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 ems89[at]hotmail.co.uk
Although a relatively warm night in Boston I still feel a shiver pass through me as a gentle breeze blows in across the rooftop where I'm currently stood. It's a place I had come across when I was a just a child on one of those days where I would wonder off on an adventure. As a young girl I had used it as a hideout away from all the crazy Rizzoli family drama but then as I grew up, it soon became the place where I would come to wallow in the anguish after a bad case or to simply be left alone in peace with my thoughts.
As I breathe in the night air my mind goes back to the Boston marathon case that had taken place a few months ago. I find myself replaying the words I had spoken to Maura as we argued about stopping the runners while we tried to come up with a plan to solve the case. We don't give into fear Those were the words I had spoken but yet here now with my service weapon tightly gripped in my hand, that's exactly what I am doing.
Following the precinct shootings life hasn't been the same; sure it wasn't exactly a walk in the park to begin with, not when I was constantly looking over my shoulder in fear that Hoyt or some other psychopath would be coming to try and kill me. But now it feels even worse, in the mornings I look in the mirror and I no longer recognise the woman staring back at me.
Innocent lives were lost on that fateful day; my brother came close to being one of them and even I almost didn't make it. The doctors told me afterwards I had crashed on the table twice as they struggled to repair the injury I had inflicted upon myself. Following the initial days of the incident I was nothing but grateful to still be alive but then as the days turned into weeks and life began to turn back to normal for people, I came to realise that mine was forever changed.
I became angry and frustrated at those around me, easily snapping at people who had just been trying to help me as I went through a painful recovery. I've always been an independent person, so to then have someone constantly hovering over me just enraged me even more. I would make some comment and then immediately feel guilty afterwards for saying it; all they were trying to do was to lend a hand.
Even after I had returned to work I naively thought things would just be the same as they were before, all be it with new faces around me. Yet I couldn't have been more wrong as I found myself feeling like the odd one out, just as I was when I became the only female in the homicide unit. People were treating me differently; some called me the hero cop while others viewed me as the crazy woman who shot herself in front of friends and colleagues. Many have now taken up to babying me throughout cases, constantly checking to see if I'm ok, almost afraid that something is going to tip me over the edge and send me off to the nut house. I can't even escape from it at home, ma has become more and more vocal about her disapproval of my decision to join the force; we can't get through one Sunday dinner without the subject being brought up at some point.
I have now become an expert at wearing a mask during the day, hiding my inner turmoil as I struggle to find a purpose in life, to find the sense of belonging I once had before this whole mess began. But as I stand alone on this deserted rooftop I can now castaway this façade and let my body weep under the weight of the guilt I feel and the burdens I am faced with.
Unwanted tears come to my eyes as I lightly brush the barrel of the gun down my cheek and then up towards my temple. Emotionally drained is not enough to describe how empty I'm feeling inside, It's like being stuck at sea, I'm lonely and nothing but ocean lies before me, it goes on and on, with no end in sight. I just don't see a way out of this mess. I have thought it all through a hundred times night after night, I can be as logical as hell and yet I always come to the same conclusion. Save myself and all those around me the pain and hassle and just end it, be done with it for good.
I look across Boston's skyline and I can't help but imagine Hoyt and what he would be thinking if he could see me now, gun in hand. There is no doubt that he has played a role in leading me up to this point, he was the catalyst so to speak that started me on this downward spiral. I take some pleasure in knowing that at least he won't get the satisfaction of being the one to finish me off as he desires.
As I stand there willing myself to pull the trigger, I suddenly let the gun drop to my side as I hear the door behind me open. I turn and see the face of someone I had not expected to be there staring back at me. Her name is but a whisper as it falls from my lips.
She remains rooted to the spot, I can see she wants to come closer but is hesitant to do so, probably unsure about my mental stability which I can't blame her for given the fact I currently have gun in my hand. I turn back around to look into the night as I lean to rest against the ledge in front of me. She approaches and remains a couple steps behind just out of my line of sight.
"You shouldn't have come here Maura, go and let me be."
I expect her to say something, to start trying to reason with me or demand answers to questions I know she has but instead she moves forward to stand beside me and reaches out to cover my hand with her own.
Maura won't leave, won't walk away. She's a good, loyal friend who has been by my side ever since Hoyt re-emerged into my life. I turned up on her doorstep in the middle of the night and she welcomed me without hesitation. She came face to face with the monster and confronted him in order to help me and when I screamed at her to do something for Frankie she did it despite doubting her skills. Most importantly she came when I needed her most, when I was lying on the ground bleeding onto the street she was there doing everything possible to save my life. Even after it was over she stayed at my hospital bed until she knew I would be ok and then throughout my recovery she was the only one who understood that I needed my space. Maura Isles has been there throughout it all, she is the only one to treat me as the Jane Rizzoli everybody once knew. Now in my darkest hours, she is here again.
We stay there like that for a few moments; the silence scares me a little. I keep expecting her to say something and then it crosses my mind that maybe she is waiting for me instead to initiate conversation. So I take the leap, I keep my gaze locked on the city but my voice trembles as I try to find the courage to speak the words.
"How did you find me here?"
She turns her head slightly to look at me; I choose to remain as I am.
"I knew something was wrong, I thought if I left you alone you would eventually thrash it out in your mind and then come to me. But I've seen you sink further and further into yourself so I made the choice to follow you tonight, I had expected a confrontation but never did I think it was so bad you would be here holding a gun to your head."
I let out a sad sigh.
My dear Maura I never could hide from you.
"Talk to me Jane."
My resolve to stay quiet, to put the mask back in place slowly crumbles as I turn to look at her with tears falling down my face. I try to brush them away but they are soon replaced with more and I can no longer hide or runaway from what I feel.
"It hurts Maura, it hurts so much and I want it to go away."
I see the sadness in her own eyes as she wraps her arms around me and pulls me in closer; I readily accept the comfort she is giving me and I bury my head into the crook of her neck. Maura doesn't attempt to pretend that everything is alright; she doesn't try to tell sugar coat it with words, instead she just holds me as I breakdown and weep; the gun I had tightly gripped now disregarded on the ground next to us. Never since I was a child have I allowed myself to be so open, so vulnerable in front of anyone; not even with my family or former lovers.
My sobs subside and we stay there just listening to the sounds of the city, it is then the guilt sets in. Maura should never have had to witness this, my mess is mine and mine to deal with alone and yet now I've forced it upon her. I have no words to say to her though and so I do the only thing I can think of and start repeatedly apologising.
"I'm sorry Maura, I'm so sorry. This is not your problem."
I can't help but cry again and I try to pull myself away from Maura. She instead grasps my head, placing her hands on either side where she gently caresses my face and brushes the tears away.
"It is my problem Jane; I can't stand by and watch it destroy you anymore. I refuse to do so."
"I don't know if I have any strength left to fight it."
"But you've got me. I'm here and I won't let go; we're going to get you through this, I promise."
She places a tender kiss upon my forehead before pulling me into her arms again. Maura's words replay in mind and as they do the darkness that has clouded my thoughts, my judgement begins to shift. It is still there but now there are patches of light. We are going to get through this; I know she's telling the truth because Maura can't and wouldn't lie to me.
"Let's get you home Jane, tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning."
She directs that beautiful smile of hers towards me, a smile which I have not seen it since that fateful day when we stepped into the elevator and departed ways. It's now that I realise how much I have missed it and it makes me happy to see it again.
She brings us up to stand but doesn't loosen her hold on me. I look into her eyes, feel the warmth of her arms around me and for the first time I recognise the glimmer of something I have not seen in a long time. Hope.
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