DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli and Isles are owned by Tess Gerritsen and Janet Tamaro and TNT. I'm altering their realities for fun, not profit, as I own nothing and have the credit report to prove it. I Don't Want Anything to Change is copyright Maia Sharp, Liz Rose, and Stephanie Chapman, and is also used without permission or profit. I love Bonnie Raitt, and she and Lyle Lovett did this together on Crossroads and it's been stuck in my filter.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Jane woke early. It was still dark outside, but not for long. She looked at Maura, asleep on her back. Maura was confusing, frustrating, and the best thing in her life, and Jane was still frightened by the anger between them. She understood why Maura was mad, but there was no use crying over spilled milk. She didn't understand why Maura stayed mad, or how Maura made her angry enough for her control to slip. The last time that happened, Tommy wound up with 14 stitches, and Jane was grounded for the rest of the school year.
Jane didn't understand why Maura was willing to try fix things between them, especially after that night. As much as she disliked her regular visits with the department psychologist, when Maura suggested counseling, Jane immediately agreed. Had Maura suggested Jane drag her naked body across glowing coals and broken glass by her elbows, Jane would have immediately agreed.
Staying still was not anything Jane tolerated by nature or habit, even where Maura was concerned. Jane heard the paper land on the sidewalk, and slid out of bed. She was, unfortunately, up for the duration. She quietly gathered her things, picked up her boots, and left the bedroom. In the hall, Jane paused to look once more at Maura, who looked as perfectly put together asleep as awake.
Jane kept an eye peeled for Bass, and found him snoozing behind the couch. She put down her things and began to dress from the pile. Her boots were last, and she leaned against the couch while pulling them on. Jane turned off the alarm and retrieved the paper. In the kitchen, she put the paper on the counter and started coffee. She pulled a blank page from Maura's shopping list and scrawled a quick message. Game at 1. Pick you up at noon unless you call.
On the way out of the house, Jane reset the alarm, then headed for the nearest diner. The sky was beautifully colored for sunrise, and as she parked, Jane made a note to scout out a spot to watch the sunrise with Maura some morning that they were both awake and speaking civilly to each other.
She ordered a big, greasy breakfast, and took her time eating it. When she finished, it was still too early for anything other than early Mass, and she decided against that in favor of going home to shower. She put on her newest jeans, a red t-shirt, and sneakers, noting that it was time to get another pair.
It was still early, but she hoped Maura wouldn't mind. Jane grabbed a jacket and headed out again. She found Maura on the couch with a nearly empty coffee cup and the paper.
She took Maura's cup to the kitchen and refilled it. She got a cup for herself and went to the opposite end of the couch from Maura. Jane traded Maura's coffee for the sports section and got comfortable.
Once Jane was finished, she put the paper on the coffee table, got her drink, and put her free hand on Maura's ankle.
"I'm finished with the news and opinion sections, if you'd like them. Or the comics." Maura smiled and pulled them out.
"Thanks." Jane took them, and spent the next few minutes going through the six pages.
Maura watched her, and when Jane finished, she carefully put the pages neatly into order and returned them to her. Maura set them aside. "I never saw the point, although I understand that some contain cogent social commentary."
"I usually skip those." Jane pulled Maura's foot onto her lap.
'I'm not surprised,' Maura thought, but kept it to herself. "I have your Red Sox shirt if you want it."
"It looks fine on you." Jane began massaging Maura's foot.
"I'd still like it back sometime."
"I understand." If they could work through this, Maura knew exactly how she would return Jane's shirt. "Are we supposed to bring anything?"
"Not this time, unless Ma calls."
"I should probably take some wine, since I'm the only one who drinks it."
"I dunno. I think the last four bottles you took them are there."
"Those were gifts."
"Ok, then you should take what you want." Jane switched feet.
"Mmmm, you are so good at that."
"Thank my physical therapist."
"Which one?" slipped out before Maura realized it.
"Rachel," Jane answered without stopping or indicating that Maura was treading toward dangerous ground.
"She did a wonderful job."
Maura sighed and leaned back, enjoying the attention and relieved that they avoided a fight. She wasn't used to censoring herself with Jane, and hoped she wouldn't have to for much longer.
Jane finished and ran her finger lightly the length of Maura's sole.
"Meanie," Maura giggled and pulled her foot back.
"You need to get in the shower."
Maura glanced at the clock. "I didn't realize it was that late." She put the paper aside and got up.
They were barely on time, and Maura stayed in the kitchen with Angela during the first part of the game, learning her meatball recipe, while Jane stayed on the couch between her father and Frankie.
She got up to get another round at the bottom of the third inning. The picture in the kitchen was lovely and nerve-wracking at the same time. Maura, wearing her Red Sox jersey, was forming meatballs while Angela watched. What made Jane nervous was that she knew if her mother asked a question, Maura would feel compelled to answer honestly.
Jane ended her personal DADT after their first kiss, which meant only that her mother would ask even more inappropriately personal questions that Maura would answer without blushing.
She put her empty bottle in the case and got three new from the refrigerator's bottom shelf. Jane opened them, deliberately keeping her back to Maura while she did it, discarded the caps, and returned to the living room.
It was the first time Angela could remember that Jane entered a room where Maura was without acknowledging her somehow. "Still fighting?"
"Yes." Maura put a completed meatball on the tray and began making another, shaping the meat mixture around a bit of cheese.
"Sometimes you need to give in to keep the peace."
"I don't agree, although I understand the temptation."
"I know." Maura paused before beginning another meatball to smile at Angela. "So am I."
"Good," Angela smiled back. She met Maura half a dozen times before Jane announced at family dinner that they were dating and she intended to bring Maura next time. She immediately liked Maura. Angela watched them closely the first few times Jane and Maura came to the house, and came to the conclusion that although the M.E. was quirky, she was perfect for Jane. There was no mistaking the adoration on both sides in the looks they shared.
Things were never easy with her daughter. From the beginning, Jane was determined to do things her way, in her own time, and god help anyone who got in the way. As a result, she picked up broken bones, black eyes, and more cuts, scrapes, bruises, and sprains than any of them could remember. She was always fearless, always proving herself better than her "stupid brother" or "stupid boys" in general. As far as Angela knew at the time, the only thing that didn't get broken was her daughter's heart. It remained closely guarded. She always had a date, but rarely a second one, and the only girls she socialized with were her teammates. In retrospect, Angela wondered what went on under the pink canopy her daughter hated so much during giggly "study sessions."
When they finished in the kitchen, Maura got a glass of water and went to the couch. She squeezed in between Jane and Frankie, and Jane put her arm around Maura to make a little more space.
Minutes later, all four Rizzolis erupted at a bad call. Maura's water went all over her clothes. Jane realized it moments after it happened, took the glass, and pulled Maura up. "Bathroom."
Maura followed, not that she really had a choice. Jane put the glass on the bathroom counter and opened the towel closet. She pulled out the first bath towel she could find, unfurled it from a corner, and began blotting water from Maura's shirt. Her shirt. Maura's thighs. "Stop," Maura finally got out.
Jane froze, bent over, her face at Maura's stomach.
"I mean, it's all right. There's no damage," she said in a gentler tone.
Jane stood up. She was a little embarrassed, and wouldn't look at Maura.
Maura pushed the door closed. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Jane answered automatically, defensively.
"You ignored me in the kitchen, and you won't look at me now. Either you feel guilty about something, or you have a problem with me. Which is it?"
"Everything's not about you, Maura." Jane turned her back so she could put the towel over the shower rod.
Jane sighed, and when she turned around, her left hand was rubbing the scars on her right. "It's not. When I went into the kitchen, you and Ma stopped talking. I know how she is, and I know how you are, and now she knows I'm an asshole."
"And she's on your side."
"There are no sides, Jane."
"Ok, fine, there aren't any sides. I'm still an asshole."
"Language," Maura reproved more sternly.
She didn't, Jane noticed, disagree. "Go sit down and I'll get you a glass of wine."
"Thank you," Maura smiled. "It's white, so in the unlikely event I spill any, it won't stain."
"You didn't think you were gonna wear your water." Jane reached past her and opened the door.
"The baseball commissioner should consider instituting instant replay."
"Don't say that in front of Pop. He thinks it turned football into a crybaby game."
"But it isn't fair for one team to be penalized by an official's error."
"A lotta things aren't fair."
There it was again. Maura couldn't hide what she thought, although she didn't say it. At the entrance to the living room, she made a conscious decision to live up to the truce she instigated, and followed Jane to the kitchen.
"I thought you were gonna sit down."
"I will." Maura watched Jane get a wine glass from the cabinet.
The wine was open on the counter, and Jane filled the glass halfway.
"Sit in the chair with me."
She put the bottle down and looked at Maura. "Ok," she agreed.
Maura turned for the living room and Jane followed. Maura got Jane's beer from the coffee table. It was a good thing they decided to sit together, since Angela relocated to the couch, leaving them no other option.
Like they did any other Sunday afternoon they watched the game, Maura sat in Jane's lap. "I like your couch better," Maura said softly.
Jane let that reference to happier days pass without comment as Maura relaxed against her. The longer they sat there, watching television, the more comfortable Jane became. Frankie brought the next round of beers in from the kitchen, and within the hour, Maura took it from Jane's sleeping hand before it was dropped or spilled. Her attention left the game and returned completely to Jane.
In her sleep, Jane tightened the arm that slipped around Maura's waist and her newly freed one slid up Maura's thigh. She nuzzled into Maura's shoulder, showing the affection she couldn't when she was awake. That was something else Maura wanted to return. Until Jane, Maura wasn't haptic, and she missed the casual ease of their public physical interactions. She put her hand on Jane's to stop its creep up her thigh. No one needed to see Jane grope her, especially her mother, who was looking at them with a slight smile.
Maura smiled back and looked at the television. She wasn't interested in the Red Sox beyond Jane's obsession. Maura was happy to watch Jane enjoy the game, and when they started watching the game as part of the Sunday dinner ritual, enjoyed it even more. She missed these afternoons on Jane's lap, the brunette's agile fingers sliding beneath clothing to stroke whatever skin she could reach, her husky voice patiently explaining the nuances of the game.
Although Maura's eyes were on the set, she wasn't paying attention to it. She thought about the first time they did this, the determinedly neutral expression on Jane's face, the blush on her own, how quickly her self-consciousness faded. She recalled each Sunday after that, and how soon she felt a part of this family, so different than her own.
"What'd I miss?" Jane asked sleepily.
"Nothing," Maura answered, picked up Jane's beer and handed it to her.
"Thanks." Jane pulled her hand from under Maura's, but left the other where it was.
Jane drank, and thought about how normal this seemed, and how much she wanted it to be that way. Everything was good now, but when they were alone, something would come up and stay between them.
Like Maura, Jane looked at the set, but was paying it little mind. This was the closest she and Maura were in weeks, and Jane's body ached for more. Maura seemed to read her mind, turning her head to look at Jane. Jane's eyes went immediately to Maura's full lips, then to her eyes. "Please," Jane whispered, voice barely audible to herself.
Maura understood, and held her gaze until they were too close. She brushed her lips against Jane's.
Magnificent, and never enough. Every time they kissed, Maura knew she waited her entire life for just that, and that there would never be enough time or enough kisses to satisfy her. She wanted a long time to test that theory, and Jane's recklessness cut into that time. The last incident came close to ending everything before they truly started. Maura had been looking at rings in her spare time, picturing different designs on Jane's elegant hand. And then.
The waking nightmare of the last months raised itself to the forefront.
Somehow, Jane knew. "It's all right, I'm here," she soothed so quietly that Maura felt her voice as much as heard it while her fingers stroked Maura's ribs. It felt right, the best Jane felt in more than a month, and she hoped Maura felt the same. This was what they needed, to ignore all the stupidity that could come from her tired brain and let their bodies take over.
"Get a room," Frankie said, and Jane slid her beer between Maura's thighs long enough to flip him the bird. She left her drink where it was and put her palm on Maura's cheek. She wanted to put everything aside, pick Maura up and hold her ass, keeping the heat that Jane ardently desired close to her body, and carry her somewhere that she could pin Maura to the wall with her body, except that it was never necessary. Maura always held onto her. Would she today? Could they forget, just for a few hours, that something stood between them?
It was easier for Jane. Too many close calls in her life made her try to live so she wouldn't be sorry. It was why she kissed Maura to begin their relationship. "I'm here," Jane repeated.
"Home," Maura husked. Tears were far too close to the surface. This should stay between them.
"All right," Jane acquiesced immediately. She put her bottle on the floor and stood up, making certain Maura had her feet under her. "We have to go."
"I didn't hear your phone."
"I set it to vibrate.
"All right," Angela answered dubiously. "Be careful. Come back if it doesn't take too long."
"Sure, Ma." Jane opened the front door.
Maura waved. "Good night," and let Jane usher her through the door.
Jane barely started their journey when Maura said, "We shouldn't."
"I know," Jane answered.
"Sex changes nothing."
"Sex changes everything." Jane flipped on her blinker before coming to a stop. "It's ok."
"No, it isn't." Maura's tone was more intense than she intended. "I want it to be ok, but it isn't."
"Maur, just. I'm drivin'." Jane forced herself to relax her grip on the wheel. "I'm drivin' you home, and then I'm goin' home."
"I," Maura began, and faltered.
Jane paid extra attention to the nonexistent traffic. She pulled into Maura's garage, and handed Maura the keys before getting out of the car. Maura was still in the Lexus' passenger seat when Jane got into the driver's seat of her car.
The passenger glass lowered, and Jane lowered her window.
"Please don't go," Maura said.
Jane closed her eyes and exhaled. She long ago made it her practice to say yes to any reasonable request Maura made. Maura was getting better at explaining what she needed, but their recent rift made clear improvement was needed on both sides.
"Ok," Jane agreed, and hoped she wouldn't regret the decision later. She got out of her car and opened Maura's door.
"Do you want to watch the rest of the game?" Maura offered as they walked through the kitchen.
"If you do," Jane answered.
Maura stopped, and Jane almost ran into her. "Don't do that."
"I asked what you want."
What Jane wanted most was standing in front of her, and she took half a step and wrapped her arms around Maura.
Maura started to say something, then realized that Jane's action was an answer. She slipped her arms around Jane and put her face in Jane's neck. The scar from Hoyt's scalpel was in her sight, and she kissed it lightly. For all of Hoyt's protestations of love for Jane, Maura knew he could not love. The marks he left on Jane, visible and not, proved that.
As much as she wanted Jane, Maura made certain to not encourage anything more. She couldn't bear even the idea of pushing Jane's shirt aside and seeing the scar tissue, still bright red and tender. The last time Maura saw it was the final straw that brought them here.
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