I promised everyone who was left waiting for the second chapter of In the Middle of the Bullpen a new story soon. Well, here it is! This angsty little piece was written ages ago and has just been brought back into the lime light after receiving a bit of a grammatical touch-up. I tend to write better angst than anything else, likely because of all the drama I've had in my life. I've got a few more stories I'll be fixing up (both angsty and fluff. And detective/ME loving) and I have some story ideas I really want to expand on long term despite my propensity to forget about stories and leave them incomplete for ages. But yeah this is here for you now. I'm planning on this being a one shot but if I get a lot of positive feedback asking for it, I am prepared to extend it two or three more chapters.
No official beta. I do have a friend look over them for some criticism but not at a level of critique high enough to count as betaing. And I don't have her look for grammatical errors. So any mistakes left are all mine.
Standard disclaimer stuff: I don't own Rizzoli and Isles or any character or location mentioned in this story including Jane, Maura, Korsak, Frost, and the Dirty Robber. Those belong to TNT, Tess, and Janet. If anyone wants to buy the rights from them and give them to me as a present though, I will gladly accept it. ;)
I want to thank everyone who reviewed, favorited and followed (both me and the stories) after In the Middle of the Bullpen and It Was Supposed to be Just a Normal Day (I never did thank people for that). I've discovered that these things make me incredibly happy. And make people look at me funny when I start grinning wildly at me phone. They just don't understand.
For Detective Jane Rizzoli and her team, it's been a long six months. Six months, two weeks, and three days to be exact. Jane's difficulties were different from everyone else's though.
Six months, two weeks, and three days ago, Jane kissed Dr. Maura Isles, the chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They had been playing this unbearable game of cat and mouse for far too long and Jane was sick of dismissing their mutual attraction for each other. So she kissed Maura, her best friend, her confidante, the only person who has ever made her want something more than her job. They were just about to talk about it when Jane got pulled back into their case.
There had been a series of suspicious deaths, all of the victims were alumni of an expensive private school in town. Jane was particularly keen to figure this case out since Maura had gone to that school briefly and matched the rest of the victimology: attractive, successful, and single. So, Jane went off and chased down the suspect for six blocks to catch him before he could hurt the woman who had caught Jane's heart. Just as she closed in to tackle the man to the ground, he turned around and shot at her three times. She was wearing a vest and two of the shots didn't affect her at all as they hit the Kevlar. The last shot, however, was not as easily stopped. It slipped just under the edge of the Kevlar vest and struck Jane in the stomach. She wasn't too worried about it. She had put a bullet through herself once to stop a dirty cop. She knew the pain and could filter it out (which probably wasn't a good thing but she didn't want to think about that as she lay in wait of help) but her real issue was the recovery time. Her partner, Detective Barry Front ran past her and shot the perp in the leg before cuffing him as Sergeant Vince Korsak stopped by Jane to call an ambulance.
She stayed awake through the entire ride to the hospital, which the medics said was an excellent sign, and was prepped for surgery. When she finally woke up from the haze of medicine, Jane felt a hand laying on her arm. Barely able to keep her eyes open, she turned to the side to see Maura sitting, just watching her. Jane shot her a small grin which faded both as she fell back asleep and as she saw Maura's frown get bigger.
During the next week in her conscious hours, Jane calmed down all sorts of family and friends, but Maura had stayed suspiciously quiet, even when asked a question about medical terminology. Everything she did seemed forced. On her last day in the hospital, Maura finally addressed what had happened in the moments before Jane was called off to action. She told Jane that, while yes, Maura did love her, they needed to remain only friends. She would never want to come between Jane and her job but she needs to know that the one she loves will come home to her every night. Before Jane can even respond, Maura smiles tersely at her and says that they can still be the best of friends.
"Some bullshit that was..." a drunk Jane murmurs to herself as she orders another shot of tequila. "She didn't even give me a chance to tell her what I needed to say. Now she can barely look at me and she keeps dating all of these pricks"
After a while, the bartender tells her she's being cut off and that she needs to go home. After trying to argue her way to another shot and failing, she leaves to go home, where she can keep drinking. After her 13th shot of the night, she slips on some spilt liquor and passes out.
On the other side of town, Korsak and Frost were at the Dirty Robber with Maura. It's been six months, two weeks and three days since Jane last joined them for a drink after a case. While Maura didn't usually join them either, they had asked her to come, not for a drink, but to talk. Working with Jane day in and day out, they had noticed things that Jane refused to notice or at least talk about. She was skinnier than ever before even though she seemed to be gaining muscle. She would work out at the gym for hours at a time, arrive to work hours before anyone else, and would put in more effort into a case than ever before. Many mornings, they could tell that she had come in hungover and on the rare occasion that she did come in late, they could smell the alcohol from the night before until Jane excused herself to change in the locker rooms. They now had impossibly high record of solved cases because Jane would go to extreme lengths just to catch a killer. They knew everything stemmed from her deteriorated relationship with Maura and Frost hacked into the security cams in the morgue to see if he and Korsak could pinpoint a fight. It all made sense when they saw the kiss. They could see the loving gaze that Maura had given Jane and vice versa. They realized that Jane had only become sullen after she left the hospital and correctly assumed that Maura had later rejected Jane. As tough as Jane was, they could see her pain and they knew if her actions didn't stop soon, she would kill herself.
"So, detectives, there was something you wanted to talk to me about?" Maura asked politely, nursing a glass of wine. She too had retracted into a much more professional personality and rarely laughed anymore. The two detectives were sure they she was hurt by Jane's detachment also but was much less willing to admit it than they were.
"Yeah, listen we aren't going to beat around the bush," Frost started out. "We know what happened between you and Jane before she got shot six months ago."
If Maura was surprised, she didn't show it. Instead, she tersely responded,
"I'm quite sure that is none of either of your business and you have no right to approach me about that."
"Doc, we both know that ain't true," Korsak responded gently. "Jane hasn't been the same since she got out and we all know it. Everyone can see it! We need to know what happened just before she got out."
"You can't honestly expect me to tell you that," Maura replied, aghast.
"Listen, I know it's personal for you," Frost started out. "But Jane is drinking every night, she never seems to sleep, and at the rate she's going, she'll be dead within the year if we're lucky. Something has to change and we just want to help our friend."
"I'm sure Detective Rizzoli is just fine," Maura replied softly, looking away at the description of her former best friend. She had missed her terribly since their relationship seemed to fall away. She had hoped that everything could just return to normal but she had quickly learned that that wasn't the case. She just wanted her old friend back.
"Maura, she's not fine. She's killing herself and I don't know how long it's going to be before she actually succeeds, whether on purpose or on accident," Korsak whispered, looking at Maura.
"What do you want me to do? She hasn't spoken to me unless it's for a case," Maura whispered back. "I tried for two months to stay friends but she only shut me out, time after time. She doesn't want to see me."
"Maura, we've seen her pass out during cases because she won't sleep or she won't eat until the case is solved or her body revolts," Frost said. "I don't know what you can do but I know that it has to be you. You were the only one that could ever get through to her. When she's unconscious or asleep on a stake out or something, she talks in her sleep and I've only every heard her say one thing: 'Maura'. You're the only that can bring her back."
"I can't. I'm sorry," Maura replies dejectedly.
"We don't understand though. Why not?" Korsak asks, begging for an explanation.
"I just can't."
"Maura, we know you love her. And we know she loves you more than anything. She's only going to get worse until she finally slips up and gets killed or until she messes up a case and gets fired. Please."
"It's just-" Maura begins to choke up. "I can't love her and worry every night if she's going to come home to me. I keep dreaming of have kids with her and her not returning to us one night because she went out of her way to solve a case and got herself killed. I want to be able to hold her and care for her but I won't let myself love her more than I do now if she refuses to care about me."
"Maura, all she does is care about you. Since she's known you, all she's ever done is work to keep you safe. In the past six months, she hasn't done anything crazy. Maybe she's trying to prove to you she can stay safe, I don't know, but I know Janie. I've seen her at her worst and at her best. I know that she's working harder than ever and killing herself doing it because she can't get over you."
By this point, Maura has begun crying softly and keeps shaking her head, as if trying to shake out the conversation.
"I- I can't- I just-"
"Maura, please," Frost steps in, begging for her help. "If you don't do anything, all we can do is watch until Jane finally doesn't make it through a case. Wouldn't you rather have had the chance to love her like you want to before she dies than have her die alone, both of you miserable, because she can't get over you? Do you want to be why she dies?"
"How dare you!" Maura interjects through her sobs. "How dare you say that!"
"But it's true, isn't it? You are Jane's last hope."
Finally, Maura breaks down.
"Oh God. I just- I love her too much. I can't bear to see her die."
"There's only a chance of that if you're with her. She'll be careful for you. But it's only a matter of time that it happens if you keep staying away from her."
"Oh God, what have I done? What if she doesn't take me back?"
"She will. She would do anything for you. Find her and help her," Korsak pleads.
"I've got to go. I've got to find her," Maura announces, standing shakily. "I have to hurry."
Korsak and Frost watch her leave before turning back to each other. Frost speaks first.
"Man, I hope this work. Fingers crossed, huh?"
"It has to work," Korsak replies airily. "It just has to..."
Outside, Maura gets into her car and rushes over to Jane's apartment. She can't believe how blind she's been. She didn't think Jane loved her that much. She thought that Jane would get over her quickly but she didn't realize how much Jane really needed her and how much she needed Jane.
Getting to her apartment, Maura runs up the stairs two at a time until she reaches Jane's door. She knocks but there was no answer. Knocking again, she called out for Jane only to greeted with more silence. At the noise, her elderly neighbor peeked out of his door from across the hall.
"She's home but she came in drunk. Mumbling something about not being cut off in her own home. She's drunk a lot nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised if she's drunk herself to death," the neighbor said sadly. "She's a great woman. I'd hate to see her die so early."
"Thank you. Do you know if she's changed locks in the past six months?"
"She hasn't. Why?"
"I used to come here all the time and I have a key that she gave me years ago. I wanted to know if it will still work. Thank you."
"Yeah, I thought I remembered you. The drinking only got bad when you stopped coming around. Maybe with you back, things will get better."
"I hope so," Maura responds sadly. "Have a nice night."
"You too," the man responded, closing his door.
She found Jane's key in her purse but as she moved to put it in the door, the knob turned beneath her hand. Extremely worried at this point, because Jane always locks her door, Maura pushes inside, calling Jane's name softly. She closes the door behind her and flips on lights. She finds Jane sprawled across the floor with a half empty bottle of tequila next to her.
"Jane!" Maura cries out, rushing over to her friend. She checks for a pulse and sighs in relief when she finds one. She proceeds to check for pupil response and only calms down when she concludes that Jane isn't in a coma and isn't dead; she's only been knocked out cold. Picking up her purse, she set it on Jane's kitchen counter before taking off her shoes. She bends down over Jane and picks her up, carrying her over to the couch. She checks the back of Jane's head and finds a lump there. She turns to the kitchen and gets Jane a bag of ice for the swelling and some water for when she wakes up. She has to hold back a sob when she sees that Jane has some of Maura's favorite ice cream in the freezer and still keeps all of Maura's favorite things in her kitchen.
Returning to the living room, she places the bag of ice covered in a towel under Jane's head and the water on the table. She sits on the coffee table across from the couch and stares at Jane, wondering how she could have ever let her slip through her life. She can see that dark circles under her eyes and notices grimly how sullen her face has become. She'd be willing to bet that if she looked under Jane's shirt, she would be able to see her ribs. Sighing, Maura got up to head back to the kitchen to fix Jane something to eat for when she woke up. Before she left, she couldn't help but brush a lock of dark hair out of the Italian beauty's eyes. Even in her sleep, she looked sad and broken and Maura's heart sank a little more, knowing she was the cause. She gently brushed her lips to the olive skin of her forehead.
"I'll make everything better," She whispered softly. "I promise."
Returning to the kitchen, she made what she remembered to be Jane's favorite meal.
Meanwhile, Jane was dreaming. She had had this dream before. It was of a life with Maura that she was sure she would never get the chance to have. It was one of the dreams that drove her to drink.
She was outside, laying on a blanket in the grass, enjoying the sun. Suddenly, she has the wind knocked out of her. Jerking her eyes open, she sees two little children staring up at her. A little boy with dark, unruly hair and olive skin is beaming at her while a little girl with dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes is tugging at her shirt sleeve.
"Momma, get up," the little girl says excitedly. "Mommy said you would pway wif us."
"Oh, she did, did she?" Jane said, sitting up. "And what did Mommy say we would play?"
The little boy pipes up.
"She didn't say. She just said that if we came outside, you would play."
"Well," Jane starts, pretending to think about it. "I don't know if I want to play. Mommy might have been lying to you."
The little girl huffs, putting her hands on her hips, looking like a miniature version of her mommy.
"Nuh-uh. Mommy doesn't wie. If she says you would pway, she knows you woule pway."
"You know, you are way too smart for me, Laura. You're right. I will play. You wanna know what we're going to play though?"
"What?" The little girl asks, bouncing up and down.
"We're gonna play..." Jane draws back a little. "TICKLE MONSTER."
Jane proceeds to jump at the little girl and tickle her to the ground. For her part, little Laura is sqweeling and rolling around trying to get away from Jane's wiggling fingers. At some point, Jane gives the giggling three year old a break before turning to the five year old boy.
"Don't think you can get out of playing either, James," she threatens, as she moves to tickle her son.
"Uh-oh," he says before turning around to run.
Jane sweeps him up before he can get away and places him gently on the ground as she tickles his side, making him squirm just like his sister. She only lets up when Maura leans out of the doorway and says,
"You three come to the table while I bring dinner out. It's time to eat."
Jane stands up, brushing off her jeans, and begins to walk towards the table.
"Momma!" she hears the youngest one say behind her.
"Yeah, kiddo?" she questions, turning around before being tackled to the ground by the two kids.
The two kids proceed to tickle her and she tries not to flail too much so that she doesn't hurt her two precious children.
"James Spencer and Laura Anna! Didn't I tell you to come to the table? Get off your momma and come sit down right now," she orders teasingly from the porch, smiling at them as they walk over.
"Yes, mommy," they chant in unison, giving up the tickling and walk away from an out of breath Jane.
"Come on, Jane. Should I call the newspapers with a breaking story? 'Brave hero detective brought down by two children's tickling.'" Maura jokes, walking over to the now kneeling detective.
"Ha. Ha. Very funny," she deadpans. "Come here."
She pulls Maura to her as soon as the blonde woman is close enough and kisses the woman's growing stomach.
"Don't let your mommy fool you," she whispers into the belly to her unborn baby. "She's not really very funny."
Jane peers up at her smiling wife with a grin and stands up to give her a kiss. When they break, Jane lets out a soft hum of pleasure.
"That never gets old," she murmurs to the medical examiner. "You know, those kids pack quite the punch. That kinda hurt."
Maura giggles and stands on the tips of her toes to kiss the detective's forehead.
"I'll make everything better," she whispered softly. "I promise."
Her voice sounds strangely distant and everything fades away as she slips out of the dream into unconsciousness.
It's not until she smells food being cooked that she begins to stir. How did I get on the couch? Who's cooking? Oh fuck, my head. Jane slowly regains control of her sense and she begins to stretch.
Maura hears movement from the kitchen just as she is finishing the meal and putting it on a plate. She takes a deep breath before walking into the living room with the plate. This is the moment of truth.
"Jane..." She can't bring herself to say anymore, afraid she might start crying.
Jane turns suddenly at the voice, regretting it as her head begins to pound in her head. As soon as the room stops spinning, she realizes who is standing in the archway of the kitchen.
"Maura. Hi," the surprise in Jane's eyes quickly fades to a vacant sadness.
"Here, eat this. And drink some water. It will help the headache," Maura resorts to her clinician personality to keep from crying.
"Um, thanks. What, um, what time is it?"
"It's almost two a.m."
"Oh, what are you doing here?"
Maura looks away, not able to bear the hurt in Jane's eyes any longer.
"I came by to talk and your door was unlocked. I was worried when I found you on the ground. I thought you might be dead."
Jane let our a humorless laugh.
"Because we know how much you care about that," Jane remarked dryly, eating the amazingly delicious food she was handed.
"Jane, that's not fair. I-" Maura began.
"How is that not fair, Maura?" Jane interrupts. "The woman I love tells me that she loves me too but won't be with me because she doesn't want to love me when I get killed. And then worries that I might be dead when it would be her fault. How is that not fair, Maura? How?"
By the time she's finished, she's yelling and has tears in her eyes. Maura, sobbing, can only shake her head as she holds herself.
"All I ever wanted, Maura, was for you to give us a chance." Jane's voice softened considerably. "You said you wouldn't come between me and my job but maybe you already had. Maybe, without knowing it, you had become the reason I tried so hard at my job. You would never make me choose but there never was a choice, Maura. I would always have chosen you. I would have sacrificed everything for you."
"And what about now?" Maura asks softly, barely audible. "You said you would have but what about now?"
Jane sighs and sets her plate on the table, the food unfinished but ignored.
"Now, I don't know. Probably. But how can I know that you won't leave because of some other thing."
"What if I never asked you to choose? What if I promised to always talk to you?"
"But how can I trust that? It's not like the odds are in my favor."
"You would have to trust me, Jane. I've realized how ridiculous it was of me to try to not love you. I've been miserable. We've both been miserable. We have to do something."
"That's the problem, Maura. I can't trust you. I have no reason to trust you."
Maura gets on the knees in front of Jane and takes her hands.
"Then let me earn that trust back. Please Jane. I can't do this anymore. I can't stay away from you any more . It hurts too much. And I know it hurts you too. I can see it. Please."
"How can you see it, Maura? You won't even give me a chance!" Jane states, her voice rising considerably in volume as she yanks her hands away.
"That's why I'm here! Because I want another chance. I was stupid! I was incredibly stupid! And I want to make this right!" Maura yells back.
"And why should I even care?" Jane demands, hands moving animatedly. "You rejected me, remember? Why do you deserve another chance?"
"I don't! But I'm asking you for one anyway! I want to make this right!"
"Why do you even care?"
"Because I love you!" Maura screams at her. "Because I am fucking in love with you and because I can't stand seeing you hurt! Because I need to make this right and I need to make it stop hurting! Because if I can't make this right, I'll die! I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that I had brought this on you! Because I need you more than I've needed anything in my life before!"
Jane can't respond and silence fills the room for several long minutes.
They look at each other. Maura can see is the pain in Jane's eyes but she can also see the love still there for her. She prays she isn't too late and tries to show Jane how much she loves her through her eyes. She tries to show Jane the love she feels, the desperation, the loneliness. She needs Jane to see how much she needs her. She tries again at taking Jane's hands and is encouraged by the fact that her touch is not pushed away again.
Jane can see things in Maura's eyes that she was hoping to see and she begins to get her hopes up a little that she might just have a chance, that Maura might be in for the long haul.
"I can't promise that I'll always be the most receptive and it will take a while for me to trust you again," Jane begins uncertainly.
"But?" Maura inquires, hope also growing.
"But I won't stop you from trying."
Maura smiles. She leans forward some, looking into the sad brown eyes in front of her for permission. When she finds what she's looking for, she closes the distance and presses her lips against the soft ones presented to her. It's soft and she tries to prove to Jane how much she loves her through her kiss. Jane returns the kiss with just as much feeling but with a sense of hesitation. Maura cups her cheeks and as the kiss continues, Jane slowly places her hands on Maura's hips. Maura smiles into the kiss. After a minute or so, they both need air and break away. Maura rests her head against Jane, their noses brushing against each other. Placing a series of short pecks on Jane's neck, she moves further down to rest between Jane's legs.
"M- Maur. What are you doing?"
"Please, let me show you how much I love you, Jane. Let me do this for you," Maura whispers into Jane's shirt clad abdomen.
She looks up at Jane and smiles at her hesitant nod. She unbuttons Jane's jeans and pulls them off slowly along with Jane's underwear. She stares in awe of what is presented to her, wetting her lips with her tongue. Determined to treat Jane with the utmost love, she gently holds onto the firm thighs in front of her, spreading them apart.
"Maura," Jane breathes. "You don't have to."
"I know, Jane," Maura smiles gently at her. "I want to. I need to."
Jane nods at her before her head falls back at Maura's first soft touch.
Maura runs her fingers over Jane's lips before separating them. Glancing up a final time at Jane, she leans forwards to run her tongue softly through Jane's folds. She hears the woman moan above her and Maura realizes that it might just be the most amazing sound she's ever heard. She wraps her lips gently around Jane's clit and sucks softly while running her fingers over Jane's entrance.
Jane arches her back at the feeling of Maura in between her legs. Her hands come to rest on Maura's head, threading the fingers through the silky, golden locks. She gasps as Maura moves two fingers past her entrance.
Maura moves softly within Jane, making slow and deliberate movements, trying to bring Jane the most pleasure possible. She yearns to show Jane how much she regrets, to promise everything to her, to show Jane that she's there for good, that she's not turning back or letting go.
Every touch of Maura's fingers bring all of Jane's emotions to the front. She tries to focus on the physical pleasure but the emotions are there, following each touch, neither diluting the other, only growing in tandem. As Maura gently brushes her inner walls, she finds and stays on a spot more sensitive than others. The spike in pleasure brings tears to Jane's eyes. She tries to blink them away but they well up even more with each brush against her walls, each swipe of Maura's tongue on her clit, each gentle suck on her sensitive flesh. Her fingers tighten slightly in the woman's hair as both her pleasure and feelings begin to peak.
Maura can feel the muscles clench as she brushes a softer spot inside of Jane and she focuses there, using Jane's increasing wetness to ease slide into her more easily. She can feel the muscles under her tightening and she knows Jane is close to her climax. To help bring her love to the pinnacle of pleasure faster, she adds a little more suction on her clit and moves her fingers faster within the now quivering woman.
Jane is clenching every muscle as she rises, tears now streaming down her cheeks. When she hears Maura softly whisper "I love you" she breaks. With a sob, she moans out as the world fades around her and all she can feel is a white hot rush through her body. As she rides the waves of heat coursing through her, she pulls Maura up from her position on the floor and kisses her roughly.
Maura can taste the tears in the kiss as she feels the flutter of muscles around her fingers begin to slow until the muscles clench slowly around them before stopping completely. She removes her fingers and breaks the kiss to wrap her arms around the sobbing woman on the couch as her heart tightens in agony at the pain she's caused her.
"I hate you," Jane cries, making Maura let out a sob in anguish. "I hate you for making me love you. I hate you for not letting me get over you. I want to hate you and not love you but I never get over you. Why can't I hate you?"
Maura's dress clenched between her fists, Jane weeps into the chest of the woman next to her, who just holds her. When her tears finally settle, Maura pulls away and wipes the tears from Jane's cheeks and eyes. She cradles Jane's face gently between her hands.
"I'm not leaving you again, Jane," Maura says softly, but with conviction. "I'm not going anywhere."
She wraps her arms around Jane again and pulls her up before heading to the bedroom. She finishes undressing Jane before laying her in the bed. She removes her own clothes and climbs next to Jane. Pulling the covers over them, she pulls Jane into her, draping her arm across her waist as she spooned Jane from behind. The taller woman's breathing had evened out and Maura pressed a little closer to her before closing her eyes and letting herself drift asleep.