You guys, I'm sorry, I'm just so sick of my other story. Which is shitful cos I think it only has like, six or so chapters to go to really conclude it well. So this is me, just getting back on the horse in the meantime to see if it'll remove my block. Ugh, is it just me or does "writer's block" always sound like something that could be fixed by some form of rigorous plumbing? Gross.
It'll be a short-ish story, continuing in my vein of writing songs based around bad bad pop songs that plague me on my long drive to work. This is inspired by the horrifically catchy ear worm 'Inescapable' by Jessica Mauboy that's been all over Australian commercial radio for entirely too many months. LIKE A SONG IN YOUR HEAD you guys.
The first time Jane Rizzoli met the new medical examiner it made her physically sick. Sure, the crime scene was horrific - the victim all but disembowelled - but it was nothing she hadn't seen before. She'd stepped carefully around the pools of congealed blood and chunks of human tissue, eyeing the crumpled bloated body with a purely professional eye and taken in the butcher shop scent without so much as a flinch.
If she was Frost, she could blame her sudden sickness on the faint but unpleasant stench of decay in the air or the hot glare of the crime scene lights, but these were facts of her job she'd gotten used to years ago. To her great discomfort she could pinpoint the exact moment she'd began to feel queasy. Walking up to the group of officials from the medical examiner's office conferring in hushed tones in the corner of the room, her eye was drawn to the slim female figure addressing the group. The first thing she noticed was the bright turquoise of her tightly fitted dress. In a matter of milliseconds her brain took in the woman's shapely bare legs, the curve of her ass and the silky loose curls of her honey coloured hair tumbling down her back, each new observation piling onto the next until they formed a hard brick wall, hitting her right in the gut.
For a second all the sound leached out of the room and Jane was only certain of one clear fact: she did not want to take a single step closer to that woman. She couldn't explain her reasons, she only knew with deep, terrifying certainty that her entire peace of mind was dependant on it. It was as if a deafening buzz of danger emanated from the air around the small woman that only Jane was aware of. Everyone else was leaning in towards her, hanging on her every word, and it was only when Detective Korsak looked up and spotted Jane - struck still two-thirds of the way across the room - and began to frown, that she knew that she had to bid farewell to her compelling fantasy of fleeing the scene and never coming back.
With her teeth gritted, she forced one foot in front of the other, trying to shake away her extremely bizarre and uncharacteristic attack of nerves. She heard her name being spoken, and without warning the woman turned toward her. Korsak was making the introductions, but his words seemed to be coming from a great distance as Jane's world condensed down into the purely visual, as if the sheer presence of the woman's flawless golden skin, warm mouth and sparkling green eyes, took so much absorption her brain had no room for any of her other senses.
Suddenly, as if being jerked awake from a dream she felt her hand being firmly squeezed by the woman's own slight fingers, the soft smoothness of her skin making Jane's stomach clench rebelliously. Quietly, but as clearly as if they were the only two people in an utterly empty room, for that moment the woman's voice was the only sound that broke through to her ringing ears.
"Detective Rizzoli, it's so wonderful to meet you at last." Jane could only blink for a second, feeling the hair stand up on the back of her neck at the sight of those lips curving luxuriously over the shape of her name.
"Uh, hi…same…" she managed lamely, her voice barely more than a husk. She'd completely missed Korsak's entire spiel about who the woman was and she felt the bile rising up in her throat as she wondered how obvious her complete and total discombobulation was to the other homicide professionals.
She blinked in confusion and dragged her eyes away from the woman's face, quickly dropping them to her delicate high heeled feet, swallowing hard. She felt her face flush as her stupid eyes somehow managed to burn into her brain a vivid image of the perfect swell of the woman's cleavage. For the next two minutes all of her thought processes swam like crazy. Don't think about her boobs. Stop thinking about them. Stop thinking about touching them. Stop thinking about her naked. Oh my god what's happening to me? For god's sake listen to what she's saying.
Nausea took over and for a moment she thought she might actually interrupt the woman's speech by doubling over and chucking up right there on her incredibly expensive looking shoes. She worked on keeping her breathing even and tried to force her brain to process the meaning of the woman's words and not just the warm timbre of her voice. Something about blood splatter? She faintly heard one of the crime lab techs address her as Dr. Isles, and with a terrible hot rush Jane realised that the owner of the terrifying, perfect breasts and the slinky golden curls was her new Chief Medical Examiner.
"Jane?" Korsak prodded her, and to her intense discomfort she realised everyone was staring at her waiting for her to speak. Her eyes shot to Dr. Isles whose smile was fading, her bright eyes narrowing in intent observation. Suddenly realising she was seconds from throwing up, Jane rapidly excused herself, muttering something about needing some air. She tried to keep her back straight as she heard a couple of detectives snicker as she barely made it out the door before ducking behind a dumpster, dry heaving.
The urge to vomit passed as suddenly as it had arrived and wiping the sweat from her brow, Jane stepped further into the alleyway to take a seat on a set of concrete steps and hide away out of view while she regained her equilibrium. Surveying the graffiti and pigeons pecking amongst the garbage near her feet she wondered what exactly the goddamned fuckity hell had come over her. Because sure, sometimes she wasn't exactly a people person but she'd never been sickened by someone's mere presence before. And it wasn't remotely repulsion either - working with rapists and murderers meant Jane was well used to that particular sensation. It was more akin to sheer terror, which made no sense at all since her job meant she'd spent years getting used to facing down all kinds of dangerous people while Dr. Isles was both petite and polite, not to mention working on her side, therefore posing no obvious threat whatsoever that she could see.
And yet for some reason she made Jane feel queasy and tongue-tied and dizzy - and then there was the thing about her boobs - what the hell was that? She tried to pin down the exact feeling but all she could come up with was that Dr. Isles was the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen. She was ultra-feminine, and glamorous, and, well…sexy. She dressed like an escaped runway model and yet Jane couldn't comfortably dismiss her as some kind of airhead like she usually would. Chief Medical Examiner for god's sake - and at a very young age at that. She was clearly some kind of genius or else ferociously ambitious. Then there was the impressive way she held the whole crime scene captive, with all the macho detectives and impatient crime scene techs in her sway. Dr. Isles was…well, she was perfect. In the face of that kind of whole package model of womanhood, of course Jane was intimidated. What woman wouldn't be, let alone a tomboy like Jane who didn't even know which end of a lipstick was which?
Jesus christ, what kind of a crazy over the top reaction was that to have? Her mother's nitpicking and criticising was obviously going to her head and making her actually nuts. Terrified of a pretty woman in her workplace, just because she was girly and well put together? Jane rolled her eyes at herself. She was clearly having a very bad day. Well, she'd get over it. No one really was actually perfect, not when you got to know them. Probably Dr. Isles had halitosis. Or even more likely, she was a complete and utter bitch from hell. Possibly she also had a large burly husband that could beat Jane into the ground for having such weird, knee-jerk, oddly pervy thoughts about his wife's breasts. And that, well, that was…that was just the completely normal human reaction from someone who'd gone through life in a B-cup or whatever. What were those, like double D's? Holy shit…
"You still look a bit flushed," came the pronouncement from a voice at her elbow. Jane jumped, and her flush deepened as she realised her inner torment had distracted her from the fact that the object of her discomfort had been neatly picking her way down the alleyway toward her, and had not in fact, magically materialised at her side. "I'm sorry," the doctor tilted her head sideways, looking awkwardly at her through the stair railing. "I didn't mean to intrude. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Sometimes crime scenes can be unexpectedly distressing, even to very experienced people such as yourself. The limbic system can be quite unpredictable at times," she smiled fondly as though sharing an old joke with her. Jane smiled weakly in response.
"No, uh, I wasn't worried by that," she made a good attempt at scoffing, though her voice sounded unnatural even to herself. "I think maybe it was just something I ate. I had this street vendor hotdog yesterday?" she ad libbed what seemed like a plausible explanation. To her intense discomfort, this seemed to alarm the doctor even further, since she took it as enough reason to climb the stairs to sit next to Jane and start touching her immediately.
"Oh, Detective, are you sure?" she asked in dismay, peering closely at her face, her eyes wide. Jane noted they weren't purely green but flecked with dark gold. Hazel, she realised. Even the name of her eye colour was pretty. Not boring cow-brown like hers. The other woman's words were racing. "Food poisoning generally means contagion by Salmonella or Campylobacter bacteria, and while the symptoms can hit anywhere from twelve to seventy-two hours later, they can frequently be severe. Are you feverish?" she asked, laying her cool hand against Jane's forehead, which she knew with a flinch, was burning up. "Or dehydrated?" she clutched Jane's wrist, feeling her pulse with a look of intense concentration.
Jane had to cross off her entire list of imperfections in one swoop. Dr. Isles definitely didn't have halitosis, all Jane could smell right now was a light spicy perfume that increased her dizziness exponentially. She was clearly far from a bitch and more of a warm, caring type, if a little hyper and lacking in personal boundaries. And there was also no wedding ring on her slender finger. She took it all in as the woman murmured worriedly about Jane's potential for hypovolemic shock, not letting go of her wrist, which she now gripped with both hands and held in her lap. Jane's face glowed with even more heat; this woman was turning her into a human furnace. "Are you experiencing diarrhoea?" the medical examiner asked with a tilt of her golden head. Jane tugged back her arm at lightning speed.
"No, Dr. Inquisitive, I am not," her voice came out in an appalled squeak. Dr. Isles only looked at her dubiously, opening her mouth as if to cast doubt on the state of Jane's intestinal health. Jane held up her hand and stopped her in her tracks. "Okay," she sighed, "you got me. It was the crime scene. Just…guts everywhere, and the smell…" she widened her eyes convincingly. "I just…don't tell anyone, okay? I couldn't live it down in front of the guys." Ugh, please, she sent up a silent prayer.
"Oh!" the doctor breathed in relief, tucking an errant lock of honeyed hair behind her ear. "Of course! Keeping up a united front in a male dominated environment. I get it. I have your backside," she announced, with a conspiratorial smile. Jane blinked.
"My back," she clarified carefully. "Thank you, Dr. Isles, for having my…back on this one."
"Please, call me Maura," the woman's astoundingly beautiful smile left her weak. Her nausea was returning.
"Call me Jane," she replied, swallowing hard. The doctor beamed at her.
"Jane," she began warmly. "I know you've seen a lot of crime scenes. For most people it gets easier each time, but sometimes the effect of being exposed to so many distressing scenes becomes a series of cumulative traumas, and before you know it you're reacting to many compounded moments of unresolved traumatic events. It's really very common, and nothing to be ashamed of."
"You're saying it happens to everyone and I'm probably just tired?" Jane deadpanned. Maura nodded enthusiastically.
"Absolutely! I recommend talking to a professional about it, or perhaps trying meditation. And it's important to 'get back on the horse', as they say."
"Right. Face my fears," nodded Jane, trying to look hesitant and yet thoughtful, as though Maura's diagnosis and advice had just that moment helped her turn the corner. Maura nodded again, her face an open book of sympathy and encouragement. She laid her hand on the detective's forearm and squeezed gently. Jane leapt up. "Right. Shall we go back in?" she was up and moving without waiting for a reply and ignoring the head spin it gave her. Suddenly she was extremely keen to avoid any further close up experience of the soft skin, sweet scent or intense eye contact of this Dr. Isles woman. Not to mention her humiliating questions and patient advice.
Despite her teetering heels, Maura kept pace with her, and Jane found herself reaching out to open the door to the warehouse for her, her body moving instinctively. What am I, a guy? Maura looked back at her and flashed her a blinding smile, either in gratitude for the gesture or possibly just to buoy her up in the face of the terrible crime scene she was bravely re-entering. Jane felt her breath catch at the sight. She stayed holding the door, bracing herself, watching the doctor's disappearing back. She took in the sway of her hips, the flex of her calves, the way her hair bounced and floated as she walked...
Ohhhhhh no. No no no no nooo. Anything but that. Jane swallowed twice in quick succession as the sensations the new doctor awoke in her rushed up to overwhelm her, rapidly forcing her to the worst possible conclusion. A crush. A complete and total brain-eating crush like no crush she'd ever known before. A crush to end all crushes. A crush on a woman. Jane groaned aloud. Across the room, the oblivious doctor bent over to examine the corpse. Oh, god. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. This was way, way too much to cope with.
She'd been called a dyke for being athletic in school, for turning down dates with dickheads at the academy, for the very fact of being a female police officer, and then for being a good police officer who was promoted early. She'd been called a dyke by angry suspects, jealous co-workers and random passer-bys in the street, particularly in her patrolling days. She'd been called a dyke so many times by so many people that now it was almost like water off a duck's back, but the very idea of proving every one of those numbskulls right? Jane wasn't having a bar of it. And even if she was - wait, what? - she was not about to humiliate herself over a co-worker. Especially not one she'd have to rely on professionally as frequently as the medical examiner.
She noticed Frost raise his eyebrow at her from across the room. He shot her an odd look as she stood struck dumb in the door way. Pull it together Rizzoli! Whatever this crazy thing was it would just have to run its course. There was no point in freaking out about it. People could have girl crushes without it meaning anything, couldn't they? And crushes often disappeared as time went by, as you got used to someone, or even better, if you starved that crush of oxygen. Yes she'd have to work with the damn doctor, but that was all. She'd do everything she possibly could just to stay out of her way. She'd have careful, distant and purely professional contact with her and all would be well. That's all it would take. That and not staring at her breasts.
Maura straightened, turned and looked towards her, smiling and beckoning her in encouragingly. Taking in the world's deepest breath, Jane walked in to face her fears.