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.
"Why don't we just watch the rest of the game?" Maura asked softly.
"Ok," Jane answered, but neither of them moved for several seconds.
It was Maura who pulled away and pushed Jane gently toward the living room. "I'll get our drinks."
Maura got two bottles of water from the refrigerator. Jane didn't drink nearly enough water, and Maura wanted them to remain sober. She expected to hear the television when she entered, and instead saw Jane crouched beside Bass at the patio door. They both looked out into the yard while Jane scratched his head. While Maura watched, Bass shifted so his foot touched Jane's and more of his shell was against her thigh. "I'm workin' on it, buddy," she said to him softly.
Maura walked silently behind them and bent to kiss Jane's head. "We are," she amended, and shifted the bottles so she had a hand free for Jane's shoulder. "I have strawberries."
"We're ok," Jane answered, her eye shifting to their reflections in the glass. She chuckled at them, and scratched Bass' head one more time before rising.
"Our little family portrait. You, me, and the turtle."
"Tortoise," Maura corrected automatically and wondered whether it was one of Jane's jokes. She liked the idea, and didn't ask.
"That's what I said." Jane slid the second water bottle from between Maura's arm and her body. "C'mon, the game's probably still on."
They spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, Jane sprawled on her good side with Maura under her chin. When the game ended, Jane returned the remote to Maura, who turned off the TV set. Jane's arm was tight around her waist, and Maura had been fighting the temptation to push even harder against her. Instead, she rolled over and moved up a little.
Jane sucked in a surprised breath, bringing a slight smile to Maura's face. Another question answered. 'Slow,' she reminded herself.
"Trust me?" Maura asked, inches from her lips.
"Always," Jane answered, moving incrementally closer. Her answer, immediate and true, pleased Maura immensely.
They kissed slowly, and whenever they broke apart, Jane's eyes blinked open and sought Maura's. She stopped wondering what Maura was doing after a while, and just soaked in everything that made Maura. She was warm, and smelled like that expensive perfume that Jane couldn't pronounce but whose name she kept in her wallet. She tasted a little of the wine she drank earlier. Jane's hands, spread across Maura's back, felt every muscle move. Maura's hair spilled forward, and Jane felt each of her breaths everywhere. This was peace, and Maura was the only person who ever gave her this gift. It was why Jane would never stop trying to keep Maura with her somehow.
Maura felt the change come over Jane, and took a moment to appreciate it. It was wonderful to see her without the creases of worry or sadness, and Maura kissed her again. She didn't understand Jane's reluctance to return to their sexual relationship. They agreed to work things out, but if Jane needed something more from her, Maura would wait until she learned what it was. She snuggled down on Jane's chest, content to listen to the regular rhythm of Jane's heart, strong in her ear, and the clear, deep breaths accompanying it.
Their phones woke them from the unexpected nap, ringing the tones that signaled work. "We didn't even get dinner," Jane said sorrowfully before answering.
Maura drove them to the first therapy session. Jane fidgeted in the car, and more in the office. While they waited, she squirmed in the chair despite Maura's consistent glare. The therapist called them into her office.
After introductions, Dr. Lisa Brown directed Jane and Maura to a comfortable sofa and sat in a nearby chair. "Your questionnaires indicate that you have some communication issues. Could you give me an example?"
Jane looked uneasily at Maura, but waited for her to begin. After an interminable wait of several seconds, Maura said, "Jane conceals her emotions and attempts to avoid discussion of unpleasant events."
"Jane?" the therapist prompted.
She felt trapped, and glanced at Maura again. The inches between them felt like the Grand Canyon. "It feels like I'm always sayin' the wrong thing," she admitted.
"How long has this been going on?"
"Since," Maura began, and faltered.
"Since something happened at work a while ago," Jane supplied.
"Could you be more specific?"
Jane stared at her for several seconds, then dropped her eyes to the floor. She felt Maura shift beside her.
"A number of our co-workers and several others were murdered," Maura stated.
"That must have been unsettling."
Jane snorted at the understatement. "What?" she replied to the looks from both other women.
"How would you describe it?"
"A clusterfuck of epic proportion."
"Language," Maura reproved.
"How so?" Lisa asked.
"Oh, let's see," Jane enumerated, raising a finger with each point. "We have a precinct house stormed and held. Good men dead, because of one bad man. A witness murdered in front of me after I promised to keep her safe. My brother almost died, and I had to stop the lying sack of shit who started it all."
"You are not responsible for any of that," Maura said softly.
"Then why are you makin' me feel guilty about it?" Jane demanded, and looked squarely at Maura for the first time that day.
"That's not my intent."
"What is your intent, Maura? Cause it feels like you're gonna keep punishing me for doing my job."
"I am not," Maura began, and stopped.
"You're not what?" Lisa prompted.
There were several seconds of silence while Maura reviewed the past months. "That was never my intent," she answered stiffly, without looking at either woman.
"What did you mean to say?" Lisa asked.
There was a long period of silence while Maura composed her thoughts. "I worry more than ever now," she said finally, and turned to Jane. "I worry that the next time you act rashly will be the last."
"I'm not goin' anywhere," Jane answered quietly.
"You don't know that. You can't know that."
"Whaddya want me to say, Maur?"
"I don't want you to say anything. I want you to be more careful."
"I am careful."
Maura shook her head slightly.
"Maura, what do you mean when you say Jane acts rashly?"
"She leads with her heart, not her head."
"Hey!" Jane protested.
"That's how Hoyt," Maura spat his name, "got to you every time. That's why you led Patrick Doyle to my brother's killer. That's why you made Marino take you."
"I did not call Doyle."
"A technicality." Maura waved Jane's assertion away.
"That is not a technicality. It's a statement of fact. You asked me not to call him, and I didn't."
The therapist observed their discussion, and stopped it before it escalated any further. "One issue at a time," she interrupted.
"Fine," Jane snapped. "Pick one."
"Off limits," Jane replied definitively.
"I agree with Jane that we do not wish to discuss him," Maura answered.
"Patrick Doyle," Lisa suggested.
"Oh, we're really not goin' there tonight."
"Why?" Maura and Lisa asked in chorus.
"Maura doesn't believe me, so why talk about it?"
"I never said that."
"You just did," Jane contradicted. "A technicality," she mimicked.
"You know who called him. You made all of us accessories."
"I don't know who called the sperm donor, and I wouldn't tell you if I did. I know everything's black and white in your lab, but it isn't in the real world. Would you rather spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder, wondering if every stranger you see is the one who's going to kill you?"
"No," Maura said, "but it doesn't make what you did, what we did, right."
"I'll take wrong over dead every time."
"What, exactly, are we talking about?" Lisa asked.
"A while back, we had a John Doe," Jane explained. "He turned out to be Maura's brother."
"You didn't know you had a brother?"
"I was adopted, and the records are either lost or sealed, so I couldn't get any information about my birth parents."
"He was murdered to get to the sperm donor, and Maura was next," Jane added.
"Doyle kidnapped Maura. Sent her back with a phone."
"He asked me to call when I knew who killed Colin."
"What happened to the phone?"
"I gave it to my partner for forensics."
"You gave it to Korsak."
"Maura, you were there. You saw me give it to Frost. You heard me tell him to book it into evidence."
"You were most unconvincing."
"Really? Then next time, I'll lie better."
"I don't want you to lie at all."
"What am I supposed to do? Let some mob enforcer take you out to settle an ancient score?" Jane's frustration was apparent in her tone. "That's never going to happen. I will always do whatever it takes to keep you safe."
"I don't need you to protect me," Maura answered, equally frustrated. "If anything, I should be protecting you."
"You did. You do. You're the one who put Leahy down. You figured out that Emily was Lola. You saved Frankie."
"But you keep getting injured."
"It's my job, Maura."
"No, it's not. I am quite familiar with your job description, and nowhere does it say that."
"To serve and protect," Jane answered. "It's on the door of every cruiser. It's on the wall of every meeting room. It's on every uniform. I took an oath to do that."
"That doesn't obligate you to heedlessly throw yourself into every dangerous situation."
"I don't," Jane said, exasperated.
"You do," Maura insisted. "These," she said, brushing her fingers over the scar on the back of Jane's hand, "are because you didn't wait for backup. The one near your collarbone is because you allowed yourself to be distracted by concern for your neighbor. The new ones"
"are the result of"
"Stop," Jane demanded again.
This time, Maura did.
"Jane, why won't you let her finish?"
She closed her eyes for a few seconds, slowly inhaled and exhaled. 'How do you fucking do that, Maura?' Jane asked silently. "I know how I got my scars," she said.
"That's not an answer," Lisa said.
"These," Jane answered, flexing her hands, "remind me every day that I made a mistake. I don't need to be told again," she stressed, glancing at Maura, "about it."
"What was the mistake?"
Jane's hands balled into fists. "I'm not talking about that any more."
Maura curled her hand around Jane's. After several seconds, she stretched her hand under Maura's, splaying her fingers slightly so Maura's slid between them while the therapist observed the interaction. Jane ignored her and squeezed Maura's fingers for a moment. "I'm done," she told Maura hoarsely.
"For tonight?" Maura asked.
Jane knew it wasn't a question, although it was phrased that way. "Yeah."
Maura took a moment to review what they said before agreeing.
"We have a few more minutes," Lisa protested.
Maura stood, and Jane reflexively followed. "Thank you. We'll see you next week."
Lisa stood, too, and watched them leave.
They didn't talk on the way out of the building, or in the car until Maura was parked at Jane's apartment building. "You want a drink?" Jane asked.
"Yes," Maura answered, and unbuckled her seatbelt.
Jane met her on the sidewalk, and they went inside and upstairs, where Joe Friday exuberantly greeted them. "I should take her out," Jane said.
On hearing her second favorite word, the dog began to spin in excited circles. Maura smiled at her, but her smile faded when she looked at Jane. "Go on," she said softly.
Jane quickly leashed the dog and they headed out. Maura went to the kitchen. She smiled again when she opened the refrigerator. Angela had obviously been there; Jane's beers were on the lower shelves; the uppers held the open bottle of wine Maura sought and storage containers full of food. Maura brought one out with the wine. It contained lasagna, and she put portions on plates and returned the remainder to the refrigerator. She washed the dog's food and water bowls, filled both, and returned them to their place.
While she waited for Jane, Maura again reviewed their session with the therapist. It went better than she thought it would. Maura expected Jane to balk much earlier than she did.
Jane's return after less then 10 minutes was another small surprise, and as the door closed, Maura slid one plate into the microwave. By the time Jane reached the kitchen, Maura had an open beer waiting for her.
"Thanks," Jane said, and took a swig before getting a treat for the dog. Joe Friday took it politely and carried it to the couch. She took her accustomed place there, on the end closest to the door. "I see Ma's been here."
"Apparently," Maura agreed. "Your takeout cartons have been replaced with pink storage containers."
Jane rolled her eyes. "Frankie's are blue."
Maura nodded. "Color coding is a simple way to keep track of items." She removed one plate from the microwave and put the other in. "Get my glass and the cutlery and I'll join you on the couch."
Jane nodded and did as asked. She put everything down on the coffee table and rubbed the dog's head while getting the remote. When Maura arrived, Jane had an episode of Mythbusters ready to start. Maura liked to point out the fallacies in their arguments and experiments; Jane enjoyed the inevitable destructive finale. Joe Friday went to the kitchen when she realized that neither woman intended to share her meal.
When the episode finished, Maura turned off the television. Although it was early, they had to work the next day, and were on call tomorrow night, as well. She leaned forward to pick up their dishes.
"Don't." Jane said, and put her hand on Maura's shoulder.
"They will be more difficult to clean if they sit much longer, as well as colonizing a number of disturbingly difficult to eradicate pathogens."
"Remind me to have Pop turn up the temperature on the water heater," Jane deadpanned.
"That will not," Maura began, and stopped when she saw the beginning of a smirk. "You're teasing me."
"You're not angry?"
"Why would I be angry?"
"You were earlier."
"I don't want to talk about it."
Maura nodded and picked up the plates again. "I should go home. Bass hasn't had his dinner."
Jane got Maura's empty wineglass and her bottle and followed Maura to the kitchen. "Just put them in the sink. I'll get them later."
Maura ignored her and rinsed everything before putting it in the dishwasher. When she finished, she kissed Jane's cheek. "See you in the morning."
"Are you mad?"
"What did I do that you're in such a rush to take off?"
"Bass needs to eat, too. You're welcome to join us."
"Yes, Jane, you're always welcome in my home."
"Give me a minute to get my stuff."
Five minutes later, Jane joined Maura at the door. She opened it, called Joe Friday, and after locking it, followed Maura down to her car.
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