This for our continuing series. Googlemouth and I are having a blast writing these stories out. This one follows after "A Little More". We do have plans to continue this series.
The characters are not ours. They belong to the very talented Tess and the powers that be over at Turner (aka TNT).
Reviews make us happy and keep us writing. ;-)
Sunday had been far too eventful. The Boston PD detectives, led by Detective Jane Rizzoli, had caught the dog park killer with the assistance of their medical examiner. That wasn't unusual. The unusual part was that, rather than utilizing her primary skill set as a forensic pathologist, Dr. Maura Isles had instead used her familiarity with the dog park, Jane's dog, and knowledge of other dog walkers to go undercover and draw out the killer. She was his type: an adult female Caucasian, alone, attractive, with either no dog or a non-threatening dog, who smiled at him instead of ignoring him when he spoke to her. She had expected to be required to take Joe for a morning jog for several mornings, but as it turned out, the killer had taken a shine to Maura right away and targeted her.
As it happened, that turned out to be a mistake for him.
Before Jane and the other detectives could get there to stop him from choking her to unconsciousness and then beating her to death, Maura had fought him off in almost exactly the set of maneuvers she had learned in self-defense class. She'd cracked his nose with the heel of her hand, elbowed his solar plexus, poked a thumb into one of his eyes, kicked his kneecap out of alignment, reset the stones in his collection of family jewels, and had her food on his neck, pinning him to the ground, by the time Jane had rounded the stand of trees and drew her weapon on the assailant-turned-punching-bag. She had clung to Jane, looking wild-eyed and fragile, while Jane's fellow detectives looked after the perp. Their perp. Maura's perp, her first and hopefully her last collar. He had gotten in his licks too, of course, putting his handprint-shaped bruise around her throat and finger marks on her arm, but Maura had definitely gotten the best of him. He wasn't used to women who fought back.
Monday had been spent filling out reports, and, for Jane, questioning the perp to within an inch of his sanity. Then both detective and undercover doctor had made their excuses to the detectives, each one claiming correctly to be exhausted, and had gone home. Jane's home, where the detective's dog, now a veteran of this undercover work, waited for company and comfort. Maura's African spurred tortoise would be fed, as he often was, by her housekeeper; she'd never actually been certain that Bass cared whether she was there or not, as long as the food came at regular intervals. Tortoises were fascinating creatures, but though they appreciated routine, their brains were decidedly non-mammalian in the sense of forming actual emotional attachments to their primary humans. So the women headed to Jane's place. Once well away from the police precinct, they paused at a traffic light, looked at each other, and sighed. One hand reached for another. They maintained contact all the way to Jane's apartment. It had been hard to do their jobs when what they wanted was to hold and support one another.
Their evening settled quickly. Jane ordered a pizza, they prepared for bed, and they ate their food while watching the evening news, per Maura's request. Jane would have preferred to watch the cartoon channel.
"Why are we watching this crap?" The detective motioned toward the screen with the piece of pizza in her hand. "We already know what they're going to say. We were there. I get that the news is important, but, when you tend to be in it a lot, it kind just seems… I don't know… repetitive." She took another bite of her slice as her face pulled into a frown. I want to watch cartoons.
Maura brought a bottle of beer and a tall glass of water to the table, arranged coasters for each, and settled in next to Jane. Already she had arranged her plate, fork, and napkin on the coffee table. She had gone far enough towards meeting Jane halfway, just by eating on the couch like a heathen (as the Isles parental units would have phrased it). "If your name is mentioned on the news," she said with a Socratic air of teaching through questioning rather than through giving answers, "will your mother pick up the phone and call you?"
"Yeah, probably. She always does," Jane answered around bites of pizza. Like, every single freaking time. "It's getting kind of old, though. Between our normal collars and Ho… well, things, I seem to get mentioned a lot. You'd think Boston would have better things to report on than what we're doing in homicide. I mean, murders happen all the time. I, for one, would like to know what's going on with the new season of baseball." She shrugged, finished her slice of pizza and wiping her hands on the paper towel Maura had insisted on giving her.
"My parents are home this month," Maura replied, glancing towards the cellphone she'd set on the side table nearest her end of the couch. "They never fail to watch the local news, listen to the radio, and read the papers wherever they are. It helps them acclimate. I'd like to know what they're seeing and hearing." That explained the stop-off at the news stand earlier, where she had asked for anything with my picture on the front, please, and the two Boston news rags that rested beneath the pizza box. So, it hadn't been just vanity, wanting to see what pictures of herself the Boston PD had given to the press.
"I didn't know that." Jane tossed the paper towel on her coffee table. "If you need to go spend some time with them this weekend, I understand. I know they're not in town much." The detective's gaze settled on watching the woman next to her. She's pretty even when she's eating pizza with a knife and fork. I wonder if she'd be mad if I moved her plate from her lap? I wonder what she tastes like mixed with peperoni? I wonder when I started wondering how Maura tasted? Oh, right, about forever ago. I really just want to… I just want her. Jane's eyes focused on the movement of Maura's hands as they cut the pizza, her breathing growing less and less steady as she quietly waited for Maura's response to her offer.
Maura approached her pizza almost the way she approached a whole pan-seared fish, though she used a different style of knife: she severed the connection between the crust and the rest of the slice in a neat, curved line, moving the crust to the outer edge of the plate before continuing. "I might need to speak with them." She lifted away exactlyhalf of the pepperoni slices, as delicately as an ophthalmologist might remove a damaged cornea from an eye, a mental image that Jane could probably have done without. "It all depends." She stacked the pepperoni slices together, then transferred them back to the box, knowing that Jane would eat them. "If they want to see me, they'll call."
The television had played the story of the Dog Park Killer and those who had caught him as their first story for the night, showing images of the police detective who had arranged for the operation and made the collar alongside the medical examiner who had crossed the line from pathologist to undercover agent and been targeted by him in the sting, while also announcing both their names. Earlier, the radio had run the story. At least two of Boston's local papers had run the story on the first page, and a few more had run it further inside.
Maura's cellphone had remained silent.
Yeah, I'm going to have to move that plate. Not bothering to ask, Jane picked up the plate and move it. Eyes dark and piercing, she took the utensils and set them with plate on the coffee table. Her parents suck. My phone is ringing. Don't care. Maura first. Parents later… much later. Leaning forward, effectively pinning the smaller woman to the sofa, the detective kissed her soundly. "I'm very proud of you, Maura. What you did this week was brave. I know you're waiting for them to call, but, if they don't, forget them. I think you're awesome, and," she laid another kiss on her girlfriends soft, inviting lips, "peperoni tastes amazing on you."
There was a distinct lack of protest, despite the fact that Maura had only had one bite of pizza thus far. So easily did she succumb to anything Jane wanted enough to ask for it. "I did feel quite powerful," she admitted between kisses as she let herself be laid back and softly trapped by the body of her girlfriend. "Even though I could feel the physiological effects of fear, I also felt very strong and capable. I thought for a moment that that must be what you feel like almost all the time."
"I'm scared shitless most of the time," Jane admitted as she nuzzled against Maura's neck before lightly nipping the sensitive skin there. "Putting them away makes me feel like that." Crap, she hasn't eaten yet. Not cool, Rizzoli. Reluctantly, she sat back, releasing her hold. "Sorry. I'm going to go sit over there… at the end of the couch …and leave you alone so you can eat."
Puzzlement and clear disappointment lighted on Maura's facial features for a moment as she continued to lie where, and as, Jane had put her and then left her. Then she sat back up, neatened her clothing a bit, and then picked up her plate.
Jane gave her best apologetic face as she scooted back. Oh, this isn't going to work. "You know, maybe I should just go in the other room? I should probably call Ma anyway. She's called 3 times now." Chewing her bottom lip, she let her eyes roam over the small, curvaceous frame of her girlfriend. Oh man, it's physically painful not to touch her. What the hell? I'm never like this. "Yeah, let me just go do that." She made a move to stand.
Maura nodded, not trusting herself to speak. She understood Jane's departure, once it was explained, but that didn't mean she would not have gladly delayed dinner until the pizza was cold just to get more of that touch, more of Jane's body pressing down on hers. The pathologist shifted slightly in her seat. "All right," she agreed, though with clear reluctance. "You're right. You should do that. Give her my best... Or, no, don't. I suppose it's better if she doesn't know I'm here." She shifted again, relieving some postural pressure, and cut herself another forkful of pizza.
"Yeah," with a rather ungraceful stumble over the arm of the sofa, Jane staggered into her bedroom. Smooth."God, why am I so awkward?" She rolled her eyes as she picked up her phone and returned the calls from her mother. "Hi, Ma."
"Jane! You and Maura were on the news." Angela's voice was full of pride.
"Yeah, I know. I saw it on tv."
"And in the papers. I'm so proud of both you."
I love my mother. I love my mother. I love my mother. "Thanks, Ma. Listen, I called you about Sunday."
"Oh, can you bring the bread? Your father forgot to pick some up at the store today."
"Yeah, about that. I can't go. Something's come up, and I really need to take care of it. I promise I'll make it up to you."
"What do you mean something's come up?" Angela's voice had gone from pride to anger quicker than most teenagers go from sad to happy.
"I'm really sorry, Ma, but I really need to do this thing. It's nothing bad, and I'll be at dinner next Sunday. Hey, if you want, we can grab lunch or something next week." She's never going to be okay with this.
"Jane, you give me one good reason why you can't come to Sunday dinner."
I'll be with Maura. "I might be out of town."
"Out of town? Where?"
"Um," Crap, "New York?"
"Why would you be in New York?"
"There's this… work thing that I have to go to. You know, it's just some stuff I have to learn about."
Of course she'd ask. "About… me. It's one of those 'know yourself so you can do better at things' thing. What's it called? A workshop!" That's it…good, Jane. Good.
"Oh. Well, do you need us to watch Joe?"
"No, Maura's got it." Bad, Jane. Bad.
"That's nice of her. I guess if it's a work thing, then I can't be mad. But, you owe me lunch. Be careful this weekend."
"Yeah, I will." Close one. "Talk to you next week."
"Okay, love you, Janie."
"Love you, too, Ma." Jane ended the call and let out a sigh. Maura's not going to like me lying. Maybe she'll forgive me, considering? Maybe I can find a way to keep her from thinking about it? Maybe. With a sigh, she made her way back into the living room. "Hey, I just got off the phone with Ma."
"I heard," Maura replied, halfway through her pizza, with another bite on the way to her mouth. She looked a bit... reserved. "When did you know you were going to New York this weekend?" Our weekend.
"We're going to New York? That wasn't the plan." Caught off guard, Jane simply stood by the sofa trying to figure out where she missed the disconnect. "The plan was to stay home and have a weekend to ourselves. Don't tell me there really is a workshop?" I'll burn crap to the ground. Seriously, I will. I need this weekend with Maura.
Confusion spread all around, like the light from sparklers on the Fourth of July, scary to be touched by, before experience teaches their essential harmlessness. "You just told your mother that you were going to a workshop... Oh." Pause. "Oh. So, that was... You're not...?"
"I lied." Jane held her hands up, palms forward in a gesture to stave off Maura's objections. "Before you say something, just remember that we're keeping this," she motioned between them, "under wraps, and the only way I could get out of going to Sunday dinner was to tell Ma I was out of town. So, I lied. It's just a little white lie, and I did promise to make it up to her. Please don't be mad," she dropped her hands, frowning slightly. "I just… didn't want to share you this weekend."
It was wrong to lie. Maura knew it was wrong. She hated doing it. "You're telling me," she began as she put down her fork, "that you told your mother," she stood up, "a baldfaced lie," and put down her folded napkin on the table, "so that she would leave you alone," walked towards Jane, "for an entire weekend," stood right up close, and for once didn't bring her hands to touch Jane, just let her body come to rest about an inch away from that of her detective, "so that we could be together?"
"Y-yes," Jane swallowed hard, eyes flicking nervously from the woman before her and anywhere else. "But, it was only a little white lie." Her face was a mixture of fear, arousal, and confusion. What is she doing? "Please don't be too mad, Maura. If it bothers you too much, I can call her back. I… I don't want you to be mad and this ruin our weekend."
Slowly, Maura shook her head. "I ought to be angry," she acknowledged quietly, lifting up on tiptoes to press the upper portion of her cheek to the lower portion of Jane's jawline, "but I think I'm not. I think I'm... going to clean up from dinner, while you walk Joe. I'm thinking we might want to call it an early night. Unless you're still hungry."
I'm hungry, alright. "If I didn't know any better," Jane quipped as she turned to place a gentle kiss on the side of the doctor's head, "I'd say you just set me up with that comment." Maura smiled. Shameless. Jane chuckled, pulled away to grab the collar by the door. "We'll be back in a few. Don't get kidnapped or anything while I'm gone, okay?" Hearing the jingle of the lease, Joe bounded for Jane and stopped just short of running into her owner's legs. "Okay, Joe, hold on." Jane bent over to hook the leash on the black leather dog collar. "New collar? When did you go shopping without me?" The detective glanced over at the honey blonde who was now working on putting dinner away. "Okay, fashionista, let's go." Dog and owner left, closing the door behind them.
Maura finished her slice of pizza rather more quickly than she'd eaten the first half of it, then made short work of tidying the kitchen and living room. Halfway through the job, she smiled to herself as she realized her own comfort in Jane's home. She knew where everything went, how the somewhat complicated dishwasher worked. Having been over on laundry day a few times, she even knew how Jane liked her clothes sorted and washed, and so she put in a load to wash, knowing Jane wouldn't remember until she was down to one wearable outfit, and would then complain that she didn't have time to do the wash. I'll dry them when we get up in the morning, she promised herself, then headed into the bedroom.
Immediately, she headed back out again. It was one thing to make free with Jane's kitchen and even laundry, another to take over her best friend's bed as if it was her own. She could wait until Jane led her in there. Maura chose to lie on the couch, stretching out in what she hoped was a blatant invitation to join her there, unless Jane really did want to go straight to bed. I really don't care which, Maura surprised herself to realize. As long as she's touching me. I love it when she touches me.
"That's the last time I let you play with the big dogs," Jane chastised as she walked through the front door. "I mean, come on, Joe, he was just being friendly. You didn't have to slice his ear open." She bent over to unhook the collar as the little dog gave one bark in response to her comment. "Yeah, yeah… he's not your type. I get it. Still, I don't know where you get this aggressive streak from." She turned, hung the collar up, and locked the front door. "Go on. I'm going to find," she turned again, her eyes landing on Maura, lying on the sofa, "Maura," she squeaked out.
Okay, that's it. I'm done with this game. Shaking herself to regain her composure, Jane closed the distance, holding her hand out for Maura to take. "Come on."
Maura smiled even before her eyes opened from her brief period of meditation and sat up, taking Jane's hand even though she didn't need it to get up. "Bed?" she asked hopefully, though it was about an hour and a half before the time she usually went to bed, and she suspected strongly that when she wasn't there, Jane stayed up much later. They weren't quite to the point of being ready to have sexual relations, not yet, but perhaps a little light making out before they went to sleep…
"Jane." Frost's voice echoed through the somewhat empty bullpen area as he tried to get his partner's attention. Jane, for her part was absentmindedly drumming her pencil as she stared at her computer screen. "Jane." He called out a little louder, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice. She'd been squirmy and fidgety since she came in, and the drumming, pacing, and squirming were start to wear thin on Frost's nerves. "Oh. My. God. JANE!"
Huh? "What?" She stopped drumming and turned her chair around to see what had Frost so irritated.
"You have to stop. You've been drumming and fidgeting and… you just have to stop. You're driving me crazy. Did you have 4 cups of coffee before you came in this morning, or what?" Frost ran a hand over his tired looking features.
"Oh, sorry," Jane clasped her hands together and set them in her lap. Maura's driving me crazy. This morning, with that thing she did to my ear…oh my God… I can't even…
"Jane, come on, what is up with you today?"
"My bad, Frost. I'm just… a little distracted. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night." She blushed remembering the makeout session that lasted until midnight. "Maybe I should go walk around or something?"
"Maybe you should." Frost nodded, scowling at her. "And don't drink any coffee. God, that's all you need is more reasons to be jittery." He shook his head. "Hey, how is it that, if you didn't get a lot of sleep, you're this wired? Seriously, how many cups of coffee have you had?"
"One." Jane motioned to the cup on her desk behind her.
"Then how…Man, I don't even want to know." He held his hand up. "So, you taking a walk or what?"
"I don't really have anywhere to go." She shrugged, turning back to her desk. "Maybe I'll play on Twitter or something?"
"Go to the morgue and bother Dr. Isles or something." Frost was clearly ready for his partner to take a break.
"Go see Maura? Oh, um," No… no way I could keep my hands off of her. That would not end well.
Dr. Isles was easy on the eyes, the best at her job, and not bad as an employer - maybe a bit perfunctory, but hey, not every boss could be everybody's buddy or gruff-but-kindly mentor - but did she have to hum while digging around in what was left of a human being? Did she have to smile as she fished around the body of a teenager caught in gang crossfire? Did she have to walk around with a little spring in her step like she had new gel insoles in her shoes, in a morguewith actual, relatively fresh bodies behind every door against that wall?
She was creepy, decided the lab intern as he accepted the little tray of bullet fragments from her to take back to the lab. No wonder they called her Queen of the Dead. Even the other medical examiners were a little bit unable to connect with her; one of them, in fact, had originated the nickname.
Maura hummed bits and snatches of some classical violin concerto, not that anyone recognized it. While she could carry a tune, singing was not one of her talents. Good thing singing wasn't necessary last night, she thought, and her smile warmed as she sewed up the incisions she had made in that unfortunate teenager's chest. At least that activity plays to my strengths. It plays to Jane's strengths, too. I love the way she holds me. Love the way she looks at me.
What am I doing? She looked down at a perfectly finished seam, realized she had completed it, and tied off the thread. So sleepy. So worth it.
Lunch time. Okay, I can't take it anymore. I'm going down there. "Lunch, I'll be back in a few." Jane stood, grabbed her jacket, keys, and cell, and headed for the door.
"You and Dr. Isles going anywhere interesting?" Frost asked, not bothering to look up from his computer screen.
Am I really that predictable? Geeze. "Don't know yet. Why? You want something?"
"Yeah, if you go to Jake's, grab me some cheese fries. I'll pay you back."
"Don't worry about it. If we go, I'll get some." She waved as she left.