A/N - First, sorry this is going to be a long note - and here is the final chapter. I know it took forever and a day to get here, and while I know I could continue this story for considerably longer, if you look back at the very beginning, I did say I wasn't sure on length. What I do know is that the story has now fulfilled the notes and plot ideas I had mapped out from start to finish. I feel to try and add anymore just to keep it going will lessen the story, since I have basically run out of main ideas.
Thank you to everyone who has read, silently, or reviewed, either via a name or as a guest. I write for myself first and foremost, but to know others have enjoyed it is always a bonus.
Also, thank you to those who voted so this won a Rizzles Fanfiction award. That was truly a shock to the system, and as clichéd as it sounds, humbling for me.
I am waiting to see how season 5 pans out before deciding if I want to continue writing for this fandom. I have found the eagerness to write Rizzles has waned after such poor latter seasons - particularly season 4. I still love the overall series, but just find so much is wrong with the writing/direction the show went. Don't get me wrong, I never, ever expected Rizzles to happen, and actually have never hated the idea of either Jane or Maura being with someone else, although I always worry it might detract from what is great and that is two excellent characters - but what I hate is Jane Rizzoli was written to be with such a douche as Casey, whom I found to be nothing more than a controlling, self centred idiot! God help any writers who believe it's okay for any man to be like he is/was. Let alone for a woman as independent and strong as Jane is to be okay being with him!
What I do have now is a story to finish with Honorcpt, (Damage control) as well as one I want to write in the Criminal Minds (JJ and Emily pairing), that I have had outlined as a sequel to my one Fic already written (Athena). That is to be my main focus for the time being.
I suspect a one shot, or very short stories on Rizzles might occur though. Time will tell, as will season 5. I hope, although the first few episodes with Jane are likely to be testing, that it finds itself again. If the Twitter feeds are anything to go by, I am holding onto the hope it improves. If it doesn't, I will likely follow Twitter, trawl through Tumblr and read Rizzles stories, but won't bother watching any further.
Enough of my rambling. Sorry. However, I must praise my long suffering and helpful betas Honorcpt and CrackdownDraco - both of whom helped enormously. I cannot thank them enough. All mistakes are mine.
Edited to add, I am posting this to get it up as soon as possible using my iPad. Apologies if it messes it up somehow. It's never as easy this way as posting straight from my iMac.
Maura looked across the autopsy table, and despite the circumstances, couldn't help the smile that crossed her face. Almost as if she was aware Maura was watching, Jane's head moved as she saw the scrutiny, and a smile graced her own features.
"What . . ."
All words that Jane had lined up to say died on on her lips, as she stared, watching as Maura unconsciously nibbled her bottom lip. Realizing she hadn't taken a breath in some time, Jane finally dragged oxygen in.
"You're flirting over a dead body!"
Suppressing a laugh, Maura caught her bottom lip completely, as her eyes widened, before answering, "No, I am merely thinking."
"Dirty thoughts." Jane challenged.
"Maybe..." Maura replied, and then her eye flicked up, and she looked over Jane's shoulder, just as Jane heard the door to the morgue being pushed open.
"Yes Barry, what can I do for you?" Maura asked, her professional mask slipping back into place so fast, Jane briefly wondered if the last few minutes had even occurred.
"Jane, Doc," Frost smiled as he watched the two women, pleased that they were back at work, although he was convinced they were closer than before. Not that he was complaining. The rift was certainly something they didn't want to see a repeat of.
"Frost." Jane acknowledged, before she turned back to Maura, unwilling to spend any time not looking at her.
"What can we do for you?" Maura asked again, aware that Frost was watching their interactions with renewed interest.
"Oh yeah, Korsak, Frankie and I are all heading to the Robber. Wondered if you'd like to join us?"
Maura sighed, regret showing as she motioned down, "I've only just begun this autopsy, and I'm unlikely to finish for a few hours yet. I'm sorry, but I can't make it. Jane?"
Jane looked across, with a slight grin, "No, sorry, but I'm gonna just wait around."
Knowing she didn't have to say any more, Frost just nodded, and turned on his heel. "No worries, see you tomorrow."
"Hey don't forget, Rizzoli Sunday dinner!" Jane called after him, getting a wave across his shoulder as acknowledgement.
"You don't have to wait for me. Go with them if you'd like. Especially since this isn't your case." Maura said as she turned her attention back to the autopsy.
"Nah, they can cope for one night out without me." Jane automatically leaned back a little as Maura began to snip out the ribs using the bolt cutters the morgue kept for the task. It still astounded her how Maura was always so reverent with the bodies, but used so many large common tools bought from the local Home Depot and at times simply had to hack away at something.
"I don't need a watchdog Jane."
There was no malice in Maura's tone, and Jane couldn't help but smile. "Hey, if a trip out to find you taught me anything, it's that you sure as hell are tougher than too many people give you credit for. Me included. I just…."
Jane's voice trailed off, as she felt slightly embarrassed.
"You just what?"
"Ugh. I just feel so needy and clingy when I think about it - but I just hate not being around you. It's bad enough when you're down here, and I'm working upstairs. Let alone when we're on different call shifts, so you're working with other detectives."
Maura looked up, surprise showing, "Jane…. That's…." Maura just stopped herself in time from bringing a rather bloody, glove covered hand to her chest, even though she had her scrubs, a paper gown and a rubberised apron on, "That's so sweet."
Jane could only smirk.
"Are you sure about this?" Jane asked Maura, who looked rather more nervous than she had anticipated.
Taking a deep breath, Maura stood up straighter, "Yes. The sooner we make the announcement to everyone else, the better."
Grasping Maura's hand lightly, fingers linked loosely, they walked into the main portion of the house, where Frankie and Tommy were on the couch, shouting out to the TV at the baseball game. Angela was in the kitchen, while Constance was sitting on a stool at the island, and they were chatting as Angela moved around. A split second later, they heard someone knocking on the door.
"I've got it. Go join Ma and Constance in the kitchen."
"Korsak, Frost." Jane opened the door to the two men, and quickly ushered them inside. Korsak quickly shed his jacket, and took a bottle of wine he'd brought with him towards the the kitchen. Frost walked in slowly, matching Jane's pace.
"Been a while since we did this."
Jane shrugged, "Been a while since it's been quiet enough."
"True. Look I know I've not had chance to really talk to you since you and Maura got back, but it's good to see you are talking again. Like, real good. It was tough watching you both spiral down like that."
"Yeah, I know. It's one reason we've asked everyone to be here today." Jane didn't elaborate further.
Frost smiled, "I just thank god you did sort it out. I've missed Ma Rizzoli's cooking."
With a laugh, Jane shoved Frost on the shoulder as she pulled open the fridge door, snagging two beers, before handing one across to Frost.
"What?" Jane looked around at the faces looking back at her. Frost was looking at Korsak, who pulled out his wallet and pushed a twenty into his outstretched hand. Realizing what that meant, Jane straightened up further, "You bet on us! You…" Jane spluttered to a halt, glaring around the table.
"Yeah of course." Frankie was the one who spoke up.
"So you're okay with Jane and I as a couple?" Maura then asked, looking slightly bemused.
"Sure Doc," Korsak was the one to respond.
Jane continued to look at everyone, as Tommy reached across to grab some more food, before shoveling it into his mouth with a shrug at his sister, "So none of this was a surprise?" She finally asked.
"Yeah, actually there was a surprise." Frankie said, with a smirk so reminiscent of all the Rizzoli's.
"Well little brother, enlighten me." Jane sounded a little touchy, so Maura put her own hand across the nearest one resting on the table.
"What? Ma? What about Ma?" Jane sounded as confused as Maura felt.
"That Ma knew and didn't say anything. That's the surprise!"
"Hey!" Angela replied loudly, "I can keep a secret. Just cause Constance and I knew, didn't mean it was our place to say anything."
"Yeah yeah, keep telling yourself that Ma," Frankie said with a grin.
"So, everyone really is okay with this?" Jane clarified.
At the round of nods, she leaned back in her chair, before looking across at Maura, who smiled. They then grimaced at Angela's next words.
"I wanna know when you're getting married and giving me grandbabies!"
Jane's smile widened as Angela then turned to Frankie, whose eyes widened in horror, "There's this lovely girl..."
Maura and Constance just grinned at each other as the conversation seemed to fade into the background.
"Fucking hell…." Jane was finally able to speak, as Maura looked down at her, concern showing on her face.
"Just try and keep still."
Jane rolled her head slightly, as a wet tongue came out slobbering across her cheek.
"God damn dog." Jane then muttered, as she pushed herself up onto her elbows, as Maura began to push a wad of material, that looked suspiciously like an expensive handkerchief, against Jane's nose.
"We really can't take you anywhere." Maura smiled.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?" Maura asked, looking confused.
Jane grunted, as she finally sat up completely, able to take whatever it was Maura had been holding firmly against her bleeding nose, and tilting her head back. She closed her eyes, but jumped when a hand came around her neck, pulling her forward.
"Lean forward slightly with the head tilted forward. Leaning back or tilting the head back allows the blood to run into the sinuses and throat and can cause gagging or inhaling the blood." Maura instructed firmly.
"Jane, you are mumbling!" Maura sounded slightly exasperated.
""Het a ustd 'ose - Gib idph a phry mphnd tee hew idph eel's."
Seeing Maura's face, Jane pulled the material away from her nose, "Bossy…. and got a busted nose, give it a try and see how it feels! As for that thing…." Jane gestured with her free hand to Jo Friday, who was looking on, tongue lolling, tail wagging, "Frisbee's, brother's and dogs do not mix." Jane then glared across at Frankie, who had sensibly moved out of her reach.
"Jane, unless it's a flying disc actually made by Frisbee, that terminology is actually incorrect. Although these days, it's accepted as being the correct vernacular, as does rollerblade, which by rights should be called in-line skates. Not forgetting the most common, when someone talks about their Hoover, they should be calling it a vacuum cleaner, since Hoover is a trademark for a company. Bubble wrap is actually a trademark owned by the Sealed Air Corporation, and should be called air bubble cushioning material."
Jane sat there, and couldn't be sure if she was dazed by Maura's sudden explosion of useless information, or the frisbee, or flying disc, or whatever the hell it was supposed to be called, that had hit her plum on the nose, and subsequently put her on her ass, in the middle of the park no less.
"What? Jane are you sure you're feeling okay?" Maura asked.
"Fine. Peachy." Jane realized the bleeding had settled, so she finally stood up, not bothering to jiggle out of Maura's reach, as she grabbed one of Jane's elbows and helped her to stand. "I just…" Jane shook her head, "You know what, never mind. Not important."
Maura watched with interest, unsure if she was unhappy that Jane didn't elaborate further or not, but soon her thoughts were pushed aside as Jane began to chase Frankie, Jo Friday bounding after them, barking as she went.
Jane looked up as Maura settled on the sofa next to her. Her nose was already settling down, and despite telling Maura it wasn't broken, she had insisting on confirming it herself. Satisfied it was merely bruised, Maura had handed off an ice pack, pushing Jane firmly onto the sofa, while she puttered around, before joining her.
Jane put the now cool ice pack down carefully on a hand towel on the floor, as she wrapped an arm around Maura's shoulders. Maura sighed as she relaxed.
"Do you want to tell me what you were thinking in the park before you stood up?"
"Oh," Jane shrugged her shoulders ever so slightly, "I just - You know when I said the other day I felt needy and clingy, it's kinda like that."
Maura shifted so she could glance up at Jane, allowing the confusion to show on her face, "That sentence makes absolutely no sense."
"Ugh." Jane took a deep breath in, "I just, I listened to you going on about Frisbee's and air bubble cushioning material - that by the way is stupid, no wonder bubble wrap is used, no matter how inaccurately - and I was reminded again just how absurdly pretentious I know some people think you are, but I love how you know all this stuff."
"O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon."
"Flap-dragon? What the hell? That sounds like all kind of wrong erotica," Jane sat upright, dislodging Maura as she went, looking between bemused and horrified. "As for honor-fic-whatever the hell that was?"
"It's Shakespeare Jane. From Love's Labour's Lost."
"Oh . . ." Jane sat silently for a second as she let that information sink in, "And it means?"
"You were saying how absurdly pretentious some people thought I could be, and that dialogue is from a section known for being between the pedantic schoolmaster Holofernes and his friend Sir Nathaniel, and is actually spoken by the comic rustic Costard."
Maura fought back the grin, knowing full well Jane was deliberately mispronouncing the name.
"No. Costard, and flap-dragon was a game which involved trying to eat hot raisins from a bowl of burning brandy."
"That sounds - painful." Jane replied after fighting back a snort of laughter.
"It was also known as snap-dragon. Shakespeare also uses the term flap-dragon in the play Henry IV, part two."
"I know I'm pretty useless in the garden, but isn't snapdragon a plant?" Jane finally allowed her confusion to show.
"It is a name for a plant, but in this instance, we're talking about the parlour game."
"And this is why I love you." Jane finally said, as she winked at Maura, before pulling her in closer, "Although it feels kinda strange we've come back to the topic that kinda separated us."
"Love's labour's lost - you said you were drawn to the play as you wrote that letter to me. Explaining why you had left, and when you would return."
"As the bard himself wrote: The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way: we, this way," Maura all but whispered, not hiding the emotion the thought of the letter evoked.
"Hey, it's good." Jane said quickly, realizing that Maura seemed to be getting more upset than she'd expected. "Really, it's the best, because I think we needed to do what we did. No, actually, you know what, I don't think we needed to it, we had to do it. We needed to shake ourselves up somehow. Did I wish it happened without having to go to a war torn country? Yeah, sure, but I'm pleased it achieved what it did. It gave me an experience I can never forget, and I merely went to the compound. You went out and helped people in conditions that sound appalling. Yet you did it because it's who you are. Selfless. Loving."
"Yet so many people have been intimidated by my mind..." Maura's words drifted off, as she tried not to feel the upset that still occasionally accompanied the feelings, even though since meeting the Rizzoli's it was far less frequent.
"It's endearing," Jane said quickly, "It's the reason you're like you are, and I love all the parts of you that make up the whole."
"Marry me." Maura blurted out, a hand coming up to cover her mouth, looking shocked.
Jane jerked back slightly, "What? I . . . You really have become a person of act now, think later."
Maura regarded Jane carefully, "I don't regret asking. Marry me."
Jane took a deep breath, "Yeah, I will marry you."
Maura grabbed Jane, as they hugged tight. Jane though pulled back suddenly, worry etched across her face. "Oh crap, Ma!"
Maura giggled, "You think Angela is going to be bad, remember Fred is going to be a bridesmaid."
The sheer look of horror from Jane had Maura dissolving into a full fit of laughter.