A/N - I would have had this up sooner - but I had a one shot that needed to be written - and so I finished that, entitled - Sex, Drugs and Rock an' Roll - because it wouldn't leave my head. If you're interested in that, it was published a couple of days ago - and basically I kick Casey out of Jane's life - in a way I hope might be believable and move it to Rizzles.
In the meantime, this sat there almost finished, but not quite - and then I also had help with beta work from Honorcpt and CrackdownDraco - and I have to give a special mention to CrackdownDraco here, because they really helped with the last section on this chapter when my brain was just not functioning enough to work how to close it.
Finally a massive thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, or just peeked in, and like what you've seen. I am also saying a massive thank you for the nominations I've been told I have in the Rizzles Fan Fiction Awards that are running this week. This story and Heart of Gold have been nominated! Unfortunately, I had too many categories - and so I had to cull some - which meant I also took Fred out of the best original character! So sad! But he has a good part to play in this chapter if it helps!
I hope you continue to enjoy - and voting is open for the awards if you like it enough to then find it and pop a vote my way. If not - honestly, don't worry - I'm more than happy to know I even got nominated! Link (not active) at the end of this.
Jane sat in the booth, drinking another beer, as Fred sat opposite her.
"So, how different is this from a British pub then?"
"Well they both have the same smell of stale beer and body odor. So not alot really. Different drinks available, we have a lot of places with real ale on tap now, and a lot of your beer is called lager over there. Otherwise, a pub is a pub by any other name."
"I guess." Jane took a mouthful of her beer, as did Fred, who then sighed.
"Sorry, but this stuff is like gnat's piss compared to what I'm used to." Fred explained seeing Jane's questioning face.
"Gnat's piss? Gnat's piss! Really?" Eyebrows raised, Jane put her bottle down, "So what would you usually drink?"
"Basically a good real ale, brewed locally. There is one place called Shotover brewing in Oxfordshire that does a beer called the dog bollocks."
"The dog's bollocks?" Jane laughed, "As in dog's balls?" Fred nodded, and Jane's laugh grew louder before she looked back at him, "Now you're taking the piss."
"No, seriously. It means I dunno..." Fred paused, "I guess the closest you'd have is 'It's awesome.'"
"Okay, that's just a weird one."
"I guess. It's like here when you say waffle, you're talking about food. Over in the UK, if you say someone's waffling - it means they are rambling on. Talking a load of rubbish, but you can also just waffle on, to ramble, or it can mean food. It's like if we say someone's a plonker, it means he is an idiot."
"Oh yeah, plonker, I've heard of that one. Like you also say wanker, we might say he's a jerk off."
"You've got it," Fred smiled, "So, what am I? Wanker, plonker or am I okay?"
"You Fred, are more than okay." Jane looked up, and smiled. Fred followed her gaze. "Fred, looks like you're gonna meet my partner Barry Frost, and my old partner, who works with us a lot, Vince Korsak." Jane then waved them over.
Jane stood at the bar, a grin on her face, that quickly turned to a grimace and a hand shot out, as if blocking something.
"Murray, no. Uh huh. No way, no how."
The barman looked at her, eyes narrow, "Hey, way I'm hearing it, you did a good thing Rizzoli. You took Paddy Doyle off the streets. He wasn't above strong arm tactics to get owners of establishments like this one to take up his 'security' services. I never had him here, but I know plenty who did, and they lost out whichever choice they made. You know the sorta thing Rizzoli. He wasn't as clean as he liked to make out. Sure he'd not take out women, or people he thought of as innocent, but he'd still use strong arm tactics to scare the shit outta people, as well as be judge and jury. His form of justice was not ours that's for sure. It also wasn't what a lot of people thought. So, yeah, I think you deserve this." As he spoke, Murray pushed a bottle across the bar towards Jane, who moved back ever so slightly.
"No!" Jane sighed, blowing out a breath, as a hand went through her hair. "What I did wasn't as heroic as you're making out here. Besides, it was just the job, so I can't take anything from you."
Murray shrugged his shoulders, "Okay, so take this for you to party that skinny ass of yours with the new friend over there as a freebie. This here champagne is on me."
"You call this champagne?" Jane grimaced again, "if that's champagne, I'll eat that god awful cap my brother is wearing." Jane gestured behind her at Frankie, who had a baseball cap on backwards.
"Hey, it sparkles when you pour it in the glass and is the right color, what more do you want?" Murray had taken the foil off, and was quickly working the cork loose, which popped with minimal fuss, before handing the opened bottle over to Jane, "Just take the damn bottle Rizzoli and ya know, do that thing called enjoying ya self. No use to me now it's opened. It'll just go flat, and you wouldn't want that, now would ya?"
Giving in, Jane grabbed the neck of the bottle, before sending one last glare in Murray's direction, "We get poisoned by this shit, your ass is mine."
"You get poisoned by that shit and it'll be your own ass you'll be worrying about, it won't give you chance to worry about anyone else's, let alone mine."
"Yeah, yeah. Real comedian you are Murray." Jane replied, "I mean it, this gives us anything other than a really bad taste in the mouth, and I'll be putting Ma on to you."
Ignoring the exaggerated yell of horror from Murray that she'd dare set Angela on him and his fine establishment, Jane settled down, putting the bottle in the middle of the table, with questioning looks from everyone else there, "Present from Murray," she said as way of explanation, "And no, don't ask why, just drink the god damn awful shit. Fred, if you and Mark are anything like Maura and me, and have got used to Mark's champagne tastes, which I guess are gonna be like Maura's, even if you are totally shit faced, you do not wanna be touching this."
"Thanks for the warning. I guess it's more like paint stripper." Fred said, watching with a bemused expression as Frankie, Frost and Korsak all descended on the bottle like vultures, quickly emptying the contents into glasses that looked vaguely clean.
"Paint stripper is actually good compared to this." Jane replied, earning a shudder of horror from Fred.
"It ain't half bad Rizzoli. Nice of Murray to give it to you, and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth." Korsak said, as he practically inhaled the glass.
"If the horse is dead, I'm ignoring it. And that horse is not just dead, but decomposed and full of nasty gas. Bit like you old man." Jane replied.
Korak laughed, "No talking shop Rizzoli. Would have thought you have had enough of dead bodies." He paused as he rewound the words in his head, "Hey I'm no dead horse!"
"You brought it up." Jane sounded exasperated. "God why did I come here?"
"Yeah, why did ya come out tonight?" Frankie then asked.
"Fred. Said he wanted to get out, see something the locals do, not what the tourist might go to look at. Mark and Maura were engrossed in some medical procedure thing that was recently published and practically shoved us out the door this afternoon, telling us to do our own thing. They had all kinds of medical textbooks open over the table. So, here we are."
"You bitched all the way out of the door." Fred said, "but, you came out for me and have shown me a lot of Boston I've missed before and wouldn't have seen otherwise, so I'm grateful." Fred then grabbed Jane's drink, swilling it down with a satisfied 'mmm'. He flinched as she smacked his arm, before stomping back to the bar, coming back with a new pitcher of beer, which Fred used to immediately top up his previously empty glass.
"Touch my beer again, you're going back to Mark in plaster from the broken limbs I'm gonna inflict on you." Despite the words, Jane couldn't help but smirk at Fred's cheeky demeanour. She didn't know why, but anyone doing that would have been killed on the spot, but somehow, Fred got past those defenses.
Nodding, Fred threw a crooked grin Jane's way, before glancing back at the others in the booth who were looking on with shocked expressions.
"What the hell? Who are you, and what have you done with my sister?" Frankie asked, a frown on his face.
"I am Frederick Watkins - known simply as Fred - at your service; tamer of the animal known as the wild Rizzoli, a very rare species. Vicious and a strong defender of her own habitat, but surprisingly tame when you study her carefully, or when in her natural mating environment with her lifelong partner, the enigmatic and alluring Maura Isles. A splendid example of beauty if ever there was one." Standing up as he spoke, Fred gave an exaggerated bow, "I believe we need a toast." Rocking slightly, Fred held onto the edge on the table, raising a glass, and managed to only spill a small amount over Korsak's head, who was completely oblivious at this point. "To the best cops in the whole goddamn stinking city of Boston."
Drinking quickly, Frost then stood up, as Fred managed to sit back down without incident. He looked across at Jane, with an expression that she would later describe as a mixture between glassy and dreamy.
"To the best cop I've ever worked with, who's involved with the sexiest bitching medical examiner this city has ever known. I would tap her if I knew Rizzoli wouldn't kill me first. And because Rizzoli is so damn smart, she allowed me to not just be permanent ... permanently attached to homicide, but to be her partner. It's where I goddamn belong. Sick stomach at scenes be damned. Oh and Crowe's an ass. So there." Frost then toppled back into his chair without falling on the floor, some of his drink slopping over the side of his glass as it slammed back onto the table, with a stupid grin on his face.
"Frost, I've never been so touched," Jane said, with an exaggerated finger drawn under her eyes as if wiping a tear, before her face hardened slightly, "but you ever talk about 'tapping' Maura, or words like that again, and I'll kick your ass and have you on desk duty for a goddamn month."
Flicking a salute, Frost grinned back, getting the reaction he'd hoped for, "Yes Ma'am!"
"God I'm pissed outta my tree." Fred then said, looking distinctly queasy. "Can we get any food in here that won't give us Campylobacter or similar?"
"Camp - lo - what now?" Frankie asked.
"Food poisoning." Fred amended quickly.
"You've just got back from a fly infested, dust riddled African country and you're questioning the hygiene here?" Jane asked, a bemused look on her face. "And I know you're a nurse, but using words like that show you've been around Mark far too long."
"Yeah, like you don't do the same thing Rizzoli with Maura, and you're right it'd be just my luck I'll have survived all those months out there, to go down with something from here. So, what do you recommend?"
"The burger and fries. Extra pickles. And you know what, that sounds good right about now." Without another word, Jane strode off, putting the order in for her and Fred.
Maura looked across the table where she and Mark had set up to go through the medical text they were interested in, before her attention was brought back to her cell phone, which beeped to indicate a text message. Her eyebrows rose as she read, before looking back at Mark.
"It would appear Jane and Fred are now at The Robber, and to quote Jane's one brother Frankie, 'looking rather drunk.' And to 'not expect them home too early.' I suspect we won't be seeing them as early as they had indicated."
Mark smirked, as he wagged his eyebrows at Maura, "Feel like messing with them a little?"
"How?" Maura asked, her interest obvious.
"Let's just let them think they crossed a line by not telling us they were not only out for the entire evening, but that they were also going to be considerably later than they said."
"Truthfully, we should be annoyed with them for that. Jane in particular knows I worry if she doesn't tell me of a change of plans - especially if it involves her being out a lot longer, and somewhere that wasn't planned." Maura rubbed her temples lightly, "I know that might seem rather possessive on my part, but Jane has been taken by psychopaths so often, snatched in some instances from right under our noses, that we - and by that I mean, me, her family and close friends - all worry. And she knows and understands that."
"Perhaps all the more reason to make them think we don't know. And I'm guessing Frankie knew you'd worry, which is why he sent the message, so it's good to know Jane is being looked after, even if she doesn't know it."
"I certainly think we need to do something. Jane does know better, although I would imagine alcohol has dulled her senses enough that it was merely a genuine oversight on her part. Also, it isn't often I get to turn the tables like this on Jane. It will be fun." Maura said, a mischievous grin appearing, "Do you have any suggestions?"
"Hah!" Giggling, Fred almost fell through the front door of Maura's having finally got the key to work, Jane following on behind, trying to hold back her laughter. She then plowed straight into the back of him as he stopped mid-stride. Peering over his shoulder, eyebrows raised, she just said, "Oh." The 'shit' part of that sentence fortunately stayed lodged in her brain.
"Think we're in the doghouse my darlin' Do you even have a dog house? Whatever, we're in it." Fred said, as he tried to smile at Mark, who like Maura was just standing watching them, arms crossed over their chests.
"Hi." Jane squeaked, as she grappled with Fred's shoulder, realizing her balance wasn't quite as good as she thought it was.
"What time do you call this?" Maura then asked, as she pointedly looked at her watch, before an icy glare was sent back Jane's way.
"Time for another drink?"
"Jane!" Maura tried to hold back the smile, and failed, as Mark also bit back a laugh, shaking his head.
"Hey, we got to The Robber, and then Frost and Korsak turned up, and then Frankie did..." Jane hiccuped slightly, as she moved from behind Fred, swaying gently. She then made her way towards Maura, planting her feet carefully as she walked, her eyes wide and as Maura watched her approach, her anger finally gave way to pure adoration over the rather drunk woman.
"And it didn't occur to you that you could have just phoned or sent a text message to either one of us to say you were going to be later than you said?" Maura said, trying to maintain the façade.
"Oh, well..." Fred looked across at Jane, who shrugged, "I thought Jane had."
"Hey, don't throw me to the wolves." Jane said, as she glowered at Fred. "You could have easily sent a text."
"You're on your own misses." Fred said, "I've got enough grovelling to do of my own. Hi Mark."
Without another word Maura and Mark turned, and from the kitchen island handed over some painkillers and pints of water that they had already put in place. "Don't hi me," Mark finally said as they watched Fred and Jane swallow the pills quickly, chasing them down with some of the water. "You're both sleeping in the guest room tonight. Maura and I can quite happily share, it will be a lot more comfortable than some beds we've had to share in the past."
"Oh come on Maura, there's only one bed in the guest room and it's nowhere near as big or as comfortable as your bed ... " Jane started to whine.
"Which you can share with Fred for tonight, although if you prefer, there's always the couch." Maura said in a determined tone. "Maybe next time you'll take into consideration how worried we might be. And are you actually daring to complain about the guest bed? The rather expensive one with the temporic mattress. To use your parlance, really?"
For a moment Jane wondered if she could get away with petulantly stamping her foot, but then seeing the looks she and Fred were getting, along with her stomach not being up to handling the motion she slumped her shoulders and grabbing her partner in crime said. "No, of course I'm not saying anything about the guest bed... It's just..." Jane's words drifted off as she realized she was in immediate danger of digging an even bigger hole for herself. She spun around looking at Maura and Mark, before looking pointedly at Fred, who had so far wisely kept his mouth shut, "I just hope to God you don't snore!"
"Hey," Fred retorted quickly, "You know I don't snore, you already asked Mark and me this in camp when you first arrived there and we spent the night together."
Rubbing her nose, Jane's forehead creased slightly as she thought about it, "Oh yeah. Okay, so you don't snore. You're not someone who hogs the covers are you?"
"Jane, just go to bed." Maura pleaded softly, and watched as Jane huffed, before grabbing Fred's arm a second time, leading him off towards the guest room. She and Mark could hear unintelligible grumbling from both parties as they disappeared from view.
"In hindsight, do you think it was such a good idea keeping those two together?" Mark asked as he allowed Maura to make them a last cup of tea before they headed to bed.
Leaning against the kitchen counter, Maura nodded, "Yes. It'll irk Jane no end that's she having to share the bed with someone other than me."
Mark laughed loudly, "Maura Isles, you have a mean streak that few get to see, and I love you for it."
"God take me now!" Jane moaned into the pillow her head thumping a tattoo along her skull. Not to mention the fits her stomach was producing. One of her hands came out, and she slowly felt around her immediate vicinity, slowly letting out a sigh of relief as she realized the bed was otherwise now unoccupied. She dared open one eyelid a fraction, before closing it quickly, trying to avoid any light source, which felt like a million pinpricks hitting the back of her eyes.
Just as Jane was beginning to get comfortable, feeling the mattress dip slightly she growled. "Fred, if you so much as touch me you're dead!" The tall woman then relaxed when she recognized the hand that started to lightly caress her hair. "Maura," she sighed in relief.
"Yes, how are you feeling?"
"How many circles of Hell did Dante say there were," Jane groaned pitifully.
"Nine," Maura replied somewhat puzzled, "The first was limbo, the second was lust, the third gluttony, the fourth greed, the fifth anger, the sixth hersey, the seventh violence, the eighth fraud and finally treachery. Why do you want to know?"
"He lied, there are ten, and the tenth level has taken up residence in my body!"
Maura laughed with a most unladylike snort, something Jane knew she only did when truly relaxed. Finally the Doctor pulled herself together enough to say. "You know I think that sort of comment is considered hyperbole."
"Oh it's not, it's really, really not," Jane complained. "I promise, the tenth circle is here, right now and it's taken over my body."
Still suffering from the odd bout of giggles Maura said. "Well in that case you'd better get up and fight it."
"No!" Jane half groaned, half growled. "Uh huh, no way, I surrender, you can come for my body in the morning!"
"Jane!" Maura was starting to sound a bit exasperated by now. "You know I can't do that, apart from anything your Mother is coming around later to make us a family dinner."
"Dead, I'm dead." Jane managed before her stomach rebelled to the point where she had to make a dash for the bathroom. When she finally emerged Maura held out some water and painkillers, as well as a couple of vitamin pills.
"Take these," she said. "They will help with the dehydration, and luckily for you I'm not going to insist you do much today, but I do want you in the sitting room where I can keep an eye on you."
Knowing she was beaten Jane meekly took the items and followed Maura out of the room, suddenly a spark of memory came back to her from the previous night and she ground to a halt. Sensing the lack of movement Maura also stopped and looked behind her.
"How did you and Mark know to have the stuff ready for me and Fred last night," Jane finally said.
Maura winked cheekily over her shoulder before she carried on towards the kitchen. "That's for us to know and for you to find out." she practically sang.
A/N - Right, I cannot take credit for the lines about the Circles of Hell segment - that was totally CrackdownDraco - and it would be remiss of me not to give her full credit here.
There really isn't a massive lot life left in this story - It isn't finished quite yet - but it won't be long - I think about two or three chapters will be enough to tie it up as I wanted in the first place.
And although not something I do usually, and I'll only do it once - a shameless ask to go vote for me - just once.
rizzlesfanawards dot wordpress dot com is where you can find more about it including a link for the voting.