DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A very last minute fic written in honor of TheHolyInnocent's birthday.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To darandkerry[at]yahoo.com

A Cardinal Sin
By Ann


"I got here as fast as I could," Jane said, her breath ragged as she spoke nothing but the truth. She'd almost run over Carla Talucchi in the crosswalk when she'd turned the corner of her parents' street; she'd shouted out a 'sorry' and sped toward the back doors of her father's parked van, stopping just inches short of his bumper. She'd jumped from her car and raced toward the front door, barely hearing the Italian curse Carla had yelled at her back. "What's wrong?" Jane addressed her father as she looked frantically around the den for a problem, any problem, but even Angela wasn't there.

"I screwed up," Frank Rizzoli, Sr. admitted quietly. He hugged the pillow he held tightly against his chest and stared blankly at the television. Jane followed his line of sight and suddenly got very worried. The screen was black. And the Patriots were playing the Buffalo Bills, a sure way for his favorite team to make a comeback after such a devastating loss.

"Did you forget to pay the cable bill?" Jane asked, wondering why her father hadn't just gone down to Murray's to watch the game. Frank just shook his head.

"I forgot that it was your mother's birthday," he said and looked up before Jane could hide her grimace. She'd reminded him of Angela's birthday earlier in the week and had thought that would have been enough. She and Frankie, Jr., had promised to take their mother to dinner the next evening as they had both pulled duty for the weekend. "She's less than happy with me," Frank sighed tiredly. In Angela's eyes, he may as well have committed a cardinal sin.

Jane refrained from admonishing her father, figuring Angela had already given him plenty of hell for his unforgivable oversight, and instead blew out a breath and plopped down on the cushion next to him. "Where is she?"

Frank made a head gesture toward the hallway. "In the bedroom… her bedroom now, she says." He patted the couch. "I guess I'm going to be down in my back for the next week or so."

Jane just stared at the blank television screen. Her father would be lucky if it was only for a week. Seconds stretched into minutes with Jane quietly sitting next to her condemned father until a smile finally tugged at the corner of her lips. She reached for her cell.

"Frankie, we've got a situation. Here's what I need you to do: Call Maura and…"


"Go away, Frank!" Angela shouted to the closed door and rolled over onto her side, turning her back to both the door and her husband should he be stupid enough to try to enter the room.

"It's me, Ma… Jane," Jane called through the hollow core door; she cringed and shook her head and then hit it lightly against the door at introducing herself by name, as if Angela had another daughter. "Can I come in?"

Angela grunted out a bitter laugh. "Yeah, but don't think I'm going to listen to anything you have to say."

Twisting the doorknob, Jane slowly pushed the door inward. "As if you ever do," she whispered under her breath.

"I heard that!" Angela grumbled, but she didn't bother turning around to face her daughter. "Just say what you have to say and then go back and tell your father that I'm not forgiving him. Not this time." And she meant it, or at least she meant it at this particular moment.

"I understand why you're upset, Ma," Jane started and clamped down on her next words when her mother whipped her head around fast enough to snap it cleanly from her neck. The famous Rizzoli glare was very much alive and well. Jane stepped closer and treaded lightly. "And you're right," she continued, drawing narrowed eyes and a furrowed brow from her mother. "He shouldn't have forgotten your birthday."

"No kidding," Angela agreed. "Is it too much to ask for your father to remember my birthday? Maybe offer to take me out for a nice meal or perhaps even dancing?" She knew dancing was out of the question. Frank really hated to dance.

Jane sat on the end of the bed. "How about if you and I go get something to eat? I can get Korsak to cover for me for a couple of hours?"

Angela eased up on an elbow, clearly interested in Jane's offer. "But you and Frankie are taking me out tomorrow night. Not that I wouldn't like to go tonight, too, but you don't have to do that, Jane," she said in a not-so-convincing voice. Jane half-expected her mother to leap from the bed and grab her purse.

"I insist," Jane said with a smile. "We'll just get a pizza or something tonight. Tomorrow, we'll go somewhere nicer."

Angela's scowl transformed into a beaming smile. "I'd like that, Jane." She moved to sit up. "Just give me a few minutes to freshen up."

"Take all the time you need, Ma," Jane said sweetly as she watched her mother push to her feet and move into the bathroom. Her father would be back in his own bed before morning.

"Hey, why are we stopping here?" Angela asked as Jane whipped her car into an empty parking space in front of Murray's bar.

Jane reached for her door handle. "Thought you might like a little drink before you go home." She winked. "I bet Murray will give you one free when he finds out it's your birthday."

Angela glanced over at the bar and then back at Jane. Her face brightened. "Really? A free drink?"

"Sure," Jane said as she pushed her door open. "And even if he won't, I'll treat you."

Angela shot out of the car like a bullet fired from a gun. "C'mon, slow poke, what are waiting for?" She grinned at Jane and hurried toward the door. Jane caught up with her mother before Angela could pull open the door.

"Who are you calling slow?" she teased as she tugged on the door and gestured for her mother to enter first. Angela just threw back her head and laughed as she stepped inside.

"Surprise!!!" a chorus of voices shouted, sending a startled Angela scurrying backward into Jane's arms.

"Whoa! Don't fall, Ma. I'd hate to spend your birthday evening in the ER," Jane laughed and quickly righted her mother.

Angela stood with her mouth wide open and her hand over her heart. "What's going on here?"

Frank, Sr. blew out a nervous breath and stepped forward. He stuffed his right hand in his pocket and pointed toward the decorative balloons that were tied to the bar. "It's your birthday," he blurted the obvious, wondering why he was suddenly so flustered. "And, I thought…"

"Oh, Frank," Angela interrupted, clearly touched by her husband's efforts to atone for his transgression. "You planned all of this?" She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat and smiled at her husband as a single tear made its way down her cheek.

"Yeah, I, um…" Frank started but was saved from lying like a dog when a familiar tune began to play. Shrugging apologetically, he offered a hand and Angela grabbed hold, allowing her husband to pull her close as they began to sway back and forth.

Wise men say
only fools rush in
but I can't help
falling in love with you

Shall I stay
would it be a sin
if I can't help falling in love with you...

As the smooth voice of Elvis Presley filled the air, Jane grinned from ear to ear and stepped next to Maura. She eased an arm around the other woman's waist and watched her parents dance. She just hoped that, someday, she and Maura would look at each other the way Angela was looking at Frank. One thing was for certain, however, she would never make the mistake of forgetting Maura's birthday, but Jane had a much more private celebration in mind. Pulling Maura closer, she began to plan.

The End

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