-Gone-

She's left me countless messages, all of them the same, yet different. She apologizes in every one, telling me of her hopes that things had gone differently, how she should have known better. With each message, I notice something else. Desperation, maybe, or her hope and drive fading. I'm not sure anymore. I'm not sure of much these days, do I really know her? Do I really know who Jane Rizzoli is? If I did would this have hurt me so much, would things have turned out so badly? I don't know.

It's been two months since the warehouse. I have been back at work for three weeks, mostly in an administrative capacity. I do not go to crime scenes. I do not speak to the detectives. If they have a question, they take it up with one of the other medical examiners or the technicians. That hasn't stopped her from trying though. Jane has come down at least once every day, trying to talk to me. Whether it's a case or personal, it doesn't seem to matter anymore, because I refuse to acknowledge her beyond referring her to my staff. And each time, she leaves resignedly, a little more defeated than the last attempt. Yesterday she made no appearance whatsoever.

I woke up this morning to a shift in the air. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on. When I arrived at the station I immediately felt validated in my previous inklings, though I still could not pinpoint why. Some of the officers gave me odd looks as I walked in but I was unsure as to why; usually Jane would fill me in on these kinds of things. It wasn't until an hour later that I knew. I finally checked my voicemail from the previous day and had yet another message from Jane.

"I don't know if I should fight anymore, Maura. I keep trying, I do. To talk to you, to explain to you, to try and have any kind of conversation with you. So many times I've tried, but I don't think it will ever be enough. I could tell you all the technical reasons why things happened the way they did. I could tell you of my emotions afterwards. I could tell how things went that day from every aspect and angle I can think of, but it'll never amount to anything. I can tell you I'm sorry a million ways to Sunday and it won't matter. I've hurt you, past the point of any repair. I did that. And I can't even fix it because there is no fixing it. I don't think a person can fix something when the fault doesn't lie entirely on their self, you know? Do you know how many times I wished this was my doing alone? Because sometimes I think it would be better that way, because then there wouldn't be so many factors to take into account. It would be easier to apologize because the blame would be all my own. And even if you didn't forgive me, it would still be easier on you, because you'd have direct blame, right? But I am sorry, I am so so sorry for the way things went down. I never should have let you in on that, let you be bait. I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry, Maura, I am. I don't know if I did the right thing anymore. I don't know a lot anymore. Am I a good cop, a good daughter, sister, friend? Was I ever? I don't know. And I know now, that I can't fix this. I don't know if I ever could. But there is something I think I can do to make things easier, so I'm going to do that, and then, I hope things will be at least be a little bit better for you. I hope you'll smile again. I hope you'll let someone in, let my family back in, because they are your family and they're worried about you, too. Talk to them, come back to them, they miss you too. Remember, there are people who love you, who want you around, and who value you. Don't forget that, okay? I will always love you, and always miss you, and always want you, you can't forget that either. Or if it makes it easier for you, then you can, forget me, I mean. But right now, I'm not good for you, I know that. I hope I have made things better here, I really do. Goodbye, Maura."

With that goodbye, the way she said that one word, I knew. Jane was gone. I don't know if she was ever coming back. I rushed up to see Angela, and she confirmed my earlier realization. Jane had put in her papers, handed over her badge and gun, and left. I stopped by her apartment on the way home and it was empty. Well, not empty; the furniture was there, most everything was there. The only things missing were some clothes, essentials, and Jane.

Three years had passed. I was doing better. I did as she asked, I let those who loved me back in: Angela, Frost, Korsack, Frankie, they were my family. And I had begun to heal. I knew I would never be whole again, not without Jane, but that was still a hard road to deal with. I still had trouble dealing with that day, the death of my biological father, the lost chance of meeting my biological mother. The loss of Jane. But I was moving on, with the help of my family. They never held her leaving against me. She had made them understand and not blame me; she was always looking out for me, even when I had been so awful to her.

In those three years I have wondered about her a lot. I know she keeps in touch with her mother, albeit somewhat sporadically. Sometimes months go by without a word. I don't ask what they talk about, Angela doesn't offer, either. But I know when they've spoken; I can see it in the slight sag and sadness in her eyes. I can feel it in the way Angela makes sure, just a little bit more, to take care of me, to make sure I'm doing alright.

Even though it has been some years, I know I will see her. I just know; it would be what Jane calls a gut feeling.

I look forward to that day, the day she is no longer gone.

-end-