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.
~ ~ ~ flashback ~ ~ ~
They were drinking at the Dirty Robber with their friends for the first time since Jane was released from the hospital. It was still new, but Jane preferred beer to Percocet and Maura allowed her that substitution as Jane took fewer tablets each day. They started casually, and two drinks after happy laughing, went back to Maura's and drank some more. That was the crucial error, the loosening of inhibitions. They were getting hot and heavy on the couch and Maura pushed up Jane's shirt. When she touched the newest scar, Maura's mood changed. She asked, voice quavering, "Why?"
Jane said her name and tried to kiss her, but Maura wouldn't permit it.
"You did this completely insane thing and you never said a word about it. You almost died, Jane." Maura knew the exact injuries, could visualize them after autopsying so many gunshot victims.
Maura poked beside the scar gently, and Jane hissed as Maura withdrew her hand. "You are NOT ok. You are still many months from such a casual answer."
Jane pulled down her shirt. "While I appreciate your professional opinion, DOCTOR Isles, I have a doctor."
"Don't pull that to me," Maura answered hotly.
"First, it's don't pull that ON me, and second, you started it."
"I asked you a question," Maura replied angrily.
"What does it matter, Maura? It's over. Nothing's going to change what happened."
"What does it matter?" Maura repeated incredulously. "Do you believe your life doesn't matter?"
"That's how you acted, like your life was worth less than Frankie's or even Marino's."
"Definitely worth less than yours," Jane snarked, hoping to divert Maura.
"You made him take you." Maura ignored the bait.
Jane tried again. "Yeah, Maura, because he woulda shot you just to shut you up."
Again, Maura ignored her attitude. "Did you even think about what would happen?"
"Do you think I'm a fucking idiot?" Jane got up and began pacing restlessly. "Of course I thought about it. I thought Frankie might die no matter what you did because he needed a hospital. I thought maybe another of *his* cronies was still around. I thought you'd have enough fucking sense to stay in the basement, but you took off outta there as soon as you updated the EMTs to run through a building fulla dead bodies, a building that wasn't cleared."
"Do not swear at me."
"That's all you have to say?" Jane stopped and stared at Maura. "You have enough degrees to paper a wall, and all you can do is complain about my language?"
"No, that is not all I have to say."
"Big surprise." Jane resume pacing.
"You don't think before you act. You're rude, moody, obstinate, and unforgiving."
"Like you're such a prize."
"I believe that was sarcasm."
"You believe correctly. Do you really wanna do this, Maura?"
"I want to understand why you gave yourself as the sacrificial lamb, as it were."
"You act like I had a choice or somethin'."
"You CHOSE to shoot yourself," Maura yelled, her composure long gone.
"I was shooting Marino, goddamnit," Jane spat back. "I was not trying to commit suicide or be a fucking hero. I didn't want to stay there like that for hours while the goddamn hostage negotiator played that stupid game when everybody knows SWAT's just waiting for a clean shot. There wasn't gonna be a clean shot. There wasn't gonna be anything except at least one more dead cop, and I made sure it wasn't gonna be me."
"No, you didn't." Maura got up and intercepted Jane. She didn't touch her, but kept her finger hovering just above the location of the scar on Jane's torso. She was surprised it didn't shake. "The projectile left the barrel at a speed in excess of 350 meters per second. The fabric of your shirt was blown apart, and there was gunpowder on and in the skin around the point of entry. The projectile burnt through the dermis and muscle, but impact with your rib slowed it considerably and altered its path enough that you were not fatally wounded."
"Stop." Jane tried to move away, and Maura shadowed her. Jane deliberately avoided all discussion of what happened that was more complicated than debating whether she was a hero or merely insane, both options she rejected but the only ones anyone gave. Hearing Maura recite, as if she were on the witness stand, what happened, was nearly as horrifying as the act.
"It also brought bone fragments and other contaminants into your lung when it entered. The size of the projectile caused massive injury to the chest wall and destroyed parts of your lung, and is also the reason that ribs were broken as it exited your back. It still had more than enough speed to smash through Marino's sternum and heart, and exit his back."
"Stop," Jane repeated in a lower tone, putting as much authority behind it as she could. She felt her temper rising with each second, in fluctuating parts defensive gut reaction to the threat Maura felt like at the moment, horror at the pain she caused Maura, and renewed anger at Marino and his cronies.
"You received transfusions equal to two and half times your body's blood volume. I estimate that more than a pint soaked into my clothing while I put pressure on your wounds. On my hands, it felt like a gallon."
"Stop it!" Jane yelled, but Maura continued in the same clinical voice she used to deliver autopsy findings. It kept getting worse, and Maura's even tone tore at her skin like the bullet or a scalpel. She hated remembering those things, because she involuntarily surrendered her autonomy to them. Even in memory, those moments - her loss of control, the panic, the burning pain that was worse by the second - infuriated her. Having her nose rubbed in them by Maura propelled Jane to the bounds of her control.
"For seven and a half hours, all I could do was hope that your surgeon was highly skilled and that you were strong enough to survive both the initial injury and the subsequent surgery. I sat alone in the waiting room for the last three because your parents were with your brother and everyone else was busy with the investigation and the media."
"Stop it!" Jane yelled again, and swept her arm along a bookshelf, throwing its contents to the floor. It was close to what was going on inside, Maura's words bursting through her barriers and leaving in their wake a jumble of the things Jane fought every moment, most successfully, to suppress.
"You were in a coma for three days, not because it was medically necessary, but because your body shut down in response to overwhelming trauma. During that time, I gave a formal statement. Sitting in a chair beside your hospital bed holding your hand so you knew you weren't alone, I described everything that happened to a stranger. Your parents came in and out, but no one else was allowed into ICU except the investigators."
Jane cleared another shelf, then two more. Maura fell silent, but it was too late. A small, rational bit of Jane's mind pointed out from its corner that she would regret her actions later, but it was too late for that, too. "It wasn't my fucking fault!" Jane screamed, and kicked a small table. The things on it went flying, and breaking glass sounded *right*, even better than the solid thump of wood landing on wood.
By the time Jane's tantrum was over, Maura was nowhere in sight. When Jane saw what she'd done, she began to shake again. She couldn't even begin to fix this, and ran from Maura's house, leaving on the door a bloody smear from a torn fingernail.
Maura waited several minutes after she heard Jane's car leave to unlock her bedroom door and venture into the house. The living room was destroyed. Furniture was overturned and out of place. Broken glass, ceramic, and plastic were under and on top of the books near the bookcases. Other books were everywhere, in the awkward positions they landed, open, spines threatened. At the moment, Maura felt as fragile as her broken belongings.
Maura wanted to stop talking at Jane, but couldn't. It had been eating at her for months, and the person she would discuss things with was the cause. Jane's reaction was out of control, but Maura wasn't frightened of her. For her, perhaps, given the complete silence when Jane stopped. Maura thought about going back out to her then, and didn't because she knew she couldn't control her need to scold and that would only refuel Jane. Maura's thoughts stopped again. What were they now? Until Jane apologized, Maura wasn't talking to her although Jane had done nothing overtly aggressive except raise her voice. She didn't threaten Maura verbally or physically, and none of the things that went airborne were sent in Maura's direction. She sent the next hours picking up and setting right what she could, saving what could be saved, and threw the rest away. She replayed it in her head repeatedly before realizing that today marked six months since...and again, she couldn't even think the words without inducing a panic attack.
Perhaps it wasn't the right time or the right way to bring up the topic, but they hadn't discussed it at all, not even in passing. No one wanted to think too much about that day, one of the bloodiest in Boston police history. There would be no trial, since there was no one alive to prosecute. Maura didn't know when Jane gave her statement. It had to be during one of the afternoons that Jane insisted she spend time outside the hospital. "You're lookin' pale, even by nerd standards," was the standard affectionate teasing Jane used to urge her away for a while.
In the hospital, they didn't talk at all about why they were there. Once Jane was certain her brother was fine, she seemed to Maura to be mostly annoyed by the whole thing, and resigned that anything she wanted would be overruled by the hospital staff, Maura, or her mother. When Frankie brought in a ceremonial beer to share with her while they watched the game, Maura smelled it on her breath when she returned. Jane's only consolation was that Frankie caught hell from Maura, too. That was the closest they came to talking about it, Maura scolding her for drinking that small amount of alcohol while taking potent pain medication.
It wasn't as if that shooting was the only touchy topic they avoided. There were a whole slew of them, referred to only when absolutely necessary, and sometimes in shorthand that designated each particular horrible situation. There were things from their individual pasts, as well, that rippled into their adult lives.
Jane drove away without thinking about where she was going. Home made the most sense, but she didn't think her apartment was the best idea. It had ghosts, too, and she really didn't want to deal with them. She turned on the radio, unwilling to accept silence that would make her think. She kept driving south, until she was too tired to continue, and turned into the lot of the first motel with a vacancy sign.
She got a room and called for pizza. Not long after she finished eating, she was asleep.
Her phone woke her. Frost's ringtone repeated. "Rizzoli."
"We got a case."
"No can do. Call somebody else."
"You're on call."
"I'm sick," she lied.
"I'm not comin', Frost," she answered, and hung up. She stared at the ceiling for a long time, feeling as bad as she had during the worst hangover. The alcohol burned out of her system before she left Maura's, but her body protested its violent use. She was emotionally exhausted, too, her guilt compounded by running out on the mess she made. She should have been able to keep her temper, to not let Maura goad her into that display. If Maura never spoke to her again, Jane felt she deserved it. She was equally sure that Maura wouldn't be able to hold her tongue now that it was loose. Maura's recitation shook her. Jane hadn't felt so broken down since waking up in the hospital after surgery on her hands, her first recollection *him* because she was restrained to prevent any additional damage. She woke alone that time, sweating, panicking, screaming. That was the first time, and Jane doubted that those dreams would ever end. They were less frequent when she and Maura shared a bed. Oh shit, Maura. "Fuck, shit, piss, and corruption," she swore softly.
The thought that she excluded Maura from the majority of her life made Jane want to withdraw completely from the world again as she had for months after Hoyt. Maura was the one who drew her back into the world, and Jane didn't want to face it without Maura. This hurt more than anything ever. She didn't know if it could be fixed, but if anything of their relationship could be salvaged, Jane determined to do whatever was necessary. She got out of bed, and after some morning prep time, went back to her car and drove back to Boston.
Jane stayed busy over the weekend. By the time she was ready to head to her parents' for dinner, alone although she called Maura and left a voice mail to remind her, Jane's apartment was immaculate, all of her laundry washed, folded, and properly put away. Her cabinets and refrigerator were stocked.
Maura didn't come for dinner, nor did she call to excuse her absence. On Monday, she arrived late and acknowledged neither the coffee Jane brought her or the note with it. On Tuesday, at a crime scene, Jane and the rest of the crime scene crew realized exactly how bad things were.
When Jane approached the body, where Maura crouched waiting for the liver temperature, Maura said without looking, "I'll notify you if there's anything of interest, Detective Rizzoli."
"Thanks," Jane answered, and went off to examine some other part of the scene. She deserved that and far worse.
Out of Maura's sight, Frost hurried to catch up to his partner. "Rizzoli, what's goin' on?"
"Nothing that concerns you. Who's our vic?"
By the end of the week, that case and another were solved. The traditional celebration loomed, stressing both Jane and Maura, and spreading to those around them. In the middle of Friday afternoon, Jane gathered her courage and walked down the stairs to the morgue.
Maura was alone in her office, and Jane knew Maura saw her come in. Still, she politely rapped on Maura's open door.
"I'd really like for you to come to the bar with us tonight, Maura, but if you're not going because I am, then I won't. "
Maura took several nerve-wracking seconds to consider an answer. "I'll go because I'm part of the team, but I won't stay."
Jane nodded. After a few seconds she said, "I'm really sorry, Maura."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Maura," Jane pleaded.
"We're through here, Detective." Maura stressed the last word and looked at the paperwork on her desk.
Jane couldn't remember ever hearing that tone from Maura before. 'What a fucking mess,' she thought as she turned to go, head hung.
When Jane was out of sight, Maura slumped into her chair, head back, eyes closed as she willed away tears.
At the bar, Jane bought the first round. She finished her drink and slipped away, her absence unnoted by all but one of the celebrants.
Maura watched her leave, knowing Jane did it so Maura could continue to bond with her colleagues. Half an hour later, Frost asked, "Where's Rizzoli?"
"She left," Maura answered.
"So I wouldn't." Maura was as far into her training on how to lie successfully as Frost was on his to not puke at crime scenes.
"Did you have a fight?" Korsak asked with concern.
"Yes. I'm still quite angry and uninterested in overtures of apology."
"Should we ask what it was about?" he continued.
"No," Maura answered decisively. This was between them, and would stay that way.
Jane's next missive to Maura was considerably shorter, and accompanied by flowers. Not roses, which Maura didn't particularly like, but the bright tropical flowers she did. Jane didn't dare go to the basement, but was pleased when Frost returned and reported that Maura had flowers in her office.
She waited a few nights before going downstairs at quitting time. The flowers were still in Maura's office, but that made Jane no less wary. "Hi."
"Do you need something?"
"Can we talk?"
"Not yet or not ever?"
"Not yet," Maura repeated, and took a glance at Jane. If you didn't know her, she looked fine. To Maura, Jane looked sleep deprived, vitamin deficient, and anxious. "Please don't stop asking," she added.
Jane nodded. "Good night, Maura," she said before leaving. 'Patience,' she counseled herself as she climbed the steps. Maura knew how little she possessed. Jane would find it somewhere, and her left hand rubbed the scars on her right comfortingly.
On the second Sunday that Maura didn't come for dinner, Jane's mother cornered her in the kitchen. "Where's Maura?"
"I don't know. Home, I guess."
"Let me rephrase the question. Why isn't Maura here?"
"We had a fight," Jane sighed.
"Have you apologized to her?"
"Yes. Why does everybody always assume I'm the one who's wrong?"
"Because you're such a hothead. You always run your mouth before thinking."
"Maura's not perfect, you know," Jane answered irritably.
Angela laughed. "I didn't think she was. But you should fix things with her."
"I'm tryin', Ma." To her skeptical look, Jane added, "She's still coolin' off. She asked me to give her some time."
Angela thought about Maura, and about her bull in a china shop daughter. They were a perfect match, but they had the same blind spots, the same guarded hearts, and the same fear of losing what they had even if what they got was better. In the kitchen with Maura, when Jane was on the couch or in the yard with her father and her brother and whoever stopped by, Maura confessed tidbits of her childhood but never spoke about Jane. At the sink, when Jane played baseball or football in the back yard, Maura's hands worked automatically while her eyes followed Jane's every move. The first time she cringed, Angela put her hand on Maura's shoulder. Maura didn't look at her until Jane let Frankie pull her up and Jane flipped him off. "You have to let her do it," Angela counseled, "and be there to fix her up when she comes home. She'll always come home. Janey's like that." They looked out the window to see Jane throw a vicious chop block on Frankie. "You might keep some extra supplies for her friends," Angela added.
Jane couldn't believe a month passed. She was becoming resigned to sleeping alone, and it was no easier than it had ever been. Many nights, she lay awake debating moving to a different apartment. The ghosts in this one threatened her on more than one occasion, and her brother understandably avoided coming over. No one came over any more.
She missed Maura during those early mornings. Her presence was almost always enough to keep Jane's nightmares at bay. It was so hard to not pick up the phone just to hear her voice flow through Jane's conscious like a security blanket. Instead, she tried to keep it to herself and did everything she could to wear herself into exhaustion.
Maura saw her at the gym one slow afternoon, and after a few seconds, returned to her office. She returned her bag to her locker, and sat at her desk. The decorator was scheduled to finish the living room this week. Maura redid it after realizing just how much damage Jane did. She'd been thinking about redoing it anyway, but their spat stepped up her plans. Anger was starting to leave. She left a huge amount in the gym after observing Jane on a stair stepper, thin shoulders heaving a slight wheeze with each breath.
Sadness replaced Maura's anger. She'd been to therapy before and was well aware of her social deficits. Somehow, she'd overcome them to find someone who loved her, and this was where they were, completely unable to speak to each other. Jane respected the boundaries Maura drew, and as a result, closed down as much as she had after her initial encounter with Hoyt. She went out after work, but left after one drink, and Maura felt guilty each time she watched her leave. She was surprised that Korsak and Frost kept their counsel, and relieved that they did. Maura felt bad enough without their disapproval, so like the sad look on Frankie's face just before he greeted her.
As the second month began, Jane made another overture to Maura. She had lunch delivered on a particularly unpleasant day, eliminating Maura's need to go out. Although she didn't send a message, she got a brief e-mail thanks from Maura, and returned a 'you're welcome.'
That was another particularly fruitful week for the homicide squad as they wrapped up one old and one new case. This time, Korsak and Frost separated Jane and Maura at the bar, and Korsak pressed beers on Jane. Maura, on the other hand, was better at sticking to her limits, but still allowed herself to be carried along with the group to another bar for karaoke.
~ ~ ~ end flashback ~ ~ ~
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