Title: Play the Game
Notes: As always, thanks for your patience and for the favs, follows and reviews! Let's do this.
Summary: He shifted his eyes to her, to his wife. He rose from the chair, slowly. He expected her to help him. To coo how sorry she was, to ask him how she could help. She didn't move.
Detective Robert Rizzoli was beginning to understand just how painful his life was going to be from now on. Being a bad copper, doing the bidding of mob bosses to protect his family was just a piece of it. The other was suspecting that the family he had been trying so dutifully to protect had been falling away from him long before he knew it was happening. He could have very well lost his wife and everything leading up to this moment was for naught.
Abigail had always been trouble. The good kind of trouble. She was determined to be the best, to help those she felt deserving. Even people like Joanna Hastens. Women like Jo were rare, but they were still suspect. No one who is bred from mob money can ever be completely trusted.
And the bitter man in Bobby might accuse Abigail as being party to mob business and having just as broken a soul as he had, but her work was not the same. He knew that.
Sure, Bobby was connected to the mob and he knew their dealings like the back of his hand, but everyone was blindsided by Jimmy Hastens true familial past. Bobby didn't know. Abigail didn't know. Torin killed the young man not knowing his father was Mr. Doyle. In fact, until Jimmy's death, neither Hastens sibling had broadcasted their link to Doyle. They were just fixtures at The Robber keeping their noses remarkably clean for being direct Doyle descendants.
Another harsh crack to his temple had the young detective sprawled out on the floor. He coughed on the blood he was swallowing. Bobby knew he would be laid out for another couple of hours at least if he took another blow like that. He wouldn't survive this beating much longer. His punisher seemed to recognize this, so he got another swift punch to his gut instead.
Bobby fell to his hands and knees, he tried his best to keep from vomiting. He was quite young when he got into this business. He wasn't so naïve to think he wouldn't have a few scrapes to deal with, but still, thinking about being brave while getting the crap kicked out of you was one thing. Enduring it was another thing altogether.
"Mr. Cirrillo seems to have it on good authority that your wife ain't dead," the big brute said casually, rerolling his shirt sleeves and glaring at Bobby with utter contempt. "He don't like that Torin is missing either."
Bobby managed to glance back up with one swollen eye. He probably looked a sight, but what did it matter? He was probably going to be dead before the night was over, but did he expect any other fate than this? He followed Abby, Joanna and Oscar to the river, at Torin's behest. He went there to stop them from doing whatever the hell it was they were doing, but something Abby said got him. She managed to knock a little sense into him.
He was still a good man. She believed that. If she believed it, why didn't he? Why had he given up? So he just didn't do anything. He just watched. He failed the mob. He failed everyone. He deserved this beating.
"So, I'm going to ask you one more time? Is your wife dead?"
The goon was dressed remarkably well for a Cirrillo goon. It was rare the men working for Cirrillo looked as good as he did.
Is your wife dead? Did the goon just ask that question again?
Bobby's eyes shut tight of their own accord as he remembered what had happened at the river. He had never seen anything like it. The water, it just came alive. He saw Joanna helplessly trying to swim out to Abby. At first, he assumed that Jo was just weakened, but he soon found out the current was just that strong. He couldn't get to Abby either and Torin was going to kill her. He was going to kill his Abby and it would be all his fault.
But how quickly he had forgotten.
Abigail wasn't really acting like herself, especially not in those final moments. She was responding to a different name. She ran away from a pointed gun and took on Torin like a wild beast protecting her young. In all honesty, his wife had frightened him as she thrashed about in the water. She had always been daunting, sure, but this was different. Something about her was different.
"She is dead," Bobby mumbled to the floor. The goon said something, but the blood was rushing in his ears. He didn't care what was being said, honestly. He forced himself back to his feet. He stumbled a moment, before deciding, what the hell? He wasn't going to take this anymore.
Bobby let his overcoat fall off his shoulders. He undid the top button of his shirt. If this was going to be his kiss off, he wanted to go down fighting. In an even tone, he said, "My wife is dead. And I could care less about that offish moron, Torin. He probably killed her. I'm all done bleeding, fella. I have nothing left. So if this is the end, let's have at it."
The goon smiled. He was typically slick, neat mustache and gold rings. He shrugged. "Listen, as much as I'm loving this, Cirrillo don't want you dead. Not yet." He fixed his cufflink this time, before adding, "Unless you have suddenly come down with a case of justice and due diligence. If that's what we're dealing with here, then perhaps your death will be back on the table."
Either keep working with Cirrillo or die.
Bobby wasn't really ready to die. He was a coward.
"I think he's learned his lesson," came another voice.
"Mr. Doyle," the goon said meekly. How quickly he lost his swagger. The goon was dismissed. Bobby turned to face Doyle, not understanding why he was here.
"Rizzoli," Doyle smiled warmly. "Please, sit over here, young man. Let's talk."
"I'm not sure we have much to say, sir." Bobby ambled his way back to the chair he started in. It was lying on its side and as he bent down to pick it up, he wheezed in pain. Doyle waited patiently until the chair was upright and Bobby had fallen into it.
Doyle began, "Why did you lie?"
"Abigail," Doyle answered simply. "Don't be coy." Bobby didn't reply, so the mob boss continued. "Joanna told me. I think she believed she had a sympathetic ear, but I have to admit something to you, Rizzoli. I don't care much for you or your wife. You filled my kids with something akin to hope. Hope for what, I'm not quite sure, but hope can be dangerous. Like you, for instance. Lying about Abigail hoping that no more harm will befall her. Hope is a liar, Detective. Remember that."
"Was he yours?" Bobby asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Does it matter?" Doyle shrugged. "They all report to me."
Bobby felt his heart sink. How could Doyle be in charge of everyone? Was Cirrillo's absence that damaging? It's not like the man was dead . . . yet.
Doyle fixed his cuffs, walking back to the door he entered through. He glanced at Bobby. "I'll let you catch your breath." He opened the door and called, "Jo! Tend to this man, please!"
Bobby was surprised, to say the least, as Joanna rushed in wide eyed and carrying a bowl of water. Doyle shut the door.
"God, Bobby, your face," Joanna said, kneeling down in front of him. "Are you alright?"
"Why does he know about Abigail?" Bobby asked harshly. "Why is he running Cirrillo's men? What is going on?"
"Abigail is recovering, by the way," Joanna replied haughtily. She raised a washcloth to Bobby's right eye, washed the cut with gentle strokes. "She's with Oscar."
"Jo, enough games," Bobby pleaded, pulling his face away from her ministrations.
Joanna paused, before rising to her feet again. "Bobby, whatever Jimmy found, it was more than I thought. It was a ledger of their accounts and of important people, but it also proved other things. It's a ledger that proves my father and Cirrillo have been in this together all along. It's the only record of their business together. It was why Abby and I couldn't find anything in Daddy's office that night."
That night. Bobby tried to forget what else happened that night. "So Cirrillo. And Doyle."
"Who would have thought that the Italian mob and the Irish brotherhood would team up? I don't think anyone saw that coming," Joanna confirmed grimly.
Bobby sighed. "What does he want with Abby then?"
"Daddy is convinced that three people know where that ledger is buried," Joanna said. "One person is missing. One is dead. The other . . ."
"Abby?" Bobby breathed.
"She took the map Jimmy gave me," Joanna said. "She's the only other one who could possibly know where it is and Daddy wants it back."
"Then Abby is safe," Bobby sighed in relief. "Your father wants information from her. He won't want to kill her until he has it."
"But Cirrillo still might," Joanna warned. "Cirrillo may have formed some kind of truce between all of us, but that doesn't mean his reach has been limited. But as far as I can tell, Daddy will leave Abigail alone for now. But he knows the two of us are smart. He knows the two of us will have to get Abigail to play ball, and soon. Cirrillo may only be fighting the courts another month before his imminent release. We don't have a long time."
"So we just get Abby to tell us," Bobby concluded. "We find it. I put it somewhere else. She's off the hook and I take the heat."
Joanna's face fell then. "Bobby, I don't think that's possible."
"Why not? You just said. . ."
"I know what I said, Bobby."
"Then why not?"
She's not Abby.
Joanna swallowed hard before saying, "She can't remember. When she fought with Torin the first time, when I found her out there nearly dead, she was so disorientated. She couldn't remember why she had been out there. At first, she couldn't remember me or you or anything. The map got waterlogged in her vest pocket. We have nothing."
Joanna drove them to Oscar's after that. Bobby retreated to a study filled with books and various knickknacks. He found an oil lamp and lit it. He sunk into an armchair and waited. It took some time, maybe an hour, before he felt her presence in the doorway. He shifted his eyes to her, to his wife. He rose from the chair, slowly. He expected her to help him. To coo how sorry she was, to ask him how she could help. She didn't move.
"You're hurt," was all she said. Her voice a little broken. It was as if she was blaming herself for his stupidity.
"Been through worse, dear," Bobby said, trying to smile. Why did Abby feel so far away from him?
Her eyes cast down as she replied, "Somehow, I doubt you've suffered more than a paper cut."
Bobby advanced now, wanting desperately to hold her to him. To embrace her, to love her. He reached for her, but her hands went up quickly, her eyebrows rising up in alarm in almost a comical way. Her body stiffened considerably. "Please. Don't do this."
"Do what? Hold my wife?" Bobby asked incredulously. "Please, Abigail. I don't know how to fix what I've done. I need you."
Bobby watched helplessly as she backed away from him, her hands still up to defend herself. Her expression was one of deep regret. "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. Not the way you want me to." She quickly disappeared. Bobby went out into the hallway, just in time to see her enter the great room. He slowly approached the doorway and heard her. Heard them both.
"I can't do this, Joanna," she said.
Bobby decided to listen for a moment. He stood near the door, but out of sight.
"Then don't," Joanna said softly. He heard the ruffle of clothes, presumed the two of them were now wrapped up in a hug. When he took a peek around the corner, he found he was right. They were on the couch and Abby's head was in Jo's shoulder. The subtle shake of those shoulders was the only indication that she might be crying. Joanna went on, "We don't have to figure this out tonight. Bobby will just have to give you space until you're ready."
Abby laughed darkly. "Ready to what? Tell him that his wife is really dead?"
"Stop it," Joanna hissed. "Don't talk that way. Please don't talk that way."
"What if she is?" Abby mused aloud, her voice barely above a whisper now. Bobby watched in silent jealously as Joanna wormed her hand into Abigail's hair and pulled her toward waiting lips. Joanna kissed Abby's forehead reverently, consolingly. And for an excruciating second, Bobby could swear that Abigail was going to allow this act of solace to continue and then she pushed Joanna away. With a humorless laugh, she scolded Joanna, "If I won't let him do that, what makes you think I want you doing that?"
"I'm better looking?" Joanna quipped, almost too playfully for a situation so serious as theirs.
Bobby pulled his head out of the doorway, having seen enough. But the words still filtered out. And they broke his heart.
"I don't think I can be alone tonight," he heard his wife say.
"You won't be," Joanna promised.
Bobby finally walked away. He went back to the study, found a tumbler of scotch and poured a hefty drink. He slept there until the next morning.
The day after Jane lost her battle with the Charles River wasn't much better than any of the other time she had spent in the 1930s. The first time she woke up with a knife wound. Today, she shook out her hand after landing a nice punch to Bobby's face. The cut above his eye reopened and poured blood all down his cheeks and dribbled off his chin. For a millisecond, she felt bad. But only for a millisecond. Honestly, it had all happened in a blur.
Bobby came bursting into the guest room. He saw the two women curled up together in the same bed. Oscar barreled in after him, probably attempting to stop the angry detective from doing anything stupid, only it was too late for that. Joanna was already shouting at Bobby and Bobby was shouting back.
"What was that you said? That Abby wouldn't do this to me?" Bobby yelled. He lunged at Joanna, shook her by her arms and then slapped her, hard.
Jane, unfortunately, was still blurring her two realties together and when she saw Bobby slap Joanna, what her mind saw was Bobby slapping Maura. And then Jane remembered that Maura was somewhere in the future. She remembered how she was home, how she sitting next to Maura in the morgue and how happy she was to see her. And then she was back in the water and Maura was gone. Bobby just slapped JoannaMaura.
So now the detective was sprawled on his back, blood on his face and Oscar leaning over him trying to revive him. Jane was muttering to herself and still shaking out her hand, always forgetting just how much it actually hurt to punch someone square in the face. A small grunt brought her attention back to Joanna.
"Jo," Jane called out softly, helping the woman to the bed to sit down. "Are you okay?"
Joanna stretched her jaw a bit dramatically. "I will be fine. You didn't have to do that."
Jane replied very seriously. "Yes, I did." Joanna was literally the only other woman Jane had interacted with in this time, but the subservience of this decade was deeply instilled. Even in women like Joanna, who harbored some deep societal belief that somehow they deserve to be hit by a man. Briefly , Jane wondered if Mr. Doyle had ever laid a hand on his daughter. Jane took Joanna's hands in hers and said sternly, "I don't care how wrong you are and how right he thinks he is, he should never hit you."
"So you hitting him back was appropriate?"
Jane rolled her eyes. "Just say thank you already."
Bobby groaned as Oscar helped him to sit up. Jane stalked over to him and said in a tone that brokered no argument, "When you're done being a jackass, then find me and we'll talk. Until then, don't lay another finger on her."
Jane Rizzoli woke with a start. She was still trying to get used to this; waking up in Oscar's home, clutching her chest after a frightfully painful nightmare. How long had this been going on now? A month? Yes, it had been a month since the river incident. A month when she could swear she was home, with Maura and that being transported to the 1930s was just a really bad dream. They were in the morgue together and everything was as it should be.
Maura whispered her name in both disbelief and relief; as if she too had been without the very air it took to breathe. Maura touched her face and in that moment, everything was alright. They were okay.
And then the water rushed back in, washed Maura away along with all hope that her old life would ever be her life again.
"Jane! Joanna is here!"
Oscar was yelling from downstairs, as he was wont to do. He wasn't much for actually coming to wake her up anymore. He was too afraid to help her face her nightmares, she supposed. Jane grimaced, not liking her continued existence any more than when she crawled up on the riverbank all that time ago, but it was her existence now. She was living it.
Even if she wasn't up for company, she was happier to know it was Jo waiting downstairs. Jane nearly snorted to herself because, really, she had about three friends now. Jo, Oscar and Bobby (if he counted).
The day she punched Bobby in the face, he left without saying anything. It took a few days, but he came back, his eye looking ten times better and his face fixed into a look of shame. Bobby had made attempts to talk; had tried to explain his working with Torin in the first place. Their conversations very quickly dissolved into arguments. She didn't have the energy for that today.
She stood in front of a full length mirror and hardly recognized herself. The dark circles under her eyes were both from lack of sleep and lack of care. She felt a chill throughout her bones, hugged herself and rubbed her arms in an attempt to warm up. She simply could not. Each waking moment felt as chilled as the Charles River. For the last month, she had been living with failure and it was cold and heartbreaking. She had known disappointment before, but it was nothing like this.
Her life had seen its share of missed opportunities. Relationships that may have given new meaning to her work laden life, she let those slide away. But those people weren't ripped away from her. She had some manner of control; she was the one that said no. She was the one that watched them walk away from her because it was her choice that they do so.
As she viewed herself in the mirror, she realized that this is what it felt like to have something ripped away from her. To feel lonely, passed over, discarded. And it wasn't even the other person doing these things; it was the confounding universe striking out against her.
Jane felt the tear slide down her cheek before she saw it in the mirror.
Jane rested her own palm against her face, reimagined the way Maura reached out to her and clearly saw it for what it was. Love. For a brief moment, she knew it all and then the river took it away again. The river took Maura from her again.
And now she had to once again face the only other woman in this universe that she didn't want to see. Another woman she was just going to disappoint.
Out of the nightgown and into some trousers and a plain white shirt, Jane made quick work of her hair and was down the stairs in less than a few minutes. Joanna eyed her suspiciously and guessed correctly, "Let me guess? You just woke up?"
Jane sighed. Joanna, of course, was dressed to the nines. An orange scarf slung around her shoulders, accenting the equally orange plaid pattern of her dress. A thick black belt with a silver buckle around her waist. Jane shoved her hands in the pockets of her borrowed pants.
"I've been up," Jane lied, shrugging.
Jane felt as if Joanna was unnervingly close to her even though they had both put a healthy five feet between them. With a tilt of her head, Joanna's hair briefly fell like a curtain over her eyes before brushing it aside again in mock annoyance. With genuine concern, she said, "I know you haven't been sleeping. Or eating."
Jane smiled tiredly. "Oscar telling on me?"
"No, but you just did," Joanna smiled back. Jane cast her gaze down and away, wishing their banter felt more natural. Nothing was natural about this, everything was so different now. Joanna pressed gently, "This can't go on, Jane."
Jane laughed bitterly now. She threw her hands up in the air dramatically and asked, "What the hell should I do? Abigail is dead, remember? It's not like I can just walk around town freely. If I do, it's in disguise or something. Which you know, is funny since I'm already pretending to be somebody else."
The flash of hurt did not go unnoticed by Jane, she simply ignored it. She had grown weary of this thing, constantly being reminded that she wasn't who Joanna wanted her to be. Every time they spoke, this excruciating ache would always exist and Jane could never heal it, no matter how much she wanted to. She could never be Abigail and Joanna knew this too, but here she was. Here they both were.
"Bobby had to keep up the charade that Abby is . . . dead," Joanna said unnecessarily. "It's to keep you safe."
"I know," Jane said, resigned to her current fate. With a grimace, she added, "Bobby has told me this a million times, by the way."
"He took quite a beating for it," Joanna pressed some more.
"He told them she was dead to save his own hide," Jane said bitterly. "And don't forget he lied to her."
"As she has been dishonest with him. And he thought he was saving her," Joanna sighed. "Bobby is a lot of things, but I know his love for Abigail is true. Men have lied for far less things than love."
Jane couldn't help but gripe. "Why are you, of all people, defending him? He hit you, Jo. I won't forget that and neither should you."
Joanna sighed deeply. "He's a copper in with the mob, hiding his affiliation from a city prosecutor wife who is hell bent on bringing the mob down. The last thing he expected was for a mob boss's daughter to befriend her. Jealously is ugly. I'm trying to understand his perspective as well."
Jane snorted. "Is it working? Understanding his perspective?"
"It only makes me jealous that Abigail is his wife and can never be mine," Joanna admitted ruefully.
Jane was done talking about him, so she turned her back on Jo. She swallowed past the lump in her throat, because in all honesty, she had already forgiven Bobby. She didn't really have much choice in the matter, did she? Bobby Rizzoli was her family, whether she wanted him to be or not. Bobby wanted more than anything to repent; to see that once and for all that Cirrillo and Torin and the entire corrupted network got what was coming to them.
Unfortunately, the reality was they had little to no chance of accomplishing this. The corruption just ran too deep.
"It went as you said," Joanna spoke quietly this time. Jane turned just enough to see Jo remove the orange scarf she was wearing and throw it across a chair. She retreated further into the great room, wandering over to a window to gaze out at Oscar's surrounding land. The grass was beginning to brown, to revert and prepare for winter.
Jane followed her deeper into the room, but maintained her distance out of habit. They could never stand too close to one another anymore, or rather, Jane couldn't stand too close to Joanna. Jane confused their shared space often with how she shared physical space with Maura.
Until Joanna, Jane had never paid much attention to just how often she reached out to hold Maura's hand. To cast a fleeting touch to her shoulder or to her arm. It was only now that she couldn't reach out for Maura at all did she realize just how accustomed she had grown to the contact.
Finally, Jane breathed. She tried to forget all of that.
Jane stated sadly, "Cirrillo is free. Officially."
"They dropped the case," Joanna nodded. "You said they would. I knew they would. In some ways, I think Abby always knew too. Maybe that's why she was so insistent on tracking down Jimmy's stash herself."
"Everyone has forgotten the still very dead woman lawyer," Jane mused aloud darkly. "They barely remember the star witness, a runner turned snitch who was murdered. Why would they remember? If not for Oscar writing about it, the public wouldn't even have remotely considered that Jimmy was whacked to keep Cirrillo out of jail, right?"
They both ignored the callousness of Jane's words. Jimmy had been a person. He had been a son and a brother. He had been a friend.
"God, I need a drink."
Jane made quick work of pouring scotch, which Oscar always said they could help themselves to. They both gulped down one. Then two. Quickly, she poured thirds, but they both decided to sip these. They performed this little dance too. Each time they stood too near to one another, the other would back away quickly. Jane would have found it funny, but really it was just off-putting. And she just really couldn't stand it any longer. What was there to fear?
"Neither of us is diseased, right?" Jane said lightly, posing the question with a slight grin.
Joanna shook her head. "I suppose not."
"We're friends?" Jane asked.
Joanna nodded this time. "Yes. We are. Not that we have many choices."
"True," Jane agreed.
Jane put her glass down on a nearby end table. Slowly, she took Joanna's glass from her hands and then set it next to hers. Joanna rose an eyebrow curiously, but didn't say anything. Now that Jane was so close, Joanna couldn't find words at all. Even after all this time, it was Abigail's face she was seeing and without words to jumble all that up, it was Abigail Rizzoli that she desired. If she just forgot about everything, then she could fool herself into thinking that it was Abigail eyeing her with such intense care.
"I don't know what . . .," Jane began, her brow knitted in frustration. "What I want . . . friends don't do that."
Joanna studied Jane's expression carefully. The poor woman was having a war with herself. She was fighting instinct and Jo had a good feeling that was something Jane Rizzoli had very little experience in. To fight instinct was to go against everything that she was. Joanna stepped impossibly closer to Jane and encouraged gently, "Don't fight what you feel."
Jo sighed when Jane's lips touched hers. It was barely there, a ghost of a kiss and it was downright heavenly. And then Jane whispered something that shattered the entire moment, "What have you done to me?"
Joanna's eyes snapped open. "What?" They were words that Jane shouldn't have known; spoken in a different time and a different place by a different woman. Jane didn't just speak those words, did she? "What did you just say?"
Jane blinked, then backed away. Her face falling into the unreadable expression it had been favoring the last month. Joanna surged forward, putting them back where they were. She tugged Jane's shirt, bringing their mouths back together. This kiss was less chaste, more hurried and fraught. Joanna could feel Jane, feel her raw hurt and it achingly meshed with her own. Just what had they done to one another?
And Jane kissed Maura. Joanna. She kissed one of them. She kissed them firmly, with desperation and certainty.
And Jane felt herself sob into the kiss, felt Joanna grip her upper arms tightly. She did not expect her emotions to unravel like that. So suddenly she just broke apart.
"I'm sorry," Jane pushed Joanna away. She took several steps back, hugged herself tightly, felt torn into pieces. Damaged. Lost. "I'm sorry, Joanna. That was stupid."
"No, it was me," Joanna replied, almost pleaded. She didn't want Jane to leave her, to run off. She was going to say whatever she felt necessary to make sure she didn't alarm this Rizzoli (or any Rizzoli) and scare them off for good. "It was me, just like when I kissed Abby before."
Jane shook her head vehemently. "No, Jo. I kissed you. I confused . . . I am confused."
"About Maura," Jane said quietly. "I don't know. I don't remember thinking about her as more than my friend before. Now I look back on everything and it just . . . "
The two of them stood silently for several minutes. Joanna was the first to speak again. "I wish I could separate you two."
Jane raised an eyebrow warily, but managed to jest a little. "Did two shots of scotch just make us lose our minds or something? I mean, really?" Jane even pushed a laugh through her lips.
Joanna smiled back. "We could blame that, yes."
Jane looked relieved and pensive all at once. "Jo, I have to tell you something."
"I shouldn't have kept it to myself."
"Jane, what? You're scaring me."
"I saw Maura. The river took me back and I saw her."