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 'Between Two Lungs'; 'Not Calling You A Liar'; and 'Cosmic Love'. The poem Jane & Maura reference is Frank O'Hara's "Autobiographia Literaria"
FEEDBACK: To i_think_youre_wonderful[at]hotmail.com
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Kiss With A Fist
In The Darkness With You
Jane showered, eventually. She spent the rest of day up in her old room, her limbs trailing off the edges of the bed, grazing the floor, just thinking. Frankie walked by once or twice, not saying a word, and her father stopped by and asked if she was going to come down to dinner. It wasn't until hours after that Jane realized that the sunlight had faded and she was left alone in the darkness of her room. It was as if time had not stopped, but went backwards, returning her to life at 17 when all she wanted was some guy to hang out with, laugh at stupid jokes with and feel comfortable with. She could hear her parents watching TV downstairs and her brother lumbering about in his room - it was as if the last 15 or some odd years hadn't happened.
Except they had. She wasn't 17 and this wasn't her room anymore. Her room was crosstown and four flours up. And she had someone to hang out with and laugh with and drink beer with. At least she did - and no, they weren't a Rick Springfield look-a-like that she prayed for when she was 17 but she was beautiful, and sweet, and yeah, Jane though with a sense of pride, just a bit of a badass. And she wanted to hang out with Jane, for some reason. At least she did. She wasn't the little Janie who had once been too tall and too loud and too smart and too tough and too everything - she was now Jane Rizzoli, and if people thought she was too anything - well one of them had a badge and gun and the other probably didn't. She laughed at that thought and then sat up, hungry all of a sudden. Her personal life was still the mess she had made of it - and given how she treated Maura in the gym earlier, her professional one was probably just as precarious - and she still didn't know how she was going to fix it - but she felt lighter than she had earlier. She was down (and hungry) but she certainly wasn't out.
"Hey - you got a date?" She called out to Frankie as he made his way to the bathroom dressed to the nines.
"Yeah - what do you think?" He asked, smoothing out the front of his shirt. "Presentable?"
"Not too shabby. She'll like it."
"Guess you'd know." He cracked, eyeing her to see her reaction. She made a face.
"Your tie's crooked. Come here."
"So you and the Doc, hunh? Makes sense." Frankie started, as he stood still for Jane to undo his tie. She gave him another look. "What? It does. You two are always together, you're always laughing and hugging and doing stuff and just let me know if any of this isn't true."
"If you tell anyone, any of this I will have you killed. I can do that."
"No you can't. Ma wouldn't let you."
"She wouldn't know - I can make it look like an accident. Just remember that. There." She finished his tie and pointed to the mirror for him to inspect.
"You know I was just joking, right Janie?" He asked, eyeing her from the mirror. He was moving towards serious talk - very different than their usual sibling snarking - and he wasn't sure how she'd take it.
"About what?" Jane asked, flopping back onto her bed, watching Frankie.
"Well, about Maura, you know - slumming it." He joined her on the bed.
"Frankie I -"
"I mean it, you're my sister and you made my life a living hell when we were younger, but if you weren't my sister, you'd be kind of an OK person."
"Thanks." She rolled her eyes.
"And you're OK looking enough I guess. A little skinny according to Ma -" He smiled to show he was joking, "But OK to look at other than that."
"Really Frankie, that's your only concern? You hear from Ma that Maura and I kissed and the only think you're worried about is that I'm ok looking enough for her?" He paused for a moment, deep in thought then finally turned to her.
"I do have one question -"
"Here it is -" She groaned, afraid of what was to come.
"The dead fridge is only in the morgue, right?" He asked, seriousness marking his face. "Like, you don't go over to her place and reach past a dead guy to grab a cold beer?"
"The dead fridge is only in the morgue. She has a turtle for a pet, and some weird French stuff in the fridge, but no - no dead guys."
"Good. Good." He nodded.
"You like her, right? I mean, she's a little weird but ..." Her voice trailed off as she looked down at her hands, running her fingers over her small scars.
"She's not that weird, you know, for spending her day with dead guys and you." He shrugged, uncomfortable in this unfamiliar territory. "She's cute, and smart, and she makes you happy-" He laughed "and she has got you wrapped around her little finger! What's not to like?"
They sat side by side in silence for a moment.
"So, is she your first, like, gir-"
"Yes." She cut him off.
"Just checking, 'cause you know - you and Joanna Peterson -"
"Ewwwwwww - Frankie! She was like, a Yankees fan!"
"How do you forget that? Every damned game with the blue and white!" She shook her head, "No."
"So Isles is a Red Sox fan?" He laughed.
"I don't know."
"Whoa - this is serious! You gotta ask her."
"Yeah, I don't think that's gonna be happening anytime soon." Her voice dropped.
"Hard as it is to believe," She began, a false cheer in her voice, "I went and messed it up."
"How bad?" He asked again.
"You remember Maria Trimarchi?" Jane began.
"And what she did to you?"
"Yeah..." He almost winced at the pain, even after all these years.
"What I did was about 42 times worse."
"Oh. Well, Jane - you gotta fix this, and you gotta find out now, before it goes any deeper Janie - you can't let her go on the rest of her life a Yankees fan or worse - what if she likes the Jays?" Both siblings grimaced, as if they were smelling something distasteful.
Frankie eventually got up and finished getting ready for his date and a hungry Jane made her way downstairs. Her parents were asleep in front of the television - but on the kitchen table was a tupperware filled with her dinner and topped with a post-it note that read: Janie - I want my tupperware back. Love Ma. She smiled as she softly shut the door behind her. She needed to call Maura, and the sooner she got past the groveling the better. She didn't know what she'd say other that that she was a) sorry; b) really sorry and c) ummm... really really sorry? She sighed as she drove, it sounded pretty bad in her head and it was only going to sound even worse out loud. And did sorry really cover it? Not really - what she did was pretty horrendous - but the fact that it was to Maura, it made it worse. This was her best friend, her safety - hell, she'd practically put her down as her emergency contact when she had to update her personnel forms last month. So just why did she do what she did? Twice?
Jane slid her car into her parking spot and made her way upstairs, leftovers in hand. It was the why that bothered her now - why had she treated Maura like that - especially after sharing what was a pretty...intimate... . Jane blushed at the thought of what had occurred last night. It wasn't that she was embarrassed - but more confused as to where those thoughts came from, not to mention the nerve to act on them. Yeah, Jane thought as she jumped into the shower, it may have been a long time since she'd had sex - but even when it was a regular occurrence, it was never like...that. Being with Maura was like the first time she'd shot a gun, or the feeling she got each morning when she slipped her piece into her holster - that same sense of power and security; that small but steady weight that went with her wherever she was. There was also that element of danger, of fear - that someone could get hurt if she wasn't careful and in control. And last night proved that she wasn't in control when she was with Maura Isles. People tended to get hurt when she wasn't in control of things around her - and given her previous track record in relationships, it tended to be the other person. She always felt bad about that, that she inevitably hurt some very nice people but they seemed to get over it and get over her. This was different - she had a nagging feeling that this time she might be the one to get hurt. She lingered on this thought as she got out of the shower and got ready for bed.
When the phone finally rang it startled Jane as if klaxons and lights had gone off. She had been sitting on her couch dressed in sweats and t-shirt, her wet hair dripping down her back staring at her phone. She had finally given up trying to find the right words to apologize and just decided to wing it - but as much as the phone rang and rang and rang when she finally called the other woman, it was never picked up. After the second or third call she had left an awkward voicemail asking Maura to call her back. She then hung up and placed the phone on her coffee table and proceeded to stare at it with zen-like concentration. It took her a moment to register that the tone wasn't the familiar funeral march, but instead it was Frost's. "What?" She answered, anxious at being disturbed during something so...pathetic as waiting for her phone to ring. She patted Jo and listened to Frost: "Hope you're not doing anything important tonight Partner?"
"Me?" She glanced down at her sweats and her half-eaten Tupperware, "The usual. Why?"
"Double-homicide. And it's a nasty one."
"They're all nasty." Jane commented as she got off her couch and made her way to her bedroom.
"Some are nastier than others - this one's a kid."
"I hate those ones." She began to shed her clothes as she juggled her phone. "How'd we get this one? We're off."
"Busy night I guess." Frost responded, his voice taking on a false confidence. He was learning how to act to hide his sweet yet ultimately useless feelings about his job.
"Full moon." Jane checked outside of her bedroom window. "Definitely a full moon. See you soon."
The familiar tingle of excitement crept across her body and a smile found it's way across her face as she made her way to the crime scene. When Jane first joined the force, she soon learned why like hung out with like - only those who went through what you did, day in and day out understood you without judging you. If she had told her mother that the thought of a double-homicide made her smile, she'd be appalled at her daughter. If she told Korsak, or even Grant, they'd understand. It wasn't that they were dead, what's done was done long before they got involved. It was that there was now a problem for them to solve, a killer they needed to catch. Whatever else was going on in their world became inconsequential when they got those calls. The eagerness only grew as she saw the familiar signs approaching - the squad car lights shining high and bright into the night sky, the re-routed traffic, the stray beat cops wandering about for a smoke. She knew them and loved them all.
She parked a block away and got out, making sure her badge was visible clipped to her hip just in case someone couldn't tell by her swagger that she belonged here. She spotted Korsak making his way to her as she ducked under the police tape. "What are you doing here?" She asked, eyebrow raised.
"Poker night - Frost and some of the tech guys got called in, figured I'd tag along. You mind?"
"Nah." She shook her head and took in the scene. If she sent him home he'd be alone. She couldn't do that to him.
"What about her?" She asked, Korsak following her eyes towards the woman in question, standing behind a black Benz that cost more than their collective monthly salaries. She smiled down at the window and said something, but she was too far to be overheard.
A falling star fell from your heart and landed in my eyes
...And now it's left me blind
The car drove away and Jane felt her mouth dry up - there in its wake stood Dr. Maura Isles, impeccably dressed in a wisp of a black dress. She stood for a moment to survey the scene and Jane knew that Maura was one of those few who also saw the beauty in the surrounding chaos instead of the sadness. She had her own rituals - it seemed everyone had them, maybe that's what kept them sane. Korsak eyed Jane then finally interrupted, "Frost's with the bodies over in the kitchen." He lead the way with Maura falling into step with them. "Sorry to ruin your night, Doc." He greeted her, "By the looks of it, it was gonna be good!" He smiled at her. "If that's your way of saying I look nice, then thank you, Korsak" She smiled at him as she wrapped her arms across her body to keep warm.
"You know, if you ever wanted to be Mrs. Korsak the IV..." He winked at her as they crossed the trampled lawns.
"Sorry to interrupt your date." Jane muttered under her breath. She slid out of her jacket and held it out. Maura declined the jacket and offer to discuss her date with a single dismissive glance. "Night's got a bite to it, huh?" He asked as he held the door open for the two women.
Between two lungs it was released
The breath that passed from you to me
"Jesus." Jane let out a whistle. The kitchen was a mess, where it was previously white - it was now a Pollock painting of reds, maroons, browns and rusts. "Martha Wallace, 46." Frost introduced the victim to the newcomers. Jane peered from above while Isles carefully bent over the prone woman's restrained remains. "And the other vic?"
"Over here. Paula Wallace." Frost led Jane across the kitchen and behind the counter where even Jane's stomach dropped. "What is she? Six?" Jane asked, turning away. Maura quickly rose, heels clipping across the floor, careful to avoid any blood splatter. Her hand flew to her mouth in shock, but she got on her haunches once more to examine their second body. "Eight to ten is more like it," Maura corrected, looking up over her shoulder. She could feel Jane's eyes focus on her exposed back, so the dress was working, just not on it's intended target. "But her weight is low enough to be deceptive." She rose. "Did you notice the bruising and scar tissue on her limbs? There's a great range in their development."
"So? When I was that age I was crawling with 'em." Jane bent down and peered at Paula's body, willing herself not to acknowledge that she was only inches from Maura Isles' bare legs. "At that age you weren't involved in a double homicide." Maura retorted and then stepped away. Frost began to go over the details of the case, who called it in, when - and though Jane retained the information, all she could do was watch across the room as Maura wordlessly charmed an on-site tech with a flutter of her lashes, a flip of her hair and a well-placed arm. She watched as the two left the room, then shook her head to clear her thoughts. It was going to be a long night.
Maura returned soon thereafter, Jane could hear her heels, but when she bent down the broad, bare expanses of skin were gone, covered instead in navy, cotton scrubs. "I knew you were prepared, Maura - but a full on change of wardrobe is impressive, even for you." Jane remarked as she examined the mother's body. There was no response - just Isles continuing with her work, counting and measuring the stab wounds. "If I let you break my nose, then set it - will you at least talk to me again?" Jane murmured, as she rose and cracked her back. "Have you found the knife yet, Detective?" The prone woman asked, not bothering to look up.
They worked like this for most of the night, polite and curt. Jane could tell it was getting later and later by the number of cops that would leave - soon, the hive of activity was quiet, a few uniforms at the door, a few techs from the ME's office lingering, ready to collect and bag the bodies and Korsak, doing whatever needed to be done - grab coffee, bag evidence, step in for Frost when he needed to walk it off. It reminded Jane of New Year's Eve at her Aunt Anita's place - loud, bright, busy until everyone would start to leave and it was just Jane and her brother asleep on the couch, eager to go home but stuck waiting for the grown-ups.
Eventually it came time to place the bodies on the gurneys and wheel them out - they quietly walked out of the red stained room, turning off the lights. Their notes had been made, the photos had been taken, the cause of death had all but been determined (pending a full autopsy on Monday, per Dr. Isles' standard operating procedure). That was it. They stood on the lawn, dark, quiet and cool now, and watched as Isles signed off on the two bodies and then shut the doors of the van. She made her way back to the group of detectives who stood there silently. It was almost ritual on these late night cases - to stand together and take a breath, decompress. If it wasn't so late, they'd go out for a beer, each of them silently sipping, lost in their thoughts, but at 3.42... Maura shivered, her thin scrubs not doing much against the night air and the setting dew. "You must be freezin' Doc." Korsak said, breaking the spell, "Need a lift home?" Maura lifted her head and looked straight at Jane. Not through her or past her, but at her, eyes meeting eyes. "You know, Korsak, I think I got it." Jane spoke as she took off her jacket and placed it around Maura's shoulders.
"Alright then kids, this old foagy's going home." The group broke up, each heading their own way. "Hey Rizzoli?" Korsak called, summoning Jane back towards him.
"Yeah?" She trotted over.
"Thanks for letting me tag along." His face got red, revealing his embarrassment.
"I don't know what you're talking about." She lied, shifting from foot to foot.
"I think you do. I also think you know what I mean when I say, don't hurt her. Again." They both turned, looking at the lone figure of Dr. Maura Isles standing at the edge of the lawn, wrapped in Jane's jacket, looking up at the night sky.
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
The ride was quiet, with neither woman sure of what was safe to talk about. The case was too soon, too raw and catching up was filled with emotional traps, the least of which would be acknowledging that they hadn't spoken in what seemed like ages. They settled for an almost comfortable silence with Maura's forehead pressed against the passenger window watching nocturnal Boston passing by and Jane content with glancing over every so often and seeing Maura just an arm's reach away. Eventually the car stopped and Jane shut off the engine. Maura peered through the window - "This is your place."
"Yeah." Jane took her hands off the steering wheel and placed them in her lap.
"Will you be taking me back to my place, or should I call a cab?" Isles asked, confused.
"I should've asked you to stay."
"Yes. You also should've given me back my bra." She stared straight ahead. She didn't know why Jane brought her here, or what she wanted - she had given the other woman the benefit of the doubt once, but a night of reciting the Periodic Table had taught her better. She would remain neutral, dismissive even. "I liked that one."
"So did I." Jane admitted.
"I was part of a matched set."
"I liked the little bit of lace just..." She motioned to the top of her breasts.
"Why yes!" Maura turned to her, amazement across her face. "Jane Rizzoli, did you notice detail and craftsmanship?"
"No," Jane laughed, "I noticed you in it."
"Oh." Maura turned straight ahead again. "I should go." She unlocked the door.
"You could stay?" Jane offered, reaching out a hand and placing it on the other woman's.
"I should really go."
"You could stay." Jane repeated, her voice surprisingly calm. "You can even sleep in my softball t-shirt. It's all washed and ironed."
"You ironed your shirt?"
"Yeah, well, Ma did. Stay?"
No dawn, no day I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
Maura looked out the front window at Jane's apartment building. It was inviting, even with most of the lights turned out. It would be so much easier to go upstairs with the brunette and see what happened. But that would be like guessing, and she had gone down that path before and it lead to someplace in particular that she didn't like, and didn't care to revisit. She took a steadying breath and placed her hands in her lap, hoping she appeared calmer than she felt. "Thank you for the invitation Jane, but I really don't think I should."
"Why not?" Jane asked, mentally cringing as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
"The last time we were together alone, you treated me like I was nothing more than a -"
"I don't care that you're sorry. It hurt and it was wrong!" Maura Isles looked up at her, tears welling up in her hazel eyes.
"I'm sorry - I was scared." Jane responded, looking away. She hated to see people cry. She hated knowing she made them cry. So when the person she made cry was Isles, she just couldn't watch.
"I was scared too Jane, but I didn't treat you like that, did I?"
"What do you want from me, Maura?" Jane watched as the traffic lights changed from red to green. She was beginning to feel claustrophobic in here. She felt Maura's hand place itself on her thigh. She began to breath easier.
"Look at me." Maura requested. "Jane, look at me."
"I... I can't." Jane suddenly felt the full blow of emotions her actions had caused Maura. It sucked. Sure, she Jane knew she had made a gaping craphole of her life - but until she felt the tentative, hesitant gentleness in which Maura placed her hand on her thigh it didn't occur to her that her actions, selfish as they were were, were so much more painful to the woman they were inadvertently directed at.
"Jane, I want to be your friend again. I want to talk to you, and drink beer with you and go back to the way things were before. I don't want a warning system to know if it's safe to approach you, or talk to you."
"I want that too!" Jane cried out, frustrated.
"But I'd like other things from you too. If you can't provide me with that, or if it comes at the price of you being cruel again, then no. I can't."
"I became someone I didn't like after that, Jane. I became scared again, and I became petty, and angry. I worked very hard to leave that attitude behind me, Jane and I don't want to go back to it every time you're scared."
"I don't know what you want, Maura. It's late."
"I can't even think, I'm tired."
"Then let's just go to bed." Jane suggested, frustrated. She just wanted to go upstairs, crawl into bed and pull the covers over her head. She had done enough thinking for one day, she knew there were things that needed to be said, but she didn't trust herself to say them this late. Or early.
"Fine. And in the morning?"
"It'll be the morning. Saturday morning."
"Can we brunch?" Maura asked, a small smile across her face.
"Only if Mimosas are involved." Jane stated, unlocking the doors.
"Can you brunch without Mimosas?" Maura asked, getting out of the car.
"You tell me, Emily Post." Jane got out and they made their way inside the building, hovering closely to one another but careful not to touch as they got into the elevator. They could feel the buzz of having the other stand so close. It wasn't a new sensation - but now that it was named as attraction - it became more tantalizing.
"Well, do you feel about the Bellini?" Maura asked as the doors slid shut.
I took the stars from our eyes and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
The air around the bed was cool, but she was warm. Jane's eyes cracked open to the pre-dawn light washing everything in her room in grays and blues. Someone was in bed with her, their arm was around her waist, and their legs were tucked under her legs. Maura. Maura Isles was in bed with her. And holding her. Her eyes closed shut again, heavy with sleep, but her mind kept racing. Maura was in bed with her. What had she done? Any chance at salvaging their platonic relationship was gone. Jane quickly ran over her options, she could a) sneak out and sleep on the sofa, claiming she was a lifelong sleep walker; b) take Jo for a walk and hope she'd be gone by the time they returned; or c) pretend - she felt a soft kiss against the bare skin of her shoulder. "Go back to sleep, Jane." Maura murmured, tightening her grasp on Jane.
"How'd you know I was awake?"
"Because I could feel your heart racing."
"Of course you could." Jane wanted to laugh, Maura Isles was indeed in her bed. And she was the same Isles she was when they were at work, or at the bar. She was her best friend. She felt her body relax as she slowly fell asleep, back into the other woman's embrace. It wasn't often that Jane got to be 'little spoon'; given her height and her need for control, she had always been 'big spoon' much to the chagrin of her boyfriends. But it was nice to be held, to be protected, to be loved. Even if they hadn't said the word.
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
"I saw that." Jane said, not bothering to raise her head from the Boston Herald.
"Sharing is caring, Jane." Maura retorted, turning the page of the Globe. "I saw it on a t-shirt once." She popped the stolen piece of waffle into her mouth. "So you know it must be true."
The two women were sharing a table in the corner of a little cafe around the corner from Jane's place, reading their respective papers. The morning began slowly and easily, with the women waking up and detangling their limbs from one another, choosing to act as if it was completely natural that they were in the same bed, which, given their history with sleepovers, wasn't far from the truth. Maura had taken Jo for a walk to give Jane some time alone, and they got ready. Jane threw on her usual weekend outfit of jeans and a t-shirt while Maura had to make do with what she could find... and would fit her. She settled on a pair of black leggings and one of Jane's softball t-shirts. She even talked Jane into letting her borrow a baseball cap, something about completing the theme. The only point of contention was when it came time to buy their papers...They agreed to not mention it again.
"I am stuffed." Maura exclaimed, snatching another piece of Jane's half-eatten waffle.
"Can't imagine why." Jane smirked, not needing to look up from her paper to know Maura had emptied both plates in front of them. "Hey, Maura?"
"Why is your photo in the paper?"
"What?" Maura asked, doing a poor job of feigning ignorance.
"Right here in Inside Track. It's a photo of your date from last night...you went out with-"
"Oh Jane, that's just a trashy gossip column." Maura said, snapping her Globe shut and signaling for the bill. "And they're just a friend."
"Like I'm just a friend?" Jane teased.
"Ready to head out?" Maura deflected.
"Um... Was it a good picture?" Maura asked.
"So, I guess we should talk?" Jane suggested, her eyes focused on Jo who was running up ahead.
"Yes." Maura agreed. "But I don't want to do it just yet."
"I just -"
"I think we should enjoy today Jane." Maura stopped short and looked at the brunette. "We've had a rough week, I think we deserve a day of mimosas and coffee and walking in the park and a nap-"
"A nap?" Jane asked.
"Most definitely a nap."
"You're taking me out to see a movie." Maura started walking forward.
"I am?" Jane laughed, following her.
"Yes." She bumped her shoulder to the taller woman's arm. "You are."
Jane looked up at the sun in the sky - it was a beautiful day - but she couldn't help but feel the weight of their pending conversation off in the distance, like storm clouds on her horizon. What if she said the wrong thing, or did the wrong thing or - "Jane. Stop thinking." Maura smiled at her.
"Can't help it. You're dating a brainiac. All I do - day in, day out, is think." Jane shot back.
"We're dating?" Maura asked, "That's the first I've heard about it."
"Please Jane." Maura pleaded, her voice belying her physical confidence. "Just - let's have today. Let's just enjoy today, ok?"
"Ok." Jane brushed her hand against Maura's, holding onto her pinky briefly. She wasn't ready to hold hands in public, not yet. She had never been that kind of girl to begin with - but she had a feeling she would be soon. Isles turned to smile shyly at her. In that moment, Jane wished time would stop; and if it didn't, that was OK too, because she felt very lucky to have what she hoped was another chance with Maura.
I have this breath and I hold it tight
And I keep it in my chest with all my mgiht
I pray to god this breath will last
It was Sunday night by the time they made their way to Maura's place after a deliciously greasy dinner of Chinese food. "Jane, if I don't fit into any of my clothes, I swear -" Maura unlocked the door to her house and entered.
"You'll what?" Jane challenged, shutting the door behind her.
"I will make you go to yoga and the gym with me every day until I fit back into everything. Bass!" She bent down and picked him up, "I am so sorry. And I know I can't buy your love - but I can buy you some English strawberries!"
"I have a better idea," Jane followed Maura and Bass into the kitchen, "Just don't wear anything - problem solved." As soon as she saw Maura's raised eyebrow, Jane knew that was probably not the correct response. They may have been inseparable the last two days, but they hadn't gone beyond falling asleep in each other's arms and holding hands once, while watching a movie. "I guess now we talk?" Jane asked as Maura finished feeding Bass his strawberries.
"I guess so. Wine?"
"Beer." Maura pulled out a bottle of white wine, and a bottle of beer from her fridge. and carried them to the kitchen table where Jane had sat herself. It felt oddly formal, as if they were hammering out negotiations and trade agreements. Which in a way, they were.
"You know," Jane took a sip of her beer. "I've always hated Sundays."
"When I was a kid, it meant homework to do and school the next day."
"I loved it."
"Why am I not surprised?" Jane remarked.
"I liked school, and my homework was always done." Maura shrugged. "What about now?"
"I don't have homework."
"How do you feel about Sundays now?"
"Still don't like them. Work the next day - and I love my work, but still..."
"It's hard to get excited about going and facing murders and murderers?"
"Yeah." Jane took another sip of her beer. "I'm sorry."
"You already said that," Maura answered, "But thank you." It was now her turn for a sip of her wine. "I don't need you to protect me Jane. I'm a grown up and I've been more than capable of looking out for myself. I just need you to be here. To not hurt me."
"But...I need someone... I need you to protect me. To keep me from making a jerk out of myself."
"I can't Jane." She sighed, "No one can do that but you. All I can do is to forgive you, and love you. You know I didn't set out to make a mess out of this, out of us, right?"
"You didn't make the mess -"
"I certainly started it." Maura argued.
"Well, maybe just a little. With the kiss."
"In front of your parents house."
"Which my mom saw, by the way."
"How'd you know?"
"She told me."
"Yeah - about that. What did you two talk about and why didn't anyone tell me?"
"You weren't talking to me, and she wanted to know what was going on with us."
"Why didn't she just ask me?"
"She knew you'd lie to her."
"Oh. What'd you tell her?" Jane tried to hide curiosity.
"She asked what was going on and I said I didn't know. I asked how she would feel if we were to get involved."
"And?" Jane focused on peeling the label from her bottle.
"She said it wasn't her place to judge. That it wouldn't surprise her, and at least she liked me and even if I wasn't as tall as she'd like, I was at least a Doctor." Maura smiled, the humor of that line finally making sense.
"And are we?"
"Are we what Jane?"
"Of course we're involved. We're friends and co-workers and ... you don't mean like that, do you?"
"No, Maura, I don't."
"I don't know. Are we?"
"I...I don't want to be gay, Maura, I've worked really hard against that my whole life."
"We're all gay, Jane. A little bit. At least if you believe in the Kinsey scale. And I do. And I don't need you to hold my hand out in public, yet. But I will, one day down the line." She placed her hand on top of Jane's on the kitchen table. "Will you be ok with that?"
"And our families?" Jane asked, bypassing the question.
"Your mother knows and will help your father understand, I'm fairly certain Frankie knows-" Jane nodded silently, "As does Korsak. Frost wouldn't know unless you throw me on your desk and had your way with me. And does it matter what other people think?" Maura asked, a smile across her face, "You have a gun and your girlfriend is most likely cuter than theirs."
"Dr. Maura Isles, was that a joke?"
"Yes, Detective Jane Rizzoli, it most definitely was. You know, though, that the best jokes are rooted in truth though." Maura stood up and took her glass to the sink.
"Where are you going?" Jane asked, worried.
"I'm going upstairs to shower. I think you need some time."
Maura kept an ear out for the door, she wasn't certain if Jane would still be there when she got out of the shower. She had hoped, but she wasn't holding her breath. She turned off the water, and though her first instinct was to throw open the door and check for Jane, she fought it by going about her post-shower routine. She moisturized her skin and lotion-ed her face. She ran her leave in conditioner through her hair. She touched up a chip in her pedicure. She then slipped into her robe and wrapped her hair in her towel and piled it on top of her head. She took a moment and opened the door to find Jane sitting up in her bed, a book open on her lap. Jane turned her head and smiled at her. "Thanks for the pajamas." All Maura could do was smile at Jane, Jane who was sitting in her bed, looking like she'd been swallowed by the giant pillows and the fluffy blanket. Maura couldn't help herself, she crawled across the bed and threw her arms around Jane and knocked her back against the pillows, grinning ear to ear. "Hi!" Maura greeted her.
"Hi?" Jane replied, confused.
"No." Maura snuggled herself against the other woman. Jane's decision to stay shouldn't have made her so happy, but it did. It filled her with a sense of joy that the previous day's brunch eating, mimosa drinking, dog walking, movie watching couldn't compare with.
"I hope you don't mind," Jane held up her book, "It looked like the only thing there I'd understand." She nodded towards the stack of books on Maura's bedside table. Sitting alone in Maura's bed, surrounded by her books and her things, it occurred to Jane that Maura Isles was once a child. Or at least as much a child as Maura Isles could ever be. She was a lonely girl who had sent herself away and who red books and who was now a grown up, who was still sent away, who was still just as lonely and still read her books. "Don't do that, Jane. I hate it when you do that."
"You'd understand my books. Most of them. You may not find them interesting, but you'd understand them."
"This one's your favorite, isn't it?" Jane asked, changing the subject.
"How'd you know?" Maura peeked over Jane's shoulder to confirm
"The book opened straight here - the spine's cracked to this page, so I know you've read it a lot. Also - this part sounds a lot like you."
"This one: 'When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard'"
"Yeah." Jane turned and placed a kiss on Maura's forehead. "You know I didn't sleep with him."
"Jane," Maura warned, "You don't have to."
"I didn't. I couldn't. I told him he could tell his friends he did though, if it made him feel better."
"I don't know. He laughed. He works with my dad. Nice guy."
"So where'd you go? You were in the same clothes."
"I just...drove around. Went back to the station, crashed in one of the bunk rooms. And I did change shirts."
"Yes you did." Maura agreed.
"You gonna go to bed like that?"
"With my robe?"
"No." Maura slid under the blankets and tossed her robe across to a chair.
"Well if that's the case..." Jane quickly took off her tank top and dropped it on the floor, then turned off the lights.
"We're gonna be ok, aren't we?" Jane asked, nestling herself against Maura, draping a leg across the other woman's body.
"Good. I'm glad." Jane yawned.
"Me too." She murmured, placing a kiss on Jane's head.
There but for the grace of God go I
And when you kiss me, I am happy enough to die
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