Puzzle Pieces

A Rizzoli and Isles Story (J/M)

by Enginerd

Chapter 3– Feet on the Ground


In the morning, Jane needed to take Jo out for a walk.  “I know, I know,” Jane said as Jo barked anxiously and ran to the door.  “Sorry I’m slow, Jo,” she said as she grabbed her crutch and hobbled to the door with the leash. 


After clipping on the leash, she opened the door and hobbled out of her apartment awkwardly. 


“Oh hey!” Marissa said as Jane and Jo emerged.


“Hi, Marissa,” she said with a warm smile.  Jo barked impatiently.  Jane rolled her eyes.  “Duty calls,” Jane grumbled.


“You want some company?” Marissa asked, walking up to them.


“I’d love it,” Jane said with a smile. 


“You mind if I take her?” Marissa asked hesitantly, looking at Jane’s crutch and foot.


“You’re a Godsend!” Jane said with a big smile, happily handing over the leash.


“I don’t know about that,” Marissa said shyly.  “Just being neighborly.”


“Well then, you’re just gonna have to trust me on that then, neighbor,” Jane said as they walked together down the stairs. 


Marissa smiled, pleased, and looked at Jane.  “Any luck on the memory front?” she ventured with a slight wince.


“Nope,” Jane said with a frown.  “I’m going to see the neurologist again later today but they seem to be as baffled about this as I am about my past.”


“Well, you are looking good,” Marissa said, then blushed.  “I mean…,” she blurted uncomfortably.


Jane smiled.  “Thanks.  You’re not looking half bad yourself,” she said with a grin, causing a deeper blush from the graduate student.




Later that day, there was a knocking on her door. 


“Be right there!” Jane said.  “Sort of,” she muttered as she hobbled to the door. Peaking through the peephole, she smiled and opened the door.


“Hey, Maura.  I really appreciate you taking me to the Doctor’s,” Jane said as her friend entered her apartment.  She couldn’t help but glance her over from head to toe, admiring the perfect hair, dress, and shoes that perfectly complemented her shapely figure.


“I’m happy to, Jane,” Maura said, turning to catch Jane looking her over.


“Uh,” Jane said with embarrassment for having been caught in her appreciation - again.  “You look . . . amazing,” Jane offered with a shrug, her only defense was the truth.


“Thank you,” Maura said with a small, pleased smile, looking down at her dress that Jane had previously mentioned she liked.   Though she wasn’t sure how to react to Jane’s overt attention.  Before her memory loss, she would not have been so blatant in her appreciation of her form. 


“And I look like a schmuck next to you,” she said, looking down at her jeans and t-shirt with a laugh.


“You look fine,” Maura assured, glancing over Jane.  And that was the truth.  Jane had an air about her, a self-assured and powerful air that was very alluring – in addition to her striking good looks.


“And I have a great personality too.  Thanks,” Jane said with feigned annoyance, barely suppressing a smile.


“You have a wonderful personality,” Maura said, confused. 


“Uh huh,” Jane said.


“You know I can’t . . . ,” Maura automatically said than stopped awkwardly.   Of course Jane wouldn’t know.  “Sorry.”


“No, no.  Now I’m curious.  What am I supposed to know?” Jane asked with a smile.


“I can’t lie,” Maura said softly. 


“Get out,” Jane scoffed.


“No, really.  I can’t.”


“You must suck at poker,” Jane said with a chuckle.


“Actually, I’m quite good.”


“Well, we’re gonna have to play then and see just how good you are,” Jane said with a smirk.


“All right,” Maura said.  “But we should use chips because I don’t want to take all your money,” she said confidently.


“Or we could play strip poker.  It would provide me much more incentive to win,” Jane offered with a grin, and waggled her eyebrows. 


Maura was caught off guard by Jane’s flirting.  From Tommy, she expected it.  He was clearly attracted to her as evidenced by his attention and comments.  At first, she welcomed the attention; he was like Jane in so many ways - handsome, attentive, humorous, and confident.  But Jane had been clearly uncomfortable at the thought of anything happening between them, telling her not to sleep with her brother.  That surprised her; she had never seriously considered it and thought Jane was over-reacting.  But as Tommy’s attentions grew and started to make her uncomfortable, she refrained from telling Jane, knowing it was hard enough for Jane to give Tommy a second chance; she didn’t want to hurt what little progress the siblings had made in mending their relationship.


“Come on, Doc.  The other Doc awaits,” Jane said, motioning to Maura to lead the way.  Maura nodded silently and headed out of the apartment.


As Jane locked the door, she noticed Marissa with an armload of books, struggling to get her key out to open her door.


“Wait a minute?” Jane said to Maura, and hobbled over to Marissa.


“Jane!” Marissa blurted with happy surprise.  “Ah…” she said with a wince when a book fell off the top.


 But Jane caught it. 


“My hero,” Marissa said with a smile, making Jane chuckle.


“Just being neighborly, good neighbor,” Jane said with a winning smile and managed to take a few books off her hands.


“Okay,” Marissa said hesitantly, glancing back to see Dr. Isles waiting curiously at Jane’s door.  After retrieving her key and opening the door, she said “Thanks . . . neighbor.”


Jane handed back her books as Marissa asked, “you’re going to your neurologist, right?”


“Yep.  Wish me luck,” Jane said.


“Good luck.  I can provide testimony that your hand-eye coordination hasn’t been impacted,” she said with a smile, looking down at her saved book. 


Jane grinned with a sparkle in her eye.   Marissa blushed.


“Let me know how it goes?” Marissa asked hesitantly as her smile faded, glancing back at Dr. Isles, who had closely watched their interaction. 


“Sure,” Jane answered with a warm smile, pleased that she seemed to really care.


“Uh, you better not keep her waiting,” Marissa said uncomfortably.


“Right.  She’s my ride,” Jane said. 


“Good luck,” Marissa said, earning a smile that left her weak-kneed.




The drive to the hospital was quiet, until Jane glanced over to Maura, who looked tense and . . . perplexed?  “Something bothering you?”


“Why do you ask?” Maura asked, turning into the hospital parking lot.


“Do you always answer a question with a question?” Jane asked with a smirk.


“No.  Not always,” Maura responded, noting the relaxed detective smile at her.


“And are you always so literal when answering?”


“I am not always literal, though I find interpreting what people mean difficult at times.  If I miss the sarcasm or innuendo, I am left with the literal interpretation.  A conversation with me can be quite awkward,” Maura said honestly.


“Really?  I like talking with you,” Jane answered honestly, bringing a pleased smile to Maura’s face.


“Good.  I like talking with you, too,” Maura offered.  “Here we are,” she announced, turning off the car engine.


“Ugh,” Jane said, glaring at the hospital through the window.




“Detective!” the buxom, redheaded nurse looked up from the desk and smiled as Jane and Maura entered the waiting area.


“Sandy!” Jane said with a big smile as she approached her.  “It’s been too too long,” she lamented, earning a giggle.


Maura sat down and absently grabbed a National Geographic magazine, though she was really more interested in Jane’s interaction with the attractive redhead.


The nurse handed Jane a clipboard of insurance paper to fill out.  “Now detective, what did I say?” Sandy scolded mildly, handing Jane a pen.


“We are but two boats passing in the night,” Jane sighed dramatically.  Sandy rolled her eyes.


This casual flirting was a new side to Jane that Maura had not seen before.  And she had never seen Jane flirt with women before . . . well, outside of her undercover stint at the Merch.  She wondered if it was a symptom of the head injury. 


The symptoms seen were perplexing to say the least, she considered, having read several studies on head trauma.  A long-term memory loss was much less likely than short-term memory, or new learning.  Yet Jane seemed to absorb and retain new information, like she always had, which had always impressed Maura.  Behavioral changes were also possible, she considered, glancing between the nurse and Jane as they chatted . . . and flirted amicably.


Jane did not appear to have unusual mood swings or emotional outbursts, which considering the scary situation she was in, could be justified.  But Jane managed to keep her humor and optimism despite her fear, something Maura had always admired about her courageous friend.   As Jane punctuated something she said with a gentle touch on the other woman’s hand, Maura recalled that sexual behavior could also be affected.  Decreases were likely, but there were several cases identified that the opposite could occur.   But Jane was not sexually inappropriate or aggressive with the woman she flirted with, leaving Maura to consider another possibility.


Perhaps . . . Jane had always had an attraction to women but elected not to show it.  And now, Jane had no memory of her inhibitions and no longer hid her attraction.  As she pondered that idea, Maura wondered what had prevented Jane from showing her attraction to women before. 


Jane never liked to discuss how much she had struggled to become a respected police officer, then homicide detective.  Angela and Korsak had made some comments, letting her know it had been a battle for Jane.  She frowned at the assumption that someone’s gender or sexuality made them less capable.  And Jane still encountered gender and sexual bias, Maura considered, having overheard derogatory remarks tossed at Jane from detectives in Vice and even in Homicide, though she tended not to pay much attention to Crowe.  Why anyone would think calling someone a “diketective” was amusing was something she would likely never understand.  Maura smiled to herself, greatly appreciating Jane’s drive for excellence, proving all the naysayers wrong by being the best. 


Knowing she wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on her magazine, Maura placed it back on the side table, noting the Christian Science Monitor magazine, making her consider another obstacle.  The Catholic church the Rizzolis belonged to certainly did not condone intimate, same-sex relationships.  And Jane also had a mother who was determined to find her daughter a “nice man” so she could have grandbabies.


“How are you really feeling?” Sandy asked Jane softly.


“Eh.  Still don’t remember anything before “the accident” but I’m okay otherwise,” Jane said with a shrug, leaning on the desk.   “Ankle is getting better.  Which is a good thing - I’m anxious to get rid of the crutch.”


“It’ll get better,” Sandy said sympathetically, placing a hand over Jane’s and squeezing. 


Maura’s eyes narrowed, glaring at the hand that was invading Jane’s personal space - a hand that quickly retracted when Sandy noted the scrutiny.


“Careful, Detective,” she whispered.  “Your partner is not happy.”


Jane turned curiously, catching Maura glance down and grab another magazine.   “Probably read all the magazines,” Jane offered with a shrug.


“Uh huh,” Sandy smiled.


Of course women would be attracted to a beautiful, intelligent, and heroic detective, Maura considered, surprised by her agitation.  


Hobbling over to the seats, Jane sat and sighed, looking down at her clipboard of paperwork.  “Is there anything that doesn’t involve paperwork?” she bemoaned dejectedly.


“Several things, actually . . . ,” Maura started.


“That was a rhetorical question, Maur,” Jane interrupted grumpily and looked through the questions with a frown as she filled in her name.  Maura winced when she noted Jane spelling Rizzoli with one “z.” 


“Why don’t I help?” Maura volunteered uncomfortably.  Jane looked at her gratefully and nodded, handing over the clipboard.


“I can’t answer anything past the name anyway… my birthdate?” Jane moaned quietly.  “How can I not even know my own fucking birthday?” she hissed miserably as tears started to form.  She angrily wiped them before they fell.


“It’s September 13 and you will either remember or learn, Jane,” Maura said soothingly, feeling horrible for her friend.


“I feel so damn useless,” Jane said with frustration, her nervousness about the pending appointment finally appearing.


“You’re not useless,” she firmly countered.  “You’re an exceptionally capable woman, Jane.  Even without your memory,” Maura said with confidence, taking her hand and squeezing.


Jane looked into her friend’s eyes and felt better.  She nodded weakly, looking down at their entwined hands.  Maura’s hand was smaller than hers but not frail.  Not at all, she considered, guessing Maura’s hands had to be strong to do an autopsy.  She imagined they would also give a really great massage….


“Here’s one you could answer,” Maura offered.


“Huh?”  Jane looked up, her thoughts of a massage still lingering.


“You could have answered this one,” Maura offered, holding up the clipboard and pointing to the question with their entwined hands.


Jane looked at the board then Maura.  “And it would be a resounding yes,” Jane said with a smile, causing Maura to roll her eyes.


“I believe they were actually looking for male or female,” Maura answered with amusement, pleased her friend could still find humor in things.


“Well, then.  Female, with a resounding yes,” Jane said with a chuckle.


“I certainly concur,” Maura said, glancing her over with a smirk.


The unexpected gaze was so quick she almost didn’t see it.  But Jane did, making her more confused as she watched Maura dutifully fill out the paperwork.


“How do you know my insurance number?”  Jane asked with surprise after a silent moment.


“Well, I use a simple mnemonic . . . ,” Maura answered with enthusiasm.


“No,” Jane interrupted the explanation.  “I mean . . . why do you know it?” Jane asked.


“I’m one of your emergency contacts.  I should know it,” Maura said with a shrug as she finished filling out the forms.


“Oh,” Jane said softly, more confused than ever.  




Jane fidgeted, waiting for the doctor to return with the results of the latest MRI and additional neuropsychological tests.   Glancing around the yellow room that had tasteful paintings of the Boston area, she sighed again and scratched the back of her head.   She nervously glanced to the door when Dr. Engle came back to the office with a folder in hand.


Sitting at her desk, the doctor looked at Jane then the folder, which she opened.  Jane winced, bracing herself.


“The minor swelling is gone and your MRI looks perfectly normal and no neurocognitive deficits have been noted in any of the tests,” Dr. Engle said, showing Jane the results of the MRI, which Jane briefly glanced at, not really sure what was good about the black and white image of her brain.


“So . . . is it permanent?” Jane asked.


Dr. Engle removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes.  “I don’t have an answer for you Jane.  Everything looks . . . fine.”


“Yeah.  Fine.  Everything is just fine . . . except for the amnesia,” Jane said tersely, getting up from her chair.


“I wish I could tell you more.  I’m sorry Jane,” Dr. Engle said sympathetically.


Jane shook her head, knowing it wasn’t the doctor’s fault.  “Me too,” she said softly, earning an understanding nod.  “When can I go back to work?”




Jane appeared in the waiting room looking dejected.  Maura immediately stood and went to her, pulling Jane into a much-needed hug.  It felt so right, Jane considered, exhaling heavily as she held the doctor tightly.  “Everything looks fine,” Jane offered with frustration.


“Why don’t I cook us a nice dinner at my place?” Maura offered softly and stepped back from the embrace, placing a gentle hand on Jane’s shoulder.


Jane looked at her and smiled weakly.  “Sounds good . . . unless you don’t cook well.”


Maura pursed her lips.  “I am a respectable cook.”


“Yeah, I know you are respectable - but do you cook well?” Jane said with a small sparkle in her eye.


Maura rolled her eyes.  “Let’s go,” she said, grabbing Jane’s hand and leading her out of the waiting area.


Sandy watched the two leave and smiled, glad Jane had someone looking out for her.




“Make yourself at home,” Maura said and headed to the kitchen.


“This place is beautiful, Maura,” Jane said, looking around the tastefully decorated home.


Maura smiled at her and opened the refrigerator, pulling out a small chicken and some vegetables.  “Would you like a beer?” she asked.


“I would LOVE a beer,” Jane said, joining her in the kitchen as Maura pulled one out of the refrigerator and opened it for her.  “You don’t want one too?” she asked, receiving the drink.


“I really prefer wine,” she smiled and grabbed a glass from the kitchen cabinet.


“Why do you have beer then?”  Jane asked, sipping hers.


“For you, of course,” Maura said simply, pouring herself a white wine. 


Jane blinked.  “Of course,” Jane said softly.


“Cheers,” Maura said and raised her glass, which Jane clinked gently with her beer bottle.


“Thank you, Maura,” Jane said.


Maura tilted her head, looking at her friend, who had an odd look in her eyes.  “For?” She asked curiously.


“Allowing me to feel like everything is not so . . . out of control and hopeless,” she said shyly, glancing down to her beer.


Maura smiled warmly, reaching out to squeeze her forearm.  “It’s not hopeless or out of control.  We’ll get through this.”


Jane placed her hand over Maura’s.  “We’ll,” Jane repeated.


“Of course.  I’ve got your back,” Maura said with a smile.


“Good,” Jane said gratefully and glanced down at her scarred hand, inspecting her palm curiously. 


Maura winced, knowing what Jane was going to ask. 


“Expecting company?” Jane asked as a relieved Maura walked past her to get to the door.


“No,” she said with a shrug and opened the door.  Tommy stood on the other side with a grin.


“Hey Maura,” he said with a sly smile, leaning against the door jamb and looking her over.


“Tommy, I have company,” she said tightly.


He looked over her shoulder to see Jane.  “Ah, Jane’s not company,” he scoffed and came in.   Maura sighed heavily.


“Did you just get back from the doctor?” he asked his sister.


“Yes,” Jane answered, staring at him, not liking his intrusion.


“Still don’t know who I am?” he asked, looking at his sister with a smirk.


“I have a pretty good idea,” Jane said, making his smirk fade a little.  “I would have thought our mother had taught us some manners, Tommy.”




“You were not invited in,” Jane said, her gaze was hard and unwavering.  


Maura looked between the two with concern.


“Aw, don’t be that way, Janie.  Maura enjoys my company, don’t you Maura?” he asked, giving her a charming smile.


“She’s right, Tommy,” Maura said, causing a waver in his smile.  “You were not invited in and you are interrupting my time with Jane.  Now please leave.”


“Come on, babe, you don’t mean that, do you?” Tommy asked smoothly, stepping towards Maura.


“She is Doctor Isles or Maura, she is NOT babe,” Jane growled, holding up her crutch and poking him in the arm.


“Easy now, Jane,” he chuckled, rubbing his arm.  “I can take a hint.  It’s girls’ night.  I got it,” he said easily, going to the door. “Catch you later, Maura,” he said, winking at Maura before he left.


An uncomfortable moment passed before Jane blurted “I am so sorry.  I can’t believe I’m related to him.”


“His behavior is not your fault, Jane,” Maura said, squeezing her arm before returning to the kitchen.  “I’m certainly glad you’re here though.”


“Is he always that . . . smarmy?” Jane asked with a wince.


“He can be very charming,” Maura said cautiously, preparing the chicken.


“In a stalker-esque kind of way,” Jane muttered.  “It must be a pain to have my family in your guest house.”


“It has been . . . an adventure,” Maura offered.


Jane snorted, bringing a small smile to Maura’s face.


There was a loud thud.  “What was . . . ,” Jane blurted with concern, then saw the large creature emerge from the hallway.  “Holy shit!”


“Jane,” Maura scolded, then looked at her pet with a fond smile.  “This is Bass.  He’s an  . . . ,”


“. . . African spurred tortoise,” Jane finished matter-of-factly.


“How did you know that?” Maura asked with hope.


“Well, he’s on land right?” Jane said.  “And his coloring isn’t right for a Aldabra or Galapagos tortoise.”


Maura beamed with excitement.  “Jane, I think you might be remembering what we watched on National Geographic,” she said.


Jane looked at her.  “You make me run a marathon AND watch National Geographic?  Have we ever done anything actually fun?” Jane joked, feeling for the first time, hope.


“Jane,” Maura scolded, but with a smile.  “You enjoyed those experiences.”


“I thought you couldn’t lie,” Jane teased.


“I’m not lying!” Maura protested.


“Uh huh.”




“This is amazing,” Jane said again with her mouth full of chicken.


“Jane, I don’t need to see it,” Maura responded with a wince, though she was very pleased Jane was enjoying the meal.


Jane swallowed and winced.  “Sorry, but this is the best chicken,” Jane said enthusiastically.


“It’s just baked, Jane.  Nothing special.”


“You made it for me.  Of course it’s special,” Jane countered with a smile and sipped her beer.


Maura looked at Jane, feeling very happy.  With their plates empty, Maura started to get up to clear the table.  Seeing Jane also get up, she placed a hand on her forearm. “I’ve got it, why don’t you go watch some TV?” Maura offered warmly.


“If I help, it will get done faster,” Jane countered with a smile, grabbing the bowl of vegetables with one hand, leaning on her crutch.  “What?” Jane asked, seeing Maura stare at her a moment.


Maura shook her head with a small smile. 


They worked in companionable silence, Maura washing the dishes and Jane drying.  “Where?” Jane would say to various dried kitchenware and Maura would tell her where it belonged.  As Jane returned glassware to its home and closed the cabinet door, Maura turned to grab the last dirty pan, unexpectedly bumping into Jane.


“Oh,” Maura blurted in surprise as Jane grabbed her around the waist and steadied them. 


“Shall we dance?” Jane said with a smile, not moving away.


Maura froze, looking into chocolate eyes that shone with desire.  She could feel the heat radiating from Jane, unsettled by how quickly and strongly her body reacted to Jane. 


Jane slowly stepped back, taking the pan and carefully putting it in the sink.  Her eyes returned to Maura, whose gaze had dropped as she took a deep breath, trying to gain her bearings around her best friend . . . her very attractive best friend.


When Maura looked up, she found Jane slowly moving back into the same position, her hand cautiously returning to Maura’s waist.  Maura knew she could step back but found herself riveted to the spot, looking at Jane uncertainly. 


“I’m going to kiss you,” Jane said softly, prompting Maura to suck in an uneasy breath as the sensuous voice and bold declaration washed over her . . . through her.  Her body tingled.  She knew Jane was allowing her time to move away if this wasn’t what she wanted, but her heart pounded at the realization of how much she did.


As promised, Jane’s lips met hers with a gentle brush, then another, and another.  It felt like each kiss was a gift Jane tried to savor and revere.  Maura moaned softly as Jane started to deepen the tender kisses; she slid her hand behind Jane’s neck to pull her closer.   Arousal washed over her as their tongues met and explored; Maura couldn’t get enough.  She moaned again when she felt Jane’s arms firmly wrap around her, pulling her firmly against the detective’s body.  Hearing the crutch clatter onto the kitchen floor, her mind suddenly overrode her physical desire and she pressed her hands against Jane’s shoulders and pushed as she stepped back.  “We . . . can’t . . . ,” Maura blurted as she sucked in a ragged breath.


Jane’s breathing was also ragged.  “Why?” Jane asked, her heart racing, but now with alarm.  Maura had responded and wanted it too….


“Why now?” Maura asked vulnerably.  “You never . . . before,” she said haltingly, finding it difficult to speak coherently.


“All . . . All I know is that I’m incredibly attracted to you.  I . . . I have no idea why I never acted on it before,” Jane said with mild frustration.  “But I’m going with my previous “idiot” theory,” she said with a small wince and shrug.


“But . . . But what if you remember why you didn’t . . . before?” Maura said awkwardly, her body still humming with arousal.  “And you realize . . . you realize it was a good reason?”


Jane blew out a frustrated breath.  “I . . . I can’t tell you what will happen in the future, Maura.  But neither can you!  What do you want me to do?  Watch life pass me by while I wait, hoping I get my memory back?  I’m not going to do that, Maura.  I can’t put my life on . . . ,” Jane said, interrupted by a ringing cell phone.  Jane rolled her eyes at the bad timing.


Maura quickly went to her phone, feeling a bit guilty for the relief she felt at the interruption; she needed to think this through.  With a shaky hand she opened the phone and placed it against her ear.  “I . . . Isles,” she said, clearing her throat and listened.  After a moment, she frowned.  “I understand, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes,” she said and hung up, looking at Jane with unease, seeing her retrieve her crutch.


“I’ll go to the guest house and call a cab,” Jane said neutrally as she headed to the front door.


“Jane,” Maura quickly said with worry, causing her to turn.  Maura felt horrible seeing the look of hope in Jane’s eyes.  “I . . . ,” Maura said and stopped, wanting to say something but not knowing what.  She had to think!


“It’s ok, Maura,” Jane said, her hope fading as she forced a smile; she felt as lost as she had waking up in the hospital.  “Thanks again for dinner.  I need to take care of Jo and you need to take care of the bad guys,” she smiled politely and headed towards the guesthouse.


Maura winced at Jane’s now guarded demeanor and tried to tamp down the growing dread she had just made a big mistake.  But Jane had to know she needed to process what was happening between them.  But how could she?  It was as if they had just met!!  Knowing she had to leave, she roughly grabbed her purse with a heavy sigh and marched out her door for the crime scene.




“Hey . . . ,” Jane said uncomfortably, seeing Angela open the door.


“Jane!” she smiled, happy to see her daughter.


“Maura got called away to a scene.  I need to call a cab.  Do you mind if….”


“I’ll drive ya!” Angela blurted happily, grabbing her purse on the table by the door.


“You don’t need to, I can get a cab. . . ,” Jane said with a wince, wishing she had just made the call at Maura’s.


“Nonsense!  Why waste the money when you have me?” Angela said with a smile.   “I’ll be back in a little bit,” she called back to Tommy, who sat on the couch and flipped through the channels.


“Ok, Ma,” he said as the door shut, his eyes glued to the TV.




“So, how did the appointment with the neurologist go?” Angela asked as she drove the scenic route to Jane’s apartment, certain Jane wouldn’t notice they had not taken the direct route.


Jane sighed.  “I am fine – except for the memory thing,” she said sarcastically.


“Are you sure your doctor is any good?  I mean, shouldn’t they be able to find something wrong with you?!?”  Angela blurted, taking a turn towards the park. 


Jane looked at her with a frown, then shook her head concluding she wasn’t really trying to insult her.  “Well, Maura think’s Dr. Engels is good…,” Jane said and trailed off, thinking about their amazing kiss and Maura’s withdrawal. 


“Hmm.  If Maura says so….  So, did you girls have a nice time this evening?” Angela asked as she stopped at a red light.


Jane frowned.  “Have you noticed Tommy being too forward with Maura?”


“What?  What are you talking about?”


“He showed up at her door, then just barged in even after she said she had company,” Jane said with irritation.


“He wouldn’t do that,” Angela said.


“He did.”


Angela frowned.  “I’ll talk to him.  That’s no way to woo her,” she said, shaking her head.  “She’s a real lady and needs to be treated as one.  The idiot,” Angela complained.


“What?  You are encouraging him??”


“Of course!  She’s a doctor, Jane,” she said, accelerating when the light turned green.


“He just wants to get laid!  He doesn’t care for her,” Jane protested.


“Janie!” Angela protested.  “They seemed to really hit it off over chess.”


“Chess.  Well then it’s a love match!” she said sarcastically.  “What do you really think he will give her?  He’s living with you at HER guesthouse.  He’s struggling to get on his feet and you want to subject Maura to that?  Or are you wanting grandbabies so badly, you don’t really care that he is so not right for her,” Jane argued.


Angela frowned.  “Hey!  I just want everyone to be happy.  He’s a good boy,” she added softly, torn with her hope and the truth. 


“But not good enough for her,” Jane said stubbornly.


“Maura doesn’t care he’s not rich,” Angela countered lamely. 


“That’s not what this is about,” Jane blurted in frustration.


“He can learn how to treat her right,” Angela said, trying to sound confident but failing, wondering if he was like his father – an insensitive bastard.  Angela frowned.


“So she should put up with his stalking and violation of her personal space while he learns?  She’s the Chief Medical Examiner for God’s sake!  She needs someone who respects her and puts her first, who’s reliable, who has a profession she can relate to.”


“Really, Jane?  I don’t think Tommy is any worse than the doctors she’s dated.  Having a status and a profession she can relate to is not a guarantee for success, you know.”


“Who?  What?”  Jane frowned with annoyance, once again hating her gap in memory.


“Dr. Slucky and Dr. Faulkner, or whatever his real name was.  I really don’t understand why she found your surgeon, Slucky, so appealing.  Tommy is so much more handsome.  But Ian?  Him, I could understand,” Angela said, causing Jane to wince.  “She even thought Ian was the love of her life.  Heh,” she laughed bitterly.  “I thought your father was the love of MY life too.  And just like Frank, Ian ran away.”


Jane’s frown deepened.  “What happened to Ian?” Jane asked softly.


“Well, suddenly, this guy arrives at her doorstep, who we’ve never heard about, who turns out to be the love of her life,” Angela said, getting Jane to cringe at the thought, wishing Angela would stop saying that.  “He was handsome, charming, intelligent, and great in bed from the sounds coming from her house….” Angela snorted.


“God!  What?  Were you stalking her too?  What’s with this family?!?” Jane spat.


“I wasn’t stalking!” Angela protested.  “The windows were open and the guest house isn’t that far away.”


“Great,” Jane rubbed her eyes.  “So why did he run away?”


“After you investigated him and found he was a smuggler, he left Maura and headed to Africa to avoid questioning by Interpol.  The poor dear was devastated.  You know, Tommy only had DUIs . . . he never smuggled drugs,” Angela reasoned stubbornly. 


“I investigated Maura’s lover?” Jane said, aghast at the thought.


“With my help,” Angela said proudly.  “I found his collection of passports!”


“Oh. My. God,” Jane exhaled, mortified.


“She was grateful, Jane . . . to learn the truth,” Angela quickly offered.  “You knew something was wrong with this guy and you protected her . . . ,” Angela said, then frowned.  “. . . like you’re trying to do with Tommy.”


Jane looked at her and nodded.  “He’s not right for her.  And he’s making her uncomfortable with his actions.  But she’s too nice to say anything.  It’s gotta stop,” she said firmly.


“I’ll talk to him,” Angela said with a frown.  “She would have made a great daughter-in-law,” she sighed sadly.


“Yeah,” Jane said softly, realizing she was just the best friend, never to be the dashing love of her life.  But why did Maura kiss her back?  Why did Maura pull her closer before pushing her away?

Chapter 4 – Just Fine


“Dr. Isles?” Frost asked again, finally getting her attention as they moved the body into the ambulance.  She had been very distracted since she arrived at the scene.  “Is everything all right?”


“Why do you ask?” 


“You seem somewhere else tonight.  Is it Jane?” he asked curiously, walking with her to her car.


Maura looked at him uncomfortably.  “Yes.”


“Is she all right?” he asked with concern.


“She still has amnesia.  The doctor is unable to determine how long it will last.”


“Eh.  Wait and see is so not Jane,” he said with a knowing chuckle.  Maura glanced down uneasily, recalling Jane’s recent declaration that she wasn’t going to let life just pass her by.


“So it could be permanent?” he asked with worry as she opened her car door.


“That is one possibility,” she said distractedly. 


“Doc?”  Barry frowned, not having seen Dr. Isles so preoccupied before.  Not even after her drug-smuggling boyfriend left her for Africa.


“If you’ll excuse me,” she said, getting a nod from the young detective.  “Good night, Barry,” she said without a smile and got in her car.


He watched her drive away sensing there was something else.




Jane shut the door and exhaled with relief that her mother was finally gone.  Angela really did like to chat, she considered as she started for the kitchen.  At least her mother agreed to talk to Tommy, she considered, knowing if he still continued, she would personally take care of the situation.


A knocking caused Jane to roll her eyes and return to the door.  Pulling the door open she blurted “forget something, Ma?  Oh!  Hi,” Jane said sheepishly.


“I know they say Law School ages you, but I would have never guessed you’d confuse me for your mother,” Marissa said with amusement.


Jane chuckled.  “I owe you my deepest apologies,” she said.  “Come in.”


“So?  Any news on the neurological front?” Marissa asked with a small cringe as she entered Jane’s apartment.


“Well, according to my neurologist, I look fine,” Jane moaned, shaking her head. 


“You sound disappointed that you look fine,” she said curiously.


“There’s nothing obvious to explain the memory problem,” Jane said with a sigh, rubbing the back of her tense neck.


“Ah.  So no memories popping back at all?” she asked hesitantly.


“Well, I knew what Maura’s African Spur Tortoise was.  Apparently, I’ve seen a National Geographic show on Tortoises.”


“That’s good, right?” Marissa offered hopefully.


“I suppose,” she sighed, then looked at her sympathetic neighbor.  “Uh . . . would you like something to drink?  I just remembered I actually have manners,” Jane said, rolling her eyes.


Marissa laughed.  “No thanks, I’ve got to get going.  I have a huge test tomorrow that I am worried about,” she said with a wince.


“On what?”


“Search and seizure.”


“Trouble with exigent circumstances?” Jane guessed.


“I suppose you’d know about that as a cop, huh?” Marissa said with excitement, placing a hand on her forearm.


Jane looked at her and smiled.




Maura put on her nightclothes and slipped under the covers.  She exhaled heavily and stared at her ceiling, feeling guilty for not contacting Jane after she had left the scene.  But it was now too late to call, she rationalized, then frowned, looking at her nightstand clock which read 1:23 am.  It wouldn’t be the first time she would be on the phone with Jane in the wee hours of the morning.  But it would be the first time with this Jane - the Jane that kissed her, the Jane that forced her to acknowledge what had been brewing beneath the surface for so long . . . .


She shook her head in frustration.  How was it this Jane, after only six days, could act on her feelings but not the Jane she had known for years? 


Maura had always found Jane attractive.  Since their first meeting at a crime scene, she was captivated by the tall brunette with her wild mane of hair that she would later consider was so . . . Jane.   Her beauty was striking, certainly.  Her confident swagger, ready smile, and smoky voice made Jane Rizzoli someone to notice.  And she was noticed, by males and females alike, who paused to look at her when she arrived.  She was no exception.  But it was Jane’s intelligence, amazing perceptiveness, and genuine warmth that really drew her in, making her yearn for this woman’s acceptance.  She had worried her awkwardness would put off her new co-workers, but Jane had looked past her social quirks and nervous spouting of facts (though not without some good-natured teasing) to quickly become her friend . . . her best friend.


The best friend she ever had. 




Why did Jane have to go and upset her safe and comfortable role as best friend?  Why did Jane have to cross that line?  Sure that line was admittedly growing blurrier as they grew closer; she loved Jane Rizzoli and couldn’t envision her life without the detective.  But could she really expose herself to the risky proposition of becoming lovers??


Maura was well aware of her horrible track record with lovers.  If not murderers or smugglers, her lovers were pompous or terribly dull . . . and ultimately left.  They all left.  Keeping her as a best friend was the safest option.  She couldn’t lose Jane too. But Jane had changed things.  This new Jane had opened herself up to that risk . . . that ultimate rejection.  But this new Jane showed a courage she wished she had.  And when Jane had acted, she forced her feel things that frightened her.  She had never experienced so much emotion and . . . GOD, she was getting wet just thinking about their kisses and their bodies pressed together. 


Maura groaned and sat up, staring at her phone on the nightstand by her clock, which now read 1:29 am.  She leaned over and grabbed the phone and stared at it in her hand.  She needed her friend.  She loved her friend.  And she couldn’t ignore it any longer . . . she wanted her friend.  Physically. 


Maura winced with doubt.  What if it didn’t work out?  What if she lost one of the best things that ever happened to her - her friendship with Jane?  But what if . . . what if it actually worked out between them?  She had never felt so comfortable around another person.  Kissing Jane felt so . . . right.  She recalled Jane’s words that she didn’t want to watch life pass her by.  Maura cringed at the realization that she had been doing just that.  She had to talk to Jane!  They would figure this out.  They could overcome anything, together, she believed as her excitement grew.  Not knowing what she was going to say, she dialed anyway.  Her heart pounded as the phone rang.


“Rizzoli residence.”


The voice washed over her like a bucket of cold water.  


“Hello?”  Marissa said curiously, not hearing anyone respond.  


Maura felt a painful tightness wrap around her heart and hung up.




Jane emerged from the bathroom and returned to the dining room table covered in textbooks.  “Who was it?” she asked, seeing Marissa look at the phone tiredly and rub her eyes.


“They hung up,” Marissa said and yawned, then looked at the caller ID.  “Dr. Isles,” she said with surprise.


Jane looked encouraged, then realized what Maura must think with Marissa answering the phone.  “Fuck,” she exhaled as she ran her hand through her hair. 


“Oh!” Marissa said with a wince of understanding. “You should call her back,” she said quickly.


“Do you really think she’ll answer?” Jane said flatly, rubbing the back of her neck.


Marissa winced.  “Given the circumstantial evidence, that would be a no.”


“I don’t think so either, counselor.  I’m gonna call a cab.  You can stay here if you want,” Jane said, motioning to the book-covered table.


“Thanks, but I’m fading.  I’ll get my stuff and head back to my apartment,” Marissa said as Jane took the phone from her.  “Do you really think going to her place at this time of night is a good idea?”


“I have no idea,” Jane said with a humorless laugh as she grabbed a phone book.


“Didn’t think so,” Marissa said and gathered her books as Jane called for a cab.


As they headed out of Jane’s apartment together, Marissa placed a hand on Jane’s forearm.  She pulled out a pen and scribbled her phone number on the corner of her notepad and ripped it off.  “Here,” she said, handing over her number.


“Uh, really, Marissa?” Jane said with a wince.


“It’s in case you need someone to bail you out,” Marissa explained dryly.


“Ah.  Funny.”


“I really didn’t mean for you to get in trouble,” she said guiltily, biting her lip.


“If not you, I’m sure something else would have gotten me in trouble,” Jane said warily.


“I really do appreciate your help, Jane.”


“I’m glad I could help.  But you really didn’t need it.  You know it cold.”


Marissa shrugged.  “Well, I think now I do.  Good luck with Dr. Isles,” she offered sincerely.


“Thanks.  Something tells me I’m going to need all the luck I can get,” Jane said with a weak smile.

Library | Conclusion

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