A/N: This came from a tumblr prompt that- to no one’s surprise- I completely botched. Thanks to happycamper5 who not only is my beta, but my Bond.
"I'm out, Jane." Frankie's voice crackled over the cheap headset. "You're the last one."
Jane swore under her breath. "Okay. How many of them left?"
"Please tell me it's Kent." The thought made her smirk at the possibilities.
"Nah, Rodriguez tagged him ages ago."
"So don't leave me hanging."
She blinked in surprise. "You're kidding."
"Nope. Now listen, I don't care about whatever's goin' on between you two; she's playin' for keeps. Don't mess it up."
She glanced around, confident the coast was clear. "Wait. What do you mean by that?"
"Out of 17 cops, she's taken out 8 on her own."
She took a moment to silently appreciate Maura's results then shook her head. "No, the other bit. There's nothing going on between me and Maura."
"Really?" She could practically hear his eyes roll. "Remember how we found out Tommy stole those Pokemon cards?" He waited a beat. "It runs in the family. Listen, they want me to turn the equipment in, so I gotta go. She got me in Corridor 6. Remember what I said. We'll never live it down if we let the Geek Squad win this."
The connection clicked off and she pulled the microphone away from her mouth. The lights of the laser tag course slowly faded from reds to blues to greens; the changing colors were to help with the element of surprise. Right now, they were helping to hide Jane's blush. They’d found out their little brother had pocketed a handful of his favourite cards only after hearing him talk about it in his sleep.
Which means I talk in my sleep. Which means...
She didn't want to think about what it could mean, when her options were not only limitless, but also came in various degrees of embarrassment.
Relax, she told herself. You probably mumbled something about that blue dress she wore last week and Frankie's just letting his imagination run wild. She mentally patted herself on the back. Yeah, that's probably all it is. God, I can't wait to get my own place again. As grateful as she was that he’d given her a roof over her head after her condo burned, the lack of privacy was starting to drive her crazy. Gripping her laser gun, she went to take a step when a voice on her shoulder spoke.
Yeah, you need to have a place where you can think about Maura out of that dress.
She looked around to see if anyone else had heard, then rolled her eyes. It's just you and Maura, stupid.
Yeah, you and Maura. A nice dinner. Maybe some of that wine you pretend to hate, even though she knows. She knows.
There was something in the tone that made her think the voice wasn't just talking about the wine.
"What tone??" she said aloud before she could catch herself. Fortunately, the piped-in bass from some unrecognizable dance track was enough to cover her exclamation. This is ridiculous. She doesn't know and it wouldn't matter anyway. She's not into women.
Not French women, no, the voice agreed. And 'Rizzoli' is très French, si?
You're mixing up two lang- She waved her hands in exasperation. "Stop. Focus."
When Cavanaugh had suggested the afternoon laser tag session as a way to help the precinct de-stress after Susie Chang’s murder, she considered it more for the forensic team’s well being. After all, they were the ones closest to the senior criminalist. Now, catching herself in a heated debate with…herself, she started wondering if it wasn’t just as therapeutic for the detectives. One detective, in particular. “Focus,” she said again. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath through her nose and exhaled through her mouth while trying to recall the map they were all shown at the beginning of the course. It was a fairly easy maze made more difficult by the shifting lights and constant music. It was just enough of an assault on the senses to keep everyone slightly off-balance. Adding to the disorientation was the fact that, as more and more players were eliminated, corridors were darkened in order to shrink the playing field. Corridor 6. The neon light at the end of the hall read ‘8’, and based on the map, she knew 6 ran parallel to her left.
Would Maura be waiting or would she be on the move? On the move. There’s no way she’d just sit there and take potshots. She wouldn’t find it sporting. Jane smirked at the thought. Stick and move. She was all about that when I taught her how to box. I bet she’s doing the same right now. Jane’s mind flashed back to the self-defense lesson and how quickly Maura took to the controlled aggression. It had been such a turn-on to see the normally mild-mannered scientist unleash on the poor bag.
With one half of her brain on the strategy and the other on drops of sweat that slowly rolled between the valley of Maura’s-
She stopped abruptly and rested her hands on her hips. Are you done yet? When no reply seemed to be forthcoming, she started down the hallway again. Her eyes quickly scanned the area, while she strained to hear anything beyond the dull thump-thump of the music. On a hunch, she turned right instead of left, heading towards Corridor 10 instead of 6. Squinting into the darkness, Jane spotted something on the floor just before the intersection of 10 and 9. It was a headset very much like her own, but blue instead of red. Someone from Maura’s team must have dropped it while running. In the heat of battle with lasers flashing and people flooding the hallways, she knew it would be easy to jog something loose and never go back for it, either out of fear of being caught or disorientation. An evil thought crossed her mind. She slipped hers off, letting it dangle around her neck, and adjusted the new one on her head.
“Maura, where are you?” she asked. “We’ve all been eliminated. Come on out.”
“Nice try, Detective,” came the reply. “The man at the counter told us the house lights would come up when the penultimate player was eliminated. However, I commend you for your deviousness.”
Jane grinned. “Can’t fault a girl for trying.”
“So, it’s just you and me.”
She pressed her back to the wall and slowly cross-stepped towards the end of the corridor. The maze was sprinkled with random obstacles and small rooms. Jane could make out a doorway ¾ of the way down the hall.
“You make that sound kind of ominous,” she said, “in a James Bond sort of way.”
There was no immediate reply. Was she moving? Then, “It doesn’t have to be.”
Jane froze in her tracks. Why did that sound like she was talking about something deeper than a laser tag game? Licking her lips, she said, “No?”
“I’ve often thought that if James Bond would only give up his fruitless obsession with England and join the villain, they could rule the world together.”
“That’s it. We’re not watching ‘Skyfall’ again.” A throaty chuckle rolled through the headset and made Jane’s stomach quiver. She checked over her shoulder. “So, given the choice, would you be Bond or the villain?” She listened closely, hoping to get a clue of Maura’s position. She couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact the blonde seemed to be seriously contemplating the question.
The answer finally came. “Well, considering the element of intelligence needed to be a mastermind, I’d have to choose that one.”
“I love how he’s no longer a villain, but a ‘mastermind’ when you’re involved. Wait - are you telling me I’d have to be Bond because I’m not as smart as you? Bond always catches the bad guy, so…”
“And this is why we should pair up. Me with my brain and you with your everything else, we’d be unstoppable.”
“Mmm-hmmm. Nice save. I especially like the ‘your everything else’. Nice way of saying I’m the muscle.”
“You do have wonderful musculature.”
The bass kicked in just as the blood rushed to her ears. “Really? And how long have you been admiring my musculature?”
“Oh, for years.”
The gun nearly fell out of her hand, and it took a circus juggling act to not let it drop to the floor. “Shit!” she muttered quietly, but if Maura’s laugh was anything to go by, it wasn’t quiet enough.
“Are you just outside the door?”
Jane’s head jerked around. Shadows were everywhere, shifting in the light and her vision, but she was sure Maura wasn’t around. Standing under the sign that said ‘Door’, she replied, “No.” Maura’s soft chuckle dismissed the lie. “Okay, maybe. Where are you? I didn’t take you to be someone who hid and ambushed.”
“I adapt depending on the enemy,” Maura said. “I think Frankie looked at me for a full 30 seconds before the shock wore off. Now, Detective Crowe on the other hand, it was much easier to just get out of his way and shoot him from the blind.”
Jane grinned. Crowe had literally run into the course, full speed, yelling ‘Semper Fi!’ like an idiot. Based on the radio chatter through her headset, he was the first to get eliminated. “So,” she ventured, crouching down and commando-crawling into the room, “how have you adapted for me?”
“Obviously, patience is the key,” Maura explained. “While I’m not adverse to the chase, I know I have to wait for you to come to me.”
Again, it felt like they weren’t just talking about the game. “So you’re like the black widow of laser tag. You weave your tempting web, lure me in, then eat me.” She cringed at the double entendre.
“For that to be an apt label, we’d have to have sex first.”
Jane bumped her head into a half-wall that was meant to be a blind. “You did that on purpose!”
The low laugh vibrated through the headset. “I’m quite sure I don’t know what you mean.”
Unbeknownst to Jane, Maura was on the other side of the wall, and it was only when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up did she realize she was caught. Looking up into a smiling face, Jane lowered her head and groaned. “I will never live this down.”
“On your feet, Detective.”
She obeyed the command, trying not to enjoy seeing the mirth on Maura’s face, evident even in the shifting lights. “You know, you can’t shoot me.”
Maura tilted her head in confusion. Glancing down at her gun, as though Jane had seen a defect, she asked, “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” she stepped as close as she could, until the divider got in the way, “the villain doesn’t shoot Bond.”
Maura’s eyes twinkled. “I see. And you meant ‘mastermind’.”
“So that’s your defence?”
“No. I also have the element of surprise.”
Maura’s gaze narrowed suspiciously. “Considering it’s just the two of us left, I doubt you have any surprises up your slee-”
The three seconds it took for Maura to get out the partial sentence was a lifetime for Jane, who spent it teetering on the line between uncertainty and exhilaration. Even with her hair up, Jane could feel the fine sheen of sweat at her neck and her hands were clammy. She didn’t want to fuck it up by being a neanderthal. Fervently searching Maura’s face, the shadows revealed nothing, but there was something tickling the back of her brain.
Collecting whatever scraps of courage she ever had, Jane leaned forward and brushed her lips across Maura’s. She gave her time to pull back, though not knowing what she would do if that happened. She needn’t have worried. If anything, Maura leaned closer, initiating another meeting, tentative and shy, growing into a nuzzle but nothing more. Nothing yet. Emboldened and impatient, Jane circled her hand around Maura’s neck and cradled the back of her head while leaving no doubt of her intentions. Open mouths pressed together without hesitation, as if the dam of emotions had finally been released. Jane wanted to get closer, but the wall was in the way. Groaning in frustration, she pulled back and growled at the obstacle.
Maura raised her weapon and fired.
Like all the players who’d met a similar fate, Jane’s vest lit up like a Christmas tree, a flashing neon sign that loudly announced the player’s shameful exit. She bit her bottom lip and raised an un-amused eyebrow at Maura. The lights cycled 10 times before finally going black. It was then the house lights came on and both women squinted in the bright whiteness.
“You. Shot. Me.”
“You kissed me!”
To Jane’s relief, it sounded more like an exclamation than an accusation. “At least one of us is happy.”
Maura frowned. “You’re not happy you kissed me?”
Realizing how the words sounded, she grinned. “I am super happy I kissed you.” Her smile dropped as she feigned her disapproval. “But you still shot me.”
“Okay, ladies.” A voice came over the intercom. “That’s it. The Blue Team wins. Congratulations. Exit signs are lit. We’ll see you at the end.”
“So what now?” The euphoria of the moment was wearing off and Maura’s voice suddenly sounded small.
“Now,” Jane said, boldly dropping a quick kiss on Maura’s lips, “we get out of these suits, I think of a way to explain how I lost to the Geek Squad-” she silenced Maura’s objection with another kiss. “And then… then we figure out how to rule the world together.”