I Can Feel Your Heart Beat.
Rizzoli & Isles
Pairing: Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles
Rating: R for later chapters
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters-no copyright infringement intended.
This is it... the Final Chapter... I hope you enjoy.
Chapter XX " Full Circle "
Jane & Kelsie
"I'm not well at all Jane. I'm terrible in fact but things are getting better." She risked a hesitant glance at Jane, who encouraged her to continue with a subtle nod.
" I've been married for the past ten years to a wonderful man. My second husband, by the way...I have a two year old daughter whom I adore. I'm an attorney with a private practice and do quite well for myself professionally. But...I've lied to myself for twenty years. "
"I've left my husband Jane. I've taken my baby girl and I've come home. Home to the scene of the crime."
Jane could only gape at Kelsie's declaration while her detective mind searched for a clue as to what she meant by that cryptic statement. 'Home to the scene of the crime?' The crime of breaking and entering into Jane's heart? The crime of vandalism of said heart ? The crime of being a heartless lying bitch?
While sorting through those options she recognized an uncomfortable, tingly, hair raising on the nape of her neck, and panicky feeling in the pit of her stomach. Ugh.
Please don't say what I think you're going to say Jane begged silently. She hadn't come here for this. Had she? A small part of her ego wondered about how honest she was being with herself.
That tiny niggling voice in the back of her mind was saying; yes Jane, this is what you've wanted to hear for twenty years. You want her to tell you she's sorry and you want her to beg you for another chance. How many countless fantasies did you have ending in this very scenario Jane? How did those fantasies end Jane? With revenge? Or, would you welcome her back into your heart and into your bed? Kelsie was your ideal for years and years. She was your perfect woman except for those little flaws. She rejected you. She said she hated you. She hurt you. Is it time for payback Jane? Or do you still want her?
Kelsie wondered what was going on in Jane's mind. She had a wide eyed look of confusion - is that a good sign? she mused, but decided she should continue with what she wanted to say before she lost her nerve.
"I came back because of you Jane."
And still Jane did not respond but continued to stare at her like she was some kind of alien being or speaking in tongues.
" Things have come full circle for me Jane. I've spent twenty years telling myself I was normal... uh... you know "straight" and forcing myself to live like I believed it. But no matter how much I tried I could never forget how much I really loved you. I could never forgive myself for how I treated you... how hateful and mean I was. I'm sorry Jane. I am so sorry for what I did to you... to us."
Their easy stroll had faltered; the pace came to a jilting stop and both women stood frozen, staring at one another. Jo tugged on the leash, which pulled Jane out of the stupor that seemed to paralyze her. Noticing a grassy patch of lawn on the side of the path she motioned toward the spot.
"Lets sit down Kel... I think I need to sit to talk about this stuff." Her husky voice was shaking with nerves, her mind was filled with contradiction and her emotions were off the chart on levels of confusion.
"Okay." And Kelsie strolled over to the patch of grass, sat down and pulled her legs up to embrace them with her arms. She set her chin on her knees and gazed at Jane wistfully.
Jane sat down beside her and placed Jo Friday in her lap. She didn't want the little terrier to start growling again. For some reason she felt like Jo knew exactly what was going on and would take steps to prevent Jane from being an idiot. Jane was still processing the use of Kelsie's word "us". After all these years Kelsie was thinking of she and Jane as "Us." What the fuck? Jane was starting to get mad.
Could nothing ever be simple? All she wanted was for Kelsie to say "I'm sorry I was a jerk all that while ago... I'm really happy that you have a new girlfriend and best wishes." Why couldn't people just once in awhile do the right thing without pissing all over their good intentions in the process?
"Jane... um...are you going to say anything?"
"I'm trying to wrap my head around what you just said Kelsie. I appreciate the apology and I can tell you're really sorry about how you broke up with me. I don't even know if that is how you perceive what you did. To me... it was a break-up. But the things you said. You said you hated me and that you weren't "like that...a dyke like me." And I get it Kel. We were just kids and being gay back then was a hell of a lot harder than it is now. "
"But for all that Kelsie...I was crushed by what you said and what you did. You could have just told me no. That you wanted to stop being lovers. I would have had a hard time with that but I think I would have eventually understood and accepted it. We could have probably even salvaged our friendship. Instead, to save yourself you went and told those fucking girls that I tried to feel you up... and you threatened me Kel. All of those things were so cruel and so damaging it took me a long time to recover from that betrayal Kelsie...in some ways I'm still recovering. "
"Do you know... I was tempted to tell the whole lot of them that we had been fucking each other for two weeks before you decided you weren't like me? I wanted to hurt you like you hurt me. I thought 'fuck her, I can be mean too'. But then you know what else I thought Kel? I love her and I don't want to hurt her... and so I couldn't do that to you."
Kelsie had her face pressed into her knees, her shoulders were heaving and tears were streaming down her cheeks. Jane watched her cry; she felt no satisfaction but a deep sadness for the woman she once loved. She wasn't going to let her off the hook, however; Kelsie had come here to make amends but she also had another agenda.
" I know you wanted to see me Kelsie... to apologize and I thank you for that. But did you want something else too Kelsie? "
Kelsie wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her sweater, she nodded her head and stretched her long legs out before her.
"Yes Jane... I want you. I want another chance at what we had... I know you are involved with someone. Your mother told me at the grocery store. So did that girl... Phoebe. Um... I shouldn't be saying this because I know you will turn me down. But I don't think I could move forward in my life if I didn't ask Jane. For years I've been stuck on the idea that you are my "one true love" and I know I won't let it go unless you tell me to."
She smiled at Jane then. A tentative, awkward smile that said so much. It said, I know you'll say no. I know you think I'm a fool. But I'm a brave fool. Please forgive me, I couldn't help myself...and yes... I have a little hope... but not really.
"So... Jane will you give me another chance to love you?"
Jane's stomach was flipping in every direction. Kelsie still had loads of charm and that strange sense of humor which left you wondering which part of the joke was the punch line? Everything she said just now was perfect. And, damn if it didn't pull her heart strings. For a moment she was back in that dorm room laughing with her beautiful friend. Appreciating that beauty that had so ensnared her, loving the mischief that sparkled from those compelling pools of azure blue.
Jane returned the smile that Kelsie bravely wore with her standard smirk. Some things never change she decided. But she didn't mind that Kelsie asked. Kelsie knew what Jane would say but she asked her anyway - because she had to. Jane's need was just the same in the opposite way. That teenager she had once been needed Kelsie to ask... to balance out that old rejection. To make the apology Kelsie offered sincere.
"You need to let it go Kel."
Their eyes met in an open, honest gaze for the first time. Together they acknowledged the truth of the past and what it meant for this awkward here and now.
Kelsie's eyes were streaming tears again. Tears of sorrow for what had been, tears of grief for what would never be, and tears of relief and acceptance of the present moment.
"Thank you Jane." She whispered.
Nudging Jo Friday out of her lap Jane reached out and pulled Kelsie into a warm embrace. After twenty years Jane was holding her again.
She had come home to Jane. The home was in the healing of the past. The home was in the courage to face it honestly. The home was in completing the circle. The home was how it felt to be forgiven so she could start anew.
The women drew apart after a long tender moment of holding one another.
"Thank you Jane... I love you Jane."
"Your welcome... I love you too Kel...but, um... you know... not like that... um like...-"
Kelsie laughed for the first time. A real deep, from the gut chortle that said, 'don't be such a dork' Rizzoli.
"I know Jane... not like that."
"Guess what Kel?"
"I'm getting married."
The Case of Harold Parsons
Harold Parsons committed heinous acts of murder. Hate crimes with no mercy. A predator of the sickest sort, literally and figuratively. The official record states that Harold Parsons was a mentally ill person who had weaned himself off anti psychotic medication. Medication that kept his Schizophrenia in check.
The brutal murder of his baseball teammate resulted in this diagnosis at the very early age of fourteen. In his defense Harold stated that the young man had forced him to perform fellatio, which consequently sent him into a blind rage. He claimed he had no actual recollection of his act of violence.
Released from juvenile detention at the age of eighteen Harold became an exemplary member of the community. He worked as a case manager for the Department of Child Protective Services; he was a volunteer at a the local community center and was a lifetime member of the Holy Baptist Church on Seventh Street. The conditions of his release into mainstream society were based upon his treatment regimen. His medication had been administered and regulated for the first ten years of his release. Later, he was allowed to manage his medication himself as long as he showed up for monthly drug tests to assure the dosage levels were within his psychiatrists specifications.
Because Harold was shot and killed by an intended victim, investigators had to rely upon physical evidence and witness testimony to flesh out the theory behind Harold's five day killing spree. After a fruitless search of physical evidence in his home investigators stumbled upon monthly payments to a storage facility. A treasure trove of evidence was found; it documented the mind of a diabolical self-righteous, homophobic killer.
His so called "trophies" had to be the most bizarre representation of a killers "collection" that Jane had ever heard of. Splinters extracted from his own hands that he willingly self inflicted while committing each murder. The splinters were pressed between glass and framed in tiny light boxes. Each box was set upon a strange display.
The first "trophy" was set in the center of the table while each of the others were placed strategically around it in a pyramid shape. Maura had been the one to figure out the significance of his symbolism. Jane had showed her Harold's juvenile records and the notes from the psychiatrist who interviewed him.
" It's all about that first victim when Harold was fourteen Jane. His position on the team was the pitcher. If we test the splinters in that center display I believe we will find they came from the bat that Harold killed him with. A bat that was made of White Ash. "
"What makes you say so Maura?"
Jane knew the answer but she enjoyed how much pleasure it gave Maura to explain her theory. A theory that she worked out alone. A theory that almost got her killed. But, Jane decided that Maua had earned the right to tell Harold's story.
As a formality she tape recorded what Maura had to say so they would have additional documentation if they needed it. Maura's theory was not evidence but Jane still wanted it as part of the supplementary background on the case.
" That first victim... I believe his name was Donny Benson. Harold hit him so many times that his face could not be recognized. The bat was cracked in two. Overkill. The difference between Donny and the recent victims is very important. Harold was so humiliated by what Donny made him do he needed to obliterate him completely...erase his face, blot out his eyes from seeing or telling what Harold had done."
During the span of years that Harold restrained himself a transference occurred. He became Donny in a way. That is why it was so important for him to preserve his victims identities. That is why he practiced with those manikins. It was very important for him not to damage their faces."
"I don't get it... that doesn't make sense Maura. He hated gay men Maura... I would think he would want to bash their faces in too... just like he did with Donny."
"No Jane. Somehow he perceived that Donny was "normal" or "straight" even though he had Harold perform fellatio on him. In the juvenile file Harold claimed that Donny called him a 'faggot' and laughed at him. So, in Harold's adult corrupted mind he needed to be normal too. And having a man perform fellatio on him fell into his odd category of "straight." The witness interviews confirm this thus far. Currently five men have come forth voluntarily to describe their encounters with Harold. All of them maintain that Harold wanted them to perform fellatio on him but adamantly refused to reciprocate. "
"He had been recreating that first murder over and over again. He obliterated Donny so he could become Donny; the cool attractive "straight" guy. His victims became him. He'd been killing himself each time Jane. That part of himself that he hated. That part of himself that got down on his knees and wanted to pleasure Donny Bensen. He preserved their faces so the world would know "who and what" they were... and that they deserved to die."
"When you combine his fanaticism with the medications he's been on for years and years. When you read his journals it all makes sense... of course I can't prove it because Harold is dead and we still have missing pieces. But that is my theory Jane. A story woven with scattered facts, sordid details, and a healthy dose of speculation and conjecture; a dark and ugly tapestry of hatred, murder and sin."
"Wow Maura... can I get you to write that on a napkin and sign it for me? The speculation and conjecture part I mean."
" JANE!.." Maura stomped her foot. " I'm not finished and this is serious," but she couldn't suppress the tiny upward curl of her lips in reaction to Jane's reference of their private joke.
"Sorry Maura. " Jane put her hand over her mouth to cover up the smirk that emerged.
" Getting back to your question about the display. It's a baseball diamond not a pyramid. Donny Bensen is the pitcher's mound. Stephen Fitzgerald is first base. Jacob Peterson is second base. Paul Whitfield is third base. And...Andrew McPhearson would have been Home."
" Harold was obsessed with, 'Bringing them home to God.' He told me that himself when he held me captive. He also told me God wouldn't want their beauty marred and that is why he preserved their faces. But I also believe he used his religious beliefs as a surface excuse for his actions. He couldn't bring himself to look at his own latent homosexuality. He was furious with me when I confronted him about it. "
"I know Maura...Korsak told me all about that." Jane tried to keep the edge out of her voice but a little of it leaked through anyway. Maura was suddenly staring at her lap to avoid the intensity of Jane's gaze.
"It's okay Maura...it's all in the past and I know you won't do something like that again. Finish what you were saying... I'm sorry I interrupted you." Her voice returned to it's normal husky tones and she softened it so Maura would know that she wasn't going to pursue the matter.
"That pretty much covers it. The two by fours were important. The length he used is the average range for the length of a baseball bat. They came from White Ash timbers as do the majority of baseball bats. He practiced with Pine and used the Ash for the real "game." I believe he was planning on having many more victims. He still had three more twelve foot lengths of White Ash and many surplus display cases. We were fortunate to stop him when we did Jane. "
Jane turned off the tape recorder. She sighed heavily.
" I know."
The detailed drawings and notebooks discovered within Harold Parsons storage facility would be evaluated by psychiatrists for years to come. Jane had doubts, however; about whether Harold would have remained harmless had he continued his course of medication. The evidence suggested that he had been practicing for murder for years. He used old store manikins as targets for practice with his homemade club. Hundreds of them had been found in a heaping pile - all with their skulls bashed in.
On a personal level Jane was saddened by the social implications of the case. With the exception of crimes against children; hate crimes were the most malicious and repugnant of cases for Jane to investigate. Until the members of society, as a whole, collectively made a stand against such acts of violence and hatred; the problem would continue to fester.
Jane finished the final details on her report and closed the folder with a sense of relief she had never quite experienced on any other case. The complicated involvement of her personal life and the sad conclusions that were revealed left her feeling somewhat ambivalent.
She ran her fingers through her silky wild mane, stretched her long legs underneath her desk and decided it was time to go home. Home to be with her family.
Jane, Maura, Phoebe, Jo Friday and Bass
Phoebe found the old red wagon in the garage. It was in perfect condition but it had to be real old because it was made of metal and had those old type wheels on it. Radio Flyer was written in slanted white letters on the side. She couldn't believe how heavy Bass was but she managed to get him situated in the center comfortably. He retreated to his shell as soon Phoebe told him she was going to pick him up. She place a blanket in the bottom to make it comfortable for him to ride in.
"C'mon Jo, you can fit in too if you want."
Jo Friday got up on her hind legs to peek inside the wagon at Bass. Her front paws were resting on the rim and her little tail was breaking a wagging record. She looked over at Phoebe as if to say 'are you sure I can fit in there too?'
"You'll fit Jo..." And then Bass decided to inch his way to the front of the wagon making a little more room for his canine friend. He was trying to make an effort with Jo because it was apparent she was a permanent resident of his home now. Maura told him not to be so stuffy. How could she think that he was stuffy? That dog was hyper active - he had to retreat to his shell on occasion to get some peace and quiet. That did not mean he was stuffy. He was agreeing to ride in a wagon wasn't he?
"Thanks Bass, that was really cool of you to make room for Jo... now Jo you just get up behind Bass and don't lick his shell...he doesn't like it when you do that."
Phoebe blew a puff of air at her bangs while waiting for Jo to situate herself behind the dignified tortoise. The little dog was trembling with excitement and Bass was well...he looked bored. Phoebe chuckled at the pair while pulling them down the walk that led to the back yard.
Maura and Jane were on the swings. Well, Maura was on the swing and Jane was pushing her.
Phoebe watched for a moment before joining them with Jo and Bass. After Maura said yes to Jane about getting married. And after Jane met with Kelsie. And after the case of that crazy Harold was closed. They got on with their lives together.
Everything was pretty smooth. Phoebe felt a little weird about starting school in January. She had a tutor for now until the next semester so she still got to enjoy a lot of time with Jane and Maura when they weren't at work.
Maura decided she wanted a swing set in the back yard. She had it custom built to her very specific specifications. There had to be three swings all in a row. The frame had to be super sturdy and the seats had to have soft padding. The ropes were thick and strong. She insisted on rope even though the carpenter told her chains would be better. The three of them spent the time before dinner on the swing set, sharing the events of the day together - talking and laughing and swinging like children.
Phobe smiled. Maura was getting braver all the time. She could hear her urging Jane to put her back into it.
"Higher... higherrr Jane... higherrrr... HIGHERRRRrrrr..." Maura screamed and erupted into wild laughter as Jane sent her soaring toward the heavens.
The utter joy that filled Maura's heart made Phoebe weak in the knees.
Sometimes she hated her gift because she shared the misery of the world in a way she would rather not. But today. In her back yard. The joy she felt was immeasurable. She could feel the love in each and every Heart Beat. She pulled the wagon into the yard to greet her two mothers. They laughed out loud when they saw its content; they laughed even harder when they got a look at the face Bass was making. Jo jumped out of the wagon to run and bark and jump - and Phoebe raced over to claim a swing.
"Me too Jane...please... push me high... high as the sky."
I can't stand to leave things unexplained which is why you got the case details of Harold whether you wanted them or not. I didn't include the proposal because so many other people have written beautiful proposals in their stories and I didn't think I could do as well. But, hopefully this ending left you with a happy feeling. I may write a sequel which would involve Phoebe's search for her family and accidentally ensnare the three of them in another case. But for now... the story is finished.
I want to thank all of you who have supported and reviewed this story from the start. Some of you checked in on every chapter and I love you. :) Some of you checked in every once in a while... I love you too. :) I tried to respond to every review with a thank you... I'm sorry if I overlooked anyone. I'd also like to thank the people who reviewed anonymously...I wasn't able to send you all a note. So, Thank You so much for the wonderful support... I hope you enjoyed the reading as much as I enjoyed the writing.