop being such a lunatic."
Maura just smiles, "babies make people crazy."
They pull apart, but fall back on the bed together, holding each other close. Not a moment of silence passes before Maura groans uncomfortably, lifting her hips slightly to take pressure off her back.
"God, this baby is making ME crazy." She whines, but sincerely.
But instead of Jane's usual cuddling and comforting, a timid smile cracks over her features, and she slips an arm under Maura's lifted hips before hovering over her.
"What are you-" but the question is but short when Jane pushes Maura's shirt up to her breasts, and Jane straightens momentarily to remove her own v-neck.
"Oh god, Jane, this is very sexy, and I love make up sex, but I seriously cannot even begin to-" cut short again, this time by the removal of Jane's bra.
"This baby is making you crazy, and he's making me crazy, so let's get him moving, shall we?" Jane smirks again and climbs off of the blonde before walking into the closet.
Maura props herself up on her elbows and waits. After a moment, Jane strolls out with a plastic bag in her hand.
"What's that?" The blonde asks.
"A...present. I've had it for a little while-I didn't know how- or if you even wanted- just here." She thrusts it into Maura's hands and waits.
"Oh," Maura whispers as she takes in the contents of the bag. "Oh, Jane." Escaping from her lips like redemption.
"I figured, since I didn't have any semen to help jump start your labor, this was the next best thing." She chuckles lightly, trying to get her blush to stop climbing up her neck. Buying the thing had been embarrassing enough, now to be rejected by it?
But Maura's response is jovial and immediate. She lurches forward as much as she can and throws her arms around Jane's neck, pushing their mouths together hard enough to make the brunette moan.
"So. I did okay?" Jane asks as they shift together down the bed.
"Jane, so good. Yes." Maura barely manages, sliding her tongue into Jane's open mouth when the opportunity arises. The detective hums her delight, and slides her hand up and down the doctors sides, finally stopping at her hips, where she grabs a little tightly and thrusts her own pelvis into it lightly.
Maura gasps, and her eyes fall shut, her breathing already getting more and more erratic. Jane had missed this so much, the way Maura would just melt at her touch. Like putty in her hands.
Without losing contact of their mouths, Jane reaches for the toy, kicking the bag off the bed and sitting up slightly to get the harness over her hips. But Maura unlatches their lips momentarily, watching unabashedly with lustful eyes as Jane adjusts herself.
If Maura can be putty, Jane can too.
Maura keeps their eyes locked, and slowly begins to unbutton the flannel. One by one, unveiling more and more of her cleavage until there is little left to the imagination, but Jane doesn't need to imagine them anyway, she's got them memorized.
Jane's pupil grow big and dark, and against her already dark brown eyes, they look almost predatory, it makes Maura moan.
In a second Jane is finished, and she practically pounces on her girlfriend careful of her belly, and hovers over her, using one skilled hand to push the shirt all the way off. And soon after, slide down her panties.
Maura reaches behind Jane and unclasps her bra, the only thing left on her, she doesn't even remember when she shed the rest of her clothing, but she doesn't really care either.
They are both naked, panting, sweating, and they haven't even started yet. Jane's hair is wild and un-tameable around them, and Maura has never seen anything so god damned sexy in her life.
"Maura," Jane's gravely and breathless moan breaks the silence. "Tell me, you'll tell me if I hurt you, right?"
Jane's momentary pause to assure her loves comfort and safety makes Maura want to cry. She nods fiercely and grabs a hold of Jane's waist, pulling and inviting until she finally replies.
She lines up the toy with Maura's entrance, and in one slow, but powerful motion, slides it all the way in to the hilt.
And Maura could already fall apart. Her mouth opens into a small 'o' and he back arches up off the bed. "Oh, goddd," she cries quietly. But then Jane does it again, and again, and she is moaning her name and she is moaning hers back.
Jane sets a beautiful rhythm, holding Maura from underneath her, holding them close and tight together, grinding erotically into her, nipping and sucking and kissing lightly all over her chest.
Maura has one hand on Jane's ass, pushing and encouraging, while the other is in her hair, moving it away from her face and pulling it just the way she knows Jane likes it.
The brunette picks up the pace a little, moving up so that each time she pulls out and goes back in, the toy slides past Maura's clit and through her folds.
"Oh, Oh Jane oh god, baby, please." The blondes broken voice is barely audibly as she is thrusted into harder and slower and deeper. This is all she wanted, all she needed, and as usual, Jane read her mind.
God, she loves this woman so much, so much.
She pulls her face up for a kiss, and their tongues morph into each other without breaking rhythm. "I love you, I love you." The blonde moans into her mouth.
She can feel Jane's smile on her lips, "I love you too, I love you both." A throaty whisper that initiates Maura's next words.
"Oh, my god. So closes baby, I'm so close."
Jane latches on to Maura's neck and grinds into her with the force of a hurricane. And Maura's head falls back on the pillows.
They can hear just how turned on they both are, how wet, how wanting. It would be embarrassing to anyone else, but it only serves to drive them more.
In seconds, Maura can feel the warm tingling rising up her legs. She grabs tightly to Jane, digging her nails into her back. Shaking, writhing, her orgasm rips through her with such force that she is temporarily blinded, white lights popping up behind her eyes. Jane is grounding her, making her fly, sliding herself through her folds lightly. Maura feels like she is both falling apart and being brought back together.
Tears are running down her face, and when they are both finally able to breather again, to form words, Jane looks at her with worry in hr eyes.
"Did I hurt you? I'm sorry, you should have said-"
"No, no," Maura silences her, and holds her face in her hands. "Hor-hormones."
Jane smiles lightly, and saddles up next to her in bed, sliding out of the harness and trowing the blanket over them both. She leans in and kisses Maura tenderly.
"I'm never leaving, I'm not going anywhere, ever. I promise " Whispered into the doctors ear, making more tears develop in the corner of her eye. It's everything she needed an more.
"She manages to choke out, "I love more than I could ever tell you, I always will." And it's everything that Jane needed to hear, too.
I am so so so so sorry. I haven't updated in forever and I am a shitty person for making you all wait so long. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and your reviews, you have no clue how much they keep me going.
Suffered from a sever case of writers block, and please, please, feel free to drop ideas to me via PM or review. I take each and every one into consideration.
I love you guys, thank you, I'm sorry, and you're welcome.