A/N: Ok, so this is the first story I've ever published. I'd really appreciate honest reviews so that I know where to improve. I really hope I did this story justice. It had been bugging me for weeks and I finally wrote it. It actually kinda hurt to write this story. Every other sentence near the end, I had to stop and take deep breaths. I really hope you guys like it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except for Jay Reed, my OC that I created based off of someone in my life. Jane, Maura and the crew are property of TNT and Tess Gerritsen and anyone else with title and property rights. Trust me, if I owned it, the show would likely be on Pay-Per-View channels...
It was supposed to be just a normal day. But when does it ever end up being just a normal day.
Detective Jane Rizzoli, NYPD, was sitting in the bullpen chatting with her partner Frost and her former partner Korsak. She was regaling them with the stories of Italy from the honeymoon she had just returned from. Her brand new wife, Dr. Maura Isles, Chief Medical Examiner of the State of New York, had insisted that they go to the land of Jane's heritage for their honeymoon. Jane didn't care, as long as she got to spend her time with the beautiful woman she had given her heart to.
It was supposed to be just a normal day. She would spend her day at work, return home afterwards and spend the rest of the night making love to her new wife.
Those plans were dashed when her little brother, Officer Frankie Rizzoli Jr., came rushing into the room.
"Jane, dear God, please tell me Maura isn't already at the art dealer's office in the Towers," he pleaded, terror filling his eyes.
"Frankie, what the hell is wrong? Yeah, she texted me a few minutes ago, telling me she arrived. Why? What's happened?" Jane could feel the worry building, her heart starting to hammer a little harder, a little faster.
"Janie," Frankie simply stated. "The towers were just hit by a plane."
In the second that she stared at him, it felt to her like an eternity. All at once there were thoughts pouring into her mind and she couldn't stop the overflow of emotion from clouding her brain. After what felt like an eternity in her mind, she bolted from her seat and ran from the room.
"Maura!" Her desperate pleas could be heard throughout the precinct. "Dear God, no!"
After a minute of her cries, the other two detectives and the officer, still glued to their spots in shock, heard a car door slam and the shriek of spinning tires.
Driving well over the speed limit, Jane raced down to Manhattan, fumbling with her phone. She dialed the only number she even bothered to remember anymore, begging for an answer. When the call went straight to voicemail, Jane began panicking even more. Jane's vision was suddenly blinded by a cloud of smoke and dust. Her car span out of control for a few seconds before hitting a building. Not caring about the vehicle, she grabbed her cell and tore from the automobile, running to the scene. She knew immediately where to go by the trail of debris and dust still falling from the sky. She ran into the blockade and flashed her badge before sliding over the cruisers that clocked her path. Not that anyone stood in her way.
She could see how much pollution there was in the air and despite wanting to rush in and search for the doctor, she could hear her bride's voice in her ear, spouting off facts about lung cancer and oxygen loss and, if she weren't so desperately trying to fumble her way into a fire retardant suit, Jane would have laughed at the fact that even in dire moments, Maura was still talking Googlemouth to her.
Grabbing an oxygen tank for herself and one for anyone she might find in the way, she went to rush into the still burning building of the North Tower when a loud roaring noise could be her overhead. Looking up, she swiftly dove to the ground as another plane hit the South Tower.
"Fucking shit!" she yelled, struggling to get back up as a rush of air attempted to keep her on the cement.
Finally managing to get back to her feet, Jane continued with her original mission: storm through the first tower until she found her love. She knew the plane hit pretty far up but Maura's destination was midway up the tower. There would still be damage on her floor.
It would take her over ten floors before she first started seeing damage and it was 13 floors up when she heard the desperate pleas of an old man who could not make his way out. Unable to stop herself, she rushed to him, giving him the spare mask. Helping him to his feet, she lifted him over her shoulder and proceeded to run down every flight of stairs she had just climbed up. When she got down to the ground, she handed him off to the first firefighter she saw and turned around to continue her journey.
This happened several more times until she reached the 23rd floor. She heard a familiar voice cry out her name.
"Janie," the deep, male voice rasped. Sgt. Casey Jones lay on the floor unable to stand from the result of his injuries. "So, I hear you and Maura got hitched."
"Is this really the time to be talking about that? Here," she couldn't help but chuckle a little at her ex's behavior, handing him the extra mask. "I'm taking you down."
"I saw her earlier," he said as she miraculously lifted him onto her shoulder. Fear and adrenaline could do amazing things. "Maura, that is. Headed up. We were in the elevator together. I'm happy for you Janie. She's good for you."
"That's why I'm here," Jane panted as she ran as fast as she could, thankful for all the extra hours she had put in at the gym. "I have to find her."
"Then why are you saving me?" Casey asked, genuinely confused. "Leave me here and go get her."
"No, I help people. It's what I do," Jane argued. "I can't just leave someone to die."
Casey knew how hard-headed Jane was and wasn't going to point out that saving others might lead to finding Maura dead. They were almost to the bottom anyways. Sure enough, only two flights of stairs later, he was handed off to the nearest medic. Before she could run back off, he grabbed her wrist.
"You'll find her, Jane. Don't give up," he told her seriously, eyes piercing those of the brunette. "Don't stop looking for her."
She gave him a quick nod and a smile before turning back around to continue her search. Rushing back to the entrance, she was suddenly startled by something solid making an impact with the ground next to her. It didn't take but a second for her to realize that it was a body. Looking up, she could see specks falling from the sky and it didn't take a genius to realize that those specks were human being. People were jumping from the towers to save themselves from the long, painful death of being burned.
"Holy fuck," she mumbled, even more determined than before. "This is fucked up. Maura, I'm coming. Please wait for me baby. Don't leave me."
Going through the building, she brought down several more people, all with various stages of injury. She was never keeping count of the people she brought down but figured it out when a nearby medic, obviously the one in charge, said "Damn, that's the eleventh one." All she could do was shoot him a morbid smile and keep running.
On the 48th floor, from which people were still fleeing from, she heard a crash and the sound of flesh being pierced before hearing a strangled cry of pain, amidst all the noise and chaos. Looking around, she saw a young woman, a teenager really, clinging to a desk with a metal pipe sticking though her stomach and out her back. Making her way around knocked over desks, tipped file cabinets, and various structural debris, she reached the girl. The pipe was made up of several smaller pipes screwed together so Jane quickly unscrewed everything around the pipes actually embedded in the girl. She was left with about three inches sticking from the font and a foot from her back. Jane lifted her to her shoulders, draping her around her neck to help ease the pain from the girl.
"Talk to me, hun," Jane called out the figure she was holding up. "You gotta stay awake for me. I'm getting you out of here. What's your name?"
"Jay. Jay Reed," the injured girl croaked out. "Who are you?"
"My name's Detective Jane Rizzoli," she replied heading down the stairs. "Tell me about yourself. I need you to keep talking. It helps with the pain. Trust me."
"I don't really feel anything to be honest. Probably the shock. I don't know what I can say. I can't talk about myself much. I'm 19 and work in the building. I was born in Texas but I moved up here with my company to open up a new office. I've got a love who's probably still at home, asleep, or waking up to see this on the news and worrying about me."
"Tell me about him."
"Her. She's amazing. Her name is Kate. She works with an acting agency. She serves as the assistant to all the big name actors when they're in town. And she's so smart. She's working to become an agent. She wants to be a celebrity agent. I've got to meet some famous faces thanks to her," Jay sighed, fighting back tears as she prays that she'll make it through this ordeal. "And she gets to impress them with the fact that she never needs to order the cheapest thing at the expensive restaurants they take us to because she never has to worry about money. I make sure of that. I can't imagine not providing for her. I don't want her to have to work when she's 7 months pregnant with our child. I want her to be able to stay at home and relax. What about you, detective? Are you married?"
"Yeah, just came back from our honeymoon yesterday."
"Oh shit. That makes this even worse for you," Jay suddenly cried out as the pain in her stomach suddenly made itself known. "Isn't it normally the fire department that deals with stuff like this? Why are you even here?"
There was a silence between them and all that could be heard was the chaos around them and Jane's panting breath as she passed the 28th floor sign.
"She's up there somewhere," Jane muttered, picking up her pace a little as she remembered her ultimate goal. Pulling out her wallet, she gave Jay the picture that was taken of them on the beach of Italy. "This is her."
"Jesus Christ and you're saving little old me? Not that I don't appreciate it because, you know, I've kinda got building plumbing sticking through me but why aren't you bypassing everyone and getting to her?"
"I can't just leave people to die and be okay with it," Jane answered simply.
There was another pause between them.
"You're a hero. You know that?" Jay finally spoke.
"No, I'm not. A hero does something for no gain. I'm doing it for my wife, for my sanity," Jane responded somberly. "She's the one who deserves to live, not me. I'm scarred. She's angelic. She's a genius, literally. Tested and everything."
"I hope that's not the only thing you had her tested for," Jay joked from her prone position atop her savior, grunting briefly in pain.
"Ha. Ha. You're a funny one aren't you," Jane snarked back, smiling despite herself as she held no real malice. "She is though. Maura's the M.E. and it took me 3 years of being best friends to gather the balls and ask her out. I got the purest woman out there to marry broken me. I'm not gonna let her go so quickly."
Grimacing at the sunlight assaulting their eyes, the women escape the building and Jay finishes of their conversation.
"You may not be a hero to yourself, but you're a hero to everyone you've saved. You're a hero to Maura," Jay rushed to say. "Hurry up and find her and don't leave her once you do."
"You can bet your ass on that," Jane smirked at the woman she had just saved. Turning to keep moving, she yelled over her shoulder, "Don't die. You've got a woman waiting for you."
Jane snuck a glance at her watch and realized it had been 40 minutes since she got to the building. She had to quit get distracted and find Maura. She redoubled her efforts as she ran up the stairs. Racking her brain for any information Maura had given her on her appointment that day she remembered it was suite 5262. Looking at the sign next to her, she realized that she was only a few floors away from where Maura might be. Praying that Maura's floor hadn't been affected by the attack yet, she was sadly mistaken when she saw the major debris beginning at the 49th floor. Legs moving under her faster than she could have ever imagined, Jane plowed her way up the stairs and burst through the entrance to the 52nd floor. Climbing around chunks of plaster from the walls and ceilings, she searched for a familiar blonde mane of hair. Somewhere behind her, she heard a weak but all too recognizable voice calling her out.
"Maura! God, I was worried I would never find you," Jane rushed over to her wife.
Jane instantly fell to her knees beside the prone woman when she saw her condition. Maura was being pinned to the ground by a large chunk of the ceiling above them.
"Maura," Jane whispered. "God, Maura, we gotta get you out of here."
"Jane," Maura reached for the lanky detective's face. "It's impossible. Even if you could lift this mass of ceiling, there will be permanent damage to my legs, my heart, everything really. The rush of blood circulation to my legs would affect everything and I would very likely die before we could even reach the bottom."
"Then, we'll wait for someone to come get you," Jane came up with quickly. "There are people running all over the building looking for survivors and trapped people. We'll get you out of here."
"Jane," Maura began softly. "You should go back down. There's no use in you staying here, especially if the building comes down."
"No," Jane shook her head vehemently. "I'm not leaving you. If the building comes down before we can get you out, it's taking me with it. 'Til death do us part, Maura. I can't live without you. Either we both live or we both die."
Maura sighed, shaking her head.
"There's no convincing you is there Jane?" Maura commented with a sad smile.
"There's no chance in hell."
"Really, Maur? Really? I think this scenario might warrant a little cussing," Jane grinned at her wife.
"I suppose you're right," Maura laughed back, before erupting into a fit of coughs. Jane instantly grew concerned. "It's nothing. Just the air and some pressure on my lungs."
"Oh, here," Jane quickly handed her the spare oxygen mask. "I was so relieved to find you that I completely forgot about the mask."
"Thank you," Maura smiled weakly. "You always did think of caring for me."
"You're everything I have Maura. I'm nothing without you."
"What happened anyway? I've been stuck here for a while and my purse is crushed somewhere near my left leg. Such a shame, too. The leather of the bag will likely be torn and completely irreparable."
"Jeez, Maura, only you would be thinking of a bag at a time like this. It was a plane. About 10 stories above us. One crashed into the tower next door too."
Before she could even finish her sentence, there was a loud rumbling sound and they both looked out of where the windows used to be only to see the South tower begin to crumble and collapse on itself. There was a rush of dust that burned their eyes as the building fell next to them and as their own shook slightly at the movement. More of the ceiling fell around them both and Jane grabbed onto Maura's hand, shifting closer as to not be separated by any rubble. In the destruction, a heavy block of concrete and metal fell onto Jane's leg, effectively breaking it and ending any chance of her escaping. Jane cried at out at the bone snapping, feeling the pain radiate through her leg.
"Maura, I think we should call everyone while we still have a chance," Jane suggested when she recovered slightly from the reeling pain. "Chances are slim we'll be getting out here alive. I could crawl but I'm not leaving you. I'll never leave you."
"Ok. Let's call," Maura conceded. "That's a good idea."
Jane dug her cell phone from under all the layers of her now useless fire suit and called Korsak, knowing instinctively that Frost and Frankie would be around. They may even get her mom.
"Jane, holy hell, where are you? We saw that the South tower fell and you haven't been answering our calls."
"Vince, I'm with Maura. We're in the North tower. Who's with you?"
"Frost, Frankie and Angela. Tommy's on his way over too. Are you two getting out?"
"Put me on speaker."
"Can everyone hear me?" Jane asked, looking over to Maura with teary eyes, noting the identical look reflected back at her. Her question was met with a chorus of yeses. "Guys, we aren't getting out of here. Maura's pinned under some sheetrock and my leg's busted up pretty bad. It's not looking good for us."
"Janie, there's gotta be something you can do," Jane heard the desperate wishes of her mother through the speaker of the phone.
"Angela, I'm sorry. There's nothing unless an adequate team of rescue and response people get here in a short amount of time," Maura explained. "It would take at least 8 men to dig us out of this rubble."
"We can get you the men," Frankie's voice could be heard, begging almost for a solution.
"Not in time, little brother. With the South tower already down, it's only a matter of time before we go down too."
"Have you heard from them yet? What's going on?" The confused, panicking voice of Tommy Rizzoli could be heard, slightly out of breath.
"They're on the line, man," Frost gently told him. "It's looking grim."
"Jesus, Janie," Tommy muttered. "You get the beautiful girl and then you get yourself killed? What kinda play is that?" The teasing tone in his voice was obvious, if a little forced, and everyone understood his joke was meant as a cover up for how he really felt and was really just his way of coping.
"You know how I am," Jane playfully commented back. "Never doing anything like I should. Remember when Ma had us helping her in the kitchen, baking cookies for the elementary school bake sale and I put salt in instead of sugar?"
Everyone on the other line laughed lightly and Frankie picked up the story. "And everyone who had one ended up throwing up from the taste." More chuckles were heard from both parties.
"So, Frankie," Jane began, resigned to her fate. "I think there'll be a detective position opening up soon. Fingers crossed you get it."
"Shit, Jane, I always wanted to follow in your footsteps but I didn't know you'd have to die for me to do it. I'll give up my detective dream if you get to live."
"It doesn't work that way, man. Just promise to be the most kick ass detective New York has ever seen," Jane demanded. "After me of course."
For the next 15 minutes, everyone joked with each other and relived memories. The undercurrent of sadness and knowledge of what would happen never left their voices, however. The two trapped women weren't even surprised when the building began to shudder occasionally under them.
"Guys," Jane interrupted the memory of Jane's first case as detective being told by Korsak. "The building's beginning to shake. I don't know how much longer we have."
Clutching desperately at Maura's hand, Jane wiggled her way painfully under the slate of plaster to lie next to her wife. Jane placed a kiss on the blonde's forehead, tears falling shamelessly onto the flawless skin of her lover's face. Maura lifted up her chin slightly, kissing her love on the lips. Breaking the kiss, they held onto each other's faces.
"Guys, what time is it?" Jane asked randomly.
"It's, um, 10:22."
"Well, let it be known officially at 10:22 that I want you guys to move on from this. I know you won't immediately but don't stay hung up on this. If you do, I'm coming back as a ghost and kicking your asses. And tell the Lieutenant that Frankie better get the job or the same fate goes for him."
"Message received, Rizzoli," the voice of Sean Cavanaugh could be heard saying. "Damn, Rizzoli, I thought I would lose you to something stupid like you going out on a sting without backup, not to you doing something stupid like running into a collapsing building for true love."
"What can I say, Cav? Always expect the unexpected from me, eh?"
The man chuckled sadly. "Yeah, I guess so," He muttered. "You're the best we have Rizzoli. I don't even think your brother will be able to fill your shoes completely. We'll never find another original Rizzoli."
"Well, you know what they say about big shoes," Jane tried to insert humor into the conversation to diffuse the sadness a bit and laughed when she heard her little brother's mock offended cry of "Hey!"
"Actually, did you know that no evidence was found to support that theory?" Maura began rambling, obviously nervous as their time tickled closer and closer to an end. "Studies show that-"
"Jeez, Maura," Jane chuckled. "God, I love you." She stared sadly into the eyes of her now quiet soul mate who looked back equally as resigned and anguished. "I'll let y'all figure out who takes care of the pets but I swear one of you better do it instead of foisting them off onto a shelter, or I'll kick your asses. And if there is a heaven, I'll find a way to tell you it's there, otherwise you all had better live to life to its fullest."
Sobs could openly be heard on the other side of the line as their friends and family realize that time is coming to a close.
"Lieutenant?" Maura piped up.
"Yes, Dr. Isles."
"First, at least call me Maura before I die. My title means nothing anymore."
"Ok. Yes, Maura," he rephrased sadly.
"I'd like Dr. Pike to have my position. And please tell him I said that specifically. I'd like for him to know that, annoying as he is, I know he can do the job correctly."
"I'll make sure he receives the message."
A particularly hard shudder of the building was felt and was even heard on the other side of the connection as evidenced by the gasps and sobs they heard.
"Everyone, our wills leave everything between most of you. We'll be with you always." More shuddering. "Jane, I love you."
"I love you too, Maur. 'Til death do us part."
"'Til death do us part. I saw Casey today."
"I saved Casey today."
"Thank you for choosing me over him."
"There was never a choice. It was always you."
"Jane, I'm scared."
"I know. Me too."
Embracing as best they could in their positions, the two women openly sobbed among their immediately and extended family over the phone. More rumbling was felt and even over the line, the sounds of cement cracking and metal beams fissuring could be heard.
"Fuck. We love you guys. We fucking love you. I'm so fucking sorry."
A chorus of responding 'I love you's could be heard over the line. The sound of crashing plaster and two cries were heard before the line went dead and silence filled the NYPD detective bullpen.
As crews dug through the wreckage, looking for survivors and bodies, relics were found of people's lives. None of them could sit by and not search. It was Barry Frost who saw them first and the sight made him drop to his knees in tears. Clutching each other desperately, the lifeless corpses of his former partner and the M.E. were wrapped up in each other's arms as if asleep and needing only to be woken up. The doctor's head was tucked in underneath Jane's head and Jane was cradling Maura's head to her with one arm. The other arm held the shorter woman's waist while the blonde's arms were gripping Jane's shoulders. His strangled sobs caught the attention of the two Rizzoli sons, who also wept at the sight. Frankie led his mother to the location and caught Vince's attention and the group wept together as they allowed themselves to mourn for the first time.
The bodies were recovered and funeral arrangements were made. The couple was buried next to each other in the same casket as per the request of the family.
Thousands of flowers were sent to them, countless casserole dishes and long hugs from acquaintances were given. The estates were split and settled.
There were award ceremonies and memorials. Jane's uniform was hung in display at the precinct and Maura's lab coat hung right next to it. A wall of the precinct, across from the café, had been dedicated to the events of that day where all of the officers and staff lost were honored.
For the first few months, they saw Jane and Maura everywhere. Frankie saw them every day at the precinct encouraging him in everything he did or down at the morgue talking over an autopsy. Frost saw them in the gym while he worked out, Jane holding the bag that he punched while Maura gave him instructions on his stance. Korsak saw them sitting across from him laughing at their booth at the Dirty Robber over beers and nachos. Angela saw them at their table in the café, smiling over at her and waving with their coffees in front of them. Tommy saw them in the backseat with his baby boy everyday on his way to college and his job, looking proud of him for turning his life around so well.
For the first few months, they would break down and cry at odd moments. No one looked at them strangely. Most people would comfort them. It was easily understood why. Even strangers understood because many of them had also lost someone. In return, when someone broke down in front of them, they would stop and give comfort too. There was a strange sense of unity and companionship in their grief.
The only time the friends and family of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles got a brief reprieve from their pain was when the people Jane had saved spoke. Casey spoke of his past friendship and relationship with Jane and how she never questioned her duty to help save lives. An old man spoke of how he was sure he would have died if it hadn't been for Jane. A young woman by the name of Jay Reed made every single one of them cry on the first anniversary of the events. She spoke of her injuries and how severe they were. She spoke of how Jane never once thought about leaving her when she was trapped by the pipe. She spoke of what they discussed on the trip down. More than once she broke down and had to be calmed by a woman standing next to her, obviously her wife. She told the story of how Jane's words and actions drove her propose to her girlfriend as soon as she woke up in the hospital. She displayed the photo that Jane had given her of the two of them on their honeymoon. The picture was now tattered and worn but the smiles and love present on their faces had not been erased by the wear and tear. After the ceremony, the remaining Rizzoli's, Vince and Barry introduced themselves to her. After several minutes of discussion, Jay was invited to attend their Sunday night dinner. As Jay turned around to leave and the pain of losing their dearest loved ones eased little more, they saw the two women holding hands, smiling over at them, Jane giving them a thumbs up while Maura simply waved. As they faded from sight, so too did the pain. Not entirely, but enough to make life a little easier to get through and enough to let them smile at the memories.