DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I started writing this after the above mentioned scene when Jane comes in to Maura's house, groceries in hand, and asks why the front door was unlocked. It does not take into account anything that happened later in the season or the season finale. I got started writing it and then life threw me a curve ball, but I've finally found time to get it finished and posted. Hope you enjoy! As always, I'll look forward to your feedback
SPOILERS: Fleeting mention of the opening scene in "Can I Get a Witness?"
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
Gnocchi Night - Translated
Maura Isles watched with rapt attention, from her perch on a kitchen stool, as Angela Rizzoli demonstrated the fine art of making gnocchi. Angela was showing Maura her technique for rolling the potato dough balls along the tines of a flour-coated fork to create ridges in the dough, when both women were startled by a loud thud against the front door.
"Son of a bitch " Jane Rizzoli's muffled voice sounded through the door.
Maura looked at Angela, and they exchanged shrugs as Maura slid off her stool and went to the door. When she opened it, she found Jane, juggling two brown grocery bags while fumbling to get her keys out of her pocket.
Maura tilted her head and gave Jane a look of amusement. The detective gave her a bewildered look in return. "Your door was locked!"
Maura nodded and suppressed a smile as she stepped aside for Jane to enter. "I seem to recall you chastising me for leaving it unlocked last week."
"Yeah, well who knew you would actually listen to me?" Jane smiled a wry smile as she passed by Maura allowing her to close the door behind her. Hearing her mother rattling around in the kitchen, Jane quickly stopped in her tracks and turned back to Maura. "Are you sure you're up for this?" she asked, speaking quietly out of the corner of her mouth hoping Angela wouldn't hear. "'Cause, believe me, gnocchi night can be quite an experience, especially for those who didn't grow up in the Rizzoli household."
Maura waved her hand dismissively. "I'm looking forward to it. Although, it seems this will be an abbreviated form of gnocchi night."
"What? Why?" Jane asked as they made their way into the kitchen. "Hi, Ma," she said as she put the bags down on the counter.
"Hey, Janie," Angela said as she slid the gnocchi into the water in the large cook pot on Maura's stovetop.
"So, where is everybody?" Jane asked.
"It's just us girls tonight," her mother answered quickly, and Jane could tell she was upset but trying not to look like it. "Your brothers have more important things to do, and well, your father's absence goes without saying." She picked up a large slotted spoon and stood poised waiting for the gnocchi to begin bobbing up to the surface.
"What could be more important than eating your gnocchi?" Jane asked, hoping to make her mother feel better.
"Apparently someone gave Frankie tickets to a Celtics game and he took Tommy with him."
Jane's eyes widened. "Celtics tickets? And he took Tommy instead of me?"
Angela glared at her daughter. "So you would miss gnocchi night for some stupid basketball game too?"
Jane quickly realized her mistake. "Me? Nooo. I'm not missing gnocchi night for anything." She reached into one of the paper bags. "I even brought cannolis. They're not homemade, but the next best thing."
Angela broke into a wide grin. "From Toscano's?"
Jane nodded. "Yep." She reached into the other bag and pulled out a six-pack of Samuel Adams lager. "And I brought my favorite vintage." Looking at Maura as she reached into the bag again, she added, "And yours " With a flourish, she presented Maura with a bottle of her favorite Pinot Noir.
Jane smiled at Maura's little gasp as she took the bottle and giddily smiled as if it were the best gift she had ever received.
Angela reached over and pinched Jane's cheek. "You would make someone such a good wife, Janie," she said as Jane rolled her eyes and brushed her mother's hand away. "Which reminds me, I have good news," Angela said with a bright smile.
"Oh, God," Jane muttered almost under her breath.
"Carla Talucci's nephew is getting a divorce."
Jane looked curiously at her mother. "Since when is getting a divorce good news?"
"Since it means he's back on the market. I guess you could say the meat market," Angela added, giggling at her own joke.
"Are you talking about Guido? As in Meato Guido?" Jane asked as she put the beer in the refrigerator.
"Now, that's an unusual name," Maura interjected.
Jane gave her a look. "He's a butcher. And he's about as wide as he is tall."
Angela huffed. "Nothing wrong with being a butcher. He inherited the business from his father, and it's a very respectable profession. And a good one to be in. Everybody's gotta eat. And Carla says he's lost a lot of weight. I could get you his number if you'd like. He always seemed to have a little crush on you when you were kids."
Jane rolled her eyes again. "That's because he was Meato Guido and I was Roly Poly Rizzoli."
"See? You already have something in common," Angela replied. "Do you want his number or not?"
"No, Ma, but thanks for thinking of me," Jane answered sarcastically. She snagged a bottle from the beer carton before she closed the refrigerator door.
Angela sighed. "I'm just trying to help, Jane. I don't want you to grow old alone." She sniffled a bit. "Just because marriage didn't work out for me, doesn't mean it won't for you." She glared at Jane. "But, how would you know? You won't even give it a try."
Jane threw up her hands. "OK, first off, I'm not old. Second, marriage obviously doesn't work for Guido or he wouldn't be getting a divorce. And third, I'm not alone!"
Angela and Maura both looked at Jane curiously, as if waiting for her to clarify just how 'not alone' she was.
Popping the top off of her beer bottle, Jane took a sip and then looked back and forth between the two still silent women.
"You're not alone?" Angela asked.
Beer in one hand, Jane ticked off her response with the fingers of her free hand. "I've got friends," she began as she looked at Maura. "I've got family, my job, Joe Friday. That doesn't sound alone to me."
Angela sighed. "But that's not a husband or a boyfriend, even."
Jane's shoulders drooped as if she was tired of explaining this to her mother. "How many times have I gotta say it? I don't need a man to make me happy." She looked to Maura as if to ask for back-up.
Maura seem to jump into action. "While it is human nature to seek companionship, and in the majority of the population that usually implies someone of the opposite sex, that's not always the case." She titled her head as if seeing Jane in a whole new light. "Approximately ten percent of the population prefer someone of their own gender and another small percentage can be considered asexual."
Jane's eyes widened. "Not helping, Maura." She looked back at her mother and decided on another avenue. "I just haven't met anyone I'm really interested in yet. Who is interested in me back." She put down her beer and reached for the bottle of wine that Maura was still holding.
"So, tell me what you're looking for, "Angela said as she began scooping the gnocchi into a bowl as they floated to the top of the water.
Jane heaved an exaggerated sigh. "I'm not looking for anyone. If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, I'm OK like I am." She opened the utensil drawer and retrieved a corkscrew to open the wine.
Determined to get an answer, Angela prodded. "But, if you were looking, what would you be looking for?"
Jane poured two glasses of wine as she answered the question. "I don't know Someone smart, who can make me laugh. Someone who understands me and my job and gets that that's just who I am, and I'm not gonna change." She placed one glass on the counter within her mother's reach and handed the other to Maura, who accepted it with a sweet smile. "Someone who I can talk to and tell my secrets to and they won't judge me for them." Jane picked up her beer bottle and tipped it toward Maura in a silent toast. "Someone who loves me for who I am instead of who they want me to be," she added quietly. Maura tilted her head and smiled softly as she held Jane's gaze. Their eyes seemed drawn to each other and neither seemed willing to be the first to look away.
Angela looked back and forth between Maura and Jane for a moment and then said, "For someone who's not looking, you sure know what you're not looking for."
Jane finally tore her eyes away from Maura. She gave a small shrug and said to her mother, "Well, you asked "
Angela nodded and glanced back at Maura, who had suddenly found a great interest in the glass in her hand. Looking back at Jane, Angela asked softly, "And you're sure you haven't found someone you're interested in?"
But Angela wouldn't be silenced. "What if you just don't know that they're interested in you back?"
Pointing at the pot that Angela seemed to be ignoring now, Jane said, "Ma, I think the gnocchi is done."
Angela looked down and quickly went back into action, scooping up the pillowy little bites, which were now all floating on the top, and dropping them into the waiting bowl.
Jane and Maura exchanged another quick glance and then Jane said awkwardly, "OK. How about I set the table?" She opened a drawer and began pulling out eating utensils.
Maura went to the cabinet to retrieve the plates and Angela ladled some sauce that was simmering on the stove over the gnocchi. "Just set two places, Janie."
Jane stopped placing the flatware on the table and looked at her mother. "Why? There are three of us here."
Angela shrugged. "It's not the same without the whole family and I had a big lunch anyway. You and Maura have your own little gnocchi night tonight." She put the bowl of gnocchi on the table and then gave Jane a sheepish look. "Besides, I need to go call Carla and tell her not to give Guido your number that I may have given her this afternoon."
"OK, you can go do that," Jane said with a smile. "But, then you can come back and eat with us."
"Yes, Angela, we can't just let you do all the cooking and then not get to enjoy the fruits of your labor," Maura chimed in as she brought the plates over to the table, so that she was standing next to Jane and her mother.
Angela put one arm around each of the other women and hugged them to her. "Don't worry about me. I could stand to miss a few meals anyway. You two enjoy yourselves and, you know, maybe do some girl talk or something " She gave them each a final squeeze and went out the side door to her current home in Maura's guesthouse.
Maura gave Jane a concerned look. "Do you think she's OK?"
Before Jane could answer, the door opened again and Angela popped her head inside. "When I said talk, I didn't mean to talk about me," she said with a smile. "I'm sure you have better things to talk about. Like, you know all those things Jane's not looking for..." When Jane glared, Angela shrugged innocently and held her gaze for a moment. "I just want you to be happy, Jane," she said softly before ducking back out and closing the door.
Maura turned to Jane again. "She seems to be implying that we have a heart to heart talk."
"Ya think?" Jane said with a smirk.
Maura ignored the sarcasm as she usually did. "Well, we can't let this delicious meal go to waste "
Jane looked wary. "I guess not "
Maura smiled. "So, we can talk while we eat," Maura said happily as she sat in front of one of the plates she had set out earlier.
Jane looked hesitant. "For that, I think I may need another beer." She went to the kitchen and took another beer from the refrigerator and picked up the wine bottle on her way back to the table. She topped off Maura's glass and took the other seat at the table.
They served their plates in silence and Maura raised her glass in a silent toast. Jane picked up her beer, clinked the bottle to Maura's glass and took a healthy swallow.
"So," Maura began. "All those things you're not looking for "
"Oh my God, we're really gonna talk about this? Really?"
"I think we should." Maura looked a Jane for a moment. "Don't you?" she asked when the detective refused to meet her gaze.
Jane pushed the gnocchi around on her plate, but still didn't look Maura in the eye. "I don't know," she finally answered. "The only reason I said all that was because Ma kept pushing me."
"So, you didn't mean what you said?"
"Yeah, I meant it, I just didn't really mean to say it out loud." Jane finally looked up and Maura was surprised to see what looked like fear in those dark eyes before she lowered her gaze back to her plate.
Maura's expression softened. "Would it help if I told you what I was looking for?"
Jane smirked. "I already know that tall, dark and handsome."
Maura contemplated that for moment. "True, but there's much more than that."
Jane looked at her curiously.
"I want someone who accepts me for who I am too. Someone who knows that I have dreadful people skills, but loves me anyway. Someone who can hold their own with intelligent conversation, but not let me get carried away with my 'google-speak' as you so often like to call it."
Jane smiled. "So how on earth were you attracted to Giovanni?"
Maura shrugged. "I've come to realize that I'm attracted to blue-collar Italians," she said matter-of-factly. "It's become quite obvious lately," she added, eliciting a raised eyebrow from Jane. "Besides, in Giovanni's case, it was purely a physical attraction, not an emotional one. His appealing physique stimulated my hypothalamus to produce-" She stopped short on seeing Jane's expression. "Google-speak?"
Jane nodded with a smirk. "You thought he was pretty."
Maura tilted her head in a concessionary manner. "So to speak."
In a more serious tone, Jane asked, "So what else are you looking for?"
Maura smiled again. "Someone who is strong and brave and loyal and protective Someone I can laugh with, and cry with, and share my dreams and even my nightmares. Someone who is my friend as well as my lover."
"Sounds like a dreamboat," Jane said, her voice a little raspier than usual.
"I think it sounds like you," Maura said quietly.
Jane's eyes widened. "Me?" she all but squeaked.
Maura nodded. "I know I don't always read people very well, but I thought your description also sounded a lot like me."
"What are you saying, Maura?"
"I'm saying that I think you have met someone you're interested in and it frightens you a little. But I hope some of your fears can be put to rest to learn that she most certainly returns the interest." She hesitated for an instant before adding, "I most certainly return the interest."
Jane gaped. "But you've already said you weren't attracted to me and you can't lie!"
Maura conceded the point with another head tilt. "Well, I don't think it's a lie if I believed it at the time I said it. And, I didn't say I wasn't attracted to you, I said you weren't my type."
"What's the difference? Am I suddenly your type now?"
"When I said that, you had never shown any overt inclination that you were interested in dating women or that you were sexually attracted to me. Therefore, I concluded that you weren't my type since you had no interest in dating me. But, as we all know, sexual orientation is not necessarily exclusive to homo- or heterosexual behavior, as noted by Alfred Kinsey in 1948, and in some cases, has more to do with the chemistry between two individuals rather than mere gender. Societal norms condition us to " Maura's voice trailed off as she watched Jane's expression.
"Is that a yes, Dr. Isles?" Jane asked tentatively.
Maura smiled. "That's a yes, Detective Rizzoli."
Jane's smile started out tentative and then progressed until she was practically beaming. Maura returned the smile as she picked up her wine glass and offered another silent toast. Never breaking the gaze, Jane picked up her beer bottle, clinked it to Maura's glass and they both took a sip.
"Although," Maura began again. "I think I've always been attracted to you even if it was on a subconscious level. I've even noticed episodes of cardiac dysrhythmia bordering on tachycardia in your presence that I never equated with-"
"Wait, did you just call me tacky?" Jane interrupted.
Maura laughed. "No. Tachycardia means a rapid heartbeat. I believe I've heard it put this way: 'you make my heart go pitter-patter'. She seemed to contemplate that for a moment. "Although, that's really a physical impossibility." Seeing Jane's amused expression, Maura looked a little sheepish and added, "I guess maybe I need to work on my romantic expressions "
Jane shook her head. "Nah. I don't need you to change a thing."
Maura smiled an almost shy smile. "Really?"
"Really. I can't say I'm not a little scared by the whole idea of " she waved her hand between them. "This. But, I'm drawn to you, Maura. You. Just the way you are." Jane smiled. "And, the fact that I make you have tacky-whatever well, that makes me have tacky-whatever too."
Maura continued to smile as she reached over and placed two fingers on Jane's rapidly pulsating carotid artery. With an expression of child-like discovery, Maura said, "You're right."
Jane returned the smile, and with Maura leaning toward her the way she was, it took very little effort for Jane to close the gap between them. She gently touched her lips to Maura's in a tentative kiss. The kiss was short, but sweet. They both pulled back slightly and looked at each other.
"Still scared?" Maura asked.
"Terrified," Jane said quietly. "But, you know me. I live for taking risks. Especially when they feel that good," she added with a grin.
"Endorphins," Maura said.
Jane arched a dark brow. "Which translates to ?"
"Peptides that serve as neurotransmitters that are produced during " Again, Maura's voice trailed off as she watched Jane's eyes begin to glaze over with her explanation. Maura smiled, tilted her head slightly, and decided on another approach. "Actually, in this instance, it translates to 'I'm really enjoying gnocchi night, so kiss me again'."
Jane grinned. "Now that's language I can understand," she said as she captured Maura's lips in a kiss that left no room for any further misunderstanding.
FADE TO BLACK
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