A/N -this is an odd thing that has been kicking around in my head for a while, with the original intention of it being a mutiple chapter thing, and then, during a blackout, during the lmited amount of battery life of my laptop, it became this..it's a rough oneshot, but its not intended to feel...completed.

Jane Rizzoli owns books. It's something that she doesn't mention to many people. Few have seen the insides of the sideboard, the drawers of her night table, the top shelf of her closet. The few that she does display are ones that she knows no one will comment on. True crime dramas. A copy of Forensics For Dummies that had been a gag gift at one point in time. A best-seller here or there that her mother has left for her that hasn't had the spine creased or buckled at all. No one expects her to read for pleasure, and she likes it that way.

She doesn't put it on display that she ducks into the furthest, most unused branch of Boston Public Libraries, thankful for the ability to reserve books via the internet, and sneak in five minutes to closing, grabbing them from where they sit next to hundreds of others that have been reserved by the thousands of residents of Boston, glad for the self-checkout option, never once having to interact with anyone. It's her secret, cultivated after many years of building a facade. Books to her, were always something that calm, quiet, intellectuals enjoyed, not rambunctious, wild would-be action heroes.

But she reads. Voraciously.

On quiet nights, she locks her door, grabs a beer, puts the sporting event of the night on quietly in the background, and reads. She has a certain taste though. What she owns follows a pattern, that mirrors the expectations others have of her in life. Cormac McCarthy. Brett Easton Ellis. Irvine Welsh. But if one was to dig deeper, behind her usual selections, they'd find the most battered copies of novels to be a handful of matching too many-th reprints of Hemingway.

She doesn't read much Hemingway, anymore. She hasn't since Maura has come into her life. Her Lady Ashley, her Cathrine Barkley. Because there is an overarching theme to everything that the man has written, that she doesn't want to confront. Not now.

Not ever.

The unhappy ending. The idea that love does not conquer all. It's why she makes no mention of her hobby to Maura, who knows so many other things she doesn't willingly give up to others. It's the same reason why she keeps secrets from Maura that she doesn't keep secret from others. Not things she willingly divulges, true, but things that she doesn't deny outright to others. Because it's easier that way, when there is plausible deniability. Besides, it's not as though she's keeping these secrets to be selfish. She's doing it because she cares. She does the one thing that she was born to do.

She's protecting.

She accepted a long time prior that she was broken. It was long before she found herself forced to the floor in a farmhouse in the middle of fucking nowhere. She wasn't complete unusable, but she wasn't quite whole, and far from wholesome. And she wore it like a badge of pride. Because the world broke everyone, and those that it could not break, it killed.

And afterward, she was strong in the broken places.

She doesn't tell Maura of the fact that she dreams of the woman in her sleep. Dreams of taking her, possessing her, loving her. She doesn't tell Maura how she once broke someone's nose for being caled a dyke, not because the comment was libelous, but because goddammit she was so much more than any adjective, and to be narrowed down to just one made her burn with white-hot anger. Doesn't say that she'd give up everything that has defined her life to just be with Maura. Defect, run off like a coward in the middle of the night to be with someone that she's pretty damn sure she loves. But she can't do that to Maura.

Because Jane Rizzoli lives by a code.

She enjoys her clean, well lighted places, and pretends it is because of what a serial killer took from her all those years ago, and the scars she still bears from it. She shows her courage as grace under pressure, willing to shoot through herself to save someone who didn't deserve to die. But she is not the definition of a hero, as her literary idol so often portrayed. She is far from stoic, wearing emotions often on her sleeves. But she tries, in her own way, to be one.

After all, it is only the differences between how a man lives and how he dies that mean everything.

And it's why she doesn't ever let Maura know. There are some things that are better left unsaid. She's protecting the woman. Because those the world would not break it killed. And Maura was very kind, and very good, and the world would kill her. And she wasn't sure what idea made her stomach roll more. The idea of the world killing Maura, or the world breaking her. And in quiet moments, when she opens the drawer of her nightstand to look at the well battered collection, she knows.

She could die like a dog, for no good reason, but she'd be damned if she'd let Maura go through the same.

So she does what she was born to do. She protects. She hides, she shields, she is a goddamn forcefield, preventing harm. And when she can't do that, she feels like she's failed, not just her friend, but life in general. If she can't do something so simply as keep the woman she loved safe, how could she protect anyone else? It's twice now, that she's seen ruthless, twisteed men get their hands around Maura. Twice now that she's seen a blade to a perfect throat. And twice now that she's panicked, showing nothing of the grace under pressure that she would love to have.

She doesn't read Hemingway anymore, because its everything she'd love to be, and isn't.

She doesn't let herself get lost in the love story of Frederic Henry. She doesn't let herself get wrapped up in Santiago's epic struggle. And she definitely doesn't compare herself to Jacob Barnes. Because that one hits a bit too close to home. Loving someone so deeply, so completely, and having the world fuck you over because of a certain lack of anatomy. She lets Maura have her Pedros, her Cohn's, her Mike Campbells. Because at least that way, she's still in Maura's life, maybe not as the way she wants to be, but there.

She never talks of love, of want, of desire, pretending as though she is above such base emotions. Its one of the things that she pretends doesn't exist, that she's saving Maura by avoiding talking about. Because by not talking about it, she can pretend as though she's not going to get shot down, pretend as though there's still a chance there, that maybe, someday they'll have something. She can pretend as though dragging Maura into her world isn't going to break someone so good, so brave, so kind. She can pretend that they would be so good together.

And damn is it pretty to think so.