A/N- Here is the first chapter of my new fic. I am intending it to be a bit of an epic, as I already have tons of ideas for it. Hope people will forgive me for giving the ladies some hard times. I will make up for it along the way with much fluff. Thanks for reading.

Rough around the edges

Chapter 1

"Frankie!" He turned at the familiar voice that called his name.

"Jane, what are you doing here?" Frankie looked around him to see who may have noticed or be watching them. Jane tried not to be hurt by his less than enthusiastic tone.

"What? I was in the area and thought I could catch up with my little brother."Jane shrugged and opened her arms out wide signalling her complete innocence.

Frankie nodded his head to indicate Jane should follow him across the street. Jane followed, striding slowly and less purposefully than he. Frankie finally turned on her. "You look like shit, Janie."

Jane smirked and pushed dark sunglasses back onto her head, taking a moment to adjust to the light of day through red, puffy eyes. "Well, you look great, that uniform always did look good on you." Jane pushed herself to smile; she had promised herself that she would see Frankie today and that she would behave like a human being this time.

Frankie looked troubled and Jane put a reassuring arm across his shoulders, both protective and commanding at once. "Come on; let's do this with a drink." Jane said, already steering her brother toward The Dirty Robber.

As Frankie got seated, Jane went to the bar and threw back a Whisky before taking her beer and Frankie's glass of soda back to the table. Frankie didn't even wait for her to sit down before he started in on her.

"Where the hell have you been Jane? Ma has had me looking everywhere for you." Frankie seethed. He could not even look her in the eye anymore, this was as angry as she had ever seen him but he still managed to keep a lid on it, something Jane had never quite mastered.

Jane thought that aside from her, Frankie was probably the person who had suffered the most when she left her job. Jane had been his hero, even more so since their Father had run off and she didn't just fall off his pedestal she took a pretty vicious nose dive.

"Ma isn't real high on my priorities right now Frankie. I take it she is still pretending that she isn't drinking more than a parched camel? Telling everyone else what to do with their lives while she let's hers completely fall apart." Jane muttered and shook her head.

Frankie sighed and his voice softened as he spoke about their mother. "She is doing her best Jane; she'd be doing a whole lot better if she didn't have to worry about you and Tommy so much." Frankie looked over his shoulder as the door to the bar opened and a couple of young men he didn't recognise came in. He turned back to Jane.

"You should go see her." Frankie said, giving Jane a pleading look.

"I will, I will." Jane brushed his suggestion to one side. "Anyway, how are you doing Frankie, how are things on the road to detective?" From one tough subject to another.

Frankie sipped at his soda. "Y'know Jane, I'll get there." He said happy to dismiss the subject. It hadn't been easy for him, after everything that happened with Jane, a lot of the other officers and detectives avoided him or actively gave him a hard time; Korsak was the only one who kept an eye out for him these days, the only person who was still loyal to Jane.

Jane sensed Frankie's reluctance to get into it and returned to small talk as she looked around the bar. "This place hasn't changed so much." She began as the door to the bar swung open.

A hesitant figure stood in the doorway and Jane watched as the honey-blonde took a steadying breath and strode over to the bar alone.

"Then again, maybe the clientele has improved." Jane smiled to herself, watching the woman at the bar as Jane finished her beer.

Frankie glanced over his shoulder to see what his sister had suddenly found so interesting.

"You think she walked into the wrong place?" Jane asked, watching the bartender pour a glass of red wine from a dusty bottle and hand it to the stranger, who turned now, scanning her options for a seat.

As the woman Jane had watched intently, walked by their table without a passing glance, Frankie suddenly called out, to both women's surprise.

"Hi Dr Isles." He said in a courteous tone, nodding his head respectfully.

The doctor stopped and looked down at Frankie, noticing him for the first time and taking in his uniform.

"Oh, hello officer..."

"Rizzoli, Frankie Rizzoli mam." He introduced. "I haven't seen you in here before Doc, not that I am in here a lot I mean." Frankie said nervously trying to make conversation.

Dr Isles looked awkwardly from Frankie to Jane. "No, I haven't been in here before, I had a bad day, three children killed by their mother, I just needed a drink tonight." Maura said quietly. Maura bit her lip, realising by the silence that she had probably committed yet another social faux pas by sharing too much information too early. A habit she had always struggled to break.

Maura quickly looked over the officer's female companion, hoping she hadn't just interrupted a date with her talk of dead children. Maura made a quick appraisal and decided that she didn't think the pair looked like a couple. The young officer Rizzoli was clean shaven and smart with big warm brown eyes, like pools of chocolate, he had a kind face. The woman looked older, dishevelled yet with a kind of wild natural beauty that Maura admired, her eyes were also brown but a darker shade and narrowed in a guarded and sharp way that put Maura slightly on edge.

"This is my sister, Jane." Frankie said reluctantly as the two women locked eyes.

Maura felt a hint of recognition at the name. "Jane Rizzoli?" She said. "Have we met before?"

"No." Jane said certainly, "You'd remember." Jane flashed Maura a wickedly sexy grin.

Jane stood up and came face to face with Maura who she now towered over slightly. "I'm going to get another drink." Jane announced. "Why don't you join us Dr Isles?"

"Oh, thank you but I'm afraid I wouldn't make very good company and besides I wouldn't want to intrude." Maura formulated her polite response.

Jane stepped close, to get by Maura and briefly took the fingers of Maura's free hand in her own, brushing the backs of Maura's fingers with her thumb. The touch was over before Maura could respond but it shocked the usually composed Doctor. People didn't tend to reach out to her, people didn't often feel comfortable in her presence, even strangers, almost as soon as anyone found out what she did they kept a distance.

As the contact broke, Jane looked back over her shoulder. "Maybe, I'll come find you later." She said through another wolfish grin.

A slightly flustered feeling Maura turned back to address Frankie and said a polite goodbye before she rushed to the safety of a far table where she could sit and observe without easily being seen. The wine did nothing to settle her jangling nerves until she had downed at least half of the glass and had watched Jane Rizzoli join her brother back at their table.

Jane wore a leather flight Jacket and dark jeans with dark brown mid length boots covered in straps and buckles. Maura couldn't decide if she looked more like she had come straight from Top Gun or like a member of a motorcycle gang. Despite the masculine dress Maura had been immediately in awe of Jane's beautiful hair, the long unruly curls, which Jane obviously did nothing to maintain. It reminded Maura of popular images of the Celtic queen Boudicca, riding into battle with her dark mane flowing behind her. Hmmmm, Maura thought that the wine which she was drinking quickly so as not to linger over the taste, must be having an affect already.

Maura took another drink, oh well at least the stranger had taken her mind off today's horrific case, not to mention the disaster that was Maura's personal life at the moment. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the brunette made good on her word and found Maura out later on.

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"So, how do you know the Doctor? She a shrink?" Jane asked as she re-joined her brother.

"No, Jane. Dr Isles is the chief medical examiner. I have seen her at a couple of crime scenes. I feel sorry for her, she gets a hard time. Y'know what they can be like, she's a woman and she's a little strange, with her job, she just scares them I guess. They call her the Queen of the dead, not that she isn't really good at what she does, she just does it so coolly. I guess she has to be that way." Frankie was thoughtful and fair in his summary of the Doctor.

"So she cut's up murder victims? And she looks like she just stepped off a cat walk; I can see how the old boys club would be afraid of her. I'm impressed." Jane had immediately thought that the woman was stunning to look at but now it seemed she was smarter than heck too. Jane tried not to be intrigued and decided she would steer well clear of the complex woman, for both their sakes.

Frankie finished the soda he had been nursing. "Jane, I need to get home and get some sleep before my next shift. Please think about going to see Ma, okay." Frankie said rising from the table. "And Jane, try and stay out of trouble, okay, I worry about you."

Jane nodded and waved a hand at her brother as he headed for the door. No matter how old he got he was always her kid brother and although she was proud of the young man he had become she could never shake the feeling that he was a sweet but annoying kid. Jane wondered when exactly their roles had reversed and he had become the one who worried about her, she also wondered if things would ever go back to the way they were, the way they should be.

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