Disclaimer: Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles do not belong to me.
Warning: Spoilers for Season 3.
A/N: This story is set after Episode 3.15. Maura decides she needs to go away for a little while to gain some new perspective on the relationships in her life as her friendship with Jane has become strained. Jane is trying to make things work with Casey but begins to question that decision. This is a story of how they find their way back to each other.
Detective Jane Rizzoli couldn't sit still. She bounced her right leg up and down on the ball of her foot. Her left hand tapped a pen against her desk. She kept picking up her phone and looking at it, then glancing at wall clock, and then the email on her computer before starting the pattern over. Jane would never say it out loud, it was disrespectful and bad luck besides, but she could have really used a murder right now just to give her something to do.
"Why don't you just email her?" her partner Barry Frost said from his seat across from Jane's desk. "Either that or go home because you're driving me crazy."
"I don't remember asking you for advice," Jane replied.
Frost ignored that and said, "Of course if you do email her, then you'll just be sitting here fidgeting while you wait for a response, so it probably won't make any difference for my sanity."
"Agh, you are so aggravating," Jane growled, but she did open a new email on her computer and started typing the email she had composed in her head days ago.
I'm sorry if I am bothering you. I know you said you needed space but I just want to know that you are safe and okay. Please respond and let me know how you're doing.
I miss you.
Jane clicked send and then glanced at the clock and calculated the six hour time difference. It was almost midnight in Paris, assuming Maura was still there, and there was no reason to expect Maura to respond to the email immediately. She stood up and said, "I'm going home."
"Good," Frost said. "Now I can relax and get some work done."
"Yeah, yeah. See you tomorrow, partner," Jane said, already walking to the door.
"Goodnight, Jane," Frost called after her.
Jane didn't go home, instead she went to Casey's apartment. Somehow she had managed to get him to delay surgery for a few months. Maybe it was just the terrifying articles Maura had given her that she had passed on to Casey or maybe she had finally gotten through to him and convinced him that she liked him regardless of his injury. Either way, he had agreed to go see the specialist Maura knew in order to get another opinion and then he agreed to wait a little longer and see if he could make any more improvements through physical therapy.
He was in better spirits for a few weeks after the consult with the new doctor and Jane was encouraged. Casey stopped pushing her away and they finally started spending real time together again. They worked out together a lot and she did his physical therapy exercises with him. She tried to get Casey to move in with her since his apartment was kind of a depressing dump, but he wouldn't move. He said her apartment was too small for both them, plus her building didn't have an elevator. He was right on both accounts but Jane felt like she had done what she could by at least suggesting it.
Jane entered Casey's apartment with the key he had given her and found him stretched out on the couch with a book. "Hey, how was your day?"
"Fine. I worked out for quite a bit today. How was yours?"
"Boring," Jane answered. "Hey, let's do something tonight. Wanna go out to dinner?"
"I don't think so. I'm pretty tired."
Jane stood looking at Casey for a moment. He had hardly looked at her, his attention focused on his book. She hadn't gotten rid of the restlessness that had plagued her all day. She wanted something to take her mind off of worrying about Maura and how she was and if she was going to reply to her email or not.
Jane grabbed Casey's book out of his hands and set it aside. Then she straddled him, sitting on his stomach and giving him a quick kiss on the lips. "Come on Case, let's have some fun together."
He turned his head away from her. "I told you, I can't do this right now. Not when I can't...perform."
"There's so many other ways we could enjoy each other. And what if you're wrong? You haven't even let me try," Jane pleaded.
"It doesn't work like that. You know how I feel about this and it didn't bother you before," Casey said as Jane got off of him and back on her feet.
"It would still be nice if you gave me some indication that you're attracted to me and want to be with me," she said angrily.
Casey looked up at her surprised and a little hurt. "What's going on with you today? Did something happen?"
"No, nothing happened today. Nothing at all," Jane sighed. "I should go."
"That's probably a good idea," Casey said coldly.
Jane went home to her own apartment. She grabbed two beers and a plate of lasagna her mother had left there for her and took them to the living room where she slumped on the couch. She took a few bites of cold lasagna and then finished off one of the beers in a few gulps.
She tipped her head back against the back of the couch, closed her eyes, and thought back to her last conversations with Maura, analyzing them for probably the hundredth time since Maura left. Each time Jane wondered if there was something she should have said or even could have said that would have made Maura stay.
In the past few days she had realized that it wasn't a single thing. It wasn't just Maura leaving or donating her kidney, or Jane being distracted by Casey's surgery, but that there had been a lot of little things that contributed to the distance that existed between them right now. There was no one thing Jane could have done or said to keep Maura here because recently there were too many ways in which she had failed Maura and now Jane had to figure out how to fix that.
~~ ~~3 weeks earlier~~ ~~
Jane came bursting into Maura's house and into the living room where Maura was sitting. "What the hell, Maura?"
"What?" Maura calmly replied.
"Korsak just told me that you're taking an indefinite leave of absence."
Maura remained still. She looked tired and was still paler than usual, both evidence of her recent surgery. "Yes, I am."
"Why?" Jane cried, unable to keep her voice calm.
"I need a break from work and everything else. After everything I just went through with Hope I need to get away. I haven't taken any time for myself in too long and I can't keep going like this. This seems like the right time to take a break. I need to rejuvenate."
Jane calmed down a little. She couldn't argue with what Maura was saying. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to Paris. I leave Sunday."
"What? You just had surgery. You can't leave already."
"As long as everything is fine at my follow-up appointment on Friday then my doctor says I'm fine to travel. As long as I continue to take it easy and not over-exert myself I'll be fine."
Jane had started pacing and she paused briefly to say, "Why can't you rejuvenate here? I'll take care of you. Ma will take care you."
Maura shook her head. "That's part of why I need to go away. Our lives have become so intertwined, Jane. So intertwined that I don't have a life outside of you and your family. I need some space to find myself again."
"You mean you have to get away from me? You have to go across an ocean because you need space from me?" Jane questioned.
"That isn't what I said and you should not think of it like that."
"I have no idea what to think other than my best friend doesn't want to be around me anymore. What else should I think?"
Maura had become frustrated with Jane's attitude and she didn't have the energy to censor herself anymore anyway. Before she could stop herself she said, "I have to go away so that I can get over you."
That statement at least got Jane to stop pacing. She looked at Maura in confusion. "Get over me?"
Maura sighed. "I didn't mean to say that, at least not like this."
"What does that mean exactly?"
"It means that I love you. I love you completely and I thought I could just live with it, that I could live with these feelings and be happy with our friendship and not need anything else. That was enough for a long time. But you have Casey now. The past couple of months, while I've been going through everything with Hope, I realized that I need to find someone who loves me completely too. I realized that I have to get over you so I can move on with my life."
Jane had sunk into a chair while Maura was talking. "I...um...I didn't know. Honestly, I had no idea."
"I'm not expecting anything from you," Maura said. "I never intended to tell you."
"But this whole vacation trip thing is because you do need to get away from me," Jane said after a moment.
"Not everything is about you, Jane," Maura snapped. Maura closed her eyes. "I'm sorry. I...I'm very tired. I'm going to go upstairs and take a nap, if you don't mind."
Jane was still struggling to comprehend everything Maura was telling her and knew she hadn't responded very well yet. "Of course. Do you need any help?"
Maura shook her head. "No, thank you. I'll be fine."
Jane stood up and held out a hand to help Maura stand. "I'll go then and let you sleep."
On Sunday, Jane insisted on taking Maura to the airport, even parking in the closest garage to her terminal so she could bring Maura's suitcases to the check-in counter for her. Jane had envisioned talking Maura out of going during their ride, but found that she couldn't figure out what to say so they ended up spending the entire ride in silence.
After Maura was checked in, Jane walked her to the security line. "Do you know how long you're going for?"
"No, I'm not sure yet."
"Is there anything I can say to make you change your mind about going?"
"No, there isn't."
Jane stepped closer and pulled Maura into a hug. "Take care of yourself, okay?" Jane said into Maura's ear.
"I will," Maura said. She tried to pull away but Jane still held on to her. She pulled her head back and said, "You take care of yourself, too." She lightly pressed her lips to the corner of Jane's mouth before turning away and walking into the line to go through security.
Maura lay in bed reading in her parent's apartment in Paris. Her attention was drawn to her phone when out of the corner of her eye she saw the screen light up indicating the arrival of a new email.
Upon seeing Jane's name on the screen Maura felt her stomach flutter, but she couldn't have pinpointed the exact emotion behind it. Part happiness and part relief, but also something else. Regret maybe. A little disappointment that it took more than two weeks for Jane to contact her, even though she asked Jane for space.
Maura read Jane's email and tried not to over-analyze every word of it while she considered if and how she should respond.
She couldn't hide away forever but she hadn't done much to accomplish what she had left to do. She came to Paris so that she could spend time in a new city, meet new people, and take her mind off of Jane. But she was still recovering from the surgery and so far had largely spent time in her parent's apartment and if she went out it was with her mother.
She had to change that. She had to get out and figure out how to live her life again. But perhaps she didn't need to completely cut herself off. Maura opened the email again on her phone and hit reply.
I'm with my mother in Paris and doing fine. My father is going to be joining us soon as well. I'm still recovering from the surgery but feeling better every day.
I hope you are doing well.
I miss you too.
Maura read over the email. She hoped it came across as friendly and gave Jane the impression that if she wanted to write back she could. And she hoped that if Jane did write back it be okay, but that was part of the point of the vacation, to recalibrate her feelings toward Jane and their relationship. Perhaps having some communication would be good for her. Maura took a deep breath and hit send.