One shot. Characters aren't mine... I just borrowed them. I wasn't going to post this today, but I realized I'll be too busy the next few days to throw it up here. Fair warning, I proof read nothing. I did write this on on my own.
She left on a Friday, and I was certain she would return by Monday as per her normal routine. Often, her aggressiveness and irrational anger overpower her rational self, and I'm left waiting for her to calm down so we can talk as the civilized people we are.
In fact, we have a routine. She becomes angry. She leaves. She is gone for a day or two. She returns, calmer. We discuss the situation calmly. Everything returns to normal.
The routine began normally, but it has not ended normally. She has been gone for a week.
To be precise, which I prefer, she has been gone 7 days, 6 hours, 34 minutes and counting.
Angela is adamant she has not spoken with her. Frankie assures me he has not seen her. Barry says he only knows that she took some vacation time, but he doesn't know how long. Korsak has told me he's certain he's never seen her as angry as she was the day she left for vacation.
She will not return my calls. She will not text me. She will not answer her emails to me unless it is work related. For all that matters in our personal lives, she has completely disappeared, and I don't know where she's gone or when she'll return.
What's more frustrating is I'm certain this is completely my fault, but I'm uncertain how to repair the damage I've caused. She is my best friend and should be the one person I understand the best of all the people currently in my life, but I find I am completely at a loss as to what to do or even why things are as they are.
She left me on a Friday, and it is Friday again without her here. I feel lost.
"Maura, I'm sure she'll show up eventually. I mean, she's got to come back to work." Frankie bent over to scratch Jo's offered tummy. "Ma's got the pup, so that means she knew she was going to be gone for a while. I wouldn't worry about it. You know how Jane is. She'll stop being mad and show back up." He set his beer on the coffee table. "Right, Ma?"
From the kitchen, Angela's voice echoed back, "Right." After a beat, she added, "What happened with you two anyway? You normally get along so well."
"Yeah, what'd you do to piss her off this time?" Frankie threw the ball sitting next to Jo. The little dog took off, paws clicking away on the hardwood floors of the guest house.
"I'm not positive. I could take a guess, but I prefer not to speculate." Maura made a face behind the rim of her wine glass.
"Yeah, we know. Humor me." From his place on the sofa, Frankie shot her a smirk very reminiscent of his older sister's.
The doctor sighed, watching Angela walk around and take seat next to her son so she could hear the story as well. "Must I?"
"Dinner's going to take a least another 30 minutes. Tell us what happened while it bakes. Maybe we can help?" Angela shrugged.
"I suppose it couldn't hurt." Maura took another sip of wine before starting. "As you know, Friday nights are normally nights Jane and I either go to the Robber for drinks with Barry and Vince or schedule some other activity together if neither of us has a date." At the mention of the word date and his sister in the same sentence, Frankie snort. Angela poked him in the ribs and nodded for Maura to continue. "Last Friday night, we had planned to go to the theater to watch Wicked and then to a new French cuisine restaurant that I've been wanting to try."
The doctor set her glass down, placing her hands in her lap as relayed the next part, wincing slightly at the memory. "As we getting ready at my house, we managed to find our way into a heated discussion about what Jane was planning to wear. She had this rather ill fitted pants suit that was a very unflattering color on her. I was trying to talk her into wearing the black dress she and Angela bought last year. We suddenly went from discussing her clothes to," again Maura winced, "Jane accusing me of being ashamed to be seen with her."
"That's not true! You two go everywhere together," Angela rolled her eyes. "Why would she say that?"
"I honestly don't know. She told me that I was clearly ashamed to be seen with her as she was, that I was embarrassed of her and from where she came, that I didn't appreciate her or the things she does for me, that she was tired of playing my 'pseudo boyfriend', and then she stormed out of my house. We never saw the musical."
Angela shook her head. "Jane's always been so hot tempered."
"Sounds to me like she's jealous," Frankie sipped his beer as he played tug-of-war with Jo and a sock.
"I don't understand what you mean," Maura tilted her head to the side, confused.
"Maura, what did you tell her to set off? Come on, tell us exactly what you said," Frankie raised his eyebrows. "I know you can. You have one of those eidetic memories, don't you?"
The doctor blinked, clearly taking a moment to be surprised by the use of term eidetic. "Well, no, but I do have a very good memory. Let me think for a moment." She tapped her leg with a forefinger as she tried to recall. "I said, "Jane, you know you would look so much better if you would wear something that compliments your body instead of hiding it with such an ill-fitted suit. If you would just let me dress you, this wouldn't be a problem, and then we wouldn't have to field questions about our relationship status with people. It's mostly your dress, I believe, that confuses people.' That is when she went off on me."
"Oh," Angela's voice rang of an 'ah ha' moment.
"Exactly." Frankie nodded at his mother.
"I don't understand. What are you two talking about?"
"You ever ask yourself why Janie called herself your pseudo boyfriend?" Frankie threw the sock. Jo made chase.
"No, though I could see a parallel between our behavior and that of a couple. But, Jane's been very adamant that she is not interested in dating another woman."
"Has she?" Angela sounded skeptical. "I guess she never told you about Carey Parker."
"No, I don't believe so." Maura frowned, thinking back . "No, not that I recall. Who is Carey Parker?"
"Jane's girlfriend from the 11th grade. Tall, good looking, hair kind of the color of yours, and killer legs," Frankie finished his beer, setting the empty bottle on the coffee table with a thud. "I was so pissed when she got the Carey before I could. Carey was in my grade. Of course she went for the older Rizzoli." He shook his head. "Jane always beats me to everything. First to get to Carey. First to get on the force. First to make detective. First to ask yo… Well, you get my drift." With a shrug, he stood up to get another beer from the fridge.
"Her… girlfriend." The doctor blinked rapidly. "Angela, does he mean what I think he means?"
"Oh yeah, it was a big deal at the time, but she just didn't care who knew. They got caught making out in the girls' bathroom at school. I thought she was going to get expelled. It was a lucky thing her father and I were good friends with the principal at the time." With a sigh, the elder Rizzoli leaned back on the sofa. "Jane's never been one to back down for anything. I thought she was going to have a fit when I told her she had to stop seeing Carey, but all she did was shrug. It wasn't until later that I found out that Carey called it off because she was embarrassed for people to know that she was dating Jane. Carey was little on the uppity side, if you know what I mean. Of course, our Janie's always been a blue collar girl."
"Oh, I see," Maura was processing.
"Yeah, I bet you do," Frankie plopped back down in his spot, a cold beer in his hands. "Jane's never said she wouldn't date girl. She said she's not adventurous with it, but, when it comes to my sister, when is she ever adventurous about her love life?"
"Yes, I do see your point," the doctor's voice had become thoughtful. She chewed at her bottom lip for a moment as she considered this new piece of information regarding her best friend. "The parallels between the two situations are stunning, aren't they?"
"It's a little creepy, yeah. Except," Frankie frowned, thinking, "you and her aren't really dating. As far as I know, you've never made out in the women's bathroom at the station… have you?"
Maura's eyebrows raised in surprise. "No, of course not! Our relationship has been strictly platonic."
"Don't take this the wrong way," Angela began, voice slightly guarded, "but you two have never acted like 'strictly platonic' friends. I mean, the way you two look at each other!" She raised a hand, shrugging. "Are you sure there isn't something going on there?"
"Well, I… I mean," Maura sighed. "No, I'm not, and, if I were honest with myself, I would have to admit that I knew I was pushing her buttons when I said what I did to her. But she normally doesn't have that kind of violent reaction."
"Everyone has a breaking point, Maura."
Angela nodded her head in agreement with her son. "It's true; there's only so much anyone can take." She reached over to place a hand on the younger woman's arm. "Maura, do you have feelings for Jane? It's okay. I promise not to try to set you two up."
"If you're asking me if I'd like to be more than friends with Jane, the answer is I didn't know that was a possibility, so I hadn't actually considered it. But, considering it now, I think it's something I would like to try. She's so primal, though. I don't know if we would be a good match."
"You already are!" Angela gave a little squeeze before letting go. "You need to go apologize and tell her how you feel."
"I would if I knew where she was."
"Got you covered," Frankie leaped off the sofa and went to his jacket. He came back with a card. "She's here. She'll be there for another week."
"You knew where she was this whole time?" Angela smacked Frankie in the arm. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you would have told Maura, and Jane said she didn't want to talk to Maura until, one, Jane had calmed down or, two, Maura decided to do something other than co… her tease her."
Maura held the card up, reading the small print aloud. "Indigo Bed and Breakfast? That's in Martha's Vineyard. I didn't know Jane was familiar with that area."
"She goes there when she's hiding from stuff. She use to work there during the summers when were teenagers, and I think she and the owner know each other pretty well." Frankie shrugged. "You going or what?"
"Yes," Maura stood, giving apologetic glance to Angela. "Dinner another time?"
She has an entire portion of her life I know nothing of, and she has never been willing to share with me. I've never asked, and now I'm caught wondering if the damage I have done while being careless with her emotions can be repaired because I never bothered to really learn about her past.
The very few times we've spoken about the possibilities of either of us dating the same sex have always quickly veered so that the conversation was never completed. I assumed she wasn't interested in women. I cannot believe I assumed. That is very unlike me.
What if she refuses to speak with me? What if she declines my attempts to right this? What if she's begun to hate me? What if we're all wrong and she doesn't have any feelings for me at all? What if I arrive only to make a complete fool of myself?
When did I start using sentences that begin with 'what if'?
"Maura, what are you doing here?" Jane pulled her sunglasses down to get a better look at the person blocking her sun.
Maura had found her lounging by the pool of the bed and breakfast. She had taken a moment to look, then compose herself, before approaching the bikini clad brunette. Now that she was there with Jane waiting for an answer, she was uncertain how to begin, "I came to say I'm sorry."
"You tracked me down and flew all the way here to tell me that? You could have sent an email," Jane put her glasses back on and leaned back in the lounge chair. "You're blocking my sun."
"Jane, please," Maura pleaded, squatting down beside the other woman. "Will you at least talk to me?"
"What's to say?"
"A great deal, apparently." The doctor sighed. She glanced around to confirm they were alone, and then tried again. "I know about Carey Parker."
"So you talked to Ma or Frankie." Jane shrugged. "What about her?"
Maura clenched her teeth for a moment, fighting back her immediate response to snap at Jane. Instead, she asked in a quiet whisper, "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Every time I started to, you redirected the conversation, so I eventually stopped trying."
"I realize that now." At the raised eyebrow she saw jut over the top of the sunglasses, Maura explained. "I've had some time to think about it, and I realize I've been avoiding the topic rather than actually dealing with it. I can only conclude that the idea of changing our relationship status scares me, so I did what I could to avoid that happening. I'm sorry, Jane. I was wrong for pushing you to keep you from getting too close." The doctor paused, waiting for Jane to say something, do something. But the silence stretched.
Finally, Jane sighed, giving in and asking, "What do you want me to say, Maura?"
"I don't know. I just… I want you to know that, if you're willing, so am I. That's why I came here. I wanted you to be able to see me, to see my face and know I was telling you the truth. I am sorry, and I am not Carey. I'm not embarrassed by you, Jane. I could never really be embarrassed by you, and I would never be embarrassed to be seen with you or for people to know that we're together." At the lack of reaction from the other woman, Maura nodded and stood, turning to leave, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her before she could exit the pool area.
"Can you stay?" Jane's voice was quiet but intense.
"Yes. I took the next week off." Maura chewed at her bottom lip, waiting to see what Jane would do and afraid of what might come next.
"Where are your things?"
"Inside, but only because I had nowhere to put them. I have a hotel room booked not far from here. I didn't presume, but I wanted to be prepared."
Jane nodded. "Come on, let's take your things up to the room, and then we should talk, really talk. Okay?"
Maura gave a tentative smile. "Are you sure? I don't want to…"
"I'm sure if you are." Jane pulled her glasses off to allow Maura to fully read her face. "I'm still angry, but I can talk calmly now, like we normally do."
"I don't want to talk anymore, Jane." Maura looked up, squinting against the sun. Jane looked hurt as she started to pull away, but Maura stopped her with a hand to the back of her neck. "I think we talk too much about things that don't matter, too little about things that do, and we don't take enough action on anything. So, I think I'd rather take action." She pulled Jane down, kissing her and not caring who happened to see them. "Am I being too forward?"
"Maybe, but I'm not complaining," Jane smiled gently, leaning in for another kiss.
"I'm glad. Does this mean you forgive me for purposefully pushing your buttons to irritate you?" The smaller woman ran her hands across Jane's exposed back causing a small gasp from the other woman.
"No, I'm still angry you did that to me, but I'm willing to let it go if you're willing to stop pushing me away." Jane tilted her head to the side, considering. "Are you really ready for this? I'm a difficult partner, Maura."
"I know. I've know that for some time," with smirk and a wink, Maura added, "We've been pseudo dating for some time now, remember?"
"How could I forget?" Jane chuckled. "We do need to talk. I don't like having my emotions played like that, but I think I can understand why. I just… there's a lot we still don't know about each other."
"Yes, but I would like to learn, and I promise I won't shy away or redirect on purpose. I want to hear everything you have to tell me, Jane."
"Good because I want to know everything about you," Jane smiled gently, wrapping her hands around Maura's waist and pulling her closer. "Let's go get you settled in for the week, okay?"
"I would like that."
"I'm glad you came here."
"So am I."