DISCLAIMER: Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Something brief to read in 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.
Watch Over Me
By The Raven
It felt cold. Detective Jane Rizzoli rubbed her arms as she walked into the Boston night, out of the restaurant where she had just ended yet another attempt at some sort of normal relationship in her life. Normal? Would anything about her life ever be normal, ever?
Why did she keep doing this? Why did she push people away from herself, from her life, from her heart?
It seemed so illogical.
This last case had been hard, very hard. Hoyt was back, it seemed that he was like cockroaches. Try as you might you could never be sure you got rid of them, they just seemed to always be waiting, for something. For the right moment.
All Jane had ever wanted was to be her own person, but it seemed that her person was always owned by someone else. Maybe not her body, though sometimes Jane wished for the ability to be carefree with her body, but her mind.
A boss telling her what to do, her mother insisting that what Jane needed was whatever her mother thought she needed. Ex-partners and current ones clumsily moving around her life, through her life.
And now her baby brother was mixed up with Hoyt, inevitably it seemed. Other people always messing with her life, and Hoyt, always Hoyt it seemed. She really wished that someone would shank the bastard. Until he was dead Jane doubted that she would ever be free of him.
Was there no one who wasn't contaminated by the damned man?
Rubbing her aching hands in the cold air, Jane ruefully considered that even her physical body bore the reminder of the cursed man.
Jane's thoughts moved onwards to other things, but try as she might they kept curling back onto themselves like some interminable Ouroboros that would not leave her alone. Jane laughed to herself, Maura had taught Jane the phrase, the blonde medical examiner had used the word in conversation once and Jane had been left floundering as to what exactly her friend had been talking about before Maura had painstakingly explained it.
It really did fit the situation at hand right now, the word.
Smiling as she thought about her friend, Jane wondered what the other woman was doing. They had not talked much since the end of this case, despite the fact that Maura had spent a great deal of time involving herself with the case.
In fact, Maura had been instrumental in solving the case, such as it was.
Jane had just reached her car when something occurred to her. There was one person who was not seeking to intrude onto Jane's life. There was someone worrying abut her, who was concerned with her well being. Also, there was a person who accepted Jane.
Quickly, Jane collected her thoughts, her car keys and her wits and a few moments later she was driving with one destination in mind. She needed to get to Maura's place; she needed to see her friend, her confidant. She wanted to be with the one person who accepted her as Jane and who did not expect her to be something else, or someone else, even when the situation theoretically demanded it.
She needed to be with Maura, now.
Damn the FBI. They had been as useless as tits on a boar-hog during this investigation. Maura laughed at herself at using such an expression, but she had heard Jane use it once during some situation and after having the brunette explain it, she had to admit it was a good expression.
It had been Vince and Barry, herself, and some blind luck and steady hands from Jane and her brother that had solved this case. The FBI and their damn task force had done nothing, achieved nothing and now Jane was out to dinner with a man who Maura had begun to really dislike.
Nix that, she hated him.
Why on earth had Jane consented to going out with him? Why had the detective left Maura alone with her thoughts, her wine, and Bass?
Maura had begun to realise while working on this case just how much she really cared about Jane Rizzoli. Not in some benign way, or in merely a you are my colleague so of course I care about your well-being way. No, what Maura felt was deeper, more significant and much more intimate.
She cared about Jane Rizzoli, pure and simple.
The brunette woman listened to her, was there for her, did not judge her, though Jane was not adverse to teasing the hell out of Maura, but overall, Jane was one of the best people that Maura had ever known and this case had really scared Maura.
What if Hoyt and his minions had been successful?
It was a thought that drove Maura to open another bottle of wine. The dregs of the previous bottle were simply not enough to deal with these thoughts. When Maura opened her refrigerator she could not help but smile slightly at the six-pack that was nestled amongst her other perishables.
That beer was there for Jane. She had decided some time ago to always be ready for when and if Jane was visiting. Maura would never admit though that she herself occasionally had some beer by herself. It was an exotic and unusual ritual that was rare, after all beer tasted better if Jane was around but it was another thing that was changed about Maura since she had grown to know and love Jane Rizzoli.
Maura sat down heavily as that thought processed itself in her mind.
Love? Did she love Jane?
Of course she did. So did Vince, and Barry. That's what being a cop did. When you worked so closely with someone in this sort of situation, you became like a soldier. In a war-zone things were different than they were in civilian life.
But, Maura was smarter than that.
She had an IQ that would instantly qualify her to join Mensa if she was thus inclined.
There was no denying that whatever it was that she felt for Jane, it went far beyond any sort of mere brothers-in-arms feelings.
What was Jane doing now?
Had she taken that slimy FBI agent home with her?
Maura's stomach roiled at the thought. She wanted Jane here with her and in just a few minutes she was going to call a cab and go to Jane. This whole situation was unbearable and Maura needed Jane. First she needed a little more liquid courage, though.
A shuffling clunk caught Maura's attention. Bass, the omnipresent living sculpture of her life moved in the background and Maura closed her eyes at she sound. She wanted Jane here to tease her about the choice of pet she had made.
She wanted Joe Friday to be here with Jane. She just wanted Jane and she wanted the brunette woman now.
Where was the detective?
Jane paused at her apartment, she needed to collect Joe Friday and her overnight bag. She had no intention of leaving Maura's place this evening and they both needed to be at work in the morning in a semi decent state. Also, Jane found that she did not like being away from her dog, as unintentional as the pet had been to begin with.
There was nothing quite like the unconditional love of a dog. Jane smiled as the small animal hopped eagerly into the passenger seat of her car and turned to smile at Jane. Perhaps she was anthropomorphizing the furry canine, but so be it.
"Come on, Joe. You have an appointment with Bass. I am sure you want to go for a romp." Jane joked as she started up her car and pointed it towards Maura's place. Normally Jane would not wear her heart on her sleeve like this, but the last few days had reinforced a lesson that Jane had once sworn that she would not forget again.
Don't delay. Tell those you love that you love them when you can, as you might not have the chance to do it tomorrow or another time.
As she drove Jane decided to call her brother, her mother and her father. She was worried especially for her brother. He was so young and though he had shot in self defence, there was no easy way to deal with the situation he had found himself in. It was a hell of a thing to take the life of another.
You destroyed everything they had ever been, were and ever would be. And perhaps you destroyed something of yourself as well.
Jane reflected that her musings were undoubtedly the fodder that the police assigned psychologist would love to hear, but Jane had no intention of telling the benign little man in question anything about them.
She would save her confessions, fears, and desires for Maura.
The other woman was the only person that Jane fully trusted with her deepest self, well Maura and Joe Friday, that is. Joe was an excellent listener and thought that Jane was brilliant, a genius even.
Dogs really were very good for personal morale.
"Okay mom, yeah. I called him already. I love you too." Jane murmured into her hands free and disconnected the call.
That was family done. Jane supposed she should call Vince and Barry, but really could not be bothered right now. Thankfully her fellow cops would get it, that was an advantage they had that her family did not have.
Frankie would learn though, he was becoming a cop, after all.
Now Jane was free to focus on her true goal though.
A woman, no, a person who was no doubt up and worrying about her. Probably sipping some expensive wine and worrying. Jane may have told her date tonight that she was not ready to have someone worry about her but the fact remained that she did have someone worrying about her.
She had Maura.
The wellspring of emotion that even thinking about the other woman made Jane feel was very telling. What did it mean?
What could it mean?
Pretty much anything really.
She was still thinking about this when she pulled up to Maura's address and switched off the ignition of her car. "Here we are, Joe." Jane whispered as her little dog crawled into her lap and helpfully deposited some white hairs on her dark jacket and gave Jane a kiss.
"Guess we better go. She's gonna be sitting up, worrying about us." Jane murmured as she reached back to grab her bag and opened the door of the car.
Joe bounded out of the car and ran to a small patch of grass to do some business before running to Maura's front door and sitting down obediently. "How did I get such a good dog?" Jane asked herself as she armed the alarm of her car and ambled nervously to Maura's door.
So this was it.
Whatever this was...
Maura had just changed into her pyjamas when she heard the knock on her door. Pulling on a robe, she went to her door and checked who it was. Stepping back, Maura blinked in surprise. Jane was on the other side of the door. Somehow Maura was surprised but not at the same time.
If that was possible.
Quickly Maura moved to open the door and the first thing that happened was that a small white dog bounded in and headed straight for Bass. Ignoring Joe, she turned to Jane who looked tortured, actually. Maura might have been socially inept at dealing with people, but she was not at all inept in reading them.
"What is the matter?" Maura asked, grabbing on Jane's hand and pulling the other woman in so that she could close the door on the night and have them safe from the darkness out there.
That just left the darkness in here to deal with.
"I got rid of Dean." Jane said, making no effort to extricate herself from Maura's grip.
Quickly clamping down on the feeling of hot joy that filled her at the words and forced herself instead to focus on Jane's words.
"You did?" Maura asked in what she hoped was a neutral enough seeming voice. She did not want to rejoice too much about this development, just in case Jane was upset about it. That would not be cool.
"Yeah." Jane said distractedly and looked around, seeming so lost.
Maura just wanted to enfold Jane in an embrace and hold her tight and safe and somehow protect her from the world. If only she had this power. If only.
"I told him I was not ready to have someone worrying about me, or who was going to ask me about my day." Jane articulated, running her free hand through wild hair.
Pulling on her friend, Maura guided Jane to sit on her sofa. "I'll be right back." Maura whispered, standing up and leaning in at the same time to place a kiss on the top of Jane's head. Maura could not help but take in a breath of the scent of Jane's wild hair; it was delicious.
Quickly going to the kitchen, Maura set out a bowl of water and kibble for Joe, having created a stash of food for when Jane's little friend visited, and then Maura filled her wineglass and grabbed a beer for Jane, before moving back to the sofa.
"Here." Maura offered, handing her friend the drink. "Thanks." Jane murmured and took a sip of the amber liquid before she set it aside. "You bought food for Joe." Jane commented as they watched Joe make tracks to the kitchen.
"Yeah." Maura said, feeling slight heat in her face as she admitted it.
"I told Dean those things. About worrying and wondering." Jane continued, obviously coming to some sort of conclusion in her head. "When I said them, I realised that I already have someone who worries about me and wonders if I am safe." Jane murmured.
Maura had to lean forward a little to hear what Jane was saying as she was speaking so low. "I had to come here." Jane said more loudly and looked up directly into Maura's eyes.
What Maura saw in them made her heart jump; it was so intense. Everything about Jane was so intense that sometimes Maura felt as if she could experience emotions though Jane, like right now.
If only she could identify what emotions Jane was projecting, though. That was the trick.
"Jane?" Maura prompted when her friend had been silent for a while. Maura desperately wanted to know what Jane was getting at. She had to know. Had to...
"You worry about us." Jane added, turning her dark eyes back to Maura.
There was something hungry and haunting in them and Maura, despite her expertise in human expressions Maura could not identify whatever Jane was feeling. "Yes, I do." Maura finally ventured, wondering what her friend was trying to get at.
"You ask me about my day." Jane continued, grabbing Maura's hand and twining the two appendages together.
Maura could feel the calluses on Jane's gun hand. Hours of practise at the range had marked the flesh and Maura could list the reasons why, but right now she could not give the names to the feelings that she was experiencing.
"Yes. I do." Maura said, Jane obviously wanted answers to the questions, no matter how rhetorical they seemed to sound.
"I love you." Jane blurted out, closing her dark eyes as she spoke and turning her face away.
Even in her utterly stunned state Maura did not miss the glint of tears as they fell down those flawless cheeks. "Jane." Maura breathed, forcing herself to not tremble, not yet anyway. "Jane, look at me." Maura whispered, reaching out to turn that strong chin so that she could see Jane's face again.
"Jane." Maura scooted forward on the sofa, all but sitting in Jane's lap in her efforts to reach the other woman.
She did not want Jane to go away, not physically, not mentally and certainly not emotionally. Not after a revelation like that. Not when Maura needed Jane to be there with her. Not now and not ever, actually.
Eyes that were dark as the night opened to look into hers and Maura was undone.
"I love you too." Maura whispered at last, letting the words out as she brushed away Jane's tears with her fingertips. Jane attempted to look away from the intensity of the moment but Maura would not allow it. Maybe later, but right now they both needed this.
Slowly, Jane let out a breath and then Maura felt those long arms wrap themselves around her and in another moment they were interlaced on the sofa with Maura resting her head on Jane's chest. The sound of the brunette's heartbeat was strong in her ears and for once Maura found that she could simply listen to the sound, versus try to analyse it.
It felt good.
A moment later Maura felt a slight weight on the sofa and realised that Joe had jumped up and a few seconds later, she felt the dog curl itself into a contented ball behind her knees before it seemed to fall into the instant sleep of the innocence that only a dog could have.
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