DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To zipandliang[at]gmail.com
SPOILERS: Season One.
"Doc, are you sure I can't get you anything else? Something from the cafeteria? Or could I run you back to your house for a change of clothes?" Korsak asked gently, handing Maura another large cup of coffee.
"No," Maura murmured absently. "Thank you, though. That's very sweet. And for the coffee."
Korsak sighed and sat down next to Maura. He was about as adept at these "kinds" of conversations as she was, but she didn't seem to mind the long stretches of silence. In fact, it was mostly each other's nearness that seemed to bring them the most comfort. It was like nearness to Jane, once removed. He tried to avoid looking at the small smear of dried blood along Maura's jaw line, but his gaze was drawn to it again and again. Jane's blood. Jane had reached up to Maura from where she lay on the ground and Maura had taken Jane's hand, pressed it to her cheek.
Korsak had never seen Maura move so quickly before. She was a woman known for her deliberateness, her thoroughness. But as she bent over Jane, it was as if some entirely different part of her took over. Her movements were rapid, almost frantic. She was calling out instructions to Frost and Korsak, staunching Jane's blood flow with steady hands, reassuring Jane with a calm, even voice.
Maura looked like a combat medic, and in those endless, feverish moments, Korsak found himself wondering why the doctor had not chosen emergency medicine as her calling. Her decisiveness, her cool head, her deft hands, all of them, in concert, would have made her a gifted trauma surgeon. But as Jane was loaded into the ambulance and Maura hurried in after her, Korsak could see the cost of that intense furious burst of competence. Maura looked as if she were on the very brink of collapse. It's how she still looked, hours later, in spite of her unnaturally perfect posture, and her blood spattered but barely wrinkled dress.
In the immediate aftermath, when Jane and Frankie had both been wheeled into separate surgical suites, Angela Rizzoli had cupped Maura's face in her hands, kissing her cheeks. "You saved my babies!" she said. And Maura allowed the embrace, the overwhelming display of emotion and affection. But she could only stand speechless, arms hanging limp at her sides.
"The doctor says they're going to be fine but that they would have died, both of them, if you hadn't been there, Maura," Angela continued. "Thank you."
"She did good, huh?" Korsak said, putting his arm around Maura's shoulders, afraid that if he didn't hold her up she was going to pass out right in front of him. He could feel her trembling beneath his touch and he tightened his grip, trying to convey his assurance, his support without words. It didn't matter how brilliant or accomplished or even sometimes distant she was. There was just something about Maura Isles, some deep vulnerability, that brought out every latent fatherly instinct Korsak had.
Maura forced a smile and some small talk and gained Angela's promise that as soon as visitors were permitted, Maura would be first in line to see Jane. Now, endless hours later, that was about to happen. Maura stood at the threshold of the recovery room, steeling her shoulders and taking a breath before entering. She made her way between the rows until she got to Jane. There were IVs and monitors surrounding the bed, but Jane looked as if she could have simply been dozing. Her black curls were spread carelessly around her pillow, framing her surprisingly serene face. Maura let out a breath and sank into the chair next to the bed. For the longest time she just stared. But then she couldn't resist reaching for Jane's hand, taking it in her own, feeling the reassuring warmth, the reflexive twitch of Jane's fingers against her wrist.
Slowly, Jane blinked open her eyes, struggling to focus.
"Maura," she whispered, her voice hoarse.
"I'm here Jane. You're in the hospital, but you're going to be fine."
"He's fine, too. We're very lucky. All of us," Maura said, her fingers smoothing across Jane's knuckles, along her palm.
"Thank you," Jane said, looking up, her eyes fluttering with the effort.
"Shhh. Don't try to talk. Just rest."
Jane nodded, closing her eyes. Maura watched the other woman's features relax again, listened while her breathing became slow and steady. Gently, Maura moved to slip her hand from Jane's, but as she did, Jane tightened her grip, capturing Maura's fingers with a surprisingly strong hold.
"Don't go," Jane said, not opening her eyes.
"I won't," Maura replied. She swallowed hard around the lump in her throat and tucked an unruly lock of Jane's hair behind her ear. "I'll stay right here."
Maura remained by Jane's side, walking next to her when they finally wheeled her onto the elevator and moved her up to a private room, sitting by her side, watching the monitors flicker and beep. Angela and Frank came and went between Jane and Frankie's adjacent rooms, and Maura had never been so glad to be a doctor as when she was able to sit in during the conversations with their respective surgeons, translating, advocating, and asking all of the questions that neither Frank nor Angela was clear-headed enough to posit.
With both Jane and Frankie stable and resting comfortably, Maura sent the older Rizzolis home. Something she knew she'd have to do herself, sooner or later. But for now, she was content to sit in Jane's room, watching the easy rise and fall of Jane's breaths, trying not to think for the millionth time how differently everything could have turned out. There was no point to that, she realized, but it didn't keep the what ifs from racing around in her brain.
"Maura," Jane said quietly, startling Maura out of her reverie.
"I'm here, Jane."
"It hurts," Jane whispered, shifting against the pain.
"I'll ring for the nurse. We'll get you some morphine."
"I'd rather have a beer," Jane said, grimacing. And Maura smiled in spite of herself. Smiled for the first time in what felt like forever.
"I don't think your doctor would recommend that you mix morphine and beer."
"It's not like I'm driving," Jane said. Then, frowning, "You look like hell, Maura."
"People in glass houses, Jane," Maura said, watching as the nurse came in to adjust Jane's IV.
After a moment, the tension in Jane's face relaxed. "Hey, forget the beer. I'll just take a case of this stuff."
"How about some water?" Maura offered, holding a straw to Jane's lips while she sipped.
"You're pretty good at this. Ever consider a career in medicine?" Jane asked.
Maura shook her head. "After the past 24 hours, I'm considering a career in plumbing. Think your father would take me on as an assistant?"
"Definitely. Seems like a waste, though. Not every pathologist is as good with living patients as they are with dead ones."
"Jane," Maura said quietly, looking away.
"What? You saved my life. And Frankie's."
"No I didn't," Maura replied, still unable to meet Jane's gaze.
"Holy crap, Maura. Look at me. I'm alive. If it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't be. And that's definitely true for Frankie. I might be out of it, but I know what I saw. I know what I remember."
Maura forced herself to look into Jane's eyes, which were fierce and bright with conviction, despite the potent cocktail of drugs in her system. She picked up Jane's hand from where it rested on the bed, and tenderly kissed the inside of her wrist.
"I don't know what I would have done, if " Maura opened her mouth to continue, but couldn't.
"Hey. It's okay. I'm fine. Frankie's fine."
Maura nodded, smiling and spilling the tears that had pooled in her eyes. "I love you Jane," she whispered.
"I know. I love you, too," Jane said, squeezing Maura's hand.
"You should get some rest," Maura said, watching as Jane's blinking slowed.
"So should you. You really look like crap."
"As you've said."
"You're the one who hates lying," Jane grinned.
"I don't want to leave you."
"I'm not going anywhere. Besides, I'm figuring you'll be back later. Go on. And say hello to Bass for me."
Maura resisted, a litany of complaints poised on the tip of her tongue. But Jane's arched brows would allow for no arguments, so Maura reluctantly gathered her purse and coat. She then checked and double checked the monitors and Jane's IV, and refilled her pitcher with fresh water.
"Maura," Jane said, firmly but gently. "I'm okay."
Maura forced a smile and squared her shoulders before bending over the bed to press a kiss against Jane's forehead. "Get some rest," she said softly before turning to leave.
She was halfway down the hallway before she stopped abruptly, spun on her heel, and hurried back to Jane's room.
Jane looked up, startled, as Maura crossed her threshold. "I thought you were"
Maura's kiss, sweet and smoldering and entirely unexpected, stole the words from Jane's lips.
"I just thought you should know," Maura whispered, her sigh still warm on Jane's cheek long after the purposeful click of her heels disappeared down the hallway.
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