Googlemouth and I have been working on this fic for a while now. We're really thinking of pulling this universe into a series as we really enjoyed creating it.
Reviews are greatly appreciated by us both.
Characters aren't ours. We promise to give them back when we're done.
"You haven't really given it enough of a try," Maura pressed, following Jane around the bullpen as the detective made coffee, filed paperwork, checked her phone messages, applied lip balm, searched DMV records for proof of something-or-other that Maura didn't really have to understand. "You're still very new to yoga, but surely you can already feel some of the benefits it's bestowing on you... right, Jane? The stretches are wonderful for relieving stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. They increase the range of motion in your joints, and contribute to a sense of ease and fluidity throughout the body. It also has positive effects on the ligaments, tendons, the fascia sheath that surrounds the muscles... all the soft tissues."
As Maura warmed to her topic, heedless of Korsak's affectionately acidic commentary and Frost's humor, she pulled out all the stops, even attempting to use lay language instead of medical terminology just so Jane couldn't claim not to understand. "Yoga can help you increase your lung capacity, overall strength, core strength, endurance, and of course the benefits to posture are incalculable. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also become more visually imposing, which will be a great asset when you're interviewing witnesses and suspects. You can't tell me that's not important to you."
"Among yoga's anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses," the doctor continued, voice taking on a very light tone of desperation, which she quickly masked with an overlay of reasonability, certain that logic was the way to go. "For example, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters - dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine - creates a feeling of calm. Some research points to a boost in the hormone oxytocin, the so-called 'trust' and 'bonding' hormone that's associated with feeling relaxed and connected to others. That may be why so many romances start in the yoga studio. And just wait until you start feeling the effects of yoga on your libido. It's really quite astonishing how..."
Jane abruptly turned around and put a hand over the medical examiner's mouth. "Maura! That's enough. I'm not going back there, and there's nothing you can say to make me go, okay? I'm not going to walk in there after what you said to Jorge. It's bad enough I have to deal with that kind of crap at work, I sure as hell don't need it during my down time."
Maura seemed oblivious to the nuances coming from any other direction. "I told you before, Jane, I didn't tell Jorge you were gay. He assumed, but that's different. Besides, does it really bother you what he thinks now that he's stopped calling? I thought that's what you wanted."
Vince Korsak had enough gentlemanly feeling to look slightly abashed; he had let his former partner sink or swim on her own, rather than shutting up the mouths of those who assumed that only a lesbian would want "a man's job," or that a lesbian was no more than a woman who wanted to be like a man. Barry frowned, over at the shredder where he was destroying unneeded but sensitive materials. He hadn't been brought into homicide until after people had stopped (mostly) calling Jane names, and this new information about their fellow detectives' behavior upset him. Did they call him racial epithets behind his back, too?
"You told that guy Jane was gay?" Frankie asked as he entered the bullpen, carrying a folder which he set on Korsak's desk. "Way to go. You don't just out somebody like that, Doc."
"Okay, first of all, I'm not gay. Second of all, you know what they said about me when I first made detective. People... men ...were just jealous because I'm the better cop, and they just couldn't stand that a girl beat 'em. They would say all sorts of shit just to try to get to me." She sat down heavily in her chair. "So, just... let's just drop it, okay? It's done and over with." She turned her hardened eyes back to Maura. "You," she gave a two finger point in the doctor's direction, "weren't here so you get a pass on this one, but I'm not putting up with BS when it isn't true. So, you can stop right now with the comments on my flexibility. That's all I need, the uniforms walking around taking potshots about how flexible the female detective is." She crossed her arms, leaning back in her chair as she did so. "Maura, you want to talk about it some more, you can go talk to a wall. I'm done discussing it."
Frost was bothered by the nature of the conversation. "Look, Rizzoli, it doesn't matter to me whether you're gay, straight, bi, or you like to hump the stuffed unicorn that I swear every girl gets for her seventh birthday. Nobody has any business getting up in your business. I hear anybody talking like that, I will go Jet Li on their asses."
The old grouchy teddy bear still looked chastised as he said, "Me too, Janie. I'm sorry."
"Yeah," Frankie added supportively as Maura grew more and more distressed with the way Jane was taking all of this. To his credit, he lowered his voice as he stepped closer to his sister, so that the others wouldn't hear him. "But wait a sec, you're not gay? What do you mean you're not gay? You mean you're not gay except for the Doc, right?" Maura frantically shook her head, but to no avail; he just kept talking. "I mean, I'm not going to say anything to Pop, or ,God forbid, Ma, but you don't have to say that just because I'm here. I know, Sis. It's no big deal. It's past the year 2000. We may not have our jet packs and flying cars yet, but at least we know that being gay isn't a crime or a sin anymore." He was doing his best to be a good brother. Jane wondered if her knew he was flirting with premature death.
Meanwhile, Maura, still quite nearby, was just within Jane's arm's reach. She heard Frankie perfectly well. Jane was already upset, and Maura wanted to end the conversation quickly. After all, Jane had already said the discussion was over, and here Frankie was, still discussing it. "No, Frankie," Maura told him, her voice also quieting down, "Jane and I are just friends."
Frankie's look of utter surprise, not to mention disbelief, didn't speak well for his likelihood of living long enough to retake the detective exam. "Seriously? No way. You're always over there. Or she's over by your place. For God's sakes, Janie, you put on that ridiculous - I mean that really cool PUKE outfit for the race, just because Maura got it for you."
"I did that because Maura is my friend, Frankie. You painted yourself green once for Mark because he wanted to go as leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day. That doesn't make you gay, does it?" Jane tilted her head to the side in a very brief moment of contemplation. "Though you did a fabulous job of putting on that eyeliner," she smirked.
Maura couldn't stop herself. "You know, wearing cosmetics isn't an exclusive right of females and male homosexuals. Kohl eye liner has been used for centuries by the..." She broke off brusquely, realizing now was not the time to give a history on makeup usage.
Korsak chuckled as he turned his attention to Frankie. "You know, I always wondered how you knew how to put that stuff on your face, Frankie. I mean, I would never have worn the blush. But, you know, it looked good on you."
"Hey," Frankie crossed his arms as he let the light teasing change the topic. "I learned that by watching my sister try to put makeup on when she was a teenager. You should have seen her back in the 80's when…"
"And we're not going there, either. Look, don't you have a beat to patrol or something?" Jane glanced back at Korsak. "And, don't you have some fuzzy animals to watch online?"
"Touchy," Korsak grumbled as he turned back to his computer. He gave a quick look in Frost's direction, but found the other detective was already working quietly at his desk.
"Yeah… yeah, but, seriously, Janie if…" Frankie's partner barked from several yards away, calling him back to their work day.
Maura tried once more to correct Frankie's mistaken assumption, even though she clearly had no idea why it needed to be done, other than the fact that it had upset Jane. "We're not," she said with certainty, distress written in her features. "Not that there would be anything wrong with that..."
Jane waved Frankie away and quieted Maura, both with the same dismissive gesturing of her hand. "Go. Just go, Frankie."
Frankie gave them a disbelieving look before turning to go. "Whatever, Janie," he said, dismissing the whole concern. "Either you're lying or you're not. Whichever, it just means you have no idea why the doc would want to put you in a spandex running outfit. You know you can talk to me whenever. See you for gnocchi night." With that, he headed out.
Maura's eyes widened, then returned to normal very rapidly. "Well, I should get back to the morgue. I have a... thing to do." She tried for a hasty retreat back to her office, but was cut short.
"Wait a minute, Doctor Isles," Frost perked up. "You know, you never did tell us what you said to that Jorge guy to make him leave Jane alone. Did you seriously tell him Jane was gay?"
"No," Maura replied, then softened her voice. "No. He assumed it. I just didn't correct him, because it solved the problem. Or so I thought."
"Yeah, but what did you say to make him assume it?" Korsak asked, once more invested in information-digging.
Maura looked caught, trapped between Jane's annoyance and the curiosity of the two men. "I... I don't... It doesn't... No one really wants to hear this. I'm sure Jane doesn't." Hazel doe-eyes pleaded with Jane, the very person she had upset by starting the conversation, to bail her out of it.
"Hey, didn't anyone hear me? I said this conversation is over. Now, why don't we all get back to work? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm trying to solve a murder here." Jane grabbed a folder from her desk and held it up to the doctor. "Maura, did you get the results done for this case, or what?" Her voice was harsh. Her eyes were full of anger, but Jane seemed to realize the doctor was about to break down. In another second, the brunette's voice changed to something gentler as she continued to ask questions. "Did you manage to find the weapon? Was it the .22 we found earlier, and are you still coming to gnocchi night? Ma wants to know." She handed the folder over to the blonde.
Maura nodded, then shook her head, full of confusion. "I... the .22, yes, ballistics said it was the same one." A work-related task was just the thing to focus her mind, and she was grateful for it. "Gnocchi. Yes. I'd love to come." Her smile was pained. She hated upsetting Jane, seeing Jane's formidable anger directed at her in even the smallest measure, for any reason, no matter how much she might have deserved it for some unwitting infraction, was distressing to her. "I'll bring up the report in a few minutes."
With that, the Doc headed for the mercifully quick-closing doors of the elevator, enjoying a moment of before she resumed her work in the morgue.
Upstairs, Vince Korsak couldn't leave well enough alone, not without one last remark. He loved Jane, and, as much as he had to conceal the father-like warmth he felt for her, he couldn't do it entirely. "I still don't care, Janie. You could hump girls, guys, or trees. Long as you're happy." Then it was over, at least for him. Barry tossed in one final "Yeah," and then put his head down before he got it chopped off.
The squad room fell silent as the three detectives went back to work, and Jane stewed in her anger. It took her about ten minutes to come to the conclusion that she may have been too harsh on her friend. Given what she knew about Maura, the detective should have known that Maura had no idea what she was digging up by starting in on yoga classes and Jorge.
With a sigh, Jane stood. "I'm going down to the morgue for the reports and then to grab some coffee. You two want anything?"
Frost shook his head no. Korsak grunted some sort of reply to the negative, his attention wrapped up in whatever was on his computer screen.