|Synergy & Symbiosis
Author: ArcadiaArden PM
Sometimes it is within your ordinary that you find the extraordinary. Rizzles. Winner of Best Comedy from rizzlesfanawards! Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted :)Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Friendship - J. Rizzoli & M. Isles - Chapters: 25 - Words: 83,219 - Reviews: 630 - Favs: 468 - Follows: 521 - Updated: 11-06-12 - Published: 05-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8091209
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
See Ch1 for disclaimers etc…
Update 09 Nov 12 - Please see the authors note for those who want the cruise...it's there and I'll try... and while I'm here... thank you for all the reviews, I'm loving the feedback on what you all think of the final product :)
No not a mistake this ends on tuesgay or that with the last few lines of this fic on election night. Hope you all rocked the vote.
Epilogue – approximately 3 years later
"You know, the service in here kind of sucks."
The familiar voice startled Jamie and she looked up from where she had been cleaning the espresso machine with a laugh. "That's only because the customers are a pain in my ass. Especially the under-caffeinated detectives that come in here on a Saturday after morning rush is over and ruin my mojo." She tossed her rag into the bucket under the counter. "So what brings Jane Rizzoli into my little corner of Boston? The Wired Puppy isn't known for its donuts. Maura across the street again?"
Jane rolled her eyes "Donuts? Really? That the best you could come up with?"
Jamie twirled finger at the dining area. "It's a slow day, I'm off my game."
Now that Jamie had pointed it out Jane realized she was the only person in the shop. "Well this has to be boring for you, but yes, Maura is across the street. I escaped the minute Lindsay started mentioning that she could highlight my hair along with Maura's. Something about adding a rustic red overtone to bring out the spirit of fall. I don't know exactly. The second Maura looked interested I ran."
"Hmm, well I think it could work." Leaning against the prep counter, Jamie took her time looking Jane up and down, refusing to stop until was glaring at her.
"Would you stop checking my ass out? I'll tell Maura. I swear." Jane peered into the bakery case, trying to ignore Jamie's laughter. "And hell no on the hair. I already let her little friend Alexander play dress up with me this morning. This event isn't even formal and I still had to go suffer through that odious man and his hive of assistants. I swear they're like windup Barbies and they insist on kissing my cheeks."
Jamie rubbed her chin, considering. "Well, are they ugly?"
Crossing her arms over her chest, Jane gave an exasperated sigh. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"I'm just saying there are worse things in life than having attractive women kiss your cheeks." Jamie gave Jane a little wink and watched the other woman blush. She was still too easy.
Jane narrowed her eyes. "Never mind Maura, I'm going to text Sandi. Or better yet have my partner hack into OPC database and create a hundred unpaid parking tickets in the system under your license plate."
Jamie held her hands up. "Oh shit, I give, you win. At least wait until I get my first full paycheck. Right now if you impound that car I'll never make it to my first day of work."
"Oh, Maura told me about that, congratulations on getting the charter school job. Finally finished with graduate school and onward to providing music education to the fine upstanding youth of Boston." Jane leaned over the bakery case and batted her eyes. "How does it feel to be a grown up?"
Jamie slapped the counter. "God woman, it was graduate school, not high school."
Dropping the bravado Jamie gave a genuine smile. "Actually I didn't feel grown up until Sandi and I had our first fight over leaving that basketball on the mantel. I tried to tell her exactly what you said, that it was part of the sublet because otherwise Maura was going to put it in a closet or burn it. Anyhow, I won but only because I caved on the purple bedding set."
Jane nodded sagely. "Wise decision. Bedding comes and goes but basketball is forever. Unless you live with Maura. Then it might get held up as an indicator of what is more important, her happiness or your sports décor. I'm not always the fastest pupil on the earth but that seemed like a no brainer even for me." She let out a sigh. "I can always work on sneaking it in later." She stole a quick look at her watch. "I should order something so it won't be quite as obvious that I bolted out of Lindsay's lair."
"The usual? " At Jane's nod Jamie started to press the coffee. "You guys going to come on time to see the Lost Boyz perform right?"
"It's the highlight for me. Otherwise I'd only be going out of love and devotion for a certain philanthropic medical examiner." They shared a smile and Jane shifted so she could see out the storefront window and watching the busy Newbury Street crowd. "You know, I admire what you've done at the center with all those kids. Trying to get teenager to do anything willingly is impressive but to get them all to dress in drag, learn to read music and perform live? Talent."
Jamie put the finished coffee cups down at Jane's elbow. "The kids amaze me. It started out as a volunteering. After the dinner last year I decided I wanted to be like Phyl and give back a little. Maybe there is a Bill or two hidden in these kids. Then the volunteering took on a life of its own and ended up becoming the bulk of my thesis." She absently rang up Jane's purchases. "Honestly, the only reason I have the director job at the charter school in today's market was because of developing that program at Fenway. So in the end, I got so much back in return, you know?"
Jane handed over the cash with a nod. "My Ma always says what goes around comes around. The name of the drag king group is perfect for today too."
"Molly's idea. She makes a kick ass lead vocalist too. I never would have thought she'd be the eager one to get on stage in drag, but since she was involved it meant that we got to rope Nina into building the stage."
Jane laughed. "That is probably why she did it." At Jamie's confused look she continued. "Oh come on, that is detective 101 work. Even you should have seen that. What is the one thing well all know gets Molly going? Nina in the tool belt."
Jamie paused for a moment, finally giving Jane her change. "You know what? You are totally right about that. It never even occurred to me. Molly always was around during construction." She started laughing. "Wait until I tell Sandi. God that is funny. I love Molly. I'll see you later then?"
Jane waved on her way out.
Maura breathed in deeply. They were close enough to the water that the salt tang mixed in with the fall breeze. The crowd in front of the brick building had been steadily growing over the past hour and no matter how hard she tried she couldn't spot Kat or Shannon. She checked the time on her phone and pulled up Kat's text again. They should have made it here from Logan by now. Wrapping her arm firmly around Jane's she tried to pull herself up high enough to look over the crowd.
"Maura, what was in that coffee I brought you? Why are you bouncing?" Jane rubbed the hands around her bicep. "God, my shoulder is going to pop out of its socket."
"I'm not bouncing. I'm trying spot Kat and Shannon." Maura struggled up on her toes again. "And your shoulder ligaments are fine." She ignored the frown directed at her. "I promise if I pull it out of joint I'll pop it back in but since you're being difficult I'll forego the anesthetic."
Jane remembered the last time she'd pulled a shoulder out of joint and even with the drugs on board it had been a bitch. "You are not funny Dr. Isles, not funny at all." Craning her neck around, she spotted a cap of shiny blond hair and bit back a smile. "Can't you just look for a group of irritated people? I guarantee she'll be in the middle of it."
Maura pursed her lips and made certain to narrow her eyes in warning. "Jane that cruise was two years ago, you need to let that go."
"I will, someday, but not today." Amused at very intent glare directed at her Jane grinned. "Besides, if I started acting nice it would scare her."
Maura moved her hands from around Jane's arm and slipped them around her waist and leaned her chin on Jane's shoulder. "Jane if you behave around Kat I'll make it worth your while."
Jane raised an eyebrow. "Is that a promise?"
Maura slid her arms up and leaned into Jane, whispering into her ear. "That is a personal guarantee."
"Okay that changes things then." Jane gave Maura a little wink, drawing it out, just like she knew Maura loved. "Kat's been waving at us from the stairs for the last five minutes so I suppose we should go over and say hello."
Maura slapped Jane's chest as they pushed though the crowd. "Jane Rizzoli you are lucky I love you."
Waving at Kat and Shannon Jane rubbed her chest as Kat started jogging over. "Very abused but very lucky."
Kat pulled Maura in for a hug. "Very lucky about what Rizzoli?"
Jane released Shannon, trading places with Maura to give Kat a quick hug. "I'm so very lucky that I get to spend the afternoon with you." She stood back and analyzed Kat. "Maura wants to make sure we play nice today. I'm trying to make up my mind if that is possible."
"We always play nice." Kat moved over and slipped an arm around Shannon. "I was telling Shannon the same thing when you guys were walking up."
Shannon cleared her throat. "If my mother hadn't raised me correctly I'd tell you exactly what she was saying."
Kat shrugged. "Good thing for me she raised you right then."
Shannon shook her head with a sigh and looked at Jane. "I'm apologizing ahead of time for the rest of today." She grabbed Maura's elbow and pulled her aside as she pulled out her phone. "I brought updated photos of the boys just for you."
Jane watched Maura, the delighted expressions filtering over her face as Shannon chatted away, scrolling through her phone. "Seriously though Kat, it's good to see you. Motherhood still all sunshine and lollipops?"
Kat's grin said it all. "Did Maura tell you about the baby?"
"Yes and I'm assuming by the odd cooing noises Maura's making that Shannon has photos of him along with updated Sammy pictures?" Jane started to move over when Kat's desperate grip stopped her.
Kat tugged Jane close. "Don't ask and whatever you do, do not go over there. I'll show you some on my phone." Jane watched Shannon's finger rapidly flying over the phone's screen. "We had to buy extra memory for her photo storage. You don't want to go there." She lowered her voice even more "They're my kids and I don't want to go there." She pulled out her own phone and pulled up a photo of a little boy holding a baby on the beach.
Jane couldn't help herself. "They are so cute." She cleared her throat, slightly embarrassed. "It's sweet that the boys get to grow up together too."
"I think that was what made Sammy's birth mother contact us." Kat turned the phone so she could look at the photo with a smile. "With Sam the state revoked her rights but with Derek she'd been off drugs and clean for awhile. It's been pretty emotional. I admire her you know? I think Sam was from a desperate time but it takes a hellish amount of strength to let a child go to someone else. She said she wanted Derek to have his brother and the same opportunities. We're doing an open adoption but I don't think I've cried during my whole life as much as I have during the last two months and I am the one that gets to keep him." Kat took a deep breath. "But my parents are ecstatic. They'll also be ecstatic to leave when we get home on Monday. Sam is active."
Shannon looked up from her phone and pointed a finger at Kat. "Sam isn't active. You are a bad influence." She looked at Maura. "I don't know who makes more of a mess in the playroom."
Kat crossed her arms over her chest. "We don't have a playroom. We have a sunroom with toys in it."
Shannon started laughing and stage whispered to Maura, "Just like we don't have a station wagon, we have an extended hatch back Subaru."
Kat glared at Jane, who was doubled over with laughter. "It fits my camera equipment better!"
Jane was still laughing, pressing the back of her hand against her mouth. "A lezbaru Kat? Seriously? A station wagon lezbaru?" She ignored Maura clearing her throat in warning. "Don't worry Maura. I'm going to be a sweet as pie the rest of the day. Now I know Kat has enough torture in her life. She has a playroom and big ol' lesbian station wagon."
Kat sighed. "Fine, I have a room in my house that used to be a sunroom, but I'm not calling it a playroom. And no matter what Shannon's says I am not responsible for the constant state of mess and disaster in there." She paused, thinking. "Except for the finger paint debacle. Not my smartest idea."
Shannon grinned at Jane. "It was a marked improvement on that painting though."
Kat looked to Maura for support."A painting that if we had put it in the living room, like I wanted, wouldn't have been ruined."
Shannon laughed. "Luckiest day of my life."
Hands on her hips Kat's breath escaped in an indignant huff. "I thought meeting me was the luckiest day of your life."
Shannon gave a negative shake of her head. "Katherine, we met while you were in prison. Let's just agree that it was the most interesting day of my entire life."
Kat looked at Maura who just shrugged and she let out a long sigh. "Fair enough, but if you think about it, you should love that painting. It is pure nostalgia. It is our memento from the night Phyl told us we were having kids."
The memory made Jane laugh. "Oh I forgot about that. She did tell you, didn't she? It was at our table during dinner." Jane shared a smile with Maura. "I remember because I was thrilled her attention was off me for 5 minutes."
Kat could still picture Phyl polishing off the wine while she sat there speechless and smiled. "Yep, and to be honest it was her story that night, with the Lost Boys that made Shannon and I choose to try to go through the foster and adopt program. It hasn't been easy, I mean hell, you all remember what a wreck I was when we were waiting to hear if we were approved." Kat sighed and reached for Shannon's hand. "Plus there was that cousin that tried to block the adoption because of the two mommy thing. Worth it though. When we first met Sammy I knew he was ours. " She felt Shannon squeeze her hand. "So like I said, that painting is nostalgic. But a certain wife of mine won't let me send it off for restoration."
Shannon slipped her arm around Kat's waist. "Because it has charm now. When Sam is grown and out of the house you'll look at that painting and truly feel nostalgic."
Kat opened her mouth a few times before giving up with a little shrug. "Yeah, I got nothing for that."
Maura noticed the activity on the stage and looked at her watch. "They're just about ready to start." She looked over to where Jamie was directing a group of teens onto the stage. "The Lost Boyz perform first and then after we cut the rope on the new center, we'll move inside for the movie." Maura looked at Kat and Shannon with a huge smile. "The Extraordinary Ordinary.' I wish we could have made it out to the Sundance Film Festival." She looked at Jane who was nodding in agreement. "Sometimes our jobs make planning difficult but I would have loved to be there when you won. I'm proud of you."
Kat rubbed her hand along her rapidly warming cheeks. "Thanks Maura, but we didn't have to do much to be honest. Phyl's journals were unbelievably good. That story had to be told. I thought about a documentary but she and Cindy were so much more. Did Shannon tell you we got to use Phyl's actual parrot in filming?"
Jane's eyebrows shot up. "The infamous parrot. That thing is still alive?"
Shannon laughed. "I love him. He'll probably outlive all of us."
Kat sniffed. "Only you would love a crotchety old feather duster."
Shannon muttered to Maura and Jane. "He didn't like Kat, every time she went near him he tried to bite her and one time during filming he chased her up onto a chair. Can you even imagine if his wings weren't clipped?"
Jane stared at Kat, struggling to hold back laughter.
Kat glared at Shannon. "Thanks." She folded her arms across her chest. "What's so funny Rizzoli."
Jane stopped trying not to laugh, all she could picture was Kat being chased by an African Grey parrot. "You ran away from a little old bird?"
Shannon nodded. "Screaming, she ran away screaming."
With that Maura couldn't help but let a chuckle escape. She looked apologetically at Kat. "I'm sorry." She waved a hand through the air. "It shouldn't be this funny but..." Maura gave up, laughing while Kat glowered at her.
Wiping under her eyes, Jane looked around hopefully. "Where is he now?"
Kat sighed. "Thankfully not here. One of the women Phyl raised is a director for the ASPCA animal shelters and apparently took him along with her when Phyl moved out of her home. She's the blond haired woman with the tight curls next to Bill. Her name is Noelle and she lives in Seattle now. So the evil feather duster is miles and miles away."
They were cut off from additional discussion as the music cued up over the loudspeakers and Jane recognized Chester Barnsfeather, Fenway Clinic's CEO, at the microphone as he introduced The Lost Boyz and the loud music made anything but intimate conversation almost impossible.
Maura leaned into Jane, lips against her ear. "Your swagger is much more innate than Jamie's. You should have volunteered Jane."
Jane leaned down. "I don't get up on stage Maura and I don't swagger."
"Hmm…. Yes you do."Maura's lips brushed the spot under Jane's ear. "I love that swagger. Every time you and Frost come back from the field successful it is all I can do not to drag you into the supply closet."
Jane pinched lightly against Maura's waist. "I'll keep that in mind for the next time."
"In your mind is as far as it will get detective. There is a time and a place."
"I know, but it doesn't mean I can't try to change your interpretation of where those locations are." Maura's laughter was breathy against her ear and it sent sensation ripping down Jane's spine.
"You are welcome to try." Maura's snuck a hand under Jane's shirt, rubbed lightly before withdrawing, her attention back on the stage. "However, I wish you good luck with that."
When the set ended and Chester took over the stage Maura reached up to give Jane a kiss on her cheek. "That's my cue."
For a moment Jane let the white noise of the crowd envelope her. Enjoyed watching Maura congratulating Jamie and all the kids from the youth center. She was gorgeous, right now, like this. Happiest when she knew she was helping others.
Lost in watching the subtle changes in Maura's expression as she interacted with everyone around her, Jane started a bit when a hand clasped her shoulder.
Kat smiled, warm and honest, no humor behind it. "You've made her really happy Jane. Thank you." They both watched Maura take the stage.
Jane kept her eyes on Maura. "I love her. I keep waiting for something to go wrong. How in the hell did I end up so lucky?"
Kat shrugged "I ask the same question every day." She shared a smile with Shannon as the other woman leaned against her. "Even when that day starts with getting crayon and a face print of toothpaste on my new white Dior shirt."
Chester's voice pulled their attention back to the stage. They listened to Bill and Noelle tell Phyl's story again, explaining why the building behind them was a personal goal and dream of Phyl's. Heard him talk excitedly about the health care option and programs that would be available to young people that felt they had no place else to turn to. They clapped with the crowd as Chester shook Maura's hand in thanks on behalf of the Fenway organization for the matching donation that made the Bennett Youth and Wellness Center a possibility and watched while she accepted hugs from Bill and Noelle.
Jane hadn't expected that she'd want to cry when Maura pulled a cloth off a small glass case. She was too far away to see it clearly but she knew what it was, Phyl's hat from the Fenway Dinner. The sun bounced off the bronzed surface and it was ready and waiting to take its place in the lobby. Now a part of Phyl could watch over every person who walked through its doors.
Jane fidgeted with her hands, at the time when Maura had mentioned it, it had seemed like a sweet gesture but now, the longer she stared up at the stage and up at the building, the thicker the knot in her throat became.
In her line of work she knew how two lives colliding, even briefly, could leave permanent marks and dictate a future course you couldn't predict at the time. Some you could touch like scars on her hands or a knot of flesh on her abdomen. Other marks you remember clearly like a latex covered hand trying to offer you money for breakfast or an eccentric little old woman in a navy blue hat.
Jane looked at Kat, arm around Shannon, with two little boys waiting for them at home. She looked at Jamie surrounded by the teens, about to start a whole new career. She looked at Maura, sharing a smile with Bill, knowing she would be curled around her tonight and the knot dissolved wetly.
All of them made up a group people whose ordinary moments connected into an extraordinary outcome and they were all permanently changed.
And god damn lucky it happened.
Embarrassed, Jane darted her eyes over at Kat, relieved to notice Shannon handing her a tissue from her purse. Without even looking over at Jane, Shannon held out a couple and just nodded, eyes ahead, at her muttered thanks.
It was a relief when the drummer from Jamie's drag show broke the moment, all spindly legs and endless enthusiasm as she bounded up on the stage to cut the ribbon. The cheering crowd became the perfect cover to blow her nose.
When Chester swept a hand towards the building's front doors, inviting everyone in for the movie premiere Jane waited with Kat and Shannon for the crowd to file in. "That is a lot of people."
Kat grinned. "Hell yes it is."
Shannon rubbed her back. "She lives for this."
Kat grabbed Shannon's hand. "We should head in, we should be fine, we have reserved seats, but I want to watch everyone arriving." She turned to Jane. "When you're ready our seats are back row on the left hand side. Maura said our dinner reservations are for 7?"
Jane nodded. "I'll get Maura and meet you both inside."
Walking over she waited while Maura shook hands with Chester as they finished up their conversation. Sunlight caught in the highlights of her hair and her smile was infectious, making Jane content just seeing it.
Jane shoved her hands in her coat pocket, letting her fingers play with the contents, thinking hard, a familiar thrill running through her when Maura caught sight of her and the smile on her face curled into her eyes.
Maura made her way over to Jane, relief washing over her. The afternoon was past, her obligations finished, now she was free to enjoy her evening. "Jane, I need your help. Can you just watch them move Phyl's hat inside and I'll meet you there in a minute? My mother called during the ceremony and I need to call her back. I have to find out if I should arrange with Boston Coach to have Murray pick her up from the airport Monday or if she has already made arrangements."
Jane gave a quick nod and a deep sigh. She had almost forgotten that she'd have both Constance and her mother to deal with. She rubbed her neck, trying not to imagine the next week as she followed Phyl's hat into the lobby. Her mother and Constance, what a mix. With any luck there would be a crime spree in the city to escape to.
When the two men finished affixing the casing to the pedestal Jane walked over and looked down. It was in a good place. Maura had chosen to put it up against the far wall, next to the entrance into the main building from the lobby.
Staring down at the bronzed hat, the feather finally held still, Jane could almost picture it bobbing along with Phyl's head during that moment when Jane realized she wanted to be more than Maura's best friend. Looney Toon old lady indeed. The brass plaque on the base caught her attention and Jane leaned over to read the inscription. "Dedicated in memory of Phyl Bennett to the youth of the Bennett Heath and Wellness Center."
Under that was an inlaid expression that made Jane laugh. "The First Order of Phyl: Tomorrow can never come, it simply becomes today. Live this moment. "
Jane scratched at her nose, considering the words and realized they were true with a laugh. She would have to ask Maura where that came from. Almost on cue Maura's perfume floated around her and there was a gentle touch at her back as Maura moved into place beside her. Jane rested her hand against the top of the case. "This was the perfect idea. Perfect." She turned her face so that she could look at Maura.
"Glad you approve."Maura ran her fingers along the back of Jane's hand. "Are you ready to go in and watch the movie?"
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it." Jane flipped her hand upward and held Maura's, stopping her from moving. "This center is amazing. I just wanted to make sure you knew that." Maura stared at their linked hands for a long moment, but when she looked up it was with a shy smile and her eyes sought Jane's and held her gaze.
Jane reached out and picked up the pendant hanging around Maura's neck. "It always surprises me a little bit that you wear this so much."
"My Compass Rose?"Maura couldn't help but take a small step closer. Even after three years of loving her, Jane at times seemed a little lost, a little uncertain about Maura's feelings. It was that chink in the stalwart armor Jane wore that drove Maura's need to hold her close and protect her always. "When I wear it I feel like I have a little part of you guiding my way through the day." She looked up and Jane's gaze was dark and intent. She gripped the hand in hers firmly. "One day you are going to accept that I love you."
Jane couldn't look away if she wanted to. Maura was looking at her with nothing but love and affection. Lost in her eyes, the space around them narrowed. It was if nothing else mattered and the entire world was made up of just the two of them.
Jane swallowed hard and her heart started racing. This wasn't the moment that she imagined or the scenario that she planned. But this, right now was them. "Maura I…" Jane could feel her face flush and her fingers ran cold. Words she had rehearsed and carefully selected vanished. She closed her eyes. She didn't want to wait for tomorrow, she could live in this moment.
When Jane opened her eyes Maura's gaze held her captive again and she could feel herself tremble. She took a deep breath and caught the glint of bronze out of the corner of her eye and suddenly the right words to say were startlingly clear.
Jane pulled out the small velvet ring box from her coat pocket and pressed it into Maura's hand. "Maura." It was easy now even if the words vibrated softly. "May I have this dance?"
The answer was first brushed over her lips, languid, definitive, a soft hand on her cheek holding her near.
It was given next by the brightness of Maura's eyes and the press of her forehead as their lips eventually broke apart.
And finally it was given on the breath that echoed between them.
A/N (obnoxiously long)
Much love and thanks to all of you who choose to follow along on this little story. Synergy & Symbiosis was fun story to create, I loved being able to incorporate your suggestions and interact with many of you along the way.
You all made this story. Again, thank you. You have no idea how hard it was to press the complete button.
My original idea for this story came while I was bored at the same rubber chicken trope most business events I get stuck at are. With nothing but endless small talk to make, in the back of my head I thought it would be fun to take the situation and toss our leading ladies into it, make it one of Boston's popular LGBT Fundraisers that are actually enjoyable and play around with them full comedy style.
The Fenway Clinic is very real as is the Women's Dinner. I always love attending if I am in the area. I did take many liberties with it… and people associated with it are entirely in my head… for example: the time of the year it is held I fudged to fit the story etc. I have absolutely no connection and probably shouldn't have used the actual event names, but it is real, they do important work and I wanted share that here. I almost selected the HRC dinner but Fenway's dinner is Boston focused.
When I set out to write this I wanted to challenge myself to write pure, fun, fluff. A romance story complete with the proposal at the end. I think those that read my other stories might notice I tend to enjoy the dramatic and exploring the questions I have from the show itself…. This was simply meant to be a celebration of the chemistry of the leading ladies as the starting point and then a no apologies made, excuse to bring them along on a wildly AU, slightly out there, fun romp where they get shoved together because of that synergy. I tried to keep to the key points of the characters as I see them but I will own up to bending that wire a bit when I thought it could help the humor aspect.
Beyond getting Jane and Maura to come together I wanted weave in a little secondary story to show how we all impact each other, even virtual strangers we come in contact with. Sometimes in surprising ways. An abstract interpretation/definition of Synergy & Symbiosis to echo what I think the Jane and Maura dynamic is and a nod to the influence I know I get from reading other people's work or interacting with reviewers. It sounds lofty and rather assuming, but it was meant to be more wink/smile rather than how it's coming off as I'm rereading it. If I sound like a sanctimonious asshole forgive me please?
End of the day I'll leave it up to you if I pulled any of this drabble off or not.
Quick note on Phyl: The core of her personality came from an older woman I met while I was touring an infusion room at an oncology center in Seattle. She was literally holding court for the women in the room who were just starting their battle with disease, giving them advice. She wore an adorable hat and a matching shawl in bright purple and her partner was sitting in a chair beside her. She rocked and she impacted me. I've never forgotten her.
Other than that…
I will do my damn best to come up with a 5-6 chapter shot of the cruise because you all asked
1. To the observant reader who picked it up and I said I'd answer at the end - chapter 17 is a story draft for a total AU Jane/Maura story if I pick to go there… I played around with the thought because that way I can write a time machine and guest star Phyl again, abet much younger. I ordered some books from the local library. I thought I'd have an answer by now but I'm still undecided. It could be fun.
2. A few of you picked up that at one point this story might have developed into an actual crime case, but in the end it seemed people enjoyed it for what it was so I pulled the story back to pure romance. This is just to let you know, those that saw it were not crazy. At one point this thing was choose your own adventure and I stuck with option A based off the reviews/follows.
3. It was HARD for me to write a story dedicated to fluff, fluff and fun… But you all seemed to enjoy it so while a full sequel is unlikely, I'll have to cue up another similar type story. If you liked this keep your eye out for Smitten which should start soon. If you tend to like darker/crime based look for Evergreen (Jan/Feb timeframe)
Now I'm going to go finish up When the Bough Breaks over the next few weeks waiting for the new episodes :)