DISCLAIMER: I actually have no idea who Rizzoli & Isles belongs to, just that it is not me but I am still quite grateful for the episodes I've seen of it so far. Not related to any particular season or episode, it is really just an excessive use of the words "croissant" and "pastry".
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Like everything else I've written this story is also available at my own fic site, http://ryufic.blogspot.se/
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To rosmari.karlssonfaltin[at]telia.com
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson
For just a split second when Jane realized the front door to her apartment was unlocked despite her routine of checking and double checking that everything was locked up tight before leaving for work in the morning, adrenaline shot through her and her hand automatically strayed towards her gun. Before she touched her weapon though the door creaked open enough for a certain and very familiar scent to make its way to Jane, who slumped slightly in relief.
Relief quickly transformed into wry resignation and no small amount of irritation, not an uncommon combination where her mother was involved, in particular the times where her mother's use of the spare key given her for 'emergencies' was involved.
Yes, Jane was a bit more skittish to such things than any normal daughter might be and she knew it, but one of these days her mother would have to accept that Jane was a detective with a very slippery murderer on a personal vendetta against her, and randomly popping in when the fancy struck her without telling Jane first was not a good idea on so many levels. Apparently though, that day was not today.
"Ma?" Both the weariness and the annoyance were quite audible in her voice, again not unusual when her mother was involved. "I'm home!" At least the mouth-watering scent that promised some of her mother's delicious baked goods in Jane's immediate future kept Jane from having any real desire to get into it with her mother that day, so the annoyance was fading some.
The delighted cry of "Jane!" that met her as she put her jacket away was not the one she had expected, however. Blinking in surprise Jane snapped around to face her kitchen just in time to catch sight of a beaming Maura Isles liberally dusted in flour.
Then she simply caught Maura, as the happy if unusually dishevelled woman threw herself in Jane's arms. Rocking back ever so slightly on her heels both from the unexpected impact and from the surprise, Jane's arms nevertheless settled around the smaller woman as if it was an automatic response.
"Oh Jane," The sight of Maura being so happily excited had a way of doing funny things to Jane's insides, such as making her completely forget that the other woman was at that very moment likely covering both Jane's clothes and dark hair with white flour. "Your mother is teaching me how to bake your favourite croissants!"
A little distracted at first, because, well, Maura was very warm and holding her this close just felt so incredibly nice and what did some stray flour in her hair matter if Maura wanted to wrap her arms around her neck anyway, but eventually the words made it through to Jane's awareness. A dark eyebrow hitched in surprise.
"My favourite croissants?" She looked towards the kitchen to find her mother smiling widely at her as she expertly switched baking sheets. "The croissants she claims are a secret family recipe, and that I apparently still haven't earned the right to learn? Those croissants?"
"Oh Jane," Her mother's inflection being quite, quite different from Maura's, and Jane wasn't sure she'd like where it would go even though her mother sounded quite cheerful. "You and I both know that although I managed to teach how to cook well enough, you simply can't bake. You have been a menace to my kitchen every time you've tried."
"Besides," The older woman continued before Jane had the chance to growl out a protest, that it was really just that one time, and was she going to hear about that for the rest of her life? "Maura is a part of the family."
That statement, simple and genuine, from her mother and the reaction she knew, even without looking, that Maura had to it, would have been enough to make Jane forgive her mother even if she had set the entire building, Jane's car and Jane's hair on fire. She smiled affectionately at the older woman and, not for the first time, counted her blessings that she had such wonderful parents... even if her mother tended to drive her insane from time to time.
Angela sighed a little, sounding just a touch wistful. "It does me good to know that there is someone here to take care of you."
Jane opened her mouth to protest the statement, just like she always did when the subject of needing someone to 'take care' of her came up, but for some reason this time she couldn't think of a single thing to say. Instead she felt slightly embarrassed and wasn't entirely sure why.
Perhaps sensing that she had caught her daughter somewhat flatfooted the Rizzoli matriarch got a croissant from the rows that were put to cool and came bustling over, her wide smile still in place. "Here honey, try this; Maura made these herself."
Between her mother's smile and Maura's expectant eyes Jane wasn't about to protest, so she took the pastry and bit into it, preparing to cover up if it didn't taste all that great.
She groaned out loud.
"Maura... seriously, you made this?" She groaned again and made short work of the remaining croissant. "It's delicious!"
"Really?" Maura seemed so hopeful and so eager to please that Jane would probably have swallowed a rock and proclaimed it delicious just to make her happy, but fortunately no effort was needed.
"Oh yeah, really. I didn't think anyone could top Ma's croissants, but these are great!" Blinking a little sheepishly when she realized that she had just told her mother that her pastries weren't as good as Maura's, she tried a bit apologetically. "Sorry Ma, but it's true."
Angela just smiled serenely at them and waved a hand as if to say that it was fine. Something in her mother's continued smiling regard had Jane realize that she was still standing just inside the door to her apartment with one arm wrapped around Maura and with Maura's arms around her waist, and that she had been standing like this for a while now.
Flushing slightly she cleared her throat and, ever so gently, it didn't do not to be gentle with Maura according to Jane, eased out of the loose embrace to move towards the kitchen. "Don't get me wrong, I'm really grateful for this, but what brought this on?" She eyed the mess and wondered if Maura was the reason it was not nearly as bad as she would have expected. "Should I help clean up?"
Despite her offer Jane quickly found herself directed to a chair while the other two cleaned up. She wasn't going to protest her good fortune this time, especially since she could surreptitiously steal another pastry or two while she waited. She wasn't fooling anyone and she knew it, but the pleased smile on her mother's face and the beamingly happy one on Maura's as they pretended not to see that Jane was filching the croissants from Maura's pile rather than her mother's was more than worth a little bit of acting silly. She couldn't keep from smiling either.
It really warmed Jane's heart to watch how comfortable Maura had become around her mother, and as she watched the two most important women in her life bustle about her kitchen while chatting and taking turns to tell her how this day's little adventure had come about, she indulged in a rare moment of just being happy and relaxed for once.
As it turned out Angela had stopped by the station after shopping, intending to have a quick chat with her daughter when she bumped into Maura instead. Maura, getting off work earlier than Jane for once, had offered to take Angela for coffee, and that had somehow transformed into Angela deciding on the impromptu baking lesson at Jane's place. While eager to spend her precious time off baking with Jane's mother in a way only Maura could be, she had still been reluctant to use Jane's apartment without first asking for permission, but steamroller Angela quickly had things going according to her plans.
Jane was chuckling by the time the story and the cleaning wound down, and Angela shooed Maura off to the shower. She helped her mother get her things together because as Angela pointed out, those were Frankie's favourite croissants as well while half-heartedly trying to convince her mother to stay for dinner. Angela declined as expected, citing the need to get home to cook for Jane's father and brother, but was nonetheless pleased that Jane had offered.
Just before she closed the door behind herself Angela turned to Jane who had followed her to it, and asked in that oh so innocent way of hers that meant that it was in fact anything but. "Say, Jane, why doesn't Maura have a spare key to your place?" She took a small step back. "You know, for emergencies?" Blithely ignoring that her own use of 'emergencies' was impressively wide and ruled by impulse, as well as her stunned offspring gawping at her, Angela shut the door and made a quick if slightly giggly dash down the hall.
Standing there, stunned and staring at the door while desperately trying to reboot her brain after her mother's parting words, Jane was dimly aware of hearing Maura get out of the shower and into Jane's bedroom.
It wasn't a bad idea, Jane already had Maura listed on all sorts of emergency contact lists and such, so it seemed only natural. There certainly wasn't anyone she'd trust as much as Maura, whether it came to how she'd use a spare key or anything else. It would be convenient too, if Maura came by while Jane was out walking Joe or something she wouldn't have to wait for Jane in the hallway. And for heaven's sake, she already had a drawer and a section of her closet dedicated to Maura's clothing, for when she spent the night or just happened to need a change of clothes while at Jane's place.
It was all very logical and reasonable, and Maura would undoubtedly agree.
So why did the very thought make Jane blush furiously?
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