Chapter Ten – Mother and Child Reunion
Metzov shouted in his surprise and pain, and then his hand raised high into the air and came smashing down where Angela stood, or at least, where she had been standing before his eyes had been filled with acidic, fully-caffeinated coffee.
She was not there.
Instead there was a hand, rough and calloused, scarred at the center, and above all, strong as a vise as she took the priest's own momentum and used it to sweep his arm down and behind him, up his back, and to force his face into the wall, knocking a gold-plated crucifix down with the force of the impact. "Father Paul Metzov, you are under arrest," Jane said as he squealed, shouted, and called down the wrath of a pointedly reticent deity onto her head, "for multiple counts of open murder in the First degree, incitement to suicide, and failure to report threats of self-harm to the authorities. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"
In his fury, Metzov missed the thoroughbred power of a very pissed off Detective Jane Rizzoli, bursting through his door. Angela had not, but as her daughter manhandled the priest and the handcuffs clicked tightly around his wrists, it was Vince Korsak who had an arm around Angela, pulling her away from the scene.
"Was it all right? Did I do it?" she asked, seconds from hysterical tears of success.
"You did great, Angela," Vince promised her, and unabashedly Angela cried all over his cheap suit. Vince took her outside, remaining by her side as protection, while Angela regained composure.
The lawyer, an ADA, Janie had called him, looked like it was his birthday, Christmas, and every other joyful day, all at the same time. "Mrs. Rizzoli, you were perfect. He might try entrapment, but we've got him on tape. We get a good jury, and it's a home run."
"Don't count your grounders before they roll, there, Billy Buckner," admonished Vince, calling to mind that horrible 1986 World Series.
Looking concerned, the lawyer looked back at church, as Janie shoved Metzov down the walk. His jacket was over his head, affording little anonymity thanks to his priestly attire. "I'll have you excommunicated for this," he snarled.
"Yeah, I think it'll be your turn first, Paul," retorted Jane, pushing his head down to shove him in the back of the marked Crown Victoria. She closed the door on his face and rapped the roof of the car.
No one spoke as the car drove off. "Is it always like this?" wondered Angela as the tech unhooked the wire. There would be time to take the tape off later. In a less public place.
Janie, Frost and Korsak all shared a look. "Pretty much," they said together, smiling in a way that made Angela feel safe and protected. This was why people looked at her Janie like she was a hero. This was what she did every day. If Jane noticed the difference with which her mother was looking at her, she said nothing, but for the first time in almost a week, mother and daughter shared a friendly smile.
More mentally than physically exhausted, Jane didn't argue when they ended up back at Maura's house. Her hand on Jane's lower back, Maura steered them to the house, opening the door for her girlfriend. Tired Jane smiled, "Why thank you, kind sir."
Maura swatted Jane's backside, "Get inside." She harbored hope that if she got Jane scrubbed and fed, maybe massaged, there could be at least some couch cuddling to salvage a night. Instead, Jane came to a full stop just one step inside. "What's wrong?" asked Maura, worried. Jane wasn't reaching for her gun, however, which was a good sign.
"Ma." Jane's voice was strangled, but not fearful. "Ma, what the hell? Did you cook all this?" Maura put her hands on Jane's hips and nudged her inside to see past the taller women.
Angela Rizzoli had taken over her kitchen. Unlike the horrific labeling craze a year ago ago, this time Maura's kitchen, dining room, and every available counter space was filled with food. "Janie! Maura, I thought you weren't coming back for another hour." Angela fretted a moment and then gestured with both arms. "Surprise."
Agog, Jane walked in and started surveying the food. "Ma, is that Nonna's chocolate cake?"
"And your favorite gnocchi." Pointing out the foods in turn. "And I made that salad Maura liked, and the tortellini. I couldn't remember if you liked the Alfredo or the marinara so I made both."
All the food was hand made. Nothing came out of a can here, and Maura was struck by the love Angela felt for Jane. For them. "Oh my god, Ma! You made that cannoli!" Jane all but dove for the food, shoving one in her mouth. "Maur, c'mere," she mumbled around a mouth full of cream and pastry. Obediently, Maura walked up and let Jane feed her a bite of the treat and was, apparently, too expressive. Jane froze; it was all she could do to stop from reacting, and even that wasn't all too successful: her pars lateralis was orbiting, pupils were dilating, not to mention all the other minutiae that shouted arousal to those who understood the language.
Fortunately, Maura did not call attention to those things; she was too busy eating cannoli, eyes closed in sheer bliss. Just before she reopened them and let them focus, Jane took her hand away and cleared her throat, taking a step back to produce some space between them that neither really wanted. "Ma, what's all this for?"
There was silence. "Angela?" Maura asked, shaken out of her food heaven, looking around worried. Angela had dropped out of sight.
"I'm feeding your turtle from the Wednesday box." Angela held up tupperware as Jane and Maura chorused 'tortoise' as one. "Sorry, tortoise. Now, this is all for you two, so enjoy." She stood up and made as if to leave.
Jane was busy raiding the various plates, and Maura poked her in the ribs, hard. "Ow." She glowered at Maura, but asked again, "Ma, what's all this for? Not who."
Twisting her hands exactly the same way Jane did, Angela looked around the room. "Alright. I'm gonna say this and you can just shut up for a second, Janie." Maura had to cover her mouth to hide the smile. The two Rizzoli women were so very alike "I talked to Father Brophy, after I nearly died." Jane groaned and started to interrupt, pointing out that a middle-aged man shouting at her and raising a hand to slap her one time was not quite as close to death as she was making it out to be. Angela was having none of that pesky accuracy, however. "Shut it! Anyway, he told me a lot and it doesn't matter, except he made me see that I wasn't fair treating you two how I did."
Mouthing 'two' at Maura, Jane walked over to her mother. "And?"
"And what?" Angela looked at Maura, who had no idea what was going on. Jane waited. Slumping, Angela muttered something Maura couldn't hear. Jane coughed and put a hand to her ear. "Alright," snapped Angela. "Fine! I'm sorry! I was wrong! Are you happy?"
Glancing over at Maura, Jane smirked. "No, Ma, I'm still pissed at you for being close-minded. And you need to apologize." Her mother spluttered, sounding just like Jane when she was upset, but Jane pointed at Maura. "To Maura, Ma."
Angela froze. "You know she's ..." Angela made a hand motion, exactly like Jane did when trying to talk about sex. It was Rizzoli Pseudo-Sign Language. Maura would not have understood, but Jane's words gave her context to put the sign into her Rizzoli lexicon.
Taking pity on her mother, Jane rolled her eyes. "Yes, Ma, I know Maura's pansexual." While Jane sounded cool and collected now, her actual reaction to Maura's revelation of sexuality had included a great deal of skittishness and, as Jane put it, awkward turtles.
"Later," Jane promised. "It's like bisexual, only... broader, and... there's... Never mind. Later. Point is, yeah, I know. Come on, we're best friends. We tell each other stuff."
This fact caused Angela to mutter a soft 'oh' and look between her daughter and her landlord curiously. No, suspiciously. "Would you stay, Angela?" asked Maura, smiling her best and brightest at the older woman.
"Oh, no, I shouldn't. I've caused you two too much grief already this week."
"Come on, Ma," insisted Jane. "There's way too much food for me to eat."
Slowly, Angela took off the apron and looked up at her daughter. "I love you, Janie. You know that, right?" Jane smiled warmly at her mother, but pointed at Maura insistently. "I'm sorry, Maura, I... I was wrong to say what I did." Poor Angela looked so distraught at this, Maura was not surprised that Jane stepped in to give her mother a hug. That brought on tears, and now Angela was sobbing into Jane's shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Janie! Maura! I didn't think! I didn't know!"
Jane motioned at Maura and mouthed Come here! Oh! It was a group hug. Maura hurried over and Jane's hand quickly found its way to Maura's posterior, where she copped a squeeze.
Jane waited patiently at the bar, nursing her first beer. By the time her companion arrived, she was surprisingly calm. "I'll have what she's having," said Father Daniel Brophy.
"MGD 64," warned Jane, glancing at the priest. He hadn't changed into civvies, though Jane had seen him in jeans many times before. Seeing him sans collar would have been weird tonight, and the memory of how it had looked in the past made Jane think of him as just another guy. Maybe that's all Maura saw, she mused. If anyone could see through the vestments, it would be her.
"That's fine. Want a booth?" That was, Jane allowed, a good idea.
They took their beers to a quiet booth away from the windows. "So," sighed Jane.
"Still pissed at me?"
"Disappointed. But... At least it's not kids."
Brophy snorted. "It was just her." At Jane's silence he explained how he had entered the priesthood at 18, going right to seminary, following a promise he'd made when his sister was a baby. "She was the only time I've broken a vow. Prior to my liaison with her, I'd always wondered in my heart why Adam ate the forbidden fruit, knowing that it would mean his banishment from the Garden of Eden. I no longer wonder. Some things, some people and the wisdom and knowledge that come with them, are worth just as much as eternal luxury without knowledge."
Staring at her beer, Jane ground her teeth. "Yeah, she's definitely one of those people." Maura just had a way of getting you to do things. If Jane found it impossible to resist, and could no longer even recall why she'd ever considered resistance, how much more a man who'd never been inoculated by previous exposure to far lesser... enticements? beauties? blandishments? goddesses?... No. Far lesser women.
"Oh, it was at my instigation, amateurish though I was about the whole thing," he was quick to add. "She thought we'd regret it." Brophy sipped the beer before saying, firmly, "I don't. I still love her, but I can never be what she needs. No future." He looked forlornly at the wall.
Suddenly her mouth was dry. She was not going to ask how he'd hooked up with Maura. Jane couldn't take that just yet. She did harbor a grudging respect for the man. He had the balls to ask one woman out in his whole life, and it was Maura, and he got her. "Yeah, you told me that, Father."
The priest laughed, "Please, call me Daniel." A moment passed and he asked, "How did you...?"
Now Jane laughed, "You sure? I mean, it's a sin and all that crap."
Toying with his bottle, Brophy- Daniel was thoughtful. "Love is not a sin. Love should be cherished and celebrated. You love her. That matters, the rest is just man pushing his own baggage on you." He took another sip of beer. "I'm aware of both the practical and, more importantly, the emotional and spiritual difficulties of keeping a relationship of which many others would not approve." His eyes crinkled slightly and Jane found herself smiling. She liked him.
That didn't make her ready to tell him a silly, simple, story of falling in love with Maura, and certainly not the long version that included some pretty horrible moments. Nor was she ready to tell anyone in the Church about how she'd felt that way about women before. Father Petey had, true to his word, taken that information to the grave, never judging her. "I do, you know, love her. I just ... I can't tell Ma. And I know that's killing Maura."
"She wants to love you in all ways, openly being one of them." His expression was grim, "Don't do what I did, Jane. She loves you. Give her a future with the two of you, together." He reached over, as if to touch Jane's hand, and froze midway.
Jane did not bridge the distance, and wrapped both hands around her beer. "I'm afraid," she whispered. Daniel's verbal comfort reminded her of Father Petey. He was warm, like a mug of cocoa with a shot of whiskey on a bitterly cold day. "I don't want to lose my family."
Nodding, Daniel took his hand back and leaned away, giving Jane the illusion of more space. "Your brothers will understand. I dare say your partners will, too. And your mother... Angela has a good heart." There he stopped. "I've already talked to her about the boys. I think if you give her time, she'll realize Maura is as wonderful as we do."
"God I hope not!" blurted Jane, and she and Daniel started snickering. Within a moment they were laughing so hard, the bartender was giving them the fish eye. "Thanks, Daniel," she sighed, feeling a weight lifted off her chest.
As they departed, together, Daniel smiled. "You should come to my sermons sometime. Or if I'm too close to home, I can recommend another that wouldn't clash with your convictions."
She agreed to consider that, and they walked down the street to the parting of their ways. "Daniel, how did you ... After you broke it off, how did you stop feeling like crap about doing something you knew was wrong?"
Like a statue, the priest stood still and looked at nothing. "The Church teaches us about right and wrong, Jane. But it also teaches us forgiveness for those who cannot achieve perfection." He smiled sadly at Jane, "A very wise agnostic told me that." Daniel tilted his head and turned away, walking down the street.
Jane watched him until he disappeared into the night. Digging out her phone, she dialed the number she knew by heart, speed dial or not. "Hi, I'll be there in half an hour. And Maura... I love you."
The End ... For Now
Having written this at what is, for me, breakneck speed, it's twice the length of our last effort (see 'That's Really Nice' posted at Googs' page), this felt like a Tolkeinian epic saga. In part, that's because this is a heavy drama, with weighty moments. We finished the first draft a couple hours before the season two finale aired, and I announced that we were NOT directly addressing that in this fic. I kind of lied. We mention it in passing, and fully intend to come back to it in another story in this 'world.' Oh yes, we have a sequel in mind, and a prequel which you can read at Googs' page. If anything, I feel I (I, not we) neglected the comedy skills of the actresses, and hope to correct that in the future.
Obviously this story is densely packed, and it touches home for me. When I was in my teens, a friend tried to kill herself and I was one of the people who got her to the ER in time. I never asked if it was because she was gay (we both were totally closeted at the time) but she said that knowing someone cared made a difference. Like Angela said in the prequel, I don't know you, but I care about you and I love you. So please stick around.
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See you in 2012!