AN: This was originally written for a winterfic challenge on the LJ Community 'Girlsgunsfic'. Already posted it there and thought I'd share it with everyone else. Enjoy! This is my first R & I story so be gentle...

Chance Encounters

December 1996

The room was quiet in a way but there was a buzz of activity around her. Sixteen-year-old Maura Isles had an enviable ability to tune out the noises around her and focus on whatever was in front of her that caught her interest. It was what had helped her, along with her amazing intellect, to be at the top of her class in school. Maura was in Boston for the Christmas holiday, Queen Margaret's School in North Yorkshire, England, the boarding school she'd been living at since she was 11, gave its students a generous three week vacation for the holiday, to accommodate the beliefs and practices of all its students.

Today, the object that held her interest was a display of some of the pages from Leonardo DaVinci's workbook. The pages were part of a traveling exhibit that had already been in California and Chicago and was now in Boston before it made its final stop in the country in New York. From there the exhibit would tour Europe before returning to its home in Seattle where it was part of a private collection.

Maura was a big fan of DaVinci's work and she considered herself very lucky to be able to see it before it left the country.

Jane Rizzoli was bored. The seventeen-year-old high school senior was bored out of her mind and there didn't seem to be anything she could do about it. She was stuck at this stupid museum with most of her senior class on a field trip that just seemed pointless to the Boston native. Jane turned to her best friend, Gina Piccerelli, and said in a low voice so their teacher wouldn't notice, "remind me again why we're here?"

The field trip had been voluntary, a sign-up sheet was posted next to the main office and Gina had convinced Jane to sign up with her. Gina, who volunteered in the office during lunch, had some inside information that the school hadn't shared with the student body.

Gina and Jane were standing at the back of the group of students who were listening to their tour guide drone on and on about the exhibits. Gina turned to Jane and whispered, "I told you Janie, next week is the trip to New York to see A Christmas Carol at the Wintergarden Theater on Broadway, and only the students who signed up for this trip get to go on that one." Gina explained in a tone that was usually reserved for small children.

Jane rolled her eyes but smiled, "oh yeah, forgot." Jane knew better than to voice her true opinion that maybe, the New York trip wasn't worth the boredom of this trip. Gina had dreams of being an actress so the New York trip was important to her and as her best friend, Jane knew it was her duty to support that which was why she was on this trip. But it didn't mean she had to like it.

Gina just smiled at her best friend. This was their senior year of high school, their last hurrah before she left for college in the fall. Gina had gotten accepted to NYU a month ago and she was excited.

Jane had applied to BCU and she'd been accepted but she knew it was too expensive so she turned it down. Jane was going to be a cop, it was easier to pay for junior college for the necessary courses required before entering the academy. Gina turned to look at the tour guide while Jane let her eyes wander around the room.

Jane noticed a girl about her age in a different room. The girl had light brown, almost dark blonde, hair and she looked like she was deep in thought. Jane was suddenly curious as to why this girl was in a museum, alone, rather than in school so she decided to slip over there and find out. But first, she tapped Gina's shoulder, "hey, I'll be right back ok? Cover for me."

Gina turned to look where Jane was pointing and she saw the cute girl in the other room and grinned. Gina didn't care that Jane was gay, she just wished Jane would admit it already. "Sure, go get her tiger." Gina half-joked.

Jane just gave her an odd look before she slipped away from the group and into the other room. She didn't notice Gina shake her head as she smiled and thought to herself, One of these days, Janie, you're going to find a girl who'll make it worth coming out. And when you do, I'll be there to make sure she's good enough for you.'

Maura was studying one of the pages on display, trying to see if the Italian she learned in school would be of any use in translating the text of DaVinci when she felt someone step up behind her. Maura straightened up a bit before she turned to see who it was, she smiled when she noticed it was a girl about her own age.

"I'm sorry I think I was blocking your view." Maura said as she stepped aside to allow the other girl to see the pages on display.

Jane smiled, this girl's voice was sweet, soft and almost musical. Jane mentally shook herself out of the light trance that voice wove around her and said, "um, thanks but I actually came over here to meet you."

Maura was surprised by that, she wasn't used to random people wanting to meet her...especially not anyone as beautiful as this girl. Growing up in an all-girls boarding school in Europe, Maura had figured out a few years ago that she wasn't as interested in the boys from the academy across the river as she was in the girls across the hall. Maura had dated one girl from her school and that ended a year ago when the girl graduated. Maura smiled at this beautiful, raven-haired girl who had wanted to meet her and felt herself slip into what on most would be called a flirt mode, but that for Maura was really just how she was. "Really? Why?"

Jane took a second to think about her answer, sensing that the wrong answer would get her sent back to Gina and the tour group so fast it just might make her head spin. "Well, I've never seen you around before and I thought I knew everyone who went to Franklin High. What's your name?"

"Ah, well that's because I go to Trinity," Maura quickly lied. Trinity was the school that her parents had considered sending her to when she was 14, but Maura told them that she preferred to stay at QM instead. Maura didn't like lying but she also knew that sometimes it was wiser to hide the truth. Maura had known the pain of dating someone who was only with you because your parents had money and she had told herself that she was going to be more careful about who she let in on the truth. "My name's Maura, what's yours?"

"Trinity, huh?" Jane nodded her head as if she was giving some sort of approval, "I guess that's a good school, if you don't mind nuns and uniforms. My name's Jane by the way."

"Nice to meet you Jane." Maura said, smiling as she held out her hand.

The moment of contact between them caused sparks to fly up both girls' arms and right to their hearts. Dark brown eyes met hazel-green eyes and something clicked in both their minds.

Maura was the first to speak up and break the spell they'd fallen under, "so Jane, would you like to grab a cup of coffee and, get to know each other better?" Maura didn't know where this boldness was coming from but she knew she wasn't going to pass up this moment. There was something there, something between them that Maura just knew could become something great if she could only allow herself the chance to see it through.

Jane smiled, she liked the idea of getting to know Maura better. Jane opened her mouth to say something when she felt a tug on her arm. Jane turned towards the tug and saw Gina standing there.

Gina turned apologetic eyes to Jane and said in a low voice, "sorry stud but Mr. Morris is going to take roll call in a minute before we get back on the bus, we gotta go." Gina then turned to the other girl and smiled, "I am so sorry but if Jane and I don't go now, she's going to get in trouble with our teacher."

With that, before Jane could talk her into giving her just one more minute, Gina forcibly dragged Jane away from the other girl and towards their group near the exit.

Maura watched as Jane was dragged away by her friend. Maura couldn't explain the sadness that engulfed her at that moment, nor could she explain why she suddenly felt as if she'd lost something great that she'd never known she had in the first place. Maura sighed as she watched Jane disappear out the front doors of the seemed as if fate had another plan and it didn't include her and Jane together.

June 2009

Doctor Maura Isles pulled up to the curb outside of the Boston Police Department building and took a deep breath. It was her first day of work as the Chief Medical Examiner for the Boston Police Department and she was nervous.

It was ironic because Maura had applied to the Boston ME's office every year since graduation, updating her resume with each year that passed. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any open slots, and after a few failed attempts, she opted to take a job offer from the medical examiner's office in Washington, D.C. to keep her skills sharp.

In fact, she'd worked her way up to the top assistant's position in under three years and just when it seemed like there was no hope of ever transferring back to Boston again, she'd received word that the Chief M.E. there had retired and she was first on the list to take over his job.

Now Maura loved living and working in the nation's capital, but after waiting for so long for the job in Boston, she packed up her things and made the move up north to take the job. It was where she'd grown up, at least until she'd gone off to boarding school. It was where she went home for the holidays and Maura loved the history of Boston.

Maura had also never forgotten about that random day in December in '96 when she'd met the person she knew she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with... Jane. Maura had never been a big believer in fate or destiny but when she'd looked into those dark brown eyes, she'd been hooked. Maura had spent the rest of her holiday vacation walking the streets near Franklin High school as well as the museum, hoping to find the other girl again but she'd never found her.

Most people would've taken that as a sign that maybe it wasn't meant to be but not Maura. She'd rationalized that in a city the size of Boston, it would be very difficult to find one person, especially considering how little she really knew about Jane. Maura had been forced to concede that this wasn't their time.

She'd gone back to school after the New Year and thrown herself back into her studies and the few friends she had, but Jane was always in her thoughts at night.

Maura brought herself back to the present from her memories of that day in 1996 and looked up at the building. It was a red brick building that reminded Maura again of the history of this great town.

Maura got out of her car and made sure to secure it before she walked towards the main doors. She had never been so nervous in her life. Maura entered the building and walked straight towards the main desk.

Behind the desk sat a Sergeant with graying hair and a bulldog expression. It seemed to Maura as if the man had never smiled in his life. He was a little bit intimidating but Maura refused to be scared. She reached the desk and cleared her throat to get the desk Sergeant's attention.

Sergeant Timmons looked up at the sound of a throat clearing and his dark blue eyes met hazel-green and he fought the urge to smile. Timmons was known for never smiling. "Can I help you Miss?"

Maura smiled politely, "Actually it's Doctor, Maura Isles. I'm the new Chief Medical examiner and it's my first day. I was wondering if you could tell me how to get to the morgue."

Timmons took a moment to really look at the doctor and he noticed that she was a lot better looking than Dr. Russell, the previous Chief Medical Examiner, and also a lot younger. Timmons pointed to his left and said, "sure Doc, take those elevators down to level M and then turn right and walk down the hall. The doors to the morgue are clearly marked and should be right in front of you."

Maura gave a slight bow of her head in acknowledgement before thanking him and heading for the elevators.

Timmons watched her go and when the elevator doors closed behind her, he shook his head in rueful disbelief. Timmons didn't notice the person who'd walked up behind him and was standing next to the desk.

He jumped a little when he heard a husky, female voice ask, "what's so fascinating there Timmons?"

Detective Jane Rizzoli asked the desk sergeant. The man was known for never smiling but he'd been caught leering a few times. Jane liked putting him on the spot whenever she caught him at it, today was no different.

Timmons turned towards the voice and said, "new medical examiner. She's a looker, she's replacing Doc Russell."

Jane arched her eyebrow at that bit of news. "Really? Doc Russell retired?" At Timmons' nod she continued, "well it's about damn time. He was getting sloppy." If there was something that Jane hated more than murderers was when those killers walked because the forensics were mishandled or the autopsy wasn't done right. Doc Russell was getting on in years and he'd been making too many mistakes in Jane's opinion. Still, she was sad to see him go, he'd been the medical examiner for Boston since before Jane had graduated from the Academy.

Jane turned then and headed back to the bullpen. She had paperwork to finish if she wanted to get out of here at a decent hour.

Timmons watched her go and decided to be more careful. It wouldn't be a good idea to be caught ogling the new medical examiner.

Maura stopped in front of the double glass doors labeled Medical Examiner's Office' and took a deep breath. This was the job she'd wanted since she graduated med school. Maura pushed the doors open and walked into the room. Maura took a moment to notice that there was no one else in the room and then she walked around the room, familiarizing herself with the layout of the room and the equipment it contained.

Everything was state of the art and seemed brand new. Maura smiled at the thought of working in this room. She walked over to the desk that was nestled against the far wall and pulled out the chair to sit down. Maura placed her purse on the desk and leaned back into the chair with a smile on her face. She was going to like working here.

After a few minutes of silent enjoyment of her new office space, Maura reluctantly admitted she would have to introduce herself to the homicide detectives sooner or later...preferably before she had to meet them at a crime scene over a dead body.

Detectives Jane Rizzoli, Vince Korsak, and Barry Frost were sitting in the bullpen working on paperwork and basically waiting for a new case. Well, Frost was doing paperwork at least, but Korsak was secretly watching online videos of cute puppies and kittens like it was porn. Jane Rizzoli was pretending to read the arrest report on her last case but she couldn't stop thinking about what Timmons had told her. There was a new medical examiner in the building and Jane wondered how long it would take before she met her.

Detective Frost was the first one to hear the footsteps in the hall outside the Homicide bullpen. He looked up from the report in his hand and glanced towards the door to the hallway, wondering who could be coming to see them.

Korsak heard the approaching footfalls but ignored them, not very interested in who the visitor might be, he was just too involved in the videos he was watching to care about anything around him.

Jane was too distracted thinking about what the new medical examiner would be like to notice the sound from the hallway.

Dr. Maura Isles entered the Homicide bullpen and took a moment to look around. Her eyes landed on a dark head of hair that gave her a feeling of dj vu but she ignored it and looked around the room again. She noticed an older man sitting at a desk giggling quietly. She couldn't see what he was looking at on his computer but she could tell it was amusing him.

The other man in the room looked young, too young to be a homicide detective but then, Maura knew she sometimes looked too young to be a medical examiner so she dismissed her initial assessment.

Finally, her gaze redirected itself to the dark head she first noticed. Something about that hair was nagging at her memory, there was something very familiar about it and she had to close her eyes and shake her head to clear the feeling of dj vu from her mind.

Maura opened her eyes again and took a breath before she stepped further into the room and cleared her throat.

Frost looked up at the sound and when he saw the woman standing there he smiled and stood up. He walked over to her and asked politely, "hi there, can I help you with something Miss..." Frost trailed off as he waited for the woman to fill in the blank.

Maura smiled at the young detective and said, "Actually, it's Doctor Isles, I'm the new Chief Medical examiner. It's my first day and I thought I'd come up and introduce myself to the homicide unit seeing as how we'll be working together on cases."

Frost resisted the urge to look the woman, the doctor, up and down as he said, "Welcome to Boston Doc. I'm Detective Barry Frost." Frost then turned and gestured to the other two detectives in the room who had noticed the newcomer and had looked up from what they were doing. "That older guy is Detective Korsak and that's Detective Rizzoli." Frost now raised his voice so that Jane and Vince heard him better, "This is Doctor Isles the new Chief M.E."

Maura smiled and nodded at the older man, Korsak and then turned to fully face Rizzoli. The smile on her face froze as her hazel-green eyes met dark brown ones that she thought she'd never see again but hoped that she would. Maura had no doubt in that moment that this was Jane. Her Jane, whom she'd been pining for since she was 16!

Korsak nodded to the Doc and then turned back to his screen when she turned to face Jane so he didn't notice the look on her face.

Jane noticed it but she didn't know what caused it. She mentally shrugged it off then stood up and walked over to the doc. She held her hand out and said, "I'm Jane, welcome to homicide."

Maura shook Jane's hand as she studied her eyes, there wasn't even a hint of recognition in them. Maura's heart sank a bit as she realized that Jane didn't remember her.

"Thanks." Suddenly Maura felt the need to get away from there so she said, "um, I should be getting back down to the morgue and finish settling in. Call me if you catch a case. See you all later."

With that, Maura beat a hasty retreat and left the bullpen.

Jane watched her go, puzzled. There was something about her that was nagging at the back of her mind. Jane sat back down at her desk and turned to her computer. She opened the police database and looked up the medical examiner's office. The Brass had already made the change in the record to name the new ME. Jane clicked the link to open the bio of Dr. M. Isles' and when the page opened, Jane was surprised at what she read.

It was at that moment that she found out the doc's first name was Maura and that she was a Boston native who had transferred in from DC. The name Maura tugged at Jane's memory for a few minutes.

Maura...when Jane's brain finally caught up with her memory, she gasped. Was it possible that this Maura Isles was the same Maura she'd met in 1996? Jane had never really forgotten about that day or Maura, she'd just...resigned herself to never seeing her again.

Jane had gone to Trinity High and she'd talked to students there but no one knew anyone named Maura. There wasn't anyone at that school with that name and Jane had concluded that Maura had lied about what school she went to, but Jane never understood why the girl had lied.

So, Jane had put Maura in the back of her brain, trying not to think about her too much as she finished high school, went on to Community College and then joined the police academy. Jane had lived her life, resigned to the fact that Maura wasn't going to just magically pop back into her life.

But now, if this was the same Maura, it seemed that Jane was wrong. Suddenly, Jane was determined to find out of this was the Maura she met so long ago. She knew that if she didn't clear this up right now, it would bug her for the rest of the day until she did clear it up. It might even bleed into their work together if they caught a case before it was resolved. Jane stood up and with a vague, "I'll be back in a bit guys," she left the bullpen and headed for the morgue.

Maura was sitting at her desk, trying not to let the realization that Jane didn't remember her make her cry. All these years, while Maura was pining away for Jane and trying to make it back to Boston (with a legitimate reason and not just because she was hoping to find Jane), Jane had probably never even given her a second thought.

It was obvious to Maura in that moment that their meeting thirteen years ago, meant more to her than it did to Jane. Maura sighed, knowing she had two choices: A. try to remind Jane of their meeting and possibly make a fool of herself in the process, especially if Jane hadn't felt the same spark she had back then; or B. try to ignore and forget the past and pretend this was their first meeting, and move on. Maura knew her second option was probably the most logical but her heart wouldn't let her ignore the possibility that if Jane was reminded, she might feel the same way.

Maura was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't notice she wasn't alone anymore.

Jane stood in the doorway of the morgue and studied Maura's face. Now that she'd made the connection, Jane could clearly see the resemblance to the girl she'd met that day. Jane could see that this was same person. Jane smiled, letting the feelings she'd felt back then rush back to her now.

Jane had realized she was gay about a year after her meeting with Maura. It had explained so much at the time and when Gina hadn't let it mess with their friendship, Jane had gained the strength to tell her parents. Her dad was cool with it (as it meant his little girl wasn't going to get knocked up and left by some punk), her mom had a tough time with it at first, thinking this meant no marriage, no grandkids, but she'd come around. Frankie had shrugged and assured Jane he still loved her.

Jane had dated a few girls in the intervening years but none had held a candle to Maura. Maura had intruded on every date until Jane finally put her in a lockbox in her brain and tried not to think about her. But now, she was here, in the flesh and Jane knew this was her chance to have the one person she'd always wanted.

Jane cleared her throat to get Maura's attention before she said, only half joking, "so, I think I owe you a cup of coffee doc."

Maura, startled, turned to fully face Jane then and she tried to make sense of what the cop had just said. "What?"

Jane stepped a bit closer then, "I said, I owe you a cup of coffee. I know it's thirteen years too late but better late than never right? Unless you changed your mind."

"When did I..." Maura started then she remembered that she'd asked Jane to go for coffee that day but before Jane could answer, her friend had dragged her away. "So what took you so long?"

Jane smiled, then laughed a little, "well you know, didn't want to seem desperate." Jane joked but then she turned a bit serious, "but also, you kind of vanished on me. I even went to Trinity to look for you but they didn't even have a record of you."

Maura looked down, her lie about the school she attended making her feel ashamed. "Oh, about that um"

Jane cut her off, "it doesn't matter. Whatever you have to say doesn't matter because it is in the past and right now, you're here and I'm here and we can have that cup of coffee now and see where it might lead."

Maura smiled, "ok, that sounds good. Come on."

Maura got up to go and found Jane standing very close to her.

Jane wanted to clear one thing up right then before they started anything. She wanted to make her intentions clear before they both fell into a comfortable friendship mode. "Before we go, I need to tell you something."

"What?" Maura asked, a little scared that Jane was going to change her mind about the coffee or tell her she was dating someone else and they could only ever be friends.

Without a word, Jane smiled then leaned closer and kissed Maura. After a moment of surprise, Maura began kissing Jane back. Jane felt Maura's hands trace up her back and into her hair as the doctor gave in to her kiss. Jane, not to be outdone, slid her hands down and cupped Maura's ass, squeezing gently.

Maura gasped at the contact and Jane used that moment to slide her tongue into Maura's mouth and fully taste her.

The kiss went on for a few more seconds, until the need for air forced them apart. They stayed in their embrace though and Jane leaned her forehead against Maura's.

Jane was the first to catch her breath enough to speak. "I apologize if this isn't what you wanted or had in mind for us but I needed you to know that I want us to be more than friends. But if you don't want that, tell me now ok?"

Maura giggled a little then, "Jane, I've been waiting thirteen years to kiss you. Ever since that day in the museum, I've wanted to be with you. I even went looking for you but I never found you. I think I wasn't supposed to find you until we were both old enough to know what we wanted. This is our time now and I want us to be together, to see where this could lead."

Jane melted a little bit then, knowing that she was finally going to get the chance she should've gotten a long time ago. Jane kissed Maura again, to seal their deal. This kiss was interrupted by Jane's cell phone going off.

With a growl, Jane pulled away from Maura and answered her cell...and promptly wished she hadn't because her and Frost had caught a case.

It seemed to Jane that their attempts to have coffee were destined to be interrupted by others. Maura smiled and gathered her things before following Jane out to the motor pool. Maura hopped into the M.E van while Jane slid into the passenger seat of Frost's sedan.

Soon they were off to a scene but each woman's thoughts were not on the upcoming case but on their kisses.

Jane smiled, knowing this was the start of something great. Maura also smiled, knowing that she was finally going to have a chance to be with the person she'd fallen in love with so long ago.

Love is patient, it can wait forever if it has to, thankfully, Maura knew she wouldn't have to wait forever for Jane.