Facts, Just the Facts

A Rizzoli & Isles (T/V) Story

by Enginerd

Chapter 8 – The Small Things

Jane opened up her front door to the sound of happy barking from Jo Friday.  “Hey girl,” she said tiredly, crouching down with a slight wince from the tug at her sore side.  Jane scratched the dog’s head, prompting even more tail wagging.  “At least I know how to please you, huh, girl?”

She shuffled to the kitchen and put the sandwich in the fridge, her appetite non-existent.  Shutting the door, she rested her head against the refrigerator as whatever energy she had left drained from her.  She felt horrible and wondered if she would ever get it right.  Just when she thought she could get past her unforgivable behavior in the hospital, she blows off Maura and their lunch.

Jo Friday was at her feet and looked up curiously.

Jane smiled sadly and picked up her dog.  

“Do you think I could be suffering from Alzheimer’s?” she asked, scratching Jo’s head as she walked over to the sofa.  “What about Dementia?”  she asked tiredly, sitting.

Receiving no comment from her dog, who just stared at her, Jane sighed and curled up on the sofa.  She tucked Jo against her chest and let her exhaustion overtake her.


A knocking on the door roused Jane, who blinked and slowly gained her bearings.   Jo barked and jumped off the couch, trotting to the door with a wagging tail.  The knocking and Jo’s happy barking persisted as she rubbed her blood-shot eyes and headed to the door.

Automatically glancing through the peephole, her stomach clenched.  She paused an uneasy moment then fumbled, with the coordination of a drunk she thought derisively, as she unlatched the chain and nervously opened up the door.  

After a few uncomfortably silent seconds, Jane softly said “Hi.”

Not knowing whether her presence was welcome or not, Maura asked uneasily: “May I come in?”

Jane nodded awkwardly and stepped back, watching the relieved medical examiner enter her home.  Maura quietly placed a rather large designer bag on the couch and turned towards Jane.  She looked at the disheveled detective without censure, just genuine concern. 

After everything, Maura still really cared, Jane considered as tears welled up.  “Gah!” Jane growled in self-disgust, angrily wiping the tears away.

“Are you in pain?” Maura blurted, alarmed by the surprising reaction.

Jane shut her eyes and shook her head no, battling her feelings of embarrassment and inadequacy.  Maura cringed, wishing she were better at dealing with emotions.  

“Have you eaten dinner?” Maura asked suddenly, prompting Jane to look at her as if she spoke a different language.  “Of course you haven’t,” she said, interpreting the uneasy look and sighed.  “I’ll make us something light, all right?” Maura said and went to the kitchen with purpose.  She was much better with clear tasks than emotions anyway, she considered uneasily.  In addition to ensuring proper nutrition, she could also provide some measure of comfort through food as several studies….

“M…Maura,” Jane barked out in a hoarse voice. 

Maura stopped in her tracks and briefly shut her eyes, hoping Jane didn’t try to send her home.  Taking a fortifying breath, she turned hesitantly, looking at Jane.

Jane took a breath to say something but saw the uncertainty in Maura’s eyes and nervousness in her demeanor.  With three sudden and large steps, she pulled Maura into a firm embrace.

After a stunned moment, Maura eagerly returned the hug.  While she had read several detailed studies on the medical benefits of hugging, both physical and mental, Maura found herself too immersed in the actual, wonderful sensation to remember any of those details . . . or really care.

“I’m sorry,” Jane husked, her face buried into golden hair.  Grateful Maura was not pulling away, she made no effort to let go.

Maura frowned.  “Didn’t you get my note?  I knew you were too busy for lunch,” she said softly, feeling Jane nod. 

“I’m still sorry,” Jane mumbled, taking in the subtle, floral scent of her shampoo.

“Oh Jane, we’re going to miss lunches and have our plans disrupted,” she said softly. Her hand had absently migrated to the back of Jane’s neck, which she gently caressed, noting how soft her skin was.  “We already have, several times.”

“You deserve better,” Jane said softly, enjoying Maura’s touch.  Her own hand started to gently trace over Maura’s back. 

“Deserve . . . better?” Maura asked curiously.  “We have demanding jobs, Jane; jobs which are not predictable.  But I don’t think either of us is inclined to abandon them, just to secure a predictable work schedule.  I’d rather miss a few lunches with you and know you are doing what you love, than see you all the time and know you’re miserable,” Maura said with conviction.

Jane pulled back slowly, but kept within the warm circle of Maura’s arms; her embrace was a safe harbor Jane had never expected to find and was reluctant to leave.

Maura winced, not sure that came out very well.  “Not that I think it is an either or proposition.  I would prefer to spend more time with you and know you are doing what you love . . . professionally,” she added, just to be clear.

“I don’t mean to hurt you, Maura.  That’s the last thing I’d ever want to do,” Jane whispered earnestly. 

Maura realized their discussion had shifted beyond missed lunches and job distractions. 

“I know, Jane,” she whispered back, and she did.  Jane never meant to hurt her.  But she had learned that Jane had that ability, above all others; the most recent example was in the hospital.  And that frightened her, because with Jane, she couldn’t bring herself to avoid the hurt like she had in the past.  She couldn’t just walk away.

“I never felt like this before, Maura,” Jane said honestly, gathering courage as she looked into Maura’s questioning eyes.

Maura knew that Jane was struggling with a complex emotional issue and needed to talk through it.  But she feared she would not be able to provide the emotional support Jane really needed. 

Clearly, she was not professionally qualified.  Though she had read extensively about human emotions, she was never compelled to apply theory to practice with actual patients.  Frankly, it made her nervous to consider working with any live patients, physically or psychologically, whose lives could be irreparably damaged by a mistake.  And with her own personal emotional development, which she readily admitted had been stunted, she was well aware she did not have the typical array of life experiences to draw upon and lend an experienced “ear” to help Jane.  But she vowed to try, even though she strongly suspected she would be far better at providing comfort food than actual comfort. 

“I feel so . . . out of control sometimes.  It’s kind of scary,” Jane admitted honestly, glancing away with a self-conscious wince.  Looking back to Maura’s beautiful face, Jane couldn’t help but speak from her heart.  “But it feels so right when I’m…,” Jane said with conviction, interrupted by the ring of her cell phone, which abruptly and completely took the wind out of her sails;  Jane shut her eyes as he head drooped in defeat, recognizing the eerie ringtone.

“Isn’t that your mother?”  Maura asked softly, noting Jane making no effort to move or open her eyes.  She bit her lip, feeling guilty for the flood of relief she felt that the intensely emotional moment was interrupted.


“Shouldn’t you answer that?” Maura asked.

“Probably.  But I don’t want to let go,” Jane mumbled petulantly, bringing a small smile to Maura’s face.

“I don’t want you to either, but there will eventually be unpleasant physical ramifications if you don’t.”

Jane chuckled for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, making Maura very pleased with herself.  Maybe she could provide what Jane needed emotionally, she considered with growing hope.

The ring tone persisted, prompting a groan.


“We could try for a Guinness World Record,” Jane quickly suggested, gently squeezing Maura’s waist.  “Longest hug?  My mother might actually be impressed.”

“Jane, we would need to seriously prepare for a world record attempt, including arranging for a Guinness official to validate our claim . . . and you would eventually have to talk to her,” Maura countered.

Jane sighed with a nod, reluctantly letting go to pick up her cell phone on the coffee table. 

Immediately feeling the loss of warmth, Maura instinctively wrapped her arms around herself.  She realized with fascination that the action was prompted more by the emotional, rather than physical loss she experienced when Jane withdrew from her.

When they had first met, Jane would reach out to her with a touch of her shoulder or squeeze of her hand to make a point or silly comment, oblivious of any discomfort she had attempted to convey.  But, as another successful example of immersion therapy, at some point those frequent tactile interactions from Jane did not bother her; she even grew to welcome them. 

As they became closer friends, those touches accompanied emotionally exposed and highly uncomfortable times, which should have evoked her strongly ingrained flight response.  But Jane made flight increasingly difficult, actually giving her the sincere and undivided attention she had been lacking most of her life.  She had not truly understood what had been missing until Jane so freely gave it to her. 

“Yeah, Ma?” Jane said, glancing at Maura apologetically.  “Sorry, I was busy.  No, Ma.  No, Ma.  Ma!  No, I can manage.  No.  Do not come o…Ma!  Maura’s here.  Yeah, Ma.  Yes, she can.  Well she is a doctor, you know.  She does just fine with live people, Ma.  Ok.  I know.  I know, Ma.  No, I’m not going to tell her that.  No.  Ma!  Jeeze!” Jane blurted, then looked at Maura and covered up the speaker with her hand.  “She wants to talk to you,” she said with a wince.  “I could hang up and just say I forgot to charge my phone,” she offered.

“You shall do no such thing,” Maura said, appalled by the proposed deception.

“Suit yourself,” Jane said in resignation and handed over the phone. 

Maura paused a moment, surprised by the electricity she felt when their fingers brushed against each other. 

“Hello, Mrs. Rizzoli.  Of course . . . Angela.  Yes.  Yes, I am too.  Yes, I agree it would put us all at ease.  Well, we haven’t settled that yet, but that was my intent.  Yes, I have everything I need.  I’ll do my best.  Yes.  I am well aware she is stubborn.”

“Are you also well aware, I’m right here?” Jane hissed and noted a small smile play at Maura’s lips.

“Yes.  I plan to take good care of her.  All right.  I understand.  Yes, I expect that.  Yes.  Yes.  She is stubborn,” Maura offered, glancing at Jane with amusement.

“I believe you’ve already covered that,” Jane grumbled. 

“I will.  You have my word.  You have a good night too, Mrs…Angela,” Maura said, correcting herself, and shut the phone, handing it back to Jane with a satisfied smile.

“So she didn’t want to talk to me again?” Jane asked curiously, inspecting the phone as if it was broken.

“I believe she is satisfied that I am capable of caring for you in her stead,” Maura said with a smile.  “Though, I do believe she is a bit frustrated with you.  Did you know, she thinks you’re very stubborn?” Maura asked innocently.

“Really,” she said flatly and rolled her eyes.  “You didn’t promise her anything I’m going to regret, did you?”

“I . . . don’t think so,” Maura answered, giving the question serious thought. 

Jane threw a brief suspicious look at Maura, then sighed with a weary chuckle.  Looking at Maura now, with the interruption past, she smiled sheepishly.  Still compelled to try to explain how she felt, Jane took a breath.

“I did promise your mother I would make sure you did not forget to eat,” Maura awkwardly interrupted.

Jane watched curiously as Maura proceeded into the kitchen a second time, getting a distinct and troubling impression that she was not similarly compelled to continue any serious, emotional discussions.  Jane blinked and rubbed her scarred hands, wondering what she was supposed to do now.

“Soup and salad?” Maura asked, opening up the refrigerator door.  She peered inside the nearly empty refrigerator and frowned.  “Jane, when was the last time you went grocery shopping?” she asked, shutting the door.

Jane scratched the back of her neck with a wince.


“We could have just ordered Chinese or something,” Maura said, dabbing her lips with a napkin as she glanced over the surprisingly elaborate spread on the dinner table.  She had meant to prepare dinner for Jane, but Jane had wanted to share in the preparations. 

“Tell me you didn’t like Ma’s lasagna, garlic bread, and cannoli,” Jane challenged.

“It was delicious, Jane,” Maura offered warmly.

“Now you know why I don’t need to shop that often.  My freezer is always stocked with Ma’s leftovers.”

“You need more fresh produce,” Maura countered pointedly.

Jane just smiled and sipped her wine.  “You know . . . cannoli comes from the Sicilian word cannolo, which means little tube, which in turn is derived from the Latin word canna, meaning reed,” she offered, playfully wiggling her eyebrows.

Maura looked at her with delight.  Her surprising display of etymological knowledge served to cap off a truly enjoyable dinner.  Their conversation had been surprisingly easy and Jane seemed so much more relaxed than Maura had recalled her being in a long time.  It seemed as if whatever had been bothering Jane, she apparently had made peace with it.

“Hey, when it comes to me and food,” Jane explained with an amused shrug as she stood and grabbed their dishes to clean up.  “Not bad for a dumb detective, huh?” she joked.

“Jane!” Maura snapped and stood up to confront her.

“What?” Jane said in surprise.

“Ugh!  You can be so aggravating!” She growled.

“What did I do??”  Jane blurted defensively, her eyes darting around nervously.  She caught a glimpse of Jo Friday scurrying away, which seemed like an excellent idea but Jane was trapped between the sink and Maura, who blocked her only exit.

“You are not, and have never been a “dumb detective,” do I make myself clear?!?”

“Uh…Maur?  It was a joke,” Jane said uncomfortably, slowly placing the dishes in the sink.

“No.  I don’t accept that Jane.  I do not want to hear you putting yourself down again.  I don’t find that remotely humorous because I think you really believe you are somehow ... less …because you don’t have a bunch of degrees.  And that’s …that’s . . . a load of bunk!” 

“Bunk, Maura?” Jane said with a smirk.

“Don’t belittle what I am saying just because I don’t resort to profanity to express my frustration,” Maura immediately scolded her, making Jane cringe.  “You have an amazing mind, Jane.  It is one of the reasons you are such a good detective.  I would really appreciate it if you remembered that before you default to your dumb detective jokes.”

Jane blinked, shell shocked from Maura’s speech.  

Maura let out a long, frustrated breath.  “I’m getting ready for bed,” Maura announced, leaving no room for argument, and marched to her large designer bag.  Picking it up, she disappeared into the bathroom without another word, which Jane didn’t know whether was good or bad.  Though, if she was still willing to spend the night and take care of her, it couldn’t be that bad, she considered.

Jane spotted her dog peeking out from beneath the couch.  “You can come out now, coward.”

The dog barked. 

Jane sighed.  “Yeah, I know.  I’d be right there with you, if I could fit,” she muttered and finished up with the dishes. 

“She says I have an amazing mind,” Jane muttered with a humorless laugh, drying the last dish and putting it on the shelf over the sink.  “Why is it I still act like an idiot around her?” she asked, looking down at Jo, who rested her head on Jane’s foot.


After taking Jo for her final trip outside for the night, Jane chained then bolted the door.  She went around her apartment to turn off the lights before retiring to her bathroom to brush her teeth.  Seeing Maura’s designer toiletries bag neatly positioned on the vanity, she reached out and traced her fingers over its top.  It’s the small things, she considered, before proceeding to brush her teeth. 

When Jane went to her bedroom, the door was partially ajar.  “Uh . . . are you decent?” Jane asked awkwardly.

“In what respect?” Maura asked, turning towards Jane’s voice.

Jane rolled her eyes.  “Dressed?”

“Oh.  Then yes.”

Jane shook her head and entered to find Maura was seated on the edge of the bed . . . in her long-lost Patriot’s Jersey.  She smiled broadly.  Dr. Maura Isles had stolen her jersey!

“What?” Maura said self-consciously, looking down at the top.  “What?”

“Nothing,” Jane said, a pleased smile still on her face as she grabbed the Red Sox jersey from the top of her dresser drawer.  When Jane pulled it out, there was a clear contrast between Maura’s neatly pressed Jersey and her chosen nightwear, causing a frown on Maura’s face.

“I am pretty sure wrinkles never killed anyone, Maura,” Jane blurted before Maura could say anything.

“I suppose not.”

“If you’d be more comfortable, I can find something else,” Jane said with a sigh, returning her attention to her drawer.  A quick inspection revealed that the only thing she had that was not that wrinkled was her bandage.  She was pretty sure neither of them would get a lot of sleep if she just wore that, she considered wryly, then bit her lip as she tried not to think about that.  “Maybe I’ll . . . iron it,” she said hesitantly, wondering where she put the iron.

“Jane, I’m so sorry,” Maura said guiltily.  “I’m a horrible guest and worse friend.  You have obviously been going through a lot lately and all I do is criticize you and your sleepwear laundering habits.”

“Whoa, Maura!  I didn’t take you for a hypocrite,” Jane said.


“Why is it ok for you to put yourself down but not ok for me to put myself down?”  Jane said, sitting on the edge of the bed.  Without thinking, she placed hand on Maura’s bare knee as she eyed her pointedly.

Maura, almost forgetting the question, offered the only thing that came to her suddenly blank mind.  “Because?” she weakly said with a wince.

“Oh.  Well, if that’s why,” Jane laughed with amusement, retracting her hand to tuck her long hair behind her ear. 

“All right, I’ll admit that is not one of my better arguments,” Maura offered, then chuckled self-consciously, looking down at her own hands now uneasily clasped on her lap.

“And it didn’t fly when I tried it with you,” Jane said with a smirk.  “Come on,” Jane said, standing up and holding out her hand.  “I know you want to look at the stitches.”

“Yes, I do.”  Maura said with surprise, taking the offered hand. “But I expected to have an argument on my hands,” Maura admitted, following Jane into the bathroom.

“Did you expect to win the argument?” Jane asked as she put the lid down on the toilet and sat.

“Of course.”

“Then we’ll save a lot of time.  But don’t tell anyone I was a pushover.  It’ll ruin my reputation for being very stubborn,” Jane smiled thinly, pulling up the side of her shirt from her jeans.

Maura intently focused on the bandage, then looked at her hands.  “I really should put on gloves.”

“My Ma always patched me up without gloves and I never got an infection,” Jane offered.

Maura looked at her with a frown but nodded and carefully pealed off the tape. 

Jane sucked in a sudden breath at the unexpectedly strong, not unpleasant jolt she felt from the brush of Maura’s bare fingers.

“Did I hurt you?”  Maura asked with concern.


“Ticklish?” Maura asked with interest, looking at her with a grin.

Jane gave her a warning glared which made Maura chuckle.  “You are safe from my data gathering while you heal, detective.”


“This is looking better.  It’s not as red as this morning.  Did you use the antibiotic?” Maura asked.

“Yeah,” Jane said with a grimace.  “That had to be the worse tasting medicine I have ever had.”

“Jane! You didn’t inges. . . !” Maura gasped with alarm, then stopped when Jane laughed.  “Improper use of medicine is not a laughing matter, Jane!” she scolded.

“Absolutely not,” Jane readily agreed, poorly trying to smother her mirth.

Maura proceeded to redress Jane’s bandage with a frown.  The chuckling made it take longer as Jane’s diaphragm kept moving the area of the wound.  

“You have an odd sense of humor, Jane,” she finally allowed as a small, begrudging smile emerged, enjoying that Jane was happy - in spite of the associated wound care complications.  “Which certainly supports the theory that humor is an unexplainable mystery,” she said, lowering Jane’s shirt.  “All done,” she added before retreating back to the bedroom.

“Thanks,” Jane said and finished up her nightly ablutions.  When she entered the bedroom, Maura was sitting up, under the bed covers.  Jane paused a moment at the pleasing sight. 

Maura looked at her questioningly. 

Jane smiled softly.  ”You know . . . I’m surprised you would subscribe to the unexplainable mystery theory,” she said, grabbing her wrinkled Jersey.

Maura eyed the nightshirt pointedly.

“I’m not talking about the condition of my nightshirts,” Jane said, rolling her eyes. 

Maura smiled at Jane with satisfaction.  She was always fascinated when people could communicate without words.

“I personally like the Incongruity Theory of Humor,” Jane offered, taking pleasure from the surprised look on Maura’s face. 

Jane glanced to the bathroom, debating whether she should change in there, but her exhaustion made her opt for where she stood.  She slipped off her shoes and jeans then peeled off her top.  She turned away with a bit of modesty to take off her bra and slip on her Boston Red Sox nightshirt.

“Incongruity is something we detectives are sensitive to, after all,” Jane offered as she turned back to Maura, who blinked at her a curiously long moment before responding.

“I . . . would have never guessed you were a student of humor,” Maura said, refocusing on their conversation and not Jane’s toned back or whether it was as soft as her neck.

Jane looked at her with feigned injury.  “Ow, Maura.  Just ow,” she said, prompting a small chuckle from Maura.  As Jane went over to her side of the bed and got in, Maura shifted onto her side and propped her head on her hand. 

“We could debate whether your attempted humor involving feigning an accidental ingestion of a topical cream is incongruity or is actually superiority.”

“Oh yeah, let’s,” Jane said unenthusiastically.

“But I believe humor can and usually falls into several categories which makes the categorization rather inconsequential.  And several theorists tend to deem the classification of humor into the categories of incongruity, superiority, and relief, as an oversimplification,” Maura said.

Jane looked at her.  “How complex does humor really need to be?”

“I suppose complexity is not the most important element in humor.  But humor should be funny,” she said with conviction.

“Really, Maura?” Jane said with amusement, causing Maura to look at her curiously.  “You don’t like unfunny humor,” Jane said with a smirk.

“No,” Maura said thoughtfully.  “Not really,” she added, withholding a smile. 

Jane chuckled.  Maura loved that sound.

“So, did you get new shoes to match your new dress for the benefit?” Jane asked, pillowing her head on her arm.  She smiled at the expected excitement in Maura’s eyes.

“Yes!  You’ll see how perfectly they go with my dress,” she said, very pleased with her find.

“I’m sure they will go much better than any of your other bazillion shoes,” Jane said, rolling her eyes.

“They do!” Maura said with conviction.

“I bet you don’t even know how many shoes you have,” Jane challenged.

“I do too!” she said indignantly. 

Jane looked at her expectantly.

“Oh no.  I’m not going to tell you.  You’ll use that information against me,” Maura said with a pout.

“You know, you are going to have to admit you have a problem before you can get better,” Jane said with concern.

“Jane!  I do not have a problem!” she said with a chuckle, shoving her shoulder.

“Denial.  So sad,” Jane said, shaking her head.  

Maura rolled on her back with a mild humph.  “I am fairly certain no one has died from too many shoes.”

“Not true!” Jane countered emphatically, prompting Maura to eye her in disbelief. 

“There was this woman,” Jane offered with great seriousness.  “…who was all excited as she got ready for her big evening out.  When she reached up to the top of the mountain of shoes, for her favorite Jimmy Changas . . ..”

“Choos, Jane.  Jimmy Choos,” Maura corrected with a giggle, which Jane ignored as she continued.

“….her hand slipped, knocking over a pair, which tumbled down, knocking over another pair, causing a deadly domino effect.  The poor woman was trapped beneath an avalanche of her own footwear and suffocated in her very own closet!” 

Maura laughed. 

“I’m serious!”

That is actually more disturbing than your story,” Maura offered with a smile, never having a friend who would joke or tease with her so much, or who would provoke within her such a desire to reciprocate. 

Being friends with Jane had brought the joy of play to her life, giving her some understanding of why people gravitated towards social interactions and cultivated several friends. 

“Sleep well, Jane,” she offered softly and settled back with a smile still on her face.

“I’ll sleep well, if you do one thing for me,” Jane negotiated.

Maura looked at Jane.  “What?” she asked cautiously. 

“Be careful with those shoes of yours,” Jane said seriously.  Maura rolled her eyes with an amused smile.

“Very well, Jane.  I promise to be careful,” Maura said solemnly, placing her hand on her heart.

Jane smiled and nodded.  Her smile faded slightly as she looked at Maura.  “Things are better with you, than without you, Maura,” she said softly, bringing a surprised, curious smile to her friend for that heartfelt comment.  “Thanks for putting up with me,” Jane added and smiled self-consciously.  She settled back and shut her eyes.  “Sweet dreams.”

Maura looked at Jane’s profile a long moment, deeply touched by Jane’s sincere words.  She debated whether she should comment on her “putting up” with Jane, knowing Jane also “put up” with her.  But instead, she accepted those simple words as a gift from the best friend she ever had. 

“Sweet dreams,” she whispered, never having whispered those words to anyone before.  Shutting her eyes, she drifted off to sleep with a contented smile.

Chapter 9 – Circumstantial Evidence


Jane went into work with a travel mug and thermos of freshly brewed coffee, which was a surprise; she didn’t realize she had a thermos until Maura found it in a cabinet over her refrigerator.  How she knew to look there at five-thirty in the morning and why she insisted on Jane bringing a thermos in was beyond Jane; though the home brew was really good, she considered as she took another sip. 

Maura was rather disappointed that she could not prepare a homemade breakfast, prompting Jane to suggest she just thaw out some more lasagna or, better yet, cannoli, which goes really well with coffee.  Maura glared at her like she had two heads and took charge of serving her the other standby – Lucky Charms.  She thanked GOD that her milk had not yet soured, not wanting to think of how Maura would have reacted if she had been unable to serve a properly prepared bowl of cereal.  Jane shook her head; Maura was taking her promise to her mother to make sure she was well fed way too seriously. 

But even with Maura’s determination to fulfill that promise, Jane smiled, having really enjoyed the morning with her, going about their morning routine as if they had being doing that for years.  She wondered how she would broach the subject of Maura spending another night.  They hadn’t discussed it and her side was healing fine, even Maura said so, so there was really no reason – except that Jane wanted it.  Thought, maybe she could use keeping her mother away as an excuse, she considered with a pleased smile at her plan.

“You were right,” Frost said, jumping up to join her as she walked to her desk.

“Well, of course I was!” Jane said indignantly, causing Frost to wince.  “What was I right about?” she asked with interest, sipping her coffee. 

Frost glared at her before answering.  “The siblings are sole beneficiaries for insurance policies on each other.”

“Well, are they now,” she said thoughtfully.  “Nothing on the parent’s accident that might suggest it wasn't an accident?” she asked, sitting at her desk.

“Not directly.  But get this - the detective in charge of the investigation?  He was arrested for taking bribes in three other cases five years ago.”

“Really?” Jane said with hope, getting a nod. 

“We need to interview him now!” Jane said eagerly.

“Can’t,” Frost said with wince.  “He died three months ago."


“Taking out an insurance policy on a family member is not against the law, Rizzoli,” the Lieutenant said sitting back in her chair, eyeing her over her reading glasses.

“No, but killing for the insurance money is,” Jane said.

“What evidence do you have?”

“Nothing concrete from the parents' accident yet.  It’s all circumstantial at this point, based on a hunch,” she said with a disappointed sigh, handing over her notes to her boss, who took them.  “Frost did the leg work,” she offered absently, wishing they had more.

The Lieutenant glanced at her with a slight, pleased smile before reading over the details.   Her smile faded.  “A bad cop,” she exhaled with distaste, shaking her head.

“That opens up a few questions about his rigor on the parents' case, but we don’t have answers yet,” Jane said, not very happy about that.

“Compelling theory,” she allowed and placed the notes down on her desk.

“Compelling enough to bring them in for questioning?” Jane said.

The Lieutenant eyed her a moment.  “How do you want to play it?”

Jane smiled.


Seeing Korsak sit down at his desk with a large coffee and a banana nut muffin, Crowe smirked.

“Hey Korsak, are you going to be able to fit in your uniform tomorrow night?” 

“I’ll have you know,” Korsak said sharply, then frowned, unable to think of anything.   He finished with a defiant “Yes.”

“I didn’t know they made girdles in your size,” Crowe said with a snicker as Vince looked down at his muffin with a frown.  “So how’d you snag a seat at the Lieutenant’s table?”

“What the hell are you talking about?” he said with surprise.

“Man, you’re never going to get promoted,” Crowe said with a derisive laugh, shaking his head.

“What’s that supposed to mean?!?”

“I bet you don’t even know what VIPs are going to be there, let alone who’s at your table.”

“I haven’t seen a list yet,” Korsak said defensively.

Crowe smiled with satisfaction and held up a list, waving it in the air. 

“You going to be an ass or are you going to show me?” Korsak said, eyeing the annoying man.  Good thing he was a decent detective, Korsak considered.

Crowe frowned as he rolled his eyes, and shoved the list towards the brusque older detective, who was never going to make brass.  Good thing he was a decent detective, Crowe considered.

“What the . . . they spelled my name wrong!  Vincent Korrak?!?” he said in a huff.

“Remember, they’re volunteers,” Crowe said with a smirk.  “Spouses and family volunteering their valuable time to help raise money for the policemen’s fund yadda yadda…,” he said, waving his hand dismissively.

“But they managed to spell the Lieutenant’s name right and not mine??  Unbelievable,” Korsak said with irritation.  “Who’s this next to her?  I’ve never heard of him before,” he said, noting Barry “Prost” and his date were at an adjacent table with Jane and “Laura.”  At least Homicide was seated close together, he considered, not wanting to be near Vice, who couldn’t stop bragging about their big bust at the fight club, completely ignoring the apparently trivial fact that it was homicide’s stakeout.

“Her husband, you idiot.”

“Well how the hell should I know?  It’s not like she took his last name.”

“Yeah,” Crowe said with a frown.  “I wonder what kind of guy would marry her.  I mean . . . ,” Crowe started.  “I’d bet she’s the one who wears the pants, if you know what I mean.”

“Stop now,” Korsak warned.

“Come on, Korsak, what self-respecting guy would let his wife keep her maiden name?  Or be a homicide detective for that matter,” Crowe said, in a righteous rant for chauvinists everywhere.

“I mean it, Crowe,” he cautioned.

“Whatever,” Crowe said, waving his hand at the older man dismissively.  “And what’s with the husband’s name?  Can it sound more gay?” Crowe muttered with a derisive snort, shaking his head as Vince sighed and shook his head.

“So what name would you approve of, Crowe?  Chad, Derek?? Oh I know, Dick,” the annoyed Lieutenant snapped.

“Uh…Lieutenant!” Crowe blurted, quickly turning towards the Lieutenant, finding a cold glare.  “I didn’t mean, I mean…uh.”

“Korsak?  Will you be available to help with the interviews tomorrow?” the Lieutenant asked, staring at Crowe, who could not look her in the eye.  His gaze dropped as he tried not to wince. 

“Of course,” Korsak said, surprised to find he took little pleasure in Crowe’s discomfort.  He could only think of the long list of violent crimes associated with Marie Largo and how she broke that guy’s hand in the fight club.  And from the glare she gave Crowe, it looked like he’d be lucky with only a broken hand.

The Lieutenant briefly nodded at Vince.  “Rizzoli will fill you in.  Should be interesting,” she said and glared at Crowe one more time before she left.

The only good coming from that exchange, Korsak considered, was that Crowe had finally shut his big fat mouth.


“Hey Maura!” Jane said with a happy smile on her face as she entered the Medical examiner’s office.

“Jane,” Maura said, looking up from her files with a pleased smile.  She looked so much better than yesterday, which Maura attributed to Jane getting a good night’s sleep - which was essential to healing.  She thankfully did not have any of the violent nightmares, which Maura witnessed when Hoyt was after her.  Jane slept so soundly, she barely stirred when Maura got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night – even though Jane’s arm had wound up wrapped around her.  When she returned, Jane had just mumbled something unintelligible and returned her arm to its original position, wrapped around her. 

Even Maura found she had slept better, in spite of her personal space being so clearly encroached upon.

“The Lieutenant is letting me run with my idea on the case,” Jane reported, clearly pleased.

“I am not surprised.  She strikes me as a perceptive and intelligent woman,” Maura said easily, happy Jane seemed to be getting along with her boss.

“You don’t even know what my idea is,” Jane said with amusement.

“No.  But from your previously astute observations and successes, I am confident it is insightful and merit worthy.”

Jane looked at her with feigned surprise.  “Why Maura, you do know how to sweet-talk a girl,” she said, then grinned.

Maura looked at her curiously.

“Jane, I only stated my conclusion based on empirical evidence.  To say I was “sweet- talking” would mean I was coaxing or cajoling you to do something with flattery,” Maura said.

Jane smirked.  “You make that sound like a bad thing.”

“Would you actually be receptive to someone trying to coax you with flattery?” Maura asked skeptically.

“Depends entirely on the person, how well they flatter me, and what they were trying to coax me to do,” Jane said with a smile, getting Maura to look at her as she considered that comment.  “So, what do you say we try for lunch again, like at that new Salad Palace place?  I would really like to spend more time with my favorite Medical Examiner – and not because of an increase in homicides,” Jane said with a smile and a sparkle in her eye.

Maura looked at her a curious moment before smiling.  “I see what you mean.  Though, I would say you could work on your flattery,” she noted with amusement.

Jane shook her head with a chuckle.  “Guess I’ll just have to work on that.  So, in the mean time, what do you say about lunch?”

“As I am rather partial to you and the subject of your coaxing, I’d love to have lunch with you.”

“Great!  It’s a date,” Jane said happily and started out of her office, pausing at the door.  “Maura?  You are, by far, my favorite Medical Examiner.  Hands down.  No competition.  Numero Uno.  A number one.  Super Primo.  Unsurpassable….”

 With an amused smile, Maura opened her mouth to interrupt but Jane was quicker.

“So I’ll meet you here at high noon?”

“All right.  Noon,” Maura confirmed, chuckling at Jane’s infectious happiness.

“Great, I’ll see you then.  Bye!” Jane said and was suddenly gone.

Maura stared at the empty doorway a moment before glancing at her watch to see how long before seeing Jane again.  Too long, she concluded with a shake of her head and returned her attention to her reports.


Back in her office, the Lieutenant sat down with an angry sigh, realizing she had let Crowe get to her.  She had hoped she left all the chauvinist assholes she’d ever meet behind in New York, but she had to face the fact - they were everywhere.  Rubbing her eyes, she sighed again, reminding herself she had worked too damn hard to overcome all the hurdles in her life, including her own stupid mistakes, to blow it all now  - even if punching the jerk’s lights out would have felt really good.

Glancing around her office, she considered how she should have advanced through the ranks on her home turf.  But things got so fucked up there and bridges were burned.  All she could do was look forward, in Boston now - and finish a shit-load of paperwork, she thought wearily, looking at the plentiful boxes with a frown.  The plentiful paperwork wasn’t going to get done on it’s own, she considered and looked around her cluttered desk for her goddamn reading glasses. 

Her cell rang, interrupting her search.  With a sigh, she answered it.


“It’s me, Marie,” a familiar voice interrupted. 

She shut her eyes trying to reign in her emotions at the sound of that voice and that name.  “I told you, I’m done,” she growled. 

“Seems there are some who disagree.  We need to meet.  I can make it there tomorrow.  And try not to shoot the messenger, huh?” he said.

She numbly listened to the details for their meeting, not registering the goodbye until hearing a dial tone.  Taking an uneasy breath, she stared at the phone a long moment before setting it down.  Her shaking hands covered her face, her worst fears that had lain dormant after much effort and time, erupted with a vengeance.  And when she got frightened, she got angry.  Her hand balled up into a fist that slammed down on her desk, inadvertently sending her glasses flying, finally landing on one of many boxes of files that taunted her. 

She suddenly burst out of her chair, which shot back, hitting the wall.  Shutting her eyes tightly, she forced a calming breath, thinking of the one person who had always helped to slay her dragons, the one person she would fight the world for and at times, thought she had.  She thought of the one person who threatened to leave her if she ever dealt with these people and lived that life again.  She looked down and caressed the wedding ring on her finger, the precious symbol she did not take lightly.

She had a wonderful life that she had fought for and almost lost because of them.  She wasn’t about to let anyone ruin it for her now. 


“So, we’ll see what happens,” Jane said with a shrug, drinking her iced tea as Maura nibbled on her mixed greens salad.

After swallowing, Maura said, “I’m always fascinated by how people can conclude that it is actually worth taking a life and risking one’s future in the hope of monetary gain.”

“Well, sometimes people are just stupid,” Jane offered, picking up a cheeseburger, causing Maura to frown, again.  “Hey!  The meat gives me the needed iron,” she said, smiling before taking a bite.

“You could get iron from fruits and vegetables, like strawberries and broccoli.”

“Had I only known I could have had strawberries and broccoli before I ordered a cheeseburger,” Jane said, feigning lament as she looked at her lunch.  She grinned happily and took another bite.

“I had hoped that when you suggested a restaurant specializing in salads that you would be inclined to order one.”

“But I really like cheeseburgers, Maura,” Jane said, looking down at her burger.

“Evidently,” she said and sighed.  “You really should think about eating more fresh produce,” Maura offered.

“OK,” Jane said, biting a French fry.


“Didn’t expect that, huh?” Jane said with a grin.

“Frankly, no.”

“We can go shopping for me tonight, if you want.  You can point out the iron-rich produce and stuff,” Jane said, wiping her mouth with her napkin.

“Are you actually volunteering to go grocery shopping, which you don’t like to do, to get fresh produce, which you don’t seem to like?”

“Yep.  We both can benefit from the outing.”

“Exactly how would I benefit from the outing?” Maura said with amusement.

“You get to spend more time with me,” Jane said with a grin.

“Oh,” Maura said with a smile.  She had to admit, Jane did make a compelling argument.

“All right, I can sweeten the deal,” Jane continued, surprising Maura.  “First we go shopping, then as a thank you, I’ll make you dinner,” she said.  “Actually, that is also helping me out too,” she said with a guilty wince, then tossed out with a shrug: “Ma will want to come over if she thinks there is no one…,” Jane said, noticing with some annoyance that she did not have Maura’s undivided attention.

“Agent Dean?” Maura said as the man walked up to their table.

“Dr. Isles,” Gabriel Dean responded and looked at Jane warmly.  “Jane.  It’s good to see you.  Both,” he added awkwardly, glancing at Dr. Isles with a small smile.

“I appreciate your attempt at including me, but it isn’t necessary,” Maura said with a smile.

“Why are you in town?” Jane quickly asked as her posture stiffened, which in turn caused Maura a similar tenseness.  Every time Agent Dean was in town, there seemed to be a Hoyt problem for Jane.  Good God, what if he was after Jane again, Maura worried, biting her lip as she reached out for Jane’s hand.

Jane glanced at her worriedly, grateful for the comfort.

“Uh, following up on a computer hack,” he offered vaguely, but it was sufficient information to achieve the desired result; Jane sighed with relief.

Maura squeezed Jane’s hand, which earned her a smile of thanks.

“Well, I’m sure you two would like to catch up.  I’ll be heading back and let you,” Maura said pleasantly.

“But . . . ,” Jane said with a frown as Maura efficiently collected her purse and stood.

“Actually I can’t stay here, I have to meet with someone in about fifteen,” Gabe offered, glancing at his watch.  “But what about after work?” he asked hopefully.

“Maura and I have plans,” Jane said with a bit of irritation.  The guy drops in unexpectedly and thinks she was going to drop everything to see him?

“Nothing we can’t postpone.  I’m sure your health will not be too adversely affected if you wait a few more days until you incorporate more fresh produce into your diet,” she said with a smile.  “I’ll leave you to your planning.  Nice seeing you again, Gabriel.  See you later, Jane,” Maura said and retreated from them with brisk steps, disappearing out the door.

Jane frowned, always surprised by how quickly Maura could move in those high heels.

“So?  How about dinner?” Gabe asked.

Jane looked at the handsome man.  The kind of man her mother would just love.  The kind of man no one would question her attraction to.  The kind of man she was expected to end up with…even by Maura, who seemed to be actually encouraging it.

“Korsak?”  Jane said with surprise, causing Gabe to frown. 

Her ex-partner froze and turned towards her with an uncomfortable smile. 

“What are you doing here?  I thought you said you would never set foot in a place called the Salad Palace,” Jane said.

“Uh . . . It’s never too late to adopt a healthier diet, Jane,” Vince said, patting his belly.

“Hell has frozen over...or has Maura been talking to you too?” Jane asked suspiciously.

“Maura?  No, why?”  Korsak said, looking between the two curiously.  Gabe just shrugged.

“Never mind,” Jane said and stood.  Noting Gabe’s hopeful look, she sighed.  “You can pick me up at my apartment at seven.  Nothing too fancy.”

Gabe nodded with a smile.  “It’s a date,” he said. 

She looked at him a thoughtful moment and smiled before leaving. 

When she was back at the office, she sought out Maura.  Looking around the morgue, she saw Maura’s assistant come in.  “Looking for Dr. Isles?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Jane said, looking towards Maura’s office.

“She left.  She said she had some errands to run.”

Chapter 10 - Choices


Jane looked at her watch and sighed.  She roamed her apartment, doing a bit of picking up and organizing.  She thought that there had to be some study about excessive compulsive behavior that explained why she found herself cleaning up when she was nervous.  She made a mental note to ask Maura.

She glanced at her watch again, noting the good Agent Dean was running late.  She went to the fridge and opened it, spying the groceries she had bought on the way home.  She smirked, knowing Maura would likely frown upon most of her food choices. 

When she reached for a beer, which she believed an essential staple in any home, there was a knock at the door.  With a heavy exhale, she returned the beer to the fridge and went to answer the door.

After looking through the spyglass, she opened the door and smiled.  “Hi.”

“Sorry I’m late.  You ready?”  He asked.



They sat in a small Italian restaurant, aglow in candlelight.  It was a rather romantic setting she considered, glancing around at the various couples.  Almost as romantic as her dinner with Maura last night, she considered, wishing she hadn’t been so quickly and thoroughly discarded when Agent Dean showed up.  Returning her gaze to her dinner companion she smiled weakly at Gabe, who smiled back.

“So, any luck with your computer hacker?”  She asked, sipping her wine.

“It’s . . . under control,” he said with a small smile.  Jane looked at him, really disliking his secretive nature.  Sure he was FBI, but come on, she thought with irritation.

“So how’s your case with the bicyclist going?” he asked.

“It’s . . . under control,” she repeated with a thin smile.

Gabriel Dean eyed her.  “Have I done something to annoy you?”

She glanced down to her plate, knowing she was being a bit childish.  “No.  I’m sorry I’m not the best company tonight.”

“It’s ok,” he said, poking at his eggplant Parmesan.  “Korsak said you got injured the other night,” he noted, looking at her closely.

“He’s got a big mouth,” Jane muttered with a frown.

“He cares for you, Jane,” Gabe offered and added softly “I do too.”

Jane looked at him, knowing he was sincere.  He really was a good, decent man who would likely make a very good husband and father.  “I know,” she said, then exhaled heavily.  “Remember the last dinner we had together?”

He nodded with a slight cringe, recalling the dinner vividly.  “You’re still not ready for someone to worry about you?” he guessed hesitantly.

Jane chuckled weakly.  “Actually, I am,” she admitted. 

He looked at her with surprise and a flicker of hope. 

“I want the dinners,” she started with a small smile.  “And the movies and the sharing of Sunday papers.  I want someone who can endure my family and not hold them against me,” she said with a small grin, making Gabe chuckle.  “I want someone to do laundry with and talk about the Red Sox, or advancements in forensic science, or … the dietary needs of her tortoise,” she said, looking at him apologetically.

His eyes widened. “Her?”

Jane nodded.

“I . . . didn’t see that coming,” he said hesitantly.

“Neither did I,” she said honestly.

He nodded in understanding; sometimes you don’t.  He looked at her curiously.  “I didn’t know Dr. Isles had a turtle,” he ventured, knowing of no other woman that Jane was really close to.

Jane laughed, relieved.  “Tortoise,” she corrected with a grin. 

Gabe looked at her, reluctantly considering that it did make sense.  While they were opposites, Dr. Isles and Detective Rizzoli fit well together.

“His name is Bass.  Scared the shit out of me the first time I saw him.  He’s huge,” she said, holding her hands out to show him.  “But he sort of grows on you,” she offered with a small shrug and a smile.

“I never thought about having a tortoise for a pet.  I don’t suppose you can teach him to fetch the paper?” Gabe asked dryly.

Jane chuckled.  “I can’t get Jo Friday to fetch the paper, so I’m not exactly an authority on animal training.  But I’m sure that if Maura really wanted Bass to fetch the paper, he would,” she said confidently with a smile.

“You know, I think you’re right,” Gabe said thoughtfully, making Jane grin.

“But it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort - the paper would probably be yesterday’s by the time she got it,” Jane noted, making Gabe chuckle.

As they continued their now easy conversation, he briefly glanced to her hands that she used, as any real Italian would, to talk with.  The notable scars on her hands were a visible reminder of the horror she was subjected to by the serial killer, Hoyt.  Gabriel had always been amazed by how she managed to stay so upbeat after being subjected to one horrifying experience, let alone two from the same man.  Her inner strength and ability to get past emotional and physical distress was one of Jane’s most amazing qualities, he considered.  As his gaze returned to her dark eyes while she told him another story about Maura, he noted something in them he had never seen before.



Jane stood outside of Maura’s door and took a deep breath.  It wasn’t terribly late, but it was a bit late for an unannounced visit.  She bit her lip and knocked, hoping this wasn’t a mistake.  After a short moment, the porch light came on and Maura opened the front door, surprised to find her friend.

“I’m . . . not interrupting anything, am I?”  Jane asked with a wince as panic suddenly washed over her, just realizing there was a chance she was.  Why the hell didn’t she call, she thought, dreading the prospect of finding Maura with Mr. Yoga Grabby Hands again . . . or anyone else.

“Just some reading,” Maura responded, prompting Jane to exhale with relief.  “Why are you here?” Maura asked curiously.

Jane frowned, her resolve quickly fading.  “I . . . should have called.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to bother you, Maur.  I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?” she said with an apologetic smile, stepping back.

“Jane!” Maura growled and reached out to grab her hand.  “You are not bothering me.  I’m glad you're here.  Come in, please.”

“You sure?” Jane said as Maura pulled her inside.  “I’ll understand if you’re not up for company.”

“You are not company,” Maura responded, waving her hand dismissively as she headed to the kitchen, making Jane wonder what she meant.  “Would you like some wine?” Maura asked.

“Sure,” Jane said, joining Maura in the kitchen as she watched her get two glasses.

“How did your dinner go?” she asked as she poured the wine.

“Good.  Thanks,” Jane said as she accepted the glass, letting her fingers brush against Maura’s and linger a moment.

“Just good?”  Maura managed to say with a forced smile, unnerved by how a slight touch from Jane managed to cause such a large physical response – an inappropriate response to her best friend, who had entrusted her with intimate access to her thoughts and feelings.

“Maura?  Can I ask you a question?” Jane asked, looking down at her wine, absently tracing her finger over the lip of the glass, before returning her very serious gaze to Maura.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, alarmed by both Jane’s somber mood and her own preoccupation with Jane’s long, elegant fingers caressing the glass.

“Why were you pushing for me to go on a date with Gabe?” Jane asked softly.

Maura looked at her, startled by the question.  “P . . . Pushing?” 

Jane nodded.

“I . . . Am I not supposed to be supportive and want you happy?”  She asked worriedly, wondering what she had done wrong. 

“And you think Gabe would make me happy?” Jane asked gently, searching Maura’s confused eyes.

“I thought…  Yes.  You seemed very interested in him before.  And you do make a handsome couple,” Maura said logically, feeling the intensity of Jane’s gaze.  She had selfishly wanted to keep their plans of shopping and dinner but she knew that would be wrong.  A true best friend was not selfish, she firmly believed.

“Things have changed,” Jane offered, putting her untouched wine down on the kitchen counter.

“I . . . didn’t know,” Maura said with an apologetic wince.  “I’m sorry.  I only want you to be happy, Jane,” she said sincerely.

Jane smiled softly and slowly stepped closer. 

Much closer, Maura noted. 

“Going grocery shopping and dining with you would have made me happy,” Jane said, taking Maura’s hands gently in hers. 

“I’m . . . sorry,” Maura said uneasily.  She was very happy to learn Jane would have rather spent the night with her, but that knowledge only served to amplify the troubling arousal that washed over her from Jane’s touch.

“Your hands are trembling,” Jane whispered, suspecting the reason why.  Hoping.

Maura was not about to admit her struggle with her uncooperative body, which craved Jane’s touch.  “I didn’t mean to ruin our evening together,” Maura said instead, taking an uneasy breath as her eyes moistened. “I’m not a very good best friend,” she said dejectedly.

“I think we had this conversation before,” Jane gently scolded.  “You’re the best, best friend I have ever had, Maura.”

“Jane,” Maura countered, looking down at their hands.  “The evidence is quite clear; I’m not,” she said miserably, unable to stop her traitorous physical response to Jane.  She tried to pull her hands back, hoping that putting some distance between them would help.  “Please let go,” she said, weakly tugging to free her hands. 

“I don’t want to let go, Maura,” Jane said emphatically.  “Why do you want me to?  Make me understand,” Jane said, looking at her intently, holding on firmly.

A tear fell, then another.  Maura felt dizzy with the overwhelming feelings assaulting her - guilt, love, lust, embarrassment.

“Please.” Jane begged in a whisper, her own eyes started to water seeing Maura so upset.  But in Jane’s heart, she knew this conversation was desperately needed.  “I need to know why my best friend is intent on running away when I touch her,” Jane said.

“How can I possibly be your best friend, Jane?!?” Maura finally erupted in despair.  “How can I be if all I can think about when you touch me is how much you arouse me, how much . . . how much I want to touch you!”  Maura cried raggedly, too embarrassed to look Jane in the eye as more tears fell.   

“Oh. Thank. God!” Jane exhaled with supreme relief before smiling with joy at Maura, who looked up in surprise and uncertainty. “Oh sweetie, if arousal is a sign of being a bad friend, then I’m the worst friend you’ll ever have,” she explained with a chuckle.

Maura just stared at her.

Realizing Maura was still trying to comprehend and accept her words, Jane gently squeezed her hands before releasing one.  She tenderly cupped her cheek, gently wiping away the trail of tears with her thumb.  Leaning in for a kiss, she paused just before their lips touched.  She waited, wanting Maura to finally close the very small distance between them as she continued to lovingly stroke her cheek with her thumb.

Maura’s heart raced as she took an uneasy breath, realizing with wonder that Jane was not offended.  Jane did not think her closest friend had crossed a line, violating her friendship or trust.  Jane actually wanted what she wanted. 

Her hand suddenly shot up behind Jane’s neck, possessively pulling her in, causing their lips to smash together, not as a friend, but as a lover desperate with need.  

Jane moaned at the thrill of a dominant Maura and the heady feel of soft flesh and hardened nipples pressing firmly against her.  Jane’s hands sought to map out the curved surfaces she had admired from afar as they traveled down Maura’s silk-covered back to her perfect hips and backside.

When their lips parted, they were breathing heavily.

“Bedroom?” Maura husked.

Jane bit her lip and looked towards the bedroom uncertainly.

“Are you worried about rushing things?”

Jane nodded with a sheepish wince.

“So sweet,” Maura said softly, caressing Jane’s face, before leaning in and kissing her again, a bit less desperate but no less passionate or arousing.  She broke the kiss and kissed her way to the tender flesh of Jane’s neck, where she nipped and nibbled with a contented hum.

“Oooh,” Jane moaned, surprised she was still standing.  “You are . . . certainly . . . not shy . . . about this,” she said, surprised she could still form a sentence.

Maura pulled back and looked at Jane thoughtfully.  “We are both healthy, consenting adults,” Maura offered.  “But I . . . I do understand if you wish to take this slow,” she said with difficulty, her body and emotions not quite in agreement with her logical mind.  “It is a big change in our relationship,” she acknowledged.  “And it would have to be.  This will not be casual for me, Jane,” she said firmly, though Jane saw a flicker of uncertainty and vulnerably in her eyes.

Jane smiled with relief; Maura wanted what she wanted.  With a gentle, lingering kiss of promise, she stated “this is definitely not casual for me either, Maura.”

Seeing an interesting combination of relief and desire in Maura’s eyes, Jane asked curiously:  “So . . . you’d really be ok with waiting?”

“The last thing I would want is for you to be uncomfortable, Jane,” Maura said honestly, caressing Jane’s cheek.  “I don’t want you preoccupied or worried when we finally copulate,” she said, pulling Jane back into a warm hug. 

Jane winced at the clinical terminology.  But she was certain the wonderful feel of her body in her arms and their emotional connection would overcome Maura’s sterile words.

“I don’t want you distracted when my fingers . . .” Maura said softly as her fingers traveled down Jane’s back and indulged in a possessive caress of her posterior. 

Jane’s eyes widened.

“. . . and lips . . . ,” Maura said and brushed her lips gently over Jane’s amazingly sensitive neck.

Jane exhaled with a whimper.

“. . . and tongue . . . ,” she said, now licking Jane’s neck in various strokes, demonstrating very promising skill.

Jane moaned. 

“. . . all thoroughly explore your body, slowly coaxing every one of your erogenous zones,” Maura whispered seductively into Jane’s ear, her warm breath a gentle caress. “. . . until you beg me for release,” she said and took her earlobe into her warm, wet mouth and suckled, her tongue flicking the sensitive tab of flesh.

“Jesus,” Jane squeaked, feeling a direct connection . . . South.

“Making you climax, over . . . and over. . . and over,” she said slowly, pressing her body into Jane’s, over and over, perfectly accentuating her words of promise.

Pulling back, Maura smiled.  “Just so we’re clear.”


They lay in each other’s arms in Maura’s bed, naked and spent.

“I’m glad we waited,” Jane said with a chuckle, kissing Maura’s temple as her fingers lightly stoked her arm.

“Waiting usually is a prudent thing to do,” Maura said, her fingers absently caressing Jane’s side, careful of her bandaged side that miraculously survived the strenuous physical activity.  “It was at least four minutes,” she noted dryly.

“I’m surprised it was that long.”

“I am very pleased with the results of your impatience,” Maura said with a pleased smirk as she caressed Jane’s bare hip.

“Tell me those four minutes did not feel like an eternity,” Jane challenged with amusement.

Maura paused her caress as she considered the question thoughtfully.  “I’ll concede that point,” she offered graciously.

“As well you should,” Jane said haughtily.

The two chuckled.

“I love you, Maura,” Jane said softly, caressing her arm.  “I really do.”

Maura shifted and propped herself on her elbow to look into Jane’s eyes.  “You have proven that many times, Jane.  Even before we became sexually intimate.”

“Well, you are easy to love,” Jane said simply, tracing her fingers over her brow and down her cheek.

Maura smiled happily and leaned in for kiss, which sparked another and another.

Jane took a needed breath and exhaled “Dear God.  Right now, I’m the worstest friend you have ever, ever had.”

Maura giggled.  Her mirth faded as she looked tenderly at Jane’s smiling face that only enhanced her already considerable beauty.

“I love you, Jane,” she said softly. 

Jane’s long fingers tenderly brushed aside errant strands of hair off of Maura’s brow.  “And you have proven that many, many times to me, Maura,” she said sincerely, earning a pleased smile.  “Even before the hot monkey loooove.”

“Jane!  I can’t believe you would equate our lovemaking to…ohhhh.  Yessss.  Right there.”


Soft classical music from the alarm clock radio grew louder, rousing Jane from a deep sleep.  She groaned as she slowly became more aware of her surroundings . . . the cotton sheet against her cheek . . . and the smell of Maura.  She smiled groggily as wonderful memories of last night filled her conscious thoughts.  Opening one eye, she spied the other side of the big bed.  It was empty.  Her immediate frown was replaced with a small smile when she detected coffee brewing.  As she sat up, the covers slipped down to reveal her naked form. 

Getting out of bed, she stretched, feeling sore but very happy.  Shuffling sleepily towards the bathroom, she was startled by the living mass in her way.  “Ah!” Jane blurted and dashed back to the bedroom, grabbing a pillow and covering herself. 

“Jane?  Are you all right?” Maura said with worry, quickly returning to the bedroom and stepping around Bass, who was slowly plodding along.

“Your boy turtle is a peeping Bass,” Jane accused, pointing at the creature.

“Tortoise,” Maura said and chuckled at Jane’s displeased face and her silly attempt to cover herself with a pillow.

“Fine!  I’m going to shower now,” Jane said with a pout.

“And I’ll have a talk with him about boundaries,” Maura said with amusement. 

“You do that,” Jane said, glaring at the tortoise before returning her focus to Maura, who was already dressed and looking amazing.  “Morning,” she said softly with a lop-sided grin and gave her a quick peck on the lips, mindful Maura had brushed already and she hadn’t.  “I won’t be long,” she said and left the room, with the pillow, leaving Maura with a good view of her backside.  Even with the healing bruises, Jane was an incredibly beautiful woman.

“Now Bass,” Maura said in a motherly tone, loud enough for Jane to hear in the bathroom.  “You are going to need to understand that Jane is going to be around more often and in various states of undress.  You should respect her privacy, as she is very shy.  Although I can see how after last night’s vocal and multiple orgasms, you would never have guessed our Jane would be shy,” Maura said with a big smile.

“I heard that!!” 

“So did Bass,” Maura responded helpfully.

“Aw, Maura, did you have to go and say that??”

Maura smiled and returned to the kitchen.


Maura sipped her coffee, reviewing the latest issue of Forensics Quarterly.  When Jane joined her in the kitchen, she smiled as Jane gently pulled her hair back and kissed her neck. 

“You didn’t need to rush, you have plenty of time before your shift,” Maura noted.

“I need to swing by my apartment.  Jo needs her morning walk and there is bound to be at least one detective to notice I am wearing the same clothing,” Jane said with a shrug, leaning over to kiss her on the lips.  Glancing at the magazine, she cringed. “Nice breakfast reading material,” she noted dryly, seeing the pictures of a decomposed hand covered in maggots.

“We really should plan our evenings better.  I want to savor our mornings together,” Maura said, which earned her a smile and another, longer kiss.

“I need coffee,” Jane blurted after pulling back from the kiss.  “For some reason, I’m really exhausted this morning,” she said with a smirk.

“You need to eat something too,” Maura said, getting up as Jane grabbed a mug and poured herself a cup.

“I’ll snag a dough…,” Jane said, then stopped, seeing the disapproval on Maura’s face.  “. . . a healthy breakfast choice at home,” she slowly amended with a smile and sipped from her mug.

“Jane?”  Maura asked with a thoughtful look.  “How do you want to handle the development in our relationship at work?”

Jane leaned against the kitchen counter and shrugged.  “I hadn’t really thought through all of it, Maura,” she admitted.  “I know I’ll get a ration of shit from Crowe, who is a chauvinist ass.  But I don’t think he’ll bother you.  If he does, I’ll take care of him.”

Maura nodded thoughtfully, surprising Jane with her failure to scold her about language. 

“Did you have something in mind?” Jane asked curiously, sipping from her mug.

“Not really, no.  Do you really think this could cause trouble for you, Jane?” Maura asked worriedly. 

“Maura, there are bound to be a few jerks who will make some comments.  It’s still a boy’s club and some still have problems with a female encroaching on their turf.  And now it’s not just their profession,” she said with a wry smile, making Maura frown more. 

Jane set her mug down and stepped towards Maura, taking her hands in hers.  “I refuse to let them dictate to me how I should live my life,” she said, squeezing Maura’s hands.  “I’ll admit it took me a bit of soul searching to get to this point of enlightenment,” Jane said with a self-conscious smile.  “I was afraid of my family’s reaction and, I’ll admit, I was worried about how it would affect me professionally,” Jane offered softly.

“And now?”  Maura asked softly.

“I think my family just wants me to be happy.  And you make me so very happy, Maura.”

Maura smiled with satisfaction.  “The feeling’s mutual.  But that won’t ensure there won’t be difficulties for you at work.”

“You’re right.  But I love you.  And even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could pretend I didn’t.”

Maura looked at Jane with a pleased smile.

As Jane leaned in for a kiss, Maura warned: “You’d better go now, or you’ll be late for work and Jo Friday will be very upset.”

Chapter 11 - Interrogations


At the precinct, before shift, Korsak sat at his desk, staring at a plain rice cake he brought in lieu of a donut, as he sipped his coffee with two creamers and three sugars.  He took one bite and frowned distastefully.  He spit out the mouthful in a napkin, tossing it and the remaining rice cake into the trash.

Standing up, he pulled out a handful of change from his pocket and picked out the quarters as he headed to the candy machine.  He stopped in his tracks when he saw the Lieutenant walking to her office with Agent Dean and another man.

“What’s going on?” Frost said, making Korsak jump.

“Jesus, you’re gonna give me a heart-attack!”

“No, the candy in that machine is going to do that.  So what’s going on with Dean and the Lieutenant?”

“I don’t know,” he said with a shrug.

“You spoke to him yesterday, how could you not know?” Frost said.

“He said it was complicated and that he was still looking into it,” Korsak responded testily.

“Complicated??  What does that mean?”

“He didn’t elaborate, all right?  Feds like to hold things close, ok?”  Korsak said with annoyance as Frost stared at the Lieutenant’s office.

“Well he must have found something.  Who’s the other suit?”

“I.  Don’t.  Know.”

“I can’t believe…”

“Would you shut it already?” Korsak snapped.  “You are worse than my ex-wife.”

“Which one?” Frost quickly asked with a smirk, amused by the glare he received.

Agent Dean came out of the Lieutenant’s office and looked at them.  “Detectives, could you two please join us?”

Frost and Korsak looked at each other uneasily.


When they entered the Lieutenant’s office, they noticed the Lieutenant standing at her window, staring out over the town.  Her arms were crossed over her chest with her rigid back towards them. 

“Detectives Frost and Korsak, this is Assistant Director Lowery from the FBI’s organized crime unit,” Agent Dean introduced, after he closed the door.

The grey-haired man looked at the Detectives and nodded tersely.  Korsak and Frost nodded back and glanced at each other uneasily.

“I understand you two have come into possession of classified FBI information on one Marie Largo?”

Frost nodded weakly.   Korsak noted how the Lieutenant tensed at the name.

“You do realize it is a Federal offense to hack into classified FBI data?” The Assistant Director asked pointedly.

Frost nodded, looking like he had stumbled upon a dismembered body.  Korsak frowned and looked at Agent Dean with annoyance for ratting them out.  Agent Dean briefly returned his gaze, revealing nothing. 

“So what’s the story on Marie Largo, who’s listed as dead but seems to be standing right . . . ?” Korsak asked directly but was interrupted.

“I’m the one asking the questions here Detective!” Lowery snapped.  “You do realize how much trouble you are in, don’t you?!?”

“Korsak didn’t do anything,” Frost quickly blurted with concern, his defense of him surprising the older detective.  Though, Korsak reconsidered it shouldn’t surprise him; Frost was an honest, decent person, even if the squeamish kid had replaced him as Jane’s partner.  “I was the one who searched for Marie Largo and hacked into the computer.”

“Why?”  The Assistant Director asked tersely.

“It was a challenge?” Frost lied weakly and looked to the ground.  Agent Dean sighed.

“No, I mean how did you know about her alias?”

Frost frowned, glancing at Korsak with concern.  He very subtly shook his head no.

“Because I made a mistake,” the Lieutenant offered simply, surprising the men.  “I should have kept her dead and buried but I didn’t,” she said, regretting the ease with which she had slipped back into the world of cloaks and daggers to pursue a criminal.

“I saw an opportunity to aid in a murder investigation and I used my Marie Largo alias,” she said distastefully, still staring out of the window.

“And I made my detectives very suspicious of their new boss.  I had more money than you’d expect for a cop . . . a ready fake name, with business cards already on me,” she said with irritation, regretting keeping those damn business cards for “just in case.”  She should have burned them, she thought, wanting to kick herself because she knew how they could burn her.

“And I was able to quickly bring resources to bear that could only be done through connections that a typical Lieutenant would not have,” she vaguely summarized, turning around to eye Frost and Korsak pointedly.  “Frankly, in hindsight, I’d be disappointed if Boston’s finest didn’t question me,” she said and looked at the Assistant Director in challenge.

Korsak’s respect jumped for the Lieutenant, who was not hanging them out to dry.  He guiltily noted the dark circles under her eyes and her exhausted demeanor; he suspected this situation and association with the FBI and “Marie Largo” had taken a heavy toll on her. 

“Well?” the Assistant Director asked, glaring at Frost and Korsak.

“She’s right.  Hell, how many NYPD officers have Aston Martins?” Korsak responded gruffly.

“You’d be surprised, Detective Korsak.  Well, before Marie Largo took down the Tarreno and Saluda crime families and the crooked cops on the take,” Lowery said, crossing his arms over his chest.

Korsak looked at Frost.  Both had heard about the infamous crime families, glad their business had not infected Boston.  Both had also heard how widespread the disturbing NYPD connections were.  Neither had heard about a Marie Largo or her role in all of it.

“So what now?” Korsak asked uneasily.

“I will confiscate all your files involving Marie Largo,” Lowery said firmly.  He glanced back at the Lieutenant, whose eyes narrowed, and added awkwardly “and destroy them … and all evidence of Marie Largo from the FBI data base.”

“As was already promised, since it was agreed Marie Largo would stay dead and I would never be needed ever again,” the Lieutenant said icily.  “How do I know you’ll actually do it?”

Korsak and Frost both noticed the dynamics in the room suddenly shift as the FBI Assistant Director was now answering to their boss.  They looked at each other curiously.

“Are you questioning my integrity?” Lowery blurted, clearly insulted.

The Lieutenant snarled at the Assistant Director.  “I would love it, if just for ONCE in my goddamn adult life, I could trust the people I work with!  I learned the hard way in the NYPD that trust is a rare commodity for a reason.  And the FBI has certainly not earned it - you assholes have broken too many goddamn promises  – like the Deputy Director’s promise that the fucking Marie Largo records would be destroyed.  So excuse the hell out of me for not quite believing you now!”

Korsak really had to fight the smile that wanted to form.  If only he was a little younger and she was not married, he considered as the smile formed anyway.

Lowery was turning red with anger. 

“I could validate the data is destroyed,” Agent Dean interjected helpfully, wanting to diffuse the heated situation.

She looked at him skeptically.  “Korsak, Frost,” she snapped, glancing to them.  “Can I trust Agent Dean to validate the records are all deleted and no copies are made?!?”

Her question surprised both men, who immediately said in stereo “Yes, ma’am.”

She critically looked at Dean a moment.  “All right.  I want a call from you when it’s done,” she said to Agent Dean.

“I’ll call,” he said simply, prompting a crisp nod of acceptance.

“Fine,” Lowery said impatiently.  “As for the hacking, I don’t see how we can overlook…,” he said, glaring at the two detectives.

“As for the hacking allegation,” the Lieutenant interrupted.  “I don’t see how anyone can actually HACK into a database and retrieve information that’s not supposed to be there.  And if the FBI asserts a hacking occurred, then I look forward to embarrassing the organization and her senior leadership,” the Lieutenant said with a smile that was not friendly.

Frost looked curiously over to a happily smiling Korsak, thinking he really should not be enjoying this meeting.

“What?  Embarrass them how?” Lowery scoffed.

“You do remember who I’m married to, right?”

Korsak’s happy smile faded as Lowery winced.

“You know I have the resources and full support in using them.  And you know as well as I do that I don’t need to prove anything.  A plausible and very public accusation can prompt an investigation that won’t stop until they find something.  And who knows, they might even find those skeletons no one had the goddamn guts to touch,” she spat with disgust. 

Lowery paled.  “You wouldn’t be that vindictive,” he said uncertainly, never having expected that from her.  She had been the model operative, fiercely loyal to justice being done and willing to do what they had asked, even at her own personal sacrifice. 

“You personally caused my family pain, Lowery.  Try me.”

Korsak looked at Frost then Agent Dean, who shrugged, also not knowing what she meant.  But they knew the Lieutenant truly disliked Lowery.

“Fine.  You’ve made your point.  If I get your assurances that you and your detectives don’t mention this . . . issue, I’ll consider this hacking matter closed,” Lowery said begrudgingly.

“What issue?”  Frost quickly blurted with a weak laugh, receiving several unamused looks.

“We’ll keep our mouths shut,” Korsak said.

“Very well, the matter is closed,” Lowery said tightly.

“Excellent,” she said with a thin smile going to her door.  “Now, if you Feds don’t mind, the Boston PD has some murderers to catch,” she said, opening the door for her guests, clearly dismissing them.

Agent Dean nodded and left, followed by Assistant Director Lowery, who glared at her as he left. 

Korsak and Frost started to follow the Feds out of the office.

“Not so fast,” the Lieutenant said tersely, causing the detectives to halt with a cringe.


As Agent Dean headed to the elevators with Lowery, he spotted Jane and Maura at Jane’s desk, noticing how close they stood together.


“If you are free, join me for lunch?” Maura asked hopefully.

Jane cringed.  “I’m not sure how long the interviews will last.  But I’ll try.”

“Good,” Maura said and automatically kissed her on the lips, which seemed so natural.  She froze and looked at Jane with alarm, knowing Crowe was watching them with a displeased cringe at the public display of affection.

Jane just laughed.  “See you later, Maura,” she said, returning the peck on the lips. 

“Okay!” Maura said brightly, stealing a quick caress of Jane’s face before heading to the elevators.

Jane watched Maura with a big smile. 

“Goddamnit, Rizzoli,” Crowe said with disapproval.  “Must you bring that gay shit in here?”

“I’d say bite me, Crowe, but only Maura is allowed to do that now,” Jane offered with a chuckle, continuing to watch Maura walk.  God she was a beautiful woman, Jane thought, watching the alluring sway of hips.  Noting Gabriel standing by the elevators with a smile, giving her a small wave, Jane nodded back with a smile.

“Jesus, you’d think we were in Holland with all the dikes around here,” he muttered.

“Careful, Crowe, people might think you’re jealous,” she said, her eyes still on Maura.  “I wouldn’t blame you if you were,” She offered with a smile.

Crowe rolled his eyes and went for a cup of coffee.

Maura joined the two men at the elevators with a pleasant smile. 

“Dr. Isles,” Agent Dean said, nodding his head politely as he pushed the down button for her.

“Agent Dean,” Maura said and looked at the other man with an expectant smile.

“Assistant Director Lowery,” he introduced himself as politely as he could, still angry after the encounter he just had. 

“She’s the medical examiner,” Dean supplied.

“Pleased to meet you, ma’am,” Lowery said, holding his hand out to shake the elegant hand.  This lady was a stark contrast to the woman he just had a meeting with, he considered.

“Likewise.  Are you two in town long?” she asked conversationally.

Lowery actually smiled.  “No, thankfully.” 

Maura looked at him curiously.

“We’re both going back to DC tonight,” Gabe offered.  “We resolved what we needed to here,” he said, briefly glancing back towards Jane, who was watching Maura unapologetically.

Maura followed his gaze to Jane, who smiled at her.  A warm feeling washed over her.  She couldn’t help but smile back.

As the down elevator doors opened, Agent Dean politely stepped out of the way and put his hand at the door.  As she passed, he softly said: “Take care of her.”

She turned and looked at him, noting the sincerity in his eyes and facial muscles.  “I intend to,” she said with a smile.


Jane sighed wistfully when the elevator doors shut and she could no longer see Maura.  As she sat down at her desk, Frost and Korsak emerged from the Lieutenant’s office, not looking very happy.  Each was lugging a big box of files.

“What happened in there?” Jane asked them as they returned to their desks, each placing the boxes down with a heavy thud.

“We’re on her shit list,” Frost said with a frown.

“It’s resolved.  Leave it alone,” Korsak said gruffly, pushing the box to the corner of his desk.

She looked at him curiously, then over at the elevators where Dean and the other man entered.  She frowned; had she not been mooning over Maura, she might have been surprised that the FBI computer hack involved the Boston PD. 

“Frost?!?” Jane suddenly hissed with concern.

Frost winced.

“It was the Marie Largo search, wasn’t it?  Did you…??” She asked with a guilty wince, knowing Frost had a gift with computers and could probably get into where he shouldn’t.

“Yes.  As a matter of fact, he did,” Korsak supplied with irritation. 

“Shit!” Jane blurted worriedly, glancing around the bullpen after her unintentionally loud outburst, glad she hadn't attracted unwanted attention.

“Agent Dean helped . . . a lot,” Frost said with a wince.

Jane absently glanced back at the elevators, grateful Gabe could help her friends. 

“Wait a minute, there’s actually information to access?” Jane suddenly asked with alarm, hating to think the woman she had grown to respect was actually criminal.  But if she was, Dean would have taken her in, she considered.  “What’s going on with the Lieutenant??”  she asked, confused.

“She’s good people, Jane.  Trust me,” Korsak countered with strong conviction.  “Now, we’ve got the interviews in less than an hour to get ready for.  Can we drop it, please?”  he asked pointedly, forestalling further questioning.

Jane frowned; she did trust Korsak but she also was dying to know what the hell they found out and why they were in the doghouse with the Lieutenant.  But she knew they had to focus on the case now, if the murder of Greg Johnston was ever going to be solved.


The electricity throughout the department was palpable as Jane and Frost escorted Gwyneth Johnston to an interrogation room. 

“I must say I was curious when I heard of your concern about my well being, Detective.  Especially since you aided in my arrest and I stand to serve a few years in prison after my trial,” Gwyneth said conversationally.  “I don’t suppose you have a deal for me,” she said silkily, looking over Jane’s lean form.

Jane was struck by how calm and collected Gwyneth Johnston was regarding her likely fate. 

“No.  Sorry.  All I have for you is disturbing news about your brother and parents that I believe…shit!” Jane hissed, spotting Korsak, Crowe, and Richard Johnston down the hall.

“What’s going on?” Gwyneth said, clearly confused by the detective’s reaction and unexpectedly seeing her brother.

“Please, come this way,” Jane said anxiously, escorting Gwyneth out of the hallway and towards interrogation room one.  “I’m really sorry about this.  Those idiots were not supposed to have him here at the same time.”

“Detective,” Gwyneth said with annoyance.


“Why is she here?” Richard demanded angrily, seeing his sister disappear down the hall with two detectives.  “Shouldn’t she be in jail or something?”

“Please come with me, Mr. Johnston.  Your safety is at stake,” Korsak noted gravely, motioning towards an interview room.

“You said that on the phone.  Do you really think I am in danger?”

“Please, Mr. Johnston.  We can discuss this in a more private setting,” Korsak said, looking around the hallway, then at Johnston pointedly.


“Dr. Isles,” the Lieutenant said with mild surprise, seeing the medical examiner enter the observation room that stood between the one-way mirrors. 

“Would it be all right if I observed?” Maura asked uneasily, motioning to the one-way mirror.

“Do you normally watch interrogations?”  The Lieutenant asked curiously.

“Occasionally.   I . . . usually watch tapes for my studies with the Facial Action Coding System,” she admitted.  “But I was interested in Jane’s theory,” she offered uncomfortably.

“You’re welcome to see Rizzoli in action,” she said with a small smile.  “And your observations might be helpful.  Perhaps we’ll solve this crime today,” she offered with a shrug.

“I certainly hope so.  I know Jane . . . and everyone . . . is anxious to get resolution,” Maura said. 

The Lieutenant nodded with a small smile. 

“Have you been getting enough sleep, Lieutenant?  The notable darkening of your nasojugal fold indicates significant fatigue,” she started pointing to the area.

“Is that a polite way of saying I look like shit, Doctor?” she smirked, startling Maura, who looked alarmed by the Lieutenant’s incorrect conclusion.  “I’m sorry, Maura.  It’s been a long week,” she offered softly, feeling guilty for teasing the Doctor, who was genuinely concerned.  “I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

“Are you looking forward to the banquet tonight, too?”  Maura asked.

“Joy,” she said flatly with a fake smile.

“You don’t like formal gatherings?” Maura asked with surprise.

“You do??” she challenged.

“Not particularly, especially when it involves having to socialize with large groups of people I don’t know well,” Maura said honestly. “But I do enjoy dressing up,” she added enthusiastically with a smile.

The Lieutenant chuckled.  “I’d rather have a root canal,” she said, surprising the medical examiner.  “You have to wear uncomfortable clothes, watch exactly what you say, eat fancy food without spilling anything on yourself, laugh at really stupid jokes from people who think they are funny, and if there is dancing – God help you.  Everyone is staring, hoping to see you make a fool of yourself, so they have something to gossip about until the next pompous spectacle,” she said, shaking her head, then looked at Maura and plastered on a fake smile.  “Can’t think of anything I’d rather do!” she suddenly said with faux enthusiasm.

Maura looked at her a thoughtful moment.  “Have you ever actually had a root canal?” Maura asked curiously.

“No,” the Lieutenant admitted, rolling her eyes at Maura’s satisfied smile and look.  “Point taken, Doctor,” she begrudgingly allowed, making Maura’s smile broader.

“New dress and shoes?” the Lieutenant asked, glancing over her current elegant outfit, already knowing the answer.

“Of course,” Maura beamed.

“Of course,” she chuckled.


Korsak and Crowe sat in the room with Richard Johnston.  “Would you please tell me why you needed to speak with me?” he said testily. 

“Well, we believe you are in danger,” Korsak said, opening up his folder. 

“You already said that.  From whom?”

“From your sister,” Crowe offered.

Richard laughed with amusement that faded when he realized Korsak and Crowe were dead serious.


“This is becoming tedious,” Gwyneth said tiredly as she was escorted to her seat, which Frost politely pulled out for her with a smile.  She sighed and nodded thanks to him; at least he was polite, she considered.

“I am sorry,” Jane said with an apologetic smile as she sat across from her.

Gwyneth leaned forward and looked her over.  “You are a very beautiful woman, Detective Rizzoli.  It’s a shame we didn’t meet before my arrest,” she said silkily, looking into Jane’s brown eyes.

Frost looked at Jane uncomfortably.


The Lieutenant briefly glanced over to Maura curiously, concluding that it didn’t take extensive training in the Facial Action Coding System to know she was not pleased.  She frowned, knowing Jane was unaware of Maura’s presence and could inadvertently make things more uncomfortable, depending on how she was going to play this.

Before she could say anything to help ease Maura’s discomfort, Jane spoke.


Jane looked at Gwyneth and smiled.  “Thanks.  But if you want to see a truly beautiful woman, you should see our medical examiner.  Drop dead gorgeous,” she said, softly chuckling to herself.  Seeing Gwyneth eye her curiously, she pointed to Frost.  “Ask him.”

Frost looked at her oddly before silently nodding.


Maura was warmed by the unexpected compliment, which made her want to hug her.  Feeling the Lieutenant’s eyes on her, she glanced over uncomfortably to find her just staring at the one-way mirror, with a slight smile on her face.


“I’m afraid we need to move on to more unpleasant things and discuss the information we learned about your parents’ and brother’s death.  I think your life is in very real danger,” Jane said.

“How?” Gwyneth said with an air of boredom, looking at her manicured hand.


“You can’t be serious,” Richard scoffed. 

“I’m afraid I am.  And while she is likely to get 5 to 10 after her trial….” Korsak said.

“As little as one to three, with good behavior,” Crowe interjected with a frown and added with a wince “she’ll be out in no time.”

“But she may not wait and get help while in jail,” Korsak said.

“Good point,” Crowe said, walking behind Richard and leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest.  He certainly knew how to make people uncomfortable.  “She’d have a good alibi.”

“May not wait for what?  What help?  Alibi?? What the hell are you talking about?” Richard spat in confusion, turning back in his chair to Crowe, then forward to Korsak.

“Let me explain.  As you already know, she was co-beneficiary with you to Greg Johnston’s life insurance policy,” Korsak said. 

“Poor guy, he was dying of cancer when she took him out,” Crowe said shaking his head.

“You think she actually killed Greg for insurance money, when we could have just waited for him to die?” Richard said with amusement.  “He was never a healthy child.  Why do you think we took out a policy?”

“Your sister denied having anything to do with that policy,” Korsak said.

Richard laughed.  “Of course she did.  She never liked the optics of profiting on Greg’s death.  But she paid her half of the premiums.”

“The premiums must have been exorbitant,” Crowe said.

“They were relatively high, but the insurance company doctor was not very good and I calculated the cost-benefit and expected lifespan and saw it was a win,” Richard said with a shrug.  “Easy money.”

Korsak thought he had heard it all.  Even Crowe shook his head with disgust.

“But in the end, none of us got any money because it was ruled a murder!  Why would Gwyneth risk herself and the money and not wait?” Richard said.


“As you know, you and your brother Richard are listed as co-beneficiaries to your brother Greg’s life insurance policy.”

Gwyneth looked at her silently.

“And Greg was murdered,” Jane said.

“Which voids any claim to the insurance.  Surely you don’t think Richard would be that stupid as to risk his freedom and a payout by killing Greg?  My brother was already dying.  And I already told you people, I cannot believe Richard would do anything to Greg.  Richard is an ass, but that makes no sense,” Gwyneth scoffed.

“Well, perhaps not to you.  You don’t seem to be the kind of woman who lets her emotions rule her decisions and you certainly don’t appear desperate, even facing incarceration,” Jane offered, spotting a bit of pride from that observation.

“You're saying Richard is so desperate for money, that he would kill Greg?”

“I don’t know how closely you follow his finances,” Jane said.

“I don’t.  We don’t speak often and when we do, it is at the standard family holidays.  He’s a boring conversationalist,” Gwyneth said tiredly.

“So you don’t know his companies are failing?” Jane asked, getting a look of mild interest.   “He was likely headed to bankruptcy.  Certainly not in a position to continue paying high premiums on an insurance policy.”

“I was unaware,” she allowed, glancing down thoughtfully.


Korsak frowned.  “Well, did you know she was in serious debt?”

“No,” Richard said with a frown.  “We rarely talk.”

“Perhaps she had to cover a few bad bets?” Korsak suggested.

“And those insurance premiums,” Crowe added helpfully.

“Maybe she gambled that she could benefit from his lifetime of poor health to make it look like natural causes,” Korsak said.

Richard frowned as he considered that theory.

“And we believe it was not the first time she had relied on insurance money.  She blew through the payout from your parents’ death,” Korsak said.  “And when she needed more, why not pursue another insurance scam?”

“Are you suggesting she killed our parents?”  Richard asked, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.  “Their deaths were investigated and ruled an accident.”

“Some new information on the circumstances of their death surfaced, which would imply it wasn’t an accident,” Crowe offered, eyeing the suspect.

“New information?” Richard asked uneasily, shifting in his seat back to the detective.  “Would you please stand somewhere else than behind me?” he blurted testily.

“Oh, sure,” Crowe said, pushing off the wall and standing off to the side, not directly behind him, still requiring Richard to shift in his seat to see him.

“The detective in charge of the case?” Korsak said.  “Detective Simmons?  He was arrested two years ago…for taking bribes.  His cases are all under review.  Unfortunately, he died in jail so we were unable to question him.  But your parent’s accident has been bumped to the front of the reinvestigations based on our concerns about your safety,” Korsak said.

“My safety?” Richard said, looking between the two men.


“And recent information about your parents' accident investigating office has reopened the case,” Jane offered.

“Excuse me?” Gwyneth said, showing a bit of unease before she sat back and looked nonchalant.

“Well, Detective Simmons was arrested for taking bribes.  Unfortunately, he died in prison before we could question him about what he was involved with,” Frost said.

“But your parent’s accident has been given top priority due to our concern for your safety,” Jane said.

“What makes you think I’m in danger?” Gwyneth said hesitantly.


Korsak pushed the package of paper towards him.  “She is the sole beneficiary of the life insurance policy taken out on you.”

Richard’s eyes widened in surprise. 

“That bitch!”


Jane winced.  “I’m sorry to have to show you this but,” she said sympathetically and pushed the package of paper towards her.  “Richard is the sole beneficiary of the life insurance policy taken out on you.”

Gwyneth’s eyes widened in surprise. 

“That bastard!”


“If you have anything that could connect Ms. Johnston to the planning of your parent’s accident, it might very well save your life, Mr. Johnston.” Korsak said with concern, pushing a small tape recorder towards him.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t save Greg.  Don’t let her get away with another murder,” Crowe said gravely.

Richard looked at them.  “Do you really think she killed my little brother?” he asked softly, with surprising sincerity.

Korsak blinked, not expecting his question or sincerity.  His face turned hard and he nodded, turning on the tape recorder.

“Gwyneth never got along with our parents…” Richard said, fingering his collar.


The Lieutenant frowned and focused back on the Rizzoli interview.


“If you can tell us anything that could connect Richard Johnston to the planning of your parent’s accident, it might save your life.  As of right now, we cannot book him and we don’t have enough evidence to provide you police protection.  I'm confident there is evidence of foul play, but if we don’t act quickly, it may be too late,” she said looking at her with concern, and pushed a recording device towards her.

“Your only crime is illegal fighting.  Not murder.  Don’t let him get away with it.  Don’t be his fourth victim,” Jane said.

Gwyneth looked at Jane.  “Do you really think he killed Greg?” she asked sadly.

Jane fought to school her surprise and nodded.

“All right,” she said wearily and Jane nodded, turning on the recorder.  “Richard would always argue with our parents over our allowance….”


“Ah crap,” the Lieutenant groused softly.

“Neither of them killed Greg Johnston,” Maura noted curiously, getting a weary look.


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