DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Something to read from the R&I universe. Thanks to Pandora007 for her help and for being my all. And thank you, readers, for reading. Where would we, the pickers and pounders of keyboards be without you?
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Mother Knows Best
By The Raven
Detective Jane Rizzoli was not amused and she was on a mission. She had a person to find and a situation to get to the bottom of and nothing was going to stop her. Nothing. So, she would begin with the obvious suspects and move on from there and she would be successful. Failure was not an option. Not in this case anyway.
"Have you seen Maura?" Jane asked Frost as she burst into the squad room like a force of nature, sure not to let too much concern colour her voice.
She had not seen her friend all day but she knew that the Medical Examiner had been there, so where was she and was everything okay? What made things more worrying was that Maura was not answering her phone, either.
"She signed out a little while ago, said she had some personal business to take care of that she would be back in a few days." Frost explained kindly, obviously picking up on Jane's worry.
"What?" Jane blurted, now visibly upset not only because something was happening in Maura's life, but that it was severe enough for the other woman to take time off and why was Maura not telling her about it?
"She did not elaborate any further." Frost sounded apologetic as he spoke and Jane knew that he was being sincere.
So what the hell was going on?
Where was Maura?
Turning on a dime, Jane went to gather up her things and then informed Frost that she was available by phone or pager if there was a need before she left. Work was light right now, no one would really care if Jane was out of the office provided she was on call and at the moment, Jane did not actually care if anyone minded.
Something was wrong with Maura and Jane had to know what it was, as soon as possible if not sooner.
The distress at the idea of anything serious being wrong with her friend was palpable and as Jane slid into her car, she admitted to herself that she could not bare for anything minor being wrong with Maura either.
Whatever this was, Jane was determined to get to the bottom of it.
Nothing would stop her.
But where to start?
Maura's home would be a logical choice; regardless of how bland a pet Bass was, the unique creature would still need regular care, so Maura would be unlikely to go far from home. In any case it was a good place to start.
Starting her car Jane pondered her options and considered the best route to get to Maura's house. If only it was this simple to figure out what on earth was wrong to begin with?
Driving confidently into traffic, Jane broke a law or two as she sped her way to her friend's house. As she drove she tried to call Maura again, but was once more directed to voicemail. Shit.
In short order and after some considerable mental fuckuppery, Jane arrived at Maura's home and practically threw herself out of the car. What if something was seriously wrong? Like really serious?
Jane did not pause to knock on her friend's door, rather she pounded on it as soon as she could get her hands on it. "Maura!" Jane raised her voice, a rare occurrence.
"Maura!" Jane called out again and was forced to stop pounding when her hands began to ache.
No answer. There was no answer, no sign of life, nothing to help ease Jane's mind; this had been a wasted trip.
Furious and frightened Jane stalked back to her car and popped the boot, quickly moving around to rummage through her kit for lock-picks. There was more than one way to skin a cat, and Jane was not about to let the fact that she was about to break into Maura's house deter her.
Back at the door, Jane realised that Maura was nothing if not thorough. There was the regular lock and there were two deadbolts. Shit. Jane did not have the ability or the time to deal with this shit.
Stuffing the kit away, she proceeded to walk around the house, looking into every window and trying her best to peer into the relative gloom of the space within. It looked deserted and Bass was not like a dog so there no barking, either.
Why couldn't Maura have a normal pet. Even a stupid goldfish would be normal, but no, Maura had to have Bass. Jane was grown up enough to realise that her anger was borne of fear. She was worried and being worried was pissing her off, big time.
And just what the hell was going on, and where the hell was Maura? Who the hell knew? Where could she call next or try next?
Jane kicked her car tire and immediately regretted it as she not only scuffed her shoe, but she hurt her foot as well. "Damn it." She cursed, opening the door and getting in before she leaned her head back and closed her eyes tiredly.
"Damn it, Maura. Where the hell are you and what the hell is going on with you and why won't you talk to me?" Jane asked the empty space around her and predictably received no answer.
A tone on her phone caught Jane's attention. Snatching it up she saw that her calendar was blinking. Oh wow, just what she needed, Gnocchi Night on top of everything else.
Well, her mother and family were just going to have to deal with her leaving early, Jane had to find Maura and that was all that mattered to her right now. But, she would have to make an appearance at least, that much was self evident.
There was no escaping Gnocchi Night, not in the Rizzoli household anyway.
Angela Rizzoli was a practical woman. One had to be practical in order to be a true native of Boston. Never mind that her two children were police officers and that alone was enough to give Angela palpitations on a good day. On a bad day it was something completely different, she felt downright afraid, especially for her daughter, Jane.
So, with this in mind as Angela opened her door to find Jane's colleague, Doctor Maura Isles, standing on her doorstep she almost had a heart attack. Usually Maura and Jane were joined at the hip, pretty much inseparable the way best friends tended to be. When they were ten that is.
"Is Jane okay?" Angela blurted the words out even before she had the door open completely.
"Pardon?" Maura Isles asked, looking perplexed for a moment. "Oh, of course. I'm sorry. Yes, Jane is fine. I actually came to see you." Maura quickly said and Angela felt the steel band that had abruptly tightened around her chest ease a fraction.
"You had better come in." Angela said after an awkward pause.
She was not accustomed to Maura Isles per se, the woman came from a much higher echelon of society than Angela did, but she knew good people when she saw them and also, this was Jane's best friend. Whatever had brought her here was important, Angela intuitively knew that Maura would not be here for a trivial reason and her coming had probably not been easy.
Maura looked grateful at having the decisions being made for her for the moment and as Angela watched, the younger woman stepped into the house, looking around curiously before the blonde doctor focused her attention back on Angela.
"Is this a good time?" The fine display of manners charmed Angela, despite the fact that Maura was wearing shoes that cost more than Angela's first car had.
"It is." Angela replied, waving the other woman into the house. "You want some coffee?" Angela asked, guiding them towards the intimacy of the kitchen.
Now that Maura was in the house Angela could see that she was deeply troubled by something and it looked as if she had been crying as well. Angela decided that Maura actually looked heartbroken. The fact that the woman had sought Angela out meant that the source of her anguish could only be one person: Jane.
"Thank you, I would love some." Maura replied, offering Angela a small smile.
Angela Rizzoli was a lot of things, but first and foremost she was a mother and right now this young woman looked like she desperately needed some maternal guidance. "Sit." Angela instructed, waving her unexpected guest towards the kitchen table and Maura obediently complied, folding her hands on the table neatly and looking for all the word like a lost child.
Shaking her head, Angela quickly poured some coffee, she had just brewed a pot ten minutes ago so it had been good timing. A moment later, Angela set the coffee down and pushed cream and sugar in Maura's direction.
"So, what did Jane do?" Angela decided not to waste any time.
The woman sitting across from her looked downright anguished.
Except now she looked surprised as well.
"I know my daughter and I know how close you are with her. You would not be here if it was not about my daughter." Angela explained with an expressive wave of her hand.
"Right. Of course." The doctor said and took a sip of her coffee, obviously wanting to buy time.
Angela tried to think of what Jane had been up to lately that might have affected her daughter's friend so much. Nothing came to mind, really. Jane worked, walked her dog, came to family dinners and hung out with Maura Isles.
So what was going on?
Angela loved a puzzle. In fact she was a real whiz at them. She took a sip of coffee and thought harder and then it clicked. Grant.
"Is this about Grant?" Angela asked and her question made Maura flinch. Bingo.
Why would the blonde woman be so upset by Jane having a date with Grant? Angela had answered her own question even before she had finished asking herself it.
Now this was a revelation. Doctor Maura Isles, socialite and Medical Examiner had a thing for Angela's daughter and by the looks of it, that thing was serious.
"Maura." Angela said gently, when the other woman did not answer.
Tearstained eyes raised to look into her own. "Maura, she said no. Jane said no to Grant." Angela suddenly felt happy about this whereas when she had found out she had been disappointed as once again her daughter was rejecting a possible happiness.
Why was she suddenly happy about it?
Angela again answered her question before she even really had asked it. If Grant did not suit Jane, then perhaps Maura would. Angela did not care, she only wanted her daughter safe and happy and loved. Maura would be a good choice of mate and the depth of the other woman's feelings was self-evident.
Now to get Jane to see the light. There was the challenge.
Taking the bull by the horns, Angela stood up and walked around the table, moving to Maura's side and without asking permission, she enfolded the younger woman in a hug which after a moment, was returned with fervour.
"It will be okay, I promise." Angela whispered, kissing the top of the blonde head that was now nestled and protected against her bosom.
Now all Angela had to do was make it okay, it would not do to break this woman's heart and also, she needed to make sure that Jane was going to be okay and this woman seemed to hold the keys to make that happen.
By the time Maura made it to the house in the outskirts of Boston, she was both emotionally and physically exhausted. Somehow Jane's mom had figured out what was going on and had subsequently managed to instil hope in Maura that something good could come of this mess.
It was not easy to be in love with your best friend and it was even harder when your best friend was Jane Rizzoli. The dark haired detective was the sort of woman who launched fleets towards Troy, to begin with. Maura was also tasked with the fact that she would not do anything to jeopardise the friendship that she had with Jane.
Unrequited love was much better than not having Jane in her life. Maura could not imagine a life without Jane, but lately her own feelings had been interfering and becoming so strong, that Maura had begun to lose perspective and control of her emotions and this had led to the situation at hand.
Maura dropped her bag and then professionalism forced her to check her voicemail. Maybe there was an urgent case that she had to call in about, but with some luck there would be no such thing and Maura would be able to have some peace and quiet.
There was lots of voicemail, and all of it, bar none, was from Jane Rizzoli.
Maura forced herself to listen as Jane went through a gamut of emotions, from confusion, to fear, to hurt and anger, and pain and back again. The twenty or so messages signalled Jane's whereabouts and what she was doing in her attempts to find Maura or find what was going on with Maura.
It was heart wrenching.
She was just deciding if she would delete or keep the messages when the doorbell rang. What on earth? Hardly anyone knew about this place and of those people, no one knew that she was here right now. Technically this meant that the doorbell ringing was an aberration and now she needed to do something about it.
"Maura!" A familiar voice said through the door and Maura almost dropped her phone. "Jane?" She murmured in shock before moving towards the door and opening it and a heartbeat later Jane Rizzoli bounded into the doorway and grabbed her, hugging her so tight that Maura squeaked involuntarily.
Jane seemed to realise that she was holding Maura off the ground and squeezing a little too hard, because she put Maura down hastily, but did not move away.
"Jesus, you scared me. I don't care what it is, you can't just go away and leave me wondering what the hell happened." Jane said in a rush and as the dark haired woman spoke, Maura became aware that hands were travelling along the length of her body as if to check that she was really okay.
"I'm sorry." Maura said softly, grabbing Jane's hands to still them. "How did you find me?" Maura asked belatedly, pulling Jane into the house and shutting the door behind them.
"Gnocchi Night." Jane said, as if that explained everything.
The funny thing was that it did explain everything. Angela Rizzoli was a very determined woman and she had promised Maura that things would be okay, but were they? Were they really okay? Maura did not dare hope, at this point it felt as if she would not recover if it turned out that this was indeed an unrequited love.
"Maura, hey." Jane said softly and Maura felt the touch of a craved for hand on her face as Jane sought to make eye contact.
Suddenly placed in the situation that she had dreamed of and been terrified of Maura found that she could barely bring her eyes up to meet Jane's. Eventually she was able to force herself though and as she looked into the mahogany depths of the other woman's eyes, Maura felt a tear escape her own eye.
"Hey, no. None of that. I'm here now, with you." Jane said, deftly wiping away the tear and pulling Maura closer.
The act sent a flash-fire of arousal and awareness through Maura's body and she was unable to hold back her reaction. A low gasp escaped her lips and Jane, being an astute detective of course noticed. "I'm not interested in Grant." Jane said rather abruptly.
Startled, Maura pulled back and this time it was she who sought eye contact with Jane. "No?" Maura whispered, needing to hear Jane say it again. "No." Jane answered at once.
Maura smiled and Jane's answering smile suddenly brought daylight to Maura's stormy soul. It felt so good and Maura just wanted to kiss Jane. She'd give it all to kiss Jane and the price would still be a bargain.
It would seem though that the fates had decided to smile on Maura Isles today as completely without warning, Jane leaned forward and brushed her lips against Maura's. The touch was brief, questing, careful; it was also hungry. Maura could feel the tension in Jane's body and when Jane would have pulled away, Maura reached up and captured the beloved dark head in her hands.
Jane stopped and let Maura pull her back and a moment later they were kissing. Maura's brain short circuited at once. Nothing existed except for Jane, and her lips, and this kiss. Nothing else mattered. Nothing.
So soft, so delicious; so Jane. Maura felt dizzy with emotion as she opened her mouth, pulling Jane in deeper and the other woman followed along and that was the end of her, but also the beginning of her.
This kiss. This woman. This now. Jane and her and nothing else. This was the new beginning and Maura was ecstatic.
And to think, the day had started out so badly.
She'd have to text Jane's mother later to thank the woman, right now though she had other things to do.
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