DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Takes place shortly after Sailor Man, Season 2, Episode 3. Thanks to Kim for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To darandkerry[at]yahoo.com
Dr. Isles and Ms. Hyde
Dr. Maura Isles had always had a fascination with the human body and what made it tick. At a very early age, she would pour over Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body for hours and hours on end, immersing herself in topics ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn, while other girls her age were busy playing with their Barbies and dreaming of two story white houses, picket fences, and blonde, blue-eyed children. The only aspect of their childhood fantasies that would have possibly interested Maura was the genetics involved in the creation of said children.
As she grew more proficient in the various functions of bones, muscles, tendons, and all the different systems in the body, she would occasionally wonder about the human mind and human behavior, but she had always kept coming back to her physiological study. She'd preferred something she could see and touch, something she'd understood. Understanding human behavior meant close human interaction and that was something that didn't hold Maura's interest, unless, of course, it happened to be an occasional interaction that was purely physical in nature. And so, that was where Maura found herself today: pondering her recent fascination she didn't want to call it obsession with jumping every available male that crossed her path.
Drumming a pen against her desk, Maura stared at a ginormous pink and white bear a present from her latest infatuation - that sat in her new orange Karim Rashid kite chair. The clash in colors was just as extreme as her attempt to get Giavanni in her bed. What had she been thinking? Yes, he was Italian; yes, he was hot; yes, he had lengthy metacarpals, but on any given day in her past, that would have been the extent of her interest. She'd have just admired a beautiful human specimen from afar and that would have been that.
The pen suddenly picked up speed and Maura turned her attention to the tapping noise. She frowned at discovering the source of the sound and had to practically will her hand to a standstill. Fidgeting, too?, she thought, as she placed the ballpoint in the center of her desk and folded her restless hands in her lap. What was wrong with her? She'd even gone out on a limb a few times out in the field and had made a guess as to cause of death a guess! It was like someone else was inhabiting her body, controlling her expressions, her speech, her reactions, her every move, kind of like a modern day Jekyll and Hyde. Maura was acutely aware of her alter-ego, but the urges to act impulsively were just too strong; she simply could not stop her counterpart from acting so out of character. So, what was next? Talking to bodies??? The only time she felt halfway normal lately was when she was dressed in her scrubs with a scalpel in her hand, cutting into a body.
Turning her thoughts inward, she tried to pinpoint when her behavior had begun to change. It hadn't been when she'd discovered that one of the most ruthless mob killers in Boston was her father, although even she couldn't fault herself if that had been the event that had set her on such an erratic path. Paddy Doyle wasn't exactly your garden variety type of role model, but other than being unsettled and a bit rattled at stumbling across her true parentage, Maura had acted in perfect character. It had to have been something else, something so devastating it had affected Maura in ways she'd never dreamed possible. She looked over at the pink bear and focused on its black nose, the same nose she'd pressed against
"Jane," she whispered softly, a warmth spreading through her at the mere mention of her friend. Her friend, she thought, sitting up straighter. Was that the problem? Was Jane's shooting the catalyst that had catapulted her into this odd behavior? Was she acting so goosey-loosey a term she'd heard from Korsak that seemed to fit her perfectly because she was happy that Jane had lived?
Maura frowned at the bear. Jane's survival did explain the rather good mood she'd been exhibiting, but it certainly didn't explain why she'd suddenly become so so promiscuous. Maura visibly cringed at the only description she could come up with to describe herself. Surely there had to be a better adjective, but her mind couldn't supply her with one that didn't make her sound cheap or tawdry. It wasn't like she had had a near death experience of her own and had gone off the deep end. No, Jane had been the one who'd nearly died and she wasn't acting any differently than she usually did. So, what was it?
Her memories looped through her mind as if they were being played on an old reel-to-reel projector and she mentally slowed the speed on a recent conversation she'd had with Jane. The two of them had been sitting in Giavanni's car and Jane was listing the stark differences between Maura and Giavanni, going so far as to refer to him as a blue-collar, Italian, Boston, auto mechanic. Maura had immediately interrupted to point out that except for the auto mechanic part, Jane was the same and that the two of them were best friends. When Jane had argued that it was different because she was interesting and that Maura didn't want to sleep with her, there was an awkward silence that was finally filled when Jane had shot her friend a confused look and asked, 'Do you?' Maura had been quick to jump in almost too quick to vehemently deny the allegation.
"Oh my God," Maura whispered to the bear. "I want to sleep with Jane." The words sounded foreign to her ears but not to her heart. All this time, she'd been desperately searching for a substitute, a quick fix for her hidden desire, but there wasn't a one night stand cure-all for her problem or even a series of one night stands; there was only one Jane Rizzoli and Maura was head over heels in love with her.
"Hey Maura, you want to go down to The Robber and get a drink?" Jane's voice entered the room a split second before her body did. Maura swiveled her chair around and just stared at her friend. Jane, the woman she wanted to sleep with, the woman she'd fallen in love with. It had taken a bullet in Jane's gut to open her eyes. What would it take for her to open her heart?
"You okay?" Jane asked in concern as she crossed the room and knelt down beside her friend. Maura was as white as a sheet. "What's wrong, Maura?" She reached into Maura's lap, grabbed hold of a sweaty palm, and eased it between her hands. She rubbed gently back and forth. "C'mon, say something; you're scaring me."
Maura swallowed hard and looked into dark eyes that were filled with worry. She forced a smile. "I'm fine. I'm just feeling a little weak," she said truthfully, which reminded her of another odd behavior she'd picked up since Jane had been shot. She lied more easily now. She took a breath and hoped she still had the ability. "I just need to go home and rest. I'm sure I'll be fine in the morning."
"I'm taking you home," Jane insisted in a tone that brooked no argument. "You can leave your car here tonight and I'll pick you up in the morning," she said as she pushed to her feet, Maura's hand still held almost lovingly between her palms.
Maura opened her mouth to protest but quickly shut it when Jane looked at her with sheer determination. After her surprising revelation, Maura wasn't in the mood to argue, especially with the woman responsible for her current frame of mind. Instead, she just nodded and pushed back her chair. Jane's worry inched up a notch at how quickly Maura had acquiesced to her very strong suggestion.
"We'll stop by my house first for me to pick up a few things," Jane amended her plan, feeling a deep-seated need to stay with her sick friend. She stepped back to give Maura room to stand and slipped her bottom hand free of Maura's but kept a firm hold with her other.
"What?" Maura finally found her voice. "Why?" she asked even though she had a very good idea what Jane had intended. Any other night, she'd be thrilled to share Jane's company, but she needed more time to sort through her feelings before sharing space with Jane.
"You're not staying by yourself," Jane said emphatically. "That big ass turtle will be no help if you need it."
"Tortoise," Maura corrected with a slight smile, grateful to hear their old running joke and hoping it would steer their conversation back to some semblance of normalcy. She opened the bottom drawer of her desk and removed her purse, kind of hard to do when she only had the use of one hand, but she managed just fine. Jane's comforting touch felt too good to voluntarily relinquish. "Okay, let's go."
Feeling the same way, Jane reluctantly freed Maura's hand but readied to jump back in and steady her friend if need be. "Want to pick up something for dinner?"
"That would be nice," Maura answered as she stepped from behind her desk. Her color was improving. "Nothing too spicy, though." She didn't want to chance upsetting her stomach any more than it already was. She'd never understood the reference to having butterflies in one's stomach until now.
Jane took a step to the side and eased her hand to the small of Maura's back, leading her friend toward the door. "I'll let you decide when we stop at my apartment."
Maura nodded and tried not to grin like a fool, another very uncharacteristic Maura-like trait, at the feel of Jane's gentle touch against her back. She caught their reflection in the stainless steel of an empty autopsy table and felt her breath hitch. If anyone saw them, it would look like something much more than just a friend helping a friend to the parking garage.
Tonight, Maura would allow Jane take care of her and possibly even coddle her, while she figured out how to coax Jane into asking her if she wanted to sleep with her again. Because, next time, Maura's answer would be a completely honest and emphatic 'Yes!'
It was time to take her life back.
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