DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network. Lyrical content from Florence + The Machine's Hardest of Hearts.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, so 'A Kiss With A Fist' was originally written as a stand alone, but it didn't quiet seem finished (as a lot of you pointed out : ). I think I know where it's going and how it's going to play out! Yaye! Thank you so much for your kind words! I reallyREALLY appreciate it!
FEEDBACK: To i_think_youre_wonderful[at]hotmail.com
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Kiss With A Fist
The Hardest of Hearts
Jane had a bad feeling about this. It was the same kind of feeling she got when she burst into a room chasing some perp and they rounded the corner. It meant 'it' was all just beginning. She had the same feeling now as she walked into the kitchen for family dinner and she saw the fresh flowers on the kitchen table. "Ma?" She called out, dumping her gym bag and laundry on the floor, "Ma, what's going on?"
"Stop shouting Jane!" Angela called back from the kitchen, "And come in here and help!"
Jane should've known something was up when her mother asked her to dress up; but a quick glance at the dinner table set for...5... said that this would go at least slightly better than the last set up, at least she wasn't on her own. She made her way into the kitchen and kissed her mother on the cheek as she plucked a piece of cheese from the cutting board. "Don't eat that, it's for dinner! Hi honey." Angela greeted her as she cut the bread. "What a nice dress, are you gonna put on some lipstick or something?" She asked as she began to slice some bread. "Ma ..." Jane warned, her voice rising.
"I know, I know - it's just that you're such a pretty girl, think of how much prettier you'd be with a pinch of colour! Listen," Angela Rizzoli undid her apron and wrapped it around her daughter's waist, "You stay here, finish the bread, put everything on the table. I'm gonna get ready. I'll bring you down some lipstick, you don't have to wear it, just try it on!" She flew out of the kitchen, saying a silent prayer that her daughter didn't finish the bread, or hack it into unidentifiable bits.
"Wait Ma -" She shouted, as her father walked into the kitchen -
"Don't shout Janie!" He said, kissing her on the cheek and swiping a piece of bread.
"That's for dinner -" She poked him lightly with her knife, "And Ma never said why I'm in a dress or who's coming over for dinner. If this is another set-up I swear, no jury could convict me." She warned.
"Dont worry Janie - it's not for you, it's for Frankie Jr. Some chick at work or something. I don't think your mom's ready to deal with you after the last -" The door bell interrupted his thoughts. "Listen, go get that, I'm gonna shower quick. Hey Frankie!" He shouted as he climbed the stairs, "Get your butt outta the shower! I need it and your lady's here!" Jane rolled her eyes as she made her way to the door. The fact that she was as well-adjusted as she was was clearly a miracle. She flung open the door only to be find Maura Isles on the porch. "What's wrong? I didn't get a call -"
"I brought wine. And chocolate." Maura responded holding out a slim brown box and a bottle of red.
"Jane -" Angela interrupted, sliding in beside her daughter, "Let Maura in. It's lovely to see you again dear." She said, "And you brought chocolates! Aren't you sweet?"
"And wine." Maura repeated, stepping inside and handing the offerings to Angela. "Thank you for inviting me to dinner Mrs. Rizzoli,"
"Angela, call me Angela dear!" She said, walking into the kitchen, "Janie, take her coat; and pick up your laundry from the floor - I hope you know you're doing your own laundry this time!" She poked her head back into the room and explained: "The last time I found a pair of men's... well... You know." She whispered loudly, shooting a look at her daughter.
"Ma. That was two years ago."
"Janie. Coat. Laundry." Angela demanded, then ducked back into the kitchen.
Maura unbuttoned her coat then looked about for a place to put it. "You changed," Jane noted, taking the coat and hanging it up, taking in Maura's new outfit of slim white pants and a black silk blouse that opened just...enough...to reveal a tempting set of curves. If you were looking. Which Jane was not. "So did you. I like you in that dress. I mean, the dress is-"
"Thanks," She smiled awkwardly, and motioned towards the dark green dress. "So you're the 'chick-from-work'? They're setting Frankie up with?" Rizzoli laughed as she picked up her laundry and made her way to the laundry room, nodding for Maura to follow.
"This was a set-up? With your brother?" Maura whispered loudly, mortification setting into her features.
"Yeah, surprise - what else was did you think this was? Now you'll have something to talk to Grant about if you run into him." She kicked the door to the laundry room open and dropped the clothes onto the side table. "You didn't know?" Jane laughed as she saw the look on her face.
"No. I didn't. I just - I don't know." Maura began to sort the laundry in front of her. "You think your brother knows? We should tell him."
"Not on your life," Jane responded, turning on the laundry machine and dumping in the detergent, "Consider it payback."
"It's not nice."
"That's why it's called payback."
"What's it payback for?"
"Does it matter?" the taller woman grinned.
"Janie - everybody!" Angela called out, "Dinner's ready!"
"Just doing laundry!" Jane shouted back.
"Not with the guest!" Her mother scolded her.
"She's not a guest!" Jane called back, watching Maura place the darks in the machine for her. "Hey, do you even know how to do that?" She smiled, watching Maura finish sorting the whites and delicates. The auburn haired woman just threw a smile over her shoulder. "What was that for?" Jane asked, flipping her friend's hair.
"Just - I'm glad we're joking again. I thought after today-"
"Forget it Maur, we were just blowing off steam."
"I was talking about what I said."
"Don't worry about it. Come on. Dinner."
Jane didn't want to think about it. She had willed herself not to think about it all day. She had so far succeeded and she was not going to start thinking about it now, even what she wasn't supposed to be thinking about was right there, in her laundry room with her, sorting through her sweats and her skivvies.
Dinner went better than to be expected once the initial embarrassment had worn off. Maura and Jane sat on one side of the table with her dad on the other side of her with Frankie and Angela sitting across the table from the women. As soon as Angela asked Maura about work, Frankie and Jane cut in, instituting a 'no-work' rule, leaving their parents confused at what could bring the two siblings together so quickly. The conversation turned into a lively back and forth about distant family members and close friends, Maura was quiet - but the smile on her face revealed she enjoyed being in the thick of it. Every so often Jane would lean in towards her and explain an implied connection, or a joke, or provide color commentary - each time she did this, the other woman's smile would grow a little bit wider. "Hey, Doc -" Frankie whispered across the table, nudging her foot with his to get her attention while the rest of the table loudly debated who threw the first punch at the last Rizzoli family reunion. "Just wanted to say thanks for being a good sport about this." He smirked the same cocky smile his sister had. He really did follow in her footsteps, Maura realized watching him "I'm enjoying it," She responded back, in a matching tone, "But don't you think you should tell her about Julie already?"
"How did you know about her?" he asked, confused.
"People talk." She shrugged
"Does Jane know?"
"Does Jane know what?" His mother asked, "What's all this whispering, should we leave you two lovebirds alone?"
"Ma!" The siblings groaned, rolling their eyes
"Do you see, Maura, what I have to put up with?" She asked, "It's a wonder I didn't give these two up for adoption when I had the chance."
"We were just talking about how you brought Grant home for Janie, and I got the Doc - it proves for once and for all, I am the favorite."
"Hey, hey!" Jane butted in, "How does that prove you're the favorite? I mean, we know it's true but still?"
"Really Janie?" Frankie began, getting up to start to clear the plates, "Grant vs the Doc, no contest. Look at her!" He winked at Maura, who ducked her head behind her hair to hide the growing blush on her cheeks. "Here, let me help!" She shot up out of her chair and gathered the plates and followed Frankie into the kitchen.
"What?" Jane responded to her parent's pointed looks. "Fine!" She grumbled as she got the hint and rose, taking the half-empty serving bowls with her into the kitchen. "Where's Frankie?" She asked, finding Isles at the sink alone, her sleeves rolled up.
"He said he had to do something -"
"That jerk! He's always doing this!" Jane complained as she started emptying leftovers into containers. "You saw that right? He gets up, makes a whole show about cleaning up, then bails. I mean, you're a guest."
"I wasn't a guest when I was helping you with your laundry," Maura responded, fluttering her wide set eyes towards Jane, "Did you want to finish up the dishes?" She revealed a smile, then returned to the task at hand.
"Yeah, well -"
"Maura - what are you doing?" Angela cried out, walking into the kitchen.
"I was washing the dishes."
"And you, Janie - letting her! You're a guest here Maura, give me that."
"No, really Mrs. Rizzoli, I don't mind at all."
"I do, and it's Angela."
"Right, now Janie, Janie, go, show her your room." Angela directed from the sink, wrapping an apron around her waist. "She's got the cutest little photo from when she was learning to crawl, her tuchus all hanging out. Show her to tuchus picture!"
"I'm not showing her the tuchus picture Ma!" Jane groaned, grabbing Maura's hand and dragging her out of the kitchen. "First rule of the Rizzoli household Maur," She explained as they walked up the stairs, "Is when my mom gives you an out from work, you take it. Right Frankie?" She asked her brother as he trotted down the stairs.
"Absolutely. Listen, ladies, it was lovely -" He pecked his sister and her friend on the cheek, "But I'm outta here. Sorry it didn't work out between us Doc, but somehow I think you'll survive." He winked at her and continued down the stairs, "Hey Ma, I've gotta go! I'll see you and pop later?"
"Do all the Rizzolis have charm and a way with women?" Maura asked, brushing past Jane and continuing up the stairs and towards the open door that could only be Jane's room. Jane thought about the comment for a moment then followed.
"So this is where it all began?" Maura asked softly as she took it all in.
"Yeah - it's probably nothing like your room when you were a kid. I mean, no ponies in here." Jane joked, flopping on the bed.
"The ponies stayed out in the stable. You couldn't get them up the stairs." Maura responded deadpan as she slowly made her way around the room. It was a buttery yellow, a compromise between Angela's choice of pink and Jane's of Celtics green. Sports paraphernalia hung about the room and every flat surface was covered with photos of Jane and the rest of the Rizzolis.
"Is that...Grant?" Maura asked, picking up an old class photo, running her fingers over the glass.
"The scrawny little runt to the left? Yeah."
"You were very cute." Maura said decidedly as she placed the photo down and turned around, leaning on the desk. She watched Jane's reaction of confusion. "You sound surprised Maur."
"No - I mean you always said that they called you Rolly Polly. But you weren't chubby. Or frogfaced."
"It was the bangs. Trust me." Jane pointed out.
"I think they looked cute." Maura defended as she cocked her head to the side watching her friend. Jane lay sprawled out on her lilliputian childhood bed, her legs hung over the edges and her arms touched the floor. She seemed so - at ease here. It was the most relaxed she'd ever seen her friend. She envied her that luxury - of having a home to come to and relax in. "Yeah well," Jane propped herself on her elbows, "When you're 10, you don't have much of a say."
"I cut my hair off when I was 8." Maura confessed, turning away and continuing her examination of the former life of Jane Rizzoli.
"What? You?" Jane laughed.
"I hated it. It was puffy and frizzy and I was into 'Sound of Music' in a big way and I kept begging to get Maria's haircut, you know, that cute little pageboy bob she had going? Very chic."
"Mmmmhmmm." Jane humoured her.
"And my mother kept saying 'no'. So one day I chewed up the biggest wad of bubble gum and then stuck it in my hair." Maura turned around, pride clearly on her face, "They had no choice but to cut it off!"
"No kidding - what'd it look like?"
"Shorter. Frizzier." Maura shrugged, going back to look at the framed photos. She particularly liked one of a proud Jane, maybe 14 or 15, her lanky black hair in two ponytails standing beside what looked like her science fair entry.
There is love in your body but you can't hold it in
It pours from your eyes and spills from your skin
Jane watched as Maura touched her belongings with a gentle touch that she usually reserved for the stem of particularly nice glass of wine; or the face of a particularly young child on her table. When she was younger, this room seemed so large, she could fit three of her friends in it, all of them loud and unable to sit still. Now, with just her and Maura with her deliberate, small movements, it seemed much small. Not cramped so much, just...small. She was distinctly aware of Maura's every action, every movement sent another whiff of perfume towards her. Something expensive no doubt, smelling warm and dark, inviting. "So when's my turn?" Jane asked, breaking the silence. Maura looked at her over her shoulder with that look that Jane absolutely hated, the one Korsak called her 'Mona Lisa Look'. He said his second wife would do it to him all the time. "What? What'd I say?"
"Nothing," Maura responded, turning back to the photos but finding she had made her way around the room and was now by the window seat beside Rizzoli's bed.
"Well clearly I did Maur." Jane sat up and swung her legs over the edge of the bed and moved to the window seat to be beside the other woman. It had seemed bigger from Jane's bed, but now that they both shared the small strip of seating, their knees bumping together it seemed to shrink down so as the world was just the two of them, pressed together.
"It's all in storage. No sense in keeping that according to my parents."
"What? Jane scoffed, "Memories?"
"Sentiments. Besides, we weren't allowed to have stuff like this at school." She motioned towards the artifacts of Jane's past. "They said it was in order to make sure we were all on even footing or something. It didn't work. Let me take a look at your lip."
"It was bleeding earlier." She placed a steadying hand on Jane's face, ignoring the slight flinch when her skin touched the other woman's. "It's healing up nicely." She remarked, her thumb tugging Jane's lower lip to allow her to see the cut.
"Did I ever tell you about this tree?" Jane whispered, turning her head away from Maura's hazel eyes. There was something in them that felt so strong that she felt like an intruder just by looking into them.
"No, what's so special about it?" Maura asked, dropping her hands and looking past the window to the large tree whose branches brushed by the glass.
"This tree is the perfect tree to climb out of." Jane took a breath and tried to clear her head of Maura's scent.
"Oh really, Jane Rizzoli, rule breaker?" isles teased, finding her voice again.
"Yeah, well. Only when they were really dumb rules. If you open the window there's that branch there, just strong enough to hold your weight, and you can grab that one there -" She pointed a particularly frail looking one a few feet above it, "To steady yourself and you'd work your way down."
"Why wouldn't you just use the stairs?" Maura asked, unable to understand why anyone would risk their life like that.
"Because then it's not sneaking out."
Jane turned back and was relieved to see the familiar look of perpetual confusion on Isles' face as she tried to fathom what would cause someone to sneak out. In the soft light, Maura looked - like Maura. She blinked hard to snap herself out of whatever it was that feeling was that was lurking in the room between them. "Come on," Jane stood, "It's getting late."
There's love in your body but you can't get it out
It gets stuck in your head, won't come out of your mouth
They made their goodbye quickly, Jane eager to leave her parents house, and Maura. She wanted to get home, throw on some sweats, drink a beer and pretend that this day never happened. She was tired, she thought as she hugged her parents goodbye, perhaps she should get some extra sleep. Being tired made her...eager... That's all this was - and it'd been a good long while since her last date. Maura meanwhile took her time, hugging both Mr. and Mrs. Rizzoli, thanking them for inviting her to family dinner and promising she would have them over in return. With Jane grabbing her arm, they found themselves outside in the chilly Boston air as the door clicked shut behind them.
Jane let go of Maura's hand and made her way to her car in the drive way. "Hey, so I'll see you at work tomorrow, right?" Jane asked, opening her driver's side door.
"Jane, wait." Maura followed, standing on the other side of the door, so it stood between their bodies. "Is everything ok?"
"Yeah, why?" Jane shifted from one foot to the other. "You?"
"I've just been thinking." Maura spoke, looking at her intently.
"I could tell. Maybe we could think in our cars, Isles? It's getting cold." Jane pointed out.
"I need your help Jane."
"Can we do this tomorrow?" Jane asked, that sense of dread from earlier in the evening settling over her. The feeling from her bedroom followed them out to the car and she was not ready to deal with it.
"Jane!" Maura's eyes reflecting the earnest pleading in her voice.
"Maur, I don't think this is a good-"
She was silenced with a kiss. Maura's lips pressed into hers. After a moment, realizing that Jane wasn't pushing her away, Maura grew bolder, slipping her hand up to Jane's jacket collar and pulling her closer. Jane's lips soon parted and eagerly took in more of Maura and her kiss. Their lips pushed and pulled each other, until Jane let out a slight whimper. "Oh Jane - your lip. I'm sorry!" Maura took a step back, "Are you ok?". The cold night air snapped some sense into Jane as she stared, dazed at Maura Isles. She took a deep breath and fought the urge to scream, to shout, to pull the other woman into another embrace (this time without the car door in their way). "What the hell was that, Maura."
"It was a kiss Jane."
"I'm aware. Why did you kiss me?"
Maura's lips pressed together and the Mona Lisa gaze appeared, impenetrable to Jane. "I wanted to know where we stood, Jane. I don't like to guess."
"Well normal people ask, Maura. Geeze!"
"I'll see you tomorrow." And with that, Maura turned on her heel and made her way to her car, and drove off, leaving Jane rooted in her spot, swearing. Eventually, Jane too got into her car and drove off.
Tenderest touch leaves the darkest of marks
And the kindest of kisses break the hardest of hearts
"Kids," Muttered Angela, as she walked by Jane's room to shut off the lights. She wondered what'd she'd done and which Saint she forgot to pray to in her youth for giving her Jane's sloppiness to contend with. She walked into the dark room and began to fix the rumpled bedspread. She picked up the pillow which had fallen by the window and a movement in the driveway caught her eye. Out in the driveway was Jane, saying goodbye to Maura. She was glad Jane finally had a friend like Maura Isles. Smart, classy, well-dressed and well-behaved. She hoped some of that would eventually rub off on her daugh... Her mind went blank as she saw the woman in question rise up on her tip toes and kiss her daughter.
Hold on to your heart
'Cause I'm coming to take it
Maura Isles was nothing if not determined. She knew Jane would say she was bossy, but she wasn't. She was determined. She would set a goal, and achieve it. She knew people saw her like a child, treated her as such. She may not get her co-workers pop culture references, or their unwavering loyalty to the Boston dynasty of sports teams, but it didn't make her a child. Far from it. Maura Isles was woman, a smart one at that. One who knew what it was to want something, someone - and be it the new Charlotte Olympia polka dot heels or or her best friend - and what it was to get something. One didn't turn her back on being idly rich for the Boston Police Department without some grit and determination. And one didn't decide to pursue Jane Rizzoli without the same.
Hold on to your heart
'Cause I'm coming to break it
Crosstown however, Jane Rizzoli lay awake in her bed, stiff as a board as she replayed every moment of that kiss over and over again. Each time the mental images looped, they went further, drew stronger reactions. Jane would recall every moment of that day that would've led Maura to misconstrue the nature of their relationship; Jane would then re-evaluate what the nature of their relationship was; that would then lead her to imagine what that would entail, physically. What it would've been like to continue that kiss. To feel Maura wrap a leg around her. To tease Maura's breast out of her bra and see what that curve would be like and taste like, in the cold fall air. She hadn't been able to get further than that image. She didn't want to get further than that image.
She couldn't get that image out of her mind.
Jane knew what had to be done. The adult thing to do would be to speak to Maura, re-set their boundaries and carry on per usual. Jane didn't like to do things the adult way - she liked to do them her way. In this case, her way consisted of deciding to ignoring Maura unless it was work related. No coffee, no beer, no bar, no running, no yoga (Jane wasn't so upset over that one). The mention of Maura and yoga conjured up those images again of Maura pressed against her. Helpless, Jane began to recite the stats of the Red Sox's starting line up and offered up a prayer for sleep to come soon.
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