Rizzoli & Isles – I certainly don't own them. I give a lot of credit to the people that do and thank them for letting me mess about with them for a bit. The story and any original characters that might crop up belong to my addled little brain.
Special thanks to two wonderful women:
Socks-Lost for the eyes on making this a story about love
And charlietheCAG – beta extraordinaire and my sanity check as always. Go buy your rainbow.
Dedicated to: The Rizzles fandom. This is a short two minute extension to give you something else to think of during the hiatus. It's meant to fit in with 4x14 finale as is with our two favorite ladies as they are in the show.
It took a moment for Maura to process what was happening, to reconcile mind to body, to deconstruct and reconstruct into facts.
The reptilian brain. Reaction without consciousness.
Engagement of trigeminal nerve V2 and V3, maxillary and mandibular.
It took approximately 0.15 seconds for conscious recognition of the sensation of Frankie's lips on hers.
The limbic brain engaging as feedback coursed around and through, bare base emotion, unspecified, confusing.
The grinding pressure on her mouth lifted. Hands were gripping her arms, trapping her in place.
Maura opened her eyes. V1 opthalmic, 0.25 seconds.
Frankie was looking at her, waiting for her response.
Frankie had kissed her. Why now, in Jane's hallway? Had she invited him to? When she checked his injury did she send the wrong signal?
Ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular, fractions of seconds, feedback loops melding together.
Respond. Maura leaned further away. People expected a response when you kissed.
"Wow." Maura studied his expression. The word was enough.
V3 Auditory, approximately 0.17 seconds.
He was saying something back. Frankie's words were a confusing pattern of sound as he stepped back and walked away.
Maura went to move and hesitated. She was in Jane's hallway and Frankie had kissed her. Did she want more than friendship? Had she unconsciously caused this?
Maura looked back quickly and watched him head down the stairs. He had a roll in his walk and a minor slump to his shoulders. Not naturally confident. Jane seemed to command her stride. Maybe with more age and work experience Frankie would gain that quality.
Or perhaps Frankie was who he was. Maura hesitated, debating if she should go after him.
Turning back around Maura could almost feel the increased activity in her cerebellum. Could almost imagine rapid flashes as her neocortex engaged. She read the numbers to herself, 1 plus 2 translates to 12.
She needed to understand. Behind Jane's door was Jane. Jane would be able to help her understand what had happened.
Maura sucked at her bottom lip. Jane's favored little brother. The little brother who worshiped his big sister and followed in her footsteps. The one person Jane had asked that she be careful of his feelings.
Jane was her best friend.
Jane was Frankie's big sister.
And Frankie had kissed her.
Entirely unanticipated? No. She knew Frankie had a crush.
She'd been gently warning him away. First when she thought he might be interested and certainly after the scene at the bar.
But it was hard. Frankie was not only an interested suitor. She held genuine affection for Frankie. She was genuinely interested in him as a person and enjoyed the banter between them. It was somewhat similar to how she interacted with Jane. But it apparently held a different context entirely to Frankie.
Maura hesitated. Reactions warred with consciousness, both jailed by the primitive brain.
Because Jane had warned her that Frankie fell in love quickly and somehow she knew, under the pretty solution of a life with Frankie lurked a raw truth.
Frankie was a nice guy. A good guy.
A simple guy.
Limbic brain to neocortex. Truth in emotion to conscious awareness.
And he wasn't enough.
It was easier then to inhale deeply and extend the exhale. Push back the emotion and the confusion. Settle the mind for a moment because Jane's door was unlocked and the handle was already turning in her hand.
The word lingered between them. Maura's expression wasn't as surprised as she expected. Jane couldn't stop the glance towards the laptop. Maybe if Casey hadn't put the ultimatum down in an email. Maybe if he had had the balls to call her and talk to her the ring wouldn't be in that brown gilded box.
But probably not. Because she'd made the decision to stay and even watching the lines appear on that pregnancy test couldn't convince her to change her mind. Her family, her career, the whole life she had built for herself was here in Boston. Everything that defined who she was, was here.
And then there was Maura.
In fact Jane was willing to admit she made up her mind a long time ago without even realizing it. Over and over again in the days since a tearful Maura had asked what she would do without her best friend one particular memory kept taunting her.
Flashbacks bringing back feelings of when there was roaring water pouring around them. Images of Maura, pale faced and shaking, almost silent while Korsak struggled to haul her out of that car. Reliving the relief of seeing him finally get her free. His words were prophetic. "You stayed with her."
Even pissed off, hurt and knowing Maura hated her, there had only been one option. "I wouldn't leave her."
And here she was tonight with a ring in a box and a pregnancy test in her hand. Part of Casey was possibly living in her, was a part of her and would be a permanent fixture in her life. Jane fiddled with the white piece of plastic.
She might be pregnant with Casey's child and it still wasn't enough to make her leave.
Jane could almost see Maura's brain at work. She could tell that there were a thousand responses being tried and rejected. She could see that genius mind trying to fit everything into a logical pattern of thought. She could see the worry and concern.
Pushing aside everything that had happened with Frankie in the hallway Maura took hesitant steps around the kitchen island. Reaching Jane she watched her flip the plastic cartridge back and forth. The dark eyes were rimmed with moisture. "You think you're pregnant or you are?"
No response. Answer enough.
It was if the room was closing around them. The pressure was enough that Maura quieted her voice. "What can I do?"
Maura placed her fingers against a fidgeting hand. Watched the ring of moisture gather in the corners of brown eyes until Jane looked away. "Jane." Watering eyes looked back at her. "What do you want to do?"
Jane let a desperate laugh escape. "I don't know. Is it possible to rewind the past few years? Make different choices?" Blinking back tears she cleared her throat staring back down at the fingers simply resting against her skin, reassuring, and demanding nothing in return. "Can we not talk about it? Just for tonight? It's late, maybe I shouldn't have called you, but I needed to tell you face to face."
Maura wrapped her hand around Jane's wrist, stroked her thumb along a prominent wrist bone. Finally Jane looked back up. "Okay, we don't have to talk about it tonight."
The plastic pregnancy test made a definitive click against the surface of the counter as Jane placed it face down. She took a deep breath that ended with slight huff. The stroke of Maura's touch was comforting.
Thank god for Maura.
Maura pulled her hand away and looked around the apartment. "What was Frankie doing here?"
The shift in conversation and the edge to Maura's voice caught Jane's attention. "I had to discuss a few things with him. Make sure we were on the same page." Maura looked at her sharply. "Big sister stuff." Jane didn't like the way Maura had backed away and was now crossing her arms against her chest, stroking her thumbs against her biceps.
Maura realized Jane was now focused on her. She realized she should drop her arms but she needed something to hold. "Oh? That's good." She stumbled slightly over the words as she focused on light reflecting off Jane's refrigerator. "You're a good big sister to him."
Jane could feel her eyebrow creeping up. "Are you okay? You looked a little tense walking in but I thought it was because I called you over so late." She went to close the space between them but stopped when Maura started squeezing her own arms.
"Maura." Troubled Jane moved close enough to touch. Finally Maura looked up at her. "Anything you need to talk about?" There was only a slight negative shake as an answer, but the flushed cheeks indicated otherwise. "Uh huh. I'm going to bet that if I had said something like 'want to talk about' or 'anything we should talk about' there'd be hives right about now."
Jane's tone was sarcastic but not upset. Maura moved a step closer. "How about not tonight?"
"Okay."Jane stroked her hand along Maura's shoulder and down her arm. "Do you want to stay over? It's late. I'll share some sweats and try not to kick you."
Maura smiled but shook her head. "It's okay, you should rest."
Jane squeezed the shoulder under her hand but was looking at the laptop, the gilded ring box and the bit of white plastic on her counter. She bit her lip before almost whispering. "Can you pretend for a minute that you're too tired to drive home tonight or something?" She looked back at Maura and could see the understanding register.
"Jane would you mind if I stayed over? It's been a long day and I'm tired, but I also don't want to be alone right now." Maura pretended not to notice the blush over Jane's cheeks or the slight eye roll. "In fact, do you mind if I go to bed now? I'm honestly exhausted. It's been a tough couple of weeks."
It was easy the way they moved around each other.
Comfortable in the way Jane's sweats molded against her skin.
Familiar in the way Maura knew where the towels were kept.
With the lights out and wrapped in the weight of her sheets and blankets Jane rolled to her side and tried to make out Maura's silhouette in the dark. She reached out a hand until she found Maura's on the other side of the bed. "Thanks for staying."
Maura pushed her fingers between Jane's and squeezed before letting go. "Anytime."
Jane nodded. It didn't matter if Maura could see her or not, she'd know. She rolled back over and tried to focus on the sounds, to hear the little noises in the room. To let the sounds of another person breathing, relax her.
But all she could hear was her own inhale and exhale. Casey wasn't coming back. He said that he loved her but to be with him she had to leave everything that made her who she was behind . He had never cried at the thought of not having her around. He'd come back for a child, Jane believed that. But not when it was only for her. She wasn't enough.
Jane didn't bother trying to stop the tears.
In the warm space between sleep and awareness Jane's quiet sobbing pulled Maura back into awareness. The reptilian brain. Reaction without consciousness. V1 opthalmic, 0.25 seconds. She slowly opened her eyes.
In the shadows it was impossible to see anything other than the most basic outline curled away from her. V3 Auditory, approximately 0.17 seconds. The sounds of the quiet sniffling reached inside her.
It took approximately 0.15 seconds for conscious recognition of the sensation of Jane's hip under her hand as she reached over to Jane's side of the bed and grabbed tissues to press into Jane's hands. The sobbing intensified.
The limbic brain engaged as feedback coursed around and through. Bare emotion, very specific and defined. The need to comfort and reassure.
Maura moved until she could feel the warmth of Jane along her front and the shudder of her tears under her hand as she stroked along her side.
V3 Auditory, approximately 0.17 seconds. Jane's voice, thick and scratchy. "I'm scared."
Touch, sound, feeling, everything to engage all of the cerebral cortex. Maura slid closer, buried her face into brown curls. Tears filled her own eyes. "I'm here."
The words were simple. No judgment, no pressure or demands. Only the truth and a promise rolled into one. Jane fumbled in the dark slightly until she captured Maura's hand on her side and pulled it around her, welcoming her touch.
Maura shifted slightly, molded herself around Jane and squeezed the body under her arm tightly until the slight shaking stopped. She pressed a kiss to the back of Jane's head and felt the shuddering sigh against her.
It took 0.15 seconds for conscious recognition of the sensation of Jane's lips against the back of her fingers.
V3 Auditory, approximately 0.17 seconds. Jane's voice, clear in the quiet dark of the room. "I love you Maura."
It took a moment for Maura to process the simple words, to reconcile mind to body, to deconstruct and reconstruct into facts. "I know."
Because the ring was in a box on the counter and Jane wasn't leaving.
And that was enough.
"I love you too."
A/N – hope this helped Rizzlers.
BIG NOTE: science was most certainly harmed in the making of this fanfic. Suspension of belief requested ;)