This for our continuing series. Googlemouth and I are having a blast writing these stories out. This one follows after "A Little Downtime". 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. ;-)


"Yo, Janie, Ma says you're not coming to Sunday dinner this weekend. Something about a workshop in New York?" Frankie leaned against his sister's desk, thumbs hooked into the belt of his uniform. "So, seriously, what are you really doing this weekend because I know there's no workshop."

Well, crap, here we go again. Jane finished her coffee giving herself sometime to think about it. I have to tell him something he'll believe and something the other two church ladies listening in on can gossip about without making me look bad. What? Okay, brain, make this a good one. "I really am going out of town, but it's for something for Ma that I want to surprise her with, you know? So, I told a little white lie. You know how she is. She'd just keep nagging at me until I told her everything if I told her I was leaving town to do something I was pretty sure she'd like." Half-truth for the win! Assuming she's okay with me being with Maura, she'll totally love the fact I'm dating a doctor.

"Yeah? What are you going to do?" Her little brother raised an eyebrow as he glanced at the two detective's sitting at their desks behind Jane.

"Like I'm going to tell you! Please. If Ma found out you knew, she'd get it out of you in two seconds flat. No way. You're just going to have to wait to see like everyone else. I already told you more than I wanted to." She rolled her eyes. Hope he buys this. "So, you're not going to tell her, right? I don't want to spoil the surprise." Maura and I are going to have to go shopping this week because there's no way I'm not going to give Ma something now. Maybe a necklace? She likes jewelry, and Maura's good at picking that sort of thing out. Of course, Maura's good at doing a lot of things. She's good at her job, good a cooking, good at making things with her hands… actually, she's just good with her hands. I wonder how good she is with her hands when it comes to…

"Janie, did you hear a word I just said?" Frankie gave his sister's shoulder a push.

"What?" Crap.

"I said, 'Do you think I should get her something, too?' You're getting her something because next Sunday is her birthday, right? Or did I get the dates mixed up again?"

Holy crap. A week from Sunday is Ma's birthday. "Yes, yes, and no. Now, I have to get back to work. I'm leaving right after I get off today, okay?"

"Yeah, okay. Call me if something comes up and you need help." Frankie pushed off the desk.

"You're not getting to put your name on my present, Frankie. Get your own." She gave her brother a dirty look. He winked on his way out. "Oh man, this is getting complicated," she mumbled out loud to herself, forgetting for a moment that she was not alone.

"What's getting complicated?" asked Frost as he slid up to neatly replace her empty coffee cup with a full one. With the day Rizzoli had had yesterday, he was all about making today easier on her so that she'd be easier on him. "Anything I can..." He broke off, turning to glance back at Vince Korsak as the big, salt-and-pepper grizzly bear of a man giggled at his computer screen. "...help with?"

"Not unless you can get people to stop asking questions about who I'm doing this weekend." She took the fresh cup of coffee and sniffed it. "Thanks." She took a sip.

One round coffee-colored head and one squarish salt-and-pepper head whipped towards Jane, the latter causing Korsak's desk chair to creak dangerously with the strength of the motion.

Korsak's jaw hung open. It just hung there, like he was waiting for someone to hang a 'Please Recycle' sign from his chin. He thought of Detective Jane Rizzoli as his partner, even though she was - temporarily, he was determined - assigned to someone else at the moment. Jane, he thought of as a niece, or even as sort of a daughter. He teased her without mercy, but at the heart of it, he adored his Jane and wanted her to be happy.

He just hadn't expected her to ever admit, especially at work, that she might have something going on in her life that wasn't related to the work they shared or the family that formed the basis of her every bitching session. Slip of the tongue? Signs pointed to yes. He should probably ignore it to keep from embarrassing her. Then again, what if she'd decided that, after all this time, it might be okay to start sharing more of herself as a person? Maybe he should acknowledge it? This could be his way of letting her know that they saw the significance of the moment and wouldn't crap all over it?

Frost's jaw hung open as well, and, along with his frozen body, made him look like the poster child for deer-in-headlights. He wanted his partner's respect. He liked her, thought she was the best officer in Homicide, and had felt honored to be assigned to her. He'd already learned quite a bit about the job from Jane. Even though he still got sick around dead bodies, he felt he was becoming more of a real detective and not just a very junior tag-along.

He and Jane had an understanding: she taught him everything she could about being an ever-improving homicide detective, and he stayed the hell up out of her personal life. Little co-worker jabs were okay, but actually hitting home with any of them was just not done. Not unless someone (Frost) had really overstepped and you (Jane) wanted to smack the puppy's nose with a newspaper to illustrate and enforce boundaries. He should ignore what she had just said, right? Right? Frost glanced towards Korsak, just barely daring to move enough to do so. Let the one who knew her better take the chance. He stepped backward by about a foot, silently cueing Korsak to take the lead on this particular investigation. The junior partner would observe and learn on this one.

"Uh, Janie?" Korsak began after a few false starts and throat clearings. "Rizzoli, I think your, whatchacallit, Freudian slip is showing."

"My what?" Jane turned around to glare at her ex-partner. "My slip? I'm not wearing a dress." She glanced at Frost, looking for answer. "What is he talking about?"

He didn't want to say. He really didn't want to say. But if there was worse than speaking up out of turn, it was not answering Jane when she wanted you to speak. "Uh, I think..." Frost cleared his throat, too, looking back at Korsak in the way of guys pleading for help. "I think you meant to say you don't want people asking questions about what you're doing this weekend. Right?"

"Yeah, that's what I said. I want people to stop asking what I'm doing this weekend." She looked from one man to the other. "Why are you two looking at me like that?"

"You said who," Korsak pointed out, deciding it was time to help the new kid. "You said you didn't want people asking who you were doing this weekend. We, uh, or anyway I couldn't figure out if you meant to say that."

Jane's jaw dropped, eyes getting wide, color completely leaving her face as her mind raced back over what she had actually said. Just kill me now. "I did not!" I totally did. "You two are just trying to throw me off my game." Oh. My. God. How did I let that happen? "What? You plan this or something? You're trying to get me back for super gluing your pens to the inside of your desk drawers, aren't you?" Oh jeez. Oh man. Oh crap. Oh fu…Maura doesn't like it when I use that word. Well, just… damn it. "You're going to have to do better than that." She waved her hand in the air. "Whatever, guys. I have work to do, unlike some people around here." She gave her best menacing glare to Frost. I have to leave. Now. She stood up as casually as she was able, picked up her coffee and a folder, and turned to the two men. "In fact, I'm going to go check on the O'Kelley case. Feel free to try to come up with a different conspiracy theory while I'm gone." She gave Korsak a dirty look.

"Our mistake," Frost said smoothly, holding up his hands as if Jane had tried to get up in his space as he walked back to his desk. "Must've misheard. You know how it is, all the noise in here in the bullpen."

Korsak immediately went into back-away-quickly mode as well. "Yeah, nobody here said anything about any guy you might be going out with. Or not. I didn't hear anything, did you, Frost? Nobody heard anything. You're not doing anybody this weekend. Anybody says on Monday that they were with you, we'll punch him right in the mouth."

"Right, and anyway, who has time for false gossip, anyway? Right? We got work to do." Frost bent studiously over his computer, where he began to type away furiously, tracking purchases on their main suspect's credit cards.

"That's what I thought," Jane growled as she strolled out of the squad room.