Facts, Just the Facts

A Rizzoli & Isles (T/V) Story

by Enginerd

Chapter 12 – Loose Ends

Back in the bullpen, the Detectives regrouped after the brother and sister provided enough information for their arrest for planning their parents’ murder. 

Maura stood quietly, finding the whole brain storming process quite fascinating.  While she dealt only in hard evidence to draw her conclusions, Jane and the other detectives approached a problem with theories, based on sometimes disturbingly little information, which would then give them a direction to look to find their evidence.  Although she had spent much more time with Jane than the others, Maura still believed Jane was truly the most creative, which made her so successful in her profession.  It truly baffled her how Jane could so easily dismiss her intellectual gift and put herself down.  It was most a most aggravating trait, Maura considered.

“That family is one twisted lot,” Korsak said, shaking his head looking at his notes.

“Kind of makes you think Greg’s better off as worm food,” Crowe blurted, leaning back in his chair, getting a bunch of glares.  “What?”

“Ah jeeze Crowe, respect the dead will yah?” Korsak blurted with disapproval.

“I’m just sayin…”

Knowing it was better to just ignore Crowe, the Lieutenant commented on their lack of leads with irritation. “Well, so far, we’ve managed to stop the sister’s fight club and solve the parents’ murder but not the murder of the guy on the bike who was already dying of cancer.” 

The Lieutenant shook her head, feeling the same frustration as the rest of the detectives.

Jane looked curiously at the Lieutenant, the words “already dying of cancer” had always held some significance, though she did not know why.

Her eyes, unfocused, moved about as she attempted to bring some order to the chaos of facts that jumbled around her head.

Witnessing Jane battling the tendrils of apparently unrelated thoughts to connect them, weave them, into a plausible theory, Maura felt great anticipation.  It was incredibly fascinating and to her surprise…highly arousing.

“Frost, when were the insurance policies for the brother and sister issued?” Rizzoli asked, glancing over to him.

Frost looked at her a curious moment before diving into his file.  “Both . . . about two weeks before Greg Johnston’s death,” he said with mild surprise.  “Interesting,” he offered.

It was, Maura considered as she watched Jane closely, feeling her anticipation grow.  If they were going to cash in on his illness, it was an interesting coincidence they both took out policies at essentially the same time, prior to their brother’s death.

“And each sibling denied taking out a policy on the other?”

“Yep,” Korsak answered.  “Of course they're not exactly truthful individuals.”

“What companies issued them?”  Rizzoli asked. 

Why would it matter, Maura wondered excitedly.

“Boston Mutual and Mass. Financial Corporation, why?” Frost said, looking at Jane frown. 

Maura looked at her worriedly, wondering why that made her frown.

“That’s the same company, Rizzoli,” Crowe offered, getting surprised looks, which really irritated him.  He knew things too, damn it.  “MFC is the parent company and issues different financial products from that parent and subsidiaries.”

“Can we find out where the money to pay for the policies came from?” Jane asked.

“I’ll look,” Frost said, tapping on his keyboard to start the search as Jane nodded with satisfaction, tucking an unruly strand of hair behind her ear

Maura’s gaze followed her long fingers as she struggled to not derail Jane’s train of thought with her plentiful questions.  She recalled Jane saying the money trail was something that criminals usually left behind, regardless of how careful they were.   But how did that fit within the context of the known set of facts and Jane’s current line of thinking, she wondered, feeling as if the seemingly disconnected questions were deliberately designed to arouse her curiosity and tease her intellect, until the facts would culminate, building upon each other, until climaxing with a very gratifying discovery.

“Maura?” Jane asked.

“Yes, Jane?” she answered enthusiastically, aching to help Jane.  Almost too enthusiastically, she realized with an uncomfortable smile, given the looks she received.

Crowe rolled his eyes, wondering why the doctor, who was a true class act, would ever hook up with someone like Jane Rizzoli. 

“How painful is dying from the cancer he had?” Jane asked.

“Well, most people would be heavily sedated because of the pain,” Maura readily offered.

“So quality of life wouldn’t be good in the last few months?” Jane asked.

“No.  Not at all,” Maura said, realizing what Jane was nibbling around as the Lieutenant voiced the question before she could.

“You think he arranged his own death?” the Lieutenant asked with interest, getting Jane to look at her and nod.

From her review of Greg Johnston’s medical record, it was not unreasonable to believe he was not interested in continuing to live a life that was full of pain and disability, or under heavy sedation where he would not be cognizant of his surroundings, Maura considered, eager for Jane to continue.

“To set up his siblings?” Korsak offered, getting another nod from Rizzoli.

Maura looked at Jane, desperately wishing she would stop nodding and just explain, but bit her lip.

“All right, Rizzoli, walk us through it,” the Lieutenant said and leaned on the edge of Frost’s desk with her arms crossed over her chest. 

Maura sighed with great relief, silently thanking the Lieutenant.

“Suppose . . . Greg somehow learned his siblings had taken an insurance policy out on him, banking on his ill health to be financially beneficial to them.  He knew they had already benefited from the death of their parents from the healthy payout from that insurance policy,” Jane said, getting up from her chair. 

“He also knew that Richard and Gwyneth were not close to their parents and had many heated arguments over money,” she said, starting to pace as she explained.  “Each were upset with their parents putting them on strict allowances when they could easily afford to give them much more,” Jane added, continuing to pace. 

Maura watched with great interest, noting the fire in Jane’s dark eyes as she spun her theory.  A fire similar to what she had witnessed in the bedroom.  Maura swallowed, recalling that passion.

“And of course, they were not happy most of their Johnston fortune would not be their inheritance but instead given to charity upon their parents’ death.  So, what if Greg concluded that his parents’ accident might not have been accidental.  Faulty breaks on a well-maintained Rolls Royce??” Jane said with a shrug, looking at Frost, who shook his head, agreeing that was unlikely.

Her bearing and command of the room was simply . . . mesmerizing, Maura considered.

“He realized that didn’t make any sense and started to believe his brother and sister conspired to kill their parents for that insurance payout.  Without hard evidence, he couldn’t just turn them in because they might retaliate,” Jane explained, gesturing with her hands. 

As the Italian detective was prone to do, Maura thought, once again admiring her long, elegant fingers that were not surprisingly, very skillful.

“So he set up his murder near what he was convinced was the end of his life anyway, to start an investigation that might lead to his parents’ case," Jane continued.

"But why would he expose them?” Frost asked.  “From our interviews and confessions, it seemed that Greg genuinely cared for his brother and sister, and they cared for him.  They never had any indication of animosity from him, which you might think they’d pick up on if he was angry for their actions,” Frost said with a cringe.

“Tell us about death-bed confessions, Maura,” Jane said with a smile, turning to Maura, who was staring intently at her hands, lost in thought.  “Maura?”

“Confessions?” Maura blurted uneasily, startled from her private thoughts, which she had no intention of confessing to anyone in the room, save Jane, which would happen later . . . in private.

“Deathbed confessions, tell us about them,” Jane said, noticing the familiar flush with interest.

“Of course,” Maura said, taking a deep breath as she refocused on a comfortable task - launching into an explanation.

“There are several studies of death-bed confessions.  Psychologists believe when a person's own mortality is faced, they are more likely to be driven by their guilty conscience, needing to make amends.  Of course, there are several religious implications.  The Talmud, for example, encourages confession when someone falls sick and their life is in danger, with some believing that the merit of the confession may actually allow them to live.  A common religious belief is that confession will assure the dying a place in the afterlife or in that religion’s world to come,” Maura happily offered, getting a smile from Jane.

“So Johnston was a Jew?” Crowe asked, confused.  “He didn’t look Jewish,” he offered, looking around to see if others agreed with him.  “What?” he bristled at their stares.

It was truly amazing how much she wanted to hit Crowe right now, the Lieutenant thought, though she realized that after her morning drama with the FBI, she really just wanted to hit something.  Perhaps she could go to the gym later and pommel the bag . . . before the goddamn benefit, she considered with heavy sigh, realizing that was unlikely.

“Crowe, it doesn’t matter what religion he is, was,” Frost blurted with annoyance.

“Death bed confessions have occurred even with agnostics and atheists,” Maura supplied helpfully.

“But we’re still back where we started.  Even if we think Greg Johnston set up his own murder.  Who threw the shuriken?” Korsak said.

“Lieutenant?” Rizzoli said with great anticipation, seeing the dawning of comprehension on her boss’ face.


Maura opened the evidence locker and pulled out the plastic bag with the shuriken.  Turning, she found Jane stepping closer to her.

“You looked a little flushed in their Doctor.  Are you coming down with a fever or something?” Jane asked innocently.  Though she could not pull off the innocent air with that knowing smirk on her face.

“Jane,” Maura growled, though she didn’t mind the fact Jane hands were now on her hips, slowly pulling them together.  “You know very well what I was responding to, which concerns me about my ability to focus with you being so . . . so,” Maura said, at a loss to describe Jane.

“Soooo?”  Jane asked with amusement, never having known anyone she could sexually fluster.  Well, there was Ronny Galliano from high school, but that was high school and Ronny was flustered by suggestive magazine ads. 

Maura frowned and punched her in the shoulder. 

“Hey!” Jane protested with a laugh.

“Here I am, all worked up – because of you - and you laugh at me,” Maura complained.

Jane looked at her a moment.  “Maura, being in love is new to me too, you know,” she said honestly.  “It’s . . . overwhelming.”

Maura gazed into her sincere eyes.  “But you seem to be able to focus better,” she lamented.

“I don’t know about that,” Jane responded skeptically, thinking about the location of her head the past few weeks, which the Lieutenant so eloquently pointed out.

“I do.  You were brilliant in the interview room and in the bull pen,” Maura offered, excitement returning to her eyes.

“Brilliant?” Jane scoffed with an unbelieving smirk that faded under the stern look Maura gave her daring her to argue - and the other words catching up.  “Uh, you . . . watched the interview?” she asked uneasily.

“Yes.  I found myself needing to see you again,” Maura offered, making Jane smile.  “It was just an added bonus to see you in your element,” she said honestly.  “Even if Gwyneth Johnston was not very subtle in her interest in you,” she added with a slight grimace.

“She’s not my type,” Jane immediately responded.

“What is your type?” Maura asked coyly, running a hand along Jane’s arm.

“A law abiding citizen, for one,” Jane said confidently with a smile, slowly leaning in for a kiss.

“I am one,” Maura readily offered, pulling back slightly.  “I have never even gotten a parking or speeding ticket.”

“That is so.  Damn.  Hot,” Jane said with a smile, leaning in for a kiss.

“You stated, for one, indicating other criteria.  What other criteria?” Maura asked, causing Jane to pause.

“Well, this could be a deal breaker.  She should have a large pet turtle,” Jane said.

“Oh no.  I have a large pet tortoise,” Maura said with a frown.

“Close enough,” Jane blurted and kissed her, before Maura could further question her criteria.

Maura’s hand slipped behind Jane’s neck as the kiss deepened. 

“Rizzoli!” the Lieutenant barked from the doorway, causing the two women to jump back from each other.  “Frost found the money trail.  Let’s go!” she said, noting the blush on their faces.  Shaking her head, she headed towards her car.

Maura gave her the bag with the shuriken, her hand covering Jane’s.  “You’ll be careful?” Maura said softly.

“I intend to be,” Jane said with a smile.


“Right behind you, Lieutenant,” Jane called out and leaned in to kiss Maura.  “You have the best lips of any medical examiner, ever,” she said with a grin.  “Yep.  Definitely.  THE best lips,” she blurted before darting out to catch up to her boss.

Maura chuckled as she watched Jane leave.  Her smile faded as she thought about what the basis of Jane’s conclusion was.


As Jane buckled up in the Aston Martin, she grinned.  “I’m happy to report that my head has been successfully extricated from my ass.” 

The Lieutenant looked over at her a moment and smiled.  “Be careful about the PDA at work, OK?”

Jane looked at her uncomfortably, knowing it wasn’t a reprimand but a friendly caution.  “Gotchya, boss.”

The Lieutenant chuckled quietly as she drove out of the police parking lot.


Pulling up to the Johnston’s Martial Arts school, Jane could see the male instructor they previously spoke to through the large window. 

Unlike the last time they visited, their badges and weapons were clearly on display, their authority unmistakable.  Jane actually preferred carrying her badge and weapon.  When she was undercover, she felt rather naked without them.  The Lieutenant, on the other hand, seemed comfortable either way she noted.

The muscular man in a black gi looked up from the front counter, surprised by their gold badges when they entered the school.  He looked between the two women guardedly.

“Hi, Bob,” the Lieutenant said with a smile.  She looked at Jane and nodded, prompting Jane to pull out the spherical shuriken from her pocket and silently toss it to the man.  He caught it, looking between the two women nervously.

“I hope you enjoyed spending that quarter mil.  Cause there’s not a whole lot of things to buy in the slammer.”

His eyes widened in panic as he turned to escape.  He grabbed the antique gumball machine, throwing it down.  Impacting the floor, the glass shattered, causing hundreds of gumballs to scatter, loudly bouncing across the hard wood floor as he darted to the back.

The Lieutenant motioned for Jane to go out the front door as she chased after him through the school.

“Fuck,” she growled, her foot sliding on an errant gumball.  With an awkward twist of her back, she managed to recover her balance to resume the chase, careful to avoid the colorful gauntlet of small round obstacles with another growled “fuck.”

Jane ran around the building and sprinted to the alley, where Korsak and Frost were.  “He’s coming!” Jane shouted as they saw the man quickly emerge from the back door. 

“Freeze!” Korsak and Frost shouted as all three pulled their weapons on him, causing him to skid to a stop.   

Ignoring the command, he abruptly double backed, into the school. 

The Lieutenant’s eyes widened when the man came barreling towards her.  She reached for her gun but couldn’t draw, having to block and avoid the flurry of impressive kicks and punches thrown at her.  Bob was relentless, not giving her an opportunity to draw her weapon; it was all she could do to not get pummeled.

Frost sprinted into the school from the front as Jane and Korsak followed the suspect from the back.  They all watched as the Lieutenant dodged and blocked the black belt’s kicks and punches with surprising skill.

Though she did not punch or kick back, Jane noted.

“Should we shoot him?” Frost asked Jane, who frowned.

“NO!” The Lieutenant shouted as she blocked a kick to her head.  “Paper work!!”

“Maybe we should start carrying tasers,” Korsak said with a smile, watching the Lieutenant continue to engage the suspect with great enjoyment.

Finally, Bob hesitated in his attack; his foot landed on a pink gumball and slipped.  Seeing her opening, the Lieutenant elbowed him in the face with great force.  As his head snapped back, she quickly drove her heal into his knee, causing a crunch.  Her form wasn’t as elegant or flashy, but it was certainly effective.

Bob cried out in pain and collapsed to the floor, grabbing his knee.

“Eeeew,” Frost said as Korsak gravely said “Oh,” and Jane winced.

“A little help here?” she said clearly winded, kneeling down the cuff the man.  “I’m not getting any younger,” she growled as she stood with a groan, her hand at her back.


“You ok?” Jane asked as they returned to the Aston Martin, noticing the Lieutenant rubbing her lower back and walking gingerly.

“You drive,” she said with a wince, handing over the keys.

Jane looked down to the keys curiously then suddenly up in alarm.  “Did he kick your head?!?”

“No,” she responded testily.  “I don’t want to aggravate my back, which the manual transmission is likely to do.”

“Oh.  OK!” Jane said happily, going to the driver’s side. 

As they buckled up, the Lieutenant shook her head with a grimace.  “Goddamn gumballs.”

Jane chuckled and started the car, which purred.  She sighed happily, hoping Maura would understand that she had a new love.

“Good work, Rizzoli.” 

Jane glanced at her boss with surprise before a very pleased smile formed.

“Now try not to crash my car, will yah?”

Chapter 13 – Policeman’s Benefit


The Lieutenant arrived at the Marriott, late, alone and with a frown.  She fingered at her starched collar, which was irritating her neck, just like her old NYPD uniform.  She hated dressing up for these things.  But at least she didn’t have to worry about what to wear.  Though she did have to find her damn shoes, she considered, looking down at the shiny black oxfords.  She frowned at the brand-new pair she didn’t remember getting.  She had searched the logical places to no avail for her favorite pair, which were nicely worn-in and didn’t kill her feet.  Already late, she did not have time to continue to look through her still partially unpacked house.

Glancing around the Grand Ball room, she noted it looked basically like every other hotel banquet hall used for functions she attended with the NYPD.  There were several round tables surrounding the center dance floor and a stage set up with music stands and chairs, apparently for live music later.  Great, she considered warily, knowing she’d be expected to dance - and in her shiny new shoes.  She hoped the buffet was decent; from the lines already formed and the hotel staff already refilling several offerings, it seemed like there was a good chance. 

Her gaze sought and found the bar.

Beer, her mind chanted as she made her way through a crowd of civil servants, from clerks to elected officials including the mayor, and police officers, ranging from patrolman to the Chief himself.  She knew as a Lieutenant, she was expected to be social and mingle.  After a beer, or twelve, she promised herself.  Her trip was only interrupted four times by a few friendly politicians, who were not really interested in her, only her position and influence.  She smiled tightly and tried to be as polite as she could, considering the inane small talk.  “How do you like Boston?” was the most common question.  How the hell was she supposed to know after a week of work that had her up to her eyeballs in paperwork?!?

It still amazed her to think anyone would consider her, a poor kid from the Bronx, influential.  Though she did marry well, she considered with a smirk, glancing at her watch, expecting her cavalry to arrive very soon.

“Hey, Lieutenant,” Korsak said with a smile at the bar, already with a beer in hand.

“I like your thinking, Korsak,” she said, looking pointedly to his beer, which he raised in salute.

“Makes the evening tolerable,” he said, taking a sip.

“I hear yah.  I was hoping the Policemen’s Benefits were only a cruel New York City tradition,” she said, motioning to the busy bartender to get her a beer.

“Unfortunately, that cruel tradition is everywhere,” Korsak noted with a frown.

“Lieutenant, how’s the back?” Jane asked as she joined them.

“Stiff.  But the icepack helped.  I’m glad Dr. Isles is equipped to help the living too,” she said, getting a smile from Jane.

“Beer and white wine, please,” Jane ordered as the Lieutenant received her beer from the bartender. 

“House white?” The bartender asked, getting a perplexed look from Jane.

“What is it?” the Lieutenant asked.

The bartender hesitantly said “Inglenook?” causing her to grimace and him to shrug.

“Do you have a 2006 Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé?” the Lieutenant asked.

“We have 2008, will that be OK?” he asked, looking at Jane and the Lieutenant.

Korsak sipped his beer and watched Jane shrug helplessly.

“All right,” the Lieutenant said, making a command decision.

“Coming right up,” the bartender said with a smile and left to retrieve the wine.

“If it sucks, I’m blaming you,” Jane said, getting the Lieutenant to laugh.

“Fair enough.  The thing about house wine is that it’s a crapshoot.  Some hotels pride themselves with the selection; others don’t give a shit and happily serve crap.  Ask what it is.  If it is something you never heard of or are not too thrilled about, ask for something you know and like and can pronounce with confidence.  You really don’t have to take out a mortgage to get a really good wine.  That 2008 Louis Jadot?  I have no idea if it is noticeably better than the 2006 but the French winery produces quality, affordable wine.  About 20 to 25 bucks a bottle at the store.  And it’s French, which by itself usually impresses people.”

“Yes, sensei,” Jane joked, glancing at her then Korsak, who shrugged only knowing what beer he liked.

The Lieutenant looked at Jane, suspecting she had no idea what mine field she had just walked into with Dr. Isles’ wealth.  The class difference was not something easily overcome.  Too many emotions and too much pride made the differences in class very difficult.  She knew she had almost ruined the best thing that ever happened to her due to her stupid pride.

“Where’s your husband?” Korsak asked as the bartender came back with the glass of Louis Jadot and bottle of beer for Jane.

Jane looked at her curiously.  In an unusual bout of speculation, Maura had guessed the Lieutenant was gay, though there was never really any proof.

The Lieutenant smiled thinly.  “That’s something my mother has been asking me for twenty years,” she said wryly, getting a confused look from Korsak, who really hoped this guy was not an inattentive jerk to this impressive woman.

Jane smirked. 

“Should be here soon,” she added vaguely and took a sip of her beer.  “Had a business meeting in New York City this afternoon to wrap things up before the final move to Boston.”

“So you’ve been a geographic bachelorette since you got here?”  Korsak asked curiously.

“Yeah.  It pretty much sucks,” she said, getting sympathetic nods from Korsak and Jane.

“Come on, let’s head to our tables.  Maura is waiting,” Jane said, motioning to the tables with her head, her hands full with drinks. 

“Can’t have that,” Korsak said with a chuckle, sipping his beer as he and the Lieutenant followed Jane.  Across from Maura, Frost and his date, Nina, sat.  At an adjacent table, Crowe was seated with his date, Terri.

Returning to Maura’s side, Jane presented her with the wine, receiving a bright smile.

Maura sipped her drink as Jane sat.  “It’s very good,” she noted with surprise.  

“You didn’t think I’d just go blindly order the house wine, did you?” Jane said, glancing to the Lieutenant, who rolled her eyes and sipped her beer.

Maura looked at her a thoughtful moment, then simply smiled without answering.  “Thank you,” she said instead, leaning forward to give Jane a peck on the lips.  Jane smiled and took her hand in hers.

“Oh God,” Crowe muttered, shaking his head.  His date, Terri, looked at him curiously and asked “what?”  He continued to shake his head.

“Uh, Jane, you have something you want to tell us?” Korsak said curiously, getting a nod from Frost, who was equally surprised by the new development. 

“Hmm?” Jane said, smiling at Maura, who grinned.

“Well, detectives don’t normally go around kissing medical examiners,” Korsak offered.

“Technically, Vince, the medical examiner kissed the detective,” Maura pointed out, briefly glancing at him before returning her gaze to Jane.

“Very good point, Dr. Isles,” Jane said, getting a smile.  

“Accuracy is important, you know,” Maura said.

“As I’ve been told.  By you, in fact.  So, to help out Vince with his accuracy….” Jane said and planted a kiss on Maura’s lips.

“Okay, okay.  You’re “together” together now.  Not just best friends.  Got it,” Korsak said and shrugged, sipping his beer. 

“Makes sense to me,” Frost said warmly, earning an affectionate hug from his date and a smile from his partner and Maura.

“They do make a nice couple, don’t they?” Terri said to Crowe, who groaned.

“Dr. Isles, you look very beautiful tonight.  Your dress is . . . stunning,” the Lieutenant said warmly.

Jane smiled in agreement, glancing over Maura’s emerald dress and perfectly matching shoes once again. 

“Care to guess the designer?” Maura asked the Lieutenant with a grin.

“JC Penny?” Jane ventured, getting a glare from Maura.  Frost and Korsak chuckled.  “What??” Jane said innocently, but once again ruined any illusion of innocence with her amused smirk.

“I’m afraid I’m not really good at that.  Unless it’s Chanel, for some reason.”

“Really?” Maura said with surprise. “But you always dress so nicely in tailored designer clothes.”

“Not because I have any sense of style.  I prefer jeans and a sweatshirt, actually.”

Maura frowned as Jane smiled broadly. 

“Nothing wrong with jeans and a sweatshirt,” Jane offered, adding helpfully “And you can get them at JC Penny.”

“Yeah.  But if your significant other nags you to wear something better, you have a choice to make, Rizzoli.  More nagging or . . . peace and quiet,” the Lieutenant said knowingly, sipping her beer. 

Jane frowned.  Maura smiled and patted Jane’s hand, already planning Jane’s wardrobe improvements.

Korsak chuckled and sipped his beer.  Yep.  They are “together” together.

After a few moments, the Lieutenant looked at her watch with a frown then reached for her cell, looking at it curiously. 

“Reception is lousy in the building,” Frost offered.  “That’s why we check our phones at the front.”

“Aw crap,” the Lieutenant said worriedly.  She shot up from her seat and bolted to the front doors.  As soon as she got close to entrance, her phone rang.  She winced at the familiar ring tone, “As you wish,” from the Princess Bride, and opened up her cell.

“Where . . . ?” she said and looked stricken.  “The curb!  Shit!!  Sorry.  I’ll be right there!”


“I am so sorry,” the Lieutenant blurted guiltily when she opened the limousine door and held out her hand, which a beautiful blond in her mid-forties took.  As she emerged from the limo, she eyed the Lieutenant. 

“I know you hate these things, but really, Jo,” she said in disapproval.  “Did you honestly think I’d just give up and go home?”

“I didn’t know the cell phone reception was so bad in there,” she said defensively.  “I would never have left you waiting at the curb, Princess,” Jo said sincerely.  “I know that wouldn’t have worked - you are too stubborn to leave,” she added with a smirk.

“I almost came inside alone,” Blair said with a frown.

“I’m very glad you waited.  I want you on my arm, so there is no question who the most beautiful woman is with,” Jo said firmly.

“You always manage to say the right things,” Blair said with a happy sigh. 


“I’ve missed you so much, Jo,” she said simply, wrapping her arms around her wife and hugging her tightly.

“You have no idea how much I’ve missed you too,” Jo whispered fervently into her ear, pulling back and kissing her soundly. 

After the kiss, Blair chuckled.  “I think I have some idea,” she said with a happy sigh, caressing Jo’s cheek tenderly.  “Of course, I need to fix my lipstick now,” Blair suddenly grumbled, diving into her clutch for her mirror and lipstick.

“Maybe . . . we could just go home,” Jo suggested hopefully, holding the small mirror handed to her.  “You look so good,” she said, glancing her wife over.

“Oooh no,” Blair countered, opening up her lipstick and applying it as she looked in the mirror.  “I moved Heaven and Earth,” she said, smacking her lips together.  “Perfect,” she said with satisfaction, taking the mirror back and returning it and the lipstick to her small handbag. “Not to mention a few crotchety board members, to be here.  I am going to meet and greet everyone who is important to your career,” she announced firmly, closing her clutch.

“I don’t care about…mfpht,” Jo protested, her lips silenced by two firm fingers.

“Well I care,” Blair responded, then frowned at the lipstick smudged on Jo’s mouth and wiped it off.  Jo rolled her eyes but didn’t stop her wife. 

“You have worked so hard, Jo, and I will not be denied the pleasure of being your proud, doting wife,” Blair said with conviction, picking a piece of lint off her impressive uniform, before straightening her tie.

Jo looked at her guiltily.  “I haven’t exactly been open about myself.  Several detectives are expecting a husband to show up and I didn’t correct them.”

Blair eyed her wife and tenderly caressed her cheek again, knowing how hard it was for Jo at work in the beginning of their relationship, and after everything they had been through, how hard it was for her to trust anyone. 

Jo shut her eyes briefly and leaned into the warm touch, something that always seemed to give her strength. 

“Well… I think it’s about time they found out who you belong to, don’t you?” She said with a winning smile.

“After meeting you, I’m sure there won’t be any confusion,” Jo said with amusement.

“I would hope not.”

Jo smiled and tried to kiss Blair on the lips but got her cheek this time. 

“JO!”  Blair said with exasperation.  “I can’t go in with smudged makeup!”

“You don’t have to.  We could just ditch this thing and…” Jo suggested again but was interrupted.

“Jo!  You are going in there and you are going to enjoy yourself,” Blair said firmly.

Jo sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to win this argument and held out her arm, which Blair smoothly took with a bright smile.

“It won’t be that bad,” Blair said in a consoling voice, patting her forearm.

“Uh huh,” Jo said flatly.

“You know, that color lipstick . . . ,” Blair suggested, eyeing her wife with an amused smile. 

“No,” she interjected firmly.

“. . . actually would look good on you,” Blair continued innocently.

“The only way I’m wearing lipstick is if it’s a smudge from your lips,” Jo said with a smirk.



Maura, Jane and the rest of the homicide unit watched as the Lieutenant returned, making quite the entrance with a stunning woman on her arm.

Her wife, Maura noted absently, taking in her stylish ensemble with great interest.  The blond wore a strapless black dress with a black shrug, which tastefully accentuated her ample cleavage.  An exquisite black and gold weave, found on her shoes, clutch, and thick belt, tastefully accented the black, providing a subtle shimmer of gold.  Her jewelry was delightfully simple, gold ball earrings, a gold pendant necklace and fine gold chain bracelet, along with her wedding band and diamond ring.  Even her hair was in keeping with the gold and black theme; her blond locks falling shoulder length and styled to frame her radiant face.  It was clear she was dressed to impress and she certainly did.  It was a truly wonderful ensemble, Maura smiled. 

“Jesus,” Crowe muttered to his date.  “We’re in Holland, I’m telling you.” 

Traci frowned.  “We’re in Boston, sweetie,” she said helpfully.

Korsak took a long look at the new arrival and sipped his beer.  He had to admit the Lieutenant had great taste.

“Wow,” Jane said, drawing Maura’s attention from the couple. “She’s gotta be the second most beautiful woman here.”

Maura looked at her lovingly.  “I agree.”

Jane glanced at Maura and shook her head.  “Everyone here knows you’re first Maura,” she said sincerely.

“Well, I have to say, you have greatly improved on your sweet-talking,” Maura said, causing Jane to chuckle. 

“So, do you think I can coax you into doing what I want tonight?”  Jane asked, wiggling her eyebrows.

“I believe you have a high probability of success, Detective,” Maura said, sipping her wine.

“Excellent,” Jane said happily.

Their gazes returned to the Lieutenant and her wife, who navigated the throng of politicians and police brass.

Maura watched the couple with great interest.  What impressed her more than her impeccable ensemble was how effortlessly the Lieutenant’s wife engaged people.  She closely watched the fluidity of her gestures, the brief touches, the small talk, which she surmised from the significant attention to dresses, purses, and shoes was largely about people’s attire, and the laughing - all with a genuine smile on her face.  And people responded to her very positively from the genuine smiles on their faces.

Maura could not understand how someone could actually thrive from the attention, but the Lieutenant’s wife seemed to.  The Lieutenant, however, was clearly less enthusiastic, politely smiling and letting her wife do most of the talking.

“I don’t think the Lieutenant is happy socializing,” Maura noted curiously.

“Yah think?  Besides the paperwork, I think this has to be the most crappy part of the Lieutenant’s job,” Jane said, sipping her beer, also watching the spectacle.  She had to admit there was a clear radiance that the Lieutenant’s wife emitted that made people stand up and notice.  “At least she has a wife who can do it for her,” Jane said with appreciation.

Maura looked at Jane an uneasy moment, knowing while she could help Jane in some aspects of her job, it wouldn’t be with her skill at social interactions and small talk, where she was at best – awkward.   


The popular couple finally made it to their table; Jo was looking a bit worn down and Blair as fresh as ever.

“Well, here they are,” Jo said, pleased that the men had some manners and stood.  Even Crowe.

Jane and Maura also stood, making Jo smile.

“Everyone, this is my wife Blair.  Blair, this is everyone,” Jo said vaguely motioning to the group of tables.

“Good Lord, Jo.  Would it kill you to do proper introductions?” Blair scolded, prompting a few amused smirks.

“Fine,” Jo responded with a heavy sigh.  “Starting with our table, Detective Vince Korsak, my wife, Blair Warner,” Jo said, prompting Blair to hold out her hand and smile warmly.

“I am pleased to meet you, Detective.  Jo tells me you are a huge animal lover,” she said as they shook hands.  “We have that in common.”

“Really?” he said, surprised the Lieutenant had learned that about him.  “What pets do you have?” Korsak perked up. 

“Right now, we have two greyhounds that were rescued from a shelter.  They were going to be put to sleep, just because they are past their racing prime,” Blair said, shaking her head.  “I wish more people would consider animal rescue before trying a breeder.  You can feel good about helping and find a wonderful pet,” she said enthusiastically.

Korsak nodded, mesmerized.  Jo smirked; the Blair effect had claimed another unsuspecting victim.

“Korsak rescues pets too,” Frost volunteered, causing Blair and Jo to turn towards his table.

“And you must be Detective . . . Frost?” she said, making him smile with surprise.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, and motioned to the young woman next to him.  “This is my date, Nina.”

“Pleased to meet both of you,” she said shaking their hands with a warm smile.

“Likewise.  If we’re not careful around Detective Korsak, we’ll all end up with pets like Jane,” Frost joked, turning their attention to the next table.  Korsak frowned.

“That would be me,” Jane said, holding out her hand.  “Jane Rizzoli, unsuspecting dog owner.  Nice to meet you,” she said with a smile, shaking her hand.

“Come on.  You love Jo, admit it,” Korsak blurted grouchily. 

Jo looked at him with a frown, not understanding what the hell he was talking about.

“Oh my.  Should I be worried, Detective?” Blair said pointedly, enjoying the sudden alarm she saw a little too much.

“Wha..??  No!  Of course not!” Jane blurted uneasily, looking at her boss who looked at her curiously, crossing her arms over her chest.  “My dog’s name is Jo,” Jane blurted with an awkward smile, then shot a glare at Korsak, who snickered.

“Oh how sweet, Jo,” Blair gushed.  “They are already naming their pets after you,” she said with amusement, patting her cheek, which prompted a few chuckles, including one from a relieved Jane.  Jo rolled her eyes.

“Moving on,” Jo said tersely.  “Blair, this is Dr. Maura Isles.  I believe it’s safe to say she’s Boston’s best dressed and most meticulous medical examiner they’ve ever had.”  The detectives around her all nodded in unanimous agreement.

Maura smiled brightly at the compliment.

Blair smiled, looking over Maura closely.  So closely that Jane frowned.

“Ralph Lauren and Jimmy Choos?” Blair asked with delight.

“Yes!  Valentino and Prada?” Maura asked eagerly.

“Yes!” Blair beamed.  “I predict there will be several shopping trips in our future, Doctor Isles,” Blair joked with a smile.

“I’d like that,” Maura said with a pleased smile.

“You two are going to JC Penny’s?” Jane asked with a smirk.  Jo winced.

“Jane!” Maura blurted with exasperation.

“Honey, if you could get a dress that lovely in JC Penny’s, I’d shop there more often,” Blair chuckled.

“You actually shop at JC Penny’s?” Detective Crowe blurted in disbelief.

“Blair, Detective Darren Crowe,” Jo supplied, though she wouldn’t be surprised if Blair already knew that.  Blair prepared for social functions like she did for any boardroom meeting; she studied.  Instead of facts and figures about a business venture, she would study up on the people she was likely to meet.  Armed with that knowledge and with her innate charm, Blair totally overwhelmed people, Jo thought, looking at her wife proudly.

Blair shook his hand.  “Actually, I have.  When we first got married, we had to carefully watch our money.”

“Then she got addicted to bargain hunting,” Jo supplied with a grin.

“Well, I do enjoy the adventure of the hunt,” she admitted unapologetically, her genuine smile and warmth catching him off guard.  “And what I learned hunting bargains has served me well in business,” she added.

Crowe nodded uncomfortably. 

“One word of advice, Crowe, don’t ever get in Blair’s way when she’s shopping.  You could lose a limb,” Jo offered with amusement, surprising the detective, who didn’t expect his boss to joke with him.

“Jo!  You make me sound ruthless,” Blair admonished with a frown.  

Crowe smothered a smile.  It seemed he wasn’t the only one who said things that got him in trouble.

“You’ve got a gift, Princess.  That’s all I’m saying,” Jo hedged, holding her hands up in surrender. 

Blair eyed her.  “I think we need to review the lesson on compliments, what constitutes one and what doesn’t.”

“Have I mentioned how beautiful you look?” Jo quickly asked.

Chapter 14 - Disclosures


After they sat and started to eat, Maura shifted in her seat towards Blair.

“Blair?  If you don’t mind me asking, why didn’t you take Jo’s last name?” Maura asked genuinely curious. 

As Blair turned towards her, gently dabbing a napkin to her lips, Jo interjected.

“She’s not a very good speller,” Jo offered with a shrug, getting a glare from Blair.

“T – U – R – N – B – L – U – E,” Blair spelled out with a thin smile, making Jo chuckle.

Maura frowned, wondering why she would wish her spouse to have cyanosis and why Jo would think that amusing.

“Actually, it just didn’t seem right for the head of Warner Industries not to be named Warner,” Jo offered.

“I was willing to change it,” Blair said softly as the two shared a look and a memory.

“The head of Warner Industries?” Frost blurted with surprise, having heard of the Fortune 500 Company.

“CEO,” Jo said with a proud smile.

“But I thought you said you had to struggle with money.  Warner Industries has been around a long time,” Korsak asked.

“Well, Daddy didn’t appreciate my choices and cut me off,” Blair said openly as Jo shifted uneasily in her chair, recalling the emotional turmoil they went through. 

“We ate a lot of Mac and Cheese,” Jo said flatly.

“And I learned the real value of a dollar, which has made me the successful business woman I am today,” Blair countered pointedly, looking at Jo, daring her to argue.  Jo couldn’t.  But Jo still recalled their struggles on a foot cop and department store manager’s salary in New York City.

Jane glanced at Maura then down at the table, wondering what if Maura was actually closer to her parents and given the same ultimatum.

“So he changed his mind?” Jane asked with a wince, not wanting to annoy them with too personal questions but really wanting to know.

Blair squeezed Jo’s hand as she answered.  “He realized I was serious and not going to change my mind.  So, if he wanted me in his life, he had to change his,” she said proudly.   “He’s actually warmed up to Jo and invited her to golf with him.”

“Once,” Jo clarified with a wince.  “Not one of my better sports.”

“Well, the Petersons had plenty of auto insurance, Jo.  And why on Earth they would park in the path of your ball I’ll never understand,” Blair offered supportively.

Jane smothered a chuckle, barely.

“Why didn’t you take her last name, Lieutenant?”  Maura asked Jo.

“Jo’s easily confused and might not answer if you called her Lieutenant Warner,” Blair offered easily.

“Huh?  What?” Jo asked looking around, feigning confusion.  Blair placed her hand on Jo’s knee and squeezed with a smirk.  Jo’s eyes narrowed in warning.

“Actually, I didn’t want her to give up her name out of respect for her father,” Blair explained, glancing at Jo warmly.

“I would have changed it,” Jo said softly as the two shared another memory.

“You could have hyphenated your last names,” Jane suggested, surprising Maura.  Though upon consideration, that did seem a logical compromise that would maintain both of their identities yet provide a shared name, she considered approvingly.

“We thought of that, but it didn’t sound right.  Polniaczek-Warner, Warner-Polniaczek,” Blair said with a cringe as Jo shook her head with a wince. 

Jane and Maura nodded in agreement. 

Rizzoli-Isles, sounded better to Jane than Isles-Rizzoli.  She glanced at Maura, startled by how quickly she jumped to that thought.  Finding Maura’s gaze on her, she smiled weakly and took a quick sip of beer.

“Would you like some more wine?” Jo softly asked her wife.

“That would be wonderful,” Blair said, prompting Jo to nod and get up.

“Would you like another?”  Jane asked Maura, glancing at her empty glass.

“Yes, please,” Maura said warmly.

“I’ll get it this time, Rizzoli, if you get the next one?” Jo offered.

“Deal,” Jane said, getting a nod before Jo left. 

Jane yawned.

“You’re tired aren’t you?” Maura asked.

“I think it might be past my bedtime,” Jane said with a smirk.

Maura chuckled, shaking her head.  “I’ll make sure you get plenty of sleep tonight.”

“Uh…” Jane said with a cringe.

Blair nibbled on her shrimp, trying not to eavesdrop but the two were just too cute together. 

“I uh, forgot to ask you, since you are totally distracting in that dress,” she said, changing subjects because she didn’t want to sound like she was begging in public.  In private . . . that would be another thing altogether.

“Which was the point,” Maura smiled.

“And you’ve made your point, so very clearly,” Jane offered sincerely, glancing at her with appreciation.  “Anyway….do you know who was with Dean today?” Jane asked curiously.  “I’ve tried to get Korsak and Frost to tell me what happened in the Lieutenant’s office today but they’re tight-lipped, which is driving me nuts.  Normally, I can’t get those two gossip queens to shut up,” Jane complained, glancing at the two, who were in line again for seconds.  Maybe thirds for Korsak, she considered.

“I was only briefly introduced to an Assistant Director Lowery, but I have no idea why he was visiting,” Maura said with a shrug.

“Lowery?” Blair blurted, clearly shocked by the name.  “…was meeting with Jo . . . today?” she asked tightly.  Maura watched with alarm as Blair’s shock transformed into anger, noting the other woman’s hands being clenched into fists and the tenseness in the facial muscles, not to mention the hard look in her eyes.

Both Jane and Maura knew Blair was furious. 

“Excuse me,” she said with difficulty, struggling with her emotions.  She stood as Jo was returning, skillfully holding a wine glass and bottle of beer in each hand.

“The line at the bar seems to be getting lon . . . What’s wrong?” Jo quickly asked when she saw her wife’s upset face.

“How could you?!?” She hissed, shaking her head as tears formed in her anguished eyes.

“Blair,” Jo said as panic washed over her, remembering the last time she saw that look, she almost got a divorce.  “What’s wrong??”

“You promised never again,” she said miserably.  Knowing the CEO of Warner Industries was about to make a big scene if she stayed, Blair was determined to maintain her dignity; she fled the table towards the bathroom.

The Lieutenant looked angrily at Korsak and Frost, who had just returned with new plates of food.  “What the hell did you say to her?” She snapped. 

Jane eyed her former and current partners, now understanding why they were so tight lipped; the Lieutenant had asked them to keep their yaps shut.  But why?  Her curiosity skyrocketed.

“Nothing,” Korsak said worriedly.  “Me neither,” Frost chimed in nervously, knowing something bad was going down.

“Lieutenant?  She got upset after she heard me mention the man I met today at the elevators, Assistant Director Lowery,” Maura offered with concern, worried she had done something terribly wrong.

“No,” Jo whispered, feeling like she was punched in the gut.  She put the drinks down nervously, spilling some of the wine, and left to find her wife.

After an awkward moment of silence at the homicide tables as they digested what had just happened, Terri finally broke the silence and asked “what’s going on?"

Crowe, for some stupid reason, felt depressed.  “Nothing to worry about.  I think I’d like to call it a night.  Let’s go, babe,” he said as he got up.

Jane quickly got up, with Maura following, and went over to Frost and Korsak.  “You two are going to tell me what the hell happened in Polniaczek’s office today,” Jane demanded.  “And you are going to tell me right now.”

Korsak and Frost looked at each other uneasily.  “Let’s go to a quieter area,” Korsak offered.


As Crowe and his date crossed the dance floor, another detective from Vice intercepted them.

“Hey Crowe, something going down with your boss and her wife?  They both flew off like bats out of hell,” he said, glancing back to where they had quickly retreated. 

“More like bitches in heat.  They haven’t seen each other for a while.  I’d bet they’re getting their rocks off, or whatever lezzies do, in the bathroom,” Crowe said crudely.

“Well, with a wife as hot as that, I can’t really blame the Lieutenant, can you?” the Vice detective said with a snicker.  Crowe shrugged.

“I don’t think . . . ,” Terri said in confusion.

“That’s right, babe.  And I’ve never held that against you.  Let’s go,” Crowe said, getting a slap on the back from the other detective who chuckled, shaking his head and taking a sip of his glass of whisky.


Herding them into a small, vacant conference room, Jane eyed Korsak and Frost. 

“Spill,” Jane said impatiently.

“Frost looked up Marie Largo for you,” Korsak told Jane, who grunted, already knowing that much.

“Who is Marie Largo?” Maura asked curiously, looking among the detectives, noting Jane wince slightly.

“The Lieutenant’s undercover name,” Korsak answered as Jane nodded and motioned him to explain.

“Why would you look that name up?”  Maura asked, confused.  Jane took a deep breath.

“Because I wouldn’t look into the Lieutenant’s background for her,” Frost said, looking pointedly at Jane, who cringed.

“Why would you want to investigate the Lieutenant??”  Maura asked with surprise. 

Jane found all eyes on her, looking for an answer.  “Because I had my head up my ass, all right?!?” Jane blurted with a mix of embarrassment and frustration.

Maura cringed, tilting her head thoughtfully.  “I don’t believe that is anatomically possi….”

“It’s a figure of speech!” Jane interrupted with a moan, pinching the bridge of her nose.

Maura looked at her, still not understanding.

“She was jealous,” Korsak and Frost supplied in stereo.

“Y. . . you knew?” She blurted uncomfortably, looking at them in surprise.

“Hey, it wasn’t our place to say anything.  What if we were wrong?”  Korsak said quickly.

“Yeah,” Frost agreed, looking at Korsak with a shrug.

Jane stared at her former and current partner, not knowing what to make of that.  They had never pulled punches when teasing her about anything else.  But somehow, they knew Maura was too important to tease her about. 

“Why on Earth would you be jealous of the Lieutenant?” Maura asked Jane, who
winced, feeling tremendously foolish and small.  Very small.

“Really, Doc?” Korsak asked with surprise.  Jane looked at him oddly.

Maura just shook her head, not understanding.

Korsak nodded at Frost, who started the list.

“She has a sweet Aston Martin,” Frost offered, counting off the reasons on his fingers.  “Designer duds,” Korsak added.  “High ranking officer,” Frost blurted.  “Very attentive to you,” Korsak said pointedly to Maura, who looked at Jane curiously.  Jane winced.  “A sweet Rolex,” Frost said with a big smile, getting Korsak to roll his eyes before adding “Very attractive.” 

“You think so?” Frost said with surprise.

“Don’t you?” Korsak asked curiously. 

“Well, I guess.  But Ms. Warner is really more my ty…” Frost said.

“Jesus!  Enough all ready!” Jane interrupted, running her hand through her hair.

“Jane, is that why you hit the Lieutenant?  Because you were jealous we had dinner?” Maura asked curiously.

“No!  I hit her because she was married and taking advantage of you!” Jane responded defensively. 

Korsak and Frost looked at each other with alarm.

“But she wasn’t taking advantage of me…” Maura responded, still confused.

“I know!” Jane moaned.

“You actually hit the Lieutenant?” Korsak said with wide eyes.

Jane looked at the three with amazement.  “Not only have we strayed off the reservation, we just fell into the Grand Canyon!!  We need to FOCUS, people!  What about Marie Largo and your meeting?!?” Jane said with frustration, glaring at Frost and Korsak.


When the four returned to their tables, Maura spoke up “I’ll go check the ladies room.”

“They're gone!” Nina rushed up to Frost with concern.

“Together?” Korsak asked hopefully.

Nina shook her head no, biting her lip.  “I only saw the Lieutenant.  She had Ms. Warner’s wedding rings.  She didn’t look good,” she said gravely.

“Oh no,” Maura said worriedly.

“This is bad,” Korsak said from experience.  “Real bad.”

“Do you think either of them might do harm to themselves?” Maura asked Jane, who cringed not knowing them well enough to rule that out.

“The Lieutenant has been under a lot of stress, even before tonight,” Frost said guiltily, wishing he had never been able to crack into the FBI database.

“She didn’t look good . . . at all,” Nina supplied. 

“And she has a gun,” Korsak said gravely, not wanting to think the Lieutenant might shoot herself.  But he knew how self-destructive people could be when dealing with strong emotions.  And what the Lieutenant and Ms. Warner shared were very strong emotions, he concluded confidently, even thought he had only briefly observed them together.

“All right, all right,” Jane blurted, rubbing the back of her neck.  “They may get pissed at us for butting in, but we should make sure they don’t do anything rash,” Jane said, getting unanimous nods of agreement.  “Maura, I think it’s best if . . . ,” Jane said with a slight wince.

“I go with Korsak to track down Blair, while you and Frost and find the Lieutenant?” Maura immediately responded.

“I thought you didn’t like to guess,” Jane said with a small smile.

“It wasn’t a guess.  It was a logical deduction,” Maura said in her defense.

Jane smiled.  “Let’s roll.”

Chapter 15 – Butting In


“Niiiice,” Frost said as Jane drove up the long driveway to the Lieutenant’s house, which was a large Colonial in Jamaica Plains.  The house sat on a large, beautifully landscaped lot with a separate, three-car garage. 

“I guess I expected Beacon Hill or something on the bay,” Jane said, pulling up behind the Aston Martin parked on the curved driveway in front of the house.  She looked around as she got out of the car, offering “But this is nice.”

“I bet they wanted some land for their greyhounds,” Frost said with a shrug as they walked up to the front door.  Jane looked around approvingly; she smiled, able to see kids playing around here too.  She wondered if Maura would eventually want children.

Jane lifted her hand to knock but the door swung open before she could. 

“Are you here to see Lieutenant Jo?” an older woman in her sixties anxiously asked with a thick Irish brogue, glancing over the officers in their dress uniforms.

Frost and Jane briefly looked at each other with concern. 

“Yes, Ma’am. I’m Detective Rizzoli.  This is Detective Frost.” 

“Please, come in, come in,” the woman stepped back and quickly waved her hand to hurry them in.  “I’m Fiona.  Their housekeeper,” the woman said.  “I knew something was terribly wrong but Lieutenant Jo won’t talk about it,” she said, shaking her head.  “Dear Lord, is Miss Blair all right??” she suddenly guessed, looking at them worriedly.

“We know Lieutenant Polniaczek and Ms. Warner had a fight,” Jane said with a small wince, causing Fiona to frown.  “We have people checking up on Ms. Warner.  We’re here to check on the Lieutenant,” Jane offered.  “Is Lieutenant Polniaczek here?” Jane asked, glancing back to the Aston Martin, hoping that meant she was.

“You’ll find her in the garage.”

Jane nodded and looked at her partner with a cringe. “Barry?”

“Girl talk.  Got it,” he said, holding his hands up, rather relieved she was taking the lead on this.


“Ms. Warner?” Dr. Isles said, knocking gently on the hotel door. 

After a long moment, Dr. Isles knocked again, harder.  “Blair??”

The door opened.  Maura and Korsak knew the woman had been crying.  Her makeup had been removed and her eyes were red.  But she still looked amazing, Korsak thought.

“How did you find me?”  She said flatly. 

“Credit card check,” Korsak said with a shrug. 

Blair rolled her eyes.  “Of course,” she said wearily.  “Apparently Jo didn’t understand our last conversation,” Blair said.

“Jo didn’t send us,” Maura quickly said, surprising Blair.  “We were worried.”

Blair took a deep breath and looked at the two visitors.  “Well, now that you see I’m all right, you have accomplished your good deed and can leave.  Good night,” she said, starting to close the door.

“Please, Ms. Warner.  I think you need to hear what happened today,” Korsak blurted, looking at the distraught woman with empathy.

“Why?  Jo broke a promise to me and knew what the consequences were,” she said with a hard look for the Detective.

“What was the promise?” Maura asked, honestly wanting to know what could have driven this impressive woman to end, what appeared by all accounts, a very happy relationship. 

“It’s none of your concern, Dr. Isles,” Blair said tiredly, starting to shut the door.

Maura frowned and looked worriedly at Korsak.

“Please, Ms. Warner,” he urged.  “I’ve been married and divorced a few times and know that I was lousy when it came to communicating with my wife, uh . . . wives.  I have a gut feeling here that if you understood what happened today, you wouldn’t be so angry with Lieutenant Polniaczek.  Please.  If you hear me out and still think she is in the wrong, it will only have cost you fifteen minutes.  If you find she's not in the wrong and this is a misunderstanding, that fifteen minutes spent will have saved you two a lifetime together,” he said passionately.

Maura looked at him with a warm smile, impressed with his surprising eloquence.

Blair looked at them a long moment before weakly nodding and stepping back in silent invitation.


Hearing the door open, Jo quickly stood up from the ’68 Mustang engine, almost hitting her head on the open hood.  She turned to have her hopes dashed, seeing the tall detective, not her wife, enter the garage. 

Noting the concern on Jane’s face, Jo sighed.  “I’m not going to “off” myself, Rizzoli,” Jo said tiredly, turning back to her partially disassembled Mustang, shaking her head.

“Good.  Less paperwork,” Jane said as she walked towards the Lieutenant, glancing around the garage that appeared well-equipped with various tools neatly hung up, some of which Jane could identify, and several auto parts on the well-lit work bench aligning one wall.  Her gaze briefly drifted to the motorcycle on the other side of the garage, before taking a close look at the Lieutenant, who had changed into worn jeans and a sweatshirt that sported several random streaks of what looked like grease.

“I hope you aren’t expecting me to talk to you,” Jo said, picking up an alternator off her worktable.

“I’m not expecting,” Jane said.  “Hoping?  Yeah,” she added with a shrug.

Several silent minutes passed while Jo just worked on her car, fitting the alternator in place. 

“You know, I was the one who started this whole mess,” Jane said guiltily.

“I was the one who asked Frost to investigate you,” she admitted with a wince.  “Headuptheass-itis, as you pointed out,” she offered as explanation.  “He refused.  But he didn’t know you used the name Marie Largo, so I asked him to look her up.  And, well, you know he’s good at that,” she said uncomfortably.

Jo didn’t respond and continued to work on her car, turning a wrench to torque the alternator nuts.  Jane frowned.

“Why did you let her give you her wedding rings back?  Why did you let her walk away?” Jane finally asked, receiving only an annoyed exhale as Jo continued on her car. 

“God, it didn’t even take me five minutes to see how much you two love each other.  How can you let your wife just walk away?  Why aren’t you fighting to keep that precious gift?” Jane said, honestly confused.

Jo continued tightening the nuts.  But Jane noted Jo’s hand was strangling the wrench; her words were getting to her.

Jane stepped closer, glancing at the engine a thoughtful moment, then Jo.  “I had thought you a dirty cop and even a well-dressed lothario,” she said with a humorless chuckle at her erroneous suspicions.  “But I never, ever took you for a coward.  Guess I was wrong about that too.”

As Jane expected, she finally got a response.


“You’ve got fifteen minutes,” Blair said, sitting down across from Maura and Vince.

“Jane had her partner…” Korsak started.

“Barry Frost,” Blair supplied.

“Yeah.  Jane had Barry investigate the Lieutenant’s alias, Marie Largo.  The Lieutenant had used it during a murder investigation.  She handed over a business card with that name on it to a suspect, along with a one hundred dollar bill.  Jane thought it very odd a police officer would have those resources on her,” Korsak said.

Blair frowned, having to agree.  She could not believe that after everything, Jo would still carry those business cards on her.  It seemed Jo had been unable to separate herself from that life, in spite of all her promises that she would.

“Frost is unusually good at finding information and hacked into the FBI database,” Korsak said.

Blair’s eyes widened.

“We know, it’s a Federal offense,” Korsak noted with a shrug.

“He got caught?” Blair said worriedly, knowing how painful it was once the FBI got their hooks into you.  Detective Frost seemed like such a nice man, she considered.

“Actually, no.  The file we found was, well, disturbing and we felt we had to understand why it looked like the Lieutenant was a prominent criminal that had been classified as dead.  We went to a friend in the FBI.”

“Be careful of those you call friends, Detective,” Blair warned flatly, clearly not enamored with the FBI.

Korsak shared a glance with Maura before continuing.

“Well, Agent Dean discussed the issue with Assistant Director Lowery,” he said, noting Blair tensing at the name.  “They came to Boston and had a chat with Barry and me in the Lieutenant’s office to discuss how we illegally accessed confidential information.”

Blair looked at him thoughtfully.

“I was sure we were toast.  But Lieutenant Polniaczek bailed us out.  She took the heat for using the alias in the first place and even told them that she would expect Boston’s finest to be suspicious of her and her actions.  Lowery still wanted to pursue the hacking charge but she threatened him,” he said, noting Blair’s surprise with hope.

“She told him she looked forward to embarrassing the FBI.  He wasn’t concerned until she asked him if he knew who she was married to.  She told him she had the resources and support to use them to cause an investigation or two,” he said, causing Blair’s gaze to drop thoughtfully.

“He backed down, but extracted a promise for us not to mention the “incident.”

Blair looked at him with concern.  “You broke that promise.  You are talking to me about it.”

Korsak smiled slightly with a shrug.  “In the short time I’ve known Jo Polniaczek, I have been impressed.  She’s no nonsense, fair, and works damn hard,” he said, noting the small, proud smile emerge on Blair’s face.

“Ms. Warner, she had our backs in that meeting, and I’m glad to return the favor now, even if it means breaking a promise to some Fed ass. . .sistant director,” he awkwardly amended, seeing twin displeased frowns. 

“Now, I don’t know what promise you think she broke to you, but the only reason she was dealing with the FBI was because of us,” Korsak said with a guilty cringe.

“She wasn’t … working with them again,” Blair said softly as she digested that crucial point.

“Not at all.  She was not happy seeing Lowery again,” Korsak said firmly.

“And there was noticeable darkening of her nasojugal folds,” Maura supplied helpfully, then noticed the confused looks with an uncomfortable wince.  “She looked extremely fatigued,” she translated.

Blair glanced down, feeling horrible knowing how much she must have hurt Jo. 

“So you thought she was working with the FBI again, which would break her promise to you?”  Korsak asked, still not fully understanding.

Blair nodded, wiping new tears off her cheek.  “Poor Jo, she must have been a nervous wreck,” she whispered guiltily.

“Why would working with the FBI be so objectionable to you?” Maura asked curiously, having found the agents she had worked with competent and professional.


“Keep the beer on it,” Jo said uncomfortably with a frown, handing the tall brunette an ice-cold can. 

“Awesome fridge,” Jane said, seeing the shelves packed with beer, making her really want a garage workshop now.  Not that she was particularly good at auto mechanics…but she knew the basics, she thought, frowning that her inspection of the fridge was cut short when Jo shut the door.

“Rizzoli,” Jo said wearily.

Jane sighed, sat on a stool by a workbench, and placed the can on her eye.  “You know, this isn’t the first time I’ve used beer to treat an injury, although it is the first time I put it on my eye,” Jane noted with amusement, then saw the serious look on Jo’s face.  “This isn’t my first black eye, Lieutenant,” Jane repeated dismissively.

“I can’t imagine why, Rizzoli,” Jo said flatly.  “Frost is with you, right?”


“I’ll have him take me in.  You should get that checked out at the …”

“Take you in??” Jane interrupted with surprise.  “Geeze, my brother has done more damage with an accidental elbow.  Don’t sweat it,” she said with a lopsided smile.

“I have to sweat it, Rizzoli.  I’m your superior officer and I crossed the line,” Jo said gravely.  “It’s called assault.” 

“Whoa, I tripped and fell.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” Jane declared, taking the beer from her eye and popping the tab open.  After a long sip, she exhaled with satisfaction and said “Much better.”

Still seeing the somber look on Jo’s face, Jane offered: “You could say . . . we’re even now.”

“You’re a piece of work, Rizzoli,” Jo said grabbing herself a beer from the fridge and sat on an adjacent stool.

“So I’ve been told.  So, you gonna to talk about what happened with your wife tonight, or what?” Jane said, taking another sip.

“Jesus, Rizzoli,” she groused, opening up her beer and taking a sip.  “I think I’d rather have Frost bring me in.”

Ignoring her boss’ comment, she persisted.  “I got it that you worked undercover with the FBI and it was not a pleasant experience.  But I don’t understand why Blair would react without understanding what happened,” Jane said sympathetically.

“I made a promise.  I broke it,” Jo said simply, taking a sip.

“What promise?”

Jo sighed and briefly glanced at her before staring out in the direction of her Mustang, remembering.  “To never deal with Lowery and his department again.”

“Oh for GOD’s sake!  It wasn’t like you contacted them.  If Blair understood that…”

“Jane!” Jo snapped, stopping Jane and getting a frown.  “I put that woman and our family through hell.  She has every right to be angry.  Every right,” Jo said with conviction.

“Maybe.  But I can’t believe she would blame you for what we did to you,” Jane said stubbornly.

“You only took what I gave you and ran with it,” Jo said and sighed.  “It was just one too many screw-ups,” she added softly.

“She loves you,” Jane countered with conviction.

“Sometimes, Rizzoli, what’s best for them is letting go,” she said sagely.  “Even if it kills you,” Jo added weakly, finishing her beer.

“How can you be sure leaving you is the best thing for her?” Jane argued.

“At the moment, I’m not sure.  But even if I thought I knew, it’s not for me to decide,” Jo said, getting another beer.

“Ah fuck,” Jane moaned, depressed.


Headed to the Lieutenant’s residence, Korsak gladly played chauffer for the two women, who were quietly sitting in the back of Maura’s car.  He was relieved Ms. Warner didn’t hold their mistake against the Lieutenant.

“The FBI promised I would have a point of contact, so Jo and I could trade letters or messages without exposing Jo’s cover.”

Blair’s clear voice suddenly cut through the thick silence as they rode to her house, surprising Maura and Korsak, who assumed she was not inclined to say anything more to them.  Maura was pleased that was not the case, tremendously curious about the cause of such emotional turmoil for such an impressive couple.

“Agent Lowery was the contact for a few months.  He was not a pleasant man,” Blair said with a grimace, recalling those distasteful interactions.  “He hated having to be the go-between - a glorified gofer, as he called it.  He also said this little deal I had made with his superior was a big risk to the operation and said so on several occasions.  Then he and his superior disappeared.  No one else at the Bureau was able to tell me what had happened to them or knew what was going on.  And I was not in a position to demand anything.  Oh, I could have gone to my political contacts, but I knew that risked putting Jo in more danger.  And I was not about to do that,” she said, staring forward without focus as she recalled the feeling of helplessness.  “I thought the time already apart from Jo was torture, but not knowing, not hearing from her - those were the six longest months of my life,” Blair said softly, lost in the memory. 

Maura frowned, regretting the distress brought by her simple question, which had a far from simple answer.  She knew she would have been worried sick had Jane gone undercover for that length of time without any word, in spite of her faith in Jane’s abilities and her logical rationalizations that it was Jane’s job and no doubt needed.  Yet she knew that her heart would toss her logic into chaos had Jane been in danger.

“For almost a year, I was living this . . . surreal life.  Jo was off doing GOD knows what undercover and I… I was making increasingly ridiculous excuses for Jo’s absence.  Our family was drifting apart and I didn’t know how to pull us back together.  Then one day, I saw a TV news report.  It was about a big FBI bust; several members of two crime families and many NYPD officers were involved.  And there had been several casualties.  They actually showed some clips of the standoff at Tony Saluda’s mansion.  I was surprised that they would show people being shot on afternoon TV,” Blair said absently.  “Then, I saw her,” she whispered, recalling that day.  “After several months without any word, I finally saw Jo, getting shot on TV.”

Maura gasped.

“She limped back into the mansion, away from the gunfire but . . . ,” she said, drifting off for a moment into the dark memory. 

Wiping a tear from her face, she blinked and continued.  “The mansion burned to the ground.  The reporters said no one was found alive in the ashes.  My world, which had been uncertain and terrifying for almost year, finally had the certainty I had dreaded . . . ever since Jo joined the force.  You know, I never really thought she would actually die in the line of duty,” she said dully.  “She was . . . Jo,” Blair added simply, as if that explained everything. 

A distressing feeling settled in the pit of Maura’s stomach as she thought of the fear she had experienced for Jane with Hoyt.  Insidious tendrils of fear took root as she considered Jane’s normal day-to-day job exposed her to a variety of dangers that could also steal Jane away from her. 

“I never knew such hurt.  Then Agent Lowery suddenly resurfaced several days later, giving me the name of the hospital Jo was in,” Blair said, shaking her head incredulously.  “No apologies, no explanations, just a terse phone call.  That bastard,” she hissed quietly, recalling the pain.

“I rushed to the hospital to find she was injured, but alive,” Blair whispered and shut her eyes as tears fell.  “I was overjoyed . . . and furious.  How could the FBI be so cruel, leaving me without any information, letting me believe she was dead?  I was so angry with everything about this operation.  I never wanted her to go but . . . she convinced me she had to do it.  After Jo recovered from her physical injuries, we finally talked.  Or rather, I yelled and she took it,” Blair said guiltily, tears falling steadily down her cheeks. 

“I made her promise that we would never, ever, have contact with Lowery or do the FBI’s bidding again - or I would leave her,” Blair said with a wince.  “I never even considered what she had been through before forcing her to make me that promise,” she said with a grimace.  “She actually swore to me on her father’s grave that she wouldn’t and begged me to forgive her,” Blair said miserably, her hand covering her mouth as she looked out the window and silently cried. 

Tears welled up in Maura’s eyes as she watched the distraught woman.  Her overwhelming love for Jane had brought her great joy, but now brought her an unexpected fear – losing the person who holds your heart. 

How does one possibly survive that?


“So . . . you want to know how we met?”  Jo asked, plopping onto her stool after retrieving more beer from her “awesome” garage fridge.

Jo handed another beer to Jane, whose uniform was looking less and less crisp.  Her tie was loosened and several shirt buttons were undone so she could “breathe.” 


“Your eye’s starting to look like crap,” Jo said honestly, inspecting the puffier eye with a wince.

“But I’m feeling no pain, thank you very much,” Jane said, opening her beer, which would soon be added to the collection of empties in their dead solider pile.  “So, how did you two meet?” She asked, taking a sip.

“I made it into Eastland with a scholarship,” she said.  Seeing Jane’s confused look, she added, “It’s a boarding school in Peekskill, New York.”

“A boarding school?  Huh,” Jane said with a thoughtful grunt.

“I know!  A poor kid from the Bronx going to some fancy boarding school!  I took the exam to please my Ma, never thinking I’d actually get in.  Then I did, with a scholarship even,” Jo said with a cringe.  “Ma had me packed up and shipped off so fast my head spun.  I knew my Ma was determined I would make something of myself.  But I was really pissed that it apparently meant leaving everyone and everything I knew.  In hindsight, it was the best thing that had ever happened to me.  I got out of a bad neighborhood, got a great education, met good people - including Blair.”

“So it was love at first sight, huh?” Jane said with a warm smile, sipping her beer.

“Hell, no,” Jo laughed with great amusement, surprising Jane, who blinked.  “It was more like hate at first sight.  She was this goddamn Prima Donna – a spoiled rich kid, who, when we first met, had the nerve to tell me my jeans were “so last year.”  Like, who the fuck really cares what “year” jeans are??  I mean, do they cover the appropriate parts or not?  Jesus!”

Jane snorted.  “Ow,” she blurted with a cringe and gingerly wiped the beer coming from her nose.

“But I wasn’t exactly the easiest to get along with either,” Jo admitted, sipping her beer.

“Noooo,” Jane said with amusement.

“Shut up,” Jo groused and sipped her beer. 

Jane chuckled. 

“I still had a bad attitude against anything that was different from what I was used to, which was, well . . . all of Eastland,” Jo said, finishing her beer and getting another one.


“Ms. Warner?” Maura asked softly after a long stretch of silence with Blair looking thoughtfully out of the car door window, seemingly mesmerized by the streetlights passing by.

“Please, call me Blair,” she said softly, glancing at her with a small smile.

“All right, if you’ll call me Maura,” Maura said, getting a nod.

“How were you able to overcome your fear for Jo’s safety?” Maura hesitantly asked as they drove up to the house, which Blair had yet to spend a night in.

Blair looked at Maura as the car came to a stop in front of her new house.  Korsak suddenly appeared at her door and politely opened it.  “I’m . . . still working on that,” she said honestly, taking his hand to get out of the car.

Maura looked down, not very comforted by that thought.  Korsak also opened her door and politely held out a hand, which she automatically took.

“Ms. Warner?” Korsak called, curiously watching her walk towards the garage, not the house.

“Vince, it’s Blair for off-duty hours, okay?” she said, pausing and saw their confusion at her intended destination.  “Jo needs to work when she’s frustrated,” Blair explained.  “She is mechanically inclined and the garage is a perfect place for her to decompress.  It’s always been her sanctuary, especially when something is bothering her.”

Maura nodded in understanding.  “Jane tends to clean.”


“So then, she looked at me and said “turn BLUE!” What the hell kind of insult is that??” Jo snorted, causing Jane to laugh with her. 

Jo picked up the bottle of Tequila, which had been magically produced from a red toolbox near the refrigerator - unequivocal proof to Jane that Jo had the most awesomeness garage in the WORLD.  As she poured, Jo managed to miss her shot glass, splashing the golden liquid onto her workbench.  “Fuck,” she grumbled, more carefully aligning the bottle and managing to fill the small glass. 

“Want another?” Jo asked Jane, who looked at her empty shot glass.

“Actually…” she said.

“You both are done for tonight,” Blair declared firmly, causing the two officers to look at the two beautiful women entering the garage.

Their designer dresses looked out of place, Jane considered.  But then, they both looked really hot and just added to the garage’s awesomeness.

“Blair,” Jo gushed at the return of her wife, overwhelmed with emotion.  She quickly stood, lost her balance.  Jane, trying to help, grabbed her and they both toppled over onto the floor.


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