DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
FEEDBACK: To i_think_youre_wonderful[at]hotmail.com
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By the time Jane Rizzoli pulled her car towards Maura Isles' driveway, the large truck that was parked alongside of the house drove off. It was large, built to hold furniture - perhaps Maura re-did the west wing, Jane thought to herself as she grabbed her stuff from the car and shut the door.
It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday - one of the last great Indian summer days that Boston would have this year and Jane was going to make certain that Isles didn't waste it indoors. She made her way up the walk and noticed the front door wide open - she grabbed the knocker on the front of the door and knocked heavily before she walked in "Hello?" she called out, her senses alert and her eyes looking for the first sign of trouble. She heard a rustle in the next room and finally Maura popped her head out the doorway - "Jane - Hi - did you knock?" - she asked as she popped her head back into the room.
"Yeah, the door was open, wanted to make sure everything was ok." Jane shut the front door and made her way towards the sitting room where she watched as Maura, immaculately dressed in a slim navy skirt and white knit tank bundling what seemed to be sheets of plastic...that lead to a newly arrived piano by the window.
"Oh yes, everything's fine!" The blonde responded as she set down the plastic and began to polish the gleaming wood of the instrument.
"See you're doing some re-decorating here?"
"It was a gift - isn't it beautiful?" Maura asked as she stepped up on her tip-toes and stretched to reach the other end of the piano; she turned to smile at Jane, who was quickly fidgeting with her bag, trying to shove something into it. "What's that in your hand?" She asked as she finished and sat down on the bench facing her friend.
"Nothing - nothing. So, a gift?" Jane asked, clearly flustered, a slow red spreading across her cheeks.
"Yes, from my godfather. It was a surprise! And are you sure it's nothing, because it clearly looked like something."
"Trust me, it was nothing. So, can you play the piano? Or was it just one of those 'I just saw this in the window and knew you had to have it' type of things?" Jane dropped the bag by the couch and moved over to the piano, running her hand across the top, trying to get Maura to forget about it.
"I wish you wouldn't make fun of me like that." Maura responded quietly as she turned around to face the keys and Jane who was wandering around the instrument. "It was a very thoughtful gift - this was the piano I learned on." Her fingers began to run across the keys, plucking out a familiar tune that Rizzoli couldn't quite place. "It was my first friend."
"I'm sorry Isles. I really am."
Maura played for a moment before she stopped, having forgotten the incident and raised her head towards her friend who had surprised her. "What brings you by, Jane? Did we have plans I forgot about?"
"Nah, I just had an extra ticket to today's game and wanted to see if you wanted to come with me -"
"That explains the outfit." Maura smiled, taking in Jane in her full athletic gear: ponytail, white and red Red Sox jersey, denim cutoffs revealing an amount of thigh that on anyone else would've been indecent, but on Jane, looked just right.
"But you have your new toy..." Jane sat herself next to Maura on the piano bench, mildly aware of her though touching Maura's, "You know I used to take lessons too? Hated them. From Mrs. Ciccone down the street from us. Hated her. Smelt of mothballs. Frankie got to Baseball that year." Jane stuck out a finger and tapped out a few strands.
"Clair de Lune!" Maura responded with an almost childlike happiness "Well done!" She shot her a huge smile, watching as Jane blushed.
"It's nothing - about the only thing I remember. Anyways - I guess I should go." Jane swiveled around and stood up.
"Does that mean I can't come?" Maura asked, unsure of what just happened here.
"Well you have your piano."
"It's big Jane." Maura smiled, "I don't think it's going anywhere."
"Do you want to go with me?"
"Yes!" Isles exclaimed, jumping up from her seat with joy.
"Yes! I just need to change - somehow I don't think this is Fenway approved! What should I wear?" Maura began rattling off options excitedly - Jane watched her friend's excitement for a moment before she hesitantly bent over and pulled something out of her bag and held it out for the woman before her who grew silent at the sight of it. In Jane's hands, held out for Maura was a lumpy package, crudely covered in gift wrapped and taped in place.
"Is this for me?" Maura asked, apprehensive.
"You may not like it -" Jane began, "You know, never mind -"
"Jane no! I'm sorry - didn't' mean anything by it. I just..." Maura took a deep breath and quickly blurted out "it'sjustthatit'smybirthdaytoday."
"I know." Jane responded, nudging the package back towards her, "Happy birthday.". Maura looked up into her friend's brown eyes as she took the package and sat down. She slowly began to unstick each piece of tape from the paper - meticulous in her approach until Jane finally cleared her throat, "You know the game's today right? So you can just rip right into it." Isles laughed, a smile across her face.
"How did you know?" She asked quietly as she continued to unwrap the gift in her own manner, her eyes down in her lap.
"You got a bouquet of flowers yesterday - dahlias - not the most romantic flowers, and you haven't gone on any dates (that I know of) - so I snuck a peek at the card..."
"I know, I know - I shouldn't snoop, but I'm a cop. Can't help it. Damn Nancy Drew books as a kid!" Jane laughed, unable to look at her friend.
Jane turned around and caught her breath at the nearness of Dr. Maura Isles who came up behind her and was standing what would've been described as uncomfortably close if it was anyone else - but as it was Maura, it was close enough. Or almost close enough. What little distance there was left was bridged by the blonde who leaned over and brushed her lips against Jane's cheek and then pulled back and asked "How do I look?!"
Jane slowly exhaled, not realizing that she had stopped breathing as Maura kissed her. Her cheek. Kissed her cheek, Jane corrected herself as she took in the sight of her friend - her blonde hair down around her shoulders, a huge grin spread ear to ear across her face, a matching red and white Red Sox jersey over her short navy skirt. "You look ... amazing!" Jane responded. She really did - she managed to make the jersey look...sexy with her natural curves - and her legs peeking out underneath the hip hugging skirt. "Do you like it?"
"I love it!"
"We can exchange it if you don't -"
"I love it Jane. Thank you for my gift!" She held out her hand and grabbed her friend's arm and dragged her towards the front door. "Now let's go! I don't want to miss a minute!"
"No rush, Maura - it's baseball! Trust me, there's LOTS of minutes!"
Jane sat in their booth alone, pushing her half-empty bottle of warm beer across the table, watching it slide along the pool of water collecting underneath it.
This was not how Jane thought she'd end the day - not when it began like it did. The truth was, Jane didn't like to think - not about herself anyways. She thought at work, about every angle and every motive and opportunity - but when it came to things in her own life, she just liked to let sleeping things lie. And the more time she spent with Dr. Maura Isles, the harder it became to not think. About her friend... and if she was a friend... and the way she looked modeling her new jersey or the unidentifiable feeling she got when she saw the bouquet of flowers being delivered or the way she leaned over and kissed her on the cheek - close enough that if she slipped... She took another sip and grimaced as she swallowed the warm beer. And more than anything, Jane Rizzoli didn't want to think about the scene in the parking lot which lead to her here - sitting alone, thinking, with warm beer.
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