Work is complicated. Maura's always been devoted to her job—it's her calling, after all—but she's always had a healthy respect for the need to step away from work, every now and again. Before coming to Boston, she'd done her best to leave work at the office, to compartmentalize, and of course to do the inverse. Her personal life stayed personal, removed from her professional self. Jane kind of blew all of that up, but strangely enough, it's never bothered Maura. It made more sense, Jane's way; it feels less like having two separate personalities and more like being her full, true self.
Except today, it completely and utterly sucks. Because she's got a body showing no signs of foul play, but there's no reason for any 24 year old to just drop to the ground in the middle of the Prudential Center unless it's foul play. Or some mysterious, sudden-onset illness. Maura has a puzzle and she can barely pay attention to it because she keeps thinking about Baby Boy.
They've named him—temporarily, nothing they do for him really counts, yet—Luke. (Luke Patrick, and Maura has so many feelings about patron saint of doctors followed by my father but none of them matter, none of them matter.) Today is Luke's first day without Maura, and she's feeling more like it's her first day without him, because it's driving her insane. It shouldn't; Angela took the day and is with him and if there's anyone in the world to take care of Luke, it's Angela.
It's driving Maura insane. It might be exhaustion, because while Luke is generally sweet and undemanding, he is a hungry baby. He is hungry. He cries to be fed every two hours and twenty minutes. She knows this is not unusual behavior for a newborn, but waking up every two hours and twenty minutes—that's a lie. She only had to wake up every four hours, because Jane made sure that they alternated.
Jane has been tremendous, and so full of love that it hurts to look at her when she holds Luke.
Still, disrupted sleep is disrupted sleep, and Maura steps away from the body because she doesn't trust herself to do the initial Y-incision like this. She either needs an espresso or a nap, and her office offers both possibilities. She heads into the locker room, first, changes out of her scrubs and thermals and clogs and into her slacks and blouse and heels, then slips into her office and closes the door and stops. There's an open envelope and a rather colorful chart on her coffee table, and she never leaves papers out like that.
It clicks two seconds later, and Maura drops onto her couch and lifts up the chart with a trembling hand. She puts it down almost immediately, sighs, and calls Jane. It goes straight to voicemail, which shouldn't confirm anything but does. Maura pages Susie next, finds herself pacing the length of her office when Susie comes in. "Dr. Isles?"
"Was Ja—Was Detective Rizzoli here?"
Her tone is too sharp, too nervous; Susie's entire body shifts to guarded. "Uh, yes, maybe twenty minutes ago? I gave her the DNA results she'd been waiting on… Should I not have?"
Maura takes a deep breath, reasons with herself. Jane had brought in the samples; Jane had asked for the results. "No, of course—you're fine, Susie. I just… did you see which way she went?" Susie points towards the elevators, which doesn't help anything except make Maura's decision. "Could you please return Mr. Howard to tray 8, freezer 2? I will be taking the rest of the day to deal with a personal emergency."
The fact that Susie looks at her with understanding and compassion just proves how non-compartmentalized she is. "Of course. If I see her, I'll let her know to contact you."
Maura grabs her purse and blazer and takes the elevator up to homicide and almost barrels into Frost when she comes through the door. "Whoa—Doc—where's the fire?"
He's stepped to the side to avoid colliding with her and it leaves her with a clear view of Jane's unattended desk, with her blazer still draped over the back of her chair. "I'm sorry, Barry—have you seen Jane?"
Frost's easy smile fades into apprehension. "She went down to see you thirty minutes ago. You mean she didn't—"
He's reaching for his phone already, and Maura puts a hand out to stop him, shakes her head. "No, she—I don't think she's in trouble." She hesitates, because can she tell him? Is that fair? "She—Luke's results came back."
There's a flash of understanding on Frost's face. "Who—" and he cuts himself off when Maura shakes her head. "Of course. Um—well, you came in together today, right? So she can't have gone far." She gives him a pointed look and he catches on. "Right. Rizzoli. Can't is can."
Maura tries to think. Maybe Jane's gone home to Luke. Maybe she's gone back to her apartment. Maybe she's gone for a beer at the Robber, just to clear her head. "I'm—if you see her, just tell her to call me, please?" Barry nods, and she heads down to the lobby and gets on the phone immediately.
Angela picks up the house phone with a cheery "Isles residence!" and Maura almost laughs. "He's fine, Maura."
"Hello, Angela. I know he is. I just—" She hesitates, tries to find a way to say it. "I just felt like checking in."
"Aren't you sweet? Bass has had his bok choy and sliced pears. And Luke is—well, he just finished another bottle—one of the little ones—and I swabbed his stump again. Are you sure I shouldn't use rubbing—"
"I'm sure, Angela. Water is sufficient on the umbilical stump; rubbing alcohol will dry him out, and until we know more about possible inherited allergies, I'd rather not expose him to too many moisturizers." She hears a gurgle over the phone and has to smile; at the security desk in the lobby, Officer Martino smiles back at her. "Actually, has Jane called you?"
It's too direct; Angela's tone shifts to slow alarm. "No… why? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Maura says quickly, and pauses on the steps of the precinct, looks up and down the street. "Nothing's wrong, just that… we might be held up. First day back, very unusual case, but we shouldn't be too late. Is that all right?"
There is much to be said for lying by omission.
"Oh, of course, honey! Me and my grandbaby will be just fine, don't you worry."
"Thanks so much, Angela. I'll call you later if anything changes, all right?" When she hangs up, she scans the street again, which is really slightly foolish. If Jane left twenty minutes ago…
"Lover's spat, Doc?"
God damn it. She turns around, one hand on her hip, and glares at Crowe. "Can I help you, Detective?"
He shrugs, swaggers up two steps. Two unis—she recognizes their faces from previous homicide cases but can't remember their names—flank him him. "Just passed your girlfriend looking like a kicked puppy. Just wanted to make sure your against-regs relationship didn't fuck up another one of our cases."
Crowe broadcasts his weakness immediately: he looks to the unis for supportive laughter. Maura smiles. "Tell me, Detective—what is it about Jane that is so threatening to you? Her close rate is almost twice yours, but it's been that way for years, you must be used to it by now. She's a far superior shot, but again, that's nothing new. Is it that she's the squad's star, even though you've been in Homicide far longer? Is it the press attention? The commendations?" Crowe's nostrils flare and he won't make eye contact, but the unis behind him are trading glances. Maura leans in, just slightly, lowers the timbre of her voice. "Is it that she gets more women's numbers than you, without ever asking for one?" Crowe shifts his weight; the uni on the right snickers. Maura goes in for the kill. "Is it that she gets more men's?"
Crowe stiffens, looks back at the officers out of the corner of his eye. "Rizzoli's no threat," he snarls.
Maura smiles. "Whatever you say, Detective." She sidesteps him, smiles to the unis. "Good luck, officers."
For all the time that wasted, she did learn something: Jane had gone in the direction of the T. She unlocks her car and allows herself a quick second to congratulate herself—just like cutting peritoneum—before she powers on the Prius and pulls into traffic.
Jane's apartment is empty. Well, Jo's there, but Jane is not, and it doesn't look like she's been there since they'd stopped by early in the morning. Maura sits on the couch and Jo crawls into her lap, sprawls to get a belly rub. Maura obliges, smiles when Jo's left leg twitches happily. "Where would she go, Jo, baby?" she murmurs, and looks around the apartment again. They haven't spent time here for so long; she's forgotten how worn-in and comfortable this place is. It's loaded with memories, and she absolutely understands why Jane's taken to picking Jo up and coming to the house more nights than not.
It strikes her as she's looking at an old family portrait—and, God, even at 14 Jane's enthusiasm was infectious, even if her eyebrows needed help—that it's all about memories. It's always about memories. "Okay, Jo," she says, "get your stuff. We're going for a ride."
In the car, she hits the CD toggle and turns the volume up, smiles when Jo perks up in the front seat. Throwing Copper is in already, and depressing rock from Jane's teenage years seems appropriate—even though it's August, even though it's sunny and balmy. She vaguely remembers how to get to Sullivan Park; when she'd gone to the Rizzoli house for dinner, pre-divorce, Frankie and Jane had dragged her to a pick-up football game and they'd gone… around the corner, down three blocks, then a right and straight towards the beach. Yes, she remembers. She also remembers Jane telling her how every Saturday, every summer, she and her father would head out at seven in the morning with a bat and a ball and get in as much practice as they could before the Little League boys took over at ten.
Miracle of miracles, it only takes fifteen minutes to get out to Revere, and when she takes the circle onto North Shore Drive, she catches the sign for the Wonderland T stop out of the corner of her eye. The GPS takes her past the park in a huge loop around to the boulevard, and when she pulls in behind the pizzeria (Bianchi's, and it makes her nauseous), she sees familiar curls and slumped shoulders on the bleachers next to the baseball diamond.
Jo sees her, too, lets out two short yelps and fidgets on the seat. Maura smiles, puts the car in park and picks Jo up, lets her run to Jane once they clear the backstop. It seems like the right thing to do; Jo scrambles onto the bleachers and Jane, laughing, scoops her up, accepts the face-licking with a smile.
"Hey." Maura says it softly, even though Jane knows she's there.
"Hey yourself. How'd you find me?" she asks.
"Jo told me where to go."
Jane snorts, sets a now-squirming Jo down on the seat below her; the dog takes a running leap off the bleachers in pursuit of a chipmunk. "Did you just lie?"
Maura smiles. "I believe I told a joke."
It works; Jane gives her that you're just right smile, holds out her hand. Maura takes it, lets Jane help her up the rows to where she sits. Because she's Jane Rizzoli and she never does anything ordinary, she's sitting on the very end of the aluminum stand in the foot well, facing the water. Maura chooses to sit on an actual seat plank, but faces the same way, and after only a moment Jane rests her head against Maura's thigh. "You saw 'em."
"Pissed I didn't wait for you?"
Oh, Jane. Maura places a gentle hand on her head, smooths that dark hair back. "A little."
"I know, sweetheart."
They're silent for a few moments, and then Jane lifts her left hand, jerks her thumb towards the spread of park behind them. "Used to be a pond back there. Duck pond. Tommy used to love feeding the ducks when he was little. Fat-ass would hoard bread from his sandwiches all week to come out here on Fridays." She sighs. "They drained it during that first outbreak of West Nile—back in 2000? I'd just finished up at the Academy and Frankie was prepping for the civil service exam and Tommy just got arrested for the second time. The two of us, we came down here and just started chucking shit in there, just so goddamn pissed. We were so angry with him, and Ma was just sitting there moaning about how they were gunning for her baby and Pop was so confused and the two of us were just… we were done. It was the first time… you know that moment, when you realize there's no going back?" She feels a hitch in Jane's breathing. "Why couldn't this be Tommy, Maur?"
It's so, so easy to wrap an arm around Jane's shoulders and press a kiss to the top of her head. It's nowhere near as easy to listen to her voice shake. She just sounds so… small.
Maura should have known. She thinks that the last six months, case after case and risk after risk and Jane never once stopped to rest, to recover, to heal—she thinks that the last six months have done more damage than she ever realized. She should have realized. Their last two cases—she resists the idea of gut instinct on principle, because it's physiologically impossible, but Jane knows things. Jane senses things for which there is no logical explanation. But their last two cases—Jane ignored whatever she sensed about the Finnegan brothers, misread them, whatever. And with Dennis, she went chasing down invisible traces of Hoyt. She sensed Dennis as off but she didn't listen to it all the way. And Dominic. How could Jane's infallible gut have failed her so horribly then?
Maura should have known. Jane is gifted and all of a sudden her gifts failed her, over and over again. Maura should have known. She should have been paying attention. Everything with Frank and the annulment fiasco went down when they were fighting and there's never any retread with them. And Jane was—well, maybe not fine when Frank left, but she was focused. She had to be strong for Angela, she had to show her brothers how to keep going. Jane was shaken when Frank showed up with wedding invitations and annulment papers but she kept going.
Maura should have known. Should have seen that Jane's aversion to Lydia wasn't just her typical misanthropy but a real need for distance and removal. Should have realized, when that mid-July lull ended with Lydia's insertion into their lives, that it was too deep. She should have thought about what it would mean for that small, secret, Daddy's girl part of Jane to be so completely betrayed.
But she tries. She tries now. "There is nothing wrong with continuing to love your father."
Jane swipes a hand roughly at her face, doesn't lift her head from Maura's thigh. "After everything? Maur, even you can't justify…" Her voice roughens at the end, dissolves into a choked sob.
Maura gently, gently, draws her curls behind her ear, wipes at the single tear under one dark, dark eye. "He was a man you respected and admired for thirty four years. Love bolstered by those things doesn't disappear, honey. It doesn't go away. You don't have to show him that love, especially not if it hurts you to do so, but there's nothing wrong with still loving him."
Jane lifts her head, looks up at Maura. It's not clear what she's looking for, but she finds it, puts her head back down. "We're not gonna tell them."
Maura nods. She was expecting that. Out in center field, Jo wrestles with a branched stick.
"They're… they're gonna hold it against him. Especially when things are hard. So we're not gonna tell them. Anybody. Maybe Frankie. But not Tommy, not Ma, nobody outside—nobody. And they're gonna hafta live with that."
She expected it and understands it, but part of being a best friend is pushing. "Are you sure?"
Jane presses her forehead to Maura's leg for just a second, then looks up at her again, and the intensity in those dark, dark eyes takes her aback. "They won't get that sometimes, there's a sperm donor and an incubator. They won't get that, Maur."
Jo comes sprinting back with a portion of the stick she'd been tackling, tries to make it up the bleachers with it but gets caught, twice. It's a welcome distraction, because Maura doesn't know what to do with this ache in her ribs, this push to say love the way she means it. "Okay," she whispers instead, and smiles. "Okay."
"You'll help me with them?"
"And buy me a slice of pizza?"
This one. But of course she grins, of course she pinches Jane's arm teasingly. "After I drove all the way out here, just for you?"
"I left my wallet at the precinct!"
Maura frowns. "Then how did you get on the T?"
Jane smirks, winks, and that ache gets stuck in Maura's throat. "Badged my way through. Official police business, and all."