DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my take on what could happen after the credits rolled on the season finale. As always, I'll look forward to your feedback on this one J
SPOILERS: Season Finale When the Gun Goes Bang, Bang, Bang as well as the mention of several things that happened throughout Season 1
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sunsetwriter[at]mindspring.com
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
Hospitals made Dr. Maura Isles nervous. She much preferred her morgue, where everything was quiet and orderly. No monitors beeping or machines alarming, causing staff to drop whatever they were doing to take care of a patient in crisis. In Maura's world of medicine there were no patient crises. At least none that demanded attention the way living patients did. Maura's patients would never be any more dead than they already were. The only emergency she faced was finding out what put them on her table.
But tonight, Dr. Isles was sitting at her friend's bedside in a hospital, with all the noise and nerve-wracking commotion that came with it. She looked at Jane, lying there bandaged and bruised, but very much alive. Maura had never been so happy to not be in her morgue. She sat back in her chair and opened the latest issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. She had just finished reading an interesting article on differentiating blunt force trauma from ballistics trauma in the interpretation of fracture patterns in the human skull, when she heard Jane begin to stir. She looked up to see dark brown eyes attempting to focus on her.
"Maura?" the voice was raspier than usual, but sounded like music to the doctor's ears.
"Hey," Maura answered in a soothing voice.
"I'm not in the morgue, am I?"
"No, thank God, but if you pull a stunt like that again, I may just put you there myself." She tried to say it in a joking manner, but more emotion than she intended crept into Maura's voice.
"Nobody else would shoot him, so I had to do something." Jane hesitated for a moment. "Is he dead?"
"Yes," Maura replied as she stood up to stand beside the bed. She reached over and grasped Jane's hand. "And it's a miracle that you're not."
"It's not a miracle. I do listen to you occasionally."
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't you remember? You told me the ideal bullet placement to take someone down with the lowest risk to vital organ damage."
Maura stared at Jane for a moment. "I never intended for you to use that information to shoot yourself."
"I had to chance it."
"Because, Maura, he had already shot so many cops I lost count-" She stopped suddenly when she remembered her brother. "Oh my God, Frankie! How's Frankie?"
Maura squeezed her hand. "He's going to be fine. He's just down the hall."
Jane breathed a sigh of relief and winced as the movement tweaked the wound on her side. "Thank God. And you. You saved his life." She smiled a crooked smile at Maura and the doctor blinked away unshed tears as she shook her head.
"No, Jane. We saved him, together."
"Uh uh, I just held him down. You knew where to shove that tube."
Sniffling, Maura shook her head again. "You know, I never would have done that if you hadn't been so insistent. You know how I hate to guess."
"I know. So thank you," Jane said quietly. "I know I pushed you, but I knew you could do it."
Maura frowned as she looked down at Jane. "But, I didn't know that, so how could you possibly know?"
Jane smiled as she squeezed Maura's hand. "Because I trust you. Even if you don't always trust yourself."
Maura nodded as she just looked at Jane. Then she pulled her hand away and gripped the bedrail. "OK," she said with sort of a sigh. "Now I get to be mad at you."
Jane's eyebrows shot up and she looked confused. "What? Why?"
Maura huffed. "Jane! You could have died!
"But, I didn't..."
Maura looked at Jane for a moment as their eyes seemed to lock. Jane tilted her head slightly as if questioning what she saw in the doctor's eyes. Maura's voice was almost a whisper. "I don't know what I would ever do if you did."
Jane opened her mouth to speak and then hesitated. She reached for Maura's hand again. "But, Maura, I'm OK. I'm right here."
Maura pulled her hand away and walked to the door. "I'm going to go check on Frankie. I'll tell your parents you're awake," she said quietly as she exited the room, leaving a baffled Jane to watch her go.
A few minutes later, Angela Rizzoli burst through the door to Jane's hospital room, her husband Frank, not far behind.
"Oh, Jane! You scared us to death!" Angela rushed to Jane's bedside and threw her arms around her daughter's neck.
"Oh, hey." Jane hoped she didn't sound disappointed that it was her parents that were visiting instead of Maura coming back. "Ow," Jane winced. "Careful, Ma, I've got a gunshot wound, you know."
Angela pulled back and glared at her daughter. "I know that. Jane, what were you thinking? You could have been killed!"
Jane rolled her eyes. "I knew what I was doing, Ma." Then she added under her breath, "At least I hoped I did."
"You really scared us, Janie," her father added.
"I'm sorry, Pop, but I did what I had to do."
"But why would you do that, Jane?" her mother practically whined.
"Because that asshole shot Frankie and a bunch of other cops and I couldn't let him get away with that." She sighed. "How is Frankie?"
"He's doin' OK," Frank Sr. answered. "He shoulda been a plumber, but he's doin' OK."
Jane smiled at her dad. "I didn't think he had such great plumbing skills."
Her father shrugged. "Maybe not, but he wouldn't get shot at."
"And neither should you, Jane," her mother added. "We'll talk about finding you a new job while I'm staying with you."
"What? I don't need a new job! And what do you mean 'staying with me'?" the panic in Jane's voice was pretty obvious.
"Well, I turned your old room into a storage place for my Polynesian Fruit Flush supply, so there's no place for you to stay while you recuperate, so I'll stay at your apartment with you."
"No, Ma. I don't need you to stay with me."
"Of course you do," Angela replied.
"No. I don't. I'll be fine."
"She's staying with me," a soft voice said from behind the Rizzolis. They both turned around to see Maura standing quietly just inside the door. The doctor smiled innocently at the three sets of eyes looking curiously at her.
"I am?" Jane asked. "I mean, I am. Staying with Maura. While I recuperate." She continued to look curiously at Maura, but hoped that her mother would now back down from her original plan.
"You're staying with Maura?" Angela questioned with a skeptical tone, looking back and forth between her daughter and Maura.
"Well, she is a doctor," Jane answered.
"For dead people," Angela said indignantly.
"Ma!" Jane chided. "She saved Frankie's life!"
"Yes, she did," Jane answered emphatically.
Maura shook her head. "It was a team effort," she said, but her voice was muffled by Angela's shoulder as she rushed over to envelope the doctor in a huge hug.
"I can't thank you enough," Angela said as she took a step back and looked at Maura. "Are you sure you don't mind taking care of Jane? She can be quite a handful."
"Ma!" Jane protested loudly.
Maura smiled. "I know, but I think I can handle her."
Jane looked curiously at the doctor, but didn't respond.
Frank spoke up then. "We'll take care of your dog, Janie."
"Nonsense," Maura said. "Jo Friday and Sam Adams are welcome too. Animal interactions have actually shown to provide statistically significant improvement in recovery times for ill and injured patients."
Frank frowned and turned to Jane. "Your dog drinks beer?"
"No! Sam's my turtle."
"Tortoise," Maura quietly corrected. "And this will give him a perfect opportunity for some bonding time with Bass."
Frank looked at Maura. "You have a turtle too?"
"Tortoise. Yes, they're quite loveable."
Frank looked back and forth between Maura and Jane for a moment, but didn't comment further. He and Angela visited with Jane for a few minutes longer and then went back to check on Frankie. As soon as they left, Jane seemed to relax a little.
"Thanks for rescuing me from my mother. I really don't think I could stand it if she moved in with me, even temporarily," Jane said with a rueful smile. "I love her, but she drives me insane."
"She just wants to take care of you because she loves you," Maura said quietly.
"I know. But I can take care of myself," Jane replied. She shifted her position and sucked in a deep breath as the pain gripped her.
Maura took a step toward the bed with a concerned look on her face. "I'm not so sure about that."
Jane gingerly placed a hand over the bandage on her side as she tried to control her breathing. "I'm fine. It's just a flesh wound right?" She tried to smile through the pain.
"The bullet damaged your latissimus dorsi, abdominal obliques, and transverses abdominis muscles, along with moderate, but reparable, hepatic damage. You were very lucky that it missed the hepatic artery, but they did have to do a complete cholecystectomy. I would hardly call that just a flesh wound."
Jane stared for a moment. "And I hardly know what you just said, other than something-ectomy. Can I do without whatever it was they took out?"
"It's commonly called the gallbladder and you should probably avoid foods with a high fat content."
"Oh," Jane said, somewhat relieved.
Maura nodded. "Well, if I can borrow your keys, I'll pick up Jo Friday and Sam on the way home later."
Jane tilted her head. "You were serious about me staying with you?"
"Of course I was serious," Maura answered matter-of-factly.
"I thought you were mad at me," Jane said lightly, but she realized she was holding her breath waiting for a response.
"I am. Because I care about you, Jane." Maura hesitated. "Maybe too much," she added quietly.
Jane frowned. "What does that mean?"
Maura sighed. "If I didn't care so much, maybe I wouldn't be mad."
"Maura, you're talking in circles. I don't think I've ever heard you do that." Jane was perplexed. Maura was always one to get right to the point, almost to a fault.
Maura shrugged and seemed a little confused about her own actions. "Well, I don't think I've ever felt like this before."
Maura sighed again and looked at her feet. She didn't seem to be able to describe her feelings. She began almost wringing her hands and walked over to the window as if trying to collect her thoughts.
"Maura? Talk to me," Jane almost pleaded.
The doctor began speaking quietly, still looking out the window. "When I saw you do what you did and go down on that sidewalk I thought you were dead." She turned then to look at Jane. "The thought of seeing you, lying on my table in the morgue " Maura shook her head slowly as a tear escaped one eye and rolled down her cheek.
Jane's heart lurched. "But, I'm not dead. I'm right here. See?" She tried to smile a goofy smile, but Maura wasn't amused.
Brushing the tear away with the back of her hand, Maura said, "I've never felt such a crippling feeling in my entire life."
"Hey, com'ere," Jane said as she patted the side of the bed, signaling for Maura to sit beside her.
Maura moved hesitantly to sit on the side of the bed as another tear spilled over. She sniffed and wiped it away with her hand. "I saw everything, Jane. I saw you get shot. I saw you crumple to the sidewalk. They wouldn't let me go to you. I had to just stand there and watch until they were sure Marino was dead."
Jane gently took Maura's hand in her own. "I'm sorry." Her voice was raspier as she choked back her own tears. "I'm so sorry you had to see that. But I had to do something. He shot Frankie and Danny and Jimmy and all those others and he was going to kill me too. And you, Maura. He would have killed you too. He wasn't going to let us live because we knew exactly what he had done. Remember his plan to be the hero?" Maura nodded. "Well, I thought I had a better chance doing what I did than letting him shoot me and guaranteeing I was dead." She squeezed Maura's hand and added quietly, "And I couldn't stand the thought of him hurting you."
Maura's lip trembled as she looked down at Jane. "I was so scared I'd lost you."
Jane shook her head slowly. "No, honey, I'm right here. For as long as you'll have me." She raised Maura's hand still clasped in her own, and gently placed a kiss in the palm of her hand. "But you may be in trouble, because it seems that I'm not so easy to get rid of," she added with her trademark Rizzoli smirk.
Maura smiled, her eyes filled with unshed tears. "Jane, I I mean I "
Jane returned the smile. "I don't think I've ever seen you at a loss for words."
Maura shrugged and looked a little embarrassed. "It doesn't happen often." She hesitated. "You know I'm not good with reading people sometimes, and I don't want to misinterpret your actions or intentions."
"Then let me spell it out for you. It seems that my near-death experience has provided a little clarity to my way of thinking. I would have kissed you on the lips, but your hand was all I could reach. So, since actions speak louder than words, if you meet me in the middle, I'll show you exactly what my intentions are."
Maura smiled with a look of wonder. "You want to kiss me?"
Jane laughed. "Yes, Dr. Isles, I want to kiss you." She pulled on the hand she was still holding, tugging Maura toward her. The doctor placed her other hand on the opposite side of the bed to brace herself so that she didn't land on top of the injured detective. She leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on Jane's lips and then pulled back slightly. Jane disentangled her hand from Maura's and reached up to cup the back of the doctor's head. She pulled Maura back to her for another not-so-gentle kiss.
When they parted, Maura sat up and grinned. "Well, that certainly left no room for misinterpretation."
"Good," Jane said with a smile. Then a noise at the door made Jane turn her head to see her mother storming back into her room.
"Ange, wait. Give them some privacy," Frank Sr. called to his wife as he reluctantly followed her back into the room.
"Janie, why on earth didn't you tell me about this?" her mother all but cried.
Gripping Maura's hand again to stop her from moving from her perch on the side of the bed, Jane said quietly to her, "Let me handle this."
"Well, Ma-" Jane started to address her mother, but Angela interrupted.
"Why did you let me set you up on dates with all of those horrible men?"
Jane gave her mother an incredulous look. "If you knew they were horrible, why did you set me up with them?"
Angela shrugged nonchalantly, "You know what they say, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure." She patted Maura on the knee. "You could have told me you already had your treasure."
Jane and Maura exchanged looks. "I think I woke up in an alternate universe," Jane muttered.
Maura looked intrigued. "That's not actually possible, but-" she began, but Jane quickly interrupted.
"Not now, Maura," she said with another squeeze of her hand. The detective looked again at her mother. "You're really OK with this, Ma?"
Angela smiled. "Of course." Then she hesitated. "It's not exactly what I had in mind for you, but two out of three ain't bad, and there's still plenty of time."
"Two out of three?" Jane asked hesitantly.
"Here we go " Frank Sr. said under his breath.
"One," Angela began as she waved a dismissing hand at her husband. "I want you to be happy. Two, marry a doctor. And three, give me lots of grandchildren."
"Ma!" Jane was beginning to feel like a broken record.
"What? Dogs and turtles don't count."
"Tortoises," Maura and Jane said in unison and then smiled at each other.
"Whatever," Angela said. "They don't count. But like I said, you've got time." She eyed Jane curiously. "You're happy?"
Jane looked at Maura again. "I'm happy."
Angela held up one finger and waited. When Jane didn't continue, she gestured to Maura and said, "And she's a doctor!" A second finger joined the first. "That's two."
Jane gave her mother another skeptical look. "We're not married."
"Not yet " Angela said with a smile. And then her face lit up as a thought seemed to occur to her. "And you're both women. You can both have babies!" Maura's grip on Jane's hand tightened as Angela all but squealed with excitement. "It's like a two-for-one at David's Shoes!"
Maura perked up. "I love that store!"
Jane shook her head and looked at her father. "Oh my God."
He stepped closer to the bed and patted Jane's leg as he whispered, "If you ever need to talk about women, I'm your man."
"Thanks, Pop," Jane said, almost overcome by her parents' acceptance of Maura in her life.
Frank nodded. "I got no advice for ya, but I got beer and I'm a good listener. Like your mother said, two out of three ain't bad."
FADE TO BLACK
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