A/N - I really meant to wait until after I finished The Rizzoli Kid to post this, since while it is half written it is still only half outline. I don't like leaving 3 unfinished fics out there. But the NCIS x-over I started keeps wanting to be serious case stuff and pure silly comedy at the same time. And if 3x11 is setting the tone for the back half of the season, I am posting this now so I can not feel obligated to work it in. Note that if you're looking for happy, Rizzles fluff look elsewhere. While the outline involves Rizzles, that don't happen til roughly chapter 20 -and these are long chapters. Like this prologue is the shortest thing in this fic. And this is not at all fluffy. This is largely angst. Actually, not largely, entirely. Its a very dark take on s3 and how "off" it felt. But this is an idea done to hell and back with Jane as the focus,(I think every R&I author at some point in time at least kicked around the idea of writing "Jane falls into the bottle") and I decided to flip the script a little bit.
Trigger fucking warning: this is a fic that deals with substance abuse. Like main damn focus. If that sort of thing bothers you, I suggest that big button with the arrow to the left.
She sighed, shifting again on the couch. Her leg hurt. And it hurt like hell. She had expected some pain, following an emergency fasciotomy, but she hadn't expected it to hurt this badly. Badly enough to get her to think of the pain in terms of profanity. She was fairly sure she'd gotten a whopping three hours of sleep since everything had happened, the pain waking her every time she just started to doze off. The two naproxen she had taken had done absolutely nothing to help, and she sighed, finally getting up and hobbling into the kitchen. She had never been one for painkillers, choosing instead to opt for herbal remedies, meditation, anything else, really. But she'd already tried all of those over the last two days, and nothing else was working.
Besides, she knew there was no way she was going to heal unless she got some rest, and these would help with that. She looked at the bottle that had been given to her when she was discharged from the hospital, reading the label, having paid no attention to what it is they had prescribed to her until now. She mentally calculated equivalent dosages, figuring out just how much would let her sleep, before tipping three out into her hand. Two would kill the pain, three would allow her to sleep without worrying about any too-severe side effects. If she'd had an IV of morphine in the hospital, dripping tens of milligrams into her at once, and this had sixty percent of the efficacy of morphine, then fifteen milligrams would be just right.
She swallowed them down with a large gulp of grapefruit juice, hobbling back to the couch, turning on a documentary she'd been meaning to watch for quite some time. She tried to focus on the program and not the pain, which became easier and easier to do as the pills had their intended effect, slowly easing away the pain. This is nice, she mused, shifting slightly as she felt her eyelids start to droop after fifteen minutes, laying back on the couch, making sure to keep her leg elevated on a pillow as she reclined. She felt warm, comfortable, good.
She thought about the chemical processes involved in this nice feeling she had slowly spreading through her veins. Hydrocodone was converted into hydromorphone by cytochrome P450 2D6, which was the same enzyme responsible for the bioactivation of most medicines. Beta blockers. Antidepressants. Stimulants. Nearly everything pharmacists, chemists had dreamed up over the years. All processed by the liver with the same enzyme in the same way. Hydromorphone then would be carried through her veins through the blood-brain barrier, and bind with the opioid receptors in her brain, the same spots that were activated by endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, causing a release of dopamine, resulting in the same relaxed, happy feeling she often got after a good workout, or a particularly mindblowing orgasm. All the exact same reaction in her brain. Chemicals binding to receptors, releasing neurotransmitters.
But this was different, she mused, as her eyes slipped shut, falling into an easy slumber. She dozed, snippets of dreams flashing through her head, nothing ever staying long enough to count as a proper dream, but all of it good. Images of dance receitals as a child, images of her and Jane, and movie nights and drinks at the Robber and she was so glad that they'd finally stopped fighting. Images of coming into her house and feeling like she was home, like there was someone to come home to, even though in her dream she could never see who that person was.
She dozed, for almost three hours, vaguely aware of the television playing in the background, the noise like a peal of distant thunder in her dreams, and she'd occasionally awaken ever so slightly to catch a moment or two of the documentary before she'd fade back into sleep, embraced by this wonderful, golden warmth.
When she finally awoke, the documentary had long since ended, the science channel lapsing into reruns of How It's Made but she didn't bother changing the channel. This was pop science, true, but it fascinated her nonetheless, as she watched with awe at just how much effort went into making a pencil. To turn raw lumber and graphite into something that she used everyday, the effort involved in the production, it was amazing.
This was exactly what she needed, she thought. After the last few months she'd had, she needed this. Needed to be able to lay back on a couch and watch pop science and let the anger and the misery she'd had pent up over the last few months fade away. It had been almost seven weeks that she and Jane had fought. And they'd been the most miserable seven weeks of her life, without anyone to turn to and confide in. It had shocked her, after the first week, just how much she had missed her best friend. Missed lunches, drinks at the Robber, Friday nights on the couch eating junk food that she would never eat otherwise and watching a sport that she never would have on her own.
By the end of the second week, however, she was too damn proud to admit that she needed Jane. By the end of the third, she was just plain angry. By the end of the fourth, she had resigned herself to making pithy, spiteful comments when they were forced to cross paths at work, taking on Jane's habit of using sarcasm and spite to hide deep emotional wounds. And had carried on as such until two days ago, when Jane had stood by her, even when she was delirious with shock, guarded her, and refused to let her die alone in the woods.
And she'd hated that for someone who had always prided herself for being independent, she'd somehow grown to be accustomed to having Jane, the rest of the Rizzoli family, Frost, Korsak, everyone in her life. She had been used to being alone, before. That all had changed. And spending seven weeks suddenly alone again, she found, quite simply, that she hated it. She missed having the nearly-smothering presence of Angela there, intruding into her life simply because the woman cared. And while Vince and Barry had certainly been cordial to her over the last two months, there was also a certain distance there – unsure of backing either dog in the fight. She was a friend to them, but they worked with Jane, had to rely on her to cover them in dangerous situations, they weren't going to risk making the detective feel betrayed.
But all that was fixed now. Their pride had fallen by the wayside in the face of imminent danger, and everything that they'd fought over had been forgiven. She'd had every reason to be angry with Jane for what had happened, but she found that as much as she wanted to hate Jane for all that had happened, she couldn't. Jane, who had come to see her in the hospital after the shooting – not to offer any comfort, but to get a story straight for internal affairs. Jane, who had forced Angela to chose between them. Jane, who had spent the last few weeks hardly saying more than a thank you the one time she'd held the elevator. She'd certainly not been the one in the wrong during the fight, but she didn't particularly care who was right or wrong, simply that everything was fixed now.
All she could care about was that they were friends again, that she had everything she hadn't realized she had needed in her life until it was pulled away from her was back where it should be. No, lying back here watching pop science was exactly what she needed, watching as one episode drifted into another, as she watched boats, raincoats, handmade ceramic bowls, pop bottles, all crafted, taking a new appreciation in things she took for granted every day. She didn't need to think about anything, she just got to sit back and learn, and rest. This was exactly what the doctor had ordered.