Alright, not much to say this time 'round. Ahm, I'll be giving you ages at the beginning of each chapter, chapters are chronological, aaannd...that's it, I think! Not really anything specific planned for this fic, don't know lengthwise or plot wise, other than Rizzles is a guarantee. Suggestions for chapters are welcome!
Ages:7 & 5
A small girl, dark curls bouncing wildly on her shoulder, slipped through the crowd with a stubborn frown on her face. She paused when she heard her name over the crowd's noises but kept moving. "Jane? Janie, get back here!" She ignored the anger and fear in her mother's voice and disappeared around the edge of a booth, palming some quarters (that she had snuck from Angela's purse) in her hand. She was awed by the number of people and the lights that illuminated the pier, the residual scents of ocean air and popcorn making her mouth water and her step lighter.
Jane paused in front of a booth that had bottles lined up behind the counter and gained the carnie's attention. The man grinned (showing his tobacco stained teeth) and swaggered toward her, crouching so he was level with her eyes. "Well, doll, you itching to test your aim? Got three balls and a tower of bottles waiting to be knocked down for ya." He thumbed at the game over his shoulder and Jane shifted to look at the bottles again (and so she couldn't smell his pungent odor).
She studied the prizes on the wall, gaze drifting over the flimsy plastic toys, girly dolls, and silly boy themed toys. A large, stuffed turtle caught her eyes and she looked it over, admiring the brightly colored shell and size. Jane nodded firmly and the man laughed, clapping her on the shoulder and leading her to the counter. He pulled a stool up for her and she stepped up, laying two quarters on the counter. He swiped his hand over them and they disappeared (she blinked and looked up in awe), replaced by three wooden balls.
Jane hefted one experimentally and tossed it in the air a few times under the carnie's sharp eyes, then drew her arm back (nearly tumbling off the stool in the process) and let the ball fly. It sailed over the bottles and thudded against the back wall, then disappeared behind the table. "That's too bad, kid. Throw another. Really put your arm into it." Jane's temper flared as the man smirked at her and she picked up another ball, threw it with all her might, and watched it sail through the air. The bottles toppled with a clatter and scattered across the table, and Jane crowed in victory. The man smiled ruefully and bent to pick them up while Jane (loudly) celebrated.
"Alright kid, pick your prize. Anything on the wall's yours." Jane gave a cursory glance to the toys again but pointed imperiously at the stuffed turtle that had first caught her eye. The carnie handed the toy to her and Jane inspected the purple and yellow swirling designs on its shell and its green fins and head. She smiled winsomely at the man and hopped off the stool, disappearing again into the crowd.
After fifteen minutes of wandering, Jane was seriously reconsidering her (not so) well thought out plan of running off to explore on her own. She rubbed her fist against her eye tiredly and stubbornly blinked back the tears in her eyes while hefting the turtle higher on her shoulder. She was jostled by legs and stumbled against the side of a building, scraping her arm against the rough wood. Her eyes screwed shut and she sniffled, wiping her nose. Another person bumped into her and Jane fell back against the side of the building. "Ma..." Her lip trembled and she felt a sob building in her chest as she shut her eyes against the overwhelming scene.
A hand was set on her head and Jane heard a female voice speak to her softly with a lilting accent. "Where are your parents, darling?" Jane looked up at the most graceful (and absolutely tallest) looking woman she had ever seen. Jewelry glinted at her ears and throat, her smile was slight (more aloof than maternal), and her skin was distinctly free of wrinkles (actually, Jane thought, she didn't think lines would dare settle on that elegant face).
Despite her appearance, Jane ducked out from under her hand and took a few prudent steps back. "Just...over there." She gestured vaguely in the direction of the Ferris wheel and was about to make a run for it as the woman turned to look over when something caught her eye. A small hand reached around the edge of the woman's dress, gripping the material tightly, and intelligent hazel eyes peered at her from behind her leg. The little girl smiled shyly and disappeared behind the woman's dress again, and Jane was left with the impression of dimples and golden curls (and pale skin and budding feelings).
"Can you find your way back to them?" The woman's voice brought Jane back to the moment at hand and she looked back up at her. She nodded, hesitated a few moments, then shook her head and buried her face against the plushy in her arms. "Okay, dear, take my hand. Maura, darling, where are – oh, there you are. It's alright, come say hello to – what is your name, dear?" The woman's voice softened slightly and Jane's ears perked up.
"Jane." She offered her hand (as her father had taught she and her brothers) and shook hands with the woman, who had stooped slightly to be closer.
"Jane, it is a pleasure. I am Constance and this," she gestured at the tiny (although anyone was tiny to Jane's already lanky height, even at seven) girl still half hiding behind her, "is my daughter, Maura. Maura, darling, say hello."
Maura (the word was silky in Jane's mind) inched out from behind Constance's dress and shyly stuck her hand out. "I'm Maura." Jane gripped her hand (small and soft) and shook it gently, afraid she'd injure the tiny girl somehow, and smiled at her.
"Well, dears, shall we go?" Constance offered her hands and the girls each took one, following her through the mob of people (Jane noticed they seemed to part for the woman like she was royalty) toward the Ferris wheel. Jane craned her neck back to stare at the top of the colorfully lit machine and felt her anxiety fall away the longer she held Constance's hand. "Jane, dear, do you see your parents?"
Jane jerked her head around, but all she could see were legs and feet. "I'm too small. Wait, I'll just-" She shoved the plushy into Maura's arms and scrambled onto a bench, perching precariously atop the back of it and looking around. At first she didn't see anything, but as her eyes panned back across the crowd, she caught sight of a familiar head of hair. "Ma! Ma, over here!" Jane jumped (stumbled, really) off the bench and ran through the crowd, pushing past legs and staggering past a group of giggling teenagers. "Ma!"
"Janie? Jane, where are you?" She heard her mother's voice to the right and veered toward it, breaking through the crowd and throwing herself at Angela. She hugged her waist tightly and felt arms around her shoulders. "Oh, Jane, where were you?! I thought – you know better than to run off! You could have been hurt, or taken, or-or!-"
"Ma, I'm fine! I just played some games, and then Constance found me and led me back here and-"
"Who is this woman? Didn't we teach you anything, girl? Don't go anywhere with strangers, they aren't always-"
"I know, ma, I know! But she was nice, and she had-"
"I don't care if she had a french poodle, you don't go anywhere with someone you don't know! God, Janie, if something had happened to-"
"Jane? Are you here? Did you find your mother?" Another voice silenced the two, and Jane watched Angela's jaw drop when Constance appeared. The woman seemed relieved when she caught sight of Jane and her gaze transferred to Angela next. "You must be Jane's mother?"
"Yeah, I'm Angela Rizzoli. Who are you?" Angela's tone was curt (and her stance was decidedly hostile) as she glared at the woman.
Constance merely raised a brow and smiled distantly. "I am Constance Isles. I found your daughter wandering around the carnival and thought it prudent to return her to you. I would be beside myself if Maura ever disappeared." Maura appeared from behind Constance's dress (clutching the turtle tightly to her chest) and smiled at Jane.
"Hey, my toy!" Jane stood in front of Maura and began to reach out for the stuffed animal. She saw Maura's face fall slightly, but the small girl loosened her grip to surrender the plushy. Jane felt a stab of guilt in her gut and slowly lowered her hands. "Do you...wanna keep it? My brothers would just tear it apart anyway." Maura's eyes lit up and Jane smiled. "Can you take care of my turtle for me?"
"Actually," Maura said, "I think it's a tortoise. The way its feet are formed and the pattern of its shell show..." Jane stared blankly at Maura and the small blonde gradually stopped speaking.
"How do you know that?"
Jane sounded amazed even to her own ears and Maura blushed and toed a crack in the pavement with her shoes. "I like tortoises. I want to own one someday." The random information (adorably delivered) made Jane smile.
"That sounds cool. Can I see your turtle when you get it?"
"Tortoise." Maura scowled and Jane laughed, both girls unaware of their mothers watching them.
Angela met Constance's eyes and offered her hand with a hesitant smile. "I'm sorry about this, my Janie just doesn't listen somet-"
"Ma! I just wanted to play some of the games! You never let me do anything fun!" Jane frowned and stomped her foot petulantly. Angela's eyes narrowed (Jane ignored the warning) and she pointed her finger at her daughter.
"I didn't want you running off with all these people! You know we have to get home, it's a school night, young lady!"
"No. C'mon, Jane, we have to go." Angela held her hand out and Jane grudgingly took hold of it.
"I wanted to play some more."
"We'll come back next weekend, when your father is free and your brothers can come."
"Yay." Jane rolled her eyes and Angela narrowed her eyes in warning.
"Ma, not my middle name!"
"Then you shouldn't sass me, young lady. I'm still your mother."
Jane blew her unruly curls out of her face and grumbled to herself. She heard Maura giggle behind her and glanced back with a smile. "Maura, can I play with you sometime?"
Maura looked up at Constance, who met Angela's eyes. Angela shrugged and Constance smile slightly. "Of course dear; I'll get Mrs. Rizzoli's number and we'll set something up." The two women swapped phone numbers and Jane watched Maura fidget with the plushy in her arms.
"Are you gonna name it?"
Maura's head canted to the side and Jane pointed at the stuffed tortoise (she made a mental note to call it a turtle just to get a rise out of her). "Uhm, should I?"
"Well, yeah, he's yours now, isn't he? All my stuffed animals get names, so your turtle should, too." Jane smiled when Maura frowned (she knew it would bug her) and waited.
"It's a tortoise, Jane. And I don't know a name for him yet. I have to think of the perfect one."
Jane nodded and stuffed her hands into her pockets. "Okay. Maybe you'll have a name next time we meet?" Maura nodded determinedly and Jane smiled. "Cool!" Angela took her hand and they walked away. "Bye, Maura!" Maura waved at the brunette and hugged the turtle close to her chest, smiling into the toy with anticipation.