I decided to jump on the bandwagon and write something about Jane and pianos.
Characters aren't mine. They belong to Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Brothers, and other assorted important people. I gain nothing from writing these stories but the fun of doing it. Please don't sue me.
"What are you thinking about?" Angela finished the dishes in her daughter's kitchen as she watched the younger Rizzoli stand in the center of the living room, clearly lost in thought. "I haven't seen you this distracted since they changed the flavored coffee in the café from French vanilla to hazel nut."
"Okay, first of all," Jane finally stopped looking around her apartment to send a glare to her mother, "that hazel nut stuff is nasty. I can't believe anyone would drink that crap. Second of all, I'm thinking about rearranging my apartment. Third of all," she pointed at her mother, her free hand on her hip, "stop mocking me about my coffee. I can't help it if I can appreciate a good roast. It means I can tell when something is cheap and easy."
"Like a bad hooker," Angela rolled her eyes. "We've already talked about this." Drying her hands on the dishtowel, she looked around the small apartment. "Did you have a new set up in mind?"
"No. Yes. No." The lanky brunette winced. "Maybe."
The elder woman chuckled. "I think you've been spending too much time with Maura."
Jane narrowed her eyes. "Funny. I'm not the one that's going around talking about panda poop tea."
"You could at least try it!" Angela gave a huff, tossed the towel onto the counter, and walked over to stand next to her daughter. "What's wrong with how you have it set up right now?"
"I never could figure out what to do with that spot where the piano was." Jane pointed to a spot against the wall where her makeshift desk resided. "I thought I'd turn into work space, but it just isn't working for me. I just use the desk to pile my junk mail on. I think it's starting to be more of a fire hazard than a desk at this point."
Angela drifted over to the desk and poked around at the large pile of unopened envelopes. "I see what you mean. What about a couple of potted plants? I always thought this place could use a little life."
"Are you calling me a zombie?" Jane crossed her arms, daring her mother to give her a comeback.
Angela rolled her eyes. "When was the last time you spent seven straight days in your apartment? Jo spends more time with me than she does here, and the last time you did laundry was at Maura's. All I'm saying is that something living in here all the time couldn't hurt."
Jane threw her arms up in the air. "Hey, you're the one who keeps dognapping Jo."
"Only because she'd be alone all the time if I didn't! No grandpup of mine is going to live alone. Just look at her!" Angela squatted down to pick up the little ball of fur at her feet. "Just look at that face. How could you leave her alone so much, Janie? She needs your love!"
"Oh my God, Ma, she's just a dog. You feed her. You give her water. You take her out she can do her business, and she's good. Give her a shoe to chew on, and she's in Heaven."
Angela looked down to the floor, eyes scanning until she found it. "Maura's black Jimmy Choo's? Jane, you didn't! How could you let Jo chew those up? Do you know how much those cost?"
"I didn't let Jo chew those up. Maura gave them to Jo when she bought her new pair. She said something about them not being in season anymore, and she thought Jo would enjoy them more than she had." Jane picked up one well chewed, black patent leather high heel. Making a pained face as she looked at the shoe, she shrugged. "I don't know how she wears these things. I'd break my neck."
"I think the same thing. She must have amazing balance." Angela put Jo down and watched the little dog run to Jane, who dropped the shoe. With a happy bark, Jo picked it up and trotted to her doggie bed to settle down for a good chew session. "But Maura always looks so good. You know, I've never seen her look bad? Even when I know she had someone over the night before, like when Ian…"
"I don't want to talk about Ian, Ma." Jane shook her head, crossing her arms as did so. "I don't want to ever talk about Ian. He's an ass and die in Africa from some horrible third world disease for all I care."
"That's an awful thing to say!" Angela glared at her daughter. "You know how much Maura loves him. How can you say that about the love of your best friend's life?"
"Because, for someone that supposed to be her one great love, he treats her like shit." With an angry growl, Jane walked over to her desk, brushing past her mother, to start clearing it off. As she spoke, she grabbed and ripped through the junk mail, tossing it into bins for recycling or shredding as appropriate. "He swings into her life once in a blue moon, uses her to get medical supplies, uses her for other things, and then leaves her, and, you know what?" She threw the last of her junk mail into a bin; it landed with a hard thunk. "If he really loved her – if he cared about her at all, he'd stop that crap and be with her. Instead, he wants to run off and go play hero somewhere that lands him on some most wanted list and makes Maura an accessory. What kind of person does that?"
She grunted, moving back into the middle of her living room. "Maura deserves better than that. She deserves someone who understands that she needs to be love, supported, protected, and not fucking used like a high class escort just because he can." Her frown grew deeper as she thought about. "Ass."
Angela's eyebrows shot up in surprise at the venom in her daughter's voice. "Tell me how you really feel."
"I told you I don't want to talk about Ian," Jane shot back, not noticing the surprise on her mother's face. "Man," she gave a little stomp of her foot, "what am I going to do with that space?"
"You could always buy another piano," Angela offered with a shrug.
"No." The reply was quick, but it left no doubt Jane had no intention of continuing that line of talk.
"Okay," Angela said with a slight nod of her head. "How about one of those in-house waterfalls? They're supposed to be really relaxing."
Jane's head turned quickly to look at the older woman. "What?"
"A waterfall. You know, for the sound it makes, and it could maybe double as way to keep Jo's water fresh when you weren't at home because I'm sure she doesn't like stale…"
"No, not that." Jane made a vague swiping away motion with her hand. "Did you just say okay? You mean you're really not going to give me grief about not playing the piano anymore after spending years making me lean and play and then guilting me into taking the piano with me when I moved out? Really?" She held one hand up, palm up, in a gesture meant to say 'what the heck'.
Glancing to the young woman's upturned hand, Angela replied quietly, "There are some things I don't like to talk about, either, Jane." She gave a very heavy sigh. "I don't know for certain, but I can guess why you don't play anymore. That is one of those things I don't like to talk about." Turning to the door and picking up her purse, Angela's face kept it's grave expression. "Let me know when you figure out what to do with that space, and I'll help you move stuff around." Stunned her mother's response, Jane simply nodded in the affirmative. As Angela walked to the door to leave, she stopped and turned to face her daughter again. "I miss it. You were always better than you thought you were." With that parting thought, the older Rizzoli left the apartment, quietly closing the door behind her.
Slowly sitting down on the sofa, Jane stared down at her hands, flipping them over to look at the scars that adorned them. She stretched and flexed her fingers, opening and closing her palms as she thought about what had just happened in her home.
Thinking on it, she realized it had been nearly five years since she last touched a piano to do anything more than dust it or move it. When Hoyt's apprentice had come into her apartment and trashed the musical instrument, she had considered it a small act of Providence. It meant the piano would be sitting in her home mocking her. She hated having it there to remind her of yet another thing she couldn't do, or, rather, do right. At least, she couldn't do it right anymore.
There were a lot of things Jane could do that she would never admit to most of the time. Despite the teasing and hard times she gave to Maura about it, Jane was also experience in ballet. She knew it was a difficult sport. Thinking about it even now made her feet hurt. Her mother's demands that she participate in ballet until she was twelve made her resent the activity. It was girlie, and she wasn't. It was refined and elegant, and she always felt she was anything but. In short, ballet made her feel awkward, and she hated it, which is why she always told people it wasn't a real sport. But she knew better. It was just something she said to irritate Maura.
Playing the piano was something else she'd never been great at. She was never a prodigy. Playing didn't come easily to her. She had to practice twice as long as some of the other students her instructor taught just to be as proficient as they were. Despite her long, slender fingers, her coordination was very bad, and she had a difficult time keeping tempo. Her instructor had once told her that he felt seasick listening to her play. "You speed up. You slow down. You speed up. You slow down. Stop playing before I have to take some Dramamine," he'd once said and then sent her back one with a metronome.
In fact, her instructor never missed a chance to remind her faults. "You're so technical," he once told her when she had finally mastered the understanding of keeping a solid tempo. "You're playing has no emotion. Where is your soul? You need to play with passion. Where is your passion?"
She rolled her eyes at the memory. Her passion had been on the baseball diamond where she was the star pitcher. Looking back on it, she realized that her instructor had insinuated she might soulless, which made her suddenly angry. She had a soul, it just wasn't in it for Schumann.
Standing, the detective paced in front of her desk.
She had passion. She was passionate about a lot of things. She was passionate about her family, her sports teams, her job, her Maura.
At the thought, she abruptly stopped pacing. Her Maura? She shook her head. No, her best friend Maura.
Rolling her eyes, she glared at her desk. Her instructor sucked. He called her names, made her feel like crap, and told her she had no passion. Screw him. She had passion, and she could play the piano with best of them. Forget him and his insults. She was going to relearn what she'd lost, and she was going to show them all.
Jane Rizzoli was a passionate, soulful person, damn it.
Nodding to herself, she walked over to her laptop, flipped it open, and started searching for someone she thought she would never want to see again.