A/N - Thank you everyone who has again reviewed, followed or made this story part of their favorites list. In this chapter, we get a little insight to some previous information. As in past chapters, those flashbacks are in italics. The next chapter is already on the way to being written - and I also have to say, this story is now getting much closer to it's conclusion - I said at the beginning I didn't think it would be all that long - I guess over 100,000 words and over 30 chapters later I was wrong! Once this is complete, I will be looking at finishing Loves Labours Lost.
Thanks to the beta services from CrackdownDraco and Honorcpt - who I know have both been busy with real life and other things - so thanks for taking the time to help little old me out. I appreciate it. Truly.
I hope that this doesn't disappoint... On with the story...
Jane was already shrugging a jacket on as Maura came through the front door, and she watched as Jane then also grabbed her gun and badge from a drawer she had designated for them.
"Jane, will you please tell me what on earth is going on?"
Maura stood in the doorway, trying to stop a now very agitated brunette, who looked liked all she wanted to do was kill someone.
"Maur... I need to get to the precinct." Jane ground the words out, jaw tense, eye's hard.
"What?" Maura looked slightly scared, and her immediate worry was Jane had seen something to do with Ellie. "We took the week off because of the move, why do you need to go into work? We specifically made sure to say we weren't even to be called in, which has happened before when we haven't gone away somewhere with previous vacations. Why do you need to go? We're not in any danger are we?"
"No, we're fine... But right now I need to go and tear Cavanaugh a new one."
Jane's words were full of venom, as she then reached over, and yanked the door open forcefully, in turn causing Maura to move. Not giving Maura time to even react, Jane was running out of the door, and within seconds was peeling off in her unmarked police cruiser.
Frost and Frankie were beginning to unload the rental truck that they had pulled in with minutes after Maura and Jane had arrived, and watched on, surprise also showing as Jane disappeared on them. Both grabbed small, light items as they walked towards where Maura was still standing, in shock, in the front doorway.
"What on earth is all that about?" Frost asked, with a tilt of his head towards where Jane had been only seconds earlier.
"I have absolutely no idea." Maura admitted. "Jane is angry about something Cavanaugh has done though, and was going to the precinct."
Frost suddenly put his box down, as his eyes began scouting the immediate vicinity, "Ah crap!"
He quickly pulled out his phone, and dialled Korsak, and looked at Maura, putting a finger up to stop her obvious need to question what was going on, mouthing 'I'll tell you in a second.' Maura nodded, although it was easily apparent that even Maura's patience was beginning to wear thin.
"Korsak, Jane has just seen the LT has pulled the guard off Maura's place, and you can expect her any time soon to pummel the crap outta whoever gave the order."
Both Frankie and Maura could hear a muffled, but distinct curse of "Fuck" come down the phone. Listening some more to Korsak, Frost simply then said goodbye, before turning back to the other two people.
"Let's get inside, and I'll be able to explain."
Maura quickly sat down on her sofa, followed inside by Frost and Frankie, who both just put their boxes inside the front door the moment they walked in. Frost then sat on the sofa, while Frankie opted for a chair.
"I didn't notice when we first drove up, but it looks like as well as us being pulled off Ellie's case full time, your protection detail has also been pulled."
"My what?" Maura looked aghast. "Protection...deta..." her words trailed off.
"You mean you didn't know?" Frankie spoke up this time, throwing his hands out in a typical gesture of exasperation, so often used by all the Rizzoli family.
"I had no idea." Maura stammered slightly, "I didn't even see anyone."
Frost sighed. "That was part of the idea, plain clothes and an unmarked car. After your attack, we didn't know if Ellie would take another shot, and Jane pushed to get at least one person watching you when you weren't at work on a daily basis. The brass agreed because your parents were on the phone as well, causing merry hell with the Mayor and the top brass. Jane got hold of your mother or something, and Constance agreed with the idea."
"Oh god. They didn't..." Maura's fingers came up and rubbed across her forehead, before she lightly massaged her temples. "Of all the things - they should never have interfered..."
Frankie leaned across, and gently placed a hand on Maura's closest knee. "I know you're not going to like what Jane and your parents did. But Doc, you have to remember... Jane was already in a bad place, and she just did it because she didn't know how else to help protect you."
"She should have told me. Or Cavanaugh should have told me. Anyone..."
"I agree. And I thought she had." Frankie pulled away, settling back in his chair with a sigh, "I know that Cavanaugh agreed straight away because you are respected and liked Maura, and we all felt so bad after you were hurt. Especially when it happens in our own backyard, that hurts. Ya know? It was an attack on all of us."
"Even so..." Maura shook her head, standing up, before moving towards her kitchen, needing to do something. "You or Jane should have told me."
It didn't take a genius to realize Maura was angry with the news.
Jane had pushed past the waiting Korsak, who had then followed her into Cavanaugh's office, just avoiding getting the door slammed in his face.
"You fucking well..."
Cavanaugh stood up immediately and with remarkable composure, moved around to face Jane, before nodding at Korsak to show he was okay and had a handle on this. Korsak nodded back and slipped out through the door.
The tone was enough to stop Jane mid-tirade, even though her whole posture was one of pure anger and she was literally shaking with adrenaline.
"Unless you cool ya jets, I will not give you any kind of explanation and kick your ass every which way from here to Sunday."
Jane turned, not wanting to punch out, either verbally or physically knowing she would be handed her ass, plus a suspension, and took a deep breath, before turning around again. "Why the fuck didn't you at least give us, give me, some warning you were going to do this shit?" Jane fought hard not to stab a finger into Cavanaugh's chest as he leant back to rest on the edge of his desk.
"For a start you still would have gone on the offensive, and secondly, I was in a meeting earlier, fighting for this not to happen. Unfortunately, the brass refused my arguments, and said they couldn't sanction even one officer, like we had been using, to stay on Doctor Isles. That the threat was no longer viable." Cavanaugh watched as the words sunk in. How Jane had cringed at the words 'no longer viable.' He truly did sympathise over the whole situation, even if he had to maintain a harsh stance on this.
"So what, we just give up altogether?" Jane's question was full of venom.
"No. It means we work smart Rizzoli. Get your head outta your ass and start thinking like the detective I know you are. This is why when someone is close to a case we don't let them work it. You are too close, too emotional."
Jane's eyes snapped up, more anger burning. "I. Am. Not. Too. Emotional."
The words were ground out through a tightly clenched jaw.
"Yeah, you are, and you know, that's okay." Cavanaugh moved back behind his desk. "Shows you love the Doc, and I gotta respect that, even if it makes you a total pain in my ass. As for the guard, we'll work that out between us here in homicide. I know Frankie, Cooper, Frost and Korsak will help on their off hours. I bet that list can be added to once I do some asking around and don't worry, Crowe is going nowhere near this. He's still on a six week suspension for his actions towards you and Doctor Isles anyway. In the meantime, you go back home, finish whatever the hell you were doing, and stay there. Take the week off as arranged. Do I make myself clear?"
The glass in the door rattled as Jane stormed out, ignoring Korsak as she went.
Maura walked over to Jane, who was pulling her jacket off forcefully and in a fit of temper, threw it across the small table by the front door. With a sigh, Maura picked it up, brushed it down and hung it up where it was supposed to be, before following Jane into the house proper. Frankie and Frost were in the kitchen, and both quickly and wordlessly retreated towards the guest house, giving the two women time alone.
"Frost told me about the guard, and that they appear to have been pulled."
Jane huffed as she fell back into the sofa. "Figured he might tell you, and yeah, they were pulled off duty this morning. They should have been just watching the house while we loaded up from my old apartment. Usually, they wouldn't have been here while you were away, but if we knew you weren't going to be long, we felt it might be a window of opportunity for Ellie. Cavanaugh confirmed they were pulled off while we were out." Jane sighed, as her frown stayed. "He says he's looking to mount something between the homicide department that is unofficial. So you will have some sort of protection at least."
Maura sat down alongside Jane, and pulled a hand into her own. "So, do you want to explain to me why I wasn't told I had someone looking out for me in the first place?"
"I just didn't think you needed to know."
The excuse was weak, and Jane knew it the second she had spoken. Gripping Maura's hand slightly tighter, she swivelled around to look Maura in the eye. "No, that's not just it. You were hurt. Recovering. Ellie had already gained access to this house once, and we didn't know if she would try and attack you again. It was one person, parked outside, only here when either Frankie or I weren't around. There was no one when you were working either - I swear, it was only while you were here alone. I didn't say anything because initially, I was just too focused on helping you get better. On us, getting involved further in our relationship..."
Jane's words drifted off as the memories hit.
"...I also need to ask you something. Okay?"
Jane looked back at Maura's face, the healing still going on. She couldn't stop a finger that came out, and lightly traced across Maura's slightly swollen jaw, where a particularly nasty bruise still stood out.
"Talk to me Jane."
Maura's one cast free hand came out to cover Jane's where it rested against the jawline as it met her chin, before they moved, and was cupping Maura's cheek. Instinctively, Maura leaned into the touch. "Talk to me."
The words were barely whispered, and it was enough to push Jane on. Rather than say anything more, she brought her lips in, and without a second thought, began to kiss Maura.
"Do you believe in fairytales?"
The question was whispered as Jane drew back from the kiss ever so slightly. If Maura was surprised by the question, she didn't show it.
"I don't believe in fairytales, no. I do though believe in love. In justice. In finding someone with whom you can share your life with in some capacity or another. Although I didn't believe even in that, until I met you. Jane Rizzoli was a force of nature, who barreled into my life, and made an impression, even when I didn't know who she was..." Maura paused ever so slightly for effect, her voice dropping a notch. "Sista."
Jane laughed, the first genuine one she could remember in a while. Hearing it also brought a wide smile to Maura's face.
Picking up the thread of conversation, Jane's voice was quiet, "I was told by Simon I needed to move on, that I couldn't live my life in isolation, no matter how much it appeared I was letting family and friends back in. For a while, after losing Sue, I didn't feel positive, life affirming things. Hell, I never felt those after the first time I was caught by Hoyt and while I was getting better, I was never fully there. But then my friendship with you grew, and I began to realize I didn't have to feel like that. Then Sue came along, and finally I believed I deserved to live. To fully love."
Jane held back a sob as Maura moved in and held her as closely as her healing body would allow.
"At times I do though question, did Sue really see me like that? Or did she just feel pity for me, for..."
Jane was cut off by a finger firmly placed on her lips. "You need to give yourself permission to feel again. And allow yourself to believe in yourself, your relationships and close friendships. To stop questioning why Sue was with you. To stop questioning why I am with you. To stop questioning if you are good enough as a person. But more importantly, to stop with the guilt."
Jane's eyes looked shocked at the last word, and she shook her head almost imperceptibly, as if trying to deny the truth of the words.
"Yes, the guilt I know you're still carrying around, despite all the progress you've made. Sue died whilst she was with you, and I know that is enough for you to pile on the guilt. I know the grief was so overwhelming for a while, it meant grief and guilt was all you could feel. You need to give yourself permission to feel again. And I don't mean feel professional pride or righteous indignation on behalf of the murder victims and their families in the crimes you help solve. Or to walk around feeling the responsibility of what happened to you, or even to me. I don't blame you Jane Rizzoli. Is that what you need to hear? Because I will tell you again and again until you believe it. I do not blame you one bit, not one little bit. Ellie is the person to blame. The person who prevented the reports going in to get Sue full justice earlier is to blame. You - you are not that person. You were never to blame."
Jane didn't try and hold back the sob this time, as she clung on to Maura, needing to feel her, and Maura was all too happy to let herself be the person who was giving Jane what she needed - to be grounded. To be reminded. To be loved.
"Jane, where did you go?" Maura's question wasn't what brought Jane out of her train of thought, but rather a finger to her chin, lifting it, bringing her and Maura's faces close.
"I was just thinking back to when you came back from hospital. When we talked after I came back inside, and your Mom left us and went back to the guesthouse." Jane admitted. "I was still so caught up with Sue and what had happened to you, I just didn't even think about telling you about the protection detail. Then it just seemed to drift into the background. I honestly wasn't deliberately withholding the information Maur... you have to believe me."
Jane looked so small, so unsure and worried Maura could only pull Jane into another kiss. 'I believe you."
Maura knew without a doubt Jane was being truthful, because she remembered just how much was going on when she had been released from the hospital making it difficult for either of them to focus on other things.
"Let's go to bed." Maura suggested once Jane had composed herself.
"You're still healing," Jane's voice had dropped an octave, and her face implied she was only partially joking with her unspoken suggestion.
"I can improvise."
Maura decided two could play at this game, and was rewarded when a look of shock briefly, but very distinctly flitted across Jane's face. She had kept her voice deliberately low, and the seduction would have been obvious to a statue. Jane was now blinking, rapidly.
"You... can... improvise. Okay..." Jane finally muttered, as she moved in and captured Maura's lips in a bruising kiss.
Maura raked her short, but still functional nails on her good arm through the soft dampness of the brunette hair, partially matted against Jane's cheeks and neck. They were lying in a tumble of covers, a sheen of perspiration on their skin from their recent activities. Maura ached, but it was in such a good place in mind and body overall, she found she didn't care at all. She knew she would be paying for this in a far more uncomfortable way later, but she also knew it was worth it.
Jane's fingers moved across Maura's stomach, watching in fascination as the muscles underneath twitched, tiny contractions that brought a smile to her face. She could feel the slight tremor of her lover's body still happening, as her own also hummed with a fantastic mix of desire and satisfaction. Maura began to shift restlessly on the bed as the arousal began to build between the two of them again. Just as Jane was leaning in to kiss the gentle slope between Maura's breasts, there was a sharp knock at the door.
Jane froze, as she tried to ignore it. The rapping of a sharp knock reverberated again.
"Who is it?" Maura finally called out, her voice still husky from the recent activities she had just enjoyed with Jane, struggling for a second to sit upright, Jane joining her, a look of horror crossing her face.
"MA!" Jane yelled, "No, no, NO...God No! Not a good time."
Jane and Maura watched in trepidation, and then sheer incredulity as the bedroom door swung open. Jane reacted first, as Maura was still too sore to react quickly, and she hastily grabbed the sheet off the end of the bed where it had gathered in a tangled mess, and pulled it up to cover themselves. The attempt at modesty failed somewhat because their activity had dislodged the sheet from where it been neatly tucked in under the bottom corners of the mattress, so the whole thing came up, leaving their legs exposed. They had no time to make adjustments before they were shocked into disbelief as Angela, followed by Constance came marching into the room.
"Angela, Mother." Maura spluttered looking wide eyed at Jane, her face mirroring the look of panic they were both feeling.
Jane was praying Angela didn't come in and try to give either of them a hug, but especially a kiss right now. She and Maura both had remnants of the recent... sex... still on their skin, on their faces. There is no way she wanted that to have to be explained. Walking in like this was bad enough. Jane didn't think she would survive the embarrassment should Angela realize just what had been taking place only minutes earlier. Sure, there was no doubt Angela knew something had gone on, even she wasn't that dense, but hell, she didn't need the image or thought in her head of Jane going down on Maura, and vice versa.
Without thinking, Jane's free hand came up and began rubbing her face, as if to try and dislodge some of the evidence from the sexual activity she'd just enjoyed. She cringed from the smell on her hand, and stilled its movements, wondering quickly if she was just making it worse.
"Hello Maura, Jane." Constance at least looked uncomfortable at having interrupted. Angela meanwhile appeared oblivious as she moved in, perching on the end of the bed.
Jane though was suddenly aware she had been so shocked by what was happening, the sheet she thought she had a tight hold of, was anything but close to her chest, and had in fact dropped down slightly. She quickly began to grab it back in position, trying to work out if either woman now in their room had seen something they really didn't need to.
"Ma, what the hell?" Jane finally found her voice.
"We felt we should talk to you both." Angela began, and Constance, merely shrugged her shoulders with a slightly apologetic look, obviously being effectively shanghaied into whatever was going on in Angela's brain.
"You did?" Maura finally spoke up, as Jane continued to look on, slack jawed and stunned by what was going on around her.
"Yes, we did." Angela said firmly. "We know you two..." A finger came out and gestured towards the bed. "Are... well..." For once Angela looked slightly uncomfortable, "For lack of a better term, are dating."
"Ya think." Jane growled, as she tightened her grip on the sheet, pulling Maura in closer. "Hello! Didn't the lack of clothes here give you a clue? Jesus."
Angela finally seemed to realize that perhaps this wasn't the best time to have this conversation, so stood back up. "You should be resting. You both should know better, Maura's only just been released from the hospital for crying out loud." Angela scolded them both, not wanting to admit to herself just what they had walked in on. It was better to put it back on Jane and Maura, who both blushed at her words. Giving a slight glare as she spoke helped to reinforce the words.
Angela then tentatively moved away from the bed, before stopping a short distance away. "We just wanted to know, we both support and love you, and we wanted to say that Jane, I know losing Sue was hard, but I can't think of anyone I'd rather you were with now that Maura is better." Angela then turned her gaze at Maura. "And Maura, you are the most wonderful person. I love you like another daughter. I just thought you should know that."
Constance cleared her throat. "Yes, well, now that we've got this out of the way, I suggest we leave you both..." Constance hesitated. "Leave you to it."
"I am going to kill her. And in ways that I can't even begin to imagine right now," Jane spat out as she stood up once the two mothers had left the room and the door was firmly closed. "With my bare hands."
"Jane." Maura carefully got up, mindful that she was still struggling a little. "Come back to bed."
Jane spun around and one look at Maura's face was enough for Jane to forget what had just happened. Hell, she forgot everything, and just needed to be there for the one woman she knew she couldn't live without. Surreal didn't even begin to cover the last ten minutes, but Jane really didn't care right about now. They would worry about it later.
Much later! Actually as it turned out, it was much, much later.
Jane's eye's shimmed with tears as she thought back to all that had gone on when Maura had left the hospital. She could tell Maura knew and understood it had been a whirlwind of emotions at that time. And that Jane hadn't deliberately not told her of the protection detail. She finally let out a breath, feeling as if she had been holding it forever.
It had been an incredible time in more ways than one. How their mothers had just known they were a couple, and hadn't even questioned it. How Frankie, and even Tommy had been happy for them. That Frost was grinning like a fool when he realized, with the news, he had won the pool going around about her and Maura becoming a couple, while Frankie and Korsak had both been pissed at having lost.
"When you came back from the hospital Maura, it changed my life in so many ways. The biggest was you and I finally became the lovers we were destined to become. I allowed myself to feel again, and while I regret not telling you, I don't regret a moment of that day."
Jane then smiled. "Well, perhaps I do regret the moment Ma and your mother walked in on us. I still have no fucking idea what was going through Ma's head that day."
Maura laughed, the sound bright and loud. "That was certainly... different." Maura admitted, as she and Jane began to relax and snuggle down against each other on the sofa. "But the upside was I got Tommy to install a lock on the bedroom door."
A/N - I hope you continue to enjoy, and whilst it isn't why I write, I do love the reviews - all of them, but ya know, I'm also more than okay just to know people are reading as well. Don't worry if you don't review - it isn't mandatory! I promise.