Author: eponinesghost (EppieG)
Title: I Want To Kiss You All Over 1/?
Rating: PG (for this part anyway)
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the creators of Rizzoli & Isles. No infringement intended.
Notes/Summary: A fairly convoluted set-up to get these two together. References Seasons One & Two.
" ... and then Korsak trips and stumbles into me, sending me sailing into the brick wall just past the fire escape. So yeah, it was a tough day." Jane rubbed the shoulder opposite the one she was using to prop Maura's front door open as she recalled the impact. "Want me to take one of those?" She nodded to the restaurant shopping bags that Maura was bringing up the walk.
Maura smiled brightly as she breezed past. "No need." Deftly she maneuvered around the kitchen counter and placed them squarely on the island.
Pulling the door behind her and craning her neck to check out the interior of the house, Jane was amazed to find it empty and quiet. "Ma's not around?"
Her voice slightly muffled as she reached deep into one of the bags, Maura explained. "She's visiting her sister ... your Aunt ... um ..."
"Yes! She said it was a "sibling emergency" of some sort. But she was smiling when she said it, Jane, so I wouldn't worry." Maura's head popped up over the bag to make sure the detective was reassured.
"Yeah, Aunt Theresa's always got some kind of drama that requires lots of wine and a sympathetic shoulder." She waved one hand dismissively. "Good thing Ma's so nosy. And a good listener." She did a half turn and raised her eyebrows. "At least she told one of her "children" where she was. God forbid we worry."
Maura was amused by Jane's use of air quotes and the light aggravation evident on her face. "She knew I would see you and let you know. Besides, she didn't want to bother you. She knows how busy you are ... and how you get."
Jane's eyebrows inched up again. "How I get? No, pray tell ... how DO I get? And since when are you not busy?" Jane's voice was rising as she moved closer to the counter.
"I was just trying to convey that your mother does recognize that her interruptions can cause frustration on your part." Maura was using her most calming tone, very conscious to keep it from veering into condescension. "Jane ... the main point is that she's staying at her sister's for the night. We can keep talking about her ... or we can enjoy some of this exquisitely prepared cuisine." She lifted the lid of one container and sniffed, closing her eyes in delight as she inhaled. As far as she was concerned, the matter was closed. She pretended not to hear Jane's grumbles as she watched her remove her jacket.
"Just don't understand why I'm the difficult one all the sudden ... I've been patient with all her neurotic crap ..." Jane tossed her jacket over the back of one of the chairs and began to unclip her holster. "It's bad enough that I have to deal with her games involving Tommy & Frankie ... now she's got to drag you into it ..." She pulled out the drawer Maura reserved for her firearm and badge and shoved them inside. When she looked up she realized that her companion was totally ignoring her, unloading a seemingly endless supply of gourmet food from the two oversized brown bags.
"Geez you ordered enough of that stuff, didn't you? Is Tommy joining us? He's a growing boy and all that."
Maura studiously avoided the sarcasm aimed her way and turned to open the cabinet where she kept her plates. "No ... it's just us. Tommy is staying at your father's apartment for the weekend."
Jane's jaw dropped and she was momentarily speechless. "Of course he is." Had her whole family been co-opted by Dr. Isles? At least she still had Frankie ... She raised and lowered her hands helplessly, before running them through her hair and deciding to drop the whole thing.
As she slung one leg over the chair facing the island, she watched Maura effortlessly open a bottle of wine. Before she could even ask, Maura tilted her head toward the refrigerator.
"I have some of your beer in there."
Jane's mood brightened considerably with that simple sentence. She slid out of her place and went to retrieve one. This could turn out to be an alright day after all.
Slumping back into her position at the counter, she took a long draw on the cold beer as Maura set aside her wine and began emptying salad ingredients into a large expensive-looking crystal bowl. Jane had long since stopped trying to get her not to make such a fuss. It was just who she was and what she enjoyed. She also knew better than to offer to help. She'd stopped feeling guilty about Maura preparing things for her once she'd realized how much her friend genuinely wanted to do it most of it herself. She was so intent watching the doctor's hands work in and out of the bowl that she almost missed the start of her conversation.
" ... several times recently that people have had occasion to mention your previous undercover work. I've always found that fascinating. Do you miss it at all?"
Jane paused for a moment to seriously consider the question. "Yeah ... there's a big part of it that I do miss. It's a pure test of your abilities, ya know? When you're in deep cover, it's just you. You're completely on your own and you have to be prepared for anything ... really surviving on your wits and your gut and your skill. And it's a thrill and it's edgy and it's terrifying, but ... when you can pull it off, it's the greatest rush." She toyed a bit with the edge of the label on the bottle. "It can also be incredibly lonely. And exhausting. And um ... it's can play with your mind and your morals and ... what you think you're capable of ..." She let her voice trail off and shook her head slightly, her curls bouncing about her shoulders. "It was a very different kind of police work."
"I can imagine how expertly you handled it. You're very, very good at reading people and situations. And you have this way of getting people to trust you." As she used two utensils to toss dressing into the salad, she smiled almost secretly to herself. "Besides, I saw how well you did on your dates at the lesbian bar."
"Ha ha. You can joke all you want, but you didn't see how really good I was. When I saw those gloves you had described on the club's owner, I knew I needed her DNA ... and I knew I could get it." Her eyes gleamed triumphantly.
Maura blinked several times in rapid succession. "Yes, well ... you never did tell me how you managed that."
Jane grinned and folded her arms in front of her. "What exactly would you like to know, Dr. Isles?"
"I'd like to know, actually, how you go about creating an alter ego on one of these assignments. I understand that the investigation dictates a great deal of the profile, but do you find it easier to totally go away from your innate personality? Or do try to incorporate as much of yourself as you can into your alias?"
Disappointed that Maura had redirected the inquiry, Jane nevertheless wanted to tell her the truth. "No, it's much easier ... and safer ... to use as much of yourself as you can under the circumstances. The less you have to fake the better. It's harder to get tripped up. Unless the case itself required it, for example, I'd still say I had two brothers, grew up in the area ... that kind of thing."
"I see. When I was younger, I created wildly different characters for myself ... portraits of who I might be if I found out my parents were foreign espionage agents, or secret royalty, or any of the things young girls imagine."
Jane smiled affectionately. "Well, most of my characters were much more shady than that. It was never that much fun to be the only woman on vice when they needed someone to really skank it up." She grimaced at her memories of street corner duty. "Besides, most of the time we were trying to blend in with less desirable elements like drug traffickers and junkies." She was startled to hear Maura's musical laughter. "What? That's funny?"
Maura hastily composed herself, touching several of her fingers to her mouth before holding them up. "No! Oh my gosh. Of course not. It's just that I suddenly realized at this very moment that several of these dishes are exactly the same as the ones from my ill-fated dinner date with Giovanni." She suppressed another giggle.
Jane rolled her eyes at the mention of the name. "Vomit." She made a face. "I tried to warn you ..."
Her eyes twinkling merrily, Maura agreed. "You most certainly did. And it may be one of my biggest misjudgments to date ... pun intended."
Taking another sip of her beer, Jane smirked. "Well it least tonight you get to enjoy your dinner." A few seconds later she noticed that Maura had her head tilted to the side, a far away look in her eye. She snapped her fingers. "Maura ... you're doing it again. You're doing that megaphone dog pose."
Turning and placing her palms on the counter, Maura was once more completely focused. "I believe you mean gramophone. If you're referring to Nipper, the little dog made famous in the advertisement 'His Master's Voice' ... most often remembered as the RCA record label brand."
"Whatever. What's going on in your megamind?"
Sighing patiently, Maura leaned forward. "I was just thinking ... with all of this talk about assuming identities and adapting to scenarios, and then the coincidence of the nearly identical meal and situation ... me with my wine ... you and your beer ..."
"Yeah, so ... "
"We could replay that night and you could practice your undercover skills ..."
Jane bolted up out of her seat. "What? You want me to pretend to be that douchebag Giovanni?"
"Of course not. You said yourself that it's not really about pretending to be another person, that you incorporate as much of your real life into it as possible. You'd still be you in a way ... besides he was a disaster. Why would you want to pretend to be him?"
Shaking her head repeatedly, Jane tried again to make sense. "You want me to go 'undercover' … as your date? As an exercise ... " She almost didn't know what to do with herself.
"Well, yes. You couldn't still be a police officer though ... that would be off limits. And you don't know enough about cars to pull off being a mechanic ..."
"I seriously cannot believe we are discussing this." Jane was pacing.
"Jane ... hypothetically, if you had to choose another blue collar profession that you were familiar enough with to sustain a ruse, what would you pick?"
"Well Maura ... hypothetically ... I suppose I'd have to go with plumber. Pop taught us plenty."
"Good! Then you'll be a plumber." Maura nearly clapped her hands together.
Jane was flabbergasted. "I'll be a plumber? Am I also going to be a guy?"
"Absolutely not. There are female plumbers these days, Jane." She started closing the containers she had already opened, and turned to grab plastic wrap to cover the salad bowl. "You can't use your real name, though."
Raising her hands and dropping them listlessly, Jane continued to look bewildered. "When did I agree to this?"
Opening the refrigerator and making room for the bowl, Maura called out. "It might be a bit soggy when you get back, but it should still be delicious." Facing Jane again, she persisted. "What name would you use?"
Speaking as if she were in a daze, Jane shrugged. "I guess I'd pick something pretty similar if I were approaching this like a case. With the same sound. It's easier to react to when you're called. J. would probably work."
"J-a-y or J period, like an initial?"
"Am I going to have a written test? Either."
"Okay. Who do I get to be?"
"What do you mean? This is your set up ... you'd have to be YOU. I'm the one entering the unfamiliar setting, reacting to you and your actual self."
Maura nodded. "Right. Right. So I just do what I would normally do." She turned to pick up the food. "I'll put these in the warmer. Should be just fine."
Covering her face with both hands for a long minute, Jane tried again. "Maura ... this is crazy. We could just have dinner and watch a movie ..." Her mind was racing. What Maura was asking of her ... wasn't what it sounded like ... couldn't possibly be what she meant. She could be awfully naive for a genius know-it-all.
"Of course we could, but I think this would be more fun. Besides, you were the one boasting before about how you had the owner of that club in the palm of your hand." She moved around the counter to stand closer to Jane, her posture somewhat defiant.
"Maura Isles ... are you daring me?" Jane's voice was almost a squeak.
"Are you backing down?"
They were staring at each other now, just a few feet apart. Jane took a deep breath and let it out slowly. When she spoke again, her voice was steely and firm. "IF I leave here and come back, two things will be true: You'll know exactly ... and I mean exactly ... what you're asking me to do and what you're getting yourself into ... I know why Giovanni was here that night."
She paused and waited for Maura to acknowledge her statement. Her heart was thudding now and she was surprised she wasn't shaking. When Maura nodded, equally confident, she continued. " ... and I will be completely and totally committed to my cover. You can't tease or try to trick me out of it ... because in reality you wouldn't know that's what it was."
Maura nodded again, her gaze still strong and clear. "Then we'd both better get changed."
It was a few more seconds before Jane could move to grab her stuff from the drawer and scoop up her jacket. Maura's voice stopped her as she reached the door.
end part one.
thanks for reading!