Rizzoli & Isles belongs to Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro, TNT, and the host of writers, producers, cast, and crew who create the show we love to watch. We are not any of those people.

Spoilers for Seasons One and Two and the books. Rated T for crime, murder, and a loving relationship with two sexy women.

This story is Part 3 in a series we've called 'Shipping Up to Boston (so if you haven't read the rest, some of the undertones won't make sense at all):

'Shipping Up to Boston, Part 0: The Trevor Project (see bit DOT ly/sutb0 )
'Shipping Up to Boston, Part 1: It Gets Better (see bit DOT ly/sutb1 )
'Shipping Up to Boston, Part 2: Occupy Boston (see bit DOT ly/sutb-2 )

Hold on to your hats. We're going to be running roughshod over your heart, addressing the difficulties Jane and Maura's relationship, covering the season two finale, and how they ended up dating, all via liberal use of flashbacks that are telling you half of the story out of order. You will need to pay close attention. Flashbacks are told in italics, out of order. The plain text is the 'now' timeline, and is told in chronological order.

Chapter titles from "The Edge of Gayzzoli" are used with gracious permission from Holly, on Twitter as EdgeOfHolzzoli.

Co-written by Chapsticklez and Googlemouth. You can find us on Twitter as chapsticklez and Googlemouth. Beta-edited by WalnutHulls (aka WalnutHulls on Twitter).

Guest Cast (In order of appearance): Agent Gabriel Dean (Billy Burke), US Marshal Gary Obrecht (Tony Denison), Agent Anna Farrell (Tessa Thompson), Patrick Doyle (John Doman), Constance Isles (Jacqueline Bisset), Father Daniel Brophy (John Slattery), Joe Grant (Donnie Wahlberg)

Chapter One — Where They Date Guys

Gunshots, far too many for the clips that filled Jane's service Glock. Carbon. Cordite. Shouts that should have been intelligible but were not; words that meant nothing except more disorder in her brain, more ringing in her ears. Thuds of bodies hitting the ground from distances too great, over and over. Blood, slick and sticky, all over her hands, her clothes, spreading to cover the floor, rising as she knelt and tried like a little Dutch boy to stem the swelling, growing ocean of it, staining her knees, her clothes, stinking with iron, writhing with snakes of DNA so large they bound her wrists together like zip-ties. Whispers, gasps, cries — lies — of hope.

Maura awoke in a cold sweat. The house was cold and dark, this nearly winter night, and while Bass's habitat was kept warm for his health, the evening had been mild enough to allow Maura a last gasp at sleeping with the windows open. And still, she was covered in perspiration, which was rapidly cooling to chill her all over.

Reaching over by habit for the comfort of her lover, she was not surprised to find the spot empty, only resigned. The sound of gunshots, the smells of fear and chemicals, were all in her head. She was not applying pressure to her father's wounds as he bled out all over the ground, blood was not rising to cover her kneeling knees, hips, ribcage, chin, head, and Maura was not yelling at anyone.

And yet.

Her hands were slick with sweat, her throat hurt as if she'd been screaming and crying. When Maura rubbed her eyes, her hands came away with the dampness of tears and snot, which a small, rational part of her mind identified as the reason she had seemed to herself to be drowning as she struggled to wake.

Two in the morning is too late to call anyone, she told herself firmly. I am a strong, capable woman in my thirties. I am perfectly able to take care of myself. There are no bogeymen in my closet or under my bed.

But she shivered. Two o'clock in the morning or not, Maura got out of bed and took a shower to regain her equilibrium. The water, warm and gentle, did not wake her up, nor did it sooth her back to a state in which she might be able to sleep. Meditation did not appeal to her at the moment, and the memory of Jane's teasing comment about how Dr. Ruth said it made you sexier did not make Maura smile.

She knew what and whom she needed.

She knew the phone call would not be answered.

"Rizzoli," barked Jane into her phone. Cranky, tired, and fussy, all she wanted was to see the backs of her eyelids for a couple hours, and not have to deal with crap. Turn off her brain and meditate. Instead she was sitting in a hallway, at three in the morning, waiting for her turn to talk to someone she didn't want to ever see again.

"Janie, something's wrong." Angela Rizzoli sounded nervous, almost scared, and Jane nearly dropped her phone.

Why is Ma calling me in the middle of the night? Three AM was early even for Angela to be up. "Are you okay?" she asked immediately, ignoring the pointed looks from Gabriel Dean. He too was tired and cranky. She couldn't blame him. "I told you not to call unless it was an emergency."

Frustratingly, Angela hesitated. "Maura was crying. I could hear her. And now her lights are on. It's been getting worse all week."

Jane winced and got up, walking to the far end of the room, as far away from Dean as possible. That would be why Dispatch forwarded the call, despite Cavanaugh's standing order that, short of a terrorist attack on Boston, Rizzoli was not to be contacted. No one ignored a mother who said it was important. "Why didn't she... Never mind. I told you, Ma, you have to check in on her while I'm gone!"

"I did," promised Angela, fervently. "I have breakfast and dinner with her. I even bring her lunch in that... In her office. She just cries at night. And she doesn't sleep."

Silently Jane swore. A hand on her shoulder sent her jumping, nearly decking Gabriel Dean. "Hang up, Rizzoli," he said firmly.

How did I ever, in my life, find your pasty, man-booby self sexy? Jane wondered. "It's my mother, Agent Dean. Even you Feebies have them. Unless it's true that you're not born, you're just requisitioned with forms. In triplicate."

This did not chase Dean away. "You know the rules. Hang up or I take it."

"I'd like to see you try," snapped Jane. They were spared a fight by the US Marshal, Obrecht, who coughed and told Jane to wrap it up fast. "Ma, I'm sorry, I can't... Call Father Brophy." Overriding her own feelings and her mother's protests of Maura being agnostic, Jane plowed on. "Just call him! Please, Ma."

Before the US Marshal could take her phone away, Jane hung up and handed it to him. She knew she'd be in some trouble for the phone, but she didn't really care right now. "Sorry, Detective Rizzoli. But they're ready to see you now." Jane nodded and quietly went into the room.

Relief washed over her as she recognized the FBI agent. "You know, technically he's my superior," smiled the young Anna Farrell. Jane smiled weakly, but sat down. "I didn't thank you for this recommendation, Jane. It means a lot to me."

"I needed an FBI agent I could trust," replied Jane, grimly.

"All the same, it means a lot to me." Anna held her hand out and they shook. "But if you can stop picking fights with Special Agent Dean, I'd really appreciate that too."

Jane smirked, tiredly, "No promises." Then she cleared her throat. "I'm Detective Jane Rizzoli, badge num—"

"Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?"

Jane blinked, "Every other time I had to go over the... This is about the case, right?"

The younger woman shook her head. "It is and it isn't. It's part of his deal." Anna stood up and opened the other door.

Not particularly tall, broad, and less stocky than he'd been the last time Jane saw him, Patrick Doyle was dressed in chinos, a bright blue polo shirt, and a bright blue vest with the Walmart logo emblazoned on the breast. Unexpectedly, Jane started laughing. "I know, but it's my work uniform. I'm a goddamned greeter," grumbled Boston's most notorious hitman. He held his arms out and turned around for Jane, and she found herself helpless with hysteria. It was worse when he started laughing too.

Eventually the laughing wore out, and they sighed with relief, two people who had badly needed a belly laugh. "You look good, Rick," smiled Jane, careful to use his new, WitSec approved, name.

"You look like crap," he replied. "Not sleeping?"

"Had a — No, I'm not," Jane sighed. They both looked at Anna, who coughed and said she'd give them privacy. After she left, Jane muttered, "I bet they're still recording us."

Paddy — Richard Dale — shook his head. "Better not, or the deal's off." Then he leaned forward. "How is she? Did you tell her?"

No need to specify who 'she' was. Jane shook her head. "Not exactly."

Thunderclouds had been gathering since morning, the sky's great inhalation prior to a violent shout, on the night that Jane came to Maura's door. This was going to be the worst conversation she would ever have to face, but the ache in her heart wasn't letting her sleep nights. Even though she had the key, she knocked on the door.

Constance opened the door, her hair starting to grow back, the bruises on her face subsiding. She said nothing to Jane, but nodded and motioned for her to stand in the entry way. "Maura, dear. Someone's here to see you," called Constance, gently.

Days before, Jane had arranged to 'accidentally' bump into Constance at physical therapy while Maura was away. Constance wouldn't bellow at Jane in public, and the shunning was survivable long enough for Jane to explain "I need to not tell Maura something about her father, because if she's going to hate me, I need it to be for the right reasons. And it's not, right now." Bless Constance, she understood the convoluted sentence immediately, and agreed to help.

Now, after almost a week of planning, Jane was at Maura's door. Surprised, Maura came to the door and Jane watched her face crumple from hope into agony. "Go away!" shouted Maura. "I don't want to see you!" Instead of turning away, Maura stormed towards Jane and pushed her shoulders. "And give me my key back!"

Without contest, Jane held the key out, already removed from her chain, expecting this moment. "Please, just give me a minute."

"No, no I won't," snarled Maura. "You lost that right." She snatched the key out of Jane's hand with such ferocity, the key ring left a burn on Jane's palm.

"Please! I need to tell you something, but I can't tell you!"

Glancing first at Constance, who was calmly standing to the side (out of the way of the fight), Maura frowned, "Well that's your problem." Her voice was bitter and cold. The Ice Queen. "Leave my house, or I'll call the police."

Jane ignored her words for a moment. "Please — Damn it, Maura, you're a doctor! Just think! Where did I shoot him?" Never would Jane suggest Maura shouldn't be mad at her. Never would she try to argue she'd been wrong. But right now, she needed Maura to use that big brain of hers and think. As Maura opened her mouth, Jane spread her hands out, flat to the ground. "Just — where. Okay?"

Painfully, the emotions crawled across Maura's face. First she was pissed as hell at Jane, yeah, deserved that. Then she was surprised. Anger was fighting with science, and finally she closed her eyes. The little angry crease in her forehead changed into the one she got when she was processing. And Jane waited. Like a gambling addict praying for that one card to turn, those two dice to roll up seven, or three cherries to line up, Jane willed Maura to look and see what she was saying. Jane prayed to God to make Maura understand, even just a little bit.

Finally Maura spoke. "Was Agent Dean supposed to be there?" She did not open her eyes, she did not look at Jane.

Okay, wasn't expecting that, thought Jane. "No," she said firmly.

Again. "Was Agent Dean supposed to be there?" This time, Maura's eyes locked on Jane.

Just as firmly, Jane repeated. "No. No he was not." Silence hung between them, which was a hell of a lot better than the yelling or the shoving. "I told him to stay away. I didn't want him there." They stared at each other for long, drawn out seconds. "Look, ask Korsak. I said we needed to get Doyle off the streets." Jane's voice cracked a little as she said it.

Light dawned in Maura's eyes, behind the anger. "You did."

Some of the tension went out of Jane's body. "I did," she agreed.

"And you did," Maura said, softly. The anger was still there.

"I did," repeated Jane, her voice calm.

Maura looked away again, from both Jane and her mother. This time, Jane was able to avoid filling the silence. It helped that Constance was nodding at Jane, mouthing that it was all right. "I'm still very, very angry at you, Jane."

Jane nodded so hard, her head hurt. "You should be! You totally — Yes. But I — I couldn't live without you being mad at me for the right reasons, Maura." Jane swallowed and carefully added, "I love you. You're my best friend. Hate me as long as you need to. I deserve it."

Why the hell is Constance rolling her eyes at me right now! wondered Jane, before she ignored it. Not screwing up things worse with Maura was more important than a mother being weird.

Finally Maura nodded. "I need space."

Jane stepped back right away. "I — You — Yes. Yes." Another step and Jane was even with the doorway. "I'm going to go now." She took another step back, now she was outside the door and on the stoop. As she looked at Maura, she raised her eyebrows hopefully, but received only a frown.

The door was closed. The keys were not returned. But for the first time in agonizing months, Jane felt hope.

Leaving out the details, they were still too painful for Jane to recount in full, she told Rick the bare minimum. Maura was upset that Jane was keeping secrets, and while Jane wanted to say something to Maura, it wasn't possible. Jane started to massage her hands, not out of misplaced irritation, but the damned humidity. It always felt like it was going to rain here. "I can't tell her you're alive, Pad Rick. I just asked her where I shot you."

He nodded slowly. "She's smart. She'll know you didn't kill me."

"You'd think," grumbled Jane. "I told her I had to get you off the street, so she thinks that you dying was an accidental part of my plan."

Rick snorted. "I told you he'd screw things up."

Resisting the urge to flip off a hitman, Jane made a fist and, in doing so, popped... something in her hand. Maura would have known what it was called, but all Jane could think was that it felt good. How could she tell a hardened criminal that she and his daughter may have broken up? That she, who had 'killed' him and recovered a friendship from that trauma couldn't get over one little, tiny, argument. Jane took a deep breath, "Look, that's not why I'm supposed to be here."

"You're here because I won't work with them without you," Rick Dale said firmly. "And part of that is because I know you care about my daughter, and you'll do anything to protect her. Anything I ask."

Damn it. He had been listening that day. "So?" asked Jane. "I'm here, where I can't tell Maura who I'm with, what I'm doing, or even take her damn phone call — they took my phone because I was talking to my mother about her waking up at night, screaming or crying where Ma can hear her, for Christ's sake, Rick! So all I can tell you is that your daughter's fine, but we're having a fight cause I shot her father, and ever since then, I vanish for days at a time and I can't tell her anything about it."

She watched as Doyle — damnit, Dale— caught on. "Oh."

"Oh," mimicked Jane, sarcastically.

In a smaller voice, Dale admitted, "Actually, there's a case. My... son's mother. She was murdered. I didn't do it, but the FBI attributed it to me. I want you to catch the bastard." He sounded like Maura, when she'd asked Jane to find out who hit her mother with a car. Jane's heart ached and she looked away. All she wanted right now was to hold Maura, be anywhere but here with 'Rick Dale.' "If I'd known..."

She stared out the window for a while, trying to swallow all her emotions and be Work Jane, not lonely Girlfriend Jane. The lines between the Janes were getting blurred, and the last time she let that happen was with Casey. Look how well that ended. With effort, Jane shook off Girlfriend Jane. The lines between the Janes were there for a reason, and every time she'd ever made an exception, it had ended in disaster. Never again. "Well," she said firmly to Dale, "You didn't, and it doesn't matter. Look, I'm here to help make you happy, so the FBI is happy, so I don't have to keep coming to the shitty part of Florida. Fine, I'll solve a murder for you. But damn it, stop screwing up my holidays and... and my personal life!"

Dale looked abruptly enlightened. it was the same look Maura would get when she suddenly understood something about pop-culture, or a joke, or something that caught Jane's attention. "I think I can help." Lacing his fingers together, the hit man smiled a cold grin that sent chills up Jane's spine.

Why did she get the feeling she'd just walked into a devil's bargain?

When you had no one to talk to, you were more alone than you ever thought. Damn her. Damn her for doing this to me, raged Maura, silently, as she got out of the shower. She had been perfectly fine before Jane. Solitude was a blesséd state, and the true opposite of loneliness. Enjoying others, but not needing them, had been fine for her entire life. And then Jane had to come in and muddle her thinking, adulterate her simplicity, make her fleeting liaisons seem entirely unsatisfactory, where once they had been highlights to which she eagerly looked forward, and just as happily let go when they were over. Why did her best friend have to show up so often, looking like something the cat wouldn't drag in, needy and scared, and somehow be more appealing than the assignations Maura could have been having instead?

Why, moreover, did Maura have to have such a soft spot for that, when it happened to someone as tough and brave as Jane? Oh, yes, she was tough. But someone who was nothing but tough bored Maura to tears, figuratively speaking, of course. Then again, someone who was nothing but needy just made her impatient: she'd gone into forensic medicine, not psychiatry, for a reason, she thought grouchily as she yanked her bathrobe off its satin padded hanger and pulled it on. But Jane had such strength about her — maybe that was a better word than toughness, which was really just external calluses, while strength originated in the marrow and spread outward. Semantics. The point was, Maura considered as she combed fingers, laden with leave-in conditioner, through wet hair, unable to neglect lifelong, ingrained grooming habits... What was the point? The point was, Maura Isles was not used to needing anyone. Didn't like it. Hated the disappointment of needing what wasn't given, and so she simply didn't need. Only now, she did, and it was pissing her off. Why did she have to need someone, and that someone couldn't be with her? Why had Jane made Maura love her and need her and want her here? Good grief, this was worse than Garrett. At least Garrett had made few bones about the fact that he...

No, that wasn't true. He had, in fact, said he loved her, wanted her, needed her. Wanted her to share his life. That was what he said, every time he pleaded with her to skip just one class to hang out with him, neglect the proper amount of sleep in order to stay up late with him at his dorm room. Go out with his friends and their girlfriends, each of whom, like herself, seemed to be a necessary adjunct. The women who were insiders, who were the friends themselves, seemed to be the stars in their academic fields, very pretty, and members of Garrett's social set — which Maura was not. That is, her parents were wealthy and old money, but not American old money. Not Boston royalty, merely noble newcomers. Maura herself was not big business, not Boston royalty, not about to be the smiling, perfect wife of a fair-haired boy in politics. She was not content to be an accessory.

But he wanted her to share his life, be on his arm at social functions, be in his bed, take part in his accomplishments. He saw her study of medicine as something personally enriching for her, but not necessary. Something she could enjoy, almost as a pastime, rather than as a career in which she would shine on her own. Garrett thought that forensic pathology was a cute hobby, not a calling. In his mind, he'd seen himself as her calling.

That was why she had stopped needing him.

But Jane...

Jane knew Maura first as a professional. They met because of their professions, and bonded at first over the fact that they were, simply put, both women. There were others, but not a lot; and both Maura and Jane excelled in their fields, Jane as an accomplished detective with a stellar close rate and some especially high-profile cases, Maura as Chief Medical Examiner. Both of them had played the boys' games and won them, and defended their championships against all comers. Rather than seeing Maura as little and cute, with her lab coat and scalpel like Autopsy Barbie, Jane looked on Maura as instrumental to her own work, and as someone to be respected. She understood Maura's passion for the work, embraced it, even admired it. She'd said so, in so many words, on more than one occasion.

It was mutual. Jane was Maura's hero because of her devotion to her job, to the people of Boston. She didn't try to be a hotshot or daredevil, but she also didn't hesitate to do whatever was needed, whatever the cost to herself. She, too, had fought for respect in a mostly-male profession and a family that didn't always take her seriously. People who thought she was having fun, running around with a gun on, but would someday quit the job and settle down to become a pretty, pretty princess and soccer mom to two-point-five sparkling children. Not that she could never do that, Maura knew, but Jane was meant for other things: meant by herself, choosing her destiny and making it real.

And when that hero had let her know that she viewed Maura as something of a hero too, not just a sweet-faced sidekick, they had become friends. Close friends, dear friends, and eventually lovers, who valued one another for all of what they were, rather than just picking and choosing parts they liked and ignoring the rest. They'd learned to rely on one another, and then, so gradually that even Maura the over-analyzer had failed to see it happening, to depend on one another.

Which Maura had begun realizing when her nightmares could only be stilled by Jane's presence. When Jane had been shot, the dreams had come, and Maura had needed her so badly. Needed her to say she'd be fine, they'd be fine. That Jane wouldn't die, that Maura's best friend would come back to her. Byron Slucky had been arrogant, condescending, and hirsute, but he had been conscious and interested. He'd been a tender lover, but that hadn't been what Maura was looking for when she accepted his invitation to dinner one night. Tenderness had been the last thing on her mind. She just wanted someone athletic, who would wear her out so she couldn't dream anymore. Instead she'd gotten a cuddler who, after sex, fell asleep on top of her. At least she couldn't thrash around and bang her hand on her nightstand, like that one time. Yes, the nightmares had been... lessened. A bit. They were still sad, but not terrifying, so the man had served his purpose, until Jane was physically fit again, whereupon she'd found a reasonable excuse to dump him.

And the nightmares had returned. Not every night, of course. Maura had offered to stay a few nights with Jane, or suggested Jane coming over, and even with her in the guest room and Maura in her own bed, she had felt peaceful. Sometimes when Jane wasn't there, Maura managed to pretend well enough that she was, and the nightmares were held at bay. She could see them, waiting for her, but they remained chained up. Handcuffed, literally, in many of those dreams, so that they couldn't come and shoot Jane, or stake her to basement floors, or excoriate her — sometimes dreams could be even worse than a reality shaped by Hoyt, Maura discovered. But they always came back after a night or two without Jane, and so about once or twice a week, she would hint that one of them shouldn't be alone, and Jane would come over, or ask Maura to come over.

Ian was a... an aberration. Unexpected. Welcome, of course. She did love him. He was great in bed, and the novelty of having him there for a few days was enough to shake her unconscious mind enough to bring dreams of their time together in Africa, of previous visits, of starry nights out in the bush, of canvas tents in which they'd had to force themselves to be quiet because another tent was five feet away and the untreated cotton wasn't enough to muffle even the tiniest of their sounds. There had been no true nightmares during those days, only memories. She never dreamed of futures with Ian, only the past.

But then he left. She cried, and hurt, and Jane came by to hold her and blunt the teeth of the pain. She stayed, and Maura had no dreams at all that night, that she could recall.

Then came Hoyt, and the nightmares from before had new, stronger, sharper, meaner allies. Then Agent Dean, the killer of fathers. Now the nightmares were a gang, a posse. Any or all of them could assault her nightly, and if one of them needed a rest, the others could come in and take its place. Sometimes they assisted one another. With herself and Jane estranged for too long after the shooting of Patrick Doyle, Maura had had no true rest at all, not until Jane had found a way back into her life and her heart.

Jane's touch, Jane's voice, Jane's manner, could chase away the monsters. Sometimes even the thought of Jane was enough to send them away. But when Jane was gone, the dreams would eventually realize that Maura was alone, and they would come to keep her company and feed her their poisons.

She didn't want to need Jane. She wanted to just want Jane. Maura hated dependence, but somehow, Jane had made herself indispensable and irreplaceable. I need her. She's not here, and I need her.

Damn her.

Maura sighed, tied her robe, and went out to the living room to complete her nightmare ritual. Dream; scream; steam (shower); and tea.

Maura needs your reviews to feel better about having nightmares and being alone. You want Maura to feel better, don't you?

Anon reviews are turned off becuase someone decided to spam-review with vitriol and bile about the whole Brophy/Maura relationship.