Five year old Jane Rizzoli erupted in fits of giggles as her hero, her everything, her father bounced her up and down on his knee. Her pudgy little face shone with joy as the jubilant laughs escape the upturned corners of her mouth—"faster, Daddy, faster!"—and Frank Rizzoli was only too happy to oblige his only daughter, the light of his life. He savored moments like this—the troublesome Tommy had been going through some tough phases lately and baby Frankie could barely lift his head up on his own, so his consideration had been largely claimed by his sons. Jane was a patient little girl, but when it was her turn, she wanted her Daddy's undivided attention.
"Daddy, what am I gonna be when I grow up?" little Jane asked when Frank finally stopped bouncing his knee. She stared up at him, waiting for an answer pointedly, and he chuckled to himself.
"You're going to be whoever you want to be, Janie. Who do you want to be?"
Jane thought very carefully. She didn't know that many people. She knew her Mommy, who was friendly and made really good "knocky" but so annoying. "Jane, did you clean your room? Jane, did you finish your peas? Jane, leave Tommy alone!" Jane grimaced at the thought, and she decided, no, she didn't want to be her Mommy.
She knew her Daddy. Daddy was brave, and nice, and he bought her ice cream. But he had to work on toilets every day so he could put bread on the table, and toilets were icky. Besides, they never had bread anyway. Just a lot of pasta. So she didn't want to be Daddy either.
She knew her brothers, but Tommy was a brat and Frankie was useless and just did everything she did. And he wasn't even good at it cause he was just a baby. She definitely did not want to be her brothers.
That was all the real people she knew except for her Nonna who was old. So she turned to her fairytale movies. Mommy was always telling her she was a princess like the girls in those movies, but Jane didn't want to be the princess. The princess was always getting herself into trouble and then she had to wait for some prince to come save her. That was stupid. She didn't need anybody to save her. She'd save them. That was what the prince did.
"I wanna be a prince, Daddy!" she concluded, clasping her hands together and holding them towards her face, grinning at her selection.
Frank held in a laugh. "Why not a princess Janie? You're a beautiful little girl."
"Cause I wanna save other people who need my help. I'm gonna rescue the princess."
At that moment, a cry rang out from a couple of rooms down. Frankie Jr. was fussing.
"Oh…I have to go take care of your little brother, sweetie," Frank sighed.
"No Daddy, I'll do it!" Jane cried jubilantly, and hopped off her Daddy's knee and scampered away from the rocking chair as quickly as her little legs could carry her. Frank smiled as he watched his spunky little daughter run off—she was going to make a great prince, or something like it, someday.
Thirty-two year old Jane Rizzoli was awakened from her twilight stupor by a soft, gentle voice elicited from the body lying next to her. She smiled as she opened her eyes to the sweet smile of her bed partner, a Dr. Maura Isles. Maura grinned back and pressed a warm kiss to the brow of the sleepy Detective, lying back down and allowing Jane to turn towards her and take hold of her hand.
"Hey Princess," Jane whispered.