Title: Play the Game

Author: e-dog

Notes: The wrist is still sprained. Better rotation, though. Typing hurts less. A huge thank you to those who reviewed, followed, favorite-d and everything.

Category: Crime/Paranormal/Drama

Summary: Was this the moment where things had slowed down enough for her to realize what was happening? Was it okay to reflect on the last few hours, to feel all of her energy drain from her body and soul? Did she even have a choice?

9

For as long as Torin Grady had been doing odd jobs for Joanna's father, he was never aware that the man had a son. It had to be the best kept secret in Boston. So it came as a great surprise when the identity of the man he was hired to kill (and subsequently dumped at the construction site) was none other than Joanna's brother.

Jimmy Hastens.

It was never odd to see Joanna at The Robber from time to time but if Jimmy was ever there, Torin never saw him or just didn't know to look for him. How had the young man been able to keep his identity cloaked for so long?

Elusive brat, Torin thought to himself. Or maybe it was something he had been planning for most of his young, brief life. To distance himself from Daddy. To get close to Cirrillo. How else could he have infiltrated without raising suspicion? Daddy Dearest probably had little idea what his son had been up to.

Torin wasn't really a man to ask a lot of questions, but once learning the identity of his first kill, he finally understood why Cirrillo wanted him eradicated.

Ordering the kill would demonstrate Cirrillo's strength. It would also deal a heavy blow to his primary enemy.

Torin puffed a cigar as he watched Detective Bobby Rizzoli exit the building across the street. He was fairly certain Joanna Hastens was holed up in there as well. Almost positive he saw the woman spy him from the window. Seeing how the detective's wife and Joanna befriended one another, it made sense that Bobby would track Joanna down.

Oh, and Jo.

For a brief moment, Torin felt penitence over the killing of Joanna's only sibling. But Jimmy had tried to do the impossible, going after the big man Cirrillo and in essence attempting to orchestrate a merger of the two major crime families. Jimmy Hastens had ambition, sure, but he made a grave error thinking he could change this town. Torin understood those men, understood their lust for power.

There was going to be no sharing.

Torin cranked the ignition of his car and sped away. As he drove, he felt haunted by the images of the woman he tried to drown just the night before. Abigail Rizzoli. She was fearsome and much stronger than he'd expected. It was a wonder he could keep that bearcat under the surface of the water for as long as he did.

And then suddenly she was gone.

Disappeared, like magic. Torin was definitely spooked and he scampered out of the river and straight to a church.

A few short prayers and silent pleas for forgiveness later and Torin was back out on the streets, driving around town and tailing Bobby Rizzoli. If Abigail had somehow survived that perilous fight then she would surely be back in her husband's arms.

Bobby, however, was still very much alone and his expression was both pale and grave as he stormed off in the general direction of downtown Boston. For now, it was safe to assume that the job had been done.

Maybe during the rush of it all, Torin merely lost sight of what he was doing. For all he knew, Abigail had sunk to the bottom of the river after he lost his hold on her and poor Bobby Rizzoli was getting ready to call on the police department to demand an all-out search for his wife. They would dredge the river and find her body.

That was the best case scenario and the one Torin needed to be true.

Otherwise, he might be next on Cirrillo's hit list.


In all the excitement, Jane Rizzoli had lost perspective. Her growling stomach was none too pleased with this development, but really, how was she expected to remember that eating should be a priority when a mobster was trying to drown her? Lest she forget that she was now occupying the body of her long dead relative and that her best friend lookalike was only a bedroom away. Oh, and did she mention she was married now?

Was this the moment where things had slowed down enough for her to realize what was happening? Was it okay to reflect on the last few hours, to feel all of her energy drain from her body and soul? Did she even have a choice?

Jane was studying the stitching job in the bathroom mirror, grimacing in pain at only the slightest of movements. So real. It couldn't be a dream. She was here, in this time and in this place. She was Abigail.

And then the gleam of gold caught her eye.

She turned around and noticed the tub for the first time, with little gold feet seeming to do the impossible, stabilizing what looked to be a very weighted cast iron drum. She shut her eyes for a moment and thought, a glass of wine and a long bath would be just what the doctor ordered. When she opened them again, a pair of eyes greeted her in the mirror and momentarily, Jane felt that her daydream had morphed into reality and that somehow, Maura was there with her.

"Maur. . .," she whispered, even as the image cleared up and Joanna returned her gaze with concern alight on her features.

Why would Maura be here? Jane was still stuck in the 1930s with a woman that looked like Maura, but was not. Joanna had merely shed her 'trumping around in riverbed clothes' for something classier and very red. Something more like Maura.

"I think I should wrap it," Joanna said quietly, holding up some gauze for Jane to see.

Jane swallowed hard around the lump in her throat and agreed, "You're probably right. Anything to help me manage."

Jane did her best to stand still, pressed against the sink, while Joanna began to wrap the bandage around her waist as tightly as possible.

And that was that. Jane just couldn't stand there any longer.

Joanna heard the sniffle first, braced herself for what she knew she was about to see, because honestly she had wanted nothing more than to cry herself. The woman was slowly breaking right before her, one tear sliding down her cheek. Then two. Then three. Joanna stiffened, battling between her need to provide comfort and her own want to break right along with her.

"I'm sorry," Jane breathed out, covering her mouth with her hands, then hastily wiping away her tears. Clearly embarrassed that she broke at all, not that Joanna could blame her. "I just. . .I keep thinking . . ."

"That you will wake up?" Joanna whispered, feeling her own eyes begin to water. She stopped wrapping the bandage and stood straighter. She met eyes with Abigail (or Jane). "That everything you knew will come back and that I will be her and that you will be you?"

What a question to ask! Joanna could feel herself slipping into this new reality. She didn't like it.

"But I am me," Jane said strongly. "I feel like me, but all of this is not me."

"And I am not Maura," Joanna added, unsure of her need to clarify such a thing. The identity crisis did not lie within her, but clearly the confusion within Jane was catching. Joanna could not allow that to skew her judgment, no matter how badly she wanted Abby to return. "If you are not Abby, then stop looking at me like I am her."

Jane lowered her gaze some. "That's fair. I'm sorry."

Nuts. Now Joanna felt as if she kicked the poor woman's puppy, but she had to remain steadfast. Any little bit of pity and she wouldn't be able to finish what they started. They would both drown in their own misery and sadness.

"Lift your arms," Joanna instructed, wrapping the gauze around a few more times.

Jane managed to laugh while Joanna worked, a sad sound for what it was worth. "I mean, for Christ's sake, my grandmother had a claw bathtub. And there's one here, like, it's normal. And these fucking, awful black and white tiles. Who designed this place? Maura would probably love it, though. She would think it antique-y and clever."

"Whereas I find it modern and European," Joanna said softly, then backed away. "All done. Can you breathe?"

"Yeah, I'm good," Jane confirmed. Straightening, she was all business again. "What's next?"

Good question. Joanna was certainly making this up as they went along now. So much had changed.

"You get to rest here. I have to see my father," Joanna said, finally deciding.

Jane immediately protested. "No way. Where you go, I go."

"You can't follow me there," Joanna warned. "You still look like my Abby and as we speak, her death is being confirmed by her husband. You cannot show up at our old hangout as if nothing has happened. There is no need to endanger you further. I can run to The Robber alone. Won't take but a few minutes."

Jane shook her head stubbornly. "I'm sorry, but this is not how it works. I'm going with you."

"For what purpose?"

"Simply put, I can't figure out how to get back to my decade if I sit around. I also don't care how well you know this town. I know criminals. I know their appetites for unarmed women walking alone. I'm going with you." Jane pulled her shirt down over the new bandages and cringed only a little bit. Her mobility would be limited, but at least the wound would be protected.

"So two unarmed women is better?"

"I've been trained to protect those I care about."

"I don't need protecting. And don't pretend to care about me."

"I'm not asking permission for either of those things," Jane retorted. "And it would seem I can't help my feelings any more than you can."

"My feelings have no bearing here," Joanna replied weakly. "Yours shouldn't either."

Jane chuckled. "I don't like it, but they are there. Abby was practically your third arm? Well, Maura was mine. We remind each other of them, we can't help that."

Joanna stiffened, not once considering that should all this crazy time traveling mess be true (and it was getting harder and harder to believe that it weren't) that this Jane had lost people too. In fact, the people she knew, hadn't even born yet! With a heavy heart, Joanna acknowledged this and said, "It seems we both have some adjusting to do."

Jane sighed deeply. "Yeah, I guess we do." She went to move, but groaned instead. She asked, "You got any more of that stuff?"

Joanna frowned. "The morphine? A little. You sure you want me to pump you more of that 'stuff'?"

"Oh, you know what? Never mind. I only got into a one-sided knife fight with a mobster and was sliced!"

Joanna rolled her eyes. "You don't have to be mean." She left the bathroom promptly and went to retrieve more "M" for Abby. Er, Jane. Whatever. She busied herself with the morphine, finding that her hands had begun to shake a little and that her heart was beating faster.

What was going on with her? Perhaps Jane was right? Right in such a way that Joanna couldn't ignore her feelings any more than if Abby was still with her in this very moment? She forced herself still, to take a calming breath. In the nose, out the mouth. . .

Joanna huffed, grabbing the rest of what she needed. She stalked over and pushed against the other woman's chest until she fell to the cot. Jane was surprised by the sudden change in mood.

"Whoa, you alright?" Jane asked, falling to the cot with a plop.

Joanna scraped the chair across the floor to sit on it in a rather defiant way. "I'll have you know that everything about this is just. . .just . . ."

"Insane?" Jane offered.

"Certifiably, so!" Joanna agreed, rolling up the sleeve on Jane's arm. "You don't remember this case. You don't remember my brother or Cirrillo. I mean, even your husband! I saw you look at him as if he were a complete stranger! How am I supposed to do this when all you do is look like my Abby and yet act like this punch-drunk crazy claiming to be from the future!"

"Ow!" Jane yelped, the needle of morphine plunging into her vein. "Jesus! What the hell happened to 'We both have to do some adjusting'?"

"Serves you right!" Joanna continued, speaking as if she had stabbed herself in the arm just then. Words tumbling out laced with pain. "How could you forget who you are? How could you forget. . ."

Me.

"You," Jane said softly, sitting back some. She narrowed her eyes a bit in thought, then they widened just as quickly. "She is more than your friend."

"Abby holds a special place in my heart," Joanna said rigidly. "But we have never been more than friends."

"Which might explain why you just stabbed me with a freakin' needle!" Jane said, starting to raise her voice, but quickly calmed down. "Listen, I'm sorry. I really am sorry, but this is no picnic for me either, okay? Just because I'm not her doesn't mean I won't help you, Jo. I will help you."

It was the first time this New Abby had addressed her with the shortened name. For some reason, it incensed Joanna more.

"Am I really to believe that? It's you going on about time traveling to the future like that's just something that happens every day. That everything about this is wrong. You don't want to help me, you want to help yourself. To get back to Maura, whoever the hell that is. So you can go on lying, if that makes you feel better."

"I get it. You're hurting. . ."

"You can't begin to understand."

Jane made a move to reach out, but decided against it. Instead, she said in a low, cracked whisper, "Believe me. I understand."

Silence fell over them. It was enough, they supposed. Enough heartbreak for now.

Jane wanted to go home. Joanna wanted to avenge her brother. Their motives were not aligned, no point in arguing that.

White noise filled the empty space between them. As Joanna rose from the chair to put away her supplies, fingers closed around her wrist to keep her from walking away.

"Just wait a second," Jane pleaded quietly. "Please."

So she waited.

"I do want to go home," Jane began. "But as someone who admires Abby for what she embodied and for what she stood for, I want to do everything I can to find out why anyone would want her dead. I need to do that, for her."

Joanna relented a little, sitting back down on the chair. "I think I might believe you when you say that."

Jane smiled. "Which part? The part when I say I'm not Abby or the part when I say I want to help you?"

This actually elicited a smile from the reluctant benefactor. "That is such an unfair question."

"Yeah, maybe it is," Jane conceded. For the second time in just a few short minutes, Jane appeared bashful. "Even still, maybe I've got a soft spot for you too. Maybe I just want to help you."

"How could you? If what you say is true, you hardly know me."

"Yeah, funny," Jane said softly. With a sigh, she pushed herself up onto the cot completely and stretched out. "Compromise. I rest for a few hours, then we go to The Robber together, deal?"

Joanna thought for a moment. "I guess that will be okay. As we speak, Bobby is going to arrange to have your death confirmed in the papers. I mean, Abby's death. We have some time."

"Okay," Jane said, casting her gaze away from the sorrowful expression of the other woman.

Was this really the event she had read about all those years in the future? The death of Abigail Rizzoli at the hands of lowlife mobsters? Or was she living the moment when Abigail decided to fake her own death? Tried to orchestrate the take down of a gang of thugs by becoming their ghost?


"I let you come this far. Just trust me."

"I guess I am surprised you didn't lace my morphine with some knock out drug and then left me by myself."

Joanna had to sigh, casting a weary glance at Jane. Jane just shrugged in response, which only exasperated Joanna more. "Please, I wouldn't even know how to do that."

"How do I know that? You're a mystery to me, right?" Jane said, and perhaps would have said more, but Joanna placed a finger to her lips. It immediately shut her up.

"Jane (and it pains me to call you that). Please be quiet," Joanna pleaded, not removing her finger from the woman's lips. "I am going inside and you are waiting here. No arguments. Understood?"

Jane felt strangely bewitched and slightly galled by Joanna's forwardness, but she didn't speak. She just nodded her agreement. Joanna removed her finger, hesitated long enough to ensure that Jane was not going to talk again and then crossed the street to The Robber.

Jane then took in her surroundings, briefly wondering why she thought it was a brilliant idea to walk right up to this place in broad daylight where anyone could recognize her as Abby.


There were some cooks at the stove, which was a bit odd given the time of morning. Dinner wasn't to be served for a few hours more. She reached a door in the back and knocked three times. She heard the lock give way, her signal to go in.

She pushed her way inside and shut the door behind her. A bodyguard stood to her left. A man sat at the desk, looking at her expectantly while some vegetables and a hunk of steak steamed under him. Well, that explained the cooks. His mustache was neatly trimmed, as usual. He hid his fading red hair under a bowler hat. He had a smile reaching his ears, accenting his pink cheeks.

"Mr. Doyle," she greeted him, giving a slight curtsy.

Mr. Doyle looked like apple pie, but she knew how cold he could be. Lately, he had been nothing but loving with her. The loss of a jaded son will help a father love the daughter he usually ignored.

"What a lady, she is," Doyle said, continuing to smile. His meal forgotten for the moment. "Now stop that, sweetheart. Don't call me that. Call me Dad."

"We have a problem," Joanna said grimly.

Doyle huffed. "Other than my idiot son getting himself killed over idealism and rainbows?"

"If I had known what Jimmy was planning. . .," Joanna began.

"What, darling? You would have told me?" Doyle said with a laugh. "I'm not stupid, Jo."

No, he wasn't. It was moments like this Joanna briefly wondered if her Daddy was aware of her and Abby snooping through his financial records. Did he actually suspect that she had known for years what her brother had been trying to accomplish?

"He wanted to clear the way for us," Joanna argued. "I know you don't believe that, but he just wanted us to thrive. To be rid of Cirrillo and his scum for good."

"Well, in a few weeks' time, the prosecution will have no choice but to wrap up their case," Doyle said, with little care in his voice. "The judge (who is probably paid off) will only delay the trial for so long while our infamous Boston police and their prosecutors scramble for a new witness."

"They still have evidence to present," Joanna said, but even her own protestations were weak. Abigail knew how thin the case would be without Jimmy. They were running out of time.

"Well, where the law fails, I will succeed," Doyle promised darkly. "They'll regret taking my son."

Joanna knew he would hold his promise. She didn't want any more bloodshed, but her desire to take out the man who orchestrated her brother's death and the attempt on Abby's life had her yearning for revenge probably more so than her father. She held her father's gaze, though, and spoke strongly, "The problem doesn't just lie with Jimmy's mistakes. Something else has happened."

"The lawyer?"

Reluctantly, Joanna nodded. "Yes. There was an attempt on her life. She's different."

"What are you asking me? To protect her? To support Jimmy's crazy notions?" Doyle queried, the laughter evident in his eyes. "Jimmy should have never dragged anyone else into his crazy schemes, especially you."

"I'm asking you to trust me," Joanna said. "Trust me now."

Doyle walked around the desk, grasped his daughter lovingly by the shoulders. "I do trust you, Jo. I don't trust her or that husband of hers and if it comes down to it, I will do what I have to do to protect my family."

"I know, but it won't come to that. Not with Abby," Joanna promised. "And Bobby has too many dirty coppers in his midst to be much of threat to any of us right now."


When Joanna emerged, she appeared calm and put together, until she hooked their arms together and started to speed walk them away from the building.

"Whoa, slow down. Where's the fire?" Jane asked, as they entered the flow of walking traffic on the sidewalk. "Did your father threaten to kill you or something?"

It was meant to be a joke, but Joanna's stony expression took the laughter right out of Jane's words. She pulled them both to a stop and repeated, "Seriously, are you alright?"

"I just want to get away from there," Joanna said, forcing them to walk again.

It was a bit much, going in there. Joanna and Abigail made all their plans at The Robber. They rooted through her father's office together. Their friendship began there. The memories were still too fresh and the woman hooked to her arm was just another reminder that all she was going to have were memories.

Joanna came to a stop near a park, wondered if she should even tell Jane what she confided in her father. She really should have left it alone, with Abigail's obituary to be in tomorrow's paper for sure.

She turned to Jane and blurted out, "I told him you were alive."

"What?" Jane hissed. She was stunned, though she was sure she hadn't heard everything. "This is your genius plan? What you so urgently had to tell your father? I don't even know the man!"

"Right, I know, I mean," Joanna stammered. "Listen, Abby knows Mr. Doyle and she would understand why I told him."

If Jane was stunned before, she was downright paralyzed now. "Doyle? Your father's name is Doyle?"

"You know the name?"

Of course she knew the name. It was only the surname of Maura's biological mobster dad.

"Not the issue," Jane said as she unconsciously took a step away from Joanna. "Your brother, he was supposed to testify against a mob boss and Abby was the lawyer encouraging him all the way. I'm going to take a wild guess that Daddy wasn't too happy with this."

"Jane, please, Abby already understood this. I need you to understand too," Joanna tried to interject.

"Understand what? That you told your mobster dad that she is alive? What if he's behind your brother's death? Did you ever think of that?"

"We did," Joanna said pointedly. "No one else knows, except for Bobby. If someone comes after us, then I'll know for sure. I'll know who our leak is."

Jane was still fuming, but she took in the last few words of Joanna's argument slowly. The leak. Jane narrowed her eyes. "You suspect Abigail's husband?"

"Not really him, just the coppers he works with," Joanna clarified. "Bobby can't keep secret what he works on. His department will surely want to confirm your death when he announces it."

Jane certainly wasn't happy and maybe she would've taken more time to figure out the logic behind Joanna's decision making, but she felt something peculiar just then.

She felt nothing.

Jane pulled up on her shirt immediately to which Joanna slapped at her hands in response.

"What are you doing? We're in a public park!"

"It stopped hurting," Jane said slowly. "I don't know why, but I feel great."

"It's the morphine. . ."

"No, it's not," Jane insisted, pulling at her shirt and then pulling at the bandages.

"Can't this wait until we. . .," Joanna began, but stopped just as the fabric fell away. The blood was dried. Bits of stitching had literally been pushed out, but the faint scar left behind indicated months of healing. As if the attack hadn't happened last night. Joanna gasped, "What in the world. . ."

Jane glanced at Joanna. "That's my surgical scar from when I was shot. Something is happening."

"You were shot?"

"Well, self-inflicted. Long story, but right here," Jane said quickly, almost to herself. "It's not just my mind that is here. Parts of me, of who I am are following me."

A new voice entered the conversation. An old, tired one. "As if you're becoming whole again?"

Jane looked up. There was a tired, weathered looking man standing in front of them now. Joanna cleared up the identity mystery quickly by hissing, "Oscar? What the hell are you doing here?"

Jane frowned. Oscar? Wasn't he supposed to be writing Abby's obituary?