A/N: This is my first fic ever so I wouldn't exactly call myself an author. I've read some great stories on this site and am a little hesitant to throw anything out there. Can't hurt though right? Anyway, I hope you enjoy. I will apologize up front for any spelling errors and crazy writing style.
December 24, 2010, Christmas Eve
Dr. Maura Isles was tired but satisfied. She had spent the good part of the day in a food kitchen in one of the worst neighborhoods of Boston feeding some of the local, less fortunate people a good, warm meal. This particular soup kitchen, run out of an old fire house, was one of the charities that she contributed to quietly. Each year she allowed herself the simple pleasure of stepping out of her world during the holiday season and doing something she hoped had meaning for others. Helping the shelter's director clean everything up and reflecting on the day, she couldn't keep her thoughts from drifting back to holidays shared with her family while growing up; dry, formal occasions without any warmth or touch, an abundance of food and extravagant gifts without laughter or much conversation. It was one of the reasons she was here tonight. Her parent's legacy of wealth had given her so many opportunities; her education, her chosen career and her lifestyle, and while she would be forever grateful, she was more interested in what she could do for others. Jane had once asked her why she was slumming when she didn't need her job. The memory of their talk at the Dirty Robber and the sparkle in Jane's eyes brought a small smile to her face.
Maura was snapped out of her reverie when the director, Mary, approached her in the close kitchen, wiping her hands on a dish cloth. "Thank you so much, Dr. Isles. I can't tell you how much your annual contribution has meant to this area. I certainly didn't expect you here today even though I know that you make it a habit to appear at other places during the holidays. You really are a blessing."
Maura blushed at this and brushed the compliment away. "I just do what I can. It's people like you Mary that are truly inspiring, and please, call me Maura." Smiling at the older woman and squeezing her hand, Maura pulled her coat off the hook at the back door. Pulling the warm wool around her body and buttoning it up around her scarf, she smiled again. "Please let me know if you need anything else here. Merry Christmas."
"Um, Dr. Isles…sorry, Maura, would you like me to find someone to walk you to your car?" Thinking for a moment, Maura replied out of habit not wanting to be any trouble, "No, I'm fine. Thank you, though." Mary nodded and after a moment, turned back to the stack of dishes she was putting away.
Opening the back door, Maura's breath was stolen by the brisk bite of a late Boston December, the earlier snow frozen on the ground now covered with fresh powder. When the door clicked shut behind her, she took in her surroundings nervously. Yes, she was indeed in one of the worst neighborhoods for crime as Jane reminded her repeatedly once she learned of the doctor's plans. Under the weak, porch bulb's glow, she realized that the grey sky of the day had already turned to black and she couldn't make out anything beyond the small area lit by the tiny bulb and the ring cast by the street light above her car. Perfect. She scanned the parking lot and saw her car at the far end under the only street light that worked, a few other cars, dusted by snow, scattered here and there close to her own car. Jane had made her promise to park under a street light but now the distance between the shelter and her car seemed to have multiplied exponentially.
She swallowed a breath trying to calm her nerves. She had seen unseemly people hanging around when she arrived earlier that day but there were only shadows now. Her heart rate pulsing, she thought of calling Jane. No, she was with her family. It was Christmas after all, a time to be with the ones you love. Jane is with her family. No need to disturb her over this. Fingers fumbling in the pockets of her wool coat, she remembered she had locked her cell and purse in the trunk and only felt the cold steel bulk of her key chain. Well, that settles that. Squaring her shoulders, she curled the fingers of one hand around the car key remote in one pocket and the others around the stun gun that Jane insisted she carry a few months ago. At the time she felt foolish, but now she clung to it under her long wool sleeve.
She was a few feet from her car when she thought she heard the soft crunch of steps behind her, so soft, it had to be her mind playing tricks on her. Jaw setting, she determined not to turn around. She was almost there and her grip tightened around both her keys and the stun gun, charging it to life…as a precaution…for Jane. Her finger on the "unlock" button, she heard the familiar click and beep as she reached her car. She could hear the blood rushing in her ears as her heart pounded in her chest.
Reaching for the door handle, she was startled when a heavy gloved hand landed on her left shoulder. Without thought, pushed by the fear and adrenaline that had been steadily building, she whirled on her attacker and released the current, crouching low the way Jane had taught her.
Jane's, "Hey, Mmm" died in the air as Maura spun around and blasted her with the stun gun's full voltage. The detective's legs gave way without warning and the back of her head slammed hard against the roof of Maura's car before her friend recovered enough to catch her before she hit the ground completely.
Thanks for reading!