Jane shoved Maura in the direction of Korsak's desk and asked her to sit down. She didn't want Maura going down to the morgue that day – with the help of interns and those who worked as aids to Maura, Jane made sure that any business that needed taking care of down there was getting done, a way to soothe Maura's nerves at being away from her work for as long as she already had been. The doctor protested – and a lot, too – but eventually, with a resounding sigh, Maura plopped down into the chair and brought out a book she had been in her purse, irregularly looking up to try and listen to what Jane and Frost were talking about.
It was barely nine o'clock with Cavanaugh came into the office and asked to have a meeting between the two detectives. They left Maura behind, Cavanaugh casting her a nervous glance with a smile before closing his office door. The meeting lasted no more than ten or fifteen minutes and, for the first time in a long time, Jane didn't walk out of her boss's office with a sour look on her face. She looked completely normal, unperturbed and relatively calm. There was no throbbing vein in her neck and her hands weren't clenched together. Maura smiled.
"He just wanted to know about the fire."
"Any word on the apartment?"
The voice had always managed to send chills up Jane's spine, particularly when her name was said in such a demanding, confrontational way. Angela came storming into the department, one hand gripping a pair of brown paper bags and the other holding her car keys. Her eyes spun wildly until they locked on her daughter standing sheepishly by her desk, eyes diverted down to the case file that Frost had tossed there moments before. Maura, sitting at Korsak's desk, watched nervously as the robust Italian mother came storming towards them and tossed the bags down onto the desk and folded her arms against her waist, glaring up at Jane.
"What are you doin' here, Ma?"
"You almost get blown up, and I don't even get a phone call!" she wheeled and turned on her heels, this time staring straight at Maura. "Now I don't blame you, Maura. But someone could have called. You're the responsible one."
"Hey!" squeaked Jane. "Why-"
Angela turned back towards her daughter and cut Jane off. "You sleep here instead of at Frankie's, huh? What would be so bad about comin' and stayin' with us, huh? Huh?"
"Ma, it was just easier-"
"-all of you always gettin' blown up and in trouble and hurt-"
"-no one was hurt-"
"-now you're homeless-"
"-I'm not homeless-"
"-poor Maura is being stalked-"
"-and why can't you find the guy tryin' to hurt her, Janie?"
"Well you should try harder!"
"You're right." Jane deadpanned. "I should try harder, but it's a little difficult when my mother comes to my work and distracts me!"
Angela's face fell and her voice dropped to a whisper. "I'm just tryin' to make sure you're okay."
"I know, and I love you." said Jane sweetly. "Now leave."
"I brought you lunch." Angela huffed, nodding towards the brown bags.
Maura chimed in behind Jane, flashing Angela one of her award winning smiles. "That was very kind, Angela. Thank you."
"At least one of you is polite." grumbled the disgruntled older Rizzoli woman.
"You know, Ma, no matter how discretely you indirectly mumble insults about me, I can still hear you."
"That's the point."
Jane groaned and rolled her eyes, taking a seat at her desk and shooting Maura an annoyed look. Angela leaned down and gave Jane a quick kiss to the head, flashed Maura a tiny wave and exited the bullpen just before Frost burst into his girlish giggles. Jane hissed at him to shut up and turned around in her seat, slipping one hand down to turn the computer on and pulling a water bottle from her bag. Frost came up behind her and perched himself on the edge of her desk.
"So what are we doing today?"
"Hell if I know."
"Look, Jane." Frost dropped his voice. "Maybe Maura has a point. Maybe we should start looking into Hope more. You've been avoiding it-"
Jane interrupted. "I know Maura is right."
"Then what are you waiting for? It's not like we have any other leads on this case. She could hold the key to something that we need."
"She isn't in our jurisdiction. I can't just hop on a plane, knock on her front door and introduce myself."
There was a short pause and the two detectives stared at each other. Frost smirked. "Why not?"
"Why not? Because that's insane. Cavanaugh would never allow it."
"You're just questioning her, Jane. He wants this case closed as much as you do. What's the harm in going down there and chatting? I can keep things going around here. Korsak is getting out of the hospital today anyway. Thought I'd go over and bring him some lunch or something. Things are dead here besides this case and until we get some more news from the fire department-"
"Okay, yeah. Okay." Jane looked over Frost's shoulder at Maura. "Should I bring her? I mean, I don't want to meet her mom before she does, but if Hope is behind the attacks..."
"Take her. I'd rather fight a battle with a murderer than the fury of Maura Isles when she's felt betrayed or hurt."
Jane chuckled. "Good idea. Hey, Maura. Let's go."
"Where are we going?" asked Maura as she slid a bookmark into her book.
"A little trip." replied Jane briskly as she grabbed her bag.
The flight was short but the drive was long.
"Why are you letting me come?" asked Maura after they had been driving for an hour. The car ride had been fairly silent up until then, with only the radio as their comfort. Jane had stopped and got them drinks and snacks at an old gas station – Maura shriveled her nose when they walked in, the air thick with cigar smoke and the smell of gasoline – and after that it had just been them and the road, each nervous about what would meet them once they got to Hope. "Wouldn't it be...unethical?"
"I'm not meeting your biological mother before you do." she muttered. "Besides, we'll know if she's our perp if she tries killing you when we walk in the door."
Maura laughed. "That might be a clue, yes."
"Are you nervous?"
"My sympathetic nervous system is reacting. I'm perspiring and..." Maura released a long breath. "Sorry. I mean, this is it. This isn't how I ever wanted to meet her, but...Jane, what will Paddy say when he finds out we've gone to her? He told us not to, he said-"
"-he needs to play by our rules sometimes. He doesn't always know what's best."
"He knows something we don't."
"Are you saying you don't want to meet Hope?"
"No!" exclaimed Maura. "But perhaps we shouldn't announce who I am until after we talk with her. We should come up with a rouse."
"Well Maura," Jane chuckled. "I was going to tuck you into a basinet with a blanket and a letter explaining that you're her daughter. You've ruined my plan."
"I think you're being sarcastic."
"I just think it would be a bad idea to immediately tell her that I'm her long lost daughter that she abandoned with her sister."
"It's going to be fine. We're going to walk up to the door. I"ll flash my badge and explain that I'm detective of the Boston Police Department and that I have a few questions. She doesn't need to know who you are unless there is a reason for it. It will be fine."
The only word Jane could find to describe the neighborhood as they drove through was 'cute'. Although none of the houses were exactly the same, they were similar in style and structure. Most were modified to include a painted garage door here and there, a flower garden either in front of the house or small flower beds resting on the sills of windows. All were paneled and the roofs were hitched. Only one of the houses was a one story, and it sat on the very corner and had the biggest yard. Jane slowed when they turned onto the right street and squinted her eyes to find the right address. She could hear Maura's labored breath beside her. The car squeaked when she braked and finally the car was parked. The pair sat in the car, looking up at the house.
Like all the others, Hope's home was a two story paneled abode. The paneling was a light blue compared to its neighbor's cool beige. Four concrete steps led up to a long porch that stretched across the entire front of the house. On one end was a bench swing with cushiony floral padding and a similar wooden table sat next to it, an old pen without a cap beneath the seat of the bench. The porch was encased by a wooden fence painted white to match the windows and the smaller spoked fence that wrapped around a flower bed in front of the house. Marigolds, lilacs and daisies mixed together with colorful weeds and tall bushes. The driveway was long and led up to an attached garage decorated with faded bumper stickers and a rusted knob. The front window was open, letting a breeze into the main room of the house. With the cars windows rolled down, Jane could hear a television playing.
"You okay?" Jane asked, her words feeling heavier than usual. Maura gave a curt nod and opened her car door, stepping out into the fresh air and walking up to the sidewalk to wait for Jane. Together they walked up and Jane rapped on the door three times. She could feel Maura next to her – she was barely shaking, but Jane could hear her labored breathing and she knew that if she looked over she would be able to see the brewing panic attack nestling itself closer and closer to the surface. Jane waited with her hand on her gun, staring straight forward, ready for the door to swing open.
When it did, Jane was sure her heart stopped (though she knew that if she ever told Maura that, she would get a long, scientific explanation on how that was improbable).
The woman who answered the door wore light, pastel pink scrubs. Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun but it was unmistakably the same honey blonde as Maura's. Eyes a murky green-blue mix stared back at the two. She wasn't very tall, but her legs were long and thin. Jane knew she was older but she looked good for her age – her face was thin and relatively unwrinkled, skin a natural tan and blemish free. She wore light a light rosy blush on her cheeks and glossy lip balm, but for the most part her face was clear and natural. Hope was beautiful and Maura looked just like her.
Hope stared directly at Maura, hardly even paying attention to Jane. Her lips formed a small 'o'.
"Hope Burke?" There was no question that the woman standing at the door was Maura Isle's mother. "My name is Jane Rizzoli and I'm a detective for the Boston Police Department in Massachusetts. I had a few questions, may my partner and I come in?"
For the first time Hope looked over to her but it didn't last long. She looked back to Maura, who for the first time Jane looked at too. "Maura?" Hope said, her voice just above a whisper. A single tear slipped down her cheek. "What are you doing here? How did you..." Maura tensed up next to Jane. "No, please. Please, you have to go. You cannot be here." Jane stared wildly at the agitated woman. "You cannot be here. How did you find me? Did Constance – it doesn't matter. Go, Maura. Do not come back here again." Hope went to close the door but Jane stuck a foot in just in time.
"I think you need to answer a few questions for us." she replied hotly. Hope looked panicked as her eyes looked up and down the street. "May we come in?"
"Hope," Maura muttered weakly.
"I gave you up to give you a better life. You're ruining it. Both of you. I don't know how you found me. I don't know why you found me. You need to go. You need to-"
"-I already know I'm Patrick Doyle's daughter!" Maura shouted, exasperated. Hope flinched at the sound of Patrick's name. "I know who I am. I just want answers. I need to know-"
"You don't need to know anything." she snapped. "Knowing will get you killed."
"Not knowing is getting her killed." Jane retorted angrily. Hope turned to Jane and frowned. "We need to know what you know, and we need to know now."
"I'm sorry." Hope whispered, her eyes fluttering. "I gave you up to keep you safe, Maura. You can't be here. I can't..." she stepped further inside her house. "I have my own children to take care of and think of now. I did my job in protecting you. I have to protect them now, too. Please go."
"Jane let's go." Maura's voice sounded different. It wasn't the light, airy voice that Jane was so used to. It was dark. It was broken. Her eyes were dry but Jane knew that the moment they were away from Hope, away from this place, the dam would break. The blonde looped her arm through Jane's and tugged her back down the sidewalk. Jane wasn't prepared to leave or give up but she wasn't prepared to put Maura through anymore pain than she was already going through. They were half way down the walk when Hope called them back. It was what Jane had been waiting for. The bittersweet goodbye, the declaration of love, the please forgive me – all the things Jane saw on television. She waited with abated breath, waiting as Hope stood there staring at her forgotten daughter, waiting for just even a single utterance of sorrow for how she treated Maura, but the longer they stood there the closer Jane came to the realization that she wouldn't be hearing what she knew Maura desperately needed to hear. Hope stepped further out onto the porch and stared at Maura closely before finally, finally after what seemed like an eternity, spoke:
"Don't come back."
THIS WAS SO HARD TO WRITE. Jane, Maura and I weren't getting along. I have also had exams. But here you go, new chapter. Last night I published a one-shot of Jane and Maura being sorted at Hogwarts. I don't know what came over me. It's the most ridiculous thing. Go take a look if you want.
Review and tell me what you think of this chapter? :)